This shall be thy task, to impose the ways of peace, to spare the vanquished, and to tame the proud by war. The consuls, when they are present in Rome, govern all the people and all the officers except the tribunes, they report to the Senate on all matters and enter the embassy to the Senate, oversee the execution of enactments, summon the national assembly, make proposals, execute orders, have unlimited authority in military affairs, may punish any person in the military camp and spend public funds at their discretion. When any illustrious person dies, he is carried in procession with the rest of the funeral pomp, to the rostra in the forum; sometimes placed conspicuous in an upright posture; and sometimes, though less frequently, reclined. Students will gain from my narrative a clearer view of the whole story and of the numerous and important advantages which such an exact record of events offers. . Now there are two ways by which every kind of government is destroyed; either by some accident that happens from without, or some evil that arises within itself. They introduce foreign ambassadors to the Senate; bring matters requiring deliberation before it; and see to the execution of its decrees.
If any one escapes, yet he is not saved. And if what I say appears incredible to any of my readers, let them consider that the present writer was fully aware that Romans, more than any other peoples would take his books into their hands — because the most splendid and numerous achievements recorded therein belong to them; and that with them the truth about the facts could not possibly be unknowns nor the author of a falsehood expect any indulgence. But in regard to the Romans it is neither an easy matter to describe their present state, owing to the complexity of their constitution; nor to speak with confidence of their future, from our inadequate acquaintance with their peculiar institutions in the past whether affecting their public or their private life. Their method of laying out a camp is as follows. The consuls, before leading out the legions, remain in Rome and are supreme masters of the administration. First, as they were of a slender make, and always trembled in the hand, it not only was extremely difficult to direct them with exactness towards the destined mark; but very frequently, even before their points had reached the enemy, the greatest part of them were shaken into pieces by the bare motion of the horses. He then threw up works round the city of Drepana and made other preparations for besieging it.
Similarly, again, when any one man stands out as the champion of all in a time of danger, and braves with firm courage the onslaught of the most powerful wild beasts, it is probable that such a man would meet with marks of favor and pre-eminence from the common people; while he who acted in a contrary way would fall under their contempt and dislike. Greeks at this time believed that the strength of a is manifested in the strength of its constitution. On the upper and lower edges it is bound with iron to resist the downward strokes of the sword and the wear of resting upon the ground. The same duty is performed, in the same manner likewise, among the allies, by the officers who are called prefects. Therefore, for all these reasons the Senate stands in awe of the multitude, and cannot neglect the feelings of the people.
From each of these several sorts of soldiers, the youngest alone excepted, ten men of distinguished merit are first selected; and after these, ten more. Then kingship and despotism were alike entirely abolished, and aristocracy once more began to revive and start afresh. But among the Romans it is a rare thing to detect a man in the act of committing such a crime. So then we enumerate six forms of government — the three commonly spoken of which I have just mentioned and three more allied forms: I mean despotism, oligarchy and mob rule. The Military Institutions of the Romans: As soon as the consuls are declared, the military tribunes are next appointed. The wood of the javelins is of the length of two cubits, and of the thickness of a finger. It is competent to them to impose on the allies such levies as they think good, to appoint the Military Tribunes, to make up the roll for soldiers and select those that are suitable.
They wear likewise upon their heads some simple sort of covering; such as the skin of a wolf, or something of a similar kind; which serves both for their defense, and to point out also to the commanders those particular soldiers that are distinguished either by their bravery or want of courage in the time of action. And thus the several orders, of which the state is framed, are forced always to maintain their due position: being partly counter-worked in their designs; and partly also restrained from making any attempt, by the dread of falling under that authority to which they are exposed. For as a living creature is rendered wholly useless if deprived of its eyes, so if you take truth from History, what is left is but an idle, unprofitable tale. And as this state of things goes on more and more, the desire of office and the shame of losing reputation, as well as the ostentation and extravagance of living, will prove the beginning of a deterioration. For besides the magnificence of her dress and carriage, the baskets, cups, and such implements for the sacrifice, which were carried in her train, were all of silver or gold on great occasions; and the number of maidservants and other domestics that made up her train was in proportion to this splendour.
But if they subsequently become displeased with their descendants, they do not any longer decide their choice of rulers and kings by their physical strength or brute courage; but by the differences of their intellectual and reasoning faculties, from practical experience of the decisive importance of such a distinction. No pretense of accident is at any time allowed to those that are enrolled; nor any excuse admitted, in opposition to their oath, to discharge them from appearing on the day prescribed; unless some auspices should intervene, or some disaster happen, which renders their attendance absolutely impracticable. Annual elections were conducted to elect new representatives to head the government. And this reputation for goodness did not depend so much on the amount of the money, as on the seasonableness of the gift and the graciousness with which it was bestowed. She left a large fortune, to which he was heir, and which gave him the first opportunity of giving a proof of his principles.
The same remarks apply to what follows. And Publius, by always in like manner instilling into the minds of the vulgar an opinion of his acting on some divine suggestion in the formation of his designs, caused those under his command to confront dangerous services with greater courage and cheerfulness. I think, therefore, that it will be in place here to try and make my readers understand, as far as words can do so, the Roman tactics in regard to the march agmen , the camp castrorum metatio , and the line of battle acies. It was also one of the few places in which free political discussion could take place. The early years of the Republic were a time of external strife and periodic popular unrest.
The external admits of no certain or fixed definition, but the internal follows a definite order. In this case the shape of the camp becomes an oblong, the area double, and the length of the entire agger half as much again. The royal power was prevented from growing insolent by fear of the people, which had also assigned to it an adequate share in the constitution. The equality of the democrat decays to the greed of the mob. After electing the consuls they proceed to elect military tribunes — fourteen from those who had five years', and ten from those who had ten years', service. The perpetual succession of hard-fought struggles was at last driving them to despair.
This is why I have fixed upon this era as the starting-point of my work. If the whole number are given in, they are dismissed without question; but if any of them brings a number less than that of the pickets, an investigation is made by means of the mark on the tessera, as to which picket he has omitted. Polybius makes further distinction in the forms of government by including the nefarious counterparts to the ones mentioned above; , , and. If he detects misstatement in the latter, he may then feel certain that ignorance accounts for the former; but if what he says is accurate, his omissions ought to be attributed to deliberated judgment and not to ignorance. The king's children, raised to power, become too corrupt and arrogant for the community to tolerate. I will illustrate the truth of what I say.