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Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book II Chapter 22: War with the Volscians.[495 BC]
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The relations with the Volscians during the Latin war were neither friendly nor openly hostile. The Volscians had collected a force which they were intending to send to the aid of the Latins had not the dictator forestalled them by the rapidity of his movements, a rapidity due to his anxiety to avoid a battle with the combined armies. To punish them the consuls [Note 1] led the legions into the Volscian country. This unexpected movement paralysed the Volscians, who were not expecting retribution for what had been only an intention. Unable to offer resistance, they gave as hostages three hundred children belonging to their nobility, drawn from Cora and Pometia. The legions, accordingly, were marched back without fighting. |
Relieved from the immediate danger, the Volscians soon fell back on their old policy, and after forming an armed alliance with the Hernicans, made secret preparations for war. They also despatched envoys through the length and breadth of Latium to induce that nation to join them. But after their defeat at Lake Regillus the Latins were so incensed against every one who advocated a resumption of hostilities that they did not even spare the Volscian envoys, who were arrested and conducted to Rome. There they were handed over to the consuls and evidence was produced showing that the Volscians and Hernicans were preparing for war with Rome. When the matter was brought before the senate, they were so gratified by the action of the Latins that they sent back six thousand prisoners [[Note 2]] who had been sold into slavery, and also referred to the new magistrates the question of a treaty which they had hitherto persistently refused to consider. The Latins congratulated themselves upon the course they had adopted, and the advocates of peace were in high honour. They sent a golden crown as a gift to the Capitoline Jupiter. The deputation who brought the gift were accompanied by a large number of the released prisoners, who visited the houses where they had worked as slaves to thank their former masters for the kindness and consideration shown them in their misfortunes, and to form ties of hospitality with them. At no previous period had the Latin nation been on more friendly terms both politically and personally with the Roman government.