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Roman antiquities 5

Dionysius of Halicarnassus


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Roman antiquities 5.1
The Roman monarchy, therefore, after having continued for the space of two hundred and forty-four years from the founding of Rome and having under the last king become a tyranny, was overthrown for the reasons stated and by the men named, at the beginning of the sixty-eighth Olympiad (the one in which Ischomachus of Croton won the foot-race), Isagoras being the annual archon at Athens. An aristocracy being now established, while there still remained about four months to complete that year, Lucius Junius Brutus and Lucius Tarquinius Collatinus were the first consuls invested with the royal power; the Romans, as I have said, call them in their own language consules or "counsellors." These men, associating with themselves many others, now that the soldiers from the camp had come to the city after the truce they had made with the Ardeates, called an assembly of the people a few days after the expulsion of the tyrant, and having spoken at length upon the advantages of harmony, again caused them to pass another vote confirming everything which those in the city had previously voted when condemning the Tarquinii to perpetual banishment. After this they performed rites of purification for the city and entered into a solemn covenant; and they themselves, standing over the parts of the victims, first swore, and then prevailed upon the rest of the citizens likewise to swear, that they would never restore from exile King Tarquinius or his sons or their posterity, and that they would never again make anyone king of Rome or permit others who wished to do so; and this oath they took not only for themselves, but also for their children and their posterity. However, since it appeared that the kings had been the authors of many great advantages to the commonwealth, they desired to preserve the name of that office for as long a time as the city should endure, and accordingly they ordered the pontiffs and augurs to choose from among them the older men the most suitable one for the office, who should have the superintendence of religious observances and of naught else, being exempt from all military and civil duties, and should be called the king of sacred rites. The first person appointed to this office was Manius Papirius, one of the patricians, who was a lover of peace and quiet.

Roman antiquities 5.2
After the consuls had settled these matters, fearing, as I suspect, that the masses might gain a false impression of their new form of government and imagine that two kings had become masters of the state instead of one, since each of the consuls had the twelve axes, like the kings, they resolved to quiet the fears of the citizens and to lessen the hatred of their power by ordering that one of the consuls should be preceded by the twelve axes and the other by twelve lictors with rods only, or, as some relate, with clubs also, and that they should receive the axes in rotation, each consul possessing them in turn one month.By this and not a few other measures of like nature they caused the plebeians and the lower class to be eager for a continuance of the existing order. For they restored the laws introduced by Tullius concerning contracts, which seemed to be humane and democratic, but had all been abrogated by Tarquinius; and they restored to the people the right of holding assemblies concerning affairs of the greatest moment, of giving their votes, and of doing all the other things they had been wont to do according to former custom. These acts of the consuls pleased the masses, who had come out of long slavery into unexpected liberty; nevertheless, there were found among them some, and these no obscure persons, who from either simplicity or greed longed for the evils existing under a tyranny, and these formed a conspiracy to betray the city, agreeing together, not only to restore Tarquinius, but also to kill the consuls. Who the heads of this conspiracy and by what unexpected good fortune they were detected, though they imagined they had escaped the notice of everybody, shall now be related, after I have first gone back and mentioned a few things that happened earlier.

Roman antiquities 5.3
Tarquinius, after being driven from the throne, remained a short time in the city of Gabii, both to receive such as came to him from Rome, to whom tyranny was a more desirable thing than liberty, and to await the event of the hopes he placed in the Latins of being restored to the sovereignty by their aid. But when their cities paid no heed to him and were unwilling to make war upon the Roman state on his account, he despaired of any assistance from them and took refuge in Tarquinii, a Tyrrhenian city, from whence his family on his mother's side had originally come. And having bribed the magistrates of the Tarquinienses with gifts and been brought by them before the assembly of the people, he renewed the ties of kinship which existed between him and their city, recounted the favours his grandfather had conferred on all the Tyrrhenian cities, and reminded them of the treaties they had made with him. After all this, he lamented the calamities which had overtaken him, showing how, after having fallen in one day from the height of felicity, he had been compelled, as a wanderer in want of the necessaries of life, to fly for refuge, together with his three sons, to those who had once been his subjects. Having thus recounted his misfortunes with many lamentations and tears, he prevailed upon the people, first of all to send ambassadors to Rome to possess terms of accommodation on his behalf, assuring them that the men in power there were working in his interest and would aid in his restoration. Ambassadors of his own selection, having then been appointed, he instructed them in everything they were to say and do; and giving them letters from the exiles who were with him, containing entreaties to their relations and friends, he gave them some gold also and sent them on their way.

Roman antiquities 5.4
When these men arrived in Rome, they said in the senate that Tarquinius desired leave to come there under a safe-conduct, together with a small retinue, and to address himself, first to the senate, as was right and proper, and after that, if he received permission from the senate, to the assembly of the people also, and there give an account of all his actions from the time of his accession to the sovereignty, and if anyone accused him, to submit himself to the judgment of all the Romans. And after he had made his defense and convinced them all that he had done nothing worthy of banishment, he would then, if they gave him the sovereignty again, reign upon such conditions as the citizens should determine; or, if they preferred no longer to live under a monarchy, as formerly, but to establish some other form of government, he would remain in Rome, which was his native city, and enjoying his private property, would live on an equality with all the others, and thus have done with exile and a life of wandering. Having stated their case, the ambassadors begged of the senate that they would preferably, on the principle of the right, recognized by all men, that no one should be deprived of the opportunity of defending himself and of being tried, grant him leave to make his defense, of which the Romans themselves would be the judges; but if they were unwilling to grant this favour to him, then they asked them to act with moderation out of regard for the city that interceded on his behalf, by granting her a favour from which they would suffer no harm themselves and yet would be looked upon as conferring great honour upon the city that received it. And they asked them, as being men, not to think thoughts too lofty for human nature or to harbour undying resentment in mortal bodies, but to consent to perform an act of clemency even contrary to their inclination, for the sake of those who entreated them, bearing in mind that it is the part of wise men to waive their enmities in the interest of their friendships and the part of stupid men and barbarians to destroy their friends together with their enemies.

Roman antiquities 5.5
After they had done speaking, Brutus rose up and said: "Concerning a return of the Tarquinii to this city, Tyrrhenians, say no more. For a vote has already been passed condemning them to perpetual banishment, and we have all sworn by the gods neither to restore the tyrants ourselves nor to permit others to restore them. But if you desire anything else of us that is reasonable which were not prevented from doing by the laws or by our oaths, declare it." Thereupon the ambassadors came forward and said: "Our first efforts have not turned out as we expected. For, though we have come as ambassadors on behalf of a suppliant who desires to give you an account of his actions, and though we ask as a private favour the right that is common to all men, we have not been able to obtain it. Since, then, this is your decision, we plead no longer for the return of the Tarquinii, but we do call upon you to perform an act of justice of another kind, concerning which our country has given us instructions, and there is neither law nor oath to hinder you from doing it, namely, to restore to the king the property formerly possessed by his grandfather, who however got anything of yours either by force or by fraud, but inherited his wealth from his father and brought it to you. For it is enough for him to recover what belongs to him and to live happily in some other place, without causing you any annoyance." After the ambassadors had said this, they withdrew. Of the two consuls, Brutus advised retaining the fortunes of the tyrants, both as a penalty for the injuries they had done to the commonwealth, which were many and great, and for the advantage that would result from depriving them of these resources for war; for he showed that the Tarquinii would not be contented with the recovery of their possessions nor submit to leading a private life, but would bring a foreign war upon the Romans and attempt by force to get back into power. But Collatinus advised the contrary, saying that it was not the possessions of the tyrants, but the tyrants themselves, that had injured the commonwealth, and he asked them to guard against two things: first, not to incur the bad opinion of the world as having driven the Tarquinii from power for the sake of their riches, and, secondly, not to give the tyrants themselves a just cause for war as having been deprived of their private property. For it was uncertain, he said, whether, if they got back their possessions, they would any longer attempt to make war upon them in order to secure their return from exile, but it was perfectly clear, on the other hand, that they would not consent to keep the peace if they were deprived of their property.

Roman antiquities 5.6
As the consuls expressed these opinions and many spoke in favour of each, the senate was at a loss what to do and spent many days in considering the matter; for while the opinion of Brutus seemed more expedient, the course urged by Collatinus was more just. At last they determined to make the people the judges between expediency and justice. After much had been said by each of the consuls, the curiae, which were thirty in number, upon being called to give their votes, inclined to one side by so small a margin that the curiae in favour of restoring the possessions outnumbered by only one those that were for retaining them.The Tyrrhenians, having received their answer from the consuls and given great praise to the commonwealth for having preferred justice to expediency, wrote to Tarquinius to send some persons to receive his possessions, while they themselves remained in the city, pretending to be employed in collecting his furniture and disposing of the effects that could not be driven or carried away, whereas in reality they were stirring up trouble in the city and carrying on intrigues, pursuant to the instructions the tyrant had sent them. For they employed themselves in delivering letters from the exiles to their friends in the city and in receiving others from these for the exiles; and engaging in conversation with many of the citizens and sounding their sentiments, if they found any easy to be ensnared through the feebleness of conviction, lack of means, or a longing for the advantages they had enjoyed under the tyranny, they endeavoured to corrupt them by holding out fair hopes and giving them money. And in a large and populous city there were sure to be found, as we may suppose, some who would prefer a worse to a better form of government, and that not only among the obscure, but even among the men of distinction. Of this number were the two Junii, Titus and Tiberius, the sons of Brutus the consul, then just coming to manhood, and with them the two Vitellii, Marcus and Manius, brothers of the wife of Brutus, men capable of administering public affairs, and also the Aquilii, Lucius and Marcus, sons of the sister of Collatinus, the other consul, of the same age with the sons of Brutus. It was at the house of the Aquilii, whose father was no longer living, that the conspirators generally held their meetings and laid their plans for bringing back the tyrants.

Roman antiquities 5.7
Not only from many other circumstances has it seemed to me to be due to the providence of the gods that the affairs of the Romans have come to such a flourishing condition, but particularly by what happened upon this occasion. For so great a folly and infatuation possessed those unfortunate youths that they consented to write letters to the tyrant in their own hand, informing him not only of the number of their accomplices, but also of the time when they proposed to make the attack upon the consuls. They had been persuaded to do so by the letters that came to them from the tyrant, in which he desired to know beforehand the names of the Romans whom he ought to reward after he had regained the sovereignty. The consuls got possession of these letters by the following chance. The principal conspirators used to hold night sessions at the house of the Aquilii, the sons of the sister of Collatinus, being invited there ostensibly for some religious rites and a sacrifice. After the banquet they first ordered the servants to go out of the room and to withdraw from before the door of the men's apartment, and then proceeded to discuss together the means of restoring the tyrants and to set down in the letters in their own handwriting the decisions arrived at; these letters the Aquilii were to deliver to the Tyrrhenian ambassadors, and they in turn to Tarquinius. In the mean time one of the servants, who was their cup-bearer and a captive taken at Caenina, Vindicius by name, suspecting, from their ordering the servants to withdraw, that they were plotting some mischief, remained alone outs the door, and not only heard their conversation, but, by applying his eye to a crevice of the door that afforded a glimpse inside, saw the letters they were all writing. And setting out from the house while it was still the dead of night, as if he had been sent by his masters upon some business, he hesitated to go to the consuls, lest, in their desire the keep the matter quiet out of goodwill for their kinsmen, they might do away with the one who gave information of the conspiracy, but went to Publius Valerius, one of the four who had taken the lead in overthrowing the tyranny; and when this man had given him assurance of his safety by offering his hand and swearing oaths, he informed him of all that he had both heard and seen. Valerius, upon hearing this story, made no delay, but went to the house of the Aquilii about daybreak, attended by a large number of clients and friends; and getting inside the door without hindrance, as having come upon some other business, while the lads were still there, he got possession of the letters, and seizing the youths, took them before the consuls.

Roman antiquities 5.8
I am afraid that the subsequent noble and astonishing behaviour of Brutus, one of the consuls, which I am now to relate and in which the Romans take the greatest pride, may appear cruel and incredible to the Greeks, since it is natural for all men to judge by their own experience whatever is said of others, and to determine what is credible and incredible with reference to themselves. Nevertheless, I shall relate it. As soon, then, as it was day, Brutus seated himself upon the tribunal and examined the letters of the conspirators; and when he found those written by his sons, each of which he recognized by the seals, and, after he had broken the seals, by the handwriting, he first ordered both letters to be read by the secretary in the hearing of all who were present, and then commanded his sons to speak if they had anything to say. But when neither of them dared resort to shameless denial, but both wept, having long since convicted themselves, Brutus, after a short pause, rose up and commanding silence, while everyone was waiting to learn what sentence he would pronounce, said he condemned his sons to death. Whereupon they all cried out, indignant that such a man should be punished by the death of his sons, and they wished to spare the lives of the youths as a favour to their father. But he, paying no heed to either their cries or their lamentations, ordered the lictors to lead the youths away, though they wept and begged and called upon him in the most tender terms. Even this seemed astonishing to everybody, that he did not yield at all to either the entreaties of the citizens or the laments of his sons; but much more astonishing still was his relentlessness with regard to their punishment. For he neither permitted his sons to be led away to any other place and put to death out of sight of the public, nor did he himself, in order to avoid the dreadful spectacle, withdraw from the Forum till after they had been punished; nor did he allow them to undergo the doom pronounced against them without ignominy, but he caused every detail of the punishment established by the laws and customs against malefactors to be observed, and only after they had been scourged in the Forum in the sight of all the citizens, he himself being present when all this was done, did he then allow their heads to be cut off with the axes. But the most extraordinary and the most astonishing part of his behaviour was that he did not once avert his gaze nor shed a tear, and while all the rest who were present at this sad spectacle wept, he was the only person who was observed not to lament the fate of his sons, nor to pity himself for the desolation that was coming upon his house, nor to betray any other signs of weakness, but without a tear, without a groan, without once shifting his gaze, he bore his calamity with a stout heart. So strong of will was he, so steadfast in carrying out the sentence, and so completely the master of all the passions that disturb the reason.

Roman antiquities 5.9
After he had caused his sons to be put to death, he at once summoned the nephews of his colleague, the Aquilii, at whose house the meetings of the conspirators against the state had been held; and ordering the secretary to read out their letters, that all present might hear them, he told them they might make their defence. When the youths were brought before the tribunal, either acting on the suggestion of one of their friends or having agreed upon it themselves, they threw themselves at the feet of their uncle in hopes of being saved by him. And when Brutus ordered the lictors to drag them away and lead them off to death, unless they wished to make a defence, Collatinus, ordering the lictors to forbear a little while till he had talked with his colleague, took him aside and earnestly entreated him to spare the lads, now excusing them on the ground that through the ignorance of their youth and evil associations with friends they had fallen into this madness, and again begging him to grant him as a favour the lives of his kinsmen, the only favour he asked of him and the only trouble he should ever give him, and still again showing him that there was danger that the whole city would be thrown into an uproar if they attempted to punish with death all who were believed to have been working with the exiles for their return, since there were many such and some of them were of no obscure families. But being unable to persuade him, he at last asked him not to condemn them to death, but to impose a moderate punishment on them, declaring that it was absurd, after punishing the tyrants with banishment only, to punish the friends of the tyrants with death. And when Brutus opposed even the equitable punishment that he suggested and was unwilling even to put off the trials of the accused (for this was the last request his colleague made), but threatened and swore he would put them all to death that very day, Collatinus, distressed at obtaining naught that he was asking, exclaimed: "Well then, since you are boorish and harsh, I, who possess the same authority as you, set the lads free." And Brutus, exasperated, replied: "Not while I am alive, Collatinus, shall you be able to free those who are traitors to their country. Nay, but you too shall pay the fitting penalty, and that right soon."

Roman antiquities 5.10
Having said this and stationed a guard over the lads, he called an assembly of the people, and when the Forum was filled with a crowd (for the fate of his sons had been noised abroad through the whole city), he came forward and placing the most distinguished members of the senate near him, spoke as follows: "I I could wish, citizens, that Collatinus, my colleague here, held the same sentiments as I do in everything and that he showed his hatred and enmity towards the tyrants, not by his words only, but by his actions as well. But since it had become clear to me that his sentiments are the opposite of my own and since he is related to the Tarquinii, not alone by blood, but also by inclination, both working for a reconciliation with them and considering his private advantage instead of the public good, I have not only made my own preparations to prevent him from carrying out the mischievous designs he has in mind, but I have also summoned you for this same purpose. I shall inform you, first, of the dangers to which the commonwealth has been exposed and then in what manner each of us has dealt with those dangers. Some of the citizens, assembling at the house of the Aquilii, who are sons of the sister of Collatinus, among them my two sons and the brothers of my wife, and some others with them, no obscure men, entered into an agreement and conspiracy to kill me and restore Tarquinius to the sovereignty. And having written letters concerning these matters in their own handwriting and sealed them with their own seals, they were intending to send them to the exiles. These things, by the favour of some god, have become known to us through information given by this man, he is a slave belonging to the Aquilii, at whose house they held a session last night and wrote the letters, and the letters themselves have come into our possession. As for Titus and Tiberius, my own sons, I have punished them, and neither the law nor our oath has in any degree been violated through clemency on my part. But Collatinus is trying to take the Aquilii out of my hands and declares that, even though they have taken part in the same counsels as my sons, he will not allow them to meet with the same punishment. But if these are not to suffer any penalty, then it will be impossible for me to punish either the brothers of my wife or the other traitors to their country. For what just charge shall I be able to bring against them if I let these off? Of what, then, do you think these actions of his are indications? Of loyalty to the commonwealth, or of a reconciliation with the tyrants? Of a confirmation of the oaths which you, following us, all took, or of a violation of those oaths, yes, of perjury? And if he had escaped discovery by us, he would have been subject to the curses we then invoked and he would have paid the penalty to the gods by whom he had sworn falsely; but since he has been found out, it is fitting that he should be punished by us, this man who but a few days ago persuaded you to restore their possessions to the tyrants, to the end that the commonwealth might not make use of them in the war against our enemies, but that our enemies might use them against the commonwealth. And now he thinks that those who have conspired to restore the tyrants ought to be let off from punishment, with a view no doubt of sparing their lives as a favour to the tyrants, so that, if these should after all return as the result of either treachery or war, he may, by reminding them of these favours, obtain from them, as being a friend, everything that he chooses. After this, shall I, who have not spared my own sons, spare you, Collatinus, who are with us indeed in person, but with our enemies in spirit, and are trying to save those who have betrayed their country and to kill me who am fighting in its defence? Far from it! On the contrary, to prevent you from doing anything of the kind in future, I now deprive you of your magistracy and command you to retire to some other city. And as for you, citizens, I shall assemble you at once by your centuries and take your votes, in order that you may decide whether this action of mine should be ratified. Be assured, however, that you will have only one of us two for your consul, either Collatinus or Brutus."

Roman antiquities 5.11
While Brutus was thus speaking, Collatinus kept crying out and loudly protesting and at every word calling him a plotter and a betrayer of his friends, and now by endeavouring to clear himself of the accusations against him, and now by pleading for his nephews, and by refusing to allow the matter to be put to the vote of the citizens, he made the people still angrier and caused a terrible uproar at everything he said. The citizens being now exasperated against him and refusing either to hear his defence or to listen to his entreaties, but calling for their votes to be taken, Spurius Lucretius, his father-in?'law, a man esteemed by the people, feeling concern about the situation, lest Collatinus should be ignominiously driven from office and from his country, asked and obtained from both consuls leave to speak. He was the first person who ever obtained this privilege, as the Roman historians relate, since it was not yet customary at that time for a private citizen to speak in an assembly of the people. And addressing his entreaties to both consuls jointly, he advised Collatinus not to persist so obstinately in his opposition nor to retain against the will of the citizens the magistracy which he had received by their consent, but if those who had given it thought fit to take back the magistracy, to lay it down voluntarily, and to attempt to clear himself of the accusations against him, not by his words, but by his actions, and to remove with all his goods to some other region till the commonwealth should be in a state of security, since the good of the people seemed to require this. For he should bear in mind that, whereas in the case of other crimes all men are wont to show their resentment after the deed has been committed, in the case of treason they do so even when it is only suspected, regarding it as more prudent, though their fears may be vain, to guard against the treason than, by giving way to contempt, to be undone. As for Brutus, he endeavoured to persuade him not to expel from his country with shame and vituperation his colleague with whom he had concerted the best measures for the commonwealth, but if Collatinus himself was willing to resign the magistracy and leave the country voluntarily, not only to give him leave to get together all his substance at his leisure, but also to add some gift from the public treasury, to the end that this favour conferred upon him by the people might be a comfort to him in his affliction.

Roman antiquities 12
When Lucretius thus advised both consuls and the citizens had voiced their approval, Collatinus, uttering many amentations over his misfortune in being obliged, because of the compassion he had shown to his kinsmen, to leave his country, though he was guilty of no crime, resigned his magistracy. Brutus, praising him for having taken the best and the most advantageous resolution for both himself and the commonwealth, exhorted him not to entertain any resentment either against him or against his country, but after he had taken up his residence elsewhere, to regard as his country the home he was now leaving, and never to join with her enemies in any action or speech directed against her; in fine, to consider his change of residence as a sojourn abroad, not as an expulsion or a banishment, and while living in body with those who had received him, to dwell in spirit with those who now sent him on his way. After this exhortation to Collatinus he prevailed upon the people to make him a present of twenty talents, and he himself added five more from his own means. So Tarquinius Collatinus, having met with this fate, retired to Lavinium, the mother-city of the Latin nation, where he died at an advanced age. And Brutus, thinking that he ought not to continue alone in the magistracy or to give occasion to the citizens to suspect that it was because of a desire to rule alone that he had banished his colleague from the country, summoned the people to the field where it was their custom to elect their kings and other magistrates, and chose for his colleague Publius Valerius, a descendant, as I have stated earlier, of the Sabine Valerius, a man worthy of both praise and admiration for many other qualities, but particularly for his frugal manner of life. For there was a kind of self-taught philosophy about him, which he displayed upon many occasions, of which I shall speak a little later.

Roman antiquities 5.13
After this Brutus and his colleague, acting in everything with a single mind, immediately put to death all who had conspired to restore the exiles, and also honoured the slave who had given information of the conspiracy, not only with his freedom, but also by the bestowal of citizenship and a large sum of money. Then they introduced three measures, all most excellent and advantageous to the state, by which they brought about harmony among all the citizens and weakened the factions of their enemies. 2 Their measures were as follows: In the first place, choosing the best men from among the plebeians, they made them patricians, and thus rounded out the membership of the senate to three hundred. Next, they brought out and exposed in public the goods of the tyrants for the benefit of all the citizens, permitting everyone to have as large a portion of them as he could seize; and the lands the tyrants had possessed they divided among those who had no allotments, reserving only one field, which lies between the city and the river. This field their ancestors had by a public decree consecrated to Mars as a meadow for horses and the most suitable drill-field for the youth to perform their exercises in arms. The strongest proof, I think, that even before this the field had been consecrated to this god, but that Tarquinius had appropriated it to his own use and sown it, was the action then taken by the consuls in regard to the corn there. For though they had given leave to the people to drive and carry away everything that belonged to the tyrants, they would not permit anyone to carry away the grain which had grown in this field and was still lying upon the threshing-floors whether in the straw or threshed, but looking upon it as accursed and quite unfit to be carried into their houses, they caused a vote to be passed that it should be thrown into the river. And there is even now a conspicuous monument of what happened on that occasion, in the form of an island of goodly size consecrated to Aesculapius and washed on all sides by the river, an island which was formed, they say, out of the heap of rotten straw and was further enlarged by the silt which the river kept adding. The consuls also granted to all the Romans who had fled with the tyrant leave to return to the city with impunity and under a general amnesty, setting a time-limit of twenty days; and if they did not return within this fixed time, the penalties set in their case were perpetual banishment and the confiscation of their estates. These measures of the consuls caused those who had enjoyed any part whatever of the possessions belonging to the tyrants to submit to any danger rather than be deprived again of the advantages they had obtained; and, on the other hand, by freeing from their fear those who, through dread of having to stand trial for the crimes they had committed under the tyranny, had condemned themselves to banishment, they caused them to favour the side of the commonwealth rather than that of the tyrants.

Roman antiquities 5.14
After they had instituted these measures and made the necessary preparations for the war, they for some time kept their forces assembled in the plains under the walls of the city, disposed under their various standards and leaders and performing their warlike exercises. For they had learned that the exiles were raising an army against them in all the cities of Tyrrhenia and that two of these cities, Tarquinii and Veii, were openly assisting them toward their restoration, both of them with considerable armies, and that from the other cities volunteers were coming to their aid, some of them being sent by their friends and some being mercenaries. When the Romans heard that their enemies had already taken the field, they resolved to go out and meet them, and before the others could cross the river they led their own forces across, and marching forward, encamped near the Tyrrhenians in the Naevian Meadow, as it was called, near a grove consecrated to the hero Horatius. Both armies, as it chanced, were nearly equal in numbers and advanced to the conflict with the same eagerness. The first engagement was a brief cavalry skirmish, as soon as they came in sight of one another, before the foot were encamped, in which they tested each other's strength and then, without either winning or losing, retired to their respective camps. Afterwards the heavy-armed troops and the horse of both armies engaged, both sides having drawn up their lines in the same manner, placing the solid ranks of foot in the centre and stationing the horse on both wings. The right wing of the Romans was commanded by Valerius, the newly-elected consul, who stood opposite to the Veientes, and the left by Brutus, in the sector where the forces of the Tarquinienses were, under the command of the sons of King Tarquinius.

Roman antiquities 5.15
When the armies were ready to engage, one of the sons of Tarquinius, named Arruns, the most remarkable of the brothers both for the strength of his body and the brilliance of his mind, advanced before the ranks of the Tyrrhenians, and riding up so close to the Romans that all of them would recognize both his person and his voice, hurled abusive taunts at Brutus, their commander, calling him a wild beast, one stained with the blood of his sons, and reproaching him with cowardice and cravenness, and finally challenged him to decide the general quarrel by fighting with him in single combat. Then Brutus, unable to bear these reproaches and deaf also to the remonstrances of his friends, spurred forward from the ranks, rushing upon the death that was decreed for him by fate. For both men, urged on by a like fury and taking thought, not of what they might suffer, but only of what they desired to do, rode full tilt at each other, and clashing, delivered unerring blows against each other with their pikes, piercing through shield and corslet, so that the point was buried in the flank of one and in the loins of the other; and their horses, crashing together breast to breast, rose upon their hind legs through the violence of the charge, and throwing back their heads, shook off their riders. These champions, accordingly, having fallen, lay there in their death agony, while streams of blood gushed from their wounds. But the two armies, when they saw that their leaders had fallen, pressed forward with shouts and the clash of arms, and the most violent of all battles ensued on the part of both foot and horse, the fortune of which was alike to both sides. For those of the Romans who were on the right wing, which was commanded by Valerius, the other consul, were victorious over the Veientes, and pursuing them to their camp, covered the plain with dead bodies; while those of the Tyrrhenians who were posted on the enemy's right wing and commanded by Titus and Sextus, the sons of King Tarquinius, put the left wing of the Romans the son of flight, and advancing close to their camp, did not fail to attempt to take it by storm; but after receiving many wounds, since those inside stood their ground, they desisted. These guards were the triarii, as they are called; they are veteran troops, experienced in many wars, and are always the last employed in the most critical fighting, when every other hope is lost.

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The sun being now near setting, both armies retired to their camps, not so much elated by their victory as grieved at the numbers they had lost, and believing that, if it should be necessary for them to have another battle, those of them now left would be insufficient to carry on the struggle, the major part of them being wounded. But there was greater dejection and despair of their cause on the side of the Romans because of the death of their leader; and the thought occurred to many of them that it would be better for them to quit their camp before break of day. While they were considering these things and discussing them among themselves, about the time of the first watch a voice was heard from the grove near which they were encamped, calling aloud to both armies in such a manner as to be heard by all of them; it may have been the voice of the hero to whom the precinct was consecrated, or it may have been that of Faunus, as he is called. For the Romans attribute panics to this divinity; and whatever apparitions come to men's sight, now in one shape and now in another, inspiring terror, or whatever supernatural voices come to their ears to disturb them are the work, they say, of this god. The voice of the divinity exhorted the Romans to be of good courage, as having gained the victory, and declared that the enemy's dead exceeded theirs by one man. They say that Valerius, encouraged by this voice, pushed on to the Tyrrhenians' entrenchments while it was still the dead of night, and having slain many of them and driven the rest out of the camp, made himself master of it.

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Such was the outcome of the battle. The next day the Romans, having stripped the enemy's dead and buried their own, returned home. The bravest of the knight took up the body of Brutus and with many praises and tears bore it back to Rome, adorned with crowns in token of his superior valour. They were met by the senate, which had decreed a triumph in honour of their leader, and also by all the people, who received the army with bowls of wine and tables spread with viands. When they came into the city, the consul triumphed according to the custom followed by the kings when they conducted the trophy-bearing processions and the sacrifices, and having consecrated the spoils to the gods, he observed that day as sacred and gave a banquet to the most distinguished of the citizens. But on the next day he arrayed himself in dark clothing, and placing the body of Brutus, suitably adorned, upon a magnificent bier in the Forum, he called the people together in assembly, and advancing to the tribunal, delivered the funeral oration in his honour. Whether Valerius was the first who introduced this custom among the Romans or whether he found it already established by the kings and adopted it, I cannot say for certain; but I do know from my acquaintance with universal history, as handed down by the most ancient poets and the most celebrated historians, that it was an ancient custom instituted by the Romans to celebrate the virtues of illustrious men at their funerals and that the Greeks were not the authors of it. For although these writers have given accounts of funeral games, both gymnastic and equestrian, held in honour of famous men by their friends, as by Achilles for Patroclus and, before that, by Heracles for Pelops, yet none of them makes any mention of eulogies spoken over the deceased except the tragic poets at Athens, who, out of flattery to their city, invented this legend also in the case of those who were buried by Theseus. For it was only at some late period that the Athenians added to their custom the funeral oration, having instituted it either in honour of those who died in defence of their country at Artemisium, Salamis and Plataea, or on account of the deeds performed at Marathon. But even the affair at Marathon, if, indeed, the eulogies delivered in honour of the deceased really began with that occasion, was later than the funeral of Brutus by sixteen years. However, if anyone, without stopping to investigate who were the first to introduce these funeral orations, desires to consider the custom in itself and to learn in which of the two nations it is seen at its best, he will find that it is observed more wisely among the Romans than among the Athenians. For, whereas the Athenians seem to have ordained that these orations should be pronounced at the funerals of those only who have died in war, believing that one should determine who are good men solely on the basis of the valour they show at their death, even though in other respects they are without merit, the Romans, on the other hand, appointed this honour to be paid to all their illustrious men, whether as commanders in war or as leaders in the civil administration they have given wise counsels and performed noble deeds, and this not alone to those who have died in war, but also to those who have met their end in any manner whatsoever, believing that good men deserve praise for every virtue they have shown during their lives and not solely for the single glory of their death.

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Such, then, was the death of Junius Brutus, who overthrew the monarchy and was appointed the first consul. Though he attained late to a place of distinction and flourished in it but a brief moment, yet he was looked upon as the greatest of all the Romans. He left no issue, either sons or daughters, according to the writers who have investigated the history of the Romans most accurately; of this they offer many proofs, and this one in particular, which is not easily refuted, that he was of a patrician family, whereas those who have claimed to be descended from that family, as the Junii and Bruti, were all plebeians and were candidates for those magistracies only which were open by law to the plebeians, namely, the aedileship and tribuneship, but none of them stood for the consulship, to which the patricians only were eligible. Yet at a late period they obtained this magistracy also, when the plebeians too were allowed to hold it. But I leave the consideration of these matters to those whose business and interest it is to discover the precise facts.

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After the death of Brutus his colleague Valerius became suspected by the people of a design to make himself king. The first ground of their suspicion was his continuing alone in the magistracy, when he ought immediately to have chosen a colleague as Brutus had done after he had expelled Collatinus. Another reason was that he had built his house in an invidious place, having chosen for that purpose a fairly high and steep hill, called by the Romans Velia, which commands the Forum. But the consul, being informed by his friends that these things displeased the people, appointed a day for the election and chose for his colleague Spurius Lucretius, who died after holding the office for only a few days. In his place he then chose Marcus Horatius, and removed his house from the top to the bottom of the hill, in order that the Romans, as he himself said in one of his speeches to the people, might stone him from the hill above if they found him guilty of any wrongdoing. And desiring to give the plebeians a definite pledge of their liberty, he took the axes from the rods and established it as a precedent for his successors in the consulship, a precedent which continued to be followed down to my day, that, when they were outside the city, they should use the axes, but inside the city they should be distinguished by the rods only. He also introduced most beneficent laws which gave relief to the plebeians. By one of these he expressly forbade that anyone should be a magistrate over the Romans who did not receive the office from the people; and he fixed death as the penalty for transgressing the law, and granted impunity to the one who should kill any such transgressor. In a second law it is provided: "If a magistrate shall desire to have any Roman put to death, scourged, or fined a sum of money, the private citizen may summon the magistrate before the people for judgment, and in the mean time shall be liable to no punishment at the hands of the magistrate till the people have given their vote concerning him." These measures gained him the esteem of the plebeians, who gave him the nickname of Publicola, which means in the Greek language dêmokêdês or "the People's Friend." These were the achievements of the consuls that year.

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The next year Valerius was appointed consul for the second time, and with him Lucretius. In their consulship nothing worthy of note occurred except that a census was taken and war taxes were levied according to the plan introduced by King Tullius, which had been discontinued during all the reign of Tarquinius and was then renewed for the first time by these consuls. By this census it appeared that the number of Roman citizens who had reached manhood amounted to about 130,000. After this an army of Romans was sent to a place called Signurium in order to garrison that stronghold, which stood as an outpost against the cities both of the Latins and of the Hernicans, from whence they expected war.

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After Publius Valerius, surnamed Publicola, had been appointed to the same magistracy for the third time, and with him Marcus Horatius Pulvillus for the second time, the king of the Clusians in Tyrrhenia, named Lars and surnamed Porsenna, declared war on the Romans. He had promised the Tarquinii, who had fled to him, that he would either effect a reconciliation between them and the Romans upon the terms that they should return home and receive back the sovereignty, or that he would recover and restore to them the possessions of which they had been deprived; but upon sending ambassadors the year before to Rome with appeals mingled with threats, he had not only failed to obtain a reconciliation and return for the exiles, the senate basing its refusal on the curses and oaths by which they had bound themselves not to receive them, but he had also failed to recover their possessions, the persons to whom they had been distributed and allotted refusing to restore them. And declaring that he was insulted by the Romans and treated outrageously in that he could obtain neither one of his demands, this arrogant man, whose mind was corrupted by both his wealth and possessions and the greatness of his power, thought he now had excellent grounds for overthrowing the power of the Romans, a thing which he had long since been desiring to do, and he accordingly declared war against them. He was assisted in this war by Octavius Mamilius, the son in law of Tarquinius, who was eager to display all possible zeal and marched out of Tusculum at the head of all the Camerini and Antemnates, who were of the Latin nation and had already openly revolted from the Romans; and from among the other Latin peoples that were not willing to make open war upon an allied and powerful state, unless for compelling reasons, he attracted numerous volunteers by his personal influence.

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The Roman consuls, being informed of these things, in the first place ordered all the husbandmen to remove their effects, cattle, and slaves from the fields to the neighbouring mountains, in the fastnesses of which they constructed forts sufficiently strong to protect those who flee thither. After that they strengthened with more effectual fortifications and guards the hill called Janiculum, which is a high mount near Rome lying on the other side of the river Tiber, taking care above all things that such an advantageous position should not serve the enemy as an outpost against the city; and they stored their supplies for the war there. Affairs inside the city they conducted in a more democratic manner, introducing many beneficent measures in behalf of the poor, lest these, induced by private advantage to betray the public interest, should go over to the tyrants. Thus they had a vote passed that they should be exempt from all the public taxes which they had paid while the city was under the kings, and also from all contributions for military purposes and wars, looking upon it as a great advantage to the state merely to make use of their persons in defending the country. And with their army long since disciplined and ready for action, they were encamped in the field that lies before the city. But King Porsena, advancing with his forces, took the Janiculum by storm, having terrified those who were guarding it, and placed there a garrison of Tyrrhenians. After this he proceeded against the city in expectation of reducing that also without any trouble; but when he came near the bridge and saw the Romans drawn up before the river, he prepared for battle, thinking to overwhelm them with his numbers, and led on his army with great contempt of the enemy. His left wing was commanded by the sons of Tarquinius, Sextus and Titus, who had with them the Roman exiles together with the choicest troops from the city of Gabii and no small force of foreigners and mercenaries; the right was led by Mamilius, the son in law of Tarquinius, and here were arrayed the Latins who had revolted from the Romans; King Porsena had taken his place in the centre of the battle-line. On the side of the Romans the right wing was commanded by Spurius Larcius and Titus Herminius, who stood opposite to the Tarquinii; the left by Marcus Valerius, brother to Publicola, one of the consuls, and Titus Lucretius, the consul of the previous year, who were to engage Mamilius and the Latins; the centre of the line between the wings was commanded by the two consuls.

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When the armies engaged, they both fought bravely and sustained the shock for a considerable time, the Romans having the advantage of their enemies in both experience and endurance, and the Tyrrhenians and Latins being much superior in numbers. But when many had fallen on both sides, fear fell upon the Romans, and first upon those who occupied the left wing, when they saw their two commanders, Valerius and Lucretius, carried off the field wounded; and then those also who were stationed on the right wing, though they were already victorious over the forces commanded by the Tarquinii, were seized by the same terror upon seeing the flight of the others. While they were all fleeing to the city and endeavouring to force their way in a body over a single bridge, the enemy made a strong attack upon them; and the city came very near being taken by storm, and would surely have fallen if the pursuers had entered it at the same time with those who fled. Those who checked the enemy's attack and saved the whole army were three in number, two of them older men, Spurius Larcius and Titus Herminius, who commanded the right wing, and one a younger man, Publius Horatius, who was called Cocles from an injury to his sight, and one of his eyes having been struck out in a battle, and was the fairest of men in philosophical appearance and the bravest in spirit. This man was nephew to Marcus Horatius, one of the consuls, and traced his descent from Marcus Horatius, one of the triplets who conquered the Alban triplets when the two cities, having become involved in war over the leadership, agreed not to risk a decision with all their forces, but with three men on each side, as I have related in one of the earlier books. These three men, then, all alone, with their backs to the bridge, barred the passage of the enemy for a considerable time and stood their ground, though pelted by many foes with all sorts of missiles and struck with swords in hand to hand conflict, till the whole army had crossed the river.

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When they judged their own men to be safe, two of them, Herminius and Larcius, their defensive arms being now rendered useless by the continual blows they had received, began to retreat gradually. But Horatius alone, though not only the consuls but the rest of the citizens as well, solicitous above all things that such a man should be saved to his country and his parents, called to him from the city to retire, could not be prevailed upon, but remained where he had first taken his stand, and directed Herminius and Larcius to tell the consuls, as from him, to cut away the bridge in all haste at the end next the city (there was but one bridge in those days, which was built of wood and fastened together with the timbers alone, without iron, which the Romans preserve even to my day in the same condition), and to bid them, when the greater part of the bridge had been broken down and little of it remained, to give him notice of it by some signals or by shouting in a louder voice than usual; the rest, he said, would be his concern. Having given these instructions to the two men, he stood upon the bridge itself, and when the enemy advanced upon him, he struck some of them with his sword and beat down others with his shield, repulsing all who attempted to rush upon the bridge. For the pursuers, looking upon him as a madman who was courting death, dared no longer come to grips with him. At the same time it was not easy for them even to come near him, since he had the river as a defence on the right and left, and in front of him a heap of arms and dead bodies. But standing massed at a distance, they hurled spears, javelins, and large stones at him, and those who were not supplied with these threw the swords and bucklers of the slain. But he fought on, making use of their own weapons against them, and hurling these into the crowd, he was bound, as may well be supposed, to find some mark every time. Finally, when he was overwhelmed with missiles and had a great number of wounds in many parts of his body, and one in particular inflicted by a spear which, passing straight through one of his buttocks above the hip-joint, weakened him with the pain and impeded his steps, he heard those behind him shouting out that the greater part of the bridge was broken down. Thereupon he leaped with his arms into the river and swimming across the stream with great difficulty (for the current, being divided by the piles, ran swift and formed large eddies), he emerged upon the shore without having lost any of his arms in swimming.

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This deed gained him immortal glory. For the Romans immediately crowned him and conducted him into the city with songs, as one of the heroes; and all the inhabitants poured out of their houses, desiring to catch the last sight of him while he was yet alive, since they supposed he would soon succumb to his wounds. And when he escaped death, the people erected a bronze statue of him fully armed in the principal part of the Forum and gave him as much of the public land as he himself could plough round in one day with a yoke of oxen. Besides these things bestowed upon him by the public, every person, both man and woman, at a time when they were all most sorely oppressed by a dreadful scarcity of provisions, gave him a day's ratio of food; and the number of people amounted to more than three hundred thousand in all. Thus Horatius, who had shown so great valour upon that occasion, occupied as enviable a position as any Roman who ever lived, but he was rendered useless by his lameness for further services to the state; and because of this misfortune he obtained neither the consulship nor any military command either. This was one man, therefore, who for the wonderful deed he performed for the Romans in that engagement deserves as great praise as any of those who have ever won renown for valour. And besides him there was also Gaius Mucius, surnamed Cordus, a man of distinguished ancestry, who also undertook to perform a great deed; but of him I shall speak a little later, after first relating in what dire circumstances the state found itself at that time.

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After the battle that has been described the king of the Tyrrhenians, encamping on the neighbouring hill, from whence he had driven the garrison of Rome, was master of all the country on that side of the river Tiber. The sons of Tarquinius and his son in law, Mamilius, having transported their forces in rafts and boats to the other, or Roman, side of the river, encamped in a strong position. And making excursions from there, they laid waste the territory of the Romans, demolished their farm houses, and attacked their herds of cattle when they went out of the strongholds to pasture. All the open country being in the power of the enemy and no food supplies being brought into the city by land and but small quantities even by the river, a scarcity of provisions was speedily felt as the many thousands of people consumed the stores previously laid in, which were inconsiderable. Thereupon the slaves, leaving their masters, deserted in large numbers daily, and the worst element among the common people went over to the tyrants. The consuls, seeing these things, resolved to ask those of the Latins who still respected the tie of kinship and seemed to be continuing in their friendship to send troops promptly to their assistance; and also resolved to send ambassadors both to Cumae in Campania and to the cities in the Pomptine plain to ask leave to import grain from there. The Latins, for their part, refused to send the desired assistance, on the ground that it was not right for them to make war against either the Tarquinii or the Romans, since they had made their treaty of friendship jointly with both of them. But Larcius and Herminius, the ambassadors who had been sent to convey the grain from the Pomptine plain, filled a great many boats with all sorts of provisions and brought them from the sea up the river on a moonless night, escaping the notice of the enemy. When these supplies also had soon been consumed and the people were oppressed by the same scarcity as before, the Tyrrhenian, learning from the deserters that the inhabitants were suffering from famine, sent a herald to them commanding them to receive Tarquinius if they desired to be rid of both war and famine.

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When the Romans would not listen to this command, but chose rather to bear any calamities whatever, Mucius, foreseeing that one of two things would befall them, either that they would not adhere long to their resolution through want of the necessaries of life, or, if they held firmly to their decision, that they would perish by the most miserable of deaths, asked the consuls to assemble the senate for him, as he had something important and urgent to lay before them; and when they were met, he spoke as follows: "Fathers, having it in my mind to venture upon an undertaking by which the city will be freed from the present evils, I feel great confidence in the success of the plan and believe I shall easily carry it out; but as for my own life, I have small hopes of surviving the accomplishment of the deed, or, to say the truth, none at all. As I am about to expose myself, then, to so great a danger, I do not think it right that the world should remain in ignorance of the high stakes for which I have played, in case it should be my fate to fail after all in the undertaking, but I desire in return for noble deeds to gain great praise, by which I shall exchange this mortal body for immortal glory. It is not safe, of course, to communicate my plan to the people, lest some one for his own advantage should inform the enemy of a thing which ought to be concealed with the same care as an inviolable mystery. But you, who, I am persuaded, will keep the secret inviolate, are the first and the only persons to whom I am disclosing it; and from you the rest of the citizens will learn of it at the proper season. My enterprise is this: I propose to go to the camp of the Tyrrhenians in the guise of a deserter. If I am disbelieved by them and put to death, the number of you citizens who remain will be only one less. But if I can enter the enemy's camp, I promise you to kill their king; and when Porsena is dead, the war will be at an end. As for myself, I shall be ready to suffer whatever Heaven may see fit. In the assurance that you are privy to my purpose and will bear witness of it to the people, I go my way, making the better fortune of my country the guide of my journey."

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After he had received the praises of the senators and obtained favourable omens for his enterprise, he crossed the river. And arriving at the camp of the Tyrrhenians, he entered it, having deceived the guard at the gates, who took him for one of their own countrymen since he carried no weapon openly and spoke the Tyrrhenian language, which he had been taught when a child by his nurse, who was a Tyrrhenian. When he came to the forum and to the general's tent, he perceived a man remarkable both for his stature and for his physical strength, clad in a purple robe and seated upon the general's tribunal with many armed men standing round him. And jumping to a false conclusion, as he had never seen the king of the Tyrrhenians, he took this man to be Porsena. But it seems he was the king's secretary, who sat upon the tribunal while numbering the soldiers and making a record of the pay due them. Making his way, therefore, to this man through the crowd that surrounded him and ascending the tribunal (for as he seemed unarmed nobody hindered him), he drew the dagger he had concealed under his garment and struck the man on the head. And the secretary being killed with one blow, Mucius was promptly seize by those who stood round the tribunal and brought before the king, who had already been informed by others of his secretary's death. Porsena, upon seeing him, said: "Most accursed of all men and destined to suffer the punishment you deserve, tell who you are and from whence you come and what assistance you counted on when you dared to commit such a deed? Did you propose to kill my secretary only, or me also? And who are your accomplices in this attempt, or privy to it? Conceal no part of the truth, less you be forced to declare it under torture."

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Mucius, without showing any sign of fear, either by a change of colour or by an anxious countenance, or experiencing any other weakness common to men who are about to die, said to him: "I am a Roman, and no ordinary man as regards birth; and having conceived a desire to free my country from the war, I came into your camp as a deserter with the purpose of killing you. I knew well that, whether I succeeded or failed in the attempt, death would be my portion; yet I resolved to give my life to my country from which I received it and in place of my mortal body to leave behind me immortal glory. But being cheated of my hope, I slew, instead of you, your clerk, whom I had no cause to slay, misled by the purple, the chair of state, and the other insignia of power. As for death, therefore, to which I condemned myself when I was planning to set out on this undertaking, I do not ask to escape that; but if you would remit for me the tortures and the other indignities and give me assurances of this by the gods, I promise to reveal to you a matter of great moment which concerns your own safety." This he said with the purpose of tricking the other; and the king, being out of his wits and at the same time conjuring up imaginary perils as threatening him from many people, gave him upon oath the pledge he desired. Thereupon Mucius, having thought of a most novel kind of deceit that could not be put to an open test, said to him: "O king, three hundred of us Romans, all of the same age and all of patrician birth, met together and formed a plot to kill you; and we took pledges from one another under oath. And when we were considering what form our plot should take, we resolved not to set about the business all together, but one at a time, nor yet to communicate to one another when, how, where, or by what expedients each of us was to attack you, to the end that it might be easier for us to escape discovery. After we had settled these matters, we drew lots and it fell to my lot to make the first attempt. Since, therefore, you know in advance that many brave men will have the same purpose as I,induced by a thirst for glory, and that some one of them presumably will meet with better fortune than I, consider how you may sufficiently guard yourself against them all."

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When the king heard this, he commanded his bodyguards to lead Mucius away and bind him, guarding him diligently. He himself assembled the most trustworthy of his friends, and causing his son Arruns to sit beside him, considered with them what he should do to escape the plots of these men. All the rest proposed such simple precautionary measures that they seemed to have no understanding of what was needed; but his son, who expressed his opinion last, showed a wisdom beyond his years. For he advised his father not to consider what precautions he should take in order to meet with no misfortune, but what he should do in order to have no need of precaution/precautions. When all had marvelled at his advice and desired to know how this might be accomplished, he said, "If you would make these men friends instead of enemies and would set a greater value of your own life than on the restoration of the exiles with Tarquinius." The king said his advice was most excellent, but that it was a matter calling for deliberation how an honourable peace could be made with them; for he said it would be a great disgrace if, after he had defeated them in battle and kept them shut up within their walls, he should then retire without having effected anything he had promised to the Tarquinii, just as if he had been conquered by those he had overcome and had fled from those who dared no longer even set foot outside their gates; and he declare days that there would be one and only one honourable way of ending this war, namely, if some persons should come to him from the enemy to treat for friendship.

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This is what the king then said to his son and to the others present. But a few days later he was obliged to take the initiative himself in proposing terms of accommodation, for the following reason: While his soldiers were dispersed about the country and plundering the provisions that were being conveyed to the city, and doing this continually, the Roman consuls lay in wait for them in a favourable place and destroying a goodly number, took even more of them prisoners than they slew. Upon this the Tyrrhenians were angered and talked matters over with one another as they gathered in knots, blaming both the king and the other commanders for the prolonging of the war, and desiring to be dismissed to their homes. The king, therefore, believing that an accommodation would be acceptable to them all, sent the closest of his personal friends as ambassadors. Some, indeed, say that Mucius also was sent with them, having given the king his pledge upon oath that he would return; but others say that he was kept in the camp as a hostage till peace should be concluded, and this may perhaps be the truer account. The instructions given by the king to the ambassadors were these: Not to make the least mention of the restoration of the Tarquinii, but to demand the restitution of their property, preferably of all that the elder Tarquinius had left and they themselves had justly acquired and possessed, or, if that could not be, then to demand so far as possible the value of their lands, houses and cattle, and of the produce taken from the land, leaving it to the Romans to determine whether it was to their advantage that this should be paid by those who were in the possession and enjoyment of the land or defrayed by the public treasury. So far their instructions related to the Tarquinii. Then, for himself, they were to demand, upon his putting an end to the war, the so called Seven Districts (this territory had formerly belonged to the Tyrrhenians, but the Romans had taken it from them in war and occupied it), and, in order that the Romans should remain firm friends of the Tyrrhenians, they were to demand of them the sons of their most illustrious families to serve as hostages for the state.

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When the embassy came to Rome, the senate, by the advice of Publicola, one of the consuls, voted to grant everything that the Tyrrhenian demanded, believing that the crowd of plebeians and poor people, oppressed by the scarcity of provisions, would cheerfully accept the termination of the war upon any terms whatever. But the people, though they ratified every other article of the senate's decree, would not hear of restoring the property. On the contrary, they voted that no resolution should be made to the tyrants either from private sources or from the public funds, and that ambassadors should be sent to King Porsena concerning these matters, to ask him to accept the hostages and the territory he demanded, but as regarded the property, that he himself, acting as judge between the Tarquinii and the Romans, should determine, after hearing both sides, what was just, being influenced by neither favour nor enmity. The Tyrrhenians returned to the king with this answer, and with them the ambassadors appointed by the people, taking with them twenty children of the leading families to serve as hostages for their country; the consuls had been the first to give their children for that purpose, Marcus Horatius delivering his son to them and Publius Valerius his daughter, who had reached the age for marriage. When these arrived at the camp, the king was pleased, and heartily commending the Romans, have made a truce with them for a specified number of days and undertook to act as judge of the controversy himself. But the Tarquinii were aggrieved at finding themselves disappointed of the greater hopes they had been placing in the king, having expected to be restored by him to the sovereignty; however, they were obliged to be content with the present state of things and to accept the terms that were offered. And when the men who were sent to defend the cause of the commonwealth,... and the oldest of the senators had come from the city at the appointed time, the king seated himself upon the tribunal with his friends, and ordering his son to sit as judge with him, he gave them leave to speak.

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While the cause was still pleading, a messenger brought word of the flight of the maidens who were serving as hostages. It seems that they had asked leave of their guards to go to the river and bathe, and after obtaining it they had told the men to withdraw a little way from the river till they had bathed and dressed themselves again, so that they should not see them naked; and the men having done this also, the maidens, following the advice and example of Cloelia, swam across the river and returned to the city. Then indeed Tarquinius was vehement in accusing the Romans of a breach of their oaths and of perfidy, and in goading the king, now that he had been deceived by treacherous persons, to pay no heed to them. But when the consul defended the Romans, declaring that the maidens had done this thing of themselves without orders from their fathers and that he would soon offer convincing proof that the consuls had not been guilty of any treachery, the king was persuaded and gave him leave to go to Rome and bring back the maidens, as he kept promising to do. Valerius, accordingly, departed in order to bring them to the camp. But Tarquinius and his son in law, in contempt of all that was right, formed a wicked plot, sending out secretly a party of horse to lie in wait on the road, in order to seize not only the maidens as they were being brought back, but also the consul and the others who were coming to the camp. Their purpose was to hold these persons as pledges for the property the Romans had taken from Tarquinius, and not to wait any longer for the outcome of the hearing. But Heaven did not permit their plot to go according to their wish. For even as the horsemen who were intending to attack them upon their return were going out of the camp of the Latins, the consul was arriving with the maidens in time to forestall them, and he was already at the very gates of the Tyrrhenian camp when he was overtaken by the horsemen from the other camp who had pursued him. When the encounter between them occurred here, the Tyrrhenians quickly perceived it; and the king's son came in haste with a squadron of horse to their assistance and those of the foot who were posted before the camp also rushed up.

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Porsena, resenting this attempt, assembled the Tyrrhenians and informed them that after the Romans had appointed him judge of the accusations brought against them by Tarquinius, but before the cause was determined, the exiles justly expelled by the Romans had during a truce been guilty of a lawless attempt upon the inviolable persons both of ambassadors and of hostages; for which reason, he said, the Tyrrhenians now acquitted the Romans of those charges and at the same time renounced all friendly relations with the Tarquinii and Mamilius; and he ordered them to depart that very day from the camp. Thus the Tarquinii, who at first had entertained excellent hopes either of exercising their tyranny again in the city with the assistance of the Tyrrhenians or of getting their property back, were disappointed in both respects in consequence of their lawless attempt against the ambassadors and hostages, and departed from the camp with shame and the detestation of all. Then the king of the Tyrrhenians, ordering the Roman hostages to be brought up to the tribunal, returned them to the consul, saying that he considered the good faith of the commonwealth as worth more than any hostages. And praising one maiden among them, by whom the others had been persuaded to swim across the river, as possessing a spirit superior both to her sex and age, and congratulating the commonwealth for producing not only brave men but also maidens the equals of men, he made her a present of a war-horse adorned with magnificent trappings. After the assembly he made a treaty of peace and friendship with the Roman ambassadors, and having entertained them, he returned to them without ransom all the prisoners, who were very numerous, as a present to take to the commonwealth. He also gave them the place where he was encamped, which was not laid out, like a camp, for a short stay in a foreign country, but, like a city, was adequately equipped with buildings both private and public, though it is not the custom of the Tyrrhenians, when they break camp and quit the enemy's country, to leave these buildings standing, but to burn them. Thereby he made a present to the commonwealth of no small value in money, as appeared from the sale made by the quaestors after the king's departure. Such, then, was the outcome of the Romans' war with the Tarquinii and Lars Porsena, king of the Clusians, a war which brought the commonwealth into great dangers.

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After the departure of the Tyrrhenians the Roman senate voted to send to Porsena a throne of ivory, a sceptre, a crown of gold, and a triumphal robe, which had been the insignia of the kings. And to Mucius, who had resolved to die for his country and was looked upon as the chief instrument in putting an end to the war, they voted that a portion of the public land bey the Tiber should be given (just as previously in the case of Horatius, who had fought in front of the bridge), as much, namely, as he could plough round in one day; and this place even to my day is called the Mucian Meadows.These were the rewards they gave to the men. In honour of Cloelia, the maiden, they ordered a bronze statue to be set up, which was erected accordingly by the fathers of the maidens on the Sacred Way, that leads to the Forum. This statue I found no longer standing; it was said to have been destroyed when a fire broke out in the adjacent houses. In this year was completed the temple of Jupiter Capitolinus, of which I gave a detailed description in the preceding Book. This temple was dedicated by Marcus Horatius, one of the consuls, and inscribed with his name before the arrival of his colleague; for at that time it chanced that Valerius had set out with an army to the aid of the country districts. For as soon as the people had left the fortresses and returned to the fields, Mamilius had sent bands of robbers and done great injury to the husbandmen. These were the achievements of the third consulship.

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The consuls for the fourth year, Spurius Larcius and Titus Herminius, went through their term of office without war. In their consulship Arruns, the son of Porsena, king of the Tyrrhenians, died while besieging the city of Aricia for the second year. For as soon as peace was made with the Romans, he got from his father one half of the army and led an expedition against the Aricians, with a view of establishing a dominion of his own. When he had all but taken the city, aid came to the Aricians from Antium, Tusculum, and Cumae in Campania; nevertheless, arraying his small army against a superior force, he put most of them to flight and drove them back to the city. But he was defeated by the Cumaeans under the command of Aristodemus, surnamed the Effeminate, and lost his life, and the Tyrrhenian army, no longer making a stand after his death, turned to flight. Many of them were killed in the pursuit by the Cumaeans, but many more, dispersing themselves about the country, fled into the fields of the Romans, which were not far distant, having lost their arms and being unable by reason of their wounds to proceed farther. There, some of them half dead, the Romans brought from the fields into the city upon wagons and mule-carts and upon beasts of burden also, and carrying them to their own houses, restored them to health with food and nursing every other sort of kindness that great compassion can show; so that many of them, induced by these kindly services, no longer felt any desire to return home but wished to remain with their benefactors. To these the senate gave, as a place in the city for build houses, the valley which extends between the Palatine and Capitoline hills for a distance of about four stades ; in consequence of which even down to my time the Romans in their own language give the name of Vicus Tuscus or "the habitation of the Tyrrhenians," to the thoroughfare that leads from the Forum to the Circus Maximus. In consideration of these services the Romans received from the Tyrrhenian king a gift of no slight value, but one which gave them the greatest satisfaction. This was the territory beyond the river which they had ceded when they put an end to the war. And they now performed sacrifices to the gods at great expense which they had vowed to offer up whenever they should again be masters of the Seven Districts.

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The fifth year after the expulsion of the king occurred the sixty-ninth Olympiad, at which Ischomachus of Croton won the foot-race for the second time, Acestorides being archon at Athens, and Marcus Valerius, brother of Valerius Publicola, and Publius Postumius, surnamed Tubertus, consuls at Rome. In their consulship another war awaited the Romans, this one stirred up by their nearest neighbours. It began with acts of brigandage and developed into many important engagements; however, it ended in an honourable peace in the third consulship after this one, having been carried on during that whole interval without intermission. For some of the Sabines, deciding that the commonwealth was weakened by the defeat she had received from the Tyrrhenians and would never be able to recover her ancient prestige, attacked those who came down into the wood fields from the strongholds by organizing bands of robbers, and they caused many injuries to the husbandmen. For these acts the Romans, sending an embassy before resorting to arms, sought satisfaction and demanded that for the future they should commit no lawless acts against those who cultivated the land; and having received a haughty answer, they declared war against them. First an expedition was conducted by one of the consuls, who with the horse and the flower of the light-armed foot fell suddenly upon those who were laying waste the country; and there was great slaughter among the many men surprised most their plundering, as may well be imagined, since they were keeping no order and had no warning of the attack. Afterwards, when the Sabines sent a large army against them commanded by a general experienced in war, the Romans made another expedition against them with all their forces, led by both consuls. Postumius encamped on heights near Rome, fearing lest some sudden attempt might be made upon the city by the exiles; and Valerius posted himself not far from the enemy, on the bank of the river Anio, which after passing through the city of Tibur pours in a vast torrent from a high rock, and running through the plain belonging to both the Sabines and the Romans, serves as a boundary to both their territories, after which this river, which is fair to look upon and sweet to drink, mingles its stream with the Tiber.

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On the other side of the river was placed the camp of the Sabines, this too at no great distance from the stream, upon a gently sloping hill that was not very strongly situated. At first both armies observed one another with caution and were unwilling to cross the river and begin an engagement. But after a time they were no longer guided by reason and a prudent regard for their advantage, but becoming inflamed with anger and rivalry, they joined battle. For, going to the river for water and leading their horses there to drink, they advanced a good way into the stream, which was then low, not yet being swollen with the winter's rains, so that they crossed it without having the water much above their knees. And first, when a skirmish occurred between small parties, some ran out of each camp to assist their comrades, then others again from one camp or the other to aid those who were being overpowered. And at times the Romans forced the Sabines back from the river, at times the Sabines kept the Romans from it. Then, after many had been killed and wounded and a spirit of rivalry had possessed them all, as is apt to happen when skirmishes occur on the spur of the moment, the generals of both armies felt the same eagerness to cross the river. But the Roman consul got the start of the enemy, and after getting his army across, was already close upon the Sabines while they were still arming themselves and taking their positions. However, they too were not backward in engaging, but, elated with a contempt of their foes, since they were not going to fight against both consuls nor the whole Roman army, they joined battle with all the boldness and eagerness imaginable.

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A vigorous action ensuing and the right wing of the Romans, commanded by the consul, attacking the enemy and gaining ground, while their left was already in difficulties and being forced towards the river by the enemy, the consul, who commanded the other camp, being informed of what was passing, proceeded to lead out his army. And while he himself with the solid ranks of the foot followed at a normal pace, he sent ahead in all haste his legate, Spurius Larcius, who had been consul the year before, together with all the horse. Larcius, urging the horse forward at full speed, crossed the river with ease, as no one opposed him, and riding past the right wing of the enemy, charged the Sabine horse in fact; and there and then occurred a severe battle between the horse on both sides, who fought hand to hand for a long time. In the mean time Postumius also drew near the combatants with the foot, and attacking that of the enemy, killed many in the conflict and threw the rest into confusion. And if night had not intervened, the whole army of the Sabines, being surrounded by the Romans, who had now become superior in horse, would have been totally destroyed. But as it was, the darkness saved those who fled from the battle unarmed and few in number, and brought them home in safety. The consuls, without meeting any resistance, made themselves masters of their camp, which had been abandoned by the troops inside as soon as they saw the rout of their own army; and, capturing much booty there, which they permitted the soldiers to drive or carry away, they returned home with their forces. Then for the first time the commonwealth, recovering from the defeat received at the hands of the Tyrrhenians, recovered its former spirit and dared as before to aim at the supremacy over its neighbours. The Romans decreed a triumph jointly to both the consuls, and, as a special gratification to one of them, Valerius, ordered that a site should be given him for his habitation on the best part of the Palatine Hill and that the cost of the building should be defrayed from the public treasury. The folding doors of this house, near which stands the brazen bull, are the only doors in Rome either of public or private buildings that open outwards.

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These men were succeeded in the consulship by Publius Valerius, surnamed Publicola, chosen to hold the office for the fourth time, and Titus Lucretius, now colleague to Valerius for the second time. In their consulship all the Sabines, holding a general assembly of their cities, resolved upon a war against the Romans, alleging that the treaty they had made with them was dissolved, since Tarquinius, to whom they had sworn their oaths, had been driven from power. They had been induced to take this step by Sextus, one of the sons of Tarquinius, who by privately courting them and importuning the influential men in each city had roused them all to united hostility against the Romans, and had won over two cities, Fidenae and Cameria, detaching them from the Romans and persuading them to become allies of the Sabines. In return for these services they appointed him general with absolute power and gave him leave to raise forces in every city, looking upon the defeat they had received in the last engagement as due to the weakness of their army and the stupidity of their general. While they were employed in these preparations, some good fortune, designing to balance the losses of the Romans with corresponding advantages, gave them, in place of the allies who had deserted them, an unexpected accession of strength from among their enemies, of the following nature: A certain man of the Sabine nation who lived in a city called Regillum, a man of good family and influential for his wealth, Titus Claudius by name, deserted to them, bringing with him many kinsmen and friends and a great number of clients, who removed with their whole households, not less than five hundred in all who were able to bear arms. The reason that compelled him to remove to Rome is said to have been this: The men in power in the principal cities, being hostile to him because of their political rivalry, were bringing him to trial on a charge of treason, because he was not eager to make war against the Romans, but both in the general assembly alone opposed those who maintained that the treaty was dissolved, and would not permit the citizens of his own town to regard as valid the decrees which had been passed by the rest of the nation. Reading this trial, then, (for it was to be conduct by the other cities), he took his goods and his friends and came over to the Romans; and by adding no small weight to their cause he was looked upon as the principal instrument in the success of this war. In consideration of this, the senate and people enrolled him among the patricians and gave him leave to take as large a portion of the city as he wished for building houses; they also granted to him from the public land the region that lay between Fidenae and Picetia, so that he could give allotments to all his followers. Out of these Sabines was formed in the course of time a tribe called the Claudian tribe, a name which it continued to preserve down to my time.

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After all the necessary preparations had been made on both sides, the Sabines first led out their forces and formed two camps, one of which was in the open not far from Fidenae, and the other in Fidenae itself, to serve both as a guard for the citizens and as a refuge for those who lay encamped without the city, in case any disaster should befall them. Then, when the Roman consuls learned of the Sabines' expedition against them, they too led out all their men of military age and encamped apart from each other, Valerius near the camp of the Sabines that lay in the open, and Lucretius not far distant, upon a hill from which the other camp was clearly in view. It was the opinion of the Romans that the fate of the war would quickly be decided by an open battle; but the general of the Sabines, dreading to engage openly against the boldness and constancy of men prepared to face every danger, resolved to attack them by night, and having prepared everything that would be of use for filling up the ditch and scaling the wall, he was intending, now that all was in readiness for the attack, to rouse up the flower of his army after the first watch and lead them against the entrenchments of the Romans. He also gave notice to the troops encamped in Fidenae that, as soon as they perceived that their comrades were come out of the camp, they also should march out of the city, with light equipment; and then, after setting ambuscades in suitable places, if any reinforcements should come to Valerius from the other army, they were to rise up and, getting behind them, attack them with shouts and a great din. This was the plan of Sextus, who communicated it to his centurions; and when they also approved of it, he waited for the proper moment. But a deserter came to the Roman camp and informed the consul of the plan, and a little later a party of horse came in bringing some Sabine prisoners who had been captured while they were out to get wood. These, upon being questioned separately as to what their general was preparing to do, said that he was ordering ladders and gang-boards to be constructed; but where and when he proposed to make use of them, they professed not to know. After learning this, Valerius sent his legate Larcius to the other camp to acquaint Lucretius, who had the command of it, with weight intention of the enemy and to advise him in what way they ought to attack the enemy. He himself summoned the tribunes and the centurions, and informing them of what he had learned both from the deserter and from the prisoners, exhorted them to acquit themselves as brave men, confident that they had got the best opportunity they could wish for to take a glorious revenge upon their enemies; and after advising them what each of them should do and giving the watchword, he dismissed them to their commands.

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It was not yet midnight when the Sabine general roused up the flower of his army and led them to the enemy's camp, after ordering them all to keep silence and to make no noise with their arms, that the enemy might not be apprised of their approach till they arrived at the entrenchments. When those in front drew near the camp and neither saw the lights of watch-fires nor heard the voices of sentinels, they thought the Romans guilty of great folly in leaving their sentry-posts unguarded and sleeping inside their camp; and they proceeded to fill up the ditches in many places with brushwood and to cross over without opposition. But the Romans were lying in wait by companies between the ditches and the palisades, being unperceived by reason of the darkness; and they kept killing those of the enemy who crossed over, as soon as they came within reach. For some time the destruction of those who led the way was not perceived by their companions in the rear; but when it became light, upon the rising of the moon, and those who approached the ditch saw not only heaps of their own men lying dead near it but also strong bodies of the enemy advancing to attack them, they threw down their arms and fled. Thereupon the Romans, giving a great shout, which was the signal to those in the other camp, rushed out upon them in a body. Lucretius, hearing the shout, sent the horse ahead to reconnoitre, lest there might be an ambuscade of the enemy, and he himself followed presently with the flower of the foot. And at one and the same time the horse, meeting with those from Fidenae who were lying in ambush, put them to flight, and the foot pursued and slew those who had come to their camp but were now keeping neither their arms nor their ranks. In these actions about 13,500 of the Sabines and their allies were slain and 400 were made prisoners; and their camp was taken the same day.

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Fidenae after a few days' siege was taken in that very part which was thought to be the most difficult of capture and was for that reason guarded by only a few men. Nevertheless, the inhabitants were not made slaves nor was the city demolished; nor were many people put to death after the city was taken. For the consuls thought that the seizing of their goods and their slaves and the loss of their men who had perished in the battle was a sufficient punishment for an erring city belonging to the same race,and that to prevent the captured from lightly resorting to arms again, a moderate precaution and one customary with the Romans would be to punish the authors of the revolt. Having, therefore, assembled all the captured Fidenates in the forum and inveighed strongly against their folly, declaring that all of them, from youths to old men, deserved to be put to death, since they neither showed gratitude for the favours they received nor were chastened by their misfortunes, they ordered the most prominent of them to be scourged with rods and put to death in the sight of all; but the rest they permitted to live in the city as before, though they left a garrison, as large as the senate decided upon, to live in their midst; and taking away part of their land, they gave it to this garrison. After they had settled these matters, they returned home with the army from the enemy's country and celebrated the triumph which the senate had voted to them. These were the achievements of their consulship.

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When Publius Postumius, who was called Tubertus, had been chosen consul for the second time, and with him Agrippa Menenius, called Lanatus, the Sabines made a third incursion into the Roman territory with a larger army, before the Romans were aware of their setting out, and advanced up to the walls of Rome. In this incursion there was great loss of life on the side of the Romans, not only among the husbandmen, on whom the calamity fell suddenly and unexpectedly, before they could take refuge in the nearest fortresses, but also among those who were living in the city at the time. For Postumius, one of the consuls, looking upon this insolence of the enemy as intolerable, hastily took the first men he came upon and marched out to the rescue with greater eagerness than prudence. The Sabines, seeing the Romans advance against them very contemptuously, without order and separated from one another, and wishing to increase their contempt, fell back at a fast walk, as if fleeing, till they came into thick woods where the rest of their army lay in wait. Then, facing about, they engaged with their pursuers, and at the same time the others came out of the wood with a great shout and fell upon them. The Sabines, who were very numerous and were advancing in good order against men who were not keeping their ranks but were disordered and out of breath with running, killed such of them as came to close quarters, and when the rest turned to flight, they barred the roads leading to the city and hemmed them in on the unfortified ridge of a hill. Then, encamping near them (for night was now coming on), they kept guard throughout the whole night to prevent them from stealing away undiscovered. When the news of this misfortune was brought to Rome, there was a great tumult and a rush to the walls, and fear on the part of all lest the enemy, elated by their success, should enter the city in the night. There were lamentations for the slain and compassion for the survivors, who, it was believed, would be promptly captured for want of provisions unless some assistance should reach them quickly. That night, accordingly, they passed in a sorry state of mind and without sleep; but the next day the other consul, Menenius, having armed all the men of military age, marched out with them in good order and discipline to the assistance of those upon the hill. When the Sabines saw them approaching, they remained no longer, but roused up their army and withdrew from the hill, feeling that their present good fortune was enough; and without tarrying much longer, they returned home in great elation, taking with them a rich booty in cattle, slaves, and money.

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The Romans, resenting this defeat, for which they blamed Postumius, one of the consuls, resolved to make an expedition against the territory of the Sabines speedily with all their forces; they were not only eager to retrieve the shameful and unexpected defeat they had received, but were also angered at the very insolent and haughty embassy that had recently come to them from the enemy. For, as if already victorious and having it in their power to take Rome without any trouble if the Romans refused to do as they commanded, they had ordered them to grant a return to the Tarquinii, to yield the leadership to the Sabines, and to establish such a form of government and such laws as the conquerors should prescribe. Replying to the ambassadors, they bade them report to their general council that the Romans commanded the Sabines to lay down their arms, to deliver up their cities to them, and to be subject to them once more as they had been before, and after they had complied with these demands, then to come and stand trial for the injuries and damage they had done them in their former incursions, if they desired to obtain peace and friendship: and in case they refused to carry out these orders, they might expect to see the war soon brought home to their cities. Such demands having been given and received, both sides equipped themselves with everything necessary for the war and led out their forces. The Sabines brought the flower of their youth out of every city armed with splendid weapons; and the Romans drew out all their forces not only from the city but also from the fortresses, looking upon those above the military age and the multitude of domestic servants as a sufficient guard for both the city and the fortresses in the country. And the two armies, approaching each other, pitched their camps a little distance apart near the city of Eretum, which belongs to the Sabine nation.

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When each side observed the enemy's condition, of which they judged by the size of the camps and the information given by prisoners, the Sabines were inspired with confidence and felt contempt for the small numbers of the enemy, while the Romans were seized with fear by reason of the multitude of their opponents. But they took courage and entertained no small hopes of victory because of various omens sent to them by the gods, and particularly from a final portent which they saw when they were about to array themselves for battle. It was as follows: From the javelins that were fixed in the ground beside their tents (these javelins are Roman weapons which they hurl and having pointed iron heads, not less than three feet in length, projecting straight forward from one end, and with the iron they are as long as spears of moderate length), from these javelins flames issued forth round the tips of the heads and the glare extended through the whole camp like that of torches and lasted a great part of the night. From this portent they concluded, as the interpreters of prodigies informed them and as was not difficult for anyone to conjecture, that Heaven was portending to them a speedy and brilliant victory, because, as we know, everything yields to fire and there is nothing that is not consumed by it. And inasmuch as this fire issued from defensive weapons, they came out with great boldness from their camp, and engaging the Sabines, fought, few in number, with enemies many times superior, placing their reliance in their own good courage. Besides, their long experience joined to their willingness to undergo toil encouraged them to despise every danger. First, then, Postumius, who commanded the left wing, desiring to repair his former defeat, forced back the enemy's right, taking no thought for his own life in comparison with gaining the victory, but, like those who are mad and court death, hurling himself into the midst of his enemies. Then those also with Menenius on the other wing, though they were already in distress and being forced to give ground, when they found that the forces under Postumius were victorious over those who confronted them, took courage and advanced against the enemy. And now, as both their wings gave way, the Sabines were utterly routed. For not even those who were posted in the centre of the line, when once their flanks were left bare, stood their ground any longer, but being hard pressed by the Roman horse that charged them in separate troops, they were driven back. And when they all fled toward their entrenchments, the Romans pursued them, and entering with them, captured both camps. All that saved the army of the enemy from being totally destroyed was that night came on and their defeat happened in their own land. For those who fled got safely home more easily because of their familiarity with the country.

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The next day the consuls, after burning their own dead, gathered up the spoils (there were even found some arms belonging to the living, which they had thrown away in their flight) and carried off the captives, whom they had taken in considerable numbers, and the booty, in addition to the plunder taken by the soldiers. This booty having been sold at public auction, all the citizens received back the amount of the contributions which they had severally paid for the equipment of the expedition. Thus the consuls, having gained a most glorious victory, returned home. They were both honoured with triumphs by the senate, Menenius with the greater and more honourable kind, entering the city in a royal chariot, and Postumius with the lesser and inferior triumph which they call ouastês or "ovation," perverting the name, which is Greek, to an unintelligible form. For it was originally called euastês, from what actually took place, according to both my own conjecture and what I find stated in many native histories, the senate, as Licinius relates, having then first introduced this sort of triumph. It differs from the other, first, in this, that the general who triumphs in the manner called the ovation enters the city on foot, followed by the army, and not in a chariot like the other; and, in the next place, because he does not don the embroidered robe decorated with gold, with which the other is adorned, nor does he have the golden crown, but is clad in a white toga bordered with purple, the native dress of the consuls and praetors, and wears a crown of laurel; he is also inferior to the other in not holding a sceptre, but everything else is the same. The reason why this inferior honour was decreed to Postumius, though he had distinguished himself more than any man in the last engagement, was the severe and shameful defeat he had suffered earlier, in the sortie he made against the enemy, in which he not only lost many of his men, but narrowly escaped being taken prisoner himself together with the troops that had survived that rout.

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In the consulship of these men Publius Valerius, surnamed Publicola, fell sick and died, a man esteemed superior to all the Romans of his time in every virtue. I need not relate all the achievements of this man which he deserves to be both admired and remembered, because most of them have been already narrated in the beginning of this Book; but I think I should not omit one thing which most deserves admiration of all that can be said in his praise and has not yet been mentioned. For I look upon it as the greatest duty of the historian not only to relate the military achievements of illustrious generals and any excellent and salutary measures that they have devised and put into practice for the benefit of their states, but also to note their private lives, whether they have lived with moderation and self-control and in strict adherence to the traditions of their country. This man, then, though he had been one of the first four patricians who expelled the kings and confiscated their fortunes, though he had been invested four times with the consular power, had been victorious in two wars to greatest consequence and celebrated triumphs for both, the first time for his victory over the Tyrrhenian nation and the second time for that over the Sabines, and though he had such opportunities for amassing riches, which none could have traduced as shameful and wrong, nevertheless was not overcome by avarice, the vice which enslaves all men and forces them to act unworthily; but he continued to live on the small estate he had inherited from his ancestors, leading a life of self-control and frugality superior to every desire, and with his small means he brought up his children in a manner worthy of their birth, making it plain to all men that he is rich, not who possesses many things, but who requires few. A sure and incontestable proof of the frugality he had shown during his whole lifetime was the poverty that was revealed after his death. For in his whole estate he did not leave enough even to provide for his funeral and burial in such a manner as became a man of his dignity, but his relations were intending to carry his body out of the city in a shabby manner, and as one would that of an ordinary man, to be burned and buried. The senate, however, learning how impoverished they were, decreed that the expenses of his burial should be defrayed from the public treasury, and appointed a place in the city near the Forum, at the foot of the Velia, where his body was burned and buried, an honour paid to him alone of all the illustrious men down to my time. This place is, as it were, sacred and dedicated to his posterity as a place of burial, an advantage greater than any wealth or royalty, if one measures happiness, not by shameful pleasures, but by the standard of honour. Thus Valerius Publicola, who had aimed at the acquisition of nothing more than wanted supply his necessary wants, was honoured by his country with a splendid funeral, like one of the richest kings. And all the Roman matrons with one consent, mourned for him during a whole year, as they had done for Junius Brutus, by laying aside both their gold and purple; for thus it is the custom for them to mourn after the funeral rites of their nearest relations.

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The next year Spurius Cassius, surnamed Vecellinus, and Opiter Verginius Tricostus were appointed consuls. In their consulship the war with the Sabines was ended by one of them, Spurius, after a hard battle fought near the city of Cures; in this battle about 10,300 Sabines were killed and nearly 4000 taken prisoners. Overwhelmed by this final misfortune, the Sabines sent ambassadors to the consul to treat for peace. Then, upon being referred to the senate by Cassius, they came to Rome, and after many entreaties obtained with difficulty a reconciliation and termination of the war by giving, not only as much grain to the army as Cassius ordered, but also a certain sum of money per man and ten thousand acres of land under cultivation. Spurius Cassius celebrated a triumph for his victory in this war; but the other consul, Verginius, led an expedition against the city of Cameria, which had withdrawn from its alliance with the Romans during this war. He took half the other army with him, telling no one whither he was marching, and covered the distance during the night, in order that he might fall upon the inhabitants while they were unprepared and unapprized of his approach; and so it fell out. For he was already close to their walls, without having been discovered by anybody, just as day was breaking; and before encamping he brought up battering-rams and scaling ladders, and made use of every device used in sieges. The Camerini were astounded at his sudden arrival and some of them thought they ought to open the gates and receive the consul, while others insisted upon defending themselves with all their power and not permitting the enemy to enter the city; and while this confusion and dissension prevailed, the consul, having broken down the gates and scaled the lowest parts of the ramparts by means of ladders, took the city by storm. That day and the following night he permitted his men to pillage the town; but the next day he ordered the prisoners to be brought together in one place, and having put to death all the authors of the revolt, he sold the rest of the people and razed the city.

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In the seventieth Olympiad (the one in which Niceas of Opus in Locris won the foot-race), Smyrus being archon at Athens, Postumus Cominius and Titus Larcius took over the consulship. In their year of office the cities of the Latins withdrew from the friendship of the Romans, Octavius Mamilius, the son in law of Tarquinius, having prevailed upon the most prominent men of every city, partly by promises of gifts and partly by entreaties, to assist in restoring the exiles.  And a general assembly was held of all the cities that were wont to meet at Ferentinum except Rome (for this was the only city they had not notified as usual to be present), at which the cities were to give their votes concerning war, to choose generals, and to consider the other preparations. Now it happened that at this time Marcus valerius, a man of consular rank, had been sent as ambassador by the Romans to the neighbouring cities to ask them not to begin any revolt; for some of their people sent out by the men in power were plundering the neighbouring fields and doing great injury to the Roman husbandmen. This man, upon learning that the general assembly of the cities was being held so that all might give their votes concerning the war, came to the assembly; and requesting of the presidents leave to speak, he said that he had been sent as ambassador by the commonwealth to the cities that were sending out the bands of robbers, to ask of them that they would seek out the men who were guilty of these wrongs and deliver them up to be punished according to the provision which they had laid down in the treaty when they entered into their league of friendship, and also to demand that they take care for the future that no fresh offense should occur to disrupt their friendship and kinship. But, observing that all the cities had met together in order to declare war against the Romans, a purpose which he recognized, not only from many other evidences, but particularly because the Romans were the only persons they had not notified to be present at the assembly, although it was stipulated in the treaty that all the cities of the Latin race should be represented at the general assemblies when summoned by the presidents, he said he wondered what provocation or what cause of complaint against the commonwealth had caused the deputies to omit Rome from the cities they had invited to the assembly, when she ought to have been the first of all to be represented and the first to be asked her opinion, inasmuch as she held the leadership of the nation, which she had received from them with their own consent in return for many great benefits she had conferred upon them.

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Following him, the Aricians, having asked leave to speak, accused the Romans of having, though kinsmen, brought upon them the Tyrrhenian war and of having caused all the Latin cities, as far as lay in their power, to be deprived of their liberty by the Tyrrhenians. And King Tarquinius, renewing the treaty of friendship and alliance that he had made with the general council of their cities, asked those cities to fulfill their oaths and restore him to the sovereignty. The exiles also from Fidenae and Cameria, the former lamenting the taking of their city and their own banishment from it, and the latter the enslaving of their countrymen and the razing of their city, exhorted them to declare war. Last of all, Tarquinius' son in law, Mamilius, a man most powerful at that time among the Latins, rose up and inveighed against the Romans in a long speech. And, Valerius answering all his accusations and seeming to have the advantage in the justice of his cause, the deputies spent that day in hearing the accusations and the defences without reaching any conclusion to their deliberations. But on the following day the presidents would no longer admit the Roman ambassadors to the assembly, but gave a hearing to Tarquinius, Mamilius, the Arician, and all the others who wished to make charges against the Romans, and after hearing them all through, they voted that the treaty had been dissolved by the Romans, and gave this answer to the embassy of Valerius: that inasmuch as the Romans had by their acts of injustice dissolved the ties of kinship between them, they would consider at leisure in what manner they ought to punish them. While this was going on, a conspiracy was formed against the state, numerous slaves having agreed together to seize the heights and to set fire to the city in many places. But, information being given by their accomplices, the gates were immediately closed by the consuls and all the strong places in the city were occupied by the knights. And straightway all those whom the informers declared to have been concerned in the conspiracy were either seized in their houses or brought in from the country, and after being scourged and tortured they were all crucified. These were the events of this consulship.

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Servius Sulpicius Camerinus and Manius Tullius Longus having taken over the consulship, some of the Fidenates, after sending for soldiers from the Tarquinii, took possession of the citadel at Fidenae, and putting to death some of those who were not of the same mind and banishing others, caused the city to revolt again from the Romans. And when a Roman embassy arrived, they were inclined to treat the men like enemies, but being hindered by the elders from doing so, they drove them out of the city, refusing either to listen to them or to say anything to them. The Roman senate, being informed of this, did not desire as yet to make war upon the whole nation of the Latins, because they understood that they did not all approve of the resolutions taken by the deputies in the assembly, but that the common people in every city shrank from the war, and that those who demanded that the treaty should remain in force outnumbered those who declared it had been dissolved. But they voted to send one of the consuls, Manius Tullius, against the Fidenates with a large army; and he, having laid waste their country quite unmolested, as none offered to defend it, encamped near the walls and placed guards to prevent the inhabitants from receiving provisions, arms, or any other assistance. The Fidenates, being thus shut up within their walls, sent ambassadors to the cities of the Latins to ask for prompt assistance; whereupon the presidents of the Latins, holding an assembly state of things cities and again giving leave to the Tarquinii and to the ambassadors from the besieged to speak, called upon the deputies, beginning with the oldest and the most distinguished, to give their opinion concerning the best way to make war against the Romans. And many speeches having been made, first, concerning the war itself, the most turbulent of the deputies were for restoring the king to power and advised assisting the Fidenates, being desirous of getting into positions of command in the armies and engaging in great undertakings; and this was the case particularly with those who yearned for domination and despotic power in their own cities, in gaining which they expected the assistance of the Tarquinii when these had recovered the sovereignty over the Romans. On the other hand, the men of the greatest means and of the greatest reasonableness maintained that the cities ought to adhere to the treaty and not hastily resort to arms; and these were the most influential with the common people. Those who pressed for war, being thus defeated by the advisers of peace, at last persuaded the assembly to do this much at least, to send ambassadors to Rome to invite and at the same time to advise the commonwealth to receive the Tarquinii and the other exiles upon the terms of impunity and a general amnesty, and after making a covenant concerning these matters, to restore their traditional form of government and to withdraw their army from Fidenae, since the Latins would not permit their kinsmen and friends to be despoiled of their country; and in case the Romans should consent to do neither of these things, they would then deliberate concerning war. They were not unaware that the Romans would consent to neither of these demands, but they desired to have a specious pretence for their hostility, and they expected to win over their opponents in the meantime by courting them and doing them favours. The deputies, having passed this vote and set a year's time for the Romans in which to deliberate and for themselves to make their preparations, and having appointed such ambassadors as Tarquinius wished, dismissed the assembly.

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When the Latins had dispersed to their several cities, Mamilius and Tarquinius, observing that the enthusiasm of most of the people had flagged, began to abandon their hopes of foreign assistance as not very certain, and changing their minds, they formed plans to stir up in Rome itself a civil war, against which their enemies would not be on their guard, by fomenting a sedition of the poor against the rich. Already the greater part of the common people were uneasy and disaffected, especially the poor and those who were compelled by their debts no longer to have the best interests of the commonwealth at heart. For the creditors showed no moderation in the use of their power, but haling their debtors to prison, treated them like slaves they had purchased. Tarquinius, hearing of this, sent some persons who free from suspicion to Rome with money, in company with the ambassadors of the Latins, and these men, engaging in conversation with the needy and with those who were boldest, and giving them some money and promising more if the Tarquinii returned, corrupted a great many of the citizens. And thus a conspiracy was formed against the aristocracy, not only by needy freemen, but also by unprincipled slaves who were beguiled by hopes of freedom. The latter, because of the punishment of their fellow-slaves the year before, were hostile toward their masters and in a mood to plot against them, since they were distrusted by them and suspected of being ready themselves also to attack them at some time if the opportunity should offer; and accordingly they hearkened willingly to those who invited them to make the attempt. The plan of their conspiracy was as follows: The leaders of the undertaking were to wait for a moonless night and then seize the heights and the other strong places in the city; and the slaves, when they perceived that the others were in possession of those places of advantage (which was to be made known to them by raising a shout), were to kill their masters while they slept, and having done this, to plunder the houses of the rich and open the gates to the tyrants.

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But the divine Providence, which has on every occasion preserved this city and down to my own times continues to watch over it, brought their plans to light, information being given to Sulpicius, one of the consuls, by two brothers, Publius and Marcus Tarquinius of Laurentum, who were among the heads of the conspiracy and were forced by the compulsion of Heaven to reveal it. For frightful visions haunted them in their dreams whenever they slept, threatening them with dire punishments if they did not desist and abandon their attempt; and at last they thought that they were pursued and beaten by some demons, that their eyes were gouged out, and that they suffered many other cruel torments. In consequence of which they would wake with fear and trembling, and they could not even sleep because of these terrors. At first they endeavoured, by means of certain propitiatory and expiatory sacrifices, to avert the anger of the demons who haunted them; but accomplishing naught, they had recourse to divination, keeping secret the purpose of their enterprise and asking only to know whether it was yet the time to carry out their plan; and when the soothsayer answered that they were travelling an evil and fatal road, and that if they did not change their plans they would perish in the most shameful manner, fearing lest others should anticipate them in revealing the secret, they themselves gave information of the conspiracy to the consul who was then at Rome. He, having commended them and promised them great rewards if they made their actions conform to their words, kept them in his house without telling anyone; and introducing to the senate the ambassadors of the Latins, whom he had hitherto kept putting off, delaying his answer, he now gave them the answer that the senators had decided upon. "Friends and kinsmen," he said, "go back and report to the Latin nation that the Roman p did not either in the first instance grant the request of the Tarquinienses for the restoration of the tyrants or afterwards yield to all the Tyrrhenians, led by King Porsena, when they interceded in behalf of these same exiles and brought upon the commonwealth the most grievous of all wars, but submitted to seeing their land laid waste, their farm-houses set on fire, and themselves shut up within their walls for the sake of liberty and of not having to act otherwise than they wished at the command of another. And they wonder, Latins, that though you are aware of this, you have nevertheless come to them with orders to receive the tyrants and to raise the siege of Fidenae, and, if they refuse to obey you, threaten them with war. Cease, then, putting forward these stupid and improbable excuses for enmity; and if for these reasons you are determined to dissolve your ties of kinship and to declare war, defer it no longer."

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Having given this answer to the ambassadors and ordered them to be conduct out of the city, he then told the senate everything relating to the secret conspiracy which he had learned from the informers. And receiving from the senate full authority to seek out the participants in the conspiracy and to punish those who should be discovered, he did not pursue the arbitrary and tyrannical course that anyone else might have followed under the like necessity, but resorted to the reasonable and safe course that was consistent with the form of government then established. Thus he was unwilling, in the first place, that citizens should be seized in their own houses and haled thence to death, torn from the embraces of their wives, children and parents, but considered the compassion which the relations of the various culprits would feel at the violent snatching away of those who were closest to them, and also feared that some of the guilty, if they were driven to despair, might rush to arms, and those who were forced to turn to illegal methods might engage in civil bloodshed. Nor, again, did he think he ought to appoint tribunals to try them, since he reasoned that they would deny all guilty and that no certain and incontrovertible proof of it, besides the information he had just received, could be laid before the judges to which they would give credit and condemn the citizens to death. But he devised a new method of outwitting those who were stirring up sedition, a method by which, in the first place, the leaders of the conspiracy would of themselves, without any compulsion, meet in one place, and then would be convicted by incontrovertible proofs, so that they would be left without any defence whatever; furthermore, as they would not then be assembled in an unfrequented place nor convicted before a few witnesses only, but their guilt would be made manifest in the Forum before the eyes of all, they would suffer the punishment they deserved, and there would be no disturbance in the city nor uprisings on the part of others, as often happens when the seditious are punished, particularly in dangerous times.

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Another historian, now, might have thought it sufficient to state merely the gist of this matter, namely, that the consul apprehended those who had taken part in the conspiracy and point them to death, as if the facts needed little explanation. But I, since I regarded the manner also of their apprehension as being worthy of history, decided not to omit it, considering that the readers of histories do not derive sufficient profit from learning the bare outcome of events, but that everyone demands that the causes of events also be related, as well as the ways in which things were done, the motives of those who did them, and the instances of divine intervention, and that they be left uninformed of none of the circumstances that naturally attend those events. And for statesmen I perceive that the knowledge of these things is absolutely necessary, to the end that they may have precedents for their use in the various situations that arise. Now the manner of apprehending the conspirators devised by the consul was this: From among the senators he selected those who were in the vigour of their age and ordered that, as soon as the signal should be given, they, together with their most trusted friends and relations, should seize the strong places of the city where each of them chanced to dwell; and the knights he commanded to wait, equipped with their swords, in the most convenient houses round the Forum and to do whatever he should command. And to the end that, while he was apprehending the citizens, neither their relations nor any of the other citizens should create a disturbance and that there might be no civil bloodshed by reason of this commotion, he sent a letter to the consul who had been appointed to conduct the siege of Fidenae, bidding him come to the city at the beginning of night with the flower of his army and to encamp upon a height near the walls.

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Having made these preparations, he ordered those who had given information of the plot to send word to the heads of the conspiracy to come to the Forum about midnight bringing with them their most trusted friends, there to learn their appointed place and station and the watch-word and what each of them was to do. This was done. And when all the leaders among the conspirators had assembled in the Forum, signals, not perceived by them, were given, and immediately the heights were filling with men who had taken up arms in defense of the state and all the parts round the Forum were under guard by the knights, not a single outlet being left for any who might desire to leave. And at the same time Manius, the other consul, having broken camp at Fidenae, arrived in the Field with his army. As soon as day appeared, the consuls, surrounded by armed men, advanced to the tribunal and ordered the heralds to go through all the streets and summon the people to an assembly; and when the entire populace of the city had flocked thither, they acquainted them with the conspiracy formed to restore the tyrant, and produced the informers. After that they gave the accused an opportunity of making their defence if any of them had any objections to offer to the information. When none attempted to resort to denial, they withdrew from the Forum to the senate-house to ask the opinion of the senators concerning them; and having caused their decision to be written out, they returned to the assembly and read the decree, which was as follows: To the Tarquinii who had given information of the attempt should be granted citizenship and ten thousand drachmae of silver to each and twenty acres of the public land; and the conspirators should be seized and put to death, if the people concurred. The assembled crowd having confirmed the decree of the senate, the consuls ordered those who had come together for the assembly to withdraw from the Forum; then they summoned the lictors, who were equipped with their swords, and these, surrounding the guilty men in the place where they were hemmed in, put them all to death. After the consuls had caused these men to be executed, they received no more informations against any who had participated in the plot, but acquitted of the charges everyone who had escaped summary punishment, to the end that all cause of disturbance might be removed from the city. In such fashion were those who had formed the conspiracy put to death. The senate then ordered all the citizens to be purified because they had been under the necessity of giving their votes about shedding the blood of citizens, on the ground that it was not lawful for them to be present at the sacred rites and take part in the sacrifices before they had expiated the pollution and atoned for the calamity by the customary lustrations. After everything that was required by divine law had been performed by the interpreters of religious matter according to the custom of the country, the senate voted to offer sacrifices of thanksgiving and to celebrate games, and set aside three days as sacred for this purpose. And when Manius Tullius, one of the consuls, fell from the sacred chariot in the Circus itself during the procession at the sacred games called after the name of the city, and died the third day after, Sulpicius continued alone in the magistracy during the rest of the time, which was not long.

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Publius Veturius Geminus and Publius Aebutius Elva were appointed consuls for the following year. Of these Aebutius was put in charge of the civil affairs, which seemed to require no small attention, lest some fresh uprising should be made by the poor. And Veturius, marching out with one half of the army, laid waste the lands of the Fidenates without opposition, and sitting down before the town, delivered attacks without ceasing; but not being able to take the wall by siege, he proceeded to surround the town with palisades and a ditch, intending to reduce the inhabitants by famine. The Fidenates were already in great distress when assistance from the Latins arrived, sent by Sextus Tarquinius, together with grain, arms and other supplies for the war. Encouraged by this, they made bold to come out of the town with an army of no small size and encamped in the open. The line of contravallation was now of no further use to the Romans, but a battle seemed necessary; and an engagement took place near the city, the outcome of which for some time remained indecisive. Then, forced back by the stubborn endurance of the Romans, in which they excelled because of their long training, the Fidenates, though more numerous, were put to flight by the smaller force. They did not suffer any great loss, however, since their retreat into the city was over a short distance and the men who manned the walls repulsed the pursuers. After this action the auxiliary troops dispersed and returned home, without having been of any service to the inhabitants; and the city found itself once more in the same distress and laboured under a scarcity of provisions. About the same time, Sextus Tarquinius marched with an army of Latins to Signia, then in the possession of the Romans, in expectation of taking the place by storm. When the garrison made a brave resistance, he was prepared to force them by famine to quit the place, and he remained there a considerable time without accomplishing anything worth mentioning; but finding himself disappointed of this hope also when provisions and assistance from the consuls reached the garrison, he raised the siege and departed with his army.

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The following year the Romans created Titus Larcius Flavus and Quintus Cloelius Siculus consuls. Of these, Cloelius was appointed by the senate to conduct the civil administration and with one half of the army to guard against any who might be inclined to sedition; for he was looked upon as fair-minded and democratic. Larcius, on his part, set out for the war against the Fidenates with a well-equipped army, after getting ready everything necessary for a siege. And to the Fidenates, who were in dire straits owing to the length of the war and in want of all the necessaries of life, he proved a sore affliction by undermining the foundations of the walls, raising mounds, bringing up his engines of war, and continuing the attacks night and day, in the expectation of taking the city in a short time by storm. Nor were the Latin cities, on which alone the Fidenates had relied in undertaking the war, ably any longer to save them; for not one of their cities had sufficient strength by itself to raise the siege for them, and as yet no army had been raised jointly by the whole nation. But to the ambassadors who came frequently from Fidenae the leading men of the various cities kept giving the same answer, that aid would soon come to them; no action, however, followed corresponding to the promises, but the hopes of assistance they held out went no farther than words. Notwithstanding this, the Fidenates had not altogether despaired of help from the Latins, but supported themselves with constancy under all their dreadful experiences by their confidence in those hopes. Above all else, the famine was what they could not cope with and this caused the death of many inhabitants. When at last they gave way to their calamities, they sent ambassadors to the consul to ask for a truce for a definite number of days, in order to deliberate during that time concerning the conditions upon which they should enter into a league of friendship with the Romans. But this time was not sought by them for deliberating, but for securing reinforcements, as was revealed by some of the deserters who had lately come over to the Romans. For the night before they had sent the most important of their citizens and such as had the greatest influence in the cities of the Latins to their general council bearing the tokens of suppliants.

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Larcius, being aware of this beforehand, ordered those who asked for a truce to lay down their arms and open their gates first, and then to treat with him. Otherwise, he told them, they would get neither peace nor a truce nor any other humane or moderate treatment from Rome. He also, by stationing more diligent guards along all the roads leading to the city, took care that the ambassadors sent to the Latin nation should not get back inside the walls. Consequently the besieged, despairing of the hoped for assistance from their allies, were compelled to have recourse to supplicating their enemies. And meeting in assembly, they decided to submit to such conditions of peace as the conqueror prescribed. But the commanders at that time, it seems, were in their whole behaviour so obedient to the civil power and so far removed from tyrannical presumption (which only a few of the commanders in our days, elated by the greatness of their power, have been able to avoid), that the consul, after taking over the city, did nothing on his own responsibility, but ordering the inhabitants to lay down their arms and leaving a garrison in the citadel, went himself to Rome, and assembling the senate, left it to them to consider how those who had surrendered themselves ought to be treated. Thereupon the senators, admiring him for the honour he had shown them, decided that the most prominent of the Fidenates and those who had been the authors of the revolt, these to be named by the consul, should be scourged with rods and beheaded; but concerning the rest, they gave him authority to do everything he thought fit. Larcius, having thus been given full power in all matters, ordered some few of the Fidenates, who were accused by those of the opposite party, to be put to death before the eyes of all and confiscated their fortunes; but all the others he permitted to retain both their city and their goods. Nevertheless, he took from them one half of their territory, which was divided by lot among those Romans who were left in the city as a garrison for the citadel. Having settled these matters, he returned home with his army.

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When the Latins heard of the capture of Fidenae, every city was in a state of the utmost excitement and fear, and all the citizens were angry with those who were at the head of federal affairs, accusing them of having betrayed their allies. And a general assembly being held at Ferentinum, those who urged a recourse to arms, particularly Tarquinius and his son in law Mamilius, together with the heads of the Arician state, inveighed bitterly against those who opposed the war; and by their harangues all the deputies of the Latin nation were persuaded to undertake the war jointly against the Romans. And to the end that no city might either betray the common cause or be reconciled to the Romans without the consent of all, they swore oaths to one another and voted that those who violated this agreement should be excluded from their alliance, be accursed and regarded as the enemies of all. The deputies who subscribed to the treaty and swore to its observance were from the following cities: Ardea, Aricia, Bovillae, Bubentum, Cora, Carventum, Circeii, Corioli, Corbio, Cabum, Fortinea, Gabii, Laurentum, Lanuvium, Lavinium, Labici, Nomentum, Zorba, Praeneste, Pedum, Querquetula, Satricum, Scaptia, Setia, Tibur, Tusculum, Tolerium, Tellenae, Velitrae. They voted that as many men of military age from all these cities should take part in the campaign as their commanders, Octavius Mamilius and Sextus Tarquinius, should require; for they had appointed these to be their generals with absolute power. And in order that the grounds they offered for the war might appear plausible, they sent the most prominent men from every city to Rome as ambassadors. These, upon being introduced to the senate, said that the Arician state preferred the following charges against the Roman state: When the Tyrrhenians had made war upon the Aricians, the Romans had not only granted them a safe passage through their territory, but had also assisted them with everything they required for the war, and having received such of the Tyrrhenians as fled from the defeat, they had saved them when they all were wounded and without arms, though they could not be ignorant that they were making war against the whole nation in common, and that if they had once made themselves masters of the city of Aricia nothing could have hindered them from enslaving all the other cities as well. If, therefore, the Romans would consent to appear before the general tribunal of the Latins and answer there the accusations brought against them by the Aricians, and would abide by the decision of all the members, they said the Romans would not need to have a war; but if they persisted in their usual arrogance and refused to make any just and reasonable concessions to their kinsmen, they threatened that all the Latins would make war upon them with all their might.

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This was the proposal made by the ambassadors; but the senate was unwilling to plead its cause with the Aricians in a controversy in which their accusers would be the judges, and they did not imagine that their enemies would even confine their judgment to these charges alone, but would add other demands still more grievous than these; and accordingly they voted to accept war. So far, indeed, as bravery and experience in warfare were concerned, they did not suppose any misfortune would befall the commonwealth, but the multitude of their enemies alarmed them; and sending ambassadors in many directions, they invited the neighbouring cities to an alliance, while the Latins in their turn sent counter-embassies to the same cities and bitterly assailed Rome. The Hernicans, meeting together, gave suspicious and insincere answers to both embassies, saying that they would not for the present enter into an alliance with either, but would consider at leisure which of the two nations made the juster claims, and that they would give a year's time to that consideration. The Rutulians openly promised the Latins that they would send them assistance, and assured the Romans that, if they would consent to give up their enmity, they through their influence would cause the Latins to moderate their demands and would mediate a peace between them. The Volscians said they even wondered at the shamelessness of the Romans, who, though conscious of the many injuries they had done them, and particularly of the latest, in taking from them the best part of their territory and retaining it, had nevertheless had the effrontery to invite them, who were their enemies, to an alliance; and they advised them first to restore their lands and then to ask satisfaction from them as from friends. The Tyrrhenians put obstacles in the way of both sides by alleging that they had lately made a treaty with the Romans and that they had ties of kinship and friendship with the Tarquinii. Notwithstanding these answers, the Romans abated nothing of their spirit, which would have been a natural thing for those who were entering upon a dangerous war and had given up hope of any assistance from their allies; but trusting to their own forces alone, they grew much more eager for the contest, in the confidence that because of their necessity they would acquit themselves as brave men in the face of danger, and that if they succeeded according to their wish and won the war by their own valour, the glory of it would not have to be shared with anyone else. Such spirit and daring had they acquired from their many contests in the past.

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While they were preparing everything that was necessary for the war and beginning to enroll their troops, they fell into great perplexity when they found that all the citizens did not show the same eagerness for the service. For the needy, and particularly those who were unable to discharge their debts to their creditors, and there were many such when called to arms refused to obey and were unwilling to join with the patricians in any undertaking unless they passed a vote for the remission of their debts. On the contrary, some of them threatened even to leave the city and exhorted one another to give up their fondness for living in a city that allowed them no share in any thing that was good. At first the patricians endeavoured by entreaties to prevail upon them to change their purpose, but finding that in response to their entreaties they showed no greater moderation, they then assembled in the senate-house to consider what would be the most seemly method of putting an end to the disturbance that was troubling the state. Those senators, therefore, who were fair-minded and of moderate fortunes advised them to remit the debts of the poor and to purchase for a small price the goodwill of their fellow-citizens, from which they were sure to derive great advantages both private and public.

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The author of this advice was Marcus Valerius, the son of Publius Valerius, one of those who had overthrown the tyranny and from his goodwill toward the common people had been called Publicola. He showed them that those who fight for equal rewards are apt to be inspired to action by an equal spirit of emulation, whereas it never occurs to those who are to reap no advantage to entertain any thought of bravery. He said that all the poor people were exasperated and were going about the Forum saying: "What advantage shall we gain by overcoming our foreign enemies if we are liable to be haled to prison for debt by the money-lenders, or by gaining the leadership for the commonwealth if we ourselves cannot maintain even the liberty of our own persons?" He then showed them that this was not the only danger which had been brought upon them in case the people should become hostile to the senate, namely, that they would abandon the city in the midst of its perils, a possibility at which all who desired the preservation of the commonwealth must shudder, but that there was the further danger, still more formidable than this, that, seduced by favours from the tyrants, they might take up arms against the patricians and aid in restoring Tarquinius to power. Accordingly, while it was still only a matter of words and threats, and no mischievous deed had been committed by the people as yet, he advised them to act in time and reconcile the people to the situation by affording them this relief; for they were neither the first to adopt such a measure nor would they incur any great disgrace on account of it, but could point to many others who had submitted, not only to this, but to other demands much more grievous, when they had no alternative. For necessity, he said, is stronger than human nature, and people insist on considering appearances only when they have already gained safety.

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After he had enumerated many examples taken from many cities, he at last offered them that of the city of Athens, then in the greatest repute for wisdom, which not very long before, but in the time of their fathers, had under the guidance of Solon voted a remission of debts to the poor; and no one, he said, censured the city for this measure or called its author a flatterer of the people or a knave, but all bore witness both to the great prudence of those who were persuaded to enact it and to the great wisdom of the man who persuaded them do so. As for the Romans, whose perilous situation was due to no trivial differences, but to the danger of being delivered up again to a cruel tyrant more savage than any wild beast, what man in his senses could blame them if by this instance of humanity they should cause the poor to become joint supporters, instead of enemies, of the commonwealth? After enumerating these foreign examples he ended with a reference to their own actions, reminding them of the straits to which they had been lately reduced when, their country being in the power of the Tyrrhenians and they themselves shut up within their walls and in great want of the necessaries of life, they had not taken the foolish resolutions of madmen courting death, but yielding to the emergency that was upon them and allowing necessity to teach them their interest, had consented to deliver up to King Porsena their most prominent children as hostages, a thing to which they had never submitted before, to be deprived of part of their territory by the cession of the Seven Districts to the Tyrrhenians, to accept the enemy as the judge of the accusations brought against them by the tyrant, and to furnish provisions, arms, and everything else the Tyrrhenians required as the condition of their putting an end to the war. Having made use of these examples, he went on to show that it was not the part of the same prudence first to refuse no terms insisted on by their enemies and then to make war over a trivial difference upon their own citizens who had fought many glorious battles for Rome's supremacy while the kings held sway, and had shown great eagerness in assisting the patricians to free the state from the tyrants, and would show still greater zeal in what remained to be done, if invited to do so; for, though they lacked the means of existence, they would freely expose their persons and lives, which were all they had left, to any dangers for her sake. In conclusion he said that, even if these men from a sense of shame forbore to say or demand anything of this kind, the patricians ought to take proper account of them and to give them readily whatever they knew they needed, whether as a class or individually, bearing in mind that they, the patricians, were doing an arrogant thing in asking of them their persons while refusing them money, and in publishing to all the world that they were making war to preserve the common liberty even while they were depriving of liberty those who had assisted them in establishing it, though they could reproach them with no wrongdoing, but only with poverty, which deserved compassion rather than hatred.

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After Valerius had spoken to this effect and many had approved of his advice, Appius Claudius Sabinus, being called upon at the proper time, advised the opposite course, declaring that the seditious spirit would not be removed from the state if they decreed an abolition of debts, but would become more dangerous by being transferred from the poor to the rich. For it was plain enough to everyone that those who were to be deprived of their money would resent it, as they were not only citizens in possession of all civil rights, but had also served their country in all the campaigns that fell to their lot, and would regard it as unjust that the money left them by their fathers, together with what they themselves had by their industry and frugality acquired, should be confiscated for the benefit of the most unprincipled and the laziest of the citizens. It would be the part of great folly for them, in their desire to gratify the worse part of the citizenry, to disregard the better element, and in confiscating the fortunes of others for the benefit of the most unjust of the citizens, to take them away from those who had justly acquired them. He asked them also to bear in mind that states are not overthrown by those who are poor and without power, when they are compelled to do justice, but by the rich and such as are capable of administering public affairs, when they are insulted by their inferiors and fail to keep justice. And even if those who were to be deprived of the benefit of their contracts were not going to harbour any resentment but would submit with some degree of meekness and indifference to their losses, yet even in that case, he said, it would be neither honourable nor safe for them to gratify the poor with such a gift, by which the life of the community would be devoid of all intercourse, full of mutual hatred, and lacking in the necessary employments without which cities cannot be inhabited, since neither the husbandmen would any longer sow and plant their lands, nor the merchants sail the sea and trade in foreign markets, nor the poor employ themselves in any other just occupation. For none of the rich would throw away their money to supply those who needed the means of carrying on any of these occupations; and in consequence wealth would be hated and industry destroyed, and the prodigal would be in a better condition than the frugal, the unjust than the just, and those who appropriated to themselves the fortunes of others would have the advantage over those who guarded their own. These were the things that created seditions in states, mutual slaughter without end, and every other sort of mischief, by which the most prosperous of them had lost their liberty and those whose lot was less fortunate had been totally destroyed.

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But, above all, he advised them, in instituting a new form of government, to take care that no bad custom should gain admittance there. For he declared that of whatever nature the public principles of states were, such of necessity would be the lives of the individual citizens. And there was no worse practice, he said, either for states or for families, than for everyone to live always according to his own pleasure and for everything to be granted to inferiors by their superiors, whether out of favour or from necessity. For the desires of the unintelligent are not satisfied when they obtain what they demand, but they immediately covet other and greater things, and so on without end; and this is the case particularly with the masses. For the lawless deeds which each one by himself is either ashamed or afraid to commit, being restrained by the more powerful, they are more ready to engage in when they have got together and gained strength for their own inclinations from those who are like minded. And since the desires of the unintelligent mob are insatiable and boundless, it is necessary, he said, to check them at the very outset, while they are weak, instead of trying to destroy them after they have become great and powerful. For all men feel more violent anger when deprived of what has already been granted to them than when disappointed of what they merely hope for. He cited many examples to prove this, relating the experiences of various Greek cities which, having become weakened because of certain critical situations and having given admittance to the beginnings of evil practices, had no longer had the power to put an end to them and abolish them, in consequence of which they had been compelled to go on into shameful and irreparable calamities. He said the commonwealth resembled each particular man, the senate bearing some resemblance to the soul of a man and the people to his body. If, therefore, they permitted the unintelligent populace to govern the senate, they would fare the same as those who subject the soul to the body and live under the influence, not of their reason, but of their passions; whereas, if they accustomed the populace to be governed and led by the senate, they would be doing the same as those who subject the body to the soul and lead lives directed toward what is best, not most pleasant. He showed them that no great mischief would befall the state if the poor, dissatisfied with them for not granting an abolition of debts, should refuse to take up arms in its defense, declaring that there were few indeed who had nothing left but their persons, and these would neither offer any remarkable advantage to the state when present on its expeditions, nor, by their absence to do any great harm. For those who had the lowest rating in the census, he reminded them, were posted in the rear in battle and counted as a mere appendage to the forces that were arrayed in the battle-line, being present merely to strike the enemy with terror, since they had no other arms but slings, which are of the least use in action.

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He said that those who thought it proper to pity the poverty of the citizens and who advised relieving such of them as were unable to pay their debts ought to inquire what it was that had made them poor, when they had inherited the lands their fathers had left them and had gained much booty from their campaigns, and, last of all, when each of them had received his share of the confiscated property of the tyrants; and after that they ought to look upon such of them as they found had lived for their bellies and the most shameful pleasures, and by such means had lost their fortunes, as a disgrace and injury to the city, and to regard it as a great benefit to the common weal if they would voluntarily get to the devil out of the city. But in the case of such as they found to have lost their fortunes through an unkind fate, he advised them to relieve these with their private means. Their creditors, he said, not only understood this best, but would attend to it best, and would themselves relieve their misfortunes, not under compulsion from others, but voluntarily, to the end that gratitude, instead of their money, might accrue to them as a noble debt. But to extend the relief to all alike, when the worthless would share it equally with the deserving, and to confer benefits on certain persons, not at their own expense, but at that of others, and not to leave to those whose money they took away even the gratitude owed for these services, was in no wise consistent with the virtue of Romans. 3 But above all these and the other considerations, it was a grievous and intolerable thing for the Romans, who were laying claim to the leadership, a leadership which their ancestors had acquired through many hardships and left to their posterity, if they could not do what was best and most advantageous for the commonwealth also, by their own choice, or when convinced by argument, or at the proper time, but, just as if the city had been captured or were expecting to suffer that fate, must do things contrary to their own judgment from which they would receive very little benefit, if any, but would run the risk of suffering the very worst of ills. For it was far better for them to submit to the commands of the Latins, as being more moderate, and not even to try the fortune of war, than by yielding to the pleas of those who were of no use upon any occasion, to abolish from the south the public faith, which their ancestors had appointed to be honoured by the erection of a temple and by sacrifices performed throughout the year, and this when they were merely going to add a body of slingers to their forces for the war. The sum and substance of his advice was this: to take for the business in hand such citizens as were willing to share the fortune of the war upon the same terms as every other Roman, and to let those who insisted upon any special terms whatever for taking up arms for their country go hang, since they would be of no use even if they did arm. For if they knew this, he said, they would yield and show themselves prompt to obey those who took the wisest counsel for the commonwealth; since all the unintelligent are generally wont, when flattered, to be arrogant, and when terrified, to show restraint.

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These were the extreme opinions delivered upon that occasion, but there were many which took the middle ground between the two. For some of the senators favoured remitting the debts of those only who had nothing, permitting the money-lenders to seize the goods of the debtors, but not their persons. Others advised that the public treasury should discharge the obligations of the insolvents, in order both that the credit of the poor might be preserved by this public favour and their creditors might suffer no injustice. Certain others thought that they ought to ransom the persons of those who were already being held for debt or were going to be deprived of their liberty, by substituting captives in their stead and assigning these to their creditors. After various views such as these had been expressed, the opinion that prevailed was that they should pass no decree for the time being concerning these matters, but that after the wars were ended in the most satisfactory manner, the consuls should then bring them up for discussion and take the votes of the senators; and that in the meantime there should be no money exacted by virtue of either any contract or any judgment, that all other suits should be dropped, and that neither the courts of justice should sit nor the magistrates take cognizance of anything but what related to the war. When this decree was brought to the people, it allayed in some measure the civil commotion, yet it did not entirely remove the spirit of sedition from the state. For some of the labouring class did not look upon the hope held out by the senate, which contained nothing express or certain, as a sufficient relief; but they demanded that the senate should do one of two things, either grant them the remission of debts immediately, if it wanted to have them as partners in the dangers of the war, or not delude them by deferring it to another occasion. For men's sentiments, they said, were very different when they were making requests and after their requests had been satisfied.

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While the public affairs were in this condition, the senate, considering by what means it could most effectually prevent the plebeians from creating any fresh disturbances, resolved to abolish the consular power for the time being and to create some other magistracy with full authority over war and peace and every other matter, possessed of absolute power and subject to no accounting for either its counsels or its actions. The term of this new magistracy was to be limited to six months, after the expiration of which time the consuls were again to govern. The reasons that compelled the senate to submit to a voluntary tyranny in order to put an end to the war brought upon them by their tyrant were many and various, but the chief one was the law introduced by the consul Publius Valerius, called Publicola (concerning which I stated in the beginning that it rendered invalid the decisions of the consuls), providing that no Roman should be punished before he was tried, and granting to any who were haled to punishment by their orders the right to appeal from their decision to the people, and until the people had given their vote concerning them, the right to enjoy security for both their persons and their fortunes; and it ordained that if any person attempted to do anything contrary to these provisions he might be put to death with impunity. The senate reasoned that while this law remained in force the poor could not be compelled to obey the magistrates, because, as it was reasonable to suppose, they would scorn the punishments which they were to undergo, not immediately, but only after they had been condemned by the people, whereas, when this law had been repealed, all would be under the greatest necessity of obeying orders. And to the end that the poor might offer no opposition, in case an open attempt were made to repeal the law itself, the senate resolved to introduce into the government a magistracy of equal power with a tyranny, which should be superior to all the laws. And they passed a decree by which they deceived the poor and, without being detected, repealed the law that secured their liberty. The decree was to this effect; that Larcius and Cloelius, who were the consuls at the time, should resign their power, and likewise any other person who held a magistracy or had the oversight of any public business; and that a single person, to be chosen by the senate and approved of by the people, should be invested with the whole authority of the commonwealth and exercise it for a period not longer than six months, having power superior to that of the consuls. The plebeians, being unaware of the real import of this proposal, ratified the resolutions of the senate, although, in fact, a magistracy that was superior to a legal magistracy was a tyranny; and they gave the senators permission to deliberate by themselves and choose the person who was to hold it.

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After this the leading men of the senate devoted much earnest thought to searching for the man who should be entrusted with the command. For they felt that the situation required a man both vigorous in action and of wide experience in warfare, a man, moreover, possessed of prudence and self-control, who would not be led into folly by the greatness of his power; but, above all these qualities and the others essential in good generals, a man was required who knew how to govern with firmness and would show no leniency toward the disobedient, a quality of which they then stood particularly in need. And though they observed that all the qualities they demanded were to be found in Titus Larcius, one of the consuls (for Cloelius, who excelled in all administrative virtues, was not a man of action nor fond of war, nor had he the ability to command others and to inspire fear, but was a mild punisher of the disobedient), they were nevertheless ashamed to deprive one of the consuls of the magistracy of which he was legally possessed and to confer upon the other the power of both, a power which was being created greater than the kingly authority. Besides, they were under some secret apprehensions lest Cloelius, taking to heart his removal from office and considering it a dishonour put upon him by the senate, might change his sentiments and, becoming a patron of the people, overthrow the whole government. And when all were ashamed to lay their thoughts before the senate, and this situation had continued for a considerable time, at last the oldest and most honoured of the men of consular rank delivered an opinion by which he preserved an equal share of honour to both the consuls and yet found out from those men themselves the one who was the more suitable to command. He said that, since the senate had decreed and the people in confirm thereof had voted that the power of this magistracy should be entrusted to a single person, and since two matters remained that required no small deliberation and thought, namely, who should be the one to receive this magistracy that was of equal power with a tyranny, and by what legal authority he should be appointed, it was his opinion that one of the present consuls, either by consent of his colleague or by recourse to the lot, should choose among all the Romans the person he thought would govern the commonwealth in the best and most advantageous manner. They had no need on the present occasion, he said, of interreges, to whom it had been customary under the monarchy to give the sole power of appointing those who were to reign, since the commonwealth was already provided with the lawful magistrate.

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This opinion being applauded by all, another senator rose up and said: "I think, senators, this also ought to be added to the motion, namely, that as two persons of the greatest worth have at present the administration of the public affairs, men whose superiors you could not find, one of them should be empowered to make the nomination and the other should be appointed by his colleague, after they have considered together which of them is the more suitable person, to the end that, as the honour is equal between them, so the satisfaction may be equal also, to the one, in having declared his colleague to be the best man, and to the other, in having been declared the best by his colleague; for each of these things is pleasing and honourable. I know, to be sure, that even if this amendment were not made to the motion, they themselves would have thought proper to act in this manner; but it is better it should appear that you likewise approve of no other course." This proposal also seemed to meet with the approval of all, and the motion was then passed without further amendment. When the consuls had received the authority to decide which of them was the more suitable to command, they did a thing both admirable in itself and passing all human belief. For each of them declared, as worthy of the command, not himself, but the other; and they continued all that day enumerating one another's virtues and begging that they themselves might not receive the command, so that all who were present in the senate were in great perplexity. When the senate had been dismissed, the kinsmen of each and the most honoured among the senators at large came to Larcius and continued to entreat him till far into the night, informing him that the senate had placed all its hopes in him and declaring that his indifference toward the command was prejudicial to the commonwealth. But Larcius was unmoved, and in his turn continued to address many prayers and entreaties to each of them. The next day, when the senate had again assembled, and he still resisted and, in spite of the advice of all the senators, would not change his mind, Cloelius rose up and nominated him, according to the practice of the interreges, and then abdicated the consulship himself.

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Larcius was the first man to be appointed sole ruler at Rome with absolute authority in war, in peace, and in all other matters. They call this magistrate a dictator, either from his power of issuing whatever orders he wishes and of prescribing for the others rules of justice and right as he thinks proper (for the Romans call commands and ordinances respecting what is right and wrong edicta or "edicts") so, as some write, from the form of nomination which was then introduced, since he was to receive the magistracy, not from the people, according to ancestral usage, but by the appointment of one man. For they did not think they ought to give an invidious and obnoxious title to any magistracy that had the oversight of a free people, as well as for the sake of the governed, lest they should be alarmed by the odious terms of address, as from a regard for the men who were assuming the magistracies, lest they should unconsciously either suffer some injury from others or themselves commit against others acts of injustice of the sort that positions of such authority bring in their train. For the extent of the power which the dictator possesses is by no means indicated by the title; for the dictatorship is in reality an elective tyranny. The Romans seem to me to have taken this institution also from the Greeks. For the magistrates anciently called among the Greeks aisymnêtai or "regulators," as Theophrastus writes in his treatise On Kingship, were a kind of elective tyrants. They were chosen by the cities, not for a definite time nor continuously, but for emergencies, as often and for as long a time as seemed convenient; just as the Mitylenaeans, for example, once chose Pittacus to oppose the exiles headed by Alcaeus, the poet.

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The first men who had recourse to this institution had learned the advantage of it by experience. For in the beginning all the Greek cities were governed by kings, though not despotically, like the barbarian nations, but according to certain laws and time-honoured customs, and he was the best king who was the most just, the most observant of the laws, and did not in any wise depart from the established customs. This appears from Homer, who calls kings dikaspoloi or "ministers of justice," and themispoloi or "ministers of the laws." And kingships continued to be carried on for a long time subject to certain stated conditions, like that of the Lacedaemonians. But as some of the kings began to abuse their powers and made little use of the laws, but settled most matters according to their own judgment, people in general grew dissatisfied with the whole institution and abolished the kingly governments; and enacting laws and choosing magistrates, they used these as the safeguards of their cities. But when neither the laws they had made were sufficient to ensure justice nor the magistrates who had undertaken the oversight of them able to uphold the laws, and times of crisis, introducing many innovations, compelled them to choose, not the best institutions, but such as were best suited to the situations in which they found themselves, not only in unwelcome calamities, but also in immoderate prosperity, and when their forms of government were becoming corrupted by these conditions and required speedy and arbitrary correction, they were compelled to restore the kingly and tyrannical powers, though they concealed them under more attractive titles. Thus, the Thessalians called these officials archoi or "commanders," and the Lacedaemonians harmosati or "harmonizers," fearing to call them tyrants or kings, on the ground that it was not right for them to confirm those powers again which they had abolished with oaths and imprecations, under the approbation of the gods. My opinion, therefore, is, as I said, that the Romans took this example from the Greeks; but Licinius believes they took the dictatorship from the Albans, these being, as he says, the first who, when the royal family had become extinct upon the death of Amulius and Numitor, created annual magistrates with the same power the kings had enjoyed and called these magistrates dictators. For my part, I have not thought it worth while to inquire from whence the Romans took the name but from whence they took the example of the power comprehended under that name. But perhaps it is not worth while to discuss the matter further.

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I shall now endeavour to relate in a summary manner how Larcius handled matters when he had been appointed the first dictator, and show with what dignity he invested the magistracy, for I look upon these matters as being most useful to my readers, since they will afford a great abundance of noble and profitable examples, not only to lawgivers and leaders of the people, but also to all others who aspire to take part in public life and to govern the state. For it is no mean and humble state of which I am going to relate the institutions and manners, nor were the men nameless outcasts whose counsels and actions I shall record, so that my zeal for small and trivial details might to some appear tedious and trifling; but I am writing the history of the state which prescribes rules of right and justice for all mankind, and of the leaders who raised her to that dignity, matters concerning which any philosopher or statesman would earnestly strive not to be ignorant. As soon, therefore, as Larcius had assumed this power, he appointed as his Master of the Horse Spurius Cassius, who had been consul about the seventieth Olympiad. This custom has been observed by the Romans down to my generation and no one appointed dictator has thus far gone through his magistracy without a Master of the Horse. After that, desiring to show how great was the extent of his power, he ordered the lictors, more to inspire terror than for any actual use, to carry the axes with the bundles of rods through the city, thereby reviving once more a custom that had been observed by the kings but abandoned by the consuls after Valerius Publicola in his first consulship had lessened the hatred felt for that magistracy. Having by this and the other symbols of royal power terrified the turbulent and the seditious, he first ordered all the Romans, pursuant to the best of all the practices established by Servius Tullius, the most democratic of the kings, to return valuations of their property, each in their respective tribes, adding the names of their wives and children as well as the ages of themselves and their children. And all of them having registered in a short time by reason of the severity of the penalty (for the disobedient were to lose both their property and their citizenship), the Romans who had arrived at the age of manhood were found to number 150,700. After that he separated those who were of military age from the older men, and distributing the former into centuries, he formed four bodies of foot and horse, of which he kept one, the best, about his person, while of the remaining three bodies, he ordered Cloelius, who had been his colleague in the consulship, to choose the one he wished, Spurius Cassius, the Master of the Horse, to take the third, and Spurius Larcius, his brother, the remaining one; this last body together with the older men was ordered to guard the city, remaining inside the walls.

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When he had got everything ready that was necessary for the war, he took the field with his forces and established three camps in the places where he suspected the Latins would be the most likely to make their invasion. He considered that it is the part of a prudent general, not only to strengthen his own position, but also to weaken that of the enemy, and, above all, to bring wars to an end without a battle or hardship, or, if that cannot be done, then with the least expenditure of men; and regarding as the worse of all wars and the most distressing those which men are forced to undertake against kinsmen and friends, he thought they ought to be settled by an accommodation in which clemency outweighed the demands of justice. Accordingly, he not only sent secretly to the most important men among the Latins some persons who were free from suspicion and attempted to persuade them to establish friendship between the two states, but he also sent ambassadors openly both to the several cities and to their league and by that means easily brought it about that they no longer entertained the same eagerness for the war. But in particular he won them over and set them against their leaders by the following service. The men who had received the supreme command over the Latins, namely, Mamilius and Sextus, keeping their forces all together in the city of Tusculum, were preparing to march on Rome, but were consuming much time in delay, either waiting for the cities which were slow in joining them or because the sacrificial victims were not favourable. During this time some of their men, scattering abroad from the camp, proceeded to plunder the territory of the Romans. Larcius, being informed of this, sent Cloelius against them with the most valiant, both of the horse and light-armed troops; and he, coming upon them unexpectedly, killed a few in the action and took the rest prisoners. These Larcius caused to be cured of their wounds, and having gained their affection by many other instances of kindness, he sent them to Tusculum safe and sound without ransom, and with them the most distinguished of the Romans as ambassadors. Through their efforts the army of the Latins was disbanded and a year's truce concluded between the two states.

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After Larcius had effected these things, he brought the army home from the field, and having appointed consuls, laid down his magistracy before the whole term of his power had expired, without having put any of the Romans to death, banished any, or inflicted any other severity on any of them. This enviable example set by Larcius was continued by all who afterwards received this same power till the third generation before ours. Indeed, we find no instance of any one of them in history who did not use it with moderation and as became a citizen, though the commonwealth has often found it necessary to abolish the legal magistracies and to put the whole administration under one man. If, now, in foreign wars alone those who held the dictatorship had shown themselves brave champions of the fatherland, quite uncorrupted by the greatness of their power, it would not be so remarkable; but as it was, all who obtained this great power, whether in times of civil dissensions, which were many and serious, or in order to overthrow those who were suspected of aiming at monarchy or tyranny, or to prevent numberless other calamities, acquitted themselves in a manner free from reproach, like the first man who received it; so that all men gained the same opinion, and the last hope of safety when all others had been snatched away by some crisis, was the dictatorship. But in the time of our fathers, a full four hundred years after Titus Larcius, the institution became an object of reproach and hatred to all men under L. Cornelius Sulla, the first and only dictator who exercised his power with harshness and cruelty; so the Romans then perceived for the first time what they had along been ignorant of, that the dictatorship is a tyranny. For Sulla composed the senate of commonplace men, reduced the power of the tribunes to the minimum, depopulated whole cities, abolished some kingdoms and established others himself, and was guilty of many other arbitrary acts, which it would be a great task to enumerate. As for the citizens, besides those slain in battle, he put no fewer than forty thousand to death after they had surrendered to him, and some of these after he had first tortured them. Whether all these acts of his were necessary or advantageous to the commonwealth the present is not the time to inquire; all I have undertaken to show is that the name of dictator was rendered odious and terrible because of them. This is wont to be the case, not only with positions of power, but also with the other advantages which are eagerly contended for and admired in everyday life. For they all appear noble and profitable to those who hold them when they are used nobly, but base and unprofitable when they find unprincipled champions. For this result Nature is responsible, which to all good things has attached some congenital evils. But another occasion may be more suitable for discussing this subject