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tained throughout all Italy, and especially from foreign countries, the slaves were also less corrupted and much less degraded than their successors in later times. The prisoners, few and almost kindred as they were, of the early wars, were divided amongst many Roman households, in which they were condemned to scarcely greater toils' than those their masters themselves performed. It was not, perhaps, until the slave became a freedman that he began to be most restless; the loss of liberty being more easily endured than the intermediate condition to which he was raised by emancipation. This, however, is to be predicated of the slaves only in the earlier ages, when the distinction between them and their masters was merely that between the conquerors and the conquered. A different picture will be necessarily presented hereafter; but it is, for the present, sufficient to recognize the blot upon the liberty of the Commonwealth in the existence of a class to which an inferior, 8 and, as it must have been in many instances, a hopeless, position was assigned amongst the victorious nation.
The aliens' formed another inferior class; including, at first, all who were not citizens, or, more correctly speaking, all who were neither citizens, on the one hand, nor, on the other, bondmen in Rome. The ancient law regarded them as enemies,'' against whom the faces of gods and men were to be turned ; and though the letter was changed in after times, the spirit of the law remained the same towards all of foreign birth, especially if they were also of foreign residence. It is not yet, however, in season to take our view of the world as it was seen from Rome; and we have only to consider the position in which the alien who was attracted to or born in the city or the country would find himself situated while pursuing his trade for life or seeking temporary gains amongst the warlike people. It was simply in respect to their trades and occupations that the aliens were allowed to live beneath the safeguard of the Roman laws; though it may be seriously doubted if they were not much oftener obliged to defend themselves against injustice than allowed to accuse their more powerful neighbours who had done them wrong. There were few privileges of any sort, indeed, within their grasp, and even those which were could not be claimed except through the intervention of a Roman patron, or through the Roman Prætor afterwards appointed to control rather than to befriend them. Escaped, as it were, by a hair's breadth from bondage, the aliens, whether Italians, as in the early, or actual foreigners and barbarians, as in the later times, were always regarded
7 The occupations of private 8“ Quasi secundum genus homislaves were those of laborers, do- num.” Florus, III. 20. The slave mestics, mechanics, and, in after was not so by nature, however, as times, of professional and even in Greece, but by his misfortune learned men. The public slaves and his master's right. were employed upon the great roads 9 Or strangers : " peregrini." and buildings, as well as in the Liv. III. 5, etc. service of the magistrates, and afterwards in the navies and armies of the Commonwealth.
10 « Hostis enim apud majores regrinum dicimus.” Cic., De Off., nostros is dicebatur, quem nunc pe- I. 12.
in so obnoxious a light, that none would come to swell the numbers in the great city except they were utterly ruined by conquest, or totally hardened by corruption or barbarity. The influence of mere intercourse with such a class upon the citizens of Rome will be easily conceived.
The divisions of the people into the four great classes of citizens, freedmen, slaves, and aliens will of themselves explain the nature of the personal relations existing in Rome, and the manner in which the destiny of every man, according to his birth in one or another class, was generally, though not in all cases, as we have seen, inevitably, determined. So wide, however, became the distinctions of character resulting from those of fortune, that there was scarcely an opportunity or a pretence of union preserved, and, as we read on, we shall often mark the want of that sympathy which touches the proudest temper with tenderness and exalts the humblest action to success. Other wants will be as clear; and the separation between the different classes, incapable of pliancy before the demands and the perils of successive years, will end at last in the decay of all. There are some things which have to be foretold in every history.
The social relations of the present period were also extended into the future. One universal distinction prevailed, as well amongst the free as between the free and the enslaved; it was that which separated the rich from the poor. No longer so gradual as it had been, no longer mingling itself, on
one side and on the other, in a middle condition of moderate fortune or tolerable poverty, it was now like an opening abyss between the extravagantly rich and the degradedly poor. Several instances of prosecution, for transgression of the limits by which Licinius Stolo intended to obstruct the grasping spirit of the wealthy with respect to the public lands, are very briefly recorded," and in such terms, that the vanity of endeavouring to check the growth of excessive wealth is clearly proved. A single mention occurs 12 of the trial and condemnation of certain usurers ; 13 which is again a sign of the way the wind was blowing, though it is equally a sign of the resistance yet a little longer made on the part of those to whom no good was blown. Meanwhile, we must beware against imagining the poor to have formed a class by any means united in proportion to its numbers ; 14 for there were many who looked down with as much contempt on those they. considered their inferiors, as that with which they were themselves regarded by their superiors. The poor in the new Tribes would be despised by those in the old; while they again, who, without being registered in any Tribe, had merely immigrated from conquered nations, were disdained by the newly admitted citizens. The unavoidable result of these
11 Liv., X. 13, 23, 47.
14 The number of citizens is men12 Ibid., X. 23.
tioned in Liv., X. 47, as having 13 The prosecution was conducted been 262,322. This was in A. C. by the Ogulnii, the same who had 292. Fourteen years after, it was been Tribunes, and were now Cu- 272,000. Liv., Epitome XI. rule Ædiles. VOL. II.
relations amongst the lower classes was the increase of their afflictions as a mass, and of their disorders as opposing factions. To these some remedies were attempted to be applied. The substitution of the Capital Triumvirs, as they were called, with greatly extended powers,15 in place of the Quæstors of Parricide, betokens the increase of troubles and the necessity of stronger means of coercion. When pestilence was added to other causes of disorder and suffering, especially amongst the poorer orders, an embassy was sent to the shrine of Æsculapius at Epidaurus,16 to implore the aid of the hero-god against the plague; but the appeal to the immortals was vain until their temples on earth had been completed with new columns, of which social rights, thus strangely wanting in the old, should be, as it were, the bases, the shafts, and the capitals. Even between the highest Plebeian and the ancient Patrician families, the social differences appear, in many instances, like chasms still unbridged by equal laws.
The numbers and trials of the inferior classes were much less apparent in a political point of view, because of the equality which was nominally establish
15 Besides the management of 16 Val. Max., I. 8, sect. 2. Liv., capital trials and the execution of X. 31, 47, Epitome XI. The emcapital sentences, which had been bassy was headed by Quintus Ogulin charge of the Quæstors, the Tri- nius. umvirs were empowered to collect 17 “Nec ..... the fines for public offences, and to Leges sinebant ..... deorum
Templa novo decorare saxo." preserve the public peace. The
Horat., Carm., II. 15. date of their institution was probably somewhere between A. C. 295 and 290. Liv., Epit. XI.