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Trial of Kaeso Quinctius

462 bc

After the years of war with the Volci and Aequi, that went up and down for all parties, the Romans were victorious. Livius mentions for one battle 13470 killed Volsci, 5800 Romans and 6630 Aequi in another. But Livius admits these numbers cannot be verified and are probably exaggerated. Anyhow the Romans had a hard time, the burden became even heavier, when the city was ravaged by an epidemic.

Sibylline books abused
G.Terentilius Harsa, peoples tribune in 462bc proposed an enactment that a commission of 5 men would create a set of rules that would limit the, now unlimited, power of the consuls. The patricians were able to postpone this enactment for quite a while. They used all kind of tricks to achief this: the threat of a new war, all kinds of omens lead to a two-menship (duumviri) that consulted the sibylline books. There they found that the people should abstain from seditious actions.

A troublemaker
K. Quinctius, a young patrician, of great bodily strength and stature. He was famous for his brilliant military abilities and an eloquent public speaker. This man couldn't encounter a plebeian without making trouble and violence. This went on until one of the peoples tribunes A. Verginius charged him for a capital crime.

It was clear he would be condemned to death so he went in exile, but his father had to pay the bill and had to sell most of his properties and had to live at a small property in a simple dwelling. Probably here are two separate stories combined into one, because this father was the famous L. Quinctius Cincinnatus according to Livius and Dionysius. The very next year he would be elected consul and in 258bc he would save L. Minucius, the consul who was besieged with his army in his camp by the Aequi. Livius tells a nice story about how he was told he was appointed dictator.

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A Roman man
Glyptothek München


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