Bryn Mawr Classical Review 97.8.2


Rachel Feig Vishnia, State, Society, and Popular Leaders in Mid-Republican Rome, 241-167 BC. London: Routledge, 1996. Pp. 264. ISBN 0-415-10512-9.


Reviewed by Craige Champion, Department of Classics, Allegheny College, cchampio@alleg.edu.

Well-trodden pathways are all too easy to follow. Historical periodizations offer a seemingly comfortable but potentially dangerous route, and here the conscientious and vigilant historian must beware. In teaching undergraduate surveys in ancient history, many of us rely upon key events and dates as friendly signposts by means of which we emplot our stories. Such watersheds in Greek and Roman history are indelibly imprinted in our memory banks from the days of our graduate qualifying examinations: 490 and the Battle at Marathon, 338 and the Battle at Chaeronea, 216 and the Battle at Cannae, 44 and the assassination of Caesar, 31 and Actium, and so on. The danger comes when such canonical dates are allowed to blunt critical inquiry, preventing us either from seeing important continuities which run right on through these agreed upon points of historical punctuation or from discerning previously unnoticed ruptures with the past.

I should state at the outset that the arguments in State, Society, and Popular Leaders are based on a reasoned and critical use of Livy, that Feig V[ishnia] has a good command of the sources and of Roman prosopography (not to mention an apparently easy familiarity with Frank's ESAR, Brunt's Italian Manpower, Toynbee's Hannibal's Legacy, and Mommsen's Staatsrecht), and in my opinion, the historical analyses and judgments are for the most part sound.

In this new study of the politics and society of Mid-Republican Rome, V. challenges one of those received historical markers with which I began this review: the lex Hortensia of 287. On traditional interpretations of Roman history, this piece of legislation has marked the end of the so-called Struggle of the Orders. V. claims that the real turning point came some eighty years before in the Licinian-Sextian rogations. The people, according to V., had a comparatively greater say in the running of the state prior to this legislation, which provided for one plebeian consul, than they enjoyed afterwards. In this earlier period, tribunician activity still could address real needs of the common people. The leges Liciniae Sextiae helped to consolidate a new patricio-plebeian senatorial aristocracy; thereafter the Roman oligarchy gave much less scope for a truly democratic element in Roman political life, and tribunes for the most part served senatorial interests. Only modern historians of an excessively legalistic bent, V. maintains, have viewed the lex Hortensia as a crucial piece of legislation, and there is no indication that ancient authorities placed great weight on it. V. believes that the real beneficiaries of this law were the tribunes who, after all, were by now members of the patricio-plebeian nobility (cf. Liv. 10.37.11: mancipia nobilium). "The tribunes belonged to the same socio-economic group as the senate and, in general, the interests of both parties were not at variance" (6; cf. 192). Far from anything like democratization, the political situation of the early third century favored the Roman elite, as the people no longer had any authentic leadership in the tribunate.1 V. ends her study with the year 167 on the grounds that Livy's continuous narrative breaks off at this point, the evidence for the years leading up to Tiberius Gracchus' tribunate is meager, and the so-called Gracchan revolution was simply the by-product of "an evolutionary process whose origins can already be discerned in the first half of the second century" (9).

The preceding paragraph summarizes the stated thesis of the book as it appears on the dust jacket and in the brief introduction (1-9). V. notes that the keyword in the struggle of the plebeians in the Livian account of the years 377-367 is aequari (Liv. 6.35.2), which clearly means full participation of wealthy plebeians in the patrician preserves of imperium, magistratus, gloria belli, genus, and nobilitas. In the course of the third century, the economic benefits of conquest (so well documented in Harris' War and Imperialism, below, n. 9), eased internal tensions among the Roman elite. V. picks up her story in the year 241 because "it marks both the culmination of several important historical processes and the beginning of a more fully documented era" (7).

Here I find a major weakness. We are asked to accept rather general statements, without any in-depth analysis, on a period of Roman history that is notorious for its silences and seeming contradictions; a period that has long been a hotbed of scholarly debate. V.'s opening chapter treats the era of C. Flaminius (with the unfortunate typographical error in dating in its title: 214 [sic]-218); we search in vain throughout the rest of the book for detailed discussion of the period commonly referred to as the Struggle of the Orders. V. speaks of the patricio-plebeian aristocracy which arose in the fourth century, which begs the question as to the existence of two distinct orders. The identity of the patricians is, of course, one of history's nearly inscrutable chimeras. Scholars have maintained that the patricians were racially distinct from plebeians, with the patricians perhaps representing Aryan patriarchical invaders who subjected a matriarchal indigenous population in the plebeians, or hereditary members of Romulus' body of advisors, or members of an archaic cavalry, or members of a priestly caste (note that auspicial privileges appear to have been the last stronghold of patrician exclusivity).2 The identity of the plebeians is equally problematic. Indeed, R.E. Mitchell, claiming that the distinction between patres and the rest of archaic Roman society was religious and legal in nature, has called the very historicity of the so-called Struggle into question.3

It seems to me that V.'s idea that the crucial period in archaic Roman social struggles came in the first half of the fourth century has much to commend it (I note, however, in passing that both consuls were patrician in several years between 355 and 343, and therefore the year 342 with the plebiscite attributed to the tribune L. Genucius (Liv. 7.42) might be a better candidate than 367 with the Licinian-Sextian rogations as the watershed year).4 But since V. claims to provide an historical argument for a new periodization of Roman history, we are entitled to expect something more on the actual period in question than a few unsubstantiated claims in a brief introduction (1-9) and in an equally brief epilogue (195-204). Similarly, the First Punic War is telescoped into a single paragraph, and here V. remarks, "Polybius' account (1.11.3) of the senate's indecision on the question of whether support should be rendered to the Mamertines, and its acquiescence in the transfer of the resolution to the people, is perhaps the first piece of evidence bearing out the new pattern of political relations that had emerged in the aftermath of the political struggles of earlier years" (7; cf. 162). This is an excessive simplification of a complex matter, as there has been scholarly debate as to whether the hoi polloi at Plb. 1.11.2 refers to a majority in the senate or to the popular assembly. Here V.'s abbreviation of this crucial historical event seems arbitrary, and it is misleading.5

Chapter One (11-48), treats of the period from 241-218 and focuses on the career of C. Flaminius.6 These years saw an increasing Roman involvement in the Po Valley. In her introduction, V. states that "The first part of this book attempts to offer a different interpretation of this period. It begins with a consideration of the conquest of the Po Valley, an issue that, to my mind, has not been adequately investigated hitherto" (8). This statement seems to be somewhat disingenuous, as A.M. Eckstein has given us a detailed study of this period in his 1987 study, which V. cites and lists in her bibliography.7 But perhaps this is quibbling -- I'll move on to V.'s arguments. Although acknowledging our lack of information on individual policy makers and on the details of the factional rivalries in this period (15; 24), V. maintains that the Senate was of one mind on a policy of expansion to the north: "... there seems to have been general agreement on the need to control the Po Valley" (24; cf. 14). Indeed, for V. only the Pyrrhic and First Punic Wars had delayed Roman expansion in this area. The Roman Senate, in her view, was on the offensive, and Polybius' statements (2.22.2-11, 23.12-14, 31.7-8; cf. 2.13.5-14.1; 18.11.2; Plut. Marcell. 3) on the metus Gallicus are to be rejected (22-23). If we are to follow V. here, then we must believe that the human sacrifice prescribed by the Sibylline Oracle in 228 in order to ward off an impending Gallic threat,8 was nothing more than an excessive piece of political theater to cow the Roman masses (22; but cf. Plb. 6.56.6-12; Liv. 1.19.4; Plut. Num. 8). Now Eckstein (above, n. 7), may have overstated his case for a Roman defensive mind-set towards the north in this period, and it is true that warlike pursuits drove the senatorial aristocracy's ethos,9 but V.'s account, in my opinion, goes too far in positing a Luttwakian Grand Strategy for control of the Po Valley (cf. 22: "Rome's thorough and intricate logistical and strategic preparations"). She presents the campaign in Liguria in 239/8 and the seizure of Sardinia and Corsica in the aftermath of the First Punic War as deliberate preparatory steps for an assault on the Insubres and Boii. I find Eckstein's picture of Roman ad hoc arrangements and piecemeal measures more persuasive.10 V. brings the First Illyrian War into connection with Flaminius' agrarian law of 232 and the large viritane assignations in the ager Gallicus Picenus. Since the via Flaminia had yet to be constructed, the Romans needed secure Adriatic sea lanes for the transport of colonists and supplies. The harassment of Illyrian pirates, now directly interfering with Roman interests, brought on this brief and lop-sided contest (19-21). Likewise, V. reads the so-called Second Illyrian War as part of Roman safety concerns for Cisalpine Gaul: "Rome could not countenance any piratical activity, real or imagined, in the northern Adriatic at a time when Ariminum, the key to Cisalpine Gaul, was becoming an important military and civil harbour and when the coastal part of the Flaminian way from Fanum Fortunae to Ariminum was being constructed" (24; cf. 42-43)11 Since the tradition reports great controversy over Flaminius' agrarian measures which would appear to compromise the picture of a Roman senatorial consensus on northward expansion, V. devotes two sections to Flaminius' political motivations and senatorial opposition (25-34; 34-43). In canvassing earlier scholarship on this period, V. offers a good synopsis of the studies of Fraccaro, Cassola and others on these scores (26-29). In her view, the opposition to Flaminius' measure stemmed from some senators' reluctance to undertake provocative colonization which could have led to war with the Boii on a new front at a time when Roman troops were still involved in Liguria, Sardinia and Corsica (29-30). There was no disagreement, V. argues, over the projected Roman conquest of the Po Valley, but there were disputes on the best strategy for its accomplishment. Contrary to the image of an inept, radical demagogue as presented by Polybius (2.21.7-9, 33.4-9; 3.80.3, 81.12, 84.4-5), here Flaminius emerges as a Roman politician pursuing accepted remedies for socio-economic tensions, who has been maligned by a hostile, pro-Fabian tradition. Flaminius again appears more in line with traditional Roman thinking in his support of the plebiscitum Claudianum, which prohibited senators and their sons from possessing ships with a carrying capacity exceeding 300 amphorae (Liv. 21.63). The law worked against senators who may still have possessed some of the 200 quinqueremes with which C. Lutatius Catulus had brought the First Punic War to a close, as well as publicans with political ambitions, or those seeking to cut off senatorial inroads into their lucrative military contracts. Commercial interests, in V.'s account, had been a causal factor in the Second Illyrian War, but the shock of the initial phases of the Hannibalic War removed senatorial objections to the lex Claudia. By supporting the law (and here V. makes out a case that Flaminius had considerable support in the Senate), Flaminius sought to reinforce the division between senators and publicans, which was becoming blurred.

Chapter Two (49-114), is a study of the Second Punic War.12 We are all familiar with the picture of Hannibal's legacy: a war-torn Italian countryside, a massive dislocation of small-holders unable to redeem dilapidated homesteads, a movement from rural areas to towns and cities, and to Rome in particular, a swelling urban proletariat in the capital, and the use of slave labor on an unprecedented scale on the large agricultural estates of the enriched upper classes.13 V. is interested in the Roman domestic sphere under strain during the war itself. Livy, in her account, is of the highest importance here as a receptacle of laws and trials in this period, which constitute invaluable barometers of the changes sweeping through Roman society: "... time and again, ancient laws and mores had to be circumvented in order to adapt to the changing reality; this, practically without exception, was achieved through legislation which either approved exemptions from existing laws or provided constitutional support for non-constitutional measures" (50). In the section on the constitutional anomalies of the Hannibalic War period, V.'s suggestion that the tribunician objections to the dictator Q. Fulvius Flaccus' conduct of the consular elections for 209 (Liv. 27.6.2-11), may have been a retroactive response to Fabius Maximus' iteration of the consulship in 214 is attractive, and her ideas on the unintended consequences of the tribunician bill on the enlistment of minors in 212 (Liv. 25.5.5-8), as one factor leading up to the lex Villia Annalis of 180, carry some force. V. argues that both of these incidents resulted from wartime exigencies, and her observations on the irregular appointments and duties of dictators (56-61), and the non-traditional activities of the concilium plebis in granting imperium and in the assignments for the Spanish and African theaters (61-73), add to the picture of the machinery of the Roman state bending under the pressures of war.

The great virtue of this chapter lies in its focus on the commons' role in this period of turbulence and change. Assemblies of the people provided the vehicle for unprecedented actions. In economic terms, the commons bore the brunt of the war, yet the rare instances of popular discontent verging on public rioting, as in 213 when aediles and triumviri nocturni attempted to disperse religious ceremonies and in 210 when the disgruntled populace refused to contribute to the recruitment of oarsmen, demonstrate by their very infrequency the subjection of the people to the ruling oligarchy. Yet a series of trials for perduellio and multa, as well as threats of abrogatio imperii, in the last two decades of the third century show popular discontent and frustration with Rome's leadership (73-85). The discontent and frustration were justified, in V.'s view, as both senators and some publicans had shirked their economic responsibilities throughout the war. The triumviri mensarii of 216, the lex Oppia of 215, and the lex Publicia de cereis of ca. 209 (?), may be viewed as weak senatorial attempts to alleviate the commons' plight. The Cincian law of 204, on the other hand, was Fabius Maximus' attempt to preserve the aristocracy's status quo: "... the lex Cincia was promoted 'from above'. The use of the popular vote to impose principles of competition to retain some measure of equality of opportunities for the nobility was to become a common practice during the first half of the second century" (95). Fabius, according to V., was a member of the "old guard" who controlled the conduct of the war after the "middle generation" had largely perished in the battles of 218-216. The old guard's stranglehold on the highest magistracies blocked the rise of the much needed younger generation. This historical process explains some of the constitutional abnormalities in this period; the career of Scipio Africanus is of course the most obvious illustration here. The repercussions of many of the consequent ad hoc arrangements would be felt in the fifty years following the war's end (99-105). In keeping with her position that Roman politics underwent a momentous change in 367 to the disadvantage of the commons, V. argues that tribunician activity in the later phases of the Hannibalic War was simply part of the senatorial aristocracy's infighting: "... the use of the ius auxilii became part of the political game. Ironically, there is no evidence of a single occasion in which auxilium was offered to the common people, for whose benefit it was initially instituted" (109; cf. 192-193).

Chapter Three (115-193), is a consideration of the impact of expansion on Roman society from 201 down to 167. Livy follows Polybius in his account of these years, and Polybius was not primarily interested in Roman domestic relations. One can formulate a picture of Roman domestic affairs in this period, however, from Livy's reports of scandalous or sensational events, such as the debate over the repeal of the Oppian law, the trial of the Scipios, and the Bacchanalian affair. V. finds a strikingly altered ambience in the forty years or so following the end of the Hannibalic War; pessimism and anxiety gave way to self-assurance and cosmopolitanism, as Rome began to taste the fruits of its victory. While there was a return to constitutional normalcy in other areas, office-holding patterns were permanently altered as a result of the arduous war experience. Flamininus' election to the consulate for 198 is a case in point, and V. finds the answer to the election of the young ex-quaestor (Plut. Flam. 2), in Flamininus' earlier activities as a land commissioner (116-118). The curule aedile Q. Fulvius Flaccus also attempted to flout mos maiorum by presenting himself as a candidate for the suffect praetorship in 184 (120-123). Similarly, patricians, through tribunician appeals to the people, were able to circumvent the restrictions placed upon them by priesthoods in order to assume magisterial duties (118-120). The election of Scipio Africanus in the Hannibalic War served as the prototype here, and these challenges to customary practice led to the lex Villia Annalis of 180. In contrast to these permanent changes in office-holding, the activities of the concilium plebis reverted to pre-war practices -- legislation, elections, trying non-capital offences, and individual exemptions from laws and customs -- although the assembly's involvement in the transfer of provinces in 192 (Liv. 35.20.9), remains mysterious (124-126).

The Roman judiciary system underwent drastic changes in this period. Trials before the people and before special courts are indicators of the fierce competition for the highest offices. Both the trial of Glabrio and the charges brought against the Scipios reveal the emergence of a new type of Roman politician: the ambitious, young climber who is willing to run rough-shod over the collective will of the Senate and to employ the politics of largesse on an unprecedented scale. Indeed, Africanus represents for V. a proto-popularis: "a popularis in an age when the via popularis had not yet been defined" (131). The alterations in judiciary procedure may represent a senatorial reaction to curb individual threats to the college's collective authority (despite the series of acquittals and non-trials in these years). In subsequent trials concerning magisterial misconduct in the provinces, such as the case of M. Popillius Laenas in Liguria in 173 and of Roman magistrates in Spain in the 170s, magistrates or senatorial recuperatores, not the people, heard the cases (132-140).

Firm senatorial control also figures prominently in V.'s account of colonization and land distribution (142-147). She sees the participation of tribunes and assembly and the bilateral sanction (senatus populusque Romanus) in the foundation of colonies as empty relics from a bygone era. Her idea that relatively large boards of ten commissioners for land assignations viritim reflect a desire to diffuse the power which the resultant new clientelae afforded is intriguing (V. acknowledges, however, the logistical problems in utilizing far-flung clientage at the polls; cf. 32 on Flaminius' agrarian scheme). On the other hand, evidence for a growing reluctance to enlist and for consular populism and benevolence towards the rank-and-file suggests weakening senatorial control and the first glimmers of the pernicious alliance of general and soldier which plagues the history of the late Republic (147-153). This period saw further threats to equilibrium in the Senate. Innovations in granting citizenship brought in their wake possibilities for a new, expanded type of clientage14 Although only the people had the power to bestow citizenship, they were increasingly disinclined to share the boons of the Roman franchise; in any event, they did not control the main process by means of which large numbers of people could be enfranchised -- manumission (153-161). Moreover, the upper classes had much more than the lion's share in Roman economic and political life. Given the timocratic structure of the centuriate assembly, one must conclude that even the refusal to vote for war against Philip V in 200 (Liv. 31.6.1-8.4), was due to the reluctance of the well-to-do to undertake further campaigns. Again the commons came out the loser: "The disinclination of the rich to serve, while fully enjoying the remunerations of war, shifted the military burden once again to Rome's allies and to less affluent citizens, who, in the second half of the second century, the state made eligible for service by reducing the minimum census requirements" (162). At the other end of the spectrum was the senatorial aristocracy, which grew increasingly wealthy, luxury-loving, and Hellenized over these years. As a case in point, V. argues that the senators who had made private contributions to the war effort in 210 (Liv. 26.36.4), recouped their investments many times over as a result of their occupation of valuable ager publicus within a fifty mile radius of Rome as the third installment of reimbursement, later called trientabula, reported at Liv. 31.13 (97-98; 164-165). The publicans also greatly benefited from Roman imperial expansion, although there is evidence for tensions with the censors in 184, 169, and 167 (165-169). The remainder of the chapter (169-193), discusses population growth in the capital and the problems of provisioning the city, Roman authorities' concerns for maintaining public order, the political machinations which lay behind the granting of triumphs, unpunished magisterial defiance of senatorial orders, and a refrain on the theme of the altered nature of the tribunate: "In the period that followed the conflict of the orders, the tribunes of the plebs and the assembly they headed became an integral and indispensable component of the oligarchic regime" (192).

In the final chapter, V. provides an interpretation of the Bacchanalian conspiracy, contra Gruen, that is more or less in line with the Livian account (173-176). This leads to my remaining substantial criticism. In essence, State, Society, and Popular Leaders is an historian's critical reading of Livy. V. is at pains to champion Livy's credibility as an historical source, and this results in some astonishing statements. Consider the following: "Even if we conclude that Livy did not consult contemporary sources directly, but drew his material from first century annalists, it is still obvious that there is no similarity between the political and social issues which characterized the first century and those of the third and second centuries that might have presented Livy's sources with opportunities for analogies or tendentious distortions" (2); or "The laws, unlike Livy's sources for this period which cite them, are contemporary. Given the Romans' veneration for ancient laws and the reliability of Livy's sources for this period, there is no good reason to doubt their authenticity" (50). Few share V.'s confidence in Livy's annalistic sources.15 Livy's reputation, both in ancient and in modern times, has lain in his abilities as a stylist, not as a critical historian. Although T.J. Luce's 1977 study demonstrated that Livy is more than the simple-minded, scissors-and-paste historian that much of the earlier Livian scholarship had taken him to be, I still believe that one needs to think long and hard before opting for Livy over Polybius as an historical source.16 One example will suffice in illustrating the point. Livy follows Polybius for the Battle at Cynoscephalae in 197. Polybius states that Philip V ordered his phalanx to lower its pikes when the Roman troops were closing (18.24.9: katabalousi tas sarisas). Livy mistranslates and has the Macedonian soldiers fix their sarissas in the ground before throwing themselves, wielding short swords, against their Roman opponents (33.8.13-14: Macedonum phalangem hastis positis, quarum longitudo impedimento erat, gladiis rem gerere iubet).17 As I have said, I believe that V. bases her study on a reasoned and critical use of Livy, but I nonetheless would have felt more at ease had she acknowledged some more of Livy's weaknesses as well as some of the history of Livian criticism.

The major themes of V'.s book may be distilled as follows. The Licinian-Sextian rogations altered Roman political life so that we cannot legitimately speak of a democratic element at Rome after 367, as the tribunes had been coopted into the ruling oligarchy; the people were the final arbiter in important matters of state, but this constitutional power, nil in actual practice, was given to it by the senatorial aristocracy in order to ensure fair competition within its own ranks and to prevent self-annihilation; the strains of the Second Punic War and subsequent ramifications of imperial success created cracks in the collective unity of the Senate, and sumptuary legislation and laws against electoral bribery were ineffective stop-gap solutions against the tide of socio-economic transformations which led to the very different world of the late Republic. There is nothing radically new here. I confess that at times I lost sight of these big ideas, and I wonder whether some of the excellent, detailed analyses might not have a greater impact as discrete articles in some of our major journals. Aside from my complaints that the alleged impact of the Licinian-Sextian rogations remains a non liquet and that V. perhaps relies too heavily upon the testimony of Livy, as well as my carpings on localized passages, I must say that I found in this study some compelling insights into particular historical problems. I recommend State, Society, and Popular Leaders to anyone with an interest in the political culture of Mid-Republican Rome.


NOTES

1. Cf. P.A. Brunt, Social Conflicts in the Roman Republic (London repr. 1982) 58-59: "A new nobility arose to which only a few plebeians were admitted, and which was as dominant as the patricians had been. Its economic interests and oligarchic sentiments were no different. The order of society was basically unchanged. The old social conflicts were to reappear, but it was harder for the poor to find champions, once the political ambitions of the rich plebeians had been satisfied." On "democratic" Rome, see now Demokratie in Rom? Die Rolle des Volkes in der Politik der römischen Republik. Historia Einzelschriften 96, ed. M. Jehne (Stuttgart 1995), and my review of Pina Polo's Contra Arma Verbis = BMCR 97.3.36.

2. Cf. the Ogulnian law of ca. 300 at Liv. 10.6-9, a relatively late concession to plebeians, and Liv. 27.8.1-3 on the election of the first plebeian maximus curio during the Second Punic War. On auspicial rights, see J. Linderski, "The Auspices and the Struggle of the Orders," in W. Eder, ed., Staat und Staatlichkeit in der frühen römischen Republik (Stuttgart 1990) 34-48 = Roman Questions: Selected Papers (Stuttgart 1995) 560-574.

3. R.E. Mitchell, Patricians and Plebeians: The Origins of the Roman State (Ithaca 1990). Id., "The Definition of Patres and Plebs: An End to the Struggle of the Orders," in Social Struggles in Archaic Rome, ed. K. Raaflaub (Berkeley and Los Angeles 1986) 130-174: "The groups assumed to be patrician and plebeian were not politically monolithic and they did not always support their 'orders,' even though the orders were supposedly pitted against each other" (133). For a representative sample of studies that discuss the problems involved in understanding social conflicts in archaic Rome, see G. Forsythe, The Historian L. Calpurnius Frugi and the Roman Annalistic Tradition (Lanham, New York, and London 1994) 264-310, and T.J. Cornell, The Beginnings of Rome (London and New York 1995) 242-271.

4. See Cornell (above, n. 3) 333-344; cf. 244: "... there was no 'Conflict of the Orders' (properly so-called) until the fourth century, when the battle over the Licinio-Sextian Rogations began .... This polarised situation, in which all Romans belonged to one or other of the two orders, was the result, not the cause, of the Licinio-Sextian laws."

5. See A.M. Eckstein, "Polybius on the Role of the Senate in the Crisis of 264 B.C.," GRBS 21 (1980) 175-190; B.D. Hoyos, "Polybius' Roman hoi polloi in 264 B.C.," Liverpool Classical Monthly 9 (1984) 88-93, and further references in the bibliographical note at p. 93. I hope to re-examine this passage (Plb. 1.11.1-3), in the larger narrative structure of Books 1-3, with special emphasis on Polybius' Roman and Greek audiences, in a future study.

6. On Flaminius' tribunate, see V.'s recent study, "Cicero De Senectute 11, and the Date of C. Flaminius' Tribunate," Phoenix 50 (1996) 138-145.

7. A.M. Eckstein, Senate and General: Individual Decision-Making and Roman Foreign Relations, 264-194 B.C. (Berkeley and Los Angeles 1987) 3-23.

8. See A.M. Eckstein, "Human Sacrifice and Fear of Military Disaster in Republican Rome," AJAH 7 (1982) 69-95; generally, H. Bellen, Metus Gallicus-Metus Punicus. Zum Furchtmotiv in der römischen Republik (Stuttgart 1985).

9. Cf. W.V. Harris, War and Imperialism in Republican Rome, 327-70 B.C. (Oxford 1979) 74-77; Eckstein (above, n. 5), 186 n. 35; my comments on Kostial, Kriegerisches Rom? = BMCR 97.2.8.

10. Cf. the episodic nature of Roman operations against Etruscans, Boii, and Senones in 284-283, compounded by simultaneous troubles to the south, on which see T. Corey Brennan, "M.' Curius Dentatus and the Praetor's Right to Triumph," Historia 43 (1994) 423-439.

11. I discuss the Roman actions in Illyria from a Macedonian perspective in the forthcoming study, "The Nature of Authoritative Evidence in Polybius and Agelaus' Speech at Naupactus," TAPhA 127 (1997).

12. On the Second Punic War, see now T. Cornell, B. Rankov, and Ph. Sabin, edd., The Second Punic War: A Reappraisal (London 1996), reviewed by D. Potter in BMCR 97.3.1.

13. K. Hopkins, Conquerors and Slaves (Cambridge 1978) 1-98 lays out the historical process, synoptically illustrated in the flow chart at p. 12.

14. The comments of A. Wallace-Hadrill, "Patronage in Roman Society: Wallace-Hadrill (London and New York 1989) 63-87 at 69-71, are for the most part applicable to this period.

15. Cf. Forsythe (above, n. 3), 275: "A close reading of Livy and Dionysius... reveals the stereotypical ways in which the later annalists spun out their accounts by the addition of fabricated circumstantial details." Cornell (above, n. 3), 242: "... the late republican annalists interpreted the events of the struggle in terms of the political divisions of their own day. This procedure is perfectly understandable, and should not be dismissed as frivolous or dishonest; nevertheless, the annalists unwittingly contrived to distort the facts, and the results, which are incorporated in the surviving accounts of Livy, Dionysius, and the rest, are often anachronistic and misleading."

16. T.J. Luce, Livy: The Composition of His History (Princeton 1977). On Polybius' historical reliability, see Cic. Off. 3.113; Rep. 1.34; 2.27; Liv. 30.45.5; 33.10.10; for modern assessments, see my assembled references in "Polybius, Aetolia, and the Gallic Attack on Delphi (279 B.C.)," Historia 45 (1996) 315-328 at 315 n. 3.

17. See further P.G. Walsh, "The Negligent Historian: 'Howlers' in Livy," G&R n.s. 5 (1958) 83-88.