While these wars were going on and there1
was still discord at home, Titus Numicius Priscus and Aulus Verginius were elected consuls.
It was clear that the plebs would endure no further postponement of the land-law, and were preparing to use violent measures, when the approach of a Volscian army was announced by the smoke which rose from burning farmhouses and by the flight of the country people. By this circumstance the insurrection, which was already matured and on the point of breaking out, was repressed.
The consuls, being at once commanded to do so by the senate, led the young men out of the
City to the war, a policy which diminished the restlessness of the plebeians who were left behind.
As for the enemy, they did no more than cause the Romans a needless panic, and hastily retreated. Numicius marched to Antium against the Volsci, Verginius against the Aequi. In the Aequian campaign an ambush nearly resulted in a severe defeat for the Romans, but the courage of the soldiers restored the day, which the carelessness of the consul had almost lost.
The Volscian expedition was better directed: the enemy were routed in the first engagement and driven in flight to Antium, a very opulent city for those days. This place the consul did not venture to assail, but he captured from the Antiates another town, named Caeno, of far less wealth.
While the Aequi and Volsci kept the Roman armies busy, the Sabines advanced clear to the gates of the City on a plundering raid. A few days after this they themselves had to confront two armies, for both the consuls indignantly invaded their borders, and they suffered greater losses than they had themselves inflicted.