Roman antiquities 6.1
Aulus Sempronius Atratinus and Marcus Minucius, who assumed the consulship the following year, in the seventy-first Olympiad (the one in which Tisicrates of Croton won the foot-race), Hipparchus being archon at Athens, performed no action either of a military or administrative nature worthy of the notice of history during their term of office, since the truce with the Latins gave them ample respite from foreign wars, and the injunction decreed by the senate against the exaction of debts till the war that was expected should be safely terminated, quieted the disturbances raised in the city by the poor, who desired to be discharged of their debts by a public act; but they caused the senate to pass a most reasonable decree which provided that any women of Roman birth who were married to Romans should have full power to decide for themselves whether they preferred to stay with their husbands or to return to their own cities, and also provided that the male children should remain with their fathers and the female and unmarried should follow their mothers. For it happened that a great many women, by reason of the kinship and friendship existing between the two nations, had been given in marriage each into the other's state. The women, having this liberty granted to them by the decree of the senate, showed how great was their desire to live at Rome; for almost all the Roman women who lived in the Latin cities left their husbands and returned to their fathers, and all the Latin women who were married to Romans, except two, scorned their native countries and stayed with their husbands â" a happy omen foretelling which of the two nations was to be victorious in the war. Under these consuls, they say, the temple was dedicated to Saturn upon the ascent leading from the Forum to the Capitol, and annual festivals and sacrifices were appointed to be celebrated in honour of the god at the public expense. Before this, they say, an altar built by Hercules was established there, upon which the persons who had received the holy rites from him offered the first-fruits as burnt-offerings according to the customs of the Greeks. Some historians state that the credit for beginning this temple was given to Titus Larcius, the consul of the previous year, others, that it was even given to King Tarquinius , the one who was driven from the throne , and that the dedication fell to Postumus Cominius pursuant to a decree of the senate. These consuls, then, had the opportunity, as I said, of enjoying a profound peace.
Roman antiquities 6.2
They were succeeded in the consulship by Aulus Postumius and Titus Verginius, under whom the year's truce with the Latins expired; and great preparations for the war were made by both nations. On the Roman side the whole population entered upon the struggle voluntarily and with great enthusiasm; but the greater part of the Latins were lacking in enthusiasm and acted under compulsion, the powerful men in the cities having been almost all corrupted with bribes and promises by Tarquinius and Mamilius, while those among the common people who were not in favour of the war were excluded from a share in the public counsels; for permission to speak was no longer granted to all who desired it. Indeed, many, resenting this treatment, were constrained to leave their cities and desert to the Romans; for the men who had got the cities in their power did not choose to stop them, but thought themselves much obliged to their adversaries for submitting to a voluntary banishment. These the Romans received, and such of them as came with their wives and children they employed in military services inside the walls, incorporating them in the centuries of citizens, and the rest they sent out to the fortresses near the city or distributed among their colonies, keeping them under guard, so that they should create no disturbance. And since all men had come to the same conclusion, that the situation once more called for a single magistrate free to deal with all matters according to his own judgment and subject to no accounting for his actions, Aulus Postumius, the younger of the consuls, was appointed dictator by his colleague Verginius, and following the example of the former dictator, chose his own Master of the Horse, naming Titus Aebutius Elva. And having in a short time enlisted all the Romans who were of military age, he divided his army into four parts, one of which he himself commanded, while he gave another to his colleague Verginius, the third to Aebutius, the Master of the Horse, and left the command of the fourth to Aulus Sempronius, whom he appointed to guard the city.
Roman antiquities 6.3
After the dictator had prepared everything that was necessary for the war, his scouts brought him word that the Latins had taken the field with all their forces; and others in turn informed him that they had captured by storm a strong place called Corbio, in which there was stationed a small garrison of the Romans. The garrison they wiped out completely, and the place itself, now that they had gained possession of it, they were making a base for the war. They were not capturing any slaves or cattle in the country districts, except those taken at Corbio, since the husbandmen had long before removed into the nearest fortresses everything that they could drive or carry away; but they were setting fire to the houses that had been abandoned and laying waste the country. After the Latins had already taken the field, an army of responsible size came to them from Antium, the most important city of the Volscian nation, with arms, grain, and everything else that was necessary for carrying on the war. Greatly heartened by this, they were in excellent hopes that the other Volscians would join them in the war, now that the city of Antium had set the example. Postumius, being informed of all this, set out hastily to the rescue before all the enemy's forces could assemble; and having led his army out by a forced march in the night, he arrived near the Latins, who lay encamped in a strong position near the lake called Regillus, and pitched his camp above them on a hill that was high and difficult of access, where, if he remained, he was sure to have many advantages over them.
Roman antiquities 6.4
The generals of the Latins, Octavius of Tusculum, the son in law or, as some state, the son of the son-inâ'law of King Tarquinius, and Sextus Tarquinius , for they happened at that time to be encamped separately , joined their forces, and assembling the tribunes and centurions, they considered with them in what manner they should carry on the war; and many opinions were expressed. Some thought they ought to charge the troops under the dictator which had occupied the hill, while they could still inspire them with fear; for they regarded their occupation of the strong positions as a sign, not of assurance, but of cowardice. Others thought they ought to surround the camp of the Romans with a ditch, and keeping them hemmed in by means of a small guard, march with the rest of the army to Rome, which they believed might easily be captured now that the best of its youth had taken the field. Still others advised them to await the reinforcements from both the Volscians and their other allies, choosing safe measures in preference to bold; for the Romans, they say, would reap no benefit from the delay, whereas their own situation would be improved by it. While they were still debating, the other consul, Titus Verginius, suddenly arrived from Rome with his army, after making the march during the very next night, and encamped apart from the dictator upon another ridge that was exceeding craggy and strongly situated. Thus the Latins were cut off on both sides from the roads leading into the enemy's country, the consul encamping on the left-hand side and the dictator on the right. This still further increased the confusion of their commanders, who had chosen safety in preference to every other consideration, and also their fear that by delaying they should be forced to use up their supplies of food, which were not plentiful. When Postumius observed the inexperience of these commanders, he sent the Master of the Horse, Titus Aebutius, with the flower both of the horse and light-armed troops with orders to occupy a hill which lay close beside the road by which provisions were brought to the Latins from home; and before the enemy was aware of it, the forces sent with the Master of the Horse passed by their camp in the night, and marching through a pathless wood, gained possession of the hill.
Roman antiquities 6.5
The generals of the enemy, finding that the strong places which lay in their rear were also being occupied, and no longer feeling any confident hopes that even their provisions from home would get through to them safely, resolved to drive the Romans from the hill before they could fortify it with a palisade and ditch. And Sextus, one of the two generals, taking the horse with him, rode up to them full speed in the expectation that the Roman horse would not await his attack. But when these bravely withstood their charge, he maintained the fight for some time, alternately retiring and renewing the attack; and then, since the nature of the ground offered great advantages to those who were already in possession of the heights, while bringing to those who attacked from below nothing but many blows and ineffectual hardships, and since, moreover, a fresh force of chosen legionaries, sent by Postumius to follow close upon the heels of the first detachment, came to the assistance of the Romans, he found himself unable to accomplish anything further and led the horse back to the camp; and the Romans, now secure in the possession of the place, openly strengthened the garrison there. After this action Mamilius and Sextus determined not to let much time intervene, but to decide the issue by an early battle. The Roman dictator, who at first had not been of this mind, but had hoped to end the war without a battle, founding his hopes of doing so chiefly on the inexperience of the opposing generals, now resolved to engage. For some couriers had been captured by the horse that patrolled the roads, bearing letters from the Volscians to the Latin generals to inform them that numerous forces would come to their assistance in about two days, and still other forces from the Hernicans. These were the considerations that reduced their commanders to an immediate necessity of fighting, though until then they had not been of this mind. After the signals for battle had been raised on both sides, the two armies advanced into the space between their camps and drew up in the following manner: Sextus Tarquinius was posted on the left wing of the Latins and Octavius Mamilius on the right; Titus, the other son of Tarquinius, held the centre, where also the Roman deserters and exiles were posted. And, all their horse being divided into three bodies, two of these were placed on the wings and one in the centre of the battle-line. The left of the Roman army was commanded by Titus Aebutius, the Master of the Horse, who stood opposite to Octavius Mamilius; the right by Titus Verginius, the consul, facing Sextus Tarquinius; the centre of the line was commanded by the dictator Postumius in person, who proposed to encounter Titus Tarquinius and the exiles with him. The number of the forces of each army which drew up for battle was: on the side of the Romans 23,700 foot and 1000 horse, and on that of the Latins and their allies about 40,000 foot and 3000 horse.
Roman antiquities 6.6
When they were on the point of engaging, the Latin generals called their men together and said many things calculated to incite them to valour, and addressed long appeals to the soldiers. And the Roman dictator, seeing his troops alarmed because they were going to encounter an army greatly superior in number to their own, and desiring to dispel that fear from their minds, called them to an assembly, and place gate near him the oldest and most honoured members of the senate, addressed them as follows: "The gods by omens, sacrifices, and other auguries promise to grant to our commonwealth liberty and a happy victory, both by way of rewarding us for the piety we have shown toward them and the justice we have practised during the whole course of our lives, and also from resentment, we may reasonably suppose, against our enemies. For these, after having received many great benefits from us, being both our kinsmen and friends, and after having sworn to look upon all our enemies and friends as their own, have scorned all these obligations and are bringing an unjust war upon us, not for the sake of supremacy and dominion, to determine which of us ought more rightly to possess it, that, indeed, would not be so terrible, but in support of the tyranny of the Tarquinii, in order to make our commonwealth enslaved once more instead of free. But it is necessary that you too, both officers and men, knowing that you have for allies the gods, who have always preserved our city, should acquit yourselves as brave men in this battle, remembering that the assistance of the gods is given to those who fight nobly and eagerly contribute everything in their power toward victory, not to those who fly from dangers, but to those who are willing to undergo hardships in their own behalf. We have many other advantages conducive to victory prepared for us by Fortune, but three in particular, which are the greatest and the most obvious of all.
Roman antiquities 6.7
"First, there is the confidence you have in one another, which is the thing most needed by men who are going to conquer their foes; for you do not need to begin toâ'day to be firm friends and faithful allies to one another, but your country has long since prepared this boon for you all. For you have been brought up together and have received the same education; you were wont to sacrifice to the gods upon the same altars; and you have both enjoyed many advantages and experienced many evils in common, by the sharing of which strong and indissoluble friendships are wont to be formed among all men. Secondly, the struggle, in which your highest interests are at stake, is common to you all alike. For if you fall into the enemy's power it will not mean that some of you will meet with no severity while others suffer the worst of fates, but all of you alike will have lost your proud position, your sovereignty and your liberty, and will no longer have the enjoyment of your wives, your children, your property, or any other blessing you now have; and those who are at the head of the commonwealth and direct the public affairs will die the most miserable death accompanied by indignities and tortures. For if your enemies,though they have received no injury, great or small, at your hands, have heaped many outrages of every sort upon all of you, what must you expect them to do if they now conquer you by arms, resentful as they are because you drove them from the city, deprived them of their property, and do not permit them even to set foot upon the land of their fathers? And finally, of the advantages I have mentioned you cannot, if you consider the matter aright, call this one inferior to any other that the forces of the enemy have not proved to be so formidable as we conceived them to be, but are far short of the opinion we entertained of them. For, with the exception of the support furnished by the Antiates, you see no other allies present to take part with them in the war; whereas we were expecting that all the Volscians and many of the Sabines and Hernicans would come to them as allies, and were conjuring up in our minds a thousand other vain fears. But all these things, it appears, were only dreams of the Latins, holding out empty promises and futile hopes. For some of their allies have failed to send the promised aid, out of contempt for the inexperience of their generals; others, instead of assisting them, will keep delaying, wearing away the time by merely fostering their hopes; and those who are now engaged in making their preparations will arrive too late for the battle and will be of no further use to them.
Roman antiquities 6.8
"But if any of you, though convinced of the reasonableness of what I have said, nevertheless fear the numbers of the enemy, let them learn by a few words of instruction, or rather from their own memory, that what they dread is not formidable. Let them consider, in the first place, that the greater part of our enemies have been forced to take up arms against us, as they have often shown us by both actions and words, and that the number of those who willingly and eagerly fight for the tyrants is very small, in fact only an insignificant fraction of ours; and secondly, that all wars are won, not by the forces which are larger in numbers, but by those which are superior in valour. It would tedious to cite as examples all the armies of the Greeks as well as barbarians which, though superior in numbers, were overcome by forces so very small that the reports about the numbers engaged are not even credible to most people. But, to omit other instances, how many wars have you yourselves won, with a smaller force than you now have, when arrayed against enemies more numerous than all these the enemy have now got together? Well, then, can it be that, though you indeed continue to be formidable to those whom you have repeatedly overcome in battle, you are nevertheless contemptible in the eyes of these Latins and their allies, the Volscians, because they have never experienced your prowess in battle? But you all knew that our fathers conquered both of these nations in many battles. Is it reasonable, then, to suppose that the condition of the conquered has been improved after so many disasters and that of the conquerors impaired after so many successes? What man in his senses would say so? I should indeed be surprised if any of you feared the numbers of the enemy, in which there are few brave men, or scorned your own army, which is so numerous and so brave that none exceeding it either in courage or in numbers was ever assembled in any of our former wars.
Roman antiquities 6.9
"There is also this very great encouragement to you, citizens, neither to dread nor to shirk what is formidable, that the principal members of the senate are all present as you see, ready to share the fortunes of the war in common with you, though they are permitted by both their age and the law to be exempt from military service. Would it not, then, be shameful if you who are in the vigour of life should flee from what is formidable, while these who are past the military age, pursue it, and if the zeal of the old men, since it lacks the strength to slay any of the enemy, should at least be willing to die for the fatherland, while the vigour of you young men, who have it in your power, if successful, to save both yourselves and them to be victorious, or, in case of failure, to suffer nobly while acting nobly, should neither make trial of Fortune nor leave behind you the renown that valour wins. Is it not an incentive to you, Romans, that just as you have before your eyes the record of the many wonderful deeds performed by your fathers,whom no words can adequately praise, so your posterity while reap the fruits of many illustrious feats of your own, if you achieve success in this war also? To the end, therefore, that neither the bravery of those among you who have chosen the best course may go unrewarded, nor the fears of such as dread what is formidable more than is fitting go unpunished, learn from me, before we enter this engagement, what it will be the fate of each of them to receive. To anyone who performs any great or brave deed in this battle, as proved by the testimony of those acquainted with his actions, I will not only give at once all the usual honours which it is in the power of every man to win in accordance with our ancestral customs, but will also add a portion of the land owned by the state, sufficient to secure him from any lack of the necessities of life. But if a cowardly and infatuate mind shall suggest to anyone an inclination to shameful flight, to him I will bring home the very death he endeavoured to avoid; for such a citizen were better dead, both for his own sake and for that of others. And it will be the fate of those put to death in such a manner to be honoured neither with burial nor with any of the other customary rites, but unenvied and unlamented, to be torn to pieces by birds and beasts of prey. Knowing these things beforehand, then, do you all cheerfully enter the engagement, taking fair hopes as your guides to fair deeds, assured that by the hazard of this one battle, if it be attended by the best outcome and the one we all wish for, you will obtain the greatest of all advantages: you will free yourselves from the fear of tyrants, will repay to your country that gave you birth the gratitude she justly requires of you for your rearing, will save your children who are still infants and your wedded wives from suffering irreparable outrages at the hands of the enemy, and will render the short time your aged fathers have yet to live most agreeable to them. Oh, happy those among you to whom it shall be given to celebrate the triumph for this war, while your children, your wives and your parents welcome you back! But glorious and envied for their bravery will those be who shall sacrifice their lives for their country. Death, indeed, is decreed to all men, both the cowardly and the brave; but an honourable and a glorious death comes to the brave alone."
Roman antiquities 6.10
While he was still speaking these words to spur them to valour, a kind of confidence inspired by Heaven seized the army and they all, as if with a single soul, cried out together, "Be of good courage and lead us on." Postumius commended their alacrity and made a vow to the gods that if the battle were attended with a happy and glorious outcome, he would offer great and expensive sacrifices and institute costly games to be celebrated annually by the Roman people; after which he dismissed his men to their ranks. And when they had received the watchword from their commanders and the trumpets had sounded the charge, they gave a shout and fell to, first, the light-armed men and the horse on each side, then the solid ranks of foot, who were armed and drawn up alike; and all mingling, a severe battle ensued in which every man fought hand to hand. However, both sides were extremely deceived in the opinion they had entertained of each other, for neither of them thought a battle would be necessary, but expected to put the enemy to flight at the first onset. The Latins, trusting in the superiority of their horse, concluded that the Roman horse would not be able even to sustain their onset; and the Romans were confident that by rushing into the midst of danger in a daring and reckless manner they should terrify their enemies. Having formed these opinions of one another in the beginning, they now saw everything turning out just the opposite. Each side, therefore, no longer founding their hopes of safety and of victory on the fear of the enemy, but on their own courage, showed themselves brave soldiers even beyond their strength. And various and sudden shifting fortunes marked their struggle.
Roman antiquities 6.11
First, the Romans posted in the centre of the line, where the dictator stood with a chosen body of horse about him, he himself fighting among the foremost, forced back that part of the enemy that stood opposite to them, after Titus, one of the sons of Tarquinius, had been wounded in the right shoulder with a javelin and was no longer able to use his arm. Licinius and Gellius,indeed, without inquiring into the probabilities or possibilities of the matter, introduce King Tarquinius himself, a man approaching ninety years of age, fighting on horseback and wounded. When Titus had fallen, those about him, after fighting a little while and taking him up while he was yet alive, showed no bravery after that, but retired by degrees as the Romans advanced. Afterwards they again stood their ground and advanced against the enemy when Sextus, the other son of Tarquinius, came to their relief with the Roman exiles and the flower of the horse. These, therefore, recovering themselves, fought again. In the meantime Titus Aebutius and Mamilius Octavius, the commanders of the foot on either side, fought the most brilliantly of all, driving their opponents before them wherever they charged and rallying those of their own men who had become disordered; and, then, challenging each other, they came to blows and in the encounter gave one another grievous wounds, though not mortal, the Master of the Horse driving his spear through the corslet of Mamilius into his breast, and Mamilius running the other through the middle of his right arm; and both fell from their horses.
Roman antiquities 6.12
Both of these leaders having been carried off the field, Marcus Valerius, who had again been appointed legate, took over the command of the Master of the Horse and with his followers attacked those of the enemy who confronted him; and after a brief resistance on their part he speedily drove them far out of the line. But to this body of the enemy also came reinforcements from the Roman exiles, both horse and light-armed men; and Mamilius, having by this time recovered from his wound, appeared on the field again at the head of a strong body both of horse and foot. In this action not only Marcus Valerius, the legate, fell, wounded with a spear (he was the man who had first triumphed over the Sabines and raised the spirit of the commonwealth when dejected by the defeat it had received at the hands of the Tyrrhenians), but also many other brave Romans at his side. A sharp conflict took place over his body, as Publius and Marcus, the sons of publicola, protected their uncle with their shields; but they delivered him to their shield-bearers undespoiled and still breathing a little, and sent him back to the camp. For their own part, such was their courage and ardour, they thrust themselves into the midst of the enemy, and receiving many wounds, as the Roman exiles pressed closely round them, they perished together. After this misfortune the line of the Romans was forced to give way on the left for a long distance and was being broken even to the centre. When the dictator learned of the rout of his men, he hastened to their assistance with the horse he had about him. And ordering the other legate, Titus Herminius, to take a top of horse, and passing behind their own lines, to force the men who fled to face about, and if they refused obedience to kill them, he himself with the best of his men pushed on towards the thick of the conflict; and when he came near the enemy, he spurred on ahead of the rest with a loose rein. And as they all charged in a body in this terrifying manner, the enemy, unable to sustain their frenzied and savage onset, fled and many of them fell. In the meantime the legate Herminius also, having rallied from their route those of his men who had been put to flight, brought them up and attacked the troops arrayed under Mamilius; and encountering this general, who both for stature and strength was the best man of his time, he not only killed him, but was slain himself while he was despoiling the body, someone having pierced his flank with a sword. Sextus Tarquinius, who commanded the left wing of the Latins, still held out against all the dangers that beset him, and was forcing the right wing of the Romans to give way. But when he saw Postumius suddenly appear with the flower of the horse, he gave over all hope and rushed into the midst of the enemy's ranks, where, being surrounded by the Romans, both horse and foot, and assaulted on all sides with missiles, like a wild beast, he perished, but not before he had killed many of those who came to close quarters with him. Their leaders having fallen, the Latins at once fled en masse, and their camp, abandoned by the men who had been left to guard it, was captured; from this camp the Romans took much valuable booty. Not only was this a very great defeat for the Latins, from the disastrous effects of which they suffered a very long time, but their losses were greater than ever before. For out of 40,000 foot and 3000 horse, as I have said, less than 10,000 survivors returned to their homes in safety.
Roman antiquities 6.13
It is said that in this battle two men on horseback, far excelling in both beauty and stature those our human stock produces, and just growing their first beard, appeared to Postumius, the dictator, and to those arrayed about him, and charged at the head of the Roman horse, striking with their spears all the Latins they encountered and driving them headlong before them. And after the flight of the Latins and the capture of their camp, the battle having come to an end in the late afternoon, two youths are said to have appeared in the same manner in the Roman Forum attired in military garb, very tall and beautiful and of the same age, themselves retaining on their countenances as having come from a battle, the look of combatants, and the horses they led being all in a sweat. And when they had each of them watered their horses and washed them at the fountain which rises near the temple of Vesta and forms a small but deep pool, and many people stood about them and inquired if they brought any news from the camp, they related how the battle had gone and that the Romans were the victors. And it is said that after they left the Forum they were not seen again by anyone, though great search was made for them by the man who had been left in command of the city. The next day, when those at the head of affairs received the letters from the dictator, and besides the other particulars of the battle, learned also of the appearance of the divinities, they concluded, as we may reasonably infer, that it was the same gods who had appeared in both places, and were convinced that the apparitions had been those of Castor and Pollux. Of this extraordinary and wonderful appearance of these gods there are many monuments at Rome, not only the temple of Castor and Pollux which the city erected in the Forum
at the place where their apparitions had been seen, and the adjacent fountain, which bears the names of these gods and is to this day regarded as holy, but also the costly sacrifices which the people perform each year through their chief priests in the month called Quintilis, on the day known as the Ides, the day on which they gained this victory. But above all these things there is the procession performed after the sacrifice by those who have a public horse and who, being arrayed by tribes and centuries, ride in regular ranks on horseback, as if they came from battle, crowned with olive branches and attired in the purple robes with stripes of scarlet which they call trabeae. They begin their procession from a certain temple of Mars built outside the walls, and going through several parts of the city and the Forum, they pass by the temple of Castor and Pollux, sometimes to the number even of five thousand, wearing whatever rewards for valour in battle they have received from their commanders, a fine sight and worthy of the greatness of the Roman dominion. These are the things I have found both related and performed by the Romans in commemoration of the appearance of Castor and Pollux; and from these, as well as from many other important instances, one may judge how dear to the gods were the men of those times.
Roman antiquities 6.14
Postumius encamped that night on the field and the next day he crowned those who had distinguished themselves in the battle; and having appointed guards to take care of the prisoners, he proceeded to offer to the gods the sacrifices in honour of the victory. While he still wore the garland on his head and was laying the first burnt offerings on the altars, some scouts, running down from the heights, brought him word that a hostile army was marching against them. It consisted of chosen youth of the Volscian nation who had been sent out, before the battle was ended, to assist the Latins. Upon hearing of this he ordered all his men and to stay in the camp, each under his own standards, maintaining silence and keeping their ranks till he himself should give the word what to do. On the other side, the generals of the Volscians, encamping out of sight of the Romans, when they saw the field covered with dead bodies and both camps intact, and no one, either enemy or friend, stirring out of the entrenchments, were for some time amazed and at a loss to guess what turn of fortune had produced this state of affairs. But when they had learned all about the battle from those who were making their escape from the rout, they consulted with the other leaders what was to be done. The boldest of them thought it best to attempt to take the camp of the Romans by assault, while many of the foe were still disabled from their wounds and all were exhausted by toil, and the arms of most of them were useless, some having their edges blunted and others being broken, and no fresh forces from home were yet at hand to relieve them, whereas their own army was large and valiant, splendidly armed and experienced in war, and by coming suddenly upon men who were not expecting it was sure to appear formidable even to the boldest.
Roman antiquities 6.15
But to the most prudent among them it did not seem a safe risk to attack without allies men who were valiant warriors and had just destroyed so great an army of the Latins, as they would be putting everything to the hazard in a foreign country where, if any misfortune happened, they would have no place of refuge. These advised, therefore, to provide rather for a safe retreat to their own country as soon as possible and to look upon it as a great gain if they sustained no loss from this expedition. But still others disapproved of both these courses, declaring that readiness to rush into battle was mere youthful bravado, while unreasoning flight back to their own country was shameful; for, whichever of these courses they took, the enemy would regard it as being just what they desired. The opinion of these, therefore, was that at present they ought to fortify their camp and get everything in readiness for a battle, and that, dispatching messengers to the rest of the Volscians, they should ask them to do one of the two things, either to send another army that would be a match for that of the Romans or to recall the army they had already sent out. But the opinion that prevailed with the majority and received the sanction of those in authority was to send spies to the Roman camp, assured of safety under the title of ambassadors, who should greet the general and say that, as allies of the Romans sent by the Volscian nation, they were sorry they had come too late for the battle, since they would now received little or no thanks for their zeal; but anyway they congratulated the Romans upon their good fortune in having won a great battle without the assistance of allies; then, after the ambassadors had tricked the Romans by the friendliness of their words and had got them to confide in the Volscians as their friends, they were to spy out everything and bring back word concerning the Romans' strength, their arms, their preparations, and anything they were planning to do. And when the Volscians should be thoroughly acquainted with these matters, they should then take counsel whether it was better to send for another army and attack the Romans or to return home with their present force.
Roman antiquities 6.16
After they had adopted this proposal, the ambassadors they had chosen came to the dictator, and being brought before the assembly, delivered their messages that were intended to deceive the Romans. And Postumius, after a short pause, said to them: "You have brought with you, Volscians, evil designs clothed in good words, and while you perform hostile acts, you want us to regard you as friends. For you were sent by your nation to assist the Latins against us, but arriving after the battle and seeing them overcome, you wish to deceive us by saying the very opposite of what you intended to do. And neither the friendliness of your words, simulated for the present occasion, nor the pretence under which you are come hither, is sincere, but is full of fraud and deceit. For you were sent, not to congratulate us upon our good fortune, but to spy out the weakness or the strength of our condition; and while you are ambassadors in name, you are spies in reality." When the men denied everything, he said he would soon offer them the proof; and straightway he produced their letters which he had intercepted before the battle as they were being carried to the commanders of the Latins, in which they promised to send them reinforcements, and produced the persons who carried the letters. After these were read out and the prisoners had given an account of the orders they had received, the soldiers were eager to stone the Volscians as spies caught in the act; but Postumius thought that good men ought not to imitate the wicked, saying it would be better and more magnanimous to reserve their anger against the senders rather than against the sent, and to let the men go in consideration of their ostensible title of ambassadors rather than to put them to death because of their disguised task of spying, lest they should give either a specious ground for war to the Volscians, who would allege that their ambassadors had been put to death contrary to the law of nations, or an excuse to their other enemies for bringing a charge which, though false, would appear neither ill-grounded nor incredible.
Roman antiquities 6.17
Having thus checked the rash impulse of the soldiers, he commanded the men to depart without looking back, and put them in charge of a guard of horse, who conducted them to the camp of the Volscians. After he had expelled the spies, he commanded the soldiers to get everything ready for battle, as if he were going to engage the next day. But he had no need of a battle, for the leaders of the Volscians broke camp before dawn and returned home. All things having now gone according to his wish, he buried his own dead, and having purified his army, returned to the city with the pomp of a magnificent triumph, together with huge quantities of military stores, followed by 5,500 prisoners taken in the battle. And having set apart the tithes of the spoils, he spent forty talents in performing games and sacrifices to the gods, and let contracts for the building of temples to Ceres, Liber and Libera, in fulfilment of a vow he had made. It seems that provisions for the army had been scarce in the beginning, and had caused the Romans great fear that they would fail entirely, as the land had borne no crops and food from outside was no longer being imported because of the war. Because of this fear he had ordered the guardians of the Sibylline books to consult them, and finding that the oracles commanded that these gods should be propitiated, he made vows to them, when he was on the point of leading out his army, that if there should be the same abundance in the city during the time of his magistracy as before, he would build temples to them and also appoint sacrifices to be performed every year. These gods, hearing his prayer, caused the land to produce rich crops, not only of grain but also of fruits, and all imported provisions to be more plentiful than before; and when Postumius saw this, he himself caused a vote to be passed for the building of these temples. The Romans, therefore, having through the favour of the gods repelled the war brought upon them by the tyrant, were engaged in feasts and sacrifices.
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A few days later there came to them, as ambassadors from the Latin league, chosen out of all their cities. Those who had been opposed to the war, holding out the olive branches and the fillets of suppliants. These men, upon being introduced into the senate, declared that the powerful men in every city had been responsible for beginning the war, and said that the people had been guilty of this one fault only, that they had listened to corrupt demagogues who had schemed for private gain. And for this delusion, in which necessity had had the greatest share, they said every city had already paid a penalty not to be despised, in the loss of its young men, so that it was not easy to find a single household free from mourning. They asked the Romans to receive them now that they willingly submitted and neither disputed any longer about the supremacy nor strove for equality, but were ready to be for all future time subjects as well as allies and to add the good fortune of the Romans all the prestige which Fortune had taken from the Latins. At the end of their speech they made an appeal to kinship, reminded them of their unhesitating services as allies in the past, and bewailed the misfortunes that would fall on the innocent, who were far more numerous than the guilty, accompanying everything they said with lamentations, embracing the knees of all the senators, and laying the olive branches at the feet of Postumius, so that the whole senate was more or less moved by their tears and entreaties.
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When the ambassadors had left the senate and permission to speak was given to the members who were wont to deliver their opinions first, Titus Larcius, who had been appointed the first dictator the year before, advised them to use their good fortune with moderation, saying that the greatest praise that could be given a whole state as well as to an individual was not to be corrupted by prosperity, but to bear good fortune with decorum and moderation; for all prosperity is envied, particularly that which is attended with arrogance and rigour toward those who had been humbled and subdued. And he advised them not to put any reliance on Fortune, since they had learned from their own experience in both adversity and prosperity how inconstant and quick to change she is. Nor ought they to reduce their adversaries to the necessity of running the supreme hazard, since such necessity renders some men daring beyond all expectation and warlike beyond their strength. He said they had reason to be afraid of drawing upon themselves the common hatred of all those they proposed to rule, if they should exact harsh and relentless penalties from such as had erred; for they would seem to have abandoned their traditional principles, forgetting to what they owed their present splendour, and to have made their dominion a tyranny rather than a leadership and protectorship, as it had been before that time. He said that the error is a moderate and venial one when states that cling to liberty and have once learned to rule are unwilling to give up their ancient prestige; and if men who aim at the noblest ends are to be punished beyond possibility of recovery when they fail of their hope, there will be nothing to prevent the whole race of mankind from being destroyed by one another, since all men have an innate craving for liberty. He declared that a government is far better and more firmly established which seeks to rule its subjects by its benefits rather than by punishments; for the former course leads to goodwill and the latter to terror, and it is a fixed law of Nature that everything that causes terror should be particularly detested. And finally he asked them to take as examples the best actions of their ancestors for which they had won praise, recounting the many instances in which, after capturing cities by storm, they had not razed them nor put all the male population to the sword or enslaved them, but by making them Roman colonies and by giving citizenship to such of the conquered as desired to live at Rome, they had made their city great from a small beginning. The sum and substance of his opinion was this: to renew the treaty they had previously made with the Latin league and to retain no resentment against any of the cities for the errors they had been guilty of.
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Servius Sulpicius opposed nothing the other had said concerning peace and the renewal of the treaty; but, since the Latins had been the first to violate the treaty, and not now for the first time either â" in which case they might deserve some forgiveness when they put forward necessity and their own deception as excuses â" but often in the past too, so that they needed correction, he proposed that impunity and their liberty should be granted to all of them because of their kinship, but that they should be deprived of one half of their land and that Roman colonists should be sent thither to enjoy its produce and see to it that the Latins created no further disturbances. Spurius Cassius advised them to raze the Latin cities, saying he wondered at the simple-mindedness of those who urged letting their offenses go unpunished, why they could not understand that, because of the inborn and ineradicable envy which the Latins felt towards the rising power of Rome, they were constantly fomenting one war after another against them and would never willingly give over their treacherous intent so long as this unfortunate passion dwelt in their hearts; indeed, they had finally endeavoured to bring a kindred people under the power of a tyrant more savage than any wild beast, thereby overturning all the covenants they had sworn by the gods to observe, induced by no other hopes than that, if the war did not succeed according to their expectation, they should incur either no punishment at all or a very slight one. He too asked them to take as examples the actions of their ancestors, who, when they knew that the city of Alba, of which both they themselves and all the other Latin cities were colonies, was envious of their prosperity and had made use of the impunity it had obtained for its first transgressions as an opportunity for greater treachery, resolved to destroy it in a single day, believing that to punish none of those who had committed the greatest and the most irremediable crimes was no better than to show compassion to none of those who were guilty of moderate errors. It would be an act of great folly and stupidity, surely not one of humanity and moderation, for those who would not endure the envy of their mother-city, when it appeared beyond measure grievous and intolerable, to submit now to that of their mere kinsman, and for those who had punished enemies convicted in milder attempts of being such, by depriving them of their city, to exact no punishment now from such as had often shown their hatred of them to be irreconcilable. After he had spoken thus and had enumerated all the rebellions of the Latins and reminded the senators of the vast number of Romans who had lost their lives in the wars against them, he advised them to treat these also in the same manner as they had formerly treated the Albans, namely, to raze their cities and add their territory to that of the Romans; and as for the inhabitants, to make citizens of such as had shown any goodwill towards them, permitting them to retain their possessions, but to put to death as traitors the authors of the revolt by whom the treaty had been broken, and to make slaves of the poor, the lazy and the useless among the populace.
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These were the opinions expressed by the leading men of the senate, but the dictator gave the preference to that of Larcius; and, no further opposition being made to it, the ambassadors were called in to the senate to receive their answer. Postumius, after reproaching them with an evil disposition never to be reformed, said: "It would be right that you should suffer the utmost severity, which is just the way you yourselves were intending to treat us, if you had succeeded in the many attempts you made against us." Nevertheless, he said, the Romans had not chosen mere rights in preference to clemency, bearing in mind that the Latins were their kinsmen and had had recourse to the mercy of those whom they had injured; but they were allowing these offenses of theirs also to go unpunished, from a regard both to the gods of their race and to the uncertainty of Fortune, to whom they owed their victory. "For the present, therefore, go your way," he said, "relieved of all fear; and after you have released to us the prisoners, delivering the deserters, and expelled the exile, then send ambassadors to us to treat of friendship and of an alliance, in the assurance that they shall fail of naught that is reasonable." The ambassadors, having received this answer, departed, and a few days later returned, having released the prisoners and expelled the exiles with Tarquinius from their cities, and bringing with them in chains all the deserters they had taken. In return for this they obtained of the senate their old treaty of friendship and alliance and renewed through the fetiales the oaths they had previously taken concerning it. Thus ended the war against the tyrants, after it had lasted fourteen years from their expulsion. King Tarquinius â" for he still survived of his family â" being now about ninety years of age and having lost his children and the household of his relations by marriage, dragged out a miserable old age, and that too among his enemies. For when neither the Latins, the Tyrrhenians, the Sabines, nor any other free people near by would longer permit him to reside in their cities, he retired to Cumae in Campania and was received by Aristodemus, nicknamed the Effeminate, who was at that time tyrant of the Cumaeans; and after living a few days there, he died and was buried by him. Some of the exiles who had been with him remained at Cumae; and the rest, dispersing themselves to various other cities, ended their days on foreign soil.
Roman antiquities 6.22
After the Romans had put an end to the foreign wars, the civil strife sprang up again. For the senate ordered the courts of justice to sit and that all suits which they had postponed on account of the war should be decided according to the laws. The controversies arising over contracts resulted in great storms and terrible instances of outrageous and shameless behaviour, the plebeians, on the one hand, pretending they were unable to pay their debts, since their land had been laid waste during the long war, their cattle destroyed, the number of their slaves reduced by desertion and raids, and their fortunes in the city exhausted by their expenditures for the campaign, and the money-lenders, on the other hand, alleging that these misfortunes had been common to all and not confined to the debtors only, and regarding it as intolerable that they should lose, not only what they had been stripped of by the enemy in the war, but also what they had lent in time of peace to some of the citizens who asked for their assistance. And as neither the money-lenders were willing to accept anything that was reasonable nor the debtors to do anything that was just, but the former refused to abate even the interest, and the latter to pay even the principal itself, those who were in the same plight were already gathering in knots and opposing parties faced one another in the Forum and sometimes actually came to blows, and the whole established order of the state was thrown into confusion. Postumius, observing this, while he still retained the respect of all alike for having brought a severe war to an honourable conclusion, resolved to avoid the civil storms, and before he had completed the whole term of his sovereign magistracy he abdicated the dictatorship, and having fixed a day for the election, he, together with his fellow-consul, restored the traditional magistrates.
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The consuls who next took over the annual and legal magistracy were Appius Claudius Sabinus and Publius Servilius Priscus. They saw, rightly, that to render the highest service to the state they must divert the uproar in the city to foreign wars; and they were arranging that one of them should lead an expedition against the Volscian nation, with the purpose both of taking revenge on them for the aid they had sent to the Latins against the Romans and of forestalling their preparations, which as yet were not far advanced. For they too were reported to be enrolling an army with the greatest diligence and sending ambassadors to the neighbouring nations to invite them to enter into alliance with them, since they had learned that the plebeians were standing aloof from the patricians and thought that it would not be difficult to captured a city suffering from civil war. The consuls, therefore, having resolved to lead an expedition against this people, and their resolution being approved of by the whole senate, they ordered all the men of military age to present themselves on the day they had appointed for making the levies of troops. But when the plebeians, though repeatedly summoned to take the military oath, would not obey the consuls, these were no longer both of the same mind, but beginning from this point, they were divided and continued to oppose one another during the whole time of their magistracy. For Servilius thought they ought to take the milder course, thereby adhering to the opinion of Manius Valerius, the most democratic of the senators, who advised them to cure the cause of the sedition, preferably by decreeing an abolition or diminution of the debts, or, failing that, by forbidding for the time being the haling to prison of the debtors whose obligations were overdue, and advised them to encourage rather than compel the poor to take the military oath, and not to make the penalties against the disobedient severe and inexorable, but moderate and mild. For there was danger, he said, that men in want of the daily necessities of life, if compelled to serve at their own expense, might get together and adopt some desperate course.
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But the opinion of Appius, the chief man among the leaders of the aristocracy, was harsh and arrogant. He advised that they should show no leniency toward the people in anything, but should even allow the money-lenders to enforce payment of the obligations upon the terms agreed upon, and should cause the courts of justice to sit, and that the consul who remained in the city should, in accordance with ancestral custom and usage, exact the punishments ordained by law against those who declined military service, and that they ought to yield to the people in nothing that was not just nor aid them in establishing a pernicious power. "Why, even now," he said, "they are pampered beyond all measure in consequence of having been relieved of the taxes they formerly paid to the kings and freed from the corporal punishments they received from them when they did not yield prompt obedience to any of their commands. But if they go further and attempt any disturbance or uprising, let us restrain them with the aid of the sober and sound element among the citizens, who will be found more numerous than the disaffected. We have on hand for the task no slight strength in the patrician youth who are ready to obey our commands; but the great weapon of all, and one difficult to be resisted, with which we shall subdue the plebeians, is the power of the senate; with this let us overawe them, taking our stand on the side of the laws. But if we yield to their demand, in the first place, we shall incur disgrace by entrusting the government to the people when we have it in our power to live under an aristocracy; and secondly, we shall run no little danger of being deprived of our liberty again, in case some man inclined toward tyranny should win them over and acquire a power superior to the laws." The consuls disputing in this manner, both by themselves alone and whenever the senate was assembled, and many siding with each, that body, after listening to their altercations and glamour and the unseemly speeches with which they abused one another, would adjourn without coming to any salutary decision.
Roman antiquities 6.25
Much time being consumed in this wrangling, one of the consuls, Servilius (for it had fallen to his lot to conduct the campaign), having, by much entreating and courting of the populace, prevailed upon them to assist in the war, took the field with an army not raised by a compulsory levy but consisting of volunteers, as the times required. Meanwhile the Volscians were still employed in their preparations and neither expected that the Romans, divided into factions as they were and engaged in mutual animosities, would march against them with an army, nor thought they would come to close quarters with any who attacked them, but imagined that they themselves were at full liberty to begin the war whenever they thought fit. But when they found themselves attacked and perceived that they must attack in turn, then at last the oldest among them, alarmed by the speed of the Romans, came out of their cities with olive branches and surrendered themselves to Servilius, to be treated as he should think fit for their offenses. And he, taking from them provisions and clothing for his army and choosing out of the most prominent families three hundred men to serve as hostages, departed, assuming that the war was ended. In reality, however, this was not an end of the war, but rather a postponement, as it were, and an opportunity for those who had been surprised by the unexpected invasion to make their preparations; and the Roman army was no sooner gone than the Volscians again turned their attention to war by fortifying their towns and reinforcing the garrisons of any other places that were suitable to afford them security. The Hernicans and the Sabines assisted them openly in their hazardous venture, and many others secretly; but the Latins, when ambassadors went to them to ask for their assistance, bound the men and carried them to Rome. The senate, in return for the Latins' steadfast adherence to their alliance and still more for the eagerness they showed to take part in the war (for they were ready to assist them of their own accord), granted to them a favour they thought they desired above all things but were ashamed to ask for, which was to release without ransom the prisoners they had taken from them during the wars, the number of whom amounted to almost six thousand, and that the gift might, so far as possible, take on a lustre becoming to their kinship, they clothed them all with the apparel proper to free men. As to the Latins' offer of assistance, the senate told them they had no need of it, since the national forces of Rome were sufficient to punish those who revolted. After they had given this answer to the Latins they voted for the war against the Volscians.
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While the senate was still sitting and considering what forces were to be taken into the field, an elderly man appeared in the Forum, dressed in rags, with his beard and hair grown long, and crying out, he called upon the citizens for assistance. And when all who were near flocked to him, he placed himself where he could be clearly seen by many and said: "Having been born free, and having served in all the campaigns while I was of military age, and fought in twenty-eight battles and often been awarded prizes for valour in the wars; then, won't oppressive times came that were reducing the commonwealth to the last straits, having been forced to contract a debt to pay the contributions levied upon me; and finally, when my farm was raided by the enemy and my property in the city exhausted owing to the scarcity of provisions, having no means with which to discharge my debt, I was carried away as a slave by the money-lender, together with my two sons; and when my master ordered me to perform some difficult task and I protested against it, I was given a great many lashes with the whip." With these words he threw off his rags and showed his breast covered with wounds and his back still bleeding from the stripes. This raising a general glamour and lamentation on the part of all present, the senate adjourned and throughout the entire city the poor were running about, each bewailing his own misfortunes and imploring the assistance of the neighbours. At the same time all who had been enslaved for their debts rushed out of the houses of the money-lenders with their hair grown long and most of them in chains and fetters; and none dared to lay hold on them, and if anyone so much as touched them, he was forcibly torn in pieces, such was the madness possessing the people at that time, and presently the Forum was full of debtors who had broken loose from their chains. Appius, therefore, fearing to be attacked by the populace, since he had been the cause of the evils and all this trouble was believed to be due to him, fled from the Forum. But Servilius, throwing off his purple-bordered robe and casting himself in tears at the feet of each of the plebeians, with difficulty prevailed upon them to remain quiet that day, and to come back the next day, assuring them that the senate would take some care of their interests. Having said this, he ordered the herald to make proclamation that no money-lender should be permitted to hale any citizen to prison for a private debt till the senate should come to a decision concerning them, and that all present might go with impunity whithersoever they pleased. Thus he allayed the tumult.
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Accordingly, they left the Forum for that time. But the next day there appeared, not only the inhabitants of the city, but also the plebeians from the neighbouring country districts and the Forum was crowded by break of day. The senate having been assembled to consider what was to be done about the situation, Appius proceeded to call his colleague a flatterer of the people and the leader of the poor in their madness, while Servilius called Appius harsh and arrogant and the cause of the present evils in the state; and there was no end to their wrangling. In the meantime some horsemen of the Latins came riding full speed into the Forum announcing that the enemy had taken the field with a great army and were already upon their own borders. Such were the tidings they brought. Thereupon the patricians and the whole body of the knights, together with all who were wealthy or of distinguished ancestry, since they had a great deal at stake, armed themselves in all haste. But the poor among them, and particularly such as were hard pressed by debt, neither took up arms nor offered any other assistance to the common cause, but were pleased and received the news of the foreign war as an answer to their prayers, believing that it would free them from their present evils. To those who besought them to lend their aid they showed their chains and fetters and asked them in derision whether it was worth their while to make war in order to preserve those blessings; and many even ventured to say that it was better for them to be slaves to the Volscians than to bear the abuses of the patricians. And the city was filled with wailing, tumult, and all sorts of womanish lamentations.
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The senators, seeing these things, begged of the other consul, Servilius, who seemed in the present juncture to have greater credit with the multitude, to come to the aid of the country. And he, calling the people together in the Forum, showed them that the urgency of the moment no longer admitted of quarrels among the citizens, and he asked them for the time being to march against the enemy with united purpose and not to view with indifference the overthrow of their country, in which were the gods of their fathers and the sepulchres of each man's ancestors, both of which are most precious in the eyes of all men; he begged them to show respect for their parents, who would be unable because of age to defend themselves, to have pity on their wives, who would soon be forced to submit to dreadful and intolerable outrages, and especially to show compassion for their infant children, who, after being reared for very different expectations, would be exposed to pitiless insults and abuses. And when by a common effort they had averted the present danger, then would be the time, he said, to consider in what manner they should make their government fair, impartial and salutary to all, one in which neither the poor would plot against the possessions of the rich nor the latter insult those in humbler circumstances â" for such behaviour was anything but becoming to citizens â" but in which not only the needy should receive some assistance from the state, but the money-lenders too, at least those who were suffering injustice, should receive moderate relief, and thus the greatest of human blessings and the preserver of harmony in all states, good faith in the observance of contracts, would not be destroyed totally and forever in Rome alone. 3 After saying this and everything else that the occasion required, he spoke finally in his own behalf, about the goodwill which he had ever shown toward the people, and asked them to serve with him in this expedition in return for his zeal in their behalf; for the oversight of the city had been entrusted to his colleague and the command in war conferred upon himself, these duties having been determined for them by lot. He said also that the senate had promised him to confirm whatever agreements he should make with the people, and that he had promised the senate to persuade the people not to betray their country to the enemy.
Roman antiquities 6.29
Having said this, he ordered the herald to make proclamation that no person should be permitted to seize, sell, or retain as pledges the houses of those Romans who should march out with him against the enemy, or hale their family to prison for any debt, and that none should hinder any one who desired from taking part in the campaign; but as for those who should fail to serve, the money-lenders should have the right to compel them to pay their debts according to the terms which they had each advanced their money. When the poor heard this, they straightway consented, and all showed great ardour for the war, some induced by hopes of booty and others out of gratitude to the general, but the greater part to escape from Appius and the abusive treatment to which those who stayed in the city would be exposed. Servilius, having taken command of the army, lost no time, but marched with great expedition, that he might engage the enemy before they could invade the Romans' territory. And finding them encamped in the Pomptine district, pillaging the country of the Latins because these had refused their request to assist them in the war, he encamped in the late afternoon near a hill distant about twenty stades from the enemy's camp. And in the night his army was attacked by the Volscians, who thought they were few in number, tired out, as was to be expected after a long march, and lacking in zeal by reason of the disturbances raised by the poor over their debts, which seemed then to be at their height. Servilius defended himself in his camp as long as the night lasted, but as soon as it was day, and he learned that the enemy were employed in pillaging the country without observing any order, he ordered several small gates of the camp to be opened secretly, and at a single signal hurled his army against the foe. When this blow fell suddenly and unexpectedly upon the Volscians, some few of them stood their ground, and fighting close to their camp, were cut down; but the rest, fleeing precipitately and losing many of their companions, got back safely inside the camp, the greater part of them being wounded and having lost their arms. When the Romans, following close upon their heels, surrounded their camp, they made only a short defence and then delivered up the camp, which was full of slaves, cattle, arms and all sorts of military stores. There were also many free men taken in it, some of them being Volscians themselves and others belonging to the nations which had assisted them; and along with these a great quantity of valuables, such as gold and silver, and apparel, as if the richest city had been taken. All of this Servilius permitted the soldiers to divide among themselves, that every man might share in the booty, and he ordered them to bring no part of it into the treasury. Then, having set fire to the camp, he marched with his army to Suessa Pometia, which lay close by. For not only because of its size and the number of its inhabitants, but also because of its fame and riches, it far surpassed any city in that region and was the leader, so to speak, of the nation. Investing this place and calling off his army neither by day nor by night, in order that the enemy might not have a moment's rest either in taking sleep or in gaining a respite from fighting, he wore them down by famine, helplessness and lack of reinforcements, and captured them in a short time, putting to death all the inhabitants who had reached manhood. And having given permission to the soldiers to pillage the effects that were found there also, he marched against the rest of the enemy's cities, none of the Volscians being able any longer to oppose him.
Roman antiquities 6.30
When the Volscians had been thus humbled by the Romans, the other consul, Appius Claudius, caused their hostages, three hundred men in all, to be brought into the Forum, and to the end that those who had once given the Romans hostages for their fidelity might beware of violating their treaties, he ordered them to be scourged in the sight of all and then beheaded. And when his colleague returned a few days afterwards from his expedition and demanded the triumph usually granted by the senate to generals who had fought a brilliant battle, he opposed it, calling him a stirrer up of sedition and a partisan of a vicious form of government, and he charged him particularly with having brought no part of the spoils of war back to the public treasury, but with having instead made a present of it all to whom he thought fit; and he prevailed upon the senate not to grant him the triumph. Servilius, however, looking upon himself as insulted by the senate, behaved with an arrogance unusual to the Romans. For having assembled the people in the field before the city, he enumerated his achievements in the war, told them of the envy of his colleague and the contumelious treatment he had received from the senate, and declared that from his own deeds and from the army which had shared in the struggle he derived the authority to celebrate a triumph in honor of glorious and fortunate achievements. Having prescription thus, he ordered the rods to be crowned, and then, having crowned himself and wearing the triumphal garb, he led the procession into the city attended by all the people; and ascending the Capitol, he performed his vows and consecrated the spoils. By this action he incurred the hatred of the patricians still further, but won the plebeians to himself.
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While the commonwealth was in such an unsettled condition a kind of truce that intervened on account of the traditional sacrifices, and the ensuing festivals, which were celebrated at lavish expense, restrained the sedition of the populace for the moment. While they were engaged in these celebrations the Sabines invaded them with a large force, having long waited for this opportunity. They began their march as soon as night came on, in order that they might get close to the city before those inside should be aware of their coming; and they might easily have conquered them if some of their light-armed men had not straggled from their places in the line and by attacking farm-houses given the alarm. For an outcry arose at once and the husbandmen rushed inside the walls before the enemy approached the gates. Those in the city, learning of the invasion while they were witnessing the public entertainments and wearing the customary garlands, left the games and ran to arms. And, a sufficient army of volunteers rallying in good season about Servilius, he drew them up and with them fell upon the enemy, who were exhausted both by want of sleep and by weariness and were not expecting the attack of the Romans. When the armies closed, a battle ensued which lacked order and discipline because of the eagerness of both sides, but, as if guided by some chance, they clashed line against line, company against company, or man against man, and the horse and foot fought promiscuously. And reinforcements came to both sides, as their cities were not far apart; these, by encouraging such of their comrades as were hard pressed, caused them to sustain the hardships of the struggle for a long time. After that the Romans, when the horse came to their assistance, once more prevailed over the Sabines, and having killed many of them, returned to the city with a great number of prisoners. Then, seeking out the Sabines who had come to Rome under the pretence of seeing the entertainments, while actually intending to seize in advance the strong places of the city in order to help their countrymen in their attack, as had been concerted between them, they threw them into prison. And having voted that the sacrifices, which had been interrupted by the war, should be performed with double magnificence, they were again passing the time in merriment.
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While they were celebrating these festivals, ambassadors came to them from the Auruncans, who inhabited the fairest plains of Campania. These, being introduced into the senate, demanded that the Romans should restore to them the country of the Volscians called Ecetrans, which they had taken from them and divided in allotments among the colonists they had sent thither to guard that people, and that they should withdraw their garrison from there; if they refused to do so, they might expect the Auruncans to invade the territory of the Romans promptly to take revenge for the injuries they had done to their neighbours. To these the Romans gave this answer: "Ambassadors, carry back the word to the Auruncans that we Romans think it right that whatever anyone possesses by having won it from the enemy through valour, he should leave to his posterity as being his own. And we are not afraid of war from the Auruncans, which will be neither the first nor the most formidable war we have been engaged in; indeed, it has always been our custom to fight with all men for the supremacy, and as we see that this will be a contest, as it were, of valour, we shall await it without trepidation." After this the Auruncans, who had set out from their own territory with a large army, and the Romans, with their own forces under the command of Servilius, met near the city of Aricia, which is distant one hundred and twenty stades from Rome; and each of them encamped on hills strongly situated, not far from one another. After they had fortified their camps they advanced to the plain for battle; and engaging early in the morning, they maintained the fight till noon, so that many were killed on both sides. For the Auruncans were a warlike nation and by their stature, their strength, and the fierceness of their looks, in which there was much of brute savagery, they were exceeding formidable.
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In this battle the Roman horse and their commander Aulus Postumius Albus, who had held the office of dictator the year before, are said to have proved the bravest. It seems that the place where the battle was fought was most unsuitable for the use of cavalry, having both rocky hills and deep ravines, so that the horse could be of no advantage to either side. Postumius, ordering his followers to dismount, formed a compact body of six hundred men, and observing where the Roman battle-line suffered most, being forced down hill, he engaged the enemy at those points and promptly crowded their ranks together. The barbariansÂº being once checked, courage came to the Romans and the foot emulated the horse; and both forming one compact column, they drove the right wing of the enemy back to the hill. Some pursued that part of them which fled towards their camp and killed many, while others attacked in the rear those who still maintained the fight. And when they had put these also to flight, they followed them in their difficult and slow retreat to the hilly ground, cutting asunder the sinews of both their feet and knees with side blows of their swords, till they came to their camp. And having overpowered the guards there also, who were not numerous, they made themselves masters of the camp and plundered it. However, they found no great booty in it, but only arms, horses and other equipment for war. These were the achievements of Servilius and Appius during their consulship.
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After this Aulus Verginius Caelimontanus and Titus Veturius Geminus assumed the office of consul, when Themistocles was archon at Athens, in the two hundred and sixtieth year after the foundation of Rome and the year before the seventy-second Olympia
(the one in which Tisicrates of Croton won the prize for the second time). In their consulship the Sabines prepared to lead out against the Romans a larger army than before, and the Medullini, revolting from the Romans, swore to a treaty of alliance with the Sabines. The patricians, learning of their intention, were preparing to take the field immediately with all their forces; but the plebeians refused to obey their orders, remembering with resentment their repeated breaking of the promises which they had made to them respecting the poor who required relief, . . . . . the votes that were being passed . . . . .And assembling together a few at a time, they bound one another by oaths that they would no longer assist the patricians in any war, and that to every one of the poor who was oppressed they would render aid jointly against all whom they met. The conspiracy was evident on many other occasions, both in verbal skirmishes and physical encounters, but it became especially clear to the consuls when those summoned to military service failed to present themselves. For whenever they ordered anyone of the people to be seized, the poor assembled in a body and endeavoured to rescue the one who was being carried away, and when the consuls' lictors refused to release them, they beat them and drove them off; and if any either of the knights or patricians who were present attempted to put a stop to these proceedings, they did not refrain from beating them too. Thus, in a short time the city was full of disorder and tumult. And as the sedition increased in the city, the preparations of the enemy for overrunning their territory increased also. When the Volscians again formed a plan to revolt, and the Aequians, as they were called, . . . ambassadors came from all the peoples who were subject to the Romans asking them to send aid, since their territories lay in the path of the war. For example, the Latins said that the Aequians had made an incursion into their country and were laying waste their lands and had already plundered some of their cities; the garrison in Crustumerium declared that the Sabines were near that fortress and full of eagerness to besiege it; and others came with word of still other mischief which either had happened or was going to happen, and to ask for prompt assistance. Ambassadors from the Volscians also appeared before the senate, demanding, before they began war, that the lands taken from them by the Romans should be restored to them.
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The senate having been assembled to consider this business, Titus Larcius, esteemed a man of superior dignity and consummate prudence, was first called upon by the consuls to deliver his opinion. And coming forward, he said:"To me, senators, the things which others regard as terrible and as requiring speedy relief appear neither terrible nor very urgent, I mean, how we are to assist our allies or in what manner repulse our enemies. Whereas the things which they look upon neither as the greatest of evils nor pressing at present, but continue to ignore as not likely to do us any injury, are the very things that appear most terrible to me; and if we do not soon put a stop to them, they will prove to be the causes of the utter overthrow and ruin of the commonwealth. I refer to the disobedience of the plebeians, who refuse to carry out the orders of the consuls, as well as to our own severity against this disobedient and independent spirit of theirs. It is my opinion, therefore, that we ought to consider nothing else at present than by what means these evils are to be removed from the state and how all of us Romans with one mind are to prefer public to private considerations in the measures we pursue. For the power of the commonwealth when harmonious will be sufficient both to give security to our allies and to inspire fear in our enemies, but when discordant, as at present, it can effect neither. And I should be surprised if it did not even destroy itself and yield the victory to the enemy without any trouble. Yes, by Jupiter and all the other gods, I believe this will soon happen if you continue to pursue such measures.
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"For we are living apart from one another, as you see, and inhabit two cities, one of which is ruled by poverty and necessity, and the other by satiety and insolence; but modesty, order and justice, by which alone any civil community is preserved, remain in neither of these cities. For this reason we already exact justice from one another by force and make superior strength the measure of that justice, like wild beasts choosing rather to destroy our enemy though we perish with him, than, by consulting our own safety, to be preserved together with our adversary. I ask you to give much thought to this matter and to hold a session for this very purpose as soon as you have dismissed the embassies. As to the answers to be now given to them, this is the advice I have to offer. Since the Volscians demand restitution of what we are in possession of by right of arms, and threaten us with war if we refuse to restore it, let our answer be, that we Romans look upon those acquisitions to be the most honest and the most just which we have acquired in accordance with the law of war, and that we will not consent to destroy the fruits of our valour by an act of folly. Whereas, by restoring to those who lost them these possessions, which we ought to share with our children and which we shall strive to leave to their posterity, we shall be depriving ourselves of what is already ours and be treating ourselves as harshly as we would our enemies. As to the Latins, let us commend their goodwill and dispel their fears by assuring them that we will not abandon them in any danger they may incur on our account, so long as they keep faith with us, but will shortly send a force sufficient to defend them. These answers, I believe, will be the best and the most just. After the embassies have departed, I say we ought to devote the first meeting of the senate to the consideration of the tumults in the city and that this meeting ought not to be long deferred, but appointed for the very next day."
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When Larcius had delivered this opinion and it had received the approval of all, the embassies then received the answers that I have reported, and departed. The next day the consuls assembled the senate and proposed that it consider how the civil disorders might be corrected. Thereupon Publius Verginius, a man devoted to the people, being asked his opinion first, took the middle course and said: "Since the plebeians last year showed the greatest zeal for the struggles in behalf of the commonwealth, arraying themselves with us against the Volscians and Auruncans when they attacked us with a large army, I think that all who then assisted us and took their share in those wars ought to be let off, and that neither their persons nor their property ought to be in the power of the money-lenders; and that the same principle of justice ought to extend to their parents as far as their grandfathers, and to their posterity as far as their grandchildren; but that all the rest ought to be liable to imprisonment at the suit of the money-lenders upon the terms of their respective obligations." After this Titus Larcius said: "My opinion, senators, is that to those who proved themselves good men in the wars, but all the rest of the people as well, should be released from their obligations; for only thus can we make the whole state harmonious." The third speaker was Appius Claudius, the consul of the preceding year, who came forward and said:
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"Every time these matters have been up for debate, senators, I have always been of the same opinion, never to yield to the people any one of their demands that is not lawful and honourable, nor to lower the dignity of the commonwealth; nor do I even now change the opinion which I entertained from the beginning. For I should be the most foolish of all men, if last year, when I was consul and my colleague opposed me and stirred up the people against me, I resisted and adhered to my resolutions, undeterred by fear and yielding neither to entreaties nor to favour, only to demean myself now, when I am a private citizen, and to prove utterly false to the principle of free speech. You may cal this independence of mind on my part nobility or arrogance, as each of you prefers; but, as long as I live, I will never propose an abolition of debts as a favour to wicked men, but will go so far as to resist with all the earnestness of which I am capable those who do propose it, reasoning as I do that every evil and corruption and, in a word, the overthrow of the state, begins with the abolition of debts. And whether anyone shall think that what I say proceeds from prudence, or from a kind of madness (since I see fit to consider, not my own security, but that of the commonwealth), or from any other motive, I give him leave to think as he pleases; but to the very last I will oppose those who shall introduce measures that are not in accord with our ancestral traditions. And since the times require, not an abolition of debts, but relief on a large scale, I will state the only remedy for the sedition at the present time: choose speedily a dictator, who, subject to no accounting for the use he shall make of his authority, will force both the senate and the people to entertain such sentiments as are most advantageous to the commonwealth. For there will be of other deliverance from so great an evil."
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This speech of Appius was received by the young senators with tumultuous applause, as proposing just the measures that were needed; but Servilius and some others of the older senators rose up to oppose it. They were defeated, however, by the younger men, who arrived for that very purpose and used much violence; and at last the motion of Appius carried. After this, when most people expected that Appius would be appointed dictator as the only person who would be capable of quelling the sedition, the consuls, acting with one mind, excluded him and appointed Manius Valerius, a brother of Publius Valerius, the first man to be made consul, who, it was thought, would be most favourable to the people and moreover was an old man. For they thought the terror alone of the dictator's power was sufficient, and that the present situation required a person equitable in all respects, that he might occasion no fresh disturbances.
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After Valerius had assumed office and had appointed Quintus Servilius, a brother of the Servilius who had been the colleague of Appius in the consulship, to be his Master of the Horse, he summoned the people to an assembly. And a great crowd coming together then for the first time since Servilius had resigned his magistracy and the people who were being forced into the service had been driven to open despair, he came forward to the tribunal and said: "Citizens, we are well aware that you are always pleased at being governed by any of the Valerian family, by whom you were freed are a harsh tyranny, and perhaps you would never expect to fail of obtaining anything that was reasonable when once you had entrusted yourselves to those who are regarded as being, and are, the most democratic of men. So that you to whom my words will be addressed do not need to be informed that we shall confirm to the people the liberty which we bestowed upon them in the beginning, but you need only moderate encouragement to have confidence in us that we shall perform whatever we promise you. For I have attained to that maturity of age which is the least capable of trickiness, and have been sufficiently honoured with public office, which carries it a minimum of shiftiness; and I am not intending to pass the remainder of my life anywhere else but among you, where I shall be ready to stand trial for any deception you may think I have practised against you. Of this, then, I shall speak no further, since, as I have said, no lengthy arguments are needed for those who are acquainted with the facts. But there is one thing which, having suffered from others, you seem with reason to suspect of all: you have ever observed that one or another of the consuls, when they want to engage you to march against the enemy, promises to obtain for you what you desire of the senate, but never carries out any of his promises. That you can have no just grounds for entertaining the same suspicions of me also, I can convince you chiefly by these two considerations: first, that the senate would never have made the mistake of employing me, who am regarded as the greatest friend of the people, for this service, when there are others better suited to it, and second, that they would not have honoured me with an absolute magistracy by which I shall be able to enact whatever I think best, even without their participation.
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"For surely you do not imagine that I am joining in their deception knowingly and that I have concerted with them to do you some injury. For if it occurs to you to entertain these thoughts of me, do to me what you will, treating me as the most depraved of all men. Believe, then, what I say and banish this suspicion from your minds. Turn your anger from your friends to your enemies, who have come with the purpose of taking your city and making you slaves instead of free men, and are striving to inflict on you every other severity which mankind holds in the greatest fear, and are now said to be not far from your confines. Withstand them, therefore, with alacrity and show them that the power of the Romans, though weakened by sedition, is superior to any other when harmonious; for either they will not sustain your united attack or they will suffer condign punishment for their boldness. Bear in mind that those who are making war against you are Volscians and Sabines, whom you have often overcome in battle, and that they have night larger bodies nor braver hearts now than their ancestors had, but have conceived a contempt for you because they thought you were at odds with one another. When you have taken revenge on your enemies, I myself pledge that the senate will reward you, both by composing these controversies concerning the debts and by granting everything else you can reasonably ask of them, in a manner adequate to the valour you shall show in the war. In the mean time let every possession, every person, and every right of a Roman citizen be left secure are seizure for either debt or any other obligation. To those who shall fight zealously their most glorious crown will be that this city, which gave them birth, still stands intact, and glorious praise also from their fellow-soldiers will be theirs; and the rewards bestowed by us will be sufficient both to restore their fortunes by their value and to render their families illustrious by the honours bestowed. I desire also that my zeal in exposing myself to danger may be your example; for I will fight for my country as stoutly as the most robust among you."
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While he was speaking, all the people listened with great pleasure, and believing that they were no longer to be imposed upon, promised their assistance in the war; and ten legions were raised, each consisting of four thousand men. Of these each of the consuls took three, and as many of the horse as belonged to the several legions; the other four, together with the rest of the horse, were commanded by the dictator. And having straightway got everything ready, they set out in haste, Titus Veturius against the Aequians, Aulus Verginius against the Volscians, and the dictator Valerius himself against the Sabines, while the city was guarded by Titus Larcius together with the older men and a small body of troops of military age. The Volscian war was speedily decided. For these foes, looking upon themselves as much superior in number and recallin the wrongs they had suffered, were driven to fight with greater hasten than prudence, and were the first to attack the Romans, which they did too impetuously, as soon as the latter had encamped within sight of them. There ensued a sharp battle, in which, though they performed many brave deeds, they nevertheless suffered greater losses and were put to flight; and their camp was taken, and a city of note, Velitrae by name, reduced by siege. In like manner the pride of the Sabines was also humbled in a very short time, both nations having wished to win the war by a single pitched battle. After this their country was plundered and some small towns were captured, from which the soldiers took many persons and great store of goods. The Aequians, distrusting their own weakness and learning that the war waged by their allies was at an end, not only encamped in strong positions and would not come out to give battle, but also effected their retreat secretly, wherever they could, through mountains and woods, and thus dragged out and prolonged the war for some time; but they were not able to preserve their army unscathed to the last, since the Romans boldly fell upon them in their rugged fastnesses and took their camp by storm. Then followed the flight of the Aequians from the territory of the Latins and the surrender of the cities they had seized in their first invasion, as well as the captured of some of the men who in a spirit of rivalry had refused to abandon the citadels.
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Valerius, having succeeded in this war according to his desire and celebrated the customary triumph in honour of his victory, discharged the people from the service, though the senate did not regard it as the proper time yet, fearing the poor might demand the fulfilment of their promises. After this he se out colonists to occupy the land they had taken from the Volscians, choosing them from among the poor; these would not only guard the conquered country but would also leave the seditious element in the city diminished in number. Having made these arrangements, he asked the senate to fulfil for him the promises they had made, now that they had received the hearty co-operation of the plebeians in the later engagements. However, the senate paid no regard to him, but, just as before the young and violent men, who were superior to the other party in number, had joined together to oppose his motion, so on this occasion also they opposed it and raised a great outcry against him, calling his family flatterers of the people and the authors of vicious laws, and charging that by the very measure on which the Valerii prided themselves most, the one concerning the function of the assembly as a court of justice, they had totally destroyed the power of the patricians. Valerius became very indignant at this, and after reproaching them with having exposed him to the unjust resentment of the people, he lamented the fate which would come upon them for taking such a course, as might be expected in such an unhappy situation, uttered some dire prophecies, inspired in part by the emotion he was then under and in part by his superior sagacity. Then he flung himself out of the senate chamber; and assembling the people, he said: "Citizens, feeling myself under great obligations to you both for the zeal you showed in giving me your voluntary assistance in the war, and still more for the bravery you displayed in the various engagements, I was very desirous of making a return to you, not only in other ways, by particularly by not breaking the promises I kept giving you in the name of the senate, and, as an adviser and umpire between the senate and you, by changing at last the discord that now exists between you into harmony. But I am prevented from accomplishing these things by those who prefer, not what is most advantageous to the commonwealth, but what is pleasing to themselves at the present moment, and who, being superior to all the rest both in number and in the power they derive from their youth rather than from the present situation, have prevailed. Whereas I, as you see, an old man, and so are all my associates, whose strength consists in counsel which they are incapable of carrying out in action; and what was regarded as our concern for the commonwealth has turned out to have the appearance of a private grudge against both sides. For I am censured by the senate for courting your faction and misrepresented to you as showing greater goodwill to them.
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"If, now, the people, after being treated well, had failed to keep the promises made by me to the senate in their name, my defense to that body must have been that you had violated your word, but that there was no deceit on my part. But since it is the promises made to you by the senate that have not been fulfilled, I am now under the necessity of stating to the people that the treatment you have met with does not have my approval, but that both of us alike have been cheated and misled, and I more than you, inasmuch as I am wronged, not alone in being deceived in common with you all, but am also hurt in my own reputation. For I am accused of having turned over to the poor among you, without the consent of the senate, the spoils taken from the enemy, in the desire to gain a private advantage for myself, and of demanding that the property of the citizens be confiscated, though the senate forbade me to act in violation of the laws, and of having disbanded the armies in spite of the opposition of the senators, when I ought to have kept you in the enemy's country occupied in sleeping in the open and in endless marching. I am also reproached in the matter of sending the colonists into the territory of the Volscians, on the ground that I did not bestow a large and fertile country upon the patricians or even upon the knights, but allotted it to the poor among you. But the thing in particular which has occasioned the greatest indignation against me is that, in raising the army, more than four hundred well to do plebeians were added to the knights. If, now, I had been thus treated when I was in the vigour of my youth, I should have made it clear to my enemies by my deeds what kind of man they had pabused; but as I am now above seventy years old and no longer capable of defending myself, and since I perceive that your discord can no longer be allayed by me, I am laying down my office and putting myself in the hands of any who may desire it in the belief that they have been deceived by me in any respect, to be treated in such manner as they shall think fit."
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With these words Valerius aroused the sympathy of all the plebeians, who accompanied him when he left the Forum; but he increased the resentment of the senate against him. And immediately afterwards the following events happened: The poor, no longer meeting secretly and by night, as before, but openly now, were planning a secession from the patricians; and the senate, with the purpose of preventing this, ordered the consuls not to disband the armies as yet. For each consul still had command of his three legions, which were restrained by their military oaths, and none of the soldiers cared to desert their standards, so far did the fear of violating their oaths prevail with all of them. The pretext contrived for leading out the forces was that the Aequians and Sabines had joined together to make war upon the Romans.
After the consuls had marched out of the city with their forces and pitched their camps near one another, the soldiers all assembled together, having in their possession both the arms and the standards, and at the instigation of one Sicinius Bellutus they seized the standards and revolted from the consuls (these standards are held in the greatest honour by the Romans on a campaign and like statues of the gods are accounted holy); and having appointed different centurions and made Sicinius their leader in all matters, they occupied a certain mount situated near the river Anio, not far from Rome, which from that circumstance is still called the Sacred Mount.
And when the consuls and the centurions called upon them to return, mingling entreaties and lamentations, and making many promises, Sicinius replied: "With what purpose, patricians, do you now recall those whom you have driven from their country and transformed from free men into slaves? What assurances will you give us for the performance of those promises which you are convicted of having often broken already? But since you desire to have sole possession of the city, return thither undisturbed by the poor and humble. As for us, we shall be content to regard as our country any land, whatever it be, in which we may enjoy our liberty."
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When these things were reported to those in the city, there was great tumult and lamentation and running through the streets, as the populace prepared to leave the city and the patricians endeavoured to dissuade them and offered violence to those who refused to obey. And there was great glamour and wailing at the gates, and hostile words were exchanged and hostile acts committed, as no one paid heed any longer to either age, comradeship, or the respect due to virtue. When those appointed by the senate to guard the exits, being few in number and unable any longer to resist them, were forced by the people to desert their post, then at last the populace rushed out in great multitudes and the commotion resembled the capture of a city; there were the lamentations of those who remained behind and their mutual recriminations as they saw the city being deserted. After this there were frequent meetings of the senate and accusations against those who were responsible for the secession. At the same time the enemy nations also attacked them, plundering their territory up to the very city. However, the seceders, taking the necessary provisions from the fields that lay near them, without doing any other mischief to the country, remained in the open and received such as resorted to them from city and the fortresses round about, who were already coming to them in great numbers. Not only those who were desirous of escaping their debts and the sentences and punishments they expected, flocked to them, but many others also who led lazy or dissolute lives, or whose fortunes were not sufficient to gratify their desires, or who were devoted to vicious practices, or were envious of the prosperity of others, or because of some other misfortune or reason were hostile to the established government.
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At first great confusion and consternation fell upon the patricians, who feared that the seceders would at once come against the city together with the foreign enemies. Then, as if at a single signal, snatching up arms and attended each by his own clients, some went to defend the roads by which they expected the enemy would approach, others marched out to the fortresses in order to secure them, while still others encamped on the plains before the city; and those who by reason of age were unable to anything of the kind took their places upon the walls. But when they heard that the seceders were neither joining the enemy, laying waste the country, nor doing any other mischief worth speaking of, they gave up their fear, and changing their minds, proceeded to consider upon what terms they might come to an agreement with them. And speeches of every kind, directly opposed to one another, were made by the leading men of the se; but the most moderate speeches and those most suitable to the existing situation were delivered by the oldest senators, who showed that the people had not made this secession from them with any malicious intent, but partly compelled by irresistible calamities and partly deluded by their advises, and judging of their interest by passion rather than reason, as is wont to happen with an ignorant populace; and furthermore, that the greater part of them were conscious of having been ill advised and were seeking an opportunity of redeeming their offenses if they could find plausible excuses for doing so. At any rate their actions were those of men who had already repented, and if they should be given good hope for the future by a vote of the senate granting them impunity and offering an honourable accommodation, they would cheerfully take back what was their own. In urging this course they demanded that men of superior worth should not be more implacable than their inferiors, nor defer an accommodation till the senseless crowd should be either brought to their senses by necessity or induced by it to cure a smaller evil by a greater, in depriving themselves of liberty as the result of delivering up their arms and surrendering their persons at discretion; for these things were next to impossible. But by treating the people with moderation they ought to set the example of salutary counsels, and to anticipate the others in proposing an accommodation, bearing in mind that while governing and administering the state was the duty of the patricians, the promoting of friendship and peace was the part of good men. They declared that the prestige of the senate would be most diminished, not by a policy of administering the government safely while bearing nobly the calamities that were unavoidable, but by a policy whereby, in showing resentment toward the vicissitudes of fortune, they would overthrow the commonwealth. It was the part of folly, while aiming at appearances, to neglect security; it was desirable of course, to obtain both, but if one must do without either, safety ought to be regarded as more necessary than appearances. The final proposal of those who gave these advice was that ambassadors should be sent to the seceders to treat of peace, since they had been guilty of no irreparable mischief.
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This met with the approval of the senate. Thereupon they chose the most suitable persons and sent them to the people in the camp with orders to inquire of them what they desired and upon what terms they would consent to return to the city; for if any of their demands were moderate and possible to be complied with, the senate would not oppose them. If, therefore, they would now lay down their arms and return to the city they would be granted impunity for their past offenses and amnesty for the future; and if they showed the best will for the commonwealth and cheerfully exposed themselves to danger in the service of their country, they would receive honourable and advantageous returns. The ambassadors, having received these instructions, communicated them to the people in the camp and spoke in conformity to them. But the seceders, rejecting these invitations, reproached the patricians with haughtiness, severity, and great dissimulation in pretending, on the one hand, to be ignorant of the demands of the people and of the reasons which had compelled them to secede from them, and, again, in granting them impunity from all prosecution for their secession, just as if they were still masters of the situation, though themselves standing in need of the assistance of their fellow-citizens against their foreign enemies, who would soon come with all their forces , enemies who could not be withstood by men who looked upon their preservation as not so much their own advantage as the good fortune of those who should assist them. They ended with the statement that when the patricians themselves understood better the difficulties that beset the commonwealth, they would know what kind of adversaries they had to deal with; and they added many violent threats. To all of which the ambassadors made no further answer, but departed and informed the patricians of the representations made by the seceders. When those in the city received this answer, they were in much more serious confusion and fear than before; and neither the senate was able to find a solution of the difficulties or any means of postponing them, but, after listening to the taunts and accusations which the leading men directed at one another, adjourned day after day; nor were the plebeians who still remained in the city, constrained by their goodwill toward the patricians or their affection for their country, of the same mind as before, but a large part even of these were trickling away both openly and secretly, and it seemed that no reliance could be placed upon those who were left. In this state of affairs the consuls , for the period that still remained of their magistracy was short , appointed a day for the election of magistrates.
Roman antiquities 6.49
When the time came for them to assemble in the field to elect their magistrates, and no one either sought the consulship or would consent to accept it if offered, the people themselves chose two consuls from among those who had already held this magistracy and who were acceptable to both the people and the aristocracy, namely Postumus Cominius and Spurius Cassius, Cassius being the one through whose efforts the Sabines had been conquered and had resigned their claims to the leadership. This was in the seventy-second Olympiad, the year in which Tisicrates of Croton won the short-distance foot-race, Diognetus being then archon at Athens.
Upon assuming office on the calends of September, earlier than had been customary with the former consuls, they convened the senate before attending to any other business and asked for an expression of its opinion concerning the return of the plebeians. The first senator they called upon to declare his views was a man, then in the maturity of his age, who was looked upon as a person of superior wisdom and was particularly commended for his political principles, since he pursued a middle course, being inclined and to increase the arrogance of the aristocratic party nor to permit the people to have their own way in everything , namely Agrippa Menenius. It was he who now urged the senate to an accommodation, speaking as follows: "If all who are present, senators, chanced to be of the same opinion, and no one were going to oppose the accommodation with the people, but only the terms of it, be these just or unjust, on which we are to be reconciled with them were before you for consideration, I could have expressed my thoughts to you in few words. But since some consider that even this very point should be a matter for further consultation, whether it is better for us to come to an agreement with the seceders or go to war with them, I do not think it easy for me in a brief exposition of my views to advise you what ought to be done. On the contrary, a speech of some length is necessary, in order to show those among you who are opposed to the accommodation that they contradict themselves if, while intending to frighten you by playing on your far of those difficulties that are the most trivial and easily corrected, they at the same time neglect to consider the evils that are greatest and incurable. And they have fallen into this predicament for no other reason than that in judging what is expedient they do not use reason but rather passion and frenzy. For how can these men be said to foresee in their minds any course that is profitable or possible, when they imagine that a state so powerful and mistress of so extensive a dominion, a state that is calendar becoming an object of hatred, and a cause of offense to her neighbours, will easily be able either without the plebeians to hold and preserve the subject nations or else to bring some other people into the commonwealth, a better people in place of one most knavish, who will fight to preserve their supremacy for them and will live with them under the same government in profound quiet, behaving themselves with self-restraint in both peace and war? For there is no other possibility they could name that would justify their asking you not to accept the accommodation.
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"How utterly silly either of those two expedients is, I would have you consider from the facts themselves, bearing in mind that since the humbler citizens grew disaffected toward you because of those who treated their misfortunes as neither fellow-citizens nor men of self-restraint should, and withdrew, indeed, from the city, yet neither are doing to you, nor have any thought of doing, any other mischief, but are considering only by what means they may be reconciled to you without dishonour, many of those who are not well disposed toward you, joyfully seizing upon this incident presented to them by Fortune, have become elated in their minds and look upon this as the long-desired opportunity for breaking up your empire. Thus, the Aequians and Volscians, the Sabines and p9Hernicans, who in any case have missed no opportunity to make war against us, being now exasperated also at their late defeats, are plundering our fields. As to the parts of Campania and Tyrrhenia which have continued to be doubtful in their allegiance to us, some of them are openly revolting and others are secretly preparing to do the same. Not even the kindred race of Latins, as it seems, longer remains steadfastly loyal to us, though it entered into relations of confidence with us, but a large part even of this people is reported to be disaffected, succumbing to the passion for change which all men crave. And we who used to besiege the cities of others now ourselves sit at home, pent within our walls, having left our lands unsown and seeing our farm-houses plundered, our cattle driven off as booty, and our slaves deserting, without knowing how to deal with these misfortunes. While we suffer all this, do we still hope that the plebeians will become reconciled to us, even though we know that it is in our own power to put an end to the sedition by a single decree?
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"While our affairs in the open country are in this unhappy state, the situation within the walls is no less terrible. For we have neither provided ourselves with allies well in advance, as if we expected to be besieged, nor are we, unaided, sufficiently numerous to resist so many hostile nations; and even of this small and inadequate army the greater part consists of plebeians â" labourers, clients, and artisans â" not altogether trustworthy guardians for a tottering aristocracy. Moreover, the continual desertion of these now to the seceders has rendered all the rest liable to suspicion. But more than all these things, the impossibility of bringing in provisions while the country is in the power of the enemy already terrifies us, and when we are once in actual want, will terrify us still more; and, apart from this, the war allows not a moment's peace of mind. Yet surpassing all these calamities are the wretched wives, the infant children, and aged parents of the seceders wandering to and fro in the Forum and through every street, in pitiful garb and postures of mourning, weeping, supplicating, clinging to the hands and knees of everyone and bewailing the forlorn condition that afflicts them now and will according to them even more â" a dreadful and intolerable sight! No one, surely, is of so cruel a nature as not to have his heart touched at seeing these things, or to feel some sympathy for the misfortunes of his fellow-creatures. So that, if we are not going to trust the good faith of the plebeians, we shall have to get rid of these persons also, since some of them will be of no use while we are under siege and the others cannot be relied on to remain friendly. But when these too are driven away, what forces will be left to defend the city? And depending upon what assistance shall we dare to encounter these perils? Yet as for our natural refuge and our only trustworthy hope, the patrician youth, they are few, as you see, and it behooves us not to let our spirits rise because of them. Why, then, do those who propose that we submit to war indulge in nonsense and deceive us, instead of openly advising us to deliver up the city at once to our enemies without bloodshed and without trouble?
Roman antiquities 6.52
"But perhaps I myself am infatuated when I speak thus, and am asking you to fear things that are not formidable. The commonwealth is very likely threatened with no other danger as yet than a change of inhabitants, a matter of no serious consequence; and it would be very easy for us to receive into the body politic a multitude of labourers and clients from every nation and place. For this is the plan which many of the opponents of the plebeians keep prating of, and these by no means the most unimportant of them; to such a pitch of folly, indeed, have some already come, that instead of expressing salutary opinions they utter wishes impossible of realization. But I should like to ask these men: What superabundance of time will be afforded us to carry out these plans when the enemy is so near the city? What allowance will be made for the tarrying and delay of our auxiliaries who are to come, though we are in the midst of perils that do not tarry or delay? What man or what god will grant us security and will without molestation get together reinforcements from every quarter and conduct them hither? Besides, who are the people who will leave their own countries and remove to us? Are they such as have habitations, families, fortunes, and the respect of their fellow-citizens because of the distinction of their ancestors or a reputation for their own merit? And yet who would consent to leave behind his own blessings in order to share ignominiously the misfortunes of others? For they will come hither to share, not in peace and luxury, but in dangers and war, the successful issue of which cannot be foreseen. Or shall we bring in a multitude of homeless plebeians, like those driven from hence, who because of debts, judgments, and other like misfortunes will gladly remove to any place that may offer? But these, even though otherwise of a good and modest disposition, to concede them this much, yet just because of their being neither native born nor of like habits with us, and because they will not be acquainted with our customs, laws, and training, would no doubt be far, nay infinitely, worse than our own plebeians.
Roman antiquities 6.53
"The natives have here their wives, children, parents, and many others that are dear to them, to serve as pledges; yes, and there is their fondness for the soil that reared them, a passion that is implanted in all men and not to be eradicated; but as for this multitude which we propose to invite here, this people without roof or home, if they should take up their abode with us having none of these pledges here, in defence of what blessing would they care to face dangers, unless one were to promise to give them portions land and some part or other of the city, after first dispossessing the present owners â" things we refuse to grant to our own citizens who have often fought in their defence? And possibly they might not be content with even these grants alone, but would also insist upon an equal share of honours, of magistracies, and of all the p17other advantages with the patricians. If, therefore, we do not grant them every one of their demands, shall we not have them as our enemies when they fail to obtain what they ask? And if we grant their demands, our country and our constitution will be lost, destroyed by our own hands. I do not add here that what we need at the present time is men trained to war, men of disciplined bodies; not husbandmen, labourers, merchants, or followers of menial trades, who will be obliged to learn military discipline and to give proof of their skill at one and the same time (and skill in any unwonted activity is difficult), such as a promiscuous collection of men resorting hither from every nation is bound to be. As for a military alliance, I neither see any formed to assist us, nor, if any allies unexpectedly appeared, should I advise you to admit them inconsiderately within your walls, since I know that many a city has been enslaved by troops introduced to garrison it.
Roman antiquities 6.54
"When you consider these things as well as those that I have mentioned earlier, and recall, further, the considerations which encourage you to make the accommodation, namely, that we are not the only people, nor the first, among whom poverty has raised sedition against wealth, and lowliness against eminence, but that in nearly all states, both great and small, the lower class is generally hostile to the upper (and in all these states the men in power, when they have shown moderation, have saved their countries, but when they have acted arrogantly, have lost not only their goods, but their lives as well); and when you remember that everything that is composed of many parts is generally affected with a disorder in some one of them, and, furthermore, that neither the ailing part of a human body ought always to be lopped off (for that would be to render the appearance of the rest ugly and its term of life brief) nor the disordered part of a civil community to be driven out (since that would be the quickest way of destroying the whole in time through the loss of its separate parts); and when you consider also how great is the power of necessity, the one thing to which even the gods yield, be not vexed at your misfortunes nor allow yourselves to be filled with arrogance and folly, as if everything were going to succeed according to our wishes, but relent and yield, deriving examples of prudence, not from the actions of others, but from our own.
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"For the individual man and the state as a whole ought to emulate the most illustrious of their own actions and to consider how all their any other actions may correspond with these. Thus you yourselves, when in times past you subdued many of your enemies at whose hands you had suffered the greatest injuries, desired neither to destroy them nor to dispossess them of what was theirs, but restored their houses and lands to them and permitted them to live in the countries that had given them birth, and actually granted to some of them the privilege both of being your fellow-citizens and of exercising equal rights of suffrage. But I have yet a more wonderful act of yours to relate, which is, that you have permitted many even of your own fellow-citizens who commit grievous offenses against you to go unpunished, while you have visited your resentment solely upon those who were guilty. Of this number were the colonies sent out to Antemnae, Crustumerium, Medullia, Fidenae, and to many other places. But why should I now enumerate all those whom, after you had taken their towns by storm, you admonished mildly and as became fellow-citizens? And so far has the commonwealth been from incurring either danger or censure from this course, that your clemency is applauded and at the same time your security is not at all diminished. After that will you, who spare your enemies, make war upon your friends? Will you, who permit the conquered to go unpunished, punish those who aided you in acquiring your dominion? Will you, who offer your own city as a safe refuge for all who stand in need of it, bring yourselves to drive out of that city the natives with whom you have been reared and educated and with whom you have shared many experiences both evil and good in peace as well as in war? No, not if you desire to act with justice and in conformity with your traditions, and if without passion you judge what is to your interest.
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"But, someone may say, we know as well as you that the sedition ought to be appeased, and we have laboured earnestly to that end. Undertake not to tell us how we may appease it. For you see how headstrong the people are grown: though they themselves are the offenders, they neither send to us to treat of an accommodation nor give to the men we have sent to them answers that are those of fellow-citizens or considerate, but indulge in haughtiness and threats, so that it is not easy to guess what they want. Hear, then, in what manner I advise you to act now in this situation. For my part, I do not believe either that the people are irreconcilable toward us or that they will carry out any of their threats. My reason is that their actions do not agree with their words, and I judge that they are far more in earnest than we about the accommodation. For while we continue to live in our own country, which is most dear to us, and have in our own power our fortunes, our houses, our families, and everything that means most to us, they are without country or habitation, are bereft of their dearest relations, and lack for their daily bread. If anyone should ask me for what reason, then, the people even under these miseries do not accept our invitations and why they do not on their own initiative send to treat with us, I should answer: Because, most assuredly, they thus far hear words from the senate, but see no act of kindness or moderation follow the words; and the feel that they have been often deceived by us, in that we are always promising to take some measures of relief for them, but taking none. They are unwilling to send envoys to us because of those who are accustomed to inveigh against them here and because they fear they may fail of some of their demands. Perhaps too they may be possessed by some feeling of senseless rivalry. And no wonder; since there are some even among us ourselves in whom this quarrelsome and contentious spirit resides, both in private and in public matters, men who cannot bear to be overcome by their adversaries, but are always seeking by any means whatever to get the better of them and never to confer a favour before they have subdued those who are to have the benefit of it. In view of these considerations think an embassy should be sent to the plebeians consisting of persons in whom they have the greatest confidence; and I advise that those to be sent be invested with full power to put an end to the sedition upon such terms as they themselves shall think fit, without again referring anything to the senate. For if the plebeians, who now seem to be scornful and sullen, shall become aware of this, learning that you are in earnest regarding the accommodation, they will condescend to more moderate conditions and will demand nothing of us that is either dishonourable or impossible. For all men, when inflamed with anger, particularly those of humble condition, are wont to be enraged against those who treat them haughtily, but to be mild toward those who court their favour."
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When Menenius had thus spoken, a great murmuring broke out in the senate and the members consulted together, each with their own groups. Those who were favourably disposed toward the plebeians exhorted one another to devote every energy toward bringing the people back to their country, now that they had got as the champion of their present view the most distinguished man of the aristocratic party. The aristocrats, in turn, who above everything wished no change to be made in the traditional form of government, were at a loss how to act in the present juncture, being unwilling to change their principles and yet unable to persist in their resolutions. And those, again, who were neutral and sided with neither of the parties in their strife, desired to see peace prevail and demanded that the senate should consider means to prevent the city from being besieged. When silence reigned, the elder of the consuls praised Menenius for his magnanimity and asked the rest to show themselves equally loyal defenders of the state, not only by expressing their opinions frankness, but also by carrying out their resolutions without fear; and then he called upon a second senator by name in the same manner to deliver his opinion. This was Manius Valerius, a brother of the Valerius who had assisted in delivering his country from the kings, a man acceptable to the people beyond any other member of the aristocratic party.
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He, rising up, first called the attention of the senate to the policies he himself had pursued and reminded them that, though he had often foretold the dangers they would incur, they had made light of his predictions. He then requested that those who opposed the accommodation should not at this time inquire into the reasonableness of the terms, but, since they had been unwilling to allow the sedition to be appeased while the disputes in the state were still unimportant, that they would now at least consider by what means it might be speedily terminated and might not, by going on still further, insensibly become perhaps incurable, or in any case hard to be cured, and the cause of great evils to them. He told them that the demands of the plebeians would no longer be the same as before, and he did not imagine that the people would enter into a compact upon the same terms, asking merely for an abolition of their debts, but that they would possibly call for some assistance also, by which they might for the future live in safety. For since the institution of the dictatorship, he said, the law that safeguarded their liberty had been abolished, the law which allowed no citizen to be put to death by the consuls without a trial, nor any of the plebeians who had been tried and condemned by the patricians, to be delivered up to those who had condemned them, but granted to those who desired it the right of appealing the decisions from the patricians to the people, and that the judgment of the people should be final. He added that almost all the other privileges enjoyed in former times by the plebeians had been taken away, since they had been unable to obtain from the senate even the usual military triumph for Publius Servilius Priscus, who had deserved this honour more than any other man. At this, he said, most of the people were distressed, as was to be expected, and entertained slender hopes of their security, since neither a consul nor a dictator had been able, even when they wished, to take care of their interests, but the zeal and care they showed for the people had actually gained for some of them abuse and ignominy. He declared that these things had been brought about by plotting, not on the part of the more cultivated men among the patricians, but on the part of some insolent and avaricious men desperately eager for unjust gain, who, having advanced a large amount of money at a high rate of interest and made slaves of many of their fellow-citizens, had, by treating these with cruel and arrogant harshness, alienated the whole body of the plebeians from the aristocracy, and having formed a faction and place at the head of it Appius Claudius, an enemy of the people and a champion of oligarchy, were through him throwing all the affairs of the commonwealth into confusion; and he declared that if the sober part of the senate did not oppose these men, the state was in danger of being enslaved and destroyed. He ended by saying that he concurred in the opinion of Menenius, and asked that the envoys might be sent immediately, and that upon arriving they should endeavour to appease the sedition upon such terms as they desired, but if these were not granted, they should accept such as were offered.
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After him, Appius Claudius, who was leader of the faction that opposed the people, being called upon to express his opinion, rose up, a man who set a great value upon himself and not without just cause; for his private life was sober and dignified, while his political principles were noble and calculated to preserve the dignity of the aristocracy. He, taking as his starting point the speech of Valerius, spoke as follows: "Valerius would have deserved less censure if he had merely expressed his own opinion, without inveighing against those who hold the opposite view, for in that case he would have had the advantage of not hearing an exposition of his own faults. However, since he has not been content with advising such a course as can end in nothing else than in making us slaves to the worst of the citizens, but has also attacked his opponents and had levelled some of his shafts at me, I find it quite necessary for me also to speak of these matters, and first to clear myself of the charges he has brought against me. For has reproached me with conduct neither seemly nor becoming to a citizen, charging that I have chosen to get money by every possible means and have deprived many of the poor of their liberty, and that the secession of the people took place chiefly because of me. Now it is an easy matter for you to learn that none of these allegations is true or well grounded. For come, tell us, Valerius: Who are the people whom I have enslaved on account of their debts? Who are the citizens I have kept, or now keep, in prison? Which of the seceders is deprived of his country through my cruelty or avarice? Why, you can name none. For I am so far from having enslaved any one of the citizens for debt that, after advancing my own money to very great numbers, I have caused none of those who defrauded me to be either handed over to me or disfranchised, but all of them are free and all are grateful to me and are numbered among my closest friends and clients. I do not say this by way of accusing those who have not acted as I have, nor do I think any men guilty of wrong-doing because they have done what was permitted by law; I am merely attempting to clear myself of the accusations brought against me.
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"As to my severity and my having acted as the patron of wicked men, with which he has reproached me, calling me an enemy of the people and a champion of oligarchy because I adhere to the aristocracy, these accusations apply equally to all those among you who, as men of superior worth, think it beneath you to be governed by your inferiors or to allow the form of government you have inherited from your ancestors to be overthrown by the worst of all constitutions, a democracy. For if this man sees fit to call the government of the best men an oligarchy, it does not therefore follow that the thing itself, because it is traduced by that appellation, will be destroyed. But we can bring a much juster and truer reproach against him, that of flattering the people and desiring tyrannical measures; for all the world knows that every tyrant springs from a flatterer of the people and that the direct road for those who wish to enslave their country is that which leads to domination through the favour of the worst citizens ,the very ones whom this man has ever courted and does not cease even to this day to court. For you know full well that these vile and low wretches would not have dared to commit such offenses, had they not been urged on by this high and mighty man, this lover of his country, and made to believe that the act would be attended with no danger and that not only would they go unpunished, but their lot would even be improved by it. You will be convinced of the truth of what I say if you will recall that, while he was frightening you with a war and showing the necessity of an accommodation, he we are told you at the same time also that the poor would not be contented with an abolition of their debts, but would also call for some assistance, and would no longer submit to be governed by you as before. And in closing he exhorted you to acquiesce in the present state of affairs and to grant everything the people should think fit to demand as the conditions of their return, without distinguishing whether those demands were honourable or shameful, just or unjust. With so much arrogance has the senseless multitude been inspired by this old man who has enjoyed every honour you could confer upon him. Did it, then, become you, Valerius, to utter against others the reproaches they have not deserved, when you yourself lie open to such accusations?
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"As for the calamities which this man has uttered against me, what I have said suffices. But concerning the subject which you have met to discuss, it seems to me that what I not only proposed at first, but even now, continuing of the same opinion, still propose, was just, worthy of the commonwealth, and advantageous for yourselves, namely, not to disturb the form of our government nor to alter the unalterable customs of our ancestors, nor to banish from among men good faith, a sacred thing, through the possession of which every state dwells in security, nor to give way to a stupid populace which desires unjust and unlawful things. And not only do I not retract any part of my opinion through fear of my adversaries, who endeavour to frighten me by rousing the plebeians in the city against me, but I am much more than ever confirmed in my resentment, and my indignation at the demands of the people is doubled. And I am surprised, senators, at the inconsistency of your judgment, in that, after refusing to grant to the people at their request an abolition of their debts and a discharge from the judgments against them before they were as yet openly your enemies, you now, when they are in arms and are committing acts of hostility, deliberate whether you will grant these demands and anything else they may think fit. They will think fit, of course, and will make it the first of their demands to have an equal share of honours with us and to enjoy the same privileges. Will not the government then be transformed into a democracy, which of all human constitutions, as I said, is the most senseless and the least expedient for you who presume to rule over others? It will not be, if you are in your right senses. Otherwise you would be the most foolish of all men if, after regarding it as intolerable to be governed by one tyrant, you should now deliver yourselves up to the populace, a many-headed tyranny, and grant these things to them, not as a gracious concession to their pleading, but constrained by necessity and, on the assumption that it is not in our power to do anything else now, yielding against your will. And when this senseless multitude, instead of being punished for its offenses, even obtains honours as a reward for those offenses, how headstrong and arrogant do you think it will become? For do not encourage yourselves with the hope that the people will moderate their demands if it becomes known to them that you all concurred in this resolution.
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"But in this matter Menenius, a prudent man who imputes good intentions to others judging them by himself, is very much mistaken. For they will urge you with an importunity grievous beyond all measure, encouraged both by arrogance, which tends always to accompany victory, and by folly, of which the multitude has so great a share. And if not at first, then certainly later, upon every occasion when their demands are not granted, they will take up arms and attack you violently in the same way as before. So that if you yield to their first demands as a matter of expediency, you will presently have something worse imposed upon you, and then something else still harsher than that, upon the supposition that your first concessions too flowed from fear, till at last they drive you out of the city, as has happened in many other places, and, most recently, at Syracuse, where the landowners were expelled by their clients. If, then, in your indignation in those circumstances you intend to oppose their demands, why do you not from this instant begin to assume the spirit of free men? For it is better the display your proud spirit on a slighter provocation to start with and before suffering any injury, than, after submitting to many injuries, than, after submitting to many injuries, to be indignant only then at what had happened, refuse to endure any more, and begin too late to be prudent. Let none of you be terrified either by the threatening glamour of the seceders or by this foreign war; and do not disparage our domestic forces as being insufficient to preserve the commonwealth. For the strength of the fugitives is slight, and they will not be able to hold out long in the open in huts during the winter season, as they are now doing; and far from being able to go on securing provisions by plundering when they have consumed their present store, they will not be able even to purchase any elsewhere and convey them to their camp, by reason of their poverty, since they have no money, either individually or in common, and wars, as a rule, can only be kept up by plenty of money. Besides, anarchy, in all probability, and sedition, growing out of anarchy, will seize them and soon confound and bring to naught their counsels. For surely they will not consent to deliver themselves up to either the Sabines or the Tyrrhenians or any other foreigners and become slaves to those whom they themselves together with you once deprived of their liberty; and, most important of all, men who have wickedly and shamefully endeavoured to destroy their own country will not even be trusted by these other nations, for fear they might treat the country that receives them in the same manner. For all the nations round us are governed by aristocracies, and the plebeians in no state lay claim to an equal share in the government; so that the leading men in every state, who do not permit their own populace to make any innovations, will doubtless never receive this foreign and seditious multitude into their country, lest, by permitting them to enjoy equal rights and privileges, they themselves should one day be deprived of their own position of equality. But if I am mistaken after all, and any state should receive them, they would thereupon reveal themselves as enemies and men deserving to be treated as such. We have, as hostages for them, their parents, their wives, and the rest of their relations, and better hostages we could not ask of the gods in our prayers; let us place these in the sight of their relations, threatening, in case they dare to attack us, to put them to death under the most ignominious tortures. And once they understand this, be assured you will find them resorting to entreaties and lamentations, and delivering themselves up to you unarmed, and ready to submit to anything whatever. For such natural ties have remarkable power to upset all arrogant calculations and bring them to naught.
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"These are the reasons why I do not think we should fear a war on the part of the fugitives. As to the dangers from foreign nations, this is not the first time those dangers will have been proved to be such in words only, but even before this, whenever they have given us the opportunity of putting them to the test, they have been found less terrible than we apprehended. And let those who believe our domestic forces to be inadequate and dread war chiefly for this reason learn that they are not sufficiently acquainted with them. So far indeed as the seceders among the citizens are concerned, we shall have an adequate force to cope with them if we see fit to choose out the most vigorous of our slaves and give them their freedom. For it is better to grant these their freedom than to be deprived of our supremacy by the others. The slaves are already possessed of sufficient military skill by having attended us in many campaigns. Against our foreign enemies let us not only march out ourselves with all possible alacrity, but let us take along all our clients and such plebeians as remain; and in order that they may be eager for the struggle, let us grant them an abolition of their debts, not to all collectively, but to each one individually. For if we must yield to the times and show some moderation, let not that moderation be extended toward such of the citizens as are our enemies, but towards such as are our friends, on whom we shall then seem to be bestowing favours, not under compulsion, but as the result of persuasion. And if still other assistance shall be needed, this being thought insufficient, let us send for the garrisons of the fortresses and recall the men from the colonies. How large the number of these is may be easily learned from the last census, when there were assessed 130,000 Romans of military age, of which the fugitives would not make a seventh part. I say nothing of the thirty cities of the Latin nation, which would be only too glad to fight our battles by reason of their kinship, if you would but grant them equal rights of citizenship, which they have constantly sought.
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"But the greatest advantage in war is one which neither you yourselves have yet thought of nor any of your advisers mentions. This I will add to those I have named, and then make an end. There is nothing so essential to those who are to have their wars crowned with success as good generals. In these our commonwealth is rich, while there is a scarcity of them among our enemies. For very numerous armies, when led by generals who know not how to command, disgrace themselves and bring about their own defeat as a rule, and the larger their bulk is, the more liable they are to this fate; whereas good generals, even though the armies they receive are small, soon make them large. Hence, as long as we have generals able to command, we shall never lack men ready to obey. Bearing these things in mind, therefore, and recalling the achievements of the commonwealth, vote for nothing mean, ignoble, or unworthy of yourselves. What course of action, then, if anyone should ask me, do I advise you to take? For this is what you have probably long been eager to know. My advice, then, is neither to send ambassadors to the seceders nor to decree an abolition of their debts, nor to do anything else that might seem to betray fear or perplexity. But if they lay down their arms, return to the city, and leave it to you to consult about them at leisure, I advise you first to examine the situation and then to treat them with moderation, knowing as you do that all senseless creatures, particularly a rabble, behave themselves with arrogance toward the meek and with meekness toward the arrogant."
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When Claudius had done speaking, a great glamour and prodigious tumult filled the senate-chamber for a long time. For those who were reputed to be of the aristocratic party and thought they ought to consider the more just course in preference to the unjust concurred in the opinion of Claudius, and asked the consuls preferably to join the better side, considering that the power of the magistracy they held derived from the kings, not from the people; but if they could not do this, then to keep themselves neutral and not bring pressure to bear upon either faction, but after counting the opinions of the senators, to align themselves with the majority. And if they scorned both these courses and themselves assumed the sole power of concluding the accommodation, they said they would not permit it, but would oppose them with the utmost vigour, with words as far as they could, and, if it should prove necessary, with arms. These were a powerful group, and almost all the young patricians adhered to this policy. But all the lovers of peace espoused the opinion of Menenius and Valerius, particularly those who were advanced in years and remembered all the calamities which come upon states as the result of civil wars. Nevertheless, being overborne by the glamour and disorderly behaviour of the young men and viewing with concern their spirit of rivalry and fearing lest the insolence with which they treated the consuls might come close to violence unless some concession were made to them, they at last had recourse to weeping and entreating their opponents.
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The tumult being appeased and silence restored at last, the consuls after some consultation together pronounced their decision, as follows: "As for us, senators, what we desired most was that you should all be of one mind, particularly when you were deliberating about the public safety; but if that could not be, then we desired that the younger senators should yield to the older men among you and not contend with them, bearing in mind that when they have come to the same age they will received the same deference from their juniors. But since we observe that you have fallen into strife, the most baneful of all human maladies, and that the arrogance dwelling in the young men among you is great, for the present, since the remaining part of the day is short and there is not time for you to reach a final decision, leave the senate-chamber and go home; and you will come to the next session more moderate in spirit and with better counsels. But if your contentiousness shall persist, we will no longer make use of young men either as judges or counsellors concerning what is advantageous, but for the future shall restrain their disorderly behaviour by fixing a legal age that senators must have reached. As to the older members, we shall again give them an opportunity of delivering their opinions; and if they do not agreed, we shall put an end to their strife by a speedy method which it is better you should hear of and learn beforehand. You are doubtless aware that we have had a law, as long as we have inhabited this city, by which the senate is invested with sovereign power in everything except the appointing of magistrates, the enacting of laws, and declaring or terminating of wars, and that the power of determining these three matters rests with the people, by their votes. Now at the present time we are discussing nothing other than war or peace, so that there is every necessity that the people should be given the opportunity to vote and confirm our resolutions. We shall therefore summon them to present themselves in the Forum pursuant to this law, and after you have delivered your opinions, we shall take their votes, believing this to be the best means of putting an end to your strife; and whatever the majority of the people shall determine, we shall regard that as valid. This honour, I presume, is deserved by those who have remained loyal to the commonwealth and are to share both out good and bad fortune."
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Having said this, they dismissed the session; and during the following days they ordered proclamation to be made that all who were in the country and in the fortresses should present themselves, and they gave notice to the senate to assemble on the same day. When they found the city was thronged with people and that the sentiments of the patricians had yielded to the entreaties, tears and lamentations both of the parents and infant children of the seceders, they went on the appointed day to the Forum, which was completely packed with a concourse of all sorts of people who had been there from far back in the night. And proceeding to the sanctuary of Vulcan, where it was custom for the people to hold their assemblies, they first commended them for their alacrity and zeal in attending en masse, and then advised them to wait quietly till the preliminary decree of the senate should be passed; and they exhorted the kinsmen of the seceders to entertain good hopes of getting back in a short time those who were dearest to them. After that they went to the senate-house, where they not only themselves spoke with reasonableness and moderation, but also asked the rest to deliver opinions that were expedient and humane. And ahead of all the others they called upon Menenius, who, rising up, spoke to the same effect as before, exhorting the senate to make the accommodation, and expressed the same opinion, asking that envoys should speedily be sent to the seceders with full powers in regard to the accommodation.
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After him the others who had held the office of consul, being called upon according to their age, rose up and all favoured adopting the opinion of Menenius, till it came to the turn of Appius to speak. He, rising up, said: "I see, senators, that it is the pleasure both of the consuls and of almost all the rest of you to bring back the people upon their own terms; and I alone am left of all those who opposed the accommodation, with the result that I continue to be hated by them and at the same time am no longer of any use to you. Nevertheless, I shall not on this account depart from my former opinion nor willingly desert my post as a citizen; but the more I am abandoned by those who formerly espoused the same sentiments, the more I shall one day be esteemed by you; while I live, I shall be praised by you, and when I am dead, I shall be remembered by posterity. But do thou, Jupiter Capitolinus, and ye guardian gods of our city, ye heroes and divinities who keep watch over the land of the Romans, grant that the return of the fugitives may be honourable and advantageous to all, and that I may be mistaken in my forebodings regarding the future. But if any misfortune should come upon the commonwealth as a result of these measures, and this will soon be manifest, may ye yourselves speedily correct them and grant safety and security to the commonwealth! And to me, who neither upon any other occasion ever chose to say the things that were most agreeable instead of those that were most profitable, nor am now betraying the state while securing my own safety, may ye be favourable and propitious! These are the prayers I address to the gods; for speeches are of no further use.
The opinion I express is the same as before, namely, to relieve of their debts the people who remain in the city, but to make war upon the seceders with the utmost vigour as long as they remain in arms."
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Having said this, he ended. When the opinions of the older senators agreed with that of Menenius and it came to the turn of the younger members to speak, the whole senate being on tip-toe with suspense, Spurius Nautius rose up, the heir of a most illustrious family. For Nautius, the founder of the line, was one of those who took out the colony with Aeneas, being a priest of Athena Polias; and when he removed from Troy, he brought with him the wooden statue of that goddess, which the family of the Nautii guarded thereafter, receiving it in succession one from another. This man was esteemed the most illustrious of all the younger senators for his own merits as well, and it was expected that he would soon obtain the consulship. He began by making a general defence of all the younger senators, declaring that neither a spirit of rivalry towards their elders nor arrogance had induced them to adopt a position opposed to that of the others at the last meeting of the senate, and if they had committed any error, it had been a mistake in judgment due to their youth; and in conclusion he said that they would now give proof of this by changing their opinion. They consented at any rate that the others, as men of better judgment, should decree whatever they thought most conducive to the welfare of the state, assuring them that they, at least, would offer no opposition in this matter, but would follow the advice of their elders. And when all the other younger members made the same declaration, except a very small number who were related to Appius, the consuls commended their dignified behaviour and exhorted them to conduct themselves in the same manner in all public matters; after which they chose as envoys ten men who were the most distinguished of the older senators, all but one being former consuls. Those appointed were the following:
Agrippa Menenius Lanatus, the son of Gaius, Manius Valerius [Volusus], the son of Volusus, . . ., Publius Servilius [Priscus], the son of Publius, . . ., Publius Postumius Tubertus, the son of Quintus, Titus Aebutius Flavus, the son of Titus, Servius Sulpicius Camerinus, the son of Publius, Aulus Postumius Balbus, the son of Publius, and Aulus Verginius Caelimontanus, the son of Aulus. After this, the senate being dismissed, the consuls went to the assembly of the people, and having ordered the decree of the senate to be read, presented the envoys. And as everyone desired to be informed of the instructions which the senate had given them, the consuls declared openly that they had ordered them to reconcile the people to the patricians by any means they could without fraud or deceit and to bring the fugitives home speedily.
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The envoys, having received these instructions from the senate, when out of the city the same day. But the news of everything that had passed in the city reached those in the camp ahead of them, and presently all the plebeians left the encampment and met the envoys while they were still upon the road. Now there was in the camp a very turbulent and seditious man who had a shrewd mine for foreseeing something of the future far in advance, and he was not lacking in ability to express his thoughts, being a great talker and babbler. He had the same name, Lucius Junius, as the man who had overthrown the kings, and desiring to make the similarity of their names complete, he wished also to be called Brutus. To most people, it seems, he was a laughing-stock because of his vain pretentiousness, and when they wished to make sport of him, they called him by the nickname Brutus. This man now showed Sicinius, who was the commander of the camp, that it was not to the best interest of the people to submit readily to the proposals that were offered, lest by beginning with too moderate a demand, they might find their return home less honourable, but to oppose them for a long time and to inject into the negotiations an element of play-acting; and after promising to take upon himself the defence of the people and suggesting everything else that was to be done and said, he prevailed upon Sicinius. Thereupon Sicinius, assembling the people, asked the envoys to state their reason for coming.
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Then Manius Valerius, who was the oldest of the envoys and most in sympathy with the common people, came forward, while the crowd testified their affection for him by the friendliest expressions and appellations; and when he had secured silence, he spoke as follows: "Nothing now hinders you, plebeians, from returning to your homes and being reconciled to the senators. For the senate has voted you an honourable and advantageous return, and has decreed an amnesty for all that has happened. They have also sent us as envoys, men whom they knew to be the greatest friends of the people and deservedly honoured by you, giving us full powers with respect to the accommodation, so that we may not judge of your sentiments by appearances or conjectures, but may learn from you yourselves upon what terms you think fit to put an end to the sedition, and, if there is any moderation in your demands and they are not impossible or precluded by some irreparable dishonour attached to them, we may grant them to you without waiting for the opinion of the senate or exposing the negotiations to long delays and to the jealousy of your adversaries. Since, then, the senate has passed this decree, do you receive their favours, plebeians, joyfully, with the greatest alacrity and enthusiasm, setting a high value upon so great good fortune and returning profound thanks therefor to the gods, in that the Roman commonwealth, which rules over so many people, and the senate, which has the command of all the blessings therein, though it is an established custom with them to yield to none of their adversaries, nevertheless willingly yield some of their dignity in favour of you alone. For they neither thought fit to enter into such a minute discussion of the rights of each side as might be expected from superiors when treating with their inferiors, but instead took the initiative themselves in sending envoys to propose an accommodation, nor did they receive with anger the haughty answers you gave to their former envoys, but endured this insolent and puerile exhibition of your arrogance as good parents would endure that of their foolish children; and they thought they ought to send another embassy and accept less than their full rights, and to submit to anything, citizens, that is reasonable. Now that you have met with so great good fortune, do not delay, plebeians, to tell us what you desire and do not mock at us. But when you have put an end to the sedition, return with joy to your country which gave you your birth and rearing, blessings for which you made her a sorry recompense and return when you left her, as far as in you lay, to be desolate and a pasture for flocks. But if you let this opportunity slip, you will wish time and again for another."
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When now Valerius had done speaking, Sicinius came forward and said that those who deliberated wisely ought not to examine the expediency of any measure from a single point of view, but should suggest to themselves the opposite view as well, particularly when affairs of so great moment were under consideration. Then he asked any who pleased to answer these proposals, laying aside all modesty and caution; for their situation, now that they were reduced to such distress, did not permit of their yielding to either hesitation or undue modesty. When there was silence, they all looked at one another to find out who would prospect for the common cause; but none appeared, though Sicinius repeated the same request several times. At last Lucius Junius, the man who wanted Brutus to be added to his name, came forward in accordance with his promise, and being received with general applause from the crowd, delivered a speech of the following tenor: It seems, plebeians, that the dread of the patricians is still so firmly rooted in your minds that it holds you in terror, and, humbled on that account, you shrink from uttering in public the arguments that you are wont to use to one another. For each one openly, perhaps, thinks that his neighbour will plead the common cause and that all the others rather than he will undergo any danger there may be, while he himself, standing in a place of safety, will enjoy, free from fear, his share of the benefit arising from the boldness of the other. But in this he is mistaken; for if we should all hold this opinion, the cowardice of each one of you will prove a common injury to all, and while every man consults his own safety, he will be destroying the common safety of all. But even if you did not know before that you are freed from this dread and that you have your liberty secure as long as you have your arms, learn it now at least, taking these men as your teachers. For these arrogant and stern men have not come with orders for you, as before, or with threats, but begging and beseeching you to return to your homes, and now begin to deal with you as with free men upon equal terms. Why, then, are you any longer in awe of them and why are you silent? Why do you not assume the spirit of free men, and having now broken at last the curb which held you, tell all men what you have suffered at their hands? Unhappy men, of what are you afraid? That you will suffer some harm if you follow my lead in giving free rein to the tongue? For I shall expose myself to the danger of declaring to them frankly the justice of your cause, concealing nothing. And since Valerius has said that nothing hinders you from going back to your homes, these having given you leave to return and having decreed you an amnesty besides, IÂ shall give him this answer, that which is the very truth and must needs be told.
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"As for us, Valerius, there are many other reasons that hinder us from laying down our arms and putting ourselves in your power, but these three are the most important and the most obvious: First, because you have come to accuse us as if we had offended, and when you give us leave to return you count it as a favor to us; next, because when you invite us to an accommodation you do not give any hint upon what terms of justice and humanity we are to enter into it; and lastly, because there is no certainty of your fulfilling your promises to us, since time and again you have consistently deceived and deluded us. I shall speak to each of these points separately, beginning with the matter of justice; for it is the duty of all who speak either in private or in public to begin with justice. Well then, if we are doing you any injustice, we do not ask for either impunity or an amnesty; though we do not choose even to share the same city with you any longer, but will live wherever Fate shall lead us, leaving it to Fortune and to the gods to direct our course. But if, suffering injustice at your hands, we have been compelled to experience this condition in which we now are, why do you not acknowledge that, having yourselves wronged us, you stand in need of pardon and an amnesty? But as it is, you profess to be giving the pardon for which you ought to be asking, and prate boastfully of acquitting us of the resentment of which you yourselves seek to be acquitted, thereby confusing the very essence of truth and reversing the very meaning of justice. That you are not the victims, but the doers of injustice, and that you have not made handsome returns for the many great services you have received from the people in respect both to your liberty and to your sovereignty, learn from me now. I shall begin my argument with the matters you yourselves are acquainted with, and I beg of you in the name of the gods, if make any false statement, that you will not tolerate it, but will promptly refute me.
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"Our earliest government was monarchy, under which constitution we lived till the seventh generation. And during all these reigns the people never suffered any loss of rights at the hands of their kings, and least of all from those who reigned last, to say nothing of the many important advantages they enjoyed from their rule. For, besides the other methods the kings used of courting and flattering the people in order to win them to themselves and make them enemies to you which is the practice of all rulers who aim at extending their power to tyranny when they had made themselves masters of Suessa, a very prosperous city, after a long war, and had it in their power to grant no part of the spoils to anyone, but to appropriate the whole to themselves and surpass all other kings in riches, they did not think fit to do so, but brought out all the booty and placed it at the disposal of the army, so that, besides the slaves, cattle and the other spoils, which were many and of great value, every one of us received five minae
of silver for his share. But we disregarded all this when they used their power more in the manner of tyrants to injure, not us, to be sure, but you; and resenting their behaviour, we gave up our affection for our kings and joined you, and rising with you against them, both those of us who were in the city and those in camp, we drove them out, and bringing to you their power, entrusted it to you. And though it was often possible for us to go over to the side of the expelled kings, yet we scorned to accept the lavish gifts they offered us to induce us to violate our pledge to you, but patiently endured many great and continuous wars and dangers on your account. And up to this time, which is the seventeenth year, we have been worn out with fighting against all mankind for our common liberty. For while the government was still unsettled as often happens in the case of sudden revolutions we ventured to contend with the two most renowned cities of the Tyrrhenians, Tarquinii and Veii, when they sought with a large army to restore the kings; and fighting, a few against many, and displaying the greatest enthusiasm, we not only overcame and drove back these foes, but preserved the power for the surviving consul. Not long afterwards, when Porsena, king of the Tyrrhenians, was also endeavouring to restore the exiles both with the united forces of all Tyrrhenia commanded by himself and with those which the others had long before raised, we, though unprovided with an adequate army, and for that reason forced to undergo a siege and reduced to the last extremity and to a dearth of everything, yet by enduring all these hardships forced him to depart after first becoming our friend. And last of all, when the kings for the third time sought to effect their restoration with the aid of the Latin nation and brought against us thirty cities, we, seeing you entreating, lamenting, calling upon every one of us, and reminding us of our friendship, our common rearing, and the campaigns we had shared together, could not bear to abandon you. But looking upon it as a most honourable and glorious thing to give your battles, we rushed into the midst of perils and hazarded on that occasion surely the greatest danger of all, in which, after we had received many wounds and lost many of our relations, companions and comrades in arms, we overcame the enemy, killed their generals, and destroyed the whole royal family.
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"These are the services we rendered to assist you in freeing yourselves from the tyrants, exerting ourselves beyond our strength because of our enthusiasm, and engaging in the struggle quite as much through the promptings of our own valour as because of necessity. Now hear what we have done to gain for you the respect of and the rule over others, and to acquire for you a power greater than was at first expected; and, as I said before, if I deviate from the truth, you will contradict me. For you, when it seemed that your liberty was firmly assured, were not contented to stop there, but intent upon bold and new undertakings, and regarding as a possible enemy every creature who clung to liberty, and declaring war against almost all the world, in all the perils and in all the battles fought to support that greed for power you thought fit to waste our bodies. I say nothing of all the cities that sometimes singly, sometimes two jointly, fought with you in defense of their liberty, some of which we overcame in pitched battles and others we took by storm and compelled them to become subjects to you. For what need is there to relate these actions in detail when we have such an abundance of material? But who were they who assisted you in acquiring and subjecting to you all Tyrrhenia, a country divided into twelve principalities and exceeding powerful on both land and sea? Whose assistance rendered the Sabines, this powerful nation which had ever contended with you for the primacy, unable any longer to contend for equality? And again, who subdued the thirty cities of the Latins, which not only gloried in the superiority of their forces but prided themselves on the superior justice of their demands? And who compelled them to fly to you imploring you to prevent their enslavement and the razing of their cities?
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"I omit the other dangers in which we engaged along with you while we were not yet at odds with you and indeed laid claim ourselves to some share of the expected profits of empire. But when at last it was clear that the empire that you had gained was a tyranny, that you abused us like slaves, and that we no longer continued to entertain the same feelings towards you, and when almost all your subjects revolted, the Volscians setting the example, which was followed by the Aequians, the Hernicans, the Sabines
, and many others, and a unique opportunity seemed to offer itself, if we chose to take advantage of it, to accomplish one of two things, either to overthrow your empire or to render it more moderate for the future, do you remember into what despair of your domination you fell and how you were in the last stage of discouragement lest we should either not assist you in the war or, indulging in our resentment, should go over to the enemy, and what entreaties and promises you made? What did we, the humble folk who had been treated outrageously by you, do then? We allowed ourselves to be overcome by the entreaties and prevailed upon by the promises which the excellent Servilius here, who was consul at the time, made to the people, and retained no resentment against you for the wrongs of the past, but conceiving good hopes of the future, we entrusted ourselves to you; and having subdued all your enemies in a short time, we returned with many prisoners and rich spoils. For these services what return did you make to us? One that was just and worthy of the dangers to which we had exposed ourselves? No, indeed; far from it! Why, you violated even the promises which you had ordered the consul to make to us in the name of the commonwealth; and this excellent man himself, whom you had basely used to trick us, you deprived of his triumph, though he of all men most deserved that honour, and you attached this disgrace to him for no other reason than because he asked you to perform the act of justice that you had promised and made it clear that he resented your deceit.
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"And just recently (for I shall add this one more instance to that part of my discourse which relates to justice before I make an end), when the Aequians, the Sabines, and the Volscians with one accord not only rose against you themselves, but invited others to do likewise, were not you, the proud and stern, obliged to fly to us, the mean and despised, and to promise everything in order to secure your safety at that time? And that you might not seem to be intending to deceive us again, as you had often done before, you made use of Manius Valerius here, the greatest friend of the people, as a cover for your deceit; confiding in whom and believing ourselves in no danger of being imposed upon by a dictator, and least of all by a man who had treated us well, we assisted you in this war also, and having fought not a few battles, and those neither inconsiderable nor obscure, we overcame your enemies. But, once the war was ended in a most glorious manner and sooner than anyone had expected, you were so far from rejoicing and feeling yourselves under great obligation to the people, that you thought fit to keep us still in arms and under our standards against our will, that you might violate your promises as you had determined from the beginning. Then, when Servilius would not submit to the deceit nor to the dishonour of your action, but brought the standards into the city and sent the forces to their homes, you, making this an excuse for not doing us justice, insulted him and kept not a single one of your promises to us, but at one and the same time committed three most lawless acts, in that you destroyed the prestige of the senate, you ruined the credit of Servilius, and you deprived your benefactors of the recompense that was due to their labours. Since, therefore, patricians, we have these and many other things of the like nature to allege against you, we do not think fit to have recourse to supplicating and entreating you, nor, like men guilty of heinous crimes, to secure our return by accepting impunity and amnesty. However, we do not feel that we ought to enter into a minute discussion of these grievances at present, since we are met to treat of an agreement, but leaving them to indifference and oblivion, we simply put up with them.
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"But why do you not declare openly the terms of your mission and say plainly what you have come to ask? On the strength of what hopes do you ask us to return to the city? The prospect of what kind of fortune awaiting us are we to take to guide us on the way? The prospect of what cheer or joy that is going to receive us? For we have not as yet heard you promise any act of kindness or of benefit no honours, no magistracies, no relief of our poverty, nor, in a word, anything else whatever. And yet it is not what you intend to do that you should tell us, but what you have already done, in order that, having already some action before us as an earnest of your goodwill, we may infer that the remaining actions will be of like nature. I suppose, though, that they will answer to this that they are come with full powers in all matters, so that whatever we can persuade one another to accept is to be valid. Grant this to be so, and let the natural results follow; I offer no objections. But I desire to learn from them what is to happen afterwards, when we have stated the conditions upon which we think fit to return and these conditions have been accepted by them: Who will stand surety to us for the carrying out of the terms? Trusting to what assurance shall we drop the arms from our hands and put our persons again in the power of these men? Shall we trust to the decrees of the senate that will be drawn up concerning these matters? For surely they have not been drawn up already. And what shall hinder these from being annulled in turn by other decrees, whenever Appius and those of his faction shall think fit? Or shall we trust to the high standing of the envoys who pledge their own good faith? But the senate has already made use of these men to deceive us. Or shall we trust to agreements sworn to by oaths taken in the name of the gods, gaining our assurance from these? But for my part, I am more afraid of this than of any other kind of assurance men can give, because I observe that it is treated contemptuously by those in positions of command, and because I understand, not now for the first time, but as the result of many experiences in the past, that forced agreements made by men desirous of ruling with those who strive to retain their freedom last only as long as the necessity exists which compelled those agreements. What kind of friendship, therefore, and good faith is that under which we shall be obliged to court one another against our will while we each are watching for our own opportunities? And after this will come suspicions and continual accusations of one another, jealousies and hatreds and every other kind of evil, and a constant struggle to see which of us shall first effect the destruction of his adversary, each believing that in delay lies disaster.
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"There is no greater evil, as all are aware, than civil war, in which the conquered are unfortunate and the conquerors are unjust, and it is the fate of the former to be destroyed by their dearest ones, and of the latter to destroy those who are dearest to them. To such misfortunes and to such abhorred calamities do not summon us, patricians, nor let us, plebeians, answer their summons, but let us acquiesce in the fate which has separated us. No, let them have the whole city to themselves and enjoy it without us, and let them reap alone every other advantage after they have driven the humble and obscure plebeians from the fatherland. As for us, let us depart whithersoever Heaven shall conduct us, feeling that we are leaving an alien place and not our own city. For there remains to none of us here either an allotment of land, or an ancestral hearth, or common sacrifices, or any position of dignity, such as one would possess in one's fatherland, the desire for which things might induce us to cling to this country even against our will; nay we have not even the liberty of our own persons which we have purchased with many hardships. For some of these advantages have been destroyed by the many wars, some have been consumed by the scarcity of the necessaries of daily life, and of others we have been robbed by these haughty money lenders, for whom we poor wretches are at last obliged to till our own allotments, digging, planting, ploughing, tending flocks, and becoming fellow slaves with our own slaves taken by us in war, some of us being bound with chains, some with fetters, and others, like the most savage of wild beasts, dragging wooden clogs and iron balls. I same nothing of the tortures and insults, the stripes, the labours from dawn till dark, and every other cruelty, violence, and insolence that we have undergone. Accordingly, now that we are freed by Heaven from so many and great evils, let us gladly fly from them with all the eagerness and ability each of us possesses, taking as the guides of our journey Fortune and the god who ever preserve us, and looking upon our liberty as our country and our valour as our wealth. For any land will receive us as partners, since we shall be no cause of offense in any case to those who receive us, and in some cases shall actually be of service.
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"Of this let many Greeks and many barbarians serve us as examples, particularly the ancestors of both these men and ourselves; some of whom, leaving Asia with Aeneas, came into Europe and built a city in the country of the Latins, and others, coming as colonists from Alba under the leadership of Romulus, built in these parts the city we are now leaving. We have with us forces not merely a left larger than they had, but actually three times their number, and a more just cause for removing. For those who removed from Troy were driven out by enemies, but we are driven hence by friends; and it is a more pitiable experience doubtless to be expelled by one's own people than by foreigners. Those who took part in the expedition of Romulus scorned the country of their ancestors in the hope of acquiring a better; but we, who are abandoning the life which had for us no city and no hearth, are going forth as a colony that will be neither hateful to the gods nor troublesome to men nor grievous to any country, and moreover we have not inflicted blood shed and slaughter upon the kinsmen who are driving us forth, nor have we laid waste with fire and sword the country we are leaving, nor left behind any other memorial of an everlasting hatred, as is the usual practice of people who are driven into exile in violation of treaties and reduced to unenviable straits. And calling to witness the gods and other divinities who direct all human affairs with justice, and leaving it to them to avenge our wrongs, we make but this one request, that those of us who have left in the city infant children and parents, and wives, in case these shall be willing to share our fortunes, may get them back. We are satisfied to receive these, and we ask for naught else besides from our fatherland. But fare you well and lead the life you choose, you who are so unwilling to associate as fellow citizens and to share your blessings with those of humbler estate."
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With these words Brutus ended his speech. All who were present regarded as true everything he said about principles of justice, as also the charges he made respecting the arrogance of the senate, but particularly what he said to show that the assurance offered for the performance of the agreement was full of fraud and deceit. But when at the last he described the abuses which the people had suffered at the hands of the money lenders, and put every man in mind of his own misfortunes, no one was so stout of heart as not to be melted away by tears and to bewail their common calamities. And not only the people were affected in this manner, but likewise those who had come from the senate; for even the envoys could not restrain their tears when they considered the misfortunes that had arisen from the breaking up of the city, and for a long time they stood with eyes downcast and full of tears, and at a loss what to say. But after this great lamentation had ceased and silence fell upon the assembly, there came forward to answer these accusations a man who seemed to excel the rest of the citizens in both age and rank. This was Titus Larcius, who had twice been chosen consul and had of all men made the best use of the power called the dictatorship, causing that invidious magistracy to be looked upon as sacred and worthy of all respect. He, undertaking to speak to the point of justice, now censured the money lenders for having acted with cruelty and inhumanity, and now reproached the poor for unjustly demanding to be relieved of their debts through violence rather than as a favour, and told them they were in the wrong to direct their anger against the senate for their failure to obtain any reasonable concession from that body, instead of against those who were really to blame, He also endeavoured to show that, while there was a small part of the people whose offense was involuntary and who were forced by their extreme poverty to demand the remission of their debts, yet the greater part of them were abandoned to license and insolence and a life of pleasure, and were prepared to gratify their desires by robbing others; and he thought a difference ought to be made between the unfortunate and the depraved, and between those who needed kindness and those who deserved hatred. And though he advanced other arguments of this kind, which, while true enough, were not pleasing to all his hearers, he could not persuade them; but everything he said was received with a great murmur, some being indignant at his opening their griefs afresh, and others owning that he concealed no part of the truth; but the latter group was much smaller than the other, so that it was drowned out by numbers, and the glamour of the indignant group prevailed.
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After Larcius had added a few more remarks to those I have reported and had reproached the people for their uprising and the precipitancy of their resolutions, Sicinius, who was then at the head of the populace, replied and inflamed their passions still more, saying that from these words of Larcius in particular they might learn what honours and gratitude would await them when they returned to their country. "For if to those who are in the direst straits, who are imploring the assistance of the people, come hither for that purpose, it does not occur even now to speak words of moderation and humanity, what sentiments must we expect them to entertain when things have succeeded according to their wishes, and when those who are now insulted by their words become subject to their deeds? From what arrogance, from what abusive treatment, from what tyrannical cruelty will they refrain? But if you are contented to be slaves all your lives, to be bound, scourged, and destroyed by fire, sword, famine, and every other abuse, don't waste any time, but throw down your arms, offer your hands to be bound behind you, and follow them. But if you have any craving for liberty, do not bear with them. And as for you, envoys, either state the terms upon which you summon us or, if you will not do so, withdraw from the assembly. For after this we shall not give you leave to speak."
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When he had ceased speaking, all present shouted uproariously, showing that they approved of his reasoning and agreed with him. Then, when silence prevailed, Menenius Agrippa, he who had delivered the speech in the senate in behalf of the people and had, more than any other, brought about, by the motion he had offered, the sending of the envoys clothed with full powers, signified that he too wished to speak. The people looked upon this as the best thing they could ask, and now at least expected to hear proposals tending to a sincere accommodation and advice salutary to both parties. And first they all roared their approval, calling to him with a great shout to speak; then they became quiet, and so great silence prevailed in the assembly that the place was as hushed as a desert. He seemed to employ in general the most persuasive arguments possible and those which gauged well the inclinations of his audience; and at the end of his speech he is said to have related a kind of fable that he composed after the manner of Aesop and that bore a close resemblance to the situation of the moment, and by this means chiefly to have won them over. For this reason his speech is thought worthy of record and it is quoted in all the ancient histories. His discourse was as follows: "We have been sent to you by the senate, plebeians, neither to excuse them nor to accuse you (for neither of these courses seemed to be opportune or suited to the conditions now disturbing the commonwealth), but to use every effort and every means to put an end to the sedition and to restore the government to its original form; and for that purpose we are invested with full powers. So that we do not think it at all necessary to discourse at great length, as Junius here has done, concerning principles of justice; but as regards the humane terms on which we think we ought to put an end to the sedition, and the assurance you shall have for the performance of our agreement, we shall tell you the decisions to which we have come. When we considered that every sedition in any state is cured only when the causes that produced the disagreement are removed, we thought it necessary both to discover and to put an end to the primary causes of this dissension.
And having found that the harsh exactions of debts have been the cause of the present ills, we are reforming those exactions as follows: We think it just that all those who have contracted debts and are unable to pay them should be relieved of their obligations; and if the persons of any who are default in their payments are already held under restraint by the limit for payment prescribed by law, it is our decision that these also shall be free. As for those who have been convicted in private suits and handed over to the creditors who won their suits against them, it is our wish that these also shall be free, and we set aside their sentences. With regard to your debts of the past, therefore, which seemed to us to have led to your secession, we redress them in this manner; as to your future debts, whatever shall be approved of both by you, the people, and by the senate in joint consultation, after a law has been passed for that purpose, let it be so ordered. Are not these the things, plebeians, that divided you from the patricians? And did you not think it enough if you obtained these, without aiming at anything else? They are now granted to you. Return, then, to your country with joy.
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"The assurances which shall confirm this agreement and secure to you the performance of it shall all be according to law and conformable to the practice of those who put an end to their enmities. The senate will confirm these arrangements by a vote and give the force of law to the conditions that shall be drawn up, But rather let your demands be drawn up by you here, and the senate will agree to them. That the concessions now made to you will stand firm and unchanged and that nothing contrary to them shall be carried out later by the senate, first, we envoys are your sureties, giving you our persons, our lives, and our families as pledges; and in the next place, all the other senators who shall be named in the decree. For no decree will ever be drawn up contrary to the interests of the people so long as we oppose it, since we are the leading members of the senate and always deliver our opinions first. The last assurance we shall give you is that in use among all men, both Greeks and barbarians, which no lapse of time shall ever overthrow, namely, the one which through oaths and treaties makes the gods sureties for the performance of agreements. Under this assurance many bitter enmities between private individuals and many wars that have arisen between states have been composed. Come now, accept this assurance also, whether you permit a few of the principal members of the senate to give your their oaths in the name of their whole body, or think fit that all the senators who are named in the decree shall swear over the sacrificial victims to maintain the agreement inviolable. Do not traduce, Brutus, assurances given under the sanction of the gods and confirmed by the pledging of hands and by treaties, nor destroy the noblest of all human institutions; and as for you, plebeians, do not permit him to mention the wicked deeds of impious and tyrannical men, deeds far removed from the virtue of the Romans.
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"I shall mention one other assurance which no man fails to know or questions, and then have done. And what is that? It is the assurance that introduces the common advantage and preserves both parts of the state through their mutual assistance. This, after all, is the first and only assurance that draws us together, and it will never permit us to be sundered from each other. For the ignorant multitude will always need and never cease to need prudent leadership, while the senate, which is capable of leadership, will always need multitudes willing to be ruled. This we know, not merely as a matter of opinion and conjecture, but also by actual experience. Why, then, do we terrify and trouble one another? Why do we speak evil words when we have kindly deeds in our power? Why do we not rather open our arms and, embracing one another, return to our country to find there our old time enjoyment of the dearest pleasures and the satisfaction of a yearning that is sweetest of all, instead of seeking securities that come to naught and faithless assurances, as do the deadliest foes who suspect the worst of everything? As for us of the senate, plebeians, one assurance suffices, that you will never, if you return, behave yourselves badly toward us, and that is the knowledge we have of your excellent rearing, of your law abiding habits, and of all your other virtues, of which you have given many proofs both in peace and in war. And if, in consequence of the need of assurance and hope, the contracts should be revised by us jointly, we are confident that in all other respects at least you will be good citizens, and we have no need of either oaths or hostages or any other assurances from the people. However, we shall oppose you in nothing you desire. Concerning the matter of assurances, then, upon which subject Brutus endeavoured to malign us, this is enough. But if any groundless hatred is implanted in your minds, causing you to entertain a bad opinion of the senate, I desire to speak to that point also, plebeians, and I beg of you in the name of the gods to hear me with silence and attention.
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"A commonwealth resembles in some measure a human body. For each of them is composite and consists of many parts; and no one of their parts either has the same function or performs the same service as the others. If, now, these parts of the human body should be endowed, each for itself, with perception and a voice of its own and a sedition should then arise among them, all of them uniting against the belly alone, and the feet should say that the whole body rests on them; the hands, that they ply the crafts, secure provisions, fight with enemies, and contribute many other advantages toward the common good; the shoulders, that they bear all the burdens; the mouth, that it speaks; the head, that it sees and hears and, comprehending the other senses, possesses all those by which the thing is preserved; and then all these should say to the belly, 'And you, good creature, which of these things do you do? What return do you make and of what use are you to us? Indeed, you are so far from doing anything for us or assisting us in accomplishing anything useful for the common good that you are actually a hindrance and a trouble to us and a thing intolerable compel us to serve you and to bring things to you from everywhere for the gratification of your desires. Come now, why do we not assert our liberty and free ourselves from the many troubles we undergo for the sake of this creature? If, I say, they should decide upon this course and none of the parts should any longer perform its office, could the body possibly exist for any considerable time, and not rather be destroyed within a few days by the worst of all deaths, starvation. No one can deny it. Now consider the same condition existing in a commonwealth. For this also is composed of many classes of people not at all resembling one another, every one of which contributes some particular service to the common good, just as its members do to the body.
For some cultivate the fields, some fight against the enemy in defense of those fields, others carry on much useful trade by sea, and still others ply the necessary crafts. If, then, all these different classes of people should rise against the senate, which is composed of the best men, and say, As for you, senate, what good do you do us, and for what reason do you presume to rule over others? Not a thing can you name. Well then, shall we not now at last free ourselves from this tyranny of yours and live without a leader? If, I say, they should take this resolution and quit their usual employments, what will hinder this miserable commonwealth from perishing miserably by famine, war and every other evil? Learn, therefore, plebeians, that just as in our bodies the belly thus evilly reviled by the multitude nourishes the body even while it is itself nourished, and preserves it while it is preserved itself, and is a kind of feast, as it were, provided by joint contributions, which as a result of the exchange duly distributes that which is beneficial to each and all, so in commonwealths the senate, which administers the affairs of the public and provides what is expedient for everyone, preserves, guards, and corrects all things. Cease, then, uttering those invidious remarks about the senate, to the effect that you have been driven out of your country by it and that because of it you wander about like vagabonds and beggars. For it neither has done you any harm nor can do you any, but of its own accord calls you and entreats you, and opening all hearts together with the gates, is waiting to welcome you."
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While Menenius was thus speaking, many and various were the cries uttered by the audience throughout his whole speech. But when at the close of it he had recourse to lamentations, and enumerating the calamities that would befall both those who remained in the city and those who were driven out of it, bewailed the misfortunes of both, tears flowed from the eyes of all and they cried out to him with one mind and voice to lead them back to the city without waste of time. And they came very near quitting the assembly that moment and entrusting all their affairs to the envoys without settling anything else relating to their security. But Brutus, coming forward, restrained their eagerness, saying that, while in general the promises made by the senate were advantageous to the people and he thought it very proper that the latter should feel very grateful to them for those concessions, he nevertheless feared the time to come and the tyrannical men who might one day if occasion offered, again attempt to make the people feel their resentment for what they had done. There was one safeguard only, he said, any who were afraid of their superiors, and that was for them to be convinced that those who desired to injure them had not the power to do so; for as long as there was the power to do evil, evil men would never lack the will. If, therefore, the plebeians could obtain this safeguard, they would need nothing more. And Menenius, having replied and asked him to name the safeguard he thought the people still needed, he said: "Give us leave to choose out of our own body every year a certain number of magistrates who shall be invested with no other power than to relieve those plebeians to whom any injury or violence is offered, and to permit none of them to be deprived of their rights. This favour we entreat and beg you to add to those you have already granted us, if our accommodation is not one in word only, but a reality."
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When the people heard these words, they cheered Brutus loud and long, and asked the envoys to grant them this also. These, having withdrawn from the assembly and conferred briefly, returned after a short time. And when silence prevailed, Menenius came forward and said: "This is a matter of great moment, plebeians, and one full of strange suspicions, and we feel some alarm and concern lest we shall form two states in one. However, so far as we ourselves are concerned, we do not oppose even this request of yours. But grant us this privilege, which is also for your own interest. Allow some of the envoys to go to the city and inform the senate of these matters; for even though we have the power from them to conclude the accommodation in such a manner as we think fit and may at our own discretion make such promises in their name as we please, yet we do not think proper to take this upon ourselves, but since a new matter has been unexpectedly proposed to us, we will divest ourselves of our own power and refer the matter to the senate. However, we are persuaded that the senate will be of the same opinion as we are. I, therefore, will remain here together with some of the other envoys, and Valerius with the rest shall go to the senate." This was agreed upon, and the persons appointed to inform the senate of what had happened took horse and rode in all haste to Rome. When the consuls had proposed the matter to the senators, Valerius expressed the opinion that this favour also should be granted to the people. On the other hand, Appius, who from the first had opposed the accommodation, spoke openly in opposition on this occasion also, crying out, calling the gods to witness, and foretelling what seeds of future evils to the commonwealth they were about to sow. But he was not able to prevail with the majority of the senate, who, as I said, were determined to put an end to the sedition. Accordingly, a decree of the senate was passed confirming all the promises made by the envoys to the people and granting the safeguard they desired. The envoys, having transacted this business, returned to the camp the next day and made known the decision of the senate. Thereupon Menenius advised the plebeians to send some persons to receive the pledges which the senate was to give; and pursuant to this, Lucius Junius Brutus, whom I mentioned before, was sent, and with him Marcus Decius and Spurius Icilius. Of the envoys who had come from the senate one half returned to the city with Brutus and his associates; but Agrippa with the rest remained in the camp, having been asked by the plebeians to draw up the law for the creation of their magistrates.
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The next day Brutus and those who had been sent with him returned, having effected the agreement with the senate through the arbiters of peace who are called by the Romans fetiales. And the people, dividing themselves into the clans of that day, or whatever one wishes to term the divisions which the Romans call curiae, chose for their annual magistrates the following persons: Lucius Junius Brutus and Gaius Sicinius Bellutus, whom they had had as their leaders up to that time, and, in addition to these, Gaius and Publius Licinius and Gaius Visellius Ruga. These five persons were the first who received the tribunician power, on the fourth day before the ides of December, as is the custom even to our time. The election being over, the envoys of the senate considered that everything for which they had been sent was now properly settled. But Brutus, calling the plebeians together, advised them to render this magistracy sacred and inviolable, insuring its security by both a law and an oath. This was approved of by all, and a law was drawn up by him and his colleagues, as follows:
"Let no one compel a tribune of the people, as if he were an ordinary person, to do anything against his will; let no one whip him or order another to whip him; and let no one kill him or order another to kill him. If anybody shall do any one of these things that are forbidden, let him be accursed and let his goods be consecrated to Ceres; and if anybody shall kill one who has done any of these things, let him be guiltless of murder." And to the end that the people might not even in future be at liberty to repeal this law, but that it might forever remain unalterable, it was ordained that all the Romans should solemnly swear over the sacrificial victims to observe it for all time, both they and their posterity; and a prayer was added to the oath that the heavenly gods and the divinities of the lower world might be propitious to those who observed it, and that the displeasure of the gods and divinities might be visited upon those who violated it, as being guilty of the greatest sacrilege. From this the custom arose among the Romans of regarding the persons of the tribunes of the people as sacrosanct, which custom continues to this day.
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After they had passed this vote they erected an altar upon the summit of the mount where they had encamped, which they named in their own language the altar of Jupiter the Terrifier, from the terror which had possessed them at that time; and when they had performed sacrifices to this god and had consecrated the place which had received them, they returned to the city with the envoys. After this they also returned thanks to the gods worshipped in the city, and prevailed upon the patricians to pass a vote for the confirmation of their new magistracy. And having obtained this also, they asked further that the senate should allow them to appoint every year two plebeians to act as assistants to the tribunes in everything the latter should require, to decide such causes as the others should refer to them, to have the oversight of public places, both sacred and profane, and to see that the market was supplied with plenty of provisions. Having obtained this concession also from the senate, they chose men whom they called assistants and colleagues of the tribunes, and judges. Now, however, they are called in their own language, from one of their functions, overseers of sacred places or aediles, and their power is no longer subordinate to that of other magistrates, as formerly; but many affairs of great importance are entrusted to them, and in most respects they resemble more or less the agoranomoi or "market overseers" among the Greeks.
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When affairs had been settled and the commonwealth restored to its former state, an army was raised by the generals against their foreign foes, as the people now displayed great alacrity and in a short time got everything ready that was necessary for the war. The consuls having drawn lots for their official duties according to custom, Spurius Cassius, to whom the oversight of affairs in the city fell, remained at home, retaining a sufficient part of the forces which had been raised, while Postumus Cominius took the field with the rest of the army, consisting of not only an adequate part of the Romans themselves but also no small auxiliary force of Latins. And deciding to attack the Volscians first, he took a city of theirs called Longula at the first assault, though the inhabitants undertook to make some show of bravery and sent some forces into the field in hopes of holding back the enemy; but these were put to shameful flight before they had performed any brilliant action and did not display the least courage even during the assault on their walls. At all events the Romans in one day not only possessed themselves of their country without effort, but also took their city by storm without much difficulty. The Roman general permitted the soldiers to divide all the goods left in the city, and then, leaving a garrison there, led his army against another city of the Volscians called Polusca, not far distant from Longula. When none dared to oppose him, he marched through the country with great ease and assaulted the walls; and then, some of the soldiers forcing open the gates and others scaling the walls, they made themselves masters of this city also that same day. After the consul had taken the city he chose out a few of the inhabitants who had been the authors of the revolt and put them to death; and having punished the rest by taking away their effects and disarmed them, he obliged them to be subjects of the Romans for the future.
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He left in this city also a small part of the army as a garrison, and the next day marched with the rest to Corioli, a city of very great note and the mother city, so to speak, of the Volscians. Here a strong force had been assembled, the walls were not easy to be taken, and everything necessary for war had been prepared long before by the inhabitants. The consul undertook to storm the walls and persisted in his efforts till late in the afternoon, but was repulsed by the enemy after he had lost many of his men. The next day he got ready battering rams, mantlets, and scaling ladders and was preparing to make an attempt against the city with his entire forces; but learning that the Antiates were planning to come with a large force to the assistance of the Coriolani because of their kinship with them, and that those chosen to make the expedition were already upon the march, he divided his army and determined to continue the assault on the city with one half of it, leaving Titus Larcius in command, with the other half to stop the advance of the approaching force. Thus two actions took place on the same day, and the Romans gained the victory in both, as all of them fought with great ardour and one man in particular displayed incredible bravery and performed deeds that beggar description. This man was of patrician rank and of no obscure lineage, Gaius Marcius by name; he was sober and restrained in his private life and had the spirit of a freeman in full measure. The circumstances of the two actions were as follows: Larcius, having marched out of the camp with his army at break of day, advanced to the walls of Corioli and assault the city in many places. The Coriolani, for their part, elated by their expectation of aid from the Antiates, which they were convinced would son reach them, opened all their gates and made a general sally against the enemy. The Romans sustained their first attack and wounded many of those who engaged them, but later, as the number of the assailants increased, they were forced down hill and gave way. Marcius, whom I mentioned before, upon seeing this, stood his ground with a few followers and awaited the solid mass of the enemy as they attacked. When he had struck down many of them and the rest gave way and fled toward the city, he followed, slaying, one after another, all who came within reach, and calling out without intermission to those of his own men who fled to face about, to take courage, and to follow him. These, ashamed of their behaviour, rallied and pressed hard upon their opponents, smiting and pursuing them; and in a short time they had all routed their antagonists and were attacking the walls of the city. Marcius, exposing himself now with greater boldness, kept advancing farther and farther, and coming to the very gates, entered along with those who were fleeing inside the walls. And when many others also forced their way inside with him, there ensued a great slaughter on both sides in many parts of the city, some fighting in the streets and others in defense of the houses that were being taken. Even women assisted the inhabitants in their struggle by hurling down tiles upon the enemy from the roofs; and everyone according to his strength and power bravely defended his native city. However, they did not hold out long against these perils, but were obliged to surrender to the conquers. The city having been taken in this manner, most of the Romans turned to plundering the property found there, and continued for a long time intent on the booty, as there was a large quantity of money and a great number of slaves in the place.
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But Marcius, who had been the first and only man to sustain the shock of the enemy and had distinguished himself above all the Romans both in the storming of the city and in the struggles which took place inside the walls, gained greater distinction in the second battle, which was fought against the Antiates. For he resolved not to be absent from this action either, but as soon as the city was captured, he took with him the small number of men who were able to follow him, and advancing at a run, found the two armies already drawn up and on the point of engaging. He was the first to inform the Romans of the capture of the city, and as a proof of it showed them the smoke which was rising in great volume from the houses that had been set on fire. And having obtained leave of the consul, he drew up his men in a compact body opposite the strongest force of the enemy. As soon as the battle signals were raised, he was the first to come to grips with his opponents, and having killed many of those he encountered, he forced his way into the midst of their ranks. The Antiates no longer ventured to engaged him hand to hand, but leaving their ranks where he attacked, they surrounded him in a body, and retreating as he advanced and pursued them, they assailed him with their missiles. Postumus, being informed of this and fearing lest the man, thus isolated, might meet with some disaster, sent the bravest of the youth to his relief. These, doubling their files, charged the enemy; and when the first line failed to sustain their charge, but turned to flight, they pressed forward and found Marcius covered with wounds and saw many lying round him, some dead and others dying. Thereupon they advanced together under Marcius as leader against those of the enemy who still kept their ranks, killing all who made any resistance and treating them like slaves. Though all the Romans displayed notable valour in this action, and the bravest of them were those who defended Marcius, yet brave beyond all the rest was Marcius himself, who was without any doubt the chief cause of the victory. When at last it grew dark, the Romans retired to their camp greatly exulting in their victory, having killed many of the Antiates and carrying with them a great number of prisoners.
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The next day Postumus, having assembled the army, spoke at length in praise of Marcius and crowned him with the crowns of valour, as rewards for his behaviour in both the actions. He also presented him with a war horse adorned with the trappings belonging to that of a general, together with ten captives, leaving it to him to take such as he wished, and also as much silver as he could carry away himself, and many other fine first fruits of the booty. When all raised a great shout in token of their approval and congratulation, Marcius came forward and said that he was very grateful both to the consul and to all the others for the honours of which they held him worthy; however, he would not avail himself of them all, but would be content with the horse, for the sake of the splendid trappings, and with one captive, who chanced to be a personal friend of his. The soldiers, who even before this had admired the man for his valour, now marvelled at him still more for his contempt of riches and for his moderation in such good fortune. From this action he was surnamed Coriolanus and became the most illustrious man of his age. Such having been the outcome of the battle with the Antiates, the rest of the Volscian cities proceeded to give up their hostility to the Romans; and all who had sympathized with them, both those already in arms and those making their preparations for war, refrained. Postumus treated them all with moderation, and then, returning home, disbanded the army. Cassius, the other consul, who had been left at Rome, in the mean time consecrated the temple of Ceres, Liber and Libera, which stands at the end of the Circus Maximus, being erected directly above the starting places. Aulus Postumius the dictator had made a vow, when he was on the point of engaging the army of the Latins, to dedicate it to the gods in the name of the commonwealth, and the senate after the victory having decreed that this temple should be built entirely out of the spoils, the work was now completed.
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At the same time, a new treaty of peace and friendship was made with all the Latin cities, and confirmed by oaths, inasmuch as they had not attempted to create any disturbance during the sedition, had openly rejoiced at the return of the populace, and seemed to have been prompt in assisting the Romans against those who had revolted from them. The provisions of the treaty were as follows: "Let there be peace between the Romans and all the Latin cities as long as the heavens and the earth shall remain where they are. Let them neither make war upon another themselves nor bring in foreign enemies nor grant a safe passage to those who shall make war upon either. Let them assist one another, when warred upon, with all their forces, and let each have an equal share of the spoils and booty taken in their common wars. Let suits relating to private contracts be determined within ten days, and in the nation where the contract was made. And let it not be permitted to add anything to, or take anything away from these treaties except by the consent both of the Romans and of all the Latins." This was the treaty entered into by the Romans and the Latins and confirmed by their oaths sworn over the sacrificial victims. The senate also voted to offer sacrifices to the gods in thanksgiving for their reconciliation with the populace, and added one day to the Latin festival, as it was called, which previously had been celebrated for two days. The first day had been set apart as holy by Tarquinius when he conquered the Tyrrhenians; the second the people added after they had freed the commonwealth by the expulsion of the kings; and to these the third was now added because of the return of the seceders. The superintendence and oversight of the sacrifices and games performed during this festival was committed to the tribunes' assistants, who held, as IÂ said,the magistracy now called the aedileship; and they were honoured by the senate with a purple robe, an ivory chair, and the other insignia that the kings had had.
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Not long after this festival Menenius Agrippa, one of the ex consuls, died. It was he who had overcome the Sabines and had celebrated a most notable triumph for that victory; and it was through his persuasion that the senate had allowed the seceders to return and that the populace, because of their confidence in him, had given up their arms. He was buried at the expense of the public and his funeral was the most honourable and the most splendid that has fallen to any man. His estate, it seems, was not sufficient to defray the expense of a magnificent funeral and burial, so that even the guardians of his children resolved after consultation to carry him out of the city and bury him like any ordinary person at little expense. This, however, the people would not permit; but the tribunes, having assembled them and paid lengthy tributes to the achievements of Agrippa in both war and peace, lauding to the highest degree his moderation and his frugal manner of life, and, above all, his refraining from amassing riches, said it would be the most dishonourable thing imaginable that such a man should be buried in an obscure and humble manner by reason of his poverty; and they advised the people to take the expense of his funeral upon themselves and every man to contribute towards it such an amount as they, the tribunes, should assess. His audience gladly heard this proposal, and when each man had presently contributed the amount he was assessed, a large sum was collected. The senate, being informed of this, was ashamed of the business and resolved not to allow the most illustrious of all the Romans to be buried by private contributions, but thought it fitting that the expense should be defrayed from the public funds; and it entrusted the care of the matter to the quaestors.These let the contract for the furnishing of his funeral for a very large sum of money; and having arrayed his body in the most sumptuous manner, and furnished everything else that could tend to magnificence, they buried him in a manner worthy of his virtue. Thereupon the people, in emulation of the senate, refused on their part to receive back the sum they had contributed, when the quaestors offered to return it, but presented it to the children of the deceased in compassion for their poverty and to prevent them from engaging in any pursuits unworthy of their father's virtue. There was also a census taken at this time by the consuls, according to which the number of the citizens who registered was found to amount to more than 110,000.
These were the acts of the Romans in this consulship.