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Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book II Chapter 33: League with the Latins[493 BC]
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Negotiations were then entered upon for a reconciliation. An agreement was arrived at, the terms being that the plebs should have its own magistrates, whose persons were to be inviolable, and who should have the right of affording protection against the consuls. And further, no patrician should be allowed to hold that office. Two tribunes of the plebs" were elected, Gaius Licinius and Lucius Albinus. These chose three colleagues. It is generally agreed that Sicinius, the instigator of the secession was amongst them, but who the other two were is not settled. Some say that only two tribunes were created on the Sacred Hill and that it was there that the Lex Sacrata was passed. |
During the secession of the plebs Spurius Cassius and Postumius Cominius entered on their consulship. In their year of office a treaty was concluded with the Latin towns and one of the consuls remained in Rome for the purpose. The other was sent to the Volscian war. He routed a force of Volscians from Antium, and pursued them to Longula, which he gained possession of. Then he advanced to Polusca, also belonging to the Volscians, which he captured, after which he attacked Corioli in great force.
Amongst the most distinguished of the young soldiers in their camp at that time was Gnaeus Marcius, a young man prompt in counsel and action, who afterwards received the epithet of Coriolanus. During the progress of the siege, while the Roman army was devoting its whole attention to the townspeople whom it had shut up within their walls, and not in the least apprehending any danger from hostile movements without, it was suddenly attacked by Volscian legions who had marched from Antium. At the same moment a sortie was made from the town. Marcius happened to be on guard, and with a picked body of men not only repelled the sortie but made a bold dash through the open gate, and after cutting down many in the part of the city nearest to him, seized some fire and hurled it on the buildings which abutted on the walls. The shouts of the towns-men mingled with the shrieks of the terrified women and children encouraged the Romans and dismayed the Volscians, who thought that the city which they had come to assist was already captured. So the troops from Antium were routed and Corioli taken. The renown which Marcius won so completely eclipsed that of the consul, that, had not the treaty with the Latins -- which owing to his colleague's absence had been concluded by Spurius Cassius alone -- been inscribed on a brazen column and so permanently recorded, all memory of Postumius Cominius having carried on a war with the Volscians would have perished.