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Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book I Chapter 8: The Political Constitution.[753 BC]
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After the claims of religion had been duly acknowledged, Romulus called his people to a council. As nothing could unite them into one political body but the observance of common laws and customs, he gave them a body of laws, which he thought would only be respected by a rude and uncivilised race of men if he inspired them with awe by assuming the outward symbols of power. He surrounded himself with greater state, and in particular he called into his service twelve lictors. Some think that he fixed upon this number from the number of the birds who foretold his sovereignty; but I am inclined to agree with those who think that as this class of public officers was borrowed from the same people from whom the sella curulis and the toga praetexta were adopted -- their neighbours, the Etruscans -- so the number itself also was taken from them. Its use amongst the Etruscans is traced to the custom of the twelve sovereign cities of Etruria, when jointly electing a king furnishing him each with one lictor.|
Meantime the City was growing by the extension of its walls in various directions an increase due rather to the anticipation of its future population than to any present overcrowding. His next care was to secure an addition to the population that the size of the City might not be a source of weakness. It had been the ancient policy of the founders of cities to get together a multitude of people of obscure and low origin and then to spread the fiction that they were the children of the soil. In accordance with this policy, Romulus opened a place of refuge on the spot where, as you go down from the Capitol, you find an enclosed space between two groves. A promiscuous crowd of freemen and slaves, eager for change, fled thither from the neighbouring states. This was the first accession of strength to the nascent greatness of the city.
When he was satisfied as to its strength, his next step was to provide for that strength being wisely directed. He created a hundred senators; either, because that number was adequate, or because there were only a hundred heads of houses who could be created. In any case they were called the " Patres" in virtue of their rank, and their descendants were called patricians.