Cicero,   On the Republic

-   Book 2

Translated by C.W.Keyes (1928). The Latin text has survived mostly in a palimpsest, discovered in 1819, and because there is no complete manuscript, there are frequent gaps in the text. Click on the L symbols to go to the Latin text of each section. Click on ** to go to the translator's footnotes.

Book 1  

{1.} [1] L   All being on fire with eagerness to hear him, Scipio began as follows :  

What I am about to say is derived from the aged Cato, for whom, as you know, I cherished a singular affection and had the highest admiration. Indeed, I spent all my time with him from my youth up, following my own inclination as well as the advice of both my fathers; ** and I never could get enough of his conversation, so remarkable was his experience of public affairs, with which he had dealt both in peace and war with the greatest success and for a very long period, his observance of due measure in speaking, his union of charm with dignity, his zeal for either learning or teaching, and the complete harmony between his life and his words .   

[2] Cato used to say that our constitution was superior to those of other States on account of the fact that almost every one of these other commonwealths had been established by one man, the author of their laws and institutions ; for example, Minos in Crete, Lycurgus in Sparta, and in Athens, whose form of government had frequently changed, first Theseus, and later Dracon, Solon, Cleisthenes, and many others ; and last of all, when the State lay bloodless and prostrate, that learned man of Phalerum, Demetrius, revived it again. On the other hand our own commonwealth was based upon the genius, not of one man, but of many, it was founded, not in one generation, but in a long period of several centuries and many ages of men For, said he, there never has lived a man possessed of so great genius that nothing could escape him, nor could the combined powers of all the men living at one time possibly make all necessary provisions for the future without the aid of actual experience and the test of time .   

[3] L   Therefore, following  Cato's precedent, my discourse will now go back to "the origin of the Roman People," ** for I like to make use of his very words I shall, however, find my task easier if I place before you a description of our Roman State at its birth, during its growth, at its maturity, and finally in its strong and healthy state, than if I should follow the example of Socrates in Plato's work ** and myself invent an ideal State of my own.   

{2.} [4] When all had signified their approval, he continued . What State's origin is so famous or so well known to all men as the foundation of this city by Romulus ? He was the son of Mars (for we may grant that much to the popular tradition, especially as it is not only very ancient, but has been wisely handed down by our ancestors, who desired that those who have deserved well of the commonwealth should be deemed actual descendants of the gods, as well as endowed with godlike qualities), and after his birth they say that Amulius, the Alban king, fearing the overthrow of his own royal power, ordered him, with his brother Remus, to be exposed on the banks of the Tiber. There he was suckled by a wild beast from the forest, and was rescued by shepherds, who brought him up to the life and labours of the countryside. And when he grew up, we are told, he was so far superior to his companions in bodily strength and boldness of spirit that all who then lived in the rural district where our city now stands were willing and glad to be ruled by him. After becoming the leader of such forces as these (to turn now from fable to fact), we are informed that with their assistance he overthrew Alba Longa, a strong and powerful city for those times, and put King Amulius to death. **  

[5] L   After doing this glorious deed he conceived the plan, it is said, of founding a new city, if favourable auspices were obtained, and of establishing a commonwealth. As regards the site of his city - a matter which calls for the most careful foresight on the part of one who hopes to plant a commonwealth that will endure - he made an incredibly wise choice. For he did not build it down by the sea, though it would have been very easy for him, with the men and resources at his command, to invade the territory of the Rutuli and the Aborigines, or he might have founded his city on the mouth of the Tiber, where King Ancus planted a colony many years later. ** But with remarkable foresight our founder perceived that a site on the sea-coast is not the most desirable for cities founded in the hope of long life and extended dominion, primarily because maritime cities are exposed to dangers which are both manifold and impossible to foresee. [6] For the mainland gives warning of the coming of the foeman, whether this be unexpected or expected, by means of many signs, and by what I may call a sort of rumbling din, the bare sound of moving men ; nor can any enemy come upon us by land so swiftly that we are not able to learn not only that he is present, but also who he is and whence he comes. But a seafaring, ship-borne enemy can arrive before anyone is able to suspect that he is coming, and when he arrives he does not disclose who he is or whence he comes or even what his intentions are - in short, not even a single mark, showing whether he be friend or foe, can be made out and passed judgment upon.  

{4.} [7] L   Maritime cities also suffer a certain corruption and degeneration of morals ; for they receive a mixture of strange languages and customs, and import foreign ways as well as foreign merchandise, so that none of their ancestral institutions can possibly remain unchanged. Even their inhabitants do not cling to their dwelling places, but are constantly being tempted far from home by soaring hopes and dreams , and even when their bodies stay at home, their thoughts nevertheless fare abroad and go wandering. In fact, no other influence did more to bring about the final overthrow of Carthage and Corinth, ** though they had long been tottering, than this scattering and dispersion of their citizens, due to the fact that the lust for trafficking and sailing the seas had caused them to abandon agriculture and the pursuit of arms. [8] Many things too that cause ruin to states as being incitements to luxury are supplied by the sea, entering either by capture or import ; and even the mere delightfulness of such a site brings in its train many an allurement to pleasure through either extravagance or indolence. And what I said of Corinth may perhaps be said with truth of the whole of Greece ; for even the Peloponnese is almost in its entire extent close to the sea, and there is no people in it except the Phliasians whose territory does not touch the sea; and outside the Peloponnese the Aenianes, the inhabitants of Doris, and the Dolopes are the only peoples who lie at a distance from the sea. Why should I speak of the islands of Greece ? For surrounded as they are by the billows, not only they themselves but also the customs and institutions of their cities can be said to be afloat. [9] L   The situation of the Greek homeland is what I have described; of all the colonies, on the other hand, which have been sent out by the Greeks to Asia, Thrace, Italy, Sicily, and Africa, which, except Magnesia alone, is not washed by the waves ? Indeed it seems as if the lands of the barbarians had been bordered round with a Greek sea-coast ; for none of the barbarians themselves were originally seafaring peoples except the Etruscans and the Phoenicians, the latter for purposes of trade and the former as pirates. Clearly the cause of the evils and the revolutions to which Greece has been subject is to be traced to those disadvantages which I have just mentioned briefly as peculiar to maritime cities But nevertheless with all these disadvantages they possess one great advantage - all the products of the world can be brought by water to the city in which you live, and your people in turn can convey or send whatever their own fields produce to any country they like.  

{5.} [10] How, then, could Romulus have acted with a wisdom more divine, both availing himself of all the advantages of the sea and avoiding its disadvantages, than by placing his city on the bank of a never-failing river whose broad stream flows with unvarying current into the sea ? Such a river enables the city to use the sea both for importing what it lacks and for exporting what it produces in superfluity; and by means of it likewise the city can not only bring in by sea but also obtain from the land, carried on its waters, whatever is most essential for its life and civilization. ** Consequently it seems to me that Romulus must at the very beginning have had a divine intimation that the city would one day be the seat and hearthstone of a mighty empire ; for scarcely could a city placed upon any other site in Italy have more easily maintained our present widespread dominion .    

{6.} [11] L   As to the natural defences of the city itself, who is so unobserving as not to have a clear outline of them imprinted upon his mind ? The line and course of its walls were wisely planned by Romulus and the kings who succeeded him, being so placed on the everywhere steep and precipitous hillsides that the single approach which lies between the Esquiline and the Quirinal hills was girt about by a huge rampart facing the foe and by a mighty trench , and our citadel was so well fortified by the sheer precipices which encompass it and the rock which appeals to be cut away on every side that it remained safe and impregnable even at the terrible time of the advent of the Gauls. ** In addition, the site which he chose abounds in springs and is healthful, though in the midst of a pestilential region ; for there are hills, which not only enjoy the breezes but at the same time give shade to the valleys below.   

{7.} [12] And Romulus accomplished all this very quickly; for after founding the city, which by his command was called Rome after his own name, in order to strengthen the new commonwealth he adopted a plan winch, though original and somewhat savage in character, yet for securing the prosperity of his kingdom and people revealed a great man who even then saw far into the future. For when Sabine maidens of honourable lineage had come to Rome on the occasion of the Consualia, ** to witness the games whose annual celebration in the circus he had just instituted, he ordered their seizure and married them to young men of the most prominent families. [13] L   When the Sabines, thus provoked, made war on the Romans, and the fortunes of the conflict were various and its issue doubtful, Romulus made a treaty with Titus Tatius, the Sabine king, the stolen women themselves petitioning that this be done. By this treaty he not only added the Sabines to the body of Roman citizens, giving them participation in the religious rites of the State, but also made their king a partner in his royal power. **    

{8.} [14] But after the death of Tatius, when all the powers of government reverted to Romulus, although Tatius had been associated with him when he chose a royal council consisting of the most eminent men (who were called "Fathers" on account of the affection felt for them), and when he divided the people into three tribes (named after himself, after Tatius, and after his ally Lucumo, ** who had been killed in the Sabine War), and also into thirty curiae (which he named after the stolen Sabine maidens who had pleaded for a treaty of peace) - although these arrangements had been made during the lifetime of Tatius, yet after this king's death Romulus had paid even greater deference in his conduct of the government to the influence and advice of the Fathers.   

{9.} [15] L   It was after he had adopted this policy that Romulus first discovered and approved the principle which Lycurgus had discovered at Sparta a short time before - that a State can be better governed and guided by the authority of one man, that is by the power of a king, if the influence of the State's most eminent men is joined to the ruler's absolute power. Accordingly, supported and guarded by such a body of advisers, to which we may give the name of "Senate" ** he waged many wars against his neighbours with the greatest good fortune, and, though he brought none of the booty to his own home, he never ceased enriching his people. [16] He also gave complete obedience to the auspices, a custom which we still observe to the great security of the State. For he not only took the auspices himself when he founded the city - an act that was the beginning of our commonwealth ** - but also, before the performance of any public act, he chose augurs, one from each tribe, to act with him in taking the auspices. He also divided the plebeians up among the prominent citizens, who were to be their patrons (the usefulness of which arrangement I shall consider later), and punished the guilty, not by doing violence to their persons, but by the infliction of fines consisting of sheep and cattle , for wealth at that time consisted of domestic animals { pecus } and the ownership of places { loci } and from these two kinds of property we get our words "wealthy" { pecunosus } and "rich" { locuples }.   

{10.} [17] L   And after Romulus had reigned thirty-seven years, and established those two excellent foundations of our commonwealth, the auspices and the senate, his great achievements led to the belief that, when he disappeared during a sudden darkening of the sun, ** he had been added to the number of the gods ; indeed such an opinion could never have gotten abroad about any human being save a man pre-eminently renowned for virtue. [18] And the case of Romulus is all the more remarkable because all other men who are said to have become gods lived in ruder ages when there was a great inclination to the invention of fabulous tales, and ignorant men were easily induced to believe them; but we know that Romulus lived less than six hundred years ago, at a period when writing and education had long been in existence, and all those mistaken primitive ideas which grew up under uncivilized conditions had been done away with. For if, as we learn from the annals of the Greeks, Rome was founded in the second year of the seventh Olympiad, ** the life of Romulus fell in a period when Greece already abounded in poets and musicians, and when small credence was given to fables, except in regard to events of a much earlier time. For the first Olympiad ** is placed one hundred and eight years after Lycurgus began to write his laws, though some, deceived by a name, think that the Olympiads were instituted by this same Lycurgus. But Homer, according to the least estimate, lived about thirty years before Lycurgus. ** [19] L   Hence it is clear that Homer lived a great many years before Romulus, so that in the lifetime of the latter, when learned men already existed and the age itself was one of culture, there was very little opportunity for the invention of fables. For whereas antiquity would accept fabulous tales, sometimes even when they were crudely fabricated, the age of Romulus, which was already one of culture, was quick to mock at and reject with scorn that which could not possibly have happened.   

{ A few lines are lost. The following passage is fragmentary and its restoration is uncertain. It seems probable, however, that Scipio mentioned several Greek poets who lived in the period under consideration, ending the list with Simonides . }   

[20] . . . his grandson through his daughter, as some said in the very year of his death, in the fifty-sixth Olympiad , ** Simonides was born, so that it is easy to see that the period in which the story of Romulus' immortality gamed credence was one in which human life had become a matter of old experience, and men had already reflected upon it and ascertained its nature. And yet certainly there was in Romulus such conspicuous ability that men believed about him, on the authority of that untutored peasant Proculus Julius, that which for many ages before they had not believed about any human being. For we are told that this Proculus, at the instigation of the senators, who wanted to free themselves from all suspicion in regard to Romulus' death, stated before a public assembly that he had seen Romulus on the hill now called Quirinal; and that Romulus had charged him to ask the people to build him a shrine on that hill, as he was now a god and was called Quirinus .  

{11.} [21] L   Do you not perceive, then, that by the wisdom of a single man a new people was not simply brought into being and then left like an infant crying in its cradle, but was left already full-grown and almost in the maturity of manhood ?    

Laelius. We do indeed perceive this, and also that you on your part have entered upon a new style of discussion, one that is nowhere employed in the writings of the Greeks. For that eminent Greek, ** whose works have never been surpassed, began with the assumption of an unoccupied tract of land, so that he might build a State upon it to suit himself. His State may perhaps be an excellent one, but it is quite unsuited to men's actual lives and habits. [22] His successors ** have discussed the different types of State and their basic principles without presenting any definite example or model. But you, I infer, mean to combine these two methods , for you have approached your subject as if you preferred to give the credit for your own discoveries to others rather than, following the example of Socrates in Plato's work, to invent a new State yourself; and in what you have said about the site of your State you are referring to a definite principle the things done by Romulus either by chance or necessity; and, in the third place your discussion does not wander about, but confines itself to a single State. Therefore continue as you have begun, for I think I can foresee, as you follow the reigns of the succeeding kings, the State's progress toward perfection.    

{12.} [23] L   Scipio. Well, then, when the senate of Romulus, which consisted of the most eminent men, and had been so much favoured by the king that he desired its members to be called "Fathers" and their children "patricians", ** - when this senate attempted, after the death of Romulus, to rule the State by itself, dispensing with a king, the people would not tolerate it, but, in their affectionate longing for Romulus, continually thereafter demanded a king.   

Then that body of leading men with great wisdom devised a plan which was entirely new and had never been heard of in any other State - the interregnum. ** Their purpose was that, until a permanent king was chosen, the State should neither be without a king nor yet subject to any one king who should hold office for a long time ; and that the State should not be put into such a position that any man, growing accustomed to power, might become either too reluctant to lay aside the royal prerogative or too well entrenched for holding it. [24] For even at that period the new nation perceived a fact that had escaped the Spartan Lycurgus ; for it was his thought that the king should be, not one freely chosen (assuming that the power of Lycurgus could have extended as far as that), but one retained in power, whatever sort of man he might chance to be, if he were but the offspring of the stock of Hercules. Yet our ancestors, rustics though they even then were, saw that kingly virtue and wisdom, not royal ancestry, were the qualities to be sought.    

{13.} [25] L   And since Numa Pompilius had the reputation of being pre-eminent in these qualities, the people themselves, by the advice of the Fathers, passed over their own citizens and chose a foreigner as their king, inviting this man, a Sabine of Cures, to come to Rome and rule over them. When he arrived, although the people had already chosen him king in the assembly of the curiae, he nevertheless of his own accord caused another curiate law, to be passed confirming him in his royal authority. And seeing that, as a result of their mode of life under Romulus, the Romans were filled with ardour for the pursuit of war, he thought it best to discourage that propensity to some slight extent.     

{14.} [26] And first of all he divided up among the citizens the land which Romulus had won by conquest, giving each man a share, and showed them that by the cultivation of their farms they could have an abundance of all manner of possessions without resort to pillage or plunder. Thus he implanted in them a love for peace and tranquillity, which enable justice and good faith to flourish most easily, and under whose protection the cultivation of the land and the enjoyment of its products are most secure. Pompilius also instituted the "greater auspices," added two augurs to the original number, and put five pontiffs, selected from the most eminent citizens, in charge of the religious rites , and by the introduction of religious ceremonial, through laws which still remain on our records, he quenched the people's ardour for the warlike life to which they had been accustomed. He also appointed flamens, Salii, and Vestal Virgins, ** and established all the branches of our religion with the most devout solicitude. [27] L   He desired that the proper performance of the rites themselves should be difficult, but that the equipment necessary for them should be easily obtainable, for he provided that much should be learned by heart and scrupulously observed, but made the expenditure of money unnecessary. ** Thus he made the performance of religious duties laborious but not costly. He also established markets, games, and all sorts of other occasions for the gathering of large numbers. By the institution of such customs as these he turned toward benevolence and kindliness the thoughts of men who had become savage and brutish through their passion for war. Thus, when he had reigned for thirty-nine years ** in complete peace and harmony (to follow as our chief authority our friend Polybius, who is unsurpassed in chronological accuracy), he died, after having established the two elements which most conspicuously contribute to the stability of a State - religion and the spirit of tranquillity    

{15.} [28] At this point in Scipio's discourse Manilius said : Is there really a tradition, Africanus, that this King Numa was a pupil, or at least a follower, of Pythagoras ? For we have often heard this statement made by our elders and are aware that it is commonly believed, and yet we are quite certain that it cannot be definitely proved by reference to our official records .   

Scipio. This story is entirely false, Manilius, and not merely an invention, but an ignorant and absurd one as well. For falsehoods are indeed intolerable which are not merely obvious inventions, but even relate what we know could not possibly have happened. For it has been ascertained that, in the fourth year of the reign of Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, Pythagoras visited Sybaris and Croton and the neighbouring parts of Italy ; for the accession of Superbus and the arrival of Pythagoras are both recorded to have fallen in the same Olympiad, the sixty-second . ** [29] L   From this fact, by adding up the reigns of all the kings, we can see that Pythagoras came to Italy for the first time about one hundred and forty years after Numa's death ; ** and there never has been any doubt about this in the minds of those who have made a careful study of the chronological records.    

Manilius. Ye immortal gods ! What a blunder to pass current so long ! Yet I am not sorry that we Romans got our culture, not from arts imported from overseas, but from the native excellence of our own people    

{16.} [30] Scipio. Yet you will be able to realize this more easily if you watch our commonwealth as it advances, and, by a route which we may call Nature's road, finally reaches the ideal condition. Nay more, you will deem our ancestors' wisdom worthy of praise for the very reason that, as you will learn, even of those institutions that have been bon owed from abroad, many have been improved by us until they are much better than they were in the countries from which we obtained them and where they had their origin. And you will learn that the Roman People has grown great, not by chance, but by good counsel and discipline, though to be sure fortune has favoured us also.    

{17.} [31] L   After the death of King Pompilius the people, in their curiate assembly presided over by an interrex, chose Tullus Hostilius as their king, and he followed the example of Pompilius by consulting the people, in the same curiate assembly, ** in regard to his possession of the royal power. This king excelled in military skill and mighty deeds of war; he built and walled in, from the proceeds of the sale of his spoils, a meeting-place for the popular assemblies and one for the senate ; and he formulated rules for the declaration of war. He consecrated this eminently just code, which he himself had originated, by means of the fetial rites, ** so that any war which had not been declared and announced should be considered unjust and impious. And that you may take note how wisely even our early kings perceived that certain rights should be granted to the people (a subject on which I shall have a deal to say later), observe that Tullus did not venture to assume even the insignia of royalty without the permission of the people. For, that he might be allowed to be preceded by twelve lictors carrying the rods . . .    

{ About fifteen lines are lost. According to St Augustine ( De Civ Dei III, 15) the lost passage included the statement that, though Tullus Hostilius was killed by a stroke of lightning, it was not rumoured, as in the case of Romulus, that he had been taken up into heaven, perhaps because the Romans were unwilling that their first king should share this honour with another. } **   

{18.} [33] L   . . . for the commonwealth, according to the account you have begun to give of it, is not creeping but flying toward the ideal condition.    

Scipio. To succeed him ** Ancus Martius, grandson of Numa Pompilius through his daughter, was chosen king by the people, and he too caused a curiate law to be passed confirming his royal authority After conquering the Latins in war he incorporated them in the Roman State ; he also added the Aventine and Caelian Hills to the city, divided among the citizens the territory he had conquered, made all the forests along the sea-coast, which he had obtained by conquest, public property, built a city at the mouth of the Tiber, ** and settled it with colonists. And so, after a reign of twenty-three years, ** he died.    

Laelius. Truly a praiseworthy king ! But the history of Rome is indeed obscure if we know who this king's mother was, but are ignorant of his father's name !  

Scipio. That is true , but of that period very little more than the names of the kings has been handed down to us with any definiteness .   

{19.} [34] Still it was at this time that the commonwealth appeals first to have become familiar with an alien system of education. For it was indeed no little rivulet that flowed from Greece into our city, but a mighty river of culture and learning. For we are told that a certain Demaratus of Corinth, easily pre-eminent in his own city in rank, influence, and wealth, fled with his great riches, not being able to endure the tyranny of Cypselus at Corinth, and came to Tarquinii, the most prosperous city of Etruria. And when he heard that the despotism of Cypselus was firmly established, this bold lover of liberty became a permanent exile from his country, and, being received as a citizen at Tarquinii, made his home there. When his Tarquinian wife had borne him two sons, he educated them in all the arts in accordance with the Greek system . . .  

{ About ten lines are lost. In what follows Lucius Tarquinius, the son of Demaratus, is referred to. }    

{20.} [35] L   . . . having easily obtained citizenship, [Lucius] became the friend of King Ancus on account of his geniality and great learning , and they were so intimate that he was believed to share all the king's counsels and to be almost a sharer in the throne In addition, he possessed gieat personal charm, and he showed the greatest kindness in granting help and assistance, protection, and even pecuniary aid, to all the citizens. Therefore, when Marcius died, the people by a unanimous vote elected Lucius Tarquinius king (for he had in this manner modified his Greek name, that he might appear to he adopting the customs of his new country in every respect). After having caused a law to be passed confirming his royal authority, he first of all doubled the original number of senators, and gave to those who had previously been called "Fathers" the title of "senators of the greater families" (these were always asked for their opinion first), and those whom he himself had added he designated "senators of the lesser families." [36] Then he established that organization of the knights which we still retain ; but though he desired to change the names of the Ramnes, Tities, and Luceres, ** he was unable to do so, because the celebrated augur Attus Navius would not consent to it. I understand that the Corinthians also were given to the practice of supplying their knights with horses owned by the State, and feeding them, from contributions exacted from widows and orphan. ** At any rate Lucius added new cavalry organizations to the old ones, making a total of 1800 horse, thus doubling the original number. Later he conquered the Aequi, a powerful and warlike nation which threatened the welfare of the Roman people, and also drove the Sabines from the walls of the city, routed them with his cavalry, and finally conquered them completely. Tradition also informs us that he instituted those great games called "Roman" ; ** that, in the war with the Sabines, he made a vow during a battle to build a temple to Jupiter the Greatest and Best on the Capitoline Hill; and that he died after a reign of thirty-eight years. **   

{21.} [37] L   Laelius. Now we have further proof of the accuracy of Cato's statement that the foundation of our State was the work neither of one period nor of one man; for it is quite clear that every king contributed many good and useful institutions But the one who comes next, in my opinion, had a better understanding of the government of a State than any of the rest.  

Scipio. Quite true; for Servius Tullius followed Tarquinius ; he, according to tradition, was the first to hold the royal power without being chosen by the people. They say that his mother was a slave in the household of Tarquinius, and his father one of the king's dependents. Though he was brought up as a slave, and served the king's table, yet the spark of genius, which shone even then in the boy, did not remain unnoticed, so capable was he in every duty and in every word he spoke. On this account Tarquinius, whose children were still very young, became so fond of Servius that the latter was popularly regarded as his son; and the king took the greatest care to have him educated in all the branches which he himself had studied, in accordance with the most careful practice of the Greeks.   

[38] But when Tarquinius was killed by a plot formed by the sons of Ancus, Servius began to rule, as I have said, without being formally chosen by the people, but with their goodwill and consent. For the false report was given out that Tarquinius, though ill from his wound, was still alive; and Servius, assuming the royal garb, pronounced judgments, freed debtors at his own expense, and acting with great affability, convinced the people that he was administering justice by the orders of Tarquinius. He did not put himself in the senate's power, but, after the burial of Tarquinius, consulted the people himself in regard to his own power, and, when they had bidden him to be king, caused a curiate law to be passed confirming his royal authority. At the very beginning of his reign he made war on the Etruscans and avenged the wrongs of which they were guilty. From this [war] . . .   

{ About fifteen lines are lost After the gap we find Scipio describing the reforms of King Servius, particularly the institution of the centuriate assembly. }    

{22.} [39] . L   . . eighteen of the greatest wealth. Then after choosing a large number of knights out of the whole people, Servius divided the rest of the citizens into five classes, and separated the older from the younger. He made this division in such a way that the greatest number of votes belonged, not to the common people, but to the rich, and put into effect the principle which ought always to be adhered to in the commonwealth, that the greatest number should not have the greatest power. If his system were not well known to you, I should describe it, but you are already aware that the arrangement is such that ** the centuries of knights with their six votes, and the first class, with the addition of the century composed of the carpenters on account of their great usefulness to the city, make up a total of 89 centuries. Now if, out of a total of 104 centuries - for that is the number left - only eight centuries should adhere to the 89, the whole power of the people would be exerted. And the remaining 96 centuries, which contain a large majority of the citizens, would neither be deprived of the suffrage, for that would be tyrannical, nor be given too much power, for that would be dangerous. [40] In this arrangement Servius was careful even in his use of titles and names, for he called the rich "money-givers," ** because they paid the expenses of the State, and named those who had less than 1500 denarii or nothing at all except their own persons, "child-givers," ** to give the impression that offspring, that is to say, the progeny of the State, were to be expected from them. A number of individuals which was almost larger than that contained in the whole first class was placed in every one of the 96 centuries of this proletarian class. Thus, while no one was deprived of the suffrage, the majority of votes was in the hands of those to whom the highest welfare of the State was the most important. And indeed the official messengers, the auxiliary troops, the trumpeters and buglers, the proletarians . . ,    

{ About thirty lines are lost, of which the following fragment may be a part. At the end of the gap Carthage is referred to. }  

{23.} [41] L   . . . [I consider] the best constitution for a State to be that which is a balanced combination of the three forms mentioned, kingship, aristocracy, and democracy, and does not irritate by punishment a rude and savage heart . .    

[42] . . . sixty-five years older, for it was founded in the thirty-ninth year before the first Olympiad ** And Lycurgus, who lived in very ancient times, had almost the same idea. This equalized system, this combination of three constitutions, is in my opinion common to those nations and to ours. But the unique characteristic of our own commonwealth - the most splendid conceivable - I shall describe more completely and accurately, if I can, because nothing like it is to be found in any other State. For those elements which I have mentioned were combined in our State as it was then, ** and in those of the Spartans and Carthaginians, in such a way that there was no balance among them whatever. [43] L   For in a State where there is one official who holds office for life, particularly if he be a king, even if there is a senate, such as existed at Rome under the monarchy and at Sparta under the code of Lycurgus, and even if the people possess some power, as they did under our kings - in spite of these facts the royal power is bound to be supreme, and such a government is inevitably a monarchy and will inevitably be so called. And this form of government is the most liable of all to change, because one man's vices can overthrow it and turn it easily toward utter destruction. For not only is the kingship in itself not at all reprehensible, but I am inclined to consider it by far the best of the simple forms of government - if I could approve any of the simple forms - but only so long as it retains its true character. But it does that only when the safety, equal lights, and tranquillity of the citizens are guarded by the life-long authority, the justice, and the perfect wisdom of a single ruler. To be sure a nation ruled by a king is deprived of many things, and particularly of liberty, which does not consist in serving a just master, but in [serving] no [master at all] . . .  

{ About fifteen lines are lost. At the end of the gap the reign of Tarquinius Superbus is being cited as an example of the degeneration of monarchy. }    

{24.} [44] . . .They bore [the tyranny of Tarquinius nevertheless ;] for even that unjust and cruel master occasionally enjoyed good fortune in his undertakings. Indeed, he conquered the whole of Latium and took the prosperous city of Suessa Pometia with its vast wealth, winning thereby an enormous store of gold and silver, with which he paid his father's vow by building the Capitol ; ** he also planted colonies, and, following the example of his ancestors, sent magnificent gifts - an offering of the first-fruits, as it were, of his booty - to Apollo at Delphi   

{25.} [45] L   At this point begins that orbit of development with whose natural motion and circular course you must become acquainted from its beginning. For the foundation of that political wisdom which is the aim of our whole discourse is an understanding of the regular curving path through which governments travel, in order that, when you know what direction any commonwealth tends to take, you may be able to hold it back or take measures to meet the change   

Now this king ** of whom I am speaking, his hands being stained with the blood of a most excellent king, ** did not begin his reign with a clear conscience, and as he was himself in fear of suffering the extreme penalty for his crime, he wished to make himself feared by others. Later, relying upon his victories and his wealth, he became swollen with pride and was unable to control either his own conduct or the lustful desires of his family. [46] Wherefore, when his elder son violated Lucretia, the daughter of Tricipitinus and wife of Collatinus, and this noble and virtuous woman inflicted the death penalty upon herself as a result of the outrage, Lucius Brutus, a man pre-eminent for wisdom and bravery, freed his fellow-citizens from the unjust yoke of cruel servitude.    

And though Brutus was only a private citizen, he sustained the whole burden of the government, and was the first in our State demonstrate that no one is a mere private citizen when the liberty of his fellows needs protection. On his initiative and under his leadership the people, aroused not only by the bitter complaints, still fresh in their memories, of Lucretia's father and kinsmen, but also by their own recollection of the pride of Tarquinius and the many acts of injustice committed by him and his sons, banished the king himself, his children, and the whole race of the Tarquinii. **    

{26.} [47] L   Do you not see, therefore, how a king was transformed into a despot, and how a good form of government was changed into the worst possible form through the fault of one man? For here we have a master over the people, whom the Greeks call a tyrant; for they maintain that the title of king should be given only to a ruler who is as solicitous for the welfare of his people as is a father for his children, and maintains in the best possible conditions of life those over whom he is set. Such a government is truly a good one, as I have said, but nevertheless it inclines, and, I may almost say, naturally tends, toward the condition which is the most depraved of all. [48] For as soon as this king turned to a mastery less just than before, he instantly became a tyrant, and no creature more vile or horrible than a tyrant, or more hateful to gods and men, can be imagined ; for, though he bears a human form, yet he surpasses the most monstrous of the wild beasts in the cruelty of his nature. For how could the name of human being rightly be given to a creature who desires no community of justice, no partnership in human life with his fellow-citizens - aye, even with any part of the human race? But we shall find a more suitable point in our discourse for the consideration of this subject; when the very course of events constrains us to condemn those who, even after the liberation of the State, have sought despotic power. 

{27.} [49] L   Here, then, you have the origin of the tyrant; for that is the title given by the Greeks to an unjust king, while we Romans have always given the name of king to all who exercise for life sole authority over a nation Thus, for example, it has been said that Spurius Cassius, Marcus Manlius, and Spurius Maelius attempted to win the kingship, and recently [ Tiberius Gracchus ] . . .  

{ About fifteen lines are lost. Lycurgus is evidently the subject of the sentence which follows. }    

{28.} [50] [Lycurgus] called [this body gerontes ** ] at Sparta; but it was a very small number of men, twenty-eight in fact, who according to his plan were to have the supreme authority in counsel, while the king held the supreme executive power. And our ancestors, imitating his example and translating the title he used, gave the name of "senate" ** to the body which he had called "old men" ; this was done by Romulus himself, as we have said, after he had chosen the Fathers Yet the power, authority, and very title of the king stand out supreme in such a State. Grant some power to the people also, as did both Lycurgus and Romulus ; you will not give them their fill of liberty, but merely excite their appetite for it, when you permit them to do no more than taste its flavour. And all the while there weighs heavily upon their hearts the fear that an unjust king may arise, as indeed often happens. The fortune of any people is therefore a fragile thing, as I have explained already, when it depends on the will or the character of one man .   

{29.} [51] L   Therefore we may consider that the first form and variety of tyranny, and its way of coming into being, have come to light in this State of ours which Romulus founded after taking the auspices, and not in the commonwealth described by Socrates, as Plato tells us in his famous peripatetic discourse. ** For, just as happened in the case of Tarquinius, the tyrant overthrows the whole monarchical constitution, not by seizing any new powers, but by his misuse of the powers he already possesses. With him we may place in contrast that other type of ruler, the good, wise, and skilful guardian and protector, as one may say, of the practical interests and of the self-respect of the citizens of the State; for these are titles which will be granted to one who is truly the guide and pilot of a nation. See to it that you are able to recognize such a man, for he is one who can maintain the safety of the State both by counsel and by action. As, however, this subject has not been very fully treated so far in our conversation, and as this type of man will have to be considered rather often later in our discourse, [we shall say no more of him at the present time.]    

{ About four pages are lost. Plato is the subject of the sentence which follows. }  

{30.} [52] . . . has sought for . . . and has created a State of a kind that is to be desired rather than hoped for - one of the smallest size, not such as to be actually possible, but in which it might be possible to see the workings, of his theory of the State. As for me, however, I shall endeavour, if I am able to accomplish my purpose, employing the same principles which Plato discerned, yet taking no shadowy commonwealth of the imagination, but a real and very powerful State, to seem to you to be pointing out, as with a demonstrating rod, the causes of every political good and ill.    

Now after these two hundred and forty years of monarchy ** (or a little longer, if one included the periods of interregnum), when Tarquinius had been banished, the title of king came to be as bitterly hated by the Romans as it had been longingly desired after the death, or rather the departure, of Romulus. Hence, just as then they could not bear to be without a king, so now, after the banishment of Tarquinius, they could not bear even to hear the title of king mentioned .   

{ About five pages are lost, of which the following fragment may be a part; a further clue to the contents of the lost passage may possibly be found in St Augustine, De Civ. Dei V, 12. According to this passage Cicero perhaps went on to say that the Romans substituted two supreme magistrates with annual tenure of office, and with an inoffensive title { consul, here derived from consulere, to consult } for the king { rex, here connected with regno , to reign }. }    

{31.} [53] L   . . . Thus that excellent constitution of Romulus, after maintaining itself firmly for about two hundred and twenty years . . .   

. . . that law was entirely abolished. It was on account of this feeling that our ancestors banished the unoffending Collatinus at that time, on account of the suspicion caused by his relationship, ** and all the other Tarquinii, on account of the hatred felt for the name. Another manifestation of the same spirit was the institution by Publius Valerius of the custom of ordering the rods ** to be lowered when he began to speak before the people ; also the fact that he moved the site of his house to the foot of the Velian Hill when he noticed that popular suspicion was aroused because he had begun to build on the very spot on the top of that hill where King Tullius had resided. It was the same man who, by an act whereby he shows himself in the highest sense "the people's friend," ** proposed to the citizens that first law passed by the centuriate assembly, which forbade any magistrate to execute or scourge a Roman citizen in the face of an appeal. [54] The records of the pontiffs, however, state that the right of appeal, even against a king's sentence, had been previously recognized, and our augural books confirm the statement. Besides, many laws of the Twelve Tables ** show that an appeal from any judgment or sentence was allowed , and the tradition that the decemvirs who wrote the laws were elected with the provision that there should be no appeal from their decision shows clearly enough that other officials were subject to this right of appeal. And a law proposed by the consuls Lucius Valerius Potitus and Marcus Horatius Barbatus, ** men who wisely favoured popular measures to preserve peace, provides that no magistrate not subject to appeal shall be elected. Nor indeed did the Porcian laws, ** which, as you know, are three in number and were proposed by three different members of the Porcian family, add anything new to previous statutes except the provision of a penalty for violations.    

[55] L   Thus Publicola, as soon as that law of his in regard to the right of appeal was passed, ordered the axes to be removed from the bundle of rods ; and the next day he caused Spurius Lucretius to be elected as his colleague and ordered his own lictors to be transferred to Spurius as his senior in age. Publicola also introduced the rule that the lictors should precede each consul alternately for one month, so that the insignia of executive power might not be more numerous in the free State than they had been under the monarchy. In my opinion, it was a man of no ordinary talents who, by granting the people a moderate amount of liberty, the more easily maintained the power of the leaders of the State.    

Now it is not without a definite purpose that I am reviewing events so ancient and remote, but I am taking my standards of character and action, to which the rest of my discourse must conform, from distinguished men and famous periods of om own history.   

{32.} [56] Well then, at the period of which I have been speaking, the government was so administered by the senate that, though the people were free, few political acts were performed by them, practically everything being done by the authority of the senate and in accordance with its established customs, and that the consuls held a power which, though only of one year's duration, was truly regal in general character and in legal sanction.   Another principle that was most important to the retention of the power by the aristocracy was also strictly maintained, namely, that no act of a popular assembly should be valid unless ratified by the Fathers. ** It was in the same period that the dictatorship was also instituted, Titus Larcius, the first dictator, being appointed about ten years after the election of the first consuls. ** This office was looked upon as embodying an entirely new sort of executive power which was very close to that of a king. Yet the whole government was kept, with the people's consent, in the strong hands of the aristocracy, and in those times mighty deeds of war were done by the brave men who held the supreme power either as dictators or as consuls.    

{33.} [57] L   But after a short period, in about the sixteenth year of the republic, in the consulship of Postumus Cominius and Spurius Cassius, an event occurred which in the nature of things was bound to happen : the people, freed from the domination of kings, claimed a somewhat greater measure of rights. Such a claim may have been unreasonable, but the essential nature of the commonwealth often defeats reason. For you must keep in mind a fact which I mentioned at the beginning : unless there is in the State an even balance of rights, duties, and functions, so that the magistrates have enough power, the counsels of the eminent citizens enough influence, and the people enough liberty, this kind of government cannot be safe from revolution. [58] For at a time when the State was troubled by debt, the plebeians seized first the Sacred Mount, and then the Aventine Hill. And indeed not even the disciplinary system of Lycurgus was able to hold his subjects, though they were Greeks, under bridle and bit ; for, in Sparta also, in the reign of Theopompus, the five officials called ephors, and in Crete the ten so-called kosmoi, were set up in opposition to the royal authority, just as at Rome the plebeian tribunes were chosen to counterbalance the power of the consuls. **    

{34.} [59] L   Perhaps our ancestors, to relieve the pressure of debt, might have used some such method as that ** which Solon the Athenian, who lived only a short time before, had not failed to discover, and which came to our own senate's notice some time later ; for then, on account of one man's lust, ** all those citizens who had been enslaved for debt were released, and such enslavement was no longer permitted , and always, when the plebeians have been so weakened by the expenditures brought on by a public calamity that they give way under their burden, some relief or remedy has been sought for the difficulties of this class, for the sake of the safety of the whole body of citizens. But at the time of which I have been speaking such measures had not been taken, and thus the people were given an occasion, through the creation of two plebeian tribunes by means of an insurrection, for curtailing the power and influence of the senate. This power, however, remained great and respected, because the wisest and bravest still guided the State by arms and counsel, and their influence continued to be supreme because, while they surpassed the masses in preferment, they had a smaller share of the pleasures of life, and in property were not, as a rule, better off than their fellows. And the public services of every patrician were the more highly esteemed because they scrupulously made it their practice to aid individual citizens most liberally in their private difficulties by action, advice, and financial support.    

{35.} [60] When the State was in this situation, Spurius Cassius, ** who enjoyed the greatest popularity, plotted to make himself king. The quaestor accused him of the crime (you have heard the story), and, when the father of Spurius testified that he knew him to be guilty, put him to death with the approval of the people. Later, about the fifty-fourth year after the election of the first consuls, the centuriate assembly passed that popular law regulating fines and amounts deposited in court, this law having been proposed by the consuls Spurius Tarpeius and Aulus Aternius. ** Twenty years later, because the censors Lucius Papirius and Publius Pinarius had transferred, by the imposition of fines, a large number of cattle from private to public ownership, a method of appraising cattle that lightened the fines was introduced, in a law proposed by the consuls Gaius Julius and Publius Papirius . **    

{36.} [61] L   But several years before this, when the senate held supreme authority with the compliance and consent of the people, a plan was adopted whereby both the consuls and the plebeian tribunes should resign their offices, and a board of ten, possessing very great powers and not subject to the right of appeal, should be elected; and they were not only to exercise the supreme executive power but also to draw up a code of law . ** When these men had composed, with the greatest justice and wisdom, ten tables of the law, they caused another board of ten to be elected in their stead for the following year , but the honour and justice of these latter have not been praised so highly. One member of this college, however, Gaius Julius, deserves the highest praise , for, after stating that he himself had seen a corpse dug up in the chamber of Lucius Sestius, a man of high rank, although Julius himself held the supreme power, because no appeal was permitted from the sentence of any decemvir, he merely demanded that Lucius give bail for his appearance, explaining that he would not violate that excellent law which forbade a Roman citizen to be tried for his life except before the centuriate assembly.   

{37.} [62] A third year of the decemvirate followed, the same decemvirs continuing in office, and being unwilling to have others elected in their stead. While the government was in this situation (which, as I have stated repeatedly, can never last long, because it is not fair to all classes in the State), the whole commonwealth was in the hands of the leading citizens, there being ten eminent men in command, with no plebeian tribunes to oppose them, no other magistrates whatever in office, and not even any right of appeal to the people against execution or scourging. [63] L   Consequently, as a result of the injustice of these rulers, there was a great insurrection, followed by a complete change in the government. For the decemvirs had added two tables of unjust laws, among which was one that most cruelly prohibited intermarriage between plebeians and patricians, though this privilege is usually permitted even between citizens of different States ; this was later repealed by the Canuleian Law, ** a decree of the plebeian assembly. These decemvirs also indulged in licence in all their governmental acts, and in cruelty and greed toward the people. The story of Decimus Verginius is of course well known, being recorded in many of the greatest works of our literature : how, after killing his virgin daughter with his own hand in the forum on account of the mad lust of one of these decemvirs, he fled weeping to the army, then encamped on Mount Algidus ; whereupon the soldiers abandoned the war in which they were engaged and [occupied under arms] at first the Sacred Mount, as they had done before for a similar reason, and later the Aventine Hill ** . . .    

{ About three pages are lost, of which the following short fragment may be a part. }   

. . . Lucius Quinctius being appointed dictator ** . . .    

. . . [which,] in my opinion, [our ancestors] approved most fully and retained most wisely.    

{38.} [64] After Scipio had spoken thus, everyone was silent in expectation that he would continue. Finally Tubero said : Since my elders here make no further demands on you, Africanus, I will tell you what I should like you to add to your discourse.    

Scipio. Certainly , I shall be glad to hear.    

Tubero. It seems to me that you have praised our own commonwealth, though Laelius asked you to discuss, not our own State, but the State in general. And yet I have not learned from your discourse by what training, customs, or laws we shall be able to establish or to preserve the kind of commonwealth you yourself recommend.    

{39.} [65] L   Scipio. I think, Tubero, we shall soon find a more suitable point in our conversation at which to consider the formation and preservation of States ; but as far as the ideal State is concerned, I thought I had given an adequate response to the inquiry of Laelius. For in the first place I defined the three commendable types of States and the three bad types which are their opposites. Next I demonstrated that no single one of these types is the ideal, but that a form of government which is an equal mixture of the three good forms is superior to any of them by itself. [66] As for my using our own State as a pattern, I did so, not to help me to define the ideal constitution (for that could be done without using any pattern at all), but in order to show, by illustrations from the actual history of the greatest State of all, what it was that reason and speech were striving to make clear. But if you inquire as to the nature of the ideal State in itself, without reference to a pattern furnished by any people, we must make use of a model supplied by nature, since you [are not satisfied with] our present model for a city and a people . . .    

{ A passage of considerable but uncertain length is lost. After the gap Scipio appears to be discussing the ideal statesman. }   

{40.} [67] L   Scipio. . . . whom I have long been seeking and am anxious to discover.    

Laelius. Perhaps it is a man of good sense that you seek ?   

Scipio. Exactly.   

Laelius. You have a goodly supply of such among those now present ; you might begin with yourself, for example,   

Scipio. And indeed I only wish there were as high an average of good sense in the senate as a whole ! However, that is also a man of good sense who rides upon a huge and monstrous beast ** (a sight we have often met with in Africa) and guides this animal in whatever direction he wishes by gentle word or touch.   

Laelius. I remember seeing this frequently when I was an officer under your command    

Scipio. Well, that Indian or Carthaginian governs a single animal which is gentle and accustomed to the ways of man , but that power which is hidden in men's minds and forms a part of them, and is called reason, controls and subdues not merely one animal, or one which is easily mastered - that is, if it ever does accomplish that which is rarely possible; for that fierce [beast] also must be held in check . . . ?    

{ A page or more is lost, from which the short fragments in 41 may be quoted. Scipio continues his description of the ideal statesman in 42. }  

{41.} [68] . . . [a beast] which feeds on blood; which takes such delight in every sort of cruelty that it can hardly be sated even by the merciless slaughter of men . . .    

. . . but to one who is greedy and acquisitive and lustful, and who wallows in sensual pleasure . . .  

. . . and, in the fourth place, anxiety, prone to sorrow, ever grieving and torturing itself . . .   

. . . to have been afflicted by anguish and suffering, or degraded by fear and cowardice . . .    

. . . as an untrained charioteer is dragged from his chariot, trampled, lacerated, crushed . . .   

{42.} [69] L   Scipio. . . . might be said.    

Laelius. I now understand what duty and function ** you would entrust to the sort of man I was seeking.    

Scipio. Of course he should be given almost no other duties than this one (for it comprises most of the others) - of improving and examining himself continually, urging others to imitate him, and furnishing in himself, as it were, a mirror to his fellow-citizens by reason of the supreme excellence of his life and character. For just as in the music of harps and flutes or in the voices of singers a certain harmony of the different tones must be preserved, the interruption or violation of which is intolerable to trained ears, and as this perfect agreement and harmony is produced by the proportionate blending of unlike tones, so also is a State made harmonious by agreement among dissimilar elements, brought about by a fair and reasonable blending together of the upper, middle, and lower classes, just as if they were musical tones. What the musicians call harmony in song is concord in a State, the strongest and best bond of permanent union in any commonwealth , and such concord can never be brought about without the aid of justice.    

{ A passage of uncertain length is lost. In it, according to St Augustine (De Civ. Dei II, 21), when Scipio had spoken further of the importance of justice in a State and the unfortunate results of its absence, Philus asked that this question be considered more fully, and that justice be taken up at greater length, because it was a common opinion that the government of a State cannot be carried on without injustice. }    

{44.} [70] . . . to be full of justice.    

Scipio. I agree with you, and wish to assure you that we must consider all the statements we have made so far about the commonwealth as amounting to nothing, and must admit that we have no basis whatever for further progress, unless we cannot merely disprove the contention that a government cannot be earned on without injustice, but are also able to prove positively that it cannot be carried on without the strictest justice. However, with your permission, we shall go no further today, but shall put off what remains (for that is a considerable amount) until tomorrow.    

This proposal being agreed to, they made an end of the conversation for that day.    

Book 3 →  



(1)   i.e., his father, Lucius Aemilius Paulus, and his adoptive father, Publius Cornelius Scipio, son of Scipio Africanus Maior.

(2)   A reference to Cato's historical work, the Origines.

(3)   The Republic.

(4)   Compare Livy I, 4-6. 

(5)   i.e., he might have chosen a site on the coast (1) directly south of Rome, near Laurentum or Ardea, or (2) on the spot where Ostia was placed later. 

(6)   Both these cities were taken by Rome in 146 B.C. 

(7)   The text of this sentence is uncertain, but the general meaning is clear. 

(8)   390 B.C. is the date according to the usual Roman tradition , the Greek writers put it three or four years later. 

(9)   A festival to the harvest god Consus, who seems later to have been confused with Neptune. 

(10)   Compare Livy I, 9 and 13. 

(11)   The three tribes were called Ramnes ( Ramnenses , Ramnetes), Tities ( Titienses ), and Luceres ( Lucerenses ). The actual origin of the names is uncertain. Compare Livy I, 13 . 

(12)   Senatus is derived from senex, "old man". 

(13)   Compare Livy I, 6-7.

(14)   See Book I, 25. 

(15)   i.e., 751 B.C. The traditional dates for the founding of Rome differed greatly. 

(16)   In 776 B.C. 

(17)   Cicero here dates Lycurgus in 884 B.C. and Homer in 914 B.C. or earlier. 

(18)   The 56th Olympiad = 556-553 B.C. The traditional date of the birth of Simonides of Ceos is 556 B.C., and, as it was believed that Simonides' birth and the death of Stesichorus fell in the same year, these are probably the persons referred to. 

(19)   Plato , the reference in what follows is to the Republic. 

(20)   Aristotle, Theophrastus, etc. (Compare Cicero, De Divin. II, 3 ; De Leg . Ill, 13-14. ) 

(21)   Cicero derives patricii (patricians) from patres (fathers). 

(22)   See Livy I, 17.

(23)   For the institution of these priestly offices, compare Livy I, 20. 

(24)   Compare De Leg II, 19 and 25. 

(25)   Livy (I, 21) gives the length of his reign as 43 years. 

(26)   Olympiad 62 = 532-529 B.C. 

(27)   Numa's death is thus placed about 672 B.C. ; from the length of his reign and that of Romulus given above it would fall about 675 B.C. 

(28)   Literally, " curia by curia. " 

(29)   The fetiales were a college of priests with ritual duties connected with international relationships, particularly declarations of war and treaties of peace.

(30)   Compare Livy's account of the reign of Tullius Hostilius (I, 22 — 31 , see 31 for his death). 

(31)   i.e., Tullius Hostilius. 

(32)   Ostia ("Rivermouth"), the seaport of Rome. 

(33)   Compare Livy I, 32—33. 

(34)   See section 14.  

(35)   Compare Livy I, 43, 9. 

(36)   See Livy I, 35. 

(37)   Compare Livy I, 34-38. 

(38)   The text on which the remainder of this sentence, and the one which follows, depend, is uncertain. Therefore the details are in doubt, but the general principle is clear; namely, that this assembly was to be so constituted that the upper classes, though in the minority, controlled a majority of the centuries. 

(39)   Cicero derives assiduus from as, a coin, and do, give. Compare Aulus Gellius XVI, 10, 15. 

(40)   Cicero derives proletarius from proles, offspring.

(41)   i.e., Carthage was founded 815 B.C., being about 65 years older than Rome 

(42)   i.e., in the time of the kingship The elements referred to are the royal, aristocratic, and democratic. 

(43)   See Livy I, 55. 

(44)   Tarquinius Superbus. 

(45)   Servius Tullius. 

(46)   For the story of the rape of Lucretia and the deposition of Tarquinius, see Livy I, 57-60. 

(47)   i.e., old men 

(48)   See section 15. 

(49)   Plato's Republic . For the tyrant, see VIII, 565— IX, 580.

(50)   i.e., 751-509.

(51)   i.e., the relationship of Lucius Tarquinius Collatinus to the expelled king. Compare Livy II, 2. 

(52)   Compare Book I, section 62. Traditional date, 509 B.C.  

(53)   His cognomen Publicola or Poplicola is here given its literal meaning ( populus , people, and colo, to cultivate, favour) 

(54)   According to tradition the code composed by the decemvirs ; see section 61. 

(55)   Traditional date, 449 B.C. ; compare Livy III, 55. 

(56)   Compare Livy X, 9 , Cicero, Pro Rabirio 12. The first of these Porcian Laws is perhaps to be dated in 199 or 195 B.C. 

(57)   i.e., the patrician senators. 

(58)   Compare Livy II, 18. Traditional date, 498 B.C. 

(59)   Traditional date, 494 B.C. 

(60)   The text is corrupt and the meaning uncertain. 

(61)   Lucius Papirius is referred to. See Livy VIII, 28. 

(62)   According to tradition, about 485 B.C. 

(63)   Traditional date, 454 B.C. See Dionys Halic., Antiq. Rom. X, 50. The origin of this use of the word sacramentum is doubtful ; see Harper's Latin Dictionary, and Daremberg et Saglio, Dictionnaire des Antiquités IV, 952-955. 

(64)   Traditional date, 430 B.C. ; compare Livy IV, 30. 

(65)   See Livy III, 35 - 37. The traditional date usually given is 451 B.C. 

(66)   Traditional date, 445 B.C. 

(67)   Traditional date, 449 B.C. 

(68)   Traditional date, 458 B.C. 

(69)   The elephant. 

(70)   i.e., the work of the ideal statesman.

Book 3

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