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Ancient texts

Liv. (2.56-3.8)
Dion.(9.43-69)

War against the Volsci and Aequi

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    Trial of  K. Quinctius

471-461BC

Anti plebeian genes
In the narrative about the war against the Volsci and Aequi once more an Appius Claudius plays a key role. Either this clan of the Claudii had an "anti plebeian gen" or the annalists simply choose this gens every time they needed such a figure.

After the murder of the peoples tribune Gn. Genucius the other tribunes were quite intimidated. And a levy was held without trouble. Almost...

A certain Volero Publilius made trouble because he was made a soldier instead of a centurion as he had been before. When the tribunes did nothing to help him he was helped by the people and in their midst he could hide himself for the consul and his lictors.

A clever law
Of course this man was elected plebeian tribune. He acted quite moderate and proposed a clever law. This was a new law for the election of the peoples tribunes. Instead of holding the election in the comitia centuriata the election would be held in the assemblies of the tribes. Why was this so important and why the patricians opposed so strongly against it?

  relief Roman man Patrician influence diminished
The patricians could influence the elections by means of their plebeian clients. Having one or two tribunes who would veto a proposal of law when asked to by a patrician would give the patricians the control. But if the elections were held in the tribes the patricians would loose this influence.

Appius Claudius
The patrician who opposed the law vigorously was of course Appius Claudius. He really hated the plebs and to his opinion they should be levied and kept under control in the army. So when he was elected consul in the next year he planned to show Rome how to run the plebs. But Volero and the Roman people got their law passed anyway.

Show respect or loose
Ap. Claudius marched out with his army against the Volscians. Quinctius his collegue was sent to the Aequi. Where Quinctius was succesful Claudius was not.
 

He bullied his soldiers and they hated to work for him. Passive resistance and refusing to fight led to defeat of Claudius's army. He severely punished those who had fled and lost their arms. The others were decimated

Trial
The next year Ap. Claudius was brought to trial, but he died before a verdict was pronounced. After this the war went back and forth until the Romans defeated their enemies.

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    Trial of  K. Quinctius

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