From that time the captive prophet began to be held in very high esteem, and the consular tribunes, Cornelius and Postumius, began to make use of him for the expiation of the Alban portent and the proper method of appeasing the gods.
At length it was discovered why the gods were visiting men for neglected ceremonies and religious duties unperformed.
It was in fact due to nothing else but the fact that there was a flaw in the election of the magistrates, and consequently they had not proclaimed the Festival of the Latin League and the sacrifice on the Alban Mount with the due formalities.
There was only one possible mode of expiation, and that was that the consular tribunes should resign office, the auspices to be taken entirely afresh, and an interrex appointed. All these measures were earned out by a decree of the senate.
There were three interreges in succession —L. Valerius, Q. Servilius Fidenas, and M. Furius Camillus.
During all this time there were incessant disturbances owing to the tribunes of the plebs hindering the elections until
an understanding was come to that the majority of the consular tribunes should be elected from the plebeians.
Whilst this was going on the national council of Etruria met at the Fane of Voltumna.
The Capenates and the Faliscans demanded that all the cantons of Etruria should unite in common action to raise the siege of Veii; they were told in reply that assistance had been previously refused to the Veientines because they had no right to seek help from those whose advice they had not sought in a matter of such importance.
Now, however, it was their unfortunate circumstances and not their will that compelled them to refuse. The Gauls, a strange and unknown race, had recently overrun the greatest part of Etruria, and they were not on terms of either assured peace or open war with them.
They would, however, do this much for those of their blood and name, considering the imminent danger of their kinsmen —if
any of their younger men volunteered for the war they would not prevent their going.
The report spread in Rome that a large number had reached Veii, and in the general alarm the internal dissensions, as usual, began to calm down.