1. M. Duilius
, was tribune of the plebs in B. C. 471, in which year the tribunes were for the first time elected in the comitia of the tribes.
In the year following, M. Duilius and his colleague, C. Sicinus, summoned Appius Claudius Sabinus, the consul of the year previous, before the assembly of the people, for the violent opposition he made to the agrarian law of Sp. Cassius. [CLAUDIUS, No. 2.] Twenty-two years later, B. C. 449, when the commonalty rose against the tyranny of the decemvirs, he acted as one of the champions of his order, and it was on his advice that the plebeians migrated from the Aventine to the Mons Sacer. When the decemvirs at length were obliged to resign, and the commonalty had returned to the Aventine, M. Duilius and C. Sicinus were invested with the tribuneship a second time, and Duilius immediately proposed and carried a rogation, that consuls should be elected, from whose sentence an appeal to the people should be left open.
He then carried a plebiscitum, that whoever should leave the plebs without its tribunes, or create any magistrate without leaving an appeal to the people open against his verdicts, should be scourged and put to death. M. Duilius was a noble and high-minded champion of his order, and acted throughout that turbulent period with a high degree of moderation and wisdom.
He kept the commonalty as well as his more vehement colleagues within proper bounds, for after sentence had been passed on the decemvirs, and when the tribunes appeared to wish to carry their revenge still further, Duilius declared that there had been enough punishment and hostility, and that, in the course of that year, he would not allow any fresh accusation to be brought forward, nor any person to be thrown into prison.
This declaration at once allayed the fears of the patricians. When the tribunes for the next year were to be elected, the colleagues of Duilius agreed among themselves to continue in office for another year; but Duilius, who happened to preside at the election, refused to accept any votes for the reelection of his colleagues. They were obliged to submit to the law, and M. Duilius resigned his office and withdrew. (Liv. 2.58
; Diod. 11.68
; Dionys. A. R. 11.46
; Cic. de Re Publ.