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Roman antiquities 10

Dionysius of Halicarnassus

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Roman antiquities 10.1
The year after their consulship occurred the eightieth Olympiad (the one at which Torymbas, a Thessalian, won the foot-race), Phrasicles being archon at Athens; and Publius Volumnius and Servius Sulpicius Camerinus were chosen consuls at Rome. These men led no army into the field, either to take revenge on those who had injured the Romans themselves as well as their allies or to keep guard over their possessions, but they devoted their attention to the domestic evils, fearing lest the populace might organize against the senate and work some mischief. For they were being stirred up again by the tribunes and instructed that the best of political institutions for free men is an equality of rights; and they demanded that all business both private and public should be carried on according to laws. For at that time there did not exist as yet among the Romans an equality either of laws or of rights, nor were all their principles of justice committed to writing; but at first their kings had dispensed justice to those who sought it, and whatever they decree was law. After they ceased to be governed by kings, along with the other functions of royalty that of determining what justice is devolved upon the annual consuls, and it was they who decided what was just between litigants in any matter whatsoever. These decisions as a rule conformed to the character of the magistrates, who were appointed to office on the basis of good birth.A very few of them, however, were kept in sacred books and had the force of laws; but the patricians alone were acquainted with these, because they spent their time in the capital, while the masses, who were either merchants or husbandmen and came down to the capital only for the markets at intervals of many days, were as yet unfamiliar with them. The first attempt to introduce this measure establishing an equality of rights was made by Gaius Terentius in the preceding year,while he was tribune; but he was forced to leave the business unfinished because the plebeians were then in the field and the consuls purposely detained the armies in the enemy's country till their term of office expired.

Roman antiquities 10.2
At the time in question Aulus Verginius and the other tribunes took up the measure and wished to carry it through. But in order to prevent this from happening and that the magistrates might not be compelled to conduct the government in accordance ith laws, the consuls, the senate and all the rest of the citizens of greatest influence in the commonwealth kept resorting to all manner of devices. There were many sessions of the senate and continual meetings of the assembly, and attempts of all kinds were made by the magistrates against one another; from all of which it was manifest to everyone that some great and irreparable mischief to the commonwealth would arise out of this contention. To these human reasonings were added the terrible portents sent by the gods, some of which were neither found recorded in the public archives nor were the memory of them preserved by any other means. As for all the flashes shooting through the sky and outbursts of fire continuing in one place, the rumblings of the earth and its continual tremblings that occurred, the spectres, now of one shape and now of another, flitting through the air and voices that disturbed men's minds, and everything else of that nature which took place, all these manifestations were found to have occurred in times past as well, to either a greater or lesser degree. But a prodigy which they were unfamiliar with as yet and had never heard of, and the one which caused them the greatest terror was this: There descended upon the earth from heaven what appeared to be a heavy snowstorm, only it brought down, instead of snow, pieces of flesh, some smaller and some larger. Most of these while still in mid air were seized by flocks of birds of every kind, which flew up and snatched them in their beaks; but those pieces which fell to the ground, both in the city itself and in the country, lay there a long time without either changing to such a colour as pieces of flesh acquire with time, or becoming rotten, and no bad smell was given off by them. The native soothsayers were unable to conjecture the meaning of this prodigy; but in the Sibylline books it was found that the city would be involved in a struggle to prevent the enslavement of its citizens after foreign enemies had penetrated inside the walls, and that this war against the foreigners would begin with civil strife, which they must banish from the city in its inception, invoking the gods by sacrifices and prayers to avert the dangers; then they would gain the victory over their enemies. When this had been announced to the multitude, the priests who were in charge of such matters first sacrificed victims to the gods who remedy and avert evils; after which the senate assembled in the senate-house, the tribunes being also present, and considered means of safeguarding and preserving the commonwealth.

Roman antiquities 10.3
As for putting an end to their mutual recriminations and acting with unanimity concerning public affairs, as the oracles advised, all were in agreement; but how this was to be brought about, and which party should take the first step by yielding to the other the point at issue and thus put an end to the dissension, caused them no little embarrassment. For the consuls and the leaders of the senate declared that the tribunes who were proposing new measures and demanding the overthrow of the time-honoured constitution were to blame for the disturbance. On the other hand, the tribunes denied that they were asking for anything that was either unjust or disadvantageous when they wished to introduce a good system of lawsequality of rights, but declared that the consuls and the patrician would be to blame for the dissension if they increased the spirit of lawlessness and greed and emulated the usual practices of tyrants. These and many like reproaches were uttered by each side for many days and the time passed in vain; meanwhile no business in the city, either public or private, was being brought to completion. When nothing worth while was being accomplished, the tribunes desisted from the kind of harangues and accusations they were wont to make against the senate; and calling an assembly of the populace, they promised them to bring in a law embodying their demands. This being approved of by the populace, they read without further delay the law which they had prepared, the chief provisions of which were as follows: That ten men should be chosen by the people meeting in a legitimate assembly, men who were at once the oldest and the most prudent and had the greatest regard for honour and a good reputation; that these men should draw up the laws concerning all matters both public and private and lay them before the people; and that the laws to be drawn up by them should be exposed in the Forum for the benefit of the magistrates who should be chosen each year and also of persons in private station, as a code defining the mutual rights of citizens. After the tribunes had proposed this law, they gave leave to all who so desired to speak against it, appointing the third market-day for this purpose. Many in fact ? and those not the least important of the senators, both old and young ? did speak against the law, delivering speeches that were the result of much thought and preparation; and this went on for many days. Then the tribunes, chafing at the loss of time, would no longer permit the opponents of the law to speak against it, but appointing a day for ratifying it, urged the plebeians to be present in force, assuring them that they should not be bored by any more long harangues but should give their votes by tribes concerning the law. After making these promises the tribunes dismissed the assembly.

Roman antiquities 10.4
After this the consuls and the most influential of the patricians, going to the tribunes, upbraided them more harshly than before, saying that they would not permit them to propose laws, and especially laws not recommended by a preliminary decree of the senate. For laws were compacts of states affecting all alike, and not of a single portion of the residents of states. They further pointed out that it is the first step in the most wicked, irremediable and indecent ruination for both states and households when the worst element prescribes laws for the best. "And what authority," they asked, "have you, tribunes, to introduce or to abrogate laws? Did you not receive this magistracy from the senate upon explicit terms? Did you not ask that the tribunes might come to the assistance of those of the poor who were injured and oppressed, but should meddle with nothing else? But, be that as it may, even if you previously possessed some power which you had wrongfully extorted from us, because the senate weakly gave in to each encroachment of yours, have you not lost even this power now through the changed character of your elections? For neither a decree of the senate appoints you any longer to the magistracy, nor do the curiae give their votes concerning you, nor are there offered up to the gods before your election the sacrifices appointed by the laws, nor is anything else done in connexion with your magistracy that is holy in the eyes of the gods or right in the sight of men. What share have you, then, any longer in any of the things that are holy and call for reverence ? of which the law was one ? now that you have renounced everything lawful?" These were the arguments that the older and the young patricians, going about the city in organized groups, used with the tribunes. The more fair-minded of the plebeians they sought to win over by friendly intercourse, and the refractory and turbulent they attempted to terrify with threats of dangers which they would incur unless they came to their senses. Indeed, in the case of some who were very poor and abject and cared naught for the public interests in comparison with their own advantage, they drove them out of the Forum with blows as if they had been slaves.

Roman antiquities 10.5
But the person who was attended with the largest number of followers and had the most influence of all the young men at that time was Caeso Quintius, the son of Lucius Quintius called Cincinnatus, a man of both illustrious birth and of a fortune inferior to none, the handsomest of youths to look upon, distinguished above all others in warfare, and possessing a natural talent for speaking. This he freely indulged at that time against the plebeians; and he neither spared words hard for free men to listen to nor refrained from deeds that matched his words. For these reasons the patricians held him in great esteem and urged him to continue on his dangerous course, promising to afford him impunity; but the plebeians hated him above all men. This man the tribunes determined to remove out of the way first, expecting to terrify the rest of the youths and compel them to act sensibly. Having come to this decision and got ready their accusations and numerous witnesses, they brought him to trial for a crime against the state, for which they fixed death as the penalty. When they had summoned him to appear before the populace and the day they had appointed for the trial had come, they called an assembly and delivered lengthy speeches against him, enumerating all the acts of violence he had committed against the plebeians and presenting as witnesses the victims of his acts in person. When they gave him leave to speak, the youth himself, being called upon to make his defence, refused, but asked the right to give satisfaction to the private persons themselves for the injuries of which they accused him, the hearing to take place before the consuls. His father, however, observing that the plebeians were offended by the haughtiness of the youth, endeavoured to excuse him by showing that most of the accusations were false and deliberately invented against his son; that the instances which he could not deny were slight and trivial and not deserving the resentment of the public, and that not even these had proceeded from design or insolence, but from a youthful ambition which had led him to do many unpremeditated things in scrimmages ? perhaps to suffer many too ? since he was neither at the prime of life nor at the best age for clear judgement. he asked the plebeians not only to entertain no resentment for the offences which he had committed against a few, but even to feel grateful for the services he had constantly rendered to them all in the wars while trying to secure liberty for his fellow citizens in private life, supremacy for his country, and for himself, if he should be guilty of any offence, friendly consideration and succour from the people generally. He proceeded to enumerate all the campaigns and all the battles in which he had received from his generals rewards of valour and crowns, how many citizens he had shielded in battle, and how often he had been the first man to scale the enemy's walls. And at last he ended with appeals to their compassion and with entreaties; in consideration of his fairness toward all men and of his life in general, which stood approved as free from all reproach, he asked of the people one single favour ? to safeguard his son for him.

Roman antiquities 10.6
The people were exceedingly pleased with this speech and were eager to grant the life of the youth to his father. But Verginius, perceiving that if he were not punished the boldness of the headstrong youths would become intolerable, rose up and said: "As for you, Quintius, not only all your other merits, but also your goodwill toward the plebeians is amply attested, and for these you have received phonour. But the offensive behaviour of this youth and his haughtiness toward us all admit of no palliation or pardon; for though nurtured in your principles, which are so democratic and moderate, as we are all aware, he despised your ways of life and grew fond of a tyrannical arrogance and a barbarian insolence, and has introduced into our commonwealth an emulation of base deeds. If, therefore, you were unaware hitherto of his character, now that you know it, you ought in justice to be indignant on our account; but if you were privy to and took part in the foul abuse he was wont to pour out upon the unhappy lot of the poor citizens, then you too were base and did not deserve the reputation for uprightness that has come to you. But that you did not know him to be unworthy of your excellence I myself can bear you witness. Nevertheless, though I acquit you of joining with him in injuring us at that time, I blame you for not joining with us now in resenting those injuries. And that you may know better how great a bane you have reared up unwittingly against the commonwealth, how cruel and tyrannical and not even free from the murder of his fellow citizens, listen to an ambitious exploit of his and balance it against the rewards of valour he received in the wars. And as many of you plebeians as were just now affected with the compassion which this man endeavoured to arouse, consider whether it is after all well for you to spare such a citizen."

Roman antiquities 10.7
Having spoken thus, he asked Marcus Volscius, one of his colleagues, to rise up and tell what he knew about the youth. When all had become silent and full of expectation, Volscius, after a short pause, said: "I should have preferred, citizens, to receive from this man private satisfaction, such as the law affords me, for the terrible and worse than terrible wrongs I have suffered; but having been prevented from obtaining this by reason of poverty and lack of influence and because of my being one of the common crowd, now, when it is possible, I shall take the r?le of a witness, since I can not take that of an accuser. Hear from me, then, the things I have suffered, how cruel, how irreparable they were. I had a brother, Lucius, whom I loved above all men. He and I supped with a friend and afterwards, as night came on,we rose and departed. When we had passed through the Forum, Caeso here fell in with us as he was revelling with other insolent youths. At first they laughed at us and abused us, as young men when drunk and arrogant are apt to abuse the humble and poor; and when we were vexed at them, Lucius spoke out frankly to this man. But Caeso here, thinking it outrageous to have anything said to him that he did not like, ran up to him, and beating and kicking him and showing every other form of cruelty and abuse, killed him. And when I cried out and was doing all I could to defend him, Caeso, leaving my brother Lucius where he already lay dead, fell to beating me in turn, and ceased not until he saw me cast down upon the ground motionless and speechless, so that he took me to be dead. After that he went away rejoicing, as if over a noble deed. As for us, some persons who came along later took us up, covered with blood, and carried us home, my brother being dead, as I said, and I half dead and having little hope of living. happened in the consulship of Publius Servilius and Lucius Aebutius, when the city was attacked by the great pestilence, which both of us caught. At that time, therefore, it was not possible for me to obtain justice against him, since both consuls were dead; then, when Lucius Lucretius and Titus Veturius had succeeded to the office, I wished to bring him to trial, but was prevented by the war, both consuls having left the city. After they returned from the campaign, I often cited him to appear before those magistrates, but as often as I approached them ? as many of the citizens know ? I received blows from him. These are the things I have suffered, plebeians, and I have related them to you with complete truthfulness."

Roman antiquities 10.8
After he had finished speaking, an outcry arose from those who were present and many rushed to take vengeance out of hand; but they were prevented both by the consuls and also by the majority of the tribunes, who were unwilling to introduce a pernicious custom into the commonwealth. Indeed, the most honourable element among the plebeians too was unwilling to deprive of a defence those who were in jeopardy of their lives. Upon this occasion, therefore, a regard for justice restrained the impulse of the bolder spirits, and the trial was put off; though no small contest and questioning arose concerning the defendant's person, whether he should be kept in chains in the meantime or should give sureties for his appearance, as his father required. The senate, assembling, ordered that if bail were offered his person should be free till the trial. The next day the tribunes assembled the populace and, the youth not appearing for trial, they caused a vote to be passed for his condemnation and compelled his sureties, ten in number, to pay over the sums agreed upon in case of their failure to produce his person. Caeso, accordingly, having fallen a victim to a plot of this sort ? for the tribunes had contrived the whole business and Volscius had borne false witness, as became clear later ? went into exile in Tyrrhenia. His father sold the greater part of his estate and repaid the sureties the sums agreed upon, leaving nothing for himself but one small farm lying on the other side of the river Tiber, on which there was an humble cottage; and there, cultivating the farm with the help of a few slaves, he led a laborious and miserable life because of his grief and poverty, neither visiting the city nor greeting his friends nor taking part in the festivals nor allowing himself any other pleasure. The tribunes, however, were greatly disappointed in their expectations; for the contentiousness of the young men, far from being chastened by the unhappy fate of Caeso, grew much more vexatious and excessive as they fought the law with both actions and words. The result was that the tribunes were unable to accomplish anything more, the whole time of their magistracy being taken up with these contests. The populace, however, chose them again as their magistrates for the following year.

Roman antiquities 10.9
When Publius Valerius Publicola and Gaius Claudius Sabinus had assumed the consular power, a danger greater than ever before came upon Rome from a foreign war;and it was brought upon her by the civil dissension inside the walls, as both the Sibylline oracles and the portents sent by Heaven had foretold the year before. I shall relate not only the cause from which the war arose, but also the action taken by the consuls during that contest. The men who had assumed tribuneship for the second time in the hope of securing the ratification of the law, observing that one of the consuls, Gaius Claudius, had an inborn hatred of the plebeians, inherited from his ancestors, and was prepared to defeat the plans afoot by every possible means, that the most influential of the youths had reached the point of open desperation, with no possibility of their being subdued by forcible means, and above all, that most of the populace were yielding to the blandishments of the patricians and no longer exhibiting the same zeal for the law, resolved to take a bolder course toward their goal, by which they expected to dumbfound the populace and unseat the consul. First, then, they caused all manner of rumours to be spread throughout the city; afterwards they sat in council publicly throughout the whole day from early morning without admitting any outsiders to their counsels and discussions. Then, when it seemed to them to be the proper time for putting their plans into execution, they forged letters and contrived to have these delivered to them by an unknown person as they sat in the Forum; and as soon as they had perused them, they sprang up, beating their foreheads and assuming downcast countenances. And when a large crowd had flocked together and was conjecturing that some dreadful intelligence was contained in the letters, they ordered the heralds to proclaim silence and then said: "Your plebeians are in the gravest peril, citizens; and if some benevolence of the gods had not provided for those who were on the point of suffering injustice, we should all have fallen into dire calamities. We ask you to have a little patience till we acquaint the senate with the information we have received and after consulting with them take the necessary measures." Having spoken this, they went to the consuls. While the senate was assembling, many reports of all kinds circulated in the Forum, as some persons, by previous arrangement, talking in groups, retailed the stories suggested to them by the tribunes, and others named the things they most dreaded to have happen as the matters that had been reported to the tribunes. One said that the Aequians and the Volscians, having received Caeso Quintius, the man condemned by the populace, had chosen him general of both nations with absolute power, had raised numerous forces, and were upon the point of marching on Rome; another said that by the concerted plan of the patricians he was being brought back by foreign troops in order that the magistracy which was the guardian of the plebeians might be abolished now and forever; and still another said that not all the patricians had decided on this course, but only the young men. ventured to state that Caeso was actually inside the city, in hiding, and was about to seize the most advantageous positions. While the whole city was shaken by expectation of these calamities and all men suspected and were on their guard against one another, the consuls assembled the senate, and the tribunes, going in, acquainted them with the reports that were being received. The one who addressed them on behalf of the others was Aulus Verginius, and he spoke as follows:

Roman antiquities 10.10
"As long as there seemed to us to be nothing definite about the dangers that were being reported, but there were only vague rumours and nothing to confirm them, we were reluctant, senators, to lay before you the reports about them, both because we suspected there would be great disturbances, as would be likely in a time of dreadful rumours, and also because we were afraid of appearing to you to have acted with greater precipitancy than prudence. We did not, however, ignore or neglect these reports, but inquired with all possible diligence into the truth of them. And since the divine providence, by which our commonwealth is ever preserved, is rightly bringing to light the hidden plans and wicked attempts of those who are enemies to the gods; since we have letters, just now received from foreign friends, who thus show their goodwill to us and whose names you shall later hear; since information given here at home coincides and agrees with the reports sent in from outside; and since these matters no longer admit of delay or postponement, being at our very doors, we have decided to report them to you, as is proper, before laying them before the populace. Know, then, that a conspiracy has been formed against the populace by men of prominence, among whom, it is said, there is a small number ? not many ? even of the older men who meet in this chamber, though the larger number are knights who are not members of the senate, whose names it is not yet the time to tell you. They intend, now, as we learn, to take advantage of a dark night and attack us while we are asleep, when we can neither provide against anything that is taking place nor get together in a body to defend ourselves, and, rushing into our houses, to cut the throats, not only of us tribunes, but of all the other plebeians also who have ever opposed them in defence of their liberty or may oppose them for the future. And after they have made away with us, they believe that then at last they will easily bring about the abrogation, by a unanimous vote on your part, of the compacts you made with the populace. But perceiving that they need for their purpose a body of foreign troops secretly got in readiness ? and that no moderate force ? they have to this end adopted as their leader one of your exiles, Caeso Quintius, a man whom, though convicted of the murder of his fellow citizens and of raising a sedition in the state, some of the members of this body contrived to save from paying the penalty, letting him go out of the city unharmed, and have promised to restore him to his country and are offering him magistracies and honours and other rewards for his help. And he on his part has promised to bring to their assistance as large a force of the Aequians and Volscians as they shall ask for. He himself will soon appear at the head of the most daring, whom he will introduce into the city secretly, a few at a time and in small bodies; the rest of the force, as soon as we who are the leaders of the populace are destroyed, will fall next upon the rest of the poor, if any of them cling to their liberty. These are the dreadful and wicked plans, senators, which they have concocted under cover of darkness and intend to carry out without either fearing the anger of the gods or heeding the indignation of men.

Roman antiquities 10.11
"Being tossed about on such a rough sea of perils, fathers, we come to you as suppliants, calling to witness the gods and lesser divinities to whom we sacrifice in common; and reminding you of the many great wars we have waged side by side with you, we implore you not to allow us to suffer this cruel and wicked fate at the hands of our enemies, but to assist us and share our indignation, joining with us in exacting suitable punishment from those who have formed these designs ? from all of them preferably, but if that may not be, then at least from the authors of this nefarious conspiracy. First of all we ask, senators, that you will pass a measure that is in every respect just, to the effect that the investigation of the matters of which we have been informed shall be conducted by us, the tribunes. For, apart from the justice of this request, those investigations are bound to be strictest which are made by those whose own lives soldier in danger. If there are any among you who are not disposed to show a conciliatory spirit at all, but oppose every man who speaks in favour of the populace, I should like to inquire of them what there is in our demands that displeases them and what course they intend to recommend to you. Will it be to make no investigation whatever, but to ignore so awful and abominable a plot that is forming against the populace? Yet who would say that those who take that line are honest, and are not rather tainted with the same corruption and sharers in the conspiracy, and then, because they are afraid they will be discovered, vigorously oppose the inquiry into the truth? To such, surely, you would not rightly pay any heed. Or will they demand that those who are to have authority to determine the truth of these reports shall be, not we, the tribunes, but the senate and the consuls? What, then, is to prevent the leaders of the populace also from saying the same thing in case some plebeians, conspiring against the consuls and the senate, should plot the abolition of the latter ? that, namely, the investigation of the plebeians would justly be made by the very men who have assumed the protection of the populace? What, then, will be the consequence of this procedure? Why, that no inquiry will ever be made into any secret matter. But, just as we would never make this demand ? for partisan zeal arouses suspicion ? so you would not be doing right in paying heed to those who insist upon the same course against us; on the contrary, you should look upon them as the common enemies of the state. However, senators, nothing is so necessary in the present juncture as haste; for the danger is acute, and delay in providing for our security is unseasonable in the presence of dangers that delay not. Do you, therefore, putting aside your rivalry and your long harangues, pass at once whatever decree seems conducive to the public good."

Roman antiquities 10.12
When he had thus spoken, great consternation and embarrassment came upon the senate. They discussed and talked over with one another the difficulty of either course ? either to grant or to refuse the tribunes permission to make investigations by themselves of a matter of general concern and great importance. And one of the consuls, Gaius Claudius, suspecting their intentions, rose up and spoke as follows: "I am not afraid, Verginius, that these men here will imagine that I am an accomplice in the conspiracy which you say is being formed against you and the populace, and that then, out of fear for myself or for some relation of mine who is guilty of this charge, I have risen to oppose you; for the whole course of my life clears me of any suspicion of the sort. But what I consider to be advantageous for both the senate and the people I will say in all good faith and without reservation. Verginius seems to me to be greatly, or rather totally, mistaken if he imagines that any of us will same either that a matter of so great importance and necessity ought to be left uninvestigated or that the magistrates of the populace ought not to take part in or be present at the inquiry. No man is so foolish or so ill-disposed toward the populace as to say that. If, then, anyone should ask me what possessed me to rise up to oppose those measures which I agree to and admit to be just, and what my purpose is in speaking, by Heaven I will ell you. I believe, senators, that sensible men ought to examine minutely the beginnings and basic principles of every measure; for of whatever nature these may be, such also must be all discussion about them. Well then, learn from me what the basic principle of this measure is and what the purpose of the tribunes is. These men would not be able to carry out now any of the undertakings they were prevented from accomplishing last year if both you were to oppose them as before and the populace were no longer to espouse their quarrel with the same zeal. Since they were aware of these difficulties, they considered by what means not only you might be compelled to yield to them contrary to your judgement, but the populace also might be forced to assist them in everything they should desire. But finding no true or just basis for gaining both these ends, after trying various plans and turning the matter this way and that, they at last hit upon some such reasoning as this: 'Let us accuse some prominent men of a conspiracy to overthrow the power of the populace and of having decided to cut the throats of those who assure the safety of the populace. And after we have contrived to have these reports talked about for a long time throughout the city and when the multitude at last believe them to be trustworthy ? and they will do so because of their fear ? let us devise a way to have letters delivered to us in the presence of many by an unknown person. Then let us go to the senate, express our indignation, make angry complaints and demand authority to investigate the reports. For if the patricians oppose our demand, we will seize this opportunity to malign them before the populace, and by this means the whole body of the plebeians will become enraged against them and will be ready to support us in everything we desire; and, on the other hand, if they grant it, let us banish those of them who are of the most noble birth and have opposed us the most, both older men and young, as persons we have discovered to be guilty of the charge. These men, then, in their fear of being condemned, will either come to terms with us to make no further opposition or else will be compelled to leave the city. By this means we shall thoroughly devastate the opposition.'

Roman antiquities 10.13
"These were their plans, senators, and during the time you saw them holding sessions this plot was being spun by them against the best of your members and this net was being woven against the noblest of the knights. To prove that this is true requires very few words on my part. For come, tell me, Verginius and you others who are to suffer these dreadful evils, who are the foreign friends from whom you received the letters? Where do they live? How did they become acquainted with you? Or by what means do they know what is being discussed here? Who do you defer naming these man and keep promising to do it later on, instead of having named them long since? And who is the man who brought the letters to you? Why do you not bring him before us, that we may begin first of all with him to pursue the inquiry whether these reports are true or, as I maintain, your own fictions? And the informations that come from persons here, which you say agree with the foreign letters, what are they and by whom given? Why do you conceal the proofs and not ring them to light? But I suspect it is impossible to find proof of such things as neither have happened nor will happen. These are indications, senators, not of a conspiracy against the tribunes here, but of treachery and an evil purpose against you which these men have been secretly cherishing. For the facts themselves cry aloud. But you senators are to blame for this, since you made the first concessions to them and armed their senseless magistracy with great power when you permitted Caeso Quintius to be tried by them last year on false charges and permitted so great a defender of the aristocracy to be destroyed by them. For this reason they no longer show any moderation nor do they lop off the men of birth one by one, but are already rounding up the good men en masse and expelling them from the city. And, in addition to all the other evils, they demand that no one of you even speak in opposition to them, but by exposing him to suspicions and accusations as an accomplice in those secret plots they try to terrify him and promptly call him an enemy of the populace and cite him to appear before their assembly to stand trial for what he has said here. But another occasion will be more suitable for discussing this matter. For the present I will curtail my remarks and will cease running on at greater length, merely advising you to guard against these men as disturbers of the commonwealth and as germs of great evils. And not here alone do I say these things, while intending to conceal them from the populace; on the contrary, I shall there also employ a frankness that is merited, showing them that no mischief hangs over their heads unless it be wicked and deceitful leaders who under the guise of friendship are doing the deeds of enemies." When the consul had thus spoken, there was shouting and much applause by all present; and without even permitting the tribunes to reply, they dismissed the session. Then Verginius, calling an assembly of the populace, inveighed against both the senate and the consuls, and Claudius defended them, repeating the same things he had said in the senate. The more fair-minded among the plebeians suspected that their fear was unwarranted, while the more simple-minded, giving credence to the reports, thought it real; but all among them who were ill-disposed and were forever craving a change did not have the foresight to examine into the truth or falsehood of the reports, but sought an occasion for sedition and tumult.

Roman antiquities 10.14
While the city was in such turmoil,a man of the Sabine race, of no obscure birth and powerful because of his wealth, Appius Herdonius by name, attempted to overthrow the supremacy of the Romans, with a view either of making himself tyrant or of winning dominion and power for the Sabine nation or else of gaining against name for himself. Having revealed his purpose to many of his friends and explained to them his plan for executing it, and having received their approval, he assembled his clients and the most daring of his servants and in a short time got together a force of about four thousand men. Then, after supplying them with arms, provisions and everything else that is needed for war, he embarked them on river-boats and, sailing down the river Tiber, landed at that part of Rome where the Capitol stands, not a full stade distant from the river. It was then midnight and there was profound quiet throughout the entire city; with this to help him he disembarked his men in haste, and passing through the gate which was open (for there is a certain sacred gate of the Capitol, called the porta Carmentalis, which by the direction of some oracle is always left open), he ascended the hill with his troops and captured the fortress. From there he pushed on to the citadel, which adjoins the Capitol, and took possession of that also. It was his intention, after seizing the most advantageous positions, to receive the exiles, to summon the slaves to liberty, to promise the needy an abolition of debts, and to share the spoils with any other citizens who, being themselves of low condition, envied and hated those of lofty station and would have welcomed a change. The hope that both inspired him with confidence and deceived him, by leading him to believe that he should fail of none of his expectations, was based on the civil dissension, because of which he imagined that neither any friendship nor any intercourse would any longer exist between the populace and the patricians. if none of these expectations should turn out according to his wish, he had resolved in that event to call in not only the Sabines with all their forces, but also the volscians and as many from the other neighbouring peoples as desired to be delivered from the hated domination of the Romans.

Roman antiquities 10.15
It so happened, however, that all his hopes were disappointed; for neither the slaves deserted to him nor did the exiles return nor did the unfranchised and the debtors seek their private advantage at the expense of the public good, and the reinforcements from outside did not have time enough to prepare for war, since within three or four days all told the affair was at an end, after causing the Romans great fear and turmoil. For upon the capture of the fortresses, followed by a sudden outcry and flight of all those living near those places ? save those who were slain at once ? the mass of the citizens, not knowing what the peril was, seized their arms and rushed together, some hastening to the heights of the city, others to the open places, which were very numerous, and still others to the plains near by. Those who were past the prime of life and were incapacitated in bodily strength occupied the roofs of the houses together with the women, thinking to fight from there against the invaders; for they imagined that every part of the city was full of fighting. But when it was day and it came to be known what fortresses of the city were taken and who the person was who had possession of them, the consuls, going into the Forum, called the citizens to arms. The tribunes, however, summoned the populace to an assembly and declared that, while they did not care to do anything opposed to the advantage of the commonwealth, they thought it just, when the populace were going to undertake so great a struggle, that they should go and meet the danger upon fixed and definite terms. If, therefore," they went on to say, "the patricians will promise you, and are willing to give pledges, confirmed by oaths, that as soon as this war is over they will allow you to appoint lawgivers and for the future to enjoy equal rights in the government, let us assist them in freeing the fatherland. But if they consent to no reasonable conditions, why do we incur danger and give up our lives for them, when we are to reap no advantage?" While they were speaking thus and the people were persuaded and would not listen to even a word from those who offered any other advice, Claudius declared that he had no use for such allies, who were not willing to come to the aid of the fatherland voluntarily, but only for a reward, and that no moderate one; but the patricians by themselves, he said, taking up arms in their own persons and in the persons of the clients who adhered to them, joined also by any of the plebeians who would voluntarily assist them in the war, must with these besiege the fortresses. And if even so their force should seem to them inadequate, they must call on the Latins and the Hernicans, and, if necessary, must promise liberty to the slaves and invite all sorts of people rather than those who harboured a grudge against them in times like these. But the other consul, Valerius, opposed this, believing that they ought not to render the plebeians, who were already exasperated, absolutely implacable against the patricians; and he advised them to yield to the situation, and while arraying against their foreign foes the demands of strict justice, to combat the long-winded discourses of their fellow citizens with terms of moderation and reasonableness. When the majority of the senators decided that this advice was the best, he appeared before the popular assembly and made a decorous speech, at the end of which he swore that if the people would assist in this war with alacrity and conditions in the city should become settled, he would permit the tribunes to lay before the populace for decision the law which they were trying to introduce concerning an equality of laws, and would use his utmost endeavours that their vote should be carried into effect during his consulship. But it was fated, it seems, that he should perform none of these promises, the doom of death being near at hand for him.

Roman antiquities 10.16
After the assembly had been dismissed in the late afternoon, they all flocked to their appointed places, giving in their names to the generals and taking the military oath. During that day, then, and all the following night they were thus employed. The next day the centurions were assigned by the consuls to their commands and to the sacred standards; and the crowd which lived in the country also in great numbers flocked in. Everything being soon made ready, the consuls divided the forces and drew lots for their commands. It fell to the lot of Claudius to keep guard before the walls, lest some army from outside should come to the relief of the enemy in the city; for everybody suspected that there would be very serious turmoil, and they feared that all their foes would fall upon them at the same time with united forces. To Valerius Fortune assigned the siege of the fortresses. Commanders were appointed to occupy the other strong places also that lay within the city, and others were posted in the streets leading to the Capitol, to prevent the slaves and the poor from going over to the enemy ? the thing of which they were most afraid. No assistance reached them in time from any of their allies save only from the Tusculans, who, the same night they heard of the invasion, had made ready to march, their commander being Lucius Mamilius, a man of action, who held the chief magistracy in their city at that time. These alone shared the danger with Valerius and aided him in capturing the fortresses, displaying all goodwill and alacrity. fortresses were attacked from all sides; some of the attackers, fitting vessels of bitumen and burning pitch to their slings, hurled them over the hills from the roofs of neighbouring houses, and others, gathering bundles of dry faggots, raised lofty heaps of them against the steep parts of the cliff and set them on fire when they could commit the flames to a favourable wind. All the bravest of the troops, closing their ranks, went up by the roads that had been built to the summits. But neither their numbers, in which they were greatly superior to the enemy, were of any service to them when they were ascending by a narrow road, full of broken fragments of rock the came crashing down upon them from above, where a small body of men would be a match for a large one; nor was their constancy in dangers, which they had acquired by their training in many wars, of any advantage to them when forcing their way up steep heights. For it was not a situation that called for the display of the daring and perseverance of hand-to-hand fighting, but rather for the tactics of fighting with missiles. Moreover, the blows made by missiles shot from below up to lofty targets were slow on arrival and ineffective, naturally, even if they hit their mark, while the blows of missiles hurled down from above came with high speed and violence, the very weight of the weapons contributing to the force with which they were thrown. Nevertheless, the men attacking the ramparts were not easily discouraged, but bravely endured the hard rations of unavoidable dangers, ceasing not from their toils either by day or by night. At last, when the missiles of the besieged gave out and their strength failed them, the Romans reduced the fortresses on the third day. In this action they lost many brave men, among them the consul, who was universally acknowledged to have been the best of them all; he, even after he had received many wounds, did not retire from danger until a huge rock, crashing down upon him as he was mounting the other wall, snatched from him at once the victory and himself life. As the fortresses were being taken, Herdonius, who was remarkable for his physical strength and brave in action, after piling up an incredible heap of dead bodies about him, perished under a multitude of missiles. Of those who had aided him in seizing the fortresses some few were taken alive, but the greater part either killed themselves with their swords or hurled themselves down the cliffs.

Roman antiquities 10.17
The war with the brigands being thus ended, the tribunes rekindled the civil strife once more by demanding of the surviving consul the fulfilment of the promises made to them by Valerius, who perished in the fighting, with regard to the introduction of the law. But Claudius for a time kept procrastinating, now by performing lustrations for the city, now by offering sacrifices of thanksgiving to the gods, and again by entertaining the multitude with games and shows. When all his excuses had been exhausted, he finally declared that another consul must be chosen in place of the deceased; for he said that the acts performed by him all would be neither legal nor lasting, whereas those performed by two of them would be legitimate and valid. Having put them off with this pretence, he appointed a day for the election, when he would nominate his colleague. In the meantime the leading men of the senate, consulting together in private, agreed among themselves upon the person to whom they would entrust the magistracy. And when the day appointed for the election had come and the herald had called the first class, the eighteen centuries of knights together with the eighty centuries of foot, consisting of the wealthiest citizens, entering the appointed place, chose as consul Lucius Quintius Cincinnatus, whose son Caeso Quintius the tribunes had brought to trial for his life and compelled to leave the city. And no other class being called to vote ? for the centuries which had voted were three more in be than the remaining centuries ? the populace departed, regarding it as a grievous misfortune that a man who hated them was to be possessed of the consular power. Meanwhile the senate sent men to invite the consul and to conduct him to the city to assume his magistracy. It chanced that Quintius was just then ploughing a piece of land for sowing, he himself following the gaunt oxen that were breaking up the fallow; he had no tunic on, wore a small loin-cloth and had a cap upon his head. Upon seeing a crowd of people come into the field he stopped his plough and for a long time was at a loss to know who they were or what they wanted of him; then, when some one ran up to him and bade him make himself more presentable, he went into the cottage and after putting on his clothes came out to them. Thereupon the men who were sent to escort him all greeted him, not by his name, but as consul; and clothing him with the purple-bordered robe and placing before him the axes and the other insignia of his magistracy, they asked him to follow them to the city. And he, pausing for a moment and shedding tears, said only this: "So my field will go unsown this year, and we shall be indicate danger of having not enough to live on." Then he kissed his wife, and charging her to take care of things at home, went to the city. I am led to related these particulars for no other reason than to let all the world see what kind of men the leaders of Rome were at that time, that they worked with their own hands, led frugal lives, did not chafe under honourable poverty, and, far from aiming at positions of royal power, actually refused them when offered. For it will be seen that the Romans of to-day do not bear the least resemblance to them, but follow the very opposite practices in everything ? with the exception of a very few by whom the dignity of the commonwealth is still maintained and a resemblance to those men preserved. But enough on this subject.

Roman antiquities 10.18
Quintius, having succeeded to the consulship, caused the tribunes to desist from their new measures and from their insistence upon the proposed law by announcing that if they did not cease disturbing the commonwealth he would give notice of an expedition against the Volscians and would lead all the Romans out of the city. When the tribunes said they would not permit him to enrol an army, he called an assembly of the populace and declared that since they had all taken the military oath, swearing that they would follow the consuls in any wars to which they should be called and would neither desert the standards nor do anything else contrary to law, and since he had assumed the consular power, he held them all bound to him by their oaths. Having said this and sworn that he would invoke the law against those who disobeyed, he ordered the standards to be brought out of the temples. "And to the end," he added, "that you may renounce all agitation by demagogues during my consulship, I will not withdraw the army from the enemy's country until my whole term of office has expired. Expect therefore, to pass the winter in the field and prepare everything necessary against that time." Having terrified them with these threats, when he saw that they had become more orderly and begged to be let off from the campaign, he said he would grant them a respite from war upon these conditions, that they create no more disturbances but allow him to administer his office as he wished to the end, and that in their dealings with one another they give as well as receive strict justice.

Roman antiquities 10.19
The tumult having been appeased, he restored of all plaintiffs recourse to courts of law, a matter for a long time delayed; and he himself decided most suits, with fairness and justice, sitting on the tribunal the whole day and showing himself easy of access, mild and humane to all who came to him for judgement. By this means he made the government seem so truly an aristocracy that neither tribunes were needed by those who through poverty, humble birth or any other point of inferiority were oppressed by their superiors, nor was any desire for new legislation longer felt by those who wished for a government based on equal rights; but all were contented and pleased with the law and order which then came to prevail in the commonwealth. Not only for these actions was Quintius praised by the populace, but also for refusing the consulship when, upon his completion of the appointed term of office, it was offered to him a second time, and for not even being pleased when that great honour was tendered him. For the senate attempted to retain him in the consulship, using many entreaties, because the tribunes for the third time had so managed that they did not have to lay down their office; for they were confident that he would oppose the tribunes and make them drop their new measures, partly out of respect and partly out of fear, and they also saw that the populace did not refuse to be governed by a good man. Quintius answered that he not only did not approve of this unwillingness on the part of the tribunes to give up their power, but he would not himself incur the same censure as they had. Then he called an assembly of the populace, and having inveighed in a long speech against those who would not resign their magistracies, and taken solemn oaths with reference to his refusal to take the consulship again before he had retired from his first term, he announced a day for the election; then on the appointed day having named the consuls, he returned to that little cottage of his and lived, as before, the life of a farmer working his own land.

Roman antiquities 10.20
Quintus Fabius Vibulanus (for the third time) and Lucius Cornelius having succeeded to the consulship and being employed in exhibiting the traditional games, a chosen body of the Aequians, amounting to about six thousand men and lightly equipped, set out from their confines by night and came, while it was still dark, to the city of Tusculum, which belongs to the Latin race and is not less than a hundred stades distant from Rome. And finding the gates not locked and the walls unguarded, it being a time of peace, they took the town by assault, to gratify their resentment against the Tusculans because these were always zealously assisting the Romans and particularly because they alone had aided them in their struggle when they were besieging the Capitol. The Aequians did not kill very many men in taking the city, since those inside, except such as were unable to flee because of illness or age, had forestalled them by crowding out three other gates just before the capture of the place; but they made slaves of their wives, children and domestics, and plundered their effects. soon as news of the disaster was brought to Rome by those who had escaped capture, the consuls thought they ought to assist the fugitives promptly and restore their city to them; but the tribunes opposed them and would not permit an army to be enrolled until a votes should be taken concerning the law. While the senators were expressing their indignation and the expedition was being delayed, other messengers arrived, from the Latin nation, reporting that Antium had openly revolted by the joint action of the Volscians, who were the original inhabitants of the place, and of the Romans who had come to them as colonists and had received a portion of the land. Messengers from the Hernicans also arrived during these same days, informing them that a large force of Volscians and Aequians had marched forth and was already in the country of the Hernicans. All these things being reported at the same time, the senators resolved to make no further delay, but to go to the rescue with all their forces, and that both consuls should take the field; and if any of the Romans or the allies should decline to serve, to treat them as enemies. When the tribunes also yielded, the consuls, having enrolled all who were of military age and sent for the forces of the allies, hastily marched out, leaving a third part of their own army to guard the city. Fabius, accordingly, marched in haste against the Aequians who were in the Tusculans' territory. Most of these had already left the city after plundering it, but a few remained to guard the citadel, which is very strong and does not require a large garrison. Some state that the garrison of the citadel, seeing the army marching from Rome ? for all the region lying between may be easily seen from a height ? came out of their own accord; others say that after being reduced by Fabius to the necessity of surrendering they handed over the fortress by capitulation, stipulating that their lives should be spared and submitting to pass under the yoke.

Roman antiquities 10.21
After Fabius had restored the city to the Tusculans, he broke camp in the late afternoon and marched with all possible speed against the enemy, upon hearing that the combined forces of the Volscians and the Aequians lay near the town of Algidum. And having made a forced march all that night, he appeared before the enemy at early dawn, as they lay encamped in a plain without either a ditch or a palisade to defend them, inasmuch as they were in their own country and were contemptuous of their foe. Then, exhorting his troops to acquit themselves as brave men should, he was the first to charge into the enemy's camp at the head of the horse, and the foot, uttering their war-cry, followed. Some of the enemy were slain while they were still asleep and others just as they had got up and were attempting to defend themselves; but most of them scattered in flight. The camp having been taken with great ease, Fabius permitted the soldiers to keep for themselves the booty and the prisoners, except those who were Tusculans. Then, after a short stay there, he led them to Ecetra, which was at that time the most prominent city of the Volscian nation and the most strongly situated. he had encamped near this city for many days in hopes that those inside would come out to fight, and no army issued forth, he laid waste their land, which was full of men and cattle; for the Volscians, surprised by the suddenness of the attack upon them, had not had time to remove their possessions out of the fields. These things also Fabius permitted his soldiers to plunder; and after spending many days in ravaging the country, he led the army home. The other consul, Cornelius, marching against the Romans and Volscians in Antium, found an army awaiting him before their borders; and arraying his forces against them, he killed many, and after putting the rest to flight, encamped near the city. But when the inhabitants no longer ventured to come out for battle, he first laid waste to their land and then surrounded the city with a ditch and palisades. Then indeed the enemy were compelled to come out again from the city with all their forces, a numerous and disorderly multitude; and engaging in battle and fighting with less bravery than before, they were shut up inside the city a second time, after a shameful and unmanly flight. But the consul, giving them no log any rest, planted scaling-ladders against the walls and broke down the gates with battering-rams; then, as the besieged with difficulty and painfully tried to fight them off, he with little trouble took the town by storm. He ordered that such of their effects as consisted of gold, silver and copper should be turned in to the treasury, and that the slaves and the rest of the spoils should be taken over and sold by the quaestors; but to the soldiers he granted the apparel and provisions and everything else of the sort that they could use for booty. Then, selecting both from the colonists and from the original inhabitants of Antium those who were the most prominent and had been the authors of the revolt ? and there were many of these? he ordered them to be scourged with rods for a long time and then beheaded. After accomplishing these things he too led his army home. The senate went to meet these consuls as they approached the city and decreed that they both should celebrate a triumph. And when the Aequians sent heralds to sue for peace, they concluded with them a treaty for the termination of the war, in which it was stipulated that the Aequians should retain the cities and land which they possessed at the time of the treaty and be subject to the Romans without paying any tribute, but sending to their assistance in time of war a certain number of troops, like the rest of the allies. Thus ended that year.

Roman antiquities 10.22
The following Nautius (chosen for the second time) and Lucius Minucius succeeded to the consulship, and were for a time waging a war inside the walls, concerning the rights of citizens, against Verginius and the other tribunes, who had obtained the same magistracy now for the fourth year. But when war was brought upon the commonwealth by the neighbouring peoples and there was fear that they might be deprived of their empire, the consuls gladly accepted the opportunity presented to them by Fortune; and having held the military levy, and divided both their own forces and those of the allies into three bodies, they left one of them in the city, commanded by Quintus Fabius Vibulanus, and themselves taking the other two, they marched out in haste, Nautius against the Sabines and Minucius against the Aequians. For both these nations had revolted from the Roman rule at the same time. The Sabines had done so openly, and had advanced as far as Fidenae, which was in the possession of the Romans; the two cities are forty stades apart. As for the Aequians, though nominally they were observing the terms of the alliance they had recently made, in reality they too were acting like enemies; they had made war upon the Latins, the allies of the Romans, claiming that they had made no compact of friendship with that nation. Their army was commanded by Cloelius Gracchus, a man of action who had been invested with absolute authority, which he increased to more nearly royal power. This leader, marching as far as the city of Tusculum, which the Aequians had taken and plundered the year before, only to be driven out of it by the Romans, seized a great number of men and all the cattle he found in the fields, and destroyed the crops, which were then ripe. When an embassy arrived, sent by the Roman senate, which demanded to know what provocation had induced the Aequians to make war upon the allies of the Romans, though they had recently sworn to a treaty of peace with them and no cause of offence had since arisen between the two nations, and the envoys advised Cloelius to release the Tusculan prisoners whom he held, to withdraw his forces and to stand trial for the injuries and damage he had done to the Tusculans, he delayed a long time without even giving audience to them, pretending that he was occupied with some business or other. And when he did see fit to have them introduced and they had delivered the senate's message, he said: "I wonder at you, Romans, why in the world, when you yourselves regard all men as enemies, even those from whom you have received no injury, because of your lust for dominion and tyranny, you do not concede to the Aequians the right to take vengeance on these Tusculans here, who are our enemies, inasmuch as we made no agreement with regard to them at the time we concluded the treaty with you. Now if you claim that any interest of your own is suffering injustice or injury at our hands, we will afford you proper indemnity in accordance with the treaty; but if you have come to exact satisfaction on behalf of the Tusculans, you have no reckoning with me on that subject, but go talk to yonder oak" ? pointing to one that grew near by.

Roman antiquities 10.23
The Romans, though thus insulted by the man, did not immediately give way to their resentment and lead their army forth, but sent a second embassy to him and likewise the priests called fetiales, calling the gods and lesser divinities to witness that if they were unable to obtain satisfaction they should be obliged to wage a holy war; and after that they sent out the consul. When Gracchus learned that the Romans were approaching, he broke camp and retired with his forces to a greater distance, the enemy following close at his heels. His purpose was to lead them on into a region where he would have an advantage over them; and that is what in fact happened. For waiting until he found a valley surrounded by hills, he then, as soon as the Romans had entered it in pursuit of him, faced about and encamped astride the road that led out of the valley. As a consequence the Romans were unable to choose for their camp the place they preferred, but had to take the one the situation offered, where it was not easy either to get forage for the horses, the place being surrounded by hills that were bare and difficult of access, or to bring in provisions for themselves out of the enemy's country, since what they had brought from home had been consumed, nor yet easy to shift their camp while the enemy lay before them and blocked the exits. Choosing, therefore, to force their way out, they engaged in battle and were repulsed, and after receiving many wounds were shut up again in the same camp. Cloelius, elated by this success, began to surround the place with a ditch and palisades and had great hopes of forcing them by famine to deliver up their arms to him. The news of this disaster being brought to Rome, Quintus Fabius, who had been left as prefect in charge of the city, chose out of his own army a body of the fittest and strongest men and sent them to the assistance of the consul; they were commanded by Titus Quintius, who was quaestor and an ex-consul. sending a letter to Nautius, the other consul, who commanded the army in the country of the Sabines, he informed him of what had happened to Minucius and asked him to come in haste. Nautius committed the guarding of the camp to the legates and he himself with a small squadron of cavalry made a forced ride to Rome; and arriving in the city while it was still deep night, he took counsel with Fabius and the oldest of the other citizens concerning the measures that should be taken. When all were of the opinion that the situation required a dictator, he named Lucius Quintius Cincinnatus to that magistracy. Then, having attended to this business, he himself returned to the camp.

Roman antiquities 10.24
Fabius, the prefect of the city, sent men to invite Quintius to come and assume his magistracy. It chanced that Quintius was on this occasion also engaged in some work of husbandry; and seeing the approaching throng and suspecting that they were coming after him, he put on more becoming apparel and went to meet them. When he drew near, they brought to him horses decked with magnificent trappings, placed beside him twenty-four axes with the rods and presented to him the purple robe and the other insignia with which aforetime the kingly office had been adorned. Quintius, when he learned that he had been appointed dictator, far from being pleased at receiving so great an honour, was actually vexed, and said: "This year's crop too will be ruined, then, because of my official duties, and we shall all go dreadfully hungry." After that he went into the city and first encouraged the citizens by delivering a speech before the populace calculated to raise their spirits with good hopes; then, after assembling all the men in their prime, both of the city and of the country, and sending for the forces of the allies, he appointed as his Master of Horse Lucius Tarquinius, a man who because of his poverty had been overlooked, but valiant in war. After which he led out his forces, now that he had them assembled, and joined Titus Quintius, the quaestor, who was awaiting his arrival; and taking with him Quintius' forces also, he led them against the enemy. After observing the nature of the places in which the camps lay, he posted a part of his army on the heights, in order that neither another relief force nor any provisions might reach the Aequians, and he himself marched forward with the remainder arrayed as for battle. Cloelius, unmoved by fear ? for the force he had was no small one and he himself was looked upon as no craven in spirit when it came to fighting ? awaited his attack, and a severe battle ensued. this had continued for a long time, and the Romans because of their continuous wars endured the toil, and the horse kept relieving the foot wherever the latter were hard pressed, Gracchus was beaten and shut up once more in his camp. After that Quintius surround edit with a high palisade, fortified with many towers; and when he learned that Gracchus was in distress for want of provisions, he not only himself made continual attacks upon the camp of the Aequians, but also ordered Minucius to make a sortie on the other side. Consequently the Aequians, lacking provisions, despairing of aid from any allies, and besieged on many sides, were compelled to send envoys to Quintius with the tokens of suppliants to treat for peace. Quintius said he was ready to make peace with the rest of the Aequians and grant them immunity for their persons if they would lay down their arms and pass under the yoke one at a time; but as for Gracchus, their commander, and those who had planned the revolt with him, he would treat them as enemies, and he ordered them to bring these men to him in chains. When the Aequians consented to do so, the last demand he made of them was this ? that, inasmuch as they had enslaved the inhabitants of Tusculum, a city in alliance with the Romans, and plundered it, though they had received no injury from the Tusculans, they should in turn put at his disposal one of their own cities, Corbio, to be treated in like manner. The envoys, having received this answer, disappeared, and not long afterward returned, bringing with them in chains Gracchus and his associate. They themselves, laying down their arms, left their camp and, pursuant to the general's orders, marched through the Roman camp one by one under the yoke; and they delivered up Corbio according to their agreement, merely asking that the inhabitants of free condition might leave the city, in exchange for whom they released the Tusculan captives.

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Quintius, having taken possession of Corbio, ordered choicest of the spoils to be carried to Rome and permitted all the rest to be distributed by centuries both to the troops that had been with him and to those that had been sent ahead with Quintius the quaestor. As for the forces which had been shut up in their camp with Minucius the consul, he said that he had already bestowed a great gift upon them in delivering them from death. After doing these things and forcing Minucius to resign his magistracy, he returned to Rome and celebrated a triumph more brilliant than that of any other general, having in the space of sixteen days in all from that on which he had received the magistracy saved an army of his fellow citizens, defeated a first-rate force of the enemy, plundered one of their cities and left a garrison in it, and brought back the leader of the war and the other prominent men bound in chains. But ? what most of all was worthy of admiration about him ? though he had received so great power for six months, he did not take full advantage of the law, but having called the people together in assembly and given them an account of his achievements, he abdicated his magistracy. And when the senate wanted him to accept as much of the conquered land as he wished, together with slaves and money out of the spoils, and to relieve his poverty with deserved riches which he had acquired most honourably from the enemy by his own toils, he refused to do so. Also when his friends and relations offered him magnificent gifts and placed their greatest happiness in assisting such a man, he thanked them for their zeal, but would accept none of their presents. Instead, he retired again to that small farm of his and resumed his life of a farmer working his own land in preference to the life of a king, glorying more in his poverty than others in their riches. Not long afterwards Nautius also, the other consul, returned to Rome with his forces, after defeating the Sabines in a pitched battle and overrunning a large part of their country.

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After these consuls came the eighty-first Olympiad (the one at which Polymnastus of Cyren? won the foot-race), the archon at Athens being Callias, in whose term of office Gaius Horatius and Quintus Minucius succeeded to the consulship at Rome. During their term of office the Sabines made another expedition against the Romans and laid waste much of their territory; and the country people who had fled from their fields arrived in great numbers, reporting that all the country between Crustumerium and Fidenae was in possession of the enemy. The Aequians also, who had been recently conquered, were once more in arms. The flower of their army, marching by night to the city of Corbio, which they had handed over to the Romans the year before, and finding the garrison there asleep, put all to the sword except a few who chanced to be late to bed. The rest of the Aequians marched in great force to Ortona, a city of the Latin nation, and took it by storm; and the injuries they were unable to inflict on the Romans they inflicted in their resentment on the Romans' allies. For they put to death all the men who were in the prime of life except those who had escaped at once while the city was being taken, and enslaved their wives and children together with the aged; then, hastily gathering together all the possessions they could carry off, they returned home before all the Latins could come to the rescue. As news of these disasters was brought simultaneously both by the Latins and by those of the garrison who had escaped, the senate voted to send out an army and that both consuls should take the field. But Verginius and his fellow tribunes, who held the same power for the fifth year, sought to prevent this, as they had also done in the preceding years, opposing the levies announced by the consuls and demanding that the war inside the walls should first be terminated by allowing the populace to decide about the law which the tribunes were trying to introduce regarding an equality of rights; and the populace joined with them in uttering many invidious charges against the senate. But as the time dragged on and neither the consuls would consent to a preliminary vote by the senate or to the laying of the law before the populace, nor the tribunes to allow the levies to be made and the army to take the field, and many speeches were made and charges hurled back and forth both in the meetings of the assembly and in the senate, all in vain, another measure that was introduced against the senate and misled its members did indeed appease the dissension then raging, but proved the source of many other great gains to the populace. I shall now give an account of the manner in which the populace secured this power.

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While the territory of both the Romans and their allies was being laid waste and plundered and the enemy marched through it as through a solitude, in the confidence that no army would come out against them by reason of the dissension then raging in the city, the consuls assembled the senate with the intention of deliberating finally this time about the whole situation. After many speeches had been made, the person who was first asked his opinion was Lucius Quintius, who had been dictator the year before, a man who had the reputation of being not only the ablest general but also the wisest statesman of his time. The opinion he expressed was as follows: That they should preferably persuade both the tribunes and the rest of the citizens to postpone to more suitable times their decision regarding the law, which was not at all pressing at the moment, and to undertake with all alacrity the war that was at hand and all but at their gates, and not to allow their empire, which they had acquired with many toils, to be lost in a shameful and pusillanimous fashion. But if the populace would not be persuaded, he advised that the patricians should arms themselves together with their clients, and associating with themselves such of the other citizens as were willing to take part in this most glorious struggle for the fatherland, to engage in the war with alacrity, taking as leaders of the expedition all the gods who protect the Roman state. one or the other of two honourable and just destinies would be theirs: they would either win a victory more brilliant than all which they or their ancestors had ever won, or die fighting bravely for the noble prizes that victory brings with it. He added that neither he himself would be wanting in this glorious enterprise, but would be present and fight with a spirit equal to that of the most robust, nor would any of the others of the older men be wanting who had any regard for liberty and a good name.

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All the others approving of this advice and there being no one to speak in opposition, the consuls called an assembly of the populace; and when all the people of the city had come together in expectation of hearing something new, Gaius Horatius, one of the consuls, came forward and attempted to persuade the plebeians to submit willingly to this campaign also. But as the tribunes opposed this and the populace gave heed to them, the consul again came forward and said: "A fine and wonderful thing, indeed, have you tribunes accomplished, Verginius, in dividing the populace from the senate; and, so far as it rests with you, we have lost all the advantages which we possessed, whether inherited from our ancestors or acquired by our own toils. As for us, however, we shall not part with them without a struggle, but shall take up arms along with all who desire the preservation of the fatherland and shall enter the struggle holding before our deeds the buckler of fair hopes. And if any god watches over noble and just struggles, and if Fortune, which long has been exalting this commonwealth, has not yet abandoned it, we shall have the victory over our enemies; or, if any divide is opposed to and stands in the way of the preservation of the commonwealth, at any rate our affection and zeal for it will not perish, but we shall choose the best of all deaths ? to die for the fatherland. As for you, stay here and keep house with the women, O fine and noble protectors of the commonwealth, after abandoning, or rather betraying, us; but life for you will be neither honourable, if we conquer, nor safe, if things go otherwise with us. Unless, indeed, you are buoying yourselves up with the bleak hope that when the patricians are all destroyed the enemy will spare you in consideration of this service and will allow you to enjoy your country, your liberty, your empire and all the other blessings you now have, notwithstanding that you, when you displayed the noblest spirit, deprived these very enemies of much land, razed many of their cities and enslaved their inhabitants, and erected many great trophies and monuments of your enmity against them which not even all time to come will ever blot out. But why do I charge this against the populace, which never became cowardly of its own accord, and not rather against you tribunes, Verginius, who are the authors of these fine measures? We, then, who must needs show no ignoble spirit, have taken our resolution and nothing shall hinder us from undertaking the struggle in defence of the fatherland; but upon you, who abandon and betray the commonwealth, will come a punishment not to be scorned, as vengeance from the gods, if so be that you escape the punishment of men; yet you will not escape that either. And do not imagine that I am trying to terrify you, but be assured that those of us who will be left behind here to guard teach shall, in case the enemy should prove victorious, show that spirit which it befits them to show. Have there not indeed been instances already of barbarians who, when they were on the point of being captured by the enemy, resolved not to yield to them either their wives, their children or their cities, but to burn the cities and slay their dear ones? 8 And will it fail, then, to occur to the Romans, to whom it is a heritage from their fathers to rule over others, to show this same spirit in their own case? They will never be so degenerate, but will begin with you who are their worst enemies and only afterwards turn to their loved ones. Consider these matters before you hold your assemblies and introduce new laws."

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After he had said this and many things to the same purport, he brought before them the oldest patricians in tears, at sight of whom many of the plebeians could not even themselves refrain from weeping. When great compassion had been aroused both by the age and the dignity of these men, the consul, after a short pause, said: "Are you not ashamed, citizens, and ready to sink beneath the earth, when these old men are going to take up arms in defence of you who are young? Will you bear to abandon these leaders whom you always called fathers? Wretched men that you are, and unworthy even to be called citizens of this land settled by men who carried their fathers on their shoulders,men to whom the gods granted a safe passage through arms and through fire!" When Verginius perceived that the people were moved by these words, he was afraid lest, contrary to his desire, they might consent to join in the war; and coming forward, he said: "As for us, we are neither abandoning nor betraying you, fathers, nor would we desert you, even as we have hitherto never declined taking part in any expedition; on the contrary, we choose both to live with you and to suffer with you whatever Heaven shall decree. since we have at all times been zealous in your service, we desire to receive from you a moderate favour ? that, even as we share the common dangers with you, so we may also enjoy an equality of rights, by instituting as safeguards of our liberty laws which we shall all alike use always. However, if this proposal offends you and you do not deign to grant this favour to your fellow citizens, but regard it as a capital crime to give the populace an equal share of rights, we shall no longer contend with you; but we shall ask another favour of you, upon obtaining which we may possibly no longer stand in need of new laws. We have a shrewd suspicion, however, that we shall not obtain even this favour ? one which, while doing no injury to the senate, will bring to the populace a kind of honour and general goodwill."

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When the consul replied that if the tribunes would yield on this measure to the senate they would be denied nothing else that was reasonable, and ordered him to state what they desired, verginius, after a short conference with his colleagues, said he would announce it in the senate. Thereupon, when the consuls had convened the senate, Verginius came forward, and after presenting to that body all the just demands of the populace, asked that the magistracy which protected the populace should be doubled and that instead of five tribunes ten should be chosen every year. Most of the senators thought this would cause no harm to the commonwealth and advised granting it without offering any opposition; this opinion was first offered by Lucius Quintius, who at that time had the greatest authority in the senate. Only one person, Gaius Claudius, spoke against it. He was the son of Appius Claudius, who had on every occasion opposed the measures of the plebeians when any of them were contrary to law; he had inherited the political principles of his father, and when he himself was consul, had prevented the inquiry concerning the knights accused of conspiracy from being committed to the tribunes. This man made a long speech, pointing out that the populace, if their magistracy were doubled, would not be any more moderate or worthy, but more stupid and more troublesome. For the tribune seem to be chosen thereafter, he said, would not receive the magistracy upon certain definite terms, so as to adhere to the established customs, but would again bring up the question of the allotment of lands and that of an equality of privileges, all of them in turn would seek both by their words and by their actions to increase the power of the populace and abolish the privileges of the senate. This speech had a great effect upon most of the senators. Quintius brought them over again by showing that it was to the interest of the senate that there should be many champions of the populace. For there would be less harmony among many than among a few, and there was just one way of relieving the commonwealth, a way that Appius Claudius, the father of Gaius, had been the first to perceive ? namely, if there should be dissension and lack of unanimity in the college of tribunes. This opinion prevailed, and the senate passed a decree that the populace should be permitted to appoint ten tribunes each year, but that no one of the men then in office should be eligible. Verginius and his colleagues, having got this preliminary decree from the senate, laid it before the populace; and when they had secured the ratification of the law embodying the measure, they chose ten tribunes for the following year. After the sedition was appeased the consuls enrolled their forces and drew lots for their commands. To Minucius fell the war against the Sabines and to Horatius that against the Aequians; and both set out in haste. The Sabines garrisoned their cities and permitted everything in the country districts to be pillaged; but the Aequians sent an army to oppose the Romans. Though they fought brilliantly, they were unable to overcome the Roman army, but were compelled to retire to their cities after the loss of the small town in defence of which they were fighting. Horatius, after putting the enemy to flight, ravaged a large part of their country, razed the walls of Corbio and demolished the houses to their foundations, then led his army home.

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The following year, Marcus Valerius and Spurius Verginius were consuls, no army of the Romans went out of their borders, but there were fresh outbreaks of civil strife between the tribunes and the consuls, as a result of which the former wrested away some part of the consular power. Before this time the power of the tribunes was limited to the popular assembly and they had no authority either to convene the senate or to express an opinion there, that being a prerogative of the consuls. The tribunes of the year in question were the first who undertook to convene the senate, the experiment being made by Icilius, the head of their college, a man of action and, for a Roman, not lacking in eloquence. For he too was at that time proposing a new measure, asking that the region called the Aventine be divided among the plebeians for the building of houses. This is a hill of moderate height, not less than twelve stades in circuit, and is included within the city; not all of it was then inhabited, but it was public land and thickly wooded. In order to get this measure introduced, the tribune went to the consuls of the year and to the senate, asking them to pass the preliminary vote for the law embodying the measure and to submit it to the populace. But when the consuls kept putting it off and protracting the time, he sent his attendant to them with orders that they should follow him to the office of the tribunes and call together the senate. And when one of the lictors at the orders of the consuls drove away the attendant, Icilius and his colleagues in their resentment seized the lictor and led him away with the intention of hurling him down from the rock. The consuls, though they looked upon this as a great insult, were unable to use force or to rescue the man who was being led away, but invoked the assistance of the other tribunes; for no one but another tribune has a right to stop or hinder any of the actions of those magistrates. the tribunes had all come to this decision at the outset, that no one of their number should either introduce any new measure on his own initiative, unless they all concurred in it, or oppose any proceedings which met with the approval of the majority; and just as soon as they had assumed their magistracy they had confirmed this agreement by sacrifices and mutual oaths, believing that the power of the tribuneship would be most effectively rendered impregnable if dissension were banished from it. It was in pursuance, then, of this sworn compact that they ordered the consuls' guardian to be led away, declaring this to be the unanimous decision of their body. Nevertheless, they did not persist in their resentment, but released the man at the intercession of the oldest senators; for they were not only concerned about the odium that would attend such a procedure, if they should be the first to punish a man by death for obeying an order of the magistrates, but also feared that with this provocation the patricians might be driven to take desperate measures.

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After this action the senate was assembled and the consuls indulged in many accusations against the tribunes. Then Icilius took the floor and attempted to justify the tribunes' resentment against the lictor, citing the sacred laws which did not permit either a magistrate or a private citizen to offer any opposition to a tribune; and as for his attempt to convene the senate, he showed them that he had done nothing out of the way, using for this purpose many arguments of every sort, which he had prepared beforehand. After answering these accusations, he proceeded to introduce his law concerning the hill. It was to this effect: All the parcels of land held by private citizens, if justly acquired, should remain in the possession of the owners, but such parcels as had been taken by force or fraud by any persons and built upon should be turned over to the populace and the present occupants reimbursed for their expenditures according to the appraisal of the arbitrators; all the remainder, belonging to the public, the populace should receive free of cost and divide up among themselves. He also pointed out that this measure would be advantageous to the commonwealth, not only in many other ways, but particularly in this, that it would put an end to the disturbances raised by the poor concerning the public land that was held by the patricians. For he said they would be contented with receiving a portion of the city, inasmuch as they could have no part of the land lying in the country because of the number and power of those who had appropriated it. After he had spoken thus, Gaius Claudius was the only person who opposed the law, while many gave their assent; and it was voted to give this district to the populace. Later, at a centuriate assembly called by the consuls, the pontiffs being present together with the augurs and two sacrificers and offering the customary vows and imprecations, the law was ratified. It is inscribed on a column of bronze, which they set up on the Aventine after taking it into the sanctuary of Diana. the law had been ratified, the plebeians assembled, and after drawing lots for the plots of ground, began to build, each man taking as large an area as he could; and sometimes two, three, or even more joined together to build one house, and drawing lots, some had the lower and others the upper stories. That year, then, was employed in building houses.

Roman antiquities 10.33
The following year, when Titus Romilius and Gaius Veturius had succeeded to the consulship and Lucius Icilius and his colleagues were tribunes, chosen to hold the office for the second time in succession, was not all of one tenor, but varied and fraught with great events. For the civili strife, which seemed to have died down at last, was again stirred up by the tribunes, and some foreign wars arose which, without being able to do the commonwealth any harm, did her a great service by banishing the dissension. For it had by now become the regular and customary thing for the commonwealth to be harmonious in time of war and to be at odds in time of peace. All who assumed the consulship, being well aware of this, regarded it as an answer to prayer if a foreign war arose; and when their enemies were quiet, they themselves contrived grievances and excuses for wars, since they perceived that through its wars the commonwealth became great and flourishing, but through seditions humiliated and weak. The consuls of that year, having come to this same conclusion, decided to make an expedition against the enemy, fearing that idle and poor men might because of the prevailing peace begin to raise disturbances; but though they were right in perceiving that the multitude ought to be kept employed in foreign wars, they erred in what they subsequently did. For, whereas they ought, in view of the sickly condition of the commonwealth, to have made the levies with moderation, they resorted instead to violence and compulsion in dealing with the disobedient, granting neither excuse nor pardon to anyone, but harshly imposing the penalties ordained by the laws upon both their persons and their property. While they were doing this, the tribunes took occasion to stir up the masses again with their harangues; and calling an assembly, they denounced the consuls on various scores, but particularly for having ordered many citizens to be haled to prison even though they had invoked the protection of the tribunes; and they said that they themselves on their own responsibility released the people from the levy, having as they did authority to do so under the laws. When this had no effect and they saw the levies being carried out with still greater strictness, they undertook to obstruct them by deeds; and when the consuls resisted with the power of their magistracy also, there were sundry provocations and acts of violence. The consuls were supported by the young patricians, and the tribunes by the poor and idle multitude. That day the consuls proved much superior to the tribunes; but in the course of the following days, as increasing numbers flocked into the city from the country, the tribunes thought they had now acquired an adequate force, and holding one assembly after another, they exhibited their assistants, who were in a bad condition from the blows they had received, and said they would resign their magistracy if they did not get some assistance from the populace.

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The multitude sharing in their resentment, the tribunes summoned the consuls to appear before their assembly in order to render an account of their actions. But as these paid no heed to them, they went to the senate, which happened to be deliberating about this very matter, and coming forward, asked the members not to permit either the tribunes themselves to be treated in a most outrageous manner or the populace to be deprived of their assistance. They enumerated all the injuries they had received at the hands of the consuls and their faction, who had insulted not only their authority but also their persons; and they asked that the consuls do one of two things ? either, in case they denied that they had done any wrong against the persons of the tribunes contrary to the laws, that they go before the popular assembly and make their denial under oath, or, if they could not bring themselves to take that oath, that they appear before the plebeians to render an account of their conduct; and they (the tribunes) would take the vote of the tribes concerning them. The consuls defended themselves against these charges by saying that the tribunes had begun the violence by their arrogant behaviour and by daring to commit lawless acts against the persons of the consuls, first by ordering their attendants and the aediles to hale to prison magistrates in whom the whole power of the commonwealth is vested, and later by entering the struggle themselves together with the boldest of the plebeians. They pointed out how great a difference there is between the two magistracies ? between the consulship, in which the royal power resides, and the tribuneship, which was introduced for the relief of the oppressed and, far from having the right to take the vote of the masses against one of the consuls, has not been given authority to do so against even the meanest of the other patricians, unless the senate shall so vote. And they threatened that they themselves would arm the patricians when the tribunes should take the votes of the plebeians. such recriminations lasted the whole day, the senate came to no decision, being unwilling to lessen the power of either the consuls or the tribunes, since they saw that either course would be stand attended with great dangers.

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When the tribunes were repulsed there also, failing to get any help, they went again to the popular assembly and considered what they ought to do. Some, particularly the most turbulent, thought the plebeians should take arms and again withdraw from the city to the Sacred Mount, where they had encamped on the first occasion, and from there make war against the patricians, since these had violated the compact they had made with the populace by openly overthrowing the tribunician power. But the majority thought they ought not to leave the city nor to bring charges against all the patricians as a body for the lawless acts committed by some particular persons against the tribunes, provided they could obtain the relief offered by the laws, which ordain that those who have insulted the persons of the tribunes may be put to death with impunity. The more intelligent did not regard either course as fitting, either to leave the city or to put persons to death without a trial, and particularly consuls, who held the chief magistracy, but they advised them to transfer their resentment to those who were assisting the consuls and to exact from these the punishment ordained by the laws. Now if the tribunes had been carried away by their passion that day to do anything against the consuls or the senate, nothing would have prevented the commonwealth from being destroyed by its own hands, so ready were all to rush to arms and engage in civil war. But as it was, by deferring matters and giving themselves time for better reasoning, they not only themselves grew more moderate, but also appeased the resentment of the multitude. Then, during the following days, they announced the third market-day from that one as the day when they would assemble the populace and impose a monetary fine upon the consuls; after which they dismissed the assembly. But when the time drew near, they refrained from imposing even this fine, alleging that they granted the favour at the intercession of men who were the oldest and most honoured. that they assembled the populace and told them that they had pardoned the insults to themselves, doing this at the request of many worthy men whom it was not right to refuse, but that as for the wrongs done to the populace, they would both avenge them and prevent their recurrence. For they would again propose not only the law concerning the allotment of land, the enactment of which had been postponed for thirty years, but also the one concerning an equality of laws, which their predecessors had proposed but had not put to vote.

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Having made these promises and confirmed them by oaths, they appointed days on which they would hold an assembly of the populace and take their votes concerning the laws. When the time came, they first proposed the agrarian law, and after discussing it at great length, called upon any of the plebeians who so desired to speak in favour of the law. Many came forward, and enumerating the exploits they had performed in the wars, expressed their indignation that they who had taken so much land from their enemies had received no part of it themselves, while they saw that those who were powerful by reason of their riches and their friends had appropriated and now enjoyed, by the most violent means, the possessions that belonged to all; and they demanded that the populace should share, not only in the dangers that were undertaken for the common good, but also in the pleasures and profits that resulted from those dangers. And the multitude listened to them with pleasure. But the one who encouraged them the most and refused to tolerate even a word from the opponents of the law was Lucius Siccius, surnamed Dentatus, who related very many great exploits of his own. He was a man of remarkable appearance, was in the very prime of life, being fifty-eight years old, capable of conceiving practical measures and also, for a soldier, eloquent in expressing them. This man, then, came forward and said: "If I, plebeians, should choose to relate my exploits one by one, a day's time would not suffice me; hence I shall give a mere summary, in the fewest words I can. is the fortieth year that I have been make gate campaigns for my country, and the thirtieth that I have continued to hold some military command, sometimes over a cohort and sometimes over a whole legion, beginning with the consulship of Gaius Aquillius and Titus Siccius, to whom the senate committed the conduct of the war against the Volscians. I was then twenty-seven years of age and in rank I was still under a centurion. When a severe battle occurred and a rout, the commander of the cohort had fallen, and the standards were in the hands of the enemy, I alone, exposing myself in behalf of all, recovered the standards for the cohort, repulsed the enemy, and was clearly the one who saved the centurions from incurring everlasting disgrace ? which would have rendered the rest of their lives more bitter than death ? as both they themselves acknowledged, by crowning me with a golden crown, and Siccius the consul bore witness, by appointing me commander of the cohort. And in another battle that we had, in which it happened that the primipilus of the legion was thrown to the ground and the eagle fell into the enemy's hands, I fought in the same manner in defence of the whole legion, recovered the eagle and saved the primipilus. In return for the assistance I then gave him he wished to resign his command of the legion in my favour and to give me the eagle; but I refused both, being unwilling to deprive the man whose life I had saved of the honours he enjoyed and of the satisfaction resulting from them. The consul was pleased with my behaviour and gave me the post of primipilus in the first legion, which had lost its commander in the battle.

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"These, plebeians, are the noble actions which brought me distinction and preferment. After I had already gained an illustrious name and was famous, I submitted to the hardships of all the other engagements, being ashamed to blot out the memory of the honours and favours I had received for my former actions. And all the time since then I have continued to take part in campaigns and undergo their hardships without fearing or even considering my danger. From all these campaigns I received prizes for valour, spoils, crowns, and the other honours from the consuls. In a word, during the forty years I have continued to serve I have fought about one hundred and twenty battles and received forty-five wounds, all in front and not one behind; twelve of these I happened to receive in one day, when Herdonius the Sabine seized the citadel and the Capitol. As to rewards for valour, I have brought out of those contests fourteen civic crowns, bestowed upon me by those I saved in battle, three mural crowns for having been the first to mount the enemy's walls and hold them, and eight others for my exploits on the battlefield, with which I was honoured by the generals; and, in addition to these, eighty-three gold collars, one hundred and sixty gold bracelets, eighteen spears, twenty-five splendid decorations, . . . nine of whom I voluntarily encountered and overcame when they challenged someone of our men to fight in single combat. Nevertheless, citizens, this Siccius, who has served so many years in your defence, fought so many battles, been honoured with so many prizes for valour, who never shirked or declined any danger, but . . . in pitched battles and assaults upon walled towns, among the foot and among the horse, with all, with a few, and alone, whose body is covered be with wounds, and who has had a share in winning this country much fertile land, both that which you have taken from the Tyrrhenians and the substitutes and that which you possess after conquering the Aequians, the Volscians and the Pometini ? this Siccius, I say, has not received even the least portion of this land as his to possess, nor has any one of you plebeians who have shared in the same hardships. But the most violent and shameless men of the city hold the finest part of it and have had the enjoyment of it for many years, without having either received it from you as a gift or purchased it or being able to show any other just title to it. , indeed, they had borne an equal share of the hardships with the rest of us when we were acquiring this land and had then demanded to have a larger share of it than we, while it would not, even so, have been either just or democratic that a few should appropriate what belongs to all in common, yet there would at least be some excuse for the greed of these men; but when, though they cannot point to any great or daring deed of theirs in payment for which they seized by force the possessions that belong to us, they act in this shameless manner and even when convicted do not give them up, who can bear it?

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"Come now, if aught of what I have said is false, in Heaven's name let one of these grand men come forward and show what illustrious and noble achievements he relies on to claim a larger share of the land than I. Has he served more years, fought more battles, received more wounds, or excelled me in the number of crowns, decorations, spoils, and the other ornaments of victory ? in fact, shown himself a man by whom our enemies have been weakened and our country rendered more illustrious and powerful? Nay, let him show the tenth part of what I have cited to you. But of these men the majority could not produce even the smallest fraction of my exploits; and some would be found not to have undergone as many hardships as the meanest plebeian. For their brilliancy does not lie in arms, but in words, nor is their power exerted against their enemies, but against their friends; and they do not regard the commonwealth in which they dwell as belonging to all alike, but as their own private property ? as if they had not been aided by us in gaining their freedom from tyranny, but had received us as an inheritance from the tyrants. I say nothing of the other insults, small and great, which they continue to heap upon us, as you all know; but they have gone so far in their arrogance that they forbid any one of us even to utter a free word in behalf of our country or even to open our mouths. Nay, they accused Spurius Cassius, who first proposed the allotment of land, a man who had been honoured with three consulships and two most brilliant triumphs and had shown greater ability in both military undertakings and political counsels than anyone of that age ? this man, I say, they accused of aiming at tyranny and defeated him by means of false testimony, for no other reason than because he was a lover of his country and a lover of the people, and they destroyed him by shoving him over the cliff. And again, when Gnaeus Genucius, one of our tribunes, revived this same measure after the lapse of eleven years and summoned the consuls of the preceding year to trial for having neglected to carry out the decree which the senate had passed respecting the appointment of the commissioners to divide the land, since they could not destroy him openly, they made away with him secretly the day before the trial. consequence, great fear came upon the succeeding tribunes, and not one of them would thereafter expose himself to this danger, but for now the thirtieth year we endure this treatment, as if we had lost our power under a tyranny.

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"The other things I pass over; but your present magistrates, because they thought it their duty to help those of the plebeians who were oppressed, though by law you had made these magistrates sacred and inviolable, what dreadful treatment have they not suffered? Were they not driven out of the Forum with blows, kicks and every form of outrage? And you, do you endure to suffer such treatment and not seek means of taking revenge on the perpetrators, at least by your votes, in which alone you can show your freedom? But even now, plebeians, pluck up the courage of free men and, now that the tribunes propose it, ratify the agrarian law, not tolerating even a word from those of the opposite opinion. As for you, tribunes, you need no exhortation to do this task, since you began it and in not yielding do well. And if the self-willed and shameless young men obstruct you by overturning the voting-urns, snatching away the ballots or committing any other disorders in connexion with the voting, show them what power your college possesses. And since you cannot depose the consuls from power, bring to trial the private persons whom they use as the agents of their violence and take the votes of the populace concerning them, after charging them with attempting to violate and overthrow your magistracy contrary to the sacred laws."

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When he had spoken to this effect, the plebeians were so won over by his words and showed so great indignation against their adversaries that, as I said at the outset, they were unwilling to tolerate even another word from those who were intending to speak against the law. Icilius the tribune, however, rose and said that everything else Siccius had said was excellent, and he praised the man at length; but as to not permitting those who wished to oppose the measure to speak, that, he declared, was neither just nor democratic, especially as the debate was about a law which would make justice superior to violence. For such an opportunity would be used by those who entertained no sentiments of equality and justice toward the masses to disturb them again and cause factious divisions about the interests of the commonwealth. Having spoken thus and assigned the following day to the opponents of the law, he dismissed the assembly. The consuls, on their side, called a private meeting of those patricians who were the bravest and in the highest repute in the city at the time, and showed them that they must hinder the law from passing, first by their words, and if they could not persuade the populace, then by their deeds. They bade them all come early in the morning to the Forum with as many friends and clients as each of them could get together; then some of them should take their stand round the tribunal itself and the comitium and remain there, while others, forming in groups, took up positions in many different parts of the Forum, in order to keep the plebeians divided and hinder them from uniting in one body. This seemed to be the best plan, and before it was broad daylight the greater part of the Forum was occupied by the patricians.

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After that the tribunes and the consuls appeared and the herald bade anyone who so desired to speak against the law. But though many good men came forward, the words of none of them could be heard by reason of the tumult and disorderly behaviour of the assembly. For some cheered and encouraged the speakers, while others were for throwing them out or for shouting them down; but neither the applause of the supporters nor the clamour of the opponents prevailed. When the consuls were incensed at this and protested that the populace had begun the violence by refusing to tolerate a word, the tribunes attempted to justify them by saying that, inasmuch as the plebeians kept hearing the same arguments for now the fifth year, they were doing nothing remarkable if they did not care to put up with stale and trite objections. When most of the day had been spent in these contests and the populace insisted upon giving their votes, the youngest of the patricians, regarding the situation as no longer endurable, hindered the plebeians when they wished to divide themselves by tribes, took away the voting-urns from those who were in charge of them, and beating and pushing such of the attendants as would not part with them, sought to drive them from the comitium. when the tribunes cried out and rushed into their midst, the youths made way for those magistrates and permitted them to go in safety wherever they wished, but of the rest of the populace they did not let pass either those who were in the tribunes' train or those who in various parts of the Forum were endeavouring amid the uproar and disorder to move toward them; hence the assistance of the tribunes was of no avail. the end, at any rate, the patricians prevailed and would not permit the law to be ratified. Those who were reputed to have assisted the consuls with the greatest zeal on this occasion were of three families, the Postumii, the Sempronii, and third, the Cloelii, all of them men most illustrious for the dignity of their birth, very powerful because of their bands of followers, and distinguished for their wealth, their reputation and their exploits in war. These, it was agreed, were the chief agents in preventing the law from being ratified.

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The next day the tribunes, having associated with themselves the most prominent plebeians, considered how they should deal with the situation, after adopting the general principle, accepted by all, not to bring the consuls themselves to trial, but only their attendants who held no office, since their punishment would be a made of less concern to most citizens, as Siccius suggested. But the number of the persons to be indicted, the name that should be given to the offence, and the amount of the fine were matters to which they gave careful consideration. Now while those who were naturally more truculent advised going in all these matters to a greater and more terrifying length, and the more reasonable, on the contrary, to a more moderate and humane extent, the man who took the lead for the latter opinion and won the assent of the others was Siccius, who had made the speech in the popular assembly in favour of the land-allotment. They resolved, then, to let the rest of the patricians alone, but to bring the Cloelii, the Postumii and the Sempronii before the popular assembly to stand trial for their acts; and to make the charge against them that, whereas the sacred laws, which the senate and the assembly had enacted concerning the tribunes, had given no one authority to compel the tribunes to submit, like the other citizens, to anything against their will, these men had restrained them and prevented them from carrying through the deliberation concerning the law. for the penalty in these trials, they decided to fix neither death, banishment, nor any other invidious punishment, lest that very thing should become the cause of their salvation, but that their estates should be consecrated to Ceres ? thus choosing the mildest punishment provided by the law. While this was going on the time arrived when the trials of the men were to take place. consuls and the other patricians who had been invited to the senate-house ? the most influential had been summoned ? decided to let the tribunes carry out the trials, lest, if they were hindered, they might do some greater mischief, and to allow the enraged plebeians to spend their fury upon the goods of these men, to the end that they might be milder for the future, after taking some revenge, however slight, upon their enemies, particularly since a monetary fine was a misfortune that could easily be made up to the sufferers. And so in fact it turned out. For when the men had been condemned by default, the populace ceased from its anger, and also it seemed that a moderate and statesmanlike power of rendering assistance had been restored to the tribunes, while as for the convicted men, their estates were ransomed by the patricians from those who had purchased them from the treasury for the same price they had paid for them and were restored to the owners. As a result of their handling the matter in this fashion the pressing dangers were dispelled.

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Not long afterwards, when the tribunes again introduced the subject of the law, the sudden announcement that enemies had made an attack upon Tusculum furnished a sufficient reason for preventing such action. For the Tusculans, coming to Rome in great numbers, said that the Aequians had come against them with a large army, that they had already plundered their country, and unless some assistance were speedily sent, they would be masters of the city within a few days. Upon this the senate ordered that both consuls should go to the rescue; and the consuls, having announced a levy, summoned all the citizens to arms. On this occasion also there was something of a sedition, as the tribunes opposed the levy and would not permit the punishments ordained by law to be inflicted on the disobedient. But they accomplished nothing. For the senate met and passed a resolution ordering that the patricians should take the field with their clients, and declaring that to such of the other citizens as were willing to take part in this expedition undertaken for the preservation of the fatherland the gods were propitious, but to those who deserted the consuls they were unpropitious. When the decree of the senate was read in the assembly, many also of the populace voluntarily consented to enter the struggle, the more respectable moved by shame if they should not succour an allied city which because of its attachment to the Romans was always suffering some injury at the hands of is foes. Among these was Siccius, who in the popular assembly had inveighed against those who had appropriated the public land, and he brought with him a cohort of eight hundred men; these were, like himself, past the military age and not subject to the compulsion of the laws, but as they honoured him because of his many great services, they did not think it right to desert him when he was setting out to war. Indeed, this contingent of the force which set out at that time was far superior to the rest of the army in point both of experience in action and of courage in the face of dangers. The majority of those who followed along were led to do so out of goodwill toward the oldest citizens and because of their exhortations. And there was a certain element which was reduce to undergo any peril for the sake of the booty that is acquired in campaigns. Thus in a short time an army took the field that was sufficient in numbers and most splendidly equipped. enemy, who had learned in advance that the Romans intended to lead out an army against them, were returning homeward with their forces. But the consuls, making a forced march, came up with them while they lay encamped on a high and steep hill near the city of Antium and placed their camp not far from that of the foe. For some time both armies remained in their camps; then the Aequians, despising the Romans for not having taken the initiative in attacking, and judging their army to be insufficient in numbers, sallied out and cut off their provisions, drove back those who were sent out for provender or fodder for their horses, fell suddenly upon those who went for water, and challenged them repeatedly to battle.

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The consuls, seeing this, resolved to put off the fighting no longer. During those days it was Romilius' turn to decide whether to fight or not, and it was he who gave the watchword, drew up the army and determined the proper moment both for beginning and for ending battle. He, having ordered the battle standards to be raised and led his army out of the camp, posted the horse and foot according to their companies, each in their proper places, and then, summoning Siccius, said: "We, Siccius, are going to engage the enemy here; but as for you, while we are still waiting and preparing on both sides for the contest, do you march by yonder transverse road to the top of the hill where the enemy's camp is placed and give battle to the men inside, in order that those who are engaged with us may either, fearing for their stronghold and eager to relieve it, show their backs and thus be easily defeated, as likely they will be when they are making a hasty retreat and are all forcing their way into one road, or may, by staying here, lose their camp. not only is the force guarding it not a match for you, in all probability, believing as it does that its whole security depends on the natural strength of the position, but the force with you, eight hundred men, veterans of many wars, should be sufficient to capture by a bold stroke mere tent-guards when thrown into confusion by your unexpected attack." Siccius replied: "For my part, I am ready to obey in everything; but the task is not so easy as it seems to you. For the cliff on which the camp is situated is lofty and steep, and I see no road leading to it except the one by which the enemy will come down against us, and it is probable that there is an adequate guard placed over it; but even if it should chance to be a very small and weak one, it will be able to hold out against a much larger force than the one I have, and the place itself will afford the guard security against being captured. Do then, if possible, reconsider your purpose, for the attempt is hazardous; but if you are absolutely determined to fight two battles at the same time, then order a sufficient force of chosen men to follow me and the older men. For we are not going up to take the place by surprise, but by main force and openly."

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Although Siccius wanted to go on and finish his explanation, the consul interrupted him and said: "There is no need of many words. But if you can bring yourself to obey my orders, go at once and do not play the general; if, however, you decline and run away from the danger, I shall use other men for the task. As for you, who fought those hundred and twenty battles and served those forty years and whose body is covered with wounds, since you came voluntarily, depart without either encountering the enemy or seeing them; and instead of your arms, sharpen once more your words which you will expend without stint against the patricians. now are those many prizes given you for valour, those collars, bracelets, spears, and decorations, those crowns from the consuls, those spoils gained in single combat, and all your other tiresome boasting which we had to endure hearing from you the other day? For when you were tested in this single instance where the danger was real, you proved what sort of man you were ? a braggart practising bravery in imagination, not in reality." , stung by these reproaches, answered: "I am aware, Romilius, that the choice lies before you either to destroy me while alive and make me a mere nobody bearing the most shameful reputation for cowardice, or that I shall miserable and obscure death, hacked to pieces by the enemy, because I too seemed to be one of those who insist on showing the spirit of free men. For you are sending me, not to a doubtful, but to a predetermined death. I will undertake even this task and endeavour, showing myself no coward, either to capture the camp or, failing in that, gallantly to die. And I ask you, fellow soldiers, if you hear of my death, to bear witness for me to the rest of the citizens that I fell a sacrifice to my valour and to my great frankness of speech." Having thus answered the consul, with tears in his eyes, and embraced all his intimate friends, he set out at the head of his eight hundred men, all dejected and weeping, believing that they were taking the road to death. And all the rest of the army were moved to compassion at the sight, expecting to see these men no more.

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Siccius, however, turned off by a different road, not the one which Romilius had in mind, and marched along the flank of the hill. Then ? for there was a thicket with a heavy growth of trees in it ? he led his men into it, halted there and said: "We have been sent by the commander, as you see, to perish. For he expected us to take the transverse road, which we could not possibly have ascended without coming into full view of the enemy. But I will lead you by a way that is out of the enemy's sight and I have great hopes of gaining some paths that will bring us over the summit to their camp. So I bid you have the best of hopes." Having said this, he led the way through the thicket, and after going a good distance, by good fortune came upon a man who was on his way home from a farm somewhere; and ordering him to be seized by the youngest men of his company, he took him for his guide. This man, leading them round the hill, brought them after along time to the height adjacent to the camp, from which there was a short and easy descent to their goal. this was happening, the forces of the Romans and of the Aequians engaged and fought steadfastly, since they were equally matched and displayed the same ardour. For a long time they continued to be evenly balanced as they now attacked one another and now withdrew, horse against horse and foot against foot; and prominent men fell on both sides. the battle took a definite turn. For Siccius and his men, when they came near the camp of the Aequians, found that part of it unguarded, since the entire force appointed to guard it had gone to the other side that faced the field of battle, in order to witness the conflict; and bursting into the camp with great ease, they found themselves immediately overhead in relation to the guards. , uttering their war-cry, they attacked them on the run. The garrison, confounded by this unexpected danger and not imagining that their assailants were so few in name, but supposing that the other consul had arrived with his army, hurled themselves out of the camp, most of them not even holding on to their arms. Siccius and his men slew all of them they overtook, and after possessing themselves of their camp, marched against those who were in the plain. The Aequians, perceiving from the flight and outcries of their men that their camp had been taken, and then, not long afterwards, seeing the enemy falling upon their rear, no longer displayed any valour, but broke their ranks and endeavoured to save themselves, some by one way and some by another. And here they met with their greatest loss of life; for the Romans did not give over the pursuit till night, killing all whom they captured. The man who slew the largest number of them and performed the most brilliant deeds was Siccius, who, when he saw that the enemy's resistance was at an end, it being now dark, returned with his cohort to the camp which they had taken, filled with great joy and much exultation. All his men, safe and uninjured, having not only suffered none of the calamities they had expected, but also won the greatest glory, called him their father, their preserver, their god, and every other honourable appellation, and could not sate themselves with embracing him and showing every other mark of affection. In the meantime the rest of the Roman army with the consuls was returning from the pursuit to their camp.

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It was now midnight when Siccius, full of resentment against the consuls for having sent him to his death, resolved to take from them the glory of the victory; and having communicated his intention to his companions and received their approval, every one of them admiring the sagacity and daring of the man, he took his arms and ordering the rest to do the same, he first slaughtered all the Aequians he found in the camp, as well as the horses and beasts of burden; then he set fire to the tents, which were full of arms, corn, apparel, warlike stores and all the other articles, very many in number, which they were carrying off as part of the Tusculan booty. After everything had been consumed by the flames, he left the camp about break of day, carrying with him nothing but his arms, and after a hurried march came to Rome. As soon as armed men were seen singing paeans of victory and marching in haste, all covered with blood, the people flocked to them, earnestly desiring both to see them and to hear their exploits. they had come as far as the Forum, they gave an account to the tribunes of what had pas; and those magistrates, calling an assembly, ordered them to tell their story to all. When a large crowd had gathered, Siccius came forward and not only announced to them the victory, but also described the nature of the battle, showing that by his own valour and that of the eight hundred veterans with him, whom the consuls had sent to be slain, the camp of the Aequians had been taken and the army arrayed against the consuls had been put to flight. He asked them to give thanks for the victory to no one else, and ended by adding these words: "We have come with our lives and our arms safe, but have brought with us nothing else, great or small, of the things we captured." The populace, upon hearing this, burst into compassion and tears, as they observed the age of the men and recalled their deeds of valour; and they were filled with resentment and indignation against those who had attempted to deprive the commonwealth of such men. For his report, as Siccius foresaw, had drawn upon the consuls the hatred of all the citizens. Indeed, not even the senate took the matter lightly; for it voted them neither a triumph nor any of the other honours usually bestowed for glorious engagements. As for Siccius, however, when the time for the elections came, the populace made him tribune, granting him the honour of which they had the disposal. These were the most important of the events at that time.

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These succeeded the following year by Spurius Tarpeius and Aulus Terminius, who constantly courted the populace in all matters and in particular secured the preliminary decree of the senate for the measure of the tribunes; for they saw that the patricians reaped no advantage from their opposition, but, on the contrary, that the most zealous champions of their cause drew upon themselves envy and hatred, as well as private losses and calamities. But they were chiefly alarmed by the recent misfortune of the consuls of the preceding year, who had been severely treated by the populace and had been unable to get any help from the senate. For Siccius, who had destroyed the army of the Aequians, camp and all, and had now been made a tribune, as I stated, on the very first day of his magistracy, after offering the usual inaugural sacrifices and before transacting any other public business, had in a meeting of the assembly cited Titus Romilius to appear before the tribunal of the populace to make his defence against a charge of injuring the state; and he had set a day for his trial. Lucius, was then aedile and had been tribune the year before, had summoned Gaius Veturius, the other consul of the preceding year, to a similar trial. During the interval before the trial much partisan zeal and encouragement were shown to both of the accused, and they accordingly placed great hopes in the senate and made light of the danger, as both the older number younger senators promised them that they would not allow the trial to be carried out. But the tribunes, who had long been providing against all contingencies and paid no heed to either entreaties, threats or any danger, when the time for the trial came, called a meeting of the popular assembly. Even before this the crowd of day-labourers and husbandmen had flocked in from the country and, being added to the city throng, filled not only the Forum, but all the streets that led to it.

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The first trial to be held was tombstone of Romilius. Siccius, coming forward, charged him with all the acts of violence he was reputed to have committed against the tribunes while he was consul, and then at the end related the plot which the general had formed against him and his cohort. He produced as witnesses to support his charges the most prominent men who had served with him in the campaign, not plebeians alone, but patricians as well. Among them there was a youth distinguished both for the rank of his family and for his own merit, and a most valiant soldier. His name was Spurius Verginius. This youth related that, desiring to get Marcus Icilius, the son of one of the men in the cohort of Siccius, a youth of his own age and friend, released from that expedition, since he believed that he with his father would be going out to his death, he had summoned Aulus Verginius, his uncle, who was a legate on that campaign, and with him had gone to the consuls asking that this favour be granted to them. when the consuls refused, he said that he himself had wept and lamented in advance the misfortune of his friend, but that the young man for whom he had interceded, being informed of this, went to the consuls, and asking leave to speak, said that, while he was very grateful to those ho were interceding for him, he would not be content to accept a favour that would deprive him of the opportunity of showing his filial devotion, and that he would not desert his father, particularly when the other was going to his death, as everyone knew, but that he would go out with him, defend him to the utmost of his power and share the same fortune with him. the young man had given this testimony, there was not a single person who did not feel some emotion at the fate of those men. And when the Icilii themselves, father and son, were called as witnesses and gave an account of their experience, most of the plebeians could no longer refrain from tears. Then, when Romilius made his defence and delivered a speech that was neither deferential nor suited to the occasion, but haughty and boastful of the irresponsible power of his magistracy, the majority were doubly confirmed in their resentment against him. And upon being permitted to give their votes, they found him so clearly guilty that he was condemned by the votes of all the tribes. The pun in his case was a fine, amounting to 10,000 asses. Siccius, now, did not do this, it seems to me, without some purpose, but to end that the patricians, on the one hand, might be less zealous in Romilius' behalf and might commit no irregularities in connexion with the voting when they reflected that the condemned man would be punished with nothing more than a fine, and that the plebeians, on their side, were not going to deprive an ex-consul of either his life or his country. A few days after the condemnation of Romilius, Veturius likewise was condemned; his punishment was also set down in the indictment as a fine, one-half as much again as the other.

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As they thought about these trials the consuls then in office were in no little fear, and they took good care to avoid suffering the same fate at the hands of the populace after the expiration of their consulship; hence they no longer concealed their purposes but openly directed all their measures in the interest of the populace. First, then, they got a law ratified by the centuriate assembly permitting all the magistrates to fine any persons who were guilty of disrespectful conduct or illegal attempts against their authority. For until then none but the consuls possessed this power. They did not leave the amount of the fine, however, to the discretion of those who should impose it, but limited the sum themselves, making the maximum fine two oxen and thirty sheep. This law long continued in force among the Romans. the next place, they referred to the consideration of the senate the laws which the tribunes pressed to have drawn up, that should bind all the Romans alike and be observed forever. Many speeches were made on both sides by the best men, some tending to persuade the senate to grant the request and some to oppose it. But the opinion that prevailed was that of Titus Romilius, which supported the interest of the populace against that of the oligarchy, both patricians and plebeians. they supposed that a man who had recently been condemned by the populace would both think and say everything that was opposed to the plebeians. But he, when it was the proper time for him to speak, that is, when he was called upon to deliver his opinion in his turn ? he was of the middle rank in point of both dignity and age ? rose up and said:

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"I should be wearisome to you, senators, if I related what I have suffered at the hands of the populace and showed that it is not because of any wrongdoing on my part but because of my attachment to you, when you yourselves know the facts so well. I am forced, however, to mention these matters in order that you may know that in what I am going to say I am not condescending to flattery of the populace, which is hostile to me, but stating from the best of motives what is to the advantage of the commonwealth. Let no one wonder, if I, who was of a different opinion both earlier upon many occasions and when I was consul, have now suddenly changed; and do not imagine either that my sentiments were then ill grounded or that I am now altering them without good reason. For as long as I thought your party strong, senators, I exalted the aristocracy, as was my duty, and despised the plebeians; but having been chastised by my own misfortunes and having learned at great cost that your power is less than your will and that, yielding to necessity, you have already permitted many who undertook the struggle in your behalf to be snatched away to destruction by the populace, I no longer entertain the same sentiments. could have wished that, if possible, those misfortunes for which you all show your sympathy with us had not happened either to myself or to my colleague; but since our misadventure is over and you have it in your power to correct what lies in the future and to see to it that others do not suffer the same misfortunes, I urge you, both all in common and each one by himself, to make good use of the present situation. For that state is best governed which adapts itself to circumstances, and that man is the best counsellor who expresses his opinion without regard to personal enmity or favour but with a view to the public advantage; and those persons deliberate best concerning the future who take past events as examples of those that are to come. As for you, senators, it has happened that whenever a dispute or contention has arisen with the populace you have always come off at a disadvantage, sometimes having evil spoken of you and sometimes being punished by the death, the abuse and the banishment of illustrious men. And yet what greater misfortune could happen to a state than to have its best men lopped off, and that undeservedly? I advise you to spare these men and not to have to repent of first exposing to manifest danger and then deserting in the moment of peril either the present magistrates or anyone else who is of the slightest value to the commonwealth. substance of my advice is that you choose ambassadors and send some of them to the Greek cities in Italy and others to Athens, to ask the Greeks for their best laws and such as are most suited to our ways of life, and then to bring these laws here. And when they return, that the consuls then in office shall propose for the consideration of the senate what men to choose as lawgivers, what magistracy they shall hold and for how long a time, and to determine everything else in such a manner as they shall think expedient; and that you contend no longer with the plebeians nor add calamities to your calamities, particularly by quarrelling over laws which, if nothing else, have at least a respectable reputation for dignity."

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After Romilius had spoken to this effect, both consuls supported his opinion in long and carefully prepared speeches, and so did many other senators; and those who espoused this opinion were in the majority. When the preliminary decree was about to be drawn up, the tribune Siccius, who had brought Romilius to trial, rising up, made a long speech in his behalf, praising him for changing his opinion and for not preferring his private grudges to the public good, but delivering with sincerity the advice that was advantageous. In consideration of which," he said, "I offer him this honour and this favour: I remit the fine imposed on him at the trial and reconcile myself with him for the future. For he has overcome us by his probity." The rest of tribunes came forward and made the same agreement. Romilius, however, would not consent to accept this favour, but having thanked the tribunes for their goodwill, he said he would pay the fine, because it was already consecrated to the gods and he should be doing something unjust and unholy if he deprived the gods of what the law gives them. And he acted accordingly. preliminary decree having been drawn up and afterwards confirmed by the populace, the ambassadors who were to get the laws from the Greeks were chosen, namely, Spurius Postumius, Servius Sulpicius and Aulus Manlius; and they were furnished with triremes at the public expense and with such other appointments as were sufficient to display the dignity of the Roman empire. And thus the year ended.

Roman antiquities 10.53
In the eighty-second Olympiad (the one at which Lycus of Larissa in Thessaly won the foot-race), Chaerephanes being archon at Athens, when three hundred years were completed since the founding of Rome, and Publius Horatius and Sextus Quintilius had succeeded to the consulship, Rome was afflicted with a pestilence more severe than any of those recorded from past time. Almost all the slaves were carried off by it and about one half of the citizens, as neither the physicians were able any longer to alleviate their sufferings nor did their servants and friends supply them with the necessaries. For those who were willing to relieve the calamities of others, by touching the bodies of the diseased and continuing with them, contracted the same diseases, with the result that many entire households perished for want of people to attend the sick. Not the least of the evils the city suffered, and the reason why the pestilence did not quickly abate, was the way in which they cast out the dead bodies. For though at first, both from a sense of shame and because of the plenty they had of everything necessary for burials, they burned the bodies and committed them to earth, at the last, either through a disregard of decency or from a lack of the necessary equipment, they threw many of the dead into the sewers under the streets and cast far more of them into the river; and from these they received the most harm. when the bodies were cast up by the waves upon the banks and beaches, a grievous and terrible stench, carried by the wind, smote those also who were still in health and produced a quick change in their bodies; and the water brought from the river was no longer fit to drink, partly because of its vile odour and partly by causing indigestion. These calamities occurred not only in the city, but in the country as well; in particular, the husbandmen were infected with the contagion, since they were constantly with their sheep and the other animals. As long as most people had any hopes that Heaven would assist them, they all had recourse to sacrifices and expiations; and many innovations were then made by the Romans and unseemly practices not customary with them were introduced into the worship of the gods. But when they found that the gods showed no regard or compassion for them, they abandoned even the observance of religious rites. During this calamity Sextus Quintilius, one of the consuls, died; also Spurius Furius, who had been appointed to succeeded him, and likewise four of the tribunes and many worthy senators. While the city was afflicted by the pestilence, the Aequians undertook to lead out an army against the Romans; and they sent envoys to all the other nations that were hostile to the Romans, urging them to make war. But they did not have time to lead their forces out of their cities; for while they were still making their preparations, the same pestilence fell upon their cities. It spread not only over the country of the Aequians, but also over those of the Volscians and the Sabines, and grievously afflicted the inhabitants. In consequence, the land was left uncultivated and famine was added to the plague. Under these consuls, then, by reason of the pestilence nothing was done by the Romans, either in war or at home, worthy of being recorded in history.

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For the following year Lucius Menenius were chosen consuls; and the pestilence finally ceased. After that public sacrifices of thanksgiving were performed to the gods and magnificent games celebrated at great expense; and the people were engaged in rejoicings and festivals, as may be imagined. Indeed the whole winter season was thus spent. In the beginning of spring a large quantity of corn was brought in from many places; most of it was purchased with the public money, but some was imported by private merchants. For not least of the people' hardships was the dearth of provisions, the land having lain uncultivated by reason of the pestilence and the death of the husbandmen. At the same time the ambassadors arrived from Athens and the Greek cities in Italy, bringing with them the laws. Thereupon the tribunes went to the consuls and asked them to appoint the lawgivers pursuant to the senate's decree. The consuls did not know how to get rid of their solicitations and importunities, but as they disliked the business and were unwilling for the aristocracy to be overthrown during their consulship, they resorted to a specious excuse, saying that the time for the election of magistrates was at hand and, as it was their duty first to name the new consuls, would do so soon, and when these were appointed, they would in conjunction with them refer the matter of the lawgivers to the senate for its consideration. When the tribunes consented to this, they appointed the election much earlier than had been the custom with past elections, and nominated Appius Claudius and Titus Genucius for consuls; then, laying aside all thought for the public business, as if it were now the concern of others, they no longer paid any heed to the tribunes, but determined to pass the remaining time of their consulship in evasion of their duty. It chanced that one of them, Menenius, was seized with a chronic illness; indeed, some said that a wasting disease, which had come upon him because of grief and despondency, had made his malady hard to be cured. Sestius, availing himself of this additional excuse and pretending that he could do nothing alone, kept rejecting the pleas of the tribunes and advising them to apply to the new consuls. Thus the tribunes, since there was nothing else they could do, were forced to have recourse to Appius and his colleague, who had not yet entered upon their magistracy, and would now plead with them in the meetings of the assembly and now in private conferences. And at last they overcame these men by holding out to them great hopes of honour and power if they would espouse the cause of the populace. For Appius was seized with a desire to be invested with an alien magistracy, to establish laws for the fatherland and to set an example to his fellow citizens of harmony and peace and the recognition by them all of the unity of the commonwealth. Nevertheless, when he had been honoured with this great magistracy, he did not preserve his probity but, corrupted by the greatness of his authority, succumbed to an irresistible passion for holding office and came very near to running into tyranny; all which I shall relate at the proper time.

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At any rate, at the time in question he took this resolution with the best of motives and prevailed upon his colleague to do the same; and since the tribunes repeatedly invited him to appear before the assembly, he came forward and spoke many words of goodwill. The substance of his speech was as follows: That both he and his colleague held it to be a matter of the first importance that the lawgivers should be appointed and that the citizens should cease quarrelling over equal rights; and they were declaring their opinion openly. But for the appointing of the lawgivers they themselves had no authority, since they had not yet entered upon their magistracy; however, not only would they not oppose Menenius and his colleague in carrying out the decree of the senate, but they would actually assist them and be very grateful to them. If the others, however, should decline to carry out the decree, using the new magistracy as an excuse, claiming that it was not lawful for them, now that new consuls had been confirmed, to create other magistrates who would receive consular power, they said that so far as they themselves were concerned there would be nothing to prevent the present consuls from acting. For they would willingly resign the consulship to such magistrates as should be appointed in their steady, provided the senate too should approve of it. The populace praising them for their goodwill and rushing in a body to the senate-house, Sestius was forced to assemble the senate alone, Menenius being unable to attend by reason of his illness, and proposed to them the consideration of the laws. Many speeches were made on this occasion also both by those who contended that the commonwealth ought to be governed by laws and by those who advised adhering to the customs of their ancestors. motion that carried was made by the men who were to serve as consuls for the next year; it was delivered by Appius Claudius, who was first called upon, and was as follows: That ten persons be chosen, the most distinguished members of the senate, and that these govern for a year from the day of their appointment, possessing the same authority over all the affairs of the commonwealth as the consuls and, before them, the kings had enjoyed; that all the other magistracies be abrogated for as long a time as the decemvirs held office; that these men select both from the Roman usages and from the Greek laws brought back by the ambassadors the best institutions and such as were suitable to the Roman commonwealth, and form them into a body of laws; that the laws drawn up by the decemvirs, if approved by the senate and confirmed by the people, should be valid for all time, and that all future magistrates should determine private contracts and administer the affairs of the public according to these laws.

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The tribunes, having received this decree, went to the assembly and after reading it before the populace, bestowed much praise upon the senate and upon Appius, who had proposed it. And when the time came for the election of magistrates, the tribunes called an assembly and asked the consuls-elect to come and fulfil their promises to the populace; and they, appearing, resigned their magistracy. The populace kept praising and admiring them, and when they were to vote for lawgivers, made them their first choice. Those chosen at the election by the centuriate assembly were Appius Claudius and Titus Genucius, who were to have been consuls for the following year; Publius Sestius, consul of that year; the three who had brought the laws from the Greeks, Spurius Postumius, Servius Sulpicius and Aulus Manlius; one of the consuls of the preceding year, Titus Romilius, the man who had been condemned when tried before the populace on a charge brought by Siccius and was now chosen because he was thought to have offered a motion favourable to the populace; and, from among the other senators, Gaius Julius, Titus Veturius and Publius Horatius, all ex-consuls. At the same time the offices of the tribunes, aediles, quaestors and any other traditional Roman magistrates were abrogated.

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The next year the lawgivers took over the administration of affairs and established a form of government of the following general description. One of them had the rods and the other insignia of the consular power, assembled the senate, certified its decrees, and performed all the other functions belonging to the head of the state; while the others, by way of reducing the invidious character of their office to the more democratic level, differed in appearance but little from the mass of citizens. Then another of them in turn was vested with this authority, and thus it went on in rotation for a year, each one in succession receiving the command for a certain number of days as agreed upon. But all of them sat from early morning arbitrating cases involving private and public contracts in which complaints might arise between citizens and the subjects and allies of the Romans and peoples of doubtful allegiance to Rome, examining each case with complete fairness and justice. That year the Roman commonwealth seemed to be exceedingly well governed by the decemvirs. Above all they were commended for their care of the plebeians and for opposing, in defence of the weaker parties, every kind of violence; and it was said by many that the commonwealth would have no further need of champions of the populace or any of the other magistracies so long as a single wise leadership was directing all the affairs of the state. Of this r?gime Appius was looked upon as the head, all the praise that belonged to the whole decemvirate was given by the populace to him. For he gained a reputation for probity not only by those things which he did in concert with his colleagues from the best motives, but much more by the manner in which he conducted himself personally, as in the matter of greetings, friendly conversation and other kindly courtesies toward the poor. These decemvirs, having formed a body of laws both from those of the Greeks and from their own unwritten usages, set them forth on ten tables to be examined by any who wished, welcoming every amendment suggested by private persons and endeavouring to correct them in such a manner as to give general satisfaction. For a long time they continued to consult in public with the best men and to make the strictest scrutiny of their code of laws. When they were satisfied with what was written, they first convened the senate and, no fresh objection being made to the laws, they got a preliminary decree passed concerning them. Then, having summoned the people to the centuriate assembly, the pontiffs, the augurs and the other priests being present and having directed the performance of the religious rites according to custom, they gave the centuries their ballots. And when the people too had ratified the laws, they caused them to be engraved on bronze pillars and set them up in order in the Forum, choosing the most conspicuous place. Then, as the remaining time of their magistracy was short, they assembled the senators and proposed for their consideration what kind of magistrates should be chosen at the next election.

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After a long debate the opinion of those prevailed who favoured choosing a decemvirate again to be the supreme power in the state. For not only was their code of laws manifestly incomplete, in view of the short time in which it had been compiled, but in the case of the laws already ratified some magistracy absolute in power seemed necessary in order that willingly or unwillingly people might abide by them. But the chief motive that induced the senate to give the preference to the decemvirate was the suppression of the tribunician power, which they desired above everything. This was the result of their public deliberations; but in private the leading men of the senate resolved to canvass for this magistracy, fearing that certain turbulent spirits, if they gained such power, might cause some great mischief. The popular assembly having gladly received the resolution of the senate and confirmed it with the greatest enthusiasm, the decemvirs themselves appointed the time for the election; and those among the patricians who were most distinguished for both their dignity and age stood candidates for the magistracy. this occasion Appius, who was the chief of that decemvirate, received great praise from everybody and the whole crowd of plebeians desired to continue him in the magistracy, believing that no one else would govern better. He at first pretended to refuse it and asked them to excuse him from a service that was both troublesome and invidious; but at last, when they all pressed him, he not only consented to seek the office himself, but also, accusing the best of the rival candidates of being ill disposed toward him through envy, openly espoused the candidacy of his friends. he was again chosen in the centuriate assembly as a lawgiver, for the second time, and with him Quintus Fabius, surnamed Vibulanus, who had been thrice consul, a man adorned with every virtue and without reproach up to that time. From among the other patricians those favoured by Appius and chosen were Marcus Cornelius, Marcus Sergius, Lucius Minucius, Titus Antonius and Manius Rabuleius, men of no great distinction; and from among the plebeians, Quintus Poetelius, Caeso Duilius and Spurius Oppius. For these also were taken in by Appius in order to flatter the plebeians; he pointed out that, as only one magistracy was appointed to govern all the citizens, it was just that the populace also should be represented in it. Appius, who was in great repute for all these actions and was looked upon as superior to both their kings and the annual magistrates who had governed the state, assumed the magistracy again for the following year. These were the things done by the Romans during that decemvirate, and there was nothing else worth relating.

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The following Claudius and the other decemvirs, having received the consular power on the ides of May (for the Romans reckoned their months by the course of the moon, and the full moon fell on the ides), first of all took a solemn oath, without the knowledge of the populace, and made a compact among themselves not to oppose one another in anything, but that whatever was approved by any one of them should be ratified by all the others; and they agreed that they would hold their magistracy for life and admit no other person into the government, that they would all enjoy the same honours and possess the same power, and that they would rarely make use of the votes of the senate or populace and then only in absolutely necessary cases, but would do almost everything on their own authority. When the day came on which they were to enter upon their magistracy, after they had offered the usual initial sacrifices to the gods (for the Romans look upon this day as holy and particularly make it a point of religion neither to hear nor to see anything disagreeable during its course), the decemvirs set out early in the morning, each one accompanied by the insignia of royalty. When the people saw that they no longer preserved the same democratic and modest form of leadership or passed on the insignia of royalty from one to another, as before, they fell into great despair and dejection. They were terrified by the axes attached to the bundles of rods which were borne by the lictors, twelve of whom preceded each of the decemvirs and with blows forced the throng back from the streets, as had been the practice formerly under the kings. This custom, however, had been abolished, immediately after the expulsion of the kings, by Publius Valerius, a friend of the populace, who succeeded to their power, and all the consuls after him, following the good example he was felt to have set, no longer attached the axes to the bundles of rods except when they went out of the city either upon military expeditions or upon other occasions; but when they set out on a foreign war or inspected the affairs of their subjects, they then added the axes to the rods. This was in order that the terrifying sight, as one employed against their enemies or slaves, might give as little offence as possible to the citizens.

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When, therefore, they all saw this token, which was considered to be a mark of the kingly power, they were in great fear, as I said, believing that they had lost their liberty and chosen ten kings instead of one. The decemvirs having by this means struck terror into the masses and made up their mind that they must rule them by fear thereafter, each of them formed a faction, choosing from among the youth those who were most daring and most attached to their persons. Now the fact that most men of no means and low condition showed themselves flatterers of a tyrannical power and preferred their private advantages to the public good, was neither extraordinary nor surprising; but that there were found many even of the patricians who, though they had some reason, on the basis of either wealth or birth, to feel great pride, nevertheless consented to join with the decemvirs in destroying the liberty of their country, that seemed an amazing thing to everybody. But the decemvirs, by humouring people with all the pleasures that are calculated to subdue mankind, governed the commonwealth with great ease, holding the senate and people in no account, but becoming themselves both the lawgivers and the judges in all matters, putting many of the citizens to death and stripping others of their estates unjustly. order, however, that their acts, illegal and cruel as they were, might have a specious appearance and seem to be carried out in accordance with justice, they appointed courts to try every matter; but the accusers, chosen from among the instruments of their tyranny, were suborned by the decemvirs themselves and the courts filled with men of their factions, who gratified one another by turns in rendering their decisions. Many complaints, and those not the ones of least importance, the decemvirs decided by themselves. Hence the litigants who had less right on their side were under the necessity of attaching themselves to the factions, since they could not otherwise be sure of success; and in time the corrupted and infected element in the city became more numerous than the sound element. For those to whom the doings of the decemvirs were obnoxious would not consent even to remain any longer within the city's walls, but retired to the country while awaiting the time for the election of magistrates, in the expectation that the decemvirs would resign their power after completing their year's term and would appoint other magistrates. As for Appius and his colleagues, they caused the remaining laws to be inscribed on two tables and added them to those they had published before. Among these new laws was this one, that it should not be lawful for the patricians to contract marriages with the plebeians ? a law made for no other reason, in my opinion, than to prevent the two orders from coming together in harmony when once blended together by intermarriages and ties of affinity. And when the time for the election of magistrates was at hand, the decemvirs bade a hearty farewell to both the ancestral customs and the newly-written laws, and without asking for a vote of either senate or people, continued in the same magistracy.


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