Zonaras 7.14 Part I: Debt Reform Fails, Revolt Ensues

The Plebeians are duped by the false promise of debt reform:

When Lartius became dictator, the plebeians contrived no revolutionary measures, but found themselves in arms. While the Latins maintained peace in accordance with the agreements, the money-lenders began to treat debtors with violent insolence, and on that account the plebeians rose once again and went to the senate chamber. Everyone would have died therein if some had not already announced that the Volusci were making an attack upon the land. In response to this report, the plebeians departed not with the aim of sparing the senate, but assuming that it would be destroyed by enemies as never before. On that account, they placed no guard on the walls and offered no assistance, until Servilius freed some who were oppressed after defaulting on their loans, and granted exemption from debt collection for as long as they served in the army; he also promised to relieve their debts. Then, in response to these promises, the plebeians went out and conquered the enemy. When, subsequently, the received neither a reduction of their debts nor any other suitable recompense, they clamored again and vented their anger, raising a rebellion against the senate and the generals.

Τότε μὲν οὖν δικτάτωρος γενομένου Λαρκίου οὐδὲν ὁ δῆμος ἐνεωτέρισεν, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐν τοῖς ὅπλοις ἐγένοντο. τῶν δὲ Λατίνων ἡσυχίαν ἀγόντων ἐπὶ συνθήκαις, οἱ δανεισταὶ τοὺς ὀφειλέτας μετεχειρίζοντο βιαιότερον, καὶ ὁ δῆμος αὖθις ἐστασίαζε διὰ τοῦτο, ὥστε καὶ εἰς τὸ συνέδριον συνδραμεῖν· καὶ πάντες ἂν ὑπὸ τῶν εἰσπεσόντων ἐν αὐτῷ διεφθάρησαν, εἰ μή τινες τοὺς Οὐολούσκους εἰς τὴν χώραν ἐμβαλεῖν ἤδη κατήγγειλαν. πρὸς δὲ τὴν τοιαύτην ἀγγελίαν ὁ δῆμος ἠρέμησεν, οὐχὶ φεισάμενος τῆς βουλῆς, ἀλλ’ ὡς ὑπὸ τῶν πολεμίων ὅσον οὔπω φθαρησομένης. διὸ οὔτε τοῦ τείχους ἔθεντο φυλακὴν οὔτε τινὰ παρεῖχον βοήθειαν, μέχρις ὁ Σερουίλιος τούς τε ἐξ ὑπερημερίας κρατουμένους ἀφῆκε, καὶ ἄδειαν τῶν εἰσπράξεων καθ’ ὅσον στρατεύοιντο ἐψηφίσατο, καὶ κουφίσαι τὰ χρέα ὑπέσχετο. τότε μὲν οὖν διὰ ταῦτα τοῖς πολεμίοις ἐπεξελθόντες ἐνίκησαν· μήτε δὲ τῶν χρεῶν κουφισθέντες μήτ’ ἄλλου μηδενὸς τυχόντες ἐπιεικοῦς, καὶ πάλιν ἐθορύβουν τε καὶ ὠργίζοντο, καὶ κατὰ τῆς βουλῆς καὶ τῶν στρατηγῶν ἐστασίαζον.

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