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Quote of the day: He called into his service twelve lictor
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History of Rome (Ab Urbe Condita) by Livy
Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book XXVII Chapter 24: Trouble in Etruria[208 BC]
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Day by day the reports from Arretium became more serious and caused increasing anxiety to the senate. Written instructions were sent to Gaius Hostilius, bidding him lose no time in taking hostages from the townspeople, and Gaius Terentius Varro was sent with powers to receive them from him and conduct them to Rome. As soon as he arrived, Hostilius ordered one of his legions which was encamped before the city to enter it in military order, and he then disposed the men in suitable positions. This done, he summoned the senators into the forum and ordered them to give hostages for their good behaviour. They asked for forty-eight hours for consideration, but he insisted upon their producing the hostages at once, and threatened in case of refusal to seize all their children the next day. He then issued orders to the military tribunes and prefects of allies and centurions to keep a strict watch on the gates, and to allow no one to leave the city during the night. There was too much slackness and delay in carrying out these instructions; before the guards were posted at the gates seven of the principal senators with their children slipped out before it was dark. Early on the morrow, when the senators began to assemble in the forum, the absence of these men was discovered, and their property was sold. The rest of the senators offered their own children to the number of one hundred and twenty; the offer was accepted, and they were entrusted to Gaius Terentius to be conveyed to Rome. The report he gave to the senate made matters look still more serious. It seemed as though a rising throughout Etruria was imminent. Gaius Terentius was accordingly ordered to proceed to Arretium with one of the two City legions and occupy the place in force, Gaius Hostilius with the rest of the army was to traverse the entire province and see that no opening was afforded for revolutionary disturbances. When Gaius Terentius and his legion reached Arretium, he demanded the keys of the gates. The magistrates replied that they could not find them, but he was convinced that they had been deliberately carried off and not lost through carelessness, so he had fresh locks fitted on all the gates, and took especial precautions to have everything under his own control. He earnestly impressed upon Hostilius the need of vigilance, and warned him that all hope of Etruria remaining quiet depended upon his taking such precautions as to make any movement of disaffection impossible.

Trouble in Etruria, 208 BC

Event: Trouble in Etruria, 208 BC