THE plebeians1 and Senate of Rome [in the olden time] were often at strife with each other concerning the enactment of laws, the cancelling of debts, the division of lands, or the election of magistrates. Internal discord did not bring them to blows, however; these were dissensions merely and contests within the law, which they composed by making mutual concessions, and with much respect for
Y.R. 260
each other. Once when the plebeians were going to a war
B.C. 494
they fell into such a controversy, but they did not use the weapons in their hands, but withdrew to the hill, which from this time on was called the Sacred Mount.2 Even then no violence was done, but they created a magistrate for their protection and called him the tribune of the plebs, to serve especially as a check upon the consuls, who were chosen by the Senate, so that the political power should not be exclusively in their hands. Whence arose still greater bitterness, and the magistrates were arrayed in stronger animosity to each other after this event, and the Senate and plebeians took sides with them, each believing that it would prevail over the other by augmenting the power of its own magistrates. In the midst of contests of this kind Marcius Coriolanus, having been banished contrary
Y.R. 262
to justice, took refuge with the Volsci and levied war
B.C. 492
against his country.

1 δῆμος. The Greek language uses this word for the whole body of free citizens. In Latin the word plebs was used for the commonalty and populus for the whole body of commonalty and aristocracy together. In this translation the word "people" will be used in all cases as the equivalent of δῆμος, except where a distinction between plebs and populus is necessary to a correct understanding of the text.

2 Cf. Livy, ii. 33, 34.

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