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was instead of law. On the principles of natural equity, the decisions of the consuls and of the senate were founded. Caius Terentillus Arfa, the tribune, proposed the nomination of ten commisfoners to compile a body of laws, which might limit the authority of the consuls, and secure the rights of the citizens. After various dissentions, with animosity and violence on both sides, the fenate consented to the Terentian law; it was, however, stipulated, that all the legislators fhould be chosen out of the nobility. Deputies were sent into Greece to study the conftitution of different states, and to collect the laws of Solon. On their return, ten of the prin. cipal senators were chosen to compile a body of laws, and invested with sovereign power for a year. Thus the constitution took a new form. The consuls and tribunes resigned their office and the Decemvirate was established, in the year before Christ 303.
The novelty of this form of government, with the wisdom and equity of the governors, rendered it pleasing to the people. The code of laws, written on twelve tables, was hung up to the public view. The senate approved it; and the people gave their assent with shouts of applause.
This was almost as remarkable a revolution in the govern ment of Rome, as that from kings to confuls. They agreed among themselves, that only one of them, at a time, should have the fasces, and other consular ornaments, affemble the senate, and confirm their decrees. They went every morning, each in his turn, to their tribunal in the forum; and there distributed justice with so much impartiality, that the people, charmed with their conduct, seemed to have quite forgotten their tribunes. Appius that once severe and inflexible magistrate, was now all affability and complaisance; and from being the detestation, became the idol of the people.
A supplement to the laws being demanded, the senate agreed that new decemvirs should be appointed for the following year. Appius, a haughty Patrician, procured, by secret arts, the election to fall on himself, and on colleagues devoted to his interest. The new decemvirs became tyrants, and a plan of despotism, say the Roman historians, was conCerted between Appius and his associates in office.
This behaviour of Appius and his companions was strongly opposed by his uncle Claudius, who went over to the Sabines. The example of Claudius was followed by many families, who, rather than live under this new erested tyranny, went into voluntary exile,
Of the Decemvirs. A violation of the rights of private life precipitated the downfal of the tyrants, and the blood of Virginia reinstated the ancient form of government. On a pretendud crime, Appius ordered the daughter of Virginius, a Plebeian, then. in the army, against the Æqui, to be brought before him, and with a view to debauch her, adjudged her a llave to one of his dependants. Virginius being informed of what had passed, left the camp, and stabbed his daughter, in the prefence of Appius. « My daughter,” said he, « only way to save your liberty and your honour. Go, Vir“ ginia, go to your ancestors, whilst you are yet a free wo
man, pure and undefiled.” He then held up the dagger to the Decemvirs, and cried aloud, “ Appius, thou tyrant! « with this knife I doom thee to certain death :” Having uttered those words, he immediately ran through the city into the camp, and persuaded the foldiers to revolt. They all assured him they would stand by him, in whatever he should undertake against so wicked a tyrant.
The decemvirs, who commanded the army, being informed of the difpofition of the foldiers, attempted to appease them. The soldiers, however, disregarding their commands, Aew to their arms, snatched up their colours, and entered the city without the least disturbance. Having entrenched themfelves on mount Aventine, they declared that they would not lay down their arms, till the authority was taken from the decemvirs.
As they had not yet chosen a leader, they all cried out with one voice to the deputies from the senate, who came to alk, why they had left the camp without their general's orders ? « Let Valerius and Horatius be fent to us; we will “ return no answer to the senate but by them.”
The army wished to have Virginius at their head; but he declined that honour. “My daughter,” said he, “is dead, « and I have not yet revenged her death. Till her manes are u appealed, I can accept of no dignity. Besides, what pru« dent or moderate counsels can you expect from me, who “ am fo incensed against the tyrants ? I fhall be of more fervice “ to the common cause, by acting as a private man.”
The decemvirs, finding they could hold their power no longer, offered to refign, whenever the fenate should think fit to elect new confuls; only defiring that they might not be facrificed to the hatred of their enemies. A decree was accordingly passed, abolishing the decemvirate, and restoring the
tribunes, when the decemvirs publickly resigned their authority in the forum, to the great joy of the city
The republic having now refumed her ancient form, the tribunes resolved to prosecute the decemvirs. They began with Appius. Virginius, in quality of tribune of the people, declared himself his accuser; and, without enumerating all his other crimes, infifted only on his behaviour to Virginia, his daughter. “If you do not instantly clear yourself from " this breach of the law,” said he, “I will order you to " be carried to prifon.” Appius was silent. But when the oficers of the tribunes offered to seize him, he appealed to the people, and claimed the protection of the laws just made in favour of appeals. Virginius answered, that Appius was the only person who ought not to enjoy the benefit of the laws, which he himself had violated in his decemvirate; and that fuch a monster ought, without mercy, to be carried to that prison which he himself had built, and insolently named the habitation of the people of Rome. He was conducted thi. ther, and his trial was fixed for the third market-day; but before that came, he died in prison, Oppius, one of the plebeian decemvirs, was impeached as an accomplice with Appius, and, like him, thrown into prison, where he died the fame day. The other eight decemvirs retired into voluntary banishment, when their estates were confiscated and sold for the benefit of the public. A general amnesty was then proclaimed, and the state, for a short time, enjoyed tranquillity.
The military Tribunes--Censors Siege of Veii-Triumph of
Camillas General Remarks, INTESTINE discords, inseparable from republics, pre
vail most when the constitution is unfixed. The tribunes had gradually stripped the patricians of their rights; and the people, after many struggles, having obtained a principal thare in the adminiftration of government, demanded a pare ticipation of the whole. With this view two laws were
The Censorso proposed; the first to allow the plebeians to intermarry with the patricians; the second, to admit them to the consulship. After a violent contest, in the usual form, the senate consented to the first. Determined to have the second law also passed, the tribunes, on the approach of the enemy, opposed the levies. This dispute would probably have been attended with fatal consequences, had not one of the senators, to preferve the honour of the confular dignity, propofed a medium, which was agreed to by both sides. This was, that, instead of consuls, a certain number of military tribunes fhould be chosen, partly out of the senate, and partly from among the plebeians; and that these new magistrates should be invested with consular power. A decree was immediately passed for this fourth revolution in the Roman government; and the comitia were held without delay. But when the people came to vote, they refused to give their suffrages to any but patricians; so that only three military tribunes were chofen, who, on the pretence of religion *, resigned their office in three months.
An inter-rex was named, that the commonwealth might not be without a chief. Titus Quinctius, on whom this dignity was conferred, assembled the people, who agreed to reftore the old form of government, when Lucius Papirius Mugillanus, and Lucius Sempronius Atratanus were appointed confuls for the remaining part of the year.
For feveral years past, foreign wars and domestic diffentions had prevented the consuls from taking the cenfus. To remedy an evil which might often occur, two new magistrates were chosen, under the name of censors, to take a survey of the numbers and estates of the people every five years. This office became, by degrees, the most important and honourable in the commonwealth. - The censors had the right of arranging the classes, and of opening or shutting the senate.
About this time t, Rome was afflicted with famine and pestilence, which carried off great part of the citizens. In this general calamity, Spurius Mælius bought up corn at foreign markets, and distributed it at a low price among the people. This generous conduct gained him great popularity; but the fenate foon became alarmed, and charged him with the design of aspiring to the sovereign power. Quinctus Cincinnatus, now eighty years old, was a third time chosen dictator, and Mælius was summoned to appear before him; but he refused to submit, and was killed in the forum by Servilius,
* The Auguries were inauspicious. : f A. U. 315. A. C. 448.
the di&tator's general of the horse, in consequence of a law chat every citizen had power to put any man to death without form of trial, provided it could be proved he aspired to the sovereign dignity.
The Fidenz, a Roman colony, revolted at this time from their obedience to Rome, and put themselves under the protection of Tolumnius, king of the Veientes. By the instigation of this prince, they murdered the Roman Ambassadors, who were sent to enquire into the reason of this conduct. On this occasion, Mamercus Æmilius was created dictator, who obtained a great victory over the enemy. Tolumnius was slain in the battle by Cornelius Coffus, a legionary tribune, who stripped him of his armour and royal robes ; which, with extraordinary pomp and ceremony, were confecrated to Jupiter Feretrius.
Some years after, the Romans invested Veii, one of the strongest places in Italy. The constancy of the Roman foldiers was never more shewn, than on this occafion; for, notwithstanding the inclemency of the weather, they coneinued the fiege the whole
winter, and covered themselves with the skins of beasts. This famous fiege was carried on with various success for several years, during which time the Roman army was greatly annoyed by the Hetrurians, and other neighbouring nations. The power and bravery of the Veientes may be judged from their resolute defence of the capitol. At last the Romans determined to carry on the liege with the utmost vigour, and appointed Furius Camillus, a brave officer, dictator. Despairing to carry by assault a place which had a whole army for its garrison, Camillus caused a passage to be dug under ground to the very castle At the same time, he amused the enemy by the appearance of a general attack, and whilst they stood on their defence on the walls of the city, the besiegers made themselves masters of the town. Thus was the rich and strong city of Veii taken, like a second Troy, after a fiege of ten years. The booty, which was immense, was divided among the soldiers.
Camillus, transported with the honour of subduing this great rival of Rome, triumphed in a more magnificent manner than usual, and caused his chariot to be drawn by four milk-white horses. This was looked upon as a fingular act of vanity in the dictator, as the Romans held the horses of that colour sacred, and peculiar only to Jupiter and the Sun.
From the perpetual opposition of the tribunes the consuls could seldom raise an army without naming a dictator. To breaķ this dependance upon the tribunes, the senate contrived L 2