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Capitol.(22) He is described as offering liberty to the slaves; and as reckoning upon the disaffection of the plebeians and the assistance of foreign enemies: but although the tribunes refuse to allow the plebeians to take arms, until Valerius the consul promises that the Terentillian rogation shall no longer be impeded, the internal discord is healed by this concession, an attacking force is formed, and the Capitol is stormed and retaken, Valerius being killed in the conflict. There are many inconsistencies in detail between the narratives of this singular irruption given by our two historians,(23) which differs from the seizure of the Athenian acropolis by Cylon, as being the attempt of a foreign enemy: but in substance they agree. With our imperfect knowledge of the state of Rome at this time, we cannot say that such a surprise is incredible; and it seems unlikely that a story not tending to the glory of Rome—but showing both its external weakness and its internal discord-should have been invented by Roman annalists, and that it should have been inserted in their histories, unless it had been founded on fact.
§ 40 When the safety of the city is restored, the time for the fulfilment of the late consul's promise arrives; but faith is
previous years which accounts for the existence of a large body of Roman exiles at this time: the Tarquinian exiles must be supposed to be exhausted. Livy states the number of his followers at 4500; Dionysius at about 4000. Niebuhr's remarks on this number are fanciful; vol. ii. n. 670.
(22) According to Dionysius, c. 14, they entered by the åk) ELOTOL Múlal of the Capitol ; c. 14. There was much legendary matter respecting this Porta Pandana. See Becker, vol. i. p. 120, 137 ; Schwegler, vol. i. p.
487. Above, vol. i. p. 425. Dionysius, ib. identifies it with the Porta Carmentalis, which the modern critics decide to be a mistake; but it is very likely that the traditionary names of these ancient gates fluctuated in later times. See vol. i.
p. 284. (23) Livy, iji, 15.8; Dion. Hal. x. 14-16. See the note of Hooke, b. ii. c. 22, in which many of these inconsistencies are indicated. The accounts of the measures of the consuls, with respect to the opposition of the tribunes, differ in many material points. Hooke says that in describing the attack of the citadel, Dionysius is as particular and circumstantial as if he had been there, but by his detail makes that appear impracticable which he says was effected.' His account specifies days, and parts of days. The Capitol is recovered on the third day; c. 16. Zonaras, ii. 18, likewise mentions the seizure of the Capitol, and the refusal of the people to take arms until they had made terms with the patricians. He places the event, however, after the rescue of Minucius by Cincinnatus. See also Orosius, ii. 12.
again broken with the plebeians: the Terentillian rogation is postponed by Appius on the ground that a single consul cannot convene the comitia. The patricians procure the election of Cincinnatus in the place of Valerius;(-4) and he succeeds, partly by threats and a severe enforcement of military service, and partly by an impartial administration of justice, in appeasing the desire of the people for the enactment of the law.(25)
Two years afterwards, the celebrated dictatorship of Cincinnatus occurs. The city of Tusculum is taken by the Æquians; which the Romans consider to be an infraction of their recent treaty with that nation, inasmuch as Tusculum is an allied Latin town. (26) They accordingly send ambassadors to complain of the breach of the treaty: Gracchus Clælius, the Æquian general, receives them with contumely, telling them to deliver their message not to him, but to the oak under which he is sitting (7) In consequence of this answer, the consul Minucius marches out to attack the Æquians; but he is surrounded by them, near Mount Algidus, and is in imminent danger of defeat.(28) The other
(24) Niebuhr here applies his groundless theory respecting the election of the consuls already noticed (p. 141, n. 154), and supposes that Cincinnatus was elected by the Senate and curiæ. See vol. ii. p. 297, and notes 389, 425, and 676. He further speaks of his election being illegal, p. 298. There is not in the ancient writers the slightest foundation for these assertions; Dionysius minutely describes his election by the centuries; saying that the eighteen centuries of knights and the eighty centuries of the highest class all voted for him, which gave him an absolute majority of three; so that the other centuries were not called on to vote ; x. 17. See above, vol. i. p. 494, n. 71. The account of Livy is quite consistent with this; he
says that Cincinnatus is appointed consul, ‘summo patrum studio ;' i. 19, and at the end of the year he describes the resistance made by Cincinnatus to the desire of the Senate to promote his re-election; ib. 21.
(25) Dion. Hal. x. 17-19; Livy, iii. 19-21.
(26) This treaty is mentioned by Dion. Hal. x. 21. Compare ix. 59 ; Livy, iii. 24. Niebuhr, vol. ii. p. 269, disbelieves in the existence of this treaty, but it is as well attested as any other event at this period.
(27) Dionysius calls it a onyós, x. 22. Livy, a quercus, iii. 25. Dio Cassius, a dpūs, xxiii. 1. Livy names the three ambassadors, viz; Q. Fabius, P. Volumnius, A. Postumius. Dionysius states that the Feciales were sent. Concerning Mount Algidus, see Dr. Smith's Dict. of Anc. Geogr. in v. Dionysius calls Clelius ανήρ δραστήριος, αρχή κοσμηθείς αυτοκράτορα, ήν επί το βασιλικώτερον εξήγαγεν, Χ. 22. This is another instance of a dictatorial power in war in an Italian nation. Compare Val. Max. ii. 7, 7, v. 2, 2; Florus, i. 11; Eutrop. i. 17; Victor de Vir. Ill. 17.
(28) The position of Minucius is differently described by Dionysius
consul, Manlius, is summoned to Rome, and as the state of affairs is critical, he appoints Cincinnatus dictator. (29) The messengers of the Republic find him employed in rustic labour, with the spade, or at the plough, on his estate of four jugera, beyond the Tiber, in the place afterwards called Prata Quinctia.(30) He instantly enters upon his office; takes energetic measures for the relief of Minucius; and succeeds not only in saving the consul and his army, but in surrounding the Æquians, and passing them under the yoke. Clælius is sent to Rome to adorn his triumph; and at the end of sixteen(31) days the dictator abdicates his high functions, refuses all reward, and returns to his little farm.
and Livy. The former represents him as enclosed in a defile, something similar to the Caudine pass: according to the latter, he was deficient in courage, and was besieged by the Æquians in his camp.
(29) The appointment of Cincinnatus by the consul is specifically mentioned by Dion. Hal. x. 23. Livy uses general terms. The story of the dictatorship of Cincinnatus is afterwards recited in the speech of L. Valerius in Dion. Hal. xi. 20.
(30) Spes unica imperii populi Romani L. Quinctius trans Tiberim, contra eum ipsum locum, ubi nunc navalia sunt, quatuor jugerum colebat agrum, quæ prata Quinctia vocantur; Livy, iii. 26. The Prata Quinctia were opposite to the Navalia, north of the Campus Martius, between the present Castle of St. Angelo and the river. See Becker, vol. i. p. 660. A jugerum was equal to 28,800 square feet; and therefore the estate of Cincinnatus contained less than 24 acres. He is supposed to have been impoverished by the money paid when his son Kæso's recognizances were forfeited; Dion. Hal. x. 8; Livy, iii. 13. The story of his being found by the officers of state in his working attire, and his remarking that he will lose the produce of his farm, and that his family will have nothing to eat, is twice given by Dionysius, once upon his appointment as consul, and again upon his appointment as dictator; x. 17, 24. Cincinnatus is described by Dionysius as nearly complying with the Virgilian precept, *Nudus ara, sere nudus.'. The same account is given by Pliny: · Aranti quatuor sua jugera in Vaticano, quæ prata Quinctia appellantur, Cincinnato viator attulit dictaturam, et quidem ut traditur, nudo, plenoque pulveris etiamnum ore. Cui viator, Vela corpus, inquit, ut proferam Senatûs populique Romani mandata.' N. H. xviii. 4. Compare Florus, i. 11, and Victor de Vir. Ill. 17. Cicero mentions the anecdote of Cincinnatus being fetched from the plough, but refers it to the subsequent dictatorship of Cincinnatus in 439 B.C., when he was an old man ; De Sen. 16. The anec. dote is therefore told of the consulship of Cincinnatus in 460 B.C., of his first dictatorship in 458 B.C.; and of his second dictatorship in 439 B.C. Its connexion with the name Prata Quinctia is likewise a suspicious circumstance, like the connexion of the story of Tarquin's property with the Campus Martius and the Insula Tiberina, and of the story of Mucius Scævola with the Mucia Prata. Above, p. 7, 10, 19.
(31) Fourteen days are mentioned by Dion. Hal. xi. 20.
Niebuhr places this narrative on the same footing as the stories of the regal period; he dwells upon its internal improbabilities, and considers it as originating in a poem.(32) Dr. Arnold likewise relates it in the antique phraseology, imitated from that of the authorized version of the Bible, by which he indicates the legendary character of a narration.(33) It may indeed be true that the twelve palisades which the soldiers are said to have carried
may be too heavy a burden for one man, even for a short distance ;(34) that the time allowed for the march is too short; that the contrivance by which Cincinnatus is said to have encompassed the Æquian camp appears inadequate ; and altogether that the celerity and completeness of the dictator's success savour rather of fiction than of reality (35) It is likewise true that the accounts of Livy and Dionysius differ in material circumstances of the transaction. It is however impossible for
(32) .This legend will not stand the test of historical criticism, any more than those which refer to the time of the kings. But such a test must not be applied to it, any more than to them. The poet, whether he sang his story, or told it, had no need to reflect,' &c. ; vol. ii. p. 268. 'Out of this whole story, therefore, nothing remains as an undeniable historical fact, except at the utmost that Cincinnatus as dictator delivered the beleaguered army. This, I say,
is all at the utmost. What, however, if this exploit was achieved by Q. Fabius ? ib. p. 270. The whole story is a dream as much as anything that occurs in the Heldenbuch. ... I do not mean, however, to assert that the dictatorship of Cincinnatus is altogether unhistorical ;' Lect. vol. i. p. 182. In Hist. ib. p. 299, he seems to reject the whole account, for he says that the prosecution of Volscius' appears to have been the sole object of that dictatorship which Cincinnatus laid down in the 16th day of his office ;' See Livy, iii. 29. This was the dictatorship to which he was, according to the historians, appointed in order to rescue Minucius.
(33) Vol. i. p. 201-7. Compare 238.
(34) According to Livy, each soldier was to carry, besides his arms, cooked provisions for five days, and twelve stakes : cum cibariis in dies quinque coctis vallisque duodenis, iii. 27. The common practice in the time of Polybius was for each Roman soldier to carry three or four stakes, tied together, xviii. 1. Livy, Epit. 57, mentions that Scipio Africanus exercised a severe discipline in Spain ; 'militem quotidie in opere habuit, et triginta dierum frumentum ad septenos vallos ferre cogebat. Corn for thirty days and seven stakes, does not differ very widely from cooked provisions for five days and twelve stakes. It is to be observed that the march to Mount Algidus is represented as a single great exertion. See Becker, iii. 2, p. 323.
(35) Compare the Emperor Napoleon's strategical criticism on Virgil's account of the capture of Troy : Classical Museum, vol. i. p. 205. VOL. II.
us to form any well-grounded judgment upon this, as upon other narratives belonging to the same period of Roman history, in our present state of ignorance as to the sources from which they were originally derived, the time when they were first reduced to writing, and the testimonies by which those accounts were authenticated. To say that the story of Cincinnatus was derived from a poem, avails nothing towards determining its historical credibility: for the poem might have been composed by a contemporary, and have kept close to the real facts; whereas a prose narrative might have been framed in later times from oral traditions, floating in the mouths of the people, and derived more from fiction than from the memory of trustworthy witnesses. If we could trace the story up to a period lying within the limits of accurate tradition, we might accept its basis as historical : for there is nothing in its general outline which renders it unworthy of belief.(36) The Romans doubtless, like other nations, both ancient and modern, were desirous of magnifying their military successes, and mitigating their defeats.(37) But it is nevertheless certain that (notwithstanding the imputations of unfairness made upon it), (38) on the whole, the Roman history, as narrated by the Roman writers themselves, is characterized by the plain and direct manner in which the reverses of the Roman arms are related, and by the absence of all concealment, evasion, or apology on the subject. The humiliation inflicted by Corio
(36) It is a suspicious circumstance, pointed out by Niebuhr, Hist. vol. ii. n. 613, that Clælius, the Æquian general in command of a Volscian army, besieged in Ardea, is again surrendered to the Romans, and all his army passed under the yoke, 443 B.c. (Livy, iv. 9-10). He thinks that if Clælius was led at the triumph of Cincinnatus, he would have been afterwards beheaded.
(37) See the account of the national partiality of Fabius Pictor, in his history of the Punic wars, given by Polybius, i. 14.
(38) See Beaufort's Dissertation in many places, and above, vol. i. p. 8; Niebuhr, Hist. vol. ii. note 567. Dr. Arnold says : vol. i. p. 207, * In such a warfare as that of the Romans with the Æquians and Volscians, there are always sufficient alternations of success to furnish the annalists on either side with matter of triumph ; and by exaggerating every victory, and omitting or slightly noticing every defeat, they form a picture which national vanity most delights in. But we neither can, nor need we desire to correct and supply the omissions of the details of the Roman historians.'