Pinnock's Improved Edition of Dr. Goldsmith's History of Rome
by Oliver Goldsmith
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Entered, according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1848, by


In the clerk's office of the District Court of the United States for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.


Franklin Buildings, Sixth Street below Arch, Philadelphia.


The researches of Niebuhr and several other distinguished German scholars have thrown a new light on Roman History, and enabled us to discover the true constitution of that republic which once ruled the destinies of the known world, and the influence of whose literature and laws is still powerful in every civilized state, and will probably continue to be felt to the remotest posterity. These discoveries have, however, been hitherto useless to junior students in this country; the works of the German critics being unsuited to the purposes of schools, not only from their price, but also from the extensive learning requisite to follow them through their laborious disquisitions. The editor has, therefore, thought that it would be no unacceptable service, to prefix a few Introductory Chapters, detailing such results from their inquiries as best elucidate the character and condition of the Roman people, and explain the most important portion of the history. The struggles between the patricians and plebeians, respecting the agrarian laws have been so strangely misrepresented, even by some of the best historians, that the nature of the contest may, with truth, be said to have been wholly misunderstood before the publication of Niebuhr's work: a perfect explanation of these important matters cannot be expected in a work of this kind; the Editors trust that the brief account given here of the Roman tenure of land, and the nature of the agrarian laws, will be found sufficient for all practical purposes. After all the researches that have been made, the true origin of the Latin people, and even of the Roman city, is involved in impenetrable obscurity; the legendary traditions collected by the historians are, however, the best guides that we can now follow; but it would be absurd to bestow implicit credit on all the accounts they have given, and the editor has, therefore, pointed out the uncertain nature of the early history, not to encourage scepticism, but to accustom students to consider the nature of historical evidence, and thus early form the useful habit of criticising and weighing testimony.

The authorities followed in the geographical chapters, are principally Heeren and Cramer; the treatise of the latter on ancient Italy is one of the most valuable aids acquired by historical students within the present century. Much important information respecting the peculiar character of the Roman religion has been derived from Mr. Keightley's excellent Treatise on Mythology; the only writer who has, in our language, hitherto, explained the difference between the religious systems of Greece and Rome. The account of the barbarians in the conclusion of the volume, is, for the most part, extracted from "Koch's Revolutions of Europe;" the sources of the notes, scattered through the volume, are too varied for a distinct acknowledgment of each.

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I. Geographical Outline of Italy

II. The Latin Language and People—Credibility of the Early History

III. Topography of Rome

IV. The Roman Constitution

V. The Roman Tenure of Land—Colonial Government

VI. The Roman Religion

VII. The Roman Army and Navy

VIII. Roman Law.—Finance

IX. The public Amusements and private Life of the Romans

X. Geography of the empire at the time of its greatest extent


I. Of the Origin of the Romans

II. From the building of Rome to the death of Romulus

III. From the death of Romulus to the death of Numa

IV. From the death of Numa to the death of Tullus Hostilius

V. From the death of Tullus Hostilius to the death of Ancus Martius

VI. From the death of Ancus Martius to the death of Taiquinius Priscus

VII. From the death of Tarquinius Priscus to the death of Servius Tullius

VIII. From the death of Servius Tullius to the banishment of Tarquinius Superbus

IX. From the banishment of Tarquinius Superbus to the appointment of the first Dictator

X. From the Creation of the Dictator to the election of the Tribunes

XI. From the Creation of the Tribunes to the appointment of the Decemviri, viz.

Section 1.—The great Volscian war

—— 2.—Civil commotions on account of the Agrarian law

XII. From the creation of the Decemviri to the destruction of the city by the Gauls, viz.

Section 1.—Tyranny of the Decemviri

—— 2.—Crimes of Appius—Revolt of the army

—— 3.—Election of Military Tribunes—Creation of the Censorship

—— 4.—Siege and capture of Veii—Invasion of the Gauls

—— 5.—Deliverance of Rome from the Gauls

XIII. From the wars with the Samnites to the First Punic war, viz.

Section 1.—The Latin war

—— 2.—Invasion of Italy by Pyrrhus, king of Epirus

—— 3.—Defeat and departure of Pyrrhus

XIV. From the beginning of the First Punic war to the beginning of the Second, viz.

Section 1.—Causes and commencement of the war—Invasion of Africa by Regulus

—— 2.—Death of Regulus—Final Triumph of the Romans

XV. The Second Punic war, viz.

Section 1.—Commencement of the war—Hannibal's invasion of Italy

—— 2.—Victorious career of Hannibal

—— 3.—Retrieval of the Roman affairs—Invasion of Africa by Scipio—Conclusion of the war

XVI. Macedonian, Syrian, Third Punic, and Spanish wars

XVII. From the Destruction of Carthage to the end of the Sedition of the Gracchi, viz.

Section 1.—Murder of Tiberius Gracchus

—— 2.—Slaughter of Caius Gracchus and his adherents

XVIII. From the Sedition of Gracchus to the perpetual Dictatorship of Sylla, viz.

Section 1.—The Jugurthine and Social wars

—— 2.—The cruel massacres perpetrated by Marius and Sylla

XIX. From the perpetual Dictatorship of Sylla to the first Triumvirate

XX. From the First Triumvirate to the death of Pompey, viz.

Section 1.—Caesar's wars in Gaul—Commencement of the Civil war

—— 2.—Caesar's victorious career

—— 3.—The campaign in Thessaly and Epirus

—— 4.—The battle of Pharsalia——5.—Death of Pompey

XXI. From the Destruction of the Commonwealth to the establishment of the first Emperor, Augustus, viz.

Section 1.—Caesar's Egyptian campaign

—— 2.—The African campaign

—— 3.—Death of Caesar

—— 4.—The Second Triumvirate

—— 5.—The Battle of Philippi

—— 6.—Dissensions of Antony and Augustus

—— 7.—The Battle of Actium

—— 8.—The Conquest of Egypt

XXII. From the accession of Augustus to the death of Domitian, viz.

Section 1.—The beneficent Administration of Augustus

—— 2.—Death of Augustus

—— 3.—The reign of Tiberius—Death of Germanicus

—— 4.—Death of Sejanus and Tiberius—Accession of Caligula

—— 5.—Extravagant cruelties of Caligula—His death

—— 6.—The Reign of Claudius

—— 7.—The reign of Nero

—— 8.—Death of Nero—Reigns of Galba and Otho

—— 9.—The reigns of Vitellius and Vespasian—The siege of Jerusalem by Titus

—— 10.—The Reigns of Titus and Domitian

—— 11.—The assassination of Domitian

XXIII. The Five good emperors of Rome, viz.

Section 1.—The Reigns of Nerva and Trajan

—— 2.—The Reign of Adrian

—— 3.—The Reign of Antoninus Pius

—— 4.—The reign of Marcus Aurelius

XXIV. From the accession of Commodus to the change of the seat of Government, from Rome to Constantinople, viz.

Section 1.—The Reigns of Commodus, Pertinax, and Didius

—— 2.—The Reigns of Severus, Caracalla, Maximus, and Heliogabalus

—— 3.—The reigns of Alexander, Maximin, and Gordian

—— 4.—The Reigns of Philip, Decius, Gallus, Valerian, Claudius, Aurelian, Tacitus, and Probus

—— 5.—The reigns of Carus, Carinus, Dioclesian, and Constantius—Accession of Constantine

—— 6.—The reign of Constantine XXV.

XXV. From the death of Constantine, to the reunion of the Roman empire under Theodosius the Great, viz.

Section 1.—The Reign of Constantius

—— 2.—The Reigns of Julian Jovian, the Valentinians, and Theodosius

XXVI. From the death of Theodosius to the subversion of the Western Empire, viz.

Section 1.—The division of the Roman dominions into the Eastern and Western empires

—— 2.—Decline and fall of the Western empire

XXVII. Historical notices of the different barbarous tribes that aided in overthrowing the Roman empire

XXVIII. The progress of Christianity

Chronological Index

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Italia! oh, Italia! thou who hast The fatal gift of beauty, which became A funeral dower of present woes and past, On thy sweet brow is sorrow plough'd by shame, And annals traced in characters of flame.—Byron.

1. The outline of Italy presents a geographical unity and completeness which naturally would lead us to believe that it was regarded as a whole, and named as a single country, from the earliest ages. This opinion would, however, be erroneous; while the country was possessed by various independent tribes of varied origin and different customs, the districts inhabited by each were reckoned separate states, and it was not until these several nations had fallen under the power of one predominant people that the physical unity which the peninsula possesses was expressed by a single name. Italy was the name originally given to a small peninsula in Brut'tium, between the Scylacean and Napetine gulfs; the name was gradually made to comprehend new districts, until at length it included the entire country lying south of the Alps, between the Adriatic and Tuscan seas. 2. The names Hesperia, Saturnia, and Oenot'ria have also been given to this country by the poets; but these designations are not properly applicable; for Hesperia was a general name for all the countries lying to the west of Greece, and the other two names really belonged to particular districts.

3. The northern boundary of Italy, in its full extent, is the chain of the Alps, which forms a kind of crescent, with the convex side towards Gaul. The various branches of these mountains had distinct names; the most remarkable were, the Maritime Alps, extending from the Ligurian sea to Mount Vesulus, Veso; the Collian, Graian, Penine, Rhoetian, Tridentine, Carnic, and Julian Alps, which nearly complete the crescent; the Euganean, Venetian, and Pannonian Alps, that extend the chain to the east.

4. The political divisions of Italy have been frequently altered, but it may be considered as naturally divided into Northern, Central, and Southern Italy.

The principal divisions of Northern Italy were Ligu'ria and Cisalpine Gaul.

5. Only one half of Liguria was accounted part of Italy; the remainder was included in Gaul. The Ligurians originally possessed the entire line of sea-coast from the Pyrennees to the Tiber, and the mountainous district now called Piedmont; but before the historic age a great part of their territory was wrested from them by the Iberians, the Celts, and the Tuscans, until their limits were contracted nearly to those of the present district attached to Genoa. Their chief cities were Genua, Genoa; Nicoe'a, Nice, founded by a colony from Marseilles; and As'ta, Asti. The Ligurians were one of the last Italian states conquered by the Romans; on account of their inveterate hostility, they are grossly maligned by the historians of the victorious people, and described as ignorant, treacherous, and deceitful; but the Greek writers have given a different and more impartial account; they assure us that the Ligurians were eminent for boldness and dexterity, and at the same time patient and contented.

6. Cisalpine Gaul extended from Liguria to the Adriatic or Upper Sea, and nearly coincides with the modern district of Lombardy. The country is a continuous plain divided by the Pa'dus, Po, into two parts; the northern, Gallia Transpada'na, was inhabited by the tribes of the Tauri'ni, In'subres, and Cenoma'nni; the southern, Gallia Cispada'na, was possessed by the Boi'i, Leno'nes, and Lingo'nes. 7. These plains were originally inhabited by a portion of the Etrurian or Tuscan nation, once the most powerful in Italy; but at an uncertain period a vast horde of Celtic Gauls forced the passage of the Alps and spread themselves over the country, which thence received their name.

8. It was sometimes called Gallia Toga'ta, because the invaders conformed to Italian customs, and wore the toga. Cisalpine Gaul was not accounted part of Italy in the republican age; its southern boundary, the river Rubicon, being esteemed by the Romans the limit of their domestic empire.

9. The river Pa'dus and its tributary streams fertilized these rich plains. The principal rivers falling into the Padus were, from the north, the Du'ria, Durance; the Tici'nus, Tessino; the Ad'dua, Adda; the Ol'lius, Oglio; and the Min'tius, Minzio: from the south, the Ta'narus, Tanaro, and the Tre'bia. The Ath'esis, Adige; the Pla'vis, Paive; fall directly into the Adriatic.

10. The principal cities in Cisalpine Gaul were Roman colonies with municipal rights; many of them have preserved their names unchanged to the present day. The most remarkable were; north of the Pa'dus, Terge'ste, Trieste; Aquilei'a; Pata'vium, Padua; Vincen'tia, Vero'na, all east of the Athe'sis: Mantua; Cremo'na; Brix'ia, Brescia; Mediola'num, Milan; Tici'num, Pavia; and Augusta Turino'rum, Turin; all west of the Athe'sis. South of the Po we find Raven'na; Bono'nia, Bologna; Muti'na, Modena; Par'ma, and Placen'tia. 11. From the time that Rome was burned by the Gauls (B.C. 390), the Romans were harassed by the hostilities of this warlike people; and it was not until after the first Punic war, that any vigorous efforts were made for their subjugation. The Cisalpine Gauls, after a fierce resistance, were overthrown by Marcell'us (B.C. 223) and compelled to submit, and immediately afterwards military colonies were sent out as garrisons to the most favourable situations in their country. The Gauls zealously supported An'nibal when he invaded Italy, and were severely punished when the Romans finally became victorious.

12. North-east of Cisalpine Gaul, at the upper extremity of the Adriatic, lay the territory of the Venetians; they were a rich and unwarlike people, and submitted to the Romans without a struggle, long before northern Italy had been annexed to the dominions of the republic.

13. Central Italy comprises six countries, Etru'ria, La'tium, and Campa'nia on the west; Um'bria, Pice'num, and Sam'nium, on the east.

14. Etru'ria, called also Tus'cia (whence the modern name Tuscany) and Tyrrhe'nia, was an extensive mountainous district, bounded on the north by the river Mac'ra, and on the south and east by the Tiber. The chain of the Apennines, which intersects middle and Lower Italy, commences in the north of Etru'ria. The chief river is the Ar'nus, Arno. 15. The names Etruscan and Tyrrhenian, indifferently applied to the inhabitants of this country, originally belonged to different tribes, which, before the historic age, coalesced into one people. The Etruscans appear to have been Celts who descended from the Alps; the Tyrrhenians were undoubtedly a part of the Pelas'gi who originally possessed the south-east of Europe. The circumstances of the Pelasgic migration are differently related by the several historians, but the fact is asserted by all.[1] These Tyrrhenians brought with them the knowledge of letters and the arts, and the united people attained a high degree of power and civilization, long before the name of Rome was known beyond the precincts of Latium. They possessed a strong naval force, which was chiefly employed in piratical expeditions, and they claimed the sovereignty of the western seas. The first sea-fight recorded in history was fought between the fugitive Phocians,[2] and the allied fleets of the Tyrrhenians and the Carthaginians (B.C. 539.)

16. To commerce and navigation the Etruscans were indebted for their opulence and consequent magnificence; their destruction was owing to the defects of their political system. There were twelve Tuscan cities united in a federative alliance. Between the Mac'ra and Arnus were, Pi'sae, Pisa; Floren'tia, Florence; and Fae'sulae: between the Arnus and the Tiber, Volate'rrae, Volterra; Volsin'ii, Bolsena; Clu'sium, Chiusi; Arre'tium, Arrezzo; Corto'na; Peru'sia, Perugia, (near which is the Thrasamene lake); Fale'rii, and Ve'ii.

17. Each of these cities was ruled by a chief magistrate called lu'cumo, chosen for life; he possessed regal power, and is frequently called a king by the Roman historians. In enterprises undertaken by the whole body, the supreme command was committed to one of the twelve lucumones, and he received a lictor from each city. But from the time that Roman history begins to assume a regular form, the Tuscan cities stand isolated, uniting only transiently and casually; we do not, however, find any traces of intestine wars between the several states.

18. The Etrurian form of government was aristocratical, and the condition of the people appears to have been miserable in the extreme; they were treated as slaves destitute of political rights, and compelled to labour solely for the benefit of their taskmasters. A revolution at a late period took place at Volsin'ii, and the exclusive privileges of the nobility abolished after a fierce and bloody struggle; it is remarkable that this town, in which the people had obtained their rights, alone made an obstinate resistance to the Romans.

19. The progress of the Tuscans in the fine arts is attested by the monuments that still remain; but of their literature we know nothing; their language is unknown, and their books have perished. In the first ages of the Roman republic, the children of the nobility were sent to Etru'ria for education, especially in divination and the art of soothsaying, in which the Tuscans were supposed to excel. The form of the Roman constitution, the religious ceremonies, and the ensigns of civil government, were borrowed from the Etrurians.

20. La'tium originally extended along the coast from the Tiber to the promontory of Circe'ii; hence that district was called, old La'tium; the part subsequently added, called new La'tium, extended from Circeii to the Li'ris, Garigliano. The people were called Latins; but eastward, towards the Apennines, were the tribes of the Her'nici, the AE'qui, the Mar'si, and the Sabines; and on the south were the Vols'ci, Ru'tuli, and Aurun'ci. The chief rivers in this country were the A'nio, Teverone; and Al'lia, which fall into the Tiber; and the Liris, Garigliano; which flows directly into the Mediterranean.

21. The chief cities in old Latium were ROME; Ti'bur, Tivoli; Tus'culum, Frescati; Al'ba Lon'ga, of which no trace remains; Lavin'ium; An'tium; Ga'bii; and Os'tia, Civita Vecchia; the chief towns in new Latium were Fun'di, Anx'ur or Terraci'na, Ar'pinum, Mintur'nae, and For'miae.

22. CAMPA'NIA included the fertile volcanic plains that lie between the Liris on the north, and the Si'lanus, Selo, on the south; the other most remarkable river was the Voltur'nus, Volturno. The chief cities were, Ca'pua the capital, Linter'num, Cu'mae, Neapo'lis, Naples; Hercula'neum, Pompe'ii, Surren'tum, Saler'num, &c. The original inhabitants of Campa'nia, were the Auso'nes and Op'ici or Osci, the most ancient of the native Italian tribes. The Tyrrhenian Pelas'gi made several settlements on the coast, and are supposed to have founded Cap'ua. The Etruscans were afterwards masters of the country, but their dominion was of brief duration, and left no trace behind. Campa'nia was subdued by the Romans after the Volscian war.

23. The soil of Campa'nia is the most fruitful, perhaps, in the world, but it is subject to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Mount Vesu'vius in the early ages of Italy was not a volcano; its first eruption took place A.D. 79.

24. UM'BRIA extended along the middle and east of Italy, from the river Rubicon in the north, to the AE'sis, Gesano, dividing it from Pise'num, and the Nar, Nera, separating it from Sam'nium in the south. The Umbrians were esteemed one of the most ancient races in Italy, and were said to have possessed the greater part of the northern and central provinces. They were divided into several tribes, which seem to have been semi-barbarous, and they were subject to the Gauls before they were conquered by the Romans. Their chief towns were Arimi'nium, Rimini; Spole'tium, Spoleto; Nar'nia, Narni; and Ocricu'lum, Otriculi.

25. PICE'NUM was the name given to the fertile plain that skirts the Adriatic, between the AE'sis, Gesano, and the Atar'nus, Pescara. The chief cities were Anco'na and Asc'ulum Pice'num, Ascoli. The Picentines were descended from the Sabines, and observed the strict and severe discipline of that warlike race, but they were destitute of courage or vigour.

26. SAM'NIUM included the mountainous tract which stretches from the Atar'nus in the north, to the Fren'to in the south. It was inhabited by several tribes descended from the Sabines[3] and Ma'rsi, of which the Samnites were the most distinguished; the other most remarkable septs were the Marruci'ni and Pelig'ni in the north, the Frenta'ni in the east, and the Hirpi'ni in the south.

27. The Samnites were distinguished by their love of war, and their unconquerable attachment to liberty; their sway at one time extended over Campa'nia, and the greater part of central Italy; and the Romans found them the fiercest and most dangerous of their early enemies. The chief towns in the Samnite territory were Alli'fae, Beneventum, and Cau'dium.

28. Lower Italy was also called Magna Grae'cia, from the number of Greek[4] colonies that settled on the coast; it comprised four countries; Luca'nia and Brut'tium on the west, and Apu'lia and Cala'bria on the east.

29. LUCA'NIA was a mountainous country between the Sil'arus, Selo, on the north, and the Lae'us, Lavo, on the south. The Lucanians were of Sabine origin, and conquered the Oenotrians, who first possessed the country: they also subdued several Greek cities on the coast. The chief cities were Posido'nia or Paestum, He'lia or Ve'lia, Sib'aris and Thu'rii.

30. Brut'tium is the modern Cala'bria, and received that name when the ancient province was wrested from the empire. It included the tongue of land from the river Laeus to the southern extremity of Italy at Rhe'gium. The mountains of the interior were inhabited by the Bruta'tes or Brut'tii, a semi-barbarous tribe, at first subject to the Sibarites, and afterwards to the Lucanians. In a late age they asserted their independence, and maintained a vigorous resistance to the Romans. As the Brut'tii used the Oscan language, they must have been of the Ausonian race. The chief towns were the Greek settlements on the coast, Consen'tia, Cosenza; Pando'sia, Cirenza; Croto'na, Mame'rtum, Petil'ia, and Rhe'gium, Reggio.

31. Apu'lia extended along the eastern coast from the river Fren'to, to the eastern tongue of land which forms the foot of the boot, to which Italy has been compared. It was a very fruitful plain, without fortresses or harbours, and was particularly adapted to grazing cattle. It was divided by the river Au'fidus, Ofanto, into Apu'lia Dau'nia, and Apu'lia Peuce'tia, or pine-bearing Apu'lia. The chief towns were, in Dau'nia, Sipon'tum and Luce'ria: in Peuce'tia, Ba'rium, Can'nae, and Venu'sia.

32. Cala'bria, or Messa'pia, is the eastern tongue of land which terminates at Cape Japy'gium, Santa Maria; it was almost wholly occupied by Grecian colonies. The chief towns were Brundu'sium, Brindisi: Callipolis, Gallipoli: and Taren'tum.

33. The islands of Sicily, Corsica, and Sardinia, which are now reckoned as appertaining to Italy, were by the Romans considered separate provinces.

Questions for Examination.

1. How is Italy situated?

2. By what names was the country known to the ancients?

3. How is Italy bounded on the north?

4. What districts were in northern Italy?

5. What was the extent of Liguria, and the character of its inhabitants?

6. How was Cisalpine Gaul divided?

7. By whom was Cisalpine Gaul inhabited?

8. Why was it called Togata?

9. What are the principal rivers in northern Italy?

10. What are the chief cities in Cisalpine Gaul?

11. When did the Romans subdue this district?

12. Did the Venetians resist the Roman power?

13. What are the chief divisions of central Italy?

14. How is Etruria situated?

15. By what people was Etruria colonized?

16. What were the Tuscan cities?

17. How were the cities ruled?

18. What was the general form of Tuscan government?

19. For what were the Tuscans remarkable?

20. What was the geographical situation of Latium?

21. What were the chief towns in Latium?

22. What towns and people were in Campania?

23. For what is the soil of Campania remarkable?

24. What description is given of Umbria?

25. What towns and people were in Picenum?

26. From whom were the Samnites descended?

27. What was the character of this people?

28. How was southern Italy divided?

29. What description is given of Lucania?

30. By what people was Bruttium inhabited?

31. What is the geographical situation of Apulia?

32. What description is given of Calabria?

33. What islands belong to Italy?


[1] See Pinnock's History of Greece, Chap. I.

[2] See Historical Miscellany, Part II. Chap. I.

[3] These colonies, sent out by the Sabines, are said to have originated from the observance of the Ver sacrum (sacred spring.) During certain years, every thing was vowed to the gods that was born between the calends (first day) of March and May, whether men or animals. At first they were sacrificed; but in later ages this cruel custom was laid aside, and they were sent out as colonists.

[4] The history of these colonies is contained in the Historical Miscellany, Part II. Chap. ii.

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Succeeding times did equal folly call. Believing nothing, or believing all.—Dryden.

The Latin language contains two primary elements, the first intimately connected with the Grecian, and the second with the Oscan tongue; to the former, for the most part, belong all words expressing the arts and relations of civilized life; to the latter, such terms as express the wants of men before society has been organized. We are therefore warranted in conjecturing that the Latin people was a mixed race; that one of its component parts came from some Grecian stock, and introduced the first elements of civilization, and that the other was indigenous, and borrowed refinement from the strangers. The traditions recorded by the historians sufficiently confirm this opinion; they unanimously assert that certain bodies of Pelasgi came into the country before the historic age, and coalesced with the ancient inhabitants. The traditions respecting these immigrations are so varied, that it is impossible to discover any of the circumstances; but there is one so connected with the early history of Rome, that it cannot be passed over without notice. All the Roman historians declare, that after the destruction of Troy, AEneas, with a body of the fugitives, arrived in Latium, and having married the daughter of king Lati'nus, succeeded him on the throne. It would be easy to show that this narrative is so very improbable, as to be wholly unworthy of credit; but how are we to account for the universal credence which it received? To decide this question we must discuss the credibility of the early Roman history, a subject which has of late years attracted more than ordinary attention.

The first Roman historian of any authority, was Fa'bius Pic'tor, who flourished at the close of the second Punic war; that is, about five centuries and a half after the foundation of the city, and nearly a thousand years after the destruction of Troy. The materials from which his narrative was compiled, were the legendary ballads, which are in every country the first record of warlike exploits; the calendars and annals kept by the priests, and the documents kept by noble families to establish their genealogy. Imperfect as these materials must necessarily have been under any circumstances, we must remember that the city of Rome was twice captured; once by Porsenna, and a second time by the Gauls, about a century and a half before Fabius was born. On the latter occasion the city was burned to the ground, and the capital saved only by the payment of an immense ransom. By such a calamity it is manifest that the most valuable documents must have been dispersed or destroyed, and the part that escaped thrown into great disorder. The heroic songs might indeed have been preserved in the memory of the public reciters; but there is little necessity for proving that poetic historians would naturally mingle so much fiction with truth, that few of their assertions could be deemed authentic. The history of the four first centuries of the Roman state is accordingly full of the greatest inconsistences and improbabilities; so much so, that many respectable writers have rejected the whole as unworthy of credit; but this is as great an excess in scepticism, as the reception of the whole would be of credulity. But if the founders of the city, the date of its erection, and the circumstances under which its citizens were assembled be altogether doubtful, as will subsequently be shown, assuredly the history of events that occurred four centuries previous must be involved in still greater obscurity. The legend of AEneas, when he first appears noticed as a progenitor of the Romans, differs materially from that which afterwards prevailed. Romulus, in the earlier version of the story, is invariably described as the son or grandson of AEneas. He is the grandson in the poems of Naevius and Ennius, who were both nearly contemporary with Fabius Pictor. This gave rise to an insuperable chronological difficulty; for Troy was destroyed B.C. 1184, and Rome was not founded until B.C. 753. To remedy this incongruity, a list of Latin kings intervening between AEne'as and Rom'ulus, was invented; but the forgery was so clumsily executed, that its falsehood is apparent on the slightest inspection. It may also be remarked, that the actions attributed to AEneas are, in other traditions of the same age and country, ascribed to other adventurers; to Evander, a Pelasgic leader from Arcadia, who is said to have founded a city on the site afterwards occupied by Rome; or to Uly'sses, whose son Tele'gonus is reported to have built Tus'culum.

If then we deny the historical truth of a legend which seems to have been universally credited by the Romans, how are we to account for the origin of the tale? Was the tradition of native growth, or was it imported from Greece when the literature of that country was introduced into Latium? These are questions that can only be answered by guess; but perhaps the following theory may in some degree be found satisfactory. We have shown that tradition, from the earliest age, invariably asserted that Pelasgic colonies had formed settlements in central Italy; nothing is more notorious than the custom of the Pelasgic tribes to take the name of their general, or of some town in which they had taken up their temporary residence; now AEne'a and AE'nus were common names of the Pelasgic towns; the city of Thessaloni'ca was erected on the site of the ancient AEne'a; there was an AE'nus in Thrace,[A] another in Thessaly,[A] another among the Locrians, and another in Epi'rus:[1] hence it is not very improbable but that some of the Pelasgic tribes which entered Latium may have been called the AEne'adae; and the name, as in a thousand instances, preserved after the cause was forgotten. This conjecture is confirmed by the fact, that temples traditionally said to have been erected by a people called the AEne'adae, are found in the Macedonian peninsula of Pall'ene,[2] in the islands of De'los, Cythe'ra, Zacy'nthus, Leuca'dia, and Sicily, on the western coasts of Ambra'cia and Epi'rus, and on the southern coast of Sicily.

The account of several Trojans, and especially AEne'as, having survived the destruction of the city, is as old as the earliest narrative of that famous siege; Homer distinctly asserts it when he makes Neptune declare,

—Nor thus can Jove resign The future father of the Dardan line: The first great ancestor obtain'd his grace, And still his love descends on all the race. For Priam now, and Priam's faithless kind, At length are odious, to the all-seeing mind; On great AEneas shall devolve the reign, And sons succeeding sons the lasting line sustain. ILIAD, xx.

But long before the historic age, Phrygia and the greater part of the western shores of Asia Minor were occupied by Grecian colonies, and all remembrance of AEne'as and his followers lost. When the narrative of the Trojan war, with other Greek legends, began to be circulated in Lati'um, it was natural that the identity of name should have led to the confounding of the AEne'adae who had survived the destruction of Troy, with those who had come to La'tium from the Pelasgic AE'nus. The cities which were said to be founded by the AEne'adae were, Latin Troy, which possessed empire for three years; Lavinium, whose sway lasted thirty; Alba, which was supreme for three hundred years; and Rome, whose dominion was to be interminable, though some assign a limit of three thousand years. These numbers bear evident traces of superstitious invention; and the legends by which these cities are successively deduced from the first encampment of AEne'as, are at variance with these fanciful periods. The account that Alba was built by a son of AEne'as, who had been guided to the spot by a white sow, which had farrowed thirty young, is clearly a story framed from the similarity of the name to Albus (white,) and the circumstance of the city having been the capital of the thirty Latin tribes. The city derived its name from its position on the Alban mountain; for Alb, or Alp, signifies lofty in the ancient language of Italy, and the emblem of a sow with thirty young, may have been a significant emblem of the dominion which it unquestionably possessed over the other Latin states. The only thing that we can establish as certain in the early history of La'tium is, that its inhabitants were of a mixed race, and the sources from whence they sprung Pelasgic and Oscan; that is, one connected with the Greeks, and the other with some ancient Italian tribe. We have seen that this fact is the basis of all their traditions, that it is confirmed by the structure of their language, and, we may add, that it is further proved by their political institutions. In all the Latin cities, as well as Rome, we find the people divided into an aristocracy and democracy, or, as they are more properly called, Patricians and Plebeians. The experience of all ages warrants the inference, which may be best stated in the words of Dr. Faber: "In the progress of the human mind there is an invariable tendency not to introduce into an undisturbed community a palpable difference between lords and serfs, instead of a legal equality of rights; but to abolish such difference by enfranchising the serfs. Hence, from the universal experience of history, we may be sure that whenever this distinction is found to exist, the society must be composed of two races differing from each other in point of origin."

The traditions respecting the origin of Rome are innumerable; some historians assert that its founder was a Greek; others, AEneas and his Trojans; and others give the honour to the Tyrrhenians: all, however, agree, that the first inhabitants were a Latin colony from Alba. Even those who adopted the most current story, which is followed by Dr. Goldsmith, believed that the city existed before the time of Rom'ulus, and that he was called the founder from being the first who gave it strength and stability. It seems probable that several villages might have been formed at an early age on the different hills, which were afterwards included in the circuit of Rome; and that the first of them which obtained a decided superiority, the village on the Palatine hill, finally absorbed the rest, and gave its name to "the eternal city".

There seems to be some uncertainty whether Romulus gave his name to the city, or derived his own from it; the latter is asserted by several historians, but those who ascribe to the city a Grecian origin, with some show of probability assert that Romus (another form of Romulus) and Roma are both derived from the Greek [Greek: rome], strength. The city, we are assured, had another name, which the priests were forbidden to divulge; but what that was, it is now impossible to discover.

We have thus traced the history of the Latins down to the period when Rome was founded, or at least when it became a city, and shown how little reliance can be placed on the accounts given of these periods by the early historians. We shall hereafter see that great uncertainty rests on the history of Rome itself during the first four centuries of its existence.


[1] It is scarcely necessary to remark that the Pelas'gi were the original settlers in these countries.

[2] In all these places we find also the Tyrrhenian Pelas'gi.

* * * * *



Full in the centre of these wondrous works The pride of earth! Rome in her glory see.—Thomson.

1. The city of Rome, according to Varro, was founded in the fourth year of the sixth Olympiad, B.C. 753; but Cato, the censor, places the event four years later, in the second year of the seventh Olympiad. The day of its foundation was the 21st of April, which was sacred to the rural goddess Pa'les, when the rustics were accustomed to solicit the increase of their flocks from the deity, and to purify themselves for involuntary violation of the consecrated places. The account preserved by tradition of the ceremonies used on this occasion, confirms the opinion of those who contend that Rome had a previous existence as a village, and that what is called its foundation was really an enlargement of its boundaries, by taking in the ground at the foot of the Palatine hill. The first care of Ro'mulus was to mark out the Pomoe'rium; a space round the walls of the city, on which it was unlawful to erect buildings.

2. The person who determined the Pomoe'rium yoked a bullock and heifer to a plough, having a copper-share, and drew a furrow to mark the course of the future wall; he guided the plough so that all the sods might fall inwards, and was followed by others, who took care that none should lie the other way. 3. When he came to the place where it was designed to erect a gate, the plough was taken up,[1] and carried to where the wall recommenced. The next ceremony was the consecration of the commit'ium, or place of public assembly. A vault was built under ground, and filled with the firstlings of all the natural productions that sustain human life, and with earth which each foreign settler had brought from his own home. This place was called Mun'dus, and was supposed to become the gate of the lower world; it was opened on three several days of the year, for the spirits of the dead.

4. The next addition made to the city was the Sabine town,[2] which occupied the Quirinal and part of the Capitoline hills. The name of this town most probably was Qui'rium, and from it the Roman people received the name Quirites. The two cities were united on terms of equality, and the double-faced Ja'nus stamped on the earliest Roman coins was probably a symbol of the double state. They were at first so disunited, that even the rights of intermarriage did not exist between them, and it was probably from Qui'rium that the Roman youths obtained the wives[3] by force, which were refused to their entreaties. 5. The next addition was the Coelian hill,[4] on which a Tuscan colony settled; from these three colonies the three tribes of Ram'nes, Ti'ties, and Lu'ceres were formed. 6. The Ram'nes, or Ram'nenses, derived their name from Rom'ulus; the Tities, or Titien'ses, from Titus Tatius, the king of the Sabines; and the Lu'ceres, from Lu'cumo, the Tuscan title of a general or leader.[5] From this it appears that the three tribes[6] were really three distinct nations, differing in their origin, and dwelling apart.

7. The city was enlarged by Tullus Hostilius,[7] after the destruction of Alba, and the Viminal hill included within the walls; Ancus Martius added mount Aventine, and the Esquiline and Capitoline[8] being enclosed in the next reign, completed the number of the seven hills on which the ancient city stood.

8. The hill called Jani'culum, on the north bank of the Tiber, was fortified as an outwork by Ancus Martius, and joined to the city by the bridge; he also dug a trench round the newly erected buildings, for their greater security, and called it the ditch of the Quirites. 9. The public works erected by the kings were of stupendous magnitude, but the private buildings were wretched, the streets narrow, and the houses mean. It was not until after the burning of the city by the Gauls that the city was laid out on a better plan; after the Punic wars wealth flowed in abundantly, and private persons began to erect magnificent mansions. From the period of the conquest of Asia until the reign of Augustus, the city daily augmented its splendour, but so much was added by that emperor, that he boasted that "he found Rome a city of brick, and left it a city of marble."

10. The circumference of the city has been variously estimated, some writers including in their computation a part of the suburbs; according to Pliny it was near twenty miles round the walls. In consequence of this great extent the city had more than thirty gates, of which the most remarkable were the Carmental, the Esquiline, the Triumphal, the Naval, and those called Tergem'ina and Cape'na.

11. The division of the city into four tribes continued until the reign of Augustus; a new arrangement was made by the emperor, who divided Rome into fourteen wards, or regions.[9] The magnificent public and private buildings in a city so extensive and wealthy were very numerous, and a bare catalogue of them would fill a volume;[10] our attention must be confined to those which possessed some historical importance.

12. The most celebrated and conspicuous buildings were in the eighth division of the city, which contained the Capitol and its temples, the Senate House, and the Forum. The Capitoline-hill was anciently called Saturnius, from the ancient city of Satur'nia, of which it was the citadel; it was afterwards called the Tarpeian mount, and finally received the name of Capitoline from a human head[11] being found on its summit when the foundations of the temple of Jupiter were laid. It had two summits; that on the south retained the name Tarpeian;[12] the northern was properly the Capitol. 13. On this part of the hill Romulus first established his asylum, in a sacred grove, dedicated to some unknown divinity; and erected a fort or citadel[13] on the Tarpeian summit. The celebrated temple of Jupiter Capitoli'nus, erected on this hill, was begun by the elder Tarquin, and finished by Tarquin the Proud. It was burned down in the civil wars between Ma'rius and Syl'la, but restored by the latter, who adorned it with pillars taken from the temple of Jupiter at Olympia. It was rebuilt after similar accidents by Vespa'sian and Domitian, and on each occasion with additional splendour. The rich ornaments and gifts presented to this temple by different princes and generals amounted to a scarcely credible sum. The gold and jewels given by Augustus alone are said to have exceeded in value four thousand pounds sterling. A nail was annually driven into the wall of the temple to mark the course of time; besides this chronological record, it contained the Sibylline books, and other oracles supposed to be pregnant with the fate of the city. There were several other temples on this hill, of which the most remarkable was that of Jupiter Feretrius, erected by Romulus, where the spolia opima were deposited.

14. The Forum, or place of public assembly, was situated between the Palatine and Capitoline hills. It was surrounded with temples, basilicks,[14] and public offices, and adorned with innumerable statues.[15] On one side of this space were the elevated seats from which the Roman magistrates and orators addressed the people; they were called Rostra, because they were ornamented with the beaks of some galleys taken from the city of Antium. In the centre of the forum was a place called the Curtian Lake, either from a Sabine general called Curtius, said to have been smothered in the marsh which was once there; or from[16] the Roman knight who plunged into a gulf that opened suddenly on the spot. The celebrated temple of Ja'nus, built entirely of bronze, stood in the Forum; it is supposed to have been erected by Numa. The gates of this temple were opened in time of war, and shut during peace. So continuous we're the wars of the Romans, that the gates were only closed three times during the space of eight centuries. In the vicinity stood the temple of Concord, where the senate frequently assembled, and the temple of Vesta, where the palla'dium was said to be deposited.

15. Above the rostra was the Senate-house, said to have been first erected by Tullus Hostilius; and near the Comitium, or place of meeting for the patrician Curiae.[17] This area was at first uncovered, but a roof was erected at the close of the second Pu'nic war.

16. The Cam'pus Mar'tius, or field of Mars, was originally the estate of Tarquin the Proud, and was, with his other property, confiscated after the expulsion of that monarch. It was a large space, where armies were mustered, general assemblies of the people held, and the young nobility trained in martial exercises. In the later ages, it was surrounded by several magnificent structures, and porticos were erected, under which the citizens might take their accustomed exercise in rainy weather. These improvements were principally made by Marcus Agrippa, in the reign of Augustus. 17. He erected in the neighbourhood, the Panthe'on, or temple of all the gods, one of the most splendid buildings in ancient Rome. It is of a circular form, and its roof is in the form of a cupola or dome; it is used at present as a Christian church. Near the Panthe'on were the baths and gardens which Agrippa, at his death, bequeathed to the Roman people.

18. The theatres and circi for the exhibition of public spectacles were very numerous. The first theatre was erected by Pompey the Great; but the Circus Maximus, where gladiatorial combats were displayed, was erected by Tarquinus Priscus; this enormous building was frequently enlarged, and in the age of Pliny could accommodate two hundred thousand spectators. A still more remarkable edifice was the amphitheatre erected by Vespasian, called, from its enormous size, the Colosse'um.

19. Public baths were early erected for the use of the people, and in the later ages were among the most remarkable displays of Roman luxury and splendour. Lofty arches, stately pillars, vaulted ceilings, seats of solid silver, costly marbles inlaid with precious stones, were exhibited in these buildings with the most lavish profusion.

20. The aqueducts for supplying the city with water, were still more worthy of admiration; they were supported by arches, many of them a hundred feet high, and carried over mountains and morasses that might have appeared insuperable. The first aqueduct was erected by Ap'pius Clo'dius, the censor, four hundred years after the foundation of the city; but under the emperors there were not less than twenty of these useful structures, and such was the supply of water, that rivers seemed to flow through the streets and sewers. Even now, though only three of the aqueducts remain, such are their dimensions that no city in Europe has a greater abundance of wholesome water than Rome.

21. The Cloa'cae, or common sewers, attracted the wonder of the ancients themselves; the largest was completed by Tarquin the Proud. The innermost vault of this astonishing structure forms a semicircle eighteen Roman palms wide, and as many high: this is inclosed in a second vault, and that again in a third, all formed of hewn blocks of pepenno, fixed together without cement. So extensive were these channels, that in the reign of Augustus the city was subterraneously navigable.

22. The public roads were little inferior to the aqueducts and Cloa'cae in utility and costliness; the chief was the Appian road from Rome to Brundu'sium; it extended three hundred and fifty miles, and was paved with huge squares through its entire length. After the lapse of nineteen centuries many parts of it are still as perfect as when it was first made.

23. The Appian road passed through the following towns; Ari'cia, Fo'rum Ap'pii, An'xur or Terraci'na, Fun'di, Mintur'nae, Sinue'ssa, Cap'ua, Can'dium, Beneven'tum, Equotu'ticum, Herdo'nia, Canu'sium, Ba'rium, and Brundu'sium. Between Fo'rum Ap'pii and Terraci'na lie the celebrated Pomptine marshes, formed by the overflowing of some small streams. In the flourishing ages of Roman history these pestilential marshes did not exist, or were confined to a very limited space; but from the decline of the Roman empire, the waters gradually encroached, until the successful exertions made by the Pontiffs in modern times to arrest their baleful progress. Before the drainage of Pope Sixtus, the marshes covered at least thirteen thousand acres of ground, which in the earlier ages was the most fruitful portion of the Italian soil.

Questions for Examination.

1. When was Rome founded?

2. What ceremonies were used in determining the pomcerium?

3. How was the comitium consecrated?

4. What was the first addition made to Rome?

5. What was the next addition?

6. Into what tribes were the Romans divided?

7. What were the hills added in later times to Rome?

8. Had the Romans any buildings north of the Tiber?

9. When did Rome become a magnificent city?

10. What was the extent of the city?

11. How was the city divided?

12. Which was the most remarkable of the seven hills?

13. What buildings were on the Capitoline hill?

14. What description is given of the forum?

15. Where was the senate-house and comitium?

16. What use was made of the Campus Martius?

17. What was the Pantheon?

18. Were the theatres and circii remarkable?

19. Had the Romans public baths?

20. How was the city supplied with water?

21. Were the cloacae remarkable for their size?

22. Which was the chief Italian road?

23. What were the most remarkable places on the Appian road?


[1] Hence a gate was called porta, from porta're, to carry. The reason of this part of the ceremony was, that the plough being deemed holy, it was unlawful that any thing unclean should pollute the place which it had touched; but it was obviously necessary that things clean and unclean should pass through the gates of the city. It is remarkable that all the ceremonies here mentioned were imitated from the Tuscans.

[2] This, though apparently a mere conjecture, has been so fully proved by Niebuhr, (vol. i. p. 251,) that it may safely be assumed as an historical fact.

[3] See Chapter II. of the following history.

[4] All authors are agreed that the Coelian hill was named from Coeles Viben'na, a Tuscan chief; but there is a great variety in the date assigned to his settlement at Rome. Some make him cotemporary with Rom'ulus, others with the elder Tarquin, or Servius Tullius. In this uncertainty all that can be satisfactorily determined is, that at some early period a Tuscan colony settled in Rome.

[5] Others say that they were named so in honour of Lu'ceres, king of Ardea, according to which theory the third would have been a Pelasgo-Tyrrhenian colony.

[6] We shall hereafter have occasion to remark, that the Lu'ceres were subject to the other tribes.

[7] See History, Chapter IV.

[8] The Pincian and Vatican hills were added at a much later period and these, with Janiculum, made the number ten.

[9] They were named as follow:

1. Porta Cape'na 2. Coelimon'tium 3. I'sis and Sera'pis 4. Via Sa'cra 5. Esquili'na 6. Acta Se'mita 7. Vita Lata 8. Forum Roma'num 9. Circus Flamin'ius 10. Pala'tium 11. Circus Max'imus 12. Pici'na Pub'lica 13. Aventinus 14. Transtiberi'na.

The divisions made by Servius were named: the Suburan, which comprised chiefly the Coelian mount; the Colline, which included the Viminal and Quirinal hills; the Esquiline and Palatine, which evidently coincided with the hills of the same name.

[10] Among the public buildings of ancient Rome, when in her zenith, are numbered 420 temples, five regular theatres, two amphitheatres, and seven circusses of vast extent; sixteen public baths, fourteen aqueducts, from which a prodigious number of fountains were constantly supplied; innumerable palaces and public halls, stately columns, splendid porticos, and lofty obelisks.

[11] From caput, "a head."

[12] State criminals were punished by being precipitated from the Tarpeian rock; the soil has been since so much raised by the accumulation of ruins, that a fall from it is no longer dangerous.

[13] In the reign of Numa, the Quirinal hill was deemed the citadel of Rome; an additional confirmation of Niebuhr's theory, that Quirium was a Sabine town, which, being early absorbed in Rome, was mistaken by subsequent, writers for Cu'res.

[14] Basilicks were spacious halls for the administration of justice.

[15] It is called Templum by Livy; but the word templum with the Romans does not mean an edifice, but a consecrated inclosure. From its position, we may conjecture that the forum was originally a place of meeting common to the inhabitants of the Sabine town on the Quirinal, and the Latin town on the Palatine hill.

[16] See Chap. XII. Sect. V. of the following History.

[17] See the following chapter.

* * * * *



As once in virtue, so in vice extreme, This universal fabric yielded loose, Before ambition still; and thundering down, At last beneath its ruins crush'd a world.—Thomson.

I. The most remarkable feature in the Roman constitution is the division of the people into Patricians and Plebeians, and our first inquiry must be the origin of this separation. It is clearly impossible that such a distinction could have existed from the very beginning, because no persons would have consented in a new community to the investing of any class with peculiar privileges. We find that all the Roman kings, after they had subdued a city, drafted a portion of its inhabitants to Rome; and if they did not destroy the subjugated place, garrisoned it with a Roman colony. The strangers thus brought to Rome were not admitted to a participation of civic rights; they were like the inhabitants of a corporate town who are excluded from the elective franchise: by successive immigrations, the number of persons thus disqualified became more numerous than that of the first inhabitants or old freemen, and they naturally sought a share in the government, as a means of protecting their persons and properties. On the other hand, the men who possessed the exclusive power of legislation, struggled hard to retain their hereditary privileges, and when forced to make concessions, yielded as little as they possibly could to the popular demands. Modern history furnishes us with numerous instances of similar struggles between classes, and of a separation in interests and feelings between inhabitants of the same country, fully as strong as that between the patricians and plebeians at Rome.

2. The first tribes were divided by Ro'mulus into thirty cu'riae, and each cu'ria contained ten gentes or associations. The individuals of each gens were not in all cases, and probably not in the majority of instances, connected by birth;[1] the attributes of the members of a gens, according to Cicero, were, a common name and participation in private religious rites; descent from free ancestors; the absence of legal disqualification. 3. The members of these associations were united by certain laws, which conferred peculiar privileges, called jura gentium; of these the most remarkable were, the succession to the property of every member who died without kin and intestate, and the obligation imposed on all to assist their indigent fellows under any extraordinary burthen.[2] 4. The head of each gens was regarded as a kind of father, and possessed a paternal authority over the members; the chieftancy was both elective and hereditary;[3] that is, the individual was always selected from some particular family.

5. Besides the members of the gens, there were attached to it a number of dependents called clients, who owed submission to the chief as their patron, and received from him assistance and protection. The clients were generally foreigners who came to settle at Rome, and not possessing municipal rights, were forced to appear in the courts of law, &c. by proxy. In process of time this relation assumed a feudal form, and the clients were bound to the same duties as vassals[4] in the middle ages.

6. The chiefs of the gentes composed the senate, and were called "fathers," (patres.) In the time of Romulus, the senate at first consisted only of one hundred members, who of course represented the Latin tribe Ramne'nses; the number was doubled after the union with the Sabines, and the new members were chosen from the Titienses. The Tuscan tribe of the Lu'ceres remained unrepresented in the senate until the reign of the first Tarquin, when the legislative body received another hundred[5] from that tribe. Tarquin the elder was, according to history, a Tuscan Iticumo, and seems to have owed his elevation principally to the efforts of his compatriots settled at Rome. It is to this event we must refer, in a great degree, the number of Tuscan ceremonies which are to be found in the political institutions of the Romans.

7. The gentes were not only represented in the senate, but met also in a public assembly called "comitia curiata." In these comitia the kings were elected and invested with royal authority. After the complete change of the constitution in later ages, the "comitia curiata"[6] rarely assembled, and their power was limited to religious matters; but during the earlier period of the republic, they claimed and frequently exercised the supreme powers of the state, and were named emphatically, The People.

8. The power and prerogatives of the kings at Rome, were similar to those of the Grecian sovereigns in the heroic ages. The monarch was general of the army, a high priest,[7] and first magistrate of the realm; he administered justice in person every ninth day, but an appeal lay from his sentence, in criminal cases, to the general assemblies of the people. The pontiffs and augurs, however, were in some measure independent of the sovereign, and assumed the uncontrolled direction of the religion of the state.

9. The entire constitution was remodelled by Ser'vius Tul'lius, and a more liberal form of government introduced. His first and greatest achievement was the formation of the plebeians into an organized order of the state, invested with political rights. He divided them into four cities and twenty-six rustic tribes, and thus made the number of tribes the same as that of the curiae. This was strictly a geographical division, analagous to our parishes, and had no connection with families, like that of the Jewish tribes.

10. Still more remarkable was the institution of the census, and the distribution of the people into classes and centuries proportionate to their wealth. The census was a periodical valuation of all the property possessed by the citizens, and an enumeration of all the subjects of the state: there were five classes, ranged according to the estimated value of their possessions, and the taxes they consequently paid. The first class contained eighty centuries out of the hundred and seventy; the sixth class, in which those were included who were too poor to be taxed, counted but for one. We shall, hereafter have occasion to see that this arrangement was also used for military purposes; it is only necessary to say here, that the sixth class were deprived of the use of arms, and exempt from serving in war.

11. The people voted in the comitia centuriata by centuries; that is, the vote of each century was taken separately and counted only as one. By this arrangement a just influence was secured to property; and the clients of the patricians in the sixth class prevented from out-numbering the free citizens.

12. Ser'vius Tul'lius undoubtedly intended that the comitia centuriata should form the third estate of the realm, and during his reign they probably held that rank; but when, by an aristocratic insurrection he was slain in the senate-house, the power conceded to the people was again usurped by the patricians, and the comitio centuriata did not recover the right[8] of legislation before the laws[9] of the twelve tables were established.

13. The law which made the debtor a slave to his creditor was repealed by Ser'vius, and re-enacted by his successor; the patricians preserved this abominable custom during several ages, and did not resign it until the state had been brought to the very brink of ruin.

14. During the reign of Ser'vius, Rome was placed at the head of the Latin confederacy, and acknowledged to be the metropolitan city. It was deprived of this supremacy after the war with Porsen'na, but soon recovered its former greatness.

15. The equestrian rank was an order in the Roman state from the very beginning. It was at first confined to the nobility, and none but the patricians had the privilege of serving on horseback. But in the later ages, it became a political dignity, and persons were raised to the equestrian rank by the amount of their possessions.

16. The next great change took place after the expulsion of the kings; annual magistrates, called consuls, were elected in the comitia centuriata, but none but patricians could hold this office. 17. The liberties of the people were soon after extended and secured by certain laws, traditionally attributed to Vale'rius Public'ola, of which the most important was that which allowed[10] an appeal to a general assembly of the people from the sentence of a magistrate. 18. To deprive the plebeians of this privilege was the darling object of the patricians, and it was for this purpose alone that they instituted the dictatorship. From the sentence of this magistrate there was no appeal to the tribes or centuries, but the patricians kept their own privilege of being tried before the tribunal of the curiae. 19. The power of the state was now usurped by a factious oligarchy, whose oppressions were more grievous than those of the worst tyrant; they at last became so intolerable, that the commonalty had recourse to arms, and fortified that part of the city which was exclusively inhabited by the plebeians, while others formed a camp on the Sacred Mount at some distance from Rome. A tumult of this kind was called a secession; it threatened to terminate in a civil war, which would have been both long and doubtful; for the patricians and their clients were probably as numerous as the people. A reconciliation was effected, and the plebeians placed under the protection of magistrates chosen from their own body, called tribunes of the people.

20. The plebeians, having now authorised leaders, began to struggle for an equalization of rights, and the patricians resisted them with the most determined energy. In this protracted contest the popular cause prevailed, though the patricians made use of the most violent means to secure their usurped powers. The first triumph obtained by the people was the right to summon patricians before the comitia tributa, or assemblies of people in tribes; soon after they obtained the privilege of electing their tribunes at these comitia, instead of the centuria'ta; and finally, after a fierce opposition, the patricians were forced to consent that the state should be governed by a written code.

21. The laws of the twelve tables did not alter the legal relations between the citizens; the struggle was renewed with greater violence than ever after the expulsion of the decem'viri, but finally terminated in the complete triumph of the people. The Roman constitution became essentially democratical; the offices of the state were open to all the citizens; and although the difference between the patrician and plebeian families still subsisted, they soon ceased of themselves to be political parties. From the time that equal rights were granted to all the citizens, Rome advanced rapidly in wealth and power; the subjugation of Italy was effected within the succeeding century, and that was soon followed by foreign conquests.

22. In the early part of the struggle between the patricians and plebeians, the magistracy, named the censorship, was instituted. The censors were designed at first merely to preside over the taking of the census, but they afterwards obtained the power of punishing, by a deprivation of civil rights, those who were guilty of any flagrant immorality. The patricians retained exclusive possession of the censorship, long after the consulship had been opened to the plebeians.

23. The senate,[11] which had been originally a patrician council, was gradually opened to the plebeians; when the free constitution was perfected, every person possessing a competent fortune that had held a superior magistracy, was enrolled as a senator at the census immediately succeeding the termination of his office.

Questions for Examination.

1. What is the most probable account given of the origin of the distinction between the patricians and the plebeians at Rome?

2. How did Romulus subdivide the Roman tribes?

3. By what regulations were the gentes governed?

4. Who were the chiefs of the gentes?

5. What was the condition of the clients?

6. By whom were alterations made in the number and constitution of the senate?

7. What assembly was peculiar to the patricians?

8. What were the powers of the Roman kings?

9. What great change was made in the Roman constitution by Servius Tullius?

10. For what purpose was the census instituted?

11. How were votes taken in the comitia centuriata?

12. Were the designs of Servius frustrated?

13. What was the Roman law respecting debtors?

14. When did the Roman power decline?

15. What changes were made in the constitution of the equestrian rank?

16. What change was made after the abolition of royalty?

17. How were the liberties of the people secured?

18. Why was the office of dictator appointed?

19. How did the plebeians obtain the protection of magistrates chosen from their own order?

20. What additional triumphs were obtained by the plebeians?

21. What was the consequence of the establishment of freedom?

22. For what purpose was the censorship instituted?

23. What change took place in the constitution of the senate?


[1] The same remark may be applied to the Scottish clans and the ancient Irish septs, which were very similar to the Roman gentes.

[2] When the plebeians endeavoured to procure the repeal of the laws which prohibited the intermarriage of the patricians and plebeians, the principal objection made by the former was, that these rights and obligations of the gentes (jura gentium) would be thrown into confusion.

[3] This was also the case with the Irish tanists, or chiefs of septs; the people elected a tanist, but their choice was confined to the members of the ruling family.

[4] See Historical Miscellany Part III. Chap. i.

[5] They were called "patres nunorum gentium," the senators of the inferior gentes.

[6] The "comitia curiata," assembled in the comi'tium, the general assemblies of the people were held in the forum. The patrician curiae were called, emphatically, the council of the people; (concilium populi;) the third estate was called plebeian, (plebs.) This distinction between populus and plebs was disregarded after the plebeians had established their claim to equal rights. The English reader will easily understand the difference, if he considers that the patricians were precisely similar to the members of a close corporation, and the plebeians to the other inhabitants of a city. In London, for example, the common council may represent the senate, the livery answer for the populus, patricians, or comitia curiata, and the general body of other inhabitants will correspond with the plebs.

[7] There were certain sacrifices which the Romans believed could only be offered by a king; after the abolition of royalty, a priest, named the petty sacrificing king, (rex sacrificulus,) was elected to perform this duty.

[8] Perhaps it would be more accurate to say the exclusive right of legislation; for it appears that the comitia centuriata were sometimes summoned to give their sanction to laws which had been previously enacted by the curiae.

[9] See Chap. XII.

[10] The Romans were previously acquainted with that great principle of justice, the right of trial by a person's peers. In the earliest ages the patricians had a right of appeal to the curiae; the Valerian laws extended the same right to the plebeians.

[11] The senators were called conscript fathers, (patres conscripti,) either from their being enrolled on the censor's list, or more probably from the addition made to their numbers after the expulsion of the kings, in order to supply the places of those who had been murdered by Tarquin. The new senators were at first called conscript, and in the process of time the name was extended to the entire body.

* * * * *



Each rules his race, his neighbour not his care, Heedless of others, to his own severe.—Homer.

[As this chapter is principally designed for advanced students, it has not been thought necessary to add questions for examination.]

The contests respecting agrarian laws occupy so large a space in Roman history, and are so liable to be misunderstood, that it is necessary to explain their origin at some length. According to an almost universal custom, the right of conquest was supposed to involve the property of the land. Thus the Normans who assisted William I. were supposed to have obtained a right to the possessions of the Saxons; and in a later age, the Irish princes, whose estates were not confirmed by a direct grant from the English crown, were exposed to forfeiture when legally summoned to prove their titles. The extensive acquisitions made by the Romans, were either formed into extensive national domains, or divided into small lots among the poorer classes. The usufruct of the domains was monopolized by the patricians who rented them from the state; the smaller lots were assigned to the plebeians, subject to a tax called tribute, but not to rent. An agrarian law was a proposal to make an assignment of portions of the public lands to the people, and to limit the quantity of national land that could be farmed by any particular patrician.[1] Such a law may have been frequently impolitic, because it may have disturbed ancient possessions, but it could never have been unjust; for the property of the land was absolutely fixed in the state. The lands held by the patricians, being divided into extensive tracts, were principally used for pasturage; the small lots assigned to the plebeians were, of necessity, devoted to agriculture. Hence arose the first great cause of hostility between the two orders; the patricians were naturally eager to extend their possessions in the public domains, which enabled them to provide for their numerous clients, and in remote districts they frequently wrested the estates from the free proprietors in their neighbourhood; the plebeians, on the other hand, deemed that they had the best right to the land purchased by their blood, and saw with just indignation, the fruits of victory monopolized by a single order in the state. The tribute paid by the plebeians increased this hardship, for it was a land-tax levied on estates, and consequently fell most heavily on the smaller proprietors; indeed, in many cases, the possessors of the national domains paid nothing.

From all this it is evident that an agrarian law only removed tenants who held from the state at will, and did not in any case interfere with the sacred right of property; but it is also plain that such a change must have been frequently inconvenient to the individual in possession. It also appears, that had not agrarian laws been introduced, the great body of the plebeians would have become the clients of the patricians, and the form of government would have been a complete oligarchy.

The chief means to which the Romans, even from the earliest ages, had recourse for securing their conquests, and at the same time relieving the poorer classes of citizens, was the establishment of colonies in the conquered states. The new citizens formed a kind of garrison, and were held together by a constitution formed on the model of the parent state. From what has been said above, it is evident that a law for sending out a colony was virtually an agrarian law, since lands were invariably assigned to those who were thus induced to abandon their homes.

The relations between Rome and the subject cities in Italy were very various. Some, called municipia, were placed in full possession of the rights of Roman citizens, but could not in all cases vote in the comitia. The privileges of the colonies were more restricted, for they were absolutely excluded from the Roman comitia and magistracies. The federative[2] states enjoyed their own constitutions, but were bound to supply the Romans with tribute and auxiliary forces. Finally, the subject states were deprived of their internal constitutions, and were governed by annual prefects chosen in Rome.

Before discussing the subject of the Roman constitution, we must observe that it was, like our own, gradually formed by practice; there was no single written code like those of Athens and Sparta, but changes were made whenever they were required by circumstances; before the plebeians obtained an equality of civil rights, the state neither commanded respect abroad, nor enjoyed tranquillity at home. The patricians sacrificed their own real advantages, as well as the interests of their country, to maintain an ascendancy as injurious to themselves, as it was unjust to the other citizens. But no sooner had the agrarian laws established a more equitable distribution of property, and other popular laws opened the magistracy to merit without distinction of rank, than the city rose to empire with unexampled rapidity.


[1] The Licinian law provided that no one should rent at a time more than 500 acres of public land.

[2] The league by which the Latin states were bound (jus Latii) was more favourable than that granted to the other Italians (jus Italicum.)

* * * * *



First to the gods 'tis fitting to prepare The due libation, and the solemn prayer; For all mankind alike require their grace, All born to want; a miserable race.—Homer.

1. We have shown that the Romans were, most probably, a people compounded of the Latins, the Sabines, and the Tuscans; and that the first and last of these component parts were themselves formed from Pelasgic and native tribes. The original deities[1] worshipped by the Romans were derived from the joint traditions of all these tribes; but the religious institutions and ceremonies were almost wholly borrowed from the Tuscans. Unlike the Grecian mythology, with which, in later ages, it was united, the Roman system of religion had all the gloom and mystery of the eastern superstitions; their gods were objects of fear rather than love, and were worshipped more to avert the consequences of their anger than to conciliate their favour. A consequence of this system was, the institution of human sacrifices, which were not quite disused in Rome until a late period of the republic.

2. The religious institutions of the Romans form an essential part of their civil government; every public act, whether of legislation or election, was connected with certain determined forms, and thus received the sanction of a higher power. Every public assembly was opened by the magistrate and augurs taking the auspices, or signs by which they believed that the will of the gods could be determined; and if any unfavourable omen was discovered, either then or at any subsequent time, the assembly was at once dismissed. 3. The right of taking auspices was long the peculiar privilege of the patricians, and frequently afforded them pretexts for evading the demands of the plebeians; when a popular law was to be proposed, it was easy to discover some unfavourable omen which prohibited discussion; when it was evident that the centuries were about to annul some patrician privilege, the augurs readily saw or heard some signal of divine wrath, which prevented the vote from being completed. It was on this account that the plebeians would not consent to place the comitia tributa under the sanction of the auspices.

4. The augurs were at first only three in number, but they were in later ages increased to fifteen, and formed into a college. Nothing of importance was transacted without their concurrence in the earlier ages of the republic, but after the second punic war, their influence was considerably diminished.[2] 5. They derived omens from five sources: 1, from celestial phenomena, such as thunder, lightning, comets, &c.; 2, from the flight of birds; 3, from the feeding of the sacred chickens; 4, from the appearance of a beast in any unusual place; 5, from any accident that occurred unexpectedly.

6. The usual form of taking an augury was very solemn; the augur ascended a tower, bearing in his hand a curved stick called a lituus. He turned his face to the east, and marked out some distant objects as the limits within which he would make his observations, and divided mentally the enclosed space into four divisions. He next, with covered head, offered sacrifices to the gods, and prayed that they would vouchsafe some manifestation of their will. After these preliminaries he made his observations in silence, and then announced the result to the expecting people.

7. The Arusp'ices were a Tuscan order of priests, who attempted to predict futurity by observing the beasts offered in sacrifice. They formed their opinions most commonly from inspecting the entrails, but there was no circumstance too trivial to escape their notice, and which they did not believe in some degree portentous. The arusp'ices were most commonly consulted by individuals; but their opinions, as well as those of the augurs, were taken on all important affairs of state. The arusp'ices seem not to have been appointed officially, nor are they recognised as a regular order of priesthood.

8. The pontiffs and fla'mens, as the superior priests were designated, enjoyed great privileges, and were generally men of rank. When the republic was abolished, the emperors assumed the office of pontifex maximus, or chief pontiff, deeming its powers too extensive to be entrusted to a subject.

9. The institution of vestal virgins was older than the city itself, and was regarded by the Romans as the most sacred part of their religious system. In the time of Numa there were but four, but two more were added by Tarquin; probably the addition made by Tarquin was to give the tribe of the Lu'ceres a share in this important priesthood. The duty of the vestal virgins was to keep the sacred fire that burned on the altar of Vesta from being extinguished; and to preserve a certain sacred pledge on which the very existence of Rome was supposed to depend. What this pledge was we have no means of discovering; some suppose that it was the Trojan Palla'dium, others, with more probability, some traditional mystery brought by the Pelas'gi from Samothrace.

10. The privileges conceded to the vestals were very great; they had the most honourable seats at public games and festivals; they were attended by a lictor with fasces like the magistrates; they were provided with chariots when they required them; and they possessed the power of pardoning any criminal whom they met on the way to execution, if they declared that the meeting was accidental. The magistrates were obliged to salute them as they passed, and the fasces of the consul were lowered to do them reverence. To withhold from them marks of respect subjected the offender to public odium; a personal insult was capitally punished. They possessed the exclusive privilege of being buried within the city; an honour which the Romans rarely extended to others.

11. The vestals were bound by a vow of perpetual virginity, and a violation of this oath was cruelly punished. The unfortunate offender was buried alive in a vault constructed beneath the Fo'rum by the elder Tarquin. The terror of such a dreadful fate had the desired effect; there were only eighteen instances of incontinence among the vestals, during the space of a thousand years.

12. The mixture of religion with civil polity, gave permanence and stability to the Roman institutions; notwithstanding all the changes and revolutions in the government the old forms were preserved; and thus, though the city was taken by Porsenna, and burned by the Gauls, the Roman constitution survived the ruin, and was again restored to its pristine vigour.

13. The Romans always adopted the gods of the conquered nations, and, consequently, when their empire became very extensive, the number of deities was absurdly excessive, and the variety of religious worship perfectly ridiculous. The rulers of the world wanted the taste and ingenuity of the lively Greeks, who accommodated every religious system to their own, and from some real or fancied resemblance, identified the gods of Olym'pus with other nations. The Romans never used this process of assimilation, and, consequently, introduced so much confusion into their mythology, that philosophers rejected the entire system. This circumstance greatly facilitated the progress of Christianity, whose beautiful simplicity furnished a powerful contrast to the confused and cumbrous mass of divinities, worshipped in the time of the emperors.

Questions for Examination.

1. How did the religion of the Romans differ from that of the Greeks?

2. Was the Roman religion connected with the government?

3. How was the right of taking the Auspices abused?

4. Who were the augurs?

5. From what did the augurs take omens?

6. What were the forms used in taking the auspices?

7. Who were the aruspices?

8. What other priests had the Romans?

9. What was the duty of the vestal virgins?

10. Did the vestals enjoy great privileges?

11. How were the vestals punished for a breach of their vows?

12. Why was the Roman constitution very permanent?

13. Whence arose the confusion in the religious system of the Romans?


[1] The reader will find an exceedingly interesting account of the deities peculiar to the Romans, in Mr. Keightley's very valuable work on Mythology.

2: The poet Ennius, who was of Grecian descent, ridiculed very successfully the Roman superstitions; the following fragment, translated by Dunlop, would, probably, have been punished as blasphemous in the first ages of the republic:—

For no Marsian augur (whom fools view with awe,) Nor diviner, nor star-gazer, care I a straw; The Isis-taught quack, an expounder of dreams, Is neither in science nor art what he seems; Superstitious and shameless they prowl through our streets, Some hungry, some crazy, but all of them cheats. Impostors, who vaunt that to others they'll show A path which themselves neither travel nor know: Since they promise us wealth if we pay for their pains, Let them take from that wealth and bestow what remains

* * * * *



Is the soldier found In the riot and waste which he spreads around? The sharpness makes him—the dash, the tact, The cunning to plan, and the spirit to act.—Lord L. Gower.

1. It has been frequently remarked by ancient writers that the strength of a free state consists in its infantry; and, on the other hand, that when the infantry in a state become more valuable than the cavalry, the power of the aristocracy is diminished, and equal rights can no longer be withheld from the people. The employment of mercenary soldiers in modern times renders these observations no longer applicable; but in the military states of antiquity, where the citizens themselves served as soldiers, there are innumerable examples of this mutual connection between political and military systems. It is further illustrated in the history of the middle ages; for we can unquestionably trace the origin of free institutions in Europe to the time when the hardy infantry of the commons were first found able to resist the charges of the brilliant chivalry of the nobles. 2. Rome was, from the very commencement, a military state; as with the Spartans, all their civil institutions had a direct reference to warlike affairs; their public assemblies were marshalled like armies; the order of their line of battle was regulated by the distinction of classes in the state. It is, therefore, natural to conclude, that the tactics of the Roman armies underwent important changes when the revolutions mentioned in the preceding chapters were effected, though we cannot trace the alterations with precision, because no historians appeared until the military system of the Romans had been brought to perfection.

3. The strength of the Tuscans consisted principally in their cavalry; and if we judge from the importance attributed to the equestrian rank in the earliest ages, we may suppose that the early Romans esteemed this force equally valuable. It was to Ser'vius Tul'lius, the great patron of the commonalty, that the Romans were indebted for the formation of a body of infantry, which, after the lapse of centuries, received so many improvements that it became invincible.

4. The ancient battle array of the Greeks was the phalanx; the troops were drawn up in close column, the best armed being in front. The improvements made in this system of tactics by Philip, are recorded in Grecian history; they chiefly consisted in making the evolutions of the entire body more manageable, and counteracting the difficulties which attended the motions of this cumbrous mass.

5. The Romans originally used the phalanx; and the lines were formed according to the classes determined by the centuries. Those who were sufficiently wealthy to purchase a full suit of armour, formed the front ranks; those who could only purchase a portion of the defensive weapons, filled the centre; and the rear was formed by the poorer classes, who scarcely required any armour, being protected by the lines in front. From this explanation, it is easy to see why, in the constitution of the centuries by Servius Tullius, the first class were perfectly covered with mail, the second had helmets and breast-plates but no protection for the body, the third, neither a coat of mail, nor greaves. 6. The defects of this system are sufficiently obvious; an unexpected attack on the flanks, the breaking of the line by rugged and uneven ground, and a thousand similar accidents exposed the unprotected portions of the army to destruction besides, a line with files ten deep was necessarily slow in its movements and evolutions. Another and not less important defect was, that the whole should act together; and consequently, there were few opportunities for the display of individual bravery.

7. It is not certainly known who was the great commander that substituted the living body of the Roman legion for this inanimate mass; but there is some reason to believe that this wondrous improvement was effected by Camil'lus. Every legion was in itself an army, combining the advantages of every variety of weapon, with the absolute perfection of a military division.

8. The legion consisted of three lines or battalions; the Hasta'ti, the Prin'cipes, and the Tria'rii; there were besides two classes, which we may likewise call battalions, the Rora'rii, or Velites, consisting of light armed troops, and the Accen'si, or supernumeraries, who were ready to supply the place of those that fell. Each of the two first battalions contained fifteen manip'uli, consisting of sixty privates, commanded by two centurions, and having each a separate standard (vexil'lum) borne by one of the privates called Vexilla'rius; the manip'uli in the other battalions were fewer in number, but contained a greater portion of men; so that, in round numbers, nine hundred men may be allowed to each battalion, exclusive of officers. If the officers and the troop of three hundred cavalry be taken into account, we shall find that the legion, as originally constituted, contained about five thousand men. The Romans, however, did not always observe these exact proportions, and the number of soldiers in a legion varied at different times of their history.[1]

9. A cohort was formed by taking a manipulus from each of the battalions; more frequently two manipuli were taken, and the cohort then contained six hundred men. The cavalry were divided into tur'mae, consisting each of thirty men.

10. A battle was usually commenced by the light troops, who skirmished with missile weapons; the hasta'ti then advanced to the charge, and if defeated, fell back on the prin'cipes; if the enemy proved still superior, the two front lines retired to the ranks of the tria'rii, which being composed of veteran troops, generally turned the scale. But this order was not always observed; the number of divisions in the legion made it extremely flexible, and the commander-in-chief could always adapt the form of his line to circumstances.

11. The levies of troops were made in the Cam'pus Mar'tius, by the tribunes appointed to command the legions. The tribes which were to supply soldiers were determined by lot, and as each came forward, the tribunes, in their turn, selected such as seemed best fitted for war. Four legions was most commonly the number in an army. When the selected individuals had been enrolled as soldiers, one was chosen from each legion to take the military oath of obedience to the generals; the other soldiers swore in succession, to observe the oath taken by their foreman.

12. Such was the sacredness of this obligation, that even in the midst of the political contests by which the city was distracted, the soldiers, though eager to secure the freedom of their country, would not attempt to gain it by mutiny against their commanders. On this account the senate frequently declared war, and ordered a levy as an expedient to prevent the enactment of a popular law, and were of course opposed by the tribunes of the people.

13. There was no part of the Roman discipline more admirable than their form of encampment. No matter how fatigued the soldiers might be by a long march, or how harassed by a tedious battle, the camp was regularly measured out and fortified by a rampart and ditch, before any one sought sleep or refreshment. Careful watch was kept during the night, and frequent picquets sent out to guard against a surprise, and to see that the sentinels were vigilant. As the arrangement in every camp was the same, every soldier knew his exact position, and if an alarm occurred, could easily find the rallying point of his division. To this excellent system Polyb'ius attributes the superiority of the Romans over the Greeks; for the latter scarcely ever fortified their camp, but chose some place naturally strong, and did not keep their ranks distinct.

14. The military age extended from the sixteenth to the forty-sixth year; and under the old constitution no one could hold a civic office who had not served ten campaigns. The horsemen were considered free after serving through ten campaigns, but the foot had to remain during twenty. Those who had served out their required time were free for the rest of their lives, unless the city was attacked, when all under the age of sixty were obliged to arm in its defence.

15. In the early ages, when wars were begun and ended in a few days, the soldiers received no pay; but when the conquest of distant countries became the object of Roman ambition, it became necessary to provide for the pay and support of the army. This office was given to the quaestors, who were generally chosen from the younger nobility, and were thus prepared for the higher magistracies by acquiring a practical acquaintance with finance.

16. The soldiers were subject to penalties of life and limb at the discretion of the commander-in-chief, without the intervention of a court-martial; but it deserves to be recorded that this power was rarely abused. 17. There were several species of rewards to excite emulation; the most honourable were, the civic crown of gold to him who had saved the life of a citizen; the mural crown to him who had first scaled the wall of a besieged town; a gilt spear to him who had severely wounded an enemy; but he who had slain and spoiled his foe, received, if a horseman, an ornamental trapping; if a foot soldier, a goblet.

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