In his Roman Questions, Plutarch (Opuscul. tom. i. p. 505, 506, edit. Graec. Hen. Steph). states, on the most constitutional principles, the simple greatness of the tribunes, who were not properly magistrates, but a check on magistracy. It was their duty and interest
( a saying of C. Curio)
etc. Rienzi, and Petrarch himself, were incapable perhaps of reading a Greek philosopher; but they might have imbibed the same modest doctrines from their favourite Latins, Livy and Valerius Maximus.