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14. But not long after, when Marcius stood for the consulship,1 the multitude relented, and the people felt somewhat ashamed to slight and humble a man who was foremost in birth and valour and had performed so many and such great services. Now it was the custom with those who stood for the office to greet their fellow-citizens and solicit their votes, descending into the forum in their toga, without a tunic under it. This was either because they wished the greater humility of their garb to favour their solicitations, or because they wished to display the tokens of their bravery, in case they bore wounds. [2] It was certainly not owing to a suspicion of the dispensing of money in bribery that the candidate for the votes of the citizens was required to present himself before them without a tunic and ungirt. For it was long after this time that the buying and selling of votes crept in and money became a feature of the elections. [3] But afterwards, bribery affected even courts and camps, and converted the city into a monarchy, by making armies the utter slaves of money. For it has been well said that he first breaks down the power of the people who first feasts and bribes them. But at Rome the mischief seems to have crept in stealthily and gradually, and not to have been noticed at once. [4] For we do not know who was the first man to bribe her people or her courts of law; whereas at Athens, Anytus, the son of Anthemion, is said to have been the first man to give money to jurors, when he was on trial for the treacherous failure to relieve Pylos,2 toward the close of the Peloponnesian war; a time when the pure race of the golden age still possessed the Roman forum.

1 There is nothing of this candidacy for the consulship in Livy (ii. 34, 7-35). Marcius urges the senate to take advantage of the famine and exact from the plebeians a surrender of their tribunate. This so exasperates the people that they try Marcius in absentia and banish him, whereupon he goes over to the Volsci. Plutarch's story (xiv.-xx.) agrees closely with Dionysius Hal. vii. 21-64.

2 A stronghold on the western coast of Messenia, in Peloponnesus. It was occupied and successfully defended by the Athenians in 425 B.C. (Thuc. iv. 2-41). In 410, the Lacedaemonians laid siege to its Messenian garrison, which surrendered after an Athenian fleet had failed to relieve it (Diodorus, xiii. 64, 5f.).

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