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four Tribes by themselves.99 There are also the memorials of some action, perhaps amounting, however, to no more than the institution of a festival 100 in favor of the Knights, who, as a class, were greatly increasing in wealth and in importance, at the same time that they were ranked, politically, upon the popular side. In the midst of these changes, Flavius, the Ædile, built a temple to Concord.
But the glimpses we catch of concord amongst the Romans are few indeed, and far between ; nor are the traditions of any inclinations or any liberty, besides those of warrior-citizens, less unfrequent. The statues of Pythagoras as the wisest, and of Alcibiades as the bravest Greek, which were set up in the Forum in obedience to a command from the oracle at Del. phi,101 are images to us of the uncertain knowledge and the wanton energy which were spread amongst the Romans. A picture, painted by Fabius, hence called Pictor, 102 and a poem of Appius Claudius, 103 can scarcely be said to bear any other testimony than that of their names to cultivation of taste or mind. Yet when we look away to Babylon, where Alexander lay dying,104 it seems as if the only heirs who could succeed him were the people he had not conquered in Rome.
99 These four were called hence- the story of the pipers, Liv., IX. forth the City Tribes. Liv., IX. 46. 30.
100 De Vir. Illust., Cap. XXXII. 103 Cicero calls it a "carmen Liv., IX. 46.
Pythagoreum.” Tuscul. Quæst., 101 Plin., Nat. Hist., XXXIV. 12. IV. 2. 102 Plin., Nat. Hist., XXXV. 7. 104 A. C. 323. The embassy Painting, however, and sculpture from Rome to Alexander may not likewise, were known long before have been a mere tradition. See Fabius's time. As for music, see Plin., Nat. Hist., III. 9.
Painting, , Nat. Hist: XXXIV.12.
CHAPTER I X.
RELATIONS OF LIBERTY AND RELIGION IN ROME.
"Arrancar la soberanía del cielo y localizarla en la tierra." -- Donoso Cortés, Derecho Politico, Lecc. II.
Two or three years after the last events recorded in the preceding chapter, Quintus and Cneius Ogul. . nius appear in the tribuneship, as zealous champions of the popular party against the combination of the highest and the lowest classes. Instead, however, of making any wild attack upon their adversaries, the Tribunes seem to have exerted themselves in the wiser view of detaching the populace from its Patrician leaders, in order to unite the severed forces of the Plebeians upon a common ground. Obtaining little support from the rest of their party, which was at no time minded to join in any hearty action with the common people, the Ogulnii made a new venture, as if to gain the means before they attempted the execution of their end. A bill to increase the number of the Pontiffs by four, and that of the Augurs
1 The passage in Livy (X. 6) is frustra tentata erant, eam actionem as follows:“ Certamen injectum susceperunt, qua non infimam pleinter primores civitatis, patricios bem accenderent, sed ipsa capita plebeiosque, ab tribunis plebis Q. et plebis, consulares triumphalesque Cn. Ogulniis. Qui, undique crimi- plebeios; quorum honoribus nihil, nandorum Patrum apud plebem oc- præter sacerdotia, quæ nondum procasionibus quæsitis, postquam alia miscua erant, deesset."
by five new incumbents, who should then, and, as was probably added, thenceforward, be chosen from the Plebeians, was proposed by the Tribunes. As they had undoubtedly expected, the bill aroused the interest and efforts of all the eminent men amongst their party; and, though some strenuous opposition was made to its passage, it became a law. The highest places of the priesthood, as well as of the civil magistracies, were opened to the Plebeians, whose name will no longer serve us as it has done, so entirely have the old distinctions of their estate from that of the Patricians been obliterated.
The Ogulnii did not follow up the success they had gained, and the alliance between the lower Plebeians and the higher Patricians was rather cemented than loosened by a law professedly devised to the advantage of the upper classes of the Plebeians. We may break off with all the better reason from the course of our history, to trace the connection between the liberty we have hitherto seen established and the religion of whose existence we are reminded by the Ogulnian law. To do this, it will be necessary neither to inquire into the sources of creeds and ceremonies, nor, still less, to repeat the names of deities or festivals, but simply, and much more briefly, to catch, if we may, the general outlines of a system, of which the particular features and the separate members are to be scanned only by eyes that have no tears.
2 Liv., X. 7-9.
The religion of the early and the middle ages of the Commonwealth was invested with no doubtful or trifling power over the lives of its votaries. Without it, the ardent nature of the Roman would again and again have broken through the moulds in which the character of his nation seemed to be unalterably formed and reformed. It was at once a severe, a searching, and an encroaching faith, that, not content with the seasons or the observances of its own ceremonies, obtruded itself into the midst of the occupations and the thoughts, the households and the public institutions, in which it claimed the first place and the highest authority. The strength it thus exerted, which would have been a holy influence, had the faith itself been true or even mild, was in fact the strength of a universal superstition.3
Of this the origin lay, of course, beyond the discovery even of those by whom it was most profoundly or most anxiously obeyed. None distinctly believed that the truth had been fully revealed; for there were none, not even those of greater sensitiveness and deeper earnestness, to whom the truth, as we conceive it, could be an inspiration or a perplexity. But, on the other hand, the traditions of the elder times, upon which thick grafts had been set by
3 Of which Cicero's description is rit, si tactum aliquid erit de cælo; si the best : – “Instat enim et urget ostenti simile natum factumve quipet quo te cumque verteris persequi- piam ; quorum necesse est plerumtur ; sive tu vatem, sive tu omen que aliquid eveniat : ut numquam audieris ; sive immolaris, sive avem liceat quieta mente consistere." adspexeris ; si Chaldæum, si arus- And so on. De Divin., II. 72. picem videris ; si fulserit, si tonue
sober minds, and budding fancies forced by more ardent imaginations, were accepted, tended, and carefully conveyed as an inheritance from generation to generation. Yet the character of the theology, using the word in its widest sense, which was thus maintained amongst the Romans, is now, at least, seen to have been too complicated, too bulky, and too coarse to have kept its ground. Its complexity proceeded from the variety of authors and sources from which it, like the kindred system of the Greeks, had been, from century to century, compiled. The volume and the grossness of the Grecian were both surpassed in the Roman religion, which, as is well known, united the wildness, and, in many respects, the ferocity, of the Italian faiths with the sensuality and the ostentation which prevailed in Greece.
Such being the characteristics of a religion, with so much unwieldiness on the one side, and on the other so vast pretension to authority, there could be but one course down which it would be hurried. In truth, the religion of Rome was heathenism in its decline. It never rose, like the systems of Greece and the other nations of antiquity, to a culminating point from which it had to fall, but crept, as it were,
4 “ Tria genera tradita deorum : tertium civile. ..... Deinde ait : unum a poetis, alterum a philoso- Mythicon appellant, quo maxime phis, tertium a principibus civitatis." utuntur poetæ ; physicon, quo phiS. August., Civit. Dei, IV. 27. losophi ; civile, quo populi.” Ibid., “ Tria genera theologiæ dicit (Var- VI. 5. See also VI. 7. Compare ro) esse, id est rationis quæ de diis Plut., De Plac. Phil., Tom. IX. p. explicatur, eorumque unum mythi- 487, ed. Reiske. con appellari, alterum physicon,