Home Page
Back To:
The Classics
Literature - The Classics.
Titus Livius
59 B.C.E.-17 A.C.E. - Wrote in Latin


The History of Rome, Vol. I
Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts




The History of Rome, Vol. I
Titus Livius

Editor Ernest Rhys
Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts

Everyman's Library
J.M. Dent and Sons
London

E.P. Dutton and Co.
New York
1912
Published: 1905

Commercial use prohibited.



Livy's History of Rome: Book 1

PREFACE

Whether the task I have undertaken of writing a complete history of the Roman people from the very commencement of its existence will reward me for the labour spent on it, I neither know for certain, nor if I did know would I venture to say. For I see that this is an old-established and a common practice, each fresh writer being invariably persuaded that he will either attain greater certainty in the materials of his narrative, or surpass the rudeness of antiquity in the excellence of his style. However this may be, it will still be a great satisfaction to me to have taken my part, too, in investing, to the utmost of my abilities, the annals of the foremost nation in the world with a deeper interest; and if in such a crowd of writers my own reputation is thrown into the shade, I would console myself with the renown and greatness of those who eclipse my fame. The subject, moreover, is one that demands immense labour. It goes back beyond 700 years and, after starting from small and humble beginnings, has grown to such dimensions that it begins to be overburdened by its greatness. I have very little doubt, too, that for the majority of my readers the earliest times and those immediately succeeding, will possess little attraction; they will hurry on to these modern days in which the might of a long paramount nation is wasting by internal decay. I, on the other hand, shall look for a further reward of my labours in being able to close my eyes to the evils which our generation has witnessed for so many years; so long, at least, as I am devoting all my thoughts to retracing those pristine records, free from all the anxiety which can disturb the historian of his own times even if it cannot warp him from the truth.

The traditions of what happened prior to the foundation of the City or whilst it was being built, are more fitted to adorn the creations of the poet than the authentic records of the historian, and I have no intention of establishing either their truth or their falsehood. This much licence is conceded to the ancients, that by intermingling human actions with divine they may confer a more august dignity on the origins of states. Now, if any nation ought to be allowed to claim a sacred origin and point back to a divine paternity that nation is Rome. For such is her renown in war that when she chooses to represent Mars as her own and her founder's father, the nations of the world accept the statement with the same equanimity with which they accept her dominion. But whatever opinions may be formed or criticisms passed upon these and similar traditions, I regard them as of small importance. The subjects to which I would ask each of my readers to devote his earnest attention are these-the life and morals of the community; the men and the qualities by which through domestic policy and foreign war dominion was won and extended. Then as the standard of morality gradually lowers, let him follow the decay of the national character, observing how at first it slowly sinks, then slips downward more and more rapidly, and finally begins to plunge into headlong ruin, until he reaches these days, in which we can bear neither our diseases nor their remedies.

There is this exceptionally beneficial and fruitful advantage to be derived from the study of the past, that you see, set in the clear light of historical truth, examples of every possible type. From these you may select for yourself and your country what to imitate, and also what, as being mischievous in its inception and disastrous in its issues, you are to avoid. Unless, however, I am misled by affection for my undertaking, there has never existed any commonwealth greater in power, with a purer morality, or more fertile in good examples; or any state in which avarice and luxury have been so late in making their inroads, or poverty and frugality so highly and continuously honoured, showing so clearly that the less wealth men possessed the less they coveted. In these latter years wealth has brought avarice in its train, and the unlimited command of pleasure has created in men a passion for ruining themselves and everything else through self-indulgence and licentiousness. But criticisms which will be unwelcome, even when perhaps necessary, must not appear in the commencement at all events of this extensive work. We should much prefer to start with favourable omens, and if we could have adopted the poets' custom, it would have been much pleasanter to commence with prayers and supplications to gods and goddesses that they would grant a favourable and successful issue to the great task before us.



Livy's History of Rome, Book 1:
The Earliest Legends


1.1

To begin with, it is generally admitted that after the capture of Troy, whilst the rest of the Trojans were massacred, against two of them-Aeneas and Antenor -the Achivi refused to exercise the rights of war, partly owing to old ties of hospitality, and partly because these men had always been in favour of making peace and surrendering Helen. Their subsequent fortunes were different. Antenor sailed into the furthest part of the Adriatic, accompanied by a number of Enetians who had been driven from Paphlagonia by a revolution, and after losing their king Pylaemenes before Troy were looking for a settlement and a leader. The combined force of Enetians and Trojans defeated the Euganei, who dwelt between the sea and the Alps and occupied their land. The place where they disembarked was called Troy, and the name was extended to the surrounding district; the whole nation were called Veneti. Similar misfortunes led to Aeneas becoming a wanderer, but the Fates were preparing a higher destiny for him. He first visited Macedonia, then was carried down to Sicily in quest of a settlement; from Sicily he directed his course to the Laurentian territory. Here, too, the name of Troy is found, and here the Trojans disembarked, and as their almost infinite wanderings had left them nothing but their arms and their ships, they began to plunder the neighbourhood. The Aborigines, who occupied the country, with their king Latinus at their head, came hastily together from the city and the country districts to repel the inroads of the strangers by force of arms.

From this point there is a twofold tradition. According to the one, Latinus was defeated in battle, and made peace with Aeneas, and subsequently a family alliance. According to the other, whilst the two armies were standing ready to engage and waiting for the signal, Latinus advanced in front of his lines and invited the leader of the strangers to a conference. He inquired of him what manner of men they were, whence they came, what had happened to make them leave their homes, what were they in quest of when they landed in Latinus' territory. When he heard that the men were Trojans, that their leader was Aeneas, the son of Anchises and Venus, that their city had been burnt, and that the homeless exiles were now looking for a place to settle in and build a city, he was so struck with the noble bearing of the men and their leader, and their readiness to accept alike either peace or war, that he gave his right hand as a solemn pledge of friendship for the future. A formal treaty was made between the leaders and mutual greetings exchanged between the armies. Latinus received Aeneas as a guest in his house, and there, in the presence of his tutelary deities, completed the political alliance by a domestic one, and gave his daughter in marriage to Aeneas. This incident confirmed the Trojans in the hope that they had reached the term of their wanderings and won a permanent home. They built a town, which Aeneas called Lavinium after his wife. In a short time a boy was born of the new marriage, to whom his parents gave the name of Ascanius.


1.2

In a short time the Aborigines and Trojans became involved in war with Turnus, the king of the Rutulians. Lavinia had been betrothed to him before the arrival of Aeneas, and, furious at finding a stranger preferred to him, he declared war against both Latinus and Aeneas. Neither side could congratulate themselves on the result of the battle; the Rutulians were defeated, but the victorious Aborigines and Trojans lost their leader Latinus. Feeling their need of allies, Turnus and the Rutulians had recourse to the celebrated power of the Etruscans and Mezentius, their king, who was reigning at Caere, a wealthy city in those days. From the first he had felt anything but pleasure at the rise of the new city, and now he regarded the growth of the Trojan state as much too rapid to be safe to its neighbours, so he welcomed the proposal to join forces with the Rutulians. To keep the Aborigines from abandoning him in the face of this strong coalition and to secure their being not only under the same laws, but also the same designation, Aeneas called both nations by the common name of Latins. From that time the Aborigines were not behind the Trojans in their loyal devotion to Aeneas. So great was the power of Etruria that the renown of her people had filled not only the inland parts of Italy but also the coastal districts along the whole length of the land from the Alps to the Straits of Messina. Aeneas, however, trusting to the loyalty of the two nations who were day by day growing into one, led his forces into the field, instead of awaiting the enemy behind his walls. The battle resulted in favour of the Latins, but it was the last mortal act of Aeneas. His tomb-whatever it is lawful and right to call him-is situated on the bank of the Numicius. He is addressed as "Jupiter Indiges."


1.3

His son, Ascanius, was not old enough to assume the government; but his throne remained secure throughout his minority. During that interval-such was Lavinia's force of character- though a woman was regent, the Latin State, and the kingdom of his father and grandfather, were preserved unimpaired for her son. I will not discuss the question-for who could speak decisively about a matter of such extreme antiquity?-whether the man whom the Julian house claim, under the name of Iulus, as the founder of their name, was this Ascanius or an older one than he, born of Creusa, whilst Ilium was still intact, and after its fall a sharer in his father's fortunes. This Ascanius, where ever born, or of whatever mother-it is generally agreed in any case that he was the son of Aeneas-left to his mother (or his stepmother) the city of Lavinium, which was for those days a prosperous and wealthy city, with a superabundant population, and built a new city at the foot of the Alban hills, which from its position, stretching along the side of the hill, was called "Alba Longa." An interval of thirty years elapsed between the foundation of Lavinium and the colonisation of Alba Longa. Such had been the growth of the Latin power, mainly through the defeat of the Etruscans, that neither at the death of Aeneas, nor during the regency of Lavinia, nor during the immature years of the reign of Ascanius, did either Mezentius and the Etruscans or any other of their neighbours venture to attack them. When terms of peace were being arranged, the river Albula, now called the Tiber, had been fixed as the boundary between the Etruscans and the Latins.

Ascanius was succeeded by his son Silvius, who by some chance had been born in the forest. He became the father of Aeneas Silvius, who in his turn had a son, Latinus Silvius. He planted a number of colonies: the colonists were called Prisci Latini. The cognomen of Silvius was common to all the remaining kings of Alba, each of whom succeeded his father. Their names are Alba, Atys, Capys, Capetus, Tiberinus, who was drowned in crossing the Albula, and his name transferred to the river, which became henceforth the famous Tiber. Then came his son Agrippa, after him his son Romulus Silvius. He was struck by lightning and left the crown to his son Aventinus, whose shrine was on the hill which bears his name and is now a part of the city of Rome. He was succeeded by Proca, who had two sons, Numitor and Amulius. To Numitor, the elder, he bequeathed the ancient throne of the Silvian house. Violence, however, proved stronger than either the father's will or the respect due to the brother's seniority; for Amulius expelled his brother and seized the crown. Adding crime to crime, he murdered his brother's sons and made the daughter, Rea Silvia, a Vestal virgin; thus, under the presence of honouring her, depriving her of all hopes of issue.


1.4

But the Fates had, I believe, already decreed the origin of this great city and the foundation of the mightiest empire under heaven. The Vestal was forcibly violated and gave birth to twins. She named Mars as their father, either because she really believed it, or because the fault might appear less heinous if a deity were the cause of it. But neither gods nor men sheltered her or her babes from the king's cruelty; the priestess was thrown into prison, the boys were ordered to be thrown into the river. By a heaven-sent chance it happened that the Tiber was then overflowing its banks, and stretches of standing water prevented any approach to the main channel. Those who were carrying the children expected that this stagnant water would be sufficient to drown them, so under the impression that they were carrying out the king's orders they exposed the boys at the nearest point of the overflow, where the Ficus Ruminalis (said to have been formerly called Romularis) now stands. The locality was then a wild solitude. The tradition goes on to say that after the floating cradle in which the boys had been exposed had been left by the retreating water on dry land, a thirsty she-wolf from the surrounding hills, attracted by the crying of the children, came to them, gave them her teats to suck and was so gentle towards them that the king's flock-master found her licking the boys with her tongue. According to the story, his name was Faustulus. He took the children to his hut and gave them to his wife Larentia to bring up. Some writers think that Larentia, from her unchaste life, had got the nickname of "She-wolf" amongst the shepherds, and that this was the origin of the marvellous story. As soon as the boys, thus born and thus brought up, grew to be young men they did not neglect their pastoral duties, but their special delight was roaming through the woods on hunting expeditions. As their strength and courage were thus developed, they used not only to lie in wait for fierce beasts of prey, but they even attacked brigands when loaded with plunder. They distributed what they took amongst the shepherds, with whom, surrounded by a continually increasing body of young men, they associated themselves in their serious undertakings and in their sports and pastimes.


1.5

It is said that the festival of the Lupercalia, which is still observed, was even in those days celebrated on the Palatine hill. This hill was originally called Pallantium from a city of the same name in Arcadia; the name was afterwards changed to Palatium. Evander, an Arcadian, had held that territory many ages before, and had introduced an annual festival from Arcadia in which young men ran about naked for sport and wantonness, in honour of the Lycaean Pan, whom the Romans afterwards called Inuus. The existence of this festival was widely recognised, and it was while the two brothers were engaged in it that the brigands, enraged at losing their plunder, ambushed them. Romulus successfully defended himself, but Remus was taken prisoner and brought before Amulius, his captors impudently accusing him of their own crimes. The principal charge brought against them was that of invading Numitor's lands with a body of young men whom they had got together, and carrying off plunder as though in regular warfare. Remus accordingly was handed over to Numitor for punishment. Faustulus had from the beginning suspected that it was royal offspring that he was bringing up, for he was aware that the boys had been exposed at the king's command and the time at which he had taken them away exactly corresponded with that of their exposure. He had, however, refused to divulge the matter prematurely, until either a fitting opportunity occurred or necessity demanded its disclosure. The necessity came first. Alarmed for the safety of Remus he revealed the state of the case to Romulus. It so happened that Numitor also, who had Remus in his custody, on hearing that he and his brother were twins and comparing their ages and the character and bearing so unlike that of one in a servile condition, began to recall the memory of his grandchildren, and further inquiries brought him to the same conclusion as Faustulus; nothing was wanting to the recognition of Remus. So the king Amulius was being enmeshed on all sides by hostile purposes. Romulus shrunk from a direct attack with his body of shepherds, for he was no match for the king in open fight. They were instructed to approach the palace by different routes and meet there at a given time, whilst from Numitor's house Remus lent his assistance with a second band he had collected. The attack succeeded and the king was killed.


1.6

At the beginning of the fray, Numitor gave out that an enemy had entered the City and was attacking the palace, in order to draw off the Alban soldiery to the citadel, to defend it. When he saw the young men coming to congratulate him after the assassination, he at once called a council of his people and explained his brother's infamous conduct towards him, the story of his grandsons, their parentage and bringing up, and how he recognised them. Then he proceeded to inform them of the tyrant's death and his responsibility for it. The young men marched in order through the midst of the assembly and saluted their grandfather as king; their action was approved by the whole population, who with one voice ratified the title and sovereignty of the king. After the government of Alba was thus transferred to Numitor, Romulus and Remus were seized with the desire of building a city in the locality where they had been exposed. There was the superfluous population of the Alban and Latin towns, to these were added the shepherds: it was natural to hope that with all these Alba would be small and Lavinium small in comparison with the city which was to be founded. These pleasant anticipations were disturbed by the ancestral curse -ambition-which led to a deplorable quarrel over what was at first a trivial matter. As they were twins and no claim to precedence could be based on seniority, they decided to consult the tutelary deities of the place by means of augury as to who was to give his name to the new city, and who was to rule it after it had been founded. Romulus accordingly selected the Palatine as his station for observation, Remus the Aventine.


1.7

Remus is said to have been the first to receive an omen: six vultures appeared to him. The augury had just been announced to Romulus when double the number appeared to him. Each was saluted as king by his own party. The one side based their claim on the priority of the appearance, the other on the number of the birds. Then followed an angry altercation; heated passions led to bloodshed; in the tumult Remus was killed. The more common report is that Remus contemptuously jumped over the newly raised walls and was forthwith killed by the enraged Romulus, who exclaimed, "So shall it be henceforth with every one who leaps over my walls." Romulus thus became sole ruler, and the city was called after him, its founder. His first work was to fortify the Palatine hill where he had been brought up. The worship of the other deities he conducted according to the use of Alba, but that of Hercules in accordance with the Greek rites as they had been instituted by Evander. It was into this neighbourhood, according to the tradition, that Hercules, after he had killed Geryon, drove his oxen, which were of marvellous beauty. He swam across the Tiber, driving the oxen before him, and wearied with his journey, lay down in a grassy place near the river to rest himself and the oxen, who enjoyed the rich pasture. When sleep had overtaken him, as he was heavy with food and wine, a shepherd living near, called Cacus, presuming on his strength, and captivated by the beauty of the oxen, determined to secure them. If he drove them before him into the cave, their hoof-marks would have led their owner on his search for them in the same direction, so he dragged the finest of them backwards by their tails into his cave. At the first streak of dawn Hercules awoke, and on surveying his herd saw that some were missing. He proceeded towards the nearest cave, to see if any tracks pointed in that direction, but he found that every hoof-mark led from the cave and none towards it. Perplexed and bewildered he began to drive the herd away from so dangerous a neighbourhood. Some of the cattle, missing those which were left behind, lowed as they often do, and an answering low sounded from the cave. Hercules turned in that direction, and as Cacus tried to prevent him by force from entering the cave, he was killed by a blow from Hercules' club, after vainly appealing for help to his comrades

The king of the country at that time was Evander, a refugee from Peloponnesus, who ruled more by personal ascendancy than by the exercise of power. He was looked up to with reverence for his knowledge of letters-a new and marvellous thing for uncivilised men-but he was still more revered because of his mother Carmenta, who was believed to be a divine being and regarded with wonder by all as an interpreter of Fate, in the days before the arrival of the Sibyl in Italy. This Evander, alarmed by the crowd of excited shepherds standing round a stranger whom they accused of open murder, ascertained from them the nature of his act and what led to it. As he observed the bearing and stature of the man to be more than human in greatness and august dignity, he asked who he was. When he heard his name, and learnt his father and his country he said, "Hercules, son of Jupiter, hail! My mother, who speaks truth in the name of the gods, has prophesied that thou shalt join the company of the gods, and that here a shrine shall be dedicated to thee, which in ages to come the most powerful nation in all the world shall call their Ara Maxima and honour with shine own special worship." Hercules grasped Evander's right hand and said that he took the omen to himself and would fulfil the prophecy by building and consecrating the altar. Then a heifer of conspicuous beauty was taken from the herd, and the first sacrifice was offered; the Potitii and Pinarii, the two principal families in those parts, were invited by Hercules to assist in the sacrifice and at the feast which followed. It so happened that the Potitii were present at the appointed time, and the entrails were placed before them; the Pinarii arrived after these were consumed and came in for the rest of the banquet. It became a permanent institution from that time, that as long as the family of the Pinarii survived they should not eat of the entrails of the victims. The Potitii, after being instructed by Evander, presided over that rite for many ages, until they handed over this ministerial office to public servants after which the whole race of the Potitii perished. This out of all foreign rites, was the only one which Romulus adopted, as though he felt that an immortality won through courage, of which this was the memorial, would one day be his own reward.


1.8

After the claims of religion had been duly acknowledged, Romulus called his people to a council. As nothing could unite them into one political body but the observance of common laws and customs, he gave them a body of laws, which he thought would only be respected by a rude and uncivilised race of men if he inspired them with awe by assuming the outward symbols of power. He surrounded himself with greater state, and in particular he called into his service twelve lictors. Some think that he fixed upon this number from the number of the birds who foretold his sovereignty; but I am inclined to agree with those who think that as this class of public officers was borrowed from the same people from whom the "sella curulis" and the "toga praetexta" were adopted- their neighbours, the Etruscans-so the number itself also was taken from them. Its use amongst the Etruscans is traced to the custom of the twelve sovereign cities of Etruria, when jointly electing a king, furnishing him each with one lictor. Meantime the City was growing by the extension of its walls in various directions; an increase due rather to the anticipation of its future population than to any present overcrowding. His next care was to secure an addition to the population that the size of the City might not be a source of weakness. It had been the ancient policy of the founders of cities to get together a multitude of people of obscure and low origin and then to spread the fiction that they were the children of the soil. In accordance with this policy, Romulus opened a place of refuge on the spot where, as you go down from the Capitol, you find an enclosed space between two groves. A promiscuous crowd of freemen and slaves, eager for change, fled thither from the neighbouring states. This was the first accession of strength to the nascent greatness of the city. When he was satisfied as to its strength, his next step was to provide for that strength being wisely directed. He created a hundred senators; either because that number was adequate, or because there were only a hundred heads of houses who could be created. In any case they were called the "Patres" in virtue of their rank, and their descendants were called "Patricians."


1.9

The Roman State had now become so strong that it was a match for any of its neighbours in war, but its greatness threatened to last for only one generation, since through the absence of women there was no hope of offspring, and there was no right of intermarriage with their neighbours. Acting on the advice of the senate, Romulus sent envoys amongst the surrounding nations to ask for alliance and the right of intermarriage on behalf of his new community. It was represented that cities, like everything else, sprung from the humblest beginnings, and those who were helped on by their own courage and the favour of heaven won for themselves great power and great renown. As to the origin of Rome, it was well known that whilst it had received divine assistance, courage and self-reliance were not wanting. There should, therefore, be no reluctance for men to mingle their blood with their fellow-men. Nowhere did the envoys meet with a favourable reception. Whilst their proposals were treated with contumely, there was at the same time a general feeling of alarm at the power so rapidly growing in their midst. Usually they were dismissed with the question, "whether they had opened an asylum for women, for nothing short of that would secure for them intermarriage on equal terms." The Roman youth could ill brook such insults, and matters began to look like an appeal to force. To secure a favourable place and time for such an attempt, Romulus, disguising his resentment, made elaborate preparations for the celebration of games in honour of "Equestrian Neptune," which he called "the Consualia." He ordered public notice of the spectacle to be given amongst the adjoining cities, and his people supported him in making the celebration as magnificent as their knowledge and resources allowed, so that expectations were raised to the highest pitch. There was a great gathering; people were eager to see the new City, all their nearest neighbours-the people of Caenina, Antemnae, and Crustumerium-were there, and the whole Sabine population came, with their wives and families. They were invited to accept hospitality at the different houses, and after examining the situation of the City, its walls and the large number of dwelling-houses it included, they were astonished at the rapidity with which the Roman State had grown.

When the hour for the games had come, and their eyes and minds were alike riveted on the spectacle before them, the preconcerted signal was given and the Roman youth dashed in all directions to carry off the maidens who were present. The larger part were carried off indiscriminately, but some particularly beautiful girls who had been marked out for the leading patricians were carried to their houses by plebeians told off for the task. One, conspicuous amongst them all for grace and beauty, is reported to have been carried off by a group led by a certain Talassius, and to the many inquiries as to whom she was intended for, the invariable answer was given, "For Talassius." Hence the use of this word in the marriage rites. Alarm and consternation broke up the games, and the parents of the maidens fled, distracted with grief, uttering bitter reproaches on the violators of the laws of hospitality and appealing to the god to whose solemn games they had come, only to be the victims of impious perfidy. The abducted maidens were quite as despondent and indignant. Romulus, however, went round in person, and pointed out to them that it was all owing to the pride of their parents in denying right of intermarriage to their neighbours. They would live in honourable wedlock, and share all their property and civil rights, and- dearest of all to human nature-would be the mothers of freemen. He begged them to lay aside their feelings of resentment and give their affections to those whom fortune had made masters of their persons. An injury had often led to reconciliation and love; they would find their husbands all the more affectionate, because each would do his utmost, so far as in him lay, to make up for the loss of parents and country. These arguments were reinforced by the endearments of their husbands, who excused their conduct by pleading the irresistible force of their passion-a plea effective beyond all others in appealing to a woman's nature.


1.10

The feelings of the abducted maidens were now pretty completely appeased, but not so those of their parents. They went about in mourning garb, and tried by their tearful complaints to rouse their countrymen to action. Nor did they confine their remonstrances to their own cities; they flocked from all sides to Titus Tatius, the king of the Sabines, and sent formal deputations to him, for his was the most influential name in those parts. The people of Caenina, Crustumerium, and Antemnae were the greatest sufferers; they thought Tatius and his Sabines were too slow in moving, so these three cities prepared to make war conjointly. Such, however, were the impatience and anger of the Caeninensians that even the Crustuminians and Antemnates did not display enough energy for them, so the men of Caenina made an attack upon Roman territory on their own account. Whilst they were scattered far and wide, pillaging and destroying, Romulus came upon them with an army, and after a brief encounter taught them that anger is futile without strength. He put them to a hasty flight, and following them up, killed their king and despoiled his body; then after slaying their leader took their city at the first assault. He was no less anxious to display his achievements than he had been great in performing them, so, after leading his victorious army home, he mounted to the Capitol with the spoils of his dead foe borne before him on a frame constructed for the purpose. He hung them there on an oak, which the shepherds looked upon as a sacred tree, and at the same time marked out the site for the temple of Jupiter, and addressing the god by a new title, uttered the following invocation: "Jupiter Feretrius! these arms taken from a king, I, Romulus a king and conqueror, bring to thee, and on this domain, whose bounds I have in will and purpose traced, I dedicate a temple to receive the 'spolia opima' which posterity following my example shall bear hither, taken from the kings and generals of our foes slain in battle." Such was the origin of the first temple dedicated in Rome. And the gods decreed that though its founder did not utter idle words in declaring that posterity would thither bear their spoils, still the splendour of that offering should not be dimmed by the number of those who have rivalled his achievement. For after so many years have elapsed and so many wars been waged, only twice have the "spolia opima" been offered. So seldom has Fortune granted that glory to men.


1.11

Whilst the Romans were thus occupied, the army of the Antemnates seized the opportunity of their territory being unoccupied and made a raid into it. Romulus hastily led his legion against this fresh foe and surprised them as they were scattered over the fields. At the very first battle-shout and charge the enemy were routed and their city captured. Whilst Romulus was exulting over this double victory, his wife, Hersilia, moved by the entreaties of the abducted maidens, implored him to pardon their parents and receive them into citizenship, for so the State would increase in unity and strength. He readily granted her request. He then advanced against the Crustuminians, who had commenced war, but their eagerness had been damped by the successive defeats of their neighbours, and they offered but slight resistance. Colonies were planted in both places; owing to the fertility of the soil of the Crustumine district, the majority gave their names for that colony. On the other hand there were numerous migrations to Rome mostly of the parents and relatives of the abducted maidens. The last of these wars was commenced by the Sabines and proved the most serious of all, for nothing was done in passion or impatience; they masked their designs till war had actually commenced. Strategy was aided by craft and deceit, as the following incident shows. Spurius Tarpeius was in command of the Roman citadel. Whilst his daughter had gone outside the fortifications to fetch water for some religious ceremonies, Tatius bribed her to admit his troops within the citadel. Once admitted, they crushed her to death beneath their shields, either that the citadel might appear to have been taken by assault, or that her example might be left as a warning that no faith should be kept with traitors. A further story runs that the Sabines were in the habit of wearing heavy gold armlets on their left arms and richly jewelled rings, and that the girl made them promise to give her "what they had on their left arms," accordingly they piled their shields upon her instead of golden gifts. Some say that in bargaining for what they had in their left hands, she expressly asked for their shields, and being suspected of wishing to betray them, fell a victim to her own bargain.


1.12

However this may be, the Sabines were in possession of the citadel. And they would not come down from it the next day, though the Roman army was drawn up in battle array over the whole of the ground between the Palatine and the Capitoline hill, until, exasperated at the loss of their citadel and determined to recover it, the Romans mounted to the attack. Advancing before the rest, Mettius Curtius, on the side of the Sabines, and Hostius Hostilius, on the side of the Romans, engaged in single combat. Hostius, fighting on disadvantageous ground, upheld the fortunes of Rome by his intrepid bravery, but at last he fell; the Roman line broke and fled to what was then the gate of the Palatine. Even Romulus was being swept away by the crowd of fugitives, and lifting up his hands to heaven he exclaimed: "Jupiter, it was thy omen that I obeyed when I laid here on the Palatine the earliest foundations of the City. Now the Sabines hold its citadel, having bought it by a bribe, and coming thence have seized the valley and are pressing hitherwards in battle. Do thou, Father of gods and men, drive hence our foes, banish terror from Roman hearts, and stay our shameful flight! Here do I vow a temple to thee, 'Jove the Stayer,' as a memorial for the generations to come that it is through thy present help that the City has been saved." Then, as though he had become aware that his prayer had been heard, he cried, "Back, Romans! Jupiter Optimus Maximus bids you stand and renew the battle." They stopped as though commanded by a voice from heaven-Romulus dashed up to the foremost line, just as Mettius Curtius had run down from the citadel in front of the Sabines and driven the Romans in headlong flight over the whole of the ground now occupied by the Forum. He was now not far from the gate of the Palatine, and was shouting: "We have conquered our faithless hosts, our cowardly foes; now they know that to carry off maidens is a very different thing from fighting with men." In the midst of these vaunts Romulus, with a compact body of valiant troops, charged down on him. Mettius happened to be on horseback, so he was the more easily driven back, the Romans followed in pursuit, and, inspired by the courage of their king, the rest of the Roman army routed the Sabines. Mettius, unable to control his horse, maddened by the noise of his pursuers, plunged into a morass. The danger of their general drew off the attention of the Sabines for a moment from the battle; they called out and made signals to encourage him, so, animated to fresh efforts, he succeeded in extricating himself. Thereupon the Romans and Sabines renewed the fighting in the middle of the valley, but the fortune of Rome was in the ascendant.


1.13

Then it was that the Sabine women, whose wrongs had led to the war, throwing off all womanish fears in their distress, went boldly into the midst of the flying missiles with dishevelled hair and rent garments. Running across the space between the two armies they tried to stop any further fighting and calm the excited passions by appealing to their fathers in the one army and their husbands in the other not to bring upon themselves a curse by staining their hands with the blood of a father-in-law or a son-in-law, nor upon their posterity the taint of parricide. "If," they cried, "you are weary of these ties of kindred, these marriage-bonds, then turn your anger upon us; it is we who are the cause of the war, it is we who have wounded and slain our husbands and fathers. Better for us to perish rather than live without one or the other of you, as widows or as orphans." The armies and their leaders were alike moved by this appeal. There was a sudden hush and silence. Then the generals advanced to arrange the terms of a treaty. It was not only peace that was made, the two nations were united into one State, the royal power was shared between them, and the seat of government for both nations was Rome. After thus doubling the City, a concession was made to the Sabines in the new appellation of Quirites, from their old capital of Cures. As a memorial of the battle, the place where Curtius got his horse out of the deep marsh on to safer ground was called the Curtian lake. The joyful peace, which put an abrupt close to such a deplorable war, made the Sabine women still dearer to their husbands and fathers, and most of all to Romulus himself. Consequently when he effected the distribution of the people into the thirty curiae, he affixed their names to the curiae. No doubt there were many more than thirty women, and tradition is silent as to whether those whose names were given to the curiae were selected on the ground of age, or on that of personal distinction-either their own or their husbands'-or merely by lot. The enrolment of the three centuries of knights took place at the same time; the Ramnenses were called after Romulus, the Titienses from T. Tatius. The origin of the Luceres and why they were so called is uncertain. Thenceforward the two kings exercised their joint sovereignty with perfect harmony.


1.14

Some years subsequently the kinsmen of King Tatius ill-treated the ambassadors of the Laurentines. They came to seek redress from him in accordance with international law, but the influence and importunities of his friends had more weight with Tatius than the remonstrances of the Laurentines. The consequence was that he brought upon himself the punishment due to them, for when he had gone to the annual sacrifice at Lavinium, a tumult arose in which he was killed. Romulus is reported to have been less distressed at this incident than his position demanded, either because of the insincerity inherent in all joint sovereignty, or because he thought he had deserved his fate. He refused, therefore, to go to war, but that the wrong done to the ambassadors and the murder of the king might be expiated, the treaty between Rome and Lavinium was renewed. Whilst in this direction an unhoped-for peace was secured, war broke out in a much nearer quarter, in fact almost at the very gates of Rome. The people of Fidenae considered that a power was growing up too close to them, so to prevent the anticipations of its future greatness from being realised, they took the initiative in making war. Armed bands invaded and devastated the country lying between the City and Fidenae. Thence they turned to the left-the Tiber barred their advance on the right-and plundered and destroyed, to the great alarm of the country people. A sudden rush from the fields into the City was the first intimation of what was happening. A war so close to their gates admitted of no delay, and Romulus hurriedly led out his army and encamped about a mile from Fidenae. Leaving a small detachment to guard the camp, he went forward with his whole force, and whilst one part were ordered to lie in ambush in a place overgrown with dense brushwood, he advanced with the larger part and the whole of the cavalry towards the city, and by riding up to the very gates in a disorderly and provocative manner he succeeded in drawing the enemy. The cavalry continued these tactics and so made the flight which they were to feign seem less suspicious, and when their apparent hesitation whether to fight or to flee was followed by the retirement of the infantry, the enemy suddenly poured out of the crowded gates, broke the Roman line and pressed on in eager pursuit till they were brought to where the ambush was set. Then the Romans suddenly rose and attacked the enemy in flank; their panic was increased by the troops in the camp bearing down upon them. Terrified by the threatened attacks from all sides, the Fidenates turned and fled almost before Romulus and his men could wheel round from their simulated flight. They made for their town much more quickly than they had just before pursued those who pretended to flee, for their flight was a genuine one. They could not, however, shake off the pursuit; the Romans were on their heels, and before the gates could be closed against them, burst through pell-mell with the enemy.


1.15

The contagion of the war-spirit in Fidenae infected the Veientes. This people were connected by ties of blood with the Fidenates, who were also Etruscans, and an additional incentive was supplied by the mere proximity of the place, should the arms of Rome be turned against all her neighbours. They made an incursion into Roman territory, rather for the sake of plunder than as an act of regular war. After securing their booty they returned with it to Veii, without entrenching a camp or waiting for the enemy. The Romans, on the other hand, not finding the enemy on their soil, crossed the Tiber, prepared and determined to fight a decisive battle. On hearing that they had formed an entrenched camp and were preparing to advance on their city, the Veientes went out against them, preferring a combat in the open to being shut up and having to fight from houses and walls. Romulus gained the victory, not through stratagem, but through the prowess of his veteran army. He drove the routed enemy up to their walls, but in view of the strong position and fortifications of the city, he abstained from assaulting it. On his march homewards, he devastated their fields more out of revenge than for the sake of plunder. The loss thus sustained, no less than the previous defeat, broke the spirit of the Veientes, and they sent envoys to Rome to sue for peace. On condition of a cession of territory a truce was granted to them for a hundred years. These were the principal events at home and in the field that marked the reign of Romulus. Throughout- whether we consider the courage he showed in recovering his ancestral throne, or the wisdom he displayed in founding the City and adding to its strength through war and peace alike-we find nothing incompatible with the belief in his divine origin and his admission to divine immortality after death. It was, in fact, through the strength given by him that the City was powerful enough to enjoy an assured peace for forty years after his departure. He was, however, more acceptable to the populace than to the patricians, but most of all was he the idol of his soldiers. He kept a bodyguard of three hundred men round him in peace as well as in war. These he called the "Celeres."


1.16

After these immortal achievements, Romulus held a review of his army at the "Caprae Palus" in the Campus Martius. A violent thunderstorm suddenly arose and enveloped the king in so dense a cloud that he was quite invisible to the assembly. From that hour Romulus was no longer seen on earth. When the fears of the Roman youth were allayed by the return of bright, calm sunshine after such fearful weather, they saw that the royal seat was vacant. Whilst they fully believed the assertion of the senators, who had been standing close to him, that he had been snatched away to heaven by a whirlwind, still, like men suddenly bereaved, fear and grief kept them for some time speechless. At length, after a few had taken the initiative, the whole of those present hailed Romulus as "a god, the son of a god, the King and Father of the City of Rome." They put up supplications for his grace and favour, and prayed that he would be propitious to his children and save and protect them. I believe, however, that even then there were some who secretly hinted that he had been torn limb from limb by the senators-a tradition to this effect, though certainly a very dim one, has filtered down to us. The other, which I follow, has been the prevailing one, due, no doubt, to the admiration felt for the man and the apprehensions excited by his disappearance. This generally accepted belief was strengthened by one man's clever device. The tradition runs that Proculus Julius, a man whose authority had weight in matters of even the gravest importance, seeing how deeply the community felt the loss of the king, and how incensed they were against the senators, came forward into the assembly and said: "Quirites! at break of dawn, to-day, the Father of this City suddenly descended from heaven and appeared to me. Whilst, thrilled with awe, I stood rapt before him in deepest reverence, praying that I might be pardoned for gazing upon him, 'Go,' said he, 'tell the Romans that it is the will of heaven that my Rome should be the head of all the world. Let them henceforth cultivate the arts of war, and let them know assuredly, and hand down the knowledge to posterity, that no human might can withstand the arms of Rome.'" It is marvellous what credit was given to this man's story, and how the grief of the people and the army was soothed by the belief which had been created in the immortality of Romulus.


1.17

Disputes arose among the senators about the vacant throne. It was not the jealousies of individual citizens, for no one was sufficiently prominent in so young a State, but the rivalries of parties in the State that led to this strife. The Sabine families were apprehensive of losing their fair share of the sovereign power, because after the death of Tatius they had had no representative on the throne; they were anxious, therefore, that the king should be elected from amongst them. The ancient Romans could ill brook a foreign king; but amidst this diversity of political views, all were for a monarchy; they had not yet tasted the sweets of liberty. The senators began to grow apprehensive of some aggressive act on the part of the surrounding states, now that the City was without a central authority and the army without a general. They decided that there must be some head of the State, but no one could make up his mind to concede the dignity to any one else. The matter was settled by the hundred senators dividing themselves into ten "decuries," and one was chosen from each decury to exercise the supreme power. Ten therefore were in office, but only one at a time had the insignia of authority and the lictors. Their individual authority was restricted to five days, and they exercised it in rotation. This break in the monarchy lasted for a year, and it was called by the name it still bears-that of "interregnum." After a time the plebs began to murmur that their bondage was multiplied, for they had a hundred masters instead of one. It was evident that they would insist upon a king being elected and elected by them. When the senators became aware of this growing determination, they thought it better to offer spontaneously what they were bound to part with, so, as an act of grace, they committed the supreme power into the hands of the people, but in such a way that they did not give away more privilege than they retained. For they passed a decree that when the people had chosen a king, his election would only be valid after the senate had ratified it by their authority. The same procedure exists to-day in the passing of laws and the election of magistrates, but the power of rejection has been withdrawn; the senate give their ratification before the people proceed to vote, whilst the result of the election is still uncertain. At that time the "interrex" convened the assembly and addressed it as follows: "Quirites! elect your king, and may heaven's blessing rest on your labours! If you elect one who shall be counted worthy to follow Romulus, the senate will ratify your choice." So gratified were the people at the proposal that, not to appear behindhand in generosity, they passed a resolution that it should be left to the senate to decree who should reign in Rome.


1.18

There was living, in those days, at Cures, a Sabine city, a man of renowned justice and piety-Numa Pompilius. He was as conversant as any one in that age could be with all divine and human law. His master is given as Pythagoras of Samos, as tradition speaks of no other. But this is erroneous, for it is generally agreed that it was more than a century later, in the reign of Servius Tullius, that Pythagoras gathered round him crowds of eager students, in the most distant part of Italy, in the neighbourhood of Metapontum, Heraclea, and Crotona. Now, even if he had been contemporary with Numa, how could his reputation have reached the Sabines? From what places, and in what common language could he have induced any one to become his disciple? Who could have guaranteed the safety of a solitary individual travelling through so many nations differing in speech and character? I believe rather that Numa's virtues were the result of his native temperament and self-training, moulded not so much by foreign influences as by the rigorous and austere discipline of the ancient Sabines, which was the purest type of any that existed in the old days. When Numa's name was mentioned, though the Roman senators saw that the balance of power would be on the side of the Sabines if the king were chosen from amongst them, still no one ventured to propose a partisan of his own, or any senator, or citizen in preference to him. Accordingly they all to a man decreed that the crown should be offered to Numa Pompilius. He was invited to Rome, and following the precedent set by Romulus, when he obtained his crown through the augury which sanctioned the founding of the City, Numa ordered that in his case also the gods should be consulted. He was solemnly conducted by an augur, who was afterwards honoured by being made a State functionary for life, to the Citadel, and took his seat on a stone facing south. The augur seated himself on his left hand, with his head covered, and holding in his right hand a curved staff without any knots, which they called a "lituus." After surveying the prospect over the City and surrounding country, he offered prayers and marked out the heavenly regions by an imaginary line from east to west; the southern he defined as "the right hand," the northern as "the left hand." He then fixed upon an object, as far as he could see, as a corresponding mark, and then transferring the lituus to his left hand, he laid his right upon Numa's head and offered this prayer: "Father Jupiter, if it be heaven's will that this Numa Pompilius, whose head I hold, should be king of Rome, do thou signify it to us by sure signs within those boundaries which I have traced." Then he described in the usual formula the augury which he desired should be sent. They were sent, and Numa being by them manifested to be king, came down from the "templum."


1.19

Having in this way obtained the crown, Numa prepared to found, as it were, anew, by laws and customs, that City which had so recently been founded by force of arms. He saw that this was impossible whilst a state of war lasted, for war brutalised men. Thinking that the ferocity of his subjects might be mitigated by the disuse of arms, he built the temple of Janus at the foot of the Aventine as an index of peace and war, to signify when it was open that the State was under arms, and when it was shut that all the surrounding nations were at peace. Twice since Numa's reign has it been shut, once after the first Punic war in the consulship of T. Manlius, the second time, which heaven has allowed our generation to witness, after the battle of Actium, when peace on land and sea was secured by the emperor Caesar Augustus. After forming treaties of alliance with all his neighbours and closing the temple of Janus, Numa turned his attention to domestic matters. The removal of all danger from without would induce his subjects to luxuriate in idleness, as they would be no longer restrained by the fear of an enemy or by military discipline. To prevent this, he strove to inculcate in their minds the fear of the gods, regarding this as the most powerful influence which could act upon an uncivilised and, in those ages, a barbarous people. But, as this would fail to make a deep impression without some claim to supernatural wisdom, he pretended that he had nocturnal interviews with the nymph Egeria: that it was on her advice that he was instituting the ritual most acceptable to the gods and appointing for each deity his own special priests. First of all he divided the year into twelve months, corresponding to the moon's revolutions. But as the moon does not complete thirty days in each month, and so there are fewer days in the lunar year than in that measured by the course of the sun, he interpolated intercalary months and so arranged them that every twentieth year the days should coincide with the same position of the sun as when they started, the whole twenty years being thus complete. He also established a distinction between the days on which legal business could be transacted and those on which it could not, because it would sometimes be advisable that there should be no business transacted with the people.


1.20

Next he turned his attention to the appointment of priests. He himself, however, conducted a great many religious services, especially those which belong to the Flamen of Jupiter. But he thought that in a warlike state there would be more kings of the type of Romulus than of Numa who would take the field in person. To guard, therefore, against the sacrificial rites which the king performed being interrupted, he appointed a Flamen as perpetual priest to Jupiter, and ordered that he should wear a distinctive dress and sit in the royal curule chair. He appointed two additional Flamens, one for Mars, the other for Quirinus, and also chose virgins as priestesses to Vesta. This order of priestesses came into existence originally in Alba and was connected with the race of the founder. He assigned them a public stipend that they might give their whole time to the temple, and made their persons sacred and inviolable by a vow of chastity and other religious sanctions. Similarly he chose twelve "Salii" for Mars Gradivus, and assigned to them the distinctive dress of an embroidered tunic and over it a brazen cuirass. They were instructed to march in solemn procession through the City, carrying the twelve shields called the "Ancilia," and singing hymns accompanied by a solemn dance in triple time. The next office to be filled was that of the Pontifex Maximus. Numa appointed the son of Marcus, one of the senators- Numa Marcius-and all the regulations bearing on religion, written out and sealed, were placed in his charge. Here was laid down with what victims, on what days, and at what temples the various sacrifices were to be offered, and from what sources the expenses connected with them were to be defrayed. He placed all other sacred functions, both public and private, under the supervision of the Pontifex, in order that there might be an authority for the people to consult, and so all trouble and confusion arising through foreign rites being adopted and their ancestral ones neglected might be avoided. Nor were his functions confined to directing the worship of the celestial gods; he was to instruct the people how to conduct funerals and appease the spirits of the departed, and what prodigies sent by lightning or in any other way were to be attended to and expiated. To elicit these signs of the divine will, he dedicated an altar to Jupiter Elicius on the Aventine, and consulted the god through auguries, as to which prodigies were to receive attention.


1.21

The deliberations and arrangements which these matters involved diverted the people from all thoughts of war and provided them with ample occupation. The watchful care of the gods, manifesting itself in the providential guidance of human affairs, had kindled in all hearts such a feeling of piety that the sacredness of promises and the sanctity of oaths were a controlling force for the community scarcely less effective than the fear inspired by laws and penalties. And whilst his subjects were moulding their characters upon the unique example of their king, the neighbouring nations, who had hitherto believed that it was a fortified camp and not a city that was placed amongst them to vex the peace of all, were now induced to respect them so highly that they thought it sinful to injure a State so entirely devoted to the service of the gods. There was a grove through the midst of which a perennial stream flowed, issuing from a dark cave. Here Numa frequently retired unattended as if to meet the goddess, and he consecrated the grove to the Camaenae, because it was there that their meetings with his wife Egeria took place. He also instituted a yearly sacrifice to the goddess Fides and ordered that the Flamens should ride to her temple in a hooded chariot, and should perform the service with their hands covered as far as the fingers, to signify that Faith must be sheltered and that her seat is holy even when it is in men's right hands. There were many other sacrifices appointed by him and places dedicated for their performance which the pontiffs call the Argei. The greatest of all his works was the preservation of peace and the security of his realm throughout the whole of his reign. Thus by two successive kings the greatness of the State was advanced; by each in a different way, by the one through war, by the other through peace. Romulus reigned thirty-seven years, Numa forty-three. The State was strong and disciplined by the lessons of war and the arts of peace.


1.22

The death of Numa was followed by a second interregnum. Then Tullus Hostilius, a grandson of the Hostilius who had fought so brilliantly at the foot of the Citadel against the Sabines, was chosen king by the people, and their choice was confirmed by the senate. He was not only unlike the last king, but he was a man of more warlike spirit even than Romulus, and his ambition was kindled by his own youthful energy and by the glorious achievements of his grandfather. Convinced that the vigour of the State was becoming enfeebled through inaction, he looked all round for a pretext for getting up a war. It so happened that Roman peasants were at that time in the habit of carrying off plunder from the Alban territory, and the Albans from Roman territory. Gaius Cluilius was at the time ruling in Alba. Both parties sent envoys almost simultaneously to seek redress. Tullus had told his ambassadors to lose no time in carrying out their instructions; he was fully aware that the Albans would refuse satisfaction, and so a just ground would exist for proclaiming war. The Alban envoys proceeded in a more leisurely fashion. Tullus received them with all courtesy and entertained them sumptuously. Meantime the Romans had preferred their demands, and on the Alban governor's refusal had declared that war would begin in thirty days. When this was reported to Tullus, he granted the Albans an audience in which they were to state the object of their coming. Ignorant of all that had happened, they wasted time in explaining that it was with great reluctance that they would say anything which might displease Tullus, but they were bound by their instructions; they were come to demand redress, and if that were refused they were ordered to declare war. "Tell your king," replied Tullus, "that the king of Rome calls the gods to witness that whichever nation is the first to dismiss with ignominy the envoys who came to seek redress, upon that nation they will visit all the sufferings of this war."


1.23

The Albans reported this at home. Both sides made extraordinary preparations for a war, which closely resembled a civil war between parents and children, for both were of Trojan descent, since Lavinium was an offshoot of Troy, and Alba of Lavinium, and the Romans were sprung from the stock of the kings of Alba. The outcome of the war, however, made the conflict less deplorable, as there was no regular engagement, and though one of the two cities was destroyed, the two nations were blended into one. The Albans were the first to move, and invaded the Roman territory with an immense army. They fixed their camp only five miles from the City and surrounded it with a moat; this was called for several centuries the "Cluilian Dyke" from the name of the Alban general, till through lapse of time the name and the thing itself disappeared. While they were encamped Cluilius, the Alban king, died, and the Albans made Mettius Fufetius dictator. The king's death made Tullus more sanguine than ever of success. He gave out that the wrath of heaven which had fallen first of all on the head of the nation would visit the whole race of Alba with condign punishment for this unholy war. Passing the enemy's camp by a night march, he advanced upon Alban territory. This drew Mettius from his entrenchments. He marched as close to his enemy as he could, and then sent on an officer to inform Tullus that before engaging it was necessary that they should have a conference. If he granted one, then he was satisfied that the matters he would lay before him were such as concerned Rome no less than Alba. Tullus did not reject the proposal, but in case the conference should prove illusory, he led out his men in order of battle. The Albans did the same. After they had halted, confronting each other, the two commanders, with a small escort of superior officers, advanced between the lines. The Alban general, addressing Tullus, said: "I think I have heard our king Cluilius say that acts of robbery and the non-restitution of plundered property, in violation of the existing treaty, were the cause of this war, and I have no doubt that you, Tullus, allege the same pretext. But if we are to say what is true, rather than what is plausible, we must admit that it is the lust of empire which has made two kindred and neighbouring peoples take up arms. Whether rightly or wrongly I do not judge; let him who began the war settle that point; I am simply placed in command by the Albans to conduct the war. But I want to give you a warning, Tullus. You know, you especially who are nearer to them, the greatness of the Etruscan State, which hems us both in; their immense strength by land, still more by sea. Now remember, when once you have given the signal to engage, our two armies will fight under their eyes, so that when we are wearied and exhausted they may attack us both, victor and vanquished alike. If then, not content with the secure freedom we now enjoy, we are determined to enter into a game of chance, where the stakes are either supremacy or slavery, let us, in heaven's name, choose some method by which, without great suffering or bloodshed on either side, it can be decided which nation is to be master of the other." Although, from natural temperament, and the certainty he felt of victory, Tullus was eager to fight, he did not disapprove of the proposal. After much consideration on both sides a method was adopted, for which Fortune herself provided the necessary means.


1.24

There happened to be in each of the armies a triplet of brothers, fairly matched in years and strength. It is generally agreed that they were called Horatii and Curiatii. Few incidents in antiquity have been more widely celebrated, yet in spite of its celebrity there is a discrepancy in the accounts as to which nation each belonged. There are authorities on both sides, but I find that the majority give the name of Horatii to the Romans, and my sympathies lead me to follow them. The kings suggested to them that they should each fight on behalf of their country, and where victory rested, there should be the sovereignty. They raised no objection; so the time and place were fixed. But before they engaged a treaty was concluded between the Romans and the Albans, providing that the nation whose representatives proved victorious should receive the peaceable submission of the other. This is the earliest treaty recorded, and as all treaties, however different the conditions they contain, are concluded with the same forms, I will describe the forms with which this one was concluded as handed down by tradition. The Fetial put the formal question to Tullus: "Do you, King, order me to make a treaty with the Pater Patratus of the Alban nation?" On the king replying in the affirmative, the Fetial said: "I demand of thee, King, some tufts of grass." The king replied: "Take those that are pure." The Fetial brought pure grass from the Citadel. Then he asked the king: "Do you constitute me the plenipotentiary of the People of Rome, the Quirites, sanctioning also my vessels and comrades?" To which the king replied: "So far as may be without hurt to myself and the People of Rome, the Quirites, I do." The Fetial was M. Valerius. He made Spurius Furius the Pater Patratus by touching his head and hair with the grass. Then the Pater Patratus, who is constituted for the purpose of giving the treaty the religious sanction of an oath, did so by a long formula in verse, which it is not worth while to quote. After reciting the conditions he said: "Hear, O Jupiter, hear! thou Pater Patratus of the people of Alba! Hear ye, too, people of Alba! As these conditions have been publicly rehearsed from first to last, from these tablets, in perfect good faith, and inasmuch as they have here and now been most clearly understood, so these conditions the People of Rome will not be the first to go back from. If they shall, in their national council, with false and malicious intent be the first to go back, then do thou, Jupiter, on that day, so smite the People of Rome, even as I here and now shall smite this swine, and smite them so much the more heavily, as thou art greater in power and might." With these words he struck the swine with a flint. In similar wise the Albans recited their oath and formularies through their own dictator and their priests.


1.25

On the conclusion of the treaty the six combatants armed themselves. They were greeted with shouts of encouragement from their comrades, who reminded them that their fathers' gods, their fatherland, their fathers, every fellow-citizen, every fellow-soldier, were now watching their weapons and the hands that wielded them. Eager for the contest and inspired by the voices round them, they advanced into the open space between the opposing lines. The two armies were sitting in front of their respective camps, relieved from personal danger but not from anxiety, since upon the fortunes and courage of this little group hung the issue of dominion. Watchful and nervous, they gaze with feverish intensity on a spectacle by no means entertaining. The signal was given, and with uplifted swords the six youths charged like a battle-line with the courage of a mighty host. Not one of them thought of his own danger; their sole thought was for their country, whether it would be supreme or subject, their one anxiety that they were deciding its future fortunes. When, at the first encounter, the flashing swords rang on their opponents' shields, a deep shudder ran through the spectators; then a breathless silence followed, as neither side seemed to be gaining any advantage. Soon, however, they saw something more than the swift movements of limbs and the rapid play of sword and shield: blood became visible flowing from open wounds. Two of the Romans fell one on the other, breathing out their life, whilst all the three Albans were wounded. The fall of the Romans was welcomed with a burst of exultation from the Alban army; whilst the Roman legions, who had lost all hope, but not all anxiety, trembled for their solitary champion surrounded by the three Curiatii. It chanced that he was untouched, and though not a match for the three together, he was confident of victory against each separately. So, that he might encounter each singly, he took to flight, assuming that they would follow as well as their wounds would allow. He had run some distance from the spot where the combat began, when, on looking back, he saw them following at long intervals from each other, the foremost not far from him. He turned and made a desperate attack upon him, and whilst the Alban army were shouting to the other Curiatii to come to their brother's assistance, Horatius had already slain his foe and, flushed with victory, was awaiting the second encounter. Then the Romans cheered their champion with a shout such as men raise when hope succeeds to despair, and he hastened to bring the fight to a close. Before the third, who was not far away, could come up, he despatched the second Curiatius. The survivors were now equal in point of numbers, but far from equal in either confidence or strength. The one, unscathed after his double victory, was eager for the third contest; the other, dragging himself wearily along, exhausted by his wounds and by his running, vanquished already by the previous slaughter of his brothers, was an easy conquest to his victorious foe. There was, in fact, no fighting. The Roman cried exultingly: "Two have I sacrificed to appease my brothers' shades; the third I will offer for the issue of this fight, that the Roman may rule the Alban." He thrust his sword downward into the neck of his opponent, who could no longer lift his shield, and then despoiled him as he lay. Horatius was welcomed by the Romans with shouts of triumph, all the more joyous for the fears they had felt. Both sides turned their attention to burying their dead champions, but with very different feelings, the one rejoicing in wider dominion, the other deprived of their liberty and under alien rule. The tombs stand on the spots where each fell; those of the Romans close together, in the direction of Alba; the three Alban tombs, at intervals, in the direction of Rome.


1.26

Before the armies separated, Mettius inquired what commands he was to receive in accordance with the terms of the treaty. Tullus ordered him to keep the Alban soldiery under arms, as he would require their services if there were war with the Veientines. Both armies then withdrew to their homes. Horatius was marching at the head of the Roman army, carrying in front of him his triple spoils. His sister, who had been betrothed to one of the Curiatii, met him outside the Capene gate. She recognised on her brother's shoulders the cloak of her betrothed, which she had made with her own hands; and bursting into tears she tore her hair and called her dead lover by name. The triumphant soldier was so enraged by his sister's outburst of grief in the midst of his own triumph and the public rejoicing that he drew his sword and stabbed the girl. "Go," he cried, in bitter reproach, "go to your betrothed with your ill-timed love, forgetful as you are of your dead brothers, of the one who still lives, and of your country! So perish every Roman woman who mourns for an enemy!" The deed horrified patricians and plebeians alike; but his recent services were a set-off to it. He was brought before the king for trial. To avoid responsibility for passing a harsh sentence, which would be repugnant to the populace, and then carrying it into execution, the king summoned an assembly of the people, and said: "I appoint two duumvirs to judge the treason of Horatius according to law." The dreadful language of the law was: "The duumvirs shall judge cases of treason; if the accused appeal from the duumvirs, the appeal shall be heard; if their sentence be confirmed, the lictor shall hang him by a rope on the fatal tree, and shall scourge him either within or without the pomoerium." The duumvirs appointed under this law did not think that by its provisions they had the power to acquit even an innocent person. Accordingly they condemned him; then one of them said: "Publius Horatius, I pronounce you guilty of treason. Lictor, bind his hands." The lictor had approached and was fastening the cord, when Horatius, at the suggestion of Tullus, who placed a merciful interpretation on the law, said, "I appeal." The appeal was accordingly brought before the people.

Their decision was mainly influenced by Publius Horatius, the father, who declared that his daughter had been justly slain; had it not been so, he would have exerted his authority as a father in punishing his son. Then he implored them not to bereave of all his children the man whom they had so lately seen surrounded with such noble offspring. Whilst saying this he embraced his son, and then, pointing to the spoils of the Curiatii suspended on the spot now called the Pila Horatia, he said: "Can you bear, Quirites, to see bound, scourged, and tortured beneath the gallows the man whom you saw, lately, coming in triumph adorned with his foemen's spoils? Why, the Albans themselves could not bear the sight of such a hideous spectacle. Go, lictor, bind those hands which when armed but a little time ago won dominion for the Roman people. Go, cover the head of the liberator of this City! Hang him on the fatal tree, scourge him within the pomoerium, if only it be amongst the trophies of his foes, or without, if only it be amongst the tombs of the Curiatii! To what place can you take this youth where the monuments of his splendid exploits will not vindicate him from such a shameful punishment?" The father's tears and the young soldier's courage ready to meet every peril were too much for the people. They acquitted him because they admired his bravery rather than because they regarded his cause as a just one. But since a murder in broad daylight demanded some expiation, the father was commanded to make an atonement for his son at the cost of the State. After offering certain expiatory sacrifices he erected a beam across the street and made the young man pass under it, as under a yoke, with his head covered. This beam exists to-day, having always been kept in repair by the State: it is called "The Sister's Beam." A tomb of hewn stone was constructed for Horatia on the spot where she was murdered.


1.27

But the peace with Alba was not a lasting one. The Alban dictator had incurred general odium through having entrusted the fortunes of the State to three soldiers, and this had an evil effect upon his weak character. As straightforward counsels had turned out so unfortunate, he tried to recover the popular favour by resorting to crooked ones, and as he had previously made peace his aim in war, so now he sought the occasion of war in peace. He recognised that his State possessed more courage than strength, he therefore incited other nations to declare war openly and formally, whilst he kept for his own people an opening for treachery under the mask of an alliance. The people of Fidenae, where a Roman colony existed, were induced to go to war by a compact on the part of the Albans to desert to them; the Veientines were taken into the plot. When Fidenae had broken out into open revolt, Tullus summoned Mettius and his army from Alba and marched against the enemy. After crossing the Anio he encamped at the junction of that river with the Tiber. The army of the Veientines had crossed the Tiber at a spot between his camp and Fidenae. In the battle they formed the right wing near the river, the Fidenates were on the left nearer the mountains. Tullus formed his troops in front of the Veientines, and stationed the Albans against the legion of the Fidenates. The Alban general showed as little courage as fidelity; afraid either to keep his ground or to openly desert, he drew away gradually towards the mountains. When he thought he had retired far enough, he halted his entire army, and still irresolute, he began to form his men for attack, by way of gaining time, intending to throw his strength on the winning side. Those Romans who had been stationed next to the Albans were astounded to find that their allies had withdrawn and left their flank exposed, when a horseman rode up at full speed and reported to the king that the Albans were leaving the field. In this critical situation, Tullus vowed to found a college of twelve Salii and to build temples to Pallor and Pavor. Then, reprimanding the horseman loud enough for the enemy to hear, he ordered him to rejoin the fighting line, adding that there was no occasion for alarm, as it was by his orders that the Alban army was making a circuit that they might fall on the unprotected rear of the Fidenates. At the same time he ordered the cavalry to raise their spears; this action hid the retreating Alban army from a large part of the Roman infantry. Those who had seen them, thinking that what the king had said was actually the case, fought all the more keenly. It was now the enemies' turn to be alarmed; they had heard clearly the words of the king, and, moreover, a large part of the Fidenates who had formerly joined the Roman colonists understood Latin. Fearing to be cut off from their town by a sudden charge of the Albans from the hills, they retreated. Tullus pressed the attack, and after routing the Fidenates, returned to attack the Veientines with greater confidence, as they were already demoralised by the panic of their allies. They did not wait for the charge, but their flight was checked by the river in their rear. When they reached it, some, flinging away their arms, rushed blindly into the water, others, hesitating whether to fight or fly, were overtaken and slain. Never had the Romans fought in a bloodier battle.


1.28

Then the Alban army, who had been watching the fight, marched down into the plain. Mettius congratulated Tullus on his victory, Tullus replied in a friendly tone, and as a mark of goodwill, ordered the Albans to form their camp contiguous to that of the Romans, and made preparations for a "lustral sacrifice" on the morrow. As soon as it was light, and all the preparations were made, he gave the customary order for both armies to muster on parade. The heralds began at the furthest part of the camp, where the Albans were, and summoned them first of all; they, attracted by the novelty of hearing the Roman addressing his troops, took up their position close round him. Secret instructions had been given for the Roman legion to stand fully armed behind them, and the centurions were in readiness to execute instantly the orders they received. Tullus commenced as follows: "Romans! if in any war that you have ever waged there has been reason for you to thank, first, the immortal gods, and then your own personal courage, such was certainly the case in yesterday's battle. For whilst you had to contend with an open enemy, you had a still more serious and dangerous conflict to maintain against the treachery and perfidy of your allies. For I must undeceive you- it was by no command of mine that the Albans withdrew to the mountains. What you heard was not a real order but a pretended one, which I used as an artifice to prevent your knowing that you were deserted, and so losing heart for the battle, and also to fill the enemy with alarm and a desire to flee by making them think that they were being surrounded. The guilt which I am denouncing does not involve all the Albans; they only followed their general, just as you would have done had I wanted to lead my army away from the field. It is Mettius who is the leader of this march, Mettius who engineered this war, Mettius who broke the treaty between Rome and Alba. Others may venture on similar practices, if I do not make this man a signal lesson to all the world." The armed centurions closed round Mettius, and the king proceeded: "I shall take a course which will bring good fortune and happiness to the Roman people and myself, and to you, Albans; it is my intention to transfer the entire Alban population to Rome, to give the rights of citizenship to the plebeians, and enrol the nobles in the senate, and to make one City, one State. As formerly the Alban State was broken up into two nations, so now let it once more become one." The Alban soldiery listened to these words with conflicting feelings, but unarmed as they were and hemmed in by armed men, a common fear kept them silent. Then Tullus said: "Mettius Fufetius! if you could have learnt to keep your word and respect treaties, I would have given you that instruction in your lifetime, but now, since your character is past cure, do at least teach mankind by your punishment to hold those things as sacred which have been outraged by you. As yesterday your interest was divided between the Fidenates and the Romans, so now you shall give up your body to be divided and dismembered." Thereupon two four-horse chariots were brought up, and Mettius was bound at full length to each, the horses were driven in opposite directions, carrying off parts of the body in each chariot, where the limbs had been secured by the cords. All present averted their eyes from the horrible spectacle. This is the first and last instance amongst the Romans of a punishment so regardless of humanity. Amongst other things which are the glory of Rome is this, that no nation has ever been contented with milder punishments.


1.29

Meanwhile the cavalry had been sent on in advance to conduct the population to Rome; they were followed by the legions, who were marched thither to destroy the city. When they entered the gates there was not that noise and panic which are usually found in captured cities, where, after the gates have been shattered or the walls levelled by the battering-ram or the citadel stormed, the shouts of the enemy and the rushing of the soldiers through the streets throw everything into universal confusion with fire and sword. Here, on the contrary, gloomy silence and a grief beyond words so petrified the minds of all, that, forgetting in their terror what to leave behind, what to take with them, incapable of thinking for themselves and asking one another's advice, at one moment they would stand on their thresholds, at another wander aimlessly through their houses, which they were seeing then for the last time. But now they were roused by the shouts of the cavalry ordering their instant departure, now by the crash of the houses undergoing demolition, heard in the furthest corners of the city, and the dust, rising in different places, which covered everything like a cloud. Seizing hastily what they could carry, they went out of the city, and left behind their hearths and household gods and the homes in which they had been born and brought up. Soon an unbroken line of emigrants filled the streets, and as they recognised one another the sense of their common misery led to fresh outbursts of tears. Cries of grief, especially from the women, began to make themselves heard, as they walked past the venerable temples and saw them occupied by troops, and felt that they were leaving their gods as prisoners in an enemy's hands. When the Albans had left their city the Romans levelled to the ground all the public and private edifices in every direction, and a single hour gave over to destruction and ruin the work of those four centuries during which Alba had stood. The temples of the gods, however, were spared, in accordance with the king's proclamation.


1.30

The fall of Alba led to the growth of Rome. The number of the citizens was doubled, the Caelian hill was included in the city, and that it might become more populated, Tullus chose it for the site of his palace, and for the future lived there. He nominated Alban nobles to the senate that this order of the State might also be augmented. Amongst them were the Tullii, the Servilii, the Quinctii, the Geganii, the Curiatii, and the Cloelii. To provide a consecrated building for the increased number of senators he built the senate-house, which down to the time of our fathers went by the name of the Curia Hostilia. To secure an accession of military strength of all ranks from the new population, he formed ten troops of knights from the Albans; from the same source he brought up the old legions to their full strength and enrolled new ones. Impelled by the confidence in his strength which these measures inspired, Tullus proclaimed war against the Sabines, a nation at that time second only to the Etruscans in numbers and military strength. Each side had inflicted injuries on the other and refused all redress. Tullus complained that Roman traders had been arrested in open market at the shrine of Feronia; the Sabines' grievance was that some of their people had previously sought refuge in the Asylum and been kept in Rome. These were the ostensible grounds of the war. The Sabines were far from forgetting that a portion of their strength had been transferred to Rome by Tatius, and that the Roman State had lately been aggrandised by the inclusion of the population of Alba; they, therefore, on their side began to look round for outside help. Their nearest neighbour was Etruria, and, of the Etruscans, the nearest to them were the Veientines. Their past defeats were still rankling in their memories, and the Sabines, urging them to revolt, attracted many volunteers; others of the poorest and homeless classes were paid to join them. No assistance was given by the State. With the Veientes-it is not so surprising that the other cities rendered no assistance-the truce with Rome was still held to be binding. Whilst preparations were being made on both sides with the utmost energy, and it seemed as though success depended upon which side was the first to take the offensive, Tullus opened the campaign by invading the Sabine territory. A severe action was fought at the Silva Malitiosa. Whilst the Romans were strong in their infantry, their main strength was in their lately increased cavalry force. A sudden charge of horse threw the Sabine ranks into confusion, they could neither offer a steady resistance nor effect their flight without great slaughter.


1.31

This victory threw great lustre upon the reign of Tullus, and upon the whole State, and added considerably to its strength. At this time it was reported to the king and the senate that there had been a shower of stones on the Alban Mount. As the thing seemed hardly credible, men were sent to inspect the prodigy, and whilst they were watching, a heavy shower of stones fell from the sky, just like hailstones heaped together by the wind. They fancied, too, that they heard a very loud voice from the grove on the summit, bidding the Albans celebrate their sacred rites after the manner of their fathers. These solemnities they had consigned to oblivion, as though they had abandoned their gods when they abandoned their country and had either adopted Roman rites, or, as sometimes happens, embittered against Fortune, had given up the service of the gods. In consequence of this prodigy, the Romans, too, kept up a public religious observance for nine days, either-as tradition asserts-owing to the voice from the Alban Mount, or because of the warning of the soothsayers. In either case, however, it became permanently established whenever the same prodigy was reported; a nine days' solemnity was observed. Not long after a pestilence caused great distress, and made men indisposed for the hardships of military service. The warlike king, however, allowed no respite from arms; he thought, too, that it was more healthy for the soldiery in the field than at home. At last he himself was seized with a lingering illness, and that fierce and restless spirit became so broken through bodily weakness, that he who had once thought nothing less fitting for a king than devotion to sacred things, now suddenly became a prey to every sort of religious terror, and filled the City with religious observances. There was a general desire to recall the condition of things which existed under Numa, for men felt that the only help that was left against sickness was to obtain the forgiveness of the gods and be at peace with heaven. Tradition records that the king, whilst examining the commentaries of Numa, found there a description of certain secret sacrificial rites paid to Jupiter Elicius: he withdrew into privacy whilst occupied with these rites, but their performance was marred by omissions or mistakes. Not only was no sign from heaven vouchsafed to him, but the anger of Jupiter was roused by the false worship rendered to him, and he burnt up the king and his house by a stroke of lightning. Tullus had achieved great renown in war, and reigned for two-and-thirty years.


1.32

On the death of Tullus, the government, in accordance with the original constitution, again devolved on the senate. They appointed an interrex to conduct the election. The people chose Ancus Martius as king, the senate confirmed the choice. His mother was Numa's daughter. At the outset of his reign-remembering what made his grandfather glorious, and recognising that the late reign, so splendid in all other respects, had, on one side, been most unfortunate through the neglect of religion or the improper performance of its rites-he determined to go back to the earliest source and conduct the state offices of religion as they had been organised by Numa. He gave the Pontifex instructions to copy them out from the king's commentaries and set them forth in some public place. The neighbouring states and his own people, who were yearning for peace, were led to hope that the king would follow his grandfather in disposition and policy. In this state of affairs, the Latins, with whom a treaty had been made in the reign of Tullus, recovered their confidence, and made an incursion into Roman territory. On the Romans seeking redress, they gave a haughty refusal, thinking that the king of Rome was going to pass his reign amongst chapels and altars. In the temperament of Ancus there was a touch of Romulus as well as Numa. He realised that the great necessity of Numa's reign was peace, especially amongst a young and aggressive nation, but he saw, too, that it would be difficult for him to preserve the peace which had fallen to his lot unimpaired. His patience was being put to the proof, and not only put to the proof but despised; the times demanded a Tullus rather than a Numa. Numa had instituted religious observances for times of peace, he would hand down the ceremonies appropriate to a state of war. In order, therefore, that wars might be not only conducted but also proclaimed with some formality, he wrote down the law, as taken from the ancient nation of the Aequicoli, under which the Fetials act down to this day when seeking redress for injuries. The procedure is as follows:-

The ambassador binds his head in a woollen fillet. When he has reached the frontiers of the nation from whom satisfaction is demanded, he says, "Hear, O Jupiter! Hear, ye confines"-naming the particular nation whose they are-"Hear, O Justice! I am the public herald of the Roman People. Rightly and duly authorised do I come; let confidence be placed in my words." Then he recites the terms of the demands, and calls Jupiter to witness: "If I am demanding the surrender of those men or those goods, contrary to justice and religion, suffer me nevermore to enjoy my native land." He repeats these words as he crosses the frontier, he repeats them to whoever happens to be the first person he meets, he repeats them as he enters the gates and again on entering the forum, with some slight changes in the wording of the formula. If what he demands are not surrendered at the expiration of thirty-three days- for that is the fixed period of grace-he declares war in the following terms: "Hear, O Jupiter, and thou Janus Quirinus, and all ye heavenly gods, and ye, gods of earth and of the lower world, hear me! I call you to witness that this people"-mentioning it by name-"is unjust and does not fulfil its sacred obligations. But about these matters we must consult the elders in our own land in what way we may obtain our rights."

With these words the ambassador returned to Rome for consultation. The king forthwith consulted the senate in words to the following effect: "Concerning the matters, suits, and causes, whereof the Pater Patratus of the Roman People and Quirites hath complained to the Pater Patratus of the Prisci Latini, and to the people of the Prisci Latini, which matters they were bound severally to surrender, discharge, and make good, whereas they have done none of these things-say, what is your opinion?" He whose opinion was first asked, replied, "I am of opinion that they ought to be recovered by a just and righteous war, wherefore I give my consent and vote for it." Then the others were asked in order, and when the majority of those present declared themselves of the same opinion, war was agreed upon. It was customary for the Fetial to carry to the enemies' frontiers a blood-smeared spear tipped with iron or burnt at the end, and, in the presence of at least three adults, to say, "Inasmuch as the peoples of the Prisci Latini have been guilty of wrong against the People of Rome and the Quirites, and inasmuch as the People of Rome and the Quirites have ordered that there be war with the Prisci Latini, and the Senate of the People of Rome and the Quirites have determined and decreed that there shall be war with the Prisci Latini, therefore I and the People of Rome, declare and make war upon the peoples of the Prisci Latini." With these words he hurled his spear into their territory. This was the way in which at that time satisfaction was demanded from the Latins and war declared, and posterity adopted the custom.


1.33

After handing over the care of the various sacrificial rites to the Flamens and other priests, and calling up a fresh army, Ancus advanced against Politorium a city belonging to the Latins. He took it by assault, and following the custom of the earlier kings who had enlarged the State by receiving its enemies into Roman citizenship, he transferred the whole of the population to Rome. The Palatine had been settled by the earliest Romans, the Sabines had occupied the Capitoline hill with the Citadel, on one side of the Palatine, and the Albans the Caelian hill, on the other, so the Aventine was assigned to the new-comers. Not long afterwards there was a further addition to the number of citizens through the capture of Tellenae and Ficana. Politorium after its evacuation was seized by the Latins and was again recovered; and this was the reason why the Romans razed the city, to prevent its being a perpetual refuge for the enemy. At last the whole war was concentrated round Medullia, and fighting went on for some time there with doubtful result. The city was strongly fortified and its strength was increased by the presence of a large garrison. The Latin army was encamped in the open and had had several engagements with the Romans. At last Ancus made a supreme effort with the whole of his force and won a pitched battle, after which he returned with immense booty to Rome, and many thousands of Latins were admitted into citizenship. In order to connect the Aventine with the Palatine, the district round the altar of Venus Murcia was assigned to them. The Janiculum also was brought into the city boundaries, not because the space was wanted, but to prevent such a strong position from being occupied by an enemy. It was decided to connect this hill with the City, not only by carrying the City wall round it, but also by a bridge, for the convenience of traffic. This was the first bridge thrown over the Tiber, and was known as the Pons Sublicius. The Fossa Quiritium also was the work of King Ancus, and afforded no inconsiderable protection to the lower and therefore more accessible parts of the City. Amidst this vast population, now that the State had become so enormously increased, the sense of right and wrong was obscured, and secret crimes were committed. To overawe the growing lawlessness a prison was built in the heart of the City, overlooking the Forum. The additions made by this king were not confined to the City. The Mesian Forest was taken from the Veientines, and the Roman dominion extended to the sea; at the mouth of the Tiber the city of Ostia was built; salt-pits were constructed on both sides of the river, and the temple of Jupiter Feretrius was enlarged in consequence of the brilliant successes in the war.


1.34

During the reign of Ancus a wealthy and ambitious man named Lucumo removed to Rome, mainly with the hope and desire of winning high distinction, for which no opportunity had existed in Tarquinii, since there also he was an alien. He was the son of Demaratus a Corinthian, who had been driven from home by a revolution, and who happened to settle in Tarquinii. There he married and had two sons, their names were Lucumo and Arruns. Arruns died before his father, leaving his wife with child; Lucumo survived his father and inherited all his property. For Demaratus died shortly after Arruns, and being unaware of the condition of his daughter-in-law, had made no provision in his will for a grandchild. The boy, thus excluded from any share of his grandfather's property, was called, in consequence of his poverty, Egerius. Lucumo, on the other hand, heir to all the property, became elated by his wealth, and his ambition was stimulated by his marriage with Tanaquil. This woman was descended from one of the foremost families in the State, and could not bear the thought of her position by marriage being inferior to the one she claimed by birth. The Etruscans looked down upon Lucumo as the son of a foreign refugee; she could not brook this indignity, and forgetting all ties of patriotism if only she could see her husband honoured, resolved to emigrate from Tarquinii. Rome seemed the most suitable place for her purpose. She felt that among a young nation where all nobility is a thing of recent growth and won by personal merit, there would be room for a man of courage and energy. She remembered that the Sabine Tatius had reigned there, that Numa had been summoned from Cures to fill the throne, that Ancus himself was sprung from a Sabine mother, and could not trace his nobility beyond Numa. Her husband's ambition and the fact that Tarquinii was his native country only on the mother's side, made him give a ready ear to her proposals. They accordingly packed up their goods and removed to Rome.

They had got as far as the Janiculum when a hovering eagle swooped gently down and took off his cap as he was sitting by his wife's side in the carriage, then circling round the vehicle with loud cries, as though commissioned by heaven for this service, replaced it carefully upon his head and soared away. It is said that Tanaquil, who, like most Etruscans, was expert in interpreting celestial prodigies, was delighted at the omen. She threw her arms round her husband and bade him look for a high and majestic destiny, for such was the import of the eagle's appearance, of the particular part of the sky where it appeared, and of the deity who sent it. The omen was directed to the crown and summit of his person, the bird had raised aloft an adornment put on by human hands, to replace it as the gift of heaven. Full of these hopes and surmises they entered the City, and after procuring a domicile there, they announced his name as Lucius Tarquinius Priscus. The fact of his being a stranger, and a wealthy one, brought him into notice, and he increased the advantage which Fortune gave him by his courteous demeanour, his lavish hospitality, and the many acts of kindness by which he won all whom it was in his power to win, until his reputation even reached the palace. Once introduced to the king's notice, he soon succeeded by adroit complaisance in getting on to such familiar terms that he was consulted in matters of state, as much as in private matters, whether they referred to either peace or war. At last, after passing every test of character and ability, he was actually appointed by the king's will guardian to his children.


1.35

Ancus reigned twenty-four years, unsurpassed by any of his predecessors in ability and reputation, both in the field and at home. His sons had now almost reached manhood. Tarquin was all the more anxious for the election of the new king to be held as soon as possible. At the time fixed for it he sent the boys out of the way on a hunting expedition. He is said to have been the first who canvassed for the crown and delivered a set speech to secure the interest of the plebs. In it he asserted that he was not making an unheard-of request, he was not the first foreigner who aspired to the Roman throne; were this so, any one might feel surprise and indignation. But he was the third. Tatius was not only a foreigner, but was made king after he had been their enemy; Numa, an entire stranger to the City, had been called to the throne without any seeking it on his part. As to himself, as soon as he was his own master, he had removed to Rome with his wife and his whole fortune; he had lived at Rome for a larger part of the period during which men discharge the functions of citizenship than he had passed in his old country; he had learnt the laws of Rome, the ceremonial rites of Rome, both civil and military, under Ancus himself, a very sufficient teacher; he had been second to none in duty and service towards the king; he had not yielded to the king himself in generous treatment of others. Whilst he was stating these facts, which were certainly true, the Roman people with enthusiastic unanimity elected him king. Though in all other respects an excellent man, his ambition, which impelled him to seek the crown, followed him on to the throne; with the design of strengthening himself quite as much as of increasing the State, he made a hundred new senators. These were afterwards called "the Lesser Houses" and formed a body of uncompromising supporters of the king, through whose kindness they had entered the senate. The first war he engaged in was with the Latins. He took the town of Apiolae by storm, and carried off a greater amount of plunder than could have been expected from the slight interest shown in the war. After this had been brought in wagons to Rome, he celebrated the Games with greater splendour and on a larger scale than his predecessors. Then for the first time a space was marked for what is now the "Circus Maximus." Spots were allotted to the patricians and knights where they could each build for themselves stands-called "ford"-from which to view the Games. These stands were raised on wooden props, branching out at the top, twelve feet high. The contests were horse-racing and boxing, the horses and boxers mostly brought from Etruria. They were at first celebrated on occasions of especial solemnity; subsequently they became an annual fixture, and were called indifferently the "Roman" or the "Great Games." This king also divided the ground round the Forum into building sites; arcades and shops were put up.


1.36

He was also making preparations for surrounding the City with a stone wall when his designs were interrupted by a war with the Sabines. So sudden was the outbreak that the enemy were crossing the Anio before a Roman army could meet and stop them. There was great alarm in Rome. The first battle was indecisive, and there was great slaughter on both sides. The enemies' return to their camp allowed time for the Romans to make preparations for a fresh campaign. Tarquin thought his army was weakest in cavalry and decided to double the centuries, which Romulus had formed, of the Ramnes, Titienses, and Luceres, and to distinguish them by his own name. Now as Romulus had acted under the sanction of the auspices, Attus Navius, a celebrated augur at that time, insisted that no change could be made, nothing new introduced, unless the birds gave a favourable omen. The king's anger was roused, and in mockery of the augur's skill he is reported to have said, "Come, you diviner, find out by your augury whether what I am now contemplating can be done." Attus, after consulting the omens, declared that it could. "Well," the king replied, "I had it in my mind that you should cut a whetstone with a razor. Take these, and perform the feat which your birds portend can be done." It is said that without the slightest hesitation he cut it through. There used to be a statue of Attus, representing him with his head covered, in the Comitium, on the steps to the left of the senate-house, where the incident occurred. The whetstone also, it is recorded, was placed there to be a memorial of the marvel for future generations. At all events, auguries and the college of augurs were held in such honour that nothing was undertaken in peace or war without their sanction; the assembly of the curies, the assembly of the centuries, matters of the highest importance, were suspended or broken up if the omen of the birds was unfavourable. Even on that occasion Tarquin was deterred from making changes in the names or numbers of the centuries of knights; he merely doubled the number of men in each, so that the three centuries contained eighteen hundred men. Those who were added to the centuries bore the same designation, only they were called the "Second" knights, and the centuries being thus doubled are now called the "Six Centuries."


1.37

After this division of the forces was augmented there was a second collision with the Sabines, in which the increased strength of the Roman army was aided by an artifice. Men were secretly sent to set fire to a vast quantity of logs lying on the banks of the Anio, and float them down the river on rafts. The wind fanned the flames, and as the logs drove against the piles and stuck there they set the bridge on fire. This incident, occurring during the battle, created a panic among the Sabines and led to their rout, and at the same time prevented their flight; many after escaping from the enemy perished in the river. Their shields floated down the Tiber as far as the City, and being recognised, made it clear that there had been a victory almost before it could be announced. In that battle the cavalry especially distinguished themselves. They were posted on each wing, and when the infantry in the centre were being forced back, it is said that they made such a desperate charge from both sides that they not only arrested the Sabine legions as they were pressing on the retreating Romans, but immediately put them to flight. The Sabines, in wild disorder, made for the hills, a few gained them, by far the greater number, as was stated above, were driven by the cavalry into the river. Tarquin determined to follow them up before they could recover from their panic. He sent the prisoners and booty to Rome; the spoils of the enemy had been devoted to Vulcan, they were accordingly collected into an enormous pile and burnt; then he proceeded forthwith to lead his army into the Sabine territory. In spite of their recent defeat and the hopelessness of repairing it, the Sabines met him with a hastily raised body of militia, as there was no time for concerting a plan of operations. They were again defeated, and as they were now brought to the verge of ruin, sought for peace.


1.38

Collatia and all the territory on this side of it was taken from the Sabines; Egerius, the king's nephew, was left to hold it. I understand that the procedure on the surrender of Collatia was as follows: The king asked, "Have you been sent as envoys and commissioners by the people of Collatia to make the surrender of yourselves and the people of Collatia?" "We have." "And is the people of Collatia an independent people?" "It is." "Do you surrender into my power and that of the People of Rome yourselves, and the people of Collatia, your city, lands, water, boundaries, temples, sacred vessels, all things divine and human?" "We do surrender them." "Then I accept them." After bringing the Sabine war to a conclusion Tarquin returned in triumph to Rome. Then he made war on the Prisci Latini. No general engagement took place, he attacked each of their towns in succession and subjugated the whole nation. The towns of Corniculum, Old Ficulea, Cameria, Crustumerium, Ameriola, Medullia, Nomentum, were all taken from the Prisci Latini or those who had gone over to them. Then peace was made. Works of peace were now commenced with greater energy even than had been displayed in war, so that the people enjoyed no more quiet at home than they had had in the field. He made preparations for completing the work, which had been interrupted by the Sabine war, of enclosing the City in those parts where no fortification yet existed with a stone wall. The low-lying parts of the City round the Forum, and the other valleys between the hills, where the water could not escape, were drained by conduits which emptied into the Tiber. He built up with masonry a level space on the Capitol as a site for the temple of Jupiter which he had vowed during the Sabine war, and the magnitude of the work revealed his prophetic anticipation of the future greatness of the place.


1.39

At that time an incident took place as marvellous in the appearance as it proved in the result. It is said that whilst a boy named Servius Tullius was asleep, his head was enveloped in flames, before the eyes of many who were present. The cry which broke out at such a marvellous sight aroused the royal family, and when one of the domestics was bringing water to quench the flames the queen stopped him, and after calming the excitement forbade the boy to be disturbed until he awoke of his own accord. Presently he did so, and the flames disappeared. Then Tanaquil took her husband aside and said to him, "Do you see this boy, whom we are bringing up in such a humble style? You may be certain that he will one day be a light to us in trouble and perplexity, and a protection to our tottering house. Let us henceforth bring up with all care and indulgence one who will be the source of measureless glory to the State and to ourselves." From this time the boy began to be treated as their child and trained in those accomplishments by which characters are stimulated to the pursuit of a great destiny. The task was an easy one, for it was carrying out the will of the gods. The youth turned out to be of a truly kingly disposition, and when search was made for a son-in-law to Tarquinius, none of the Roman youths could be compared with him in any respect, so the king betrothed his daughter to him. The bestowal of this great honour upon him, whatever the reason for it, forbids our believing that he was the son of a slave, and, in his boyhood, a slave himself. I am more inclined to the opinion of those who say that in the capture of Corniculum, Servius Tullius, the leading man of that city, was killed, and his wife, who was about to become a mother, was recognised amongst the other captive women, and in consequence of her high rank was exempted from servitude by the Roman queen, and gave birth to a son in the house of Priscus Tarquinius. This kind treatment strengthened the intimacy between the women, and the boy, brought up as he was from infancy in the royal household, was held in affection and honour. It was the fate of his mother, who fell into the hands of the enemy when her native city was taken, that made people think he was the son of a slave.


1.40

When Tarquin had been about thirty-eight years on the throne, Servius Tullius was held in by far the highest esteem of any one, not only with the king but also with the patricians and the commons. The two sons of Ancus had always felt most keenly their being deprived of their father's throne through the treachery of their guardian; its occupation by a foreigner who was not even of Italian, much less Roman descent, increased their indignation, when they saw that not even after the death of Tarquin would the crown revert to them, but would suddenly descend to a slave-that crown which Romulus, the offspring of a god, and himself a god, had worn whilst he was on earth, now to be the possession of a slave-born slave a hundred years later! They felt that it would be a disgrace to the whole Roman nation, and especially to their house, if, while the male issue of Ancus was still alive, the sovereignty of Rome should be open not only to foreigners but even to slaves. They determined, therefore, to repel that insult by the sword. But it was on Tarquin rather than on Servius that they sought to avenge their wrongs; if the king were left alive he would be able to deal more summary vengeance than an ordinary citizen, and in the event of Servius being killed, the king would certainly make any one else whom he chose for a son-in-law heir to the crown. These considerations decided them to form a plot against the king's life. Two shepherds, perfect desperadoes, were selected for the deed. They appeared in the vestibule of the palace, each with his usual implement, and by pretending to have a violent and outrageous quarrel, they attracted the attention of all the royal guards. Then, as they both began to appeal to the king, and their clamour had penetrated within the palace, they were summoned before the king. At first they tried, by shouting each against the other, to see who could make the most noise, until, after being repressed by the lictor and ordered to speak in turn, they became quiet, and one of the two began to state his case. Whilst the king's attention was absorbed in listening to him, the other swung aloft his axe and drove it into the king's head, and leaving the weapon in the wound both dashed out of the palace.


1.41

Whilst the bystanders were supporting the dying Tarquin in their arms, the lictors caught the fugitives. The shouting drew a crowd together, wondering what had happened. In the midst of the confusion, Tanaquil ordered the palace to be cleared and the doors closed; she then carefully prepared medicaments for dressing the wound, should there be hopes of life; at the same time she decided on other precautions, should the case prove hopeless, and hastily summoned Servius. She showed him her husband at the point of death, and taking his hand, implored him not to leave his father-in-law's death unavenged, nor to allow his mother-in-law to become the sport of her enemies. "The throne is yours, Servius," she said, "if you are a man; it does not belong to those who have, through the hands of others, wrought this worst of crimes. Up! follow the guidance of the gods who presaged the exaltation of that head round which divine fire once played! Let that heaven-sent flame now inspire you. Rouse yourself in earnest! We, too, though foreigners, have reigned. Bethink yourself not whence you sprang, but who you are. If in this sudden emergency you are slow to resolve, then follow my counsels." As the clamour and impatience of the populace could hardly be restrained, Tanaquil went to a window in the upper part of the palace looking out on the Via Nova-the king used to live by the temple of Jupiter Stator-and addressed the people. She bade them hope for the best; the king had been stunned by a sudden blow, but the weapon had not penetrated to any depth, he had already recovered consciousness, the blood had been washed off and the wound examined, all the symptoms were favourable, she was sure they would soon see him again, meantime it was his order that the people should recognise the authority of Servius Tullius, who would administer justice and discharge the other functions of royalty. Servius appeared in his trabea attended by the lictors, and after taking his seat in the royal chair decided some cases and adjourned others under presence of consulting the king. So for several days after Tarquin's death Servius continued to strengthen his position by giving out that he was exercising a delegated authority. At length the sounds of mourning arose in the palace and divulged the fact of the king's death. Protected by a strong bodyguard Servius was the first who ascended the throne without being elected by the people, though without opposition from the senate. When the sons of Ancus heard that the instruments of their crime had been arrested, that the king was still alive, and that Servius was so powerful, they went into exile at Suessa Pometia.


1.42

Servius consolidated his power quite as much by his private as by his public measures. To guard against the children of Tarquin treating him as those of Ancus had treated Tarquin, he married his two daughters to the scions of the royal house, Lucius and Arruns Tarquin. Human counsels could not arrest the inevitable course of destiny, nor could Servius prevent the jealousy aroused by his ascending the throne from making his family the scene of disloyalty and hatred. The truce with the Veientines had now expired, and the resumption of war with them and other Etruscan cities came most opportunely to help in maintaining tranquillity at home. In this war the courage and good fortune of Tullius were conspicuous, and he returned to Rome, after defeating an immense force of the enemy, feeling quite secure on the throne, and assured of the goodwill of both patricians and commons. Then he set himself to by far the greatest of all works in times of peace. Just as Numa had been the author of religious laws and institutions, so posterity extols Servius as the founder of those divisions and classes in the State by which a clear distinction is drawn between the various grades of dignity and fortune. He instituted the census, a most beneficial institution in what was to be a great empire, in order that by its means the various duties of peace and war might be assigned, not as heretofore, indiscriminately, but in proportion to the amount of property each man possessed. From it he drew up the classes and centuries and the following distribution of them, adapted for either peace or war.


1.43

Those whose property amounted to, or exceeded 100,000 lbs. weight of copper were formed into eighty centuries, forty of juniors and forty of seniors. These were called the First Class. The seniors were to defend the City, the juniors to serve in the field. The armour which they were to provide themselves with comprised helmet, round shield, greaves, and coat of mail, all of brass; these were to protect the person. Their offensive weapons were spear and sword. To this class were joined two centuries of carpenters whose duty it was to work the engines of war; they were without arms. The Second Class consisted of those whose property amounted to between 75,000 and 100,000 lbs. weight of copper; they were formed, seniors and juniors together, into twenty centuries. Their regulation arms were the same as those of the First Class, except that they had an oblong wooden shield instead of the round brazen one and no coat of mail. The Third Class he formed of those whose property fell as low as 50,000 lbs.; these also consisted of twenty centuries, similarly divided into seniors and juniors. The only difference in the armour was that they did not wear greaves. In the Fourth Class were those whose property did not fall below 25,000 lbs. They also formed twenty centuries; their only arms were a spear and a javelin. The Fifth Class was larger it formed thirty centuries. They carried slings and stones, and they included the supernumeraries, the horn-blowers, and the trumpeters, who formed three centuries. This Fifth Class was assessed at 11,000 lbs. The rest of the population whose property fell below this were formed into one century and were exempt from military service.

After thus regulating the equipment and distribution of the infantry, he re-arranged the cavalry. He enrolled from amongst the principal men of the State twelve centuries. In the same way he made six other centuries (though only three had been formed by Romulus) under the same names under which the first had been inaugurated. For the purchase of the horse, 10,000 lbs. were assigned them from the public treasury; whilst for its keep certain widows were assessed to pay 2000 lbs. each, annually. The burden of all these expenses was shifted from the poor on to the rich. Then additional privileges were conferred. The former kings had maintained the constitution as handed down by Romulus, viz., manhood suffrage in which all alike possessed the same weight and enjoyed the same rights. Servius introduced a graduation; so that whilst no one was ostensibly deprived of his vote, all the voting power was in the hands of the principal men of the State. The knights were first summoned to record their vote, then the eighty centuries of the infantry of the First Class; if their votes were divided, which seldom happened, it was arranged for the Second Class to be summoned; very seldom did the voting extend to the lowest Class. Nor need it occasion any surprise, that the arrangement which now exists since the completion of the thirty-five tribes, their number being doubled by the centuries of juniors and seniors, does not agree with the total as instituted by Servius Tullius. For, after dividing the City with its districts and the hills which were inhabited into four parts, he called these divisions "tribes," I think from the tribute they paid, for he also introduced the practice of collecting it at an equal rate according to the assessment. These tribes had nothing to do with the distribution and number of the centuries.


1.44

The work of the census was accelerated by an enactment in which Servius denounced imprisonment and even capital punishment against those who evaded assessment. On its completion he issued an order that all the citizens of Rome, knights and infantry alike, should appear in the Campus Martius, each in their centuries. After the whole army had been drawn up there, he purified it by the triple sacrifice of a swine, a sheep, and an ox. This was called "a closed lustrum," because with it the census was completed. Eighty thousand citizens are said to have been included in that census. Fabius Pictor, the oldest of our historians, states that this was the number of those who could bear arms. To contain that population it was obvious that the City would have to be enlarged. He added to it the two hills-the Quirinal and the Viminal-and then made a further addition by including the Esquiline, and to give it more importance he lived there himself. He surrounded the City with a mound and moats and wall; in this way he extended the "pomoerium." Looking only to the etymology of the word, they explain "pomoerium" as "postmoerium"; but it is rather a "circamoerium." For the space which the Etruscans of old, when founding their cities, consecrated in accordance with auguries and marked off by boundary stones at intervals on each side, as the part where the wall was to be carried, was to be kept vacant so that no buildings might connect with the wall on the inside (whilst now they generally touch), and on the outside some ground might remain virgin soil untouched by cultivation. This space, which it was forbidden either to build upon or to plough, and which could not be said to be behind the wall any more than the wall could be said to be behind it, the Romans called the "pomoerium." As the City grew, these sacred boundary stones were always moved forward as far as the walls were advanced.


1.45

After the State was augmented by the expansion of the City and all domestic arrangements adapted to the requirements of both peace and war, Servius endeavoured to extend his dominion by state-craft, instead of aggrandising it by arms, and at the same time made an addition to the adornment of the City. The temple of the Ephesian Diana was famous at that time, and it was reported to have been built by the co-operation of the states of Asia. Servius had been careful to form ties of hospitality and friendship with the chiefs of the Latin nation, and he used to speak in the highest praise of that co-operation and the common recognition of the same deity. By constantly dwelling on this theme he at length induced the Latin tribes to join with the people of Rome in building a temple to Diana in Rome. Their doing so was an admission of the predominance of Rome; a question which had so often been disputed by arms. Though the Latins, after their many unfortunate experiences in war, had as a nation laid aside all thoughts of success, there was amongst the Sabines one man who believed that an opportunity presented itself of recovering the supremacy through his own individual cunning. The story runs that a man of substance belonging to that nation had a heifer of marvellous size and beauty. The marvel was attested in after ages by the horns which were fastened up in the vestibule of the temple of Diana. The creature was looked upon as-what it really was-a prodigy, and the soothsayers predicted that, whoever sacrificed it to Diana, the state of which he was a citizen should be the seat of empire. This prophecy had reached the ears of the official in charge of the temple of Diana. When the first day on which the sacrifice could properly be offered arrived, the Sabine drove the heifer to Rome, took it to the temple, and placed it in front of the altar. The official in charge was a Roman, and, struck by the size of the victim, which was well known by report, he recalled the prophecy and addressing the Sabine, said, "Why, pray, are you, stranger, preparing to offer a polluted sacrifice to Diana? Go and bathe yourself first in running water. The Tiber is flowing down there at the bottom of the valley." Filled with misgivings, and anxious for everything to be done properly that the prediction might be fulfilled, the stranger promptly went down to the Tiber. Meanwhile the Roman sacrificed the heifer to Diana. This was a cause of intense gratification to the king and to his people.


1.46

Servius was now confirmed on the throne by long possession. It had, however, come to his ears that the young Tarquin was giving out that he was reigning without the assent of the people. He first secured the goodwill of the plebs by assigning to each householder a slice of the land which had been taken from the enemy. Then he was emboldened to put to them the question whether it was their will and resolve that he should reign. He was acclaimed as king by a unanimous vote such as no king before him had obtained. This action in no degree damped Tarquin's hopes of making his way to the throne, rather the reverse. He was a bold and aspiring youth, and his wife Tullia stimulated his restless ambition. He had seen that the granting of land to the commons was in defiance of the opinion of the senate, and he seized the opportunity it afforded him of traducing Servius and strengthening his own faction in that assembly. So it came about that the Roman palace afforded an instance of the crime which tragic poets have depicted, with the result that the loathing felt for kings hastened the advent of liberty, and the crown won by villainy was the last that was worn.

This Lucius Tarquinius-whether he was the son or the grandson of King Priscus Tarquinius is not clear; if I should give him as the son I should have the preponderance of authorities-had a brother, Arruns Tarquinius, a youth of gentle character. The two Tullias, the king's daughters, had, as I have already stated, married these two brothers; and they themselves were of utterly unlike dispositions. It was, I believe, the good fortune of Rome which intervened to prevent two violent natures from being joined in marriage, in order that the reign of Servius Tullius might last long enough to allow the State to settle into its new constitution. The high-spirited one of the two Tullias was annoyed that there was nothing in her husband for her to work on in the direction of either greed or ambition. All her affections were transferred to the other Tarquin; he was her admiration, he, she said, was a man, he was really of royal blood. She despised her sister, because having a man for her husband she was not animated by the spirit of a woman. Likeness of character soon drew them together, as evil usually consorts best with evil. But it was the woman who was the originator of all the mischief. She constantly held clandestine interviews with her sister's husband, to whom she unsparingly vilified alike her husband and her sister, asserting that it would have been better for her to have remained unmarried and he a bachelor, rather than for them each to be thus unequally mated, and fret in idleness through the poltroonery of others. Had heaven given her the husband she deserved, she would soon have seen the sovereignty which her father wielded established in her own house. She rapidly infected the young man with her own recklessness. Lucius Tarquin and the younger Tullia, by a double murder, cleared from their houses the obstacles to a fresh marriage; their nuptials were solemnised with the tacit acquiescence rather than the approbation of Servius.


1.47

From that time the old age of Tullius became more embittered, his reign more unhappy. The woman began to look forward from one crime to another; she allowed her husband no rest day or night, for fear lest the past murders should prove fruitless. What she wanted, she said, was not a man who was only her husband in name, or with whom she was to live in uncomplaining servitude; the man she needed was one who deemed himself worthy of a throne, who remembered that he was the son of Priscus Tarquinius, who preferred to wear a crown rather than live in hopes of it. "If you are the man to whom I thought I was married, then I call you my husband and my king; but if not, I have changed my condition for the worse, since you are not only a coward but a criminal to boot. Why do you not prepare yourself for action? You are not, like your father, a native of Corinth or Tarquinii, nor is it a foreign crown you have to win. Your father's household gods, your father's image, the royal palace, the kingly throne within it, the very name of Tarquin, all declare you king. If you have not courage enough for this, why do you excite vain hopes in the State? Why do you allow yourself to be looked up to as a youth of kingly stock? Make your way back to Tarquinii or Corinth, sink back to the position whence you sprung; you have your brother's nature rather than your father's." With taunts like these she egged him on. She, too, was perpetually haunted by the thought that whilst Tanaquil, a woman of alien descent, had shown such spirit as to give the crown to her husband and her son-in-law in succession, she herself, though of royal descent, had no power either in giving it or taking it away. Infected by the woman's madness Tarquin began to go about and interview the nobles, mainly those of the Lesser Houses; he reminded them of the favour his father had shown them, and asked them to prove their gratitude; he won over the younger men with presents. By making magnificent promises as to what he would do, and by bringing charges against the king, his cause became stronger amongst all ranks.

At last, when he thought the time for action had arrived, he appeared suddenly in the Forum with a body of armed men. A general panic ensued, during which he seated himself in the royal chair in the senate-house and ordered the Fathers to be summoned by the crier "into the presence of King Tarquin." They hastily assembled, some already prepared for what was coming; others, apprehensive lest their absence should arouse suspicion, and dismayed by the extraordinary nature of the incident, were convinced that the fate of Servius was sealed. Tarquin went back to the king's birth, protested that he was a slave and the son of a slave, and after his (the speaker's) father had been foully murdered, seized the throne, as a woman's gift, without any interrex being appointed as heretofore, without any assembly being convened, without any vote of the people being taken or any confirmation of it by the Fathers. Such was his origin, such was his right to the crown. His sympathies were with the dregs of society from which he had sprung, and through jealousy of the ranks to which he did not belong, he had taken the land from the foremost men in the State and divided it amongst the vilest; he had shifted on to them the whole of the burdens which had formerly been borne in common by all; he had instituted the census that the fortunes of the wealthy might be held up to envy, and be an easily available source from which to shower doles, whenever he pleased, upon the neediest.


1.48

Servius had been summoned by a breathless messenger, and arrived on the scene while Tarquin was speaking. As soon as he reached the vestibule, he exclaimed in loud tones, "What is the meaning of this, Tarquin? How dared you, with such insolence, convene the senate or sit in that chair whilst I am alive?" Tarquin replied fiercely that he was occupying his father's seat, that a king's son was a much more legitimate heir to the throne than a slave, and that he, Servius, in playing his reckless game, had insulted his masters long enough. Shouts arose from their respective partisans, the people made a rush to the senate-house, and it was evident that he who won the fight would reign. Then Tarquin, forced by sheer necessity into proceeding to the last extremity, seized Servius round the waist, and being a much younger and stronger man, carried him out of the senate-house and flung him down the steps into the Forum below. He then returned to call the senate to order. The officers and attendants of the king fled. The king himself, half dead from the violence, was put to death by those whom Tarquin had sent in pursuit of him. It is the current belief that this was done at Tullia's suggestion, for it is quite in keeping with the rest of her wickedness. At all events, it is generally agreed that she drove down to the Forum in a two-wheeled car, and, unabashed by the presence of the crowd, called her husband out of the senate-house and was the first to salute him as king. He told her to make her way out of the tumult, and when on her return she had got as far as the top of the Cyprius Vicus, where the temple of Diana lately stood, and was turning to the right on the Urbius Clivus, to get to the Esquiline, the driver stopped horror-struck and pulled up, and pointed out to his mistress the corpse of the murdered Servius. Then, the tradition runs, a foul and unnatural crime was committed, the memory of which the place still bears, for they call it the Vicus Sceleratus. It is said that Tullia, goaded to madness by the avenging spirits of her sister and her husband, drove right over her father's body, and carried back some of her father's blood with which the car and she herself were defiled to her own and her husband's household gods, through whose anger a reign which began in wickedness was soon brought to a close by a like cause. Servius Tullius reigned forty-four years, and even a wise and good successor would have found it difficult to fill the throne as he had done. The glory of his reign was all the greater because with him perished all just and lawful kingship in Rome. Gentle and moderate as his sway had been, he had nevertheless, according to some authorities, formed the intention of laying it down, because it was vested in a single person, but this purpose of giving freedom to the State was cut short by that domestic crime.


1.49

Lucius Tarquinius now began his reign. His conduct procured for him the nickname of "Superbus," for he deprived his father-in-law of burial, on the plea that Romulus was not buried, and he slew the leading nobles whom he suspected of being partisans of Servius. Conscious that the precedent which he had set, of winning a throne by violence, might be used against himself, he surrounded himself with a guard. For he had nothing whatever by which to make good his claim to the crown except actual violence; he was reigning without either being elected by the people, or confirmed by the senate. As, moreover, he had no hope of winning the affections of the citizens, he had to maintain his dominion by fear. To make himself more dreaded, he conducted the trials in capital cases without any assessors, and under this presence he was able to put to death, banish, or fine not only those whom he suspected or disliked, but also those from whom his only object was to extort money. His main object was so to reduce the number of senators, by refusing to fill up any vacancies, that the dignity of the order itself might be lowered through the smallness of its numbers, and less indignation felt at all public business being taken out of its hands. He was the first of the kings to break through the traditional custom of consulting the senate on all questions, the first to conduct the government on the advice of his palace favourites. War, peace, treaties, alliances were made or broken off by him, just as he thought good, without any authority from either people or senate. He made a special point of securing the Latin nation, that through his power and influence abroad he might be safer amongst his subjects at home; he not only formed ties of hospitality with their chief men, but established family connections. He gave his daughter in marriage to Octavius Mamilius of Tusculum, who was quite the foremost man of the Latin race, descended, if we are to believe traditions, from Ulysses and the goddess Circe; through that connection he gained many of his son-in-law's relations and friends. he historian, and I have no intention of establishing either their truth or their falsehood. This much licence is conceded to the ancients, that by intermingling human actions with divine they may confer a more august dignity on the origins of states. Now, if any nation ought to be allowed to claim a sacred origin and point back to a divine paternity that nation is Rome. For such is her renown in war that when she chooses to represent Mars as her own and her founder's father, the nation


1.50

Tarquin had now gained considerable influence amongst the Latin nobility, and he sent word for them to meet on a fixed date at the Grove of Ferentina, as there were matters of mutual interest about which he wished to consult them. They assembled in considerable numbers at daybreak; Tarquin kept his appointment, it is true, but did not arrive till shortly before sunset. The council spent the whole day in discussing many topics. Turnus Herdonius, from Aricia, had made a fierce attack on the absent Tarquin. It was no wonder, he said, that the epithet "Tyrant" had been bestowed upon him at Rome-for this was what people commonly called him, though only in whispers-could anything show the tyrant more than his thus trifling with the whole Latin nation? After summoning the chiefs from distant homes, the man who had called the council was not present. He was in fact trying how far he could go, so that if they submitted to the yoke he might crush them. Who could not see that he was making his way to sovereignty over the Latins? Even supposing that his own countrymen did well to entrust him with supreme power, or rather that it was entrusted and not seized by an act of parricide, the Latins ought not, even in that case, to place it in the hands of an alien. But if his own people bitterly rue his sway, seeing how they are being butchered, sent into exile, stripped of all their property, what better fate can the Latins hope for? If they followed the speaker's advice they would go home and take as little notice of the day fixed for the council as he who had fixed it was taking. Just while these and similar sentiments were being uttered by the man who had gained his influence in Aricia by treasonable and criminal practice, Tarquin appeared on the scene. That put a stop to his speech, for all turned from the speaker to salute the king. When silence was restored, Tarquin was advised by those near to explain why he had come so late. He said that having been chosen as arbitrator between a father and a son, he had been detained by his endeavours to reconcile them, and as that matter had taken up the whole day, he would bring forward the measures he had decided upon the next day. It is said that even this explanation was not received by Turnus without his commenting on it; no case, he argued, could take up less time than one between a father and a son, it could be settled in a few words; if the son did not comply with the father's wishes he would get into trouble.


1.51

With these censures on the Roman king he left the council. Tarquin took the matter more seriously than he appeared to do and at once began to plan Turnus' death, in order that he might inspire the Latins with the same terror through which he had crushed the spirits of his subjects at home. As he had not the power to get him openly put to death, he compassed his destruction by bringing a false charge against him. Through the agency of some of the Aricians who were opposed to Turnus, he bribed a slave of his to allow a large quantity of swords to be carried secretly into his quarters. This plan was executed in one night. Shortly before daybreak Tarquin summoned the Latin chiefs into his presence, as though something had happened to give him great alarm. He told them that his delay on the previous day had been brought about by some divine providence, for it had proved the salvation both of them and himself. He was informed that Turnus was planning his murder and that of the leading men in the different cities, in order that he might hold sole rule over the Latins. He would have attempted it the previous day in the council; but the attempt was deferred owing to the absence of the convener of the council, the chief object of attack. Hence the abuse levelled against him in his absence, because his delay had frustrated the hopes of success. If the reports which reached him were true, he had no doubt that, on the assembling of the council at daybreak, Turnus would come armed and with a strong body of conspirators. It was asserted that a vast number of swords had been conveyed to him. Whether this was an idle rumour or not could very soon be ascertained, he asked them to go with him to Turnus. The restless, ambitious character of Turnus, his speech of the previous day, and Tarquin's delay, which easily accounted for the postponement of the murder, all lent colour to their suspicions. They went, inclined to accept Tarquin's statement, but quite prepared to regard the whole story as baseless, if the swords were not discovered. When they arrived, Turnus was roused from sleep and placed under guard, and the slaves who from affection to their master were preparing to defend him were seized. Then, when the concealed swords were produced from every corner of his lodgings, the matter appeared only too certain and Turnus was thrown into chains. Amidst great excitement a council of the Latins was at once summoned. The sight of the swords, placed in the midst, aroused such furious resentment that he was condemned, without being heard in his defence, to an unprecedented mode of death. He was thrown into the fountain of Ferentina and drowned by a hurdle weighted with stones being placed over him.


1.52

After the Latins had reassembled in council and had been commended by Tarquin for having inflicted on Turnus a punishment befitting his revolutionary and murderous designs, Tarquin addressed them as follows: It was in his power to exercise a long-established right, since, as all the Latins traced their origin to Alba, they were included in the treaty made by Tullus under which the whole of the Alban State with its colonies passed under the suzerainty of Rome. He thought, however, that it would be more advantageous for all parties if that treaty were renewed, so that the Latins could enjoy a share in the prosperity of the Roman people, instead of always looking out for, or actually suffering, the demolition of their towns and the devastation of their fields, as happened in the reign of Ancus and afterwards whilst his own father was on the throne. The Latins were persuaded without much difficulty, although by that treaty Rome was the predominant State, for they saw that the heads of the Latin League were giving their adhesion to the king, and Turnus afforded a present example of the danger incurred by any one who opposed the king's wishes. So the treaty was renewed, and orders were issued for the "juniors" amongst the Latins to muster under arms, in accordance with the treaty, on a given day, at the Grove of Ferentina. In compliance with the order contingents assembled from all the thirty towns, and with a view to depriving them of their own general or a separate command, or distinctive standards, he formed one Latin and one Roman century into a maniple, thereby making one unit out of the two, whilst he doubled the strength of the maniples, and placed a centurion over each half.


1.53

However tyrannical the king was in his domestic administration he was by no means a despicable general; in military skill he would have rivalled any of his predecessors had not the degeneration of his character in other directions prevented him from attaining distinction here also. He was the first to stir up war with the Volscians-a war which was to last for more than two hundred years after his time-and took from them the city of Pomptine Suessa. The booty was sold and he realised out of the proceeds forty talents of silver. He then sketched out the design of a temple to Jupiter, which in its extent should be worthy of the king of gods and men, worthy of the Roman empire, worthy of the majesty of the City itself. He set apart the above-mentioned sum for its construction. The next war occupied him longer than he expected. Failing to capture the neighbouring city of Gabii by assault and finding it useless to attempt an investment, after being defeated under its walls, he employed methods against it which were anything but Roman, namely, fraud and deceit. He pretended to have given up all thoughts of war and to be devoting himself to laying the foundations of his temple and other undertakings in the City. Meantime, it was arranged that Sextus, the youngest of his three sons, should go as a refugee to Gabii, complaining loudly of his father's insupportable cruelty, and declaring that he had shifted his tyranny from others on to his own family, and even regarded the presence of his children as a burden and was preparing to devastate his own family as he had devastated the senate, so that not a single descendant, not a single heir to the crown might be left. He had, he said, himself escaped from the murderous violence of his father, and felt that no place was safe for him except amongst Lucius Tarquin's enemies. Let them not deceive themselves, the war which apparently was abandoned was hanging over them, and at the first chance he would attack them when they least expected it. If amongst them there was no place for suppliants, he would wander through Latium, he would petition the Volsci, the Aequi, the Hernici, until he came to men who know how to protect children against the cruel and unnatural persecutions of parents. Perhaps he would find people with sufficient spirit to take up arms against a remorseless tyrant backed by a warlike people. As it seemed probable that if they paid no attention to him he would, in his angry mood, take his departure, the people of Gabii gave him a kind reception. They told him not to be surprised if his father treated his children as he had treated his own subjects and his allies; failing others he would end by murdering himself. They showed pleasure at his arrival and expressed their belief that with his assistance the war would be transferred from the gates of Gabii to the walls of Rome.


1.54

He was admitted to the meetings of the national council. Whilst expressing his agreement with the elders of Gabii on other subjects, on which they were better informed, he was continually urging them to war, and claimed to speak with special authority, because he was acquainted with the strength of each nation, and knew that the king's tyranny, which even his own children had found insupportable, was certainly detested by his subjects. So after gradually working up the leaders of the Gabinians to revolt, he went in person with some of the most eager of the young men on foraging and plundering expeditions. By playing the hypocrite both in speech and action, he gained their mistaken confidence more and more; at last he was chosen as commander in the war. Whilst the mass of the population were unaware of what was intended, skirmishes took place between Rome and Gabii in which the advantage generally rested with the latter, until the Gabinians from the highest to the lowest firmly believed that Sextus Tarquin had been sent by heaven to be their leader. As for the soldiers, he became so endeared to them by sharing all their toils and dangers, and by a lavish distribution of the plunder, that the elder Tarquin was not more powerful in Rome than his son was in Gabii.

When he thought himself strong enough to succeed in anything that he might attempt, he sent one of his friends to his father at Rome to ask what he wished him to do now that the gods had given him sole and absolute power in Gabii. To this messenger no verbal reply was given, because, I believe, he mistrusted him. The king went into the palace-garden, deep in thought, his son's messenger following him. As he walked along in silence it is said that he struck off the tallest poppy-heads with his stick. Tired of asking and waiting for an answer, and feeling his mission to be a failure, the messenger returned to Gabii, and reported what he had said and seen, adding that the king, whether through temper or personal aversion or the arrogance which was natural to him, had not uttered a single word. When it had become clear to Sextus what his father meant him to understand by his mysterious silent action, he proceeded to get rid of the foremost men of the State by traducing some of them to the people, whilst others fell victims to their own unpopularity. Many were publicly executed, some against whom no plausible charges could be brought were secretly assassinated. Some were allowed to seek safety in flight, or were driven into exile; the property of these as well as of those who had been put to death was distributed in grants and bribes. The gratification felt by each who received a share blunted the sense of the public mischief that was being wrought, until, deprived of all counsel and help, the State of Gabii was surrendered to the Roman king without a single battle.


1.55

After the acquisition of Gabii, Tarquin made peace with the Aequi and renewed the treaty with the Etruscans. Then he turned his attention to the business of the City. The first thing was the temple of Jupiter on the Tarpeian Mount, which he was anxious to leave behind as a memorial of his reign and name; both the Tarquins were concerned in it, the father had vowed it, the son completed it. That the whole of the area which the temple of Jupiter was to occupy might be wholly devoted to that deity, he decided to deconsecrate the fanes and chapels, some of which had been originally vowed by King Tatius at the crisis of his battle with Romulus, and subsequently consecrated and inaugurated. Tradition records that at the commencement of this work the gods sent a divine intimation of the future vastness of the empire, for whilst the omens were favourable for the deconsecration of all the other shrines, they were unfavourable for that of the fane of Terminus. This was interpreted to mean that as the abode of Terminus was not moved and he alone of all the deities was not called forth from his consecrated borders, so all would be firm and immovable in the future empire. This augury of lasting dominion was followed by a prodigy which portended the greatness of the empire. It is said that whilst they were digging the foundations of the temple, a human head came to light with the face perfect; this appearance unmistakably portended that the spot would be the stronghold of empire and the head of all the world. This was the interpretation given by the soothsayers in the City, as well as by those who had been called into council from Etruria. The king's designs were now much more extensive; so much so that his share of the spoils of Pometia, which had been set apart to complete the work, now hardly met the cost of the foundations. This makes me inclined to trust Fabius -who, moreover is the older authority-when he says that the amount was only forty talents, rather than Piso, who states that forty thousand pounds of silver were set apart for that object. For not only is such a sum more than could be expected from the spoils of any single city at that time, but it would more than suffice for the foundations of the most magnificent building of the present day.


1.56

Determined to finish his temple, he sent for workmen from all parts of Etruria, and not only used the public treasury to defray the cost, but also compelled the plebeians to take their share of the work. This was in addition to their military service, and was anything but a light burden. Still they felt it less of a hardship to build the temples of the gods with their own hands, than they did afterwards when they were transferred to other tasks less imposing, but involving greater toil-the construction of the "ford" in the Circus and that of the Cloaca Maxima, a subterranean tunnel to receive all the sewage of the City. The magnificence of these two works could hardly be equalled by anything in the present day. When the plebeians were no longer required for these works, he considered that such a multitude of unemployed would prove a burden to the State, and as he wished the frontiers of the empire to be more widely colonised, he sent colonists to Signia and Circeii to serve as a protection to the City by land and sea. While he was carrying out these undertakings a frightful portent appeared; a snake gliding out of a wooden column created confusion and panic in the palace. The king himself was not so much terrified as filled with anxious forebodings. The Etruscan soothsayers were only employed to interpret prodigies which affected the State; but this one concerned him and his house personally, so he decided to send to the world-famed oracle of Delphi. Fearing to entrust the oracular response to any one else, he sent two of his sons to Greece, through lands at that time unknown and over seas still less known. Titus and Arruns started on their journey. They had as a travelling companion L. Junius Brutus, the son of the king's sister, Tarquinia, a young man of a very different character from that which he had assumed. When he heard of the massacre of the chiefs of the State, amongst them his own brother, by his uncle's orders, he determined that his intelligence should give the king no cause for alarm nor his fortune any provocation to his avarice, and that as the laws afforded no protection, he would seek safety in obscurity and neglect. Accordingly he carefully kept up the appearance and conduct of an idiot, leaving the king to do what he liked with his person and property, and did not even protest against his nickname of "Brutus"; for under the protection of that nickname the soul which was one day to liberate Rome was awaiting its destined hour. The story runs that when brought to Delphi by the Tarquins, more as a butt for their sport than as a companion, he had with him a golden staff enclosed in a hollow one of corner wood, which he offered to Apollo as a mystical emblem of his own character. After executing their father's commission the young men were desirous of ascertaining to which of them the kingdom of Rome would come. A voice came from the lowest depths of the cavern: "Whichever of you, young men, shall be the first to kiss his mother, he shall hold supreme sway in Rome." Sextus had remained behind in Rome, and to keep him in ignorance of this oracle and so deprive him of any chance of coming to the throne, the two Tarquins insisted upon absolute silence being kept on the subject. They drew lots to decide which of them should be the first to kiss his mother on their return to Rome. Brutus, thinking that the oracular utterance had another meaning, pretended to stumble, and as he fell kissed the ground, for the earth is of course the common mother of us all. Then they returned to Rome, where preparations were being energetically pushed forward for a war with the Rutulians.



1.57

This people, who were at that time in possession of Ardea, were, considering the nature of their country and the age in which they lived, exceptionally wealthy. This circumstance really originated the war, for the Roman king was anxious to repair his own fortune, which had been exhausted by the magnificent scale of his public works, and also to conciliate his subjects by a distribution of the spoils of war. His tyranny had already produced disaffection, but what moved their special resentment was the way they had been so long kept by the king at manual and even servile labour. An attempt was made to take Ardea by assault; when that failed recourse was had to a regular investment to starve the enemy out. When troops are stationary, as is the case in a protracted more than in an active campaign, furloughs are easily granted, more so to the men of rank, however, than to the common soldiers. The royal princes sometimes spent their leisure hours in feasting and entertainments, and at a wine party given by Sextus Tarquinius at which Collatinus, the son of Egerius, was present, the conversation happened to turn upon their wives, and each began to speak of his own in terms of extraordinarily high praise. As the dispute became warm, Collatinus said that there was no need of words, it could in a few hours be ascertained how far his Lucretia was superior to all the rest. "Why do we not," he exclaimed, "if we have any youthful vigour about us, mount our horses and pay our wives a visit and find out their characters on the spot? What we see of the behaviour of each on the unexpected arrival of her husband, let that be the surest test." They were heated with wine, and all shouted: "Good! Come on!" Setting spur to their horses they galloped off to Rome, where they arrived as darkness was beginning to close in. Thence they proceeded to Collatia, where they found Lucretia very differently employed from the king's daughters-in-law, whom they had seen passing their time in feasting and luxury with their acquaintances. She was sitting at her wool work in the hall, late at night, with her maids busy round her. The palm in this competition of wifely virtue was awarded to Lucretia. She welcomed the arrival of her husband and the Tarquins, whilst her victorious spouse courteously invited the royal princes to remain as his guests. Sextus Tarquin, inflamed by the beauty and exemplary purity of Lucretia, formed the vile project of effecting her dishonour. After their youthful frolic they returned for the time to camp.


1.58

A few days afterwards Sextus Tarquin went, unknown to Collatinus, with one companion to Collatia. He was hospitably received by the household, who suspected nothing, and after supper was conducted to the bedroom set apart for guests. When all around seemed safe and everybody fast asleep, he went in the frenzy of his passion with a naked sword to the sleeping Lucretia, and placing his left hand on her breast, said, "Silence, Lucretia! I am Sextus Tarquin, and I have a sword in my hand; if you utter a word, you shall die." When the woman, terrified out of her sleep, saw that no help was near, and instant death threatening her, Tarquin began to confess his passion, pleaded, used threats as well as entreaties, and employed every argument likely to influence a female heart. When he saw that she was inflexible and not moved even by the fear of death, he threatened to disgrace her, declaring that he would lay the naked corpse of the slave by her dead body, so that it might be said that she had been slain in foul adultery. By this awful threat, his lust triumphed over her inflexible chastity, and Tarquin went off exulting in having successfully attacked her honour. Lucretia, overwhelmed with grief at such a frightful outrage, sent a messenger to her father at Rome and to her husband at Ardea, asking them to come to her, each accompanied by one faithful friend; it was necessary to act, and to act promptly; a horrible thing had happened. Spurius Lucretius came with Publius Valerius, the son of Volesus; Collatinus with Lucius Junius Brutus, with whom he happened to be returning to Rome when he was met by his wife's messenger. They found Lucretia sitting in her room prostrate with grief. As they entered, she burst into tears, and to her husband's inquiry whether all was well, replied, "No! what can be well with a woman when her honour is lost? The marks of a stranger, Collatinus, are in your bed. But it is only the body that has been violated, the soul is pure; death shall bear witness to that. But pledge me your solemn word that the adulterer shall not go unpunished. It is Sextus Tarquin, who, coming as an enemy instead of a guest, forced from me last night by brutal violence a pleasure fatal to me, and, if you are men, fatal to him." They all successively pledged their word, and tried to console the distracted woman by turning the guilt from the victim of the outrage to the perpetrator, and urging that it is the mind that sins, not the body, and where there has been no consent there is no guilt. "It is for you," she said, "to see that he gets his deserts; although I acquit myself of the sin, I do not free myself from the penalty; no unchaste woman shall henceforth live and plead Lucretia's example." She had a knife concealed in her dress which she plunged into her heart, and fell dying on the floor. Her father and husband raised the death-cry.


1.59

Whilst they were absorbed in grief, Brutus drew the knife from Lucretia's wound, and holding it, dripping with blood, in front of him, said, "By this blood-most pure before the outrage wrought by the king's son-I swear, and you, O gods, I call to witness that I will drive hence Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, together with his cursed wife and his whole brood, with fire and sword and every means in my power, and I will not suffer them or any one else to reign in Rome." Then he handed the knife to Collatinus and then to Lucretius and Valerius, who were all astounded at the marvel of the thing, wondering whence Brutus had acquired this new character. They swore as they were directed; all their grief changed to wrath, and they followed the lead of Brutus, who summoned them to abolish the monarchy forthwith. They carried the body of Lucretia from her home down to the Forum, where, owing to the unheard-of atrocity of the crime, they at once collected a crowd. Each had his own complaint to make of the wickedness and violence of the royal house. Whilst all were moved by the father's deep distress, Brutus bade them stop their tears and idle laments, and urged them to act as men and Romans and take up arms against their insolent foes. All the high-spirited amongst the younger men came forward as armed volunteers, the rest followed their example. A portion of this body was left to hold Collatia, and guards were stationed at the gates to prevent any news of the movement from reaching the king; the rest marched in arms to Rome with Brutus in command. On their arrival, the sight of so many men in arms spread panic and confusion wherever they marched, but when again the people saw that the foremost men of the State were leading the way, they realised that whatever the movement was it was a serious one. The terrible occurrence created no less excitement in Rome than it had done in Collatia; there was a rush from all quarters of the City to the Forum. When they had gathered there, the herald summoned them to attend the "Tribune of the Celeres"; this was the office which Brutus happened at the time to be holding. He made a speech quite out of keeping with the character and temper he had up to that day assumed. He dwelt upon the brutality and licentiousness of Sextus Tarquin, the infamous outrage on Lucretia and her pitiful death, the bereavement sustained by her father, Tricipitinus, to whom the cause of his daughter's death was more shameful and distressing than the actual death itself. Then he dwelt on the tyranny of the king, the toils and sufferings of the plebeians kept underground clearing out ditches and sewers-Roman men, conquerors of all the surrounding nations, turned from warriors into artisans and stonemasons! He reminded them of the shameful murder of Servius Tullius and his daughter driving in her accursed chariot over her father's body, and solemnly invoked the gods as the avengers of murdered parents. By enumerating these and, I believe, other still more atrocious incidents which his keen sense of the present injustice suggested, but which it is not easy to give in detail, he goaded on the incensed multitude to strip the king of his sovereignty and pronounce a sentence of banishment against Tarquin with his wife and children. With a picked body of the "Juniors," who volunteered to follow him, he went off to the camp at Ardea to incite the army against the king, leaving the command in the City to Lucretius, who had previously been made Prefect of the City by the king. During the commotion Tullia fled from the palace amidst the execrations of all whom she met, men and women alike invoking against her her father's avenging spirit.


1.60

When the news of these proceedings reached the camp, the king, alarmed at the turn affairs were taking, hurried to Rome to quell the outbreak. Brutus, who was on the same road had become aware of his approach, and to avoid meeting him took another route, so that he reached Ardea and Tarquin Rome almost at the same time, though by different ways. Tarquin found the gates shut, and a decree of banishment passed against him; the Liberator of the City received a joyous welcome in the camp, and the king's sons were expelled from it. Two of them followed their father into exile amongst the Etruscans in Caere. Sextus Tarquin proceeded to Gabii, which he looked upon as his kingdom, but was killed in revenge for the old feuds he had kindled by his rapine and murders. Lucius Tarquinius Superbus reigned twenty-five years. The whole duration of the regal government from the foundation of the City to its liberation was two hundred and forty-four years. Two consuls were then elected in the assembly of centuries by the prefect of the City, in accordance with the regulations of Servius Tullius. They were Lucius Junius Brutus and Lucius Tarquinius Collatinus.

End of Book 1



Livy's History of Rome: Book 2
The Early Years of the Republic


2.1

It is of a Rome henceforth free that I am to write the history-her civil administration and the conduct of her wars, her annually elected magistrates, the authority of her laws supreme over all her citizens. The tyranny of the last king made this liberty all the more welcome, for such had been the rule of the former kings that they might not undeservedly be counted as founders of parts, at all events, of the city; for the additions they made were required as abodes for the increased population which they themselves had augmented. There is no question that the Brutus who won such glory through the expulsion of Superbus would have inflicted the gravest injury on the State had he wrested the sovereignty from any of the former kings, through desire of a liberty for which the people were not ripe. What would have been the result if that horde of shepherds and immigrants, fugitives from their own cities, who had secured liberty, or at all events impunity, in the shelter of an inviolable sanctuary,-if, I say, they had been freed from the restraining power of kings and, agitated by tribunician storms, had begun to foment quarrels with the patricians in a City where they were aliens before sufficient time had elapsed for either family ties or a growing love for the very soil to effect a union of hearts? The infant State would have been torn to pieces by internal dissension. As it was, however, the moderate and tranquilising authority of the kings had so fostered it that it was at last able to bring forth the fair fruits of liberty in the maturity of its strength. But the origin of liberty may be referred to this time rather because the consular authority was limited to one year than because there was any weakening of the authority which the kings had possessed. The first consuls retained all the old jurisdiction and insignia of office, one only, however, had the "fasces," to prevent the fear which might have been inspired by the sight of both with those dread symbols. Through the concession of his colleague, Brutus had them first, and he was not less zealous in guarding the public liberty than he had been in achieving it. His first act was to secure the people, who were now jealous of their newly-recovered liberty, from being influenced by any entreaties or bribes from the king. He therefore made them take an oath that they would not suffer any man to reign in Rome. The senate had been thinned by the murderous cruelty of Tarquin, and Brutus' next care was to strengthen its influence by selecting some of the leading men of equestrian rank to fill the vacancies; by this means he brought it up to the old number of three hundred. The new members were known as "conscripti," the old ones retained their designation of "patres." This measure had a wonderful effect in promoting harmony in the State and bringing the patricians and plebeians together.


2.2

He next gave his attention to the affairs of religion. Certain public functions had hitherto been executed by the kings in person; with the view of supplying their place a "king for sacrifices" was created, and lest he should become king in anything more than name, and so threaten that liberty which was their first care, his office was made subordinate to the Pontifex Maximus. I think that they went to unreasonable lengths in devising safeguards for their liberty, in all, even the smallest points. The second consul-L. Tarquinius Collatinus-bore an unpopular name- this was his sole offence-and men said that the Tarquins had been too long in power. They began with Priscus; then Servius Tullius reigned, and Superbus Tarquinius, who even after this interruption had not lost sight of the throne which another filled, regained it by crime and violence as the hereditary possession of his house. And now that he was expelled, their power was being wielded by Collatinus; the Tarquins did not know how to live in a private station, the very name was a danger to liberty. What were at first whispered hints became the common talk of the City, and as the people were becoming suspicious and alarmed, Brutus summoned an assembly. He first of all rehearsed the people's oath, that they would suffer no man to reign or to live in Rome by whom the public liberty might be imperilled. This was to be guarded with the utmost care, no means of doing so were to be neglected. Personal regard made him reluctant to speak, nor would he have spoken had not his affection for the commonwealth compelled him. The Roman people did consider that their freedom was not yet fully won; the royal race, the royal name, was still there, not only amongst the citizens but in the government; in that fact lay an injury, an obstacle to full liberty. Turning to his brother consul: "These apprehensions it is for you, L. Tarquinius, to banish of your own free will. We have not forgotten, I assure you, that you expelled the king's family, complete your good work, remove their very name. Your fellow-citizens will, on my authority, not only hand over your property, but if you need anything, they will add to it with lavish generosity. Go, as our friend, relieve the commonwealth from a, perhaps groundless, fear: men are persuaded that only with the family will the tyranny of the Tarquins depart." At first the consul was struck dumb with astonishment at this extraordinary request; then, when he was beginning to speak, the foremost men in the commonwealth gathered round him and repeatedly urged the same plea, but with little success. It was not till Spurius Lucretius, his superior in age and rank, and also his father-in-law, began to use every method of entreaty and persuasion that he yielded to the universal wish. The consul, fearing lest after his year of office had expired and he returned to private life, the same demand should be made upon him, accompanied with loss of property and the ignominy of banishment, formally laid down the consulship, and after transferring all his effects to Lanuvium, withdrew from the State. A decree of the senate empowered Brutus to propose to the people a measure exiling all the members of the house of Tarquin. He conducted the election of a new consul, and the centuries elected as his colleague Publius Valerius, who had acted with him in the expulsion of the royal family.


2.3

Though no one doubted that war with the Tarquins was imminent, it did not come as soon as was universally expected. What was not expected, however, was that through intrigue and treachery the new-won liberty was almost lost. There were some young men of high birth in Rome who during the late reign had done pretty much what they pleased, and being boon companions of the young Tarquins were accustomed to live in royal fashion. Now that all were equal before the law, they missed their former licence and complained that the liberty which others enjoyed had become slavery for them; as long as there was a king, there was a person from whom they could get what they wanted, whether lawful or not, there was room for personal influence and kindness, he could show severity or indulgence, could discriminate between his friends and his enemies. But the law was a thing, deaf and inexorable, more favourable to the weak than to the powerful, showing no indulgence or forgiveness to those who transgressed; human nature being what it was, it was a dangerous plan to trust solely to one's innocence. When they had worked themselves into a state of disaffection, envoys from the royal family arrived, bringing a demand for the restoration of their property without any allusion to their possible return. An audience was granted them by the senate, and the matter was discussed for some days; fears were expressed that the non-surrender would be taken as a pretext for war, while if surrendered it might provide the means of war. The envoys, meantime, were engaged on another task: whilst ostensibly seeking only the surrender of the property they were secretly hatching schemes for regaining the crown. Whilst canvassing the young nobility in favour of their apparent object, they sounded them as to their other proposals, and meeting with a favourable reception, they brought letters addressed to them by the Tarquins and discussed plans for admitting them secretly at night into the City.


2.4

The project was at first entrusted to the brothers Vitellii and Aquilii. The sister of the Vitellii was married to the consul Brutus, and there were grown-up children from this marriage-Titus and Tiberius. Their uncles took them into the conspiracy, there were others besides, whose names have been lost. In the meantime the opinion that the property ought to be restored was adopted by the majority of the senate, and this enabled the envoys to prolong their stay, as the consuls required time to provide vehicles for conveying the goods. They employed their time in consultations with the conspirators and they insisted on getting a letter which they were to give to the Tarquins, for without such a guarantee, they argued, how could they be sure that their envoys had not brought back empty promises in a matter of such vast importance? A letter was accordingly given as a pledge of good faith, and this it was that led to the discovery of the plot. The day previous to the departure of the envoys they happened to be dining at the house of the Vitellii. After all who were not in the secret had left, the conspirators discussed many details respecting their projected treason, which were overheard by one of the slaves who had previously suspected that something was afoot, but was waiting for the moment when the letter should be given, as its seizure would be a complete proof of the plot. When he found that it had been given, he disclosed the affair to the consuls. They at once proceeded to arrest the envoys and the conspirators, and crushed the whole plot without exciting any alarm. Their first care was to secure the letter before it was destroyed. The traitors were forthwith thrown into prison; there was some hesitation in dealing with the envoys, and although they had evidently been guilty of a hostile act, the rights of international law were accorded them.


2.5

The question of the restoration of the property was referred anew to the senate, who yielding to their feelings of resentment prohibited its restoration, and forbade its being brought into the treasury; it was given as plunder to the plebs, that their share in this spoliation might destroy for ever any prospect of peaceable relations with the Tarquins. The land of the Tarquins, which lay between the City and the Tiber, was henceforth sacred to Mars and known as the Campus Martius. There happened, it is said, to be a crop of corn there which was ripe for the harvest, and as it would have been sacrilege to consume what was growing on the Campus, a large body of men were sent to cut it. They carried it, straw and all, in baskets to the Tiber and threw it into the river. It was the height of the summer and the stream was low, consequently the corn stuck in the shallows, and heaps of it were covered with mud; gradually as the debris which the river brought down collected there, an island was formed. I believe that it was subsequently raised and strengthened so that the surface might be high enough above the water and firm enough to carry temples and colonnades. After the royal property had been disposed of, the traitors were sentenced and executed. Their punishment created a great sensation owing to the fact that the consular office imposed upon a father the duty of inflicting punishment on his own children; he who ought not to have witnessed it was destined to be the one to see it duly carried out. Youths belonging to the noblest families were standing tied to the post, but all eyes were turned to the consul's children, the others were unnoticed. Men did not grieve more for their punishment than for the crime which had incurred it-that they should have conceived the idea, in that year above all, of betraying to one, who had been a ruthless tyrant and was now an exile and an enemy, a newly liberated country, their father who had liberated it, the consulship which had originated in the Junian house, the senate, the plebs, all that Rome possessed of human or divine. The consuls took their seats, the lictors were told off to inflict the penalty; they scourged their bared backs with rods and then beheaded them. During the whole time, the father's countenance betrayed his feelings, but the father's stern resolution was still more apparent as he superintended the public execution. After the guilty had paid the penalty, a notable example of a different nature was provided to act as a deterrent of crime, the informer was assigned a sum of money from the treasury and he was given his liberty and the rights of citizenship. He is said to have been the first to be made free by the "vindicta." Some suppose this designation to have been derived from him, his name being Vindicius. After him it was the rule that those who were made free in this way were considered to be admitted to the citizenship.


2.6

A detailed report of these matters reached Tarquin. He was not only furious at the failure of plans from which he had hoped so much, but he was filled with rage at finding the way blocked against secret intrigues; and consequently determined upon open war. He visited the cities of Etruria and appealed for help; in particular, he implored the people of Veii and Tarquinii not to allow one to perish before their eyes who was of the same blood with them, and from being a powerful monarch was now, with his children, homeless and destitute. Others, he said, had been invited from abroad to reign in Rome; he, the king, whilst extending the rule of Rome by a successful war, had been driven out by the infamous conspiracy of his nearest kinsmen. They had no single person amongst them deemed worthy to reign, so they had distributed the kingly authority amongst themselves, and had given his property as plunder to the people, that all might be involved in the crime. He wanted to recover his country and his throne and punish his ungrateful subjects. The Veientines must help him and furnish him with resources, they must set about avenging their own wrongs also, their legions so often cut to pieces, their territory torn from them. This appeal decided the Veientines, they one and all loudly demanded that their former humiliations should be wiped out and their losses made good, now that they had a Roman to lead them. The people of Tarquinii were won over by the name and nationality of the exile; they were proud of having a countryman as king in Rome. So two armies from these cities followed Tarquin to recover his crown and chastise the Romans. When they had entered the Roman territory the consuls advanced against them; Valerius with the infantry in phalanx formation, Brutus reconnoitring in advance with the cavalry. Similarly the enemy's cavalry was in front of his main body, Arruns Tarquin, the king's son, in command; the king himself followed with the legionaries. Whilst still at a distance Arruns distinguished the consul by his escort of lictors; as they drew nearer he clearly recognised Brutus by his features, and in a transport of rage exclaimed, "That is the man who drove us from our country; see him proudly advancing, adorned with our insignia! Ye gods, avengers of kings, aid me!" With these words, he dug spurs into his horse and rode straight at the consul. Brutus saw that he was making for him. It was a point of honour in those days for the leaders to engage in single combat, so he eagerly accepted the challenge, and they charged with such fury, neither of them thinking of protecting himself, if only he could wound his foe, that each drove his spear at the same moment through the other's shield, and they fell dying from their horses, with the spears sticking in them. The rest of the cavalry at once engaged, and not long after the infantry came up. The battle raged with varying fortune, the two armies being fairly matched; the right wing of each was victorious, the left defeated. The Veientes, accustomed to defeat at the hands of the Romans, were scattered in flight, but the Tarquinians, a new foe, not only held their ground, but forced the Romans to give way.


2.7

After the battle had gone in this way, so great a panic seized Tarquin and the Etruscans that the two armies of Veii and Tarquinii, on the approach of night, despairing of success, left the field and departed for their homes. The story of the battle was enriched by marvels. In the silence of the next night a great voice is said to have come from the forest of Arsia, believed to be the voice of Silvanus, which spoke thus: "The fallen of the Tusci are one more than those of their foe; the Roman is conqueror." At all events the Romans left the field as victors; the Etruscans regarded themselves as vanquished, for when daylight appeared not a single enemy was in sight. P. Valerius, the consul, collected the spoils and returned in triumph to Rome. He celebrated his colleague's obsequies with all the pomp possible in those days, but far greater honour was done to the dead by the universal mourning, which was rendered specially noteworthy by the fact that the matrons were a whole year in mourning for him, because he had been such a determined avenger of violated chastity. After this the surviving consul, who had been in such favour with the multitude, found himself-such is its fickleness-not only unpopular but an object of suspicion, and that of a very grave character. It was rumoured that he was aiming at monarchy, for he had held no election to fill Brutus' place, and he was building a house on the top of the Velia, an impregnable fortress was being constructed on that high and strong position. The consul felt hurt at finding these rumours so widely believed, and summoned the people to an assembly. As he entered the "fasces" were lowered, to the great delight of the multitude, who understood that it was to them that they were lowered as an open avowal that the dignity and might of the people were greater than those of the consul. Then, after securing silence, he began to eulogise the good fortune of his colleague who had met his death, as a liberator of his country, possessing the highest honour it could bestow, fighting for the commonwealth, whilst his glory was as yet undimmed by jealousy and distrust. Whereas he himself had outlived his glory and fallen on days of suspicion and opprobrium; from being a liberator of his country he had sunk to the level of the Aquilii and Vitellii. "Will you," he cried, "never deem any man's merit so assured that it cannot be tainted by suspicion? Am I, the most determined foe to kings to dread the suspicion of desiring to be one myself? Even if I were dwelling in the Citadel on the Capitol, am I to believe it possible that I should be feared by my fellow-citizens? Does my reputation amongst you hang on so slight a thread? Does your confidence rest upon such a weak foundation that it is of greater moment where I am than who I am? The house of Publius Valerius shall be no check upon your freedom, your Velia shall be safe. I will not only move my house to level ground, but I will move it to the bottom of the hill that you may dwell above the citizen whom you suspect. Let those dwell on the Velia who are regarded as truer friends of liberty than Publius Valerius." All the materials were forthwith carried below the Velia and his house was built at the very bottom of the hill where now stands the temple of Vica Pota.


2.8

Laws were passed which not only cleared the consul from suspicion but produced such a reaction that he won the people's affections, hence his soubriquet of Publicola. The most popular of these laws were those which granted a right of appeal from the magistrate to the people and devoted to the gods the person and property of any one who entertained projects of becoming king. Valerius secured the passing of these laws while still sole consul, that the people might feel grateful solely to him; afterwards he held the elections for the appointment of a colleague. The consul elected was Sp. Lucretius. But he had not, owing to his great age, strength enough to discharge the duties of his office, and within a few days he died. M. Horatius Pulvillus was elected in his place. In some ancient authors I find no mention of Lucretius, Horatius being named immediately after Brutus; as he did nothing of any note during his office, I suppose, his memory has perished. The temple of Jupiter on the Capitol had not yet been dedicated, and the consuls drew lots to decide which should dedicate it. The lot fell to Horatius. Publicola set out for the Veientine war. His friends showed unseemly annoyance at the dedication of so illustrious a fane being assigned to Horatius, and tried every means of preventing it. When all else failed, they tried to alarm the consul, whilst he was actually holding the door-post during the dedicatory prayer, by a wicked message that his son was dead, and he could not dedicate a temple while death was in his house. As to whether he disbelieved the message, or whether his conduct simply showed extraordinary self-control, there is no definite tradition, and it is not easy to decide from the records. He only allowed the message to interrupt him so far that he gave orders for the body to be burnt; then, with his hand still on the door-post, he finished the prayer and dedicated the temple. These were the principal incidents at home and in the field during the first year after the expulsion of the royal family. The consuls elected for the next year were P. Valerius, for the second time, and T. Lucretius.


2.9

The Tarquins had now taken refuge with Porsena, the king of Clusium, whom they sought to influence by entreaty mixed with warnings. At one time they entreated him not to allow men of Etruscan race, of the same blood as himself, to wander as penniless exiles; at another they would warn him not to let the new fashion of expelling kings go unpunished. Liberty, they urged, possessed fascination enough in itself; unless kings defend their authority with as much energy as their subjects show in quest of liberty, all things come to a dead level, there will be no one thing pre-eminent or superior to all else in the State; there will soon be an end of kingly power, which is the most beautiful thing, whether amongst gods or amongst mortal men. Porsena considered that the presence of an Etruscan upon the Roman throne would be an honour to his nation; accordingly he advanced with an army against Rome. Never before had the senate been in such a state of alarm, so great at that time was the power of Clusium and the reputation of Porsena. They feared not only the enemy but even their own fellow-citizens, lest the plebs, overcome by their fears, should admit the Tarquins into the City, and accept peace even though it meant slavery. Many concessions were made at that time to the plebs by the senate. Their first care was to lay in a stock of corn, and commissioners were despatched to Vulsi and Cumae to collect supplies. The sale of salt, hitherto in the hands of private individuals who had raised the price to a high figure, was now wholly transferred to the State. The plebs were exempted from the payment of harbour-dues and the war-tax, so that they might fall on the rich, who could bear the burden; the poor were held to pay sufficient to the State if they brought up their children. This generous action of the senate maintained the harmony of the commonwealth through the subsequent stress of siege and famine so completely that the name of king was not more abhorrent to the highest than it was to the lowest, nor did any demagogue ever succeed in becoming so popular in after times as the senate was then by its beneficent legislation.


2.10

On the appearance of the enemy the country people fled into the City as best they could. The weak places in the defences were occupied by military posts; elsewhere the walls and the Tiber were deemed sufficient protection. The enemy would have forced their way over the Sublician bridge had it not been for one man, Horatius Cocles. The good fortune of Rome provided him as her bulwark on that memorable day. He happened to be on guard at the bridge when he saw the Janiculum taken by a sudden assault and the enemy rushing down from it to the river, whilst his own men, a panic-struck mob, were deserting their posts and throwing away their arms. He reproached them one after another for their cowardice, tried to stop them, appealed to them in heaven's name to stand, declared that it was in vain for them to seek safety in flight whilst leaving the bridge open behind them, there would very soon be more of the enemy on the Palatine and the Capitol than there were on the Janiculum. So he shouted to them to break down the bridge by sword or fire, or by whatever means they could, he would meet the enemies' attack so far as one man could keep them at bay. He advanced to the head of the bridge. Amongst the fugitives, whose backs alone were visible to the enemy, he was conspicuous as he fronted them armed for fight at close quarters. The enemy were astounded at his preternatural courage. Two men were kept by a sense of shame from deserting him-Sp. Lartius and T. Herminius-both of them men of high birth and renowned courage. With them he sustained the first tempestuous shock and wild confused onset, for a brief interval. Then, whilst only a small portion of the bridge remained and those who were cutting it down called upon them to retire, he insisted upon these, too, retreating. Looking round with eyes dark with menace upon the Etruscan chiefs, he challenged them to single combat, and reproached them all with being the slaves of tyrant kings, and whilst unmindful of their own liberty coming to attack that of others. For some time they hesitated, each looking round upon the others to begin. At length shame roused them to action, and raising a shout they hurled their javelins from all sides on their solitary foe. He caught them on his outstretched shield, and with unshaken resolution kept his place on the bridge with firmly planted foot. They were just attempting to dislodge him by a charge when the crash of the broken bridge and the shout which the Romans raised at seeing the work completed stayed the attack by filling them with sudden panic. Then Cocles said, "Tiberinus, holy father, I pray thee to receive into thy propitious stream these arms and this thy warrior." So, fully armed, he leaped into the Tiber, and though many missiles fell over him he swam across in safety to his friends: an act of daring more famous than credible with posterity. The State showed its gratitude for such courage; his statue was set up in the Comitium, and as much land given to him as he could drive the plough round in one day. Besides this public honour, the citizens individually showed their feeling; for, in spite of the great scarcity, each, in proportion to his means, sacrificed what he could from his own store as a gift to Cocles.


2.11

Repulsed in his first attempt, Porsena changed his plans from assault to blockade. After placing a detachment to hold the Janiculum he fixed his camp on the plain between that hill and the Tiber, and sent everywhere for boats, partly to intercept any attempt to get corn into Rome and partly to carry his troops across to different spots for plunder, as opportunity might serve. In a short time he made the whole of the district round Rome so insecure that not only were all the crops removed from the fields but even the cattle were all driven into the City, nor did any one venture to take them outside the gates. The impunity with which the Etruscans committed their depredations was due to strategy on the part of the Romans more than to fear. For the consul Valerius, determined to get an opportunity of attacking them when they were scattered in large numbers over the fields, allowed small forages to pass unnoticed, whilst he was reserving himself for vengeance on a larger scale. So to draw on the pillagers, he gave orders to a considerable body of his men to drive cattle out of the Esquiline gate, which was the furthest from the enemy, in the expectation that they would gain intelligence of it through the slaves who were deserting, owing to the scarcity produced by the blockade. The information was duly conveyed, and in consequence they crossed the river in larger numbers than usual in the hope of securing the whole lot. P. Valerius ordered T. Herminius with a small body of troops to take up a concealed position at a distance of two miles on the Gabian road, whilst Sp. Lartius with some light-armed infantry was to post himself at the Colline gate until the enemy had passed him and then to intercept their retreat to the river. The other consul, T. Lucretius, with a few maniples made a sortie from the Naevian gate; Valerius himself led some picked cohorts from the Caelian hill, and these were the first to attract the enemy's notice. When Herminius became aware that fighting was begun, he rose from ambush and took the enemy who were engaged with Valerius in rear. Answering cheers arose right and left, from the Colline and the Naevian gates and the pillagers, hemmed in, unequal to the fight, and with every way of escape blocked, were cut to pieces. That put an end to these irregular and scattered excursions on the part of the Etruscans.


2.12

The blockade, however, continued, and with it a growing scarcity of corn at famine prices. Porsena still cherished hopes of capturing the City by keeping up the investment. There was a young noble, C. Mucius, who regarded it as a disgrace that whilst Rome in the days of servitude under her kings had never been blockaded in any war or by any foe, she should now, in the day of her freedom, be besieged by those very Etruscans whose armies she had often routed. Thinking that this disgrace ought to be avenged by some great deed of daring, he determined in the first instance to penetrate into the enemy's camp on his own responsibility. On second thoughts, however, he became apprehensive that if he went without orders from the consuls, or unknown to any one, and happened to be arrested by the Roman outposts, he might be brought back as a deserter, a charge which the condition of the City at the time would make only too probable. So he went to the senate. "I wish," he said, "Fathers, to swim the Tiber, and, if I can, enter the enemy's camp, not as a pillager nor to inflict retaliation for their pillagings. I am purposing, with heaven's help, a greater deed." The senate gave their approval. Concealing a sword in his robe, he started. When he reached the camp he took his stand in the densest part of the crowd near the royal tribunal. It happened to be the soldiers' pay-day, and a secretary, sitting by the king and dressed almost exactly like him, was busily engaged, as the soldiers kept coming to him incessantly. Afraid to ask which of the two was the king, lest his ignorance should betray him, Mucius struck as fortune directed the blow and killed the secretary instead of the king. He tried to force his way back with his blood-stained dagger through the dismayed crowd, but the shouting caused a rush to be made to the spot; he was seized and dragged back by the king's bodyguard to the royal tribunal. Here, alone and helpless, and in the utmost peril, he was still able to inspire more fear than he felt. "I am a citizen of Rome," he said, "men call me C. Mucius. As an enemy I wished to kill an enemy, and I have as much courage to meet death as I had to inflict it. It is the Roman nature to act bravely and to suffer bravely. I am not alone in having made this resolve against you, behind me there is a long list of those who aspire to the same distinction. If then it is your pleasure, make up your mind for a struggle in which you will every hour have to fight for your life and find an armed foe on the threshold of your royal tent. This is the war which we the youth of Rome, declare against you. You have no serried ranks, no pitched battle to fear, the matter will be settled between you alone and each one of us singly." The king, furious with anger, and at the same time terrified at the unknown danger, threatened that if he did not promptly explain the nature of the plot which he was darkly hinting at he should be roasted alive. "Look," Mucius cried, "and learn how lightly those regard their bodies who have some great glory in view." Then he plunged his right hand into a fire burning on the altar. Whilst he kept it roasting there as if he were devoid of all sensation, the king, astounded at his preternatural conduct, sprang from his seat and ordered the youth to be removed from the altar. "Go," he said, "you have been a worse enemy to yourself than to me. I would invoke blessings on your courage if it were displayed on behalf of my country; as it is, I send you away exempt from all rights of war, unhurt, and safe." Then Mucius, reciprocating, as it were, this generous treatment, said, "Since you honour courage, know that what you could not gain by threats you have obtained by kindness. Three hundred of us, the foremost amongst the Roman youth, have sworn to attack you in this way. The lot fell to me first, the rest, in the order of their lot, will come each in his turn, till fortune shall give us a favourable chance against you."


2.13

Mucius was accordingly dismissed; afterwards he received the soubriquet of Scaevola, from the loss of his right hand. Envoys from Porsena followed him to Rome. The king's narrow escape from the first of many attempts; which was owing solely to the mistake of his assailant, and the prospect of having to meet as many attacks as there were conspirators, so unnerved him that he made proposals of peace to Rome. One for the restoration of the Tarquins was put forward, more because he could not well refuse their request than because he had any hope of its being granted. The demand for the restitution of their territory to the Veientines, and that for the surrender of hostages as a condition of the withdrawal of the detachment from the Janiculum, were felt by the Romans to be inevitable, and on their being accepted and peace concluded, Porsena moved his troops from the Janiculum and evacuated the Roman territory. As a recognition of his courage the senate gave C. Mucius a piece of land across the river, which was afterwards known as the Mucian Meadows. The honour thus paid to courage incited even women to do glorious things for the State. The Etruscan camp was situated not far from the river, and the maiden Cloelia, one of the hostages, escaped, unobserved, through the guards and at the head of her sister hostages swam across the river amidst a shower of javelins and restored them all safe to their relatives. When the news of this incident reached him, the king was at first exceedingly angry and sent to demand the surrender of Cloelia; the others he did not care about. Afterwards his feelings changed to admiration; he said that the exploit surpassed those of Cocles and Mucius, and announced that whilst on the one hand he should consider the treaty broken if she were not surrendered, he would on the other hand, if she were surrendered, send her back to her people unhurt. Both sides behaved honourably; the Romans surrendered her as a pledge of loyalty to the terms of the treaty; the Etruscan king showed that with him courage was not only safe but honoured, and after eulogising the girl's conduct, told her that he would make her a present of half the remaining hostages, she was to choose whom she would. It is said that after all had been brought before her, she chose the boys of tender age; a choice in keeping with maidenly modesty, and one approved by the hostages themselves, since they felt that the age which was most liable to ill-treatment should have the preference in being rescued from hostile hands. After peace was thus re-established, the Romans rewarded the unprecedented courage shown by a woman by an unprecedented honour, namely an equestrian statue. On the highest part of the Sacred Way a statue was erected representing the maiden sitting on horseback.


2.14

Quite inconsistent with this peaceful withdrawal from the City on the part of the Etruscan king is the custom which, with other formalities, has been handed down from antiquity to our own age of "selling the goods of King Porsena." This custom must either have been introduced during the war and kept up after peace was made, or else it must have a less bellicose origin than would be implied by the description of the goods sold as "taken from the enemy." The most probable tradition is that Porsena, knowing the City to be without food owing to the long investment, made the Romans a present of his richly-stored camp, in which provisions had been collected from the neighbouring fertile fields of Etruria. Then, to prevent the people seizing them indiscriminately as spoils of war, they were regularly sold, under the description of "the goods of Porsena," a description indicating rather the gratitude of the people than an auction of the king's personal property, which had never been at the disposal of the Romans. To prevent his expedition from appearing entirely fruitless, Porsena, after bringing the war with Rome to a close, sent his son Aruns with a part of his force to attack Aricia. At first the Aricians were dismayed by the unexpected movement, but the succours which in response to their request were sent from the Latin towns and from Cumae so far encouraged them that they ventured to offer battle. At the commencement of the action the Etruscans attacked with such vigour that they routed the Aricians at the first charge. The Cuman cohorts made a strategical flank movement, and when the enemy had pressed forward in disordered pursuit, they wheeled round and attacked them in the rear. Thus the Etruscans, now all but victorious, were hemmed in and cut to pieces. A very small remnant, after losing their general, made for Rome, as there was no nearer place of safety. Without arms, and in the guise of suppliants, they were kindly received and distributed amongst different houses. After recovering from their wounds, some left for their homes, to tell of the kind hospitality they had received; many remained behind out of affection for their hosts and the City. A district was assigned to them to dwell in, which subsequently bore the designation of "the Tuscan quarter."


2.15

The new consuls were Sp. Lartius and T. Herminius. This year Porsena made the last attempt to effect the restoration of the Tarquins. The ambassadors whom he had despatched to Rome with this object were informed that the senate were going to send an embassy to the king, and the most honourable of the senators were forthwith despatched. They stated that the reason why a select number of senators had been sent to him in preference to a reply being given to his ambassadors at Rome was not that they had been unable to give the brief answer that kings would never be allowed in Rome, but simply that all mention of the matter might be for ever dropped, that after the interchange of so many kindly acts there might be no cause of irritation, for he, Porsena, was asking for what would be against the liberty of Rome. The Romans, if they did not wish to hasten their own ruin, would have to refuse the request of one to whom they wished to refuse nothing. Rome was not a monarchy, but a free City, and they had made up their minds to open their gates even to an enemy sooner than to a king. It was the universal wish that whatever put an end to liberty in the City should put an end to the City itself. They begged him, if he wished Rome to be safe, to allow it to be free. Touched with a feeling of sympathy and respect, the king replied, "Since this is your fixed and unalterable determination, I will not harass you by fruitless proposals, nor will I deceive the Tarquins by holding out hopes of an assistance which I am powerless to render. Whether they insist on war or are prepared to live quietly, in either case they must seek another place of exile than this, to prevent any interruption of the peace between you and me." He followed up his words by still stronger practical proofs of friendship, for he returned the remainder of the hostages and restored the Veientine territory which had been taken away under the treaty. As all hope of restoration was cut off, Tarquin went to his son-in-law Mamilius Octavius at Tusculum. So the peace between Rome and Porsena remained unbroken.


2.16

The new consuls were M. Valerius and P. Postumius. This year a successful action was fought with the Sabines; the consuls celebrated a triumph. Then the Sabines made preparations for war on a larger scale. To oppose them and also at the same time to guard against danger in the direction of Tusculum, from which place war, though not openly declared, was still apprehended, the consuls elected were P. Valerius for the fourth time and T. Lucretius for the second. A conflict which broke out amongst the Sabines between the peace party and the war party brought an accession of strength to the Romans. Attius Clausus, who was afterwards known in Rome as Appius Claudius, was an advocate for peace, but, unable to maintain his ground against the opposing faction, who were stirring up war, he fled to Rome with a large body of clients. They were admitted to the citizenship and received a grant of land lying beyond the Anio. They were called the Old Claudian tribe, and their numbers were added to by fresh tribesmen from that district. After his election into the senate it was not long before Appius gained a prominent position in that body. The consuls marched into the Sabine territory, and by their devastation of the country and the defeats which they inflicted so weakened the enemy that no renewal of the war was to be feared for a long time. The Romans returned home in triumph. The following year, in the consulship of Agrippa Menenius and P. Postumius, P. Valerius died. He was universally admitted to be first in the conduct of war and the arts of peace, but though he enjoyed such an immense reputation, his private fortune was so scanty that it could not defray the expenses of his funeral. They were met by the State. The matrons mourned for him as a second Brutus. In the same year two Latin colonies, Pometia and Cora, revolted to the Auruncans. War commenced, and after the defeat of an immense army which had sought to oppose the advance of the consuls into their territory, the whole war was centered round Pometia. There was no respite from bloodshed after the battle any more than during the fighting, many more were killed than were taken prisoners; the prisoners were everywhere butchered; even the hostages, three hundred of whom they had in their hands, fell a victim to the enemy's bloodthirsty rage. This year also there was a triumph in Rome.


2.17

The consuls who succeeded, Opiter Verginius and Sp. Cassius, tried at first to take Pometia by storm, then they had recourse to regular siege-works. Actuated more by a spirit of mortal hatred than by any hope or chance of success, the Auruncans made a sortie. The greater number were armed with blazing torches, and they carried flames and death everywhere. The "vineae" were burnt, great numbers of the besiegers were killed and wounded, they nearly killed one of the consuls-the authorities do not give his name- after he had fallen from his horse severely wounded. After this disaster the Romans returned home, with a large number of wounded, amongst them the consul, whose condition was critical. After an interval, long enough for the recovery of the wounded and the filling up of the ranks, operations were resumed at Pometia in stronger force and in a more angry temper. The vineae were repaired and the other vast works were made good, and when everything was ready for the soldiers to mount the walls, the place surrendered. The Auruncans, however, were treated with no less rigour after they had surrendered the city than if it had been taken by assault; the principal men were beheaded, the rest of the townsfolk sold as slaves. The town was razed, the land put up for sale. The consuls celebrated a triumph more because of the terrible vengeance they had inflicted than on account of the importance of the war now terminated.


2.18

The following year had as consuls Postumius Cominius and T. Lartius. During this year an incident occurred which, though small in itself, threatened to lead to the renewal of a war more formidable than the Latin war which was dreaded. During the games at Rome some courtesans were carried off by Sabine youths in sheer wantonness. A crowd gathered, and a quarrel arose which became almost a pitched battle. The alarm was increased by the authentic report that at the instigation of Octavius Mamilius the thirty Latin towns had formed a league. The apprehensions felt by the State at such a serious crisis led to suggestions being made for the first time for the appointment of a dictator. It is not, however, clearly ascertained in what year this office was created, or who the consuls were who had forfeited the confidence of the people owing to their being adherents of the Tarquins-for this, too, is part of the tradition-or who was the first dictator. In the most ancient authorities I find that it was T. Lartius, and that Sp. Cassius was his master of the horse. Only men of consular rank were eligible under the law governing the appointment. This makes me more inclined to believe that Lartius, who was of consular rank, was set over the consuls to restrain and direct them rather than Manlius Valerius, the son of Marcus and grandson of Volesus. Besides, if they wanted the dictator to be chosen from that family especially, they would have much sooner chosen the father, M. Valerius, a man of proved worth and also of consular rank. When, for the first time, a Dictator was created in Rome, a great fear fell on the people, after they saw the axes borne before him, and consequently they were more careful to obey his orders. For there was not, as in the case of the consuls, each of whom possessed the same authority, any chance of securing the aid of one against the other, nor was there any right of appeal, nor in short was there any safety anywhere except in punctilious obedience. The Sabines were even more alarmed at the appointment of a Dictator than the Romans, because they were convinced that it was in their account that he had been created. Accordingly envoys were sent with proposals for peace. They begged the Dictator and the senate to pardon what was a youthful escapade, but were told in reply that young men could be pardoned, but not old men, who were continually stirring up fresh wars. However, the negotiations continued and peace would have been secured if the Sabines could have made up their minds to comply with the demand to make good the expenses of the war. War was proclaimed; an informal truce kept the year undisturbed.


2.19

The next consuls were Ser. Sulpicius and Manlius Tullius. Nothing worth recording took place. The consuls of the following year were T. Aebutius and C. Vetusius. During their consulship Fidenae was besieged; Crustumeria captured; Praeneste revolted from the Latins to Rome. The Latin war which had been threatening for some years now at last broke out. A. Postumius, the Dictator, and T. Aebutius, Master of the Horse, advanced with a large force of infantry and cavalry to the Lake Regillus in the district of Tusculum and came upon the main army of the enemy. On hearing that the Tarquins were in the army of the Latins, the passions of the Romans were so roused that they determined to engage at once. The battle that followed was more obstinately and desperately fought than any previous ones had been. For the commanders not only took their part in directing the action, they fought personally against each other, and hardly one of the leaders in either army, with the exception of the Roman Dictator, left the field unwounded. Tarquinius Superbus, though now enfeebled by age, spurred his horse against Postumius, who in the front of the line was addressing and forming his men. He was struck in the side and carried off by a body of his followers into a place of safety. Similarly on the other wing Aebutius, Master of the Horse, directed his attack against Octavius Mamilius; the Tusculan leader saw him coming and rode at him full speed. So terrific was the shock that Aebutius' arm was pierced, Mamilius was speared in the breast, and led off by the Latins into their second line. Aebutius, unable to hold a weapon with his wounded arm, retired from the fighting. The Latin leader, in no way deterred by his wound, infused fresh energy into the combat, for, seeing that his own men were wavering, he called up the cohort of Roman exiles, who were led by Lucius Tarquinius. The loss of country and fortune made them fight all the more desperately; for a short time they restored the battle, and the Romans who were opposed to them began to give ground.


2.20

M. Valerius, the brother of Publicola, catching sight of the fiery young Tarquin conspicuous in the front line, dug spurs into his horse and made for him with levelled lance, eager to enhance the pride of his house, that the family who boasted of having expelled the Tarquins might have the glory of killing them. Tarquin evaded his foe by retiring behind his men. Valerius, riding headlong into the ranks of the exiles, was run through by a spear from behind. This did not check the horse's speed, and the Roman sank dying to the ground, his arms falling upon him. When the Dictator Postumius saw that one of his principal officers had fallen, and that the exiles were rushing on furiously in a compact mass whilst his men were shaken and giving ground, he ordered his own cohort -a picked force who formed his bodyguard-to treat any of their own side whom they saw in flight as enemy. Threatened in front and rear the Romans turned and faced the foe, and closed their ranks. The Dictator's cohort, fresh in mind and body, now came into action and attacked the exhausted exiles with great slaughter. Another single combat between the leaders took place; the Latin commander saw the cohort of exiles almost hemmed in by the Roman Dictator, and hurried to the front with some maniples of the reserves. T. Herminius saw them coming, and recognised Mamilius by his dress and arms. He attacked the enemies' commander much more fiercely than the Master of the Horse had previously done, so much so, in fact, that he killed him by a single spear-thrust through his side. Whilst despoiling the body he himself was struck by a javelin, and after being carried back to the camp, expired whilst his wound was being dressed. Then the Dictator hurried up to the cavalry and appealed to them to relieve the infantry, who were worn out with the struggle, by dismounting and fighting on foot. They obeyed, leaped from their horses, and protecting themselves with their targes, fought in front of the standards. The infantry recovered their courage at once when they saw the flower of the nobility fighting on equal terms and sharing the same dangers with themselves. At last the Latins were forced back, wavered, and finally broke their ranks. The cavalry had their horses brought up that they might commence the pursuit, the infantry followed. It is said that the Dictator, omitting nothing that could secure divine or human aid, vowed, during the battle, a temple to Castor and promised rewards to those who should be the first and second to enter the enemies' camp. Such was the ardour which the Romans displayed that in the same charge which routed the enemy they carried their camp. Thus was the battle fought at Lake Regillus. The Dictator and the Master of the Horse returned in triumph to the City.


2.21

For the next three years there was neither settled peace nor open war. The consuls were Q. Cloelius and T. Larcius. They were succeeded by A. Sempronius and M. Minucius. During their consulship a temple was dedicated to Saturn and the festival of the Saturnalia instituted. The next consuls were A. Postumius and T. Verginius. I find in some authors this year given as the date of the battle at Lake Regillus, and that A. Postumius laid down his consulship because the fidelity of his colleague was suspected, on which a Dictator was appointed. So many errors as to dates occur, owing to the order in which the consuls succeeded being variously given, that the remoteness in time of both the events and the authorities make it impossible to determine either which consuls succeeded which, or in what year any particular event occurred. Ap. Claudius and P. Servilius were the next consuls. This year is memorable for the news of Tarquin's death. His death took place at Cuma, whither he had retired, to seek the protection of the tyrant Aristodemus after the power of the Latins was broken. The news was received with delight by both senate and plebs. But the elation of the patricians was carried to excess. Up to that time they had treated the commons with the utmost deference, now their leaders began to practice injustice upon them. The same year a fresh batch of colonists was sent to complete the number at Signia, a colony founded by King Tarquin. The number of tribes at Rome was increased to twenty-one. The temple of Mercury was dedicated on May 15.


2.22

The relations with the Volscians during the Latin war were neither friendly nor openly hostile. The Volscians had collected a force which they were intending to send to the aid of the Latins had not the Dictator forestalled them by the rapidity of his movements, a rapidity due to his anxiety to avoid a battle with the combined armies. To punish them the consuls led the legions into the Volscian country. This unexpected movement paralysed the Volscians, who were not expecting retribution for what had been only an intention. Unable to offer resistance, they gave as hostages three hundred children belonging to their nobility, drawn from Cora and Pometia. The legions, accordingly, were marched back without fighting. Relieved from the immediate danger, the Volscians soon fell back on their old policy, and after forming an armed alliance with the Hernicans, made secret preparations for war. They also despatched envoys through the length and breadth of Latium to induce that nation to join them. But after their defeat at Lake Regillus the Latins were so incensed against every one who advocated a resumption of hostilities that they did not even spare the Volscian envoys, who were arrested and conducted to Rome. There they were handed over to the consuls and evidence was produced showing that the Volscians and Hernicans were preparing for war with Rome. When the matter was brought before the senate, they were so gratified by the action of the Latins that they sent back six thousand prisoners who had been sold into slavery, and also referred to the new magistrates the question of a treaty which they had hitherto persistently refused to consider. The Latins congratulated themselves upon the course they had adopted, and the advocates of peace were in high honour. They sent a golden crown as a gift to the Capitoline Jupiter. The deputation who brought the gift were accompanied by a large number of the released prisoners, who visited the houses where they had worked as slaves to thank their former masters for the kindness and consideration shown them in their misfortunes, and to form ties of hospitality with them. At no previous period had the Latin nation been on more friendly terms both politically and personally with the Roman government.


2.23

But a war with the Volscians was imminent, and the State was torn with internal dissensions; the patricians and the plebeians were bitterly hostile to one another, owing mainly to the desperate condition of the debtors. They loudly complained that whilst fighting in the field for liberty and empire they were oppressed and enslaved by their fellow-citizens at home; their freedom was more secure in war than in peace, safer amongst the enemy than amongst their own people. The discontent, which was becoming of itself continually more embittered, was still further inflamed by the signal misfortunes of one individual. An old man, bearing visible proofs of all the evils he had suffered, suddenly appeared in the Forum. His clothing was covered with filth, his personal appearance was made still more loathsome by a corpse-like pallor and emaciation, his unkempt beard and hair made him look like a savage. In spite of this disfigurement he was recognised by the pitying bystanders; they said that he had been a centurion, and mentioned other military distinctions he possessed. He bared his breast and showed the scars which witnessed to many fights in which he had borne an honourable part. The crowd had now almost grown to the dimensions of an Assembly of the people. He was asked, "Whence came that garb, whence that disfigurement?" He stated that whilst serving in the Sabine war he had not only lost the produce of his land through the depredations of the enemy, but his farm had been burnt, all his property plundered, his cattle driven away, the war-tax demanded when he was least able to pay it, and he had got into debt. This debt had been vastly increased through usury and had stripped him first of his father's and grandfather's farm, then of his other property, and at last like a pestilence had reached his person. He had been carried off by his creditor, not into slavery only, but into an underground workshop, a living death. Then he showed his back scored with recent marks of the lash.

On seeing and hearing all this a great outcry arose; the excitement was not confined to the Forum, it spread everywhere throughout the City. Men who were in bondage for debt and those who had been released rushed from all sides into the public streets and invoked "the protection of the Quirites." Every one was eager to join the malcontents, numerous bodies ran shouting through all the streets to the Forum. Those of the senators who happened to be in the Forum and fell in with the mob were in great danger of their lives. Open violence would have been resorted to, had not the consuls, P. Servilius and Ap. Claudius, promptly intervened to quell the outbreak. The crowd surged round them, showed their chains and other marks of degradation. These, they said, were their rewards for having served their country; they tauntingly reminded the consuls of the various campaigns in which they had fought, and peremptorily demanded rather than petitioned that the senate should be called together. Then they closed round the Senate-house, determined to be themselves the arbiters and directors of public policy. A very small number of senators, who happened to be available, were got together by the consuls, the rest were afraid to go even to the Forum, much more to the Senate-house. No business could be transacted owing to the requisite number not being present. The people began to think that they were being played with and put off, that the absent senators were not kept away by accident or by fear, but in order to prevent any redress of their grievances, and that the consuls themselves were shuffling and laughing at their misery. Matters were reaching the point at which not even the majesty of the consuls could keep the enraged people in check, when the absentees, uncertain whether they ran the greater risk by staying away or coming, at last entered the Senate-house. The House was now full, and a division of opinion showed itself not only amongst the senators but even between the two consuls. Appius, a man of passionate temperament, was of opinion that the matter ought to be settled by a display of authority on the part of the consuls; if one or two were brought up for trial, the rest would calm down. Servilius, more inclined to gentle measures, thought that when men's passions are aroused it was safer and easier to bend them than to break them.


2.24

In the middle of these disturbances, fresh alarm was created by some Latin horsemen who galloped in with the disquieting tidings that a Volscian army was on the march to attack the City. This intelligence affected the patricians and the plebeians very differently; to such an extent had civic discord rent the State in twain. The plebeians were exultant, they said that the gods were preparing to avenge the tyranny of the patricians; they encouraged each other to evade enrolment, for it was better for all to die together than to perish one by one. "Let the patricians take up arms, let the patricians serve as common soldiers, that those who get the spoils of war may share its perils." The senate, on the other hand, filled with gloomy apprehensions by the twofold danger from their own fellow-citizens and from their enemy, implored the consul Servilius, who was more sympathetic towards the people, to extricate the State from the perils that beset it on all sides. He dismissed the senate and went into the Assembly of the plebs. There he pointed out how anxious the senate were to consult the interests of the plebs, but their deliberations respecting what was certainly the largest part, though still only a part, of the State had been cut short by fears for the safety of the State as a whole. The enemy were almost at their gates, nothing could be allowed to take precedence of the war, but even if the attack were postponed, it would not be honourable on the part of the plebeians to refuse to take up arms for their country till they had been paid for doing so, nor would it be compatible with the self-respect of the senate to be actuated by fear rather than by good-will in devising measures for the relief of their distressed fellow-citizens. He convinced the Assembly of his sincerity by issuing an edict that none should keep a Roman citizen in chains or duress whereby he would be prevented from enrolling for military service, none should distrain or sell the goods of a soldier as long as he was in camp, or detain his children or grandchildren. On the promulgation of this edict those debtors who were present at once gave in their names for enrolment, and crowds of persons running in all quarters of the City from the houses where they were confined, as their creditors had no longer the right to detain them, gathered together in the Forum to take the military oath. These formed a considerable force, and none were more conspicuous for courage and activity in the Volscian war. The consul led his troops against the enemy and encamped a short distance from them.


2.25

The very next night the Volscians, trusting to the dissensions amongst the Romans, made an attempt on the camp, on the chance of desertions taking place, or the camp being betrayed, in the darkness. The outposts perceived them, the army was aroused, and on the alarm being sounded they rushed to arms, so the Volscian attempt was foiled; for the rest of the night both sides kept quiet. The following day, at dawn, the Volscians filled up the trenches and attacked the rampart. This was already being torn down on all sides while the consul, in spite of the shouts of the whole army-of the debtors most of all- demanding the signal for action, delayed for a few minutes, in order to test the temper of his men. When he was quite satisfied as to their ardour and determination, he gave the signal to charge and launched his soldiery, eager to engage, upon the foe. They were routed at the very first onset, the fugitives were cut down as far as the infantry could pursue them, then the cavalry drove them in confusion to their camp. They evacuated it in their panic, the legions soon came up, surrounded it, captured and plundered it. The following day the legions marched to Suessa Pometia, whither the enemy had fled, and in a few days it was captured and given up to the soldiers to pillage. This to some extent relieved the poverty of the soldiers. The consul, covered with glory, led his victorious army back to Rome. Whilst on the march he was visited by envoys from the Volscians of Ecetra, who were concerned for their own safety after the capture of Pometia. By a decree of the senate, peace was granted to them, some territory was taken from them.


2.26

Immediately afterwards a fresh alarm was created at Rome by the Sabines, but it was more a sudden raid than a regular war. News was brought during the night that a Sabine army had advanced as far as the Anio on a predatory expedition, and that the farms in that neighbourhood were being harried and burnt. A. Postumius, who had been the Dictator in the Latin war, was at once sent there with the whole of the cavalry force; the consul Servilius followed with a picked body of infantry. Most of the enemy were surrounded by the cavalry while scattered in the fields; the Sabine legion offered no resistance to the advance of the infantry. Tired out with their march and the nocturnal plundering-a large proportion of them were in the farms full of food and wine-they had hardly sufficient strength to flee. The Sabine war was announced and concluded in one night, and strong hopes were entertained that peace had now been secured everywhere. The next day, however, envoys from the Auruncans came with a demand for the evacuation of the Volscian territory, otherwise they were to proclaim war. The army of the Auruncans had begun their advance when the envoys left home, and the report of its having been seen not far from Aricia created so much excitement and confusion amongst the Romans that it was impossible either for the senate to take the matter into formal consideration, or for a favourable reply to be given to those who were commencing hostilities, since they were themselves taking up arms to repel them. They marched to Aricia; not far from there they engaged the Auruncans and in one battle finished the war.


2.27

After the defeat of the Auruncans, the Romans, who had, within a few days, fought so many successful wars, were expecting the fulfilment of the promises which the consul had made on the authority of the senate. Appius, partly from his innate love of tyranny and partly to undermine the confidence felt in his colleague, gave the harshest sentences he could when debtors were brought before him. One after another those who had before pledged their persons as security were now handed over to their creditors, and others were compelled to give such security. A soldier to whom this happened appealed to the colleague of Appius. A crowd gathered round Servilius, they reminded him of his promises, upbraided him with their services in war and the scars they had received, and demanded that he should either get an ordinance passed by the senate, or, as consul, protect his people; as commander, his soldiers. The consul sympathised with them, but under the circumstances he was compelled to temporise; the opposite policy was so recklessly insisted on not only by his colleague but by the entire party of the nobility. By taking a middle course he did not escape the odium of the plebs nor did he win the favour of the patricians. These regarded him as a weak popularity-hunting consul, the plebeians considered him false, and it soon became apparent that he was as much detested as Appius.

A dispute had arisen between the consuls as to which of them should dedicate the temple of Mercury. The senate referred the question to the people, and issued orders that the one to whom the dedication was assigned by the people should preside over the corn-market and form a guild of merchants and discharge functions in the presence of the Pontifex Maximus. The people assigned the dedication of the temple to M. Laetorius, the first centurion of the legion, a choice obviously made not so much to honour the man, by conferring upon him an office so far above his station, as to bring discredit on the consuls. One of them, at all events, was excessively angry, as were the senate, but the courage of the plebs had risen, and they went to work in a very different method from that which they had adopted at first. For as any prospect of help from the consuls or the senate was hopeless, they took matters into their own hands, and whenever they saw a debtor brought before the court, they rushed there from all sides, and by their shouts and uproar prevented the consul's sentence from being heard, and when it was pronounced no one obeyed it. They resorted to violence, and all the fear and danger to personal liberty was transferred from the debtors to the creditors, who were roughly handled before the eyes of the consul. In addition to all this there were growing apprehensions of a Sabine war. A levy was decreed, but no one gave in his name. Appius was furious; he accused his colleague of courting the favour of the people, denounced him as a traitor to the commonwealth because he refused to give sentence where debtors were brought before him, and moreover he refused to raise troops after the senate had ordered a levy. Still, he declared, the ship of State was not entirely deserted nor the consular authority thrown to the winds; he, single-handed, would vindicate his own dignity and that of the senate. Whilst the usual daily crowd were standing round him, growing ever bolder in licence, he ordered one conspicuous leader of the agitation to be arrested. As he was being dragged away by the lictors, he appealed. There was no doubt as to what judgment the people would give, and he would not have allowed the appeal had not his obstinacy been with great difficulty overcome more by the prudence and authority of the senate than by the clamour of the people, so determined was he to brave the popular odium. From that time the mischief became more serious every day, not only through open clamour but, what was far more dangerous, through secession and secret meetings. At length the consuls, detested as they were by the plebs, went out of office-Servilius equally hated by both orders, Appius in wonderful favour with the patricians.


2.28

Then A. Verginius and T. Vetusius took office. As the plebeians were doubtful as to what sort of consuls they would have, and were anxious to avoid any precipitate and ill-considered action which might result from hastily adopted resolutions in the Forum, they began to hold meetings at night, some on the Esquiline and others on the Aventine. The consuls considered this state of things to be fraught with danger, as it really was, and made a formal report to the senate. But any orderly discussion of their report was out of the question, owing to the excitement and clamour with which the senators received it, and the indignation they felt at the consuls throwing upon them the odium of measures which they ought to have carried on their own authority as consuls. "Surely," it was said, "if there were really magistrates in the State, there would have been no meetings in Rome beyond the public Assembly; now the State was broken up into a thousand senates and assemblies, since some councils were being held on the Esquiline and others on the Aventine. Why, one man like Appius Claudius, who was worth more than a consul, would have dispersed these gatherings in a moment." When the consuls, after being thus censured, asked what they wished them to do, as they were prepared to act with all the energy and determination that the senate desired, a decree was passed that the levy should be raised as speedily as possible, for the plebs was waxing wanton through idleness. After dismissing the senate, the consuls ascended the tribunal and called out the names of those liable to active service. Not a single man answered to his name. The people, standing round as though in formal assembly, declared that the plebs could no longer be imposed upon, the consuls should not get a single soldier until the promise made in the name of the State was fulfilled. Before arms were put into their hands, every man's liberty must be restored to him, that they might fight for their country and their fellow-citizens and not for tyrannical masters. The consuls were quite aware of the instructions they had received from the senate, but they were also aware that none of those who had spoken so bravely within the walls of the Senate-house were now present to share the odium which they were incurring. A desperate conflict with the plebs seemed inevitable. Before proceeding to extremities they decided to consult the senate again. Thereupon all the younger senators rushed from their seats, and crowding round the chairs of the consuls, ordered them to resign their office and lay down an authority which they had not the courage to maintain.


2.29

Having had quite enough of trying to coerce the plebs on the one hand and persuading the senate to adopt a milder course on the other, the consuls at last said: "Senators, that you may not say you have not been forewarned, we tell you that a very serious disturbance is at hand. We demand that those who are the loudest in charging us with cowardice shall support us whilst we conduct the levy. We will act as the most resolute may wish, since such is your pleasure." They returned to the tribunal and purposely ordered one of those who were in view to be called up by name. As he stood silent, and a number of men had closed round him to prevent his being seized, the consuls sent a lictor to him. The lictor was pushed away, and those senators who were with the consuls exclaimed that it was an outrageous insult and rushed down from the tribunal to assist the lictor. The hostility of the crowd was diverted from the lictor, who had simply been prevented from making the arrest, to the senators. The interposition of the consuls finally allayed the conflict. There had, however, been no stones thrown or weapons used, it had resulted in more noise and angry words than personal injury. The senate was summoned and assembled in disorder; its proceedings were still more disorderly. Those who had been roughly handled demanded an inquiry, and all the more violent members supported the demand by shouting and uproar quite as much as by their votes. When at last the excitement had subsided, the consuls censured them for showing as little calm judgment in the senate as there was in the Forum. Then the debate proceeded in order. Three different policies were advocated. P. Valerius did not think the general question ought to be raised; he thought they ought only to consider the case of those who, in reliance on the promise of the consul P. Servilius, had served in the Volscian, Auruncan, and Sabine wars. Titus Larcius considered that the time had passed for rewarding only men who had served, the whole plebs was overwhelmed with debt, the evil could not be arrested unless there was a measure for universal relief. Any attempt to differentiate between the various classes would only kindle fresh discord instead of allaying it. Appius Claudius, harsh by nature, and now maddened by the hatred of the plebs on the one hand and the praises of the senate on the other, asserted that these riotous gatherings were not the result of misery but of licence, the plebeians were actuated by wantonness more than by anger. This was the mischief which had sprung from the right of appeal, for the consuls could only threaten without the power to execute their threats as long as a criminal was allowed to appeal to his fellow-criminals. "Come," said he, "let us create a Dictator from whom there is no appeal, then this madness which is setting everything on fire will soon die down. Let me see any one strike a lictor then, when he knows that his back and even his life are in the sole power of the man whose authority he attacks."


2.30

To many the sentiments which Appius uttered seemed cruel and monstrous, as they really were. On the other hand, the proposals of Verginius and Larcius would set a dangerous precedent, that of Larcius at all events, as it would destroy all credit. The advice given by Verginius was regarded as the most moderate, being a middle course between the other two. But through the strength of his party, and the consideration of personal interests which always have injured and always will injure public policy, Appius won the day. He was very nearly being himself appointed Dictator, an appointment which would more than anything have alienated the plebs, and that too at a most critical time when the Volscians, the Aequi, and the Sabines were all in arms together. The consuls and the older patricians, however, took care that a magistracy clothed with such tremendous powers should be entrusted to a man of moderate temper. They created M. Valerius, the son of Volesus, Dictator. Though the plebeians recognised that it was against them that a Dictator had been created, still, as they held their right of appeal under a law which his brother had passed, they did not fear any harsh or tyrannical treatment from that family. Their hopes were confirmed by an edict issued by the Dictator, very similar to the one made by Servilius. That edict had been ineffective, but they thought that more confidence could be placed in the person and power of the Dictator, so, dropping all opposition, they gave in their names for enrolment. Ten legions, were formed, a larger army than had ever before been assembled. Three of them were assigned to each of the consuls, the Dictator took command of four.

The war could no longer be delayed. The Aequi had invaded the Latin territory. Envoys sent by the Latins asked the senate either to send help or allow them to arm for the purpose of defending their frontier. It was thought safer to defend the unarmed Latins than to allow them to re-arm themselves. The consul Vetusius was despatched, and that was the end of the raids. The Aequi withdrew from the plains, and trusting more to the nature of the country than to their arms, sought safety on the mountain ridges. The other consul advanced against the Volscians, and to avoid loss of time, he devastated their fields with the object of forcing them to move their camp nearer to his and so bringing on an engagement. The two armies stood facing each other, in front of their respective lines, on the level space between the camps. The Volscians had considerably the advantage in numbers, and accordingly showed their contempt for their foe by coming on in disorder. The Roman consul kept his army motionless, forbade their raising an answering shout, and ordered them to stand with their spears fixed in the ground, and when the enemy came to close quarters, to spring forward and make all possible use of their swords. The Volscians, wearied with their running and shouting, threw themselves upon the Romans as upon men benumbed with fear, but when they felt the strength of the counter-attack and saw the swords flashing before them, they retreated in confusion just as if they had been caught in an ambush, and owing to the speed at which they had come into action, they had not even strength to flee. The Romans, on the other hand, who at the beginning of the battle had remained quietly standing, were fresh and vigorous, and easily overtook the exhausted Volscians, rushed their camp, drove them out, and pursued them as far as Velitrae, victors and vanquished bursting pell-mell into the city. A greater slaughter of all ranks took place there than in the actual battle; a few who threw down their arms and surrendered received quarter.


2.31

Whilst these events were occurring amongst the Volscians, the Dictator, after entering the Sabine territory, where the most serious part of the war lay, defeated and routed the enemy and chased them out of their camp. A cavalry charge had broken the enemy's centre which, owing to the excessive lengthening of the wings, was weakened by an insufficient depth of files, and while thus disordered the infantry charged them. In the same charge the camp was captured and the war brought to a close. Since the battle at Lake Regillus no more brilliant action had been fought in those years. The Dictator rode in triumph into the City. In addition to the customary distinctions, a place was assigned in the Circus Maximus to him and to his posterity, from which to view the Games, and the sella curulis was placed there. After the subjugation of the Volscians, the territory of Velitrae was annexed and a body of Roman citizens was sent out to colonise it. Some time later, an engagement took place with the Aequi. The consul was reluctant to fight as he would have to attack on unfavourable ground, but his soldiers forced him into action. They accused him of protracting the war in order that the Dictator's term of office might expire before they returned home, in which case his promises would fall to the ground, as those of the consul had previously done. They compelled him to march his army up the mountain at all hazards; but owing to the cowardice of the enemy this unwise step resulted in success. They were so astounded at the daring of the Romans that before they came within range of their weapons they abandoned their camp, which was in a very strong position, and dashed down into the valley in the rear. So the victors gained a bloodless victory and ample spoil.

Whilst these three wars were thus brought to a successful issue, the course which domestic affairs were taking continued to be a source of anxiety to both the patricians and the plebeians. The money-lenders possessed such influence and had taken such skilful precautions that they rendered the commons and even the Dictator himself powerless. After the consul Vetusius had returned, Valerius introduced, as the very first business of the senate, the treatment of the men who had been marching to victory, and moved a resolution as to what decision they ought to come to with regard to the debtors. His motion was negatived, on which he said, "I am not acceptable as an advocate of concord. Depend upon it, you will very soon wish that the Roman plebs had champions like me. As far as I am concerned, I will no longer encourage my fellow-citizens in vain hopes nor will I be Dictator in vain. Internal dissensions and foreign wars have made this office necessary to the commonwealth; peace has now been secured abroad, at home it is made impossible. I would rather be involved in the revolution as a private citizen than as Dictator." So saying, he left the House and resigned his dictatorship. The reason was quite clear to the plebs; he had resigned office because he was indignant at the way they were treated. The non-fulfilment of his pledge was not due to him, they considered that he had practically kept his word, and on his way home they followed him with approving cheers.


2.32

The senate now began to feel apprehensive lest on the disbandment of the army there should be a recurrence of the secret conclaves and conspiracies. Although the Dictator had actually conducted the enrolment, the soldiers had sworn obedience to the consuls. Regarding them as still bound by their oath, the senate ordered the legions to be marched out of the City on the pretext that war had been recommenced by the Aequi. This step brought the revolution to a head. It is said that the first idea was to put the consuls to death that the men might be discharged from their oath; then, on learning that no religious obligation could be dissolved by a crime, they decided, at the instigation of a certain Sicinius, to ignore the consuls and withdraw to the Sacred Mount, which lay on the other side of the Anio, three miles from the City. This is a more generally accepted tradition than the one adopted by Piso that the secession was made to the Aventine. There, without any commander in a regularly entrenched camp, taking nothing with them but the necessaries of life, they quietly maintained themselves for some days, neither receiving nor giving any provocation. A great panic seized the City, mutual distrust led to a state of universal suspense. Those plebeians who had been left by their comrades in the City feared violence from the patricians; the patricians feared the plebeians who still remained in the City, and could not make up their minds whether they would rather have them go or stay. "How long," it was asked, "would the multitude who had seceded remain quiet? What would happen if a foreign war broke out in the meantime?" They felt that all their hopes rested on concord amongst the citizens, and that this must be restored at any cost.

The senate decided, therefore, to send as their spokesman Menenius Agrippa, an eloquent man, and acceptable to the plebs as being himself of plebeian origin. He was admitted into the camp, and it is reported that he simply told them the following fable in primitive and uncouth fashion. "In the days when all the parts of the human body were not as now agreeing together, but each member took its own course and spoke its own speech, the other members, indignant at seeing that everything acquired by their care and labour and ministry went to the belly, whilst it, undisturbed in the middle of them all, did nothing but enjoy the pleasures provided for it, entered into a conspiracy; the hands were not to bring food to the mouth, the mouth was not to accept it when offered, the teeth were not to masticate it. Whilst, in their resentment, they were anxious to coerce the belly by starving it, the members themselves wasted away, and the whole body was reduced to the last stage of exhaustion. Then it became evident that the belly rendered no idle service, and the nourishment it received was no greater than that which it bestowed by returning to all parts of the body this blood by which we live and are strong, equally distributed into the veins, after being matured by the digestion of the food." By using this comparison, and showing how the internal disaffection amongst the parts of the body resembled the animosity of the plebeians against the patricians, he succeeded in winning over his audience.


2.33

Negotiations were then entered upon for a reconciliation. An agreement was arrived at, the terms being that the plebs should have its own magistrates, whose persons were to be inviolable, and who should have the right of affording protection against the consuls. And further, no patrician should be allowed to hold that office. Two "tribunes of the plebs" were elected, C. Licinius and L. Albinus. These chose three colleagues. It is generally agreed that Sicinius, the instigator of the secession, was amongst them, but who the other two were is not settled. Some say that only two tribunes were created on the Sacred Hill and that it was there that the lex sacrata was passed. During the secession of the plebs Sp. Cassius and Postumius Cominius entered on their consulship. In their year of office a treaty was concluded with the Latin towns, and one of the consuls remained in Rome for the purpose. The other was sent to the Volscian war. He routed a force of Volscians from Antium, and pursued them to Longula, which he gained possession of. Then he advanced to Polusca, also belonging to the Volscians, which he captured, after which he attacked Corioli in great force.

Amongst the most distinguished of the young soldiers in the camp at that time was Cnaeus Marcius, a young man prompt in counsel and action, who afterwards received the epithet of Coriolanus. During the progress of the siege, while the Roman army was devoting its whole attention to the townspeople whom it had shut up within their walls, and not in the least apprehending any danger from hostile movements without, it was suddenly attacked by Volscian legions who had marched from Antium. At the same moment a sortie was made from the town. Marcius happened to be on guard, and with a picked body of men not only repelled the sortie but made a bold dash through the open gate, and after cutting down many in the part of the city nearest to him, seized some fire and hurled it on the buildings which abutted on the walls. The shouts of the townsmen mingled with the shrieks of the terrified women and children encouraged the Romans and dismayed the Volscians, who thought that the city which they had come to assist was already captured. So the troops from Antium were routed and Corioli taken. The renown which Marcius won so completely eclipsed that of the consul, that, had not the treaty with the Latins-which owing to his colleague's absence had been concluded by Sp. Cassius alone-been inscribed on a brazen column, and so permanently recorded, all memory of Postumius Cominius having carried on a war with the Volscians would have perished. In the same year Agrippa Menenius died, a man who all through his life was equally beloved by the patricians and the plebeians, and made himself still more endeared to the plebeians after their secession. Yet he, the negotiator and arbitrator of the reconciliation, who acted as the ambassador of the patricians to the plebs, and brought them back to the City, did not possess money enough to defray the cost of his funeral. He was interred by the plebeians, each man contributing a sextans towards the expense.


2.34

The new consuls were T. Geganius and P. Minucius. In this year, whilst all abroad was undisturbed by war and the civic dissensions at home were healed, the commonwealth was attacked by another much more serious evil: first, dearness of food, owing to the fields remaining uncultivated during the secession, and following on this a famine such as visits a besieged city. It would have led to the perishing of the slaves in any case, and probably the plebeians would have died, had not the consuls provided for the emergency by sending men in various directions to buy corn. They penetrated not only along the coast to the right of Ostia into Etruria, but also along the sea to the left past the Volscian country as far as Cumae. Their search extended even as far as Sicily; to such an extent did the hostility of their neighbours compel them to seek distant help. When corn had been bought at Cumae, the ships were detained by the tyrant Aristodemus, in lieu of the property of Tarquin, to whom he was heir. Amongst the Volscians and in the Pomptine district it was even impossible to purchase corn, the corn merchants were in danger of being attacked by the population. Some corn came from Etruria up the Tiber; this served for the support of the plebeians. They would have been harassed by a war, doubly unwelcome when provisions were so scarce, if the Volscians, who were already on the march, had not been attacked by a frightful pestilence. This disaster cowed the enemy so effectually that even when it had abated its violence they remained to some extent in a state of terror; the Romans increased the number of colonists at Velitrae and sent a new colony to Norba, up in the mountains, to serve as a stronghold in the Pomptine district.

During the consulship of M. Minucius and A. Sempronius, a large quantity of corn was brought from Sicily, and the question was discussed in the senate at what price it should be given to the plebs. Many were of opinion that the moment had come for putting pressure on the plebeians, and recovering the rights which had been wrested from the senate through the secession and the violence which accompanied it. Foremost among these was Marcius Coriolanus, a determined foe to the tribunitian power. "If," he argued, "they want their corn at the old price, let them restore to the senate its old powers. Why, then, do I, after being sent under the yoke, ransomed as it were from brigands, see plebeian magistrates, why do I see a Sicinius in power? Am I to endure these indignities a moment longer than I can help? Am I, who could not put up with a Tarquin as king, to put up with a Sicinius? Let him secede now! let him call out his plebeians, the way lies open to the Sacred Hill and to other hills. Let them carry off the corn from our fields as they did two years ago; let them enjoy the scarcity which in their madness they have produced! I will venture to say that after they have been tamed by these sufferings, they will rather work as labourers themselves in the fields than prevent their being cultivated by an armed secession." It is not so easy to say whether they ought to have done this as it is to express one's belief that it could have been done, and the senators might have made it a condition of lowering the price of the corn that they should abrogate the tribunitian power and all the legal restrictions imposed upon them against their will.


2.35

The senate considered these sentiments too bitter, the plebeians in their exasperation almost flew to arms. Famine, they said, was being used as a weapon against them, as though they were enemies; they were being cheated out of food and sustenance; the foreign corn, which fortune had unexpectedly given them as their sole means of support, was to be snatched from their mouths unless their tribunes were given up in chains to Cn. Marcius, unless he could work his will on the backs of the Roman plebeians. In him a new executioner had sprung up, who ordered them either to die or live as slaves. He would have been attacked on leaving the Senate-house had not the tribunes most opportunely fixed a day for his impeachment. This allayed the excitement, every man saw himself a judge with the power of life and death over his enemy. At first Marcius treated the threats of the tribunes with contempt; they had the right of protecting not of punishing, they were the tribunes of the plebs not of the patricians. But the anger of the plebeians was so thoroughly roused that the patricians could only save themselves by the punishment of one of their order. They resisted, however, in spite of the odium: they incurred, and exercised all the powers they possessed both collectively and individually. At first they attempted to thwart proceedings by posting pickets of their clients to deter individuals from frequenting meetings and conclaves. Then they proceeded in a body-you might suppose that every patrician was impeached-and implored the plebeians, if they refused to acquit a man who was innocent, at least to give up to them, as guilty, one citizen, one senator. As he did not put in an appearance on the day of trial, their resentment remained unabated, and he was condemned in his absence. He went into exile amongst the Volscians, uttering threats against his country, and even then entertaining hostile designs against it. The Volscians welcomed his arrival, and he became more popular as his resentment against his countrymen became more bitter, and his complaints and threats were more frequently heard. He enjoyed the hospitality of Attius Tullius, who was by far the most important man at that time amongst the Volscians and a life-long enemy of the Romans. Impelled each by similar motives, the one by old-standing hatred, the other by newly-provoked resentment, they formed joint plans for war with Rome. They were under the impression that the people could not easily be induced, after so many defeats, to take up arms again, and that after their losses in their numerous wars and recently through the pestilence, their spirits were broken. The hostility had now had time to die down; it was necessary, therefore, to adopt some artifice by which fresh irritation might be produced.


2.36

It so happened that preparations were being made for a repetition of the "Great Games." The reason for their repetition was that early in the morning, prior to the commencement of the Games, a householder after flogging his slave had driven him through the middle of the Circus Maximus. Then the Games commenced, as though the incident had no religious significance. Not long afterwards, Titus Latinius, a member of the plebs, had a dream. Jupiter appeared to him and said that the dancer who commenced the Games was displeasing to him, adding that unless those Games were repeated with due magnificence, disaster would overtake the City, and he was to go and report this to the consuls. Though he was by no means free from religious scruples, still his fears gave way before his awe of the magistrates, lest he should become an object of public ridicule. This hesitation cost him dear, for within a few days he lost his son. That he might have no doubt as to the cause of this sudden calamity, the same form again appeared to the distressed father in his sleep, and demanded of him whether he had been sufficiently repaid for his neglect of the divine will, for a more terrible recompense was impending if he did not speedily go and inform the consuls. Though the matter was becoming more urgent, he still delayed, and while thus procrastinating he was attacked by a serious illness in the form of sudden paralysis. Now the divine wrath thoroughly alarmed him, and wearied out by his past misfortune and the one from which he was suffering he called his relations together and explained what he had seen and heard, the repeated appearance of Jupiter in his sleep, the threatening wrath of heaven brought home to him by his calamities. On the strong advice of all present he was carried in a litter to the consuls in the Forum, and from there by the consuls' order into the Senate-house. After repeating the same story to the senators, to the intense surprise of all, another marvel occurred. The tradition runs that he who had been carried into the Senate-house paralysed in every limb, returned home, after performing his duty, on his own feet.


2.37

The senate decreed that the Games should be celebrated on the most splendid scale. At the suggestion of Attius Tullius, a large number of Volscians came to them. In accordance with a previous arrangement with Marcius, Tullius came to the consuls, before the proceedings commenced, and said that there were certain matters touching the State which he wished to discuss privately with them. When all the bystanders had been removed, he began: "It is with great reluctance that I say anything to the disparagement of my people. I do not come, however, to charge them with having actually committed any offence, but to take precautions against their committing one. The character of our citizens is more fickle than I should wish; we have experienced this in many defeats, for we owe our present security not to our own deserts but to your forbearance. Here at this moment are a great multitude of Volscians, the Games are going on, the whole City will be intent on the spectacle. I remember what an outrage was committed by the young Sabines on a similar occasion, I shudder lest any ill-advised and reckless incident should occur. For our sakes, and yours, consuls, I thought it right to give you this warning. As far as I am concerned, it is my intention to start at once for home, lest, if I stay, I should be involved in some mischief either of speech or act." With these words he departed. These vague hints, uttered apparently on good authority, were laid by the consuls before the senate. As generally happens, the authority rather than the facts of the case induced them to take even excessive precautions. A decree was passed that the Volscians should leave the City, criers were sent round ordering them all to depart before nightfall. Their first feeling was one of panic as they ran off to their respective lodgings to take away their effects, but when they had started a feeling of indignation arose at their being driven away from the Games, from a festival which was in a manner a meeting of gods and men, as though they were under the curse of heaven and unfit for human society.


2.38

As they were going along in an almost continuous stream, Tullius, who had gone on in advance, waited for them at the Ferentine Fountain. Accosting their chief men as they came up in tones of complaint and indignation, he led them, eagerly listening to words which accorded with their own angry feelings, and through them the multitude, down to the plain which stretched below the road. There he began a speech: "Even though you should forget the wrongs that Rome has inflicted and the defeats which the Volscian nation has suffered, though you should forget everything else, with what temper, I should like to know, do you brook this insult of yesterday, when they commenced their Games by treating us with ignominy? Have you not felt that they have won a triumph over you to-day, that as you departed you were a spectacle to the townsfolk, to the strangers, to all those neighbouring populations; that your wives, your children, were paraded as a gazing-stock before men's eyes? What do you suppose were the thoughts of those who heard the voice of the criers, those who watched us depart, those who met this ignominious cavalcade? What could they have thought but that there was some awful guilt cleaving to us, so that if we had been present at the Games we should have profaned them and made an expiation necessary, and that this was the reason why we were driven away from the abodes of these good and religious people and from all intercourse and association with them? Does it not occur to you that we owe our lives to the haste with which we departed, if we may call it a departure and not a flight? And do you count this City as anything else than the City of your enemies, where, had you lingered a single day, you would all have been put to death? War has been declared against you-to the great misery of those who have declared it, if you are really men." So they dispersed to their homes, with their feelings of resentment embittered by this harangue. They so worked upon the feelings of their fellow-countrymen, each in his own city, that the whole Volscian nation revolted.


2.39

By the unanimous vote of the states, the conduct of the war was entrusted to Attius Tullius and Cn. Marcius, the Roman exile, on whom their hopes chiefly rested. He fully justified their expectations, so that it became quite evident that the strength of Rome lay in her generals rather than in her army. He first marched against Cerceii, expelled the Roman colony and handed it over to the Volscians as a free city. Then he took Satricum, Longula, Polusca, and Corioli, towns which the Romans had recently acquired. Marching across country into the Latin road, he recovered Lavinium, and then, in succession, Corbio, Vetellia, Trebium Labici, and Pedum. Finally, he advanced from Pedum against the City. He entrenched his camp at the Cluilian Dykes, about five miles distant, and from there he ravaged the Roman territory. The raiding parties were accompanied by men whose business it was to see that the lands of the patricians were not touched; a measure due either to his rage being especially directed against the plebeians, or to his hope that dissensions might arise between them and the patricians. These certainly would have arisen- to such a pitch were the tribunes exciting the plebs by their attacks on the chief men of the State-had not the fear of the enemy outside-the strongest bond of union-brought men together in spite of their mutual suspicions and aversion. On one point they disagreed; the senate and the consuls placed their hopes solely in arms, the plebeians preferred anything to war. Sp. Nautius and Sex. Furius were now consuls. Whilst they were reviewing the legions and manning the walls and stationing troops m various places, an enormous crowd gathered together. At first they alarmed the consuls by seditious shouts, and at last they compelled them to convene the senate and submit a motion for sending ambassadors to Cn. Marcius. As the courage of the plebeians was evidently giving way, the senate accepted the motion, and a deputation was sent to Marcius with proposals for peace. They brought back the stern reply: If the territory were restored to the Volscians, the question of peace could be discussed; but if they wished to enjoy the spoils of war at their ease, he had not forgotten the wrongs inflicted by his countrymen nor the kindness shown by those who were now his hosts, and would strive to make it clear that his spirit had been roused, not broken, by his exile. The same envoys were sent on a second mission, but were not admitted into the camp. According to the tradition, the priests also in their robes went as suppliants to the enemies' camp, but they had no more influence with him than the previous deputation.


2.40

Then the matrons went in a body to Veturia, the mother of Coriolanus, and Volumnia his wife. Whether this was in consequence of a decree of the senate, or simply the prompting of womanly fear, I am unable to ascertain, but at all events they succeeded in inducing the aged Veturia to go with Volumnia and her two little sons to the enemies' camp. As men were powerless to protect the City by their arms, the women sought to do so by their tears and prayers. On their arrival at the camp a message was sent to Coriolanus that a large body of women were present. He had remained unmoved by the majesty of the State in the persons of its ambassadors, and by the appeal made to his eyes and mind in the persons of its priests; he was still more obdurate to the tears of the women. Then one of his friends, who had recognised Veturia, standing between her daughter-in-law and her grandsons, and conspicuous amongst them all in the greatness of her grief, said to him, "Unless my eyes deceive me, your mother and wife and children are here." Coriolanus, almost like one demented, sprung from his seat to embrace his mother. She, changing her tone from entreaty to anger, said, "Before I admit your embrace suffer me to know whether it is to an enemy or a son that I have come, whether it is as your prisoner or as your mother that I am in your camp. Has a long life and an unhappy old age brought me to this, that I have to see you an exile and from that an enemy? Had you the heart to ravage this land, which has borne and nourished you? However hostile and menacing the spirit in which you came, did not your anger subside as you entered its borders? Did you not say to yourself when your eye rested on Rome, 'Within those walls are my home, my household gods, my mother, my wife, my children?' Must it then be that, had I remained childless, no attack would have been made on Rome; had I never had a son, I should have ended my days a free woman in a free country? But there is nothing which I can suffer now that will not bring more disgrace to you than wretchedness to me; whatever unhappiness awaits me it will not be for long. Look to these, whom, if you persist in your present course, an untimely death awaits, or a long life of bondage." When she ceased, his wife and children embraced him, and all the women wept and bewailed their own and their country's fate. At last his resolution gave way. He embraced his family and dismissed them, and moved his camp away from the City. After withdrawing his legions from the Roman territory, he is said to have fallen a victim to the resentment which his action aroused, but as to the time and circumstances of his death the traditions vary. I find in Fabius, who is by far the oldest authority, that he lived to be an old man; he relates a saying of his, which he often uttered in his later years, that it is not till a man is old that he feels the full misery of exile. The Roman husbands did not grudge their wives the glory they had won, so completely were their lives free from the spirit of detraction and envy. A temple was built and dedicated to Fortuna Muliebris, to serve as a memorial of their deed. Subsequently the combined forces of the Volscians and Aequi re-entered the Roman territory. The Aequi, however, refused any longer to accept the generalship of Attius Tullius, a quarrel arose as to which nation should furnish the commander of the combined army, and this resulted in a bloody battle. Here the good fortune of Rome destroyed the two armies of her enemies in a conflict no less ruinous than obstinate. The new consuls were T. Sicinius and C. Aquilius. To Sicinius was assigned the campaign against the Volscians, to Aquilius that against the Hernici, for they also were in arms. In that year the Hernici were subjugated, the campaign against the Volscians ended indecisively.


2.41

For the next year Sp. Cassius and Proculus Verginius were elected consuls. A treaty was concluded with the Hernici, two-thirds of their territory was taken from them. Of this Cassius intended to give half to the Latins and half to the Roman plebs. He contemplated adding to this a quantity of land which, he alleged, though State land, was occupied by private individuals. This alarmed many of the patricians, the actual occupiers, as endangering, the security of their property. On public grounds, too, they felt anxious, as they considered that by this largess the consul was building up a power dangerous to liberty. Then for the first time an Agrarian Law was proposed, and never, from that day to the times within our own memory, has one been mooted without the most tremendous commotions. The other consul resisted the proposed grant. In this he was supported by the senate, whilst the plebs was far from unanimous in its favour. They were beginning to look askance at a boon so cheap as to be shared between citizens and allies, and they often heard the consul Verginius in his public speeches predicting that his colleague's gift was fraught with mischief, the land in question would bring slavery on those who took it, the way was being prepared for a throne. Why were the allies, he asked, and the Latin league included? What necessity was there for a third part of the territory of the Hernici, so lately our foes, being restored to them, unless it was that these nations might have Cassius as their leader in place of Coriolanus?' The opponent of the Agrarian Law began to be popular. Then both consuls tried who could go furthest in humouring the plebs. Verginius said that he would consent to the assignment of the lands provided they were assigned to none but: Roman citizens. Cassius had courted popularity amongst the allies by including them in the distribution and had thereby sunk in the estimation of his fellow-citizens. To recover their favour he gave orders for the money which had been received for the corn from Sicily to be refunded to the people. This offer the plebeians treated with scorn as nothing else than the price of a throne. Owing to their innate suspicion that he was aiming at monarchy, his gifts were rejected as completely as if they had abundance of everything. It is generally asserted that immediately upon his vacating office he was condemned and put to death. Some assert that his own father was the author of his punishment, that he tried him privately at home, and after scourging him put him to death and devoted his private property to Ceres. From the proceeds a statue of her was made with an inscription, "Given from the Cassian family." I find in some authors a much more probable account, viz., that he was arraigned by the quaestors Caeso Fabius and L. Valerius before the people and convicted of treason, and his house ordered to be demolished. It stood on the open space in front of the temple of Tellus. In any case, whether the trial was a public or a private one, his condemnation took place in the consulship of Servius Cornelius and Q. Fabius.


2.42

The popular anger against Cassius did not last long. The attractiveness of the Agrarian Law, though its author was removed, was in itself sufficient to make the plebeians desire it, and their eagerness for it was intensified by the unscrupulousness of the senate, who cheated the soldiers out of their share of the spoil which they had won that year from the Volscians and Aequi. Everything taken from the enemy was sold by the consul Fabius and the amount realised paid into the treasury. In spite of the hatred which this produced in the plebs against the whole Fabian house, the patricians succeeded in getting Caeso Fabius elected with L. Aemilius as consuls for the next year. This still further embittered the plebeians, and domestic disturbances brought on a foreign war. For the time civic quarrels were suspended, patricians and plebeians were of one mind in resisting the Aequi and Volscians, and a victorious action was fought under Aemilius. The enemy lost more in the retreat than in the battle, so hotly did the cavalry pursue their routed foe. In the same year the temple of Castor was dedicated on the 15th of July. It had been vowed by the Dictator Postumius in the Latin war; his son was appointed "duumvir" for its dedication. In this year, too, the minds of the plebeians were much exercised by the attractions which the Agrarian Law held out for them, and the tribunes made their office more popular by constantly dwelling on this popular measure. The patricians, believing that there was enough and more than enough madness in the multitude as it was, viewed with horror these bribes and incentives to recklessness. The consuls led the way in offering a most determined resistance, and the senate won the day. Nor was the victory only a momentary one, for they elected as consuls for the following year M. Fabius, the brother of Caeso, and L. Valerius, who was an object of special hatred on the part of the plebs through his prosecution of Sp. Cassius. The contest with the tribunes went on through the year; the Law remained a dead letter, and the tribunes, with their fruitless promises, turned out to be idle boasters. The Fabian house gained an immense reputation through the three successive consulships of its members, all of whom had been uniformly successful in their resistance to the tribunes. The office remained like a safe investment, for some time in the family. War now began with Veii, and the Volscians rose again. The people possessed more than sufficient strength for their foreign wars, but they wasted it in domestic strife. The universal anxiety was aggravated by supernatural portents, menacing almost daily City and country alike. The soothsayers, who were consulted by the State and by private persons, declared that the divine wrath was due to nothing else but the profanation of sacred functions. These alarms resulted in the punishment of Oppia, a Vestal virgin who was convicted of unchastity.


2.43

The next consuls were Q. Fabius and C. Julius. During this year the civic dissensions were as lively as ever, and the war assumed a more serious form. The Aequi took up arms, and the Veientines made depredations on Roman territory. Amidst the growing anxiety about these wars Caeso Fabius and Sp. Furius were made consuls. The Aequi were attacking Ortona, a Latin city; the Veientines, laden with plunder, were now threatening to attack Rome itself. This alarming condition of affairs ought to have restrained, whereas it actually increased, the hostility of the plebs, and they resumed the old method of refusing military service. This was not spontaneous on their part; Sp. Licinius, one of their tribunes, thinking that it was a good time for forcing the Agrarian Law upon the senate through sheer necessity, had taken upon him the obstruction of the levy. All the odium, however, aroused by this misuse of the tribunitian power recoiled upon the author, his own colleagues were as much opposed to him as the consuls; through their assistance the consuls completed the enrolment. An army was raised for two wars at the same time, one against the Veientines under Fabius, the other against the Aequi under Furius. In this latter campaign nothing happened worth recording. Fabius, however, had considerably more trouble with his own men than with the enemy. He, the consul, single-handed, sustained the commonwealth, while his army through their hatred of the consul were doing their best to betray it. For, besides all the other instances of his skill as a commander, which he had so abundantly furnished in his preparation for the war and his conduct of it, he had so disposed his troops that he routed the enemy by sending only his cavalry against them. The infantry refused to take up the pursuit; not only were they deaf to the appeals of their hated general, but even the public disgrace and infamy which they were bringing upon themselves at the moment, and the danger which would come if the enemy were to rally were powerless to make them quicken their pace, or, failing that, even to keep their formation. Against orders they retired, and with gloomy looks-you would suppose that they had been defeated-they returned to camp, cursing now their commander, now the work which the cavalry had done. Against this example of demoralisation the general was unable to devise any remedy; to such an extent may men of commanding ability be more deficient in the art of managing their own people than in that of conquering the enemy. The consul returned to Rome, but he had not enhanced his military reputation so much as he had aggravated and embittered the hatred of his soldiers towards him. The senate, however, succeeded in keeping the consulship in the family of the Fabii; they made M. Fabius consul, Gnaeus Manlius was elected as his colleague.


2.44

This year also found a tribune advocating the Agrarian Law. It was Tiberius Pontificius. He adopted the same course as Sp. Licinius and for a short time stopped the enrolment. The senate were again perturbed, but Appius Claudius told them that the power of the tribunes had been overcome in the previous year, it was actually so at the present moment, and the precedent thus set would govern the future, since it had been discovered that its very strength was breaking it down. For there would never be wanting a tribune who would be glad to triumph over his colleague and secure the favour of the better party for the good of the State. If more were needed, more were ready to come to the assistance of the consuls, even one was sufficient, against the rest. The consuls and leaders of the senate had only to take the trouble to secure, if not all, at least some of the tribunes on the side of the commonwealth and the senate. The senators followed this advice, and whilst, as a body, they treated the tribunes with courtesy and kindness, the men of consular rank, in each private suit which they instituted, succeeded, partly by personal influence, partly by the authority their rank gave them. in getting the tribunes to exert their power for the welfare of the State. Four of the tribunes were opposed to the one who was a hindrance to the public good; by their aid the consuls raised the levy.

Then they set out for the campaign against Veii. Succours had reached this city from all parts of Etruria, not so much out of regard for the Veientines as because hopes were entertained of the possible dissolution of the Roman State through intestine discord. In the public assemblies throughout the cities of Etruria the chiefs were loudly proclaiming that the Roman power would be eternal unless its citizens fell into the madness of mutual strife. This, they said, had proved to be the one poison, the one bane in powerful states which made great empires mortal. That mischief had been for a long time checked, partly by the wise policy of the senate, partly by the forbearance of the plebs, but now things had reached extremities. The one State had been severed into two, each with its own magistrates and its own laws. At first the enrolments were the cause of the quarrel, but when actually on service the men obeyed their generals. As long as military discipline was maintained the evil could be arrested, whatever the state of affairs in the City, but now the fashion of disobedience to the magistrates was following the Roman soldier even into the camp. During the last war, in the battle itself, at the crisis of the engagement, the victory was by the common action of the whole army transferred to the vanquished Aequi, the standards were abandoned, the commander left alone on the field, the troops returned against orders into camp. In fact, if matters were pressed, Rome could be vanquished through her own soldiers, nothing else was needful than a declaration of war, a show of military activity, the Fates and the gods would do the rest.


2.45

Anticipations like these had given the Etruscans fresh energy after their many vicissitudes of defeat and victory. The Roman consuls, too, dreaded nothing but their own strength and their own arms. The recollection of the fatal precedent set in the last war deterred them from any action whereby they would have to fear a simultaneous attack from two armies. They confined themselves to their camp, and in face of the double danger avoided an engagement, hoping that time and circumstances might perhaps calm the angry passions and bring about a more healthy state of mind. The Veientines and Etruscans were all the more energetic in forcing an engagement; they rode up to the camp and challenged the Romans to fight. At last, as they produced no effect by the taunts and insults levelled at the army and consuls alike, they declared that the consuls were using the pretext of internal dissensions to veil the cowardice of their men, they distrusted their courage more than they doubted their loyalty. Silence and inactivity amongst men in arms was a novel kind of sedition. They also made reflections, true as well as false, on the upstart quality of their nationality and descent. They shouted all this out close up to the ramparts and gates of the camp. The consuls took it with composure, but the simple soldiery were filled with indignation and shame, and their thoughts were diverted from their domestic troubles. They were unwilling that the enemy should go on with impunity, they were equally unwilling that the patricians and the consuls should win the day, hatred against the enemy and hatred against their fellow-countrymen struggled in their minds for the mastery. At length the former prevailed, so contemptuous and insolent did the mockery of the enemy become. They gathered in crowds round the generals' quarters, they insisted upon fighting, they demanded the signal for action. The consuls put their heads together as though deliberating, and remained for some time in conference. They were anxious to fight, but their anxiety had to be repressed and concealed in order that the eagerness of the soldiers, once roused, might be intensified by opposition and delay. They replied that matters were not ripe, the time for battle had not come, they must remain within their camp. They then issued an order that there must be no fighting, any one fighting against orders would be treated as an enemy. The soldiers, dismissed with this reply, became the more eager for battle the less they thought the consuls wished for it. The enemy became much more exasperating when it was known that the consuls had determined not to fight, they imagined that they could now insult with impunity, that the soldiers were not entrusted with arms, matters would reach the stage of mutiny, and the dominion of Rome had come to an end. In this confidence they ran up to the gates, flung opprobrious epithets and hardly stopped short of storming the camp. Naturally the Romans could brook these insults no longer, they ran from all parts of the camp to the consuls, they did not now prefer their demand quietly through the first centurions as before, they shouted them in all directions. Matters were ripe, still the consuls hung back. At last Cn. Manlius, fearing lest the increasing disturbance might lead to open mutiny, gave way, and Fabius, after ordering the trumpets to command silence, addressed his colleague thus: "I know, Cn. Manlius, that these men can conquer; it is their own fault that I did not know whether they wished to do so. It has, therefore, been resolved and determined not to give the signal for battle unless they swear that they will come out of this battle victorious. A Roman consul was once deceived by his soldiers, they cannot deceive the gods." Amongst the centurions of the first rank who had demanded to be led to battle was M. Flavoleius. "M. Fabius," he said, "I will come back from the battle victorious." He invoked the wrath of Father Jupiter and Mars Gradivus and other deities if he broke his oath. The whole army took the oath, man by man, after him. When they had sworn, the signal was given, they seized their weapons, and went into action, furious with rage and confident of victory. They told the Etruscans to continue their insults, and begged the enemy so ready with the tongue to stand up to them now they were armed. All, patricians and plebeians alike, showed conspicuous courage on that day, the Fabian house especially covered itself with glory. They determined in that battle to win back the affection of the plebs, which had been alienated through many political contests.


2.46

The battle-line was formed; neither the Veientines nor the legions of Etruria declined the contest. They were almost certain that the Romans would no more fight with them than they fought with the Aequi, and they did not despair of something still more serious happening, considering the state of irritation they were in and the double opportunity which now presented itself. Things took a very different course, for in no previous war had the Romans gone into action with more grim determination, so exasperated were they by the insults of the enemy and the procrastination of the consuls. The Etruscans had scarcely time to form their ranks when, after the javelins had in the first confusion been flung at random rather than thrown regularly, the combatants came to a hand-to-hand encounter with swords, the most desperate kind of fighting. Amongst the foremost were the Fabii, who set a splendid example for their countrymen to behold. Quintus Fabius-the one who had been consul two years previously-charged, regardless of danger, the massed Veientines, and whilst he was engaged with vast numbers of the enemy, a Tuscan of vast strength and splendidly armed plunged his sword into his breast, and as he drew it out Fabius fell forward on the wound. Both armies felt the fall of this one man, and the Romans were beginning to give ground, when M. Fabius, the consul, sprang over the body as it lay, and holding up his buckler, shouted, "Is this what you swore, soldiers, that you would go back to camp as fugitives? Are you more afraid of this cowardly foe than of Jupiter and Mars, by whom you swore? I, who did not swear, will either go back victorious, or will fall fighting by you, Quintus Fabius." Then Caeso Fabius, the consul of the previous year, said to the consul, "Is it by words like these, my brother, that you think you will make them fight? The gods, by whom they swore, will do that; our duty as chiefs, if we are to be worthy of the Fabian name, is to kindle our soldiers' courage by fighting rather than haranguing." So the two Fabii dashed forward with levelled spears, and carried the whole line with them.


2.47

Whilst the battle was restored in one direction, the consul Cn. Manlius was showing no less energy on the other wing, where the fortunes of the day took a similar turn. For, like Q. Fabius on the other wing, the consul Manlius was here driving the enemy before him and his soldiers were following up with great vigour, when he was seriously wounded and retired from the front. Thinking that he was killed, they fell back, and would have abandoned their ground had not the other consul ridden up at full gallop with some troops of cavalry, and, crying out that his colleague was alive and that he had himself routed the other wing of the enemy, succeeded in checking the retreat. Manlius also showed himself amongst them, to rally his men. The well-known voices of the two consuls gave the soldiers fresh courage. At the same time the enemies' line was now weakened, for, trusting to their superiority in numbers, they had detached their reserves and sent them to storm the camp. These met with but slight resistance, and whilst they were wasting time by thinking more about plundering than about fighting, the Roman triarii, who had been unable to withstand the first assault, despatched messengers to the consul to tell him the position of affairs, and then, retiring in close order to the headquarters tent, renewed the fighting without waiting for orders. The consul Manlius had ridden back to the camp and posted troops at all the gates to block the enemies' escape. The desperate situation roused the Tuscans to madness rather than courage; they rushed in every direction where there seemed any hope of escape, and for some time their efforts were fruitless.

At last a compact body of young soldiers made an attack on the consul himself, conspicuous from his arms. The first weapons were intercepted by those who stood round him, but the violence of the onset could not long be withstood. The consul fell mortally wounded and all around him were scattered. The Tuscans were encouraged, the Romans fled in panic through the length of the camp, and matters would have come to extremities had not the members of the consul's staff hurriedly taken up his body and opened a way for the enemy through one gate. They burst through it, and in a confused mass fell in with the other consul who had won the battle; here they were again cut to pieces and scattered in all directions. A glorious victory was won, though saddened by the death of two illustrious men. The senate decreed a triumph, but the consul replied that if the army could celebrate a triumph without its commander, he would gladly allow them to do so in return for their splendid service in the war. But as his family were in mourning for his brother, Quintus Fabius, and the State had suffered partial bereavement through the loss of one of its consuls, he could not accept laurels for himself which were blighted by public and private grief. The triumph he declined was more brilliant than any actually celebrated, so much does glory laid by for the moment return sometimes with added splendour. Afterwards he conducted the obsequies of his colleague and his brother, and pronounced the funeral oration over each. The greatest share of the praise which he conceded to them rested upon himself. He had not lost sight of the object which he set before him at the beginning of his consulship, the conciliation of the plebs. To further this, he distributed amongst the patricians the care of the wounded. The Fabii took charge of a large number, and nowhere was greater care showed them. From this time they began to be popular; their popularity was won by no methods which were inconsistent with the welfare of the State.


2.48

Consequently the election of Caeso Fabius as consul, together with Titus Verginius, was welcomed by the plebs as much as by the patricians. Now that there was a favourable prospect of concord, he subordinated all military projects to the task of bringing the patricians and the plebs into union at the earliest possible moment. At the beginning of his year of office he proposed that before any tribune came forward to advocate the Agrarian Law, the senate should anticipate him by themselves undertaking what was their own work and distributing the territory taken in war to the plebeians as fairly as possible. It was only right that those should have it by whose sweat and blood it had been won. The patricians treated the proposal with scorn, some even complained that the once energetic mind of Caeso was becoming wanton and enfeebled through the excess of glory which he had won. There were no party struggles in the City. The Latins were being harassed by the inroads of the Aequi. Caeso was despatched thither with an army, and crossed over into the territory of the Aequi to ravage it. The Aequi withdrew into their towns and remained behind their walls. No battle of any importance took place. But the rashness of the other consul incurred a defeat at the hands of the Veientines, and it was only the arrival of Caeso Fabius with reinforcements that saved the army from destruction. From that time there was neither peace nor war with the Veientines, whose methods closely resembled those of brigands. They retired before the Roman legions into their city; then when they found that they were withdrawn they made inroads on the fields, evading war by keeping quiet, and then making quiet impossible by war. So the business could neither be dropped nor completed. Wars were threatening in other quarters also; some seemed imminent as in the case of the Aequi and Volscians, who were only keeping quiet till the effect of their recent defeat should pass away, whilst it was evident that the Sabines, perpetual enemies of Rome, and the whole of Etruria would soon be in motion. But the Veientines, a persistent rather than a formidable foe, created more irritation than alarm because it was never safe to neglect them or to turn the attention elsewhere. Under these circumstances the Fabii came to the senate, and the consul, on behalf of his house, spoke as follows: "As you are aware, senators, the Veientine war does not require a large force so much as one constantly in the field. Let the other wars be your care, leave the Fabii to deal with the Veientines. We will guarantee that the majesty of Rome shall be safe in that quarter. We propose to carry on that war as a private war of our own at our own cost. Let the State be spared money and men there. "A very hearty vote of thanks was passed; the consul left the House and returned home accompanied by the Fabii, who had been standing in the vestibule awaiting the senate's decision. After receiving instructions to meet on the morrow, fully armed, before the consul's house, they separated for their homes.


2.49

News of what had happened spread through the whole City, the Fabii were praised up to the skies; people said, "One family had taken up the burden of the State, the Veientine war had become a private concern, a private quarrel. If there were two houses of the same strength in the City, and the one claimed the Volscians for themselves, the other the Aequi, then all the neighbouring states could be subjugated while Rome itself remained in profound tranquillity." The next day the Fabii took their arms and assembled at the appointed place. The consul, wearing his "paludamentum," went out into the vestibule and saw the whole of his house drawn up in order of march. Taking his place in the centre, he gave the word of advance. Never has an army marched through the City smaller in numbers or with a more brilliant reputation or more universally admired. Three hundred and six soldiers, all patricians, all members of one house, not a single man of whom the senate even in its palmiest days would deem unfitted for high command, went forth, threatening ruin to the Veientines through the strength of a single family. They were followed by a crowd; made up partly of their own relatives and friends, whose minds were not occupied with ordinary hope and anxiety, but filled with the loftiest anticipations; partly of those who shared the public anxiety, and could not find words to express their affection and admiration. "Go on," they cried, "you gallant band, go on, and may you be fortunate; bring back results equal to this beginning, then look to us for consulships and triumphs and every possible reward." As they passed the Citadel and the Capitol and other temples, their friends prayed to each deity, whose statue or whose shrine they saw, that they would send that band with all favourable omens to success, and in a short time restore them safe to their country and their kindred. In vain were those prayers sent up! They proceeded on their ill-starred way by the right postern of the Carmental gate, and reached the banks of the Cremera. This seemed to them a suitable position for a fortified post. L. Aemilius and C. Servilius were the next consuls. As long as it was only a question of forays and raids, the Fabii were quite strong enough not only to protect their own fortified post, but, by patrolling both sides of the border-line between the Roman and Tuscan territories, to make the whole district safe for themselves and dangerous for the enemy. There was a brief interruption to these raids, when the Veientines, after summoning an army from Etruria, assaulted the fortified post at the Cremera. The Roman legions were brought up by the consul L. Aemilius and fought a regular engagement with the Etruscan troops. The Veientines, however, had not time to complete their formation, and during the confusion, whilst the men were getting into line and the reserves were being stationed, a squadron of Roman cavalry suddenly made a flank attack, and gave them no chance of commencing a battle or even of standing their ground. They were driven back to their camp at the Saxa Rubra, and sued for peace. They obtained it, but their natural inconstancy made them regret it before the Roman garrison was recalled from the Cremera.


2.50

The conflicts between the Fabii and the State of Veii were resumed without any more extensive military preparations than before. There were not only forays into each other's territories and surprise attacks upon the forayers, but sometimes they fought regular engagements, and this single Roman house often won the victory over what was at that time the most powerful city in Etruria. This was a bitter mortification to the Veientines, and they were led by circumstances to adopt the plan of trapping their daring enemy in an ambuscade; they were even glad that the numerous successes of the Fabii had increased their confidence. Accordingly they drove herds of cattle, as if by accident, in the way of the foraying parties, the fields were abandoned by the peasants, and the bodies of troops sent to repel the raiders fled in a panic more often assumed than genuine. By this time the Fabii had conceived such a contempt for their foe as to be convinced that under no circumstances of either time or place could their invincible arms be resisted. This presumption carried them so far that at the sight of some distant cattle on the other side of the wide plain stretching from the camp they ran down to secure them, although but few of the enemy were visible. Suspecting no danger and keeping no order they passed the ambuscade which was set on each side of the road, and whilst they were scattered in trying to catch the cattle, which in their fright were rushing wildly about, the enemy suddenly rose from their concealment and attacked them on all sides. At first they were startled by the shouts round them, then javelins fell on them from every direction. As the Etruscans closed round them, they were hemmed by a continuous ring of men, and the more the enemy pressed upon them, the less the space in which they were forced to form their ever-narrowing square. This brought out strongly the contrast between their scanty numbers and the host of Etruscans, whose ranks were multiplied through being narrowed. After a time they abandoned their plan of presenting a front on all sides; facing in one direction they formed themselves into a wedge and by the utmost exertion of sword and muscle forced a passage through. The road led up to gentle eminence, and here they halted. When the higher ground gave them room to breathe freely and to recover from the feeling of despair, they repelled those who mounted to the attack, and through the advantage of position the little band were beginning to win the day, when some Veientines who had been sent round the hill emerged on the summit. So the enemy again had the advantage. The Fabii were all cut down to a man, and their fort taken. It is generally agreed that three hundred and six men perished, and that one only, an immature youth, was left as a stock for the Fabian house to be Rome's greatest helper in her hour of danger both at home and in the field.


2.51

When this disaster occurred, C. Horatius and T. Menenius were consuls. Menenius was at once sent against the Tuscans, flushed with their recent victory. Another unsuccessful action was fought, and the enemy took possession of the Janiculum. The City, which was suffering from scarcity as well as from the war, would have been invested-for the Etruscans had crossed the Tiber-had not the consul Horatius been recalled from the Volsci. The fighting approached so near the walls that the first battle, an indecisive one, took place near the temple of Spes, and the second at the Colline gate. In the latter, although the Romans gained only a slight advantage, the soldiers recovered something of their old courage and were better prepared for future campaigns. The next consuls were A. Verginius and Sp. Servilius. After their defeat in the last battle, the Veientines declined an engagement. There were forays. From the Janiculum as from a citadel they made raids in all directions on the Roman territory; nowhere were the cattle or the country-folk safe. They were ultimately caught by the same stratagem by which they had caught the Fabii. Some cattle were purposely driven in different directions as a decoy; they followed them and fell into an ambuscade; and as their numbers were greater, the slaughter was greater. Their rage at this defeat was the cause and commencement of a more serious one. They crossed the Tiber by night and marched up to an attack on Servilius' camp, but were routed with great loss, and with great difficulty reached the Janiculum. The consul himself forthwith crossed the Tiber and entrenched himself at the foot of the Janiculum. The confidence inspired by his victory of the previous day, but still more the scarcity of corn, made him decide upon an immediate but precipitate move. He led his army at daybreak up the side of the Janiculum to the enemies' camp; but he met with a more disastrous repulse than the one he had inflicted the day before. It was only by the intervention of his colleague that he and his army were saved. The Etruscans, caught between the two armies, and retreating from each alternately, were annihilated. So the Veientine war was brought to a sudden close by an act of happy rashness.


2.52

Together with peace, food came more freely into the City. Corn was brought from Campania, and as the fear of future scarcity had disappeared, each individual brought out what he had hoarded. The result of ease and plenty was fresh restlessness, and as the old evils no longer existed abroad, men began to look for them at home. The tribunes began to poison the minds of the plebeians with the Agrarian Law and inflamed them against the senators who resisted it, not only against the whole body, but individual members. Q. Considius and T. Genucius, who were advocating the Law, appointed a day for the trial of T. Menenius. Popular feeling was roused against him by the loss of the fort at the Cremera, since, as consul, he had his standing camp not far from it. This crushed him, though the senators exerted themselves for him no less than they had done for Coriolanus, and the popularity of his father Agrippa had not died away. The tribunes contented themselves with a fine, though they had arraigned him on a capital charge; the amount was fixed at 2000 "ases." This proved to be a death-sentence, for they say that he was unable to endure the disgrace and grief, and was carried off by a fatal malady. Sp. Servilius was the next to be impeached. His prosecution, conducted by the tribunes L. Caedicius and T. Statius, took place immediately after his year had expired, at the commencement of the consulship of C. Nautius and P. Valerius. When the day of trial came, he did not, like Menenius, meet the attacks of the tribunes by appeals for mercy, whether his own or those of the senators, he relied absolutely on his innocence and personal influence. The charge against him was his conduct in the battle with the Tuscans on the Janiculum; but the same courage which he then displayed, when the State was in danger, he now displayed when his own life was in danger. Meeting charge by counter-charge, he boldly laid upon the tribunes and the whole of the plebs the guilt of the condemnation and death of T. Menenius; the son, he reminded them, of the man through whose efforts the plebeians had been restored to their position in the State, and were enjoying those very magistracies and laws which now allowed them to be cruel and vindictive. By his boldness he dispelled the danger, and his colleague Verginius, who came forward as a witness, assisted him by crediting him with some of his own services to the State. The thing that helped him more, however, was the sentence passed on Menenius, so completely had the popular sentiment changed.


2.53

The domestic conflicts came to an end; war began again with the Veientines, with whom the Sabines had formed an armed league. The Latin and Hernican auxiliaries were summoned, and the consul P. Valerius was sent with an army to Veii. He at once attacked the Sabine camp, which was situated in front of the walls of their allies, and created such confusion that while small bodies of the defenders were making sorties in various directions to repel the attack, the gate against which the assault had been first made was forced, and once inside the rampart it became a massacre rather than a battle. The noise in the camp penetrated even to the city, and the Veientines flew to arms, in a state of as great alarm as if Veii itself was taken. Some went to the help of the Sabines, others attacked the Romans, who were wholly occupied with their assault on the camp. For a few moments they were checked and thrown into confusion; then, forming front in both directions, they offered a steady resistance while the cavalry whom the consul had ordered to charge routed the Tuscans and put them to flight. In the same hour, two armies, the two most powerful of the neighbouring states, were overcome. Whilst this was going on at Veii, the Volscians and Aequi had encamped in the Latin territory and were ravaging their borders. The Latins, in conjunction with the Hernici, drove them out of their camp without either a Roman general or Roman troops. They recovered their own property and obtained immense booty in addition. Nevertheless, the consul C. Nautius was sent from Rome against the Volscians. They did not approve, I think, of the custom of allies carrying on war in their own strength and on their own methods, without any Roman general or army. There was no kind of injury or insult that was not practiced against the Volscians; they could not, however, be driven to fight a regular battle.


2.54

L. Furius and C. Manlius were the next consuls. The Veientines fell to Manlius as his province. There was no war, however; a forty years' truce was granted on their request; they were ordered to furnish corn and pay for the troops. Peace abroad was at once followed by discord at home. The tribunes employed the Agrarian Law to goad the plebs into a state of dangerous excitement. The consuls, nowise intimidated by the condemnation of Menenius or the danger in which Servilius had stood, resisted them with the utmost violence. On their vacating office the tribune Genucius impeached them. They were succeeded by L. Aemilius and Opiter Verginius. I find in some annals Vopiscus Julius instead of Verginius. Whoever the consuls were, it was in this year that Furius and Manlius, who were to be tried before the people, went about in mourning garb amongst the younger members of the senate quite as much as amongst the plebs. They urged them to keep clear of the high offices of State and the administration of affairs, and to regard the consular "fasces," the "praetexta," and the curule chair as nothing but the pomp of death, for when invested with these insignia they were like victims adorned for sacrifice. If the consulship possessed such attractions for them, they must clearly understand that this office had been captured and crushed by the tribunician power; the consul had to do everything at the beck and call of the tribune just as if he were his apparitor. If he took an active line, if he showed any regard for the patricians, if he thought that anything besides the plebs formed part of the commonwealth, he should keep before his eyes the banishment of Cn. Marcius, the condemnation and death of Menenius. Fired by these appeals the senators held meetings not in the Senate-house but in private, only a few being invited. As the one point on which they were agreed was that the two who were impeached were to be rescued, by lawful or unlawful means, the most desperate plan was the most acceptable, and men were found who advocated the most daring crime. Accordingly, on the day of the trial, whilst the plebs were standing in the Forum on the tiptoe of expectation, they were surprised that the tribune did not come down to them. Further delay made them suspicious; they believed that he had been intimidated by the leaders of the senate, and they complained that the cause of the people had been abandoned and betrayed. At last some who had been waiting in the vestibule of the tribune's house sent word that he had been found dead in his house. As this news spread throughout the assembly, they at once dispersed in all directions, like a routed army that has lost its general. The tribunes especially were alarmed, for they were warned by their colleague's death how absolutely ineffective the Sacred Laws were for their protection. The patricians, on the other hand, showed extravagant delight; so far was any one of them from regretting the crime, that even those who had taken no part in it were anxious to appear as though they had, and it was openly asserted that the tribunitian power must be chastised into submission.


2.55

Whilst the impression produced by this frightful instance of triumphant crime was still fresh, orders were issued for a levy, and as the tribunes were thoroughly intimidated, the consuls carried it out without any interruption from them. But now the plebeians were more angry at the silence of the tribunes than at the exercise of authority on the part of the consuls. They said that it was all over with their liberty, they had gone back to the old state of things, the tribunitian power was dead and buried with Genucius. Some other method must be thought out and adopted by which they could resist the patricians, and the only possible course was for the commons to defend themselves, as they had no other help. Four-and-twenty lictors attended on the consuls, and these very men were drawn from the plebs. Nothing was more contemptible and feeble than they were, if there were any that would treat them with contempt, but every one imagined them to be great and awful things. After they had excited one another by these speeches, Volero Publilius, a plebeian, said that he ought not to be made a common soldier after serving as a centurion. The consuls sent a lictor to him. Volero appealed to the tribunes. None came to his assistance, so the consuls ordered him to be stripped and the rods got ready. "I appeal to the people," he said, "since the tribunes would rather see a Roman citizen scourged before their eyes than be murdered in their beds by you." The more excitedly he called out, the more violently did the lictor tear off his toga, to strip him. Then Volero, himself a man of unusual strength, and helped by those to whom he called, drove the lictor off, and amidst the indignant remonstrances of his supporters, retreated into the thickest part of the crowd, crying out, "I appeal to the plebs for protection. Help, fellow-citizens! help, fellow-soldiers! You have nothing to expect from the tribunes; they themselves need your aid." The men, greatly excited, got ready as if for battle, and a most critical struggle was evidently impending, where no one would show the slightest respect for either public or private rights. The consuls tried to check the fury of the storm, but they soon found that there is little safety for authority without strength. The lictors were mobbed, the fasces broken, and the consuls driven from the Forum into the Senate-house, uncertain how far Volero would push his victory. As the tumult was subsiding they ordered the senate to be convened, and when it was assembled they complained of the outrage done to them, the violence of the plebeians, the audacious insolence of Volero. After many violent speeches had been made, the opinion of the older senators prevailed; they disapproved of the intemperance of the plebs being met by angry resentment on the part of the patricians.


2.56

Volero was now in high favour with the plebs, and they made him a tribune at the next election. Lucius Pinarius and P. Furius were the consuls for that year. Everybody supposed that Volero would use all the power of his tribuneship to harass the consuls of the preceding year. On the contrary, he subordinated his private grievances to the interests of the State, and without uttering a single word which could reflect on the consuls, he proposed to the people a measure providing that the magistrates of the plebs should be elected by the Assembly of the Tribes. At first sight this measure appeared to be of a very harmless description, but it would deprive the patricians of all power of electing through their clients' votes those whom they wanted as tribunes. It was most welcome to the plebeians, but the patricians resisted it to the utmost. They were unable to secure the one effectual means of resistance, namely, inducing one of the tribunes, through the influence of the consuls or the leading patricians, to interpose his veto. The weight and importance of the question led to protracted controversy throughout the year. The plebs re-elected Volero. The patricians, feeling that the question was rapidly approaching a crisis, appointed Appius Claudius, the son of Appius, who, ever since his father's contests with them, had been hated by them and cordially hated them in return. From the very commencement of the year the Law took precedence of all other matters. Volero had been the first to bring it forward, but his colleague, Laetorius, though a later, was a still more energetic supporter of it. He had won an immense reputation in war, for no man was a better fighter, and this made him a stronger opponent. Volero in his speeches confined himself strictly to discussing the Law and abstained from all abuse of the consuls. But Laetorius began by accusing Appius and his family of tyranny and cruelty towards the plebs; he said it was not a consul who had been elected, but an executioner, to harass and torture the plebeians. The untrained tongue of the soldier was unable to express the freedom of his sentiments; as words failed him, he said, "I cannot speak so easily as I can prove the truth of what I have said; come here tomorrow, I will either perish before your eyes or carry the Law."

Next day the tribunes took their places on the "templum," the consuls and the nobility stood about in the Assembly to prevent the passage of the Law. Laetorius gave orders for all, except actual voters, to withdraw. The young patricians kept their places and paid no attention to the tribune's officer, whereupon Laetorius ordered some of them to be arrested. Appius insisted that the tribunes had no jurisdiction over any but plebeians, they were not magistrates of the whole people, but only of the plebs; even he himself could not, according to the usage of their ancestors, remove any man by virtue of his authority, for the formula ran, "If it seems good to you, Quirites, depart! "By making contemptuous remarks about his jurisdiction, he was easily able to disconcert Laetorius. The tribune, in a burning rage, sent his officer to the consul, the consul sent a lictor to the tribune, exclaiming that he was a private citizen without any magisterial authority. The tribune would have been treated with indignity had not the whole Assembly risen angrily to defend the tribune against the consul, whilst people rushed from all parts of the City in excited crowds to the Forum. Appius braved the storm with inflexible determination, and the conflict would have ended in bloodshed had not the other consul, Quinctius, entrusted the consulars with the duty of removing, by force if necessary, his colleague from the Forum. He entreated the furious plebeians to be calm, and implored the tribunes to dismiss the Assembly; they should give their passions time to cool, delay would not deprive them of their power, but would add prudence to their strength; the senate would submit to the authority of the people, and the consuls to that of the senate.


2.57

With difficulty Quinctius succeeded in quieting the plebeians; the senators had much greater difficulty in pacifying Appius. At length the Assembly was dismissed and the consuls held a meeting of the senate. Very divergent opinions were expressed according as the emotions of fear or anger predominated, but the longer the interval during which they were called away from impulsive action to calm deliberation, the more averse did they become to a prolongation of the conflict; so much so, indeed, that they passed a vote of thanks to Quinctius for having through his exertions allayed the disturbance. Appius was called upon to consent to the consular authority being so far limited as to be compatible with a harmonious commonwealth. It was urged that whilst the tribunes and the consuls each tried to bring everything under their respective authority, there was no basis for common action; the State was torn in two, and the one thing aimed at was, who should be its rulers, not how could its security be preserved. Appius, on the other hand, called gods and men to witness that the State was being betrayed and abandoned through fear; it was not the consul who was failing the senate, the senate was failing the consul; worse conditions were being submitted to than those which had been accepted on the Sacred Hill. However, he was overborne by the unanimous feeling of the senate and became quiet. The Law was passed in silence. Then for the first time the tribunes were elected by the Assembly of the Tribes. According to Piso three were added, as though there had only been two before. He gives their names as Cn. Siccius, L. Numitorius, M. Duellius, Sp. Icilius, and L. Mecilius.


2.58

During the disturbances in Rome, the war with the Volscians and Aequi broke out afresh. They had laid waste the fields, in order that if there were a secession of the plebs they might find refuge with them. When quiet had been restored they moved their camp further away. Appius Claudius was sent against the Volscians, the Aequi were left for Quinctius to deal with. Appius displayed the same savage temper in the field that he had shown at home, only it was more unrestrained because he was not now fettered by the tribunes. He hated the commons with a more intense hatred than his father had felt, for they had got the better of him and had carried their Law though he had been elected consul as being the one man who could thwart the tribunitian power-a Law, too, which former consuls, from whom the senate expected less than from him, had obstructed with less trouble. Anger and indignation at all this goaded his imperious nature into harassing his army by ruthless discipline. No violent measures, however, could subdue them, such was the spirit of opposition with which they were filled. They did everything in a perfunctory, leisurely, careless, defiant way; no feeling of shame or fear restrained them. If he wished the column to move more quickly they deliberately marched more slowly, if he came up to urge them on in their work they all relaxed the energy they had been previously exerting of their own accord; in his presence they cast their eyes down to the ground, when he passed by they silently cursed him, so that the courage which had not quailed before the hatred of the plebs was sometimes shaken. After vainly employing harsh measures of every kind, he abstained from any further intercourse with his soldiers, said that the army had been corrupted by the centurions, and sometimes called them, in jeering tones, tribunes of the plebs, and Voleros.


2.59

None of this escaped the notice of the Veientines, and they pressed on more vigorously in the hope that the Roman army would show the same spirit of disaffection towards Appius which it had shown towards Fabius. But it was much more violent towards Appius than it had been towards Fabius, for the soldiers not only refused to conquer, like the army of Fabius, but they wished to be conquered. When led into action they broke into a disgraceful flight and made for their camp, and offered no resistance till they saw the Volscians actually attacking their entrenchments and doing frightful execution in their rear. Then they were compelled to fight, in order that the victorious enemy might be dislodged from their rampart; it was, however, quite evident that the Roman soldiers only fought to prevent the capture of the camp; otherwise they rejoiced in their ignominious defeat. Appius' determination was in no way weakened by this, but when he was meditating more severe measures and ordering an assembly of his troops, the officers of his staff and the military tribunes gathered round him and warned him on no account to try how far he could stretch his authority, for its force wholly depended upon the free consent of those who obeyed it. They said that the soldiers as a body refused to come to the assembly, and demands were heard on all sides for the camp to be removed from the Volscian territory; only a short time before the victorious enemy had all but forced his way into the camp. There were not only suspicions of a serious mutiny, the evidence was before their eyes.

Appius yielded at last to their remonstrances. He knew that they would gain nothing but a delay of punishment, and consented to forego the assembly. Orders were issued for an advance on the morrow, and the trumpet gave the signal for starting at dawn. When the army had got clear of the camp and was forming in marching order, the Volscians, aroused, apparently, by the same signal, fell upon the rear. The confusion thus created extended to the leading ranks, and set up such a panic in the whole army that it was impossible for either orders to be heard or a fighting line to be formed. No one thought of anything but flight. They made their way over heaps of bodies and arms in such wild haste that the enemy gave up the pursuit before the Romans abandoned their flight. At last, after the consul had vainly endeavoured to follow up and rally his men, the scattered troops were gradually got together again, and he fixed his camp on territory undisturbed by war. He called up the men for an assembly, and after inveighing, with perfect justice, against an army which had been false to military discipline and had deserted its standards, he asked them individually where the standards were, where their arms were. The soldiers who had thrown away their arms, the standard-bearers who had lost their standards, and in addition to these the centurions and duplicarii who had deserted their ranks, he ordered to be scourged and beheaded. Of the rank and file every tenth man was drawn by lot for punishment.


2.60

Just the opposite state of things prevailed in the army campaigning amongst the Aequi, where the consul and his soldiers vied with each other in acts of kindness and comradeship. Quinctius was naturally milder, and the unfortunate severity of his colleague made him all the more inclined to follow the bent of his gentle disposition. The Aequi did not venture to meet an army where such harmony prevailed between the general and his men, and they allowed their enemy to ravage their territory in all directions. In no previous war had plunder been gathered from a wider area. The whole of it was given to the soldiers, and with it those words of praise which, no less than material rewards, delight the soldier's heart. The army returned home on better terms with their general, and through him with the patricians; they said that whilst the senate had given them a father it had given the other army a tyrant. The year, which had been passed in varying fortunes of war and furious dissensions both at home and abroad, was chiefly memorable for the Assembly of Tribes, which were important rather for the victory won in a prolonged contest than for any real advantage gained. For through the withdrawal of the patricians from their council the Assembly lost more in dignity than either the plebs gained, or the patricians lost, in strength.


2.61

L. Valerius and T. Aemilius were consuls for the next year, which was a still stormier one, owing, in the first place to the struggle between the two orders over the Agrarian Law, and secondly to the prosecution of Appius Claudius. He was impeached by the tribunes, M. Duellius and Cn. Siccius, on the ground of his determined opposition to the Law, and also because he defended the cause of the occupiers of the public land, as if he were a third consul. Never before had any one been brought to trial before the people whom the plebs so thoroughly detested, both on his own and his father's account. For hardly any one had the patricians exerted themselves more than for him whom they regarded as the champion of the senate and the vindicator of its authority, the stout bulwark against disturbances of tribunes or plebs, and now saw exposed to the rage of the plebeians simply for having gone too far in the struggle. Appius Claudius himself, alone of all the patricians, looked upon the tribunes, the plebs, and his own trial as of no account. Neither the threats of the plebeians nor the entreaties of the senate could induce him-I will not say to change his attire and accost men as a suppliant, but-even to soften and subdue to some extent his wonted asperity of language when he had to make his defence before the people. There was the same expression, the same defiant look, the same proud tones of speech, so that a large number of the plebeians were no less afraid of Appius on his trial than they had been when he was consul. He only spoke in his defence once, but in the same aggressive tone that he always adopted, and his firmness so dumbfounded the tribunes and the plebs, that they adjourned the case of their own accord, and then allowed it to drag on. There was not a very long interval, however. Before the date of the adjourned trial arrived he was carried off by illness. The tribunes tried to prevent any funeral oration being pronounced over him, but the plebeians would not allow the obsequies of so great a man to be robbed of the customary honours. They listened to the panegyric of the dead as attentively as they had listened to the indictment of the living, and vast crowds followed him to the tomb.


2.62

In the same year the consul Valerius advanced with an army against the Aequi, but failing to draw the enemy into an engagement he commenced an attack on their camp. A terrible storm, sent down from heaven, of thunder and hail prevented him from continuing the attack. The surprise was heightened when, after the retreat had been sounded, calm and bright weather returned. He felt that it would be an act of impiety to attack a second time a camp defended by some divine power. His warlike energies were turned to the devastation of the country. The other consul, Aemilius, conducted a campaign amongst the Sabines. There, too, as the enemy kept behind their walls, their fields were laid waste. The burning not only of scattered homesteads but also of villages with numerous populations roused the Sabines to action. They met the depredators, an indecisive action was fought, after which they moved their camp into a safer locality. The consul thought this a sufficient reason for leaving the enemy as though defeated, and coming away without finishing the war.


2.63

T. Numicius Priscus and A. Verginius were the new consuls. The domestic disturbance continued through these wars, and the plebeians were evidently not going to tolerate any further delay with regard to the Agrarian Law, and were preparing for extreme measures, when the smoke of burning farms and the flight of the country folk announced the approach of the Volscians. This checked the revolution which was now ripe and on the point of breaking out. The senate was hastily summoned, and the consuls led the men liable for active service out to the war, thereby making the rest of the plebs more peaceably disposed. The enemy retired precipitately, having effected nothing beyond filling the Romans with groundless fears. Numicius advanced against the Volscians to Antium, Verginius against the Aequi. Here he was ambushed and narrowly escaped a serious defeat; the valour of the soldiers restored the fortunes of the day, which the consul's negligence had imperilled. More skilful generalship was shown against the Volscians; the enemy were routed in the first engagement and driven in flight to Antium, which was, for those days, a very wealthy city. The consul did not venture to attack it, but he took Caeno from the Antiates, not by any means so wealthy a place. Whilst the Aequi and Volscians were keeping the Roman armies engaged, the Sabines extended their ravages up to the gates of the City. In a few days the consuls invaded their territory, and, attacked fiercely by both armies, they suffered heavier losses than they had inflicted.


2.64

Towards the close of the year there was a short interval of peace, but, as usual, it was marred by the struggle between the patricians and the plebeians. The plebs, in their exasperation, refused to take any part in the election of consuls; T. Quinctius and Q. Servilius were elected consuls by the patricians and their clients. They had a year similar to the previous one: agitation during the first part, then the calming of this by foreign war. The Sabines hurriedly traversed the plains of Crustumerium, and carried fire and sword into the district watered by the Anio, but were repulsed when almost close to the Colline gate and the walls of the City. They succeeded, however, in carrying off immense spoil both in men and cattle. The consul Servilius followed them up with an army bent on revenge, and though unable to come up with their main body in the open country, he carried on his ravages on such an extensive scale that he left no part unmolested by war, and returned with spoil many times greater than that of the enemy. Amongst the Volscians also the cause of Rome was splendidly upheld by the exertions of general and soldiers alike. To begin with, they met on level ground and a pitched battle was fought with immense losses on both sides in killed and wounded. The Romans, whose paucity of numbers made them more sensible of their loss, would have retreated had not the consul called out that the enemy on the other wing were in flight, and by this well-timed falsehood roused the army to fresh effort. They made a charge and converted a supposed victory into a real one. The consul, fearing lest by pressing the attack too far he might force a renewal of the combat, gave the signal for retiring. For the next few days both sides kept quiet, as though there were a tacit understanding. During this interval, an immense body of men from all the Volscian and Aequian cities came into camp, fully expecting that when the Romans heard of their arrival they would make a nocturnal retreat. Accordingly, about the third watch they moved out to attack the camp. After allaying the confusion caused by the sudden alarm, Quinctius ordered the soldiers to remain quietly in their quarters, marched out a cohort of Hernicans to the outposts, mounted the buglers and trumpeters on horseback, and ordered them to sound their calls and keep the enemy on the alert till dawn. For the remainder of the night all was so quiet in the camp that the Romans even enjoyed ample sleep. The sight of the armed infantry whom the Volscians took to be Romans and more numerous than they really were, the noise and neighing of the horses, restless under their inexperienced riders and excited by the sound of the trumpets, kept the enemy in constant apprehension of an attack.


2.65

At daybreak the Romans, fresh from their undisturbed sleep, were led into action, and at the first charge broke the Volscians, worn out as they were with standing and want of sleep. It was, however, a retreat rather than a rout, for in their rear there were hills to which all behind the front ranks safely retired. When they reached the rising ground, the consul halted his army. The soldiers were with difficulty restrained, they clamoured to be allowed to follow up the beaten foe. The cavalry were much more insistent, they crowded round the general and loudly declared that they would go on in advance of the infantry. While the consul, sure of the courage of his men, but not reassured as to the nature of the ground, was still hesitating, they shouted that they would go on, and followed up their shouts by making an advance. Fixing their spears in the ground that they might be more lightly equipped for the ascent, they went up at a run. The Volscians hurled their javelins at the first onset, and then flung the stones lying at their feet upon the enemy as they came up. Many were hit, and through the disorder thus created they were forced back from the higher ground. In this way the Roman left wing was nearly overwhelmed, but through the reproaches which the consul cast upon his retreating men for their rashness as well as their cowardice, he made their fear give way to the sense of shame. At first they stood and offered a firm resistance, then when by holding their ground they had recovered their energies they ventured upon an advance. With a renewed shout the whole line went forward, and pressing on in a second charge they surmounted the difficulties of the ascent, and were just on the point of reaching the summit when the enemy turned and fled. With a wild rush, pursuers and fugitives almost in one mass dashed into the camp, which was taken. Those of the Volscians who succeeded in escaping made for Antium; thither the Roman army was led. After a few days' investment the place was surrendered, not owing to any unusual efforts on the part of the besiegers, but simply because after the unsuccessful battle and the loss of their camp the enemy had lost heart.

End of Book 2



Livy's History of Rome: Book 3:
The Decemvirate


3.1

For the year following the capture of Antium, Titus Aemilius and Quinctius Fabius were made consuls. This was the Fabius who was the sole survivor of the extinction of his house at the Cremera. Aemilius had already in his former consulship advocated the grant of land to the plebeians. As he was now consul for the second time, the agrarian party entertained hopes that the Law would be carried out; the tribunes took the matter up in the firm expectation that after so many attempts they would gain their cause now that one consul, at all events, was supporting them; the consul's views on the question remained unchanged. Those in occupation of the land -the majority of the patricians-complained that the head of the State was adopting the methods of the tribunes and making himself popular by giving away other people's property, and in this way they shifted all the odium from the tribunes on to the consul. There was every prospect of a serious contest, had not Fabius smoothed matters by a suggestion acceptable to both sides, namely, that as there was a considerable quantity of land which had been taken from the Volscians the previous year, under the auspicious generalship of T. Quinctius, a colony might be settled at Antium, which, as a seaport town, and at no great distance from Rome, was a suitable city for the purpose. This would allow the plebeians to enter on public land without any injustice to those in occupation, and so harmony would be restored to the State. This suggestion was adopted. He appointed as the three commissioners for the distribution of the land, T. Quinctius, A. Verginius,. and P. Furius. Those who wished to receive a grant were ordered to give in their names. As usual, abundance produced disgust, and so few gave in their names that the number was made up by the addition of Volscians as colonists. The rest of the people preferred to ask for land at Rome rather than accept it elsewhere. The Aequi sought for peace from Q. Fabius, who had marched against them, but they broke it by a sudden incursion into Latin territory.


3.2

In the following year, Q. Servilius-for he was consul with Sp. Postumius- was sent against the Aequi, and fixed his entrenched camp on Latin territory. His army was attacked by an epidemic and compelled to remain inactive. The war was protracted into the third year, when Quinctius Fabius and T. Quinctius were the consuls. As Fabius after his victory had granted peace to the Aequi, they were by special edict assigned to him as his sphere of operation. He set out in the firm belief that the renown of his name would dispose them to peace; accordingly he sent envoys to their national council who were instructed to carry a message from Q. Fabius the consul to the effect that as he had brought peace from the Aequi to Rome, so now he was bringing war from Rome to the Aequi, with the same right hand, now armed, which he had formerly given to them as a pledge of peace. The gods were now the witnesses and would soon be the avengers of those through whose perfidy and perjury this had come about. In any case, however, he would rather that the Aequi should repent of their own accord than suffer at the hands of an enemy; if they did repent they could safely throw themselves on the clemency they had already experienced, but if they found pleasure in perjuring themselves, they would be warring more against the angered gods than against earthly foes.

These words, however, had so little effect that the envoys barely escaped maltreatment, and an army was despatched to Mount Algidus against the Romans. On this being reported at Rome, feelings of indignation rather than apprehension of danger hurried the other consul out of the City. So two armies under the command of both consuls advanced against the enemy in battle formation, to bring about an immediate engagement. But, as it happened, not much daylight remained, and a soldier called out from the enemies' outposts: "This, Romans, is making a display of war, not waging it. You form your line when night is at hand; we need more daylight for the coming battle. When tomorrow's sun is rising, get into line again. There will be an ample opportunity of fighting, do not fear! "Smarting under these taunts the soldiers were marched back into camp, to wait for the next day. They thought the coming night a long one, as it delayed the contest; after returning to camp they refreshed themselves with food and sleep. When the next day dawned the Roman line was formed some time before that of the enemy. At length the Aequi advanced. The fighting was fierce on both sides; the Romans fought in an angry and bitter temper; the Aequi, conscious of the danger in which their misdoing had involved them, and hopeless of ever being trusted in the future, were compelled to make a desperate and final effort. They did not, however, hold their ground against the Roman army, but were defeated and forced to retire within their frontiers. The spirit of the rank and file of the army was unbroken and not a whit more inclined to peace. They censured their generals because they staked all on one pitched battle, a mode of fighting in which the Romans excelled, whereas the Aequi, they said, were better at destructive forays and raids; numerous bands acting in all directions would be more successful than if massed in one great army.


3.3

Accordingly, leaving a detachment to guard the camp, they sallied forth, and made such devastating forays in the Roman territory that the terror they caused extended even to the City. The alarm was all the greater because such proceedings were quite unexpected. For nothing was less to be feared than that an enemy who had been defeated and almost surrounded in his camp should think of predatory incursions, whilst the panic-stricken country people, pouring in at the gates and exaggerating everything in their wild alarm, exclaimed that they were not mere raids or small bodies of plunderers, entire armies of the enemy were near, preparing to swoop down on the City in force. Those who were nearest carried what they heard to others, and the vague rumours became still more exaggerated and false. The running and clamour of men shouting "To arms!" created nearly as great a panic as though the City was actually taken. Fortunately the consul Quinctius had returned to Rome from Algidus. This relieved their fears, and after allaying the excitement and rebuking them for being afraid of a defeated enemy, he stationed troops to guard the gates. The senate was then convened, and on their authority he proclaimed a suspension of all business; after which he set out to protect the frontier, leaving Q. Servilius as prefect of the City. He did not, however, find the enemy. The other consul achieved a brilliant success. He ascertained by what routes the parties of the enemy would come, attacked each while laden with plunder and therefore hampered in their movements, and made their plundering expeditions fatal to them. Few of the enemy escaped, all the plunder was recovered. The consul's return put an end to the suspension of business, which lasted four days. Then the census was made and the "lustrum " closed by Quinctius. The numbers of the census are stated to have been one hundred and four thousand seven hundred and fourteen, exclusive of widows and orphans. Nothing further of any importance occurred amongst the Aequi. They withdrew into their towns and looked on passively at the rifling and burning of their homesteads. After repeatedly marching through the length and breadth of the enemies' territory and carrying destruction everywhere, the consul returned to Rome with immense glory and immense spoil.


3.4

The next consuls were A. Postumius Albus and Sp. Furius Fusus. Some writers call the Furii, Fusii. I mention this in case any one should suppose that the different names denote different people. It was pretty certain that one of the consuls would continue the war with the Aequi. They sent, accordingly, to the Volscians of Ecetra for assistance. Such was the rivalry between them as to which should show the most inveterate enmity to Rome, that the assistance was readily granted, and preparations for war were carried on with the utmost energy. The Hernici became aware of what was going on and warned the Romans that Ecetra had revolted to the Aequi. The colonists of Antium were also suspected, because on the capture of that town a large number of the inhabitants had taken refuge with the Aequi, and they were the most efficient soldiers throughout the war. When the Aequi were driven into their walled towns, this body was broken up and returned to Antium. There they found the colonists already disaffected, and they succeeded in completely alienating them from Rome. Before matters were ripe, information was laid before the senate that a revolt was in preparation, and the consuls were instructed to summon the chiefs of the colony to Rome and question them as to what was going on. They came without any hesitation, but after being introduced by the consuls to the senate, they gave such unsatisfactory replies that heavier suspicion attached to them on their departure than on their arrival. War was certain. Sp. Furius, the consul to whom the conduct of the war had been assigned, marched against the Aequi and found them committing depredations in the territory of the Hernici. Ignorant of their strength, because they were nowhere all in view at once, he rashly joined battle with inferior forces. At the first onset he was defeated, and retired into his camp, but he was not out of danger there. For that night and the next day the camp was surrounded and attacked with such vigour that not even a messenger could be despatched to Rome. The news of the unsuccessful action and the investment of the consul and his army was brought by the Hernici, and created such an alarm in the senate that they passed a decree in a form which has never been used except under extreme emergencies They charged Postumius to "see that the commonwealth suffered no hurt." It was thought best that the consul himself should remain in Rome to enrol all who could bear arms, whilst T. Quinctius was sent as his representative to relieve the camp with an army furnished by the allies. This force was to be made up of the Latins and the Hernici, whilst the colony at Antium was to supply "subitary" troops-a designation then applied to hastily raised auxiliary troops.


3.5

Numerous maneuvers and skirmishes took place during these days, because the enemy with his superior numbers was able to attack the Romans from many points and so wear out their strength, as they were not able to meet them everywhere. Whilst one part of their army attacked the camp, another was sent to devastate the Roman territory, and, if a favourable opportunity arose, to make an attempt on the City itself. L. Valerius was left to guard the City, the consul Postumius was sent to repel the raids on the frontier. No precaution was omitted, no exertion spared; detachments were posted in the City, bodies of troops before the gates, veterans manned the walls, and as a necessary measure in a time of such disturbance, a cessation of public business was ordered for some days. In the camp, meanwhile, the consul Furius, after remaining inactive during the first days of the siege, made a sortie from the "decuman" gate and surprised the enemy, and though he could have pursued him, he refrained from doing so, fearing lest the camp might be attacked from the other side. Furius, a staff officer and brother of the consul, was carried too far in the charge, and did not notice, in the excitement of the pursuit, that his own men were returning and that the enemy were coming upon him from behind. Finding himself cut off, after many fruitless attempts to cut his way back to camp, he fell fighting desperately. The consul, hearing that his brother was surrounded, returned to the fight, and whilst he plunged into the thick of the fray was wounded, and with difficulty rescued by those round him. This incident damped the courage of his own men and raised that of the enemy, who were so inspirited by the death of a staff officer and the wound of the consul that the Romans, who had been driven back to their camp and again besieged, were no longer a match for them either in spirits or fighting strength. Their utmost efforts failed to keep the enemy in check, and they would have been in extreme danger had not T. Quinctius come to their assistance with foreign troops, an army composed of Latin and Hernican contingents. As the Aequi were directing their whole attention to the Roman camp and exultingly displaying the staff officer's head he attacked them in rear, whilst at a signal given by him a sortie was made simultaneously from the camp and a large body of the enemy were surrounded.

Amongst the Aequi who were in the Roman territory there was less loss in killed and wounded, but they were more effectually scattered in flight. Whilst they were dispersed over the country with their plunder, Postumius attacked them at various points where he had posted detachments. Their army was thus broken up into scattered bodies of fugitives, and in their flight they fell in with Quinctius, returning from his victory, with the wounded consul. The consul's army fought a brilliant action and avenged the wounds of the consuls and the slaughter of the staff officer and his cohorts. During those days great losses were inflicted and sustained by both sides. In a matter of such antiquity it is difficult to make any trustworthy statement as to the exact number of those who fought or those who fell. Valerius of Antium, however, ventures to give definite totals. He puts the Romans who fell in Hernican territory at 5800, and the Antiates who were killed by A. Postumius whilst raiding the Roman territory at 2400. The rest who fell in with Quinctius whilst carrying off their plunder got off with nothing like so small a loss; he gives as the exact number of their killed, 4230. On the return to Rome, the order for the cessation of all public business was revoked. The sky seemed to be all on fire, and other portents were either actually seen, or people in their fright imagined that they saw them. To avert these alarming omens, public intercessions were ordered for three days, during which all the temples were filled with crowds of men and women imploring the protection of the gods. After this the Latin and Hernican cohorts received the thanks of the senate for their services and were dismissed to their homes. The thousand soldiers from Antium who had come after the battle, too late to help, were sent back almost with ignominy.


3.6

Then the elections were held, and L. Aebutius and P. Servilius were chosen as consuls; they entered upon office on August 1, which was then the commencement of the consular year. The season was a trying one, and that year happened to be a pestilential one both for the City and the rural districts, for the flocks and herds quite as much as for human beings. The violence of the epidemic was aggravated by the crowding into the City of the country people and their cattle through fear of raids. This promiscuous collection of animals of all kinds became offensive to the citizens, through the unaccustomed smell, and the country people, crowded as they were into confined dwellings, were distressed by the oppressive heat which made it impossible to sleep. Their being brought into contact with each other in ordinary intercourse helped to spread the disease. Whilst they were hardly able to bear up under the pressure of this calamity, envoys from the Hernici announced that the Aequi and Volscians had united their forces, had entrenched their camp within their territory, and were ravaging their frontier with an immense army. The allies of Rome not only saw in the thinly-attended senate an indication of the widespread suffering caused by the epidemic, but they had also to carry back the melancholy reply that the Hernici must, in conjunction with the Latins, undertake their own defence. Through a sudden visitation of the angry gods, the City of Rome was being ravaged by pestilence; but if any respite from the evil should come, then she would send succour to her allies as she had done the year before and on all previous occasions. The allies departed, carrying home in answer to the gloomy tidings they had brought a still more gloomy response, for they had in their own strength to sustain a war which they had hardly been equal to when supported by the power of Rome. The enemy no longer confined himself to the country of the Hernici, he went on to destroy the fields of Rome, which were already lying waste without having suffered the ravages of war. He met no one, not even an unarmed peasant, and after over running the country, abandoned as it was by its defenders and even devoid of all cultivation, he reached the third milestone from Rome on the Gabian road. Aebutius, the consul, was dead, his colleague Servilius was still breathing, with little hope of recovery, most of the leading men were down, the majority of the senators, nearly all the men of military age, so that not only was their strength unequal to an expeditionary force such as the position of affairs required, but it hardly allowed of their mounting guard for home defence. The duty of sentinel was discharged in person by those of the senators whose age and health allowed them to do so; the aediles of the plebs were responsible for their inspection. On these magistrates had devolved the consular authority and the supreme control of affairs.


3.7

The helpless commonwealth, deprived of its head and all its strength, was saved by its guardian deities and the fortune of the City, who made the Volscians and Aequi think more of plunder than of their enemy. For they had no hope of even approaching the walls of Rome, still less of effecting its capture. The distant view of its houses and its hills, so far from alluring them repelled them. Everywhere throughout their camp angry remonstrances arose: "Why were they idly wasting their time in a waste and deserted land amid plague-stricken beasts and men while they could find places free from infection in the territory of Tusculum with its abundant wealth?" They hastily plucked up their standards, and by cross-marches through the fields of Labici they reached the hills of Tusculum. All the violence and storm of war was now turned in this direction. Meantime the Hernici and Latins joined their forces and proceeded to Rome. They were actuated by a feeling not only of pity but also of the disgrace they would incur if they had offered no opposition to their common foe while he was advancing to attack Rome, or had brought no succour to those who were their allies. Not finding the enemy there, they followed up their traces from the information supplied them, and met them as they were descending from the hills of Tusculum into the valley of Alba. Here a very one-sided action was fought, and their fidelity to their allies met with little success for the time. The mortality in Rome through the epidemic was not less than that of the allies through the sword. The surviving consul died; amongst other illustrious victims were M. Valerius and T. Verginius Rutilus, the augurs, and Ser. Sulpicius, the "Curio Maximus." Amongst the common people the violence of the epidemic made great ravage. The senate, deprived of all human aid, bade the people betake themselves to prayers; they with their wives and children were ordered to go as suppliants and entreat the gods to be gracious. Summoned by public authority to do what each man's misery was constraining him to do, they crowded all the temples. Prostrate matrons, sweeping with their dishevelled hair the temple floors, were everywhere imploring pardon from offended heaven, and entreating that an end might be put to the pestilence.


3.8

Whether it was that the gods graciously answered prayer or that the unhealthy season had passed, people gradually threw off the influence of the epidemic and the public health became more satisfactory. Attention was once more turned to affairs of State, and after one or two interregna had expired, P. Valerius Publicola, who had been interrex for two days, conducted the election of L. Lucretius Tricipitinus and T. Veturius Geminus-or Vetusius-as consuls. They entered office on August 11, and the State was now strong enough not only to defend its frontiers, but to take the offensive. Consequently, when the Hernici announced that the enemy had crossed their frontiers, help was promptly sent. Two consular armies were enrolled. Veturius was sent to act against the Volsci, Tricipitinus had to protect the country of the allies from predatory incursions, and did not advance beyond the Hernican frontier. In the first battle Veturius defeated and routed the enemy. Whilst Lucretius lay encamped amongst the Hernici, a body of plunderers evaded him by marching over the mountains of Praeneste, and descending into the plains devastated the fields of the Praenestines and Gabians, and then turned off to the hills above Tusculum. Great alarm was felt in Rome, more from the surprising rapidity of the movement than from insufficiency of strength to repel any attack. Quintus Fabius was prefect of the City. By arming the younger men and manning the defences, he restored quiet and security everywhere. The enemy did not venture to attack the City, but returned by a circuitous route with the plunder they had secured from the neighbourhood. The greater their distance from the City the more carelessly they marched, and in this state they fell in with the consul Lucretius, who had reconnoitred the route they were taking and was in battle formation, eager to engage. As they were on the alert and ready for the enemy, the Romans, though considerably fewer in numbers, routed and scattered the vast host, whom the unexpected attack had thrown into confusion, drove them into the deep valleys and prevented their escape. The Volscian nation was almost wiped out there. I find in some of the annals that 13,470 men fell in the battle and the pursuit, and 1750 were taken prisoners, whilst twenty-seven military standards were captured. Although there may be some exaggeration, there certainly was a great slaughter. The consul, after securing enormous booty, returned victorious to his camp. The two consuls then united their camps; the Volscians and Aequi also concentrated their shattered forces. A third battle took place that year; again fortune gave the victory to the Romans, the enemy were routed and their camp taken.


3.9

Matters at home drifted back to their old state; the successes in the war forthwith evoked disorders in the City. Gaius Terentilius Harsa was a tribune of the plebs that year. Thinking that the absence of the consuls afforded a good opportunity for tribunitian agitation, he spent several days in haranguing the plebeians on the overbearing arrogance of the patricians. In particular he inveighed against the authority of the consuls as excessive and intolerable in a free commonwealth, for whilst in name it was less invidious, in reality it was almost more harsh and oppressive than that of the kings had been, for now, he said, they had two masters instead of one, with uncontrolled, unlimited powers, who, with nothing to curb their licence, directed all the threats and penalties of the laws against the plebeians. To prevent this unfettered tyranny from lasting for ever, he said he would propose an enactment that a commission of five should be appointed to draw up in writing the laws which regulated the power of the consuls. Whatever jurisdiction over themselves the people gave the consul, that and that only was he to exercise; he was not to regard his own licence and caprice as law. When this measure was promulgated, the patricians were apprehensive lest in the absence of the consuls they might have to accept the yoke. A meeting of the senate was convened by Q. Fabius, the prefect of the City. He made such a violent attack upon the proposed law and its author, that the threats and intimidation could not have been greater even if the two consuls had been standing by the tribune, threatening his life. He accused him of plotting treason, of seizing a favourable moment for compassing the ruin of the commonwealth. "Had the gods," he continued, "given us a tribune like him last year, during the pestilence and the war, nothing could have stopped him. After the death of the two consuls, whilst the State was lying prostrate, he would have passed laws, amid the universal confusion, to deprive the commonwealth of the power of the consuls, he would have led the Volscians and Aequi in an attack on the City. Why, surely it is open to him to impeach the consuls for whatever tyranny or cruelty they may have been guilty of towards any citizen, to bring them to trial before those very judges, one of whom had been their victim. His action was making-not the authority of the consuls, but-the power of the tribunes odious and intolerable, and after being exercised peaceably and in harmony with the patricians, that power was now reverting to its old evil practices." As to Terentilius, he would not dissuade him from continuing as he began. "As to you," said Fabius, "the other tribunes, we beg you to reflect that in the first instance your power was conferred upon you for the assistance of individual citizens, not for the ruin of all; you have been elected as the tribunes of the plebs, not as the enemies of the patricians. To us it is distressing, to you it is a source of odium that the commonwealth should be thus attacked while it is without its head. You will not impair your rights, but you will lessen the odium felt against you if you arrange with your colleague to have the whole matter adjourned till the arrival of the consuls. Even the Aequi and Volscians, after the consuls had been carried off by the epidemic last year, did not harass us with a cruel and ruthless war." The tribunes came to an understanding with Terentilius and the proceedings were ostensibly adjourned, but, as a matter of fact, abandoned. The consuls were immediately summoned home.


3.10

Lucretius returned with an immense amount of booty, and with a still more brilliant reputation. This prestige he enhanced on his arrival by laying out all the booty in the Campus Martius for three days, that each person might recognise and take away his own property. The rest, for which no owners appeared, was sold. By universal consent a triumph was due to the consul, but the matter was delayed through the action of the tribune, who was pressing his measure. The consul regarded this as the more important question. For some days the subject was discussed both in the senate and the popular assembly. At last the tribune yielded to the supreme authority of the consul and dropped his measure. Then the consul and his army received the honour they deserved; at the head of his victorious legions he celebrated his triumph over the Volscians and Aequi. The other consul was allowed to enter the City without his troops and enjoy an ovation. The following year the new consuls, P. Volumnius and Ser. Sulpicius, were confronted by the proposed law of Terentilius, which was now brought forward by the whole college of tribunes. During the year, the sky seemed to be on fire; there was a great earthquake; an ox was believed to have spoken-the year before this rumour found no credence. Amongst other portents it rained flesh, and an enormous number of birds are said to have seized it while they were flying about; what fell to the ground lay about for several days without giving out any bad smell. The Sibylline Books were consulted by the "duumviri," and a prediction was found of dangers which would result from a gathering of aliens, attempts on the highest points of the City and consequent bloodshed. Amongst other notices, there was a solemn warning to abstain from all seditious agitations. The tribunes alleged that this was done to obstruct the passing of the Law, and a desperate conflict seemed imminent.

As though to show how events revolve in the same cycle year by year, the Hernici reported that the Volscians and Aequi, in spite of their exhaustion, were equipping fresh armies. Antium was the centre of the movement; the colonists of Antium were holding public meetings in Ecetra, the capital, and the main strength of the war. On this information being laid before the senate, orders were given for a levy. The consuls were instructed to divide the operations between them; the Volscians were to be the province of the one, the Aequi of the other. The tribunes, even in face of the consuls, filled the Forum with their shouts declaring that the story of a Volscian war was a prearranged comedy, the Hernici had been prepared beforehand for the part they were to play; the liberties of the Roman were not being repressed by straightforward opposition, but were being cunningly fooled away. It was impossible to persuade them that the Volscians and Aequi, after being almost exterminated, could themselves commence hostilities; a new enemy, therefore, was being sought for; a colony which had been a loyal neighbour was being covered with infamy. It was against the unoffending people of Antium that war was declared; it was against the Roman plebs that war was really being waged. After loading them with arms they would drive them in hot haste out of the City, and wreak their vengeance on the tribunes by sentencing their fellow-citizens to banishment. By this means-they might be quite certain-the Law would be defeated; unless, while the question was still undecided, and they were still at home, still unenrolled, they took steps to prevent their being ousted from their occupation of the City, and forced under the yoke of servitude. If they showed courage, help would not be wanting, the tribunes were unanimous. There was no cause for alarm, no danger from abroad. The gods had taken care, the previous year, that their liberties should be safely protected.


3.11

Thus far the tribunes. The consuls at the other end of the Forum, however, placed their chairs in full view of the tribunes and proceeded with the levy. The tribunes ran to the spot, carrying the Assembly with them. A few were cited, apparently as an experiment, and a tumult arose at once. As soon as any one was seized by the consuls' orders, a tribune ordered him to be released. None of them confined himself to his legal rights; trusting to their strength they were bent upon getting what they set their minds upon by main force. The methods of the tribunes in preventing the enrolment were followed by the patricians in obstructing the Law, which was brought forward every day that the Assembly met. The trouble began when the tribunes had ordered the people to proceed to vote-the patricians refused to withdraw. The older members of the order were generally absent from proceedings which were certain not to be controlled by reason, but given over to recklessness and licence; the consuls, too, for the most part kept away, lest in the general disorder the dignity of their office might be exposed to insult. Caeso was a member of the Quinctian house, and his noble descent and great bodily strength and stature made him a daring and intrepid young man. To these gifts of the gods he added brilliant military qualities and eloquence as a public speaker, so that no one in the State was held to surpass him either in speech or action. When he took his stand in the middle of a group of patricians, conspicuous amongst them all, carrying as it were in his voice and personal strength all dictatorships and consulships combined, he was the one to withstand the attacks of the tribunes and the storms of popular indignation. Under his leadership the tribunes were often driven from the Forum, the plebeians routed and chased away, anybody who stood in his way went off stripped and beaten. It became quite clear that if this sort of thing were allowed to go on, the Law would be defeated. When the other tribunes were now almost in despair, Aulus Verginius, one of the college, impeached Caeso on a capital charge. This procedure inflamed more than it intimidated his violent temper; he opposed the Law and harassed the plebeians more fiercely than ever, and declared regular war against the tribunes. His accuser allowed him to rush to his ruin and fan the flame of popular hatred, and so supply fresh material for the charges to be brought against him. Meantime he continued to press the Law, not so much in the hope of carrying it as in order to provoke Caeso to greater recklessness. Many wild speeches and exploits of the younger patricians were fastened on Caeso to strengthen the suspicions against him. Still the opposition to the Law was kept up. A. Verginius frequently said to the plebeians, "Are you now aware, Quirites, that you cannot have the Law which you desire, and Caeso as a citizen, together? Yet, why do I talk of the Law? He is a foe to liberty, he surpasses all the Tarquins in tyranny. Wait till you see the man who now, in private station, acts the king in audacity and violence- wait till you see him made consul, or dictator." His words were endorsed by many who complained of having been beaten, and the tribune was urged to bring the matter to a decision.


3.12

The day of trial was now at hand, and it was evident that men generally believed that their liberty depended upon the condemnation of Caeso. At last, to his great indignation, he was constrained to approach individual members of the plebs; he was followed by his friends, who were amongst the foremost men of the State. Titus Quinctius Capitolinus, who had three times been consul, after recounting his own numerous distinctions and those of his family, asserted that neither in the Quinctian house nor in the Roman State did there exist another such example of personal merit and youthful courage. He had been the foremost soldier in his army; he had often fought under his own eyes. Sp. Furius said that Caeso had been sent by Quinctius Capitolinus to his assistance when in difficulties, and that no single person had done more to retrieve the fortunes of the day. L. Lucretius, the consul of the previous year, in the splendour of his newly-won glory, associated Caeso with his own claim to distinction, enumerated the actions in which he had taken part, recounted his brilliant exploits on the march and in the field, and did his utmost to persuade them to retain as their own fellow-citizen a young man furnished with every advantage that nature and fortune could give, who would be an immense power in any state of which he became a member, rather than drive him to an alien people. As to what had given such offence- his hot temper and audacity-these faults were being continually lessened; what was wanting in him -prudence-was increasing day by day. As his faults were decaying and his virtues maturing, they ought to allow such a man to live out his years in the commonwealth. Among those who spoke for him was his father, L. Quinctius Cincinnatus. He did not go over all his merits again, for fear of aggravating the feeling against him, but he pleaded for indulgence to the errors of youth; he himself had never injured any one either by word or deed, and for his own sake he implored them to pardon his son. Some refused to listen to his prayers, lest they should incur the displeasure of their friends; others complained of the maltreatment they had received, and by their angry replies showed beforehand what their verdict would be.


3.13

Over and above the general exasperation, one charge in particular weighed heavily against him. M. Volscius Fictor, who had some years previously been tribune of the plebs, had come forward to give evidence that not long after the epidemic had visited the City, he had met some young men strolling in the Suburra. A quarrel broke out and his elder brother, still weak from illness, was knocked down by a blow from Caeso's fist, and carried home in a critical condition, and afterwards died, he believed, in consequence of the blow. He had not been allowed by the consuls, during the years that had elapsed, to obtain legal redress for the outrage. Whilst Volscius was telling this story in a loud tone of voice, so much excitement was created that Caeso was very near losing his life at the hands of the people. Verginius ordered him to be arrested and taken to prison. The patricians met violence by violence. T. Quinctius called out that when the day of trial has been fixed for any one indicted on a capital charge and is near at hand, his personal liberty ought not to be interfered with before the case is heard and sentence given. The tribune replied that he was not going to inflict punishment upon a man not yet found guilty; but he should keep him in prison till the day of the trial, that the Roman people might be in a position to punish one who has taken a man's life. The other tribunes were appealed to, and they saved their prerogative by a compromise; they forbade him to be cast into prison, and announced as their decision that the accused should appear in court, and if he failed to do so, he should forfeit a sum of money to the people. The question was, what sum would it be fair to fix? The matter was referred to the senate, the accused was detained in the Assembly whilst the senators were deliberating. They decided that he should give sureties, and each surety was bound in 3000 "ases" It was left to the tribunes to decide how many should be given; they fixed the number at ten. The prosecutor released the accused on that bail. Caeso was the first who gave securities on a state trial. After leaving the Forum, he went the following night into exile amongst the Tuscans. When the day for the trial came, it was pleaded in defence of his non-appearance that he had changed his domicile by going into exile. Verginius, nevertheless, went on with the proceedings, but his colleagues, to whom an appeal was made, dismissed the Assembly. The money was unmercifully extorted from the father, who had to sell all his property and live for some time like a banished man in an out-of-the-way hut on the other side of the Tiber.


3.14

This trial and the discussions on the Law kept the State employed; there was a respite from foreign troubles. The patricians were cowed by the banishment of Caeso, and the tribunes, having, as they thought, gained the victory, regarded the Law as practically carried. As far as the senior senators were concerned, they abandoned the control of public affairs, but the younger members of the order, mostly those who had been Caeso's intimates, were more bitter than ever against the plebeians, and quite as aggressive. They made much more progress by conducting the attack in a methodical manner. The first time that the Law was brought forward after Caeso's flight they were organised in readiness, and on the tribunes furnishing them with a pretext, by ordering them to withdraw, they attacked them with a huge army of clients in such a way that no single individual could carry home any special share of either glory or odium. The plebeians complained that for one Caeso thousands had sprung up. During the intervals when the tribunes were not agitating the Law, nothing could be more quiet or peaceable than these same men; they accosted the plebeians affably, entered into conversation with them, invited them to their houses, and when present in the Forum even allowed the tribunes to bring all other questions forward without interrupting them. They were never disagreeable to any one either in public or private, except when a discussion commenced on the Law; on all other occasions they were friendly with the people. Not only did the tribunes get through all their other business quietly, but they were even re-elected for the following year, without any offensive remark being made, still less any violence being offered. By gentle handling they gradually made the plebs tractable, and through these methods the Law was cleverly evaded throughout the year.


3.15

The new consuls, C. Claudius, the son of Appius, and P. Valerius Publicola, took over the State in a quieter condition than usual. The new year brought nothing new. Political interest centered in the fate of the Law. The more the younger senators ingratiated themselves with the plebeians, the fiercer became the opposition of the tribunes. They tried to arouse suspicion against them by alleging that a conspiracy had been formed; Caeso was in Rome, and plans were laid for the assassination of the tribunes and the wholesale massacre of the plebeians, and further that the senior senators had assigned to the younger members of the order the task of abolishing the tribunitian authority so that the political conditions might be the same as they were before the occupation of the Sacred Hill. War with the Volscians and Aequi had become now a regular thing of almost annual recurrence, and was looked forward to with apprehension. A fresh misfortune happened nearer home. The political refugees and a number of slaves, some 2500 in all, under the leadership of Appius Herdonius the Sabine, seized the Capitol and Citadel by night. Those who refused to join the conspirators were instantly massacred, others in the confusion rushed in wild terror down to the Forum; various shouts were heard: "To arms!" "The enemy is in the City." The consuls were afraid either to arm the plebeians or to leave them without arms. Uncertain as to the nature of the trouble which had overtaken the City, whether it was caused by citizens or by foreigners, whether due to the embittered feelings of the plebs or to the treachery of slaves, they tried to allay the tumult, but their efforts only increased it; in their terrified and distracted state the population could not be controlled. Arms were, however, distributed, not indiscriminately, but only, as it was an unknown foe, to secure protection sufficient for all emergencies. The rest of the night they spent in posting men in all the convenient situations in the City, while their uncertainty as to the nature and numbers of the enemy kept them in anxious suspense. Daylight at length disclosed the enemy and their leader. Appius Herdonius was calling from the Capitol to the slaves to win their liberty, saying that he had espoused the cause of all the wretched in order to restore the exiles who had been wrongfully banished and remove the heavy yoke from the necks of the slaves. He would rather that this be done at the bidding of the Roman people, but if that were hopeless, he would run all risks and rouse the Volscians and Aequi.


3.16

The state of affairs became clearer to the senators and consuls. They were, however, apprehensive lest behind these openly declared aims there should be some design of the Veientines or Sabines, and whilst there was this large hostile force within the City the Etruscan and Sabine legions should appear, and then the Volscians and Aequi, their standing foes, should come, not into their territory to ravage, but into the City itself, already partly captured. Many and various were their fears. What they most dreaded was a rising of the slaves, when every man would have an enemy in his own house, whom it would be alike unsafe to trust and not to trust, since by withdrawing confidence he might be made a more determined enemy. Such threatening and overwhelming dangers could only be surmounted by unity and concord, and no fears were felt as to the tribunes or the plebs. That evil was mitigated, for as it only broke out when there was a respite from other evils, it was believed to have subsided now in the dread of foreign aggression. Yet it, more than almost anything else, helped to further depress the fortunes of the sinking State. For such madness seized the tribunes that they maintained that it was not war but an empty phantom of war which had settled in the Capitol, in order to divert the thoughts of the people from the Law. Those friends, they said, and clients of the patricians would depart more silently than they had come if they found their noisy demonstration frustrated by the passing of the Law. They then summoned the people to lay aside their arms and form an Assembly for the purpose of carrying the Law. Meantime the consuls, more alarmed at the action of the tribunes than at the nocturnal enemy, convened a meeting of the senate.


3.17

When it was reported that arms were being laid aside and men were deserting their posts, P. Valerius left his colleague to keep the senate together and hurried to the tribunes at the templum. "What," he asked, "is the meaning of this, tribunes? Are you going to overthrow the State under the leadership of Appius Herdonius? Has the man whose appeals failed to rouse a single slave been so successful as to corrupt you? Is it when the enemy is over our heads that you decide that men shall lay down their arms and discuss laws?" Then turning to the Assembly he said, "If, Quirites, you feel no concern for the City, no anxiety for yourselves, still show reverence for your gods who have been taken captive by an enemy! Jupiter Optimus Maximus, Queen Juno and Minerva, with other gods and goddesses, are being besieged; a camp of slaves holds the tutelary deities of your country in its power. Is this the appearance which you think a State in its senses ought to present-a large hostile force not only within the walls, but in the Citadel, above the Forum, above the Senate-house, whilst meantime the Assembly is being held in the Forum, the senate are in the Senate-house, and as though peace and quiet prevailed, a senator is addressing the House, whilst the Quirites in the Assembly are proceeding to vote? Would it not be more becoming for every man, patrician and plebeian alike, for the consuls and tribunes, for gods and men, to come, one and all, to the rescue with their arms, to run to the Capitol and restore liberty and calm to that most venerable abode of Jupiter Optimus Maximus? O, Father Romulus, grant to shine offspring that spirit in which thou didst once win back from these same Sabines the Citadel which had been captured with gold! Bid them take the road on which thou didst lead shine army. Behold, I, the consul, will be the first to follow thee and thy footsteps as far as mortal man can follow a god." He ended his speech by saying that he was taking up arms, and he summoned all the Quirites to arms. If any one tried to obstruct, he should now ignore the limits set to his consular authority, the power of the tribunes, and the laws which made them inviolable, and whoever or wherever he might be, whether in the Capitol or the Forum, he should treat him as a public enemy. The tribunes had better order arms to be taken up against P. Valerius the consul, as they forbade them to be used against Appius Herdonius. He would dare to do in the case of the tribunes what the head of his family had dared to do in the case of the kings. There was every prospect of an appeal to force, and of the enemy enjoying the spectacle of a riot in Rome. However, the Law could not be voted upon, nor could the consul go to the Capitol, for night put an end to the threatened conflict. As night came on the tribunes retired, afraid of the consul's arms. When the authors of the disturbance were out of the way, the senators went about amongst the plebeians, and mingling with different groups pointed out the seriousness of the crisis, and warned them to reflect into what a dangerous position they were bringing the State. It was not a contest between patricians and plebeians; patricians and plebeians alike, the stronghold of the City, the temples of the gods, the guardian deities of the State and of every home, were being surrendered to the enemy. While these steps were being taken to lay the spirit of discord in the Forum, the consuls had gone away to inspect the gates and walls, in case of any movement on the part of the Sabines or Veientines.


3.18

The same night messengers reached Tusculum with tidings of the capture of the Citadel, the seizure of the Capitol, and the generally disturbed state of the City. L. Mamilius was at that time Dictator of Tusculum. After hurriedly convening the senate and introducing the messengers, he strongly urged the senators not to wait until envoys arrived from Rome begging for help; the fact of the danger and the seriousness of the crisis, the gods who watched over alliances, and loyalty to treaties, all demanded instant action. Never again would the gods vouchsafe so favourable an opportunity for conferring an obligation on so powerful a State or one so close to their own doors. They decided that help should be sent, the men of military age were enrolled, arms were distributed. As they approached Rome in the early dawn, they presented in the distance the appearance of enemies; it seemed as though Aequi or Volscians were coming. When this groundless alarm was removed they were admitted into the City and marched in order into the Forum, where P. Valerius, who had left his colleague to direct the troops on guard at the gates, was forming his army for battle. It was his authority that had achieved this result; he declared that if, when the Capitol was recovered and the City pacified they would allow the covert dishonesty of the Law which the tribunes supported to be explained to them, he would not oppose the holding of a plebeian Assembly, for he was not unmindful of his ancestors or of the name he bore, which made the protection of the plebs, so to speak, a hereditary care. Following his leadership, amid the futile protests of the tribunes, they marched in order of battle up the Capitoline hill, the legion from Tusculum marching with them. The Romans and their allies were striving which should have the glory of recapturing the Citadel. Each of the commanders were encouraging his men. Then the enemy lost heart, their only confidence was in the strength of their position; whilst thus demoralised the Romans and allies advanced to the charge. They had already forced their way into the vestibule of the temple, when P. Valerius, who was in the front, cheering on his men, was killed. P. Volumnius, a man of consular rank, saw him fall. Directing his men to protect the body, he ran to the front and took the consul's place. In the heat of their charge the soldiers were not aware of the loss they had sustained; they gained the victory before they knew that they were fighting without a general. Many of the exiles defiled the temple with their blood, many were taken prisoners, Herdonius was killed. So the Capitol was recovered. Punishment was inflicted on the prisoners according to their condition whether slave or freeman; a vote of thanks was accorded to the Tusculans; the Capitol was cleansed and solemnly purified It is stated that the plebeians threw quadrantes into the consul's house that he might have a more splendid funeral.


3.19

No sooner were order and quiet restored than the tribunes began to press upon the senators the necessity of redeeming the promise made by Publius Valerius; they urged Claudius to free his colleague's manes from the guilt of deception by allowing the Law to be proceeded with. The consul refused to allow it until he had secured the election of a colleague. The contest went on till the election was held. In the month of December, after the utmost exertions on the part of the patricians, L. Quinctius Cincinnatus, the father of Caeso, was elected consul, and at once took up his office. The plebeians were dismayed at the prospect of having as consul a man incensed against them, and powerful in the warm support of the senate, in his own personal merits, and in his three children, not one of whom was Caeso's inferior in loftiness of mind, while they were his superiors in exhibiting prudence and moderation where necessary. When he entered on his magistracy he continually delivered harangues from the tribunal, in which he censured the senate as energetically as he put down the plebs. It was, he said, through the apathy of that order that the tribunes of the plebs, now perpetually in office, acted as kings in their speeches and accusations, as though they were living, not in the commonwealth of Rome, but in some wretched ill-regulated family. Courage, resolution, all that makes youth distinguished at home and in the battle-field, had been expelled and banished from Rome with his son Caeso. Loquacious agitators, sowers of discord, made tribunes for the second and third time in succession, were living by means of infamous practices in regal licentiousness. "Did that fellow," he asked, "Aulus Verginius, because he did not happen to be in the Capitol, deserve less punishment than Appius Herdonius? Considerably more, by Jove, if any choose to form a true estimate of the matter. Herdonius, if he did nothing else, avowed himself an enemy and in a measure summoned you to take up arms; this man, by denying the existence of a war, deprived you of your arms, and exposed you defenceless to the mercy of your slaves and exiles. And did you-without disrespect to C. Claudius and the dead P. Valerius, I would ask-did you advance against the Capitol before you cleared these enemies out of the Forum? It is an outrage on gods and men, that when there were enemies in the Citadel, in the Capitol, and the leader of the slaves and exiles, after profaning everything, had taken up his quarters in the very shrine of Jupiter Optimus Maximus, it should be at Tusculum, not at Rome, that arms were first taken up. It was doubtful whether the Citadel of Rome would be delivered by the Tusculan general, L. Mamilius, or by the consuls, P. Valerius and C. Claudius. We, who had not allowed the Latins to arm, even to defend themselves against invasion, would have been taken and destroyed, had not these very Latins taken up arms unbidden. This, tribunes, is what you call protecting the plebs, exposing it to be helplessly butchered by the enemy! If the meanest member of your order, which you have as it were severed from the rest of the people and made into a province, a State of your own-if such an one, I say, were to report to you that his house was beset by armed slaves, you would, I presume, think that you ought to render him assistance; was not Jupiter Optimus Maximus, when shut in by armed slaves and exiles, worthy to receive any human aid? Do these fellows demand that their persons shall be sacred and inviolable, when the very gods themselves are neither sacred nor inviolable in their eyes? But, steeped as you are in crimes against gods and men, you give out that you will carry your Law this year. Then, most assuredly, if you do carry it; the day when I was made consul will be a far worse day for the State than that on which P. Valerius perished. Now I give you notice, Quirites, the very first thing that my colleague and myself intend to do is to march the legions against the Volscians and Aequi. By some strange fatality, we find the gods more propitious when we are at war than when we are at peace. It is better to infer from what has occurred in the past than to learn by actual experience how great the danger from those States would have been had they known that the Capitol was in the hands of exiles."


3.20

The consul's speech produced an impression on the plebs; the patricians were encouraged and regarded the State as re-established. The other consul, who showed more courage in supporting than in proposing, was quite content for his colleague to take the first step in a matter of such importance but in carrying it out he claimed his full responsibility as consul. The tribunes laughed at what they considered idle words; and constantly asked, "By what method were the consuls going to take out an army, when no one would allow one to be levied?" "We do not," said Quinctius, "require to make a levy. At the time when P. Valerius supplied the people with arms for the recovery of the Capitol, they all took the oath to muster at the consul's orders, and not to disband without his orders. We, therefore, issue an order that all of you who took that oath appear under arms, tomorrow, at Lake Regillus." Thereupon the tribunes wanted to release the people from their oath by raising a quibble. They argued that Quinctius was not consul when the oath was taken. But the neglect of the gods, which prevails in this age, had not yet appeared, nor did every man interpret oaths and laws in just the sense which suited him best; he preferred to shape his own conduct by their requirements. The tribunes, finding any attempt at obstruction hopeless, set themselves to delay the departure of the army. They were the more anxious to do this as a report had got abroad that the augurs had received instructions to repair to Lake Regillus and set apart with the usual augural formalities a spot where business could be transacted by a properly constituted Assembly. This would enable every measure which had been carried by the violent exercise of the tribunitian authority to be repealed by the regular Assembly of the Tribes. All would vote as the consuls wished, for the right of appeal did not extend beyond a mile from the City, and the tribunes themselves, if they went with the army, would be subject to the authority of the consuls. These rumours were alarming; but what filled them with the greatest alarm were the repeated assertions of Quinctius that he should not hold an election of consuls; the diseases of the State were such that none of the usual remedies could check them; the commonwealth needed a Dictator, in order that any one who took steps to disturb the existing constitution might learn that from a Dictator there lay no appeal.


3.21

The senate was in the Capitol. Thither the tribunes proceeded, accompanied by the plebeians in a great state of consternation. They loudly appealed for help, first to the consuls, then to the senators, but they did not shake the determination of the consul, until the tribunes had promised that they would bow to the authority of the senate. The consuls laid before the senate the demands of the plebs and their tribunes, and decrees were passed that the tribunes should not bring forward their Law during the year, nor should the consuls take the army out of the City. The senate also judged it to be against the interests of the State that a magistrate's tenure of office should be prolonged, or that the tribunes should be re-elected. The consuls yielded to the authority of the senate, but the tribunes, against the protests of the consuls, were re-elected. On this, the senate also, to avoid giving any advantage to the plebs, reappointed Lucius Quinctius as consul. Nothing during the whole year roused the indignation of the consul more than this proceeding of theirs. "Can I," he exclaimed, "be surprised, Conscript Fathers, if your authority has little weight with the plebs? You yourselves are weakening it. Because, forsooth, they have disregarded the senatorial decree forbidding a magistrate's continuance in office, you yourselves wish it to be disregarded, that you may not be behind the populace in headstrong thoughtlessness, as though to possess more power in the State was to show more levity and lawlessness. It is undoubtedly a more idle and foolish thing to do away with one's own resolutions and decrees than with those of others. Imitate, Conscript Fathers, the inconsiderate multitude; sin after the example of others, you who ought to be an example to others, rather than that others should act rightly after your example, as long as I do not imitate the tribunes or allow myself to be returned as consul in defiance of the resolution of the senate. To you, C. Claudius, I earnestly appeal, that you, too, will restrain the Roman people from this lawlessness. As to myself, rest assured that I will accept your action in the firm belief that you have not stood in the way of my advancement to honour, but that I have gathered greater glory by rejecting it, and have removed the odium which my continuance in office would have provoked." Thereupon the two consuls issued a joint edict that no one should make L. Quinctius consul; if any one attempted it, they would not allow the vote.


3.22

The consuls elected were Q. Fabius Vibulanus, for the third time, and L. Cornelius Maluginensis. In that year the census was taken, and owing to the seizure of the Capitol and the death of the consul, the "lustrum " was closed on religious grounds. During their consulship matters became disturbed at the very beginning of the year. The tribunes began to instigate the plebs. The Latins and Hernici reported that war on an immense scale was commenced by the Volscians and Aequi, the Volscian legions were already at Antium, and there were grave fears of the colony itself revolting. With great difficulty the tribunes were induced to allow the war to take precedence of their Law. Then their respective spheres of operation were allotted to the consuls: Fabius was commissioned to take the legions to Antium; Cornelius was to protect Rome and prevent detachments of the enemy from coming on marauding expeditions, as was the custom with the Aequi. The Hernici and Latins were ordered to furnish troops, in accordance with the treaty; two-thirds of the army consisted of allies, the rest of Roman citizens. The allies came in on the appointed day, and the consul encamped outside the Capene gate. When the lustration of the army was completed, he marched to Antium and halted at a short distance from the city and from the enemies' standing camp. As the army of the Aequi had not arrived, the Volscians did not venture on an engagement, and prepared to act on the defensive and protect their camp. The next day Fabius formed his troops round the enemies' lines, not in one mixed army of allies and citizens, but each nation in a separate division, he himself being in the centre with the Roman legions. He gave orders to carefully observe his signals, that all might commence the action and retire-should the signal for retirement be sounded-at the same moment. The cavalry were stationed behind their respective divisions. In this triple formation he assaulted three sides of the camp, and the Volscians, unable to meet the simultaneous attack, were dislodged from the breastworks. Getting inside their lines he drove the panic-struck crowd, who were all pressing in one direction, out of their camp. The cavalry, unable to surmount the breastworks, had so far been merely spectators of the fight, now they overtook the enemy and cut them down as they fled in disorder over the plain, and so enjoyed a share of the victory. There was a great slaughter both in the camp and in the pursuit, but a still greater amount of spoil, as the enemy had hardly been able to carry away even their arms. Their army would have been annihilated had not the fugitives found shelter in the forest.


3.23

Whilst these events were occurring at Antium, the Aequi sent forward some of their best troops and by a sudden night attack captured the citadel of Tusculum; the rest of the army they halted not far from the walls, in order to distract the enemy. Intelligence of this quickly reached Rome, and from Rome was carried to the camp before Antium, where it produced as much excitement as if the Capitol had been taken. The service which Tusculum had so recently rendered and the similar character of the danger then and now, demanded a similar return of assistance. Fabius made it his first object to carry the spoil from the camp into Antium; leaving a small force there he hastened by forced marches to Tusculum. The soldiers were not allowed to carry anything but their arms and whatever baked bread was at hand, the consul Cornelius brought up supplies from Rome. The fighting went on for some months at Tusculum. With a portion of his army the consul attacked the camp of the Aequi, the rest he lent to the Tusculans for the recapture of their citadel. This could not be approached by direct assault. Ultimately, famine compelled the enemy to evacuate it, and after being reduced to the last extremities, they were all stripped of their arms and clothes and sent under the yoke. Whilst they were making their way home in this ignominious plight, the Roman consul on Algidus followed them up and slew them to a man. After this victory he led his army back to a place called Columen, where he fixed his camp. As the walls of Rome were no longer exposed to danger after the defeat of the enemy, the other consul also marched out of the City. The two consuls entered the enemies' territories by separate routes, and each tried to outdo the other in devastating the Volscian lands on the one side and those of the Aequi on the other. I find it stated in the majority of authorities that Antium revolted this year, but that the consul L. Cornelius conducted a campaign and recaptured the town, I would not venture to assert, as there is no mention of it in the older writers.


3.24

When this war had been brought to a close, the fears of the patricians were aroused by a war which the tribunes commenced at home. They exclaimed that the army was being detained abroad from dishonest motives; it was intended to frustrate the passing of the Law; all the same they would carry through the task they had begun. L. Lucretius, the prefect of the City, succeeded, however, in inducing the tribunes to defer action till the arrival of the consuls. A fresh cause of trouble arose. A. Cornelius and Q. Servilius, the quaestors, indicted M. Volscius on the ground that he had given what was undoubtedly false evidence against Caeso. It had become known from many sources that after the brother of Volscius first became ill, he had not only never been seen in public, but had not even left his bed, and his death was due to an illness of many months' standing. On the date at which the witness fixed the crime, Caeso was not seen in Rome, whilst those who had served with him declared that he had constantly been in his place in the ranks with them and had not had leave of absence. Many people urged Volscius to institute a private suit before a judge. As he did not venture to take this course, and all the above-mentioned evidence pointed to one conclusion, his condemnation was no more doubtful than that of Caeso had been on the evidence which he had given. The tribunes managed to delay matters; they said they would not allow the quaestors to bring the accused before the Assembly unless it had first been convened to carry the Law. Both questions were adjourned till the arrival of the consuls. When they made their triumphal entry at the head of their victorious army, nothing was said about the Law; most people therefore supposed that the tribunes were intimidated. But it was now the end of the year and they were aiming at a fourth year of office, so they turned their activity from the Law to canvassing the electors. Though the consuls had opposed the tribunes' continuance in office as strenuously as if the Law had been mooted solely to impair their authority, the victory remained with the tribunes. In the same year the Aequi sued for and obtained peace. The census, commenced the previous year, was completed, and the "lustrum," which was then closed, is stated to have been the tenth since the beginning of the City. The numbers of the census amounted to 117,319. The consuls in that year won a great reputation both at home and in war, for they secured peace abroad, and though there was not harmony at home, the commonwealth was less disturbed than it had been on other occasions.


3.25

The new consuls, L. Minucius and C. Nautius, took over the two subjects which remained from the previous year. As before, they obstructed the Law, the tribunes obstructed the trial of Volscius; but the new quaestors possessed greater energy and greater weight. T. Quinctius Capitolinus, who had been thrice consul, was quaestor with M. Valerius, the son of Valerius and grandson of Volesus. As Caeso could not be restored to the house of the Quinctii, nor could the greatest of her soldiers be restored to the State, Quinctius was bound in justice and by loyalty to his family to prosecute the false witness who had deprived an innocent man of the power to plead in his own defence. As Verginius, most of all the tribunes, was agitating for the Law, an interval of two months was granted the consuls for an examination of it, in order that when they had made the people understand what insidious dishonesty it contained, they might allow them to vote upon it. During this interval matters were quiet in the City. The Aequi, however, did not allow much respite. In violation of the treaty made with Rome the year before, they made predatory incursions into the territory of Labici and then into that of Tusculum. They had placed Gracchus Cloelius in command, their foremost man at that time. After loading themselves with plunder they fixed their camp on Mount Algidus. Q. Fabius, P. Volumnius, and A. Postumius were sent from Rome to demand satisfaction, under the terms of the treaty. The general's quarters were located under an enormous oak, and he told the Roman envoys to deliver the instructions they had received from the senate to the oak under whose shadow he was sitting, as he was otherwise engaged. As they withdrew, one of the envoys exclaimed, "May this consecrated oak, may each offended deity hear that you have broken the treaty! May they look upon our complaint now, and may they presently aid our arms when we seek to redress the outraged rights of gods as well as men!" On the return of the envoys, the senate ordered one of the consuls to march against Gracchus on Algidus; the other was instructed to ravage the territory of the Aequi. As usual, the tribunes attempted to obstruct the levy and probably would in the end have succeeded, had there not been fresh cause for alarm.


3.26

An immense body of Sabines came in their ravages almost up to the walls of the City. The fields were ruined, the City thoroughly alarmed. Now the plebeians cheerfully took up arms, the tribunes remonstrated in vain, and two large armies were levied. Nautius led one of them against the Sabines, formed an entrenched camp, sent out, generally at night, small bodies who created such destruction in the Sabine territory that the Roman borders appeared in comparison almost untouched by war. Minucius was not so fortunate, nor did he conduct the campaign with the same energy; after taking up an entrenched position not far from the enemy, he remained timidly within his camp, though he had not suffered any important defeat. As usual, the enemy were emboldened by the lack of courage on the other side. They made a night attack on his camp, but as they gained little by a direct assault they proceeded the following day to invest it. Before all the exits were closed by the circumvallation, five mounted men got through the enemies' outposts and brought to Rome the news that the consul and his army were blockaded. Nothing could have happened so unlooked for, so undreamed of; the panic and confusion were as great as if it had been the City and not the camp that was invested. The consul Nautius was summoned home, but as he did nothing equal to the emergency, they decided to appoint a Dictator to retrieve the threatening position of affairs. By universal consent L. Quinctius Cincinnatus was called to the office.

It is worth while for those who despise all human interests in comparison with riches, and think that there is no scope for high honours or for virtue except where lavish wealth abounds, to listen to this story. The one hope of Rome, L. Quinctius, used to cultivate a four-acre field on the other side of the Tiber, just opposite the place where the dockyard and arsenal are now situated; it bears the name of the " Quinctian Meadows." There he was found by the deputation from the senate either digging out a ditch or ploughing, at all events, as is generally agreed, intent on his husbandry. After mutual salutations he was requested to put on his toga that he might hear the mandate of the senate, and they expressed the hope that it might turn out well for him and for the State. He asked them, in surprise, if all was well, and bade his wife, Racilia, bring him his toga quickly from the cottage. Wiping off the dust and perspiration, he put it on and came forward, on which the deputation saluted him as Dictator and congratulated him, invited him to the City and explained the state of apprehension in which the army were. A vessel had been provided for him by the government, and after he had crossed over, he was welcomed by his three sons, who had come out to meet him. They were followed by other relatives and friends, and by the majority of the senate. Escorted by this numerous gathering and preceded by the lictors, he was conducted to his house. There was also an enormous gathering of the plebs, but they were by no means so pleased to see Quinctius; they regarded the power with which he was invested as excessive, and the man himself more dangerous than his power. Nothing was done that night beyond adequately guarding the City.


3.27

The following morning the Dictator went, before daylight, into the Forum and named as his Master of the Horse, L. Tarquitius, a member of a patrician house, but owing to his poverty he had served in the infantry, where he was considered by far the finest of the Roman soldiers. In company with the Master of the Horse the Dictator proceeded to the Assembly, proclaimed a suspension of all public business, ordered the shops to be closed throughout the City, and forbade the transaction of any private business whatever. Then he ordered all who were of military age to appear fully armed in the Campus Martius before sunset, each with five days' provisions and twelve palisades. Those who were beyond that age were required to cook the rations for their neighbours, whilst they were getting their arms ready and looking for palisades. So the soldiers dispersed to hunt for palisades; they took them from the nearest places, no one was interfered with, all were eager to carry out the Dictator's edict. The formation of the army was equally adapted for marching or, if circumstances required, for fighting; the Dictator led the legions in person, the Master of the Horse was at the head of his cavalry. To both bodies words of encouragement were addressed suitable to the emergency, exhorting them to march at extra speed, for there was need of haste if they were to reach the enemy at night; a Roman army with its consul had been now invested for three days, it was uncertain what a day or a night might bring forth, tremendous issues often turned on a moment of time. The men shouted to one another, "Hurry on, standard-bearer!" "Follow up, soldiers!" to the great gratification of their leaders. They reached Algidus at midnight, and on finding that they were near the enemy, halted.


3.28

The Dictator, after riding round and reconnoitring as well as he could in the night the position and shape of the camp, commanded the military tribunes to give orders for the baggage to be collected together and the soldiers with their arms and palisades to resume their places in the ranks. His orders were carried out. Then, keeping the formation in which they had marched, the whole army, in one long column, surrounded the enemies' lines. At a given signal all were ordered to raise a shout; after raising the shout each man was to dig a trench in front of him and fix his palisade. As soon as the order reached the men, the signal followed. The men obeyed the order, and the shout rolled round the enemies' line and over them into the consul's camp. In the one it created panic, in the other rejoicing. The Romans recognised their fellow-citizens' shout, and congratulated one another on help being at hand. They even made sorties from their outposts against the enemy and so increased their alarm. The consul said there must be no delay, that shout meant that their friends had not only arrived but were engaged, he should be surprised if the outside of the enemies' lines was not already attacked. He ordered his men to seize their arms and follow him. A nocturnal battle began. They notified the Dictator's legions by their shouts that on their side too the action had commenced. The Aequi were already making preparations to prevent themselves from being surrounded when the enclosed enemy began the battle; to prevent their lines from being broken through, they turned from those who were investing them to fight the enemy within, and so left the night free for the Dictator to complete his work. The fighting with the consul went on till dawn. By this time they were completely invested by the Dictator, and were hardly able to keep up the fight against one army. Then their lines were attacked by Quinctius' army, who had completed the circumvallation and resumed their arms. They had now to maintain a fresh conflict, the previous one was in no way slackened. Under the stress of the double attack they turned from fighting to supplication, and implored the Dictator on the one side and the consul on the other not to make their extermination the price of victory, but to allow them to surrender their arms and depart. The consul referred them to the Dictator, and he, in his anger, determined to humiliate his defeated enemy. He ordered Gracchus Cloelius and others of their principal men to be brought to him in chains, and the town of Corbio to be evacuated. He told the Aequi he did not require their blood, they were at liberty to depart; but, as an open admission of the defeat and subjugation of their nation, they would have to pass under the yoke. This was made of three spears, two fixed upright in the ground, and the third tied to them across the top. Under this yoke the Dictator sent the Aequi.


3.29

Their camp was found to be full of everything-for they had been sent away with only their shirts on-and the Dictator gave the whole of the spoil to his own soldiers alone. Addressing the consul and his army in a tone of severe rebuke, "You, soldiers," he said, "will go without your share of the spoil, for you all but fell a spoil yourselves to the enemy from whom it was taken; and you, L. Minucius, will command these legions as a staff officer, until you begin to show the spirit of a consul." Minucius laid down his consulship and remained with the army under the Dictator's orders. But such unquestioning obedience did men in those days pay to authority when ably and wisely exercised, that the soldiers, mindful of the service he had done them rather than of the disgrace inflicted on them, voted to the Dictator a gold crown a pound in weight, and when he left they saluted him as their "patron." Quintus Fabius, the prefect of the City, convened a meeting of the senate, and they decreed that Quinctius, with the army he was bringing home, should enter the City in triumphal procession. The commanding officers of the enemy were led in front, then the military standards were borne before the general's chariot, the army followed loaded with spoil. It is said that tables spread with provisions stood before all the houses, and the feasters followed the chariot with songs of triumph and the customary jests and lampoons. On that day the freedom of the City was bestowed on L. Mamilius the Tusculan, amidst universal approval. The Dictator would at once have laid down his office had not the meeting of the Assembly for the trial of M. Volscius detained him: fear of the Dictator prevented the tribunes from obstructing it. Volscius was condemned and went into exile at Lanuvium. Quinctius resigned on the sixteenth day the dictatorship which had been conferred upon him for six months. During that period the consul Nautius fought a brilliant action with the Sabines at Eretum, who suffered a severe defeat, in addition to the ravaging of their fields. Fabius Quintus was sent to succeed Minucius in command at Algidus. Towards the end of the year, the tribunes began to agitate the Law, but as two armies were absent, the senate succeeded in preventing any measure from being brought before the plebs. The latter gained their point, however, in securing the re-election of the tribunes for the fifth time. It is said that wolves pursued by dogs were seen in the Capitol; this prodigy necessitated its purification. These were the events of the year.


3.30

The next consuls were Quintus Minucius and C. Horatius Pulvillus. As there was peace abroad at the beginning of the year, the domestic troubles began again; the same tribunes agitating for the same Law. Matters would have gone further-so inflamed were the passions on both sides-had not news arrived, as though it had been purposely arranged, of the loss of the garrison at Corbio in a night attack of the Aequi. The consuls summoned a meeting of the senate; they were ordered to form a force of all who could bear arms and march to Algidus. The contest about the Law was suspended, and a fresh struggle began about the enlistment. The consular authority was on the point of being overborne by the interference of the tribunes when a fresh alarm was created. A Sabine army had descended on the Roman fields for plunder, and were approaching the City. Thoroughly alarmed, the tribunes allowed the enrolment to proceed; not, however, without insisting on an agreement that since they had been foiled for five years and but slight protection to the plebeians had so far been afforded, there should henceforth be ten tribunes of the plebs elected. Necessity extorted this from the senate, with only one condition, that for the future they should not see the same tribunes in two successive years. That this agreement might not, like all the others, prove illusory, when once the war was over, the elections for tribunes were held at once. The office of tribune had existed for thirty-six years when for the first time ten were created, two from each class. It was definitely laid down that this should be the rule in all future elections. When the enrolment was completed Minucius advanced against the Sabines, but did not find the enemy. After massacring the garrison at Corbio, the Aequi had captured Ortona; Horatius fought them on Algidus, inflicting great slaughter, and drove them not only from Algidus but also out of Corbio and Ortona; Corbio he totally destroyed on account of their having betrayed the garrison.


3.31

M. Valerius and Sp. Vergilius were the new consuls. There was quiet at home and abroad. Owing to excessive rain there was a scarcity of provisions. A law was carried making the Aventine a part of the State domain. The tribunes of the plebs were re-elected. These men in the following year, when T. Romilius and C. Veturius were the consuls, were continually making the Law the staple of all their harangues, and said that they should be ashamed of their number being increased to no purpose, if that matter made as little progress during their two years of office as it had made during the five preceding years. Whilst the agitation was at its height, a hurried message came from Tusculum to the effect that the Aequi were in the Tusculan territory. The good services which that nation had so lately rendered made the people ashamed to delay sending assistance. Both consuls were sent against the enemy, and found him in his usual position on Algidus. An action was fought there; above 7000 of the enemy were killed, the rest were put to flight; immense booty was taken. This, owing to the low state of the public treasury, the consuls sold. Their action, however, created ill-feeling in the army, and afforded the tribunes material on which to base an accusation against them. When, therefore, they went out of office, in which they were succeeded by Spurius Tarpeius and A. Aeternius, they were both impeached-Romilius by C. Calvius Cicero, plebeian tribune, and Veturius by L. Alienus, plebeian aedile. To the intense indignation of the senatorial party, both were condemned and fined; Romilius had to pay 10,000 "ases," and Veturius 15,000. The fate of their predecessors did not shake the resolution of the new consuls; they said that while it was quite possible that they might also be condemned, it was not possible for the plebs and its tribunes to carry the Law. Through long discussion it had become stale, the tribunes now threw it over and approached the patricians in a less aggressive spirit. They urged that an end should be put to their disputes, and if they objected to the measures adopted by the plebeians, they should consent to the appointment of a body of legislators, chosen in equal numbers from plebeians and patricians, to enact what would be useful to both orders and secure equal liberty for each. The patricians thought the proposal worth consideration; they said, however, that no one should legislate unless he were a patrician, since they were agreed as to the laws and only differed as to who should enact them. Commissioners were sent to Athens with instructions to make a copy of the famous laws of Solon, and to investigate the institutions, customs, and laws of other Greek States. Their names were Spurius Postumius Albus, A. Manlius, P. Sulpicius Camerinus.


3.32

As regards foreign war, the year was a quiet one. The following one, in which P. Curiatius and Sextus Quinctilius were consuls, was still quieter owing to the continued silence of the tribunes. This was due to two causes: first, they were waiting for the return of the commissioners who had gone to Athens, and the foreign laws which they were to bring; and secondly, two fearful disasters came together, famine and a pestilence which was fatal to men and fatal to cattle. The fields lay waste, the City was depleted by an unbroken series of deaths, many illustrious houses were in mourning. The Flamen Quirinalis, Servius Cornelius, died, also the augur C. Horatius Pulvillus, in whose place the augurs chose C. Veturius, all the more eagerly because he had been condemned by the plebs. The consul Quinctilius and four tribunes of the plebs died. The year was a gloomy one owing to the numerous losses. There was a respite from external enemies. The succeeding consuls were C. Menenius and P. Sestius Capitolinus. This year also was free from war abroad, but commotions began at home. The commissioners had now returned with the laws of Athens; the tribunes, in consequence, were more insistent that a commencement should at last be made in the compilation of the laws. It was decided that a body of Ten (hence called the "Decemvirs") should be created, from whom there should be no appeal, and that all other magistrates should be suspended for the year. There was a long controversy as to whether plebeians should be admitted; at last they gave way to the patricians on condition that the Icilian Law concerning the Aventine and the other sacred laws should not be repealed.


3.33

For the second time-in the 301st year from the foundation of Rome-was the form of government changed; the supreme authority was transferred from consuls to decemvirs, just as it had previously passed from kings to consuls. The change was the less noteworthy owing to its short duration, for the happy beginnings of that government developed into too luxuriant a growth; hence its early failure and the return to the old practice of entrusting to two men the name and authority of consul. The decemvirs were Appius Claudius, T. Genucius, P. Sestius, L. Veturius, C. Julius, A. Manlius, P. Sulpicius, P. Curiatius, T. Romilius, and Sp. Postumius. As Claudius and Genucius were the consuls designate, they received the honour in place of the honour of which they were deprived. Sestius, one of the consuls the year before, was honoured because he had, against his colleague, brought that subject before the senate. Next to them were placed the three commissioners who had gone to Athens, as a reward for their undertaking so distant an embassage, and also because it was thought that those who were familiar with the laws of foreign States would be useful in the compilation of new ones. It is said that in the final voting for the four required to complete the number, the electors chose aged men, to prevent any violent opposition to the decisions of the others. The presidency of the whole body was, in accordance with the wishes of the plebs, entrusted to Appius. He had assumed such a new character that from being a stern and bitter enemy of the people he suddenly appeared as their advocate, and trimmed his sails to catch every breath of popular favour. They administered justice each in turn, the one who was presiding judge for the day was attended by the twelve lictors, the others had only a single usher each. Notwithstanding the singular harmony which prevailed amongst them-a harmony which under other circumstances might be dangerous to individuals- the most perfect equity was shown to others. It will be sufficient to adduce a single instance as proof of the moderation with which they acted. A dead body had been discovered and dug up in the house of Sestius, a member of a patrician family. It was brought into the Assembly. As it was clear that an atrocious crime had been committed, Caius Julius, a decemvir, indicted Sestius, and appeared before the people to prosecute in person, though he had the right to act as sole judge in the case. He waived his right in order that the liberties of the people might gain what he surrendered of his power.


3.34

Whilst highest and lowest alike were enjoying their prompt and impartial administration of justice, as though delivered by an oracle, they were at the same time devoting their attention to the framing of the laws. These eagerly looked for laws were at length inscribed on ten tables which were exhibited in an Assembly specially convened for the purpose. After a prayer that their work might bring welfare and happiness to the State, to them and to their children, the decemvirs bade them go and read the laws which were exhibited. "As far as the wisdom and foresight of ten men admitted, they had established equal laws for all, for highest and lowest alike; there was, however, more weight in the intelligence and advice of many men. They should turn over each separate item in their minds, discuss them in conversations with each other, and bring forward for public debate what appeared to them superfluous or defective in each enactment. The future laws for Rome should be such as would appear to have been no less unanimously proposed by the people themselves than ratified by them on the proposal of others." When it appeared that they had been sufficiently amended in accordance with the expression of public opinion on each head, the Laws of the Ten Tables were passed by the Assembly of Centuries. Even in the mass of legislation today, where laws are piled one upon another in a confused heap, they still form the source of all public and private jurisprudence. After their ratification, the remark was generally made that two tables were still wanting; if they were added, the body, as it might be called, of Roman law would be complete. As the day for the elections approached, this impression created a desire to appoint decemvirs for a second year. The plebeians had learnt to detest the name of "consul" as much as that of "king," and now as the decemvirs allowed an appeal from one of their body to another, they no longer required the aid of their tribunes.


3.35

But after notice had been given that the election of decemvirs would be held on the third market day, such eagerness to be amongst those elected displayed itself, that even the foremost men of the State began an individual canvass as humble suitors for an office which they had previously with all their might opposed, seeking it at the hands of that very plebs with which they had hitherto been in conflict. I think they feared that if they did not fill posts of such great authority, they would be open to men who were not worthy of them. Appius Claudius was keenly alive to the chance that he might not be re-elected, in spite of his age and the honours he had enjoyed. You could hardly tell whether to consider him as a decemvir or a candidate. Sometimes he was more like one who sought office than one who actually held it; he abused the nobility, and extolled all the candidates who had neither birth nor personal weight to recommend them; he used to bustle about the Forum surrounded by ex-tribunes of the Duellius and Scilius stamp and through them made overtures to the plebeians, until even his colleagues, who till then had been wholly devoted to him, began to watch him, wondering what he meant. They were convinced that there was no sincerity about it, it was certain that so haughty a man would not exhibit such affability for nothing. They regarded this demeaning of himself and hobnobbing with private individuals as the action of a man who was not so keen to resign office as to discover some way of prolonging it. Not venturing to thwart his aims openly, they tried to moderate his violence by humouring him. As he was the youngest member of their body, they unanimously conferred on him the office of presiding over the elections. By this artifice they hoped to prevent him from getting himself elected; a thing which no one except the tribunes of the plebs had ever done, setting thereby the worst of precedents. However, he gave out that, if all went well, he should hold the elections, and he seized upon what should have been an impediment as a good opportunity for effecting his purpose. By forming a coalition he secured the rejection of the two Quinctii-Capitolinus and Cincinnatus-his own uncle, C. Claudius, one of the firmest supporters of the nobility, and other citizens of the same rank. He procured the election of men who were very far from being their equals either socially or politically, himself amongst the first, a step which respectable men disapproved of, all the more because no one had supposed that he would have the audacity to take it. With him were elected M. Cornelius Maluginensis, M. Sergius, L. Minucius, Q. Fabius Vibulanus, Q. Poetilius, T. Antonius Merenda, K. Duillius, Sp. Oppius Cornicen, and Manlius Rabuleius.


3.36

This was the end of Appius' assumption of a part foreign to his nature. From that time his conduct was in accordance with his natural disposition, and he began to mould his new colleagues, even before they entered on office, into the lines of his own character. They held private meetings daily; then, armed with plans hatched in absolute secrecy for exercising unbridled power, they no longer troubled to dissemble their tyranny, but made themselves difficult of access, harsh and stern to those to whom they granted interviews. So matters went on till the middle of May. At that period, May 15, was the proper time for magistrates to take up their office. At the outset, the first day of their government was marked by a demonstration which aroused great fears. For, whereas the previous decemvirs had observed the rule of only one having the "fasces" at a time and making this emblem of royalty go to each in turn, now all the Ten suddenly appeared, each with his twelve lictors. The Forum was filled with one hundred and twenty lictors, and they bore the axes tied up in the "fasces." The decemvirs explained it by saying that as they were invested with absolute power of life and death, there was no reason for the axes being removed. They presented the appearance of ten kings, and manifold fears were entertained not only by the lowest classes but even by the foremost of the senators. They felt that a pretext for commencing bloodshed was being sought for, so that if any one uttered, either in the senate or amongst the people, a single word which reminded them of liberty, the rods and axes would instantly be made ready for him, to intimidate the rest. For not only was there no protection in the people now that the right of appeal to them was withdrawn, but the decemvirs had mutually agreed not to interfere with each other's sentences, whereas the previous decemvirs had allowed their judicial decisions to be revised on appeal to a colleague, and certain matters which they considered to be within the jurisdiction of the people they had referred to them. For some time they inspired equal terror in all, gradually it rested wholly on the plebs. The patricians were unmolested; it was the men in humble life for whom they reserved their wanton and cruel treatment. They were solely swayed by personal motives, not by the justice of a cause, since influence had with them the force of equity. They drew up their judgments at home and pronounced them in the Forum; if any one appealed to a colleague, he left the presence of the one to whom he had appealed bitterly regretting that he had not abided by the first sentence. A belief, not traceable to any authoritative source, had got abroad that their conspiracy against law and justice was not for the present only, a secret and sworn agreement existed amongst them not to hold any elections, but to keep their power, now they had once obtained it, by making the decemvirate perpetual.


3.37

The plebeians now began to study the faces of the patricians, to catch haply some gleam of liberty from the men from whom they had dreaded slavery and through that dread had brought the commonwealth into its present condition. The leaders of the senate hated the decemvirs, and hated the plebs; they did not approve of what was going on, but they thought that the plebeians deserved all that they got, and refused to help men who by rushing too eagerly after liberty had fallen into slavery. They even increased the wrongs they suffered, that through their disgust and impatience at the present conditions they might begin to long for the former state of things and the two consuls as of old. The greater part of the year had now elapsed; two tables had been added to the ten of the previous year; if these additional laws were passed by the "Comitia Centuriata" there was no reason why the decemvirate should be any longer considered necessary. Men were wondering how soon notice would be given of the election of consuls; the sole anxiety of the plebeians was as to the method by which they could re-establish that bulwark of their liberties, the power of the tribunes, which was now suspended. Meantime nothing was said about any elections. At first the decemvirs had bid for popularity by appearing before the plebs, surrounded by ex-tribunes, but now they were accompanied by an escort of young patricians, who crowded round the tribunals, maltreated the plebeians and plundered their property, and being the stronger, succeeded in getting whatever they had taken a fancy to. They did not stop short of personal violence, some were scourged, others beheaded, and that this brutality might not be gratuitous, the punishment of the owner was followed by a grant of his effects. Corrupted by such bribes, the young nobility not only declined to oppose the lawlessness of the decemvirs, but they openly showed that they preferred their own freedom from all restraints to the general liberty.


3.38

The fifteenth of May arrived, the decemvirs' term of office expired, but no new magistrates were appointed. Though now only private citizens, the decemvirs came forward as determined as ever to enforce their authority and retain all the emblems of power. It was now in truth undisguised monarchy. Liberty was looked upon as for ever lost, none stood forth to vindicate it, nor did it seem likely that any one would do so. Not only had the people sunk into despondency themselves but they were beginning to be despised by their neighbours, who scorned the idea of sovereign power existing where there was no liberty. The Sabines made an incursion into Roman territory in great force, and carrying their ravages far and wide, drove away an immense quantity of men and cattle to Eretum, where they collected their scattered forces and encamped in the hope that the distracted state of Rome would prevent an army from being raised. Not only the messengers who brought the information but the country people who were flying into the City created a panic. The decemvirs, hated alike by the senate and the plebs, were left without any support, and whilst they were consulting as to the necessary measures, Fortune added a fresh cause of alarm. The Aequi, advancing in a different direction, had entrenched themselves on Algidus, and from there were making predatory incursions into the territory of Tusculum. The news was brought by envoys from Tusculum who implored assistance. The panic created unnerved the decemvirs, and seeing the City encompassed by two separate wars they were driven to consult the senate. They gave orders for the senators to be summoned, quite realising what a storm of indignant resentment was awaiting them, and that they would be held solely responsible for the wasted territory and the threatening dangers. This, they expected, would lead to an attempt to deprive them of office, unless they offered a unanimous resistance, and by a sharp exercise of authority on a few of the most daring spirits repress the attempts of the others.

When the voice of the crier was heard in the Forum calling the patricians to the Senate-house to meet the decemvirs, the novelty of it, after so long a suspension of the meetings of the senate, filled the plebeians with astonishment. "What," they asked, "has happened to revive a practice so long disused? We ought to be grateful to the enemy who are menacing us with war, for causing anything to happen which belongs to the usage of a free State." They looked in every part of the Forum for a senator, but seldom was one recognised; then they contemplated the Senate-house and the solitude round the decemvirs. The latter put it down to the universal hatred felt for their authority, the plebeians explained it by saying that the senators did not meet because private citizens had not the right to summon them. If the plebs made common cause with the senate, those who were bent on recovering their liberty would have men to lead them, and as the senators when summoned would not assemble, so the plebs must refuse to be enrolled for service. Thus the plebeians expressed their opinions. As to the senators, there was hardly a single member of the order in the Forum, and very few in the City. Disgusted with the state of matters they had retired to their country homes and were attending to their own affairs, having lost all interest in those of the State. They felt that the more they kept away from any meeting and intercourse with their tyrannical masters the safer would it be for them. As, on being summoned, they did not come, the ushers were despatched to their houses to exact the penalties for non-attendance and to ascertain whether they absented themselves of set purpose. They took back word that the senate was in the country. This was less unpleasant for the decemvirs than if they had been in the City and had refused to recognise their authority. Orders were issued for all to be summoned for the following day. They assembled in greater numbers than they themselves expected. This led the plebeians to think that their liberty had been betrayed by the senate, since they had obeyed men whose term of office had expired and who, apart from the force at their disposal, were only private citizens; thus recognising their right to convene the senate.


3.39

This obedience, however, was shown more by their coming to the Senate-house than by any servility in the sentiments which we understand that they expressed. It is recorded that after the question of the war had been introduced by Appius Claudius, and before the formal discussion began, L. Valerius Potitus created a scene by demanding that he should be allowed to speak on the political question, and on the decemvirs forbidding him in threatening tones to do so, he declared that he would present himself before the people. Marcus Horatius Barbatus showed himself an equally determined opponent, called the decemvirs "ten Tarquins," and reminded them that it was under the leadership of the Valerii and the Horatii that monarchy had been expelled from Rome. It was not the name of "king" that men had now grown weary of, for it was the proper title of Jupiter, Romulus the founder of the City and his successors were called "kings," and the name was still retained for religious purposes. It was the tyranny and violence of kings that men detested. If these were insupportable in a king or a king's son, who would endure them in ten private citizens? They should see to it that they did not, by forbidding freedom of speech in the House, compel them to speak outside its walls. He could not see how it was less permissible for him as a private citizen to convene an Assembly of the people than for them to summon the senate. They might find out whenever they chose how much more powerful a sense of wrong is to vindicate liberty than greedy ambition is to support tyranny. They were bringing up the question of the Sabine war as if the Roman people had any more serious war to wage than one against men who, appointed to draw up laws, left no vestige of law or justice in the State; who had abolished the elections, the annual magistrates, the regular succession of rulers, which formed the sole guarantee of equal liberty for all; who, though simple citizens, still retained the fasces and the power of despotic monarchs. After the expulsion of the kings, the magistrates were patricians; after the secession of the plebs, plebeian magistrates were appointed. "What party did these men belong to?" he asked. "The popular party? Why, what have they ever done in conjunction with the people? The nobility? What! these men, who have not held a meeting of the senate for nearly a year, and now that they are holding one, forbid any speaking on the political situation? Do not place too much reliance on the fears of others. The ills that men are actually suffering from seem to them much more grievous than any they may fear in the future."


3.40

Whilst Horatius was delivering this impassioned speech, and the decemvirs were in doubt how far they ought to go, whether in the direction of angry resistance or in that of concession, and unable to see what the issue would be, C. Claudius, the uncle of the decemvir Appius, made a speech more in the nature of entreaty than of censure. He implored him by the shade of his father to think rather of the social order under which he had been born than of the nefarious compact made with his colleagues. It was much more, he said, for the sake of Appius than of the State that he made this appeal, for the State would assert its rights in spite of them, if it could not do so with their consent. But great controversies generally kindle great and bitter passions, and it was what these might lead to that he dreaded. Though the decemvirs forbade the discussion of any subject save the one they had introduced, their respect for Claudius prevented them from interrupting him, so he concluded with a resolution that no decree should be passed by the senate. This was universally taken to mean that Claudius adjudged them to be private citizens, and many of the consulars expressed their concurrence. Another proposal, apparently more drastic, but in reality less effective, was that the senate should order the patricians to hold a special meeting to appoint an "interrex." For by voting for this, they decided that those who were presiding over the senate were lawful magistrates, whoever they were, whereas the proposal that no decree should be passed made them private citizens.

The cause of the decemvirs was on the point of collapsing, when L. Cornelius Maluginensis, the brother of M. Cornelius the decemvir, who had been purposely selected from among the consulars to wind up the debate, undertook to defend his brother and his brother's colleagues by professing great anxiety about the war. He was wondering, he said, by what fatality it had come about that the decemvirs should be attacked by those who had sought the office or by their allies or in particular by these men, or why, during all the months that the commonwealth was undisturbed, no one questioned whether those at the head of affairs were lawful magistrates or not, whereas now, when the enemy were almost at their gates, they were fomenting civic discord-unless indeed they supposed that the nature of their proceeding would be less apparent in the general confusion. No one was justified in importing prejudice into a matter of such moment whilst they were preoccupied with much more serious anxieties. He gave it as his opinion that the point raised by Valerius and Horatius, namely, that the decemvirs had ceased to hold office by May 15, should be submitted to the senate for decision after the impending wars had been brought to a close and the tranquillity of the State restored. And further, that Ap. Claudius must at once understand that he must be prepared to make a proper return of the election which he held for the appointment of decemvirs, stating whether they were elected only for a year, or until such time as the laws which were still required should be passed. In his opinion every matter but the war should for the present be laid aside. If they thought that the reports of it which had got abroad were false, and that not only the messengers which had come in but even the Tuscan envoys had invented the story, then they ought to send out reconnoitring parties to bring back accurate information. If, however, they believed the messengers and the envoys, a levy ought to be made at the earliest possible moment, the decemvirs should lead the armies in whatever direction each thought best, and nothing else should take precedence.


3.41

Whilst a division was being taken and the younger senators were carrying this proposition, Valerius and Horatius rose again in great excitement and loudly demanded leave to discuss the political situation. If, they said, the faction in the senate prevented them, they would bring it before the people, for private citizens had no power to silence them either in the Senate-house or in the Assembly, and they were not going to give way before the fasces of a mock authority. Appius felt that unless he met their violence with equal audacity, his authority was practically at an end. "It will be better," he said, "not to speak on any subject but the one we are now considering," and as Valerius insisted that he should not keep silent for a private citizen, Appius ordered a lictor to go to him. Valerius ran to the doors of the Senate-house and invoked "the protection of the Quirites." L. Cornelius put an end to the scene by throwing his arms round Appius as though to protect Valerius, but really to protect Appius from further mischief. He obtained permission for Valerius to say what he wanted, and as this liberty did not go beyond words, the decemvirs achieved their purpose. The consulars and senior senators felt that the tribunitian authority, which they still regarded with detestation, was much more eagerly desired by the plebs than the restoration of the consular authority, and they would almost rather have had the decemvirs voluntarily resigning office at a subsequent period than that the plebs should recover power through their unpopularity. If matters could be quietly arranged and the consuls restored without any popular disturbance, they thought that either the preoccupation of war or the moderate exercise of power on the part of the consuls would make the plebs forget all about their tribunes. The levy was proclaimed without any protest from the senate. The men of age for active service answered to their names, as there was no appeal from the authority of the decemvirs. When the legions were enrolled, the decemvirs arranged among themselves their respective commands. The prominent men amongst them were Q. Fabius and Appius Claudius. The war at home threatened to be more serious than the one abroad, and the violent disposition of Appius was deemed more fitted to repress commotions in the City, whilst Fabius was looked upon as more inclined to evil practices than to be any permanent good to them. This man, at one time so distinguished both at home and in the field, had been so changed by office and the influence of his colleagues that he preferred to take Appius as his model rather than be true to himself. He was entrusted with the Sabine war, and Manlius Rabuleius and Q. Poetilius were associated with him in its conduct. M. Cornelius was sent to Algidus, together with L. Minucius, T. Antonius, Kaeso Duillius, and M. Sergius. It was decreed that Sp. Oppius should assist Ap. Claudius in the defence of the City, with an authority co-ordinate with that of the other decemvirs.


3.42

The military operations were not any more satisfactory than the domestic administration. The commanders were certainly at fault in having made themselves objects of detestation to the citizens, but otherwise the whole of the blame rested on the soldiers, who, to prevent anything from succeeding under the auspices and leadership of the decemvirs, disgraced both themselves and their generals by allowing themselves to be defeated. Both armies had been routed, the one by the Sabines at Eretum, the other by the Aequi on Algidus. Fleeing from Eretum in the silence of the night, they had entrenched themselves on some high ground near the City between Fidenae and Crustumeria. They refused to meet the pursuing enemy anywhere on equal terms, and trusted for safety to their entrenchments and the nature of the ground, not to arms or courage. On Algidus they behaved more disgracefully, suffered a heavier defeat, and even lost their camp. Deprived of all their stores, the soldiers made their way to Tusculum, looking for subsistence to the good faith and compassion of their hosts, and their confidence was not misplaced. Such alarming reports were brought to Rome that the senate, laying aside their feeling against the decemvirs, resolved that guards should be mounted in the City, ordered that all who were of age to bear arms should man the walls and undertake outpost duty before the gates, and decreed a supply of arms to be sent to Tusculum to replace those which had been lost, whilst the decemvirs were to evacuate Tusculum and keep their soldiers encamped. The other camp was to be transferred from Fidenae on to the Sabine territory, and by assuming the offensive deter the enemy from any project of attacking the City.


3.43

To these defeats at the hands of the enemy have to be added two infamous crimes on the part of the decemvirs. L. Siccius was serving in the campaign against the Sabines. Seeing the bitter feeling against the decemvirs, he used to hold secret conversations with the soldiery and threw out hints about the creation of tribunes and resorting to a secession. He was sent to select and survey a site for a camp, and the soldiers who had been told off to accompany him were instructed to choose a favourable opportunity for attacking and despatching him. They did not effect their purpose with impunity, several of the assassins fell around him whilst he was defending himself with a courage equal to his strength, and that was exceptional. The rest brought a report back to camp that Siccius had fallen into an ambush and had died fighting bravely, whilst some soldiers had been lost with him. At first the informants were believed; but subsequently a cohort which had gone out by permission of the decemvirs to bury those who had fallen, found, when they reached the spot, no corpse despoiled, but the body of Siccius lying in the centre fully armed with those around all turned towards him, whilst there was not a single body belonging to the enemy nor any trace of their having retired. They brought the body back and declared that, as a matter of fact, he had been killed by his own men. The camp was filled with deep resentment, and it was decided that Siccius should be forthwith carried to Rome. The decemvirs anticipated this resolve by hastily burying him with military honours at the cost of the State. The soldiers manifested profound grief at his funeral, and the worst possible suspicions were everywhere entertained against the decemvirs.


3.44

This was followed by a second atrocity, the result of brutal lust, which occurred in the City and led to consequences no less tragic than the outrage and death of Lucretia, which had brought about the expulsion of the royal family. Not only was the end of the decemvirs the same as that of the kings, but the cause of their losing their power was the same in each case. Ap. Claudius had conceived a guilty passion for a girl of plebeian birth. The girl's father, L. Verginius, held a high rank in the army on Algidus; he was a man of exemplary character both at home and in the field. His wife had been brought up on equally high principles, and their children were being brought up in the same way. He had betrothed his daughter to L. Icilius, who had been tribune, an active and energetic man whose courage had been proved in his battles for the plebs. This girl, now in the bloom of her youth and beauty, excited Appius' passions, and he tried to prevail on her by presents and promises. When he found that her virtue was proof against all temptation, he had recourse to unscrupulous and brutal violence. He commissioned a client, M. Claudius, to claim the girl as his slave, and to bar any claim on the part of her friends to retain possession of her till the case was tried, as he thought that the father's absence afforded a good opportunity for this illegal action. As the girl was going to her school in the Forum-the grammar schools were held in booths there-the decemvir's pander laid his hand upon her, declaring that she was the daughter of a slave of his, and a slave herself. He then ordered her to follow him, and threatened, if she hesitated, to carry her off by force. While the girl was stupefied with terror, her maid's shrieks, invoking "the protection of the Quirites," drew a crowd together. The names of her father Verginius and her betrothed lover, Icilius, were held in universal respect. Regard for them brought their friends, feelings of indignation brought the crowd to the maiden's support. She was now safe from violence; the man who claimed her said that he was proceeding according to law, not by violence, there was no need for any excited gathering. He cited the girl into court. Her supporters advised her to follow him; they came before the tribunal of Appius. The claimant rehearsed a story already perfectly familiar to the judge as he was the author of the plot, how the girl had been born in his house, stolen from there, transferred to the house of Verginius and fathered on him; these allegations would be supported by definite evidence, and he would prove them to the satisfaction of Verginius himself, who was really most concerned, as an injury had been done to him. Meanwhile, he urged, it was only right that a slave girl should follow her master. The girl's advocates contended that Verginius was absent on the service of the State, he would be present in two days' time if information were sent to him, and it was contrary to equity that in his absence he should incur risk with regard to his children. They demanded that he should adjourn the whole of the proceedings till the father's arrival, and in accordance with the law which he himself had enacted, grant the custody of the girl to those who asserted her freedom, and not suffer a maiden of ripe age to incur danger to her reputation before her liberty was imperilled.


3.45

Before giving judgment, Appius showed how liberty was upheld by that very law to which the friends of Verginia had appealed in support of their demand. But, he went on to say, it guaranteed liberty only so far as its provisions were strictly adhered to as regarded both persons and cases. For where personal freedom is the matter of claim, that provision holds good, because any one can lawfully plead, but in the case of one who is still in her father's power, there is none but her father to whom her master need renounce possession. His decision, therefore, was that the father should be summoned, and in the meanwhile the man who claimed her should not forego his right to take the girl and give security to produce her on the arrival of her reputed father. The injustice of this sentence called forth many murmurs, but no one ventured on open protest, until P. Numitorius, the girl's grandfather, and Icilius, her betrothed, appeared on the scene. The intervention of Icilius seemed to offer the best chance of thwarting Appius, and the crowd made way for him. The lictor said that judgment had been given, and as Icilius continued loudly protesting he attempted to remove him. Such rank injustice would have fired even a gentle temper. He exclaimed, "I am, at your orders, Appius, to be removed at the point of the sword, that you may stifle all comment on what you want to keep concealed. I am going to marry this maiden, and I am determined to have a chaste wife. Summon all the lictors of all your colleagues, give orders for the axes and rods to be in readiness-the betrothed of Icilius shall not remain outside her father's house. Even if you have deprived us of the two bulwarks of our liberty-the aid of our tribunes and the right of appeal to the Roman plebs-that has given you no right to our wives and children, the victims of your lust. Vent your cruelty upon our backs and necks; let female honour at least be safe. If violence is offered to this girl, I shall invoke the aid of the Quirites here for my betrothed, Verginius that of the soldiers for his only daughter; we shall all invoke the aid of gods and men, and you shall not carry out that judgment except at the cost of our lives. Reflect, Appius, I demand of you, whither you are going! When Verginius has come, he must decide what action to take about his daughter; if he submits to this man's claim, he must look out another husband for her. Meantime I will vindicate her liberty at the price of my life, sooner than sacrifice my honour."


3.46

The people were excited and a conflict appeared imminent. The lictors had closed round Icilius, but matters had not got beyond threats on both sides when Appius declared that it was not the defence of Verginia that was Icilius' main object; a restless intriguer, even yet breathing the spirit of the tribuneship, was looking out for a chance of creating sedition. He would not, however, afford him material for it that day, but that he might know that it was not to his insolence that he was making a concession, but to the absent Verginius, to the name of father, and to liberty, he would not adjudicate on that day, or issue any decree. He would ask M. Claudius to forego his right, and allow the girl to be in the custody of her friends till the morrow. If the father did not then appear, he warned Icilius and men of his stamp that neither as legislator would he be disloyal to his own law, nor as decemvir would he lack firmness to execute it. He certainly would not call upon the lictors of his colleagues to repress the ringleaders of sedition, he should be content with his own. The time for perpetrating this illegality was thus postponed, and after the girl's supporters had withdrawn, it was decided as the very first thing to be done that the brother of Icilius and one of Numitor's sons, both active youths, should make their way straight to the gate and summon Verginius from the camp with all possible speed. They knew that the girl's safety turned upon her protector against lawlessness being present in time. They started on their mission, and riding at full speed brought the news to the father. While the claimant of the girl was pressing Icilius to enter his plea and name his sureties, and Icilius kept asserting that this very thing was being arranged, purposely spinning out the time to allow of his messengers getting first to the camp, the crowd everywhere held up their hands to show that every one of them was ready to be security for him. With tears in his eyes, he said, "It is most kind of you. Tomorrow I may need your help, now I have sufficient securities." So Verginia was bailed on the security of her relatives. Appius remained for some time on the bench, to avoid the appearance of having taken his seat for that one case only. When he found that owing to the universal interest in this one case no other suitors appeared, he withdrew to his home and wrote to his colleagues in camp not to grant leave of absence to Verginius, and actually to keep him under arrest. This wicked advice came too late, as it deserved to do; Verginius had already obtained leave, and started in the first watch. The letter ordering his detention was delivered the next morning, and was therefore useless.


3.47

In the City, the citizens were standing in the Forum in the early dawn, on the tiptoe of expectation. Verginius, in mourning garb, brought his daughter, similarly attired, and accompanied by a number of matrons, into the Forum. An immense body of sympathisers stood round him. He went amongst the people, took them by the hand and appealed to them to help him, not out of compassion only but because they owed it to him; he was at the front day by day, in defence of their children and their wives; of no man could they recount more numerous deeds of endurance and of daring than of him. What good was it all, he asked, if while the City was safe, their children were exposed to what would be their worst fate if it were actually captured? Men gathered round him, whilst he spoke as though he were addressing the Assembly. Icilius followed in the same strain. The women who accompanied him made a profounder impression by their silent weeping than any words could have made. Unmoved by all this-it was really madness rather than love that had clouded his judgment-Appius mounted the tribunal. The claimant began by a brief protest against the proceedings of the previous day; judgment, he said, had not been given owing to the partiality of the judge. But before he could proceed with his claim or any opportunity was given to Verginius of replying, Appius intervened. It is possible that the ancient writers may have correctly stated some ground which he alleged for his decision, but I do not find one anywhere that would justify such an iniquitous decision. The one thing which can be propounded as being generally admitted is the judgment itself. His decision was that the girl was a slave. At first all were stupefied with amazement at this atrocity, and for a few moments there was a dead silence. Then, as M. Claudius approached the matrons standing round the girl, to seize her amidst their outcries and tears, Verginius, pointing with outstretched arm to Appius, cried, "It is to Icilius and not to you, Appius, that I have betrothed my daughter; I have brought her up for wedlock, not for outrage. Are you determined to satisfy your brutal lusts like cattle and wild beasts? Whether these people will put up with this, I know not, but I hope that those who possess arms will refuse to do so." Whilst the man who claimed the maiden was being pushed back by the group of women and her supporters who stood round, the crier called for silence.


3.48

The decemvir, utterly abandoned to his passion, addressed the crowd and told them that he had ascertained not only through the insolent abuse of Icilius on the previous day and the violent behaviour of Verginius, which the Roman people could testify to, but mainly from certain definite information received, that all through the night meetings had been held in the City to organise a seditious movement. Forewarned of the likelihood of disturbance, he had come down into the Forum with an armed escort, not to injure peaceable citizens, but to uphold the authority of the government by putting down the disturbers of public tranquillity. "It will therefore," he proceeded, "be better for you to keep quiet. Go, lictor, remove the crowd and clear a way for the master to take possession of his slave." When, in a transport of rage, he had thundered out these words, the people fell back and left the deserted girl a prey to injustice. Verginius, seeing no prospect of help anywhere, turned to the tribunal. "Pardon me, Appius, I pray you, if I have spoken disrespectfully to you, pardon a father's grief. Allow me to question the nurse here, in the maiden's presence, as to what are the real facts of the case, that if I have been falsely called her father, I may leave her with the greater resignation." Permission being granted, he took the girl and her nurse aside to the booths near the temple of Venus Cloacina, now known as the "New Booths," and there, snatching up a butcher's knife, he plunged it into her breast, saying, "In this the only way in which I can, I vindicate, my child, thy freedom." Then, looking towards the tribunal, "By this blood, Appius, I devote thy head to the infernal gods." Alarmed at the outcry which arose at this terrible deed, the decemvir ordered Verginius to be arrested. Brandishing the knife, he cleared the way before him, until, protected by a crowd of sympathisers, he reached the city gate. Icilius and Numitorius took up the lifeless body and showed it to the people; they deplored the villainy of Appius, the ill-starred beauty of the girl, the terrible compulsion under which the father had acted. The matrons, who followed with angry cries, asked, "Was this the condition on which they were to rear children, was this the reward of modesty and purity?" with other manifestations of that womanly grief, which, owing to their keener sensibility, is more demonstrative, and so expresses itself in more moving and pitiful fashion. The men, and especially Icilius, talked of nothing but the abolition of the tribunitian power and the right of appeal and loudly expressed their indignation at the condition of public affairs.


3.49

.The people were excited partly by the atrocity of the deed, partly by the opportunity now offered of recovering their liberties. Appius first ordered Icilius to be summoned before him, then, on his refusal to come, to be arrested. As the lictors were not able to get near him, Appius himself with a body of young patricians forced his way through the crowd and ordered him to be taken to prison. By this time Icilius was not only surrounded by the people, but the people's leaders were there-L. Valerius and M. Horatius. They drove back the lictors and said, if they were going to proceed by law, they would undertake the defence of Icilius against one who was only a private citizen, but if they were going to attempt force, they would be no unequal match for him. A furious scuffle began, the decemvir's lictors attacked Valerius and Horatius; their "fasces" were broken up by the people; Appius mounted the platform, Horatius and Valerius followed him; the Assembly listened to them, Appius was shouted down. Valerius, assuming the tone of authority, ordered the lictors to cease attendance on one who held no official position, on which Appius, thoroughly cowed, and fearing for his life, muffled his head with his toga and retreated into a house near the Forum, without his adversaries perceiving his flight. Sp. Oppius burst into the Forum from the other side to support his colleague, and saw that their authority was overcome by main force. Uncertain what to do and distracted by the conflicting advice given him on all sides, he gave orders for the senate to be summoned. As a great number of the senators were thought to disapprove of the conduct of the decemvirs, the people hoped that their power would be put an end to through the action of the senate, and consequently became quiet. The senate decided that nothing should be done to irritate the plebs, and, what was of much more importance, that every precaution should be taken to prevent the arrival of Verginius from creating a commotion in the army.


3.50

Accordingly, some of the younger senators were sent to the camp, which was then on Mount Vecilius. They informed the three decemvirs who were in command that by every possible means they were to prevent the soldiers from mutinying. Verginius caused a greater commotion in the camp than the one he had left behind in the City. The sight of his arrival with a body of nearly 400 men from the City, who, fired with indignation, had enlisted themselves as his comrades, still more the weapon still clenched in his hand and his blood-besprinkled clothes, attracted the attention of the whole camp. The civilian garb seen in all directions in the camp made the number of the citizens who had accompanied him seem greater than it was. Questioned as to what had happened, Verginius for a long time could not speak for weeping; at length when those who had run up stood quietly round him and there was silence, he explained everything in order just as it happened. Then lifting up his hands to heaven he appealed to them as his fellow-soldiers and implored them not to attribute to him what was really the crime of Appius, nor to look upon him with abhorrence as the murderer of his children. His daughter's life was dearer to him than his own, had she been allowed to live in liberty and purity; when he saw her dragged off as a slave-girl to be outraged, he thought it better to lose his child by death than by dishonour. It was through compassion for her that he had fallen into what looked like cruelty, nor would he have survived her had he not entertained the hope of avenging her death by the aid of his fellow-soldiers. For they, too, had daughters and sisters and wives; the lust of Appius was not quenched with his daughter's life, nay rather, the more impunity it met with the more unbridled would it be. Through the sufferings of another they had received a warning how to guard themselves against a like wrong. As for him, his wife had been snatched from him by Fate, his daughter, because she could no longer live in chastity, had met a piteous but an honourable death. There was no longer in his house any opportunity for Appius to gratify his lust, from any other violence on that man's part he would defend himself with the same resolution with which he had defended his child; others must look out for themselves and for their children.

To this impassioned appeal of Verginius the crowd replied with a shout that they would not fail him in his grief or in the defence of his liberty. The civilians mingling in the throng of soldiers told the same tragic story, and how much more shocking the incident was to behold than to hear about; at the same time they announced that affairs were in fatal confusion at Rome, and that some had followed them into camp with the tidings that Appius after being almost killed had gone into exile. The result was a general call to arms, they plucked up the standards and started for Rome. The decemvirs, thoroughly alarmed at what they saw and at what they heard of the state of things in Rome, went to different parts of the camp to try and allay the excitement. Where they tried persuasion no answer was returned, but where they attempted to exercise authority, the reply was, "We are men and have arms." They marched in military order to the City and occupied the Aventine. Every one whom they met was urged to recover the liberties of the plebs and appoint tribunes; apart from this, no appeals to violence were heard. The meeting of the senate was presided over by Sp. Oppius. They decided not to adopt any harsh measures, as it was through their own lack of energy that the sedition had arisen. Three envoys of consular rank were sent to the army to demand in the name of the senate by whose orders they had abandoned their camp, and what they meant by occupying the Aventine in arms, and diverting the war from foreign foes to their own country, which they had taken forcible possession of. They were at no loss for an answer, but they were at a loss for some one to give it, since they had as yet no regular leader, and individual officers did not venture to expose themselves to the dangers of such a position. The only reply was a loud and general demand that L. Valerius and M. Horatius should be sent to them, to these men they would give a formal reply.


3.51

After the envoys were dismissed, Verginius pointed out to the soldiers that they had a few moments ago felt themselves embarrassed in a matter of no great importance, because they were a multitude without a head, and the answer they had given, though it served their turn, was the outcome rather of the general feeling at the time than of any settled purpose. He was of opinion that ten men should be chosen to hold supreme command, and by virtue of their military rank should be called tribunes of the soldiers. He himself was the first to whom this distinction was offered, but he replied, "Reserve the opinion you have formed of me till both you and I are in more favourable circumstances; so long as my daughter is unavenged no honour can give me pleasure, nor in the present disturbed state of the commonwealth is it any advantage for those men to be at your head who are most obnoxious to party malice. If I am to be of any use, I shall be none the less so in a private capacity." Ten military tribunes, accordingly, were appointed. The army acting against the Sabines did not remain passive. There, too, at the instigation of Icilius and Numitorius, a revolt against the decemvirs took place. The feelings of the soldiery were roused by the recollection of the murdered Siccius no less than by the fresh story of the maiden whom it had been sought to make a victim of foul lust. When Icilius heard that tribunes of the soldiers had been elected on the Aventine, he anticipated from what he knew of the plebs that when they came. to elect their tribunes they would follow the lead of the army and choose those who were already elected as military tribunes. As he was looking to a tribuneship himself, he took care to get the same number appointed and invested with similar powers by his own men, before they entered the City. They made their entry through the Colline gate in military order, with standards displayed, and proceeded through the heart of the City to the Aventine. There the two armies united, and the twenty military tribunes were requested to appoint two of their number to take the supreme direction of affairs. They appointed M. Oppius and Sex. Manlius. Alarmed at the direction affairs were talking, the senate held daily meetings, but the time was spent in mutual reproaches rather than in deliberation. The decemvirs were openly charged with the murder of Siccius, the profligacy of Appius, and the disgrace incurred in the field. It was proposed that Valerius and Horatius should go to the Aventine, but they refused to go unless the decemvirs gave up the insignia of an office which had expired the previous year. The decemvirs protested against this attempt to coerce them, and said that they would not lay down their authority until the laws which they were appointed to draw up were duly enacted.


3.52

M. Duillius, a former tribune, informed the plebs that, owing to incessant wranglings, no business was being transacted in the senate. He did not believe that the senators would trouble about them till they saw the City deserted; the Sacred Hill would remind them of the firm determination once shown by the plebs, and they would learn that unless the tribunitian power was restored there could be no concord in the State. The armies left the Aventine and, going out by the Nomentan-or, as it was then called, the Ficulan- road, they encamped on the Sacred Hill, imitating the moderation of their fathers by abstaining from all injury. The plebeian civilians followed the army, no one whose age allowed him to go hung back. Their wives and children followed them, asking in piteous tones, to whom would they leave them in a City where neither modesty nor liberty were respected? The unwonted solitude gave a dreary and deserted look to every part of Rome; in the Forum there were only a few of the older patricians, and when the senate was in session it was wholly deserted. Many besides Horatius and Valerius were now angrily asking, "What are you waiting for, senators? If the decemvirs do not lay aside their obstinacy, will you allow everything to go to wrack and ruin? And what, pray; is that authority, decemvirs, to which you cling so closely? Are you going to administer justice to walls and roofs? Are you not ashamed to see a greater number of lictors in the Forum than of all other citizens put together? What will you do if the enemy approach the City? What if the plebs, seeing that their secession has no effect, come shortly against us in arms? Do you want to end your power by the fall of the City? Either you will have to do without the plebeians or you will have to accept their tribunes; sooner than they will go without their magistrates, we shall have to go without ours. That power which they wrested from our fathers, when it was an untried novelty, they will not submit to be deprived of, now that they have tasted the sweets of it, especially as we are not making that moderate use of our power which would prevent their needing its protection." Remonstrances like these came from all parts of the House; at last the decemvirs, overborne by the unanimous opposition, asserted that since it was the general wish, they would submit to the authority of the senate. All they asked for was that they might be protected against the popular rage; they warned the senate against the plebs becoming by their death habituated to inflicting punishment on the patricians.


3.53

Valerius and Horatius were then sent to the plebs with terms which it was thought would lead to their return and the adjustment of all differences; they were also instructed to procure guarantees for the protection of the decemvirs against popular violence. They were welcomed in the camp with every expression of delight, for they were unquestionably regarded as liberators from the commencement of the disturbance to its close. Thanks therefore were offered to them on their arrival. Icilius was the spokesman. A policy had been agreed upon before the arrival of the envoys, so when the discussion of the terms commenced, and the envoys asked what the demands of the plebs were, Icilius put forward proposals of such a nature as to show clearly that their hopes lay in the justice of their cause rather than in an appeal to arms. They demanded the re-establishment of the tribunitian power and the right of appeal, which before the institution of decemvirs had been their main security. They also demanded an amnesty for those who had incited the soldiers or the plebs to recover their liberties by a secession. The only vindictive demand made was with reference to the punishment of the decemvirs. They insisted, as an act of justice, that they should be surrendered, and they threatened to burn them alive. The envoys replied to these demands as follows: "The demands you have put forward as the result of your deliberations are so equitable that they would have been voluntarily conceded, for you ask for them as the safeguards of your liberties, not as giving you licence to attack others. Your feelings of resentment are to be excused rather than indulged; for it is through hatred of cruelty that you are actually hurrying into cruelty, and almost before you are free yourselves you want to act the tyrant over your adversaries. Is our State never to enjoy any respite from punishments inflicted either by the patricians on the Roman plebs, or by the plebs on the patricians? You need the shield rather than the sword. He is humble enough who lives in the State under equal laws, neither inflicting nor suffering injury. Even if the time should come when you will make yourselves formidable, when, after recovering your magistrates and your laws, you will have judicial power over our lives and property-even then you will decide each case on its merits, it is enough now that your liberties are won back."


3.54

Permission having been unanimously granted them to do as they thought best, the envoys announced that they would return shortly after matters were arranged. When they laid the demands of the plebs before the senate, the other decemvirs, on finding that no mention was made of inflicting punishment on them, raised no objection whatever. The stern Appius, who was detested most of all, measuring the hatred of others towards him by his hatred towards them, said, "I am quite aware of the fate that is hanging over me. I see that the struggle against us is only postponed till our weapons are handed over to our opponents. Their rage must be appeased with blood. Still, even I do not hesitate to lay down my decemvirate." A decree was passed for the decemvirs to resign office as soon as possible, Q. Furius, the Pontifex Maximus, to appoint tribunes of the plebs, and an amnesty to be granted for the secession of the soldiers and the plebs. After these decrees were passed, the senate broke up, and the decemvirs proceeded to the Assembly and formally laid down their office, to the immense delight of all. This was reported to the plebs on the Sacred Hill. The envoys who carried the intelligence were followed by everybody who was left in the City; this mass of people was met by another rejoicing multitude who issued from the camp. They exchanged mutual congratulations on the restoration of liberty and concord. The envoys, addressing the multitude as an Assembly, said, "Prosperity, fortune, and happiness to you and to the State! Return to your fatherland, your homes, your wives, and your children! But carry into the City the same self-control which you have exhibited here, where no man's land has been damaged, notwithstanding the need of so many things necessary for so large a multitude. Go to the Aventine, whence you came; there, on the auspicious spot where you laid the beginnings of your liberty, you will appoint your tribunes; the Pontifex Maximus will be present to hold the election." Great was the delight and eagerness with which they applauded everything. They plucked up the standards and started for Rome, outdoing those they met in their expressions of joy. Marching under arms through the City in silence, they reached the Aventine. There the Pontifex Maximus at once proceeded to hold the election for tribunes. The first to be elected was L. Verginius; next, the organisers of the secession, L. Icilius and P. Numitorius, the uncle of Verginius; then, C. Sicinius, the son of the man who is recorded as the first to be elected of the tribunes on the Sacred Hill, and M. Duillius, who had filled that office with distinction before the appointment of the decemvirs, and through all the struggles with them had never failed to support the plebs. After these came M. Titinius, M. Pomponius, C. Apronius, Appius Villius, and Caius Oppius, all of whom were elected rather in hope of their future usefulness than for any services actually rendered. When he had entered on his tribuneship L. Icilius at once proposed a resolution which the plebs accepted, that no one should suffer for the secession. Marcus Duillius immediately carried a measure for the election of consuls and the right of appeal from them to the people. All these measures were passed in a council of the plebs which was held in the Flaminian Meadows, now called the Circus Flaminius.


3.55

The election of consuls took place under the presidency of an "interrex." Those elected were L. Valerius and M. Horatius, and they at once assumed office. Their consulship was a popular one, and inflicted no injustice upon the patricians, though they regarded it with suspicion, for whatever was done to safeguard the liberties of the plebs they looked upon as an infringement of their own powers. First of all, as it was a doubtful legal point whether the patricians were bound by the ordinances of the plebs, they carried a law in the Assembly of Centuries that what the plebs had passed in their Tribes should be binding on the whole people. By this law a very effective weapon was placed in the hands of the tribunes. Then another consular law, confirming the right of appeal, as the one defence of liberty, which had been annulled by the decemvirs, was not only restored but strengthened for the future by a fresh enactment. This forbade the appointment of any magistrate from whom there was no right of appeal, and provided that any one who did so appoint might be rightly and lawfully put to death, nor should the man who put him to death be held guilty of murder. When they had sufficiently strengthened the plebs by the right of appeal on the one hand and the protection afforded by the tribunes on the other, they proceeded to secure the personal inviolability of the tribunes themselves. The memory of this had almost perished, so they renewed it with certain sacred rites revived from a distant past, and in addition to securing their inviolability by the sanctions of religion, they enacted a law that whoever offered violence to the magistrates of the plebs, whether tribunes, aediles, or decemviral judges, his person should be devoted to Jupiter, his possessions sold and the proceeds assigned to the temples of Ceres, Liber, and Liberal Jurists say that by this law no one was actually "sacrosanct," but that when injury was offered to any of those mentioned above the offender was "sacer." If an aedile, therefore, were arrested and sent to prison by superior magistrates, though this could not be done by law-for by this law it would not be lawful for him to be injured-yet it is a proof that an aedile is not held to be "sacrosanct," whereas the tribunes of the plebs were "sacrosanct" by the ancient oath taken by the plebeians when that office was first created. There were some who interpreted the law as including even the consuls in its provisions, and the praetors, because they were elected under the same auspices as the consuls, for a consul was called a "judge." This interpretation is refuted by the fact that in those times it was the custom for a judge to be called not "consul" but "praetor." These were the laws enacted by the consuls. They also ordered that the decrees of the senate, which used formerly to be suppressed and tampered with at the pleasure of the consuls, should henceforth be taken to the aediles at the temple of Ceres. Marcus Duillius, the tribune, then proposed a resolution which the plebs adopted, that any one who should leave the plebs without tribunes, or who should create a magistrate from whom there was no appeal, should be scourged and beheaded. All these transactions were distasteful to the patricians, but they did not actively oppose them, as none of them had yet been marked out for vindictive proceedings.


3.56

The power of the tribunes and the liberties of the plebs were now on a secure basis. The next step was taken by the tribunes, who thought the time had come when they might safely proceed against individuals. They selected Verginius to take up the first prosecution, which was that of Appius. When the day had been fixed, and Appius had come down to the Forum with a bodyguard of young patricians, the sight of him and his satellites reminded all present of the power he had used so vilely. Verginius began: "Oratory was invented for doubtful cases. I will not, therefore, waste time by a long indictment before you of the man from whose cruelty you have vindicated yourselves by force of arms, nor will I allow him to add to his other crimes an impudent defence. So I will pass over, Appius Claudius, all the wicked and impious things that you had the audacity to do, one after another, for the last two years. One charge only will I bring against you, that contrary to law you have adjudged a free person to be a slave, and unless you name an umpire before whom you can prove your innocence, I shall order you to be taken to prison." Appius had nothing to hope for in the protection of the tribunes or the verdict of the people. Nevertheless he called upon the tribunes, and when none intervened to stay proceedings and he was seized by the apparitor, he said, "I appeal." This single word, the protection of liberty, uttered by those lips which had so lately judicially deprived a person of her freedom, produced a general silence. Then the people remarked to one another that there were gods after all who did not neglect the affairs of men; arrogance and cruelty were visited by punishments which, though lingering, were not light; that man was appealing who had taken away the power of appeal; that man was imploring the protection of the people who had trampled underfoot all their rights; he was losing his own liberty and being carried off to prison who had sentenced a free person to slavery. Amidst the murmur of the Assembly the voice of Appius himself was heard imploring "the protection of the Roman people."

He began by enumerating the services of his ancestors to the State, both at home and in the field; his own unfortunate devotion to the plebs, which had led him to resign his consulship in order to enact equal laws for all, giving thereby the greatest offence to the patricians; his laws which were still in force, though their author was being carried to prison. As to his own personal conduct and his good and evil deeds, however, he would bring them to the test when he had the opportunity of pleading his cause. For the present he claimed the common right of a Roman citizen to be allowed to plead on the appointed day and submit himself to the judgment of the Roman people. He was not so apprehensive of the general feeling against him as to abandon all hope in the impartiality and sympathy of his fellow-citizens. If he was to be taken to prison before his case was heard, he would once more appeal to the tribunes, and warn them not to copy the example of those whom they hated. If they admitted that they were bound by the same agreement to abolish the right of appeal which they accused the decemvirs of having formed, then he would appeal to the people and invoke the laws which both consuls and tribunes had enacted that very year to protect that right. For if before the case is heard and judgment given there is no power of appeal, who would appeal ? What plebeian, even the humblest, would find protection in the laws, if Appius Claudius could not? His case would show whether it was tyranny or freedom that was conferred by the new laws, and whether the right of challenge and appeal against the injustice of magistrates was only displayed in empty words or was actually granted.


3.57

Verginius replied. Appius Claudius, he said, alone was outside the laws, outside all the bonds that held States or even human society together. Let men cast their eyes on that tribunal, the fortress of all villainies, where that perpetual decemvir, surrounded by hangmen not lictors, in contempt of gods and men alike, wreaked his vengeance on the goods, the backs, and the lives of the citizens, threatening all indiscriminately with the rods and axes, and then when his mind was diverted from rapine and murder to lust, tore a free-born maiden from her father's arms, before the eyes of Rome, and gave her to a client, the minister of his intrigues-that tribunal where by a cruel decree and infamous judgment he armed the father's hand against the daughter, where he ordered those who took up the maiden's lifeless body-her betrothed lover and her grandfather-to be thrown into prison, moved less by her death than by the check to his criminal gratification. For him as much as for others was that prison built which he used to call "the domicile of the Roman plebs." Let him appeal again and again, he (the speaker) would always refer him to an umpire on the charge of having sentenced a free person to slavery. If he would not go before an umpire he should order him to be imprisoned as though found guilty. He was accordingly thrown into prison, and though no one actually opposed this step, there was a general feeling of anxiety, since even the plebeians themselves thought it an excessive use of their liberty to inflict punishment on so great a man. The tribune adjourned the day of trial. During these proceedings ambassadors came from the Latins and Hernicans to offer their congratulations on the restoration of harmony between the patriciate and the plebs. As a memorial of it, they brought an offering to Jupiter Optimus Maximus, in the shape of a golden crown. It was not a large one, as they were not wealthy States; their religious observances were characterised by devotion rather than magnificence. They also brought information that the Aequi and Volscians were devoting all their energies to preparing for war. The consuls were thereupon ordered to arrange their respective commands. The Sabines fell to Horatius, the Aequi to Valerius. They proclaimed a levy for these wars, and so favourable was the attitude of the plebs that not only did the men liable for service promptly give in their names, but a large part of the levy consisted of men who had served their time and came forward as volunteers. In this way the army was strengthened not only in numbers but in the quality of the soldiers, as veterans took their places in the ranks. Before they left the City, the laws of the decemvirs, known as the "Twelve Tables," were engraved in brass and publicly exhibited; some writers assert that the aediles discharged this task under orders from the tribunes.


3.58

Caius Claudius, through detestation of the crimes committed by the decemvirs, and the anger which he, more than any one, felt at the tyrannical conduct of his nephew, had retired to Regillum, his ancestral home. Though advanced in years, he now returned to the City, to deprecate the dangers threatening the man whose vicious practices had driven him into retirement. Going down to the Forum in mourning garb, accompanied by the members of his house and by his clients, he appealed to the citizens individually, and implored them not to stain the house of the Claudii with such an indelible disgrace as to deem them worthy of bonds and imprisonment. To think that a man whose image would be held in highest honour by posterity, the framer of their laws and the founder of Roman jurisprudence, should be lying manacled amongst nocturnal thieves and robbers! Let them turn their thoughts for a moment from feelings of exasperation to calm examination and reflection, and forgive one man at the intercession of so many of the Claudii, rather than through their hatred of one man despise the prayers of many. So far he himself would go for the honour of his family and his name, but he was not reconciled to the man whose distressed condition he was anxious to relieve. By courage their liberties had been recovered, by clemency the harmony of the orders in the State could be strengthened. Some were moved, but it was more by the affection he showed for his nephew than by any regard for the man for whom he was pleading. But Verginius begged them with tears to keep their compassion for him and his daughter, and not to listen to the prayers of the Claudii, who had assumed sovereign power over the plebs, but to the three tribunes, kinsmen of Verginia, who, after being elected to protect the plebeians, were now seeking their protection. This appeal was felt to have more justice in it. All hope being now cut off, Appius put an end to his life before the day of trial came.

Soon after Sp. Oppius was arraigned by P. Numitorius. He was only less detested than Appius, because he had been in the City when his colleague pronounced the iniquitous judgment. More indignation, however, was aroused by an atrocity which Oppius had committed than by his not having prevented one. A witness was produced, who after reckoning up twenty-seven years of service, and eight occasions on which he had been decorated for conspicuous bravery, appeared before the people wearing all his decorations. Tearing open his dress he exhibited his back lacerated with stripes. He asked for nothing but a proof on Oppius' part of any single charge against him; if such proof were forthcoming, Oppius, though now only a private citizen, might repeat all his cruelty towards him. Oppius was taken to prison and there, before the day of trial, he put an end to his life. His property and that of Claudius were confiscated by the tribunes. Their colleagues changed their domicile by going into exile; their property also was confiscated. M. Claudius, who had been the claimant of Verginia, was tried and condemned; Verginius himself, however, refused to press for the extreme penalty, so he was allowed to go into exile to Tibur. Verginia was more fortunate after her death than in her lifetime; her shade, after wandering through so many houses in quest of expiatory penalties, at length found rest, not one guilty person being now left.


3.59

Great alarm seized the patricians; the looks of the tribunes were now as menacing as those of the decemvirs had been. M. Duillius the tribune imposed a salutary check upon their excessive exercise of authority. "We have gone," he said, "far enough in the assertion of our liberty and the punishment of our opponents, so for this year I will allow no man to be brought to trial or cast into prison. I disapprove of old crimes, long forgotten, being raked up, now that the recent ones have been atoned for by the punishment of the decemvirs. The unceasing care which both the consuls are taking to protect your liberties is a guarantee that nothing will be done which will call for the power of the tribunes." This spirit of moderation shown by the tribune relieved the fears of the patricians, but it also intensified their resentment against the consuls, for they seemed to be so wholly devoted to the plebs, that the safety and liberty of the patricians were a matter of more immediate concern to the plebeian than they were to the patrician magistrates. It seemed as though their adversaries would grow weary of inflicting punishment on them sooner than the consuls would curb their insolence. It was pretty generally asserted that they had shown weakness, since their laws had been sanctioned by the senate, and no doubt was entertained that they had yielded to the pressure of circumstances.


3.60

After matters had been settled in the City and the position of the plebs firmly assured, the consuls left for their respective provinces. Valerius wisely suspended operations against the combined forces of the Aequi and Volscians. If he had at once hazarded an engagement, I question whether, considering the temper of both the Romans and the enemy after the inauspicious leadership of the decemvirs, he would not have incurred a serious defeat. Taking up a position about a mile from the enemy, he kept his men in camp. The enemy formed up for battle, and filled the space between the camps, but their challenge met with no response from the Romans. Tired at last of standing and vainly waiting for battle, and regarding victory as practically conceded to them, the two nations marched away to ravage the territories of the Hernici and Latins. The force left behind was sufficient to guard the camp, but not to sustain an action. On seeing this the consul made them in their turn feel the terror which they had inspired, drew up his men in order of battle and challenged them to fight. As, conscious of their reduced strength, they declined an engagement, the courage of the Romans at once rose, and they looked upon the men who kept timidly within their lines as already defeated. After standing the whole day eager to engage, they retired at nightfall; the enemy in a very different state of mind sent men hurriedly in all directions to recall the plundering parties; those in the neighbourhood hastened back to camp, the more distant ones were not traced. As soon as it grew light, the Romans marched out, prepared to storm their camp if they did not give them the chance of a battle. When the day was far advanced without any movement on the part of the enemy, the consul gave the order to advance. As the line moved forward, the Aequi and Volscians, indignant at the prospect of their victorious armies being protected by earthworks rather than by courage and arms, clamoured for the signal for battle. It was given, and part of their force had already emerged from the gate of the camp, whilst others were coming down in order and taking up their allotted positions, but before the enemy could mass his whole strength in the field the Roman consul delivered his attack. They had not all marched out of the camp, those who had done so were not able to deploy into line, and crowded together as they were, they began to waver and sway. Whilst they looked round helplessly at each other, undecided what to do, the Romans raised their war-cry, and at first the enemy gave ground, then, when they had recovered their presence of mind and their generals were appealing to them not to give way before those whom they had defeated, the battle was restored.


3.61

On the other side the consul bade the Romans remember that on that day for the first time they were fighting as free men on behalf of a free Rome. It was for themselves that they would conquer, the fruits of their victory would not go to decemvirs. The battle was not being fought under an Appius, but under their consul Valerius, a descendant of the liberators of the Roman people, and a liberator himself. They must show that it was owing to the generals, not to the soldiers, that they had failed to conquer in former battles; it would be a disgrace if they showed more courage against their own citizens than against a foreign foe, or dreaded slavery at home more than abroad. It was only Verginia whose chastity was imperilled, only Appius whose licentiousness was dangerous, in a time of peace, but if the fortune of war should turn against them, every one's children would be in danger from all those thousands of enemies. He would not forebode disasters which neither Jupiter nor Mars their Father would permit to a City founded under those happy auspices. He reminded them of the Aventine and the Sacred Hill, and besought them to carry back unimpaired dominion to that spot where a few months before they had won their liberties. They must make it clear that Roman soldiers possessed the same qualities now that the decemvirs were expelled which they had before they were created, and that Roman courage was not weakened by the fact that the laws were equal for all.

After this address to the infantry, he galloped up to the cavalry. "Come, young men," he shouted, "prove yourselves superior to the infantry in courage, as you are superior to them in honour and rank. They dislodged the enemy at the first onset, do you ride in amongst them and drive them from the field. They will not stand your charge, even now they are hesitating rather than resisting." With slackened rein, they spurred their horses against the enemy already shaken by the infantry encounter, and sweeping through their broken ranks were carried to the rear. Some, wheeling round in the open ground, rode across and headed off the fugitives who were everywhere making for the camp. The line of infantry with the consul in person and the whole of the battle rolled in the same direction; they got possession of the camp with an immense loss to the enemy, but the booty was still greater than the carnage. The news of this battle was carried not only to the City, but to the other army amongst the Sabines. In the City it was celebrated with public rejoicings, but in the other camp it fired the soldiers to emulation. By employing them in incursions and testing their courage in skirmishes, Horatius had trained them to put confidence in themselves instead of brooding over the disgrace incurred under the leadership of the decemvirs, and this had gone far to make them hope for ultimate success. The Sabines, emboldened by their success of the previous year, were incessantly provoking them and urging them to fight, and wanting to know why they were wasting their time in petty incursions and retreats like banditti, and fettering away the effort of one decisive action in a number of insignificant engagements. Why, they tauntingly asked, did they not meet them in a pitched battle and trust once for all to the fortune of war?


3.62

The Romans had not only recovered their courage, but they were burning with indignation. The other army, they said, was about to return to the City in triumph, whilst they were exposed to the taunts of an insolent foe. When would they ever be a match for the enemy if they were not now? The consul became aware of these murmurings of discontent and after summoning the soldiers to an assembly, addressed them as follows: "How the battle was fought on Algidus, soldiers, I suppose you have heard. The army behaved as the army of a free people ought to behave. The victory was won by the generalship of my colleague and the bravery of his soldiers. As far as I am concerned, I am ready to adopt that plan of operations which you, my soldiers, have the courage to execute. The war may either be prolonged with advantage or brought to an early close. If it is to be protracted I shall continue the method of training which I have begun, so that your spirits and courage may rise day by day. If you want it brought to a decisive issue, come now, raise such a shout as you will raise in battle as a proof of your willingness and courage." After they had raised the shout with great alacrity, he assured them that, with the blessing of heaven, he would comply with their wishes and lead them out to battle on the morrow. The rest of the day was spent in getting their armour and weapons ready. No sooner did the Sabines see the Romans forming in order of battle the next morning than they also advanced to an engagement which they had long been eager for. The battle was such as would be expected between armies both of which were full of self-confidence-the one proud of its old and unbroken renown, the other flushed with its recent victory. The Sabines called strategy to their aid, for, after giving their line an extent equal to that of the enemy, they kept 2000 men in reserve to make an impression on the Roman left when the battle was at its height. By this flank attack they had almost surrounded and were beginning to overpower that wing, when the cavalry of the two legions-about 600 strong-sprang from their horses and rushed to the front to support their comrades who were now giving way. They checked the enemy's advance and at the same time roused the courage of the infantry by sharing their danger, and appealing to their sense of shame, by showing that whilst the cavalry could fight either mounted or on foot, the infantry, trained to fight on foot, were inferior even to dismounted cavalry.


3.63

So they resumed the struggle which they were giving up and recovered the ground they had lost, and in a moment not only was the battle restored but the Sabines on that wing were even forced back. The cavalry returned to their horses, protected by the infantry through whose ranks they passed, and galloped off to the other wing to announce their success to their comrades. At the same time they made a charge on the enemy, who were now demoralised through the defeat of their strongest wing. None showed more brilliant courage in that battle. The consul's eyes were everywhere, he commended the brave, had words of rebuke wherever the battle seemed to slacken. Those whom he censured displayed at once the energy of brave men, they were stimulated by a sense of shame, as much as the others by his commendation. The battle-cry was again raised, and by one united effort on the part of the whole army they repulsed the enemy; the Roman attack could no longer be withstood. The Sabines were scattered in all directions through the fields, and left their camp as a spoil to the enemy. What the Romans found there was not the property of their allies, as had been the case on Algidus, but their own, which had been lost in the ravaging of their homesteads. For this double victory, won in two separate battles, the senate decreed thanksgivings on behalf of the consuls, but their jealousy restricted them to one day. The people, however, without receiving orders, went on the second day also in vast crowds to the temples, and this unauthorised and spontaneous thanksgiving was celebrated with almost greater enthusiasm than the former.

The consuls had mutually agreed to approach the City during these two days and convene a meeting of the senate in the Campus Martius. Whilst they were making their report there on the conduct of the campaigns, the leaders of the senate entered a protest against their session being held in the midst of the troops, in order to intimidate them. To avoid any ground for this charge the consuls immediately adjourned the senate to the Flaminian Meadows, where the temple of Apollo-then called the Apollinare-now stands. The senate by a large majority refused the consuls the honour of a triumph, whereupon L. Icilius, as tribune of the plebs, brought the question before the people. Many came forward to oppose it, particularly C. Claudius, who exclaimed in excited tones that it was over the senate, not over the enemy, that the consuls wished to celebrate their triumph. It was demanded as an act of gratitude for a private service rendered to a tribune, not as an honour for merit. Never before had a triumph been ordered by the people, it had always lain with the senate to decide whether one was deserved or not; not even kings had infringed the prerogative of the highest order in the State. The tribunes must not make their power pervade everything, so as to render the existence of a council of State impossible. The State will only be free, the laws equal, on condition that each order preserves its own rights, its own power and dignity. Much to the same effect was said by the senior members of the senate, but the tribes unanimously adopted the proposal. That was the first instance of a triumph being celebrated by order of the people without the authorisation of the senate.


3.64

This victory of the tribunes and the plebs very nearly led to a dangerous abuse of power. A secret understanding was come to amongst the tribunes that they should all be reappointed, and to prevent their factious purpose from being too noticeable, they were to secure a continuance of the consuls in office also. They alleged as a reason the agreement of the senate to undermine the rights of the plebs by the slight they had cast on the consuls. "What," they argued, "would happen if, before the laws were yet securely established, the patricians should attack fresh tribunes through consuls belonging to their own party? For the consuls would not always be men of the stamp of Valerius and Horatius, who subordinated their own interests to the liberty of the plebs." By a happy chance it fell to the lot of M. Duillius to preside over the elections. He was a man of sagacity, and foresaw the obloquy that would be incurred by the continuance in office of the present magistrates. On his declaring that he would accept no votes for the former tribunes, his colleagues insisted that he should either leave the tribes free to vote for whom they chose, or else resign the control of the elections to his colleagues, who would conduct them according to law rather than at the will of the patricians. As a contention had arisen, Duillius sent for the consuls and asked them what they intended to do about the consular elections. They replied that they should elect fresh consuls. Having thus gained popular supporters for a measure by no means popular, he proceeded in company with them into the Assembly. Here the consuls were brought forward to the people and the question was put to them, "If the Roman people, remembering how you have recovered their liberty for them at home, remembering, too, your services and achievements in war, should make you consuls a second time, what do you intend to do?" They declared their resolution unchanged, and Duillius, applauding the consuls for maintaining to the last an attitude totally unlike that of the decemvirs, proceeded to hold the election. Only five tribunes were elected, for owing to the efforts of the nine tribunes in openly pushing their canvass, the other candidates could not get the requisite majority of votes. He dismissed the Assembly and did not hold a second election, on the ground that he had satisfied the requirements of the law, which nowhere fixed the number of tribunes, but merely enacted that the office of tribune should not be left vacant. He ordered those who had been elected to co-opt colleagues, and recited the formula which governed the case as follows: "If I require you to elect ten tribunes of the plebs; if on this day you have elected less than ten, then those whom they co-opt shall be lawful tribunes of the plebs by the same law, in like manner as those whom you have this day made tribunes of the plebs." Duillius persisted in asserting to the last that the commonwealth could not possibly have fifteen tribunes, and he resigned office, after having won the goodwill of patricians and plebeians alike by his frustration of the ambitious designs of his colleagues.


3.65

The new tribunes of the plebs studied the wishes of the senate in co-opting colleagues; they even admitted two patricians of consular rank, Sp. Tarpeius and A. Aeternius. The new consuls were Spurius Herminius and T. Verginius Caelimontanus, who were not violent partisans of either the patricians or the plebeians. They maintained peace both at home and abroad. L. Trebonius, a tribune of the plebs, was angry with the senate because, as he said, he had been hoodwinked by them in the co-optation of tribunes, and left in the lurch by his colleagues. He brought in a measure providing that when tribunes of the plebs were to be elected, the presiding magistrate should continue to hold the election until ten tribunes were elected. He spent his year of office in worrying the patricians, which led to his receiving the nickname of "Asper " (i.e. "the Cantankerous"). The next consuls were M. Geganius Macerinus and C. Julius. They appeased the quarrels which had broken out between the tribunes and the younger members of the nobility without interfering with the powers of the former or compromising the dignity of the patricians. A levy had been decreed by the senate for service against the Volscians and Aequi, but they kept the plebs quiet by holding it over, and publicly asserting that when the City was at peace everything abroad was quiet, whereas civil discord encouraged the enemy. Their care for peace led to harmony at home. But the one order was always restless when the other showed moderation. Whilst the plebs was quiet it began to be subjected to acts of violence from the younger patricians. The tribunes tried to protect the weaker side, but they did little good at first, and soon even they themselves were not exempt from ill-treatment, especially in the later months of their year of office. Secret combinations amongst the stronger party resulted in lawlessness, and the exercise of the tribunitian authority usually slackened towards the close of the year. Any hopes the plebeians might place in their tribunes depended upon their having men like Icilius; for the last two years they had had mere names. On the other hand, the older patricians realised that their younger members were too aggressive, but if there were to be excesses they preferred that their own side should commit them rather than their opponents. So difficult is it to observe moderation in the defence of liberty, while each man under the presence of equality raises himself only by keeping others down, and by their very precautions against fear men make themselves feared, and in repelling injury from ourselves we inflict it on others as though there were no alternative between doing wrong and suffering it.


3.66

T. Quinctius Capitolinus and Agrippa Furius were the next consuls elected- the former for the fourth time. They found on entering office no disturbances at home nor any war abroad, though both were threatening. The dissensions of the citizens could now no longer be checked, as both the tribunes and the plebs were exasperated against the patricians, owing to the Assembly being constantly disturbed by fresh quarrels whenever one of the nobility was prosecuted. At the first bruit of these outbreaks, the Aequi and Volscians, as though at a given signal, took up arms. Moreover their leaders, eager for plunder, had persuaded them that it had been impossible to raise the levy ordered two years previously, because the plebs refused to obey, and it was owing to this that no armies had been sent against them; military discipline was broken up by insubordination; Rome was no longer looked upon as the common fatherland; all their rage against foreign foes was turned against one another. Now was the opportunity for destroying these wolves blinded by the madness of mutual hatred. With their united forces they first completely desolated the Latin territory; then, meeting with none to check their depredations, they actually approached the walls of Rome, to the great delight of those who had fomented the war. Extending their ravages in the direction of the Esquiline gate, they plundered and harried, through sheer insolence, in the sight of the City. After they had marched back unmolested with their plunder to Corbio, the consul Quinctius convoked the people to an Assembly.


3.67

I find that he spoke there as follows: "Though, Quirites, my own conscience is clear, it is, nevertheless, with feelings of the deepest shame that I have come before you. That you should know-that it will be handed down to posterity-that the Aequi and Volscians, who were lately hardly a match for the Hernici, have in the fourth consulship of T. Quinctius come in arms up to the walls of Rome with impunity! Although we have long been living in such a state, although public affairs are in such a condition, that my mind augurs nothing good, still, had I known that this disgrace was coming in this year, of all others, I would have avoided by exile or by death, had there been no other means of escape, the honour of a consulship. So then, if those arms which were at our gates had been in the hands of men worthy of the name, Rome could have been taken whilst I was consul! I had enough of honours, enough and more than enough of life, I ought to have died in my third consulship. Who was it that those most dastardly foes felt contempt for, us consuls, or you Quirites? If the fault is in us, strip us of an office which we are unworthy to hold, and if that is not enough, visit us with punishment. If the fault is in you, may there be no one, either god or man, who will punish your sins; may you repent of them! It was not your cowardice that provoked their contempt, nor their velour that gave them confidence; they have been too often defeated, put to flight, driven out of their entrenchments, deprived of their territory, not to know themselves and you. It is the dissensions between the two orders, the quarrels between patricians and plebeians that is poisoning the life of this City. As long as our power respects no limits, and your liberty acknowledges no restraints, as long as you are impatient of patrician, we of plebeian magistrates, so long has the courage of our enemies been rising. What in heaven's name do you want? You set your hearts on having tribunes of the plebs, we yielded, for the sake of peace. You yearned for decemvirs, we consented to their appointment; you grew utterly weary of them, we compelled them to resign. Your hatred pursued them into private life; to satisfy you, we allowed the noblest and most distinguished of our order to suffer death or go into exile. You wanted tribunes of the plebs to be appointed again; you have appointed them. Although we saw how unjust it was to the patricians that men devoted to your interests should be elected consuls, we have seen even that patrician office conferred by favour of the plebs. The tribunes' protective authority, the right of appeal to the people, the resolutions of the plebs made binding on the patricians, the suppression of our rights and privileges under the pretext of making the laws equal for all-these things we have submitted to, and do submit to. What term is there to be to our dissensions? When shall we ever be allowed to have a united City, when will this ever be our common fatherland? We who have lost, show more calmness and evenness of temper than you who have won. Is it not enough that you have made us fear you? It was against us that the Aventine was seized, against us the Sacred Hill occupied. When the Esquiline is all but captured and the Volscian is trying to scale the rampart, no one dislodges him. Against us you show yourselves men; against us you take up arms.


3.68

"Well, then, now that you have beleaguered the Senate-house, and treated the Forum as enemies' ground, and filled the prison with our foremost men, display the same daring courage in making a sortie from the Esquiline gate, or if you have not the courage even for this, mount the walls and watch your fields disgracefully laid waste with fire and sword, plunder carried off and smoke rising everywhere from your burning dwellings. But I may be told it is the common interests of all that are being injured by this; the land is burned, the City besieged, all the honours of war rest with the enemy. Good heavens! In what condition are your own private interests? Every one of you will have losses reported to him from the fields. What, pray, is there at home from which to make them good? Will the tribunes restore and repay you for what you have lost? They will contribute any amount you like of talk and words and accusations against the leading men, and law after law, and meetings of the Assembly. But from those meetings not a single one of you will ever go home the richer. Who has ever brought back to his wife and children anything but resentment and hatred, party strife and personal quarrels, from which you are to be protected not by your own courage and honesty of purpose, but by the help of others? But, let me tell you, when you were campaigning under us your consuls, not under tribunes, in the camp not in the Forum, and your battle-cry appalled the enemy in the field, not the patricians of Rome in the Assembly, then you obtained booty, took territory from the enemy, and returned to your homes and household gods in triumph, laden with wealth and covered with glory both for the State and for yourselves. Now you allow the enemy to depart laden with your property. Go on, stick to your Assembly meetings, pass your lives in the Forum, still the necessity, which you shirk, of taking the field follows you. It was too much for you to go out against the Aequi and Volscians; now the war is at your gates. If it is not beaten back, it will be within the walls, it will scale the Citadel and the Capitol and follow you into your homes. It is two years since the senate ordered a levy to be raised and an army led out to Algidus; we are still sitting idly at home, wrangling with one another like a troop of women, delighted with the momentary peace, and shutting our eyes to the fact that we shall very soon have to pay for our inaction many times over in war.

"I know that there are other things pleasanter to speak about than these, but necessity compels me, even if a sense of duty did not, to say what is true instead of what is agreeable. I should only be too glad, Quirites, to give you pleasure, but I would very much rather have you safe, however you may feel towards me for the future. Nature has so ordered matters that the man who addresses the multitude for his own private ends is much more popular than the man who thinks of nothing but the public good. Possibly, you imagine that it is in your interest that those demagogues who flatter the plebs and do not suffer you either to take up arms or live in peace, excite you and make you restless. They only do so to win notoriety or to make something out of it, and because they see that when the two orders are in harmony they are nowhere, they are willing to be leaders in a bad cause rather than in none, and get up disturbances and seditions. "If there is any possibility of your becoming at last weary of this sort of thing, if you are willing to resume the character which marked your fathers and yourselves in old days, instead of these new-fangled ideas, then there is no punishment I will not submit to, if I do not in a few days drive these destroyers of our fields in confusion and flight out of their camp, and remove from our gates and walls to their cities this dread aspect of war which now so appals you."


3.69

Seldom if ever was speech of popular tribune more favourably received by the plebeians than that of this stern consul. The men of military age who in similar emergencies had made refusal to be enrolled their most effective weapon against the senate, began now to turn their thoughts to arms and war. The fugitives from the country districts, those who had been plundered and wounded in the fields, reported a more terrible state of things than what was visible from the walls, and filled the whole City with a thirst for vengeance. When the senate met, all eyes fumed to Quinctius as the one man who could uphold the majesty of Rome. The leaders of the House declared his speech to be worthy of the position he held as consul, worthy of the many consulships he had previously held, worthy of his whole life, rich as it was in honours, many actually enjoyed, many more deserved. Other consuls, they said, had either flattered the plebs by betraying the authority and privileges of the patricians, or, by insisting too harshly upon the rights of their order, had intensified the opposition of the masses, Titus Quinctius, in his speech, had kept in view the authority of the senate, the concord of the two orders, and, above all, the circumstances of the hour. They begged him and his colleague to take over the conduct of public affairs, and appealed to the tribunes to be of one mind with the consuls in wishing to see the war rolled back from the walls of the City, and inducing the plebs, at such a crisis, to yield to the authority of the senate. Their common fatherland was, they declared, calling on the tribunes and imploring their aid now that their fields were ravaged and the City all but attacked.

By universal consent a levy was decreed and held. The consuls gave public notice that there was no time for investigating claims for exemption, and all the men liable for service were to present themselves the next day in the Campus Martius. When the war was over they would give time for inquiry into the cases of those who had not given in their names, and those who could not prove justification would be held to be deserters. All who were liable to serve appeared on the following day. Each of the cohorts selected their own centurions, and two senators were placed in command of each cohort. We understand that these arrangements were so promptly carried out that the standards, which had been taken from the treasury and carried down to the Campus Martius by the quaestors in the morning, left the Campus at 10 o'clock that same day, and the army, a newly-raised one with only a few cohorts of veterans following as volunteers, halted at the tenth milestone. The next day brought them within sight of the enemy, and they entrenched their camp close to the enemy's camp at Corbio. The Romans were fired by anger and resentment; the enemy, conscious of their guilt after so many revolts, despaired of pardon. There was consequently no delay in bringing matters to an issue.


3.70

In the Roman army the two consuls possessed equal authority. Agrippa, however, voluntarily resigned the supreme command to his colleague-a very beneficial arrangement where matters of great importance are concerned-and the latter, thus preferred by the ungrudging self-suppression of his colleague, courteously responded by imparting to him his plans, and treating him in every way as his equal. When drawn up in battle order, Quinctius commanded the right wing, Agrippa the left. The centre was assigned to Sp. Postumius Albus, lieutenant-general; the other lieutenant-general, P. Sulpicius, was given charge of the cavalry. The infantry on the right wing fought splendidly, but met with stout resistance on the side of the Volscians. P. Sulpicius with his cavalry broke the enemy's centre. He could have got back to the main body before the enemy re-formed their broken ranks, but he decided to attack from the rear, and would have scattered the enemy in a moment, attacked as they were in front and rear, had not the cavalry of the Volscians and Aequi, adopting his own tactics, intercepted him and kept him for some time engaged. He shouted to his men that there was no time to lose, they would be surrounded and cut off from their main body if they did not do their utmost to make a finish of the cavalry fight; it was not enough simply to put them to flight, they must dispose of both horses and men, that none might return to the field or renew the fighting. They could not resist those before whom a serried line of infantry had given way.

His words did not fall on deaf ears. In one shock they routed the whole of the cavalry, hurled a vast number from their seats, and drove their lances into the horses. That was the end of the cavalry fight. Next they made a rear attack on the infantry, and when their line began to waver they sent a report to the consuls of what they had done. The news gave fresh courage to the Romans, who were now winning, and dismayed the retreating Aequi. Their defeat began in the centre, where the cavalry charge had thrown them into disorder. Then the repulse of the left wing by the consul Quinctius commenced. The right wing gave more trouble. Here Agrippa, whose age and strength made him fearless, seeing that things were going better in all parts of the field than with him, seized standards from the standard-bearers and advanced with them himself, some he even began to throw amongst the masses of the enemy. Roused at the fear and disgrace of losing them, his men made a fresh charge on the enemy, and in all directions the Romans were equally successful. At this point a message came from Quinctius that he was victorious, and was now threatening the enemy's camp, but would not attack it till he knew that the action on the left wing was decided. If Agrippa had defeated the enemy he was to join him, so that the whole army might together take possession of the spoil. The victorious Agrippa, amidst mutual congratulations, proceeded to his colleague and the enemy's camp. The few defenders were routed in a moment and the entrenchment forced without any resistance. The army was marched back to camp after securing immense spoil and recovering their own property which had been lost in the ravaging of their lands. I cannot find that a triumph was either demanded by the consuls or granted by the senate; nor is any reason recorded for this honour having been either not expected or not thought worth asking for. As far as I can conjecture after such an interval of time, the reason would appear to be that as a triumph was refused by the senate to the consuls Valerius and Horatius, who, apart from the Volscians and Aequi, had won the distinction of bringing the Sabine war to a close, the present consuls were ashamed to ask for a triumph for doing only half as much, lest, if they did obtain it, it might appear to be out of consideration for the men more than for their services.


3.71

This honourable victory won from an enemy was sullied by a disgraceful decision of the people respecting the territory of their allies. The inhabitants of Aricia and Ardea had frequently gone to war over some disputed land; tired at last of their many reciprocal defeats, they referred the matter to the arbitrament of Rome. The magistrates convened an Assembly on their behalf, and when they had come to plead their cause, the debate was conducted with much warmth. When the evidence was concluded and the time came for the tribes to be called upon to vote, P. Scaptius, an aged plebeian, rose and said, "If, consuls, I am allowed to speak on matters of high policy, I will not suffer the people to go wrong in this matter." The consuls refused him a hearing, as being a man of no credit, and when he loudly exclaimed that the commonwealth was being betrayed they ordered him to be removed. He appealed to the tribunes. The tribunes, who are almost always ruled by the multitude more than they rule them, finding that the plebs were anxious to hear him, gave Scaptius permission to say what he wanted. So he began by saying that he was now in his eighty-third year and had seen service in that country which was now in dispute, not as a young man but as a veteran of twenty years' standing, when the war was going on against Corioli. He therefore alleged as a fact, forgotten through lapse of time, but deeply imprinted in his own memory, that the disputed land formed part of the territory of Corioli, and when that city was taken, became by the right of war part of the State domain of Rome. The Ardeates and Aricians had never claimed it while Corioli was unconquered, and he was wondering how they could hope to filch it from the people of Rome, whom they had made arbiters instead of rightful owners. He had not long to live, but he could not, old as he was, bring himself to refrain from using the only means in his power, namely, his voice, in order to assert the right to that territory which as a soldier he had done his best to win. He earnestly advised the people not to pronounce, from a false feeling of delicacy, against a cause which was really their own.


3.72

When the consuls saw that Scaptius was listened to not only in silence but even with approval, they called gods and men to witness that a monstrous injustice was being perpetrated, and sent for the leaders of the senate. Accompanied by them they went amongst the tribes and implored them not to commit the worst of crimes and establish a still worse precedent by perverting justice to their own advantage. Even supposing it were permissible for a judge to look after his own interest, they would certainly never gain by appropriating the disputed territory as much as they would lose by estranging the feelings of their allies through their injustice. The damage done to their good name and credit would be incalculable. Were the envoys to carry back this to their home, was it to go out to the world, was it to reach the ears of their allies and of their enemies? With what pain the former would receive it, with what joy the latter! Did they suppose that the surrounding nations would fix the responsibility for it on Scaptius, a mob-orator in his dotage? To him it might be a patent of nobility, but on the Roman people it would stamp a character for trickery and fraud. For what judge has ever dealt with a private suit so as to adjudge to himself the property in dispute? Even Scaptius would not do that, although he has outlived all sense of shame. In spite of these earnest appeals which the consuls and senators made, cupidity and Scaptius its instigator prevailed. The tribes, when called upon to vote, decided that it was part of the public domain of Rome. It is not denied that the result would have been the same had the case gone before other judges, but as it is, the disgrace attaching to the judgment is not in the least degree lightened by any justice in the case, nor did it appear more ugly and tyrannical to the people of Aricia and Ardea than it did to the Roman senate. The rest of the year remained undisturbed both at home and abroad.

End of Book 3



Livy's History of Rome: Book 4:
The Growing Power of the Plebs


4.1

The consuls who succeeded were M. Genucius and C. Curtius. The year was a troubled one both at home and abroad. In the beginning of the year C. Canuleius, a tribune of the plebs, introduced a law with regard to the intermarriage of patricians and plebeians. The patricians considered that their blood would be contaminated by it and the special rights of the houses thrown into confusion. Then the tribunes began to throw out hints about one consul being elected from the plebs, and matters advanced so far that nine tribunes brought in a measure empowering the people to elect consuls from the plebeians or the patricians as they chose. The patricians believed that, if this were carried, the supreme power would not only be degraded by being shared with the lowest of the people, but would entirely pass away from the chief men in the State into the hands of the plebs. The senate were not sorry, therefore, to hear that Ardea had revolted as a consequence of the unjust decision about the territory, that the Veientines had ravaged the districts on the Roman frontier, and that the Volscians and Aequi were protesting against the fortifying of Verrugo; so much did they prefer war, even when unsuccessful, to an ignominious peace. On receiving these reports-which were somewhat exaggerated-the senate tried to drown the voice of the tribunes in the uproar of so many wars by ordering a levy to be made and all preparations for war pushed on with the utmost vigour, more so, if possible, than during the consulship of T. Quinctius. Thereupon C. Canuleius addressed the senate in a short and angry speech. It was, he said, useless for the consuls to hold out threats in the hope of distracting the attention of the plebs from the proposed law; as long as he was alive they should never hold a levy until the plebs had adopted the measures brought forward by himself and his colleagues. He at once convened an Assembly.


4.2

The consuls began to rouse the senate to take action against the tribunes, and at the same time the tribunes were getting up an agitation against the consuls. The consuls declared that the revolutionary proceedings of the tribunes could no longer be tolerated, matters had come to a crisis, there was a more bitter war going on at home than abroad. This was not the fault of the plebs so much as of the senate, nor of the tribunes more than of the consuls. Those things in a State which attain the highest development are those which are encouraged by rewards; it is thus that men become good citizens in times of peace, good soldiers in times of war. In Rome the greatest rewards are won by seditious agitations, these have always brought honour to men both individually and in the mass. Those present should reflect upon the greatness and dignity of the senate as they had received it from their fathers, and consider what they were going to hand on to their children, in order that they might be able to feel pride in the extension and growth of its influence, as the plebs felt pride in theirs. There was no final settlement in sight, nor would there be as long as agitators were honoured in proportion to the success of their agitation. What enormous questions had C. Canuleius raised! He was advocating the breaking up of the houses, tampering with the auspices, both those of the State and those of individuals, so that nothing would be pure, nothing free from contamination, and in the effacing of all distinctions of rank, no one would know either himself or his kindred. What other result would mixed marriages have except to make unions between patricians and plebeians almost like the promiscuous association of animals? The offspring of such marriages would not know whose blood flowed in his veins, what sacred rites he might perform; half of him patrician, half plebeian, he would not even be in harmony with himself. And as though it were a small matter for all things human and divine to be thrown into confusion, the disturbers of the people were now making an onslaught on the consulship. At first the question of one consul being elected from the plebs was only mooted in private conversations, now a measure was brought forward giving the people power to elect consuls from either patricians or plebeians as they chose. And there was no shadow of doubt that they would elect all the most dangerous revolutionaries in the plebs; the Canuleii and the Icilii would be consuls. Might Jupiter Optimus Maximus never allow a power truly royal in its majesty to sink so low! They would rather die a thousand deaths than suffer such an ignominy to be perpetrated. Could their ancestors have divined that all their concessions only served to make the plebs more exacting, not more friendly, since their first success only emboldened them to make more and more urgent demands, it was quite certain that they would have gone any lengths in resistance sooner than allow these laws to be forced upon them. Because a concession was once made in the matter of tribunes, it had been made again; there was no end to it. Tribunes of the plebs and the senate could not exist in the same State, either that office or this order (i.e. the nobility) must go. Their insolence and recklessness must be opposed, and better late than never. Were they to be allowed with impunity to stir up our neighbours to war by sowing the seeds of discord and then prevent the State from arming in its defence against those whom they had stirred up, and after all but summoning the enemy not allow armies to be enrolled against the enemy? Was Canuleius, forsooth, to have the audacity to give out before the senate that unless it was prepared to accept his conditions, like those of a conqueror, he would stop a levy being held? What else was that but threatening to betray his country and allowing it to be attacked and captured ? What courage would his words inspire, not in the Roman plebs but in the Volscians and Aequi and Veientines! Would they not hope, with Canuleius as their leader, to be able to scale the Capitol and the Citadel, if the tribunes, after stripping the senate of its rights and its authority, deprived it also of its courage? The consuls were ready to be their leaders against criminal citizens before they led them against the enemy in arms.


4.3

At the very time when this was going on in the senate, Canuleius delivered the following speech in defence of his laws and in opposition to the consuls: "I fancy, Quirites, that I have often noticed in the past how greatly the patricians despise you, how unworthy they deem you to live in the same City, within the same walls, as they. Now, however, it is perfectly obvious, seeing how bitter an opposition they have raised to our proposed laws. For what is our purpose in framing them except to remind them that we are their fellow-citizens, and though we do not possess the same power, we still inhabit the same country? In one of these laws we demand the right of intermarriage, a right usually granted to neighbours and foreigners-indeed we have granted citizenship, which is more than intermarriage, even to a conquered enemy-in the other we are bringing forward nothing new, but simply demanding back what belongs to the people and claiming that the Roman people should confer its honours on whom it will. What possible reason is there why they should embroil heaven and earth, why recently in the Senate-house I was on the point of being subjected to personal violence, why they declare they will not keep their hands off, and threaten to attack our inviolable authority? Will this City be no longer able to stand, is our dominion at an end, if a free vote is allowed to the Roman people so that they may entrust the consulship to whomsoever they will, and no plebeian may be shut out from the hope of attaining the highest honour if only he be worthy of the highest honour? Does the phrase 'Let no plebeian be made consul' mean just the same as 'No slave or freedman shall be consul'? Do you ever realise in what contempt you are living? They would rob you of your share in this daylight, if they could. They are indignant because you breathe and utter speech and wear the form of men. Why! Heaven forgive me, they actually say that it would be an act of impiety for a plebeian to be made consul! Though we are not allowed access to the 'Fasti' or the records of the pontiffs, do we not, pray, know what every stranger knows, that the consuls have simply taken the place of the kings, and possess no right or privilege which was not previously vested in the kings? I suppose you have never heard tell that Numa Pompilius, who was not only no patrician but not even a Roman citizen, was summoned from the land of the Sabines, and after being accepted by the people and confirmed by the senate, reigned as king of Rome? Or that, after him, L. Tarquinius, who belonged to no Roman house, not even to an Italian one, being the son of Demaratus of Corinth, who had settled in Tarquinii, was made king while the sons of Ancus were still alive? Or that, after him again, Servius Tullius, the illegitimate son of a female slave captured at Corniculum, gained the crown by sheer merit and ability? Why need I mention the Sabine Titus Tatius, with whom Romulus himself, the Father of the City, shared his throne? As long as no class of person in which conspicuous merit appeared was rejected, the Roman dominion grew. Are you then to regard a plebeian consul with disgust, when our ancestors showed no aversion to strangers as their kings? Not even after the expulsion of the kings was the City closed to foreign merit. The Claudian house, at all events, who migrated from the Sabines, was received by us not only into citizenship, but even into the ranks of the patricians. Shall a man who was an alien become a patrician and afterwards consul, and a Roman citizen, if he belongs to the plebs, be cut off from all hope of the consulship? Do we believe that it is impossible for a plebeian to be brave and energetic and capable both in peace and war, or if there be such a man, are we not to allow him to touch the helm of the State; are we to have, by preference, consuls like the decemvirs, those vilest of mortals-who, nevertheless, were all patricians-rather than men who resemble the best of the kings, new men though they were?


4.4

"But, I may be told, no consul, since the expulsion of the kings, has ever been elected from the plebs. What then? Ought no innovation ever to be introduced; and because a thing has not yet been done-and in a new community there are many things which have not yet been done- ought they not to be done, even when they are advantageous? In the reign of Romulus there were no pontiffs, no college of augurs; they were created by Numa Pompilius. There was no census in the State, no register of the centuries and classes; it was made by Servius Tullius. There were never any consuls; when the kings had been expelled they were created. Neither the power nor the name of Dictator was in existence; it originated with the senate. There were no tribunes of the plebs, no aediles, no quaestors; it was decided that these offices should be created. Within the last ten years we appointed decemvirs to commit the laws to writing and then we abolished their office. Who doubts that in a City built for all time and without any limits to its growth new authorities have to be established, new priesthoods, modifications in the rights and privileges of the houses as well as of individual citizens? Was not this very prohibition of intermarriage between patricians and plebeians, which inflicts such serious injury on the commonwealth and such a gross injustice on the plebs, made by the decemvirs within these last few years? Can there be a greater or more signal disgrace than for a part of the community to be held unworthy of intermarriage, as though contaminated? What is this but to suffer exile and banishment within the same walls? They are guarding against our becoming connected with them by affinity or relationship, against our blood being allied with theirs. Why, most of you are descended from Albans and Sabines, and that nobility of yours you hold not by birth or blood, but by co-optation into the patrician ranks, having been selected for that honour either by the kings, or after their expulsion by the mandate of the people. If your nobility is tainted by union with us, could you not have kept it pure by private regulations, by not seeking brides from the plebs, and not suffering your sisters or daughters to marry outside your order? No plebeian will offer violence to a patrician maiden, it is the patricians who indulge in those criminal practices. None of us would have compelled any one to enter into a marriage contract against his will. But, really, that this should be prohibited by law and the intermarriage of patricians and plebeians made impossible is indeed insulting to the plebs. Why do you not combine to forbid intermarriage between rich and poor? Everywhere and in all ages there has been an understanding that a woman might marry into any house in which she has been betrothed, and a man might marry from any house the woman to whom he has become engaged, and this understanding you are fettering by the manacles of a most insolent law, through which you may break up civil society and rend one State into two. Why do you not enact a law that no plebeian shall live in the neighbourhood of a patrician, or go along the same road, or take his place at the same banquet, or stand in the same Forum? For, as a matter of fact, what difference is there, if a patrician marries a plebeian woman or a plebeian marries a patrician? What rights are infringed, pray? Of course, the children follow the father. There is nothing that we are seeking in intermarriage with you, except that we may be reckoned amongst men and citizens; there is nothing for you to fight about, unless you delight in trying how far you can insult and degrade us.


4.5

"In a word, does the supreme power belong to you or to the Roman people? Did the expulsion of the kings mean absolute ascendancy for you or equal liberty for all? Is it right and proper for the Roman people to enact a law, if it wishes to do so, or are you going, whenever a measure is proposed, to order a levy by way of punishment? Am I to call the tribes up to vote, and as soon as I have begun, are you, the consuls, going to compel those who are liable for service to take the military oath, and then march them off to camp, threatening alike the plebs and the tribunes? Why, have you not on two occasions found out what your threats are worth against a united plebs? Was it, I wonder, in our interest that you abstained from an open conflict, or was it because the stronger party was also the more moderate one that there was no fighting? Nor will there be any conflict now, Quirites; they will always try your courage, they will not test your strength. And so, consuls, the plebeians are ready to follow you to these wars, whether real or imaginary, on condition that by restoring the right of intermarriage you at last make this commonwealth a united one, that it be in their power to be allied with you by family ties, that the hope of attaining high office be granted to men of ability and energy, that it be open to them to be associated with you in taking their share of the government, and-which is the essence of equal liberty-to rule and obey in turn, in the annual succession of magistrates. If any one is going to obstruct these measures, you may talk about wars and exaggerate them by rumour, no one is going to give in his name, no one is going to take up arms, no one is going to fight for domineering masters with whom they have in public life no partnership in honours, and in private life no right of intermarriage."


4.6

After the two consuls had come forward into the Assembly, set speeches gave place to a personal altercation. The tribune asked why it was not right for a plebeian to be elected consul. The consuls gave a reply which, though perhaps true, was an unfortunate one in view of the present controversy. They said, "Because no plebeian could have the auspices, and the reason why the decemvirs had put an end to intermarriage was to prevent the auspices from being vitiated through the uncertainty of descent." This bitterly exasperated the plebeians, for they believed that they were held incompetent to take the auspices because they were hateful to the immortal gods. As they had got a most energetic leader in their tribune and were supporting him with the utmost determination, the controversy ended in the defeat of the patricians. They consented to the intermarriage law being passed, mainly in the belief that the tribunes would either abandon the struggle for plebeian consuls altogether, or would at least postpone it till after the war, and that the plebeians, contented with what they had gained, would be ready to enlist. Owing to his victory over the patricians Canuleius was now immensely popular. Fired by his example, the other tribunes fought with the utmost energy to secure the passing of their measure, and though the rumours of war became more serious every day they obstructed the enlistment. As no business could be transacted in the senate owing to the intervention of the tribunes, the consuls held councils of the leaders at their own houses.

It was evident that they would have to yield the victory either to their foreign foes or to their own countrymen. Valerius and Horatius were the only men of consular rank who did not attend these councils. C. Claudius was in favour of empowering the consuls to use armed force against the tribunes; the Quinctii, Cincinnatus and Capitolinus, were averse from bloodshed or injury to those whom in their treaty with the plebs they had agreed to hold inviolable. The result of their deliberations was that they allowed tribunes of the soldiers with consular powers to be elected from the patricians and plebeians indiscriminately; no change was made in the election of consuls. This arrangement satisfied the tribunes and it satisfied the plebs. Notice was published that an Assembly would be held for the election of three tribunes with consular powers. No sooner was this announcement made than everybody who had ever acted or spoken as a fomenter of sedition, especially those who had been tribunes, came forward as candidates, and began to bustle about the Forum, canvassing for votes. The patricians were at first deterred from seeking election, as in the exasperated mood of the plebeians they regarded their chances as hopeless, and they were disgusted at the prospect of having to hold office with these men. At last, under compulsion from their leaders, lest they should appear to have withdrawn from any share in the government, they consented to stand. The result of the election showed that when men are contending for liberty and the right to hold office their feelings are different from what they are when the contest is over and they can form an unbiased judgment. The people were satisfied now that votes were allowed for plebeians, and they elected none but patricians. Where in these days will you find in a single individual the moderation, fairness, and loftiness of mind which then characterised the people as a whole?


4.7

In the 310th year after the foundation of Rome (444 B.C.), military tribunes with consular powers for the first time took office. Their names were Aulus Sempronius Atratinus, L. Atilius, and T. Caecilius, and during their tenure of office concord at home procured peace abroad. Some writers omit all mention of the proposal to elect consuls from the plebs, and assert that the creation of three military tribunes invested with the insignia and authority of consuls was rendered necessary by the inability of two consuls to cope at the same time with the Veientine war in addition to the war with the Aequi and Volscians and the defection of Ardea. The jurisdiction of that office was not yet, however, firmly established, for in consequence of the decision of the augurs they resigned office after three months, owing to some irregularity in their election. C. Curtius, who had presided over their election, had not rightly selected his position for taking the auspices. Ambassadors came from Ardea to complain of the injustice done them; they promised that if it were removed by the restoration of their territory they would abide by the treaty and remain good friends with Rome. The senate replied that they had no power to rescind a judgment of the people, there was no precedent or law to allow it, the necessity of preserving harmony between the two orders made it impossible. If the Ardeates were willing to wait their time and leave the redress of their wrongs in the hands of the senate, they would afterwards congratulate themselves on their moderation, and would discover that the senators were just as anxious that no injustice should be done them as that whatever had been done should speedily be repaired. The ambassadors said that they would bring the whole matter again before their senate, and were then courteously dismissed.

As the State was now without any curule magistrate, the patricians met together and appointed an interrex. Owing to a dispute whether consuls or military tribunes should be elected, the interregnum lasted several days. The interrex and the senate tried to secure the election of consuls; the plebs and their tribunes that of military tribunes. The senate conquered, for the plebeians were sure to confer either honour on the patricians and so refrained from an idle contest, whilst their leaders preferred an election in which no votes could be received for them to one in which they would be passed over as unworthy to hold office. The tribunes, too, gave up the fruitless contest out of complaisance to the leaders of the senate. T. Quinctius Barbatus, the interrex, elected as consuls Lucius Papirius Mugilanus and L. Sempronius Atratinus. During their consulship the treaty with Ardea was renewed. This is the sole proof that they were the consuls for that year, for they are not found in the ancient annals nor in the official list of magistrates. The reason, I believe, was that since at the beginning of the year there were military tribunes, the names of the consuls who replaced them were omitted as though the tribunes had continued in office through the year. According to Licinius Macer, their names were found in the copy of the treaty with Ardea, as well as in the "Linen Rolls." In spite of so many alarming symptoms of unrest amongst the neighbouring nations, things were quiet both abroad and at home.


4.8

Whether there were tribunes this year, or whether they were replaced by consuls, there is no doubt that the following year the consuls were M. Geganius Macerinus and T. Quinctius Capitolinus; the former consul for the second time, the latter for the fifth time. This year saw the beginning of the censorship, an office which, starting from small beginnings, grew to be of such importance that it had the regulation of the conduct and morals of Rome, the control of the senate and the equestrian order; the power of honouring and degrading was also in the hands of these magistrates; the legal rights connected with public places and private property, and the revenues of the Roman people, were under their absolute control. Its origin was due to the fact that no census had been taken of the people for many years, and it could no longer be postponed, whilst the consuls, with so many wars impending, did not feel at liberty to undertake the task. It was suggested in the senate that as the business would be a complicated and laborious one, not at all suitable for the consuls, a special magistrate was needed who should superintend the registrars and have the custody of the lists and assessment schedules and fix the valuation of property and the status of citizens at his discretion. Though the suggestion was not of great importance, the senate gladly adopted it, as it would add to the number of patrician magistrates in the State, and I think that they anticipated what actually happened, that the influence of those who held the office would soon enhance its authority and dignity. The tribunes, too, looking more at the need which certainly existed for such an office than at the lustre which would attend its administration, offered no opposition, lest they should appear to be raising troublesome difficulties even in small matters. The foremost men of the State declined the honour, so Papirius and Sempronius-about whose consulship doubts were entertained-were elected by the suffrages of the people to conduct the census. Their election to this magistracy made up for the incompleteness of their consulship. From the duties they had to discharge they were called Censors.


4.9

Whilst this was going on in Rome, ambassadors came from Ardea, appealing, in the name of the ancient alliance and recently renewed treaty, for help for their city which was almost destroyed. They were not allowed, they said, to enjoy the peace which in pursuance of the soundest policy they had maintained with Rome, owing to internal disputes. The origin and occasion of these is said to have been party struggles, which have been and will be more ruinous to the majority of States than external wars or famine and pestilence or whatever else is ascribed to the wrath of the gods as the last evil which a State can suffer. Two young men were courting a maiden of plebeian descent celebrated for her beauty. One of them, the girl's equal in point of birth, was encouraged by her guardians, who belonged to the same class; the other, a young noble captivated solely by her beauty, was supported by the sympathy and good-will of the nobility. Party feeling had even penetrated into the girl's home, for the mother, who wanted her daughter to make as splendid a match as possible, preferred the young noble, whilst the guardians, carrying their partisanship even into such a matter as this, were working for the man of their own class. As the matter could not be settled within the four walls of the house, they brought it into court. After hearing the appeals of the mother and of the guardians, the magistrates granted the disposal of the girl's hand in accordance with the mother's wishes. But violence won the day, for the guardians, after haranguing a number of their partisans in the Forum on the iniquity of the verdict, collected a body of men and carried off the maiden from her mother's house. They were met by a still more determined troop of nobles, assembled to follow their young comrade, who was furious at the outrage. A desperate fight ensued and the plebeians got the worst of it. In a very different spirit from the Roman plebs they marched, fully armed, out of the city and took possession of a hill from which they raided the lands of the nobles and laid them waste with fire and sword. A multitude of artisans who had previously taken no part in the conflict, excited by the hope of plunder, joined them, and preparations were made to besiege the city. All the horrors of war were present in the city, as though it had been infected with the madness of the two young men who were seeking fatal nuptials out of their country's ruin. Both sides felt the need of an addition to their strength; the nobles prevailed on the Romans to come to the relief of their beleaguered city; the plebs induced the Volscians to join them in attacking Ardea. The Volscians, under the leadership of Cluilius, the Aequian, were the first to come, and drew lines of circumvallation round the enemy's walls. When news of this reached Rome the consul M. Geganius at once left with an army and fixed his camp three miles distant from the enemy, and as the day was declining he ordered his men to rest. At the fourth watch he ordered an advance, and so expeditiously was the task undertaken and completed, that at sunrise the Volscians saw themselves enclosed by a stronger circumvallation than the one which they had themselves carried round the city. In another direction the consul constructed a covered way up to the wall of Ardea by which his friends in the city could go to and fro.


4.10

Up to that time the Volscian commander had not laid in any stock of provisions, as he had been able to maintain his army upon the corn carried off each day from the surrounding country. Now, however, that he was suddenly shut in by the Roman lines, he found himself destitute of everything. He invited the consul to a conference, and said that if the object for which the Romans had come was to raise the siege, he would withdraw the Volscians. The consul replied that it was for the defeated side to submit to terms, not to impose them, and as the Volscians had come at their own pleasure to attack the allies of Rome, they should not depart on the same terms. He required them to lay down their arms, surrender their general, and make acknowledgment of their defeat by placing themselves under his orders; otherwise, whether they remained or departed, he would prove a relentless foe, and would rather carry back to Rome a victory over them than a faithless peace. The only hope of the Volscians lay in their arms, and slight as it was they risked it. The ground was unfavourable to them for fighting, still more so for flight. As they were being cut down in all directions, they begged for quarter, but they were only allowed to get away after their general had been surrendered, their arms given up, and they themselves sent under the yoke. Covered with disgrace and disaster, they departed with only one garment apiece. They halted not far from the city of Tusculum, and owing to an old grudge which that city had against them, they were suddenly attacked, and defenceless as they were, suffered severe punishment, few being left to carry the news of the disaster. The consul settled the troubles in Ardea by beheading the ringleaders of the disturbance and confiscating their property to the treasury of the city. The citizens considered that the injustice of the recent decision was removed by the great service that Rome had rendered, but the senate thought that something ought still to be done to wipe out the record of national avarice. The consul Quinctius achieved the difficult task of rivalling in his civil administration the military renown of his colleague. He showed such care to maintain peace and concord by tempering justice equally for the highest and the lowest, that whilst the senate looked upon him as a stern consul, the plebeians regarded him as a lenient one. He held his ground against the tribunes more by personal authority than by active opposition. Five consulships marked by the same even tenor of conduct, a whole lifetime passed in a manner worthy of a consul, invested the man himself with almost more reverence than the office he filled. Whilst these two men were consuls there was no talk of military tribunes.


4.11

The new consuls were Marcus Fabius Vibulanus and Postumius Aebutius Cornicinen. The previous year was regarded by the neighbouring peoples, whether friendly or hostile, as chiefly memorable because of the trouble taken to help Ardea in its peril. The new consuls, aware that they were succeeding men distinguished both at home and abroad, were all the more anxious to obliterate from men's minds the infamous judgment. Accordingly, they obtained a senatorial decree ordering that as the population of Ardea had been seriously reduced through the internal disturbances, a body of colonists should be sent there as a protection against the Volscians. This was the reason alleged in the text of the decree, to prevent their intention of rescinding the judgment from being suspected by the plebs and tribunes. They had, however, privately agreed that the majority of the colonists should consist of Rutulians, that no land should be allotted other than what had been appropriated under the infamous judgment, and that not a single sod should be assigned to a Roman till all the Rutulians had received their share. So the land went back to the Ardeates. Agrippa Menenius, T. Cluilius Siculus, and M. Aebutius Helva were the triumvirs appointed to superintend the settlement of the colony. Their office was not only extremely unpopular, but they gave great offence to the plebs by assigning to allies land which the Roman people had formally adjudged to be their own. Even with the leaders of the patricians they were out of favour, because they had refused to allow themselves to be influenced by any of them. The tribunes impeached them, but they avoided all further vexatious proceedings by enrolling themselves amongst the settlers and remaining in the colony which they now possessed as a testimony to their justice and integrity.


4.12

There was peace abroad and at home during this and the following year when C. Furius Pacilus and M. Papirius Crassus were consuls. The Sacred Games, which in accordance with a decree of the senate had been vowed by the decemvirs on the occasion of the secession of the plebs, were celebrated this year. Poetilius, who had again raised the question of the division of territory, was made tribune. He made fruitless efforts to create sedition, and was unable to prevail upon the consuls to bring the question before the senate. After a great struggle he succeeded so far that the senate should be consulted as to whether the next elections should be held for consuls or for consular tribunes. They ordered consuls to be elected. The tribune's menaces were laughed at when he threatened to obstruct the levy at a time when all the neighbouring States were quiet and there was no necessity for war or for any preparations for war. Proculus Geganius Macerinus and Lucius Menenius Lanatus were the consuls for the year which followed this state of tranquillity; a year remarkable for a multiplicity of disasters and dangers, seditions, famine, and the imminent risk of the people being bribed to bow their necks to despotic power. A foreign war alone was wanting. Had this come to aggravate the universal distress, resistance would hardly have been possible even with the help of all the gods.

The misfortunes began with a famine, owing either to the year being unfavourable to the crops, or to the cultivation of the land being abandoned for the attractions of political meetings and city life; both causes are assigned. The senate blamed the idleness of the plebeians, the tribunes charged the consuls at one time with dishonesty, at another with negligence. At last they induced the plebs, with the acquiescence of the senate, to appoint as Prefect of the Corn-market L. Minucius. In that capacity he was more successful in guarding liberty than in the discharge of his office, though in the end he deservedly won gratitude and reputation for having relieved the scarcity. He despatched numerous agents by sea and land to visit the surrounding nations, but as, with the sole exception of Etruria, who furnished a small supply, their mission was fruitless, he made no impression on the market. He then devoted himself to the careful adjustment of the scarcity, and obliged all who possessed any corn to declare the amount, and after retaining a month's supply for themselves, sell the rest to the Government. By cutting down the daily rations of the slaves to one half, by holding up the corn-merchants to public execration, by rigorous and inquisitorial methods, he revealed the prevailing distress more than he relieved it. Many of the plebs lost all hope, and rather than drag on a life of misery muffled their heads and threw themselves into the Tiber.


4.13

It was at that time that Spurius Maelius, a member of the equestrian order and a very wealthy man for those days, entered upon an undertaking, serviceable in itself, but forming a very bad precedent and dictated by still worse motives. Through the instrumentality of his clients and foreign friends he purchased corn in Etruria, and this very circumstance, I believe, hampered the Government in their efforts to cheapen the market. He distributed this corn gratis, and so won the hearts of the plebeians by this generosity that wherever he moved, conspicuous and consequential beyond an ordinary mortal, they followed him, and this popularity seemed to his hopes a sure earnest of a consulship. But the minds of men are never satisfied with Fortune's promises, and he began to entertain loftier and unattainable aims; he knew the consulship would have to be won in the teeth of the patricians, so he began to dream of royalty. After all his grand schemes and efforts he looked upon that as the only fitting reward which owing to its greatness must be won by the greatest exertions. The consular elections were now close at hand, and as his plans were not yet matured, this circumstance proved his ruin. T. Quinctius Capitolinus, a very awkward man for any one meditating a revolution, was chosen consul for the sixth time, and Agrippa Menenius, surnamed Lanatus, was assigned to him as his colleague. Lucius Minucius was either reappointed prefect of the corn-market, or his original appointment was for an indefinite period as long as circumstances required; there is nothing definitely stated beyond the fact that the name of the prefect was entered on the "Linen Rolls" among the magistrates for both years. Minucius was discharging the same function as a State official which Maelius had undertaken as a private citizen, and the same class of people frequented both their houses. He made a discovery which he brought to the notice of the senate, viz., that arms were being collected in Maelius' house, and that he was holding secret meetings at which plans were being undoubtedly formed to establish a monarchy. The moment for action was not yet fixed, but everything else had been settled; the tribunes had been bought over to betray the liberties of the people, and these leaders of the populace had had their various parts assigned to them. He had, he said, delayed making his report till it was almost too late for the public safety, lest he should appear to be the author of vague and groundless suspicions.

On hearing this the leaders of the senate censured the consuls of the previous year for having allowed those free distributions of corn and secret meetings to go on, and they were equally severe on the new consuls for having waited till the prefect of the corn-market had made his report, for the matter was of such importance that the consuls ought not only to have reported it, but also dealt with it. In reply, Quinctius said that the censure on the consuls was undeserved, for, hampered as they were by the laws giving the right of appeal, which were passed to weaken their authority, they were far from possessing as much power as will to punish the atrocious attempt with the severity it deserved. What was wanted was not only a strong man, but one who was free to act, unshackled by the laws. He should therefore nominate Lucius Quinctius as Dictator, for he had the courage and resolution which such great powers demanded. This met with universal approval. Quinctius at first refused and asked them what they meant by exposing him at the close of his life to such a bitter struggle. At last, after well-merited commendations were showered upon him from all parts of the House and he was assured that "in that aged mind there was not only more wisdom but more courage than in all the rest," whilst the consul adhered to his decision, he yielded. After a prayer to heaven that in such a time of danger his old age might not prove a source of harm or discredit to the republic, Cincinnatus was made Dictator. He appointed Caius Servilius Ahala as his Master of the Horse.


4.14

The next day, after posting guards at different points, he came down to the Forum. The novelty and mystery of the thing drew the attention of the plebs towards him. Maelius and his confederates recognised that this tremendous power was directed against them, whilst those who knew nothing of the plot asked what disturbance or sudden outbreak of war called for the supreme authority of a Dictator or required Quinctius, after reaching his eightieth year, to assume the government of the republic. Servilius, the Master of the Horse, was despatched by the Dictator to Maelius with the message: "The Dictator summons you." Alarmed at the summons, he inquired what it meant. Servilius explained that he had to stand his trial and clear himself of the charge brought against him by Minucius in the senate. On this Maelius retreated amongst his troop of adherents, and looking round at them began to slink away, when an officer by order of the Master of the Horse seized him and began to drag him away. The bystanders rescued him, and as he fled he implored "the protection of the Roman plebs," and said that he was the victim of a conspiracy amongst the patricians, because he had acted generously towards the plebs. He entreated them to come to his help in this terrible crisis, and not suffer him to be butchered before their eyes. Whilst he was making these appeals, Servilius overtook him and slew him. Besprinkled with the dead man's blood, and surrounded by a troop of young patricians, he returned to the Dictator and: reported that Maelius after being summoned to appear before him had driven away his officer and incited the populace to riot, and had now met with the punishment he deserved. "Well done!" said the Dictator, "C. Servilius, you have delivered the republic."


4.15

The populace did not know what to make of the deed and were becoming excited. The Dictator ordered them to be summoned to an Assembly. He declared that Maelius had been lawfully slain, even if he were guiltless of treason, because he had refused to come to the Dictator when summoned by the Master of the Horse. He, Cincinnatus, had sat to investigate the case, after it had been investigated Maelius would have been treated in accordance with the result. He was not to be dealt with like an ordinary citizen. For, though born amongst a free people under laws and settled rights, in a City from which he knew that royalty had been expelled, and in the very same year, the sons of the king's sister, children of the consul who liberated his country, had, on the discovery of a conspiracy for restoring royalty, been beheaded by their own father-a City from which Collatinus Tarquin the consul had been ordered to lay down his office and go into exile, because the very name of Tarquin was detested-a City in which some years later Spurius Cassius had been punished for entertaining designs of sovereignty-a City in which recently the decemvirs had been punished by confiscation, exile, and death because of a tyranny as despotic as that of kings-in that City Maelius had conceived hopes of sovereignty! And who was this man? Although no nobility of birth, no honours, no services to the State paved the way for any man to sovereign power, still it was their consulships, their decemvirates, the honours achieved by them and their ancestors and the splendour of their families that raised the ambitions of the Claudii and the Cassii to an impious height. But Spurius Maelius, to whom the tribuneship of the plebs was a thing to be wished for rather than hoped for, a wealthy corn-factor, hoped to buy the liberty of his fellow-citizens for a couple of pounds of spelt, and imagined that by throwing a little corn to them he could reduce to slavery the men who had conquered all the neighbouring States, and that he whom the State could hardly stomach as a senator would be tolerated as a king, possessing the power and insignia of Romulus, who had sprung from the gods and been carried back to the gods! His act must be regarded as a portent quite as much as a crime; for that portent his blood was not sufficient expiation, those walls within which such madness had been conceived must be levelled to the ground, and his property, contaminated by the price of treason, confiscated to the State.


4.16

So far the Dictator. He then gave orders for the house to be forthwith razed to the ground, that the place where it stood might be a perpetual reminder of impious hopes crushed. It was afterwards called the Aequimaelium. L. Minucius was presented with the Image of a golden ox set up outside the Trigeminan gate. As he distributed the corn which had belonged to Maelius at the price of one "as" per bushel, the plebs raised no objection to his being thus honoured. I find it stated in some authorities that this Minucius went over from the patricians to the plebeians and after being co-opted as an eleventh tribune quelled a disturbance which arose in consequence of the death of Maelius. It is, however, hardly credible that the senate would have allowed this increase in the number of the tribunes, or that such a precedent, above all others, should have been introduced by a patrician, or that if that concession had been once made, the plebs should not have adhered to it, or at all events tried to do so. But the most conclusive refutation of the lying inscription on his image is to be found in a provision of the law passed a few years previously that it should not be lawful for tribunes to co-opt a colleague. Q. Caecilius, Q. Junius, and Sex. Titinius were the only members of the college of tribunes who did not support the proposal to honour Minucius, and they never ceased to attack Minucius and Servilius in turn before the Assembly and charge them with the undeserved death of Maelius. They succeeded in securing the creation of military tribunes instead of consuls at the next election, for they felt no doubt that for the six vacancies- that number could now be elected-some of the plebeians, by giving out that they would avenge the death of Maelius, would be elected. But in spite of the excitement amongst the plebeians owing to the numerous commotions through the year, they did not create more than three tribunes with consular powers; amongst them L. Quinctius the son of the Cincinnatus who as Dictator incurred such odium that it was made the pretext for disturbances. Mam. Aemilius polled the highest number of votes, L. Julius came in third.


4.17

During their magistracy Fidenae, where a body of Romans were settled, revolted to Lars Tolumnius, king of the Veientines. The revolt was made worse by a crime. C. Fulcinius, Cloelius Tullus, Sp. Antius, and L. Roscius, who were sent as envoys to ascertain the reasons for this change of policy, were murdered by order of Tolumnius. Some try to exculpate the king by alleging that whilst playing at dice he made a lucky throw and used an ambiguous expression which might be taken to be an order for death, and that the Fidenates took it so, and this was the reason of the death of the envoys. This is incredible; it is impossible to believe that when the Fidenates, his new allies, came to consult him as to committing a murder in defiance of the law of nations, he should not have turned his thoughts from the game, or should afterwards have imputed the crime to a misunderstanding. It is much more probable that he wished the Fidenates to be implicated in such an awful crime in order to make it impossible for them to hope for any reconciliation with Rome. The statues of the murdered envoys were set up in the Rostra. Owing to the proximity of the Veientines and Fidenates, and still more to the heinous crime with which they began the war, the struggle threatened to be a desperate one. Anxiety for the national safety kept the plebs quiet, and their tribunes raised no difficulties in the election of M. Geganius Macerinus as consul for the third time, and L. Sergius Fidenas, who, I believe, was so called from the war which he afterwards conducted. He was the first who fought a successful action with the king of Veii on this side of the Anio. The victory he gained was by no means a bloodless one; there was more mourning for their countrymen who were lost than joy over the defeat of the enemy. Owing to the critical aspect of affairs, the senate ordered Mamercus Aemilius to be proclaimed Dictator. He chose as his Master of the Horse L. Quinctius Cincinnatus, who had been his colleague in the college of consular tribunes the previous year, a young man worthy of his father. To the force levied by the consuls were added a number of war-seasoned veteran centurions, to fill up the number of those lost in the late battle. The Dictator ordered Quinctius Capitolinus and M. Fabius Vibulanus to accompany him as seconds in command. The higher power of the Dictator, wielded by a man quite equal to it, dislodged the enemy from Roman territory and sent him across the Anio. He occupied the line of hills between Fidenae and the Anio, where he entrenched himself, and did not go down into the plains until the legions of Falerii had come to his support. Then the camp of the Etruscans was formed in front of the walls of Fidenae. The Roman Dictator chose a position not far from them at the junction of the Anio and the Tiber, and extended his lines as far as possible from the one river to the other. The next day he led his men out to battle.


4.18

Amongst the enemy there was diversity of opinion. The men of Falerii, impatient at serving so far from home, and full of self-confidence, demanded battle; those of Veii and Fidenae placed more hope in a prolongation of the war. Although Tolumnius was more inclined to the opinion of his own men, he announced that he would give battle the next day, in case the Faliscans should refuse to serve through a protracted campaign. This hesitation on the part of the enemy gave the Dictator and the Romans fresh courage. The next day, whilst the soldiers were declaring that unless they had the chance of fighting they would attack the enemy's camp and city, both armies advanced on to the level ground between their respective camps. The Veientine general, who was greatly superior in numbers, sent a detachment round the back of the hills to attack the Roman camp during the battle. The armies of the three States were stationed thus: The Veientines were on the right wing, the Faliscans on the left, the Fidenates in the centre. The Dictator led his right wing against the Faliscans, Capitolinus Quinctius directed the attack of the left against the Veientines, whilst the Master of the Horse advanced with his cavalry against the enemy's centre. For a few moments all was silent and motionless, as the Etruscans would not commence the fight unless they were compelled, and the Dictator was watching the Citadel of Rome and waiting for the agreed signal from the augurs as soon as the omens should prove favourable. No sooner had he caught sight of it than he let loose the cavalry, who, raising a loud battle-cry, charged; the infantry followed with a furious onslaught. In no quarter did the legions of Etruria stand the Roman charge; their cavalry offered the stoutest resistance, and the king, himself by far the bravest of them, charged the Romans whilst they were scattered everywhere in pursuit of the enemy, and so prolonged the contest.


4.19

There was in the cavalry, on that day, a military tribune named A. Cornelius Cossus, a remarkably handsome man, and equally distinguished for strength and courage, and proud of his family name, which, illustrious as it was when he inherited it, was rendered still more so when he left it to his posterity. When he saw the Roman squadrons shaken by the repeated charges of Tolumnius in whatever direction he rode, and recognised him as he galloped along the entire line, conspicuous in his royal habiliments, he exclaimed, "Is this the breaker of treaties between man and man, the violator of the law of nations? If it is the will of heaven that anything holy should exist on earth, I will slay this man and offer him as a sacrifice to the manes of the murdered envoys." Putting spurs to his horse he charged with levelled spear against this single foe, and having struck and unhorsed him, he leaped with the aid of his spear to the ground. As the king was attempting to rise he pushed him back with the boss of his shield, and with repeated spear-thrusts pinned him to the earth. Then he despoiled the lifeless body, and cutting off his head stuck it on his spear, and carrying it in triumph routed the enemy, who were panic-struck at the king's death. So the enemy's cavalry, who had alone made the issue of the contest doubtful, now shared in the general rout. The Dictator hotly pursued the flying legions and drove them to their camp with great slaughter. Most of the Fidenates, who were familiar with the country, escaped to the hills. Cossus with the cavalry crossed the Tiber and brought to the City an enormous amount of booty from the country of the Veientines. During the battle there was also an engagement at the Roman camp with the detachment which, as already stated, Tolumnius had sent to attack it. Fabius Vibulanus at first confined himself to the defence of the circuit of his lines; then, while the enemy's attention was wholly directed to forcing the stockade, he made a sortie from the Porta Principalis on the right, and this unexpected attack produced such consternation among the enemy, that though there were fewer killed, owing to the smaller number engaged, the flight was just as disorderly as in the main battle.


4.20

Successful in all directions, the Dictator returned home to enjoy the honour of a triumph granted him by decree of the senate and resolution of the people. By far the finest sight in the procession was Cossus bearing the spolia opima of the king he had slain. The soldiers sang rude songs in his honour and placed him on a level with Romulus. He solemnly dedicated the spoils to Jupiter Feretrius, and hung them in his temple near those of Romulus, which were the only ones which at that time were called spolia opima prima. All eyes were turned from the chariot of the Dictator to him; he almost monopolised the honours of the day. By order of the people, a crown of gold, a pound in weight, was made at the public expense and placed by the Dictator in the Capitol as an offering to Jupiter. In stating that Cossus placed the spolia opima secunda in the temple of Jupiter Feretrius when he was a military tribune I have followed all the existing authorities. But not only is the designation of spolia opima restricted to those which a commander-in-chief has taken from a commander-in-chief-and we know of no commander-in-chief but the one under whose auspices the war is conducted-but I and my authorities are also confuted by the actual inscription on the spoils, which states that Cossus took them when he was consul. Augustus Caesar, the founder and restorer of all the temples, rebuilt the temple of Jupiter Feretrius, which had fallen to ruin through age, and I once heard him say that after entering it he read that inscription on the linen cuirass with his own eyes. After that I felt it would be almost a sacrilege to withhold from Cossus the evidence as to his spoils given by the Caesar who restored that very temple. Whether the mistake, if there be one, may have arisen from the fact that the ancient annals, and the "Linen Rolls"-the lists of magistrates preserved in the temple of Moneta which Macer Licinius frequently quotes as authorities- have an A. Cornelius Cossus as consul with T. Quinctius Poenus, ten years later-of this every man must judge for himself. For there is this further reason why so famous a battle could not be transferred to this later date, namely, that during the three years which preceded and followed the consulship of Cossus war was impossible owing to pestilence and famine, so that some of the annals, as though they were records of deaths, supply nothing but the names of the consuls. The third year after his consulship has the name of Cossus as a consular tribune, and in the same year he is entered as Master of the Horse, in which capacity he fought another brilliant cavalry action. Every one is at liberty to form his own conjecture; these doubtful points, in my belief, can be made to support any opinion. The fact remains that the man who fought the battle placed the newly-won spoils in the sacred shrine near Jupiter himself, to whom they were consecrated, and with Romulus in full view-two witnesses to be dreaded by any forger-and that he described himself in the inscription as "A. Cornelius Cossus, Consul."


4.21

M. Cornelius Maluginensis and L. Papirius Crassus were the next consuls. Armies were led into the territories of the Veientines and Faliscans and men and cattle were carried off. The enemy was nowhere found in the open, nor was there any opportunity of fighting. Their cities, however, were not attacked, for the people were visited by an epidemic. Spurius Maelius, a tribune of the plebs, tried to get up disturbances, but failed to do so. Relying upon the popularity of the name he bore, he had impeached Minucius and brought forward a proposal for the confiscation of the property of Servilius Ahala on the plea that Maelius had been the victim of false charges by Minucius, whilst Servilius had been guilty of putting a citizen to death without trial. The people paid less attention to these accusations than even to their author; they were much more concerned about the increasing virulence of the epidemic and the terrifying portents; most of all about the reports of frequent earthquakes which laid the houses in the country districts in ruins. A solemn supplication, therefore, was offered up by the people, led by the duumvirs. The following year, in which the consuls were C. Julius, for the second time, and L. Verginius, was still more fatal, and created such alarming desolation in town and country that no plundering parties left Roman territory, nor did either senate or plebs entertain any idea of taking the offensive. The Fidenates, however, who had at first confined themselves to their mountains and walled villages, actually came down into the Roman territory and ravaged it. As the Faliscans could not be induced to renew the war, either by the representations of their allies or by the fact that Rome was prostrated by the epidemic, the Fidenates sent to invite the Veientine army, and the two States crossed the Anio and displayed their standards not far from the Colline gate. The alarm was as great in the City as in the country districts. The consul Julius disposed his troops on the rampart and the walls; Verginius convened the senate in the temple of Quirinus. They decreed that Q. Servilius should be nominated Dictator. According to one tradition he was surnamed Priscus, according to another, Structus. Verginius waited till he could consult his colleague; on gaining his consent, he nominated the Dictator at night. The Dictator appointed Postumius Aebutius Helva as Master of the Horse.


4.22

The Dictator issued an order for all to muster outside the Colline gate by daybreak. Every man strong enough to bear arms was present. The standards were quickly brought to the Dictator from the treasury. While these arrangements were being made, the enemy withdrew to the foot of the hills. The Dictator followed them with an army eager for battle, and engaged them not far from Nomentum. The Etruscan legions were routed and driven into Fidenae; the Dictator surrounded the place with lines of circumvallation. But, owing to its elevated positron and strong fortifications, the city could not be carried by assault, and a blockade was quite ineffective, for there was not only corn enough for their actual necessities, but even for a lavish supply from what had been stored up beforehand. So all hope of either storming the place or starving it into surrender was abandoned. As it was near Rome, the nature of the ground was well known, and the Dictator was aware that the side of the city remote from his camp was weakly fortified owing to its natural strength. He determined to carry a mine through from that side to the citadel. He formed his army into four divisions, to take turns in the fighting, and by keeping up a constant attack upon the walls in all directions, day and night, he prevented the enemy from noticing the work. At last the hill was tunnelled through and the way lay open from the Roman camp up to the citadel. Whilst the attention of the Etruscans was being diverted by feigned attacks from their real danger, the shouts of the enemy above their heads showed them that the city was taken. In that year the censors C. Furius Pacilus and M. Geganius Macerinus passed the government building on the Campus Martius, and the census of the people was made there for the first time.


4.23

I find in Macer Licinius that the same consuls were re-elected for the following year-Julius for the third time and Verginius for the second. Valerius Antias and Q. Tubero give M. Manlius and Q. Sulpicius as the consuls for that year. In spite of this discrepancy Tubero and Macer both claim the authority of the "Linen Rolls"; both admit that in the ancient historians it was asserted that there were military tribunes that year. Licinius considers that we ought unhesitatingly to follow the "Linen Rolls"; Tubero has not made up his mind. But amongst the many points obscure through lapse of time, this also is left unsettled. The capture of Fidenae created alarm in Etruria. Not only were the Veientines apprehensive of a similar fate, but the Faliscans too had not forgotten the war which they had commenced in alliance with them, though they had taken no part in its renewal. The two States sent round envoys to the twelve cantons, and in compliance with their request a meeting was proclaimed of the national council of Etruria, to be held at the temple of Voltumna. As a great struggle seemed imminent, the senate ordered that Mamercus Aemilius should be again nominated Dictator. A. Postumius Tubertus was appointed Master of the Horse. Preparations for war were made with all the greater energy now than on the last occasion, as the danger to be apprehended from the whole of Etruria was greater than from only two of its towns


4.24

The occasion passed off more quietly than anybody expected. Information was brought by traders that help had been refused to the Veientines; they were told to prosecute with their own resources a war which they had commenced on their own initiative, and not, now that they were in difficulties, to look for allies amongst those whom in their prosperity they refused to take into their confidence. The Dictator was now deprived of any opportunity of acquiring fame in war, but he was anxious to achieve some work which might be a memorial of his dictatorship and prevent it from appearing an unnecessary appointment, so he made preparations for abridging the censorship, either because he considered its power excessive, or because he objected not so much to the greatness as the length of duration of the office. Accordingly he convened the Assembly and said that as the gods had undertaken the conduct of the State in external affairs and made everything safe, he would do what required to be done within the walls, and take counsel for the liberties of the Roman people. Those liberties were most securely guarded when those who held great powers did not hold them long, and when offices which could not be limited in their jurisdiction were limited in their tenure. Whilst the other magistracies were annual, the censorship was a quinquennial one. It was a distinct grievance to have to live at the mercy of the same men for so many years, in fact for a considerable part of one's life. He was going to bring in a law that the censorship should not last longer than eighteen months. He carried the law the next day amidst the enthusiastic approval of the people, and then made the following announcement: "That you may really know, Quirites, how much I disapprove of prolonged rule, I now lay down my dictatorship." After thus resigning his own magistracy and limiting the other one, he was escorted home amidst the hearty good-will and congratulations of the people. The censors were extremely angry with Mamercus for having limited the power of a Roman magistrate, they struck him out of his tribe, increased his assessment eightfold, and disfranchised him. It is recorded that he bore this most magnanimously, thinking more of the cause which led to the ignominy being inflicted upon him than of the ignominy itself. The leading men amongst the patricians, though disapproving of the limitation imposed on the censorial jurisdiction, were shocked at this instance of the harsh exercise of its power, for each recognised that he would be subject to the censors more frequently and for a longer time than he would be censor himself. At all events the people, it is said, felt so indignant that no one but Mamercus possessed sufficient authority to protect the censors from violence.


4.25

The tribunes of the plebs held constant meetings of the Assembly with a view to preventing the election of consuls, and after bringing matters almost to the appointment of an interrex, they succeeded in getting consular tribunes elected. They looked for plebeians to be elected as a reward for their exertions, but not a single one came in; all who were elected were patricians. Their names were M. Fabius Vibulanus, M. Folius, and L. Sergius Fidenas. The pestilence that year kept everything quiet. The duumvirs did many things prescribed by the sacred books to appease the wrath of the gods and remove the pestilence from the people. The mortality, notwithstanding, was heavy both in the City and in the country districts; men and beasts alike perished. Owing to the losses amongst the cultivators of the soil, a famine was feared as the result of the pestilence, and agents were despatched to Etruria and the Pomptine territory and Cumae, and at last even to Sicily, to procure corn. No mention was made of the election of consuls; consular tribunes were appointed, all patricians. Their names were L. Pinarius Mamercus, L. Furius Medullinus, and Sp. Postumius Albus. In this year the violence of the epidemic abated and there was no scarcity of corn, owing to the provision that had been made. Projects of war were discussed in the national councils of the Volscians and Aequi, and in Etruria at the temple of Voltumna. There the question was adjourned for a year and a decree was passed that no council should be held till the year had elapsed, in spite of the protests of the Veientines, who declared that the same fate which had overtaken Fidenae was threatening them.

At Rome, meantime, the leaders of the plebs, finding that their cherished hopes of higher dignity were futile whilst there was peace abroad, got up meetings in the houses of the tribunes, where they discussed their plans in secret. They complained that they had been treated with such contempt by the plebs, that though consular tribunes had now been elected for many years, not a single plebeian had ever found his way to that office. Their ancestors had shown much foresight in taking care that the plebeian magistracies should not be open to patricians, otherwise they must have had patricians as tribunes of the plebs, for so insignificant were they in the eyes of their own order that they were looked down upon by plebeians quite as much as by the patricians. Others threw the blame on the patricians, it was owing to their unscrupulous cleverness in pushing their canvassing that the path to honour was closed to the plebeians. If the plebs were allowed a respite from their menaces and entreaties, they would think of their own party when they went to vote, and by their united efforts would win office and power. It was decided that, with a view to doing away with the abuses of canvassing, the tribunes should bring in a law forbidding any one to whiten his toga, when he appeared as a candidate. To us now the matter may appear trivial and hardly worth serious discussion, but it kindled a tremendous conflict between patricians and plebeians. The tribunes, however, succeeded in carrying their law, and it was clear that, irritated as they were, the plebeians would support their own men. That they might not be free to do so, a resolution was passed in the senate that the forthcoming elections should be held for the appointment of consuls.


4.26

The reason for this decision was the report sent in by the Latins and Hernicans of a sudden rising amongst the Volscians and Aequi. T. Quinctius Cincinnatus-surnamed Poenus-the son of Lucius, and Gnaeus Julius Mento were made consuls. War very soon broke out. After a levy had been raised under the Lex Sacrata, which was the most powerful means they possessed of compelling men to serve, the armies of both nations advanced and concentrated on Algidus, where they entrenched themselves, each in a separate camp. Their generals showed greater care than on any previous occasion in the construction of their lines and the exercising of the troops. The reports of this increased the alarm in Rome. In view of the fact that these two nations after their numerous defeats were now renewing the war with greater energy than they had ever done before, and, further, that a considerable number of the Romans fit for active service had been carried off by the epidemic, the senate decided upon the nomination of a Dictator. But the greatest alarm was caused by the perverse obstinacy of the consuls and their incessant wranglings in the senate. Some authorities assent that these consuls fought an unsuccessful action at Algidus and that this was the reason why a Dictator was nominated. It is at all events generally agreed that whilst at variance in other matters, they were at one in opposing the senate and preventing the appointment of a Dictator. At last, when each report that came in was more alarming than the last, and the consuls refused to accept the authority of the senate, Quintus Servilius Priscus, who had filled the highest offices in the State with distinction, said, "Tribunes of the plebs! now that matters have come to extremities, the senate calls upon you in this crisis of the commonwealth, by virtue of the authority of your office, to compel the consuls to nominate a Dictator."

On hearing this appeal, the tribunes considered that a favourable opportunity presented itself for augmenting their authority, and they retired to deliberate. Then they formally declared in the name of the whole college of tribunes that it was their determination that the consuls should bow to the will of the senate; if they offered any further opposition to the unanimous decision of that most august order, they, the tribunes, would order them to be thrown into prison. The consuls preferred defeat at the hands of the tribunes rather than at those of the senate. If, they said, the consuls could be coerced by the tribunes in virtue of their authority, and even sent to prison-and what more than this had ever a private citizen to fear?-then the senate had betrayed the rights and privileges of the highest office in the State, and made an ignominious surrender, putting the consulship under the yoke of the tribunitian power. They could not even agree as to who should nominate the Dictator, so they cast lots and the lot fell to T. Quinctius. He nominated A. Postumius Tubertus, his father-in-law, a stern and resolute commander. The Dictator named L. Julius as the Master of the Horse. Orders were issued for a levy to be raised and for all business, legal and otherwise, to be suspended in the City, except the preparations for war. The investigation of claims for exemption from military service was postponed till the end of the war, so even in doubtful cases men preferred to give in their names. The Hernici and the Latins were ordered to furnish troops; both nations carried out the Dictator's orders most zealously.


4.27

All these preparations were completed with extraordinary despatch. The consul Gn. Julius was left in charge of the defences of the City; L. Julius, the Master of the Horse, took command of the reserves to meet any sudden emergency, and to prevent operations from being delayed through inadequacy of supplies at the front. As the war was such a serious one, the Dictator vowed, in the form of words prescribed by the Pontifex Maximus, A. Cornelius, to celebrate the Great Games if he were victorious. He formed the army into two divisions, one of which he assigned to the consul Quinctius, and their joint force advanced up to the enemies' position. As they saw that the hostile camps were separated by a short distance from each other, they also formed separate camps, about a mile from the enemy, the Dictator fixing his in the direction of Tusculum, the consul nearer Lanuvium. The four armies had thus separate entrenched positions, with a plain between them broad enough not only for small skirmishes, but for both armies to be drawn out in battle order. Ever since the camps had confronted each other there had been no cessation of small fights, and the Dictator was quite content for his men to match their strength against the enemy, in order that through the issues of these contests they might entertain the hope of a decisive and final victory. The enemy, hopeless of winning a regular battle, determined to stake everything on the chances of a night attack on the consul's camp. The shout which suddenly arose not only startled the consul's outposts and the whole army, but even woke the Dictator. Everything depended on prompt action; the consul showed equal courage and coolness; part of his troops reinforced the guards at the camp gates, the rest lined the entrenchments. As the Dictator's camp was not attacked, it was easier for him to see what had to be done. Supports were at once sent to the consul under Sp. Postumius Albus, lieutenant-general, and the Dictator in person with a portion of his force made for a place away from the actual fighting, from which to make an attack on the enemy's rear. He left Q. Sulpicius, lieutenant-general, in charge of the camp, and gave the command of the cavalry to M. Fabius, lieutenant-general, with orders not to move their troops before daylight, as it was difficult to handle them in the confusion of a night attack. Besides taking every measure which any other general of prudence and energy would have taken under the circumstances, the Dictator gave a striking instance of his courage and generalship, which deserves especial praise, for, on ascertaining that the enemy had left his camp with the greater part of his force, he sent M. Geganius with some picked cohorts to storm it. The defenders were thinking more of the issue of their comrades' dangerous enterprise than of taking precautions for their own safety, even their outposts and picket-duty were neglected, and he stormed and captured the camp almost before the enemy realised that it was attacked. When the Dictator saw the smoke-the agreed signal-he called out that the enemy's camp was taken, and ordered the news to be spread everywhere.


4.28

It was now growing light and everything lay open to view. Fabius had delivered his attack with the cavalry and the consul had made a sortie against the enemy, who were now wavering. The Dictator from the other side had attacked the second line of reserves, and whilst the enemy faced about to meet the sudden charges and confused shouts, he had thrown his victorious horse and foot across their front. They were now hemmed in, and would, to a man, have paid the penalty for renewing the war, had not a Volscian, Vettius Messius, a man more distinguished by his exploits than by his pedigree, remonstrated loudly with his comrades, who were being rolled up into a helpless mass. "Are you going," he shouted, "to make yourselves a mark for the enemies' javelins, unresisting, defenceless? Why then have you got arms, why did you begin an unprovoked war; you who are ever turbulent in peace and laggards in war? What do you expect to gain by standing here? Do you suppose that some deity will protect you and snatch you out of danger? A path must be made by the sword. Come on in the way you see me go. You who are hoping to visit your homes and parents and wives and children, come with me. It is not a wall or a stockade which is in your way; arms are met by arms. Their equals in courage, you are their superiors by force of necessity, which is the last and greatest weapon." He then rushed forward and his men followed him, raising again their battle-shout, and flung the weight of their charge where Postumius Albus had interposed his cohorts. They forced the victors back, until the Dictator came up to his retreating men, and all the battle rolled to this part of the field. The fortunes of the enemy rested solely on Messius. Many were wounded, many killed in all directions. By this time even the Roman generals were not unhurt. Postumius, whose skull was fractured by a stone, was the only one who left the field. The Dictator was wounded in the shoulder, Fabius had his thigh almost pinned to his horse, the consul had his arm cut off, but they refused to retire while the battle was undecided.


4.29

Messius with a body of their bravest troops charged through heaps of slain and was carried on to the Volscian camp, which was not yet taken; the entire army followed. The consul followed them up in their disordered flight as far as the stockade and began to attack the camp, whilst the Dictator brought up his troops to the other side of it. The storming of the camp was just as furious as the battle had been. It is recorded that the consul actually threw a standard inside the stockade to make the soldiers more eager to assault it, and in endeavouring to recover it the first breach was made. When the stockade was torn down and the Dictator had now carried the fighting into the camp, the enemy began everywhere to throw away their arms and surrender. After the capture of this camp, the enemy, with the exception of the senators, were all sold as slaves. A part of the booty comprised the plundered property of the Latins and Hernicans, and after being identified, was restored to them, the rest the Dictator sold "under the spear". After placing the consul in command of the camp, he entered the City in triumph and then laid down his dictatorship. Some writers have cast a gloom over the memory of this glorious dictatorship by handing down a tradition that the Dictator's son, who, seeing an opportunity for fighting to advantage, had left his post against orders, was beheaded by his father, though victorious. I prefer to disbelieve the story, and am at liberty to do so, as opinions differ. An argument against it is that such cruel displays of authority are called "Manlian" not "Postumian," for it is the first man who practiced such severity to whom the stigma would have been affixed. Moreover, Manlius received the soubriquet of "Imperiosus"; Postumius was not distinguished by any invidious epithet. The other consul, C. Julius, dedicated the temple of Apollo in his colleague's absence, without waiting to draw lots with him as to who should do it. Quinctius was very angry at this, and after he had disbanded his army and returned to the City, he laid a protest before the senate, but nothing came of it. In this year so memorable for great achievements an incident occurred which at the time seemed to have little to do with Rome. Owing to disturbances amongst the Sicilians, the Carthaginians, who were one day to be such powerful enemies, transported an army into Sicily for the first time to assist one of the contending parties.


4.30

In the City the tribunes made great efforts to secure the election of consular tribunes for the next year, but they failed. L. Papirius Crassus and L. Julius were made consuls. Envoys came from the Aequi to ask from the senate a treaty as between independent States; instead of this they were offered peace on condition they acknowledged the supremacy of Rome; they obtained a truce for eight years. After the defeat which the Volscians had sustained on Algidus, their State was distracted by obstinate and bitter quarrels between the advocates of war and those of peace. There was quiet for Rome in all quarters. The tribunes were preparing a popular measure to fix the scale of fines, but one of their body betrayed the fact to the consuls, who anticipated the tribunes by bringing it in themselves. The new consuls were L. Sergius Fidenas, for the second time, and Hostius Lucretius Tricipitinus. Nothing worth recording took place in their consulship. They were followed by A. Cornelius Cossus, and T. Quinctius Poenus for the second time. The Veientines made inroads into the Roman territory, and it was rumoured that some of the Fidenates had taken part in them. L. Sergius, Q. Servilius, and Mamercus Aemilius were commissioned to investigate the affair. Some were interned at Ostia, as they were unable to account satisfactorily for their absence from Fidenae at that time. The number of colonists was increased, and the lands of those who had perished in the war were assigned to them.

Very great distress was caused this year by a drought. Not only was there an absence of water from the heavens, but the earth, through lack of its natural moisture, barely sufficed to keep the rivers flowing. In some cases the want of water made the cattle die of thirst round the dried-up springs and brooks, in others they were carried off by the mange. This disease spread to the men who had been in contact with them; at first it attacked the slaves and agriculturists, then the City was infected. Nor was it only the body that was affected by the pest, the minds of men also became a prey to all kinds of superstitions, mostly foreign ones. Pretended soothsayers went about introducing new modes of sacrificing, and did a profitable trade amongst the victims of superstition, until at last the sight of strange un-Roman modes of propitiating the wrath of the gods in the streets and chapels brought home to the leaders of the commonwealth the public scandal which was being caused. The aediles were instructed to see to it that none but Roman deities were worshipped, nor in any other than the established fashion. Hostilities with the Veientines were postponed till the following year, when Caius Servilius Ahala and L. Papirius Mugilanus were the consuls. Even then the formal declaration of war and the despatch of troops were delayed on religious grounds; it was considered necessary that the fetials should first be sent to demand satisfaction. There had been recent battles with the Veientines at Nomentum and Fidenae, and a truce had been made, not a lasting peace, but before the days of truce had expired they had renewed hostilities. The fetials, however, were sent, but when they presented their demands, in accordance with ancient usage, they were refused a hearing. A question then arose whether war should be declared by the mandate of the people, or whether a resolution passed by the senate was sufficient. The tribunes threatened to stop the levying of troops and succeeded in forcing the consul Quinctius to refer the question to the people. The centuries decided unanimously for war. The plebs gained a further advantage in preventing the election of consuls for the next year.


4.31

Four consular tribunes were elected-T. Quinctius Poenus, who had been consul, C. Furius, M. Postumius, and A. Cornelius Cossus. Cossus was warden of the City, the other three after completing the levy advanced against Veii, and they showed how useless a divided command is in war. By each insisting on his own plans, when they all held different views, they gave the enemy his opportunity. For whilst the army was perplexed by different orders, some giving the signal to advance, whilst the others ordered a retreat, the Veientines seized the opportunity for an attack. Breaking into a disorderly flight, the Romans sought refuge in their camp which was close by; they incurred more disgrace than loss. The commonwealth, unaccustomed to defeat, was plunged in grief; they hated the tribunes and demanded a Dictator; all their hopes rested on that. Here too a religious impediment was met with, as a Dictator could only be nominated by a consul. The augurs were consulted and removed the difficulty. A. Cornelius nominated Mamercus Aemilius as Dictator, he himself was appointed by him Master of the Horse. This proved how powerless the action of the censors was to prevent a member of a family unjustly degraded from being entrusted with supreme control when once the fortunes of the State demanded real courage and ability. Elated by their success, the Veientines sent envoys round to the cantons of Etruria, boasting that three Roman generals had been defeated by them in a single battle. As, however, they could not induce the national council to join them, they collected from all quarters volunteers who were attracted by the prospect of booty. The Fidenates alone decided to take part in the war, and as though they thought it impious to begin war otherwise than with a crime, they stained their weapons with the blood of the new colonists, as they had previously with the blood of the Roman ambassadors. Then they joined the Veientines. The chiefs of the two peoples consulted whether they should make Veii or Fidenae the base of operations. Fidenae appeared the more suitable; the Veientines accordingly crossed the Tiber and transferred the war to Fidenae.


4.32

Very great was the alarm in Rome. The army, demoralised by its ill-success, was recalled from Veii; an entrenched camp was formed in front of the Colline gate, the walls were manned, the shops and law courts closed, and a cessation of all business in the Forum ordered. The whole City wore the appearance of a camp. The Dictator despatched criers through the streets to summon the anxious citizens to an Assembly. When they were gathered together he reproached them for allowing their feelings to be so swayed by slight changes of fortune that, after meeting with an insignificant reverse, due not to the courage of the enemy or the cowardice of the Roman army, but simply to want of harmony amongst the generals, they should be in a state of panic over the Veientines, who had been defeated six times, and Fidenae, which had been captured almost more frequently than it had been attacked. Both the Romans and the enemy were the same that they had been for so many centuries, their courage, their prowess, their arms were what they had always been. They had as Dictator the same Mamercus Aemilius who at Nomentum defeated the combined forces of Veii and Fidenae supported by the Faliscans; the Master of the Horse would in future battles be the same A. Cornelius who killed Lars Tolumnius, king of Veii, before the eyes of the two armies and carried the spolia opima to the temple of Jupiter Feretrius. They must take up arms, remembering that on their side were triumphs and the spoils of victory, on the side of the enemy, the crime against the law of nations in the assassination of the ambassadors and the massacre of the colonists at Fidenae in a time of peace, a broken truce, a seventh unsuccessful revolt- remembering all this, they must take up arms. When once they were in touch with their enemy, he was confident that the guilt-stained foe would not long rejoice over the disgrace that had overtaken the Roman army, and the people of Rome would see how much better service was rendered to the republic by those who had, for the third time nominated him Dictator, than by those who had cast a slur upon his second dictatorship because he had deprived the censors of their autocratic power.

After reciting the usual vows, he marched out and fixed his camp a mile and a half on this side of Fidenae, with the hills on his right and the Tiber on his left. He ordered T. Quinctius to secure the hills and to seize, by a concealed movement, the ridge in the enemies' rear. On the following day, the Etruscans advanced to battle in high spirits at their success the previous day, which had been due rather to good luck than good fighting. After waiting a short time till the scouts reported that Quinctius had gained the height near the citadel of Fidenae, the Dictator ordered the attack and led the infantry at a quick double against the enemy. He gave instructions to the Master of the Horse not to begin fighting till he got orders; when he needed the assistance of the cavalry he would give him the signal, then he must take his part in the action, inspired by the memory of his combat with Tolumnius, of the spolia opima, and of Romulus and Jupiter Feretrius. The legions charged with great impetuosity. The Romans expressed their burning hatred in words as much as in deeds; they called the Fidenates "traitors," the Veientines "brigands," "breakers of truces," "stained with the horrible murder of the ambassadors and the blood of Roman colonists," "faithless as allies, cowardly as soldiers."


4.33

The enemy were shaken at the very first onset, when suddenly the gates of Fidenae were flung open and a strange army sallied forth, never seen or heard of before. An immense multitude, armed with firebrands, and all waving blazing torches, rushed like men possessed on the Roman line. For a moment this extraordinary mode of fighting put the Romans into a fright. Then the Dictator called up the Master of the Horse with his cavalry, and sent to order Quinctius back from the hills, whilst he himself, encouraging his men, rode up to the left wing, which looked more like a conflagration than a body of combatants, and had given way through sheer terror at the flames. He shouted to them: "Are you overcome with smoke, like a swarm of bees? Will you let an unarmed enemy drive you from your ground? Will you not put the fire out with your swords? If you must fight with fire, not with arms, will you not snatch those torches away and attack them with their own weapons? Come! remember the name of Rome and the courage you have inherited from your fathers; turn this fire upon the enemies' city, and destroy with its own flames the Fidenae which you could not conciliate by your kindness. The blood of ambassadors and colonists, your fellow-countrymen, and the devastation of your borders call upon you to do this."

At the Dictator's command the whole line advanced; some of the torches were caught as they were thrown, others were wrenched from the bearers; both armies were armed with fire. The Master of the Horse, too, on his part, invented a new mode of fighting for his cavalry. He ordered his men to take the bits off the horses, and, giving his own horse his head and putting spurs to it, he was carried into the midst of the flames, whilst the other horses, urged into a hard gallop, carried their riders against the enemy. The dust they raised, mixed with the smoke, blinded both horses and men. The sight which had terrified the infantry had no terrors for the horses. Wherever the cavalry moved they left the slain in heaps. At this moment fresh shouts were heard, creating astonishment in both armies. The Dictator called out that Quinctius and his men had attacked the enemy in the rear, and on the shouts being renewed, he pressed his own attack with more vigour. When the two bodies in two distinct attacks had forced the Etruscans back both in front and rear and hemmed them in, so that there was no way of escape either to their camp or to the hills-for in that direction the fresh enemy had intercepted them-and the horses, with their reins loose, were carrying their riders about in all directions, most of the Veientines made a wild rush for the Tiber; the survivors amongst the Fidenates made for their city. The flight of the terrified Veientines carried them into the midst of slaughter, some were killed on the banks, others were driven into the river and swept away by the current; even good swimmers were carried down by wounds and fright and exhaustion, few out of the many got across. The other body made their way through their camp to their city with the Romans in close pursuit, especially Quinctius and his men, who had just come down from the hills, and having arrived towards the close of the struggle, were fresher for the work.


4.34

The latter entered the gates pell-mell with the enemy, and as soon as they had mounted the walls they signalled to their friends that the city was taken. The Dictator had now reached the enemies' abandoned camp, and his soldiers were anxious to disperse in quest of booty, but when he saw the signal he reminded them that there was richer spoil in the city, and led them up to the gate. Once within the walls he proceeded to the citadel, toward which he saw the crowd of fugitives rushing. The slaughter in the city was not less than there had been in the battle, until, throwing down their arms, they surrendered to the Dictator and begged that at least their lives might be spared. The city and camp were plundered. The following day the cavalry and centurions each received one prisoner, selected by lot, as their slave, those who had shown conspicuous gallantry, two; the rest were sold "under the chaplet." The Dictator led back in triumph to Rome his victorious army laden with spoil. After ordering the Master of the Horse to resign his office, he resigned office himself on the sixteenth day after his nomination, surrendering amidst peace the sovereign power which he had assumed at a time of war and danger. Some of the annalists have recorded a naval engagement with the Veientines at Fidenae, an incident as difficult as it is incredible. Even to-day the river is not broad enough for this, and we learn from ancient writers that it was narrower then. Possibly, in their desire for a vain-glorious inscription, as often happens, they magnified a gathering of ships to prevent the passage of the river into a naval victory.


4.35

The following year had for consular tribunes A. Sempronius Atratinus, L. Quinctius Cincinnatus, L. Furius Medullinus, and L. Horatius Barbatus. A truce for eighteen years was granted to the Veientines and one for three years to the Aequi, though they had asked for a longer one. There was also a respite from civic disturbances. The following year, though not marked by either foreign war or domestic troubles, was rendered memorable by the celebration of the Games vowed on the occasion of the war seven years before, which were carried out with great magnificence by the consular tribunes, and attended by large numbers from the surrounding cities. The consular tribunes were Ap. Claudius Crassus, Spurius Nautius Rutilus, L. Sergius Fidenas, and Sex. Julius Julus. The spectacle was made more attractive to the visitors by the courteous reception which it had been publicly decided to give them. When the Games were over, the tribunes of the plebs began to deliver inflammatory harangues. They reproached the populace for allowing their stupid admiration of those whom they really hated to keep them in perpetual servitude. Not only did they lack the courage to claim their share in the chance of preferment to the consulship, but even in the election of consular tribunes, which was open to both patricians and plebeians, they never thought of their tribunes or their party. They need be no longer surprised that no one interested himself in the welfare of the plebs. Toil and danger were incurred for those objects from which profit and honour might be expected. There was nothing which men would not attempt if rewards were held out proportionate to the greatness of the effort. But that any tribune of the plebs should rush blindly into contests which involved enormous risks and brought no advantage, which he might be certain would make the patricians whom he opposed persecute him with relentless fury, whilst amongst the plebeians on whose behalf he fought he would not be in the slightest degree more honoured, was a thing neither to be expected nor demanded. Great honours made great men. When the plebeians began to be respected, every plebeian would respect himself. Surely they might now try the experiment in one or two cases, to prove whether any plebeian is capable of holding high office, or whether it would be little short of a miracle for any one sprung from the plebs to be at the same time a strong and energetic man. After a desperate fight, they had secured the election of military tribunes with consular powers, for which plebeians were eligible. Men of tried ability, both at home and in the field, became candidates. For the first few years they were knocked about, rejected, treated with derision by the patricians; at last they declined to expose themselves to these affronts. They saw no reason why a law should not be repealed which simply legalised what would never happen. They would have less to be ashamed of in the injustice of the law than in being passed over in the elections as though unworthy to hold office.


4.36

Harangues of this sort were listened to with approval, and some were induced to stand for a consular tribuneship, each of them promising to bring in some measure in the interest of the plebs. Hopes were held out of a division of the State domain and the formation of colonies, whilst money was to be raised for the payment of the soldiers by a tax on the occupiers of the public land. The consular tribunes waited till the usual exodus from the City allowed a meeting of the senate to be held in the absence of the tribunes of the plebs, the members who were in the country being recalled by private notice. A resolution was passed that owing to rumours of an invasion of the Hernican territory by the Volscians the consular tribunes should go and find out what was happening, and that at the forthcoming elections consuls should be chosen. On their departure they left Appius Claudius, the son of the decemvir, to act as warden of the City, a young man of energy, and imbued from his infancy with a hatred of the plebs and its tribunes. The tribunes had nothing on which to raise a contest either with the consular tribunes, who were absent, the authors of the decree, or with Appius, as the matter had been settled.


4.37

The consuls elected were C. Sempronius Atratinus and Q. Fabius Vibulanus. There is recorded under this year an incident which occurred in a foreign country, but still important enough to be mentioned, namely, the capture of Volturnus, an Etruscan city, now called Capua, by the Samnites. It is said to have been called Capua from their general, but it is more probable that it was so called from its situation in a champaign country (campus). It was after the Etruscans, weakened by a long war, had granted them a joint occupancy of the city and its territory that they seized it. During a festival, whilst the old inhabitants were overcome with wine and sleep, the new settlers attacked them in the night and massacred them. After the proceedings described in the last chapter, the above-named consuls entered on office in the middle of December. By this time intelligence as to the imminence of a Volscian war had been received not only from those who had been sent to investigate, but also from the Latins and Hernicans, whose envoys reported that the Volscians were devoting greater energy than they had ever done before to the selection of their generals and the levying of their forces. The general cry amongst them was that either they must consign all thoughts of war to eternal oblivion and submit to the yoke, or else they must in courage, endurance, and military skill be a match for those with whom they were fighting for supremacy.

These reports were anything but groundless, but not only did the senate treat them with comparative indifference, but C. Sempronius, to whom that field of operations had fallen, imagined that as he was leading the troops of a victorious people against those whom they had vanquished, the fortune of war could never change. Trusting to this, he displayed such rashness and negligence in all his measures that there was more of the Roman discipline in the Volscian army than there was in the Roman army itself. As often happens, fortune waited upon desert. In the very first battle Sempronius made his dispositions without plan or forethought, the fighting line was not strengthened by reserves, nor were the cavalry placed in a suitable position. The war-cries were the first indication as to how the action was going; that of the enemy was more animated and sustained; on the side of the Romans the irregular, intermittent shout, growing feebler at each repetition, betrayed their waning courage. Hearing this, the enemy attacked with greater vigour, pushed with their shields and brandished their swords. On the other side their helmets drooped as the men looked round for supports; men wavered and faltered and crowded together for mutual protection; at one moment the standards while holding their ground were abandoned by the front rank, the next they retreated between their respective maniples. As yet there was no actual flight, no decided victory. The Romans were defending themselves rather than fighting, the Volscians were advancing, forcing back their line; they saw more Romans slain than flying.


4.38

Now in all directions they were giving way; in vain did Sempronius the consul remonstrate and encourage, neither his authority nor his dignity was of any avail. They would soon have been completely routed had not Tempanius, a decurio of cavalry, retrieved by his ready courage the desperate position of affairs. He shouted to the cavalry to leap down from their horses if they wished the commonwealth to be safe, and all the troops of cavalry followed his direction as though it were the order of the consul. "Unless," he continued, "this bucklered cohort check the enemies' attack, there is an end of our sovereignty. Follow my spear as your standard! Show Romans and Volscians alike that no cavalry are a match for you as cavalry, no infantry a match for you as infantry!" This stirring appeal was answered by shouts of approval, and he strode on, holding his spear erect. Wherever they went they forced their way; holding their bucklers in front, they made for that part of the field where they saw their comrades in the greatest difficulty; in every direction where their onset carried them, they restored the battle, and undoubtedly, if so small a body could have attacked the entire line at once, the enemy would have been routed.


4.39

As it was impossible to check them in any direction, the Volscian commander gave a signal for a passage to be opened for this novel cohort of targeteers, until by the impetus of their charge they should be cut off from the main body. As soon as this happened, they were unable to force their way back in the same directional they had advanced, as the enemy had massed in the greatest force there. When the consul and the Roman legions no longer saw anywhere the men who had just been the shield of the whole army, they endeavoured at all risks to prevent so many brave fellows from being surrounded and overwhelmed by the enemy. The Volscians formed two fronts, in one direction they met the attack of the consul and the legions, from the opposite front they pressed upon Tempanius and his troopers. As these latter after repeated attempts found themselves unable to break through to their main body, they took possession of some rising ground, and forming a circle defended themselves, not without inflicting losses on the enemy. The battle did not terminate till nightfall. The consul too kept the enemy engaged without any slackening of the fight as long as any light remained. Night at last put an end to he indecisive action, and through ignorance as to the result such a panic seized each of the camps that both armies, thinking themselves defeated, left their wounded behind and the greater part of their baggage and retired to the nearest hills. The eminence, however, which Tempanius had seized was surrounded till after midnight, when it was announced to the enemy that their camp was abandoned. Looking upon this as a proof that their army was defeated, they fled in all directions wherever their fears carried them in the darkness. Tempanius, fearing a surprise, kept his men together till daylight. Then he came down with a few of his men to reconnoitre, and after ascertaining from the enemies' wounded that the Volscian camp was abandoned, he joyfully called his men down and made his way to the Roman camp. Here he found a dreary solitude; everything presented the same miserable spectacle as in the enemies' camp. Before the discovery of their mistake could bring the Volscians back again, he collected all the wounded he could carry with him, and as he did not know what direction the Dictator had taken, proceeded by the most direct road to the City.


4.40

Rumours of an unfavourable battle and the abandonment of the camp had already been brought. Most of all was the fate of the cavalry deplored, the whole community felt the loss as keenly as their families. There was general alarm throughout the City, and the consul Fabius was posting pickets before the gates when cavalry were descried in the distance. Their appearance created alarm, as it was doubtful who they were; presently they were recognised, and the fears gave place to such great joy that the City rang with shouts of congratulation at the cavalry having returned safe and victorious. People flocked into the streets out of houses which had just before been in mourning and filled with wailings for the dead; anxious mothers and wives, forgetting decorum in their joy, ran to meet the column of horsemen, each embracing her own friends and hardly able to control mind or body for joy. The tribunes of the plebs had appointed a day for the trial of M. Postumius and T. Quinctius on the ground of their ill-success at Veii, and they thought it a favourable opportunity for reviving the public feeling against them through the odium now incurred by Sempronius. Accordingly they convened the Assembly, and in excited tones declared that the commonwealth had been betrayed at Veii by their generals, and in consequence of their not having been called to account, the army acting against the Volscians had been betrayed by the consul, their gallant cavalry had been given over to slaughter, and the camp had been disgracefully abandoned. C. Junius, one of the tribunes, ordered Tempanius to be called forward. He then addressed him as follows: "Sextus Tempanius, I ask you, would you consider that the consul Caius Sempronius commenced the action at the fitting moment, or strengthened his line with supports, or discharged any of the duties of a good consul? When the Roman legions were worsted, did you on your own authority dismount the cavalry and restore the fight? And when you and the cavalry were cut off from our main body, did the consul render any assistance or send you succour? Further, did you on the following day receive any reinforcements, or did you and the cohort force your way to the camp by your own bravery? Did you find any consul, any army in the camp, or did you find it abandoned and the wounded soldiers left to their fate? Your honour and loyalty, which have alone sustained the commonwealth in this war, require you to state these things today. Lastly, where is Caius Sempronius? where are our legions? Were you deserted, or have you deserted the consul and the army? In a word, are we defeated, or have we been victorious?"


4.41

The speech which Tempanius made in reply is said to have been unpolished, but marked by soldierly dignity, free from the vanity of self-praise, and showing no pleasure in the inculpation of others. "It was not," he said, "a soldier's place to criticise his commander, or judge how much military skill he possessed; that was for the Roman people to do when they elected him consul. They must not therefore demand of him what tactics a commander should adopt, or what military capacity a consul should display; these were matters which even great minds and intellects would have to weigh very carefully. He could, however, relate what he saw. Before he was cut off from the main body he saw the consul fighting in the front line, encouraging his men, going to and fro between the Roman standards and the missiles of the enemy. After he, the speaker, was carried out of sight of his comrades, he knew from the noise and shouting that the combat was kept up till night; and he did not believe that a way could have been made to the eminence which he had occupied, owing to the numbers of the enemy. Where the army was he knew not; he thought that as he found protection for himself and his men at a moment of extreme peril in the nature of the ground, so the consul had selected a stronger position for his camp, to save his army. He did not believe that the Volscians were in any better plight than the Romans; the varying fortunes of the fight and the fall of night had led to all sorts of mistakes on both sides." He then begged them not to keep him any longer, as he was exhausted with his exertions and his wounds, and thereupon was dismissed amidst loud praises of his modesty no less than his courage. Whilst this was going on the consul had reached the Labican road and was at the chapel of Quies. Wagons and draught-cattle were despatched thither from the City for the conveyance of the army, who were worn out by the battle and night march. Shortly afterwards the consul entered the City, quite as anxious to give Tempanius the praise he so well deserved as to remove the blame from his own shoulders. Whilst the citizens were mourning over their reverses and angry with their generals, M. Postumius, who as consular tribune had commanded at Veii, was brought before them for trial. He was sentenced to a fine of 10,000 "ases." His colleague, T. Quinctius, who had been successful against the Volscians under the auspices of the Dictator Postumius Tubertus, and at Fidenae as second in command under the other Dictator, Mam. Aemilius, threw all the blame for the disaster at Veii on his colleague who had been previously sentenced. He was acquitted by the unanimous vote of the tribes. It is said that the memory of his venerated father, Cincinnatus, stood him in good stead, as also did the now aged Capitolinus Quinctius, who earnestly entreated them not to allow him, with so brief a span of life left to him, to be the bearer of such sad tidings to Cincinnatus.


4.42

The plebs elected as their tribunes, in their absence, Sex. Tempanius, A. Sellius, Sextus Antistius, and Sp. Icilius, all of whom had, on the advice of Tempanius, been selected by the cavalry to act as centurions. The exasperation against Sempronius made the very name of consul offensive, the senate therefore ordered consular tribunes to be elected. Their names were L. Manlius Capitolinus, Q. Antonius Merenda, and L. Papirius Mugilanus. At the very beginning of the year, L. Hortensius, a tribune of the plebs, appointed a day for the trial of C. Sempronius, the consul of the previous year. His four colleagues begged him, publicly, in full view of the Roman people, not to prosecute their unoffending commander, against whom nothing but ill-luck could be alleged. Hortensius was angry, for he looked upon this as an attempt to test his resolution, he regarded the entreaties of the tribunes as meant simply to save appearances, and he was convinced that it was not to these the consul was trusting, but to their interposing their veto. Turning to Sempronius he asked: "Where is your patrician spirit, and the courage which is supported by the consciousness of innocence? An ex-consul actually sheltering under the wing of the tribunes!" Then he addressed his colleagues: "You, what will you do, if I carry the prosecution through? Are you going to deprive the people of their jurisdiction and subvert the power of the tribunes?" They replied that the authority of the people was supreme over Sempronius and over everybody else; they had neither the will nor the power to do away with the people's right to judge, but if their entreaties on behalf of their commander, who was a second father to them, proved unavailing, they would appear by his side in suppliant garb. Then Hortensius replied: "The Roman plebs shall not see its tribunes in mourning; I drop all proceedings against C. Sempronius, since he has succeeded, during his command, in becoming so dear to his soldiers." Both plebeians and patricians were pleased with the loyal affection of the four tribunes, and quite as much so with the way in which Hortensius had yielded to their just remonstrances.


4.43

The consuls for the next year were Numerius Fabius Vibulanus and T. Quinctius Capitolinus, the son of Capitolinus. The Aequi had claimed the doubtful victory of the Volscians as their own, but fortune no longer favoured them. The campaign against them fell to Fabius, but nothing worth mention took place. Their dispirited army had but shown itself when it was routed and put to a disgraceful flight, without the consul gaining much glory from it. A triumph was in consequence refused him, but as he had removed the disgrace of Sempronius' defeat he was allowed to enjoy an ovation. As, contrary to expectation, the war had been brought to a close with less fighting than had been feared, so in the City the calm was broken by unlooked-for and serious disturbances between the plebs and the patricians. It began with the doubling of the number of quaestors. It was proposed to create in addition to the two City quaestors two others to assist the consuls in the various duties arising from a state of war. When this proposal was laid by the consuls before the senate and had received the warm support of that body, the tribunes of the plebs insisted that half the number should be taken from the plebeians; up to that time only patricians had been chosen. This demand was at first opposed most resolutely by the consuls and the senate; afterwards they yielded so far as to allow the same freedom of choice in the election of quaestors as the people already enjoyed in that of consular tribunes. As they gained nothing by this, they dropped the proposal to augment the number altogether. The tribunes took it up, and many revolutionary proposals, including the Agrarian Law, were set on foot in quick succession. In consequence of these commotions the senate wanted consuls to be elected rather than tribunes, but owing to the veto of the tribunes a formal resolution could not be carried, and on the expiry of the consuls' year of office an interregnum followed, and even this did not happen without a tremendous struggle, for the tribunes vetoed any meeting of the patricians.

The greater part of the following year was wasted in contests between the new tribunes of the plebs and some of the interreges. At one time the tribunes would intervene to prevent the patricians from meeting together to appoint an interrex, at another they would interrupt the interrex and prevent him from obtaining a decree for the election of consuls. At last L. Papirius Mugilanus, who had been made interrex, sternly rebuked the senate and the tribunes, and reminded them that upon the truce with Veii and the dilatoriness of the Aequi, and upon these alone, depended the safety of the commonwealth, which was deserted and forgotten by men, but protected by the providential care of the gods. Should any alarm of war sound from that quarter, was it their wish that the State should be taken by surprise while without any patrician magistrate; that there should be no army, no general to enrol one? Were they going to repel a foreign war by a civil one? If both these should come together, the destruction of Rome could hardly be averted even with the help of the gods. Let them rather try to establish concord by making concessions on both sides-the patricians by allowing military tribunes to be elected instead of consuls; the tribunes of the plebs by not interfering with the liberty of the people to elect the four quaestors from patricians or plebeians indiscriminately.


4.44

The election of consular tribunes was the first to be held. They were all patricians; L. Quinctius Cincinnatus, for the third time, L. Furius Medullinus, for the second, M. Manlius, and A. Sempronius Atratinus. The last-named conducted the election of the quaestors. Amongst other plebeian candidates were the son of Antistius, tribune of the plebs, and a brother of Sextus Pompilius, another tribune. Their authority and interest were not, however, strong enough to prevent the voters from preferring on the ground of their high birth those whose fathers and grandfathers they had seen in the consul's chair. All the tribunes of the plebs were furious, Pompilius and Antistius, more especially, were incensed at the defeat of their relations. "What," they angrily exclaimed, "is the meaning of all this? In spite of our good offices, in spite of the wrongs done by the patricians, with all the freedom you now enjoy of exercising powers you did not possess before, not a single member of the plebs has been raised to the quaestorship, to say nothing of the consular tribuneship! The appeals of a father on behalf of a son, of a brother on behalf of a brother, have been unavailing, though they are tribunes, invested with an inviolable authority to protect your liberties. There has certainly been dishonesty somewhere; A. Sempronius has shown more adroitness than straightforwardness." They accused him of having kept their men out of office by illegal means. As they could not attack him directly, protected as he was by his innocence and his official position, they turned their resentment against Caius Sempronius, the uncle of Atratinus, and having obtained the support of their colleague, M. Canuleius, they impeached him upon the ground of the disgrace incurred in the Volscian war.

These same tribunes frequently mooted the question in the senate of a distribution of the public domain, a proposal which C. Sempronius always stoutly resisted. They thought, and rightly as the event proved, that when the day of trial came, he would either abandon his opposition and so lose influence with the patricians, or by persisting in it give offence to the plebeians. He chose the latter, and preferred to incur the odium of his opponents and injure his own cause than prove false to the cause of the State. He insisted that "there should be no grants of land, which would only increase the influence of the three tribunes; what they wanted now was not land for the plebs, but to wreak their spite upon him. He, like others, would meet the storm with a stout heart; neither he nor any other citizen ought to stand so high with the senate that any leniency shown to an individual might be disastrous to the commonwealth." When the day of trial came there was no lowering of his tone, he undertook his own defence, and though the patricians tried every means to soften the plebeians, he was condemned to pay a fine of 15,000 "ases." In this same year Postumia, a Vestal virgin, had to answer a charge of unchastity. Though innocent, she had given grounds for suspicion through her gay attire and unmaidenly freedom of manner. After she had been remanded and finally acquitted, the Pontifex Maximus, in the name of the whole college of priests, ordered her to abstain from frivolity and to study sanctity rather than smartness in her appearance. In the same year, Cumae, at that time held by the Greeks, was captured by the Campanians.


4.45

The following year had as consular tribunes Agrippa Menenius Lanatus, P. Lucretius Tricipitinus, and Spurius Nautius Rutilus. Thanks to the good fortune of Rome, the year was marked by serious danger more than by actual disaster. The slaves had formed a plot to fire the City in various spots, and whilst the people were everywhere intent on saving their houses, to take armed possession of the Capitol. Jupiter frustrated their nefarious project; two of their number gave information, and the actual culprits were arrested and punished. The informers received a reward of 10,000 "ases "-a large sum in those days-from the public treasury, and their freedom. After this the Aequi began to prepare for a renewal of hostilities, and it was reported on good authority at Rome that a new enemy, the Labicans, were forming a coalition with their old foes. The commonwealth had come to look upon hostilities with the Aequi as almost an annual occurrence. Envoys were sent to Labici. The reply they brought back was evasive; it was evident that whilst there were no immediate preparations for war, peace would not last long. The Tusculans were requested to be on the watch for any fresh movement on the part of the Labicans. The consular tribunes for the following year were Lucius Sergius Fidenas, M. Papirius Mugilanus, and C. Servilius, the son of the Priscus in whose dictatorship Fidenae had been taken. At the very beginning of their term of office, envoys came from Tusculum and reported that the Labicans had taken up arms and in conjunction with the Aequi had, after ravaging the Tusculan territory, fixed their camp on Algidus. War was thereupon proclaimed and the senate decreed that two tribunes should leave for the war, and one remain in charge of the City. This at once led to a quarrel amongst the tribunes. Each urged his superior claims to command in the war and looked down upon the charge of the City as distasteful and inglorious. Whilst the senators were watching with astonishment this unseemly strife amongst colleagues, Q. Servilius said, "Since no respect is shown either to this House or to the State, the authority of a father shall put an end to this altercation. My son, without having recourse to lots, shall take charge of the City. I trust that those who are so anxious for the command in the war will conduct it in a more considerate and amicable spirit than they have shown in their eagerness to obtain it."


4.46

It was decided that the levy should not be raised from the whole population indiscriminately; ten tribes were drawn by lot; from these the two tribunes enlisted the men of military age and led them to the war. The quarrels which had begun in the City became much more heated in the camp through the same eagerness to secure the command. They agreed on no single point, they fought for their own opinions, each wanted his own plans and orders carried out exclusively, they felt mutual contempt for each other. At length, through the remonstrances and reproofs of the lieutenants-general, matters were so far arranged that they agreed to hold the command in chief on alternate days. When this state of things was reported at Rome it is said that Q. Servilius, taught by years and experience, offered up a solemn prayer that the disagreement of the tribunes might not prove more hurtful to the State than it had been at Veii; then, as though disaster were undoubtedly impending, he urged his son to enrol troops and prepare arms. He was not a false prophet.

It happened to be the turn of L. Sergius to hold command, and the enemy by a pretended flight had drawn his troops on to unfavourable ground close to their camp, in the vain hope of storming it. Then the Aequi made a sudden charge and drove them down a steep valley where numbers were overtaken and killed in what was not so much a flight as a tumbling over each other. It was with difficulty that they held their camp that day; the next day, after the enemy had surrounded a considerable part of it, they evacuated it in a disgraceful flight through the rear gate. The commanders and lieutenants-general and as much of the army as remained with the standards made for Tusculum, the others, straggling in all directions through the fields, hurried on to Rome and spread the news of a more serious defeat than had been actually incurred. There was less consternation felt because the result was what every one had feared and the reinforcements which they could look to in the hour of danger had been got ready beforehand by the consular tribune. By his orders, after the excitement had been allayed by the inferior magistrates, scouting parties were promptly sent out to reconnoitre, and they reported that the generals and the army were at Tusculum, and that the enemy had not shifted his camp. What did most to restore confidence was the nomination, by a senatorial decree, of Q. Servilius Priscus as Dictator. The citizens had had previous experience of his political foresight in many stormy crises, and the issue of this war afforded a fresh proof, for he alone suspected danger from the differences of the tribunes before the disaster occurred. He appointed as his Master of the Horse the tribune by whom he had been nominated Dictator, namely, his own son. This at least is the statement of some authorities, others say that Ahala Servilius was Master of the Horse that year. With his fresh army he proceeded to the seat of war, and after recalling the troops who were at Tusculum, he selected a position for his camp two miles distant from the enemy.


4.47

The arrogance and carelessness which the Roman generals had shown had now passed over to the Aequi in the hour of their success. The result appeared in the very first battle. After shaking the enemies' front with a cavalry charge, the Dictator ordered the standards of the legions to be rapidly advanced, and as one of his standard-bearers hesitated, he slew him. So eager were the Romans to engage that the Aequi did not stand the shock. Driven from the field in headlong flight they made for their camp; the storming of the camp took less time and involved less fighting than the actual battle. The spoils of the captured camp the Dictator gave up to the soldiers. The cavalry who had pursued the enemy as they fled from the camp brought back intelligence that the whole of the defeated Labicans and a large proportion of the Aequi had fled to Labici. On the morrow the army marched to Labici, and after the town was completely invested it was captured and plundered. After leading his victorious army home, the Dictator laid down his office just a week after he had been appointed. Before the tribunes of the plebs had time to get up an agitation about the division of the Labican territory, the senate in a full meeting passed a resolution that a body of colonists should be settled at Labici. One thousand five hundred colonists were sent, and each received two jugera of land. In the year following the capture of Labici the consular tribunes were Menenius Lanatus, L. Servilius Structus, P. Lucretius Tricipitinus-each for the second time- and Spurius Veturius Crassus. For the next year they were A. Sempronius Atratinus-for the third time- and M. Papirius Mugilanus and Sp. Nautius Rutilus- each for the second time. During these two years foreign affairs were quiet, but at home there were contentions over the agrarian laws.


4.48

The fomenters of the disturbance were Sp. Maecilius, who was tribune of the plebs for the fourth time, and M. Metilius, tribune for the third time; both had been elected in their absence. They brought forward a measure providing that the territory taken from an enemy should be assigned to individual owners. If this were passed the fortunes of a large number of the nobility would be confiscated. For as the City itself was founded upon foreign soil, it possessed hardly any territory which had not been won by arms, or which had become private property by sale or assignment beyond what the plebeians possessed. There seemed every prospect of a bitter conflict between the plebs and the patricians. The consular tribunes, after discussing the matter in the senate and in private gatherings of patricians, were at a loss what to do, when Appius Claudius, the grandson of the old decemvir and the youngest senator present, rose to speak. He is represented as saying that he was bringing from home an old device well known to his house. His grandfather, Appius Claudius, had pointed out to the senate the only way of breaking down the power of the tribunes, namely, through the interposition of their colleagues' veto. Men who had risen from the masses were easily induced to change their opinions by the personal authority of the leaders of the State if only they were addressed in language suitable to the occasion rather than to the rank of the speaker. Their feelings changed with their fortunes. When they saw that those of their colleagues who were the first to propose any measure took the whole credit of it with the plebs and left no place for them, they would feel no hesitation in coming over to the cause of the senate, and so win the favour not only of the leaders but of the whole order. His views met with universal approval; Q. Servilius Priscus was the first to congratulate the youth on his not having degenerated from the old Claudian stock. The leaders of the senate were charged to persuade as many tribunes as they could to interpose their veto. After the close of the sitting they canvassed the tribunes. By the use of persuasion, warning, and promises, they showed how acceptable that action would be to them individually and to the whole senate. They succeeded in bringing over six.

The next day, in accordance with a previous understanding, the attention of the senate was drawn to the agitation which Maecilius and Metilius were causing by proposing a bribe of the worst possible type. Speeches were delivered by the leaders of the senate, each in turn declaring that he was unable to suggest any course of action, and saw no other resource but the assistance of the tribunes. To the protection of that power the State in its embarrassment, like a private citizen in his helplessness, fled for succour. It was the glory of the tribunes and of the authority they wielded that they possessed as much strength to withstand evil-minded colleagues as to harass the senate and create dissension between the two orders. Cheers arose from the whole senate and the tribunes were appealed to from every quarter of the House. When silence was restored, those tribunes who had been won over made it clear that since the senate was of opinion that the proposed measure tended to the break-up of the republic, they should interpose their veto on it. They were formally thanked by the senate. The proposers of the measure convened a meeting in which they showered abuse on their colleagues, calling them "traitors to the interests of the plebs" and "slaves of the consulars," with other insulting epithets. Then they dropped all further proceedings.


4.49

The consular tribunes for the following year were P. Cornelius Cossus, C. Valerius Potitus, Q. Quinctius Cincinnatus, and Numerius Fabius Vibulanus. There would have been two wars this year if the Veientine leaders had not deferred hostilities owing to religious scruples. Their lands had suffered from an inundation of the Tiber chiefly through the destruction of their farm buildings. The Bolani, a people of the same nationality as the Aequi, had made incursions into the adjoining territory of Labici and attacked the newly-settled colonists, in the hope of averting the consequences by receiving the unanimous support of the Aequi. But the defeat they had sustained three years before made them disinclined to render assistance; the Bolani, abandoned by their friends, lost both town and territory after a siege and one trifling engagement in a war which is not even worth recording. An attempt was made by L. Sextius, a tribune of the plebs, to carry a measure providing that colonists should be sent to Bolae as they had been to Labici, but it was defeated by the intervention of his colleagues, who made it clear that they would not allow any resolution of the plebs to take effect except on the authorisation of the senate.

The consular tribunes for the following year were Cnaeus Cornelius Cossus, L. Valerius Potitus, Q. Fabius Vibulanus-for the second time-and M. Postumius Regillensis. The Aequi recaptured Bolae and strengthened the town by introducing fresh colonists. The war against the Aequi was entrusted to Postumius, a man of violent and obstinate temper, which, however, he displayed more in the hour of victory than during the war. After marching with his hastily-raised army to Bolae and crushing the spirit of the Aequi in some insignificant actions, he at length forced his way into the town. Then he diverted the contest from the enemy to his own fellow-citizens. During the assault he had issued an order that the plunder should go to the soldiers, but after the capture of the town he broke his word. I am led to believe that this was the real ground for the resentment felt by the army rather than that in a city which had been recently sacked and where a new colony had been settled, the amount of booty was less than the tribune had given out. After he had returned to the City on the summons of his colleagues owing to the commotions excited by the tribunes of the plebs, the feeling against him was intensified by a stupid and almost insane utterance in a meeting of the Assembly. Sextius was introducing an agrarian law, and stated that one of its provisions was that colonists be settled at Bolae. "Those," he said, "who had captured Bolae deserved that the city and its territory should belong to them." Postumius exclaimed, "It will be a bad thing for my soldiers if they do not keep quiet." This exclamation was quite as offensive to the senators, when they heard of it, as it was to the Assembly. The tribune of the plebs was a clever man and not a bad speaker; he had now got amongst his opponents a man of insolent temper and hot tongue, whom he could irritate and provoke into saying things which would bring odium not only upon himself, but upon his cause and upon the whole of his order. There was no one amongst the consular tribunes whom he oftener drew into argument before the Assembly than Postumius. After the above quoted coarse and brutal utterance Sextius said, "Do you hear, Quirites, this man threatening his soldiers with punishment, as if they were slaves? Shall this monster appear in your eyes more worthy of his high office than the men who are trying to send you out as colonists to receive as a free gift city and land, and provide a resting-place for your old age; who are fighting gallantly for your interests against such savage and insolent opponents? Now you can begin to wonder why it is that so few take up your cause. What have they to hope for from you? Is it high office? You would rather confer it on your opponents than on the champions of the Roman people. You broke out into indignant murmurs just now when you heard what this man said. What difference does it make? If you had to give your votes now, you would prefer this man who threatens you with punishment to those who want to secure for you lands and houses and property."


4.50

When this exclamation of Postumius was reported to the soldiers it aroused much more indignation in the camp. "What!" they said, "is the embezzler of the spoils, the robber, actually threatening his soldiers with punishment?" Open as the expressions of resentment were, the quaestor P. Sestius still thought that the excitement could be repressed by the same exhibition of violence by which it had been aroused. A lictor was sent to a soldier who was shouting, this led to uproar and disorder. The quaestor was struck by a stone and got out of the crowd, the man who had hurt him exclaimed that the quaestor had got what the commander had threatened the soldiers. Postumius was sent for to deal with the outbreak; he aggravated the general irritation by the ruthless way in which he made his investigations and the cruelty of the punishments he inflicted. At last, when his rage exceeded all bounds, and a crowd had gathered at the cries of those whom he had ordered to be put to death "under the hurdle," he rushed down from his tribunal in a frenzy to those who were interrupting the execution; the lictors and centurions tried in all directions to disperse the crowd, and drove them to such a pitch of exasperation that the tribune was overwhelmed beneath a shower of stones from his own army. When this dreadful deed was reported at Rome, the consular tribunes urged the senate to order an inquiry into the circumstances of the death of their colleague, but the tribunes of the plebs interposed their veto. That matter was closely connected with another subject of dispute. The senate were apprehensive lest the plebeians, either through dread of an investigation or from feelings of resentment, should elect the consular tribunes from their own body, and they did their utmost accordingly to secure the election of consuls. As the tribunes of the plebs would not allow the senate to pass a decree, and also vetoed the election of consuls, matters passed to an interregnum. The victory rested finally with the senate.


4.51

Q. Fabius Vibulanus, as interrex, presided over the elections. The consuls elected were A. Cornelius Cossus and L. Furius Medullinus. At the beginning of their year of office, a resolution was adopted by the senate empowering the tribunes to bring before the plebs at the earliest possible date the subject of an inquiry into the circumstances of the death of Postumius, and allowing the plebs to choose whom they would to preside over the inquiry. The plebs by a unanimous vote left the matter to the consuls. They discharged their task with the greatest moderation and clemency; only a few suffered punishment, and there are good grounds for believing that these died by their own hands. They were quite unable, however, to prevent their action from being bitterly resented by the plebeians, who complained that whilst measures brought forward in their own interests were abortive, one which involved the punishment and death of members of their order was meanwhile passed and put into immediate execution. After justice had been meted out for the mutiny, it would have been a most politic step to appease their resentment by distributing the conquered territory of Bolae. Had the senate done this they would have lessened the eagerness for an agrarian law which proposed to expel the patricians from their unjust occupation of the State domains. As it was, the sense of injury was all the keener because the nobility were not only determined to keep the public land, which they already held, by force, but actually refused to distribute the vacant territory recently conquered, which would soon, like everything else, be appropriated by a few. During this year the consul Furius led the legions against the Volscians, who were ravaging the Hernican territory. As they did not find the enemy in that quarter they advanced against Ferentinum, to which place a large number of Volscians had retreated, and took it. There was less booty there than they had expected to find, for as there was little hope of defending the place, the Volscians carried off their property and evacuated it by night. The next day, when captured, it was almost deserted. The town and its territory were given to the Hernici.


4.52

This year which, owing to the moderation of the tribunes, had been free from disturbances, was followed by one in which L. Icilius was tribune, the consuls being Q. Fabius Ambustus and C. Furius Pacilus. At the very beginning of the year he took up the work of agitation, as though it were the allotted task of his name and family, and announced proposals for dealing with the land question. Owing to the outbreak of a pestilence which, however, created more alarm than mortality, the thoughts of men were diverted from the political struggles of the Forum to their homes and the necessity of nursing the sick. The pestilence was regarded as less baneful than the agrarian agitation would have been. The community escaped with very few deaths considering the very large number of cases. As usually happens, the pestilence brought a famine the following year, owing to the fields lying uncultivated. The new consuls were M. Papirius Atratinus and C. Nautius Rutilus. The famine would have been more fatal than the pestilence had not the scarcity been relieved by the despatch of commissioners to all the cities lying on the Etruscan sea and the Tiber. The Samnites, who occupied Capua and Cumae, refused in insolent terms to have any communication with the commissioners; on the other hand, assistance was generously given by the Sicilian Tyrant. The largest supplies were brought down the Tiber, through the ungrudging exertions of the Etruscans. In consequence of the prevalence of sickness in the republic, the consuls found hardly any men available; as only one senator could be obtained for each commission, they were compelled to attach two knights to it. Apart from the pestilence and the famine, there was no trouble either at home or abroad during these two years, but as soon as these causes of anxiety had disappeared, all the usual sources of disturbance in the commonwealth- dissensions at home, wars abroad-broke out afresh.


4.53

Manlius Aemilius and C. Valerius Potitus were the new consuls. The Aequi made preparations for war, and the Volscians, without the sanction of their government, took up arms and assisted them as volunteers. On the report of these hostile movements-they had already crossed over into the Latin and Hernican territories -the consul Valerius commenced to levy troops. He was obstructed by M. Menenius, the proposer of an agrarian law, and under the protection of this tribune, no one who objected to serve would take the oath. Suddenly the news came that the citadel of Carventum had been seized by the enemy. This humiliation gave the senate an opening for stirring up popular resentment against Menenius, while it afforded to the other tribunes, who were already prepared to veto his agrarian law, stronger justification for opposing their colleague. A long and angry discussion took place. The consuls called gods and men to witness that Menenius by obstructing the levy was solely responsible for whatever defeat and disgrace at the hands of the enemy had already been incurred or was imminent. Menenius on the other hand loudly protested that if those who occupied the public land would give up their wrongful possession of it, he would place no hindrance in the way of the levy. The nine tribunes put an end to the quarrel by interposing a formal resolution and declaring that it was the intention of the college to support the consul, in spite of their colleague's veto, whether he imposed fines or adopted other modes of coercion on those who refused to serve in the field. Armed with this decree the consul ordered a few who were claiming the tribune's protection to be seized and brought before him; this cowed the rest and they took the oath.

The army was marched to the citadel of Carventum, and though disaffected and embittered against the consul, they no sooner arrived at the place than they drove out the defenders and recaptured the citadel. The attack was facilitated by the absence of some of the garrison, who had through the laxity of their generals stolen away on a plundering expedition. The booty which had been gathered in their incessant raids and stored here for safety was considerable. This the consul ordered to be sold "under the spear," the proceeds to be paid by the quaestors into the treasury. He announced that the army would only have a share in the spoils when they had not declined to serve. This increased the exasperation of the plebs and the soldiers against the consul. The senate decreed him an "ovation," and whilst he made his formal entry into the City, rude verses were bandied by the soldiers with their accustomed licence in which the consul was abused and Menenius extolled in alternate couplets, whilst at every mention of the tribune the voices of the soldiers were drowned in the cheers and applause of the bystanders. This latter circumstance occasioned more anxiety to the senate than the licence of the soldiers, which was almost a regular practice, and as there was no doubt that if Menenius became a candidate he would be elected as a consular tribune, he was shut out by the election of consuls.


4.54

The two who were elected were Cnaeus Cornelius Cossus and L. Furius Medullinus. On no other occasion had the plebs been more indignant at not being allowed to elect consular tribunes. They showed their indignation in the election of quaestors, and they had their revenge, for that was the first time that plebeians were elected quaestors, and so far did they carry their resentment, that out of the four who were elected one place only was left open for a patrician, viz., Kaeso Fabius Ambustus. The three plebeians, Q. Silius, P. Aelius, and P. Pupius, were chosen in preference to scions of the most illustrious families. It was the Icilii, I find, who induced the people to show this independence at the poll; that family was most bitter against the patricians, and three of its members were elected tribunes for this year by holding out hopes of numerous important reforms on which the people had set their hearts. They declared that they would not take a single step if the people had not sufficient courage even in electing quaestors to secure the end which they had long desired and which the laws had put within their reach, seeing that this was the only office which the senate had left open to patricians and plebeians alike. The plebeians regarded this as a splendid victory; they valued the quaestorship not by what it was in itself, but as opening the path for men who had risen from the ranks to consulships and triumphs. The patricians on the other hand were indignant; they felt that they were not so much giving a share of the honours of the State as losing them altogether. "If," they said, "this is the state of things, children must no longer be reared, since they will only be banished from the station their ancestors filled, and whilst seeing others in possession of the dignity which is theirs by right, they will be left, deprived of all authority and power, to act as Salii or Flamens, with no other duty than that of offering sacrifices for the people." Both parties were exasperated, and as the spirit of the plebs was rising and they had three leaders bearing a name illustrious in the popular cause, the patricians saw that the results of all the elections would be the same as that for quaestors in which the plebs had a free choice. They exerted themselves, therefore, to secure the election of consuls, which was not yet open to both orders; whilst the Icilii on the other hand said that consular tribunes must be elected, and that the highest honours must sooner or later be shared by the plebs.


4.55

But so far no action had been taken by the consuls to give an opening for obstruction and the wresting of the desired concessions from the patricians. By a marvellous piece of good luck, news came that the Volscians and Aequi had made a predatory inroad into the Latin and Hernican territories. The senate decreed a levy for this war, but when the consuls began to raise it the tribunes vigorously opposed them, and declared that they themselves and the plebs had now got their opportunity. There were three of them, all very energetic, who might be considered of good family as far as plebeians could be. Two of them assumed the task of keeping a close watch on each of the consuls; to the third was assigned the duty of alternately restraining and urging on the plebeians by his harangues. The consuls could not get through with the levy, nor the tribunes with the election which they were so anxious for. Fortune at last took the side of the plebs, for tidings came that whilst the troops who were holding the citadel of Carventum were dispersed in quest of plunder, the Aequi had attacked it, and after killing the few left on guard, had cut to pieces some who were hastening back and others whilst straggling in the fields. This incident, so unfortunate for the State, strengthened the hands of the tribunes. Fruitless attempts were made to induce them in this emergency to desist from opposing the war, but they would not give way either in view of the threatening danger to the State or the odium which might fall upon themselves, and finally succeeded in forcing the senate to pass a decree for the election of consular tribunes. It was, however, expressly stipulated that none of the present tribunes of the plebs should be eligible for that post, or should be re-elected as plebeian tribunes for the next year. This was undoubtedly aimed at the Icilii, whom the senate suspected of aiming at the consulship as a reward for their exertions as tribunes. Then, with the consent of both orders, the levy was raised and preparations for war commenced. Authorities differ as to whether both consuls proceeded to the citadel of Carventum, or whether one remained behind to conduct the elections. There is no dispute, however, as to the Romans retiring from the citadel of Carventum after a long and ineffectual siege, and recovering Verrugo after committing great depredations and securing much booty in both the Volscian and Aequian territories.


4.56

At Rome, whilst the plebs had been so far victorious as to secure the election which they preferred, the result of that election was a victory for the senate. Contrary to all expectation, three patricians were elected consular tribunes, viz., C. Julius Julus, P. Cornelius Cossus, and C. Servilius Ahala. It was stated that the patricians had recourse to a trick; the Icilii actually accused them of it at the time. They were charged with having introduced a crowd of unsuitable candidates amongst those who were worthy of being elected, and the disgust felt at the notoriously low character of some of these candidates alienated the people from the plebeian candidates as a body. After this a report was received that the Volscians and Aequi were devoting their utmost energies to getting ready for war. Either the fact that they had kept possession of the citadel of Carventum had raised their hopes, or the loss of the detachment at Verrugo had roused their ire. The Antiates were stated to be the prime movers; their ambassadors had gone the round of the cities of both nations reproaching them with cowardice in having skulked behind their walls the year before and allowing the Romans to harry their fields in all directions and the garrison at Verrugo to be destroyed. Not only were armies despatched, but even colonists were being settled in their territories. Not only had the Romans distributed their property amongst themselves, but they had even made a present to the Hernici of Ferentinum, after they had taken it. These reproaches kindled the war spirit in each city as they came to it, and a large number of fighting men were enrolled. A force gathered from all the States was concentrated at Antium; there they fixed their camp and awaited the enemy. These proceedings were reported at Rome, and created greater excitement than the facts warranted, and the senate at once ordered a Dictator to be nominated-the last resource in imminent danger. It is stated that Julius and Cornelius were extremely angry at thus step, and matters proceeded amidst much bitterness on both sides. The leaders of the senate censured the consular tribunes for not recognising the authority of the senate, and finding their protests useless, actually appealed at last to the tribunes of the plebs and reminded them how on a similar occasion their authority had acted as a check on the consuls. The tribunes, delighted at the dissension amongst the senators, said that they could render no assistance to those in whose eyes they were not regarded as citizens or even as men. If the honours of the State were ever open to both orders, and they had their share in the government, then they would take measures to prevent the decisions of the senate from being nullified by the arrogance of any magistrate; till then the patricians, devoid as they were of any respect for magistrates or laws, might deal with the consular tribunes by themselves


4.57

This controversy preoccupied men's thoughts at a most inopportune moment, when such a serious war was on their hands. At last, after Julius and Cornelius had, one after the other, argued at great length that as they were quite competent to conduct that war, it was unjust to deprive them of the honour which the people had conferred upon them, Ahala Servilius, the other consular tribune, intervened in the dispute. He had, he said, kept silent so long, not because he had any doubt in his own mind,-for what true patriot could separate his own interest from that of the State?- but because he would rather have had his colleagues yield voluntarily to the authority of the senate than allow the power of the plebeian tribunes to be invoked against them. Even now he would have gladly given them time to abandon their unyielding attitude if circumstances allowed. But the necessities of war do not wait on the counsels of men, and the commonwealth was more to him than the goodwill of his colleagues. If, therefore, the senate adhered to its decision, he would nominate a Dictator the next night, and if any one vetoed the passing of a senatorial decree he should be content to act simply on their resolution. By taking this course he won the well-deserved praise and sympathy of all, and after nominating P. Cornelius as Dictator, he was himself appointed Master of the Horse. He furnished an example to his colleagues, as they compared his position with their own, of the way in which high office and popularity come sometimes most readily to those who do not covet them. The war was far from being a memorable one. The enemy were defeated with great slaughter at Antium in a single easily-won battle. The victorious army devastated the Volscian territory. The fort at Lake Fucinus was stormed, and the garrison of 3000 men taken prisoners, whilst the rest of the Volscians were driven into their walled towns, leaving their fields at the mercy of the enemy. After making what use he could of Fortune's favours in the conduct of the war, the Dictator returned home with more success than glory and laid down his office. The consular tribunes waived all proposals for the election of consuls-owing, I believe, to their resentment at the appointment of a Dictator-and issued orders for the election of consular tribunes. This increased the anxiety of the senators, for they saw that their cause was being betrayed by men of their own party. Accordingly, as in the previous year they had excited disgust against all plebeian candidates, however worthy, by means of those who were perfectly worthless, so now the leaders of the senate appeared as candidates, surrounded by everything that could lend distinction or strengthen personal influence. They secured all the places and prevented the entrance of any plebeian. Four were elected, all of whom had previously held office, viz., L. Furius Medullinus, C. Valerius Potitus, N. Fabius Vibulanus, and C. Servilius Ahala. The latter owed his continuance in office to the popularity he had won by his singular moderation as much as to his other merits.


4.58

During this year the armistice with Veii expired, and ambassadors and fetials were sent to demand satisfaction. When they reached the frontier they were met by a deputation from Veii, who begged them not to go there before they themselves had an audience of the Roman senate. They obtained from the senate the withdrawal of the demand for satisfaction, owing to the internal troubles from which Veii was suffering. So far were the Romans from seeking their opportunity in the misfortunes of others! A disaster was incurred on Volscian ground in the loss of the garrison at Verrugo. So much depended here upon a few hours that the soldiers who were being besieged by the Volscians and begging for assistance could have been relieved if prompt measures had been taken. As it was, the relieving force only arrived in time to surprise the enemy, who, fresh from the massacre of the garrison, were scattered in quest of plunder. The responsibility for the delay rested more with the senate than with the consular tribunes; they heard that the garrison were offering a most determined resistance, and they did not reflect that there are limits to human strength which no amount of courage can transcend. The gallant soldiers were not unavenged either in their lives or their deaths.

The following year the consular tribunes were P. Cornelius Cossus, Cnaeus Cornelius Cossus, Numerius Fabius Ambustus, and L. Valerius Potitus. Owing to the action of the senate of Veii, a war with that city was threatened. The envoys whom Rome had sent to demand satisfaction received the insolent reply that unless they speedily departed from the city and crossed the frontiers the Veientines would give them what Lars Tolumnius had given. The senate were indignant and passed a decree that the consular tribunes should bring before the people at the earliest possible day a proposal to declare war against Veii. No sooner was the subject brought forward than the men who were liable for service protested. They complained that the war with the Volscians had not been brought to a close, the garrisons of two forts had been annihilated, and the forts, though recaptured, were held with difficulty, there was not a single year in which there was not fighting, and now, as if they had not enough work on hand, they were preparing for a fresh war with a most powerful neighbour who would rouse the whole of Etruria. This disaffection amongst the plebs was fanned by their tribunes, who were continually giving out that the most serious war was the one going on between the senate and the plebs, who were purposely harassed by war and exposed to be butchered by the enemy and kept as it were in banishment far from their homes lest the quiet of city life might awaken memories of their liberties and lead them to discuss schemes for distributing the State lands amongst colonists and securing a free exercise of their franchise. They got hold of the veterans, counted up each man's campaigns and wounds and scars, and asked what blood was still left in him which could be shed for the State. By raising these topics in public speeches and private conversations they produced amongst the plebeians a feeling of opposition to the projected war. The subject was therefore dropped for the time, as it was evident that in the then state of opinion it would, if brought forward, be rejected.


4.59

Meantime the consular tribunes decided to lead the army into the territory of the Volscians; Cnaeus Cornelius was left in charge of the City. The three tribunes ascertained that there was no camp of the Volscians anywhere, and that they would not risk a battle, so they divided into three separate forces to ravage the country. Valerius made Antium his objective; Cornelius, Ecetrae. Wherever they marched they destroyed the homesteads and crops far and wide to divide the forces of the Volscians. Fabius marched to Anxur, which was the chief objective, without losing time in devastating the country. This city is now called Terracina; it was built on the side of a hill and sloped down to the marshes. Fabius made a show of attacking the city on that side. Four cohorts were despatched with C. Servilius Ahala by a circuitous route to seize the hill which overhung the town on the other side. After doing so they made an attack amidst loud shouts and uproar from their higher position upon that part of the town where there was no defence. Those who were holding the lower part of the city against Fabius were stupefied with astonishment at the noise, and this gave him time to plant his scaling ladders. The Romans were soon in all parts of the city, and for some time a ruthless slaughter went on of fugitives and fighters, armed and unarmed alike. As there was no hope of quarter, the defeated enemy were compelled to keep up the fight, till suddenly an order was issued that none but those taken with arms should be injured. On this the whole of the population threw down their arms; prisoners to the number of 2500 were taken. Fabius would not allow his men to touch the other spoils of war until the arrival of his colleagues, for those armies too had taken their part in the capture of Anxur, since they had prevented the Volscians from coming to its relief. On their arrival the three armies sacked the town, which, owing to its long-continued prosperity, contained much wealth. This generosity on the part of the generals was the first step towards the reconciliation of the plebs and the senate. This was followed by a boon which the senate, at a most opportune moment, conferred on the plebeians. Before the question was mooted either by the plebs or their tribunes, the senate decreed that the soldiery should receive pay from the public treasury. Previously, each man had served at his own expense.


4.60

Nothing, it is recorded, was ever welcomed by the plebs with such delight; they crowded round the Senate-house, grasped the hands of the senators as they came out, acknowledged that they were rightly called "Fathers," and declared that after what they had done no one would ever spare his person or his blood, as long as any strength remained, for so generous a country. They saw with pleasure that their private property at all events would rest undisturbed at such times as they were impressed and actively employed in the public service, and the fact of the boon being spontaneously offered, without any demand on the part of their tribunes, increased their happiness and gratitude immensely. The only people who did not share the general feeling of joy and goodwill were the tribunes of the plebs. They asserted that the arrangement would not turn out such a pleasant thing for the senate or such a benefit to the whole community as they supposed. The policy was more attractive at first sight than it would prove in actual practice. From what source, they asked, could the money be raised; except by imposing a tax on the people? They were generous at other people's expense. Besides, those who had served their time would not, even if the rest approved, permit others to serve on more favourable terms than they themselves had done and after having had to provide for their own expenses, now provide for those of others. These arguments influenced some of the plebeians. At last, after the tax had been imposed, the tribunes actually gave notice that they would protect any one who refused to contribute to the war tax. The senators were determined to uphold a measure so happily inaugurated, they were themselves the first to contribute, and as coined money was not yet introduced, they carried the copper by weight in wagons to the treasury, thereby drawing public attention to the fact of their contributing. After the senators had contributed most conscientiously the full amount at which they were assessed, the leading plebeians, personal friends of the nobles, began, as had been agreed, to pay in their share. When the crowd saw these men applauded by the senate and looked up to by the men of military age as patriotic citizens, they hastily rejected the proffered protection of the tribunes and vied with one another in their eagerness to contribute. The proposal authorising the declaration of war against Veii was carried, and the new consular tribunes marched thither an army composed to a large extent of men who volunteered for service.


4.61

These tribunes were T. Quinctius Capitolinus, Q. Quinctius Cincinnatus, C. Julius Julus-for the second time-Aulus Manlius, L. Furius Medullinus-or the third time-and Manius Aemilius Mamercus. It was by them that Veii was first invested. Immediately after the siege had commenced, a largely-attended meeting of the national council of the Etruscans was held at the fane of Voltumna, but no decision was arrived at as to whether the Veientines should be defended by the armed strength of the whole nation. The following year the siege was prosecuted with less vigour owing to some of the tribunes and a portion of the army being called off to the Volscian war. The consular tribunes for the year were C. Valerius Potitus-for the third time-Manius Sergius Fidenas, P. Cornelius Maluginensis, Cnaeus Cornelius Cossus, Kaeso Fabius Ambustus, and Spurius Nautius Rutilus- for the second time. A pitched battle was fought with the Volscians between Ferentinum and Ecetrae, which resulted in favour of the Romans. Then the tribunes commenced the siege of Artena, a Volscian town. In attempting a sortie the enemy were driven back into the town, giving thereby an opportunity to the Romans of forcing an entrance, and with the exception of the citadel the whole place was captured. A body of the enemy retired into the citadel, which was protected by the nature of its position; below the citadel many were killed or taken prisoners. The citadel was then invested, but it could not be taken by assault as the defenders were quite sufficient for the extent of the fortifications, nor was there any hope of its surrendering, as all the corn from the public magazines had been conveyed there before the city was taken. The Romans would have retired in disgust had not a slave betrayed the place to them. The soldiers, guided by him up some steep ground, effected its capture, and after they had massacred those on guard, the rest, panic-struck, surrendered. After the town and citadel had been demolished, the legions were withdrawn from Volscian territory and the whole strength of Rome was directed against Veii. The traitor was rewarded not only with his freedom, but also with the property of two households, and was called Servius Romanus. Some suppose that Artena belonged to the Veientines, not the Volscians. The mistake arises from the fact that there was a city of the same name between Caere and Veii, but it was destroyed in the time of the kings of Rome, and it belonged to Caere, not Veii. The other town of the same name whose destruction I have mentioned was in the Volscian territory.

End of Book 4



Livy's History of Rome: Book 5:
The Veii and the Destruction of Rome by the Gauls


5.1

Whilst peace prevailed elsewhere, Rome and Veii were confronting each other in arms, animated by such fury and hatred that utter ruin clearly awaited the vanquished. Each elected their magistrates, but on totally different principles. The Romans increased the number of their consular tribunes to eight-a larger number than had ever been elected before. They were Manius Aemilius Mamercus-for the second time-L. Valerius Potitus-for the third time- Appius Claudius Crassus, M. Quinctilius Varus, L. Julius Julus, M. Postumius, M. Furius Camillus, and M. Postumius Albinus. The Veientines, on the other hand, tired of the annual canvassing for office, elected a king. This gave great offence to the Etruscan cantons, owing to their hatred of monarchy and their personal aversion to the one who was elected. He was already obnoxious to the nation through his pride of wealth and overbearing temper, for he had put a violent stop to the festival of the Games, the interruption of which is an act of impiety. His candidature for the priesthood had been unsuccessful, another being preferred by the vote of the twelve cantons, and in revenge he suddenly withdrew the performers, most of whom were his own slaves, in the middle of the Games. The Etruscans as a nation were distinguished above all others by their devotion to religious observances, because they excelled in the knowledge and conduct of them, and they decided, in consequence, that no assistance should be given to the Veientines as long as they were under a king. The report of this decision was suppressed at Veii through fear of the king; he treated those who mentioned anything of the kind, not as authors of an idle tale, but as ringleaders of sedition. Although the Romans had received intelligence that there was no movement on the part of the Etruscans, still, as it was reported that the matter was being discussed in all their councils, they so constructed their lines as to present a double face, the one fronting Veii to prevent sorties from the city, the other looking towards Etruria to intercept any succour from that side.



5.2

As the Roman generals placed more reliance on a blockade than on an assault, they began to build huts for winter quarters, a novelty to the Roman soldier. Their plan was to keep up the war through the winter. The tribunes of the plebs had for a long time been unable to find any pretext for creating a revolt. When, however, news of this was brought to Rome, they dashed off to the Assembly and produced great excitement by declaring that this was the reason why it had been settled to pay the troops. They, the tribunes, had not been blind to the fact that this gift from their adversaries would prove to be tainted with poison. The liberties of the plebs had been bartered away, their able-bodied men had been permanently sent away, banished from the City and the State, without any regard to winter or indeed to any season of the year, or to the possibility of their visiting their homes or looking after their property. What did they think was the reason for this continuous campaigning? They would most assuredly find it to be nothing else but the fear that if a large body of these men, who formed the whole strength of the plebs, were present, it would be possible to discuss reforms in favour of the plebeians. Besides, they were suffering much more hardship and oppression than the Veientines, for these passed the winter under their own roofs in a city protected by its magnificent walls and the natural strength of its position, whilst the Romans, amidst labour and toil, buried in frost and snow, were roughing it patiently under their skin-covered tents, and could not lay aside their arms even in the season of winter, when there is a respite from all wars, whether by land or sea. This form of slavery, making military service perpetual, was never imposed either by the kings, or by the consuls who were so domineering before the institution of the tribuneship, or during the stern rule of the Dictator, or by the unscrupulous decemvirs-it was the consular tribunes who were exercising this regal despotism over the Roman plebs. What would these men have done had they been consuls or Dictators, seeing that they have made their proconsular authority, which is only a shadow of the other, so outrageously cruel? But the commons had got what they had deserved. Amongst all the eight consular tribunes not a single plebeian had found a place. Hitherto, with their utmost efforts, the patricians had usually filled only three places at a time; now a team of eight were bent on maintaining their power. Even in such a crowd not a single plebeian could get a footing, to warn his colleagues, if he could do nothing else, that those who were serving as soldiers were free men, their own fellow-citizens, and not slaves, and that they ought to be brought back, at all events in the winter, to their houses and their homes, and during some part of the year visit their parents and wives and children, and exercise their rights as free citizens in electing the magistrates.


5.3

Whilst indulging in declamations of this sort, they found an opponent who was quite a match for them in Appius Claudius. He had from early manhood taken his part in the contests with the plebs, and as stated above, had some years previously recommended the senate to break down the power of the tribunes by securing the intervention of their colleagues. He was not only a man of ready and versatile mind, but by this time an experienced debater. He delivered the following speech on this occasion:-"If, Quirites, there has ever been any doubt as to whether it was in your interest or their own that the tribunes have always been the advocates of sedition, I feel quite certain that this year all doubt has ceased to exist. Whilst I rejoice that an end has at last been put to a long-standing delusion, I congratulate you, and on your behalf the whole State, that its removal has been effected just at the time when your circumstances are most prosperous. Is there any one who doubts that whatever wrongs you may have at any time suffered, they never annoyed and provoked the tribunes so much as the generous treatment of the plebs by the senate, in establishing the system of pay for the soldiers? What else do you suppose it was that they were afraid of at that time, and would today gladly upset, except the harmony of the two orders, which they look upon as most of all calculated to destroy their power? They are, really, like so many quack doctors looking for work, always anxious to find some diseased spot in the republic that there may be something which you can call them in to cure." Then, turning to the tribunes, "Are you defending or attacking the plebs? Are you trying to injure the men on service or are you pleading their cause? Or perhaps this is what you are saying, 'Whatever the senate does, whether in the interest of the plebs or against them, we object to.' Just as masters forbid strangers to hold any communication with their slaves, and think it right that they should abstain from showing them either kindness or unkindness, so you interdict the patricians from all dealings with the plebs, lest we should appeal to their feelings by our graciousness and generosity and secure their loyalty and obedience. How much more dutiful it would have been in you, if you had had a spark-I will not say of patriotism, but-of common humanity, to have viewed with favour, and as far as in you lay, to have fostered the kindly feelings of the patricians and the grateful goodwill of the plebeians! And if this harmony should prove to be lasting, who would not be bold enough to guarantee that this empire will in a short time be the greatest among the neighbouring States?


5.4

"I shall subsequently show not only the expediency but even the necessity of the policy which my colleagues have adopted of refusing to withdraw the army from Veii until their object was effected. For the present I prefer to speak of the actual conditions under which it is serving, and if I were speaking not before you only but in the camp as well, I think that what I say would appear just and fair in the judgment of the soldiers themselves. Even if no arguments presented themselves to my mind, I should find those of my opponents quite sufficient for my purpose. They were saying lately that pay ought not to be given to the soldiers because it never had been given. How then can they now profess indignation at those who have gained additional benefits being required to undergo additional exertion in proportion? Nowhere do we find labour without its reward, nor, as a rule, reward without some expenditure of labour. Toil and pleasure, utterly dissimilar by nature, have been brought by nature into a kind of partnership with each other. Formerly, the soldier felt it a grievance that he gave his services to the State at his own cost, he had the satisfaction, however, of cultivating his land for a part of the year, and acquiring the means of supporting himself and his family whether he were at home or on service. Now he has the pleasure of knowing that the State is a source of income to him, and he is glad to receive his pay. Let him therefore take it patiently that he is a little longer absent from his home and his property, on which no heavy expense now falls. If the State were to call him to an exact reckoning, would it not be justified in saying, 'You receive a year's pay, put in a year's work. Do you think it fair to receive a whole twelve-month's pay for six months' service?' It is with reluctance, Quirites, that I dwell on this topic, for it is those who employ mercenaries who ought to deal thus with them, but we want to deal with you as with fellow-citizens, and we think it only fair that you should deal with us as with your fatherland.

"Either the war ought not to have been undertaken, or it ought to be conducted as befits the dignity of Rome and brought to a close as soon as possible. It will certainly be brought to a close if we press on the siege, but not if we retire before we have fulfilled our hopes by the capture of Veii. Why, good heavens! if there were no other reason, the very discredit of the thing ought to inspire us with perseverance. A city was once besieged by the whole of Greece for ten years, for the sake of one woman, and at what a distance from home, how many lands and seas lay between! Are we growing tired of keeping up a siege for one year, not twenty miles off, almost within sight of the City? I suppose you think the reason for the war is a trivial one, and we do not feel enough just resentment to urge us to persevere. Seven times have they recommenced war against us; they have never loyally kept to the terms of peace; they have ravaged our fields a thousand times; they forced the Fidenates to revolt; they slew the colonists whom we settled there; they instigated the impious murder of our ambassadors in violation of the law of nations; they wanted to raise the whole of Etruria against us, and they are trying to do so today; when we sent ambassadors to demand satisfaction, they very nearly outraged them.


5.5

"Are these the men with whom war ought to be carried on in a half-hearted and dilatory fashion? If such just reasons for resentment have no force with us, do not the following considerations, I pray you, possess any weight? The city is hemmed in by immense siege-works which confine the enemy within his walls. He has not tilled his land, and what was tilled before has been devastated by war. If we bring our army back again, has anybody the slightest doubt that they will invade our territory not only from a thirst for revenge, but also through the sheer necessity they are under of plundering other people's property since they have lost their own? If we adopt your policy we do not postpone the war, we simply carry it within our own frontiers. Well, now, what about the soldiers in whom these worthy tribunes have suddenly become interested after vainly endeavouring to rob them of their pay; what about them? They have carried a rampart and a fosse-each requiring enormous labour-over all that extent of ground; they have built forts, few at first, but after the army was increased, very numerous; they have raised defences not only against the city, but also as a barrier against Etruria in case any succours came from there. What need to describe the towers, the vineae, the testudines, and the other engines used in storming cities? Now that so much labour has been spent and the work of investment at last completed, do you think that they ought to be abandoned in order that by next summer we may be again exhausted by the toil of constructing them all afresh ? How much less trouble to defend the works already constructed, to press on and persevere, and so bring our cares and labours to an end! For assuredly the undertaking is not a lengthy one, if it is carried through by one continuous effort, if we do not by our own interruptions and stoppages delay the fulfilment of our hopes.

"I have been speaking of the work and the loss of time. Now there are frequent meetings of the national council of Etruria to discuss the question of sending succours to Veii. Do these allow us to forget the danger we incur by prolonging the war? As matters now stand, they are angry, resentful, and say that they will not send any-Veii may be captured, as far as they are concerned. But who will guarantee that if the war is prolonged they will continue in the same mind? For if you give the Veientines a respite they will send a more numerous and influential embassy, and what now gives such displeasure to the Etruscans, namely, the election of a king, may after a time be annulled either by the unanimous act of the citizens in order to win the sympathies of Etruria, or by voluntary abdication on the part of the king himself, through his unwillingness to allow his crown to endanger the safety of his people. "See how many disastrous consequences follow from the policy you recommend- the sacrifice of works constructed with so much trouble; the threatening devastation of our borders; a war with the whole of Etruria instead of one with Veii alone. This, tribunes, is what your proposals amount to; very much, upon my word, as if any one were to tempt a sick person, who by submitting to strict treatment could speedily recover, to indulge in eating and drinking, and so lengthen his illness and perhaps make it incurable.


5.6

"Though it might not affect this present war, it would, you may depend upon it, be of the utmost importance to our military training that our soldiers should be habituated not only to enjoy a victory when they have won one, but also, when a campaign progresses slowly, to put up with its tediousness and await the fulfilment of their hopes though deferred. If a war has not been finished in the summer they must learn to go through the winter, and not, like birds of passage, look out for roofs to shelter them the moment autumn comes. The passion and delight of hunting carries men through frost and snow to the forests and the mountains. Pray tell me, shall we not bring to the exigencies of war the same powers of endurance which are generally called out by sport or pleasure? Are we to suppose that the bodies of our soldiers are so effeminate and their spirits so enfeebled that they cannot hold out in camp or stay away from their homes for a single winter? Are we to believe that like those engaged in naval warfare, who have to watch the seasons and catch the favourable weather, so these men cannot endure times of heat and cold? They would indeed blush if any one laid this to their charge, and would stoutly maintain that both in mind and body they were capable of manly endurance, and could go through a campaign in winter as well as in summer. They would tell you that they had not commissioned their tribunes to act as protectors of the effeminate and the indolent, nor was it in cool shade or under sheltering roofs that their ancestors had instituted this very tribunitian power. The valour of your soldiers, the dignity of Rome, demand that we should not limit our view to Veii and this present war, but seek for reputation in time to come in respect of other wars and amongst all other nations.

"Do you imagine that the opinion men form of us in this crisis is a matter of slight importance? Is it a matter of indifference whether our neighbours regard Rome in such a light that when any city has sustained her first momentary attack it has nothing more to fear from her, or whether on the other hand, the terror of our name is such that no weariness of a protracted siege, no severity of winter, can dislodge a Roman army from any city which it has once invested, that it knows no close to a war but victory, and that it conducts its campaigns by perseverance as much as by dash? Perseverance is necessary in every kind of military operation, but especially in the conduct of sieges, for the majority of cities are impregnable, owing to the strength of their fortifications and their position, and time itself conquers them with hunger and thirst, and captures them as it will capture Veii unless the tribunes of the plebs extend their protection to the enemy and the Veientines find in Rome the support which they are vainly seeking in Etruria. Can anything happen to the Veientines more in accordance with their wishes than that the City of Rome should be filled with sedition and the contagion of it spread to the camp? But amongst the enemy there is actually so much respect for law and order that they have not been goaded into revolution either by weariness of the siege or even aversion to absolute monarchy, nor have they shown exasperation at the refusal of succours by Etruria. The man who advocates sedition will be put to death on the spot, and no one will be allowed to say the things which are uttered amongst you with impunity. With us the man who deserts his standard or abandons his post is liable to be cudgelled to death, but those who urge the men to abandon the standards and desert from the camp are listened to, not by one or two only; they have the whole army for an audience. To such an extent have you habituated yourselves to listen calmly to whatever a tribune of the plebs may say, even if it means the betrayal of your country and the destruction of the republic. Captivated by the attraction which that office has for you, you allow all sorts of mischief to lurk under its shadow. The one thing left for them is to bring forward in the camp, before the soldiers, the same arguments which they have so loudly urged here, and so corrupt the army that they will not allow it to obey its commanders. For evidently liberty in Rome simply means that the soldiers cease to feel any reverence for either the senate, or the magistrates, or the laws, or the traditions of their ancestors, or the institutions of their fathers, or military discipline."


5.7

Appius was already quite a match for the tribunes even on the platform, and now his victory over them was assured by the sudden intelligence of a most unexpected disaster, the effect of which was to unite all classes in an ardent resolve to prosecute the siege of Veii more vigorously. A raised way had been carried up to the city, and the vineae had almost been placed in contact with the walls, but more attention had been devoted to their construction by day than to their protection by night. Suddenly the gates were flung open and an enormous multitude, armed mostly with torches, flung the flaming missiles on to the works, and in one short hour the flames consumed both the raised way and the vineae, the work of so many days. Many poor fellows who vainly tried to render assistance perished either in the flames or by the sword. When the news of this reached Rome there was universal mourning, and the senate were filled with apprehension lest disturbances should break out in the City and the camp beyond their power to repress, and the tribunes of the plebs exult over the vanquished republic. Suddenly, however, a number of men who, though assessed as knights, had not been provided with horses, after concerting a common plan of action, went to the Senate-house, and on permission being given to address the senate, they engaged to serve as cavalry on their own horses. The senate thanked them in the most complimentary terms. When the news of this incident had circulated through the Forum and the City, the plebeians hastily assembled at the Senate-house and declared that they were now part of the infantry force, and though it was not their turn to serve, they promised to give their services to the republic to march to Veii or wherever else they were led. If, they said, they were led to Veii they would not return till the city was taken.

On hearing this it was with difficulty that the senate restrained their delight. They did not, as in the case of the knights, pass a resolution of thanks to be conveyed through the presiding magistrates, nor were any summoned into the House to receive their reply, nor did they themselves remain within the precincts of their House. They came out on the raised space in front and each independently signified by voice and gesture to the people standing in the comitium the joy they all felt, and expressed their confidence that this unanimity of feeling would make Rome a blessed City, invincible and eternal. They applauded the knights, they applauded the commons, they showered encomiums on the very day itself, and frankly admitted that the senate had been outdone in courtesy and kindness. Senators and plebeians alike shed tears of joy. At last the sitting was resumed, and a resolution was carried that the consular tribunes should convene a public meeting and return thanks to the infantry and the knights, and say that the senate would never forget this proof of their affection for their country. They further decided that pay should be reckoned from that day for those who, though not called out, had volunteered to serve. A fixed sum was assigned to each knight; this was the first occasion on which the knights received military pay. The army of volunteers marched to Veii, and not only reconstructed the works that had been lost, but constructed new ones. More care was taken in bringing up supplies from the City, that nothing might be wanting for the use of an army that had behaved so well.


5.8

The consular tribunes for the following year were C. Servilius Ahala-for the third time-Q. Servilius, Lucius Verginius, Q. Sulpicius, Aulus Manlius-for the second time-and Manius Sergius-also for the second time. During their term of office, whilst every one was preoccupied with the Veientine war, Anxur was lost. The garrison had become weakened through the absence of men on furlough, and Volscian traders were admitted indiscriminately, with the result that the guard before the gates were surprised and the fortified post taken. The loss in men was slight, as with the exception of the sick, they were all scattered about the fields and neighbouring towns, driving bargains like so many camp-followers. At Veii, the chief point of interest, things went no better. Not only were the Roman commanders opposing one another more vigorously than they opposed the enemy, but the war was rendered more serious by the sudden arrival of the Capenates and the Faliscans. As these two States were nearest in point of distance, they believed that if Veii fell they would be the next on whom Rome would make war. The Faliscans had their own reasons for fearing hostilities, since they were mixed up in the previous war against Fidenae. So both States, after mutually despatching commissioners for the purpose, swore alliance with each other, and their two armies arrived unexpectedly at Veii. It so happened that they attacked the entrenchments on the side where Manius Sergius was in command, and they created great alarm, for the Romans were convinced that all Etruria had risen and was present in great force. The same conviction roused the Veientines in the city to action, so the Roman lines of investment were attacked from within and from without. Rushing from side to side to meet first the one attack, then the other, they were unable to confine the Veientines sufficiently within their fortifications or repel the assault from their own works and defend themselves from the enemy outside. Their only hope was if help came from the main camp so that the legions might fight back to back, some against the Capenates and Faliscans, and others against the sortie from the town. But Verginius was in command of that camp, and he and Sergius mutually detested each other. When it was reported to him that most of the forts had been attacked and the connecting lines surmounted, and that the enemy were forcing their way in from both sides, he kept his men halted under arms, and repeatedly declared that if his colleague needed assistance he would send to him. This selfishness on his part was matched by the other's obstinacy, for Sergius, to avoid the appearance of having sought help from a personal foe, preferred defeat at the hands of the enemy rather than owe success to a fellow-countryman. For some time the soldiers were being slaughtered between the two attacking forces; at last a very small number abandoned their lines and reached the main camp; Sergius himself, with the greatest part of his force, made his way to Rome. Here he threw all the blame on his colleague, and it was decided that Verginius should be summoned from the camp and his lieutenants put in command during his absence. The case was then discussed in the senate; few studied the interests of the republic, most of the senators supported one or other of the disputants as their party feeling or private sympathy prompted them.


5.9

The leaders of the senate gave it as their opinion that whether it was through the fault or the misfortune of the commanders that such a disgraceful defeat had been incurred, they ought not to wait until the regular time for the elections, but proceed at once to appoint new consular tribunes, to enter office on October 1. On their proceeding to vote on this proposal, the other consular tribunes offered no opposition, but strange to say, Sergius and Verginius-the very men on whose account obviously the senate were dissatisfied with the magistrates for that year-after protesting against such humiliation, vetoed the resolution. They declared that they would not resign office before December 13, the usual day for new magistrates to take office. On hearing this, the tribunes of the plebs, who had maintained a reluctant silence while the State was enjoying concord and prosperity, now made a sudden attack upon the consular tribunes, and threatened, if they did not bow to the authority of the senate, to order them to be imprisoned. There upon C. Servilius Ahala, the consular tribune, replied: "As for you and your menaces, tribunes of the plebs, I should very much like to put it to the proof how your threats possess as little legality as you possess courage to carry them out, but it is wrong to storm against the authority of the senate. Cease, therefore, to look for a chance of making mischief by meddling in our disputes; either my colleagues will act upon the senate's resolution, or if they persist in their obstinacy, I shall at once nominate a Dictator that he may compel them to resign." This speech was received with universal approval, and the senate were glad to find that without bringing in the bugbear of the plebeian tribunes' power, another and a more effectual method existed for bringing pressure to bear on the magistrates. In deference to the universal feeling, the two recalcitrant tribunes held an election for consular tribunes who entered office on October 1, they themselves having previously resigned office.


5.10

The newly elected tribunes were L. Valerius Potitus-for the fourth time-M. Furius Camillus-for the second time- Manius Aemilius Mamercus-for the third time- Cnaeus Cornelius Cossus-for the second time- Kaeso Fabius Ambustus, and L. Julius Julus. Their year of office was marked by many incidents at home and abroad. There was a multiplicity of wars going on at once-at Veii, at Capena, at Falerii, and against the Volscians for the recovery of Anxur. In Rome the simultaneous demands of the levy and the war-tax created distress; there was a dispute about the co-opting of tribunes of the plebs, and the trial of two men who had recently held consular power caused great excitement. The consular tribunes made it their first business to raise a levy. Not only were the "juniors" enrolled, but the "seniors" were also compelled to give in their names that they might act as City guards. But the increase in the number of soldiers necessitated a corresponding increase in the amount required for their pay, and those who remained at home were unwilling to contribute their share because, in addition, they were to be harassed by military duties in defence of the City, as servants of the State. This was in itself a serious grievance, but it was made to appear more so by the seditious harangues of the tribunes of the plebs, who asserted that the reason why military pay had been established was that one half of the plebs might be crushed by the war-tax, and the other by military service. One single war was now dragging along into its third year, and it was being badly managed deliberately in order that they might have it the longer to manage. Then, again, armies had been enrolled for four separate wars in one levy, and even boys and old men had been torn from their homes. There was no difference made now between summer and winter, in order that the wretched plebeians might never have any respite. And now, to crown all, they even had to pay a war-tax, so that when they returned, worn out by toil and wounds, and last of all by age, and found all their land untilled through want of the owner's care, they had to meet this demand out of their wasted property and return to the State their pay as soldiers many times over, as though they had borrowed it on usury. What with the levy and the war-tax and the preoccupation of men's minds with still graver anxieties, it was found impossible to get the full number of plebeian tribunes elected. Then a struggle began to secure the co-optation of patricians into the vacant places. This proved to be impossible, but in order to weaken the authority of the Trebonian Law, it was arranged, doubtless through the influence of the patricians, that C. Lucerius and M. Acutius should be co-opted as tribunes of the plebs.


5.11

As chance would have it, Cnaeus Trebonius was tribune of the plebs that year, and he came forward as a champion of the Trebonian Law, as a duty apparently to his family and the name he bore. He declared in excited tones that the position which the senate had assailed, though they had been repulsed in their first attack, had been at last carried by the consular tribunes. The Trebonian Law had been set aside and the tribunes of the plebs had not been elected by the vote of the people, but co-opted at the command of the patricians, matters had now come to this pass, that they must have either patricians or the hangers-on to patricians as tribunes of the plebs. The Sacred Laws were being wrested from them, the power and authority of their tribunes was being torn away. This, he contended, was done through the craft and cunning of the patricians and the treacherous villainy of his colleagues. The flame of popular indignation was now beginning to scorch not only the senate, but even the tribunes of the plebs, co-opted and co-opters alike, when three members of the tribunitian college -P. Curatius, M. Metilius, and M. Minucius- trembling for their own safety, instituted proceedings against Sergius and Verginius, the consular tribunes of the preceding year. By fixing a day for their trial, they diverted from themselves on to these men the rage and resentment of the plebs. They reminded the people that those who had felt the burden of the levy, the war-tax, and the long duration of the war, those who were distressed at the defeat sustained at Veii, those whose homes were in mourning for the loss of children, brothers, and relations, had every one of them the right and the power to visit upon two guilty heads their own personal grief and that of the whole State. The responsibility for all their misfortunes rested on Sergius and Verginius; this was not more clearly proved by the prosecutor than admitted by the defendants, for whilst both were guilty, each threw the blame on the other, Verginius denouncing the flight of Sergius, and Sergius the treachery of Verginius. They had behaved with such incredible madness that it was in all probability a concerted plan earned out with the general connivance of the patricians. These men had previously given the Veientines an opening for firing the siege works, now they had betrayed the army and delivered a Roman camp up to the Faliscans. Everything was being done to compel their young men to grow old at Veii, and to make it impossible for their tribunes to secure the support of a full Assembly in the City either in their resistance to the concerted action of the senate, or for their proposals regarding the distribution of land and other measures in the interest of the plebs. Judgment had already been passed upon the accused by the senate, the Roman people, and their own colleagues, for it was a vote of the senate which removed them from office, it was their own colleagues who upon their refusal to resign, compelled them to do so by the threat of a Dictator, whilst it was the people who had elected consular tribunes to enter upon office, not on the usual day, December 13, but immediately after their election, on October 1, for the republic could no longer be safe if these men remained in office. And yet, shattered as they were by so many adverse verdicts, and condemned beforehand, they were presenting themselves for trial, and fancying that they had purged their offence and suffered an adequate punishment because they had been relegated to private life two months before the time. They did not understand that this was not the infliction of a penalty, but simply the depriving them of power to do further mischief, since their colleagues also had to resign, and they, at all events, had committed no offence. The tribunes continued. "Recall the feelings, Quirites, with which you heard of the disaster which we sustained and watched the army staggering through the gates, panic-stricken fugitives, covered with wounds, accusing not Fortune or any of the gods, but these generals of theirs. We are confident that there is not a man in this Assembly who did not on that day call down curses on the persons and homes and fortunes of L. Verginius and Manius Sergius. It would be utterly inconsistent for you not to use your power, when it is your right and duty to do so, against the men on whom each of you has called down the wrath of heaven. The gods never lay hands themselves on the guilty it is enough when they arm the injured with the opportunity for vengeance.


5.12

The passions of the plebs were roused by these speeches, and they sentenced the accused to a fine of 10,000 "ases" each, in spite of Sergius' attempt to throw the blame on Fortune and the chances of war, and Verginius' appeal that he might not be more unfortunate at home than he had been in the field. The turning of the popular indignation in this direction threw into the shade the memories of the co-optation of tribunes and the evasion of the Trebonian Law. As a reward to the plebeians for the sentence they had passed, the victorious tribunes at once gave notice of an agrarian measure. They also prevented contributions being paid in for the war-tax, though pay was required for all those armies, and such successes as had been gained only served to prevent any of the wars from being brought to a close. The camp at Veii which had been lost was recaptured and strengthened with forts and men to hold them. The consular tribunes, Manius Aemilius and Kaeso Fabius, were in command. M. Furius in the Faliscan territory and Cnaeus Cornelius in that of Capenae found no enemy outside his walls; booty was carried off and the territories were ravaged, the farms and crops being burnt. The towns were attacked, but not invested; Anxur, however, in the Volscian territory, and situated on high ground, defied all assaults, and after direct attack had proved fruitless, a regular investment by rampart and fosse was commenced. The conduct of the Volscian campaign had fallen to Valerius Potitus.

Whilst military affairs were in this position, internal troubles were more difficult to manage than the foreign wars. Owing to the tribunes, the war-tax could not be collected, nor the necessary funds remitted to the commanders; the soldiers clamoured for their pay, and it seemed as though the camp would be polluted by the contagion of the seditious spirit which prevailed in the City. Taking advantage of the exasperation of the plebs against the senate, the tribunes told them that the long wished for time had come for securing their liberties and transferring the highest office in the State from people like Sergius and Verginius to strong and energetic plebeians. They did not, however, get further in the exercise of their rights than to secure the election of one member of the plebs as consular tribune, viz., P. Licinius Calvus -the rest were patricians-P. Manlius, L. Titinus, P. Maelius, L. Furius Medullinus, and L. Popilius Volscus. The plebeians were no less surprised at such a success than the tribune-elect himself; he had not previously filled any high office of State, and was only a senator of long standing, and now advanced in years. Our authorities are not agreed as to the reason why he was selected first and foremost to taste the sweets of this new dignity. Some believe that he was thrust forward to so high a position through the popularity of his brother, Cnaeus Cornelius, who had been consular tribune the previous year, and had given triple pay to the "knights." Others attribute it to a well-timed speech he delivered on the agreement of the two orders, which was welcomed by both patricians and plebeians. In their exultation over this electoral victory, the tribunes of the plebs gave way over the war-tax, and so removed the greatest political difficulty. It was paid in without a murmur and remitted to the army.


5.13

The Volscian Anxur was recaptured owing to the laxity of the guard during a festival. The year was remarkable for such a cold and snowy winter that the roads were blocked and the Tiber rendered unnavigable. There was no change in the price of corn, owing to a previous accumulation of supplies. P. Licinius had won his position without exciting any disturbance, more to the delight of the people than to the annoyance of the senate, and he discharged his office in such a way that there was a general desire to choose the consular tribunes out of the plebeians at the next election. The only patrician candidate who secured a place was M. Veturius. The rest, who were plebeians, received the support of nearly all the centuries. Their names were M. Pomponius, Cnaeus Duilius, Volero Publilius, and Cnaeus Genucius. In consequence either of the unhealthy weather occasioned by the sudden change from cold to heat, or from some other cause, the severe winter was followed by a pestilential summer, which proved fatal to man and beast. As neither a cause nor a cure could be found for its fatal ravages, the senate ordered the Sibylline Books to be consulted. The priests who had charge of them appointed for the first time in Rome a lectisternium. Apollo and Latona, Diana and Hercules, Mercury and Neptune were for eight days propitiated on three couches decked with the most magnificent coverlets that could be obtained. Solemnities were conducted also in private houses. It is stated that throughout the City the front gates of the houses were thrown open and all sorts of things placed for general use in the open courts, all comers, whether acquaintances or strangers, being brought in to share the hospitality. Men who had been enemies held friendly and sociable conversations with each other and abstained from all litigation, the manacles even were removed from prisoners during this period, and afterwards it seemed an act of impiety that men to whom the gods had brought such relief should be put in chains again. In the meanwhile, at Veii there was increased alarm, created by the three wars being combined in one. For the men of Capenae and Falerii had suddenly arrived to relieve the city, and as on the former occasion, the Romans had to fight a back to back battle round the entrenchments against three armies. What helped them most of all was the recollection of the condemnation of Sergius and Verginius. From the main camp, where on the former occasion there had been inaction, forces were rapidly brought round and attacked the Capenates in the rear while their attention was concentrated on the Roman lines. The fighting which ensued created panic in the Faliscan ranks also, and whilst they were wavering, a well-timed charge from the camp routed them, and the victors, following them up, caused immense losses amongst them. Not long afterwards the troops who were devastating the territory of Capenae came upon them whilst straggling in disorder as though safe from attack, and those whom the battle had spared were annihilated. Of the Veientines also, many who were fleeing to the city were killed in front of the gates, which were closed to prevent the Romans from breaking in, and so the hindmost of the fugitives were shut out.


5.14

These were the occurrences of the year. And now the time for the election of consular tribunes was approaching. The senate was almost more anxious about this than about the war, for they recognised that they were not simply sharing the supreme power with the plebs, but had almost completely lost it. An understanding was come to by which their most distinguished members were to come forward as candidates; they believed that for very shame they would not be passed over. Besides this, they resorted to every expedient, just as if they were every one of them candidates, and called to their aid not men alone, but even the gods. They made a religious question of the last two elections. In the former year, they said, an intolerably severe winter had occurred which seemed to be a divine warning; in the last year they had not warnings only but the judgments themselves. The pestilence which had visited the country districts and the City was undoubtedly a mark of the divine displeasure, for it had been found in the Books of Fate that to avert that scourge the gods must be appeased. The auspices were taken before an election, and the gods deemed it an insult that the highest offices should be made common and the distinction of classes thrown into confusion. Men were awestruck not only by the dignity and rank of the candidates, but by the religious aspect of the question, and they elected all the consular tribunes from the patricians, the great majority being all men of high distinction. Those elected were L. Valerius Potitus-for the fifth time-M. Valerius Maximus, M. Furius Camillus-for the second time- L. Furius Medullinus-for the third time-Q. Servilius Fidenates-for the second time-and Q. Sulpicius Camerinus-for the second time. During their year of office nothing of any importance was done at Veii; their whole activity was confined to raids. Two of the commanders-in-chief carried off an enormous quantity of plunder-Potitus from Falerii and Camillus from Capenae. They left nothing behind which fire or sword could destroy.


5.15

During this period many portents were announced, but as they rested on the testimony of single individuals, and there were no soothsayers to consult as to how to expiate them, owing to the hostile attitude of the Etruscans, these reports were generally disbelieved and disregarded. One incident, however, caused universal anxiety. The Alban Lake rose to an unusual height, without any rainfall or other cause which could prevent the phenomenon from appearing supernatural. Envoys were sent to the oracle of Delphi to ascertain why the gods sent the portent. But an explanation was afforded nearer at hand. An aged Veientine was impelled by destiny to announce, amidst the jeers of the Roman and Etruscan outposts, in prophetic strain, that the Romans would never get possession of Veii until the water had been drawn off from the Alban Lake. This was at first treated as a wild utterance, but afterwards it began to be talked about. Owing to the length of the war, there were frequent conversations between the troops on both sides, and a Roman on outpost duty asked one of the townsmen who was nearest to him who the man was who was throwing out such dark hints about the Alban Lake. When he heard that he was a soothsayer, being himself a man not devoid of religious fears, he invited the prophet to an interview on the pretext of wishing to consult him, if he had time, about a portent which demanded his own personal expiation. When the two had gone some distance from their respective lines, unarmed, apprehending no danger, the Roman, a young man of immense strength, seized the feeble old man in the sight of all, and in spite of the outcry of the Etruscans, carried him off to his own side. He was brought before the commander-in-chief and then sent to the senate in Rome. In reply to inquiries as to what he wanted people to understand by his remark about the Alban Lake, he said that the gods must certainly have been wroth with the people of Veii on the day when they inspired him with the resolve to disclose the ruin which the Fates had prepared for his native city. What he had then predicted under divine inspiration he could not now recall or unsay, and perhaps he would incur as much guilt by keeping silence about things which it was the will of heaven should be revealed as by uttering what ought to be concealed. It stood recorded in the Books of Fate, and had been handed down by the occult science of the Etruscans, that whenever the water of the Alban Lake overflowed and the Romans drew it off in the appointed way, the victory over the Veientines would be granted them; until that happened the gods would not desert the walls of Veii. Then he explained the prescribed mode of drawing off the water. The senate, however, did not regard their informant as sufficiently trustworthy in a matter of such importance, and determined to wait for the return of their embassy with the oracular reply of the Pythian god.


5.16

Previous to their return, and before any way of dealing with the Alban portent was discovered, the new consular tribunes entered upon office. They were L. Julius Julus, L. Furius Medullinus-for the fourth time-L. Sergius Fidenas, A. Postumius Regillensis, P. Cornelius Maluginensis, and A. Manlius. This year a new enemy arose. The people of Tarquinii saw that the Romans were engaged in numerous campaigns-against the Volscians at Anxur, where the garrison was blockaded; against the Aequi at Labici, who were attacking the Roman colonists, and, in addition to these, at Veii, Falerii, and Capenae, whilst, owing to the contentions between the plebs and the senate, things were no quieter within the walls of the City. Regarding this as a favourable opportunity for mischief, they despatched some light-armed cohorts to harry the Roman territory, in the belief that the Romans would either let the outrage pass unpunished to avoid having another war on their shoulders, or would resent it with a small and weak force. The Romans felt more indignation than anxiety at the raid, and without making any great effort, took prompt steps to avenge it. A. Postumius and L. Julius raised a force, not by a regular levy-for they were obstructed by the tribunes of the plebs- but consisting mostly of volunteers whom they had induced by strong appeals to come forward. With this they advanced by cross marches through the territory of Caere and surprised the Tarquinians as they were returning heavily laden with booty. They slew great numbers, stripped the whole force of their baggage, and returned with the recovered possessions from their farms to Rome. Two days were allowed for the owners to identify their property; what was unclaimed on the third day, most of it belonging to the enemy, was sold "under the spear," and the proceeds distributed amongst the soldiers. The issues of the other wars, especially of that against Veii, were still undecided, and the Romans were already despairing of success through their own efforts, and were looking to the Fates and the gods, when the embassy returned from Delphi with the sentence of the oracle. It was in accord with the answer given by the Veientine soothsayer, and ran as follows:-

"See to it, Roman, that the rising flood At Alba flow not o'er its banks and shape Its channel seawards. Harmless through thy fields Shalt thou disperse it, scattered into rills. Then fiercely press upon thy foeman's walls, For now the Fates have given thee victory. That city which long years thou hast besieged Shall now be thine. And when the war hath end, Do thou, the victor, bear an ample gift Into my temple, and the ancestral rites Now in disuse, see that thou celebrate Anew with all their wonted pomp."


5.17

From that time the captive prophet began to be held in very high esteem, and the consular tribunes, Cornelius and Postumius, began to make use of him for the expiation of the Alban portent and the proper method of appeasing the gods. At length it was discovered why the gods were visiting men for neglected ceremonies and religious duties unperformed. It was in fact due to nothing else but the fact that there was a flaw in the election of the magistrates, and consequently they had not proclaimed the Festival of the Latin League and the sacrifice on the Alban Mount with the due formalities. There was only one possible mode of expiation, and that was that the consular tribunes should resign office, the auspices to be taken entirely afresh, and an interrex appointed. All these measures were earned out by a decree of the senate. There were three interreges in succession-L. Valerius, Q. Servilius Fidenas, and M. Furius Camillus. During all this time there were incessant disturbances owing to the tribunes of the plebs hindering the elections until an understanding was come to that the majority of the consular tribunes should be elected from the plebeians. Whilst this was going on the national council of Etruria met at the Fane of Voltumna. The Capenates and the Faliscans demanded that all the cantons of Etruria should unite in common action to raise the siege of Veii; they were told in reply that assistance had been previously refused to the Veientines because they had no right to seek help from those whose advice they had not sought in a matter of such importance. Now, however, it was their unfortunate circumstances and not their will that compelled them to refuse. The Gauls, a strange and unknown race, had recently overrun the greatest part of Etruria, and they were not on terms of either assured peace or open war with them. They would, however, do this much for those of their blood and name, considering the imminent danger of their kinsmen-if any of their younger men volunteered for the war they would not prevent their going. The report spread in Rome that a large number had reached Veii, and in the general alarm the internal dissensions, as usual, began to calm down.


5.18

The prerogative centuries elected P. Licinius Calvus consular tribune, though he was not a candidate. His appointment was not at all distasteful to the senate, for when in office before he had shown himself a man of moderate views. He was, however, advanced in years. As the voting proceeded it became clear that all who had been formerly his colleagues in office were being reappointed one after another. They were L. Titinius, P. Maenius, Q. Manlius, Cnaeus Genucius, and L. Atilius. After the tribes had been duly summoned to hear the declaration of the poll, but before it was actually published, P. Licinius Calvus, by permission of the interrex, spoke as follows: "I see, Quirites, that from what you remember of our former tenure of office, you are seeking in these elections an omen of concord for the coming year, a thing most of all helpful in the present state of affairs. But, whilst you are re-electing my old comrades, who have become wiser and stronger by experience, you see in me not the man I was, but only a mere shadow and name of P. Licinius. My bodily powers are worn out, my sight and hearing are impaired, my memory is failing, my mental vigour is dulled. Here," he said, holding his son by the hand, "is a young man, the image and counterpart of him whom in days gone by you elected as the first consular tribune taken from the ranks of the plebs. This young man whom I have trained and moulded I now hand over and dedicate to the republic to take my place, and I beg you, Quirites, to confer this honour which you have bestowed unsought on me, on him who is seeking it, and whose candidature I would fain support and further by my prayers." His request was granted, and his son P. Licinius was formally announced as consular tribune with those above mentioned. Titinius and Genucius marched against the Faliscans and Capenates, but they proceeded with more courage than caution and fell into an ambuscade. Genucius atoned for his rashness by an honourable death, and fell fighting amongst the foremost. Titinius rallied his men from the disorder into which they had fallen and gained some rising ground where he reformed his line, but would not come down to continue the fight on level terms.

More disgrace was incurred than loss, but it almost resulted in a terrible disaster, so great was the alarm it created not only in Rome, where very exaggerated accounts were received, but also in the camp before Veii. Here a rumour had gained ground that after the destruction of the generals and their army, the victorious Capenates and Faliscans and the whole military strength of Etruria had proceeded to Veii and were at no great distance; in consequence of this the soldiers were with difficulty restrained from taking to flight. Still more disquieting rumours were current in Rome; at one moment they imagined that the camp before Veii had been stormed, at another that a part of the enemies' forces was in full march to the City. They hurried to the walls; the matrons, whom the general alarm had drawn from their homes, made prayers and supplications in the temples; solemn petitions were offered up to the gods that they would ward off destruction from the houses and temples of the City and from the walls of Rome, and divert the fears and alarms to Veii if the sacred rites had been duly restored and the portents expiated.


5.19

By this time the Games and the Latin Festival had been celebrated afresh, and the water drawn off from the Alban Lake on the fields, and now the fated doom was closing over Veii. Accordingly the commander destined by the Fates for the destruction of that city and the salvation of his country-M. Furius Camillus-was nominated Dictator. He appointed as his Master of the Horse P. Cornelius Scipio. With the change in the command everything else suddenly changed; men's hopes were different, their spirits were different, even the fortunes of the City wore a different aspect. His first measure was to execute military justice upon those who had fled during the panic from the camp, and he made the soldiers realise that it was not the enemy who was most to be feared. He then appointed a day for the enrolment of troops, and in the interim went to Veii to encourage the soldiers, after which he returned to Rome to raise a fresh army. Not a man tried to escape enlistment. Even foreign troops-Latins and Hernicans-came to offer assistance for the war. The Dictator formally thanked them in the senate, and as all the preparations for war were now sufficiently advanced, he vowed, in pursuance of a senatorial decree, that on the capture of Veii he would celebrate the Great Games and restore and dedicate the temple of Matuta the Mother, which had been originally dedicated by Servius Tullius. He left the City with his army amid a general feeling of anxious expectation rather than of hopeful confidence on the part of the citizens, and his first engagement was with the Faliscans and Capenates in the territory of Nepete. As usual where everything was managed with consummate skill and prudence, success followed. He not only defeated the enemy in the field, but he stripped them of their camp and secured immense booty. The greater part was sold and the proceeds paid over to the quaestor, the smaller share was given to the soldiers. From there the army was led to Veii. The forts were constructed more closely together. Frequent skirmishes had occurred at random in the space between the city wall and the Roman lines, and an edict was issued that none should fight without orders, thereby keeping the soldiers to the construction of the siege works. By far the greatest and most difficult of these was a mine which was commenced, and designed to lead into the enemies' citadel. That the work might not be interrupted, or the troops exhausted by the same men being continuously employed in underground labour, he formed the army into six divisions. Each division was told off in rotation to work for six hours at a time; the work went on without any intermission until they had made a way into the citadel.


5.20

When the Dictator saw that victory was now within his grasp, that a very wealthy city was on the point of capture, and that there would be more booty than had been amassed in all the previous wars taken together, he was anxious to avoid incurring the anger of the soldiers through too niggardly a distribution of it on the one hand, and the jealousy of the senate through too lavish a grant of it on the other. He sent a despatch to the senate in which he stated that through the gracious favour of heaven, his own generalship, and the persevering efforts of his soldiers, Veii would in a very few hours be in the power of Rome, and he asked for their decision as to the disposal of the booty. The senate were divided. It is reported that the aged P. Licinius, who was the first to be asked his opinion by his son, urged that the people should receive public notice that whoever wanted to share in the spoils should go to the camp at Veii. Appius Claudius took the opposite line. He stigmatised the proposed largesse as unprecedented, wasteful, unfair, reckless. If, he said, they once thought it sinful for money taken from the enemy to lie in the treasury, drained as it had been by the wars, he would advise that the pay of the soldiers be supplied from that source, so that the plebs might have so much less tax to pay. "The homes of all would feel alike the benefit of a common boon, the rewards won by brave warriors would not be filched by the hands of city loafers, ever greedy for plunder, for it so constantly happens that those who usually seek the foremost place in toil and danger are the least active in appropriating the spoils." Licinius on the other hand said that "this money would always be regarded with suspicion and aversion, and would supply material for indictments before the plebs, and consequently bring about disturbances and revolutionary measures. It was better, therefore, that the plebs should be conciliated by this gift, that those who had been crushed and exhausted by so many years of taxation should be relieved and get some enjoyment from the spoils of a war in which they had almost become old men. When any one brings home something he has taken from the enemy with his own hand, it affords him more pleasure and gratification than if he were to receive many times its value at the bidding of another. The Dictator had referred the question to the senate because he wanted to avoid the odium and misrepresentations which it might occasion; the senate, in its turn, ought to entrust it to the plebs and allow each to keep what the fortune of war has given him." This was felt to be the safer course, as it would make the senate popular. Notice accordingly was given that those who thought fit should go to the Dictator in camp to share in the plunder of Veii.


5.21

An enormous crowd went and filled the camp. After the Dictator had taken the auspices and issued orders for the soldiers to arm for battle, he uttered this prayer: "Pythian Apollo, guided and inspired by thy will I go forth to destroy the city of Veii, and a tenth part of its spoils I devote to thee. Thee too, Queen Juno, who now dwellest in Veii, I beseech, that thou wouldst follow us, after our victory, to the City which is ours and which will soon be shine, where a temple worthy of thy majesty will receive thee." After this prayer, finding himself superior in numbers, he attacked the city on all sides, to distract the enemies' attention from the impending danger of the mine. The Veientines, all unconscious that their doom had already been sealed by their own prophets and by oracles in foreign lands, that some of the gods had already been invited to their share in the spoils, whilst others, called upon in prayer to leave their city, were looking to new abodes in the temples of their foes; all unconscious that they were spending their last day, without the slightest suspicion that their walls had been undermined and their citadel already filled with the enemy, hurried with their weapons to the walls, each as best he could, wondering what had happened to make the Romans, after never stirring from their lines for so many days, now run recklessly up to the walls as though struck with sudden frenzy.

At this point a tale is introduced to the effect that whilst the king of the Veientines was offering sacrifice, the soothsayer announced that victory would be granted to him who had cut out the sacrificial parts of the victim, His words were heard by the soldiers in the mine, they burst through, seized the parts and carried them to the Dictator. But in questions of such remote antiquity I should count it sufficient if what bears the stamp of probability be taken as true. Statements like this, which are more fitted to adorn a stage which delights in the marvellous than to inspire belief, it is not worth while either to affirm or deny. The mine, which was now full of picked soldiers, suddenly discharged its armed force in the temple of Juno, which was inside the citadel of Veii. Some attacked the enemy on the walls from behind, others forced back the bars of the gates, others again set fire to the houses from which stones and tiles were being hurled by women and slaves. Everything resounded with the confused noise of terrifying threats and shrieks of despairing anguish blended with the wailing of women and children. In a very short time the defenders were driven from the walls and the city gates flung open. Some rushed in in close order, others scaled the deserted walls; the city was filled with Romans; fighting went on everywhere. At length, after great carnage, the fighting slackened, and the Dictator ordered the heralds to proclaim that the unarmed were to be spared. That put a stop to the bloodshed, those who were unarmed began to surrender, and the soldiers dispersed with the Dictator's permission in quest of booty. This far surpassed all expectation both in its amount and its value, and when the Dictator saw it before him he is reported to have raised his hands to heaven and prayed that if any of the gods deemed the good fortune which had befallen him and the Romans to be too great, the jealousy which it caused might be allayed by such a calamity as would be least injurious to him and to Rome. The tradition runs that whilst he was turning round during this devotion he stumbled and fell. To those who judged after the event it appeared as if that omen pointed to Camillus' own condemnation and the subsequent capture of Rome which occurred a few years later. That day was spent in the massacre of the enemy and the sack of the city with its enormous wealth.


5.22

The following day the Dictator sold all freemen who had been spared, as slaves. The money so realised was the only amount paid into the public treasury, but even that proceeding roused the ire of the plebs. As for the spoil they brought home with them, they did not acknowledge themselves under any obligation for it either to their general, who, they thought, had referred a matter within his own competence to the senate in the hope of getting their authority for his niggardliness, nor did they feel any gratitude to the senate. It was the Licinian family to whom they gave the credit, for it was the father who had advocated the popular measure and the son who had taken the opinion of the senate upon it. When all that belonged to man had been carried away from Veii, they began to remove from the temples the votive gifts that had been made to the gods, and then the gods themselves; but this they did as worshippers rather than as plunderers. The deportation of Queen Juno to Rome was entrusted to a body of men selected from the whole army, who after performing their ablutions and arraying themselves in white vestments, reverently entered the temple and in a spirit of holy dread placed their hands on the statue, for it was as a rule only the priest of one particular house who, by Etruscan usage, touched it. Then one of them, either under a sudden inspiration, or in a spirit of youthful mirth, said, "Art thou willing, Juno, to go to Rome?" The rest exclaimed that the goddess nodded assent. An addition to the story was made to the effect that she was heard to say, "I am willing." At all events we have it that she was moved from her place by appliances of little power, and proved light and easy of transport, as though she were following of her own accord. She was brought without mishap to the Aventine, her everlasting seat, whither the prayers of the Roman Dictator had called her, and where this same Camillus afterwards dedicated the temple which he had vowed. Such was the fall of Veii, the most wealthy city of the Etruscan league, showing its greatness even in its final overthrow, since after being besieged for ten summers and winters and inflicting more loss than it sustained, it succumbed at last to destiny, being after all carried by a mine and not by direct assault.


5.23

Although the portents had been averted by due expiation and the answers given by the soothsayer and the oracle were matters of common knowledge, and all that man could do had been done by the selection of M. Furius, the greatest of all commanders-notwithstanding all this, when the capture of Veii was announced in Rome, after so many years of undecided warfare and numerous defeats, the rejoicing was as great as if there had been no hope of success. Anticipating the order of the senate, all the temples were filled with Roman mothers offering thanksgivings to the gods. The senate ordered that the public thanksgivings should be continued for four days, a longer period than for any previous war. The arrival of the Dictator, too, whom all classes poured out to meet, was welcomed by a greater concourse than that of any general before. His triumph went far beyond the usual mode of celebrating the day; himself the most conspicuous object of all, he was drawn into the City by a team of white horses, which men thought unbecoming even for a mortal man, let alone a Roman citizen. They saw with superstitious alarm the Dictator putting himself on a level in his equipage with Jupiter and Sol, and this one circumstance made his triumph more brilliant than popular. After this he signed a contract for building the temple of Queen Juno on the Aventine and dedicated one to Matuta the Mother. After having thus discharged his duties to gods and men he resigned his Dictatorship. Subsequently a difficulty arose about the offering to Apollo. Camillus stated that he had vowed a tenth of the spoils to the deity, and the college of pontiffs decided that the people must fulfil their religious obligation. But it was not easy to find a way of ordering the people to restore their share of booty so that the due proportion might be set apart for sacred purposes. At length recourse was had to what seemed the smoothest plan, namely, that any one who wished to discharge the obligation for himself and his household should make a valuation of his share and contribute the value of a tenth of it to the public treasury, in order that out of the proceeds a golden crown might be made, worthy of the grandeur of the temple and the august divinity of the god, and such as the honour of the Roman people demanded. This contribution still further estranged the feelings of the plebeians from Camillus. During these occurrences envoys from the Volscians and Aequi came to sue for peace. They succeeded in obtaining it, not so much because they deserved it as that the commonwealth, wearied with such a long war, might enjoy repose.


5.24

The year following the capture of Veii had for the six consular tribunes two of the Publii Cornelii, namely, Cossus and Scipio, M. Valerius Maximus-for the second time- Caeso Fabius Ambustus-for the third time-L. Furius Medullinus-for the fifth time-and Q. Servilius-for the third time. The war against the Faliscans was allotted to the Cornelii, that against Capenae to Valerius and Servilius. They did not make any attempt to take cities either by assault or investment, but confined themselves to ravaging the country and carrying off the property of the agriculturists; not a single fruit tree, no produce whatever, was left on the land. These losses broke the resistance of the Capenates, they sued for peace and it was granted them. Amongst the Faliscans the war went on. In Rome, meanwhile, disturbances arose on various matters. In order to quiet them it had been decided to plant a colony on the Volscian frontier, and the names of 3000 Roman citizens were entered for it. Triumvirs appointed for the purpose had divided the land into lots of 3 7/12 jugera per man. This grant began to be looked upon with contempt, they regarded it as a sop offered to them to divert them from hoping for something better. "Why," they asked, "were plebeians to be sent into banishment amongst the Volscians when the splendid city of Veii and the territory of the Veientines was within view, more fertile and more ample than the territory of Rome?" Whether in respect of its situation or of the magnificence of its public and private buildings and its open spaces, they gave that city the preference over Rome. They even brought forward a proposal, which met with still more support after the capture of Rome by the Gauls, for migrating to Veii. They intended, however, that Veii should be inhabited by a portion of the plebs and a part of the senate; they thought it a feasible project that two separate cities should be inhabited by the Roman people and form one State. In opposition to these proposals, the nobility went so far as to declare that they would sooner die before the eyes of the Roman people than that any of those schemes should be put to the vote. If, they argued, there was so much dissension in one city, what would there be in two? Could any one possibly prefer a conquered to a conquering city, and allow Veii to enjoy a greater good fortune after its capture than while it stood safe? It was possible that in the end they might be left behind in their native City by their fellow-citizens, but no power on earth would compel them to abandon their native City and their fellow-citizens in order to follow T. Sicinius-the proposer of this measure-to Veii as its new founder, and so abandon Romulus, a god and the son of a god, the father and creator of the City of Rome.


5.25

This discussion was attended by disgraceful quarrels, for the senate had drawn over a section of the tribunes of the plebs to their view, and the only thing that restrained the plebeians from offering personal violence was the use which the patricians made of their personal influence. Whenever shouts were raised to get up a brawl, the leaders of the senate were the first to go into the crowd and tell them to vent their rage on them, to beat and kill them. The mob shrank from offering violence to men of their age and rank and distinction, and this feeling prevented them from attacking the other patricians. Camillus went about delivering harangues everywhere, and saying that it was no wonder that the citizens had gone mad, for though bound by a vow, they showed more anxiety about everything than about discharging their religious obligations. He would say nothing about the contribution, which was really a sacred offering rather than a tithe, and since each individual bound himself to a tenth, the State, as such, was free from the obligation. But his conscience would not allow him to keep silence about the assertion that the tenth only applied to movables, and that no mention was made of the city and its territory, which were also really included in the vow. As the senate considered the question a difficult one to decide, they referred it to the pontiffs, and Camillus was invited to discuss it with them. They decided that of all that had belonged to the Veientines before the vow was uttered and had subsequently passed into the power of Rome, a tenth part was sacred to Apollo. Thus the city and territory came into the estimate. The money was drawn from the treasury, and the consular tribunes were commissioned to purchase gold with it. As there was not a sufficient supply, the matrons, after meeting to talk the matter over, made themselves by common consent responsible to the tribunes for the gold, and sent all their trinkets to the treasury. The senate were in the highest degree grateful for this, and the tradition goes that in return for this munificence the matrons had conferred upon them the honour of driving to sacred festivals and games in a carriage, and on holy days and work days in a two-wheeled car. The gold received from each was appraised in order that the proper amount of money might be paid for it, and it was decided that a golden bowl should be made and carried to Delphi as a gift to Apollo. When the religious question no longer claimed their attention, the tribunes of the plebs renewed their agitation; the passions of the populace were aroused against all the leading men, most of all against Camillus. They said that by devoting the spoils of Veii to the State and to the gods he had reduced them to nothing. They attacked the senators furiously in their absence; when they were present and confronted their rage, shame kept them silent. As soon as the plebeians saw that the matter would be carried over into the following year, they reappointed the supporters of the proposal as their tribunes; the patricians devoted themselves to securing the same support for those who had vetoed the proposal. Consequently, nearly all the same tribunes of the plebs were re-elected.


5.26

In the election of consular tribunes the patricians succeeded by the utmost exertions in securing the return of M. Furius Camillus. They pretended that in view of the wars they were providing themselves with a general; their real object was to get a man who would oppose the corrupt policy of the plebeian tribunes. His comrades in the tribuneship were L. Furius Medullinus-for the sixth time-C. Aemilius, L. Valerius Publicola, S. Postumius, and P. Cornelius- for the second time. At the beginning of the year the tribunes of the plebs made no move until Camillus left for operations against the Faliscans, the theatre of war assigned to him. This delay took the heart out of their agitation, whilst Camillus, the adversary whom they most dreaded, was gaining fresh glory amongst the Faliscans. At first the enemy kept within their walls, thinking this the safest course, but by devastating their fields and burning their farms he compelled them to come outside their city. They were afraid to go very far, and fixed their camp about a mile away; the only thing which gave them any sense of security was the difficulty of approaching it, as all the country round was rough and broken, and the roads narrow in some parts, in others steep. Camillus, however, had gained information from a prisoner captured in the neighbourhood, and made him act as guide. After breaking up his camp in the dead of night, he showed himself at daybreak in a position considerably higher than the enemy. The Romans of the third line began to entrench, the rest of the army stood ready for battle. When the enemy attempted to hinder the work of entrenchment, he defeated them and put them to flight, and such a panic seized the Faliscans that in their disorderly flight they were carried past their own camp, which was nearer to them, and made for their city. Many were killed and wounded before they could get inside their gates. The camp was taken, the booty sold, and the proceeds paid over to the quaestors, to the intense indignation of the soldiers, but they were overawed by the sternness of their general's discipline, and though they hated his firmness, at the same time they admired it. The city was now invested and regular siege-works were constructed. For some time the townsmen used to attack the Roman outposts whenever they saw an opportunity, and frequent skirmishes took place. Time went on and hope inclined to neither side; corn and other supplies had been previously collected, and the besieged were better provisioned than the besiegers. The task seemed likely to be as long as it had been at Veii, had not fortune given the Roman commander an opportunity of displaying that greatness of mind which had already been proved in deeds of war, and so secured him an early victory.


5.27

It was the custom of the Faliscans to employ the same person as the master and also as the attendant of their children, and several boys used to be entrusted to one man's care; a custom which prevails in Greece at the present time. Naturally, the man who had the highest reputation for learning was appointed to instruct the children of the principal men. This man had started the practice, in the time of peace, of taking the boys outside the gates for games and exercise, and he kept up the practice after the war had begun, taking them sometimes a shorter, sometimes a longer distance from the city gate. Seizing a favourable opportunity, he kept up the games and the conversations longer than usual, and went on till he was in the midst of the Roman outposts. He then took them into the camp and up to Camillus in the headquarters tent. There he aggravated his villainous act by a still more villainous utterance. He had, he said, given Falerii into the hands of the Romans, since those boys, whose fathers were at the head of affairs in the city, were now placed in their power. On hearing this Camillus replied, "You, villain, have not come with your villainous offer to a nation or a commander like yourself. Between us and the Faliscans there is no fellowship based on a formal compact as between man and man, but the fellowship which is based on natural instincts exists between us, and will continue to do so. There are rights of war as there are rights of peace, and we have learnt to wage our wars with justice no less than with courage. We do not use our weapons against those of an age which is spared even in the capture of cities, but against those who are armed as we are, and who without any injury or provocation from us attacked the Roman camp at Veii. These men you, as far as you could, have vanquished by an unprecedented act of villainy; I shall vanquish them as I vanquished Veii, by Roman arts, by courage and strategy and force of arms." He then ordered him to be stripped and his hands tied behind his back, and delivered him up to the boys to be taken back to Falerii, and gave them rods with which to scourge the traitor into the city. The people came in crowds to see the sight, the magistrates thereupon convened the senate to discuss the extraordinary incident, and in the end such a revulsion of feeling took place that the very people who in the madness of their rage and hatred would almost sooner have shared the fate of Veii than obtained the peace which Capena enjoyed, now found themselves in company with the whole city asking for peace. The Roman sense of honour, the commander's love of justice, were in all men's mouths in the forum and in the senate, and in accordance with the universal wish, ambassadors were despatched to Camillus in the camp, and with his sanction to the senate in Rome, to make the surrender of Falerii.

On being introduced to the senate, they are reported to have made the following speech: "Senators! vanquished by you and your general through a victory which none, whether god or man, can censure, we surrender ourselves to you, for we think it better to live under your sway than under our own laws, and this is the greatest glory that a conqueror can attain. Through the issue of this war two salutary precedents have been set for mankind. You have preferred the honour of a soldier to a victory which was in your hands; we, challenged by your good faith, have voluntarily given you that victory. We are at your disposal; send men to receive our arms, to receive the hostages, to receive the city whose gates stand open to you. Never shall you have cause to complain of our loyalty, nor we of your rule." Thanks were accorded to Camillus both by the enemy and by his own countrymen. The Faliscans were ordered to supply the pay of the troops for that year, in order that the Roman people might be free from the war-tax. After the peace was granted, the army was marched back to Rome.


5.28

After thus subduing the enemy by his justice and good faith, Camillus returned to the City invested with a much nobler glory than when white horses drew him through it in his triumph. The senate could not withstand the delicate reproof of his silence, but at once proceeded to free him from his vow. L. Valerius, L. Sergius, and A. Manlius were appointed as a deputation to carry the golden bowl, made as a gift to Apollo, to Delphi, but the solitary warship in which they were sailing was captured by Liparean pirates not far from the Straits of Sicily, and taken to the islands of Liparae. Piracy was regarded as a kind of State institution, and it was the custom for the government to distribute the plunder thus acquired. That year the supreme magistracy was held by Timasitheus, a man more akin to the Romans in character than to his own countrymen. As he himself reverenced the name and office of the ambassadors, the gift they had in charge and the god to whom it was being sent, so he inspired the multitude, who generally share the views of their ruler, with a proper religious sense of their duty. The deputation were conducted to the State guest-house, and from there sent on their way to Delphi with a protecting escort of ships, he then brought them back safe to Rome. Friendly relations were established with him on the part of the State, and presents bestowed upon him.

During this year there was war with the Aequi of so undecided a character that it was a matter of uncertainty, both in the armies themselves and in Rome, whether they were victorious or vanquished. The two consular tribunes, C. Aemilius and Spurius Postumius, were in command of the Roman army. At first they carried on joint operations; after the enemy had been routed in the field, they arranged that Aemilius should hold Verrugo whilst Postumius devastated their. territory. Whilst he was marching somewhat carelessly after his success, with his men out of order, he was attacked by the Aequi, and such a panic ensued that his troops were driven to the nearest hills, and the alarm spread even to the other army at Verrugo. After they had retreated to a safe position, Postumius summoned his men to assembly and severely rebuked them for their panic and flight, and for having been routed by such a cowardly and easily defeated foe. With one voice the army exclaimed that his reproaches were deserved; they had, they confessed behaved disgracefully, but they would themselves repair their fault, the enemy would not long have cause for rejoicing. They asked him to lead them at once against the enemy's camp- it was in full view down in the plain-and no punishment would be too severe if they failed to take it before nightfall. He commended their eagerness, and ordered them to refresh themselves and to be ready by the fourth watch. The enemy, expecting the Romans to attempt a nocturnal flight from their hill, were posted to cut them off from the road leading to Verrugo. The action commenced before dawn, but as there was a moon all night, the battle was as clearly visible as if it had been fought by day. The shouting reached Verrugo, and they believed that the Roman camp was being attacked. This created such a panic that in spite of all the appeals of Aemilius in his efforts to restrain them, the garrison broke away and fled in scattered groups to Tusculum. Thence the rumour was carried to Rome that Postumius and his army were slain. As soon as the rising dawn had removed all apprehensions of a surprise in case the pursuit was carried too far, Postumius rode down the ranks demanding the fulfilment of their promise. The enthusiasm of the troops was so roused that the Aequi no longer withstood the attack. Then followed a slaughter of the fugitives, such as might be expected where men are actuated by rage even more than by courage; the army was destroyed. The doleful report from Tusculum and the groundless fears of the City were followed by a laurelled despatch from Postumius announcing the victory of Rome and the annihilation of the Aequian army.


5.29

As the agitation of the tribunes of the plebs had so far been without result, the plebeians exerted themselves to secure the continuance in office of the proposers of the land measure, whilst the patricians strove for the re-election of those who had vetoed it. The plebeians, however, carried the election, and the senate in revenge for this mortification passed a resolution for the appointment of consuls, the magistracy which the plebs detested. After fifteen years, consuls were once more elected in the persons of L. Lucretius Flavus and Servius Sulpicius Camerinus. At the beginning of the year, as none of their college was disposed to interpose his veto, the tribunes were combined in a determined effort to carry their measure, while the consuls, for the same reason, offered a no less strenuous resistance. Whilst all the citizens were preoccupied with this struggle, the Aequi successfully attacked the Roman colony at Vitellia, which was situated in their territory. Most of the colonists were uninjured, for the fact of its treacherous capture taking place in the night gave them the chance of escaping in the opposite direction from the enemy and reaching Rome. That field of operations fell to L. Lucretius. He advanced against the enemy and defeated them in a regular engagement, and then came back victorious to Rome, where a still more serious contest awaited him.

A day had been fixed for the prosecution of A. Verginius and Q. Pomponius, who had been tribunes of the plebs two years previously. The senate unanimously agreed that their honour was concerned in defending them, for no one brought any charge against them touching their private life or their public action; the only ground of indictment was that it was to please the senate that they had exercised their veto. The influence of the senate, however, was overborne by the angry temper of the plebeians, and a most vicious precedent was set by the condemnation of those innocent men to a fine of 10,000 "ases" each. The senate were extremely distressed. Camillus openly accused the plebeians of treason in turning against their own magistrates because they did not see that through this iniquitous judgment they had taken from their tribunes the power of veto, and in depriving them of that had overthrown their power. They were deceived if they expected the senate to put up with the absence of any restraint upon the licence of that magistracy. If the violence of tribunes could not be met by the veto of tribunes, the senate would find another weapon. He poured blame on the consuls also for having silently allowed the honour of the State to be compromised in the case of tribunes who had followed the instructions of the senate. By openly repeating these charges he embittered the feeling of the populace more every day.


5.30

The senate, on the other hand, he was perpetually inciting to oppose the measure. They must not, he said, go down to the Forum, when the day came for voting on it, in any other temper than that of men who realised that they would have to fight for their hearths and altars, for the temples of the gods, and even for the soil on which they had been born. As for himself, if he dared to think of his own reputation when his country's existence was at stake, it would be indeed an honour to him that the city which he had taken should become a popular resort, that that memorial of his glory should give him daily delight, that he should have before his eyes the city which had been carried in his triumphal procession, and that all should tread in the track of his renown. But he considered it an offence against heaven for a city to be repeopled after it had been deserted and abandoned by the gods, or for the Roman people to dwell on a soil enslaved and change the conquering country for a conquered one. Roused by these appeals of their leader, the senators, old and young, came down in a body to the Forum when the proposal was being put to the vote. They dispersed among the tribes, and each taking his fellow-tribesmen by the hand, implored them with tears not to desert the fatherland, for which they and their fathers had fought so bravely and so successfully. They pointed to the Capitol, the temple of Vesta, and the other divine temples round them, and besought them not to drive the Roman people, as homeless exiles, from their ancestral soil and their household gods into the city of their foes. They even went so far as to say that it were better that Veii had never been taken than that Rome should be deserted. As they were having recourse not to violence but to entreaties, and were interspersing their entreaties with frequent mention of the gods, it became for the majority of voters a religious question and the measure was defeated by a majority of one tribe. The senate were so delighted at their victory that on the following day a resolution was passed, at the instance of the consuls, that seven jugera of the Veientine territory should be allotted to each plebeian, and not to the heads of families only, account was taken of all the children in the house, that men might be willing to bring up children in the hope that they would receive their share.


5.31

This bounty soothed the feelings of the plebs, and no opposition was offered to the election of consuls. The two elected were L. Valerius Potitus and M. Manlius, who afterwards received the title of Capitolinus. They celebrated the "Great Games" which M. Furius had vowed when Dictator in the Veientine war. In the same year the temple of Queen Juno, which he had also vowed at the same time, was dedicated, and the tradition runs that this dedication excited great interest amongst the matrons, who were present in large numbers. An unimportant campaign was conducted against the Aequi on Algidus; the enemy were routed almost before they came to close quarters. Valerius had shown greater energy in following up the fugitives; he was accordingly decreed a triumph; Manlius an ovation. In the same year a new enemy appeared in the Volsinians. Owing to famine and pestilence in the district round Rome, in consequence of excessive heat and drought, it was impossible for an army to march. This emboldened the Volsinians in conjunction with the Salpinates to make inroads upon Roman territory. Thereupon war was declared against the two States. C. Julius, the censor, died, and M. Cornelius was appointed in his place. This proceeding was afterwards regarded as an offence against religion because it was during that lustrum that Rome was taken, and no one has ever since been appointed as censor in the room of one deceased. The consuls were attacked by the epidemic, so it was decided that the auspices should be taken afresh by an interrex. The consuls accordingly resigned office in compliance with a resolution of the senate, and M. Furius Camillus was appointed interrex. He appointed P. Cornelius Scipio as his successor, and Scipio appointed L. Valerius Potitus. The last named appointed six consular tribunes, so that if any of them became incapacitated through illness there might still be a sufficiency of magistrates to administer the republic.


5.32

These were L. Lucretius, Servius Sulpicius, M. Aemilius, L. Furius Medullinus -for the seventh time-Agrippa Furius, and C. Aemilius-for the second time. They entered upon office on the 1st of July. L. Lucretius and C. Aemilius were charged with the campaign against the Volsinians; Agrippa Furius and Servius Sulpicius with the one against the Salpinates. The first action took place with the Volsinians; an immense number of the enemy were engaged, but the fighting was by no means severe. Their line was scattered at the first shock; 8000 who were surrounded by the cavalry laid down their arms and surrendered. On hearing of this battle the Salpinates would not trust themselves to a regular engagement in the field, but sought the protection of their walls. The Romans carried off plunder in all directions from both the Salpinate and Volsinian territories without meeting any resistance. At last the Volsinians, tired of the war, obtained a truce for twenty years on condition that they paid an indemnity for their previous raid and supplied the year's pay for the army. It was in this year that Marcus Caedicius, a member of the plebs, reported to the tribunes that whilst he was in the Via Nova where the chapel now stands, above the temple of Vesta, he heard in the silence of the night a voice more powerful than any human voice bidding the magistrates be told that the Gauls were approaching. No notice was taken of this, partly owing to the humble rank of the informant, and partly because the Gauls were a distant and therefore an unknown nation. It was not the monitions of the gods only that were set at nought in face of the coming doom. The one human aid which they had against it, M. Furius Camillus, was removed from the City. He was impeached by the plebeian tribune L. Apuleius for his action with reference to the spoils of Veii, and at the time had just been bereaved of his son. He invited the members of his tribe and his clients, who formed a considerable part of the plebs, to his house and sounded their feelings towards him. They told him that they would pay whatever fine was imposed, but it was impossible for them to acquit him. Thereupon he went into exile, after offering up a prayer to the immortal gods that if he were suffering wrongfully as an innocent man, they would make his ungrateful citizens very soon feel the need of him. He was condemned in his absence to pay a fine of 15,000 "ases."


5.33

After the expulsion of that citizen whose presence, if there is anything certain in human affairs, would have made the capture of Rome impossible, the doom of the fated City swiftly approached. Ambassadors came from Clusium begging for assistance against the Gauls. The tradition is that this nation, attracted by the report of the delicious fruits and especially of the wine-a novel pleasure to them-crossed the Alps and occupied the lands formerly cultivated by the Etruscans, and that Arruns of Clusium imported wine into Gaul in order to allure them into Italy. His wife had been seduced by a Lucumo, to whom he was guardian, and from whom, being a young man of considerable influence, it was impossible to get redress without getting help from abroad. In revenge, Arruns led the Gauls across the Alps and prompted them to attack Clusium. I would not deny that the Gauls were conducted to Clusium by Arruns or some one else living there, but it is quite clear that those who attacked that city were not the first who crossed the Alps. As a matter of fact, Gauls crossed into Italy two centuries before they attacked Clusium and took Rome. Nor were the Clusines the first Etruscans with whom the Gaulish armies came into conflict; long before that they had fought many battles with the Etruscans who dwelt between the Apennines and the Alps. Before the Roman supremacy, the power of the Tuscans was widely extended both by sea and land. How far it extended over the two seas by which Italy is surrounded like an island is proved by the names, for the nations of Italy call the one the "Tuscan Sea," from the general designation of the people, and the other the "Atriatic," from Atria, a Tuscan colony. The Greeks also call them the "Tyrrhene" and the "Adriatic." The districts stretching towards either sea were inhabited by them. They first settled on this side the Apennines by the western sea in twelve cities, afterwards they founded twelve colonies beyond the Apennines, corresponding to the number of the mother cities. These colonies held the whole of the country beyond the Po as far as the Alps, with the exception of the corner inhabited by the Veneti, who dwelt round an arm of the sea. The Alpine tribes are undoubtedly of the same stock, especially the Raetii, who had through the nature of their country become so uncivilised that they retained no trace of their original condition except their language, and even this was not free from corruption.


5.34

About the passage of the Gauls into Italy we have received the following account. Whilst Tarquinius Priscus was king of Rome, the supreme power amongst the Celts, who formed a third part of the whole of Gaul, was in the hands of the Bituriges; they used to furnish the king for the whole Celtic race. Ambigatus was king at that time, a man eminent for his own personal courage and prosperity as much as for those of his dominions. During his sway the harvests were so abundant and the population increased so rapidly in Gaul that the government of such vast numbers seemed almost impossible. He was now an old man, and anxious to relieve his realm from the burden of over-population. With this view he signified his intention of sending his sister's sons Bellovesus and Segovesus, both enterprising young men, to settle in whatever locality the gods should by augury assign to them. They were to invite as many as wished to accompany them, sufficient to prevent any nation from repelling their approach. When the auspices were taken, the Hercynian forest was assigned to Segovesus; to Bellovesus the gods gave the far pleasanter way into Italy. He invited the surplus population of six tribes-the Bituriges, the Averni, the Senones, the Aedui, the Ambarri, the Carnutes, and the Aulerci. Starting with an enormous force of horse and foot, he came to the Tricastini. Beyond stretched the barrier of the Alps, and I am not at all surprised that they appeared insurmountable, for they had never yet been surmounted by any route, as far at least as unbroken memory reaches, unless you choose to believe the fables about Hercules. Whilst the mountain heights kept the Gauls fenced in as it were there, and they were looking everywhere to see by what path they could cross the peaks which reached to heaven and so enter a new world, they were also prevented from advancing by a sense of religious obligation, for news came that some strangers in quest of territory were being attacked by the Salyi. These were Massilians who had sailed from Phocaea. The Gauls, looking upon this as an omen of their own fortunes, went to their assistance and enabled them to fortify the spot where they had first landed, without any interference from the Salyi. After crossing the Alps by the passes of the Taurini and the valley of the Douro, they defeated the Tuscans in battle not far from the Ticinus, and when they learnt that the country in which they had settled belonged to the Insubres, a name also borne by a canton of the Haedui, they accepted the omen of the place and built a city which they called Mediolanum.


5.35

Subsequently another body, consisting of the Cenomani, under the leadership of Elitovius, followed the track of the former and crossed the Alps by the same pass, with the goodwill of Bellovesus. They had their settlements where the cities of Brixia and Verona now stand. The Libui came next and the Saluvii; they settled near the ancient tribe of the Ligurian Laevi, who lived about the Ticinus. Then the Boii and Lingones crossed the Pennine Alps, and as all the country between the Po and the Alps was occupied, they crossed the Po on rafts and expelled not only the Etruscans but the Umbrians as well. They remained, however, north of the Apennines. Then the Senones, the last to come, occupied the country from the Utis to the Aesis. It was this last tribe, I find, that came to Clusium, and from there to Rome; but it is uncertain whether they came alone or helped by contingents from all the Cisalpine peoples. The people of Clusium were appalled by this strange war, when they saw the numbers, the extraordinary appearance of the men, and the kind of weapons they used, and heard that the legions of Etruria had been often routed by them on both sides of the Po. Although they had no claim on Rome, either on the ground of alliance or friendly relations, unless it was that they had not defended their kinsmen at Veii against the Romans, they nevertheless sent ambassadors to ask the senate for assistance. Active assistance they did not obtain. The three sons of M. Fabius Ambustus were sent as ambassadors to negotiate with the Gauls and warn them not to attack those from whom they had suffered no injury, who were allies and friends of Rome, and who, if circumstances compelled them, must be defended by the armed force of Rome. They preferred that actual war should be avoided, and that they should make acquaintance with the Gauls, who were strangers to them, in peace rather than in arms.


5.36

A peaceable enough mission, had it not contained envoys of a violent temper, more like Gauls than Romans. After they had delivered their instructions in the council of the Gauls, the following reply was given: "Although we are hearing the name of Romans for the first time, we believe nevertheless that you are brave men, since the Clusines are imploring your assistance in their time of danger. Since you prefer to protect your allies against us by negotiation rather than by armed force, we on our side do not reject the peace you offer, on condition that the Clusines cede to us Gauls, who are in need of land, a portion of that territory which they possess to a greater extent than they can cultivate. On any other conditions peace cannot be granted. We wish to receive their reply in your presence, and if territory is refused us we shall fight, whilst you are still here, that you may report to those at home how far the Gauls surpass all other men in courage." The Romans asked them what right they had to demand, under threat of war, territory from those who were its owners, and what business the Gauls had in Etruria. The haughty answer was returned that they carried their right in their weapons, and that everything belonged to the brave. Passions were kindled on both sides; they flew to arms and joined battle. Thereupon, contrary to the law of nations, the envoys seized their weapons, for the Fates were already urging Rome to its ruin. The fact of three of the noblest and bravest Romans fighting in the front line of the Etruscan army could not be concealed, so conspicuous was the valour of the strangers. And what was more, Q. Fabius rode forward at a Gaulish chieftain, who was impetuously charging right at the Etruscan standards, ran his spear through his side and slew him. Whilst he was in the act of despoiling the body the Gauls recognised him, and the word was passed through the whole army that it was a Roman ambassador. Forgetting their rage against the Clusines, and breathing threats against the Romans, they sounded the retreat.

Some were for an instant advance on Rome. The older men thought that ambassadors should first be sent to Rome to make a formal complaint and demand the surrender of the Fabii as satisfaction for the violation of the law of nations. After the ambassadors had stated their case, the senate, whilst disapproving of the conduct of the Fabii, and recognising the justice of the demand which the barbarians made, were prevented by political interests from placing their convictions on record in the form of a decree in the case of men of such high rank. In order, therefore, that the blame for any defeat which might be incurred in a war with the Gauls might not rest on them alone, they referred the consideration of the Gauls' demands to the people. Here personal popularity and influence had so much more weight that the very men whose punishment was under discussion were elected consular tribunes for the next year. The Gauls regarded this procedure as it deserved to be regarded, namely, as an act of hostility, and after openly threatening war, returned to their people. The other consular tribunes elected with the Fabii were Q. Sulpicius Longus, Q. Servilius-for the fourth time-and P. Cornelius Maluginensis.


5.37

To such an extent does Fortune blind men's eyes when she will not have her threatened blows parried, that though such a weight of disaster was hanging over the State, no special steps were taken to avert it. In the wars against Fidenae and Veii and other neighbouring States, a Dictator had on many occasions been nominated as a last resource. But now when an enemy, never seen or even heard of before, was rousing up war from ocean and the furthest corners of the world, no recourse was had to a Dictator, no extraordinary efforts were made. Those men through whose recklessness the war had been brought about were in supreme commands as tribunes, and the levy they raised was not larger than had been usual in ordinary campaigns, they even made light of the resorts as to the seriousness of the war. Meantime the Gauls learnt that their embassy had been treated with contempt, and that honours had actually been conferred upon men who had violated the law of nations. Burning with rage-as a nation they cannot control their passions-they seized their standards and hurriedly set out on their march. At the sound of their tumult as they swept by, the affrighted cities flew to arms and the country folk took to flight. Horses and men, spread far and wide, covered an immense tract of country; wherever they went they made it understood by loud shouts that they were going to Rome. But though they were preceded by rumours and by messages from Clusium, and then from one town after another, it was the swiftness of their approach that created most alarm in Rome. An army hastily raised by a levy en masse marched out to meet them. The two forces met hardly eleven miles from Rome, at a spot where the Alia, flowing in a very deep channel from the Crustuminian mountains, joins the river Tiber a little below the road to Crustumerium. The whole country in front and around was now swarming with the enemy, who, being as a nation given to wild outbreaks, had by their hideous howls and discordant clamour filled everything with dreadful noise.


5.38

The consular tribunes had secured no position for their camp, had constructed no entrenchments behind which to retire, and had shown as much disregard of the gods as of the enemy, for they formed their order of battle without having obtained favourable auspices. They extended their line on either wing to prevent their being outflanked, but even so they could not make their front equal to the enemy's, whilst by thus thinning their line they weakened the centre so that it could hardly keep in touch. On their right was a small eminence which they decided to hold with reserves, and this disposition, though it was the beginning of the panic and flight, proved to be the only means of safety to the fugitives. For Bennus, the Gaulish chieftain, fearing some ruse in the scanty numbers of the enemy, and thinking that the rising ground was occupied in order that the reserves might attack the flank and rear of the Gauls while their front was engaged with the legions, directed his attack upon the reserves, feeling quite certain that if he drove them from their position, his overwhelming numbers would give him an easy victory on the level ground. So not only Fortune but tactics also were on the side of the barbarians. In the other army there was nothing to remind one of Romans either amongst the generals or the private soldiers. They were terrified, and all they thought about was flight, and so utterly had they lost their heads that a far greater number fled to Veii, a hostile city, though the Tiber lay in their way, than by the direct road to Rome, to their wives and children. For a short time the reserves were protected by their position. In the rest of the army, no sooner was the battle-shout heard on their flank by those nearest to the reserves, and then by those at the other end of the line heard in their rear, than they fled, whole and unhurt, almost before they had seen their untried foe, without any attempt to fight or even to give back the battle-shout. None were slain while actually fighting; they were cut down from behind whilst hindering one another's flight in a confused, struggling mass. Along the bank of the Tiber, whither the whole of the left wing had fled, after throwing away their arms, there was great slaughter. Many who were unable to swim or were hampered by the weight of their cuirasses and other armour were sucked down by the current. The greater number, however, reached Veii in safety, yet not only were no troops sent from there to defend the City, but not even was a messenger despatched to report the defeat to Rome. All the men on the right wing, which had been stationed some distance from the river, and nearer to the foot of the hill, made for Rome and took refuge in the Citadel without even closing the City gates.


5.39

The Gauls for their part were almost dumb with astonishment at so sudden and extraordinary a victory. At first they did not dare to move from the spot, as though puzzled by what had happened, then they began to fear a surprise, at last they began to despoil the dead, and, as their custom is, to pile up the arms in heaps. Finally, as no hostile movement was anywhere visible, they commenced their march and reached Rome shortly before sunset. The cavalry, who had ridden on in front, reported that the gates were not shut, there were no pickets on guard in front of them, no troops on the walls. This second surprise, as extraordinary as the previous one, held them back, and fearing a nocturnal conflict in the streets of an unknown City, they halted and bivouacked between Rome and the Anio. Reconnoitring parties were sent out to examine the circuit of the walls and the other gates, and to ascertain what plans their enemies were forming in their desperate plight. As for the Romans, since the greater number had fled from the field in the direction of Veii instead of Rome, it was universally believed that the only survivors were those who had found refuge in Rome, and the mourning for all who were lost, whether living or dead, filled the whole City with the cries of lamentation. But the sounds of private grief were stifled by the general terror when it was announced that the enemy were at hand. Presently the yells and wild war-whoops of the squadrons were heard as they rode round the walls. All the time until the next day's dawn the citizens were in such a state of suspense that they expected from moment to moment an attack on the City. They expected it first when the enemy approached the walls, for they would have remained at the Alia had not this been their object; then just before sunset they thought the enemy would attack because there was not much daylight left; and then when night was fallen they imagined that the attack was delayed till then to create all the greater terror. Finally, the approach of the next day deprived them of their senses; the entrance of the enemy's standards within the gates was the dreadful climax to fears that had known no respite.

But all through that night and the following day the citizens afforded an utter contrast to those who had fled in such terror at the Alia. Realising the hopelessness of attempting any defence of the City with the small numbers that were left, they decided that the men of military age and the able-bodied amongst the senators should, with their wives and children, withdraw into the Citadel and the Capitol, and after getting in stores of arms and provisions, should from that fortified position defend their gods, themselves, and the great name of Rome. The Flamen and priestesses of Vesta were to carry the sacred things of the State far away from the bloodshed and the fire, and their sacred cult should not be abandoned as long as a single person survived to observe it. If only the Citadel and the Capitol, the abode of gods; if only the senate, the guiding mind of the national policy; if only the men of military age survived the impending ruin of the City, then the loss of the crowd of old men left behind in the City could be easily borne; in any case, they were certain to perish. To reconcile the aged plebeians to their fate, the men who had been consuls and enjoyed triumphs gave out that they would meet their fate side by side with them, and not burden the scanty force of fighting men with bodies too weak to carry arms or defend their country.


5.40

Thus they sought to comfort one another-these aged men doomed to death. Then they turned with words of encouragement to the younger men on their way to the Citadel and Capitol, and solemnly commended to their strength and courage all that was left of the fortunes of a City which for 360 years had been victorious in all its wars. As those who were carrying with them all hope and succour finally separated from those who had resolved not to survive the fall of the City the misery of the scene was heightened by the distress of the women. Their tears, their distracted running about as they followed first their husbands then their sons, their imploring appeals to them not to leave them to their fate, made up a picture in which no element of human misery was wanting. A great many of them actually followed their sons into the Capitol, none forbidding or inviting them, for though to diminish the number of non-combatants would have helped the besieged, it was too inhuman a step to take. Another crowd, mainly of plebeians, for whom there was not room on so small a hill or food enough in the scanty store of corn, poured out of the City in one continuous line and made for the Janiculum. From there they dispersed, some over the country, others towards the neighbouring cities, without any leader or concerted action, each following his own aims, his own ideas. and all despairing of the public safety. While all this was going on, the Flamen of Quirinus and the Vestal virgins, without giving a thought to their own property, were deliberating as to which of the sacred things they ought to take with them, and which to leave behind, since they had not strength enough to carry all, and also what place would be the safest for their custody. They thought best to conceal what they could not take in earthen jars and bury them under the chapel next to the Flamen's house, where spitting is now forbidden. The rest they divided amongst them and carried off, taking the road which leads by the Pons Sublicius to the Janiculum. Whilst ascending that hill they were seen by L. Albinius, a Roman plebeian who with the rest of the crowd who were unfit for war was leaving the City. Even in that critical hour the distinction between sacred and profane was not forgotten. He had his wife and children with him in a wagon, and it seemed to him an act of impiety for him and his family to be seen in a vehicle whilst the national priests should be trudging along on foot, bearing the sacred vessels of Rome. He ordered his wife and children to get down, put the virgins and their sacred burden in the wagon, and drove them to Caere, their destination.


5.41

After all the arrangements that circumstances permitted had been made for the defence of the Capitol, the old men returned to their respective homes and, fully prepared to die, awaited the coming of the enemy. Those who had filled curule offices resolved to meet their fate wearing the insignia of their former rank and honour and distinctions. They put on the splendid dress which they wore when conducting the chariots of the gods or riding in triumph through the City, and thus arrayed, they seated themselves in their ivory chairs in front of their houses. Some writers record that, led by M. Fabius, the Pontifex Maximus, they recited the solemn formula in which they devoted themselves to death for their country and the Quirites. As the Gauls were refreshed by a night's rest after a battle which had at no point been seriously contested, and as they were not now taking the City by assault or storm, their entrance the next day was not marked by any signs of excitement or anger. Passing the Colline gate, which was standing open, they came to the Forum and gazed round at the temples and at the Citadel, which alone wore any appearance of war. They left there a small body to guard against any attack from the Citadel or Capitol whilst they were scattered, and then they dispersed in quest of plunder through streets in which they did not meet a soul. Some poured in a body into all the houses near, others made for the most distant ones, expecting to find them untouched and full of spoils. Appalled by the very desolation of the place and dreading lest some stratagem should surprise the stragglers, they returned to the neighbourhood of the Forum in close order. The houses of the plebeians were barricaded, the halls of the patricians stood open, but they felt greater hesitation about entering the open houses than those which were closed. They gazed with feelings of real veneration upon the men who were seated in the porticoes of their mansions, not only because of the superhuman magnificence of their apparel and their whole bearing and demeanour, but also because of the majestic expression of their countenances, wearing the very aspect of gods. So they stood, gazing at them as if they were statues, till, as it is asserted, one of the patricians, M. Papirius, roused the passion of a Gaul, who began to stroke his beard -which in those days was universally worn long-by smiting him on the head with his ivory staff. He was the first to be killed, the others were butchered in their chairs. After this slaughter of the magnates, no living being was thenceforth spared; the houses were rifled, and then set on fire.


5.42

Now-whether it was that the Gauls were not all animated by a passion for the destruction of the City, or whether their chiefs had decided on the one hand to present the spectacle of a few fires as a means of intimidating the besieged into surrender from a desire to save their homes, and on the other, by abstaining from a universal conflagration, hold what remained of the City as a pledge by which to weaken their enemies' determination-certain it is that the fires were far from being so indiscriminate or so extensive as might be expected on the first day of a captured city. As the Romans beheld from the Citadel the City filled with the enemy who were running about in all the streets, while some new disaster was constantly occurring, first in one quarter then in another, they could no longer control their eyes and ears, let alone their thoughts and feelings. In whatever direction their attention was drawn by the shouts of the enemy, the shrieks of the women and boys, the roar of the flames, and the crash of houses falling in, thither they turned their eyes and minds as though set by Fortune to be spectators of their country's fall, powerless to protect anything left of all they possessed beyond their lives. Above all others who have ever stood a siege were they to be pitied, cut off as they were from the land of their birth and seeing all that had been theirs in the possession of the enemy. The day which had been spent in such misery was succeeded by a night not one whit more restful, this again by a day of anguish, there was not a single hour free from the sight of some ever fresh calamity. And yet, though, weighed down and overwhelmed with so many misfortunes, they had watched everything laid low in flame and ruin, they did not for a moment relax their determination to defend by their courage the one spot still left to freedom, the hill which they held, however small and poor it might be. At length, as this state of things went on day by day, they became as it were hardened to misery, and turned their thoughts from the circumstances round them to their arms and the sword in their right hand, which they gazed upon as the only things left to give them hope.


5.43

For some days the Gauls had been making useless war merely upon the houses of the City. Now that they saw nothing surviving amidst the ashes and ruin of the captured City except an armed foe whom all these disasters had failed to appal, and who would entertain no thought of surrender unless force were employed, they determined as a last resort to make an assault on the Citadel. At daybreak the signal was given and the whole of their number formed up in the Forum. Raising their battle-shout and locking their shields together over their heads, they advanced. The Romans awaited the attack without excitement or fear, the detachments were strengthened to guard all the approaches, and in whatever direction they saw the enemy advancing, there they posted a picked body of men and allowed the enemy to climb up, for the steeper the ground they got on to, the easier they thought it would be to fling them down the slope. About midway up the hill the Gauls halted; then from the higher ground, which of itself almost hurled them against the enemy, the Romans charged, and routed the Gauls with such loss and overthrow that they never again attempted that mode of fighting either with detachments or in full strength. All hope, therefore, of forcing a passage by direct assault being laid aside, they made preparations for a blockade. Up to that time they had never thought of one; all the corn in the City had been destroyed in the conflagrations, whilst that in the fields around had been hastily carried off to Veii since the occupation of the City. So the Gauls decided to divide their forces; one division was to invest the Citadel, the other to forage amongst the neighbouring States so that they could supply corn to those who were keeping up the investment. It was Fortune herself who led the Gauls after they left the City to Ardea, that they might have some experience of Roman courage. Camillus was living there as an exile, grieving more over his country's fortunes than his own, eating his heart out in reproaches to gods and men, asking in indignant wonder where the men were with whom he had taken Veii and Falerii; men whose valour in all their wars was greater even than their success. Suddenly he heard that the Gaulish army was approaching, and that the Ardeates were engaged in anxious deliberation about it. He had generally avoided the council meetings, but now, seized with an inspiration nothing short of divine, he hastened to the assembled councillors and addressed them as follows:


5.44

"Men of Ardea! friends of old, and now my fellow-citizens-for this your kindness has granted, this my fortunes have compelled-let none of you imagine that I have come here in forgetfulness of my position. The force of circumstances and the common danger constrain every man to contribute what help he can to meet the crisis. When shall I ever be able to show my gratitude for all the obligations you have conferred if I fail in my duty now? When shall I ever be of any use to you if not in war? It was by that that I held my position in my native City as having never known defeat; in times of peace my ungrateful countrymen banished me. Now the chance is offered to you, men of Ardea, of proving your gratitude for all the kindness that Rome has shown you-you have not forgotten how great it is, nor need I bring it up against those who so well remember it-the chance of winning for your city a vast reputation for war at the expense of our common foe. Those who are coming here in loose and disorderly fashion are a race to whom nature has given bodies and minds distinguished by bulk rather than by resolution and endurance. It is for this reason that they bring into every battle a terrifying appearance rather than real force. Take the disaster of Rome as a proof. They captured the City because it lay open to them; a small force repelled them from the Citadel and Capitol. Already the irksomeness of an investment has proved too much for them, they are giving it up and wandering through the fields in straggling parties. When they are gorged with food and the wine they drink so greedily, they throw themselves down like wild beasts, on the approach of night, in all directions by the streams, without entrenching themselves, or setting any outposts or pickets on guard. And now after their success they are more careless than ever. If it is your intention to defend your walls and not to allow all this country to become a second Gaul, seize your arms and muster in force by the first watch and follow me to what will be a massacre, not a battle. If I do not deliver them, whilst enchained by sleep, into your hands to be slaughtered like cattle, I am ready to accept the same fate in Ardea which I met with in Rome."


5.45

Friends and foes were alike persuaded that nowhere else was there at that time so great a master of war. After the council broke up they refreshed themselves and waited eagerly for the signal to be given. When it was given in the silence of the night they were at the gates ready for Camillus. After marching no great distance from the city they came upon the camp of the Gauls, unprotected, as he had said, and carelessly open on every side. They raised a tremendous shout and rushed in; there was no battle, it was everywhere sheer massacre; the Gauls, defenceless and dissolved in sleep, were butchered as they lay. Those in the furthest part of the camp, however, startled from their lairs, and not knowing whence or what the attack was, fled in terror, and some actually rushed, unawares, amongst their assailants. A considerable number were carried into the neighbourhood of Antium, where they were surrounded by the townsmen. A similar slaughter of Etruscans took place in the district of Veii. So far were these people from feeling sympathy with a City which for almost four centuries had been their neighbour, and was now crushed by an enemy never seen or heard of before, that they chose that time for making forays into Roman territory, and after loading themselves with plunder, intended to attack Veii, the bulwark and only surviving hope of the Roman name. The Roman soldiers at Veii had seen them dispersed through the fields, and afterwards, with their forces collected, driving their booty in front of them. Their first feelings were those of despair, then indignation and rage took possession of them. "Are even the Etruscans," they exclaimed, "from whom we have diverted the arms of Gaul on to ourselves, to find amusement in our disasters?" With difficulty they restrained themselves from attacking them. Caedicius, a centurion whom they had placed in command, induced them to defer operations till nightfall. The only thing lacking was a commander like Camillus, in all other respects the ordering of the attack and the success achieved were the same as if he had been present. Not content with this, they made some prisoners who had survived the night's massacre act as guides, and, led by them, surprised another body of Tuscans at the salt works and inflicted a still greater loss upon them. Exultant at this double victory they returned to Veii.


5.46

During these days there was little going on in Rome; the investment was maintained for the most part with great slackness; both sides were keeping quiet, the Gauls being mainly intent on preventing any of the enemy from slipping through their lines. Suddenly a Roman warrior drew upon himself the admiration of foes and friends alike. The Fabian house had an annual sacrifice on the Quirinal, and C. Fabius Dorsuo, wearing his toga in the "Gabine cincture," and bearing in his hands the sacred vessels, came down from the Capitol, passed through the middle of the hostile pickets, unmoved by either challenge or threat, and reached the Quirinal. There he duly performed all the solemn rites and returned with the same composed expression and gait, feeling sure of the divine blessing, since not even the fear of death had made him neglect the worship of the gods; finally he re-entered the Capitol and rejoined his comrades. Either the Gauls were stupefied at his extraordinary boldness, or else they were restrained by religious feelings, for as a nation they are by no means inattentive to the claims of religion. At Veii there was a steady accession of strength as well as courage. Not only were the Romans who had been dispersed by the defeat and the capture of the City gathering there, but volunteers from Latium also flocked to the place that they might be in for a share of the booty. The time now seemed ripe for the recovery of their native City out of the hands of the enemy. But though the body was strong it lacked a head. The very place reminded men of Camillus, the majority of the soldiers had fought successfully under his auspices and leadership, and Caedicius declared that he would give neither gods nor men any pretext for terminating his command; he would rather himself, remembering his subordinate rank, ask for a commander-in-chief. It was decided by general consent that Camillus should be invited from Ardea, but the senate was to be consulted first; to such an extent was everything regulated by reverence for law; the proper distinctions of things were observed, even though the things themselves were almost lost.

Frightful risk would have to be incurred in passing through the enemies' outposts. Pontius Cominius, a fine soldier, offered himself for the task. Supporting himself on a cork float, he was carried down the Tiber to the City. Selecting the nearest way from the bank of the river, he scaled a precipitous rock which, owing to its steepness, the enemy had left unguarded, and found his way into the Capitol. On being brought before the supreme magistrates he delivered his instructions from the army. After receiving the decree of the senate, which was to the effect that after being recalled from exile by the comitia curiata, Camillus should be forthwith nominated Dictator by order of the people, and the soldiers should have the commander they wanted, the messenger returned by the same route and made the best of his way to Veii. A deputation was sent to Ardea to conduct Camillus to Veii. The law was passed in the comitia curiata annulling his banishment and nominating him Dictator, and it is, I think, more likely that he did not start from Ardea until he learnt that this law had been passed, because he could not change his domicile without the sanction of the people, nor could he take the auspices in the name of the army until he had been duly nominated Dictator.


5.47

While these proceedings were taking place at Veii, the Citadel and Capitol of Rome were in imminent danger. The Gauls had either noticed the footprints left by the messenger from Veii, or had themselves discovered a comparatively easy ascent up the cliff to the temple of Carmentis. Choosing a night when there was a faint glimmer of light, they sent an unarmed man in advance to try the road; then handing one another their arms where the path was difficult, and supporting each other or dragging each other up as the ground required, they finally reached the summit. So silent had their movements been that not only were they unnoticed by the sentinels, but they did not even wake the dogs, an animal peculiarly sensitive to nocturnal sounds. But they did not escape the notice of the geese, which were sacred to Juno and had been left untouched in spite of the extremely scanty supply of food. This proved the safety of the garrison, for their clamour and the noise of their wings aroused M. Manlius, the distinguished soldier, who had been consul three years before. He snatched up his weapons and ran to call the rest to arms, and while the rest hung back he struck with the boss of his shield a Gaul who had got a foothold on the summit and knocked him down. He fell on those behind and upset them, and Manlius slew others who had laid aside their weapons and were clinging to the rocks with their hands. By this time others had joined him, and they began to dislodge the enemy with volleys of stones and javelins till the whole body fell helplessly down to the bottom. When the uproar had died away, the remainder of the night was given to sleep, as far as was possible under such disturbing circumstances, whilst their peril, though past, still made them anxious.

At daybreak the soldiers were summoned by sound of trumpet to a council in the presence of the tribunes, when the due rewards for good conduct and for bad would be awarded. First, Manlius was commended for his bravery, and rewarded not by the tribunes alone but by the soldiers as a body, for every man brought to him at his quarters, which were in the Citadel, half a pound of meal and a quarter of a pint of wine. This does not sound much, but the scarcity made it an overwhelming proof of the affection felt for him, since each stinted himself of food and contributed in honour of that one man what had to be taken from his necessaries of life. Next, the sentinels who had been on duty at the spot where the enemy had climbed up without their noticing it were called forward. Q. Sulpicius, the consular tribune, declared that he should punish them all by martial law. He was, however, deterred from this course by the shouts of the soldiers, who all agreed in throwing the blame upon one man. As there was no doubt of his guilt, he was amidst general approval flung from the top of the cliff. A stricter watch was now kept on both sides; by the Gauls because it had become known that messengers were passing between Rome and Veii; by the Romans, who had not forgotten the danger they were in that night.


5.48

But the greatest of all the evils arising from the siege and the war was the famine which began to afflict both armies, whilst the Gauls were also visited with pestilence. They had their camp on low-lying ground between the hills, which had been scorched by the fires and was full of malaria, and the least breath of wind raised not dust only but ashes. Accustomed as a nation to wet and cold, they could not stand this at all, and tortured as they were by heat and suffocation, disease became rife among them, and they died off like sheep. They soon grew weary of burying their dead singly, so they piled the bodies into heaps and burned them indiscriminately, and made the locality notorious; it was afterwards known as the Busta Gallica. Subsequently a truce was made with the Romans, and with the sanction of the commanders, the soldiers held conversations with each other. The Gauls were continually bringing up the famine and calling upon them to yield to necessity and surrender. To remove this impression it is said that bread was thrown in many places from the Capitol into the enemies' pickets. But soon the famine could neither be concealed nor endured any longer. So, at the very time that the Dictator was raising his own levy at Ardea, and ordering his Master of the Horse, L. Valerius, to withdraw his army from Veii, and making preparations for a sufficient force with which to attack the enemy on equal terms, the army of the Capitol, worn out with incessant duty, but still superior to all human ills, had nature not made famine alone insuperable by them, were day by day eagerly watching for signs of any help from the Dictator. At last not only food but hope failed them. Whenever the sentinels went on duty, their feeble frames almost crushed by the weight of their armour, the army insisted that they should either surrender or purchase their ransom on the best terms they could, for the Gauls were throwing out unmistakable hints that they could be induced to abandon the siege for a moderate consideration. A meeting of the senate was now held, and the consular tribunes were empowered to make terms. A conference took place between Q. Sulpicius, the consular tribune, and Brennus, the Gaulish chieftain, and an agreement was arrived at by which 1000 lbs. of gold was fixed as the ransom of a people destined ere long to rule the world. This humiliation was great enough as it was, but it was aggravated by the despicable meanness of the Gauls, who produced unjust weights, and when the tribune protested, the insolent Gaul threw his sword into the scale, with an exclamation intolerable to Roman ears, "Woe to the vanquished!"


5.49

But gods and men alike prevented the Romans from living as a ransomed people. By a dispensation of Fortune it came about that before the infamous ransom was completed and all the gold weighed out, whilst the dispute was still going on, the Dictator appeared on the scene and ordered the gold to be carried away and the Gauls to move off. As they declined to do so, and protested that a definite compact had been made, he informed them that when he was once appointed Dictator no compact was valid which was made by an inferior magistrate without his sanction. He then warned the Gauls to prepare for battle, and ordered his men to pile their baggage into a heap, get their weapons ready, and win their country back by steel, not by gold. They must keep before their eyes the temples of the gods, their wives and children, and their country's soil, disfigured by the ravages of war-everything, in a word, which it was their duty to defend, to recover or to avenge. He then drew up his men in the best formation that the nature of the ground, naturally uneven and now half burnt, admitted, and made every provision that his military skill suggested for securing the advantage of position and movement for his men. The Gauls, alarmed at the turn things had taken, seized their weapons and rushed upon the Romans with more rage than method. Fortune had now turned, divine aid and human skill were on the side of Rome. At the very first encounter the Gauls were routed as easily as they had conquered at the Alia. In a second and more sustained battle at the eighth milestone on the road to Gabii, where they had rallied from their flight, they were again defeated under the generalship and auspices of Camillus. Here the carnage was complete; the camp was taken, and not a single man was left to carry tidings of the disaster. After thus recovering his country from the enemy, the Dictator returned in triumph to the City, and amongst the homely jests which soldiers are wont to bandy, he was called in no idle words of praise, "A Romulus," "The Father of his country," "The Second Founder of the City." He had saved his country in war, and now that peace was restored, he proved, beyond all doubt, to be its saviour again, when he prevented the migration to Veii. The tribunes of the plebs were urging this course more strongly than ever now that the City was burnt, and the plebs were themselves more in favour of it. This movement and the pressing appeal which the senate made to him not to abandon the republic while the position of affairs was so doubtful, determined him not to lay down his dictatorship after his triumph.


5.50

As he was most scrupulous in discharging religious obligations, the very first measures he introduced into the senate were those relating to the immortal gods. He got the senate to pass a resolution containing the following provisions: All the temples, so far as they had been in possession of the enemy, were to be restored and purified, and their boundaries marked out afresh; the ceremonies of purification were to be ascertained from the sacred books by the duumvirs. Friendly relations as between State and State were to be established with the people of Caere, because they had sheltered the sacred treasures of Rome and her priests, and by this kindly act had prevented any interruption to the divine worship. Capitoline Games were to be instituted, because Jupiter Optimus Maximus had protected his dwelling-place and the Citadel of Rome in the time of danger, and the Dictator was to form a college of priests for that object from amongst those who were living on the Capitol and in the Citadel. Mention was also made of offering propitiation for the neglect of the nocturnal Voice which was heard announcing disaster before the war began, and orders were given for a temple to be built in the Nova Via to AIUS LOCUTIUS. The gold which had been rescued from the Gauls and that which during the confusion had been brought from the other temples, had been collected in the temple of Jupiter. As no one remembered what proportion ought to be returned to the other temples, the whole was declared sacred, and ordered to be deposited under the throne of Jupiter. The religious feeling of the citizens had already been shown in the fact that when there was not sufficient gold in the treasury to make up the sum agreed upon with the Gauls, they accepted the contribution of the matrons, to avoid touching that which was sacred. The matrons received public thanks, and the distinction was conferred upon them of having funeral orations pronounced over them as in the case of men. It was not till after those matters were disposed of which concerned the gods, and which therefore were within the province of the senate, that Camillus' attention was drawn to the tribunes, who were making incessant harangues to persuade the plebs to leave the ruins and migrate to Veii, which was ready for them. At last he went up to the Assembly, followed by the whole of the senate, and delivered the following speech:-


5.51

"So painful to me, Quirites, are controversies with the tribunes of the plebs, that all the time I lived at Ardea my one consolation in my bitter exile was that I was far removed from these conflicts. As far as they are concerned I would never have returned even if you recalled me by a thousand senatorial decrees and popular votes. And now that I am returned, it was not change of mind on my part but change of fortune on yours that compelled me. The question at stake was whether my country was to remain unshaken in her seat, not whether I was to be in my country at any cost. Even now I would gladly remain quiet and hold my peace, if I were not fighting another battle for my country. To be wanting to her, as long as life shall last, would be for other men a disgrace, for Camillus a downright sin. Why did we win her back, why did we, when she was beset by foes, deliver her from their hands, if, now that she is recovered, we desert her? Whilst the Gauls were victorious and the whole of the City in their power, the gods and men of Rome still held, still dwelt in, the Capitol and the Citadel. And now that the Romans are victorious and the City recovered, are the Citadel and Capitol to be abandoned? Shall our good fortune inflict greater desolation on this City than our evil fortune wrought? Even had there been no religious institutions established when the City was founded and passed down from hand to hand, still, so clearly has Providence been working in the affairs of Rome at this time, that I for one would suppose that all neglect of divine worship has been banished from human life. Look at the alternations of prosperity and adversity during these late years; you will find that all went well with us when we followed the divine guidance, and all was disastrous when we neglected it. Take first of all the war with Veii. For what a number of years and with what immense exertions it was carried on! It did not come to an end before the water was drawn off from the Alban Lake at the bidding of the gods. What, again, of this unparalleled disaster to our City? Did it burst upon us before the Voice sent from heaven announcing the approach of the Gauls was treated with contempt, before the law of nations had been outraged by our ambassadors, before we had, in the same irreligious spirit, condoned that outrage when we ought to have punished it? And so it was that, defeated, captured, ransomed, we received such punishment at the hands of gods and men that we were a lesson to the whole world. Then, in our adversity, we bethought us of our religious duties. We fled to the gods in the Capitol, to the seat of Jupiter Optimus Maximus; amidst the ruin of all that we possessed we concealed some of the sacred treasures in the earth, the rest we carried out of the enemies' sight to neighbouring cities; abandoned as we were by gods and men, we still did not intermit the divine worship. It is because we acted thus that they have restored to us our native City, and victory and the renown in war which we had lost; but against the enemy, who, blinded by avarice, broke treaty and troth in the weighing of the gold, they have launched terror and rout and death.


5.52

"When you see such momentous consequences for human affairs flowing from the worship or the neglect of the gods, do you not realise, Quirites, how great a sin we are meditating whilst hardly yet emerging from the shipwreck caused by our former guilt and fall? We possess a City which was founded with the divine approval as revealed in auguries and auspices; in it there is not a spot which is not full of religious associations and the presence of a god; the regular sacrifices have their appointed places no less than they have their appointed days. Are you, Quirites, going to desert all these gods-those whom the State honours, those whom you worship, each at your own altars? How far does your action come up to that of the glorious youth C. Fabius, during the siege, which was watched by the enemy with no less admiration than by you, when he went down from the Citadel through the missiles of the Gauls and celebrated the appointed sacrifice of his house on the Quirinal? Whilst the sacred rites of the patrician houses are not interrupted even in time of war, are you content to see the State offices of religion and the gods of Rome abandoned in a time of peace? Are the Pontiffs and Flamens to be more neglectful of their public functions than a private individual is of the religious obligations of his house?

"Some one may possibly reply that we can either discharge these duties at Veii or send priests to discharge them here. But neither of these things can be done if the rites are to be duly performed. Not to mention all the ceremonies or all the deities individually, where else, I would ask, but in the Capitol can the couch of Jupiter be prepared on the day of his festal banquet? What need is there for me to speak about the perpetual fire of Vesta, and the Image-the pledge of our dominion- which is in the safe keeping of her temple? And you, Mars Gradivus, and you, Father Quirinus, what need to speak of your sacred shields? Is it your wish that all these holy things, coeval with the City, some of even greater antiquity, should be abandoned and left on unhallowed soil? See, too, how great the difference between us and our ancestors. They left to us certain rites and ceremonies which we can only duly perform on the Alban Mount or at Lavinium. If it was a matter of religion that these rites should not be transferred from cities which belonged to an enemy to us at Rome, shall we transfer them from here to the enemies' city, Veii, without offending heaven? Call to mind, I pray you, how often ceremonies are repeated, because through negligence or accident some detail of the ancestral ritual has been omitted. What remedy was there for the republic, when crippled by the war with Veii after the portent of the Alban Lake, except the revival of sacred rites and the taking of fresh auspices? And more than that, as though after all we reverenced the ancient faiths, we have transferred foreign deities to Rome, and have established new ones. Queen Juno was lately carried from Veii and dedicated on the Aventine, and how splendidly that day was celebrated through the grand enthusiasm of our matrons! We ordered a temple to be built to Aius Locutius because of the divine Voice which was heard in the Via Nova. We have added to our annual festivals the Capitoline Games, and on the authority of the senate we have founded a college of priests to superintend them. What necessity was there for all these undertakings if we intended to leave the City of Rome at the same time as the Gauls, if it was not of our own free will that we remained in the Capitol through all those months, but the fear of the enemy which shut us up there?

"We are speaking about the temples and the sacred rites and ceremonies. But what, pray, about the priests? Do you not realise what a heinous sin will be committed? For the Vestals surely there is only that one abode, from which nothing has ever removed them but the capture of the City. The Flamen of Jupiter is forbidden by divine law to stay a single night outside the City. Are you going to make these functionaries priests of Veii instead of priests of Rome? Will thy Vestals desert thee, Vesta ? Is the Flamen to bring fresh guilt upon himself and the State for every night he sojourns abroad? Think of the other proceedings which, after the auspices have been duly taken, we conduct almost entirely within the City boundaries-to what oblivion, to what neglect are we consigning them! The Assembly of the Curies, which confers the supreme command, the Assembly of the Centuries, in which you elect the consuls and consular tribunes- where can they be held and the auspices taken except where they are wont to be held? Shall we transfer these to Veii, or are the people, when an Assembly is to be held, to meet at vast inconvenience in this City after it has been deserted by gods and men?


5.53

"But, you may say, it is obvious that the whole City is polluted, and no expiatory sacrifices can purify it; circumstances themselves compel us to quit a City devastated by fire, and all in ruins, and migrate to Veii where everything is untouched. We must not distress the poverty-stricken plebs by building here. I fancy, however, Quirites, that it is evident to you, without my telling you, that this suggestion is a plausible excuse rather than a true reason. You remember how this same question of migrating to Veii was mooted before the Gauls came, whilst public and private buildings were still safe and the City stood secure. And mark you, tribunes, how widely my view differs from yours. Even supposing it ought not to have been done then, you think that at any rate it ought to be done now, whereas-do not express surprise at what I say before you have grasped its purport-I am of opinion that even had it been right to migrate then when the City was wholly unhurt, we ought not to abandon these ruins now. For at that time the reason for our migrating to a captured city would have been a victory glorious for us and for our posterity, but now this migration would be glorious for the Gauls, but for us shame and bitterness. For we shall be thought not to have left our native City as victors, but to have lost it because we were vanquished; it will look as though it was the flight at the Alia, the capture of the City, the beleaguering of the Capitol, which had laid upon us the necessity of deserting our household gods and dooming ourselves to banishment from a place which we were powerless to defend. Was it possible for Gauls to overthrow Rome and shall it be deemed impossible for Romans to restore it?

"What more remains except for them to come again with fresh forces-we all know that their numbers surpass belief-and elect to live in this City which they captured, and you abandoned, and for you to allow them to do so? Why, if it were not Gauls who were doing this, but your old enemies, the Aequi and Volscians, who migrated to Rome, would you wish them to be Romans and you Veientines? Or would you rather that this were a desert of your own than the city of your foes? I do not see what could be more infamous. Are you prepared to allow this crime and endure this disgrace because of the trouble of building? If no better or more spacious dwelling could be put up in the whole City of Rome than that hut of our Founder, would it not be better to live in huts after the manner of herdsmen and peasants, surrounded by our temples and our gods, than to go forth as a nation of exiles? Our ancestors, shepherds and refugees, built a new City in a few years, when there was nothing in these parts but forests and swamps; are we shirking the labour of rebuilding what has been burnt, though the Citadel and Capitol are intact, and the temples of the gods still stand? What we would each have done in our own case, had our houses caught fire, are we as a community refusing to do now that the City has been burnt?


5.54

"Well now, suppose that either through crime or accident a fire broke out in Veii, and the flames, as is quite possible, fanned by the wind, consumed a great part of the city, are we going to look out for Fidenae or Gabii, or any other city you please, as a place to which to migrate? Has our native soil, this land we call our motherland, so slight a hold upon us? Does our love for our country cling only to its buildings? Unpleasant as it is to recall my sufferings, still more your injustice, I will nevertheless confess to you that whenever I thought of my native City all these things came into my mind-the hills, the plains, the Tiber, this landscape so familiar to me, this sky beneath which I was born and bred-and I pray that they may now move you by the affection they inspire to remain in your City, rather than that, after you have abandoned it, they should make you pine with home-sickness. Not without good reason did gods and men choose this spot as the site of a City, with its bracing hills, its commodious river, by means of which the produce of inland countries may be brought down and over-sea supplies obtained; a sea near enough for all useful purposes, but not so near as to be exposed to danger from foreign fleets; a district in the very centre of Italy-in a word, a position singularly adapted by nature for the expansion of a city. The mere size of so young a City is a proof of this. This is the 365th year of the City, Quirites, yet in all the wars you have for so long been carrying on amongst all those ancient nations-not to mention the separate cities-the Volscians in conjunction with the Aequi and all their strongly fortified towns, the whole of Etruria, so powerful by land and sea, and stretching across Italy from sea to sea-none have proved a match for you in war. This has hitherto been your Fortune; what sense can there be-perish the thought!-in making trial of another Fortune? Even granting that your valour can pass over to another spot, certainly the good Fortune of this place cannot be transferred. Here is the Capitol where in the old days a human head was found, and this was declared to be an omen, for in that place would be fixed the head and supreme sovereign power of the world. Here it was that whilst the Capitol was being cleared with augural rites, Juventas and Terminus, to the great delight of your fathers, would not allow themselves to be moved. Here is the Fire of Vesta; here are the Shields sent down from heaven; here are all the gods, who, if you remain, will be gracious to you."


5.55

It is stated that this speech of Camillus made a profound impression, particularly that part of it which appealed to the religious feelings. But whilst the issue was still uncertain, a sentence, opportunely uttered, decided the matter. The senate, shortly afterwards, were discussing the question in the Curia Hostilia, and some cohorts returning from guard happened to be marching through the Forum. They had just entered the Comitium, when the centurion shouted, "Halt, standard-bearer! Plant the standard; it will be best for us to stop here." On hearing these words, the senators rushed out of the Senate-house, exclaiming that they welcomed the omen, and the people crowding round them gave an emphatic approval. The proposed measure for migration was dropped, and they began to rebuild the City in a haphazard way. Tiling was provided at the public expense; every one was given the right to cut stone and timber where he pleased, after giving security that the building should be completed within the year. In their haste, they took no trouble to plan out straight streets; as all distinctions of ownership in the soil were lost, they built on any ground that happened to be vacant. That is the reason why the old sewers, which originally were carried under public ground, now run everywhere under private houses, and why the conformation of the City resembles one casually built upon by settlers rather than one regularly planned out.

End of Book 5






UP

Notes:
 
 

Copyright 2000 - 2010. Sanarate Systems, Inc.