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and not the person, of a debtor should be liable for CHAP. the payment of his debt.
Further, to complete the notion of a patriot king, it was said that he had drawn out a scheme of popular government, by which two magistrates, chosen every year, were to exercise the supreme power, and that he himself proposed to lay down his kingly rule to make way for them. It can hardly be doubted that these two magistrates were intended to be chosen the one from the houses and the other from the commons, to be the representatives of their respective orders. III. But the following tyranny swept away the The con
stitution of institutions of Servius, and much more prevented Servius suc
ceeded by a the growth of that society for which alone his tyranny. institutions were fitted. No man can tell how much of the story of the murder of the old king and of the impiety of the wicked Tullia is historical; but it is certain that the houses, or rather a strong faction among them, supported Tarquinius in his usurpation: nor can we doubt the statement that the aristocratical brotherhoods or societies served him more zealously than the legal assembly of the curiæ; because these societies are ever to be met with in the history of the ancient Commonwealths, as pledged to one another for the interests of their order, and ready to support those interests by any crime. Like Sylla, in after-times, he crushed the liberties of the commons, doing away with the laws 39 of Servius,
39 Dionysius, IV. 43.
CHAP. and, as we are told, destroying the tables on which
- they were written; abolishing the whole system of
the census, and consequently the arrangement of the classes, and with them the organization of the phalanx; and forbidding even the religious meetings of the Paganalia and Compitalia, in order to undo all that had been done to give the commons strength and union. Further it is expressly said 40, that he formed his military force out of a small portion of the people, and employed the great bulk of them in servile works, in the building of the circus and the capitoline temple, and the completion of the great drain or cloaca ; so that in his wars, his army consisted of his allies, the Latins and Hernicans, in a much greater proportion than of Romans. His enmity to the commons was all in the spirit of Sylla; and the members of the aristocratical societies, who were his ready tools in every act of confiscation, or legal murder, or mere assassination, were faithfully represented by the agents of Sylla's proscription, by L. Catilina and his patrician associates. But in what followed, Tarquinius showed himself, like Critias or Appius Claudius, a mere vulgar tyrant, who preferred himself to his order, when the two came into competition, and far inferior to Sylla, the most sincere of aristocrats, who having secured the ascendancy of his order, was content to resign his own personal power, who was followed therefore by the noblest
40 Dionysius, IV. 44.
as well as by the vilest of his countrymen, by Pom- CHAP. peius and Catulus no less than by Catilina. Thus 2 Tarquinius became hated by all that was good and noble amongst the houses, as well as by the commons; and both orders cordially joined to effect his overthrow. But the evil of his tyranny survived him; it was not so easy to restore what he had destroyed as to expel him and his family: the commons no longer stood beside the patricians as an equal order, free, wealthy, well armed, and well organized; they were now poor, ill armed, and with no bonds of union; they therefore naturally sank beneath the power of the nobility, and the revolution which drove out the Tarquins established at Rome not a free commonwealth, but an exclusive and tyrannical aristocracy.
MISCELLANEOUS NOTICES OF THE STATE OF THE
ROMANS UNDER THEIR KINGS.
Ad nos vix tenuis famæ perlabitur aura.
Virgil, Æn. vii.
CHAP. THE last chapter was long, yet the view which can
- be derived from it is imperfect. Questions must
suggest themselves, as I said before, to which it contains no answers. Yet it seemed better to draw the attention first to one main point, and to state that point as fully as possible, reserving to another place much that was needed to complete the picture. For instance, the account of the classes of Servius leads naturally to questions as to the wealth of the Romans, its sources, its distribution, and its amount: the division of the people into centuries excites a curiosity as to their numbers: the mention of the change of the Roman worship, and the introduction of Etruscan rites, dispose us to ask, how these rites affected the moral character of the people; what that character was, and from whence derived. Again, when we read of the great works of the later kings, we think what advance or what style of the arts
was displayed in them; and the laws of king Ser- CHAP. vius written on tables, with the poetical and uncertain nature of the story of his reign, make us consider what was the state of the human mind, and what use had as yet been made of the great invention of letters. It is to these points, so far as I am able, that the following chapter will be devoted.
I. Niebuhr has almost exhausted the subject of Of tho the Roman copper money. He has shown its ori- the Romans
under the ginally low value, owing to the great abundance of later kings. the metal ; that as it afterwards became scarce, a money, reduction in the weight of the coin followed naturally, not as a fraudulent depreciation of it, but because a small portion of it was now as valuable as a large mass had been before. The plenty of copper in early times is owing to this, that where it is found, it exists often in immense quantities, and even in large masses of pure metal on the surface of the soil. Thus the Copper Indians of North America found it in such abundance on their hills that they used it for all domestic purposes; but the supply thus easily obtained soon became exhausted: and as the Indians have no knowledge of mining, the metal is now comparatively scarce. The small value of copper at Rome is shown not only by the size of the coins, the as having been at first a full pound in weight, but also by the price of the war-horse, according to the
? Vol. I. p. 474, et seqq. Ed. 2. See also Müller, Etrusker, I. 4. § 13.