previous next

[8] They who wish the administration of justice still to remain in the hands of the senatorial body, complain that they cannot procure proper accusers; those who are able to act as accusers, complain of the want of impartiality in the decisions. In the meantime the Roman people, although it suffers under many disadvantages and difficulties, yet desires nothing in the republic so much as the restoration of the ancient authority and importance to the courts of law. It is from a regret at the state of our courts of law that the restoration of the power of the tribunes 1 is so eagerly demanded again. It is in consequence of the uncertainty of the courts of law, that another class 2 is demanded to determine law-suits; owing to the crimes and infamy of the judges, even the office of censor, which formerly was used to be accounted too severe by the people, is now again demanded, and has become popular and praiseworthy.


1 Sulla in his reform of the constitution on the early aristocratic principles, left to the tribunes only the jus auxiliandi, but deprived them of the right of making legislative or other proposals either to the senate or to the comitia without having previously obtained the sanction of the Senate. But this arrangement did not last, for Pompeius restored them to their former rights. Smith, Dict. Ant. p. 990, v. Tribunis.

2 Caius Gracchus had procured a law to be passed, that the Roman knights should be the judges; and they acted as such for forty years. After his victory over Marius, Sulla made a law that the judges should be selected from the senate. This arrangement had lasted ten years with the effect mentioned here by Cicero; and Aurelius Cotta was at this time proposing a law that the judges should be taken from the senators, knights, and tribuni aerarii, jointly.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Latin (Albert Clark, William Peterson, 1917)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Visualize the most frequently mentioned Pleiades ancient places in this text.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide References (1 total)
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (1):
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: