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Lucius Sextius Lateranus was a Roman tribune of the plebs and is noted for having been one of two men (the other being Gaius Licinius) behind the Lex Licinia Sextia, permitting him in 366 BC to become what is often considered[by whom?] the "first plebeian consul". This last is a controversial statement as some historians[who?] consider that something near a third of early consuls have names stemming from plebeian families. It has been suggested that the later Roman historians, from whom we[who?] draw this claim, may have been coloring their own class struggles on this time period (See Conflict of the Orders). Whatever the truth behind the claim, the Lex Licinia Sextia worked to ensure that one of the two annually elected consuls could be plebeian. It was not until the Lex Genucia of 342 BC that one of the consuls had to be plebeian, despite contrary claims by some of our sources.
Perhaps more remarkable than the actual law, if we[who?] are to believe the historians of the period, is the degree to which L. Sextius and Gaius Licinius were able to disrupt the normal election of major magistrates (no curule magistrates elected from 375 BC to 371 BC after which problems with Velitrae prompted them to permit the elections) and therefore help to set the stage for the law that would resume the consulship with a forced plebeian seat.
- Full Name: Lucius Sextius Sextus (filius) N. (nepos) Sextinus Lateranus
- Responsible, with Gaius Licinius, for the Lex Licinia Sextia in 367 BC
- Became first of the new yearly required plebeian consuls in 366 BC
Tribuni militum consulari potestate
|Consul of the Roman Republic
with Lucius Aemilius Mamercus
Lucius Genucius Aventinensis and Quintus Servilius Ahala
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