« PreviousContinue »
CHAP. Sacred Hill, and M. Duilius. Then the commons
were assembled on the spot afterwards called the Flaminian Meadows 3, outside of the Porta Carmentalis, and just below the Capitol; and there L. Icilius proposed to them the solemn ratification of the indemnity for the secession already agreed to by the senate. The consent of the commons was necessary to give it the force of a law; and so in like manner Duilius proposed to the commons that they should accept another measure already sanctioned by the patricians, the election of two supreme magistrates in the place of the decemvirs, with the right of appeal from their sentence. It is remarkable that now, for the first time, these magistrates were called consuls3s, their old title up to this period having been prætors or captains-general. Consul signifies merely “ colleague,” one who acts with others; it does not necessarily imply that he should be one of two only, and therefore the name is not equivalent to duumvir. And its indefiniteness seems to confirm Niebuhr's opinion, that the exact number of these supreme magistrates was not yet fully agreed upon, and that the appointment of two only in the present instance, was merely a provisional imitation of the old prætorship, till the future form of the constitution should be finally settled. Thus, as the commons had recovered their tribunes, so the patricians had again their two magistrates with the imperium of the former 32 Livy, III. 64.
colonies of a later period, whose 33 Zonaras, VII. 19. It may be office was analogous to that of the observed, that the two supreme consuls at Rome, were called dumagistrates in the municipia and umviri.
prætors, limited as that of the prætors had been by CHAP. the right of appeal; but the final adjustment of the s relations of the two orders to each other, was reserved for after discussion. Be that as it may, the form of the old government was once again restored, and two patrician magistrates were elected with supreme power; but an important change was established, that these two were both freely chosen by the centuries, whereas one had hitherto been appointed by the burghers in their curiæ, and had only been approved by the centuries afterwards.
The result of the election sufficiently showed that it was a free one. The new magistrates, the first two consuls, properly speaking, of Roman history, were L. Valerius and M. Horatius; and the executive government, for the first time since the days of Brutus and Poplicola, was wholly in the hands of men devoted to the rights of their country rather than to the ascendancy of their order.
INTERNAL HISTORY-CONSTITUTION OF THE YEAR
306_VALERIAN LAWS, AND TRIALS OF THE DECEMVIRS—REACTION IN FAVOUR OF THE PATRICIANS—CANULEIAN LAW—CONSTITUTION OF 312 -COUNTER-REVOLUTION.
“ The seven years that followed are a revolutionary period, the events of which we do not find satisfactorily explained by the historians of the time.”—Hallam, Middle Ages, Vol. II. p. 458.
CHAP. WE read in Livy and Dionysius an account of the
affairs of Rome from the beginning of the CommonObscurity of the history wealth, drawn up in the form of annals : political of this period.
questions, military operations, what was said in the senate and the forum, what was done in battle against the Æquians and Volscians, all is related with the full details of contemporary history. It is not wonderful that appearances so imposing should have deceived many; that the Roman history should have been regarded as a subject which might be easily and completely mastered. But if we press on any part this show of knowledge, it yields before us, and comes to nothing. Nowhere is this more mani
fest than in the story of the period immediately CHAP. subsequent to the decemvirate. What is related of these times is indistinct, meagre, and scarcely intelligible; but scattered fragments of information have been preserved along with it, which, when carefully studied, enable us to restore the outline of very important events; and these, when thus brought forward to the light, afford us the means of correcting or completing what may be called the mere surface view contained in the common narrative. The lines hitherto invisible being so made conspicuous, a totally different figure is presented to us; its proportions and character are all altered, and we find that without this discovery, while we fancied ourselves in possession of the true resemblance, we should in fact have been mistaking the unequal pillars of the ruin for the original form of the perfect building.
The common narrative of the overthrow of the Constitution decemvirs omitted, as we have seen, the important 306. fact that the commons in that revolution occupied the Capitol. It mentions' however, that the two popular leaders, Valerius and Horatius, were appointed the two chief magistrates of the Commonwealth, and that they passed several laws for the better confirmation of the public liberty, without experiencing any open opposition on the part of the patricians. In fact the popular cause was so triumphant, that all, and more than all, of the objects of the Terentilian law were now effected; and a new constitution was
1 Livy, III. 55. Dionysius, XI. 45.
CHAP. formed, by which it was attempted at once to unite XVI.
the two orders of the state more closely together,
and to set them on a footing of entire equality. ale In the first place the old laws for the security of rian laws.
personal liberty were confirmed afresh, and received
2 Livy, III. 55.
λοχίτισιν εκκλησίαις τεθησομένοις, 3 Quod tributim plebes jussis. XI. 45. Now we know that at set populum teneret. Livy, III. this time laws passed by the co55. " Dionysius describes this law mitia of centuries were not valid correctly. He calls it vómov Ke- without the sanction of the senate, λεύοντα τους υπό του δήμου τεθέντας and therefore laws passed by the év tais punetikais ekki nolais vóuous, tribes must equally have required άπασι κείσθαι Ρωμαίοις εξ ίσου, την it. αυτήν έχοντας δύναμιν τοίς εν ταις