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Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book IV Chapter 16: The Treason and Death of Spurius Maelius (Cont.)[439 BC]
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So far the dictator. He then gave orders for the house to be forthwith razed to the ground, that the place where it stood might be a perpetual reminder of impious hopes crushed. It was afterwards called the Aequimaelium. Lucius Minucius was presented with the image of a golden ox set up outside the Trigeminan Gate. As he distributed the corn which had belonged to Maelius at the price of one "as" per bushel, the plebs raised no objection to his being thus honoured. |
I find it stated in some authorities that this Minucius went over from the patricians to the plebeians and after being co-opted as an eleventh tribune quelled a disturbance which arose in consequence of the death of Maelius. It is, however, hardly credible that the senate would have allowed this increase in the number of the tribunes, or that such a precedent, above all others, should have been introduced by a patrician, or that if that concession had been once made, the plebs should not have adhered to it, or at all events tried to do so. But the most conclusive refutation of the lying inscription on his image is to be found in a provision of the law passed a few years previously that it should not be lawful for tribunes to co-opt a colleague.
Quintus Caecilius, Quintus Junius, and Sextus Titinius were the only members of the college of tribunes who did not support the proposal to honour Minucius, and they never ceased to attack Minucius and Servilius in turn before the Assembly and charge them with the undeserved death of Maelius. They succeeded in securing the creation of military tribunes instead of consuls at the next election, for they felt no doubt that for the six vacancies- that number could now be elected-some of the plebeians, by giving out that they would avenge the death of Maelius, would be elected. But in spite of the excitement amongst the plebeians owing to the numerous commotions through the year, they did not create more than three tribunes with consular powers; amongst them Lucius Quinctius the son of the Cincinnatus who as dictator incurred such odium that it was made the pretext for disturbances. Mamercus Aemilius polled the highest number of votes, Lucius Julius came in third.
Event: Treason of Spurius Maelius
|Domum deinde, ut monumento area esset oppressae nefariae spei, dirui extemplo iussit. Id Aequimaelium appellatum est. L. Minucius bove aurata extra portam Trigeminam est donatus, ne plebe quidem invita, quia frumentum Maelianum assibus in modios aestimatum plebi divisit. Hunc Minucium apud quosdam auctores transisse a patribus ad plebem, undecimumque tribunum plebis cooptatum seditionem motam ex Maeliana caede sedasse invenio; ceterum vix credibile est numerum tribunorum patres augeri passos, idque potissimum exemplum a patricio homine introductum, nec deinde id plebem concessum semel obtinuisse aut certe temptasse. Sed ante omnia refellit falsum imaginis titulum paucis ante annis lege cautum ne tribunis collegam cooptare liceret. Q. Caecilius Q. Iunius Sex. Titinius soli ex collegio tribunorum neque tulerant de honoribus Minuci legem et criminari nunc Minucium, nunc Seruilium apud plebem querique indignam necem Maeli non destiterant. Peruicerunt igitur ut tribunorum militum potius quam consulum comitia haberentur, haud dubii quin sex locis—tot enim iam creari licebat—et plebeii aliqui, profitendo se ultores fore Maelianae caedis, crearentur. Plebs quamquam agitata multis eo anno et variis motibus erat, nec plures quam tres tribunos consulari potestate creavit et in his L. Quinctium Cincinnati filium, ex cuius dictaturae invidia tumultus quaerebatur. Praelatus suffragiis Quinctio Mamercus Aemilius, vir summae dignitatis; L. Iulium tertium creant.|