During the military tribuneship of Lucius Valerius Potitus for the fourth time, Marcus Furius Camillus for the second time, Manius Aemilius Mamercinus a third time, Cneius Cornelius Cossus a second time, Kaeso Fabius Ambustus, Lucius Julius Iulus, much business was transacted at home and abroad.
For there was both a complex war at the same time, at Veii, at Capena, at Falerii, and among the Volscians, that Anxur might be recovered from the enemy; and at the same time there was some difficulty experienced both in consequence of the levy, and of the contribution of the tax:
there was also a contention about the appointment of plebeian tribunes; and the two trials of those, who a little before had been invested with consular authority, excited no trifling commotion.
First of all the tribunes of the soldiers took care that the levy should be held; and not only the juniors were enlisted, but the seniors also were compelled to give in their names, to serve as a garrison to the city.
But in proportion as the number of the soldiers was augmented, so much the greater sum of money was required for pay; and this was collected by a tax, those who remained at home contributing against their will, because those who guarded the city had to perform military service also, and to serve the commonwealth.
The tribunes of the commons, by their seditious harangues, caused these things, grievous in themselves, to seem more exasperating, by their asserting, " that pay was established for the soldiers with this view, that they might wear out one half of the commons by [p. 335]
military service, the other half by the tax.
That a single war was being waged now for the third year, on purpose hat they may have a longer time to wage it. That armies ad been raised at one levy for four different wars, and that boys even and old men were dragged from home.
That neither summer nor winter now made any difference, so that there may never be any respite for the unfortunate commons, who were now even at last made to pay a tax;
so that after they brought home their bodies wasted by hardship, wounds, and eventually by age, and found their properties at home neglected by the absence of the proprietors, had to pay a tax out of their impaired fortunes, and to refund to the state in a manifold proportion the military pay which had been as it were received on interest.
Between the levy and the tax, and their minds being taken up by more important concerns, the number of plebeian tribunes could not be filled up at the elections. A struggle was afterwards made that patricians should be elected into the vacant places.
When this could not be carried, still, for the purpose of weakening the Trebonian law, it was managed that Caius Lacerius and Marcus Acutius should be admitted as tribunes of the commons, no doubt through the influence of the patricians.