a. The magistrates of the people-also known as patrician magistrates, probably because the older and more important of these magistracies could originally be held only by patricians (?.v.)-were: (a) Dictator, master of the horse (see DICTATOR), consu s, praetors, curule, aediles and censors (curule); and (B) Quaestors, and the body of minor magistrates known as xxvi. 'viri (non-curule). The dictatorship and consulship were as old as the Republic. The first praetor was appointed in 366 B.C., a second was added in 242 B.C., and th e number was gradually increased for provincial government until Sulla brought it up to eight, and under the early principate it grew to eighteen. Censors were first instituted in 443 B.C., and the office continued unchanged until its abolition by Sulla, after which, though restored, it rapidly fell into abeyance. Curule aeclileswere instituted at the same time as the praetor ship, and continued througliout the Republic. The quaestorship was at least as old as the epublic, but the number rose during the Republic from two to twenty. All these offices except the censorship continued for administrative purposes during the principate, though shorn of all important powers. b. The plebeian magistrates had their origin in the secession of the plebs to Mons Sacer in 494 B.C. (see ROME: History). In that year tribunes of the plebs were instituted, and two aediles were given them as subordinate officials, who were afterwards known as plebeian aediles, to distinguish them from the curule magistrates of the same name. Both these offices were abolished during the decemvirate, but were restored in 449 B.C., and survived into the principate. The powers possessed by all magistrates alike were two:- that of enforcing their enactments (coercilio) by the exercise of any punishment short of capital, and that of veto(intercessia) of any act of a colleague or minor magistrate. The right of summoning and presiding over an assembly of that body of citizens with whose powers the magistrate was invested lay with the higher magistrates only in each class, with the consuls and praetors, and with the tribunes of the plebs. Civil jurisdiction was always a magisterial prerogative at Rome, and criminal jurisdiction also, except in capital cases, the decision of which was vested in the people at least as early as the first year of the Republic, was wielded by magistrates until the establishment of the various quaestiones perpeluae during the last century of the Republic. But in civil cases the magistrate, though controlling the trial and deciding matters of law, was quite distinct from the judge or body of judges who decided the question of fact; and the quaestiones perpeluae, which reduced the magistrate in criminal cases to a mere president of the court, gave him a position inferior to that of the praetor, who tried civil cases, only in so far as the praetor controlled the trial in some degree by his formula, under which the judges decided the question of fact. Tenure of magistracy was always held to depend upon election by the body whose powers the magistrate wielded. Thus the magistrates of the plebs were elected by the plebeian council, those of the people in the Comitia (q.'u.). In every case the outgoing magistrate, as presiding officer of the elective assembly, exercised the important right of nominating his successor for election.
See A. H. J. Greenidge, Roman Public Life, 152 seq., 363 seq. (London, 1901); T. Mommsen, Rémisches Slaatsrechl, I. 11. i. (1887).
(A. M. CL.)
MAGLIABECHI, ANTONIO DA MARCO (1633-1714), Italian bibliophile, was born at Florence on the 28th of October 1633. He followed the trade of a goldsmith until 1673, when he received the appointment of librarian to the grand-duke of Tuscany, a post for which he-had qualified himself by his vast stores of self acquired learning. He died on the 4th of July 1714, bequeathing his large private library to the grand-duke, who in turn handed it over to the city.
MAGLIANI, AGOSTINO (1824-1891), Italian financier, was a native of Lanzino, near Salerno. He studied at Naples, and a book on the philosophy of law based on Liberal principles won for him a post in the Neapolitan treasury. He entered the Italian Senate in 1871, and had already secured a reputation as a financial expert before his Questione monelaria appeared in 1874. In December 1877 he became minister of finance in the reconstructed Depretis ministry, and he subsequently held the same office in three other Liberal cabinets. In his second tenure he carried through (1880) the abolition of the grist tax, to take effect in 1884. Having to face an increased expenditure without offending the Radical electorate by unpopular taxes, he had recourse to unsound, methods of finance, which seriously embarrassed Italian credit for some years after he finally laid down office in 1888. He died in Rome on the 22nd of February 1891. He was one of the founders of the anti-socialistic “ Adam Smith Society” at Florence.
MAGNA CARTA, or the Great Charter, the name of the famous charter of liberties granted at Runnimede in June 1215 by King John to the English people. Although in later ages its importance was enormously magnified, it differs only in degree, not in kind, from other charters granted by the Norman and early Plantagenet kings. Its greater length, however, still more the exceptional circumstances attending its birth, gave to it a position absolutely unique in the minds of later generations of Englishmen. This feeling was fostered by its many confirmations, and in subsequent ages, especially during the time of the struggle between the Stuart kings and the parliament, it was regarded as something sacrosanct, embodying the very ideal of English liberties, which to some extent had been lost, but which must be regained. Its provisions, real and imaginary, formed the standard towards which Englishmen must strive.
The causes which led to the grant of Magna Carta are described in the article on English History. Briefly, they are to be found in the conditions of the time; the increasing insularity of the English barons, now no longer the holders of estates in Normandy; the substitution of an unpopular for a popular king, an active spur to the rising forces of discontent; and the unprecedented demands for money-demands followed, not by honour, but by dishonour, to the arms of England abroad. So much for the general causes. The actual crisis may be said to begin with the quarrel between John and Pope Innocent III. regarding the appointment of a new archbishop to the see of Canterbury. This was settled in May 1213, and in the new prelate, the papal nominee, Stephen Langton, who landed in England and absolved the king in the following July, the baronial party found an able and powerful ally. But before this event John had instituted a great inquiry, the inquest of service of June 1 21 2, for the purpose of finding out how much he could exact from each of his vassals, a measure which naturally excited some alarm; and then, fearing a baronial rising, he had abandoned his proposed expedition into Wales, had taken hostages from the most prominent of his foes, and had sought safety in London.
His absolution followed, and then he took courage. Turning once more his attention to the recovery of Normandy, he asked the barons for assistance for this undertaking; in reply they, or a section of them, refused, and instead of crossing the seas the king marched northwards with the intention of taking vengeance on his disobedient vassals, who were chiefly barons of the north of England. Langton followed his sovereign to Northampton and persuaded him, at least for the present, to refrain from any serious measures of revenge. Before this interview a national council had met at St Albans at the beginning of August 1213, and this was followed by another council, held in St Paul's church, London, later in the same month; it was doubtless summoned by the archbishop, and was attended by many of the higher clergy and a certain number of the barons. Addressing the gathering, Langton referred to the laws of Edward the Confessor as “ good laws, ” which the king ought to observe, and then mentioned the charter granted by Henry I. on his accession as a standard of good government. This event has such an important bearing on the issue of Magna Carta that it is not inappropriate to quote the actual words used by Matthew Paris in describing the incident. The chronicler represents the archbishop as saying “ Inventa est quoque nunc carta quaedam Henrici primi regis Angliae per quam, si volueritis, liberates diu amissas poteritis ad statum pristinum revocare.”- Those present decided to contend to the death for their “long-lost liberties, ” and with this the meeting came to an end. Nothing, however, was done during the remainder of the year, and John, feeling his position had grown stronger, went abroad early in 1214, and remained for some months in France. With his mercenaries behind him he met with some small successes in his fight for Normandy, but on the 27th of July he and his ally, the emperor Otto IV., met with a crushing