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Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book III Chapter 54: End of the Second Secession.[450 BC]
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Permission having been unanimously granted them to do as they thought best, the envoys announced that they would return shortly after matters were arranged. When they laid the demands of the plebs before the senate, the other decemvirs, on finding that no mention was made of inflicting punishment on them, raised no objection whatever. The stern Appius, who was detested most of all, measuring the hatred of others towards him by his hatred towards them, said, "I am quite aware of the fate that is hanging over me. I see that the struggle against us is only postponed till our weapons are handed over to our opponents. Their rage must be appeased with blood. Still, even I do not hesitate to lay down my decemvirate." A decree was passed for the decemvirs to resign office as soon as possible, Quintus Furius, the Pontifex Maximus, to appoint tribunes of the plebs, and an amnesty to be granted for the secession of the soldiers and the plebs. |
After these decrees were passed, the senate broke up, and the decemvirs proceeded to the Assembly and formally laid down their office, to the immense delight of all. This was reported to the plebs on the Sacred Hill. The envoys who carried the intelligence were followed by everybody who was left in the City; this mass of people was met by another rejoicing multitude who issued from the camp. They exchanged mutual congratulations on the restoration of liberty and concord. The envoys, addressing the multitude as an Assembly, said, "Prosperity, fortune, and happiness to you and to the State! Return to your fatherland, your homes, your wives, and your children! But carry into the City the same self- control which you have exhibited here, where no man's land has been damaged, notwithstanding the need of so many things necessary for so large a multitude. Go to the Aventine, whence you came; there, on the auspicious spot where you laid the beginnings of your liberty, you will appoint your tribunes; the Pontifex Maximus will be present to hold the election." Great was the delight and eagerness with which they applauded everything. They plucked up the standards and started for Rome, outdoing those they met in their expressions of joy. Marching under arms through the City in silence, they reached the Aventine. There the Pontifex Maximus at once proceeded to hold the election for tribunes. The first to be elected was Lucius Verginius; next, the organisers of the secession, Lucius Icilius and. Publius Numitorius, the uncle of Verginius; then, Gaius Sicinius, the son of the man who is recorded as the first to be elected of the tribunes on the Sacred Hill, and Marcus Duillius, who had filled that office with distinction before the appointment of the decemvirs, and through all the struggles with them had never failed to support the plebs. After these came Marcus Titinius, Marcus Pomponius, Gaius Apronius, Appius Villius, and Gaius Oppius, all of whom were elected rather in hope of their future usefulness than for any services actually rendered.
When he had entered on his tribuneship, Lucius Icilius at once proposed a resolution which the plebs accepted, that no one should suffer for the secession. Marcus Duillius immediately carried a measure for the election of consuls and the right to appeal from them to the people. All these measures were passed in a Council of the plebs which was held in the Flaminian Meadows, now called the Circus Flaminius.
|Facerent ut uellent permittentibus cunctis, mox redituros se legati rebus perfectis adfirmant. Profecti cum mandata plebis patribus exposuissent, alii decemuiri, quando quidem praeter spem ipsorum supplicii sui nulla mentio fieret, haud quicquam abnuere: Appius truci ingenio et inuidia praecipua odium in se aliorum suo in eos metiens odio, 'haud ignaro' inquit, 'imminet fortuna. Video donec arma aduersariis tradantur diferri aduersus nos certamen. Dandus inuidiae est sanguis. Nihil ne ego quidem moror quo minus decemuiratu abeam.' Factum senatus consultum ut decemuiri se primo quoque tempore magistratu abdicarent, Q. Furius pontifex maximus tribunos plebis crearet; et ne cui fraudi esset secessio militum plebisque. His senatus consultis perfectis dimisso senatu, decemuiri prodeunt in contionem abdicantque se magistratu, ingenti hominum laetitia. Nuntiantur haec plebi. Legatos quidquid in urbe hominum supererat prosequitur. Huic multitudini laeta alia turba ex castris occurrit. Congratulantur libertatem concordiamque ciuitati restitutam. Legati pro contione: 'Quod bonum faustum felixque sit uobis reique publicae, redite in patriam ad penates coniuges liberosque uestros; sed qua hic modestia fuistis, ubi nullius ager in tot rerum usu necessario tantae multitudini est uiolatus, eam modestiam ferte in urbem. In Auentinum ite, unde profecti estis; ibi felici loco, ubi prima initia incohastis libertatis uestrae, tribunos plebi creabitis. Praesto erit pontifex maximus qui comitia habeat.' Ingens adsensus alacritasque cuncta adprobantium fuit. Conuellunt inde signa profectique Romam certant cum obuiis gaudio. Armati per urbem silentio in Auentinum perueniunt. Ibi extemplo pontifice maximo comitia habente tribunos plebis creauerunt, omnium primum L. Verginium, inde L. Icilium et P. Numitorium, auunculum Verginiae, auctores secessionis, tum C. Sicinium, progeniem eius quem primum tribunum plebis creatum in Sacro monte proditum memoriae est, et M. Duillium, qui tribunatum insignem ante decemuiros creatos gesserat nec in decemuiralibus certaminibus plebi defuerat. Spe deinde magis quam meritis electi M. Titinius M. Pomponius C. Apronius P. Villius C. Oppius. Tribunatu inito L. Icilius extemplo plebem rogauit et plebs sciuit ne cui fraudi esset secessio ab decemuiris facta. Confestim de consulibus creandis cum prouocatione M. Duillius rogationem pertulit. Ea omnia in pratis Flaminiis concilio plebis acta, quem nunc circum Flaminium appellant.|