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Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book III Chapter 32: Pestilence in Rome.[454-2 BC]
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As regards foreign war, the year was a quiet one. |
The following one, in which Publius Curiatius and Sextus Quinctilius were consuls, was still quieter owing to the continued silence of the tribunes. This was due to two causes: first, they were waiting for the return of the commissioners who had gone to Athens, and the foreign laws which they were to bring; and secondly, two fearful disasters came together, famine and a pestilence which was fatal to men and fatal to cattle. The fields lay waste, the City was depleted by an unbroken series of deaths, many illustrious houses were in mourning. The Flamen of Quirinus, Servius Cornelius, died, also the augur Gaius Horatius Pulvillus, in whose place the augurs chose Gaius Veturius, all the more eagerly because he had been condemned by the plebs. The consul Quinctilius and four tribunes of the plebs died. The year was a gloomy one owing to the numerous losses. There was a respite from external enemies.
The succeeding consuls were Gaius Menenius and Publius Sestius Capitolinus. This year also was free from war abroad, but commotions began at home. The commissioners had now returned with the laws of Athens; the tribunes, in consequence, were more insistent that a commencement should at last be made in the compilation of the laws. It was decided that a body of Ten (hence called the Decemvirs") should be created, from whom there should be no appeal, and that all other magistrates should be suspended for the year. There was a long controversy as to whether plebeians should be admitted; at last they gave way to the patricians on condition that the Icilian Law concerning the Aventine and the other sacred laws should not be repealed.
Event: Mission to Athens
|Ab externis bellis quietus annus fuit, quietior insequens P. Curiatio et Sex. Quinctilio consulibus, perpetuo silentio tribunorum, quod primo legatorum qui Athenas ierant legumque peregrinarum exspectatio praebuit, dein duo simul mala ingentia exorta, fames pestilentiaque, foeda homini, foeda pecori. Vastati agri sunt, urbs adsiduis exhausta funeribus; multae et clarae lugubres domus. Flamen Quirinalis Ser. Cornelius mortuus, augur C. Horatius Puluillus, in cuius locum C. Veturium, eo cupidius quia damnatus a plebe erat, augures legere. Mortuus consul Quinctilius, quattuor tribuni plebi. Multiplici clade foedatus annus; ab hoste otium fuit. Inde consules C. Menenius P. Sestius Capitolinus. Neque eo anno quicquam belli externi fuit: domi motus orti. Iam redierant legati cum Atticis legibus. Eo intentius instabant tribuni ut tandem scribendarum legum initium fieret. Placet creari decemuiros sine prouocatione, et ne quis eo anno alius magistratus esset. Admiscerenturne plebeii controuersia aliquamdiu fuit; postremo concessum patribus, modo ne lex Icilia de Auentino aliaeque sacratae leges abrogarentur.|