Negotiations were then entered upon for a reconciliation. An agreement was arrived at, the terms being that the plebs should have its own magistrates, whose persons were to be inviolable, and who should have the right of affording protection against the consuls.
And further, no patrician should be allowed to hold that office. Two ‘tribunes of the plebs’ were elected, C. Licinius and L. Albinus. These chose three colleagues. It is generally agreed that Sicinius, the instigator of the secession was amongst them, but who the other two were is not settled.
Some say that only two tribunes were created on the Sacred Hill and that it was there that the lex sacrata1
the secession of the plebs Sp. Cassius and Postumius Cominius entered on their
consulship. In their year of office a treaty was concluded with the Latin towns and one of the consuls remained in Rome
for the purpose. The other was sent to the Volscian war. He routed a force of Volscians from Antium
, and pursued them to Longula, which he gained possession
of. Then he advanced to Polusca, also belonging to the Volscians, which he captured, after which he attacked Corioli in great force.
Amongst the most distinguished of the young soldiers in their camp at that time was Cnaeus Marcius, a young man prompt in counsel and action, who afterwards received the epithet of
. During the progress of the siege, while the Roman army was devoting its whole attention to the townspeople whom it had shut up within their walls, and not in the least apprehending any danger from hostile movements without, it was suddenly attacked by Volscian legions who had marched from Antium
. At the same moment a sortie was made from the
town. Marcius happened to be on guard, and with a picked body of men not only repelled the sortie but made a bold dash through the open gate, and after cutting down many in the part of the city nearest to him, seized some fire and hurled it on the buildings which abutted on the
walls. The shouts of the towns-men mingled with the shrieks of the terrified women and children encouraged the Romans and dismayed the Volscians, who thought that the city which they had come to assist was already captured. So the troops from Antium
were routed and Corioli
taken. The renown which Marcius won so completely eclipsed that of the consul, that, had not the treaty with the Latins —which owing to his colleague's absence had been concluded by Sp. Cassius alone — been inscribed on a brazen column, and so permanently recorded, all memory of Postumius Cominius having carried on a war with the Volscians would have perished.
In the same year Agrippa Menenius died, a man who all through his life was equally beloved by the patricians and the plebeians, and made himself still more endeared to the plebeians after their
secession. Yet he, the negotiator and arbitrator of the reconciliation, who acted as the ambassador of the patricians to the plebs, and brought them back to the City, did not possess money enough to defray the cost of his funeral. He was interred by the plebeians, each man contributing a sextans3
towards the expense.