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Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book IV Chapter 36: Internal problems[424 BC]
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Harangues of this sort were listened to with approval, and some were induced to stand for a consular tribuneship each of them promising to bring in some measure in the interest of the plebs. Hopes were held out of a division of the State domain and the formation of colonies, whilst money was to be raised for the payment of the soldiers by a tax on the occupiers of the public land. |
The consular tribunes waited till the usual exodus from the City allowed a meeting of the senate to be held in the absence of the tribunes of the plebs, the members who were in the country being recalled by private notice. A resolution was passed that owing to rumours of an invasion of the Hernican territory by the Volscians the consular tribunes should go and find out what was happening, and that at the forthcoming elections consuls should be chosen. On their departure they left Appius Claudius, the son of the decemvir [Note 1], to act as warden of the City, a young man of energy, and imbued from his infancy with a hatred of the plebs and its tribunes. The tribunes had nothing on which to raise a contest either with the consular tribunes, who were absent, the authors of the decree, or with Appius, as the matter had been settled.
Note 1: decemvir = Appius Claudius