during their year of administration the1
foreign relations of the state were fairly peaceful:
the Etruscans were kept quiet by their failure in [p. 379]
war and by the truce; the Samnites, tamed by the2
defeats of many years, had not wearied as yet of the new covenant.
at Rome also the relief afforded by the emigration of large numbers to the colonies had quieted the commons3
Nevertheless, that tranquillity might not be found everywhere, the plebeian tribunes Quintus and Gnaeus Ogulnius stirred up a quarrel among the first men of the state, both patrician and
plebeian. they had sought in every quarter occasions for maligning the Fathers to the plebs; and having tried everything else in vain, they set on foot a project by which they might inflame, not the lowest of the rabble, but the very leaders of the plebs
—the commones, namely, who had enjoyed consulships and triumphs, an who lacked nothing but priesthoods, which were not yet open to all, to complete their list of
honours. The Ogulnii accordingly proposed a law, that whereas there were then four augurs and four pontiffs and it was desired to augment the number of priests, four pontiffs and five augurs should be added, and should all be taken from the
plebs. —How this college could have been reduced to four augurs, unless by the death of two, I cannot discover; since it is a settled principle amongst the augurs that their number should be uneven, to the end that the three ancient tribes, the Ramnes, Titienses and Luceres, should each have its augur, or else
—if a larger number should be needed —that they should increase the priests in the same proportion; as in fact they were increased when five were added to the four, and, making up the number of nine, gave each tribe
—But since they were to be added from the5
plebs, the patricians were as distressed by the proposal as they had been when they saw the consulship thrown
open. they pretended that' the gods were more concerned than they themselves were: the gods would see to it that their rites should not be contaminated; for their own part they only hoped that no disaster might come upon the
state. they made, however, no great struggle, accustomed as they now were to being worsted in contests of this kind; and they beheld their adversaries no longer reaching out after great honours which they had formerly scarce any hopes of attaining, but in full possession of all the things for which they had striven with dubious prospects of success —repeated consulships, censorships, and triumphs.