for the first time tribunes were elected in the tribal assembly. That their number was also increased by three, as if there had been only two before, is stated by Piso.
He also gives the names of the tribunes: Gnaeus Siccius, Lucius Numitorius, Marcus Duillius, Spurius Icilius, Lucius Maecilius.
While Rome was thus distracted, the Volsci and the Aequi began war.
They had laid waste the fields in order that the plebeians, if they should secede, might find a refuge with them.2
Then, when the matter was settled, they withdrew their camp. Appius Claudius was sent against the Volsci; to Quinctius fell the command against the Aequi.
In his conduct in the field Appius displayed the same violence that he had shown in Rome, and it now had freer play because it was not hampered by the tribunes. He hated the plebs with a hatred that surpassed his father's: What?
Had he been beaten by them? Was it in his consulship, who had been chosen as pre-eminently fitted to resist the tribunician power, that a law had been passed which former consuls had prevented, with less effort and by no means so much hope of success on the part of the patricians?
His wrath and indignation at this thought drove his fierce spirit to torment the army with a savage exercise of authority. Yet he was unable by any violence to subdue them, so deeply had their spirits drunk of opposition.
Sloth, idleness, neglect, and obstinacy were in all they did. Neither shame nor fear restrained them. If he wished the column to advance more rapidly they deliberately retarded their pace; [p. 417]
if he stood by to encourage their work, they would3
all relax the industry they had manifested of their own accord.
In his presence they sunk their gaze; as he passed by they cursed him under their breath; till that proud spirit, which the hatred of the plebs had never broken, was at times disturbed.
After exhausting every species of severity without effect, he would have no more to do with the men; the centurions, he said, had corrupted the army, and he sometimes sneeringly dubbed them “tribunes of the plebs” and “Voleros.”