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Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book VII Chapter 4: Impeachment of Manlius.[362 BC]
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-- This did not, however, prevent his impeachment the following year, when Quintus Servilius Ahala and Lucius Genucius were consuls, the prosecutor being Marcus Pomponius, one of the tribunes of the plebs. He had incurred universal hatred through the unfeeling severity with which he had carried out the enlistment; the citizens had not only been fined, but subjected to personal ill-treatment, some scourged and others imprisoned because they had not answered to their names. But what men most loathed was his brutal temperament, and the epithet " Imperiosus" (masterful) which had been fastened on him from his unblushing cruelty, an epithet utterly repugnant to a free State. The effects of his cruelty were felt quite as much by his nearest kindred, by his own blood as by strangers. |
Amongst other charges which the tribune brought against him was his treatment of his young son. It was alleged that although guilty of no offence he had banished him from the City, from his home and household gods, had forbidden him to appear in public in the Forum or to associate with those of his own age, and had consigned him to servile work, almost to the imprisonment of a workshop. Here the youth, of high birth, the son of a dictator, was to learn by daily suffering how rightly his father was called "Imperiosus." And for what offence? Simply because he was lacking in eloquence, in readiness of speech! Ought not this natural defect to have been helped and remedied by the father, if there were a spark of humanity in him, instead of being punished and branded by persecution? Not even do brute beasts show less care and protection to their offspring if they happen to be sickly or deformed. But Manlius actually aggravated his son's misfortune by fresh misfortunes, and increased his natural dullness and quenched any faint glimmerings of ability which he might have shown by the clodhopper's life to which he was condemned and the boorish bringing up amongst cattle to which he had to submit.
Event: Impeachment of Manlius