The leaders of the senate gave it as their opinion that whether it was through the fault or the misfortune of the commanders that such a disgraceful defeat had been incurred, they ought not to wait until the regular time for the elections, but proceed at once to appoint
new consular tribunes, to enter office on October 1. On their proceeding to vote on this proposal, the other consular tribunes offered no opposition, but strange to say, Sergius and Verginius —the
very men on whose account obviously the senate were dissatisfied with the magistrates for that year —after protesting against such humiliation, vetoed the resolution. They declared that they would not resign office before December 13, the usual day for new magistrates to take office.
On hearing this, the tribunes of the plebs, who had maintained a reluctant silence while the State was enjoying concord and prosperity, now made a sudden attack upon the consular tribunes, and threatened, if they did not bow to the authority of the senate, to order them to be imprisoned.
There upon C. Servilius Ahala, the consular tribune, replied: ‘As for you and your menaces, tribunes of the plebs, I should very much like to put it to the proof how your threats possess as little legality as you possess courage to carry them out, but it is wrong to storm against the authority of the senate.
Cease, therefore, to look for a chance of making mischief by meddling in our disputes; either my colleagues will act upon the senate's resolution, or if they persist in their obstinacy, I shall at once nominate a Dictator that he may compel them to resign.’
This speech was received with universal approval, and the senate were glad to find that without bringing in the bugbear of the plebeian tribunes' power, another and a more effectual method existed for bringing pressure to bear on the magistrates.
In deference to the universal feeling, the two recalcitrant tribunes held an election for consular tribunes who entered office on October 1, they themselves having previously resigned office.