Quinctius Capitolinus and Agrippa Curius were the next consuls elected —the former for the fourth time. They found on entering office no disturbances at home nor any war abroad, though both were threatening.
The dissensions of the citizens could now no longer be checked, as both the tribunes and the plebs were exasperated against the patricians, owing to the Assembly being constantly disturbed by fresh quarrels whenever one of the nobility was prosecuted.
At the first bruit of these outbreaks, the Aequi and Volscians, as though at a given signal, took up arms. Moreover their leaders, eager for plunder, had persuaded them that it had been impossible to raise the levy ordered two years previously, because the plebs refused to obey, and it was owing to this that no armies had been sent against them;
military discipline was broken up by insubordination; Rome
was no longer looked upon as the common fatherland; all their rage against foreign foes was turned against one another. Now was the opportunity for destroying these wolves blinded by the madness of mutual hatred.
With their united forces they first completely desolated the Latin territory; then, meeting with none to check their depredations, they actually approached the walls of Rome
, to the great delight of those who had fomented the war. Extending their ravages in the direction of the Esquiline
gate, they plundered and harried, through sheer insolence, in the sight of the City.
After they had marched back unmolested with their plunder to Corbio, the consul Quinctius convoked the people to an Assembly.