I, 2; for a critical examination of the story and its connexion with the downfall of the decemvirs, see Sir G.
Before the time of the Decemvirs, however, February was the last month of the year.
When it was decided to elect decemvirs for another year, he who had formerly been looked upon as the champion of the aristocracy, suddenly came forward as the friend of the people, and was himself re-elected together with several plebeians.
The decemvirs were finally compelled to resign and Appius Claudius died in prison, either by his own hand or by that of the executioner.
In The Reign Of Numa Two Months Were Added To The Year, January At The Beginning And February At The End; And This Arrangement Continued Till The Year 452 B.C., When The Decemvirs Changed The Order Of The Months, And Placed February After January.
Continued agitation to this effect resulted in an agreement in 452 B.C. between patricians and plebeians that decemvirs should be appointed to draw up a code, that during their tenure of office all other magistracies should be in abeyance, that they should not be subject to appeal, but that they should be bound to maintain the laws which guaranteed by religious sanctions the rights of the plebs.
The first board of decemvirs (apparently consisting wholly of patricians) was appointed to hold office during 451 B.C.; and the chief man among them was Appius Claudius.
The decemvirs ruled with singular moderation, and submitted to the Comitia Centuriata a code of laws in ten headings, which was passed.
So popular were the decemvirs that another board of ten was appointed for the following year, some of whom, if the extant list of names is correct, were certainly plebeians.
The judicial board of decemvirs (stlitibus judicandis) formed a civil court of ancient origin concerned mainly with questions bearing on the status of individuals.
The priestly board of decemvirs (sacris faciundis) was an outcome of the claim of the plebs to a share in the administration of the state religion.
Five of the decemvirs were patricians, and five plebeians.
Decemvirs were also appointed from time to time to control the distribution of the public land (agris dandis adsi- 'see' Agrarian Laws).