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1 XXXIII. To have the benefit of the law] “Lege uti.” The law here meant was the Papirian law, by which it was provided, contrary to the old law of the Twelve Tables, that no one should be confined in prison for debt, and that the property of the debtor only, not his person, should be liable for what he owed. Livy (viii. 28) relates the occurrence which gave rise to this law, and says that it ruptured one of the strongest bonds of credit.
4 Silver--was paid with brass] “Agentum ære solutum est.” Thus a sestertius, which was of silver, and was worth four asses, was paid with one as, which was of brass; or the fourth part only of the debt was paid. See Plin. H. N. xxxiii. 3; and Velleius Paterculus, ii. 23 ; who says, quadrantem solvi, that a quarter of their debts were paid by the debtors, by a law of Valerius Flaccus, when he became consul on the death of Marius.
5 Often--have the commonalty--seceded, etc.] "This happened three times: 1. To the Mons Sacer, on account of debt; Liv. ii. 32. 2. To the Aventine, and thence to the Mons Sacer, through the tyranny of Appius Claudius, the decemvir; Liv. iii. 50. 3. To the Janiculum, on account of debt; Liv. Epist. xi." Bernouf.
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