And in the Great Council itself we have the lively image of the aristocratic popular assembly of Rome, the assembly of the populus, that of the curiae, where every man of patrician birth had his place.
The assembly of curiae at Rome, originally the democratic assembly of the original people, first grew into an aristocratic assembly, and then died out altogether as a new Roman people, with its own assembly, grew up by its side.
The Great Council of Venice, the curiae of Rome, were each of them the assembly of a privileged class, an assembly in which every member of that class had a right to a place, an assembly which might be called popular as far as the privileged class was concerned, though rigidly oligarchic as regarded the excluded classes.
The equites were originally chosen by the curiae, then in succession by the kings, the consuls, and (after 443 B.C.) by the censors, by whom they were reviewed every five years in the Forum.
Since the last election in the spring of 1908 the Bohemian Diet had been unworkable, eventually owing to obstruction on the part of the Germans, who saw themselves handed over hopelessly to the Czech majority, until a rearrangement of the voting groups (curiae) should afford them protection against Czech oppression.