Livy, History of Rome 2

LCL 114: 222-223

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a.u.c. 245necubi regum desiderium esset, regem sacrificolum 2creant. Id sacerdotium pontifici subiecere, ne additus nomini honos aliquid libertati, cuius tunc prima erat cura, officeret. Ac nescio an nimis undique eam minimisque rebus muniendo modum excesserint. 3Consulis enim alterius, cum nihil aliud offenderet,1 nomen invisum civitati fuit: nimium Tarquinios regno adsuesse; initium a Prisco factum: regnasse dein Ser. Tullium; ne intervallo quidem facto oblitum, tamquam alieni, regni Superbum Tarquinium velut hereditatem gentis scelere ac vi repetisse; pulso Superbo penes Collatinum imperium esse; nescire 4Tarquinios privatos vivere. Non placere nomen, periculosum libertati esse. Hic2 primo sensim temptantium animos sermo per totam civitatem est datus, sollicitamque suspicione plebem Brutus ad contionem 5vocat. lbi omnium primum ius iurandum populi recitat neminem regnare passuros nec esse Romae unde periculum libertati foret. Id summa ope tuendum esse neque ullam rem quae eo pertineat contemnendam. Invitum se dicere, hominis causa, nec dicturum fuisse ni caritas rei publicae vinceret: non 6credere populum Romanum solidam libertatem reciperatam esse; regium genus, regium nomen non

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absence might nowhere be regretted, a “king of b.c. 509 sacrifices” was appointed. This priesthood they made subordinate to the pontifex, lest the office, in conjunction with the title, might somehow prove an obstacle to liberty, which was at that time their chief concern. Perhaps the pains they took to safeguard it, even in trivial details, may have been excessive. For the name of one of the consuls, though he gave no other offence, was hateful to the citizens. “The Tarquinii had become too used to sovereignty. It had begun with Priscus; Servius Tullius had then been king; but not even this interruption had caused Tarquinius Superbus to forget the throne or regard it as another’s; as though it had been the heritage of his family, he had used crime and violence to get it back; Superbus was now expelled, but the supreme power was in the hands of Collatinus. The Tarquinii knew not how to live as private citizens. Their name was irksome and a menace to liberty.” Beginning in this way, with a cautious sounding of sentiment, the talk spread through the entire nation, and the plebs had become anxious and suspicious, when Brutus summoned them to an assembly. There he first of all recited the oath which the people had taken, that they would suffer no king in Rome, nor any man who might be dangerous to liberty. This oath they must uphold, he said, with all their might, nor make light of anything which bore upon it. He spoke with reluctance, on the man’s account, nor would he have broken silence unless he had been forced to do so by his love of country. The Roman people did not believe that they had recovered absolute freedom. The royal family, the royal name

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.livy-history_rome_2.1919