The year was undisturbed by foreign wars; the following one was still more quiet, Publius Curiatius and Sextus Quintilius being consuls, the tribunes observing uninterrupted silence, which was occasioned in the first place by their waiting for the ambassadors who had gone to Athens, and for the foreign laws;
in the next place, two heavy calamities arose at the same time, famine and pestilence, (which proved) destructive to man, and equally so to cattle. The lands were left desolate; the city exhausted by a constant succession of deaths.
Many and illustrious families were in mourning. The Flamen Quirinalis, Servilius Cornelius, died; as also the augur, Caius Horatius Pulvillus; into whose place the augurs elected Caius Veturius, the more eagerly, because he had been condemned by the commons.
The consul Quintilius died, and four tribunes of the people. The year was rendered a melancholy one by these manifold disasters; but from an enemy there was perfect quiet.
Then Caius Menenius and Publius Sestius Capitolinus were elected consuls. Nor was there in that year any external war: disturbances arose at home.
The ambassadors had now returned with the Athenian laws; the tribunes pressed the more urgently, that a commencement should at length be made of compiling the laws. It was resolved that decemvirs should be elected without appeal, and that there should be no other magistrate during that year.
There was, for a considerable time, a dispute whether plebeians should be admitted among them: at length the point was given up to the patricians, provided that the Icilian law regarding the Aventine and the other devoting laws were not repealed.