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[136]

But to return to the question of the vindication of the public rights, which the priests themselves have always adapted not only to their own ceremonies, but also to the commands of the people. You have a statement in your records, that Caius Cassius the censor consulted the pontifical college about dedicating the statue of Concord, and that Marcus Aemilius, the Pontifex Maximus, answered him on behalf of the college, that unless the Roman people had appointed him by name to superintend that business, it did not appear to them that the statue could properly be consecrated. What more? When Licinia,—a vestal virgin, a woman of the highest rank, and invested with the most holy of all priesthoods,—in the consulship of Titus Flamininus and Quintus Metellus, had dedicated an altar, and a little chapel, and a cushion at the foot of the sacred rock; did not Sextus Julius the praetor refer that matter to this college, in obedience to the authority of the senate? when Publius Scaevola, the Pontifex Maximus, answered on behalf of the college, “that what Licinia, the daughter of Caius, had dedicated in a public place without the authority of the people, did not appear to be holy.” And with what impartiality and with what diligence the senate annulled that act, you will easily see from the words of the resolution of the senate. Read the resolution of the senate. [The resolution of the senate is read.]


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