This research builds on the formerly pioneering theory of De Francisci on
the existence of a form of public vigilance on private funds. Among the
sources referred to by the Author in order to argue that censors already carried out that task, such as Plinius and Gellius, Dionysius of Halicarnassus
can be included at present. His testimony is precious: indeed, the historian further dates back the existence of such a form of vigilance as far as
the time of the kings of Rome and tasks with the role of ‘inspectors’ the ἄρχοντες, who would even then be in charge of functions not dissimilar
from those that censor magistrates would later on be responsible for.