Roman antiquities 8.1
The consuls who were chosen after these were Gaius Julius Iulus and Publius Pinarius Rufus, who entered upon their magistracy in the seventy −third Olympiad (the one in which Astylus of Croton won the foot −race), when Anchises was archon at Athens. These magistrates, who were not in the least warlike men and for that reason chiefly had obtained the consulship from the people, were involved against their will in many great dangers, a war having broken out as a result of their rule which came near destroying the commonwealth from its foundations. For Marcius Coriolanus, the man who had been accused of aiming at tyranny and condemned to perpetual banishment, resented his misfortune and at the same time desired to avenge himself upon this enemies; and considering in what manner and with the aid of what forces he might accomplish this, he found that the only army which was then a match for the Romans was that of the Volscians, if these would agree together and make war upon them under an able general. He reasoned, therefore, that if he could prevail on the Volscians to receive him and to entrust to him the command of the war, his purpose could easily be accomplished. On the other hand, he was disturbed by the consciousness that he had often brought calamities upon them in battle and had forced many cities to forsake their alliance with them. However, he did not desist from the attempt because of the greatness of the danger, but resolved to encounter these very perils and suffer whatever might be the consequence. Having waited, therefore, for a night − and a dark one − he went to Antium, the most important city of the Volscians, at the hour when the inhabitants were at supper; and going to the house of an influential man named Tullus Attius, who by reason of his birth, his wealth and his military exploits had a high opinion of himself and generally led the whole nation, he became his suppliant by sitting down at his hearth. Then, having related to him the dire straits which had forced him to take refuge with his enemies, he begged of him to entertain sentiments of moderation and humanity toward a suppliant and no longer to regard as an enemy one who was in his power, nor to exhibit his strength against the unfortunate and the humbled, bearing in mind that the fortunes of men are subject to change. "And this," he said, "you may learn most clearly from my own case. For though I was once looked upon as the most powerful of all men in the greatest city, I am now cast aside, forsaken, exiled and abased, and destined to suffer any treatment you, who are my enemy, shall think fit to inflict upon me. But I promise you that I will perform as great services for the Volscians, if I become their friend, as I occasioned calamities to them when I was their enemy. However, if you have any other purpose concerning me, let loose your resentment at once and grant me the speediest death by sacrificing the suppliant with your own hand and at your own hearth."
Roman antiquities 8.2
While he was yet speaking these words Tullus gave him his hand and, raising him for the hearth, bade him be assured that he should not be treated in any manner unworthy of his valour, and said he felt himself under great obligations to him for coming to him, declaring that he looked upon even this as no small honour. He promised him also that he would make all the Volscians his friends, beginning with those of his own city; and not one of his promises did he fail to make good. Soon afterwards Marcius and Tullus conferred together in private and came to a decision to begin war against the Romans. Tullus proposed to put himself immediately at the head of all the Volscians and march on Rome while the Romans were still at odds and had generals averse to war. But Marcius insisted that they ought first to establish a righteous and just ground for war; for he pointed out that the gods take a hand in all actions, and especially in those relating to war, in so far as these are of greater consequence than any others and their outcome is generally uncertain. It happened that there was at that time an armistice and a truce existing between the Romans and the Volscians and also a treaty for two years which they had made a short time before: "If, therefore, you make war upon them inconsiderately and hastily," he said, "you will be to blame for the breaking of the treaty, and Heaven will not be propitious to you; whereas, if you wait till they do this, you will seem to be defending yourselves and coming to the aid of a broken treaty. How this may be brought about and how they may be induced to violate the treaty first, while we shall seem to be waging a righteous and just war against them, I have discovered after long consideration. It is necessary that the Romans should be deceived by us, in order that they may be the first to commit unlawful acts. The nature of this deceit, which I have hitherto kept secret while awaiting the proper occasion for its employment, but am now forced, because of your eagerness for action, to disclose sooner than I wished, is as follows. The Romans are intending to perform sacrifices and exhibit very magnificent games at vast expense, at which great numbers of strangers will be present as spectators. Wait for this occasion, and then not only go thither yourself, but engage as many of the Volscians as you can to go also and see the games. And when you are in Rome, bid one of your closest friends go to the consuls and inform them privately that the Volscians are intending to attack the city by night and that it is for this purpose that they have come to Rome in so great numbers. For you may be assured that if they hear this they will expel you Volscians from the city without further hesitation and furnish you with a ground for just resentment."
Roman antiquities 8.3
When Tullus heard this, he was highly pleased, and letting that opportunity for his expedition pass, employed himself in preparing for the war. When the time for the beginning of the festival had come, Julius and Pinarius having already succeeded to the consulship, the flower of the Volscian youth came from every city, as Tullus requested, to see the games; and the greater part of them were obliged to quarter themselves in sacred and public places, as they could not find lodgings in private houses and with friends. And when they walked in the streets, they went about in small groups and companies, so that there was already talk about them in the city and strange suspicions. In the mean time the informer suborned by Tullus, pursuant to the advice of Marcius, went to the consuls, and pretending that he was going to reveal a secret matter to his enemies against his own friends, bound the consuls by oaths, not only to insure his own safety, but also to insure that none of the Volscians should learn who had given the information concerning the alleged plot. The consuls believed his story and immediately convened the senate, summoning the members individually; and the informer, being brought before them and receiving their assurances, gave to them also the same account. The senators even long before this had looked upon it as a circumstance full of suspicion that such numbers of young men should come to see the games from a single nation which was hostile to them, and now that information too was given, the duplicity of which they did not perceive, their opinion was turned into certainty. It was their unanimous decision, therefore, to send the men out of the city before sunset and to order proclamation to be made that all who did not obey should be put to death; and they decreed that the consuls should see to it that their departure took place without insult and in safety.
Roman antiquities 8.4
After the senate had passed this vote some went through the streets making proclamation that the Volscians should depart from the city immediately and that they should all go out by a single gate, the one called the Capuan gate, while others together with the consuls escorted them on their departure. And then particularly, when they went out of the city at the same time and by the same gate, it was seen how numerous they were and how fit all were for service. First of them to depart was Tullus, who went out in haste, and taking his stand in a suitable place not far from the city, picked up those who lagged behind. And when they were all gathered together, he called an assembly and inveighed at length against the Roman people, declaring that it was an outrageous and intolerable insult that the Volscians had received at their hands in being the only strangers to be expelled from the city. He asked that each man should report this treatment in his own city and take measures to put a stop to the insolence of the Romans by punishing them for their lawless behaviour. After he had spoken thus and sharpened the resentment of the Volscians, who were already exasperated at the usage they had met with, he dismissed the assembly. When they returned to their several cities and each related to his fellow citizens the insult they had received, exaggerating what had occurred, every city was angered and unable to restrain its resentment; and sending ambassadors to one another, they demanded that all the Volscians should meet together in a single assembly in order to adopt a common plan concerning war. All this was done chiefly at the instigation of Tullus. And the authorities from every city together with a great multitude of other people assembled at Ecetra; for this city seemed the most conveniently situated with respect to the others for a general assembly. After many speeches had been made by the men in power in each city, the votes of all present were taken; and the view which carried was to begin war, since the Romans had first transgressed in the matter of the treaty.
Roman antiquities 8.5
When the authorities had proposed to the assembly to consider in what manner they ought to carry on the war against them, Tullus came forward and advised them to summon Marcius and inquire of him how the power of the Romans might be overthrown, since he knew better than any man both the weakness and the strength of the commonwealth. This met with their approval, and at once they all cried out to summon the man. Then Marcius, having found the opportunity he desired, rose up with downcast looks and with tears in his eyes and after a brief pause spoke as follows: "If I thought you all entertained the same opinion of my misfortune, I should not think it necessary to make any defense of it; but when I consider that, as is to be expected among many men of different characters, there are some to whom will occur the notion, neither true nor deserved by me, that the people would not have banished me from my country without a real and just cause, I think it necessary above all things first to clear myself publicly before you all in the matter of my banishment. But have patience with me, I adjure you by the gods, even those of you who are beside acquainted with the facts, while I relate what I have suffered from my enemies and show that I have not deserved this misfortune which has befallen me; and do not be anxious to hear what you must do before you have inquired what sort of man I am who am now going to express my opinion. The account I shall give of these matters will be brief, even though I begin from far back.
"The original constitution of the Romans was a mixture of monarchy and aristocracy. Afterwards Tarquinius, their last king, thought fit to make his government a tyranny; for which reason the leading men of the aristocracy, combining against him, expelled him from the state, and taking upon themselves the administration of public affairs, formed such a system of government as all men acknowledge to be the best and wisest. Not long ago, however, but only two or three years since, the poorest and idlest of the citizens, having bad men as their leaders, not only committed many other outrages, but at last endeavoured to overthrow the aristocracy. At this all the leaders of the senate were grieved and thought they ought to consider how the insolence of these disturbers of the government could be stopped; but more active in this regard than the other aristocrats, were, of the older senators, Appius, a man deserving of praise on many accounts, and, of the younger men, I myself. And the speeches which on every occasion we made before the senate were frank, not by way of making war upon the populace, but from a suspicion we had of government by the worst elements; nor again from a wish to enslave any of the Romans, but from a desire that the liberty of all might be preserved and the management of public affairs be entrusted to the best men.
Roman antiquities 8.6
"This being observed by those most unprincipled leaders of the populace, they resolved to remove first out of their way the two of us who most openly opposed them − not, however, by attacking us both at once, lest the attempt should appear invidious and odious, but beginning with me who was the younger and the easier to be dealt with. In the first place, then, they endeavoured to destroy me without a trial; and after that they demanded that I be delivered up by the senate in order to be put to death. But having failed of both purposes, they summoned me to a trial in which they themselves were to be my judges, and charged me with aiming at tyranny. They had not learned even this much − that no tyrant makes war upon the populace by allying himself with the best men, but, on the contrary, destroys the best element in the state with the aid of the populace. And they did not give me the tribunal that was traditional, by summoning the centuriate assembly, but rather a tribunal which all admit to be most unprincipled − one set up in my case and mine alone − in which the working class and vagabonds and those who plot against the possessions of others were sure to prevail over good and just men and such as desire the safety of the commonwealth. This profit, then, and no more did Igain from my innocence, that, though tried by the mob, of which the greater part were haters of the virtuous and for that reason hostile to me, I was condemned by two votes only, even though the tribunes threatened to resign their power if I were acquitted, alleging that they expected to suffer the worst at my hands, and though they displayed all eagerness and zeal against me during the trial. After meeting with such treatment at the hands of my fellow citizens I felt that the rest of my life would not be worth living unless I took revenge upon them; and for this reason, when I was at liberty to live free from vexations either in any of the Latin cities I pleased, because of our ties of kinship, or in the colonies lately planted by our fathers, I was unwilling to do so, but took refuge with you, though I knew you had suffered ever so many wrongs at the hands of the Romans and had conceived the greatest resentment against them, in order that in conjunction with you I might take revenge upon them to the utmost of my power, both by words what words were wanted, and by deeds, where deeds were wanted. And I feel very grateful to you for receiving me, and still more for the honour you show me, without either resenting or taking into account the injuries which you received from me, your erstwhile enemy, during the wars.
Roman antiquities 8.7
"Come now, what kind of man should Ibe if, deprived as I am of the glory and honours I ought to be receiving from my fellow citizens to whom I have rendered great services, and, in addition to this, driven away from my country, my family, my friends, from the gods and sepulchres of my ancestors and from every enjoyment, and if, finding all these things among you against whom I made war for their sake, I should not become harsh toward those whom have found enemies instead of fellow citizens, and helpful to those whom I have found friends instead of enemies? For my part, I could not count as a real man anyone who feels neither anger against those who make war upon him nor affection for those who seek his preservation. And I regard as my fatherland, not that state which has renounced me, but the one of which I, an alien, have become a citizen; and as a friendly land, not the one in which I have been wronged, but that in which I find safety. And if Heaven lends a hand and your assistance is as eager as I have reason to expect, I have hopes that there will be a great and sudden change. For you must know that the Romans, having already had experience of many enemies, have feared none more than you, and that there is nothing they continue to seek more earnestly than the means of weakening your nation. And for this reason they hold a number of your cities which they have either taken by war or deluded with the hope of their friendship, in order that you may not all unite and engage in a common war against them. If, therefore, you will strive unceasingly to counteract their designs and will all be of one mind about war, as you are now, you will easily put an end to their power.
Roman antiquities 8.8
"As to the manner in which you will wage the contest and how you will handle the situation, since you ask me to express my opinion − whether this be a tribute to my experience or to my goodwill or to both − I shall give it without concealing anything. In the first place, therefore, I advise you to consider how you may provide yourselves with a righteous and just pretext for the war. And what pretext for war will be not only righteous and just but also profitable to you at the same time, you shall now learn from me. The land which originally belonged to the Romans is of small extent and barren, but the acquired land which they possess as a result of robbing their neighbours is large and fertile; and if each of the injured nations should demand the return of the land that is theirs, nothing would be so insignificant, so weak, and so helpless as the city of Rome. In doing this I think you ought to take the lead. Send ambassadors to them, therefore, to demand back your cities which they are holding, to ask that they evacuate all the forts they have erected in your country, and to persuade them to restore everything else belonging to you which they have appropriated by force. But do not begin war till you have received their answer. For if you follow this advice, you will obtain one of two things you desire: you will either recover all that belongs to you without danger and expense or will have found an honourable and a just pretext for war. For not to covet the possessions others, but to demand back what is one's own and, failing to obtain this, to declare war, will be acknowledged by all men to be an honourable proceeding. Well then, what do you think the Romans will do if you choose this course? Do you think they will restore the places to you? And if they do, what is to hinder them from relinquishing everything that belongs to others? For the Aequians, the Albans, the Tyrrhenians, and many others will come each to get back their own land. Or do you think they will retain these places and refuse all your just demands? That is my opinion. Protesting, therefore, that they wronged you first, you will of necessity have recourse to arms, and you will have for your allies all who, having been deprived of their possessions, despair of recovering them by any other means than by war. This is a most favourable and a unique opportunity which Fortune has provided for the wronged nations, an opportunity for which they could not even have hoped, of attacking the Romans while they are divided and suspicious of one another and while they have generals who are inexperienced in war. These, then, Rome the considerations which it was fitting to suggest in words and urge upon friends, and I have offered them in all goodwill and sincerity. But when it comes to the actual deeds, what it will be necessary to foresee and contrive upon each occasion, leave the consideration of those matters to the commanders of the forces. For my zeal also shall not be wanting in whatever post you may place me, and I shall endeavour to do my duty with no less bravery than any common soldier or captain or general. Pray take me and use me wherever I may be of service to you, and be assured that if, when I fought against you, I was able to do you great mischief, I shall also be able, when I fight on your side, to be of great service to you."
Roman antiquities 8.9
Thus Marcius spoke. And the Volscians not only made it clear while he was yet speaking that they were pleased with his words, but, after he had done, they all with a great shout signified that they found his advice most excellent; and permitting no one else to speak, they adopted his proposal. After the decree had been drawn up they at once chose the most important men out of every city and sent them to Rome as ambassadors. As for Marcius, they voted that he should be a member of the senate in every city and have the privilege of standing for the magistracies everywhere, and should share in all the other honours that were most highly prized among them. Then, without waiting for the Romans' answer, the all set to work and employed themselves in warlike preparations; and all of them who had hitherto been dejected because of their defeats in the previous battles now took courage, feeling confident that they would overthrow the power of the Romans. In the mean time the ambassadors they had sent to Rome, upon being introduced into the senate, said that the Volscians were very desirous that their complaints against the Romans should be settled and that for the future they should be friends and allies without fraud or deceit. And they declared that it would be a sure pledge of friendship if they received back the lands and the cities which had been taken from them by the Romans; otherwise there would be neither peace nor secure friendship between them, since the injured party is always by nature an enemy to the aggressor. And they asked the Romans not to reduce them to the necessity of making war because of their failure to obtain justice.
Roman antiquities 8.10
When the ambassadors had thus spoken, the senators ordered them to withdraw, after which they consulted by themselves. Then, when they had determined upon the answer they ought to make, they called them back into the senate and gave this decision: "We are not unaware, Volscians, that it is not friendship you want, but that you wish to find a specious pretext for war. For you well know that you will never obtain what you have come to demand of us, since you desire things that are unjust and impossible. If, indeed, having made a present to us of these places, you now, having changed your minds, demand them back, you are suffering a wrong if you do not recover them; but if, having been deprived of them by war and no longer having any claim to them, you demand them back, you are doing wrong in coveting the possessions of others. As for us, we regard as in the highest degree our possessions those that we gain through victory in war. We are not the first who have established this law, nor do we regard it as more a human than a divine institution. Knowing, too, that all nations, both Greeks and barbarians, make use of this law, we will never show any sign of weakness to you or relinquish any of our conquests hereafter. For it would be great baseness for one to lose through folly and cowardice what one has acquired by valour and courage. We neither force you to go to war against your will nor deprecate war if you are eager for it; but if you begin it, we shall defend ourselves. Return this answer to the Volscians, and tell them that, though they are the first to take up arms, we shall be the last to lay them down."
Roman antiquities 8.11
The ambassadors, having received this answer, reported it to the Volscian people. Another assembly was accordingly called and a decree of the whole nation was passed to declare war against the Romans. After this they appointed Tullus and Marcius generals for the war with full power and voted to levy troops, to raise money, and to prepare everything else they thought would be necessary for the war, When the assembly was about to be dismissed, Marcius rose up and said: "What your league has voted is all well and good; and let each provision be carried out at the proper season. But while you are planning to enrol your armies and making other preparations which, in all probability, will involve some to and delay, let Tullus and me set to work. As many of you, therefore, as wish to plunder the enemy's territory and to gain much booty, come with us. I undertake, with the assistance of Heaven, to give you many rich spoils. For the Romans, observing that your forces have not yet been assembled, are as yet unprepared; so that we shall have an opportunity of overrunning as large a part of their country as we please without molestation."
Roman antiquities 8.12
The Volscians having approved of this proposal also, the generals marched out in haste at the head of a numerous army of volunteers before the Romans were informed of their plans. With a part of this force Tullus invaded the territory of the Latins, in order to cut off from the enemy any assistance from that quarter; and with the remainder Marcius marched against the Romans' territory. As the calamity fell unexpectedly upon the inhabitants of the country, many Romans of free condition were taken and many slaves and no small number of oxen, beasts of burden, and other cattle; as for the corn that was found there, the iron tools and the other implements with which the land is tilled, some were carried away and others destroyed. For at the last the Volscians set fire to the country −houses, so that it would be a long time before those who had lost them could restore them. The farms of the plebeians suffered most in this respect, while those of the patricians remained unharmed, or, if they received any damage, it seemed to fall only on their slaves and cattle. For Marcius thus instructed the Volscians, in order to increase the suspicion of the plebeians against the patricians and to keep the sedition alive in the state; and that is just what happened. For when this raid upon the country was reported to the Romans and they learned that the calamity had not fallen upon all alike, the poor clamoured against the rich, accusing them of bringing Marcius against them, while the patricians endeavoured to clear themselves by declaring that this was some malicious trick on the part of the general. But neither of them, because of mutual jealousy and fear of treachery, thought fit either to come to the rescue of what was being destroyed or to save what was left; so that Marcius had full liberty to withdraw his army and to bring all his men home after they had done as much harm as they pleased, while suffering none themselves, and had enriched themselves with much booty. Tullus also arrived a little later from the territory of the Latins, bringing with him many spoils; for there too the inhabitants had no army with which to engage the enemy, since they were unprepared and the calamity fell upon them unexpectedly. As a result of this every city of the Volscians was buoyed up with hope, and more quickly than anyone would have expected not only were the troops enrolled, but everything else was supplied that the generals needed.
Roman antiquities 8.13
When all their forces were now assembled, Marcius took counsel with his colleague how they should conduct their future operations; and he said to him: "In my opinion, Tullus, it will be best for us to divide our army into two bodies; then one of us, taking the most active and eager of the troops, should engage the enemy, and if they can bring themselves to come to close quarters with us, should decide the contest by a single battle, or, if they hesitate, as I think they will, to stake their all upon a newly raised army and inexperienced generals, then he should attack and lay waste their country, detach their allies, destroy their colonies, and do them any other injury he can. And the other should remain here and defend both the country and the cities, lest the enemy fall upon these unawares, if they are unguarded, and we ourselves suffer the most shameful of all disgraces in losing what we have while endeavouring to gain what we have not. But it is necessary that the one who remains here should at once repair the walls of the cities that have fallen in ruin, clear out the ditches, and strengthen the fortresses to serve as places of refuge for the husbandmen. He should also enroll another army, supply the forces that are in the field with provisions, forge arms, and speedily supply anything else that shall be necessary. Now I give you the choice whether you will command the army that is to take the field, or the one which is to remain here." While he was speaking these words Tullus was greatly delighted with his proposal, and knowing the man's energy and good fortune in battle, yielded to him the command of the army that was to take the field.
Roman antiquities 8.14
Marcius, without losing any more time, came with his army to the city of Circeii, in which there were Roman colonists living intermingled with the native residents; and he took possession of the town as soon as he appeared before it. For when the Circeians saw their country in the power of the Volscians and their army approaching the walls, they opened their gates, and coming out unarmed to meet the enemy, asked them to take possession of the town − a course which saved them from suffering any irreparable mischief. For the general put none of them to death nor expelled any from the city; but having taken clothing for his soldiers and provisions sufficient for a month, together with a moderate sum of money, he withdrew his forces, leaving only a small garrison in the town, not only for the safety of the inhabitants, lest they should suffer some harm at the hands of the Romans, but also to restrain them from beginning any rebellion in the future. When news of what had happened was brought to Rome, there was much greater confusion and disorder than before. The patricians reproached the populace with having driven from the state a man who was a great warrior, energetic, and full of noble pride, by involving him in a false charge and having thus caused him to become general of the Volscians; and the leaders of the populace in turn inveighed against the senate, declaring that the whole affair was a piece of treachery devised by them and that the war was being directed, not against all the Romans in common, but against the plebeians only; and the most evil −minded element among the populace sided with them. But neither party gave so much as a thought to raising armies, summoning the allies, or making the necessary preparations, by reason of their mutual hatreds and their actions of one another in the meetings of the assembly.
Roman antiquities 8.15
This being observed by the oldest of the Romans, they joined together and sought to persuade the most seditious of the plebeians both in public and in private to put a stop to their suspicions and accusations against the patricians. If, they argued, by the banishment of one man of distinction the commonwealth had been brought into so great danger, what were they to expect if by their abusive treatment they forced the greater part of the patricians to entertain the same sentiments? Thus these men appeased the disorderliness of the populace. After the great tumult had been suppressed, the senate met and gave the following answer to the ambassadors who had come from the Latin League to ask for armed assistance: That it was not easy for them to send assistance for the time being; but that they gave the Latins leave to enroll their own army themselves and to send out their own generals in command of their forces until the Romans should send out a force; for by the treaty of friendship they had made with the Latins both these things were forbidden. The senate also ordered the consuls to raise an army by levy, to guard the city, and to summon the allies, but not to take the field with their forces till everything was in readiness. These resolutions were ratified by the people. Only a short time now remained of the consuls' term of office, so that they were unable to carry to completion any of the measures that had been voted, but handed over everything half finished to their successors.
Roman antiquities 8.16
Those who assumed office after them, Spurius Nautius and Sextus Furius, raised as large an army as they could from the register of citizens, and placed beacons and lookouts in the most convenient fortresses, in order that they might not be unaware of anything that passed in the country. They also got ready a great quantity of money, corn and arms in a short time. These preparations at home, then, were made in the best manner possible, and nothing now seemed to be wanting; but the allies did not all obey their summons with alacrity nor were they disposed to assist them voluntarily in the war, so that the consuls did not think fit to use compulsion either with them, for fear of treachery. Indeed, some of the allies were already openly revolting from them and aiding the Volscians. The Aequians had begun the revolt by going at once to the Volscians as soon as the war arose and entering into an alliance with them under oath; and these sent to Marcius a very numerous and zealous army. After these had taken the lead, many of the other allies also secretly assisted the Volscians and sent them reinforcements, though not in pursuance of any votes or general decree, but if any of their people desired to take part in the campaign of Marcius, they not only did not attempt to dissuade them, but even encouraged them. Thus in a short time the Volscians had got so large an army as they had never possessed when their cities had been in the most flourishing state. At the head of this army Marcius made another irruption into the territory of the Romans, and encamping there for many days, laid waste all the country which he had spared in his former incursion. He did not, it is true, capture many persons of free condition on this expedition; for the inhabitants had long since fled, after getting together everything that was most valuable, some to Rome and others to such of the neighbouring fortresses as were most capable of defense; but he took all the cattle they had not been able to driven away, together with the slaves who tended them, and carried off the corn, that still lay upon the threshing −floors, and all the other fruits of the earth, whether then gathering or already gathered. Having ravaged and laid everything waste, as none dared to come to grips with him, he led homeward his army, which was now heavily burdened with the great amount of its spoils and was proceeding in leisurely fashion.
Roman antiquities 8.17
The Volscians, seeing the vast quantity of booty that was being brought home and hearing reports of the craven spirit of the Romans who, though they had hitherto been wont to ravage their neighbours' country, could now bear to see their own laid waste with impunity, were filled with great boastfulness and entertained hopes of the supremacy, looking upon it as an easy undertaking, lying ready to their hands, to overthrow the power of their adversaries. They offered sacrifices of thanksgiving to the gods for their success and adorned their temples and market −places with dedications of spoils, and all passed their time in festivals and rejoicings; while as for Marcius, they continued to admire and celebrate him as the ablest of all men in warfare and a general without an equal either at Rome or in the Greek or barbarian world. But above all they admired him for his good fortune, observing that everything he undertook easily succeeded according to his desire; so that there was no one of military age who was willing to be left behind by him, but all were eager to share in his exploits and flocked to him from every city. The general, after he had strengthened the zeal of the Volscians and reduced the manly fortitude of the enemy to a helplessness that was abject and anything but manly, led his army against the cities of their allies that still remained faithful to them; and having promptly prepared everything that was necessary for a siege, he marched against the Tolerienses, who belonged to the Latin nation. These, having long before made the necessary preparations for war and transported all the effects they had in the country into the city, withstood his attack and held out for some time, fighting from their walls and wounding many of the enemy; then, after being driven back by the slingers and enduring hardships till the late afternoon, they abandoned many parts of the wall. When Marcius was informed of this, he ordered some of the soldiers to plant ladders against those parts of the wall that were left unprotected, while he himself with the flower of his army hastened to the gates amid a shower of spears that were hurled at him from the towers; and breaking the bars asunder, he was the first to enter the city. Close to the gates stood a large and strong body of the enemy's troops, who stoutly withstood his attack and continued to fight for a long time; but when many of them had been killed, the rest gave way and, dispersing themselves, fled through the streets. Marcius followed, putting to death all whom he overtook except those who threw away their arms and had recourse to supplications. In the meantime the men who had ascended by the ladders were making themselves masters of the wall. The town being taken in this manner, Marcius set aside such of the spoils as were to be consecrated to the gods and to adorn the cities of the Volscians, and the rest he permitted the soldiers to plunder. Many prisoners were taken there, also a great deal of money and much corn, so that it was not easy for the victors to remove everything in one day, but they were forced to consume much time while, working in relays, they drove or carried away the booty, either on their own backs or using beasts of burden.
Roman antiquities 8.18
The general, after all the prisoners and effects had been removed out of the city, left it desolate and drew off his forces to Bola, another town of the Latins. The BolanIalso, as it chanced, had been apprised of his intended attack and had prepared everything necessary for the struggle. Marcius, who expected to take the town by storm, delivered his attacks upon many parts of the wall. But the Bolani, after watching for a favourable opportunity, opened their gates, and sallying out in force in regular array, engaged the front ranks of the enemy; then, after killing many of them and wounding still more and after forcing the rest to a shameful flight, they retired into the city. When Marcius learned of rout of the Volscians − for it chanced that he was not present in the place where this defeat occurred − he came up in haste with a few of his men, and rallying those who were dispersed in the flight, he formed them into a body and encouraged them. Then, having got them back in their ranks and indicated what they were to do, he ordered them to attack the town at the same gates. When the BolanIonce more tried the same expedient, sallying out in force, the Volscians did not await them, but gave way and fled down hill, as their general had instructed them to do; and the Bolani, ignorant of the ruse, pursued them a considerable way. Then, when they were at a distance from the town, Marcius fell upon them with a body of chosen youth; and many of the BolanIfell, some while defending themselves and others while endeavouring to escape. Marcius pursued those who were being pushed back toward the town and forced his way inside the walls before the gates could be slammed shut. When the general had once made himself master of the gates, the rest of the Volscian host followed, and the Bolani, abandoning the walls, fled to their houses. Marcius, having possessed himself of this city also, gave leave to the soldiers to make slaves of the inhabitants and to seize their effects; and after carrying away all the booty at his leisure and with full liberty, as before, he set fire to the town.
Roman antiquities 8.19
From there he took his army and marched against the place called Labici. This city too belonged then to the Latins and was, like the others, a colony of the Albans. In order to terrify the inhabitants, as soon as he entered their territory he set fire to the part of the country from which the flames would most clearly be seen by them. But the Labicani, since they had well −constructed walls, neither became terrified at his invasion nor showed any sign of weakness, but made a brave resistance and often repulsed the enemy as they were attempting to scale the walls. Notwithstanding this, they were not able to resist to the end, fighting as they were few against many and without the least respite. For many attacks were made upon all parts of the city by the Volscians, who fought in shifts, those who were fatigued continually retiring and other forces that were fresh taking their place; and the inhabitants, contending against these all day, without any respite even at night, were forced through exhaustion to abandon at walls. Marcius, having taken this city also, made slaves of the inhabitants and allowed his soldiers to divide the spoils. Thence he marched to Pedum − this also was a city of the Latins − and advancing with his army in good order, he took the town by storm as soon as he came near the walls. And having treated it in the same manner as the cities he had captured earlier, he led his forces at break of day against Corbio. When he was near its walls, the inhabitants opened their gates and came to meet him, holding out olive −branches instead of weapons and offering to surrender their walls without striking a blow. Marcius, after commending them for adopting the course that was to their best interest, ordered them to come out bringing whatever his army required, both money and corn; and having obtained what he demanded, he led his forces to Corioli. When the inhabitants of this place also surrendered it without resistance and very readily supplied his army with provisions and money and everything else that he ordered, he led the army away through their territory as through a friendly land. For this too was a matter about which he always took great care − that those who surrendered their cities to him should suffer none of the ills incident to war, but should get back their lands unravaged and recover all the cattle and slaves they had left behind on their farms; and he would not permit his army to quarter itself in the cities, limestone some mischief should result from their plundering or stealing, but he always encamped near the walls.
Roman antiquities 8.20
Departing from this city, he led his army to Bovillae, which was then a city of note and counted as one of the very few leading cities of the Latin nation. When the inhabitants would not receive him, but trusted in their ramparts, which were very strong, and in the multitude of defenders who would fight from them, Marcius exhorted his men to fight ardently, promising great rewards to those who should first mount the walls, and then set to work; and a sharp battle took place for this city. For the BovillanInot only repulsed the assailants from the walls, but even threw open their gates, and sallying out in a body, forcibly thrust back down hill those who opposed them. Here the Volscians suffered very heavy losses and the battle for the walls continued a long time, so that all despaired of taking the town. But the general caused the loss of those who were slain to pass unnoticed by replacing them with others, and inspired with fresh courage those who were spent with toil by pressing forward himself to that part of the army which was in distress. Thus not only his words, but his actions also were incentives to valour; for he faced every danger and was not found wanting in any attempt till the walls were taken. When at length he had made himself master of this city also and had summarily put to death some of the inhabitants and made prisoners of the rest, he withdrew his forces, having won a most glorious victory and carrying off great quantities of the finest spoils, besides enriching his army with vast amounts of money he had got possession of in this city, where it was found in greater quantity than in any of the places he had captured.
Roman antiquities 8.21
After this all the country he marched through submitted to him and no city made any resistance but Lavinium, which was the first city built by the Trojans who land in Italy with Aeneas, and the one from which the Romans derive their origin, as I have shown earlier. The inhabitants of this city thought they ought to suffer any extremity rather than fail to keep faith with their descendants. Here, therefore, some stubborn fighting took place upon the walls and some sharp engagements before the ramparts; nevertheless, the walls were not carried by storm at the first assault, but their capture seemed to require time and unhurried persistence. Marcius accordingly gave over the attack on the walls and undertook to construct a ditch and a palisade around the town, while guarding all the roads so that neither provisions nor reinforcements might come to the inhabitants from outside. The Romans, being informed both of the destruction of the cities that were already taken and of the exigency which had influenced those who had joined Marcius, and importuned by the embassies which came to them daily from those who continued firm in their friendship and besought their aid, and being alarmed, moreover, by the investment of Lavinium then in progress and believing that if this stronghold should be taken the war would promptly come to their own gates, thought the only remedy for all these evils would be to pass a vote for the return of Marcius. The entire populace shouted for this and the tribunes too wished to introduce a law for the annulment of his condemnation; but the patricians opposed them, being determined not to reverse any part of the sentence which had been pronounced. And as no preliminary decree was passed by the senate, the tribunes too no longer thought fit to propose the matter to the populace. It may well excite wonder what the motive was that led the senate, which hitherto had so warmly espoused the cause of Marcius, to oppose the populace on this occasion when they wished to recall him − whether they were sounding out the sentiment of the populace and arousing them to greater zeal by their own reluctance to yield to them, or whether they wished to clear themselves of the accusations brought against them so that they might not be held to be either responsible for or accomplices in any of the acts of Marcius. For as their purpose was kept secret, it was difficult to conjecture what it was.
Roman antiquities 8.22
Marcius, being informed of these events by some deserters, was so angry that he broke camp at once and marched on Rome, leaving a sufficient force to keep guard over Lavinium; and he straightway encamped at the place called the Cluilian Ditches, at a distance of forty stades from the city. When the Romans heard of his presence there, such confusion fell upon them, in their belief that the war would at once come to their walls, that some seized their arms and ran to the walls without orders, others went in a body to the gates without anyone to command them, some armed their slaves and took their stand on the roofs of their houses, and still others seized the citadel and the Capitol and the other strong places of the city; and the women, with their hair disheveled, ran to the sanctuaries and to the temples, lamenting and praying to the gods to avert the danger that threatened. But when the night had passed, as well as most of the following day, and none of the evils they had feared befell them, but Marcius remained quiet, all the plebeians flocked to the Forum and called upon the patricians to assemble in the senate −house, declaring that if they would not pass the preliminary decree for the return of Marcius, they themselves, as men who were being betrayed, would take measures for their own protection. Then at last the senators met in the senate −house and voted to send to Marcius five of their oldest members who were his closest friends, to treat for reconciliation and friendship. The men chosen were Marcus Minucius, Postumus Cominius, Spurius Larcius, Publius Pinarius and Quintus Sulpicius, all ex −consuls. When they came to the camp and Marcius was informed of their arrival, he seated himself in the midst of the most important of the Volscians and their allies, where very many would hear all that was said, and then ordered the envoys to be summoned. When these came in, Minucius, who during his consulship had been most active in his favour and had distinguished himself by his opposition to the plebeians, spoke first, as follows:
Roman antiquities 8.23
"We are all sensible, Marcius, that you have suffered injustice at the hands of the populace in having been banished from your country under a foul accusation, and we do not regard it as anything strange on your part if you feel anger and resentment at your misfortunes. For common to the nature of all men is this law − that the injured party is an enemy to the aggressor. But that you do not examine in the light of sober reason who those are whom you ought to requite and punish, nor show any moderation in exacting that punishment, but class together the innocent with the guilty and friends with enemies, and that you violate the inviolable laws of Nature, confound the duties of religion, and, even as to yourself, no longer remember from whom you are sprung and what sort of man you are − that has seemed strange to us. We have come now, the oldest of the patricians and the most zealous of your friends, sent by the commonwealth to present our defense mingled with entreaty, and to bring word upon what conditions we ask you to lay aside your enmity toward the populace; and furthermore, to advise you of the course which we believe will be the most honourable and advantageous for you.
Roman antiquities 8.24
"Let me speak first concerning the point of justice. The plebeians, inflamed by the tribunes, conspired against you and came with the intention of putting you to death without a trial, because they feared you. This attempt we of the senate prevented, and we permitted you to suffer no injustice on that occasion. Afterwards the same men who had been prevented from destroying you summoned you to trial, charging you with having uttered malicious words about them in the senate. We opposed this too, as you know, and would not permit you to be brought to trial either for your opinion or for your words. Disappointed in this also, they came to us at last, accusing you at aiming at tyranny. This charge you yourself consented to answer, since you were far from guilty of it, and you permitted the plebeians to give their votes concerning you. The senate was present on this occasion also and made many pleas in your behalf. Of which of the misfortunes, then, that have befallen you have we patricians been the cause? And why do you make war upon us who showed so much goodwill toward you during that contest? But, for that matter, not even all the plebeians were found to desire your banishment; at any rate, you were condemned by two votes only, so that you could not with justice be an enemy to those plebeians, either, who acquitted you as guilty of no wrongdoing. I will assume, however, if you wish, that it was pursuant to the vote of all the plebeians and the judgement of the entire senate that you suffered this misfortune, and that your hatred against us all is just; but the women, Marcius, what wrong have they done to you that you should make war upon them? By what vote did they condemn you to banishment, or what malicious words did they utter against you? And our children, what wrong have they done or contemplated doing that they should be exposed to captivity and to all the other misfortunes which they would presumably suffer if the city should be taken? You are not just in your judgements, Marcius; and if you think you ought to hate those who are guilty and your enemies in such a manner as not to spare even those who are innocent and your friends, then your way of thinking is not such as becomes a good man. But, to omit all these considerations, what, in Heaven's name, could duty answer if anyone should ask you what injure you have received from your ancestors to induce you to destroy their sepulchres and to deprive them of the honours they receive from men? Or resentment at what injury has led you to despoil, burn and demolish the altars of the gods, their shrines and their temples, and to prevent them from receiving their customary worship? What could you say in answer to this? For my part, I see nothing that you could say. Let these considerations of justice suffice, Marcius, both in behalf of us of the senate and of the other citizens whom you are eager to destroy, even though you have suffered no wrong at their hands, and in behalf of the sepulchers, the sanctuaries and the city to which you owe both your birth and your rearing.
Roman antiquities 8.25
"Come now, even if it were fitting that all men, even those who have not wronged you at all, together with their wives and children should make atonement to you, and that all the gods, the heroes and the lesser divinities, the city and the country, should reap the benefit of the tribunes' folly, and that nothing whatever should be exempted, nothing go unrevenged by you, have you not already exacted sufficient punishment from us all you slaying so many people, ravaging so much territory by fire and sword, razing to the ground so many cities, and doing away in many places with the festivals, the sacrifices and the worship of the gods and other divinities and compelling them to go without their festivals and sacrifices and to have no part in their customary honours? For my part, I should have refused to believe that a man who had the least regard for virtue would either destroy his friends along with his enemies or show himself harsh and inexorable in his anger toward those who offend him in any way, especially after he has already exacted from them many severe retributions. These, then, are the considerations we had to offer you by way of both clearing ourselves and asking to be lenient toward the plebeians; and the advice which we, your most valued friends, were ready to give you out of goodwill if you were bent on strife, and the promises we could make if you were ready to be reconciled to your country, are as follows: While your power is greatest and Heaven still assists you, we advise you to act with moderation and to husband your good fortune, bearing in mind that all things are subject to change and that nothing is apt to continue long in the same state. All things that wax too great, when they reach the peak of eminence, incur the displeasure of the gods and are brought to naught again. And this is the fate which comes especially to stubborn and haughty spirits and those that overstep the bounds of human nature. It is in your power now to put an end to the war on the best possible terms; for the whole senate is eager to pass a vote for your return, and the populace is ready by a law ratifying the senate's vote to annul your sentence of perpetual banishment. What is there, then, to prevent you any longer from enjoying once more the most dear and precious sight of your nearest of kin, from recovering your fatherland that is so well worth fighting for, from ruling, as you ought, over rulers and commanding those who cdm others, and from bequeathing to children and descendants the greatest glory? Moreover, we are the sureties that all these promises will be performed forthwith. For though at present it would not be well for the senate or the people to pass any mild or lenient vote in your favour while you are encamped against us and are committing hostile acts, yet if you lay down your arms, the decree for your return will soon come to you, brought by us.
Roman antiquities 8.26
"These, then, are the advantages you will reap by becoming reconciled; whereas, if you psIin your resentment and do not give up your hatred toward us, many disagreeable things will befall you, of which I shall now mention two as the most important and the most obvious. The first is that you have an evil passion for a thing that is difficult of accomplishment, or rather, impossible − the overthrow of the power of Rome, and that too by the arms of the Volscians; the second is that, alike if you succeeded and if you fail, it will be your lot to be looked upon as the most unfortunate of all men. Hear now, Marcius, the reasons that induce me to entertain this opinion concerning you, and take no offense at my frankness of speech. Consider, first, the impossibility of the thing. The Romans, as you yourself know, have a numerous body of youth of their own nation, whom, if the sedition is once banished from among them − and banished it will now inevitably be by this war, since a common fear is wont to reconcile all differences − surely not the Volscians, nay, no other Italian nation either, will ever overcome. Great also is the power of the Latins and of our other allies and colonies, and that power, be assured, will soon come to our assistance. We have generals too of the same ability as yourself, both older men and young, in greater number than are to be found in any other states. But the greatest assistance of all, and one which in times of danger has never betrayed our hopes, and better too than all human strength combined, is the favour of the gods, by whom this city which we inhabit not only continues to this day to preserve her liberty for already the eighth generation, but is also flourishing and the ruler over many nations. And do not liken us to the Pedani, the Tolerienses, or the peoples of the other petty towns you have seized; for a general less able than yourself and with a smaller army than this great host of yours could have reduced small garrisons and slight defenses. But consider the greatness of our city, the brilliance of her achievements in war, and the good fortune that abides with her through the favour of the gods, by which she has been raised from a small beginning to her present grandeur. As for your own forces, at the head of which you are undertaking so great an enterprise, do not imagine that they have changed, but bear clearly in mind that you are leading against us an army of mere Volscians and Aequians, whom we here who are still living were wont to defeat in many battles, yes, as often as they dared to come to an engagement with us. Know, then, that you are going to fight with inferior troops against those that are superior to them, and with troops that are accustomed to defeat every time against those that are always victorious. Yet even if the contrary of this were true, it would still be a matter for wonder how you, who are experienced in warfare, could have failed to observe that courage in the face of danger is not apt to be felt in equal measure by those who fight for their own blessings and by those who set out after what belongs to others. For the latter, if they do not succeed, suffer no loss, whereas the others, if they are defeated, have nothing left. And this is the chief reason why large armies have often been beaten by smaller ones and superior forces by inferior ones. For necessity is formidable, and a struggle in which life itself is at stake is capable of inspiring boldness in a man which was not already his by nature. I had many other things to say concerning the impossibility of your undertaking, but this is enough.
Roman antiquities 8.27
"I still have one argument left which, if you will judge of it by reason rather than in anger, will not only seem to you to have been well made, but will also cause you to repent of what you are doing. What is this argument? That the gods have not given it to any mortal creature to possess sure knowledge of future events, and you will not find in all past time a man for whom all his undertakings succeeded according to his plan and whom Fortune thwarted in none. For this reason alone those who excel others in prudence − the fruit of a long life and many lessons from experience − think that they ought, before beginning any enterprise whatever, first to consider its possible outcome − not only the one which they desire for themselves, but also the one which will be contrary to their judgement. And this is particularly true of commanders in wars, the more so because the affairs of which they have charge are of greater importance and because everybody imputes to them the responsibility for both victories and defeats. Then, if they find that no loss inheres in failure, or few and small losses, they set about their undertakings, but if the losses might be many and serious, they abandon them. Do you too, then, follow their example, and before you resort to action, consider what it will be your fate to suffer if you fail in this war and all conditions do not favour you. You will be reproached by those who have received you and you will also blame yourself for having undertaken greater things than are possible; and when our army in turn marches into their territory and lays it waste − for we shall never submit to such injuries without avenging ourselves on our aggressors − you will not be able to avoid one of these two fates: you will be put to death in a shameful manner either by those very men, in whose eyes you will be to blame the great misfortunes, or by us, whom you came to slay and to enslave. But perhaps those others, before they become involved in any misfortune, may, in the attempt to effect an accommodation with us, think fit to deliver up to us to be punished − a course to which many, both barbarians and Greeks, have been obliged to submit when reduced to such extremities. Do you look upon these as small matters unworthy of your consideration and believe that you ought to overlook them, or rather as the worst evils of all to suffer?
Roman antiquities 8.28
"Come now, if you do succeed, what wonderful, what enviable advantage will be yours, or what glory will you gain? For this also you must consider. In the first place, it will be your fate to be deprived of those who are dearest and nearest of kin to you − of an unhappy mother, to whom you are making no honourable return for your birth and rearing and for all the hardships she underwent on your account; and again, of a faithful wife, who through yearning for you sits in solitude and widowhood, lamenting every day and night your banishment; and furthermore of two sons who ought, being descendants of worthy ancestors, to benefit from their honours by being held in high esteem in a flourishing fatherland. But you will be forced to behold the pitiable and unhappy deaths of all these if you dare to bring the war to our walls. For surely no mercy will be shown to any of your family by those who are in danger of losing their own and are treated by you with the same cruelty. On the contrary, they will proceed to inflict on them dreadful tortures, pitiless indignities and every other kind of abuse, if they are forced thereto by their calamities. And for all these things it will not be those who do them that are to blame, but you, who impose the necessity upon them. Such will be the pleasures you will reap if this enterprise of yours succeeds; but as for praise and emulation and honours, which good men ought to strive for, consider of what nature they will be. You will be called the slayer of your mother, the murderer of your children, the assassin of your wife, and the evil genius of your country; wherever you go, no man who is pious and just will be willing to let you partake with him in sacrifices or libations or in the hospitality of his home; and even by those for whom out of friendliness you perform these services you will not be held in honour, but every one of them, after reaping some advantage from your impious actions, will detest your arrogant manner. I forbear to add that, besides the hatred which you will encounter on the part of the most fair −minded men, you will have to face much envy from your equals and fear from your inferiors and, in consequence of both the envy and the fear, plots and many other disagreeable things which are likely to befall a man destitute of friends and living in a foreign land. I say nothing, indeed, of the Furies sent by the gods and other divinities to punish those who have been guilty of impious and dreadful deeds − those Furies tormented by whom in both soul and body they drag out a miserable life while awaiting a pitiable death. Bearing these things in mind, Marcius, repent of your purpose and give up your grudge against your country; and regarding Fortune as having been the cause of all the evils you have suffered at our hands or have inflicted on us, return with joy to your family, receive a mother's most affectionate embraces, a wife's sweetest welcome, and give yourself back to your country as a most honourable repayment of the debt you owe to her for having given birth and rearing to so great a man."
Roman antiquities 8.29
Minucius having spoken in this manner, Marcius after a short pause replied: "To you, Minucius, and to all others who have been sent here with him by the senate I am a friend and am ready to do you any service in my power, because not only earlier, when I was your fellow citizen and had a share in the administration of public affairs, you assisted me in many times of need, but also after my banishment you did not turn from me in contempt of my then unhappy fate, as if I were no longer able either to serve my friends or to hurt my enemies, but you continued to show yourselves good and staunch friends by taking care of my mother, my wife and my children, and alleviating their misfortune by your personal attentions. But to the rest of the Romans I am as hostile as I can be and am at war with them, and I shall never cease to hate them; for they, in return for the many glorious achievements for which I deserved honour, drove me out of my country with ignominy, as being guilty of the most grievous crimes against the commonwealth, and showed neither respect for my mother, nor compassion for my children, nor any other humane field in view of my misfortunes. Now that you have been informed of this, if you desire anything from me for yourselves, declare it without hesitation, in the assurance that you shall fail of naught that is in my power; but as regards friendship and a reconciliation, which you desire me to enter into with the populace in the hope that they will let me return, discuss it no more. Great indeed would be the satisfaction with which I should accept restoration to a city like this, in which vice receives the rewards of virtue and the innocent await the punishment of criminals! For come, tell me, in Heaven's name, with what crime am Icharged that I should have experienced this misfortune? Or what course have Ipursued that is unworthy of my ancestors? I made my first campaign when I was very young, at the time we fought against the kings who were endeavouring to bring about their restoration by force. As a result of that battle I was crowned by the general with a wreath of valour for having saved a citizen and slain an enemy. After that, in every other action I was engaged in, whether of the horse or foot, I distinguished myself in all and from all received the rewards for valour. And there was neither any town taken by storm whose walls I was not the very first or among the first few to mount, nor any flight of the enemy from the field of battle where all who were present did not acknowledge that I had been the chief cause of it, nor any other signal or brave action performed in war without the assistance of either my valour or my good fortune.
Roman antiquities 8.30
"These are exploits, it is true, that some other brave man also might perhaps be able to cite in his favour, even if not so many of them; but what general or captain could boast of capturing an entire city, as I captured Corioli, and also of putting to flight the enemy's army on that very same day, as I did that of the Antiates when it came to the assistance of the besieged? I refrain from adding that after I had given such proofs of my valour, when I might have received out of the spoils a large amount of gold and silver, as well as slaves, beasts of burden and cattle, and much fertile land, I refused, but desiring to secure myself as far as possible against envy, took only a single war −horse out of the spoils and my personal friend from among the captives, and all the rest of the wealth I brought and turned over to the state. Did I, then, for these actions deserve to suffer punishments, or to receive honours? To become subject to the basest of the citizens, or myself to issue orders to my inferiors? Or perhaps it was not for these reasons that the populace banished me, but rather because in my private life I was unrestrained, extravagant and lawless? And yet who can point to anyone who because of my lawless pleasures has either been banished from his country, or lost his liberty, or been deprived of his money, or met with any other misfortune? On the contrary, no one even of my enemies ever accused or charged me any of these things, but all bore witness that even my daily life was irreproachable. 'But, great heavens, man,' someone may say, 'it was your political principles that aroused hatred and brought this misfortune upon you. For when you had it in your power to choose the better side, you chose the worse, and you continued to say and do everything calculated to effect the overthrow of the established aristocracy and to put the whole power of the commonwealth into the hands of an ignorant and base municipal.' But I, Minucius, pursued a course the very reverse of that, and sought to provide that the senate should always administer the public business and that the established constitution should be maintained. In return, however, for these honourable principles, which our forefathers thought worthy of emulation, I have received this happy, this blessed reward from my country − to have been banished, not by the populace alone, Minucius, but, long before that, by the senate, which encouraged me at first with vain hopes while I was opposing the tribunes in their efforts to establish a tyranny, promising that it would itself provide for my security, and then, upon the first suspicion of any danger from the plebeians, abandoned me and delivered me up to my enemies! But you yourself were consul at the time, Minucius, when the senate passed the preliminary decree concerning my trial and when Valerius, who advised delivering me up to the populace, gained great applause by his speech, and I, fearing that, if the question were put, I should be condemned by the senators, acquiesced and promised of appear voluntarily for trial.
Roman antiquities 8.31
"Come, answer me, Minucius, did I seem to the senate also to deserve punishment for having promoted and pursued the best measures, or to the populace only? For if you were all of the same opinion at that time and if all of you banished me, it is plain that all of you who were of this mind hate virtue and that there is no place in your city for loyalty to principle. But if the senate was forced to yield to the populace and its action was the result of compulsion, not of conviction, you senators admit, I take it, that you are governed by the baser element and that the senate has not the power to act in any matter as it thinks fit. After this do you ask me to return to such a city, in which the better element is governed by the worse? Then you have judged me capable of an act of sheer madness! But come, suppose that I have been persuaded, and having put an end to the war as you desire, have returned home; what sentiments shall I entertain after this, and what manner of life shall I live? Shall I choose the safe and secure course, and, in order to obtain magistracies, honours and the other advantages of which I think myself worthy, consent to court the mob which has the power of bestowing them? In that case I shall change from a worthy to a base citizen and shall reap no benefit from my former virtue. Or, maintaining the same character and observing the same political principles, shall I oppose those who do not make the same choice? Then is it not obvious that the populace will again make war upon me and insist on exacting fresh penalties, making this very point their first charge against me, that after obtaining my return at their hands I do not humour them in the measures I pursue? You cannot deny it. Then some other bold demagogue, an Icilius or a Decius, will appear who will accused me of setting the citizens at variance with one another, of forming a plot against the populace, of betraying the commonwealth to the enemy, or of aiming at tyranny, even as Decius charged me, or of any other crime that may occur to him; for hatred will never be at a loss to find an accusation. And, besides the other charges, there will also be brought up presently all the things I have done in this war − that I have laid waste your country, driven off booty, taken your towns, slain some of those who defended them and delivered up others to the enemy. If my accusers charge me with these things, what shall I say to them in my defense, or on what assistance shall I rely?
Roman antiquities 8.32
"Is it not therefore plain, Minucius, that your envoys are indulging in fair words and dissimulation, cloaking with a specious name a wicked design? For surely it is not my restoration that you are offering me, but you are taking me back to the populace as a sacrificial victim, perhaps because you have actually planned to do this (for it no longer occurs to me to hold any good opinion of you); but if you wish it so − I am merely assuming this − that it is because you do not foresee any of the things that I shall suffer, what advantage shall I gain from your ignorance or folly, since you will not be able to prevent anything even if you are so disposed, but are compelled to gratify the populace in this too, as in everything else? Now to show that from the point of view of my safety there will be no gain to me in this − 'restoration,' as you call it, but I a quick road to destruction, not many more words are called for, I think; but to prove that I will not enhance my reputation, either, or my honour, or my piety − for you, Minucius, asked me to take these into consideration, and rightly − but that, on the contrary, I shall be acting in a most shameful and impious manner if I follow your advice, pray hear in turn what I have to say. I became an enemy to these men here and did them many injuries during the war while I was acquiring sovereignty, power and glory for my country. Was it not fitting, therefore, that I should be honoured by those I had benefited and hated by those I had injured? Certainly, if what one could reasonably expect had happened. But Fortune upset both these expectations and reversed the two principles. For you Romans, on whose account I was an enemy to these men, deprived me of all my possessions, and making a nobody of me, cast me off; while they, who had suffered those dire evils at my hands, received me into their cities, the resourceless, homeless, humbled outcast. And not content with doing this only, an action so splendid and magnanimous, they also conferred on me citizenship in all their cities, as well as the magistracies and honours that in their country are highest. To omit the rest, they have now appointed me supreme commander of the expeditionary force and have committed to me alone all the interests of their state. Look you, with what heart would I now betray these men by whom I have been decked with such honours, when I have suffered no injury, great or small, at their hands? Unless, indeed, their favours are injurious to me, as mine are to you! A fine reputation forsooth, throughout all the world will such double treachery bring me, when it shall be known! Who would not praise me on hearing that when I found my friends, from whom I had the right to expect kindness, to be my enemies, and my foes, by whom I should have been put to death, to be my friends, instead of hating those who hate me and loving those who love me, I took the opposite view!
Roman antiquities 8.33
"Come now, Minucius, consider next the matter of the gods' treatment of me, what it has shown itself to be at present and, if I do let you persuade me to betray the trust reposed in me by these people, what it will be for the rest of my life. At present they assist me in every enterprise I undertake against you and in no attempt am I unsuccessful. And how weighty a testimony to my piety do you consider that? For surely, if I had undertaken an impious war against my country, the gods ought to have opposed me in everything; but since I enjoy the favouring breeze of Fortune in the wars I wage and everything that I attempt goes steadily forward for me, it is evident that I am a pious man and that my choice of conduct has been honourable. What, then, will be my fate if I change my course and endeavour to increase your power and humble theirs? Will it not be just the reverse, and shall I not incur the dire wrath of Heaven which avenges the injured, and just as by the help of the gods I from a low estate have become great, shall I not in turn from a being be brought again to a low estate, and my sufferings become lessons to the rest of the world? these are the thoughts that occur to me concerning the gods; and I am persuaded that those Furies you mentioned, Minucius, so frightful and inexorable toward those who have committed any impious deed, will dog my steps and torment both my soul and body only when I abandon and betray those who preserved me after you had ruined me, and, at the same time as they preserved me, conferred upon me many fine marks of their favour, and to whom I gave the gods as guarantors of my pledge that I had not come among them with the purpose of doing them any injury and that I would keep with them the faith which I have hitherto preserved pure and untarnished.
Roman antiquities 8.34
"When you call those still my friends, Minucius, who banished me and that nation my country which has renounced me, when you appeal to the laws of Nature and discuss the obligations of religion, you seem to me to be ignorant of the most common facts, of which no one but you is ignorant − namely, that a friend or an enemy is not determined either by the lineaments of a face or by the giving of a name, but both are made manifest by their services and by their deeds, and that we all love those who do us good and hate those who do us harm. No men laid down this law for us nor will men ever annul it if the opposite course seems to them better; on the contrary, it has been enacted from the beginning of time by the universal nature for all creatures endowed with sense, a heritage of man to remain in force forever. For this reason we renounce our friends when they injure us and make friends of our enemies when some kindly service is done for us by them; and we cherish the country that gave us birth when it helps us, but abandon it when it harms us, since our affection is based, not on the place, but on the benefit it confers. These are the sentiments not merely of individual persons in private life, but of whole cities and nations. Consequently, whoever applies this principle demands nothing not sanctioned by religion usage and does nothing that contravenes the common judgement of all mankind. I, therefore, consider that in doing these things I am doing what is just, advantageous and honourable, and at the same time what is most holy in the eyes of the gods; and I do not care to take as judges of my conduct mere men who infer the truth from guesswork and opinion, since the gods are pleased with what I do. Nor do I agreed that I am undertaking impossible things when I have the gods as my guides therein − not, at least, if one is to judge of the future by the past.
Roman antiquities 8.35
"As regards the moderation which you recommend to me and your plea that I should not utterly destroy the Roman race or overthrow the city from its foundations, I might answer, Minucius, that this is not in my power to decide, nor should your plea be addressed to me. No, I am general of the army, but as to war and peace these men here have the decision; so apply to them for a truce as a step toward reconciliation, and not to me. Nevertheless, because I revere the gods of my fathers and respect the sepulchers of my ancestors and the land which gave me birth, and feel compassion for your wives and children, on whom, though undeserving, will fall the errors of their fathers and husbands, and, not least of all, on account of you men, Minucius, who have been chosen envoys by the commonwealth, I answer as follows: If the Romans will return to the Volscians the land they have taken from them and the cities they hold, first recalling their colonists, and if they will enter into a league of perpetual friendship with them and give them equal rights of citizenship, as they have done in the case of the Latins, confirming their covenant by oaths and by imprecations against those who may violate it, I will put an end to the war against them, and not until then. So carry this report back to them, and discuss very earnestly with them also, in the same way as you have with me, these considerations of justice − how fine a thing it is for everyone to enjoy his own possessions and to live in peace, but how disgraceful it is for a people, by clinging to the possessions of others, to expose themselves to an unnecessary war, in which they will run the hazard of losing even all their own blessings. Point out to them also how unequal are the prizes that reward success and failure when men covet the territory of others. Add too, if you please, that people who desire to seize the cities of those they have wronged, if they do not overcome them, are deprived of both their own territory and city, and in addition to this see their wives suffer the greatest indignities, their children led away to contumely, and their parents upon the threshold of old age become slaves instead of free men. And at the same time point out to the senators that they would not be able to impute the blame for these evils to Marcius, but to their own folly; for though they have it in their power to practice justice and to incur no disaster, they will hazard their all by their continual fondness for the possessions of others.
"You have my answer, and you will get nothing further from me. Depart, then, and consider what you must do. I will allow you thirty days for your deliberation. In the meantime, to show my regard for you, Minucius, as well as for the rest of you envoys, I will withdraw my army from your territory, since it would cause you great injury if it remained here. And on the thirtieth day expect my return in order to receive your answer."
Roman antiquities 8.36
Having thus spoken, Marcius rose up and dismissed the conference; and the following night he broke camp about the last watch and led his army against the rest of the Latin cities, either having actually learned that some reinforcements were to come from them to the Romans, as he declared at the time in his harangue to the Romans, or having invented the report himself, in order that he might not seem to have given up the war to gratify the enemy. And attacking the place called Longula, he gained possession of it without any difficulty, and treated it in the same manner as he had treated the others, by making slaves of the inhabitants and plundering the town. Then he marched to the city of Satricum, and having taken this also, after a short resistance by the townspeople, and ordered a detachment of his army to convey the booty taken in these two towns to Ecetra, he marched with the rest of his forces to another town, called Cetia. After gaining possession of this place also and pillaging it, he made an irruption into the territory of the Poluscini; and when these were unable to withstand him, he took their city also by storm, and then proceeded against the others in order: the Albietes and the MugillanIhe took by assault and the ChorielanIby capitulation. Having thus made himself master of seven cities in thirty days, he returned toward Rome with an army much larger than his former force, and encamped at a distance of a little more than thirty stades from the city, on the road that leads to Tusculum When Marcius was capturing or conciliating the cities of the Latins, the Romans, after long deliberation over his demands, resolved to do nothing unworthy of the commonwealth, but if the Volscians would depart from their territory and from that of their allies and subjects and, putting an end to the war, send ambassadors to treat for friendship, the senate would pass a preliminary vote fixing the terms on which they should become friends and would lay its resolution before the people; but as long as the Volscians remained in their territory and in that of their allies committing hostile acts they would pass no friendly vote. For the Romans always made it a great point never to do anything at the dictation of an enemy or to yield to fear of him, but when once their adversaries had made peace and acknowledged themselves their subjects, to gratify them and concede anything in reason that they asked. And this proud spirit the commonwealth had continued to preserve down to our own time amid many great dangers in both their foreign and their domestic wars.
Roman antiquities 8.37
The senate, having passed this decree, chosen ten other men from among the ex −consuls as envoys to ask Marcius not to make any demand that was severe or unworthy of the commonwealth, but laying aside his resentment and withdrawing his forces from their territory, to endeavour to obtain his demands by persuasion and conciliatory language, if he wished to make the compact between the two states firm and enduring, since all concessions made either to individuals or to state under compulsion of some necessity or crisis become void at once when the crisis or the necessity changes. The envoys appointed by the senate, as soon as they were informed of the arrival of Marcius, repaired to him and used many tempting arguments, preserving also in their discussions, however, the dignity of the commonwealth. But Marcius gave them no answer except to advise them to reach some better decision and then return within three days; for they should have a truce from war for that period only. And when the envoys desired to make some answer to this, he would not permit it, but ordered them to quit the camp immediately, threatening, if they refused, to treat them as spies. Thereupon they at once withdrew in silence. The senators, upon being informed by the envoys of the haughty answer and threats of Marcius, did not even then vote to send out an expeditionary force, either because they feared the inexperience of their troops, most of whom were new recruits, or because they regarded the timidity of the consuls − there was indeed no boldness for action in them at all − as a serious risk in undertaking so great a struggle, or perhaps too because Heaven opposed their expedition by means of auspices, Sibylline oracles, or some traditional religious scruple − warnings which the men of that age did not think fit to neglect as do those of today. However, they resolved to guard the city with greater diligence and to repel from their ramparts any who should attack them.
Roman antiquities 8.38
While they were so engaged and were making their preparations, and were not yet ready to give up all hope, believing that Marcius could still be persuaded to relent if they sent a larger and more dignified embassy to intercede with him, they voted to send the pontiffs, the augurs, and all the others who were invested with any sacred dignity or public ministry relating to divine worship (there are among them large numbers of priests and ministers religion, these also being distinguished beyond their fellows not only for their ancestry, but for their reputation for personal merit as well), and that these, carrying with them the symbols of the gods whose rites and worship they performed, and wearing their priestly robes, should go in a body to the enemy's camp bearing the same message as the former envoys. When they arrived and delivered the message with which the senate had charged them, Marcius returned no other answer even to them concerning their demands, but advised them either to depart and do as he commanded, if they wished to have peace, or to expect the war to come to their very gates; and he forbade them to attempt any negotiations with him for the future. When the Romans failed in this attempt also, they gave up all hope of reconciliation and prepared for a siege, disposing the ablest of their men beside the moat and at the gates, and stationing upon the walls those who had been discharged from military service but whose bodies were still capable of enduring hardships.
Roman antiquities 8.39
In the meantime their wives, seeing the danger now at hand and abandoning the sense of propriety that kept them in the seclusion of their homes, ran to the shrines of the gods with lamentations and threw themselves at the feet of their statues. And every holy place, particularly the temple of Jupiter Capitolinus, was filled with the cries and supplications of women. Then it was that one of them, a matron distinguished in birth and rank, who was then in the vigour of life and quite capable of discreet judgement, Valeria by name and sister to Publicola, one of the men who had freed the commonwealth from the kings, moved by some divine inspiration, took her stand upon the topmost step of the temple, and calling the rest of the women to her, first comforted and encouraged them, bidding them not to be alarmed at the danger that threatened. Then she assured them that there was just one hope of safety for the commonwealth and that this hope rested in them alone, if they would do what required to be done. Upon this one of them asked: "And what can we women do to save our country, when the men have given it up for lost? What strength so great do we weak and miserable women possess?" "A strength," replied Valeria, "that calls, not for weapons or hands − for Nature has excused us from the use of these − but for goodwill and speech." And when all cried out and begged of her to explain what this assistance was, Valeria said: "Wearing this squalid and shabby garb and taking with us the rest of the women and our children, let us go to the house of Veturia, the mother of Marcius; and placing the children at her knees, let us entreat her with tears to have compassion both upon us, who have given her no cause for grief, and upon our country, now in the direst peril, and beg of her to go to the enemy's camp, taking along her grandchildren and their mother and all of us − for we must attend her with our children − and becoming the suppliant of her son, to ask and implore him not to inflict any irreparable mischief on his country. For while she is lamenting and entreating, a feeling of compassion and a tender reasonableness will come over the man. His heart is not so hard and invulnerable that he can hold out against a mother who grovels at his knees."
Roman antiquities 8.40
This advice having been approved of by all the women who were present, she prayed to the gods to invest their plea with persuasion and charm, and then set out from the sanctuary, followed by the others. Afterwards, taking with them the rest of the women, they went in a body to the house of Marcius' mother. His wife Volumnia saw them approaching as she sat near her mother −in law, and being surprised at their coming, asked: "What is it you want, women, that so many of you have come to a household that is distressed and in humiliation?" Then Valeria replied: "Because we are in the direst peril, both we ourselves and these children have turned as suppliants to you, Veturia, our one and only succour, entreating you, first, to take compassion on our common country and not to permit this land, which has never fallen under any man's hand, to be robbed of its freedom by the Volscians − even supposing that they will spare it after subduing it and not endeavour to destroy it utterly; and next, imploring you in our own behalf and in behalf of these unfortunate children that we may not be exposed to the insolence of the enemy, since we are the cause of none of the evils that have befallen your family. If there remains in you any portion of a gentle and humane spirit, do you, Veturia, as a woman, have mercy on women who once shared with you the same sacrifices and rites, and taking with you Volumnia, the good wife of Marcius, and her children, and us suppliant women − ourselves too of noble birth − carrying in our arms these infants, go to your son and try to persuade him, implore him, and cease not to entreat him, asking of him this one favour in return for many − to make peace with his fellow citizens and return to his country that longs to get him back. For you will persuade him, be assured; a man of his piety will not permit you to lie prostrate at his feet. And when you have brought your son back to Rome, not only will you yourself most likely gain immortal glory for having rescued your country from so great a danger and terror, but you will be the cause to us also of some honour in the eyes of our husbands for having ourselves put an end to a war which they had been unable to stop; and we shall show ourselves to be the true descendants of those women who by their own intercession put an end to the war that had arisen between Romulus and the Sabines and by bringing together both the commanders and the nations that made this city great from a small beginning. It is a glorious venture, Veturia, to recover your son, to free your native land, to save your countrywomen, and to leave to posterity an imperishable reputation for virtue. Grant us this favour willingly and cheerfully, and make haste, Veturia; for the danger is acute and admits of no deliberation or delay."
Roman antiquities 8.41
Having said this and shed many tears, she became silent. And when the other women also lamented and added many entreaties, Veturia, after pausing a short time and weeping, said: "It is a weak and slender hope, Valeria, to which you have turned for refuge − the assistance of us wretched women who feel indeed affection for ought to country and a desire for the preservation of the citizens, no matter what their character, but lack the strength and power to do what we wish. For Marcius has turned away from us, Valeria, ever since the people passed that bitter sentence against him, and has hated his whole family together with his country. This we can tell you as a thing we learned from the lips of none other than Marcius himself. For when, after his condemnation, he came home, escorted by his friends, and found us sitting there in garments of mourning, abased, clasping his children upon our knees, uttering such lamentations as one would expect in the circumstances and bewailing the unhappy fate which would come upon us when bereft of him, he stood at a little distance from us, tearless as a stone and unmoved, and said: 'Marcius is lost to you, mother, and to you also, Volumnia, best of wives, having been exiled by his fellow citizens because he was a brave man and a lover of his country and undertook many struggles for her sake. But bear this calamity as befits good women, doing nothing unseemly or ignoble, and with these children as a consolation for my absence, rear them in a manner worthy both of yourselves and of their lineage; and when they have come to manhood, may the gods grant them a fate better than their father's and valour not inferior to his. Farewell. I am departing now and leaving this city in which there is no longer any room for good men. And ye too, my household gods and hearth of my fathers, and ye other divinities who preside over this place, farewell.' When he had thus spoken, we unhappy women, uttering the cries which our plight called for, and beating our breasts, clung to him to receive his last embraces. I led the elder of these his sons by the hand, and the younger his mother carried in her arms. But he turned away, and thrusting us back, said: 'No longer shall Marcius be your son henceforth, mother, but our country has deprived you of the support of your old age; nor shall he be your husband, Volumnia, from this day, but may you be happy with another husband more fortunate than I; near shall he be your father, dearest children, but, orphans and forsaken, you will be reared by these women till you come to manhood.' With these words and nothing else − without arranging any of his affairs, sending any messages, or saying whither he was going − he went out of the house alone, women, without a servant, without means, and without taking from his own stores, wretched man, even a day's supply of food. And for the fourth year now, ever since he was banished from the country, he has looked upon us all as strangers to him, neither writing anything nor sending any messages nor caring to have news of us. On such a mind, so hard and invulnerable, Valeria, what force will the entreaties of us women have, to whom he gave neither embraces nor kisses nor any other mark of affection when he left his house for the last time?
Roman antiquities 8.42
"But if you desire it so, women, and firmly wish to see us act an unbecoming part, just imagine that I and Volumnia with these children have come into his presence. What words shall I, his mother, first address to him and what request shall I make of my son? Tell me and instruct me. Shall I exhort him to spare his fellow citizens, by whom he was exiled from his country though guilty of no crime? To be merciful and compassionate to the plebeians, from whom he received neither mercy nor compassion? Or perhaps to abandon and betray those who received him when an east and, notwithstanding the many calamities he had previously inflicted on them, showed to him, not the hatred of enemies, but the affection of friends and relations? What courage can I pluck up to ask my son to love those who have ruined him and to injure those who have preserved him? These are not the words of a sane mother to her son nor of a wife who reasons as she should to her husband; nor ought you, either, women, to compel us to ask of him things that are neither just in the sight of men nor right in the eyes of the gods, but permit us miserable women to lie abased as we have been cast down by Fortune, committing no further unseemly act."
Roman antiquities 8.43
After she had done speaking there was so great lamentation on the part of the women present and such wailing pervaded the household that their cries were heard over a great part of the city and the streets near the house were crowded with people. Then Valeria again indulged in fresh entreaties that were long and affecting, and all the rest of the women who were connected by friendship or kindred with either of them remained there, beseeching her and embracing her knees, till Veturia, not seeing how she could help herself in view of their lamentations and their many entreaties, yielded and promised to perform the mission in behalf of their country, taking with her the wife of Marcius and his children and as many matrons as wished to join them. The women rejoiced exceedingly at this and invoked the gods to aid in the accomplishment of their hopes; then, departing from the house, entreaty informed the consuls of what had passed. These, having commended their zeal, assembled the senate and called upon the members to deliver their opinions one after the other whether they ought to permit the women to go out on this mission. Many speeches were made by many senators, and they continued debating till the evening what they ought to do. For some argued that it was no small risk to the commonwealth to permit the women with the children to go to the enemy's camp; for if the Volscians, in contempt of the recognized rights of ambassadors and suppliants, should decide not to let them go afterwards, their city would be taken without a blow. These men, therefore, advised permitting only the women who were related to Marcius to go, accompanied by his children. Others believed that not even these should be allowed to go out, and advised that they too should be carefully guarded, considering that in them they had hostages from the enemy, to secure the city from suffering any irreparable injury at their hands. Still others advised giving leave to all the women to go who so desired, in order that the kinswomen of Marcius might intercede more impressively for their country; and to insure that no harm should befall them, they said they would have as sureties, first, the gods, to whom the women would be consecrated before making their petition, and next, the man himself to whom they were going, who had kept his life pure and unstained by any act of injustice or impiety. However, the proposal to allow the women to go prevailed, implying against compliment to both parties − to the senate for its wisdom, in that it perceived best what was going to happen, without being disquieted at all by the danger, though it was great, and to Marcius for his piety, inasmuch as it was not believed that he would, even though an enemy, do anything impious toward the weakest element of the state when he should have them in his power. After the decree had been drawn up, the consuls proceeded to the Forum, and summoning an assembly when it was already dark, announced the senate's decision and gave notice that all should come early the next morning to the gates to accompany the women when they went out; and they said that they themselves would attend to all urgent business.
Roman antiquities 8.44
When it was now break of day, the women, leading the children, went with torches to the house of Veturia, and taking her with them, proceeded to the gates. In the meantime the consuls, having got ready spans of mules, carts, and a great many other conveyances, seated the women in them and accompanied them for a long distance. The women were attended by the senators and many other citizens, who by their vows, commendations and entreaties lent distinction to their mission. As soon as the women, while still approaching at a distance, could be clearly seen by those in the camp, Marcius sent some horsemen with orders to learn what multitude it was that advanced from the city and what was the occasion of their coming. And being informed that the wives of the Romans together with their children had come to him and twenty they were led by his mother, his wife and his sons, he was at first astonished at the assurance of the women in resolving to come with their children into an enemy's camp without a guard of men, neither showing regard any longer for the modesty becoming to free −born and virtuous women, which forbids them to be seen by men who are strangers, nor becoming alarmed at the dangers which they would run if his soldiers, preferring their own interests to justice, should think fit to make a profit and advantage of them. But when they were near, he resolved to go out of the camp with a few of his men and to meet his mother, after first ordering his lictors to lay aside the axes which were customarily carried before generals, and when he should come near his mother, to lower the rods. This is a custom observed by the Romans when inferior magistrates meet those who are their superiors, which continues even to our time; and it was in observance of this custom that Marcius, as if he were going to meet a superior power, now laid aside all the insignia of his own office. So great was his reverence and his concern to show his veneration for the tie of kinship.
Roman antiquities 8.45
When they came near to one another, his mother was the first to advance toward him to greet him, clad in rent garments of mourning and with her eyes melting with tears, an object of great compassion. Upon seeing her, Marcius, who till then had been hard −hearted and stern enough to cope with any distressing situation, could no longer keep any of his resolutions, but was carried away by his emotions into human kindness, and embracing her and kissing her, he called her by the most endearing terms, and supported her for a long time, weeping and caressing her as her strength failed and she sank to the ground. After he had had enough of caressing his mother, he greeted his wife when with their children she approached him, and said: "You have acted the part of a good wife, Volumnia, in living with my mother and not abandoning her in her solitude, and to me you have done the dearest of all favours." After this, drawing each of his children to him, he gave them a father's caresses, and then, turning again to his mother, begged her to state what she had come to ask of him. She answered that she would speak out in the presence of all, since she had no impious request to make of him, and bade him be seated where he was wont to sit when administering justice to his troops. Marcius willingly agreed to her proposal, thinking, naturally, that he should have a great abundance of just arguments to use in combating his mother's intercession and that he should be giving his answer where it was convenient for the troops to hear. When he came to the general's tribunal, he first ordered the lictors to remove the seat that stood there and to place it on the ground, since he thought he ought not to occupy a higher position than his mother or use against her any official authority. Then, causing the most prominent of the commanders and captains to sit by him and permitting any others to be present who wished, he bade his mother speak.
Roman antiquities 8.46
Thereupon Veturia, having placed the wife of Marcius with his children and the most prominent of the Roman matrons near her, first wept, fixing her eyes on the ground for a long time, and roused great compassion in all who were present. Then, recovering herself, she said: "These women, Marcius, my son, mindful of the outrages and other calamities which will come upon them if our city falls into the power of the enemy, and despairing of all other assistance, since you gave haughty and harsh answers to their husbands when they asked you to end the war, took their children, and clad in these rent garments of mourning, turned for refuge to me, your mother, and to Volumnia, your wife, begging us not to permit them to suffer the greatest of all human evils at your hands, as they have never done us any injury, great or slight, but showed much affection for us while we were still prosperous, and compassion when we met with adversity. For we can bear them witness that since you withdrew from your country and we were left desolate and no longer of any account, they constantly visited us, alleviated our misfortunes, and condoled with us. So, remembering all this, neither I nor your wife, who lives with me, rejected their entreaties, but brought ourselves to come to you, as they asked, and to make our supplications in behalf of our country."
Roman antiquities 8.47
While she was yet speaking Marcius interrupted her and said: "You have come demanding the impossible, mother, when you ask me to betray those who have cast me out those who have received me, and to those who have deprived me of all my possessions those who have conferred on me the greatest of human blessings − men to whom, when I accepted this command, I gave the gods and other divinities as sureties that I would neither betray their state nor end the war unless all the Volscians agreed to do so. Both out of reverence, then, for the gods by whom I swore and out of respect for the men to whom I gave my pledges I shall continue to make war upon the Romans to the last. But if they will restore to the Volscians the lands of theirs which they hold by force, and will make them their friends, giving them an equal share in all privileges as they have to the Latins, I will put an end to the war against them, otherwise not. As for you women, then, depart and carry this word to your husbands; and persuade them to cease their unjust fondness for possessions of others and to be content if they are permitted to keep what is their own, and not, just because they now hold the possessions of the Volscians which they took in war, to wait till they are in turn deprived of them in war by the Volscians. For the conquerors will not be satisfied with merely recovering their own possessions, but will think themselves entitled also to those that belong to the conquered. And if, by clinging to what is not theirs at all, the Romans persist in their arrogance and are willing to suffer anything whatever, you will impute to them, rather than to Marcius, the Volscians or anyone else, the blame for the miseries that shall befall them. And of you, mother, I, who am your son, beg in my turn that you will not urge me to wicked and unjust actions, nor, ranging yourself on the side of those who are the bitterest foes both to me and to yourself, regard as enemies your nearest of kin, but that, taking your place at my side, as is right, you will make the land where I dwell your fatherland, and your home the house I have acquired, and that you will enjoy my honours and share in my glory, looking upon my friends and enemies as your own; also that you will lay aside the mourning which, unhappy woman, you have endured because of my banishment, and cease to avenge yourself upon me by this garb. For though all other blessings, mother, have been conferred on me both by the gods and men above my hopes and beyond my prayers, yet the concern I have felt for you, whose old age I have not cherished in return for all your pains, has so sunk into my inmost being as to render my life bitter and incapable of enjoying all my blessings. But if you will take your place by my side and consent to share all I possess, no longer will any of the blessings which fall to the lot of man be lacking to me."
Roman antiquities 8.48
When he had ended, Veturia, after waiting a short time till the great and long −continued applause of the bystanders ceased, spoke to him as follows: "But I, Marcius, my son, neither ask you to become a traitor to the Volscians who received you when an exile and, among other honours, entrusted you with the command of their army, nor do I desire that, contrary to the agreements and to the sworn pledges you gave them when you took command of their forces, you should arbitrarily, without the general consent, put an end to enmity. Do not imagine that your mother has been filled with such fatuousness as to urge her dear and only son to shameful and wicked actions. On the contrary, I ask you to withdraw from the war only with the general consent of the Volscians, after you have persuaded them to use moderation with regard to an accommodation and to make such a peace as shall be honourable and seemly for both nations. This may be done if you will now withdraw your forces, first making a truce for a year, and will in the meantime, by sending and receiving ambassadors, work to bring about a genuine friendship and a firm reconciliation. And be well assured of this: the Romans, in so far as no impossible condition or any dishonour attaching to the terms prevents, will consent to perform them all if won over by persuasion and exhortation, but if compulsion is attempted, as you now think proper, they will never make any concession, great or small, to please you, as you may learn from many other instances and particularly from the concessions they recently made to the Latins after these had laid down their arms. As to the Volscians, on the other hand, their arrogance is now great, as happens to all who have met with signal success; but if you point out to them that 'any peace is preferable to any war,' that 'a voluntary agreement between friends is more secure than concession extorted by necessity,' and that 'it is the part of wise men, when they seem to be prosperous, to husband their good fortune, but when their fortunes become low and paltry, to submit to nothing that is ignoble,' and if you make use of such other instructive maxims conducive to moderation and reasonableness as have been devised, maxims with which you politicians in particular are familiar, be assured that they will voluntarily recede from their present boastfulness and give you authority to do anything you believe will be to their advantage. But if they oppose you and refuse to accept your proposals, being elated by the successes they have gained through you and your leadership, as if these would always continue, resign publicly the command of their army and make yourself neither a traitor to those who have trusted you nor an enemy to those who are nearest to you; for to do either is impious. These are the favours I have come begging you to grant me, Marcius, my son, and they are not only not impossible to grant, as you assert, but are free from any consciousness on my part of an unjust or impious intent.
Roman antiquities 8.49
"But come, you are afraid perhaps that if you do what I urge you will incur a shameful reputation, believing that you will stand convicted of ingratitude to your benefactors, who received you, an enemy, and shared with you all the advantages to which their native −born citizens are entitled; for these are the things you constantly stress in your remarks. Have you not, then, made them many fine returns, and have you not by the favours you have bestow wed, while nigh limitless in magnitude and number, surpassed the kindnesses received from them? Though they regarded it as enough and as the greatest of all blessings if they could continue to live as freemen in their native cities, you have not only made them securely their own masters, but have also brought it about that they are already considering whether it is better for them to destroy the dominion of the Romans or to have an equal share in it by forming a joint commonwealth. I say nothing of all the spoils of war with which you have adorned their cities nor of the great riches you have bestowed upon those who accompanied you on your expeditions. Do you believe that those who through your aid have become so great and have entered upon such prosperity will not be content with the blessings they have, but will be angry with you and indignant if you do not also spill by their hands your country's blood? For my part, I do not believe so. I have still one point left to speak of − a strong one if you judge of it by reason, but weak if you judge by passion. I refer to the unjust hatred you bear toward your country. For the commonwealth was neither in a state of health nor governed according to the established constitution when she pronounced that unjust sentence against you, but was diseased and tossed in a violent tempest; nor did the state as a whole entertain this opinion at that time, but only the baser element in it, which had followed evil leaders. Yet supposing not only the worst of the citizens, but all the rest of as well had been of this mind, and you had been banished by them as not acting for the best interests of the state, not even in that case did it become you to bear any resentment against your country. For it has fallen to the lot of many others, you know, of those whose policies were prompted by the best motives, to have the same experience, and few indeed are those who have not, because of their reputation for virtue, felt the breath of unjust envoy on the part of their political rivals. But all who are high −minded, Marcius, bear their misfortunes like men and with moderation, and remove to other cities in which they can dwell without causing harm to their fatherland. This was the case with Tarquinius, surnamed Collatinus. (A single instance and one from our own history will suffice.) He had assisted in freeing his fellow citizens from the tyrants, but was later accused before them of attempting in turn to restore these tyrants and for that reason was himself banished from his country; yet he retained no resentment against those who had exiled him, nor would he march against his country bringing with him the tyrants nor commit acts that would substantiate the charges made against him, but retiring to Lavinium, our mother −city, he spent the remainder of his life there, continuing loyal to his country and its friend.
Roman antiquities 8.50
"Conceding the point nevertheless, and granting the right to all who have suffered grievously not to distinguish whether those who have injured them are friends or aliens but to direct their anger against all impartially, even so have you not taken a sufficient revenge on such as abused you, now that you have turned their best land into a sheep −walk, have utterly destroyed the cities of their allies, which they had acquired and held at the cost of many hardships, and have reduced them now for the third year to a great scarcity of provisions? But you carry your wild and mad resentment even to the point of enslaving them and razing their city; and you showed no regard even for the envoys sent to you by the senate, men of worth and your friends, who came to offer you a dismissal of the charges and leave to return home, nor yet for the priests whom the commonwealth sent at the last to you, old men holding before them the holy garlands of the gods; but these also you drove away, giving a haughty and imperious answer to them as to men who had been conquered, For my part, I cannot commend these harsh and overbearing claims, which overstep the bounds of human nature, when I observe that a refuge for all men and the means of securing forgiveness for their offenses one against another have been devised in the form of suppliant boughs and prayers, by which all anger is softened and instead of hating one's enemy one pities him; and when I observe also that those who act arrogantly and treat with insolence the prayers of suppliants all incur the indignation of the gods and in the end come to a miserable state. For the gods themselves, who in the first place instituted and delivered to us these customs, are disposed to forgive the offenses of men and are easily reconciled; and many have there been ere now who, though greatly sinning against them, have appeased their anger by prayers and sacrifices. Unless you think it fitting, Marcius, that the anger of the gods should be mortal, but that of men immortal! You will be doing, then, what is just and becoming both to yourself to your country if you forgive her her offenses, seeing that she is repentant and ready to be reconciled and to restore to you now everything that she took away from you before.
Roman antiquities 8.51
"But if you are indeed irreconcilable to her, grant, my son, this honour and favour to me, at least, from whom you have received, not the boons that are of least value nor those to which another also might lay claim, but rather those that are the greatest and most precious and have enabled you to acquire everything else you possess − namely, your body and your soul. These are loans you have from me, and neither place nor time will ever deprive me of them, nor will the benefactions of the Volscians or of all the rest of mankind together, even if they should reach the heavens in magnitude, avail to efface and surpass the rights of Nature; but you will be mine forever, and to me before all others you will owe gratitude for your life, and you will oblige me in everything I ask without alleging any excuse. For this is a right which the law of Nature has prescribed for all who partake of sense and reason; and putting my trust in this law, Marcius, my son, I too beg of you not to make war upon your country, and I stand in your way if you resort to violence. Either, therefore, first sacrifice with your own hand to the Furies your mother who opposes you and then begin the war against your country, or, if you shrink from the guilt of matricide, yield to your mother, my son, and grant this favour willingly. Having this law, then, which no lapse of time will ever repeal, to avenge my wrongs and be my ally, I cannot consent, Marcius, to be alone deprived by you of honours to which it entitles me. But leaving this law aside, consider in turn the reminders I have to give you of the good offices you have received from me, human many and how great they are. When you were left an orphan by your father, I took you as an infant, and for your sake I remained a widow and underwent the labours of rearing you, showing myself not only a mother to you, but also a father, a nurse, a sister, and everything that is dearest. When you reached manhood and it was in my power to be freed from these cares by marrying again, to rear other children, and lay up many hopes to support me in my old age, I would not do so, but remained at the same hearth and put up with the same kind of life, placing all my pleasures and all my advantages in you alone. Of these you have disappointed me, partly against your will and partly of your own accord, and have made me the most wretched of all mothers. For what time, since I brought you up to manhood, have Ipassed free from grief or fear? Or when have Ipossessed a spirit cheerful on your account, seeing you always undertaking wars upon wars, engaged in battles upon battles, and receiving wounds upon wounds?
Roman antiquities 8.52
"But from the time when you took up the life of a statesman and engaged in public affairs have I, your mother, enjoyed any pleasure on your account? Nay, it was then that I was most unhappy, seeing you placed in the midst of civil strife. For those very measures which seemed to make you flourish and blow strong in popularity as you opposed the plebeians in behalf of the aristocracy filled me with fear, as I called to mind what the life of man is, how it hangs nicely suspended as in a balance, and had learned from many instances what I had heard and experienced that a kind of divine vengeance opposes men of prominence or a certain envy of men makes war upon them; and I proved a true prophet of what was to be − would to Heaven I had not! At any rate, you were overpowered by the ill −will of your fellow citizens, which burst upon you violently and snatched you away from your country; and my life thereafter − if, indeed I ought to call it life since you departed leaving me and these children, too, desolate − has been spent in this squalor and in these rent garments of mourning. In return for all this I, who was never a burden to you nor ever shall be as long as I live, ask this favour of you − that you will be at last be reconciled to your fellow citizens and cease nursing that implacable anger against your country. In doing this I am but asking to receive what will be a boon common to us both, and not mine alone. For you, if you hearken to me and commit no irreparable deed, will have a mind free and unvexed by any heaven −sent wrath and disquiet, while as for me, the honour I shall receive from the men and women of the city, attending me while I live, will make my life happen, and being paid to my memory after my death, as I may well expect, will bring me everlasting fame. And if there is in very truth a place which will receive men's souls when released from the body, it is not that subterranean and gloomy place where, men say, the unhappy dwell, that will receive mine, nor the region called the Plain of Lethe, but the pure ether high up in the heavens, where, as report has it, those who are sprung from the gods dwell, enjoying a happy and a blessed life; and to them my soul will relate your piety and the acts of kindness with which you honoured her, and will ever ask the gods to requite you with glorious rewards.
Roman antiquities 8.53
"If, however, you treat your mother with indignity and send her away unhonoured, what you yourself will have to suffer for this I cannot say, though I presage no happiness. But even if you should be fortunate in all other respects − for let that be assumed − yet your compunction because of me and my afflictions, haunting you and never giving respite to your soul, will rob your life of the enjoyment of all its blessings; this I do know full well. Veturia, for one thing, after this cruel and irreparable ignominy received before so many witnesses, will not bear to live for a moment; nay, I will kill myself before the eyes of all of you, both friends and enemies, leaving to you in my stead a grievous curse and dire furies to be my avengers. May there be no occasion for this, O gods who guard the empire of the Romans, but inspire Marcius with sentiments of piety and honour; and just as a little while ago at my approach he ordered the axes to be laid aside, the rods to be lowered, and his chair to be taken from the tribunal and placed on the ground, and as for all the other observances by which it is the custom to honour supreme magistrates, he moderated some and did away with others altogether, desiring to make it clear to all that though it was fitting that he should rule all others, by his mother he should be ruled, even so may he now also make me honoured and conspicuous, and by giving me back our common country as a favour, render me, instead of the most ill −starred, the most fortunate of all women. And if it is right and lawful for a mother to grovel at the feet of her son, even to this and every other posture and office of humility will Isubmit in order to save my country."
Roman antiquities 8.54
With these words she threw herself upon the ground, and embracing the feet of Marcius with both her hands, she kissed them, As soon as she fell prostrate, all the women cried out together, raising a loud and prolonged wailing; and the Volscians who were present at the assembly could not bear the unusual sight, but turned away their eyes. Marcius himself, leaping up from his seat, took his mother in his arms, and raising her up from the ground scarcely breathing, embraced her, and shedding many tears, said: "Yours is the victory, mother, but a victory which will be happy for neither you nor me. For though you have saved your country, you have ruined me, your dutiful and affectionate son." After saying this, he retired to his tent, bidding his mother, his wife, and his children follow him; and there he passed the rest of the day in considering with them what should be done. The decisions they reached were as follows: That the senate should lay no proposal before the people providing for his return nor should the latter pass any vote till the Volscians should be ready to consider friendship and the termination of the war; that Marcius should break camp and lead his army away as through friendly territory; and that after he had given an accounting to the Volscians of his conduct in the command of their army and recounted the services he had done them, he should ask those who had entrusted him with the army, preferably to admit their enemies into friendship and to conclude a just treaty with them, commissioning them to see that the terms of the agreement were fair and free from guile; but if, becoming puffed up with arrogance over their successes, they should reject an accommodation, he should resign the command they had given him. For they thought that the Volscians would either not bring themselves to choose another commander, for want of a good general, or, if they did run the hazard of handing over their forces to any chance person, they would learn through heavy losses to choose what was advantageous. Such were the subjects of their deliberation and such were the decisions they reached as just and right and calculated to win the good opinion of all men − a thing which Marcius had most at heart. But they were troubled by a suspicion, not unmixed with fear, that an unreasoning mob, now buoyed up with the hope that they had completely crushed their foes, might take their disappointment with uncontrolled anger and as a result put Marcius to death with their own hands as a traitor without even granting him a hearing. However, they determined to submit even to this or to any other danger still more formidable which they might incur in honourably keeping faith. When it was now near sunset, they embraced one another and left the tent, after which the women returned to the city. Then Marcius in an assembly of the troops laid before those present the reasons why he intended to put an end to the war; and after earnestly beseeching the soldiers both to forgive him and, when they returned home, to remember the benefits they had received from him and to strive with him to prevent his suffering any irreparable injury at the hands of the other citizens, and after saying many other things calculated to win their support, he ordered them to make ready to break camp the following night.
Roman antiquities 8.55
When the Romans heard that their peril was over − for the report of it was brought before the arrival of the women − they left the city with great joy, and running out to meet them, embraced them, sang songs of triumph, and now all together and now one by one showed all the signs of joy which men who emerge out of great dangers into unexpected good fortune exhibit in both their words and actions. That night, then, they passed in festivities and merry −making. The next day the senate, having been assembled by the consuls, resolved, in the case of Marcius, to postpone to a more suitable occasion such honours as were to be given to him, but as for the women, that not only praise should be bestowed upon them for their zeal, the same to be expressed by a public decree which should gain for them eternal remembrance on the part of future generations, but also a gift of honour, whatever to those receiving it would be most pleasing and most highly prized; and the people ratified this resolution. It occurred to the women after some deliberation to ask for no invidious gift, but to request of the senate permission to found a temple to Fortuna Muliebris on the spot where they had interceded for their country, and to assemble and perform annual sacrifices to her on the day on which they had put an end to the war. However, the senate and people decreed that from the public funds a precinct should be purchased and consecrated to the goddess, and a temple and alter erected upon it, in such manner as the pontiffs should direct, and that sacrifices should be performed at the public expense, the initial ceremonies to be conducted by a woman, whichever one the women themselves should choose to officiate at the rites. The senate having passed this decree, the woman then chosen by the others to be priestess for the first time was Valeria, who had proposed to them the embassy and had persuaded the mother of Marcius to join the others in going out of the city. The first sacrifice was performed on behalf of the people by the women, Valeria beginning the rites, upon the altar raised in the sacred precinct, before the temple and the statue were erected, in the month of December of the following year, on the day of the new moon, which the Greeks call noumênia and the Romans calends; for this was the day which had put an end to the war. The year after the first sacrifice the temple built at public expense was finished and dedicated about the seventh army of the month Quintilis, reckoning by the course of the moon; this, according to the Romans' calendar, is the day before the nones of Quintilis. The man who dedicated the temple was Proculus Verginius, one of the consuls.
Roman antiquities 8.56
It would be in harmony with a formal history and in the interest of correcting those who think that the gods are neither pleased with the honours they receive from men nor displeased with impious and unjust actions, to make known the epiphany of the goddess at that time, not once, but twice, as it is recorded in the books of the pontiffs, to the end that by those who are more scrupulous about preserving the opinions concerning the god which they have received from their ancestors such belief may be maintained firm and undisturbed by misgivings, and that those who, despising the customs of their forefathers, hold that the gods have no power over man's reason, may, preferably, retract their opinion, or, if they are incurable, that the may become still more odious to the gods and more wretched. It is related, then, that when the senate had ordered that the whole expense both of the temple and of the statue should be defrayed from the public treasury, and the women had caused another statue to be made with the money they themselves had contributed, and both statues had been set up together on the first day of the dedication of the temple, one of them, the one which the women had provided, uttered some words in Latin in a voice both distinct and loud, when many were present. The meaning of the words when translated is as follows: "You have conformed to the holy law of the city, matrons, in dedicating me." The women who were present were very incredulous, as usually happens in the case of unusual voices and sights, believing that it was not the statue that had spoken, but some human voice; and those particularly who happened at the moment to have their mind on something else and did not see what it was that spoke, showed this incredulity toward those who had seen it. Later, on a second occasion, when the temple was full and there chanced to be a profound silence, the same statue pronounced the same words in a louder voice, so that there was no longer any doubt about it. The senate, upon hearing what had passed, ordered other sacrifices and rites to be performed every year, such as the interpreters of religious rites should direct. And the women upon the advice of their priestess established it as a custom that no women who had been married a second time should crown this statue with garlands or touch it with their hands, but that all the honour and worship paid to it should be committed to the newly −married women. But concerning these matters it was fitting that I should neither omit the native account nor dwell too long upon it. I now return to the point from which I digressed.
Roman antiquities 8.57
After the departure of the women from the camp Marcius roused his army about daybreak and led it away as thor a friendly country; and when he came into the territory of the Volscians, he divided among the soldiers all the booty he had taken, without reserving the least thing for himself, and then dismissed them to their homes. The army, accordingly, which had shared in the battles with him, returning loaded with riches, was not displeased with the respite from war and felt well disposed toward him and thought he deserved to be forgiven for not having brought the war to a successful end out of regard for the lamentations and entreaties of his mother. But the young men who had remained at home, envying those who had seen active service the great booty they had won, and being disappointed in their hopes of seeing the pride of the Romans humbled by the capture of their city, were incensed against the general and very bitter; and at last, when they found as leaders of their hatred the men of the greatest power in the nation, they grew wild with rage and committed an impious deed. The one who in particular whetted their anger again Marcius was Tullus Attius, who had about him a large faction collected out of every city. This man had, in fact, long since resolved, being unable to control his jealousy, that if Marcius succeeded and returned to the Volscians after destroying Rome, he would make away with him secretly and by guile, or if, failing in his attempt, he came back leaving the task unfinished, he would deliver him over to his faction as a traitor and have him put to death − a plan which he now proceeded to carry out. And getting together a considerable band, he brought charges against him, drawing false inferences from things that were true and, from what had happened, surmising things street were not going to happen; and he kept bidding him resign his command and give an account of his conduct. For, as I said before, Tullus was general of the forces which had been left in the cities, and had authority both to call an assembly and to summon to trial any man he pleased.
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Marcius did not think proper to oppose either of these demands, but objected to their order, insisting he ought first to give an account of his conduct in the war, after which he would resign his command if all the Volscians should so decide. But he thought that no single city in which the greater part of the citizens had been corrupted by Tullus ought to be given sole authority in the matter, but rather the whole nation meeting in their lawful assembly, to which it was the custom for them to send deputies from every city when they were to deliberate upon affairs of the greatest importance. This Tullus opposed, well knowing that Marcius, eloquent as he was, when he came to give an account of the many splendid actions he had performed, if he still retained a general's prestige, would persuade the multitude, and would be so far from suffering the punishment of a traitor that he would actually become still more illustrious and be more highly honoured by them, and would be authorized by general consent to put an end to the war in such manner as he pleased. And for a long time there was great strife as they daily engaged in arguing and wrangling with one another in the assemblies and the forum; for it was not possible for either of them to employ force against the other, since both were protected by the prestige of an equal command. But when there was no end to their contention, Tullus appointed a day on which he commanded Marcius to appear for the purpose of laying down his office and standing trial for treason; and having encouraged some of the most daring, by hopes of rewards, to be the ringleaders in an impious deed, he appeared at the assembly on the day appointed, and coming forward to the tribunal, inveighed at length against Marcius and exhorted the people to use all the force at their command to depose him if he would not voluntarily resign his power.
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When Marcius had ascended the tribunal in order to make his defense, a great clamour arose from the faction of Tullus, hindering him from speaking; then, with cries of "Hit him," "Stone him," the most daring surrounded him and stoned him to death. While he lay where he had been hurled upon the ground in the forum, both those who had been present at the tragedy and those who came there after he was dead bewailed the misfortune of the man who had found so ill a return from them, recounting all the services he had rendered to their state, and they longed to apprehend the murderers for having set the example of a deed that was lawless and prejudicial to their cities, in killing a man, and him a general, by an act of violence without a trial. But most indignant were the men who had taken part in his campaigns; and since they had been unable, while he was living, to prevent his misfortune, they resolved to show fitting gratitude after his death by bringing into the forum everything that was necessary for the honour owed to brave men. When all was ready, they laid him, dressed in the garb of a supreme commander, on a couch adorned in a most sumptuous manner, and ordered the booty, the spoils and the crowns, together with the representations of the cities he had taken, to be carried before his bier; and the young men who were the most distinguished for their military achievements took up the bier, and carrying it to the most conspicuous suburb, placed it on the funeral pile that had been prepared, the whole population of the city accompanying the body with lamentations and tears. Then, when they had slain a large number of victims in his honour and offered up all the first −offerings that people make at the funeral piles of kings and commanders of armies, those who had been most closely attached to him remained there till the flames died down, after which they gathered together his remains and buried them in that very place, constructing an imposing monument by heaping up a high mound with the assistance of many hands.
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Such was the end of Marcius, who was not only the greatest general of his age, but was superior to all the pleasures that dominate young men, and practised justice, not so much through compulsion of the law with its threat of punishment and against his will, but voluntarily and from a natural propensity to it. He did not regard it as a virtue to do no injustice, and not only was eager to abstain from all vice himself, but thought it his duty to compel others to do so too. He was both high −minded and open −handed and most ready to relieve the wants of his friends as soon as he was informed of them. In his talent for public affairs he was inferior to none of the aristocratic party, and if the seditious element of the city had not hindered his measures, the Roman commonwealth would have received the greatest accession of power from those measures. But it was impossible that all the virtue should be found together in a human being's nature, nor will anyone ever be created by Nature from mortal and perishable seed who is good in all respects.
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In any case the divinity who bestowed these virtues upon him added to them unfortunate blemishes and fatal flaws. For there was no mildness or cheerfulness in his character, no affability in greeting and addressing people that would win those whom he met, nor yet any disposition to conciliate or placate others when he was angry with them, nor that charm which adorns all human actions; but he was always harsh and severe. And it was not alone these qualities that hurt him in the minds of many, but, most of all, his immoderate and inexorable sternness in the matter of justice and the observance of the laws, and a strictness which would make no concessions to reasonableness. Indeed, the dictum of the ancient philosophers seems to be true, that the moral virtues are means and not extremes, particularly in the case of justice. For by its nature it not only may fall short of the mean, but also may go beyond it, and is not profitable to its possessors, but is sometimes the cause of great calamities and leads to miserable deaths and irreparable disasters. In the case of Marcius, at any rate, it was nothing else but his passion for exact and extreme justice that drove him from his country and deprived him of the enjoyment of all his other blessings. For when he ought to have made reasonable concessions to the plebeians, and by yielding somewhat to their desires to have gained the foremost place among them, he would not do so, by opposing them in everything that was not just he incurred their hatred and was banished by them. And when it was in his power to resign the command of the Volscian army the moment he had put an end to the war, and to remove his habitation to some other place till his country had granted him leave to return, instead of offering himself as a target for the plotting of his enemies and the folly of the masses, he did not think fit to do so; but regarding it as his duty to put his person at the disposal of those who had entrusted him with the command and after giving an account of his conduct during his generalship, if he were found guilty of any misconduct, to undergo the punishment ordained by the laws, he received a sorry reward for his extreme justice.
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Now if when the body perishes the soul also, whatever that is, perishes together with it and no longer exists anywhere, I do not see how I can conceive to seem to be happy who have received no advantage from their virtue but, on the contrary, have been undone by this very quality. Whereas, if our souls are perchance forever imperishable, as some think, or if they continue on for a time after their separation from the body, those of good men for a very long time and those of the wicked for a very short period, a sufficient reward for those who, though they have practised virtue, have suffered the enmity of Fortune, would seem to be the praise of the living and the continuance of their memory for the longest period of time. And that was the case with this man, For not only the Volscians mourned his death and still hold him in honour as having proved himself one of the best of men, but the Romans also, when they were informed of his fate, looked upon it as a great calamity to the commonwealth and mourned for him both in private and in public; and their wives, as it is their custom to do at the loss of those who are nearest and dearest to them, laid aside their gold and purple and all their other adornment, and dressing themselves in black, mourned for him for the full period of a year. And though nearly five hundred years have already elapsed since his death down to the present time, his memory has not become extinct, but he is still praised and celebrated by all as a pious and just man.
Thus ended the danger with which the Romans had been threatened by the expedition of the Volscians and Aequians under the command of Marcius, a danger that was greater than any to which they had ever been exposed before and came very near destroying the whole commonwealth from its foundations.
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A few days later the Romans took the field with a large army commanded by both consuls, and advancing to the confines of their own territory, encamped on two hills, each of the consuls placing his camp in the strongest position. Nevertheless, they accomplished nothing, either great or little, but returned unsuccessful, though excellent opportunities had been afforded them by the enemy for performing some gallant action. It seems that even before their expedition the Volscians and the Aequians had led an army against the Roman territory, having resolved not to let the opportunity slip, but to attack their adversaries while they seemed to be sit panic −stricken; for they thought that in their fear they would surrender of their own accord. But quarrelling among themselves over the command, they rushed to arms, and falling upon one another, fought without keeping their ranks or receiving orders, but in confusion and disorder, so that many were killed on both sides; and if the sun had not set in time to prevent it, all their forces would have been utterly destroyed. But yielding reluctantly to the night which put an end to the quarrel, they separated and retired to their own camps; and rousing their forces at dawn, both sides returned home. The consuls, though they learned both from deserters and from prisoners who had escaped during the action itself what fury and madness had possessed the enemy, neither embraced an opportunity so desirable when it offered, though they were no more than thirty stades distant, nor pursued them in their retreat − a situation in which their own troops, being fresh and following in good order, might easily have destroyed to a man those of the enemy, who were fatigued, wounded, reduced from a large to a small number, and were retiring in disorder. But they too broke camp and returned to Rome, either being contented with the advantage Fortune had given them, or having no confidence in their troops, who were undisciplined, or considering it very important not to lose even a few of their own men. When they got back to Rome, however, they found themselves in great disgrace and had to bear the stigma of cowardice for their behaviour. And without undertaking any other expedition they surrendered their magistracy to their successors.
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The next year Gaius Aquilius and Titus Siccius, men experienced in war, succeeded to the consulship. The senate, when the consuls had brought up the war for consideration, voted, first, to send an embassy to the Hernicans to demand, as from friends and allies, the customary satisfaction; for the commonwealth had suffered wrongs at their hands at the time of the attack of the Volscians and Aequians through brigandage and incursions into the part of the Roman territory that bordered on their own; and they voted further that while waiting to receive their answer the consuls should enroll all the forces they could, summon the allies by sending out embassies, and great ready corn, arms, money, and all the other things necessary for the war, by employing a large number of men and using haste. When the ambassadors returned from the Hernicans, they reported to the senate the answer they had received from them, to the following effect: They denied that there had ever been a treaty between them and the Romans by act of the public, and they charged that the compact they had made with King Tarquinius had been dissolved both by his expulsion from power and by his death in a foreign land; but if any depredations had been committed or incursions made into the territory of the Romans by bands of robbers, they said these had not been made by the general consent of their nation, but were the misdeeds of individuals pursuing their private ends, and street they were unable to deliver up to justice even the men who had done these things, since they claimed that they themselves had also suffered similar wrongs and had the same complaints to make; and they said that they cheerfully accepted the war. The senate, upon hearing this, voted that the youth already enrolled should be divided into three bodies, and that with one of these the consul Gaius Aquilius should march against the army of the Hernicans (for these were already in arms), that Titus Siccius, the other consul, should lead the second against the Volscians, and that Spurius Larcius, who had been appointed prefect of the city by the consuls, should with the remaining third part defend the portion of the country that lay nearest to the city; that those who were above the military age but were still capable of bearing arms should be arrayed under their standards and guard the citadels of the city and the walls, to prevent any sudden attack by the enemy while all the youth were in the field, and that Aulus Sempronius Atratinus, one of the ex −consuls, should have the command of this force. These orders were presently carried out.
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Aquilius, one of the consuls, finding the army of the Hernicans waiting for him in the country of the Praenestines, encamped as near to them as he could, at a distance of a little more than two hundred stades from Rome. The second day after he had pitched his camp the Hernicans came out of their camp into the plain in order of battle and gave the signal for combat; whereupon Aquilius also marched out to meet them with his army duly drawn up and disposed in their several divisions. When they drew near to one another, they uttered their war −cries and ran to the encounter; and first to engage were the light −armed men, who, fighting with javelins, arrows, and stones from their slings, gave one another many wounds. Next, horsemen clashed with horsemen, charging in troops, and infantry with infantry, fighting by cohorts. Then there was a glorious struggle as both armies fought stubbornly; and for a long time they stood firm, neither side yielding to the other the ground where they were posted. At length the Romans' line began to be in distress, this being the first occasion in a long time that they had been forced to engaged in war. Aquilius, observing this, ordered that the troops which were still fresh and were being reserved for this very purpose should come up to reinforce the parts of the line that were in distress and that the men who were wounded and exhausted should retire to the rear. The Hernicans, learning that their troops were being shifted, imagined that the Romans were beginning flight; and encouraging one another and closing their ranks, they fell upon those parts of the enemy's army that were in motion, and the fresh troops of the Romans received their onset. Thus once more, as both sides fought stubbornly, there was a strenuous battle all over again; for the ranks of the Hernicans were also continually reinforced with fresh troops sent up by their generals to the parts of the line that were in distress. At length, late in the afternoon, the consul, encouraging the horsemen now at least to acquit themselves as brave men, led the squadron in a charge at the enemy's right wing. This, after resisting them for a short time, fell back, and a great slaughter ensued. While the Hernicans' right wing was now in difficulties and no longer keeping its ranks, their left still held out and was superior to the Romans' right; but in a short time this too gave way. For Aquilius, taking with him the best of the youth, hastened to the rescue there also, and exhorting his men and calling by name upon those who had been wont to distinguish themselves in former battles, and seizing from their bearers the standards of any centuries that did not seem to be fighting resolutely, he hurled them into the midst of the enemy, in order that their fear of the punishment prescribed by the laws in the case of failure to recover the standards might compel them to be brave men; and he himself continually came to the relief of any part that was in distress, till he dislodged the other wing also from its position. Their flanks being now exposed, even the centre did not stand its ground. 6 It became a flight then for the Hernicans, a flight back to their camp in confusion and disorder; and the Romans pursued, cutting them down. Such ardour, indeed, came upon the Roman army in that struggle that some of the men endeavoured even to mount the ramparts of the enemy's camp in the hope of taking it by storm. But the consul, perceiving that their ardour was hazardous and detrimental, ordered the signal for a retreat to be sounded and thus brought down from the ramparts against their will those who were coming to blows with the enemy; for he feared that they would be forced by the missiles hurled down upon them from above to retire with shame and great loss and would thus efface the glory of their earlier victory. On that occasion, then, it being now near sunset, the Romans made their camp rejoicing and singing songs of triumph.
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The following night there was much noise and shouting heard in the camp of the Hernicans, and the lights of many torches were seen. For the enemy, despairing of being able to hold their own in another engagement, had resolved to leave their camp of their own accord; and this was the cause of the disorder and shouting. For they were fleeing with all the strength and speed which each man was capable of, calling to and being called by one another, without showing the least regard for the lamentations and entreaties of those who were being left behind on account of their wounds and sickness. 2 The Romans, who knew nothing of this but had been informed earlier by the prisoners that another army of Hernicans was intending to come to the aid of their countrymen, imagined that this shouting and tumult had been occasioned by the arrival of those reinforcements, and they accordingly took up their arms once more, and forming a circle about their entrenchments, for fear some attack might be made upon them in the night, they would now make a din by all clashing their weapons together at the same time and now raise their war −cry repeatedly as if they were going into battle. The Hernicans were greatly alarmed at this also, and believing themselves pursued by the enemy, dispersed and fled, some by one road and some by another. 3 When day came and the horse sent out to reconnoitre had reported to the Romans that not only was there no fresh force coming to the enemy's assistance, but that even those who had been arrayed in battle the day before had fled, Aquilius marched out with his army and seized the enemy's camp, which was full of beasts of burden, provisions, and arms, and also took captive their wounded, not fewer in number than those who had fled; and sending the horse in pursuit of such as were scattered along the roads and in the woods, he captured many of them. Thereafter he overran the Hernican's territory and laid it waste with impunity, no one any longer daring to encounter him. These were the exploits of Aquilius.
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The other consul, Titus Siccius, who had been sent against the Volscians, took with him the flower of the army and made an irruption into the territory of Velitrae. For Tullus Attius, the Volscian general, was there with the most vigorous part of the army, which he had assembled with the intention of first harassing the Romans' allies as Marcius had done when he began the war, thinking that the Romans still continued in the same state of fear and would not send any assistance to those who were incurring danger for their sake. As soon as the two armies were seen by and saw each other, they engaged without delay. 2 The ground between their camps on which the battle would have to take place was a rocky hill broken away in many parts of its circuit, where the horse could be of no use to either side. The Roman cavalry, observing this, thought it would be a shame for them to be present at the action without assisting in it; and coming to the consul in a body, they begged him to permit them to quit their horses and fight on foot, if this seemed best to him. He commended them heartily, and ordering them to dismount, drew them up and kept them with him to observe any part of the line that might be hard pressed and to go to its relief; and they proved to be the cause of the very brilliant victory which the Romans then gained. For the foot on both sides were remarkably alike both in numbers and in armament, and were very similar in the tactical formation of their lines and in their experience in fighting, whether in attacking or retreating, or again in dealing blows or in warding them off. For the Volscians had changed all their military tactics after securing Marcius as their commander, and had adopted the customs of the Romans.Accordingly, the legionaries of the two armies continued fighting the greater part of the day with equal success; and the unevenness of the terrain afforded each side many advantages against the other. The Roman horsemen having divided themselves into two bodies, one of these attacked the enemy's right wing in flank, while the other, going round the hill, stormed across it against their rear. Thereupon some of them hurled their spears at the Volscians, and others with their cavalry swords, which are longer than those of the infantry, struck all whom they encountered on the arms and slashed them down to the elbows, cutting off the forearms of many together with the clothing that covered them and their weapons of defense, and by inflicting deep wounds on the knees and ankles of many others, hurled them, no matter how firmly they had stood, half dead upon the ground. And now danger encompassed the Volscians on every side, the foot pressing them in front and the horse on their flank in the rear; so that, after having displayed bravery beyond their strength and given many proofs of hardihood and experience, nearly all who held the right wing were cut down. When those arrayed in the centre and on the other wing saw their right wing broken and the Roman horse charging them in the same manner, they caused their files to countermarch and retired slowly to their camp; and the Roman horse followed, keeping their ranks. When they were near the ramparts, there ensued another battle, as the horsemen endeavoured to surmount the breastworks of the camp in my different places − a battle that was sharp and of shifting fortunes. When the Romans found themselves hard pressed, the consul ordered the foot to bring brushwood and fill up the ditches; then, putting himself at the head of the bravest horsemen, he advanced 1over the passage they had made to the strongest gate of the camp, and having driven back the defenders in front of it and cut asunder the portcullis, he got inside the ramparts and let in those of his foot who followed. Here Tullus Attius encountered him with the sturdiest and most daring of the Volscians, and after performing many gallant deeds − for he was a very valiant warrior, though not competent as a general − at last, overcome by weariness and the many wounds he had received, he fell dead. As for the other Volscians, as soon as their camp was being taken, some were slain while fighting, others threw down their arms and turned to supplicating the conquerors, while some few took to flight and got safely home. When the couriers sent by the consuls arrived in Rome, the people were filled with the greatest joy, and they immediately voted sacrifices of thanksgiving for the gods and decreed the honour of a triumph to the consuls, though not the same to both. For as Siccius was thought to have freed the state from the greater fear by destroying the insolent army of the Volscians and killing their general, they granted to him the greater triumph. He accordingly drove into the city with the spoils, the prisoners, and the army that had fought under him, he himself riding in a chariot drawn by horses with golden bridles and being arrayed in the royal robes, as is the custom in the greater triumphs. To Aquilius they decreed the lesser triumph, which they call an ovation (Ihave earlier shown the difference between this and the greater triumph); and he entered the city on foot, bringing up the remainder of the procession. Thus that year ended.
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These consuls were succeeded by Proculus Verginius and Spurius Cassius (the latter being then chosen consul for the third time), who took the field with both the citizen forces and those of the allies. It fell to the lot of Verginius to lead his army against the Aequians and to that of Cassius to march against the Hernicans and the Volscians. The Aequians, having fortified their cities and removed thither out of the country everything that was most valuable, permitted their land to be laid waste and their country −houses to be set on fire, so that Verginius with great ease ravaged and ruined as much of their country as he could, since no one came out to defend it, and then led his army home. The Volscians and the Hernicans, against whom Cassius took the field, had resolved to permit their land to be laid waste and had taken refuge in their cities. Nevertheless, they did not persist in their resolution, being overcome with regret at seeing the desolation of a fertile country which they could not expect to restore easily to its former condition, and at the same time distrusting the defenses in which they had taken refuge, as these were not very strong; but they sent ambassadors to the consul to sue for a termination of the war. The Volscians were the first to send envoys and they obtained peace the sooner by giving as much money as the consul ordered and furnishing everything else the army needed; and they agreed to become subject to the Romans without making any further claims to equality. After them the Hernicans, seeing themselves isolated, treated with the consul for peace and friendship. But Cassius made many accusations against them to their ambassadors, and said that they ought first to act like men conquered and subjects and then treat for friendship. When the ambassadors agreed to do everything that was possible and reasonable, he ordered them to furnish the amount of money it was customary to give each soldier as pay for six months, as well as provisions for two months; and in order that they might raise these supplies he granted them a truce, appointing a definite number of days for it to run. When the Hernicans, after supplying them with everything promptly and eagerly, sent ambassadors again to treat for friendship, Cassius commended them and referred them to the senate. The senators after much deliberation resolved to receive this people into their friendship, but as to the terms on which the treaty with them should be made, they voted that Cassius the consul should decide and settle these, and that whatever he approved of should have their sanction.
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The senate having passed this vote, Cassius returned to Rome and demanded a second triumph, as if he had subdued the greatest nations, thus attempting to seize the honour as a favour rather than to receive it as a right, since, though he had neither taken any cities by storm nor put to rout an army of enemies in the field, he was of lead home captives and spoils, the adornments of a triumph. Accordingly, this action first brought him a reputation for presumption and for no longer entertaining thoughts like those of his fellow citizens. Then, when he had secured for himself the granting of a triumph, he produced the treaty he had made with the Hernicans, which was a copy of the one that had been made with the Latins. At this the oldest and most honoured of the senators were very indignant and regarded him with suspicion; for they were unwilling that the Hernicans, an alien race, should obtain the same honour as their kinsmen, the Latins, and that those who had done them the least service should be treated with the same kindness as those who had shown them many instances of their goodwill. They were also displeased at the arrogance of the man, who, after being honoured by the senate, had not shown equal honour to that body, but had produced a treaty drawn up according to his own pleasure and not with the general approval of the senate. But it seems that to be successful in many undertakings is a dangerous and prejudicial thing for a man; for to many it is the hidden source of senseless pride and the secret author of desires that are too ambitious for our human nature. And so it was with Cassius. For, being the only man at that time who had been honoured by his country with three consulships and two triumphs, he now conducted himself in a more pompous manner and conceived a desire for monarchical power. And bearing in mind that the easiest and safest way of all for those who aim at monarchy or tyranny is to draw the multitude to oneself by sundry gratifications and to accustom them to feed themselves out of the hands of the one who distributes the possessions of the public, he took that course; and at once, without communicating this intention to anyone, he determined to divide among the people a certain large tract of land belonging to the state which had been neglected and was then in the possession of the richest men. Now if he had been content to stop there, the business might perhaps have gone according to his wish; but as it was, by grasping for more, he raised a violent sedition, the outcome of which proved anything but fortunate for him. For he thought fit in assigning the land to include not only the Latins, but also the Hernicans, who had only recently been admitted to citizenship, and thus to attach these nations to himself.
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Having formed this plan, the day after his triumph he called the multitude together in assembly, and coming forward to the tribunal, according to the custom of those who have triumphed, he first gave his account of his achievements, the sum of which was as follows: that in his first consulship he had defeated in battle the Sabines, who were laying claim to the supremacy, and compelled them to become subject to the Romans; that upon being chosen consul for the second time he had appeased the sedition in the state and restored the populace to the fatherland, and had caused the Latins, who, though kinsmen of the Romans, had always envied them their supremacy and glory, to become their friends by conferring upon them equal rights of citizenship, so that they looked upon Rome no longer as a rival, but as their fatherland; that being for the third time invested with the same magistracy, he had not only compelled the Volscians to become their friends instead of enemies, but had also brought about the voluntary submission of the Hernicans, a great and warlike nation situated near them and quite capable of doing them either the greatest mischief or the greatest service. After recounting these and similar achievements he asked the populace to pay good heed to him, as to one who then had and always would have a greater concern for the commonwealth than any others. He concluded his speech by saying that he would confer upon the populace so many benefits and so great as to surpass all those who were commended for befriending and saving the plebeians; and these things he said he would soon accomplish. He then dismissed the assembly, and without even the slightest delay called a meeting the next day of the senate, which was already in suspense and terrified at his words. And before taking up any other subject he proceeded to lay before them openly the purpose which he had kept concealed in the popular assembly, asking of the senators that, inasmuch as the populace had rendered the commonwealth great service by aiding it, not only to retain its liberty, but also to rule over other peoples, they should show their concern for them by dividing among them the land conquered in war, which, though nominally the property of the state, was in reality possessed by the most shameless patricians, who had occupied it without any legal claim; and that the price paid for the corn sent them by Gelon, the tyrant of Sicily, as a present, which, though it ought to have been divided among all the citizens as a free gift, the poor had got by purchase, should be repaid to the purchasers from the funds held in the public treasury.
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At once, while he was still speaking, a great tumult arose, the senators to a man disliking his proposal and refusing to countenance it. And when he had done, not only his colleague Verginius, but the oldest and the most honoured of the senators as well, particularly Appius Claudius, inveighed against him vehemently for attempting to stir up a sedition; and until a late hour these men continued to be beside themselves with rage and to utter the severest reproaches against one another. During the following days Cassius assembled the populace continually and attempted to win them over by his harangues, introducing the arguments in favour of the allotment of the land and laying himself out in invectives against his opponents. Verginius, for his part, assembled the senate every day and in concert with the patricians prepared legal safeguards and hindrances against the other's designs. Each of the consuls had a strong body of men attending him and guarding his person; the needy and the unwashed and such as were prepared for any daring enterprise were ranged under Cassius, and those of the noblest birth and the most immaculate under Verginius. For some time the baser element prevailed in the assemblies, being far more numerous than the others; then they became evenly balanced when the tribunes joined the better element. This change of front on the part of the tribunes was due perhaps to their feeling that it was not best for the commonwealth that the multitude should be corrupted by bribes of money and distributions of the public lands and so be idle and depraved, and perhaps also to envy, since it was not they themselves, the leaders of the populace, who had been the authors of this liberality, but someone else; however, there is no reason why their action was not due also to the fear they felt at the increase in Cassius' power, which had grown greater than was to the interest of the commonwealth. At any rate, these men in the meetings of the assembly now began to oppose with all their power the laws which Cassius was introducing, showing the people that it was not fair if the possessions which they had acquired in the course of many wars were not to be distributed among the Romans alone, but were to be shared equally not only by the Latins, who had not been present in those wars, but also by the Hernicans, who had but lately entered into friendship with them, and having been brought to it by war, would be content not to be deprived of their own territory. The people, as they listened, would now assent to the representations of the tribunes, when they recalled that the portion of the public land which would fall to the lot of each man would be small and inconsiderable if they shared it with the Hernicans and the Latins, and again would change their minds as Cassius in his harangues charged that the tribunes were betraying them to the patricians and using his proposal to give an equal share of the land to the Hernicans and the Latins as a specious pretence for their opposition; whereas, he said, he had included these peoples in his law with a view to adding strength to the poor and of hindering any attempt that might thereafter be made to deprive them of what had been once granted to them since he regarded it as better and safer for the masses to get little, but to keep that little undiminished, than to expect a great deal and to be disappointed of everything.
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While Cassius by these arguments frequently changed the minds of the multitude in the meetings of the assembly, one of the tribunes, Gaius Rabuleius, a man not lacking in intelligence, came forward and promised that he would soon put an end to the dissension between the consuls and would also make it clear to the populace what they ought to do. And when a great demonstration of approval followed, down then silence, he said: "Are not these, Cassius and Verginius, the chief issues of this law − first, whether the public land should be distributed with an equal portion for everyone, and second, whether the Latins and the Hernicans should receive a share of it?" And when they assented, he continued: "Very well. You, Cassius, ask the people to vote for both provisions. But as for you, Verginius, tell us, for Heaven's sake, whether you oppose that part of Cassius' proposal which relates to the allies, believing that we ought not to make the Hernicans and the Latins equal sharers with us, or whether you oppose the other also, holding that we should not distribute the property of the state even among ourselves. Just answer these questions for me without concealing anything." When Verginius said that he opposed giving an equal share of the land to the Hernicans and the Latins, but consented to its being divided among the Roman citizens, if all were of that opinion, the tribune, turning to the multitude, said: "Since, then, one part of the proposed measure is approved of by both consuls and the other is opposed by one of them, and as both men are equal in rank and neither can use compulsion on the other, let us accept now the part which both are ready to grant us, and postpone the other, concerning which they differ." The multitude signified by their acclamations that his advice was most excellent and demanded that he strike out of the law that part which gave occasion for discord; whereupon Cassius was at a loss what to do, and being neither willing to withdraw his proposal nor able to adhere to it while the tribunes opposed him, he dismissed the assembly for that time. During the following days he feigned illness and no longer went down to the Forum; but remaining at home, he set about getting the law passed by force and violence, and sent for as many of the Latins and Hernicans as he could to come and vote for it. These assembled in great numbers and presently the city was full of strangers. Verginius, being informed of this, ordered proclamation to be made in the streets that all who were not residents of the city should depart; and he set an early time limit. But Cassius ordered the contrary to be proclaimed − that all who possessed the rights of citizens should remain till the law was passed.
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There being no end of these contests, the patricians, fearing that when the law came to be proposed there would be stealing of votes, recourse to violence, and all the other forcible means that are wont to be employed in factious assemblies, met in the senate −house to deliberate concerning all these matters once and for all. Appius, upon being asked his opinion first, refused to grant the distribution of land to the people, pointing out that an idle multitude accustomed to devour the public stores would prove troublesome and unprofitable fellow citizens and would never allow any of the common possessions, whether property or money, to continue to be held in common. He did note that it would be a shameful thing if the senators, who had been accusing Cassius of introducing mischievous and disadvantageous measures and of corrupting the populace, should then themselves by common consent ratify these measures as just and advantageous. He asked them also to bear in mind that even the gratitude of the poor, if they should divide up among themselves the public possessions, would not be shown to those who gave their consent and sanction to this law, but to Cassius alone, who had proposed it and was believed to have compelled the senators to ratify it against their will. After saying this and other things to the same purport, he ended by giving them this advice − to choose ten of the most distinguished senators to go over the public land and fix its bounds, and if they found that any private persons were by fraud or force grazing or tilling any part of it, to take cognizance of this abuse and restore the land to the state. And he further advised that when the land thus delimited by them had been divided into allotments, of whatever number, and marked off by pillars duly inscribed, one part of it should be sold, particularly the part about which there was any dispute with private persons, so that the purchasers might be involved in litigation over it with any who should lay claim to it, and the other part should be let for five years; and that the money coming in from these rents should be used for the payment of the troops and the purchase of the supplies needed for the wars. "For, as things now stand," he said, "the envy of the poor against the rich who have appropriated and continue to occupy the public possessions is justified, and it is not at all to be wondered at if they demand that the public property should be divided among all the citizens rather than held by a few, and those the most shameless. Whereas, if they see the persons who are now enjoying them give them up and the public possessions become really public, they will cease to envy us and will give up their eagerness for the distribution of our fields to individuals, once they have learnt that joint ownership by all the citizens will be of greater advantage to them than the small portion that would be allotted to each. Let us show them, in fact," he said, "what a great difficult it makes, and that if each one of the poor receives a small plot of ground and happens to have troublesome neighbours, he neither will be able to cultivate it himself, by reason of his poverty, nor will he find anyone to lease it of him but that neighbour, whereas if large allotments offering varied and worthwhile tasks for the husbandmen are let out by the state, they will bring in large revenues; and that it is better for them, when they set out for the wars, to receive both their provisions and their pay from the public treasury than to pay in their individual contributions each time to the treasury out of their private estates, when, as sometimes happens, their means of livelihood are scanty and will be still further cramped by providing this money."
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After Appius had introduced this motion and appeared to win great approval, Aulus Sempronius Atratinus, who was called upon next, said: "This is not the first time that I have had occasion to praise Appius as a man highly capable of grasping eventualities long in advance, and as one always offering the most excellent and useful opinions, a man who is firm and unshaken in his judgements and neither yields to fear nor is swayed by favour. For I have never ceased to praise and admire him both for his prudence and the noble spirit he shows in the presence of danger. And it is not a different motion that I offer, but I too make the same one, merely adding a few details which Appius seemed to me to omit. As regards the Hernicans and the Latins, to whom we recently granted equal rights of citizenship, I too think they ought not to share in the allotment of our lands; for it was not after they entered into friendship with us that we acquired this land which we now occupy, but still earlier, when by our own perilous efforts, without the assistance of anyone else, we took it from our enemies. Let us give them this answer: that the possessions which each of us already had when we entered into the treaty of friendship must remain the peculiar and inalienable property of each, but that in the case of all that we may come to possess through war when taking the field together, from the time we made this treaty, each shall have his share. 3 For this arrangement will neither afford our allies any just excuses for anger, as being wronged, nor cause the populace any fear of appearing to prefer their own interests to their good name. As to the appointment of the men proposed by Appius to delimit the public land, I quite agree with him. For this will afford us great frankness in dealing with the plebeians, since they are now displeased on both accounts − because they themselves reap no benefit from the public possessions and because some of us enjoy them contrary to justice. But if they see them restored to the public and the revenues therefrom applied to the necessary uses of the commonwealth, they will not suppose that it makes any difficult to them whether it is the land or its produce that they share. I need not mention, of course, that some of the poor are more delighted with the losses of others with now their own advantages. However, Ido not regard the entering of these two provisions in the decree as enough; but we ought in my opinion to gain the goodwill of the populace and relieve them by another moderate favour also, one which Ishall presently name, after I have first shown you the reason, or rather the necessity, for our doing this also.
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"You are aware, no doubt, of the words spoken by the tribune in the assembly when he asked one of the consuls, Verginius here, what his opinion was concerning the allotment of the land, whether he consented to divide the public possessions among the citizens but not among the allies, or would not consent that even we should receive a share of what belongs to us all in common. And Verginius admitted that he was not attempting to hinder the allotting of the land so far as it related to us Romans, if this seemed best to everybody. This concession not only caused the tribunes to espouse our cause, but also rendered the populace more reasonable. What has come over us, then, that we are now to change our mind about what we then conceded? Or what advantage shall we gain by pursuing our noble and excellent principles of government, principles worthy of our supremacy, if we cannot persuade those who are to make use of them? But we shall not persuade them, and this not one of you fails to know. For, of all who fail to get what they want, those will feel the harshest resentment who are cheated of their hopes and are not getting what has been agreed upon. Surely the politician whose principle it is to please will run off with them again, and after that not one even of the tribunes will stand by us. Hear, therefore, what I advise you to do, and the amendment I add to the motion of Appius; but do not rise up or create any disturbance before you have heard all I have to say. After you have appointed commissioners, whether ten or whatever number, to inspect the land and fix its boundaries, empower them to determine which and how great a part of it should be held in common and, by being let for five years, increase the revenues of the treasury, and again, how great a part and which should be divided among our plebeians. And whatever land they appoint to be allotted you should allot after determining whether it shall be distributed among all the citizens, or among those who have no land as yet, or among those who have the lowest property rating, or in whatever manner you shall think proper. As regards the men who are to fix the bounds of the land and the decree you will publish concerning its division and everything else that is necessary, I advise, since the present consuls have but a short time to continue in office, that their successors shall carry out these purposes in such manner as they think will be for the best. For not only do matters of such moment require no little time, but the present consuls, who are at variance, can hardly be expected to show greater insight in discovering what is advantageous than their successors, if, as we hope, the latter shall be harmonious. For delay is in many cases a useful thing and anything but danger, and time brings about many changes in a single day; furthermore, the absence of dissension among those who preside over the public business is the cause of all the blessings enjoyed by states. As for me, this is the opinion I have to express; but if anyone has anything better to propose, let him speak."
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When Sempronius had ended, there was much applause from those present, and not one of the senators who were asked their opinion after him expressed any different view. Thereupon the decree of the senate was drawn up to this effect: that the ten oldest ex −consuls should be appointed to determine the boundaries of the public land and to declare how much of it ought to be let and how much divided among the people; that those enjoying the rights of citizens and the allies, in case they later acquired more land by a joint campaign, should each have their allotted share, according to the treaties; and that the appointment of the decemvirs, the distribution of the allotments, and everything else that was necessary should be carried out by the incoming consuls. When this decree was laid before the populace, it not only put a stop to the demagoguery of Cassius, but also prevented the sedition that was being rekindled by the orator from going any farther.
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The following year, at the beginning of the seventy −fourth Olympiad (the one at which Astylus of Syracuse won the foot −race), when Leostratus was archon at Athens, and Quintus Fabius and Servius Cornelius had succeeded to the consulship, two patricians, young indeed in years, but the most distinguished of their body because of the prestige of their ancestors, men of great influence both on account of their bands of supporters and because of their wealth, and, for young men, inferior to none of mature age for their ability in civil affairs, namely, Caeso Fabius, brother of the then consul, and Lucius Valerius Publicola, brother to the man who overthrew the kings, being quaestors at the same time and therefore having authority to assemble the populace, denounced before them Spurius Cassius, the consul of the preceding year, who had dared to propose the laws concerning the distribution of land, charging him with having aimed at tyranny; and appointing a day, they summoned him to make his defense before the populace. When a very large crowd has assembled upon the day appointed, the two quaestors called the multitude together in assembly, and recounting all his overt actions, showed that they were calculated for no good purpose. First, in the case of the Latins, who would have been content with being accounted worthy of a common citizenship with the Romans, esteeming it a great piece of good luck to get even so much, he had as consul not only bestowed on them the citizenship they asked for, but had furthermore caused a vote to be passed that they should be given also the third part of the spoils of war on the occasion of any joint campaign. Again, in the case of the Hernicans, who, having been subdued in war, ought to have been content not to be punished by the loss of some part of their territory, he had made them friends instead of subjects, and citizens instead of tributaries, and had ordered that they should receive the second third of any land and booty that the Romans might acquire from any source. Thus the spoils were to be divided into three portions, the subjects of the Romans and aliens receiving two of them and the natives and dominant race the third part. They pointed out that as a result of this procedure one or the other of two most absurd situations would come about in case they should choose to honour any other nation, in return for many great services, by granting the same privileges with which they had honoured not only the Latins, but also the Hernicans, who had never done them the least service. For, as there would be but one third left for them, they would either have no part to bestow upon their benefactors or, if they granted them the like favour, they would have nothing for themselves.
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Besides this they went on to relate that Cassius, in proposing to give to the people the common possessions of the state without a decree of the senate or the consent of his colleague, had intended to get the law passed by force − a law that was inexpedient and unjust, not for this reason alone, that, though the senate ought to have considered the measure first, and, in case they approved of it, it ought to have been a joint concession on the part of all the authorities, he was making it the favour of one man, but also for the further reason − the most outrageous of all − that, though it was in name a grant of the public land to the citizens, it was in reality a deprivation, since the Romans, who had acquired it, were to receive but one third, while the Hernicans and the Latins, who had no claim to it at all, would get the other two thirds. They further charged that even when the tribunes opposed him and asked him to strike out the part of the law granting equal shares to the aliens, he had paid no heed to them, but continued to act in opposition to the tribunes, to his colleague, to the senate, and to all who consulted the best interests of the commonwealth. After they had enumerated these charges and named as witnesses to their truth the whole body of the citizens, they then at length proceeded to present the secret evidences of his having aimed at tyranny, showing that the Latins and the Hernicans had contributed money to him and provided this with arms, and that the most daring young men from their cities were resorting to him, making secret plans, and serving him in many other ways besides. And to prove the truth of these charges they produced many witnesses, both residents of Rome and others from the cities in alliance with her, persons who were neither mean nor obscure. In these the populace put confidence; and without either being moved now by the speech which the man delivered − a speech which he had prepared with much care,− or yielding to compassion when his three young sons contributed much to his appeal for sympathy and many others, both relations and friends, joined in bewailing his fate, or paying any regard to his exploits in war, by which he had attained to the greatest honour, they condemned him. Indeed, they were so exasperated at the name of tyranny that they did not moderate their resentment even in the degree of his punishment, but sentenced him to death. For they were afraid that if a man who was the ablest general of his time should be driven from his country into exile, he might follow the example of Marcius in dividing his own people and uniting their enemies, and bring a relentless war upon his country. This being the outcome of his trial, the quaestors led him to the top of the precipice that overlooks the Forum and in the presence of all the citizens hurled him down from the rock. For this was the traditional punishment at that time among the Romans for those who were condemned to death.
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Such is the more probable of the accounts that have been handed down concerning this man; but Imust not omit the less probable version, since this also has been believed by many and is recorded in histories of good authority. It is said, then, by some that while the plan of Cassius to make himself tyrant was as yet concealed from all the world, his father was the first to suspect him, and that after making the strictest inquiry into the matter he went to the senate; then, ordering his son to appear, he became both informer and accuser, and when the senate also had condemned him, he took him home and put him to death. The harsh and inexorable panger of fathers against their offending sons, particularly among the Romans of that time, does not permit us to reject even this account. For earlier Brutus, who expelled the kings, condemned both his sons to die in accordance with the law concerning malefactors, and they were beheaded because they were believed to have been helping to bring about the restoration of the kings. And at a later time Manlius, when he was commander in the Gallic war and his son distinguished himself in battle, honoured him, indeed, for his bravery with the crowns given for superior valour, but at the same time accused him of disobedience in not staying in the fort in which he was posted but leaving it, contrary to the command of his general, in order to take part in the struggle; and he put him to death as a deserter. And many other fathers, some for greater and others for lesser faults, have shown neither mercy nor compassion to their sons. For this reason Ido not feel, as I said, that this account should be rejected as improbable. But the following considerations, which are arguments of no small weight and are not lacking in probability, draw me in the other direction and lead me to agree with the first tradition. In the first place, after the death of Cassius his house was razed to the ground and to this day its site remains vacant, except for that part of it on which the state afterwards built the temple of Tellus, which stands in the street leading to the Carinae; and again, his goods were confiscated by the state, which dedicated first −offerings for them in various temples, especially the bronze statues to Ceres, which by their inscriptions show of whose possessions they are the first −offerings. But if his father had been at once the informer, the accuser and the executioner of his son, neither his house would have been razed nor his estate confiscated. For the Romans have no property of their own while their fathers are still living, but fathers are permitted to dispose both of the goods and the persons of their sons as they wish. Consequently the state would surely never have seen fit, because of the crimes of the son, to take away and confiscate the estate of his father who had given information of his plan to set up a tyranny. For these reasons, therefore, I agree rather with the former of the two accounts; but I have given both, to the end that my readers may adopt whichever one they please.
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When the attempt was made by some to put to death the sons of Cassius also, the senators looked upon the custom as cruel and harmful; and having assembled, they voted that the penalty should be remitted in the case of the boys and that they should live in complete security, being punished by neither banishment, disfranchisement, nor any other misfortune. And from that time this custom has become established among the Romans and is observed down to our day, that the sons shall be exempt from all punishment for any crimes committed by their fathers, whether they happen to be the sons of tyrants, of parricides, or of traitors − treason being among the Romans the greatest crime. And those who attempted to abolish this custom in our times, after the end of the Marsic and civil wars,and took away from the sons of fathers who had been proscribed under Sulla the privilege of standing for the magistracies held by their fathers and of being members of the senate as long as their own domination lasted, were regarded as having done a thing deserving both the indignation of men and the vengeance of the gods. Accordingly, in the course of time a justifiable retribution dogged their steps as the avenger of their crimes, by which the perpetrators were reduced from the greatest height of glory they had once enjoyed to the lowest depths, and not even their posterity, except of the female line, now survives; but the custom was restored to its original status by the man who brought about their destruction.Among some of the Greeks, however, this is not the practice, but certain of them think it proper to put to death the sons of tyrants together with their fathers; and others punish them with perpetual banishment, as if Nature would not permit virtuous sons to be the offspring of wicked fathers or evil sons of good fathers. But concerning these matters, I leave to the consideration of anyone who is so minded the question whether the practice prevalent among the Greeks is better or the custom of the Romans is superior; and I now return to the events that followed.
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After the death of Cassius those who sought to extend the power of the aristocracy had grown more daring and more contemptuous of the plebeians, while those of obscure reputation and fortune were humbled and abased, and feeling that they ad lost the best guardian of the plebeian order, accused themselves of great folly in having condemned him. The reason for this was that the consuls were not carrying out the decree of the senate regarding the allotting of the land, though it was their duty to appoint the decemvirs to fix the boundaries of the land and to present a proposal as to how much of it ought to be distributed, and to whom. Many met in groups, always discussing this duplicity and accusing the former tribunes of having betrayed the commonwealth; and there were continual meetings of the assembly called by the tribunes then in office, and demands for the fullfilment of the promise. The consuls, perceiving this, determined to repress the turbulent and disorderly element in the city, taking the wars as a pretext. For it chanced that their territory was at that very time harassed by bands of robbers and forays from the neighbouring cities. To punish these aggressors, then, they brought out the war standards and began to enroll the forces of the commonwealth. And when the poor did not come forward to enlist, the consuls, being unable to make use of the compulsion of the laws against the disobedient − for the tribunes defended the plebeians and were prepared to prevent any attempt to seize either the persons or the goods of those who failed to serve − made many threats that they would not yield to those who were stirring up the multitude, leaving with them a lurking suspicion that they would appoint a dictator, who would set aside the other magistracies and alone by himself possess a tyrannical and irresponsible power. As soon as the plebeians had entertained this suspicion, fearing that Appius, a harsh and stern man, would be the one appointed, they were ready to submit to anything rather than that.
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When the armies had been enrolled, the consuls took command and led them out against their foes. Cornelius invaded the territory of the Veientes and drove off all the booty that was found there, and later, when the Veientes sent ambassadors, he released their prisoners for a ransom and made a truce with them for a year. Fabius, at the head of the other army, marched into the country of the Aequians, and from there into that of the Volscians. For a short time the Volscians permitted their lands to be plundered and laid waste; then, conceiving contempt for the Romans, as they were not present in any great force, they snatched up their ams and set out from the territory of the Antiates in a body to go to the rescue of their lands, having formed their plans with greater precipitancy than regard for their own safety. Now if they had surprised the Romans by appearing unexpectedly to them while they were dispersed, they might have inflicted a severe defeat upon them; but as it was, the consul, being informed of their approach by those he had sent out to reconnoitre, by a prompt recall drew in his men, then dispersed in pillaging, and put them back into the proper order for battle. As for the Volscians, who were advancing contemptuously and confidently, when the entire army of the enemy unexpectedly appeared, drawn up in orderly array, they were struck with fear at the unlooked −for sight, and no longer was there any thought for their common safety, but every man consulted his own. Turning about, therefore, they fled, each with all the speed he could, some one way and some another, and the greater part got back safely to their city. A small body of them, however, which had been best kept in formation, ran up to the top of a hill, and standing to their arms, remained there during the following night; but when in the course of the succeeding days the consul placed a guard round the hill and closed all the exits with armed troops, they were compelled by hunger to surrender and to deliver up their arms. The consul, after ordering the quaestors to sell the booty he had found, together with the spoils and the prisoners, brought the money back to the city. And not long afterwards, withdrawing his forces from the enemy's country, he returned home with them, as the year was now drawing to its close. When the election of magistrates was at hand, the patricians, perceiving that the people were exasperated and repented of having condemned Cassius, resolved to guard against them, lest they should create some fresh disturbance when encouraged to hope for bribes and a distribution of allotments by some man skillful in the arts of the demagogue who should have gained the prestige of the consulship. And it seemed to them that the people would be most easily prevented from realizing any of these desires if a man who was at least democratic in his sympathies should become consul. Having come to this decision, they ordered Caeso Fabius, one of the two persons who had accused Cassius, and brother to Quintus, who was consul at the time, and, from among the other patricians, Lucius Aemilius, one of the aristocratic party, to stand for the consulship. When these offered themselves for the office, the plebeians, though they could do nothing to prevent it, did leave the comitia and withdraw from the Field. For in the centuriate assembly the balance of power in voting lay with the most important men and those who had the highest property ratings, and it was seldom that those of middling fortunes determined a matter; the last century, in which the most numerous and poorest part of the plebeians voted, had but one vote, as I stated before, which was always the last to be called for.
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Accordingly, Lucius Aemilius, the son of Mamercus, and Caeso Fabius, the son of Caeso, succeeded to the consulship in the two hundred and seventieth year after the settlement of Rome, when Nicodemus was archon at Athens. It chanced fortunately that their consulship was not disturbed at all by strife, since the state was beset by foreign wars. Now in all nations and places, both Greek and barbarian, respites from evils from abroad are wont to provoke civil and domestic wars; and this happens especially among those peoples who choose a life of warfare and its hardships from a passion for liberty and dominion. For natures which have learned to covet more than they have find it difficult, when restrained from their usual employments, to remain patient, and for this reason the wisest leaders are always stirring up the embers of some foreign quarrels in the belief that wars waged abroad are better than those fought at home. Be that as it may, at the time in question, as Isaid, the uprisings of the subject nations occurred very fortunately for the consuls. For the Volscians, either relying on the domestic disquiet of the Romans, in the belief that the plebeians had been brought to a state of war with the authorities, or stung by the shame of their former defeat received without striking a blow, or priding themselves on their own forces, which were very numerous, or induced by all these motives, resolved to make war upon the Romans. And assembling the youth from every city, they marched with one part of their army against the cities of the Hernicans and Latins, while with the other, which was very numerous and powerful, they proposed to await the forces which should come against their own cities. The Romans, being informed of this, determined to divide their army into two bodies, with one of which they would keep guard over the territory of the Hernicans and Latins and with the other lay waste that of the Volscians.
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The consuls having drawn lots for the armies according to their custom, the army that was to aid their allies fell to Caeso Fabius, while Lucius at the head of the other marched upon Antium. When he drew near the border and caught sight of the enemy's army, he encamped for the time opposite to them upon a hill. In the days that followed the enemy frequently came out into the plain, challenging the consul to fight; and when he thought he had the suitable opportunity, he led out his army. Before they engaged, he exhorted and encouraged his troops at length, and then ordered the trumpets to sound the charge; and the soldiers, raising their usual battle −cry, attacked in close array both by cohorts and by centuries. After they had used up all their spears and javelins with the rest of their missile weapons, they drew their swords and rushed upon each other, both sides showing equal intrepidity and eagerness for the struggle. Their manner of fighting, as I said before, was similar, and neither the skill and experience of the Romans in engagements, because of which they were generally victorious, nor their steadfastness and endurance of toil, acquired in many battles, now gave them any advantage, since the same qualities were possessed by the enemy also from the time that they had been commanded by Marcius, not the least distinguished general among the Romans; but both sides stood firm, without quitting the ground on which they had first taken their stand. Afterwards the Volscians began to retire, a little at a time, but in order and keeping their ranks, while receiving the Romans' onset. But this was a ruse designed to draw the enemy's ranks apart and to secure a position above them.
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The Romans, supposing that they were beginning flight, kept pace with them as they slowly withdrew, they too maintaining good order as they followed, but when they saw them running toward their camp, they also pursued swiftly and in disorder; and the centuries which were last and guarded the rear fell to stripping the dead, as if they had already conquered the enemy, and turned to plundering the country. When the Volscians perceived this, not only did those who had feigned flight face about and stand their ground as soon as they drew near the ramparts of their camp, but those also who had been left behind in the camp opened the gates and ran out in great numbers at several points. And now weight fortune of the battle was reversed; for the pursuers fled and the fugitives pursued. Here many brave Romans lost their lives, as may well be imagined, being driven down a declivity as they were and surrounded a few by many. And a like fate was suffered by those who had turned to despoiling the dead and to plundering and now found themselves deprived of the opportunity of making an orderly and regular retreat; for these too were overtaken by the enemy, and some of them were killed and others taken prisoner. As many as came through safely, both of these and of the others, who had been driven from the hill, returned to their camp when the horse came to their relief late in the day. It seemed, moreover, that their escape from utter destruction had been due in part to a violent rainstorm that burst from the sky and to a darkness like that occurring in thick mists, which made the enemy reluctant to pursue them any farther, since they were unable to see things at a distance. The following night the consul broke camp and led his army away in silence and in good order, taking care to escape the notice of the enemy; and late in the afternoon he encamped near a town called Longula, having chosen a hill strong enough to keep off any who might attack him. While he remained there, he employed himself both in restoring with medical attention those who suffered from wounds and in raising the spirits of those who were disheartened at the unexpected disgrace of defeat by speaking words of encouragement to them.
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While the Romans were thus occupied, the Volscians, as soon as it was day and they learned that the enemy had left their entrenchments, came up and made camp. Then, having stripped the dead, taken up those whom, though half dead, there was hope of saving, and buried their own men, they retired to Antium, the nearest city; and there, signing songs of triumph for their victory and offering sacrifices in all their temples, they devoted themselves during the following days to merry −making and pleasures. Now if they had rested content with their present victory and had attempted nothing further, their struggle would have had a glory end. For the Romans would not have dared to come out again from their camp to give battle, but would have been glad to withdraw from the enemy's country, considering inglorious flight better than certain death. But as it was, the Volscians, aiming at still more, threw away the glory of their former victory. For hearing both from scouts and from those who escaped from the enemy's camp that the Romans who had saved themselves were very few, and the greater part of these wounded, they conceived great contempt for them, and immediately seizing their arms, ran to attack them. Many unarmed people also followed them out of the city to witness the struggle and at the same time to secure plunder and booty. But when, after attacking the hill and surrounding the camp, they endeavoured to pull down the palisades, first the Roman horse, obliged, from the nature of the ground, to fight on foot, sallied out against them, and, behind the horse, those they call the triarii, with their ranks closed. These are the oldest soldiers, to whom they commit the guarding of the camp when they go out to give battle, and they fall back of necessity upon these as their last hope when there has been a general slaughter of the younger men and they lack other reinforcements. The Volscians at first sustained their onset and continued to fight stubbornly for a long time; then, being at a disadvantage because of the nature of the ground, they began to give way and at last, after inflicting slight and negligible injuries upon the enemy, while suffering more themselves, they retired to the plain. And encamping there, during the following days they repeatedly drew up in order of battle, challenging the Romans to fight; but these did not come out against them. When the Volscians saw this, they held them in contempt, and summoning forces from their cities, made preparations to capture the stronghold by their very numbers. And they might easily have performed a great exploit by taking both the consul and the Roman army either by force or even by capitulation, since the place was no longer well supplied with provisions either; but reinforcements came in time to the Romans, thus preventing the Volscians from bringing the war to the most glorious conclusion. It seems that the other consul, Caeso Fabius, learning to what straits the army had been reduced which had been arrayed against the Volscians, proposed to march as quickly as possible with all his forces and fall at once upon those who were besieging the stronghold. Since, however, the victims and omens were not favourable when he offered sacrifice and consulted the auspices, but the gods opposed his setting out, he himself remained behind, but chose out and sent his best cohorts to his colleague. These, making their way covertly through the mountains and generally by night, entered the camp without being perceived by the enemy. Aemilius, therefore, had become emboldened by the arrival of these reinforcements, while the enemy, rashly trusting to their numbers and elated because the Romans did not come out to fight, proceeded to march up the hill in close order. The Romans permitted them to come up at their leisure and to spend their strength on the palisade; but when the signals for battle were raised, they pulled down the ramparts in many places and fell upon the enemy. Some of them, coming to close quarters, fought with their swords, while others from the ramparts hurled at their assailants stones, javelins and spears; and no missile failed of a mark where many combatants were crowded together in a limited space. Thus the Volscians were hurled back from the hill after losing many of their number, and turning to flight, barely got safely back to their own camp. The Romans, feeling themselves secure at last, now made descents into the enemy's fields, from which they took provisions and everything else of which there was a dearth in the camp.
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When the time for the election of magistrates arrived, Aemilius remained in camp, being ashamed to enter the city after his ignominious defeat, in which he had lost the best part of his army. But his colleague, leaving his subordinate officers in camp, went to Rome; and assembling the people for the election, he declined to propose for the voting those among the ex −consuls on whom the populace wished the consulship to be bestowed, since even these men were not voluntary candidates, but he called the centuries and took their votes in favour of such as sought the office. These were men the senate had selected and ordered to canvass for the office, men not very acceptable to the populace. Those elected consuls for the ensuing year were Marcus Fabius, son of Caeso, the younger brother of the consul who conducted the election, and Lucius Valerius, the son of Marcus, the man who had accused Cassius, who had been thrice consul, of aiming at tyranny and caused him to be put to death. These men, having taken office, asked for the levying of fresh troops to replace those who had perished in the war against the Antiates, in order that the gaps in the various centuries might be filled; and having obtained a decree of the senate, they appointed a day on which all who were of military age must appear. Thereupon there was a great tumult throughout the city and seditious speeches were made by the poorest citizens, who refused either to comply with the decrees of the senate or to obey the authority of the consuls, since they had violated the promises made to them concerning the allotment of land. And going in great numbers to the tribunes, they charged them with treachery, and with loud outcries demanded their assistance. Most of the tribunes did not regard it as a suitable time, when a foreign war had arisen, to fan domestic hatreds into flame again; but one of them, named Gaius Maenius, declared that he would not betray the plebeians or permit the consuls to levy an army unless they should first appoint commissioners for fixing the boundaries of the public land, draw up the decree of the senate for its allotment, and lay it before the people. When the consuls opposed this and made the war they had on their hands an excuse he says not granting anything he desired, the tribune replied that he would pay no heed to them, but would hinder the levy with all his power. And this he attempted to do; nevertheless, he could prevail to the end. For the consuls, going outside the city, ordered their generals' chairs to be placed in the near-by field; and there they not only enrolled the troops, but also fined those who refused obedience to the laws, since it was not in their power to seize their persons. If the disobedient owned estates, they laid them waste and demolished their country −houses; and if they were farmers who tilled fields belonging to others, they stripped them of the yokes of oxen, the cattle, and the beasts of burden that were on hand for the work, and all kinds of implements with which the land is tilled and the crops gathered. And the tribune who opposed the levy was no longer able to do anything. For those who are invested with the tribuneship possess no authority over anything outside the city, since their jurisdiction is limited by the city walls, and it is not lawful for them even to pass a night away from the city, save on a single occasion, when all the magistrates of the commonwealth ascended the Alban Mount and offer up a common sacrifice to Jupiter in behalf of the Latin nation. This custom by which the tribunes possess no authority over anything outside the city continues to our times. And indeed the motivating cause, among many others, of the civil war among the Romans which occurred in my day and was greater than any war before it, the cause which seemed more important and sufficient to divide the commonwealth, was this − that some of the tribunes, complaining that they had been forcibly driven out of the city by the general who was then in control of affairs in Italy, in order to deprive them henceforth of any power, fled to the general66 who commanded the armies in Gaul, as having no place to turn to. And the latter, availing himself of this excuse and pretending to come with right and justice to the aid of the sacrosanct magistracy of the people which had been deprived of its authority contrary to the oaths of the forefathers, entered the city himself in arms and restored the men to their office.
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But on the occasion of which we are now speaking the plebeians, receiving no assistance from the tribunician power, moderated their boldness, and coming to the persons appointed to raise the levies, took the sacred oath and enlisted under their standards. When the gaps in the several centuries had been filled, the consuls drew lots for the command of the legions; as a result, Fabius took over the army which had been sent to the assistance of the allies, while Valerius received the one which lay encamped in the country of the Volscians, and took with him the new levies. When the enemy were informed of his arrival, they resolved to send for another army and to encamp in a place of greater strength, and no longer out of contempt for the Romans to expose themselves to reckless danger, as before. These resolutions were quickly carried out; and the commanders of the two armies both came to the same decision regarding the war, namely, to defend their own entrenchments if they were attacked, but to make no attempt upon those of the enemy in the expectation of carrying them by assault. And meanwhile not a little time was wasted, because of their fear of making any attack upon each other. Nevertheless, they were not able to abide by betray resolutions to the end. For whenever any detachments were sent out to bring in provisions or anything else that was necessary to the two armies, there were encounters and blows were exchanged, and the victory did not always rest with the same side; and since they frequently clashed, not a few men were killed and more wounded. For the Romans the wastage of their army was made good by no replacements from any quarter; but the army of the Volscians was greatly increased by the arrival of one effort after another, and their generals, elated at this, led out the army from the camp ready for battle.
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When the Romans also came out and drew up their forces, a sharp engagement ensued, not only of the horse, but of the foot and the light −armed troops as well, all showing equal ardour and experience and every man placing his hopes of victory in himself alone. At last, however, the bodies of the dead on both sides lay in great numbers where they had fallen at the posts assigned to them, and the men who were barely alive were even more numerous than the dead, while those who still continued the fight and faced its dangers were but few, and even these were unable to perform the tasks of war; for their shields, because of the multitude of spears that had stuck in them, weighed down their left arms and would not permit them to sustain the enemy's onsets, and their daggers had their edges blunted or in some cases were entirely shattered and no longer of any use, and the great weariness of the men, who had fought the whole day, slackened their sinews and weakened their blows, and sweat, thirst, and want of breath afflicted both armies, as is wont to happen when men fight long in the stifling heat of summer. Thus the battle came to an end that was anything but remarkable; but both sides, as soon as their generals ordered a retreat to be sounded, gladly returned to their camps. After that neither army any longer ventured out for battle, but lying over against one another, they kept watch on each other's movements when any detachments went out for supplies. It was believed, however, according to the report common in Rome, that the tendency, though it was then in their power to conquer, deliberately refused to perform any brilliant action because of hatred for the consul and the resentment they felt against the patricians for having played a tricking of them in the matter of the allotment of land. Indeed, the soldiers themselves, in letters they sent to their friends, accused the consul of being unfit to command. While these things were happening in the camp,
in Rome itself many prodigies in the way of unusual voices and sights occurred as indications of divine wrath. And they all pointed to this conclusion, as the augurs and the interpreters of religious matters declared, after pooling their experiences, that some of the gods were angered because they were not receiving their customary honours, as their rites were not being performed in a pure and holy manner. Thereupon strict inquiry was made by everyone, and at last information was given to the pontiffs that one of the virgins who guarded the sacred fire, Opimia by name, had lost her virginity and was polluting the holy rites. The pontiffs, having by tortures and other proofs found that the information was true, took from her head the fillets, and solemnly conducting her through the Forum, buried her alive inside the city walls. As for the two men who were convicted of violating her, they ordered them to be scourged in public and then put to death at once. Thereupon the sacrifices and the auguries became favourable, as if the gods had given up their anger against them.
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When the time for the election of magistrates arrived72 and the consuls had returned to Rome, there was great rivalry and marshalling of forces between the populace and the patricians concerning the persons who were to receive the chief magistracy. For the patricians desired to promote to the consulship those of the younger men who were energetic and least inclined to favour the plebeians; and at their behest the son of the Appius Claudius who was regarded as the greatest enemy of the plebeians stood for the office, a man full of arrogance and daring and by reason of his friends and clients the most powerful man of his age. The populace, on their part, named from among the older men who had already given proof of their reasonableness those who were likely to consult the common good, and desired to make them consuls. The magistrates also were divided and sought to invalidate one another's authority. For whenever the consuls called an assembly of the multitude, to announce the candidates for the consulship, the tribunes, by virtue of their power to intervene, would dismiss the comitia; and whenever the tribunes, in turn, called an assembly of the people to elect magistrates, the consuls, who had the power of calling the centuries together and of taking their votes, would not permit them to proceed. There were mutual accusations and continual skirmishes between them, each side uniting in factional groups, with the result that even angry blows were exchanged and the sedition stopped little short of armed violence. The senate, being informed of all this, deliberated for a long time how it should deal with the situation, being neither able to force the populace to submit or willing to yield. The bolder opinion in that body was for appointing a dictator, whomever they should considered to be the best, for the purpose of the election, and that the one receiving this power should banish the trouble −makers from the state, and if the former magistrates had been guilty of any error, that he should correct it, and then, after establishing the form of government he desired, should hand over the magistracies to the best men. The more moderate opinion was for choosing oldest and most honoured senators as interreges to have charge of the election and see that it was carried out in the best manner, just as elections were formerly carried out upon the demise of their kings. The latter opinion having been approved by the majority, Aulus Sempronius Atratinus was appointed interrex by the senate and all the other magistracies were suspended. After he had administered the commonwealth without any sedition for as many days as it was lawful, he appointed another interrex, according to their custom, naming Spurius Larcius. And Larcius, summoning the centuriate assembly and taking their votes according to the valuation of their property, named for consuls, with the approval of both sides, Gaius Julius, surnamed Iulus, one of the men friendly to the populace and, to serve for the second time, Quintus Fabius, the son of Caeso, who belonged to the aristocratic party. 6 The populace, who had suffered naught at his hands in the former consulship, permitted him to obtain this power for the second time because they hated Appius and were greatly pleased that he seemed to have been deprived of an honour; while those in authority, having succeeded in advancing to the consulship a man of action and one who would show no weakness toward the populace, thought the dissension had taken a course favourable to their designs.
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During the consulship of these men the Aequians, making a raid into the territory of the Latins after the manner of brigands, carried off a great number of slaves and cattle; and the people of Tyrrhenia called the Veientes injured a large part of the Roman territory by their forays. The senate voted to put off the war against the Aequians to another time, but to demand satisfaction of the Veientes. The Aequians, accordingly, since their first attempts had been successful and there appeared to be no one to prevent their further operations, grew elated with an unreasoning boldness, and resolving no longer to send out a mere marauding expedition, marched with a large force to Ortona and took it by storm; then, after plundering everything both in the country and in the city, they returned home with rich booty. As for the Veientes, they returned answer to the ambassadors who came from Rome that those who were ravaging their country were not from their city, but from the other Tyrrhenian cities, and then dismissed them without giving them any satisfaction; and the ambassadors fell in with the Veientes as these were driving off booty from the Roman territory. The senate, learning of these things from the ambassadors, voted to declare war against the Veientes and that both consuls should lead out the army. There was a controversy, to be sure, over the decree, and there were many who opposed engaging in the war and reminded the plebeians of the allotment of land, of which they had been defrauded after a vain hope, though the senate had passed the decree four years before; and they declared that there would be a general war if all Tyrrhenia by common consent should assist their countrymen. However, the arguments of the seditious speakers did not prevail, but the populace also confirmed the decree of the senate, following the opinion and advice of Spurius Larcius. Thereupon the consuls marched out with their forces and encamped apart at no great distance from the city; but after they had remained there a good many days and the enemy did not lead their forces out to meet them, they ravaged as large a part of their country as they could and then returned home with the army. Nothing else worthy of notice happened during their consulship.