Chronicles From the City Founding of Livius Titus, Book I

Chapter 8

Romulus gives his people a code of law and himself the insignia of authority. He then opens a refuge and appoints a hundred senators.

Once the divine rites were solemnly performed, he summoned to a council the multitude, which had been able to coalesce into a single body of the people by no thing other than by laws, and he gave them the rule of law, which he nevertheless reckoned would be sanctified by the rustic tribe of men only if he made himself venerable by insignia of authority. Thus by his comportment, he made himself more majestic in diverse ways, but especially by taking on twelve lictors. Some think that he followed the number from the number of birds which by their augury had predicted his reign, but by no means does it grieve me to hold the opinions of those whom it pleases to think both that the attendants of this kind were drawn from neighboring Etruscans, whence the curule chair, and whence the edged toga were acquired, and also thus the number itself, and that the Etruscans did such because from twelve peoples in common, having appointed a king, they gave one lictor each from each people.

Meanwhile, the city was growing, its fortifications seeking one spot after another, for they were building more in hope of a future multitude than to what there was of men at the time. And then, so that the city’s space was not empty, for reason of the multitude about to be added, by a long-standing plan for adding to cities, which, for the purpose of drawing to themselves an obscure and humble multitude, assert falsely that offspring for themselves were born from the earth, he opened a place as sanctuary, a place now enclosed between two groves as you climb the hill. From bordering peoples, a whole crowd, without distinction whether one was freeman or slave, fled to it greedy for something new, and this was a first step toward the commenced greatness of might. Since he was now by no means grieved of strength, he then furnished a council for that strength. He appointed a hundred senators, either because this number was enough, or because there were only a hundred who could be appointed as fathers. They were called fathers, at any rate, from their rank and the patricians are descended from them.

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