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Ancient texts

Liv. (2.41)
Dion.(8.68-78)>

Spurius Cassius sole ruler of Rome?

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    First Veiian war

485bc

Hernici
Spurius Cassius was elected consul for the third time. He had been successful before. Now he was sent to subdue the Hernici. They did not really defend themselves and a peace treaty was made after Cassius had taken possession of their land. Now he wished to return one-third to the Hernici and divide the rest between the Latins and the Roman plebeians. He also wanted to reclaim the land that was illegally taken in possession by some of the patricians. This land then he wanted to divide amongst the plebeians too.

Land reforms
Of course Spurius Cassius' proposal met great opposition. Not only from his colleague Proc. Verginius, but also the senate protested. The attempt to give land to the Latins was seen as a kind of buying (personal) friendship and a step towards the leadership there.

Contest between muzes and sirens       Contest between Muses and Sirens. Left the jury: Athena, Zeus and Hera (MET New York)

Bribe
In the end the people had to vote. Verginius declared to agree on condition all the land was divided amongst the Romans. Spurius Cassius tried to literally bribe the people by ordering to repay the money the plebeians had payed for the imported grain from Sicily. The people recognized the trick and rejected the agrarian law.

  Tarpeian rock
Tarpeian rock in Rome

Tarpeian rock
Attempts to land reforms and agrarian laws always would always cause trouble in Rome as would experience the brothers Gracchus a couple of centuries later. Imidiately after Spurius Cassius had laid down his consulship, he was tried and comdemned to be hurled from the Tarpeian rock

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    First Veiian war

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