Carousing and recruiting went on in behalf of Lepidus
in the taverns and brothels of the capital. At length a conspiracy
against the new order of things was concocted among the Etruscan
18. The following narrative rests substantially on the account of
Licinianus, which, fragmentary as it is at this very point, still
gives important information as to the insurrection of Lepidus.
All this took place under the eyes of the government The consul
Catulus as well as the more judicious Optimates urged an immediate
decisive interference and suppression of the revolt in the bud;
the indolent majority, however, could not make up their minds to begin
the struggle, but tried to deceive themselves as long as possible
by a system of compromises and concessions. Lepidus also on his
part at first entered into it.
The suggestion, which proposed
a restoration of the prerogatives taken away from the tribunes
of the people, he as well as his colleague Catulus repelled.
On the other hand, the Gracchan distribution of grain
was to a limited extent re-established.