Quintus Fabius, consul in the following1
year, took over the campaign at Sutrium. for colleague he was given Gaius Marcius Rutulus.
Fabius brought up replacements from Rome, and a new army came from Etruria to reinforce the enemy.
for a great many years now there had been no contests between the patrician magistrates and the tribunes, when a dispute —arose through that family which was fated, as it seemed, to wrangle with the tribunes and with the plebs.
Appius Claudius the censor, on the expiration of the eighteen months which had been fixed by the Aemilian law2
as the limit of the censorship, although his colleague Gaius Plautius had abdicated, could himself by no compulsion be prevailed upon to do likewise.
it was Publius Sempronius, a tribune of the people, who commenced an action to confine the censorship to its legal limits —an action no less just than popular, and as welcome to every aristocrat as to the common people.
having repeatedly read out the Aemilian law, and praised its author, Mamercus Aemilius the dictator, for confining the censorship —which had until then been tenable for five years and was proving despotic by reason of the long continuance of its authority —within
the space of a year and a half, he said, “come, tell us, Appius Claudius, what [p. 291]
you would have done had you been censor at the3
time when Gaius Furius and Marcus Geganius were censors.”
Appius replied that the tribune's question had no particular bearing upon his own case;
for even though the Aemilian law had bound those censors in whose term of office it had been passed, because the people had enacted the law after their election to the censorship and their latest enactment was always the effective law, yet neither himself nor any one of those who had been chosen censors subsequently to the passage of that law could have been bound by it.4