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Valerius, Publius

VALERIUS, PUBLIUS, surnamed PUBLICOLA (or POPLICOLA), " friend of the people," the colleague of Brutus in the consulship in the first year of the Roman republic (509 B.C.). According to Livy and Plutarch, his family, whose ancestor Volusus had settled in Rome at the time of King Tatius, was of Sabine origin. He took a prominent part in the expulsion of the Tarquins, and though not originally chosen as the colleague of Brutus he soon took the place of Tarquinius Collatinus. On the death of Brutus, which left him sole consul, the people began to fear that he was aiming at kingly power. To calm their apprehensions he discontinued the building of his house on the top of the Velian Hill, and also gave orders that the fasces should be lowered whenever he appeared before the people. He further introduced two laws to protect the liberties of the citizens, one enacting that whosoever should attempt to make himself a king might be slain by any man at any time, while another provided an appeal to the people on behalf of any citizen condemned by a magistrate (lex Valeria de provocations: see ROME, History, II. " The Republic"). He died in 503, and was buried at the public expense, the matrons mourning him for ten months.

Livy ii. 6-8; Dion. Halic. iv. 67, v. 1240; Life by Plutarch.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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