All permitting them to act just as they think proper, the ambassadors assure them that they would speedily return, having completed every matter.
When they went and laid before the patricians the message of the commons, the other decemvirs, since, contrary to their own expectation, no mention was made of their punishment, raised no objection.
Appius, being of a truculent disposition and a particular object of detestation, measuring the rancour of others towards him by his own towards them, says, “I am aware of the fate which hangs over me.
I see that the contest against us is deferred, until our arms are delivered up to our adversaries. Blood must be offered up to popular rage.
Not even do I demur to resign my decemvirate.” A decree of the senate is then passed, “that the decemvirs should without delay resign their office; that Quintus Furius, chief pontiff, should hold an election of plebeian tribunes, and that the secession of the soldiers and commons should not be visited on any one.”
These decrees being finished, the senate being dismissed, the [p. 225]
decemvirs come forth into the assembly, and resign their office, to the great joy of all.
News of this is carried to the commons. All the people remaining in the city escort the ambassadors. This crowd was met by another joyous body from the camp; they congratulate each other on the restoration of peace and concord to the state.
The deputies address the assembly: “Be it advantageous, fortunate, and happy for you and the republic, return into your country to your household gods, your wives and children; but carry into the city the same modesty which you observed here, where, amid the consumption of so many matters necessary for so large a number of persons, no man's field has been injured.
Go to the Aventine, whence ye set out. In that auspicious place, where ye took the first step towards liberty, ye shall elect tribunes of the people. The chief pontiff will be at hand to bold the elections.”
Great was their assent and joy, as evinced in their approbation of every measure. They then hastily raise their standards, and having set out for Rome, vie in exultation with all they met.
There, the chief pontiff holding the meeting for the elections, they elected as their tribunes of the people, first of all A. Virginius, then Lucius Icilius, and Publius Numitorius the uncle of Virginia, the advisers of the secession.
Then Caius Sicinius, the offspring of him who is recorded to have been elected first tribune of the commons on the Sacred mount; and Marcus Duilius, who had passed through a distinguished tribuneship before the creation of the decemvirs, and was never wanting to the commons in their contests with the decemvirs.
Marcus Titinius, Marcus Pomponius, Caius Apronius, Publius Villius, and Caius
Oppius, were elected more from hope (entertained of them) than from any services (performed). When he entered on his tribuneship, Lucius Icilius proposed to the commons, and the commons ordered, that the secession from the decemvirs which had taken place should not prove detrimental to an individual.
Immediately after Duilius carried a proposition for electing consuls, with right of appeal. All these things were transacted in an assembly of the commons in the Flaminian meadows, which they now call the Flaminian circus.