1. Livy 34.54.4-8


horum aedilium ludos Romanos primum senatus a populo secretus spectauit praebuitque sermones, sicut omnis nouitas solet, aliis tandem quod multo ante debuerit tributum existimantibus amplissimo ordini, 5aliis demptum ex dignitate populi quidquid maiestati patrum adiectum esset interpretantibus et omnia discrimina talia quibus ordines discernerentur et concordiae et libertatis aequae minuendae esse: 6ad quingentesimum <quinquagesimum> octauum annum in promiscuo spectatum esse; quid repente factum cur immisceri sibi in cauea patres plebem nollent? 7cur diues pauperem consessorem fastidiret? nouam, superbam libidinem, ab nullhttps://www.linuxmint.com/start/sylvia/ius ante gentis senatu neque desideratam neque institutam. 8postremo ipsum quoque Africanum quod consul auctor eius rei fuisset paenituisse ferunt; adeo nihil motum ex antiquo probabile est: ueteribus, nisi quae usus euidenter arguit, stari malunt.

At the Roman Games given by these aediles, the senate for the first time looked on segregated from the common people, and this caused gossip, as every novelty usually does, some thinking that this distinction, which should have been granted long before, was at last bestowed upon a most honourable body; 5others taking the view that whatever was added to the majesty of the senate was subtracted from the dignity of the commons, and that all such discriminations, which tended to draw the orders apart, were dangerous to impartial harmony and freedom. 6For five hundred and fifty-eight years, they said, people had looked on from seats chosen at random; what had suddenly happened to make the Fathers unwilling to have the plebeians mingle with them in the crowd, or the rich man scorn the poor man as his neighbour at the show? 7This was a novel and arrogant caprice, never desired nor practised by the senate of any other people. 8It is reported that in the end even Africanus had repented that in his consulship he had suggested this innovation. So difficult it is to prove the need of any variation from ancient custom; people always prefer to stand by the old ways, unless experience convincingly proves them bad.

(trans. E.T. Sage 1935)