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IX.1‑24

This webpage reproduces a section of
The Roman Antiquities

of
Dionysius of Halicarnassus

published in Vol. VI
of the Loeb Classical Library edition, 1940

The text is in the public domain.

This text has not yet been proofread.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!


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IX.50‑71

(Vol. VI) Dionysius of Halicarnassus
Roman Antiquities

p3 (Book IX, continued)

25 1 The following year,26 about the summer solstice,27 in the month of August, Servius28 Servilius and Aulus Verginius succeeded to the consulship, both being men of experience in warfare. To them the Tyrrhenian war, though great and difficult, seemed pure gold29 in comparison with the conflict inside the city walls. For since the land had gone unsown the preceding winter because the enemy had fortified the adjacent hill30 against them and had kept up incessant raids, and since not even the merchants any longer imported the usual provisions from outside, Rome suffered from a great scarcity of corn, as the city was then crowded not only with its permanent population, but also with a multitude that had flocked thither from the country. 2 For of adult p5citizens there were more than 110,000, as appeared by the latest census; and the number of the women, children, domestics, foreign traders and artisans who plied the menial trades — for no Roman citizen was permitted to earn a livelihood as a tradesman or artisan — was not less than treble the number of the citizens. This multitude was not easy to placate; for they were exasperated at their misfortune, and gathering together in the Forum, clamoured against the magistrates, rushed in a body to the houses of the rich and endeavoured to seize without payment the provisions that were stored up by them. 3 In the meantime the tribunes assembled the people, and by accusing the patricians of always contriving some mischief against the poor, and calling them the authors of all the evils which had ever happened at the caprice of Fortune, whose whims men can neither foresee nor guard against, they inspired them with insolence and bitter resentment. 4 The consuls, beset by these evils, sent men with large sums of money to the neighbouring districts to purchase corn, and ordered all those who had stored up more than a moderate amount of corn for their own subsistence to turn it over to the state; and they fixed a reasonable price for it. By these and many other like expedients they put a stop to the lawless actions of the poor and thus got respite for their preparations for war.

26 1 But when the provisions from outside were slow in coming and all the food supplies in the city had been consumed and there was no other means of averting the evils but to choose one of two courses p7— either to hazard an engagement with all their forces, in order to drive the enemy out of the country, or by remaining shut up within the walls to perish both by famine and by sedition — they chose the lesser of these evils and resolved to go forth to meet the perils from the enemy. 2 Marching out of the city, therefore, with their forces, they crossed the river about midnight on rafts, and before it was broad daylight encamped near the enemy. The next day they came out of their camp and drew up their army for battle, Verginius commanding the right wing and Servilius the left. 3 The Tyrrhenians, seeing them ready for the contest, rejoiced greatly, believing that by this single battle, if it turned out according to their wish, they would overthrow the empire of the Romans; for they knew that all their foes' best soldiery was entered in this contest, and they entertained the hope, which was very ill founded, of defeating them with ease, since they had conquered the troops of Menenius when these had been arrayed against them in a disadvantageous position. But after a sharp and protracted battle, in which they killed many of the Romans but lost many more of their own men, they began to retreat gradually toward their camp. 4 Verginius, who commanded the right wing, would not permit his men to pursue the enemy, but urged them to rest content with the advantage they had gained; Servilius, however, who was posted on the other wing, pursued the foes who had faced him, following them for a long distance. But when he reached the heights, the Tyrrhenians face about and, those in the camp coming to their aid, they fell upon the Romans. These, after receiving their attack for a short time, turned their backs p9and, being pursued down hill, were slain as they became scattered. 5 When Verginius was informed of the plight of the left wing of the army, he led his entire force in battle array by a transverse road that passed over the hill. Then, finding himself in the rear of those who were pursuing his troops, he left a part of his army there to block any who should be sent from the camp to the relief of their comrades, and he himself with the rest attacked the enemy. In the meantime the troops also under Servilius, encouraged by the arrival of their comrades, faced about and, standing their ground, engaged. The Tyrrhenians, being thus surrounded by both forces and being unable either to break through in front, by reason of those who engaged them, or to flee back to their camp, by reason of those who attacked them in the rear, fought bravely but unsuccessfully, and were almost all destroyed. 6 The Romans having thus gained a melancholy victory and the outcome of the battle being not altogether fortunate, the consuls encamped before the bodies of the slain and there spent the following night under the open sky.

The Tyrrhenians who were occupying the Janiculum, when no reinforcements came to them from home, decided to abandon the fortress; and breaking camp in the night, they withdrew to Veii, which lay nearest to them of the Tyrrhenian cities. 7 The Romans, having possessed themselves of their camp, plundered all the effects which the enemy had left behind as being impossible to carry away in their flight, and also seized many of their wounded, part of whom had been left in their tents, while others lay scattered all along the road. 8 For some, eager to be on their way home, were holding out and with hearts p11stout beyond their strength were persisting in following their comrades; then, when their limbs grew heavy, they collapsed half dead to the ground. These the Roman horsemen slew as they advanced a good distance along the road. And when there was no longer any sign of the enemy, the army razed the fortress and returned to the city with the spoils, carrying with them the bodies of those who had been slain in the battle — a piteous sight to all the citizens by reason both of the number and of the valour of those who had perished. 9 Accordingly, the people did not think it fitting either to hold festival as for a glorious victory or to mourn as for a great and irreparable calamity; and the senate, while ordering the required sacrifices to be offered to the gods, did not permit the consuls to conduct the triumphal procession in token of a victory. A few days later the city was filled with all sorts of provisions, as not only the men who had been sent out by the commonwealth but also those who were accustomed to carry on this trader had brought in much corn; consequently, everybody enjoyed the same abundance as aforetime.

27 1 The foreign wars31 being now ended, the civil dissensions began to flare up again as the tribunes once more stirred up the populace. And though all their other measures were defeated as the result of marshalling their forces against every proposal, yet they were unable to suppress the accusation against Menenius, the late consul, in spite of all their efforts, 2 but he was brought to trial by Quintus Considius and Titus Genucius, two of the tribunes. And being called upon to give an accounting of his p13conduct of the war, the outcome of which had been neither fortunate nor honourable, and being blamed particularly for the destruction of the Fabii and the capture of Cremera, he was condemned by no small majority of the votes when the plebeians passed judgement upon him by tribes — even though he was the son of Agrippa Menenius who had brought the populace home after their secession and reconciled them with the patricians, the son of a man whom the senate after his death had honoured with a most magnificent funeral at the public expense and for whom the Roman matrons had mourned for a whole year, laying aside their purple and gold. 3 However, those who convicted him did not impose death as the penalty, but rather a fine — one which if compared with the fortunes of to‑day would appear ridiculous, but to the men of that age, who worked their own farms and aimed at no more than the necessaries of life, and particularly to Menenius, who had inherited poverty from his father, was excessive32 and oppressive, amounting to 2000 asses. The as was at that time a copper coin weighing a pound, so that the whole fine amounted to sixteen talents of copper in weight. 4 And this appeared invidious to the men of those days, who, in order to redress it, abolished all pecuniary fines, changing them to payments in sheep and oxen, and limiting the number even of these in the case of all fines to be imposed thereafter by the magistrates upon private persons. From this condemnation of Menenius the patricians took fresh occasion for resentment against the plebeians and would neither permit them to carry out the allotment p15of lands nor make any other concession in their favour. 5 And not long afterwards even the populace repented of having condemned him, when they learned of his death. For from that time he no longer entered into any intercourse with his fellow men nor was seen by anyone in any public place; and though it was his privilege by paying his fine not to be excluded from any public doings — for not a few of his friends were ready to pay the fine — he would not accept their offer, but rating his misfortune as a capital sentence and remaining at home and admitting no one, wasted away through dejection and abstinence from food, and so perished. These were the events of that year.

28 1 When Publius Valerius Publicola and Gaius Nautius had succeeded to the consulship,33 another of the patricians, Servius34 Servilius, who had been consul the preceding year, was put on trial for his life not long after laying down his magistracy. Those who cited him to trial before the populace were Lucius Caedicius and Titus Statius, two of the tribunes, who demanded an accounting, not for any crime, but for his bad luck, inasmuch as in the battle against the Tyrrhenians he had pressed forward to the enemy's camp with greater daring than prudence, and being pursued by the garrison, who rushed out in a body, had lost the flower of the youth. 2 This trial was regarded by the patricians as the most grievous of all; and meeting together, they expressed their resentment and indignation if boldness on the part of generals and their refusal to shirk any danger were going to be made a ground for p17accusations, in case Heaven opposed their plans, on the part of those who had not faced the dangers; and they reasoned that such trials would in all probability be the cause of cowardice, shirking and the lack of any further initiative on the part of commanders — the very weaknesses through which liberty is lost and supremacy undermined. 3 They earnestly implored the plebeians not to condemn the man, pointing out that they would do great harm to the commonwealth if they punished their generals for being unfortunate. 4 When the time for the trial was at hand, Lucius Caedicius, one of the tribunes, came forward and accused Servilius of having through his folly and inexperience in the duties of a general led his forces to manifest destruction and lost the finest manhood of the army; and he declared that if his colleague had not been informed promptly of the disaster and had not by bringing up his forces in all haste repulsed the enemy and saved their own men, nothing could have prevented the other army from being utterly destroyed and the state from being reduced henceforth to one-half its former members. 5 After he had thus spoken, he produced as witnesses all the centurions who had survived and some of the rank and file, who in the effort to wipe out their own disgrace arising from that defeat and flight were ready to blame the general for the ill success of the engagement. Then, having poured out many words of commiseration for the fate of those who had lost their lives upon that occasion, exaggerated the disaster, and with great contempt of the patricians dwelt at length upon everything else which by exposing their whole order to hatred was sure to discourage all who were intending to intercede p19for the man, he gave him an opportunity of speaking.

29 1 Taking up his defence, Servilius said: "If it is to a trial, citizens, that you have summoned me, and you desire an accounting of my generalship, I am ready to make my defence; but if it is to a punishment all determined, and no advantage is to accrue to me for showing that I have not wronged you in any way, take my person and deal with it as you have long desired to do. 2 Indeed, for me it is better to die without a trial than after getting a chance to plead my cause and then failing to convince you — since I should in that case seem to suffer deservedly whatever you determined against me — and you on your part will be less blameworthy for depriving me of the right to plead my cause and for indulging your angry passions while it is still uncertain even whether I have done you any wrong. And your intention will be evident to me by the manner in which you give me a hearing: by your clamour and by your silence I shall judge whether it is to vengeance or to judgement that you have summoned me." 3 Having said this, he stopped, And when silence followed and then the majority cried out to him to be of good courage and say all that he wished, he resumed his plea and said: "Well then, citizens, if you are to be my judges and not my enemies, I believe I shall easily convince you that I am guilty of no crime. I shall begin my defence with facts with which you are all familiar. I was chosen consul together with that most excellent man, Verginius, at the time when the Tyrrhenians, having fortified against you the hill that commands the city, were masters of all the open country and p21entertained hopes of speedily overthrowing our empire. There was a great famine in the city, and sedition, and perplexity as to what should be done. 4 Having been brought face to face with so turbulent and so formidable a crisis, I together with my colleague overcame the enemy in two engagements and obliged them to abandon the fort and leave the country, while I soon put an end to the famine by supplying the markets with abundant provisions; and I handed over to my successors not only our territory freed from hostile arms but also our city cured of every political distemper with which the demagogues had infected it. For what wrongdoing, then, am I accountable to you — unless to conquer your enemies is to wrong you? 5 And if some of the soldiers happened to lose their lives in the battle while fighting successfully,35 in what way has Servilius wronged the people? For naturally no god offers himself as surety to generals for the lives of all who are going into battle; nor do we receive the command of armies upon stated terms and conditions, namely that we are to overcome all our enemies and lose none of our own men. For who that is a mere mortal would consent to take upon himself all the consequences both of his judgement and of his luck? No man, I say; but our great successes we always buy at the cost of great hazards.

30 1 "Moreover, I am not the first to whom it has fallen to suffer this fate when engaging the enemy, but it has happened to practically all who have risked desperate battles against enemy forces p23more numerous than their own. For there have been instances when generals after chasing their foes have themselves been put to flight, and while slaying many of their opponents have lost still more of their own men. 2 I shall not add that many even after meeting utter defeat have returned home with ignominy and great loss, yet not one of them has been punished for his bad luck. For the calamity itself is a sufficient punishment, and to receive no praise, as is inevitable, even without anything else,36 is a great and grievous penalty for a general. Nevertheless, I for my part am so far from maintaining — what all reasonable men will allow to be just — that I do not have to render an accounting of my luck, that, even though no one else was ever willing to submit to such a trial, I alone do not decline to do so, but consent that my luck be inquired into as well as my judgement — after I have first made this one statement: 3 I observe that men's undertakings, both unsuccessful and successful, are judged, not by the several operations in detail, which are many and various, but by the final outcome. When this turns out according to their hopes, even though the intermediate operations, which are many, may not be to their liking, I nevertheless hear the undertakings praised and admired by all and regarded as the consequences of good luck; but when these measures lead to bad results, even though every measure before the final outcome is carried out with the greatest ease,37 they are ascribed, not to the p25good, but to the bad luck of their authors. 4 So, taking this as the target, do you yourselves consider what has been my luck in the various wars; and if you find that I was vanquished by the enemy, call my luck bad, but if I was victorious over them, call it good. On the subject of luck, now, I could say still more; however, as I am not unaware that all who discuss it are tiresome, I will desist.

31 1 "But since they censure my judgement also, not daring, indeed, to accuse me of treachery or cowardice, the charges on which other generals are tried, but accuse me of inexperience in the duties of a general and imprudence, in that I undertook an unnecessary risk in pressing forward to the enemy's camp, I wish to render you an accounting on that point, too, since I can make the very obvious retort that it is very easy and lies within the power of any man to censure past actions, whereas to venture upon glorious exploits is difficult and within the power of but few; also that it is not so apparent what future events will be as what past events are, but, on the contrary, we apprehend the latter by perception and our experiences, while we conjecture the others by divination and opinions, in which there is much that is deceptive; and again, that it is the easiest thing in the world for people to conduct wars by talk when they stand far from the danger, which is what my accusers do. 2 But, to waive all this, tell me, in the name of the gods, do you regard me as the first or the only man who ever attempted to capture a stronghold by force and led his men against lofty positions? Or have not many p27others of your generals done the sam, some of whom have succeeded, while the attempt of others has not turned out as they wished? Why in the world, then, did you let the others off but now try me, if you consider these actions to be marks of incapacity and imprudence in a general? How many other undertakings more daring than this does it occur to your generals to attempt when times of crisis will by no means admit of the safe and well-considered course? 3 Some indeed have snatched the standards from their own men and hurled them among the enemy, in order that the indolent and cowardly might perforce gain courage, since they knew that those who failed to recover those standards must be put to death ignominiously by their generals. Others, after invading the enemy's country, have destroyed the bridges over the rivers what they had crossed, in order that any who entertained thoughts of saving themselves by flight might find their hope vain and so be inspired with boldness and resolution in the battles. 4 Still others by burning their tents and baggage38 have imposed on their men the necessity of supplying themselves out of the enemy's country with everything they needed. I omit mentioning all the other instances of the kind, which are countless, and the many other daring actions and expedients of generals that we know of from both history and our own experience, for which no general was ever punished when disappointed in his helps. Unless, indeed, someone among you can bring the charge against me that when I exposed the others to manifest destruction I kept myself out of danger. But if I took my place in the line with all the rest, was last to withdraw and shared the same fortune with the p29others, of what crime am I guilty? Concerning myself, then, let this suffice.

32 1 "But concerning the senate and the patricians I wish to say a few words to you, since the general hatred you plebeians bear toward them because they prevented the allotment of land hurts me also, and since my accuser too did not conceal this hatred, but made it no small part of his accusation against me. 2 And I shall prospect with frankness; for I could not speak in any other fashion, nor would it be to your interest to hear me if I did. You are not doing right in the eyes of men or the gods, plebeians, if, on the one hand, you show no gratitude for the many great benefits you have received from the senate, but, on the other hand, because, when you demanded a measure the concession of which would bring great harm to the public, the senate, not in any spirit of animosity toward you, but having in view the welfare of the commonwealth, opposed it, you angrily resent its action. 3 But what you ought to have done was, preferably, to accept the senate's decisions as having been made with the best of motives and for the good of all and then to have desisted from your selfish striving; but if you were unable to restrain your inexpedient desire by means of sober reason, you should have sought to obtain these same ends by persuasion and not by violence. 4 For voluntary gifts are not only more pleasing to those who grant them than such as are extorted by force, but are also more lasting to those who receive them than those which are not freely given. Of this truth you, however, as Heaven is my witness, take no account, but you are continually stirred up by your demagogues and roused to fury p31even as is the sea by winds that spring up one after another, and you do not permit the commonwealth to remain calm and serene for even the briefest space of time. The result, therefore, is that we prefer war to peace; at any rate, when we Romans are at war, we hurt our enemies, but when at peace, our friends. 5 And yet, plebeians, if you regard all the resolutions of the senate as excellent and advantageous, as they really are, why do you not assume this also to be one of them? If, however, you believe that the senate takes no thought at all for the things it should, but governs the commonwealth dishonourably and basely, why in the world do you not abolish it bag and baggage and yourselves govern and deliberate and wage wars in defence of our empire, rather than pare it down and destroy it by degrees by making away with its most important members in your trials? For it would be better for all of us to be attacked together in war than for each one separately to be the victim of false accusations. 6 However, it is not you, as I said, who are the authors of these disorders, but rather the demagogues, who keep you stirred up and who are neither willing to be ruled nor capable of ruling. Indeed, so far as their imprudence and inexperience could accomplish it, this ship of yours would have foundered many times over; but as it is, the power which corrects their errors and enables your commonwealth to sail on an even keel is the senate, so greatly maligned by them. 7 These remarks, whether they are pleasant for you to hear or vexatious, have been uttered and hazarded by me in all sincerity; and I p33had rather lose my life by using a freedom of speech that is advantageous for the commonwealth than save it by flattering you."

33 1 Having spoken in this manner and without either resorting to lamentations and wailings over his misfortune or abasing himself by entreaties and unseemly grovelling at the feet of anyone, and without displaying any other mark of an ignoble nature, he yielded the floor to those who desired to speak or bear witness in his favour. Many came forward and sought to clear him of the charge, and particularly Verginius, who had been consul at the same time with him and was regarded as having been the cause of the victory. He not only declared Servilius to be innocent, but argued that, as the bravest of men in war and the most prudent of generals, he deserved to be praised and honoured by all. 2 He said that if they thought the war had ended favourably, they ought to feel grateful to both commanders, but if unfavourably, they ought to punish them both; for not only their plans, but also their actions and the fortunes meted out to them by Heaven had belonged to them both. Not only were the man's words convincing, but his whole life as well, which had been tested in all manner of good deeds. 3 He had moreover — and this it was that stirred the greatest compassion — a look of fellow-suffering, such a look as one is apt to see on the faces of those who themselves have suffered calamities or are about to suffer them. Hence even the relations of the men who had lost their lives in the battle and seemed irreconcilable to the au of their misfortune became softened and laid aside their resentment, as they presently made evident. For p35when the votes had been taken, not a single tribe condemned him. Such was the outcome of the jeopardy in which Servilius had been placed.

34 1 Not long afterwards39 an army of the Romans marched out against the Tyrrhenians under the command of Publius Valerius, one of the consuls. For the forces of the Veientes had again assembled and had been joined by the Sabines. The latter had hitherto hesitated to assist them in the war, fearing that they were aiming at the impossible; but now, when they learned both of the flight of Menenius and of the fortifying of the hill close to the city, concluding that the forces of the Romans had been humbled and that the spirit of the commonwealth had been broken, they proceeded to aid the Tyrrhenians, sending them a large body of troops. 2 The Veientes, relying night on their own forces and on those of the Sabines which had just come to them, and expecting reinforcements from the rest of the Tyrrhenians, were eager to march on Rome with the greater part of their army, in the belief that none would oppose them, but that they should either take the city by storm or reduce it by famine. 3 But Valerius forestalled their plan, while they were still delaying and waiting for the allies who tarried, by setting out himself with the flower of the Roman youth and with the auxiliary force from the allies, not openly, but in such a manner as would conceal his march from the enemy so far as possible. For, advancing from Rome in the later afternoon and crossing the Tiber, he encamped at a short distance from the city; then, rousing the army about midnight, p37he marched in haste40 and, before it was day, attacked one of the enemy's camps. 4 For there were two camp s, separate but at no great distance from one another, one of the Tyrrhenian and the other of the Sabines. The first camp he attacked was that of the Sabines, where most of the men were still asleep and there was no guard worth mentioning, inasmuch as they were in friendly territory and felt great contempt for the enemy, whose presence had not been reported from any quarter; and he took it by storm. Some of the Sabines were slain in their beds, others just as they were getting up and arming themselves, and still others, who, though armed, were dispersed and fighting in disorder; but the larger part of them were intercepted and destroyed by the Roman horse while they were endeavouring to escape to the other camp.

35 1 The camp of the Sabines having thus been taken, Valerius led his forces to the other camp, where the Veientes lay, having occupied a position that was not very strong. Here it was not possible for the attackers to approach the camp without being seen, since it was now broad daylight and the fleeing Sabines had informed the Tyrrhenians both of their own disaster and of the advance of the Romans against the others; hence it was necessary to attack the enemy with might and main. 2 Then, as the Tyrrhenians ought to before their camp with all possible vigour, a sharp action ensued, with great slaughter on both sides; and the decision of the battle was equally balanced, shifting to and fro for a long time. At last p39the Tyrrhenians, forced back by the Roman horse, gave way and retired to their camp. The consul followed, and when he came near their ramparts — these had been poorly constructed and the place, as I said, was not very secure — he attacked them in many places at once, continuing his exhausting efforts all the rest of that day and not even resting the following night. 3 The Tyrrhenians, exhausted by their continual hardships, left their camp at break of day, some fleeing to their city and others dispersing themselves in the neighbouring woods. The consul, having made himself master of this camp also, rested his army that day; then, on the next day he distributed to the men who had shared in the fighting the spoils, great in quantity, which he had taken in both camps, and honoured with the customary crowns those who had distinguished themselves in the battles. 4 The man who was regarded as having fought with the better bravery of all and put the troops of the Veientes to flight was Servilius, the consul of the preceding year, who had been acquitted in his trail before the populace and now had been sent along as legate to Valerius; and in consideration of the superior valour he showed upon this occasion he was the first to receive the rewards which among the Romans are the most esteemed. After that the consul, having stripped the enemy's dead and buried his own, marched away with his army, and encamping near the city of the Veientes, challenged those inside to give battle. 5 But when none ventured out to fight and he saw that it would be a difficult matter to capture them by assault, occupying as they did a city that was exceedingly strong, he overran a great part of their country and then invaded that of the p41Sabines. For many days he plundered their territory too, which was still untouched, and then, since his baggage train was now heavily laden with booty, he led his troops homeward. While he was yet a long way from the city he was met by the people, who, crowned with garlands, perfumed the route with frankincense as he entered and received the army with bowls of honeyed wine. And the senate decreed to him the celebration of a triumph.

6 The other consul, Gaius Nautius, to whom the defence of their allies the Latins and the Hernicans had fallen by lot, had delayed taking the field, not because he was swayed by any irresolution or fear of danger, but because he was awaiting the uncertain outcome of the war with the Veientes, to the end that, if any misfortune should befall the army employed against them the commonwealth might have another force assembled in readiness to hinder the enemy from making an irruption into the country, in case this foe, like those who had earlier marched against Rome, should attempt to fortify any places as a threat to the city. 7 In the meantime the war brought upon the Latins by the Aequians and the Volscians had been happily concluded and messengers had arrived announcing that the enemy, defeated in battle, had left the territory of the Latins and that these allies no longer stood in any need of assistance for the present. Nevertheless, Nautius, after affairs in Tyrrhenia had taken a happy turn for the Romans, marched out with his army. 8 Then, having invaded the country of the Volscians and overrun a great part of it which they had left deserted, he possessed p43himself of a very few slaves and cattle, and having set fire to their fields, the corn being then ripe, and done not a little other damage to their farmsteads, as none came to oppose him, he led his army home. These were the things accomplished in the consulship of those men.

36 1 Their successors in the consulship,41 Aulus Manlius and Lucius Furius, after the senate had voted that one of them should march against the Veientes, drew lots, according to their custom, to determine which should command the expedition. And the lot falling to Manlius, he speedily led out the troops and encamped near the enemy. The Veientes, being shut up within their walls, defended themselves for some time; and sending ambassadors both to the other cities of Tyrrhenia and to the Sabines who had lately assisted them, they asked them to send them aid promptly. 2 But when they failed of everything they asked for and had consumed all their provisions, the oldest and most honoured among them, compelled by necessity, came out of the city to the consul with the tokens of suppliants, begging for an end to the war. Manlius ordered them to bring money for a year's pay for the army and provisions for two months and after doing this to send envoys to Rome to treat with the senate for peace. And they, having approved these conditions and speedily brought the pay for the army, together with the money which the consul permitted them to pay in lieu of the corn, came to Rome; and being introduced into the senate, they sought to obtain forgiveness for the past and for p45the future to be freed from the war. 3 After many arguments on both sides, the motion prevailed to put an end to the war by a treaty, and a truce was granted to them for forty years. Then the envoys departed, feeling very grateful to the commonwealth for the peace. And Manlius, coming to the city, requested and received an ovation42 for having put an end to the war. There was also a census in this consulship; the number of the citizens who registered their own names, their wealth, and the names of their sons who had reached manhood was a little over 103,000.43

37 1 These consuls44 were succeeded by Lucius Aemilius Mamercus (elected for the third time) and Vopiscus Julius, in the seventy-seventh Olympiad45 (the one at which Dandes of Argos won the foot-race), when Chares was archon at Athens. The administration of the new consuls was very difficult and turbulent; they enjoyed peace, it is true, from foreign wars — for all their quarrels were in a state of quiet — but through the dissensions at home they were not only themselves exposed to dangers, but came near destroying the commonwealth as well. For as soon as the populace had a respite from military expeditions, they at once became eager for a distribution of the public lands. 2 It seems there was among the tribunes a certain bold man, not wanting in eloquence, Gnaeus Genucius, who whetted the passions of the poor. This man, by assembling the populace on every occasion and cajoling the needy, p47was endeavouring to force the consuls to carry out the decree of the senate concerning the allotment of lands. But the consuls kept refusing to do, alleging that this duty had been assigned by the senate, not to them, but to the consuls who immediately followed Cassius and Verginius, with reference to whom the preliminary decree had been drawn up.46 At the same time they pointed out that decrees of the senate were not laws continuing in force forever, but measures designed to meet temporary needs and having validity for one year only. 3 When the consuls put forward these excuses, Genucius, finding himself unable to employ compulsion against them, since they were invested with a superior authority, took a bold course. He brought a public suit against Manlius and Lucius, the consuls of the preceding year, and summoned them to appear before the populace and make their defence, specifying openly the ground for the action, which was that they had wronged the populace in not appointing the decemvirs directed by the senate to distribute the allotments of land. 4 And he advanced plausible reasons for not bringing to trail some of the other consuls, though there had been twelve consulships in the interval since the senate had drawn up this decree,47 and for accusing only these men of violating the promise. He ended by saying that the only way the present consuls could be compelled to allot the land would be for them to see some others punished by the populace and thus be reminded that it would be their fate to meet with the same treatment.

38 1 After he had said this and exhorted p49them all to be present at the trial and had solemnly sworn over the victims that he would persist in his resolution and prosecute the men with all possible vigour, he appointed a day for holding the trail. The patricians, upon learning of this, felt great fear and concern, wondering what course they ought to take to secure the men's acquittal of the charge and also to put a stop to the boldness of the demagogue. And they resolved, in case the populace should pass any vote to the prejudice of the consular power, to prevent them from carrying it out, by opposing them with all their power and even resorting to arms if that should be necessary. 2 But they had no need to use any violent means, as the danger was dispelled in a sudden and unexpected manner. For when only one day remained till the trial, Genucius was found dead on his bed without the least sign of stabbing, strangling, poisoning, or any of the other means of killing as the result of a plot. As soon as this unhappy occurrence was known and the body had been brought into the Forum, the event was looked upon as a kind of providential obstacle to the trial, which was straightway dismissed. 3 For none of the other tribunes dared to revive the sedition, but they even looked upon Genucius as having been guilty of great madness. Now if the consuls had not committed any further act of officiousness, but had let the dissension, as Heaven had put it to sleep, remain so, no further danger would have beset them; but as it was, by turning to arrogance and contempt for the plebeians and by desiring to display the extent of their power, they brought about great mischiefs. For, having appointed a day for levying troops and endeavouring p51to coerce the disobedient by various punishments, including even scourging with rods, they drove the greater part of the plebeians to desperation. This was caused particularly by the incident I shall now relate.

39 1 A certain man of the plebeians, famous for his exploits in war, Volero Publius,48 who had commanded centuries in the late campaigns, was now listed by the consuls as a common soldier instead of a centurion. Upon his objecting to this and refusing to take a lower rank when he had been guilty of misconduct in the former campaigns, the consuls, offended at his frankness, ordered the lictors to strip him and lash his body with their rods. 2 The young man called upon the tribunes for assistance, and asked, if he were guilty of any crime, to stand trial before the plebeians. When the consuls paid no heed to him but repeated their orders to the lictors to take him away and flog him, he regarded the insult as intolerable and took justice into his own hands. 3 The first lictor who approached him he struck squarely in the face with his fists, and being a young man and vigorous, he knocked him down; and the next one likewise. When the consuls in their anger ordered all their attendants to approach him at the same time, the plebeians who were present thought it an outrageous thing. And immediately gathering together in a body and shouting the cry used to incite one another's resentment, they snatched the young man away and repulsed the lictors with blows, and at last made a rush against the consuls; and if those magistrates had not left the Forum and fled, the mob p53would have done some irreparable mischief. 4 As a result of this incident the whole city was divided, and those tribunes who till then had remained quiet grew wild with rage and inveighed against the consuls. Thus the dissensions over the land-allotment had turned into another quarrel of greater consequence because of the contest concerning the form of government. On the one hand the patricians, believing that the power of the consuls was being destroyed, shared their indignation and demanded that the man who had dared to lay hands on their attendants should be hurled down from the precipice.49 5 On the other hand the plebeians, assembling together, raised a loud clamour and exhorted one another not to betray their liberty, but to carry the matter before the senate, to accuse the consuls and to endeavour to ought to be some justice from them because they had refused to permit a man who had invoked the assistance of the tribunes and asked to be tried before the populace, in case he were guilty of any wrongdoing, to obtain either of these rights, but had treated him like a slave, though he was free born and a citizen, when they ordered him to be beaten. 6 The two parties being thus arrayed against one another and neither being willing to yield to the other, all the remaining time of this consulship was consumed without being marked either by any glorious exploits in war or by achievements at home worthy of mention.

40 1 The election of magistrates being at hand,50 Lucius Pinarius and Publius Furius were chosen consuls. At the very beginning of this year the city p55was filled with a kind of religious awe and fear of the gods owing to the occurrence of many prodigies and omens. All the augurs and the pontiffs51 declared that these occurrences were indications of divine anger, aroused because of some rites were not being performed in a pure and holy manner. 2 And not long afterwards the disease known as the pestilence attacked the women, particularly such as were with child, and more of them died than ever before; for as they miscarried and brought forth dead children, they died together with their infants. And neither supplications made at the statues and altars of the gods nor expiatory sacrifices performed on behalf of the state and of private households gave the women any respite from their ills. 3 While the commonwealth was suffering from such a calamity, information was given to the pontiffs by a slave that one of the Vestal virgins who have the care of the perpetual fire, Urbinia by name, had lost her virginity and, though unchaste, was performing the public sacrifices. The pontiffs removed her from her sacred offices, brought her to trial, and after her guilt had been clearly established, they ordered her to be scourged with rods, to be carried through the city in solemn procession and then to be buried alive. 4 One of the two men who had perpetrated the impious defilement killed himself; the other was seized by the pontiffs, who ordered him to be scourged in the Forum like a slave and then put to death. After this action the pestilence which had attacked women and caused so great a mortality among them promptly ceased.

41 1 But the sedition raised by the plebeians p57against the patricians, which had long continued in the city, was starting up again. The person who stirred it up was Volero Publius, one of the tribunes, the same man who the year before had disobeyed the consuls Aemilius and Julius when they would have listed him as a common soldier instead of a centurion. He was chosen by the poor as leader of the populace, not so much for any other reason — for he was not only of common birth, but had been brought up in great obscurity and want — but because he was regarded as the first person in private life who by his disobedience had humbled the consular power, which till then had been invested with the royal dignity, and still more by reason of the promises he had made, when he stood candidate for the tribunate against the patricians, to deprive them of their power. 2 This man, as soon as it was possible for him to attend to public business, now that the divine anger had abated, called an assembly of the populace and proposed a law concerning the tribunician elections, transferring them from the assembly of the clans,52 called by the Romans the curiate assembly, to the tribal assembly.53 What the difference was between these assemblies I will now point out. 3 In order that the voting in the curiate assembly might be valid it was necessary that the senate should pass a preliminary decree and that the plebeians should vote on it by curiae, and that p59after both these votes the heavenly signs and omens should offer no opposition; whereas, in the case of the voting of tribal assembly, neither the preliminary decree of the senate was necessary nor the sanction of the priests and augurs, but it was only necessary that it should be carried through and completed by the members of the tribes in a single day. Now of the other four tribunes there were two who joined with Volero in proposing this law; and by enlisting the co-operation of these two he carried the day, as those who were not of the same mind were in the minority. 4 But the consuls, the senate, and all the patricians sought to prevent the law from passing; and coming to the Forum in great numbers on the day appointed by the tribunes for ratifying the law, they delivered all kinds of speeches, the consuls, the oldest senators and everyone else who so desired enumerating the absurdities inherent in the law. When the tribunes had argued on the other side and the consuls had spoken a second time and the verbal skirmishing had lasted a long while, that assembly at least was dispersed by the closing in of night-time. The tribunes having again appointed the third market-day for the consideration of the law and an even greater throng flocking to the Forum on that day, the same thing happened as before. 5 Publius, perceiving this, resolved neither to permit the consuls to inveigh against the law again nor to allow patricians to be present at the voting. For the patricians in their partisan bands and in groups together with their clients, who were numerous, occupied many parts of the Forum, shouting encouragement to those who inveighed against the law and noisily interrupting those who defended it, and doing many other things p61that were indications of the disorder and violence that there would be in the voting.

42 1 These designs of Publius, pointing toward a tyranny, were checked by a fresh calamity sent from Heaven. For the city was visited with a pestilence, which occurred, indeed, in the rest of Italy also, but was especially prevalent in Rome. No human assistance could relieve the sick; but alike whether they were attended with great care or received none of the necessary attentions, they died all the same. No supplications to the gods nor sacrifices nor the final refuge to which men under such calamities are compelled to have recourse — private and public expiations — contributed any help at that time; and the disease made no distinction of age or sex, of strong or weak constitutions, of skill, or of any other of the agencies supposed to lighten the malady,54 but attacked both men and women, old and young. 2 However, it did not last long — a circumstance which saved the city from utter destruction; but, like a river in flood or a conflagration, falling upon the people with full force, it made a sharp attack and a speedy departure. As soon as the calamity abated, Publius, p63whose magistracy was near expiring, since he could not get the law confirmed during the remainder of his term, as the election of magistrates was at hand, stood again for the tribuneship for the following year, making many big promises to the plebeians; and he was again chosen tribune by them, together with two of his colleagues. 3 The patricians, to meet this situation, contrived to advance to the consulship a man of stern disposition and an enemy of the populace, one who would not diminish in any respect the power of the aristocracy, namely, Appius Claudius, the son of that Appius who had most strongly opposed the populace in the matter of their return.55 And though he protested much and even refused to go to the field56 for the election, they nevertheless passed the preliminary vote and appointed him consul57 in his absence.

43 1 After the election58 had been carried through quite easily59 — for the poorer people left the field56 as soon as they heard Appius named60 — Titus Quintius Capitolinus and Appius Claudius Sabinus succeeded to the consulship, men alike neither in their dispositions nor in their principles. 2 For it was the opinion of Appius that the idle and needy populace should be kept employed in military expeditions abroad, in order that, while supplying themselves from the enemy's country by their own toils with an abundance of the daily necessaries of which they were in the greatest need and at the same time accomplishing results advantageous to the commonwealth, p65they might be least likely to be hostile and troublesome to the senators who were administering public affairs. He declared that any excuse for making war would be justifiable for a state that laid claim to supremacy and was envied by all; and he asked them, applying the principle of probability, to judge what was to happen in the future by what had already taken place in the past, adding that all the commotions which had occurred in the commonwealth in the past had happened during the respites from war. 3 Quintius, on the other hand, thought they ought not to wage any war. He declared they ought to be satisfied if the populace, when called upon to face the inevitable dangers brought upon them from outside, yielded ready obedience; and he showed that if they attempted to use force with the disobedient they would drive the plebeians to desperation, as the consuls before them had done. As a result, they would run the risk either of putting down the sedition with bloodshed and slaughter or of submitting to a shameful courting of the plebeians. 4 In that month the command belonged to Quintius, so that the other consul was bound to do nothing without his consent. In the meantime Publius and the other two tribunes without further delay were again proposing the law which they had been unable to get ratified the year before, with this additional provision that the college of aediles61 should also be chosen in the same assemblies,62 and that everything else that was to be done and ratified by the populace should be voted on in like manner by the members of the p67tribes. This, now, clearly meant the overthrow of the senate and the dominance of the populace.

44 1 When the consuls were informed of this, they grew anxious and considered by what means the commotion and sedition might speedily and safely be removed. Appius advised summoning to arms all who wished the constitution of their fathers to be preserved, and if any opposed them, to look upon them as enemies. 2 But Quintius thought they ought to use persuasion with the plebeians and convince them that through ignorance of their own interest they were being led into pernicious counsels. He said that it was the extreme of folly to wish to obtain from their fellow citizens against their will the things which they might receive by their consent. 3 The advice of Quintius being approved of by the other members of the senate, the consuls went to the Forum and asked the tribunes to give them a hearing and to appoint a time for it. And having obtained both requests with difficulty, when the day they had asked of them had come, the Forum being filled with a great concourse of people of all sorts, which the magistrates on both sides had got together under instructions to support them, the consuls presented themselves with the intention of speaking against the law. 4 Quintius, accordingly, who was a fair-minded man in all respects and most capable of winning over the populace by his eloquence, first desired leave to speak, and then made an adroit speech that was acceptable to everybody, with the result that those who spoke in favour of the law were p69reduced to great embarrassment, finding nothing to say that was more just or more reasonable. 5 And if his colleague had not chosen to continue his officiousness, the populace, being fully aware that their demands were neither just nor right, would have rejected the law. But as it was, he delivered a speech that was haughty and offensive to the ears of the poor, so that they became exasperated and implacable and fell into greater strife than before. 6 For he did not talk to them as if they were free men and his fellow citizens who had power to confirm or reject the law, but domineering over them as if they were outcasts or foreigners or men whose liberty was precarious, he uttered bitter and intolerable reproaches, upbraiding them with the abolition of their debts and with their desertion of the consuls when they snatched up the consuls and quit the camp, imposing voluntary banishment upon themselves;63 and he appealed to the oaths they had sworn when they took up arms in defence of the country which had given them birth, only to turn them against that very country. 7 Therefore their conduct was not at all strange, he said, if, after being guilty of perjury to the gods, deserting their generals, leaving the city undefended as far as in them lay, and returning home in order to violate the public faith, subvert the laws and overthrow the constitution of their fathers, they showed no moderation and could not behave themselves like good citizens, but were always aiming at some selfish encroachment and violation of the laws. At one time they were demanding the right to choose for themselves their own magistrates p71and making these unaccountable for their actions and sacrosanct; again, they were putting on trial for their lives such of the patricians as they saw fit, and transferring the legitimate courts, to which the commonwealth had formerly entrusted the trial of causes involving death or banishment, from the most incorruptible senate64 to the vilest mob; and yet again, the labourers for hire and the homeless were introducing tyrannical and unfair laws against the men of noble birth, without leaving to the senate the power even of passing the preliminary decree concerning those laws, but depriving that body of this honour also, which it had always enjoyed undisputed under both kings and tyrants. 8 After he had p73uttered many other reproaches of like nature and withheld neither any bitter fact nor any opprobrious word, he concluded with this declaration — which gave greater offence to the multitude than all the rest — that the commonwealth would never cease being divided into factions over every matter, but would always suffer from some fresh distemper following the old as long as the tribunician power should last. He pointed out that it is important to examine the beginnings of every political and public institution, to see that they shall be righteous and just; for from good seeds are wont to come good and wholesome fruit, and from bad seeds evil and deadly fruit.

45 1 "If, now," he said, "this magistracy had been introduced into the commonwealth harmoniously, for the good of all, entering in with the sanction of both omens and religious rites, it would have been the source of many blessings to us — kindly services, harmony, wholesome laws, hopes of blessings from Heaven, and countless any other benefits. But as it is, since it was introduced by violence, lawlessness, sedition, the fear of civil war, and by everything mankind most abhors, what good or salutary thing can one now expect will ever come of it when it had such beginnings? So that it is vain for us to seek for a cure and for the aids which human reason suggests against the evils that are continually springing out of it, so long as the pernicious root remains. 2 For we shall have no end of outbursts of the divine wrath, no deliverance from them, while this malignant curse and cancer, firmly imbedded in our body politic, corrupts and destroys all that is wholesome. But for the discussion of this subject another occasion will be more suitable. For the moment, since it is necessary p75to compose the present disturbances, I put aside all equivocation and say this to you: Neither this nor any other law shall become valid during my consulship without a preliminary decree of the senate; on the contrary, I will fight for the aristocracy not only with words, but, if it shall be necessary to proceed to deeds, I shall not be outdone by its opponents even in these. And if you did not know before the extent of the consular power, you shall learn it during my term of office."

46 1 Thus Appius spoke; and, on the side of the tribunes, the oldest and most highly respected, Gaius Laetorius, a man acknowledged to be of no mean courage in warfare and not without ability in public affairs, rose up to answer him; and he delivered a long speech in behalf of the populace, beginning with the earliest times. He showed that the poor whom Appius maligned had made many hard campaigns not only under their kings, when one might say their action was due to compulsion, but also after the expulsion of the kings, when they were acquiring liberty and supremacy for the fatherland. 2 But they had received no recompense from the patricians nor enjoyed any of the public advantages, but, like captives taken in war, had been deprived by them even of their liberty, to recover which they had been compelled to leave their country in their yearning for another land in which they might live as free men without being insulted. And they had obtained their return to their possessions neither by offering violence to the senate nor by resorting to the compulsion of war, but by yielding to it when it asked and implored p77them to receive back their abandoned possessions. 3 He mentioned the oaths and appealed to the terms of the compact which had been made to induce them to return, among which there was, first, a general amnesty, and then for the poor the power of choosing magistrates who should assist them and oppose those who would do violence to them. 4 After recounting these matters, he cited the laws which the people had not long before ratified, both the one concerning the transfer of the courts, by which the senate had granted to the people the power to try any of the patricians they should think fit, and also the one concerning the manner of their voting, which no longer made the centuriate assembly, but rather the tribal assembly, responsible for the voting.65

47 1 When he had finished his defence of the populace, he turned to Appius and said: "After this do you dare revile these men through whom the commonwealth, once small, has become great, and, once obscure, illustrious? And do you call your opponents seditious and reproach them for a fate akin to exile, as if all these men here did not still remember what befel your own family — that your ancestors, having raised a sedition against the authorities and abandoned their country, settled here as suppliants?66 Unless, indeed, your folk, when they forsook their country through a desire for liberty, did a noble thing, but Romans, when they did the same thing as you, did an ignoble thing! 2 Do you dare also to revile the p79tribunician power as having been introduced into the commonwealth for a mischievous purpose and do you attempt to persuade these men here to abrogate this sacred and inviolable protection of the poor, safeguarded as it is by powerful sanctions which stem from both gods and men, O greatest enemy of the populace and most tyrannical of men? Have you not been able, then, to learn even this, that in saying these things you traduce both the senate and your own magistracy? For the senate, having risen against the kings, whose arrogance and insults they resolved to bear no longer, established the consulship, and before they had expelled the kings, invested others with the royal authority. 3 So that everything you say against the tribunician power as having been introduced for a mischievous purpose, since it had its origin in sedition, you say against the consulship also; for there was no other ground for introducing that magistracy than the sedition of the patricians against the kings. 4 But why do I talk thus with you as with a good and fair-minded citizen, when all these men here know that you are by inheritance mischievous, harsh and an enemy of the populace, and that you can never tame your inborn savagery? Why do I not rather come to grips with you, preferring actions to words, and show you how great is the strength, all unknown to you, of the populace, whom you were not ashamed to call homeless and vile, and how great is the power of this magistracy, to which the law obliges you to give way and submit? I too shall lay aside all equivocation and set to work."

48 1 Having said this and sworn the strongest oath in use among the Romans that he would either p81get the law ratified or abandon life, the multitude meanwhile having become silent and being in an agony of expectation concerning what he was going to do, he ordered Appius to leave the assembly. And when Appius, instead of obeying, placed the lictors about him, together with the crowd which he had brought from home for that purpose, and obstinately refused to leave the Forum, Laetorius, after bidding the heralds to command silence, announced that the tribunes ordered the consul to be led away to prison. 2 Upon this the assist by his command advanced in order to seize the person of Appius, but the foremost lictor with a successful blow drove him back. When those present raised a great outcry and showed their resentment, Laetorius himself rushed forward after appealing to the crowds to assist him, while Appius, supported by a numerous and vigorous body of young men, stood his ground. There followed unseemly words between the factions and shouting and the pushing of body against body; and at last the strife broke out into blows and they began to throw stones. 3 But a stop was put to this and the mischief was prevented from proceeding farther by Quintius, the other consul, who together with the oldest senators implored and entreated them all to desist, and thrust himself into the midst of the contending parties. Moreover, there was little of the day left, so that, albeit reluctantly, they separated.

4 During the following days not only did the magistrates indulge in accusations against one another, the consul charging the tribunes with a desire to invalidate his authority by ordering a consul to be led away to prison, and the tribunes charging the consul with having struck those whose persons were p83sacred and made inviolate by the law — Laetorius, indeed, bore on his face the marks, still visible, of the blows — but the whole city, filled with rage and fury, was rent with faction. 5 Then the populace together with the tribunes proceeded to guard the Capitol both day and night without intermission. The senate assembled and entered into a long and difficult consideration of the proper means of putting a stop to the sedition, being sensible not only of the magnitude of the danger but also that not even the consuls had succeeded in being of one mind; for Quintius advised yielding to the populace in everything that was reasonable, whereas Appius proposed to resist till death.

49 1 When no end would come to the strife, Quintius took each party aside separately, the tribunes and Appius, and begged, besought and implored them to regard the public interests as more vital than their private concerns. And observing that the tribunes had become milder but that his colleague persisted in the same arrogance, he undertook to persuade Laetorius and his colleagues to refer all their complaints, both private and public, to the determination of the senate. 2 When he had accomplished this, he assembled the senate, and after bestowing great praise upon the tribunes and begging his colleague not to act against the safety of the state, he then proceeded to call upon those who were wont to express their opinions.67 3 Publius Valerius Publicola, who was called upon first, expressed the following opinion: That the mutual accusations of the tribunes and the consul relating to what they had suffered or done in the tumult, since they had gone so far, not p85with malice aforethought or for personal advantage, but out of rivalry in their zeal for the public welfare, should be publicly dismissed and that no suit should be brought because of them. As to the proposed law, since the consul would not allow any law to be presented to the assembly without a preliminary vote of the senate, he advised that the senate should vote upon it first; also that the tribunes together with the consuls should take care to preserve harmony and decorum among the citizens when the vote should be taken concerning it. 4 This advice being approved of by all, Quintius immediately put the question to the senate concerning the law, and after many objections offered by Appius and many rejoinders made by the tribunes the motion to lay it before the populace was carried by a large majority. The preliminary decree having been thus passed, the private differences of the magistrates were composed; and the populace, gladly accepting this concession of the senate, ratified the law. 5 From that time down to our own the tribunes and the aediles have been chosen in the tribal assemblies68 without auspices or any other religious observances. This was the end of the tumult which disturbed the commonwealth at that time.


The Editor's Notes:

26 For chaps. 25 f. cf. Livy II.51.4‑52.1.

27 474 B.C. Livy's date for these consuls is 477. See note on I.32.5.

28 The MSS. all give the praenomen as Servius both here (p3)and in chap. 28; but we should probably read Spurius, the form found in Livy, Cassiodorus and Diodorus. A Spurius Servilius Priscus was censor a century later.

Proper names and numbers are always very doubtful, given the vagaries of manuscript transmission and the emendations, often tacit, by modern editors. Here for example, our text of Diodorus calls him Gaius.

29 See note on I.57.2.

30 The Janiculum; see IX.24.

31 Cf. Livy II.52.2‑5.

32 The first of these two adjectives has been corrupted in the MSS. and the correct word must remain in doubt.

33 For chaps. 28‑33 cf. Livy II.52.6‑8.

34 See note on chap.25.1.

35 Or "courageously," following Kiessling.

36 See the critical note.

37 Or, following the emendation of Kiessling or that of Kayser, "in the best possible manner."

38 This passage makes it clear that Dionysius could use σκευοφόρα in the sense of the simple σκεύη, and that it should be so rendered in IV.47.2.

39 For chaps. 34 f. cf. Livy II.53.

40 "In haste" is Kiessling's emendation for "in battle array," the reading of the MSS.

41 Cf. Livy II.54.1 f.

42 Literally, "the triumph on foot"; see V.47.2 f.

43 One of our best MSS. (B) gives 133,000; but this is probably a scribal error.

44 For chaps. 37‑39 cf. Livy II.54.2‑55.11.

45 471 B.C.

46 Cf. VIII.76.2.

47 The decree was passed late in the year 484 (VIII.76.2); (p47)Genucius was tribune in 471. (Both dates according to Dionysius' chronology.)

48 The correct form of the name is Volero Publilius (Livy II.55.4).

49 The Tarpeian Rock.

50 For chaps. 40‑42 cf. Livy II.56.1‑5.

51 Literally, "interpreters of religious matters (or rites)." Cf. II.73.3.

52 Cf. II.7.2 f.

53 Dionysius has no special phrase for the concilium plebis, but uses the same terms as for the assemblies of the whole people. What he thus ambiguously relates here was probably a change from the concilium plebis curiatim to the concilium plebis tributim. By comparing together the two (p57)passages (VI.87.3 and 89.1) in which the establishment of the tribunate is described, we see that the first tribunes were elected by a concilium plebis, meeting by curiae. It is to be noted that in the second of these passages, as in so many other places, Dionysius uses the word δῆμος, which can mean either the plebs alone or the whole people; his distinctive term for plebeians is δημοτικοί, for plebs δημοτικόν or πλῆθος (sometimes both together).

54 The phrases "of skill" and "of any other of the agencies supposed to lighten the malady" seem out to be out of their proper place. According to Kiessling's transposition we should have, following "contributed any help at that time," either (1), retaining τέχνη, "nor did skill, nor any of the other agencies supposed to lighten the malady"; or (2), substituting τύχην for τέχνην and retaining in its present position, "nor did any of the other agencies supposed to lighten the malady; and the disease made no distinction of age or sex, of strong or weak constitutions, or one's circumstances (one's station in life), but attacked both men and women," etc.

55 See VI.59 ff. The reference is to the return from the Sacred Mount.

56 The Campus Martius.

57 i.e. they named him as their candidate for the consulship.

58 For chaps. 43‑49 cf. Livy II.56.5‑58.2.

59 Dionysius is speaking from the patricians' point of view.

60 i.e. heard his candidacy announced.

61 For the relation of the (plebeian) aediles to the tribunes see VI.90.2 f. Curule aediles were not appointed until a century later.

62 See chap. 41.2 ff.

63 At the time of the secession to the Sacred Mount; see VI.45.

64 This passage has not been properly understood hitherto. Instead of "senate" the MSS. read "tribe," a manifest corruption; and the editors and translators seem to have thought of the centuriate assembly, whatever may have been the actual word used by Dionysius. The true reading becomes evident when we compare this account of the successive gains made by the plebeians, and the parallel account just below, in chap. 46.4, with the report of the trial of Coriolanus as given in Book VII. For just as the first concessions to the plebeians enumerated here and in chap. 46 obviously belong to the time of the secession of the plebs to the Sacred Mount, so those named later correspond perfectly with the account of the trial of Coriolanus. Concerning that trial we were informed that the tribunes, after first insisting upon trying the accused before the people without the previous sanction of the senate (VII.25.3; 26; 38), finally agreed that the senate should pass a preliminary (p71)decree (to be ratified afterwards by the people), permitting Coriolanus to be tried by the people (VII.39, 58); and a subsequent concession permitted the summoning, for that purpose, of the tribal instead of the centuriate assembly (VII.59; 60.1). It is the combined effect of these two "laws" (IX.46.4), then, that is mentioned with such scorn in the present passage. At the outset of their controversy with the plebeians over Coriolanus the senators had maintained that the senate was the normal tribunal for the trial of patricians (VII.52.6 and 8); and they declared that no patrician had as yet been tried by the popular court, which had been instituted for the benefit of plebeians oppressed by the patricians (VII.52.1 f.; 41.1 f.). There is no real contradiction between this claim of the senators and the declaration of Coriolanus (VIII.6.2) that the normal court for these trials was the centuriate assembly; his statement really applies simply to trials of plebeians, as only plebeians had been tried by the popular court. A further argument for understanding the senate as the tribunal from whose jurisdiction these trials had been taken away is to be seen in the highly complimentary adjective applied to that tribunal, an adjective which neither Dionysius nor the senators would ever have thought of applying even to the centuriate assembly, however it might be composed.

65 See the note on chap. 44.7. Reiske's proposal to read "curiate assembly" for "centuriate assembly" was evidently based on the assumption that the reference is to the tribunician elections (chap. 41.2); but the people did not ratify that proposed change until later (chap. 49.4 f.).

66 See V.40.3‑5.

67 i.e., the older members; cf. chap. 51.3.

68 See the note on chap. 41.2.


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