Front Matter The Lady Roma The She-Wolf The Twin Boys Numitor's Grandson The Sacred Birds The Founding of Rome The Sabine Maidens The Tarpeian Rock The Mysterious Gate The King Disappears The Peace-Loving King Horatius Slays His Sister Pride of Tullus Hostilius King Who Fought and Prayed The Faithless Friend A Slave Becomes a King Cruel Deed of Tullia Fate of the Town of Gabii Books of the Sibyl Industry of Lucretia Death of Lucretia Sons of Brutus Horatius Cocles Mucius Burns Right Hand The Divine Twins The Tribunes Coriolanus and His Mother The Roman Army in a Trap The Hated Decemvirs The Death of Verginia The Friend of the People Camillus Captures Veii The Statue of the Goddess Schoolmaster Traitor Battle of Allia The Sacred Geese The City Is Rebuilt Volscians on Fire Battle on the Anio The Curtian Lake Dream of the Two Consuls The Caudine Forks Caudine Forks Avenged Fabius among the Hills Battle of Sentinum Son of Fabius Loses Battle Pyrrhus King of the Epirots Elephants at Heraclea Pyrrthus and Fabricius Pyrrhus is Defeated Romans Build a Fleet Battle of Ecnomus Roman Legions in Africa Regulus Taken Prisoner Romans Conquer the Gauls The Boy Hannibal Hannibal Invades Italy Hannibal Crosses the Alps Battle of Trebia Battle of Lake Trasimenus Hannibal Outwits Fabius Fabius Wins Two Victories Battle of Cannae Despair of Rome Defeat of Hasdrubal Claudius Enjoy a Triumph Capture of New Carthage Scipio Sails to Africa Romans Set Fire to Camp Hannibal Leaves Italy The Battle of Zama Scipio Receives a Triumph Flamininus in Garlands Death of Hannibal Hatred of Cato for Carthage The Stern Decree Carthaginians Defend City Destruction of Carthage Cornelia, Mother of Gracchi Tiberius and Octavius Death of Tiberius Gracchus Death of Gaius Gracchus The Gold of Jugurtha Marius Wins Notice of Scipio Marius Becomes Commander Capture of Treasure Towns Capture of Jugurtha Jugurtha Brought to Rome Marius Conquers Teutones Marius Mocks the Ambassadors Metellus Driven from Rome Sulla Enters Rome The Flight of Marius Gaul Dares Not Kill Marius Marius Returns to Rome The Orator Aristion Sulla Besieges Athens Sulla Fights the Samnites The Proscriptions of Sulla The Gladiators' Revolt The Pirates Pompey Defeats Mithridates Cicero Discovers Conspiracy Death of the Conspirators Caesar Captured by Pirates Caesar Gives up Triumph Caesar Praises Tenth Legion Caesar Wins a Great Victory Caesar Invades Britain Caesar Crosses Rubicon Caesar and the Pilot The Flight of Pompey Cato Dies Rather than Yieldr Caesar is Loaded with Honours Nobles Plot against Caesar The Assassination of Caesar Brutus Speaks to Citizens Antony Speaks to Citizens The Second Triumvirate Battle of Philippi Death of Brutus Antony and Cleopatra Battle of Actium Antony and Cleopatra Die Emperor Augustus

Story of Rome - Mary Macgregor

The Tribunes

The people of Rome were divided into two great classes, the patricians or nobles, the plebeians or common people.

After the death of Tarquin the Proud, the patricians began to oppress the plebeians even more than they had done in the time of the kings.

Sometimes the poor were forced to borrow from the rich, and the rich, although they lent their money, demanded such heavy interest that the plebeians were often unable to pay their debts.

Then the patricians swept down upon the miserable debtors, drove their wives and children from their home, and carried them away to work as bondsmen.

When at any time war threatened Rome, the plebeians were called on to fight, and while they were at war their fields lay untilled, unless they hired labourers to work in them. In either case the plebeians suffered. Did they hire labourers, they must borrow money from the patricians to pay them. Did they leave their fields untilled, they must borrow money to buy food and seed.

Driven at length to desperation, the plebeians rose against their oppressors, and at the very time that a hostile army was marching against Rome, they left the city, and encamped on a hill near the river Anio, about three miles away. Here they determined to build a city for themselves.

But the patricians could not hope to hold Rome against the approaching foe without the help of the plebeians. So the Senate sent a messenger to the 'seceders,' offering terms of peace and protection from the patricians, if they would return to Rome to fight against the common enemy.

The plebeians agreed to go back to the city, and for a time, at least, the patrician magistrates ceased to treat them unjustly.

To make them more secure, the plebeians were now, in 493 B.C., allowed to elect two magistrates of their own, who were to be called tribunes.

As the patricians were able to appeal to the Consuls, so the plebeians could now appeal to their tribunes against unjust treatment.

The tribunes were elected for one year, and during that year they were obliged to live in Rome, while their doors were to stand open day and night, that the plebeians might claim their protection at any hour.

This new law was made a sacred law, and the hill on which the seceders had encamped was named the Sacred Hill.