Marcus Valerius and Spurius Virginius are next elected [p. 196]
consuls. Quiet prevailed at home and abroad. They laboured under a scarcity of provisions on account of the excessive rains. A law was proposed regarding the making Mount Aventine public property.
The same tribunes of the people being re-elected on the following year, Titus Romilius and Caius Veturius being consuls, strongly recommended the law1
in all their harangues, “That they were ashamed of their number increased to no purpose, if that question should lie for their two years in the same manner as it had lain for the whole preceding five.” Whilst they were most busily employed in these matters, an alarming account comes from Tusculum, that the Aequans were in the Tusculan territory. The recent services of that state made them ashamed of delaying relief.
Both the consuls were sent with an army, and find the enemy in their usual post in Algidum. A battle was fought there; upwards of seven thousand of the enemy were slain; the rest were routed; immense booty was obtained. This
the consuls sold on account of the low state of the treasury; the proceeding was the cause of dissatisfaction to the army, and it also afforded to the tribunes materials for bringing a charge against the consuls before the commons. Accordingly, as soon as they went out of office, in the consulship of Spurius Tarpeius and Aulus Aterius, a day was appointed for Romilius by Caius Claudius Cicero, tribune of the people;
for Veturius, by Lucius Alienus, plebeian aedile. They were both condemned, to the great mortification of the patricians; Romilius to pay ten thousand asses;
Veturius, fifteen thousand. Nor did this misfortune of their predecessors render the new consuls more remiss. They said that they too might be condemned, and that the commons and tribunes could not
carry the law. Then having thrown up the law, which, in its repeated publication, had now grown old, the tribunes adopted a milder mode of proceeding with the patricians. “That they should at length put an end to their disputes. If plebeian laws displeased them, at least they should suffer legislators (chosen) in common, both from the commons and from
the patricians, who would propose measures advantageous to both parties, [p. 197]
and such as might tend to the equalization of liberty.” This proposal the patricians did not reject. They said that “no one should propose laws, except some of the patricians.” When they agreed with respect to the laws, and differed only with respect to the proposer; ambassadors were sent to Athens, Spurius Posthumius Albus, Aulus Manlius Publius Sulpicius Camerinus; and they were ordered to copy out the celebrated laws of Solon, and to become acquainted with the institutions, customs, and laws of the other states of Greece.