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War with
Volsci &Aequi

Murder of Genucius


Struggle for power
Two recurring issues in the Roman history are the division of the property of land and the division of the power. At the start of the republic all the power was in the hands of the Patricians. Bit by bit the Plebeians discovered they were not totally powerless and at a slow pace the system developed into a more balanced one. But each change would be the result of fierce, sometimes even violent, discussions between Patricians and the Plebeians. This time it would lead to murder.

Some 12 years earlier Sp.Cassius had tried to come to a just division of the conquered land with his Agrarian law. Soon after his execution the Plebeians had realized they had been had, but the war with Veii and other peoples gave little room to bring the subject up again.

Flexing the muscles
But now Veii was all but beaten and the peoples tribunes started to experiment with their power. In 475 the tribunes Q. Considius and T. Genucius proposed the Agrarian law, but the senate wouldn't hear of it. Then they arraigned the consuls of the preceding year. A. Verginius was condemned to pay a fine of 2000 asses. The other consul convinced the people he should be acquitted. The underlying question was of course: "Who runs Rome, the consuls or the people?

This becomes very clear in Livius(2.54). In 573 the agrarian law was proposed once more and the ex-consuls arraigned. On the day of the trial the tribune Genucius did't show up. Livius tells us he was murdered where Dionysius stresses he died a natural death.

However it may be, the trial was over because none of the other tribunes had the courage to continue. The levy of the new army was held without any further trouble.

    Artemis and Apollo murdering Niobe's 14children    

Apollo and Artemis are killing Niobe's 14 children
Glyptothek München


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