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The History of Rome; Books Nine to Twenty-Six by Titus Livius

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began to give way: some companies quitted their posts, and, as soon as
they once turned their backs, betook themselves to more decided
flight. That day first broke the strength of the Etrurians, now grown
exuberant through a long course of prosperity; all the flower of their
men were cut off in the field, and in the same assault their camp was
seized and sacked.

40. Equal danger, and an issue equally glorious, soon after attended
the war with the Samnites; who, besides their many preparations for
the field, made their army to glitter with new decorations of their
armour. Their troops were in two divisions, one of which had their
shields embossed with gold, the other with silver. The shape of the
shield was this; broad at the middle to cover the breast and
shoulders, the summit being flat, sloping off gradually so as to
become pointed below, that it might be wielded with ease; a loose coat
of mail also served as a protection for the breast, and the left leg
was covered with a greave; their helmets were adorned with plumes, to
add to the appearance of their stature. The golden-armed soldiers wore
tunics of various colours; the silver-armed, of white linen. To the
latter the right wing was assigned; the former took post on the left.
The Romans had been apprized of these splendid accoutrements, and had
been taught by their commanders, that "a soldier ought to be rough;
not decorated with gold and silver, but placing his confidence in his
sword. That matters of this kind were in reality spoil rather than
armour; glittering before action, but soon becoming disfigured amid
blood and wounds. That the brightest ornament of a soldier was valour;
that all those trinkets would follow victory, and that those rich
enemies would be valuable prizes to the conquerors, however poor."
Cursor, having animated his men with these observations, led them on
to battle. He took post himself on the right wing, he gave the command
of the left to the master of the horse. As soon as they engaged, the
struggle between the two armies became desperate, while it was no less
so between the dictator and the master of the horse, on which wing
victory should first show itself. It happened that Junius first, with
the left wing, made the right of the enemy give way; this consisted of
men devoted after the custom of Samnites, and on that account
distinguished by white garments and armour of equal whiteness. Junius,
saying "he would sacrifice these to Pluto," pressed forward,
disordered their ranks, and made an evident impression on their line:
which being perceived by the dictator, he exclaimed, "Shall the
victory begin on the left wing, and shall the right, the dictator's
own troops, only second the arms of others, and not claim the greatest
share of the victory?" This spurred on the soldiers: nor did the
cavalry yield to the infantry in bravery, nor the ardour of
lieutenants-general to that of the commanders. Marcius Valerius from
the right wing, and Publius Decius from the left, both men of consular
rank, rode off to the cavalry, posted on the extremities of the line,
and, exhorting them to join in putting in for a share of the honour,
charged the enemy on the flanks. When the addition of this new alarm
assailed the enemies' troops on both sides, and the Roman legions,
having renewed the shout to confound the enemy, rushed on, they began
to fly. And now the plains were quickly filled with heaps of bodies
and splendid armour. At first, their camp received the dismayed
Samnites; but they did not long retain even the possession of that:
before night it was taken, plundered, and burnt. The dictator
triumphed, in pursuance of a decree of the senate; and the most
splendid spectacle by far, of any in his procession, was the captured
arms: so magnificent were they deemed, that the shields, adorned with
gold, were distributed among the owners of the silver shops, to serve
as embellishments to the forum. Hence, it is said, arose the custom of
the forum being decorated by the aediles, when the grand processions
are made on occasion of the great games. The Romans, indeed, converted
these extraordinary arms to the honour of the gods: but the
Campanians, out of pride, and in hatred of the Samnites, gave them as
ornaments to their gladiators, who used to be exhibited as a show at
their feasts, and whom they distinguished by the name of Samnites.
During this year, the consul Fabius fought with the remnants of the
Etrurians at Perusia, which city also had violated the truce, and
gained an easy and decisive victory. He would have taken the town
itself (for he marched up to the walls,) had not deputies come out and
capitulated. Having placed a garrison at Perusia, and sent on before
him to the Roman senate the embassies of Etruria, who solicited
friendship, the consul rode into the city in triumph, for successes
more important than those of the dictator. Besides, a great share of
the honour of reducing the Samnites was attributed to the
lieutenants-general, Publius Decius and Marcius Valerius: whom, at the
next election, the people, with universal consent, declared the one
consul, the other praetor.

41. To Fabius, in consideration of his extraordinary merit in the
conquest of Etruria, the consulship was continued. Decius was
appointed his colleague. Valerius was created praetor a fourth time.
The consuls divided the provinces between them. Etruria fell to
Decius, Samnium to Fabius. The latter, having marched to Nuceria,
rejected the application of the people of Alfaterna, who then sued for
peace, because they had not accepted it when offered, and by force of
arms compelled them to surrender. A battle was fought with the
Samnites; the enemy were overcome without much difficulty: nor would
the memory of that engagement have been preserved, except that in it
the Marsians first appeared in arms against the Romans. The
Pelignians, imitating the defection of the Marsians, met the same
fate. The other consul, Decius, was likewise very successful in his
operations: through terror he compelled the Tarquinians to supply his
army with corn, and to sue for a truce for forty years. He took
several forts from the Volsinians by assault, some of which he
demolished, that they might not serve as receptacles to the enemy, and
by extending his operations through every quarter, diffused such a
dread of his arms, that the whole Etrurian nation sued to the consul
for an alliance: this they did not obtain; but a truce for a year was
granted them. The pay of the Roman army for that year was furnished by
the enemy; and two tunics for each soldier were exacted from them:
this was the purchase of the truce. The tranquillity now established
in Etruria was interrupted by a sudden insurrection of the Umbrians, a
nation which had suffered no injury from the war, except what
inconvenience the country had felt in the passing of the army. These,
by calling into the field all their own young men, and forcing a great
part of the Etrurians to resume their arms, made up such a numerous
force, that speaking of themselves with ostentatious vanity and of the
Romans with contempt, they boasted that they would leave Decius behind
in Etruria, and march away to besiege Rome; which design of theirs
being reported to the consul Decius, he removed by long marches from
Etruria towards their city, and sat down in the district of Pupinia,
in readiness to act according to the intelligence received of the
enemy. Nor was the insurrection of the Umbrians slighted at Rome:
their very threats excited tears among the people, who had
experienced, in the calamities suffered from the Gauls, how insecure a
city they inhabited. Deputies were therefore despatched to the consul
Fabius with directions, that, if he had any respite from the war of
the Samnites, he should with all haste lead his army into Umbria. The
consul obeyed the order, and by forced marches proceeded to Mevania,
where the forces of the Umbrians then lay. The unexpected arrival of
the consul, whom they had believed to be sufficiently employed in
Samnium, far distant from their country, so thoroughly affrighted the
Umbrians, that several advised retiring to their fortified towns;
others, the discontinuing the war. However, one district, called by
themselves Materina, prevailed on the rest not only to retain their
arms, but to come to an immediate engagement. They fell upon Fabius
while he was fortifying his camp. When the consul saw them rushing
impetuously towards his rampart, he called off his men from the work,
and drew them up in the best manner which the nature of the place and
the time allowed; encouraging them by displaying, in honourable and
just terms, the glory which they had acquired, as well in Etruria as
in Samnium, he bade them finish this insignificant appendage to the
Etrurian war, and take vengeance for the impious expressions in which
these people had threatened to attack the city of Rome. Such was the
alacrity of the soldiers on hearing this, that, raising the shout
spontaneously, they interrupted the general's discourse, and, without
waiting for orders, advanced, with the sound of all the trumpets and
cornets, in full speed against the enemy. They made their attack not
as on men, or at least men in arms, but, what must appear wonderful in
the relation, began by snatching the standards out of the hands which
held them; and then, the standard-bearers themselves were dragged to
the consul, and the armed soldiers transferred from the one line to
the other; and wherever resistance was any where made, the business
was performed, not so much with swords, as with their shields, with
the bosses of which, and thrusts of their elbows, they bore down the
foe. The prisoners were more numerous than the slain, and through the
whole line the Umbrians called on each other, with one voice, to lay
down their arms. Thus a surrender was made in the midst of action, by
the first promoters of the war; and on the next and following days,
the other states of the Umbrians also surrendered. The Ocriculans were
admitted to a treaty of friendship on giving security.

42. Fabius, successful in a war allotted to another, led back his army
into his own province. And as, in the preceding year, the people had,
in consideration of his services so successfully performed, re-elected
him to the consulship, so now the senate, from the same motive,
notwithstanding a warm opposition made by Appius, prolonged his
command for the year following, in which Appius Claudius and Lucius
Volumnius were consuls. In some annals I find, that Appius, still
holding the office of censor, declared himself a candidate for the
consulship, and that his election was stopped by a protest of Lucius
Furius, plebeian tribune, until he resigned the censorship. After his
election to the consulship, the new war with the Sallentine enemies
being decreed to his colleague, he remained at Rome, with design to
increase his interest by city intrigues, since the means of procuring
honour in war were placed in the hands of others. Volumnius had no
reason to be dissatisfied with his province: he fought many battles
with good success, and took several cities by assault. He was liberal
in his donations of the spoil; and this munificence, engaging in
itself, he enhanced by his courteous demeanour, by which conduct he
inspired his soldiers with ardour to meet both toil and danger.
Quintus Fabius, proconsul, fought a pitched battle with the armies of
the Samnites, near the city of Allifae. The victory was complete. The
enemy were driven from the field, and pursued to their camp; nor would
they have kept possession of that, had not the day been almost spent.
It was invested, however, before night, and guarded until day, lest
any should slip away. Next morning, while it was scarcely clear day,
they proposed to capitulate, and it was agreed, that such as were
natives of Samnium should be dismissed with single garments. All these
were sent under the yoke. No precaution was taken in favour of the
allies of the Samnites: they were sold by auction, to the number of
seven thousand. Those who declared themselves subjects of the
Hernicians, were kept by themselves under a guard. All these Fabius
sent to Rome to the senate; and, after being examined, whether it was
in consequence of a public order, or as volunteers, that they had
carried arms on the side of the Samnites against the Romans, they were
distributed among the states of the Latins to be held in custody; and
it was ordered, that the new consuls, Publius Cornelius Arvina and
Quintus Marcius Tremulus, who by this time had been elected, should
lay that affair entire before the senate: this gave such offence to
the Hernicians, that, at a meeting of all the states, assembled by the
Anagnians, in the circus called the Maritime, the whole nation of the
Hernicians, excepting the Alatrians, Ferentines, and Verulans,
declared war against the Roman people.

43. In Samnium also, in consequence of the departure of Fabius, new
commotions arose. Calatia and Sora, and the Roman garrisons stationed
there, were taken, and extreme cruelty was exercised towards the
captive soldiers: Publius Cornelius was therefore sent thither with an
army. The command against the new enemy (for by this time an order had
passed for declaring war against the Anagnians, and the rest of the
Hernicians) was decreed to Marcius. These, in the beginning, secured
all the passes between the camps of the consuls, in such a manner,
that no messenger, however expert, could make his way from one to the
other; and each consul spent several days in absolute uncertainty
regarding every matter and in anxious suspense concerning the state of
the other. Apprehensions for their safety spread even to Rome; so that
all the younger citizens were compelled to enlist and two regular
armies were raised, to answer sudden emergencies. The conduct of the
Hernicians during the progress of the war afterwards, showed nothing
suitable to the present alarm, or to the ancient renown of that
nation. Without ever venturing any effort worth mentioning, being
stripped of three different camps within a few days, they stipulated
for a truce of thirty days, during which they might send to Rome, to
the senate, on the terms of furnishing two months' pay, and corn, and
a tunic to every soldier. They were referred back to Marcius by the
senate, whom by a decree they empowered to determine regarding the
Hernicians, and he accepted their submission. Meanwhile, in Samnium,
the other consul, though superior in strength, was very much
embarrassed by the nature of his situation; the enemy had blocked up
all the roads, and seized on the passable defiles, so that no
provisions could be conveyed; nor could the consul, though he daily
drew out his troops and offered battle, allure them to an engagement.
It was evident, that neither could the Samnites support an immediate
contest, nor the Romans a delay of action. The approach of Marcius,
who, after he had subdued the Hernicians, hastened to the succour of
his colleague, put it out of the enemy's power any longer to avoid
fighting: for they, who had not deemed themselves a match in the
field, even for one of the armies, could not surely suppose that if
they should allow the two consular armies to unite, they could have
any hope remaining: they made an attack therefore on Marcius, as he
was approaching in the irregular order of march. The baggage was
hastily thrown together in the centre, and the line formed as well as
the time permitted. First the shout which reached the standing camp of
Cornelius, then the dust observed at a distance, excited a bustle in
the camp of the other consul. Ordering his men instantly to take arms,
and leading them out to the field with the utmost haste, he charged
the flank of the enemy's line, which had enough to do in the other
dispute, at the same time exclaiming, that "it would be the height of
infamy if they suffered Marcius's army to monopolize the honour of
both victories, and did not assert their claim to the glory of their
own war." He bore down all before him, and pushed forward, through the
midst of the enemy's line, to their camp, which, being left without a
guard, he took and set on fire; which when the soldiers of Marcius saw
in flames, and the enemy observed it on looking about, a general
flight immediately took place among the Samnites. But they could not
effect an escape in any direction; in every quarter they met death.
After a slaughter of thirty thousand men, the consuls had now given
the signal for retreat; and were collecting, into one body, their
several forces, who were employed in mutual congratulations, when some
new cohorts of the enemy, which had been levied for a reinforcement,
being seen at a distance, occasioned a renewal of the carnage. On
these the conquerors rushed, without any order of the consuls, or
signal received, crying out, that they would make these Samnites pay
dearly for their introduction to service. The consuls indulged the
ardour of the legions, well knowing that the raw troops of the enemy,
mixed with veterans dispirited by defeat, would be incapable even of
attempting a contest. Nor were they wrong in their judgment: all the
forces of the Samnites, old and new, fled to the nearest mountains.
These the Roman army also ascended, so that no situation afforded
safety to the vanquished; they were beaten off, even from the summits
which they had seized. And now they all, with on voice, supplicated
for a suspension of arms. On which, being ordered to furnish corn for
three months, pay for a year, and a tunic to each of the soldiers,
they sent deputies to the senate to sue for peace. Cornelius was left
in Samnium. Marcius returned into the city, in triumph over the
Hernicians; and a decree was passed for erecting to him, in the forum,
an equestrian statue, which was placed before the temple of Castor. To
three states of the Hernicians, (the Alatrians, Verulans, and
Ferentines,) their own laws were restored, because they preferred
these to the being made citizens of Rome; and they were permitted to
intermarry with each other, a privilege which they alone of the
Hernicians, for a long time after, enjoyed. To the Anagnians, and the
others, who had made war on the Romans, was granted the freedom of the
state, without the right of voting; public assemblies, and
intermarriages, were not allowed them, and their magistrates were
prohibited from acting except in the ministration of public worship.
During this year, Caius Junius Bubulcus, censor, contracted for the
building of a temple to Health, which he had vowed during his
consulate in the war with the Samnites. By the same person, and his
colleague, Marcus Valerius Maximus, roads were made through the fields
at the public expense. During the same year the treaty with the
Carthaginians was renewed a third time, and ample presents made to
their ambassadors who came on that business.

44. This year had a dictator in office, Publius Cornelius Scipio, with
Publius Decius Mus, master of the horse. By these the election of
consuls was held, being the purpose for which they had been created,
because neither of the consuls could be absent from the armies. The
consuls elected were Lucius Postumius and Titus Minucius; whom Piso
places next after Quintus Fabius and Publius Decius, omitting the two
years in which I have set down Claudius with Volumnius, and Cornelius
with Marcius, as consuls. Whether this happened through a lapse of
memory in digesting his annals, or whether he purposely passed over
those two consulates as deeming the accounts of them false, cannot be
ascertained. During this year the Samnites made incursions into the
district of Stellae in the Campanian territory. Both the consuls were
therefore sent into Samnium, and proceeded to different regions,
Postumius to Tifernum, Minucius to Bovianum. The first engagement
happened at Tifernum, under the command of Postumius. Some say, that
the Samnites were completely defeated, and twenty thousand of them
made prisoners. Others, that the army separated without victory on
either side; and that Postumius, counterfeiting fear, withdrew his
forces privately by night, and marched away to the mountains; whither
the enemy also followed, and took possession of a stronghold two miles
distant. The consul, having created a belief that he had come thither
for the sake of a safe post, and a fruitful spot, (and such it really
was,) secured his camp with strong works. Furnishing it with magazines
of every thing useful, he left a strong guard to defend it; and at the
third watch, led away the legions lightly accoutred, by the shortest
road which he could take, to join his colleague, who lay opposite to
his foe. There, by advice of Postumius, Minucius came to an engagement
with the enemy; and when the fight had continued doubtful through a
great part of the day, Postumius, with his fresh legions, made an
unexpected attack on the enemy's line, spent by this time with
fatigue: thus, weariness and wounds having rendered them incapable
even of flying, they were cut off to a man, and twenty-one standards
taken. The Romans then proceeded to Postumius's station, where the two
victorious armies falling upon the enemy, already dismayed by the news
of what had passed, routed and dispersed them: twenty-six military
standards were taken here, and the Samnite general, Statius Gellius,
with a great number of other prisoners, and both the camps were taken.
Next day Bovianum was besieged, and soon after taken. Both the consuls
were honoured with a triumph, with high applause of their excellent
conduct. Some writers say, that the consul Minucius was brought back
to the camp grievously wounded, and that he died there; that Marcus
Fulvius was substituted consul in his place, and that it was he who,
being sent to command Minucius's army, took Bovianum. During the same
year, Sora, Arpinum, and Censennia were recovered from the Samnites.
The great statue of Hercules was erected in the Capitol, and

45. In the succeeding consulate of Publius Sulpicius Saverrio and
Publius Sempronius Sophus, the Samnites, desirous either of a
termination or a suspension of hostilities, sent ambassadors to Rome
to treat of peace; to whose submissive solicitations this answer was
returned, that, "had not the Samnites frequently solicited peace, at
times when they were actually preparing for war, their present
application might, perhaps, in the course of negotiating, have
produced the desired effect. But now, since words had hitherto proved
vain, people's conduct must be guided by facts: that Publius
Sempronius the consul would shortly be in Samnium with an army: that
he could not be deceived in judging whether their dispositions
inclined to peace or war. He would bring the senate certain
information respecting every particular, and their ambassadors might
follow the consul on his return from Samnium." When the Roman army
accordingly marched through all parts of Samnium, which was in a state
of peace, provisions being liberally supplied, a renewal of the old
treaty was, this year, granted to the Samnites. The Roman arms were
then turned against the Aequans, their old enemies, but who had, for
many years past, remained quiet, under the guise of a treacherous
peace, because, while the Hernicians were in a state of prosperity,
these had, in conjunction with them, frequently sent aid to the
Samnites; and after the Hernicians were subdued, almost the whole
nation, without dissembling that they acted by public authority, had
revolted to the enemy; and when, after the conclusion of the treaty
with the Samnites at Rome, ambassadors were sent to demand
satisfaction, they said, that "this was only a trial made of them, on
the expectation that they would through fear suffer themselves to be
made Roman citizens. But how much that condition was to be wished for,
they had been taught by the Hernicians; who, when they had the option,
preferred their own laws to the freedom of the Roman state. To people
who wished for liberty to choose what they judged preferable, the
necessity of becoming Roman citizens would have the nature of a
punishment." In resentment of these declarations, uttered publicly in
their assemblies, the Roman people ordered war to be made on the
Aequans; and, in prosecution of this new undertaking, both the consuls
marched from the city, and sat down at the distance of four miles from
the camp of the enemy. The troops of the Aequans, like tumultuary
recruits, in consequence of their having passed such a number of years
without waging war on their own account, were all in disorder and
confusion, without established officers and without command. Some
advised to give battle, others to defend the camp; the greater part
were influenced by concern for the devastation of their lands, likely
to take place, and the consequent destruction of their cities, left
with weak garrisons. Among a variety of propositions, one, however,
was heard which, abandoning all concern for the public interest,
tended to transfer every man's attention to the care of his private
concerns. It recommended that, at the first watch, they should depart
from the camp by different roads, so as to carry all their effects
into the cities, and to secure them by the strength of the
fortifications; this they all approved with universal assent. When the
enemy were now dispersed through the country, the Romans, at the first
dawn, marched out to the field, and drew up in order of battle; but no
one coming to oppose them, they advanced in a brisk pace to the
enemy's camp. But when they perceived neither guards before the gates,
nor soldiers on the ramparts, nor the usual bustle of a
camp,--surprised at the extraordinary silence, they halted in
apprehension of some stratagem. At length, passing over the rampart,
and finding the whole deserted, they proceeded to search out the
tracks of the enemy. But these, as they scattered themselves to every
quarter, occasioned perplexity at first. Afterwards discovering their
design by means of scouts, they attacked their cities, one after
another, and within the space of fifty days took, entirely by force,
forty-one towns, most of which were razed and burnt, and the race of
the Aequans almost extirpated. A triumph was granted over the Aequans.
The Marrucinians, Marsians, Pelignians, and Ferentans, warned by the
example of their disasters, sent deputies to Rome to solicit peace and
friendship; and these states, on their submissive applications, were
admitted into alliance.

46. In the same year, Cneius Flavius, son of Cneius, grandson of a
freed man, a notary, in low circumstances originally, but artful and
eloquent, was appointed curule aedile. I find in some annals, that,
being in attendance on the aediles, and seeing that he was voted
aedile by the prerogative tribe, but that his name would not be
received, because he acted as a notary, he threw down his tablet, and
took an oath, that he would not, for the future, follow that business.
But Licinius Macer contends, that he had dropped the employment of
notary a considerable time before, having already been a tribune, and
twice a triumvir, once for regulating the nightly watch, and another
time for conducting a colony. However, of this there is no dispute,
that against the nobles, who threw contempt on the meanness of his
condition, he contended with much firmness. He made public the rules
of proceeding in judicial causes, hitherto shut up in the closets of
the pontiffs; and hung up to public view, round the forum, the
calendar on white tablets, that all might know when business could be
transacted in the courts. To the great displeasure of the nobles, he
performed the dedication of the temple of Concord, in the area of
Vulcan's temple; and the chief pontiff, Cornelius Barbatus, was
compelled by the united instances of the people, to dictate to him the
form of words, although he affirmed, that, consistently with the
practice of antiquity, no other than a consul, or commander-in-chief,
could dedicate a temple. This occasioned a law to be proposed to the
people, by direction of the senate, that no person should dedicate a
temple, or an altar, without an order from the senate, or from a
majority of the plebeian tribunes. The incident which I am about to
mention would be trivial in itself, were it not an instance of the
freedom assumed by plebeians in opposition to the pride of the nobles.
When Flavius had come to make a visit to his colleague, who was sick,
and when, by an arrangement between some young nobles who were sitting
there, they did not rise on his entrance, he ordered his curule chair
to be brought thither, and from his honourable seat of office enjoyed
the sight of his enemies tortured with envy. However, a low faction,
which had gathered strength during the censorship of Appius Claudius,
had made Flavius an aedile; for he was the first who degraded the
senate, by electing into it the immediate descendants of freed men;
and when no one allowed that election as valid, and when he had not
acquired in the senate-house that influence in the city which he had
been aiming at, by distributing men of the meanest order among all the
several tribes, he thus corrupted the assemblies both of the forum and
of the field of Mars; and so much indignation did the election of
Flavius excite, that most of the nobles laid aside their gold rings
and bracelets in consequence of it. From that time the state was split
into two parties. The uncorrupted part of the people, who favoured and
supported the good, held one side; the faction of the rabble, the
other; until Quintus Fabius and Publius Decius were made censors; and
Fabius, both for the sake of concord, and at the same time to prevent
the elections remaining in the hands of the lowest of the people,
purged the rest of the tribes of all the rabble of the forum, and
threw it into four, and called them city tribes. And this procedure,
we are told, gave such universal satisfaction, that, by this
regulation in the orders of the state, he obtained the surname of
Maximus, which he had not obtained by his many victories. The annual
review of the knights, on the ides of July, is also said to have been
instituted by him.


_Submission of the Marcians accepted. The college of Augurs
augmented from four to nine. The law of appeal to the people carried
by Valerius the consul. Two more tribes added. War declared against
the Samnites. Several successful actions. In an engagement against the
combined forces of the Etruscans, Umbrians, Samnites, and Gauls,
Publius Decius, after the example of his father, devotes himself for
the army. Dies, and, by his death, procures the victory to the Romans.
Defeat of the Samnites by Papirius Cursor. The census held. The
lustrum closed. The number of the citizens two hundred and sixty-two
thousand three hundred and twenty-two._

* * * * *

1. During the consulate of Lucius Genucius and Servius Cornelius, the
state enjoyed almost uninterrupted rest from foreign wars. Colonies
were led out to Sora and Alba. For the latter, situated in the country
of the Aequans, six thousand colonists were enrolled. Sora had
formerly belonged to the Volscian territory, but had fallen into the
possession of the Samnites: thither were sent four thousand settlers.
This year the freedom of the state was granted to the Arpinians and
Trebulans. The Frusinonians were fined a third part of their lands,
because it was discovered that the Hernicians had been tampered with
by them; and the heads of that conspiracy, after a trial before the
consuls, held in pursuance of a decree of the senate, were beaten with
rods and beheaded. However, that the Romans might not pass the year
entirely exempt from war, a little expedition was made into Umbria;
intelligence being received from thence, that excursions of men, in
arms, had been made, from a certain cave, into the adjacent country.
Into this cave the troops penetrated with their standards, and, the
place being dark, they received many wounds, chiefly from stones
thrown. At length the other mouth of the cave being found, for it was
pervious, both the openings were filled up with wood, which being set
on fire, there perished by means of the smoke and heat, no less than
two thousand men; many of whom, at the last, in attempting to make
their way out, rushed into the very flames. The two Marci, Livius
Denter and Aemilius, succeeding to the consulship, war was renewed
with the Aequans; who, being highly displeased at the colony
established within their territory, as if it were a fortress, having
made an attempt, with their whole force, to seize it, were repulsed by
the colonists themselves. They caused, however, such an alarm at Rome,
that, to quell this insurrection, Caius Junius Bubulcus was nominated
dictator: for it was scarcely credible that the Aequans, after being
reduced to such a degree of weakness, should by themselves alone have
ventured to engage in a war. The dictator, taking the field, with
Marcus Titinius, master of the horse, in the first engagement reduced
the Aequans to submission; and returning into the city in triumph, on
the eighth day, dedicated, in the character of dictator, the temple of
Health, which he had vowed when consul, and contracted for when

2. During this year a fleet of Grecians, under the command of
Cleonymus, a Lacedaemonian, arrived on the coast of Italy, and took
Thuriae, a city in the territory of the Sallentines. Against this
enemy the consul Aemilius was sent, who, in one battle, completely
defeated them, and drove them on board their ships. Thuriae was then
restored to its old inhabitants, and peace re-established in the
country of the Sallentines. In some annals, I find that Junius
Bubulcus was sent dictator into that country, and that Cleonymus,
without hazarding an engagement with the Romans, retired out of Italy.
He then sailed round the promontory of Brundusium, and, steering down
the middle of the Adriatic gulf, because he dreaded, on the left hand,
the coasts of Italy destitute of harbours, and, on the right, the
Illyrians, Liburnians, and Istrians, nations of savages, and noted in
general for piracy, he passed on to the coasts of the Venetians. Here,
having landed a small party to explore the country, and being informed
that a narrow beach stretched along the shore, beyond which were
marshes, overflowed by the tides; that dry land was seen at no great
distance, level in the nearest part, and rising behind into hills,
beyond which was the mouth of a very deep river, into which they had
seen ships brought round and moored in safety, (this was the river
Meduacus,) he ordered his fleet to sail into it and go up against the
stream. As the channel would not admit the heavy ships, the troops,
removing into the lighter vessels, arrived at a part of the country
occupied by three maritime cantons of the Patavians, settled on that
coast. Here they made a descent, leaving a small guard with the ships,
made themselves masters of these cantons, set fire to the houses,
drove off a considerable booty of men and cattle, and, allured by the
sweets of plunder, proceeded still further from the shore. When news
of this was brought to Patavium, where the contiguity of the Gauls
kept the inhabitants constantly in arms, they divided their young men
into two bands, one of which was led towards the quarter where the
marauders were said to be busy; the other by a different route, to
avoid meeting any of the pirates, towards the station of the ships,
fifteen miles distant from the town. An attack was made on the small
craft, and the guards being killed, the affrighted mariners were
obliged to remove their ships to the other bank of the river. By land,
also, the attack on the dispersed plunderers was equally successful;
and the Grecians, flying back towards their ships, were opposed in
their way by the Venetians. Thus they were enclosed on both sides, and
cut to pieces; and some, who were made prisoners, gave information
that the fleet, with their king, Cleonymus, was but three miles
distant. Sending the captives into the nearest canton, to be kept
under a guard, some soldiers got on board the flat-bottomed vessels,
so constructed for the purpose of passing the shoals with ease; others
embarked in those which had been lately taken from the enemy, and
proceeding down the river, surrounded their unwieldy ships, which
dreaded the unknown sands and flats more than they did the Romans, and
which showed a greater eagerness to escape into the deep than to make
resistance. The soldiers pursued them as far as the mouth of the
river; and having taken and burned a part of the fleet, which in the
hurry and confusion had been stranded, returned victorious. Cleonymus,
having met success in no part of the Adriatic sea, departed with
scarce a fifth part of his navy remaining. Many, now alive, have seen
the beaks of his ships, and the spoils of the Lacedaemonians, hanging
in the old temple of Juno. In commemoration of this event, there is
exhibited at Patavium, every year, on its anniversary day, a naval
combat on the river in the middle of the town.

3. A treaty was this year concluded at Rome with the Vestinians, who
solicited friendship. Various causes of apprehension afterwards sprung
up. News arrived, that Etruria was in rebellion; the insurrection
having arisen from the dissensions of the Arretians; for the Cilnian
family having grown exorbitantly powerful, a party, out of envy of
their wealth, had attempted to expel them by force of arms. [Accounts
were also received] that the Marsians held forcible possession of the
lands to which the colony of Carseoli, consisting of four thousand
men, had been sent. By reason, therefore, of these commotions, Marcus
Valerius Maximus was nominated dictator, and chose for his master of
the horse Marcus Aemilius Paullus. This I am inclined to believe,
rather than that Quintus Fabius, at such an age as he then was, and
after enjoying many honours, was placed in a station subordinate to
Valerius: but I think it not unlikely that the mistake arose from the
surname Maximus. The dictator, having set out at the head of an army,
in one battle utterly defeated the Marsians, drove them into their
fortified towns, and afterwards, in the course of a few days, took
Milionia, Plestina, and Fresilia; and then finding Marsians in a part
of their lands, granted them a renewal of the treaty. The war was then
directed against the Etrurians; and when the dictator had gone to
Rome, for the purpose of renewing the auspices, the master of the
horse, going out to forage, was surrounded by an ambuscade, and
obliged to fly shamefully into his camp, after losing several
standards and many of his men. The occurrence of which discomfiture to
Fabius is exceedingly improbable; not only because, if in any
particular, certainly, above all, in the qualifications of a
commander, he fully merited his surname; but besides, mindful of
Papirius's severity, he never could have been tempted to fight,
without the dictator's orders.

4. The news of this disaster excited at Rome an alarm greater than
suited the importance of the affair; for, as if the army had been
destroyed, a justitium was proclaimed, guards mounted at the gates,
and watches set in every street: and armour and weapons were heaped on
the walls. All the younger citizens being compelled to enlist, the
dictator was ordered to join the army. There he found every thing in a
more tranquil state than he expected, and regularity established
through the care of the master of the horse, the camp removed to a
place of greater safety, the cohorts, which had lost their standards,
left without tents on the outside of the ramparts and the troops
ardently impatient for battle, that their disgrace might be the sooner
obliterated. He therefore immediately advanced his camp into the
territory of Rusella. Thither the enemy also followed, and although,
since their late success, they entertained the most sanguine hopes
from an open trial of strength, yet they endeavoured to circumvent the
enemy by a stratagem which they had before practised with success.
There were, at a small distance from the Roman camp, the half-ruined
houses of a town which had been burnt in the devastation of the
country. A body of troops being concealed there, some cattle was
driven on, within view of a Roman post, commanded by a
lieutenant-general, Cneius Fulvius. When no one was induced by this
temptation to stir from his post, one of the herdsmen, advancing close
to the works, called out, that others were driving out those cattle at
their leisure from the ruins of the town, why did they remain idle,
when they might safely drive them through the middle of the Roman
camp? When this was interpreted to the lieutenant-general, by some
natives of Caere, and great impatience prevailed through every company
of the soldiers, who, nevertheless, dared not to move without orders,
he commanded some who were skilled in the language to observe
attentively, whether the dialect of the herdsmen resembled that of
rustics or of citizens. When these reported, that their accent in
speaking, their manner and appearance, were all of a more polished
cast than suited shepherds, "Go then," said he, "tell them that they
may uncover the ambush which they vainly conceal, that the Romans
understand all their devices, and can now be no more taken by
stratagem than they can be conquered by arms." When these words were
heard, and carried to those who lay in ambush, they immediately arose
from their lurking place, and marched out in order into the plain
which was open to view on every side The lieutenant-general thought
their force too powerful for his small band to cope with. He therefore
sent in haste to Valerius for support, and in the mean time, by
himself, sustained the enemy's onset.

5. On receiving his message, the dictator ordered the standards to
move, and the troops to follow in arms. But every thing was executed
more quickly, almost, than ordered. The standards and arms were
instantly snatched up, and they were with difficulty restrained from
running impetuously on, both indignation at their late defeat
stimulated them, as well as the shouts striking their ears with
increasing vehemence, as the contest grew hotter They therefore urged
each other, and pressed the standard-bearers to quicken their pace.
The dictator, the more eagerly he saw them push forward, took the more
pains to repress their haste, and ordered them to march at a slower
rate. On the other side, the Etrurians, putting themselves in motion,
on the first beginning of the fray had come up with their whole force,
and several expresses came to the dictator, one after another, that
all the regions of the Etrurians had joined in the fight, and that his
men could not any longer withstand them: at the same time, he himself
saw, from the higher ground, in how perilous a situation the party
was. Confident, however, that the lieutenant-general was able, even
yet, to support the contest, and considering that he himself was at
hand to rescue him from defeat, he wished to let the enemy be
fatigued, as much as might be, in order that, when in that state, he
might fall on them with his fresh troops. Slowly as these marched, the
distance was now just sufficient for the cavalry to begin their career
for a charge. The battalions of the legions marched in front, lest the
enemy might suspect any secret or sudden movement, but intervals had
been left in the ranks of the infantry, affording room for the horses
to gallop through. At the same instant the line raised the shout, and
the cavalry, charging at full speed, poured on the enemy, and spread
at once a general panic. After this, as succour had arrived, almost
too late, to the party surrounded, so now they were allowed entire
rest, the fresh troops taking on themselves the whole business of the
fight. Nor was that either long or dubious. The enemy, now routed,
fled to their camp, and the Romans advancing to attack it, they gave
way, and are crowded all together in the remotest part of it. In their
flight they are obstructed by the narrowness of the gates, the greater
number climbed up on the mounds and ramparts, to try if they could
either defend themselves with the aid of the advantageous ground, or
get over, by any means, and escape. One part of the rampart, happening
to be badly compacted sunk under the weight of the multitude who stood
on it, and fell into the trench. On which, crying out that the gods
had opened that pass to give them safety, they made their way out,
most of them leaving their arms behind. By this battle the power of
the Etrurians was, a second time, effectually crushed, so that,
engaging to furnish a year's pay, and corn for two months, with the
dictator's permission, they sent ambassadors to Rome to treat of
peace. This was refused, but a truce for two years was granted to
them. The dictator returned into the city in triumph. I have seen it
asserted, that tranquillity was restored in Etruria by the dictator,
without any memorable battle, only by composing the dissensions of the
Arretians, and effecting a reconciliation between the Cilnian family
and the commons. Marcus Valerius was elected consul, before the
expiration of his dictatorship, many have believed, without his
soliciting the office, and even while he was absent; and that the
election was held by an interrex. In one point all agree, that he held
the consulship with Quintus Appulcius Pansa.

6. During this consulate of Marcus Valerius and Quintus Appulcius,
affairs abroad wore a very peaceable aspect. Their losses sustained in
war, together with the truce, kept the Etrurians quiet. The Samnites,
depressed by the misfortunes of many years, had not yet become
dissatisfied with their new alliance. At Rome, also, the carrying away
of such multitudes to colonies, rendered the commons tranquil, and
lightened their burthens. But, that things might not be tranquil on
all sides, a contention was excited between the principal persons in
the commonwealth, patricians on one hand, and plebeians on the other,
by the two Ogulnii, Quintus and Cneius, plebeian tribunes, who,
seeking every where occasions of criminating the patricians in the
hearing of the people, and having found other attempts fruitless, set
on foot a proceeding by which they might inflame, not the lowest class
of the commons, but their chief men, the plebeians of consular and
triumphal rank, to the completion of whose honours nothing was now
wanting but the offices of the priesthood, which were not yet laid
open to them. They therefore published a proposal for a law, that,
whereas there were then four augurs and four pontiffs, and it had been
determined that the number of priests should be augmented, the four
additional pontiffs and five augurs should all be chosen out of the
commons. How the college of augurs could be reduced to the number of
four, except by the death of two, I do not understand: for it is a
rule among the augurs, that their number should be composed of threes,
so that the three ancient tribes, the Ramnes, Titienses, and Luceres,
should have each its own augur; or, in case there should be occasion
for more, that each should increase its number of augurs, in equal
proportion with the rest, in like manner as when, by the addition of
five to four, they made up the number nine, so that there were three
to each tribe. However, as it was proposed that they should be chosen
out of the commons, the patricians were as highly offended at the
proceeding, as when they saw the consulship made common; yet they
pretended that the business concerned not them so much as it did the
gods, who would "take care that their own worship should not be
contaminated; that, for their parts, they only wished that no
misfortune might ensue to the commonwealth." But they made a less
vigorous opposition, as being now accustomed to suffer defeat in such
kind of disputes; and they saw their adversaries, not, as formerly,
grasping at that which they could scarcely hope to reach, the higher
honours; but already in possession of all those advantages, on the
uncertain prospect of which they had maintained the contest, manifold
consulships, censorships, and triumphs.

7. The principal struggle, however, in supporting and opposing the
bill, they say, was between Appius Claudius and Publius Decius Mus.
After these had urged nearly the same topics, respecting the
privileges of patricians and plebeians, which had been formerly
employed for and against the Licinian law, when the proposition was
brought forward of opening the consulship to plebeians, Decius is said
to have drawn a lively description of his own father, such as many
then present in the assembly had seen him, girt in the Gabine dress,
standing on a spear, in the attitude in which he had devoted himself
for the people and the legions, and to have added, that the consul
Publius Decius was then deemed by the immortal gods an offering
equally pure and pious, as if his colleague, Titus Manlius, had been
devoted. And might not the same Publius Decius have been, with
propriety, chosen to perform the public worship of the Roman people?
Was there any danger that the gods would give less attention to his
prayers than to those of Appius Claudius? Did the latter perform his
private acts of adoration with a purer mind, or worship the gods more
religiously than he? Who had any reason to complain of the vows
offered in behalf of the commonwealth, by so many plebeian consuls and
dictators, either when setting out to their armies, or in the heat of
battle? Were the numbers of commanders reckoned, during those years
since business began to be transacted under the conduct and auspices
of plebeians, the same number of triumphs might be found. The commons
had now no reason to be dissatisfied with their own nobility. On the
contrary, they were fully convinced, that in case of a sudden war
breaking out, the senate and people of Rome would not repose greater
confidence in patrician than in plebeian commanders. "Which being the
case," said he, "what god or man can deem it an impropriety, if those
whom ye have honoured with curule chairs, with the purple bordered
gown, with the palm-vest and embroidered robe, with the triumphal
crown and laurel, whose houses ye have rendered conspicuous above
others, by affixing to them the spoils of conquered enemies, should
add to these the badges of augurs or pontiffs? If a person, who has
rode through the city in a gilt chariot; and, decorated with the
ensigns of Jupiter, supremely good and great, has mounted the Capitol,
should be seen with a chalice and wand; what impropriety, I say, that
he should, with his head veiled, slay a victim, or take an augury in
the citadel? When, in the inscription on a person's statue, the
consulship, censorship, and triumph shall be read with patience, will
the eyes of readers be unable to endure the addition of the office of
augur or pontiff? In truth (with deference to the gods I say it) I
trust that we are, through the kindness of the Roman people, qualified
in such a manner that we should, by the dignity of our characters,
reflect back, on the priesthood, not less lustre than we should
receive; and may demand, rather on behalf of the gods, than for our
own sakes, that those whom we worship in our private we may also
worship in a public capacity."

8. "But why do I argue thus, as if the cause of the patricians,
respecting the priesthood, were untouched? and as if we were not
already in possession of one sacerdotal office, of the highest class?
We see plebeian decemvirs, for performing sacrifices, interpreters of
the Sibylline prophecies, and of the fates of the nation; we also see
them presidents of Apollo's festival, and of other religious
performances. Neither was any injustice done to the patricians, when,
to the two commissioners for performing sacrifices, an additional
number was joined, in favour of the plebeians; nor is there now, when
a tribune, a man of courage and activity, wishes to add five places of
augurs, and four of pontiffs, to which plebeians may be nominated; not
Appius, with intent to expel you from your places; but, that men of
plebeian rank may assist you, in the management of divine affairs,
with the same zeal with which they assist you in matters of human
concernment. Blush not, Appius, at having a man your colleague in the
priesthood, whom you might have a colleague in the censorship or
consulship, whose master of the horse you yourself may be, when he is
dictator, as well as dictator when he is master of the horse. A Sabine
adventurer, the first origin of your nobility, either Attus Clausus,
or Appius Claudius, which you will, the ancient patricians of those
days admitted into their number: do not then, on your part, disdain to
admit us into the number of priests. We bring with us numerous
honours; all those honours, indeed, which have rendered your party so
proud. Lucius Sextius was the first consul chosen out of the
plebeians; Caius Licinius Stolo, the first master of the horse; Caius
Marcius Rutilus, the first dictator, and likewise censor; Quintus
Publilius Philo, the first praetor. On all occasions was heard a
repetition of the same arguments; that the right of auspices was
vested in you; that ye alone had the rights of ancestry; that ye alone
were legally entitled to the supreme command, and the auspices both in
peace and war. The supreme command has hitherto been, and will
continue to be, equally prosperous in plebeian hands as in patrician.
Have ye never heard it said, that the first created patricians were
not men sent down from heaven, but such as could cite their fathers,
that is, nothing more than free born. I can now cite my father, a
consul; and my son will be able to cite a grandfather. Citizens, there
is nothing else in it, than that we should never obtain any thing
without a refusal. The patricians wish only for a dispute; nor do they
care what issue their disputes may have. For my part, be it
advantageous, happy, and prosperous to you and to the commonwealth, I
am of opinion that this law should receive your sanction."

9. The people ordered that the tribes should be instantly called; and
there was every appearance that the law would be accepted. It was
deferred, however, for that day, by a protest, from which on the day
following the tribunes were deterred; and it passed with the
approbation of a vast majority. The pontiffs created were, Publius
Decius Mus, the advocate for the law; Publius Sempronius Sophus, Caius
Marcius Rutilus, and Marcus Livius Denter. The five augurs, who were
also plebeians, were, Caius Genucius, Publius Aelius Paetus, Marcus
Minucius Fessus, Caius Marcius, and Titus Publilius. Thus the number
of the pontiffs was made eight; that of the augurs nine. In the same
year Marcus Valerius, consul, procured a law to be passed concerning
appeals; more carefully enforced by additional sanctions. This was the
third time, since the expulsion of the kings, of this law being
introduced, and always by the same family. The reason for renewing it
so often was, I believe, no other, than that the influence of a few
was apt to prove too powerful for the liberty of the commons. However,
the Porcian law seems intended, solely, for the security of the
persons of the citizens; as it visited with a severe penalty any one
for beating with stripes or putting to death a Roman citizen. The
Valerian law, after forbidding a person, who had appealed, to be
beaten with rods and beheaded, added, in case of any one acting
contrary thereto, that it shall yet be only deemed a wicked act. This,
I suppose, was judged of sufficient strength to enforce obedience to
the law in those days; so powerful was then men's sense of shame; at
present one would scarcely make use of such a threat seriously. The
Aequans rebelling, the same consul conducted the war against them; in
which no memorable event occurred; for, except ferocity, they retained
nothing of their ancient condition. The other consul, Appuleius,
invested the town of Nequinum in Umbria. The ground, the same whereon
Narnia now stands, was steep (on one side even perpendicular); this
rendered the town impregnable either by assault or works. That
business, therefore, came unfinished into the hands of the succeeding
consuls, Marcus Fulvius Paetinus and Titus Manlius Torquatus. When all
the centuries named Quintus Fabius consul for that year though not a
candidate, Macer Licinius and Tubero state that he himself recommended
them to postpone the conferring the consulship on him until a year
wherein there might be more employment for their arms; adding, that,
during the present year, he might be more useful to the state in the
management of a city magistracy; and thus, neither dissembling what he
preferred, nor yet making direct application for it, he was appointed
curule aedile with Lucius Papirius Cursor. Piso, a more ancient writer
of annals, prevents me from averring this as certain; he asserts that
the curule aediles of that year were Caius Domitius Calvinus, son of
Cneius, and Spurius Carvilius Maximus, son of Caius. I am of opinion,
that this latter surname caused a mistake concerning the aediles; and
that thence followed a story conformable to this mistake, patched up
out of the two elections, of the aediles, and of the consuls. The
general survey was performed, this year, by Publius Sempronius Sophus
and Publius Sulpicius Saverrio, censors; and two tribes were added,
the Aniensian and Terentine. Such were the occurrences at Rome.

10. Meanwhile, after much time had been lost in the tedious siege of
Nequinum, two of the townsmen, whose houses were contiguous to the
wall, having formed a subterraneous passage, came by that private way
to the Roman advanced guards; and being conducted thence to the
consul, offered to give admittance to a body of armed men within the
works and walls. The proposal was thought to be such as ought neither
to be rejected, nor yet assented to without caution. With one of these
men, the other being detained as an hostage, two spies were sent
through the mine, and certain information being received from them,
three hundred men in arms, guided by the deserter, entered the city,
and seized by night the nearest gate, which being broken open, the
Roman consul and his army took possession of the city without any
opposition. In this manner came Nequinum under the dominion of the
Roman people. A colony was sent thither as a barrier against the
Umbrians, and called Narnia, from the river Nar. The troops returned
to Rome with abundance of spoil. This year the Etrurians made
preparations for war in violation of the truce. But a vast army of the
Gauls, making an irruption into their territories, while their
attention was directed to another quarter, suspended for a time the
execution of their design. They then, relying on the abundance of
money which they possessed, endeavour to make allies of the Gauls,
instead of enemies; in order that, with their armies combined, they
might attack the Romans. The barbarians made no objection to the
alliance, and a negotiation was opened for settling the price; which
being adjusted and paid, and every thing else being in readiness for
commencing their operations, the Etrurians desired them to accompany
them in their march. This they refused, alleging that "they had
stipulated a price for making war against the Romans: that the payment
already made, they had received in consideration of their not wasting
the Etrurian territory, or using their arms against the inhabitants.
That notwithstanding, if it was the wish of the Etrurians, they were
still willing to engage in the war, but on no other condition than
that of being allowed a share of their lands, and obtaining at length
some permanent settlement." Many assemblies of the states of Etruria
were held on this subject, and nothing could be settled; not so much
by reason of their aversion from the dismemberment of their territory,
as because every one felt a dread of fixing in so close vicinity to
themselves people of such a savage race. The Gauls were therefore
dismissed, and carried home an immense sum of money, acquired without
toil or danger. The report of a Gallic tumult, in addition to an
Etrurian war, had caused serious apprehensions at Rome; and, with the
less hesitation on that account, an alliance was concluded with the
state of the Picentians.

11. The province of Etruria fell by lot to the consul Titus Manlius;
who, when he had but just entered the enemy's country, as he was
exercising the cavalry, in wheeling about at full speed, was thrown
from his horse, and almost killed on the spot; three days after the
fall, he died. The Etrurians, embracing this omen, as it were, of the
future progress of the war, and observing that the gods had commenced
hostilities on their behalf, assumed new courage. At Rome the news
caused great affliction, on account both of the loss of such a man and
of the unseasonableness of the juncture; insomuch that an assembly,
held for the purpose of substituting a new consul, having been
conducted agreeably to the wishes of people of the first consequence,
prevented the senate from ordering a dictator to be created. All the
votes and centuries concurred unanimously in appointing Marcus
Valerius consul, the same whom the senate would have ordered to be
made dictator. They then commanded him to proceed immediately into
Etruria, to the legions. His coming gave such a check to the
Etrurians, that not one of them dared thenceforward to appear on the
outside of their trenches; their own fears operating as a blockade.
Nor could the new consul, by wasting their lands and burning their
houses, draw them out to an engagement; for not only country-houses,
but numbers of their towns, were seen smoking and in ashes, on every
side. While this war proceeded more slowly than had been expected, an
account was received of the breaking out of another; which was, not
without reason, regarded as terrible, in consequence of the heavy
losses formerly sustained by both parties, from information given by
their new allies, the Picentians, that the Samnites were looking to
arms and a renewal of hostilities, and that they themselves had been
solicited to join therein. The Picentians received the thanks of the
state; and a large share of the attention of the senate was turned
from Etruria towards Samnium. The dearness of provisions also
distressed the state very much, and they would have felt the extremity
of want, according to the relation of those who make Fabius Maximus
curule aedile that year, had not the vigilant activity of that man,
such as he had on many occasions displayed in the field, been exerted
then with equal zeal at home, in the management of the market, and in
procuring and forming magazines of corn. An interregnum took place
this year, the reason of which is not mentioned. Appius Claudius, and,
after him, Publius Sulpicius, were interreges. The latter held an
election of consuls, and chose Lucius Cornelius Scipio and Cneius
Fulvius. In the beginning of this year, ambassadors came from the
Lucanians to the new consuls to complain, that "the Samnites, finding
that they could not, by any offers, tempt them to take part in the
war, had marched an army in a hostile manner into their country, and
were now laying it waste, and forcing them into a war; that the
Lucanian people had on former occasions erred enough and more than
enough; that their minds were so firmly fixed that they thought it
more endurable to bear and suffer every hardship, rather than ever
again to outrage the Roman name: they besought the senate to take the
people of Lucania into their protection, and defend them from the
injustice and outrage of the Samnites; that although fidelity on their
part to the Romans would now become necessary, a war being undertaken
against the Samnites, still they were ready to give hostages."

12. The deliberation of the senate was short. They all, to a man,
concurred in opinion, that a compact should be entered into with the
Lucanians, and satisfaction demanded from the Samnites: accordingly, a
favourable answer was returned to the Lucanians, and the alliance
concluded. Heralds were then sent, to require of the Samnites, that
they should depart from the country of the allies, and withdraw their
troops from the Lucanian territory. These were met by persons
despatched for the purpose by the Samnites, who gave them warning,
that "if they appeared at any assembly in Samnium, they must not
expect to depart in safety." As soon as this was heard at Rome, the
senate voted, and the people ordered, that war should be declared
against the Samnites. The consuls, then, dividing the provinces
between them, Etruria fell to Scipio, the Samnites to Fulvius; and
they set out by different routes, each against the enemy allotted to
him. Scipio, while he expected a tedious campaign, like that of the
preceding year, was met near Volaterra by the Etrurians, in order of
battle. The fight lasted through the greater part of the day, while
very many fell on both sides, and night came on while it was uncertain
to which side victory inclined. But the following dawn showed the
conqueror and the vanquished; for the Etrurians had decamped in the
dead of the night. The Romans, marching out with intent to renew the
engagement, and seeing their superiority acknowledged by the departure
of the enemy, advanced to their camp; and, finding even this fortified
post deserted, took possession of it, evacuated as it was, together
with a vast quantity of spoil. The consul then, leading back his
forces into the Faliscian territory, and leaving his baggage with a
small guard at Falerii, set out with his troops, lightly accoutred, to
ravage the enemy's country. All places are destroyed with fire and
sword; plunder driven from every side; and not only was the ground
left a mere waste to the enemy, but their forts and small towns were
set on fire; he refrained from attacking the cities into which fear
had driven the Etrurians. The consul Cneius Fulvius fought a glorious
battle in Samnium, near Bovianum, attended with success by no means
equivocal. Then, having attacked Bovianum, and not long after
Aufidena, he took them by storm.

This year a colony was carried out to Carseoli, into the territory of
the Aequicolae. The consul Fulvius triumphed on his defeat of the

13. When the consular elections were now at hand, a report prevailed,
that the Etrurians and Samnites were raising vast armies; that the
leaders of the Etrurians were, in all their assemblies, openly
censured for not having procured the aid of the Gauls on any terms;
and the magistrates of the Samnites arraigned, for having opposed to
the Romans an army destined to act against the Lucanians. That, in
consequence, the people were rising up in arms, with all their own
strength and that of their allies combined; and that this affair
seemed not likely to be terminated without a contest of much greater
difficulty than the former. Although the candidates for the consulship
were men of illustrious characters, yet this alarming intelligence
turned the thoughts of all on Quintus Fabius Maximus, who sought not
the employment at first, and afterwards, when he discovered their
wishes, even declined it. "Why," said he, "should they impose such a
difficult task on him, who was now in the decline of life, and had
passed through a full course of labours, and of the rewards of labour?
Neither the vigour of his body, nor of his mind, remained the same;
and he dreaded fortune herself, lest to some god she should seem too
bountiful to him, and more constant than the course of human affairs
allowed. He had himself succeeded, in gradual succession, to the
dignities of his seniors; and he beheld, with great satisfaction,
others rising up to succeed to his glory. There was no scarcity at
Rome, either of honours suited to men of the highest merit, or of men
of eminent merit suited to the highest honours." This disinterested
conduct, instead of repressing, increased, while in fact it justified
their zeal. But thinking that this ought to be checked by respect for
the laws, he ordered that clause to be read aloud by which it was not
lawful that the same person shall be re-elected consul within ten
years. The law was scarcely heard in consequence of the clamour; and
the tribunes of the commons declared, that this "decree should be no
impediment; for they would propose an order to the people, that he
should be exempted from the obligation of the laws." Still he
persisted in his opposition, asking, "To what purpose were laws
enacted, if they eluded by the very persons who procured them? The
laws now," he said, "instead of being rulers, were overruled." The
people, nevertheless, proceeded to vote; and, according as each
century was called in, it immediately named Fabius consul. Then at
length, overcome by the universal wish of the state, he said, "Romans,
may the gods approve your present, and all your future proceedings.
But since, with respect to me, ye intend to act according to your own
wills, let my interest find room with you, with respect to my
colleague. I earnestly request, that ye will place in the consulship
with me Publius Decius; a man with whom I have already experienced the
utmost harmony in our joint administration of that office; a man
worthy of you, worthy of his father." The recommendation was deemed
well founded, and all the remaining centuries voted Quintus Fabius and
Publius Decius consuls. This year, great numbers were prosecuted by
the aediles, for having in possession larger quantities of land than
the state allowed; and hardly any were acquitted: by which means, a
very great restraint was laid on exorbitant covetousness.

14. Whilst the new consuls, Quintus Fabius Maximus a fourth, and
Publius Decius Mus a third time, were settling between themselves that
one should command against the Samnites, and the other against the
Etrurians; and what number of forces would be sufficient for this and
for that province; and which would be the fitter commander in each
war; ambassadors from Sutrium, Nepete, and Falerii, stating that the
states of Etruria were holding assemblies on the subject of suing for
peace, they directed the whole force of their arms against Samnium.
The consuls, in order that the supply of provisions might be the more
ready, and to leave the enemy in the greater uncertainty on what
quarter the war would fall, Fabius led his legions towards Samnium
through the territory of Sora, and Decius his through that of
Sidicinum. As soon as they arrived at the frontiers of the enemy, both
advanced briskly, spreading devastation wherever they came; but still
they explore the country, to a distance beyond where the troops were
employed in plundering. Accordingly the fact did not escape the notice
of the Romans, that the enemy were drawn up in a retired valley, near
Tifernum, which, when the Romans entered, they were preparing to
attack them from the higher ground. Fabius, sending away his baggage
to a place of safety, and setting a small guard over it, and having
given notice to his soldiers that a battle was at hand, advanced in a
square body to the hiding-place of the enemy already mentioned. The
Samnites, disappointed in making an unexpected attack, determined on a
regular engagement, as the matter was now likely to come to an open
contest. They therefore marched out into the plain; and, with a
greater share of spirit than of hopes, committed themselves to the
disposal of fortune. However, whether in consequence of their having
drawn together, from every state, the whole of the force which it
possessed, or that the consideration of their all being at stake,
heightened their courage, they occasioned, even in open fight, a
considerable alarm. Fabius, when he saw that the enemy in no place
gave way, ordered Marcus Fulvius and Marcus Valerius, military
tribunes, with whom he hastened to the front, to go to the cavalry,
and to exhort them, that, "if they remembered any instance wherein the
public had received advantage from the service of the horsemen, they
would, on that day, exert themselves to insure the invincible renown
of that body; telling them that the enemy stood immovable against the
efforts of the infantry, and the only hope remaining was in the charge
of horse." He addressed particularly both these youths, and with the
same cordiality, loading them with praises and promises. But
considering that, in case that effort should also fail, it would be
necessary to accomplish by stratagem what his strength could not
effect; he ordered Scipio, one of his lieutenants-general, to draw
off the spearmen of the first legion out of the line; to lead them
round as secretly as possible to the nearest mountains; and, by an
ascent concealed from view, to gain the heights, and show himself
suddenly on the rear of the enemy. The cavalry, led on by the
tribunes, rushing forward unexpectedly before the van, caused scarcely
more confusion among the enemy than among their friends. The line of
the Samnites stood firm against the furious onset of the squadrons; it
neither could be driven from its ground, nor broken in any part. The
cavalry, finding their attempts fruitless, withdrew from the fight,
and retired behind the line of infantry. On this the enemies' courage
increased, so that the Roman troops in the van would not have been
able to support the contest, nor the force thus increasing by
confidence in itself, had not the second line, by the consul's order,
come up into the place of the first. These fresh troops checked the
progress of the Samnites, who had now began to gain ground; and, at
this seasonable juncture, their comrades appearing suddenly on the
mountains, and raising a shout, occasioned in the Samnites a fear of
greater danger than really threatened them; Fabius called out aloud
that his colleague Decius was approaching; on which all the soldiers,
elated with joy, repeated eagerly, that the other consul was come, the
legions were arrived! This artifice, useful to the Romans, filled the
Samnites with dismay and terror; terrified chiefly lest fatigued as
they were, they should be overpowered by another army fresh and
unhurt. As they dispersed themselves in their flight on every side,
there was less effusion of blood than might have been expected,
considering the completeness of the victory. There were three thousand
four hundred slain, about eight hundred and thirty made prisoners, and
twenty-three military standards taken.

15. The Apulians would have joined their forces to the Samnites before
this battle, had not the consul, Publius Decius, encamped in their
neighbourhood at Maleventum; and, finding means to bring them to an
engagement, put them to the rout. Here, likewise, there was more of
flight than of bloodshed. Two thousand of the Apulians were slain; but
Decius, despising such an enemy, led his legions into Samnium. There
the two consular armies, overrunning every part of the country during
the space of five months, laid it entirely waste. There were in
Samnium forty-five places where Decius, and eighty-six where the other
consul, encamped. Nor did they leave traces only of having been there,
as ramparts and trenches, but other dreadful mementos of it--general
desolation and regions depopulated. Fabius also took the city of
Cimetra, where he made prisoners two thousand four hundred soldiers;
and there were slain in the assault about four hundred and thirty.
Going thence to Rome to preside at the elections, he used all
expedition in despatching that business. All the first-called
centuries voted Quintus Fabius consul. Appius Claudius was a
candidate, a man of consular rank, daring and ambitious; and as he
wished not more ardently for the attainment of that honour for
himself, than he did that the patricians might recover the possession
of both places in the consulship, he laboured, with all his own power,
supported by that of the whole body of the nobility, to prevail on
them to appoint him consul along with Quintus Fabius. To this Fabius
objected, giving, at first, the same reasons which he had advanced the
year before. The nobles then all gathered round his seat, and besought
him to raise up the consulship out of the plebeian mire, and to
restore both to the office itself, and to the patrician rank, their
original dignity. Fabius then, procuring silence, allayed their warmth
by a qualifying speech, declaring, that "he would have so managed, as
to have received the names of two patricians, if he had seen an
intention of appointing any other than himself to the consulship. As
things now stood, he would not set so bad a precedent as to admit his
own name among the candidates; such a proceeding being contrary to the
laws." Whereupon Appius Claudius, and Lucius Volumnius, a plebeian,
who had likewise been colleagues in that office before, were elected
consuls. The nobility reproached Fabius for declining to act in
conjunction with Appius Claudius, because he evidently excelled him in
eloquence and political abilities.

16. When the election was finished, the former consuls, their command
being continued for six months, were ordered to prosecute the war in
Samnium. Accordingly, during this next year also, in the consulate of
Lucius Volumnius and Appius Claudius, Publius Decius, who had been
left consul in Samnium by his colleague, in the character of
proconsul, ceased not to spread devastation through all parts of that
country; until, at last, he drove the army of the Samnites, which
never dared to face him in the field, entirely out of the country.
Thus expelled from home, they bent their route to Etruria; and,
supposing that the business, which they had often in vain endeavoured
to accomplish by embassies, might now be negotiated with more effect,
when they were backed by such a powerful armed force, and could
intermix terror with their entreaties, they demanded a meeting of the
chiefs of Etruria: which being assembled, they set forth the great
number of years during which they had waged war with the Romans, in
the cause of liberty; "they had," they said, "tried to sustain, with
their own strength, the weight of so great a war: they had also made
trial of the support of the adjoining nations, which proved of little
avail. When they were unable longer to maintain the conflict, they had
sued the Roman people for peace; and had again taken up arms, because
they felt peace was more grievous to those with servitude, than war to
free men. That their one only hope remaining rested in the Etrurians.
They knew that nation to be the most powerful in Italy, in respect of
arms, men, and money; to have the Gauls their closest neighbours, born
in the midst of war and arms, of furious courage, both from their
natural temper, and particularly against the people of Rome, whom they
boasted, without infringing the truth, of having made their prisoners,
and of having ransomed for gold. If the Etrurians possessed the same
spirit which formerly Porsena and their ancestors once had, there was
nothing to prevent their obliging the Romans, driven from all the
lands on this side of the Tiber, to fight for their own existence, and
not for the intolerable dominion which they assumed over Italy. The
Samnite army had come to them, in readiness for action, furnished with
arms and pay, and were willing to follow that instant, even should
they lead to the attack of the city of Rome itself."

17. While they were engaged in these representations, and intriguing
at Etruria, the operations of the Romans in their own territories
distressed them severely. For Publius Decius, when he ascertained
through his scouts the departure of the Samnite army, called a
council, and there said, "Why do we ramble through the country,
carrying the war from village to village? Why not attack the cities
and fortified places? No army now guards Samnium. They have fled their
country; they are gone into voluntary exile." The proposal being
universally approved, he marched to attack Murgantia, a city of
considerable strength; and so great was the ardour of the soldiers,
resulting from their affection to their commander, and from their
hopes of richer treasure than could be found in pillaging the country
places, that in one day they took it by assault. Here, two thousand
one hundred of the Samnites, making resistance, were surrounded and
taken prisoners; and abundance of other spoil was captured. Decius,
not choosing that the troops should be encumbered in their march with
heavy baggage, ordered them to be called together, and said to them,
"Do ye intend to rest satisfied with this single victory, and this
booty? or do ye choose to cherish hopes proportioned to your bravery?
All the cities of the Samnites, and the property left in them, are
your own; since, after so often defeating their legions, ye have
finally driven them out of the country. Sell those effects in your
hands; and allure traders, by a prospect of profit, to follow you on
your march. I will, from time to time, supply you with goods for sale.
Let us go hence to the city of Romulea, where no greater labour, but
greater gain awaits you." Having sold off the spoil, and warmly
adopting the general's plan, they proceeded to Romulea. There, also,
without works or engines, as soon as the battalions approached, the
soldiers, deterred from the walls by no resistance, hastily applying
ladders wherever was most convenient to each, they mounted the
fortifications. The town was taken and plundered. Two thousand three
hundred men were slain, six thousand taken prisoners, and the soldiers
obtained abundance of spoil. This they were obliged to sell in like
manner as the former; and, though no rest was allowed them, they
proceeded, nevertheless, with the utmost alacrity to Ferentinum. But
here they met a greater share both of difficulty and danger: the
fortifications were defended with the utmost vigour, and the place was
strongly fortified both by nature and art. However, the soldiers, now
inured to plunder, overcame every obstacle. Three thousand of the
enemy were killed round the walls, and the spoil was given to the
troops. In some annals, the principal share of the honour of taking
these cities is attributed to Maximus. They say that Murgantia was
taken by Decius; Romulea and Ferentinum by Fabius. Some ascribe this
honour to the new consuls: others not to both, but to one of these,
Lucius Volumnius: that to him the province of Samnium had fallen.

18. While things went on thus in Samnium, whoever it was that had the
command and auspices, powerful combination, composed of many states,
was formed in Etruria against the Romans, the chief promoter of which
was Gellius Egnatius, a Samnite. Almost all the Etrurians had united
in this war. The neighbouring states of Umbria were drawn in, as it
were, by the contagion; and auxiliaries were procured from the Gauls
for hire: all their several numbers assembled at the camp of the
Samnites. When intelligence of this sudden commotion was received at
Rome, after the consul, Lucius Volumnius, had already set out for
Samnium, with the second and third legions, and fifteen thousand of
the allies; it was, therefore, resolved, that Appius Claudius should,
at the very earliest opportunity, go into Etruria. Two Roman legions
followed him, the first and fourth, and twelve thousand allies; their
camp was pitched at a small distance from the enemy. However,
advantage was gained by his early arrival in this particular, that the
awe of the Roman name kept in check some states of Etruria which were
disposed to war, rather than from any judicious or successful
enterprise achieved under the guidance of the consul. Several battles
were fought, at times and places unfavourable, and increasing
confidence rendered the enemy daily more formidable; so that matters
came nearly to such a state, as that neither could the soldiers rely
much on their leader, nor the leader on his soldiers. It appears in
three several histories, that a letter was sent by the consul to call
his colleague from Samnium. But I will not affirm what requires
stronger proof, as that point was a matter of dispute between these
two consuls of the Roman people, a second time associated in the same
office; Appius denying that the letter was sent, and Volumnius
affirming that he was called thither by a letter from Appius.
Volumnius had, by this time, taken three forts in Samnium, in which
three thousand of the enemy had been slain, and about half that number
made prisoners; and, a sedition having been raised among the Lucanians
by the plebeians and the more indigent of the people, he had, to the
great satisfaction of the nobles, quelled it by sending thither
Quintus Fabius, proconsul, with his own veteran army. He left to
Decius the ravaging of the enemy's country; and proceeded with his
troops into Etruria to his colleague; where, on his arrival, the whole
army received him with joy. Appius, if he did not write the letter,
being conscious of this, had, in my opinion, just ground of
displeasure; but if he had actually stood in need of assistance, his
disowning it, as he did, arose from an illiberal and ungrateful mind.
For, on going out to receive him, when they had scarcely exchanged
salutations, he said, "Is all well, Lucius Volumnius? How stand
affairs in Samnium? What motive induced you to remove out of your
province?" Volumnius answered, that "affairs in Samnium were in a
prosperous state; and that he had come thither in compliance with the
request in his letter. But, if that were a forged letter, and that
there was no occasion for him in Etruria, he would instantly face
about, and depart." "You may depart." replied the other; "no one
detains you: for it is a perfect inconsistency, that when, perhaps,
you are scarcely equal to the management of your own war, you should
vaunt of coming hither to succour others." To this Volumnius rejoined,
"May Hercules direct all for the best; for his part, he was better
pleased that he had taken useless trouble, than that any conjuncture
should have arisen which had made one consular army insufficient for

19. As the consuls were parting, the lieutenants-general and tribunes
of Appius's army gathered round them. Some entreated their own general
that he would not reject the voluntary offer of his colleague's
assistance, which ought to have been solicited in the first instance:
the greater number used their endeavours to stop Volumnius, beseeching
him "not, through a peevish dispute with his colleague, to abandon the
interest of the commonwealth; and represented to him, that in case any
misfortune should happen, the blame would fall on the person who
forsook the other, not on the one forsaken; that the state of affairs
was such, that the credit and discredit of every success and failure
in Etruria would be attributed to Lucius Volumnius: for no one would
inquire, what were the words of Appius, but what the situation of the
army. Appius indeed had dismissed him, but the commonwealth, and the
army, required his stay. Let him only make trial of the inclinations
of the soldiers." By such admonitions and entreaties they, in a
manner, dragged the consuls, who almost resisted, to an assembly.
There, longer discourses were made to the same purport, as had passed
before in the presence of a few. And when Volumnius, who had the
advantage of the argument, showed himself not deficient in oratory, in
despite of the extraordinary eloquence of his colleague; Appius
observed with a sneer, that "they ought to acknowledge themselves
indebted to him, in having a consul who possessed eloquence also,
instead of being dumb and speechless, when in their former consulate,
particularly during the first months, he was not able so much as to
open his lips; but now, in his harangues, even aspired after
popularity." Volumnius replied, "How much more earnestly do I wish,
that you had learned from me to act with spirit, than I from you to
speak with elegance: that now he made a final proposal, which would
determine, not which is the better orator, for that is not what the
public wants, but which is the better commander. The provinces are
Etruria and Samnium: that he might select which he preferred; that he,
with his own army, will undertake to manage the business either in
Etruria or in Samnium." The soldiers then, with loud clamours,
requested that they would, in conjunction, carry on the war in
Etruria; when Volumnius perceiving that it was the general wish, said,
"Since I have been mistaken in apprehending my colleague's meaning, I
will take care that there shall be no room for mistake with respect to
the purport of your wishes. Signify by a shout whether you choose that
I should stay or depart." On this, a shout was raised, so loud, that
it brought the enemy out of their camp: they snatched up their arms,
and marched down in order of battle. Volumnius likewise ordered the
signal to be sounded, and the standard to be advanced from the camp.
It is said that Appius hesitated, perceiving that, whether he fought
or remained inactive, his colleague would have the victory; and that,
afterwards, dreading lest his own legions also should follow
Volumnius, he also gave the signal, at the earnest desire of his men.
On neither side were the forces drawn up to advantage; for, on the
one, Gellius Egnatius, the Samnite general, had gone out to forage
with a few cohorts, and his men entered on the fight as the violence
of their passions prompted, rather than under any directions or
orders. On the other, the Roman armies neither marched out together,
nor had time sufficient to form: Volumnius began to engage before
Appius came up to the enemy, consequently the engagement commenced,
their front in the battle being uneven; and by some accidental
interchange of their usual opponents, the Etrurians fought against
Volumnius; and the Samnites, after delaying some time on account of
the absence of their general, against Appius. We are told that Appius,
during the heat of the fight, raising his hands toward heaven, so as
to be seen in the foremost ranks, prayed thus, "Bellona, if thou
grantest us the victory this day, I vow to thee a temple." And that
after this vow, as if inspirited by the goddess, he displayed a degree
of courage equal to that of his colleague and of the troops. The
generals performed every duty, and each of their armies exerted, with
emulation, its utmost vigour, lest victory should commence on the
other side. They therefore routed and put to flight the enemy, who
were ill able to withstand a force so much superior to any with which
they had been accustomed to contend: then pressing them as they gave
ground, and pursuing them closely as they fled, they drove them into
their camp. There, by the interposition of Gellius and his Samnite
cohorts, the fight was renewed for a little time. But these being
likewise soon dispersed, the camp was now stormed by the conquerors;
and whilst Volumnius, in person, led his troops against one of the
gates, Appius, frequently invoking Bellona the victorious, inflamed
the courage of his men, they broke in through the rampart and
trenches. The camp was taken and plundered, and an abundance of spoil
was found, and given up to the soldiers. Of the enemy seven thousand
three hundred were slain; and two thousand one hundred and twenty

20. While both the consuls, with the whole force of the Romans,
pointed their exertions principally against the war in Etruria, a new
army which arose in Samnium, with design to ravage the frontiers of
the Roman empire, passed over through the country of the Vescians,
into the Campanian and Falernian territories, and committed great
depredations. Volumnius, as he was hastening back to Samnium, by
forced marches, because the term for which Fabius and Decius had been
continued in command was nearly expired, heard of this army of
Samnites, and of the mischief which they had done in Campania;
determining, therefore, to afford protection to the allies, he altered
his route towards that quarter. When he arrived in the district of
Gales, he found marks of their recent ravages; and the people of Gales
informed him that the enemy carried with them such a quantity of
spoil, that they could scarcely observe any order in their march: and
that the commanders then directed publicly that the troops should go
immediately to Samnium, and having deposited the booty there, that
they should return to the business of the expedition, as they must not
commit to the hazard of an engagement an army so heavily laden.
Notwithstanding that this account carried every appearance of truth,
he yet thought it necessary to obtain more certain information;
accordingly he despatched some horsemen, to seize on some of the
straggling marauders; from these he learned, on inquiry, that the
enemy lay at the river Vulturnus; that they intended to remove thence
at the third watch; and that their route was towards Samnium. On
receiving this intelligence, which could be depended upon, he set out,
and sat down at such a distance from the enemy, that his approach
could not be discovered by his being too near them, and, at the same
time, that he might surprise them, as they should be coming out of
their camp. A long time before day, he drew nigh to their post, and
sent persons, who understood the Oscan language, to discover how they
were employed: these, mixing with the enemy, which they could easily
do during the confusion in the night, found that the standards had
gone out thinly attended; that the booty, and those appointed to guard
it, were then setting out, a contemptible train; each busied about his
own affairs, without any concert with the rest, or much regard to
orders. This was judged the fittest time for the attack, and daylight
was now approaching; he gave orders to sound the charge, and fell on
the enemy as they were marching out. The Samnites being embarrassed
with the spoil, and very few armed, some quickened their pace, and
drove the prey before them; others halted, deliberating whether it
would be safer to advance, or to return again to the camp; and while
they hesitated, they were overtaken and cut off. The Romans had by
this time passed over the rampart, and filled the camp with slaughter
and confusion: the Samnite army, in addition to the disorder caused by
the enemy, had their disorder increased by a sudden insurrection of
their prisoners; some of whom, getting loose, set the rest at liberty,
while others snatched the arms which were tied up among the baggage,
and being intermixed with the troops, raised a tumult more terrible
than the battle itself. They then performed a memorable exploit: for
making an attack on Statius Minacius, the general, as he was passing
between the ranks and encouraging his men; then, dispersing the
horsemen who attended him, they gathered round himself, and dragged
him, sitting on his horse, a prisoner to the Roman consul. By this
movement the foremost battalions of the Samnites were brought back,
and the battle, which seemed to have been already decided, was
renewed: but they could not support it long. Six thousand of them were
slain, and two thousand five hundred taken, among whom were four
military tribunes, together with thirty standards, and, what gave the
conquerors greater joy than all, seven thousand four hundred prisoners
were recovered. The spoil which had been taken from the allies was
immense, and the owners were summoned by a proclamation, to claim and
receive then property. On the day appointed, all the effects, the
owners of which did not appear, were given to the soldiers, who were
obliged to sell them, in order that they might have nothing to think
of but their duty.

21. The depredations, committed on the lands of Campania, had
occasioned a violent alarm at Rome, and it happened, that about the
same time intelligence was brought from Litruria, that, after the
departure of Volumnius's army, all that country had risen up in arms,
and that Gellius Egnatius, the leader of the Samnites, was causing the
Umbrians to join in the insurrection, and tempting the Gauls with high
offers. Terrified at this news, the senate ordered the courts of
justice to be shut, and a levy to be made of men of every description.
Accordingly not only free-born men and the younger sort were obliged
to enlist, but cohorts were formed of the elder citizens, and the sons
of freed-men were incorporated in the centuries. Plans were formed for
the defence of the city, and the praetor, Publius Sempronius, was
invested with the chief command. However, the senate was exonerated of
one half of their anxiety, by a letter from the consul, Lucius
Volumnius informing them that the army, which had ravaged Campania,
had been defeated and dispersed whereupon, they decreed a public
thanksgiving for this success, in the name of the consul. The courts
were opened, after having been shut eighteen days, and the
thanksgiving was performed with much joy. They then turned their
thoughts to devising measures for the future security of the country
depopulated by the Samnites, and, with this view, it was resolved,
that two colonies should be settled on the frontiers of the Vescian
and Falernian territories, one at the mouth of the river Liris, which
has received the name of Minturnae, the other in the Vescian forest,
which borders on the Falernian territory, where, it is said, stood
Sinope, a city of Grecians, called thenceforth by the Roman colonists
Sinuessa. The plebeian tribunes were charged to procure an order of
the commons, commanding Publius Sempronius, the praetor, to create
triumphs for conducting the colonies to those places. But persons were
not readily found to give in their names, because they considered that
they were being sent into what was almost a perpetual advanced guard
in a hostile country, not as a provision from concord between consuls,
and the evils arising from their disagreement in the conduct of
military affairs; at the same time remarking, "how near the extremity
of danger matters had been brought, by the late dispute between his
colleague and himself." He warmly recommended to Decius and Fabius to
"live together with one mind and one spirit." Observed that "they were
men qualified by nature for military command: great in action, but
unpractised in the strife of words and eloquence; their talents were
such as eminently became consuls. As to the artful and the ingenious
lawyers and orators, such as Appius Claudius, they ought to be kept at
home to preside in the city and the forum; and to be appointed
praetors for the administration of justice." In these proceedings that
day was spent, and, on the following, the elections both of consuls
and praetor were held, and were guided by the recommendations
suggested by the consul. Quintus Fabius and Publius Decius were chosen
consuls; Appius Claudius, praetor; all of them absent; and, by a
decree of the senate, followed by an order of the commons, Lucius
Volumnius was continued in the command for another year.

23. During that year many prodigies happened. For the purpose of
averting which, the senate decreed a supplication for two days: the
wine and frankincense for the sacrifices were furnished at the expense
of the public; and numerous crowds of men and women attended the
performance. This supplication was rendered remarkable by a quarrel,
which broke out among the matrons in the chapel of patrician chastity,
which stands in the cattle market, near the round temple of Hercules.
Virginia, daughter of Aulus, a patrician, but married to Volumnius the
consul, a plebeian, was, because she had married out of the
patricians, excluded by the matrons from sharing in the sacred rites:
a short altercation ensued, which was afterwards, through the
intemperance of passion incident to the sex, kindled into a flame of
contention. Virginia boasted with truth that she had a right to enter
the temple of patrician chastity, as being of patrician birth, and
chaste in her character, and, besides, the wife of one husband, to
whom she was betrothed a virgin, and had no reason to be dissatisfied
either with her husband, or his exploits or honours: to her
high-spirited words, she added importance by an extraordinary act. In
the long street where she resided, she enclosed with a partition a
part of the house, of a size sufficient for a small chapel, and there
erected an altar. Then calling together the plebeian matrons, and
complaining of the injurious behaviour of the patrician ladies, she
said, "This altar I dedicate to plebeian chastity, and exhort you,
that the same degree of emulation which prevails among the men of this
state, on the point of valour, may be maintained by the women on the
point of chastity; and that you contribute your best care, that this
altar may have the credit of being attended with a greater degree of
sanctity, and by chaster women, than the other, if possible." Solemn
rites were performed at this altar under the same regulations, nearly,
with those at the more ancient one; no person being allowed the
privilege of taking part in the sacrifices, except a woman of approved
chastity, and who was the wife of one husband. This institution, being
afterwards debased by [the admission of] vicious characters, and not
only by matrons, but women of every description, sunk at last into
oblivion. During this year the Ogulnii, Cneius and Quintus, being
curule aediles, carried on prosecutions against several usurers; whose
property being fined, out of the produce, which was deposited in the
treasury, they ordered brazen thresholds for the Capitol, utensils of
plate for three tables in the chapel of Jupiter, a statue of Jupiter
in a chariot drawn by four horses placed on the roof, and images of
the founders of the city in their infant state under the teats of the
wolf, at the Ruminal fig-tree. They also paved with square stones the
roads from the Capuan gate to the temple of Mars. By the plebeian
aediles likewise, Lucius Aelius Paetus and Caius Fulvius Corvus, out
of money levied as fines on farmers of the public pastures, whom they
had convicted of malpractices, games were exhibited, and golden bowls
were placed in the temple of Ceres.

24. Then came into the consulship Quintus Fabius a fifth time, and
Publius Decius a fourth. They had been colleagues from the censorship,
and twice in the consulship, and were celebrated not more for their
glorious achievements, splendid as these were, than for the unanimity
which had ever subsisted between them. The continuance of this feeling
I am inclined to think was interrupted by a jarring between the
[opposite] orders rather than between themselves, the patricians
endeavouring that Fabius should have Etruria for his province, without
casting lots, and the plebeians insisting that Decius should bring the
matter to the decision of lots. There was certainly a contention in
the senate, and the interest of Fabius being superior there, the
business was brought before the people. Here, between military men who
laid greater stress on deeds than on words, the debate was short.
Fabius said, "that it was unreasonable, after he had planted a tree,
another should gather the fruit of it. He had opened the Ciminian
forest, and made a way for the Roman arms, through passes until then
impracticable. Why had they disturbed him, at that time of his life,
if they intended to give the management of the war to another?" Then,
in the way of a gentle reproof, he observed, that "instead of an
associate in command, he had chosen an adversary; and that Decius
thought it too much that their unanimity should last through three
consulates." Declaring, in fine, that "he desired nothing further,
than that, if they thought him qualified for the command in the
province, they should send him thither. He had submitted to the
judgment of the senate, and would now be governed by the authority of
the people." Publius Decius complained of injustice in the senate; and
asserted, that "the patricians had laboured, as long as possible, to
exclude the plebeians from all access to the higher honours; and since
merit, by its own intrinsic power, had prevailed so far, as that it
should not, in any rank of men, be precluded from the attainment of
honours, expedients were sought how not only the suffrages of the
people, but even the decisions of fortune may be rendered ineffectual,
and be converted to the aggrandizement of a few. All the consuls
before him had disposed of the provinces by lots; now, the senate
bestowed a province on Fabius without lots. If this was meant as a
mark of honour, the merits of Fabius were so great towards the
commonwealth, and towards himself in particular, that he would gladly
second the advancement of his reputation, provided only its splendour
could be increased without reflecting dishonour on himself. But who
did not see, that, when a war of difficulty and danger, and out of the
ordinary course, was committed to only that one consul, the other
would be considered as useless and insignificant. Fabius gloried in
his exploits performed in Etruria: Publius Decius wished for a like
subject of glory, and perhaps would utterly extinguish that fire,
which the other left smothered, in such a manner that it often broke
out anew, in sudden conflagrations. In fine, honours and rewards he
would concede to his colleague, out of respect to his age and
dignified character: but when danger, when a vigorous struggle with an
enemy was before them, he never did, nor ever would, willingly, give
place. With respect to the present dispute, this much he would gain at
all events, that a business, appertaining to the jurisdiction of the
people, should be determined by an order of that people, and not
complimented away by the senate. He prayed Jupiter, supremely good and
great, and all the immortal gods, not to grant him an equal chance
with his colleague, unless they intended to grant him equal ability
and success, in the management of the war. It was certainly in its
nature reasonable, in the example salutary, and concerned the
reputation of the Roman people, that the consuls should be men of such
abilities, that under either of them a war with Etruria could be well
managed." Fabius, after requesting of the people nothing else than
that, before the tribes were called in to give their votes, they would
hear the letters of the praetor Appius Claudius, written from Etruria,
withdrew from the Comitium, and with no less unanimity of the people
than of the senate, the province of Etruria was decreed to him without
having recourse to lots.

25. Immediately almost all the younger citizens flocked together to
the consul, and readily gave in their names; so strong was their
desire of serving under such a commander. Seeing so great a multitude
collected round him, he said, "My intention is to enlist only four
thousand foot and six hundred horse: such of you as give in your names
to-day and to-morrow, I will carry with me. I am more solicitous to
bring home all my soldiers rich, than to employ a great multitude."
Accordingly, with a competent number of men, who possessed greater
hopes and confidence because a numerous army had not been required, he
marched to the town of Aharna, from which the enemy were not far
distant, and proceeded to the camp of the praetor Appius. When within
a few miles of it, he was met by some soldiers, sent to cut wood,
attended by a guard. Observing the lictors preceding him, and learning
that he was Fabius the consul, they were filled with joy and alacrity;
they expressed their thanks to the gods, and to the Roman people, for
having sent them such a commander. Then as they gathered round to pay
their respects, Fabius inquired whither they were going, and on their
answering they were going to provide wood, "What do you tell me," said
he, "have you not a rampart, raised about your camp?" When to this
they replied, "they had a double rampart, and a trench, and,
notwithstanding, were in great apprehension."

"Well then," said he, "you have abundance of wood, go back and level
the rampart." They accordingly returned to the camp and there
levelling the rampart threw the soldiers who had remained in it, and
Appius himself, into the greatest fright, until with eager joy each
called out to the rest, that, "they acted by order of the consul,
Quintus Fabius." Next day the camp was moved from thence, and the
praetor, Appius, was dismissed to Rome. From that time the Romans had
no fixed post, the consul affirming, that it was prejudicial to an
army to lie in one spot, and that by frequent marches, and changing
places, it was rendered more healthy, and more capable of brisk
exertions, and marches were made as long as the winter, which was not
yet ended, permitted. Then, in the beginning of spring, leaving the
second legion near Clusium, which they formerly called the Camertian,
and giving the command of the camp to Lucius Scipio, as propraetor, he
returned to Rome, in order to adjust measures for carrying on the war,
either led thereto by his own judgment, because the war seemed to him
more serious than he had believed, from report, or, being summoned by
a decree of the senate, for writers give both accounts. Some choose to
have it believed, that he was forced back by the praetor, Appius
Claudius, who, both in the senate, and before the people, exaggerated,
as he was wont in all his letters, the danger of the Etrurian war,
contending, that "one general, or one army, would not be sufficient to
oppose four nations. That whether these directed the whole of their
combined force against him alone, or acted separately in different
parts, there was reason to fear, that he would be unable to provide
against every emergency. That he had left there but two Roman legions;
and that the foot and horse, who came with Fabius, did not amount to
five thousand. It was, therefore, his opinion, that the consul,
Publius Decius should, without delay, set out to his colleague in
Etruria, and that the province of Samnium should be given to Lucius
Volumnius. But if the consul preferred going to his own province, that
then Volumnius should march a full consular army into Etruria, to join
the other consul." When the advice of the praetor influenced a great
part of the members, they say that Publius Decius recommended that
every thing should be kept undetermined, and open for Quintus Fabius;
until he should either come to Rome, if he could do so without
prejudice to the public, or send some of his lieutenants, from whom
the senate might learn the real state of the war in Etruria; and with
what number of troops, and by how many generals, it should be carried

26. Fabius, as soon as he returned to Rome, qualified his discourses,
both in the senate and when brought before the people, in such a
manner as to appear neither to exaggerate or lessen, any particular
relating to the war; and to show, that, in agreeing to another general
being joined with him, he rather indulged the apprehensions of others,
than guarded against any danger to himself, or the public. "But if
they chose," he said, "to give him an assistant in the war, and
associate in command, how could he overlook Publius Decius the consul,
whom he had tried during so many associations in office? There was no
man living whom he would rather wish to be joined in commission with
him: with Publius Decius he should have forces sufficient, and never
too many enemies. If, however, his colleague preferred any other
employment, let them then give him Lucius Volumnius as an assistant."
The disposal of every particular was left entirely to Fabius by the
people and the senate, and even by his colleague. And when Decius
declared that he was ready to go either to Etruria or Samnium, such
general congratulation and satisfaction took place, that victory was
anticipated, and it seemed as if a triumph, not a war, had been
decreed to the consuls. I find in some writers, that Fabius and
Decius, immediately on their entering into office, set out together
for Etruria, without any mention of the casting of lots for the
provinces, or of the disputes which I have related. Others, not
satisfied with relating those disputes, have added charges of
misconduct, laid by Appius before the people against Fabius, when
absent; and a stubborn opposition, maintained by the praetor against
the consul, when present; and also another contention between the
colleagues, Decius insisting that each consul should attend to the
care of his own separate province. Certainty, however, begins to
appear from the time when both consuls set out for the campaign. Now,
before the consuls arrived in Etruria, the Senonian Gauls came in a
vast body to Clusium, to attack the Roman legion and the camp. Scipio,
who commanded the camp, wishing to remedy the deficiency of his
numbers by an advantage in the ground, led his men up a hill, which
stood between the camp and the city but having, in his haste,
neglected to examine the place, he reached near the summit, which he
found already possessed by the enemy, who had ascended on the other
side. The legion was consequently attacked on the rear, and surrounded
in the middle, when the enemy pressed it on all sides. Some writers
say, that the whole were cut off, so that not one survived to give an
account of it, and that no information of the misfortune reached the
consuls, who were, at the time, not far from Clusium, until the Gallic
horsemen came within sight, carrying the heads of the slain, some
hanging before their horses' breasts, others on the points of their
spears, and expressing their triumph in songs according to their
custom. Others affirm, that the defeat was by Umbrians, not Gauls, and
that the loss sustained was not so great. That a party of foragers,
under Lucius Manlius Torquatus, lieutenant-general, being surrounded,
Scipio, the propraetor, brought up relief from the camp, and the
battle being renewed, that the Umbrians, lately victorious, were
defeated, and the prisoners and spoil retaken. But it is more probable
that this blow was suffered from a Gallic than an Umbrian enemy,
because during that year, as was often the case at other times, the
danger principally apprehended by the public, was that of a Gallic
tumult, for which reason, notwithstanding that both the consuls had
marched against the enemy, with four legions, and a large body of
Roman cavalry, joined by a thousand chosen horsemen of Campania,
supplied on the occasion, and a body of the allies and Latin
confederates, superior in number to the Romans, two other armies were
posted near the city, on the side facing Etruria, one in the
Faliscian, the other in the Vatican territory. Cneius Fulvius and
Lucius Postumius Megellus, both propraetors, were ordered to keep the
troops stationed in those places.

27. The consuls, having crossed the Apennines, came up with the enemy
in the territory of Sentinum, their camp was pitched there at the
distance of about four miles. Several councils were then held by the
enemy, and their plan of operations was thus settled: that they should
not encamp together, nor go out together to battle; the Gauls were
united to the Samnites, the Umbrians to the Etrurians. The day of
battle was fixed. The part of maintaining the fight was committed to
the Samnites and Gauls; and the Etrurians and Umbrians were ordered to
attack the Roman camp during the heat of the engagement. This plan was
frustrated by three Clusian deserters, who came over by night to
Fabius, and after disclosing the above designs, were sent back with
presents, in order that they might discover, and bring intelligence
of, any new scheme which should be determined on. The consuls then
wrote to Flavius and Postumius to move their armies, the one from the
Faliscian, the other from the Vatican country, towards Clusium; and to
ruin the enemy's territory by every means in their power. The news of
these depredations drew the Etrurians from Sentinum to protect their
own region. The consuls, in their absence, practised every means to
bring on an engagement. For two days they endeavoured, by several
attacks, to provoke the enemy to fight; in which time, however,
nothing worth mention was performed. A few fell on each side, but
still the minds [of the Romans] were irritated to wish for a general
engagement; yet nothing decisive was hazarded. On the third day, both
parties marched out their whole force to the field: here, while the
armies stood in order of battle, a hind, chased by a wolf from the
mountains, ran through the plain between the two lines: there the
animals taking different directions, the hind bent its course towards
the Gauls, the wolf towards the Romans: way was made between the ranks
for the wolf, the Gauls slew the hind with their javelins; on which
one of the Roman soldiers in the van said, "To that side, where you
see an animal, sacred to Diana, lying prostrate, flight and slaughter
are directed; on this side the victorious wolf of Mars, safe and
untouched, reminds us of our founder, and of our descent from that
deity." The Gauls were posted on the right wing, the Samnites on the
left: against the latter, Fabius drew up, as his right wing, the first
and third legions: against the Gauls, Decius formed the left wing of
the fifth and sixth. The second and fourth were employed in the war in
Samnium, under the proconsul, Lucius Volumnius. In the first encounter
the action was supported with strength so equal on both sides, that
had the Etrurians and Umbrians been present, either in the field or at
the camp, in whichever place they might have employed their force, the
Romans must have been defeated.

28. However, although the victory was still undecided, fortune not
having declared in favour of either party, yet the course of the fight
was by no means similar on both right and left wings. The Romans,
under Fabius, rather repelled than offered assault, and the contest
was protracted until very late in the day, for their general knew very
well, that both Samnites and Gauls were furious in the first onset, so
that, to withstand them would be sufficient. It was known, too, that
in a protracted contest the spirits of the Samnites gradually flagged,
and even the bodies of the Gauls, remarkably ill able to bear labour
and heat, became quite relaxed, and although, in their first efforts,
they were more than men, yet in their last they were less than women.
He, therefore, reserved the strength of his men as unimpaired as
possible, until the time when the enemy were the more likely to be
worsted. Decius, more impetuous, as being in the prime of life and
full flow of spirits, exerted whatever force he had to the utmost in
the first encounter, and thinking the infantry not sufficiently
energetic, brought up the cavalry to the fight. Putting himself at the
head of a troop of young horsemen of distinguished bravery, he
besought those youths, the flower of the army, to charge the enemy
with him, [telling them] "they would reap a double share of glory, if
the victory should commence on the left wing, and through their
means." Twice they compelled the Gallic cavalry to give way. At the
second charge, when they advanced farther and were briskly engaged in
the midst of the enemy's squadrons, by a method of fighting new to
them, they were thrown into dismay. A number of the enemy, mounted on
chariots and cars, made towards them with such a prodigious clatter
from the trampling of the cattle and rolling of wheels, as affrighted
the horses of the Romans, unaccustomed to such tumultuous operations.
By this means the victorious cavalry were dispersed, through a panic,
and men and horses, in their headlong flight, were tumbled
promiscuously on the ground. Hence also the battalions of the legions
were thrown into disorder, through the impetuosity of the horses, and
of the carriages which they dragged through the ranks, many of the
soldiers in the van were trodden or bruised to death, while the Gallic
line, as soon as they saw their enemy in confusion, pursued the
advantage, nor allowed them time to take breath or recover themselves.
Decius, calling aloud, "Whither were they flying, or what hope could
they have in running away?" strove to stop them as they turned their
backs, but finding that he could not, by any efforts, prevail on them
to keep their posts, so thoroughly were they dismayed, he called on
his father, Publius Decius, by name. He said, "Why do I any longer
defer the fate entailed on my family? It is destined to our race, that
we should serve as expiatory victims to avert the public danger. I
will now offer the legions of the enemy, together with myself, to be
immolated to Earth, and the infernal gods." Having thus said, he
commanded Marcus Livius, a pontiff, whom, at his coming out to the
field, he had charged not to stir from him, to dictate the form of
words in which he was to devote himself, and the legions of the enemy,
for the army of the Roman people, the Quirites. He was accordingly
devoted with the same imprecations, and in the same habit, in which
his father, Publius Decius, had ordered himself to be devoted at the
Veseris in the Latin war. When, immediately after the solemn
imprecation, he added, that "he drove before him dismay and flight,
slaughter and blood, and the wrath of the gods celestial and infernal,
that, with the contagious influence of the furies, the ministers of
death, he would infect the standards, the weapons, and the armour of
the enemy, and that the same spot should be that of his perdition, and
that of the Gauls and Samnites." After uttering these execrations on
himself and the foe, he spurred forward his horse, where he saw the
line of the Gauls thickest, and, rushing upon the enemy's weapons, met
his death.

29. Thenceforward the battle seemed to be fought with a degree of
force scarcely human. The Romans, on the loss of their general, a
circumstance which, on other occasions, is wont to inspire terror,
stopped their flight, and were anxious to begin the combat afresh. The
Gauls, and especially the multitude which encircled the consul's body,
as if deprived of reason, cast their javelins at random without
execution, some became so stupid as not to think of either fighting or
flying, while on the other side, Livius, the pontiff, to whom Decius
had transferred his lictors, with orders to act as propraetor, cried
out aloud, that "the Romans were victorious, being saved by the death
of their consul. That the Gauls and Samnites were now the victims of
mother Earth and the infernal gods. That Decius was summoning and
dragging to himself the army devoted along with him, and that, among
the enemy, all was full of dismay, and the vengeance of all the
furies." While the soldiers were busy in restoring the fight, Lucius
Cornelius Scipio and Caius Marcius, with some reserved troops from the
rear, who had been sent by Quintus Fabius, the consul, to the support
of his colleague, came up. There the fate of Decius is ascertained, a
powerful stimulus to brave every danger in the cause of the public.
Wherefore, when the Gauls stood in close order, with their shields
formed into a fence before them, and but little prospect of success
appeared from a close fight, the javelins, which lay scattered between
the two lines, were, therefore, by order of the lieutenants-general,
gathered up from the ground, and thrown against the enemy's shields,
and as most of them pierced the fence, the long pointed ones even into
their bodies, their compact band was overthrown in such a manner, that
a great many, who were unhurt, yet fell as if thunderstruck. Such were
the changes of fortune on the left wing of the Romans; on the right,
Fabius had at first protracted the time, as we mentioned above, in
slow operations, then, as soon as he perceived that neither the shout,
nor the efforts of the enemy, nor the weapons which they threw,
retained their former force, having ordered the commanders of the
cavalry to lead round their squadrons to the flank of the Samnites, so
that, on receiving the signal, they should charge them in flank, with
all possible violence, he commanded, at the same time, his infantry to
advance leisurely, and drive the enemy from their ground. When he saw
that they were unable to make resistance, and that their exhaustion
was certain, drawing together all his reserves, whom he had kept fresh
for that occasion, he made a brisk push with the legions, and gave the
cavalry the signal to charge. The Samnites could not support the
shock, but fled precipitately to their camp, passing by the line of
the Gauls, and leaving their allies to fight by themselves. These
stood in close order under cover of their shields. Fabius, therefore,
having heard of the death of his colleague, ordered the squadron of
Campanian cavalry, in number about five hundred, to fall back from the
ranks, and riding round, to attack the rear of the Gallic line, then
the chief strength of the third legion to follow, with directions that
wherever they should see the enemy's troops disordered by the charge,
to follow the blow, and cut them to pieces, when in a state of
consternation. After vowing a temple and the spoils of the enemy to
Jupiter the Victorious, he proceeded to the camp of the Samnites,
whither all their forces were hurrying in confusion. The gates not
affording entrance to such very great numbers, those who were
necessarily excluded, attempted resistance just at the foot of the
rampart, and here fell Gellius Egnatius, the Samnite general. These,
however, were soon driven within the rampart; the camp was taken after
a slight resistance; and at the same time the Gauls were attacked on
the rear, and overpowered. There were slain of the enemy on that day
twenty-five thousand: eight thousand were taken prisoners. Nor was the
victory an unbloody one; for, of the army of Publius Decius, the
killed amounted to seven thousand; of the army of Fabius, to one
thousand two hundred. Fabius, after sending persons to search for the
body of his colleague, had the spoils of the enemy collected into a
heap, and burned them as an offering to Jupiter the Victorious. The
consul's body could not be found that day, being hid under a heap of
slaughtered Gauls: on the following, it was discovered and brought to
the camp, amidst abundance of tears shed by the soldiers. Fabius,
discarding all concern about any other business, solemnized the
obsequies of his colleague in the most honourable manner, passing on
him the high encomiums which he had justly merited.

30. During the same period, matters were managed successfully by
Cneius Fulvius, propraetor, he having, besides the immense losses
occasioned to the enemy by the devastation of their lands, fought a
battle with extraordinary success, in which there were above three
thousand of the Perusians and Clusians slain, and twenty military
standards taken. The Samnites, in their flight, passing through the
Pelignian territory, were attacked on all sides by the Pelignians;
and, out of five thousand, one thousand were killed. The glory of the
day on which they fought at Sentinum was great, even when truly
estimated; but some have gone beyond credibility by their
exaggerations, who assert in their writings, that there were in the
army of the enemy forty thousand three hundred and thirty foot, six
thousand horse, and one thousand chariots, that is, including the
Etrurians and Umbrians, who [they affirm] were present in the
engagement: and, to magnify likewise the number of Roman forces, they
add to the consuls another general, Lucius Volumnius, proconsul, and
his army to the legions of the consul. In the greater number of
annals, that victory is ascribed entirely to the two consuls.
Volumnius was employed in the mean time in Samnium; he drove the army
of the Samnites to Mount Tifernus, and, not deterred by the difficulty
of the ground, routed and dispersed them. Quintus Fabius, leaving
Decius's army in Etruria, and leading off his own legions to the city,
triumphed over the Gauls, Etrurians, and Samnites: the soldiers
attended him in his triumph. The victory of Quintus Fabius was not
more highly celebrated, in their coarse military verses, than the
illustrious death of Publius Decius; and the memory of the father was
recalled, whose fame had been equalled by the praiseworthy conduct of
the son, in respect of the issue which resulted both to himself and to
the public. Out of the spoil, donations were made to the soldiers of
eighty-two _asses_ [Footnote: _5s. 31d._] to each, with
cloaks and vests; rewards for service, in that age, by no means

31. Notwithstanding these successes, peace was not yet established,
either among the Samnites or Etrurians: for the latter, at the
instigation of the Perusians, resumed their arms, after his army had
been withdrawn by the consul; and the Samnites made predatory
incursions on the territories of Vescia and Formiae; and also on the
other side, on those of Aesernia, and the parts adjacent to the river
Vulturnus. Against these was sent the praetor Appius Claudius, with
the army formerly commanded by Decius. In Etruria, Fabius, on the
revival of hostilities, slew four thousand five hundred of the
Perusians, and took prisoners one thousand seven hundred and forty,
who were ransomed at the rate of three hundred and ten _asses_
[Footnote: L1.] each. All the rest of the spoil was bestowed on the
soldiers. The legions of the Samnites, though pursued, some by the
praetor Appius Claudius, the others by Lucius Volumnius, proconsul,
formed a junction in the country of the Stellatians. Here sat down the
whole body of the Samnites; and Appius and Volumnius, with their
forces united in one camp. A battle was fought with the most rancorous
animosity, one party being spurred on by rage against men who had so
often renewed their attacks on them, and the other now fighting in
support of their last remaining hope. Accordingly, there were slain,
of the Samnites, sixteen thousand three hundred, and two thousand and
seven hundred made prisoners: of the Roman army fell two thousand and
seven hundred. This year, so successful in the operations of war, was
filled with distress at home, arising from a pestilence, and with
anxiety, occasioned by prodigies: for accounts were received that, in
many places, showers of earth had fallen; and that very many persons,
in the army of Appius Claudius, had been struck by lightning; in
consequence of which, the books were consulted. At this time, Quintus
Fabius Gurges, the consul's son, having prosecuted some matrons before
the people on a charge of adultery, built, with the money accruing
from the fines which they were condemned to pay, the temple of Venus,
which stands near the circus. Still we have the wars of the Samnites
on our hands, notwithstanding that the relation of them has already
extended, in one continued course, through four volumes of our
history, and through a period of forty-six years, from the consulate
of Marcus Valerius and Aulus Cornelius, who first carried the Roman

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