Rights and Responsibilities of Romans
Public Rights (Responsibilities)
The rights Roman citizens were given had to do with public life. These rights have more to do with what Roman citizens are allowed to do within the city and the state of Rome. They could also be called the Public Responsibilities, as they are more things that are required by the state of its citizens than anything else.
Jus Militiae : The is the right of Roman citizens to serve in the Roman Military. Until the later empire, only a Roman citizen could serve, but this right became much more lenient later on due to the need for a larger and larger army to fight the empire's wars against their tribal neighbors on nearly every side.
Included in this law was the compulsory service all citizens would have to perform in their lifetime, unless they could otherwise pay their way out of service.
Jus Tributorum : This was tax payed by each individual through the tribes. It was in proportion to the value of his estates, thus larger landholders would pay much more than someone who had very little. Included in this tax were three types of tribute. The first was the tribute imposed equally upon all citizens, regardless of standing or riches. The second was according to their property. The third part was only exacted in case of emergency to allow Rome to gather emergency funding based in their own laws.
Jus Saffragi : The right for Roman citizens to vote in assemblies such as the Senate and other civil matters. This was the basis of our modern Suffrage laws, especially in the United States
Jus Honorum : The right of Roman citizens to serve as priests or magistrates. Those positions would be comparable to being a member of a city council or a part of a state legislature.
Besides those rights, there were several taxes levied on citizens, with various reasons and names.
Portorium : The tax paid on exported and imported goods. It was also paid for carrying goods over a bridge. The collectors of this tax were known as portitores.
Decumae : A tax levied on farmers, asking for a tenth part of corn and a fifth part of other fruits.
Scriptura : This tax was simply the tax levied on those who let their cattle graze on public lands instead of their own.
Private rights were applied to the private sphere of Roman society, from the household to familial laws. These solely had to do with Roman citizens, and were things afforded only to Citizens, not slaves or foreign freemen living under Rome. These were set by both precedent and by the Twelve Tables.
A few of these rights are as follows: