were then taken towards harmony, and a compromise was effected on these terms: the plebeians were to have magistrates of their own, who should be inviolable, and in them should lie the right to aid the people against the consuls, nor should any senator be permitted to take this magistracy.
And so they chose two “tribunes of the people,” Gaius Licinius and Lucius Albinus. These appointed three others to be their colleagues. Amongst the latter, [p. 327]
Sicinius, the promoter of the revolt, was one, as all2
agree; the identity of the other two is less certain.
Some hold that there were only two tribunes elected on the Sacred Mount, and that the law of inviolability was enacted there.3
During the secession of the plebs Spurius Cassius and Postumus Cominius entered upon their consulship.
In this year a treaty was made with the Latin peoples. In order to make this treaty one of the consuls remained in Rome, while the other was dispatched to the Volscian war, and defeated and put to flight the Volsci of Antium. Forcing them to take refuge in the town of Longula, he followed them up and captured the place.
Thence he proceeded to take Polusca, another Volscian town, after which he directed a strong attack upon Corioli. There was in camp at that time amongst the young nobles Gnaeus Marcius, a youth of active mind and ready hand, who afterwards gained the surname of Coriolanus.
The Romans were laying siege to Corioli and were intent upon the townspeople shut up within the walls, with no thought of danger from any attack which might be impending from without, when they found themselves suddenly assailed by a Volscian army from Antium, and simultaneously by the besieged, who made a sortie from the town. It happened that Marcius was on guard.
Taking a picked body of men he not only repelled the sally, but boldly forced his way through the open gate, and having spread carnage through the adjacent part of the town, caught up a firebrand on the spur of the moment, and threw it upon the buildings which [p. 329]
overhung the wall.
Thereupon the townspeople4
raised a shout, mingled with such a wailing of women and children as is generally heard at the first alarm. This brought new courage to the Romans and covered the Volsci with confusion —as was natural when the city which they had come to relieve was taken.
Thus the men of Antium were routed, and Corioli was won. So completely did the glory of Marcius overshadow the consul's fame, that, were it not for the record on a bronze column of the treaty with the Latins which was struck by Spurius Cassius alone, in the absence of his colleague, men would have forgotten that Postumus Cominius had waged war on the Volsci.
That same year saw the death of Agrippa Menenius, a man who throughout his life had been equally beloved by patricians and plebeians, and who after the secession was even dearer to the commons.
This mediator and umpire of civil harmony, this ambassador of the senators to the people, this restorer of the plebs to Rome, did not leave sufficient wealth to pay for a funeral. He was buried by the commons, who contributed a sextans5
each to the cost.