logo for the-romans.eu

Roman antiquities 11


Dionysius of Halicarnassus

Intro

Jump to:
1 2 3 4 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 1 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 2 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 3 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 5 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63

Roman antiquities 11
In the eighty-third Olympiad (the one at which Criso of Himera gained the prize), Philiscus being archon at Athens, the Romans abolished the decemvirate which had governed the commonwealth for three years. I shall now endeavour to relate from the beginning in what manner they attempted to do away with this domination which was already deeply rooted, who the leaders were in the cause of liberty, and what their motives and pretexts were. For I assume that such information is necessary and an excellent therefore for almost everyone, but particularly for those who are employed either in philosophical speculation or in the administration of public affairs. For most people are not satisfied with learning this alone from history, that the Persian War, to take that as an example, was won by the Athenians and Lacedaemonians, who in two battles p5at sea and one on land overcame the barbarian at the head of three million troops, though their own forces together with their allies did not except one hundred and ten thousand; but they wish also to learn from history of the places where those actions occurred, to hear of the causes that enabled those men to perform their wonderful and astonishing exploits, to know who were the commanders of the armies, both Greek and barbarian, and to be left ignorant of not a single incident, one may say, that happened in those engagements. For the minds of all men take delight in being conducted through words to deeds and not only in hearing what is related but also in beholding what is done. Nor, indeed, what they hear of political events, are they satisfied with learning the bare summary and outcome of the events, as, for instance, that the Athenians agreed with the Lacedaemonians to demolish the walls of their city, to break up their fleet, to introduce a garrison into their citadel, and, instead of their traditional democratic, to set up an oligarchy to govern the state, and permitted all this without so much as fighting a battle with them; but they at once demand to be informed also of the necessity which reduced the Athenians to submit to such dire and cruel calamities, what the arguments were that persuaded them, and by what men those arguments were urged, and to be informed of all the circumstances that attended those events. Men who are engaged in the conduct of civil affairs, among whom I for my part include also those philosophers who regard philosophy as consisting in the practice of fine actions rather than of fine words, have this in common with the rest of mankind, that they take pleasure in a comprehensive survey of all p7the circumstances that accompany events. And besides their pleasure, they have this advantage, that in difficult times they render great service to their countries as the result of the experience thus acquired and lead them as willing followers to that which is to their advantage, through the power of persuasion. For men most easily recognize the policies which either benefit or injure them when they perceive these illustrated by many examples; and those who advise them to make use of these are credited by them with prudence and great wisdom. It is for these reasons, therefore, that I have determined to report in accurate detail all the circumstances which attended the overthrow of the oligarchy, in so far as I consider them worthy of notice. I shall begin my account of them, however, not with the final incidents, which most people regard as the sole cause of the re-establishment of liberty, ? I mention the wrongs committed by Appius with regard to the maiden because of his passion for her, ? since these were merely an aggravation and a final cause for the resentment of the plebeians, following countless others, but I shall begin with the first insults the citizens suffered at the hands of the decemvirate. These I shall mention first, and then relate in order all the lawless deeds committed under that r?ime.

Roman antiquities 11.2
The first ground for the hatred against the oligarchy seems to have been this, that its members had joined their second term of office immediately to their first, thus showing alike their scorn of the people and their contempt of the senate. Another was their treatment of the most reputable Romans who were dissatisfied with their actions, some of whom, on the strength of false and heinous accusations, they were expelling from the city and others they were putting to death, suborning some of their own faction to accuse them and themselves trying these cases. But more than anything else was the licence they gave to the most audacious of the young men by whom each of them was always attended, to plunder and pillage the goods of those who opposed their administration. These youths, as if the country had been taken by force of arms, not only stripped the legal owners of their effects, but even violated their wives, when these were beautiful, abused such of their daughters as were marriageable, and when any showed resentment, they beat them like slaves. Thus they bright it about that those who found these proceedings intolerable left their country along with their wives and children and removed to the neighbouring cities, where they were received by the Latins on account of their affinity and by the Hernicans in acknowledgement of the right of citizenship lately granted to them by the Romans. Consequently, as was to be expected, there were in the end none left behind but the friends of tyranny and such as had no concern for the public good. For neither the patricians, who were unwilling to flatter the rulers and yet were unable to oppose their actions, remained in the city, nor did those necessary to the magistrates; but the greater part of these also had removed with their entire families and, leaving their houses empty, were now living in the country. The oligarchical faction, however, was pleased with the flight of the most distinguished men, not only for many other reasons, but particularly because it greatly increased the arrogance of the licentious youth not to have before their eyes those persons whose presence would have made them blush whenever they committed any wanton act.

Roman antiquities 11.3
Rome being thus deserted by her best element and having lost every vestige of her liberty, the nations which had been conquered by her thought they now had the most favourable opportunity both to avenge the insults they had received and to repair the losses they had sustained, believing that the commonwealth was sick because of the oligarchy and would no longer be able either to assemble its forces or to act in concord or to take hold of the affairs of state; and accordingly they prepared everything that was necessary for war and marched against Rome with large armies. At one and the same time the Sabines made a raid into that part of the Roman territory that bordered on theirs and, after possessing themselves of much booty and killing large numbers of husbandmen, encamped at Eretum (this town is situated near the river Tiber at the distance of one hundred and forty stades from Rome), and the Aequians made a raid into the territory of the Tusculans that adjoined their own, and having laid waste much of it, placed their camp at the town of Algidum. When the decemvirs were informed of the attack of their enemies, they were confounded, and assembling their organized bands, they consulted with them what measures they ought to take. That they ought to send an army outside their borders and not wait till the enemies' forces advanced to Rome itself was the opinion of all; but they were in great perplexity, first, whether they should call to arms all the Romans, even those who hated their administration, and second, in what sort of way they should make the levy, whether in an arbitrary and uncompromising manner, as had been the practice of both the kings and the consuls, or with indulgence and moderation. They thought that another point also deserved no small consideration, namely, who were to ratify their decisions regarding war and to vote the levy, whether the senate or the plebeians, or neither, since they were suspicious of both, but instead the decemvirs should confirm their own decisions. At last, after long consultation, they concluded to assemble the senate and prevail on that body to vote for war and to allow them to make the levy. 6 For if both these measures were ratified by the senate, they imagined, first, that all would yield ready obedience, particularly since the tribunician power had been suppressed, which alone could legally oppose the orders of those in power; and, in the next place, that if they were subservient to the senate and carried out its orders, they would appear to have received in a legal manner their authority to begin war.

Roman antiquities 11.4
After they had taken this resolution and had prepared those of their friends and relations who were to deliver in the senate the opinions that would further their cause and to oppose those who did not entertain the same sentiments, they went to the Forum, and bringing forward the crier, ordered him to summon the senators by name. But not one of the moderates paid heed to them. When the crier shouted repeatedly and no one appeared but the flatterers of the oligarchy, among whom was to be found the most profligate element of the city,everyone who happened to be in the Forum at the time marvelled that the decemvirs, who had never assembled the senate on any account, recognized then for the first time that there was also among the Romans a council of worthy men whose duty it was to consult about the public interests. The decemvirs, observing that the senators did not answer to their names, attempted to have them brought from their houses; but learning that the greater part of these had been left empty, they deferred the matter till the next day. In the meantime they sent into the country and summoned them from thence. When the senate-chamber was full, Appius, the chief of the decemvirate, came forward and informed them that war was being made upon Rome from two sides, by the Aequians and by the Sabines. And he delivered a very carefully prepared speech, the upshot of which was to get them to vote for the levying of an army and sending it out speedily, since the crisis admitted of no delay. While he was thus speaking, Lucius Valerius, surnamed Potitus, rose up, a man who thought very highly of himself because of his ancestry; for his father was that Valerius who took the Capitol by siege when it was occupied by Herdonius the Sabine and recovered the fortress, though he himself lost his life in the action, and his grandfather on his father's side was Publicola, who expelled the kings and established the aristocracy. Appius, observing him as he was still coming forward and expecting he would say something against him, said: "This is not your turn, Valerius, and it is not fitting for you to speak now. But when these senators who are older and more honoured than you have delivered their opinions, then you also will be called upon and will say what you think proper. For the present be silent and sit down." "But it is not about these matters that I have risen to speak," Valerius said, "but about others of greater moment and more urgent, of which I think the senate ought first to hear. And from what they shall hear they will know whether these matters for which you decemvirs have assembled them are more necessary to the commonwealth than those which I shall speak about. Well, then, do not refuse the floor to me, who am a senator and a Valerius and one who desires to speak in the interest of the safety of the commonwealth. But if you persist in your usual arrogance toward everybody, what tribunes shall I call upon to assist me? For this relief to oppressed citizens has been abolished by you decemvirs. And yet what greater wrong is there than this, that I, a Valerius, like a man of the lowest rank, do not enjoy equality, but stand in need of the tribunician power? However, since we have been deprived of that magistracy, I call for assistance upon all of you who together with this man have assumed the power of that magistracy also and exercise dominion over the commonwealth. I am not unaware, to be sure, that I do this in vain, but I desire to make your conspiracy mag to all and show that you have thrown the affairs of the commonwealth into confusion and that you all have the same purpose. Rather, I call upon you alone, Quintus Fabius Vibulanus, you who have been honoured with three consulships, in case you still preserve the same sentiments. Rise up, therefore, and relieve the oppressed; for the eyes of the senate are fixed upon you."

Roman antiquities 11.5
When Valerius had spoken thus, Fabius sat still through shame and made no answer; but Appius and all the other decemvirs, leaping up, sought to hinder Valerius from going on. Upon this, a great tumult filled the senate-chamber, the greater part of the senators expressing their resentment, while those who belonged to the decemvirs' faction justified what they said. Then Marcus Horatius, surnamed Barbatus, a descendant of that Horatius who had been consul with Publius Valerius Publicola after the expulsion of the kings, rose up, a man of great ability in warfare and not lacking in eloquence, and long a friend to Valerius. This man, unable longer to contain his resentment, said:"You decemvirs will very soon force me, Appius, to break through all restrain by your want of moderation and by acting the part of the haughty Tarquin, ? you who do not even grant a hearing to those who desire to speak in the interest of the safety of the commonwealth. Has it slipped your mind that there still survive the descendants of that Valerius who banished the tyranny and that there are left successors of the house of the Horatii in whom it is hereditary to oppose, both with others and alone, those who would enslave their country? Or have you decided that both we and the rest of the Romans have so mean a spirit that we shall be content to be permitted to enjoy life on any terms whatever and will neither say nor do anything in favour of liberty and freedom of speech? Or are you intoxicated with the greatness of your power? Who are you men, of what legal magistracy do you hold, that you are going to deprive Valerius or any other senator of the privilege of speaking? Were you not ap leaders of the commonwealth for a year Has not the term of your magistracy expired? Have you not become private citizens by law? Plan to lay these matters before the people. For what is going to hinder any of us from assembling them and from challenging the authority which you are exercising contrary to the laws? Permit the citizens to vote upon this very point, whether your decemvirate shall continue or the traditional magistracies be re-established; and if the people are so mad as to submit to the former course, then enjoy once more the same r?ime and prevent anyone from saying what he wishes in defence of his country. For we should deserve to suffer not only this but even a worse fate if we let ourselves get into your power and sullied by a disgraceful life both our own virtues and those of our ancestors."

Roman antiquities 11.6
While he was still speaking,the decemvirs surrounded him, crying out, menacing him with the tribunician power, and threatening to throw him down from the rock if he would not be silent. Upon which all cried out, feeling that their liberty was being taken away; and the senate-chamber was full of indignation and turmoil. However, the decemvirs, when they saw that the senators were exasperated at their behaviour, repented promptly both of their having refused permission to speak and of their threat. Then Appius, coming forward, asked those who were creating a divc to have patience a moment; and having quieted their disorder, he said: "Not one of you, senators, do we deprive of the privilege of speaking, provided he speaks at the proper time; but we do restrain those who are too forward and rise up before they are called upon. Be not, therefore, offended. For we shall give leave, not only to Horatius and Valerius, but also to every other senator, to deliver his opinion in his turn according to the ancient custom and decorum, provided they speak about the matters which you have assembled to consider and about no extraneous subject; but if they endeavour to seduce you by popular harangues and to divide the commonwealth by speaking of matters that are not to the point, then to none of them ever. As for the power to restrain the disorderly, Marcus Horatius, we do possess it, having received it from the people when they voted to us both the magistracy of the consuls pand that of the tribunes; and the term of it has not yet expired, as you think. For we were not appointed for a year or for any other definite period, but until we should have instituted the whole body of laws. When, therefore, we have completed what we propose and have got the remaining laws ratified, we shall then resign our magistracy and give an account of our actions to any of you who desire it. In the meantime we shall relax nothing either of the consular or of the tribunician power. As to the war, now, in what manner we may repulse our enemies most quickly and gloriously, I ask you to come forward and deliver your opinions ? first the oldest members, as is customary and fitting for you, next those of a middle age, and last the youngest."

Roman antiquities 11.7
Having said this, he proceeded to call first upon his uncle, Gaius Claudius, who, rising up, delivered a speech about as follows:"Since Appius desires me to deliver my opinion first, senators, showing me this honour because of our relationship, as becomes him, and since I must say what I think concerning the war with the Aequians and the Sabines, I should like, before declaring my own sentiments, to have you inquire what hopes have encouraged the Aequians and Sabines to venture to make war upon us and to invade and lay waste our country, nations which till now were quite satisfied and most grateful to Heaven if they were permitted to enjoy their own land in security. For if you once know what those hopes are, you will also know what means of deliverance from war with these nations will be most effectual. Well, then, when they heard that our time-honoured constitution has for a long time been shaken and is diseased and that neither the populace nor the patricians are well disposed toward those who are at the head of the commonwealth ? and this they heard not without reason, since it is the truth, though I have no need to state the causes to you who are well acquainted with them ? they assumed that if any foreign war should come upon us in addition to these domestic evils and the magistrates should resolve to march out with an army in defence of the country, neither the citizens would all present themselves cheerfully, as before, to take the military oath, because of their hostility to the magistrates, nor would these inflict the punishments ordained by law upon those who did not present themselves, lest they should occasion some greater mischief; and that those who did obey and take up arms would either desert the standards or, if they remained, would deliberately play the coward in battle. And none of these hopes was ill grounded; for when a harmonious state undertakes a war and all, both rulers and ruled, look upon their interests as identical, all go to meet the perils with alacrity and decline no toil or danger; but when a state which suffers from sickness within itself engages with its enemies outside before composing its internal disorders, and the rank and file stop to consider that they are undergoing hardships, not for their own advantage, but to strengthen the domination of others over them, and the generals reflect that their own army is no less hostile to them than is the foe, everything is diseased and any force is sufficient to defeat and destroy such armies.

Roman antiquities 11.8
"These, senators, are the reasonings of both the Sabines and the Aequians, and because they believed them to be valid, they have invaded our territory. So if we, showing our resentment at being scorned by them in their exalted state of mind, vote in our present wrathful state to lead out an army against them, I fear that all they anticipated may happen to us, or rather, I know full well that it will come to pass. But if we establish the conditions that are of primary importance and most necessary ? and these are good order on the part of the multitude and the recognition by all citizens that their interests are identical ? by banishing from the state the insolence and greed which are now the fashion and by restoring the constitution to its ancient form, these enemies who are now so bold will cower and, hurling their weapons from their hands, will soon come to us to make amends11 for the injuries they have caused and to treat for peace, and we shall have it in our power ? a thing which all men of sense would wish ? to have put an end to the war without resorting to arms. In view of these considerations I believe we ought to defer the consideration of the war for the present, since our affairs within the city's walls are in a turbulent state, and, instead, give leave to everyone who so desires to speak in favour of harmony and good order among our citizens. For we never had the opportunity, until the war brought us to this pass, of deciding in a meeting called by this government about the business of the commonwealth, whether any of the measures being taken were satisfactory. For, had there been such an opportunity, great censure would be deserved by anyone who had neglected that occasion and only at this time saw fit to talk about these matters.Nor could anyone say for certain that, if we let this opportunity pass as unsuitable, we shall be able to find one that is more suitable. For if one cares to judge the future by the past, it will be a long time before we meet again to consider any matter of the public business.

Roman antiquities 11.9
"I ask this, Appius, of you men who are at the head of the commonwealth and are in duty bound to consult the common interest of all rather than your private advantage, that if I speak some truths with frankness instead of trying to please you, you will not be offended on that account, when you consider that I shall not make my remarks with any intent to abuse and insult your magistracy, but in order to show in how great a sea the affairs of the commonwealth are tossed and to point out what will be both their safety and their reformation. It is perhaps incumbent upon all who . . .1 for the fatherland to speak of the matters that are for the public interest, and this is true particularly in my case. First, because I have been asked, as an honour due me, to take the lead in expressing my opinion, and it would be a shame, yes a great folly, for the man who rises up first not to mention the things that need to be reformed first. In the next place, because it has fallen to me, as the paternal uncle of Appius, the chief of the decemvirs, both to be pleased more than all others when the commonwealth is well governed by them and to be grieved above anyone else when it is not so governed. Besides these motives, I have inherited it as a political principle from my ancestors to prefer the interests of the public to my own private advantages and to take thought for no personal danger, a principle that I would not willingly betray and thus dishonour the virtues of those men. As to the present form of government, that it is in a bad state and that almost everyone is dissatisfied with it, let this be the strongest proof for you, the one thing you cannot be ignorant of, that the most respectable of the plebeians are daily abandoning their ancestral hearths and fleeing out of the city, some with their wives and children removing to the neighbouring cities and others to country districts that lie farthest from Rome. And even of the patricians not many continue to reside in the city as they formerly did, but the greater part of these also are living in the country. Yet why should I speak of the others when only a few even of the senators, and those such as are attached to you either by relationship or friendship, remain within the walls, while the rest regard solitude as more desirable than their native city? At any rate, when you found it necessary to assemble the senate, the members came together only when summoned from their country seats one by one ? these men with whom it was a time-honoured custom to keep watch over the fatherland in conjunction with the magistrates and to shirk none of the public business. Do you imagine, then, that it is to flee from their blessings or rather from their evils that men abandon their native lands? For my part, I think it is from their evils. And yet what greater evil do you think there is for a commonwealth, particularly for that of the Romans, which needs many troops of its own nationals if it is to maintain firmly its sovereignty over its neighbours, than to be abandoned by the plebeians and deserted by the patricians, when oppressed neither by war, pestilence nor any other calamity inflicted by the hand of Heaven?

Roman antiquities 11.10
"Do you wish, then, to hear the reasons that are compelling these men to abandon temples and sepulchres of their ancestors, to desert hearths and possessions of their fathers, and to look upon every land as dearer to them than their own? For these things are not taking place without reason. Well, then, I will inform you and conceal nothing. Many charges are being brought against the magistracy of you decemvirs, Appius, and by many people. Whether they are true or false I do not care to inquire at present, but at any rate they are being brought. And not a man, I say, outside of your own partisans is well disposed toward the present state of affairs. For the men of worth, descended from men of worth, who ought to hold the priesthoods and the magistracies and to enjoy the other honours which were enjoyed by their fathers, are indignant when they are excluded from these by you and thus have lost the dignities of their ancestors. The men of middle rank in the state, who pursue a life of tranquillity free from public duties, accuse you of snatching away their property unjustly and lament the insults you offer to their wedded wives, your drunken licentiousness toward their marriageable daughters, and many other grievous abuses. And the poorest part of the populace, who have no longer the power either of choosing magistrates or of giving their votes upon other occasions, who are not summoned to assemblies and do not share in any other political courtesy, hate you upon all these accounts and call your government a tyranny.

Roman antiquities 11.11
"How, then, shall you reform these matters and cease being the object of accusations among your fellow citizens? For this remains to be discussed. You can do so if you will procure a preliminary decree of the senate and restore to the people the right of deciding whether they prefer to appoint consuls, tribunes and the other traditional magistrates once more or to continue under the same form of government as at present. For if all the Romans are content to be governed by an oligarchy and vote that you shall continue in possession of the same power, you will hold your magistracy in accordance with law and not by force; whereas, if they wish to choose consuls again and all the other magistrates as aforetime, you will resign your power in a legal manner and avoid the imputation of governing your equals without their consent. For the latter course is tyrannical, but to receive the magistracies with the consent of the governed is the mark of an aristocracy. And of this measure I think that you, Appius, ought to be the author and thus put an end to the oligarchy instituted by yourself, which was once an advantage to us but is now a grievance. Hear, now, what you will gain by following my advice and resigning this invidious power. If your whole college is actuated by the same principle, everyone will think that it is because of you who set the example that the others too have become virtuous, whereas if these others are too fond of their illegal power, all will feel grateful to you for being the only person who desired to do what was right, and they will force out of office with ignominy and great hurt those who refuse to resign it. And if you have entered into any agreements and given secret pledges to one another, invoking the gods as witnesses, ? for it is possible that you may have done something even of this nature, ? look upon the observance of these agreements as impious, since they were made against your fellow citizens and your country, and the breaking of them as pious. For the gods like to be called in as partners for the performance of honourable and just agreements, not of those that are shameful and unjust.

Roman antiquities 11.12
"However, if it is through fear of your enemies that you hesitate to resign your magistracy, lest they should form some dangerous designs against you and you should be compelled to give an account of your actions, your fear is not justified. For the Roman people will be neither so mean-spirited nor so ungrateful as to remember your faults and forget your good services, but offsetting your past errors by your present merits, will look upon the former as deserving of forgiveness and the latter of praise. You will also have the opportunity of reminding the people of the many fine actions you performed before the establishment of the oligarchy, of claiming the gratitude due for these as a means to assist and save you, and of employing many lines of defence against the charges. For example, that you yourself did not commit the wrong, but one of the others without your knowledge; or that you had no power to restrain the person who did the deed, since he was of equal authority with yourself; or, again, that you were forced to submit to something undesirable for the sake of something else which was useful. Indeed, it would be a long story if I chose to enumerate all the lines of defence open to you. And even those who can make no defence that is either just or plausible, by acknowledging their guilt and craving pardon soften the resentment of the injured parties, some by falling back on the folly of youth, and others on their association with wicked men, some on the greatness of their power, and still others on Fortune that misleads all human calculations. I myself promise you, if you resign your magistracy, that all your faults shall be forgotten and that the people shall be recalled to you upon such terms as in your unfortunate situation will be honourable.

Roman antiquities 11.13
"But I fear that the danger is not the real ground for your not resigning your magistracy ? at all events, men without number have been able to lay aside their tyrannies without suffering any harm at the hands of their fellow citizens ? but that the true causes are a vain ambition, which pursues the phantom of honour, and a yearning for those pernicious pleasures which the life led by tyrants brings in its train. If, however, instead of pursuing the vain images and shadows of the honours and enjoyments, you wish to enjoy the real honours themselves, then restore the aristocracy to your country, receive honours from your equals and gain the praise of posterity, and in exchange for your mortal body leave an immortal renown to your descendants. For these are lasting and real honours, which can never be taken from you and afford the greatest pleasure without any regrets. Nourish your soul by finding pleasure in your country' welfare, of which you will be regarded as the chief author by delivering her from a grievous domination. In doing this take your ancestors as your examples, bearing in mind that not one of those men aimed at despotic power or became a slave to the shameful pleasures of the body. For these reasons it was their fortune not only to be honoured while they lived, but after their death to be praised by those who came after them. For all bear witness that they were the stoutest guardians of the aristocracy which our state established after banishing the kings. And by no means forget your own most splendid words and deeds. For your first principles of political action were honourable and inspired in us great hopes of your virtue; and we all ask you to act in future in conformity with those principles. Revert, then, once more to your own character, Appius, my son, and in your choice of policies do not espouse the cause of tyranny, but that of the aristocracy; and shun the pleasure-seeking companions who were the cause of your departing from honest practices and of your straying from the straight path. For it is unreasonable to suppose that those through whose influence a man has been changed from good to bad will change him back again from an evil to a virtuous man.

Roman antiquities 11.14
"This advice I have often desired to give you, if I could have a private conversation with you, not only by way of instructing one who is ignorant, but also of reproving one who errs; and I have gone more than once to your house. But your servants turned me away, saying that you had no leisure for private matters, but were attending to other more urgent business ? if, indeed, anything could be more urgent for you than respect for your family! Perhaps it was not by your command but of their own accord that they barred my entrance, and I could wish that this were the truth of the matter. This experience, then, has forced me to talk to you in the senate about the matters I wished to discuss with you, since I got no opportunity of doing so by ourselves alone; and things that are honourable and advantageous, Appius, may be mentioned seasonably anywhere in public rather than nowhere. Having now performed for you the duty I owe to our family, I protest by the gods, whose temples and altars we who carry on the succession of the Appian family honour with common sacrifices, and by the genii of our ancestors, to whom after the gods we pay the next honours and gratitude in common, and, above all these, by the earth, which holds your father and my brother, that I have put at your disposal both my mind and my voice to give you the best advice. And now, desiring to correct your ignorance as best I may, I ask you not to attempt to cure the evils by evils, nor, by aiming at too much, to lose even what you already have, nor again, by attempting to rule over your equals and your superiors, to be ruled yourself by those who are inferior and baser. I should like to say much more to you upon many subjects, but hesitate to do so. For if God is leading you to better resolutions, even this that I have said is more than sufficient; but if to worse, then what I have still to say will also be said in vain. You now have my opinion, senators, and you who are at the head of the commonwealth, concerning the means both of putting an end to the war and of reforming the civil disorders. If anyone, however, shall offer better advice than this, let the best prevail."

Roman antiquities 11.15
After Claudius had spoken thus and given the senate great reason to hope that the decemvirs would resign their power, Appius did not see fit to make any answer to his advice. But Marcus Cornelius, one of the other members of the oligarchy, advanced and said: "We, Claudius, shall ourselves decide about our own interests without any need of your advice. For we are of the age best qualified for prudence, so that we are ignorant of nothing that concerns us, and we do not lack for friends whom we may take as advisers if necessary. Cease, then, doing an unseasonable thing in expressing your opinions as an older man to those who do not need advice. As for Appius, if you wish to give him any admonition or abuse ? for this is the truer form of it ? when you have left the senate-chamber, you may abuse him. For the present, state what you think about the war with the Aequians and Sabines, the matter regarding which you have been called upon to deliver your opinion, and cease talking idly of things that are beside the point." After him Claudius rose up again, with downcast countenance and with tears in his eyes, and said: "Appius does not think me, his uncle, worthy even of an answer, senators, in your presence; but, just as he shut his own house against me, so he does everything in his power to render the senate-chamber here inaccessible to me likewise. And if I must speak the truth, I am even driven out of the city. For I could on longer bear the sight of him, now that he has become unworthy of his ancestors and has emulated the lawlessness of tyrants, but removing all my effects and my household to the Sabines, I shall live at Regillum, the city from which our family comes, and shall remain there for the future as long as these men continue in possession of this fine magistracy. But when the fate I foresee shall have overtaken the decemvirate ? and it will overtake them soon ? I shall then return. So much concerning myself. As to the war, I give you this advice, senators, to pass no vote concerning anything whatever until new magistrates are appointed." After he had thus spoken and received great applause from the senate for the noble spirit and the love of liberty that his words breathed, he sat down. And after him Lucius Quintius, surnamed Cincinnatus, Titus Quinctius Capitolinus, Lucius Lucretius, and all the leading men1of the senate rose up one after another and supported the motion of Claudius.

Roman antiquities 11.16
Appius and his colleagues, being disturbed at this, resolved no longer to call upon others for advice according to their age or senatorial rank,but according to their friendship and attachment to themselves. And Marcus Cornelius, coming forward, asked Lucius Cornelius to rise, ? his brother, who had been colleague to Quintus Fabius Vibulanus in his third consulship, a man of action and not without eloquence in political debates. This man, rising up, spoke as follows: "This also was surprising, senators, that men of the age of those who preceded me in declaring their opinions and claim to be the foremost men of the senate, think fit to maintain unrelenting their enmity, derived from political clashes, toward those who are at the head of the commonwealth, when they ought to be exhorting the young men also to engage from the highest motive in competition for noble rewards, and to regard, not as enemies, but as friends, those who are their rivals in striving for the public good. And much more surprising still than this it is that they transfer their private animosities to the affairs of the commonwealth and choose rather to perish with their enemies than to be saved with all their friends. This is an excess of folly and not far from a Heaven-sent madness which the presiding officers of our senate have been guilty of. For these men, displeased because others who appeared more worthy defeated them at the election when they were candidates for the decemvirate, ? a magistracy which they themselves now inveigh against, ? continually wage an unrelenting war against them and have come to this pitch of folly, or rather of madness, that in order to slander these men to you they are willing to overthrow the whole country. For although they see that our land has been laid waste by our enemies and though they see that these foes will come almost immediately against Rome (the distance separating us is not great), instead of exhorting and p55urging the young men to fight for their country and going themselves to her relief with all alacrity and enthusiasm, so far at least as there is strength in men so aged, they ask you now to consider the form of government, to create new magistrates, and to do everything rather than injure the enemy; and they cannot see even this itself, that they are introducing inopportune motions, or rather uttering impracticable wishes.

Roman antiquities 11.17
"For consider the matter in this light. There will be a preliminary vote of the senate for the election of magistrates; then the decemvirs will lay this resolution before the people after appointing the third market-day thereafter for its consideration. For how can anything that is voted by the people become really valid if it is not done in accordance with the laws? Then, after the tribes have given their votes, the new magistrates will take over the administration of the commonwealth and propose to you the consideration of the war. During the interval before the election, which will be such a long one, if our enemies march up to the city and approach the walls, what are we going to do, Claudius? We shall say to them, by heaven: 'Wait until we have appointed other magistrates. For Claudius persuaded us neither to pass a preliminary decree concerning any other matter nor to lay anything else before the people nor to enrol forces until we have settled everything relating to the magistracies as we wish. Depart, therefore, and when you hear that the consuls and the other magistrates have been appointed and that we have all the necessary preparations made for war, then come and make your pleas for peace, since you injured us first without any provocation on our part. And for whatever damage you have caused us in your raids, so far as property is concerned, pay us in full in accordance with justice; but the slaying of our husbandmen and any insults and drunken abuse offered by your soldiers to women of free condition or any other irreparable mischief we shall not include in your account.' And they doubtless in response to this invitation of ours will show moderation, and after permitting us to choose new magistrates and to make our preparations for war, will then come with olive branches in their hands instead of arms and deliver themselves up to us!"

Roman antiquities 11.18
"Oh, the great folly of these men who can think of uttering such nonsense, and our own great stupidity if, when they say such things, we show no displeasure, but submit to hearing them, as if we were consulting in the interest of our enemies and not out of ourselves and our country! Shall we not remove these triflers from our midst? Not vote speedy relief to the land that is being ravished? Not arm all the youth of Rome? Not march ourselves against the cities of our enemies? Or shall we stay at home and, abusing the decemvirs, installing new magistrates and considering a form of government as if we were at peace, let everything in the country fall into the enemy's hands, and at last run the hazard of being enslaved ourselves and seeing our city laid in ruins as the result of our having allowed the war to approach our walls? Such counsels, fathers, are not those of men in their senses nor do they spring from the political foresight which regards the public advantages as more essential than private animosities, but rather from an unseasonable contentiousness, an ill-starred enmity, and an unfortunate envy which does not permit those who are under its influence to show sound judgement. Dismiss, however, from your minds the rivalries of these men; but the measures which you should pass if your counsels are to prove salutary to the commonwealth, becoming to yourselves and formidable to our foes, I shall now attempt to indicate. For the present, vote your approval of the war against the Aequians and Sabines and enrol with the greatest alacrity and expedition the forces that are to set out against both. And after the war is terminated in the happiest manner for us and our forces return to the city upon the conclusion of peace, then not only considered the form of government, but also call the decemvirs to account for all their actions during their administration, vote for new magistrates and establish courts and honour with both these offices those who are worthy of them when both are in your power; for you must know that opportunities do not wait upon events, but events upon opportunities."When Cornelius had delivered this opinion, those who rose up after him were, with few exceptions, of the same advice, some looking upon these measures as necessary and suited to the present juncture, and others yielding to the times and paying court to the decemvirs through dread of their magistracy; for no small part of the senators actually stood in awe of their power.

Roman antiquities 11.19
After most of the senators had delivered their opinions and those who declared for war appeared to be much more numerous than the others, the decemvirs then called upon Lucius Valerius among the last. He was the one, as I have related, who had wished to say something at the very beginning of the debate but had been prevented by them. And now rising, he delivered a speech of the following tenor: "You see, fathers, the plot of the decemvirs who not only at first would not allow me to say to you all that I had proposed, but now have assigned to my turn to speak among the last, with this in mind, as we may reasonably assume, that, if I concur in the opinion of Claudius, I shall render no service to the commonwealth, since few have supported it, and again, if I deliver an opinion different from those they themselves have expressed, however excellent my advice may be, I shall have recited my piece in vain. For those are easily counted who are to rise up after me, and even if I shall have them all agreeing with me, what advantage will it give me when I shall not have the smallest fraction of those who side with Cornelius? However, in spite of these misgivings I shall not hesitate to express my opinion. For when you have heard everybody, you will have it in your power to choose what is best. Concerning the decemvirs, therefore, and the manner in which they look after the commonwealth, consider that everything the most excellent Claudius has said has been said by me also and that new magistrates ought to be chosen before any decree is passed concerning the war; for this point also was treated by him in the best manner. But since Cornelius endeavoured to show that his motion is impracticable, pointing out that the intervening period devoted to matters of civil administration would be a long one, while the war is at our doors, and since he attempted to ridicule things that do not deserve ridicule and by that means seduced and carried away most of you with him, I for my part shall also talk to you about the motion of Claudius, showing that it is not impracticable; for that it is disadvantageous to no one even of those who derided it has ventured to allege. And I shall show you how our territory may be made secure, how those who have dared to do it injury may be punished, how we may recover our ancient aristocracy, and how these things may all come about at the same time with weight concurrence of all the citizens and without the least opposition. All this I shall do, not through the display of any wisdom, but by citing your own actions as precedents for you to follow; for where experience teaches what is advantageous, what need is there of conjectures?

Roman antiquities 11.20
"You recall that forces from these same nations as at present made incursions, partly into our territory and partly into that of our allies, both at the same time, when Gaius Nautius and Lucius Minucius were consuls, some eight or nine years ago I believe it was. When on that occasion you p65had sent out numerous and brave youths against both these nations, it chanced that one of the consuls, being obliged to encamp in a difficult position, was unable to accomplish anything, but was besieged in his camp and in danger of being captured for want of provisions, while Nautius, who was encamped against the Sabines, was under the necessity of fighting battles with the same foes continually and could not even go to the aid of his fellow Romans who were in distress. And there was no doubt that if the army which was encamped among the Aequians should be destroyed, the other, that was carrying on the war against the Sabines, would not be able to hold out either when both armies of our enemies should have united. When the commonwealth was encompassed by such dangers and even the people inside the city walls were not harmonious, what relief did you yourself hit upon ? a relief which is acknowledged to have helped your whole cause and to have rectified the commonwealth when it was rushing to a miserable downfall? Assembling in the senate-chamber about midnight, you created a single magistracy with absolute authority over both war and peace, abrogating all the other magistracies; and before day came, the most excellent Lucius Quintius had been appointed dictator, although he was not even in the city at the time, but in the country. You know, of course, the deeds which this man performed after that, how he got ready adequate forces, rescued the army which was in danger, chastised the enemy and took their general prisoner; and how, after accomplishing all this in only fourteen days and reforming whatever else was corrupt in the commonwealth, he laid down the rods. Nothing hindered you then from creating a new magistracy in one day when you wished to do so. This example, then, I think we ought to imitate, since there is nothing else we can do, and choose a dictator before we leave this chamber. For if we neglect this opportunity, the decemvirs will never assemble us again to deliberate about anything. And in order that the appointment of a dictator shall also be in accordance with the laws, we should create an interrex, choosing the most suitable person from among the citizens; for this is the customary thing for you to do when you have neither kings, consuls nor any other legal magistrates, which is the case at present, since these men's term of office has expired and the law has taken their rods from them. This is the course I advise you to take, fathers, one that is both advantageous and practicable; whereas the motion proposed by Cornelius is confessedly the overthrow of your aristocracy. For if the decemvirs once get arms in their hands under this excuse of war, I fear they will used them against us. For is it at all likely that those who refuse to lay down their rods will lay down their arms? Taking these considerations into account, then, beware of these men and forestall any treachery on their part. For foresight is better than repentance, and it is more prudent not to trust wicked men than to accuse them after they have betrayed your trust."

Roman antiquities 11.21
This opinion of Valerius pleased the majority of the senators, as was easy to conclude from their acclamations; and since those who rose up after him (those still remaining were the younger members of the senate) with few exceptions considered his measures the best, as soon as they all had delivered their own opinions and the discussion was due to be ended, Valerius asked the decemvirs to propose a division on the various opinions by calling upon all the senators over again from the beginning, and this request met with the approval of many of the senators who desired to retract their former opinions. But Cornelius, who advised giving the command of the war to the decemvirs, strenuously opposed this, declaring that the matter was already decided and legally ended, since all had voted; and he demanded that the votes be counted and that no further innovation be admitted. When these proposals were urged by both men with great contention and shouting, and the senate split toward one side and the other, the party desiring to correct the disorder in the government backing Valerius, and the party which espoused the worse cause and suspected that there would be some danger from the change giving their support to Cornelius, the decemvirs, taking advantage of the dissension in the senate to do as they saw fit, sided with the opinion of Cornelius. And Appius, one of their number, coming forward, said: "It was the war with the Aequians and Sabines, senators, which we called you together to deliberate about, and we have given all of you who so desired leave to speak, calling upon each one from the foremost down to the youngest in the proper order. And three senators having given different opinions, namely Claudius, Cornelius, last of all Valerius, the rest of you have come to your decision concerning them and each one has come forward and declared in the hearing of all which opinion he supported. Everything, therefore, having been done according to law, since the majority of you thought that Cornelius gave the best advice, we declare that he prevails, and we are engrossing and publishing the motion he made. Let Valerius and those who are leagued with him, when they shall obtain the consular power themselves, grant a rehearing, if they like, to causes already determined and annul resolutions passed by you all." Having said this and ordered the clerk to read the preliminary decree, in which it had been ordered that the enrolling of the army and the command of the war should be assumed by the decemvirs, he dismissed the meeting.

Roman antiquities 11.22
After that those of the oligarchical faction went about swaggering and insolent, as if they had gained a victory over their adversaries and had contrived that their power could no longer be overthrown when once they should be in control of arms and an army. But the men who had the best interests of the commonwealth at heart were in great distress and consternation, imagining that they should never again have any share in the government. These split into many groups, those of less noble dispositions feeling obliged to yield all to the victors and join the oligarchical bands, and such as were less timorous abandoning their concern for the public interests in exchange for a carefree life; but those who had great nobility of character employed themselves in organizing bands of their own and planning together for their mutual defence and for a change in the form of government. The leaders of these groups were the men who had first dared to speak in the senate in favour of abolishing the decemvirate, namely Lucius Valerius and Marcus Horatius; and they had surrounded their houses with armed men and had about their persons a strong guard of their servants and clients, so as to suffer no harm from either violence or treachery. Those persons, again, who were unwilling either to court the power of the victors or to pay no attention to any of the business of the commonwealth and to lead a quiet, carefree life, and to whom the carrying on of open warfare, since it was not easy for so great a power to be overthrown, seemed to be senseless,quitted the city. At the head of these was a distinguished man, Gaius Claudius, uncle to Appius, the chief of the decemvirate, who by this step fulfilled the promises he had made to his nephew in the senate when he advised but failed to persuade him to resign his power. He was followed by a large crowd of his friends and likewise of his clients. Following his lead, the multitude also of citizens that were left, no longer privately or in small groups, but openly and in a body, abandoned their country, taking with them their wives and their children. Appius and his colleagues, being vexed at this, endeavoured at first to stop them by closing the gates and arresting some of the people. But afterwards, becoming afraid lest those they were attempting to stop should turn and defend themselves, and rightly judging it to be better for themselves that their enemies should be out of the way than that they should remain and make trouble, they opened the gates and permitted all who so wished to depart; after the houses and estates, however, and all the other things that they left behind because they could not carry them away in their flight, the decemvirs nominally confiscated these to the treasury, bringing against their owners a charge of desertion, but in reality they bestowed these possessions on their own followers, pretending that the latter had purchased them from the public. These grievances, added to the former, greatly inflamed the hostility of the patricians and plebeians against the decemvirs. If, now, they had not added any fresh crime to those I have related, I think they might have retained the same power for a considerable time; for the sedition which maintained that power still continued in the city and had been increased by many causes and by the great length of time it had lasted, and because of the sedition each of the two parties rejoiced in the other's misfortunes, the plebeians in seeing the spirit of the patricians humbled and the senate no longer possessing authority over any of the business of state, and p77the patricians in seeing the people stripped of their liberty and without the least strength since the decemvirs had taken from them the tribunician power. But the decemvirs, by treating both parties with great arrogance and by showing and moderation in the army nor self-restraint in the city, forced the parties to unite and to abolish their magistracy as soon as the war had put arms into their hands. Their last crimes, for which they were overthrown by the people, whom they had particularly enraged by their abuses, were as follows.

Roman antiquities 11.23
After they had secured the ratification of the decree of the senate for the war, they hastily enrolled their forces and divided them into three bodies. Two legions they left in the city to keep guard over matters inside the walls; and Appius Claudius, the chief of the oligarchy, together with Spurius Oppius commanded these two. Quintus Fabius, Quintus Poetelius and Manius Rabuleius marched out with three legions against the Sabines. Marcus Cornelius, Lucius Minucius, Marcus Sergius, Titus Antonius, and last, Caeso Duilius, taking over the five remaining legions, arrived for the campaign against the Aequians. They were accompanied by an auxiliary force both of Latins and other allies that was as large as the citizen army. But nothing succeeded according to their plans, even though they were leading such large forces of both their own and allied troops. For their foes, despising them because their troops were new recruits, encamped over against them, and placing ambuscades in the roads, cut off the provisions that were being brought to them and attacked them when they went out for forage; and whenever cavalry clashed with cavalry, infantry with infantry, and phalanx against phalanx, the Sabines always came off superior to the Romans, not a few of whom voluntarily played the coward in their encounters and not only disobeyed their officers but refused to come to grips with the foe. Those, accordingly, who had set out against the Sabines, grown wise amid these minor misfortunes, resolved to quit their entrenchments of their own accord; and breaking camp about midnight, they led the army back from the enemy's territory into their own, making their withdrawal not unlike a flight, till they came to the city of Crustumerium, which is not far from Rome. But those who had made their camp at Algidum in the country of the Aequians, when they too had received many blows at the hands of the enemy and still resolved to stand their ground in the midst of these dangers in hopes of retrieving their reverses, suffered a most grievous disaster. For the enemy, having thrust forward against them and cleared palisades of those who defended them, mounted the ramparts, and possessing themselves of the camp, killed some few while fighting but destroyed the greater part in the pursuit. Those who escaped from this rout, being most of them wounded and having almost all lost their arms, came to the city of Tusculum; but their tents, beasts of burden, money, slaves, and the rest of their military provisions became the prey of the enemy. When the news of this defeat was brought to the people in Rome, all who were enemies of the oligarchy and those who had hitherto p81been concealing their hatred revealed themselves now by rejoicing at the misfortunes of the generals; and there was now a strong body of men attached to both Horatius and Valerius, who, as I said, were the leaders of the aristocratical groups.

Roman antiquities 11.24
Appius and Spurius supplied their colleagues who were in the field with arms, money, corn and everything else they stood in need of, taking all these things with a high hand, whether public or private property; and enrolling all the men in every tribe who were able to bear arms in order to replace those who had been lost, they sent them out so that the centuries might be filled up. They also kept strict guard over matters in the city by garrisoning the most critical positions, lest the followers of Valerius should foment some disorders without their knowledge. They also gave secret instructions to their colleagues in the army to put to death all who opposed their measures, the men of distinction secretly, and those of less account even openly, always using some specious excuses to make their death seem deserved. And these things were being done. For some, being sent out by them for forage, others to convoy provisions that were being brought in, and some to perform other military tasks, when they were once out of the camp, were nowhere seen again, while the humblest men, being accused of being the first to take flight or of carrying secret information to the enemy or of quitting their posts, were being put to death publicly in order to strike terror into the rest. Two causes, therefore, contributed to the destruction of the soldiers: the friends of the oligarchy were perishing in the skirmishes with the enemy, while those who longed for the aristocratic r?ime were being slain by the orders of the generals.


Roman antiquities 11.25
Many crimes of this nature were committed in the city also by Appius and his colleague. The destruction of most of the victims, numerous as they were, was a matter of no great concern to the masses; but the cruel and wicked death of one man, who was the most distinguished of the plebeians and had performed the most gallant exploits in war, only to be murdered now in that one of the camps where the three generals commanded, disposed everyone there to revolt. The man assassinated was that Sicciuswho had fought the hundred and twenty battles and had received prizes for valour in all of them, a man of whom I have said that, when he was exempt from military service by reason of his age, he voluntarily engaged in the war against the Aequians at the head of a cohort of eight hundred men who had already completed the regular term of service and followed him out of affection for him; and having been sent with these men by one of the consuls against the enemy's camp, to manifest destruction, as everyone thought, he not only made himself master of their camp, but enabled the consuls to gain the complete victory they did. This man, who kept making many speeches in the city against the generals in the field, accusing them of both cowardice and inexperience in warfare, Appius and his colleague were eager to remove out of the way, and to that end they invited him to friendly conversations and asked him to consult with them concerning affairs in camp, urging him to tell how the mistakes of the generals might be corrected; and at last they prevailed upon him to go out to the camp at Crustumerium invested with the authority of a legate. The position of legate is the most honourable and the most sacred of all dignities among the Romans, possessing as it does the power and authority of a magistrate and the inviolable and holy character of a priest. When he arrived at the camp and the generals there gave him a friendly greeting and asked him to remain and command in conjunction with them, also offering him some presents on the spot and promising others, Siccius, deceived by these wicked men and not conscious that the charm of their conversation was due to a plot, he being a military man and of a simple nature, not only made other recommendations, such as he thought advantageous, but, first of all, advised them to move their camp from their own territory to that of the enemy, recounting the losses they were then suffering and also estimating the advantages they would gain by shifting their camp.


Roman antiquities 11.26
The generals, professing that they were glad to accept his advice, said: "Why, then, do you not take charge yourself of the army's removal, after first looking out a suitable position for it? You are sufficiently acquainted with the region because of the many campaigns you have made, and we will give you a company of picked youths fitted out with light equipment; for yourself there shall be a horse, on account of your age, and armour suitable for such an expedition." Siccius having accepted the commission and asked for a hundred picked light-armed men, they sent him without delay while it was still light; and with him they sent the hundred men, whom they had picked out as the most daring of their own faction, with orders to kill the man, promising them great rewards for the murder. When they had advanced a long distance from the camp and had come to a hilly region where the road was narrow and difficult for a horse to traverse at any other pace than a walk as it climbed, by reason of the ruggedness of the hills, they gave the signal to one another and formed in a compact mass, with the intention of falling upon him all together in a body. But a servant of Siccius, who was his shield-bearer and a brave warrior, guessed their intention and informed his master of it. Siccius, seeing himself confined in a difficult position where it was not possible to drive his horse at full speed, leaped down, and taking his stand upon the hill in order to avoid being surrounded by his assailants, with only his shield-bearer to aid him, awaited their attack. When they fell upon him all at once, many in number, he killed some fifteen of them and wounded twice as many; and it seemed as if he might have slain all the others in combat if they had come to close quarters with him. they, concluding that he was an invincible prodigy and that they could never vanquish him by engaging hand to hand, gave over that way of fighting, and withdrawing to a greater distance, hurled javelins, stones and sticks at him; and some of them, approaching the hill from the flanks and getting above him, rolled down huge stones upon him till they overwhelmed him with the multitude of the missiles that were hurled at him from in front and the weight of the stones that crashed down upon him from above. Such was the fate of Siccius.


Roman antiquities 11.27
Those who had accomplished his murder returned to the camp bringing their wounded with them, and spread a report that a body of the enemy, having suddenly come upon them, had killed Siccius and the other men whom they first encountered and that they themselves after receiving many wounds had escaped with great difficulty. And their report seemed credible to everyone. However, their crime did not remain concealed, but though the murder was committed in a solitude where there was no possible informant, by the agency of fate itself and that justice which oversees all human actions they were convicted on the strength of incontrovertible evidence. For the soldiers in the camp, feeling that the man deserved both a public funeral and distinctive honour above other men, not only for many other reasons, but particularly because, though he was an old man and exempted by his age from contests of war, he had voluntarily exposed himself to danger for the public good, voted to join together from the three legions and go out to recover his body, in order that it might be brought to the camp in complete security and honour. And the generals consenting to this, for fear that by opposing a worthy and becoming action they might create some suspicion of a plot in regard to the incident, they took their arms and went out of the camp. When they came to the spot and saw neither woods nor ravines nor any other place of the sort customary for the setting of ambuscades, but a bare hill exposed on all sides and reached by a narrow pass, they at once began to suspect what had happened. Then, approaching the dead bodies and seeing Siccius himself and all the rest cast aside but not despoiled, they marvelled that the enemy, after overcoming their foes, had stripped off neither their arms nor their clothes. And when they examined the whole region round about and found neither tracks of horses nor footsteps of men besides those in the road, they thought it impossible that enemies till then invisible could have suddenly burst into view of their comrades, as if they had been creatures with wings or had fallen from heaven. But, over and above all these and the other signs, what seemed to them the strongest proof that the man had been slain, not by enemies, but by friends, was that the body of no foeman was found. For they could not conceive that Siccius, a man irresistible by reason of both of his strength and of his valour, or his shield-bearer either, or the others who had fallen with him would have perished without offering a stout resistance, particularly since the contest had been waged hand to hand. This they conjectured from their wounds; for both Siccius himself and his shield-bearer having had many wounds, some from stones, others from javelins, and still others from swords, whereas those who had been slain by them all had wounds from swords, but none from a missile weapon. Thereupon they all gave way to resentment and cried out, making great lamentation. After bewailing the calamity, they took up the body, and carrying it to the camp, indulged in loud outcries against the generals, and they demanded, preferably, that the murderers be put to death in accordance with military law, or else that a civil court be assigned to them immediately; and many were those who were ready to be their accusers. When the generals paid no heed to them, but concealed the men and put off the trials, telling them they would give an accounting in Rome to any who wished to accuse them, the soldiers, convinced that the generals had been the authors of the plot, proceeded to bury Siccius, after arranging a most magnificent funeral procession and erecting an immense pyre, where every man according to his ability presented the first-offerings of everything that is usually employed in rendering the last honours to brave men; but they were all becoming alienated from the decemvirs and had the intention of revolting. Thus the army that lay encamped at Crustumerium and Fidenae, because of the death of Siccius the legate, was hostile to the men who stood at the head of the government.


Roman antiquities 11.28
The other army, which lay at Algidum in the territory of the Aequians, as well as the whole body of the people at Rome became hostile to them for the following reasons. One of the plebeians, whose name was Lucius Verginius, a man inferior to none in war, had the command of a century in one of the five legions which had taken the field against the Aequians. He had a daughter, called Verginia after her father, who far surpassed all the Roman maidens in beauty and was betrothed to Lucius, a former tribune and son of the Icilius who first instituted and first received the tribunician power. Appius Claudius, the chief of the decemvirs, having seen this girl, who was now marriageable, as she was reading at the schoolmaster's (the schools for the children stood at that time near the Forum), was immediately captivated by her beauty and became still more frenzied because, already mastered by passion, he could not help passing by the school frequently. But, as he could not marry her, both because he saw that she was betrothed to another and because he himself had a lawfully-wedded wife, and furthermore because he would not deign to take a wife from a plebeian family through scorn of that station and as being contrary to the law which he himself had inscribed in the Twelve Tables, he first endeavoured to bribe the girl with money, and for that purpose was continually sending women to her governesses (for she had lost her mother), giving them many presents and promising them still more than was actually given. Those who were tempting the governesses had been instructed not to tell them the name of the man who was in love with the girl, but only that he was one of those who had it in his power to benefit or harm whom he wished. When they could not persuade the governesses and he saw that the girl was thought to require an even stronger guard than before, inflamed by his passion, he resolved to take the more audacious course. He accordingly sent for Marcus Claudius, one of his clients, a daring man and ready for any service, and acquainted him with his passion; then, having instructed him in what he wished him to do and say, he sent him away accompanied by a band of the most shameless men. And Claudius, going to the school, seized the maiden and attempted to lead her away openly through the forum; but when an outcry was raised and a great crowd gathered, he was prevented from taking her whither he intended, and so betook himself to the magistracy. Seated at the time on the tribunal was Appius alone, hearing causes and administering justice to those who applied for it. When Claudius wished to speak, there was an outcry and expressions of indignation on the part of the crowd standing about the tribunal, all demanding that he wait till the relations of the girl should be present; and Appius ordered it should be so. After a short interval Publius Numitorius, the maiden's maternal uncle, a man of distinction among the plebeians, appeared with many of his friends and relations; and not long afterwards came Lucius, to whom she had been betrothed by her father, accompanied by a strong body of young plebeians. As he came up to the tribunal still panting and out of breath, he demanded to know who it was that had dared to lay hands upon a girl who was a Roman citizen and what his purpose was.


Roman antiquities 11.29
When silence had been obtained, Marcus Claudius, who had seized the girl, spoke to this effect: "I have done nothing either rash or violent in regard to the girl, Appius Claudius; but, as I am her master, I am taking her according to the laws. Hear now by what means she is mine. I have a female slave who belonged to my father and has served a great many years. This slave, being with child, was persuaded by the wife of Verginius, whom she was acquainted with and used to visit, to give her the child when she should bear it. And she, keeping her promise, when this daughter was born, pretended to us that she had given birth to a dead child, but she gave the babe to Numitoria; and the latter, taking the child, palmed it off as her own and reared it, although she was the mother of no children either male or female. Hitherto I was ignorant of all this; but now, having learned of it through information given me and having many credible witnesses and having also examined the slave, I have recourse to the law, common to all mankind, which declares it right that the offspring belong, not to those who palm off others' children as their own, but to their mothers, the children of freeborn mothers being free, and those of slave mothers slaves, having the same masters as their mothers. In virtue of this law I claim the right to take the daughter of my slave woman, consenting to submit to a trial and, if anyone puts in a counter claim, offering sufficient securities that I will produce her at the trial. But if anyone wishes to have the decision rendered speedily, I am ready to plead my cause before you at once, instead of offering pledges for her person and interposing delays to the action. Let these claimants choose whichever of these alternatives they wish."


Roman antiquities 11.30
After Claudius had spoken thus and had added an urgent plea that he might be at no disadvantage as compared with his adversaries because he was a client and of humble birth, the uncle of the girl answered in few words and those such as were proper to be addressed to a magistrate. He said that the father of the girl was Verginius, a plebeian, who was then abroad in the service of his country; that her mother was Numitoria, his own sister, a virtuous and good woman, who had died not many years before; that the maiden herself, after being brought up in such a manner as became a person of free condition and a citizen, had been legally betrothed to Icilius, and that the marriage would have taken place if the war with the Aequians had not intervened. In the meantime, he said, no less than fifteen years having elapsed, Claudius had never attempted to allege anything of this sort to the girl's relations, but now that she was of marriageable age and had a reputation for exceptional beauty, he had come forward with his allegation after inventing a shameless calumny, not indeed on his own initiative, but coached by a man who thought he must by any and every means gratify his desires. As for the trial, he said the father himself would defend the cause of his daughter when he returned from the campaign; but as for the claiming of her person, which was required according to the laws, he himself, as the girl's uncle, was attending to that and was submitting to trial, in doing which he was demanding nothing either unprecedented or not granted as a right to all other Roman citizens, if indeed not to all men, namely, that when a person is being haled from a condition of freedom into slavery, it is not the man who is trying to deprive him of his liberty, but the man who maintains it, that has the custody of him until the trial. And he said that it behooved Appius to maintain that principle for many reasons: first, because he had inscribed this law among the others in the Twelve Tables, and, in the next place, because he was chief of the decemvirate; and furthermore, because he had assumed not only the consular but also the tribunician power, the principal function of which was to relieve such of the citizens as were weak and destitute of help. He then asked him to show compassion for a maiden who had turned to him for refuge, having long since lost her mother and being at the moment deprived of her father and in danger of losing not only her ancestral fortune but also her husband, her country, and, what is regarded as the greatest of all human blessings, her personal liberty. And having lamented the insolence to which the girl would be delivered up and thus roused great compassion in all present, he at last spoke about the time to be appointed for the trial, saying: "Since Claudius, who during those fifteen years never complained of any injury, now wishes to have the decision in this cause rendered speedily, anyone else who was contending for a matter of so great importance as I am would say that he was grievously treated and would naturally feel indignant, demanding to offer his defence only after peace is made and all who are now in camp have returned, at a time when both parties to the suit will have an abundance of witnesses, friends and judges ? a proposal which would be democratic, moderate and agreeable to the Roman constitution. But as for us," he said, "we have no need of speeches nor of peace nor of a throng of friends and judges, nor are we trying to put the matter off to the times appropriate for such decisions; but even in war, and when friends are lacking and judges are not impartial, and at once, we are ready to make our defence, asking of you only so much time, Appius, as will suffice for the father of the girl to come from camp, lament his misfortunes, and plead his cause in person."


Roman antiquities 11.31
Numitorius having spoken to this effect and the people who stood round the tribunal having signified by a great shout that his demand was just, Appius after a short pause said: "I am not ignorant of the law concerning the bailing of those who are claimed as slaves, which does not permit their persons to be in the power of the claimants till the hearing of the case, nor would I willingly break a law which I myself draughted. This, however, I consider to be just, that, as there are two claimants, the master and the father, if they were both present, the father should have the custody of her person till the hearing; but since he is absent, the master should take her away, giving sufficient sureties that he will produce her before the magistrate when her father returns. I shall take great care, Numitorius, concerning the sureties and the amount of their bond and also that you defendants shall be at no disadvantage in respect of the trial. For the present, deliver up the girl." When Appius had pronounced this sentence, there was much lamentation and beating of breasts on the part of the maiden and of the women surrounding her, and much clamour and indignation on the part of the crowd which stood about the tribunal. But Icilius, who intending to marry the girl, clasped her to him and said: "Not while I am alive, Appius, shall anyone take this girl away. But if you are resolved to break the laws, to confound our rights, and to take from us our liberty, deny no longer the tyranny you decemvirs are reproached with, but after you have cut off my head lead away not only this maiden whithersoever you choose, but also every other maiden and matron, in order that the Romans may now at last be convinced that they have become slaves instead of free men and may no longer show a spirit above their condition. Why, then, do you delay any longer? Why do you not shed my blood before your tribunal in the sight of all? But know of a certainty that my death will prove the beginning either of great woes to the Romans or of great blessings."


Roman antiquities 11.32
While he wished to go on speaking, the lictors by order of the magistrate kept him and his friends back from the tribunal and commanded them to obey the sentence; and Claudius laid hold on the girl as she clung to her uncle and her betrothed, and attempted to lead her away. But the people who stood round the tribunal, upon seeing her piteous grief, all cried out together, and disregarding the authority of the magistrate, crowded upon those who were endeavouring to use force with her, so that Claudius, fearing their violence, let the girl go and fled for refuge to the feet of the general. Appius was at first greatly disturbed as he saw all the people enraged, and for a considerable time was in doubt what he ought to do. Then, after calling Claudius to the tribunal and conversing a little with him, as it seemed, he made a sign for the bystanders to be silent and said: "I am waiving the strict letter of the law, citizens, relative to the bailing of her person, inasmuch as I see you growing exasperated at the sentence I have pronounced; and desiring to gratify you, I have prevailed upon my client to consent that the relations of the maiden shall go bail for her till the arrival of her father. Do you men, therefore, take the girl away, Numitorius, and acknowledge yourselves bound for her appearance to-morrow. For this much time is sufficient for you both to give Verginius notice to-day and to bring him here from the camp in three or four hours to-morrow." When they asked for more time, he gave no answer but rose up and ordered his seat to be taken away.


Roman antiquities 11.33
As he left the Forum, sorely troubled and maddened by his passion, he determined not to relinquish the maiden another time to her relations, but when she was produced by her surety, to take her away by force, after first placing a stronger guard about his person, in order to avoid suffering any violence from the crowds, and occupying the neighbourhood of the tribunal ahead of time with a throng of his partisans and clients. That he might do this with a plausible show of justice when the father should fail to appear as her surety, he sent his most trusted horsemen to the camp with letters for Antonius, the commander of the legion in which Verginius served, asking him to detain the man under strict guard, lest he learn of the situation of his daughter and steal away from the camp unobserved. But he was forestalled by two relations of the girl, namely a son of Numitorius and a brother of Icilius, who had been sent ahead by the rest at the very beginning of the affair. These, being young and full of spirit, drove their horses with loose rein and under the whip, and completing the journey ahead of the men sent by Appius, informed Verginius of what had taken place. He, going to Antonius and concealing the true reason for his request, pretended that he had received word of the death of a certain near relation whose unless and burial he was obliged by law to perform; and being given a furlough, he set out about lamp-lighting time with the youths, taking by-roads for fear of being pursued both from the camp and from the city ? the very thing which actually happened. For Antonius, upon receiving the letters about the first watch, sent a troop of horse after him, while other horsemen, sent from the city, patrolled all night long the road that led from the camp to Rome. When Appius was informed by somebody of the unexpected arrival of Verginius, he lost control of himself, and going to the tribunal with a large body of attendants, ordered the relations of the girl to be brought. they had come, Claudius repeated what he had said before and asked Appius to act as judge in the matter without delay, declaring that both the informant and the witnesses were present and offering the slave woman herself to be examined. On top of all this there was the pretence of great indignation, if he was not to obtain the same justice as other people, as he had previously, because he was a client of Appius, and also an appeal that Appius should not support those whose complaints were the more pitiful, but rather those whose claims were the more just.


Roman antiquities 11.34
The father of the girl and her other relations made a defence with many just and truthful arguments against the charge that she had been substituted for a still-born child, namely, that the sister of Numitorius, wife of Verginius, had had no reasonable ground for a substitution, since she, a virgin, married to a young man, had borne a child no very considerable time after her marriage; and again, if she had desired ever so much to introduce the offspring of another woman into her own family, she would not have taken the child of someone else's slave rather than that of a free woman united to her by consanguinity or friendship, one from whom she would take it in the confidence and indeed certainty that she could keep what she had received. And when she had it in her power to take a child of whichever sex she wished, she would have chosen a male child rather than a female. For a mother, if she wants children, must of necessity be contented with and rear whatever offspring nature produces, whereas a woman who substitutes a child will in all probability choose the better sex instead of the inferior. As against the informer and the witnesses whom Claudius said he would produce in great numbers, and all of them trustworthy, they offered the argument from probability, that Numitoria would never have done openly and in conjunction with witnesses of free condition a deed that required secrecy and could have been performed for her by one person, when as a result she might see the girl she had reared taken away from her by the owners of the girl's mother. Also the lapse of time, they said, was no slight evidence that there was nothing sound in what the plaintiff alleged; for neither the informer nor the witnesses would have kept the substitution a secret during fifteen years, but would have told of it before this. While discrediting the plaintiff's proofs as neither true nor probable, they asked that their own proofs might be weighed against them, and named many women, and those of no mean note, who they said had known when Numitoria came with child by the size of her abdomen. Besides these they produced women who because of their kinship had been present at her labour and delivery and had seen the child brought into the world, and asked that these be questioned. But the clearest proof of all, which was attested by both men in large numbers and women, freemen and slaves as well, they brought in at the last, stating that the child had been suckled by her mother and that it was impossible for a woman to have her breasts full of milk if she had not borne a child.


Roman antiquities 11.35
While they were presenting these arguments and many others equally weighty and incontrovertible and were pouring forth a stream of compassion over the girl's misfortunes, all the others who heard their words felt pity for her beauty as they cast their eyes upon her, ? for being dressed in squalid attire, gazing down at the ground, and dimming the lustre of her eyes with tears, she arrested the eyes of all, so superhuman a beauty and grace enveloped her, ? and all bewailed the perversity of Fortune when they considered what abuses and insults she would encounter after falling from such prosperity. And they began to reason that, once the law which secured their liberty was violated, there was nothing to prevent their own wives and daughters also from suffering the same treatment as this girl. While they were making these and many like reflections and communicating them to one another, they wept. But Appius, inasmuch as he was not by nature sound of mind and now was spoiled by the greatness of his power, his soul turgid and his bowels inflamed because of his love of the girl, neither paid heed to the pleas of her defenders nor was moved by her tears, and furthermore resented the sympathy shown for her by the bystanders, as though he himself deserved greater pity and had suffered greater torments from the comeliness which had enslaved him. Goaded, therefore, by all these emotions, he not only had the effrontery to make a shameless speech, by which he made it clear to those who suspected as much that he himself had contrived the fraudulent charge against the girl, but he also dared to commit a cruel and tyrannical deed.


Roman antiquities 11.36
For while they were still pleading their cause, he commanded silence; and when there was quiet and the whole crowd in the Forum began moving forward, prompted by a desire to know what he would say, he repeatedly turned his glance here and there, his eyes taking count of the bands of his partisans, who by his orders had posted themselves in different parts of the Forum, and then spoke as follows: "This is not the first time, Verginius and you who are present with him, that I have heard of this matter, but it was long ago, even before I assumed this magistracy. Hear, now, in what way it came to my knowledge. The father of Marcus Claudius here, when he was dying, asked me to be the guardian of his son, whom he was leaving a mere boy; for the Claudii are hereditary clients of our family. During the time of my guardianship information was given me regarding this girl, to the effect that Numitoria had palmed her off as her own child after receiving her from the slave woman of Claudius; and upon investigating this matter, I found it was so. Now I might myself have claimed what I had a right to claim,but I thought it better to leave the power of choice to my ward here, when he should come to man's estate, either to take away the girl, if he thought fit, or to come to an accommodation with those who were rearing her, by taking money for her or making a present of her. Since that time, having become involved in public affairs, I have given myself no further concern about the interests of Claudius. But he, it would seem, when taking account of his estate, also received the same information concerning the girl which had previously been given to me; and he is making no unjust demand when he wishes to take away the daughter of his own slave woman. Now if they had come to terms with one another, it would have been well; but since the matter has been brought into litigation, I give this testimony in his favour and declare him to be the girl's master."


Roman antiquities 11.37
When they heard this, all who were unprejudiced and ready to be advocates for those who plead the cause of justice held up their hands to heaven and raised an outcry of mingled lamentation and resentment, while the flatterers of the oligarchy uttered their rallying cry that was calculated to inspire the men in power with confidence. While the Forum was seething filled with cries and emotions of every sort, Appius, commanding silence, said: "If you do not cease dividing the city into factions and contending against us, you trouble-makers, useless fellows everywhere whether in peace or in war, you shall be brought to your senses by compulsion and so submit. Do not imagine that these guards on the Capitol and the citadel have been made ready by use solely against foreign foes and that we shall be indifferent to you who sit idle inside the walls and corrupt all the interests of the commonwealth. Adopt, then, a better disposition than you have at present and be off with you, all you who have no business here, and mind your own affairs, if you are wise. And do you, Claudius, take the girl and lead her through the Forum without fearing anyone; for the twelve axes of Appius will attend you." After he had spoken thus, the others withdrew from the Forum, sighing, beating their foreheads, and unable to refrain from tears; but Claudius began to lead away the girl as she held her father close, kissing him and calling upon him with the most endearing words. Finding himself in so sore a plight, Verginius thought of a deed that was grievous and bitter indeed to a father, yet becoming to a free man of lofty spirit. For he asked leave to embrace his daughter for the last time as a free woman and to say what he thought fit to her in private before she was taken from the Forum, and when the general granted his request and his enemies withdrew a little, he held her up and supported her as she was fainting and sinking to the ground, and for a time called her by name, kissed her, and wiped away her streaming tears; then, drawing her away by degrees, when he came close a butcher's shop, he snatched up a knife from the table and plunged it into his daughter's vitals, saying only this: "I send you forth free and virtuous, my child, to your ancestors beneath the earth. For if you had lived, you could not have enjoyed these two blessings because of the tyrant." When an outcry was raised, holding the bloody knife in his hand and covered as he was himself with blood, with which the slaying of the girl had besprinkled him, he ran like a madman through the city, calling the citizens to liberty. Then, forcing his way out through the gates, he mounted the horse that stood ready for him and hastened to the camp, attended this time also by Icilius and Numitorius, the young men who had brought him from the camp. They were followed by another crowd of plebeians, not small in number, but amounting to some four hundred in all.


Roman antiquities 11.38
When Appius learned of the girl's fate, he leaped up from his seat and was minded to pursue Verginius, meanwhile both saying and doing many indecorous things. But when his friends stood round him and besought him to do nothing reckless, he departed full of resentment against everybody. Then, when he was already home, some of his followers informed him that Icilius, the betrothed of Verginia, and Numitorius, her uncle, together with her other friends and relations, standing round her body, were charging him with crimes speakable and unspeakable and summoning the people to liberty. In his rage he sent some of the lictors with orders to hale to prison those who had raised the clamour and to remove the body out of the Forum, thereby doing a most imprudent thing and one by no means suited to that crisis. For when he ought to have courted the multitude, by yielding to them for the moment and afterwards justifying some of his actions, seeking pardon for others, and making amends for yet others by sundry acts of kindness, he was carried away to more violent measures and forced the people to resort to desperation. For instance, they would not permit it when the lictors attempted to drag away the body or hale the men to prison, but shouting encouragement to one another, they indulged in both pushing and blows against them when they attempted to use violence and drove them out of the Forum. As a result, Appius, on hearing of this, was obliged to proceed to the Forum, accompanied by numerous partisans and clients, whom he ordered to beat and hold back out of the way the people who were in the streets. But Valerius and Horatius, who, as I have said, were the chief leaders of those who desired to recover their liberty, having learned of his purpose in thus coming forth, came bringing with them a large and brave company of youths and took their stand before the body; and when Appius and his followers drew near, they first proceeded to harsh and bitter taunts against the power of the decemvirs, and then, suiting their actions to their words, they struck and knocked down all who engaged with them.


Roman antiquities 11.39
Appius, sorely troubled by this unexpected setback and not knowing how to deal with the men, resolved to take the most pernicious course. For, feeling that the populace still remained friendly to him, he went up to the sanctuary of Vulcan, and calling an assembly of the people, he attempted to accuse those men of violation of the law and of insolent behaviour, being carried away by his tribunician power and the vain hope that the people would share his resentment and permit him to throw the men down from the cliff. But Valerius and his followers took possession of another part of the Forum, and placing the body of the maiden where it would be seen by all, held another assembly of the people and made a sweeping accusation of Appius and the other oligarchs. and it was bound to happen, as one would expect, that with some being attracted thither by the rank of the men, others by their compassion for the girl who had suffered dreadful and worse than dreadful calamities because of her unfortunate beauty, and still others by their very yearning for the ancient constitution, this assembly would be better attended than the other, so that just a few were left round Appius, consisting solely of the oligarchical faction; and among those there were some who for many reasons no longer paid heed to the oligarchs themselves, but, if the cause of their opponents should become strong, would gladly turn against the others. Appius, accordingly, seeing himself being deserted, was obliged to change his mind and leave the Forum, a course which proved of the greatest advantage to him; for if he had been set upon by the plebeian crowd, he would have paid a fitting penalty to them. After that Valerius and his followers, having all the authority they wished, indulged themselves in anti-oligarchic speeches and by their harangues won over those who still hesitated. The dissatisfaction of the citizens at large was still further increased by the relations of the girl, who brought her bier into the Forum, prepared all the funeral trappings on the most costly scale they could, and then bore the body in procession through the principal streets of the city, where it would be seen by the largest number of people. In fact the matrons and maidens ran out of their houses lamenting her fate, some throwing flowers and garlands upon the bier, some their girdles or fillets, others their childhood toys, and others perhaps even locks of their hair that they had cut off; and many of the men, either purchasing ornaments in the neighbouring shops or receiving them as a favour, contributed to the funeral pomp by the appropriate gifts. Hence the funeral was much talked about throughout the entire city, and all were seized with an eager desire for the overthrow of the oligarchs. But those who favoured the cause of the oligarchy, being armed, kept them in great fear, and Valerius and his followers did not care to decide the quarrel by shedding the blood of their fellow citizens.


Roman antiquities 11.40
Affairs in the city, then, were in this state of turmoil. In the meantime Verginius, who, as I have related, had slain his daughter with his own hand, rode with loose rein and at lamp-lighting time came to the camp at Algidum, still in the same condition in which he had rushed out of the city, all covered with blood and holding the butcher's knife in his hand. When those who were keeping guard before the camp saw him, they could not imagine what had happened to him, and they followed along in the expectation of hearing of some great and dreadful occurrence. Verginius for the time continued on his way, weeping and making signs to those he met to follow him; and from the tents which he passed the soldiers, who were then at supper, all ran out in a body, full of anxious suspense and consternation, carrying torches and lamps; and pouring round him, they accompanied him. But when he came to the open space in the camp, he took his stand upon an elevated spot, so as to be seen by all, and related the calamities that had befallen him, offering as witnesses to the truth of his statements those who had come with him from the city. When he saw many of them lamenting and shedding tears, he turned to supplications and entreaties, begging them neither to permit him to go unavenged nor to let the fatherland be foully abused. While he was speaking thus, great eagerness was shown by them all to hear him and great encouragement for him to speak on. Accordingly, he now assailed the oligarchy with greater boldness, recounting how the decemvirs had deprived many of their fortunes, caused many to be scourged, forced ever so many to flee from the country though guilty of no crime, and enumerating their insults offered to matrons, their seizing of marriageable maidens, their abuse of boys of free condition, and all their other excesses and cruelties. "And these abuses," he said, "we suffer at the hands of men who hold their power neither by law nor by a decree of the senate nor by the consent of the people (for the year's term of their magistracy, after serving which they should have handed over the administration of affairs to others, has expired), but by the most violent of all means, since they have adjudged us great cowards and weaklings, like women. Let every one of you consider both what he has suffered himself and what he knows others to have suffered; and if any one of you, lured by them with pleasures or gratifications, does not stand in dread of the oligarchy or fear that the calamities will eventually come upon him too some day, let him learn that tyrants know no loyalty, that it is not out of goodwill that the favours of the powerful are bestowed, and all the other truths of like purport; then let him change his opinion. And becoming of one mind, all of you, free from these tyrants your country, in which stand both the temples of your gods and the sepulchres of your ancestors, whom you honour next to the gods, in which also are your aged fathers, who demand of you many acknowledgements such as the pains they have bestowed upon your rearing deserve, and also your lawfully betrothed wives, your marriageable daughters, who require much solicitous care on the part of their parents, and your sons, to whom are owed the rights deriving from Nature and from your forefathers. I say nothing indeed of your houses, your estates and your goods, which have been acquired with great pains both by your fathers and by yourselves, none of which things you can possess in security so long as you live under the tyranny of the decemvirs.


Roman antiquities 11.41
"It is the part neither of prudent nor of brave men to acquire the possessions of others by valour and then to allow their own to be lost through cowardice, nor, again, to wage long and incessant wars against the Aequians, the Volscians, the Sabines, and all the rest of your neighbours for the sake of sovereignty and dominion and then to be unwilling to take up arms against your unlawful rulers for the sake of both your security and your liberty. Will you not recover the proud spirit of your country? Will you not come to a decision worthy of the virtue of your ancestors who, because one woman was outraged by one of Tarquin's sons and because of this calamity put herself to death, became so indignant at her fate and so exasperated, looking upon the outrage as one done to them all alike, that they not only banished Tarquin from the state, but even abolished the monarchy itself and forbade that anyone should thereafter rule over Romans for life with irresponsible power, not only binding themselves by the most solemn oaths, but also invoking curses upon their descendants if in any respect they should act to the contrary? Then, when they refused to bear the tyrannical outrage committed by one licentious youth upon one person of free condition, will you tolerate a many-headed tyranny that indulges in every sort of crime and licentiousness and will indulge still more if you now submit to it? I am not the only man who had a daughter superior in beauty to others whom Appius had openly attempted to violate and besmirch, but many of you also have daughters or wives or comely young sons; and what shall hinder these from being treated in the same manner by another of the ten tyrants or by Appius himself? Unless, indeed, there is some one of the gods who will guarantee that if you permit these calamities of mine to go unavenged the same misfortunes will not come upon many of you, but having pursued its way only as far as my daughter, this lust of tyrants will stop and toward the persons of others, both youths and maidens, will grow chaste! Know of a certainty, however, that it is the part of great folly and stupidity to say that these imagined crimes will not come to pass. For the desires of tyrants are naturally limitless, inasmuch as they have neither law nor fear to check them. Therefore, by effecting for me a just vengeance and also by procuring for yourselves security against suffering the same mistreatment, break now at last your bonds, O miserable me; look up toward liberty, your eyes fixed upon her. What other ground for indignation greater than this will you have, when the tyrants carry off the daughters of citizens like slaves and with the lash lead their brides home? On what occasion will you regain the spirit of free men if you let slip the present one when your bodies are protected by arms?"


Roman antiquities 11.42
While he was yet speaking, most of the soldiers cried out, promising to avenge him, and called upon the centurions by name, demanding immediate action; and many, coming forward, made bold to speak openly of any ill-treatment they had suffered. Upon learning of what had happened, the five men, who, as I have stated, had the command of these legions, fearing lest some attack might be made upon them by the rabble, all ran to the general's headquarters and considered with their friends how they might allay the tumult by surrounding themselves with an armed guard of their own faction. But being informed that the soldiers had retired to their tents and that the disturbance was abated and ended, and being unaware that most of the centurions had secretly conspired to revolt and to unite in freeing their country, they resolved that as soon as it was day they would seize Verginius, who was stirring up the rabble, and keep him in custody, and then, breaking camp and leading their forces against the enemy, would settle down in the best part of their territory and lay it waste, thus keeping their men from meddling any longer with what was going on in the city, partly because of the booty they would acquire and partly because of the battles that would be waged in each instance to secure their own safety. But they succeeded in none of their calculations; for the centurions would not even permit Verginius to go to the generals' headquarters when he was sent for, suspecting that he might suffer some harm; nay, they even heaped scorn upon the intercepted report that the generals wished to lead the troops against the enemy, saying: "How skilfully you have commanded us in the past, that now also we should take hope and follow you ? you who, after assembling a greater army both from the city itself and from our allies than any other generals in the past, have not only failed to gain any victory over the enemy or to do them any harm, but on the contrary have shown a lack of both courage and experience by encamping in cowardly fashion, and also, by permitting your own territory to be ravaged by the enemy, have made us beggars and destitute of all the means by which, when we were superior to our foes in equipment, we conquered them in battle when we had better generals than you! And now our foes erect trophies to commemorate our defeats and are in possession of our tents, our slaves, our arms and our money, which they have seized as plunder."


Roman antiquities 11.43
Verginius, moved by anger and no longer standing in awe of the generals, now inveighed against them with greater assurance, called them despoilers and plagues of their country, and exhorting all the centurions to take up the standards and lead the army home. But most of them were still afraid to remove the sacred standards, and again, did not think it either right or safe at all to desert their commanders and generals. For not only does the military oath, which the Romans observe most strictly of all oaths, bid the soldiers follow their generals wherever they may lead, but also the law has given the commanders authority to put to death without a trial all who are disobedient or desert their standards. Verginius, accordingly, perceiving that these scruples kept them in awe, proceeded to show them that the law had set aside their oath, since it is necessary that the general who commands the forces should have been legally appointed, whereas the power of the decemvirs was illegal, inasmuch as it had exceeded the term of a year, for which it had been granted. And to do the bidding of those who were commanding illegally, he declared, was not obedience and loyalty, but folly and madness. The soldiers, hearing these arguments, approved of them; and encouraging one another and inspired also by Heaven with a certain boldness, they took up the standards and set out from the camp. However, as was to be expected among men of various dispositions and not all of them entertaining the best intentions, there were bound to be some, both soldiers and centurions, who remained with the oligarchs, though they were not so numerous as the others, but far fewer. Those who departed from the camp marched throughout the entire day, and when evening came on, arrived in Rome, no one having announced their approach. Hence they caused the inhabitants no slight dismay, since they thought that a hostile army had entered the city; and there was shouting and disorderly running to and fro throughout the city. Nevertheless, the confusion did not last long enough to produce any mischief. For the soldiers, passing through the streets, called out that they were friends and had come for the good of the commonwealth; and they made their words match their deeds, as they did no harm to anyone. Then, proceeding to the hill called the Aventine, which of all the hills included in Rome is the most suitable for an encampment, they put down their arms near the temple of Diana. The following day they strengthened their camp, and having appointed ten tribunes, at the head of whom was Marcus Oppius, to take care of their common interests, they remained quiet.


Roman antiquities 11.44
There soon came to them as reinforcements from the army at Fidenae the ablest centurions of the three legions there, bringing with them a large force. These had long been disaffected toward the generals at Fidenae, ever since those men had caused the death of Siccius the legate, as I have related,41 but were afraid of beginning the revolt earlier, because they considered the five legions at Algidum to be attached to the decemvirate; but at the time in question, as soon as they heard of the revolt of the others, they were glad to embrace the opportunity presented to them by Fortune. These legions also were commanded by ten tribunes, who had been appointed during their march, the most prominent of whom was Sextus Malius. After joining the others, they put down their arms and left it to the twenty tribunes to speak and act in all matters as representatives of the whole group. Out of these twenty they appointed two persons, Marcus Oppius and Sextus Malius, who were the most prominent, to determine policies. These established a council consisting of all the centurions and handled all matters in conjunction with them. While their intentions were not as yet generally known, Appius, inasmuch as he was conscious of having been the cause of the present disturbance and of the evils that were expected to result from it, no longer thought fit to transact any of the public business, but stayed at home. Spurius Oppius, however, who had been placed in command of the city together with him, although he too had been alarmed at first, believing that their enemies would immediately attack them and had indeed come for this purpose, nevertheless, when he found that they had attempted nothing revolutionary, relaxed from his fear and summoned the senators from their homes to the senate-house, sending for each one individually. While these were still assembling, the commanders of the army at Fidenae arrived, full of indignation that both the camps had been abandoned by the soldiers, and they endeavoured to persuade the senate to resent this action as it deserved. When the senators were to deliver their opinions one after another, Lucius Cornelius declared that the soldiers who were postedon the Aventine must return that very day to their camps and carry out the orders of their generals, though they should not be subject to trial for anything that had happened, save only the authors of the revolt, who should be punished by the generals. If, however, they did not do as commanded, the senate should deliberate concerning them as concerning men who had abandoned the post to which they had been assigned by their generals and had violated their military oath. Lucius Valerius. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . But it behooved me neither to make no mention of the Roman laws which I found written on the Twelve Tables, since they are so venerable and so far superior to the codes of the Greeks, nor to go on and extend my account of them farther than was necessary.


Roman antiquities 11.45
After the overthrow of the decemvirate the first persons to receive the consular office from the people in a centuriate assembly were, as I have stated, Lucius Valerius Potitus and Marcus Horatius Barbatus, who were not only of their own nature favourable to the populace, but had also inherited that political creed from their ancestors. In fulfilment of the promises they had made to the plebeians, when they persuaded them to lay down their arms, that in their administration they would consult all the interests of the people, they secured the ratification in centuriate assemblies of various laws, most of which I need not mention, laws with which the patricians were displeased though they were ashamed to oppose them, and particularly the one which ordained that the laws passed by the populace in its tribal assemblies should apply to all the Romans alike, having the same force as those which should be passed in the centuriate assemblies. The penalties provided for such as should abrogate or transgress this law, in case they were convicted, were death and the confiscation of their estates. This law put an end to the controversies previously carried on by the patricians against the plebeians when they refused to obey the laws enacted by the latter and would not at all regard the measures passed in the tribal assemblies as joint decrees of the whole state, but as merely private matters for the plebeians only; whereas they considered that any resolution the centuriate assembly passed applied not only to themselves but to the rest of the citizens as well. It has been mentioned earlier that in the tribal assemblies the plebeians and the poor prevailed over the patricians, whereas in the centuriate assemblies the patricians, though far less numerous, had the upper hand over the plebeians.


Roman antiquities 11.46
When this law, together with some others of a popular nature, as I have related, had been ratified by the consuls, the tribunes immediately, believing a fitting occasion had arrived for punishing Appius and his colleagues, thought they ought to bring charges against them, but not to put them all on trial at the same time, in order to prevent their helping one another in any way, but one by one; for they concluded that in this way they would be easier to manage. And considering which one of them would be the most suitable to begin with, they determined to call Appius to account first, since he was hated by the people, not only because of his other crimes, but particularly because of his recent lawless acts with regard to the maiden. For they judged that if they convicted him they would easily get the better of the others, whereas, if they should begin with those of humbler station, they imagined that the resentment of the citizens, which is always more violent in the earlier trials, would be milder toward the most eminent men if they were tried last ? as had often happened before. Having resolved upon this course, they took the decemvirs into custody and appointed Verginius to be the accuser of Appius without drawing lots. Thereupon Appius was cited before the tribunal of the people to answer an accusation brought against him in their assembly by Verginius; and he asked for time to prepare his defence. He was haled to prison to be guarded until his trial, as bail was not allowed him; but before the day appointed for the trial came, he met his death in prison, ? according to the suspicion of most people, by order of the tribunes, but according to the report of those who wished to clear them of this charge, by hanging himself. After him, Spurius Oppius was brought before the tribunal of the people by another of the tribunes, Publius Numitorius, and being allowed to make his defence, was unanimously condemned, committed to prison, and put to death the same day. The rest of the decemvirs punished themselves by voluntary exile before they were indicted. The estates both of those who had been put to death and of those who had made their escape were confiscated by the quaestors. Marcus Claudius, who had attempted to take away the maiden as his slave, was also accused by Icilius, her betrothed; however, by putting the blame on Appius, who had ordered him to commit the crime, he escaped death, but was condemned to perpetual banishment. Of the others who had been the instruments of the decemvirs in any crime, none had a public trial, but impunity was granted to them all. This course was proposed by Marcus Duilius, the tribune, when the citizens were already showing irritation and were expecting that . . . would be . . . enemies.


Roman antiquities 11.47
After the domestic disturbances ceased, the consuls assembled the senate and procured the passing of a decree that they should lead out the army in all haste against the enemy. And the people having ratified the decree of the senate, Valerius, one of the consuls, marched with one half of the army against the Aequian and the Volscians; for these two nations had joined forces. Understanding that the Aequians had gained assurance from their former successes and had come to entertain a great contempt for the Roman forces, he wished to increase their confidence and boldness by creating the false impression that he dreaded coming to close quarters with them, and in every move he simulated timidity. For instance, he chose for his camp a lofty position difficult of access, surrounded it with a deep ditch, and erected high ramparts. And when the enemy repeatedly challenged him to battle and taunted him with cowardice, he bore it with patience and remained quiet. But upon learning that their best forces had set out to plunder the territory of the Hernicans and the Latins and that there was left in the camp a garrison that was neither large nor able, he thought this was the fitting moment, and leading out his army in regular formation, he drew it up as for battle. Then, when no one came out to meet him, he held it in check that day, but on the next day led it against their camp, which was not very strong. When the enemy's detachments which had earlier gone out after forage heard that their camp was besieged, they speedily returned, though they did not put in an appearance all together and in good order, but scattered and in small parties, everyone coming up as he could; and those in the camp, as soon as they saw their own men approaching, took courage and sallied out in a body. Upon this, a great battle ensued, with much slaughter on both sides, a battle in which the Romans, gaining the victory, put to flight those who fought in closed ranks, and pursuing those who fled, killed some and made others prisoners; and taking possession of their camp, they seized much money and vast booty. After accomplishing this, Valerius now freely overran the enemy's country and laid it waste.


Roman antiquities 11.48
Marcus Horatius, who had been sent out to prosecute the war against the Sabines, when he learned of the exploits of his colleague, likewise marched out of camp and promptly led all his forces against the Sabines, who were not inferior in numbers and were thoroughly acquainted with the art of war. For they displayed spirit and great boldness against their opponents in consequence of their former successes, not only all of them in common, but particularly their commander; for he was both a good general and also a gallant fighter at close quarters. And since the cavalry displayed great zeal, he won a most brilliant victory, killing many of the enemy and taking far more of them prisoners, and also gaining possession of their abandoned camp, in which he found not only the baggage of the enemy in great quantity but also all the booty they had taken from the Romans' territory, and rescued a great many of his own people who had been taken prisoner. For the Sabines, in their contempt of the Romans, had not packed up and sent away their booty before the battle. The effects belonging to the enemy he allowed the soldiers to take as spoils after he had first selected such a portion of them as he intend to consecrate to the gods; but the booty he restored to the owners.


Roman antiquities 11.49
After accomplishing these things he led his forces back to Rome, and Valerius arrived at about the same time. Both of them, being greatly elated by their victories, expected to celebrate brilliant triumphs; however, the matter did not turn out according to their expectation. For the senate, having been convened in their case while they lay encamped outside the city in the Field of Mars, as it was called, and being informed of the exploits of both, would not permit them to perform the triumphal sacrifice, since many of the senators opposed their demand openly, and particularly Gaius Claudius, uncles, as I have stated,to Appius who had established the oligarchy and had been put to death recently by the tribunes. Claudius reproached them for the laws they had got enacted by which they had weakened the power of the senate and for the other policies they had constantly pursued; and, last of all, he told of the killing of some of the decemvirs, whom they had betrayed to the tribunes, and the confiscation of the estates of the others, in violation, as he claimed, of their oaths and covenants; for he maintained that the compact entered into by the patricians with the plebeians had been made on the basis of a general amnesty and impunity for what was past. He added that Appius had not perished by his own hand, but by the treachery of the tribunes before his trial, in order that he might not by standing trial either get a chance to speak or obtain mercy, ? as might well have been the case if the man had come into court citing in his defence his illustrious lineage and the many good services he had rendered to the commonwealth, appealing too to the oaths and pledges of good faith, on which men rely when accommodating their differences, bringing forward his children and relations, displaying even the humble garb of the suppliant, and doing many other things that move the multitude to compassion. When Claudius had poured out all these accusations against the consuls and all who were present had expressed their approval, it was decided that the consuls ought to be content if they were not punished; but that they were not in the least worthy of celebrating triumphs or of gaining any concessions of that sort.


Roman antiquities 11.50
The senate having rejected their request for a triumph, Valerius and his colleague were indignant, and feeling that they had been grievously affronted, they called the multitude to an assembly; and after they had uttered many invectives against the senate and the tribunes had espoused their cause and introduced a law for the purpose, they obtained from the people the privilege of celebrating a triumph, being the first of all the Romans to introduce this custom. This gave occasion to fresh accusations and quarrels on the part of the plebeians against the patricians; they were egged on by the tribunes, who called assemblies every day and uttered many invectives against the senate. But the thing which exasperated the masses most was the suspicion, which the tribunes had contrived to strengthen and was increased by unavowed reports and not a few conjectures, that the patricians were going to abolish the laws which had been enacted by Valerius and his colleague; and a strong opinion to this effect, which was little less than a conviction, possessed the minds of the masses. These were the events of that consulship.


Roman antiquities 11.51
The consuls of the following year were Lar Herminius and Titus Verginius; and they were succeeded by Marcus Geganius . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Roman antiquities 11.52
When they made no answer but continued to feel aggrieved, Scaptius again came forward to the tribunal and said: "There you have the admission, citizens, from our adversaries themselves that they are laying claim to territory of ours which in no wise belongs to them. Bearing this in mind, vote for what is just and in conformity with your oaths." While Scaptius was thus speaking, a sense of shame came over the consuls as they considered that the outcome of this trial would be neither just nor seemly if the Roman people, when chosen as arbiters, should take away any disputed territory claimed by others and award it to themselves, after having never before put in a counter-claim to it; and a great many speeches were made by the consuls and by the leaders of the senate to avert this result, but in vain. For the people, when called to give their votes, declared it would be great folly to permit what was theirs to remain in the possession of others, and they thought they would not be rendering a righteous verdict if they declared the Aricians or the Ardeates to be the owners of the disputed land after having sworn to award it to those to whom they should find that it belonged. And they were angry with the contending parties for having asked to have as arbiters those who were being deprived of this land, with this end in view, that they might not even afterwards have it in their power to recover their own property which they themselves as sworn judges had decreed to belong to others. The people, then, reasoning thus and feeling aggrieved, ordered a third urn, for the Roman commonwealth, to be placed before each tribe, into which they might put their voting tablets; and the Roman people were declared by all the votes to be the owners of the disputed land. These were the events of that consulship.


Roman antiquities 11.53
When Marcus Genucius and Gaius Quintius had assumed office, the political quarrels were renewed, the plebeians demanding that it be permitted to all Romans to hold the consulship; for hitherto the patricians alone had stood for that office and been chosen in the centuriate assembly. And a law concerning the consular elections was drawn up and introduced by the tribunes of that year, all the others but one, Gaius Furnius, having agreed upon that course; in this law they empowered the populace to decide each year whether they wished patricians or plebeians to stand for the consulship. At this the members of the senate were offended, seeing in it the overthrow of their own domination, and they thought they ought to endure anything rather than permit the law to pass; and outbursts of anger, recriminations and obstructions continually occurred both in private gatherings and in their general sessions, all the patricians having become to all the plebeians. Many speeches also were made in the senate and many in the meetings of the popular assembly by the leading men of the aristocracy, the more moderate by men who believed that the plebeians were misled through ignorance of their true interests and the harsher by men who thought that the measure was concocted as the result of a plot and of envy toward themselves.


Roman antiquities 11.54
While the time was dragging along with no result, messengers from the allies arrived in the city reporting that both the Aequians and the Volscians were about to march against them with a large army and begging that assistance might be sent them promptly, as they lay in the path of the war. Those Tyrrhenians also who were called Veientes were said to be preparing for a revolt; and the Ardeates no longer gave allegiance to the Romans, being angry over the matter of the disputed territory which the Roman people, when chosen arbiters, had awarded to themselves the year before. The senate, upon being informed of all this, voted to enrol an army and that both consuls should take the field. But those who were trying to introduce the law kept opposing the execution of their decisions (tribunes have authority to oppose the consuls) by liberating such of the citizens as the consuls were leading off to make them take the military oath and by not permitting the consuls to inflict any punishment on the disobedient. And when the senate earnestly entreated them to put aside their contentiousness for the time being and only when the wars were at an end to propose the law concerning the consular elections, these men, far from yielding to the emergency, declared that they would oppose the decrees of the senate on any subject to be ratified unless the senate should approve by a preliminary decree the law they themselves were introducing. And they were so far carried away that they thus threatened the consuls not only in the senate, nature in the assembly of the people, swearing the oath which to them is the most binding, namely by their good fortune, to the end that they might not be at liberty to revoke any of their decisions even if convinced of their error.


Roman antiquities 11.55
In view of these threats the oldest and most prominent of the leaders of the aristocracy were assembled by the consuls in a private meeting apart by themselves and there considered what they ought to do. Gaius Claudius, who by no means favoured the plebeians and had inherited this political creed from his ancestors, offered a rather arrogant motion not to yield to the people either the consulship or any other magistracy whatever, and, in the case of those who should attempt to do otherwise, to prevent them by force of arms, if they would not be convinced by arguments, giving no quarter to either private person or magistrate. For all who attempted to disturb the established customs and to corrupt their ancient form of government, he said, were aliens and enemies of the commonwealth. On the other hand, Titus Quintius opposed restraining their adversaries by violence or proceeding against the plebeians with arms and civil bloodshed, particularly since they would be opposed by the tribunes, "whose persons our fathers had decreed to be sacred and sacrosanct, making the gods and lesser divinities sureties for the performance of their compact and swearing the most solemn oaths in which they invoked utter destruction upon both themselves and their posterity if they transgressed a single article of that covenant."


Roman antiquities 11.56
This advice being approved of by all the others who had been invited to the meeting, Claudius resumed his remarks and said: "I am not unaware of how great calamities to us all a foundation will be laid if we permit the people to give their votes concerning this law. But being at a loss what to do and unable alone to oppose so many, I yield to your wishes. For it is right that every man should declare what he thinks will be of advantage to the commonwealth and then submit to the decision of the majority. However, this advice I have to give you, seeing that you are involved in a difficult and disagreeable business, ? not to yield the consulship either now or hereafter to any but patricians, who alone are qualified for it by both religion and law. But whenever you are reduced, as at present, to the necessity of sharing the highest power and magistracy with the other citizens, appoint military tribunes instead of consuls, fixing their number as you shall think proper ? in my opinion six or eight suffice ? and of these men let the patricians not be fewer than the plebeians. For in doing this you will neither debase the consular office by conferring it upon mean and unworthy men nor will you appears to be devising for yourselves unjust positions of power by sharing no magistracy whatever with the plebeians." When all approved this opinion and none spoke in opposition, he said: "Hear now the advice I have for you consuls also. After you have appointed a day for passing the preliminary decree and the resolutions of the senate, give the floor to all who desire to say anything either in favour of the law or in opposition to it, and after they have spoken and it is time to ask for the expression of opinions, begin neither with me nor with Quintius here nor with anyone else of the older men, but rather with Lucius Valerius, who of all the senators is the greatest friend of the populace, and after him ask Horatius to speak, if he wishes to say anything. And when you have found out their opinions, then bid us older men to speak. For my part, I shall deliver an opinion contrary to that of the tribunes, using all possible frankness, since this tends to the advantage of the commonwealth. As for the measure concerning the military tribunes, if it is agreeable, let Titus Genucius here propose it; for this motion will be the most fitting and will create the least suspicion, Marcus Genucius, if introduced by your brother here." This suggestion was also approved, after which they departed from the meeting. But as for the tribunes, fear fell upon them because of the secret conference of these men; for they suspected that it was calculated to bring some great mischief upon the populace, since the men had met in a private house and not in public and had admitted none of the people's champions to share in their counsels. Thereupon they in turn held a meeting of such persons as were most friendly to the populace and they set about contriving defences and safeguards against the insidious designs which they suspected the patricians would employ against them.


Roman antiquities 11.57
When the time had come for the preliminary decree to be passed, the consuls assembled the senate and after many exhortations to harmony and good order they gave leave to the tribunes who had proposed the law to speak first. Then Gaius Canuleius, one of these, came forward and, without trying to show that the law was either just or advantageous or even mentioning that topic, said that he wondered at the consuls, who, after already consulting and deciding by themselves what should be done, had attempted to bring it before the senate as if it were a matter that had not been examined and required consideration, and had then given all who so chose leave to speak about it, thereby introducing a dissimulation unbecoming both to their age and to the greatness of their magistracy. He said that they were introducing the beginnings of evil policies by assembling secret councils in private houses and by summoning to them not even all the senators, but only such as were most attached to themselves. He was not so greatly surprised, he said, that the other members had been excluded from this senatorial house party, but was astounded that Marcus Horatius and Lucius Valerius, who had overthrown the oligarchy, were ex-consuls and were as competent as anyone for deliberating about the public interests, had not been thought worthy to be invited to the meeting. He could not imagine on what just ground this had been done, but he could guess one reason, namely that, as they intended to introduce wicked measures prejudicial to the plebeians, they were unwilling to invite to these councils the greatest friends of the populace, who would be sure to express their indignation at such proposals and would not permit any unjust measure to be adopted against the interests of the people.


Roman antiquities 11.58
When Canuleius had spoken thus with great indignation and the senators who had not been summoned to the council resented their treatment, Genucius, one of the consuls, came forward and endeavoured to justify himself and his colleague and to appease the anger of the others by telling them that they had called in their friends, not in order to carry out any design against the populace, but in order to consult with their closest intimates by what course they might appear to do nothing prejudicial to either one of the parties, whether by referring the consideration of the law to the senate promptly or doing so later. As for Valerius and Horatius, he said their only reason for not inviting them to the council had been to prevent the plebeians from entertaining any unwarranted suspicion of them as of men who had changed their political principles, in case they should embrace the other opinion, which called for putting off the consideration of the law to a more suitable occasion. But since all who had been invited to the meeting had felt that a speedy decision was preferable to a delayed one, the consuls were following the course thus favoured. Having spoken thus and sworn by the gods that he was indeed speaking the truth, and appealing for confirmation to the senators who had been invited to the meeting, he said that he would clear himself of every imputation, not by his words, but by his actions. For after all who desired to speak in opposition to the law or in favour of it had given their reasons, he would first call for questioning as to their opinions, not the oldest and the most honoured of the senators, to whom this privilege among others was accorded by established usage, nor those who were suspected by the plebeians of neither saying nor thinking anything that was to their advantage, but rather such of the younger senators as seemed to be most friendly to the populace.


Roman antiquities 11.59
After making these promises he gave leave to any who so desired to speak; and when no one came forward either to censure the law or to defend it, he came forward again, and beginning with Valerius, asked him what was to the interest of the public and what preliminary vote he advised the senators to pass. Valerius, rising up, made a long speech concerning both himself and his ancestors, who, he said, had always been champions of the plebeian party to the advantage of the commonwealth. He enumerated all the dangers from the beginning which had been brought upon it by those who pursued the contrary measures and showed that a hatred for the populace had been unprofitable to all those who had been actuated by it. He then said many things in praise of the people, alleging that they had been the principal cause not only of the liberty but also of the supremacy of the commonwealth. After enlarging upon this and similar themes, he ended by saying that no state could be free from which equality was banished; and he declared that to him the law, indeed, seemed just which gave a share in the consulship to all Romans, ? to all, that is, who had led irreproachable lives and had performed actions worthy of that honour, ? but he thought the occasion was not suitable for the consideration of this law when the commonwealth was in the midst of war's disturbances. He advised the tribunes to permit the enrolling of the troops and not to hinder them when enrolled from taking the field; and he advised the consuls, when they had ended the war in the most successful manner, first of all things to lay before the people the preliminary decree concerning the law. These proposals, he urged, should be reduced to writing at once and agreed to by both parties. This opinion of Valerius, which was supported by Horatius (For the consuls gave him leave to speak next), had the same effect upon all who were present. For those who desired to do away with the law, though pleased to hear that its consideration was postponed, nevertheless accepted with anger the necessity of passing a preliminary decree concerning it after the war; while the others, who preferred to have the law approved by the senate, though glad to hear it acknowledged as just, were at the same time angry that the preliminary decree was put off to another time.


Roman antiquities 11.60
An uproar having broken out as the result of this opinion, as was to be expected, since neither side was pleased with all parts of it, the consul, coming forward, asked in the third place the opinion of Gaius Claudius, who had the reputation of being the most haughty and the most powerful of all the leaders of the other party, which opposed the plebeians. This man delivered a prepared speech against the plebeians in which he called to mind all the things the populace had ever done contrary, as he thought, to the excellent institutions of their ancestors. The climax with which he ended his speech was the motion that the consuls should not permit to the senate any consideration of the law at all, either at that time or later, since it was being introduced for the purpose of overthrowing the aristocracy and was bound to upset the whole order of their government. When even more of an uproar was caused by this motion, Titus Genucius, who was brother to one of the consuls, was called upon in the fourth place. He, rising up, spoke briefly about the emergencies confronting the city, how it was inevitable that one or the other of two most grievous evils should befall it, either through its civil strifes and rivalries to strengthen the cause of its enemies, or, from a desire to avert the attacks from the outside, to settle ignominiously the domestic and civil war; and he declared that, there being two evils to one or the other of which they were bound to submit unwillingly, it seemed to him to be more expedient that the senate should permit the people to usurp a portion of the orderly constitution of the fathers rather than make the commonwealth a laughing-stock to other nations and to its enemies. Having said this, he offered the motion which had been approved by those who had been present at the meeting held in a private house, the motion made by Claudius, as I related, to the effect that, instead of consuls, military tribunes should be appointed, three from the patricians and three from the plebeians, these to have consular authority; that after they had completed the term of their magistracy and it was time to appear the new magistrates, the senate and people should again assemble and decide whether they wished consuls or military tribunes to assume the office, and that whichever course met with the approval of all the voters should prevail; moreover, that the preliminary decree should be passed each year.


Roman antiquities 11.61
This motion of Genucius was received with general applause, and almost all who rose up after him conceded that this was the best course. The preliminary decree was accordingly drawn up by order of the consuls; and the tribunes, receiving it with great joy, proceeded to the Forum. Then they called an assembly of the people, and after giving much praise to the senate, urged such of the plebeians as cared to do so to stand for this magistracy together with the patricians. But such a fickle thing, it seems, is desire apart from reason and so quickly does it veer the other way, particularly in the case of the masses, that those who hitherto had regarded it as a matter of supreme importance to have a share in the magistracy and, if this were not granted to them by the patricians, were ready either to abandon the city, as they had done before, or to seize the privilege by force of arms, now, when they had obtained the concession, promptly relinquished their desire for it and transferred their enthusiasm in the opposite direction. At any rate, though many plebeians stood for the military tribuneship and used the most earnest solicitations to obtain it, the people thought none of them worthy of this honour but, when they came to give their votes, chose the patrician candidates, men of distinction, namely Aulus Sempronius Atratinus, Lucius Atilius Luscus and Titus Cloelius Siculus.


Roman antiquities 11.62
These men were the first to assume the proconsular power,in the third year of the eighty-fourth Olympiad,when Diphilus was archon at Athens. But after holding it for only seventy-three days they voluntarily resigned it, in accordance with the ancient custom, when some heaven-sent omens occurred to prevent their continuing to conduct the public business. After these men had abdicated their power, the senate met and chose interreges, who, having appointed a day for the election of magistrates, left the decision to the people whether they desired to choose military tribunes or consuls; and the people having decided to abide by their original customs, they gave leave to such of the patricians as so desired to stand for the consulship. Two of the patricians were again elected consuls, Lucius Papirius Mugillanus and Lucius Sempronius Atratinus, brother to one of the men who had resigned the military tribuneship. These two magistracies, both invested with the supreme power, governed the Romans in the course of the same year. However, both are not recorded in all the Roman annals, but in some the military tribunes only, in others the consuls, and in a few both of them. I agree with the last group, not without reason, but relying on the testimony of the sacred and secret books. No event, either military or civil, worthy of the notice of history happened during their magistracy, except a treaty of friendship and alliance entered into with the Ardeates; for these, dropping their complaints about the disputed territory, had sent ambassadors, asking to be admitted among the friends and allies of the Romans. This treaty was ratified by the consuls.


Roman antiquities 11.63
The following year, the people having voted that consuls should again be appointed, Marcus Geganius Macerinus (for the second time) and Titus Quintius Capitolinus (for the fifth time) entered upon the consulship on the ides of December. These men pointed out to the senate that many things had been overlooked and neglected by reason of the continuous military expeditions of the consuls, and particularly the most essential matter of all, the custom relating to the census, by which the number of such as were of military age was ascertained, together with the amount of their fortunes, in proportion to which every man was to pay his contributions for war. There had been no census for seventeen years, since the consulship of Lucius Cornelius and Quintus Fabius, so that . . . the basest and most licentious of the Romans shall leave (be left?), but remove to some place in which they may live as they have elected to live.