Episode 110 – The Mask Comes Off

The First Decemvirate was a big success, so much so that Rome opts for a Second Decemvirate!

The decemvirs were popular figures in Rome and during 451 BCE they produced the Ten Tables. This initial set of law codes was positively received by the population, but there was something missing… MORE LAWS!

But it isn’t too long before some red flags appear…

Episode 110 – The Mask Comes Off

Wait a Second… Decemvirate

Appius Claudius campaigns hard to get himself re-elected, along with some of his patrician buddies. There are also some new and unusual names that appear in the list for the Second Decemvirate – we might have some plebeian magistrates on the team. Gasp!

As soon as they are confirmed in their positions, the charismatic, approachable and charming Appius reveals his true self and his real intentions. Tyranny!

Life in Rome quickly becomes extremely unpleasant for everyone as the decemvirs and their thugs flex their muscles, but it’s especially tough if you are one of the less privileged persons in the populace. This a dark time for Rome. Join us to find out how they deal with the infamous Second Decemvirate!

The Cancelleria Relief, frieze B.

The Cancelleria relief, frieze B.
This piece is a relief from the rule of Domitian so far ahead of where we are in the narrative, but it does include a lictor carries the fasces with the axe.
The first complete figure from the right is a lictor holding the fasces in his left hand.

Our Players

The Second Decemvirate

  • Appius Claudius. Ap. f. M. n. Crassus Inregillensis Sabinus Pat – Cos. 471, 451
  • Marcus Cornelius – f. Ser. n. Maluginenesis Pat
  • Marcus? Sergius Esquilinus Pat
  • Lucius Minucius P. f. M. n. Esquilinus Augurinus Pat – Cos. 458
  • Quintus Fabius M. f. M. n. Vibulanus Pat – Cos. 467, 465, 459
  • Quintus Poetelius Libo Visolus
  • Titus Antonius Merenda
  • Caeso Duillius Longus?
  • Spurius. Oppius Cornicen
  • Manius Rabuleius

Our Sources

  • Cornell, T. J. 1995. The Beginnings of Rome
  • Eder, W. 2005. ‘The Political Significance of the Codification of Law in Archaic Societies: An Unconventional Hypothesis’ in K. Raaflaub (ed) Social Struggles in Archaic Rome: New Perspectives on the Conflict of the Orders
  • Forsythe, G. 2005. A Critical History of Early Rome
  • Momigliano, A. 2005. ‘The Rise of the Plebs in the Archaic Age of Rome’ in K. Raaflaub (ed) Social Struggles in Archaic Rome: New Perspectives on the Conflict of the Orders
  • Perello, C. F. A. 2020. ‘The Twelve Tables and the leges regiae; A Problem of Validity’ in S. W. Bell & P. J. du Pleissis (eds) Roman Law Before the Twelve Tables: An Interdisciplinary Approach
  • Raaflaub, K. 2005. ‘From Protection and Defense to Offense and Participation: Stages in the Conflict of the Orders’ in K. Raaflaub (ed) Social Struggles in Archaic Rome: New Perspectives on the Conflict of the Orders
  • Scullard, H. H. 1935. A History of the Roman World 753-146 BC

Sound Credits

Sound Effects: Fesliyan Studios, Sound Bible, BBC.

Original Music: the fantastic Bettina Joy de Guzman

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

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