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§ 43 The events of the next year (the consulship of Romilius and Veturius, 455 B.C.) are described in great detail by Dionysius, and occupy fifteen chapters of his history; Livy despatches them in a smaller number of lines; and his brief notice is moreover quite inconsistent with the copious narrative of the other historian. The year opens with the usual contest about the enrolment of soldiers; which the consuls promote in order to distract the attention of the plebeians from political contests, and which the tribunes resist, in order that they may enforce the popular demands. (36) Struggles, accompanied with outrage, respecting the levy of soldiers, take place between the two parties; the sacredness of the tribunitian office is violated; various projects are entertained by the plebeian leaders. The tribunes first attempt an impeachment of the consuls, but this measure is prevented by the Senate: some then recommend another secession to the Mons Sacer; or a prosecution of the accomplices and servants of the consuls; but at last the tribunes decide to abstain from all extreme courses, and to put to the vote the agrarian and Terentillian laws, the former of which had been delayed for thirty years. (55) When the day for the vote on the agrarian law arrives, many plebeians speak and complain that although they serve in war, and assist in conquering land from the enemy, they receive no reward for their toils and angers, but see the common property of the state forcibly


(54) εγκύκλιος γαρ δή τούτο και εν έθει ήν ήδη τη πόλει, πολεμουμένη μεν ομονοείν, ειρήνην δ' άγoύση στασιάζειν, Dion. Hal. x. 33. οι τότε ύπατοι στρατιάν εξάγειν επί τους πολεμίους έκριναν, δεδoικότες μή τι διά την ειρήνην άρξωνται ταράττειν αργοί και πένητες άνθρωποι, ib.

(55) προθήσειν γάρ αύθις τόν τε περί της κληρουχίας νόμον έτη τριάκοντα παρειλκυσμένον, και τον περί της ισονομίας δν οι προ αυτών δήμαρχοι προθέντες OÚK & melipugav, Dion. Hal. x. 35. These, and the initial words of c. 36, clearly imply that the tribunes were enabled to put any law to the vote in the popular assembly, without the consent of the senate or consuls : in which respect Dionysius differs from Livy: see above, p. 182. The interval of time during which the agrarian lar had been hung up, was exactly 31 years, viz., from 486 to 455 B.C. Dionysius here departs from his own account, that the first agrarian law was made a decree of the Senate, and that nothing was needed but the appointment of commissioners to carry it into execution ; and adopts the view of Livy, that an agrarian law proposed by the tribunes was obstructed. In. c. 36, Dionysius calls the agrarian law ο χωρονομικός νόμος, in c. 39 ο γεωμορικός νόμος.


taken and profitably occupied by rich and powerful men. Among these, none produced so strong an impression upon the assembly as L. Siccius Dentatus. After recounting his military services/he was fifty-eight years old, had served forty years, had been in a hundred and twenty battles, and had received forty-five wounds, all in front—and enumerating the marks of distinction which had been accorded to him, he proceeded to complain that no portion of the land which had been taken in war from the Etruscans, the Sabines, the Æquians, the Volscians, the Pometines, and other nations, had been allotted either to himself or to those who had fought in the same ranks with him ; but that the most violent and unscrupulous of the citizens occupied the finest portion of this territory, and had enjoyed it for many years, though they had not acquired it by free grant, or purchase, or any other legitimate means. He concluded his speech by recommending the tribunes to assert the sacredness of their office, by prosecuting the agents and servants of the consuls, if the consuls were above the law.(56) The tribunes adjourn the question to a subsequent day, when all debate is impeded by the clamour of the patrician partisans ; and when the tribunes

(56) Dion. Hal. x. 33-39. Siccius here states that he had for thirty pears, since the consulship of Aquillius and Siccius (487 B.c.), when he was t'enty-seven years old, been in posts of military command. This would sppose him to have been born in 513 B.c. under the kings. The enumeratin of the battles, the wounds, and the military rewards of Siccius, given by Dionysius, recurs, without material variations, in Val. Max. iii. 2, § 24; Pin. N. H. vii. 29; Gell. N. A. ü. 11, and Festus in Obsidionalis, p. 190. All these writers agree in the number 120 for his battles ; and Valerius Maimus, Pliny, and Gellius, agree in the number 45 for his wounds. The also make the total number of his crowns about 26, and his collars 83. Dio ysius gives him only 60 golden armlets; but Pliny, Gellius, and Valéius Maximus raise the number to 160; Varro places it at 140. Valejus Maximus says: “Sed quod ad præliatorum excellentem fortitudinen attinet, merito L. Siccî Dentati commemoratio omnia Romana finieri

, cujus opera honoresque operum ultra fidem veri excedere judicari possen, nisi ea certi auctores, inter quos M. Varro, monumentis suis testata esse voluissent.' Varro, however, born in 116 B.C., was too long posterię to Siccius Dentatus to be a historical witness for his exploits. Gellius gives a similar account: 'L. Sicinium Dentatum, scriptum est in liris annalibus plus quam credi debeat, strenuum bellatorem fuisse, nomenqe ei factum ob ingentem fortitudinem, appellatumque esse AchillemRomanum.' This appellation is also mentioned by Festus. His military Irtitude is likewise referred to by Ammian. xxv. 3, xxvii. 10.

attempt to put the question to the vote, a riot ensues, the patrician party overturn the voting boxes, and prevent the people from voting. The Postumii, the Sempronii, and the Clelii, three distinguished patrician houses, are named as being most prominent in this disturbance; the description of which resembles that of a riotous election in England, when the friends of one candidate break into the polling booth, drive away the poll-clerks, destroy the polling booths, and put a stop to the voting: (57) The tribunes, in order to vindicate their authority, decide to apply to the consuls the maxim now recognised with respect to a constitutional king, and to prosecute, not them, but their agents and instruments.(66) They therefore give notice of

58 trial to the members of the three patrician houses above mentioned, and assign as the penalty, not death or banishment, but merely confiscation of goods. The consuls and the patricians in their confidence (who are described as forming a sort of cabinet council), (59) upon seeing the tribunes adopt this moderate course, think it prudent to yield. They therefore make no resistance to the trial; the accused parties do not appear, and judgment passes on them by default. Their property is confiscated, and sold by the state; but it is re-purchased by the patricians from the purchasers, and restored to the original owners : 9 that the proceeding of the tribunes, in vindication of thar rights, is thus effectually frustrated. (60)

Shortly afterwards, it is announced that the Æquians :re threatening the city of Tusculum. The Senate wishes to sad succours to this friendly city, but the tribunes hinder the leves; and it is proclaimed that an army will be formed of patriaans

(57) Dion. Hal. x. 40-1. The Clælii were said to be an Alban jens : above, vol. i. p. 459, n. 164, and their origin was traced to a companon of Æneas; Festus in Clælia, p. 55. Their name does not often occurin the Fasti, like those of the Postumii and Sempronii.

(58) κοινόν μεν τούτο και παρά πάντων ομολογούμενον ειληφότες, τομή τους υπάτους άγειν υπό την δίκην, αλλά τους υπηρετούντας αυτοίς ιδιώτας, « 52.

(59) In c. 40, the consuls are stated to have convened idIwTiKÒV 'vvédplov πατρικίων των ανδρειοτάτων τε και μάλιστα εν τη πόλει τότ' ανθούνων. In c. 4l, the patricians παραληφθέντες εις το συνέδριον, έτυχον δ' οίκράτιστοι napar\nOévtes, are mentioned.

(60) Ib. c. 42.


and their clients, with any others who may serve voluntarily. Siccius Dentatus volunteers on this service, and he forms a band of 800 men, who are the flower of the army. As the armies are about to engage, Romilius, the consul, orders Siccius and his troop to attack the enemy's camp, intending that they should perish in the attempt. Siccius remonstrates, but he yields to the consul's taunts, and the troop set out, according to Dionysius, conscious of their fate, weeping and dejected, and having previously taken leave of their comrades, believing themselves to be on their way to certain death. Siccius, however, instead of taking the road indicated to him by the consul, chose another path, leading through a wood, and by the assistance of a countryman whom they met, and whom they forced to be their guide, they reached the camp unobserved, and captured it, without the loss of a single man. The Æquian army, having the Romans both before and behind them, were now easily defeated; but in the night Siccius kills all the Æquian prisoners, and horses, and other beasts of burden, in the camp, and burns the tents which were full of arms and warlike stores, as well as of the plunder from the Tusculan territory; after which he marches to Rome with his men, carrying nothing but arms. Siccius then lays the consul's conduct before the tribunes; they convene the popular assembly; and Siccius moves the audience to tears by the disclosure of the 'murderous stratagem by which the consul had attempted to sacrifice himself and his brave companions in arms. pathy with Siccius was not confined to the people; but the Senate also participated in the indignation created by the act of the consuls, and refused them a triumph on their return to Rome.(61) After the consular elections, Siccius, who had been elected tribune, impeached Romilius the former consul, and one of the ædiles(62) impeached his colleague Veturius. The following is the

The sym

(61) Dion. Hal. x. 42-47. In c. 43, as Hooke has remarked, the sense requires 'Αλγίδου for 'Αντίου. Dionysius elsewhere speaks of "Αλγιδος as a town; x. 21, xi. 3. See Mr. Bunbury's art. Algidus, in Smith's Dict. of Ancient Geography. (62) In our text of Dionysius, he is only called Acúklos.

The same person whom Livy calls Lucius Alienus is probably meant.

account which Dionysius gives of this transaction. The trial of Romilius first came on. Siccius appeared and accused him of acts of violence towards the tribunes when he was consul, and lastly of the design against himself and the volunteer body in the recent campaign. He produced the most illustrious persons as witnesses in support of his allegations, not plebeians, but patricians; among whom was a youth of some distinction, both in family and personal merit, and of great bravery in war, by name Sp. Virginius. This witness deposed that he had been desirous that M. Icilius, the son of a man in the troop of Siccius, and his own contemporary and friend, should be released from this expedition, in which he, together with his father, was abont to be consigned to certain death. Sp. Virginius further stated that he had prevailed on his uncle, Aulus Virginius, who was a lieutenant in the army, to apply in person to the consuls for this favour: that the consuls refused compliance with the request ; and that he had shed tears at the unhappy fate of his companion : but that Icilius, having heard what had been done, came to him, and said, that he felt great gratitude to those who had interceded for him, but that he could not have accepted a favour which would have prevented him from performing his filial duty; that he could not be parted from his father, when it was known that they were sent to be killed, but that he would remain with him, in order to defend his life to the best of his power, and to share his fate. Even this recital,' Dionysius adds, 'affected the hearers with pity; but when Icilius the father, and his son, were called as witnesses, and gave their own evidence, most of the plebeians were moved to tears.' Romilius defended himself in a haughty tone, and relied on the irresponsible nature of his office; but all the tribes found him guilty. The penalty had been fixed by Siccius at only 10,000 asses; a measure which Dionysius attributes to his desire of diminishing the opposition of the patricians. A few days later, Veturius was tried, and condemned to a fine of 15,000 asses. (64)

(64) Dion. Hal. x. 48-9. The former of these sums is equal to about £35; the latter to about £53.

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