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Te petit Antinous: quid Hylae sperare licebit,
Illa, inter lacrymas ridens, “Mihi carior,” inquit,
These last lines are psychologically curious. They were conceived, and mainly composed, during sleep. The author had been reading, the day before, that passage of Hesiod in which the thesis occurs; but without any thought of writing an epigram.” That the subject, and the idea of its treatment, presented themselves to his mind in a sleep of the night, and that the verses were chiefly composed in that state, the author has no doubt whatsoever. He remembers, indeed, a short waking, or halfwaking interval, in which he reviewed, and, it may be, retouched and completed the epigram: and to this circumstance it is probably owing that, when he awoke the next morning, the lines remained engraven on his mind, as they here stand. It had happened to him at various times during his life to compose verses in sleep: but, on waking in the morning, “ibi omnis effusus labor,” there remained only the consciousness of having been so employed: sometimes, indeed, he has remembered the subject; but the poetry itself was gone; “ceu fumus in auras commixtus tenues, fugit diversa.”
FoRSCHUNGEN AUF DEM GEBIETE DER RöMISCHEN VERFASSUNGSGESCHICHTE, voN DR. WILHELM IHNE. Frankfurt am Main, 1847.
1N the present article, it is proposed to introduce to the reader some very original views brought forward in opposition to Niebuhr by the able author of these inquiries. It is impossible to give all of Dr. Ihne's arguments, or all the details of his opinions; but the responsibility will be here assumed of selecting those opinions which are most important, and those arguments which have most weight. Niebuhr has endeavoured to establish, that in the earliest times of Rome the clients and the plebeians were distinct bodies. He holds that the Clients were generally townsfolk,+artisans or traders, attached as dependents to particular patrician houses, whom they were bound to serve with purse and sword; though there were some clients who lived in the country, as farm tenants to the patricians, and could be ejected at will; but that the Plebeians were country-people, living by agriculture, having received from the state, in freehold, seven jugera of land each, and standing in no social relations towards the great patricians. He likewise supposes the patricians to have no right of freehold, except to the extent of two jugera ; but that this disadvantage was compensated by their exclusive right of occupying the public land, for which they paid to the state a trifling rent, that freed them from other taxes upon it. Moreover, he believes that before Ancus, there was no plebeian body; the nucleus of which consisted of the Latins whom that king conquered. Nearly all of these points are impugned by Ihne. First, the evidence on which Niebuhr rests for his cardinal distinction between the plebeians and clients is to be considered. Against him stands the direct testimony of ancient writers; who believed that the population of earliest Rome consisted of two classes only—patricians and plebeians; that all clients were plebeians, and that originally all plebeians were clients. This is most pointedly stated by Dionysius, II. 9 and 10; by Cicero, De Rep. II. 9; by Livy, VI. 18; by Festus, p. 233, Müller; and Niebuhr is fully aware of the entire novelty of his own view. He rests it, however, on certain passages of Dionysius and Livy, who, in narrating the contests of the two orders, represent the patricians as defending themselves by aid of their clients. Niebuhr regards this as the truth slipping out, and treats the other more formal statement as an eroneous theory, to which no attention is due. But Ihne precisely reverses the argument. Dionysius, especially, is a garrulous writer, who
* By an odd coincidence, the very ° Our readers will probably rememthesis (r2.Éoy #aav ravrés) was given at ber Coleridge's account of a like inciCambridge a few months afterwards, as dent in his life, and the rich fragment one of the subjects for the prize epi- which that great genius saved from the grams. wreck of his poetic dream.
tries to fill up the meagre annals of early times by details drawn from later events and circumstances; a fact which no one knew better than Niebuhr. Now in later days, it is certainly true that the nobles armed their clients against the commons: this is the representation which Dionysius would be likely to transfer by anticipation to the primitive times. But it was not afterwards true that clients and commons were identical bodies; consequently, a careless historian was less likely to slip by error into a confusion of early clients and plebeians. The statement therefore of Dionysius, which Niebuhr rejects as a mere theory, ought to be received as a matter of testimony; and that which he adopts as a truth, ought to be exploded as one of the many errors arising from the vain attempts at a “pragmatical history,” where no documents existed. It is true that Livy also, in various passages, (II. 35, 56; III. 14, 16.) distinguishes the clients from the plebs in narrating the tumults: but at most, this would only prove that he held the plebeians not to be all clients. No modern interpreter before Niebuhr ever saw a difficulty in reconciling Livy with himself. This historian undoubtedly regarded the clients and lictors as plebeians, and took exactly the same view of their position before the Decemviral laws, as Niebuhr takes of them after those laws. It is a fiction, necessary for Niebuhr's theory, but uncounte... nanced by authorities, that the Decemvirs introduced clients into the body of the plebs; but as Livy knew nothing of this, and makes no change in his phraseology after their laws, his evidence is not to the purpose. Niebuhr (p. 411, vol. I., 4th edition,) argues that the plebeians were conquered Latins, as follows:–1. Ancus Martius is said to have planted the conquered Latins on the Aventine; 2. The Aventine was made, by the Icilian Law, the chief seat of the plebeians ; therefore, before the Latins were conquered, there were no plebeians. But, strange to say, Niebuhr himself does not believe in the transplantation on which his argument rests. He holds the plebeians to have been country-people; and he argues, if they had been brought to Rome, they could not have tilled the lands. Ihne acknowledges that there are many instances in history of such transferences of population, but he is persuaded that here some Greek historian, who knew of similar measures in Sicily, has misunderstood the Latin formula in civitatem recepti, which was the lot of the conquered Latins; and translated it as if it had been in urbem recepti." Against Puchta, who imagines that this transplantation was intended to keep the conquered people in check, Ihne argues that the uniform policy of an aristocracy was the very opposite. They dreaded a mass of population in a town, and by scattering it in the country, (2004.39%) made it powerless. That the obedient clients should have been town-artizans and shopmen, but the unruly plebeians country-people, is the reverse of all that Greek or Mediaeval experience would suggest. Extreme oppression may, no doubt, rouse a peasantry or small farmers into rebellion; but a town population is always the soonest enfranchised from an aristocracy. A priori probability would lead us to conclude, that the bond of clientship was most powerful towards the country-people, and that those plebeians who were artisans or traders, were first to effect their emancipation from it. And here it may be suitable to name a theory of Ihne's, which is recommended by great simplicity and probability. He conceives, that when the plebeians found it impossible to gain legal redress against their patrons, inasmuch as their cause could only come into the court under the patron's sanction and name, they demanded Tribunes, who should be to the plebs collectively in the place of Patrons; so that a plebeian who chose to dis-. own his clientship, might not find himself cast out of the pale of the law. This appears happily to account for the very singular form of the office, by which the plebs sought to defend itself. But to return to Niebuhr's views. He teaches, that the Albans, whom Tullus conquered and transplanted, were made patricians, but that Ancus could not be so liberal, since the patrician tribes were now full, and the number three was too sacred to alter: he adds, that these Albans were made into the tribe of Luceres; from which Göttling, Huschke, and Becker, have justly dissented. As for the supposed fact, which in Niebuhr's view is so important, that never once is any contest between patricians and clients whispered; knowing what we do of the avarice and cruelty of the old patricians, it would be puerile to believe that their conduct to their clients was really exemplary. This ought in itself to have led to the conclusion, that Niebuhr's fact is nothing but a verbal one. There is no contest recorded of the clients against the patricians, simply because, when the contest arises, the clients are called by the generic term plebeians. At the same time, Livy (VI.18) makes Manlius say to the plebs, Quot clientes circa singulos fuistis patronos, tot nunc.adversus unum hostem eritis ; so that the imaginary fact falls to the ground. But, having seen how little positive support Niebuhr has for these points, we may now draw attention to the extreme improbabilities with which his theory is encumbered. If there was a time when Rome consisted of patricians and clients, without plebeians, the clients must of necessity have been chiefly country-people. In fact, there was originally little of manufactures and commerce in the city; and we cannot conceive of the mass of the people as having been any thing but a peasantry; the army also must have consisted of these clients. If so, how could the clients, a little later, have been as it were driven out of the country, and out of the regular army, by the intrusive plebeians ? Again, if Rome, under Tullus, adopted Albans into the state without inventing a new order, we want more definite testimony than Niebuhr can produce, to make us believe that the Latins conquered by Ancus were so differently treated. Again: Is it credible that the patricians gave to those conquered people freehold land—seven jugera each, when they kept them out of the pale of the constitution; and when they did not allow to themselves, lords and masters as they were, any freehold land at all, except the miserable two jugera o How unintelligible is it, that when the entire state was under their controul, they did not confer on themselves a freehold right over the public” land, but were satisfied to hold it in mere occupation
* The fact that the Aventine was part of the city which Ancus gave to afterwards given to the plebeians, might the Latins. then induce legend to fix on this as the
* Niebuhr's opinion about the two
and the seren jugera, may not seem well founded; yet as regards the last objection, Ihne's own theory needs for defence a supplement which will equally shelter Niebuhr's, viz. the patricians did maintain that the old public land
was their private property; and this was a safer policy with them, than to pass an enactment to this effect, which would have seemed to admit that hitherto it had not been private. Nothing but the growing strength of the plebeians defeated them.