Quintus Fabius Vibulanus, acting as interrex,1
held an election, and Aulus Cornelius Cossus and Lucius Furius Medullinus were chosen consuls.
In their consulship, early in the year, a senatorial resolution was passed that the tribunes should bring the investigation of Postumius's murder before the plebs at the earliest possible moment, and that the [p. 425]
plebs should appoint whomsoever they wished to2
have charge of the inquiry.
The plebs unanimously referred the matter to the consuls. They accomplished their task with the utmost moderation and leniency, punishing a few only, —and these are generally believed to have committed suicide; —yet
they were unable to prevent the transaction from being bitterly resented by the plebs, who complained that the measures which had been proposed in their interests lay all this while neglected, whereas the law that was passed concerning their punishment and their lives was carried out at once, and most effectually. It would have been a very suitable occasion, now that the mutiny had been avenged, to appease their anger by offering to divide the Bolan territory.
Had the senators done this, they would have lessened men's desire for the agrarian law which was meant to expel the patricians from their wrongful occupation of the public domain.
As it was, a sense of injury was aroused by the very circumstance that the nobility not only persisted in retaining the public lands, which they held by force, but would not even divide among the plebeians the unoccupied ground which had recently been taken from the enemy and would soon, they thought, become, like all the rest, the booty of a few.
The same year the Volsci laid waste the borders of the Hernici, and the legions were led out to meet them by the consul Furius. Not finding the enemy there, they captured Ferentinum, to which a great number of Volsci had retired.
There was less plunder there than they had expected, because the Volsci, having small hopes of defending the town, removed their possessions by night and abandoned [p. 427]
it; next day, when it was taken, it was practically3
deserted. The town itself and its territory were given to the Hernici.