As regards foreign war, the year was a quiet one.
The following one, in which P. Curiatius and Sextus Quinctilius were consuls, was still quieter owing to the continued silence of the
tribunes. This was due to two causes: first, they were waiting for the return of the commissioners who had gone to Athens
, and the foreign laws which they were to bring; and secondly, two fearful disasters came together, famine and a pestilence which was fatal to men and fatal to cattle. The fields lay waste, the City was depleted by an unbroken series of deaths, many illustrious houses were in
mourning. The Flamen Quirinalis
, Servius Cornelius, died, also the augur C. Horatius Pulvillus, in whose place the augurs chose C. Veturius, all the more eagerly because he had been condemned by the
plebs. The consul Quinctilius and four tribunes of the plebs died. The year was a gloomy one owing to the numerous
losses. There was a respite from external enemies.
The succeeding consuls were C. Menenius and P. Sestius Capitolinus. This year also was free from war abroad, but commotions began at
home. The commissioners had now returned with the laws of Athens
; the tribunes, in consequence, were more insistent that a commencement should at last be made in the compilation of the laws. It was decided that a body of Ten (hence called the ‘Decemvirs’) should be created, from whom there should be no appeal, and that all other magistrates should be suspended for the
year. There was a long controversy as to whether plebeians should be admitted; at last they gave way to the patricians on condition that the Icilian Law concerning the Aventine
and the other sacred laws should not be repealed.