Home Introduction Persons Geogr. Sources Events Mijn blog(Nederlands)
Religion Subjects Images Queries Links Contact Do not fly Iberia
This is a non-commercial site. Any revenues from Google ads are used to improve the site.

Custom Search
Quote of the day: Zeno, son of Polemon, king of Pontus who
Notes
Do not display Latin text
History of Rome (Ab Urbe Condita) by Livy
Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book V Chapter 29: Domestic Politics.[393 BC]
Next chapter
Return to index
Previous chapter
As the agitation of the tribunes of the plebs had so far been without result, the plebeians exerted themselves to secure the continuance in office of the proposers of the land measure, whilst the patricians strove for the re-election of those who had vetoed it. The plebeians, however, carried the election, and the senate in revenge for this mortification passed a resolution for the appointment of consuls, the magistracy which the plebs detested. After fifteen years, consuls were once more elected in the persons of Lucius Lucretius Flavus and Servius Sulpicius Camerinus.
At the beginning of the year, as none of their college was disposed to interpose his veto, the tribunes were combined in a determined effort to carry their measure, while the consuls, for the same reason, offered a no less strenuous resistance.

Whilst all the citizens were preoccupied with this struggle, the Aequi successfully attacked the Roman colony at Vitellia, which was situated in their territory. Most of the colonists were uninjured, for the fact of its treacherous capture taking place in the night gave them the chance of escaping in the opposite direction from the enemy and reaching Rome. That field of operations fell to Lucius Lucretius. He advanced against the enemy and defeated them in a regular engagement, and then came back victorious to Rome, where a still more serious contest awaited him.
A day had been fixed for the prosecution of Aulus Verginius and Quintus Pomponius, who had been tribunes of the plebs two years previously. The senate unanimously agreed that their honour was concerned in defending them, for no one brought any charge against them touching their private life or their public action; the only ground of indictment was that it was to please the senate that they had exercised their veto. The influence of the senate, however, was overborne by the angry temper of the plebeians, and a most vicious precedent was set by the condemnation of those innocent men to a fine of 10,000 ases each.
The senate were extremely distressed. Camillus openly accused the plebeians of treason in turning against their own magistrates because they did not see that through this iniquitous judgment they had taken from their tribunes the power of veto, and in depriving them of that had overthrown their power. They were deceived if they expected the senate to put up with the absence of any restraint upon the licence of that magistracy. If the violence of tribunes could not be met by the veto of tribunes, the senate would find another weapon. He poured blame on the consuls also for having silently allowed the honour of the State to be compromised in the case of tribunes who had followed the instructions of the senate. By openly repeating these charges he embittered the feeling of the populace more every day.

Tribunorum plebis actiones quia nondum inuenerant finem, et plebs continuare latoribus legis tribunatum et patres reficere intercessores legis adnisi sunt; sed plus suis comitiis plebs ualuit; quem dolorem ulti patres sunt senatus consulto facto ut consules, inuisus plebi magistratus, crearentur. Annum post quintum decimum creati consules L. Lucretius Flauus Ser. Sulpicius Camerinus. Principio huius anni ferociter quia nemo ex collegio intercessurus erat coortis ad perferendam legem tribunis plebis nec segnius ob id ipsum consulibus resistentibus omnique ciuitate in unam eam curam conuersa, Vitelliam coloniam Romanam in suo agro Aequi expugnant. Colonorum pars maxima incolumis, quia nocte proditione oppidum captum liberam per auersa urbis fugam dederat, Romam perfugere. L. Lucretio consuli ea prouincia euenit. Is cum exercitu profectus acie hostes uicit, uictorque Romam ad maius aliquanto certamen redit. Dies dicta erat tribunis plebis biennii superioris A. Verginio et Q. Pomponio, quos defendi patrum consensu ad fidem senatus pertinebat; neque enim eos aut uitae ullo crimine alio aut gesti magistratus quisquam arguebat praeterquam quod gratificantes patribus rogationi tribuniciae intercessissent. Vicit tamen gratiam senatus plebis ira et pessimo exemplo innoxii denis milibus grauis aeris condemnati sunt. Id aegre passi patres; Camillus palam sceleris plebem arguere quae iam in suos uersa non intellegeret se prauo iudicio de tribunis intercessionem sustulisse, intercessione sublata tribuniciam potestatem euertisse; nam quod illi sperarent effrenatam licentiam eius magistratus patres laturos, falli eos. Si tribunicia uis tribunicio auxilio repelli nequeat, aliud telum patres inuenturos esse; consulesque increpabat quod fide publica decipi tribunos eos taciti tulissent qui senatus auctoritatem secuti essent. Haec propalam contionabundus in dies magis augebat iras hominum: