Episode 94 – Flesh Rains Down Upon Thee

Episode 94 – Flesh Rains Down Upon Thee

We return to Rome’s narrative from the founding of City. The year c. 462 BCE ends on a high note with the consuls both gathering honours for their military exploits. L. Lucretius Tricipitinus is awarded a triumph for his successes against the Aequii while T. Veturius Geminus scores an ovatio for his part against the Volscii. As for the title of this episode—’Flesh Rains Down Upon Thee’— well, we wouldn’t want to spoil it, but let’s just say it’s best to keep your ears alert for prodigies!

C. 461 BCE is a big year for Rome in many respects and we’ll be examining it in depth over a couple of episodes. Here are our main players:

The Consuls

  • Publius Volumnius M. f. M. n. Amintinus Gallus (patrician)
  • Servius Sulpicius – f. Ser. n. Camerinus Cornutus (patrician)

Prefect of the City

  • Quintus Fabius

Tribune of the Plebs

  • Gaius Terentius (Terentilius?) Harsa
  • Aulus Verginius

Restrictions on consular power?

One of the big subjects that comes into play is the extent of imperium held by the consuls. We start to get inklings in both Livy and Dionysius’ accounts that something is not quite right in Rome. The tribunes, in particular, are not satisfied with the status quo.

One of the difficulties lies in the nature of the populace, what do our sources mean by the populace and why is it so challenging to understand them in a coherent way?

Beyond the murky and inconsistent character of the populace is the nebulous ideas that the tribunes are raising which include a need for equality of rights and equality of speech. Listen in as we explore the question of what is politically afoot in Rome at this time.

A Codification of the laws…

The conversation between the senate and the tribunes is tense, but it’s clear that we’re inching closer to a law code. The tribunes (and thus the populace) are calling for transparency, the senate is resisting, and then the heavens themselves open.

‘A day in ancient Rome; being a revision of Lohr’s “Aus dem alten Rom”, with numerous illustrations’, by Edgar S. Shumway (1885) ~ Wikimedia Commons
From left to right: the Tiber, the Temple of Jupiter Capitolinus, and the emporium
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Drs R and G laugh and spar their way through the ancient Roman world!

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