Episode 107 – Let the Codification Begin!

We jump into 454 BCE where we start to see the consequences of the events of the previous year play out. It’s hard to get away from our “Roman Achilles” who, in his position as plebeian tribune, levels a charge of “injuring the state” against the former consul Romilius. This sets up a cascade of interesting incidents.

Episode 107 – Let the Codification Begin

There’s little agreement between our major written sources for this year. Livy and Dionysius of Halicarnassus diverge in much of the details even though they hit upon some shared touchstones.

But this is partly about what we don’t know…

Dr Rad explores some of the complexities of who is who during this period. While our sources use categories like ‘patrician’ and ‘plebeian’, these terms offer a binary model for thinking about the structure of Roman society. Often this is a simplification of what was really happening. By the time we get to the first century BCE when these histories were written, the composition of these groups is more clear cut than they were in the fifth century.

Speeches as didactic tools

Dr G delves into Dionysius of Halicarnassus’ use of speeches as a means of teasing out a Roman perspective. Speeches are a significant feature in his writing and sets his work apart from Livy during this period. Dionysius’ penchant for rhetoric offers a means of appreciating how the Romans thought. They also offer a framework for Greek readers to appreciate the reasoning of the Romans.

Listen in for…

  • Consuls with attitude!
  • A story of a father, a son, and filial duty
  • The Lex Aternia Tarpeia
  • The law about the laws!
  • A surprising consular return
  • The laws of Solon

Our Players for 454 BCE

The Consuls

  • Spurius Tarpeius M. f. M.n. Montanus Capitolinus (Pat.)
  • Aulus Terminius/Aternius – f. – n. Varus Fontinalis (Pat.)

The Consuls of 455 BCE

  • Titus Romilius T. f. T. n. Rocus Vaticanus (Pat)
  • Gaius Veturius P. f. – n. Cicurinus (Pat)

Tribune of the Plebs

  • Lucius Siccius Dentatus “The Roman Achilles”

Aedilis plebis

  • Lucius Alienus

Patricians of Note

  • Spurius Verginius
  • Aulus Verginius – legate
  • Spurius Postumius Albus (Regillensis) – cos. 466 BCE
  • Aulus Manlius (Vulso?) – cos. 474 BCE
  • Publius or Servius Sulpicius Camerinus (Cornutus?) – cos. 461 BCE

Plebeians of Note

  • Marcus Icilius

Sound credits

With gratitude we offer thanks to Bettina Joy de Guzman for the evocative musical interlude that accompanies this episode.

Additional sound effects courtesy of Alexander Nakarada – Nomadic Sunset and BBC Sound Effects (Beta)

Final credits: Excerpt from ‘Ancient Arcadian Harp’ by Cormi

455 BCE

‘Consul’ by Pascal Quidalut

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Drs R and G laugh and spar their way through the ancient Roman world!

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