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Lucius Valerius Poplicola Potitus


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And Marcus Horatius Barbatus were consuls in 449 bc, immediately after the Second Decemvirate. Livy (3. 55. 3 ff.) ascribes to them three laws: (1) measures passed by the plebs in a tribal assembly were to be binding on the entire people (cf. Dion. Hal. Ant. Rom. 11. 45. 1 ff.); (2) no magistrate was to be elected who was not subject to appeal (cf. Cic. Rep. 2. 54); (3) severe penalties were to be inflicted on those harming the tribunes or other plebeian officers. Diodorus Siculus (12. 26. 1) says nothing of these measures and their historicity is controversial. The first is also ascribed to Publilius Philo (339) and Quintus Hortensius (287/6), though some suppose that the lex Valeria Horatia established either the legislative powers of the comitia tributa (assembly of the plebs) or the validity of plebiscites that received patrician or senatorial sanction. The measure on provocatio (also ascribed to a tribune (C. Duillius) depends on the fictions of the tyrannous Second Decemvirate (supposedly not subject to provocatio) and the creation of the right of provocatio in 509. The third law may reflect a tradition which ascribed the creation of the tribunate to the Second Secession. Cumulatively, all three laws replicate for the aftermath of the Decemvirate the same creation or reinforcement of key popular rights that supposedly followed the overthrow of the monarchy in 509 (when a Valerius and Horatius were also reputedly consuls). The role of Valerius and Horatius in negotiating the end of the Second Secession and Second Decemvirate will certainly be annalistic fiction, as also the story that the people, not the senate, granted them triumphs for victories over the Aequi and Volsci (Valerius) and Sabines (Horatius).

(1) measures passed by the plebs in a tribal assembly were to be binding on the entire people (cf. Dion. Hal. Ant. Rom. 11. 45. 1 ff.); (2) no magistrate was to be elected who was not subject to appeal (cf. Cic. Rep. 2. 54); (3) severe penalties were to be inflicted on those harming the tribunes or other plebeian officers. Diodorus Siculus (12. 26. 1) says nothing of these measures and their historicity is controversial. The first is also ascribed to Publilius Philo (339) and Quintus Hortensius (287/6), though some suppose that the lex Valeria Horatia established either the legislative powers of the comitia tributa (assembly of the plebs) or the validity of plebiscites that received patrician or senatorial sanction. The measure on provocatio (also ascribed to a tribune (C. Duillius) depends on the fictions of the tyrannous Second Decemvirate (supposedly not subject to provocatio) and the creation of the right of provocatio in 509. The third law may reflect a tradition which ascribed the creation of the tribunate to the Second Secession. Cumulatively, all three laws replicate for the aftermath of the Decemvirate the same creation or reinforcement of key popular rights that supposedly followed the overthrow of the monarchy in 509 (when a Valerius and Horatius were also reputedly consuls). The role of Valerius and Horatius in negotiating the end of the Second Secession and Second Decemvirate will certainly be annalistic fiction, as also the story that the people, not the senate, granted them triumphs for victories over the Aequi and Volsci (Valerius) and Sabines (Horatius).

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Subjects: Classical Studies.


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