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Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book VI Chapter 27: Unrest in the City -- War with Praeneste.[380 BC]
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After thus distinguishing himself by his skill and courage in the Volscian war and bringing the expedition against Tusculum to such a happy termination, and on both occasions treating his colleague with singular consideration and forbearance, Camillus went out of office. The consular tribunes for the next year were: Lucius Valerius (for the fifth time) and Publius (for the third time), Gaius Sergius (also for the third time). Lucius Menenius (for the second time), Publius Papirius, and Servius Cornelius Maluginensis. |
This year it was found necessary to appoint censors, mainly owing to the vague rumours which were afloat about the burden of debt. The plebeian tribunes, in order to stir up ill-feeling, exaggerated the amount, while it was underestimated by those whose interest it was to represent the difficulty as due to the unwillingness rather than the inability of the debtor to pay. The censors appointed were Gaius Sulpicius Camerinius and Spurius Postumius Regillensis (1)
The premium thus put upon sedition made it at once more active. Many cases were occurring of men being made over to their creditors, and in view of a war with Praeneste, the senate, had resolved that fresh legions should be enrolled, but both these proceedings were arrested by the intervention of the tribunes, supported by the whole body of the plebs. The tribunes refused to allow the judgment debtors to be carried off; the men whose names were called for enrolment refused to answer. The senate was less concerned to insist upon the rights of creditors than to carry out the enlistment, for information had been received that the enemy had advanced from Praeneste and were encamped in the district of Gabii. This intelligence however, instead of deterring the plebeian tribunes from opposition, only made them more determined, and nothing availed to quiet the agitation in the City but the approach of war to its very walls.
(1): These appear to have been the first censors appointed since the Gaulish invasion.
Event: War with Praeneste
|Camillus, consilio et uirtute in Volsco bello, felicitate in Tusculana expeditione, utrobique singulari aduersus collegam patientia et moderatione insignis, magistratu abiit creatis tribunis militaribus in insequentem annum L. et P. Valeriis—Lucio quintum, Publio tertium—[et] C. Sergio tertium Licinio~ Menenio iterum P. Papirio Ser. Cornelio Maluginense. censoribus quoque eguit annus, maxime propter incertam famam aeris alieni, adgrauantibus summam etiam inuidiae eius tribunis plebis, cum ab iis eleuaretur quibus fide magis quam fortuna debentium laborare creditum uideri expediebat. creati censores C. Sulpicius Camerinus Sp. Postumius Regillensis, coeptaque iam res morte Postumi, quia collegam suffici censori religio erat, interpellata est. igitur cum Sulpicius abdicasset se magistratu, censores alii uitio creati non gesserunt magistratum; tertios creari uelut dis non accipientibus in eum annum censuram religiosum fuit. eam uero ludificationem plebis tribuni ferendam negabant: fugere senatum testes tabulas publicas census cuiusque, quia nolint conspici summam aeris alieni, quae indicatura sit demersam partem a parte ciuitatis, cum interim obaeratam plebem obiectari aliis atque aliis hostibus; passim iam sine ullo discrimine bella quaeri: ab Antio Satricum, ab Satrico Velitras, inde Tusculum legiones ductas; Latinis Hernicis Praenestinis iam intentari arma ciuium magis quam hostium odio, ut in armis terant plebem nec respirare in urbe aut per otium libertatis meminisse sinant aut consistere in contione, ubi aliquando audiant uocem tribuniciam de leuando fenore et finem aliarum iniuriarum agentem. quod si sit animus plebi memor patrum libertatis, se nec addici quemquam ciuem Romanum ob creditam pecuniam passuros neque dilectum haberi, donec inspecto aere alieno initaque ratione minuendi eius sciat unus quisque quid sui, quid alieni sit, supersit sibi liberum corpus an id quoque neruo debeatur. merces seditionis proposita confestim seditionem excitauit. nam et addicebantur multi, et ad Praenestini famam belli nouas legiones scribendas patres censuerant; quae utraque simul auxilio tribunicio et consensu plebis impediri coepta; nam neque duci addictos tribuni sinebant neque iuniores nomina dabant. cum patribus minor [in] praesens cura creditae pecuniae iuris exsequendi quam dilectus esset —quippe iam a Praeneste profectos hostes in agro Gabino consedisse nuntiabatur—interim tribunos plebis fama ea ipsa inritauerat magis ad susceptum certamen quam deterruerat neque aliud ad seditionem exstinguendam in urbe quam prope inlatum moenibus ipsis bellum ualuit.|