What are we to say about those most honourable men and most excellent citizens, the Roman knights, who then combined with the senate in defence of the safety of the republic? What are we to say of the aerarian tribunes, 1 and of the men of all the other orders in the state, who then took up arms in defence of the common liberties of all?
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THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO IN DEFENCE OF CAIUS RABIRIUS, ACCUSED OF TREASON.
1 “The tribuni aerarii, who constituted an order in the latter days of the republic, and who were, in fact, the representatives of the most respectable plebeians, were originally heads of tribes, who acted as; general inspectors and collectors of the aes militare for the payment of the troops.” “The charge of the treasury was originally entrusted to the quaestors and their assistants, the tribuni aerarii.” “Niebuhr supposes that the tribuni aerani, who occur down to the end of the republic, were only the successors of the tribunes of the tribes.” Vide Smith, Dict. Ant. pp. 19, 20, 987, vv. Aerarii, Aerarium, Tribunus.
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