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LONDON:

MINTED UY THOMAS DAVISON, WHITEFRIAtS. THE

ROMAN HISTORY,

l Bum THE

BUILDING OF ROME

TO THE

RUIN OF THE COMMONWEALTH.

ILLUSTRATED WITH MAPS.

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THE NEW YORK

PUBLIC LIBRARY

162725

ASTOR. LENOX AND TILDLN FOUNDATIONS.

1899.

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V FROM THE DEATH OF THE YOUNGER GRACCHUS, IN THE '».' YEAR OF ROME 682, WHEN, REAL LIHERTY EXPIRING,

THE FORM ONLY OF THE OLD CONSTITUTION REMAINED, , - TO THE DICTATORSHIP OF SYLLA, IN 671, WHO CHANGED

THE VERY FORM OF THAT CONSTITUTION.

INTRODUCTION.

When, in the year of Rome 386, the contest between the patricians and plebeians, on occasion of the new laws preferred by the tribune Licinius, was come to such a degree of heat as to threaten a sudden flame of civil war; the great Camillus, being then dictator, turned himself towards the Capitol,an d,having prayed the gods s« b. 3. to put an end to the commotion, made a vow to build a * 4' ^ 7temple to Concord, if union might be restored among his fellow-citizens. To his devotion he added his best endeavours to re-establish tranquillity, not by a bloody exercise of his dictatorial power, but by exhorting the furious disputants to mutual concessions. His persuasions proved effectual: the patricians suffered the new laws in favour of the plebeians to take place; the plebeians consented to the creation of a new magistracy [the proctorship] in favour of the patricians; and, by this compromise, an end was put to the fierce and dangerous conflict: and what, though already mentioned, is well worthy to be repeated, the domestic peace, thus re

VOL. IV. B

See b. 6. c. 7.

stored, had.no considerable interruption" for the spaced
of 230 years, till those Licinian laws of freedoni and.^ .
equality l the observance of which had so long main1-. .
tained. t^happy coalition, were outrageously violated-. •- *
by the nobles.b To put a stop to this abuse, which, .if-. t
not checked, must totally ruin the free constitution
of Rome, was the enterprise of Tiberius Gracchus, for * \
which he was murdered by a band of ruffian senators; •

* In the year 460 there was a secession of the debtors and bankrupts to Mount
Janiculum; but as Mr. Moyle observes, (vol. 1. p. 116.) "This is omitted by
several historians in the catalogue of the Roman seditions;" and "All authors -jr?
agree it was composed without bloodshed by Hortensius the dictator, and that it . .
ended in the revival 6f an excellent but antiquated law." He adds, "From this '»'
tumult to the sedition of Gracchus, in the six hundred and twentieth year of the-:
city, Rome enjoyed a profound quiet and prosperity, not interrupted by the least .
domestic dissensions: an example of lasting tranquillity that can be paralleled in
no monarchy whatsoever. This interim of time was the most happy and most -« •
glorious period of the Roman commonwealth," &c. Ibid, c . 10.

b During the regal state, and for many years after the establishment of the com-monwealth, none but the patricians, that is, none but the senators and their dc^ - jp. Kenn. Ant . scendants, were noble. Hence in many places of Livy, and other authors, we find? -In nobilttu! used for the patrician order, and so opposed to plebt. . But in after-times, p when the plebeians obtained access to the curule magistracies, they (without ceasing to be plebeian) procured, by those honours, the title of noble, and left it to their posterity: [ Vid. Sig. de Jur. Civ. Rom. lib. 2. c . 20. ] And these plebeian nobles were, generally speaking, united, with the patrician in political views and measures. • Tart 2. "The common division of the people into noW7«, now, and igiiojifci, was taken:

b 3, c* 1, from the right of using pictures or statues: an honour only allowed to such whose
"ancestors or themselves had borne some curule office, that is, had been curule tedile<

censor, prartor, or consul. He that had the pictures or statues of his ancestors was
termed nobilU; he that had only his own, novut; he that had neither, iguobilit. So
that jtu imaginis was much the same thing among them as the right of bearing a coat
of arms among us: and their twins homo is equivalent to our upstart gentleman."

What Mr. Kennet, in the same chapter, writes concerning another division of the
Romans, the times we are entering upon make very proper to be here transcribed.

"When we find the optimates and the populares opposed in authors, it would be unreasonable to make the same distinction betwixt these parties, as Sigonius and others lay down, ' That the populares were those who endeavoured by their words and actions to ingratiate themselves with the multitude; and the optimates those who so behaved themselves in all affairs as to make their conduct approved by every good man.' This application agrees much better with the sound of the words than with the sense of the things. For at this rate the optimates and the populares will' be only other terms for the virtuous and the vicious; and it would be equally hard in such large divisions of men, to acknowledge one side to have been wholly honest, and to affirm the other to have been entirely wicked. I know that this opinion is built on the authority of Cicero: [Duo genera semper in hac civitate fuerunt—ex quibus aiten se populares, a1ten optimates et haberi et esse voluerunt. Qui ea, qua? faciebant, qmeque diccbant, jucunda multitudini esse volebant, populares; qui autem ila se gerebant, ut sua concilia Optimo cuique probarent, optimates habebantur. Cic . pro Sent. 45. ] but if we look on him, not only as a prejudiced person, but as an orator too, we shall not wonder, that in distinguishing the two parties, he gave so infamous a mark to the enemies' side, and so honourable a one to his own. Otherwise the murderers of Caesar (who were the optimates) must pass for men of the highest probity; and the followers of Augustus (who were of the opposite faction) must seem in general a pack of profligate knaves. It would therefore be a much more moderate judgment to found the difference rather on policy than on morality, rather on the principles of government than of religion and private duty."

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