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Valerius Maximus

Cn. Carbonem, a quo pater eius damnatus fuerat, postulavit, peractumque57 reum iudicio adflixit, et ingenium et adulescentiam praeclaro opere auspicatus.

5

Apud C. quoque Flaminium auctoritas patria aeque potens fuit: nam cum tribunus plebis legem de Gallico agro viritim dividendo invito et repugnante senatu promulgasset, precibus minisque eius acerrime resistens ac ne exercitu quidem adversum se conscripto, si in eadem sententia perseveraret, absterritus, postquam pro rostris ei legem iam referenti pater manum iniecit, privato fractus imperio descendit e rostris, ne minimo quidem murmure destitutae contionis reprehensus.

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Magna sunt haec virilis pietatis opera, sed nescio an his omnibus valentius et animosius Claudiae Vestalis virginis factum. quae, cum patrem suum triumphantem e curru violenta tribuni plebis manu detrahi animadvertisset, mira celeritate utrisque se interponendo amplissimam potestatem inimicitiis accensam depulit. igitur alterum triumphum pater in Capitolium, alterum filia in aedem Vestae duxit, nec discerni potuit utri plus laudis tribueretur, cui victoria an cui pietas comes aderat.

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Ignoscite, vetustissimi foci, veniamque aeterni date ignes, si a vestro sacratissimo templo ad necessarium magis quam speciosum urbis locum contextus operis nostri progressus fuerit: nulla enim acerbitate Fortunae, nullis

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Book V

father had been convicted, and in a regular prosecution brought him down with a verdict, thus inaugurating his own talent and adult career with a fine piece of work.4

With C. Flaminius too parental authority was equally potent. As Tribune of the Plebs he had promulgated a law to distribute the Gallic territory individually against the will and resistance of the senate, vehemently opposing its entreaties and threats and undeterred even by the levying of an army against him should he persist in the same purpose. But when his father placed a hand on him as he was already on the rostra putting the law to vote, overborne by private authority he came down from the platform. Nor did the assembly which he left in the lurch censure him by even the slightest murmur.5

Great are these works of male piety, but perhaps the action of Claudia the Vestal Virgin was more powerful and courageous than them all. Seeing her father at his triumph being dragged from his car by the violent hand of a Tribune of the Plebs, she put herself between the two with amazing speed and so drove off a mighty power fired by enmities. So the father led one triumph to the Capitol while the daughter led another to the temple of Vesta, nor could it be determined which of the two should be praised the more, he who had victory by his side or she who had piety.6

Forgive me, most ancient hearth, give me your pardon, eternal fire, if the scheme of my work advance from your most sacred temple to a place in the city more necessary than splendid. For by no harshness of Fortune, no squalor,

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.valerius_maximus-memorable_doings_sayings.2000