2. T. Lartius
Flavus, brother of No. 1, consul B. C. 501, and again B. C. 498.
In this second consulship he took the town of Fidenae. (Dionys. A. R. 5.50
; Liv. 2.21
.) His deference to the senate is contrasted by Dionysius with the military arrogance of the Roman generals of his own age. In B. C. 498, ten years after the expulsion of the Tarquins, the curiae found it necessary to create a new magistracy, the dictatorship, limited indeed to six months, but within that period more absolute than the ancient monarchy, since there was no appeal from its authority. (Dict. of Ant. s. v. Dictator.
) T. Lartius Flavus was the first dictator (Dionys. A. R. 5.71
; Liv. 2.18
) : lie received the imperium from his colleague, appointed his master of the equites, held a census of the citizens, adjusted the differences of Rome with the Latins, and after presiding at the next consular comitia, laid down his office long before its term had expired. (Dionys. A. R. 5.76
According to one account (id. 6.1 ; comp. Liv. 2.8
), Lartius Flavus dedicated the temple of Saturn, or the Capitol on the Capitoline hill.
He was one of the envoys sent by the senate, B. C. 493, to treat with the plebs in their secession to the Sacred Hill (Dionys. A. R. 6.81
), and in the same year he served as legatus to the consul, Postumus Cominius, at the siege of Corioli. (Id. 92 ; Plut. Coriolan.
In a tumult of the plebs, arising from the pressure of debt, B. C. 494, Lartius recommended conciliatory measures (Liv. 2.29
), and this agrees with the character of him by Dionysius (ll. cc.
) as a mild and just man.