Livy, History of Rome 4

LCL 133: 256-257

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Liber IV

a.u.c. 309I. Hos secuti M. Genucius et C. Curtius1 consules. Fuit annus domi forisque infestus. Nam2 principio et de conubio patrum et plebis C. Canuleius tribunus 2plebis rogationem promulgavit, qua contaminari sanguinem suum patres confundique iura gentium rebantur, et mentio primo sensim inlata a tribunis, ut alterum ex plebe consulem liceret fieri, eo processit deinde ut rogationem novem tribuni promulgarent, 3ut populo potestas esset, seu de plebe seu de patribus vellet, consules faciendi; id vero si fieret, non volgari modo cum infimis, sed prorsus auferri a primoribus ad plebem summum imperium 4credebant. Laeti ergo audiere patres Ardeatium populum ob iniuriam agri abiudicati descisse, et Veientes depopulatos extrema agri Romani, et Volscos Aequosque ob communitam Verruginem fremere; adeo vel infelix bellum ignominiosae paci 5praeferebant. His itaque in maius etiam acceptis, ut inter strepitum tot bellorum conticiscerent actiones tribuniciae, dilectus haberi, bellum armaque

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Book IV

Book IV

I. Marcus Genucius and Gaius Curtius succeeded b.c 445these men as consuls. It was a year of quarrels both at home and abroad. For at its commencement Gaius Canuleius, a tribune of the plebs, proposed a bill regarding the intermarriage of patricians and plebeians which the patricians looked upon as involving the debasement of their blood and the subversion of the principles inhering in the gentes, or families; and a suggestion, cautiously put forward at first by the tribunes, that it should be lawful for one of the consuls to be chosen from the plebs, was afterwards carried so far that nine tribunes proposed a bill giving the people power to choose consuls as they might see fit, from either the plebs or the patriciate. To carry out this last proposal would be, in the estimation of the patricians, not merely to give a share of the supreme authority to the lowest of the citizens, but actually to take it away from the nobles and bestow it on the plebs. The Fathers therefore rejoiced to hear that the people of Ardea had revolted because of the unjust decision which deprived them of their land; that the men of Veii had ravaged the Roman frontier; and that the Volsci and Aequi were murmuring at the fortification of Verrugo;1 so decidedly did they prefer even an unfortunate war to an ignominious peace. Accordingly they made the most of these threats, that the proposals of the tribunes might be silenced amidst the

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.livy-history_rome_4.1922