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aims. The accusation and the trial, if trial there were, are equally involved in obscurity. The parties accused appear to have retorted upon the Dictator and his supporters 85 by counter-accusations, concerning which we are also uninformed. It may be only a conjecture, that the Patricians at first arraigned belonged to the extreme faction, then strong enough to avert sentence from being pronounced against its partisans, and that, if they were really guilty of any unlawful projects in conjunction with the citizens or the lower classes of Capua, the league thus formed was but the result of movements previously begun.
These movements were more plainly proved in the course of the events with which our account of the development of the Roman institutions in the present period may be concluded. There must have existed for some time a tendency between the higher faction of the Patricians and the lower class of the Plebeians to coalesce with one another, for the sake, on both sides, of obtaining greater superiority over the middle or moderate party, whose course had generally been as much opposed to the interest of their inferiors as to the pleasure of their superiors. The divisions among the Plebeians could lead to no other result than the willingness of either party that proved the feeblest to throw itself into the opening arms of its adversaries; the old conflicts between the two estates, each on its own side, having passed away.
85 If they were such, which is 86 Though supported by the turn uncertain. Publilius Philo was one of Livy's narrative. IX. 26. of the number. Liv., IX. 26.
The career of Appius Claudius, afterwards known as Appius the Blind, discloses openly the alliance of the richest and the poorest classes. He was elected Censor within two years from the dictatorship of Mænius, and, as was usual, entered, with his colleague, Plautius Decianus,87 upon the charge of filling the vacancies which had occurred within the Senate since the last nominations to that body by the preceding Censors. The new elections were always made, it appears, from certain lists of citizens who had either borne great offices or possessed high rank; but Appius, determined from the beginning to secure his authority, either for his own sake or for that of his faction, through any support he could command, now named several of the lowest men in Rome as Senators, amongst whom he even admitted some sons of freedmen, who, as such, were scarcely considered to be absolutely free, much less to be worthy of any political advancement.89 The nomination, backed by a powerful party, out of rather than in the Senate, and vainly, if not feebly, opposed by Plautius Decianus, who resigned his office in disgust at his colleague,90 was carried, but was set aside in the following year
87 The same who stood by the an agricultural occupation, and the conquered people of Privernum. not carrying on of commerce or a
88 Diod. Sic., XX. 36. Suet., handicraft, formed the conditions by Claud., 24.
which persons had the right of beSuetonius, born about A. D. 70, longing to the Plebeian order." is the biographer of the Cæsars. Niebuhr, Hist., Vol. III. p. 140.
89 6 Two free ancestors, just as 90 Liv., IX. 29. much as landed property, or at least
by the Consuls, who could call such Senators as they pleased, and those only, as it seems, to their sessions. Appius, still keeping his place, was soon after assailed by some of the Tribunes, now the representatives, as must be remembered, of the moderate party, rather than of the Plebeian estate. At this the Censor admitted all the freedmen in Rome to the Tribes, amongst which he distributed them in such a manner as promised him the most effectual support.92 Appius, however, was not wholly absorbed in mere political intrigues. A large portion of his energy and his ambition was spent upon the Way and the Aqueduct which have borne his name to our day, and which, in his own time, were undertakings so vast as to obtain for him the name of “the Hundred-handed."93 He was an author, a jurist, a philosopher, and a poet, besides.
It was, probably, after the example rather than at the instigation of Appius, that his scribe rose to distinction. Cneius Flavius, the son of a freedman, one, therefore, of the partisans on whom the Censor and his faction were willing to lavish pretended favor in return for unstinted support, was employed by Appius near his person, in the capacity of private secretary. Appius, who, as already mentioned, was a jurist and an author, appears to have compiled a sort of manual concerning the business-days of the Calendar and the forms of instituting or conducting a suit before the courts ; 94 both these subjects being kept in profound concealment from the mass of the people, who were therefore obliged, in case of any legal proceeding, to resort first to the Pontiff to learn on what day, and next to the Patrician jurist to inquire in what form, they could lawfully manage their affairs before the judicial tribunals. This manual was very likely given to Flavius to copy; but it could scarcely have been with the knowledge, much less with the desire, of his employer, that it was published. The haughty Patrician, while he had no wish to enlighten even the multitude which supported him, would have been distinctly opposed to any measure in favor of the middle classes, who were attached to his antagonists, and who would be much more benefited than the lower orders by the publication of legal calendars or formularies. But Flavius stood in a position which tempted him, whether he were generous or designing, to divulge the secrets of the manual he had obtained; and it may very well have been from a desire to conciliate the real party of the Plebeians, which ranked above him, as a freedman, that he published his discoveries. 95 He did not go unrewarded, but was raised to various offices, amongst them to the tribuneship of the Plebeians, and finally to the curule ædileship, in which his disclosures are sometimes represented as having been made.96 The only direct evidence we have concerning his supporters is, that he was chosen Ædile by the votes of the lower faction, which the historian calls the faction of the Forum ; 97 but in opposition to this is the relation, that the Patricians went into mourning 98 at the election of the freedman's son, and one who had made light of their mysteries. The party of the nobility and the populace could not thus be separated without the influence of either fraction against the moderate, or, as it may be called henceforward, the popular party, being neutralized; and it is on this account that we may suppose Flavius to have been seconded by the suffrages of many amongst the Plebeians at large.
91 Liv., IX. 30.
est.” Digest. Lib. I. Tit. II. 2,
24 See Hugo's Hist. Roman Law, fastosque circa forum in albo proSect. CLXXXII. Cicero says that posuit, ut, quando lege agi posset, the forms disclosed by Flavius had sciretur." Liv., IX. 46; where, been most undeniably abused to the however, the publication is, as it advantage of the learned: -“Erant seems, erroneously ascribed to the in magna potentia qui consulebantur: year of Flavius's ædileship. a quibus etiam dies, tanquam a Chal- 95 Pomponius, the great jurist, dæis, petebatur," etc. Pro L. Mu- says expressly, — “ Postea cum rena, 11. “Civile jus, repositum in Appius Claudius proposuisset et ad penetralibus pontificum, evulgavit, formam redegisset has actiones, Cnæus Flavius, scriba ejus, libertini 96 Liv., IX. 46. This was A. C. filius, subreptum librum populo tra- 303, seven years after the beginning didit; et adeo gratum fuit id munus of Appius Claudius's censorship. populo, ut tribunus plebis fieret, et 97 “ Flavium dixerat ædilem fosenator et ædilis curulis : hic liber, rensis factio." Liv., IX. 46. See qui actiones continet, appellatur jus Diod. Sic., XX. 36. civile Flavianum.” Digest. Lib. I. 98 Plin., Nat. Hist., XXXIII. 6. Tit. II. 2, sect. 7. Compare, how- Liv., IX. 46 ; where see the story ever, Plin., Nat. Hist., XXXIII. 6, of Flavius and the nobiles adolesand Cicero, Pro Murena, 11.