Constant disturbances were occasioned in Rome by the tribune Terentillus, who, for reasons to be noticed in their place, sought to pass a certain law. The nobles, in their efforts to baffle him, had recourse to religion, which they sought to turn to account in two ways.
Caius Terentillus Arsa was tribune of the people in that year: he, considering that an opportunity was afforded for tribunitian intrigues during the absence of the consuls, after railing against the arrogance of the patricians for several days before the people, inveighed chiefly against the consular authority, as being exorbitant and intolerable in a free state: "for that, in name only, it was less invidious, in reality almost more oppressive than that of kings.
In which belief they thought it necessary either to get rid of the consuls altogether, or so to restrict their powers as to leave them no authority over the people, either in the city or out of it. The first who attempted to pass a law to this effect was the tribune Terentillus, who proposed that a committee of five should be named to consider and regulate the power of the consuls.
Confer with your colleague, that he may postpone this business till the arrival of the consuls; even the Æquans and the Volscians, when our consuls were carried off by pestilence last year, did not press on us with a cruel and tyrannical war." The tribunes confer with Terentillus, and the bill being to all appearance deferred, but in reality abandoned, the consuls were immediately sent for.