Cicero, de Republica 2.61
The Board of Ten draft a code of law. Their successors prove inferior
Some years earlier, when the supreme authority resided in the Senate and the people were docile and obedient, and idea was adopted whereby both the consuls and the tribunes of the plebs should resign from office and ten men should be appointed. This board was to have very great authority, not subject to appeal, In addition to their supreme power, these men were to have the task of drafting laws. When they had drawn up with great wisdom and fairness a code of Ten Tables, the nominated ten other men to serve for the following year.
The second group has not yet enjoyed a similar reputation for integrity and fairmindedness. Nevertheless, one member, Gaius Julius, has won Great approval. He stated that he had been present when a corpse was exhumed in the bedroom of Lucius Sestius, a nobleman. Yet although as one of the Ten he held absolute power which was not subject to appeal, he said, contravene that excellent law which laid it down that no sentence could be passed on the life of a Roman citizen except in the Assembly of Centuries.
Cicero. 1998. The Republic and The Laws. Tran. Niall Rudd. Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press. p.55.
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