Home Page
Back To:
The Classics
Literature - The Classics.
Titus Livius
59 B.C.E.-17 A.C.E. - Wrote in Latin


The History of Rome, Vol. II
Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts




The History of Rome, Vol. II
Titus Livius

Editor Ernest Rhys
Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts

Everyman's Library
J.M. Dent and Sons
London

E.P. Dutton and Co.
New York
1912
Published: 1905

Commercial use prohibited.




Livy's History of Rome:

Book 6:

The Reconciliation of the Orders
(389-366 B.C.)


6.1

The history of the Romans from the foundation of the City to its capture, first under kings, then under consuls, dictators, decemvirs, and consular tribunes, the record of foreign wars and domestic dissensions, has been set forth in the five preceding books. The subject matter is enveloped in obscurity; partly from its great antiquity, like remote objects which are hardly discernible through the vastness of the distance; partly owing to the fact that written records, which form the only trustworthy memorials of events, were in those times few and scanty, and even what did exist in the pontifical commentaries and public and private archives nearly all perished in the conflagration of the City. Starting from the second beginnings of the City, which, like a plant cut down to its roots, sprang up in greater beauty and fruitfulness, the details of its history both civil and military will now be exhibited in their proper order, with greater clearness and certainty. At first the State was supported by the same prop by which it had been raised from the ground, M. Furius, its chief, and he was not allowed to resign office until a year had elapsed. It was decided that the consular tribunes, during whose rule the capture of the City had taken place, should not hold the elections for the ensuing year; matters reverted to an interregnum. The citizens were taken up with the pressing and laborious task of rebuilding their City, and it was during this interval that Q. Fabius, immediately on laying down his office, was indicted by Cn. Marcius, a tribune of the plebs, on the ground that after being sent as an envoy to the Gauls to speak on behalf of the Clusians, he had, contrary to the law of nations, fought against them. He was saved from the threatened proceedings by death; a death so opportune that many people believed it to be a voluntary one. The interregnum began with P. Cornelius Scipio as the first interrex; he was followed by M. Furius Camillus, under whom the election of military tribunes was conducted. Those elected were L. Valerius Publicola, for the second time, L. Verginius, P. Cornelius, A. Manlius, L. Aemilius, and L. Postumius.

They entered upon their office immediately, and their very first case was to submit to the senate measures affecting religion. Orders were made that in the first place search should be made for the treaties and laws-these latter including those of the Twelve Tables and some belonging to the time of the kings-as far as they were still extant. Some were made accessible to the public, but those which dealt with divine worship were kept secret by the pontiffs, mainly in order that the people might remain dependent on them for religious guidance. Then they entered upon a discussion of the "days of prohibition." The 18th of July was marked by a double disaster, for on that day the Fabii were annihilated at the Cremera, and in after years the battle at the Alia which involved the ruin of the City was lost on the same day. From the latter disaster the day was called "the day of the Alia," and was observed by a religious abstinence from all public and private business. The consular tribune Sulpicius had not offered acceptable sacrifices on July 16 (the day after the Ides), and without having secured the good will of the gods the Roman army was exposed to the enemy two days later. Some think that it was for this reason that on the day after the Ides in each month all religious functions were ordered to be suspended, and hence it became the custom to observe the second and the middle days of the month in the same way.



6.2

They were not, however, long left undisturbed whilst thus considering the best means of restoring the commonwealth after its grievous fall. On the one side, the Volscians, their ancient foes, had taken up arms in the determination to wipe out the name of Rome; on the other side, traders were bringing in reports of an assembly at the fane of Voltumna, where the leading men from all the Etruscan cantons were forming a hostile league. Still further alarm was created by the defection of the Latins and Hernicans. After the battle of Lake Regillus these nations had never wavered for 100 years in their loyal friendship with Rome. As so many dangers were threatening on all sides and it became evident the name of Rome was not only held in hatred by her foes, but regarded with contempt by her allies, the senate decided that the State should be defended under the auspices of the man by whom it had been recovered, and that M. Furius Camillus should be nominated Dictator. He nominated as his Master of the Horse, C. Servilius Ahala, and after closing the law courts and suspending all business he proceeded to enrol all the men of military age. Those of the "seniors" who still possessed some vigour were placed in separate centuries after they had taken the military oath. When he had completed the enrolment and equipment of the army he formed it into three divisions. One he stationed in the Veientine territory fronting Etruria. The second was ordered to form an entrenched camp to cover the City; A. Manlius, as military tribune, was in command of this division, whilst L. Aemilius in a similar capacity directed the movement against the Etruscans. The third division he led in person against the Volscians and advanced to attack their encampment at a place called Ad Mecium, not far from Lanuvium. They had gone to war in a feeling of contempt for their enemy as they believed that almost all the Roman fighting men had been annihilated by the Gauls, but when they heard that Camillus was in command they were filled with such alarm that they raised a rampart round them and barricaded the rampart with trees piled up round it to prevent the enemy from penetrating their lines at any point. As soon as he became aware of this Camillus ordered fire to be thrown on the barricade. The wind happened to be blowing strongly towards the enemy, and so it not only opened up a way through the fire, but by driving the flames into the camp it produced such consternation amongst the defenders, with the steam and smoke and crackling of the green wood as it burnt, that the Roman soldiers found less difficulty in surmounting the rampart and forcing the camp than in crossing the burnt barricade. The enemy were routed and cut to pieces. After the capture of the camp the Dictator gave the booty to the soldiers; an act all the more welcome to them as they did not expect it from a general by no means given to generosity. In the pursuit he ravaged the length and breadth of the Volscian territory, and at last after seventy years of war forced them to surrender. From his conquest of the Volscians he marched across to the Aequi who were also preparing for war, surprised their army at Bolae, and in the first assault captured not only their camp but their city.



6.3

While these successes were occurring in the field of operations where Camillus was the life and soul of the Roman cause, in another direction a terrible danger was threatening. Nearly the whole of Etruria was in arms and was besieging Sutrium, a city in alliance with Rome. Their envoys approached the senate with a request for help in their desperate condition, and the senate passed a decree that the Dictator should render assistance to the Sutrines as soon as he possibly could. Their hopes were deferred, and as the circumstances of the besieged were such as to admit of no longer delay-their scanty numbers being worn out with toil, want of sleep, and fighting, which always fell upon the same persons-they made a conditional surrender of their city. As the mournful procession set forth, leaving their hearths and homes, without arms and with only one garment apiece, Camillus and his army happened just at that moment to appear on the scene. The grief-stricken crowd flung themselves at his feet; the appeals of their leaders, wrung from them by dire necessity, were drowned by the weeping of the women and children who were being dragged along as companions in exile. Camillus bade the Sutrines spare their laments, it was to the Etruscans that he was bringing grief and tears. He then gave orders for the baggage to be deposited, and the Sutrines to remain where they were, and leaving a small detachment on guard ordered his men to follow him with only their arms. With his disencumbered army he marched to Sutrium, and found, as he expected, everything in disorder, as usual after a success, the gates open and unguarded, and the victorious enemy dispersed through the streets carrying plunder away from the houses. Sutrium was captured accordingly twice in the same day; the lately victorious Etruscans were everywhere massacred by their new enemies; no time was allowed them either to concentrate their strength or seize their weapons. As they tried each to make their way to the gates on the chance of escaping to the open country they found them closed; this was the first thing the Dictator ordered to be done. Then some got possession of their arms, others who happened to be armed when the tumult surprised them called their comrades together to make a stand. The despair of the enemy would have led to a fierce struggle had not criers been despatched throughout the city to order all to lay down their arms and those without arms to be spared; none were to be injured unless found in arms. Those who had determined in their extremity to fight to the end, now that hopes of life were offered them threw away their arms in all directions, and, since Fortune had made this the safer course, gave themselves as unarmed men to the enemy. Owing to their great number, they were distributed in various places for safe keeping. Before nightfall the town was given back to the Sutrines uninjured and untouched by all the ruin of war, since it had not been taken by storm but surrendered on conditions.



6.4

Camillus returned in triumphal procession to the City, after having been victorious in three simultaneous wars. By far the greatest number of the prisoners who were led before his chariot belonged to the Etruscans. They were publicly sold, and so much was realised that after the matrons had been repaid for their gold, three golden bowls were made from what was left. These were inscribed with the name of Camillus, and it is generally believed that previous to the fire in the Capitol they were deposited in the chapel of Jupiter before the feet of Juno. During the year, those of the inhabitants of Veii, Capenae, and Fidenae who had gone over to the Romans whilst these wars were going on, were admitted into full citizenship and received an allotment of land. The senate passed a resolution recalling those who had repaired to Veii and taken possession of the empty houses there to avoid the labour of rebuilding. At first they protested and took no notice of the order; then a day was fixed, and those who had not returned by that date were threatened with outlawry. This step made each man fear for himself, and from being united in defiance they now showed individual obedience. Rome was growing in population, and buildings were rising up in every part of it. The State gave financial assistance; the aediles urged on the work as though it were a State undertaking; the individual citizens were in a hurry to complete their task through need of accommodation. Within the year the new City was built.

At the close of the year elections of consular tribunes were held. Those elected were T. Quinctius Cincinnatus, Q. Servilius Fidenas (for the fifth time), L. Julius Julus, L. Aquilius Corvus, L. Lucretius Tricipitinus, and Ser. Sulpicius Rufus. One army was led against the Aequi-not to war, for they acknowledged that they were conquered, but-to ravage their territories so that no strength might be left them for future aggression. The other advanced into the district of Tarquinii. There, Cortuosa and Contenebra, towns belonging to the Etruscans, were taken by assault. At Cortuosa there was no fighting, the garrison were surprised and the place was carried at the very first assault. Contenebra stood a siege for a few days, but the incessant toil without any remission day or night proved too much for them. The Roman army was formed into six divisions, each of which took its part in the fighting in turn every six hours. The small number of the defenders necessitated the same men continually coming into action against a fresh enemy; at last they gave up, and an opening was afforded the Romans for entering the city. The tribunes decided that the booty should be sold on behalf of the State, but they were slower in announcing their decision than in forming it; whilst they were hesitating, the soldiery had already appropriated it, and it could not be taken from them without creating bitter resentment. The growth of the City was not confined to private buildings. A substructure of squared stones was built beneath the Capitol during this year, which, even amidst the present magnificence of the City, is a conspicuous object.



6.5

Whilst the citizens were taken up with their building, the tribunes of the plebs tried to make the meetings of the Assembly more attractive by bringing forward agrarian proposals. They held out the prospect of acquiring the Pomptine territory, which, now that the Volscians had been reduced by Camillus, had become the indisputable possession of Rome. This territory, they alleged, was in much greater danger from the nobles than it had been from the Volscians, for the latter only made raids into it as long as they had strength and weapons, but the nobles were putting themselves in possession of the public domain, and unless it was allotted before they appropriated everything there would be no room for plebeians there. They did not produce much impression on the plebeians, who were busy with their building and only attended the Assembly in small numbers, and as their expenses had exhausted their means, they felt no interest in land which they were unable to develop owing to want of capital. In a community devoted to religious observances, the recent disaster had filled the leading men with superstitious fears; in order, therefore, that the auspices might be taken afresh they fell back upon an interregnum. There were three interreges in succession-M. Manlius Capitolinus, Ser. Sulpicius Camerinus, and L. Valerius Potitus. The last of these conducted the election of consular tribunes. Those elected were: L. Papirius, C. Cornelius, C. Sergius, L. Aemilius (for the second time), L. Menenius, and L. Valerius Publicola (for the third time). They immediately entered office. In this year the temple of Mars, which had been vowed in the Gaulish war, was dedicated by T. Quinctius, one of the two custodians of the Sibylline Books. The new citizens were formed into four additional tribes-the Stellatine, the Tromentine, the Sabatine, and the Arnian. These brought up the number of the tribes to twenty-five.



6.6

The question of the Pomptine territory was again raised by L. Sicinius, a tribune of the plebs, and the people attended the Assembly in greater numbers and showed a more eager desire for land than they had done. In the senate the subject of the Latin and Hernican wars was mentioned, but owing to the concern felt about a more serious war, it was adjourned. Etruria was in arms. They again fell back on Camillus. He was made consular tribune, and five colleagues were assigned to him: Ser. Cornelius Maluginensis, Q. Servilius Fidenas (for the sixth time), L. Quinctius Cincinnatus, L. Horatius Pulvillus, and P. Valerius. At the beginning of the year public anxiety was diverted from the Etruscan war by the arrival in the City of a body of fugitives from the Pomptine territory, who reported that the Antiates were in arms, and that the Latin cantons had sent their fighting men to assist them. The latter explained in their defence that it was not in consequence of a formal act of their government; all they had done was to decline prohibiting any one from serving where he chose as a volunteer. It was no longer the fashion to think lightly of any wars. The senate thanked heaven that Camillus was in office, for certainly had he been a private citizen he must have been nominated Dictator. His colleagues admitted that when any alarm arose of threatened war the supreme direction of everything must be in one man's hands, and they had made up their minds to subordinate their powers to Camillus, feeling assured that to enhance his authority in no way derogated from their own. This action of the consular tribunes met with the hearty approval of the senate, and Camillus, in modest confusion, returned thanks to them. He went on to say that a tremendous burden had been laid upon him by the people of Rome in making him practically Dictator for the fourth time; a heavy responsibility had been put upon him by the senate, who had passed such a flattering judgment upon him; heaviest of all by his colleagues in the honour they had done him. If it were possible for him to show still greater activity and vigilance, he would strive so to surpass himself that he might make the lofty estimation, which his fellow-citizens had with such striking unanimity formed of him, a lasting one. As far as war with the Antiates was concerned, the outlook was threatening rather than dangerous; at the same time he advised them, whilst fearing nothing, to treat nothing with indifference. Rome was beset by the ill-will and hatred of its neighbours, and the interests of the State therefore required several generals and several armies.

He proceeded: "You, P. Valerius, I wish to associate with myself in counsel and command, and you will lead the legions in concert with me against the Antiates. You, Q. Servilius, will keep a second army ready for instant service encamped by the City, prepared for any movement, such as recently took place, on the part of Etruria or on the side of the Latins and Hernicans who are causing us this fresh trouble. I am quite certain that you will conduct the campaign in a manner worthy of your father, your grandfather, yourself, and your six tribuneships. A third army must be raised by L. Quinctius from the seniors, and those excused from service on grounds of health, to garrison the defences of the City. L. Horatius is to provide armour, weapons, corn, and everything else required in a time of war. You, Ser. Cornelius, are appointed by us your colleagues as president of this Council of State, and guardian of everything pertaining to religion, of the Assembly, the laws, and all matters touching the City." All gladly promised to devote themselves to the various duties assigned them; Valerius, associated in the chief command, added that he should look upon M. Furius as Dictator and regard himself as his Master of the Horse, and the estimation in which they held their sole commander should be the measure of the hopes they entertained as to the issue of the war. The senators, in high delight, exclaimed that they at all events were full of hope with regard to war and peace and all that concerned the republic; there would never be any need for a Dictator when they had such men in office, with such perfect harmony of feeling, prepared equally to obey or command, conferring glory on their country instead of appropriating their country's glory to themselves.



6.7

After proclaiming a suspension of all public business and completing the enrolment of troops, Furius and Valerius proceeded to Satricum. Here the Antiates had massed not only Volscian troops drawn from a new generation but also an immense body of Latins and Hernicans, nations whose strength had been growing through long years of peace. This coalition of new enemies with old ones daunted the spirits of the Roman soldiers. Camillus was already drawing up his men for battle when the centurions brought reports to him of the discouragement of his troops, the want of alacrity in arming themselves, and the hesitation and unwillingness with which they were marching out of camp. Men were even heard saying that "they were going to fight one against a hundred, and that such a multitude could hardly be withstood even if unarmed, much less now that they were in arms." He at once sprang on his horse, faced the line and, riding along the front, addressed his men: "What is this gloom, soldiers, this extraordinary hesitation? Are you strangers to the enemy, or to me, or to yourselves? As for the enemy-what is he but the means through which you always prove your courage and win renown? And as for you-not to mention the capture of Falerii and Veii and the slaughter of the Gaulish legions inside your captured City-have you not, under my leadership, enjoyed a triple triumph for a threefold victory over these very Volscians, as well as over the Aequi and over Etruria? Or is it that you do not recognise me as your general because I have given the battle signal not as Dictator but as a consular tribune? I feel no craving for the highest authority over you, nor ought you to see in me anything beyond what I am in myself; the Dictatorship has never increased my spirits and energy, nor did my exile diminish them. We are all of us, then, the same that we have ever been, and since we are bringing just the same qualities into this war that we have displayed in all former wars, let us look forward to the same result. As soon as you meet your foe, every one will do what he has been trained and accustomed to do; you will conquer, they will fly."



6.8

Then, after sounding the charge, he sprang from his horse and, catching hold of the nearest standard-bearer, he hurried with him against the enemy, exclaiming at the same time: "On, soldier, with the standard!" When they saw Camillus, weakened as he was by age, charging in person against the enemy, they all raised the battle-cry and rushed forward, shouting in all directions, "Follow the General!" It is stated that by Camillus' orders the standard was flung into the enemy's lines in order to incite the men of the front rank to recover it. It was in this quarter that the Antiates were first repulsed, and the panic spread through the front ranks as far as the reserves. This was due not only to the efforts of the troops, stimulated as they were by the presence of Camillus, but also to the terror which his actual appearance inspired in the Volscians, to whom he was a special object of dread. Thus, wherever he advanced he carried certain victory with him. This was especially evident in the Roman left, which was on the point of giving way, when, after flinging himself on his horse and armed with an infantry shield, he rode up to it and by simply showing himself and pointing to the rest of the line who were winning the day, restored the battle. The action was now decided, but owing to the crowding together of the enemy their flight was impeded and the victorious soldiers grew weary of the prolonged slaughter of such an enormous number of fugitives. A sudden storm of rain and wind put an end to what had become a decisive victory more than a battle. The signal was given to retire, and the night that followed brought the war to a close without any further exertions on the part of the Romans, for the Latins and Hernicans left the Volscians to their fate and started for home, after obtaining a result correspondent to their evil counsels. When the Volscians found themselves deserted by the men whom they had relied upon when they renewed hostilities, they abandoned their camp and shut themselves up in Satricum. At first Camillus invested them with the usual siege works; but when he found that no sorties were made to impede his operations, he considered that the enemy did not possess sufficient courage to justify him in waiting for a victory of which there was only a distant prospect. After encouraging his soldiers by telling them not to wear themselves by protracted toil, as though they were attacking another Veii, for victory was already within their grasp, he planted scaling ladders all round the walls and took the place by storm. The Volscians flung away their arms and surrendered.



6.9

The general, however, had a more important object in view-Antium, the capital of the Volscians and the starting point of the last war. Owing to its strength, the capture of that city could only be effected by a considerable quantity of siege apparatus, artillery, and war machines. Camillus therefore left his colleague in command and went to Rome to urge upon the senate the necessity of destroying Antium. In the middle of his speech-I think it was the will of heaven that Antium should remain some time longer-envoys arrived from Nepete and Sutrium begging for help against the Etruscans and pointing out that the chance of rendering assistance would soon be lost. Fortune diverted Camillus' energies from Antium to that quarter, for those places, fronting Etruria, served as gates and barriers on that side, and the Etruscans were anxious to secure them whenever they were meditating hostilities, whilst the Romans were equally anxious to recover and hold them. The senate accordingly decided to arrange with Camillus that he should let Antium go and undertake the war with Etruria. They assigned to him the legions in the City which Quinctius was commanding, and though he would have preferred the army which was acting against the Volsci, of which he had had experience and which was accustomed to his command, he raised no objection; all he asked for was that Valerius should share the command with him. Quinctius and Horatius were sent against the Volscian in succession to Valerius. When they reached Sutrium, Furius and Valerius found a part of the city in the hands of the Etruscans; in the rest of the place the inhabitants were with difficulty keeping the enemy at bay behind barricades which they had erected in the streets. The approach of succours from Rome and the name of Camillus, famous amongst allies and enemies alike, relieved the situation for the moment and allowed time to render assistance. Camillus accordingly formed his army into two divisions and ordered his colleague to take one round to the side which the enemy were holding and commence an attack on the walls. This was done not so much in the hope that the attack would succeed as that the enemy's attention might be distracted so as to afford a respite to the wearied defenders and an opportunity for him to effect an entrance into the town without fighting. The Etruscans, finding themselves attacked on both sides, the walls being assaulted from without and the townsmen fighting within, flung themselves in one panic-stricken mass through the only gate which happened to be clear of the enemy. A great slaughter of the fugitives took place both in the city and in the fields outside. Furius' men accounted for many inside the walls, whilst Valerius' troops were more lightly equipped for pursuit, and they did not put an end to the carnage till nightfall prevented their seeing any longer. After the recapture of Sutrium and its restoration to our allies, the army marched to Nepete, which had surrendered to the Etruscans and of which they were in complete possession.



6.10

It looked as if the capture of that city would give more trouble, not only because the whole of it was in the hands of the enemy, but also because the surrender had been effected through the treachery of some of the townsfolk. Camillus, however, determined to send a message to their leaders requesting them to withdraw from the Etruscans and give a practical proof of that loyalty to allies which they had implored the Romans to observe towards them. Their reply was that they were powerless; the Etruscans were holding the walls and guarding the gates. At first it was sought to intimidate the townsmen by harrying their territory. As, however, they persisted in adhering more faithfully to the terms of surrender than to their alliance with Rome, fascines of brushwood were collected from the surrounding country to fill up the fosse, the army advanced to the attack, the scaling ladders were placed against the walls, and at the very first attempt the town was captured. Proclamation was then made that the Nepesines were to lay down their arms, and all who did so were ordered to be spared. The Etruscans, whether armed or not, were killed, and the Nepesines who had been the agents of the surrender were beheaded; the population who had no share in it received their property back, and the town was left with a garrison. After thus recovering two cities in alliance with Rome from the enemy, the consular tribunes led their victorious army, covered with glory, home. During this year satisfaction was demanded from the Latins and Hernici; they were asked why they had not for these last few years furnished a contingent in accordance with the treaty. A full representative assembly of each nation was held to discuss the terms of the reply. This was to the effect that it was through no fault or public act of the State that some of their men had fought in the Volscian ranks; these had paid the penalty of their folly, not a single one had returned. The reason why they had supplied no troops was their incessant fear of the Volscians; this thorn in their side they had not, even after such a long succession of wars, been able to get rid of. The senate regarded this reply as affording a justifiable ground for war, but the present time was deemed inopportune.



6.11

The consular tribunes who succeeded were A. Manlius, P. Cornelius, T. and L. Quinctius Capitolinus, L. Papirius Cursor (for the second time), and C. Sergius (for the second time). In this year a serious war broke out, and a still more serious disturbance at home. The war was begun by the Volscians, aided by the revolted Latins and Hernici. The domestic trouble arose in a quarter where it was least to be apprehended, from a man of patrician birth and brilliant reputation-M. Manlius Capitolinus. Full of pride and presumption, he looked down upon the foremost men with scorn; one in particular he regarded with envious eyes, a man conspicuous for his distinctions and his merits-M. Furius Camillus. He bitterly resented this man's unique position amongst the magistrates and in the affections of the army, and declared that he was now such a superior person that he treated those who had been appointed under the same auspices as himself, not as his colleagues, but as his servants, and yet if any one would form a just judgment he would see that M. Furius could not possibly have rescued his country. When it was beleaguered by the enemy had not he, Manlius, saved the Capitol and the Citadel? Camillus attacked the Gauls while they were off their guard, their minds pre-occupied with obtaining the gold and securing peace; he, on the other hand, had driven them off when they were armed for battle and actually capturing the Citadel. Camillus' glory was shared by every man who conquered with him, whereas no mortal man could obviously claim any part in his victory.

With his head full of these notions and being unfortunately a man of headstrong and passionate nature, he found that his influence was not so powerful with the patricians as he thought it ought to be, so he went over to the plebs-the first patrician to do so-and adopted the political methods of their magistrates. He abused the senate and courted the populace and, impelled by the breeze of popular favour more than by conviction or judgment, preferred notoriety to respectability. Not content with the agrarian laws which had hitherto always served the tribunes of the plebs as the material for their agitation, he began to undermine the whole system of credit, for he saw that the laws of debt caused more irritation than the others; they not only threatened poverty and disgrace, but they terrified the freeman with the prospect of fetters and imprisonment. And, as a matter of fact, a vast amount of debt had been contracted owing to the expense of building, an expense most ruinous even to the rich. It became, therefore, a question of arming the government with stronger powers, and the Volscian war, serious in itself but made much more so by the defection of the Latins and Hernici, was put forward as the ostensible reason. It was, however, the revolutionary designs of Manlius that mainly decided the senate to nominate a Dictator. A. Cornelius Cossus was nominated, and he named T. Quinctius Capitolinus as his Master of the Horse.



6.12

Although the Dictator recognised that a more difficult contest lay before him at home than abroad, he enrolled his troops and proceeded to the Pomptine territory, which, he heard, had been invaded by the Volscians. Either he considered it necessary to take prompt military measures or he hoped to strengthen his hands as Dictator by a victory and a triumph. I have no doubt that my readers will be tired of such a long record of incessant wars with the Volscians, but they will also be struck with the same difficulty which I have myself felt whilst examining the authorities who lived nearer to the period, namely, from what source did the Volscians obtain sufficient soldiers after so many defeats? Since this point has been passed over by the ancient writers, what can I do more than express an opinion such as any one may form from his own inferences? Probably, in the interval between one war and another, they trained each fresh generation against the renewal of hostilities, as is now done in the enlistment of Roman troops, or their armies were not always drawn from the same districts, though it was always the same nation that carried on the war, or there must have been an innumerable free population in those districts which are barely now kept from desolation by the scanty tillage of Roman slaves, with hardly so much as a miserably small recruiting ground for soldiers left. At all events, the authorities are unanimous in asserting that the Volscians had an immense army in spite of their having been so lately crippled by the successes of Camillus. Their numbers were increased by the Latins and Hernici, as well as by a body of Circeians, and even by a contingent from Velitrae, where there was a Roman colony.

On the day he arrived the Dictator formed his camp. On the morrow, after taking the auspices and supplicating the favour of the gods by sacrifice and prayer, he advanced in high spirits to the soldiers who were already in the early dawn arming themselves according to orders against the moment when the signal for battle should be given. "Ours, soldiers," he exclaimed, "is the victory, if the gods and their interpreters see at all into the future. Let us then, as becomes men filled with sure hopes, who are going to engage an enemy who is no match for us, lay our javelins at our feet and arm ourselves only with our swords. I would not even have any running forward from the line; stand firm and receive the enemy's charge without stirring a foot. When they have hurled their ineffective missiles and their disordered ranks fling themselves upon you, then let your swords flash and let every man remember that it is the gods who are helping the Romans, it is the gods who have sent you into battle with favourable omens. You, T. Quinctius, keep your cavalry in hand and wait till the fight has begun, but when you see the lines locked together, foot to foot, then strike with the terror of your cavalry those who are already overtaken with other terrors. Charge and scatter their ranks while they are in the thick of the fight." Cavalry and infantry alike fought in accordance with their instructions. The commander did not disappoint his soldiers, nor did Fortune disappoint the commander.



6.13

The vast host of the enemy, relying solely on their numbers and measuring the strength of each army merely by their eyes, went recklessly into the battle and as recklessly abandoned it. Courageous enough in the battle shout, in discharging their weapons, in making the first charge, they were unable to stand the foot to foot fighting and the looks of their opponents, glowing with the ardour of battle. Their front was driven in and the demoralisation extended to the supports; the charge of the cavalry produced fresh panic; the ranks were broken in many places, the whole army was in commotion and resembled a retreating wave. When each of them saw that as those in front fell he would be the next to be cut down, they turned and fled. The Romans pressed hard upon them, and as long as the enemy defended themselves whilst retreating, it was the infantry to whom the task of pursuit fell. When they were seen to be throwing away their arms in all directions and dispersing over the fields, the signal was given for the squadrons of cavalry to be launched against them, and these were instructed not to lose time by cutting down individual fugitives and to give the main body a chance of escaping. It would be enough to check them by hurling missiles and galloping across their front, and generally terrifying them until the infantry could come up and regularly dispatch the enemy. The flight and pursuit did not end till nightfall. The Volscian camp was taken and plundered on the same day, and all the booty, with the exception of the prisoners, was bestowed on the soldiers. The majority of the captives belonged to the Hernici and Latins, not men of the plebeian class, who might have been regarded as only mercenaries, they were found to include some of the principal men of their fighting force, a clear proof that those States had formally assisted the enemy. Some were also recognised as belonging to Circeii and to the colony at Velitrae. They were all sent to Rome and examined by the leaders of the senate; they gave them the same replies which they had made to the Dictator, and disclosed without any attempt at evasion the defection of their respective nations.



6.14

The Dictator kept his army permanently encamped, fully expecting that the senate would declare war against those peoples. A much greater trouble at home, however, necessitated his recall. The sedition which, owing to its ringleader's work, was exceptionally alarming, was gaining strength from day to day. For to any one who looked at his motives, not only the speeches, but still more the conduct of M. Manlius, though ostensibly in the interest of the people, would have appeared revolutionary and dangerous. When he saw a centurion, a distinguished soldier, led away as an adjudged debtor, he ran into the middle of the Forum with his crowd of supporters and laid his hand on him. After declaiming against the tyranny of patricians and the brutality of usurers and the wretched condition of the plebs he said: " It was then in vain that I with this right hand saved the Capitol and Citadel if I have to see a fellow-citizen and a comrade in arms carried off to chains and slavery just as though he had been captured by the victorious Gauls." Then, before all the people, he paid the sum due to the creditors, and after thus freeing the man by "copper and scales," sent him home. The released debtor appealed to gods and men to reward Manlius, his deliverer and the beneficial protector of the Roman plebs. A noisy crowd immediately surrounded him, and he increased the excitement by displaying the scars left by wounds he had received in the wars against Veii and the Gauls and in recent campaigns. "Whilst," he cried, "I was serving in the field and whilst I was trying to restore my desolated home, I paid in interest an amount equal to many times the principal, but as the fresh interest always exceeded my capital, I was buried beneath the load of debt. It is owing to M. Manlius that I can now look upon the light of day, the Forum, the faces of my fellow-citizens; from him I have received all the kindness which a parent can show to a child; to him I devote all that remains of my bodily powers, my blood, my life. In that one man is centered everything that binds me to my home, my country, and my country's gods."

The plebs, wrought upon by this language, had now completely espoused this one man's cause, when another circumstance occurred, still more calculated to create universal confusion. Manlius brought under the auctioneer's hammer an estate in the Veientine territory which comprised the principal part of his patrimony-"In order," he said, "that as long as any of my property remains, I may prevent any of you Quirites from being delivered up to your creditors as judgment debtors." This roused them to such a pitch that it was quite clear that they would follow the champion of their liberties through anything, right or wrong. To add to the mischief, he delivered speeches in his own house, as though he were haranguing the Assembly, full of calumnious abuse of the senate. Indifferent to the truth or falsehood of what he said, he declared, among other things, that the stores of gold collected for the Gauls were being hidden away by the patricians; they were no longer content with appropriating the public lands unless they could also embezzle the public funds; if that affair were brought to light, the debts of the plebs could be wiped off. With this hope held out to them they thought it a most shameful proceeding that whilst the gold got together to ransom the City from the Gauls had been raised by general taxation, this very gold when recovered from the enemy had become the plunder of a few. They insisted therefore, on finding out where this vast stolen booty was concealed, and as Manlius kept putting them off and announcing that he would choose his own time for the disclosure, the universal interest became absorbed in this question to the exclusion of everything else. There would clearly be no limit to their gratitude if his information proved correct, or to their displeasure if it turned out to be false.



6.15

Whilst matters were in this state of suspense the Dictator had been summoned from the army and arrived in the City. After satisfying himself as to the state of public feeling he called a meeting of the senate for the following day and ordered them to remain in constant attendance upon him. He then ordered his chair of office to be placed on the tribunal in the Comitium and, surrounded by the senators as a bodyguard, sent his officer to M. Manlius. On receiving the Dictator's summons Manlius gave his party a signal that a conflict was imminent and appeared before the tribunal with an immense crowd round him. On the one side the senate, on the other side the plebs, each with their eyes fixed on their respective leaders, stood facing one another as though drawn up for battle. After silence was obtained, the Dictator said: "I wish the senate and myself could come to an understanding with the plebs on all other matters as easily as, I am convinced, we shall about you and the subject on which I am about to examine you. I see that you have led your fellow-citizens to expect that all debts can be paid without any loss to the creditors out of the treasure recovered from the Gauls, which you say the leading patricians are secreting. I am so far from wishing to hinder this project that, on the contrary, I challenge you, M. Manlius, to take off from their hidden hordes those who, like sitting hens, are brooding over treasures which belong to the State. If you fail to do this, either because you yourself have your part in the spoils or because your charge is unfounded, I shall order you to be thrown into prison and will not suffer the people to be excited by the false hopes which you have raised.

Manlius said in reply that he had not been mistaken in his suspicions; it was not against the Volscians who were treated as enemies whenever it was in the interest of the patricians so to treat them, nor against the Latins and Hernici whom they were driving to arms by false charges, that a Dictator had been appointed, but against him and the Roman plebs. They had dropped their pretended war and were now attacking him; the Dictator was openly declaring himself the protector of the usurers against the plebeians; the gratitude and affection which the people were showing towards himself were being made the ground for charges against him which would ruin him. He proceeded: "The crowd which I have round me is an offence in your eyes, A. Cornelius, and in yours, senators. Then why do you not each of you withdraw it from me by acts of kindness, by offering security, by releasing your fellow-citizens from the stocks, by preventing them from being adjudged to their creditors, by supporting others in their necessity out of the superabundance of your own wealth? But why should I urge you to spend your own money? Be content with a moderate capital, deduct from the principal what has already been paid in interest, then the crowd round me will be no more noticeable than that round any one else. But do I alone show this anxiety for my fellow-citizens? I can only answer that question as I should answer another-Why did I alone save the Capitol and the Citadel? Then I did what I could to save the body of citizens as a whole, now I am doing what I can to help individuals. As to the gold of the Gauls, your question throws difficulties round a thing which is simple enough in itself. For why do you ask me about a matter which is within your own knowledge? Why do you order what is in your purse to be shaken out from it rather than surrender it voluntarily, unless there is some dishonesty at bottom? The more you order your conjuring tricks to be detected, the more, I fear, will you hoodwink those who are watching you. It is not I who ought to be compelled to discover your plunder for you, it is you who ought to be compelled to publicly produce it."

The Dictator ordered him to drop all subterfuge, and insisted upon his either adducing trustworthy evidence or admitting that he had been guilty of concocting false accusations against the senate and exposing them to odium on a baseless charge of theft. He refused, and said he would not speak at the bidding of his enemies, whereupon the Dictator ordered him to be taken to prison. When apprehended by the officer he exclaimed: "Jupiter Optimus Maximus, Queen Juno, Minerva, all ye gods and goddesses who dwell in the Capitol, do ye suffer your soldier and defender to be thus persecuted by his enemies? Shall this right hand with which I drove the Gauls from your shrines be manacled and fettered?" None could endure to see or hear the indignity offered him, but the State, in its absolute submission to lawful authority, had imposed upon itself limits which could not be passed; neither the tribunes of the plebs nor the plebeians themselves ventured to cast an angry look or breathe a syllable against the action of the Dictator. It seems pretty certain that after Manlius was thrown into prison, a great number of plebeians went into mourning; many let their hair grow, and the vestibule of the prison was beset by a depressed and sorrowful crowd. The Dictator celebrated his triumph over the Volscians, but his triumph increased his unpopularity; men complained that the victory was won at home, not in the field, over a citizen, not over an enemy. One thing alone was lacking in the pageant of tyranny, Manlius was not led in procession before the victor's chariot. Matters were rapidly drifting towards sedition, and the senate took the initiative in endeavouring to calm the prevailing unrest. Before any demand had been put forward they ordered that 2000 Roman citizens should be settled as colonists at Satricum, and each receive two and a half jugera of land. This was regarded as too small a grant, distributed amongst too small a number; it was looked upon, in fact, as a bribe for the betrayal of Manlius, and the proposed remedy only inflamed the disease. By this time the crowd of Manlian sympathisers had become conspicuous for their dirty garments and dejected looks. It was not till the Dictator laid down his office after his triumph and so removed the terror which he inspired that the tongues and spirits of men were once more free.



6.17

Men were heard openly reproaching the populace for always encouraging their defenders till they led them to the brink of the precipice and deserting them when the moment of danger actually came. It was in this way, they said, that Sp. Cassius, while seeking to get the plebs on to the land, and Sp. Maelius, whilst staving off famine at his own cost from the mouths of his fellow-citizens, had both been crushed; it was in this way that M. Manlius was betrayed to his foes, whilst rescuing a part of the community who were overwhelmed and submerged by usurious extortion and bringing them back to light and liberty. The plebs fattened up their own defenders for slaughter. Was it not to be permitted that a man of consular rank should refuse to answer at the beck and call of a Dictator ? Assuming that he had previously been speaking falsely, and had therefore no reply ready at the time, was there ever a slave who had been thrown into prison as a punishment for lying? Had they forgotten that night which was all but a final and eternal night for Rome? Could they not recall the sight of the troop of Gauls climbing up over the Tarpeian rock, or that of Manlius himself as they had actually seen him, covered with blood and sweat, after rescuing, one might almost say, Jupiter himself from the hands of the enemy. Had they discharged their obligation to the saviour of their country by giving him half a pound of corn each? Was the man whom they almost regarded as a god, whom they at all events placed on a level with Jupiter of the Capitol by giving him the epithet of Capitolinus-was that man to be allowed to drag out his life in chains and darkness at the mercy of the executioner? Had the help of one man sufficed to save all, and was there amongst them all no help to be found for that one man? By this time the crowd refused to leave the spot even at night, and were threatening to break open the prison when the senate conceded what they were going to extort by violence, and passed a resolution that Manlius should be released. This did not put an end to the seditious agitation, it simply provided it with a leader. During this time the Latins and Hernici, together with the colonists from Circeii and Velitrae, sent to Rome to clear themselves from the charge of being concerned in the Volscian war and to ask for the surrender of their countrymen who had been made prisoners, that they might proceed against them under their own laws. An unfavourable reply was given to the Latins and Hernici, a still more unfavourable one to the colonists, because they had entertained the impious project of attacking their mother country. Not only was the surrender of the prisoners refused, but they received a stern warning from the senate, which was withheld from the Latins and Hernici, to make their way speedily from the City out of the sight of the Roman people; otherwise they would be no longer protected by the rights of ambassadors, rights which were established for foreigners, not for citizens.



6.18

At the close of the year, amidst the growing agitation headed by Manlius, the elections were held. The new consular tribunes were: Ser. Cornelius Maluginensis and P. Valerius Potitus (each for the second time), M. Furius Camillus (for the fifth time), Ser. Sulpicius Rufus (for the second time), C. Papirius Crassus and T. Quinctius Cincinnatus (for the second time). The year opened in peace, which was most opportune for both patricians and plebeians-for the plebs, because as they were not called away to serve in the ranks, they hoped to secure relief from the burden of debt, especially now that they had such a strong leader; for the patricians, as no external alarms would distract their minds from dealing with their domestic troubles. As each side was more prepared for the struggle it could not long be delayed. Manlius, too, was inviting the plebeians to his house and discussing night and day revolutionary plans with their leaders in a much more aggressive and resentful spirit than formerly. His resentment was kindled by the recent humiliation inflicted on a spirit unaccustomed to disgrace; his aggressiveness was encouraged by his belief that the Dictator had not ventured to treat him as Quinctius Cincinnatus had treated Sp. Maelius, for not only had the Dictator avoided the odium created by his imprisonment through resignation, but even the senate had not been able to face it.

Emboldened and embittered by these considerations, he roused the passions of the plebs, who were already incensed enough, to a higher pitch by his harangues. "How long, pray," he asked, " are you going to remain in ignorance of your strength, an ignorance which nature forbids even to beasts? Do at least reckon up your numbers and those of your opponents. Even if you were going to attack them on equal terms, man for man, I believe that you would fight more desperately for freedom than they for power. But you are much more numerous, for all you who have been in attendance on your patrons as clients will now confront them as adversaries. You have only to make a show of war and you will have peace. Let them see you are prepared to use force, they will abate their claims. You must dare something as a body or you will have to suffer everything as individuals. How long will you look to me? I certainly shall not fail you, see to it that Fortune does not fail me. I, your avenger, when your enemies thought fit was suddenly reduced to nothing, and you watched the man carried off to prison who had warded off imprisonment from so many of you. What have I to hope for, if my enemies dare to do more to me? Am I to look for the fate of Cassius and Maelius? It is all very well to cry in horror, ' The gods will prevent that,' but they will never come down from heaven on my account. You must prevent it; they must give you the courage to do so, as they gave me courage to defend you as a soldier from the barbarian enemy and as a civilian from your tyrannical fellow-citizens. Is the spirit of this great nation so small that you will always remain contented with the aid which your tribunes now afford you against your enemies, and never know any subject of dispute with the patricians, except as to how far you allow them to lord it over you ? This is not your natural instinct, you are the slaves of habit. For why is it that you display such spirit towards foreign nations as to think it fair and just that you should rule over them? Because with them you have been wont to contend for dominion, while against these domestic enemies it has been a contest for liberty, which you have mostly attempted rather than maintained. Still, whatever leaders you have had, whatever qualities you yourselves have shown, you have so far, either by your strength or your good fortune, achieved every object, however great, on which you have set your hearts. Now it is time to attempt greater things. If you will only put your own good fortune to the test, if you will only put me to the test, who have already been tested fortunately, I hope, for you, you will have less trouble in setting up some one to lord it over the patricians than you have had in setting up men to resist their lording it over you. Dictatorships and consulships must be levelled to the ground in order that the Roman plebs may lift up its head. Take your places, then, in the Forum; prevent any judgment for debt from being pronounced. I profess myself the Patron of the plebs, a title with which my care and fidelity have invested me; if you prefer to designate your leader by any other title of honour or command, you will find in him a more powerful instrument for attaining the objects you desire." It is said that this was the first step in his attempt to secure kingly power, but there is no clear tradition as to his fellow-conspirators or the extent to which his plans were developed



6.19

On the other side, however, the senate were discussing this secession of the plebs to a private house, which happened to be situated on the Capitol, and the great danger with which liberty was menaced. A great many exclaimed that what was wanted was a Servilius Ahala, who would not simply irritate an enemy to the State by ordering him to be sent to prison, but would put an end to the intestine war by the sacrifice of a single citizen. They finally took refuge in a resolution which was milder in its terms but possessed equal force, viz., that "the magistrates should see to it that the republic received no hurt from the mischievous designs of M. Manlius." Thereupon the consular tribunes and the tribunes of the plebs-for these latter recognised that the end of liberty would also be the end of their power, and had, therefore, placed themselves under the authority of the senate-all consulted together as to what were the necessary steps to take. As no one could suggest anything but the employment of force and its inevitable bloodshed, while this would obviously lead to a frightful struggle, M. Menenius and Q. Publilius, tribunes of the plebs, spoke as follows: "Why are we making that which ought to be a contest between the State and one pestilent citizen into a conflict between patricians and plebeians? Why do we attack the plebs through him when it is so much safer to attack him through the plebs, so that he may sink into ruin under the weight of his own strength? It is our intention to fix a day for his trial. Nothing is less desired by the people than kingly power. As soon as that body of plebeians become aware that the quarrel is not with them, and find that from being his supporters they have become his judges; as soon as they see a patrician on his trial, and learn that the charge before them is one of aiming at monarchy, they will not show favour to any man more than to their own liberty."



6.20

Amidst universal approval they fixed a day for the trial of Manlius. There was at first much perturbation amongst the plebs, especially when they saw him going about in mourning garb without a single patrician, or any of his relatives or connections and, strangest of all, neither of his brothers, Aulus and Titus Manlius, being similarly attired. For up to that day such a thing had never been known, that at such a crisis in a man's fate even those nearest to him did not put on mourning. They remembered that when Appius Claudius was thrown into prison, his personal enemy, Caius Claudius, and the whole house of the Claudii, wore mourning. They regarded it as a conspiracy to crush a popular hero, because he was the first man to go over from the patricians to the plebs. What evidence strictly bearing out the charge of treason was adduced by the prosecution at the actual trial, beyond the gatherings at his house, his seditious utterances, and his false statement about the gold, I do not find stated by any authority. But I have no doubt that it was anything but slight, for the hesitation shown by the people in finding him guilty was not due to the merits of the case, but to the locality where the trial took place. This is a thing to be noted in order that men may see how great and glorious deeds are not only deprived of all merit, but made positively hateful by a loathesome hankering after kingly power.

He is said to have produced nearly four hundred people to whom he had advanced money without interest, whom he had prevented from being sold up and having their persons adjudged to their creditors. It is stated that besides this he not only enumerated his military distinctions, but brought them forward for inspection; the spoils of as many as thirty enemies whom he had slain, gifts from commanders-in-chief to the number of forty, amongst them two mural crowns and eight civil ones. In addition to these, he produced citizens whom he had rescued from the enemy, and named C. Servilius, Master of the Horse, who was not present, as one of them. After he had recalled his warlike achievements in a great speech corresponding to the loftiness of his theme, his language rising to the level of his exploits, he bared his breast, ennobled by the scars of battle, and looking towards the Capitol repeatedly invoked Jupiter and the other deities to come to the aid of his shattered fortunes. He prayed that they would, in this crisis of his fate, inspire the Roman people with the same feeling with which they inspired him when he was protecting the Citadel and the Capitol and so saving Rome. Then turning to his judges, he implored them one and all to judge his cause with their eyes fixed on the Capitol, looking towards the immortal gods.

As it was in the Campus Martius that the people were to vote in their centuries, and the defendant, stretching forth his hands towards the Capitol, had turned from men to the gods in his prayers, it became evident to the tribunes that unless they could release men's spell-bound eyes from the visible reminder of his glorious deed, their minds, wholly possessed with the sense of the service he had done them, would find no place for charges against him, however true. So the proceedings were adjourned to another day, and the people were summoned to an Assembly in the Peteline Grove outside the Flumentan Gate, from which the Capitol was not visible. Here the charge was established, and with hearts steeled against his appeals, they passed a dreadful sentence, abhorrent even to the judges. Some authorities assert that he was sentenced by the duumvirs, who were appointed to try cases of treason. The tribunes hurled him from the Tarpeian rock, and the place which was the monument of his exceptional glory became also the scene of his final punishment. After his death two stigmas were affixed to his memory. One by the State. His house stood where now the temple and mint of Juno Moneta stand, a measure was consequently brought before the people that no patrician should occupy a dwelling within the Citadel or on the Capitoline. The other by the members of his house, who made a decree forbidding any one henceforth to assume the names of Marcus Manlius. Such was the end of a man who, had he not been born in a free State, would have attained distinction. When danger was no longer to be feared from him the people, remembering only his virtues, soon began to regret his loss. A pestilence which followed shortly after and inflicted great mortality, for which no cause could be assigned, was thought by a great many people to be due to the execution of Manlius. They imagined that the Capitol had been polluted by the blood of its deliverer, and that the gods had been displeased at a punishment having been inflicted almost before their eyes on the man by whom their temples had been wrested from an enemy's hands.



6.21

The pestilence was followed by scarcity, and the widespread rumour of these two troubles was followed the next year by a number of wars. The consular tribunes were: L. Valerius (for the fourth time), A. Manlius, Ser. Sulpicius, L. Lucretius, and L. Aemilius (all for the third time), and M. Trebonius. In addition to the Volscians, who seemed destined by some fate to keep the Roman soldiery in perpetual training; in addition to the colonies of Circeii and Velitrae, who had long been meditating revolt; in addition to Latium, which was an object of suspicion, a new enemy suddenly appeared at Lanuvium, which had hitherto been a most loyal city. The senate thought this was due to a feeling of contempt because the revolt of their countrymen at Velitrae had remained so long unpunished. They accordingly passed a decree that the people should be asked as soon as possible to consent to a declaration of war against them. To make the plebs more ready to enter on this campaign, five commissioners were appointed to distribute the Pomptine territory and three to settle a colony at Nepete. Then the proposal was submitted to the people, and in spite of the protests of the tribunes the tribes unanimously declared for war. Preparations for war continued throughout the year, but, owing to the pestilence, the army was not led out. This delay allowed the colonists time for propitiating the senate, and there was a considerable party amongst them in favour of sending a deputation to Rome to ask for pardon. But, as usual, the interest of the State was bound up with the interests of individuals, and the authors of the revolt, fearing that they alone would be held responsible and surrendered, in consequence, to appease the resentment of the Romans, turned the colonists from all thoughts of peace. Nor did they confine themselves to persuading their senate to veto the proposed embassy; they stirred up a large number of the plebs to make a predatory incursion on Roman territory. This fresh outrage destroyed all hopes of peace. This year, for the first time, there arose a rumour of a revolt at Praeneste, but when the people of Tusculum, Gabinii, and Labici, whose territories had been invaded, laid a formal complaint, the senate took it so calmly that it was evident they did believe the charge because they did not wish it to be true.



6.22

Sp. and L. Papirius, the new consular tribunes, marched with the legions to Velitrae. Their four colleagues, Ser. Cornelius Maluginensis, Q. Servilius, C. Sulpicius, and L. Aemilius were left to defend the City and to meet any fresh movement in Etruria, for danger was suspected everywhere on that side. At Velitrae, where the auxiliaries from Praeneste were almost more numerous than the colonists themselves, an engagement took place in which the Romans soon won the day, for as the city was so near, the enemy took to flight early in the battle and made for the city as their one refuge. The tribunes abstained from storming the place, for they were doubtful of success and did not think it right to reduce the colony to ruin. The dispatches to the senate announcing the victory were more severe on the Praenestines than on the Veliternians. Accordingly, by a decree of the senate confirmed by the people, war was declared against Praeneste. The Praenestines joined forces with the Volscians and in the following year took by storm the Roman colony of Satricum, after an obstinate defence, and made a brutal use of their victory. This incident exasperated the Romans. They elected M. Furius Camillus as consular tribune for the sixth time, and gave him four colleagues, A. and L. Postumius Regillensis, L. Furius, L. Lucretius, and M. Fabius Ambustus. By a special decree of the senate the war with the Volscians was entrusted to M. Furius Camillus; the tribune chosen by lot as his coadjutor was L. Furius, not so much, as it turned out, in the interest of the State, as in the interest of his colleague, for whom he served as the means of gaining fresh renown. He gained it on public grounds by restoring the fortunes of the State which had been brought low by the other's rashness, and on private grounds, because he was more anxious to win the other's gratitude after retrieving his error than to win glory for himself. Camillus was now advanced in age, and after being elected was prepared to make the usual affidavit declining office on the grounds of health, but the people refused to allow him. His vigorous breast was still animated by an energy unweakened by age, his senses were unimpaired, and his interest in political affairs was lost in the prospect of war. Four legions were enrolled, each consisting of 4000 men. The army was ordered to muster the next day at the Esquiline Gate and at once marched for Satricum. Here the captors of the colony awaited him, their decided superiority of numbers inspiring them with complete confidence. When they found that the Romans were approaching they advanced at once to battle, anxious to bring matters to a decisive issue as soon as possible. They imagined that this would prevent the inferiority in numbers of their opponents from being in any way aided by the skill of their commander, which they looked upon as the sole ground of confidence for the Romans.



6.23

The same eagerness for battle was felt by the Roman army and by Camillus' colleague. Nothing stood in the way of their hazarding an immediate engagement except the prudence and authority of one man, who was seeking an opportunity, by protracting the war, for aiding the strength of his force by strategy. This made the enemy more insistent; they not only deployed their lines in front of their camp, but even marched forward in the middle of the plain and showed their supercilious confidence in their numbers by advancing their standards close to the Roman entrenchments. This made the Romans indignant, still more so L. Furius. Young and naturally high-tempered, he was now infected with the hopefulness of the rank and file whose spirits were rising with very little to justify their confidence. He increased their excitement by belittling the authority of his colleague on the score of his age, the only possible reason he had for doing so; he declared that wars were the province of the younger men, for courage grows and decays in correspondence with the bodily powers. "Camillus," he said, "once a most active warrior, had now become a laggard; he, whose habit it had been, immediately on arriving at camps or cities, to take them at the first assault, was now wasting time and stagnating inside his lines. What accession to his own strength or diminution of the enemy's strength was he hoping for? What favourable chance, what opportune moment, what ground on which to employ his strategy? The old man's plans had lost all fire and life. Camillus had had his share of life as well as glory. What was gained by letting the strength of a State which ought to be immortal share in the senile decay of one mortal frame?"

By speeches of this kind he had brought over the whole camp to his view and in many quarters they were demanding to be led to immediate battle. Addressing Camillus, he said: "M. Furius, we cannot resist the impetuosity of the soldiers, and the enemy to whom we have given fresh courage by our hesitation are now showing intolerable contempt for us. You are one against all; yield to the universal desire and allow yourself to be overcome in argument that you may the sooner overcome in battle." In his reply, Camillus said that in all the wars he had waged down to that day, as sole commander, neither he nor the Roman people had had any reason to complain of either his generalship or his good fortune. Now he was aware that he had as a colleague one who was his equal in authority and rank, his superior in physical strength and activity. As for the army, he had been accustomed to direct and not to be directed, but as for his colleague, he could not hamper his authority. Let him do with the help of heaven whatever he considered best for the State. He begged that owing to his years he might be excused from being in the front line; whatever duties an old man could discharge in battle, in these he would not show himself lacking. He prayed to the immortal gods that no mischance might make them feel that his plan after all was the best. His salutory advice was not listened to by men, nor was his patriotic prayer heard by the gods. His colleague who had determined on battle drew up the front line, Camillus formed a powerful reserve and posted a strong force in front of the camp. He himself took his station on some rising ground and anxiously awaited the result of tactics so different from his own.



6.24

No sooner had their arms clashed together at the first onset than the enemy began to retire, not through fear but for tactical reasons. Behind them the ground rose gently up to their camp, and owing to their preponderance in numbers they had been able to leave several cohorts armed and drawn up for action in their camp. After the battle had begun these were to make a sortie as soon as the enemy were near their entrenchments. In pursuing the retiring enemy the Romans had been drawn on to the rising ground and were in some disorder. Seizing their opportunity the enemy made their charge from the camp. It was the victors' turn now to be alarmed, and this new danger and the uphill fighting made the Roman line give ground. Whilst the Volscians who had charged from the camp pressed home their attack, the others who had made the pretended flight renewed the contest. At last the Romans no longer retired in order; forgetting their recent battle-ardour and their old renown they began to flee in all directions, and in wild disorder were making for their camp. Camillus, after being assisted to mount by those around, hastily brought up the reserves and blocked their flight. "Is this, soldiers," he cried, "the battle which you were clamouring for? Who is the man, who is the god that you can throw the blame upon? Then you were foolhardy; now you are cowards. You have been following another captain, now follow Camillus and conquer, as you are accustomed to do, under my leadership. Why are you looking at the rampart and the camp? Not a man of you shall enter there unless you are victorious." A feeling of shame at first arrested their disorderly flight, then, when they saw the standards brought round and the line turning to face the enemy, and their leader, illustrious through a hundred triumphs and now venerable through age, showing himself amongst the foremost ranks, where the risk and toil were greatest, mutual reproaches mingled with words of encouragement were heard through the whole field till finally they burst into a ringing cheer.

The other tribune did not show himself wanting to the occasion. Whilst his colleague was rallying the infantry he was sent to the cavalry. He did not venture to censure them-his share in their fault left him too little authority for that-but dropping all tone of command he implored them one and all to clear him from the guilt of that day's misfortunes. "In spite," he said, "of the refusal and opposition of my colleague I preferred to associate myself with the rashness of all rather than with the prudence of one. Whatever your fortunes may be, Camillus sees his own glory reflected in them; I, unless the day is won, shall have the utter wretchedness of sharing the fortunes of all but bearing the infamy alone." As the infantry were wavering it seemed best for the cavalry, after dismounting and leaving their horses to be held, to attack the enemy on foot. Conspicuous for their arms and dashing courage they went wherever they saw the infantry force pressed. Officers and men emulated each other in fighting with a determination and courage which never slackened. The effect of such strenuous bravery was shown in the result; the Volscians who a short time before had given ground in simulated fear were now scattered in real panic. A large number were killed in the actual battle and the subsequent flight, others in the camp, which was carried in the same charge; there were more prisoners, however, than slain.



6.25

On examining the prisoners, it was discovered that some were from Tusculum; these were brought separately before the tribunes and on being questioned admitted that their State authorised their taking up arms. Alarmed at the prospect of a war so close to the City, Camillus said that he would at once conduct the prisoners to Rome so that the senate might not remain in ignorance of the fact that the Tusculans had abandoned the alliance with Rome. His colleague might, if he thought good, remain in command of the army in camp. One day's experience had taught him not to prefer his own counsels to wiser ones, but even so, neither he nor any one in the army supposed that Camillus would calmly pass over that blunder of his by which the republic had been exposed to headlong disaster. Both in the army and at Rome it was universally remarked that in the chequered fortune which had attended the Volscian campaign, the blame for the unsuccessful battle and flight would be visited on L. Furius, the glory of the successful one would rest with M. Furius Camillus. After the examination of the prisoners the senate resolved upon war with Tusculum, and entrusted the conduct of it to Camillus. He requested that he might have one coadjutor, and on receiving permission to choose whom he would, he selected, to every one's surprise, L. Furius. By this act of generosity he removed the stigma attaching to his colleague and won great glory for himself.

But there was no war with the Tusculans. Unable to resist the attack of Rome by force of arms they turned it aside by a firm and lasting peace. When the Romans entered their territory, there was no flight of the inhabitants from the places near their line of march, the cultivation of the fields was not interrupted, the gates of the city stood open, and the townsmen in civic attire came in crowds to meet the commanders, whilst provisions for the camp were brought ungrudgingly from town and country. Camillus fixed his camp in front of the gates and decided to ascertain for himself whether the peaceful aspect which things wore in the country prevailed within the walls as well. Inside the city he found the doors of the houses standing open and all kinds of things exposed for sale in the stalls; the workmen all busy at their respective tasks and the schools humming with the voices of the children learning to read; the streets filled with crowds, including women and children going in all directions about their business and wearing an expression free not only from fear but even from surprise. He looked everywhere in vain for some signs of war; there was not the slightest trace of anything having been removed or brought forward just for the moment; all things looked so calm and peaceful that it seemed hardly possible that the bruit of war could have reached them.



6.26

Disarmed by the submissive demeanour of the enemy he gave orders for the senate to be summoned. He then addressed them in the following terms: "Men of Tusculum, you are the only people who have discovered the true weapons, the true strength, with which to protect yourselves from the wrath of Rome. Go to the senate at Rome; they will decide aright whether your past offence deserves punishment most or your present submission, pardon. I will not anticipate the grace and favour which the State may show you; you shall receive from me the permission to plead for forgiveness; the senate will vouchsafe to your supplication the answer which shall seem good to them." After the arrival of the Tusculan senators in Rome, when the mournful countenances of those who a few weeks before had been staunch allies were seen in the vestibule of the Senate-house, the Roman senate were touched with pity and at once ordered them to be called in as guest-friends rather than as enemies. The Dictator of Tusculum was the spokesman. "Senators," he said, "we against whom you have declared and commenced hostilities, went out to meet your generals and your legions armed and equipped just as you see us now standing in the vestibule of your House. This civilian dress has always been the dress of our order and of our plebs and ever will be, unless at any time we receive from you arms for your defence. We are grateful to your generals and to your armies because they trusted their eyes rather than their ears, and did not make enemies where none existed. We ask of you the peace which we have ourselves observed, and pray you to turn the tide of war where a state of war exists; if we are to learn by painful experience the power which your arms can exert against us, we will learn it without using arms ourselves. This is our determination-may the gods make it as fortunate as it is dutiful! As for the accusations which induced you to declare war, although it is unnecessary to refute in words what has been disproved by facts, still, even supposing them to be true, we believe that it would have been safe to admit them, since we should have given such evident proofs of repentance. Let us acknowledge that we have wronged you, if only you are worthy to receive such satisfaction." This was practically what the Tusculans said. They obtained peace at the time and not long after full citizenship. The legions were marched back from Tusculum.



6.27

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), C. Sergius (also for the third time), L. Menenius (for the second time), P. Papirius, and Ser. 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 C. Sulpicius Camerinius and Sp. Postumius Regillensis. They commenced a fresh assessment, but the work was interrupted by the death of Postumius, because it was doubtful whether the co-optation of a colleague, in the case of the censors, was permissible. Sulpicius accordingly resigned, and fresh magistrates were appointed, but owing to some flaw in their election did not act. Religious fears deterred them from proceeding to a third election; it seemed as though the gods would not allow a censorship for that year. The tribunes declared that such mockery was intolerable. "The senate," according to them, "dreaded the publication of the assessment lists, which supplied information as to every man's property, because they did not wish the amount of the debtor to be brought to light, for it would show how one half of the community was being ruined by the other half, while the debt-burdened plebs were all the time being exposed to one enemy after another. Excuses for war were being sought indiscriminately in every direction; the legions were marched from Antium to Satricum, from Satricum to Velitrae, from there to Tusculum. And now the Latins, the Hernici, and the Praenestines were being threatened with hostilities in order that the patricians might wreak their vengeance on their fellow-citizens more even than upon the enemy. They were wearing out the plebs by keeping them under arms and not allowing them any breathing time in the City or any leisure for thoughts of liberty, or any possibility for taking their place in the Assembly, where they might listen to the voice of a tribune urging the reduction of interest and the redress of other grievances. Why, if the plebs had spirit enough to recall to mind the liberties which their fathers won, they would never suffer a Roman citizen to be made over to his creditors, nor would they permit an army to be raised until an account was taken of the existing debt and some method of reducing it discovered, so that each man might know what he actually owed, and what was left for himself-whether his person was free or whether that, too, was due to the stocks." 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.



6.28

A report had reached Praeneste that no army had been raised in Rome and no commander-in-chief selected, and that the patricians and plebeians had turned against one another. Seizing the opportunity, their generals had led their army by rapid marches through fields which they had utterly laid waste and appeared before the Colline Gate. There was wide-spread alarm in the City. A general cry arose, "To arms!" and men hurried to the walls and gates. At last, abandoning sedition for war, they nominated T. Quinctius Cincinnatus as Dictator. He named A. Sempronius Atratinus as his Master of the Horse. No sooner did they hear of this-so great was the terror which a Dictatorship inspired-than the enemy retired from the walls, and the men liable for active service assembled without any hesitation at the Dictator's orders. Whilst the army was being mobilised in Rome, the camp of the enemy had been fixed not far from the Alia. From this point they spread devastation far and wide, and congratulated themselves that they had chosen a position of fatal import for the City of Rome; they expected that there would be the same panic and flight as in the Gaulish war. For, they argued, if the Romans regarded with horror even the day which took its name from that spot and was under a curse, how much more would they dread the Alia itself, the memorial of that great disaster. They would most assuredly have the appalling sight of the Gauls before their eyes and the sound of their voices in their ears. Indulging in these idle dreams, they placed all their hopes in the fortune of the place. The Romans, on the other hand, knew perfectly well that wherever he was, the Latin enemy was the same as the one who had been conquered at Lake Regillus and kept in peaceable subjection for a hundred years. The fact that the place was associated with the memories of their great defeat would sooner stimulate them to wipe out the recollection of that disgrace than make them feel that any place on earth could be of ill omen for their success. Even if the Gauls themselves were to appear there, they would fight just as they fought when they recovered their City, just as they fought the next day at Gabii, when they did not leave a single enemy who had entered Rome to carry the news of their defeat and the Roman victory to their countrymen.



6.29

In these different moods, each side reached the banks of the Alia. When the enemy came into view in battle formation ready for action, the Dictator turned to A. Sempronius: "Do you see," he said, "how they have taken their station on the Alia, relying on the fortune of the place? May heaven have given them nothing more certain to trust to, or stronger to help them! You, however, placing your confidence in arms and valour, will charge their center at full gallop, while I with the legions will attack them whilst in disorder. Ye deities who watch over treaties, assist us, and exact the penalties due from those who have sinned against you and deceived us by appealing to your divinity!" Neither the cavalry charge nor the infantry attack was sustained by the Praenestines. At the first onset and battle shout their ranks were broken, and when no portion of the line any longer kept its formation they turned and fled in confusion. In their panic they were carried past their camp, and did not stop their headlong flight until they were within sight of Praeneste. There the fugitives rallied and seized a position which they hastily fortified; they were afraid of retiring within the walls of their city lest their territory should be wasted with fire and, after everything had been devastated, the city should be invested. The Romans, however, after spoiling the camp at the Alia, came up; this position, therefore, was also abandoned. They shut themselves in Praeneste, feeling hardly safe even behind its walls. There were eight towns under the jurisdiction of Praeneste. These were successively attacked and reduced without much fighting. Then the army advanced against Velitrae, which was successfully stormed. Finally, they arrived at Praeneste, the origin and center of the war. It was captured, not by assault, but after surrender. After being thus victorious in battle and capturing two camps and nine towns belonging to the enemy and receiving the surrender of Praeneste, Titus Quinctius returned to Rome. In his triumphal procession he carried up to the Capitol the image of Jupiter Imperator, which had been brought from Praeneste. It was set up in a recess between the shrines of Jupiter and Minerva, and a tablet was affixed to the pedestal recording the Dictator's successes. The inscription ran something like this: "Jupiter and all the gods have granted this boon to Titus Quinctius the Dictator, that he should capture nine towns." On the twentieth day after his appointment he laid down the Dictatorship.



6.30

When the election of consular tribunes took place, an equal number were elected from each order. The patricians were: P. and C. Manlius, together with L. Julius; the plebeians were: C. Sextilius, M. Albinius, and L. Anstitius. As the two Manlii took precedence of the plebeians by birth and were more popular than Julius, they had the Volscians assigned to them by special resolution, without casting lots or any understanding with the other consular tribunes; a step which they themselves and the senate who made the arrangement had cause to regret. They sent out some cohorts to forage without previously reconnoitring. On receiving a false message that these were cut off, they started off in great haste to their support, without detaining the messenger, who was a hostile Latin and had passed himself off as a Roman soldier. Consequently, they fell straight into an ambuscade. It was only the sheer courage of the men that enabled them to make a stand on unfavourable ground and offer a desperate resistance. At the same time, their camp, which lay on the plain in another direction, was attacked. In both incidents the generals had imperilled everything by their rashness and ignorance; if by the good fortune of Rome anything was saved it was due to the steadiness and courage of the soldiers who had no one to direct operations. On the report of these occurrences reaching Rome, it was at first decided that a Dictator should be nominated, but on subsequent information being received that all was quiet amongst the Volscians, who evidently did not know how to make use of their victory, the armies were recalled from that quarter. On the side of the Volscians peace prevailed; the only trouble that marked the close of the year was the renewal of hostilities by the Praenestines, who had stirred up the Latin cantons. The colonists of Setia complained of the fewness of their number, so a fresh body of colonists was sent to join them. The misfortunes of the war were compensated by the quiet which prevailed at home owing to the influence and authority which the consular tribunes from the plebeians possessed with their party.



6.31

The new consular tribunes were: Sp. Furius, Q. Servilius (for the second time), L. Menenius (for the third time), P. Cloelius, M. Horatius, and L. Geganius. No sooner had their year begun than the flames of a violent disturbance broke out, for which the distress caused by the debts supplied both cause and motive. Sp. Servilius Priscus and Q. Cloelius Siculus were appointed censors to go into the matter, but they were prevented from doing so by the outbreak of war. The Volscian legions invaded the Roman territory and were committing ravages in all directions. The first intimation came through panic-stricken messengers followed by a general flight from the country districts. So far was the alarm thus created from repressing the domestic dissensions that the tribunes showed all the greater determination to obstruct the enrolment of troops. They succeeded at last in imposing two conditions on the patricians: that none should pay the war-tax until the war was over, and that no suits for debt should be brought into court. After the plebs had obtained this relief there was no longer any delay in the enrolment. When the fresh troops had been raised they were formed into two armies, both of which were marched into the Volscian territory. Sp. Furius and M. Horatius turned to the right in the direction of Antium and the coast; Q. Servilius and L. Geganius proceeded to the left towards Ecetra and the mountain district. In neither direction did the enemy meet them. So they commenced to ravage the country in a very different method from that which the Volscians had practiced. These, emboldened by the dissensions but afraid of the courage of their enemy, had made hasty depredations like freebooters dreading a surprise, but the Romans acting as a regular army wreaked their just anger in ravages which were all the more destructive because they were continuous. The Volscians, fearing lest an army might come from Rome, confined their ravages to the extreme frontier; the Romans, on the other hand, lingered in the enemy's country to provoke him to battle. After burning all the scattered houses and several of the villages and leaving not a single fruit tree or any hope of harvest for the year, and carrying off as booty all the men and cattle that remained outside the walled towns, the two armies returned to Rome.



6.32

A short breathing space had been allowed to the debtors, but as soon as hostilities ceased and quiet was restored large numbers of them were again being adjudged to their creditors, and so completely had all hopes of lightening the old load of debt vanished that new debts were being contracted to meet a tax imposed for the construction of a stone wall for which the censors had made a contract. The plebs were compelled to submit to this burden because there was no enrolment which their tribunes could obstruct. They were even forced by the influence of the nobility to elect only patricians as consular tribunes; their names were: L. Aemilius, P. Valerius (for the fourth time), C. Veturius, Ser. Sulpicius, L. and C. Quinctius Cincinnatus. The patricians were also strong enough to effect the enrolment of three armies to act against the Latins and Volscians, who had united their forces and were encamped at Satricum. All those who were liable for active service were made to take the military oath; none ventured to obstruct. One of these armies was to protect the City; another was to be in readiness to be despatched wherever any sudden hostile movement might be attempted; the third, and by far the strongest, was led by P. Valerius and L. Aemilius to Satricum. Here they found the enemy drawn up for battle on favourable ground and immediately engaged him. The action, though so far not decisive, was going in favour of the Romans when it was stopped by violent storms of wind and rain. The next day it was resumed and was kept up for some time on the part of the enemy with a courage and success equal to that of the Romans, mainly by the Latin legions who through their long alliance were familiar with Roman tactics. A cavalry charge disordered their ranks, and before they could recover, the infantry made a fresh attack and the further they pressed forward the more decided the retreat of the enemy became, and once the battle turned, the Roman attack became irresistible. The rout of the enemy was complete, and as they did not make for their camp but tried to reach Satricum, which was two miles distant, they were mostly cut down by the cavalry. The camp was taken and plundered. The following night they evacuated Satricum, and in a march which was much more like a flight made their way to Antium, and though the Romans followed almost on their heels, the state of panic they were in enabled them to outstrip their pursuers. The enemy entered the city before the Romans could delay or harass their rear. Some days were spent in harrying the country as the Romans were not sufficiently provided with military engines for attacking the walls, nor were the enemy disposed to run the risk of a battle.



6.33

A quarrel now arose between the Antiates and the Latins. The Antiates, crushed by their misfortunes and exhausted by a state of war which had lasted all their lives, were contemplating peace; the newly revolted Latins, who had enjoyed a long peace and whose spirits were yet unbroken, were all the more determined to keep up hostilities. When each side had convinced the other that it was perfectly free to act as it thought best, there was an end of the quarrel. The Latins took their departure and so cleared themselves from all association with a peace which they considered dishonourable; the Antiates, when once the inconvenient critics of their salutary counsels were out of the way, surrendered their city and territory to the Romans. The exasperation and rage of the Latins at finding themselves unable to injure the Romans in war or to induce the Volscians to keep up hostilities rose to such a pitch that they set fire to Satricum, which had been their first shelter after their defeat. They flung firebrands on sacred and profane buildings alike, and not a single roof of that city escaped except the temple of Mother Matuta. It is stated that it was not any religious scruple or fear of the gods that restrained them, but an awful Voice which sounded from the temple threatening them with terrible punishment if they did not keep their accursed firebrands far from the shrine. Whilst in this state of frenzy, they next attacked Tusculum, in revenge for its having deserted the national council of the Latins and not only becoming an ally of Rome but even accepting her citizenship. The attack was unexpected and they burst in through the open gates. The town was taken at the first alarm with the exception of the citadel. Thither the townsmen fled for refuge with their wives and children, after sending messengers to Rome to inform the senate of their plight. With the promptitude which the honour of the Roman people demanded an army was marched to Tusculum under the command of the consular tribunes, L. Quinctius and Ser. Sulpicius. They found the gates of Tusculum closed and the Latins, with the feelings of men who are at once besieging and being besieged, were in one direction defending the walls and in the other attacking the citadel, inspiring terror and feeling it at the same time. The arrival of the Romans produced a change in the temper of both sides; it turned the gloomy forebodings of the Tusculans into the utmost cheerfulness, whilst the confidence which the Latins had felt in a speedy capture of the citadel, as they were already in possession of the town, sank into a faint and feeble hope of even their own safety. The Tusculans in the citadel gave a cheer, it was answered by a much louder one from the Roman army. The Latins were hard pressed on both sides; they could not withstand the attack of the Tusculans charging from the higher ground, nor could they repel the Romans who were mounting the walls and forcing the gates. The walls were first taken by escalade, then the bars of the gates were burst. The double attack in front and rear left the Latins no strength to fight and no room for escape; between the two they were killed to a man.



6.34

The greater the tranquillity which prevailed everywhere abroad after these successful operations so much the greater became the violence of the patricians and the miseries of the plebeians, since the ability to pay their debts was frustrated by the very fact that payment had become necessary. They had no means left on which to draw, and after judgment had been given against them they satisfied their creditors by surrendering their good name and their personal liberty; punishment took the place of payment. To such a state of depression had not only the humbler classes but even the leading men amongst the plebeians been reduced, that there was no energetic or enterprising individual amongst them who had the spirit to take up or become a candidate even for the plebeian magistracies, still less to win a place amongst the patricians as consular tribune, an honour which they had previously done their utmost to secure. It seemed as though the patricians had for all time won back from the plebs the sole enjoyment of a dignity which for the last few years had been shared with them. As a check to any undue exaltation on the part of the patricians, an incident occurred which was slight in itself, but, as is often the case, led to important results. M. Fabius Ambustus, a patrician, possessed great influence amongst the men of his own order and also with the plebeians, because they felt that he did not in any way look down on them. His two daughters were married, the elder one to Ser. Sulpicius, the younger to C. Licinius Stolo, a distinguished man, but a plebeian. The fact that Fabius did not regard this alliance as beneath him had made him very popular with the masses. The two sisters happened to be one day at Ser. Sulpicius' house, passing the time in conversation, when on his return from the Forum the tribune's apparitor gave the customary knocks on the door with his rod. The younger Fabia was startled at what was to her an unfamiliar custom, and her sister laughed at her and expressed surprise that she was ignorant of it. That laugh, however, left its sting in the mind of a woman easily excited by trifles. I think, too, that the crowd of attendants coming to ask for orders awoke in her that spirit of jealousy which makes every one anxious to be surpassed as little as possible by one's neighbours. It made her regard her sister's marriage as a fortunate one and her own as a mistake. Her father happened to see her whilst she was still upset by this mortifying incident and asked her if she was well. She tried to conceal the real reason, as showing but little affection for her sister and not much respect for her own husband. He kindly but firmly insisted upon finding out, and she confessed the real cause of her distress; she was united to one who was her inferior in birth, married into a house where neither honour nor political influence could enter. Ambustus consoled his daughter and bade her keep up her spirits; she would very soon see in her own house the same honours which she saw at her sister's. From that time he began to concert plans with his son-in-law; they took into their counsels L. Sextius, a pushing young man who regarded nothing as beyond his ambition except patrician blood.



6.35

A favourable opportunity for making innovations presented itself in the terrible pressure of debt, a burden from which the plebs did not hope for any alleviation until they had raised men of their own order to the highest authority in the State. This, they thought, was the aim which they must devote their utmost efforts to reach, and they believed that they had already, by dint of effort, secured a foothold from which, if they pushed forward, they could secure the highest positions, and so become the equals of the patricians in dignity as they now were in courage. For the time being, C. Licinius and L. Sextius decided to become tribunes of the plebs; once in this office they could clear for themselves the way to all the other distinctions. All the measures which they brought forward after they were elected were directed against the power and influence of the patricians and calculated to promote the interests of the plebs. One dealt with the debts, and provided that the amount paid in interest should be deducted from the principal and the balance repaid in three equal yearly instalments. The second restricted the occupation of land and prohibited any one from holding more than five hundred jugera. The third provided that there should be no more consular tribunes elected, and that one consul should be elected from each order. They were all questions of immense importance, which could not be settled without a tremendous struggle.

The prospect of a fight over those things which excite the keenest desires of men-land, money, honours-produced consternation among the patricians. After excited discussions in the senate and in private houses, they found no better remedy than the one they had adopted in previous contests, namely, the tribunitian veto. So they won over some of the tribunes to interpose their veto against these proposals. When they saw the tribes summoned by Licinius and Sextius to give their votes, these men, surrounded by a bodyguard of patricians, refused to allow either the reading of the bills or any other procedure which the plebs usually adopted when they came to vote. For many weeks the Assembly was regularly summoned without any business being done, and the bills were looked upon as dead. "Very good," said Sextius, "since it is your pleasure that the veto shall possess so much power, we will use this same weapon for the protection of the plebs. Come then, patricians, give notice of an Assembly for the election of consular tribunes, I will take care that the word which our colleagues are now uttering in concert to your great delight, the word 'I FORBID,' shall not give you much pleasure." These were not idle threats. No elections were held beyond those of the tribunes and aediles of the plebs. Licinius and Sextius, when re-elected, would not allow any curule magistrates to be appointed, and as the plebs constantly re-elected them, and as they constantly stopped the election of consular tribunes, this dearth of magistrates lasted in the City for five years.



6.36

Fortunately, with one exception, there was a respite from foreign war. The colonists of Velitrae, becoming wanton in a time of peace and in the absence of any Roman army, made various incursions into Roman territory and began an attack on Tusculum. The citizens, allies of old, and now citizens, implored help, and their situation moved not only the senate, but the plebs as well, with a sense of shame. The tribunes of the plebs gave way and the elections were conducted by an interrex. The consular tribunes elected were: L. Furius, A. Manlius, Ser. Sulpicius, Ser. Cornelius, P. and C. Valerius. They did not find the plebeians nearly so amenable in the enlistment as they had been in the elections; it was only after a very great struggle that an army was raised. They not only dislodged the enemy from before Tusculum, but forced him to take refuge behind his walls. The siege of Velitrae was carried on with far greater vigour than that of Tusculum had been. Those commanders who had commenced the investment did not, however, effect its capture. The new consular tribunes were: Q. Servilius, C. Veturius, A. and M. Cornelius, Q. Quinctius, and M. Fabius. Even under these tribunes nothing worth mention took place at Velitrae. At home affairs were becoming more critical. Sextius and Licinius, the original proposers of the laws, who had been re-elected tribunes of the plebs for the eighth time, were now supported by Fabius Ambustus, Licinius Stolo's father-in-law. He came forward as the decided advocate of the measures which he had initiated, and whereas there had at first been eight members of the college of tribunes who had vetoed the proposals, there were now only five. These five, as usually happens with men who desert their party, were embarrassed and dismayed, and defended their opposition by borrowed arguments privately suggested to them by the patricians. They urged that as a large number of plebeians were in the army at Velitrae the Assembly ought to be adjourned till the return of the soldiers, to allow of the entire body of the plebs voting on matters affecting their interests. Sextius and Licinius, experts after so many years' practice in the art of handling the plebs, in conjunction with some of their colleagues and the consular tribune, Fabius Ambustus, brought forward the leaders of the patrician party and worried them with questions on each of the measures they were referring to the people. "Have you," they asked, "the audacity to demand that whilst two jugera are allotted to each plebeian, you yourselves should each occupy more than five hundred jugera, so that while a single patrician can occupy the land of nearly three hundred citizens, the holding of a plebeian is hardly extensive enough for the roof he needs to shelter him, or the place where he is to be buried? Is it your pleasure that the plebeians, crushed by debt, should surrender their persons to fetters and punishments sooner than that they should discharge their debts by repaying the principal? That they should be led off in crowds from the Forum as the property of their creditors? That the houses of the nobility should be filled with prisoners, and wherever a patrician lives there should be a private dungeon?"



6.37

They were denouncing these indignities in the ears of men, apprehensive for their own safety, who listened to them with stronger indignation than the men who were speaking felt. They went on to assert that after all there would be no limit to the seizure of land by the patricians or the murder of the plebs by the deadly usury until the plebs elected one of the consuls from their own ranks as a guardian of their liberties. The tribunes of the plebs were now objects of contempt since their power was shattering itself by their own veto. There could be no fair or just administration as long as the executive power was in the hands of the other party, while they had only the right of protesting by their veto; nor would the plebs ever have an equal share in the government till the executive authority was thrown open to them; nor would it be enough, as some people might suppose, to allow plebeians to be voted for at the election of consuls. Unless it was made obligatory for one consul at least to be chosen from the plebs, no plebeian would ever become consul. Had they forgotten that after they had decided that consular tribunes should be elected in preference to consuls in order that the highest office might be open to plebeians, not a single plebeian was elected consular tribune for four-and-forty years? What did they suppose? Did they imagine that the men who had been accustomed to fill all the eight places when consular tribunes were elected would of their own free will consent to share two places with the plebs, or that they would allow the path to the consulship to be opened when they had so long blocked the one to the consular tribuneship? The people would have to secure by law what they could not gain by favour, and one of the two consulships would have to be placed beyond dispute as open to the plebs alone, for if it were open to a contest it would always be the prey of the stronger party. The old, oft-repeated taunt could no longer be made now that there were no men amongst the plebs suitable for curule magistracies. Was the government carried on with less spirit and energy after the consulship of P. Licinius Calvus, who was the first plebeian to be elected to that post, than during the years when only patricians held the office? Nay, on the contrary, there had been some cases of patricians being impeached after their year of office, but none of plebeians. The quaestors also, like the consular tribunes, had a few years previously begun to be elected from the plebs; in no single instance had the Roman people had any cause to regret those appointments. The one thing that was left for the plebs to strive for was the consulship. That was the pillar, the stronghold of their liberties. If they arrived at that, the Roman people would realise that monarchy had been completely banished from the City, and that their freedom was securely established, for in that day everything in which the patricians were pre-eminent would come to the plebs-power, dignity, military glory, the stamp of nobility; great things for themselves to enjoy, but greater still as legacies to their children. When they saw that speeches of this kind were listened to with approval, they brought forward a fresh proposal, viz. that instead of the duumviri (the two keepers of the Sacred Books) a College of Ten should be formed, half of them plebeians and half patricians. The meeting of the Assembly, which was to pass these measures, was adjourned till the return of the army which was besieging Velitrae.



6.38

The year passed away before the legions were brought back. Thus the new measures were hung up and left for the new consular tribunes to deal with. They were T. Quinctius, Ser. Cornelius, Ser. Sulpicius, Sp. Servilius, L. Papirius, and L. Veturius. The plebs re-elected their tribunes, at all events the same two who had brought forward the new measures. At the very beginning of the year the final stage in the struggle was reached. When the tribes were summoned and the proposers refused to be thwarted by the veto of their colleagues, the patricians, now thoroughly alarmed, took refuge in their last line of defence-supreme power, and a supreme citizen to wield it. They resolved upon the nomination of a Dictator, and M. Furius Camillus was nominated; he chose L. Aemilius as his Master of the Horse. Against such formidable preparations on the part of their opponents, the proposers on their side prepared to defend the cause of the plebs with the weapons of courage and resolution. They gave notice of a meeting of the Assembly and summoned the tribes to vote. Full of anger and menace, the Dictator, surrounded by a compact body of patricians, took his seat, and the proceedings commenced as usual with a struggle between those who were bringing in the bills and those who were interposing their veto against them. The latter were in the stronger position legally, but they were overborne by the popularity of the measures and the men who were proposing them. The first tribes were already voting "Aye," when Camillus said, "Since, Quirites, it is not the authority of your tribunes but their defiance of authority that you are ruled by now, and their right of veto, which was once secured by the secession of the plebs, is now being rendered nugatory by the same violent conduct by which you obtained it, I, as Dictator, acting in your own interests quite as much as in that of the State, shall support the right of veto and protect by my authority the safeguard which you are destroying. If, therefore, C. Licinius and L. Sextius give way before the opposition of their colleagues, I will not intrude the powers of a patrician magistrate into the councils of the plebs; if, however, in spite of that opposition they are bent on imposing their measures on the State, as though it had been subjugated in war, I will not allow the tribunitian power to work its own destruction."

The tribunes of the plebs treated this pronouncement with contempt, and persisted in their course with unshaken resolution. Thereupon Camillus, excessively angry, sent lictors to disperse the plebeians and threatened, if they went on, to bind the fighting men by their military oath and march them out of the City. The plebs were greatly alarmed, but their leaders were exasperated rather than intimidated by his opposition. But while the contest was still undecided he resigned office, either owing to some irregularity in his nomination, as certain writers maintain, or because the tribunes proposed a resolution, which the plebs adopted, to the effect that if Camillus took any action as Dictator a fine of 500,000 ases should be imposed upon him. That his resignation was due to some defect in the auspices rather than to the effect of such an unprecedented proposal I am led to believe by the following considerations: the well-known character of the man himself; the fact that P. Manlius immediately succeeded him as Dictator-for what influence could he have exerted in a contest in which Camillus had been worsted? the further fact that Camillus was again Dictator the following year, for surely he would have been ashamed to reassume an authority which had been successfully defied the year before. Besides, at the time when, according to the tradition, the resolution imposing a fine on him was passed, either he had as Dictator the power to negative a measure which he saw was meant to circumscribe his authority, or else he was powerless to resist even those other measures on account of which this one was carried. But amidst all the conflicts in which tribunes and consuls have been engaged, the Dictator's powers have always been above controversy.



6.39

Between Camillus' resignation of office and Manlius' entrance on his Dictatorship, the tribunes held a council of the plebs as though an interregnum had occurred. Here it was evident which of the proposed measures were preferred by the plebs and which their tribunes were most eager about. The measures dealing with usury and the allotment of State land were being adopted, that providing that one consul should always be a plebeian was rejected; both the former would probably have been carried into law if the tribunes had not said that they were putting them en bloc. P. Manlius, on his nomination as Dictator, strengthened the cause of the plebs by appointing a plebeian, C. Licinius, who had been a consular tribune, as his Master of the Horse. I gather that the patricians were much annoyed; the Dictator generally defended his action on the ground of relationship; he pointed out also that the authority of a Master of the Horse was no greater than that of a consular tribune. When notice was given for the election of tribunes of the plebs, Licinius and Sextius declared their unwillingness to be re-elected, but they put it in a way which made the plebeians all the more eager to secure the end which they secretly had in view. For nine years, they said, they had been standing in battle array, as it were, against the patricians, at the greatest risk to themselves and with no advantage to the people. The measures they had brought forward and the whole power of the tribunes had, like themselves, become enfeebled by age. Their proposed legislation had been frustrated first by the veto of their colleagues, then by the withdrawal of their fighting men to the district of Velitrae, and last of all the Dictator had launched his thunders at them. At the present time there was no obstacle either from their colleagues or from war or from the Dictator, for he had given them an earnest of the future election of plebeian consuls by appointing a plebeian as Master of the Horse. It was the plebs who stood in the way of their tribunes and their own interests. If they chose they could have a City and a Forum free from creditors, and fields rescued from their unlawful occupiers. When were they ever going to show sufficient gratitude for these boons, if while accepting these beneficial measures they cut off from those who proposed them all hope of attaining the highest honours? It was not consistent with the self-respect of the Roman people for them to demand to be relieved of the burden of usury and placed on the land which is now wrongfully held by the magnates, and then to leave the tribunes, through whom they won these reforms, without honourable distinction in their old age or any hope of attaining it. They must first make up their minds as to what they really wanted and then declare their will by their votes at the election. If they wanted the proposed measures carried as a whole, there was some reason for their re-electing the same tribunes, because they would carry their own measures through; if, however, they only wished that to be passed which each man happened to want for himself, there was no need for them to incur odium by prolonging their term of office; they would not have the tribuneship themselves, nor would the people obtain the proposed reforms.



6.40

This determined language from the tribunes filled the patricians with speechless indignation and amazement. It is stated that Appius Claudius, a grandson of the old decemvir, moved by feelings of anger and hatred more than by any hope of turning them from their purpose, came forward and spoke to the following effect: "It would be nothing new or surprising to me, Quirites, to hear once more the reproach that has always been levelled against our family by revolutionary tribunes, namely, that from the very beginning we have never regarded anything in the State as more important than the honour and dignity of the patricians, and that we have always been inimical to the interests of the plebs. The former of these charges I do not deny. I acknowledge that from the day when we were admitted into the State and into the senate we have laboured most assiduously in order that the greatness of those houses amongst which it was your will that we should be numbered might be said in all truth to have been enhanced rather than impaired. In reply to the second charge, I would go so far as to assert, on my own behalf and on that of my ancestors, that neither as individuals nor in our capacity as magistrates have we ever done anything knowingly which was against the interests of the plebs, unless any one should suppose that what is done on behalf of the State as a whole is necessarily injurious to the plebs as though they were living in another city; nor can any act or word of ours be truthfully brought up as opposed to your real welfare, though some may have been opposed to your wishes. Even if I did not belong to the Claudian house and had no patrician blood in my veins, but more simply one of the Quirites, knowing only that I was sprung from free-born parents and was living in a free State-even then, could I keep silence when I see that this L. Sextius, this C. Licinius, tribunes for life-good heavens!-have reached such a pitch of impudence during the nine years of their reign that they are refusing to allow you to vote as you please in the elections and in the enacting of laws?

"'On one condition,' they say, 'you shall reappoint us tribunes for the tenth time.' What is this but saying, 'What others seek we so thoroughly despise that we will not accept it without a heavy premium'? But what premium have we to pay that we may always have you as tribunes of the plebs? 'That you adopt all our measures en bloc, whether you agree with them or not, whether they are useful or the reverse.' Now I ask you-you Tarquinian tribunes of the plebs-to listen to me. Suppose that I, as a citizen, call out from the middle of the Assembly, 'Allow us, with your kind permission, to choose out of these proposed measures what we think beneficial for us and reject the others.' 'No,' he says, 'you will not be allowed to do so. You would pass the measure about usury and the one about the distribution of land, for these concern you all; but you would not allow the City of Rome to witness the portentous sight of L. Sextius and C. Licinius as consuls, a prospect you regard with detestation and loathing. Either accept all, or I propose none.' Just as if a man were to place poison together with food before some one famished with hunger and bid him either abstain from what would support his life or mix with it what would bring death. If this were a free State, would not hundreds of voices have exclaimed, 'Begone, with your tribuneships and proposals!' What? If you do not bring in reforms which it is to the people's advantage to adopt, is there no one else who will? If any patrician, if even a Claudius-whom they detest still more-were to say, 'Either accept all, or I propose none,' which of you, Quirites, would tolerate it? Will you never have more regard for measures than for men? Will you always listen with approving ears to everything which your magistrate says and with hostile ears to whatever is said by any of us?

"His language is utterly unbecoming a citizen of a free republic. Well, and what sort of a proposal is it, in heaven's name, that they are indignant with you for having rejected? One, Quirites, which quite matches his language. 'I am proposing,' he says, 'that you shall not be allowed to appoint whom you please as consuls.' What else does his proposal mean? He is laying down the law that one consul at least shall be elected from the plebs, and is depriving you of the power of electing two patricians. If there were to-day a war with Etruria such as when Porsena encamped on the Janiculum, or such as that in recent times with the Gauls, when everything round us except the Capitol and the Citadel were in the enemy's hands, and, in the press of such a war, L. Sextius were standing for the consulship with M. Furius Camillus and some other patrician, could you tolerate Sextius being quite certain of election and Camillus in danger of defeat? Is this what you call an equal distribution of honours, when it is lawful for two plebeians to be made consuls, but not for two patricians; when one must necessarily be taken from the plebs, while it is open to reject every patrician? What is this comradeship, this equality of yours? Do you count it little to come into a share of what you have had no share in hitherto, unless whilst you are seeking to obtain the half you can carry off the whole? He says, 'I am afraid if it is left open for two patricians to be elected, you will never elect a plebeian.' What is this but saying, 'Because you would not of your own will elect unworthy persons, I will impose upon you the necessity of electing them against your will'? What follows? That if only one plebeian is standing with two patricians he has not to thank the people for his election; he may say he was appointed by the law not by their vote.



6.41

"Their aim is not to sue for honours but to extort them from you, and they will get the greatest favours from you without showing the gratitude due even for the smallest. They prefer seeking posts of honour by trusting to accident rather than by personal merit. There is many a man, too proud to submit his merits and claims to inspection and examination, who would think it quite fair that he alone among his competitors should be quite certain of attaining a post of honour, who would withdraw himself from your judgment and transfer your free votes into compulsory and servile ones. Not to mention Licinius and Sextius, whose years of uninterrupted power you number up as though they were kings in the Capitol, who is there in the State to-day in such humble circumstances as not to find the path to the consulship made easier by the opportunities offered in that measure for him than it is for us and our children? Even when you sometimes wish to elect us you will not have the power; those people you will be compelled to elect, even if you do not wish to do so. Enough has been said about the indignity of the thing. Questions of dignity, however, only concern men; what shall I say about the duties of religion and the auspices, the contempt and profanation of which specially concern the gods? Who is there who knows not that it was under auspices that this City was founded, that only after auspices have been taken is anything done in war or peace, at home or in the field? Who have the right to take the auspices in accordance with the usage of our fathers? The patricians, surely, for not a single plebeian magistrate is elected under auspices. So exclusively do the auspices belong to us that not only do the people when electing patrician magistrates elect them only when the auspices are favourable, but even we, when, independently of the people, we are choosing an interrex, only do so after the auspices have been taken: we as private citizens have the auspices which your order does not possess even as magistrates. What else is the man doing who by the creation of plebeian consuls takes away the auspices from the patricians who alone can possess them-what else, I ask, is he doing but depriving the State of the auspices? Now, men are at liberty to mock at our religious fears. 'What does it matter if the sacred chickens do not feed, if they hesitate to come out of their coop, if a bird has shrieked ominously?' These are small matters, but it was by not despising these small matters that our ancestors have achieved the supreme greatness of this State. Now, as though there were no need of securing peace with the gods, we are polluting all ceremonial acts. Are pontiffs, augurs, kings for sacrifice to be appointed indiscriminately? Are we to place the mitre of the Flamen of Jupiter upon any one's head provided only he be a man? Are we to hand over the sacred shields, the shrines, the gods, and the care of their worship to men to whom it would be impious to entrust them? Are laws no longer to be passed, or magistrates elected in accordance with the auspices? Are the senate no longer to authorise the Assembly of centuries, or the Assembly of curies? Are Sextius and Licinius to reign in this City of Rome as though they were a second Romulus, a second Tatius, because they give away other people's money and other people's lands? So great a charm is felt in preying upon other people's fortunes, that it has not occurred to them that by expelling the occupiers from their lands under the one law vast solitudes will be created, whilst by the action of the other all credit will be destroyed and with it all human society abolished. For every reason I consider that these proposals ought to be rejected, and may heaven guide you to a right decision!"



6.42

The speech of Appius only availed to effect the postponement of the voting. Sextius and Licinius were re-elected for the tenth time. They carried a law providing that of the ten keepers of the Sibylline Books, five should be chosen from the patricians and five from the plebeians. This was regarded as a further step towards opening the path to the consulship. The plebs, satisfied with their victory, made the concession to the patricians that for the present all mention of consuls should be dropped. Consular tribunes were accordingly elected. Their names were A. and M. Cornelius (each for the second time), M. Geganius, P. Manlius, L. Veturius, and P. Valerius (for the sixth time). With the exception of the siege of Velitrae, in which the result was delayed rather than doubtful, Rome was quiet so far as foreign affairs went. Suddenly the City was startled by rumours of the hostile advance of the Gauls. M. Furius Camillus was nominated Dictator for the fifth time. He named as his Master of the Horse T. Quinctius Poenus. Claudius is our authority for the statement that a battle was fought at the Anio with the Gauls this year, and that it was then that the famous fight took place on the bridge in which T. Manlius killed a Gaul who had challenged him and then despoiled him of his golden collar in the sight of both armies. I am more inclined, with the majority of authors, to believe that these occurrences took place ten years later. There was, however, a pitched battle fought this year by the Dictator, M. F. Camillus, against the Gauls in the Alban territory. Although, bearing in mind their former defeat, the Romans felt a great dread of the Gauls, their victory was neither doubtful nor difficult. Many thousands of the barbarians were slain in the battle, many more in the capture of their camp. Many others, making chiefly in the direction of Apulia, escaped, some by distant flight, and others who had become widely scattered and in their panic had lost their way.

By the joint consent of the senate and plebs a triumph was decreed to the Dictator. He had hardly disposed of that war before a more alarming commotion awaited him at home. After tremendous conflicts, the Dictator and the senate were worsted; consequently the proposals of the tribunes were carried, and in spite of the opposition of the nobility the elections were held for consuls. L. Sextius was the first consul to be elected out of the plebs. Even that was not the end of the conflict. The patricians refused to confirm the appointment, and matters were approaching a secession of the plebs and other threatening signs of appalling civic struggles. The Dictator, however, quieted the disturbances by arranging a compromise; the nobility made a concession in the matter of a plebeian consul, the plebs gave way to the nobility on the appointment of a praetor to administer justice in the City who was to be a patrician. Thus after their long estrangement the two orders of the State were at length brought into harmony. The senate decided that this event deserved to be commemorated-and if ever the immortal gods merited men's gratitude, they merited it then-by the celebration of the Great Games, and a fourth day was added to the three hitherto devoted to them. The plebeian aediles refused to superintend them, whereupon the younger patricians were unanimous in declaring that they would gladly allow themselves to be appointed aediles for the honour of the immortal gods. They were universally thanked, and the senate made a decree that the Dictator should ask the people to elect two aediles from amongst the patricians, and that the senate should confirm all the elections of that year.

End of Book 6



Livy's History of Rome: Book 7:
Frontier Wars-(366-341 B.C.)


7.1

This year will be noteworthy for the first consulship held by a plebeian, and also for two new magistracies, the praetorship and the curule aedileship. These offices the patricians created in their own interest as an equivalent for their concession of one consulship to the plebs, who bestowed it on L. Sextius, the man who had secured it for them. The patricians secured the praetorship for Sp. Furius, the son of old Camillus, and the two aedileships for Gnaeus Quinctius Capitolinus and P. Cornelius Scipio, members of their own order. L. Aemilius Mamercus was elected from the patricians as colleague to L. Sextius. The main themes of discussion at the beginning of the year were the Gauls, about whom it was rumoured that after wandering by various routes through Apulia they had reunited their forces and the Hernici, who were reported to have revolted. All preparations were deferred with the sole purpose of preventing any action from being taken by the plebeian consul; everything was quiet and silent in the City, as though a suspension of all business had been proclaimed, with the one exception of the tribunes of the plebs. They did not silently submit to the procedure of the nobility in appropriating to themselves three patrician magistrates, sitting in curule chairs and clothed in the praetexta like consuls, as a set-off against one plebeian consul-the praetor even administering justice, as though he were a colleague of the consuls and elected under the same auspices. The senate felt somewhat ashamed of their resolution by which they had limited the curule aediles to their own order; it had been agreed that they should be elected in alternate years from the plebs; afterwards it was left open.

The consuls for the following year were L. Genucius and Q. Servilius. Matters were quiet as regarded domestic troubles or foreign wars, but, lest there should be too great a feeling of security, a pestilence broke out. It is asserted that one of the censors, one of the curule aediles, and three tribunes of the plebs fell victims, and in the population generally there was a corresponding proportion of deaths. The most illustrious victim was M. F. Camillus, whose death, though occurring in ripe old age, was bitterly lamented. He was, it may be truly said, an exceptional man in every change of fortune; before he went into exile foremost in peace and war, rendered still more illustrious when actually in exile by the regret which the State felt for his loss, and the eagerness with which after its capture it implored his assistance, and quite as much so by the success with which, after being restored to his country, he restored his country's fortunes together with his own. For five-and-twenty years after this he lived fully up to his reputation, and was counted worthy to be named next to Romulus, as the second founder of the City.



7.2

The pestilence lasted into the following year. The new consuls were C. Sulpicius Peticus and C. Licinius Stolo. Nothing worth mentioning took place, except that in order to secure the peace of the gods a lectisternium was instituted, the third since the foundation of the City. But the violence of the epidemic was not alleviated by any aid from either men or gods, and it is asserted that as men's minds were completely overcome by superstitious terrors they introduced, amongst other attempts to placate the wrath of heaven, scenic representations, a novelty to a nation of warriors who had hitherto only had the games of the Circus. They began, however, in a small way, as nearly everything does, and small as they were, they were borrowed from abroad. The players were sent for from Etruria; there were no words, no mimetic action; they danced to the measures of the flute and practiced graceful movements in Tuscan fashion. Afterwards the young men began to imitate them, exercising their wit on each other in burlesque verses, and suiting their action to their words. This became an established diversion, and was kept up by frequent practice. The Tuscan word for an actor is istrio, and so the native performers were called histriones. These did not, as in former times, throw out rough extempore effusions like the Fescennine verse, but they chanted satyrical verses quite metrically arranged and adapted to the notes of the flute, and these they accompanied with appropriate movements. Several years later Livius for the first time abandoned the loose satyrical verses and ventured to compose a play with a coherent plot. Like all his contemporaries, he acted in his own plays, and it is said that when he had worn out his voice by repeated recalls he begged leave to place a second player in front of the flutist to sing the monologue while he did the acting, with all the more energy because his voice no longer embarrassed him. Then the practice commenced of the chanter following the movements of the actors, the dialogue alone being left to their voices. When, by adopting this method in the presentation of pieces, the old farce and loose jesting was given up and the play became a work of art, the young people left the regular acting to the professional players and began to improvise comic verses. These were subsequently known as exodia (after-pieces), and were mostly worked up into the "Atellane Plays." These farces were of Oscan origin, and were kept by the young men in their own hands; they would not allow them to be polluted by the regular actors. Hence it is a standing rule that those who take part in the Atellanae are not deprived of their civic standing, and serve in the army as being in no way connected with the regular acting. Amongst the things which have arisen from small beginnings, the origin of the stage ought to be put foremost, seeing that what was at first healthy and innocent has grown into a mad extravagance that even wealthy kingdoms can hardly support.



7.3

However, the first introduction of plays, though intended as a means of religious expiation, did not relieve the mind from religious terrors nor the body from the inroads of disease. Owing to an inundation of the Tiber, the Circus was flooded in the middle of the Games, and this produced an unspeakable dread; it seemed as though the gods had turned their faces from men and despised all that was done to propitiate their wrath. C. Genucius and L. Aemilius Mamercus were the new consuls, each for the second time. The fruitless search for effective means of propitiation was affecting the minds of the people more than disease was affecting their bodies. It is said to have been discovered that the older men remembered that a pestilence had once been assuaged by the Dictator driving in a nail. The senate believed this to be a religious obligation, and ordered a Dictator to be nominated for that purpose. L. Manlius Imperiosus was nominated, and he appointed L. Pinarius as his Master of the Horse. There is an ancient instruction written in archaic letters which runs: Let him who is the praetor maximus fasten a nail on the Ides of September. This notice was fastened up on the right side of the temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus, next to the chapel of Minerva. This nail is said to have marked the number of the year-written records being scarce in those days-and was for that reason placed under the protection of Minerva because she was the inventor of numbers. Cincius, a careful student of monuments of this kind, asserts that at Volsinii also nails were fastened in the temple of Nortia, an Etruscan goddess, to indicate the number of the year. It was in accordance with this direction that the consul Horatius dedicated the temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus in the year following the expulsion of the kings; from the consuls the ceremony of fastening the nails passed to the Dictators, because they possessed greater authority. As the custom had been subsequently dropped, it was felt to be of sufficient importance to require the appointment of a Dictator. L. Manlius was accordingly nominated, but, regarding his appointment as due to political rather than to religious reasons and eager to command in the war with the Hernici, he caused a very angry feeling among the men liable to serve by the inconsiderate way in which he conducted the enrolment. At last, in consequence of the unanimous resistance offered by the tribunes of the plebs, he gave way, either voluntarily or through compulsion, and laid down his Dictatorship.



7.4

This did not, however, prevent his impeachment the following year, when Q. Servilius Ahala and L. Genucius were consuls, the prosecutor being M. Pomponius, one of the tribunes of the plebs. He had incurred universal hatred through the unfeeling severity with which he had carried out the enlistment; the citizens had not only been fined, but subjected to personal ill-treatment, some scourged and others imprisoned because they had not answered to their names. But what men most loathed was his brutal temperament, and the epithet "Imperiosus " (masterful) which had been fastened on him from his unblushing cruelty, an epithet utterly repugnant to a free State. The effects of his cruelty were felt quite as much by his nearest kindred, by his own blood, as by strangers. Amongst other charges which the tribune brought against him was his treatment of his young son. It was alleged that although guilty of no offence he had banished him from the City, from his home and household gods, had forbidden him to appear in public in the Forum or to associate with those of his own age, and had consigned him to servile work, almost to the imprisonment of a workshop. Here the youth, of high birth, the son of a Dictator, was to learn by daily suffering how rightly his father was called "Imperiosus." And for what offence? Simply because he was lacking in eloquence, in readiness of speech! Ought not this natural defect to have been helped and remedied by the father, if there were a spark of humanity in him, instead of being punished and branded by persecution? Not even do brute beasts show less care and protection to their offspring if they happen to be sickly or deformed. But L. Manlius actually aggravated his son's misfortune by fresh misfortunes, and increased his natural dullness and quenched any faint glimmerings of ability which he might have shown by the clodhopper's life to which he was condemned and the boorish bringing up amongst cattle to which he had to submit.

The youth himself was the last to be exasperated by these accusations brought against his father. On the contrary, he was so indignant at finding himself made the ground of the charges against his father and the deep resentment they created that he was determined to let gods and men see that he preferred standing by his father to helping his enemies. He formed a project which, though natural to an ignorant rustic and no precedent for an ordinary citizen to follow, still afforded a laudable example of filial affection. Arming himself with a knife, he went off early in the morning, without any one's knowledge, to the City, and once inside the gates proceeded straight to the house of M. Pomponius. He informed the porter that it was necessary for him to see his master at once, and announced himself as T. Manlius, the son of Lucius. Pomponius imagined that he was either bringing some matter for a fresh charge, to revenge himself on his father, or was going to offer some advice as to the management of the prosecution. After mutual salutations, he informed Pomponius that he wished the business in hand to be transacted in the absence of witnesses. After all present had been ordered to withdraw, he grasped his knife and standing over the tribune's bed and pointing the weapon towards him, threatened to plunge it into him at once unless he took the oath which he was going to dictate to him, "That he would never hold an Assembly of the plebs for the prosecution of his father." The tribune was terrified, for he saw the steel glittering before his eyes, while he was alone and defenceless, in the presence of a youth of exceptional strength, and what was worse, prepared to use that strength with savage ferocity. He took the required oath and publicly announced that, yielding to violence, he had abandoned his original purpose. The plebs would certainly have been glad of the opportunity of passing sentence on such an insolent and cruel offender, but they were not displeased at the son's daring deed in defence of his parent, which was all the more meritorious because it showed that his father's brutality had not in any way weakened his natural affection and sense of duty. Not only was the prosecution of the father dropped, but the incident proved the means of distinction for the son. That year, for the first time, the military tribunes were elected by the popular vote; previously they had been nominated by the commander-in-chief, as is the case now with those who are called Rufuli. This youth obtained the second out of six places, though he had done nothing at home or in the field to make him popular, having passed his youth in the country far from city life.



7.5

In this year, owing either to an earthquake or the action of some other force, the middle of the Forum fell in to an immense depth, presenting the appearance of an enormous cavern. Though all worked their hardest at throwing earth in, they were unable to fill up the gulf, until at the bidding of the gods inquiry was made as to what that was in which the strength of Rome lay. For this, the seers declared, must be sacrificed on that spot if men wished the Roman republic to be eternal. The story goes on that M. Curtius, a youth distinguished in war, indignantly asked those who were in doubt what answer to give, whether anything that Rome possessed was more precious than the arms and velour of her sons. As those around stood silent, he looked up to the Capitol and to the temples of the immortal gods which looked down on the Forum, and stretching out his hands first towards heaven and then to the yawning chasm beneath, devoted himself to the gods below. Then mounting his horse, which had been caparisoned as magnificently as possible, he leaped in full armour into the cavern. Gifts and offerings of fruits of the earth were flung in after him by crowds of men and women. It was from this incident that the designation "The Curtian Gulf" originated, and not from that old-world soldier of Titius Tatius, Curtius Mettius. If any path would lead an inquirer to the truth, we should not shrink from the labour of investigation; as it is, on a matter where antiquity makes certainty impossible we must adhere to the legend which supplies the more famous derivation of the name.



7.6

After this appalling portent had been duly expiated, the deliberations of the senate were concerned with the Hernici. The mission of the Fetials who had been sent to demand satisfaction proved to be fruitless; the senate accordingly decided to submit to the people at the earliest possible day the question of declaring war against the Hernici. The people in a crowded Assembly voted for war. Its conduct fell by lot to L. Genucius. As he was the first plebeian consul to manage a war under his own auspices the State awaited the issue with keen interest, prepared to look upon the policy of admitting plebeians to the highest offices of state as wise or unwise according to the way matters turned out. As chance would have it, Genucius, whilst making a vigorous attack upon the enemy, fell into an ambush, the legions were taken by surprise and routed, and the consul was surrounded and killed without the enemy being aware who their victim was. When the report of the occurrence reached Rome, the patricians were not so much distressed at the disaster which had befallen the commonwealth as they were exultant over the unfortunate generalship of the consul. Everywhere they were taunting the plebeians: "Go on! Elect your consuls from the plebs, transfer the auspices to those for whom it is an impiety to possess them! The voice of the plebs may expel the patricians from their rightful honours, but has your law, which pollutes the auspices, any force against the immortal gods? They have themselves vindicated their will as expressed through the auspices, for no sooner have these been profaned by one who took them against all divine and human law than the army and its general have been wiped out as a lesson to you not to conduct the elections to the confusion of all the rights of the patrician houses." The Senate-house and the Forum alike were resounding with these protests. Appius Claudius, who had led the opposition to the law, spoke with more weight than ever while he denounced the result of a policy which he had severely censured, and the consul Servilius, with the unanimous approval of the patricians, nominated him Dictator. Orders were issued for an immediate enrolment and the suspension of all business.



7.7

After Genucius had fallen, C. Sulpicius had assumed the command, and before the arrival of the Dictator and the newly-raised legions, he distinguished himself by a smart action. The death of the consul had led the Hernici to think very lightly of the Roman arms, and they surrounded the Roman camp fully expecting to carry it by assault. The defenders, encouraged by their general and burning with rage and indignation at their recent defeat, made a sortie, and not only destroyed any hopes the Hernici had of forcing the entrenchment but created such disorder amongst them that they precipitately retreated. By the arrival of the Dictator and the junction of the old and newly-raised legions, their strength was doubled. In the presence of the entire force, the Dictator commended Sulpicius and the men who had so gallantly defended the camp, and whilst he raised the courage of those who listened to the praise which they so well deserved, he at the same time made the rest all the keener to emulate them. The enemy showed no less energy in preparing for a renewal of the struggle. Aware of the increase in the strength of their enemy, and animated by the thought of their recent victory, they called every man in the Hernican nation who could bear arms. Eight cohorts were formed of four hundred men each, who had been carefully selected. These, the picked flower of their manhood, were full of hope and courage, and they were further encouraged by a decree which had been passed to allow them double pay. They were exempt from all fatigue duty, in order that they might devote themselves more than the rest of the troops to the one duty reserved for them-that of fighting. In order to make their courage more conspicuous they occupied a special position in the fighting line. The Roman camp was separated from the Hernican by a plain two miles broad. In the middle of this plain, almost equally distant from both camps, the battle took place. For some time neither side gained any advantage, though the Roman cavalry made frequent attempts to break the enemy's line. When they found that the effect produced was much feebler than the efforts they made, they obtained the Dictator's permission to abandon their horses and fight on foot. They raised a loud cheer and commenced a novel kind of fighting by charging as infantry. Their onset would have been irresistible had not the special cohorts of the enemy opposed them with a strength and courage equal to their own.



7.8

Then the struggle was kept up by the foremost men of each nation. Whatever losses the common chances of battle inflicted on each side were many times greater than could have been expected from their numbers. The rest of the soldiers stood like a crowd of spectators, leaving the fighting to their chiefs as if it were their special privilege, and placing all their hopes of victory on the courage of others. Many fell on both sides, still more were wounded. At length the cavalry began to ask each other somewhat bitterly, "What was left for them to do if after failing to repulse the enemy when mounted they could make no impression on them whilst fighting on foot. What third mode of fighting were they looking for? Why had they dashed forward so eagerly in front of the standards to fight in a position which was not their proper one? "Urged on by these mutual reproaches, they raised their battle shout again and pressed forward. Slowly they compelled the enemy to give ground, then they drove them back more rapidly, and at last fairly routed them. It is not easy to say what gave the advantage where the two sides were so evenly matched, unless it be that the Fortune which ever watches over each nation had the power to raise and to depress their courage. The Romans followed up the fleeing Hernici as far as their camp; but they abstained from attacking it, as it was late in the day. They offered sacrifices the next morning for a long time without obtaining any favourable omen, and this prevented the Dictator from giving the signal for attack before noon; the fight consequently went on into the night. The next day they found the camp abandoned; the Hernici had fled and left some of their wounded behind. The people of Signium saw the main body of the fugitives streaming past their walls with their standards few and far between, and sallying out to attack them they scattered them in headlong flight over the fields. The victory was anything but a bloodless one for the Romans; they lost a quarter of their whole force, and by no means the smallest loss fell on the cavalry, a considerable number of whom perished.



7.9

The consuls for the following year were C. Sulpicius and C. Licinius Calvus. They resumed operations against the Hernici and invaded their territory, but did not find the enemy in the open. They attacked and captured Ferentinum, a Hernican City; but as they were returning home the Tiburtines closed their gates against them. There had previously been numerous complaints made on both sides, but this last provocation finally decided the Romans, in case the Fetials failed to get redress, to declare war against the Tiburtines. It is generally understood that T. Quinctius Pennus was the Dictator and Ser. Cornelius Maluginensis the Master of the Horse. According to Licinius Macer, the Dictator was nominated by the consul Licinius. His colleague, Sulpicius, was anxious to get the elections over before he departed for the war, in the hope of being himself re-elected, if he were on the spot, and Licinius determined to thwart his colleague's self-seeking ambition. Licinius Macer's desire to appropriate the credit of this to his house (the Licinii) lessens the weight of his authority. As I find no mention of this in the older annalists, I am more inclined to believe that it was the prospect of a Gaulish war which was the immediate cause why a Dictator was nominated. At all events it was in this year that the Gauls formed their camp by the Salarian road, three miles from the City at the bridge across the Anio. In face of this sudden and alarming inroad the Dictator proclaimed a suspension of all business, and made every man who was liable to serve take the military oath. He marched out of the City with an immense army and fixed his camp on this side the Anio. Each side had left the bridge between them intact, as its destruction might have been thought due to fears of an attack. There were frequent skirmishes for the possession of the bridge; as these were indecisive, the question was left unsettled. A Gaul of extraordinary stature strode forward on to the unoccupied bridge, and shouting as loudly as he could, cried: "Let the bravest man that Rome possesses come out and fight me, that we two may decide which people is the superior in war."



7.10

A long silence followed. The best and bravest of the Romans made no sign; they felt ashamed of appearing to decline the challenge, and yet they were reluctant to expose themselves to such terrible danger. Thereupon T. Manlius, the youth who had protected his father from the persecution of the tribune, left his post and went to the Dictator. "Without your orders, General," he said, "I will never leave my post to fight, no, not even if I saw that victory was certain; but if you give me permission I want to show that monster as he stalks so proudly in front of their lines that I am a scion of that family which hurled the troop of Gauls from the Tarpeian rock." Then the Dictator: "Success to your courage, T. Manlius, and to your affection for your father and your fatherland! Go, and with the help of the gods show that the name of Rome is invincible." Then his comrades fastened on his armour; he took an infantry shield and a Spanish sword as better adapted for close fighting; thus armed and equipped they led him forward against the Gaul, who was exulting in his brute strength, and even-the ancients thought this worth recording-putting his tongue out in derision. They retired to their posts and the two armed champions were left alone in the midst, more after the manner of a scene on the stage than under the conditions of serious war, and to those who judged by appearances, by no means equally matched. The one was a creature of enormous bulk, resplendent in a many-coloured coat and wearing painted and gilded armour; the other a man of average height, and his arms, useful rather than ornamental, gave him quite an ordinary appearance. There was no singing of war-songs, no prancing about, no silly brandishing of weapons. With a breast full of courage and silent wrath Manlius reserved all his ferocity for the actual moment of conflict. When they had taken their stand between the two armies, while so many hearts around them were in suspense between hope and fear, the Gaul, like a great overhanging mass, held out his shield on his left arm to meet his adversary's blows and aimed a tremendous cut downwards with his sword. The Roman evaded the blow, and pushing aside the bottom of the Gaul's shield with his own, he slipped under it close up to the Gaul, too near for him to get at him with his sword. Then turning the point of his blade upwards, he gave two rapid thrusts in succession and stabbed the Gaul in the belly and the groin, laying his enemy prostrate over a large extent of ground. He left the body of his fallen foe undespoiled with the exception of his chain, which though smeared with blood he placed round his own neck. Astonishment and fear kept the Gauls motionless; the Romans ran eagerly forward from their lines to meet their warrior, and amidst cheers and congratulations they conducted him to the Dictator. In the doggerel verses which they extemporised in his honour they called him Torquatus ("adorned with a chain"), and this soubriquet became for his posterity a proud family name. The Dictator gave him a golden crown, and before the whole army alluded to his victory in terms of the highest praise.



7.11

Strange to relate, that single combat had such a far-reaching influence upon the whole war that the Gauls hastily abandoned their camp and moved off into the neighbourhood of Tibur. They formed an alliance offensive and defensive with that city, and the Tiburtines supplied them generously with provisions. After receiving this assistance they passed on into Campania. This was the reason why in the following year the consul, C. Poetilius Balbus, led an army, by order of the people, against the Tiburtines, though the conduct of the war against the Hernici had fallen by lot to his colleague, M. Fabius Ambustus. Though the Gauls had come back from Campania to their assistance, it was undoubtedly by the Tiburtine generals that the cruel depredations in the territories of Labici, Tusculum, and Alba were carried out. To act against the Tiburtines, the republic was content with a consul, but the sudden re-appearance of the Gauls required a Dictator. Q. Servilius Ahala was nominated, and he selected T. Quinctius as Master of the Horse. On the authority of the senate, he made a vow to celebrate the Great Games, should the issue of the war prove favourable. After giving orders for the consul's army to remain where it was, in order to confine the Tiburtines to their own war, the Dictator made all the "juniors" take the military oath, without a single refusal. The battle, in which the whole strength of the City was engaged, took place not far from the Colline Gate in the sight of the parents and wives and children of the Roman soldiers. Even when absent, the thought of those near and dear to one is a great incentive to courage, but now that they were within view they fired the men with a firm resolve to win their applause and secure their safety. There was great slaughter on both sides, but the Gauls were in the end repulsed, and fled in the direction of Tibur as though it were a Gaulish stronghold. The straggling fugitives were intercepted by the consul not far from Tibur; the townsmen sallied out to render them assistance, and they and the Gauls were driven within their gates. So the consul was equally successful with the Dictator. The other consul, Fabius, crushed the Hernici in successive defeats, at first in comparatively unimportant actions and then finally in one great battle when the enemy attacked him in full strength. The Dictator passed splendid encomiums on the consuls, both in the senate and before the people, and even transferred to them the credit for his own success. He then laid down his office. Poetilius celebrated a double triumph-over the Gauls and over the Tiburtines. It was considered a sufficient honour for Fabius to be allowed to enter the City in an ovation. The Tiburtines laughed at Poetilius' triumph. "When," they said, "had he ever met them in a pitched battle? A few of them had come outside their gates to watch the disordered flight of the Gauls, but when they found that they, too, were being attacked and cut down indiscriminately they retreated into their city. Did the Romans deem that sort of thing worthy of a triumph? They must not look upon it as too great and wonderful a thing to create disorder in an enemy's gates; they would themselves see greater confusion and panic before their own walls."



7.12

Accordingly, the following year, when M. Popilius Laenas and Cnaeus Manlius were the consuls, an army from Tibur marched in the early hours of the night when all was still against the City of Rome. The citizens, suddenly aroused from sleep, were alarmed by the danger of a nocturnal attack and one quite unlooked for, and the alarm was heightened by their ignorance as to who the enemies were and whence they came. However, the word quickly passed "To arms"; the gates were protected by pickets and the walls manned. When the early dawn revealed a comparatively small force before the walls and the enemy turned out to be none other than the Tiburtines, the consuls decided upon an immediate attack. They issued from two separate gates and attacked the enemy, as they were advancing to the walls, on both flanks. It soon became obvious that they had been trusting more to the chances of a surprise than to their own courage, so little resistance did they offer to the very first onset of the Romans. Their expedition turned out to be an advantage to the Romans, for the apprehensions aroused by a war so close to their gates stifled a nascent conflict between the patricians and the plebs. In the war which followed there was another hostile incursion, but one more formidable to the country districts than to the City; the Tarquinians were carrying on their depredations within the Roman frontiers mainly on the side towards Etruria. As redress was refused, the new consuls, C. Fabius and C. Plautius, by order of the people, declared war against them. This campaign was allotted to Fabius, the one against the Hernici to Plautius. Rumours of hostilities on the part of the Gauls were becoming more frequent. Amidst these numerous alarms, however, there was one consolation-peace had been granted on their request to the Latins, and a strong contingent was sent by them in accordance with the old treaty which for many years they had not observed. Now that the cause of Rome was strengthened by this reinforcement, there was less excitement created by the news that the Gauls had recently reached Praeneste and from there had settled in the country round Pedum. It was decided that C. Sulpicius should be nominated Dictator; the consul, C. Plautius, was summoned home for the purpose. M. Valerius was appointed Master of the Horse. They selected the finest troops out of the two armies which the consuls had commanded and led them against the Gauls.

The war was somewhat more tedious than was agreeable to either side. At first it was only the Gauls who were anxious to fight, then the Romans showed even more alacrity than the Gauls in arming themselves for action. The Dictator by no means approved of this, since there was no necessity for him to run any risks. The enemy was daily becoming weaker by remaining inactive in a disadvantageous position, without any supplies previously collected, and with no proper entrenchments thrown up. Their whole strength both of mind and body depended upon rapid movements, and even a short delay told upon their vigour. For these reasons the Dictator prolonged the war and announced that he would inflict severe punishment on any one who fought against orders. The soldiers grew impatient at this state of things. When on picket or outpost duty at night, they talked in very disparaging terms about the Dictator, sometimes they abused the senators generally for not having given orders that the war should be conducted by consuls. "An extraordinary commander," they said, "had been selected, one man out of a thousand, who thought that if he sat still and did nothing himself, victory would fly down from heaven into his lap." Then they uttered these sentiments and still more angry ones openly in the daytime; they declared that they would either fight without waiting for orders or they would march back in a body to Rome. The centurions made common cause with the soldiers; the murmurs were not confined to scattered groups, a general discussion went on in the main thoroughfares of the camp and in the open space before the headquarters' tent. The crowd grew to the dimensions of an Assembly, and shouts were raised from all sides to go at once to the Dictator. Sextius Tullius was to be spokesman for the army, a position he was well worthy to fill.



7.13

Tullius was now first centurion for the seventh time and there was not in the whole army amongst the infantry officers a more distinguished soldier. He led the procession to the tribunal, and Sulpicius was not more surprised at seeing the gathering than at seeing Tullius at the head of it. He began: "Do not be surprised, Dictator, at my being here. The whole army is under the impression that it has been condemned by you for cowardice and to mark its disgrace has been deprived of its arms. It has asked me to plead its cause before you. Even if we could be charged with deserting our ranks and turning our backs to the enemy, or with the disgraceful loss of our standards, even then I should think it only fair for you to allow us to amend our fault by courage and to wipe out the memory of our disgraceful conduct by winning fresh glory. Even the legions which were routed at the Alia marched out afterwards from Veii and recovered the City which they had lost through panic. For us, thanks to the goodness of the gods and the happy fortune which attends on you and on Rome, our fortunes and our honour remain unimpaired. And yet I hardly dare mention the word 'honour' whilst the enemy ventures to mock us with every kind of insult, as if we were hiding ourselves like women behind our rampart, and-what grieves us much more-even you our commander have made up your mind that your army is without courage, without weapons, without hands to use them, and before you have put us to the proof have so despaired of us that you look upon yourself as the commander of cripples and weaklings. What other reason can we believe there to be, why you, a veteran commander, a most gallant soldier, should be as they say sitting with your arms folded? However the case may be, it is more true to say that you appear to doubt our courage than that we doubt yours. But if this is not your doing, but a piece of State policy, if it is some concerted scheme of the patricians and not war with the Gauls that is keeping us in banishment from the City and from our household gods, then I ask you to regard what I am now going to say as addressed not by soldiers to their commander but to the patricians by the plebs, who say that as you have your projects so they will have theirs. Who could possibly be angry with us for regarding ourselves as your soldiers, not your slaves, sent to war not into banishment, ready, if any one gives the signal and leads us into battle, to fight as becomes men and Romans, equally ready, if there is no need for arms, to live a life of peace and quietness in Rome rather than in camp? This is what we would say to the patricians. But you are our commander, and we your soldiers implore you to give us a chance of fighting. We are eager to win a victory, but to win it under your leadership; it is on you that we want to bestow the laurels of glory, it is with you that we desire to enter the City in triumphal procession, it is behind your chariot that we would go with joyous thanksgivings up to the temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus." This speech of Tullius' was followed by earnest requests from the whole army that he would give the signal and order them to arm.



7.14

Although the Dictator recognised that, however satisfactory the soldiers' action might be, a most undesirable precedent had been set, he nevertheless undertook to carry out their wishes. He interrogated Tullius privately as to what the whole thing meant and what warrant he had for his procedure. Tullius earnestly entreated the Dictator not to think that he had forgotten military discipline or the respect due to his commanding officer. "But an excited multitude is generally swayed by their advisers, and he had consented to act as their leader to prevent any one else from coming forward whom they might have chosen because he shared their excitement. He himself would do nothing against the wish of the commander-in-chief, but the commander also must be most careful to keep his men in hand. They were too excited now to be put off; they would themselves choose the place and time for fighting if the Dictator did not do so." During this conversation some cattle which happened to be grazing outside the rampart were being driven off by a Gaul, when two Roman soldiers took them from him. The Gauls pelted them with stones, a shout was raised by the Roman outpost and men ran together from both sides. Affairs were rapidly approaching a pitched battle had not the centurions promptly stopped the fighting. This incident confirmed the Dictator's belief in what Tullius had told him, and as matters no longer admitted of delay he issued orders to prepare for battle on the following day.

The Dictator was going into action feeling more assured as to the courage than as to the strength of his troops. He began to turn over in his mind every possible device by which he could inspire fear into the enemy. At last he thought out an ingenious and original plan, one, too, which has since been adopted by many of our own generals as well as those of other countries and which is even practiced to-day. He ordered the packsaddles to be taken off the mules and two pieces of coloured cloth placed on their backs. The muleteers were then furnished with arms, some taken from the prisoners and others belonging to the invalided soldiers, and after thus equipping about a thousand of them and distributing a hundred of the cavalry amongst them he ordered them to ascend the mountains which overlooked the camp and conceal themselves in the woods, and remain there motionless till they received the signal from him As soon as it grew light the Dictator extended his lines along the lower slopes of the mountain in order that the enemy might have to form their front facing the mountain. The arrangements for creating a groundless alarm were now completed, and that groundless alarm proved almost more serviceable than an actual increase of strength would have been. At first the leaders of the Gauls did not believe that the Romans would come down on to the plain, but when they saw them suddenly descending, they rushed on to meet them, eager for the encounter, and the battle commenced before the signal had been given by the commanders.



7.15

The Gauls directed their fiercest attack upon the Roman right, and the Dictator's presence with that division alone prevented the attack from succeeding. When he saw the men wavering he called out sharply to Sextius and asked him if this was the way in which he had pledged his soldiers to fight. "Where," he cried, "are the shouts of the men who clamoured for arms? Where are their threats of going into battle without their commander's orders? Here is the commander, calling loudly to them to fight, and himself fighting in the forefront of the battle; who out of all those who were just now going to lead the way was following him? Braggarts in camp, cowards in battle!" They felt the truth of what they heard, and they were so stung by a sense of shame that they rushed on the enemy's weapons without any thought of danger. They charged like madmen and threw the enemy's lines into confusion, and a cavalry attack which followed turned the confusion into rout. As soon as the Dictator saw their line broken in this part of the field he turned the attack on to their left, where he saw them closing up into a crowded mass, and at the same time gave the agreed signal to those on the mountain. When a fresh battle shout arose and these were seen crossing the mountain slope in the direction of the Gauls' camp, the enemy, afraid of being cut off, gave up the fight and ran in wild disorder to their camp. They were met by Marcus Valerius, the Master of the Horse, who after putting their right wing to flight was riding up to their lines, and he turned their flight towards the mountain and woods. A great many were intercepted by the muleteers whom they took for cavalry, and a terrible slaughter took place amongst those whom panic had driven into the woods after the main battle was over. No one since Camillus celebrated a more justly deserved triumph over the Gauls than C. Sulpicius. A large quantity of gold taken out of the spoil was dedicated by him and stored away in a vault beneath the Capitol. The campaigns in which the consuls for the year were engaged ended in a very different way. Whilst the Hernici were defeated and reduced to submission by his colleague, Fabius showed a sad want of caution and skill in his operations against the Tarquinians. The humiliation which Rome incurred through his defeat was embittered by the barbarity of the enemy, who sacrificed 307 prisoners of war. That defeat was followed by a sudden predatory incursion of the Privernates and afterwards by one in which the Veliternians took part. In this year two additional tribes were formed-the Pomptine and the Publilian. The Games which Camillus had vowed when Dictator were celebrated. A measure dealing with improper canvassing was for the first time submitted to the people, after passing the senate, by C. Poetilius, tribune of the plebs. It was intended to check the canvassing, mainly by rich plebeians, in the markets and promiscuous gatherings.



7.16

Another measure, by no means so welcome to the patricians, was brought forward the following year, the consuls being C. Marcius and Cnaeus Manlius. M. Duilius and L. Menenius, tribunes of the plebs, were the proposers of this measure, which fixed the rate of interest at 8 1/3 per cent.; the plebs adopted it with much more eagerness than the Poetilian Law against canvassing. In addition to the fresh wars decided upon the previous year, the Faliscans had been guilty of two acts of hostility; their men had fought in the ranks of the Tarquinians, and they had refused to give up those who had fled after their defeat to Tarquinii, when the Fetials demanded their surrender. That campaign fell to Cn. Manlius; Marcius conducted the operations against Privernum. This district had remained uninjured during the long years of peace, and when Marcius led his army thither, they loaded themselves with plunder. Its value was enhanced by the munificence of the consul, for he appropriated none of it for the State, and so encouraged the efforts of the private soldier to increase his private means. The Privernates had formed a strongly entrenched camp in front of their walls, and before attacking it Marcius summoned his troops to assembly, and said: "If you promise me that you will do your duty bravely in battle and are quite as ready for fighting as for plunder, I give you now the camp and city of the enemy." With a mighty shout they demanded the signal for battle, and with heads erect and full of confidence they marched proudly into line. Sex. Tullius, who has been already mentioned, was in the front, and he called out, "See, General, how your army is fulfilling its promise to you," and with the word he dropped his javelin and drawing his sword charged the enemy. The whole of the front line followed him and at the very first onset defeated the Privernates and pursued them as far as the town, which they prepared to storm. When the scaling ladders were actually placed against the walls the place surrendered. A triumph was celebrated over the Privernates. Nothing worth recording was done by the other consul, except his unprecedented action in getting a law passed in camp by the tribes levying 5 per cent. on the value of every slave who was manumitted. As the money raised under this law would be a handsome addition to the exhausted treasury, the senate confirmed it. The tribunes of the plebs, however, looking not so much to the law as to the precedent set, made it a capital offence for any one to convene the Assembly outside their usual place of meeting. If it were once legalised, there was nothing, however injurious to the people, which could not be carried through men who were bound by the oath of military obedience. In this year C. Licinius Stolo was impeached by M. Popilius Laenas for having violated his own law; he and his son together occupied a thousand jugera of land, and he had emancipated his son in order to evade the law. He was condemned to pay a fine of 10,000 ases.



7.17

The new consuls were M. Fabius Ambustus and M. Popilius Laenas, each for the second time. They had two wars on hand. The one which Laenas waged against the Tiburtines presented little difficulty; after driving them into their city he ravaged their fields. The other consul, who was operating against the Faliscans and Tarquinians, met with a defeat in the first battle. What mainly contributed to it and produced a real terror amongst the Romans was the extraordinary spectacle presented by their priests who, brandishing lighted torches and with what looked like snakes entwined in their hair, came on like so many Furies. At this sight the Romans were like men distraught or thunderstruck and rushed in a panic-stricken mass into their entrenchments. The consul and his staff officers and the military tribunes laughed at them and scolded them for being terrified by conjuring tricks like a lot of boys. Stung by a feeling of shame, they suddenly passed from a state of terror to one of reckless daring, and they rushed like blind men against what they had just fled from. When, after scattering the idle pageantry of the enemy, they got at the armed men behind, they routed the entire army. The same day they gained possession of the camp, and after securing an immense amount of booty returned home flushed with victory, jesting as soldiers do, and deriding the enemy's contrivance and their own panic. This led to a rising of the whole of Etruria, and under the leadership of the Tarquinians and Faliscans they marched to the salt-works. In this emergency C. Marcius Rutilus was nominated Dictator-the first Dictator nominated from the plebs-and he appointed as Master of the Horse C. Plautius, also a plebeian. The patricians were indignant at even the dictatorship becoming common property, and they offered all the resistance in their power to any decree being passed or any preparations made to help the Dictator in prosecuting that war. This only made the people more ready to adopt every proposal which the Dictator made. On leaving the City he marched along both banks of the Tiber, ferrying the troops across in whichever direction the enemy were reported to be; in this way he surprised many of the raiders scattered about the fields. Finally he surprised and captured their camp; 8000 prisoners were taken, the rest were either killed or hunted out of the Roman territory. By an order of the people which was not confirmed by the senate a triumph was awarded him. As the senate would not have the elections conducted by a plebeian Dictator or a plebeian consul, they fell back on an interregnum. There was a succession of interreges-Q. Servilius Ahala, M. Fabius, Cn. Manlius, C. Fabius, C. Sulpicius, L. Aemilius, Q. Servilius, and M. Fabius Ambustus. In the second of these interregna a contest arose because two patrician consuls were elected. When the tribunes interposed their veto and appealed to the Licinian Law, Fabius, the interrex, said that it was laid down in the Twelve Tables that whatever was the last order that the people made that should have the force of law, and the people had made an order by electing the two consuls. The tribunes' veto only availed to postpone the elections, and ultimately two patrician consuls were elected, namely C. Sulpicius Peticus (for the third time) and M. Valerius Publicola. They entered upon their office the day they were elected.



7.18

So in the 400th year from the foundation of the City and the 35th after its capture by the Gauls, the second consulship was wrested from the plebs, for the first time since the passing of the Licinian Law seven years previously. Empulum was taken this year from the Tiburtines without any serious fighting. It seems uncertain whether both consuls held joint command in this campaign, as some writers assert, or whether the fields of the Tarquinians were ravaged by Sulpicius at the same time that Valerius was leading his legions against the Tiburtines. The consuls had a more serious conflict at home with the plebs and their tribunes. They considered it as a question not only of courage but of honour and loyalty to their order that as two patricians had received the consulship so they should hand it on to two patricians. They felt that they must either renounce all claims to it, if it became a plebeian magistracy, or they must keep it in its entirety as a possession which they had received in its entirety from their fathers. The plebs protested: "What were they living for? Why were they enrolled as citizens if they could not with their united strength maintain the right to what had been won for them by the courage of those two men, L. Sextius and C. Licinius? It were better to put up with kings or decemvirs or any other form of absolutism, even though with a worse name, than to see both consuls patricians, the other side not alternately governing and being governed but regarding itself as placed in perpetual authority, and looking upon the plebs as simply born to be their slaves." There was no lack of tribunes to lead the agitation, but in such a state of universal excitement everybody was his own leader. After many fruitless journeys to the Campus Martius, where numerous election days had been wasted in disturbances, the plebs was at last worsted by the steady persistence of the consuls. There was such a feeling of despair that the tribunes, followed by a gloomy and sullen plebs, exclaimed as they left the Campus that there was an end to all liberty, and that they must not only quit the Campus but must even abandon the City now that it was crushed and enslaved by the tyranny of the patricians. The consuls, though deserted by the majority of the people, only a few voters remaining behind, proceeded none the less determinedly with the election. Both the consuls elected were patricians, M. Fabius Ambustus (for the third time) and T. Quinctius. In some of the annalists I find M. Popilius given as consul instead of T. Quinctius.



7.19

Two wars were brought to a successful close this year. The Tiburtines were reduced to submission; the city of Sassula was taken from them and all their other towns would have shared the same fate had not the nation as a whole laid down their arms and made peace with the consul. A triumph was celebrated over them, otherwise the victory was followed by mild treatment of the vanquished. The Tarquinians were visited with the utmost severity. A large number were killed in battle; of the prisoners, all those of noble birth to the number of 358 were sent to Rome, the rest were put to the sword. Those who had been sent to Rome met with no gentler treatment from the people, they were all scourged and beheaded in the middle of the Forum. This punishment was an act of retribution for the Romans who had been immolated in the forum of Tarquinii. These successes in war induced the Samnites to ask for a league of friendship. Their envoys received a favourable reply from the senate and a treaty of alliance was concluded with them. The plebs did not enjoy the same good fortune at home which they had met with in the field. In spite of the reduction in the rate of interest, which was now fixed at 8 1/3 per cent., the poor were unable to repay the capital, and were being made over to their creditors. Their personal distress left them little thought for public affairs and political struggles, elections, and patrician consuls; both consulships accordingly remained with the patricians. The consuls elected were C. Sulpicius Peticus (for the fourth time) and M. Valerius Publicola (for the second).

Rumours were brought that the people of Caere, out of sympathy with their co-nationalists, had sided with the Tarquinians. Whilst the minds of the citizens were in consequence filled with apprehensions of a war with Etruria, the arrival of envoys from Latium diverted their thoughts to the Volscians. They reported that an army had been raised and equipped and was now threatening their frontiers and intended to enter and ravage the Roman territory. The senate thought that neither of these movements ought to be ignored; orders were issued for troops to be enrolled for both wars; the consuls were to draw lots for their respective commands. The arrival of despatches from the consul Sulpicius made the Etruscan war appear the more serious of the two. He was directing the operations against Tarquinii, and reported that the country round the Roman salt-works had been raided and a portion of the plunder sent to Caere, some of whose men had undoubtedly been amongst the depredators. The consul Valerius, who was acting against the Volscians and had his camp on the frontiers of Tusculum, was recalled and received orders from the senate to nominate a Dictator. Titus, the son of Lucius Manlius, was nominated, and he named A. Cornelius Cossus as Master of the Horse. Finding the army which the consul had commanded sufficient for his purpose, he was authorised by the senate and the people to formally declare war upon the Caerites.



7.20

It would seem as though this formal declaration of war brought home to the Caerites the horrors of a war with Rome more clearly than the action of those who had provoked the Romans by their depredations. They realised how unequal their strength was to such a conflict; they bitterly regretted the raid, and cursed the Tarquinians who had instigated them to revolt. No one made any preparation for war, but each did his utmost to urge the despatch of an embassy to Rome to beg pardon for their offence. When the deputation came before the senate they were referred by the senate to the people. They besought the gods whose sacred things they had taken charge of and made due provision for in the Gaulish war that the Romans in their day of prosperity might feel the same pity for them that they had shown for Rome in her hour of distress. Then turning to the temple of Vesta they invoked the bond of hospitality which they formed in all purity and reverence with the Flamens and the Vestals. "Could any one believe," they asked, "that men who had rendered such services would all of a sudden, without any reason, have become enemies, or if they had been guilty of any hostile act that they had committed it deliberately rather than in a fit of madness? Was it possible that they could, by inflicting fresh injuries, obliterate their old acts of kindness, especially when they had been conferred on those who were so grateful for them; or that they would make an enemy of the Roman people now that it was prosperous and successful in all its wars after having sought its friendship at a time when it was in trouble and adversity? That should not be described as deliberate purpose which ought to be called violence and constraint. After simply asking for a free passage, the Tarquinians traversed their territory in hostile array and compelled some of their country-folk to accompany them in that predatory expedition for which the city of Caere was now held responsible. If it was decided that these men must be surrendered, they would surrender them, if they must be punished, punished they should be. Caere, once the sanctuary of Rome, the shelter of her sacred things, ought to be declared innocent of any thought of war, and acquitted of any charge of hostile intentions in return for her hospitality to the Vestals and her devotion to the gods." Old memories rather than the actual circumstances of the case so wrought upon the people that they thought less of the present grievance than of the former kindness. Peace was accordingly granted to the people of Caere, and it was agreed to leave to the senate the question of a truce for 100 years. The Faliscans were implicated in the same charge and the war was diverted to them, but the enemy was nowhere to be found in the open. Their territory was ravaged from end to end, but no attempt was made against their cities. After the return of the legions, the rest of the year was spent in repairing the walls and towers. The temple of Apollo was also dedicated.



7.21

At the close of the year the consular elections were put off owing to the quarrel between the two orders-the tribunes declared that they would not permit the elections to be held unless they were conducted in accordance with the Licinian Law, whilst the Dictator was determined to abolish the consulship altogether rather than make it the common property of plebeians and patricians. The elections were still postponed when the Dictator resigned office; so matters reverted to an interregnum. The interreges declined to hold the elections in consequence of the hostile attitude of the plebs, and the contest went on till the eleventh interregnum. Whilst the tribunes were sheltering themselves behind the Licinian Law and fighting the political battle, the plebs felt their most pressing grievance to be the steadily growing burden of debt; the personal question quite overshadowed the political controversy. Wearied out with the prolonged agitation the senate ordered L. Cornelius Scipio, the interrex, to restore harmony to the State by conducting the consular elections in accordance with the Licinian Law. P. Valerius Publicola was elected and C. Marcius Rutilus was his plebeian colleague.

Now that there was a general desire for concord, the new consuls took up the financial question which was the one hindrance to union. The State assumed the responsibility for the liquidation of the debts, and five commissioners were appointed, who were charged with the management of the money and were hence called mensarii (="bankers"). The impartiality and diligence with which these commissioners discharged their functions make them worthy of an honourable place in every historical record. Their names were: C. Duilius, Publius Decius Mus, M. Papirius, Q. Publilius, and T. Aemilius. The task they undertook was a difficult one, and involved hardship generally to both sides; on one side, at any rate, it always pressed heavily; but they carried it out with great consideration for all parties, and whilst incurring a large outlay on the part of the State they did not involve it in loss. Seated at tables in the Forum, they dealt with long-standing debts due to the slackness of the debtor more than to his want of means, either by advancing public money on proper security, or by making a fair valuation of his property. In this way an immense amount of debt was cleared off without any injustice or even complaints on either side. Owing to a report that the twelve cities of Etruria had formed a hostile league, a good deal of alarm was felt, which subsequently proved to be groundless, and it was thought necessary that a Dictator should be nominated. This took place in camp, for it was there that the consuls received the senatorial decree. C. Julius was nominated and L. Aemilius was assigned to him as Master of the Horse.



7.22

Abroad, however, everything was tranquil. At home, owing to the Dictator's attempt to secure the election of patricians to both consulships, matters were brought to an interregnum. There were two interreges, C. Sulpicius and M. Fabius, and they succeeded where the Dictator had failed, as the plebs, owing to the pecuniary relief recently granted them, were in a less aggressive mood. Both consuls elected were patricians-C. Sulpicius Peticus, who had been the first of the two interreges, and T. Quinctius Pennus, some give as his third name Caeso, others Gaius. They both proceeded to war; Quinctius against Falerii, Sulpicius against Tarquinii. The enemy nowhere faced them in open battle; the war was carried on against fields rather than against men; burning and destroying went on everywhere. This waste and decay, like that of a slow decline, wore down the resolution of the two peoples, and they asked for a truce first from the consuls then by their permission from the senate. They obtained one for forty years. After the anxiety created by these two threatening wars was in this way allayed, there was a respite for a time from arms. The liquidation of the debts had in the case of many properties led to a change of ownership, and it was decided that a fresh assessment should be made. When, however, notice was given of the election of censors, C. Marcius Rutilus, who had been the first Dictator nominated from the plebs, announced that he was a candidate for the censorship. This upset the good feeling between the two orders. He took this step at what looked like an unfavourable moment because both consuls happened to be patricians, and they declared that they would allow no votes for him. But he resolutely held to his purpose, and the tribunes, anxious to recover the rights of the plebs which were lost in the consular elections, assisted him to the utmost of their power. There was no dignity which the greatness of his character was unequal to supporting, and the plebs were desirous of being called to share the censorship by the same man who had opened up the path to the dictatorship. There was no division of opinion shown in the elections, Marcius was unanimously elected censor, together with Manlius Gnaeus. This year also saw M. Fabius as Dictator, not from any apprehension of war but to prevent the Licinian Law from being observed in the consular elections. The Dictatorship, however, did not make the combined efforts of the senate more influential in the election of consuls than it had been in the election of censors.



7.23

M. Popilius Laenas was the consul elected from the plebs, L. Cornelius Scipio the one from the patricians. Fortune conferred the greater distinction upon the plebeian consul, for upon the receipt of information that an immense army of Gauls had encamped in the territory of Latium, the conduct of that war, owing to Scipio's serious illness at the time, was entrusted by special arrangement to Popilius. He promptly raised an army, and ordered all who were liable for active service to meet under arms outside the Capene Gate at the temple of Mars; the quaestors were ordered to carry the standards from the treasury to the same place. After bringing up four legions to full strength, he handed over the rest of the troops to P. Valerius Publicola, the praetor, and advised the senate to raise a second army to protect the republic against any emergency. When all preparations were completed and everything in readiness, he advanced towards the enemy. With the view of ascertaining their strength before testing it in a decisive action, he seized some rising ground as near to the camp of the Gauls as possible and began to construct the rampart. When the Gauls saw the Roman standards in the distance they formed their line, prepared, with their usual impulsiveness and instinctive love of fighting, to engage at once. Observing, however, that the Romans did not come down into the plain and were trusting to the protection of their position and their rampart, they imagined that they were smitten with fear, and at the same time would be more open to attack whilst they were occupied in the work of entrenchment. So raising a wild shout they advanced to the attack. The triarii, who formed the working party, were not interrupted, for they were screened by the hastati and principes who were posted in front and who began the fighting. Their steady courage was aided by the fact that they were on higher ground, for the pila and hastae were not thrown ineffectively as often happens on level ground, but being carried forward by their weight they reached their mark. The Gauls were borne down by the weight of the missiles which either pierced their bodies or stuck in their shields, making them extremely heavy to carry. They had almost reached the top of the hill in their charge when they halted, uncertain what to do. The mere delay raised the courage of the Romans and depressed that of the enemy. Then the Roman line swept down upon them and forced them back; they fell over each other and caused a greater loss in this way than that inflicted by the enemy; so headlong was their flight that more were crushed to death than were slain by the sword.



7.24

But the victory was not yet decided. When the Romans reached the level ground another mass remained to be dealt with. The number of the Gauls was great enough to prevent them from feeling the loss already sustained, and as though a new army had risen from the earth, fresh troops were brought up against their victorious enemy. The Romans checked their onset and stood still, for not only had they, wearied as they were, to sustain a second fight, but the consul, while riding incautiously in the front, had his left shoulder almost run through by a heavy javelin and had retired. The victory was all but forfeited by this delay, when the consul, after his wound was bound up, rode back to the front. "Why are you standing still, soldiers?" he exclaimed. "You have not to do with Latins or Sabines whom, after you have defeated, you can make into allies, it is against wild beasts that we have drawn the sword; we must either drain their blood or give them ours. You have repulsed them from your camp, you have driven them headlong down into the valley, you are standing over the prostrate bodies of your foes. Fill the valley with the same carnage with which you filled the mountain side. Do not look for them to flee while you are standing here; the standards must go forward, you must advance against the enemy." Thus encouraged they made a fresh charge, dislodged the front companies of the Gauls, and closing up their maniples into a wedge penetrated the enemy's center. Then the barbarians were broken up, and having no leadership or definite orders they turned the attack on to their own reserves. They were scattered over the plain, and their headlong flight carried them past their camp in the direction of the Alba hills. As the hill on which the old Alban stronghold stood appeared to be the highest in the range, they made for it. The consul did not continue the pursuit beyond the camp as his wound was troublesome and he did not wish to risk an attack upon hills held by the enemy. All the spoil of the camp was given up to the soldiers, and he led back to Rome an army flushed with victory and enriched by the plunder of the Gauls, but owing to his wound his triumph was delayed. As both consuls were on the sick list, the senate found it necessary to appoint a Dictator to conduct the elections. L. Furius Camillus was nominated, and P. Cornelius Scipio was associated with him as Master of the Horse. He restored to the patricians their old monopoly of the consulship, and for this service he was through their enthusiastic support elected consul, and he procured the election of Appius Claudius Crassus as his colleague.



7.25

Before the new consuls entered upon their office Popilius celebrated his triumph over the Gauls amidst the delighted applause of the plebs, and people asked each other with bated breath whether there was any one who regretted the election of a plebeian consul. At the same time they were very bitter against the Dictator for having seized the consulship as a bribe for his treating the Licinian Law with contempt. They considered that he had degraded the consulship more by his greedy ambition than by his acting against the public interest, since he had actually procured his own election as consul whilst he was Dictator. The year was marked by numerous disturbances. The Gauls came down from the hills of Alba because they could not stand the severity of the winter, and they spread themselves in plundering hordes over the plains and the maritime districts. The sea was infested by fleets of Greek pirates who made descents on the coast round Antium and Laurentum and entered the mouth of the Tiber. On one occasion the sea-robbers and the land-robbers encountered one another in a hard-fought battle, and drew off, the Gauls to their camp, the Greeks to their ships, neither side knowing whether they were to consider themselves victors or vanquished.

These various alarms were followed by a much more serious one. The Latins had received a demand from the Roman government to furnish troops, and after discussing the matter in their national council replied in these uncompromising terms: "Desist from making demands on those whose help you need; we Latins prefer to bear arms in defence of our own liberty rather than in support of an alien dominion." With two foreign wars on their hands and this revolt of their allies, the anxious senate saw that they would have to restrain by fear those who were not restrained by any considerations of honour. They ordered the consuls to exert their authority to the utmost in levying troops, since, as the body of their allies were deserting them, they would have to depend upon their fellow-citizens entirely. Men were enlisted everywhere, not only from the City but also from the country districts. It is stated that ten legions were enrolled, each containing 4200 foot and 300 horse. In these days the strength of Rome, for which the world hardly finds room, would even, if concentrated, find it difficult on any sudden alarm to raise a fresh army of that size; to such an extent have we progressed in those things to which alone we devote our efforts-wealth and luxury. Amongst the other mournful events of this year was the death of the second consul, Ap. Claudius, which occurred while the preparations for war were going on. The government passed into the hands of Camillus, as sole consul, and the senate did not think it well for a Dictator to be appointed, either because of the auspicious omen of his name in view of trouble with the Gauls, or because they would not place a man of his distinction under a Dictator. Leaving two legions to protect the City, the consul divided the remaining eight between himself and L. Pinarius, the praetor. He kept the conduct of the war against the Gauls in his own hands instead of deciding upon the field of operations by the usual drawing of lots, inspired as he was by the memory of his father's brilliant successes. The praetor was to protect the coast-line and prevent the Greeks from effecting a landing, whilst he himself marched down into the Pomptine territory. His intention was to avoid any engagement in the flat country unless he was forced to fight, and to confine himself to checking their depredations; for as it was only by pillaging that they were able to maintain themselves, he thought that he could best crush them in this way. Accordingly he selected suitable ground for a stationary camp.



7.26

Whilst the Romans were passing their time quietly at the outposts, a gigantic Gaul in splendid armour advanced towards them, and delivered a challenge through an interpreter to meet any Roman in single combat. There was a young military tribune, named Marcus Valerius, who considered himself no less worthy of that honour than T. Manlius had been. After obtaining the consul's permission, he marched, completely armed, into the open ground between the two armies. The human element in the fight was thrown into the shade by the direct interposition of the gods, for just as they were engaging a crow settled all of a sudden on the Roman's helmet with its head towards his antagonist. The tribune gladly accepted this as a divinely-sent augury, and prayed that whether it were god or goddess who had sent the auspicious bird that deity would be gracious to him and help him. Wonderful to relate, not only did the bird keep its place on the helmet, but every time they encountered it rose on its wings and attacked the Gaul's face and eyes with beak and talon, until, terrified at the sight of so dire a portent and bewildered in eyes and mind alike, he was slain by Valerius. Then, soaring away eastwards, the crow passed out of sight. Hitherto the outposts on both sides had remained quiet, but when the tribune began to despoil his foeman's corpse, the Gauls no longer kept their posts, whilst the Romans ran still more swiftly to help the victor. A furious fight took place round the body as it lay, and not only the maniples at the nearest outposts but the legions pouring out from the camp joined in the fray. The soldiers were exultant at their tribune's victory and at the manifest presence and help of the gods, and as Camillus ordered them into action he pointed to the tribune, conspicuous with his spoils, and said: "Follow his example, soldiers, and lay the Gauls in heaps round their fallen champion!" Gods and man alike took part in the battle, and it was fought out to a finish, unmistakably disastrous to the Gauls, so completely had each army anticipated a result corresponding to that of the single combat. Those Gauls who began the fight fought desperately, but the rest of the host who came to help them turned back before they came within range of the missiles. They dispersed amongst the Volscians and over the Falernian district; from thence they made their way to Apulia and the western sea.

The consul mustered his troops on parade, and after praising the conduct of the tribune presented him with ten oxen and a golden chaplet. In consequence of instructions received from the senate he took over the maritime war and joined his forces with those of the praetor. The Greeks were too lacking in courage to run the risk of a general engagement, and there was every prospect of the war proving a long one. Camillus was in consequence authorised by the senate to nominate T. Manlius Torquatus as Dictator for the purpose of conducting the elections. After appointing A. Cornelius Cossus as Master of the Horse, the Dictator proceeded to hold the consular elections. Marcus Valerius Corvus (for that was henceforth his cognomen), a young man of twenty-three, was declared to be duly elected amidst the enthusiastic cheers of the people. His colleague was the plebeian, M. Popilius Laenas, now elected for the fourth time. Nothing worth recording took place between Camillus and the Greeks; they were no fighters on land and the Romans could not fight on the sea. Ultimately, as they were prevented from landing anywhere and water and the other necessaries of life failed them, they abandoned Italy. To what Greek state or nationality that fleet belonged is a matter of uncertainty; I think it most likely that it belonged to the Tyrant of Sicily, for Greece itself was at that time exhausted by intestine wars and was watching with dread the growing power of Macedonia.



7.27

After the armies were disbanded there was an interval of peace abroad and harmony between the two orders at home. To prevent things, however, from becoming too pleasant, a pestilence attacked the citizens, and the senate found themselves under the necessity of issuing an order to the decemvirs requiring them to consult the Sibylline Books. On their advice a lectisternium was held. In this year colonists from Antium rebuilt Satricum, which had been destroyed by the Latins, and settled there. A treaty was concluded between Rome and Carthage; the latter city had sent envoys to ask for a friendly alliance. As long as the succeeding consuls-T. Manlius Torquatus and C. Plautius-held office the same peaceful conditions prevailed. The rate of interest was reduced by one half and payment of the principal was to be made in four equal instalments, the first at once, the remainder in three successive years. Though many plebeians were still in distress, the senate looked upon the maintenance of public credit as more important than the removal of individual hardships. What afforded the greatest relief was the suspension of military service and the war-tax. Three years after Satricum had been rebuilt by the Volscians, whilst M. Valerius Corvus was consul for the second time with Caius Poetilius, a report was sent on from Latium that emissaries from Antium were going round the Latin cantons with the view of stirring war. Valerius was instructed to attack the Volscians before the enemy became more numerous, and he proceeded with his army to Satricum. Here he was met by the Antiates and other Volscian troops who had been previously mobilised in case of any movement on the side of Rome. The old standing hatred between the two nations made each side eager for battle; there was consequently no delay in trying conclusions. The Volscians, bolder to begin war than to sustain it, were completely defeated and fled precipitately to Satricum. The city was surrounded, and as it was on the point of being stormed-the scaling ladders were against the walls-they lost all hope and surrendered to the number of 4000 fighting men, in addition to a multitude of noncombatants. The town was sacked and burnt; the temple of Matuta the Mother was alone spared by the flames; all the plunder was given to the soldiers. In addition to the booty, there were the 4000 who had surrendered; these were marched in chains before the consul's chariot in his triumphal procession, then they were sold and a large sum was realised for the treasury. Some authors assert that these prisoners were slaves who had been captured in Satricum, and this is more likely to have been the case than that men who had surrendered should have been sold.



7.28

M. Fabius Dorsuo and Ser. Sulpicius Camerinus were the next consuls. A sudden raid by the Auruncans led to a war with that people. Fears were entertained that more than one city was concerned in this, that in fact it had been planned by the entire Latin League. To meet all Latium in arms L. Furius Camillus was nominated Dictator; he appointed Cnaeus Manlius Capitolinus Master of the Horse. As usual in great and sudden alarms a suspension of all business was proclaimed and the enlistment was made without any claims to exemption being allowed; when it was completed the legions were marched as rapidly as possible against the Auruncans. They showed the temper of marauders rather than of soldiers, and the war was finished in the very first battle. But as they had begun the war without any provocation and had shown no reluctance to accept battle, the Dictator thought it his duty to secure the help of the gods, and during the actual fighting he vowed a temple to Juno Moneta. On his victorious return to Rome, he resigned his Dictatorship to discharge his vow. The senate ordered two commissioners to be appointed to carry out the construction of that temple in a style commensurate with the greatness of the Roman people, and a site was marked out in the Citadel where the house of M. Manlius Capitolinus had stood. The consuls employed the Dictator's army in war with the Volscians and took from them by a coup-de-main the city of Sora. The temple of Moneta was dedicated in the following year, when C. Marcius Rutilus was consul for the third time and T. Manlius Torquatus for the second. A portent followed close on the dedication similar to the old portent on the Alban Mount; a shower of stones fell and night seemed to stretch its curtain over the day. The citizens were filled with dread at this supernatural occurrence, and after the Sibylline Books had been consulted the senate decided upon the appointment of a Dictator to arrange the ceremonial observances for the appointed days. P. Valerius Publicola was nominated and Q. Fabius Ambustus was appointed Master of the Horse. It was arranged that not only the Roman tribes but also the neighbouring populations should take part in the public intercessions, and the order of the days which each was to observe was definitely laid down. There were prosecutions this year of moneylenders by the aediles, and heavy sentences are stated to have been passed on them by the people. For some reason, which is not recorded, matters reverted to an interregnum. As, however, it ended in the election of two patrician consuls, this would appear to be the reason why it was resorted to. The new consuls were M. Valerius Corvus (for the third time) and A. Cornelius Cossus.



7.29

The history will now be occupied with wars greater than any previously recorded; greater whether we consider the forces engaged in them or the length of time they lasted, or the extent of country over which they were waged. For it was in this year (343 B.C.) that hostilities commenced with the SAMNITES, a people strong in material resources and military power. Our war with the Samnites, with its varying fortunes, was followed by the war with Pyrrhus, and that again by the war with Carthage. What a chapter of great events! How often had we to pass through the very extremity of danger in order that our dominion might be exalted to its present greatness, a greatness which is with difficulty maintained! The cause of the war between the Romans and the Samnites, who had been our friends and allies, came, however, from without; it did not arise between the two peoples themselves. The Samnites, simply because they were the stronger, made an unprovoked attack upon the Sidicines; the weaker side were compelled to fly for succour to those who were more powerful and threw in their lot with the Campanians. The Campanians brought to the help of their allies the prestige of their name rather than actual strength; enervated by luxury they were worsted by a people inured to the use of arms, and after being defeated on Sidicine territory diverted the whole weight of the war against themselves. The Samnites, dropping operations against the Sidicines, attacked the Campanians as being the mainstay and stronghold of their neighbours; they saw, too, that whilst victory would be just as easily won here, it would bring more glory and spoils. They seized the Tifata hills which overlook Capua and left a strong force to hold them, then they descended in close order into the plain which lies between the Tifata hills and Capua. Here a second battle took place, in which the Campanians were defeated and driven within their walls. They had lost the flower of their army, and as there was no hope of any assistance near, they found themselves compelled to ask for help from Rome.



7.30

On being admitted to an audience, their envoys addressed the senate to the following effect: "Senators! the people of Capua have sent us as ambassadors to you to ask for a friendship which shall be perpetual, and for help for the present hour. Had we sought this friendship in the day of our prosperity it might have been cemented more readily, but at the same time by a weaker bond. For in that case, remembering that we had formed our friendship on equal terms, we should perhaps have been as close friends as now, but we should have been less prepared to accept your mandates, less at your mercy. Whereas now, won over by your compassion and defended in our extremity by your aid, we should be bound to cherish the kindness bestowed on us if we are not to appear ungrateful and undeserving of any help from either gods or men. I certainly do not consider that the fact of the Samnites having already become your friends and allies should be a bar to our being admitted into your friendship; it only shows that they take precedence of us in the priority and degree of the honour which you have conferred upon them. There is nothing in your treaty with them to prevent you from making fresh treaties. It has always been held amongst you to be a satisfactory reason for friendship, when he who made advances to you was anxious to be your friend. Although our present circumstances forbid us to speak proudly about ourselves, still we Campanians are second to no people, save yourselves, in the size of our city and the fertility of our soil, and we shall bring, I consider, no small accession to your prosperity by entering into your friendship. Whenever the Aequi and Volscians, the perpetual enemies of this City, make any hostile movement we shall be on their rear, and what you lead the way in doing on behalf of our safety, that we shall always continue to do on behalf of your dominion and your glory. When these nations which lie between us are subjugated-and your courage and fortune are a guarantee that this will soon come about-you will have an unbroken dominion up to our frontier. Painful and humiliating is the confession which our fortunes compel us to make; but it has come to this, senators, we Campanians must be numbered either amongst your friends or your enemies. If you defend us we are yours, if you abandon us we shall belong to the Samnites. Make up your minds, then, whether you would prefer that Capua and the whole of Campania should form an addition to your strength or should augment the power of the Samnites. It is only right, Romans, that your sympathy and help should be extended to all, but especially should it be so to those who, when others appealed to them, tried to help them beyond their strength and so have brought themselves into these dire straits. Although it was ostensibly on behalf of the Sidicines that we fought, we really fought for our own liberty, for we saw our neighbours falling victims to the nefarious brigandage of the Samnites, and we knew that when the Sidicines had been consumed the fire would sweep on to us. The Samnites are not coming to attack us because we have in any way wronged them, but because they have gladly seized upon a pretext for war. Why, if they only sought retribution and were not catching at an opportunity for satisfying their greed, ought it not to be enough for them that our legions have fallen on Sidicine territory and a second time in Campania itself? Where do we find resentment so bitter that the blood shed in two battles cannot satiate it? Then think of the destruction wrought in our fields, the men and cattle carried off, the burning and ruining of our farms, everything devastated with fire and sword cannot all this appease their rage? No, they must satisfy their greed. It is this that is hurrying them on to the storm of Capua; they are bent on either destroying that fairest of cities or making it their own. But you, Romans, should make it your own by kindness, rather than allow them to possess it as the reward of iniquity.

"I am not speaking in the presence of a nation that refuses to go to war when war is righteous, but even so, I believe if you make it clear that you will help us you will not find it necessary to go to war. The contempt which the Samnites feel for their neighbours extends to us, it does not mount any higher; the shadow of your help therefore is enough to protect us, and we shall regard whatever we have, whatever we are, as wholly yours. For you the Campanian soil shall be tilled, for you the city of Capua shall be thronged; you we shall regard as our founders, our parents, yes, even as gods; there is not a single one amongst your colonies that will surpass us in devotion and loyalty towards you. Be gracious, senators, to our prayers and manifest your divine will and power on behalf of the Campanians, and bid them entertain a certain hope that Capua will be safe. With what a vast crowd made up of every class, think you, did we start from the gates? How full of tears and prayers did we leave all behind! In what a state of expectancy are the senate and people of Capua, our wives and children, now living! I am quite certain that the whole population is standing at the gates, watching the road which leads from here, in anxious suspense as to what reply you are ordering us to carry back to them. The one answer will bring them safety, victory, light, and liberty; the other-I dare not say what that might bring. Deliberate then upon our fate, as that of men who are either going to be your friends and allies, or to have no existence anywhere."



7.31

When the envoys had withdrawn, the senate proceeded to discuss the question. Many of the members realised how the largest and richest city in Italy, with a very productive country near the sea, could become the granary of Rome, and supply every variety of provision. Notwithstanding, however, loyalty to treaties outweighed even these great advantages, and the consul was authorised by the senate to give the following reply: "The senate is of opinion, Campanians, that you are worthy of our aid, but justice demands that friendship with you shall be established on such a footing that no older friendship and alliance is thereby impaired. Therefore we refuse to employ on your behalf against the Samnites arms which would offend the gods sooner than they injured men. We shall, as is just and right, send an embassy to our allies and friends to ask that no hostile violence be offered you." Thereupon the leader of the embassy, acting according to the instructions they had brought with them, said: "Even though you are not willing to make a just use of force against brute force and injustice in defence of what belongs to us, you will at all events defend what belongs to you. Wherefore we now place under your sway and jurisdiction, senators, and that of the Roman people, the people of Campania and the city of Capua, its fields, its sacred temples, all things human and divine. Henceforth we are prepared to suffer what we may have to suffer as men who have surrendered themselves into your hands." At these words they all burst into tears and stretching out their hands towards the consul they prostrated themselves on the floor of the vestibule.

The senators were deeply moved by this instance of the vicissitudes of human fortune, where a people abounding in wealth, famous for their pride and luxuriousness, and from whom, shortly before, their neighbours had sought assistance, were now so broken in spirit that they put themselves and all that belonged to them under the power and authority of others. It at once became a matter of honour that men who had formally surrendered themselves should not be left to their fate, and it was resolved "that the Samnite nation would commit a wrongful act if they attacked a city and territory which had by surrender become the possession of Rome." They determined to lose no time in despatching envoys to the Samnites. Their instructions were to lay before them the request of the Campanians, the reply which the senate, mindful of their friendly relations with the Samnites, had given, and lastly the surrender which had been made. They were to request the Samnites, in virtue of the friendship and alliance which existed between them, to spare those who had made a surrender of themselves and to take no hostile action against that territory which had become the possession of the Roman people. If these mild remonstrances proved ineffective, they were to solemnly warn the Samnites in the name of the senate and people of Rome to keep their hands off the city of Capua and the territory of Campania. The envoys delivered their instructions in the national council of Samnium. The reply they received was couched in such defiant terms that not only did the Samnites declare their intention of pursuing the war against Capua, but their magistrates went outside the council chamber and, in tones loud enough for the envoys to hear, ordered the prefects of cohorts to march at once into the Campanian territory and ravage it.



7.32

When the result of this mission was reported in Rome, all other matters were at once laid aside and the fetials were sent to demand redress. This was refused and the senate decreed that a formal declaration of war should be submitted for the approval of the people as soon as possible. The people ratified the action of the senate and ordered the two consuls to start, each with his army; Valerius for Campania, where he fixed his camp at Mount Glaurus, whilst Cornelius advanced into Samnium and encamped at Saticula. Valerius was the first to come into touch with the Samnite legions. They had marched into Campania because they thought that this would be the main theatre of war, and they were burning to wreak their rage on the Campanians who had been so ready first to help others against them and then to summon help for themselves. As soon as they saw the Roman camp, they one and all clamoured for the signal for battle to be given by their leaders; they declared that the Romans would have the same luck in helping the Campanians that the Campanians had had in helping the Sidicines. For a few days Valerius confined himself to skirmishes, with the object of testing the enemy's strength. At length he put out the signal for battle and spoke a few words of encouragement to his men. He told them not to let themselves be daunted by a new war or a new enemy, for the further they carried their arms from the City the more unwarlike were the nations whom they approached. They were not to measure the courage of the Samnites by the defeats they had inflicted on the Sidicines and the Campanians; whenever two nations fought together, whatever the qualities they possessed, one side must necessarily be vanquished. There was no doubt that as far as the Campanians were concerned they owed their defeats more to their want of hardihood and the weakening effects of excessive luxury than to the strength of their enemies. What could two successful wars on the part of the Samnites through all those centuries weigh against the many brilliant achievements of the Roman people, who reckoned up almost more triumphs than years since the foundation of their City, who had subdued by the might of their arms all the surrounding nations-Sabines, Etruscans, Latins, Hernici, Aequi, Volscians, and Auruncans-who had slain the Gauls in so many battles and driven them at last to their ships? His men must not only go into action in full reliance upon their own courage and warlike reputation, but they must also remember under whose auspices and generalship they were going to fight, whether under a man who is only to be listened to provided he is a big talker, courageous only in words, ignorant of a soldier's work, or under one who himself knows how to handle weapons, who can show himself in the front, and do his duty in the melee of battle. "I want you, soldiers," he continued, "to follow my deeds not my words, and to look to me not only for the word of command but also for example. It was not by party struggles nor by the intrigues so common amongst the nobles but by my own right hand that I won three consulships and attained the highest reputation. There was a time when it might have been said to me, 'Yes, for you were a patrician descended from the liberators of our country, and your family held the consulship in the very year when this City first possessed consuls.' Now, however, the consulship is open to you, plebeians, as much as to us who are patricians; it is not the reward of high birth as it once was, but of personal merit. Look forward then, soldiers, to securing all the highest honours! If with the sanction of the gods you men have given me this new name of Corvinus, I have not forgotten the old cognomen of our family; I have not forgotten that I am a Publicola. I always study and always have studied the interests of the Roman plebs, both at home and in the field, whether as a private citizen or holding public office, whether as military tribune or as consul. I have been consistent to this aim in all my successive consulships. And now for what is immediately before us: go on with the help of heaven, and win with me for the first time a triumph over your new foes-the Samnites."



7.33

Nowhere was there ever a general who endeared himself more to his soldiers by cheerfully sharing every duty with the humblest of his men. In the military sports when the soldiers got up contests of speed and strength among themselves he was equally ready to win or to lose, and never thought any man unworthy to be his antagonist. He showed practical kindness as circumstances required; in his language he was not less mindful of other men's liberty than of his own dignity, and what made him most popular was that he displayed the same qualities in discharging the duties of his office which he had shown as a candidate for it. Following up their commander's words, the whole army marched out of camp with extraordinary alacrity. In no battle that was ever fought did men engage with strength more equally matched, or more assured hopes of victory on both sides, or a stronger spirit of self-confidence unaccompanied, however, by any feeling of contempt for their opponents. The fighting temper of the Samnites was roused by their recent achievements and the double victory won a few days previously; the Romans on the other hand were inspired by their glorious record of four centuries of victory reaching back to the foundation of the City. But each side felt some anxiety at meeting a new and untried foe. The battle was an index to their feelings; for some time they fought so resolutely that neither line showed any signs of giving way. At length the consul, seeing that the Samnites could not be repulsed by steady fighting, determined to try the effect of a sudden shock and launched his cavalry at them. This made no impression, and as he watched them wheeling round in the narrow space between the opposing armies after their ineffective charge, having utterly failed to penetrate the enemy's line, he rode back to the front ranks of the legions, and after dismounting said: "Soldiers, this task belongs to us infantry. Come on! Wherever you see me making my way through the enemy's lines with my sword follow, and each of you do his best to cut down those in front. All that ground which is now glittering with uplifted spears you shall see cleared by a vast carnage." During these words the cavalry, at the consul's order, retired on both flanks, leaving the center clear for the legions. The consul led the charge, and slew the first man he engaged with. Fired at the sight, every man, right and left, charged straight forward and began a fight to be remembered. The Samnites did not flinch, though they were receiving more wounds than they inflicted.

The battle had now gone on for a considerable time; there was a terrible slaughter round the Samnite standards but no signs of flight anywhere, so resolved were they that death alone should be their conqueror. The Romans began to find their strength failing through fatigue and not much daylight remained, so goaded on by rage and disappointment they flung themselves madly upon their foe. Then for the first time the Samnites were seen to be giving ground and preparing to flee; they were being taken prisoners and killed in all directions, and not many would have survived had not night put an end to what was becoming a victory rather than a battle. The Romans admitted that they had never fought with a more obstinate enemy, and when the Samnites were asked what it was that first turned them, with all their determination, to flight, they said that the eyes of the Romans looked like fire, and their faces and expression like those of madmen; it was this more than anything else which filled them with terror. This terror showed itself not only in the result of the battle but also in their hurrying away in the night. The next day the Romans took possession of their empty camp, and all the population of Capua came out there to congratulate them.



7.34

But these rejoicings were very nearly being embittered by a great disaster in Samnium. The consul Cornelius had advanced from Saticula and led his army by a mountain pass which descended into a narrow valley. All the surrounding heights were occupied by the enemy, and he did not notice them high up above him till retreat was impossible. The Samnites were waiting quietly till the whole of the column should descend into the lowest part of the valley, but meantime P. Decius, a military tribune, descried a peak jutting out on the pass which commanded the enemy's camp. This height would have been a difficult one for a heavy-armed force to climb but not for one in light marching order. Decius came up to the consul, who was in a great state of alarm, and said to him: "Do you see, A. Cornelius, that height above the enemy? If we promptly seize that position which the Samnites were blind enough to leave unoccupied, it will prove a stronghold in which all our hopes of safety will center. Do not give me more than the hastati and principes of one legion. When I have reached the summit with them you may march on out of this and save yourself and the army, for the enemy below, a mark for every missile we hurl, will not be able to move without being destroyed. Either the Fortune of Rome or our own courage will then clear the way for our escape." The consul warmly thanked him, and after being furnished with the detachment he asked for, he marched through the pass unobserved and only came into view of the enemy when he was close to the spot for which he was making. Then whilst every eye was fixed upon him in silent astonishment, he gave the consul time to withdraw his army into a more favourable position until he had halted his own men on the summit. The Samnites marched aimlessly hither and thither; they could not follow the consul except by the same path where he had been exposed to their weapons and which was now equally dangerous to them, nor could they lead a force up the hill above them which Decius had seized.

He and his men had snatched victory from their grasp, and therefore it was against him that their rage was mainly directed, whilst the nearness of the position and the paucity of its defenders were additional incentives to them to attack it. First they were bent upon investing the peaks on all sides so as to cut Decius off from the consul, then they thought of retiring and leaving the way open for him so that they could attack when he had descended into the valley. Whilst they were still in this state of indecision night overtook them. At first Decius hoped to be able to attack them from his higher ground while they were coming up the height; then he began to wonder why they did not show fight, or, at all events, if they were deterred by the nature of the ground why they did not enclose him with a circumvallation. He called the centurions round him. "What ignorance, what cowardice this is!" he exclaimed. "How on earth did those men win a victory over the Sidicines and Campanians? You see them there marching up and down, at one time forming up in close order, at another extending. We could by this time have been completely invested yet no one begins to entrench. We shall be like them if we stay here longer than we need. Come along with me and let us reconnoitre their positions while some light is still left and find out where the exit from here is open.'' Disguised in a common soldier's cloak that the enemy might not mark the general going his rounds, and with his centurions similarly attired, he made a thorough examination of all these details.



7.35

After arranging the watches, he ordered the tessera to be given to the rest of the troops; when the bugle sounded for the second watch they were to muster round him in silence. When they had assembled in accordance with instructions, he said: "This silence, soldiers, must be maintained, and all applause as you listen to me checked. When I have laid my proposals fully before you, those of you who approve will cross over silently to the right. The opinion of the majority will be adopted. Now listen to my plans. You were not carried here in flight, nor have you been abandoned through cowardice, and the enemy are investing you. You seized this position by your courage, by your courage you must get away from it. By coming here you have saved a splendid army for Rome, now you must save yourselves by cutting your way out. Though few in number you have brought aid to many, and it is only fitting to your deserts that you yourselves should need the aid of none. We have to do with an enemy who through his slackness yesterday failed to use the chance which Fortune gave him of wiping out an entire army; who did not perceive this most useful peak hanging over his head until it had been seized by us. With all their thousands of men they did not prevent us, few as we are, from climbing it, and now that we are holding it, did they, though plenty of daylight remained, enclose us with lines of circumvallation? The enemy whom you eluded while his eyes were open, and he was on the watch, you certainly ought to evade when he is heavy with sleep. In fact, it is absolutely necessary for you to do so, for our position is such that I have rather to point out the necessity in which you are placed than to suggest any plan of action. For there can be no question as to your remaining here or departing, since Fortune has left you nothing but your arms and the courage which knows how to use them. If we show more fear of the sword than becomes men and Romans we shall have to die of hunger and thirst. Our one chance of safety, then, lies in our breaking our way through and departing. We must do that either in the daytime or at night. But this is a point which admits of little doubt; if we wait for daylight how can we hope that the enemy, who, as you see, has drawn a ring of men all round us, will not completely enclose us with entrenchments? On the other hand, if night be best for our sortie, as it most certainly is, then this hour of the night is most assuredly the fittest. You have mustered at the call for the second watch, an hour when men are buried in sleep. You will pass through them in silence, unnoticed by the sleepers, but should they become aware of your presence you will throw them into a panic by a sudden shout. You have followed me so far, follow me still, while I follow Fortune who has guided us here. Those of you who think this a safe plan step forward and pass over to the right."



7.36

All crossed over. They then followed Decius as he moved through the intervals between the pickets. They had already got as far as the center of the Samnite lines when a soldier striding over the bodies of the sleeping sentinels made a noise by striking his shield against one of them. The sentinel awakened by the sound shook the one next him; they both jumped up and aroused others, not knowing whether friends or foes were amongst them, whether it was Decius' force breaking out or the consul capturing the camp. As they were no longer unobserved, Decius ordered his men to raise a shout, which paralysed the half-awakened sleepers with terror. In their confusion they were unable to seize their arms promptly and could neither offer any resistance nor follow up their assailants. While the Samnites were in this state of confusion and panic, the Romans, cutting down all who opposed them, made their way in the direction of the consul's camp. A considerable portion of the night still remained and they were evidently now in safety. Decius addressed them: "All honour to you, brave Romans! your march up that height and your return will be extolled in every age. But for the due recognition of such courage the light of day is needed; you have deserved something more than to carry your glory back to camp hidden in the silence of the night. We will rest here and wait for the daylight." They rested accordingly. As soon as it was light and the news was sent on to the consul in camp, there was great excitement and rejoicing, and when it was officially announced throughout the camp that the men who saved the army at the risk of their own lives had themselves returned safe and sound, they all poured out in crowds to meet them, showered congratulations upon them, gave thanks and praise to the gods, and extolled Decius to the skies. He marched through the camp in what amounted to a triumphal procession with his small force fully armed. Every eye was fixed upon him; the military tribune was treated with as much distinction as if he had been a consul. When he reached the headquarters' tent, the consul ordered the Assembly to be sounded. He was beginning to give Decius the praise he had so well earned, before the whole army, when Decius interrupted him and begged him to postpone those proceedings in view of the splendid opportunity which they now had in their hands. He accordingly dismissed the parade and followed Decius' advice, which was to attack the enemy before they had recovered from their nocturnal panic and were still stationed round the height in separate detachments; some who had been sent in pursuit were believed to be still defiling through the pass. The legions were ordered to arm for battle and were conducted by a more open route towards the enemy, as scouting parties had brought back fuller information about the locality. The attack was sudden and unexpected; the Samnites were everywhere in scattered bodies, most of them without arms, unable to secure their weapons or get into any compact formation or retire within their entrenchments. They were first driven in panic into their camp, then the camp itself was rushed and captured. The shouting rolled round the height and the detachments who had been posted to watch it fled from a foe whom they had not yet seen. Those who had fled panic-struck into their camp-some 30,000-were all slain.



7.37

After this success the consul summoned an Assembly, and in the presence of his fellow-soldiers pronounced a eulogy on Decius not only for his former services but also for this crowning proof of his soldierly qualities. In addition to the other military rewards he presented him with a golden chaplet and a hundred oxen, and one white one of especial beauty, the horns of which had been gilded. The men who had been with him on the height were rewarded with a standing order for double rations and also with one ox and two tunics apiece. After the consul had made the presentation, the legionaries, amidst loud cheers, placed on Decius' head an "obsidial " wreath of grass. Another similar wreath was bestowed upon him by his own men. With these decorations upon him he sacrificed the beautiful ox to Mars and presented the hundred oxen which had been given him to the men who had accompanied him on his expedition. The legionaries also contributed a pound of meal and a pint of wine for each of them. During all these proceedings enthusiastic cheering went on through the whole camp. After the rout it had suffered at the hands of Valerius, the Samnite army was determined to put its fortunes to the proof in a final conflict, and a third battle was fought at Suessula. The whole fighting strength of the nation was brought up. The alarming news was sent in haste to Capua; from there horsemen galloped to the Roman camp to beg for help from Valerius. He at once ordered an advance, and leaving a strong force to protect the camp and the baggage, proceeded by forced marches to Suessula. He selected a site for his camp not far from the enemy, and very restricted in area, as with the exception of the horses there were no baggage, animals, or camp-followers to be provided for. The Samnite army, assuming that there would be no delay in giving battle, formed their lines, and as no enemy advanced against them they marched on towards the Roman camp prepared to assault it. When they saw the soldiers on the rampart and learnt from the report of the reconnoitring parties who had been sent in every direction that the camp was of small dimensions, they concluded that only a weak force of the enemy held it. The whole army began to clamour for the fosse to be filled up and the rampart torn down that they might force their way into the camp. If the generals had not checked the impetuosity of their men, their recklessness would have terminated the war. As it was, however, their huge numbers were exhausting their supplies, and owing to their previous inaction at Suessula and the delay in bringing on an action they were not far from absolute scarcity. They determined, therefore, since, as they imagined, the enemy was afraid to venture outside his camp, to send foraging parties into the fields. Meantime they expected that as the Romans made no movement and had brought only as much corn as they could carry with the rest of their equipment on their shoulders, they, too, would soon be in want of everything. When the consul saw the enemy scattered through the fields and only a few left on outpost duty in front of the camp, he addressed a few words of encouragement to his men and led them out to storm the Samnite camp. They carried it at the first rush; more of the enemy were killed in their tents than at the gates or on the rampart. All the standards which were captured he ordered to be collected together. Leaving two legions to hold the camp, he gave strict orders that they were not to touch the booty till he returned. He went forward with his men in open column and sent the cavalry to round up the scattered Samnites, like so much game, and drive them against his army. There was an immense slaughter, for they were too much terrified to think under what standard to rally or whether to make for their camp or flee further afield. Their fears drove them into such a hasty flight that as many as 40,000 shields-far more than the number of the slain-and military standards, including those captured in the storming of the camp, to the number of 170 were brought to the consul. He then returned to the Samnite camp and all the booty there was given to the soldiers.



7.38

The success which attended these operations made the people of Falerii anxious to convert their forty years' truce into a permanent treaty of peace with Rome. It also led the Latins to abandon their designs against Rome and employ the force they had collected against the Paelignians. The fame of these victories was not confined to the limits of Italy; even the Carthaginians sent a deputation to congratulate the senate and to present a golden crown which was to be placed in the chapel of Jupiter on the Capitol. It weighed twenty-five pounds. Both the consuls celebrated a triumph over the Samnites. A striking figure in the procession was Decius, wearing his decorations; in their extempore effusions the soldiers repeated his name as often as that of the consul. Soon after this an audience was granted to deputations from Capua and from Suessa, and at their request it was arranged that a force should be sent to winter in those two cities to act as a check upon the Samnites. Even in those days a residence in Capua was by no means conducive to military discipline; having pleasures of every kind at their command, the troops became enervated and their patriotism was undermined. They began to hatch plans for seizing Capua by the same criminal means by which its present holders had taken it from its ancient possessors. "They richly deserved," it was said, "to have the precedent which they had set turned against themselves. Why should people like the Campanians who were incapable of defending either their possessions or themselves enjoy the most fertile territory in Italy, and a city well worthy of its territory, in preference to a victorious army who had driven off the Samnites from it by their sweat and blood? Was it just that these people who had surrendered themselves into their power should be enjoying that fertile and delightful country while they, wearied with warfare, were struggling with the arid and pestilential soil round the City, or suffering the ruinous consequences of an ever-growing interest which were awaiting them in Rome?" This agitation which was being conducted in secret, only a few being yet taken into the conspirators' confidence, was discovered by the new consul, Caius Marcius Rutilus, to whom Campania had been allotted as his province, his colleague, Q. Servilius, being left in the City. Taught by years and experience-he had been four times consul as well as Dictator and censor-he thought his best course would be, after he was in possession of the facts as ascertained through the tribunes, to frustrate any chance of the soldiers carrying out their design by encouraging them in the hope of executing it whenever they pleased. The troops had been distributed amongst the cities of Campania, and the contemplated plan had been propagated from Capua throughout the entire force. The consul caused a rumour, therefore, to be spread that they were to occupy the same winter quarters the following year. As there appeared to be no necessity for their carrying out their design immediately, the agitation quieted down for the present.



7.39

After settling the army in their summer quarters, whilst all was quiet among the Samnites the consul began to purify it by getting rid of the mutinous spirits. Some were dismissed as having served their time; others were pronounced to be incapacitated through age or infirmity; others were sent home on furlough, at first separately, then selected cohorts were sent together, on the ground that they had passed the winter far from their homes and belongings. A large number were transferred to different places, ostensibly for the needs of the service. All these the other consul and the praetor detained in Rome on various imaginary pretexts. At first, unaware of the trick that was being played upon them, they were delighted to revisit their homes. They soon, however, found out that even those who were first sent away were not rejoining the colours and that hardly any were disbanded but those who had been in Campania, and amongst these mainly the leading agitators. At first they were surprised, and then they felt a well-grounded apprehension that their plans had leaked out. "Now," they said, "we shall have to suffer court-martial, informers will give evidence against us, we shall one after another be executed in secret; the reckless and ruthless tyranny of the consuls and senators will be let loose on us." The soldiers, seeing how those who were the backbone of the conspiracy had been cleverly got rid of by the consuls, did not venture to do more than whisper these things to one another.

One cohort, which was stationed not far from Antium, took up a position at Lantulae in a narrow pass between the mountains and the sea to intercept those whom the consul was sending home on the various pretexts mentioned above. They soon grew to a very numerous body, and nothing was wanting to give it the form of a regular army except a general. They moved on into the Alban district, plundering as they went, and entrenched themselves in a camp under the hill of Alba Longa. After completing their entrenchments they spent the rest of the day in arguing about the choice of a leader, as they had not sufficient confidence in any one amongst themselves. But who could be invited from Rome? Which of the patricians or plebeians would expose himself to such peril, or to whom could the cause of an army maddened by injustice be safely committed? The next day found them still engaged in the discussion, when some of those who had been dispersed in the marauding expedition brought back the information that Titus Quinctius was cultivating a farm in the neighbourhood and had lost all interest in his City and the honourable distinctions he had won. This man belonged to a patrician house, and after achieving great reputation as a soldier, had his military career cut short by a wound which made him lame in one of his feet, and he betook himself to a rural life, far from the Forum and its party struggles. On hearing his name mentioned they recalled the man to mind, and hoping that all might turn out well they ordered an invitation to be sent to him. They hardly expected that he would come voluntarily, and prepared to intimidate him into compliance. The messengers accordingly entered his farmhouse in the dead of night and woke him up from a sound sleep, and after telling him that there was no alternative, it must either be authority and rank or, if he resisted, death, they carried him off to the camp. On his arrival he was saluted as their commander, and all dismayed as he was by the strangeness and suddenness of the affair, the insignia of his office were brought to him and he was peremptorily told to lead them to the City. Acting on their own impulse rather than their leader's advice they plucked up their standards and marched in hostile array as far as the eighth milestone on what is now the Appian Way. They would have gone on at once to the City had they not received word that an army was on its march, and that M. Valerius Corvus had been nominated Dictator, with L. Aemilius Mamercus as his Master of the Horse, to act against them.



7.40

As soon as they came into view and recognised the arms and standards, the thought of their country instantly calmed the passions of them all. They had not yet been hardened to the sight of civic bloodshed, they knew of no wars but those against foreign foes, and secession from their own countrymen began to be looked upon as the last degree of madness. First the leaders then the men on both sides sought an opening for negotiations. Quinctius, who had had enough of fighting for his country and was the last man to fight against it, and Corvus, who was devoted to all his countrymen, especially to the soldiers and above all to his own army, came forward to a colloquy. When the latter was recognised, his opponents showed as much respect for him as his own men by the silence with which they prepared to listen to him. He addressed them as follows: "Soldiers! When I left the City I offered up prayers to the immortal gods who watch over our State, your State and mine, that they would of their goodness grant me, not a victory over you, but the glory of bringing about a reconciliation. There have been and there will be abundant opportunities for winning glory in war, on this occasion we must seek for peace. That which I implored of the immortal gods, when I offered up my prayers, you have it in your power now to grant me if you will please to remember that you are encamped not in Samnium, not amongst the Volscians, but on Roman soil. Those hills which you see are the hills of your City; I, your consul, am the man under whose auspices and leadership you twice defeated the legions of the Samnites a year ago and twice captured their camp. I am Marcus Valerius Corvus, soldiers, a patrician it is true, but my nobility has shown itself in benefits to you, not in wrongs; I have never been the author of any law bearing harshly on you or of any oppressive enactment of the senate; in all my commands I have been stricter with myself than with you. If noble birth, if personal merit, if high office, if distinguished service could make any man proud, I venture to say that such is my descent, such the proof I have given of myself, such the age at which I obtained the consulship, being only twenty-three, that I had it in my power to show myself harsh and overbearing not only to the plebs but even to the patricians. What have you heard that I have said or done as consul more than I should had I been one of your tribunes? In that spirit I administered two successive consulships, in that spirit will this dread Dictatorship be administered; I shall not be more gentle towards these soldiers of mine and of my country than to you who would be-I loathe the word-its enemies.

"You then will draw the sword against me before I shall draw it against you; if there is to be fighting it is on your side that the advance will be sounded, on your side will the battle-shout and charge begin. Make up your minds to do what your fathers and grandfathers-those who seceded to the Sacred Mount and those who afterwards took possession of the Aventine-could not make up their minds to do! Wait till your wives and mothers come out from the City with dishevelled hair to meet you as they once came to meet Coriolanus! Then the Volscian legions refrained from attacking us because they had a Roman for their general; will not you, an army of Romans, desist from an impious war? Titus Quinctius! by whatever means you were placed in your present position, whether willingly or unwillingly, if there is to be a conflict, retire, I beg you to the rearmost line; it will be more honourable for you to flee from a fellow-citizen than to fight against your country. But if there is to be peace you will take your place with honour amongst the foremost and play the part of a beneficent mediator in this conference. Demand what is just and you shall receive it, though we should acquiesce even in what is unjust rather than embrue impious hands in one another's blood." T. Quinctius, bathed in tears, turned to his men and said: "If, soldiers, I am of any use at all you will find that I am a better leader in peace than in war. The words you have heard are not those of a Volscian or a Samnite but of a Roman. They were spoken by your consul, your commander, soldiers, whose auspices you have found by experience to be favourable for you; do not desire to learn by experience what they may be when directed against you. The senate had at its disposal other generals more ready to fight against you; it has selected the one man who has showed most consideration for his soldiers, in whom you have placed most confidence as your commander. Even those who have victory in their power wish for peace, what ought we to wish for? Why do we not lay aside all resentment and ambitious hopes-those treacherous advisers-and trust ourselves and all our interests to his tried fidelity?"



7.41

There was a universal shout of approval, and T. Quinctius advancing to the front asserted that his men would submit to the authority of the Dictator. He implored Valerius to take up the cause of his unhappy fellow-citizens, and when he had taken it up to maintain it with the same integrity that he had always shown in his public administration. For himself he demanded no conditions, he would not place his hope in anything but his innocence, but for the soldiers there must be the same guarantee that was given in the days of their fathers to the plebs and afterwards to the legions, namely, that no man should be punished for having taken part in the secession. The Dictator expressed his approval of what had been said, and after telling them all to hope for the best he galloped back to the City, and after obtaining the consent of the senate, brought a measure before the people who were assembled in the Petilian Grove granting immunity to all who had taken part in the secession. He then begged the Quirites to grant him one request, which was that no one should ever either in jest or earnest bring that matter up against any one. A military Lex Sacrata was also passed, enacting that no soldier's name should be struck off the muster-roll without his consent. An additional provision was subsequently embodied in it, forbidding any one who had once been military tribune from being made to serve afterwards as a centurion. This was in consequence of a demand made by the mutineers with respect to P. Salonius, who had been every year either military tribune or centurion of the first class. They were incensed against him because he had always opposed their mutinous projects and had fled from Lautulae to avoid being mixed up with them. As this proposal was aimed solely at Salonius the senate refused to allow it. Then Salonius himself appealed to the senators not to consider his dignity of more importance than the harmony of the State, and at his request they ultimately passed it. Another demand just as impudent was that the pay of the cavalry should be reduced-at that time they were receiving three times the infantry pay-because they had acted against the mutineers.



7.42

In addition to these measures I find the following recorded by various authorities. L. Genucius, a tribune of the plebs, brought before them a measure declaring usury illegal, whilst other resolutions were adopted forbidding any one to accept re-election to the same office in less than ten years or fill two offices in the same year, and also that both consuls might legally be elected from the plebs. If all these concessions were really made it is quite clear that the revolt possessed considerable strength. In other annalists it is stated that Valerius was not nominated Dictator, but the matter was entirely arranged by the consuls; also that it was not before they came to Rome but in Rome itself that the body of conspirators broke out into armed revolt; also that it was not to T. Quinctius' farm but to the house of C. Manlius that the nocturnal visit was paid, and that it was Manlius who was seized by the conspirators and made their leader, after which they marched out to a distance of four miles and entrenched themselves; also that it was not their leaders who made the first suggestions of concord, but what happened was that as the two armies advanced towards each other prepared for action the soldiers exchanged mutual greetings, and as they drew nearer grasped each other's hands and embraced one another, and the consuls, seeing how averse the soldiers were from fighting, yielded to circumstances and made proposals to the senate for reconciliation and concord. Thus the ancient authorities agree in nothing but the simple fact that there was a mutiny and that it was suppressed. The report of this disturbance and the seriousness of the war which had been commenced with the Samnites made many nationalities averse from an alliance with Rome. The Latins had long been faithless to their treaty, and in addition to that the Privernates made a sudden incursion and devastated the neighbouring Roman colonies of Norba and Setia.

End of Book 7



Livy's History of Rome:
Book 8: The First Samnite War and Settlement of Latium-(341-321 B.C.)


8.1

When messengers from Setia and Norba arrived in Rome with complaints of a defeat they had suffered at the hands of the revolted Privernates, the consulship was held by C. Plautius (for the second time) and L. Aemilius Mamercus. News was also brought that an army of Volscians led by the people of Antium had concentrated at Satricum. Both wars fell to Plautius. He marched first to Privernum and at once engaged the enemy who were defeated without much trouble The town was captured and then given back to the Privernates after a strong garrison had been placed in it; two-thirds of their territory were confiscated. Then the victorious army was led against the Antiates at Satricum. There a battle was fought with terrible bloodshed on both sides, and whilst the result was still uncertain night separated the combatants. The Romans were in no way discouraged by the indecisiveness of the conflict, and prepared for battle the next day. The Volscians, after reckoning up their losses in the battles, were by no means eager to run any further risk; looking upon themselves as defeated, they made a hurried departure to Antium in the night, leaving their wounded and a part of their baggage behind. An immense quantity of arms was found both amongst the dead on the field and in the camp. These the consul said he was offering to Lua Mater. He then ravaged the enemy's territories down to the sea-board. When the other consul entered the Sabellian territory, he found that the Samnites had no camp, no legions confronting him. Whilst he was laying waste their fields with fire and sword, envoys came to him to ask for peace and he referred them to the senate. After permission had been given them to state their case, they laid aside their truculent manner and requested that peace might be granted them and also the right of making war against the Sidicines. They considered that they were the more justified in making this request because they had formed friendly relations with Rome when their affairs were prosperous, not as in the case of the Campanians when they were in adversity, and they were taking up arms against the Sidicines, who had always been their enemies and never friends of Rome, who had not, like the Samnites, sought its friendship in a time of peace, nor like the Campanians, asked for its help in a time of war, and who were not under the protection and suzerainty of Rome.



8.2

The praetor, T. Aemilius, put these demands to the senate, and they decided that the former treaty should be renewed with them. The reply given then by the praetor was to the effect that it was no fault of the Roman people that the friendship with them had not remained unbroken, and there was no objection to its being re-established since they themselves were weary of a war brought on them by their own fault. As to the Sidicines there was nothing to prevent the Samnites from being free to make either peace or war. After the treaty was made the Roman army was at once withdrawn. The men had received a year's pay and three months' rations, for which the consul had stipulated, that he might allow time for an armistice until the envoys returned. The Samnites advanced against the Sidicines with the same troops that they had employed in the war with Rome, and they were very hopeful of effecting an early capture of the city. Then at last the Sidicines took steps to make a surrender of themselves to Rome. The senate rejected it as being made too late and forced from them by extreme necessity. They then made it to the Latins who were already in arms on their own account. Even the Campanians did not refuse to take part in the hostile movement, so much keener was their sense of the injuries inflicted by the Samnites than of the kindness shown them by Rome. One immense army, composed of these many nationalities and under Latin leadership, invaded the Samnite country and inflicted more disasters by ravages than by actual fighting. Although the Latins proved superior in the various encounters, they were not loath to retire from the enemy's territory lest they might have to fight too often. This allowed the Samnites time to send envoys to Rome. When they were admitted to an audience they complained to the senate that they were suffering more now that they were in treaty with them than they had before, when they were enemies; they very humbly requested them to be satisfied with having snatched from them the victory they had won over the Campanians and the Sidicines, and not permit them, in addition, to be conquered by these most cowardly people. If the Latins and Campanians were really under the suzerainty of Rome they should exert their authority to keep them off the Samnite land, if they renounced that suzerainty they should coerce them by force. They received an ambiguous reply, for the senate shrank from acknowledging that the Latins no longer recognised their authority, and on the other hand they were afraid, if they reprimanded them, that they might alienate them altogether. The circumstances of the Campanians were quite different; they were bound not by treaty but by the terms of surrender, and they must keep quiet whether they would or no. There was nothing in their treaty with the Latins which prevented them from making war with whom they pleased.



8.3

With this reply the Samnites were dismissed, quite uncertain as to what the Romans were going to do. But its effect was to completely estrange the Campanians, who now feared the worst, and it made the Latins more determined than ever, since the Romans refused any further concessions. Under the pretext of making preparations for a Samnite war, they held frequent meetings of their national council, and in all the consultations of their leaders they hatched plans in secret for war with Rome. The Campanians also took part in this movement against their preservers. But in spite of the careful secrecy with which everything was being conducted-for they wanted the Samnites to be dislodged from their rear before the Romans made any movement-some who had friends and relatives in Rome sent hints about the league which was being formed. The consuls were ordered to resign before the expiry of their year of office in order that the new consuls might be elected at an earlier date in view of such a formidable war. There were religious difficulties in the way of the elections being held by those whose tenure of office had been curtailed, and so an interregnum commenced. There were two interreges, M. Valerius and M. Fabius. The latter elected T. Manlius Torquatus (for the third time) and P. Decius Mus as consuls. It was in this year (341 B.C.), it appears, that Alexander, King of Epirus, landed in Italy, and there is no doubt that had he been fairly successful at first that war would have extended to Rome. This, too, was about the time of the achievements of Alexander the Great, the son of this man's sister, who, after proving himself invincible in another region of the globe, was cut off, whilst a young man, by disease. Although there could be no doubt as to the revolt of their allies-the Latin league-still, as though they were concerned for the Samnites and not for themselves, the Romans invited the ten chiefs of the league to Rome to give them instructions as to what they wanted. Latium at that time had two praetors, L. Annius of Setia and L. Numisius of Cerceii, both belonging to the Roman colonists. Through these men not only had Signia and Velitrae, themselves Roman colonies, but the Volsci also been instigated to take up arms. It was decided that they should be particularly invited by name. No one had the slightest doubt as to the reason for this invitation. A meeting of their council was accordingly held prior to their departure; they informed those present that they had been asked by the senate to go to Rome, and they requested them to decide as to what reply they should give with reference to the matters which they had reason to suppose would be discussed.



8.4

After various opinions had been expressed, Annius spoke as follows: "Although it was I who put the question to you as to what answer should be given, I still think that it is of more importance to the interests of the State to decide what must be done rather than what must be said. When our plans are developed it will be easy enough to fit words to facts. If even now we are capable of submitting to servitude under the shadowy pretext of a treaty on equal terms, what is to prevent us from deserting the Sidicines and receiving our orders not only from the Romans but even from the Samnites, and giving as our reply that we are ready to lay down our arms at the beck and call of the Romans? But if your hearts are at last touched by any yearning for independence; if a treaty, an alliance, an equality of rights really exists; if we are at liberty to boast of the fact that the Romans are of the same stock as ourselves, though once we were ashamed of it; if our army, which when united with theirs doubles their strength, and which the consuls will not dispense with when conducting wars which concern them alone-if, I say, that army is really an army of their allies, then why are we not on an equal footing in all respects? Why is not one consul elected from the Latins? Those who possess half the strength, do they possess half the government? This is not in itself too much honour for us, seeing that we acknowledge Rome to be the head of Latium, but we have made it appear so by our prolonged forbearance.

"But if ever you longed for an opportunity of taking your place in the government and of making use of your liberty, now is the time; this is the opportunity which has been given you by your own courage and the goodness of the gods. You tried their patience by refusing to supply troops. Who doubts that they were intensely irritated when we broke through a custom more than two centuries old? Still they put up with the annoyance. We waged war with the Paelignians on our own account; they who before did not allow us the right to defend our own frontiers did not intervene. They heard that the Sidicines were received into our protection, that the Campanians had revolted from them to us, that we were preparing an army to act against the Samnites with whom they had a treaty, they never moved out of their City. What was this extraordinary self-restraint due to but to a consciousness of our strength and of theirs? I have it on good authority that when the Samnites were laying their complaints about us they received a reply from the Roman senate, from which it was quite evident that they themselves do not now claim that Latium is under the authority of Rome. Make your rights effective by insisting on what they are tacitly conceding to you. If any one is afraid of saying this, I declare my readiness to say it not only in the ears of the Roman people and their senate but in the audience of Jupiter himself who dwells in the Capitol, and to tell them that if they wish us to remain in alliance with them they must accept one consul from us and half their senate." His speech was followed by a universal shout of approval, and he was empowered to do and to say whatever he deemed to be in furtherance of the interests of the State of Latium and of his own honour.



8.5

On their arrival in Rome, the senate assembled in the Capitol and granted them an audience. T. Manlius, the consul, acting on the instructions of the senate, recommended them not to make war upon the Samnites, with whom the Romans had a treaty, on which Annius, as though he were a conquerer who had captured the Capitol by arms instead of an ambassador protected by the law of nations, said: "It is about time, Titus Manlius and senators, that you gave up treating us as though you were our suzerains, when you see the State of Latium raised by the bounty of the gods to a most flourishing position, both in population and in military power, the Samnites defeated, the Sidicines and Campanians in alliance with us, even the Volscians now making common cause with us, whilst your own colonies actually prefer the government of Latium to that of Rome. But since you cannot bring your minds to abandon your impudent claims to sovereignty, we will go so far, in recognising that we are kindred nations, as to offer peace upon the conditions of equal rights for both, since it has pleased the gods to grant equal strength to both; though we are quite able to assert the independence of Latium by force of arms. One consul must be elected from Rome, the other from Latium; the senate must contain an equal number of members from both nations; there must be one nation, one republic. And in order that there may be one seat of government and one name for all, since one side or the other must make some concession, let us, if this City really takes precedence, be all called Romans."

It so happened that the Romans had in their consul T. Manlius, a man who was quite as proud and passionate as Annius. He was so enraged as to declare that if the senate were visited by such madness as to accept these conditions from a man from Setia, he would come with his sword drawn into the Senate-house and kill every Latin he found there. Then turning to the image of Jupiter, he exclaimed: "Hear, O Jupiter, these abominable words! Hear them, O Justice and Right! Thou, Jupiter, as though thou hadst been conquered and made captive, art to see in thy temple foreign consuls and a foreign senate! Were these the terms of the treaty, Latins, which Tullus, the King of Rome, made with your fathers of Alba, or which L. Tarquin made with you afterwards? Have you forgotten the battle at Lake Regillus? Are you so utterly oblivious of your defeats in the old days and of our kindness towards you?" This outburst was followed by the indignant protest of the senate, and it is recorded that whilst on all hands appeals were being made to the gods, whom the consuls were continually invoking as the guardians of treaties, the voice of Annius was heard pouring contempt upon the divine majesty of the Jupiter of Rome. At all events when, in a storm of passion he was flinging himself out of the vestibule of the temple, he slipped down the steps and struck his head so heavily against the bottom step that he became unconscious. The authorities are not agreed as to whether he was actually killed, and I leave the question undecided, as also the statement that during the appeals to the gods to avenge the breach of treaties, a storm burst from the sky with a terrific roar; for they may either be true or simply invented as an appropriate representation of the wrath of the gods. Torquatus was sent by the senate to conduct the envoys away and when he saw Annius lying on the ground he exclaimed, loud enough to be heard by the senators and populace alike: 'It is well. The gods have commenced a just and righteous war! There is a divine power at work; thou, O Great Jupiter, art here! Not in vain have we consecrated this to be shine abode, O Father of gods and men! Why do you hesitate, Quirites, and you, senators, to take up arms when the gods are your leaders? I will lay the legions of the Latins low, just as you see their envoy lying here." The consul's words were received by the people with loud applause and raised them to such a pitch of excitement that when the envoys took their departure they owed their safety more to the care of the magistrates who, on the consul's order, accompanied them to protect them from the attacks of the angry people than to any respect felt for the law of nations.

War having been decided upon by senate as much as people, the consuls enrolled two armies and proceeded through the territories of the Marsi and Paeligni, where they were joined by an army of Samnites. They fixed their camp at Capua, where the Latins and their allies had assembled. It is said that whilst they were there each consul had the same vision in the quiet of the night. A Form greater and more awful than any human form appeared to them and announced that the commander of the one army and the army itself on the other side were destined as a sacrifice to the Dii Manes and to Mother Earth. In whichever army the commander should have devoted the legions of his enemies and himself as well to those deities, that army, that people would have the victory. When the consuls compared these visions of the night together, they decided that victims should be slain to avert the wrath of the gods, and further, that if, on inspection, they should portend the same as the vision had announced, one of the two consuls should fulfil his destiny. When the answers of the soothsayers after they had inspected the victims, proved to correspond with their own secret belief in the vision, they called up the superior officers and told them to explain publicly to the soldiers what the gods had decreed, in order that the voluntary death of a consul might not create a panic in the army. They arranged with each other that when either division began to give way, the consul in command of it should devote himself on behalf of the Roman people and the Quirites." The council of war also decided that if ever any war had been conducted with the strict enforcement of orders, on this occasion certainly, military discipline should be brought back to the ancient standard. Their anxiety was increased by the fact that it was against the Latins that they had to fight, a people resembling them in language, manners, arms, and especially in their military organisation. They had been colleagues and comrades, as soldiers, centurions, and tribunes, often stationed together in the same posts and side by side in the same maniples. That this might not prove a source of error and confusion, orders were given that no one was to leave his post to fight with the enemy.



8.7

Amongst the troop commanders, who had been sent out everywhere to reconnoitre, there happened to be T. Manlius, the consul's son. He had ridden out with his men by the enemy's camp and was hardly a stone's-throw from their nearest post, where the Tusculan cavalry were stationed, when Geminus Maecius, who was in command, a man of high reputation amongst his own people, recognised the Roman cavalry and the consul's son at their head, for they were all-especially the men of distinction-known to each other. Accosting Manlius he said: "Are you going to conduct the war against the Latins and their allies with that single troop of yours? What will the consuls, what will their two armies be doing in the meantime?" "They will be here in good time, Manlius replied, "and so will Jupiter, the Great and Powerful, the witness of your breach of faith. If we fought at Lake Regillus till you had quite enough, certainly we shall succeed here also in preventing you from finding too much pleasure in meeting us in battle." In reply, Geminus rode forward a short distance and said: "Are you willing, before the day comes when you are to set your armies in motion for so great an effort, to have a meeting with me that the result of our single combat may show how much a Latin horseman is superior to a Roman?" Either urged on by anger or feeling ashamed to decline the contest, or dragged on by the irresistible power of destiny, the high-spirited youth forgot the consul's edict and the obedience due to a father and rushed headlong into a contest in which victory or defeat were alike fatal. The rest of the cavalry retired to remain spectators of the fray; the two combatants selected a clear space over which they charged each other at full gallop with levelled spears. Manlius' lance passed above his adversary's helmet, Maecius' across the neck of the other's horse. They wheeled their horses round, and Manlius standing in his stirrups was the first to get in a second stroke; he thrust his lance between the horse's ears. Feeling the wound the horse reared, shook its head violently, and threw its rider off. Whilst he was trying to rise after his heavy fall by supporting himself with his lance and shield, Manlius drove his lance right through his body and pinned him to the earth. After despoiling the body he returned to his men, and amidst their exulting shouts entered the camp and went straight to his father at the headquarters' tent, not in the least realising the nature of his deed or its possible consequences, whether praise or punishment. "That all may say, my father," he said, "that I am a true scion of your blood, I bring to you these equestrian spoils taken from a dead enemy who challenged me to single combat." On hearing this the consul turned away from his son and ordered the trumpet to sound the Assembly.

The soldiers mustered in large numbers and the consul began: "Since you, T. Manlius, have shown no regard for either the authority of a consul or the obedience due to a father, and in defiance of our edict have left your post to fight against the enemy, and have done your best to destroy the military discipline through which the Roman State has stood till now unshaken, and have forced upon me the necessity of forgetting either my duty to the republic or my duty to myself and my children, it is better that we should suffer the consequences of our offence ourselves than that the State should expiate our crime by inflicting great injury upon itself. We shall be a melancholy example, but one that will be profitable to the young men of the future. My natural love of my children and that proof of courage which from a false sense of honour you have given, move me to take your part, but since either the consuls authority must be vindicated by your death or for ever abrogated by letting you go unpunished, I would believe that even you yourself, if there is a drop of my blood in your veins, will not shrink from restoring by your punishment the military discipline which has been weakened by your misconduct. Go, lictor, bind him to the stake." All were paralysed by such a ruthless order; they felt as if the axe was directed against each of them; fear rather than discipline keep them motionless. For some moments they stood transfixed in silence, then suddenly, when they saw the blood pouring from his severed neck, their voices rose in unrestrained and angry complaint; they spared neither laments nor curses. The body of the youth covered with his spoils was cremated on a pyre erected outside the rampart, with all the funeral honours that the soldiers' devotion could pay. "Manlian orders" were not only regarded with horror for the time, but were looked upon as setting a frightful precedent for the future.



8.8

The terrible severity of the punishment, however, made the soldiers more obedient to their general, and not only did it lead to greater attention being paid to the pickets and sentry duties and the ordering of the outposts, but when they went into battle for the final contest, this severity proved to be of the greatest service. The battle was exactly like one fought in a civil war; there was nothing in the Latin army different from the Roman except their courage. At first the Romans used the large round shield called the clipeus, afterwards, when the soldiers received pay, the smaller oblong shield called the scutum was adopted. The phalanx formation, similar to the Macedonian of the earlier days, was abandoned in favour of the distribution into companies (manipuli); the rear portion being broken up into smaller divisions. The foremost line consisted of the hastati, formed into fifteen companies, drawn up at a short distance from each other. These were called the light-armed companies, as whilst one-third carried a long spear (hasta) and short iron javelins, the remainder carried shields. This front line consisted of youths in the first bloom of manhood just old enough for service. Behind them were stationed an equal number of companies, called principes, made up of men in the full vigour of life, all carrying shields and furnished with superior weapons. This body of thirty companies were called the antepilani. Behind them were the standards under which were stationed fifteen companies, which were divided into three sections called vexillae, the first section in each was called the pilus, and they consisted of 180 men to every standard (vexillum). The first vexillum was followed by the triarii, veterans of proved courage; the second by the rorarii, or "skirmishers," younger men and less distinguished; the third by the accensi, who were least to be depended upon, and were therefore placed in the rearmost line.

When the battle formation of the army was completed, the hastati were the first to engage. If they failed to repulse the enemy, they slowly retired through the intervals between the companies of the principes who then took up the fight, the hastati following in their rear. The triarii, meantime, were resting on one knee under their standards, their shields over their shoulders and their spears planted on the ground with the points upwards, giving them the appearance of a bristling palisade. If the principes were also unsuccessful, they slowly retired to the triarii, which has given rise to the proverbial saying, when people are in great difficulty "matters have come down to the triarii." When the triarii had admitted the hastati and principes through the intervals separating their companies they rose from their kneeling posture and instantly closing their companies up they blocked all passage through them and in one compact mass fell on the enemy as the last hope of the army. The enemy who had followed up the others as though they had defeated them, saw with dread a now and larger army rising apparently out of the earth. There were generally four legions enrolled, consisting each of 5000 men, and 300 cavalry were assigned to each legion. A force of equal size used to be supplied by the Latins, now, however, they were hostile to Rome. The two armies were drawn up in the same formation, and they knew that if the maniples kept their order they would have to fight, not only vexilla with vexilla, hastati with hastati, principes with principes, but even centurion with centurion. There were amongst the triarii two centurions, one in each army-the Roman, possessing but little bodily strength but an energetic and experienced soldier, the Latin, a man of enormous strength and a splendid fighter-very well known to each other because they had always served in the same company. The Roman, distrusting his own strength, had obtained the consuls' permission before leaving Rome to choose his own sub-centurion to protect him from the man who was destined to be his enemy. This youth, finding himself face to face with the Latin centurion, gained a victory over him.



8.9

The battle took place near the base of Mount Vesuvius, where the road led to Veseris. Before leading out their armies to battle the consuls offered sacrifice. The haruspex, whose duty it was to inspect the different organs in the victims, pointed out to Decius a prophetic intimation of his death, in all other respects the signs were favourable. Manlius' sacrifice was entirely satisfactory. "It is well," said Decius, "if my colleague has obtained favourable signs." They moved forward to battle in the formation I have already described, Manlius in command of the right division, Decius of the left. At first both armies fought with equal strength and equal determination. After a time the Roman hastati on the left, unable to withstand the insistency of the Latins, retired behind the principes. During the temporary confusion created by this movement, Decius exclaimed in a loud voice to M. Valerius: "Valerius, we need the help of the gods! Let the Pontifex Maximus dictate to me the words in which I am to devote myself for the legions." The Pontifex bade him veil his head in his toga praetexta, and rest his hand, covered with the toga, against his chin, then standing upon a spear to say these words: "Janus, Jupiter, Father Mars, Quirinus, Bellona, Lares, ye Novensiles and Indigetes, deities to whom belongs the power over us and over our foes, and ye, too, Divine Manes, I pray to you, I do you reverence, I crave your grace and favour that you will bless the Roman People, the Quirites, with power and victory, and visit the enemies of the Roman People, the Quirites, with fear and dread and death. In like manner as I have uttered this prayer so do I now on behalf of the commonwealth of the Quirites, on behalf of the army, the legions, the auxiliaries of the Roman People, the Quirites, devote the legions and auxiliaries of the enemy, together with myself to the Divine Manes and to Earth." After this prayer he ordered the lictors to go to T. Manlius and at once announce to his colleague that he had devoted himself on behalf of the army. He then girded himself with the Gabinian cincture, and in full armour leaped upon his horse and dashed into the middle of the enemy. To those who watched him in both armies, he appeared something awful and superhuman, as though sent from heaven to expiate and appease all the anger of the gods and to avert destruction from his people and bring it on their enemies. All the dread and terror which he carried with him threw the front ranks of the Latins into confusion which soon spread throughout the entire army. This was most evident, for wherever his horse carried him they were paralysed as though struck by some death-dealing star; but when he fell, overwhelmed with darts, the Latin cohorts, in a state of perfect consternation, fled from the spot and left a large space clear. The Romans, on the other hand, freed from all religious fears, pressed forward as though the signal was then first given and commenced a great battle. Even the rorarii rushed forward between the companies of antepilani and added strength to the hastati and principes, whilst the triarii, kneeling on their right knee, waited for the consul's signal to rise



8.10

When Manlius heard the fate of his colleague, he honoured his glorious death with tears no less than with the due meed of praise. Meantime the battle proceeded, and in some quarters the weight of numbers was giving the advantage to the Latins. For some time Manlius was in doubt whether the moment had not come for calling up the triarii, but judging it better for them to be kept fresh till the final crisis of the battle, he gave orders for the accensi at the extreme rear to advance to the front. When they came up, the Latins, taking them for the opposing triarii, instantly called up their own. In the desperate struggle they had tired themselves out and broken or blunted their spears, but as they were still driving the enemy back by main force, they imagined that the battle was decided and that they had reached their last line. Then it was that the consul said to his triarii: "Rise up now, fresh and vigorous against a wearied foe; think of your country and your parents and wives and children; think of your consul lying there dead that ye might win the victory!" They rose up fresh and resplendent in their armour, as though a new army had suddenly sprung up, and after letting the antepilani retire through them they raised their battle-shout. The front ranks of the Latins were thrown into disorder, the Romans thrust their spears into their faces, and in this way killed the main support of their army. They went on without being touched through the remaining companies as though through a crowd of unarmed men, and they marked their advance with such a slaughter that they left hardly a fourth part of the enemy. The Samnites, too, who were drawn up close to the lowest spurs of the mountain, were threatening the Latins on their flank, and so adding to their demoralisation.

The chief credit for that successful battle was given by all, Romans and allies alike, to the two consuls-one of whom had diverted on to himself alone all the dangers that threatened from the gods supernal and the gods infernal, whilst the other had shown such consummate generalship in the battle itself that the Roman and Latin historians who have left an account of it, are quite agreed that whichever side had had T. Manlius as their commander must have won the victory. After their flight the Latins took refuge in Menturnae. Their camp was captured after the battle, and many were killed there, mostly Campanians. The body of Decius was not found that day, as night overtook those who were searching for it, the next day it was discovered, buried beneath a heap of javelins and with an immense number of the enemy lying round it. His obsequies were conducted by his colleague in a manner befitting that glorious death. I ought to add here that a consul or Dictator or praetor, when he devotes the legions of the enemy, need not necessarily devote himself but may select any one he chooses out of a legion that has been regularly enrolled. If the man who has been so devoted is killed, all is considered to have been duly performed. If he is not killed, an image of the man, seven feet high at least, must be buried in the earth, and a victim slain as an expiatory sacrifice; on the spot, where such an image has been buried, no Roman magistrate must ever set his foot. If, as in the case of Decius, the commander devotes himself but survives the battle, he can no longer discharge any religious function, either on his own account or on behalf of the State. He has the right to devote his arms, either by offering a sacrifice or otherwise, to Vulcan or to any other deity. The spear on which the consul stands, when repeating the formula of devotion, must not pass into the enemy's hands; should this happen a suovetaurilia must be offered as a propitiation to Mars.



8.11

Although the memory of every traditional custom relating to either human or divine things has been lost through our abandonment of the old religion of our fathers in favour of foreign novelties, I thought it not alien from my subject to record these regulations in the very words in which they have been handed down. In some authors I find it stated that it was only after the battle was over that the Samnites who had been waiting to see the result came to support the Romans. Assistance was also coming to the Latins from Lanuvium whilst time was being wasted in deliberation, but whilst they were starting and a part of their column was already on the march, news came of the defeat of the Latins. They faced about and re-entered their city, and it is stated that Milionius, their praetor, remarked that for that very short march they would have to pay a heavy price to Rome. Those of the Latins who survived the battle retreated by many different routes, and gradually assembled in the city of Vescia. Here the leaders met to discuss the situation, and Numisius assured them that both armies had really experienced the same fortune and an equal amount of bloodshed; the Romans enjoyed no more than the name of victory, in every other respect they were as good as defeated. The headquarters of both consuls were polluted with blood; the one had murdered his son, the other had devoted himself to death; their whole army was massacred, their hastati and principes killed; the companies both in front of and behind the standards had suffered enormous losses; the triarii in the end saved the situation. The Latin troops, it was true, were equally cut up, but Latium and the Volsci could supply reinforcements more quickly than Rome. If, therefore, they approved, he would at once call out the fighting men from the Latin and Volscian peoples and march back with an army to Capua, and would take the Romans unawares; a battle was the last thing they were expecting. He despatched misleading letters throughout Latium and the Volscian country, those who had not been engaged in the battle being the more ready to believe what he said, and a hastily levied body of militia, drawn from all quarters, was got together. This army was met by the consul at Trifanum, a place between Sinuessa and Menturnae. Without waiting even to choose the sites for their camps, the two armies piled their baggage, fought and finished the war, for the Latins were so utterly worsted that when the consul with his victorious army was preparing to ravage their territory, they made a complete surrender and the Campanians followed their example. Latium and Capua were deprived of their territory. The Latin territory, including that of Privernum, together with the Falernian, which had belonged to the Campanians as far as the Volturnus, was distributed amongst the Roman plebs. They received two jugera a head in the Latin territory, their allotment being made up by three-quarters of a jugerum in the Privernate district; in the Falernian district they received three entire jugera, the additional quarter being allowed owing to the distance. The Laurentes, amongst the Latins and the aristocracy of the Campanians, were not thus penalised because they had not revolted. An order was made for the treaty with the Laurentes to be renewed, and it has since been renewed annually on the tenth day after the Latin Festival. The Roman franchise was conferred on the aristocracy of Campania, and a brazen tablet recording the fact was fastened up in Rome in the temple of Castor, and the people of Campania were ordered to pay them each-they numbered 1600 in all-the sum of 450 denarii annually.



8.12

The war having been thus brought to a close, and rewards and punishments having been meted out to each according to their deserts, T. Manlius returned to Rome. There seems good reason for believing that only the older men went out to meet him on his arrival, the younger part of the population showed their aversion and detestation for him not only then but all through his life. The Antiates made incursions into the territories of Ostia, Ardea, and Solonia. Manlius' health prevented him from prosecuting this war, so he nominated L. Papirius Crassus as Dictator, and he named L. Papirius Cursor as his Master of the Horse. No important action was taken by the Dictator against the Antiates, though he had a permanent camp in their country for some months. This year had been signalised by victories over many powerful nations, and still more by the noble death of one consul, and the stern, never-to-be-forgotten exercise of authority on the part of the other. It was followed by the consulship of Titus Aemilius Mamercinus and Q. Publilius Philo. They did not meet with similar materials out of which to build a reputation, nor did they study the interests of their country so much as their own or those of the political factions in the republic. The Latins resumed hostilities to recover the domain they had lost, but were routed in the Fenectane plains and driven out of their camp. There Publilius, who had achieved this success, received into surrender the Latin cities who had lost their men there, whilst Aemilius led his army to Pedum. This place was defended by a combined force from Tibur, Praeneste, and Velitrae, and help was also sent from Lanuvium and Antium. In the various battles the Romans had the advantage, but at the city itself, and at the camp of the allied forces which adjoined the city, their work had to be done all over again. The consul suddenly abandoned the war before it was brought to a close, because he heard that a triumph had been decreed to his colleague, and he actually returned to Rome to demand a triumph before he had won a victory. The senate were disgusted at this selfish conduct, and made him understand that he would have no triumph till Pedum had either been taken or surrendered. This produced a complete estrangement between Aemilius and the senate, and he thenceforth administered his consulship in the spirit and temper of a seditious tribune. As long as he was consul he perpetually traduced the senate to the people, without any opposition from his colleague, who himself also belonged to the plebs. Material for his charges was afforded by the dishonest allocation of the Latin and Falernian domain amongst the plebs, and after the senate, desirous of restricting the consuls' authority, had issued an order for the nomination of a Dictator to act against the Latins, Aemilius, whose turn it then was to have the fasces, nominated his own colleague, who named Junius Brutus as his Master of the Horse. He made his Dictatorship popular by delivering incriminatory harangues against the senate and also by carrying three measures which were directed against the nobility and were most advantageous to the plebs. One was that the decisions of the plebs should be binding on all the Quirites; the second, that measures which were brought before the Assembly of centuries should be sanctioned by the patricians before being finally put to the vote; the third, that since it had come about that both censors could legally be appointed from the plebs, one should in any case be always chosen from that order. The patricians considered that the consuls and the Dictator had done more to injure the State by their domestic policy than to strengthen its power by their successes in the field.



8.13

The consuls for the next year were L. Furius Camillus and C. Maenius. In order to bring more discredit upon Aemilius for his neglect of his military duties the previous year, the senate insisted that no expenditure of arms and men must be spared in order to reduce and destroy Pedum. The new consuls were peremptorily ordered to lay aside everything else and march at once. The state of affairs in Latium was such that they would neither maintain peace nor undertake war. For war their resources were utterly inadequate, and they were smarting too keenly under the loss of their territory to think of peace. They decided, therefore, on a middle course, namely, to confine themselves to their towns, and if they were informed of any town being attacked, to send assistance to it from the whole of Latium. The people of Tibur and Praeneste, who were the nearest, reached Pedum, but the troops from Aricium, Lanuvium, and Veliternae, in conjunction with the Volscians of Antium, were suddenly attacked and routed by Maenius at the river Astura. Camillus engaged the Tiburtines who were much the strongest force, and, though with greater difficulty, achieved a similar success. During the battle the townsmen made a sudden sortie, but Camillus, directing a part of his army against them, not only drove them back within their walls, but stormed and captured the town, after routing the troops sent to their assistance, all in one day. After this successful attack on one city, they decided to make a greater and bolder effort and to lead their victorious army on to the complete subjugation of Latium. They did not rest until, by capturing or accepting the surrender of one city after another, they had effected their purpose. Garrisons were placed in the captured towns, after which they returned to Rome to enjoy a triumph which was by universal consent accorded to them. An additional honour was paid to the two consuls in the erection of their equestrian statues in the Forum, a rare incident in that age.

Before the consular elections for the following year were held, Camillus brought before the senate the question of the future settlement of Latium. "Senators," he said, "our military operations in Latium have by the gracious favour of the gods and the bravery of our troops been brought to successful close. The hostile armies were cut down at Pedum and the Astura, all the Latin towns and the Volscian Antium have either been stormed or have surrendered and are now held by your garrisons. We are growing weary of their constant renewal of hostilities, it is for you to consult as to the best means of binding them to a perpetual peace. The immortal gods have made you so completely masters of the situation that they have put it into your hands to decide whether there shall be hence-forth a Latium or not. So far, then, as the Latins are concerned, you can secure for yourselves a lasting peace by either cruelty or kindness. Do you wish to adopt ruthless measures against a people that have surrendered and been defeated? It is open to you to wipe out the whole Latin nation and create desolation and solitude in that country which has furnished you with a splendid army of allies which you have employed in many great wars. Or do you wish to follow the example of your ancestors and make Rome greater by conferring her citizenship on those whom she has defeated? The materials for her expansion to a glorious height are here at hand. That is assuredly the most firmly-based empire, whose subjects take a delight in rendering it their obedience. But whatever decision you come to, you must make haste about it. You are keeping so many peoples in suspense, with their minds distracted between hope and fear, that you are bound to relieve yourselves as soon as possible from your anxiety about them, and by exercising either punishment or kindness to pre-occupy minds which a state of strained expectancy has deprived of the power of thought. Our task has been to put you in a position to take the whole question into consultation, your task is to decree what is best for yourselves and for the republic."



8.14

The leaders of the senate applauded the way in which the consul had introduced the motion, but as the circumstances differed in different cases they thought that each case ought to be decided upon its merits, and with the view of facilitating discussion they requested the consul to put the name of each place separately. Lanuvium received the full citizenship and the restitution of her sacred things, with the proviso that the temple and grove of Juno Sospita should belong in common to the Roman people and the citizens living at Lanuvium. Aricium, Nomentum, and Pedum obtained the same political rights as Lanuvium. Tusculum retained the citizenship which it had had before, and the responsibility for the part it took in the war was removed from the State as a whole and fastened on a few individuals. The Veliternians, who had been Roman citizens from old times, were in consequence of their numerous revolts severely dealt with; their walls were thrown down, their senate deported and ordered to live on the other side of the Tiber; if any of them were caught on this side of the river, he was to be fined 1000 ases, and the man who caught him was not to release him from confinement till the money was paid. Colonists were sent on to the land they had possessed, and their numbers made Velitrae look as populous as formerly. Antium also was assigned to a fresh body of colonists, but the Antiates were permitted to enrol themselves as colonists if they chose; their warships were taken away, and they were forbidden to possess any more; they were admitted to citizenship. Tibur and Praeneste had their domains confiscated, not owing to the part which they, in common with the rest of Latium, had taken in the war, but because, jealous of the Roman power, they had joined arms with the barbarous nation of the Gauls. The rest of the Latin cities were deprived of the rights of intermarriage, free trade, and common councils with each other. Capua, as a reward for the refusal of its aristocracy to join the Latins, were allowed to enjoy the private rights of Roman citizens, as were also Fundi and Formiae, because they had always allowed a free passage through their territory. It was decided that Cumae and Suessula should enjoy the same rights as Capua. Some of the ships of Antium were taken into the Roman docks, others were burnt and their beaks (rostra) were fastened on the front of a raised gallery which was constructed at the end of the Forum, and which from this circumstance was called the Rostra.



8.15

C. Sulpicius Longus and P. Aelius Paetus were the new consuls. The blessings of peace were now enjoyed everywhere, a peace maintained not more by the power of Rome than by the influence she had acquired through her considerate treatment of her vanquished enemies, when a war broke out between the Sidicines and the Auruncans. After their surrender had been accepted by the consul Manlius, the Auruncans had kept quiet, which gave them a stronger claim to the help of Rome. The senate decided that assistance should be afforded them, but before the consuls started, a report was brought that the Auruncans had been afraid to remain in their town and had fled with their wives and children to Suessa-now called Aurunca-which they had fortified, and that their city with its ancient walls had been destroyed by the Sidicines. The senate were angry with the consuls, through whose delay their allies had been betrayed, and ordered a Dictator to be nominated. C. Claudius Regillensis was nominated accordingly, and he named as his Master of the Horse C. Claudius Hortator. There was some difficulty about the religious sanction of the Dictator's appointment, and as the augurs pronounced that there was an irregularity in his election, both the Dictator and the Master of the Horse resigned. This year Minucia, a Vestal, incurred suspicion through an improper love of dress, and subsequently was accused of unchastity on the evidence of a slave. She had received orders from the pontiffs to take no part in the sacred rights and not to manumit any of her slaves. She was tried and found guilty, and was buried alive near the Colline Gate to the right of the high road in the Campus Sceleratus (the "accursed field"), which, I believe, derives its name from this incident. In this year also Q. Publilius Philo was elected as the first plebeian praetor against the opposition of the consul Sulpicius; the senate, after failing to keep the highest posts in their own hands, showed less interest in retaining the praetorship.



8.16

The consuls for the following year were L. Papirius Crassus and Caeso Duillius. There was war with the Ausonians; the fact that it was against a new enemy rather than a formidable one made it noticeable. This people inhabited the city of Cales, and had joined arms with their neighbours, the Sidicines. The combined army of the two cities was routed in a quite insignificant engagement; the proximity of their cities made them all the sooner seek a safety in flight which they did not find in fighting. The senate were none the less anxious about the war, in view of the fact that the Sidicines had so frequently either taken the aggressive themselves or assisted others to do so, or had been the cause of hostilities. They did their utmost, therefore, to secure the election of M. Valerius Corvus, the greatest commander of his day, as consul for the fourth time. M. Atilius Regulus was assigned to him as his colleague. To avoid any chance of mistake, the consuls requested that this war might be assigned to Corvus without deciding it by lot. After taking over the victorious army from the previous consuls, he marched to Cales, where the war had originated. The enemy were dispirited through the remembrance of the former conflict, and he routed them at the very first attack. He then advanced to an assault upon their walls. Such was the eagerness of the soldiers that they were anxious to bring up the scaling ladders and mount the walls forthwith, but Corvus perceived the difficulty of the task and preferred to gain his object by submitting his men to the labours of a regular siege rather than by exposing them to unnecessary risks. So he constructed an agger and brought up the vineae and the turrets close to the walls, but a fortunate circumstance rendered them unnecessary. M. Fabius, a Roman prisoner, succeeded in eluding his guards on a festival, and after breaking his chains fastened a rope from a battlement of the wall and let himself down amongst the Roman works. He induced the commander to attack the enemy while they were sleeping off the effects of their wine and feasting, and the Ausonians were captured, together with their city, with no more trouble than they had previously been routed in the open field. The booty seized was enormous, and after a garrison was placed in Cales the legions were marched back to Rome. The senate passed a resolution allowing the consul to celebrate a triumph, and in order that Atilius might have a chance of distinguishing himself, both the consuls were ordered to march against the Sidicines. Before starting they nominated, on the resolution of the senate, L. Aemilius Mamercinus as Dictator, for the purpose of conducting the elections; he named Q. Publilius Philo as his Master of the Horse. The consuls elected were T. Veturius and Spurius Postumius. Although there was still war with the Sidicines, they brought forward a proposal to send a colony to Cales in order to anticipate the wishes of the plebs by a voluntary act of kindness. The senate passed a resolution that 2500 names should be enrolled, and the three commissioners appointed to settle the colonists and allocate the holdings were Caeso Duillius, T. Quinctius, and M. Fabius.



8.17

The new consuls, after taking over the army from their predecessors, entered the enemy's territory and carried their depredations up to the walls of their city. The Sidicines had got together an immense army, and were evidently prepared to fight desperately for their last hope; there was also a report that Samnium was being roused into hostilities. A Dictator was accordingly nominated by the consuls on the resolution of the senate-P. Cornelius Rufinus; the Master of the Horse was M. Antonius. Subsequently a religious difficulty arose through an informality in their nomination, and they resigned their posts. In consequence of a pestilence which followed, it seemed as though all the auspices were tainted by that informality, and matters reverted to an interregnum. There were five interreges and under the last one, M. Valerius Corvus, the consuls elected were C. Cornelius (for the second time) and Cn. Domitius. Matters were now quiet, but a rumour of a Gaulish war created as much alarm as an actual invasion, and it was decided that a Dictator should be appointed. M. Papirius Crassus was nominated, his Master of the Horse being P. Valerius Publicola. Whilst they were raising a stronger levy than was usual in wars near at hand, the reconnoitring parties that had been sent out reported that all was quiet amongst the Gauls. For the last two years there had been suspicions of a movement in Samnium in favour of a change of policy, and as a measure of precaution the Roman army was not withdrawn from the Sidicine territory. The landing of Alexander of Epirus near Paestum led the Samnites to make common cause with the Lucanians, but their united forces were defeated by turn in a pitched battle. He then established friendly relations with Rome, but it is very doubtful how far he would have maintained them had his other enterprises been equally successful. In this year a census was taken, the censors being Q. Publilius Philo and Sp. Postumius. The new citizens were assessed and formed into two additional tribes, the Maecian and the Scaptian. L. Papirius, the praetor, secured the passage of a law by which the rights of citizenship without the franchise were conferred on the inhabitants of Acerrae. These were the military and civil transactions for the year.



8.18

M. Claudius Marcellus and T. Valerius were the new consuls. I find in the annals Flaccus and Potitus variously given as the consul's cognomen, but the question is of small importance. This year gained an evil notoriety, either through the unhealthy weather or through human guilt. I would gladly believe-and the authorities are not unanimous on the point-that it is a false story which states that those whose deaths made the year notorious for pestilence were really carried off by poison. I shall, however, relate the matter as it has been handed down to avoid any appearance of impugning the credit of our authorities. The foremost men in the State were being attacked by the same malady, and in almost every case with the same fatal results. A maid-servant went to Q. Fabius Maximus, one of the curule aediles, and promised to reveal the cause of the public mischief if the government would guarantee her against any danger in which her discovery might involve her. Fabius at once brought the matter to the notice of the consuls and they referred it to the senate, who authorised the promise of immunity to be given. She then disclosed the fact that the State was suffering through the crimes of certain women; those poisons were concocted by Roman matrons, and if they would follow her at once she promised that they should catch the poisoners in the act. They followed their informant and actually found some women compounding poisonous drugs and some poisons already made up. These latter were brought into the Forum, and as many as twenty matrons, at whose houses they had been seized, were brought up by the magistrates' officers. Two of them, Cornelia and Sergia, both members of patrician houses, contended that the drugs were medicinal preparations. The maid-servant, when confronted with them, told them to drink some that they might prove she had given false evidence. They were allowed time to consult as to what they would do, and the bystanders were ordered to retire that they might take counsel with the other matrons. They all consented to drink the drugs, and after doing so fell victims to their own criminal designs. Their attendants were instantly arrested, and denounced a large number of matrons as being guilty of the same offence, out of whom a hundred and seventy were found guilty. Up to that time there had never been a charge of poison investigated in Rome. The whole incident was regarded as a portent, and thought to be an act of madness rather than deliberate wickedness. In consequence of the universal alarm created, it was decided to follow the precedent recorded in the annals. During the secessions of the plebs in the old days a nail had been driven in by the Dictator, and by this act of expiation men's minds, disordered by civil strife, had been restored to sanity. A resolution was passed accordingly, that a Dictator should be appointed to drive in the nail. Cnaeus Quinctilius was appointed and named L. Valerius as his Master of the Horse. After the nail was driven in they resigned office.



8.19

L. Papirius Crassus and L. Plautius Venox were thereupon elected consuls, the former for the second time. At the beginning of the year deputations came from Fabrateria and Luca, places belonging to the Volscians, with a request to be received into the protection of Rome, whose overlordship they would faithfully and loyally acknowledge if they would undertake to defend them from the Samnites. The senate acceded to their request, and sent to warn the Samnites against violating the territory of these two cities. The Samnites took the warning, not because they were anxious for peace, but because they were not yet ready for war. This year a war commenced with Privernum and its ally, Fundi; their commander was a Fundan, Vitrubius Baccus, a man of great distinction not only in his own city but even in Rome, where he had a house on the Palatine, which was afterwards destroyed and the site sold, the place being thenceforth known as the Bacci Prata. Whilst he was spreading devastation far and wide through the districts of Setia, Norba, and Cora, L. Papirius advanced against him and took up a position not far from his camp. Vitrubius had neither the prudence to remain within his lines in presence of an enemy stronger than himself nor the courage to fight at a distance from his camp. He gave battle whilst his men were hardly clear of their camp, and thinking more of retreating back to it than of the battle or the enemy, was with very little effort put to a decisive defeat. Owing to the proximity of the camp retreat was easy, and he had not much difficulty in protecting his men from serious loss; hardly any were killed in the actual battle, and only a few in the rear of the crowded fugitives as they were rushing into their camp. As soon as it grew dark they abandoned it for Privernum, trusting to stone walls for protection rather than to the rampart round their camp.

The other consul, Plautius, after ravaging the fields in all directions and carrying off the plunder, led his army into the territory of Fundi. As he was crossing their frontier the senate of Fundi met him and explained that they had not come to intercede for Vitrubius and those who had belonged to his party, but for the people of Fundi. They pointed out that Vitrubius himself had cleared them from all responsibility by seeking shelter in Privernum and not in Fundi, though it was his city. At Privernum, therefore, the enemies of Rome were to be looked for and punished, for they had been faithless both to Fundi and Rome. The men of Fundi wished for peace; their sympathies were wholly Roman, and they retained a grateful sense of the boon they received when the rights of citizenship were conferred upon them. They besought the consul to abstain from making war upon an unoffending people; their lands, their city, their own persons and the persons of their wives and children were and would continue to be at the disposal of Rome. The consul commended them for their loyalty and sent despatches to Rome to inform the senate that the Fundans were firm in their allegiance, after which he marched to Privernum. Claudius gives a different account. According to him the consul first proceeded against the ringleaders of the revolt, of whom three hundred and fifty were sent in chains to Rome. He adds that the senate refused to receive the surrender because they considered that the Fundans were anxious to escape with the punishment of poor and obscure individuals.



8.20

Whilst Privernum was invested by two consular armies, one of the consuls was recalled home to conduct the elections. It was in this year that the carceres were erected in the Circus Maximus. The trouble of the war with Privernum was not yet over when a most alarming report of a sudden movement amongst the Gauls reached the senate. Such reports were not often treated lightly. The new consuls, L. Aemilius Mamercinus and C Plautius, were immediately ordered to arrange their respective commands on the very day they assumed office, namely July 1. The Gaulish war fell to Mamercinus, and he allowed none of those who were called up for service to claim exemption. It is even asserted that the mob of mechanics and artizans, a class utterly unfit for warfare, were called out. An immense army was concentrated at Veii to check the advance of the Gauls. It was thought better not to march any further in case the enemy took some other route to the City. After a thorough reconnaissance had been made, it was ascertained after a few days that all was quiet as far as the Gauls were concerned, and the whole force was thereupon marched to Privernum. From this point there is a twofold story. Some state that the city was stormed and Vitrubius taken alive; other authorities aver that before the final assault the townsmen came out with a caduceus and surrendered to the consul, whilst Vitrubius was given up by his own men. The senate, when consulted as to the fate of Vitrubius and the Privernates, instructed the consul to demolish the walls of Privernum and station a strong garrison there, and then to celebrate his triumph. Vitrubius was to be kept in prison until the consul returned and then to be scourged and beheaded; his house on the Palatine was to be razed and his goods devoted to Semo Sancus. The money realised by their sale was melted down into brazen orbs which were deposited in the chapel of Sancus opposite the temple of Quirinus. With regard to the senate of Privernum, it was decreed that every senator who had remained in that city after its revolt from Rome should be deported beyond the Tiber on the same conditions as those of Velitrae. After his triumph, when Vitrubius and his accomplices had been put to death, the consul thought that as the senate was satisfied with the punishment of the guilty, he might safely refer to the matter of the Privernates. He addressed the House in the following terms: "Since the authors of the revolt, senators, have been visited by the immortal gods and by you with the punishment they deserved, what is your pleasure with regard to the innocent population? Although it is my duty to ask for opinions rather than to give them, I should like to say that in view of the fact that the Privernates are neighbours of the Samnites, with whom peaceful relations are now upon a most uncertain footing, I am anxious that as few grounds of complaint as possible should exist between us and them."

The question was not an easy one to settle, for the senators, were governed largely by their temperaments and some advised a harsh, others a gentler course. The general divergence of opinion was widened by one of the Privernate envoys who was thinking more of the state of things in which he had been born than of his present plight. One of the senators who was advocating sterner measures asked him what punishment he thought his countrymen deserved. He replied: "The punishment which those deserve who assert their liberty." The consul saw that this spirited reply only exasperated those who were already adverse to the cause of the Privernates, and he tried to get a softer answer by a more considerate question. "Well," he said, "if we spare you now, what sort of a peace may we hope to have with you for the time to come?" "A real and lasting one," was the reply, "if its terms be good, but if they are bad, one that will soon be broken." On hearing this, some of the senators exclaimed that he was using open threats, and that it was by such language that even those states which had been pacified were incited to renew hostilities. The better part of the senate, however, put a more favourable construction on his reply, and declared that it was an utterance worthy of a man and a man who loved liberty. Was it, they asked, to be supposed that any people or for that matter, any individual would remain longer than he could help under conditions which made him discontented? Peace would only be faithfully kept where those who accepted it did so voluntarily; they could not hope that it would be faithfully kept where they sought to reduce men to servitude. The senate was brought to adopt this view mainly by the consul himself who kept repeating to the consulars-the men who had to state their opinions first-in a tone loud enough for many to hear, "Men whose first and last thought is their liberty deserve to become Romans." Thus they gained their cause in the senate, and the proposal to confer full citizenship on the Privernates was submitted to the people.



8.22

The new consuls were P. Plautius Proculus and P Cornelius Scapula. The year was not remarkable for anything at home or abroad beyond the fact that a colony was sent to Fregellae which was in the territory of Sidicum and had afterwards belonged to the Volscians. There was also a distribution of meat made to the people by M. Flavius on the occasion of his mother's funeral. There were many who looked upon this as the payment of a bribe to the people under the pretext of honouring his mother's memory. He had been prosecuted by the aediles on the charge of seducing a married woman, and had been acquitted, and this was considered in the light of a dole given in return for the favour shown him at the trial. It proved also to be the means of his gaining office, for at the next election he was made a tribune of the plebs in his absence and over the heads of competitors who had personally canvassed. Palaeopolis was a city not far from the present site of Neapolis. The two cities formed one community. The original inhabitants came from Cumae; Cumae traced its origin to Chalcis in Euboea. The fleet in which they had sailed from home gave them the mastery of the coastal district which they now occupy, and after landing in the islands of Aenaria and Pithecusae they ventured to transfer their settlements to the mainland. This community, relying on their own strength and on the lax observance of treaty obligations which the Samnites were showing towards the Romans, or possibly trusting to the effect of the pestilence which they had heard was now attacking the City, committed many acts of aggression against the Romans who were living in Campania and the Falernian country. In consequence of this, the consuls, L. Cornelius Lentulus and Q. Publilius Philo, sent the fetials to Palaeopolis to demand redress. On hearing that the Greeks, a people valiant in words rather than in deeds, had sent a defiant reply, the people, with the sanction of the senate, ordered war to be made on Palaeopolis. The consuls arranged their respective commands; the Greeks were left for Publilius to deal with; Cornelius, with a second army, was to check any movement on the part of the Samnites. As, however, he received intelligence that they intended to advance into Campania in anticipation of a rising there, he thought it best to form a standing camp there.



8.23

Both consuls sent word to the senate that there were very slender hopes of the Samnites remaining at peace. Publilius informed them that 2000 troops from Nola and 4000 Samnites had been admitted into Palaeopolis, more under pressure from Nola than from any great desire for their presence on the part of the Greeks; Cornelius sent the additional information that orders for a general levy had been issued throughout Samnium, and attempts were being openly made to induce the neighbouring communities of Privernum, Fundi, and Formiae to rise. Under these circumstances it was decided to send ambassadors to the Samnites before actually commencing war. The Samnites sent an insolent reply. They accused the Romans of wanton aggression, and absolutely denied the charges made against themselves; they declared that the assistance which the Greeks had received was not furnished by their government, nor had they tampered with Fundi and Formiae, for they had no reason to distrust their own strength if it came to war. Moreover, it was impossible to disguise the deep irritation which the Samnite nation felt at the conduct of the Roman people in restoring Fregellae after they had taken it from the Volscians and destroyed it, and placing a colony on Samnite territory which the colonists called Fregellae. If this insult and injury were not removed by those responsible for it, they would themselves exert all their strength to get rid of it. The Roman ambassadors invited them to submit the questions at issue to arbitration before their common friends, but the Samnites replied: "Why should we beat about the bush? No diplomacy, no arbitration can adjust our quarrel; arms and the fortune of war can alone decide the issue. We must meet in Campania." To which the Roman replied: "Roman soldiers will march not whither the enemy summons them, but whither their commander leads them."

Publilius meantime had taken up a suitable position between Palaeopolis and Neapolis in order to prevent them from rendering each other the mutual assistance they had hitherto given. The time for the elections was close at hand, and it would have been most inexpedient for the public interest to recall Publilius, as he was ready to attack the place and in daily expectation of effecting its capture. An arrangement was accordingly made with the tribunes of the plebs to propose to the people that at the expiration of his term of office Publilius should continue to act as proconsul till the war with the Greeks was brought to a close. The same step was taken with regard to Cornelius, who had already entered Samnium, and written instructions were sent to him to nominate a Dictator to hold the elections. He nominated M. Claudius Marcellus, and Sp. Postumius was named by him Master of the Horse. The elections, however, were not held by that Dictator, doubts having been raised as to whether the proper formalities had been observed in his nomination. The augurs, when consulted, declared that they had not been duly observed. The tribunes characterised their action as dishonest and iniquitous. "How," they asked, "could they know that there was any irregularity? The consul rose at midnight to nominate the Dictator; he had made no communication to any one either officially or privately about the matter; there was no one living who could say that he had seen or heard anything which would vitiate the auspices; the augurs sitting quietly in Rome could not possibly divine what difficulty the consul may have met with in the camp. Who was there who could not see that the irregularity which the augurs had discovered lay in the fact that the Dictator was a plebeian?" These and other objections were raised by the tribunes. Matters, however, reverted to an interregnum, and owing to the repeated adjournment of the elections on one pretext after another, there were no fewer than fourteen interregna. At last L. Aemilius, the fourteenth interrex, declared C. Poetilius and L. Papirius Mugilanus duly elected. In other lists I find Cursor.



8.24

The foundation of Alexandria in Egypt is stated to have taken place this year (327 B.C.), and also the assassination of Alexander of Epirus at the hands of a Lucanian refugee, an event which fulfilled the oracular prediction of the Dodonean Jupiter. When he was invited by the Tarentines into Italy, he received a warning to beware of the water of Acheron and the city of Pandosia; for it was there that the limits of his destiny were fixed. This made him cross over into Italy all the sooner, that he might be as far as possible from the city of Pandosia in Epirus and the river Acheron, which flows from Molossis into the Infernal Marshes and finally empties itself into the Thesprotian Gulf. But, as often happens, in trying to avoid his fate he rushed upon it. He won many victories over the nationalities of Southern Italy, inflicting numerous defeats upon the legions of Bruttium and Lucania, capturing the city of Heraclea, a colony of settlers from Tarentum, taking Potentia from the Lucanians, Sipontum from the Apulians, Consentia and Terina from the Bruttii and other cities belonging to the Messapians and Lucanians. He sent three hundred noble families to Epirus to be detained there as hostages. The circumstances under which he met his death were these. He had taken up a permanent position on three hills not far from the city of Pandosia which is close to the frontiers of the Lucanians and Bruttii. From this point he made incursions into every part of the enemy's territory, and on these expeditions he had as a bodyguard some two hundred Lucanian refugees, in whose fidelity he placed confidence, but who, like most of their countrymen, were given to changing their minds as their fortunes changed. Continuous rains had inundated the whole country and prevented the three divisions of the army from mutually supporting each other, the level ground between the hills being impassable. While they were in this condition two out of the three divisions were suddenly attacked in the king's absence and overwhelmed. After annihilating them the enemy invested the third hill, where the king was present in person. The Lucanian refugees managed to communicate with their countrymen, and promised, if a safe return were guaranteed to them, to place the king in their hands alive or dead. Alexander, with a picked body of troops, cut his way, with splendid courage, through the enemy, and meeting the Lucanian general slew him after a hand to hand fight. Then getting together those of his men who were scattered in flight, he rode towards the ruins of a bridge which had been carried away by the floods and came to a river. Whilst his men were fording it with very uncertain footing, a soldier, almost spent by his exertions and his fears, cursed the river for its unlucky name, and said, "Rightly art thou called Acheros!" When these words fell on his ear the king at once recalled to mind the oracular warning, and stopped, doubtful whether to cross or not. Sotimus, one of his personal attendants, asked him why he hesitated at such a critical moment and drew his attention to the suspicious movements of the Lucanian refugees who were evidently meditating treachery. The king looked back and saw them coming on in a compact body; he at once drew his sword and spurred his horse through the middle of the river. He had already reached the shallow water on the other side when one of the refugees some distance away transfixed him with a javelin. He fell from his horse, and his lifeless body with the weapon sticking in it was carried down by the current to that part of the bank where the enemy were stationed. There it was horribly mutilated. After cutting it through the middle they sent one half to Consentia and kept the other to make sport of. Whilst they were pelting it at a distance with darts and stones a solitary woman ventured among the rabble who were showing such incredible brutality and implored them to desist. She told them amid her tears that her husband and children were held prisoners by the enemy and she hoped to ransom them with the king's body however much it might have been disfigured. This put an end to the outrages. What was left of the limbs was cremated at Consentia by the reverential care of this one woman, and the bones were sent back to Metapontum; from there they were carried to Cleopatra, the king's wife, and Olympias, his sister, the latter of whom was the mother, the former the sister of Alexander the Great. I thought it well to give this brief account of the tragic end of Alexander of Epirus, for although Fortune kept him from hostilities with Rome, the wars he waged in Italy entitle him to a place in this history.



8.25

A laetisternium took place this year (326 B.C.), the fifth since the foundation of the City, and the same deities were propitiated in this as in the former one. The new consuls, acting on the orders of the people, sent heralds to deliver a formal declaration of war to the Samnites, and made all their preparations on a much greater scale for this war than for the one against the Greeks. New and unexpected succours were forthcoming, for the Lucanians and Apulians, with whom Rome had up to that time established no relations, came forward with offers to make an alliance and promised armed assistance; a friendly alliance was formed with them. Meantime the operations in Samnium were attended with success, the towns of Allifae, Callifae, and Rufrium passed into the hands of the Romans, and ever since the consuls had entered the country the rest of the territory was ravaged far and wide. Whilst this war was commencing thus favourably, the other war against the Greeks was approaching its close. Not only were the two towns Palaeopolis and Neapolis cut off from all communication with each other by the enemy's lines, but the townsfolk within the walls were practically prisoners to their own defenders, and were suffering more from them than from anything which the outside enemy could do; their wives and children were exposed to such extreme indignities as are only inflicted when cities are stormed and sacked. A report reached them that succours were coming from Tarentum and from the Samnites. They considered that they had more Samnites than they wanted already within their walls, but the force from Tarentum composed of Greeks, they were prepared to welcome, being Greeks themselves, and through their means they hoped to resist the Samnites and the Nolans no less than the Romans. At last, surrender to the Romans seemed the less of the two evils. Charilaus and Nymphius, the leading men in the city, arranged with one another the respective parts they were to play. One was to desert to the Roman commander, the other to remain in the city and prepare it for the successful execution of their plot. Charilaus was the one who went to Publilius Philo. After expressing the hope that all might turn out for the good and happiness of Palaeopolis and Rome, he went on to say that he had decided to deliver up the fortifications. Whether in doing this he should be found to have preserved his country or betrayed it depended upon the Roman sense of honour. For himself he made no terms and asked for no conditions, but for his countrymen he begged rather than stipulated that if his design succeeded the people of Rome should take into consideration the eagerness with which they sought to renew the old friendly relations, and the risk attending their action rather than their folly and recklessness in breaking the old ties of duty. The Roman commander gave his approval to the proposed scheme and furnished him with 3000 men to seize that part of the city which was in the occupation of the Samnites. L. Quinctius, a military tribune, was in command of this force.



8.26

Nymphius at the same time approached the Samnite praetor and persuaded him, now that the whole of the Roman fighting force was either round Palaeopolis or engaged in Samnium, to allow him to sail round with the fleet to the Roman seaboard and ravage not only the coastal districts but even the country close to the city. But to ensure secrecy he pointed out that it would be necessary to start by night, and that the ships should be at once launched. To expedite matters the whole of the Samnite troops, with the exception of those who were mounting guard in the city, were sent down to the shore. Here they were so crowded as to impede one another's movements and the confusion was heightened by the darkness and the contradictory orders which Nymphius was giving in order to gain time. Meantime Charilaus had been admitted by his confederates into the city. When the Romans had completely occupied the highest parts of the city, he ordered them to raise a shout, on which the Greeks, acting on the instructions of their leaders kept quiet. The Nolans escaped at the other end of the city and took the road to Nola. The Samnites, shut out as they were from the city, had less difficulty in getting away, but when once out of danger they found themselves in a much more sorry flight. They had no arms, there was nothing they possessed which was not left behind with the enemy; they returned home stripped and destitute, an object of derision not only to foreigners but even to their own countrymen. I am quite aware that there is another view of this transaction, according to which it was the Samnites who surrendered, but in the above account I have followed the authorities whom I consider most worthy of credit. Neapolis became subsequently the chief seat of the Greek population, and the fact of a treaty being made with that city renders it all the more probable that the re-establishment of friendly relations was due to them. As it was generally believed that the enemy had been forced by the siege to come to terms, a triumph was decreed to Publilius. Two circumstances happened in connection with his consulship which had never happened before-a prolongation of command and a triumph after he had laid down his command.



8.27

This was followed almost immediately by a war with the Greeks on the eastern coast. The Tarentines had encouraged the people of Palaeopolis through their long resistance with vain hopes of succour, and when they heard that the Romans had got possession of the place they severely blamed the Palaeopolitans for leaving them in the lurch, as though they were quite guiltless of having behaved in a similar manner themselves. They were furious with the Romans, especially after they found that the Lucanians and Apulians had established friendly relations with them-for it was in this year that the alliance had been formed-and they realised that they would be the next to be involved. They saw that it must soon become a question of either fighting Rome or submitting to her, and that their whole future in fact depended upon the result of the Samnite war. That nation stood out alone, and even their strength was inadequate for the struggle, now that the Lucanians had abandoned them. They believed, however, that these could still be brought back and induced to desert the Roman alliance, if sufficient skill were shown in sowing the seeds of discord between them. These arguments found general acceptance among a people who were fickle and restless, and some young Lucanians, distinguished for their unscrupulousness rather than for their sense of honour, were bribed to make themselves tools of the war party. After scourging one another with rods they presented themselves with their backs exposed, in the popular Assembly, and loudly complained that after they had ventured inside the Roman camp, they had been scourged by the consul's orders and were within an ace of losing their heads. The affair had an ugly look, and the visible evidence removed any suspicion of fraud. The Assembly became greatly excited, and amidst loud shouts insisted upon the magistrates convening the senate. When it assembled the senators were surrounded by a crowd of spectators who clamoured for war with Rome, whilst others went off into the country to rouse the peasantry to arms. Even the coolest heads were carried away by the tumult of popular feeling; a decree was passed that a fresh alliance should be made with the Samnites, and negotiations were opened with them accordingly. The Samnites did not feel much confidence in this sudden and apparently groundless change of policy, and the Lucanians were obliged to give hostages and allow the Samnites to garrison their fortified places. Blinded by the imposition that had been practiced on them and by their furious resentment at it, they made no difficulty about accepting these terms. Shortly afterwards, when the authors of the false charges had removed to Tarentum, they began to see how they had been hoodwinked, but it was then too late, events were no longer in their power, and nothing remained but unavailing repentance.



8.28

This year (326 B.C.) was marked by the dawn, as it were, of a new era of liberty for the plebs; creditors were no longer allowed to attach the persons of their debtors. This change in the law was brought about by a signal instance of lust and cruelty upon the part of a moneylender. L. Papirius was the man in question. C. Publilius had pledged his person to him for a debt which his father had contracted. The youth and beauty of the debtor which ought to have called forth feelings of compassion only acted as incentives to lust and insult. Finding that his infamous proposals only filled the youth with horror and loathing, the man reminded him that he was absolutely in his power and sought to terrify him by threats. As these failed to crush the boy's noble instincts, he ordered him to be stripped and beaten. Mangled and bleeding the boy rushed into the street and loudly complained of the usurer's lust and brutality. A vast crowd gathered, and on learning what had happened became furious at the outrage offered to one of such tender years, reminding them as it did of the conditions under which they and their children were living. They ran into the Forum and from there in a compact body to the Senate-house. In face of this sudden outbreak the consuls felt it necessary to convene a meeting of the senate at once, and as the members entered the House the crowd exhibited the lacerated back of the youth and flung themselves at the feet of the senators as they passed in one by one. The strongest bond and support of credit was there and then overthrown through the mad excesses of one individual. The consuls were instructed by the senate to lay before the people a proposal "that no man be kept in irons or in the stocks, except such as have been guilty of some crime, and then only till they have worked out their sentence; and, further, that the goods and not the person of the debtor shall be the security for the debt." So the nexi were released, and it was forbidden for any to become nexi in the future.



8.29

The Samnite war, the sudden dejection of the Lucanians, and the fact that the Tarentines had been the instigators were quite sufficient in themselves to cause the senators anxiety. Fresh trouble, however, arose this year through the action of the Vestinians, who made common cause with the Samnites. The matter had been a good deal discussed, though it had not yet occupied the attention of the government. In the following year, however, the new consuls, L. Furius Camillus and Junius Brutus Scaeva, made it the very first question to bring before the senate. Though the subject was no new one, yet it was felt to be so serious that the senators shrank from either taking it up or refusing to deal with it. They were afraid that if they left that nation unpunished, the neighbouring states might be encouraged to make a similar display of wanton arrogance, while to punish them by force of arms might lead others to fear similar treatment and arouse feelings of resentment. In fact, the whole of these nations-the Marsi, the Paeligni, and the Marrucini-were quite as warlike as the Samnites, and in case the Vestinians were attacked would have to be reckoned with as enemies. The victory, however, rested with that party in the senate who seemed at the time to possess more daring than prudence, but the result showed that Fortune favours the bold. The people, with the sanction of the senate, resolved on war with the Vestinians. The conduct of that war fell by lot to Brutus, the war in Samnium to Camillus. Armies were marched into both countries, and by carefully watching the frontiers the enemy were prevented from effecting a junction. The consul who had the heavier task, L. Furius, was overtaken by a serious illness and was obliged to resign his command. He was ordered to nominate a Dictator to carry on the campaign, and he nominated L. Papirius Cursor, the foremost soldier of his day, Q. Fabius Maximus Rullianus being appointed Master of the Horse. The two distinguished themselves by their conduct in the field, but they made themselves still more famous by the conflict which broke out between them, and which almost led to fatal consequences. The other consul, Brutus, carried on an active campaign amongst the Vestinians without meeting with a single reverse. He ravaged the fields and burnt the farm buildings and crops of enemy, and at last drove him reluctantly into action. A pitched battle was fought, and he inflicted such a defeat on the Vestinians, though with heavy loss on his own side also, that they fled to their camp, but not feeling sufficiently protected by fosse and rampart they dispersed in scattered parties to their towns, trusting to their strong positions and stone walls for their defence. Brutus now commenced an attack upon their towns. The first to be taken was Cutina, which he carried by escalade, after a hot assault by his men, who were eager to avenge the heavy losses they had sustained in the previous battle. This was followed by the capture of Cingilia. He gave the spoil of both cities to his troops as a reward for their having surmounted the walls and gates of the enemy.



8.30

The advance into Samnium was made under doubtful auspices. This circumstance did not portend the result of the campaign, for that was quite favourable, but it did forshadow the insane passion which the commanders displayed. Papirius was warned by the pullarius that it would be necessary to take the auspices afresh. On his departure for Rome for this purpose, he strictly charged the Master of the Horse to keep within his lines and not to engage the enemy. After he had gone Q. Fabius learnt from his scouts that the enemy were showing as much carelessness as if there were not a single Roman in Samnium. Whether it was that his youthful temper resented everything being dependent on the Dictator, or whether he was tempted by the chance offered him of a brilliant success, at any rate, after making the necessary preparations and dispositions he advanced as far as Inbrinium-for so is the district called-and fought a battle with the Samnites. Such was the fortune of the fight that had the Dictator himself been present he could have done nothing to make the success more complete. The general did not disappoint his men, nor did the men disappoint their general. The cavalry made repeated charges but failed to break through the massed force opposed to them, and acting on the advice of L. Cominius, a military tribune, they removed the bits from their horses and spurred them on so furiously that nothing could withstand them. Riding down men and armour they spread carnage far and wide. The infantry followed them and completed the disorder of the enemy. It is said that they lost 20,000 men that day. Some authorities whom I have consulted state that there were two battles fought in the Dictator's absence, and each was a brilliant success. In the oldest writers, however, only one battle is mentioned, and some annalists omit the incident altogether.

In consequence of the vast number slain, a large amount of spoil in the shape of armour and weapons was picked up on the battle-field, and the Master of the Horse had this collected into a huge heap and burnt. His object may have been to discharge a vow to some deity. But if we are to trust the authority of Fabius, he did this to prevent the Dictator from reaping the fruits of his glory, or carrying the spoils in his triumph and afterwards placing his name upon them. The fact also of his sending the despatches announcing his victory to the senate and not to the Dictator would seem to show that he was by no means anxious to allow him any share in the credit of it. At all events the Dictator took it in that light, and whilst everybody else was jubilant at the victory which had been won, he wore an expression of gloom and wrath. He abruptly dismissed the senate and hurried from the Senate-house, repeatedly exclaiming that the authority and dignity of the Dictator would be as completely overthrown by the Master of the Horse as the Samnite legions had been if this contempt of his orders were to remain unpunished. In this angry and menacing mood, he started with all possible speed for the camp. He was unable, however, to reach it before news arrived of his approach, for messengers had started from the City in advance of him, bringing word that the Dictator was coming bent on vengeance, and almost every other word he uttered was in praise of T. Manlius.



8.31

Fabius immediately summoned his troops to assembly, and appealed to them to show the same courage with which they had defended the republic from a brave and determined foe in protecting from the unrestrained ferocity of the Dictator the man under whose auspices and generalship they had been victorious. He was coming, maddened by jealousy, exasperated at another man's merits and good fortune, furious because the republic had triumphed in his absence. If it were in his power to change the fortune of the day, he would rather that victory rested with the Samnites than with the Romans. He kept talking about the contempt of orders as though the reason why he forbade all fighting were not precisely the same as that which makes him vexed now that we have fought. Then, prompted by jealousy, he wanted to suppress the merits of others and deprive of their arms men who were most eager to use them, so as to prevent their being employed in his absence; now he is exasperated and furious because the soldiers were not crippled or defenceless though L. Papirius was not with them, and because Q. Fabius considered himself Master of the Horse and not the lacquey of the Dictator. What would he have done if, as often happens amid the chances of war, the battle had gone against us, seeing that now, after the enemy has been thoroughly defeated and a victory won for the republic which even under his unrivalled generalship could not have been more complete, he is actually menacing the Master of the Horse with punishment! He would, were it in his power, treat all with equal severity, not only the Master of Horse but the military tribunes, the centurions, the men of the rank and file. Jealousy, like lightning, strikes the summits, and because he cannot reach all he has selected one man as his victim whom he regards as the chief conspirator-your general. If he should succeed in crushing him and quenching the splendour of his success, he will treat this army as a victor treats the vanquished and with the same ruthlessness which he has been allowed to practice on the Master of the Horse. In defending his cause they will be defending the liberty of all. If the Dictator sees that the army is as united in guarding its victory as it was in fighting for it, and that one man's safety is the common concern of all, he will bring himself to a calmer frame of mind. His closing words were: " I entrust my fortunes and my life to your fidelity and courage." His words were greeted with universal shouts of approval. They told him not to be dismayed or depressed, no man should harm him while the legions of Rome were alive.



8.32

Not long after this the Dictator appeared, and at once ordered the trumpet to sound the Assembly. When silence was restored an usher summoned Q. Fabius, the Master of the Horse. He advanced and stood immediately below the Dictator's tribunal. The Dictator began: "Quintus Fabius, inasmuch as the Dictator possesses supreme authority, to which the consuls who exercise the old kingly power, and the praetors who are elected under the same auspices as the consuls alike submit, I ask you whether or not you think it right and fitting that the Master of the Horse should bow to that authority? Further, I ask you whether as I was aware that I had left the City under doubtful auspices I ought to have jeopardised the safety of the republic in the face of this religious difficulty, or whether I ought to have taken the auspices afresh and so avoided any action till the pleasure of the gods was known? I should also like to know whether, if a religious impediment prevents the Dictator from acting, the Master of the Horse is at liberty to consider himself free and unhampered by such impediment? But why am I putting these questions? Surely, if I had gone away without leaving any orders, you ought to have used your judgment in interpreting my wishes and acted accordingly. Answer me this, rather: Did I forbid you to take any action in my absence? Did I forbid you to engage the enemy? In contempt of my orders, whilst the auspices were still indecisive and the sanctions of religion withheld, you dared to give battle, in defiance of all the military custom and discipline of our ancestors, in defiance of the will of the gods. Answer the questions put to you, but beware of uttering a single word about anything else. Lictor, stand by him!"

Fabius found it far from easy to reply to each question in detail, and protested against the same man being both accuser and judge in a matter of life and death. He exclaimed that it would be easier to deprive him of his life than of the glory he had won, and went on to exculpate himself and bring charges against the Dictator. Papirius in a fresh outburst of rage ordered the Master of the Horse to be stripped and the rods and axes to be got ready. Fabius appealed to the soldiers for help, and as the lictors began to tear off his clothes, he retreated behind the triarii who were now raising a tumult. Their shouts were taken up through the whole concourse, threats and entreaties were heard everywhere. Those nearest the tribunal, who could be recognised as being within view of the Dictator implored him to spare the Master of the Horse and not with him to condemn the whole army; those furthest off and the men who had closed round Fabius reviled the Dictator as unfeeling and merciless. Matters were rapidly approaching a mutiny. Even those on the tribunal did not remain quiet; the staff officers who were standing round the Dictator's chair begged him to adjourn the proceedings to the following day to allow his anger to cool and give time for quiet consideration. They urged that the youthful spirit of Fabius had been sufficiently chastened and his victory sufficiently sullied; they begged him not to push his punishment to extremities or to brand with ignominy not only a youth of exceptional merit but also his distinguished father and the whole Fabian house. When they found their arguments and entreaties alike unavailing, they asked him to look at the angry multitude in front. To add fire to men whose tempers were already inflamed and to provide the materials for a mutiny was, they said, unworthy of a man of his age and experience. If a mutiny did occur, no one would throw the blame of it upon Q. Fabius, who was only deprecating punishment; the sole responsibility would lie on the Dictator for having in his blind passion provoked the multitude to a deplorable struggle with him. And as a final argument they declared that to prevent him from supposing that they were actuated by any personal feeling in favour of Fabius, they were prepared to state on oath that they considered the infliction of punishment on Fabius under present circumstances to be detrimental to the interests of the State.



8.33

These remonstrances only irritated the Dictator against them instead of making him more peaceably disposed towards Fabius, and he ordered them to leave the tribunal. In vain the ushers demanded silence, neither the Dictator's voice nor those of his officers could be heard owing to the noise and uproar; at last night put an end to the conflict as though it had been a battle. The Master of the Horse was ordered to appear on the following day. As, however, everybody assured him that Papirius was so upset and embittered by the resistance he had met with that he would be more furious than ever, Fabius left the camp secretly and reached Rome in the night. On the advice of his father, M. Fabius, who had been thrice consul as well as Dictator a meeting of the senate was at once summoned. Whilst his son was describing to the senators the violence and injustice of the Dictator, suddenly the noise of the lictors clearing the way in front of the Senate-house was heard and the Dictator himself appeared, having followed him up with some light cavalry as soon as he heard that he had quitted the camp. Then the contention began again, and Papirius ordered Fabius to be arrested. Though not only the leaders of the senate but the whole House sought to deprecate his wrath, he remained unmoved and persisted in his purpose. Then M. Fabius, the father, said: "Since neither the authority of the senate nor the years which I, whom you are preparing to bereave of a son have reached, nor the noble birth and personal merits of the Master of the Horse whom you yourself appointed, and entreaties such as have often mitigated the fierceness of human foes and pacified the anger of offended deities-since none of these move you-I claim the intervention of the tribunes of the plebs and appeal to the people. As you are seeking to escape from the judgment which the army has passed upon you and which the senate is passing now, I summon you before the one judge who has at all events more power and authority than your Dictatorship. I shall see whether you will submit to an appeal to which a Roman king-Tullus Hotilius-submitted." He at once left the Senate-house for the Assembly. Thither the Dictator also proceeded with a small party, whilst the Master of the Horse was accompanied by all the leaders of the senate in a body. They had both taken their places on the rostra when Papirius ordered Fabius to be removed to the space below. His father followed him and turned to Papirius with the remark, "You do well to order us to be removed to a position from which we can speak as private citizens."

For some time regular debate was out of the question, nothing was heard but mutual altercations. At last the loud and indignant tones of the elder Fabius rose above the hubbub as he expatiated on the tyranny and brutality of Papirius. He himself, he said, had been Dictator, and not a single person, not a single plebeian, whether centurion or private soldier, had ever suffered any wrong from him. But Papirius would wrest victory and triumph from a Roman commander just as he would from hostile generals. What a difference there was between the moderation shown by the men of old and this new fashion of ruthless severity! The Dictator, Quinctius Cincinnatus, rescued the consul, L. Minucius, from a blockade, and the only punishment he inflicted was to leave him as second in command of the army. L. Furius, after expressing his contempt for the age and authority of M. F. Camillus, incurred a most disgraceful defeat, but Camillus not only checked his anger for the moment and refrained from putting in his despatches to the people, or rather to the senate, anything reflecting on his colleague, but on his return to Rome, after the senate had allowed him to choose from the consular tribunes one to be associated with him in his command, he actually chose L. Furius. Why, even the people themselves, who hold in their hands the sovereign power, have never allowed their feelings to carry them beyond the imposition of a fine even where armies have been lost through the foolhardiness or ignorance of their generals. Never up to this day has a commander-in-chief been tried for his life because he was defeated. But now generals who have won victories and earned the most splendid triumphs are threatened with the rods and axes, a treatment which the laws of war forbid even to the vanquished. What, he asked, would his son have suffered if he had met with defeat, been routed and stripped of his camp? Could that man's rage and violence go beyond scourging and killing? It was owing to Q. Fabius that the State was offering up joyous and grateful thanksgivings for victory; it was on his account that the sacred fanes stood open and prayers and libations were being offered at the altars, and the smoke of sacrifice was ascending. How fitting it was that this very man should be stripped and torn with rods before the eyes of the Roman people, in sight of the Capitol and the Citadel, in sight of the gods whom he invoked in two battles nor invoked in vain! What would be the feelings of the army who had won their victories under his auspices and generalship? What grief would there be in the Roman camp, what exultation among the enemy! The old man wept bitterly as he uttered these protests and expostulations, ever and anon throwing his arms round his son and appealing for help to gods and men.



8.34

He had on his side the support of the august and venerable senate, the sympathy of the people, the protection of the tribunes, and the remembrance of the absent army. On the other side were pleaded the unquestioned sovereign power of the Roman people and all the traditions of military discipline, the Dictator's edict which had ever been regarded as possessing divine sanction, and the example of Manlius who had sacrificed his affection for his son to the interests of the State. Brutus too, urged the Dictator, the founder of Roman freedom, had done this before in the case of his two children. Now fathers were indulgent, and aged men, easy-going in matters that do not touch themselves, were spoiling the young men, teaching them to despise authority and treating military discipline as of little importance. He declared his intention of adhering to his purpose, he would not abate a single jot of the punishment due to the man who had fought in defiance of his injunctions' while the auspices were doubtful and the religious sanction withheld. Whether the supreme authority of the Dictator was to remain unimpaired did not depend on him; he, L. Papirius, would do nothing to weaken its power. He sincerely hoped that the tribunes would not use their authority, itself inviolable, to violate by their interference the sovereignty of the Roman government, and that the people to whom the appeal had been made would not extinguish in his case especially Dictator and Dictatorship alike. "If it did, it will not be L. Papirius but the tribunes, the corrupt judgment of the people that posterity will accuse and accuse in vain. When the bond of military discipline has once been broken no soldier will obey his centurion, no centurion his military tribune, no military tribune his general, no Master of the Horse the Dictator. No one will have any reverence or respect for either men or gods, no observance will be shown to the orders of commanders or the auspices under which they acted. Without obtaining leave of absence soldiers will roam at will through friendly or hostile country; in total disregard of their military oath they will abandon their standards when and where they chose, they will refuse to assemble when ordered, they will fight regardless of day or night, whether the ground were favourable or unfavourable, whether their commander has given orders or not, keeping no formation, no order. Military service, instead of being the solemn and sacred thing it is, will resemble wild and disorderly brigandage. Expose yourselves, tribunes, to all future ages as the authors of these evils! Make yourselves personally responsible for the criminal recklessness of Q. Fabius!"



8.35

The tribunes were dismayed and felt more anxiety now about their own position than about the man who had sought their protection. They were relieved from their heavy responsibility by the action of the people; the whole Assembly appealed to the Dictator and besought him with earnest entreaties that he would for their sakes forego inflicting punishment on the Master of the Horse. When the tribunes saw the turn matters had taken they added their entreaties also, and implored the Dictator to make allowance for human frailty and to pardon Q. Fabius for an error natural to youth, for he had already suffered punishment enough. And now the youth himself, and even his father, abandoning all further contention, fell on their knees and sought to turn aside the Dictator's anger. At last, when silence was restored, the Dictator spoke. "This, Quirites," he said, "is as it should be. Military discipline has conquered, the supreme authority of government has prevailed; it was a question whether either would survive this day's proceedings. Q. Fabius is not acquitted of guilt in having fought against his commander's orders, but though condemned as guilty he is restored as a free gift to the people of Rome, to the authority of the tribunes, who protected him not by exercising their legal powers but by their intercession. Live, Q. Fabius; happier now in the unanimous desire of your fellow-citizens to defend you than in the hour of exultation after your victory! Live, though you dared to do what even your father, had he been in the place of Papirius, could not have pardoned! As for me, you shall be restored to favour whenever you please. But to the Roman people to whom you owe your life you can make no better return than to show that you have this day learnt the lesson of submission to lawful commands in peace and in war." After announcing that he would no longer detain the Master of the Horse he left the rostra. The joyful senate, the still more joyful people, flocked round the Dictator and the Master of the Horse, and congratulated them on the result and then escorted them to their homes. It was felt that military authority had been strengthened no less by the peril in which Q. Fabius had been placed than by the terrible punishment of young Manlius. It so happened that on each occasion on which the Dictator was absent from the army, the Samnites showed increased activity. M. Valerius, however, the second in command, who was in charge of the camp, had the example of Q. Fabius before his eyes and dreaded the stern Dictator's anger more than an attack from the enemy. A foraging party were ambushed and cut to pieces, and it was commonly believed that they could have been relieved from the camp had not the commanding officer been deterred by the peremptory orders he had received. This incident still further embittered the feelings of the soldiers who were already incensed against the Dictator owing to his implacable attitude towards Fabius and then to his having pardoned him at the request of the people after having refused to do so on their intercession.



8.36

After placing L. Papirius Crassus in command of the City and prohibiting Q. Fabius from any action in his capacity of Master of the Horse, the Dictator returned to the camp. His arrival was not viewed with much pleasure by his own men, nor did it create any alarm amongst the enemy. For the very next day, either unaware of his presence or regarding it of small importance whether he were present or absent, they marched towards the camp in order of battle. And yet so much depended upon that one man, L. Papirius, such care did he show in choosing his ground and posting his reserves, so far did he strengthen his force in every way that military skill could suggest, that if the general's tactics had been backed up by the goodwill of the troops it was considered absolutely certain that the Samnite war would that day have been brought to a close. As it was, the soldiers showed no energy; they deliberately threw the victory away that their commander's reputation might be damaged. The Samnites lost a larger proportion of killed, the Romans had more wounded. The quick eye of the general saw what prevented his success, and he realised that he must curb his temper and soften his sternness by greater affability. He went round the camp accompanied by his staff and visited the wounded, putting his head inside their tents and asking them how they were getting on, and commending them individually by name to the care of his staff officers, the military tribunes, and prefects. In adopting this course, which naturally tended to make him popular, he showed so much tact that the feelings of the men were much sooner won over to their commander now that their bodies were being properly looked after. Nothing conduced more to their recovery than the gratitude they felt for his attention. When the health of the army was completely restored he gave battle to the enemy, both he and his men feeling quite confident of victory, and he so completely defeated and routed the Samnites that this was the last occasion on which they ventured on a regular engagement with the Dictator. After this the victorious army advanced in every direction where there was any prospect of plunder, but wherever they marched they found no armed force; they were nowhere openly attacked or surprised from ambush. They showed all the greater alertness because the Dictator had issued an order that the whole of the spoil was to be given to the soldiers; the chance of private gain stimulated their warlike spirit quite as much as the consciousness that they were avenging the wrongs of their country. Cowed by these defeats, the Samnites made overtures for peace and gave the Dictator an undertaking to supply each of the soldiers with a set of garments and a year's pay. On his referring them to the senate they replied that they would follow him to Rome and trust their cause solely to his honour and rectitude. The army was thereupon withdrawn from Samnium.



8.37

The Dictator made a triumphal entry into the City, and as he wished to lay down his office, he received instructions from the senate before doing so to conduct the consular elections. The new consuls were C. Sulpicius Longus (for the second time) and Q. Aemilius Cerretanus. The Samnites did not succeed in obtaining a permanent peace, as they could not agree on the conditions; they took back with them a truce for one year. But even this was soon broken, for when they heard that Papirius had resigned they were eager to renew hostilities. The new consuls-some authorities give Aulus instead of Aemilius for the second consul-had on their hands a fresh enemy, the Apulians, in addition to the revolt of the Samnites. Armies were despatched against both; the Samnites were allotted to Sulpicius, the Apulians to Aemilius. Some writers assert that it was not against the Apulians that the campaign was undertaken, but for the protection of their allies against the wanton aggressions of the Samnites. The circumstances of that people, however, who were hardly able to defend themselves, make it more probable that they had not attacked the Apulians but that both nations were united in hostilities against Rome. Nothing noteworthy took place; the districts of both Samnium and Apulia were laid waste, but neither in the one nor the other was the enemy met with. At Rome the citizens were one night suddenly aroused from sleep by an alarm so serious that the Capitol, the Citadel, the walls, and gates were filled with troops. The whole population was called to arms, but when it grew light neither the author nor the cause of the excitement was discovered. In this year M. Flavius, a tribune of the plebs, brought before the people a proposal to take measures against the Tusculans, "by whose counsel and assistance the peoples of Velitrae and Privernum had made war against the people of Rome." The people of Tusculum came to Rome with their wives and children in mourning garb, like men awaiting trial, and went from tribe to tribe prostrating themselves before the tribesmen. The compassion which their attitude called out went further to procure their pardon than their attempts to exculpate themselves. All the tribes, with the exception of the Pollian tribe, vetoed the proposal. That tribe voted for a proposal that all the adult males should be scourged and beheaded, and their wives and children sold into slavery. Even as late as the last generation the Tusculans retained the memory of that cruel sentence, and their resentment against its authors showed itself in the fact that the Papirian tribe (in which the Tusculans were afterwards incorporated) hardly ever voted for any candidate belonging to the Pollian tribe.



8.38

Q. Fabius and L. Fulvius were the consuls for the following year. The war in Samnium was threatening to take a more serious turn, as it was stated that mercenary troops had been hired from the neighbouring states. The apprehensions created led to the nomination of A. Cornelius Arvina as Dictator, with M. Fabius Ambustus as Master of the Horse. These commanders carried out the enrolment with unusual strictness, and led an exceptionally fine army into Samnium. But although they were on hostile territory, they exercised as little caution in choosing the site for their camp as though the enemy had been at a great distance. Suddenly the Samnite legions advanced with such boldness that they encamped with their rampart close to the Roman outposts. The approach of night prevented them from making an immediate attack; they disclosed their intention as soon as it grew light the next morning. The Dictator saw that a battle was nearer than he expected, and he determined to abandon a position which would hamper the courage of his men. Leaving a number of watch-fires alight to deceive the enemy, he silently withdrew his troops, but owing to the proximity of the camps his movement was not unobserved. The Samnite cavalry immediately followed on his heels but refrained from actual attack till it grew lighter, nor did the infantry emerge from their camp before daybreak. As soon as they could see, the cavalry began to harass the Roman rear, and by pressing upon them where difficult ground had to be crossed, considerably delayed their advance. Meantime the infantry had come up, and now the entire force of the Samnites was pressing on the rear of the column.

As the Dictator saw that no further advance was possible without heavy loss, he ordered the ground he was holding to be measured out for a camp. But as the enemy's cavalry was gradually enveloping them, it was impossible to procure wood for the stockade or to commence their entrenchment. Finding that to go forward and to remain where he was were equally out of the question, the Dictator ordered the baggage to be removed from the column and collected and the line of battle formed. The enemy formed also into line, equally matched in courage and in strength. Their confidence was increased by their attributing the retirement of the Romans to fear and not, as was actually the case, to the disadvantageous position of their camp. This made the fight for some considerable time an even one, though the Samnites had long been unaccustomed to stand the battle-shout of the Romans. We read that actually from nine o'clock till two in the afternoon the contest was maintained so equally on both sides that the shout which was raised at the first onset was never repeated, the standards neither advanced nor retreated, in no direction was there any giving way. They fought, each man keeping his ground, pressing forward with their shields, neither looking back nor pausing for breath. Their noise and tumult never grew weaker, the fighting went on perfectly steadily, and it looked as if it would only be terminated by the complete exhaustion of the combatants or the approach of night. By this time the men were beginning to lose their strength and the sword its vigour, whilst the generals were baffled. A troop of Samnite cavalry, who had ridden some distance round the Roman rear, discovered that their baggage was lying at a distance from the combatants without any guard or protection of any kind. On learning this the whole of the cavalry rode up to it eager to secure the plunder. A messenger in hot haste reported this to the Dictator, who remarked: "All right, let them encumber themselves with spoil." Then the soldiers one after another began to exclaim that their belongings were being plundered and carried off. The Dictator sent for the Master of the Horse. "Do you see," he said, "M. Fabius, that the enemy's cavalry have left the fight? They are hampering and impeding themselves with our baggage. Attack them whilst they are scattered, as plundering parties always are; you will find very few of them in the saddle, very few with swords in their hands. Cut them down whilst they are loading their horses with spoil, with no weapons to defend themselves, and make it a bloody spoil for them! I will look after the infantry battle, the glory of the cavalry victory shall be yours."



8.39

The cavalry force, riding in perfect order, charged the enemy whilst scattered and hampered by their plunder and filled the whole place with carnage. Incapable of either resistance or flight they were cut down amongst the packages which they had thrown away and over which their startled horses were stumbling. After almost annihilating the enemy's cavalry, M. Fabius led his cavalry by a short circuit round the main battle and attacked the Samnite infantry from behind. The fresh shouting which arose in that direction threw them into a panic, and when the Dictator saw the men in front looking round, the standards getting into confusion, and the whole line wavering, he called upon his men and encouraged them to fresh efforts; he appealed to the military tribunes and first centurions by name to join him in renewing the fight. They again raised the battle-shout and pressed forward, and wherever they advanced they saw more and more demoralisation amongst the enemy. The cavalry were now within view of those in front, and Cornelius, turning round to his maniples, indicated as well as he could by voice and hand that he recognised the standards and bucklers of his own cavalry. No sooner did they see and hear them than, forgetting the toil and travail they had endured for almost a whole day, forgetting their wounds, and as eager as though they had just emerged fresh from their camp after receiving the signal for battle, they flung themselves on the enemy. The Samnites could no longer bear up against the terrible onset of the cavalry behind them and the fierce charge of the infantry in front. A large number were killed between the two, many were scattered in flight. The infantry accounted for those who were hemmed in and stood their ground, the cavalry created slaughter among the fugitives; amongst those killed was their commander-in-chief.

This battle completely broke down the resistance; so much so that in all their councils peace was advocated. It could not, they said, be a matter of surprise that they met with no success in an unblest war, undertaken in defiance of treaty obligations, where the gods were more justly incensed against them than men. That war would have to be expiated and atoned for at a great cost. The only question was whether they should pay the penalty by sacrificing the few who were guilty or shedding the innocent blood of all. Some even went so far as to name the instigators of the war. One name, especially, was generally denounced, that of Brutulus Papius. He was an aristocrat and possessed great influence, and there was not a shadow of doubt that it was he who had brought about the breach of the recent truce. The praetors found themselves compelled to submit a decree which the council passed, ordering Brutulus Papius to be surrendered and all the prisoners and booty taken from the Romans to be sent with him to Rome, and further that the redress which the fetials had demanded in accordance with treaty-rights should be made as law and justice demanded. Brutulus escaped the ignominy and punishment which awaited him by a voluntary death, but the decree was carried out; the fetials were sent to Rome with the dead body, and all his property was surrendered with him. None of this, however, was accepted by the Romans beyond the prisoners and whatever articles amongst the spoil were identified by the owners; so far as anything else was concerned, the surrender was fruitless. The senate decreed a triumph for the Dictator.



8.40

Some authorities state that this war was managed by the consuls and it was they who celebrated the triumph over the Samnites, and further that Fabius invaded Apulia and brought away great quantities of spoil. There is no discrepancy as to A. Cornelius having been Dictator that year, the only doubt is whether he was appointed to conduct the war, or whether, owing to the serious illness of L. Plautius, the praetor, he was appointed to give the signal for starting the chariot races, and after discharging this not very noteworthy function resigned office. It is difficult to decide which account or which authority to prefer. I believe that the true history has been falsified by funeral orations and lying inscriptions on the family busts, since each family appropriates to itself an imaginary record of noble deeds and official distinctions. It is at all events owing to this cause that so much confusion has been introduced into the records of private careers and public events. There is no writer of those times now extant who was contemporary with the events he relates and whose authority, therefore, can be depended upon.

End of Book 8



Livy's History of Rome:
Book 9: The Second Samnite War-(321-304 B.C.)


9.1

The following year (321 B.C.) was rendered memorable by the disaster which befell the Romans at Caudium and the capitulation which they made there. T. Veturius Calvinus and Spurius Postumius were the consuls. The Samnites had for their captain-general that year C. Pontius, the son of Herennius, the ablest statesman they possessed, whilst the son was their foremost soldier and commander. When the envoys who had been sent with the terms of surrender returned from their fruitless mission, Pontius made the following speech in the Samnite council: "Do not suppose that this mission has been barren of results. We have gained this much by it, whatever measure of divine wrath we may have incurred by our violation of treaty obligations has now been atoned for. I am perfectly certain that all those deities whose will it was that we should be reduced to the necessity of making the restitution which was demanded under the terms of the treaty, have viewed with displeasure the haughty contempt with which the Romans have treated our concessions. What more could we have done to placate the wrath of heaven or soften the resentment of men than we have done? The property of the enemy, which we considered ours by the rights of war, we have restored; the author of the war, whom we could not surrender alive, we gave up after he had paid his debt to nature, and lest any taint of guilt should remain with us we carried his possessions to Rome. What more, Romans, do I owe to you or to the treaty or to the gods who were invoked as witnesses to the treaty? What arbitrator am I to bring forward to decide how far your wrath, how far my punishment is to go? I am willing to accept any, whether it be a nation or a private individual. But if human law leaves no rights which the weak share with the stronger, I can still fly to the gods, the avengers of intolerable tyranny, and I will pray them to turn their wrath against those for whom it is not enough to have their own restored to them and to be loaded also with what belongs to others, whose cruel rage is not satiated by the death of the guilty and the surrender of their lifeless remains together with their property, who cannot be appeased unless we give them our very blood to suck and our bowels to tear. A war is just and right, Samnites, when it is forced upon us; arms are blessed by heaven when there is no hope except in arms. Since then it is of supreme importance in human affairs what things men do under divine favour and what they do against the divine will, be well assured that, if in your former wars you were fighting against the gods even more than against men, in this war which is impending you will have the gods themselves to lead you."



9.2

After uttering this prediction, which proved to be as true as it was reassuring, he took the field and, keeping his movements as secret as possible, fixed his camp in the neighbourhood of Caudium. From there he sent ten soldiers disguised as shepherds to Calatia, where he understood that the Roman consuls were encamped, with instructions to pasture some cattle in different directions near the Roman outposts. When they fell in with any foraging parties they were all to tell the same story, and say that the Samnite legions were in Apulia investing Luceria with their whole force and that its capture was imminent. This rumour had purposely been spread before and had already reached the ears of the Romans; the captured shepherds confirmed their belief in it, especially as their statements all tallied. There was no doubt but that the Romans would assist the Lucerians for the sake of protecting their allies and preventing the whole of Apulia from being intimidated by the Samnites into open revolt. The only matter for consideration was what route they would take. There were two roads leading to Luceria; one along the Adriatic coast through open country, the longer one of the two but so much the safer; the other and shorter one through the Caudine Forks. This is the character of the spot; there are two passes, deep, narrow, with wooded hills on each side, and a continuous chain of mountains extends from one to the other. Between them lies a watered grassy plain through the middle of which the road goes. Before you reach the plain you have to pass through the first defile and either return by the same path by which you entered or, if you go on, you must make your way out by a still narrower and more difficult pass at the other end.

The Roman column descended into this plain from the first defile with its overhanging cliffs, and marched straight through to the other pass. They found it blocked by a huge barricade of felled trees with great masses of rock piled against them. No sooner did they become aware of the enemy's stratagem than his outposts showed themselves on the heights above the pass. A hasty retreat was made, and they proceeded to retrace their steps by the way they had come when they discovered that this pass also had its own barricade and armed men on the heights above. Then without any order being given they called a halt. Their senses were dazed and stupefied and a strange numbness seized their limbs. Each gazed at his neighbour, thinking him more in possession of his senses and judgment than himself. For a long time they stood silent and motionless, then they saw the consuls' tents being set up and some of the men getting their entrenching tools ready. Though they knew that in their desperate and hopeless plight it would be ridiculous for them to fortify the ground on which they stood still, not to make matters worse by any fault of their own they set to work without waiting for orders and entrenched their camp with its rampart close to the water. While they were thus engaged the enemy showered taunts and insults upon them, and they themselves in bitter mockery jeered at their own fruitless labour. The consuls were too much depressed and unnerved even to summon a council of war, for there was no place for either counsel or help, but the staff-officers and tribunes gathered round them, and the men with their faces turned towards their tents sought from their leaders a succour which the gods themselves could hardly render them.



9.3

Night surprised them while they were lamenting over their situation rather than consulting how to meet it. The different temperaments of the men came out; some exclaimed: "Let us break through the barricades, scale the mountain slopes, force our way through the forest, try every way where we can carry arms. Only let us get at the enemy whom we have beaten for now nearly thirty years; all places will be smooth and easy to a Roman fighting against the perfidious Samnite." Others answered: "Where are we to go? How are we to get there? Are we preparing to move the mountains from their seat? How will you get at the enemy as long as these peaks hang over us? Armed and unarmed, brave and cowardly we are all alike trapped and conquered. The enemy will not even offer us the chance of an honourable death by the sword, he will finish the war without moving from his seat." Indifferent to food, unable to sleep, they talked in this way through the night. Even the Samnites were unable to make up their minds what to do under such fortunate circumstances. It was unanimously agreed to write to Herennius, the captain-general's father, and ask his advice. He was now advanced in years and had given up all public business, civil as well as military, but though his physical powers were failing his intellect was as sound and clear as ever. He had already heard that the Roman armies were hemmed in between the two passes at the Caudine Forks, and when his son's courier asked for his advice he gave it as his opinion that the whole force ought to be at once allowed to depart uninjured. This advice was rejected and the courier was sent back to consult him again. He now advised that they should every one be put to death. On receiving these replies, contradicting each other like the ambiguous utterances of an oracle, his son's first impression was that his father's mental powers had become impaired through his physical weakness. However, he yielded to the unanimous wish and invited his father to the council of war. The old man, we are told, at once complied and was conveyed in a wagon to the camp. After taking his seat in the council, it became clear from what he said that he had not changed his mind, but he explained his reasons for the advice he gave. He believed that by taking the course he first proposed, which he considered the best, he was establishing a durable peace and friendship with a most powerful people in treating them with such exceptional kindness; by adopting the second he was postponing war for many generations, for it would take that time for Rome to recover her strength painfully and slowly after the loss of two armies. There was no third course. When his son and the other chiefs went on to ask him what would happen if a middle course were taken, and they were dismissed unhurt but under such conditions as by the rights of war are imposed on the vanquished, he replied: "That is just the policy which neither procures friends nor rids us of enemies. Once let men whom you have exasperated by ignominious treatment live and you will find out your mistake. The Romans are a nation who know not how to remain quiet under defeat. Whatever disgrace this present extremity burns into their souls will rankle there for ever, and will allow them no rest till they have made you pay for it many times over."



9.4

Neither of these plans was approved and Herennius was carried home from the camp. In the Roman camp, after many fruitless attempts had been made to break out and they found themselves at last in a state of utter destitution, necessity compelled them to send envoys to the Samnites to ask in the first instance for fair terms of peace, and failing that to challenge them to battle. Pontius replied that all war was at an end, and since even now that they were vanquished and captured they were incapable of acknowledging their true position, he should deprive them of their arms and send them under the yoke, allowing them to retain one garment each. The other conditions would be fair to both victors and vanquished. If they evacuated Samnium and withdrew their colonists from his country, the Roman and the Samnite would henceforth live under their own laws as sovereign states united by a just and honourable treaty. On these conditions he was ready to conclude a treaty with the consuls, if they rejected any of them he forbade any further overtures to be made to him. When the result was announced, such a universal cry of distress arose, such gloom and melancholy prevailed, that they evidently could not have taken it more heavily if it had been announced to them all that they must die on the spot. Then followed a long silence. The consuls were unable to breathe a word either in favour of a capitulation so humiliating or against one so necessary. At last L. Lentulus, of all the staff-officers the most distinguished, both by his personal qualities and the offices he had held, spoke: "I have often," he said, "heard my father, consuls, say that he was the only one in the Capitol who refused to ransom the City from the Gauls with gold, for the force in the Capitol was not invested and shut in with fosse and rampart, as the Gauls were too indolent to undertake that sort of work; it was therefore quite possible for them to make a sortie involving, perhaps, heavy loss, but not certain destruction. If we had the same chance of fighting, whether on favourable or unfavourable ground, which they had of charging down upon the foe from the Capitol, in the same way as the besieged have often made sorties against their besiegers, I should not fall behind my father's spirit and courage in the advice which I should give. To die for one's country is, I admit, a glorious thing, and as concerns myself I am ready to devote myself for the people and legions of Rome or to plunge into the midst of the enemy. But it is here that I behold my country, it is on this spot that all the legions which Rome possesses are gathered, and unless they wish to rush to death for their own sakes, to save their honour, what else have they that they can save by their death. 'The dwellings of the City,' somebody may reply, ' and its walls, and that crowd of human beings who form its population.' Nay, on the contrary, all these things are not saved, they are handed over to the enemy if this army is annihilated. For who will protect them? A defenceless multitude of non-combatants, I suppose; as successfully as it defended them from the approach of the Gauls. Or will they implore the help of an army from Veii with Camillus at its head ? Here and here alone are all our hopes, all our strength. If we save these we save our country, if we give these up to death we desert and betray our country. 'Yes,' you say, 'but surrender is base and ignominious.' It is; but true affection for our country demands that we should preserve it, if need be, by our disgrace as much as by our death. However great then the indignity, we must submit to it and yield to the compulsion of necessity, a compulsion which the gods themselves cannot evade! Go, consuls, give up your arms as a ransom for that State which your ancestors ransomed with gold!



9.5

The consuls left to confer with Pontius. When the victor began to insist upon a treaty, they told him that a treaty could not possibly be made without the orders of the people nor without the fetials and the usual ceremonial. So that the convention of Claudium did not, as is commonly believed and as even Claudius asserts, take the form of a regular treaty. It was concluded through a sponsio, i.e. by the officers giving their word of honour to observe the conditions. For what need would there have been in the case of a treaty for any pledge from the officers or for any hostages, since in concluding a treaty the imprecation is always used: "By whosesoever default it may come about that the said conditions are not observed, may Jupiter so smite that people as this swine is now struck by the fetials." The consuls, the staff-officers, the quaestors, and the military tribunes all gave their word on oath, and all their names are extant today, whereas if a regular treaty had been concluded no names but those of the two fetials would have survived. Owing to the inevitable delay in arranging a treaty, 600 equites were demanded as hostages to answer with their lives if the terms of the capitulation were not observed. Then a definite time was fixed for surrendering the hostages and sending the army, deprived of its arms, under the yoke. The return of the consuls with the terms of surrender renewed the grief and distress in the camp. So bitter was the feeling that the men had difficulty in keeping their hands off those "through whose rashness," they said, "they had been brought into that place and through whose cowardice they would have to leave it in a more shameful plight than they had come. They had had no guides who knew the neighbourhood, no scouts had been thrown out, they had fallen blindly like wild animals into a trap." There they were, looking at each other, gazing sadly at the armour and weapons which were soon to be given up, their right hands which were to be defenceless, their bodies which were to be at the mercy of their enemies. They pictured to themselves the hostile yoke, the taunts and insulting looks of the victors, their marching disarmed between the armed ranks, and then afterwards the miserable progress of an army in disgrace through the cities of their allies, their return to their country and their parents, whither their ancestors had so often returned in triumphal procession. They alone, they said, had been defeated without receiving a single wound, or using a single weapon, or fighting a single battle, they had not been allowed to draw the sword or come to grips with the enemy; courage and strength had been given them in vain. While they were uttering these indignant protests, the hour of their humiliation arrived which was to make everything more bitter for them by actual experience than they had anticipated or imagined. First of all they were ordered to lay down their arms and go outside the rampart with only one garment each. The first to be dealt with were those surrendered as hostages who were taken away for safe keeping. Next, the lictors were ordered to retire from the consuls, who were then stripped of their paludamenta. This aroused such deep commiseration amongst those who a short time ago had been cursing them and saying that they ought to be surrendered and scourged, that every man, forgetting his own plight, turned away his eyes from such an outrage upon the majesty of state as from a spectacle too horrible to behold.



9.6

The consuls were the first to be sent, little more than half-clothed, under the yoke, then each in the order of his rank was exposed to the same disgrace, and finally, the legionaries one after another. Around them stood the enemy fully armed, reviling and jeering at them; swords were pointed at most of them, and when they offended their victors by showing their indignation and resentment too plainly some were wounded and even killed. Thus were they marched under the yoke. But what was still harder to bear was that after they had emerged from the pass under the eyes of the foe though, like men dragged up from the jaws of hell, they seemed to behold the light for the first time, the very light itself, serving only to reveal such a hideous sight as they marched along, was more gloomy than any shape of death. They could have reached Capua before nightfall, but not knowing how their allies would receive them, and kept back by a feeling of shame, they all flung themselves, destitute of everything, on the sides of the road near Capua. As soon as news of this reached the place, a proper feeling of compassion for their allies got the better of the inborn disdain of the Campanian; they immediately sent to the consuls their own insignia of office, the fasces and the lictors, and the soldiers they generously supplied with arms, horses, clothes, and provisions. As they entered Capua the senate and people came out in a body to meet them, showed them all due hospitality, and paid them all the consideration to which as individuals and as members of an allied state they were entitled. But all the courtesies and kindly looks and cheerful greetings of their allies were powerless to evoke a single word or even to make them lift up their eyes and look in the face the friends who were trying to comfort them. To such an extent did feelings of shame make their gloom and despondency all the heavier, and constrain them to shun the converse and society of men. The next day some young nobles were commissioned to escort them to the frontier. On their return they were summoned to the Senate-house, and in answer to inquiries on the part of the older senators they reported that they seemed to be much more gloomy and depressed than the day before; the column moved along so silently that they might have been dumb; the Roman mettle was cowed; they had lost their spirit with their arms; they saluted no man, nor did they return any man's salutation; not a single man had the power to open his mouth for fear of what was coming; their necks were bowed as if they were still beneath the yoke. The Samnites had won not only a glorious victory but a lasting one; they had not only captured Rome as the Gauls had done before them, but, what was a still more warlike exploit, they had captured the Roman courage and hardihood.



9.7

While this report was being made and listened to with the greatest attention, and the name and greatness of Rome were being mourned over as though lost for ever, in the council of her faithful allies, Ofillius Calavius, the son of Ovus, addressed the senators. He was a man of high birth and with a distinguished career and now venerable for his age. He is reported to have said: "The truth is far otherwise. That stubborn silence, those eyes fixed on the ground, those ears deaf to all consolation, that shame-faced shrinking from the light, are all indications of a terrible resentment fermenting in their hearts which will break out in vengeance. Either I know nothing of the Roman character or that silence will soon call forth amongst the Samnites cries of distress and groans of anguish. The memory of the capitulation of Caudium will be much more bitter to the Samnites than to the Romans. Whenever and wherever they meet each side will be animated by its own courage and the Samnites will not find the Caudine Forks everywhere. Rome was now aware of its disaster. The first information they received was that the army was blockaded, then came the more gloomy news of the ignominious capitulation. Immediately on receiving the first intelligence of the blockade they began to levy troops, but when they heard that the army had surrendered in such a disgraceful way, the preparations for relieving them were abandoned, and without waiting for any formal order the whole City presented the aspect of public mourning. The booths round the Forum were shut up; all public business in the Forum ceased spontaneously before the proclamation closing it was made; the senators laid aside their purple striped tunics and gold rings; the gloom amongst the citizens was almost greater than that in the army. Their indignation was not confined to the generals or the officers who had made the convention, even the innocent soldiers were the objects of resentment, they said they would not admit them into the City. But this angry temper was dispelled by the arrival of the troops; their wretched appearance awoke commiseration amongst the most resentful. They did not enter the City like men returning in safety after being given up for lost, but in the guise and with the expression of prisoners. They came late in the evening and crept to their homes, where they kept themselves so dose that for some days not one of them would show himself in public or in the Forum. The consuls shut themselves up in privacy and refused to discharge any official functions with the exception of one which was wrung from them by a decree of the senate, namely, the nomination of a Dictator to conduct the elections. They nominated Q. Fabius Ambustus, with P. Aelius Paetus as Master of the Horse. Their appointment was found to be irregular, and they were replaced by M. Aemilius Papus as Dictator and L. Valerius Flaccus as Master of the Horse. Even they, however, were not allowed to conduct the elections; the people were dissatisfied with all the magistrates of that year, and so matters reverted to an interregnum. Q. Fabius Maximus and M. Valerius Corvus were successively interreges, and the latter held the consular elections. Q. Publilius Philo and L. Papirius Cursor-the latter for the second time-were returned. The choice was universally approved, for all knew there were no more brilliant generals at that day.



9.8

They entered upon the active duties of their office on the very day of their election, for so had the senate decreed, and after disposing of the business connected with their accession to office, they proceeded at once to introduce the subject of the capitulation of Caudium. Publilius, who was the presiding consul, called upon Spurius Postumius to speak. He rose in his place with just the same expression that he had worn when passing under the yoke, and began: "Consuls, I am quite aware that I have been called upon to speak first, not because I am foremost in honour, but because I am foremost in disgrace and hold the position not of a senator but of a man on his trial who has to meet the charge not only of an unsuccessful war but also of an ignominious peace. Since, however, you have not introduced the question of our guilt or punishment, I shall not enter upon a defence which in the presence of men not unacquainted with the mutability of human fortunes would not be a very difficult one to undertake. I will state in a few words what I think about the question before us, and you will be able to judge from what I say whether it was myself or your legions that I spared when I pledged myself to the convention, however shameful or however necessary it was. This convention, however, was not made by the order of the Roman people, and therefore the Roman people are not bound by it, nor is anything due to the Samnites under its terms beyond our own persons. Let us be surrendered by the fetials, stripped and bound; let us release the people from their religious obligations if we have involved them in any, so that without infringing any law human or divine we may resume a war which will be justified by the law of nations and sanctioned by the gods. I advise, that in the meantime the consuls enrol and equip an army and lead it forth to war, but that they do not cross the hostile frontier until all our obligations under the terms of surrender have been discharged. And you, immortal gods, I pray and beseech, that as it was not your will that the consuls Sp. Postumius and T. Veturius should wage a successful war against the Samnites, you may at least deem it enough to have witnessed us sent under the yoke and compelled to submit to a shameful convention, enough to witness us surrendered, naked and in chains, to the enemy, taking upon our heads the whole weight of his anger and vengeance! May it be in accordance with your will that the legions of Rome under fresh consuls should wage war against the Samnites in the same way in which all wars were waged before we were consuls!" When he finished speaking, such admiration and pity were felt for him that they could hardly think that it was the same Sp. Postumius who had concluded such a disgraceful peace. They viewed with the utmost sadness the prospect of such a man suffering at the hands of the enemy such terrible punishment as he was sure to meet with, enraged as they would be at the rupture of the peace. The whole House expressed in terms of the highest praise their approval of his proposal. They were beginning to vote on the question when two of the tribunes of the plebs, L. Livius and Q. Maelius, entered a protest which they afterwards withdrew. They argued that the people as a whole would not be discharged from their religious obligation by this surrender unless the Samnites were placed in the same position of advantage which they held at Caudium. Further, they said they did not deserve any punishment for having saved the Roman army by undertaking to procure peace, and they urged as a final reason that as they, the tribunes, were sacrosanct and their persons inviolable they could not be surrendered to the enemy or exposed to any violence.



9.9

To this Postumius replied: "In the meanwhile, surrender us, whom no inviolability protects and whose surrender will violate no man's conscience. Afterwards you will surrender those 'sacrosanct ' gentlemen also as soon as their year of office expires, but if you take my advice you will see that before they are surrendered they are scourged in the Forum by way of paying interest for a punishment that will have been delayed. Why, who is so ignorant of fetial law as not to see that these men are saying this, not because it represents the fact but to prevent their being surrendered? I do not deny, senators, that where the pledged words of men are held to possess a binding force only second to the sanctions of religion, then such undertakings as we have given are as sacred as formal treaties. But I do say that without the express order of the people nothing can be ratified which can bind the people. Suppose the Samnites, in the same spirit of insolent pride in which they extorted this capitulation from us, had compelled us to recite the formula for the surrender of cities, would you say, tribunes, that the Roman people was surrendered and that this City with its shrines and temples, its territory, and its waters had become the property of the Samnites? I say no more about surrender because what we are considering is the pledge we gave in the capitulation. Well now, suppose we had given a pledge that the Roman people would abandon this City, would burn it, would no longer have its own magistrates and senates and laws, but would live under the rule of kings. 'Heaven forbid!' you say. Yes, but the binding force of a capitulation is not lightened by the humiliating nature of its terms. If the people can be bound by any article, it can by all. The point which some consider important, namely whether it is a consul or a Dictator or a praetor who has given the undertaking is of no weight whatever. The Samnites themselves made this clear, for it was not enough for them that the consuls pledged themselves, they compelled the staff-officers, the quaestors, and the military tribunes to do the same.

"Now no one need say to me, 'Why did you pledge yourself in that way, seeing that a consul has no right to do so and you were not in a position to promise them a peace of which you could not guarantee the ratification, or to act on behalf of the people when they had given you no mandate to do so?' Nothing that happened at Caudium, senators, was dictated by human prudence; the gods deprived both the enemy's commanders and your own of their senses. We did not exercise sufficient caution in our various movements, they in their folly threw away a victory when they had won through our folly. They hardly felt safe on the very ground which gave them their victory, such a hurry were they in to agree to any conditions if only they could deprive of their arms men who were born to arms. If they had been in their senses, would they have had any difficulty in sending envoys to Rome whilst they were fetching an old man from his home to advise them? Was it impossible for them to enter into negotiations with the senate and with the people about securing peace and making a treaty? It is a three days' journey for lightly-equipped horsemen, and in the meantime there would have been an armistice until the envoys returned bringing either peace or the certainty of their victory. Then and then only would there have been a binding agreement, because we should have made it by order of the people. But you would not have made such an order, nor should we have given such a pledge. It was not the will of heaven that there should be any other result than this, namely, that the Samnites should be vainly deluded by a dream too delightful for their minds to grasp, that the same Fortune which had imprisoned our army should also release it, that an illusory victory should be rendered futile by a still more illusory peace, and that stipulations should be brought in, binding on none but those who actually made them. For what share have you, senators, what share has the people in this business? Who can call you to account, who can say that you have deceived him? The enemy? You have given no pledge to the enemy. Any fellow-citizen? You have not empowered any fellow-citizen to give a pledge on your behalf. You are not in any way involved with us, for you have given us no mandate; you are not answerable to the Samnites, for you have had no dealings with them. It is we who are answerable, pledged as debtors and quite able to discharge the debt in respect of what is our own, which we are prepared to pay, that is, our own persons and lives. On these let them wreak their vengeance, for these let them sharpen their swords and their rage. As for the tribunes, you ought to consider whether it is possible for them to be surrendered at once, or whether it ought to be deferred, but as for us, T. Veturius and the rest of you who are concerned, let us in the meantime offer these worthless lives of ours in discharge of our bond, and by our deaths set free the arms of Rome for action."



9.10

Both the speech and the speaker produced a great impression on all who heard him, including the tribunes, who were so far influenced by what they had heard that they formally placed themselves at the disposal of the senate. They immediately resigned their office and were handed over to the fetials to be conducted with the rest to Caudium. After the senate had passed their resolution, it seemed as though the light of day was once more shining on the State. The name of Postumius was in all men's mouths, he was extolled to the skies, his conduct was put on a level with the self-sacrifice of P. Decius and other splendid deeds of heroism. It was through his counsel and assistance, men said, that the State had found its way out of a dishonourable and guilty peace; he was exposing himself to the rage of the enemy and all the tortures they could inflict as an expiatory victim for the Roman people. All eyes were turned to arms and war; "shall we ever be allowed," they exclaimed, "to meet the Samnites in arms?" Amidst this blaze of angry excitement and thirst for vengeance, a levy was made and nearly all re-enlisted as volunteers. Nine legions were formed out of the former troops, and the army marched to Caudium. The fetials went on in advance, and on arriving at the city gate they ordered the garment to be stripped off from those who had made the capitulation and their arms to be tied behind their backs. As the apparitor, out of respect for Postumius' rank, was binding his cords loosely, "Why do you not," he asked, "draw the cord tight that the surrender may be made in due form?" When they had entered the council chamber and reached the tribunal where Pontius was seated, the fetial addressed him thus: "Forasmuch as these men have, without being ordered thereto by the Roman people, the Quirites, given their promise and oath that a treaty shall be concluded and have thereby been guilty of high crime and misdemeanour, I do herewith make surrender to you of these men, to the end that the Roman people may be absolved from the guilt of a heinous and detestable act." As the fetial said this Postumius struck him as hard as he could with his knee, and in a loud voice declared that he was a Samnite citizen, that he had violated the law of nations in maltreating the fetial who, as herald, was inviolable, and that after this the Romans would be all the more justified in prosecuting the war.



9.11

Pontius replied: "I shall not accept this surrender of yours nor will the Samnites regard it as valid. Why do you not, Spurius Postumius, if you believe in the existence of gods, either cancel the whole agreement or abide by what you have pledged yourself to. The Samnite people have a right to all those whom it held in its power, or in their stead it has a right to make peace with Rome. But why do I appeal to you? You are keeping your word as far as you can and rendering yourself as prisoner to your conqueror. I appeal to the Roman people. If they are dissatisfied with the convention of the Caudine Forks, let them place their legions once more between the passes which imprisoned them. Let there be no fraudulent dealing on either side, let the whole transaction be annulled, let them resume the arms which they delivered up at the capitulation, let them return to that camp of theirs, let them have everything that they had on the eve of their surrender. When that is done, then let them take a bold line and vote for war, then let the convention and the peace agreed to be repudiated. Let us carry on the war with the same fortune and on the same ground which we held before any mention was made of peace; the Roman people will not then have any occasion to blame their consuls for pledges they had no right to give, nor shall we have any reason to charge the Roman people with any breach of faith.

"Will you never be at a loss for reasons why, after defeat, you should not abide by your agreements? You gave hostages to Porsena, afterwards you stole them away. You ransomed your city from the Gauls with gold, whilst they were in the act of receiving the gold they were cut down. You made peace with us on condition of our restoring your captured legions, you are now making that peace null and void. You always cloak your dishonest dealing under some specious pretext of right and justice. Does the Roman people not approve of its legions being saved at the cost of a humiliating peace? Then let it keep its peace to itself, only let it restore to the victor its captured legions. Such action would be in accord with the dictates of honour, with the faith of treaties, with the solemn proceedings of the fetials. But that you should secure what you stipulated for, the safety of thousands of your countrymen, whilst I am not to secure the peace which I stipulated for when I released them-is this what you Aulus Cornelius and you fetials call acting according to the law of nations? "As to those men whom you make believe to surrender I neither accept them nor do I regard them as surrendered, nor do I hinder them from returning to their countrymen, who are bound by a convention, the violation of which brings down the wrath of all the gods whose majesty is being trifled with. True, Spurius Postumius has just struck the herald fetial with his knee, then wage war! Of course the gods will believe that Postumius is a Samnite citizen not a Roman, and that it is by a Samnite citizen that a Roman herald has been maltreated, and that for that reason you are justified in making war upon us. It is sad to think that you feel no shame in exposing this mockery of religion to the light of day, and that old men of consular rank should invent excuses for breaking their word which even children would think beneath them. Go, lictor, remove the bonds from the Romans, let none of them be hindered from departing where they please." Thus set free they returned to the Roman camp, their personal obligations and possibly those of the State having been discharged.



9.12

The Samnites clearly saw that instead of the peace which they had so arrogantly dictated, a most bitter war had commenced. They not only had a foreboding of all that was coming but they almost saw it with their eyes; now when it was too late they began to view with approval the two alternatives which the elder Pontius had suggested. They saw that they had fallen between the two, and by adopting a middle course had exchanged the secure possession of victory for an insecure and doubtful peace. They realised that they had lost the chance of doing either a kindness or an injury, and would have to fight with those whom they might have got rid of for ever as enemies or secured for ever as friends. And though no battle had yet given either side the advantage, men's feelings had so changed that Postumius enjoyed a greater reputation amongst the Romans for his surrender than Pontius possessed amongst the Samnites for his bloodless victory. The Romans regarded the possibility of war as involving the certainty of victory, whilst the Samnites looked upon the renewal of hostilities by the Romans as equivalent to their own defeat. In the meantime, Satricum revolted to the Samnites. (The latter made a sudden descent on Fregellae and succeeded in occupying it in the night, assisted, there is no doubt, by the Satricans. Mutual fear kept both the Samnites and the Fregellans quiet till daylight, with the return of light the battle began. For some time the Fregellans held their ground, for they were fighting for their hearths and homes and the noncombatant population assisted them from the roofs of the houses. At length the assailants gained the advantage by adopting a ruse. A proclamation was made that all who laid down their arms should depart unhurt, and the defenders did not interfere with the crier who made it. Now that there were hopes of safety they fought with less energy and in all directions arms were thrown away. Some, however, showed more determination and made their way fully armed through the opposite gate. Their courage proved a better protection than the timid credulity of the others, for these were hemmed in by the Samnites with a ring of fire, and in spite of their cries for mercy were burnt to death. After arranging their respective commands, the consuls took the field. Papirius marched into Apulia as far as Luceria, where the equites who had been given as hostages at Caudium were interned; Publilius remained in Samnium to oppose the legions who had been at Caudium. His presence made the Samnites uncertain how to act; they could not march to Luceria for fear of exposing themselves to a rear attack, nor did they feel satisfied to remain where they were, as Luceria might in the meantime be lost. They decided that the best course would be to try their fortune and hazard a battle with Publilius.



9.13

Accordingly they drew up their forces for action. Before engaging them Publilius thought he ought to address a few words to his men, and ordered the Assembly to be sounded. There was such an eager rush, however, to the general's tent, and such loud shouts were raised in all directions as the men clamoured to be led to battle, that none of the general's address was heard; the memory of their recent disgrace was quite enough of itself to stimulate every man to fight. They strode rapidly into battle, urging the standard-bearers to move faster, and, to avoid any delay in having to hurl their javelins, they flung them away as if at a given signal and rushed upon the enemy with naked steel. There was no time for the commander's skill to be shown in maneuvering his men or posting his reserves, it was all carried through by the enraged soldiers, who charged like madmen. The enemy were not only routed, they did not even venture to stay their flight at their camp, but went in scattered parties in the direction of Apulia. Eventually they rallied and reached Luceria in a body. The same rage and fury which had carried the Romans through the midst of the enemy hurried them on to the Samnite camp, and more carnage took place there than on the battle-field. Most of the plunder was destroyed in their excitement. The other army under Papirius had marched along the coast and reached Arpi. The whole of the country through which he passed was peaceably disposed, an attitude which was due more to the injuries inflicted by the Samnites than to any services which the Romans had rendered. For the Samnites used to live at that day in open hamlets among the mountains, and they were in the habit of making marauding incursions into the low country and the coastal districts. Living the free open-air life of mountaineers themselves they despised the less hardy cultivators of the plains who, as often happens, had developed, a character in harmony with their surroundings. If this tract of country had been on good terms with the Samnites, the Roman army would either have failed to reach Arpi or they would have been unable to obtain provisions on their route, and so would have been cut off from supplies of every kind. Even as it was, when they had advanced to Luceria both besieged and besiegers were suffering from scarcity of provisions. The Romans drew all their supplies from Arpi but in very small quantities, for, as the infantry were all employed in outpost and patrol duty and in the construction of the siege-works, the cavalry brought the corn from Arpi in their haversacks, and sometimes when they encountered the enemy they were compelled to throw these away so as to be free to fight. The besieged, on the other hand, were obtaining their provisions and reinforcements from Samnium. But the arrival of the other consul, Publilius, with his victorious army led to their being more closely invested. He left the conduct of the siege to his colleague that he might be free to intercept the enemy's convoys on all sides. When the Samnites, who were encamped before Luceria, found that there was no hope of the besieged enduring their privations any longer, they were compelled to concentrate their whole strength and offer battle to Papirius.



9.14

Whilst both sides were making their preparations for battle, a deputation from Tarentum appeared on the scene with a peremptory demand that both the Samnites and the Romans should desist from hostilities. They threatened that whichever side stood in the way of a cessation of arms, they would assist the other side against them. After hearing the demands which the deputation advanced and apparently attaching importance to what they had said, Papirius replied that he would communicate with his colleague. He then sent for him and employed the interval in hastening the preparations for battle. After talking over the matter, about which there could be no two opinions, he displayed the signal for battle. Whilst the consuls were engaged in the various duties, religious and otherwise, which are customary before a battle, the Tarentines waited for them, expecting an answer, and Papirius informed them that the pullarius had reported that the auspices were favourable and the sacrifice most satisfactory. "You see," he added, "that we are going into action with the sanction of the gods." He then ordered the standards to be taken up, and as he marched his men on to the field he expressed his contempt for a people of such egregious vanity, that whilst quite incapable of managing their own affairs, owing to domestic strife and discord, they thought themselves justified in prescribing to others how far they must go in making peace or war. The Samnites, on the other hand, had given up all thoughts of fighting, either because they were really anxious for peace or because it was their interest to appear so, in order to secure the goodwill of the Tarentines. When they suddenly caught sight of the Romans drawn up for battle, they shouted that they should act according to the instructions of the Tarentines; they would neither go down into the field nor carry their arms outside their rampart, they would rather let advantage be taken of them and bear whatever chance might bring them than be thought to have flouted the peaceful advice of Tarentum. The consuls said that they welcomed the omen, and prayed that the enemy might remain in that mood so as not even to defend their rampart. Advancing in two divisions up to the entrenchments, they attacked them simultaneously on all sides. Some began to fill up the fosse, others tore down the abattis on the rampart and hurled the timber into the fosse. It was not their native courage only, but indignation and rage as well which goaded them on, smarting as they were from their recent disgrace. As they forced their way into the camp, they reminded one another that there were no Forks of Caudium there, none of those insuperable defiles where deceit had won an insolent victory over incaution, but Roman valour which neither rampart nor fosse could check. They slew alike those who fought and those who fled, armed and unarmed, slaves and freemen, young and old, men and beasts. Not a single living thing would have survived had not the consuls given the signal to retire, and by stern commands and threats driven the soldiers who were thirsting for blood out of the enemy's camp. As the men were highly incensed at this interruption to a vengeance which was so delightful, it was necessary to explain to them on the spot why they were prevented from carrying it further. The consuls assured them that they neither had yielded nor would yield to any man in showing their hatred of the enemy, and as they had been their leaders in the fighting so they would have been foremost in encouraging their insatiable rage and vengeance. But they had to consider the 600 equites who were being detained as hostages in Luceria, and to take care that the enemy, despairing of any quarter for themselves, did not wreak their blind rage on their captives, and destroy them before they perished themselves. The soldiers quite approved and were glad that their indiscriminate fury had been checked; they admitted that they must submit to anything rather than endanger the safety of so many youths belonging to the noblest families in Rome.



9.15

The soldiers were dismissed to quarters, and a council of war was held to decide whether they should press on the siege of Luceria with their whole force or whether Publilius with his army should visit the Apulians and ascertain their intentions, about which there was considerable doubt. The latter was decided upon, and the consul succeeded in reducing a considerable number of their towns in one campaign, whilst others were admitted into alliance. Papirius, who had remained behind to prosecute the siege of Luceria, soon found his expectations realised, for as all the roads by which supplies could be brought in were blocked, the Samnite garrison in Luceria was so reduced by famine that they sent to the Roman consul an offer to restore the hostages, for whose recovery the war had been undertaken, if he would raise the siege. He replied that they ought to have consulted Pontius, at whose instigation they had sent the Romans under the yoke, as to what terms he thought ought to be imposed on the vanquished. As, however, they preferred that equal terms should be fixed by the enemy rather than proposed by themselves, he told the negotiators to take back word to Luceria that all the arms, baggage, and beasts of burden together with the non-combatant population were to be left behind; the soldiers he should send under the yoke and leave them one garment apiece. In doing this, he said, he was subjecting them to no novel disgrace but simply retaliating upon them one which they had themselves inflicted. They were compelled to accept these terms and 7000 men were sent under the yoke. An enormous amount of booty was found in Luceria, all the arms and standards which had been taken at Caudium, and what created the greatest joy of all-they recovered the equites, the hostages whom the Samnites had placed there for security. Hardly any victory that Rome ever won was more noteworthy for the sudden change that it wrought in the circumstances of the republic, especially if, as I find stated in some annals, Pontius, the son of Herennius, the Samnite captain-general, was sent under the yoke with the rest, to expiate the disgrace he had inflicted on the consuls. I am not, however, so much surprised that uncertainty should exist with regard to this point as I am that any doubt should be felt as to who really captured Luceria; whether, that is to say, it was Lucius Cornelius, acting as Dictator, with L. Papirius Cursor as Master of the Horse, who achieved those successes at Caudium and afterwards-at Luceria, and as the one man who avenged the stem on Roman honour celebrated what I am inclined to think was, with the exception of that of F. Camillus, the most justly earned triumph that any down to that day had enjoyed, or whether the glory of that distinction should be attributed to the consuls and especially to Papirius. There is a further mistake here owing to doubts as to whether at the next consular elections Papirius Cursor was re-elected for the third time in consequence of his success at Luceria, together with Q. Aulius Corretanus for the second time, or whether the name should really be L. Papirius Mugilanus.



9.16

The authorities are agreed that the remainder of the war was conducted by the consuls. Aulius finished the campaign against the Frentanians in one battle. Their routed army fled to their city, and after giving hostages the consul received their surrender. The other consul was equally fortunate in his campaign against the Satricans. Though admitted to Roman citizenship they had revolted to the Samnites after the Caudine disaster and allowed them to garrison their city. But when the Roman army was close to their walls they sent an urgent request, couched in very humble terms, for peace. The consul replied that unless they handed over the Samnite garrison or put them to death they were not to go to him again. The severity of this reply created more terror amongst them than the actual presence of the Roman army. They repeatedly asked him by what means he thought that such a small and weak body as they were could attempt to use force against a strong and well-armed garrison. He told them to seek counsel from those through whose advice they had admitted the garrison in the first instance. After having with some difficulty obtained his permission to consult their senate, they returned to the city. There were two parties in the senate: the leaders of the one were the authors of the revolt from Rome, the other consisted of loyal citizens. Both, however, were equally anxious that every effort should be made to induce the consul to grant peace. As the Samnite garrison were not in the least prepared to stand a siege, they intended to evacuate the city the following night. The party who had introduced them thought it would be quite sufficient to let the consul know at what hour and by what gate they would leave; the others who had been all along opposed to their coming actually opened the gate to the consul that very night and admitted his troops into the city. The Samnites were unexpectedly attacked by a force concealed in the woods through which they were marching whilst the shouts of the Romans were resounding in all parts of the city; by this double act of treachery the Samnites were slain and Satricum captured within the space of one short hour and the consul became complete master of the situation. He ordered a strict inquiry to be made as to who were responsible for the revolt, and those who were found to be guilty were scourged and beheaded. The Satricans were deprived of their arms and a strong garrison was placed in the city.

The writers who tell us that it was under Papirius that Luceria was recovered and the Samnites sent under the yoke, go on to inform us that after the capture of Satricum he returned to Rome to celebrate his triumph. And indeed he was, undoubtedly, a man deserving of all praise for his soldierly qualities, distinguished as he was not only by intellectual force but also by his physical prowess. He was especially noted for his swiftness of foot, which gave him his cognomen; he is stated to have beaten all those of his own age in racing. Owing either to his great strength or the amount of exercise he took he had an enormous appetite. Under no commander did either horse or foot find service harder, for he himself never knew what it was to be tired. On one occasion the cavalry ventured to ask him to excuse them some of their fatigue duty in consideration of their having fought a successful action. He replied: "That you may not say I never excuse you anything, I excuse you from rubbing your horses' backs when you dismount." He was as much of a martinet to the allies of Rome as he was to his own countrymen. The commander of the Praenestine detachment had shown a lack of courage in bringing his men up from the rear into the fighting line. Papirius, walking in front of his tent, ordered him to be called up, and on his appearance told the lictor to get the axe ready. The Praenestine, on hearing this, stood paralysed with fear. "Come, lictor," said Papirius, "cut out this root; it is in the way of people as they walk." After almost frightening him to death with this threat, he dismissed him with a fine. No age has been more prolific in great and noble characters than the one in which he lived, and even in that age there was no one whose single arm did more to sustain the commonwealth. Had Alexander the Great, after subjugating Asia, turned his attention to Europe, there are many who maintain that he would have met his match in Papirius.



9.17

Nothing can be thought to be further from my aim since I commenced this task than to digress more than is necessary from the order of the narrative or by embellishing my work with a variety of topics to afford pleasant resting-places, as it were, for my readers and mental relaxation for myself. The mention, however, of so great a king and commander induces me to lay before my readers some reflections which I have often made when I have proposed to myself the question, "What would have been the results for Rome if she had been engaged in war with Alexander? "The things which tell most in war are the numbers and courage of the troops, the ability of the commanders, and Fortune, who has such a potent influence over human affairs, especially those of war. Any one who considers these factors either separately or in combination will easily see that as the Roman empire proved invincible against other kings and nations, so it would have proved invincible against Alexander. Let us, first of all, compare the commanders on each side. I do not dispute that Alexander was an exceptional general, but his reputation is enhanced by the fact that he died while still young and before he had time to experience any change of fortune. Not to mention other kings and illustrious captains, who afford striking examples of the mutability of human affairs, I will only instance Cyrus, whom the Greeks celebrate as one of the greatest of men. What was it that exposed him to reverses and misfortunes but the length of his life, as recently in the case of Pompey the Great? Let me enumerate the Roman generals-not all out of all ages but only those with whom as consuls and Dictators Alexander would have had to fight-M. Valerius Corvus, C. Marcius Rutilus, C. Sulpicius, T. Manlius Torquatus, Q. Publilius Philo, L. Papirius Cursor, Q. Fabius Maximus, the two Decii, L. Volumnius, and Manlius Curius. Following these come those men of colossal mould who would have confronted him if he had first turned his arms against Carthage and then crossed over into Italy later in life. Every one of these men was Alexander's equal in courage and ability, and the art of war, which from the beginning of the City had been an unbroken tradition, had now grown into a science based on definite and permanent rules. It was thus that the kings conducted their wars, and after them the Junii and the Valerii, who expelled the kings, and in later succession the Fabii, the Quinctii, and the Cornelii. It was these rules that Camillus followed, and the men who would have had to fight with Alexander had seen Camillus as an old man when they were little more than boys.

Alexander no doubt did all that a soldier ought to do in battle, and that is not his least title to fame. But if Manlius Torquatus had been opposed to him in the field, would he have been inferior to him in this respect, or Valerius Corvus, both of them distinguished as soldiers before they assumed command? Would the Decii, who, after devoting themselves, rushed upon the enemy, or Papirius Cursor with his vast physical courage and strength? Would the clever generalship of one young man have succeeded in baffling the whole senate, not to mention individuals, that senate of which he, who declared that it was composed of kings, alone formed a true idea? Was there any danger of his showing more skill than any of those whom I have mentioned in choosing the site for his camp, or organising his commissariat, or guarding against surprises, or choosing the right moment for giving battle, or disposing his men in line of battle and posting his reserves to the best advantage? He would have said that it was not with Darius that he had to do, dragging after him a train of women and eunuchs, wrapped up in purple and gold, encumbered with all the trappings of state. He found him an easy prey rather than a formidable enemy and defeated him without loss, without being called to do anything more daring than to show a just contempt for the idle show of power. The aspect of Italy would have struck him as very different from the India which he traversed in drunken revelry with an intoxicated army; he would have seen in the passes of Apulia and the mountains of Lucania the traces of the recent disaster which befell his house when his uncle Alexander, King of Epirus, perished.



9.18

I am speaking of Alexander as he was before he was submerged in the flood of success, for no man was less capable of bearing prosperity than he was. If we look at him as transformed by his new fortunes and presenting the new character, so to speak, which he had assumed after his victories, it is evident he would have come into Italy more like Darius than Alexander, and would have brought with him an army which had forgotten its native Macedonia and was rapidly becoming Persian in character. It is a disagreeable task in the case of so great a man to have to record his ostentatious love of dress; the prostrations which he demanded from all who approached his presence, and which the Macedonians must have felt to be humiliating, even had they been vanquished, how much more when they were victors; the terribly cruel punishments he inflicted; the murder of his friends at the banquet-table; the vanity which made him invent a divine pedigree for himself. What, pray, would have happened if his love of wine had become stronger and his passionate nature more violent and fiery as he grew older? I am only stating facts about which there is no dispute. Are we to regard none of these things as serious drawbacks to his merits as a commander? Or was there any danger of that happening which the most frivolous of the Greeks, who actually extol the Parthians at the expense of the Romans, are so constantly harping upon, namely, that the Roman people must have bowed before the greatness of Alexander's name-though I do not think they had even heard of him-and that not one out of all the Roman chiefs would have uttered his true sentiments about him, though men dared to attack him in Athens, the very city which had been shattered by Macedonian arms and almost well in sight of the smoking ruins of Thebes, and the speeches of his assailants are still extant to prove this?

However lofty our ideas of this man's greatness, still it is the greatness of one individual, attained in a successful career of little more than ten years. Those who extol it on the ground that though Rome has never lost a war she has lost many battles, whilst Alexander has never fought a battle unsuccessfully, are not aware that they are comparing the actions of one individual, and he a youth, with the achievements of a people who have had 800 years of war. Where more generations are reckoned on one side than years on the other, can we be surprised that in such a long space of time there have been more changes of fortune than in a period of thirteen years ? Why do you not compare the fortunes of one man with another, of one commander with another? How many Roman generals could I name who have never been unfortunate in a single battle! You may run through page after page of the lists of magistrates, both consuls and Dictators, and not find one with whose valour and fortunes the Roman people have ever for a single day had cause to be dissatisfied. And these men are more worthy of admiration than Alexander or any other king. Some retained the Dictatorship for only ten or twenty days; none held a consulship for more than a year; the levying of troops was often obstructed by the tribunes of the plebs; they were late, in consequence, in taking the field, and were often recalled before the time to conduct the elections; frequently, when they were commencing some important operation, their year of office expired; their colleagues frustrated or ruined their plans, some through recklessness, some through jealousy; they often had to succeed to the mistakes or failures of others and take over an army of raw recruits or one in a bad state of discipline. Kings are free from all hindrances; they are lords of time and circumstance, and draw all things into the sweep of their own designs. Thus, the invincible Alexander would have crossed swords with invincible captains, and would have given the same pledges to Fortune which they gave. Nay, he would have run greater risks than they, for the Macedonians had only one Alexander, who was not only liable to all sorts of accidents but deliberately exposed himself to them, whilst there were many Romans equal to Alexander in glory and in the grandeur of their deeds, and yet each of them might fulfil his destiny by his life or by his death without imperilling the existence of the State.



9.19

It remains for us to compare the one army with the other as regards either the numbers or the quality of the troops or the strength of the allied forces. Now the census for that period gives 250,000 persons. In all the revolts of the Latin league ten legions were raised, consisting almost entirely of city troops. Often during those years four or five armies were engaged simultaneously in Etruria, in Umbria (where they had to meet the Gauls as well), in Samnium, and in Lucania. Then as regards the attitude of the various Italian tribes-the whole of Latium with the Sabines, Volscians, and Aequi, the whole of Campania, parts of Umbria and Etruria, the Picentines, the Marsi, and Paeligni, the Vestinians and Apulians, to which we should add the entire coast of the western sea, with its Greek population, stretching from Thurii to Neapolis and Cumae, and from there as far as Antium and Ostia-all these nationalities he would have found to be either strong allies of Rome or reduced to impotence by Roman arms. He would have crossed the sea with his Macedonian veterans, amounting to not more than 30,000 men and 4000 cavalry, mostly Thracian. This formed all his real strength. If he had brought over in addition Persians and Indians and other Orientals, he would have found them a hindrance rather than a help. We must remember also that the Romans had a reserve to draw upon at home, but Alexander, warring on a foreign soil, would have found his army diminished by the wastage of war, as happened afterwards to Hannibal. His men were armed with round shields and long spears, the Romans had the large shield called the scutum, a better protection for the body, and the javelin, a much more effective weapon than the spear whether for hurling or thrusting. In both armies the soldiers fought in line rank by rank, but the Macedonian phalanx lacked mobility and formed a single unit; the Roman army was more elastic, made up of numerous divisions, which could easily act separately or in combination as required. Then with regard to fatigue duty, what soldier is better able to stand hard work than the Roman?

If Alexander had been worsted in one battle the war would have been over; what army could have broken the strength of Rome, when Caudium and Cannae failed to do so? Even if things had gone well with him at first, he would often have been tempted to wish that Persians and Indians and effeminate Asiatics were his foes, and would have confessed that his former wars had been waged against women, as Alexander of Epirus is reported to have said when after receiving his mortal wound he was comparing his own fortune with that of this very youth in his Asiatic campaigns. When I remember that in the first Punic war we fought at sea for twenty-four years, I think that Alexander would hardly have lived long enough to see one war through. It is quite possible, too, that as Rome and Carthage were at that time leagued together by an old-standing treaty, the same apprehensions might have led those two powerful states to take up arms against the common foe, and Alexander would have been crushed by their combined forces. Rome has had experience of a Macedonian war, not indeed when Alexander was commanding nor when the resources of Macedon were still unimpaired, but the contests against Antiochus, Philip, and Perses were fought not only without loss but even without risk. I trust that I shall not give offence when I say that, leaving out of sight the civil wars, we have never found an enemy's cavalry or infantry too much for us, when we have fought in the open field, on ground equally favourable for both sides, still less when the ground has given us an advantage. The infantry soldier, with his heavy armour and weapons, may reasonably fear the arrows of Parthian cavalry, or passes invested by the enemy, or country where supplies cannot be brought up, but he has repulsed a thousand armies more formidable than those of Alexander and his Macedonians, and will repulse them in the future if only the domestic peace and concord which we now enjoy remains undisturbed for all the years to come.



9.20

M. Foslius Flaccina and L. Plautius Venox were the next consuls. In this year several communities amongst the Samnites made overtures for a fresh treaty. These deputations, when admitted to an audience, prostrated themselves on the ground, and their humble attitude influenced the senate in their favour. Their prayers, however, were by no means so efficacious with the Assembly, to which they had been referred by the senate. Their request for a treaty was refused, but after they had spent several days in appealing to individual citizens, they succeeded in obtaining a two years' truce. In Apulia, too, the people of Teanum and Canusium, tired of the constant ravages which they had suffered, gave hostages and surrendered to the consul, L. Plautius. It was in this year also that prefects were first appointed for Capua and a code of laws given to that city by the praetor, L. Furius. Both these boons were granted in response to a request from the Campanians themselves as a remedy for the deplorable state of things brought about by civic discord. Two new tribes were formed, the Ufentine and the Falernian. As the power of Apulia was declining, the people of Teate came to the new consuls, C. Junius Bubulcus and Q. Aemilius Barbula, to negotiate for a treaty. They gave a formal undertaking that throughout Apulia peace would be maintained towards Rome, and the confident assurances they gave led to a treaty being granted, not, however, as between two independent states; they were to acknowledge the suzerainty of Rome. After the subjugation of Apulia-for Forentum, also a place of considerable strength, had been captured by Junius-an advance was made into Lucania, and the consul, Aemilius, surprised and captured the city of Nerulum. The order introduced into Capua by the adoption of Roman institutions had become generally known amongst the states in alliance with Rome, and the Antiates asked for the same privilege; as they were without a fixed code of laws or any regular magistrates of their own. The patrons of the colony were commissioned by the senate to draw out a system of jurisprudence. Not only the arms of Rome but her laws were spreading far and wide.



9.21

At the termination of their year of office the consuls did not hand the legions over to their successors, Sp. Nautius. and M. Popilius, but to the Dictator, L. Aemilius. In conjunction with M. Fulvius, the Master of the Horse, he commenced an attack on Saticula, and the Samnites at once seized this opportunity to renew hostilities. The Romans were threatened by a double danger; the Samnites, after getting a large army together, had entrenched themselves not far from the Roman camp in order to relieve their blockaded allies, whilst the Saticulans suddenly flung their gates open and made a tumultuous attack on the Roman outposts. The two bodies of combatants, each relying more on the help of the other than on its own strength, united in a regular attack on the Roman camp. Though both sides of the camp were attacked, the Dictator kept his men free from panic, owing to his having selected a position which could not easily be turned, and also because his men presented two fronts. He directed his efforts mainly against those who had made the sortie, and drove them back, without much trouble, behind their walls. Then he turned his whole strength against the Samnites. Here the fighting was more sustained and the victory was longer in coming, but when it did come it was decisive. The Samnites were driven in disorder to their camp, and after extinguishing all the camp fires they departed silently in the night, having abandoned all hope of saving Saticula. By way of retaliation they invested Plistica, a city in alliance with Rome.



9.22

The year having expired, the war was thenceforward carried on by the Dictator, Q. Fabius, whilst the new consuls, like their predecessors, remained in Rome. Fabius marched with reinforcements to Saticula to take over the army from Aemilius. The Samnites did not remain before Plistica; they had called up fresh troops from home, and trusting to their numbers they fixed their camp on the same ground as in the previous year and endeavoured to distract the Romans from their siege operations by a series of harassing attacks. This made the Dictator all the more determined to press the siege, as he considered that the reduction of the place would largely affect the character of the war; he treated the Samnites with comparative indifference, and merely strengthened the pickets on that side of the camp to meet any attack that might be made. This emboldened the Samnites; they rode up to the rampart day after day and allowed the Romans no rest. At last they almost got within the gates of the camp, when Q. Aulius, the Master of the Horse, without consulting the Dictator, charged them furiously from the camp with the whole of his cavalry and drove them off. Though this was only a desultory conflict, Fortune influenced it so largely that she inflicted a signal loss on both sides and brought about the deaths of both commanders. First, the Samnite general, indignant at being repulsed and put to flight from the ground over which he had ridden with such confidence, induced his cavalry by entreaties and encouragement to renew the combat. Whilst he was conspicuous amongst them as he urged on the fighting, the Master of the Horse levelled his lance and spurred his horse against him with such force that with one thrust he hurled him from his saddle dead. His men were not, as often happens, dismayed at their leader's fall. All who were round him flung their missiles on Aulius, who had incautiously ridden on amongst them, but they allowed the dead general's brother to have the special glory of avenging his death. In a frenzy of grief and rage he dragged the Master of the Horse out of his saddle and slew him. The Samnites, amongst whom he had fallen, would have secured the body had not the Romans suddenly leaped from their horses, on which the Samnites were obliged to do the same. A fierce infantry fight raged round the bodies of the two generals in which the Roman was decidedly superior; the body of Aulius was rescued, and amidst mingled demonstrations of grief and joy the victors carried it into camp. After losing their leader and seeing the unfavourable result of the trial of strength in the cavalry action, the Samnites considered it useless to make any further efforts on behalf of Saticula and resumed the siege of Plistica. A few days later Saticula surrendered to the Romans and Plistica was carried by assault by the Samnites.



9.23

The seat of war was now changed; the legions were marched from Samnium and Apulia to Sora. This place had revolted to the Samnites after putting the Roman colonists to death. The Roman army marched thither with all speed to avenge the death of their countrymen and to re-establish the colony. No sooner had they arrived before the place than the reconnoitring parties who had been watching the different routes brought in reports one after another that the Samnites were following and were now at no great distance. The consul marched to meet the enemy, and an indecisive action was fought at Lautulae. The battle was put a stop to, not by the losses or flight of either side but by night, which overtook the combatants while still uncertain whether they were victors or vanquished. I find in some authorities that this battle was unfavourable to the Romans, and that Q. Aulius, the Master of the Horse, fell there. C. Fabius was appointed Master of the Horse in his place and came with a fresh army from Rome. He sent orderlies in advance to consult the Dictator as to where he should take up his position and also as to the time and mode of attacking the enemy. After becoming thoroughly acquainted with the Dictator's plans, he halted his army in a place where he was well concealed. The Dictator kept his men for some days confined to their camp, as though he were enduring a siege rather than conducting one. At last he suddenly displayed the signal for battle. Thinking that brave men were more likely to have their courage stimulated when all their hopes depended upon themselves, he kept the arrival of the Master of the Horse and the fresh army concealed from his soldiers, and as though all their prospects of safety depended upon their cutting their way out, he said to his men: "We have been caught in a position where we are shut in, and we have no way out unless we can open one by our victorious swords. Our standing camp is sufficiently protected by its entrenchments, but it is untenable owing to want of provisions; all the places from which supplies could be obtained have revolted, and even if the people were willing to help us the country is impassable for convoys. I shall not cheat your courage by leaving a camp here into which you can retire, as you did on the last occasion, without winning the victory. Entrenchments are to be protected by arms, not arms by entrenchments. Let those who think it worth their while to prolong the war hold their camp as a place of retreat; we must have regard to nothing but victory. Advance the standards against the enemy, and when the column is clear of the camp those who have been told off for the purpose will set it on fire. What you lose, soldiers, will be made up to you in the plunder of all the surrounding cities which have revolted." The Dictator's words, pointing to the dire necessity to which they were reduced, produced intense excitement, and rendered desperate by the sight of the burning camp-although the Dictator had only ordered some spots nearest to them to be set on fire-they charged like madmen, and at the first onset threw the enemy into confusion. At the same moment the Master of the Horse seeing the burning camp in the distance-the agreed signal-attacked the enemy in the rear. Thus hemmed in, the Samnites fled in all directions, each as best he could. A vast number, who had crowded together in their panic and were so close to one another that they could not use their weapons, were killed between the two armies. The enemy's camp was captured and plundered, and the soldiers, loaded with spoil, were marched back to their own camp. Even their victory did not give them so much pleasure as the discovery that with the exception of a small part spoilt by fire their camp was unexpectedly safe.



9.24

They then returned to Sora, and the new consuls, M. Poetilius and C. Sulpicius, took over the army from the Dictator Fabius, after a large proportion of the veterans had been sent home and new cohorts brought up as reinforcements. Owing, however, to the difficulties presented by the position of the city, no definite plan of attack was yet formed; a long time would be needed to reduce it by famine, and to attempt to storm it would involve considerable risk. In the midst of this uncertainty a Soran deserter left the town secretly and made his way to the Roman sentinels, whom he requested to conduct him at once to the consuls. On being brought before them he undertook to betray the place into their hands. When questioned as to the means by which he would carry out his undertaking, he laid his proposals before them and they appeared quite feasible. He advised them to remove their camp, which was almost adjoining the walls, to a distance of six miles from the town, this would lead to less vigilance on the part of those who were on outpost duty during the day and sentry duty at night. The following night, after some cohorts had been ordered to conceal themselves in some wooded spots close under the town, he conducted a picked body of ten men by a steep and almost inaccessible path into the citadel. Here a quantity of missile weapons had been collected, far more than would be required for the men who had been brought there, and in addition there were large stones, some lying about as is usual in craggy places, others piled in heaps by the townsmen to use for the defence of the place. When he had posted the Romans here and had pointed out to them a steep and narrow path leading up from the town, he said to them: "From this ascent even three armed men could keep back a multitude however large. You are ten in number, and what is more you are Romans, and the bravest of them. You have the advantage of position and you will be helped by the night, which by its obscurity makes everything look more terrible. I will now spread panic everywhere; you devote yourselves to holding the citadel." Then he ran down and created as great a tumult as he possibly could, shouting: "To arms, citizens! Help, help! The citadel has been seized by the enemy, hasten to its defence!" He kept up the alarm as he knocked at the doors of the principal men, he shouted it in the ears of all whom he met, of all who rushed out terror-struck into the streets. The panic which one man had started was carried by numbers through the city. The magistrates hurriedly sent men up to the citadel to find out what had happened, and when they heard that it was held by an armed force, whose numbers were grossly exaggerated, they gave up all hopes of recovering it. All quarters of the city were filled with fugitives; the gates were burst open by people who were only half awake and mostly without arms, and through one of these the Roman cohorts, roused by the shouting, rushed in and slew the frightened crowds who were thronging the streets. Sora was already captured when in the early dawn the consuls appeared and accepted the surrender of those whom Fortune had spared from the nocturnal massacre. Amongst these two hundred and twenty-five were sent in chains to Rome as they were universally admitted to have been the instigators of the murder of the colonists and the revolt which followed. The rest of the population were left uninjured and a garrison was stationed in the town. All those taken to Rome were scourged and beheaded to the great satisfaction of the plebs, who felt it to be a matter of supreme importance that those who had been sent out in such large numbers as colonists should be safe wherever they were.



9.25

After leaving Sora the consuls extended the war to the cities and fields of Ausonia, for the whole country had become restless owing to the presence of the Samnites after the battle of Lautulae. Plots were being hatched everywhere throughout Campania, even Capua was not free from disaffection, and it was found upon investigation that the movement had actually reached some of the principal men in Rome. It was, however, as in the case of Sora, through the betrayal of her cities that Ausonia fell under the power of Rome. There were three cities-Ausona, Menturnae, and Vescia-which some twelve young men belonging to the principal families there had mutually agreed to betray to the Romans. They came to the consuls and informed them that their people had long been looking forward to the arrival of the Samnites, and after they had heard of the battle of Lautulae, they looked upon the Romans as vanquished and many of the younger men had volunteered to serve with the Samnites. After the Samnites, however, had been driven out of their country they were wavering between peace and war, afraid to close their gates to the Romans lest they should provoke a war and yet determined to close them if a Roman army approached their city. In this state of indecision they would fall an easy prey. Acting on their advice, the Romans moved their camp into the neighbourhood of these cities, and at the same time soldiers were despatched, some fully armed, to occupy concealed positions near the walls, others in ordinary dress, with swords hidden under their togas, were to enter the cities through the open gates at the approach of daylight. As soon as the latter began to attack the guards the signal was given for the others to rush from their ambush. Thus the gates were secured, and the three towns were captured at the same time and by the same stratagem. As the generals were not there to direct the attack, there was no check upon the carnage which ensued, and the nation of the Ausonians was exterminated, just as if they had been engaged in an internecine war, though there was no certain proof of their having revolted.



9.26

During this year the Roman garrison at Luceria was treacherously betrayed, and the Samnites became masters of the place. The traitors did not go long unpunished. A Roman army was not far away, and the city, which lay in a plain, was taken at the first assault. The Lucerines and Samnites were put to death, no quarter being given, and such deep indignation was felt at Rome that when the question of sending fresh colonists to Luceria was under discussion in the senate many voted for the complete destruction of the city. Not only the bitter feeling towards a people who had been twice subdued but also the distance from Rome made them shrink from banishing their countrymen so far from home. However, the proposal to despatch colonists was adopted; 2500 were sent. Whilst disloyalty was thus manifesting itself everywhere, Capua also became the centre of intrigues amongst some of her principal men. When the matter came up in the senate, there was a general feeling that it ought to be dealt with at once. A decree was passed authorising the immediate opening of a court of inquiry, and C. Maenius was nominated Dictator to conduct the proceedings. M. Foslius was appointed Master of the Horse. The greatest alarm was created by this step, and the Calavii, Ovius, and Novius, who had been the ringleaders, did not wait to be denounced to the Dictator, but placed themselves beyond the reach of prosecution by what was undoubtedly a self-inflicted death. As there was no longer any matter for investigation at Capua, the inquiry was directed to those who were suspected in Rome. The decree was interpreted as authorising an inquiry, not in regard to Capua especially, but generally in respect of all who had formed cabals and conspiracies against the republic, including the secret leagues entered into by candidates for office. The inquiry began to embrace a wider scope both with respect to the nature of the alleged offences and the persons affected, and the Dictator insisted that the authority vested in him as criminal judge was unlimited. Men of high family were indicted, and no one was allowed to appeal to the tribunes to arrest proceedings. When matters had gone thus far, the nobility-not only those against whom information was being laid, but the order as a whole-protested that the charge did not lie on the patricians, to whom the path to honours always lay open, unless it was obstructed by intrigue, but on the novi homines. They even asserted that the Dictator and the Master of the Horse were more fit to be put upon their trial than to act as inquisitors in cases where this charge was brought, and they would find that out as soon as they had vacated their office.

Under these circumstances, Maenius, more anxious to clear his reputation than to retain his office, came forward in the Assembly and addressed it in the following terms: "You are all cognisant, Quirites, of what my life has been in the past, and this very office which has been conferred upon me is a testimony to my innocence. There are men amongst the nobility-as to their motives it is better that you should form your own opinion than that I, holding the office I do, should say anything without proof-who tried their utmost to stifle this inquiry. When they found themselves powerless to do this they sought to shelter themselves, patricians though they were, behind the stronghold of their opponents, the tribunician veto, so as to escape from trial. At last, driven from that position, and thinking any course safer than that of trying to prove their innocence, they have directed their assaults against us, and private citizens have not been ashamed to demand the impeachment of the Dictator. Now, that gods and men alike may know that in trying to avoid giving an account of themselves these men are attempting the impossible, and that I am prepared to answer any charge and meet my accusers face to face, I at once resign my Dictatorship. And if the senate should assign the task to you, consuls, I beg that you will begin with M. Foslius and myself, so that it may be conclusively shown that we are protected from such charges, not by our official position, but by our innocence." He then at once laid down his office, followed by the Master of the Horse. They were the first to be tried before the consuls, for so the senate ordered, and as the evidence given by the nobles against them completely broke down, they were triumphantly acquitted. Even Publilius Philo, a man who had repeatedly filled the highest offices as a reward for his services at home and in the field, but who was disliked by the nobility, was put on his trial and acquitted. As usual, however, it was only whilst this inquisition was a novelty that it had strength enough to attack illustrious names; it soon began to stoop to humbler victims, until it was at length stifled by the very cabals and factions which it had been instituted to suppress.



9.27

The rumour of these proceedings, and, still more, the expectation of a Campanian revolt, which had already been secretly organised recalled the Samnites from their designs in Apulia. They marched to Caudium, which from its proximity to Capua would make it easy for them, if the opportunity offered, to wrest that city from the Romans. The consuls marched to Caudium with a strong force. For some time both armies remained in their positions on either side of the pass, as they could only reach each other by a most difficult route. At length the Samnites descended by a short detour through open country into the flat district of Campania, and there for the first time they came within sight of each other's camp. There were frequent skirmishes, in which the cavalry played a greater part than the infantry, and the Romans had no cause to be dissatisfied with these trials of strength, nor with the delay which was prolonging the war. The Samnite generals, on the other hand, saw that these daily encounters involved daily losses, and that the prolongation of the war was sapping their strength. They decided, therefore, to bring on an action. They posted their cavalry on the two flanks of their army with instructions to keep their attention on their camp, in case it were attacked, rather than on the battle, which would be safe in the hands of the infantry. On the other side, the consul Sulpicius directed the right wing Poetilius the left. The Roman right was drawn up in more open order than usual, as the Samnites opposed to them were standing in thinly extended ranks in order either to surround the enemy or to prevent themselves from being surrounded. The left, which was in a much closer formation, was further strengthened by a rapid maneuver of Poetilius, who suddenly brought up into the fighting line the cohorts which were usually kept in reserve, in case the battle was prolonged. He then charged the enemy with his full strength. As the Samnite infantry were shaken by the weight of the attack their cavalry came to their support, and riding obliquely between the two armies were met by the Roman cavalry who charged them at a hard gallop and threw infantry and cavalry alike into confusion, until they had forced back the whole line in this part of the field. Sulpicius was taking his part with Poetilius in encouraging the men in this division, for on hearing the battle-shout raised he had ridden across from his own division, which was not yet engaged. Seeing that the victory was no longer doubtful here he rode back to his post with his 1200 cavalry, but he found a very different condition of things there, the Romans had been driven from their ground and the victorious enemy were pressing them hard. The presence of the consul produced a sudden and complete change, the courage of the men revived at the sight of their general, and the cavalry whom he had brought up rendered an assistance out of all proportion to their numbers, whilst the sound, followed soon by the sight of the success on the other wing, re-animated the combatants to redouble their exertions. From this moment the Romans were victorious along the whole line, and the Samnites abandoning all further resistance, were all killed or taken prisoners, with the exception of those who succeeded in escaping to Maleventum, now called Beneventum. Their loss in prisoners and slain is stated by the chroniclers to have amounted to 30,000.



9.28

After this great victory the consuls advanced to Bovianum, which they proceeded to invest. They remained there in winter quarters until C. Poetilius, who had been named Dictator with M. Foslius as Master of the Horse, took over the army from the new consuls, L. Papirius Cursor, consul for the fifth time, and C. Junius Bubulcus, for the second time. On learning that the citadel of Fregellae had been captured by the Samnites, he raised the siege of Bovianum and marched to Fregellae. The place was retaken without fighting, for the Samnites evacuated it in the night, and after leaving a strong garrison there, the Dictator returned to Campania with the main object of recovering Nola. At his approach the whole of the Samnite population and the native peasantry retired within the walls. After examining the position of the city, he gave orders for all the buildings outside the wall-and there was a considerable population in the suburbs-to be destroyed in order to render the approach easier. Not long afterwards, Nola was taken, either by the Dictator or by the consul, C. Junius, for both accounts are given. Those who give the credit of the capture to the consul state that Atina and Calatia were also taken by him, and they explain the appointment of Poetilius by saying that he was nominated Dictator for the purpose of driving in the nail on the outbreak of an epidemic. Colonies were sent out this year to Suessa and Pontia; Suessa had belonged to the Auruncans, and the island of Pontia had been inhabited by the Volscians, as it lay off their coast. The senate also authorised the settlement of a colony at Interamna on the Casinus, but it fell to the succeeding consuls, M. Valerius and P. Decius, to appoint the commissioners and send out the colonists to the number of 4000.



9.29

The Samnite war was now drawing to a close, but before the senate could dismiss it entirely from their thoughts there was a rumour of war on the side of Etruria. With the one exception of the Gauls, no nation was more dreaded at that time, owing to their proximity to Rome and their vast population. One of the consuls remained in Samnium to finish the war, the other, P. Decius, was detained in Rome by serious illness, and on instructions from the senate, nominated C. Junius Bubulcus Dictator. In view of the seriousness of the emergency the Dictator compelled all who were liable for service to take the military oath, and used his utmost endeavours to have arms and whatever else was required in readiness. Notwithstanding the great preparations he was making, he had no intention of assuming the aggressive, and had quite made up his mind to wait until the Etruscans made the first move. The Etruscans were equally energetic in their preparations, and equally reluctant to commence hostilities. Neither side went outside their own frontiers. This year (312 B.C.) was signalised by the censorship of Appius Claudius. His claim to distinction with posterity rests mainly upon his public works, the road and the aqueduct which bear his name. He carried out these undertakings single-handed, for, owing to the odium he incurred by the way he revised the senatorial lists and filled up the vacancies, his colleague, thoroughly ashamed of his conduct, resigned. In the obstinate temper which had always marked his house, Appius continued to hold office alone. It was owing to his action that the Potitii, whose family had always possessed the right of ministering at the Ava Maxima of Hercules, transferred that duty to some temple servants, whom they had instructed in the various observances. There is a strange tradition connected with this, and one well calculated to create religious scruples in the minds of any who would disturb the established order of ceremonial usages. It is said that though when the change was made there were twelve branches of the family of the Potitii comprising thirty adults, not one member, old or young, was alive twelve months later. Nor was the extinction of the Potitian name the only consequence; Appius himself some years afterwards was struck with blindness by the unforgetting wrath of the gods.



9.30

The consuls for the following year were C. Junius Bubulcus (for the third time) and Q. Aemilius Barbula (for the second time). At the beginning of their year of office they laid a complaint before the Assembly touching the unscrupulous way in which vacancies in the senate had been filled up, men having been passed over who were far superior to some who had been selected, whereby the whole senatorial order had been sullied and disgraced. They declared that the selection had been made solely with a view to popularity and out of sheer caprice, and that no regard whatever had been paid to the good or bad characters of those chosen. They then gave out that they should ignore them altogether, and at once proceeded to call over the names of the senators as they appeared on the roll before Appius Claudius and C. Plautius were made censors. Two official posts were for the first time this year placed at the disposal of the people, both of a military character. One was the office of military tribune; sixteen were henceforth appointed by the people for the four legions; these had hitherto been selected by the Dictators and consuls, very few places being left to the popular vote. L. Atilius and C. Marcius, tribunes of the plebs, were responsible for that measure. The other was the post of naval commissioner; the people were to appoint two to superintend the equipment and refitting of the fleet. This provision was due to M. Decius, a tribune of the plebs. An incident of a somewhat trifling character occurred this year which I should have passed over did it not appear to be connected with religious customs. The guild of flute-players had been forbidden by the censors to hold their annual banquet in the temple of Jupiter, a privilege they had enjoyed from ancient times. Hugely disgusted, they went off in a body to Tibur, and not one was left in the City to perform at the sacrificial rites. The senate were alarmed at the prospect of the various religious ceremonies being thus shorn of their due ritual, and they sent envoys to Tibur, who were to make it their business to see that the Romans got these men back again. The Tiburtines promised to do their best, and invited the musicians into the Senate-house, where they were strongly urged to return to Rome. As they could not be persuaded to do so, the Tiburtines adopted a ruse quite appropriate to the character of the men they were dealing with. It was a feast day and they were invited to various houses, ostensibly to supply music at the banquets. Like the rest of their class, they were fond of wine, and they were plied with it till they drank themselves into a state of torpor. In this condition they were thrown into wagons and carried off to Rome. They were left in the wagons all night in the Forum, and did not recover their senses till daylight surprised them still suffering from the effect of their debauch. The people crowded round them and succeeded in inducing them to stay, and they were granted the privilege of going about the City for three days every year in their long dresses and masks with singing and mirth; a custom which is still observed. Those members of the guild who played on solemn occasions in the temple of Jupiter had the right restored to them of holding their banquets there. These incidents occurred while the public attention was fixed on two most serious wars.



9.31

The consuls drew lots for their respective commands; the Samnites fell to Junius, the new theatre of war in Etruria to Aemilius. The Roman garrison of Cluvia in Samnium, after being unsuccessfully attacked, were starved into surrender, and were then massacred after being cruelly mangled by the scourge. Enraged at this brutality, Junius felt that the first thing to be done was to attack Cluvia, and on the very day he arrived before the place he took it by storm and put all the adult males to death. Thence his conquering army marched to Bovianum. This was the chief city of the Pentrian Samnites, and by far the wealthiest and best supplied with arms. There was not the same cause for resentment here as at Cluvia, the soldiers were mainly animated by the prospect of plunder, and on the capture of the place the enemy were treated with less severity; but there was almost more booty collected there than from all the rest of Samnium, and the whole of it was generously given up to the soldiers. Now that nothing could withstand the overwhelming might of Roman arms, neither armies nor camps nor cities, the one idea in the minds of all the Samnite leaders was to choose some position from which Roman troops when scattered on their foraging expeditions might be caught and surrounded. Some peasants who pretended to be deserters and some who had, either deliberately or by accident, been made prisoners, came to the consuls with a story in which they all agreed, and which really was true, namely, that an immense quantity of cattle had been driven into a pathless forest. The consuls were induced by this story to send the legions, with nothing but their kits to encumber them, in the direction the cattle had taken, to secure them. A very strong body of the enemy were concealed on either side of the road, and when they saw that the Romans had entered the forest they suddenly raised a shout and made a tumultuous attack upon them. The suddenness of the affair at first created some confusion, while the men were piling their kits in the centre of the column and getting at their weapons, but as soon as they had each freed themselves from their burdens and put themselves in fighting trim, they began to assemble round the standards. From their old discipline and long experience they knew their places in the ranks, and the line was formed without any orders being needed, each man acting on his own initiative.

The consul rode up to the part where the fighting was hottest and, leaping off his horse, called Jupiter, Mars, and other gods to witness that he had not gone into that place in quest of any glory for himself, but solely to provide booty for his soldiers, nor could any other fault be found with him except that he had been too anxious to enrich his men at the expense of the enemy. From that disgrace nothing would clear him but the courage of his men. Only they must one and all make a determined attack. The enemy had been already worsted in the field, stripped of his camp, deprived of his cities, and was now trying the last chance by lurking secretly in ambush and trusting to his ground, not to his arms. What ground was too difficult for Roman courage? He reminded them of the citadels of Fregellae and of Sora and of the successes they had everywhere met with when the nature of the ground was all against them. Fired by his words, his men, oblivious of all difficulties, went straight at the hostile line above them. Some exertion was needed while the column were climbing up the face of the hill, but when once the leading standards had secured a footing on the summit and the army found that it was on favourable ground, it was the enemy's turn to be dismayed; they flung away their arms, and in wild flight made for the lurking-places in which they had shortly before concealed themselves. But the place which they had selected as presenting most difficulty to the enemy now became a trap for themselves, and impeded them in every way. Very few were able to escape. As many as 20,000 men were killed, and the victorious Romans dispersed in different directions to secure the cattle of which the enemy had made them a present.



9.32

During these occurrences in Samnium the whole of the cities of Etruria with the exception of Arretium had taken up arms and commenced what proved to be a serious war by an attack on Sutrium. This city was in alliance with Rome, and served as a barrier on the side of Etruria. Aemilius marched thither to raise the siege, and selected a site before the city where he entrenched himself. His camp was plentifully supplied with provisions from Sutrium. The Etruscans spent the day after his arrival in discussing whether they should bring on an immediate engagement or protract the war. Their generals decided upon the more energetic course as the safer one, and the next day at sunrise the signal for battle was displayed and the troops marched into the field. As soon as this was reported to the consul he ordered the tessera to be given out, instructing the men to take their breakfast, and after they were strengthened by food to arm themselves for battle. When he saw that they were in complete readiness, he ordered the standards to go forward, and after the army had emerged from the camp he formed his battle-line not far from the enemy. For some time both sides stood in expectation, each waiting for the other to raise the battle-shout and begin the fighting. The sun passed the meridian before a single missile was discharged on either side. At length the Etruscans, not caring to leave the field without securing some success, raised the battle-shout; the trumpets sounded and the standards advanced. The Romans showed no less eagerness to engage. They closed with each other in deadly earnest. The Etruscans had the advantage in numbers, the Romans in courage. The contest was equally maintained and cost many lives, including the bravest on both sides, nor did either army show any signs of giving way until the second Roman line came up fresh into the place of the first, who were wearied and exhausted. The Etruscans had no reserves to support their first line, and all fell in front of their standards or around them. No battle would have witnessed fewer fugitives or involved greater carnage had not the Tuscans, who had made up their minds to die, found protection in the approach of night, so that the victors were the first to desist from fighting. After sunset the signal was given to retire, and both armies returned in the night to their respective camps. Nothing further worth mention took place that year at Sutrium. The enemy had lost the whole of their first line in a single battle and had only their reserves left, who were hardly sufficient to protect their camp. Amongst the Romans there were so many wounded that those who left the field disabled were more numerous than those who had fallen in the battle.



9.33

The consuls for the following year were Q. Fabius and C. Marcius Rutilus. Fabius took over the command at Sutrium, and brought reinforcements from Rome. A fresh army was also raised in Etruria and sent to support the besiegers. Very many years had elapsed since there had been any contests between the patrician magistrates and the tribunes of the plebs. Now, however, a dispute arose through that family which seemed marked out by destiny to be the cause of quarrels with the plebs and its tribunes. Appius Claudius had now been censor eighteen months, the period fixed by the Aemilian Law for the duration of that office. In spite of the fact that his colleague, C. Plautius, had resigned, he could under no circumstances whatever be induced to vacate his office. P. Sempronius was the tribune of the plebs who commenced an action for limiting his censorship to the legal period. In taking this step he was acting in the interests of justice quite as much as in the interests of the people, and he carried the sympathies of the aristocracy no less than he had the support of the masses. He recited the several provisions of the Aemilian Law and extolled its author, Mamercus Aemilius, the Dictator, for having shortened the censorship. Formerly, he reminded his hearers, it was held for five years, a time long enough to make it tyrannical and despotic, Aemilius limited it to eighteen months. Then turning to Appius he asked him: "Pray tell me, Appius, what would you have done had you been censor at the time that C. Furius and M. Geganius were censors?" Appius Claudius replied that the tribune's question had not much bearing on his case. He argued that though the law might be binding in the case of those censors during whose period of office it was passed, because it was after they had been appointed that the people ordered the measure to become law, and the last order of the people was law for the time being, nevertheless, neither he nor any of the censors subsequently appointed could be bound by it because all succeeding censors had been appointed by the order of the people and the last order of the people was the law for the time being.



9.34

This quibble on the part of Appius convinced no one. Sempronius then addressed the Assembly in the following language: "Quirites, here you have the progeny of that Appius who, after being appointed decemvir for one year, appointed himself for a second year, and then, without going through any form of appointment either at his own hands or at any one else's, retained the fasces and the supreme authority for a third year, and persisted in retaining them until the power which he gained by foul means, exercised by foul means, and retained by foul means, proved his ruin. This is the family, Quirites, by whose violence and lawlessness you were driven out of your City and compelled to occupy the Sacred Mount; the family against which you won the protection of your tribunes; the family on whose account you took up your position, in two armies, on the Aventine. It is this family which has always opposed the laws against usury and the agrarian laws; which interfered with the right of intermarriage between patricians and plebeians; which blocked the path of the plebs to curule offices. This name is much more deadly to your liberties than the name of the Tarquins. Is it really the case, Appius Claudius, that though it is a hundred years since Mamercus Aemilius was Dictator, and there have been all those censors since, men of the highest rank and strength of character, not one of them ever read the Twelve Tables, not one of them knew that the last order of the people is the law for the time being? Of course they all knew it, and because they knew it they preferred to obey the Aemilian Law rather than that older one by which the censors were originally appointed, simply because the former was the last passed by order of the people and also because when two laws contradict each other the later one repeals the earlier. Do you maintain, Appius, that the people are not bound by the Aemilian Law, or do you claim, if they are bound by it, that you alone are exempt from its provisions? That law availed to bind those arbitrary censors C. Furius and M. Geganius, who gave us a proof of the mischief which that office could work in the republic when, in revenge for the limitation of their power, they placed among the aerarii the foremost soldier and statesman of his time, Mamercus Aemilius. It bound all the succeeding censors for a hundred years, it binds your colleague C. Plautius, who was appointed under the same auspices, with the same powers as yourself. Did not the people appoint him 'with all the customary powers and privileges' that a censor can possess? Or are you the solitary exception in whom all these powers and privileges reside? Whom then can you appoint as 'king for sacrifices'? He will cling to the name of 'king' and say that he was appointed with all the powers that the Kings of Rome possessed. Who do you suppose would be contented with a six months' dictatorship or a five days' interregnum? Whom would you venture to nominate as Dictator for the purpose of driving in the nail or presiding at the Games? How stupid and spiritless, Quirites, you must consider those men to have been who after their magnificent achievements resigned their dictatorship in twenty days, or vacated their office owing to some flaw in their appointment! But why should I recall instances of old time? It is not ten years since C. Maenius as Dictator was conducting a criminal process with a rigour which some powerful people considered dangerous to themselves, and in consequence his enemies charged him with being tainted with the very crime he was investigating. He at once resigned his dictatorship in order to meet, as a private citizen, the charges brought against him. I am far from wishing to see such moderation in you, Appius. Do not show yourself a degenerate scion of your house; do not fall short of your ancestors in their craving for power, their love of tyranny; do not vacate your office a day or an hour sooner than you are obliged, only see that you do not exceed the fixed term. Perhaps you will be satisfied with an additional day or an additional month? 'No,' he says, 'I shall hold my censorship for three years and a half beyond the period fixed by the Aemilian Law and I shall hold it alone.' This sounds very much like an absolute monarch. Or will you co-opt a colleague, a proceeding forbidden by divine laws even where one has been lost by death?

"There is a sacred function going back to the very earliest times, the only one actually initiated by the deity in whose honour it is performed, which has always been discharged by men of the highest rank and most blameless character. You, conscientious censor that you are, have transferred this ministry to servants, and a House older than this City, hallowed by the hospitality they showed to immortal gods, has become extinct in one short year owing to you and your censorship. But this is not enough for you, you will not rest till you have involved the whole commonwealth in a sacrilege the consequences of which I dare not contemplate. The capture of this City occurred in that lustrum in which the censor, L. Papirius Cursor, after the death of his colleague, C. Julius, co-opted as his colleague M. Cornelius Maluginensis sooner than abdicate his office. And yet how much more moderation did he show even then than you, Appius; he did not continue to hold his censorship alone nor beyond the legal term. L. Papirius did not, however, find any one to follow his example, all succeeding censors resigned office on the death of their colleague. But nothing restrains you, neither the expiry of your term of office nor the resignation of your colleague nor the Law nor any feeling of self-respect. You consider it a merit to show arrogance, effrontery, contempt of gods and men. When I consider the majesty and reverence which surround the office that you have held, Appius Claudius, I am most reluctant to subject you to personal restraint or even to address you in severe terms. But your obstinacy and arrogance have compelled me to speak as I have done, and now I warn you that if you do not comply with the Aemilian Law I shall order you to be taken to prison. Our ancestors made it a rule that if at the election of censors two candidates did not get the requisite majority of votes one should not be returned alone, but the election should be adjourned. Under this rule, as you cannot be appointed sole censor, I will not allow you to remain in office alone." He then ordered the censor to be arrested and taken to prison. Appius formally appealed to the protection of the tribunes, and though Sempronius was supported by six of his colleagues, the other three vetoed any further proceedings. Appius continued to hold his office alone amidst universal indignation and disgust.



9.35

During these proceedings in Rome the siege of Sutrium was being kept up by the Etruscans. The consul Fabius was marching to assist the allies of Rome and to attempt the enemy's lines wherever it seemed practicable. His route lay along the lowest slopes of the mountain range, when he came upon the hostile forces drawn up in battle formation. The wide plain which stretched below revealed their enormous numbers, and in order to compensate for his own inferiority in that respect by the advantage of position, he deflected his column a little way on to the rising ground, which was rough and covered with stones. He then formed his front against the enemy. The Etruscans, thinking of nothing but their numbers, on which they solely relied, came on with such eager impetuosity that they flung away their javelins in order to come more quickly to a hand-to-hand fight, and rushed upon their foe with drawn swords. The Romans, on the other hand, showered down upon them first their javelins and then the stones with which the ground plentifully supplied them. Shields and helmets alike were struck, and those who were not wounded were confounded and bewildered; it was almost impossible for them to get to close quarters, and they had no missiles with which to keep up the fight from a distance. Whilst they were standing as a mark for the missiles, without any sufficient protection, some even retreating, the whole line wavering and unsteady, the Roman hastati and principes raised their battle-shout again and charged down upon them with drawn swords. The Etruscans did not wait for the charge but faced about and in disorderly flight made for their camp. The Roman cavalry, however, galloping in a slanting direction across the plain, headed off the fugitives, who gave up all idea of reaching their camp and turned off to the mountains. For the most part without arms, and with a large proportion of wounded, the fugitives entered the Ciminian forest. Many thousands of Etruscans were killed, thirty-eight standards were taken, and in the capture of the camp the Romans secured an immense amount of booty. Then the question was discussed whether to pursue the enemy or no.



9.36

The Ciminian forest was, in those days, more frightful and impassable than the German forests were recently found to be; not a single trader had, up to that time, ventured through it. Of those present in the council of war, hardly any one but the general himself was bold enough to undertake to enter it; they had not yet forgotten the horrors of Caudium. According to one tradition, it appears that M. Fabius, the consul's brother-others say Caeso, others again L. Claudius, the consul's half-brother-declared that he would go and reconnoitre, and shortly return with accurate information. He had been brought up in Caere, and was thoroughly conversant with the Etruscan language and literature. There is authority for asserting that at that time Roman boys were, as a rule, instructed in Etruscan literature as they now are in Greek, but I think the probability is that there was something remarkable about the man who displayed such boldness in disguising himself and mingling with the enemy. He is said to have been accompanied by only one servant, and during their journey they only made brief inquiries as to the nature of the country and the names of its leading men, lest they should make some startling blunder in conversing with the natives and so be found out. They went disguised as shepherds, with their rustic weapons, each carrying two bills and two heavy javelins. But neither their familiarity with the language nor the fashion of their dress nor their implements afforded them so much protection as the impossibility of believing that any stranger would enter the Ciminian forest. It is stated that they penetrated as far as Camerinum in Umbria, and on their arrival there the Roman ventured to say who they were. He was introduced into the senate, and, acting in the consul's name, he established a treaty of friendship with them. After having been most kindly and hospitably received, he was requested to inform the Romans that thirty days' provision would be ready for them if they came into that district, and the Camertine soldiery would be prepared to act under their orders. When the consul received this report, he sent the baggage on in advance at the first watch. The legions were ordered to march behind the baggage, while he himself remained behind with the cavalry. The following day at dawn he rode up with his cavalry to the enemy's outposts stationed on the edge of the forest, and after he had engaged their attention for a considerable time, he returned to the camp and, in the evening, leaving by the rear gate, he started after the column. By dawn on the following day he was holding the nearest heights of the Ciminian range, and after surveying the rich fields of Etruria he sent out parties to forage. A very large quantity of plunder had already been secured when some cohorts of Etruscan peasantry, hastily got together by the authorities of the neighbourhood, sought to check the foragers; they were, however, so badly organised that, instead of rescuing the prey, they almost fell a prey themselves. After putting them to flight with heavy loss, the Romans ravaged the country far and wide, and returned to their camp loaded with plunder of every kind. It happened to be during this raid that a deputation, consisting of five members of the senate with two tribunes of the plebs, came to warn Fabius, in the name of the senate, not to traverse the Ciminian forest. They were very glad to find that they had come too late to prevent the expedition, and returned to Rome to report victory.



9.37

This expedition did not bring the war to a close, it only extended it. The whole country lying below the Ciminian range had felt the effect of his devastations, and they roused the indignation of the cantons of Etruria and of the adjoining districts of Umbria. A larger army than had ever assembled before was marched to Sutrium. Not only did they advance their camp beyond the edge of the forest, but they showed such eagerness that they marched down in battle order on to the plain as soon as possible. After advancing some distance they halted. leaving a space between them and the Roman camp for the enemy to form his lines. When they became aware that their enemy declined battle, they marched up to the rampart of the camp and, on seeing that the outposts retired within the camp, they loudly insisted upon their generals ordering the day's rations to be brought down to them from their camp, as they intended to remain under arms and attack the hostile camp, if not by night, at all events at dawn. The Romans were quite as excited at the prospect of battle, but they were kept quiet by their commander's authority. It was about four o'clock in the afternoon when the general ordered the troops to take food, and instructed them to remain under arms and in readiness at whatever hour he gave the signal, whether by day or by night. In a brief address to his men he drew a contrast between the military qualities of the Samnites and those of the Etruscans, speaking highly of the former and disparaging the latter, saying that there was no comparison between them as regarded either their courage or their numbers. They would learn in time that he had another weapon in reserve, meanwhile he must keep silence. By these dark hints he made his men believe that the enemy were being betrayed, and this helped to restore the courage which had quailed at the sight of such an immense multitude. This impression was confirmed by the absence of any intention on the part of the enemy to entrench the ground they were occupying.

After the troops had had dinner, they rested until about the fourth watch. Then they rose quietly and armed themselves. A quantity of mattock-headed axes were distributed to the camp-followers, with which they were to dig away the rampart and fill up the fosse with it. The troops were formed up within their entrenchments, and picked cohorts were posted at the exits of the camp. Then a little before dawn-in summer nights the time for deepest sleep-the signal was given, the men crossed the levelled rampart in line and fell upon the enemy, who were lying about in all directions. Some were killed before they could stir, others only half awake as they lay, most of them whilst wildly endeavouring to seize their arms. Only a few had time to arm themselves, and these, with no standards under which to rally, no officers to lead them, were routed and fled, the Romans following in hot pursuit. Some sought their camp, others the forest. The latter proved the safer refuge, for the camp, situated in the plain below, was taken the same day. The gold and silver were ordered to be brought to the consul; the rest of the spoil became the property of the soldiers. The killed and prisoners amounted to 60,000. Some authors assert that this great battle was fought beyond the Ciminian forest, at Perusia, and that fears were felt in the City lest the army, cut off from all help by that terrible forest, should be overwhelmed by a united force of Tuscans and Umbrians. But wherever it was fought, the Romans had the best of it. As a result of this victory, Perusia, Cortona, and Arretium, which were at that time the three leading cantons of Etruria, sent to Rome for a treaty of peace. A thirty years' truce was granted them.



9.38

During these occurrences in Etruria the other consul, C. Marcius Rutilus, took Allifae from the Samnites. Many other fortified posts and hamlets were either destroyed or passed uninjured into the power of the Romans. While this was going on, P. Cornelius, whom the senate had made maritime prefect, took the Roman fleet to Campania and brought up at Pompeii. Here the crews landed and proceeded to ravage the territory of Nuceria. After devastating the district near the coast, from which they could have easily reached their ships, they went further inland, attracted as usual by the desire for plunder, and here they roused the inhabitants against them. As long as they were scattered through the fields they met nobody, though they might have been cut off to a man, but when they returned, thinking themselves perfectly safe, they were overtaken by the peasants and stripped of all their plunder. Some were killed; the survivors were driven helter-skelter to their ships. However great the alarm created in Rome by Q. Fabius' expedition through the Ciminian forest, there was quite as much pleasure felt by the Samnites when they heard of it. They said that the Roman army was hemmed in; it was the Caudine disaster over again; the old recklessness had again led a nation always greedy for further conquests into an impassable forest; they were beset by the difficulties of the ground quite as much as by hostile arms. Their delight was, however, tinged with envy when they reflected that fortune had diverted the glory of finishing the war with Rome from the Samnites to the Etruscans. So they concentrated their whole strength to crush C. Marcius or, if he did not give them a chance of fighting, to march through the country of the Marsi and Sabines into Etruria. The consul advanced against them, and a desperate battle was fought with no decisive result. Which side lost most heavily was doubtful, but a rumour was spread that the Romans had been worsted, as they had lost some belonging to the equestrian order and some military tribunes, besides a staff officer, and-what was a signal disaster-the consul himself was wounded. Reports of the battle, exaggerated as usual, reached Rome and created the liveliest alarm among the senators. It was decided that a Dictator should be nominated, and no one had the slightest doubt that Papirius Cursor would be nominated, the one man who was regarded as the supreme general of his day. But they did not believe that a messenger could get through to the army in Samnium, as the whole country was hostile, nor were they by any means sure that Marcius was still alive.

The other consul, Fabius, was on bad terms with Papirius. To prevent this private feud from causing public danger, the senate resolved to send a deputation to Fabius, consisting of men of consular rank, who were to support their authority as public envoys by using their personal influence to induce him to lay aside all feelings of enmity for the sake of his country. When they had handed to Fabius the resolution of the senate, and had employed such arguments as their instructions demanded, the consul, keeping his eyes fixed on the ground, withdrew from the deputation, without making any reply and leaving them in utter uncertainty as to what he would do. Subsequently, he nominated L. Papirius Dictator according to the traditional usage at midnight. When the deputation thanked him for having shown such rare self-command, he remained absolutely silent, and without vouchsafing any reply or making any allusion to what he had done, he abruptly dismissed them, showing by his conduct what a painful effort it had cost him. Papirius named C. Junius Bubulcus, Master of the Horse. Whilst he was submitting to the Assembly of Curies the resolution conferring the Dictatorial power, an unfavourable omen compelled him to adjourn the proceedings. It fell to the Faucian cury to vote first, and this cury had voted first in the years in which two memorable disasters occurred, the capture of the City and the capitulation of Caudium. Licinius Macer adds a third disaster through which this cury became ill-omened, the massacre at the Cremera.



9.39

The following day, after fresh auspices had been taken, the Dictator was invested with his official powers. He took command of the legions which were raised during the scare connected with the expedition through the Ciminian forest, and led them to Longula. Here he took over the consul's troops, and with the united force went into the field. The enemy showed no disposition to shirk battle, but while the two armies stood facing each other fully prepared for action, yet neither anxious to begin, they were overtaken by night. Their standing camps were within a short distance of each other, and for some days they remained quiet, not, however, through any distrust of their own strength or any feeling of contempt for the enemy. Meantime the Romans were meeting with success in Etruria, for in an engagement with the Umbrians the enemy were unable to keep up the fight with the spirit with which they began it, and, without any great loss, were completely routed. An engagement also took place at Lake Vadimonis, where the Etruscans had concentrated an army raised under a lex sacrata, in which each man chose his comrade. As their army was more numerous than any they had previously raised, so they exhibited a higher courage than they had ever shown before. So savage was the feeling on both sides that, without discharging a single missile, they began the fight at once with swords. The fury displayed in the combat, which long hung in the balance, was such that it seemed as though it was not the Etruscans who had been so often defeated that we were fighting with, but some new, unknown people. There was not the slightest sign of yielding anywhere; as the men in the first line fell, those in the second took their places, to defend the standards. At length the last reserves had to be brought up, and to such an extremity of toil and danger had matters come that the Roman cavalry dismounted, and, leaving their horses in charge, made their way over piles of armour and heaps of slain to the front ranks of the infantry. They appeared like a fresh army amongst the exhausted combatants, and at once threw the Etruscan standards into confusion. The rest of the men, worn out as they were, nevertheless followed up the cavalry attack, and at last broke through the enemy's ranks. Their determined resistance was now overcome, and when once their maniples began to give way, they soon took to actual flight. That day broke for the first time the power of the Etruscans after their long-continued and abundant prosperity. The main strength of their army was left on the field, and their camp was taken and plundered.



9.40

Equally hard fighting and an equally brilliant success characterised the campaign which immediately followed against the Samnites. In addition to their usual preparations for war, they had new glittering armour made in which their troops were quite resplendent. There were two divisions; one had their shields plated with gold, the other with silver. The shield was made straight and broad at the top to cover the chest and shoulders, then became narrower towards the bottom to allow of it being more easily moved about. To protect the front of the body they wore coats of chain armour; the left leg was covered with a greave, and their helmets were plumed to give them the appearance of being taller than they really were. The tunics of the men with gold plated shields were in variegated colours, those with the silver shields had tunics of white linen. The latter were assigned to the right wing, the former were posted on the left. The Romans knew that all this splendid armour had been provided, and they had been taught by their generals that a soldier ought to inspire dread not by being decked out in gold and silver but by trusting to his courage and his sword. They looked upon those things as a spoil for the enemy rather than a defence for the wearer, resplendent enough before a battle but soon stained and fouled by wounds and bloodshed. They knew that the one ornament of the soldier was courage, and all that finery would belong to whichever side won the victory; an enemy however rich was the prize of the victor, however poor the victor might be.

With this teaching fresh in their minds, Cursor led his men into battle. He took his place on the right wing, and gave the command of the left to the Master of the Horse. As soon as the two lines came into collision, a contest began between the Dictator and the Master of the Horse, quite as keen as the struggle against the enemy, as to whose division should be the first to win the victory. Junius happened to be the first to dislodge the enemy. Bringing up his left wing against the enemy's right, where the "devoted" soldiers were posted, conspicuous in their white tunics and glittering armour, he declared that he would sacrifice them to Orcus, and, pushing the attack, he shook their ranks and made them visibly give way. On seeing this, the Dictator exclaimed, "Shall the victory begin on the left wing? Is the right wing, the Dictator's own division, going to follow where another had led the way in battle, and not win for itself the greatest share of the victory?" This roused the men; the cavalry behaved with quite as much gallantry as the infantry, and the staff-officers displayed no less energy than the generals. M. Valerius on the right wing, and P. Decius on the left, both men of consular rank, rode up to the cavalry who were covering the flanks and urged them to snatch some of the glory for themselves. They charged the enemy on both flanks, and the double attack increased the consternation of the enemy. To complete their discomfiture, the Roman legions again raised their battle-shout and charged home. Now the Samnites took to flight, and soon the plain was filled with shining armour and heaps of bodies. At first the terrified Samnites found shelter in their camp, but they were not able even to hold that; it was captured, plundered, and burnt before nightfall.

The senate decreed a triumph for the Dictator. By far the greatest sight in the procession was the captured armour, and so magnificent were the pieces considered that the gilded shields were distributed amongst the owners of the silversmiths' shops to adorn the Forum. This is said to be the origin of the custom of the aediles decorating the Forum when the symbols of three Capitoline deities are conducted in procession through the City on the occasion of the Great Games. Whilst the Romans made use of this armour to honour the gods, the Campanians, out of contempt and hatred towards the Samnites, made the gladiators who performed at their banquets wear it, and they then called them "Samnites." The consul Fabius fought a battle this year with the remnants of the Etruscans at Perusia, for this city had broken the truce. He gained an easy and decisive victory, and after the battle he approached the walls and would have taken the place had not envoys been sent on to surrender it. After he had stationed a garrison in Perusia, deputations came to him from different cities in Etruria to ask for a restoration of amicable relations; these he sent on to the senate at Rome. Then he entered the city in triumphal procession, after achieving a more solid success than the Dictator, especially as the defeat of the Samnites was put down largely to the credit of the staff-officers, P. Decius and M. Valerius. These men were chosen by an almost unanimous vote at the next elections-one as consul, the other as praetor.



9.41

Owing to his splendid services in the subjugation of Etruria, the consulship of Fabius was extended to another year, Decius being his colleague. Valerius was elected praetor for the fourth time. The consuls arranged their respective commands; Etruria fell to Decius, and Samnium to Fabius. Fabius marched to Nuceria, where the people of Alfaterna met him with a request for peace, but as they had refused it when offered to them before, he declined to grant it now. It was not till he actually began to attack the place that they were forced into unconditional surrender. He fought an action with the Samnites and won an easy victory. The memory of that battle would not have survived if it had not been that the Marsi engaged for the first time on that occasion in hostilities with Rome. The Peligni, who had followed the example of the Marsi, met with the same fate. The other consul, Decius, was also successful. He inspired such alarm in Tarquinii that its people provided his army with corn and asked for a forty years' truce. He captured several fortified posts belonging to Volsinii, some of which he destroyed that they might not serve as retreats for the enemy, and by extending his operations in all directions he made his name so dreaded that the whole Etruscan league begged him to grant a treaty. There was not the slightest chance of their obtaining one, but a truce was granted them for one year. They had to provide a year's pay for the troops and two tunics for every soldier. That was the price of the truce.

While matters were thus quieted in Etruria fresh trouble was caused by the sudden defection of the Umbrians, a people hitherto untouched by the ravages of war beyond what their land had suffered from the passage of the Romans. They called out all their fighting men and compelled a large section of the Etruscan population to resume hostilities. The army which they mustered was so large that they began to talk in very braggart tones about themselves and in very contemptuous terms about the Romans. They even expressed their intention of leaving Decius in their rear and marching straight to attack Rome. Their intentions were disclosed to Decius; he at once hastened by forced marches to a city outside the frontiers of Etruria and took up a position in the territory of Pupinia, to watch the enemy's movements. This hostile movement on the part of the Umbrians was regarded very seriously in Rome, even their menacing language made people, after their experience of the Gaulish invasion, tremble for the safety of their City. Instructions were accordingly sent to Fabius, ordering him, if he could for the time being suspend operations in Samnium, to march with all speed into Umbria. The consul at once acted upon his instructions and proceeded by forced marches to Mevania, where the forces of the Umbrians were stationed. They were under the impression that he was far away in Samnium, with another war on his hands, and his sudden arrival produced such consternation amongst them, that some advised a retreat into their fortified cities, while others were in favour of abandoning the war. There was one canton-the natives call it Materina-which not only kept the rest under arms but even induced them to come to an immediate engagement. They attacked Fabius while he was fortifying his camp. When he saw them making a rush towards his entrenchments he called his men off from their work and marshalled them in the best order that the ground and the time at his disposal allowed. He reminded them of the glory they had won in Etruria and in Samnium, and bade them finish off this wretched aftergrowth of the Etruscan war and exact a fitting retribution for the impious language in which the enemy had threatened to attack Rome. His words were received with such eagerness by his men that their enthusiastic shouts interrupted their commander's address, and without waiting for the word of command or the notes of the trumpets and bugles they raced forward against the enemy. They did not attack them as though they were armed men; marvellous to relate, they began by snatching the standards from those who bore them, then the standard-bearers were themselves dragged off to the consul, the soldiers were pulled across from the one army to the other, the action was everywhere fought with shields rather than with swords, men were knocked down by the bosses of shields and blows under the arm-pits. More were captured than killed, and only one cry was heard throughout the ranks: "Lay down your arms!" So, on the field of battle, the prime authors of the war surrendered. During the next few days the rest of the Umbrian communities submitted. The Ocriculans entered into a mutual undertaking with Rome and were admitted to her friendship.



9.42

After bringing to a victorious close the war which had been allotted to his colleague, Fabius returned to his own sphere of action. As he had conducted operations with such success the senate followed the precedent set by the people in the previous year and extended his command for a third year in spite of the strenuous opposition of Appius Claudius who was now consul, the other consul being L. Volumnius. I find in some annalists that Appius was a candidate for the consulship while he was still censor, and that L. Furius, a tribune of the plebs, stopped the election until he had resigned his censorship. A new enemy, the Sallentines, had appeared, and the conduct of this war was assigned to his colleague; Appius himself remained in Rome with the view of strengthening his influence by his domestic administration, as the attainment of military glory was in other hands. Volumnius had no cause to regret this arrangement, he fought many successful actions and took some of the enemy's cities by storm. He was lavish in distributing the spoil, and this generosity was rendered still more pleasing by his frank and cordial manner; by qualities such as these he made his men keen to face any perils or labours. Q. Fabius, as proconsul, fought a pitched battle with the Samnites near the city of Allifae. There was very little uncertainty as to the result; the enemy were routed and driven to their camp, and they would not have held that had more daylight been left. Before night, however, their camp was completely invested, so that none could escape. On the morrow while it was still twilight they made proposals for surrender, and their surrender was accepted on condition that the Samnites should be dismissed with one garment apiece after they had all passed under the yoke. No provision had been made for their allies, and as many as 7000 of them were sold into slavery. Those who declared themselves Hernicans were separated and placed under guard; subsequently Fabius sent them all to the senate in Rome. After inquiries had been made as to whether they had fought for the Samnites against Rome as conscripts or as volunteers, they were committed to the custody of the Latin cities. The new consuls, P. Cornelius Arvina and Q. Marcius Tremulus, were ordered to bring the whole question of the prisoners before the senate. The Hernicans resented this, and a national council was held at Anagnia in what they call the Maritime Circus; the whole nation thereupon, with the exception of Aletrium, Ferentinae, and Verulae, declared war against Rome.



9.43

Now that Fabius had evacuated the country the Samnites became restless. Calatia and Sora and the Roman garrisons there were taken by storm, and the soldiers who had been taken prisoners were cruelly massacred. P. Cornelius was despatched thither with an army. The Anagnians and Hernicans had been assigned to Marcius. At first the enemy occupied such a well-chosen position between the camps of the two consuls that no messenger, however active, could get through, and for some days both consuls were kept in ignorance of everything and in anxious suspense as to each other's movements. Tidings of this alarming state of things reached Rome, and every man liable to service was called out; two complete armies were raised against sudden emergencies. But the progress of the war did not justify this extreme alarm, nor was it worthy of the old reputation which the Hernicans enjoyed. They attempted nothing worth mentioning, within a few days they were stripped of three camps in succession, and begged for a thirty days' armistice to allow of their sending envoys to Rome. To obtain this they consented to supply the troops with six months' pay and one tunic per man. The envoys were referred by the senate to Marcius, to whom they had given full powers to treat, and he received the formal surrender of the Hernicans. The other consul in Samnium, though superior in strength, was more hampered in his movements. The enemy had blocked all the roads and secured the passes so that no supplies could be brought in, and though the consul drew up his line and offered battle each day he failed to allure the enemy into an engagement. It was quite clear that the Samnites would not risk an immediate conflict, and that the Romans could not stand a prolonged campaign. The arrival of Marcius, who after subjugating the Hernicans had hurried to the assistance of his colleague, made it impossible for the enemy to delay matters any longer. They had not felt themselves strong enough to meet even one army in the open field, and they knew that their position would be perfectly hopeless if the two consular armies formed a junction; they decided, therefore, to attack Marcius while he was on the march before he had time to deploy his men. The soldiers' kits were hurriedly thrown together in the centre, and the fighting line was formed as well as the time allowed. The noise of the battle-shout rolling across and then the sight of the cloud of dust in the distance created great excitement in the standing camp of Cornelius. He at once ordered the men to arm for battle, and led them hurriedly out of the camp into line. It would, he exclaimed, be a scandalous disgrace if they allowed the other army to win a victory which both ought to share, and failed to maintain their claim to the glory of a war which was especially their own. He then made a flank attack, and breaking through the enemy's centre pushed on to their camp, which was denuded of defenders, and burnt it. As soon as Marcius' troops caught sight of the flames, and the enemy looking behind them saw them too, the Samnites took to flight in all directions, but no place afforded them a safe refuge, death awaited them everywhere.

After 30,000 of the enemy had been killed the consuls gave the signal to retire. They were recalling and collecting the troops together amidst mutual congratulations when suddenly fresh cohorts of the enemy were seen in the distance, consisting of recruits who had been sent up as reinforcements. This renewed the carnage, for, without any orders from the consuls or any signal given, the victorious Romans attacked them, exclaiming as they charged that the Samnite recruits would have to pay dearly for their training. The consuls did not check the ardour of their men, for they knew well that raw soldiers would not even attempt to fight when the veterans around them were in disorderly flight. Nor were they mistaken; all the Samnite forces, veterans and recruits alike, fled to the nearest mountains. The Romans went up after them, no place afforded safety to the beaten foe, they were routed from the heights they had occupied, and at last with one voice they all begged for peace. They were ordered to supply corn for three months, a year's pay, and a tunic for each soldier, and envoys were despatched to the senate to obtain terms of peace. Cornelius was left in Samnium; Marcius entered the City in triumphal procession after his subjugation of the Hernicans. An equestrian statue was decreed to him which was erected in the Forum in front of the Temple of Castor. Three of the Hernican communities-Aletrium, Verulae, and Ferentinum-had their municipal independence restored to them as they preferred that to the Roman franchise, and the right of intermarriage with each other was granted them, a privilege which for a considerable period they were the only communities amongst the Hernicans to enjoy. The Anagnians and the others who had taken up arms against Rome were admitted to the status of citizenship without the franchise, they were deprived of their municipal self-government and the right of intermarriage with each other, and their magistrates were forbidden to exercise any functions except those connected with religion. In this year the censor C. Junius Bubulcus signed a contract for the building of the temple to Salus which he had vowed when engaged as consul in the Samnite war. He and his colleague, M. Valerius Maximus, also undertook the construction of roads through the country districts out of the public funds. The treaty with the Carthaginians was renewed for the third time this year and munificent presents were made to the plenipotentiaries who had come over for the purpose.



9.44

P. Cornelius Scipio was nominated Dictator this year, with P. Decius Mus as Master of the Horse, for the purpose of holding the elections, as neither of the consuls could leave the seat of war. The consuls elected were L. Postumius and Tiberius Minucius. Piso places these consuls immediately after Q. Fabius and P. Decius, omitting the two years in which I have inserted the consulships of Claudius and Volumnius and of Cornelius and Marcius. Whether this was due to a slip of memory in drawing up the lists or whether he purposely omitted them, believing them to be wrongly inserted, is uncertain. The Samnites made forays this year into the district of Stellae in Campania. Both consuls accordingly were despatched to Samnium. Postumius marched to Tifernum, Minucius made Bovianum his objective. Postumius was the first to come into touch with the enemy and a battle was fought at Tifernum. Some authorities state that the Samnites were thoroughly beaten and 24,000 prisoners taken. According to others the battle was an indecisive one, and Postumius, in order to create an impression that he was afraid of the enemy, withdrew by night into the mountains, whither the enemy followed him and took up an entrenched position two miles away from him. To keep up the appearance of having sought a safe and commodious place for a standing camp-and such it really was-the consul strongly entrenched himself and furnished his camp with all necessary stores. Then, leaving a strong detachment to hold it, he started at the third watch and led his legions in light marching order by the shortest possible route to his colleague, who was also encamped in front of another Samnite army. Acting on Postumius' advice Minucius engaged the enemy, and after the battle had gone on for the greater part of the day without either side gaining the advantage, Postumius brought up his fresh legions and made an unsuspected attack upon the enemy's wearied lines. Exhausted by fighting and by wounds they were incapable of flight and were practically annihilated. Twenty-one standards were captured. Both armies marched to the camp which Postumius had formed, and there they routed and dispersed the enemy, who were demoralised by the news of the previous battle. Twenty-six standards were captured, the captain-general of the Samnites, Statius Gellius, and a large number of men were made prisoners, and both camps were taken. The next day they commenced an attack on Bovianum which was soon taken, and the consuls after their brilliant successes celebrated a joint triumph. Some authorities assert that the consul Minucius was carried back to the camp severely wounded and died there, and that M. Fulvius was made consul in his place, and after taking over the command of Minucius' army effected the capture of Bovianum. During the year Sora, Arpinum, and Cesennia were recovered from the Samnites. The great statue of Hercules was also set up and dedicated in the Capitol.



9.45

P. Sulpicius Saverrio and P. Sempronius Sophus were the next consuls. During their consulship the Samnites, anxious for either a termination or at least a suspension of hostilities, sent envoys to Rome to sue for peace. In spite of their submissive attitude they did not meet with a very favourable reception. The reply they received was to the effect that if the Samnites had not often made proposals for peace while they were actually preparing for war negotiations might possibly have been entered into, but now as their words had proved worthless the question must be decided by their deeds. They were informed that the consul P. Sempronius would shortly be in Samnium with his army, and he would be able to judge accurately whether they were more disposed to peace or to war. When he had obtained all the information that he wanted he would lay it before the senate; on his return from Samnium the envoys might follow him to Rome. Wherever Sempronius marched they found the Samnites peaceably disposed and ready to supply them with provisions and stores. The old treaty was therefore restored. From that quarter the Roman arms were turned against their old enemies the Aequi. For many years this nation had remained quiet, disguising their real sentiments under a peaceable attitude. As long as the Hernicans remained unsubdued the Aequi had frequently co-operated with them in sending help to the Samnites, but after their final subjugation almost the whole of the Aequian nation threw off the mask and openly went over to the enemy. After Rome had renewed the treaty with the Samnites the fetials went on to the Aequi to demand satisfaction. They were told that their demand was simply regarded as an attempt on the part of the Romans to intimidate them by threats of war into becoming Roman citizens. How desirable a thing this citizenship was might be seen in the case of the Hernicans who, when allowed to choose, preferred living under their own laws to becoming citizens of Rome. To men who were not allowed which they would prefer, but were made Roman citizens by compulsion, it would be a punishment.

As these opinions were pretty generally expressed in their different councils, the Romans ordered war to be declared against the Aequi. Both the consuls took the field and selected a position four miles distant from the enemy's camp. As the Aequi had for many years had no experience of a national war, their army was like a body of irregulars with no properly appointed generals and no discipline or obedience. They were in utter confusion; some were of opinion that they ought to give battle, others thought they ought to confine themselves to defending their camp. The majority were influenced by the prospect of their fields being devastated and their cities, with their scanty garrisons, being destroyed. In this diversity of opinions one was given utterance to which put out of sight all care for the common weal and directed each man's regards to his own private interests. They were advised to abandon their camp at the first watch, carry off all their belongings, and disperse to their respective cities to protect their property behind their walls. This advice met with the warmest approval from all. Whilst the enemy were thus straggling homewards, the Romans as soon as it was light marched out and formed up in order of battle, and as there was no one to oppose, they went on at a quick march to the enemy's camp. Here they found no pickets before the gates or on the rampart, none of the noise which is customary in a camp, and fearing from the unusual silence that a surprise was being prepared they came to a halt. At length they climbed over the rampart and found everything deserted. Then they began to follow up the enemy's footsteps, but as these went in all directions alike, they found themselves going further and further astray. Subsequently they discovered through their scouts what the design of the enemy was, and their cities were successively attacked. Within a fortnight they had stormed and captured thirty-one walled towns. Most of these were sacked and burnt, and the nation of the Aequi was almost exterminated. A triumph was celebrated over them, and warned by their example the Marrucini, the Marsi, the Paeligni, and the Feretrani sent spokesmen to Rome to sue for peace and friendship. These tribes obtained a treaty with Rome.



9.46

It was during this year that Cn. Flavius, the son of a freedman, born in a humble station of life, but a clever plausible man, became curule aedile. I find in some annalists the statement that at the time of the election of aediles he was acting as apparitor to the aediles, and when he found that the first vote was given in his favour, and was disallowed on the ground that he was a clerk, he laid aside his writing tablet and took an oath that he would not follow that profession. Licinius Macer, however, attempts to show that he had given up the clerk's business for some time as he had been a tribune of the plebs, and had also twice held office as a triumvir, the first time as a triumvir nocturnus, and afterwards as one of the three commissioners for settling a colony. However this may be, there is no question that he maintained a defiant attitude towards the nobles, who regarded his lowly origin with contempt. He made public the legal forms and processes which had been hidden away in the closets of the pontiffs; he exhibited a calendar written on whitened boards in the Forum, on which were marked the days on which legal proceedings were allowed; to the intense disgust of the nobility he dedicated the temple of Concord on the Vulcanal. At this function the Pontifex Maximus, Cornelius Barbatus, was compelled by the unanimous voice of the people to recite the usual form of devotion in spite of his insistence that in accordance with ancestral usage none but a consul or a commander-in-chief could dedicate a temple. It was in consequence of this that the senate authorised a measure to be submitted to the people providing that no one should presume to dedicate a temple or an altar without being ordered to do so by the senate or by a majority of the tribunes of the plebs.

I will relate an incident, trivial enough in itself, but affording a striking proof of the way in which the liberties of the plebs were asserted against the insolent presumption of the nobility. Flavius went to visit his colleague, who was ill. Several young nobles who were sitting in the room had agreed not to rise when he entered, on which he ordered his curule chair to be brought, and from that seat of dignity calmly surveyed his enemies, who were filled with unutterable disgust. The elevation of Flavius to the aedileship was, however, the work of a party in the Forum who had gained their power during the censorship of Appius Claudius. For Appius had been the first to pollute the senate by electing into it the sons of freedmen, and when no one recognised the validity of these elections and he failed to secure in the Senate-house the influence which he had sought to gain in the City, he corrupted both the Assembly of Tribes and the Assembly of Centuries by distributing the dregs of the populace amongst all the tribes. Such deep indignation was aroused by the election of Flavius that most of the nobles laid aside their gold rings and military decorations as a sign of mourning. From that time the citizens were divided into two parties; the uncorrupted part of the people, who favoured and supported men of integrity and patriotism, were aiming at one thing, the "mob of the Forum" were aiming at something else. This state of things lasted until Q. Fabius and P. Decius were made censors. Q. Fabius, for the sake of concord, and at the same time to prevent the elections from being controlled by the lowest of the populace, threw the whole of the citizens of the lowest class-the "mob of the Forum"-into four tribes and called them "the City Tribes." Out of gratitude for his action, it is said, he received an epithet which he had not gained by all his victories, but which was now conferred upon him for the wisdom he had shown in thus adjusting the orders in the State-the cognomen "Maximus." It is stated that he also instituted the annual parade of the cavalry on July 15.

End of Book 9



Livy's History of Rome:
Book 10: The Third Samnite War-(303-293 B.C.)


10.1

During the consulship of L. Genucius and Ser. Cornelius there was almost a complete respite from foreign wars. Colonists were settled at Sora and Alba. The latter was in the country of the Aequi; 6000 colonists were settled there. Sora had been a Volscian town, but the Samnites had occupied it; 4000 men were sent there. The right of citizenship was conferred this year upon the Arpinates and the Trebulans. The Frusinates were mulcted in a third of their territory, for it had been ascertained that they were the instigators of the Hernican revolt. The senate decreed that the consuls should hold an inquiry, and the ringleaders were scourged and beheaded. However, in order that the Romans might not pass a whole year without any military operations, a small expeditionary force was sent into Umbria. A certain cave was reported to be the rendezvous of a body of freebooters, and from this hiding-place they made armed excursions into the surrounding country. The Roman troops entered this cave, and many of them were wounded, mostly by stones, owing to the darkness of the place. At length they discovered another entrance, for there was a passage right through the cave, and both mouths of the cavern were filled up with wood. This was set on fire, and, stifled by the smoke, the bandits, in trying to escape, rushed into the flames and 2000 perished. M. Livius Denter and M. Aurelius were the new consuls, and during their year of office hostilities were resumed by the Aequi. They resented the planting within their borders of a colony which was to be a stronghold of Roman power, and they made a desperate effort to capture it, but were beaten off by the colonists. In their weakened condition it seemed almost incredible that the Aequi could have begun war, relying solely upon themselves, and the fear of an indefinitely extended war necessitated the appointment of a Dictator. C. Junius Bubulcus was nominated, and he took the field, with M. Titinius as Master of the Horse. In the very first battle he crushed the Aequi, and a week later he returned in triumph to the City. Whilst Dictator he dedicated the temple of Salus which he had vowed as consul and the construction of which he had contracted for when censor.



10.2

During the year a fleet of Greek ships under the command of the Lacedaemonian Cleonymus sailed to the shores of Italy and captured the city of Thuriae in the Sallentine country. The consul, Aemilius, was sent to meet this enemy, and in one battle he routed him and drove him to his ships. Thuriae was restored to its former inhabitants, and peace was established in the Sallentine territory. In some annalists I find it stated that the Dictator, Junius Bubulcus, was sent into that country, and that Cleonymus left Italy to avoid a conflict with the Romans. He sailed round the promontory of Brundisium, and was carried up the Adriatic, where he had on his left the harbourless shores of Italy and on his right the countries occupied by the Illyrians, the Liburnians, and the Histrians, savage tribes chiefly notorious for their acts of piracy. He dreaded the possibility of falling in with these, and consequently directed his course inland until he reached the coasts of the Veneti. Here he landed a small party to explore the neighbourhood. The information they brought back was to the effect that there was a narrow beach, and on crossing it they found lagoons which were affected by the tide; beyond these level cultivated country was visible, and in the further distance hills could be seen. At no great distance was the mouth of a river deep enough to allow of ships being brought up and safely anchored-this was the Meduacus. On hearing this he ordered the fleet to make for that river and sail up-stream. As the river channel did not admit the passage of his largest ships, the bulk of his troops went up in the lighter vessels and came to a populous district belonging to the maritime villages of the Patavii, who inhabit that coast. After leaving a few to guard the ships they landed, seized the villages, burnt the houses, and carried off the men and cattle as booty. Their eagerness for plunder led them too far from their ships. The people of Patavium were obliged to be always under arms owing to their neighbours, the Gauls, and when they heard what was going on, they divided their forces into two armies. One of these was to proceed to the district where the invaders were reported to be carrying on their depredations; the other was to go by a different route, to avoid meeting any of the plunderers, to where the ships were anchored, about fourteen miles from the town. The latter attacked the ships, and after killing those who resisted them, they compelled the terrified sailors to take their vessels over to the opposite bank. The other army had been equally successful against the plunderers, who in their flight to their ships were intercepted by the Veneti, and, hemmed in between the two armies, were cut to pieces. Some of the prisoners informed their captors that King Cleonymus, with his fleet, was only three miles distant. The prisoners were sent to the nearest village for safe-keeping, and some of the defenders got into their river boats, which were flat-bottomed to allow of their passing over the shallows in the lagoons, whilst others manned the vessels they had captured and sailed down the river. When they reached the Greek fleet they surrounded the large ships, which were afraid to stir and dreaded unknown waters more than the enemy, and pursued them to the mouth of the river. Some which in the confused fighting had run aground were captured and burnt. After this victory they returned. Failing to effect a successful landing in any part of the Adriatic, Cleonymus sailed away with barely a fifth part of his fleet undamaged. There are many still living who have seen the beaks of the ships and the spoils of the Lacedaemonians hung up in the old temple of Juno in Patavium, and the anniversary of that battle is celebrated by a sham fight of ships on the river which flows through the town.



10.3

The Vestinians had requested to be placed on the footing of a friendly State, and a treaty was made with them this year. Subsequently several incidents created alarm in Rome. Intelligence was received of the renewal of hostilities by the Etruscans, owing to disturbances in Arretium. The powerful house of the Cilnii had created widespread jealousy through their enormous wealth, and an attempt was made to expel them from the city. The Marsi also were giving trouble, for a body of 4000 colonists had been sent to Carseoli, and they were prevented by force from occupying the place. In view of this threatening aspect of affairs, M. Valerius Maximus was nominated Dictator, and he named M. Aemilius Paulus Master of the Horse. I think that this is more probable than that Q. Fabius was made Master of the Horse and, therefore, in a subordinate position to Valerius, in spite of his age and the offices he had held; but I am quite prepared to admit that the error arose from the cognomen Maximus, common to both men. The Dictator took the field and routed the Marsi in one battle. After compelling them to seek shelter in their fortified cities, he took Milionia, Plestina, and Fresilia within a few days. The Marsi were compelled to surrender a portion of their territory, and then the old treaty with Rome was renewed. The war was now turned against the Etruscans, and an unfortunate incident occurred during this campaign. The Dictator had left the camp for Rome to take the auspices afresh, and the Master of the Horse had gone out to forage. He was surprised and surrounded, and after losing some standards and many of his men, he was driven in disgraceful flight back to his camp. Such a precipitate flight is contradictory to all that we know of Fabius; for it was his reputation as a soldier that more than anything else justified his epithet of Maximus, and he never forgot the severity of Papirius towards him, and could never have been tempted to fight without the Dictator's orders.



10.4

The news of this defeat created a quite unnecessary alarm in Rome. Measures were adopted as though an army had been annihilated; all legal business was suspended, guards were stationed at the gates, watches were set in the different wards of the City, armour and weapons were stored in readiness on the walls, and every man within the military age was embodied. When the Dictator returned to the camp he found that, owing to the careful arrangements which the Master of the Horse had made, everything was quieter than he had expected. The camp had been moved back into a safer position; the cohorts who had lost their standards were punished by being stationed outside the rampart without any tents; the whole army was eager for battle that they might all the sooner wipe out the stain of their defeat. Under these circumstances the Dictator at once advanced his camp into the neighbourhood of Rusella. The enemy followed him, and although they felt the utmost confidence in a trial of strength in the open field, they decided to practice stratagem on their enemy, as they had found it so successful before. At no great distance from the Roman camp were some half-demolished houses belonging to a village which had been burnt when the land was harried. Some soldiers were concealed in these and cattle were driven past the place in full view of the Roman outposts, who were under the command of a staff-officer, Cnaeus Fulvius. As not a single man left his post to take the bait, one of the drovers, coming up close to the Roman lines, called out to the others who were driving the cattle somewhat slowly away from the ruined cottages to ask them why they were so slow, as they could drive them safely through the middle of the Roman camp. Some Caerites who were with Fulvius interpreted the words, and all the maniples were extremely indignant at the insult, but they did not dare to move without orders. He then instructed those who were familiar with the language to notice whether the speech of the herdsmen was more akin to that of rustics or to that of town-dwellers. On being told that the accent and personal appearance were too refined for cattle-drovers, he said, "Go and tell them to unmask the ambush they have tried in vain to conceal; the Romans know all, and can now no more be trapped by cunning than they can be vanquished by arms." When these words were carried to those who were lying concealed, they suddenly rose from their lurking-place and advanced in order of battle on to the open plain, which afforded a view in all directions. The advancing line appeared to Fulvius to be too large a body for his men to withstand, and he sent a hasty message to the Dictator to ask for help; in the meantime he met the attack single-handed.



10.5

When the message reached the Dictator, he ordered the standards to go forward and the troops to follow. But everything was done almost more rapidly than the orders were given. The standards were instantly snatched up, and the troops were with difficulty prevented from charging the enemy at a run. They were burning to avenge their recent defeat, and the shouts, becoming continually louder in the battle that was already going on, made them still more excited. They kept urging each other on, and telling the standard-bearers to march more quickly, but the more haste the Dictator saw them making the more determined was he to check the column and insist upon their marching deliberately. The Etruscans had been present in their full strength when the battle began. Message after message was sent to the Dictator telling him that all the legions of the Etruscans were taking part in the fight and that his men could no longer hold out against them, whilst he himself from his higher ground saw for himself in what a critical position the outposts were. As, however, he felt quite confident that their commander could still sustain the attack, and as he was himself near enough to save him from all danger of defeat, he decided to wait until the enemy became utterly fatigued, and then to attack him with fresh troops. Although his own men were advancing so slowly there was now only a moderate distance over which to charge, at all events for cavalry, between the two lines. The standards of the legions were in front, to prevent the enemy from suspecting any sudden or secret maneuver, but the Dictator had left intervals in the ranks of infantry through which the cavalry could pass. The legions raised the battle-shout, and at the same moment the cavalry charged down upon the enemy, who were unprepared for such a hurricane, and a sudden panic set in. As the outposts, who had been all but cut off, were now relieved at the last moment, they were all allowed a respite from further exertions. The fresh troops took up the fighting, and the result did not long remain in doubt. The routed enemy sought their camp, and as they retreated before the Romans who were attacking it, they became crowded together in the furthest part. In trying to escape, they became blocked in the narrow gates, and a good many climbed on to the mound and stockade in the hope of defending themselves on higher ground, or possibly of crossing ramparts and fosse and so escaping. In one part the mound had been built up too loosely, and, owing to the weight of those standing on it, crumbled down into the fosse, and many, both soldiers and non-combatants, exclaiming that the gods had cleared the passage for their flight, made their escape that way. In this battle the power of the Etruscans was broken up for the second time. After undertaking to provide a year's pay for the army and a two months' supply of corn, they obtained permission from the Dictator to send envoys to Rome to sue for peace. A regular treaty of peace was refused, but they were granted a two years' truce. The Dictator returned in triumphal procession to the City. Some of my authorities aver that Etruria was pacified without any important battle being fought simply through the settlement of the troubles in Arretium and the restoration of the Cilnii to popular favour. No sooner had M. Valerius laid down the Dictatorship than he was elected consul. Some have thought that he was elected without having been a candidate and, therefore, in his absence, and that the election was conducted by an interrex. There is no question, however, that he held the consulship with Apuleius Pansa.



10.6

During their year of office foreign affairs were fairly peaceful; the ill-success the Etruscans had met with in war and the terms of the truce kept the Etruscans quiet; the Samnites, after their many years of defeat and disaster, were so far quite satisfied with their recent treaty with Rome. In the City itself the large number of colonists sent out made the plebs less restless and lightened their financial burdens. But to prevent anything like universal tranquillity a conflict between the most prominent plebeians and the patricians was started by two of the tribunes of the plebs, Quintus and Cnaeus Ogulnius. These men had sought everywhere for an opportunity of traducing the patricians before the plebs, and after all other attempts had failed they adopted a policy which was calculated to inflame the minds, not of the dregs of the populace, but of the actual leaders of the plebs, men who had been consuls and enjoyed triumphs, and to whose official distinctions nothing was lacking but the priesthood. This was not yet open to both orders. The Ogulnii accordingly gave notice of a measure providing that as there were at that time four augurs and four pontiffs, and it had been decided that the number of priests should be augmented, the four additional pontiffs and five augurs should all be co-opted from the plebs. How the college of augurs could have been reduced to four, except by the death of two of their number, I am unable to discover. For it was a settled rule amongst the augurs that their number was bound to consist of threes, so that the three ancient tribes of the Ramnes, Titienses, and Luceres might each have their own augur, or if more were needed, the same number should be added for each. This was the principle on which they proceeded when by adding five to four the number was made up to nine, so that three were assigned to each tribe. But the co-optation of the additional priests from the plebs created almost as much indignation amongst the patricians as when they saw the consulship made open. They pretended that the matter concerned the gods more than it concerned them; as for their own sacred functions they would see for themselves that these were not polluted; they only hoped and prayed that no disaster might befall the republic. Their opposition, however, was not so keen, because they had become habituated to defeat in these political contests, and they saw that their opponents in striving for the highest honours were not, as formerly, aiming at what they had little hopes of winning; everything for which they had striven, though with doubtful hopes of success, they had hitherto gained-numberless consulships, censorships, triumphs.



10.7

Appius Claudius and P. Decius are said to have been the leaders in this controversy, the former as the opponent, the latter as the supporter of the proposed measure. The arguments they advanced were practically the same as those employed for and against the Licinian Laws when the demand was made for the consulship to be thrown open to the plebeians. After going over much of the old ground, Decius made a final appeal on behalf of the proposals. He began by recalling the scene which many of those present had witnessed, when the elder Decius, his father, vested in the Gabine cincture and standing upon a spear, solemnly devoted himself on behalf of the legions and people of Rome. He proceeded, "The offering which the consul Decius made on that occasion was in the eyes of the immortal gods as pure and holy as that of his colleague, T. Manlius, would have been if he had devoted himself. Could not that Decius also have been fitly chosen to exercise priestly functions on behalf of the Roman people? And for me, are you afraid that the gods will not listen to my prayers as they do to those of Appius Claudius? Does he perform his private devotions with a purer mind or worship the gods in a more religious spirit than I do? Who has ever had occasion to regret the vows which have been made on behalf of the commonwealth by so many plebeian consuls, so many plebeian Dictators, when they were going to take command of their armies, or when they were actually engaged in battle? Count up the commanders in all the years since war was for the first time waged under the leadership and auspices of plebeians, you will find as many triumphs as commanders. The plebeians, too, have their nobility and have no cause to be dissatisfied with them. You may be quite certain that, if a war were suddenly to break out now, the senate and people of Rome would not put more confidence in a general because he was a patrician than in one who happened to be a plebeian. Now, if this is the case, who in heaven or earth could regard it as an indignity that the men whom you have honoured with curule chairs, with the toga praetexta, the tunica palmata, and the toga picta, with the triumphal crown and the laurel wreath, the men upon whose houses you have conferred special distinction by affixing to them the spoils taken from the enemy-that these men, I say, should have in addition to their other marks of rank the insignia of the pontiffs and the augurs? A triumphing general drives through the City in a gilded chariot, apparelled in the splendid vestments of Jupiter Optimus Maximus. After this he goes up to the Capitol; is he not to be seen there with capis and lituus? Is it to be regarded as an indignity, if he with veiled head slay a victim, or from his place on the citadel take an augury? And if in the inscription on his bust the words 'consulship,' 'censorship,' 'triumph' are read without arousing any indignation, in what mood will the reader regard the words which you are going to add, 'augurship' and 'pontificate'? I do indeed hope, please heaven, that, thanks to the good will of the Roman people, we now possess sufficient dignity to be capable of conferring as much honour on the priesthood as we shall receive. For the sake of the gods as much as for ourselves let us insist that as we worship them now as private individuals so we may worship them for the future as officials of the State.



10.8

"But why have I so far been assuming that the question of the patricians and the priesthood is still an open one, and that we are not yet in possession of the highest of all offices? We see plebeians amongst the ten keepers of the Sacred Books, acting as interpreters of the Sibyl's runes and the Fates of this people; we see them, too, presiding over the sacrifices and other rites connected with Apollo. No injustice was inflicted on the patricians when an addition was made to the number of the keepers of the Sacred Books on the demand of the plebeians. None has been inflicted now, when a strong and capable tribune has created five more posts for augurs and four more for priests which are to be filled by plebeians, not, Appius, with the design of ousting you patricians from your places, but in order that the plebs may assist you in the conduct of divine matters as they do to the utmost of their power in the administration of human affairs. "Do not blush, Appius, to have as your colleague in the priesthood a man whom you might have had as colleague in the censorship or in the consulship, who might be Dictator with you as his Master of Horse, just as much as you might be Dictator with him for your Master of the Horse. A Sabine immigrant Attius Clausus, or if you prefer it, Appius Claudius, the founder of your noble house, was admitted by those old patricians into their number; do not think it beneath you to admit us into the number of the priests. We bring with us many distinctions, all those, in fact, which have made you so proud. L. Sextius was the first plebeian to be elected consul, C. Licinius Stolo was the first plebeian Master of the Horse, C. Marcius Rutilus the first plebeian who was both Dictator and censor, Q. Publilius Philo was the first praetor. We have always heard the same objection raised-that the auspices were solely in your hands, that you alone enjoy the privileges and prerogatives of noble birth, that you alone can legitimately hold sovereign command and take the auspices either in peace or war. Have you never heard the remark that it was not men sent down from heaven who were originally created patricians, but those who could cite a father, which is nothing more than saying that they were freeborn. I can now cite a consul as my father, and my son will be able to cite him as his grandfather. It simply comes to this, Quirites, that we can get nothing without a struggle. It is only a quarrel that the patricians are seeking, they do not care in the least about the result. I for my part support this measure, which I believe will be for your good and happiness and a blessing to the State, and I hold that you ought to pass it."



10.9

The Assembly was on the point of ordering the voting to proceed, and it was evident that the measure would be adopted, when, on the intervention of some of the tribunes, all further business was adjourned for the day. On the morrow, the dissentient tribunes having given way, the law was passed amid great enthusiasm. The co-opted pontiffs were P. Decius Mus, the supporter of the measure, P. Sempronius Sophus, C. Marcius Rutilus, and M. Livius Denter. The five augurs who were also taken from the plebs were C. Genucius, P. Aelius Paetus, M. Minucius Faesus, C. Marcius, and T. Publilius. So the number of the pontiffs was raised to eight and that of the augurs to nine. In this year the consul, M. Valerius, carried a proposal to strengthen the provisions of the law touching the right of appeal. This was the third time since the expulsion of the kings that this law was re-enacted, and always by the same family. I think that the reason for renewing it so often was solely the fact that the excessive power exercised by a few men was dangerous to the liberties of the plebs. The Porcian law, however, seems to have been passed solely for the protection of the citizens in life and limb, for it imposed the severest penalties on any one who killed or scourged a Roman citizen. The Valerian law, it is true, forbade any one who had exercised his right of appeal to be scourged or beheaded, but if any one transgressed its provisions it added no penalty, but simply declared such transgression to be a "wicked act." Such was the self-respect and sense of shame amongst the men of those days, that I believe that declaration to have been a sufficiently strong barrier against violations of the law. Nowadays there is hardly a slave who would not use stronger language against his master.

Valerius also conducted a war against the Aequi, who had recommenced hostilities, but who retained nothing of their earlier character except their restless temper. The other consul, Apuleius, invested the town of Nequinum in Umbria. It was situated where Narnia now stands, on high ground which on one side was steep and precipitous, and it was impossible to take it either by assault or by regular siege works. It was left to the new consuls, M. Fulvius Paetus and T. Manlius Torquatus, to carry the siege to a successful issue. According to Licinius Macer and Tubero, all the centuries intended to elect Q. Fabius consul for this year, but he urged them to postpone his consulship until some more important war broke out, for he considered that he would be more useful to the State as a City magistrate. So without dissembling his real wishes or ostensibly seeking the post, he was elected curule aedile along with L. Papirius Cursor. I cannot, however, be certain on this point, for the earlier annalist, Piso, states that the curule aediles for this year were Cn. Domitius, Cn. F. Calvinus, Sp. Carvilius, and Q. F. Maximus. I think that the cognomen of the last-mentioned aedile-Maximus-was the cause of the error, and that a story in which the lists of both elections were combined was constructed to fit in with the mistake. The lustrum was closed this year by the censors, P. Sempronius Sophus and P. Sulpicius Saverrio, and two new tribes were added, the Aniensis and the Teretina. These were the principal events of the year in Rome.



10.10

Meantime the siege of Nequinum was dragging slowly on and time was being wasted. At length two of the townsmen, whose houses abutted on the city wall, made a tunnel, and came by that secret passage to the Roman outposts. They were conducted to the consul, and undertook to admit a detachment of soldiers within the fortifications and the city walls. It did not seem right to reject their proposal, nor yet to accept it offhand. One of them was instructed to conduct two spies through the underground passage; the other was detained as a hostage. The report of the spies was satisfactory, and 300 soldiers, led by the deserter, entered the city by night and seized the nearest gate. This was broken open, and the consul with his army took possession of the place without any fighting. Thus Nequinum passed into the power of Rome. A colony was sent there as an outpost against the Umbrians, and the place was called Narnia from the river Nar. The army marched back to Rome with a large amount of spoil. This year the Etruscans determined to break the truce, and began to make preparations for war. But the invasion of their country by an enormous army of Gauls-the last thing they were expecting-turned them for a time from their purpose. Trusting to the power of money, which with them was very considerable, they endeavoured to convert the Gauls from enemies into allies in order that they might combine their forces in an attack on Rome. The barbarians did not object to an alliance, the only question was as to the amount of pay. After this had been agreed upon and all the other preparations for war had been completed, the Etruscans called upon the Gauls to follow them. They refused to do so, and asserted that they had not taken the money to make war on Rome. Whatever they had received had been accepted as compensation for not devastating the land of Etruria or subjecting its inhabitants to armed violence. However, they expressed their willingness to serve if the Etruscans really wished them to do so, but only on one condition, namely that they should be admitted to a share of their territory and be able to settle at last in a permanent home. Many councils were held in the various cantons to discuss this proposal, but it was found impossible to accept the terms, not so much because they would not consent to any loss of territory as because they dreaded the prospect of having as their neighbours men belonging to such a savage race. The Gauls were accordingly dismissed, and carried back with them an enormous sum of money gained without labour and without risk. The rumour of a Gaulish invasion in addition to the Etruscan war created alarm in Rome, and there was less hesitation in concluding a treaty with the Picentes.



10.11

The campaign in Etruria fell to the consul T. Manlius. He had scarcely entered the hostile territory when, as he was wheeling his horse round in some cavalry exercises, he was flung off and almost killed on the spot. Three days later the consul ended his life. The Etruscans derived encouragement from this incident, for they took it as an omen, and declared that the gods were fighting for them. When the sad news reached Rome, not only was the loss of the man severely felt, but also the inopportuneness of the time when it occurred. The senate were prepared to order the nomination of a Dictator, but refrained from doing so as the election of a successor to the consul went quite in accordance with the wishes of the leading patricians. Every vote was given in favour of M. Valerius, the man whom the senate had decided upon as Dictator. The legions were at once ordered to Etruria. Their presence acted as such a check upon the Etruscans that no one ventured outside their lines; their fears shut them up as closely as though they were blockaded. Valerius devastated their fields and burnt their houses, till not only single farms but numerous villages were reduced to smoking ashes, but he failed to bring the enemy to action. While this war was progressing more slowly than had been anticipated, apprehensions were felt as to another war which, from the numerous defeats sustained formerly on both sides, was not unreasonably regarded with dread. The Picentes had sent information that the Samnites were arming for war, and that they had approached the Picentes to induce them to join them. The latter were thanked for their loyalty, and the public attention was diverted to a large extent from Etruria to Samnium. The dearness of provisions caused widespread distress amongst the citizens. Those writers who make Fabius Maximus a curule aedile for that year assert that there would have been actual famine if he had not shown the same wise care in the control of the market and the accumulation of supplies which he had so often before displayed in war. An interregnum occurred this year-tradition assigns no reason for it. The interreges were Ap. Claudius and P. Sulpicius. The latter held the consular elections, at which L. Cornelius Scipio and Cn. Fulvius were returned. At the beginning of their year a deputation came from the Lucanians to lay a formal complaint against the Samnites. They informed the senate that that people had tried to allure them into forming an offensive and defensive alliance with them, and, finding their efforts futile, they invaded their territory and were laying it waste, and so, by making war upon them, trying to drive them into a war with Rome. The Lucanians, they said, had made too many mistakes already; they had now quite made up their minds that it would be better to bear and suffer everything than to attempt anything against Rome. They implored the senate to take them under its protection and to defend them from the wanton aggressions of the Samnites. They were fully aware that if Rome declared war against Samnium their loyalty to her would be a matter of life and death, but, notwithstanding that, they were prepared to give hostages as a guarantee of good faith.



10.12

The discussion in the senate was brief. The members unanimously decided that a treaty of close alliance should be made with the Lucanians and satisfaction demanded from the Samnites. When the envoys were readmitted, they received a favourable reply and a treaty was concluded with them. The fetials were sent to insist upon the evacuation by the Samnites of the territories of the allies of Rome and the withdrawal of their forces from the Lucanian frontiers. They were met by emissaries from the Samnites, who warned them that if they appeared in any of the Samnite councils their inviolability would be no longer respected. On this being reported in Rome, the Assembly confirmed the resolution passed by the senate and ordered war to be made upon the Samnites. In the allotment of their respective commands Etruria fell to Scipio and the Samnites to Fulvius. Both consuls took the field. Scipio, who was anticipating a tedious campaign similar to the one of the previous year, was met by the enemy in battle formation at Volaterrae. The contest lasted the greater part of the day, with heavy loss on both sides. Night came on whilst they were still uncertain with whom the victory lay; the following morning made it clear, for the Etruscans had abandoned their camp in the dead of the night. When the Romans marched out to battle and saw that the enemy had by their action admitted their defeat, they went on to the deserted camp. This they took possession of, and as it was a standing camp and had been hurriedly abandoned, they secured a considerable amount of booty. The troops were marched back into the neighbourhood of Falerii, and after leaving the baggage with a small escort there they proceeded, in light marching order, to harry the Etruscan land. Everything was laid waste with fire and sword; prey was driven in from all sides. Not only was the soil left an absolute waste for the enemy, but their fortified posts and villages were burnt. The Romans refrained from attacking the cities in which the terrified Etruscans had sought shelter. Cnaeus Fulvius fought a brilliant action at Bovianum in Samnium, and gained a decisive victory. He then carried Bovianum by storm, and not long afterwards Aufidena.



10.13

During the year a colony was settled at Carseoli, in the country of the Aequicoli. The consul Fulvius celebrated a triumph over the Samnites. Just as the consular elections were coming on, a rumour spread that the Etruscans and Samnites were levying immense armies. According to the reports which were sent, the leaders of the Etruscans were attacked in all the cantonal council meetings for not having brought the Gauls over on any terms whatever to take part in the war; the Samnite government were abused for having employed against the Romans a force which was only raised to act against the Lucanians; the enemy was arising in his own strength and in that of his allies to make war on Rome, and matters would not be settled without a conflict on a very much larger scale than formerly. Men of distinction were amongst the candidates for the consulship, but the gravity of the danger turned all eyes to Quintus Fabius Maximus. He at first simply declined to become a candidate, but when he saw the trend of popular feeling he distinctly refused to allow his name to stand: "Why," he asked, "do you want an old man like me, who has finished his allotted tasks and gained all the rewards they have brought? I am not the man I was either in strength of body or mind, and I fear lest some god should even deem my good fortune too great or too unbroken for human nature to enjoy. I have grown up to the measure of the glory of my seniors, and I would gladly see others rising to the height of my own renown. There is no lack of honours in Rome for the strongest and most capable men, nor is there any lack of men to win the honour." This display of modesty and unselfishness only made the popular feeling all the keener in his favour by showing how rightly it was directed. Thinking that the best way of checking it would be to appeal to the instinctive reverence for law, he ordered the law to be rehearsed which forbade any man from being re-elected consul within ten years. Owing to the clamour the law was hardly heard, and the tribunes of the plebs declared that there was no impediment here; they would make a proposition to the Assembly that he should be exempt from its provisions. He, however, persisted in his refusal, and repeatedly asked what was the object in making laws if they were deliberately broken by those who made them; "we," said he, "are now ruling the laws instead of the laws ruling us." Notwithstanding his opposition the people began to vote, and as each century was called in, it declared without the slightest hesitation for Fabius. At last, yielding to the general desire of his countrymen, he said, "May the gods approve what you have done and what you are going to do. Since, however, you are going to have your own way as far as I am concerned, give me the opportunity of using my influence with you so far as my colleague is concerned. I ask you to elect as my fellow-consul, P. Decius, a man whom I have found to work with me in perfect harmony, a man who is worthy of your confidence, worthy of his illustrious sire." The recommendation was felt to be well deserved, and all the centuries which had not yet voted elected Q. Fabius and P. Decius consuls. During the year a large number of people were prosecuted by the aediles for occupying more than the legal quantity of land. Hardly one could clear himself from the charge, and a very strong curb was placed upon inordinate covetousness.



10.14

The consuls were busy with their arrangements for the campaign, deciding which of them should deal with the Etruscans, and which with the Samnites, what troops they would each require, which field of operations each was best fitted for, when envoys arrived from Sutrium, Nepete, and Falerii bringing definite information that the local assemblies of Etruria were being convened to decide upon a peace policy. On the strength of this information the whole weight of war was turned against the Samnites. In order to facilitate the transport of supplies, and also to make the enemy more uncertain as to the line of the Roman advance, Fabius led his legions by way of Sora, while Decius proceeded through the Sidicine district. When they had crossed the frontiers of Samnium they marched on a widely extended front, laying the country waste as they went on. They threw out their scouting parties still more widely, and so did not fail to discover the enemy near Tifernum. They had concealed themselves in a secluded valley, prepared to attack the Romans, should they enter the valley, from the rising ground on each side. Fabius removed the baggage into a safe place and left a small guard over it. He then informed his men that a battle was impending, and massing them into a solid square came up to the above-mentioned hiding-place of the enemy. The Samnites, finding all chance of a surprise hopeless, since matters would have to be decided by an action in the open, thought it better to meet their foes in a pitched battle. Accordingly they came down to the lower ground, and placed themselves in the hands of Fortune with more of courage than of hope. But whether it was that they had got together the whole strength out of every community in Samnium, or that their courage was stimulated by the thought that their very existence as a nation depended upon this battle, they certainly did succeed in creating a good deal of alarm in the Roman ranks, even though they were fighting in a fair field. When Fabius saw that the enemy were holding their ground in every part of the field, he rode up to the first line with his son, Maximus, and Marcus Valerius, both military tribunes, and ordered them to go to the cavalry and tell them that if they remembered any single occasion on which the republic had been aided by the efforts of the cavalry, they should that day strive their utmost to sustain the reputation of that invincible arm of the State, for the enemy were standing immovable against the infantry and all their hopes rested on the cavalry. He made a personal appeal to each of them, showering commendations upon them and holding out the prospect of great rewards. Since, however, the cavalry charge might fail in its object, and attacking in force prove useless, he thought he ought to adopt a stratagem. Scipio, one of his staff, received instructions to draw off the hastati of the first legion and, attracting as little observation as possible, take them to the nearest hills. Then climbing up where they could not be seen, they were suddenly to show themselves in the enemy's rear.

The cavalry, led by the two young tribunes, dashed out in front of the standards, and their sudden appearance created almost as much confusion amongst their own people as amongst the enemy. The Samnite line stood perfectly firm against the galloping squadrons, nowhere could they be forced back or broken. Finding their attempt a failure, the cavalry retired behind the standards and took no further part in the fighting. This increased the courage of the enemy, and the Roman front could not have sustained the prolonged contest, met as they were by a resistance which was becoming more stubborn as its confidence rose, had not the consul ordered the second line to relieve the first. These fresh troops checked the advance of the Samnites, who were now pressing forward. Just at this moment the standards were descried on the hills, and a fresh battle-shout arose from the Roman ranks. The alarm which was created among the Samnites was greater than circumstances warranted, for Fabius exclaimed that his colleague Decius was coming, and every soldier, wild with joy, took up the cry and shouted that the other consul with his legions was at hand. This mistake occurring so opportunely filled the Samnites with dismay; they dreaded, exhausted as they were by fighting, the prospect of being overwhelmed by a second army, fresh and unhurt. Unable to offer any further resistance they broke and fled, and owing to their scattered flight, the bloodshed was small when compared with the greatness of the victory; 3400 were killed, about 830 made prisoners, and 23 standards were captured.



10.15

Before this battle took place the Samnites would have been joined by the Apulians had not the consul Decius anticipated their action by fixing his camp at Maleventum. He drew them into an engagement and routed them, and in this battle also there were more who escaped by flight than were slain; these amounted to 2000. Without troubling himself further about the Apulians, Decius led his army into Samnium. There the two consular armies spent five months in ravaging and desolating the country. There were forty-five different places in Samnium where Decius at one time or another had fixed his camp; in the case of the other consul there were eighty-six. Nor were the only traces left those of ramparts and fosses, more conspicuous still were those which attested the devastation and depopulation of all the country round. Fabius also captured the city of Cimetra, where 2900 became prisoners of war, 830 having been killed during the assault. After this he returned to Rome for the elections and arranged for them to be held at an early date. The centuries who voted first declared without exception for Fabius. Amongst the candidates was the energetic and ambitious Appius Claudius. Anxious to secure the honour for himself, he was quite as anxious that both posts should be held by patricians, and he brought his utmost influence, supported by the whole of the nobility, to bear upon the electors so that they might return him together with Fabius. At the outset Fabius refused, and alleged the same grounds for his refusal as he had alleged the year before. Then all the nobles crowded round his chair and begged him to extricate the consulship from the plebeian mire and restore both to the office itself and to the patrician houses the august dignity which they possessed of old. As soon as he could obtain silence he addressed them in terms which calmed their excitement. He would, he said, have arranged to admit votes for two patricians if he saw that any one else than himself was being elected, but as matters were he would not allow his name to stand, since it would be against the law and form a most dangerous precedent. So L. Volumnius, a plebeian, was elected together with Appius Claudius; they had already been associated in a previous consulship. The nobles taunted Fabius and said that he refused to have Appius Claudius as a colleague because he was unquestionably his inferior in eloquence and state-craft.



10.16

When the elections were over, the previous consuls received a six months' extension of their command and were ordered to prosecute the war in Samnium. P. Decius, who had been left by his colleague in Samnium and was now proconsul, continued his ravages of the Samnite fields until he had driven their army, which nowhere ventured to encounter him, outside their frontiers. They made for Etruria, and were in hopes that the object which they had failed to secure by their numerous deputations might be achieved now that they had a strong force and could back up their appeals by intimidation. They insisted upon a meeting of the Etruscan chiefs being convened. When it had assembled they pointed out how for many years they had been fighting with the Romans, how they had tried in every possible way to sustain the weight of that war in their own strength, and how they had proved the assistance of their neighbours to be of small value. They had sued for peace because they could no longer endure war, they had taken to war again because a peace which reduced them to slavery was heavier to bear than a war in which they could fight as free men. The only hope left to them now lay in the Etruscans. They knew that they of all the nations of Italy were the richest in arms and men and money, and they had for their neighbours the Gauls, trained to arms from the cradle, naturally courageous to desperation and especially against the Romans, a nation whom they justly boast of having captured and then allowing them to ransom themselves with gold. If the Etruscans had the same spirit which Porsena and their ancestors once had there was no reason why they should not expel the Romans from the whole of their land as far as the Tiber and compel them to fight, not for their insupportable dominion over Italy, but for their very existence. The Samnite army had come to them completely provided with arms and a war chest, and were ready to follow them at once, even if they led them to an attack on Rome itself.



10.17

While they were thus busy with their intrigues in Etruria the warfare which the Romans were carrying on in Samnium was terribly destructive. When P. Decius had ascertained through his scouts the departure of the Samnite army he summoned a council of war. "Why," he asked, "are we foaming through the country districts, making war only upon the villages? Why are we not attacking the walled cities? There is no army to defend them, the army has abandoned its country and gone into voluntary exile." His proposal was unanimously adopted and he led them to the attack of Murgantia, a powerfully fortified city. Such was the eagerness of the soldiers, due partly to the affection they felt for their commander and partly to the expectation of a larger amount of plunder than they were securing in the country districts, that they stormed and captured the city in a single day. Two thousand one hundred combatants were cut off and made prisoners and an enormous quantity of plunder was seized. To avoid loading the army with a lot of heavy baggage Decius called his men together and addressed them thus: "Are you going to content yourselves with this one victory and this spoil? Raise your hopes and expectations to the height of your courage. All the cities of the Samnites and all the wealth left in them are yours now that their legions, routed in so many battles, have at last been driven by you beyond their frontiers. Sell what you now hold and attract traders by the hope of profit to follow our armies; I shall frequently supply you with things for sale. Let us go on to the city of Romulea where still greater spoil awaits you but not greater exertions."

The booty was then sold and the men, urging on their commander, marched to Romulea. Here, too, no siege works were constructed, no artillery employed, the moment the standards were brought up to the walls no resistance on the part of the defenders could keep the men back; they planted their scaling-ladders just where they happened to be, and swarmed on to the walls. The town was taken and sacked, 2300 were killed, 6000 taken prisoners, and a vast amount of plunder secured, which the troops, as before, were obliged to dispose of to the traders. The next place to be attacked was Ferentinum, and though no rest was allowed the men, they marched thither in the highest spirits. Here, however, they had more trouble and more risk. The position had been made as strong as possible by nature and by art, and the walls were defended with the utmost energy, but a soldiery habituated to plunder overcame all obstacles. As many as 3000 of the enemy were killed round the walls; the plunder was given to the troops. In some annalists the greater part of the credit of these captures is given to Maximus; Decius they say took Murgantia, Ferentinum and Romulea being captured by Fabius. Some again claim this honour for the new consuls, while a few restrict it to L. Volumnius, to whom they say Samnium was assigned as his sphere of action.



10.18

Whilst this campaign was going on in Samnium-whoever may have been the commander-a very serious war against Rome was being organised in Etruria, in which many nations were to take part. The chief organiser was Gellius Egnatius, a Samnite. Almost all the Tuscan cantons had decided on war, the contagion had infected the nearest cantons in Umbria, and the Gauls were being solicited to help as mercenaries. All these, were concentrating at the Samnite camp. When the news of this sudden rising reached Rome, L. Volumnius had already left for Samnium with the second and third legions and 15,000 allied troops; it was therefore decided that Appius Claudius should at the earliest possible moment enter Etruria. Two Roman legions followed him, the first and fourth, and 12,000 allies. He fixed his camp not far from the enemy. The advantage gained by his prompt arrival did not, however, show itself in any wise or fortunate generalship on his part so much as the check imposed by the fear of Rome upon some of the Etrurian cantons which were meditating war. Several engagements took place in unfavourable positions and at unfortunate times, and the more the enemy's hopes of success, the more formidable he became. Matters almost reached the point when the soldiers distrusted their general and the general had no confidence in his soldiers. I find it stated by some annalists that he sent a letter to his colleague summoning him from Samnium, but I cannot assert this as a fact since this very circumstance became a subject of dispute between the two consuls, who were now in office together for the second time; Appius denying that he had sent any letter and Volumnius insisting that he had been summoned by a letter from Appius.

Volumnius had by this time taken three fortified posts in Samnium in which as many as 3000 men were killed and almost half that number made prisoners. He had also sent Q. Fabius, the proconsul, with his veteran army, much to the satisfaction of the Lucanian magnates, to repress the disturbances which had been got up in that part of the country by the plebeian and indigent classes. Leaving the ravaging of the enemy's fields to Decius he proceeded with his whole force to Etruria. On his arrival he was universally welcomed. As to the way Appius treated him, I think that if he had a clear conscience in the matter, that is, if he had written nothing, his anger was justifiable, but if he had really stood in need of help he showed a disingenuous and ungrateful spirit in concealing the fact. When he went out to meet his colleague, almost before they had had time to exchange mutual greetings, he asked: "Is all well, Volumnius? How are things going in Samnium? What induced you to leave your allotted province?" Volumnius replied that all was going on satisfactorily and that he had come because he had been asked to do so by letter. If it was a forgery and there was nothing for him to do in Etruria he would at once countermarch his troops and depart. "Well then," said Appius, "go, let nobody keep you here, for it is by no means right that whilst perhaps you are hardly able to cope with your own war you should boast of having come to the assistance of others." "May Hercules guide all for the best," replied Volumnius. "I would rather have taken all this trouble in vain than that anything should happen which would make one consular army insufficient for Etruria."



10.19

As the consuls were parting from each other, the staff-officers and military tribunes stood round them; some of them implored their own commander not to reject the assistance of his colleague, assistance which he himself ought to have invited and which was now spontaneously offered; many of the others tried to stop Volumnius as he was leaving and appealed to him not to betray the safety of the republic through a wretched quarrel with his colleague. They urged that if any disaster occurred the responsibility for it would fall on the one who abandoned the other, not on the other who was abandoned; it came to this-all the glory of success and all the disgrace of failure in Etruria was transferred to Volumnius. People would not inquire what words Appius had used, but what fortune the army was meeting with; he may have been dismissed by Appius, but his presence was demanded by the republic and by the army. He had only to test the feelings of the soldiers to find this out for himself. Amidst appeals and warnings of this character they almost dragged the reluctant consuls into a council of war. There the dispute which had previously been witnessed by only a few went on at much greater length. Volumnius had not only the stronger case, but he showed himself by no means a bad speaker, even when compared with the exceptional eloquence of his colleague. Appius remarked sarcastically that they ought to look upon it as due to him that they had a consul who was actually able to speak, instead of the dumb inarticulate man he once was. In their former consulship, especially during the first months of office, he could not open his lips, now he was becoming quite a popular speaker. Volumnius observed, "I would much rather that you had learnt from me to act with vigour and decision than that I should have learnt from you to be a clever speaker." He finally made a proposal which would settle the question who was-not the better orator, for that was not what the republic needed, but-the better commander. Their two provinces were Etruria and Samnium; Appius might choose which he preferred, he, Volumnius, was willing to conduct operations either in Etruria or in Samnium. On this the soldiers began to clamour; they insisted that both consuls should carry on the war in Etruria. When Volumnius saw that this was the general wish he said, "Since I have made a mistake in interpreting my colleague's wishes I will take care that there shall be no doubt as to what it is that you want. Signify your wishes by acclamation; do you wish me to stay or to go? "Such a shout arose in reply that it brought the enemy out of their camp; seizing their arms they came down to the battlefield. Then Volumnius ordered the battle signal to be sounded and the standards to be carried out of the camp. Appius, it is said, was for some time undecided, as he saw that whether he fought or remained inactive the victory would be his colleague's, but at last, fearing lest his legions also should follow Volumnius, he yielded to their loud demands and gave the signal for battle.

On both sides the dispositions were far from complete. The Samnite captain-general, Gellius Egnatius, had gone off with a few cohorts on a foraging expedition, and his troops commenced the battle in obedience to their own impulses rather than to any word of command. The Roman armies again were not both led to the attack at the same time, nor was sufficient time allowed for their formation. Volumnius was engaged before Appius reached the enemy, so the battle began on an irregular front, and the usual opponents happened to be interchanged, the Etruscans facing Volumnius and the Samnites, after a short delay owing to their leader's absence, closing with Appius. The story runs that he lifted up his hands to heaven so as to be visible to those about the foremost standards and uttered this prayer: "Bellona! if thou wilt grant us victory today, I, in return, vow a temple to thee." After this prayer it seemed as though the goddess had inspired him, he displayed a courage equal to his colleague's, or indeed to that of the whole army. Nothing was lacking on the part of the generals to ensure success, and the rank and file in each of the consular armies did their utmost to prevent the other from being the first to achieve victory. The enemy were quite unable to withstand a force so much greater than any they had been accustomed to meet, and were in consequence routed and put to flight. The Romans pressed the attack when they began to give ground, and when they broke and fled, followed them up till they had driven them to their camp. There the appearance of Gellius and his cohorts led to a brief stand being made; soon, however, these were routed and the victors attacked the camp. Volumnius encouraging his men by his own example led the attack upon one of the gates in person, whilst Appius was kindling the courage of his troops by repeatedly invoking "Bellona the victorious." They succeeded in forcing their way through rampart and fosse; the camp was captured and plundered, and a very considerable amount of booty was discovered and given to the soldiery; 6900 of the enemy were killed, 2120 made prisoners.



10.20

Whilst both the consuls with the whole strength of Rome were devoting their energies more and more to the Etruscan war, fresh armies were raised in Samnium for the purpose of ravaging the territories which belonged to the feudatories of Rome. They passed through the Vescini into the country round Capua and Falernum and secured immense spoil. Volumnius was returning to Samnium by forced marches, for the extended command of Fabius and Decius had almost expired, when he heard of the devastations which the Samnites were committing in Campania. He at once diverted his route in that direction to protect our allies. When he was in the neighbourhood of Cales he saw for himself the fresh traces of the destruction that had been wrought, and the inhabitants informed him that the enemy were carrying off so much plunder that they could hardly keep any proper formation on the march. In fact their generals had openly given out that they dared not expose an army so heavily laden to the chances of battle, and they must at once return to Samnium and leave their plunder there, after which they would return for a fresh raid. However true all this might be, Volumnius thought he ought to get further information, and accordingly he despatched some cavalry to pick up any stragglers they might find among the raiders. On questioning them he learnt that the enemy were halted at the river Volturnus, and were going to move forward at the third watch and take the road to Samnium. Satisfied with this information he marched on and fixed his camp at such a distance from the enemy that while it was not close enough for his arrival to be detected it was sufficiently near to allow of his surprising them while they were leaving their camp. Some time before daylight he approached their camp and sent some men familiar with the Oscan language to find out what was going on. Mingling with the enemy, an easy matter in the confusion of a nocturnal departure, they found that the standards had already gone with only a few to defend them, the booty and those who were to escort it were just leaving, the army as a whole were incapable of any military evolution, for each was looking after his own affairs, without any mutually arranged plan of action or any definite orders from their commander. This seemed the moment for delivering his attack, and daylight was approaching, so he ordered the advance to be sounded and attacked the enemy's column. The Samnites were encumbered with their booty, only a few were in fighting trim; some hurried on and drove before them the animals they had seized, others halted, undecided whether to go on or retreat to the camp; in the midst of their hesitation they were surrounded and cut off. The Romans had now got over the rampart, and the camp became a scene of wild disorder and carnage. The confusion created in the Samnite column by the swiftness of the attack was increased by the sudden outbreak of their prisoners. Some after releasing themselves broke the fetters of those round them, others snatched the weapons which were fastened up with the baggage and created in the centre of the column a tumult more appalling even than the battle which was going on. Then they achieved a most extraordinary feat. Statius Minacius, the general commanding, was riding up and down the ranks encouraging his men, when the prisoners attacked him, and after dispersing his escort, hurried him off, whilst still in the saddle, as a prisoner to the Roman consul. The noise and the tumult recalled the cohorts who were at the head of the column, and the battle was resumed, but only for a short time, as a long resistance was impossible. As many as 6000 men were killed, there were 2500 prisoners, amongst them four military tribunes, thirty standards were taken, and, what gave the victors more pleasure than anything else, 7400 captives were rescued and the immense booty which had been taken from the allies recovered. Public notice was given inviting the owners to identify and recover what belonged to them. Everything for which no owner appeared on the appointed day was given to the soldiers, but they were obliged to sell it all that nothing might distract their thoughts from their military duties.



10.21

This predatory incursion into Campania created great excitement in Rome, and it so happened that just at this time grave news was received from Etruria. After the withdrawal of Volumnius' army, the whole country, acting in concert with the Samnite captain-general, Gellius Egnatius, had risen in arms; whilst the Umbrians were being called on to join the movement, and the Gauls were being approached with offers of lavish pay. The senate, thoroughly alarmed at these tidings, ordered all legal and other business to be suspended, and men of all ages and of every class to be enrolled for service. Not only were the freeborn and all within the military age obliged to take the oath, but cohorts were formed of the older men, and even the freedmen were formed into centuries. Arrangements were made for the defence of the City, and P. Sempronius took supreme command. The senate was, however, relieved of some of its anxiety by the receipt of despatches from L. Volumnius, from which it was ascertained that the raiders of Campania had been routed and killed. Thanksgivings for this success were ordered in honour of the consul, the suspension of business was withdrawn after lasting eighteen days, and the thanksgivings were of a most joyous character. The next question was the protection of the district which had been devastated by the Samnites, and it was decided to settle bodies of colonists about the Vescinian and Falernian country. One was to be at the mouth of the Liris, now called the colony of Menturna, the other in the Vescinian forest where it is contiguous with the territory of Falernum. Here the Greek city of Sinope is said to have stood, and from this the Romans gave the place the name of Sinuessa. It was arranged that the tribunes of the plebs should get a plebiscite passed requiring P. Sempronius, the praetor, to appoint commissioners for the founding of colonies in those spots. But it was not easy to find people to be sent to what was practically a permanent outpost in a dangerously hostile country, instead of having fields allotted to them for cultivation. The attention of the senate was diverted from these matters to the growing seriousness of the outlook in Etruria. There were frequent despatches from Appius warning them not to neglect the movement that was going on in that part of the world; four nations were in arms together, the Etruscans, the Samnites, the Umbrians, and the Gauls, and they were compelled to form two separate camps, for one place would not hold so great a multitude. The date of the elections was approaching, and Volumnius was recalled to Rome to conduct them, and also to advise on the general policy. Before calling upon the centuries to vote he summoned the people to an Assembly. Here he dwelt at some length upon the serious nature of the war in Etruria. Even, he said, when he and his colleague were conducting a joint campaign, the war was on too large a scale for any single general with his one army to cope with. Since then he understood that the Umbrians and an enormous force of Gauls had swollen the ranks of their enemies. The electors must bear in mind that two consuls were being elected on that day to act against four nations. The choice of the Roman people would, he felt certain, fall on the one man who was unquestionably the foremost of all their generals. Had he not felt sure of this he was prepared to nominate him at once as Dictator.



10.22

After this speech no one felt the slightest doubt that Q. Fabius would be unanimously elected. The "prerogative" centuries and all those of the first class were voting for him and Volumnius, when he again addressed the electors very much in the terms he had employed two years before, and as on the former occasion when he yielded to the universal wish, so now he again requested that P. Decius might be his colleague. He would be a support for his old age to lean upon, they had been together as censors, and twice as consuls, and he had learnt by experience that nothing went further to protect the State than harmony between colleagues. He felt that he could hardly at his time of life get accustomed to a new comrade in office, he could so much more easily share all his counsels with one whose character and disposition he knew. Volumnius confirmed what Fabius had said. He bestowed a well-deserved encomium on Decius, and pointed out what an advantage in military operations is gained by harmony between the consuls, and what mischief is wrought when they are at variance. He mentioned as an instance the recent misunderstanding between him and his colleague which almost led to a national disaster, and he solemnly admonished Decius and Fabius that they should live together with one mind and one heart. They were, he continued, born commanders, great in action, unskilled in wordy debate, possessing, in fact, all the qualifications of a consul. Those, on the other hand, who were clever and cunning in law, and practiced pleaders, like Appius Claudius, ought to be employed in the City and on the bench; they should be elected praetors to administer justice. The discussion in the Assembly lasted the whole day. On the morrow the elections were held for both consuls and praetors. The consul's recommendation was acted upon; Q. Fabius and P. Decius were elected consuls, and Appius Claudius was returned as praetor; they were all elected in their absence. The senate passed a resolution, which the Assembly confirmed by a plebiscite, that Volumnius' command should be extended for a year.



10.23

Several portents occurred this year and, with the view of averting them, the senate passed a decree that special intercessions should be offered for two days. The wine and incense were provided at the public cost, and both men and women attended the religious functions in great numbers. This time of special observance was rendered memorable by a quarrel which broke out amongst the matrons in the chapel of the Patrician Pudicitia, which is in the Forum Boarium, against the round temple of Hercules. Verginia, the daughter of Aulus Verginius, a patrician, had married the plebeian consul, L. Volumnius, and the matrons excluded her from their sacred rites because she had married outside the patriciate. This led to a brief altercation, which, as the women became excited, soon blazed up into a storm of passion. Verginia protested with perfect truth that she entered the temple of Pudicitia as a patrician and a pure woman, the wife of one man to whom she had been betrothed as a virgin, and she had nothing to be ashamed of in her husband or in his honourable career and the offices which he had held. The effect of her high-spirited language was considerably enhanced by her subsequent action. In the Vicus Longus, where she lived, she shut off a portion of her house, sufficient to form a moderately sized chapel, and set up an altar there. She then called the plebeian matrons together and told them how unjustly she had been treated by the patrician ladies. "I am dedicating," she said, "this altar to the Plebeian Pudicitia, and I earnestly exhort you as matrons to show the same spirit of emulation on the score of chastity that the men of this City display with regard to courage, so that this altar may, if possible, have the reputation of being honoured with a holier observance and by purer worshippers than that of the patricians." The ritual and ceremonial practiced at this altar was almost identical with that at the older one; no matron was allowed to sacrifice there whose moral character was not well attested, and who had had more than one husband. Afterwards it was polluted by the presence of women of every kind, not matrons only, and finally passed into oblivion. The curule aediles, Cnaeus and Quintus Ogulnius, brought up several money-lenders for trial this year. The proportion of their fines which was paid into the treasury was devoted to various public objects; the wooden thresholds of the Capitol were replaced by bronze, silver vessels were made for the three tables in the shrine of Jupiter, and a statue of the god himself, seated in a four-horsed chariot, was set up on the roof. They also placed near the Ficus Ruminalis a group representing the Founders of the City as infants being suckled by the she-wolf. The street leading from the Porta Capena to the temple of Mars was paved, under their instructions, with stone slabs. Some graziers were also prosecuted for exceeding the number of cattle allowed them on the public land, and the plebeian aediles, L. Aelius Paetus and C. Fulvius Curvus, spent the money derived from their fines on public games and a set of golden bowls to be placed in the temple of Ceres.



10.24

Q. Fabius and P. Decius were now entering their year of office, the former being consul for the fifth time, the latter for the fourth. Twice before they had been consuls together, they had held the censorship together and the perfect unanimity between them, quite as much as their discharge of its duties, made their tenure of office a distinguished one. But this was not to last for ever; the conflict which broke out between them was, however, I think, due more to the antagonism of the two orders to which they belonged than to any personal feeling on their part. The patrician senators were extremely anxious that Fabius should have Etruria assigned to him without going through the usual procedure; the plebeian senators urged Decius to insist upon the question being settled in the usual way by lot. There was, at all events, a sharp division of opinion in the senate, and, when it became apparent that the Fabian interest was the stronger, the matter was referred to the people. As both were first of all soldiers, trusting more to deeds than to words, their speeches before the Assembly were brief. Fabius declared that it would be an unworthy proceeding if another should gather up the fruit beneath the tree which he had planted; he had opened up the Ciminian forest and made a way through pathless jungle for the arms of Rome. Why had they troubled him at his time of life, if they were going to carry on the war under another general? Then he turned to Decius: "Surely," he said, "I have chosen an opponent, not a comrade, in office; Decius is annoyed at our three years of joint power having been so harmonious." Finally, he asserted that he desired nothing more than that if they thought him worthy of that command, they should send him there; he had bowed to the will of the senate and should accept the decision of the people.

P. Decius, in reply, protested against the injustice of the senate. The patricians, he said, had done their utmost to exclude the plebeians from the great offices of the State. Since personal merit had so far won the day that it no longer failed of recognition in any class of men, their object was now not only to stultify the deliberate decisions of the people as expressed by their votes, but even to turn the judgments which Fortune is ever passing into so many reasons for retaining their power, small as their number was. All the consuls before his time had drawn lots for their commands, now the senate was giving Fabius his province independently of the lot. If this was simply as a mark of honour, then he would admit that Fabius had rendered services both to the republic and to himself and he would gladly consent to anything that would add to his reputation, provided it did not involve casting a slur upon himself. But who could fail to see that when a peculiarly difficult and formidable war is entrusted to one consul without any resort to the lot, it means that the other consul is regarded as superfluous and useless? Fabius pointed with pride to his achievements in Etruria; Decius wished to be able to do so too, and possibly he might succeed in totally extinguishing the fire which the other had only smothered, and smothered in such a way that it was constantly breaking out where one least expected in fresh conflagrations. He was prepared to concede honours and rewards to his colleague out of respect to his age and position, but when it was a question of danger or of fighting he did not give way, and would not voluntarily. If he gained nothing else from this dispute, he would at least gain this much, that the people should decide a question which was theirs to decide, rather than that the senate should show undue partiality. He prayed Jupiter Optimus Maximus and the immortal gods to grant to him the impartial chance of the lot with his colleague, if they were going to grant them each the same courage and good fortune in the conduct of the war. It was, at all events, a thing eminently fair in itself, and an excellent precedent for all time, and a thing which touched the good name of Rome very closely, that both the consuls should be men by either of whom the Etruscan war could be conducted without any risk of failure. Fabius' only reply was to entreat the people to listen to some despatches which had been sent by Appius before they proceeded to vote. He then left the Assembly. The people were no less strong in his support than the senate had been, and Etruria was decreed to Fabius without any casting of lots.



10.25

When this decision was come to, all the men of military age flocked to the consul, and every one began to give in his name, so eager were they to serve under him as their general. Seeing himself surrounded by this crowd, he called out: "I do not intend to enlist more than 4000 infantry and 600 cavalry, and will take with me those of you who give in your names today and tomorrow. I am more concerned to bring you all back wealthy men than to have a large number of men for my fighting force." With this compact army full of confidence and hope-all the more so because he felt no need of a great host-he marched to the town of Aharna, which was not far from the enemy, and from there went on to Appius' camp. He was still some miles distant from it when he was met by some soldiers sent to cut wood who were accompanied by an armed escort. When they saw the lictors marching in front of him, and heard that it was Fabius their consul, they were overjoyed and thanked the gods and the people of Rome for having sent him to them as their commander. As they pressed round the consul to salute him, Fabius asked them where they were going, and on their replying that they were going to cut wood, "What do you say?" he inquired; "surely you have a ramparted camp?" They informed him that they had a double rampart and fosse round the camp, and yet they were in a state of mortal fear. "Well, then," he replied, "go back and pull down your stockade, and you will have quite enough wood." They returned into camp and began to demolish the rampart, to the great terror of those who had remained in camp, and especially of Appius himself, until the news spread from one to another that they were acting under the orders of Q. Fabius, the consul. On the following day the camp was shifted, and Appius was sent back to Rome to take up his duties as praetor.

From that time the Romans had no standing camp. Fabius said that it was bad for the army to remain fixed in one spot; it became more healthy and active by frequent marches and change of position. They made as long and frequent marches as the season allowed, for the winter was not yet over. As soon as spring set in, he left the second legion at Clusium, formerly called Camars, and placed L. Scipio in charge of the camp as propraetor. He then returned to Rome to consult the senate as to future operations. He may have taken this step on his own initiative after finding from personal observation that the war was a bigger thing than he had believed it to be from the reports received, or he may have been summoned home by the senate; both reasons are assigned by our authorities. Some want to make it appear that he was compelled to return, owing to the action of Appius Claudius, who had sent alarming despatches about the state of things in Etruria, and was now adding to the alarm by his speeches in the senate and before the Assembly. He considered one general with only one army quite insufficient to cope with four nations; whether they combined their forces against him or acted separately, there was the danger of his being unable, single-handed, to meet all emergencies. He had left only two legions there, and less than 5000 infantry and cavalry had arrived with Fabius, and he advised that P. Decius should join his colleague in Etruria as soon as possible. Samnium could be handed over to L. Volumnius, or, if the consul preferred to keep to his own province, Volumnius should go to the support of Fabius with a full consular army. As the praetor's representations were producing a considerable impression, we are told that Decius gave it as his opinion that Fabius ought not to be interfered with, but left free to act as he thought best until he had either himself come to Rome, if he could do so with safety to the State, or had sent some member of his staff from whom the senate could learn the actual state of things in Etruria, what force would be necessary, and how many generals would be required.



10.26

Immediately on his arrival in Rome, Fabius addressed the senate and also the Assembly on the subject of the war. His tone was calm and temperate, he did not exaggerate, nor did he underrate the difficulties. If, he said, he accepted a colleague's assistance it would be more out of consideration for other people's fears than to provide against any danger either to himself or to the republic. If, however, they did give him a coadjutor to be associated with him in the command, how could he possibly overlook P. Decius, who had been so frequently his colleague, and whom he knew so well? There was no one in the world whom he would sooner have; if Decius were with him he should always find his forces sufficient for the work and never find the enemy too numerous for him to deal with. If his colleague preferred some other arrangement they might give him L. Volumnius. The people, the senate, and his own colleague all agreed that Fabius should have a perfectly free hand in the matter, and when Decius made it clear that he was ready to go either to Samnium or to Etruria, there was universal joy and congratulation. Victory was already regarded as certain, and it looked as though a triumph, and not a serious war, had been decreed to the consuls. I find it stated in some authorities that Fabius and Decius both started for Etruria immediately on entering office, no mention being made of their not deciding their provinces by lot, or of the quarrel between the colleagues which I have described. Some, on the other hand, were not satisfied with simply narrating the dispute, but have given in addition certain charges which Appius brought against the absent Fabius before the people. and the bitter attacks he made upon him in his presence, and mention is made of a second quarrel between the colleagues caused by Decius insisting that each should keep the province assigned to him. We find more agreement amongst the authorities from the time that both consuls left Rome for the scene of war.

But before the consuls arrived in Etruria the Senonian Gauls came in immense numbers to Clusium with the intention of attacking the Roman camp and the legion stationed there. Scipio was in command, and thinking to assist the scantiness of his numbers by taking up a strong position, he marched his force on to a hill which lay between his camp and the city. The enemy had appeared so suddenly that he had had no time to reconnoitre the ground, and he went on towards the summit after the enemy had already seized it, having approached it from the other side. So the legion was attacked in front and rear and completely surrounded. Some authors say that the entire legion was wiped out there, not a man being left to carry the tidings, and that though the consuls were not far from Clusium at the time, no report of the disaster reached them until Gaulish horsemen appeared with the heads of the slain hanging from their horses' chests and fixed on the points of their spears, whilst they chanted war-songs after their manner. According to another tradition they were not Gauls at all, but Umbrians, nor was there a great disaster; a foraging party commanded by L. Manlius Torquatus, a staff officer, was surrounded, but Scipio sent assistance from the camp, and in the end the Umbrians were defeated and the prisoners and booty recovered. It is more probable that this defeat was inflicted by Gauls and not by Umbrians, for the fears of an irruption of Gauls which had been so often aroused were especially present to the minds of the citizens this year, and every precaution was taken to meet it. The force with which the consuls had taken the field consisted of four legions and a large body of cavalry, in addition to 1000 picked Campanian troopers detailed for this war, whilst the contingents furnished by the allies and the Latin League formed an even larger army than the Roman army. But in addition to this large force two other armies were stationed not far from the City, confronting Etruria; one in the Faliscan district, another in the neighbourhood of the Vatican. The propraetors, Cnaeus Fulvius and L. Postumius Megellus, had been instructed to fix their standing camps in those positions.



10.27

After crossing the Apennines, the consuls descended into the district of Sentinum and fixed their camp about four miles' distance from the enemy. The four nations consulted together as to their plan of action, and it was decided that they should not all be mixed up in one camp nor go into battle at the same time. The Gauls were linked with the Samnites, the Umbrians with the Etrurians. They fixed upon the day of battle, the brunt of the fighting was to be reserved for the Gauls and Samnites, in the midst of the struggle the Etruscans and Umbrians were to attack the Roman camp. These arrangements were upset by three deserters, who came in the secrecy of night to Fabius and disclosed the enemy's plans. They were rewarded for their information and dismissed with instructions to find out and report whatever fresh decision was arrived at. The consuls sent written instructions to Fulvius and Postumius to bring their armies up to Clusium and ravage the enemy's country on their march as far as they possibly could. The news of these ravages brought the Etruscans away from Sentinum to protect their own territory. Now that they had got them out of the way, the consuls tried hard to bring on an engagement. For two days they sought to provoke the enemy to fight, but during those two days nothing took place worth mentioning; a few fell on both sides and enough exasperation was produced to make them desire a regular battle without, however, wishing to hazard everything on a decisive conflict. On the third day the whole force on both sides marched down into the plain. Whilst the two armies were standing ready to engage, a hind driven by a wolf from the mountains ran down into the open space between the two lines with the wolf in pursuit. Here they each took a different direction, the hind ran to the Gauls, the wolf to the Romans. Way was made for the wolf between the ranks; the Gauls speared the hind. On this a soldier in the front rank exclaimed: "In that place where you see the creature sacred to Diana lying dead, flight and carnage will begin; here the wolf, whole and unhurt, a creature sacred to Mars, reminds us of our Founder and that we too are of the race of Mars." The Gauls were stationed on the right, the Samnites on the left. Q. Fabius posted the first and third legions on the right wing, facing the Samnites; to oppose the Gauls, Decius had the fifth and sixth legions, who formed the Roman left. The second and fourth legions were engaged in Samnium with L. Volumnius the proconsul. When the armies first met they were so evenly matched that had the Etruscans and Umbrians been present, whether taking part in the battle or attacking the camp, the Romans must have been defeated.



10.28

But although neither side was gaining any advantage and Fortune had not yet indicated in any way to whom she would grant the victory, the fighting on the right wing was very different from that on the left. The Romans under Fabius were acting more on the defensive and were protracting the contest as long as possible. Their commander knew that it was the habitual practice of both the Gauls and the Samnites to make a furious attack to begin with, and if that were successfully resisted, it was enough; the courage of the Samnites gradually sank as the battle went on, whilst the Gauls, utterly unable to stand heat or exertion, found their physical strength melting away; in their first efforts they were more than men, in the end they were weaker than women. Knowing this, he kept the strength of his men unimpaired against the time when the enemy usually began to show signs of defeat. Decius, as a younger man, possessing more vigour of mind, showed more dash; he made use of all the strength he possessed in opening the attack, and as the infantry battle developed too slowly for him, he called on the cavalry. Putting himself at the head of a squadron of exceptionally gallant troopers, he appealed to them as the pick of his soldiers to follow him in charging the enemy, for a twofold glory would be theirs if victory began on the left wing and, in that wing, with the cavalry. Twice they swept aside the Gaulish horse. Making a third charge, they were carried too far, and whilst they were now fighting desperately in the midst of the enemy's cavalry they were thrown into consternation by a new style of warfare. Armed men mounted on chariots and baggage wagons came on with a thunderous noise of horses and wheels, and the horses of the Roman cavalry, unaccustomed to that kind of uproar, became uncontrollable through fright; the cavalry after their victorious charges, were now scattered in frantic terror; horses and men alike were overthrown in their blind flight. Even the standards of the legionaries were thrown into confusion, and many of the front rank men were crushed by the weight of the horses and vehicles dashing through the lines. When the Gauls saw their enemy thus demoralised they did not give them a moment's breathing space in which to recover themselves, but followed up at once with a fierce attack. Decius shouted to his men and asked them whither they were fleeing, what hope they had in flight; he tried to stop those who were retreating and recall the scattered units. Finding himself unable, do what he would, to check the demoralisation, he invoked the name of his father, P. Decius, and cried: "Why do I any longer delay the destined fate of my family? This is the privilege granted to our house that we should be an expiatory sacrifice to avert dangers from the State. Now will I offer the legions of the enemy together with myself as a sacrifice to Tellus and the Dii Manes." When he had uttered these words he ordered the pontiff, M. Livius, whom he had kept by his side all through the battle, to recite the prescribed form in which he was to devote "himself and the legions of the enemy on behalf of the army of the Roman people, the Quirites." He was accordingly devoted in the same words and wearing the same garb as his father, P. Decius, at the battle of Veseris in the Latin war. After the usual prayers had been recited he uttered the following awful curse: "I carry before me terror and rout and carnage and blood and the wrath of all the gods, those above and those below. I will infect the standards, the armour, the weapons of the enemy with dire and manifold death, the place of my destruction shall also witness that of the Gauls and Samnites." After uttering this imprecation on himself and on the enemy he spurred his horse against that part of the Gaulish line where they were most densely massed and leaping into it was slain by their missiles.



10.29

From this moment the battle could hardly have appeared to any man to be dependent on human strength alone. After losing their leader, a thing which generally demoralises an army, the Romans arrested their flight and recommenced the struggle. The Gauls, especially those who were crowded round the consul's body, were discharging their missiles aimlessly and harmlessly as though bereft of their senses; some seemed paralysed, incapable of either fight or flight. But, in the other army, the pontiff Livius, to whom Decius had transferred his lictors and whom he had commissioned to act as propraetor, announced in loud tones that the consul's death had freed the Romans from all danger and given them the victory, the Gauls and Samnites were made over to Tellus the Mother and the Dii Manes, Decius was summoning and dragging down to himself the army which he had devoted together with himself, there was terror everywhere among the enemy, and the Furies were lashing them into madness. Whilst the battle was thus being restored, L. Cornelius Scipio and C. Marcius were ordered by Fabius to bring up the reserves from the rear to the support of his colleagues. There they learnt the fate of P. Decius, and it was a powerful encouragement to them to dare everything for the republic. The Gauls were standing in close order covered by their shields, and a hand-to-hand fight seemed no easy matter, but the staff officers gave orders for the javelins which were lying on the ground between the two armies to be gathered up and hurled at the enemy's shield wall. Although most of them stuck in their shields and only a few penetrated their bodies, the closely massed ranks went down, most of them falling without having received a wound, just as though they had been struck by lightning. Such was the change that Fortune had brought about in the Roman left wing.

On the right Fabius, as I have stated, was protracting the contest. When he found that neither the battle-shout of the enemy, nor their onset, nor the discharge of their missiles were as strong as they had been at the beginning, he ordered the officers in command of the cavalry to take their squadrons round to the side of the Samnite army, ready at a given signal to deliver as fierce a flank attack as possible. The infantry were at the same time to press steadily forwards and dislodge the enemy. When he saw that they were offering no resistance, and were evidently worn out, he massed all his support which he had kept in reserve for the supreme moment, and gave the signal for a general charge of infantry and cavalry. The Samnites could not face the onslaught and fled precipitately past the Gauls to their camp, leaving their allies to fight as best they could. The Gauls were still standing in close order behind their shield wall. Fabius, on hearing of his colleague's death, ordered a squadron of Campanian horse, about 500 strong, to go out of action and ride round to take the Gauls in the rear. The principes of the third legion were ordered to follow, and, wherever they saw the enemy's line disordered by the cavalry, to press home the attack and cut them down. He vowed a temple and the spoils of the enemy to Jupiter Victor, and then proceeded to the Samnite camp to which the whole crowd of panic-struck fugitives was being driven. As they could not all get through the gates, those outside tried to resist the Roman attack and a battle began close under the rampart. It was here that Gellius Egnatius, the captain-general of the Samnites, fell. Finally the Samnites were driven within their lines and the camp was taken after a brief struggle. At the same time the Gauls were attacked in the rear and overpowered; 25,000 of the enemy were killed in that day's fighting and 8000 made prisoners. The victory was by no means a bloodless one, for P. Decius lost 7000 killed and Fabius 1700. After sending out a search party to find his colleague's body, Fabius had the spoils of the enemy collected into a heap and burnt as a sacrifice to Jupiter Victor. The consul's body could not be found that day as it was buried under a heap of Gauls; it was discovered the next day and brought back to camp amidst the tears of the soldiers. Fabius laid aside all other business in order to pay the last rites to his dead colleague; the obsequies were conducted with every mark of honour and the funeral oration sounded the well-deserved praises of the deceased consul.



10.30

During these occurrences in Umbria, Cnaeus Fulvius, the propraetor, was succeeding to the utmost of his wishes in Etruria. Not only did he carry destruction far and wide over the enemy's fields, but he fought a brilliant action with the united forces of Perusia and Clusium in which more than 3000 of the enemy were killed and as many as 20 standards taken. The remains of the Samnite army attempted to escape through the Pelignian territory, but were intercepted by the native troops, and out of 5000 as many as 1000 were killed. Great as the glory of the day on which the battle of Sentinum was fought must appear to any writer who adheres to the truth, it has by some writers been exaggerated beyond all belief. They assert that the enemy's army amounted to 1,000,000 infantry and 46,000 cavalry, together with 1000 war chariots. That, of course, includes the Umbrians and Tuscans who are represented as taking part in the battle. And by way of increasing the Roman strength they tell us that Lucius Volumnius commanded in the action as well as the consuls, and that their legions were supplemented by his army. In the majority of the annalists the victory is assigned only to the two consuls; Volumnius is described as compaigning during that time in Samnium, and after driving a Samnite army on to Mount Tifernus, he succeeded, in spite of the difficulty of the position, in defeating and routing them. Q. Fabius left Decius' army to hold Etruria and led back his own legions to the City to enjoy a triumph over the Gauls, the Etruscans, and the Samnites. In the songs which the soldiers sang in the procession the glorious death of Decius was celebrated quite as much as the victory of Fabius, and they recalled the father's memory in their praises of the son who had rivalled his father in his devotion and all that it had done for the State. Out of the spoils each soldier received eighty-two ases of bronze, with cloaks and tunics, rewards not to be despised in those days



10.31

In spite of these defeats neither the Etruscans nor the Samnites remained quiet. After the consul had withdrawn his army the Perusians recommenced hostilities, a force of Samnites descended into the country round Vescia and Formiae, plundering and harrying as they went, whilst another body invaded the district of Aesernum and the region round the Vulturnus. Appius Claudius was sent against these with Decius' old army; Fabius, who had marched into Etruria, slew 4500 of the Perusians, and took 1740 prisoners, who were ransomed at 310 ases per head; the rest of the booty was given to the soldiers. The Samnites, one body of which was pursued by Appius Claudius, the other by L. Volumnius, effected a junction in the Stellate district and took up a position there. A desperate battle was fought, the one army was furious against those who had so often taken up arms against them, the other felt that this was their last hope. The Samnites lost 16,300 killed and 2700 prisoners; on the side of the Romans 2700 fell. As far as military operations went, the year was a prosperous one, but it was rendered an anxious one by a severe pestilence and by alarming portents. In many places showers of earth were reported to have fallen, and a large number of men in the army under Appius Claudius were said to have been struck by lightning. The Sacred Books were consulted in view of these occurrences. During this year Q. Fabius Gurges, the consul's son, who was an aedile, brought some matrons to trial before the people on the charge of adultery. Out of their fines he obtained sufficient money to build the temple of Venus which stands near the Circus.

The Samnite wars are still with us, those wars which I have been occupied with through these last four books, and which have gone on continuously for six-and-forty years, in fact ever since the consuls, M. Valerius and A. Cornelius, carried the arms of Rome for the first time into Samnium. It is unnecessary now to recount the numberless defeats which overtook both nations, and the toils which they endured through all those years, and yet these things were powerless to break down the resolution or crush the spirit of that people; I will only allude to the events of the past year. During that period the Samnites, fighting sometimes alone, sometimes in conjunction with other nations, had been defeated by Roman armies under Roman generals on four several occasions, at Sentinum, amongst the Paeligni, at Tifernum, and in the Stellate plains; they had lost the most brilliant general they ever possessed; they now saw their allies-Etruscans, Umbrians, Gauls-overtaken by the same fortune that they had suffered; they were unable any longer to stand either in their own strength or in that afforded by foreign arms. And yet they would not abstain from war; so far were they from being weary of defending their liberty, even though unsuccessfully, that they would rather be worsted than give up trying for victory. What sort of a man must he be who would find the long story of those wars tedious, though he is only narrating or reading it, when they failed to wear out those who were actually engaged in them?



10.32

Q. Fabius and P. Decius were succeeded in the consulship by L. Postumius Megellus and M. Atilius Regulus. Samniurn was assigned to both of them as the field of operations in consequence of information received that three armies had been raised there, one being destined for Etruria, another was to ravage Campania, and the third was intended for the defence of their frontiers. Illness kept Postumius in Rome, but Atilius marched out at once in accordance with the senate's instructions, with the view of surprising the Samnite armies before they had started on their expeditions. He met the enemy, as though they had had a previous understanding, at a point where he himself was stopped from entering the Samnite country and at the same time barred any movement on their part towards Roman territory or the peaceable lands of her allies. The two camps confronted each other, and the Samnites, with the recklessness that comes of despair, ventured upon an enterprise which the Romans, who had been so often victorious, would hardly have undertaken, namely an attack on the enemy's camp. Their daring attempt did not achieve its end, but it was not altogether fruitless. During a great part of the day there had been so dense a fog that it was not only impossible to see anything beyond the rampart, but even people who were together were unable to see each other. The Samnites, relying on their movements being concealed, came on in the dim twilight-what light there was being obscured by the fog-and reached the outpost in front of the gate who were keeping a careless look-out, and who being thus attacked unawares had neither the strength nor the courage to offer any resistance. After disposing of the guard they entered the camp through the decuman gate and got possession of the quaestor's tent, the quaestor, L. Opimius Pansa, being killed. Then there was a general call to arms.



10.33

The consul roused by the tumult ordered two of the allied cohorts, those from Luca and Suessa, which happened to be the nearest, to protect the headquarters' tent, and then he mustered the maniples in the via principalis. They got into line almost before they were in proper fighting trim, and they located the enemy by the direction of the shouting rather than by anything that they could see; as to his numbers they were quite unable to form any estimate. Doubtful as to their position they at first retreated, and thus allowed the enemy to advance as far as the middle of the camp. Seeing this the consul asked them whether they were going to be driven outside their rampart, and then try to recover their camp by assaulting it. Then they raised the battle-shout and steadily held their ground until they were able to take the offensive and force the enemy back, which they did persistently without giving him a moment's respite, until they had driven him outside the gate and past the rampart. Further than that they did not venture to go in pursuit, because the bad light made them fear the possibility of a surprise. Content with having cleared the enemy out of the camp they retired within the rampart, having killed about 300. On the Roman side, the outpost who were killed and those who fell round the quaestor's tent amounted to 230. The partial success of this daring maneuver raised the spirits of the Samnites, and they not only prevented the Romans from advancing but they even kept the foraging parties out of their fields, who had consequently to fall back on the pacified district of Sora. The report of this occurrence which reached Rome, and which was a much more sensational one than the facts warranted, compelled the other consul, L. Postumius, to leave the City before his health was quite re-established. He issued a general order for his men to assemble at Sora, and previous to his departure he dedicated the temple to Victory which he had, when curule aedile, built out of the proceeds of fines. On rejoining his army he marched from Sora to his colleague's camp. The Samnites despaired of offering an effectual resistance to two consular armies and withdrew; the consuls then proceeded in different directions to lay waste their fields and storm their cities.



10.34

Amongst the latter was Milionia, which Postumius unsuccessfully attempted to carry by assault. He then attacked the place by regular approaches, and after his vineae were brought up to the walls he forced an entrance. From ten o'clock in the morning till two in the afternoon fighting went on in all quarters of the town with doubtful result; at last the Romans got possession of the place; 3200 Samnites were killed and 4700 made prisoners, in addition to the rest of the booty. From there the legions marched to Feritrum, but the townsfolk evacuated the place quietly during the night, taking with them all their possessions, everything which could be either driven or carried. Immediately on his reaching the vicinity, the consul approached the walls with his men prepared for action, as though there was going to be as much fighting there as there had been at Milionia. When he found that there was a dead silence in the city and no sign of arms or men was visible in the towers or on the walls, he checked his men, who were eager to get into the deserted fortifications, for fear he might be rushing blindly into a trap. He ordered two troops of cavalry belonging to the Latin contingent to ride round the walls and make a thorough reconnaissance. They discovered one gate open and another near it also open, and on the road leading from these gates traces of the enemy's nocturnal flight. Riding slowly up to the gates they obtained an uninterrupted view of the city through the straight streets, and brought back report to the consul that the city had been evacuated, as was clear from the unmistakable solitude and the things scattered about in the confusion of the night-evidence of their hasty flight. On receiving this information the consul led his army round to that side of the city which the cavalry had examined. Halting the standards near the gates, he ordered five horsemen to enter the city, and after going some distance three were to remain where they were, and two were to return and report to him what they had discovered. They reported that they had reached a point from which a view was obtained in all directions, and everywhere they saw a silent solitude. The consul immediately sent some light-armed cohorts into the city, the rest of the army received orders to form an entrenched camp. The soldiers who had entered the place broke open some of the houses and found a few old and sick people and such property left behind as they found too difficult to transport. This was appropriated, and it was ascertained from the prisoners that several cities in the neighbourhood had mutually agreed to leave their homes, and the Romans would probably find the same solitude in other cities. What the prisoners had said proved to be true, and the consul took possession of the abandoned towns.



10.35

The other consul, M. Atilius, found his task by no means so easy. He had received information that the Samnites were besieging Luceria, and he marched to its relief, but the enemy met him at the frontier of the Lucerine territory. Exasperation and rage lent them a strength which made them a match for the Romans. The battle went on with changing fortunes and an indecisive result, but in the end the Romans were in the sorrier plight, for they were unaccustomed to defeat, and it was after the two armies had separated rather than in the battle itself that they realised how much greater the loss was on their side in both killed and wounded. When they were once more within their camp they became a prey to fears which, had they felt them whilst actually fighting, would have brought upon them a signal disaster. They passed an anxious night expecting that the Samnites would make an immediate attack on the camp, or that they would have to engage their victorious foe at daybreak. On the side of the enemy the loss was less, but certainly the courage displayed was not greater. As soon as it began to grow light the Romans were anxious to retire without fighting, but there was only one way and that led past the enemy; if they took that route it would amount to a challenge, for it would look as though they were directly advancing to attack the Samnite camp. The consul issued a general order for the soldiers to arm for battle and follow him outside the rampart. He then gave the necessary instructions to the officers of his staff, the military tribunes, and the prefects of the allies. They all assured him that as far as they were concerned they would do everything that he wished them to do, but the men had lost heart, they had passed a sleepless night amidst the wounded and the groans of the dying, and had the enemy attacked the camp while it was still dark, they were in such a state of fright that they would have deserted their standards. As it was they were only kept from flight by a feeling of shame, in every other respect they were practically beaten men.

Under these circumstances the consul thought he ought to go round and address the soldiers personally. When he came to any who were showing reluctance to arm themselves he asked them why they were so slow and so cowardly; the enemy would come up to their camp unless they met him outside; they would have to fight to defend their tents if they refused to fight in front of their rampart. Armed and fighting they had a chance of victory, but the men who awaited the enemy unarmed and defenceless would have to suffer either death or slavery. To these taunts and reproaches they replied that they were exhausted with the fighting on the previous day, they had no strength or blood left, and the enemy seemed to be in greater force than ever. Whilst this was going on the hostile army approached, and as they were now closer and could be seen more clearly the men declared that the Samnites were carrying stakes with them, and there was no doubt they intended to shut the camp in with a circumvallation. Then the consul loudly exclaimed that it would indeed be a disgrace if they submitted to such a galling insult from so dastardly a foe. "Shall we," he cried, "be actually blockaded in our camp to perish ignominiously by hunger rather than, if we must die, die bravely at the sword's point? Heaven forbid! Act, every man of you, as you deem worthy of yourselves! I, the consul, M. Atilius, will go against the enemy alone if none will follow and fall amongst the standards of the Samnites sooner than see a Roman camp hedged in by circumvallation." The consul's words were welcomed by all his officers, and the rank and file, ashamed to hold back any longer, slowly put themselves in fighting trim and slowly marched out of camp. They moved in a long irregular column, dejected and to all appearance thoroughly cowed, but the enemy against whom they were advancing felt no more confidence and showed no more spirit than they did. As soon as they caught sight of the Roman standards a murmur ran through the Samnite army from the foremost to the hindmost ranks that what they feared was actually happening, the Romans were coming out to oppose their march, there was no road open even for flight, they must either fall where they were or make their escape over the bodies of their prostrate foes.



10.36

They piled their knapsacks in the centre and formed up in order of battle. There was by this time only a narrow space between the two armies, and each side were standing motionless waiting for the others to raise the battle-shout and begin the attack. Neither of them had any heart for fighting, and they would have marched off in opposite directions if they were not each apprehensive that the other would attack them on the retreat. In this timid and reluctant mood they commenced a feeble fight, without receiving any order to attack or raising any regular battle-shout, and not a man stirred a foot from where he stood. Then the consul, in order to infuse some spirit into the combatants, sent a few troops of cavalry to make a demonstration; most of them were thrown from their horses and the rest got into hopeless confusion. A rush was made by the Samnites to overpower those who had been dismounted; this was met by a rush from the Roman ranks to protect their comrades. This made the fighting somewhat more lively, but the Samnites rushed forward with more dash and in greater numbers, whilst the disordered Roman cavalry on their terrified horses were riding down their own supports. The demoralisation which began here extended to the whole army; there was a general flight, and the Samnites had none to fight with but the rearmost of their foes. At this critical moment the consul galloped back to the camp and posted a cavalry detachment before the gate with strict orders to treat as an enemy any one who made for the rampart whether Roman or Samnite. He then stopped his men who were running back to the camp in disorder, and in menacing tones called out, "Where are you going, soldiers? Here, too, you will find armed men, and not one of you shall enter the camp while your consul is alive unless you come as victors; now make your choice whether you would rather fight with your own countrymen or with the enemy." While the consul was speaking, the cavalry closed round the fugitives with levelled spears and peremptorily ordered them to return to the battlefield. Not only did the consul's courage help them to rally, but Fortune also favoured them. As the Samnites were not in close pursuit there was space enough for the standards to wheel round and the whole army to change front from the camp to the enemy. Now the men began to encourage each other, the centurions snatched the standards from the hands of the bearers and carried them forward, pointing out at the same time to their men how few the enemy were, and in what loose order they were coming. In the middle of it all the consul, raising his hands towards heaven and speaking in a loud voice so that he might be well heard, vowed a temple to Jupiter Stator if the Roman army stayed its flight and renewed the battle and defeated and slew the Samnites. All officers and men, infantry and cavalry alike, exerted themselves to the utmost to restore the battle. Even the divine providence seemed to have looked with favour on the Romans, so easily did matters take a favourable turn. The enemy were repulsed from the camp, and in a short time were driven back to the ground where the battle began. Here their movements were hampered by the heap of knapsacks they had piled up in their centre; to prevent these from being plundered they took up their position round them. But the Roman infantry pressed upon them in front and the cavalry attacked them in rear, so between the two they were all either killed or made prisoners. The latter amounted to 7800, these were all stripped and sent under the yoke. The number of those killed was reported to be 4800. The Romans had not much cause for rejoicing over their victory, for when the consul reckoned up the losses sustained through the two days' fighting the number of missing was returned as 7800. During these incidents in Apulia, the Samnites made an attempt with a second army upon the Roman colony at Interamna, situated on the Latin road. Failing to get possession of the city, they ravaged the fields and proceeded to carry off, along with their other plunder, a number of men and several head of cattle and some colonists whom they had captured. They fell in with the consul, who was returning from his victorious campaign in Luceria, and not only lost their booty, but their long straggling column was quite unprepared for attack and was consequently cut up. The consul issued a notice summoning the owners of the plundered property to Interamna to identify and recover what belonged to them, and leaving his army there, started for Rome to conduct the elections. He requested to be allowed a triumph, but this honour was refused him on the ground that he had lost so many thousands of men, and also because he had sent his prisoners under the yoke without its having been made a condition of their surrender.



10.37

The other consul, Postumius, finding nothing for his troops to do amongst the Samnites, led them into Etruria and began to lay waste the district of Volsinia. The townsmen came out to defend their borders and a battle ensued not far from their walls; 2800 of the Etruscans were killed, the rest were saved by the proximity of their city. He then passed over into the Rusellan territory; there, not only were the fields harried, but the town itself was successfully assaulted. More than 2000 were made prisoners, and under 2000 killed in the storming of the place. The peace which ensued this year in Etruria was more important and redounded more to the honour of Rome than even the war which led to it. Three very powerful cities, the chief cities in Etruria, Vulsinii, Perusia, and Arretium, sued for peace, and after agreeing to supply the troops with clothing and corn, they obtained the consul's consent to send spokesmen to Rome, with the result that they obtained a forty years' truce. Each of the cities was at once to pay an indemnity of 500,000 ases. For these services the consul asked the senate to decree him a triumph. The request was made more as a matter of form, to comply with the established custom, than from any hope of obtaining it. He saw that some who were his personal enemies and others who were friends of his colleague refused his request on various grounds, some alleging that he had been too late in taking the field, others that he had transferred his army from Samnium to Etruria without any orders from the senate, whilst a third party were actuated by a desire to solace Atilius for the refusal which he had met with. In face of this opposition he simply said: "Senators, I am not so mindful of your authority as to forget that I am consul. By the same right and authority by which I have conducted wars, now that these wars have been brought to a successful close, Samnium and Etruria subdued, victory and peace secured, I shall celebrate my triumph." And with that he left the senate.

A sharp contention now broke out between the tribunes of the plebs. Some declared that they should interpose to prevent his obtaining a triumph in a way which violated all precedent, others asserted that they should give him their support in spite of their colleagues. The matter was brought before the Assembly, and the consul was invited to be present. In his speech he alluded to the cases of the consuls M. Horatius and L. Valerius and the recent one of Gaius Marcius Rutilus, the father of the man who was censor at the time. All these, he said, had been allowed a triumph, not on the authority of the senate but by an order of the people. He would have brought the question before the people himself had he not been aware that certain tribunes of the plebs who were bound hand and foot to the nobles would veto the proposal. He regarded the goodwill and favour of a unanimous people as tantamount to all the formal orders that were made. Supported by three of the tribunes against the veto of the remaining seven and against the unanimous voice of the senate he celebrated his triumph on the following day amidst a great outburst of popular enthusiasm. The records of this year vary widely from each other. According to Claudius, Postumius, after taking some cities in Samnium, was routed and put to flight in Apulia, he himself being wounded, and was driven with a small body of his troops to Luceria; the victories in Etruria were won by Atilius and it was he who celebrated the triumph. Fabius tells us that both consuls conducted the campaign in Samnium and at Luceria, and that the army was transferred to Etruria, but he does not say by which consul. He also states that at Luceria the losses were heavy on both sides, and that a temple was vowed to Jupiter Stator in that battle. This same vow Romulus had made many centuries before, but only the fanum, that is the site of the temple, had been consecrated. As the State had become thus doubly pledged, it became necessary to discharge its obligation to the god, and the senate made an order this year for the construction of the temple.



10.38

The year following was marked by the consulship of L. Papirius Cursor, who had not only inherited his father's glory but enhanced it by his management of a great war and a victory over the Samnites, second only to the one which his father had won. It happened that this nation had taken the same care and pains to adorn their soldiery with all the wealth of splendour as they had done on the occasion of the elder Papirius' victory. They had also called in the aid of the gods by submitting the soldiers to a kind of initiation into an ancient form of oath. A levy was conducted throughout Samnium under a novel regulation; any man within the military age who had not assembled on the captain-general's proclamation, or any one who had departed without permission, was devoted to Jupiter and his life forfeited. The whole of the army was summoned to Aquilonia, and 40,000 men, the full strength of Samnium, were concentrated there. A space, about 200 feet square, almost in the centre of their camp, was boarded off and covered all over with linen cloth. In this enclosure a sacrificial service was conducted, the words being read from an old linen book by an aged priest, Ovius Paccius, who announced that he was taking that form of service from the old ritual of the Samnite religion. It was the form which their ancestors used when they formed their secret design of wresting Capua from the Etruscans. When the sacrifice was completed the captain-general sent a messenger to summon all those who were of noble birth or who were distinguished for their military achievements. They were admitted into the enclosure one by one. As each was admitted he was led up to the altar, more like a victim than like one who was taking part in the service, and he was bound on oath not to divulge what he saw and heard in that place. Then they compelled him to take an oath couched in the most terrible language, imprecating a curse on himself, his family, and his race if he did not go into battle where the commanders should lead him or if he either himself fled from battle or did not at once slay any one whom he saw fleeing. At first there were some who refused to take this oath; they were massacred beside the altar, and their dead bodies lying amongst the scattered remains of the victims were a plain hint to the rest not to refuse. After the foremost men among the Samnites had been bound by this dread formula, ten were especially named by the captain-general and told each to choose a comrade-in-arms, and these again to choose others until they had made up the number of 16,000. These were called the "linen legion," from the material with which the place where they had been sworn was covered. They were provided with resplendent armour and plumed helmets to distinguish them from the others. The rest of the army consisted of something under 20,000 men, but they were not inferior to the linen legion either in their personal appearance or soldierly qualities or in the excellence of their equipment. This was the number of those in camp at Aquilonia, forming the total strength of Samnium.



10.39

The consuls left the City. The first to go was Spurius Carvilius, to whom were assigned the legions which M. Atilius, the previous consul, had left in the district of Interamna. With these he advanced into Samnium, and while the enemy were taken up with their superstitious observance and forming secret plans, he stormed and captured the town of Amiternum. Nearly 2800 men were killed there, and 4270 made prisoners. Papirius with a fresh army raised by senatorial decree successfully attacked the city of Duronia. He made fewer prisoners than his colleague, but slew a somewhat greater number. In both towns rich booty was secured. Then the consuls traversed Samnium in different directions; Carvilius, after ravaging the Atinate country, came to Cominium; Papirius reached Aquilonia, where the main army of the Samnites was posted. For some time his troops, while not quite inactive, abstained from any serious fighting. The time was spent in annoying the enemy when he was quiet, and retiring when he showed resistance-in threatening rather than in offering battle. As long as this practice went on day after day, of beginning and then desisting, even the slightest skirmish led to no result. The other Roman camp was separated by an interval of 20 miles, but Carvilius was guided in all his measures by the advice of his distant colleague; his thoughts were dwelling more on Aquilonia, where the state of affairs was so critical, than on Cominium, which he was actually besieging.

Papirius was at length perfectly ready to fight, and he sent a message to his colleague announcing his intention, if the auspices were favourable, of engaging the enemy the next day, and impressing upon him the necessity of attacking Cominium with his full strength, to give the Samnites no opportunity of sending succour to Aquilonia. The messenger had the day for his Journey, he returned in the night, bringing word back to the consul that his colleague approved of his plan. Immediately after despatching the messenger Papirius ordered a muster of his troops, and addressed them preparatory to the battle. He spoke at some length upon the general character of the war they were engaged in, and especially upon the style of equipment which the enemy had adopted, which he said served for idle pageantry rather than for practical use. Plumes did not inflict wounds, their painted and gilded shields would be penetrated by the Roman javelin, and an army resplendent in dazzling white would be stained with gore when the sword came into play. A Samnite army all in gold and silver had once been annihilated by his father, and those trappings had brought more glory as spoils to the victors than they had brought as armour to the wearers. It might, perhaps, be a special privilege granted to his name and family that the greatest efforts which the Samnites had ever made should be frustrated and defeated under their generalship and that the spoils which they brought back should be sufficiently splendid to serve as decorations for the public places in the City. Treaties so often asked for, so often broken, brought about the intervention of the immortal gods, and if it were permitted to man to form any conjecture as to the feelings of the gods, he believed that they had never been more incensed against any army than against this one of the Samnites. It had taken part in infamous rites and been stained with the mingled blood of men and beasts; it was under the two-fold curse of heaven, filled with dread at the thought of the gods who witnessed the treaties made with Rome and horror-struck at the imprecations which were uttered when an oath was taken to break those treaties, an oath which the soldiers took under compulsion and which they recall with loathing. They dread alike the gods, their fellow-countrymen, and the enemy.



10.40

These details the consul had gathered from information supplied by deserters, and his mention of them increased the exasperation of the troops. Assured of the favour of heaven and satisfied that humanly speaking they were more than a match for their foes, they clamoured with one voice to be led to battle, and were intensely disgusted at finding that it was put off till the morrow; they chafed angrily at the delay of a whole day and night. After receiving the reply from his colleague, Papirius rose quietly in the third watch of the night and sent a pullarius to observe the omens. There was not a man, whatever his rank or condition, in the camp who was not seized by the passion for battle, the highest and lowest alike were eagerly looking forward to it; the general was watching the excited looks of the men, the men were looking at their general, the universal excitement extended even to those who were engaged in observing the sacred birds. The chickens refused to eat, but the pullarius ventured to misrepresent matters, and reported to the consul that they had eaten so greedily that the corn dropped from their mouths on to the ground. The consul, delighted at the news, gave out that the omens could not have been more favourable; they were going to engage the enemy under the guidance and blessing of heaven. He then gave the signal for battle. Just as they were taking up their position, a deserter brought word that 20 cohorts of the Samnites, comprising about 400 men each, had gone to Cominium. He instantly despatched a message to his colleague in case he should not be aware of this movement, and ordered the standards to be advanced more rapidly. He had already posted the reserves in their respective positions and told off an officer to take command of each detachment. The right wing of the main army he entrusted to L. Volumnius, the left to L. Scipio, and two other members of his staff, C. Caedicius and T. Trebonius, were placed in command of the cavalry. He gave orders for Spurius Nautius to remove the pack-saddles from the mules and to take them together with three of the auxiliary cohorts by a circuitous route to some rising ground visible from the battlefield, where during the progress of the fight he was to attract attention by raising as great a cloud of dust as possible.

While the consul was busy with these arrangements an altercation began between the pullarii about the omens which had been observed in the morning. Some of the Roman cavalry overheard it and thought it of sufficient importance to justify them in reporting to Spurius Papirius, the consul's nephew, that the omens were being called in question. This young man, born in an age when men were not yet taught to despise the gods, inquired into the matter in order to make quite sure that what he was reporting was true and then laid it before the consul. He thanked him for the trouble he had taken and bade him have no fears. "But," he continued, "if the man who is watching the omens makes a false report, he brings down the divine wrath on his own head. As far as I am concerned, I have received the formal intimation that the chickens ate eagerly, there could be no more favourable omen for the Roman people and army." He then issued instructions to the centurions to place the pullarius in front of the fighting line. The standards of the Samnites were now advancing, followed by the army in gorgeous array; even to their enemies they presented a magnificent sight. Before the battle-shout was raised or the lines closed a chance javelin struck the pullarius and he fell in front of the standards. When this was reported to the consul he remarked, "The gods are taking their part in the battle, the guilty man has met with his punishment." While the consul was speaking a crow in front of him gave a loud and distinct caw. The consul welcomed the augury and declared that the gods had never more plainly manifested their presence in human affairs. He then ordered the charge to be sounded and the battle-shout to be raised.



10.41

A savagely fought contest ensued. The two sides were, however, animated by very different feelings. The Romans went into battle eager for the fray, confident of victory, exasperated against the enemy and thirsting for his blood. The Samnites were, most of them, dragged in against their will by sheer compulsion and the terrors of religion, and they adopted defensive rather than aggressive tactics. Accustomed as they had been for so many years to defeat, they would not have sustained even the first shout and charge of the Romans had not a still more awful object of fear possessed their minds and stayed them from flight. They had before their eyes all that paraphernalia of the secret rite-the armed priests, the slaughtered remains of men and beasts scattered about indiscriminately, the altars sprinkled with the blood of the victims and of their murdered countrymen, the awful imprecations, the frightful curses which they had invoked on their family and race-these were the chains which bound them so that they could not flee. They dreaded their own countrymen more than the enemy. The Romans pressed on from both wings and from the centre and cut down men who were paralysed by fear of gods and men. Only a feeble resistance could be offered by those who were only kept from flight by fear. The carnage had almost extended to the second line where the standards were stationed when there appeared in the side distance a cloud of dust as though raised by the tread of an immense army. It was Sp. Nautius-some say Octavius Maecius-the commander of the auxiliary cohorts. They raised a dust out of all proportion to their numbers, for the camp-followers mounted upon the mules were dragging leafy boughs along the ground. At first the arms and standards gradually became visible through the beclouded light, and then a loftier and thicker cloud of dust gave the appearance of cavalry closing the column. Not only the Samnites but even the Romans were deceived, and the consul endorsed the mistake by shouting to his front rank so that the enemy could hear: "Cominium has fallen, my victorious colleague is coming on the field, do your best to win the victory before the glory of doing so falls to the other army!" He rode along while saying this, and commanded the tribunes and centurions to open their ranks to allow passage for the cavalry. He had previously told Trebonius and Caedicius that when they saw him brandish his spear aloft they should launch the cavalry against the enemy with all the force they could. His orders were carried out to the letter; the legionaries opened their ranks, the cavalry galloped through the open spaces, and with levelled spears charged the enemy's centre. Wherever they attacked they broke the ranks. Volumnius and Scipio followed up the cavalry charge and completed the discomfiture of the Samnites. At last the dread of gods and men had yielded to a greater terror, the "linen cohorts " were routed; those who had taken the oath and those who had not alike fled; the only thing they feared now was the enemy.

The bulk of the infantry who survived the actual battle were driven either into their camp or to Aquilonia, the nobility and cavalry fled to Bovianum. The cavalry were pursued by cavalry, the infantry by infantry; the wings of the Roman army separated, the right directed its course towards the Samnite camp, the left to the city of Aquilonia. The first success fell to Volumnius, who captured the Samnite camp. Scipio met with a more sustained resistance at the city, not because the defeated foe showed more courage there, but because stone walls are more difficult to surmount than the rampart of a camp. They drove the defenders from their walls with showers of stones. Scipio saw that unless his task was completed before the enemy had time to recover from their panic, an attack on a fortified city would be a somewhat slow affair. He asked his men whether they would be content to allow the enemy's camp to be captured by the other army, whilst they themselves after their victory were repulsed from the gates of the city. There was a universal shout of "No!" On hearing this he held his shield above his head and ran to the gate, the men followed his example, and roofing themselves with their shields burst through into the city. They dislodged the Samnites from the walls on either side of the gate, but as they were only a small body did not venture to penetrate into the interior of the city.



10.42

The consul was at first unaware of what was going on, and was anxious to recall his troops, for the sun was now rapidly sinking and the approaching night was making every place suspicious and dangerous, even for victorious troops. After he had ridden forward some distance he saw that the camp on his right hand had been captured, and he heard at the same time the mingled clamour of shouts and groans arising in the direction of the city on his left; just then the fighting at the gate was going on. As he approached more closely he saw his men on the walls and recognised that the position was no longer doubtful, since by the reckless daring of a few the opportunity for a brilliant success had been won. He at once ordered the troops whom he had recalled to be brought up and prepared for a regular attack on the city. Those who were within bivouacked near the gate as night was approaching, and during the night the place was evacuated by the enemy. The Samnite losses during the day amounted to 20,340 killed and 3870 made prisoners, whilst 97 standards were taken. It is noticed in the histories that hardly any other general ever appeared in such high spirits during the battle, either owing to his fearless temperament or to the confidence he felt in his final success. It was this dauntless and resolute character which prevented him from abandoning all idea of fighting when the omens were challenged. It was this, too, that made him in the very crisis of the struggle, at the moment when it is customary to vow temples to the gods, make a vow to Jupiter Victor that if he routed the legions of the enemy he would offer him a cup of sweetened wine before he drank anything stronger himself. This vow was acceptable to the gods and they changed the omens into favourable ones.



10.43

The same good fortune attended the other consul at Cominium. At the approach of daylight he brought his whole force up to the walls so as to enclose the city with a ring of steel, and stationed strong bodies of troops before the gates to prevent any sortie from being made. Just as he was giving the signal for assault the alarming message reached him from his colleague about the 20 cohorts. This delayed the attack and necessitated the recall of a portion of his troops, who were ready and eager to begin the storm. He ordered D. Brutus Scaeva, one of his staff, to intercept the hostile reinforcements with the first legion and ten auxiliary cohorts with their complement of cavalry. Wherever he fell in with them he was to hold them and stop their advance; if circumstances should make it necessary he was to offer them battle; in any case he was to prevent those troops from reaching Cominium. Then he went on with his preparations for the assault. Orders were issued for scaling ladders to be reared against the walls in all directions and an approach made to the gates under a shield roof. Simultaneously with the smashing in of the gates the storming parties clambered up on the walls on every side. Until they saw their enemy actually on the walls the Samnites had sufficient courage to try to keep them from approaching the city, but when they had to fight not by discharging their missiles from a distance, but at close quarters, when those who had forced their way on to the walls and overcome the disadvantage of being on lower ground were fighting on even terms with an enemy who was no match for them, the defenders abandoned their walls and towers and were driven back into the forum. Here they made a desperate effort to retrieve their fortune, but after a brief struggle they threw down their arms and 11,400 men surrendered after losing 4880 killed. Thus matters went at Cominium as they had gone at Aquilonia.

In the country between these two cities, where a third battle was expected, nothing was seen of the 20 cohorts. When they were still seven miles from Cominium they were recalled by their comrades, and so did not come in for either battle. Just as twilight was setting in, when they had reached a spot from which their camp and Aquilonia were both visible, a noise of shouting from both quarters made them call a halt. Then in the direction of their camp, which had been set on fire by the Romans, flames shooting up far and wide, a more certain indication of disaster, stopped them from going any further. They threw themselves down just where they were under arms, and passed a restless night waiting for and dreading the day. When it began to grow light, whilst they were still uncertain what direction to take, they were espied by the cavalry who had gone in pursuit of the Samnites in their nocturnal retreat from Aquilonia. The whole body were plainly discernible, with no entrenchments to protect them, no outposts on guard. They were visible, too, from the walls of the city, and in a short time the legionary cohorts were on their track. They made a hasty flight, and the infantry were unable to come up with them, but some 280 in the extreme rear were cut down by the cavalry. A great quantity of arms and 22 standards were left behind in their hurry to escape. The other body who had escaped from Aquilonia reached Bovianum in comparative safety, considering the confusion which marked their retreat.



10.44

The rejoicings in each of the Roman armies were all the greater because of the success achieved by the other. The consuls, by mutual agreement, gave up the captured cities to be sacked by the soldiery. When they had cleared out the houses they set them on fire and in one day Aquilonia and Cominium were burnt to the ground. Amidst their own mutual congratulations and those of their soldiers, the consuls united their camps. In the presence of the two armies rewards and decorations were bestowed by both Carvilius and Papirius. Papirius had seen his men through many different actions in the open field, around their camp, under city walls, and the rewards he bestowed were well merited. Spurius Nautius, Spurius Papirius, his nephew, four centurions, and a maniple of hastati all received golden bracelets and crowns. Sp. Nautius won his for his success in the maneuver by which he frightened the enemy with the appearance of a large army; the young Papirius owed his reward to the work he did with his cavalry in the battle and in the following night, when he harassed the retreat of the Samnites from Aquilonia; the centurions and men of the maniple were rewarded for having been the first to seize the gate and wall of the city. All the cavalry were presented with ornaments for their helmets and silver bracelets as rewards for their brilliant work in various localities. Subsequently a council of war was held to settle whether the time had come for withdrawing both armies from Samnium, or, at all events, one of them. It was thought best to continue the war, and to carry it on more and more ruthlessly in proportion as the Samnites became weaker, in order that they might hand over to the consuls who succeeded them a thoroughly subdued nation. As the enemy had now no army in a condition to fight in the open field, the war could only be carried on by attacking their cities, and the sack of those which they captured would enrich the soldiers, whilst the enemy, compelled to fight for their hearths and homes, would gradually become exhausted. In pursuance of this plan the consuls sent despatches to Rome giving an account of their operations and then separated, Papirius marching to Saepinum, whilst Carvilius led his legions to the assault on Velia.



10.45

The contents of these despatches were listened to with every manifestation of delight, both in the senate and in the Assembly. A four days' thanksgiving was appointed as an expression of the public joy, and festal observances were kept up in every house. These successes were not only of great importance in themselves, but they came most opportunely for Rome, as it so happened that at that very time information was received that Etruria had again commenced hostilities. The question naturally occurred to people's minds, how would it have been possible to withstand Etruria if any reverse had been met with in Samnium? The Etruscans, acting upon a secret understanding with the Samnites, had seized the moment when both consuls and the whole force of Rome were employed against Samnium as a favourable opportunity for recommencing war. Embassies from the allied states were introduced by M. Atilius the praetor into the senate and complained of the ravaging and burning of their fields by their Etruscan neighbours because they would not revolt from Rome. They appealed to the senate to protect them from the outrageous violence of their common foe, and were told in reply that the senate would see to it that their allies had no cause to regret their fidelity, and that the day was near when the Etruscans would be in the same position as the Samnites. Still, the senate would have been somewhat dilatory in dealing with the Etruscan question had not intelligence come to hand that even the Faliscans, who had for many years been on terms of friendship with Rome, had now made common cause with the Etruscans. The proximity of this city to Rome made the senate take a more serious view of the position, and they decided to send the fetials to demand redress. Satisfaction was refused, and by order of the people with the sanction of the senate war was formally declared against the Faliscans. The consuls were ordered to decide by lot which of them should transport his army from Samnium into Etruria.

By this time Carvilius had taken from the Samnites three of their cities, Velia, Palumbinum, and Herculaneum. Velia he took after a few days' siege, Palumbinum on the day he arrived before its walls. Herculaneum gave him more trouble; after an indecisive battle in which, however, his losses were somewhat the heavier he moved his camp close up to the town and shut up the enemy within their walls. The place was then stormed and captured. In these three captures the number of killed and prisoners amounted to 10,000, the prisoners forming a small majority of the total loss. On the consuls casting lots for their respective commands, Etruria fell to Carvilius, much to the satisfaction of his men, who were now unable to stand the intense cold of Samnium. Papirius met with more resistance at Saepinum. There were frequent encounters, in the open field, on the march, and round the city itself when he was checking the sorties of the enemy. There was no question of siege operations, the enemy met him on equal terms, for the Samnites protected their walls with their arms quite as much as their walls protected them. At last by dint of hard fighting he compelled the enemy to submit to a regular siege, and after pressing the siege with spade and sword he finally effected the capture of the place. The victors were exasperated by the obstinate resistance, and the Samnites suffered heavily, losing no less than 7400 killed, while only 3000 were made prisoners. Owing to the Samnites having stored all their property in a limited number of cities there was a vast amount of plunder, the whole of which was given to the soldiery.



10.46

Everything was now deep in snow, and it was impossible to remain any longer in the open, so the consul withdrew his army from Samnium. On his approach to Rome a triumph was granted to him by universal consent. This triumph, which he celebrated while still in office, was a very brilliant one for those days. The infantry and cavalry who marched in the procession were conspicuous with their decorations, many were wearing civic, mural, and vallarian crowns. The spoils of the Samnites attracted much attention; their splendour and beauty were compared with those which the consul's father had won, and which were familiar to all through their being used as decorations of public places. Amongst those in the victor's train were some prisoners of high rank distinguished for their own or their fathers' military services; there were also carried in the procession 2,533,000 bronze ases, stated to be the proceeds of the sale of the prisoners, and 1830 pounds of silver taken from the cities. All the silver and bronze was stored in the treasury, none of this was given to the soldiers. This created dissatisfaction amongst the plebs, which was aggravated by the collection of the war tax to provide the soldiers' pay, for if Papirius had not been so anxious to get the credit of paying the price of the prisoners into the treasury there would have been enough to make a gift to the soldiers and also to furnish their pay. He dedicated the temple of Quirinus. I do not find in any ancient author that it was he who vowed this temple in the crisis of a battle, and certainly he could not have completed it in so short a time; it was vowed by his father when Dictator, and the son dedicated it when consul. and adorned it with the spoils of the enemy. There was such a vast quantity of these that not only were the temple and the Forum adorned with them, but they were distributed amongst the allied peoples and the nearest colonies to decorate their public spaces and temples. After his triumph Papirius led his army into the neighbourhood of Vescia, as that district was still infested by the Samnites, and there he wintered.

During this time Carvilius was making preparations to attack Troilum in Etruria. He allowed 470 of its wealthiest citizens to leave the place after they had paid al1 enormous sum by way of ransom; the town with the rest of its population he took by storm. Going on from there he carried five forts, positions of great natural strength. In these actions the enemy lost 2400 killed and 2000 prisoners. The Faliscans sued for peace, and he granted them a truce for one year on condition of their supplying a year's pay to his troops, and an indemnity of 100,000 ases of bronze coinage. After these successes he went home to enjoy his triumph, a triumph less illustrious than his colleague's in regard of the Samnite campaign, but fully equal to it considering his series of successes in Etruria. He brought into the treasury 380,000 ases out of the proceeds of the war, the rest he disposed of partly in contracting for the building of a temple to Fortis Fortuna, near the temple of that deity, which King Servius Tullius had dedicated, and partly as a donative to the soldiers, each legionary receiving 102 ases, the centurions and cavalry twice as much. This gift was all the more acceptable to the men after the niggardliness of his colleague. L. Postumius, one of his staff, was indicted before the people, but was protected by the consul's popularity. His prosecutor was M. Scantius, a tribune of the plebs, and the report was that he had evaded trial by being made a staff-officer, proceedings, therefore, could only be threatened without being carried out.



10.47

The year having now expired, new plebeian tribunes entered upon office, but there was a flaw in their election, and five days later others took their place. The lustrum was closed this year by the censors, P. Cornelius Arvina and C. Marcius Rutilus. The census returns gave the population as numbering 262,321. These were the twenty-sixth pair of censors since the first, the lustrum was the nineteenth. This year, for the first time, those who had been crowned for their deeds in war were allowed to wear their decorations at the Roman Games, and then, too, for the first time, palms were given to the victors after a custom borrowed from Greece. This year also the road from the temple of Mars to Bovillae was paved throughout its length by the curule aediles, who devoted to the purpose the fines levied on cattle-breeders. L. Papirius conducted the consular elections. The consuls elected were Q. Fabius Gurgites, the son of Maximus, and D. Junius Brutus Scaeva. Papirius himself was made praetor. The many incidents which helped to make the year a happy one served to console the citizens for one calamity, a pestilence which raged in the City and country districts alike. The mischief it did was looked upon as a portent. The Sacred Books were consulted to see what end or what remedy would be vouchsafed by the gods. It was ascertained that Aesculapius must be sent for from Epidaurus. Nothing, however, was done that year, owing to the consuls being engrossed with the war, beyond the appointment of a day of public intercession to Aesculapius.

End of Book 10






UP

Notes:
 
 

Copyright 2000 - 2010. Sanarate Systems, Inc.