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Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book III Chapter 30: War against Sabines and Aequi. The number of Plebeian Tribune[457 BC]
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The next consuls were Quintus Minucius and Gaius Horatius Pulvillus. As there was peace abroad at the beginning of the year, the domestic troubles began again; the same tribunes agitating for the same Law. Matters would have gone further -- so inflamed were the passions on both sides -- had not news arrived, as though it had been purposely arranged, of the loss of the garrison at Corbio in a night attack of the Aequi. The consuls summoned a meeting of the senate; they were ordered to form a force of all who could bear arms and march to Algidus. The contest about the Law was suspended, and a fresh struggle began about the enlistment. The consular authority was on the point of being overborne by the interference of the tribunes when a fresh alarm was created. A Sabine army had descended on the Roman fields for plunder, and were approaching the City. Thoroughly alarmed, the tribunes allowed the enrolment to proceed; not, however, without insisting on an agreement that since they had been foiled for five years and but slight protection to the plebeians had so far been afforded, there should henceforth be ten tribunes of the plebs elected. Necessity extorted this from the senate, with only one condition, that for the future they should not see the same tribunes in two successive years. That this agreement might not, like all the others, prove illusory, when once the war was over, the elections for tribunes were held at once. |
The office of tribune had existed for thirty-six years when for the first time ten were created, two from each class. It was definitely laid down that this should be the rule in all future elections.
When the enrolment was completed Minucius advanced against the Sabines, but did not find the enemy. After massacring the garrison at Corbio, the Aequi had captured Ortona; Horatius fought them on Algidus, inflicting great slaughter, and drove them not only from Algidus but also out of Corbio and Ortona; Corbio he totally destroyed on account of their having betrayed the garrison.
Event: War with Aequi and Sabines
|Sequuntur consules Q. Minucius M. Horatius Puluillus. Cuius initio anni cum foris otium esset, domi seditiones iidem tribuni, eadem lex faciebat; ulteriusque uentum foret —adeo exarserant animis—ni uelut dedita opera nocturno impetu Aequorum Corbione amissum praesidium nuntiatum esset. Senatum consules uocant; iubentur subitarium scribere exercitum atque in Algidum ducere. Inde posito legis certamine noua de dilectu contentio orta; uincebaturque consulare imperium tribunicio auxilio cum alius additur terror, Sabinum exercitum praedatum descendisse in agros Romanos, inde ad urbem uenire. Is metus perculit ut scribi militem tribuni sinerent, non sine pactione tamen ut quoniam ipsi quinquennium elusi essent paruumque id plebi praesidium foret, decem deinde tribuni plebis crearentur. Expressit hoc necessitas patribus: id modo excepere ne postea eosdem tribunos uiderent. Tribunicia comitia, ne id quoque post bellum ut cetera uanum esset, extemplo habita. Tricensimo sexto anno a primis tribuni plebis decem creati sunt, bini ex singulis classibus; itaque cautum est ut postea crearentur. Dilectu deinde habito Minucius contra Sabinos profectus non inuenit hostem. Horatius, cum iam Aequi Corbione interfecto praesidio Ortonam etiam cepissent, in Algido pugnat; multos mortales occidit; fugat hostem non ex Algido modo sed a Corbione Ortonaque. Corbionem etiam diruit propter proditum praesidium.|