A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology

Smith, William

A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology. William Smith, LLD, ed. 1890

4. C. LICINIUS CALVUS, surnamed STOLO, which he derived, it is said, from the care with which he dug up the shoots that sprung up from the roots of his vines. He brought the contest between the patricians and plebeians to a crisis and a happy termination, and thus became the founder of Rome's greatness. He was tribune of the people from B. C. 376 to 367, and was faithfully supported in his exertions by his colleague L. Sextius. The laws which he proposed were:

1. That in future no more consular tribunes should be appointed, but that consuls should be elected as in former times, one of whom should always be a plebeian.

2. That no one should possess more than 500 jugers of the public land, or keep upon it more than 100 head of large and 500 of small cattle.

3. A law regulating the affairs between debtor and creditor, which ordained that the interest already paid for borrowed money should be deducted from the capital, and that the remainder of the latter should be paid back in three yearly instalments.

4. That the Sibylline books should be entrusted to a college of ten men (decemviri), half of whom should be plebeians, that no falsifications might be introduced in favour of the patricians. These rogations were passed after a most vehement opposition on the part of the patricians, and L. Sextius was the first plebeian who, in accordance with the first of them, obtained the consulship for the year B. C. 366. Licinius himself too received marks of the people's gratitude and confidence, by being elected twice to the consulship, in B. C. 364 and 361; but some years later he was accused by M. Popilius Laenas of having transgressed his own law respecting the amount of public land which a person might possess. Avarice had tempted him to violate his own salutary regulations, and in B. C. 357 he was sentenced to pay a heavy fine. (Plin. Nat. 17.1, 18.4 ; Varro, De Re Rust. 1.2; Liv. 6.35, 42, 7.1, 2, 9, 16; Florus, 1.26; Aur. Vict. De Vir. Illustr. 20 ; Plut. Camill. 39; Diod. 15.82, 95; Zonar. 7.24 ; V. Max. 8.6.3; comp. Niebuhr, Hist. of Rome, iii. p. 1, &c.)