In the following year, Aulus Manlius, Publius Cornelius, Titus and Lucius Quintii Capitolini, Lucius Papirius [p. 404]
Cursor a second time, Caius Sergius a second time, being military tribunes with consular power, a grievous war broke out abroad, a still more grievous disturbance at home;
the war originated on the part of the Volscians, to which was added a revolt of the Latins and Hernicians; the sedition from one from whom it could be least of all apprehended, a man of patrician birth and distinguished character, Marcus Manlius Capitolinus;
who being too aspiring in mind, whilst he despised the other leading men, envied one, who was peculiarly distinguished both by honours and by merit, Marcus Furius: he became indignant that he should be the only man among the magistrates;
the only man at the head of the armies; that he now attained such eminence that he treated not as colleagues but as mere tools the persons elected under the same auspices; though, in the mean time, if any one would form a just estimate, his country could not have been recovered by Marcus Furius from the siege of the enemy, had not the Capitol and citadel been first preserved by him;
and the other attacked the Gauls, whilst their attention was distracted between receiving the gold and the hope of peace, when he himself drove them off when armed and taking the citadel; of the other's glory, a man's share appertained to all the soldiers who conquered along with him; that in his victory no man living was a sharer.
His mind puffed by these notions, and moreover, from a viciousness of disposition being vehement and headstrong, when he perceived that his influence among the patricians did not stand forth as prominent as he thought it should, he, the first of all the patricians, became a plebeian partisan, and formed plans in conjunction with the plebeian magistrates;
and by criminating the fathers, and alluring the commons to his side, he now came to be carried along by the tide of popular applause, not by prudence, and preferred to be of a great, rather than of a good character:
and not content with agrarian laws, which had ever served the tribunes of the commons as material for disturbances, he now began to undermine public credit; for [he well knew] “that the incentives of debt were sharper, as not only threatening poverty and ignominy, but intimidated personal liberty with stocks and chains.”
And the amount of the debt was immense, contracted by building, a circumstance most destructive even to the rich. The Volscian war therefore, heavy in [p. 405]
itself, charged with additional weight by the defection of the Latins and Hernicians, was held out as a colourable pretext, for having a higher authority resorted to.
But it was rather the reforming plans that drove the senate to create a dictator. Aulus Cornelius Cossus having been elected dictator, nominated Titus Quinctius Capitolinus his master of the horse.