Anno Urbis - The Roman Empire Online


Home | Prev | Next | Contents


The acts, civil and military, of the Roman people, henceforth free, their annual magistrates, and the sovereignty of the laws, more powerful than that of men, I will now proceed to recount. The haughty insolence of the last king had caused this liberty to be the more welcome: for the former kings reigned in such a manner that they all in succession may be deservedly reckoned founders of those parts at least of the city, which they independently added as new dwelling-places for the population, which had been increased by themselves. Nor is there any doubt that that same Brutus, who gained such renown from the expulsion of King Superbus, would have acted to the greatest injury of the public weal, if, through the desire of liberty before the people were fit for it, he had wrested the kingdom from any of the preceding kings. For what would have been the consequence, if that rabble of shepherds and strangers, runaways from their own peoples, had found, under the protection of an inviolable sanctuary, either freedom, or at least impunity for former offences, and, freed from all dread of regal authority, had begun to be distracted by tribunician storms, and to engage in contests with the fathers in a strange city, before the pledges of wives and children, and affection for the soil itself, to which people become habituated only by length of time, had united their affections? Their condition, not yet matured, would have been destroyed by discord; but the tranquillizing moderation of the government so fostered this condition, and by proper nourishment brought it to such perfection, that, when their strength was now developed, they were able to bring forth the wholesome fruits of liberty. The first beginnings of liberty, however, one may date from this period, rather because the consular authority was made annual, than because of the royal prerogative was in any way curtailed. The first consuls kept all the privileges and outward signs of authority, care only being taken to prevent the terror appearing doubled, should both have the fasces at the same time. Brutus, with the consent of his colleague, was first attended by the fasces, he who proved himself afterward as keen in protecting liberty as he had previously shown himself in asserting it. First of all he bound over the people, jealous of their newly-acquired liberty, by an oath that they would suffer no one to be king in Rome, for fear that later they might be influenced by the importunities or bribes of the royal house. Next, that a full house might give additional strength to the senate, he filled up the number of senators, which had been diminished by the assassinations of Tarquinius, to the full number of three hundred, by electing the principal men of equestrian rank to fill their places: from this is said to have been derived the custom of summoning into the senate both the patres and those who were conscripti. They called those who were elected, conscripti, enrolled, that is, as a new senate. It is surprising how much that contributed to the harmony of the state, and toward uniting the patricians and commons in friendship.

Attention was then paid to religious matters, and, as certain public functions had been regularly performed by the kings in person, to prevent their loss being felt in any particular, they appointed a king of the sacrifices.[1] This office they made subordinate to the pontifex maximus, that the holder might not, if high office were added to the title, prove detrimental to liberty, which was then their principal care. And I do not know but that, by fencing it in on every side to excess, even in the most trivial matters, they exceeded bounds. For, though there was nothing else that gave offence, the name of one of the consuls was an object of dislike to the state. They declared that the Tarquins had been too much habituated to sovereignty; that it had originated with Priscus: that Servius Tullius had reigned next; that Tarquinius Superbus had not even, in spite of the interval that had elapsed, given up all thoughts of the kingdom as being the property of another, which it really was, but thought to regain it by crime and violence, as if it were the heirloom of his family; that after the expulsion of Superbus, the government was inthe hands of Collatinus: that the Tarquins knew not how to live in a private station; that the name pleased them not; that it was dangerous to liberty. Such language, used at first by persons quietly sounding the dispositions of the people, was circulated through the whole state; and the people, now excited by suspicion, were summoned by Brutus to a meeting. There first of all he read aloud the people's oath: that they would neither suffer any one to be king, nor allow any one to live at Rome from whom danger to liberty might arise. He declared that this ought to be maintained with all their might, and that nothing, that had any reference to it, ought to be treated with indifference: that he said this with reluctance, for the sake of the individual; and that he would not have said it, did not his affection for the commonwealth predominate; that the people of Rome did not believe that complete liberty had been recovered; that the regal family, the regal name, was not only in the state but also in power; that that was a stumbling-block, was a hindrance to liberty. "Do you, Lucius Tarquinius," said he, "of your own free will, remove this apprehension? We remember, we own it, you expelled the royal family; complete your services: take hence the royal name; your property your fellow-citizens shall not only hand over to you, by my advice, but, if it is insufficient, they will liberally supply the want. Depart in a spirit of friendship. Relieve the state from a dread which may be only groundless. So firmly are men's minds persuaded that only with the Tarquinian race will kingly power depart hence." Amazement at so extraordinary and sudden an occurrence at first impeded the consul's utterance; then, as he was commencing to speak, the chief men of the state stood around him, and with pressing entreaties urged the same request. The rest of them indeed had less weight with him, but after Spurius Lucretius, superior to all the others in age and high character, who was besides his own father-in-law, began to try various methods, alternately entreating and advising, in order to induce him to allow himself to be prevailed on by the general feeling of the state, the consul, apprehensive that hereafter the same lot might befall him, when his term of office had expired, as well as loss of property and other additional disgrace, resigned his consulship, and removing all his effects to Lavinium, withdrew from the city. Brutus, according to a decree of the senate, proposed to the people, that all who belonged to the family of the Tarquins should be banished from Rome: in the assembly of centuries he elected Publius Valerius, with whose assistance he had expelled the kings, as his colleague.

Though nobody doubted that a war was impending from the Tarquins, yet it broke out later than was generally expected; however, liberty was well-nigh lost by fraud and treachery, a thing they never apprehended. There were among the Roman youth several young men--and these of no no rank--who, while the regal government lasted, had enjoyed greater license in their pleasures, being the equals in age, boon companions of the young Tarquins, and accustomed to live after the fashion of princes. Missing that freedom, now that the privileges of all were equalized,[2] they complained among themselves that the liberty of others had turned out slavery for them: that a king was a human being, from whom one could obtain what one wanted, whether the deed might be an act of justice or of wrong; that there was room for favour and good offices; that he could be angry, and forgive; that he knew the difference between a friend and an enemy; that the laws were a deaf, inexorable thing, more beneficial and advantageous for the poor than for the rich; that they allowed no relaxation or indulgence, if one transgressed due bounds; that it was perilous, amid so many human errors, to have no security for life but innocence. While their minds were already of their own accord thus discontented, ambassadors from the royal family arrived unexpectedly, merely demanding restitution of their personal property, without any mention of their return. After their application had been heard in the senate, the deliberation about it lasted for several days, as they feared that the non-restitution of the property might be made a pretext for war, its restitution a fund and assistance for the same. In the meantime the ambassadors were planning a different scheme: while openly demanding the restoration of property, they secretly concerted measures for recovering the throne, and soliciting them, as if to promote that which appeared to be the object in view, they sounded the minds of the young nobles; to those by whom their proposals were favourably received they gave letters from the Tarquins, and conferred with them about admitting the royal family into the city secretly by night.

The matter was first intrusted to the brothers Vitellii and Aquilii. A sister of the Vitellii was married to Brutus the consul, and the issue of that marriage was the grown-up sons, Titus and Tiberius; they also were admitted by their uncles to share the plot; several young nobles also were taken into their confidence, recollection of whose names has been lost from lapse of time. In the meantime, as that opinion had prevailed in the Senate, which was in favour of the property being restored, the ambassadors made use of this as a pretext for lingering in the city, and the time which they had obtained from the consuls to procure conveyances, in which to remove the effects of the royal family, they spent entirely in consultations with the conspirators, and by persistent entreaties succeeded in getting letters given to them for the Tarquins. Otherwise how could they feel sure that the representations made by the ambassadors on matters of such importance were not false? The letters, given as an intended pledge of their sincerity, caused the plot to be discovered: for when, the day before the ambassadors set out to the Tarquins, they had supped by chance at the house of the Vitellii, and the conspirators had there discoursed much together in private, as was natural, concerning their revolutionary design, one of the slaves, who had already observed what was on foot, overheard their conversation; he waited, however, for the opportunity when the letters should be given to the ambassadors, the detection of which would put the matter beyond a doubt. When he found that they had been given, he laid the whole affair before the consuls. The consuls left their home to seize the ambassadors and conspirators, and quashed the whole affair without any disturbance, particular care being taken of the letters, to prevent their being lost or stolen. The traitors were immediately thrown into prison: some doubt was entertained concerning the treatment of the ambassadors, and though their conduct seemed to justify their being considered as enemies, the law of nations nevertheless prevailed.

The consideration of the restoration of the king's effects, for which the senate had formerly voted, was laid anew before them. The fathers, overcome by indignation, expressly forbade either their restoration or confiscation. They were given to the people to be rifled, that, having been polluted as it were by participation in the royal plunder, they might lose forever all hopes of reconciliation with the Tarquins. A field belonging to the latter, which lay between the city and the Tiber, having been consecrated to Mars, was afterward called the Campus Martius. It is said that there was by chance, at that time, a crop of corn upon it ripe for harvest; this produce of the field, as they thought it unlawful to use it, after it had been reaped, a large number of men, sent into the field together, carried in baskets corn and straw together, and threw it into the Tiber, which then was flowing with shallow water, as is usual in the heat of summer; thus the heaps of corn as they stuck in the shallows settled down, covered over with mud; by means of these and other substances carried down to the same spot, which the river brings along hap-hazard, an island[3] was gradually formed. Afterward I believe that substructures were added, and that aid was given by human handicraft, that the surface might be well raised, as it is now and strong enough besides to bear the weight even of temples and colonnades. After the tyrant's effects had been plundered, the traitors were condemned and punishment inflicted. This punishment was the more noticeable, because the consulship imposed on the father the office of punishing his own children, and to him, who should have been removed even as a spectator, was assigned by fortune the duty of carrying out the punishment. Young men of the highest rank stood bound to the stake; but the consul's sons diverted the eyes of all the spectators from the rest of the criminals, as from persons unknown; and the people felt pity, not so much on account of their punishment, as of the crime by which they had deserved it. That they, in that year above all others, should have brought themselves to betray into the hands of one, who, formerly a haughty tyrant, was now an exasperated exile, their country recently delivered, their father its deliverer, the consulate which took its rise from the Junian family, the fathers, the people, and all the gods and citizens of Rome. The consuls advanced to take their seats, and the lictors were despatched to inflict punishment. The young men were stripped naked, beaten with rods, and their heads struck off with the axe, while all the time the looks and countenance of the father presented a touching spectacle, as his natural feelings displayed themselves during the discharge of his duty in inflicting public punishment. After the punishment of the guilty, that the example might be a striking one in both aspects for the prevention of crime, a sum of money was granted out of the treasury as a reward to the informer: liberty also and the rights of citizenship were conferred upon him. He is said to have been the first person made free by the vindicta; some think that even the term vindicta is derived from him, and that his name was Vindicius. [4] After him it was observed as a rule, that all who were set free in this manner were considered to be admitted to the rights of Roman citizens.

On receiving the announcement of these events as they had occurred, Tarquin, inflamed not only with grief at the annihilation of such great hopes, but also with hatred and resentment, when he saw that the way was blocked against stratagem, considering that war ought to be openly resorted to, went round as a suppliant to the cities of Etruria, imploring above all the Veientines and Tarquinians, not to suffer him, a man sprung from themselves, of the same stock, to perish before their eyes, an exile and in want, together with his grown-up sons, after they had possessed a kingdom recently so flourishing. That others had been invited to Rome from foreign lands to succeed to the throne; that he, a king, while engaged in extending the Roman Empire by arms, had been driven out by his nearest relatives by a villainous conspiracy, that they had seized and divided his kingdom in portions among themselves, because no one individual among them was deemed sufficiently deserving of it: and had given up his effects to the people to pillage, that no one might be without a share in the guilt. That he was desirous of recovering his country and his kingdom, and punishing his ungrateful subjects. Let them bring succour and aid him; let them also avenge the wrongs done to them of old, the frequent slaughter of their legions, the robbery of their land. These arguments prevailed on the people of Veii, and with menaces they loudly declared, each in their own name, that now at least, under the conduct of a Roman general, their former disgrace would be wiped out, and what they had lost in war would be recovered. His name and relationship influenced the people of Tarquinii, for it seemed a high honour that their countrymen should reign at Rome. Accordingly, the armies of these two states followed Tarquin to aid in the recovery of his kingdom, and to take vengeance upon the Romans in war. When they entered Roman territory, the consuls marched to meet the enemy. Valerius led the infantry in a square battalion: Brutus marched in front with the cavalry to reconnoitre. In like manner the enemy's horse formed the van of the army: Arruns Tarquinius, the king's son, was in command: the king himself followed with the legions. Arruns, when he knew at a distance by the lictors that it was a consul, and on drawing nearer more surely discovered that it was Brutus by his face, inflamed with rage, cried out: "Yonder is the man who has driven us into exile from our native country! See how he rides in state adorned with the insignia of our rank! Now assist me, ye gods, the avengers of kings." He put spurs to his horse and charged furiously against the consul. Brutus perceived that he was being attacked, and, as it was honourable in those days for the generals to personally engage in battle, he accordingly eagerly offered himself for combat. They charged with such furious animosity, neither of them heedful of protecting his own person, provided he could wound his opponent, that each, pierced through the buckler by his adversary's blow, fell from his horse in the throes of death, still transfixed by the two spears. The engagement between the rest of the horse began at the same time, and soon after the foot came up. There they fought with varying success, and as it were with equal advantage. The right wings of both armies were victorious, the left worsted. The Veientines, accustomed to defeat at the hands of the Roman soldiers, were routed and put to flight. The Tarquinians, who were a new foe, not only stood their ground, but on their side even forced the Romans to give way.

After the engagement had thus been fought, so great a terror seized Tarquinius and the Etruscans, that both armies, the Veientine and Tarquinian, abandoning the attempt as a fruitless one, departed by night to their respective homes. Strange incidents are also reported in the account of this battle--that in the stillness of the next night a loud voice was heard from the Arsian wood;[5] that it was believed to be the voice of Silvanus. That the following words were uttered: that more of the Tuscans by one man had fallen in the fight: that the Romans were victorious in the war. Under these circumstances, the Romans departed thence as conquerors, the Etruscans as practically conquered. For as soon as it was light, and not one of the enemy was to be seen anywhere, Publius Valerius, the consul, collected the spoils, and returned thence in triumph to Rome. He celebrated the funeral of his colleague with all the magnificence possible at the time. But a far greater honour to his death was the public sorrow, especially remarkable in this particular, that the matrons mourned him for a year as a parent, because he had shown himself so vigorous an avenger of violated chastity. Afterward, the consul who survived--so changeable are the minds of the people--after enjoying great popularity, encountered not only jealousy, but suspicion, that originated with a monstrous charge. Report represented that he was aspiring to kingly power, because he had not substituted a colleague in the room of Brutus, and was building on the top of Mount Velia:[6] that an impregnable stronghold was being erected there in an elevated and well-fortified position. These reports, widely circulated and believed, disquieted the consul's mind at the unworthiness of the charge; and, having summoned the people to an assembly, he mounted the platform, after lowering the fasces. It was a pleasing sight to the multitude that the insignia of authority were lowered before them, and that acknowledgment was made, that the dignity and power of the people were greater than that of the consul. Then, after they had been bidden to listen, the consul highly extolled the good fortune of his colleague, in that, after having delivered his country, he had died while still invested with the highest rank, fighting in defence of the commonwealth, when his glory was at its height, and had not yet turned to jealousy. He himself (said he) had outlived his glory, and only survived to incur accusation and odium: that, from being the liberator of his country, he had fallen back to the level of the Aquilii and Vitellii. "Will no merit then," said he, "ever be so approved in your eyes as to be exempt from the attacks of suspicion? Was I to apprehend that I, that bitterest enemy of kings, should myself have to submit to the charge of desiring kingly power? Was I to believe that, even though I should dwell in the citadel and the Capitol itself, I should be dreaded by my fellow-citizens? Does my character among you depend on so mere a trifle? Does your confidence in me rest on such slight foundations, that it matters more where I am than what I am? The house of Publius Valerius shall not stand in the way of your liberty, Quirites; the Velian Mount shall be secure to you. I will not only bring down my house into the plain, but will build it beneath the hill, that you may dwell above me, the suspected citizen. Let those build on the Velian Mount, to whom liberty can be more safely intrusted than to Publius Valerius." Immediately all the materials were brought down to the foot of the Velian Mount, and the house was built at the foot of the hill, where the Temple of Vica Pota[7] now stands.

After this laws were proposed by the consul, such as not only freed him from all suspicion of aiming at regal power, but had so contrary a tendency, that they even made him popular. At this time he was surnamed Publicola. Above all, the laws regarding an appeal to the people against the magistrates, and declaring accursed the life and property of any one who should have formed the design of seizing regal authority,[8] were welcome to the people. Having passed these laws while sole consul, so that the merit of them might be exclusively his own, he then held an assembly for the election of a new colleague. Spurius Lucretius was elected consul, who, owing to his great age, and his strength being inadequate to discharge the consular duties, died within a few days. Marcus Horatius Pulvillus was chosen in the room of Lucretius. In some ancient authorities I find no mention of Lucretius as consul; they place Horatius immediately after Brutus. My own belief is that, because no important event signalized his consulate, all record of it has been lost. The Temple of Jupiter on the Capitol had not yet been dedicated; the conuls Valerius and Horatius cast lots which should dedicate it. The duty fell by lot to Horatius. Publicola departed to conduct the war against the Veientines. The friends of Valerius were more annoyed than the circumstances demanded that the dedication of so celebrated a temple was given to Horatius. Having endeavoured by every means to prevent it, when all other attempts had been tried and failed, at the moment when the consul was holding the door-post during his offering of prayer to the gods, they suddenly announced to him the startling intelligence that his son was dead, and that, while his family was polluted by death, he could not dedicate the temple. Whether he did not believe that it was true, or whether he possessed such great strength of mind, is neither handed down for certain, nor is it easy to decide. On receiving the news, holding the door-post, without turning off his attention in any other way from the business he was engaged completed the form of prayer, and dedicated the temple. Such were the transactions at home and abroad during the first year after the expulsion of the kings. After this Publius Valerius, for the second time, and Titus Lucretius were elected consuls.

By this time the Tarquins had fled to Lars Porsina, King of Clusium. There, mingling advice with entreaties, they now besought him not to suffer them, who were descended from the Etruscans, and of the same stock and name, to live in exile and poverty; now advised him also not to let the rising practice of expelling kings pass unpunished. Liberty in itself had charms enough; and, unless kings defended their thrones with as much vigour as the people strove for liberty, the highest was put on a level with the lowest; there would be nothing exalted in states, nothing to be distinguished above the rest; that the end of regal government, the most beautiful institution both among gods and men, was close at hand. Porsina, thinking it a great honour to the Tuscans both that there should be a king at Rome, and that one belonging to the Etruscan nation, marched toward Rome with a hostile army. Never before on any other occasion did such terror seize the senate; so powerful was the state of Clusium[9] at that time, and so great the renown of Porsina. Nor did they dread their enemies only, but even their own citizens, lest the common people of Rome, smitten with fear, should, by receiving the Tarquins into the city, accept peace even at the price of slavery. Many concessions were therefore granted to the people by the senate during that period by way of conciliating them. Their attention, in the first place, was directed to the markets, and persons were sent, some to the country of the Volscians, others to Cumae, to buy up corn. The privilege of selling salt also was withdrawn from private individuals because it was sold at an exorbitant price, while all the expense fell upon the state:[10] and the people were freed from duties and taxes, inasmuch as the rich, since they were in a position to bear the burden, should contribute them; the poor, they said, paid taxes enough if they brought up their children. This indulgence on the part of the fathers accordingly kept the state so united during their subsequent adversity in time of siege and famine, that the lowest as much as the highest abhorred the name of king; nor did any single individual afterward gain such popularity by intriguing practices, as the whole body of the senate at that time by their excellent government.

On the approach of the enemy, they all withdrew for protection from the country into the city, and protected the city itself with military garrisons. Some parts seemed secured by the walls, others by the Tiber between. The Sublician [11] bridge well-nigh afforded a passage to the enemy, had it not been for one man, Horatius Cocles: in him the protecting spirit of Rome on that day found a defence. He happened to be posted on guard at the bridge: and, when he saw the Janiculum taken by a sudden assault, and the enemy pouring down from thence at full speed, and his own party, in confusion, abandoning their arms and ranks, seizing hold of them one by one, standing in their way, and appealing to the faith of gods and men, he declared, that their flight would avail them nothing if they deserted their post; if they crossed the bridge and left it behind them, there would soon be greater numbers of the enemy in the Palatium and Capitol than in the Janiculum; therefore he advised and charged them to break down the bridge, by sword, by fire, or by any violent means whatsoever; that he himself would receive the attack of the enemy as far as resistance could be offered by the person of one man. He then strode to the front entrance of the bridge, and being easily distinguished among those whose backs were seen as they gave way before the battle, he struck the enemy with amazement by his surprising boldness as he faced round in arms to engage the foe hand to hand. Two, however, a sense of shame kept back with him, Spurius Larcius and Titus Herminius, both men of high birth, and renowned for their gallant exploits. With them he for a short time stood the first storm of danger, and the severest brunt of the battle. Afterward, as those who were cutting down the bridge called upon them to retire, and only a small portion of it was left, he obliged them also to withdraw to a place of safety. Then, casting his stern eyes threateningly upon all the nobles of the Etruscans, he now challenged them singly, now reproached them all as the slaves of haughty tyrants, who, unmindful of their own freedom, came to attack that of others. For a considerable time they hesitated, looking round one upon another, waiting to begin the fight. A feeling of shame then stirred the army, and raising a shout, they hurled their weapons from all sides on their single adversary; and when they had all stuck in the shield he held before him, and he with no less obstinacy kept possession of the bridge with firm step, they now began to strive to thrust him down from it by their united attack, when the crash of the falling bridge, and at the same time the shout raised by the Romans for joy at having completed their task, checked their assault with sudden consternation. Then Cocles said, "Father Tiberinus, holy one, I pray thee, receive these arms, and this thy soldier, in thy favouring stream." So, in full armour, just as he was, he leapedinto the Tiber, and, amid showers of darts that fell upon him, swam across unharmed to his comrades, having dared a deed which is likely to obtain more fame than belief with posterity.[12] The state showed itself grateful toward such distinguished valour; a statue of him was erected in the comitium, and as much land was given to him as he could draw a furrow round in one day with a plough. The zeal of private individuals also was conspicuous in the midst of public honours. For, notwithstanding the great scarcity, each person contributed something to him in proportion to his private means, depriving himself of his own means of support.

Porsina, repulsed in his first attempt, having changed his plans to a siege of the city, and a blockade, and pitched his camp in the plain and on the bank of the Tiber, placed a garrison in the Janiculum. Then, sending for boats from all parts, both to guard the river, so as to prevent any provisions being conveyed up stream to Rome, and also that his soldiers might get across to plunder in different places as opportunity offered, in a short time he so harassed all the country round Rome, that not only was everything else conveyed out of the country, but even the cattle were driven into the city, and nobody ventured to drive them without the gates. This liberty of action was granted to the Etruscans, not more from fear than from design: for the consul Valerius, eager for an opportunity of falling unawares upon a number of them together in loose order, careless of taking vengeance in trifling matters, reserved himself as a serious avenger for more important occasions. Accordingly, in order to draw out the pillagers, he ordered a large body of his men to drive out their cattle the next day by the Esquiline gate, which was farthest from the enemy, thinking that they would get intelligence of it, because during the blockade and scarcity of provisions some of the slaves would turn traitors and desert. And in fact they did learn by the information of a deserter, and parties far more numerous than usual crossed the river in the hope of seizing all the booty at once. Then Publius Valerius commanded Titus Herminius, with a small force, to lie in ambush at the second milestone on the road to Gabii, and Spurius Larcius, with a party of light-armed youths, to post himself at the Colline gate while the enemy was passing by, and then to throw himself in their way to cut off their return to the river. The other consul, Titus Lucretius, marched out of the Naevian gate with some companies of soldiers, while Valerius himself led some chosen cohorts down from the Colan Mount. These were the first who were seen by the enemy. Herminius, when he perceived the alarm, rushed from his ambush and fell upon the rear of the Etruscans, who had turned against Valerius. The shout was returned on the right and left, from the Colline gate on the one side and the Naevian on the other. Thus the plunderers were put to the sword between both, being neither their match in strength for fighting, and all the ways being blocked up to prevent escape: this put an end to the disorderly raids of the Etruscans.

The blockade, however, was carried on none the less, and corn was both scarce and very dear. Porsina still entertained the hope that, by continuing the blockade, he would be able to reduce the city, when Gaius Mucius, a young noble, who considered it a disgrace that the Roman people, who, even when in a state of slavery, while under the kings, had never been confined within their walls during any war, or blockaded by any enemy, should now, when a free people, be blockaded by these very Etruscans whose armies they had often routed--and thinking that such disgrace ought to be avenged by some great and daring deed, at first designed on his own responsibility to make his way into the enemy's camp. Then, being afraid that, if he went without the permission of the consuls, and unknown to all, he might perhaps be seized by the Roman guards and brought back as a deserter, since the circumstances of the city at the time rendered such a charge credible, he approached the senate. "Fathers," said he, "I desire to cross the Tiber, and enter the enemy's camp, if I may be able, not as a plunderer, nor as an avenger to exact retribution for their devastations: a greater deed is in my mind, if the gods assist." The senate approved. He set out with a dagger concealed under his garment. When he reached the camp, he stationed himself where the crowd was thickest, near the king's tribunal. There, as the soldiers happened to be receiving their pay, and the king's secretary, sitting by him, similarly attired, was busily engaged, and generally addressed by the soldiers, he killed the secretary, against whom chance blindly directed the blow, instead of the king, being afraid to ask which of the two was Porsina, lest, by displaying his ignorance of the king, he should disclose who he himself was. As he was moving off in the direction where with his bloody dagger he had made a way for himself through the dismayed multitude, the crowd ran up on hearing the noise, and he was immediately seized and brought back by the king's guards: being set before the king's tribunal, even then, amid the perilous fortune that threatened him, more capable of inspiring dread than of feeling it, "I am," said he, "a Roman citizen; men call me Gaius Mucius; an enemy, I wished to slay an enemy, nor have I less courage to suffer death than I had to inflict it. Both to do and to suffer bravely is a Roman's part. Nor have I alone harboured such feelings toward you; there follows after me a long succession of aspirants to the same honour. Therefore, if you choose, prepare yourself for this peril, to be in danger of your life from hour to hour: to find the sword and the enemy at the very entrance of your tent: such is the war we, the youth of Rome, declare against you; dread not an army in the field, nor a battle; you will have to contend alone and with each of us one by one." When the king, furious with rage, and at the same time terrified at the danger, threateningly commanded fires to be kindled about him, if he did not speedily disclose the plots, at which in his threats he had darkly hinted, Mucius said, "See here, that you may understand of how little account the body is to those who have great glory in view"; and immediately thrust his right hand into the fire that was lighted for sacrifice. When he allowed it to burn as if his spirit were quite insensible to any feeling of pain, the king, well-nigh astounded at this surprising sight, leaped from his seat and commanded the young man to be removed from the altar. "Depart," said he, "thou who hast acted more like an enemy toward thyself than toward me. I would bid thee go on and prosper in thy valour, if that valour were on the side of my country. I now dismiss thee unharmed and unhurt, exempt from the right of war." Then Mucius, as if in return for the kindness, said: "Since bravery is held in honour with you, that you may obtain from me by your kindness that which you could not obtain by threats, know that we are three hundred, the chief of the Roman youth, who have conspired to attack you in this manner. The lot fell upon me first. The rest will be with you each in his turn, according to the fortune that shall befall me who drew the first lot, until fortune on some favourable opportunity shall have delivered you into their hands."

Mucius, to whom the surname of Scaevola[13] was afterward given from the loss of his right hand, was let go and ambassadors from Porsina followed him to Rome. The danger of the first attempt, in which nothing had protected him but the mistake of his secret assailant, and the thought of the risk of life he would have to run so often in proportion to the number of surviving conspirators that remained, made so strong an impression upon him that of his own accord he offered terms of peace to the Romans. In these terms the restoration of the Tarquins to the throne was proposed and discussed without success, rather because he felt he could not refuse that to the Tarquins, than from ignorance that it would be refused him by the Romans. In regard to the restoration of territory to the Veientines his request was granted, and the obligation of giving hostages, if they wished the garrison to be withdrawn from the Janiculum, was extorted from the Romans. Peace being concluded on these terms, Porsina led his troops down from the Janiculum, and withdrew from Roman territory. The fathers bestowed upon Gaius Mucius, in reward for his valour, some land on the other side of the Tiber, which was afterward called the Mucian meadows. By this honour paid to valour women also were roused to deeds that brought glory to the state. Among others, a young woman named Claelia, one of the hostages, escaped her keepers, and, as the camp of the Etruscans had been pitched not far from the bank of the Tiber, swam over the river, amid the darts of the enemy, at the head of a band of maidens, and brought them all back in safety to their relations at Rome. When news of this was brought to the king, at first, furious with rage, he sent deputies to Rome to demand the hostage Claelia, saying that he did not set great store by the rest: afterward, his feelings being changed to admiration, he said that this deed surpassed those of men like Cocles and Mucius, and further declared that, as he would consider the treaty broken if the hostage were not delivered up, so, if she were given up, he would send her back unharmed and unhurt to her friends. Both sides kept faith: the Romans restored their pledge of peace according to treaty: and with the Etruscan king valour found not only security, but also honour; and, after praising the maiden, he promised to give her, as a present, half the hostages, allowing her to choose whom she pleased. When they had all been led forth, she is said to have picked out those below the age of puberty, a choice which both reflected honour upon her maiden delicacy, and was one likely to be approved of by consent of the hostages themselves--that those who were of such an age as was most exposed to injury should above all others be delivered from the enemy. Peace being renewed, the Romans rewarded this instance of bravery uncommon in a woman with an uncommon kind of honour: an equestrian statue, which, representing a maiden sitting on horseback, was erected at the top of the Via Sacra.[14]

The custom handed down from the ancients, and which has continued down to our times among other usages at public sales, that of selling the goods of King Porsina, is inconsistent with this account of so peaceful a departure of the Etruscan king from the city. The origin of this custom must either have arisen during the war, and not been abandoned in time of peace, or it must have grown from a milder beginning than the form of expression seems, on the face of it, to indicate, of selling the goods as if taken from an enemy. Of the accounts handed down, the most probable is, that Porsina, when retiring from the Janiculum, made a present to the Romans of his camp rich with stores of provisions conveyed from the neighbouring fertile fields of Etruria, as the city was then exhausted owing to the long siege: that then, to prevent its contents being plundered as if it belonged to an enemy when the people were admitted, they were sold, and called the goods of Porsina, the expression rather conveying the idea of a thankworthy gift than an auction of the king's property, seeing that this never even came into the power of the Roman people. Porsina, having abandoned the war against the Romans, that his army might not seem to have been led into those parts to no purpose, sent his son Arruns with part of his forces to besiege Aricia. The unexpected occurrence at first terrified the Aricians: afterward aid, which had been sent for, both from the people of Latium and from Cumæ,[15] inspired such hope that they ventured to try the issue of a pitched battle. At the beginning of the battle the Etruscans attacked so furiously that they routed the Aricians at the first onset. But the Cuman cohorts, employing stratagem against force, moved off a little to one side, and when the enemy were carried beyond them in loose array, they wheeled round and attacked them in the rear. By this means the Etruscans, when on the point of victory, were hemmed in and cut to pieces. A very small number of them, having lost their general, and having no nearer refuge, came to Rome without their arms, in the plight and guise of suppliants. There they were kindly received and distributed in different lodgings. When their wounds had been attended to, some with. Affection for their hosts and for the city caused many others to remain at Rome: a quarter was assigned them to dwell in, which has ever since been called the Tuscan Street.[16]

Spurius Lucretius and Publius Valerius Publicola were next elected consuls. In that year ambassadors came from Porsina for the last time, to discuss the restoration of Tarquin to the throne. And when answer had been given them, that the senate would send deputies to the king, the most distinguished of that order were forthwith despatched to explain that it was not because the answer could not have been given in a few words--that the royal family would not be received--that select members of the senate had been deputed to him, rather than an answer given to his ambassadors at Rome, but in order that all mention of the matter might be put an end to forever, and that their minds might not be disturbed amid so many mutual acts of kindness on both sides, by his asking what was adverse to the liberty of the Roman people, and by their refusing him (unless they were willing to promote their own destruction) whom they would willingly refuse nothing. That the Roman people were not now under a kingly government, but in the enjoyment of freedom, and were accordingly resolved to open their gates to enemies sooner than to kings. That it was the wish of all, that the end of their city's freedom might also be the end of the city itself. Wherefore, if he wished Rome to be safe, they entreated him to suffer it to be free. The king, overcome by feelings of respect, replied: "Since that is your firm and fixed resolve, I will neither annoy you by importunities, by urging the same request too often to no purpose, nor will I disappoint the Tarquins by holding out hopes of aid, which it is not in my power to give them; whether they have need of peace, or of war, let them go hence and seek another place of exile, that nothing may hinder the peace between us." To kindly words he added deeds still more friendly: he delivered up the remainder of the hostages, and restored to them the land of the Veientines, which had been taken from them by the treaty concluded at the Janiculum. Tarquin, now that all hope of return was cut off, went into exile to Tusculum [17] to his son-in-law Octavius Mamilius. Thus a lasting peace was concluded between Porsina and the Romans.

The next consuls were Marcus Valerius and Publius Postumius. During that year war was carried on successfully against the Sabines; the consuls received the honour of a triumph. Upon this the Sabines made preparations for war on a larger scale. To make head against them, and to prevent any sudden danger arising from Tusculum, from which quarter war, though not openly declared, was suspected, Publius Valerius was created consul a fourth time, and Titus Lucretius a second time. A disturbance that arose among the Sabines between the advocates of war and of peace transferred considerable strength from them to the Romans. For Attius Clausus, who was afterward called Appius Claudius at Rome, being himself an advocate of peace, when hard pressed by the agitators for war, and being no match for the party, fled from Regillum to Rome, accompanied by a great number of dependents. The rights of citizenship and land on the other side of the Anio were bestowed on them. This settlement was called the old Claudian tribe, and was subsequently increased by the addition of new tribesmen who kept arriving from that district. Appius, being chosen into the senate, was soon after advanced to the rank of the highest in that order. The consuls entered the territories of the Sabines with a hostile army, and when, both by laying waste their country, and afterward by defeating them in battle, they had so weakened the power of the enemy that for a long time there was no reason to dread the renewal of the war in that quarter, they returned to Rome in triumph. The following year, Agrippa Menenius and Publius Postumius being consuls, Publius Valerius, by universal consent the ablest man in Rome, in the arts both of peace and war, died covered with glory, but in such straitened private circumstances that there was not enough to defray the expenses of a public funeral: one was given him at the public charge. The matrons mourned for him as they had done for Brutus. The same year two Latin colonies, Pometia and Cora,[18] revolted to the Auruncans.[19] War was commenced against the Auruncans, and after a large army, which boldly met the consuls as they were entering their frontiers, had been defeated, all the operations of the Auruncan war were concentrated at Pometia. Nor, after the battle was over, did they refrain from slaughter any more than when it was going on: the number of the slain was considerably greater than that of the prisoners, and the latter they put to death indiscriminately. Nor did the wrath of war spare even the hostages, three hundred in number, whom they had received. This year also the consuls celebrated a triumph at Rome.

The succeeding consuls, Opiter Verginius and Spurius Cassius, first endeavoured to take Pometia by storm, and afterward by means of mantlets [20] and other works. But the Auruncans, stirred up against them more by an irreconcilable hatred than induced by any hopes of success, or by a favourable opportunity, having sallied forth, more of them armed with lighted torches than swords, filled all places with fire and slaughter. Having fired the mantlets, slain and wounded many of the enemy, they almost succeeded in slaying one of the consuls, who had been thrown from his horse and severely wounded: which of them it was, authorities do not mention. Upon this the Romans returned to the city unsuccessful: the consul was taken back with many more wounded, with doubtful hope of his recovery. After a short interval, sufficient for attending to their wounds and recruiting their army, they attacked Pometia with greater fury and increased strength. When, after the mantlets and the other military works had been repaired, the soldiers were on the point of mounting the walls, the town surrendered. Yet, though the town had surrendered, the Auruncans were treated with no less cruelty than if it had been taken by assault: the chief men were beheaded: the rest, who were colonists, were sold by auction, the town was razed, and the land sold. The consuls obtained a triumph more from having violently gratified their[21] resentment than in consequence of the importance of the war thus concluded.

In the following year Postumus Cominius and Titus Larcius were consuls. In that year, during the celebration of the games at Rome, as some courtesans were being carried off by some of the Sabine youth in wanton frolic, a crowd assembled, a quarrel ensued, and almost a battle: and in consequence of this trifling occurrence the whole affair seemed to point to a renewal of hostilities, which inspired even more apprehension than a Latin war. Their fears were further increased, because it was known for certain that thirty different states had already entered into a confederacy against them, at the instigation of Octavius Mamilius. While the state was troubled during the expectation of such important events, the idea of nominating a dictator was mentioned for the first time.

But in what year, or who the consuls were in whom confidence was not reposed, because they belonged to the party of the Tarquins--for that also is reported--or who was elected dictator for the first time, is not satisfactorily established. Among the oldest authorities, however, I find that Titus Larcius was appointed the first dictator, and Spurius Cassius master of the horse. They chose men of consular dignity: so the law that was passed for the election of a dictator ordained. For this reason, I am more inclined to believe that Larcius, who was of consular rank, was attached to the consuls as their director and superior, rather than Manius Valerius, the son of Marcus and grandson of Volesus, who had not vet been consul. Moreover, had they intended a dictator to be chosen from that family under any circumstances, they would much rather have chosen his father, Marcus Valerius, a man of consular rank, and of approved merit. On the first creation of the dictator at Rome, when they saw the axes carried before him, great awe came upon the people,[22] so that they became more attentive to obey orders. For neither, as was the case under the consuls, who possessed equal power, could the assistance of one of them be invoked, nor was there any appeal, nor any chance of redress but in attentive submission. The creation of a dictator at Rome also terrified the Sabines, and the more so because they thought he was created on their account. Accordingly, they sent ambassadors to treat concerning peace. To these, when they earnestly entreated the dictator and senate to pardon a youthful offence, the answer was given, that the young men might be forgiven, but not the old, seeing that they were continually stirring up one war after another. Nevertheless they continued to treat about peace, which would have been granted, if the Sabines had brought themselves to make good the expenses incurred during the war, as was demanded. War was proclaimed; a truce, however, with the tacit consent of both parties, preserved peace throughout the year.

Servius Sulpicius and Manius Tullius were consuls the next year: nothing worth mentioning happened. Titus Aebutius and Gaius Vetusius succeeded. In their consulship Fideae was besieged, Crustumeria taken, and Præneste[23] revolted from the Latins to the Romans. Nor was the Latin war, which had now been fomenting for several years, any longer deferred. Aulus Postumius the dictator, and Titus Aebutius his master of the horse, setting out with a numerous army of horse and foot, met the enemy's forces at the Lake Regillus,[24] in the territory of Tusculum, and, because it was rumoured that the Tarquins were in the army of the Latins, their rage could not be restrained, so that they immediately came to an engagement. Accordingly, the battle was considerably more severe and fierce than others. For the generals were present not only to direct matters by their instructions, but, exposing their own persons, they met in combat. And there was hardly one of the principal officers of either army who came off unwounded, except the Roman dictator. As Postumius was encouraging his men in the first line, and drawing them up in order, Tarquinius Superbus, though now advanced in years and enfeebled, urged on his horse to attack him: and, being wounded in the side, he was carried off by a party of his men to a place of safety. In like manner, on the other wing, Aebutius, master of the horse, had charged Octavius Mamilius; nor was his approach unobserved by the Etruscan general, who in like manner spurred his horse against him. And such was their impetuosity as they advanced with lances couched, that Aebutius was pierced through the arm and Mamilius run through the breast. The Latins received the latter into their second line; Aebutius, as he was unable to wield his lance with his wounded arm, retired from the battle. The Latin general, no way discouraged by his wound, stirred up the fight: and, because he saw that his own men were disheartened, sent for a company of Roman exiles, commanded by the son of Lucius Tarquinius. This body, inasmuch as they fought with greater fury, owing to the loss of their country, and the seizure of their estates, for a while revived the battle.

When the Romans were now beginning to give ground in that quarter, Marcus Valerius, brother of Publicola, having observed young Tarquin boldly parading himself at the head of his exiles, fired besides with the renown of his house, that the family, which had gained glory by having expelled the kings, might also have the glory of destroying them, put spurs to his horse, and with his javelin couched made toward Tarquin. Tarquin retreated before his infuriated foe to a battalion of his own men. As Valerius rode rashly into the line of the exiles, one of them attacked him and ran him sideways through the body, and as the horse was in no way impeded by the wound of his rider, the Roman sank to the ground expiring, with his arms falling over his body. Postumius the dictator, seeing the fall of so distinguished a man, and that the exiles were advancing boldly at a run, and his own men disheartened and giving ground, gave the signal to his own cohort, a chosen body of men which he kept for the defence of his person, to treat every Roman soldier, whom they saw fleeing from the battle, as an enemy. Upon this the Romans, in fear of the danger on both sides, turned from flight and attacked the enemy, and the battle was restored. The dictator's cohort then for the first time engaged in the fight, and with persons and courage unimpaired, fell on the wearied exiles, and cut them to pieces. There another engagement took place between the leading officers. The Latin general, on seeing the cohort of the exiles almost surrounded by the Roman dictator, hurried up some companies of reserves to the front. Titus Herminius, a lieutenant-general, seeing them advancing in a body, and recognising Mamilius, distinguished among them by his armour and dress, encountered the leader of the enemy with violence so much greater than the master of the horse had shown a little before, that at one thrust he ran him through the side and slew him. While stripping the body of his enemy, he himself received a wound with a javelin, and, though brought back to the camp victorious, died while it was being dressed. Then the dictator hurried up to the cavalry, entreating them, as the infantry were tired out, to dismount and take up the fight. They obeyed his orders, dismounted, flew to the front, and, taking the place of the first line, covered themselves with their targets. The infantry immediately recovered their courage when they saw the young nobles sustaining a share of the danger with them, the mode of fighting being now the same for all. Then at length the Latins were beaten back, and their line, disheartened, gave way. The horses were then brought up to the cavalry, that they might pursue the enemy: the infantry likewise followed. Thereupon the dictator, disregarding nothing that held out hope of divine or human aid, is said to have vowed a temple to Castor, and to have promised rewards to the first and second of the soldiers who should enter the enemy's camp. Such was the ardour of the Romans that they took the camp with the same impetuosity wherewith they had routed the enemy in the field. Such was the engagement at the Lake Regillus.

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

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

But a war with the Volscians was imminent, and the State was torn with internal dissensions; the patricians and the plebeians were bitterly hostile to one another, owing mainly to the desperate condition of the debtors. They loudly complained that whilst fighting in the field for liberty and empire they were oppressed and enslaved by their fellow-citizens at home; their freedom was more secure in war than in peace, safer amongst the enemy than amongst their own people. The discontent, which was becoming of itself continually more embittered, was still further aggravated by the striking sufferings of an individual. A man advanced in years rushed into the forum with the tokens of his utter misery upon him. His clothes were covered with filth, his personal appearance still more pitiable, pale, and emaciated. In addition, a long beard and hair gave a wild look to his countenance. Notwithstanding his wretched appearance however, he was recognised, and people said that he had been a centurion, and, compassionating him, recounted other distinctions that he had gained in war: he himself exhibited scars on his breast in front, which bore witness to honourable battles in several places. When they repeatedly inquired the reason of his plight, and wretched appearance, a crowd having now gathered round him almost like a regular assembly, he said, that, while serving in the Sabine war, because he had not only been deprived of the produce of his land in consequence of the depredations of the enemy, but his residence had also been burned down, all his effects pillaged, his cattle driven off, and a tax imposed on him at a time when it pressed most hardly upon him, he had got into debt: that this debt, increased by exorbitant interest, had stripped him first of his father's and grandfather's farm, then of all his other property; lastly that, like a wasting sickness, it had reached his person: that he had been dragged by his creditor, not into servitude, but into a house of correction and a place of torture. He then showed his back disfigured with the marks of recent scourging. At this sight and these words a great uproar arose. The tumult now no longer confined itself to the forum, but spread everywhere through the entire city. The nexi,[25] both those who were imprisoned, and those who were now at liberty, hurried into the streets from all quarters and implored the protection of the Quirites. Nowhere was there lack of volunteers to join the disturbance. They ran in crowds through all the streets, from all points, to the forum with loud shouts. Such of the senators as happened to be in the forum fell in with this mob at great peril to themselves; and it might not have refrained from actual violence had not the consuls, Publius Servilius and Appius Claudius, hastily interfered to quell the disturbance. The multitude, however, turning toward them, and showing their chains and other marks of wretchedness, said that they deserved all this,[26] mentioning, each of them, in reproachful terms, the military services performed by himself, by one in one place, by another in another. They called upon them with menaces, rather than entreaties, to assemble the senate, and stood round the senate-house in a body, determined themselves to be witnesses and directors of the public resolves. Very few of the senators, whom chance had thrown in the way, were got together by the consuls; fear kept the rest away not only from the senate-house, but even from the forum, and no business could be transacted owing to their small attendance. Then indeed the people began to think they were being tricked, and put off: and that such of the senators as absented themselves did so not through accident or fear, but with the express purpose of obstructing business: that the consuls themselves were shuffling, that their miseries were without doubt held up to ridicule. Matters had now almost come to such a pass that not even the majesty of the consuls could restrain the violence of the people. Wherefore, uncertain whether they would incur greater danger by staying at home, or venturing abroad, they at length came into the senate; but, though the house was now by this time full, not only were the senators unable to agree, but even the consuls themselves. Appius, a man of violent temperament, thought the matter ought to be settled by the authority of the consuls, and that, if one or two were seized, the rest would keep quiet. Servilius, more inclined to moderate remedies, thought that, while their minds were in this state of excitement, they could be bent with greater ease and safety than they could be broken.

Meanwhile an alarm of a more serious nature presented itself. Some Latin horse came full speed to Rome, with the alarming news that the Volscians were marching with a hostile army to besiege the city. This announcement--so completely had discord split the state into two--affected the senators and people in a far different manner. The people exulted with joy, and said that the gods were coming to take vengeance on the tyranny of the patricians. They encouraged one another not to give in their names,[27] declaring that it was better that all should perish together than that they should perish alone. Let the patricians serve as soldiers; let the patricians take up arms, so that those who reaped the advantages of war should also undergo its dangers. But the senate, dejected and confounded by the double alarm they felt, inspired both by their own countryman and by the enemy, entreated the consul Servilius, whose disposition was more inclined to favour the people, that he would extricate the commonwealth, beset as it was with so great terrors. Then the consul, having dismissed the senate, came forward into the assembly. There he declared that the senate were solicitous that the interests of the people should be consulted: but that alarm for the safety of the whole commonwealth had interrupted their deliberation regarding that portion of the state, which, though indeed the largest portion, was yet only a portion: nor could they, seeing that the enemy were almost at the gates, allow anything to take precedence of the war: nor, even though there should be some respite, was it either to the credit of the people not to have taken up arms in defence of their country unless they first received pay, nor consistent with the dignity of the senators to have adopted measures of relief for the distressed fortunes of their countrymen through fear rather than afterward of their own free will. He then further gave his speech the stamp of sincerity by an edict, by which he ordained that no one should detain a Roman citizen either in chains or in prison, so that he would thereby be deprived of the opportunity of enrolling his name under the consuls, and that no one should either take possession of or sell the goods of any soldier, while on service, or detain his children or grandchildren in custody for debt. On the publication of this edict, both the debtors who were present immediately gave in their names, and crowds of persons, hastening from all quarters of the city from private houses, as their creditors had no right to detain their persons, ran together into the forum, to take the military oath. These made up a considerable body of men, nor did any others exhibit more conspicuous bravery or activity during the Volscian war. The consul led out his forces against the enemy, and pitched his camp at a little distance from them.

The next night the Volscians, relying on the dissension among the Romans, made an attempt on their camp, to see if there were any chance of desertion or treachery during the night. The sentinels on guard perceived them: the army was called up, and, the signals being given, they ran to arms. Thus the attempt of the Volscians was frustrated; the remainder of the night was given up to repose on both sides. The next morning at daybreak the Volscians, having filled the trenches, attacked the rampart. And already the fortifications were being demolished on every side, when the consul, after having delayed a little while for the purpose of testing the feelings of the soldiers, although all from every quarter, and before all the debtors, were crying out for him to give the signal, at length, when their great eagerness became unmistakable, gave the signal for sallying forth, and let out the soldiery impatient for the fight. At the very first onset the enemy was routed; the fugitives were harassed in the rear, as far as the infantry were able to follow them: the cavalry drove then in consternation up to their camp. In a short time the legions having been drawn around it, the camp itself was taken and plundered, since panic had driven the Volscians even from thence also. On the next day the legions were led to Suessa Pometia, whither the enemy had retreated. In a few days the town was taken, and, after being taken, was given up for plunder, whereby the needs of the soldiers were somewhat relieved. The consul led back his victorious army to Rome with the greatest renown to himself. On his departure for Rome, he was met by the deputies of the Ecetrans, a tribe of the Volscians, who were alarmed for the safety of their state after the capture of Pometia. By a decree of the senate peace was granted them, but they were deprived of their land.

Immediately after this the Sabines also frightened the Romans: for it was rather an alarm than a war. News was brought into the city during the night that a Sabine army had advanced as far as the river Anio, plundering the country: that the country houses there were being pillaged and set fire to indiscriminately. Aulus Postumius, who had been dictator in the Latin war, was immediately sent thither with all the cavalry forces. The consul Servilius followed him with a picked body of infantry. The cavalry cut off most of the stragglers; nor did the Sabine legions make any resistance against the battalion of infantry when it came up with them. Tired both by their march and nightly raids, surfeited with eating and drinking in the country houses, a great number of them had scarcely sufficient strength to flee. Thus the Sabine war was heard of and finished in a single night. On the following day, when all were sanguine that peace had been secured in every quarter, ambassadors from the Auruncans presented themselves before the senate, threatening to declare war unless the troops were withdrawn from the Volscian territory. The army of the Auruncans had set out from home at the same time as the ambassadors, and the report that this army had been seen not far from Aricia threw the Romans into such a state of confusion that neither could the senate be consulted in regular form, nor could the Romans, while themselves taking up arms, give a pacific answer to those who were advancing to attack them. They marched to Aricia in hostile array, engaged with the Auruncans not far from that town and in one battle the war was ended.

After the defeat of the Auruncans, the people of Rome, victorious in so many wars within a few days, were looking to the consul to fulfill his promises, and to the senate to keep their word, when Appius, both from his natural pride, and in order to undermine the credit of his colleague, issued a decree concerning borrowed money in the harshest possible terms. From this time, both those who had been formerly in confinement were delivered up to their creditors, and others also were taken into custody. Whenever this happened to any soldier, he appealed to the other consul. A crowd gathered about Servilius: they threw his promises in his teeth, severally upbraiding him with their services in war, and the scars they had received. They called upon him either to lay the matter before the senate, or, as consul, to assist his fellow-citizens, as commander, his soldiers. These remonstrances affected the consul, but the situation of affairs obliged him to act in a shuffling manner: so completely had not only his colleague, but the whole of the patrician party, enthusiastically taken up the opposite cause. And thus, by playing a middle part, he neither escaped the odium of the people, nor gained the favour of the senators. The patricians looked upon him as wanting in energy and a popularity-hunting consul, the people, as deceitful: and it soon became evident that he had become as unpopular as Appius himself. A dispute had arisen between the consuls, as to which of them should dedicate the Temple of Mercury. The senate referred the matter from themselves to the people, and ordained that, to whichever of them the task of dedication should be intrusted by order of the people, he should preside over the markets, establish a guild of merchants,[28] and perform the ceremonies in presence of the Pontifex Maximus. The people intrusted the dedication of the temple to Marcus Laetorius, a centurion of the firstrank, which, as would be clear to all, was done not so muchout of respect to a person on whom an office above his rank had been conferred, as to affront the consuls. Upon this one of the consuls particularly, and the senators were highly incensed: however, the people had gained fresh courage, and proceeded in quite a different manner to what they had at first intended. For when they despaired of redress from the consuls and senate, whenever they saw a debtor led into court, they rushed together from all quarters. Neither could the decree of the consul be heard distinctly for the noise and shouting, nor, when he had pronounced the decree, did any one obey it. Violence was the order of the day, and apprehension and danger in regard to personal liberty was entirely transferred from the debtors to the creditors, who were individually maltreated by the crowd before the very eyes of the consul. In addition, the dread of the Sabine war spread, and when a levy was decreed, nobody gave in his name: Appius was enraged, and bitterly inveighed against the self-seeking conduct of his colleague, in that he, by the inactivity he displayed to win the favour of the people, was betraying the republic, and, besides not having enforced justice in the matter of debt, likewise neglected even to hold a levy, in obedience to the decree of the senate. Yet he declared that the commonwealth was not entirely deserted, nor the consular authority altogether degraded; that he, alone and unaided, would vindicate both his own dignity and that of the senators. When day by day the mob, emboldened by license, stood round him, he commanded a noted ringleader of the seditious outbreaks to be arrested. He, as he was being dragged off by the lictors, appealed to the people; nor would the consul have allowed the appeal, because there was no doubt regarding the decision of the people, had not his obstinacy been with difficulty overcome, rather by the advice and influence of the leading men, than by the clamours of the people; with such a superabundance of courage was he endowed to support the weight of public odium. The evil gained ground daily, not only by open clamours, but, what was far more dangerous, by secession and by secret conferences. At length the consuls, so odious to the commons, resigned office, Servilius liked by neither party, Appius highly esteemed by the senators.

Then Aulus Verginius and Titus Vetusius entered on the consulship. Upon this the commons, uncertain what sort of consuls they were likely to have, held nightly meetings, some of them upon the Esquiline, and others upon the Aventine, lest, when assembled in the forum, they should be thrown into confusion by being obliged to adopt hasty resolutions, and proceed inconsiderately and at hap-hazard. The consuls, judging this proceeding to be of dangerous tendency, as it really was, laid the matter before the senate. But, when it was laid before them, they could not get them to consult upon it regularly; it was received with an uproar on all sides, and by the indignant shouts of the fathers, at the thought that the consuls threw on the senate the odium for that which should have been carried out by consular authority. Assuredly, if there were real magistrates in the republic, there would have been no council at Rome but a public one. As it was, the republic was divided and split into a thousand senate-houses and assemblies, some meetings being held on the Esquiline, others on the Aventine. One man, like Appius Claudius--for such a one was of more value than a consul--would have dispersed those private meetings in a moment. When the consuls, thus rebuked, asked them what it was that they desired them to do, declaring that they would carry it out with as much energy and vigour as the senators wished, the latter issued a decree that they should push on the levy as briskly as possible declaring that the people had become insolent from want of employment. When the senate had been dismissed, the consuls assembled the tribunal and summoned the younger men by name. When none of them answered to his name, the people, crowding round after the manner of a general assembly, declared that the people could no longer be imposed on: that they should never enlist one single soldier unless the engagement made publicly with the people were fulfilled: that liberty must be restored to each before arms should be given, that so they might fight for their country and fellow-citizens, and not for lords and masters. The consuls understood the orders of the senate, but saw none of those who talked so big within the walls of the senate-house present themselves to share the odium they would incur. In fact, a desperate contest with the commons seemed at hand. Therefore, before they had recourse to extremities, they thought it advisable to consult the senate a second time. Then indeed all the younger senators almost flew to the chairs of the consuls, commanding them to resign the consulate, and lay aside an office which they lacked the courage to support.

Both plans having been sufficiently made proof of, the consuls at length said: "Conscript fathers, that you may not say that you have not been forewarned, know that a great disturbance is at hand. We demand that those who accuse us most loudly of cowardice shall assist us when holding the levy; we will proceed according to the resolution of the most intrepid among you, since it so pleases you." Returning to their tribunal, they purposely commanded one of the leaders of the disturbance, who were in sight, to be summoned by name. When he stood without saying a word, and a number of men stood round him in a ring, to prevent violence being offered, the consuls sent a lictor to seize him, but he was thrust back by the people. Then, indeed, those of the fathers who attended the consuls, exclaiming against it as an intolerable insult, hurried down from the tribunal to assist the lictor. But when the violence of the people was turned from the lictor, who had merely been prevented from arresting the man, against the fathers, the riot was quelled by the interposition of consuls, during which, however, without the use of stones or weapons, there was more noise and angry words than actual injury inflicted. The senate, summoned in a tumultuous manner was consulted in a manner still more tumultuous, those who had been beaten demanding an inquiry, and the most violent of them attempting to carry their point, not so much by votes as by clamour and bustle. At length, when their passion had subsided, and the consuls reproached them that there was no more presence of mind in the senate than in the forum, the matter began to be considered in order. Three different opinions were held. Publius Verginius was against extending relief to all. He voted that they should consider only those who, relying on the promise of Publius Servilius the consul, had served in the war against the Volscians, Auruncans, and Sabines. Titus Larcius was of opinion, that it was not now a fitting time for services only to be rewarded: that all the people were overwhelmed with debt, and that a stop could not be put to the evil, unless measures were adopted for the benefit of all: nay, further, if the condition of different parties were different discord would thereby rather be inflamed than healed. Appius Claudius, being naturally of a hard disposition, and further infuriated by the hatred of the commons on the one hand, and the praises of the senators on the other, insisted that such frequent riots were caused not by distress, but by too much freedom: that the people were rather insolent than violent: that this mischief, in fact, took its rise from the right of appeal; since threats, not authority, was all that remained to the consuls, while permission was given to appeal to those who were accomplices in the crime. "Come," added he, "let us create a dictator from whom there lies no appeal, and this madness, which has set everything ablaze, will immediately subside. Then let me see the man who will dare to strike a lictor, when he shall know that that person, whose authority he has insulted, has sole and absolute power to flog and behead him."

To many the opinion of Appius appeared, as in fact it was, harsh and severe. On the other hand, the proposals of Verginius and Larcius appeared injurious, from the precedent they established: that of Larcius they considered especially so, as one that would destroy all credit. The advice of Verginius, was reckoned to be most moderate, and a happy medium between the other two. But through party spirit and men's regard for their private interest, which always has and always will stand in the way of public councils, Appius prevailed, and was himself near being created dictator--a step which would certainly have alienated the commons at a most dangerous juncture, when the Volscians, the Aequans, and the Sabines all happened to be in arms at the same time. But the consuls and elders of the senate took care that this command, in its own nature uncontrollable, should be intrusted to a man of mild disposition. They elected Marcus Valerius son of Volesus, dictator. The people, though they saw that this magistrate was appointed against themselves, yet, as they possessed the right of appeal by his brother's law, had nothing harsh or tyrannical to fear from that family. Afterward an edict published by the dictator, which was almost identical in terms with that of the consul Servilius, further inspirited them. But, thinking reliance could be more safely placed both in the man and in his authority,[29] they abandoned the struggle and gave in their names. Ten legions were raised, a larger army than had ever been raised before.[30] Of these, each of the consuls had three legions assigned him; the dictator commanded four.

The war could not now be any longer deferred. The Aequans had invaded the territory of the Latins: the deputies of the latter begged the senate either to send them assistance, or to allow them to arm themselves for the purpose of defending their own frontiers. It seemed safer that the Latins should be defended without their being armed, than to allow them to handle arms again. Vetusius the consul was sent to their assistance: thereby a stop was put to the raids. The Aequans retired from the plains, and depending more on the advantages of position than on their arms, secured themselves on the heights of the mountains. The other consul, having set out against the Volscians, lest he in like manner might waste time,[31] provoked the enemy to pitch their camp nearer, and to risk a regular engagement, by ravaging their lands. Both armies stood ready to advance, in front of their lines, in hostile array, in a plain between the two camps. The Volscians had considerably the advantage in numbers: accordingly, they entered into battle in loose order, and in a spirit of contempt. The Roman consul neither advanced his forces, nor allowed the enemy's shouts to be returned, but ordered his men to stand with their spears fixed in the ground, and whenever the enemy came to a hand-to-hand encounter, to draw their swords, and attacking them with all their force, to carry on the fight. The Volscians, wearied with running and shouting attacked the Romans, who appeared to them paralyzed with fear; but when they perceived the vigorous resistance that was made, and saw the swords glittering before their eyes, just as if they had fallen into an ambuscade, they turned and fled in confusion. Nor had they sufficient strength even to flee as they had entered into action at full speed. The Romans, on the other hand, as they had quietly stood their ground at the beginning of the action, with physical vigour unimpaired, easily overtook the weary foe, took their camp by assault, and, having driven them from it, pursued them to Velitrae,

  1. into which city conquered and conquerors together rushed in one body. By the promiscuous slaughter of all ranks, which there ensued, more blood was shed than in the battle itself. Quarter was given to a few, who threw down their arms and surrendered.

While these operations were going on among the Volscians, the dictator routed the Sabines, among whom by far the most important operations of the war were carried on, put them to flight, and stripped them of their camp. By a charge of cavalry he had thrown the centre of the enemy's line into confusion, in the part where, owing to the wings being extended too widely, they had not properly strengthened their line with companies in the centre. The infantry fell upon them in their confusion: by one and the same charge the camp was taken and the war concluded. There was no other battle in those times more memorable than this since the action at the Lake Regillus. The dictator rode into the city in triumph. Besides the usual honours, a place in the circus was assigned to him and his descendants, to see the public games: a curule chair.[33] was fixed in that place. The territory of Velitrae was taken from the conquered Volscians: colonists were sent from Rome to Velitrae, and a colony led out thither. Some considerable time afterward an engagement with the Aequans took place, but against the wish of the consul, because they had to approach the enemy on unfavourable ground: the soldiers, however, complaining that the affair was being purposely protracted, in order that the dictator might resign his office before they themselves returned to the city, and so his promises might come to nothing, like those of the consul before, forced him at all hazards to march his army up the hills. This imprudent step, through the cowardice of the enemy, turned out successful: for, before the Romans came within range, the Aequans, amazed at their boldness, abandoned their camp, which they had pitched in a very strong position, and ran down into the valleys that lay behind them. There abundant plunder was found: the victory was a bloodless one. While military operations had thus proved successful in three quarters, neither senators nor people had dismissed their anxiety in regard to the issue of domestic questions. With such powerful influence and such skill had the usurers made arrangements, so as to disappoint not only the people, but even the dictator himself. For Valerius, after the return of the consul Vetusius, of all the measures brought before the senate, made that on behalf of the victorious people the first, and put the question, what it was their pleasure should be done with respect to the debtors. And when his report was disallowed, he said: "As a supporter of reconciliation, I am not approved of. You will ere long wish, depend on it, that the commons of Rome had supporters like myself. For my part, I will neither further disappoint my Fellow-citizens, nor will I be dictator to no purpose. Intestine dissensions and foreign wars have caused the republic to stand in need of such a magistrate. Peace has been secured abroad, it is impeded at home. I will be a witness to the disturbance as a private citizen rather than as dictator." Accordingly, quitting the senate-house, he resigned his dictatorship. The reason was clear to the people: that he had resigned his office from indignation at their treatment. Accordingly, as if his promise had been fully kept, since it had not been his fault that his word had not been made good, they escorted him on his return home with favouring shouts of acclamation.

Fear then seized the senators lest, if the army was disbanded, secret meetings and conspiracies would be renewed; accordingly, although the levy had been held by the dictator, yet, supposing that, as they had sworn obedience to the consuls, the soldiers were bound by their oath, they ordered the legions to be led out of the city, under the pretext of hostilities having been renewed by the Aequans. By this course of action the sedition was accelerated. And indeed it is said that it was at first contemplated to put the consuls to death, that the legions might be discharged from their oath: but that, being afterward informed that no religious obligation could be rendered void by a criminal act, they, by the advice of one Sicinius, retired, without the orders of the consuls, to the Sacred Mount,[34] beyond the river Anio, three miles from the city: this account is more commonly adopted than that which Piso[35] has given, that the secession was made to the Aventine. There, without any leader, their camp being fortified with a rampart and trench, remaining quiet, taking nothing but what was necessary for subsistence, they remained for several days, neither molested nor molesting. Great was the panic in the city, and through mutual fear all was in suspense. The people, left by their fellows in the city, dreaded the violence of the senators: the senators dreaded the people who remained in the city, not feeling sure whether they preferred them to stay or depart. On the other hand, how long would the multitude which had seceded, remain quiet? What would be the consequences hereafter, if, in the meantime, any foreign war should break out? They certainly considered there was no hope left, save in the concord of the citizens: that this must be restored to the state at any price. Under these circumstances it was resolved that Agrippa Menenius, an eloquent man, and a favourite with the people, because he was sprung from them, should be sent to negotiate with them. Being admitted into the camp, he is said to have simply related to them the following story in an old-fashioned and unpolished style: "At the time when the parts of the human body did not, as now, all agree together, but the several members had each their own counsel, and their own language, the other parts were indignant that, while everything was provided for the gratification of the belly by their labour and service, the belly, resting calmly in their midst, did nothing but enjoy the pleasures afforded it. They accordingly entered into a conspiracy, that neither should the hands convey food to the mouth, nor the mouth receive it when presented, nor the teeth have anything to chew: while desiring, under the influence of this indignation, to starve out the belly, the individual members themselves and the entire body were reduced to the last degree of emaciation. Thence it became apparent that the office of the belly as well was no idle one, that it did not receive more nourishment than it supplied, sending, as it did, to all parts of the body that blood from which we derive life and vigour, distributed equally through the veins when perfected by the digestion of the food." [36] By drawing a comparison from this, how like was the internal sedition of the body to the resentment of the people against the senators, he succeeded in persuading the minds of the multitude.

Then the question of reconciliation began to be discussed, and a compromise was effected on certain conditions: that the commons should have magistrates of their own, whose persons should be inviolable, who should have the power of rendering assistance against the consuls, and that no patrician should be permitted to hold that office. Accordingly, two tribunes of the commons were created, Gaius Licinius and Lucius Albinus. These created three colleagues for themselves. It is clear that among these was Sicinius, the ring-leader of the sedition; with respect to the other two, there is less agreement who they were. There are some who say that only two tribunes were elected on the Sacred Mount and that there the lex sacrata [37] was passed.

During the secession of the commons, Spurius Cassius and Postumus Cominius entered on the consulship. During their consulate, a treaty was concluded with the Latin states. To ratify this, one of the consuls remained at Rome: the other, who was sent to take command in the Volscian war, routed and put to flight the Volscians of Antium,[38] and pursuing them till they had been driven into the town of Longula, took possession of the walls. Next he took Polusca, also a city of the Volscians: he then attacked Corioli [39] with great violence. There was at that time in the camp, among the young nobles, Gnaeus Marcius, a youth distinguished both for intelligence and courage, who was afterward surnamed Coriolanus. While the Roman army was besieging Corioli, devoting all its attention to the townspeople, who were kept, shut up within the walls, and there was no apprehension of attack threatening from without, the Volscian legions, setting out from Antium, suddenly attacked them, and the enemy sallied forth at the same time from the town. Marcius at that time happened to be on guard. He, with a chosen body of men, not only beat back the attack of those who had sallied forth, but boldly rushed in through the open gate, and, having cut down all who were in the part of the city nearest to it, and hastily seized some blazing torches, threw them into the houses adjoining the wall. Upon this, the shouts of the townsmen, mingled with the wailings of the women and children occasioned at first by fright, as is usually the case, both increased the courage of the Romans, and naturally dispirited the Volscians who had come to bring help, seeing that the city was taken. Thus the Volscians of Antium were defeated, and the town of Corioli was taken. And so much did Marcius by his valour eclipse the reputation of the consul, that, had not the treaty concluded with the Latins by Spurius Cassius alone, in consequence of the absence of his colleagues, and which was engraved on a brazen column, served as a memorial of it, it would have been forgotten that Postumus Cominius had conducted the war with the Volscians. In the same year died Agrippa Menenius, a man all his life equally a favourite with senators and commons, endeared still more to the commons after the secession. This man, the mediator and impartial promoter of harmony among his countrymen, the ambassador of the senators to the commons, the man who brought back the commons to the city, did not leave enough to bury him publicly. The people buried him by the contribution of a sextans [40] per man.

Titus Geganius and Publius Minucius were next elected consuls. In this year, when abroad there was complete rest from war, and at home dissensions were healed, another far more serious evil fell upon the state: first, dearness of provisions, a consequence of the lands lying untilled owing to the secession of the commons; then a famine, such as attacks those who are besieged. And matters would certainly have ended in the destruction of the slaves and commons, had not the consuls adopted precautionary measures, by sending persons in every direction to buy up corn, not only into Etruria on the coast to the right of Ostia, and through the territory of the Volscians along the coast on the left as far as Cumae, but into Sicily also, in quest of it. To such an extent had the hatred of their neighbours obliged them to stand in need of assistance from distant countries. When corn had been bought up at Cumae, the ships were detained as security for the property of the Tarquinians by the tyrant Aristodemus, who was their heir. Among the Volscians and in the Pomptine territory it could not even be purchased. The corn dealers themselves incurred danger from the violence of the inhabitants. Corn was brought from Etruria by way of the Tiber: by means of this the people were supported. In such straitened resources they would have been harassed by a most inopportune war, had not a dreadful pestilence attacked the Volscians when on the point of beginning hostilities. The minds of the enemy being so terrified by this calamity, that they felt a certain alarm, even after it had abated the Romans both augmented the number of their colonists at Velitrae, and despatched a new colony to the mountains Of Norba [41] to serve as a stronghold in the Pomptine district. Then in the consulship of Marcus Minucius and Aulus Sempronius a great quantity of corn was imported from Sicily and it was debated in the senate at what price it should be offered to the commons. Many were of opinion that the time was come for crushing the commons, and recovering those rights which had been wrested from the senators by secession and violence. In particular, Marcius Coriolanus, an enemy to tribunician power, said: "If they desire corn at its old price, let them restore to the senators their former rights. Why do I, like a captive sent under the yoke, as if I had been ransomed from robbers, behold plebeian magistrates, and Sicinius invested with power? Am I to submit to these indignities longer than is necessary? Am I, who have refused to endure Tarquin as king, to tolerate Sicinius? Let him now secede, let him call away the commons. The road lies open to the Sacred Mount and to other hills. Let them carry off the corn from our lands, as they did three years since. Let them have the benefit of that scarcity which in their mad folly they have themselves occasioned. I venture to say, that, overcome by these sufferings, they will themselves become tillers of the lands, rather than, taking up arms, and seceding, prevent them from being tilled." It is not so easy to say whether it should have been done, but I think that it might have been practicable for the senators, on the condition of lowering the price of provisions, to have rid themselves of both the tribunician power, and all the regulations imposed on them against their will.

This proposal both appeared to the senate too harsh and from exasperation well-nigh drove the people to arms: they complained that they were now being attacked with famine, as if they were enemies, that they were being robbed of food and sustenance, that the corn brought from foreign countries, the only support with which fortune had unexpectedly furnished them, was being snatched from their mouth, unless the tribunes were delivered in chains to Gnaeus Marcius, unless satisfaction were exacted from the backs of the commons of Rome. That in him a new executioner had arisen, one to bid them either die or be slaves. He would have been attacked as he was leaving the senate-house, had not the tribunes very opportunely appointed him a day for trial: thereupon their rage was suppressed, every one saw himself become the judge, the arbiter of the life and death of his foe. At first Marcius listened to the threats of the tribunes with contempt, saying that it was the right of affording aid, not of inflicting punishment that had been conferred upon that office: that they were tribunes of the commons and not of the senators. But the commons had risen with such violent determination, that the senators felt themselves obliged to sacrifice one man to arrive at a settlement. They resisted, however, in spite of opposing odium, and exerted, collectively, the powers of the whole order, as well as, individually, each his own. At first, an attempt was made to see if, by posting their clients [42] in several places, they could quash the whole affair, by deterring individuals from attending meetings and cabals. Then they all proceeded in a body--one would have said that all the senators were on their trial--earnestly entreating the commons that, if they would not acquit an innocent man, they would at least for their sake pardon, assuming him guilty, one citizen, one senator. As he did not attend in person on the day appointed, they persisted in their resentment. He was condemned in his absence, and went into exile among the Volscians, threatening his country, and even then cherishing all the resentment of an enemy.[43] The Volscians received him kindly on his arrival, and treated him still more kindly every day, in proportion as his resentful feelings toward his countrymen became more marked, and at one time frequent complaints, at another threats, were heard. He enjoyed the hospitality of Attius Tullius, who was at that time by far the chief man of the Volscian people, and had always been a determined enemy of the Romans. Thus, while long-standing animosity stimulated the one and recent resentment the other, they concerted schemes for bringing about a war with Rome. They did not readily believe that their own people could be persuaded to take up arms, so often unsuccessfully tried, seeing that by many frequent wars, and lastly, by the loss of their youth in the pestilence, their spirits were now broken; they felt that in a case where animosity had now died away from length of time they must proceed by scheming, that their feelings might become exasperated under the influence of some fresh cause for resentment.

It happened that preparations were being made at Rome for a renewal of the great games.[44] The cause of this renewal was as follows: On the day of the games, in the morning when the show had not yet begun, a certain head of a family had driven a slave of his through the middle of the circus while he was being flogged, tied to the fork:[45] after this the games had been begun, as if the matter had nothing to do with any religious difficulty. Soon afterward Titus Latinius, a plebeian, had a dream, in which Jupiter appeared to him and said that the person who danced before the games had displeased him; unless those games were renewed on a splendid scale, danger would threaten the city: let him go and announce this to the consuls. Though his mind was not altogether free from religious awe, his reverence for the dignity of the magistrates, lest he might become a subject for ridicule in the mouths of all, overcame his religious fear. This delay cost him dear, for he lost his son within a few days; and, that there might be no doubt about the cause of this sudden calamity, the same vision, presenting itself to him in the midst of his sorrow of heart, seemed to ask him, whether he had been sufficiently requited for his contempt of the deity; that a still heavier penalty threatened him, unless he went immediately and delivered the message to the consuls. The matter was now still more urgent. While, however, he still delayed and kept putting it off, he was attacked by a severe stroke of disease, a sudden paralysis. Then indeed the anger of the gods frightened him. Wearied out therefore by his past sufferings and by those that threatened him, he convened a meeting of his friends and relatives, and, after he had detailed to them all he had seen and heard, and the fact of Jupiter having so often presented himself to him in his sleep, and the threats and anger of Heaven speedily fulfilled in his own calamities, he was, with the unhesitating assent of all who were present, conveyed in a litter into the forum to the presence of the consuls. From the forum, by order of the consuls, he was carried into the senate-house, and, after he had recounted the same story to the senators, to the great surprise of all, behold another miracle: he who had been carried into the senate-house deprived of the use of all his limbs, is reported to have returned home on his own feet, after he had discharged his duty.

The senate decreed that the games should be celebrated on as magnificent a scale as possible. To those games a great number of Volscians came at the suggestion of Attius Tullius. Before the games had commenced, Tullius, as had been arranged privately with Marcius, approached the consuls, and said that there were certain matters concerning the common-wealth about which he wished to treat with them in private. When all witnesses had been ordered to retire, he said: "I am reluctant to say anything of my countrymen that may seem disparaging. I do not, however, come to accuse them of any crime actually committed by them, but to see to it that they do not commit one. The minds of our people are far more fickle than I could wish. We have learned that by many disasters; seeing that we are still preserved, not through our own merits, but thanks to your forbearance. There is now here a great multitude of Volscians; the games are going on: the city will be intent on the exhibition. I remember what was done in this city on a similar occasion by the youth of the Sabines. My mind shudders at the thought that anything should be done inconsiderately and rashly. I have deemed it right that these matters should be mentioned beforehand to you, consuls, both for your sakes and ours. With regard to myself, it is my determination to depart hence home immediately, that I may not be tainted with the suspicion of any word or deed if I remain." Having said this, he departed. When the consuls had laid the matter before the senate, a matter that was doubtful, though vouched for by a thoroughly reliable authority, the authority, more than the matter itself, as usually happens, urged them to adopt even needless precautions; and a decree of the senate having been passed that the Volscians should quit the city, criers were sent in different directions to order them all to depart before night. They were at first smitten with great panic, as they ran in different directions to their lodgings to carry away their effects. Afterward, when setting out, indignation arose in their breasts, to think that they, as if polluted with crime and contaminated, had been driven away from the games on festival days, a meeting, so to speak, both of gods and men.

As they went along in an almost unbroken line, Tullius, who had preceded them to the fountain of Ferentina, [46]received the chief men, as each arrived, and, complaining and giving vent to expressions of indignation, led both those, who eagerly listened to language that favoured their resentment, and through them the rest of the multitude, into a plain adjoining the road. There, having begun an address after the manner of a public harangue, he said: "Though you were to forget the former wrongs inflicted upon you by the Roman people, the calamities of the nation of the Volscians, and all other such matters, with what feelings, pray, do you regard this outrage offered you to-day, whereby they have opened the games by insulting us? Did you not feel that a triumph has been gained over you this day? That you, when leaving, were the observed of all, citizens, foreigners, and so many neighbouring states? That your wives, your children were led in mockery before the eyes of men? What do you suppose were the feelings of those who heard the voice of the crier? what of those who saw us departing? What of those who met this ignominious cavalcade? What, except that it is assuredly a matter of some offence against the gods: and that, because, if we were present at the show, we should profane the games, and be guilty of an act that would need expiation, for this reason we are driven away from the dwellings of these pious people, from their meeting and assembly? What then? Does it not occur to you that we still live, because we have hastened our departure?--if indeed this is a departure and not rather a flight. And do you not consider this to be the city of enemies, in which, if you had delayed a single day, you must all have died? War has been declared against you, to the great injury of those who declared it, if you be men." Thus, being both on their own account filled with resentment, and further incited by this harangue, they severally departed to their homes, and by stirring up each his own state, succeeded in bringing about the revolt of the entire Volscian nation.

The generals selected to take command in that war by theunanimous choice of all the states were Attius Tullius and Gnaeus Marcius, an exile from Rome, in the latter of whom far greater hopes were reposed. These hopes he by no means disappointed, so that it was clearly seen that the Roman commonwealth was powerful by reason of its generals rather than its military force. Having marched to Circeii, he first expelled from thence the Roman colonists, and handed over that city in a state of freedom to the Volscians. From thence passing across the country through by-roads into the Latin way, he deprived the Romans of the following recently acquired towns, Satricum, Longula, Polusca, Corioli. He next himself master of Lavinium, and then took in succession Corbio, Vitellia, Trebia, Labici, and Pedum.[47]

Lastly he marched from Pedum toward Rome, and having pitched his camp at the Cluilian trenches five miles from the city, he openly ravaged the Roman territory, guards being sent among the devastators to preserve the lands of the patricians uninjured, whether it was that he was chiefly incensed against the plebeians, or whether his object was that dissension might arise between the senators and the people. And it certainly would have arisen--so powerfully did the tribunes, by inveighing against the leading men of the state, incite the plebeians, already exasperated in themselves--had not apprehension of danger from abroad, the strongest bond of union, united their minds, though distrustful and mutually hostile. The only matter in which they were not agreed was this: that, while the senate and consuls rested their hopes on nothing else but arms, the plebeians preferred anything to war. Spurius Nautius and Sextus Furius were now consuls. While they were reviewing the legions, posting guards along the walls and other places where they had determined that there should be outposts and watches, a vast multitude of persons demanding peace terrified them first by their seditious clamouring, and then compelled them to convene the senate, to consider the question of sending ambassadors to Gnaeus Marcius. The senate approved the proposal, when it was evident that the spirits of the plebeians were giving way, ambassadors, sent to Marcius to treat concerning peace, brought back the haughty answer: If their lands were restored to the Volscians, the question of peace might then be considered; if they were minded to enjoy the plunder of war at their ease, he, remembering both the injurious treatment of his countrymen, as well as the kindness of strangers, would do his utmost to make it appear that his spirit was irritated by exile, not crushed. The same envoys, being sent a second time, were not admitted into the camp. It is recorded that the priests also, arrayed in the vestments of their office, went as suppliants to the enemy's camp, but that they did not influence his mind any more than the ambassadors.

Then the matrons assembled in a body around Veturia, the mother of Coriolanus, and his wife, Volumnia: whether that was the result of public counsel, or of women's fear, I can not clearly ascertain. Anyhow, they succeeded in inducing Veturia, a woman advanced in years, and Volumnia with her two sons by Marcius, to go into the camp of the enemy, and in prevailing upon women to defend the city by entreaties and tears, since men were unable to defend it by arms. When they reached the camp, and it was announced to Coriolanus that a great crowd of women was approaching, he, as one who had been affected neither by the public majesty of the state, as represented by its ambassadors, nor by the sanctity of religion so strikingly spread before his eyes and understanding in the person of its priests, was at first much more obdurate against women's tears. Then one of his acquaintances, who had recognised Veturia, distinguished beyond all the rest by her sorrowful mien, standing in the midst with her daughter-in-law and grandchildren, said, "Unless my eyes deceive me, your mother, and wife and children, are at hand." Coriolanus, bewildered, almost like one who had lost his reason, rushed from his seat, and offered to embrace his mother as she met him; but she, turning from entreaties to wrath, said: "Before I permit your embrace, let me know whether I have come to an enemy or to a son, whether I am in your camp a captive or a mother? Has length of life and a hapless old age reserved me for this--to behold you first an exile, then an enemy? Have you had the heart to lay waste this land, which gave you birth and nurtured you? Though you had come in an incensed and vengeful spirit, did not your resentment abate when you entered its borders? When Rome came within view, did not the thought enter your mind--within those walls are my house and household gods, my mother, wife, and children? So then, had I not been a mother, Rome would not now be besieged: had I not a son, I might have died free in a free country. But I can now suffer nothing that will not bring more disgrace on you than misery on me; nor, most wretched as I am, shall I be so for long. Look to these, whom, if you persist, either an untimely death or lengthened slavery awaits." Then his wife and children embraced him: and the lamentation proceeding from the entire crowd of women and their bemoaning their own lot and their country's, at length overcame the man. Then, having embraced his family, he sent them away; he himself withdrew his camp from the city. After he had drawn off his troops from Roman territory, they say that he died overwhelmed by the hatred excited against him on account of this act; different writers give different accounts of his death: I find in Fabius,[48] far the most ancient authority, that he lived to an advanced age: at any rate, this writer states, that in his old age he often made use of the expression, "that exile was far more miserable to the aged." The men of Rome were not grudging in the award of their due praise to the women, so truly did they live without disparaging the merit of others: a temple was built, and dedicated to female Fortune, to serve also as a record of the event.

The Volscians afterward returned, having been joined by the Aequans, into Roman territory: the latter, however, would no longer have Attius Tullius as their leader; hence from a dispute, whether the Volscians or the Aequans should give the general to the allied army, a quarrel, and afterward a furious battle, broke out. Therein the good fortune of the Roman people destroyed the two armies of the enemy, by a contest no less ruinous than obstinate. Titus Sicinius and Gaius Aquilius were made consuls. The Volscians fell to Sicinius as his province; the Hernicans--for they, too, were in arms--to Aquilius. That year the Hernicans were completely defeated; they met and parted with the Volscians without any advantage being gained on either side.

Spurius Cassius and Proculus Verginius were next made consuls; a treaty was concluded with the Hernicans; two thirds of their land were taken from them: of this the consul Cassius proposed to distribute one half among the Latins, the other half among the commons. To this donation he desired to add a considerable portion of land, which, though public property, [49] he alleged was possessed by private individuals. This proceeding alarmed several of the senators, the actual possessors, at the danger that threatened their property; the senators moreover felt anxiety on public grounds, fearing that the consul by his donation was establishing an influence dangerous to liberty. Then, for the first time, an agrarian law was proposed, which from that time down to the memory of our own days has never been discussed without the greatest civil disturbances. The other consul opposed the donation, supported by the senators, nor, indeed, were all the commons opposed to him: they had at first begun to feel disgust that this gift had been extended from the citizens to the allies, and thus rendered common: in the next place they frequently heard the consul Verginius in the assemblies as it were prophesying, that the gift of his colleague was pestilential: that those lands were sure to bring slavery to those who received them: that the way was being paved to a throne. Else why were it that the allies were thus included, and the Latin nation? What was the object of a third of the land that had been taken being restored to the Hernicans, so lately their enemies, except that those nations might have Cassius for their leader instead of Coriolanus? The dissuader and opposer of the agrarian law now began to be popular. Both consuls then vied with each other in humouring the commons. Verginius said that he would suffer the lands to be assigned, provided they were assigned to no one but a Roman citizen. Cassius, because in the agrarian donation he sought popularity among the allies, and was therefore lowered in the estimation of his countrymen, commanded, in order that by another gift he might win the affections of the citizens, that the money received for the Sicilian corn should be refunded to the people. That, however, the people spurned as nothing else than a ready money bribe for regal authority: so uncompromisingly were his gifts rejected, as if there was abundance of everything, in consequence of their inveterate suspicion that he was aiming at sovereign power. As soon as he went out of office, it is certain that he was condemned and put to death. There are some who represent that his father was the person who carried out the punishment: that he, having tried the case at home, scourged him and put him to death, and consecrated his son's private property to Ceres; that out of this a statue was set up and inscribed, "Presented out of the property of the Cassian family." In some authors I find it stated, which is more probable, that a day was assigned him to stand his trial for high treason, by the quaestors,[50] Caeso Fabius and Lucius Valerius, and that he was condemned by the decision of the people; that his house was demolished by a public decree: this is the spot where there is now an open space before the Temple of Tellus.[51] However, whether the trial was held in private or public, he was condemned in the consulship of Servius Cornelius and Quintus Fabius.

The resentment of the people against Cassius was not lasting. The charm of the agrarian law, now that its proposer was removed, of itself entered their minds: and their desire of it was further kindled by the meanness of the senators, who, after the Volscians and Æquans had been completely defeated in that year, defrauded the soldiers of their share of the booty; whatever was taken from the enemy, was sold by the consul Fabius, and the proceeds lodged in the public treasury. All who bore the name of Fabius became odious to the commons on account of the last consul: the patricians, however, succeeded in getting Cæso Fabius elected consul with Lucius Æmilius. The commons, still further aggravated at this, provoked war abroad by exciting disturbance at home;[52] in consequence of the war civil dissensions were then discontinued. Patricians and commons uniting, under the command of Æmilius, overcame the Volscians and Æquans, who renewed hostilities, in a successful engagement. The retreat, however, destroyed more of the enemy than the battle; so perseveringly did the cavalry pursue them when routed. During the same year, on the ides of July,[53]the Temple of Castor was dedicated: it had been vowed during the Latin war in the dictatorship of Postumius: his son, who was elected duumvir for that special purpose, dedicated it.

In that year, also, the minds of the people were excited by the allurements of the agrarian law. The tribunes of the people endeavoured to enhance their authority, in itself agreeable to the people, by promoting a popular law. The patricians, considering that there was enough and more than enough frenzy in the multitude without any additional incitement, viewed with horror largesses and all inducements to ill-considered action: the patricians found in the consuls most energetic abettors in resistance. That portion of the commonwealth therefore prevailed; and not for the moment only, but for the coming year also they succeeded in securing the election of Marcus Fabius, Cæso's brother, as consul, and one still more detested by the commons for his persecution of Cassius--namely, Lucius Valerius. In that year also was a contest with the tribunes. The law came to nothing, and the supporters of the law proved to be mere boasters, by their frequent promises of a gift that was never granted. The Fabian name was thenceforward held in high repute, after three successive consulates, and all as it were uniformly tested in contending with the tribunes; accordingly, the honour remained for a considerable time in that family, as being right well placed. A war with Veii was then begun: the Volscians also renewed hostilities; but, while their strength was almost more than sufficient for foreign wars, they only abused it by contending among themselves. In addition to the distracted state of the public mind prodigies from heaven increased the general alarm, exhibiting almost daily threats in the city and in the country, and the soothsayers, being consulted by the state and by private individuals, declared, at one time by means of entrails, at another by birds, that there was no other cause for the deity having been roused to anger, save that the ceremonies of religion were not duly performed. These terrors, however, terminated in this, that Oppia, a vestal virgin, being found guilty of a breach of chastity, suffered punishment. [54] Quintus Fabius and Gaius Julius were next elected consuls. During this year the dissension at home was not abated, while the war abroad was more desperate. The Æquans took up arms: the Veientines also invaded and plundered the Roman territory: as the anxiety about these wars increased, Cæso Fabius and Spurius Furius were appointed consuls. The Æquans were laying siege to Ortona, a Latin city. The Veientines, now sated with plunder, threatened to besiege Rome itself. These terrors, which ought to have assuaged the feelings of the commons, increased them still further: and the people resumed the practice of declining military service, not of their own accord, as before, but Spurius Licinius, a tribune of the people, thinking that the time had come for forcing the agrarian law on the patricians by extreme necessity, had undertaken the task of obstructing the military preparations. However, all the odium against the tribunician power was directed against the author of this proceeding: and even his own colleagues rose up against him as vigorously as the consuls; and by their assistance the consuls held the levy. An army was raised for the two wars simultaneously; one was intrusted to Fabius to be led against the Veientines, the other to Furius to operate against the Æquans. In regard to the latter, indeed, nothing took place worthy of mention. Fabius had considerably more trouble with his countrymen than with the enemy: that one man alone, as consul, sustained the commonwealth, which the army was doing its best to betray, as far as in it lay, from hatred of the consul. For when the consul, in addition to his other military talents, of which he had exhibited abundant instances in his preparations for and in his conduct of war, had so drawn up his line that he routed the enemy's army solely by a charge of his cavalry, the infantry refused to pursue them when routed; nor, although the exhortation of their general, whom they hated, had no effect upon them, could even their own infamy, and the immediate public disgrace and subsequent danger likely to arise, if the enemy recovered their courage, induce them to quicken their pace, or even, if nothing else, to stand in order of battle. Without orders they faced about, and with a sorrowful air (one would have thought them defeated) they returned to camp, execrating at one time their general, at another the vigour displayed by the cavalry. Nor did the general know where to look for any remedies for so harmful a precedent: so true is it that the most distinguished talents will be more likely found deficient in the art of managing a countryman, than in that of conquering an enemy. The consul returned to Rome, not having so much increased his military glory as irritated and exasperated the hatred of his soldiers toward him. The patricians, however, succeeded in keeping the consulship in the Fabian family. They elected Marcus Fabius consul; Gnaeus Manlius was assigned as a colleague to Fabius.

This year also found a tribune to support an agrarian law. This was Tiberius Pontificius, who, pursuing the same tactics, as if it had succeeded in the case of Spurius Licinius, obstructed the levy for a little time. The patricians being once more perplexed, Appius Claudius declared that the tribunician power had been put down the year before, for the moment by the fact, for the future by the precedent established, since it was found that it could be rendered ineffective by its own strength; for that there never would be wanting a tribune who would both be willing to obtain a victory for himself over his colleague, and the good-will of the better party to on advancement of the public weal: that more tribunes than one, if there were need of more than one, would be ready to assist the consuls: and that in fact one would be sufficient even against all.[55] Only let the consuls and leading members of the senate take care to win over, if not all, at least some of the tribunes, to the side of the commonwealth and the senate. The senators, instructed by the counsels of Appius, both collectively addressed the tribunes with kindness and courtesy, and the men of consular rank, according as each possessed private personal influence over them individually, and, partly by conciliation, partly by authority, prevailed so far as to make them consent that the powers of the tribunician office should be beneficial to the state; and by the aid of four tribunes against one obstructor of the public good, the consuls carried out the levy. They then set out to the war against Veii, to which auxiliaries had assembled from all parts of Etruria, not so much influenced by feelings of regard for the Veientines, as because they had formed a hope that the power of Rome could be destroyed by internal discord. And in the general councils of all the states of Etruria the leading men murmured that the power of Rome would last forever, unless they were distracted by disturbances among themselves: that this was the only poison, this the bane discovered for powerful states, to render mighty empires mortal: that this evil, a long time checked, partly by the wise measures of the patricians, partly by the forbearance of the commons, had now proceeded to extremities: that two states were now formed out of one: that each party had its own magistrates, its own laws: that, although at first they were accustomed to be turbulent during the levies, still these same individuals had notwithstanding ever been obedient to their commanders during war: that as long as military discipline was retained, no matter what might be the state of the city, the evil might have been withstood: but that now the custom of not obeying their officers followed the Roman soldier even to the camp: that in the last war, even in a regular engagement and in the very heat of battle, by consent of the army the victory had been voluntarily surrendered to the vanquished Aequans: that the standards had been deserted, the general abandoned on the field, and that the army had returned to camp without orders: without doubt, if they persevered, Rome might be conquered by means of her own soldiery: nothing else was necessary save a declaration and show of war: the fates and the gods would of themselves manage the rest. These hopes had armed the Etruscans, who by many changes of fortune had been vanquished and victors in turn.

The Roman consuls also dreaded nothing else but their own strength and their own arms. The recollection of the most mischievous precedent set in the last war was a terrible warning to them not to let matters go so far that they would have two armies to fear at the same time. Accordingly, they kept within their camp, avoiding battle, owing to the two-fold danger that threatened them, thinking that length of time and circumstances themselves would perchance soften down resentment, and bring them to a healthy frame of mind. The Veientine enemy and the Etruscans proceeded with proportionately greater precipitation; they provoked them to battle, at first by riding up to the camp and challenging them; at length when they produced no effect, by reviling the consuls and the army alike, they declared that the pretence of internal dissension was assumed as a cloak for cowardice: and that the consuls rather distrusted the courage than disbelieved the sincerity of their soldiers: that inaction and idleness among men in arms were a novel form of sedition. Besides this they uttered insinuations, partly true and partly false, as to the upstart nature of their race and origin. While they loudly proclaimed this close to the very rampart and gates, the consuls bore it without impatience: but at one time indignation, at another shame, agitated the breasts of the ignorant multitude, and diverted their attention from intestine evils; they were unwilling that the enemy should remain unpunished; they did not wish success either to the patricians or the consuls; foreign and domestic hatred struggled for the mastery in their minds: at length the former prevailed, so haughty and insolent were the jeers of the enemy; they crowded in a body to the general's tent; they desired battle, they demanded that the signal should be given. The consuls conferred together as if to deliberate; they continued the conference for a long time: they were desirous of fighting, but that desire they considered should be checked and concealed, that by opposition and delay they might increase the ardour of the soldiery now that it was once roused. The answer was returned that the matter in question was premature, that it was not yet time for fighting: let them keep within their camp. They then issued a proclamation that they should abstain from fighting: if any one fought without orders, they would punish him as an enemy. When they were thus dismissed, their eagerness for fighting increased in proportion as they believed the consuls were less disposed for it; the enemy, moreover, who now showed themselves with greater boldness, as soon as it was known that the consuls had determined not to fight, further kindled their ardour. For they supposed that they could insult them with impunity; that the soldiers were not trusted with arms; that the affair would explode in a violent mutiny; that an end had come to the Roman Empire. Relying on these hopes, they ran up to the gates, heaped abuse on the Romans, and with difficulty refrained from assaulting the camp. Then indeed the Romans could no longer endure their insults: they ran from every quarter of the camp to the consuls: they no longer, as formerly, put forth their demands with reserve, through the mediation of the centurions of the first rank, but all proceeded indiscriminately with loud clamours. The affair was now ripe; yet still they hesitated. Then Fabius, as his colleague was now inclined to give way in consequence of his dread of mutiny in face of the increasing uproar, having commanded silence by sound of trumpet, said: "I know that those soldiers are able to conquer, Gneius Manlius: by their own conduct they themselves have prevented me from knowing that they are willing. Accordingly, I have resolved and determined not to give the signal, unless they swear that they will return from this battle victorious. The soldier has once deceived the Roman consul in the field, the gods he will never deceive." There was a centurion, Marcus Flavoleius, one of the foremost in demanding battle: said he, "Marcus Fabius, I will return victorious from the field." He invoked upon himself, should he deceive them, the wrath of Father Jove, Mars Gradivus, and the other gods. After him in succession the whole army severally took the same oath. After they had been sworn, the signal was given: they took up arms and marched into battle, full of rage and of hope. They bade the Etruscans now utter their reproaches: now severally demanded that the enemy, so ready of tongue, should face them, now that they were armed. On that day, both commons and patricians alike showed distinguished bravery: the Fabian family shone forth most conspicuous: they were determined to recover in that battle the affections of the commons, estranged by many civil contests.

The army was drawn up in order of battle; nor did the Veientine foe and the Etruscan legions decline the contest. They entertained an almost certain hope that the Romans would no more fight with them than they had with the Aequans; that even some more serious attempt was not to be despaired of, considering the sorely irritated state of their feelings, and the critical condition of affairs. The result turned out altogether different: for never before in any other war did the Roman soldiers enter the field with greater fury, so exasperated were they by the taunts of the enemy on the one hand, and the dilatoriness of the consuls on the other. Before the Etruscans had time to form their ranks, their javelins having been rather thrown away at random, in the first confusion, than aimed at the enemy, the battle had become a hand-to-hand encounter, even with swords, in which the fury of war rages most fiercely. Among the foremost the Fabian family was distinguished for the sight it afforded and the example it presented to its fellow-citizens; one of these, Quintus Fabius, who had been consul two years before, as he advanced at the head of his men against a dense body of Veientines, and incautiously engaged amid numerous parties of the enemy, received a sword-thrust through the breast at the hands of a Tuscan emboldened by his bodily strength and skill in arms: on the weapon being extracted, Fabius fell forward on the wound. Both armies felt the fall of this one man, and the Romans in consequence were beginning to give way, when the consul Marcus Fabius leaped over the body of his prostrate kinsman, and, holding his buckler in front, cried out: "Is this what you swore, soldiers, that you would return to the camp in flight? Are you so afraid of your most cowardly foes, rather than of Jupiter and Mars, by whom you have sworn? Well, then, I, who have taken no oath, will either return victorious, or will fall fighting here beside thee, Quintus Fabius." Then Caeso Fabius, the consul of the preceding year, addressed the consul: "Brother, is it by these words you think you will prevail on them to fight? The gods, by whom they have sworn, will bring it about. Let us also, as becomes men of noble birth, as is worthy of the Fabian name, kindle the courage of the soldiers by fighting rather than by exhortation." Thus the two Fabii rushed forward to the front with spears presented, and carried the whole line with them.

The battle being thus restored in one quarter, Gnaeus Manlius, the consul, with no less ardour, encouraged the fight on the other wing, where the course of the fortune of war was almost identical. For, as the soldiers eagerly followed Quintus Fabius on the one wing, so did they follow the consul Manlius on this, as he was driving the enemy before him now nearly routed. When, having received a severe wound, he retired from the battle, they fell back, supposing that he was slain, and would have abandoned the position had not the other consul, galloping at full speed to that quarter with some troops of horse, supported their drooping fortune, crying out that his colleague was still alive, that he himself was now at hand victorious, having routed the other wing. Manlius also showed himself in sight of all to restore the battle. The well-known faces of the two consuls kindled the courage of the soldiers: at the same time, too, the enemy's line was now thinner, since, relying on their superior numbers, they had drawn off their reserves and despatched them to storm the camp This was assaulted without much resistance: and, while they wasted time, bethinking themselves of plunder rather than fighting, the Roman triarii,[56] who had not been able to sustain the first shock, having sent a report to the consuls of the position of affairs, returned in a compact body to the prætorium,[57] and of their own accord renewed the battle. The consul Manlius also having returned to the camp, and posted soldiers at all the gates, had blocked up every passage against the enemy. This desperate situation aroused the fury rather than the bravery of the Etruscans; for when, rushing on wherever hope held out the prospect of escape, they had advanced with several fruitless efforts, a body of young men attacked the consul himself, who was conspicuous by his arms. The first missiles were intercepted by those who stood around him; afterward their violence could not be withstood. The consul fell, smitten with a mortal wound, and all around him were put to flight. The courage of the Etruscans increased. Terror drove the Romans in dismay through the entire camp; and matters would have come to extremities had not the lieutenants,[58] hastily seizing the body of the consul opened a passage for the enemy at one gate.[59] Through this they rushed out; and going away in the utmost disorder, they fell in with the other consul, who had been victorious; there a second time they were cut down and routed in every direction. A glorious victory was won, saddened, however, by two such illustrious deaths. The consul, therefore, on the senate voting him a triumph, replied, that if the army could triumph without its general, he would readily accede to it in consideration of its distinguished service in that war: that for his own part, as his family was plunged in grief in consequence of the death of his brother Quintus Fabius, and the commonwealth in some degree bereaved by the loss of one of her consuls, he would not accept the laurel disfigured by public and private grief. The triumph thus declined was more illustrious than any triumph actually enjoyed; so true it is, that glory refused at a fitting moment sometimes returns with accumulated lustre. He next celebrated the two funerals of his colleague and brother, one after the other, himself delivering the funeral oration over both, wherein, by yielding up to them the praise that was his own due, he himself obtained the greatest share of it; and, not unmindful of that which he had determined upon at the beginning of his consulate, namely, the regaining the affection of the people, he distributed the wounded soldiers among the patricians to be attended to. Most of them were given to the Fabii: nor were they treated with greater attention anywhere else. From this time the Fabii began to be popular, and that not by aught save such conduct as was beneficial to the state.

Accordingly, Caeso Fabius, having been elected consul with Titus Verginius not more with the good-will of the senators than of the commons, gave no attention either to wars, or levies, or anything else in preference, until, the hope of concord being now in some measure assured, the feelings of the commons should be united with those of the senators at the earliest opportunity. Accordingly, at the beginning of the year he proposed that before any tribune should stand forth as a supporter of the agrarian law, the patricians themselves should be beforehand in bestowing the gift unasked and making it their own: that they should distribute among the commons the land taken from the enemy in as equal a proportion as possible; that it was but just that those should enjoy it by whose blood and labour it had been won. The patricians rejected the proposal with scorn: some even complained that the once vigorous spirit of Caeso was running riot, and decaying through a surfeit of glory. There were afterward no party struggles in the city. The Latins, however, were harassed by the incursions of the Aequans. Caeso being sent thither with an army, crossed into the territory of the Aequans themselves to lay it waste. The Aequans retired into the towns, and kept themselves within the walls: on that account no battle worth mentioning was fought.

However, a reverse was sustained at the hands of the Veientine foe owing to the rashness of the other consul; and the army would have been all cut off, had not Caeso Fabius come to their assistance in time. From that time there was neither peace nor war with the Veientines: their mode of operation had now come very near to the form of brigandage. They retired before the Roman troops into the city; when they perceived that the troops were drawn off, they made incursions into the country, alternately mocking war with peace and peace with war. Thus the matter could neither be dropped altogether, nor brought to a conclusion. Besides, other wars were threatening either at the moment, as from the Aequans and Volscians, who remained inactive no longer than was necessary, to allow the recent smart of their late disaster to pass away, or at no distant date, as it was evident that the Sabines, ever hostile, and all Etruria would soon begin to stir up war: but the Veientines, a constant rather than a formidable enemy, kept their minds in a state of perpetual uneasiness by petty annoyances more frequently than by any real danger to be apprehended from them, because they could at no time be neglected, and did not suffer the Romans to turn their attention elsewhere. Then the Fabian family approached the senate: the consul spoke in the name of the family: "Conscript fathers, the Veientine war requires, as you know, an unremitting rather than a strong defence. Do you attend to other wars: assign the Fabii as enemies to the Veientines. We pledge ourselves that the majesty of the Roman name shall be safe in that quarter. That war, as if it were a family matter, it is our determination to conduct at our own private expense. In regard to it let the republic be spared the expense of soldiers and money." The warmest thanks were returned to them. The consul, leaving the senate-house, accompanied by the Fabii in a body, who had been standing in the porch of the senate-house, awaiting the decree of the senate, returned home. They were ordered to attend on the following day in arms at the consul's gate: they then retired to their homes.

The report spread through the entire city; they extolled the Fabii to the skies: that a single family had undertaken the burden of the state; that the Veientine war had now become a private concern, a private quarrel. If there were two families of the same strength in the city, let them demand, the one the Volscians for itself, the other the Aequans; that all the neighbouring states could be subdued, while the Roman people all the time enjoyed profound peace. The day following, the Fabii took up arms; they assembled where they had been ordered. The consul, coming forth in his military robe, beheld the whole family in the porch drawn up in order of march; being received into the centre, he ordered the standards to be advanced. Never did an army march through the city, either smaller in number, or more distinguished in renown and more admired by all. Three hundred and six soldiers, all patricians, all of one family, not one of whom an honest senate would reject as a leader under any circumstances whatever, proceeded on their march, threatening the Veientine state with destruction by the might of a single family. A crowd followed, one part belonging to themselves, consisting of their kinsmen and comrades, who contemplated no half measures, either as to their hope or anxiety, but everything on a grand scale:[60] the other aroused by solicitude for the public weal, unable to express their esteem and admiration. They bade them proceed in their brave resolve, proceed with happy omens, and render the issue proportionate to the undertaking: thence to expect consulships and triumphs, all rewards, all honours from them. As they passed the Capitol and the citadel, and the other sacred edifices, they offered up prayers to all the gods that presented themselves to their sight, or to their mind, that they would send forward that band with prosperity and success, and soon send them back safe into their country to their parents. In vain were these prayers uttered. Having set out on their luckless road by the right-hand arch of the Carmental gate,[61] they arrived at the river Cremera:[62] this appeared a favourable situation for fortifying an outpost.

Lucius Aemilius and Gaius Servilius were then created consuls. And as long as there was nothing else to occupy them but mutual devastations, the Fabii were not only able to protect their garrison, but through the entire tract, where the Tuscan territory adjoins the Roman, they protected all their own districts and ravaged those of the enemy, spreading their forces along both frontiers. There was afterward a cessation, though not for long, of these depredations: while both the Veientines, having sent for an army from Etruria,[63] assaulted the outpost at the Cremera, and the Roman troops, brought up by the consul Lucius Aemilius, came to a close engagement in the field with the Etruscans; the Veientines, however, had scarcely time to draw up their line: for, during the first alarm, while they were entering the lines behind their colours, and they were stationing their reserves, a brigade of Roman cavalry, charging them suddenly in flank, deprived them of all opportunity not only of opening the fight, but even of standing their ground. Thus being driven back to the Red Rocks [64]. (where they had pitched their camp), as suppliants they sued for peace; and, after it was granted, owing to the natural inconsistency of their minds, they regretted it even before the Roman garrison was withdrawn from the Cremera.

Again the Veientine state had to contend with the Fabii without any additional military armament: and not merely did they make raids into each other's territories, or sudden attacks upon those carrying on the raids, but they fought repeatedly on level ground, and in pitched battles: and one family of the Roman people oftentimes gained the victory over an entire Etruscan state, and a most powerful one for those times. This at first appeared mortifying and humiliating to the Veientines: then they conceived the design, suggested by the state of affairs, of surprising their daring enemy by an ambuscade; they were even glad that the confidence of the Fabii was increasing owing to their great success. Wherefore cattle were frequently driven in the path of the plundering parties, as if they had fallen in their way by accident, and tracts of land left abandoned by the flight of the peasants: and reserve bodies of armed men, sent to prevent the devastations, retreated more frequently in pretended than in real alarm. By this time the Fabii had conceived such contempt for the enemy that they believed that their arms, as yet invincible, could not be resisted either in any place or on any occasion: this presumption carried them so far that at the sight of some cattle at a distance from Cremera, with an extensive plain lying between, they ran down to them, in spite of the fact that some scattered bodies of the enemy were visible: and when, anticipating nothing, and in disorderly haste, they had passed the ambuscade placed on either side of the road itself, and, dispersed in different directions, had begun to carry off the cattle that were straying about, as is usual when frightened, the enemy started suddenly in a body from their ambuscade, and surrounded them both in front and on every side. At first the noise of their shouts, spreading, terrified them; then weapons assailed them from every side: and, as the Etruscans closed in, they also were compelled, hemmed in as they were by an unbroken body of armed men, to form themselves into a square of narrower compass the more the enemy pressed on: this circumstance rendered both their own scarcity of numbers noticeable and the superior numbers of the Etruscans, whose ranks were crowded in a narrow space. Then, having abandoned the plan of fighting, which they had directed with equal effort in every quarter, they all turned their forces toward one point; straining every effort in that direction, both with their arms and bodies, and forming themselves into a wedge, they forced a passage. The way led to a gradually ascending hill: here they first halted: presently, as soon as the higher ground afforded them time to gain breath, and to recover from so great a panic, they repulsed the foe as they ascended: and the small band, assisted by the advantages of the ground, was gaining the victory, had not a party of the Veientines, sent round the ridge of the hill, made their way to the summit: thus the enemy again got possession of the higher ground; all the Fabii were cut down to a man, and the fort was taken by assault: it is generally agreed that three hundred and six were slain; that one only, who had nearly attained the age of puberty, survived, who was to be the stock for the Fabian family, and was destined to prove the greatest support of the Roman people in dangerous emergencies on many occasions both at home and in war.[65]

At the time when this disaster was sustained, Gaius Horatius and Titus Menenius were consuls. Menenius was immediately sent against the Tuscans, now elated with victory. On that occasion also an unsuccessful battle was fought, and the enemy took possession of the Janiculum: and the city would have been besieged, since scarcity of provisions distressed them in addition to the war--for the Etruscans had passed the Tiber--had not the consul Horatius been recalled from the Volscians; and so closely did that war approach the very walls, that the first battle was fought near the Temple of Hope[66] with doubtful success, and a second at the Colline gate. There, although the Romans gained the upper hand by only a trifling advantage, yet that contest rendered the soldiers more serviceable for future battles by the restoration of their former courage.

Aulus Verginius and Spurius Servilius were next chosen consuls. After the defeat sustained in the last battle, the Veientines declined an engagement.[67] Ravages were committed, and they made repeated attacks in every direction upon the Roman territory from the Janiculum, as if from a fortress: nowhere were cattle or husbandmen safe. They were afterward entrapped by the same stratagem as that by which they had entrapped the Fabii: having pursued cattle which had been intentionally driven on in all directions to decoy them, they fell into an ambuscade; in proportion as they were more numerous,[68] the slaughter was greater. The violent resentment resulting from this disaster was the cause and beginning of one still greater: for having crossed the Tiber by night, they attempted to assault the camp of the consul Servilius; being repulsed from thence with great slaughter, they with difficulty made good their retreat to the Janiculum. The consul himself also immediately crossed the Tiber, and fortified his camp at the foot of the Janiculum: at daybreak on the following morning, being both somewhat elated by the success of the battle of the day before, more, however, because the scarcity of corn forced him to adopt measures, however dangerous, provided only they were more expeditious, he rashly marched his army up the steep of the Janiculum to the camp of the enemy, and, being repulsed from thence with more disgrace than when he had repulsed them on the preceding day, he was saved, both himself and his army, by the intervention of his colleague. The Etruscans, hemmed in between the two armies, and presenting their rear to the one and the other by turns, were completely destroyed. Thus the Veientine war was crushed by a successful piece of audacity. [69]

Together with peace, provisions came in to the city in greater abundance, both by reason of corn having been brought in from Campania, and, as soon as the fear of want, which every one felt was likely to befall himself, left them, by the corn being brought out, which had been stored. Then their minds once more became wanton from plenty and ease, and they sought at home their former subjects of complaint, now that there was none abroad; the tribunes began to excite the commons by their poisonous charm, the agrarian law: they roused them against the senators who opposed it, and not only against them as a body, but against particular individuals. Quintus Considius and Titus Genucius, the proposers of the agrarian law, appointed a day of trial for Titus Menenius: the loss of the fort of Cremera, while the consul had his standing camp at no great distance from thence, was the cause of his unpopularity. This crushed him, though both the senators had exerted themselves in his behalf with no less earnestness than in behalf of Coriolanus, and the popularity of his father Agrippa was not yet forgotten. The tribunes, however, acted leniently in the matter of the fine: though they had arraigned him for a capital offence, they imposed on him, when found guilty, a fine of only two thousand asses. This proved fatal to him. They say that he could not brook disgrace and anguish of mind: and that, in consequence, he was carried off by disease. Another senator, Spurius Servilius was soon after arraigned, as soon as he went out of office a day of trial having been appointed for him by the tribunes, Lucius Caedicius and Titus Statius, immediately at the beginning of the year, in the consulship of Gaius Nautius and Publius Valerius: he did not, however, like Menenius, meet the attacks of the tribunes with supplications on the part of himself and the patricians, but with firm reliance on his own integrity and his personal popularity. The battle with the Tuscans at the Janiculum was also the charge brought against him: but being a man of impetuous spirit, as he had formerly done in time of public peril, so now in the danger which threatened himself, he dispelled it by boldly meeting it, by confuting not only the tribunes but the commons also, in a haughty speech, and upbraiding them with the condemnation and death of Titus Menenius, by the good offices of whose father the commons had formerly been re-established, and now had those magistrates and enjoyed those laws, by virtue of which they then acted so insolently: his colleague Verginius also, who was brought forward as a witness, aided him by assigning to him a share of his own glory: however--so had they changed their mind--the condemnation of Menenius was of greater service to him.

The contests at home were now concluded. A war against the Veientines, with whom the Sabines had united their forces, broke out afresh. The consul Publius Valerius, after auxiliaries had been sent for from the Latins and Hernicans, being despatched to Veii with an army, immediately attacked the Sabine camp, which had been pitched before the walls of their allies, and occasioned such great consternation that, while scattered in different directions, they sallied forth in small parties to repel the assault of the enemy, the gate which he first atacked was taken: then within the rampart a massacre rather than a battle took place. From within the camp the alarm spread also into the city; the Veientines ran to arms in as great a panic as if Veii had been taken: some came up to the support of the Sabines, others fell upon the Romans, who had directed all their force against the camp. For a little while they were disconcerted and thrown into confusion; then they in like manner formed two fronts and made a stand: and the cavalry, being commanded by the consul to charge, routed the Tuscans and put them to flight; and in the self-same hour two armies and two of the most influential and powerful of the neighbouring states were vanquished. While these events were taking place at Veii, the Volscians and Æquans had pitched their camp in Latin territory, and laid waste their frontiers. The Latins, being joined by the Hernicans, without either a Roman general or Roman auxiliaries, by their own efforts, stripped them of their camp. Besides recovering their own effects, they obtained immense booty. The consul Gaius Nautius, however, was sent against the Volscians from Rome. The custom, I suppose, was not approved of, that the allies should carry on wars with their own forces and according to their own plans without a Roman general and troops. There was no kind of injury and petty annoyance that was not practised against the Volscians; they could not, however, be prevailed on to come to an engagement in the field.

Lucius Furius and Gaius Manlius were the next consuls. The Veientines fell to Manlius as his province. No war, however, followed: a truce for forty years was granted them at their request, but they were ordered to provide corn and pay for the soldiers. Disturbance at home immediately followed in close succession on peace abroad: the commons were goaded by the spur employed by the tribunes in the shape of the agrarian law. The consuls, no whit intimidated by the condemnation of Menenius, nor by the danger of Servilius, resisted with their utmost might; Gnæus Genucius, a tribune of the people, dragged the consuls before the court on their going out of office. Lucius Æmilius and Opiter Verginius entered upon the consulate. Instead of Verginius I find Vopiscus Julius given as consul in some annals. In this year (whoever were the consuls) Furius and Manlius, being summoned to trial before the people, in sordid garb solicited the aid of the younger patricians as much as that of the commons: they advised, they cautioned them to keep themselves from public offices and the administration of public affairs, and indeed to consider the consular fasces, the toga prætexta and curule chair, as nothing else but a funeral parade: that when decked with these splendid insignia, as with fillets, [70] they were doomed to death. But if the charms of the consulate were so great they should even now rest satisfied that the consulate was held in captivity and crushed by the tribunician power; that everything had to be done by the consul, at the beck and command of the tribune, as if he were a tribune's beadle. If he stirred, if he regarded the patricians at all, if he thought that there existed any other party in the state but the commons, let him set before his eyes the banishment of Gnæeus Marcius, the condemnation and death of Menenius. Fired by these words, the patricians from that time held their consultations not in public, but in private houses, and remote from the knowledge of the majority, at which, when this one point only was agreed on, that the accused must be rescued either by fair means or foul, the most desperate proposals were most approved; nor did any deed, however daring, lack a supporter.[71] Accordingly, on the day of trial, when the people stood in the forum on tiptoe of expectation, they at first began to feel surprised that the tribune did not come down; then, the delay now becoming more suspicious, they believed that he was hindered by the nobles, and complained that the public cause was abandoned and betrayed. At length those who had been waiting before the entrance of the tribune's residence announced that he had been found dead in his house. As soon as rumour spread the news through the whole assembly, just as an army disperses on the fall of its general, so did they scatter in different directions. Panic chiefly seized the tribunes, now taught by their colleague's death how utterly ineffectual was the aid the devoting laws afforded them.[72] Nor did the patricians display their exultation with due moderation; and so far was any of them from feeling compunction at the guilty act, that even those who were innocent wished to be considered to have perpetrated it, and it was openly declared that the tribunician power ought to be subdued by chastisement.

Immediately after this victory, that involved a most ruinous precedent, a levy was proclaimed; and, the tribunes being now overawed, the consuls accomplished their object without any opposition. Then indeed the commons became enraged more at the inactivity of the tribunes than at the authority of the consuls: they declared there was an end of their liberty: that things had returned to their old condition: that the tribunician power had died along with Genucius and was buried with him; that other means must be devised and adopted, by which the patricians might be resisted: and that the only means to that end was for the people to defend themselves, since they had no other help: that four-and-twenty lictors waited on the consuls, and they men of the common people: that nothing could be more despicable, or weaker, if only there were persons to despise them; that each person magnified those things and made them objects of terror to himself. When they had excited one another by these words, a lictor was despatched by the consuls to Volero Publilius, a man belonging to the commons, because he declared that, having been a centurion, he ought not to be made a common soldier. Volero appealed to the tribunes. When no one came to his assistance, the consuls ordered the man to be stripped and the rods to be got ready. "I appeal to the people," said Volero, "since the tribunes prefer to see a Roman citizen scourged before their eyes, than themselves to be butchered by you each in his bed." The more vehemently he cried out, the more violently did the lictor tear off his clothes and strip him. Then Volero, being both himself a man of great bodily strength, and aided by his partisans, having thrust back the lictor, retired into the thickest part of the crowd, where the outcry of those who expressed their indignation was loudest, crying out: "I appeal, and implore the protection of the commons; assist me, fellow-citizens: assist me, fellow-soldiers: it is no use to wait for the tribunes, who themselves stand in need of your aid." The men, excited, made ready as if for battle: and it was clear that a general crisis was at hand, that no one would have respect for anything, either public or private right. When the consuls had faced this violent storm, they soon found out that authority unsupported by strength had but little security; the lictors being maltreated, and the fasces broken, they were driven from the forum into the senate-house, uncertain how far Volero would follow up his victory. After that, the disturbance subsiding, having ordered the members to be summoned to the senate, they complained of the insults offered to themselves, of the violence of the people, of the daring conduct of Volero. After many violent measures had been proposed, the older members prevailed, who did not approve of the rash behaviour of the commons being met by the resentment of the patricians.

The commons having warmly espoused the cause of Volero, at the next meeting, secured his election as tribune of the people for that year, in which Lucius Pinarius and Publics Furius were consuls: and, contrary to the opinion of all, who thought that he would make free use of his tribuneship to harass the consuls of the preceding year, postponing private resentment to the public interest, without the consuls being attacked even by a single word, he brought a bill before the people that plebeian magistrates should be elected at the comitia tributa.[73] A measure of no small importance was now proposed, under an aspect at first sight by no means alarming; but one of such a nature that it really deprived the patricians of all power of electing whatever tribunes they pleased by the suffrage of their clients. The patricians resisted to the utmost this proposal, which met with the greatest approval of the commons: and though none of the college[74] could be induced by the influence either of the consuls or of the chief members of the senate to enter a protest against it, which was the only means of effectual resistance, yet the matter, a weighty one from its own importance, was spun out by party struggles for a whole year. The commons re-elected Volero as tribune. The senators, considering that the matter would end in a desperate struggle, elected as Consul Appius Claudius, the son of Appius, who was both hated by and had hated the commons, ever since the contests between them and his father. Titus Quinctius was assigned to him as his colleague. Immediately, at the beginning of the year,[75]no other question took precedence of that regarding the law. But like Volero, the originator of it, so his colleague, Lætorius, was both a more recent, as well as a more energetic, supporter of it. His great renown in war made him overbearing, because, in the age in which he lived, no one was more prompt in action. He, while Volero confined himself to the discussion of the law, avoiding all abuse of the consuls, broke out into accusations against Appius and his family, as having ever been most overbearing and cruel toward the Roman commons, contending that he had been elected by the senators, not as consul, but as executioner, to harass and torture the people: his tongue, unskilled in speech, as was natural in a soldier, was unable to give adequate expression to the freedom of his sentiments. When, therefore, language failed him, he said: "Romans, since I do not speak with as much readiness as I make good what I have spoken, attend here to-morrow. I will either die before your eyes, or will carry the law." On the following day the tribunes took possession of the platform: the consuls and the nobles took their places together in the assembly to obstruct the law. Lætorius ordered all persons to be removed, except those going to vote. The young nobles kept their places, paying no regard to the officer; then Lætorius ordered some of them to be seized. The consul Appius insisted that the tribune had no jurisdiction over any one except a plebeian; for that he was not a magistrate of the people in general, but only of the commons; and that even he himself could not, according to the usage of their ancestors, by virtue of his authority remove any person, because the words were as follows: "If ye think proper, depart, Quirites." He was easily able to disconcert Lætorius by discussing his right thus contemptuously. The tribune, therefore, burning with rage, sent his officer to the consul; the consul sent his lictor to the tribune, exclaiming that he was a private individual, without military office and without civil authority: and the tribune would have been roughly handled, had not both the entire assembly risen up with great warmth in behalf of the tribune against the consul, and a crowd of people belonging to the excited multitude, rushed from all parts of the city into the forum. Appius, however, withstood this great storm with obstinacy, and the contest would have ended in a battle, not without bloodshed, had not Quinctius, the other consul, having intrusted the men of consular rank with the task of removing his colleague from the forum by force, if they could not do so in any other way, himself now assuaged the raging people by entreaties, now implored the tribunes to dismiss the assembly. Let them, said he, give their passion time to cool: delay would not in any respect deprive them of their power, but would add prudence to strength; and the senators would be under the control of the people, and the consul under that of the senators.

The people were with difficulty pacified by Quinctius; the other consul with much more difficulty by the patricians. The assembly of the people having been at length dismissed, the consuls convened the senate; in which, though fear and resentment by turns had produced a diversity of opinions, the more their minds were called off, by lapse of time, from passion to reflection, the more adverse did they become to contentiousness, so that they returned thanks to Quinctius, because it was owing to his exertions that the disturbance had been quieted. Appius was requested to give his consent that the consular dignity should be merely so great as it could be in a state if it was to be united: it was declared that, as long as the tribunes and consuls claimed all power, each for his own side, no strength was left between: that the commonwealth was distracted and torn asunder: that the object aimed at was rather to whom it should belong, than that it should be safe. Appius, on the contrary, called gods and men to witness that the commonwealth was being betrayed and abandoned through cowardice; that it was not the consul who had failed to support the senate, but the senate the consul: that more oppressive conditions were now being submitted to than had been submitted to on the Sacred Mount. Overcome, however, by the unanimous feeling of the senators, he desisted: the law was carried without opposition.

Then for the first time the tribunes were elected in the comita tributa. Piso is the authority for the statement that three were added to the number, as if there had been only two before. He also gives the names of the tribunes, Gnæus Siccius, Lucius Numitorius, Marcus Duellius, Spurius Icilius, Lucius Mecilius. During the disturbance at Rome, a war broke out with the Volscians and Æquans, who had laid waste the country, so that, if any secession of the people took place, they might find a refuge with them. Afterward, when matters were settled, they moved back their camp. Appius Claudius was sent against the Volscians; the Æquans fell to Quinctius as his province. Appius exhibited the same severity in war as at home, only more unrestrained, because it was free from the control of the tribunes. He hated the commons with a hatred greater than that inherited from his father: he had been defeated by them: when he had been chosen consul as the only man able to oppose the influence of the tribunes, a law had been passed, which former consuls had obstructed with less effect, amid hopes of the senators by no means so great as those now placed in him. His resentment and indignation at this stirred his imperious temper to harass the army by the severity of his command; it could not, however, be subdued by any exercise of authority, with such a spirit of opposition were the soldiers filled. They carried out all orders slowly, indolently, carelessly, and stubbornly: neither shame nor fear restrained them. If he wished the march to be accelerated, they designedly went more slowly: if he came up to them to encourage them in their work, they all relaxed the energy which they had before exerted of their own accord: they cast down their eyes in his presence, they silently cursed him as he passed by; so that that spirit, unconquered by plebeian hatred, was sometimes moved. Every kind of severity having been tried without effect, he no longer held any intercourse with the soldiers; he said the army was corrupted by the centurions; he sometimes gibingly called them tribunes of the people and Voleros.

None of these circumstances were unknown to the Volscians, and they pressed on with so much the more vigour, hoping that the Roman soldiers would entertain the same spirit of opposition against Appius as they had formerly exhibited against the consul Fabius. However, they showed themselves still more embittered against Appius than against Fabius. For they were not only unwilling to conquer, like the army of Fabius, but even wished to be conquered. When led forth into the field, they made for their camp in ignominious flight, and did not stand their ground until they saw the Volscians advancing against their fortifications, and the dreadful havoc in the rear of their army. Then they were compelled to put forth their strength for battle, in order that the now victorious enemy might be dislodged from their lines; while, however, it was sufficiently clear that the Roman soldiers were only unwilling that the camp should be taken, in regard to all else they gloried in their own defeat and disgrace. When the haughty spirit of Appius, in no wise broken by this behaviour of the soldiers, purposed to act with still greater severity, and summoned a meeting, the lieutenants and tribunes flocked around him, recommending him by no means to decide to put his authority to the proof, the entire strength of which lay in unanimous obedience, saying that the soldiers generally refused to come to the assembly, and that their voices were heard on all sides, demanding that the camp should be removed from the Volscian territory: that the victorious enemy were but a little time ago almost at the very gates and rampart, and that not merely a suspicion but the visible form of a grievous disaster presented itself to their eyes. Yielding at last--since they gained nothing save a respite from punishment--having prorogued the assembly, and given orders that their march should be proclaimed for the following day, at daybreak he gave the signal for departure by sound of trumpet. At the very moment when the army, having got clear of the camp, was forming itself, the Volscians, as if they had been aroused by the same signal, fell upon those in the rear: from these the alarm spreading to the van, threw both the battalions and companies into such a state of consternation, that neither could the general's orders be distinctly heard, nor the lines drawn up. No one thought of anything but flight. In such loose order did they make their way through heaps of dead bodies and arms, that the enemy ceased their pursuit sooner than the Romans their flight. The soldiers having at length rallied from their disordered flight, the consul, after he had in vain followed his men, bidding them return, pitched his camp in a peaceful part of the country; and having convened an assembly, after inveighing not without good reason against the army, as traitors to military discipline, deserters of their posts, asking them, one by one where were their standards, where their arms, he first beat with rods and then beheaded those soldiers who had thrown down their arms, the standard-bearers who had lost their standards, and also the centurions, and those who received double allowance,[76] who had deserted their ranks. With respect to the rest of the rank and file, every tenth man was drawn by lot for punishment.

On the other hand, the consul and soldiers among the Æquans vied with each other in courtesy and acts of kindness: Quinctius was naturally milder in disposition, and the ill-fated severity of his colleague had caused him to give freer vent to his own good temper. This remarkable agreement between the general and his army the Æquans did not venture to meet, but suffered the enemy to go through their country committing devastations in every direction. Nor were depredations committed more extensively in that quarter in any preceding war. The whole of the booty was given to the soldiers. In addition, they received praise, in which the minds of soldiers find no less pleasure than in rewards. The army returned more reconciled both to their general, and also, thanks to the general, to the patricians, declaring that a parent had been given to them, a tyrant to the other army by the senate. The year which had passed with varied success in war, and violent dissensions at home and abroad, was rendered memorable chiefly by the elections of tribes, a matter which was more important from the victory in the contest[77] that was undertaken than from any real advantage; for more dignity was withdrawn from the elections themselves by the fact that the patricians were excluded from the council, than influence either added to the commons or taken from the patricians.[78]

A still more stormy year followed, when Lucius Valerius and Titus Æmilius were consuls, both by reason of the struggles between the different orders concerning the agrarian law, as well as on account of the trial of Appius Claudius, for whom Marcus Duilius and Gnæus Siccius appointed a day of trial, as a most active opposer of the law, and one who supported the cause of the possessors of the public land, as if he were a third consul [79]. Never before was an accused person so hateful to the commons brought to trial before the people, overwhelmed with their resentment against himself and also against his father. The patricians too seldom made equal exertions so readily on one's behalf: they declared that the champion of the senate, and the upholder of their dignity, set up as a barrier against all the storms of the tribunes and commons, was exposed to the resentment of the commons, although he had only exceeded the bounds of moderation in the contest. Appius Claudius himself was the only one of the patricians who made light both of the tribunes and commons and his own trial. Neither the threats of the commons, nor the entreaties of the senate, could ever persuade him even to change his garb, or accost persons as a suppliant, or even to soften or moderate his usual harshness of speech in the least degree, when his cause was to be pleaded before the people. The expression of his countenance was the same; the same stubbornness in his looks, the same spirit of pride in his language: so that a great part of the commons felt no less awe of Appius when on his trial than they had felt for him when consul. He pleaded his cause only once, and in the same haughty style of an accuser which he had been accustomed to adopt on all occasions: and he so astounded both the tribunes and the commons by his intrepidity, that, of their own accord, they postponed the day of trial, and then allowed the matter to die out. No long interval elapsed: before, however, the appointed day came, he died of some disease; and when the tribunes of the people endeavoured to put a stop to his funeral panegyric, the commons would not allow the burial day of so great a man to be defrauded of the customary honours: and they listened to his eulogy when dead as patiently as they had listened to the charges brought against him when living, and attended his obsequies in vast numbers.

In the same year the consul Valerius, having marched with an army against the Aequans, and being unable to draw out the enemy to an engagement, proceeded to attack their camp. A dreadful storm coming down from heaven accompanied by thunder and hail prevented him. Then, on a signal for a retreat being given, their surprise was excited by the return of such fair weather, that they felt scruples about attacking a second time a camp which was defended as it were by some divine power: all the violence of the war was directed to plundering the country. The other consul, Aemilius, conducted the war in Sabine territory. There also, because the enemy confined themselves within their walls, the lands were laid waste. Then the Sabines, roused by the burning not only of the farms, but of the villages also, which were thickly inhabited, after they had fallen in with the raiders retired from an engagement the issue of which was left undecided, and on the following day removed their camp into a safer situation. This seemed a sufficient reason to the consul why he should leave the enemy as conquered, and depart thence, although the war was as yet unfinished.

During these wars, while dissensions still continued at home, Titus Numicius Priscus and Aulus Verginius were elected consuls. The commons appeared determined no longer to brook the delay in accepting the agrarian law, and extreme violence was on the point of being resorted to, when it became known by the smoke from the burning farms and the flight of the peasants that the Volscians were at hand; this circumstance checked the sedition that was now ripe and on the point of breaking out. The consuls, under the immediate compulsion of the senate, led forth the youth from the city to war, and thereby rendered the rest of the commons more quiet. And the enemy indeed, having merely filled the Romans with fear that proved groundless, departed in great haste. Numicius marched to Antium against the Volscians, Verginius against the Aequans. There, after they had nearly met with a great disaster in an attack from an ambuscade, the bravery of the soldiers restored their fortunes, which had been endangered through the carelessness of the consul. Affairs were conducted better in the case of the Volscians. The enemy were routed in the first engagement, and driven in flight into the city of Antium, a very wealthy place, considering the times: the consul, not venturing to attack it, took from the people of Antium another town, Caeno,[80] which was by no means so wealthy While the Aequans and Volscians engaged the attention of the Roman armies, the Sabines advanced in their depredations even to the gates of the city: then they themselves, a few days later, sustained from the two armies heavier losses than they had inflicted, both the consuls having entered their territories under the influence of exasperation.

At the close of the year to some extent there was peace, but, as frequently at other times, a peace disturbed by contests between the patricians and commons. The exasperated commons refused to attend the consular elections: Titus Quinctius and Quintus Servilius were elected consuls through the influence of the patricians and their dependents: the consuls had a year similar to the preceding, disturbed at the beginning, and afterward tranquil by reason of war abroad. The Sabines crossing the plains of Crustumerium by forced marches, after carrying fire and sword along the banks of the Anio, being repulsed when they had nearly come up to the Colline gate and the walls, drove off, however, great booty of men and cattle: the consul Servilius, having pursued them with an army bent on attacking them, was unable to overtake the main body itself in the level country: he, however, extended his devastations over such a wide area, that he left nothing unmolested by war, and returned after having obtained booty many times greater than that carried off by the enemy. The public cause was also extremely well supported among the Volscians by the exertions both of the general and the soldiers. First a pitched battle was fought, on level ground, with great slaughter and much bloodshed on both sides: and the Romans, because their small numbers caused their loss to be more keenly felt, would have given way, had not the consul, by a well-timed fiction, reanimated the army, by crying out that the enemy was in flight on the other wing; having charged, they, by believing themselves victorious, became so. The consul, fearing lest, by pressing on too far, he might renew the contest, gave the signal for retreat. A few days intervened, both sides resting as if by tacit suspension of hostilities: during these days a vast number of persons from all the states of the Volscians and Equans came to the camp, feeling no doubt that the Romans would depart during the night, if they perceived them. Accordingly, about the third watch [81], they came to attack the camp. Quinctius having allayed the confusion which the sudden panic had occasioned, and ordered the soldiers to remain quiet in their tents, led out a cohort of the Hernicans for an advance guard: the trumpeters and horn blowers he mounted on horseback, and commanded them to sound their trumpets before the rampart, and to keep the enemy in suspense till daylight: during the rest of the night everything was so quiet in the camp, that the Romans had even the opportunity of sleeping.[82] The sight of the armed infantry, whom they both considered to be more numerous than they were, and at the same time Romans, the bustle and neighing of the horses, which became restless, both from the fact of strange riders being mounted on them, and moreover from the sound of the trumpets frightening them, kept the Volscians intently awaiting an attack of the enemy.

When the day dawned, the Romans, invigorated and having enjoyed a full sleep, on being marched out to battle, at the first onset caused the Volscians to give way, wearied as they were from standing and keeping watch: though indeed the enemy rather retired than were routed, because in the rear there were hills to which the unbroken ranks behind the first line had a safe retreat. The consul, when he came to the uneven ground, halted his army; the infantry were kept back with difficulty; they loudly demanded to be allowed to pursue the discomfited foe. The cavalry were more violent: crowding round the general, they cried out that they would proceed in front of the first line. While the consul hesitated, relying on the valour of his men, yet having little confidence in the nature of the ground, they all cried out that they would proceed; and execution followed the shout. Fixing their spears in the ground, in order that they might be lighter to mount the heights, they advanced uphill at a run. The Volscians, having discharged their missile weapons at the first onset, hurled down the stones that lay at their feet upon the Romans as they were making their way up, and having thrown them into confusion by incessant blows, strove to drive them from the higher ground: thus the left wing of the Romans was nearly overborne, had not the consul dispelled their fear by rousing them to a sense of shame as they were on the point of retreating, chiding at the same time their temerity and their cowardice. At first they stood their ground with determined firmness; then, as they recovered their strength by still holding their position, they ventured to advance of themselves, and, renewing their shouts, they encouraged the whole body to advance: then having made a fresh attack, they forced their way up and surmounted the unfavourable ground. They were now on the point of gaining the summit of the hill, when the enemy turned their backs, and pursued and pursuer at full speed rushed into the camp almost in one body. During this panic the camp was taken; such of the Volscians as were able to make good their escape, made for Antium. The Roman army also was led thither; after having been invested for a few days, the town surrendered, not in consequence of any new efforts on the part of the besiegers, but because the spirits of the inhabitants had sunk ever since the unsuccessful battle and the loss of their camp.

[Footnote 1: The functions of the old priest-king were divided, the political being assigned to the consuls, the duty of sacrificing to the newly-created rex sacrificulus, who was chosen from the patricians: he was, nevertheless, subject to the control of the Pontifex Maximus, by whom he was chosen from several nominees of the college of priests.]

[Footnote 2: This, of course applied only to patricians. Plebians were accounted nobodies.--D.O.]

[Footnote 3: The insula Tiberina between Rome and the Janiculum.]

[Footnote 4: Vindicta was properly the rod which was laid on the head of a slave by the magistrate who emancipated him, or by one of his attendants: the word is supposed to be derived from vim dicere (to declare authority).]

[Footnote 5: Near the Janiculum, between the Via Aurelia and the Via Claudia.]

[Footnote 6: A part of the Palatine.--D.O.]

[Footnote 7: The goddess of victory [vi(n)co-pot(is)].]

[Footnote 8: Practically a sentence of combined excommunication and outlawry.--D.O.]

[Footnote 9: Now Chiusi.]

[Footnote 10: They did not let these salt-works by auction, but took them under their own management, and carried them on by means of persons employed to work on the public account. These salt-works, first established at Ostia by Ancus, were, like other public property, farmed out to the publicans. As they had a high rent to pay, the price of salt was raised in proportion; but now the patricians, to curry favour with the plebeians, did not let the salt-pits to private tenants, but kept them in the hands of public labourers, to collect all the salt for the public use; and appointed salesmen to retail it to the people at a cheaper rate.]

[Footnote 11: Just below the sole remaining pillar of the Pons Aemilius.--D.O.]

[Footnote 12: Macaulay, in his "Lays of Ancient Rome," has made this incident the basis of one of the most stirring poems in the English language. Though familiar to all, it does not seem out of place to quote from his "Horatius" in connection with the story as told by Livy:

"Alone stood brave Horatius,

But constant still in mind;
Thrice thirty thousand foes before And the broad flood behind.
'Down with him!' cried false Sextus, With smile on his pale face.
'Now yield thee,' cried Lars Porsena, 'Now yield thee to our grace.'

* * * * *

'O Tiber! father Tiber!
To whom the Romans pray,
A Roman's life, a Roman's arms, Take thou in charge this day!' So he spake, and speaking, sheathed The good sword by his side,
And with his harness on his back Plunged headlong in the tide.

No sound of joy or sorrow
Was heard from either bank,
But friends and foes, in dumb surprise, With parted lips and straining eyes, Stood gazing where he sank;
And when above the surges
They saw his crest appear,
All Rome sent forth a rapturous cry, And even the ranks of Tuscany
Could scarce forbear to cheer.

But fiercely ran the current,
Swollen high by months of rain; And fast his blood was flowing, And he was sore in pain,
And heavy with his armour,
And spent with changing blows; And oft they thought him sinking, But still again he rose.

* * * * *

'Curse on him!' quoth false Sextus, 'Will not the villain drown?
But for this stay, ere close of day, We should have sacked the town!' 'Heaven help him!' quoth Lars Porsena 'And bring him safe to shore; For such a gallant feat of arms Was never seen before.'

And now he feels the bottom;
Now on dry earth he stands;
Now round him throng the fathers To press his gory hands;
And now with shouts and clapping, And noise of weeping loud,
He enters through the River-gate Borne by the joyous crowd.

* * * * *

When the goodman mends his armour, And trims his helmet's plume; When the good wife's shuttle merrily Goes flashing through the loom; With weeping and with laughter Still is the story told,

How well Horatius kept the bridge
In the brave days of old." ]

[Footnote 13: Of the left hand.--D.O.]

[Footnote 14: Probably where the Cliva Capitolina begins to ascend the slope of the Capitol.--D.O.]

[Footnote 15: The most ancient of the Greek colonies in Italy. Its ruins are on the coast north of the Promontory of Miseno.--D.O.]

[Footnote 16: Leading from the forum to the Velabrum.]

[Footnote 17: It was situated in the Alban Hills about ten miles from Rome, on the site of the modern Frascati.--D.O.]

[Footnote 18: Suessa-Pometia, mentioned in former note. Cora is now Cori.--D.O.]

[Footnote 19: Their home was in Campania.--D.O.]

[Footnote 20: Wooden roofs covered with earth or wet hides, and rolled forward on wheels for the protection of those engaged in battering or mining the walls.--D.O.]

[Footnote 21: That is, the Romans'.]

[Footnote 22: Perhaps because the twenty-four axes of both consuls went to the dictator.--D.O.]

[Footnote 23: Now Palestrina]

[Footnote 24: See Macaulay's "Lays of Ancient Rome": The Battle of Lake Regillus.]

[Footnote 25: The bound (by the law of debt), from nexo, to join or connect.--D.O.]

[Footnote 26: That is, for allowing themselves to suffer it and yet fight for their oppressors.--D.O.]

[Footnote 27: For military service.]

[Footnote:28 Known as Mercuriales. Mercury was the patron of merchants.--D.O.]

[Footnote 29: That is, over the senate.--D.O.]

[Footnote 30: About 40,000 men.--D.O.]

[Footnote 31: That is, like Vetusius, watching the Aequans, who uncrippled were lying in their mountain fastnesses in northern Latium, waiting a chance to renew their ravages.--D.O.]

[Footnote 32: Modern Velletri.]

[Footnote 33: a chair-shaped X .Its use was an insignia first of royalty, then of the higher magistracies.--D.O.]

[Footnote 34: Supposed to be the hill beyond and to the right of the Ponte Nomentano.--D.O.]

[Footnote 35: Lucius Calpurnius Piso, the historian.]

[Footnote 36: This fable is of very great antiquity. Max Müller says it is found among the Hindus.]

[Footnote 37: The law which declared the persons of the tribunes inviolate and him who transgressed it accursed.--D.O.]

[Footnote 38: Modern Anzio, south of Ostia on the coast of Latium.--D.O.]

[Footnote 39: Between Ardea and Aricia.]

[Footnote 40: The sixth part of the as, the Roman money unit, which represented a pound's weight of copper.--D.O.]

[Footnote 41: Its ruins lie on the road to Terracina, near Norma, and about forty-five miles from Rome.--D.O.]

[Footnote 42: The clientes formed a distinct class; they were the hereditary dependents of certain patrician families (their patroni) to whom they were under various obligations; they naturally sided with the patricians.]

[Footnote 43: Dionysius and Plutarch give an account of the prosecution much more favourable to the defendant.--D. O.]

[Footnote 44: Celebrated annually in the Circus Maximus, September 4th to 12th, in honour of Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva, or, according to some authorities, of Consus and Neptunus Equestus.--D.O.]

[Footnote 45: A >-shaped yoke placed on the slave's neck, with his hands tied to the ends.--D.O.]

[Footnote 46: In a grove at the foot of the Alban Hill.--D.O.]

[Footnote 47: There seems to be something wrong here, as Satricum, etc., were situated west of the Via Appia, while Livy places them on the Via Latina. Niebuhr thinks that the words "passing across ... Latin way," should be transposed, and inserted after the words "he then took in succession." For the position of these towns, see Map.]

[Footnote 48: Quintus Fabius Pictor, the historian.--D.O.]

[Footnote 49: The ager publicus consisted of the landed estates which had belonged to the kings, and were increased by land taken from enemies who had been conquered in war. The patricians, having the chief political power, gained exclusive occupation (possessio) of this ager publicus, for which they paid a nominal rent in the shape of produce and tithes. The nature of the charge brought by Cassius was not the fact of its being occupied by privati, but by patricians to the exclusion of plebeians.]

[Footnote 50: "Quaestors," this is the first mention of these officers in Livy; in early times it appears to have been part of their duty to prosecute those who were guilty of treason, and to carry out the punishment.]

[Footnote 51: On the west slope of the Esquiline.--D.O.]

[Footnote 52: There seems to be something wrong in the text here, as the subterfuge was distinctively a patrician one, and the commons had nothing to gain and all to lose by it. If Livy means that the commons provoked war by giving cause for the patricians to seek refuge in it, he certainly puts it very vaguely.--D. O.]

[Footnote 53: July 15th.]

[Footnote 54: By being buried alive. The idea being that the ceremonies could not be duly performed by an unchaste vestal.--D. O.]

[Footnote 55: By his power of veto.--D.O.]

[Footnote 56: These were veterans and formed the third line. The first were the "hastati," so called from their carrying long spears, which were later discarded for heavy javelins. The second were the "principes," the main line.--D. O.]

[Footnote 57: The space assigned for the general's tent.--D. O.]

[Footnote 58: The legati of a general were at once his council of war and his staff.--D. O.]

[Footnote 59: There is much in the description of this battle not easy to understand, and I am inclined to believe it was at least no better than drawn. The plundered camp, the defeat of the triarii, and the failure to mention pursuit or consequences, all favour this supposition.--D. O.]

[Footnote 60: It was to be victory or annihilation.--D. O.]

[Footnote 61: so called from the altar of Carmenta, which stood near it. It was located in or near what is now the Piazza Montanara, and was always after considered a gate of evil omen.--D. O.]

[Footnote 62: Now the Valchetta.--D. O.]

[Footnote 63: Probably of mercenaries, as the Veientines are alluded to throughout the paragraph as commanding, and it was apparently not a case of alliance.--D. O.]

[Footnote 64: On the Via Flaminia (near the grotta rossa).]

[Footnote 65: This story has been much questioned by learned commentators. I see nothing improbable in it if we pare down the exploits a little, and the evidence, such as it is all pro.--D.O.]

[Footnote 66: As this temple was about a mile from the city, it is probable the Romans were defeated and that the second fight at the gate means simply that they repulsed an assault on the walls.--D.O.]

[Footnote 67: That is, did not renew their assault on the walls.--D.O.]

[Footnote 68: Evidently only a small detatchment, since they were in condition to assault a fortified consular camp despite their defeat.--D.O.]

[Footnote 69: The story of this war is much more doubtful than the exploit of the Fabii, and Livy, as usual, furnishes the material for his own criticism.--D.O.]

[Footnote 70: After the manner of animals about to be sacrificed.--D.O.]

[Footnote 71: This was probably the origin of the "clubs" of young patricians, to which so much of the later violance was due.--D.O.]

[Footnote 72: The lex sacrata, which declared their persons inviolate.--D.O.]

[Footnote 73: The assembly of the plebeians by tribes.--D.O.]

[Footnote 74: Of tribunes.]

[Footnote 75: The consular year.]

[Footnote 76: One of the rewards of good conduct was double rations.--D.O.]

[Footnote 77: That is, the contest to obtain the reform.--D.O.]

[Footnote 78: While the plebeians lost the dignity conferred on the assembly by the presence of distinguished patricians, they gained nothing, as, in the mere matter of votes, they already had a majority; and the patricians lost nothing, as the number of their votes would not be sufficient to render them of much importance.]

[Footnote 79: There were other specific charges, but Livy confines himself to the spirit of the prosecution.--D.O.]

[Footnote 80: The port of Antium, now Nettuno.--D.O.]

[Footnote 81: Midnight.--D. O.]

[Footnote 82: The rendering of the rest of this section is vague and unsatisfactory.--D. O.]

Prev | Next | Contents

Links: - - - - -