No foreign wars disturbed the quiet of1
that year; but even more quiet was the year that followed, when Publius Curiatius and Sextus Quinctilius were consuls, for the tribunes preserved an unbroken silence.
This was due in the first place to their waiting for the commissioners who had gone to Athens, and for the foreign laws; in the second place two terrible misfortunes had come at the same time, famine and pestilence, baneful alike to men and beasts. The fields were left untenanted; the City was emptied by incessant funerals; many distinguished families were in mourning.
The flamen of Quirinus, Servius Cornelius, died, and the augur Gaius Horatius Pulvillus, in whose place the augurs elected Gaius Veturius, the more eagerly because of his condemnation by the plebs.
Death took the consul Quinctilius, and four tribunes of the plebs.
The numerous losses made it a gloomy year; but Rome's enemies did not molest her.
The next consuls were Gaius Menenius and Publius Sestius Capitolinus. In this year likewise there was no foreign war, but disturbances arose at home.
The commissioners had now returned with the laws of Athens. The tribunes were therefore the more insistent that a beginning should be made at last towards codification. It was resolved to appoint decemvirs, subject to no appeal, and to have no other magistrates for that year.
Whether plebeians should [p. 109]
be permitted a share in the work was for some time2
disputed; in the end they yielded to the patricians, only bargaining that the Icilian law about the Aventine and the other sacred laws3
should not be abrogated.