Flavii Vopisci Syracusii
I. Quod post excessum Romuli novello adhuc Romanae urbis imperio factum pontifices, penes quos scribendae historiae potestas fuit, in litteras rettulerunt, ut interregnum, dum post bonum principem bonus alius quaeritur, iniretur, hoc post Aurelianum habito inter senatum exercitumque Romanum non invido non tristi sed grato religiosoque certamine sex 2totis mensibus factum est. multis tamen modis haec ab illo negotio causa separata est. iam primum enim,
By Flavius Vopiscus of Syracuse
I. A certain measure adopted after the departure of Romulus,1 during the infancy of Rome’s power, and recorded by the pontiffs, the duly authorized writers of history,—namely, the proclamation of a regency for the interval in which one good prince was being sought for to succeed another2—was also adopted after the death of Aurelian for the space of six whole months,3 while the senate and the army of Rome were engaged in a contest, one that was marked not by envy and unhappiness but rather by good feeling and sense of duty. This occasion, however, differed in many ways from that former undertaking. For originally, when the regency
- 1According to the official version Romulus disappeared from the earth during an eclipse or a storm; see Cicero, de Re Publica ii. 17, and Livy i. 16. Excessus is similarly used to denote his “disappearance” by Cicero in de Re Publ., ii. 23 and 52.
- 2The proclamation of an interregnum was the regular practice of the Roman Republic on those occasions when there were no magistrates with consular or dictatorial power in office, i.e. when both consuls died during their year’s term or this term expired before their successors were elected. The practice is also said by the historians to have been in vogue during the time of the kings, and a full account of the institution is given in connection with the choice of Numa Pompilius as Romulus’ successor; see Livy, i. 17. This serves as the basis for the
- 3See note to c. ii. 6.