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CHAPTER IX.

SPURIUS CASSIUS—THE LEAGUE WITH THE LATINS AND
HERNICANS—THE AGRARIAN LAW.—A.U.c. 261-269.

“ The noble Brutus Hath told you, Cæsar was ambitious. If it were so, it was a grievous fault,

And grievously hath Cæsar answered it.” Οι προστάται του δήμου, ότε πολεμικοί γένοιντο, τυραννίδι έπετίθεντο: πάντες δε τούτο έδρων υπό του δήμου πιστευθέντες, η δε πίστις ήν η áttéxdela ń apòs Tous Tilovolous.-Aristot. Politic. V. 5.

IX.

BRUTUS and Poplicola were no doubt real characters, CHAP. yet fiction has been so busy with their actions, that w e history cannot venture to admit them within her own proper domain. By a strange compensation of fortune, the first Roman whose greatness is really historical is the man whose deeds no poet sang, and whose memory the early annalists, repeating the language of the party who destroyed him, have branded with the charge of treason, and attempted tyranny. This was Spurius Cassius. Amidst the silence and the calumnies of his enemies, he is known as the author of three works to which Rome owed all her future greatness; he concluded the league with the Latins in his second consulship, in his third he

the Latins.

CHAP. concluded the league with the Hernicans, and proIX. - cured, although with the price of his own life, the

enactment of the first agrarian law. League with I. We know that the Latins were in the first year

of the Commonwealth subject to Rome. We know that almost immediately afterwards they must have become independent; and it is probable that they may have aided the Tarquinii in some of their attempts to effect their restoration. But the real details of this period cannot be discovered: this only is certain, that in the year of Rome 261, the Latin confederacy, consisting of the old national number of thirty cities, concluded a league with Rome on terms of perfect equality; and the record of this treaty, which existed at Rome on a brazen pillar' down to the time of Cicero, contained the name of Spurius Cassius, as the consul who concluded it, and took the oaths to the Latin deputies on behalf of the Romans. It may be that the Roman burghers desired to obtain the aid of the Latins against their own commons, and that the fear of this union led the commons at the Sacred Hill to be content with the smallest possible concessions from their adversaries; but there was another cause for the alliance, no less natural, in the common danger which threatened both Rome and Latium from the growing power of their neighbours on the south, the Oscan, or Ausonian, nations of the Æquians and the Volscians.

? Cicero pro Balbo, 23. Livy, II. 33.

states of La

The thirty cities which at this time formed the CHAP.

IX. Latin state, and concluded the league with Rome,

“ A.U.C. 261. were these 2: Ardea, Aricia, Bovillæ, Bubentum, The thirty Corniculum, Carventum, Circeii, Corioli, Corbio, tium. Con

ditions of Cora, Fortuna or Foretii, Gabii, Laurentum, Lanu- the league. vium, Lavinium, Lavici, Nomentum, Norba, Præneste, Pedum, Querquetulum, Satricum, Scaptia, Setia, Tellena, Tibur, Tusculum, Toleria, Tricrinum, Velitræ. The situation of several of these places is unknown; still the list clearly shows to how short a distance from the Tiber the Roman territory at this time extended, and how little was retained of the great dominion enjoyed by the last kings of Rome. Between this Latin confederacy and the Romans there was concluded a perpetual league : : “ There shall be peace between them so long as the heaven shall keep its place above the earth, and the earth its place below the heaven; they shall neither bring nor cause to be brought any war against each other, nor give to each other's enemies a passage through their land; they shall aid each other when attacked with all their might, and all spoils and plunder won by their joint arms shall be shared equally between them. Private causes shall be decided within ten days, in the courts of that city where the business which gave occasion to the dispute may have taken place.” Further it was agreed, that the command

en

ans

? Dionysius, V. 61. I have fol- buhr's corrections, Vol. II. p. 19. lowed the readings of the Vatican 2nd Ed. MS. given in the various readings 3 Dionysius, VI. 95. in Reiske's Edition, with Nie

IX.

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CHAP. of the Roman and Latin armies, on their joint expe

d itions, should one year* be given to the Roman general, and another to the Latin: and to this league nothing was to be added, and nothing taken away, without the mutual consent of the Romans and the

confederate cities of the Latins. A.U.C. 268. II. Seven years afterwards the same Spurius CasLeague with the sius, in his third consulship 5, concluded a similar

league with the cities of the Hernicans. The Hernicans were a Sabine, not a Latin people, and their

Hernicans.

4 Cincius de Consulum Potestate, of the relations of Rome with fo. quoted by Festus in “ Prætor ad reigners. It is true that the words Portam." The whole passage is of Cincius, “ quo anno," do not remarkable. “ Cincius ait, Alba- expressly assert that the command nos rerum potitos usque ad Tullum was held by a Roman every other regem : Albâ deinde dirutâ usque year; and it may be that after the ad P. Decium Murem cos. popu- Hernicans joined the alliance, the los Latinos ad caput Ferentinæ, Romans had the command only quod est sub Monte Albano, con- once in three years. But as the sulere solitos, et imperium com- Latin states were considered as muni consilio administrare. Itaque forming one people, and the Roquo anno Romanos imperatores ad mans another, it is most likely exercitum mittere oporteret jussu that so long as the alliance subnominis Latini, complures nos- sisted between these two parties tros in Capitolio a sole oriente only, the command shifted from auspiciis operam dare solitos. Ubi the one to the other year by year. aves addixissent, militem illum 5 Dionysius, VIII. 69. Tàs após qui a communi Latio missus esset, "Epvikas & Enveykev duo oylaso aůtal illum quem aves addixerant præ- onoav avriypapou tây npòs Aaritorem salutare solitum, qui eam νους γενομένων. Amongst other provinciam obtineret prætoris no- clauses therefore of the treaty was mine.” Cincius lived in the time one which secured to the Herniof the second Punic war, and his cans their equal share of all lands works on various points of Roman conquered by the confederates; law and antiquities were of high namely one third part. This is value. His statement, which bears disfigured by the annalist, whom on the face of it a character of Livy copied, in a most extraordiauthenticity, is quite in agree- nary manner; he represented the ment with what Dionysius re- Hernicans as being deprived by ports of the treaty itself, and the treaty of two thirds of their only gives an additional proof of own land. “Cum Hernicis fædus the systematic falsehood of the ictum, agri partes duæ ademtæ.” Roman annals in their accounts Livy, II. 41.

IX.

country lay chiefly in that high valley which breaks CHAP. the line of the Apennines at Præneste, and running towards the south-east, falls at last into the valley of the Liris. The number of their cities was probably sixteen; but with the exception of Anagnia, Verulæ, Alatrium, and Ferentinum, the names of all are unknown to us. They, like the Latins, had been the dependent allies of Rome under the last Tarquinius, they too had broken off this connexion after the establishment of the Commonwealth, and now renewed it on more equal terms for mutual protection against the Æquians and Volscians. The situation of their country indeed rendered their condition one of peculiar danger; it lay interposed in the very midst of the country of these enemies, having the Æquians on the north, and the Volscians on the south, and communicating with the Latin cities and with Rome only by the opening in the Apennines already noticed under the citadel of Præneste. On the other hand, the Romans were glad to obtain the willing aid of a brave and numerous people, whose position enabled them to threaten the rear of the Volscians, so soon as they should break out from their mountains upon the plain of Latium or the hills of Alba. Thus by these two treaties with the Latins and Importance

of these two Hernicans, Spurius Cassius had, so far as was pos- treaties. sible, repaired the losses occasioned to the Roman power by the expulsion of Tarquinius, and had reorganized that confederacy to which under her last kings Rome had been indebted for her greatness.

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