Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

honor of his father's memory, 23 dispels the hopes of more than transitory consideration for the subject or the vanquished.

Immediately upon the peace with Carthage, two new Tribes,34 principally of Sabine people, were added to the previous three-and-thirty; the number of thirty-five being thenceforward unchanged. New methods of bringing the conquered within the reach of their conquerors, instead of including them in the pale of citizens or allies, were begun with the formation of Sicily into a province ; 35 the plan of which will be hereafter described.36 For the present, though we have emerged from the limits of the first Punic war, it will be much more suitable to continue at once towards the second, lying at a distance of threeand-twenty years.37

Almost all the events in Rome having any bearing on the subject of our history, during this interval, may be described under the single name of Caius Flaminius, who became Tribune eight or nine years after the peace. The notice of some previous prosecutions 38 concerning the occupation of the public lands throws light at once upon the encroachments of the rich and the desires of the poor at a season when continued success in arms had brought an un

33 Val. Max., II. 4, sect. 7. were some other exceptions to the Liv., Epit. XVI.

Roman rule. 34 Liv., Epit. XIX.

36 See Ch. XIV. 35 Appian., De Reb. Sic., Exc. 37 A. C. 241-218. II. Syracuse continued under the 38 Vell. Pat., I. 14. government of King Hiero ; Mes- “Sed jam de vetito quisque parabat opes ..... sana was made an ally : and there Jamque in privalo pascere inertis erat."

Ovid., Fast., V. 279-294.

we

ne

usual accession to the extent of the national domains. It was not very long afterwards that Flaminius, then in his tribunate, produced before the Tribes a bill to effect a large assignment of land in some of the northern districts,39 overrun in the contests to which we must presently recur. The opposition of the Senate was powerless against the authority imparted to the Tribes by the Hortensian law to pass whatsoever bills they pleased; and though the father of the Tribune laid his commands upon his son to come down from the rostra, where he stood haranguing the people, and Flaminius actually obeyed,40 yet the bill was then or subsequently passed." There may have been other divisions of the spoils than that Flaminius obtained ; 42 and it is positively recorded that new colonies 43 were founded in various places, both to provide for the conquerors and to secure the conquests. Some consequences of wide-spread victories chiefly concerned the vanquished, such as raising the number of the Prætors from two to four, in order that the provinces might have their governors.14 There were other changes which affected the conquerors themselves; in the midst of which the same Flaminius bears the prominent part.

39 Polyb., II. 21.

Plin., Nat. Hist., VII. 45. This, 40 Cic., De Invent., II. 17. Val. however, may have been before the Max., V. 4, sect. 5.

peace. 41 “ Contra Senatus auctorita 43 Liv., Epit. XX. tem.” Cic., De Senect., 4. Po 44 Sardinia being at this time lyb., II. 21.

another province. As for the Præ42 Cæcilius Metellus, the com- tors, see Digest. Lib. I. Tit. II. 2, mander at Panormus, is spoken of sect. 32. as a “Quindecemvir agris dandis.”

ame

Some ten years, during which he had distinguished himself in military service, as well as by steadfast opposition, in various posts, to the extreme party, followed upon his tribuneship, and Flaminius was chosen Censor. In this capacity, he transferred the freedmen to the four City Tribes, 45 as Fabius and Decius had done almost a century before, and probably from the same motives by which they were actu ated; although the factions no longer appear in equal distinctness as in the earlier period. A similar policy induced Flaminius, a year or two later, to join one of the Tribunes in proposing a law by which the Senators and their sons were forbidden to own any merchant-vessel of greater burden than the transport of produce from their near or distant estates required.26 The law was aimed against the rich men, whose opportunities for gains had been largely augmented by the wars, in which not only had their crops been in great demand, but their adventures to remoter ports had possibly been alone successful, if we conceive, as is perfectly natural, that their ships were often allowed to sail under the protection of the , fleets they commanded. In one point of view, the Senate had never been so popular a body as at the time they seem to have been thus restrained; the Plebeian members at present outnumbering, as is probable, the Patrician; nor was the circle of the

45 Liv., Epit. XX. It was in 46 Liv., XXI. 63. The Tribune the same censorship that he con- was Q. Claudius. structed the Flaminian Circus and the Flaminian Way.

no

magistracies, whose lists are crowded with new names, less extended. Many things, however, and none more frequently than the diffusion of liberty, begin, and cease almost at their beginning.

There are few indications of any other spirit amongst the Romans than that which necessarily claimed, not merely prominent, but almost exclusive, possession of their hearts, so long as the very trees of the unconquered country or the stones of the unfallen town seemed to wear the look of enemies. The introduction of the drama, in the shape of a play composed by a freedman,? soon after the peace with Carthage, was regarded only as a new entertainment which the multitude merited, without any need on their part of especial appreciation. Meanwhile we may observe how the superstitions, that could chill the limbs and choke the breath of man with fatal vapors, still hung, as if immovable, in the atmosphere. When the wars of which we are yet to read broke out in the North, an old prophecy, that the city would some time or other fall into the hands of a second troop of Gauls, was remembered with exceeding terror. The valor of the troops and the knowl. edge of the generals sent forth against the enemy were deemed unequal to avert the evil omen ; but that they and the people left behind might believe the oracle to be fulfilled, two Gauls, with two. Greeks, one of either sex, were buried alive beneath the Forum.48 The same spirit might show itself in different

[ocr errors]

47 Livius Andronicus. Cic., Brut, 18.

48 Zonaras, VIII. 19.

forms. When the Senate ordered the demolition of the temple built to the Egyptian Isis and Serapis, lest the strange deities should offend the gods of Rome, the laborers hesitated to lay hands upon the fane, 49 until the Consul, Æmilius Paullus, stepped forward and dealt the first blow upon the temple doors. The name of Æmilius must stand as that of the first Roman who, even unconsciously, began upon the greater work of destruction appointed to his country.

The conflicts to which several allusions have been made filled up the twenty-three years elapsing between the first and the second wars against Carthage, with but one intermission, when the gates were closed upon the image of Janus, and it was believed that peace had returned to Rome for the second time 50 since its foundation upon the Palatine. First came a campaign of six days against the Faliscan people, 51 who had been conquered by Camillus in the times of old; and then, as if in continuance of the same associations, the Gauls in the North, and their neighbours of Liguria, appeared in arms. 2 At almost the same moment, the inhabitants of Corsica and Sardinia, which had been faithlessly wrested from Carthage since the peace, attempted in vain to deliver themselves from the new power by which they were held in subjection.53 The Sardinians again rebelled within

49 “ Eaque nemo opificum attin- 51 Liv., Epit. XIX. Polyb., I. gere auderet." Val. Max., I. 3. 3. 65.

50 The first time of closing the 52 Liv., Epit. XX. Flor., II. 3. temple was in the reign of Numa; 53 Liv., Epit. XX. the third in that of Augustus. Liv.,

« НазадПродовжити »