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extent, have furnished materials to the early annal song of the Fratres Arvales, which has come down ists. These were the funeral songs (neniae) lhal lo us, is undoubtedly one of these old Latin poems, were chanted by the mourners in the funeral pro- and belongs to so early a period that it was alınost cession and accompanied by the mellow sound of unintelligible in the days of Augustus. the pastoral flute.
The subject of these old ballads was usually To some readers it may appear strange to speak of course the conquests and triumphs of Roman of the existence of Latin poetry before the time at heroes, and the praises of illustrious men, and they which they began servilely to copy the literature of were recited or sung upon some public occasion. Greece. But, in fact, there were two entirely dis- Nor is it very difficult to conceive how they were tinct eras and classes of Latin literature. The often transferred into the pages of the old Anoal. one with which we are generally familiar is the ists. It was a custom in Rome, at a very early Graeco Latin literature, dating from the time of the date, for some one to deliver a funeral oration opon second Punic war and continued through the suc- the death of any distinguished man, in which were ceeding ages of the Republic and Empire. Of this set forth in no cautiously measured terms, the brave school Ennius is the first and has been styled the deeds performed by the departed hero. Io preparfather of Latin poetry. This is true when applied ing these funeral orations recourse would certainly to the later school of Roman poets, the school to be had to all the triumphal songs in which the which belonged Lucretios and Ovid, Virgil and praises and victories of the hero had been sang, Horace. He was undoubtedly the first that intro- and these triumphal songs would thus often furnish duced the metres and versification of Grecian pue- nearly the whole of what was said by the orator. try into the rude but nervous old language of La- Copies of the eulogy would be preserved with tium. He sneered at the rugged and manly old great care by the family of the deceased, and be Saturnian measure, and did much to bring the lit-handed down to their descendants through sucerature of his country under the humble vassalage cessive generations. Thus would be accumulated to that of Greece which it retained to its latest in large numbers in many or probably all the great day. But there was another and a purely Italian and noble families, private records, founded in a literature that had existed from the earliest days of great measure upon the triumphal songs of the popthe nation. It lacked the polish and the elegance ular bards. And these records we know in afler of the Greek imitations, but was more original and years furnished no small share of the scanty mate. possessed more nationality. This school became rials from which the first writers drew the history extinct with Naevius, who lived just long enough of their country. In fact, the private memorials of to witness the successful innovation of his rival the noble families of Rome furnished so consideraEnnius, and passed from the stage with the melan- ble a portion of the matter for the first historical choly consciousness that with him died the last of writers, and one too that had so marked an inflathe old national bards of Rome.
ence upon the whole character of the history, that Ennius has spoken in contemptuous terms of it ought not to be passed over without a more parNaevius and the class of poets to which he belong. licular notice. It has ofien been observed by readed, but the accomplished Cicero has repelled the ers, that in the accounts of their wars and bailles insinuation and paid a just tribute to his merit. given by the Roman writers, particularly of the
That this ballad literature of early Rome had a earlier ages, nothing is met with but one continued real esistence, rests as we thus see, not upon con- succession of conquests and triumphs by Roman jecture, but upon positive evidence. But there are leaders and Roman armies, and of captured cities still one or two other witnesses whose testimony and territories, that, so far from passing under the is perhaps more directly to the point than any we dominion of the conquerors, again in a few years have yet cited. The laws of the twelve tables furnish them with new triumphs. This highly cencontained a severe enactment against the authors surable feature runs in a greater or less degree of libellous poems. This of course shows con- throughout the whole current of Roman history clusively that they existed as far back as the days down to its latest day. of the old Décemvirs. The testimony of Ennius The offspring of overweening arrogance and ishimself is also direct and conclusive. He wrote ordinate national vanity, the character of their histhe history of his country froin its commencement tory in this respect finds no parallel in that of any up to his own time in verse, and says that others other people that ever lived. What amongst other have also written of this in strains such as the nations occasionally results from the enthasiasm Fauns and other prophetic deities sung before any and excitement of the moment is with them a reg. one had climbed the rocks of the Muses.* The ular and inveterate habit. Exaggerated and par
lial statements, that, amongst other nations, some-Scripsere alii rem
times spring from distorted views and heated pasVersibus quos olim Fauni Vatesque canebant Quuin neque Musarum scopulos quisquam superarat
sions, with them are the result of wilful, deliberale, Nec dicti studiosus erat."
and unblushing falsehood, arising from a cold and Ennius quoted by Cic. Brut. 19.
selfish heartlessness. It is, indeed, difficult to speak in other than unmeasured terras of censure, nius and Tanaquil, and yet, soon after his accession of this national stigma, that, like a cankerous ulcer, to the throne, he is the father of iwo grown daughdiffuses its infectious poison throughout the whole ters, whom he gives in marriage to the two sons of stream of Roman history.
the late king, the brothers, be it remembered, of his There can be no doubt that this characteristic own wife, and the uncles of his daughters. Accordwas owing, in a considerable degree, at first to the ing to the old story, they were matched unequally, fact that so large a portion of their history was the wild and vicious one in each case being mated taken from these funeral orations and other private with the meek and virtuous, and this is given as family records of which we have spoken, founded, the reason of the disagreement and the consequent as they were in a great measure, on the old trium- murder of a husband and wife on each side, and plal songs and national ballads.
the union of Tarquin the Proud with the wicked From such sources then were the works of the Tullia. old annalists drawn, and on such foundations rests All this, however, strange to tell, does not take the whole fabric of Roman history, as sketched by place until at least forty years after their marriage. the masterly but fanciful pen of Livy. Those no- Tarquinius Superbus, according to Livy's chroble old heroic lays, though broken up and dressed nology, must have been twenty-seven at his faout in another guise, still shine in every page ther's death when his mother was compelled to through the stately and measured rhetoric of Livy, place the crown on th head of Servius; he waits, and enliven even the dreary and monotonous pe- however, patiently for a period of forty-four years dantry of Dionysius.
before he takes any steps to obtain his father's kingIn speaking of the credibility of the early Ro- dom. He must have been near seventy when he beman history and the reasons for rejecting it as po- gan his intrigue with his sister in law Tollia, and etical and fabulous, an examination of the incon- about seventy one when he hurled the aged king down sistencies of its chronology, should occupy a prom- the steps of the senate-house and seated himself on inent position. We can only now, however, cast his father's throne. At ninety-six he was at the a hasty glance at the subject. According to the head of his army besieging Ardea when he was common story, the duration of the Roman mon. expelled from his kingdom, and yet he makes a archy was 244 years and included in the reigns of long and powerful struggle to regain it. He enseren kings, thus allowing something more than an gages actively in the battle of Regillus when he is average of 34 years 10 each. Sir Isaac Newton at least one hundred and six years old, and dies at observed, that it would be impossible to find in the Cuma some five or six years afterwards. Again whole course of modern history, with all the chances Brutus, at the commencement of the reign of the of a minority, an equal number of successive reigns last Tarquinius, is a mere child, and I wenty-five stretching over an equal period; and when we re- years afterwards has two sons old enough to be member that none of these kings mounted the leaders in a conspiracy for restoring the banished throne until they were full grown men, that four of king. But enough of such absurdities; his must them met with violent deaths, and another was ex. be a wondrous faith that can stand all this inconpelled from the city nearly twenty years before his gruity. death, the gross improbability of the whole system And this is Roman chronology-and yet Roman becornes evident. Inconsistent and improbable as chronology is perhaps as consistent with itself, this chronology appears in its outline, it becomes and with common sense, as any other part of Roinfinitely more so when examined in detail. To man history. give a few specimens of its absurdity. Ancus But it may be asked if we reject all this wellMartius, the fourth king, reigned twenty-four years, known story, what remains of early Roman hisand died leaving the stranger Tarquinius the guar- tory, and with what materials has it been recondian of his sons, who were then old enongh to be structed by modern historians ? It must be consent out on a hunting party, when Tarquinius fessed that it is not a very easy matter to give in a wished to get them out of the way in order to se- few words a satisfactory answer to these questions. eure the election to himself. He was elected to the truth of Niebuhr's views of the early history the throne, and the sons of King Ancus deferred of the Roman commonwealth, and of his outlines their vengeance upon the usurper for thirty-eight of the ancient constitution, can be seen and felt in Fears, ontil they must have been at least fifty-three its full force by those only who have patiently folor four years of age, and according to the chro- lowed him through his long and laborious repology, Tarqainjas not less than eighty, and his searches. It is, in short, from internal and not exwife, Tanaquil, seventy-five; and yet he leaves no ternal evidences, that the full conviction of the con of age sufficient to take the throne; the assas- truth of the system is irresistibly forced upon our sins escape, and Tanaquil pats up her dependant, minds. Servias Tollius, to secure the royal power in the It has been well and truly remarked by a great family. Servius Tullius a short time before he is historian, that when we have taken a point of view fuade king is married to the daughter of Tarqui-'in which the whole course of the history that before was confused and unintelligible becomes clear; portant truths in the history of political revoloand events, which before seemed inconsequent or tions. It has been conclusively shown that in not inconsistent, follow one another in a natural order, a few instances, terms and phrases that had been it is evident that our mode of viewing them must used in a clear and correct sense, by the old annal. be right. But, at the same time, this species of ists, were copied by Livy without a right underevidence can be properly appreciated only by those standing of their meaning. One important inwho have seen it developed in the course of the stance of this has been given above, with reference history. We will, however, mention some of the to the signification of the term Populus (People.) sources from which Niebuhr has drawn-some of Nor is it at all strange that Livy should often thus the materials from which, with unrivalled skill and mistake the meaning of the old writers; for Poingenuity, he has constructed so magnificent an lybius, more than a century before, states that the edifice.
most learned Romans found it difficult to interpret The great narratives of Livy and Dionysius of the old treaties and inscriptions upon the tablets ; course furnished the foundation for his history, or, and Livy evidently had but little taste for such perhaps, it might be called his historical disserta- learning. tion. A long and intimate acquaintance with every Such are some of the materials that have been part of their works enabled him often to judge them used, and such is the laborious manner in which out of their own mouths, to point out heir errors has been reconstructed in modern times the fabric and the necessary correction drawn from their own of early Roman history and the outlines of the asexplicit statements in other places. His almost cient constitution. instinctive faculty of perceiving the truth amidst a In the outset we had designed presenting to our mass of fiction often enabled him to discover it readers some of the more important points in the when the author himself was not aware of its ex- history, and a sketch of the leading features in the istence, and to draw out a clear and satisfactory constitution of the ancient Roman commonwealth account from confused statements that the writers as developed in the treatises of modern writers. had not fully understood themselves. Or, as Le- But we fear, from the time we have already coogarè has well expressed it, he could perceive when sumed, that we must either weary their patience a blundering author knew the truth without telling or make this part of our remarks too brief to be it, or told it without knowing it. From his vast clear and satisfactory. acquaintance with ancient literature, his wonderfully In tracing out the early history of any people, tenacious memory and his great acuteness of in- the first question that arises is, what was their race tellect, he could bring to bear upon his subjects at and language, and the next, what was the original once all collateral authorities and illustrations, and form of their social and political organization. thus often correct a loose and inaccurate statement Much time and learning have been expended in atof Livy by the more explicit and definite language tempting to discover who were the original inbabiof Cicero or Varro. It is, perhaps, not too much tants of Italy, and after all no very conclusive reto say, that there was nothing in the wide range of sult has been attained. Perhaps we cannot do the ancient languages throwing light upon the his- better than to take the old Pelasgic stock as the tory, the constitution, and the laws of the Roman most ancient race in Italy of whom we can evet State with which he was not acquainted. He col- have any very cerlain knowledge. lected as it were all the small streams of light that No one can cast even a hasty glance at the anwere scattered over so vast an extent, united them cient world before the light of history had dawned into one, and formed a blaze of light that poured upon the darkness of the traditionary era, and fail its bright rays into the darkest recesses of any sob- to be struck with the importance of this widely ject which he was investigating. All the fragments spread and remarkable race. that had come down from antiquity were carefully Belonging to the great Japhetic family they pechcollected, and diligently studied and compared. pled all the vast countries washed by the northern Old copies of laws and treaties, broken tablets, waves of the Mediterranean, from the heart of many of which were excavated from the very soil Asia Minor westward through Greece to the most of Rome, mouldering columns and trophies with distant shores of Italia, and perhaps of Spaja. their half-effaced inscriptions, some of which dated Troy and Rome were alike the work of their hands. as far back as the days of the Pelasgians, were all They were every where a peaceable, industrious carefully examined, and as it often happened, if and agricultural people, and have left scattered they threw no light upon the history and constitu- over this wide extent of country, massive walls tion of the early ages, they served to distinguish and huge Cyclopean towers that still mock the and trace out the different elements of the language ruthless hand of time and forcibly recall to our spoken by the ancient inhabitants of Rome. And minds those days in which there were giants in the in the hands of a philologer and historian like Nie-earth. Devoted entirely to the pursuits of a quiet buhr, this examination of the several elements of life they were constantly overrun, trodden down, and which a language was made up, often lead to im-'oppressed by the more warlike races, with whom it was their misfortune to come into unceasing condividual, and affinities between different nations were fici. An impenetrable and mysterious gloom hangs indicated by the relationship between these imaover the history of this singular and faied race. ginary persons. The early history of the Greeks Long before history had emerged from the twilight is filled with such traditionary heroes, the fathers of fable, they swayed the sceptre over vast and of different races, and the founders of cities and populous countries, and then faded away from states.* And so also in the West, the Itali were the view, or became absorbed into other and more pow- people of Italus, the Latini of Latinus, and the Agerfol races.
sones of Auson, and in the same manner is it to be They undoubtedly passed into Italy from the understood that Romulus was the founder of Rome. Eastward, and it seems under the name of Tyr- The ancient population of Rome was divided, it theni or Tyrseni, and probably brought with them, is said, into three tribes, the Ramnes, the Titienbesides other arts, the Penecian alphabet. We ses, and she Luceres. And the origin of each tribe have seen upon a former occasion that throughout or division is pretty clearly marked by the traditions Greece they were brought completely under the of the early kings. The Ramnes, the oldest and dominion of the Hellenic race. They met with a for some tiine the most important of the three, were, like fate to a considerable extent in Italy. One of in all probability, the old Oscan conquerors, of whom the earliest seulements they appear to have made Romulus is but the personification.f The Titienin the West was upon the Tiber, principally opon ses are distinctly declared to be of Sabine origin. the right bank, though afterwards they spread also All will remember the story of the difficulty beto the South over Latium, and finally over nearly tween the ancient Romans and the Sabines, as all Southera Bialy, and probably Sicily. North of drawn by the delicate pencil of Livy. the Tiber they were overron and subdued by the Thirty Sabine virgins are seized by Roman barbarous Rasenae or Etruscans, who took the youths,—the whole nation assemble under their king name Tyrseniones from their Pelasgian subjects. Tatius to take vengeance upon the robbers for the In Lalium and around the immediate situation of insult and injury,—during the heat of the conflict the Rome they became intimately blended with another objects of the contest throw themselves between Farlike people, the Oscans.
the combatants, now their fathers and husbands, That the Oscans were the military rulers and and entreat them with tears to stay the bloody strife. the Pelasgians the subject population has been in- | Their entreaties prevail, and not only is peace ferred from the composition of the Lalin language, made, but a close union is entered into between the of which the Oscan and Pelasgic are the two ele. two nations, and Romulus and Tatius are made ments. It was observed with singular sagacity by joint rulers of the united people. Niebuhr that it cannot be mere accident that the The striking incidents of this poetic legend no words for a house, a field, a plough, wine, oil, doubt embody much historic truth. The original milk, kine, swine, sheep, apples, and others rela- foundation of Rome by Romulus was stated in the ting to domestic and agricultural life should agree old legend to be on the Palatine hill, and after the entirely in the Latin and Greek languages, while treaty and union the Sabines were established upon ihose relating to war and to government are allo-lhe Capitol and Quirinal hills. This agrees pregether different. We know that the common ele- cisely with our knowledge of the locations of the ment in the two languages is the Pelasgic, that in two tribes. The Ramnes always resided on the Greek the other element was furnished by the Palatine, and the Tilienses on the other two; and Farlike Hellenic rulers, and in Latin by the Oscans. the statement of the old writers is thus fully conThe Oscan tongue, then, must have furnished all firmed. As Roinulus is the representative of the military terms and words of government, and if so, Ramnes, so Tatius evidently is of the Titienses. the inference is fair, that they were the barbarian It may be observed that the complete union of conquerors and the Pelasgians their subjects. the two elements of the nation could only have
These two races becoming intimately blended taken place gradually, and accordingly we find the fornished the nucleus for the population of that several parts of the tradition answering to the succommonwealth, which was destined ultimately to cessive steps in this national amalgamation. At embrace so large a portion of the human family. first the iwo nations or tribes reside on separate The union of this native Oscan tribe with the hills, they have two kings, and each has a senale stranger race from the East was well symbolized of a hundred old men, who meet separately to conby the reception of the Trojan Æneas, and his sult on any measure before they meet together in marriage with the native princess Lavinia. And commun council. After Tatius dies, Romulus reigns we may remark here, that this method of symbol- alone for a number of years, and the iwo senates izing, of tracing nations to mythic ancestors and are united. Romulus then dies and the question eities to mythic founders, is a common feature run
* Vid. on this subject. S. L.M., March 1848. Art. An. ning throughoul the whole traditionary system of Gr.
+ Vid. Hist. Rome, by Malden, C. iv., p. 122, and also Nations were constantly personified in some in-'Niebuhr.
arises upon whom the government shall fall, and I mentioned last, and were excluded from equal rights neither tribe is willing to yield the sovereignty to with the others for a long period, agrees well with the other.
the hypothesis that they were the subject PelasFinally, however, a compromise is effected, and gians; and their residence on the Caelian hill, the the Ramnes choose a king from the Tilienses or original habitation of the Pelasgians, serves still Sabines. This is the good king Numa. We may farther to identify them as the same. now observe the complete union and equality of As the progressive steps of the union of the The two races under the common name of Quirines, other two tribes are represented under the reigns and the sacred walls of the city are extended of Romulus and Numa, so the development of the around the limits of the Capitoline and Quirinal rights of the third is einbodied in the reign of Tul. hills. The senates are permanently united and the lus Hostilius. • He is said in the story to have exwhole people welded into one.
tended the limits of the city around the Caelian As to Romulus was referred the whole system, Hill, and to have added a new tribe to the patioa; civil and military, of the Roman polily, so to Numa by which we are undoubtedly to understand the was referred the whole system of their national tribe of Luceres, though it is not so stated in the worship. The former was the personification of legend. The whole of his reign is equally poeti. the people during a turbulent and restless period, cal with that of his predecessors, and is to be opthe latter is the embodiment of their national reli- derstood only as representing the third greal period gious institutions.
in Roman history. It is the period during which Since Montesquieu wrote, no one has doubted that the three elements of the Roman people finally great maxim of political philosophy, that laws and became completely united and fused into one institutions are the offspring of the manners of a homogeneous mass. This is perhaps the most people, and faithfully represent the progress of so- suitable point for us to panse and briefly scan some ciety. But before Montesquieu, Vico had felt the of the outlines of the ancient constitution as atiriforce of this great truth, he had intuitively discov- buted to Romulus. ered that all the laws and customs, the whole gove The three tribes into which the whole Roman ernment and constitution of a people, can never be people were divided, were composed each of len perfected, save by the people themselves, can ever divisions called Curiae, and these again were subbe the work of one man or of one age ; and that divided into Gentes, or Houses. The whole state the whole heroic age, as it may be called, of the thus consisted of thirty Curiae. The number of early Romans had heaped into one man.
gentes that each Curia contained is not known with But if one man or one age can never perfect the entire certainty, but there are strong and conclucivil and political institutions of a people, neither sive evidences going to show that each Curia corcan it their religion. And yet we are told that one tained ten Gentes and each gens again ten housegeneration was sufficient to transform the stern holders or families. If this be correct, the oribarbarian conquerors of Romulus into the peace-ginal division of the Curiae into Gentes consistloving and religious subjects of Noma. It surely ing of an exact number of families must have been cannot be necessary to argue the impossibility to a considerable extent arbitrary. Though it is such a sudden and complete change. Nature still probable that the families composing a gens knows no saltus, no abrupi transition, either in the or house, were, in many instances at leas', really moral or physical world.
connected together by ties of blood. The wild whirlwind of the French revolution But the great bond of union between the memhad for generations been muttering in the concealed bers of a gens or house, was a participation in its depths of the national mind, had been gathering all common religious rites. Each house had its conits powers before it burst forth in its fearful fury secrated altar, ils peculiar solemnities, and its regand desolated that unhappy land. The tremendous ular time for the common sacrifice. torrent of the Reformation that swept away insti. When any important question was to be submittations which had grown gray and venerable under ted to the whole people, they met together in their the hand of time, was no exception to this immu- different Curiae; the vote of each Caria was tatable law of Nature. The wild waters of discon- ken separately and determined by the majority of tent* had for years been dammed up in the hearts householders in that Curia, and the vote of the of the people — Luther but raised the floodgate and whole assembly was decided by the majority of the let forth the troubled waves.
Curiae, each casting its vole as an unit. This na. We have thus seen iwo of the three ancient tional assembly was called the Comitia Coriata. Iribes placed on an equal footing in political rights In addition to this there was also another regular and welded together; this condition of equality deliberative body more legislative in its character, was not allowed by the third for a considerable pe- This was the senate. It was originally composed riod. The fact ihat the Luceres were always of one hundred old men of the principal families
of the State, but upon the union with the Sabines * Vid. Andin's Life of Luther, presace.
or Titienses, this number was doubled, and finally,