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The consequence was, that when the Roman manners were such as these, the corn that Italy produced was sufficient for its wants, and it had to be indebted to no province for its food; and not only this, but the price of provisions was incredibly cheap. Manius Marcius, the ædile1 of the people, was the first who gave corn to the people at the price of one as for the modius. L. Minutius Augurinus,2 the same who detected, when eleventh tribune of the people, the projects of Spurius Mælius, reduced the price of corn on three market days,3 to one as per modius; for which reason a statue was erected in honour of him, by public subscription, without the Trigeminian Gate.4 T. Seius distributed corn to the people, in his ædileship,5 at one as per modius, in remembrance of which statues were erected in honour of him also in the Capitol and the Palatium: on the day of his funeral he was borne to the pile on the shoulders of the Roman people. In the year,6 too, in which the Mother of the Gods was brought to Rome, the harvest of that summer, it is said, was more abundant than it had been for ten years before. M. Yarro informs us, that in the year7 in which L. Metellus exhibited so many elephants in his triumphal procession, a modius of spelt was sold for one as, which was the standard price also of a congius of wine, thirty pounds' weight of dried figs, ten pounds of olive oil, and twelve pounds of flesh meat. Nor did this cheapness originate in the wide-spread domains of individuals encroaching continually upon their neighbours, for by a law proposed by Licinius Stolo, the landed property of each individual was limited to five hundred jugera; and he himself was convicted under his own law of being the owner of more than that amount, having as a disguise prevailed upon his son to lend him his name. Such were the prices of commodities at a time when the fortunes of the republic were rapidly on the increase. The words, too, that were uttered by Manius Curius8 after his triumphs and the addition of an immense extent of territory to the Roman sway, are well known: "The man must be looked upon," said he, "as a dangerous citizen, for whom seven jugera of land are not enough;" such being the amount of land that had been allotted to the people after the expulsion of the kings.

What, then, was the cause of a fertility so remarkable as this? The fact, we have every reason to believe, that in those days the lands were tilled by the hands of generals even, the soil exulting beneath a plough-share crowned with wreaths of laurel, and guided by a husbandman graced with triumphs: whether it is that they tended the seed with the same care that they had displayed in the conduct of wars, and manifested the same diligent attention in the management of their fields that they had done in the arrangement of the camp, or whether it is that under the hands of honest men everything prospers all the better, from being attended to with a scrupulous exactness. The honours awarded to Serranus9 found him engaged in sowing his fields, a circumstance to which he owes his surname.10 Cincinnatus was ploughing his four jugera of land upon the Vaticanian Hill—the same that are still known as the "Quintian Meadows,"11 when the messenger brought him the dictatorship—finding him, the tradition says, stripped to the work, and his very face begrimed with dust. "Put on your clothes," said he, "that I may deliver to you the mandates of the senate and people of Rome." In those days these messengers bore the name of "viator," or "wayfarer," from the circumstance that their usual employ- ment was to fetch the senators and generals from their fields.

But at the present day these same lands are tilled by slaves whose legs are in chains, by the hands of malefactors and men with a branded face! And yet the Earth is not deaf to our adjurations, when we address her by the name of "parent," and say that she receives our homage12 in being tilled by hands such as these; as though, forsooth, we ought not to believe that she is reluctant and indignant at being tended in such a manner as this! Indeed, ought we to feel any surprise were the recompense she gives us when worked by chastised slaves,13 not the same that she used to bestow upon the labours of warriors?

1 A.U.C. 298.

2 See B. xxxiv. c. 11. A.U.C. 317.

3 Nundinis.

4 On the road to Ostia. It was said to have received its name from the Horatii and Curiatii.

5 As A.U.C. 345.

6 A.U.C. 550. He alludes to the introduction of Cybele, from Pessinus in Galatia, in the Second Punic war.

7 A.U.C. 604. See B. viii. c. 6.

8 Manius Curius Dentatus, Consul a.u.c. 464.

9 A.U.C. 497.

10 From "sero," to sow. See the Æneid, B. vi. 1. 844, where this circumstance is alluded to.

11 "Prata Quintia." Hardouin says that in his time this spot was still called I Prati: it lay beyond the Tiber, between the vineyard of the Medici and the castle of Sant Angelo.

12 He alludes to the twofold meaning of the word "coli," "to be tilled," or "to receive homage from."

13 "Ergastulorum." The "Ergastula" were places of punishment attached to the country houses of the wealthy, for the chastisement of refractory slaves, who were usually made to work in chains.

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