Anno Urbis - The Roman Empire Online


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After the capture of Antium, Titus Æmilius and Quintus Fabius became consuls. This was the Fabius who was the sole survivor of the family that had been annihilated at the Cremera. Æmilius had already in his former consulship recommended the bestowal of land on the people. Accordingly, in his second consulship also, both the advocates of the agrarian law encouraged themselves to hope for the passing of the measure, and the tribunes took it up, thinking that a result, that had been frequently attempted in opposition to the consuls, might be obtained now that at any rate one consul supported it: the consul remained firm in his opinion. The possessors of state land [1]--and these a considerable part of the patricians--transferred the odium of the entire affair from the tribunes to the consul, complaining that a man, who held the first office in the state, was busying himself with proposals more befitting the tribunes, and was gaining popularity by making presents out of other people's property. A violent contest was at hand; had not Fabius compromised the matter by a suggestion disagreeable to neither party. That under the conduct and auspices of Titus Quinctius a considerable tract of land had been taken in the preceding year from the Volscians: that a colony might be sent to Antium, a neighbouring and conveniently situated maritime city: in this manner the commons would come in for lands without any complaints on the part of the present occupiers, and the state remain at peace. This proposition was accepted. He secured the appointment of Titus Quinctius, Aulus Verginius, and Publius Furius as triumvirs for distributing the land: such as wished to receive land were ordered to give in their names. The attainment of their object created disgust immediately, as usually happens, and so few gave in their names that Volscian colonists were added to fill up the number: the rest of the people preferred to ask for land in Rome, rather than to receive it elsewhere. The Aequans sued for peace from Quintus Fabius (he had gone thither with an army), and they themselves broke it by a sudden incursion into Latin territory.

In the following year Quintus Servilius (for he was consul with Spurius Postumius), being sent against the Aequans, pitched his camp permanently in Latin territory: unavoidable inaction held the army in check, since it was attacked by illness. The war was protracted to the third year, when Quintus Fabius and Titus Quinctius were consuls. To Fabius, because he, as conqueror, had granted peace to the Aequans that sphere of action was assigned in an unusual manner.[2]He, setting out with a sure hope that his name and renown would reduce the Aequans to submission, sent ambassadors to the council of the nation, and ordered them to announce that Quintus Fabius, the consul, stated that he had brought peace to Rome from the Aequans, that from Rome he now brought them war, with that same right hand, but now armed, which he had formerly given to them in amity; that the gods were now witnesses, and would presently take vengeance on those by whose perfidy and perjury that had come to pass. That he, however, be matters as they might, even now preferred that the Aequans should repent of their own accord rather than suffer the vengeance of an enemy. If they repented, they would have a safe retreat in the clemency they had already experienced; but if they still took pleasure in perjury, they would wage war with the gods enraged against them rather than their enemies. These words had so little effect on any of them that the ambassadors were near being ill-treated, and an army was sent to Algidum[3] against the Romans. When news of this was brought to Rome, the indignity of the affair, rather than the danger, caused the other consul to be summoned from the city; thus two consular armies advanced against the enemy in order of battle, intending to come to an engagement at once. But as it happened that not much of the day remained, one of the advance guard of the enemy cried out: "This is making a show of war, Romans, not waging it: you draw up your army in line of battle, when night is at hand; we need a longer period of daylight for the contest which is to come. Tomorrow at sunrise return to the field: you shall have an opportunity of fighting, never fear." The soldiers, stung by these taunts, were marched back into camp till the following day, thinking that a long night was approaching, which would cause the contest to be delayed. Then indeed they refreshed their bodies with food and sleep: on the following day, when it was light, the Roman army took up their position some considerable time before. At length the Aequans also advanced. The battle was hotly contested on both sides, because the Romans fought under the influence of resentment and hatred, while the Aequans were compelled by a consciousness of danger incurred by misconduct, and despair of any confidence being reposed in them hereafter, to venture and to have recourse to the most desperate efforts. The Aequans, however, did not withstand the attack of the Roman troops, and when, having been defeated, they had retired to their own territories, the savage multitude, with feelings not at all more disposed to peace, began to rebuke their leaders: that their fortunes had been intrusted to the hazard of a pitched battle, in which mode of fighting the Romans were superior. That the Aequans were better adapted for depredations and incursions, and that several parties, acting in different directions, conducted wars with greater success than the unwieldy mass of a single army.

Accordingly, having left a guard over the camp, they marched out and attacked the Roman frontiers with such fury that they carried terror even to the city: the fact that this was unexpected also caused more alarm, because it was least of all to be feared that an enemy, vanquished and almost besieged in their camp, should entertain thoughts of depredation: and the peasants, rushing through the gates in a state of panic, cried out that it was not a mere raid, nor small parties of plunderers, but, exaggerating everything in their groundless fear, whole armies and legions of the enemy that were close at hand, and that they were hastening toward the city in hostile array. Those who were nearest carried to others the reports heard from these, reports vague and on that account more groundless: and the hurry and clamour of those calling to arms bore no distant resemblance to the panic that arises when a city has been taken by storm. It so happened that the consul Quinctius had returned to Rome from Algidum: this brought some relief to their terror; and, the tumult being calmed, after chiding them for their dread of a vanquished enemy, he set a guard on the gates. Then a meeting of the senate was summoned, and a suspension of business proclaimed by their authority: he himself, having set out to defend the frontiers, leaving behind Quintus Servilius as prefect of the city, found no enemy in the country. Affairs were conducted with distinguished success by the other consul; who, having attacked the enemy, where he knew that they would arrive, laden with booty, and therefore marching with their army the more encumbered, caused their depredation to prove their destruction. Few of the enemy escaped from the ambuscade; all the booty was recovered. Thus the return of the consul Quinctius to the city put an end to the suspension of business, which lasted four days. A census[4] was then held, and the lustrum [Footnote: The ceremony of purification took place every five years, hence "Justrum" came to be used for a period of five years.] closed by Quinctius: the number of citizens rated is said to have been one hundred and four thousand seven hundred and fourteen, not counting orphans of both sexes. Nothing memorable occurred afterward among the Æquans; they retired into their towns, allowing their possessions to be consumed by fire and devastated. The consul, after he had repeatedly carried devastation with a hostile army through the whole of the enemy's country, returned to Rome with great glory and booty.

The next consuls were Aulus Postumius Albus and Spurius Furius Fusus. Furii is by some writers written Fusii; this I mention, to prevent any one thinking that the change, which is only in the names, is in the persons themselves. There was no doubt that one of the consuls was about tobegin hostilities against the Æquans. The latter accordingly sought help from the Volscians of Ecetra; this was readily granted (so keenly did these states contend in inveterate hatred against the Romans), and preparations for war were made with the utmost vigour. The Hernicans came to hear of it, and warned the Romans that the Ecetrans had revolted to the Æquans: the colony of Antium also was suspected, because, after the town had been taken a great number of the inhabitants had fled thence for refuge to the Æquans: and these soldiers behaved with the very greatest bravery during the course of the war. After the Æquans had been driven into the towns, when this rabble returned to Antium, it alienated from the Romans the colonists who were already of their own accord disposed to treachery. The matter not yet being ripe, when it had been announced to the senate that a revolt was intended, the consuls were charged to inquire what was going on, the leading men of the colony being summoned to Rome. When they had attended without reluctance, they were conducted before the senate by the consuls, and gave such answers to the questions that were put to them that they were dismissed more suspected than they had come.

After this, war was regarded as inevitable. Spurius Furius, one of the consuls to whom that sphere of action had fallen, having marched against the Aequans, found the enemy committing depredations in the country of the Hernicans; and being ignorant of their numbers, because they had nowhere been seen all together, he rashly hazarded an engagement with an army which was no match for their forces. Being driven from his position at the first onset, he retreated to his camp; nor was that the end of his danger; for both on the next night and the following day, his camp was beset and assaulted with such vigour that not even a messenger could be despatched thence to Rome. The Hernicans brought news both that an unsuccessful battle had been fought, and that the consul and army were besieged; and inspired the senate with such terror, that the other consul Postumius was charged to see to it that the commonwealth took no harm,[5] a form of decree which has ever been deemed to be one of extreme urgency. It seemed most advisable that the consul himself should remain at Rome to enlist all such as were able to bear arms: that Titus Quinctius should be sent as proconsul[6] to the relief of the camp with the army of the allies: to complete this army the Latins and Hernicans, and the colony of Antium were ordered to supply Quinctius with troops hurriedly raised-such was the name (subitarii) that they gave to auxiliaries raised for sudden emergencies.

During those days many manoeuvres and many attacks were carried out on both sides, because the enemy, having the advantage in numbers, attempted to harass the Roman forces by attacking them on many sides, as not likely to prove sufficient to meet all attacks. While the camp was being besieged, at the same time part of the army was sent to devastate Roman territory, and to make an attempt upon the city itself, should fortune favour. Lucius Valerius was left to guard the city: the consul Postumius was sent to prevent the plundering of the frontiers. There was no abatement in any quarter either of vigilance or activity; watches were stationed in the city, outposts before the gates, and guards along the walls: and a cessation of business was observed for several days, as was necessary amid such general confusion. In the meantime the consul Furius, after he had at first passively endured the siege in his camp, sallied forth through the main gate[7] against the enemy when off their guard; and though he might have pursued them, he stopped through apprehension, that an attack might be made on the camp from the other side. The lieutenant Furius (he was also the consul's brother) was carried away too far in pursuit: nor did he, in his eagerness to follow them up, observe eitherhis own party returning, or the attack of the enemy on his rear: being thus shut out, having repeatedly made many unavailing efforts to force his way to the camp, he fell, fighting bravely. In like manner the consul, turning about to renew the fight, on being informed that his brother was surrounded, rushing into the thick of the fight rashly rather than with sufficient caution, was wounded, and with difficulty rescued by those around him. This both damped the courage of his own men, and increased the boldness of the enemy; who, being encouraged by the death of the lieutenant, and by the consul's wound, could not afterward have been withstood by any force, as the Romans, having been driven into their camp, were again being besieged, being a match for them neither in hopes nor in strength, and the very existence of the state would have been imperilled, had not Titus Quinctius come to their relief with foreign troops, the Latin and Hernican army. He attacked the Aequans on their rear while their attention was fixed on the Roman camp, and while they were insultingly displaying the head of the lieutenant: and, a sally being made at the same time from the camp at a signal given by himself from a distance, he surrounded a large force of the enemy. Of the Aequans in Roman territory the slaughter was less, their flight more disorderly. As they straggled in different directions, driving their plunder before them, Postumius attacked them in several places, where he had posted bodies of troops in advantageous positions. They, while straying about and pursuing their flight in great disorder, fell in with the victorious Quinctius as he was returning with the wounded consul. Then the consular army by its distinguished bravery amply avenged the consul's wound, and the death of the lieutenant and the slaughter of the cohorts; heavy losses were both inflicted and received on both sides during those days. In a matter of such antiquity it is difficult to state, so as to inspire conviction, the exact number of those who fought or fell: Antias Valerius, however, ventures to give an estimate of the numbers: that in the Hernican territory there fell five thousand eight hundred Romans; that of the predatory parties of the Aequans, who strayed through the Roman frontiers for the purpose of plundering, two thousand four hundred were slain by the consul Aulus Postumius; that the rest of the body which fell in with Quinctius while driving its booty before them, by no means got off with a loss equally small: of these he asserts that four thousand, and by way of stating the number exactly, two hundred and thirty were slain. After their return to Rome, the cessation of business was abandoned. The sky seemed to be all ablaze with fire; and other prodigies either actually presented themselves before men's eyes, or exhibited imaginary appearances to their affrighted minds. To avert these terrors, a solemn festival for three days was proclaimed, during which all the shrines were filled with a crowd of men and women, earnestly imploring the favour of the gods. After this the Latin and Hernican cohorts were sent back to their respective homes, after they had been thanked by the senate for their spirited conduct in war. The thousand soldiers from Antium were dismissed almost with disgrace, because they had come after the battle too late to render assistance.

The elections were then held: Lucius Aebutius and Publius Servilius were elected consuls, and entered on their office on the calends of August[8] according to the practice of beginning the year on that date. It was an unhealthy season, and it so happened that the year [9] was pestilential to the city and country, and not more to men than to cattle; and they themselves increased the severity of the disease by admitting the cattle and the peasants into the city in consequence of their dread of devastation. This collection of animals of every kind mingled together both distressed the inhabitants of the city by the unusual stench, and also the peasants, crowded together into their confined dwellings, by heat and want of sleep while their attendance on each other, and actual contact helped to spread disease. While they were hardly able to endure the calamities that pressed upon them, ambassadors from the Hernicans suddenly brought word that the Aequans and Volscians had united their forces, and pitched their camp in their territory: that from thence they were devastating their frontiers with an immense army. In addition to the fact that the small attendance of the senate was a proof to the allies that the state was prostrated by the pestilence, they further received this melancholy answer: That the Hernicans, as well as the Latins, must now defend their possessions by their own unaided exertions. That the city of Rome, through the sudden anger of the gods, was ravaged by disease. If any relief from that calamity should arise, that they would afford aid to their allies, as they had done the year before, and always on other occasions. The allies departed, carrying home, instead of the melancholy news they had brought, news still more melancholy, seeing that they were now obliged to sustain by their own resources a war, which they would have with difficulty sustained even if backed by the power of Rome. The enemy no longer confined themselves to the Hernican territory. They proceeded thence with determined hostility into the Roman territories, which were already devastated without the injuries of war. There, without any one meeting them, not even an unarmed person, they passed through entire tracts destitute not only of troops, but even uncultivated, and reached the third milestone on the Gabinian road.[10] Aebutius, the Roman consul, was dead: his colleague, Servilius, was dragging out his life with slender hope of recovery; most of the leading men, the chief part of the patricians, nearly all those of military age, were stricken down with disease, so that they not only had not sufficient strength for the expeditions, which amid such an alarm the state of affairs required, but scarcely even for quietly mounting guard. Those senators, whose age and health permitted them, personally discharged the duty of sentinels. The patrol and general supervision was assigned to the plebeian aediles: on them devolved the chief conduct of affairs and the majesty of the consular authority.

The commonwealth thus desolate, since it was without a head, and without strength, was saved by the guardian gods and good fortune of the city, which inspired the Volscians and Æquans with the disposition of freebooters rather than of enemies; for so far were their minds from entertaining any hope not only of taking but even of approaching the walls of Rome, and so thoroughly did the sight of the houses in the distance, and the adjacent hills, divert their thoughts, that, on a murmur arising throughout the entire camp--why should they waste time in indolence without booty in a wild and desert land, amid the pestilence engendered by cattle and human beings, when they could repair to places as yet unattacked--the Tusculan territory abounding in wealth? They suddenly pulled up their standards,[11] and, by cross-country marches, passed through the Lavican territory to the Tusculan hills: to that quarter the whole violence and storm of the war was directed. In the meantime the Hernicans and Latins, influenced not only by compassion but by a feeling of shame, if they neither opposed the common enemy who were making for the city of Rome with a hostile army, nor afforded any aid to their allies when besieged, marched to Rome with united forces. Not finding the enemy there, they followed their tracks in the direction they were reported to have taken, and met them as they were coming down from Tusculan territory into the Alban valley: there a battle was fought under circumstances by no means equal; and their fidelity proved by no means favourable to the allies for the time being. The havoc caused by pestilence at Rome was not less than that caused by the sword among the allies: the only surviving consul died, as well as other distinguished men, Marcus Valerius, Titus Verginius Rutilus, augurs: Servius Sulpicius, chief priest of the curies:[12] while among undistinguished persons the virulence of the disease spread extensively: and the senate, destitute of human aid, directed the people's attention to the gods and to vows: they were ordered to go and offer supplications with their wives and children, and to entreat the favour of Heaven. Besides the fact that their own sufferings obliged each to do so, when summoned by public authority, they filled all the shrines; the prostrate matrons in every quarter sweeping the temples with their hair, begged for a remission of the divine displeasure, and a termination to the pestilence.

From this time, whether it was that the favour of the gods was obtained, or that the more unhealthful season of the year was now over, the bodily condition of the people, now rid of disease, gradually began to be more healthy, and their attention being now directed to public concerns, after the expiration of several interregna, Publius Valerius Publicola, on the third day after he had entered on his office of interrex,[13] procured the election of Lucius Lucretius Tricipitinus, and Titus Veturius (or Vetusius) Geminus, to the consulship. They entered on their consulship on the third day before the ides of August,[14] the state being now strong enough not only to repel a a hostile attack, but even to act itself on the offensive. Therefore when the Hernicans announced that the enemy had crossed over into their boundaries, assistance was readily promised: two consular armies were enrolled. Veturius was sent against the Volscians to carry on an offensive war. Tricipitinus, being posted to protect the territory of the allies from devastation, proceeded no further than into the countryof the Hernicans. Veturius routed and put the enemy to flight in the first engagement. A party of plunderers, led over the Praenestine Mountains, and from thence sent down into the plains, was unobserved by Lucretius, while he lay encamped among the Hernicans. These laid waste all the countryaround Praeneste and Gabii: from the Gabinian territory they turned their course toward the heights of Tusculum; great alarm was excited in the city of Rome also, more from the suddenness of the affair than because there was not sufficient strength to repel the attack. Quintus Fabius was in command of the city; he, having armed the young men and posted guards, made things secure and tranquil. The enemy, therefore, not venturing to approach the city, when they were returning by a circuitous route, carrying off plunder from the adjacent places, their caution being now more relaxed, in proportion as they removed to a greater distance from the enemy's city, fell in with the consul Lucretius, who had already reconnoitred his lines of march, and whose army was drawn up in battle array and resolved upon an engagement. Accordingly, having attacked them with predetermined resolution, though with considerably inferior forces, they routed and put to flight their numerous army, while smitten with sudden panic, and having driven them into the deep valleys, where means of egress were not easy, they surrounded them. There the power of the Volscians was almost entirely annihilated. In some annals, I find that thirteen thousand four hundred and seventy fell in battle and in flight that one thousand seven hundred and fifty were taken alive, that twenty-seven military standards were captured: and although in accounts there may have been some exaggeration in regard to numbers, undoubtedly great slaughter took place. The victorious consul, having obtained immense booty, returned to his former standing camp. Then the consuls joined camps. The Volscians and Æquans also united their shattered strength. This was the third battle in that year; the same good fortune gave them victory; the enemy was routed, and their camp taken.

Thus the affairs of Rome returned to their former condition; and successes abroad immediately excited commotions in the city. Gaius Terentilius Harsa was tribune of the people in that year: he, considering that an opportunity was afforded for tribunician intrigues during the absence of the consuls began, after railing against the arrogance of the patricians for several days before the people, to inveigh chiefly against the consular authority, as being excessive and intolerable for a free state: for that in name only was it less hateful, in reality it was almost more cruel than the authority of the kings: that forsooth in place of one, two masters had been accepted, with unbounded and unlimited power, who, themselves unrestrained and unbridled, directed all the terrors of the law, and all kinds of punishments against the commons. Now, in order that their unbounded license might not last forever, he would bring forward a law that five persons be appointed to draw up laws regarding the consular power, by which the consul should use that right which the people should have given him over them, not considering their own caprice and license as law. Notice having been given of this law, as the patricians were afraid, lest, in the absence of the consuls, they should be subjected to the yoke; the senate was convened by Quintus Fabius, prefect of the city, who inveighed so vehemently against the bill and its proposer that no kind of threats or intimidation was omitted by him, which both the consuls could supply, even though they surrounded the tribune in all their exasperation: That he had lain in wait, and, having seized a favourable opportunity, had made an attack on the commonwealth. If the gods in their anger had given them any tribune like him in the preceding year, during the pestilence and war, it could not have been endured: that, when both the consuls were dead, and the state prostrate and enfeebled, in the midst of the general confusion he would have proposed laws to abolish the consular government altogether from the state; that he would have headed the Volscians and Æquans in an attack on the city. What, if the consuls behaved in a tyrannical or cruel manner against any of the citizens, was it not open to him to appoint a day of trial for them, to arraign them before those very judges against any one of whom severity might have been exercised? That he by his conduct was rendering, not the consular authority, but the tribunician power hateful and insupportable; which, after having been in a state of peace, and on good terms with the patricians, was now being brought back anew to its former mischievous practices; nor did he beg of him not to proceed as he had begun. "Of you, the other tribunes," said Fabius, "we beg that you will first of all consider that that power was appointed for the aid of individuals, not for the ruin of the community; that you were created tribunes of the commons, not enemies of the patricians. To us it is distressing, to you a source of odium, that the republic, now bereft of its chief magistrates, should be attacked; you will diminish not your rights, but the odium against you. Confer with your colleague that he may postpone this business till the arrival of the consuls, to be then discussed afresh; even the Æquans and the Volscians, when our consuls were carried off by pestilence last year, did not harass us with a cruel and tyrannical war." The tribunes conferred with Terentilius, and the bill being to all appearance deferred, but in reality abandoned, the consuls were immediately sent for.

Lucretius returned with immense spoil, and much greater glory; and this glory he increased on his arrival, by exposing all the booty in the Campus Martius, so that each person might, for the space of three days, recognise what belonged to him and carry it away; the remainder, for which no owners were forthcoming, was sold. A triumph was by universal consent due to the consul; but the matter was deferred, as the tribune again urged his law; this to the consul seemed of greater importance. The business was discussed for several days, both in the senate and before the people: at last the tribune yielded to the majesty of the consul, and desisted; then their due honour was paid to the general and his army. He triumphed over the Volscians and Æquans; his troops followed him in his triumph. The other consul was allowed to enter the city in ovation[15]unaccompanied by his soldiers.

In the following year the Terentilian law, being brought forward again by the entire college, engaged the serious attention of the new consuls, who were Publius Volumnius and Servius Sulpicius. In that year the sky seemed to be on fire, and a violent earthquake took place: it was believed that an ox spoke, a phenomenon which had not been credited in the previous year: among other prodigies there was a shower of flesh, which a large flock of birds is said to have carried off by pecking at the falling pieces: that which fell to the ground is said to have lain scattered about just as it was for several days, without becoming tainted. The books were consulted[16] by the duumviri for sacred rites: dangers of attacks to be made on the highest parts of the city, and of consequent bloodshed, were predicted as threatening from an assemblage of strangers; among other things, admonition was given that all intestine disturbances should be abandoned.[17] The tribunes alleged that that was done to obstruct the law, and a desperate contest was at hand.

On a sudden, however, that the same order of events might be renewed each year, the Hernicans announced that the Volscians and the Æquans, in spite of their strength being much impaired, were recruiting their armies: that the centre of events was situated at Antium; that the colonists of Antium openly held councils at Ecetra: that there was the head--there was the strength--of the war. As soon as this announcement was made in the senate, a levy was proclaimed: the consuls were commanded to divide the management of the war between them; that the Volscians should be the sphere of action of the one, the Æquans of the other. The tribunes loudly declared openly in the forum that the story of the Volscian war was nothing but a got-up farce: that the Hernicans had been trained to act their parts: that the liberty of the Roman people was now not even crushed by manly efforts, but was baffled by cunning; because it was now no longer believed that the Volscians and the Æquans who were almost utterly annihilated, could of themselves begin hostilities, new enemies were sought for: that a loyal colony, and one in their very vicinity, was being rendered infamous: that war was proclaimed against the unoffending people of Antium, in reality waged with the commons of Rome, whom, loaded with arms, they were determined to drive out of the city with precipitous haste, wreaking their vengeance on the tribunes by the exile and expulsion of their fellow-citizens. That by these means--and let them not think that there was any other object contemplated--the law was defeated, unless, while the matter was still in abeyance, while they were still at home and in the grab of citizens, they took precautions, so as to avoid being driven out of possession of the city, or being subjected to the yoke. If they only had spirit, support would not be wanting: that all the tribunes were unanimous: that there was no apprehension from abroad, no danger. That the gods had taken care, in the preceding year that their liberty could be defended with safety. Thus spoke the tribunes.

But on the other side, the consuls, having placed their chairs[18] within view of them, were holding the levy; thither the tribunes hastened down, and carried the assembly along with them; a few [19] were summoned, as it were, by way of making an experiment, and instantly violence ensued. Whomsoever the lictor laid hold of by order of the consul, him the tribune ordered to be released; nor did his own proper jurisdiction set a limit to each, but they rested their hopes on force, and whatever they set their mind upon, was to be gained by violence. Just as the tribunes had behaved in impeding the levy, in the same manner did the consuls conduct themselves in obstructing the law which was brought forward on each assembly day. The beginning of the riot was that the patricians refused to allow themselves to be moved away, when the tribunes ordered the people to proceed to give their vote. Scarcely any of the older citizens mixed themselves up in the affair, inasmuch as it was one that would not be directed by prudence, but was entirely abandoned to temerity and daring. The consuls also frequently kept out of the way, lest in the general confusion they might expose their dignity to insult. There was one Cæso Quinctius, a youth who prided himself both on the nobility of his descent, and his bodily stature and strength; to these endowments bestowed on him by the gods, he himself had added many brave deeds in war, and eloquence in the forum; so that no one in the state was considered readier either in speech or action. When he had taken his place in the midst of a body of the patricians, pre-eminent above the rest, carrying as it were in his eloquence and bodily strength dictatorships and consulships combined, he alone withstood the storms of the tribunes and the populace. Under his guidance the tribunes were frequently driven from the forum, the commons routed and dispersed; such as came in his way, came off ill-treated and stripped: so that it became quite clear that, if he were allowed to proceed in this way, the law was as good as defeated Then, when the other tribunes were now almost thrown into despair, Aulus Verginius, one of the colleges, appointed a day for Cæso to take his trial on a capital charge. By this proceeding he rather irritated than intimidated his violent temper: so much the more vigorously did he oppose the law, harass the commons, and persecute the tribunes, as if in a regular war. The accuser suffered the accused to rush headlong to his ruin, and to fan the flame of odium and supply material for the charges he intended to bring against him: in the meantime he proceeded with the law, not so much in the hope of carrying it through, as with the object of provoking rash action on the part of Cæso. After that many inconsiderate expressions and actions of the younger patricians were put down to the temper of Cæso alone, owing to the suspicion with which he was regarded: still the law was resisted. Also Aulus Verginius frequently remarked to the people: "Are you now sensible, Quirites that you can not at the same time have Cæso as a fellow-citizen, and the law which you desire? Though why do I speak of the law? He is a hindrance to your liberty; he surpasses all the Tarquins in arrogance. Wait till that man is made consul or dictator, whom, though but a private citizen, you now see exercising kingly power by his strength and audacity." Many agreed, complaining that they had been beaten by him: and, moreover, urged the tribune to go through with the prosecution.

The day of trial was now at hand, and it was evident that people in general considered that their liberty depended on the condemnation of Cæso: then, at length being forced to do so, he solicited the commons individually, though with a strong feeling of indignation; his relatives and the principal men of the state attended him. Titus Quinctius Capitolinus, who had been thrice consul, recounting many splendid achievements of his own, and of his family, declared that neither in the Quinctian family, nor in the Roman state, had there ever appeared such a promising genius displaying such early valour. That he himself was the first under whom he had served, that he had often in his sight fought against the enemy. Spurius Furius declared that Cæso, having been sent to him by Quinctius Capitolinus, had come to his aid when in the midst of danger; that there was no single individual by whose exertions he considered the common weal had been more effectually re-established. Lucius Lucretius, the consul of the preceding year, in the full splendour of recent glory, shared his own meritorious services with Cæso; he recounted his battles detailed his distinguished exploits, both in expeditions and in pitched battle; he recommended and advised them to choose rather that a youth so distinguished, endowed with all the advantages of nature and fortune, and one who should prove the greatest support of whatsoever state he should visit, should continue to be a fellow-citizen of their own, rather than become the citizen of a foreign state: that with respect to those qualities which gave offence in him, hot-headedness and overboldness, they were such as increasing years removed more and more every day: that what was lacking, prudence, increased day by day: that as his faults declined, and his virtues ripened, they should allow so distinguished a man to grow old in the state. Among these his father, Lucius Quinctius, who bore the surname of Cincinnatus, without dwelling too often on his services, so as not to heighten public hatred, but soliciting pardon for his youthful errors, implored them to forgive his son for his sake, who had not given offence to any either by word or deed. But while some, through respect or fear, turned away from his entreaties, others, by the harshness of their answer, complaining that they and their friends had been ill-treated, made no secret of what their decision would be.

Independently of the general odium, one charge in particular bore heavily on the accused; that Marcus Volscius Fictor, who some years before had been tribune of the people, had come forward to bear testimony: that not long after the pestilence had raged in the city, he had fallen in with a party of young men rioting in the Subura;[20] that a scuffle had taken place: and that his elder brother, not yet perfectly recovered from his illness, had been knocked down by Cæso with a blow of his fist: that he had been carried home half dead in the arms of some bystanders, and that he was ready to declare that he had died from the blow: and that he had not been permitted by the consuls of former years to obtain redress for such an atrocious affair. In consequence of Volscius vociferating these charges, the people became so excited that Cæso was near being killed through the violence of the crowd. Verginius ordered him to be seized and dragged off to prison. The patricians opposed force to force. Titus Quinctius exclaimed that a person for whom a day of trial for a capital offence had been appointed, and whose trial was now close at hand, ought not to be outraged before he was condemned, and without a hearing. The tribune replied that he would not inflict punishment on him before he was condemned: that he would, however, keep him in prison until the day of trial, that the Roman people might have an opportunity of inflicting punishment on one who had killed a man.[21] The tribunes being appealed to, got themselves out of the difficulty in regard to their prerogative of rendering aid, by a resolution that adopted a middle course: they forbade his being thrown into confinement, and declared it to be their wish that the accused should be brought to trial, and that a sum of money should be promised to the people, in case he should not appear. How large a sum of money ought to be promised was a matter of doubt: the decision was accordingly referred to the senate. The accused was detained in public custody until the patricians should be consulted: it was decided that bail should be given: they bound each surety in the sum of three thousand asses; how many sureties should be given was left to the tribunes; they fixed the number at ten: on this number of sureties the prosecutor admitted the accused to bail.[22] He was the first who gave public sureties. Being discharged from the forum, he went the following night into exile among the Tuscans. When on the day of trial it was pleaded that he had withdrawn into voluntary exile, nevertheless, at a meeting of the comitia under the presidency of Verginius, his colleagues, when appealed to, dismissed the assembly: [23] the fine was rigorously exacted from his father, so that, having sold all his effects, he lived for a considerable time in an out-of-the-way cottage on the other side of the Tiber, as if in exile.

This trial and the proposal of the law gave full employment to the state: in regard to foreign wars there was peace. When the tribunes, as if victorious, imagined that the law was all but passed owing to the dismay of the patricians at the banishment of Cæso, and in fact, as far as regarded the seniors of the patricians, they had relinquished all share in the administration of the commonwealth, the juniors, more especially those who were the intimate friends of Cæso, redoubled their resentful feelings against the commons, and did not allow their spirits to fail; but the greatest improvement was made in this particular, that they tempered their animosity by a certain degree of moderation. The first time when, after Cseso's banishment, the law began to be brought forward, these, arrayed and well prepared, with a numerous body of clients, so attacked the tribunes, as soon as they afforded a pretext for it by attempting to remove them, that no one individual carried home from thence a greater share than another, either of glory or ill-will, but the people complained that in place of one Cæso a thousand had arisen. During the days that intervened, when the tribunes took no proceedings regarding the law, nothing could be more mild or peaceable than those same persons; they saluted the plebeians courteously, entered into conversation with them, and invited them home: they attended them in the forum,[24] and suffered the tribunes themselves to hold the rest of their meetings without interruption: they were never discourteous to any one either in public or in private, except on occasions when the matter of the law began to be agitated. In other respects the young men were popular. And not only did the tribunes transact all their other affairs without disturbance, but they were even re-elected or the following year. Without even an offensive expression, much less any violence being employed, but by soothing and carefully managing the commons the young patricians gradually rendered them tractable. By these artifices the law was evaded through the entire year.

The consuls Gaius Claudius, the son of Appius, and Publius Valerius Publicola, took over the government from their predecessors in a more tranquil condition. The next year had brought with it nothing new: thoughts about carrying the law, or submitting to it, engrossed the attention of the state. The more the younger patricians strove to insinuate themselves into favour with the plebeians, the more strenuously did the tribunes strive on the other hand to render them suspicious in the eyes of the commons by alleging that a conspiracy had been formed; that Cæso was in Rome; that plans had been concerted for assassinating the tribunes, for butchering the commons. That the commission assigned by the elder members of the patricians was, that the young men should abolish the tribunician power from the state, and the form of government should be the same as it had been before the occupation of the Sacred Mount. At the same time a war from the Volscians and Æquans, which had now become a fixed and almost regular occurrence every year, was apprehended, and another evil nearer home started up unexpectedly. Exiles and slaves, to the number of two thousand five hundred, seized the Capitol and citadel during the night, under the command of Appius Herdonius, a Sabine. Those who refused to join the conspiracy and take up arms with them were immediately massacred in the citadel: others, during the disturbance, fled in headlong panic down to the forum: the cries, "To arms!" and "The enemy are in the city!" were heard alternately. The consuls neither dared to arm the commons, nor to suffer them to remain unarmed; uncertain what sudden calamity had assailed the city, whether from without or within, whether arising from the hatred of the commons or the treachery of the slaves: they tried to quiet the disturbances, and while trying to do so they sometimes aroused them; for the populace, panic-stricken and terrified, could not be directed by authority. They gave out arms, however, but not indiscriminately; only so that, as it was yet uncertain who the enemy were, there might be a protection sufficiently reliable to meet all emergencies. The remainder of the night they passed in posting guards in suitable places throughout the city, anxious and uncertain who the enemy were, and how great their number. Daylight subsequently disclosed the war and its leader. Appius Herdonius summoned the slaves to liberty from the Capitol, saying, that he had espoused the cause of all the most unfortunate, in order to bring back to their country those who had been exiled and driven out by wrong, and to remove the grievous yoke from the slaves: that he had rather that were done under the authority of the Roman people. If there were no hope in that quarter, he would rouse the Volscians and Aequans, and would try even the most desperate remedies.

The whole affair now began to be clearer to the patricians and consuls; besides the news, however, which was officially announced, they dreaded lest this might be a scheme of the Veientines or Sabines; and, further, as there were so many of the enemy in the city, lest the Sabine and Etruscan troops might presently come up according to a concerted plan, and their inveterate enemies, the Volscians and Aequans should come, not to ravage their territories, as before, but even to the gates of the city, as being already in part taken. Many and various were their fears, the most prominent among which was their dread of the slaves, lest each should harbour an enemy in his own house, one whom it was neither sufficiently safe to trust, nor, by distrusting, to pronounce unworthy of confidence, lest he might prove a more deadly foe. And it scarcely seemed that the evil could be resisted by harmony: no one had any fear of tribunes or commons, while other troubles so predominated and threatened to swamp the state: that fear seemed an evil of a mild nature, and one that always arose during the cessation of other ills, and then appeared to be lulled to rest by external alarm. Yet at the present time that, almost more than anything else, weighed heavily on their sinking fortunes: for such madness took possession of the tribunes, that contended that not war, but an empty appearance of war, had taken possession of the Capitol, to divert the people's minds from attending to the law: that these friends and clients of the patricians would depart in deeper silence than they had come, if they once perceived that, by the law being passed, they had raised these tumults in vain. They then held a meeting for passing the law, having called away the people from arms. In the meantime, the consuls convened the senate, another dread presenting itself by the action of the tribunes, greater than that which the nightly foe had occasioned.

When it was announced that the men were laying aside their arms, and quitting their posts, Publius Valerius, while his colleague still detained the senate, hastened from the senate-house, and went thence into the meeting-place to the tribunes. "What is all this," said he, "O tribunes? Are you determined to overthrow the commonwealth under the guidance and auspices of Appius Herdonius? Has he been so successful in corrupting you, he who, by his authority, has not even influenced your slaves? When the enemy is over our heads, is it your pleasure that we should give up our arms, and laws be proposed?" Then, directing his words to the populace: "If, Quirites, no concern for your city, or for yourselves, moves you, at least revere the gods of your country, now made captive by the enemy. Jupiter, best and greatest, Queen Juno, and Minerva, and the other gods and goddesses,[25] are being besieged; a camp of slaves now holds possession of the tutelary gods of the state. Does this seem to you the behavior of a state in its senses? Such a crowd of enemies is not only within the walls, but in the citadel, commanding the forum an senate-house: in the meanwhile meetings are being held in the forum, the senate is in the senate-house: just as when tranquility prevails, the senator gives his opinion, the other Romans their votes. Does it not behoove all patricians and plebeians, consuls, tribunes, gods, and men of all classes, to bring aid with arms in their hands, to hurry into the Capitol, to liberate and restore to peace that most august residence of Jupiter, best and greatest? O Father Romulus! Do thou inspire thy progeny with that determination of thine, by which thou didst formerly recover from these same Sabines this citadel, when captured by gold. Order them to pursue this same path, which thou, as leader, and thy army, pursued. Lo! I as consul will be the first to follow thee and thy footsteps, as far as I, a mortal, can follow a god." Then, in concluding his speech, he said that he was ready to take up arms, that he summoned every citizen of Rome to arms; if any one should oppose, that he, heedless of the consular authority, the tribunician power, and the devoting laws, would consider him as an enemy, whoever and wheresoever he might be, in the Capitol, or in the forum. Let the tribunes order arms to be taken up against Publius Valerius the consul, since they forbade it against Appius Herdonius; that he would dare to act in the case of the tribunes, as the founder of his family [26] had dared to act in the case of the kings. It was now clear that matters would come to violent extremities, and that a quarrel among Romans would be exhibited to the enemy. The law however could neither be carried, nor could the consul proceed to the Capitol. Night put an end to the struggle that had been begun; the tribunes yielded to the night, dreading the arms of the consuls.[27] When the ringleaders of the disturbances had been removed, the patricians went about among the commons, and, mingling in their meetings, spread statements suited to the occasion: they advised them to take heed into what danger they were bringing the commonwealth: that the contest was not one between patricians and commons, but that patricians and commons together, the fortress of the city, the temples of the gods, the guardian gods of the state and of private families, were being delivered up to the enemy. While these measures were being taken in the forum for the purpose of appeasing the disturbances, the consuls in the meantime had retired to visit the gates and the walls, fearing that the Sabines or the Veientine enemy might bestir themselves.

During the same night, messengers reached Tusculum with news of the capture of the citadel, the seizure of the Capitol, and also of the generally disturbed condition of the city. Lucius Mamilius was at that time dictator at Tusculum; he, having immediately convoked the senate and introduced the messengers, earnestly advised, that they should not wait until ambassadors came from Rome, suing for assistance; that the danger itself and importance of the crisis, the gods of allies, and the good faith of treaties, demanded it; that the gods would never afford them a like opportunity of obliging so powerful a state and so near a neighbour. It was resolved that assistance should be sent the young men were enrolled, and arms given them. On their way to Rome at break of day, at a distance they exhibited the appearance of enemies. The Æquans or Volscians were thought to be coming. Then, after the groundless alarm was removed, they were admitted into the city and descended in a body into the forum. There Publius Valerius, having left his colleague with the guards of the gates, was now drawing up his forces in order of battle. The great influence of the man produced an effect on the people, when he declared that, when the Capitol was recovered, and the city restored to peace, if they allowed themselves to be convinced what hidden guile was contained in the law proposed by the tribunes, he, mindful of his ancestors, mindful of his surname, and remembering that the duty of protecting the people had been handed down to him as hereditary by his ancestors, would offer no obstruction to the meeting of the people. Following him, as their leader, in spite of the fruitless opposition of the tribunes, they marched up the ascent of the Capitoline Hill. The Tusculan troops also joined them. Allies and citizens vied with each other as to which of them should appropriate to themselves the honour of recovering the citadel. Each leader encouraged his own men. Then the enemy began to be alarmed, and placed no dependence on anything but their position. While they were in this state of alarm, the Romans and allies advanced to attack them. They had already burst into the porch of the temple, when Publius Valerius was slain while cheering on the fight at the head of his men. Publius Volumnius, a man of consular rank, saw him falling. Having directed his men to cover the body, he himself rushed forward to take the place and duty of the consul. Owing to their excitement and impetuosity, this great misfortune passed unnoticed by the soldiers, they conquered before they perceived that they were fighting without a leader. Many of the exiles defiled the temple with their blood; many were taken prisoners: Herdonius was slain. Thus the Capitol was recovered. With respect to the prisoners, punishment was inflicted on each according to his station, as he was a freeman or a slave. The Tusculans received the thanks of the Romans: the Capitol was cleansed and purified. The commons are stated to have thrown every man a farthing into the consul's house, that he might be buried with more splendid obsequies.

Order being thus established, the tribunes then urged the patricians to fulfill the Promise given by Publius Valerius; they pressed on Claudius to free the shade of his colleague from breach of faith, and to allow the matter of the law to proceed. The consul asserted that he would not suffer the discussion of the law to proceed, until he had appointed a colleague to assist him. These disputes lasted until the time of the elections for the substitution of a consul. In the month of December, by the most strenuous exertions of the patricians, Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus, Caeso's father, was elected consul, to enter upon office without delay. The commons were dismayed at being about to have for consul a man incensed against them, powerful by the support of the patricians, by his own merit, and by reason of his three sons, not one of whom was inferior to Caeso in greatness of spirit, while they were his superiors in the exercise of prudence and moderation, whenever occasion required. When he entered upon office, in his frequent harangues from the tribunal, he was not more vehement in restraining the commons than in reproving the senate, owing to the listlessness of which body the tribunes of the commons, now become a standing institution, exercised regal authority, by means of their readiness of speech and prosecutions, not as if in a republic of the Roman people, but as if in an ill-regulated household. That with his son Caeso, valour, constancy, all the splendid qualifications of youth in war and in peace, had been driven and exiled from the city of Rome: that talkative and turbulent men, sowers of discord, twice and even thrice re-elected tribunes by the vilest intrigues, lived in the enjoyment of regal irresponsibility. "Does that Aulus Verginius," said he, "deserve less punishment than Appius Herdonius, because he was not in the Capitol? Considerably more, by Hercules, if any one will look at the matter fairly. Herdonius, if nothing else, by avowing himself an enemy, thereby as good as gave you notice to take up arms: this man, by denying the existence of war, took arms out of your hands, and exposed you defenceless to the attack of slaves and exiles. And did you--I will speak with all due respect for Gaius Claudius and Publius Valerius, now no more--did you decide to advance against the Capitoline Hill before you expelled those enemies from the forum? I feel ashamed in the sight of gods and men. When the enemy were in the citadel, in the Capitol, when the leader of the exiles and slaves, after profaning everything, took up his residence in the shrine of Jupiter, best and greatest, arms were taken up at Tusculum sooner than at Rome. It was a matter of doubt whether Lucius Mamilius, the Tusculan leader, or Publius Valerius and Gaius Claudius, the consuls, recovered the Roman citadel, and we, who formerly did not suffer the Latins to touch arms, not even in their own defence, when they had the enemy on their very frontiers, should have been taken and destroyed now, had not the Latins taken up arms of their own accord. Tribunes, is this bringing aid to the commons, to expose them in a defenceless state to be butchered by the enemy? I suppose, if any one, even the humblest individual of your commons--which portion you have as it were broken off from the rest of the state, and created a country and a commonwealth of your own--if any one of these were to bring you word that his house was beset by an armed band of slaves, you would think that assistance should be afforded him: was then Jupiter, best and greatest, when hemmed in by the arms of exiles and of slaves, deserving of no human aid? And do these persons claim to be considered sacred and inviolable, to whom the gods themselves are neither sacred nor inviolable? Well but, loaded as you are with crimes against both gods and men, you proclaim that you will pass your law this year. Verily then, on the day I was created consul, it was a disastrous act of the state, much more so even than the day when Publius Valerius the consul fell, if you shall pass it. Now, first of all," said he, "Quirites, it is the intention of myself and of my colleague to march the legions against the Volscians and the Aequans. I know not by what fatality we find the gods more propitious when we are at war than in peace. How great the danger from those states would have been, had they known that the Capitol was besieged by exiles, it is better to conjecture from what is past, than to learn by actual experience."

The consul's harangue had a great effect on the commons: the patricians, recovering their spirits, believed the state re-established. The other consul, a more ardent partner than promoter of a measure, readily allowing his colleague to take the lead in measures of such importance, claimed to himself his share of the consular duty in carrying these measures into execution. Then the tribunes, mocking these declarations as empty, went on to ask how the consuls were going to lead out an army, seeing that no one would allow them to hold a levy? "But," replied Quinctius, "we have no need of a levy, since, at the time Publius Valerius gave arms to the commons to recover the Capitol, they all took an oath to him, that they would assemble at the command of the consul, and would not depart without his permission. We therefore publish an order that all of you, who have sworn, attend to-morrow under arms at the Lake Regillus." The tribunes then began to quibble, and wanted to absolve the people from their obligation, asserting that Quinctius was a private person at the time when they were bound by the oath. But that disregard of the gods, which possesses the present generation, had not yet gained ground: nor did every one accommodate oaths and laws to his own purposes, by interpreting them as it suited him, but rather adapted his own conduct to them. Wherefore the tribunes, as there was no hope of obstructing the matter, attempted to delay the departure of the army the more earnestly on this account, because a report had gone out, both that the augurs had been ordered to attend at the Lake Regillius and that a place was to be consecrated, where business might be transacted with the people by auspices: and whatever had been passed at Rome by tribunician violence, might be repealed there in the assembly.[28] That all would order what the consuls desired: for that there was no appeal at a greater distance than a mile [29] from the city: and that the tribunes, if they should come there, would, like the rest of the Quirites, be subjected to the consular authority. This alarmed them: but the greatest anxiety which affected their minds was because Quinctius frequently declared that he would not hold an election of consuls. That the malady of the state was not of an ordinary nature, so that it could be stopped by the ordinary remedies. That the commonwealth required a dictator, so that whoever attempted to disturb the condition of the state, might feel that from the dictatorship there was no appeal.

The senate was assembled in the Capitol. Thither the tribunes came with the commons in a state of great consternation: the multitude, with loud clamours, implored the protection, now of the consuls, now of the patricians: nor could they move the consul from his determination, until the tribunes promised that they would submit to the authority of the senate. Then, on the consul's laying before them the demands of the tribunes and commons, decrees of the senate were passed: that neither should the tribunes propose the law during that year, nor should the consuls lead out the army from the city--that, for the future, the senate decided that it was against the interests of the commonwealth that the same magistrates should be continued and the same tribunes be reappointed. The consuls conformed to the authority of the senate: the tribunes were reappointed, notwithstanding the remonstrance of the consuls. The patricians also, that they might not yield to the commons in any particular, themselves proposed to re-elect Lucius Quinctius consul. No address of the consul was delivered with greater warmth during the entire year. "Can I be surprised," said he, "if your authority with the people is held in contempt, O conscript fathers? It is you yourselves who are weakening it. Forsooth, because the commons have violated a decree of the senate, by reappointing their magistrates, you yourselves also wish it to be violated, that you may not be outdone by the populace in rashness; as if greater power in the state consisted in the possession of greater inconstancy and liberty of action; for it is certainly more inconstant and greater folly to render null and void one's own decrees and resolutions, than those of others. Do you, O conscript fathers, imitate the unthinking multitude; and do you, who should be an example to others, prefer to transgress by the example of others, rather than that others should act rightly by yours, provided only I do not imitate the tribunes, nor allow myself to be declared consul, contrary to the decree of the senate. But as for you, Gaius Claudius, I recommend that you, as well as myself, restrain the Roman people from this licentious spirit, and that you be persuaded of this, as far as I am concerned, that I shall take it in such a spirit, that I shall not consider that my attainment of office has been obstructed by you, but that the glory of having declined the honour has been augmented, and the odium, which would threaten me if it were continued, lessened." Thereupon they issued this order jointly: That no one should support the election of Lucius Quinctius as consul: if any one should do so, that they would not allow the vote.

The consuls elected were Quintus Fabius Vibulanus (for the third time), and Lucius Cornelius Maluginensis. The census was taken during that year; it was a matter of religious scruple that the lustrum should be closed, on account of the seizure of the Capitol and the death of the consul. In the consulship of Quintus Fabius and Lucius Cornelius, disturbances woke out immediately at the beginning of the year. The tribunes were urging on the commons. The Latins and Hernicans brought word that a formidable war was threatening on the part of the Volscians and Æquans; that the troops of the Volscians were now in the neighbourhood of Antium. Great apprehension was also entertained, that the colony itself would revolt: and with difficulty the tribunes were prevailed upon to allow the war to be attended to first. The consuls divided their respective spheres of action. Fabius was commissioned to march the legions to Antium: to Cornelius was assigned the duty of keeping guard at Rome, lest any portion of the enemy's troops, as was the practice of the Aequans, should advance to commit depredations. The Hernicans and Latins were ordered to supply soldiers in accordance with the treaty; and of the army two thirds consisted of allies, the remainder of Roman citizens. When the allies arrived on the appointed day, the consul pitched his camp outside the porta Capena.[30] Then, after the army had been reviewed, he set out for Antium, and encamped not far from the town and fixed quarters of the enemy. There, when the Volscians, not venturing to risk an engagement, because the contingent from the Aequans had not yet arrived, were making preparations to see how they might protect themselves quietly within their ramparts, on the following day Fabius drew up not one mixed army of allies and citizens, but three bodies of the three states separately around the enemy's works. He himself occupied the centre with the Roman legions. He ordered them to watch for the signal for action, so that at the same time both the allies might begin the action together, and retire together if he should give orders to sound a retreat. He also posted the proper cavalry of each division behind the front line. Having thus assailed the camp at three different points, he surrounded it: and, pressing on from every side, he dislodged the Volscians, who were unable to withstand his attack, from the rampart. Having then crossed the fortifications, he drove out from the camp the crowd who were panic-stricken and inclining to make for one direction. Upon this the cavalry, who could not have easily passed over the rampart, having stood by till then as mere spectators of the fight, came up with them while flying in disorder over the open plain, and enjoyed a share of the victory, by cutting down the affrighted troops. Great was the slaughter of the fugitives, both in the camp and outside the lines; but the booty was still greater, because the enemy were scarcely able to carry off their arms with them; and the entire army would have been destroyed, had not the woods covered them in their flight.

While these events were taking place at Antium, the Aequans, in the meanwhile, sending forward the flower of their youth surprised the citadel of Tusculum by night: and with the rest of their army sat down at no great distance from the walls of Tusculutn, so as to divide the forces of the enemy.[31] News of this being quickly brought to Rome, and from Rome to the camp at Antium, affected the Romans no less than if it had been announced that the Capitol was taken; so recent was the service rendered by the Tusculans, and the very similarity of the danger seemed to demand a return of the aid that had been afforded. Fabius, giving up all thought of everything else, removed the booty hastily from the camp to Antium: and, having left a small garrison there, hurried on his army by forced marches to Tusculum. The soldiers were allowed to take with them nothing but their arms, and whatever baked provision was at hand. The consul Cornelius sent up provisions from Rome. The war was carried on at Tusculum for several months. With one part of his army the consul assailed the camp of the Aequans; he had given part to the Tusculans to aid in the recovery of their citadel. They could never have made their way up to it by force: at length famine caused the enemy to withdraw from it. When matters subsequently came to extremities, they were all sent under the yoke,

  1. by the Tusculans, unarmed and naked. While returning home in ignominious flight, they were overtaken by the Roman consul at Algidum, and cut to pieces to a man.[33] After this victory, having marched back his army to Columen (so is the place named), he pitched his camp there. The other consul also, as soon as the Roman walls ceased to be in danger, now that the enemy had been defeated, set out from Rome. Thus the consuls, having entered the territories of the enemies on two different sides, in eager rivalry plundered the territory of the Volscians on the one hand, and of the Aequans on the other. I find it stated by several writers that the people of Antium revolted during the same year. That Lucius Cornelius, the consul, conducted that war and took the town; I would not venture to assert it for certain, because no mention is made of the matter in the older writers.

This war being concluded, a tribunician war at home alarmed the senate. The tribunes held that the detention of the army abroad was due to a fraudulent motive: that that deception was intended to prevent the passing of the law; that they, however, would none the less go through with the matter they had undertaken. Publius Lucretius, however, the prefect of the city, so far prevailed, that the proceedings of the tribunes were postponed till the arrival of the consuls. A new cause of disturbance had also arisen. The quæstors,

  1. Aulus Cornelius and Quintus Servilius, appointed a day of trial for Marcus Volscius, because he had come forward as a manifestly false witness against Caeso. For it was established by many proofs, that the brother of Volscius, from the time he first fell ill, had not only never been seen in public, but that he had not even left his bed after he had been attacked by illness, and that he had died of a wasting disease of several months' standing; and that at the time to which the witness had referred the commission of the crime, Caeso had not been seen at Rome: while those who had served in the army with him positively stated that at that time he had regularly attended at his post along with them without any leave of absence. Many, on their own account, proposed to Volscius to refer the matter to the decision of an arbitrator. As he did not venture to go to trial, all these points coinciding rendered the condemnation of Volscius no less certain than that of Caeso had been on the testimony of Volscius. The tribunes were the cause of delay, who said that they would not suffer the quæstors to hold the assembly concerning the accused, unless it were first held concerning the law. Thus both matters were spun out till the arrival of the consuls. When they entered the city in triumph with their victorious army, because nothing was said about the law, many thought that the tribunes were struck with dismay. But they in reality (for it was now the close of the year), being eager to obtain a fourth tribuneship, had turned away their efforts from the law to the discussion of the elections; and when the consuls, with the object of lessening their dignity, opposed the continuation of their tribuneship with no less earnestness than if the law in question had been proposed, the victory in the contest was on the side of the tribunes.

In the same year peace was granted to the Aequans on their suing for it. The census, begun in the preceding year, was completed: this is said to have been the tenth lustrum that was completed from the date of the foundation of the city. The number of citizens rated was one hundred and seventeen thousand three hundred and nineteen. The consuls obtained great glory this year both at home and in war, because they established peace abroad, while at home, though the state was not in a condition of absolute harmony, yet it was less harassed by dissensions than at other times.

Lucius Minucius and Gaius Nautius being next elected consuls took up the two causes which remained undecided from the preceding year. As before, the consuls obstructed the law, the tribunes the trial of Volscius: but in the new quæstors there was greater power and greater influence. With Marcus Valerius, son of Manius and grandson of Volesus Titus Quinctius Capitolinus, who had been thrice consul, was appointed quaestor. Since Caeso could neither be restored to the Quinctian family, nor to the state, though a most promising youth, did he, justly, and as in duty bound, prosecute the false witness who had deprived an innocent person of the power of pleading his cause. When Verginius, more than any of the tribunes, busied himself about the passing of the law, the space of two months was allowed the consuls to examine into the law: on condition that, when they had satisfied the people as to what secret designs were concealed under it, [35] they should then allow them to give their votes. The granting of this respite established tranquility in the city. The Aequans, however, did not allow them long rest: in violation of the treaty which had been made with the Romans the year before, they conferred the chief command on Gracchus Cloelius. He was then by far the chief man among the Aequans. Under the command of Gracchus they advanced with hostile depredations into the district of Labici, from thence into that of Tusculum, and, laden with booty, pitched their camp at Algidum. To that camp came Quintus Fabius, Publius Volumnius, Aulus Postumius, ambassadors from Rome, to complain of the wrongs committed, and to demand restitution in accordance with the treaty. The general of the Aequans commanded them to deliver to the oak the message they brought from the Roman senate; that he in the meantime would attend to other matters. An oak, a mighty tree, whose shade formed a cool resting-place, overhung the general's tent. Then one of the ambassadors, when departing, cried out: "Let both this consecrated oak and all the gods hear that the treaty has been broken by you, and both lend a favourable ear to our complaints now, and assist our arms presently, when we shall avenge the rights of gods and men that have been violated simultaneously." As soon as the ambassadors returned to Rome, the senate ordered one of the consuls to lead his army into Algidum against Gracchus, to the other they assigned as his sphere of action the devastation of the country of the Aequans. The tribunes, after their usual manner, attempted to obstruct the levy, and probably would have eventually succeeded in doing so, had not a new and additional cause of alarm suddenly arisen.

A large force of Sabines, committing dreadful devastation advanced almost up to the walls of the city. The fields were laid waste, the city was smitten with terror. Then the commons cheerfully took up arms; two large armies were raised, the remonstrance of the tribunes being of no avail. Nautius led one against the Sabines, and, having pitched his camp at Eretum,[36] by trifling incursions, mostly by night, he so desolated the Sabine territory that, in comparison with it, the Roman borders seemed almost undamaged by the war. Minucius neither had the same good fortune nor displayed the same energy in conducting his operations: for after he had pitched his camp at no great distance from the enemy, without having experienced any reverse of importance, he kept himself through fear within the camp. When the enemy perceived this, their boldness increased, as usually happens, from the fears of others; and, having attacked his camp by night, when open force availed little, they drew lines of circumvallation around it on the following day. Before these could close the means of egress, by a rampart thrown up on all sides, five horsemen, despatched between the enemies' posts, brought news to Rome, that the consul and his army were besieged. Nothing could have happened so unexpected nor so unlooked-for. Accordingly, the panic and the alarm were as great as if the enemy were besieging the city, not the camp. They summoned the consul Nautius; and when there seemed to be but insufficient protection in him, and it was determined that a dictator should be appointed to retrieve their shattered fortunes, Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus was appointed by universal consent.

It is worth while for those persons who despise all things human in comparison with riches, and who suppose that there is no room either for exalted honour, or for virtue, except where riches abound in great profusion, to listen to the following: Lucius Quinctius, the sole hope of the empire of the Roman people, cultivated a farm of four acres on the other side of the Tiber, which is called the Quinctian meadows, exactly opposite the place where the dock-yard now is. There, whether leaning on a stake while digging a trench, or while ploughing, at any rate, as is certain, while engaged on some work in the fields, after mutual exchange of salutations had taken place, being requested by the ambassadors to put on his toga, and listen to the commands of the senate (with wishes that it might turn out well both for him and the commonwealth), he was astonished, and, asking whether all was well, bade his wife Racilia immediately bring his toga from the hut. As soon as he had put it on and come forward, after having first wiped off the dust and sweat, the ambassadors congratulating him, united in saluting him as dictator: they summoned him into the city, and told him what terror prevailed in the army. A vessel was prepared for Quinctius by order of the government, and his three sons, having come out to meet him, received him on landing at the other side; then his other relatives and his friends: then the greater part of the patricians. Accompanied by this numerous attendance, the lictors going before him, he was conducted to his residence.[37] There was a numerous concourse of the commons also: but they by no means looked on Quinctius with the same satisfaction, as they considered both that he was vested with excessive authority, and was likely to prove still more arbitrary by the exercise of that same authority. During that night, however, nothing was done except that guards were posted in the city.

On the next day the dictator, having entered the forum before daylight, appointed as his master of the horse Lucius Tarquitius, a man of patrician family, but who, though he had served his campaigns on foot by reason of his scanty means, was yet considered by far the most capable in military matters among the Roman youth. With his master of the horse he entered the assembly, proclaimed a suspension of public business, ordered the shops to be closed throughout the city, and forbade any one to attend to any private affairs. Then he commanded all who were of military age to attend under arms, in the Campus Martius, before sunset, with dressed provisions for five days and twelve stakes apiece: those whose age rendered them unfit for active service were ordered to prepare victuals for the soldiers near them, while the latter were getting their arms ready, and procuring stakes. Accordingly, the young men ran in all directions to procure the stakes; they took them whatever was nearest to each: no one was prevented from doing so: all attended readily according to the dictator's order. Then, the troops being drawn up, not more suitably for a march than for an engagement, should occasion require it, the dictator himself marched at the head of the legions, the master of the horse at the head of his cavalry. In both bodies such exhortations were delivered as circumstances required: that they should quicken their pace; that there was need of despatch, that they might reach the enemy by night; that the consul and the Roman army were besieged; that they had now been shut up for three days; that it was uncertain what each day or night might bring with it; that the issues of the most important affairs often depended on a moment of time. The soldiers, to please their leaders, exclaimed among themselves: "Standard-bearer, hasten; follow, soldier." At midnight they reached Algidum: and, as soon as they perceived that they were near the enemy, they halted.

There the dictator, riding about, and having observe as far as could be ascertained by night, what the extent of the camp was, and what was its nature, commanded the tribunes of the soldiers to order the baggage to be thrown into one place, and that the soldiers with their arms and bundles of stakes should return to their ranks. His orders were executed. Then, with the regularity which they had observed on the march, he drew the entire army in a long column around the enemy's camp, and directed that, when the signal was given, they should all raise a shout, and that, on the shout being raised, each man should throw up a trench before his post, and fix his palisade. The orders being issued, the signal followed: the soldiers carried out their instructions; the shout echoed around the enemy: it then passed beyond the camp of the enemy, and reached that of the consul: in the one it occasioned panic, in the other great joy. The Romans, observing to each other with exultation that this was the shout of their countrymen, and that aid was at hand, took the initiative, and from their watch-guards and outposts dismayed the enemy. The consul declared that there must be no delay; that by that shouts not only their arrival was intimated, but that hostilities were already begun by their friends; and that it would be a wonder if the enemy's camp were not attacked on the farther side. He therefore ordered his men to take up arms and follow him. The battle was begun during the night. They gave notice by a shout to the dictator's legions that on that side also the decisive moment had arrived. The AEquans were now preparing to prevent the works from being drawn around them, when, the battle being begun by the enemy from within, having turned their attention from those employed on the fortifications to those who were fighting on the inside, lest a sally should be made through the centre of their camp, they left the night free for the completion of the work, and continued the fight with the consul till daylight. At daybreak they were now encompassed by the dictator's works, and were scarcely able to maintain the fight against one army. Then their lines were attacked by the army of Quinctius, which, immediately after completing its work, returned to arms. Here a new engagement pressed on them: the former one had in no wise slackened. Then, as the danger that beset them on both sides pressed them hard, turning from fighting to entreaties, they implored the dictator on the one hand, the consul on the other, not to make the victory their total destruction, and to suffer them to depart without arms. They were ordered by the consul to apply to the dictator: he, incensed against them, added disgrace to defeat. He gave orders that Gracchus Cloelius, their general, and the other leaders should be brought to him in chains, and that the town of Corbio should be evacuated; he added that he did not desire the lives of the Æquans: that they were at liberty to depart; but that a confession might at last be wrung from them that their nation was defeated and subdued, they would have to pass under the yoke. The yoke was formed of three spears, two fixed in the ground, and one tied across between the upper ends of them. Under this yoke the dictator sent the Æquans.

The enemy's camp, which was full of all their belongings--for he had sent them out of the camp half naked--having been taken, he distributed all the booty among his own soldiers only: rebuking the consul's army and the consul himself, he said: "Soldiers, you shall not enjoy any portion of the spoil taken from that enemy to whom you yourselves nearly became a spoil: and you, Lucius Minucius, until you begin to assume a spirit worthy of a consul, shall command these legions only as lieutenant." Minucius accordingly resigned his office of consul, and remained with the army, as he had been commanded. But so meekly obedient were the minds of men at that time to authority combined with superior merit, that this army, remembering his kindness, rather than their own disgrace, both voted a golden crown of a pound weight to the dictator, and saluted him as their preserver when he set out. The senate at Rome, convened by Quintus Fabius, prefect of the city, ordered Quinctius to enter the city in triumph, in the order of march in which he was coming. The leaders of the enemy were led before his car: the military standards were carried before him: his army followed laden with spoil. Banquets are said to have been spread before the houses of all, and the soldiers, partaking of the entertainment, followed the chariot with the triumphal hymn and the usual jests,[38] after the manner of revellers. On that day the freedom of the state was granted to Lucius Mamilius of Tusculum, amid universal approbation. The dictator would have immediately laid down his office had not the assembly for the trial of Marcus Volscius, the false witness, detained him; the fear of the dictator prevented the tribunes from obstructing it. Volscius was condemned and went into exile at Lanuvium. Quinctius laid down his dictatorship on the sixteenth day, having been invested with it for six months. During those days the consul Nautius engaged the Sabines at Eretum with distinguished success: besides the devastation of their lands, this additional blow also befell the Sabines. Fabius was sent to Algidum as successor to Minucius. Toward the end of the year the tribunes began to agitate concerning the law; but, because two armies were away, the patricians carried their point, that no proposal should be made before the people. The commons succeeded in electing the same tribunes for the fifth time. It is said that wolves seen in the Capitol were driven away by dogs, and that on account of that prodigy the Capitol was purified. Such were the transactions of that year.

Quintus Minucius and Gaius Horatius Pulvillus were the next consuls. At the beginning of this year, when there was peace abroad, the same tribunes and the same law occasioned disturbances at home; and matters would have proceeded further--so highly were men's minds inflamed-had not news been brought, as if for the very purpose, that by a night attack of the AEquans the garrison at Corbio had been cut off. The consuls convened the senate: they were ordered to raise a hasty levy and to lead it to Algidum. Then, the struggle about the law being abandoned, a new dispute arose regarding the levy. The consular authority was on the point of being overpowered by tribunician influence, when an additional cause of alarm arose: that the Sabine army had made a descent upon Roman territory to commit depredations and from thence was advancing toward the city. This fear influenced the tribunes to allow the soldiers to be enrolled, not without a stipulation, however, that since they themselves had been foiled for five years, and as the present college was but inadequate protection for the commons, ten tribunes of the people should henceforward be elected. Necessity extorted this concession from the patricians: they only exacted this proviso, that they should not hereafter see the same men tribunes. The election for the tribunes was held immediately, lest that measure also, like others, might remain unfulfilled after the war. In the thirty-sixth year after the first tribunes, ten were elected, two from each class; and provision was made that they should be elected in this manner for the future. The levy being then held, Minucius marched out against the Sabines, but found no enemy. Horatius, when the Æquans, having put the garrison at Corbio to the sword, had taken Ortona also, fought a battle at Algidum, in which he slew a great number of the enemy and drove them not only from Algidum, but from Corbio and Ortona. He also razed Corbio to the ground for having betrayed the garrison.

Marcus Valerius and Spurius Verginius were next elected consuls. Quiet prevailed at home and abroad. The people were distressed for provisions on account of the excessive rains. A law was proposed to make Mount Aventine public property. [39] The same tribunes of the people were re-elected. In the following year, Titus Romilius and Gaius Veturius being consuls, they strongly recommended the law in all their harangues, declaring that they were ashamed that their number had been increased to no purpose, it that matter should be neglected during their two years in the same manner as it had been during the whole preceding five. While they were most busily employed in these matters, an alarming message came from Tusculum that the Æquans were in Tusculan territory. The recent services of that state made them ashamed of delaying relief. Both the consuls were sent with an army, and found the enemy in their usual post in Algidum. There a battle was fought: upward of seven thousand of the enemy were slain, the rest were put to flight: immense booty was obtained. This the consuls sold on account of the low state of the treasury. This proceeding, however, brought them into odium with the army, and also afforded the tribunes material for bringing a charge against the consuls before the commons. Accordingly, as soon as they went out of office, in the consulship of Spurius Tarpeius and Aulus Aternius, a day of trial was appointed for Romilius by Gaius Calvius Cicero, tribune of the people; for Veturius, by Lucius Alienus plebeian ædile. They were both condemned, to the great mortification of the patricians: Romilius to pay ten thousand asses, Veturius fifteen thousand. Nor did this misfortune of their predecessors render the new consuls more timid. They said that on the one hand they might be condemned, and that on the other the commons and tribunes could not carry the law. Then, having abandoned the law, which, by being repeatedly brought forward, had now lost consideration, the tribunes, adopted a milder method of proceeding with the patricians. Let them, said they, at length put an end to disputes. If laws drawn up by plebeians displeased them, at least let them allow legislators to be chosen in common, both from the commons and from the patricians, who might propose measures advantageous to both parties, and such as would tend to the establishment of liberty on principles of equality. The patricians did not disdain to accept the proposal. They claimed that no one should propose laws, except he were a patrician. When they agreed with respect to the laws, and differed only in regard to the proposer, ambassadors were sent to Athens, Spurius Postumius Albus, Aulus Manlius, Publius Sulpicius Camerinus, who were ordered to copy out the celebrated laws of Solon, and to make themselves acquainted with the institutions, customs, and laws of the other states of Greece.

The year was peaceful as regards foreign wars; the following one, when Publius Curiatius and Sextus Quinctilius were consuls, was still more quiet, owing to the tribunes observing uninterrupted silence, which was occasioned in the first place by their waiting for the return of the ambassadors who had gone to Athens, and for the account of the foreign laws; in the next place, two grievous calamities arose at the same time, famine and pestilence, destructive to man, and equally so to cattle. The lands were left desolate; the city exhausted by a constant succession of deaths. Many illustrious families were in mourning. The Flamen Quirinalis, [40]Servius Cornelius, died; also the augur, Gaius Horatius Pulvillus; in his place the augurs elected Gaius Veturius, and that with all the more eagerness, because he had been condemned by the commons. The consul Quinctilius died, and four tribunes of the people. The year was rendered a melancholy one by these manifold disasters; as far as foreign foes were concerned there was perfect quiet. Then Gaius Menenius and Publius Sestius Capitolinus were elected consuls. Nor in that year was there any foreign war: but disturbances arose at home. The ambassadors had now returned with the Athenian laws; the tribunes therefore insisted the more urgently that a beginning should at length be made of compiling the laws. It was resolved that decemvirs should be elected to rule without appeal, and that there should be no other magistrate during that year. There was, for a considerable time, a dispute whether plebeians should be admitted among them: at length the point was conceded to the patricians, provided that the Icilian law regarding the Aventine and the other devoting laws were not repealed.

In the three hundred and second year after the foundation of Rome, the form of government was a second time changed, the supreme power being transferred from consuls to decemvirs as it had passed before from kings to consuls. The change was less remarkable, because not of long duration; for the joyous commencement of that government afterward ran riot through excess. On that account the sooner did the arrangement fall to the ground, and the practice was revived, that the name and authority of consuls should be committed to two persons. The decemvirs appointed were, Appius Claudius, Titus Genucius, Publius Sestius, Lucius Veturius, Gaius Julius, Aulus Manlius, Publius Sulpicius, Publius Curiatius, Titus Romilius, Spurius Postumius. On Claudius and Genucius, because they had been consuls elect for that year, the honour was conferred in compensation for the honour of the consulate; and on Sestius, one of the consuls of the former year, because he had proposed the plan itself to the senate against the will of his colleague. Next to these were considered the three ambassadors who had gone to Athens, so that the honour might serve at once as a recompense for so distant an embassy, while at the same time they considered that persons acquainted with the foreign laws would be of use in drawing up the new code of justice. The others made up the number. They say that also persons advanced in years were appointed by the last suffrages, in order that they might oppose with less warmth the opinions of others. The direction of the entire government rested with Appius through the favour of the commons, and he had assumed a demeanour so different that, from being a severe and harsh persecutor of the people, he became suddenly a courter of the commons, and strove to catch every breath of popular favour. They administered justice to the people individually every tenth day. On that day the twelve fasces attended the administrator of justice; one officer attended each of his nine colleagues, and in the midst of the singular unanimity that existed among themselves--a harmony that sometimes proves prejudicial to private persons--the strictest equity was shown to others. In proof of their moderation it will be enough to instance a single case as an example. Though they had been appointed to govern without appeal, yet, upon a dead body being found buried in the house of Publius Sestius,[41] a man of patrician rank, and produced in the assembly, Gaius Julius, a decemvir, appointed a day of trial for Sestius, in a matter at once clear and heinous, and appeared before the people as prosecutor of the man whose lawful judge he was if accused: and relinquished his right,[42] so that he might add what had been taken from the power of the office to the liberty of the people.

While highest and lowest alike obtained from them this prompt administration of justice, undefiled, as if from an oracle, at the same time their attention was devoted to the framing of laws; and, the ten tables being proposed amid the intense expectation of all, they summoned the people to an assembly: and ordered them to go and read the laws that were exhibited, [43] and Heaven grant it might prove favourable, advantageous, and of happy result to the commonwealth, themselves, and their children. That they had equalized the rights of all, both the highest and the lowest, as far as could be devised by the abilities of ten men: that the understanding and counsels of a greater number had greater weight; let them turn over in their minds each particular among themselves, discuss it in conversation, and bring forward for public discussion whatever might be superfluous or defective under each particular: that the Roman people should have such laws only as the general consent might appear not so much to have ratified when proposed as to have itself proposed. When they seemed sufficiently corrected in accordance with public opinion regarding each section of the laws as it was published, the laws of the ten tables were passed at the assembly voting by centuries, which, even at the present time, amid the immense heap of laws crowded one upon the other, still remain the source of all public and private jurisprudence. A rumour then spread that two tables were needed, on the addition of which a digest, as it were, of the whole Roman law could be completed. The desire for this gave rise, as the day of election approached, to a request that decemvirs be appointed again. The commons by this time, besides that they detested the name of consuls no less than that of kings, did not even require the tribunician aid, as the decemvirs in turn allowed an appeal.

But when the assembly for the election of decemvirs was proclaimed for the third market-day, the flame of ambition burst out so powerfully that even the first men of the state began to canvass individuals--fearing, I suppose, that the possession of such high authority might become accessible to persons not sufficiently worthy if the post were left unoccupied by themselves--humbly soliciting, from those very commons with whom they had often contended, an honour which had been opposed by them with all their might. The fact of their dignity being now laid aside in a contest, at their time of life, and after they had filled such high official positions, stimulated the exertions of Appius Claudius. You would not have known whether to reckon him among the decemvirs or the candidates; he resembled at times more closely one canvassing for office than one invested with it; he aspersed the nobles, extolled all the most unimportant and insignificant candidates; surrounded by the Duellii and Icilii who had been tribunes, he himself bustled about the forum, through their means he recommended himself to the commons; until even his colleagues, who till then had been devoted to him heart and soul, turned their eyes on him, wondering what he was about. It was evident to them that there was no sincerity in it; that such affability amid such pride would surely prove not disinterested. That this excessive lowering of himself, and condescending to familiarity with private citizens, was characteristic not so much of one eager to retire from office, as of one seeking the means of continuing that office. Not daring openly to oppose his wishes, they set about mitigating his ardour by humouring it. They by common consent conferred on him, as being the youngest, the office of presiding at the elections. This was an artifice, to prevent his appointing himself; which no one ever did, except the tribunes of the people, and that with the very worst precedent. He, however, declaring that, with the favour of fortune, he would preside at the elections, seized upon what should have been an obstacle as a lucky opportunity: and having succeeded by a coalition in keeping out of office the two Quinctii, Capitolinus and Cincinnatus, and his own uncle Gaius Claudius, a man most steadfast in the cause of the nobility, and other citizens of equal eminence, he secured the appointment as decemvirs of men by no means their equals distinction--himself in the first instance, a proceeding which honourable men disapproved of greatly, as no one believed that he would have ventured to do it. With him were elected Marcus Cornelius Maluginensis, Marcus Sergius, Lucius Minucius, Quintus Fabius Vibulanus, Quintus Poetilius, Titus Antonius Merenda, Cæso Duilius, Spurius Oppius Cornicen, Manius Rabuleius.

This was the end of Appius's playing a part at variance with his disposition. Henceforward he began to live according to his natural character, and to mould to his own temper his new colleagues before they entered upon office. They daily held meetings in private: then, instructed in their unruly designs, which they concocted apart from others, now no longer dissembling their arrogance, difficult of access, captious to all who conversed with them, they protracted the matter until the ides of May. The ides of May was at that time the usual period for beginning office. Accordingly, at the attainment of their magistracy, they rendered the first day of their office remarkable by threats that inspired great terror. For, while the preceding decemvirs had observed the rule, that only one should have the fasces, and that this emblem of royalty should pass to all in rotation, to each in his turn, lo! On a sudden they all came forth, each with twelve fasces. One hundred and twenty lictors filled the forum, and carried before them the axes tied up with the fasces,[44] giving the explanation that it was of no consequence that the axe should be taken away, since they had been appointed without appeal. There appeared to be ten kings, and terrors were multiplied not only among the humblest individuals, but even among the principal men of the patricians, who thought that an excuse for the beginning of bloodshed was being sought for: so that, if any one should have uttered a word that hinted at liberty, either in the senate or in a meeting of the people, the rods and axes would also instantly be brought forward, for the purpose of intimidating the rest. For, besides that there was no protection in the people, as the right of appeal had been abolished, they had also by mutual consent prohibited interference with each other: whereas the preceding decemvirs had allowed the decisions pronounced by themselves to be amended by appeal to any one of their colleagues, and had referred to the people some points which seemed naturally to come within their own jurisdiction. For a considerable time the terror seemed equally distributed among all ranks; gradually it began to be directed entirely against the commons. While they spared the patricians, arbitrary and cruel measures were taken against the lower classes. As being persons with whom interest usurped the force of justice, they all took account of persons rather than of causes. They concerted their decisions at home, and pronounced them in the forum. If any one appealed to a colleague, he departed from the one to whom he had appealed in such a manner that he regretted that he had not abided by the sentence of the former. An irresponsible rumour had also gone abroad that they had conspired in their tyranny not only for the present time, but that a clandestine league had been concluded among them on oath, that they would not hold the comitia, but by perpetuating the decemvirate would retain supreme power now that it had once come into their possession.

The plebeians then began narrowly to watch the countenances of the patricians, and to strive to catch a glimpse of liberty from that quarter, by apprehending slavery from which they had brought the republic into its present condition. The leading members of the senate detested the decemvirs, detested the commons; they neither approved of what was going on, and they considered that what befell the latter was not undeserved. They were unwilling to assist men who, by rushing too eagerly toward liberty, had fallen into slavery: they even heaped injuries on them, that, from disgust at the present state of things, two consuls and the former constitution might at length be regretted. By this time the greater part of the year had passed, and two tables of laws had been added to the ten tables of the former year; and if these laws also had been passed in the assembly of the centuries, there would now have remained no reason why the republic should require that form of government. They were anxiously waiting to see how long it would be before the assembly would be proclaimed for the election of consuls. The only thing that troubled the commons was by what means they should re-establish the tribunician power, that bulwark of their liberty, now so long discontinued, no mention in the meantime being made of the elections. Further, the decemvirs, who had at first exhibited themselves to the people surrounded by men of tribunician rank, because that was deemed popular, now guarded themselves by bands of young patricians: crowds of these beset the tribunals. They harried the commons, and plundered their effects: when fortune was on the side of the more powerful individual in regard to whatever was coveted. And now they spared not even their persons: some were beaten with rods, others had to submit to the axe; and, that such cruelty might not go unrewarded, a grant of his effects followed the punishment of the owner. Corrupted by such bribes, the young nobles not only made no opposition to oppression, but openly avowed a preference for their own selfish gratification rather than for the liberty of all.

The ides of May came round. Without any magistrates being elected in place of those retiring, private persons [45]came forward as decemvirs, without any abatement either in their determination to enforce their authority, or any alteration in the insignia displayed as outward signs of office. That indeed seemed undoubted regal tyranny. Liberty was now deplored as lost forever: no champion of it stood forth, or seemed likely to do so. And not only were the Romans themselves sunk in despondency, but they began to be looked down upon by the neighbouring states, who felt indignant that sovereign power should be in the hands of a state where liberty did not exist. The Sabines with a numerous body of men made an incursion into Roman territory; and having committed extensive devastations, after they had driven off with impunity booty of men and cattle, they recalled their troops, which had been dispersed in different directions, to Eretum, where they pitched their camp, grounding their hopes on the dissensions at Rome, which they expected would prove an obstruction to the levy. Not only the couriers, but also the flight of the country people through the city inspired them with alarm. The decemvirs, left in a dilemma between the hatred of the patricians and people, took counsel what was to be done. Fortune, moreover, brought an additional cause of alarm. The AEquans on the opposite side pitched their camp at Algidum, and by raids from there ravaged Tusculan territory. News of this was brought by ambassadors from Tusculum imploring assistance. The panic thereby occasioned urged the decemvirs to consult the senate, now that two wars at once threatened the city. They ordered the patricians to be summoned into the senate-house, well aware what a storm of resentment was ready to break upon them; they felt that all would heap upon them the blame for the devastation of their territory, and for the dangers that threatened; and that that would give them an opportunity of endeavouring to abolish their office, if they did not unite in resisting, and by enforcing their authority with severity on a few who showed an intractable spirit repress the attempts of others. When the voice of the crier was heard in the forum summoning the senators into the senate-house to the presence of the decemvirs, this proceeding, as altogether new, because they had long since given up the custom of consulting the senate, attracted the attention of the people, who, full of surprise, wanted to know what had happened, and why, after so long an interval they were reviving a custom that had fallen into abeyance: stating that they ought to thank the enemy and the war, that any of the customs of a free state were complied with. They looked around for a senator through all parts of the forum, and seldom recognised one anywhere: they then directed their attention to the senate-house, and to the solitude around the decemvirs, who both themselves judged that their power was universally detested, while the commons were of opinion that the senators refused to assemble because the decemvirs, now reduced to the rank of private citizens, had no authority to convene them: that a nucleus was now formed of those who would help them to recover their liberty, if the commons would but side with the senate, and if, as the patricians, when summoned, refused to attend the senate, so also the commons would refuse to enlist. Thus the commons grumbled. There was hardly one of the patricians in the forum, and but very few in the city. In disgust at the state of affairs, they had retired into the country, and busied themselves only with their private affairs, giving up all thought of state concerns, considering that they themselves were out of reach of ill-treatment in proportion as they removed themselves from the meeting and converse of their imperious masters. When those who had been summoned did not assemble, state messengers were despatched to their houses, both to levy the penalties,[46] and to make inquiries whether they purposely refused to attend. They brought back word that the senate was in the country. This was more pleasing to the decemvirs, than if they brought word that they were present and refused obedience to their commands. They commanded them all to be summoned, and proclaimed a meeting of the senate for the following day, which assembled in much greater numbers than they themselves had expected. By this proceeding the commons considered that their liberty was betrayed by the patricians, because the senate had obeyed those persons, as if they had a right to compel them, who had already gone out of office, and were mere private individuals, were it not for the violence displayed by them.

However, they showed more obedience in coming into the senate than obsequiousness in the opinions expressed by them, as we have learned. It is recorded that, after Appius Claudius laid the subject of debate before the meeting, and before their opinions were asked in order, Lucius Valerius Potitus excited a commotion, by demanding permission to express his sentiments concerning the state, and--when the decemvirs prevented him with threats [47]--by declaring that he would present himself before the people. It is also recorded that Marcus Horatius Barbatus entered the lists with no less boldness, calling them "ten Tarquins," and reminding them that under the leadership of the Valerii and Horatii the kings had been expelled. Nor was it the mere name that men were then disgusted with, as being that by which it was proper that Jupiter should be styled, as also Romulus, the founder of the city, and the succeeding kings, and a name too which had been retained also for the ceremonies of religion,[48] as a solemn one; that it was the tyranny and arrogance of a king they then detested: and if these were not to be tolerated in that same king or the son of a king, who would tolerate it in so many private citizens? Let them beware lest, by preventing persons from expressing their sentiments freely in the senate, they obliged them to raise their voice outside the senate-house. Nor could he see how it was less allowable for him, a private citizen, to summon the people to an assembly, than for them to convene the senate. They might try, whenever they pleased, how much more determined a sense of wrong would be found to be, when it was a question of vindicating one's own liberty, than ambition, when the object was to preserve an unjust dominion. That they proposed the question concerning the war with the Sabines, as if the Roman people had any more important war on hand than that against those who, having been elected for the purpose of framing laws, had left no law in the state; who had abolished elections, annual magistrates, the regular change of rulers, which was the only means of equalizing liberty; who, though private citizens, still possessed the fasces and regal dominion. That after the expulsion of the kings, patrician magistrates had been appointed, and subsequently, after the secession of the people, plebeian magistrates. What party was it, he asked, to which they belonged? To the popular party? What had they ever done with the concurrence of the people? To the party of the nobles? Who for now nearly an entire year had not held a meeting of the senate, and then held one in such a manner that they prevented the expression of sentiments regarding the commonwealth? Let them not place too much hope in the fears of others; the grievances which they were now suffering appeared to men more oppressive than any they might apprehend.

While Horatius was exclaiming thus and the decemvirs could not discover the proper bounds either of their anger or forbearance, nor saw how the matter would end, Gaius Claudius, who was the uncle of Appius the decemvir, delivered an address more in the style of entreaty than reproach, beseeching him by the shade of his brother and of his father, that he would hold in recollection the civil society in which he had been born, rather than the confederacy nefariously entered into with his colleagues, adding that he besought this much more on Appius's own account, than for the sake of the commonwealth. For the commonwealth would claim its rights in spite of them, if it could not obtain them with their consent: that however, from a great contest great animosities were generally aroused: it was the result of the latter that he dreaded. Though the decemvirs forbade them to speak on any subject save that which they had submitted to them, they felt too much respect for Claudius to interrupt him He therefore concluded the expression of his opinion by moving that it was their wish that no decree of the senate should be passed. And all understood the matter thus, that they were judged by Claudius to be private citizens;[49] and many of those of consular standing expressed their assent in words. Another measure, more severe in appearance, which ordered the patricians to assemble to nominate an interrex, in reality had much less force; for by this motion the mover gave expression to a decided opinion that those persons were magistrates of some kind or other who might hold a meeting of the senate, while he who recommended that no decree of the senate should be passed, had thereby declared them private citizens. When the cause of the decemvirs was now failing, Lucius Cornelius Maluginensis, brother of Marcus Cornelius the decemvir, having been purposely reserved from among those of consular rank to close the debate, by affecting an anxiety about the war, defended his brother and his colleagues by declaring that he wondered by what fatality it had occurred, that those who had been candidates for the decemvirate, either these or their friends, had above all others attacked the decemvirs: or why, when no one had disputed for so many months while the state was free from anxiety, whether legal magistrates were at the head of affairs, they now at length sowed the seeds of civil discord, when the enemy were nearly at the gates, except it were that in a state of confusion they thought that their object would be less clearly seen through. For the rest, it was unfair that any one should prejudge a matter of such importance, while their minds were occupied with a more momentous concern. It was his opinion that, in regard to what Valerius and Horatius alleged--that the decemvirs had gone out of office before the ides of May--the matter should be discussed in the senate and left to them to decide, when the wars which were now impending were over, and the commonwealth restored to tranquility, and that Appius Claudius was even now preparing to take notice that an account had to be rendered by him of the election which he himself as decemvir held for electing decemvirs, whether they were elected for one year, or until the laws, which were wanting, were ratified. It was his opinion that all other matters should be disregarded for the present, except the war; and if they thought that the reports regarding it were propagated without foundation, and that not only the messengers but also the ambassadors of the Tusculans had stated what was false, he thought that scouts should be dispatched to bring back more certain information; but if credit were given both to the messengers and the ambassadors, that the levy should be held at the very earliest opportunity; that the decemvirs should lead the armies, whither each thought proper: and that no other matter should take precedence.

The junior patricians almost succeeded in getting this resolution passed on a division. Accordingly, Valerius and Horatius, rising again with greater vehemence, loudly demanded that it should be allowed them to express their sentiments concerning the republic; that they would address a meeting of the people, if owing to party efforts they were not allowed to do so in the senate: for that private individuals, whether in the senate or in a general assembly, could not prevent them: nor would they yield to their imaginary fasces. Appius, now considering that the crisis was already nigh at hand, when their authority would be overpowered, unless the violence of these were resisted with equal boldness, said, "It will be better for you not to utter a word on any subject, except the subject of discussion"; and against Valerius, when he refused to be silent for a private individual, he commanded a lictor to proceed. When Valerius, from the threshold of the senate-house, now craved the protection of the citizens, Lucius Cornelius, embracing Appius, put an end to the struggle, not in reality consulting the interest of him whose interest he pretended to consult;[50] and after permission to say what he pleased had been obtained for Valerius by means of Cornelius, when this liberty did not extend beyond words, the decemvirs attained their object. The men of consular rank also and senior members, from the hatred of tribunician power still rankling in their bosoms, the longing for which they considered was much more keenly felt by the commons than for the consular power, almost preferred that the decemvirs themselves should voluntarily resign their office at some future period, than that the people should once more become prominent through hatred against these. If the matter, quietly conducted, should again return to the consuls without popular turbulence, that the commons might be induced to forget their tribunes, either by the intervention of wars or by the moderation of the consuls in exercising their authority.

A levy was proclaimed without objection on the part of the patricians; the young men answered to their names, as the government was without appeal. The legions having been enrolled, the decemvirs proceeded to arrange among themselves who should set out to the war, who should command the armies. The leading men among the decemvirs were Quintus Fabius and Appius Claudius. The war at home appeared more serious than abroad. The decemvirs considered the violence of Appius better suited to suppress commotions in the city; that Fabius possessed a disposition rather lacking in firmness in a good purpose than energetic in a bad one. For this man, formerly distinguished at home and abroad, had been so altered by his office of decemvir and the influence of his colleagues that he chose rather to be like Appius than like himself. To him the war among the Sabines was intrusted, Manius Rabuleius and Quintus Paetilius being sent with him as colleagues. Marcus Cornelius was sent to Algidum with Lucius Minucius, Titus Antonius, Caeso Duillius, and Marcus Sergius: they appointed Spurius Oppius to assist Appius Claudius in protecting the city, while all the decemvirs were to enjoy equal authority.

The republic was managed with no better success in war than at home. In this the only fault in the generals was, that they had rendered themselves objects of hatred to their fellow-citizens: in other respects the entire blame lay with the soldiers, who, lest any enterprise should be successfully conducted under the leadership and auspices of the decemvirs, suffered themselves to be beaten, to their own disgrace and that of their generals. Their armies were routed both by the Sabines at Eretum, and by the Æquans in Algidum. Fleeing from Eretum during the silence of the night, they fortified their camp nearer the city, on an elevated position between Fidenae and Crustumeria; nowhere encountering on equal ground the enemy who pursued them, they protected themselves by the nature of the ground and a rampart, not by valour or arms. Their conduct was more disgraceful, and greater loss also was sustained in Algidum; their camp too was lost, and the soldiers, stripped of all their arms, munitions, and supplies, betook themselves to Tusculum, determined to procure the means of subsistence from the good faith and compassion of their hosts, and in these, notwithstanding their conduct, they were not disappointed. Such alarming accounts were brought to Rome, that the patricians, having now laid aside their hatred of the decemvirs, passed an order that watches should be held in the city, and commanded that all who were not hindered by reason of their age from carrying arms, should mount guard on the walls, and form outposts before the gates; they also voted that arms should be sent to Tusculum, besides a re-enforcement; and that the decemvirs should come down from the citadel of Tusculum and keep their troops encamped; that the other camp should be removed from Fidenas into Sabine territory, and the enemy, by their thus attacking them first, should be deterred from entertaining any idea of assaulting the city.

In addition to the reverses sustained at the hands of the enemy, the decemvirs were guilty of two monstrous deeds, one abroad, and the other in the city. They sent Lucius Siccius, who was quartered among the Sabines, to take observations for the purpose of selecting a site for a camp: he, availing himself of the unpopularity of the decemvirs, was introducing, in his secret conversations with the common soldiers, suggestions of a secession and the election of tribunes: the soldiers, whom they had sent to accompany him in that expedition, were commissioned to attack him in a convenient place and slay him. They did not kill him with impunity; several of the assassins fell around him, as he offered resistance, since, possessing great personal strength and displaying courage equal to that strength, he defended himself against them, although surrounded. The rest brought news into the camp that Siccius, while fighting bravely, had fallen into an ambush, and that some soldiers had been lost with him. At first the account was believed; afterward a party of men, who went by permission of the decemvirs to bury those who had fallen, when they observed that none of the bodies there were stripped, and that Siccius lay in the midst fully armed, and that all the bodies were turned toward him, while there was neither the body of any of the enemy, nor any traces of their departure, brought back his body, saying that he had assuredly been slain by his own men. The camp was now filled with indignation, and it was resolved that Siccius should be forthwith brought to Rome, had not the decemvirs hastened to bury him with military honours at the public expense. He was buried amid the great grief of the soldiery, and with the worst possible infamy of the decemvirs among the common people.

Another monstrous deed followed in the city, originating in lust, and attended by results not less tragical than that deed which had brought about the expulsion of the Tarquins from the city and the throne through the violation and death of Lucretia: so that the decemvirs not only came to the same end as the kings, but the reason also of their losing their power was the same. Appius Claudius was seized with a criminal passion for violating the person of a young woman of plebeian rank. Lucius Verginius, the girl's father, held an honourable rank among the centurions at Algidum, a man who was a pattern of uprightness both at home and in the service. His wife and children were brought up in the same manner. He had betrothed his daughter to Lucius Icilius, who had been tribune, a man of spirit and of approved zeal in the interest of the people. Appius, burning with desire, attempted to seduce by bribes and promises this young woman, now grown up, and of distinguished beauty; and when he perceived that all the avenues of his lust were barred by modesty, he turned his thoughts to cruel and tyrannical violence. Considering that, as the girl's father was absent, there was an opportunity for committing the wrong; he instructed a dependent of his, Marcus Claudius, to claim the girl as his slave, and not to yield to those who demanded her enjoyment of liberty pending judgment. The tool of the decemvir's lust laid hands on the girl as she was coming into the forum--for there the elementary schools were held in booths--calling her the daughter of his slave and a slave herself, and commanded her to follow him, declaring that he would drag her off by force if she demurred. The girl being struck dumb with terror, a crowd collected at the cries of her nurse, who besought the protection of the citizens. The popular names of her father, Verginius, and of her betrothed, Icilius, were in every one's mouth. Esteem for them gained the good-will of their acquaintances, the heinousness of the proceeding, that of the crowd. She was now safe from violence, forasmuch as the claimant said that there was no occasion for rousing the mob; that he was proceeding by law, not by force. He summoned the girl into court. Her supporters advising her to follow him, they reached the tribunal of Appius. The claimant rehearsed the farce well known to the judge, as being in presence of the actual author of the plot, that the girl, born in his house, and clandestinely transferred from thence to the house of Verginius, had been fathered on the latter: that what he stated was established by certain evidence, and that he would prove it, even if Verginius himself, who would be the principal sufferer, were judge: that meanwhile it was only fair the servant should accompany her master. The supporters of Verginia, after they had urged that Verginius was absent on business of the state, that he would be present in two days if word were sent to him, and that it was unfair that in his absence he should run any risk regarding his children, demanded that Appius should adjourn the whole matter till the arrival of the father; that he should allow the claim for her liberty pending judgment according to the law passed by himself, and not allow a maiden of ripe age to encounter the risk of her reputation before that of her liberty.

Appius prefaced his decision by observing that the very same law, which the friends of Verginius put forward as the plea of their demand, showed how strongly he himself was in favour of liberty: that liberty, however, would find secure protection in the law on this condition only, that it varied neither with respect to cases or persons. For with respect to those individuals who were claimed as free, that point of law was good, because any citizen could proceed by law in such a matter: but in the case of her who was in the hands of her father, there was no other person in whose favour her master need relinquish his right of possession.[51] That it was his decision, therefore, that her father should be sent for: that, in the meantime, the claimant should not be deprived of the right, which allowed him to carry off the girl with him, at the same time promising that she should be produced on the arrival of him who was called her father. When there were many who murmured against the injustice of this decision rather than any one individual who ventured to protest against it, the girl's great-uncle, Publius Numitorius, and her betrothed, Icilius, appeared on the scene: and, way being made for them through the crowd, the multitude thinking that Appius could be most effectually resisted by the intervention of Icilius, the lictor declared that he had decided the matter, and attempted to remove Icilius, when he began to raise his voice. Such a monstrous injustice would have fired even a cool temper. "By the sword, Appius," said he, "must I be removed hence, that you may secure silence about that which you wish to be concealed. This young woman I am about to marry, to have and to hold as my lawful wife. Wherefore call together all the lictors of your colleagues also; order the rods and axes to be got ready: the betrothed wife of Icilius shall not pass the night outside her father's house. No: though you have taken from us the aid of our tribunes, and the power of appeal to the commons of Rome, the two bulwarks for the maintenance of our liberty, absolute authority has not therefore been given to your lust over our wives and children. Vent your fury on our backs and necks; let chastity at least be secure. If violence shall be offered to her, I shall implore the protection of the citizens here present on behalf of my betrothed, Verginius that of the soldiers on behalf of his only daughter, all of us the protection of gods and men, nor shall you carry that sentence into effect without our blood. I demand of you, Appius, consider again and again to what lengths you are proceeding. Verginius, when he comes, will see to it, what conduct he is to pursue with respect to his daughter: only let him be assured of this, that if he yields to the claims of this man, he will have to look out for another match for his daughter. As for my part, in vindicating the liberty of my spouse, life shall leave me sooner than honour."

The multitude was now roused, and a contest seemed threatening. The lictors had taken their stand around Icilius; they did not, however, proceed beyond threats, while Appius said that it was not Verginia who was being defended by Icilius, but that, being a restless man, and even now breathing the spirit of the tribuneship, he was seeking an opportunity for creating a disturbance. That he would not afford him the chance of doing so on that day; but in order that he might now know that the concession had been made not to his petulance, but to the absent Verginius, to the name of father and to liberty, that he would not decide the case on that day, nor introduce a decree: that he would request Marcus Claudius to forego somewhat of his right, and to suffer the girl to be bailed till the next day. However, unless the father attended on the following day, he gave notice to Icilius and to men like Icilius, that, as the framer of it, he would maintain his own law, as a decemvir, his firmness: that he would certainly not assemble the lictors of his colleagues to put down the promoters of sedition; that he would be content with his own. When the time of this act of injustice had been deferred, and the friends of the maiden had retired, it was first of all determined that the brother of Icilius, and the son of Numitorius, both active young men, should proceed thence straight to the city gate, and that Verginius should be summoned from the camp with all possible haste: that the safety of the girl depended on his being present next day at the proper time, to protect her from wrong. They proceeded according to directions, and galloping at full speed, carried the news to her father. When the claimant of the maiden was pressing Icilius to lay claim to her, and give bail for her appearance, and Icilius said that that was the very thing that was being done, purposely wasting the time, until the messengers sent to the camp should finish their journey, the multitude raised their hands on all sides, and every one showed himself ready to go surety for Icilius. And he, with his eyes full of tears, said: "This is a great favour; to-morrow I will avail myself of your assistance: at present I have sufficient sureties." Thus Verginia was bailed on the security of her relations. Appius, having delayed a short time, that he might not appear to have sat on account of that case alone, when no one made application to him, all other concerns being set aside owing to the interest displayed in this one case, betook himself home, and wrote to his colleague in the camp, not to grant leave of absence to Verginius, and even to keep him in confinement. This wicked scheme was too late, as it deserved: for Verginius, having already obtained his leave had set out at the first watch, while the letter regarding his detention was delivered on the following morning without effect.

But in the city, at daybreak, when the citizens were standing in the forum on the tiptoe of expectation, Verginius, clad in mourning, conducted his daughter, also shabbily attired, attended by some matrons, into the forum, with a considerable body of supporters. He there began to go around and solicit people: and not only entreated their aid given out of kindness, but demanded it as a right: saying that he stood daily in the field of battle in defence of their wives and children, nor was there any other man, whose brave and intrepid deeds in war could be recorded in greater numbers. What availed it, if, while the city was secure from dangers, their children had to endure these calamities, which were the worst that could be dreaded if it were taken? Uttering these words just like one delivering a public harangue, he solicited the people individually. Similar arguments were put forward by Icilius: the attendant throng of women produced more effect by their silent tears than any words. With a mind stubbornly proof against all this--such an attack of frenzy, rather than of love, had perverted his mind--Appius ascended the tribunal, and when the claimant went on to complain briefly, that justice had not been administered to him on the preceding day through party influence, before either he could go through with his claim, or an opportunity of reply was afforded to Verginius, Appius interrupted him. The preamble with which he prefaced his decision, ancient authors may have handed down perhaps with some degree of truth; but since I nowhere find any that is probable in the case of so scandalous a decision, I think it best to state the bare fact, which is generally admitted, that he passed a sentence consigning her to slavery. At first a feeling of bewilderment astounded all, caused by amazement at so heinous a proceeding: then for some time silence prevailed. Then, when Marcus Claudius proceeded to seize the maiden, while the matrons stood around, and was met by the piteous lamentations of the women, Verginius, menacingly stretching forth his hands toward Appius, said: "To Icilius, and not to you, Appius, have I betrothed my daughter, and for matrimony, not for prostitution, have I brought her up. Would you have men gratify their lust promiscuously, like cattle and wild beasts? Whether these persons will endure such things, I know not; I do not think that those will do so who have arms in their hands." When the claimant of the girl was repulsed by the crowd of women and supporters who were standing around her, silence was proclaimed by the crier.

The decemvir, as if he had lost his reason owing to his passion, stated that not only from Icilius's abusive harangue of the day before, and the violence of Verginius, of which he could produce the entire Roman people as witnesses, but from authentic information also he had ascertained that secret meetings were held in the city throughout the night with the object of stirring up sedition: that he, accordingly, being aware of that danger, had come down with armed soldiers, not to molest any peaceable person, but in order to punish, as the majesty of the government demanded, those who disturbed the tranquility of the state. "It will, therefore," said he, "be better to remain quiet: go, lictor, disperse the crowd, and clear the way for the master to lay hold of his slave." After he had thundered out these words, full of wrath, the multitude of their own accord dispersed, and the girl stood deserted, a sacrifice to injustice. Then Verginius, when he saw no aid anywhere, said: "I beg you, Appius, first pardon a father's grief, if I have attacked you too harshly: in the next place, suffer me to ask the nurse here in presence of the maiden, what all this means, that, if I have been falsely called her father, I may depart hence with mind more tranquil." Permission having been granted, he drew the girl and the nurse aside to the booths near the chapel of Cloacina,[52] which now go by the name of the New Booths:[53] and there, snatching a knife from a butcher, "In this, the only one way I can, my daughter," said he, "do I secure to you your liberty." He then plunged it into the girl's breast, and looking back toward the tribunal, said "With this blood I devote thee,[54] Appius, and thy head!" Appius, aroused by the cry raised at so dreadful a deed, ordered Verginius to be seized. He, armed with the knife, cleared the way whithersoever he went, until, protected by the crowd of persons attending him, he reached the gate. Icilius and Numitorius took up the lifeless body and showed it to the people; they deplored the villainy of Appius, the fatal beauty of the maiden, and the cruel lot of the father.[55] The matrons, following, cried out: Was this the condition of rearing children? Were these the rewards of chastity? And other things which female grief on such occasions suggests, when their complaints are so much the more affecting, in proportion as their grief is more intense from their want of self-control. The men, and more especially Icilius, spoke of nothing but the tribunician power, and the right of appeal to the people which had been taken from them, and gave vent to their indignation in regard to the condition of public affairs.

The multitude was excited partly by the heinousness of the misdeed, partly by the hope of recovering their liberty on a favourable opportunity. Appius first ordered Icilius to be summoned before him, then, when he refused to come, to be seized: finally, when the officers were not allowed an opportunity of approaching him, he himself, proceeding through the crowd with a body of young patricians, ordered him to be led away to prison. Now not only the multitude, but Lucius Valerius and Marcus Horatius, the leaders of the multitude, stood around Icilius and, having repulsed the lictor, declared, that, if Appius should proceed according to law, they would protect Icilius from one who was but a private citizen; if he should attempt to employ force, that even in that case they would be no unequal match for him. Hence arose a violent quarrel. The decemvir's lictor attacked Valerius and Horatius: the fasces were broken by the people. Appius ascended the tribunal; Horatius and Valerius followed him. They were attentively listened to by the assembly: the voice of the decemvir was drowned with clamour. Now Valerius, as if he possessed the authority to do so, was ordering the lictors to depart from one who was but a private citizen, when Appius, whose spirits were now broken, alarmed for his life, betook himself into a house in the vicinity of the forum, unobserved by his enemies, with his head covered up. Spurius Oppius, in order to assist his colleague, rushed into the forum by the opposite side: he saw their authority overpowered by force. Distracted then by various counsels and by listening to several advisers from every side, he had become hopelessly confused: eventually he ordered the senate to be convened. Because the official acts of the decemvirs seemed displeasing to the greater portion of the patricians, this step quieted the people with the hope that the government would be abolished through the senate. The senate was of opinion that the commons should not be stirred up, and that much more effectual measures should be taken lest the arrival of Verginius should cause any commotion in the army.

Accordingly, some of the junior patricians, being sent to the camp which was at that time on Mount Vecilius, announced to the decemvirs that they should do their utmost to keep the soldiers from mutinying. There Verginius occasioned greater commotion than he had left behind him in the city. For besides that he was seen coming with a body of nearly four hundred men, who, enraged in consequence of the disgraceful nature of the occurrence, had accompanied him from the city, the unsheathed knife, and his being himself besmeared with blood, attracted to him the attention of the entire camp; and the gowns,[56] seen in many parts of the camp had caused the number of people from the city to appear much greater than it really was. When they asked him what was the matter, in consequence of his weeping, for a long time he did not utter a word. At length, as soon as the crowd of those running together became quiet after the disturbance, and silence ensued, he related everything in order as it had occurred.

Then extending his hands toward heaven, addressing his fellow-soldiers, he begged of them, not to impute to him that which was the crime of Appius Claudius, nor to abhor him as the murderer of his child. To him the life of his daughter was dearer than his own, if she had been allowed to live in freedom and chastity. When he beheld her dragged to prostitution as if she were a slave, thinking it better that his child should be lost by death rather than by dishonour, through compassion for her he had apparently fallen into cruelty. Nor would he have survived his daughter had he not entertained the hope of avenging her death by the aid of his fellow-soldiers. For they too had daughters, sisters, and wives; nor was the lust of Appius Claudius extinguished with his daughter; but in proportion as it escaped with greater impunity, so much the more unbridled would it be. That by the calamity of another a warning was given to them to guard against a similar injury. As far as he was concerned, his wife had been taken from him by destiny; his daughter, because she could no longer have lived as a chaste woman, had met with an unfortunate but honourable death; that there was now no longer in his family an opportunity for the lust of Appius; that from any other violence of his he would defend his person with the same spirit with which he had vindicated that of his daughter: that others should take care for themselves and their children. While he uttered these words in a loud voice, the multitude responded with a shout that they would not be backward, either to avenge his wrongs or to defend their own liberty. And the civilians mixing with the crowd of soldiers, by uttering the same complaints, and by showing how much more shocking these things must have appeared when seen than when merely heard of, and also by telling them that the disturbance at Rome was now almost over--and others having subsequently arrived who asserted that Appius, having with difficulty escaped with life, had gone into exile--all these individuals so far influenced them that there was a general cry to arms, and having pulled up the standards, they set out for Rome. The decemvirs, being alarmed at the same time both by what they now saw, as well as by what they had heard had taken place at Rome, ran about to different parts of the camp to quell the commotion. While they proceeded with mildness no answer was returned to them: if any of them attempted to exert authority, the soldiers replied that they were men and were armed. They proceeded in a body to the city and occupied the Aventine, encouraging the commons, as each person met them, recover their liberty, and elect tribunes of the people; no other expression of violence was heard. Spurius Oppius held a meeting of the senate; it was resolved that no harsh measures should be adopted, inasmuch as occasion for sedition had been given by themselves.[57] Three men of consular rank, Spurius Tarpeius, Gaius Julius, Publius Sulpicius, were sent as ambassadors, to inquire, in the name of the senate, by whose order they had deserted the camp? Or what they meant by having occupied the Aventine in arms, and, turning away their arms from the enemy, having seized their own country? They were at no loss for an answer: but they wanted some one to give the answer, there being as yet no certain leader, and individuals were not bold enough to expose themselves to the invidious office. The multitude only cried out with one accord, that they should send Lucius Valerius and Marcus Horatius to them, saying that they would give their answer to them.

The ambassadors being dismissed, Verginius reminded the soldiers that a little while before they had been embarrassed in a matter of no very great difficulty, because the multitude was without a head; and that the answer given, though not inexpedient, was the result rather of an accidental agreement than of a concerted plan. His opinion was, that ten persons should be elected to preside over the management of state affairs, and that they should be called tribunes of the soldiers, a title suited to their military dignity. When that honour was offered to himself in the first instance, he replied, "Reserve for an occasion more favourable to both of us your kind recognition of me. The fact of my daughter being unavenged, does not allow any office to be agreeable to me, nor, in the present disturbed condition of the state, is it advantageous that those should be at your head who are most exposed to party animosity. If I am of any use, the benefit to be gained from my services will be just as great while I am a private individual." They accordingly elected military tribunes ten in number.

Meanwhile the army among the Sabines was not inactive. There also, at the instance of Icilius and Numitorius, a secession from the decemvirs took place, men's minds being no less moved when they recalled to mind the murder of Siccius, than when they were fired with rage at the recent account of the disgraceful attempt made on the maiden to gratify lust. When Icilius heard that tribunes of the soldiers had been elected on the Aventine, lest the election assembly in the city should follow the precedent of the military assembly, by electing the same persons tribunes of the commons, being well versed in popular intrigues and having an eye to that office himself, he also took care, before they proceeded to the city, that the same number should be elected by his own party with equal power. They entered the city by the Colline gate under their standards, and proceeded in a body to the Aventine through the midst of the city. There, joining the other army, they commissioned the twenty tribunes of the soldiers to select two out of their number to preside over state affairs. They elected Marcus Oppius and Sextus Manilius. The patricians, alarmed for the general safety, though there was a meeting of the senate every day, wasted the time in wrangling more frequently than in deliberation. The murder of Siccius, the lust of Appius, and the disgraces incurred in war were urged as charges against the decemvirs. It was resolved that Valerius and Horatius should proceed to the Aventine. They refused to go on any other condition than that the decemvirs should lay down the badges of that office, which they had resigned at the end of the previous year. The decemvirs, complaining that they were now being degraded, declared that they would not resign their office until those laws, for the sake of which they had been appointed, were passed.

The people being informed by Marcus Duillius, who had been tribune of the people, that by reason of their continual contentions no business was transacted, passed from the Aventine to the Sacred Mount, as Duillius asserted that no concern for business would enter the minds of the patricians, until they saw the city deserted: that the Sacred Mount would remind them of the people's firmness: that they would then know that matters could not be brought back to harmony without the restoration of the tribunician power. Having set out along the Nomentan way, which was then called the Ficulean,[58] they pitched their camp on the Sacred Mount, imitating the moderation of their fathers by committing no violence. The commons followed the army, no one whose age would permit him declining to go. Their wives and children attended them, piteously asking to whom they were leaving them, in a city where neither chastity nor liberty were respected. When the unusual solitude had created everywhere at Rome a feeling of desolation; when there was no one in the forum but a few old men: when, after the patricians had been summoned into the senate, the forum appeared deserted, by this time more besides Horatius and Valerius began to exclaim, "What will you now wait for, conscript fathers? If the decemvirs do not put an end to their obstinacy, will you suffer all things to go to wreck and ruin? What power is that of yours, decemvirs, which you embrace and hold so firmly? Do you mean to administer justice to walls and houses? Are you not ashamed that an almost greater number of your lictors is to be seen in the forum than of the other citizens? What are you going to do, in case the enemy should approach the city? What, if the commons should come presently in arms, in case we show ourselves little affected by their secession? Do you mean to end your power by the fall of the city? Well, then, either we must not have the commons, or they must have their tribunes. We shall sooner be able to dispense with our patrician magistrates, than they with their plebeian. That power, when new and untried, they wrested from our fathers; much less will they now, when once captivated by its charm, endure the loss of: more especially since we do not behave with such moderation in the exercise of our power that they are in no need of the aid of the tribunes." When these arguments were thrown out from every quarter, the decemvirs, overpowered by the united opinions of all, declared that, since such seemed to be the feeling, they would submit to the authority of the patricians. All they asked for themselves was that they might be protected from popular odium; they warned the senate, that they should not, by shedding their blood, habituate the people to inflict punishment on the patricians.

Then Valerius and Horatius, having been sent to bring back the people on such terms as might seem fit, and to adjust all differences, were directed to make provision also to protect the decemvirs from the resentment and violence of the multitude. They set forth and were received into the camp amid the great joy of the people, as their undoubted liberators, both at the beginning of the disturbance and at the termination of the matter. In consideration of these things, thanks were returned to them on their arrival. Icilius delivered a speech in the name of the people. When the terms came to be considered, on the ambassadors inquiring what the demands of the people were, he also, having already concerted the plan before the arrival of the ambassadors, made such demands, that it became evident that more hope was placed in the justice of their case than in arms. For they demanded the restoration of the tribunician office and the right of appeal, which, before the appointment of decemvirs, had been the supports of the people, and that it should be without detriment to any one to have instigated the soldiers or the commons to seek to recover their liberty by a secession. Concerning the punishment only of the decemvirs was their demand immoderate: for they thought it but just that they should be delivered up to them, and threatened to burn them alive. The ambassadors replied: "Your demands which have been the result of deliberation are so reasonable, that they should be voluntarily offered to you: for you demand therein safeguards for your liberty, not a means of arbitrary power to assail others. Your resentment we must rather pardon than indulge, seeing that from your hatred of cruelty you rush into cruelty, and almost before you are free yourselves, already wish to lord it over your opponents. Shall our state never enjoy rest from punishments, inflicted either by the patricians on the Roman commons, or by the commons on the patricians? You need a shield rather than a sword. He is sufficiently and abundantly humbled who lives in the state on an equal footing with his fellow-citizens, neither inflicting nor suffering injury. Should you, however, at any time wish to render yourselves formidable, when, after you have recovered your magistrates and laws, decisions on our lives and fortunes shall be in your hands, then you shall determine according to the merits of each case: for the present it is sufficient that your liberty be recovered."

All assenting that they should act just as they thought proper, the ambassadors assured them that they would speedily return, having brought everything to a satisfactory termination. When they had gone and laid before the patricians the message of the commons--while the other decemvirs, since, contrary to their own expectation, no mention was made of their punishment--raised no objection, Appius, being of a truculent disposition and the chief object of detestation, measuring the rancour of others toward him by his own toward them, said: "I am not ignorant of the fate which threatens me. I see that the contest against us is only deferred until our arms are delivered up to our adversaries. Blood must be offered up to popular rage. I do not even hesitate to resign my decemvirate." A decree of the senate was then passed: that the decemvirs should as soon as possible resign their office; that Quintus Furius, chief pontiff, should hold an election of plebeian tribunes, and that the secession of the soldiers and commons should not be detrimental to any one. These decrees of the senate being completed, and the senate dismissed, the decemvirs came forth into the assembly, and resigned their office, to the great joy of all. News of this was carried to the commons. All those who remained in the city escorted the ambassadors. This crowd was met by another joyous body from the camp; they congratulated each other on the restoration of liberty and concord to the state. The deputies spoke as follows before the assembly: "Be it advantageous, fortunate, and happy for you and the republic--return to your country, to your household gods, your wives and children; but carry into the city the same moderation which you observed here, where in spite of the pressing need of so many things necessary for so large a number of persons, no man's field has been injured. Go to the Aventine, whence you set out. There, in that auspicious place, where you laid the first beginnings of your liberty, you shall elect tribunes of the people. The chief pontiff will be at hand to hold the elections." Great was their approval and joy, as evinced in their assent to every measure. They then pulled up their standards, and having set out for Rome, vied in exultation with all they met. Silently, under arms, they marched through the city and reached the Aventine. There, the chief pontiff holding the meeting for the elections, they immediately elected as their tribunes of the people, first of all Lucius Verginius, then Lucius Icilius, and Publius Numitorius, the uncle of Verginius, who had recommended the secession: then Gaius Sicinius, the offspring of him who is recorded to have been elected first tribune of the commons on the Sacred Mount; and Marcus Duillius, who had held a distinguished tribuneship before the appointment of the decemvirs, and never failed the commons in their contests with the decemvirs. Marcus Titinius, Marcus Pomponius, Gaius Apronius, Appius Villius, and Gaius Oppius, were elected more from hope entertained of them than from any actual services. When he entered on his tribuneship, Lucius Icilius immediately brought before the people, and the people enacted, that the secession from the decemvirs which had taken place should not prove detrimental to any individual. Immediately after Duillius carried a proposition for electing consuls, with right of appeal[59]. All these things were transacted in an assembly of the commons in the Flaminian meadows, which are now called the Flaminian Circus.[60]

Then, through an interrex, Lucius Valerius and Marcus Horatius were elected consuls, and immediately entered on their office; their consulship, agreeable to the people, although it did no injury to the patricians, was not, however, without giving them offence; for whatever measures were taken to secure the liberty of the people, they considered to be a diminution of their own power. First of all, when it was as it were a disputed point of law, whether patricians were bound by regulations enacted in an assembly of the commons, they proposed a law in the assembly of the centuries, that whatever the commons ordered in the assembly of the tribes, should be binding on the entire people; by which law a most keen-edged weapon of offence was given to the motions introduced by tribunes. Then another law made by a consul concerning the right of appeal, a singularly effective safeguard of liberty, that had been upset by the decemviral power, was not only restored but also guarded for the time to come, by the passing of a new law, that no one should appoint any magistrate without appeal:[61] if any person should so appoint, it should be lawful and right that he be put to death; and that such killing should not be deemed a capital offence. And when they had sufficiently secured the commons by the right of appeal on the one hand by tribunician aid on the other, they revived for the tribunes themselves the privilege that their persons should be considered inviolable--the recollection of which was now almost forgotten--by renewing after a long interval certain ceremonies which had fallen into disuse; and they rendered them inviolable by religion, as well as by a law, enacting that whosoever should offer injury to tribunes of the people, ædiles, or judicial decemvirs, his person should be devoted to Jupiter, and his property be sold at the Temple of Ceres, Liber, and Libera. Expounders of the law deny that any person is by this law inviolable, but assert that he, who may do an injury to any of them, is deemed by law accursed: and that, accordingly, an ædile may be arrested and carried to prison by superior magistrates, which, though it be not expressly warranted by law (for an injury is done to a person to whom it is not lawful to do an injury according to this law), is yet a proof that an ædile is not considered as sacred and inviolable; the tribunes, however, are sacred and inviolable according to the ancient oath of the commons, when first they created that office. There have been some who supposed that by this same Horatian law provision was made for the consuls also and the prætors, because they were elected under the same auspices as the consuls; for a consul was called a judge. This interpretation is refuted, because at this time it had not yet been customary for the consul to be styled judge, but prætor.[62] These were the laws proposed by the consuls. It was also arranged by the same consuls, that decrees of the senate, which before that used to be suppressed and altered at the pleasure of the consuls, should be deposited in the Temple of Ceres, under the care of the aediles of the commons. Then Marcus Duillius, tribune of the commons, brought before the people and the people enacted, that whoever left the people without tribunes, and whoever caused a magistrate to be elected without appeal, should be punished with stripes and beheaded. All these enactments, though against the feelings of the patricians, passed off without opposition from them, because as yet no severity was aimed at any particular individual.

Then, both the tribunician power and the liberty of the commons having been firmly established, the tribunes, now deeming it both safe and seasonable to attack individuals, singled out Verginius as the first prosecutor and Appius as defendant. When Verginius had appointed a day for Appius to take his trial, and Appius had come down to the forum, accompanied by a band of young patricians, the recollection of his most profligate exercise of power was instantly revived in the minds of all, as soon as they beheld the man himself and his satellites. Then said Verginius: "Long speeches are only meant for matters of a doubtful nature. Accordingly, I shall neither waste time in dwelling on the guilt of this man before you, from whose cruelty you have rescued yourselves by force of arms, nor will I suffer him to add impudence to his other crimes in defending himself. Wherefore, Appius Claudius, I pardon you for all the impious and nefarious deeds you have had the effrontery to commit one after another for the last two years; with respect to one charge only, unless you shall choose a judge who shall acquit you that you have not sentenced a free person to slavery, contrary to the laws, I shall order that you be taken into custody." Neither in the aid of the tribunes, nor in the judgment of the people, could Appius place any hope: still he both appealed to the tribunes, and, when no one heeded him, being seized by the officer, he exclaimed, "I appeal." The hearing of this one word that safeguard of liberty, and the fact that it was uttered from that mouth, by which a free citizen was so recently consigned to slavery, caused silence. And, while they loudly declared, each on his own behalf, that at length the existence of the gods was proved, and that they did not disregard human affairs; and that punishments awaited tyranny and cruelty, which punishments, though late, were, however, by no means light; that that man now appealed, who had abolished all right of appeal; and that he implored the protection of the people, who had trampled under foot all the rights of the people: and that he was being dragged off to prison, destitute of the rights of liberty, who had doomed a free person to slavery, the voice of Appius himself was heard, amid the murmurs of the assembly, imploring the protection of the Roman people. He enumerated the services of his ancestors to the state, at home and abroad: his own unfortunate anxiety for the interests of the Roman commons, owing to which he had resigned the consulship, to the very great displeasure of the patricians, for the purpose of equalizing the laws; he then went on to mention those laws of his, the framer of which was dragged off to prison, though the laws still remained in force. However, in regard to what bore especially on his own case, his personal merits and demerits, he would make trial of them, when an opportunity should be afforded him of stating his defence; at present, he, a Roman citizen, demanded, by the common right of citizenship, that he be allowed to speak on the day appointed, and to appeal to the judgment of the Roman people: he did not dread popular odium so much as not to place any hope in the fairness and compassion of his fellow-citizens. But if he were led to prison without being heard, that he once more appealed to the tribunes of the people, and warned them not to imitate those whom they hated. But if the tribunes acknowledged themselves bound by the same agreement for abolishing the right of appeal, which they charged the decemvirs with having conspired to form, then he appealed to the people, he implored the aid of the laws passed that very year, both by the consuls and tribunes, regarding the right of appeal. For who would there be to appeal, if this were not allowed a person as yet uncondemned, whose case had not been heard? What plebeian or humble individual would find protection in the laws, if Appius Claudius could not? That he would be a proof whether tyranny or liberty was established by the new laws, and whether the right of appeal and of challenge against the injustice of magistrates was only held out in idle words, or really granted.

Verginius, on the other hand, affirmed that Appius Claudius was the only person who had no part or share in the laws, or in any covenant civil or human. Men should look to the tribunal, the fortress of all villainies, where that perpetual decemvir, venting his fury on the property, person, and life of the citizens, threatening all with his rods and axes, a despiser of gods and men, surrounded by men who were executioners, not lictors, turning his thoughts from rapine and murder to lust, tore a free-born maiden, as if she had been a prisoner of war, from the embraces of her father, before the eyes of the Roman people, and gave her as a present to a dependent, the minister to his secret pleasures: where too by a cruel decree, and a most outrageous decision, he armed the right hand of the father against the daughter: where he ordered the betrothed and uncle, on their raising the lifeless body of the girl, to be led away to prison, affected more by the interruption of his lust than by her death: that the prison was built for him also which he was wont to call the domicile of the Roman commons. Wherefore, though he might appeal again and again, he himself would again and again propose a judge, to try him on the charge of having sentenced a free person to slavery; if he would not go before a judge, he ordered him to be taken to prison as one already condemned. He was thrown into prison, though without the disapprobation of any individual, yet not without considerable emotion of the public mind, since, in consequence of the punishment by itself of so distinguished a man, their own liberty began to be considered by the commons themselves as excessive.[63]

The tribunes adjourned the day of trial.

Meanwhile, ambassadors from the Hernicans and Latins came to Rome to offer their congratulations on the harmony existing between the patricians and commons, and as an offering on that account to Jupiter, best and greatest, they brought into the Capitol a golden crown, of small weight, as money at that time was not plentiful, and the duties of religion were performed rather with piety than splendour. On the same authority it was ascertained that the Aequans and Volscians were preparing for war with the utmost energy. The consuls were therefore ordered to divide the provinces between them. The Sabines fell to the lot of Horatius, the Æquans to Valerius. After they had proclaimed a levy for these wars, through the good offices of the commons, not only the younger men, but a large number, consisting of volunteers from among those who had served their time,[64] attended to give in their names: and hence the army was stronger not only in the number but also in the quality of its soldiers, owing to the admixture of veterans. Before they marched out of the city, they engraved on brass, and fixed up in public view, the decemviral laws, which are named "the twelve tables." There are some who state that the aediles discharged that office by order of the tribunes.

Gaius Claudius, who, detesting the crimes of the decemvirs and, above all, incensed at the arrogant conduct of his brother-in-law, 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.

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.

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 armies of the Aequans and the Volscians, which had now united at Algidum: whereas, if he had immediately intrusted the issue to fortune, I am inclined to think that, considering the feelings both of the Romans and of their enemies at that time, after the unfavourable auspices of the decemvirs,[65] the contest would have cost him heavy loss. Having pitched his camp at the distance of a mile from the enemy, he kept his men quiet. The enemy filled the space lying between the two camps with their army in order of battle, and not a single Roman made answer when they challenged them to fight. At length, wearied with standing and waiting in vain for a contest, the Aequans and Volscians, considering that the victory was almost yielded to them, went off some to Hernican, others to Latin territory, to commit depredations. There was left in the camp rather a garrison for its defence than sufficient force for a contest. When the consul perceived this, he in turn inspired the terror which his own men had previously felt, and having drawn up his troops in order of battle on his side, provoked the enemy to fight. When they, conscious of their lack of forces, declined battle, the courage of the Romans immediately increased, and they considered them vanquished, as they stood panic-stricken within their rampart. Having stood throughout the day eager for the contest, they retired at night. And the Romans, now full of hope, set about refreshing themselves. The enemy, in by no means equal spirits, being now anxious, despatched messengers in every direction to recall the plundering parties.

Those in the nearest places returned: those who were farther off were not found. When day dawned, the Romans left the camp, determined on assaulting the rampart, unless an opportunity of fighting presented itself; and when the day was now far advanced, and no movement was made by the enemy, the consul ordered an advance; and the troops being put in motion, the Aequans and Volscians were seized with indignation, at the thought that victorious armies had to be defended by a rampart rather than by valour and arms. Wherefore they also earnestly demanded the signal for battle from their generals, and received it. And now half of them had got out of the gates, and the others in succession were marching in order, as they went down each to his own post, when the Roman consul, before the enemy's line, supported by their entire strength, could get into close order, advanced upon them; and having attacked them before they were all as yet led forth, and before those, who were, had their lines properly drawn out, he fell upon them, a crowd almost beginning to waver, as they ran from one place to another, and gazed around upon themselves, and looked eagerly for their friends, the shouts and violent attack adding to the already panic-stricken condition of their minds. The enemy at first gave way; then, having rallied their spirits, when their generals on every side reproachfully asked them, whether they intended to yield to vanquished foes, the battle was restored.

On the other side, the consul desired the Romans to remember that on that day, for the first time, they fought as free men in defence of Rome, now a free city. That it was for themselves they were about to conquer, not to become, when victorious, the prize of the decemvirs. That it was not under the command of Appius that operations were being conducted, but under their consul Valerius, descended from the liberators of the Roman people, himself their liberator. Let them show that in former battles it had been the fault of the generals and not of the soldiers, that they did not conquer. That it was shameful to have exhibited more courage against their own countrymen than against their enemies, and to have dreaded slavery more at home than abroad. That Verginia was the only person whose chastity had been in danger in time of peace; that Appius had been the only citizen of dangerous lust. But if the fortune of war should turn against them, the children of all would be in danger from so many thousands of enemies; that he was unwilling to forebode what neither Jupiter nor their father Mars would be likely to suffer to befall a city built under such auspices. He reminded them of the Aventine and the Sacred Mount; that they should bring back dominion unimpaired to that spot, where their liberty had been won but a few months before; and that they should show that the Roman soldiers retained the same disposition after the expulsion of the decemvirs, as they had possessed before they were appointed, and that the valour of the Roman people had not deteriorated after the laws had been equalized. After he uttered these words among the battalions of the infantry, he hurried from them to the cavalry. "Come, young men," said he, "show yourselves superior to the infantry in valour, as you already are their superiors in honour and in rank. The infantry at the first onset have made the enemy give way; now that they have given way, do you give reins to your horses and drive them from the field. They will not stand your charge; even now they rather hesitate than resist." They spurred on their horses, and charged at full speed against the enemy, who were already thrown into confusion by the attack of the infantry: and having broken through the ranks, some dashing on to the rear of their line, others wheeling about in the open space from the flanks, turned most of them away from the camp as they were now flying in all directions, and by riding beyond them headed them off. The line of infantry, the consul himself, and the whole onset of the battle was borne toward the camp, and having taken it with considerable slaughter, he got possession of still more considerable booty. The fame of this battle, carried not only to the city, but to the other army also in Sabine territory, was welcomed in the city with public rejoicing; in the camp, it inspirited the soldiers to emulate such glory. Horatius, by training them in sallies, and making trial of them in slight skirmishes, had accustomed them to trust in themselves rather than remember the ignominy incurred under the command of the decemvirs, and these trifling engagements had greatly contributed to the successful consummation of their hopes. The Sabines, elated at their success in the preceding year, ceased not to provoke and urge them to fight, constantly asking why they wasted time, sallying forth in small numbers and returning like marauders, and why they distributed the issue of a single war over a number of engagements, and those of no importance. Why did they not meet them in the field, and intrust to fortune the decision of the matter once and for all?

Besides that they had already of themselves recovered sufficient courage, the Romans were fired with exasperation at the thought that the other army would soon return victorious to the city; that the enemy were now wantonly affronting them with insolence: when, moreover, would they be a match for the enemy, if they were not so then? When the consul ascertained that the soldiers loudly expressed these sentiments in the camp, having summoned an assembly, he spoke as follows: "How matters have fared in Algidum, I suppose that you, soldiers, have already heard. As became the army of the free people to behave, so have they behaved; through the good judgment of my colleague and the valour of the soldiers, the victory has been gained. For my part, I shall display the same judgment and determination as you yourselves, O soldiers, display. The war may either be prolonged with advantage, or be brought to a speedy conclusion. If it is to be prolonged, I shall take care, by employing the same method of warfare with which I have begun, that your hopes and your valour may increase every day. If you have now sufficient courage, and it is your wish that the matter be decided, come, raise here a shout such as you will raise in the field of battle, in token both of your wishes and your valour." Whenthe shout was raised with great alacrity, he assured them that he would comply with their wishes--and so might Heaven prosper it--and lead them next day into the field. The remainder of the day was spent in getting ready their arms. On the following day, as soon as the Sabines saw the Roman army being drawn up in order of battle, they too, having long since been eager for the encounter, advanced. The battle was one such as would be fought between two armies who both had confidence in themselves, the one on account of its long-standing and unbroken career of glory, the other recently elated by its unusual success. The Sabines aided their strength also by stratagem; for, having formed a line equal to that of the Romans, they kept two thousand men in reserve, to make an attack on the left wing of the Romans in the heat of the battle. When these, by an attack in flank, were on the point of overpowering that wing, now almost surrounded, about six hundred of the cavalry of two legions leaped down from their horses, and, as their men were giving way, rushed forward in front, and at the same time both opposed the advance of the enemy, and roused the courage of the infantry, first by sharing the danger equally with them, and then by arousing in them a sense of shame. It was a matter of shame that the cavalry should fight in their own proper fashion and in that of others, and that the infantry should not be equal to the cavalry even when dismounted.[66]

They marched therefore to the fight, which had been suspended on their part, and endeavoured to regain the ground which they had lost, and in a moment not only was the battle restored, but one of the wings of the Sabines gave way. The cavalry, protected between the ranks of the infantry, remounted their horses; they then galloped across to the other division to announce their success to their party; at the same time also they charged the enemy, now disheartened by the discomfiture of their stronger wing. The valour of none shone forth more conspicuous in that battle. The consul provided for all emergencies; he applauded the brave, rebuked wherever the battle seemed to slacken. When reproved, they displayed immediately the deeds of brave men; and a sense of shame stimulated these, as much as praises the others. The shout being raised anew, all together making a united effort, drove the enemy back; nor could the Roman attack be any longer resisted.

The Sabines, driven in every direction through the country, left their camp behind them for the enemy to plunder. There the Romans recovered the effects, not of the allies, as at Algidum, but their own property, which had been lost by the devastations of their lands. For this double victory, gained in two battles, in two different places, the senate in a niggardly spirit merely decreed thanksgivings in the name of the consuls for one day only. The people went, however, on the second day also, in great numbers of their own accord to offer thanksgiving; and this unauthorized and popular thanksgiving, owing to their zeal, was even better attended. The consuls by agreement came to the city within the same two days, and summoned the senate to the Campius Martius.[67] When they were there relating the services performed by themselves, the chiefs of the patricians complained that the senate was designedly convened among the soldiers for the purpose of intimidation. The consuls, therefore, that there might be no room for such a charge, called away the senate to the Flaminian meadows, where the Temple of Apollo now is (even then it was called the Apollinare). There, when a triumph was refused by a large majority of the patricians, Lucius Icilius, tribune of the commons, brought a proposition before the people regarding the triumph of the consuls, many persons coming forward to argue against the measure, but in particular Gaius Claudius, who exclaimed, that it was over the senate, not over the enemy, that the consuls wished to triumph; and that it was intended as a return for a private service to a tribune, and not as an honour due to valour. That never before had the matter of a triumph been managed through the people; but that the consideration of that honour and the disposal of it, had always rested with the senate; that not even the kings had infringed on the majesty of this most august body. The tribunes should not so occupy every department with their own authority, as to allow the existence of no public council; that the state would be free, and the laws equalized by these means only, if each order retained its own rights and its own dignity. After much had been said by the other senior patricians also to the same purpose, all the tribes approved the proposition. Then for the first time a triumph was celebrated by order of the people, without the authority of the senate.

This victory of the tribunes and people was well-nigh terminating in an extravagance by no means salutary, a conspiracy being formed among the tribunes that the same tribunes might be re-elected, and, in order that their own ambition might be the less conspicuous, that the consuls also might have their office prolonged. They pleaded, in excuse, the combination of the patricians by which the privileges of the commons were attempted to be undermined by the affronts of the consuls. What would be the consequence, when the laws were as yet not firmly established, if they attacked the new tribunes through consuls of their own party? Men like Horatius and Valerius would not always be consuls, who would regard their own interests as secondary after the liberty of the people. By some concurrence of circumstances, useful in view of the situation, it fell by lot to Marcus Duillius before all others to preside at the elections, a man of prudence, and who perceived the storm of public odium that was hanging over them from the continuance of their office. And when he declared that he would take no account of any of the former tribunes, and his colleagues struggled to get him to allow the tribes to vote independently, or to give up the office of presiding at the elections, which he held by lot, to his colleagues, who would hold the elections according to law rather than according to the pleasure of the patricians; a contention being now excited, when Duillius had sent for the consuls to his seat and asked them what they contemplated doing with respect to the consular elections, and they answered that they would appoint new consuls; then, having secured popular supporters of a measure by no means popular, he proceeded with them into the assembly. There the consuls were brought forward before the people, and asked what they would do if the Roman people mindful of their liberty recovered at home through them, mindful also of their services in war, should again elect them consuls: and when they in no way changed their opinions, he held the election, after eulogizing the consuls, because they persevered to the last in being unlike the decemvirs; and five tribunes of the people having been elected, when, through the zealous exertions of the nine tribunes who openly pressed their canvass, the other candidates could not make up the required number of tribes, he dismissed the assembly; nor did he hold one afterward for the purpose of an election. He said that the law had been satisfied, which, without any number being anywhere specified, only enacted that tribunes who had been elected should be left to choose their colleagues and confirmed those chosen by them. He then went on to recite the formula of the law, in which it was laid down: "If I shall propose for election ten tribunes of the commons, if from any cause you shall elect this day less than ten tribunes of the people, then that those whom they may have chosen as colleagues for themselves, that these, I say, be legitimate tribunes of the people on the same conditions as those whom you shall on this day have elected tribunes of the people." When Duillius persevered to the last, stating that the republic could not have fifteen tribunes of the people, having baffled the ambition of his colleagues, he resigned office, equally approved of by patricians and commons.

The new tribunes of the people, in electing their colleagues endeavoured to gratify the wishes of the patricians; they even elected two who were patricians,[68] and men of consular rank Spurius Tarpeius and Aulus Aternius. The consuls elected, Spurius Herminius, Titus Verginius Cælimontanus, not being specially inclined to the cause either of the patricians or commons, had perfect tranquillity both at home and abroad. Lucius Trebonius, tribune of the commons, incensed against the patricians, because, as he said, he had been imposed on by them in the matter of choosing tribunes, and betrayed by his colleagues, brought forward a proposal, that whoever proposed he election of tribunes of the people before the commons, should go on taking the votes, until he elected ten tribunes of the people; and he spent his tribuneship in worrying the patricians, whence the surname of Asper was given him. Next Marcus Geganius Macerinus, and Gaius Julius, being elected consuls, quieted some disputes that had arisen between the tribunes and the youth of the nobility, without displaying any harshness against that power, and at the same time preserving the dignity of the patricians. By proclaiming a levy for the war against the Volscians and Æquans, they kept the people from riots by keeping matters in abeyance, affirming that everything was also quiet abroad, owing to the harmony in the city, and that it was only through civil discord that foreign foes took courage. Their anxiety for peace abroad was also the cause of harmony at home. But notwithstanding, the one order ever attacked the moderation of the other. Acts of injustice began to be committed by the younger patricians on the commons, although the latter kept perfectly quiet. Where the tribunes assisted the more humble, in the first place it accomplished little: and thereafter they did not even themselves escape ill-treatment: particularly in the latter months, when injustice was committed through the combinations among the more powerful, and the power of the office became considerably weaker in the latter part of the year. And now the commons placed some hopes in the tribuneship, if only they could get tribunes like Icilius: for the last two years they declared that they had only had mere names. On the other hand, the elder members of the patrician order, though they considered their young men to be too overbearing, yet preferred, if bounds were to be exceeded, that a superabundance of spirit should be exhibited by their own order rather than by their adversaries. So difficult a thing is moderation in maintaining liberty, while every one, by pretending to desire equality, exalts himself in such a manner as to put down another, and men, by their very precautions against fear, cause themselves to become objects of dread: and we saddle on others injustice repudiated on our own account, as if it were absolutely necessary either to commit injustice or to submit to it. Titus Quinctius Capitolinus for the fourth time and Agrippa Furius being then elected consuls, found neither disturbance at home nor war abroad; both, however, were impending. The discord of the citizens could now no longer be checked, both tribunes and commons being exasperated against the patricians, while, if a day of trial was appointed for any of the nobility, it always embroiled the assemblies in new struggles. On the first report of these the Æquans and Volscians, as if they had received a signal, took up arms; also because their leaders, eager for plunder, had persuaded them that the levy proclaimed two years previously could not be proceeded with, as the commons now refused obedience to military authority: that for that reason no armies had been sent against them; that military discipline was subverted by licentiousness, and that Rome was no longer considered a common country for its citizens; that whatever resentment and animosity they might have entertained against foreigners, was now directed against themselves; that now an opportunity offered itself for destroying wolves blinded by intestine rage. Having united their forces, they first utterly laid waste the Latin territory: when none met them to avenge the wrong, then indeed, to the great exultation of the advisers of the war, they approached the very walls of Rome, carrying their depredations into the district around the Esquiline gate[69] pointing out to the city in mocking insult the devastation of the land. When they marched back thence to Corbio unmolested and driving their booty before them, Quinctius the consul summoned the people to an assembly.

There I find that he spoke to this effect: "Though I am conscious to myself of no fault, Quirites, yet it is with the greatest shame I have come forward to your assembly. To think that you should know this, that this should be handed down on record to posterity, that the Æquans and Volscians a short time since scarcely a match for the Hernicans, have with impunity come with arms in their hands to the walls of Rome, in the fourth consulate of Titus Quinctius! Had I known that this disgrace was reserved for this year, above all others, though we have now long been living in such a manner, and such is the state of affairs, that my mind can forebode nothing good, I would have avoided this honour either by exile or by death, if there had been no other means of escaping it. Then, if men of courage had held those arms, which were at our gates, Rome could have been taken during my consulate. I have had sufficient honours, enough and more than enough of life: I ought to have died in my third consulate. Whom, I pray, did these most dastardly enemies despise? Us, consuls, or you, Quirites? If the fault lies in us, take away the command from those who are unworthy of it; and, if that is not enough, further inflict punishment on us. If the fault is yours, may there be none of gods or men to punish your offences: do you yourselves only repent of them. It is not your cowardice they have despised, nor their own valour that they have put their trust in: having been so often routed and put to flight, stripped of their camp, mulcted in their land, sent under the yoke, they know both themselves and you. It is the discord among the several orders that is the curse of this city, the contests between the patricians and commons. While we have neither bounds in the pursuit of power, nor you in that of liberty, while you are wearied of patrician, we of plebeian magistrates, they have taken courage. In the name of Heaven, what would you have? You desired tribunes of the commons; we granted them for the sake of concord. You longed for decemvirs; we suffered them to be created. You became weary of decemvirs; we compelled them to resign office. Your resentment against these same persons when they became private citizens still continuing, we suffered men of the highest family and rank to die or go into exile. You wished asecond time to create tribunes of the commons; you created them. You wished to elect consuls attached to your party; and, although we saw that it was unjust to the patricians, we have even resigned ourselves to see a patrician magistracy conceded as an offering to the people. The aid of tribunes, right of appeal to the people, the acts of the commons made binding on the patricians under the pretext of equalizing the laws, the subversion of our privileges, we have endured and still endure. What end is there to be to our dissensions? When shall it be allowed us to have a united city, one common country? We, when defeated, submit with greater resignation than you when victorious. Is it enough for you, that you are objects of terror to us? The Aventine is taken against us: against us the Sacred Mount is seized. When the Esquiline was almost taken by the enemy, no one defended it, and when the Volscian foe was scaling the rampart, no one drove him off: it is against us you behave like men, against us you are armed.

"Come, when you have blockaded the senate-house here, and have made the forum the seat of war, and filled the prison with the leading men of the state, march forth through the Esquiline gate, with that same determined spirit; or, if you do not even venture thus far, behold from your walls your lands laid waste with fire and sword, booty driven off, houses set on fire in every direction and smoking. But, I may be told, it is only the public weal that is in a worse condition through this: the land is burned, the city is besieged, the glory of the war rests with the enemy. What in the name of Heaven--what is the state of your own private affairs? Even now to each of you his own private losses from the country will be announced. What, pray, is there at home, whence you can recruit them? Will the tribunes restore and re-establish what you have lost? Of sound and words they will heap on you as much as you please, and of charges against the leading men, laws one after another, and public meetings. But from these meetings never has one of you returned home more increased in substance or in fortune. Has any one ever brought back to his wife and children aught save hatred, quarrels, grudges public and private, from which you may ever be protected, not by your own valour and integrity, but by the aid of others? But, by Hercules! When you served under the command of us consuls, not under tribunes, in the camp and not in the forum, and the enemy trembled at your shout in the field of battle, not the Roman patricians in the assembly, having gained booty and taken land from the enemy, loaded with wealth and glory, both public and private, you used to return home in triumph to your household gods: now you allow the enemy to go off laden with your property. Continue fast bound to your assemblies, live in the forum; the necessity of taking the field, which you strive to escape, still follows you. It was hard on you to march against the Æquans and the Volscians: the war is at your gates: if it is not driven from thence, it will soon be within your walls, and will scale the citadel and Capitol, and follow you into your very houses. Two years ago the senate ordered a levy to be held, and an army to be marched out to Algidum; yet we sit down listless at home, quarrelling with each other like women, delighting in present peace, and not seeing that after that short-lived inactivity war will return with interest. That there are other topics more pleasing than these, I well know; but even though my own mind did not prompt me to it, necessity obliges me to speak the truth rather than what is pleasing. I would indeed like to meet with your approval, Quirites; but I am much more anxious that you should be preserved, whatever sentiments you shall entertain toward me. It has been so ordained by nature, that he who addresses a crowd for his own private interest, is more welcome than the man whose mind has nothing in view but the public interest unless perhaps you suppose that those public sycophants those flatterers of the commons, who neither suffer you to take up arms nor to live in peace, excite and work you up for your own interests. When excited, you are to them sources either of position or of profit: and, because, when the orders are in accord, they see that they themselves are of no importance in anything, they prefer to be leaders of a bad cause, of tumults and sedition, rather than of no cause at all. If you can at last become wearied of all this, and if you are willing to resume the habits practised by your forefathers of old, and formerly by yourselves, in place of these new ones, I am ready to submit to any punishment, if I do not in a few days rout and put to flight, and strip of their camp those devastators of our lands, and transfer from our gates and walls to their cities this terror of war, by which you are now thrown into consternation."

Scarcely ever was the speech of a popular tribune more acceptable to the commons than this of a most austere consul on that occasion. The young men also, who, during such alarms, had been accustomed to employ the refusal to enlist as the sharpest weapon against the patricians, began to turn their attention to war and arms: and the flight of the rustics, and those who had been robbed and wounded in the country, by announcing events more revolting even than what was before their eyes, filled the whole city with exasperation. When they came into the senate, there all, turning to Quinctius, looked upon him as the only champion of the majesty of Rome: and the leading senators declared that his harangue was worthy of the consular authority, worthy of so many consulships formerly borne by him, worthy of his whole life, full of honours frequently enjoyed, more frequently deserved. That other consuls had either flattered the commons by betraying the dignity of the patricians, or by harshly maintaining the rights of their order, had rendered the multitude more exasperated by their efforts to subdue them: that Titus Quinctius had delivered a speech mindful of the dignity of the patricians, of the concord of the different orders, and above all, of the needs of the times. They entreated him and his colleague to assume the management of the commonwealth; they entreated the tribunes, by acting in concert with the consuls, to join in driving back the war from the city and the walls, and to induce the commons to be obedient to the senate at so perilous a conjuncture: declaring that, their lands being devastated, and their city in a manner besieged, their common country appealed to them as tribunes, and implored their aid. By universal consent the levy was decreed and held. When the consuls gave public notice that there was no time for considering claims for exemption; that all the young men should attend on the following morning at dawn in the Campus Martius; that when the war was over, they would afford time for inquiring into the excuses of those who had not given in their names; that the man should be held as a deserter, whose excuse they found unsatisfactory; all the youth attended on the following day. The cohorts [70] chose each their centurions: two senators were placed at the head of each cohort. We have read that all these measures were carried out with such expedition that the standards, which had been brought forth from the treasury on that very day by the quæstors and conveyed to the Campus, started from thence at the fourth hour; and the newly-raised army halted at the tenth milestone, followed only by a few cohorts of veteran soldiers as volunteers. The following day brought the enemy within sight, and camp was joined to camp near Corbio. On the third day, when resentment urged on the Romans, and a consciousness of guilt for having so often rebelled and a feeling of despair, the others, there was no delay in coming to an engagement.

In the Roman army, though the two consuls were invested with equal authority, the supreme command was, by the concession of Agrippa, resigned to his colleague, an arrangement most salutary in the conduct of matters of great importance; and he who was preferred made a polite return for the ready condescension of the other, who thus lowered himself, by making him his confidant in all his plans and sharing with him his honours, and by putting him on an equality with him although he was by no means as capable. On the field of battle Quinctius commanded the right, Agrippa the left wing; the command of the centre was intrusted to Spurius Postumius Albus, as lieutenant-general. Publius Sulpicius, the other lieutenant-general, was placed at the head of the cavalry. The infantry on the right wing fought with distinguished valour, while the Volscians offered a stout resistance. Publius Sulpicius with his cavalry broke through the centre of the enemy's line; and, though he might have returned thence in the same way to his own party, before the enemy restored their broken ranks, it seemed more advisable to attack them in the rear, and in a moment, charging the line in the rear, he would have dispersed the enemy by the double attack, had not the cavalry of the Volscians and Æquans kept him for some time engaged by a mode of fighting like his own. Then indeed Sulpicius declared that there was no time for delay, crying out that they were surrounded and would be cut off from their own friends, unless they united all their efforts and despatched the engagement with the cavalry. Nor was it enough to rout the enemy without disabling them; they must slay horses and men, that none might return to the fight or renew the battle; that these could not resist them, before whom a compact body of infantry had given way. His orders were addressed to no deaf ears; by a single charge they routed the entire cavalry, dismounted great numbers, and killed with their javelins both the riders and the horses. Thus ended the cavalry engagement. Then, having attacked the enemy's infantry, they sent an account to the consuls of what had been done, where the enemy's line was already giving way. The news both gave fresh courage to the Romans who were now gaining the day, and dismayed the Æquans who were beginning to give way. They first began to be beaten in the centre, where the furious charge of the cavalry had broken their ranks. Then the left wing began to lose ground before the consul Quinctius; the contest was most obstinate on the right. Then Agrippa, in the vigour of his youth and strength, seeing matters going more favourably in every part of the battle than in his own quarter, snatched some of the standards from the standard-bearers and carried them on himself, some even he began to throw into the thick of the enemy.[71]

The soldiers, urged on by the fear of this disgrace, attacked the enemy; thus the victory was equalized in every quarter. News then came from Quinctius that he, being now victorious, was about to attack the enemy's camp; that he was unwilling to break into it, before he learned that they were beaten in the left wing also. If he had routed the enemy, let him now join him, that all the army together might take possession of the booty. Agrippa, being victorious, with mutual congratulations advanced toward his victorious colleague and the enemy's camp. There, as there were but few to defend it, and these were routed in a moment they broke into the fortifications without a struggle, and marched back the army, in possession of abundant spoil, having recovered also their own effects, which had been lost by the devastation of the lands. I have not heard that they either themselves demanded a triumph, or that one was offered to them by the senate; nor is any cause assigned for the honour being either overlooked or not hoped for. As far as I can conjecture at so great a distance of time, since a triumph had been refused to the consuls Horatius and Valerius, who, in addition to the victory over the Æquans and Volscians, had gained the glory of having also finished the Sabine war, the consuls were ashamed to demand a triumph for one half of the services done by them, lest, even if they should have obtained it, regard might appear to have been paid to persons rather than to merit.

A disgraceful decision of the people regarding the boundaries of their allies marred the honourable victory obtained over their enemies. The people of Aricia [72] and of Ardea, who had frequently contended in arms concerning a disputed piece of land, wearied out by many losses on either side, appointed the Roman people as arbitrators. When they arrived to support their claims, an assembly of the people being granted them by the magistrates, the matter was debated with great warmth. The witnesses being now produced, when it was time for the tribes to be called, and for the people to give their votes, Publius Scaptius, a plebeian advanced in years, rose up and said, "Consuls, if it is permitted me to speak on the public interest, I will not suffer the people to be led into a mistake in this matter." When the consuls said that he, as unworthy of attention, ought not to be heard, and, on his shouting that the public interest was being betrayed, ordered him to be put aside, he appealed to the tribunes. The tribunes, as they are nearly always directed by the multitude rather than direct it, granted Scaptius leave to say what he pleased in deference to the people, who were anxious to hear him. He then began: That he was now in his eighty-third year, and that he had served in that district which was now in dispute, not even then a young man, as he was already serving in his twentieth campaign, when operations were going on at Corioli. He therefore brought forward a fact forgotten by length of time--one, however, deeply fixed in his memory, namely, that the district now in dispute had belonged to the territory of Corioli, and, after the taking of Corioli, it had become come by right of war the public property of the Roman people. That he was surprised how the states of Ardea and Aricia could have the face to hope to deprive the Roman people, whom instead of lawful owners they had made arbitrators; of a district the right of which they had never claimed while the state of Corioli existed. That he for his part had but a short time to live; he could not, however, bring himself, old as he now was, to desist claiming by his voice, the only means he now had, a district which, as a soldier, he had contributed to acquire, as far as a man could. That he strenuously advised the people not to ruin their own interest by an idle feeling of delicacy.

The consuls, when they perceived that Scaptius was listened to not only in silence, but even with approbation, calling gods and men to witness, that a disgraceful enormity was being committed, summoned the principal senators: with them they went round to the tribes, entreated, that, as judges, they would not be guilty of a most heinous crime, with a still worse precedent, by converting the subject of dispute to their own interest, more especially when, even though it may be lawful for a judge to look after his own interest, so much would by no means be acquired by keeping the land, as would be lost by alienating the affections of their allies by injustice; for that the loss of reputation and confidence was of greater importance than could be estimated. Was this the answer the ambassadors were to carry home; was this to go out to the world; were their allies to hear this; were their enemies to hear it--with what sorrow the one--with what joy the other? Could they suppose that the neighbouring states would ascribe this proceeding to Scaptius, an old babbler at assemblies? That Scaptius would be rendered distinguished by this statue: but that the Roman people would assume the character of a corrupt informer [73] and appropriator of the claims of others. For what judge in a private cause ever acted in such a way as to adjudge to himself the property in dispute? That even Scaptius himself would not act so, though he had now outlived all sense of shame. Thus the consuls, thus the senators exclaimed; but covetousness, and Scaptius, the adviser of that covetousness, had more influence. The tribes, when convened, decided that the district was the public property of the Roman people. Nor can it be denied that it might have been so, if they had gone to other judges; but, as it is, the infamy of the decision is not in any way diminished by the justice of the cause: nor did it appear more disgraceful or more repulsive to the people of Aricia and of Ardea, than it did to the Roman senate. The remainder of the year continued free from disturbances both at home and abroad. [74]


[Footnote 1: The ager publicus or public land consisted of the landed estates which had belonged to the kings, and were increased by land taken from enemies who had been captured in war. The patricians had gained exclusive occupation of this, for which they paid a nominal rent in the shape of produce and tithes: the state, however, still retained the right of disposal of it. By degrees the ager publicus fell into the hands of a few rich individuals, who were continually buying up smaller estates, which were cultivated by slaves, thus reducing the number of free agricultural labourers.]

[Footnote 2: Directly, rather than by lot as was usual.]

[Footnote 4: In later times the censor performed this office.--D.O.]

[Footnote 5: This decree was practically a bestowal of absolute power.--D.O.]

[Footnote: In later times the proconsul was the consul of the previous year, appointed to act as such over one of the provinces.--D.O.]

[Footnote 7: This gate was on the west side, in the rear, farthest from the enemy: it was so called from the decumanus, a line drawn from east to west, which divided the camp into two halves: see note in revised edition of Prendeville's Livy.]

[Footnote 8: August 1st]

[Footnote 9: The consular year, not the civil one, which began in January: the time at which the consuls entered upon office varied very much until B.C. 153, when it was finally settled that the date of their doing so should be January 1st.]

[Footnote 10: Called "Via Praenestina" beyond Gabii.]

[Footnote 11: That is, broke up camp.--D.O.]

[Footnote 12: The people of Rome had been divided in early times into thirty curies: each of these had an officiating priest, called curio, and the whole body was under the presidency of the curio maximus.]

[Footnote 13: The ten leading senators held the office in rotation for five days each, until the consular comitia were held.--D.O.]

[Footnote 14: August 11th]

[Footnote 15: A lesser form of triumph.]

[Footnote 16: The Sibylline books, supposed to have been sold to Tarquinius Superbus by the Sibyl of Cumæ: they were written in Greek hexameter verses. In times of emergency and distress they were consulted and interpreted by special priests (the duumviri here mentioned).]

[Footnote 17: It will be frequently observed that the patricians utilized their monopoly of religious offices to effect their own ends.--D.O.]

[Footnote 18: Curule chairs of office.]

[Footnote 19: That is, recruits.--D.O.]

[Footnote 20: The worst quarter of the city--its White chapel as it were. It lay, roughly speaking, from the Forum eastward along the valley between Esquiline and Viminial Hills.--D.O.]

[Footnote 21: That is, to insure punishment and practically abnegate the right an accused person had of escaping sentence by voluntary exile.--D.O.]

[Footnote 22: Perhaps the first bail-bond historically noted.--D.O.]

[Footnote 23: That is, refused to accept the plea.]

[Footnote 24: That is, defended them in court.]

[Footnote 25: The Temple of Jupiter in the Capitol was divided into three parts: the middle was sacred to Jupiter, the right to Minerva, the left to Juno. By "other gods" are meant Terminus, Fides, Juventas.]

[Footnote 26: Publicola, the father of Brutus.]

[Footnote 27: That is, personal violence from the young patricians.--D.O.]

[Footnote 28: Their control over the auspices was a favourite weapon of the patricians, and one which could naturally be better used at a distance from Rome. The frequency of its use would seem to argue adaptability in the devotional feelings of the nobles at least, which might modify our reliance upon the statement made above as to the respect for the gods then prevalent in Rome.--D.O.]

[Footnote 29: This was the limit of the tribunes' authority.--D.O.]

[Footnote 30: This gate, from which at a later date the Via Appia and the Via Latina started, stood near what is now the junction of the Via S. Gregorio with the Vi di Porta S. Sebastiano.--D.O.]

[Footnote 31: By drawing part of the Roman army to the defence of the allied city.--D.O.]

[Footnote 32: Two spears were set upright and a third lashed across. To pass through and under this "yoke" was, among the Italian states, the greatest indignity that could be visited upon a captured army. It symbolized servititude in arms.--D. O.]

[Footnote 33: This would seem to augur some treachery, unless we are to believe that only the young men taken in the citadel were sent under the yoke, the slaughter took place among the flying besiegers.--D.O.]

[Footnote 34: "Quæstors," these officers are first mentioned in Book II, ch. xii. In early times it appears to have been part of their duty to prosecute those guilty of treason, and to carry the punishment into execution.]

[Footnote 35: Evidently a new pretext for delay.--D.O.]

[Footnote 36: A little beyond Crustumerium, on the Via Salaria.--D.O.]

[Footnote 37: Possibly to one assigned to him officially. Freese regards the expression as inconsistent with his alleged poverty.--D.O.]

[Footnote 38: A curious feature of a triumph were the disrespectful and often scurrilous verses chanted by the soldiers at the expense of their general--D.O.]

[Footnote 39: The meaning of this passage is obscure. Many explanations have been attempted, none of which, to my mind, is quite satisfactory.--D.O.]

[Footnote 40: Priest of Quirinus.--D. O.]

[Footnote 41: The law forbade burial within the limits of the city except in certain cases.--D.O.]

[Footnote 42: That is, relinquished his right of acting as judge in favour of the people and of popular trial.--D.O.]

[Footnote 43: A new law was hung up in the Forum for public perusal.--D.O.]

[Footnote 44: As in the case of a dictator. At first half, and finally all, of the consular lictors carried only the fasces.--D.O.]

[Footnote 45: That is, the incumbents of the past year, now of right private persons, their term of office having expired.--D. O.]

[Footnote 46: The fine for non-attendance.--D.O.]

[Footnote 47: As being out of order, the senate having been convened to consider the war.]

[Footnote 48: Rex Sacrificulus (see note, page 73).--D.O.]

[Footnote 49: As having been improperly convened.--D.O.]

[Footnote 50: That is, of Valerius, but rather of Appius himself in restraining him from precipitating matters.--D.O.]

[Footnote 51: Appius's argument is that, if Verginia was living in a state of slavery under Claudius, as any one might institute an action to establish her liberty, she would be entitled to her liberty until the matter was settled: but as she was now living under her father's protection, and was his property by the right of the patria potestas, and he was absent, and as other person had a right to keep or defend her, she ought to be given up to the man who claimed to be her master, pending her father's return.]

[Footnote 52: Venus Cloacina (she who cleanses).--D.O.]

[Footnote 53: On two sides of the forum were colonnades, between the pillars of which were tradesmen's booths known as "the Old Booths" and "the New Booths."]

[Footnote 54: That is, to the infernal gods.]

[Footnote 55: See Macaulay's "Lays of Ancient Rome: Verginia."]

[Footnote 56: The civilian togas.--D. O.]

[Footnote 57: Appius Claudius, a member of their order.--D. O.]

[Footnote 58: From the Colline gate.--D.O.]

[Footnote 59: From whose decision an appeal would lie.]

[Footnote 60: The church of S. Caterina de' Fernari now stands within its lines.--D.O.]

[Footnote 61: Evidently this could not apply to a dictator.--D. O.]

[Footnote 62: The name consul, although used by Livy (Bk. I, ch. Ix), was not really employed until after the period of the decemvirs. The title in early use was prætor: it is not definitely known when the name judex was attached to the office.]

[Footnote 63: I question the rendering of this sentence. To read plebis for plebi would very much improve the sense.--D.O.]

[Footnote 64: Twenty years.--D.O.]

[Footnote 65: The misfortunes of the previous campaign were supposed to exert an influence on the present one.--D.O.]

[Footnote 66: The cavalry at this period wore no defensive armour, and carried only an ox-hide buckler and a light lance.--D.O.]

[Footnote 67: A victorious general who had entered the city could not afterward triumph.--D.O.]

[Footnote 68: It was first necessary for these to be adopted into plebeian families, as none but plebeians were eligible.--D.O.]

[Footnote 69: It stood about where the Arch of Gallienus now stands.--D.O.]

[Footnote 70: Each legion was divided into ten cohorts.--D.O.]

[Footnote 71: A not unusual method of forcing the charge, as not only military honour but religious sentiment forbade the loss of the standards.--D. O.]

[Footnote 72: About twenty miles from Rome in the Alban Mountains. The village of Ariccia occupies the site of the ancient citadel.--D. O.]

[Footnote 73: Quadruplatores were public informers, so called because they received a fourth part of the fine imposed: also used in a general sense of those who tried to promote their interests by underhand means.]

[Footnote 74: This is one of the best of Livy's books. The story of Verginia and of the deposition and punishment of the decemvirs is unexcelled in historical narrative.--D.O.]

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