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Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book II Chapter 57: Election of the Tribunes[472 BC]
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With difficulty Quinctius succeeded in quieting the plebeians; the senators had much greater difficulty in pacifying Appius.|
At length the Assembly was dismissed and the consuls held a meeting of the senate. Very divergent opinions were expressed according as the emotions of fear or anger predominated but the longer the interval during which they were called away from impulsive action to calm deliberation, the more averse did they become to a prolongation of the conflict so much so indeed, that they passed a vote of thanks to Quinctius for having through his exertions allayed the disturbance Appius was called upon to consent to the consular authority being so far limited as to be compatible with a harmonious common-wealth. It was urged that whilst the tribunes and the consuls each tried to bring everything under their respective authority, there was no basis for common action; the State was torn in two, and the one thing aimed at was, who should be its rulers not how could its security be preserved. Appius on the other hand, called gods and men to witness that the State was being betrayed and abandoned through fear; it was not the consul who was failing the senate, the senate was failing the consul; worse conditions were being submitted to than those which had been accepted on the Sacred Hill. However, he was over-borne by the unanimous feeling of the senate and became quiet the Law was passed in silence. Then for the first time the Tribunes were elected by the Assembly of the Tribes. According to Piso three were added, as though there had only been two before. He gives their names as Gnaeus Siccius, Lucius Numitorius, Marcus Duellius, Spurius Icilius, and Lucius Mecilius.