During these wars, whilst dissensions still continued at home, Titus Numicius Priscus, Aulus Virginius, were elected consuls.
The commons appeared determined no longer to brook a delay of the agrarian law, and extreme violence was on the eve of being resorted to, when it was ascertained from the burning of the country-houses and the flight of the peasants that the Volscians were at hand: this circumstance checked the sedition that was now ripe and almost breaking out.
The consuls, having been instantly forced to the war by the senate,1
after leading forth the youth from the city, rendered the rest of the commons more quiet.
And the enemy indeed, having done nothing else except alarming the Romans by groundless fear, depart with great precipitation. Numicius marched to Antium against the Volscians, Virginius against the Aequans. Here a signal overthrow being well nigh received
from an ambuscade, the bravery of the soldiers restored (the Roman) superiority, which had been endangered through the carelessness of the consul. The general conducted affairs better against the Volscians. The enemy were routed in the first engagement, and forced to fly into the city of Antium,
a very wealthy place considering those times; the consul, not venturing to attack it, took from the people of Antium another town, Ceno, which was by no means so wealthy. Whilst the Aequans and Volscians engage the attention of the Roman armies, the Sabines advanced in their devastations even to the gates of the city: then they themselves, a few days after, received from the two armies heavier losses than they had occasioned, the two consuls having entered their territories under exasperated feelings. [p. 155]