Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Roman Antiquities 11.6

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[6] While he was still speaking,8 the decemvirs surrounded him, crying out, menacing him with the tribunician power, and threatening to throw him down from the rock if he would not be silent. Upon which all cried out, feeling that their liberty was being taken away; and the senate-chamber was full of indignation and turmoil. 2 However, the decemvirs, when they saw that the senators were exasperated at their behaviour, repented promptly both of their having refused permission to speak and of their threat. Then Appius, coming forward, asked those who were creating a divc to have patience a moment; and having quieted their disorder, he said: "Not one of you, senators, do we deprive of the privilege of speaking, provided he speaks at the proper time; but we do restrain those who are too forward and rise up before they are called upon. 3 Be not, therefore, offended. For we shall give leave, not only to Horatius and Valerius, but also to every other senator, to deliver his opinion in his turn according to the ancient custom and decorum, provided they speak about the matters which you have assembled to consider and about no extraneous subject; 4 but if they endeavour to seduce you by popular harangues and to divide the commonwealth by speaking of matters that are not to the point, then to none of them ever. As for the power to restrain the disorderly, Marcus Horatius, we do possess it, having received it from the people when they voted to us both the magistracy of the consuls and that of the tribunes; and the term of it has not yet expired, as you think. 5 For we were not appointed for a year or for any other definite period, but until we should have instituted the whole body of laws. When, therefore, we have completed what we propose and have got the remaining laws ratified, we shall then resign our magistracy and give an account of our actions to any of you who desire it. In the meantime we shall relax nothing either of the consular or of the tribunician power. 6 As to the war, now, in what manner we may repulse our enemies most quickly and gloriously, I ask you to come forward and deliver your opinions — first the oldest members, as is customary and fitting for you, next those of a middle age, and last the youngest."


ניסיונו של הדקוויראט השני להאריך את כהונתו דרך עיכוב פרסום שני הלוחות האחרונים.

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