The following year had for military tribunes with consular power, Agrippa Menenius Lanatus, Publius Lucretius Tricipitinus, Spurius Nautius Rutilus: to the good fortune of the Roman people, the year was remarkable rather by great danger than by losses.
The slaves conspire to set fire to the city in several quarters, and whilst the people should be intent in bearing assistance to the houses in every direction, to take up arms and seize the citadel and Capitol. Jupiter frustrated their horrid designs; and the offenders, being seized on the information of two (accomplices), were punished.
Ten thousand asses
in weight of brass paid out of the treasury, a sum which at that time was considered wealth, and their freedom, was the reward conferred on the parties who discovered.
The Aequans then began to prepare for a renewal of hostilities; and an account was brought to Rome from good authority, that new enemies, the Lavicanians, were forming a coalition with the old ones. The state had now become habituated, as it were, to the anniversary arms of the Aequans. When am [p. 302]
bassadors were sent to Lavici and brought back from thence an evasive answer, from which it became evident that neither war was intended there, nor would peace be of long continuance, instructions were given to the Tusculans, that they should observe attentively, lest any new commotion should arise at Lavici.
To the military tribunes, with consular power, of the following year, Lucius Sergius Fidenas, Marcus Papirius Mugillanus, Caius Servilius the son of Priscus, in whose dictatorship Fidenae had been taken, ambassadors came from Tusculum, just as they entered on their office.
The ambassadors brought word that the Lavicanians had taken arms, and having ravaged the Tusculan territory in conjunction with the army of the Aequans, that they had pitched their camp at Algidum.
Then war was proclaimed against the Lavicanians; and a decree of the senate having been passed, that two of the tribunes should proceed to the war, and that one should manage affairs at Rome, a contest suddenly sprung up among the tribunes. Each represented himself as a fitter person to take the lead in the war, and scorned the management of the city as disagreeable and inglorious.
When the senate beheld with surprise the indecent contention between the colleagues, Quintus Servilius says, “Since there is no respect either for this house, or for the commonwealth, parental authority shall set aside this altercation of yours. My son, without having recourse to lots, shall take charge of the city. I wish that those who are so desirous of managing the war, may conduct it with more consideration and harmony than they covet it.”