Marcus Fabius Vibulanus and Postumus1
Aebutius Cornicen were elected to the consulship.
These men, perceiving that they succeeded to a period of great renown for civil and military achievements, and that nothing made the year so memorable in the eyes of neighbouring peoples, both allies and enemies, as the earnestness with which the Romans had come to the assistance of the Ardeates in their dangerous crisis, were the more concerned to erase completely from men's minds the disgrace of the judgment.
They accordingly caused the senate to decree that inasmuch as the citizens of Ardea had been reduced by domestic troubles to a small number, colonists should be enrolled to defend that city against the Volsci.
This was the form in which the decree was drawn up and published,2
that the plebs and the tribunes might not perceive that a plan was on foot for rescinding the judgment; but the senators had privately agreed that they would enrol as colonists a much larger proportion of Rutulians than Romans, and that no land should be parcelled out except that which had been sequestered by the infamous decision, nor a single clod assigned there to any Roman until all the Rutulians had been provided for.
Thus the land reverted to the Ardeates. As triumvirs for establishing the colony at Ardea they appointed Agrippa Menenius, Titus Cloelius Siculus, Marcus Aebutius Helva.
These men not only had a far from popular service to perform, and offended the plebs by assigning to the allies land which the Roman People [p. 297]
had adjudged to be its own; but failed to satisfy even3
the great patricians, because they had done nothing to conciliate any man's goodwill.
They therefore avoided vexatious attacks before the people —where the tribunes had already summoned them for trial —by remaining in the colony, which bore witness to their integrity and justice.