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Full Version: Gaius Marcius Rutilus - An Early Roman Hero
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Anonymous

In 356 BC Gaius Marcius Rutilus - a plebian - was appointed "dictator" to lead the Roman army against Etruscan invaders who had advanced past the ancient coastal salt works. Now according to Kamm's <i> The Romans</i>, p. 14, the patricians put, "all sorts of difficulties in his path."<br>
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Later, after he had crushed the Etruscans and captured 8000 prisoners, when he returned to Rome, the patricians refused to give him his statutory triumphal march.<br>
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Were the patricians just peeved that he was a plebian in charge of Rome's army? Why else would they behave in such a way toward a man who not only was appointed head of the army but also defeated the invading force so decisively?<br>
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In this book, Kamm doesn't give deep details about a lot of occurences. This work is considered a primer, and I'll give a full review after I've finished reading it. <p><BR><p align=center><font color=gold><font size=3>
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CASCA TARQVINIVS GEMINVS<BR>
<a href=http://www.legio-ix-hispana.org> LEG IX HSPA COH V CEN VIII CON III </font></font><BR> <font color=gold> <font size=3>
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The triumph wasn't a statutory right, it was something that was granted, by a vote of the people. Assuming that the constitutional arrangements were broadly similar in this period to the later Republic this required the assent of the Senate to take place, ie the Senate had to ask for it.<br>
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Not knowing the details of the Rutilius story, OCD suggests that you had to have killed 500 in a declared war against a foreign enemy. Perhaps there was pretext for denying the triumph on the basis that Marcius Rutilius had failed to kill 5000 regardless of the huge number of captives(THis is pure speculation on my part, the whole story might undermine this)<br>
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OCD also suggests that he might have attained his position through a programme of debt relief, though the evidence is inconclusive and it sounds to me rahter like retrojecting later populares policies onto an earlier time.<br>
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Bearing in mind that the dictatorship seems to have been in 356, this was only 11 years after a law had been passed requiring the election of at least one plebeian consul. Times they were a changing. <p></p><i></i>

Anonymous

According to Kamm, "the people celebrated the triumph." I don't know if that means the citizens held some kind of festival or parade or what. All I can get from the brief passage is that for some reason the patricians seemed not to want to support his fight or celebrate his victory. <p><BR><p align=center><font color=gold><font size=3>
_________________________________<BR>
CASCA TARQVINIVS GEMINVS<BR>
<a href=http://www.legio-ix-hispana.org> LEG IX HSPA COH V CEN VIII CON III </font></font><BR> <font color=gold> <font size=3>
_________________________________</font></font></p><i></i>
Casca can you give a longer quote that maybe puts his use of 'the people' in context<br>
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I ask becasue it's easy to confuse modern concepts with ancient noes, and I've seen enough bad translations to be careful. <p></p><i></i>

Anonymous

Hi, just found this thread.<br>
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Livy has quite a lot to say about Gaius Marcius Rutilus, best summed up as "There was no dignity which the greatness of his character was unequal to supporting." (Bk 7, Ch 22). He was Consul in 357, 352, 344 and 342, and the first plebian Dictator in 356. Senatorial opposition seems to have been entirely based on class. Livy Bk 7, ch 17: "The patricians were indignant at even the dictatorship becoming common property, and they offered all the resistance in their power to any decree being passed or any preparations made to help the dictator in prosecuting the war." But, the plebs arranged everything by acclaimation, and after the victory "By an order of the people which was not confirmed by the senate a triumph was awarded him."<br>
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Of course, he did everything to annoy them: like not claiming any percentage of the plunder for the state, but giving it all to the soldiers; and releasing prisoners after receiving ransom (by law they had become slaves, and he was in effect freeing them, without paying the required 5% manumission tax - the big-wallet tax payers didn't like that one bit!). When he announced his candidacy for Censor in -351, the consuls (both patricians) refused to call an election, but once again the plebs carried it by a unanimous acclaimation.<br>
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SPQR too often meant "Senate vs the Roman People.".<br>
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Best,<br>
John <p></p><i></i>

Anonymous

Thanks for the insights! <p><BR><p align=center><font color=gold><font size=3>
_________________________________<BR>
CASCA TARQVINIVS GEMINVS<BR>
<a href=http://www.legio-ix-hispana.org> LEG IX HSPA COH V CEN VIII CON III </font></font><BR> <font color=gold> <font size=3>
_________________________________</font></font></p><i></i>