(conventio, a coming together) was a public meeting at Rome from which no legal enactment actually emerged, even though it might form part of a longer formal procedure, such as a trial before the people. Hence it did not have to be held in an area hallowed by the taking of the auspices (see auspicium). It could be convened by a magistrate or a priest. Apart from trials, it was used for preliminary discussion of legislation or simply as a means of providing a politician with a political platform to pronounce on matters of the moment. A magistrate could call away a meeting summoned by an inferior, and a tribune could veto (see intercessio) the making of a speech at any meeting. The right of addressing the audience depended on the discretion of the convener. He addressed the gathering from a platform, to which he might summon speakers of sufficient importance, while others spoke from ground level. These meetings generally took place in or near the Forum, but could be held outside the pomerium so that a pro‐magistrate might attend without losing his imperium.
Subjects: Classical Studies.