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Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book II Chapter 14: Final Attempt to restore the Tarquins.[507 BC]
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Quite with this peaceful withdrawal from the City on the part of the Etruscan king is the custom which, with other formalities, has been handed down from antiquity to our own age of "selling the goods of king Porsena." This custom must either have been introduced during the war and kept up after peace was made, or else it must have a less bellicose origin than would be implied by the description of the goods sold as "taken from the enemy." The most probable tradition is that Porsena, knowing the City to be without food owing to the long investment, made the Romans a present of his richly-stored camp, in which provisions had been collected from the neighbouring fertile fields of Etruria. Then, to prevent the people seizing them indiscriminately as spoils of war, they were regularly sold, under the description of "the goods of Porsena," a description indicating rather the gratitude of the people than an auction of the king's personal property, which had never been at the disposal of the Romans. |
To prevent his expedition from appearing entirely fruitless, Porsena, after bringing the war with Rome to a close, sent his son Aruns with a part of his force to attack Aricia. At first the Aricians were dismayed by the unexpected movement, but the succours which in response to their request were sent from the Latin towns and from Cumae so far encouraged them that they ventured to offer battle. At the commencement of the action the Etruscans attacked with such vigour that they routed the Aricians at the first charge. The Cuman cohorts made a strategical flank movement, and when the enemy had pressed forward in disordered pursuit, they wheeled round and attacked them in the rear. Thus the Etruscans, now all but victorious, were hemmed in and cut to pieces. A very small remnant, after losing their general, made for Rome, as there was no nearer place of safety. Without arms, and in the guise of suppliants, they were kindly received and distributed amongst different houses. After recovering from their wounds, some left for their homes, to tell of the kind hospitality they had received; many remained behind out of affection for their hosts and the City. A district was assigned to them to dwell in, which subsequently bore the designation of "the Tuscan quarter."
Event: Porsena against Aricia.