Comitia Curiata - The Roman Assembly During the Republic

The comitia curiata was one of the earliest popular assemblies of Rome. There is some debate as to when it began, but likely the comitia curiata began meeting just prior to the creation of the Republic (prior to 509 BC), when Rome was still ruled by kings.

The comitia curiata was possibly the first popular legislative body of Rome. That is, it was the first body with the power to approve or reject laws set before it by the republican magistrates (or before the republic, the kings). Only members of the elite families of Rome – patricians – could participate in the comitia curiata.

With the creation of the comitia centuriata, the comitia curiata lost most of its legislative power and became more of a ceremonial body. For instance, the comitia curiata had the power to inaugurate various priests and give the power of imperium to magistrates (consuls, praetors, etc…) each year when new ones were elected and ready to take office.