After this laws were passed, which not only cleared him of all suspicions of aiming at the regal power, but had so contrary a tendency, that they made him popular. From thence he was surnamed Poplicola.
Above all, the laws regarding an appeal to the people against the magistrates, and that devoting the life and property of any one who should form a design of assuming regal authority, were grateful to the people.
And after he had passed these while sole consul, so [p. 89]
that the merit in them was exclusively his own, he then held an assembly for the election of a new colleague.
Sp. Lucretius was elected consul, who being very old, and his strength being inadequate to discharge the consular duties, dies in a few days. M. Horatius Pulvillus was substituted in the room of Lucretius. In some old writers I find no mention of Lucretius as consul; they place Horatius immediately after Brutus.
I believe that, because no important event signalized his consulate, it has been unnoticed. Jupiter's temple in the Capitol had not yet been dedicated; the consuls Valerius and Horatius cast lots which should dedicate it.
It fell by lot to Horatius. Publicola departed to the war of the Veientians. The friends of Valerius were more annoyed than they should have been, that the dedication of so celebrated a temple should be given to Horatius.1
Having endeavoured by every means to prevent that, when all other attempts had been tried in vain, when the consul was now holding the door-post during his offering of prayer to the gods, they suddenly announce to him the shocking intelligence that his son was dead, and that his family being defiled2
he could not dedicate the temple.
Whether he did not believe the fact, or possessed such great firmness of mind, is neither handed down for certain, nor is a conjecture easy. Diverted from his purpose at this intelligence in no other way than to order that the body should be buried,3
he goes through the prayer, and dedicates the temple. These were the transactions at home and abroad the first year after the expulsion of the kings.
After this P. Valerius, a second time, and Titus Lucretius, were elected consuls.