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of commissioner to the new settlement; and when he found that others were appointed in his stead, he turned over all the public booty to his soldiers, whom he then disbanded without waiting the arrival of his successor. There were few to declare themselves in his support when he returned to Rome and went through the form of appealing to the people 44 from the refusal of the Senate to grant him a triumph; and though he did triumph, it was because he was too haughty to yield to any opposition he might have aroused. On being accused, however, of illegal conduct by two of the Tribunes, there was not a Tribe but voted for his condemnation; and he was obliged to submit to the shame and, as it was to him, the misery of an enormous fine.
Curius Dentatus, in many respects the foremost member of the popular party, was a man of very different mould, though as fierce a warrior.45 Tribune a few years before, he had baffled the designs of Appius Claudius, presiding as Interrex over the consular elections, to prevent the choice of any Plebeian candidate ; and he had compelled the whole Patrician party whom Appius led to promise their assent to any election that might be made from the Plebeians.46 In after years, though not a native, but a Latin-born citizen, Curius became Consul, general, and conqueror.47 His victories over the Samnites and the Sabines were enough to pave his way to any authority or to any opulence he might have desired amongst his countrymen ; but, instead of seeking his own interests, he lent all his influence and energy to effect a distribution of the public lands in relief of the needier citizens, whose wants must have been increased, as usual, by the ten years' warfare that had passed. A first assignment of seven jugers was fol. lowed by a second of the same extent and to the same individuals ; 48 and when both these together proved insufficient to relieve a large number from their embarrassments, Curius appears to have joined some Tribunes in proposing a law by which the abolition of all existing debts was again declared.49 To such propositions there were sure to be more opponents than supporters ; nor was the Senate, which is
44 Livy (X. 37) relates these do- solitudo futura fuerit, nisi tantum ings about the triumph in connection hominum cepissem; tantum porro with the second consulship of Pos- hominum cepi, ut fame perituri fuistumius; but the account of Dio- sent, nisi tantum agri cepissem." nysius (Exc., XVI. 18) is here De Vir. Illust., XXXIII. Words followed, on account of its greater which I would not quote except to consistency.
open another view of the destruction 45 His account of his campaign which it was the work of the Roagainst the Sabines is that of a bar- mans to accomplish. barian :- " Tantum agri cepi, ut
46 Cic., Brut., 14. “Quod fuit ground that I know for separating permagnum," adds Cicero.
the two assignments from one an47 In the year A. C. 290. other by any considerable interval Liv., Epit. XI. De Vir. Illust., of time. See, however, note 22 to XXXIII. See Cic., Pro Murena, 8. Ch. XXXIV. of Arnold's History.
48 “ Quaterna dena agri jugera The first consulship of Curius Denviritim populo divisit.” De Vir. tatus was in A. C. 290 ; and it is in Illust., XXXIII. It is reasonable that or the subsequent year that I to suppose that there were two allot suppose him to have begun and ments made rather than one, because ended his exertions in favor of the the number of seven jugers was lower citizens. commonly taken as the limit of a 49 Zonaras, VIII. 3. single assignment; but there is no
especially named 50 as having been in opposition, the only body or the only party to resist the discharge of debts, however the division of lands had been allowed. The curtain is drawn over the incidents which followed; and the single glimpse to be caught of Curius Dentatus in the midst of a body-guard 51 does not assure us of his wisdom in promoting the cause he was unusually wise to have even started. There can be no doubt, however, of his uprightness; and it is still recorded, that, though offered a large share in the public domain, as the merited reward of his services, by which, indeed, the domain in question had been acquired, he refused to take more than the rest of his countrymen had received.52 He knew, it seems, the worth of example to the rich, as well as that of succour to the poor; but he could not know the vanity of both, where rich and poor were sundered as they were in Rome.
The moment Curius disappears,53 the questions of relief to the lower classes, and of union between them and the higher, sink into the background; the full front of our history being again occupied by parties in pursuit of merely political objects, which could
50 Appian., De Reb. Samnit., V. De Vir. Illust., XXXIII. Plin., Fragm.
Nat. Hist., XIX. 26. 51 Ibid.
53 He is, again, however, men52 Compare Val. Max., IV. 3, tioned as directing the canal from sect. 5, with Plin., Nat. Hist., the lake of Velinus, through which XVIII. 4. The former's story of the water still dashes down to Terni, the answer to the Sabine ambassa- and likewise as superintending the dors testifies to the same simplicity, construction of an aqueduct for - in that case, nevertheless, if true, Rome. a little affected. Val. Max., loc. cit.
only be imperfect, though gained through orderly and peaceful toils. The first event, however, following the consulship of Curius Dentatus, at an interval of four years, was a revolution, as appears from the laws which brought it to an end. Even these will not fill up the sketch, whose broken outlines consist in a Plebeian secession, after long sedition, to the Janiculan hill,54 — the dismay of the Senate, increased by the approach of a hostile army,55 — and the elevation of Quintus Hortensius, a great man of the popular party,56 to the dictatorship, in which capacity he called the people together, and induced or permitted them to pass a law investing the decrees of the Tribes with plenary independence and authority.57 The interrupted narrative continues with the death of Hortensius, 58 and the appointment of a successor, who is merely conjectured to have been Caius Mænius,59 the Dictator in the times of the conspiracies, six-and-twenty years before, because there
54 “ Plebs propter æs alienum, 15. “Pro legibus placuit et ea post graves et longas seditiones, ad (plebiscita] observari lege Hortenultimum secessit in Janiculum." sia.” Digest. Lib. I. Tit. II. sect. Liv., Epit. XI. See Plin., Nat. 8. See also Gaii Instit., I. sect. 3, Hist., XVI. 15, in note 57.
and Aul. Gell., XV. 27. There 55 Zonaras, VIII. 2.
was another law, or another clause 56 His name is mentioned by Livy, of the same law, to make the marPliny, and in the Fasti; his repute ket-days business days for the whole is proved by his appointment at people. See Arnold's History, Vol. such a time.
II. p. 384, and the reference there 57 “ Q. Hortensius, quum plebes to Macrobius. secessisset in Janiculum, legem in 58 Liv., Epit. XI. Esculeto (the Oak-Grove) tulit, ut59 Niebuhr's History, Vol. III. quod ea jussisset, omnes Quirites p. 196. teneret.” Plin. Nat. Hist., XVI. 60 Ch. VIII. p. 33. VOL. II.
was a Mænius in sufficient authority, after Hortensius died, to procure the passage of a law by which the Curies were deprived of their right to sanction, and, reversely, to annul, the elections of the higher magistrates. 61
It can only be supposed that the law of Hortensius, though probably directed against the control of the Senate rather than that of the Curies 62 over the bills accepted in the Tribes, was, together with the law added by Mænius, intended to increase the powers of the great assemblies of the Tribes and Centuries, through which the popular party acted, and in which it then possessed the upperhand. But whether it was this party that occupied the Janiculum, or the lower classes who broke out into insurrection on account of their sufferings, and then allowed themselves to be managed by the popular leaders, who pressed their laws as if these were to clothe the naked or feed the starving, must still be a mystery. One further conjecture may be permitted, — that, in consequence of the endeavours of Curius Dentatus and the Tribunes to relieve the poor, these, on the one hand, were disposed to trust their wants to the chief men amongst the popular party, of whom, on the other hand, the greater number were urged by the same efforts to strengthen their authority and be
61 Cic., Brut., 14; Pro Plancio, 3. Publilian laws. See Ch. VIII. pp. Liv., I. 17.
18-20. This Hortensian law took 62 Because the power of the Cu- the same right, according to Niebuhr, ries to accept or reject the laws of from the Senate. See his History, the Tribes had already been taken Vol. II. p. 168, Vol. III. p. 74. from them, as is supposed, by the