Zonaras 7.9 Part III: Tullius the Demagogue; Patrician Footwear

Servius Tullius is the object of political intrigue, and the patricians wear fancy shoes:

When Tullius then took up the management of public affairs, he followed, for the most part, the injunctions of Tarquinius. When he saw among the multitude the men who had murdered Tarquinius, he employed a strategem to lead them to the senate house: he pretended that Tarquinius was still alive. Some of them were condemned and executed, but the sons of Marcus had fled to the Volsci in fear. Tullius then revealed the death of Tarquinius and openly took up the kingship. First, he exiled the sons of Tarquinius so as to entrust the sole rule to himself, and he then subsequently turned his attention to public service; with the aim of easily winning over the rabble rather than the nobles, he gave them property and land, while also preparing to free the slaves and enroll them in the tribes. When the powerful men of the state felt grieved by this, he ordered that those who were being freed should perform some service in turn for those who freed them. The nobles then spread the report that he held the kingship without receiving it from anyone, but had mustered the people together through demagoguery. Having said so many enticing things to them, he caused the entire state to be voted over to him. Tullius, however, responded that he had other ambitions, and enlisted some of them in the senate. The ancient plebeians had less power than the patricians, but as time went on (and except in the case of an interregnum or religious occasion) they had an equal share with the patricians, and differed from them in no way but their shoes. For, the patricians wore shoes with a fashionable interweaving of the straps and stylish inscription, so that they could easily be noticed as descending from the original hundred men who sat in the senate. They say that the inscription was the Greek letter Rho, either as the clear mark of the number 100, or as the first letter of the Roman name.

᾿Εγχειρισθεὶς οὖν ἐκεῖνος τὴν τῶν κοινῶν οἰκονομίαν, τὰ πλείω κατ’ ἐντολὰς δῆθεν διῴκει τοῦ Ταρκυνίου. ὡς δ’ ἐν πᾶσιν ἑώρα πειθαρχοῦντας αὐτῷ, τοὺς αὐτόχειρας τοῦ Ταρκυνίου πρὸς τὴν γερουσίαν παρήγαγε, διὰ τὴν ἐπιβουλὴν τάχα· ἔτι γὰρ ζῆν ἐκεῖνον προσεποιεῖτο. καὶ οἱ μὲν καταψηφισθέντες ἀπέθανον, οἱ δὲ τοῦ Μαρκίου υἱοὶ φοβηθέντες εἰς Οὐολούσκους κατέφυγον. κἀκεῖνος τότε τόν τε θάνατον τοῦ Ταρκυνίου ἐξέφηνε καὶ φανερῶς τῆς βασιλείας ἐπείληπτο. καὶ πρῶτον μὲν τοὺς τοῦ Ταρκυνίου παῖδας προυβάλλετο ὡς αὐτὸς τὴν ἡγεμονίαν ἐπιτροπεύων, εἶτα πρὸς θεραπείαν τοῦ δήμου ἐτράπετο, ὡς ῥᾷστα μᾶλλον τὸν ὅμιλον ἢ τοὺς εὐπατρίδας ὑποποιησόμενος, χρήματά τε αὐτοῖς ἐδίδου καὶ γῆν ἑκάστῳ προσένειμε καὶ τοὺς δούλους ἐλευθεροῦσθαι καὶ φυλετεύεσθαι παρεσκεύασεν. ἀχθομένων δ’ ἐπὶ τούτοις τῶν δυνατῶν, ἔταξέ τινα τοὺς ἐλευθερωθέντας τοῖς ἐλευθερώσασι σφᾶς ἀνθυπουργεῖν. ὡς δὲ χαλεπῶς εἶχον οἱ εὐπατρίδαι αὐτῷ, καὶ διεθρόουν ἄλλα τε καὶ ὅτι μηδενὸς αὐτὸν ἑλομένου τὴν ἀρχὴν ἔχει, συναγαγὼν τὸν δῆμον ἐδημηγόρησε· καὶ πολλὰ ἐπαγωγὰ διαλεχθεὶς αὐτῷ οὕτω διέθετο ὡς αὐτίκα πᾶσαν αὐτῷ τὴν βασιλείαν ἐπιψηφίσασθαι. ὁ δὲ αὐτοὺς ἀμειβόμενος ἄλλα τε ἐφιλοτιμήσατο καὶ ἐς τὸ συνέδριόν τινας αὐτῶν ἐνέγραψεν· οἳ πάλαι μὲν ἐν πλείστοις ἧττον ἔφερον τῶν εὐπατριδῶν, τοῦ χρόνου δὲ προϊόντος, πλὴν τῆς μεσοβασιλείας καὶ τῶν ἱερωσυνῶν, τῶν ἴσων μετεῖχον τοῖς εὐπατρίδαις, καὶ διέφερον ἄνευ τῶν ὑποδημάτων οὐδέν. τοῖς γὰρ εὐπατρίδαις τὰ ὑποδήματα ἀστικὰ τῇ τε ἐπαλλαγῇ τῶν ἱμάντων καὶ τῷ τύπῳ τοῦ γράμματος ἐκεκόσμηντο, ἵν’ ἐκ τούτων δοκοῖεν ἀπὸ τῶν ἑκατὸν ἀνδρῶν τῶν κατ’ ἀρχὰς βουλευσάντων κατιέναι. τὸ γράμμα δὲ ῥῶ φασιν εἶναι, ἢ τοῦ ἀριθμοῦ τῶν ἑκατὸν ἐκείνων ἀνδρῶν δηλωτικὸν ὂν ἢ ὡς τοῦ τῶν ῾Ρωμαίων κατάρχον ὀνόματος.

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