Urged on by these discourses the commons condemn the accused [in a fine] of ten thousand asses
in weight, Sergius in vain throwing the blame on fortune and the common chance of war, Virginius entreating that he might not be more unfortunate at home than he had been in the field.
Their resentment of the people being turned against them, obliterated the remembrance of the assumption of the tribunes and of the fraud committed against the Trebonian law.
The victorious tribunes, in order that the people might reap an immediate benefit from the trial, publish a form
of an agrarian law, and prevent the tax from being contributed, since there was need of pay for so great a number of troops, and the enterprises of the service were conducted with success in such a manner, that in none of the wars did they reach the consummation of their hope. At Veii the camp which had been lost was recovered and strengthened with forts and a garrison.
Here M. Aemilius and Kaeso Fabius, military tribunes, commanded. None of the enemy were found outside the walls by Marcus Furius in the Faliscan territory, and Cneius Cornelius in the Capenatian district: spoil was driven off, and the country laid waste by burning of the houses and the fruits of the earth: [p. 338]
the towns were neither assaulted nor besieged.
But among the Volscians, their territory being depopulated, Anxur, which was situate on an eminence, was assaulted, but to no purpose; and when force was ineffectual, they commenced to surround it with a rampart and a trench.
The province of the Volscians had fallen [to the lot of] Valerius Potitus. In this state of military affairs an intestine disturbance broke out with greater violence than the wars were proceeded with. And when it was rendered impossible by the tribunes to have the tax paid, and the payment [of the army] was not remitted to the generals, and the soldiers became importunate for their pay, the camp also was well nigh being involved in the contagion of the sedition in the city.
Amid this resentment of the commons against the patricians, though the tribunes asserted that now was the time for establishing liberty, and transferring the sovereign dignity from the Sergii and
Virginii to plebeians, men of fortitude and energy, still they proceeded no further than the election of one of the commons, Publius Licinius Calvus, military tribune with consular power for the purpose of establishing their right by precedent:
the others elected were patricians, Publius Maenius, Lucius Titinius, Publius Maelius, Lucius Furius Medullinus, Lucius Publius Volscus.
The commons themselves were surprised at having gained so important a point, and not merely he who had been elected, being a person who had filled no post of honour before, being only a senator of long standing, and now weighed down with years.
Nor does it sufficiently appear, why he was elected first and in preference to any one else to taste the sweets of the new dignity. Some think that he was raised to so high a dignity through the influence of his brother, Cneius Cornelius, who had been military tribune on the preceding year, and had given triple pay to the cavalry.
Others [say] that he had himself delivered a seasonable address equally acceptable to the patricians and commons, concerning the harmony of the several orders [of the state]. The tribunes of the commons, exulting in this victory at the election, relaxed in their opposition regarding the tax, a matter which very much impeded the progress of public business. It was paid in with submission, and sent to the army.