a1 University of Melbourne
We know of the Atinian plebiscite only from a tantalizing reference of Gellius, apparently citing Ateius Capito: ‘nam et tribunis, inquit plebis senatus habendi ius erat, quamquam senatores non essent ante Atinium plebiscitum.’ Willems was able to note two interpretations, one of which held that the plebiscite required that all tribunes be senators already, the other that it allowed tribunes the enjoyment of senatorial rights. The first was rightly rejected; since all we know disallows the notion that an aedileship would precede the tribunate, senatorial status could only come after the quaestorship and while there were only eight or less quaestors, clearly ten tribunes could hardly all be ex-quaestors. Consequently Willems adopted the second alternative: acquisition of the tribunate entailed the ius sententiae dicendae in the senate.
* My thanks go to Mr. B. A. Marshall foi helpful comments on this paper; the responsi bflity remains mine. All dates are B.C.