Then through an interrex Lucius Valerius and Marcus Horatius were elected consuls, who immediately entered on their office; whose consulship was popular without any ac- [p. 226]
tual injury to the patricians, though not without their displeasure;
for whatever provision was made for securing the liberty of the commons, that they considered to be a diminution made in their own power.
First of all, when it was as it were a point in controversy, whether patricians were bound by regulations enacted in an assembly of the commons, they proposed a law in the assembly of the centuries, that whatever the commons ordered collectively, should bind the entire people; by which law a most keen-edged weapon was given to motions introduced by tribunes.
Then another law made by a consul concerning the right of appeal, a singular security to liberty, and subverted by the decemviral power, they not only restore, but guard it also for the time to come, by enacting a new law, “that no one should appoint any magistrate without a right of appeal;
if any person should so elect, it would be lawful and right that he be put to death; and that such killing should not be deemed a capital offence.”
And when they had sufficiently secured the commons by the right of appeal on the one hand, by tribunitian aid on the other, they renewed for the tribunes themselves (the privilege) that they should be held sacred and inviolable, the memory of which matter had now been almost lost, reviving certain ceremonies which had been long disused;
and they rendered them inviolable both by the religious institution, as well as by a law, enacting, that “whoever should offer injury to tribunes of the people, aediles, judges, decemvirs, his person should be devoted to Jupiter, and his property be sold at the temple of Ceres, Liber and Libera.”
Commentators deny that any person is by this law sacrosanct; but that he who may do an injury to any of them, is deemed to be devoted;
therefore that an aedile may be arrested and carried to prison by superior magistrates, which, though it be not expressly warranted by law, for an injury is done to a person to whom it is not lawful to do an injury according to this law, yet it is a proof that an aedile is not considered as sacred;
that the tribunes were sacred and inviolable by an ancient oath of the commons, when first they created that office.
There have been persons who supposed that by this same Horatian law provision was made for the consuls also and the praetors, because they were elected under the same auspices as the consuls; for that a consul was called a judge.
Which interpretation is [p. 227]
refuted, because at this time it was not yet the custom for the consul to be styled judge, but the praetor.
These were the laws proposed by the consuls. It was also regulated by the same consuls, that decrees of the senate should be deposited with the aediles of the commons in the temple of Ceres; which before that used to be suppressed and altered at the pleasure of the consuls.
Marcus Duilius then, tribune of the commons, proposed to the people, and the people ordered, that “whoever left the people without tribunes, and whoever caused a magistrate to be elected without the right of appeal, should be punished with stripes and beheaded.”
All these matters, though against the feelings of the patricians, passed off without opposition from them, because no severity was aimed at any particular individual.