After Brutus had left the forum at this time, for a long while consternation, horror, and silence prevailed among all who remained, as they thought of what had been done. But soon the weakness and hesitation of Collatinus gave the Aquillii fresh courage; they demanded time in which to make their defence, and the surrender of Vindicius to them, since he was their slave, and ought not to be in the hands of their accusers.
Collatinus was willing to grant this request, and was about to dissolve the assembly with this understanding; but Valerius was neither able to surrender the slave, who had mingled with the throng about him, nor would he suffer the people to release the traitors and withdraw. So at last he seized the persons of the Aquillii and summoned Brutus to the scene, crying aloud that Collatinus was acting shamefully in laying upon his colleague the necessity of killing his own sons, and then thinking it necessary for himself to bestow upon their wives the lives of his country's betrayers and foes.
The consul was indignant at this, and ordered that Vindicius should be taken away, whereupon the lictors pushed their way through the crowd, seized the man, and beat those who tried to rescue him. Then Valerius and his friends stood forth in the man's defence, while the people shouted for Brutus to come. He turned back, therefore, and came, and when silence had been made for him, said that for his sons, he himself sufficed as judge, but he would leave time fate of the other traitors to the votes of the citizens, who were free, and any one who wished might speak and try to persuade the people. However, by this time there was no need of oratory, but a vote was taken which unanimously condemned the men, and they were beheaded.
Collatinus, as it would seem, was already under some suspicion on account of his relationship to the royal family, and the second of his names also was hateful to time people, who loathed the sound of Tarquin. But after these recent events, he saw that he was altogether obnoxious, and therefore resigned his office and withdrew secretly from the city.1
A new election was consequently held, and Valerius was triumphantly declared consul, thus receiving a worthy reward for his zeal.
In this reward he thought that Vindicius ought to share, and therefore had a decree passed which made him, first of all freedmen, a citizen of Rome, and entitled him to vote with any curia in which he chose to be enrolled. Other freedmen received the right of suffrage in much later times from Appius,2
who thus courted popularity. And from this Vindicius, as they say, a perfect manumission is to this day called