AFTER the taking of Antium, Titus Aemilius and Quintus Fabius are elected consuls. This was the Fabius Quintus who alone had survived the family cut off at Cremera.
Already, in his former consulate, Aemilius had been an adviser of giving land to the people. Accordingly in his second consulate also both the abettors of the agrarian law had raised themselves to the hope of carrying the measure, and the tribunes, supposing that a matter frequently attempted in opposition to both consuls might be obtained with the assistance at least of one consul, take it up, and the consul remained stedfast in his sentiments.
The possessors and a considerable part of the patricians complaining that a person at the head of the state was recommending himself by his tribunitial proceedings, and that he was making himself popular by giving away other persons' property, had transferred the odium of the entire [p. 159]
affair from the tribunes to the consul.
A violent contest was at hand, had not Fabius set the matter straight, by an expedient disagreeable to neither party, “that under the conduct and auspices of Titus Quintius, there was a considerable tract of land taken the preceding year from the Volscians;
that a colony might be sent to Antium, a neighbouring, convenient, and maritime city; that the commons might come in for lands without any complaints of the present occupiers, that the state might remain in quiet.”
This proposition was accepted. He appoints as triumvirs for distributing the land, Titus Quintius, Aulus Virginius, and Publius Furius: those who wished to obtain land were ordered to give in their names.
The gratification of their aim begat disgust, as usually happens; so few gave in their names that Volscian colonists were added to fill up the number: the rest of the people preferred clamouring for land in Rome, rather than receive it elsewhere.
The Aequans sued for peace from Quintus Fabius, (he was sent thither with an army,) and they themselves broke it by a sudden incursion into the Latin territory.