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Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book VIII Chapter 1: War with the Privernates and Volscians -- Peace with the Samnites.[341 BC]
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When messengers from Setia and Norba arrived in Rome with complaints of a defeat they had suffered at the hands of the revolted Privernates, the consulship was held by Gaius Plautius (for the second time) and Lucius Aemilius Mamercus. News was also brought that an army of Volscians led by the people of Antium had concentrated at Satricum. Both wars fell to Plautius. He marched first to Privernum and at once engaged the enemy who were defeated without much trouble. The town was captured and then given back to the Privernates after a strong garrison had been placed in it; two-thirds of their territory were confiscated. Then the victorious army was led against the Antiates at Satricum. There a battle was fought with terrible bloodshed on both sides, and whilst the result was still uncertain night separated the combatants. The Romans were in no way discouraged by the indecisiveness of the conflict, and prepared for battle the next day. The Volscians, after reckoning up their losses in the battles, were by no means eager to run any further risk; looking upon themselves as defeated, they made a hurried departure to Antium in the night, leaving their wounded and a part of their baggage behind. An immense quantity of arms was found both amongst the dead on the field and in the camp. These the consul said he was offering to Lua Mater. He then ravaged the enemy's territories down to the sea-board. |
When the other consul entered the Sabellian territory, he found that the Samnites had no camp, no legions confronting him. Whilst he was laying waste their fields with fire and sword, envoys came to him to ask for peace and he referred them to the senate.
After permission had been given them to state their case, they laid aside their truculent manner and requested that peace might be granted them and also the right of making war against the Sidicines. They considered that they were the more justified in making this request because they had formed friendly relations with Rome when their affairs were prosperous, not as in the case of the Campanians when they were in adversity, and they were taking up arms against the Sidicines, who had always been their enemies and never friends of Rome, who had not, like the Samnites, sought its friendship in a time of peace, nor like the Campanians, asked for its help in a time of war, and who were not under the protection and suzerainty of Rome.