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be disheartened were the Plebeians who had been unfaithful to their order in its time of trial, and who were now as cordially despised by the Patricians as they were hated by the mass of the Plebeians. It is more agreeable to reflect upon the manly satisfaction that such as Valerius" and Menenius Agrippa would derive from the issue of the secession. The narrative of the secession and the reunion must be closed with some account of the Plebeian magistracies. Of these the AEdiles, two in number, were much the least important. Their name, in our tongue, Templars, was derived from the temple” of Ceres, intrusted, as the treasury of the Plebeians,” to their guardianship. Otherwise, the AEdiles were little more than sub-Tribunes, to whom some unimportant functions of a judicial character were committed, and whose office was chiefly desirable as an introduction to the higher powers of the tribunate.” The new Tribunes bore the same name as the heads of the three Patrician, or of the one-and-twenty local, Tribes; but their title in full, Tribunes of the Plebeians, expresses a very different authority. If not at once,” they very soon became the magistrates, the representatives, and the protectors of their order, both as a body and in relation to each of its individual members. As magistrates, they heard the causes of the Plebeians, who speedily learned to refer their disputes to their own officers, instead of continually quarrelling before the higher tribunals. The Tribunes also presided at the assembly of the Tribes, before which they laid the matters of its proper cognizance, and which they doubtless encouraged to bolder action than had been its wont of old. As representatives, they were present, though without the doors,” at the meetings of the Senate; or, if this were a privilege of somewhat later times,” they appear to have been watchful over the proceedings of all the assemblies besides their own, in one of which, at least, that is, the Centuries, they must have had official seats assigned them. But it was as the protectors of the Plebeians that the Tribunes were most distinguished in the early times of their institution. Whether it were to secure the great right of appeal from the superior magistrates, or to arrest the Patrician, magistrate or citizen, who sought injustice against the lower class, or to interfere with the action of any body or any authority in the Commonwealth, one word from the Tribune, Provoco! I appeal! or another, Veto ! I forbid! was sufficient, nominally at least, to prevent the measures he opposed, or, at all events, to secure the interposition of the Tribes,” who could then decide for themselves if their rights were threatened or abused. It will be our object, of course, to follow out the exercise of these defensive powers, which, in their beginning, could scarcely be put into thorough operation; for Plebeians would still look up to Patricians as on such an elevation as to make them hesitate, not merely in assailing, but in resisting them. The Tribunes, however, were made inviolable,” in person and in power, within the city and the circle of a mile beyond the city; that is to say, within the limits which the Imperium or absolute authority of the Consuls could not henceforward cross. To secure their own fidelity, in return, the Tribunes were forbidden to be absent a whole day, or, even for an hour, to close their doors against the applications of the Plebeians for justice or protection.
51 An inscription in eulogy of Walerius deserves to be transcribed : — “Plebem de Sacro Monte deduxit. Gratiam cum Patribus reconciliavit. Foenore gravi Populum Senatus, hoc ejus Rei Auctore, liberavit.” Orell., Collect. Inscript. Lat. Select., 535.
52 AEdes : aedilis.
53 Niebuhr (Vol. I. p. 294) mentions that alms were distributed from
this treasury to the poorest Plebeians. Its receipts were derived from the fines assessed by the Tribes. 54 At a later time the AEdiles became the keepers of the public archives (Senatus Consulta and Plebiscita) deposited in the same temple of Ceres. They were also superintendents of the markets, public buildings and works, etc.
55 Which very many writers deny. valvas positis subselliis, decreta paEmmanuele Duni, for instance, in trum attentissima cura examinahis work on the Origine e Progresso bant.” del Cittadino, etc., di Roma, Cap. 57 As in Dion. Hal., IX. 49 (A. IV., calls the tribuneship “la figura C. 472), X. 31 (456); Liv., IV. 1 di Tutore della Plebe.” (445). 56 Val. Max., II. 2. 7. “Ante
WOL. I. 50
58. The reader will find an article in the Classical Museum, XXI., “On the Growth of the Tribune’s
that of the secession, and, in some instances, his actual expressions (“Concilium Plebis,” II. 57, “Plebs
Power before the Decemvirate,” by
in foro,” II. 54, etc.), apply to the
Such was the office which the seceders were wise enough to demand should be established, as the condition of their return. Neither their spirit nor its powers require to be magnified in order to exhibit the difference created in the relations between the two estates of Rome. From the moment that the lower estate was furnished with defensive arms, the higher was itself compelled to take a new position, not yet, indeed, of mere defence, but no longer of the same offensive front it had before maintained. The treaty between the seceders and the Senate was the Magna Charta of the Plebeians.”
60 Kortüm, Röm. Gesch., p. 75.
“Plebs . . . . . agitari coepta tribunitiis procellis.”—Livy, IL 1.
“Justice does not require Equality. . . . . . But Justice aims constantly to remedy Inequali
ty.”— WHEwell, Moral, and Pol., Sect. 998. THE reconciliation between the citizens of Rome was of little longer duration than the smoke which rose from the altar of sacrifice on the Sacred Hill. Again they began to tread the same dangerous ground from which their former troubles issued; and the city again resounded with menaces and lamentations. But the character of the collisions or the stumbles, so to speak, which still occurred, was very greatly changed. The Plebeians had gained what is commonly called personal freedom, through the protection of their Tribunes; and the new chase in which they now engaged was at first for social, and then for political liberty. They were the poor, and they sought to become rich; the inferior class in the rights of family, government, and religion, and they would have their share in all. Indeed, there were two commonwealths or two cities,' instead of one, in Rome; and the natural impulse with every inhabitant of the lesser
1 “Duas civitates ex una factas: suos cuique parti magistratus, suas leges esse.” Liv., II, 44.