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were not to enjoy all the honors of the consuls. They could not celebrate triumphs or have their ancestors' images set up in the family hall and exhibited on public occasions, nor could they speak or vote in the senate—rights which the regular consuls enjoyed. During the period of nearly eighty years, from 444 B.c. to the throwing open of the consulship to the plebeians by the Licinian law in 367 B.C., we find that the military tribunes were elected fifty times, and the patrician consuls twenty-three times. The miserable shifts by which the patricians thus sought to baffle their opponents found further expression in the creation of the censorship in 435 B.c. The two officers, or " valuers" (censores), thus created, were chosen from the patricians, and held office for a period of not more than eighteen months. They had charge of the registration of the whole body of citizens for the purposes of taxation, and the duty of ascertaining the age and property of each man, and of assigning him his proper position on the burgess-roll. This task had hitherto been managed by the consuls every fourth year. The censorship, although at this period lacking its subsequent importance and moral supremacy, from its influence in filling up the vacancies in the senate and the equites, and from its power to remove persons from the lists of senators, equites, and burgesses, came to be regarded as the palladium of the aristocracy. The second great victory over the patricians was gained in 421 B.c., when the questorship was thrown open to the plebeians. Hitherto the consuls had nominated the two city questors, who had charge of the public money; their election was now transferred to the same body which elected their two colleagues who had charge of the military chest. Thus the plebeians became eligible for the first time to one of the ordinary magistracies, although we do not find that they were able to avail themselves of this privilege until 409 B.c., when they secured three places out of the four. In their bitter resistance to the plebs the aristocracy had resort to every artifice which could influence elections; the aristocratic colleges of priests, under the guise of religion, seconded the bribery and intimidation freely practiced on the electorate. Laws could be arrested, elections made null and void, by the convenient discovery of portentous omens, whether from the flight of birds or other phenomena. The blood of Rome's best and bravest citizens was shed in the vain hope of stemming the tide of plebeian victory.
At last a solution of the troubles arising from political disS77-337 B.C.
content and social wretchedness sprang out of the combination of the chief plebeians with the farmers. This solution was found in the famous proposals brought forward in 377 B.C. by the tribunes Gaius Licinius and Lucius Sextius. Their proposals were that the military tribunes should be abolished, and that at least one of the consuls should be a plebeian; that plebeians should be admitted to one of the three great priest-colleges, viz., that of the custodians of the oracles; that no one should keep on the common pasture-land more than a hundred oxen and five hundred sheep, or hold more than five hundred jugera (about three hundred acres) of the state lands left free for occupation; that every landlord should be obliged to employ in land cultivation a certain number of free laborers, in proportion to that of his rural slaves; that debtors should be relieved by the deduction of the interest already paid from the capital, and by arranging set terms for the payment of arrears.
The three watch-words of this great movement were clearly social reform, civil equality, the abolition of privilege. The hereditary distinctions associated with the curule magistracy, the right to speak in the senate-house, the possession of spiritual dignities, were no longer to be the exclusive property of the nobles. Social distress was to be relieved, and the poorest burgess was to have his rightful share in those lands from which the selfishness of the rich had so long excluded him. That the patricians struggled hard to prevent these proposals becoming law is not surprising; but that they were passed, after a struggle of eleven years, in 367 B.C., proves the strength of the united forces of the farmers and rich plebeians. The passing of these laws was marked by founding the Temple of Concord at the foot of the Capitol—the last act of the aged warrior and statesman Marcus Furius Camillus, who perhaps trusted that the struggle, too long continued, was now at an end. But the patrician spirit still showed itself in the creation of a third consul, or, as he was usually called, a pretor. However, this office among others was thrown open to the plebeians in 337 B.C., having remained in the hands of the aristocracy only twenty-nine years. The last blows which destroyed aristocratic exclusiveness were that by which the dictatorship was thrown open to the plebeians in 356 B.c.; that which gave the plebeians access to the censorship in 351 B.C.: that dealt by the Publilian law in 339 B.C., which ordained that at least one of the censors must be a plebeian; and that which rendered it impossible for the senate to reject a decree of the 300-287 B.C.
community by compelling that body to give their consent beforehand to any measures which might be passed by the comitia tributa. The next blow, aimed at the religious privileges of the patricians, fell later. In 300 B.C. the Ogulnian law increased the number of pontifices from five to eight, and that of the augurs from six to nine, and distributed the stalls in the two colleges between the patricians and plebeians. Lastly, owing to another secession of the plebs, the final blow was given by the law of the dictator Quintus Hortensius, in 287 B.C. This law declared that the decrees of the plebs, passed in their tribal assembly, should have equal force with the decrees of the whole populus, or community. Thus it was brought about that those very burgesses who had once exclusively possessed the right of voting, no longer had even a vote in that assembly whose resolutions were binding on the whole state.
The end had at last come to a strife of two hundred years. The clan nobility, as such, was no longer a political factor in the Roman Republic; but, although its power and privileges were gone, \ts exclusive patrician spirit was ever a disturbing element of discontent in the public and private life of Rome. To understand rightly the history of Rome in the third and second centuries B.C., we must never overlook this sulking patricianism; it could, indeed, do little more than irritate itself and others, but this it did to the best of its ability.
It remains for us to estimate the result of these changes, as to whether they checked social distress and established political equality.
It cannot be said that any lasting benefit was enjoyed by the poorer classes from the new laws. No legislation could really check the system of large estates, or the employment of slave-labor, without at the same time shaking the foundations of the civil organization of that time, in a way that would entail far-reaching consequences. The true advantages of the reform legislation obtained by the alliance of the poor farmers and the rich plebeians accrued to the latter alone. Relief for the former came not from legislation, but from the successes of Rome, and the necessity of sending out large colonies to consolidate the Roman rule in Italy. Added to this, the general increase of prosperity from successful war and commerce, and the flourishing condition of the state finances, must have lightened the burdens of the farmers, and diffused material well-being among the whole community.
As to political equality, it was now practically attained. In J00-287 B.C.
the eye of the law, at least, all arbitrary distinctions were abolished. The different gradations, which age, wisdom, and wealth always produce in society, were lessened by the system that pervaded Roman life. That system aimed rather at a uniform level of ability than at bringing into prominence those more highly gifted. Rich and poor alike lived frugal lives, avoiding even the luxury of silver plate. From the last war with Veii down to that against Pyrrhus, the farmers played a more important part than the old patriciate; the exploits of a plebeian, like Decius, and of a poor farmer, like Manius Curius, now began to take equal rank with, and even eclipse, those of the noblest aristocrat. But, great as the strides to this republican equality were, the government still remained aristocratic. The mere opening of state magistracies to the humblest and poorest burgess does not remove the difficulties which always hinder the rise of a man from the ranks. Moreover, a new aristocracy, consisting of the wealthy plebeians, had existed from the first, and now developed fresh powers. Their policy had always followed lines distinct from, and often opposed to, that of the plebs. This new aristocracy coalesced with the old patriciate, and largely adopted its views, and soon practically took its place. A natural result of this development was the rise of a new opposition. This new democratic party was formed no longer of plebeians, as such, but of the lower classes and the small farmers. But, fortunately for Rome, her struggles with foreign foes caused the leaders of the two new state parties to forego their quarrels in the face of a common danger; and thus we find the patrician Appius Claudius uniting with his personal foe, the farmer Manius Curius, for the purpose of crushing Pyrrhus. The breach was already formed; but the adversaries still shook hands across it.
Finally, let us consider what effect the political abolition of the old nobility had upon the relations between the burgesses, the magistrates, and the senate. Although the powers of the burgess assemblies were increased in certain directions, chiefly with respect to the number of magistrates nominated by them, they did not as a rule interfere with the administration of government. They kept a firm hold on their right to declare war, and occasionally settled disputes between the governing powers, when appealed to by the disputants, and in 390 B.c. they even annulled a decree of the senate. The Hortensian law probably marks the extension of the powers of the comitia tributa, which came to be consulted as to the conclu
sion of peace and alliances. Still, the influence of these assemblies on public affairs towards the close of this period began to wane. This was mainly due to the extension of the bounds of Rome, whose burgess-body no longer composed a city, but a state. Thus the interest felt in their proceedings on ordinary occasions was comparatively slight, inasmuch as only those residing in the capital as a rule attended. Moreover, the magistrate who convoked the assembly could prevent all discussion; hence the assemblies became mere instruments in his hands, and played a passive part, neither helping nor hindering the administration of the government.
With regard to the Roman magistrates, a great loss of power was the outcome of party contests. The close of the struggle left the consular power subdivided and weakened. Jurisdiction, city police, election of senators and equites, the census and financial administration, were all transferred to magistrates elected by the community, and occupying a position coordinate with, rather than subordinate to, the consuls. In addition to this creation of collateral standing offices such as the pretorship, the senate now annually defined, though it did not directly assign, the different departments of the consuls; and the senate no longer allowed the consuls to conclude peace, without first receiving instructions from the assembled senators. Lastly, the senate could in emergencies sustain a consul by creating a dictator; and, although nominally designated by the consul, the consul-elect was, as a rule, really chosen by the senate. Even the dictator's power was no longer regarded as absolute and unlimited. The definition of the functions of the dictator, as of that of the consul and other magistrates, came to be regarded as a constitutional necessity. Thus we find in 363 B.C., and again in 351 B.C., a dictator appointed for a special and limited duty, such as the performance of a religious ceremony. Moreover, restrictions were imposed in 342 B.C. by plebiscites, enacting that no one should hold two magistracies in the same year, and that the same man should not hold the same office twice within a period of ten years. Later, again, in 265 B.C., the Marcian law forbade anyone holding the censorship twice. Although the rule forbidding pluralism, i.e., the holding of two offices at the same time, was strictly observed, we frequently find instances of a relaxation of the other restriction. The change, which thus transformed the supreme power of the state into a limited magistracy with definite functions, also affected the tribunate. Now that this office