The speech of Appius merely had this effect, that the time for passing the propositions was deferred.
The same tribunes, Sextius and Licinius, being re-elected for the tenth time, succeeded in passing a law, that of the decemvirs for religious matters, one half should be elected from the commons. Five patricians were elected, and five out of the plebeians; and by that step the way appeared opened to the consulship.
The commons, content with this victory, yielded to the patricians, that, all mention of consuls being omitted for the present, military tribunes should be elected. Those elected were, Aulus and Marcus Cornelius a second time, Marcus Geganius, Publius Manlius, Lucius Veturius, and Publius Valerius a six h time.
When, except the siege of Velitrae, a matter rather of a slow than dubious result, there was no disquiet from foreign concerns among the Romans; the sudden rumour of a Gallic war being brought, influenced the state to appoint Marcus Furius dictator for the fifth time. He named Titus Quinctius Pennus master of the horse.
Claudius asserts that a battle was fought that year with the Gauls, on the banks of the Anio; and that then the famous battle was fought on the bridge, in which Titus Manlius, engaging with a Gaul by whom he had been challenged, slew him in the sight of the two armies and despoiled him of his chain.
But I am induced by the authority of several writers to believe that those things happened not less than ten years later; but that in this year a pitched battle was fought with the Gauls by the dictator, Marcus Furius, in the territory of Alba.
The victory was either [p. 446]
doubtful nor difficult to the Romans, though from the recollection of the former defeat the Gauls had diffused great terror. Many thousands of the barbarians were slain in the field, and great numbers in the storming of the camp.
The rest dispersing, making chiefly for Apulia, saved themselves from the enemy, both by continuing their flight to a great distance, as also because panic and terror had scattered them very widely. A triumph was decreed to the dictator with the concurrence of the senate and commons.
Scarcely had he as yet finished the war, when a more violent disturbance awaited him at home; and by great struggles the dictator and the senate were overpowered, so that the measures of the tribunes were admitted; and the elections of the consuls were held in spite of the resistance of the nobility, at which Lucius Sextius was made consul, the first of plebeian rank.
And not even was that an end of the contests. Because the patricians refused to give their approbation, the affair came very near a secession of the people, and other terrible threats of civil contests:
when, however, the dissensions were accommodated on certain terms through the interference of the dictator; and concessions to the commons were made by the nobility regarding the plebeian consul; by the commons to the nobility, with respect to one praetor to be elected out of the patricians, to administer justice in the city.
The different orders being at length restored to concord after their long-continued animosity, when the senate were of opinion that for the sake of the immortal gods they would readily do a thing deserving, and that justly, if ever on any occasion before, that the most magnificent games should be performed, and that one day should be added to the three;
the plebeian aediles refusing the office, the young patricians cried out with one accord, that they, for the purpose of paying honour to the immortal gods, would readily undertake the task, so that they were appointed aediles.
And when thanks were returned to them by all, a decree of the senate passed, that the dictator should ask of the people two persons as aediles from among the patricians; that the senate should give their approbation to all the elections of that year.