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753-509 B.C.

Delphi and Cumae. The Greek voyagers met with a different treatment from the Etruscans proper, who wrested from their grasp the iron trade of Elba, and the silver mines of Populonia, and did not even allow individual traders to enter their waters. The union of the Etruscans with the Phoenicians, and the sudden rise of Carthage itself, arrested that Greek colonization which had, up to the middle of the second century of Rome, threatened to sweep the Phoenicians out of the Mediterranean. The establishment of Massilia, in 600 B.C., on the Celtic coast marks the limit of Greek enterprise; an attempt in 579 B.C. to settle at Libybacum was frustrated by the natives and the Phoenicians, and a similar fate befell the Phocaeans at Alalia in Corsica, which they evacuated after a naval battle with the combined Etruscans and Carthaginians in 537 B.C., preferring to settle at Hyele (Velia) in Lucania. In this struggle between the Greeks and the combined Etruscans and Phoenicians, Latium observed a strict neutrality, being on friendly and commercial relations with Caere, and Carthage on the one hand, and Velia and Massilia on the other. Although the Greeks did not give up the struggle, and even founded fresh stations, they no longer gained ground; and, after the foundation of Agrigentum in 580 B.C., they gained no important additions of territory on the Adriatic or on the western sea, and remained excluded from the Spanish waters as well as from the Atlantic ocean.

Chapter V

ESTABLISHMENT OF THE REPUBLIC
509-508 B.C.

THE close of the regal period, and the causes which led to the subsequent changes in the Roman constitution, render it necessary for us to revert to the internal state of Rome itself. Three distinct movements agitated the community. The first proceeded from the body of full citizens, and was confined to it: its object was to limit and lessen the life-power of the single president or king; in all such movements at Rome, from the time of the Tarquins to that of the Gracchi, there was no attempt to assert the rights of the individual at the expense of the state, nor to limit the power of the state, but only that of its magistrates. The second was the demand for equality of political privileges, and was the cause of bitter struggles between the full burgesses and those, whether plebeians, freedmen, Latins, or Italians, who keenly resented their political inequality. The third movement was an equally prolific source of trouble in Roman history; it arose from the embittered relations between landholders and those who had either lost possession of their farms, or, as was the case with many small farmers, held possession at the mercy of the capitalist or landlord. These three movements must be clearly grasped, as upon them hinges the internal history of Rome. Although often intertwined and confused with one another, they were, nevertheless, essentially and fundamentally distinct. The natural outcome of the first was the abolition of the monarchy—a result which we find everywhere, alike in Greek and Italian states, and which seems to have been a certain evolution of the form of constitution peculiar to both peoples. What is remarkable in the change at Rome, is that violent measures had to be adopted, and that the Tarquins, both the king and all the members of his clan, had to be forcibly expelled. The romantic details coloring this event do not affect the fact itself, nor are the reasons assigned by tradition undeserving of belief. Tarquin " the proud " is said to have neglected to consult the senate, 509-508 B.C.

and fill up the vacancies in it; to have pronounced sentences of death and confiscation without consulting his counselors; to have stored his own granaries, and exacted undue military service and other duties from the citizens. The formal vow registered by each citizen that no king should even again be tolerated, the blind hatred felt at Rome ever afterwards for the name of king, the enactment that the " king of sacrifice" (rex sacrorum) should never hold any other office,—all these sufficiently testify to the exasperation of the people. There is no proof that foreign nations took part in the struggle which ensued between the royal house and its expellers, nor can we regard the great war with Etruria in that light, since, although successful, the Etruscans neither restored the monarchy nor even brought back the family of the Tarquins. The change, violently accomplished as it was, did not abolish the royal power; the one life-king was simply replaced by two year-kings, called either generals (praetores) or judges (judices) or, more commonly, colleagues (consules). Although, probably from the first, the consuls divided their functions—the one, for instance, taking charge of the army, the other of the administration of justice—such a partition was not binding, and each possessed and exercised the supreme power as completely as the king had done. In consequence of this each consul could forbid what the other enjoined, and thus the consular commands, being both absolute, would, if they clashed, neutralize one another. It is hard to parallel this system of coordinate supreme authorities, which, if not peculiarly Roman, was a peculiarly Latin institution. The object clearly was to preserve the regal power undiminished, but, by doubling the holder of this power, to neutralize its effects. The limit of a year, fixed for the duration of the consular office, was reckoned from the day of entry upon office to the day of the solemn laying down of power by the consuls; and, as the consuls to a certain extent laid down their power of their own free will, and as, even if they overstepped the year's limit, their consular acts were still valid, they were not so much restricted directly by the law, as induced by it to restrict themselves. Still, the effect of this tenure of office for a set term was to abolish the irresponsibility of the king, who, as supreme judge, had been accountable to no tribunal and liable to no punishment. The consul, on the other hand, when his term had expired, and tlie protection given by his office had been removed, was liable to be called to account just like any other burgess. Together with the

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abolition of the monarchy, the ancient privilege of the king to have his fields tilled by the burgesses, and the position which the metics held as special clients of the king, naturally came to an end. The contrast between the old royal power and the new consular office was brought out more clearly by the following restrictions: The old right of appeal, which the king had granted or not at his pleasure in all criminal procedure, was now established by the Valerian law in 509 B.C.; the consul was now bound to grant this right to every criminal who was condemned to suffer capital or corporal punishment; unless, indeed, the sentence was pronounced under martial law. In token of this right, which before 451 B.C. was extended to cases of heavy fines, the consular lictors laid aside the axes, which had been the sign of the king's penal jurisdiction. The need of deputies, which had caused, but not compelled, the king to appoint a city-warden (urbi praefectus) to act in his absence, ceased with the substitution of two consuls for one king. If the consul in time of war did intrust the supreme command to a deputy, such a deputy was only adjutant or lieutenant of the consul. It is true that, in times of special emergency, the consuls could nominate a third colleague, who, under the name of dictator, revived the old single supremacy of the king, and who for the time was obeyed by the consuls and the whole state; but such an office was a special creation to meet an exceptional state of things. Although in the field a consul could delegate his functions to a deputy, at home he had no free will in the matter. The two questors (" trackers of murder"), whose appointment by the king to deal with criminal cases had not been obligatory although usual, became now regular state officers. The consul was obliged to nominate them, and their province was enlarged, so as to include the charge of the state treasure and state archives; their tenure of office, like that of the consuls, lasted for one year. On the other hand, the chief magistrate in the city had to act in person, or not at all, in those cases in which a delegation of his authority was not expressly incumbent on him. Thus in the home government no deputy acting for a city magistrate (pro magistrate) was possible, while military deputies (pro consule, pro praetore, pro quaestore)\vere only possible in the field, and had no power to act within the community itself. The consul retained the right, which the king had exercised absolutely, of nominating his successor, but he was bound to follow the expressed wishes of the community in his nomination. He might reject particular

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candidates, and at first even limit the choice to a list of candidates proposed by himself; and, what was more important, the candidate, once appointed, could never be deposed by the community. The consuls had not the right, which had belonged to the kings, of appointing the priests; the colleges of priests now filled up the vacancies in their own body, and the appointment of the vestals and single priests passed into the hands of the president, or pontifex maximus, now nominated for the first time by the pontifical college. Thus the supreme authority in religion was separated from the civil power, and the semi-magisterial position of the pontifex maximus is a further proof of the wish to impose limits on the consular power. The insignia of the consul were markedly inferior to those which had distinguished the king. The lictor's ax was taken away, the purple robe of the king was replaced by the purple border of the consul's toga, the royal chariot was abolished, and the consul was obliged, like every other citizen, to go on foot within the city.

We have above alluded to the revival of the royal power in the person of the dictator. His other title, "master of the army" (magister populi), as also that of his chief assistant (magister equitum, "master of the horse"), coupled with what we know about the circumstances and causes of his appointment, prove that the dictatorship was an essentially military institution. No doubt it was designed to obviate the disadvantage of divided power in the field, and its restriction to a maximum limit of six months indicates that the office was not to last longer than the duration of a summer campaign. The dictator was nominated by one of the consuls; and, as their colleague, he was obliged to lay down his office when they did. All magistrates were subject to him, and no appeal was allowed from his sentence; the community had no part in his election. The consuls, then, were, with certain restrictions, what the kings had been, the supreme administrators, judges, and generals; in matters of religion, too, they offered prayers and sacrifices for the community, and with the aid of skilled interpreters ascertained the will of the gods. The very restrictions which hampered the consuls could, in time of need, be broken through by the dictatorship, and Rome could see again, under a new name, the absolute authority of the king. In this way the problem of legally retaining and practically restricting the regal authority was solved in genuine Roman fashion, with equal acuteness and simplicity, by the nameless statesmen who worked out this revolution.

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