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AND SOLD BY SAMUEL BAGSTER & SONS, 15, PATERNOSTER ROW. EDINBURGH: W. OLIPHANT & SONS. DUBLIN: SAMUEL B. OLDHAM.
No. I.–OCTOBER, 1851.
A NEW EXPLANATION OF THE TAXING IN LUKE ii. 1-5.
The term census, coming to us from a Latin verb (censere, to determine, to ordain, to assess), denotes the act of the censor in fixing the social position of each Roman citizen, and the amount of taxes which he had to pay to the state. As an essential preliminary to the assessment, there took place an enrolment of names, wherein were formed registers, which accordingly contained the names, property, and fiscal liability of all Roman citizens. The facts supplied by these registers were the kernel of the Roman constitution. In consequence, the greatest care was taken in order to make them complete and accurate. The censorship itself originating in the earliest periods of the commonwealth, and being connected with the supervision of morals and sanctioned by religion, was, as the most dignified office in the state, borne by men of the highest distinction. Without reverting to earlier times, we find the censorship held by Julius Cæsar under the title of præfectus morum ; and by his adopted son Octavius, the first emperor of Rome, in whose reign took place the census spoken of by the evangelist Luke. This monarch, Cæsar Augustus, under the title of prefectus morum (“overseer of morals”), held a census three times. More than
a Diony. Hal. Ant. Rom. iv. 15; apud Lardner, i. 274 ; Florus, i. 6, 3. b Dio Cass. xliii. 14.
c Ibid. lii. 42. a Ibid. liii. 17; liv. 16, 30; Suetonius, Oct. 27, 38, 39.
VOL. 1. -NO. I.