Text #9768

Venning. A Chronology of the Roman Empire

Second Board of Decemvirs: Appius Claudius, Marcus Cornelius Maluginensis, Marcus Sergius, Lucius Minucius, Quintus Fabius Vibulanus, Quintus Poetilius, Titus Antonius Merenda, Caeso Duellius, Spurius Oppius Cornicerius, Manlius Rabuleius.

The Decemvirs allegedly fail to lay down office on traditional date for new appointments, 15 May, and supposedly maintain rule by intimidation. This at any rate was the interpretation by Livy’s time.

(The historicity and/or membership of this second board are disputed by some historians; its ‘misrule’ and descent into self-serving tyranny may be a legend devised to explain unwelcome elements of the later sections of the ‘Twelve Tables’ laws. Appius Claudius’ malign role may have been inflated by first century BC anti-Claudian sentiment, the family then being leading anti-populists.)

Later legislation of the Decemvirs includes a ban on intermarriage between patricians and plebeians. […]

Appointment of ten ‘Military Tribunes’ headed by Verginius, with his daughter’s betrothed Icillius, Publius Numitorius, Caius Sicinius, Marcus Duellius, Marcus Titinius, Marcus Pomponius, Caius Apronius, Publius Villius, Caius Oppius. […]

Motions by the ‘Tribal Assembly’ accepted as binding on the Senate, and persons of tribunes and aediles declared inviolate from prosecution. Decisions of the popularly assembled ‘plebs’ in the Tribal Assembly are granted full validation as law (third Lex Valeria); thus the institution of a plebiscite is created. (The accuracy of this dating for it in Livy has been challenged; it was definitely in operation from one of its next two affirmations, the Lex Publilia of 339 BC or the Lex Hortensia in 287 BC.)

Confirmation of the right of appeal from judicial decisions, a Lex Valeria reinforcing an earlier one ascribed to consul Valerius Publicola in c. 508.

Decrees of the Senate are entrusted to the plebeian aediles, to be kept at the Temple of Ceres; an attempt to prevent patricians keeping their legal decisions secret from plebeians.

The historicity of the ‘Valerio-Horatian Laws’ has also been challenged; the Greek historian Diodorus suggested a more informal agreement between patricians and plebeians.

General amnesty except for Appius who is imprisoned…

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