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Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book VI Chapter 5: Domestic Affairs.[388-7 BC]
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Whilst the citizens were taken up with their building, the tribunes of the plebs tried to make the meetings of the Assembly more attractive by bringing forward the agrarian proposal. They held out the prospect of acquiring the Pomptine territory, which, now that the Volscians had been reduced by Camillus, had become the indisputable possession of of Rome. This territory, they alleged, was in much greater danger from the nobles than it had been from the Volscians, for the latter only made raids into it as long as they had strength and weapons, but the nobles were putting themselves in possession of the public domain, and unless it was allotted before they appropriated everything there would be no room for plebeians there. |
They did not produce much impression on the plebeians, who were busy with their building and only attended the Assembly in small numbers, and as their expenses had exhausted their means, they felt no interest in land which they were unable to develop owing to want of capital.
In a community devoted to religious observances, the recent disaster had filled the leading men with superstitious fears; in order, therefore, that the auspices might be taken afresh they fell back upon an interregnum. There were three interreges in, succession -- Marcus Manlius Capitolinus, Servius Sulpicius Camerinus, and Lucius Valerius Potitus. The last of these conducted the election of consular tribunes. Those elected were: Lucius Papirius, Gaius Cornelius, Gaius Sergius, Lucius Aemilius (for the second time), Lucius Menenius, and Lucius Valerius Publicola (for the third time). They immediately entered office.
In this year the temple of Mars, which had been vowed in the Gaulish war was dedicated by Titus Quinctius, one of the two custodians of the Sibylline Books. The new citizens were formed into four additional tribes, -- the Stellatine, the Tromentine, the Sabatine, and the Arnian. These brought up the number of the tribes to twenty-five.