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Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book VI Chapter 25: Wars with the Volscians and Latins. Tusculum.[381 BC]
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On examining the prisoners, it was discovered that some were from Tusculum; these were brought separately before the tribunes and on being questioned admitted that their State authorised their taking up arms. Alarmed at the prospect of a war so close to the City, Camillus said that he would at once conduct the prisoners to Rome so that the senate might not remain in ignorance of the fact that the Tusculans had abandoned the alliance with Rome. His colleague might, if he thought good, remain in command of the army in camp. One day's experience had taught him not to prefer his own counsels to wiser ones, but even so, neither he nor any one in the army supposed that Camillus would calmly pass over that blunder of his by which the republic had been exposed to headlong disaster. Both in the army and at Rome it was universally remarked that in the chequered fortune which had attended the Volscian campaign the blame for the unsuccessful battle and flight would be visited on Lucius Furius, the glory of the successful one would rest with Marcus Furius Camillus. |
After the examination of the prisoners the senate resolved upon war with Tusculum, and entrusted the conduct of it to Camillus. He requested that he might have one coadjutor, and on receiving permission to choose whom he would, he selected, to every one's surprise, Lucius Furius. By this act of generosity he removed the stigma attaching to his colleague and won great glory for himself.
But there was no war with the Tusculans. Unable to resist the attack of Rome by force of arms they turned it aside by a firm and lasting peace. When the Romans entered their territory, there was no flight of the inhabitants from the places near their line of march, the cultivation of the fields was not interrupted, the gates of the city stood open, and the townsmen in civic attire came in crowds to meet the commanders, whilst provisions for the camp were brought ungrudgingly from town and country. Camillus fixed his camp in front of the gates and decided to ascertain for himself whether the peaceful aspect which things wore in the country prevailed within the walls as well. Inside the city he found the doors of the houses standing open and all kinds of things exposed for sale in the stalls; the workmen all busy at their respective tasks and the schools humming with the voices of the children learning to read; the streets filled with crowds, including women and children going in all directions about their business and wearing an expression free not only from fear but even from surprise. He looked everywhere in vain for some signs of war; there was not the slightest trace of anything having been removed or brought forward just for the moment; all things looked so calm and peaceful that it seemed hardly possible that the bruit of war could have reached them.