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This webpage reproduces a section of
The Roman Antiquities

Dionysius of Halicarnassus

published in Vol. II
of the Loeb Classical Library edition, 1939

The text is in the public domain.

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(Vol. II) Dionysius of Halicarnassus
Roman Antiquities

 p265  (Book IV, beginning)

1 1 King Tarquinius,​1 accordingly, who had conferred not a few important benefits upon the Romans, died in the manner I have mentioned, after holding the sovereignty for thirty-eight years, leaving two grandsons who were infants and two daughters already married. His son-in‑law Tullius succeeded him in the sovereignty in the fourth year of the fiftieth Olympiad​2 (the one in which Epitelides, a Lacedaemonian, won the short-distance foot-race), Archestratides being archon at Athens. It is now the proper time to mention those particulars relating to Tullius which we at first omitted,​3 namely, who his parents were and what deeds he performed while he was yet a private citizen, before his accession to the sovereignty. 2 Concerning his family, then, the account with which I can best agree is this: There lived at Corniculum, a city of the Latin nation, a man of the royal family named Tullius, who was  p267 married to Ocrisia, a woman far excelling all the other women in Corniculum in beauty and modesty. When this city was taken by the Romans, Tullius himself was slain while fighting, and Ocrisia, then with child, was selected from the spoils and taken by King Tarquinius, who gave her to his wife. She, having been informed of everything that related to this woman, freed her soon afterwards and continued to treat her with kindness and honour above all other women. 3 While Ocrisia was yet a slave she bore a son, to whom, when he had left the nursery, she gave the name of Tullius, from his father, as his proper and family name, and also that of Servius as his common and first name, from her own condition, since she had been a slave when she had given birth to him. Servius, if translated into the Greek tongue, would be doulios or "servile."

2 1 There is also current in the local records another story relating to his birth which raises the circumstances attending to the realm of the fabulous, and we have found it in many Roman histories. This account — if it be pleasing to the gods and the lesser divinities that it be related — is somewhat as follows: They say that from the hearth in the palace, on which the Romans offer various other sacrifices and also consecrate the first portion of their meals, there rose up above the fire a man's privy member, and that Ocrisia was the first to see it as she was carrying the customary cakes to the fire, and immediately  p269 informed the king and queen of it. 2 Tarquinius, they add, upon hearing this and left beholding the prodigy, was astonished; but Tanaquil, who was not only wise in other matters but also inferior to none of the Tyrrhenians in her knowledge of divination, told him it was ordained by fate that from the royal hearth should issue a scion superior to the race of mortals, to be born of the woman who should conceive by that phantom. And the other soothsayers affirming the same thing, the king thought it fitting that Ocrisia, to whom the prodigy had first appeared, should have intercourse with it. Thereupon this woman, having adorned herself as brides are usually adorned, was shut up alone in the room in which the prodigy had been seen. 3 And one of the gods or lesser divinities, whether Vulcan, as some think, or the tutelary deity of the house,​4 having had intercourse with her and afterwards disappearing, she conceived and was delivered of Tullius at the proper time. This fabulous account, although it seems not altogether credible, is rendered less incredible by reason of another manifestation of the gods relating to Tullius which was wonderful and extraordinary. 4 For when he had fallen asleep one day while sitting in the portico of the palace about noon, a fire shone forth from his head. This was seen by his mother and by the king's wife, as they were walking through the portico, as well as by all who happened to be present with them at the time. The flame continued to illumine his whole head till his mother ran to him  p271 and wakened him; and with the ending of his sleep the flame was dispersed and vanished. Such are the accounts that are given of his birth.

3 1 The memorable actions he performed before becoming king, in consideration of which Tarquinius admired him and the Roman people honoured him next to the king, are these: When, scarcely more than a boy as yet, he was serving in the cavalry in the first campaign that Tarquinius undertook against the Tyrrhenians, he was thought to have fought so splendidly that he straightway became famous and received the prize of valour ahead of all others. Afterwards, when another expedition was undertaken against the same nation and a sharp battle was fought near the city of Eretum, he showed himself the bravest of all and was again crowned by the king as first in valour. 2 And when he was about twenty years old he was appointed to command the auxiliary forces sent by the Latins, and assisted King Tarquinius in obtaining the sovereignty over the Tyrrhenians. In the first war that arose against the Sabines, being general of the horse, he put to flight that of the enemy, pursuing them as far as the city of Antemnae, and again received the prize of valour because of this battle. He also took part in many other engagements against the same nation, sometimes commanding the horse and sometimes the foot, in all of which he showed himself a man of the greatest courage and was always the first to be crowned ahead of the others. 3 And when that nation came to surrender themselves and deliver up their cities to the Romans, he was regarded by Tarquinius as the chief cause of his gaining this dominion also, and was crowned by him with the victor's crown. Moreover, he not only  p273 had the shrewdest understanding of public affairs, but was inferior to none in his ability to express his plans; and he possessed in an eminent degree the power of accommodating himself to every circumstance of fortune and to every kind of person. 4 Because of these accomplishments the Romans thought proper to transfer him by their votes from the plebeian to the patrician order, an honour they had previously conferred on Tarquinius, and, still earlier, on Numa Pompilius. The king also made him his son-in‑law, giving him one of his two daughters in marriage, and whatever business his infirmities or his age rendered him incapable of performing by himself, he ordered Tullius to transact, not only entrusting to him the private interests of his own family, but also asking him to manage the public business of the commonwealth. In all these employments he was found faithful and just, and the people felt that it made no difference whether it was Tarquinius or Tullius who looked after the public affairs, so effectually had he won them to himself by the services he had rendered to them.

4 1 This man,​5 therefore, being endowed with a nature adequately equipped for command and also supplied by Fortune with many great opportunities for attaining it, believed, when Tarquinius died by the treachery of the sons of Ancus Marcius, who desired to recover their father's kingdom, as I have related in the preceding book,​6 that he was called to the kingship by the very course of events and so, being a man of action, he did not let the opportunity slip from his grasp. 2 The person who helped him to seize possession of the supreme power and the author of all his good fortune was the wife  p275 of the deceased conflict, who aided him both because he was her son-in‑law and also because she knew from many oracles that it was ordained by fate that this man should be king of the Romans. It chanced that her son, a youth, had died shortly before and that two infant sons were left by him. 3 She, therefore, reflecting on the desolation of her house and being under the greatest apprehension lest, if the sons of Marcius possessed themselves of the sovereignty, they should destroy these infants and extirpate all the royal family, first commanded that the gates of the palace should be shut and guards stationed there with orders to allow no one to pass either in or out. Then, ordering all the rest to leave the room in which they had laid Tarquinius when he was at the point of death, she detained Ocrisia, Tullius and her daughter who married to Tullius, and after ordering the children to be brought by their nurses, she spoke to them as follows:

4 "Our king Tarquinius, in whose home you received your nurture and training, Tullius, and who honoured you above all his friends and relations, has finished his destined course, the victim of an impious crime, without having either made any disposition by will of his private interests or left injunctions concerning the public business of the commonwealth, and without having had it in his power even to embrace any of us and utter his last farewells. And these unhappy children here are left destitute and orphaned and in imminent danger of their lives. For if the power falls into the hands of the Marcii, the murderers of their grandfather, they will be put to death by them  p277 in the most piteous manner. Even the lives of you men, to whom Tarquinius gave his daughters in preference to them, will not be safe, should his murderers obtain the sovereignty, any more than the lives of the rest of his friends and relations or of us miserable women; but they will endeavour to destroy us all both openly and secretly. 5 Bearing all this in mind, then, we must not permit the wicked murderers of Tarquinius and the enemies of us all to obtain so great power, but must oppose and prevent them, now by craft and deceit, since these means are necessary at present, but when our first attempt has succeeded, then coming to grips with them openly with all our might and with arms, if those too shall be necessary. But they will not be necessary if we are willing to take the proper measures now. 6 And what are these measures? Let us, in the first place, conceal the king's death and cause a report to be spread among the people that he has received no mortal wound, and let the physicians state that in a few days they will show him safe and sound. Then I will appear in public and will announce to the people, as if Tarquinius had so enjoined, that he has committed to one of his two sons-in‑law (naming you, Tullius) the care and guardian­ship both of his private interests and of the public business till he is recovered of his wounds; and the Romans, far from being displeased, will be glad to see the state administered by you, who often have administered it already in the past. 7 Then, when we have averted the present danger —  p279 for the power of our enemies will be at an end the moment the king is reported to be alive — do you assume the rods and the military power and summon before the people those who formed the plot to assassinate Tarquinius, beginning with the sons of Marcius, and cause them to stand trial. After you have punished all these, with death, if they submit to be tried, or with perpetual banishment and the confiscation of their estates, if they let their case go by default, which I think they will be more apt to do, then at last set about establishing your government. Win the affections of the people by kindly affability, take great care that no injustice be committed, and gain the favour of the poorer citizens by sundry benefactions and gifts. Afterwards, when we see a proper time, let us announce that Tarquinius is dead and hold a public funeral for him. 8 And as for you, Tullius, if you, who have been brought up and educated by us, have partaken of every advantage that sons receive from their mother and father, and are married to our daughter, shall in addition actually become king of the Romans, it is but just, since I helped to win this also for you, that you should show all the kindness of a father to these little children, and when they come to manhood and are capable of handling public affairs, that you should appoint the elder to be leader of the Romans."

5 1 With these words she thrust each of the children in turn into the arms of both her son-in‑law and her daughter and roused great compassion in them both; then, when it was the proper time, she went out of the room and ordered the servants to get everything ready for dressing the king's wounds and to call the  p281 physicians. And letting that night pass, the next day, when the people flocked in great numbers to the palace, she appeared at the windows that gave upon the narrow street before the gates and first informed them who the persons were who had plotted the murder of the king, and produced in chains those whom they had sent to commit the deed. 2 Then, finding that many lamented the calamity and were angry at the authors of it, she at last told them that these men had gained naught from their wicked designs, since they had not been able to kill Tarquinius. This statement being received with universal joy, she then commended Tullius to them as the person appointed by the king to be the guardian of all his interests, both private and public, till he himself recovered. 3 The people, therefore, went away greatly rejoicing, in the belief that the king had suffered no fatal injury, and continued for a long time in that opinion. Afterwards Tullius, attended by a strong body of men and taking along the king's lictors, went to the Forum and caused proclamation to be made for the Marcii to appear and stand trial; and upon their failure to obey, he pronounced sentence of perpetual banishment against them, and having confiscated their property, he was now in secure possession of the sovereignty of Tarquinius.

6 1 I​7 shall interrupt the narration of what follows that I may give the reasons which have induced me to disagree with Fabius and the rest of the historians who affirm that the children left by Tarquinius were his sons, to the end that none who have read those  p283 histories may suspect that I am inventing when I call them his grandsons rather than his sons. For it is sheer heedlessness and indolence that has led these historians to publish that account of them without first examining any of the impossibilities and absurdities that are fatal to it. Each of these absurdities I will endeavour to point out in a few words. 2 Tarquinius packed up and removed from Tyrrhenia with all his household at an age the most capable of reflection; for it is reported that he already aspired to take part in public life, to hold magistracies and to handle public affairs, and that he removed from there because he was not allowed to share in any position of honour in the state. 3 Anyone else, then, might have assumed that he was at least in his thirtieth year when he left Tyrrhenia, since it is from this age onwards, as a rule, that the laws call to the magistracies and to the administration of public affairs those who desire such a career; but I will suppose him five whole years younger than this and put him in his twenty-fifth year when he removed. Moreover, all the Roman historians agree that he brought with him a Tyrrhenian wife, whom he had married while his father was yet alive. 4 He came to Rome in the first year of the reign of Ancus Marcius, as Gellius​8 writes, but according to Licinius,​8 in the eighth year. Grant, then, that he came in the year Licinius states and not before; for he could not have come  p285 after that time, since in the ninth year of the reign of Ancus he was sent by the king to command the cavalry in the war against the Latins, as both these historians state. Now, if he was not more than twenty-five years old when he came to Rome, and, having been received into the friendship of Ancus, who was then king, in the eighth year of his reign (for Ancus reigned twenty-four years), and if he himself reigned thirty-eight, as all agree, he must have been fourscore years old when he died; for this is the sum obtained by adding up the years. 5 If his wife was five years younger, as may well be supposed, she was presumably in her seventy-fifth year when Tarquinius died. Accordingly, if she conceived her second and last son when she was in her fiftieth year (for at a more advanced age a woman no longer conceives, but this is itself the limit of her child-bearing, as those authors write who have looked into these things), this son could not have been less than twenty-five years old when his father died, and Lucius, the elder, not less than twenty-seven; hence the sons whom Tarquinius left by this wife could not have been infants. 6 But surely, if her sons had been grown men when their father died, it cannot be imagined either that their mother would have been so miserable a creature or so infatuated as to deprive her own children of the sovereignty their father had left them and bestow it upon an outsider and the son of a slave-woman, or, again, that her sons themselves,  p287 when thus deprived of their father's sovereignty, would have borne the injustice in so abject and supine a manner, and that at an age when they were at the very height of their powers both of speech and of action. For Tullius neither had the advantage of them in birth, being the son of a slave-woman, nor excelled them much in the dignity of age, being only three years older than one of them; so that they would not willingly have yielded the kingship to them.

7 1 This view involves some other absurdities, too, of which all the Roman historians have been ignorant, with the exception of one whom I shall name presently. For it has been agreed that Tullius, having succeeded to the kingdom after the death of Tarquinius, held it for forty-four years; so that, if the eldest of the Tarquinii was twenty-seven years old when he was deprived of the sovereignty, he must have been above seventy when he killed Tullius. 2 But he was then in the prime of life, according to the tradition handed down by the historians, and they state that he himself lifted up Tullius, and carrying him out of the senate-house, hurled him down the steps. His expulsion from the kingship happened in the twenty-fifth year after this, and in that same year he is represented as making war against the people of Ardea and performing all the duties himself; but it is not reasonable to suppose that a man ninety-six years old should be taking part in wars.​a 3 And after his expulsion he still makes war against the Romans  p289 for no less than fourteen years, being present himself, they say, at all the engagements — which is contrary to all common sense. Thus, according to them, he must have lived above one hundred and ten years; but this length of life is not produced by our climes.​9 4 Some of the Roman historians, being sensible of these absurdities, have endeavoured to solve them by means of other absurdities, alleging that not Tanaquil but one Gegania, of whom no other account has come down to us, was the mother of the children. But here again, the marriage of Tarquinius is unseasonable, he being then very near fourscore years old, and the begetting of children by men of that age is incredible;​10 nor was he a childless man, who would wish by all means for children, for he had two daughters and these already married. 5 In the light, therefore, of these various impossibilities and absurdities, I state that the children were not the sons, but the grandsons, of Tarquinius, agreeing therein with Lucius Piso Frugi​11 (for he in his Annals is the only historian who has given this account); unless, indeed, the children were the king's grandsons by birth and his sons by adoption and this circumstance misled all the  p291 other Roman historians. Now that these explanations have been made by way of preface, it is time to resume my narrative where it was broken off.

8 1 When Tullius, after receiving the guardian­ship of the kingdom and expelling the faction of the Marcii, thought he was now in secure possession of the sovereignty, he honoured King Tarquinius, as if he had but recently died of his wounds, with a very costly funeral, an imposing monument, and the other usual honours. And from that time, as guardian of the royal children, he took under his protection and care both their private fortunes and the public interests of the commonwealth. 2 The patricians, however, were not pleased with these proceedings, but felt indignation and resentment, being unwilling that Tullius should build up a kind of royal power for himself without either a decree of the senate or the other formalities prescribed by law. And the most powerful of them met together frequently and discussed with one another means of putting an end to his illegal rule; and they resolved that in the first time Tullius should assemble them in the senate-house they would compel him to lay aside the rods and the other symbols of royalty, and that after this was done they would appoint the magistrates called interreges12 and through them choose a man to rule the state in accordance with the laws. 3 While they were making these plans, Tullius, becoming aware of their purpose, applied himself to flattering and courting the poorer citizens, and hopes of retaining the sovereignty through them; and having called an assembly of the  p293 people, he brought the children forward to the tribunal and delivered a speech somewhat as follows:

9 1 "I find myself under great obligation, citizens, to take care of these infant children. For Tarquinius, their grandfather, received me when I was fatherless and without a country, and brought me up, holding me in no respect inferior to his own children. He also gave me one of his two daughters in marriage, and during the whole course of his life continued to honour and love me, as you also know, with the same affection as if I had been his own son. And after that treacherous attack was made upon him he entrusted me with the guardian­ship of these children in case he should suffer the fate of all mortals. 2 Who, therefore, will think me pious towards the gods or just towards men if I abandon and betray the orphans to with I owe so great a debt of gratitude? But, to the best of my ability, I shall neither betray the trust reposed in me nor yet abandon the children in their forlorn condition. You too ought in justice to remember the benefits their grandfather conferred upon the commonwealth in reducing to your obedience so many cities of the Latins, your rivals for the sovereignty, in making all the Tyrrhenians, the most powerful of your neighbours, your subjects, and in forcing the Sabine nation to submit to you — all of which he effected at the cost of many great dangers. 3 As long, therefore, as he himself was living, it became you to give him thanks for the benefits you had received from him; and now that he is dead, it becomes you to make a grateful return to his posterity, and not to bury the  p295 remembrance of their deeds together with the persons of your benefactors. Consider, therefore, that you have all jointly been left guardians of these little children, and confirm to them the sovereignty which their grandfather left them. For they would not receive so great an advantage from my guardian­ship, which is that of one man only, as from the joint assistance of you all. 4 I have been compelled to say these things because I have perceived that some persons are conspiring against them and desire to hand the sovereignty over the others. I ask you, Romans, also to call to mind the struggles I have undergone in the interest of your supremacy — struggles neither inconsiderable nor few, which I need not relate to you who are familiar with them — and to repay to these little children the gratitude you owe me in return. For it has not been with a view to securing a sovereignty of my own — of which, if that had been my aim, I was as worthy as anyone — but in order to aid the family of Tarquinius, that I have chosen to direct public affairs. 5 And I entreat you as a suppliant not to abandon these orphans, who are now, indeed, only in danger of losing the sovereignty, but, if this first attempt of their enemies succeeds, will also be expelled from the city. But on this subject I need say no more to you, since you both know what is required and will perform your duty.

6 "Hear from me now the benefits I myself have arranged to confer upon you and the reasons that induced me to summon this assembly. Those among you who already have debts which through poverty they are unable to discharge, I am eager to help,  p297 since they are citizens and have undergone many hardships in the service of their country; hence, in order that these men who have securely established the common liberty may not be deprived of their own, I am giving them from my own means enough to pay their debts. 7 And those who shall hereafter borrow I will not permit to be haled to prison on account of their debts, but will make a law that no one shall lend money on the security of the persons of free men; for I hold that it is enough for the lenders to possess the property of those who contracted the debts. And in order to lighten for the future the burden also of the war taxes you pay to the public treasury, by which the poor are oppressed and obliged to borrow, I will order all the citizens to give in a valuation of their property and everyone to pay his share of the taxes according to that valuation, as I learn is done in the greatest and best governed cities;​13 for I regard it as both just and advantageous to the public that those who possess much should pay much in taxes and those who have little should pay little. 8 I also believe that the public lands, which you have obtained by your arms and now enjoy, should not, as at present, be held by those who are the most shameless, whether they got them by favour or acquired them by purchase, but by those among you who have no allotment of land, to the end that you, being free men, may not be serfs to others or cultivate others' lands instead of your own;​14 for a noble spirit cannot dwell in the breasts of men  p299 who are in want of the necessaries of daily life. 9 But, above all these things, I have determined to make the government fair and impartial and justice the same for all and towards all. For some have reached that degree of presumption that they take upon themselves to maltreat the common people and do not look upon the poor among you as being even free men. To the end, therefore, that the more powerful may both receive justice from and do justice to their inferior impartially, I will establish such laws as shall prevent violence and preserve justice, and I myself will never cease to take thought for the equality of all the citizens."

10 1 While he was thus speaking there was much praise from the assembly, some commending him for his loyalty and justice to his benefactors, others for his humanity and generosity to the poor, and still others for his moderation and democratic spirit towards those of humbler station; but all loved and admired him for being a lawful and just ruler. 2 The assembly having been dismissed, during the following days he ordered lists to be made of all the debtors who were unable to keep their pledges, with the amount each owed and the names of the creditors; and when this list had been delivered to him, he commanded tables to be placed in the Forum and in the presence of all the citizens counted out to the lenders the amount of the debts. 3 Having finished with this, he published a royal edict commanding that all those who were enjoying the use of the public lands and holding them for their own should quit possession within a certain specified time, and that those citizens who had no allotments of land should give in their names  p301 to him. He also drew up laws, in some cases renewing old laws that had been introduced by Romulus and Numa Pompilius and had fallen into abeyance, and establishing others himself. 4 While he was pursuing these measures, the patricians were growing indignant as they saw the power of the senate being overthrown, and they proceeded to a plan of action which was no longer the same as before, but the opposite. 5 For whereas at first they had determined to deprive him of his illegal power, to appoint interreges, and through them to choose one who should hold the office legally, they now thought they ought to acquiesce in the existing state of affairs and not to interfere at all. For it occurred to them that, if the senate attempted to place a man of its own choosing at the head of affairs, the people, when they came to give their votes, would oppose him; whereas, if they should leave the choice of the king to the people, all the curiae would elect Tullius and the result would be that he would seem to hold the office legally. They thought it better, therefore, to permit him to continue in the possession of the sovereignty by stealth and by deceiving the citizens rather than after persuading them and receiving it openly. 6 But none of their calculations availed them aught, so artfully did Tullius outmanoeuvre them and get possession of the royal power against their will. For having long before caused a report to be spread through the city that the patricians were plotting  p303 against him, he came into the Forum meanly dressed and with a dejected countenance, accompanied by his mother Ocrisia, Tanaquil, the wife of Tarquinius, and all the royal family. And when great crowds flocked together at so unexpected a sight, he called an assembly, and ascending the tribunal, addressed them much as follows:

11 1 "It is no longer the children of Tarquinius alone whom I see in danger of suffering some injury at the hands of their enemies, but I am already coming to fear for my own life, lest I receive a bitter requital for my justice. For the patricians are plotting against me and I have received information that some of them are conspiring to kill me, not because they can charge me with any crime, great or trivial, but because they resent the benefits I have conferred and am prepared to confer upon the people and feel that they are being treated unjustly. 2 The money-lenders, for their part, feel aggrieved because I did not permit the poor among you to be haled to prison by them because of their debts and to be deprived of their liberty. And those who misappropriate and hold what belongs to the state, finding themselves obliged to give up the land which you acquired with your blood, are as angry as if they were being deprived of their inheritances instead of merely restoring what belongs to others. Those, again, who have been exempt from war taxes resent being compelled to give in a valuation of their property and to pay taxes in property to those valuations. But the general complaint of them all is that they will have to accustom themselves to live according to written laws and impartially dispense justice to you and receive it from you, instead of abusing the poor, as they now do, as if  p305 they were so many purchased slaves. 3 And making common cause of these complaints, they have taken counsel and sworn to recall the exiles and to restore the kingdom to Marcius' sons, against whom you passed a vote forbidding them the use of fire and water for having assassinated Tarquinius, your king, a worthy man and a lover of his country, and, after they had committed such an act of pollution, for having failed to appear for their trial and thus condemned themselves to exile. And if I had not received early information of these designs, they would, with the assistance of a foreign force, have brought back the exiles into the city in the dead of night. 4 You all know, of course, what would have been the consequence of this, even without my mentioning it — that the Marcii, with the support of the patricians, after getting control of affairs without any trouble, would first have seized me, as the guardian of the royal family and as the person who had pronounced sentence against them, and after that would have destroyed these children and all the other kinsmen and friends of Tarquinius; and, as they have much of the savage and the tyrant in their nature, they would have treated our wives, mothers and daughters and all the female sex like slaves. 5 º If, therefore, it is your pleasure also, citizens, to recall the assassins and make them kings, to banish the sons of your benefactors and to deprive them of the kingdom their grandfather left them, we shall submit to our fate. But we all, together with our wives and children, make supplication  p307 to you by all the gods and lesser divinities who watch over the lives of men that, in return for the many benefits Tarquinius, the grandfather of these children, never ceased to confer upon you, and in return for the many services I myself, as far as I have been able, have done you, you will grant us this single boon — to declare your own sentiments. 6 For if you have come to believe that any others are more worthy than we of this honour, the children, with all the other relations of Tarquinius, shall withdraw, leaving the city to you. As for me, I shall take a more generous resolution in my own case For I have already lived long enough both for virtue and for glory, and if I am disappointed of your goodwill, which I have preferred to every other good thing, I could never bring myself to live in disgrace among any other people. Take the rods, then, and give them to the patricians, if you wish; I shall not trouble you with my presence."

12 1 While he was speaking these words and seemed about to leave the tribunal, they all raised a tremendous clamour, and mingling tears with their entreaties, besought him to remain and to retain control of affairs, fearing no one. Thereupon some of his partisans, who had stationed themselves in different parts of the Forum, following his instructions, cried out, "Make him king," and demanded that the curiae should be called together and a vote taken; and after these had set the example, the whole populace was promptly of the same opinion. 2 Tullius, seeing this, no longer let the occasion slip, but told them that he felt very grateful to them for remembering  p309 his services; and after promising to confer even more benefits if they should make him king, he appointed a day for the election, at which he ordered everybody to be present including those from the country. 3 When the people had assembled he called the curiae and took the vote of each curia separately. And upon being judged worthy of the kingship by all the curiae, he then accepted it from the populace, telling the senate to go hang; for he did not ask that body to ratify the decision of the people, as it was accustomed to do.​15 After coming to the sovereignty in this manner, he introduced many reforms in the civil administration and also carried on a great and memorable war against the Tyrrhenians. But I shall first give an account of his administrative reforms.

13 1 Immediately upon receiving the sovereignty he divided the public lands among those of the Romans who served others for hire. Next he caused both the laws relating to private contracts and those concerning torts to be ratified by the curiae; these laws were about fifty in number, of which I need not make any mention at present. 2 He also added two hills to the city, those called the Viminal and the Esquiline,​16 each of which has the size of a fairly large city. These he divided among such of the  p311 Romans as had no homes of their own, so that they might build houses there; and he himself fixed his habitation there, in the best part of the Esquiline Hill.​17 3 This king was the last who enlarged the circuit of the city, by adding these two hills to the other five, after he had first consulted the auspices, as the law directed, and performed the other religious rites. Farther than this the building of the city has not yet progressed, since the gods, they say, have not permitted it; but all the inhabited places round it, which are many and large, are unprotected and without walls, and very easy to be taken by any enemies who may come. 4 If anyone wishes to estimate the size of Rome by looking at these suburbs he will necessarily be misled for want of a definite clue by which to determine up to what point it is still the city and where it ceases to be the city; so closely is the city connected with the country, giving the beholder the impression of a city stretching out indefinitely. 5 But if one should wish to measure Rome by the wall, which, though hard to be discovered by reason of the buildings that surround it in many places, yet preserves in several parts of it some traces of its ancient structure, and to compare it with the circuit of the city of Athens, the circuit of Rome would not seem to him very much larger than the other. But for an account of the extent and beauty of the city of  p313 Rome, as it existed in my day, another occasion will be more suitable.18

14 1 After Tullius had surrounded the seven hills with one wall, he divided the city into four regions,​19 which he named after the hills, calling the first the Palatine, the second the Suburan,​20 the third the Colline,​21 and the fourth the Esquiline region; and by this means he made the city contain four tribes, whereas it previously had consisted of but three.​22 2 And he ordered that the citizens inhabiting each of the four regions should, like persons living in villages, neither take up another abode nor be enrolled elsewhere; and the levies of troops, the collection of taxes for military purposes, and the other services which every citizen was bound to offer to the commonwealth, he no longer based upon the three national tribes, as aforetime, but upon the four local tribes established by himself. And over each region he appointed commanders, like heads of tribes or villages, whom he ordered to know what house each man lived in. 3 After this he commanded that there should be erected in every street​23 by the inhabitants of the neighbourhood chapels to heroes whose statues stood in front of the houses,​24 and  p315 he made a law that sacrifices should be performed to them every year, each family contributing a honey-cake. He directed also that the persons attending and assisting those who performed the sacrifices at these shrines​25 on behalf of the neighbourhood should not be free men, but slaves, the ministry of servants being looked upon as pleasing to the heroes. 4 This festival the Romans still continued to celebrate even in my day in the most solemn and sumptuous manner a few days after the Saturnalia, calling it the Compitalia, after the streets; for compiti,​26 is their name for streets.​27 And they still observe the ancient custom in connexion with those sacrifices, propitiating the heroes by the ministry of their servants, and during these days removing every badge of their servitude, in order that the slaves, being softened by this instance of humanity, which has something great and solemn about it, may make themselves more agreeable to their masters and be less sensible of the severity of their condition.

15 1 Tullius​28 also divided the country​29 as a whole  p317 into twenty-six parts, according to Fabius, who calls these divisions tribes also and, adding the four city tribes to them, says that there were thirty tribes in all under Tullius. But according to Vennonius​30 he divided the country into thirty-one parts, so that with the four city tribes the number was rounded out to the thirty-five tribes that exist down to our day. However, Cato, who is more worthy of credence than either of these authors, does not specify the number of the parts into which the country was divided. 2 After Tullius, therefore, had divided the country into a certain number of parts, whatever that number was, he built places of refuge upon such lofty eminences as could afford ample security for the husbandmen, and called them by a Greek name, pagi or "hills."​31 Thither all the inhabitants fled from the fields whenever a raid was made by enemies, and generally passed the night there. 3 These places also had their governors, whose duty it was to know not only the names of all the husbandmen who belonged to the same district but also the lands which afforded them their livelihood. And whenever there was occasion to summon the countrymen to take arms or to collect the taxes that were assessed against each of them, these governors assembled the men together and collected the money. And in order that the number of these husbandmen might not be hard to ascertain, but might be easy to compute and be known at once, he ordered them to  p319 erect altars to the gods who presided over and were guardians of the district, and directed them to assemble every year and honour these gods with public sacrifices. This occasion also he made one of the most solemn festivals, calling it the Paganalia; and he drew up laws concerning these sacrifices, which the Romans still observe. 4 Towards the expense of this sacrifice and of this assemblage he ordered all those of the same district to contribute each of them a certain piece of money, the men paying one kind, the women another and the children a third kind. When these pieces of money were counted by those who presided over the sacrifices, the number of people, distinguished by their sex and age, became known. 5 And wishing also, as Lucius Piso writes in the first book of his Annals, to know the number of the inhabitants of the city, and of all who were born and died and arrived at the age of manhood, he prescribed the piece of money which their relations were to pay for each — into the treasury of Ilithiyaº (called by the Romans Juno Lucina) for those who were born, into that of the Venus of the Grove (called by them Libitina)​32 for those who died, and into the treasury of Juventas for those who were arriving at manhood. By means of these pieces of money he would know every year both the number of all the inhabitants and which of them were of military age.  p321 6 After he had made these regulations, he ordered all the Romans to register their names and give in a monetary valuation of their property, at the same time taking the oath required by law that they had given in a true valuation in good faith; they were also to set down the names of their fathers, with their own age and the names of their wives and children, and every man was to declare in what tribe of the city or in what district of the country he lived. If any failed to give in their valuation, the penalty he established was that their property should be forfeited and they themselves whipped and sold for slaves. This law continued in force among the Romans for a long time.

16 1 After all had given in their valuations, Tullius took the registers and the size of their estates, introduced the wisest of all measures, and one which has been the source of the greatest advantages to the Romans, as the results have shown.​33 2 The measure was this: He selected from the whole number of the citizens one part, consisting of those whose property was rated the highest and amounted to no less than one hundred minae.​34 Of these he formed eighty centuries, whom he ordered to be armed with Argolic bucklers, with spears, brazen helmets, corslets, greaves and swords. Dividing these centuries into two groups, he made forty centuries of younger men, whom he appointed to take the  p323 field in time of war, and forty of older men, whose duty it was, when the youth went forth to war, to remain in the city and guard everything inside the walls. 3 This was the first class; in wars it occupied a position in the forefront of the whole army. Next, from those who were left he took another part whose rating was under ten thousand drachmae but not less than seventy-five minae. Of these he formed twenty centuries and ordered them to wear the same armour as those of the first class, except that he took from them the corslets, and instead of the bucklers gave them shields.​35 Here also he distinguished between those who were over forty-five years old and those who were of military age, constituting ten centuries of the younger men, whose duty it was to serve their country in the field, and ten of the older, to whom he committed the defence of the walls. This was the second class; in engagements they were drawn up behind those fighting in the front ranks. 4 The third class he constituted out of those who were left, taking such as had a rating of less than seven thousand five hundred drachmae but not less than fifty minae. The armour of these he diminished not only by taking away the corslets, as from the second class, but also the greaves. 5 He formed likewise twenty centuries of these, dividing them, like the former, according to their age and assigning ten centuries to the younger men and ten to the older. In battles the post and station of these centuries was in the third line from the front.

 p325  Again taking from the remainder those whose property amounted to less than five thousand drachmae but was as much as twenty-five minae, he formed a fourth class. This he also divided into twenty centuries, ten of which he composed of such as were in the vigour of their age, and the other ten of those who were just past it, in the same manner as with the former classes. He ordered the arms of these to be shields, swords and spears, and their post in engagements to be in the last line. 2 The fifth class, consisting of those whose property was between twenty-five minae and twelve minae and a half, he divided into thirty centuries. These were also distinguished according to their age, fifteen of the centuries being composed of the older men and fifteen of the younger. These he armed with javelins and slings, and placed outside the line of battle. 3 He ordered four unarmed centuries to follow those that were armed, two of them consisting of armourers and carpenters and of those whose business it was to prepare everything that might be of use in time of war, and the other two of trumpeters and horn-blowers and such as sounded the various calls with any other instruments. The artisans were attached to the second class and divided according to their age, one of their centuries following the older centuries, and the other the younger centuries; 4 the trumpeters and horn-blowers were added to the fourth class, and one of their centuries also consisted of the older men and the other of the younger.​36 Out of all the centuries the bravest men were chosen as centurions, and each of these commanders took care  p327 that his century should yield a ready obedience to orders.

18 1 This was the arrangement he made of the entire infantry, consisting of both the heavy-armed and light-armed troops. As for the cavalry, he chose them out of such as had the highest rating and were of distinguished birth, forming eighteen centuries of them, and added them to the first eighty centuries of the heavy-armed infantry; these centuries of cavalry were also commanded by persons of the greatest distinction. 2 The rest of the citizens, who had a rating of less than twelve minae and a half but were more numerous than those already mentioned, he put into a single century and exempted them from service in the army and from every sort of tax. Thus there were six divisions which the Romans call classes, by a slight change of the Greek word klêseis37 (for the verb which we Greeks pronounce in the imperative mood kalei, the Romans call cala,​38 and the classes they anciently called caleses), 3 and the centuries included in these divisions amounted to one hundred and ninety-three. The first class contained ninety-eight centuries, counting the cavalry; the second, twenty-two, counting the artificers; the third, twenty; the fourth, again, contained twenty-two, counting the trumpeters and horn-blowers; the fifth, thirty; and the last of all, one century, consisting of the poor citizens.

 p329  19 In pursuance of this arrangement he levied troops according to the division of the centuries, and imposed taxes​39 in proportion to the valuation of their possessions. For instance, whenever he had occasion to raise ten thousand men, or, if it should so happen, twenty thousand, he would divide that number among the hundred and ninety-three centuries and then order each century to furnish the number of men that fell to its share. As to the expenditures that would be needed for the provisioning of soldiers while on duty and for the various warlike supplies, he would first calculate how much money would be sufficient, and having in like manner divided that sum among the hundred and ninety-three centuries, he would order every man to pay his share towards it in proportion to his rating. 2 Thus it happened that those who had the largest possessions, being fewer in number but distributed into more centuries, were obliged to serve oftener and without any intermission, and to pay greater taxes than the rest; that those who had small and moderate possessions, being more numerous but distributed into fewer centuries, serve seldom and in rotation and paid small taxes, and that those whose possessions were not sufficient to maintain them were exempt from all burdens. 3 Tullius made none of these regulations without reason, but from the conviction that all men look upon their possessions as the prizes at stake in war and that it is for the sake of retaining these that they all endure its hardships; he thought  p331 it right, therefore, that those who had greater prizes at stake should suffer greater hardships, both with their persons and with their possessions, that those who had less at stake should be less burdened in respect to both, and that those who had no loss to fear should endure no hardships, but be exempt from taxes by reason of their poverty and from military service because they paid no tax. For at that time the Romans received no pay as soldiers from the public treasury but served at their own expense. 4 Accordingly, he did not think it right either that those should pay taxes who were so far from having wherewithal to pay them that they were in want of the necessities of daily life, or that such as contributed nothing to the public taxes should, like mercenary troops, be maintained in the field at the expense of others.

20 1 Having by this means laid upon the rich the whole burden of both the dangers and expenses and observing that they hand discontented, he contrived by another method to relieve their uneasiness and mitigate their resentment by granting to them an advantage which would make them complete masters of the commonwealth, while he excluded the poor from any part in the government; and he effected this without the plebeians noticing it. This advantage that he gave to the rich related to the assemblies, where the matters of greatest moment were ratified by the people. 2 I have already said before​40 that by the ancient laws the people had control over the three most important and vital matters: they elected the magistrates, both civil  p333 and military; they sanctioned and repealed laws; and they declared war and made peace. In discussing and deciding these matters they voted by curiae, and citizens of the smallest means had an equal vote with those of the greatest; but as the rich were few in number, as may well be supposed, and the poor much more numerous, the latter carried everything by a majority of votes. 3 Tullius, observing this, transferred this preponderance of votes from the poor to the rich. For whenever he thought proper to have magistrates elected, a law considered, or war to be declared, he assembled the people by centuries instead of by curiae. And the first centuries that he called to express their opinion​41 were those with the highest rating, consisting of the eighteen centuries of cavalry and the eighty centuries of infantry. 4 As these centuries amounted to three more than all the rest together, if they agreed they prevailed over the others and the matter was decided. But in case these were not all of the same mind, then he called the twenty-two centuries of the second class; and if the votes were still divided, he called the centuries of the third class, and, in the fourth place, those of the fourth class; and this he continued to do till ninety-seven centuries concurred in the same opinion. 5 And if after the calling of the fifth class this had not yet happened but the opinions of the hundred and ninety-two centuries were equally divided, he then called the last century, consisting  p335 of the mass of the citizens who were poor and for that reason exempt from all military service and taxes; and whichever side this century joined, that side carried the day. But this seldom happened and was next to impossible. Generally the question was determined by calling the first class, and it rarely went as far as the fourth; so that the fifth and the last were superfluous.

21 1 In establishing this political system, which gave so great an advantage to the rich, Tullius outwitted the people, as I said, without their noticing it and excluded the poor from any part in public affairs. For they all thought that they had an equal share in the government because every man was asked his opinion, each in his own century; but they were deceived in this, that the whole century, whether it consisted of a small or a very large number of citizens, had but one vote; and also in that the centuries which voted first, consisting of men of the highest rating, though they were more in number than all the rest, yet contained fewer citizens; but, above all, in that the poor, who were very numerous, had but one vote and were the last called. 2 When this had been brought about, the rich, though paying out large sums and exposed without intermission to the dangers of war, were less inclined to feel aggrieved now that they had obtained control of the most important matters and had taken the whole power out of the hands of those who were not performing the same services; and the poor, who had but the slightest share in the government, finding  p337 themselves exempt both from taxes and from military service, prudently and quietly submitted to this diminution of their power; and the commonwealth itself had the advantage of seeing the same persons who were to deliberate concerning its interests allotted the greatest share of the dangers and ready to do whatever required to be done. 3 This form of government was maintained by the Romans for many generations, but is altered in our times and changed to a more democratic form, some urgent needs having forced the change, which was effected, not by abolishing the centuries, but by no longer observing the strict ancient manner of calling them​42 — a fact which I myself have noted, having often been present at the elections of their magistrates. But this is not the proper occasion to discuss these matters.

22 1 Thereupon​43 Tullius, having completed the business of the census, commanded all the citizens to assemble in arms in the largest field before the city;​44 and having drawn up the horse in their respective squadrons and the foot in their massed ranks, and placed the light-armed troops each in their own centuries, he performed an expiatory  p339 sacrifice for them with a bull, a ram and a boar.​45 These victims he ordered to be led three times round the army and then sacrificed them to Mars, to whom that field is consecrated. 2 The Romans are to this day purified by this same expiatory sacrifice, after the completion of each census, by those who are invested with the most sacred magistracy,​46 and they call the purification a lustrum.47

The number of all the Romans who then gave in a valuation of their possessions was, as appears by the censors' records, 84,700.​48 3 This king also took no small care to enlarge the body of citizens, hitting upon a method that had been over­looked by all the kings before him. For they, by receiving foreigners and bestowing upon them equal rights of citizen­ship without rejecting any, whatever their birth or condition, had indeed rendered the city populous; 4 but Tullius permitted even manumitted slaves to enjoy these same rights, unless they chose to return to their own countries. For he ordered these also to report the value of their property at the same time as all the other free men, and he distributed them among the four city tribes, in which the body of freedmen, however numerous, continued to be ranked even to my day; and he permitted them to share  p341 in all the privileges which were open to the rest of the plebeians.

23 1 The patricians being displeased and indignant at this, he called an assembly of the people and told them that he wondered at those who were displeased at his course, first, for thinking that free men differed from slaves by their very nature rather than by their condition, and, second, for not determining by men's habits and character, rather than by the accidents of their fortune, those who were worthy of honours, particularly when they saw how unstable a thing good fortune is and how subject to sudden change, and how difficult it is for anyone, even of the most fortunate, to say how long it will remain with him. 2 He asked them also to consider how many states, both barbarian and Greek, had passed from slavery to freedom and how many from freedom to slavery. He called it great folly on their part if, after they had granted liberty to such of their slaves as deserved it, they envied them the rights of citizens; and he advised them, if they thought them bad men, not to make them free, and if good men, not to ignore them because they were foreigners. 3 He declared that they were doing an absurd and stupid thing, if, while permitting all strangers to share the rights of citizen­ship without distinguishing their condition or inquiring closely whether any of them had been manumitted or not, they regarded such as had been slaves among themselves as unworthy of this favour. And he said that, though they thought themselves wiser than other people, they did not even see what lay at their very feet and was to be observed every day and what was clear to the most ordinary men, namely, that not only the masters would take great  p343 care not to manumit any of their slaves rashly, for fear of granting the greatest of human blessings indiscriminately, but the slaves too would be more zealous to observe their masters faithfully when they knew that if they were thought worthy of liberty they should presently become citizens of a great and flourishing state and receive both these blessings from their masters. 4 He concluded by speaking of the advantage that would result from this policy, reminding those who understood such matters, and informing the ignorant, that to a state which aimed at supremacy and thought itself worthy of great things nothing was so essential as a large population, in order that it might be equal to carrying on all its wars with its own armed forces and might not exhaust itself as well as its wealth in hiring mercenary troops; and for this reason, he said, the former kings had granted citizen­ship to all foreigners. 5 But if they enacted this law also, great numbers of youths would be reared from those who were manumitted and the state would never lack for armed forces of its own, but would always have sufficient troops, even if it should be forced to make war against all the world. 6 And besides this advantage to the public, the richest men would privately receive many benefits if they permitted the freedmen to share in the government, since in the assemblies and in the voting and in their other acts as citizens they would receive their reward in the very situations in which they most needed it, and furthermore would be leaving the children of these freedmen as so many clients to their posterity. 7 These arguments of Tullius induced the patricians  p345 to permit this custom to be introduced into the commonwealth, and to this day it continues to be observed by the Romans as one of their sacred and unalterable usages.

The Editor's Notes:

1 For chaps. 1 f. cf. Livy I.39.

2 576 B.C.

3 See III.65.6.

4 The lar familiaris.

5 For chaps. 4 f. cf. Livy I.41.

6 III.72 f.

7 For chaps. 6 f. cf. Livy I.46.4.

8 For these annalists see I.7.3 and note.

9 There were tales current in the Graeco-Roman world of the remarkable longevity enjoyed by the inhabitants of various remote regions. Thus, according to Herodotus, some of the Ethiopians lived to the age of 120 and over; and Strabo mentions reports that some tribes of India lived 130 years and that the Seres lived more than 200, while the Hyperboreans were credited with 1000 years. Of the half-dozen Greeks recorded as having passed the century mark, Gorgias led with from 105 to 109 years. The Romans of the historical period, so far as records tell, all fell short of a century.

Thayer's Note: Strabo either ridicules these tales or repeats them with an audible sniff, to judge from the company he puts them in; the references in the Geography are: XV.1.34, 37, and 57.

On the other hand, Herodotus, a much earlier writer, records two such longevities noncommittally: of "most" Ethiopians (III.23) — although here Herodotus merely repeats what Ethiopian envoys were giving out, without making the statement his own — and more probatively, of a Tartessian king who lived a hundred and twenty years (I.163).

10 No such feat is recorded of any Greek or Roman. But Masinissa, the loyal ally of Scipio Africanus, is said to have had a son when he had passed his 86th year (Livy, Periocha to Book L).

11 For this annalist see the note on I.7.3.

12 Cf. II.57.

13 Dionysius was doubtless thinking particularly of Solon's division of the Athenians into four classes for purposes of taxation.

14 Cf. Livy I.46.1.

15 Cf. Livy I.41.6 f.; 46.1. In the first passage he states that Tullius primus iniussu populi voluntate patrum regnavit; and in the second he said that when the young Tarquinius hinted that he was ruling without the sanction of the people, he proceeded to conciliate the plebeians and then, putting the question to a vote of the people, was declared king by them.

16 Livy (I.44.3) states that Tullius added the Viminal and the Quirinal, and enlarged the Esquiline. Strabo (V.3.7) agrees with Dionysius. The Quirinal had already been added by Numa according to Dionysius (II.62.5).

17 Livy (l.c.) says that he established his residence on the Esquiline ut loco dignitas fieret.

18 No such passage is to be found in the extant portions of the Antiquities.

19 Cf. Livy I.43.13.

20 This was named from the Subura, which was not a hill, but a valley entering the Forum from the northeast.

21 This name was derived from Collis, a common term for the Quirinal.

22 The Ramnes, Tities and Luceres.

23 The word στενωπός usually means a narrow passage or lane, but in this chapter it is used for the Roman compitum (compare 13 lines below), and this we know was a cross-road.

24 This seems to be the literal meaning of προνώπιος, but evidently the word is used here to express compitalis, the heroes being the lares compitales. These lares doubtless reminded Dionysius of the Greek herms, and his descriptive adjective is more appropriate to the latter.

25 Literally, "in the places before the houses." Of the emendations proposed (see the critical note), that of Casaubon means "to the (heroes) in front of the houses," that of Bücheler "at the cross-roads."

26 The usual plural was compita, but the form compiti is occasionally found.

27 See note 6 on p313.

28 The first section of this chapter is badly confused in the MSS. and two entire lines are missing from all but two of the extant MSS. Unfortunately we have no confirmation of the statements attributed by Dionysius to Fabius Pictor, Vennonius and Cato. The relation of the country districts to the city tribes is a moot question and it is not at all certain that the districts here mentioned are identical with the pagi, as Dionysius assumed. The number of tribes at this early period concerning have been as large even as thirty. Indeed, Dionysius himself in describing the trial of Coriolanus (VII.64.5) states that there were twenty-one tribes then; and Livy (VI.5) records the same number for 387 B.C.

29 i.e., the country as distinguished from the city.

30 An annalist of whom almost nothing is known. He seems to have lived in the second century B.C.

31 Dionysius was misled by the Greek word πάγος (a rocky hill) to apply the Latin term primarily to the natural stronghold rather than to the district it served. While both words are doubtless from the same root pag-, "fix," the meanings developed along different lines; pagus seems to have meant a "fixed" or marked area.

32 Libitina was a goddess of corpses, but in the course of time, perhaps through a confusion of Libitina with Libentina (an epithet of Venus), she came to be identified with Venus. Not only was the register of deaths kept in her temple, but everything necessary for a funeral might be bought or hired there.

33 On the Servian constitution and census described in chaps. 16‑22 cf. Livy I.42.4‑43.11.

34 In giving Greek equivalents for the Roman sums involved in the census Dionysius amused himself by stating the amounts alternately in minae and in drachmae (1 mina = 100 drachmae). Assuming equivalence between the drachma and the Roman denarius, he gave to the latter its earlier value of 10 asses. Thus his figures when given in drachmae are just one-tenth as large as Livy's figures expressed in asses. The sums named by the two historians agree except in the case of the fifth class, where Dionysius gives 1,250 drachmae as against Livy's 11,000 asses.

35 The Greek word here used means a large, oblong shield, Livy's scutum. The Argolic buckler or clipeus, on the other hand, was a round shield.

36 Livy, on the contrary, says that the artisans were attached to the first class and the musicians to the fifth.

37 κλῆσις means a "calling" or "summoning."

38 This root is seen in Calendae (Kalendae), in comitia calata, and in intercalare. The statement about an early form calesis (better calasis) is probably pure conjecture.

39 The Greek word εἰσφορά, translated "tax" in these chapters, means a special tax, particularly one levied for war purposes; it is here equivalent to the Roman tributum.

40 II.14.3.

41 If taken literally, this expression is erroneous. The popular assemblies were not deliberative bodies; they could merely vote "aye" or "no" to a specific proposal. But probably Dionysius meant no more by his expression than "give their vote."

42 No ancient writer gives us an explicit account of this reform of the comitia centuriata; but from scattered allusions it is known that each of the five classes later contained 80 companies (one of seniores and one of iuniores from each of the 35 tribes). To these 350 centuries must be added the centuries of knights (probably 18, as before, though 35 and even 70 have been suggested), and perhaps also those of the artisans and musicians (4 as before?) and the one century of proletarii. The knights no longer voted first, but one century out of the first class (or possibly out of all five classes) was chosen by lot to give its vote first; then followed the knights and the several classes in a fixed order. This reform may have been introduced at the time when the last two tribes were created, in 241 B.C. Livy's statement (I.43.12) is tantalizingly brief.

43 Cf. Livy I.44.1 f.

44 The Campus Martius.

45 The sacrifice referred to is of course the well-known suovetaurilia. It seems incredible that Dionysius could have over­looked the obvious meaning of this compound word and substituted a goat for the boar, as our MSS. do. Roscher pointed out that the later Greeks sometimes performed a triple sacrifice of a bull, a ram and a goat, and he suggested that the knowledge of such a sacrifice may have misled a scribe who was less familiar with Roman customs.

46 The censor­ship.

47 From this original meaning the word lustrum came to be applied also to the entire period from one census to the next, and finally could be used of any five-year period.

48 Livy (l.c.) reports 80,000, Eutropius (I.7) 83,000.

Page updated: 4 Nov 18