Ancient texts

Liv. (3.51-63)

Second plebeian secession

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450-449 BC

There were no real historians in these days. The story of the second plebeian secession is far from certain. In fact only a list of consuls was kept and now for the first time the laws were inscripted in twelve bronze tablets. Nowadays historians can't be sure what really happened those days. The same is true for Livius and Dionysius who tried to reconstruct the events four and a half century after they had happened.

Appius Claudius
On the one hand it is suspect that again an Ap. Claudius abused his power and after he was forced to stand down, then he was tried and commited suicide. On the other> hand influential families had the power to change the history and the Claudii were certainly influential.

  To the Aventine
Both Livius and Dionysius report, the plebeians left the city once more and went first to the Aventine (in those days still outside the city) and later to the Sacred mountain. Once more they forced in this second plebeian secession the rulers to stand down and new consuls were elected: L. Valerius and M. Horatius.

Restoration of rights
They restored the right of appeal to the people after a conviction by one of the consuls, a right which had been annulled by the decemvirs. They ended the discussion wether a law ordinated by the people also bound the patricians in favour of the  plebeians. Also the inviolability of the plebeian tribunes was restored.No wonder these consuls were very  the plebs, but the patricians didn't like them at all. They considered this an infringement of their own power.
Head of a Roman man

Head of a Roman citizen
Altes Museum Berlin

Appius prosecuted
The people tribunes now restored in their power and well protected immidiately prosecuted Ap. Claudius, who according to Livius committed suicide, but according to Dionysius was murdered.

More war
Once the internal troubles were resolved, it was time to participate in the wars outside the walls of Rome. Two consular armies were levied and marched against the Aequi, sabini and Volsci. This time the armies returned with a lot of booty.

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