AFTER the capture of Antium, Titus Aemilius and1
Quintus Fabius were elected consuls. This was that 467 Fabius who had been the sole survivor of his family destroyed at the Cremera.2
In his former consulship Aemilius had already supported the assignment of land to the plebs. Consequently, when he entered a second time upon the office, not only had the agrarians begun to have hopes of a law, but the tribunes, who had often tried to carry the measure against the opposition of the consuls, now took it up in the belief that with the co-operation of a consul it could certainly be made good; and the consul continued of the same mind.
The possessors of the land, comprising a large proportion of the patricians, complained that the head of the state was openly supporting tribunician policies and making himself popular by a generosity exhibited at other men's expense; they thus diverted the resentment awakened by the whole affair from the tribunes to the consul.
A bitter struggle was impending, when Fabius, by a proposal which neither side found injurious, set the [p. 5]
Under the leadership and auspices of3
Titus Quinctius, as he pointed out, a considerable territory had been conquered the year before from the Volsci; Antium, a well-situated maritime city, could be made the seat of a colony; in this way the plebs would obtain farms without causing the landholders to complain, and the state would be at harmony.
This suggestion was adopted.
As commissioners for distributing the land Fabius appointed Titus Quinctius, Aulus Verginius, and Publius Furius, and it was ordered that those who wished to receive grants should give in their names. There at once appeared the fastidiousness which usually attends abundance, and so few persons enrolled that Volscian colonists were added to fill out the number; the rest of the populace preferred demanding land at Rome to receiving it elsewhere.
The Aequi begged Quintus Fabius, who had invaded their country, to grant them peace; and broke it themselves by a sudden raid on Latin territory.