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268 THE EMERGENCE OF THE ROMAN NOBILITY The primary purpose behind the reorganization of 367 B.C. was to provide the Roman state with a new set of officials with differentiated functions to replace the board of six military tribunes with consular power.1 An equally important secondary result of this legislation was the agreement within the Roman aristocracy to share these newly established offices between members of well-to-do plebeian and patrician families.2 Not only was it agreed to share the two annual consular positions between a patrician and a plebeian, but the curule aedileship was filled in alternate years by two patricians or two plebeians (Livy 7.1.6). There does not seem to have been any kind of regulation concerning the praetorship. Since only one praetor was elected every year, the prestige of this office was greater than that of the consulship, and it was usually held by someone after he had first been consul. If Livy’s narrative is to be trusted, the first plebeian to attain this office was Q. Publilius Philo in 337 B.C., the thirtieth year of the office’s history (Livy 8.15.9). Another important indication of the power-sharing agreement between Chapter 9 Rome’s Rise to Dominance, 366–300 B.C. 1. For other modern treatments of the events covered in this chapter, see Heurgon 1973, 186–20; Scullard 1980, 108–14 and 119–36; Develin in Raaflaub 1986, 327–52; Cornell in CAH VII.2 1989, 333–76; Cornell 1995, 322–26 and 340–57; and the commentary on Livy Books VII–VIII in Oakley 1998. 2. Gelzer 1912 (English translation = Gelzer 1969) remains the single best general survey of the Roman nobility during republican times. Mitchell’s essay in Jaher 1975, 27–63 is a briefer and more recent overview of the same subject. Münzer 1920, 8–45 uses prosopography to try to reconstruct the party politics for the period 366–327 B.C. Develin 1979, 1985 and Hölkeskamp 1987 are much more recent treatments of Roman aristocratic politics, and Hölkeskamp’s work is more narrowly focused on the period covered in this and the following chapters. rome’s rise to dominance 269 patricians and plebeians is the increase in the number of priests responsible for the Sibylline Books. In 368 B.C. (Livy 6.42.2), their number was increased from two to ten, and the priestly college of decemviri sacris faciundis was henceforth composed of five plebeians and five patricians. It seems likely that the religious duties of this priesthood had not suddenly increased so as to require a much larger number of priests. Rather, priesthoods had been monopolized by patrician families, were marks of prestige , and were politically important. Well-to-do plebeians were therefore eager to enjoy this same religious mystique. Thus the expansion of this priesthood and its inclusion of equal numbers of patricians and plebeians is the first clear demonstration of the politicization of Roman priestly offices. One important consequence of the sharing of the consulship was the forging of political alliances between individual patricians and plebeians. Since one position was to be held by a member of each of the two orders, a characteristic consular election must have had several plebeians running against one another for one slot, while several patrician candidates competed for the other. The consular fasti for the period 366–264 B.C. suggest that it was not uncommon for one plebeian and one patrician to pool their political assets in order to secure the election of both. The two candidates thus might have formed a kind of political ticket. The evidence for this phenomenon consists of multiple offices shared by the same two individuals. Although some of these instances could have been coincidences, most are likely to have been the product of deliberate political campaigning. In many instances the patrician and plebeian colleagues might not have been close associates before their first shared consulship, but this joint tenure is likely to have created a strong bond between the two men, who subsequently assisted one another in getting elected to a second consulship:3 L. Genucius and Q. Servilius Ahala 365 and 362; T. Veturius Calvinus and Sp. Postumius Albinus 334 and 321; Q. Publilius Philo and L. Papirius Cursor 320 and 315; C. Junius Bubulcus Brutus and Q. Aemilius Barbula 317 and 311; P. Decius Mus and Q. Fabius Maximus Rullianus 308, 297, and...


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