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Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book VIII Chapter 37: Samnites, Apulians and Tusculum.[323 BC]
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The dictator made a triumphal entry into the City, and as he wished to lay down his office, he received instructions from the senate before doing so to conduct the consular elections. The new consuls were Gaius Sulpicius Longus (for the second time) and Quintus Aemilius Cerretanus. The Samnites did not succeed in obtaining a permanent peace, as they could not agree on the conditions; they took back with them a truce for one year. But even this was soon broken, for when they heard that Papirius had resigned they were eager to renew hostilities |
The new consuls -- some authorities give Aulus instead of Aemilius for the second consul -- had on their hands a fresh enemy, the Apulians, in addition to the revolt of the Samnites armies were despatched against both; the Samnites were allotted to Sulpicius, the Apulians to Aemilius. Some writers assert that it was not against the Apulians that the campaign was undertaken, but for the protection of their allies against the wanton aggressions of the Samnites. The circumstances of that people, however, who were hardly able to defend themselves, make it more probable that they had not attacked the Apulians but that both nations were united in hostilities against Rome. Nothing noteworthy took place; the districts of both Samnium and Apulia were laid waste, but neither in the one nor the other was the enemy met with.
At Rome the citizens were one night suddenly aroused from sleep by an alarm so serious that the Capitol, the Citadel, the walls, and gates were filled with troops. The whole population was called to arms, but when it grew light neither the author nor the cause of the excitement was discovered.
The Appeal of Tusculum
In this year Marcus Flavius, a tribune of the plebs, brought before the people a proposal to take measures against the Tusculans, "by whose counsel and assistance the peoples of Velitrae and Privernum had made war against the people of Rome." The people of Tusculum came to Rome with their wives and children in mourning garb, like men awaiting trial, and went from tribe to tribe prostrating themselves before the tribes. The compassion which their attitude called out went further to procure their pardon than their attempts to exculpate themselves. All the tribes, with the exception of the Pollian tribe, vetoed the proposal. That tribe voted for a proposal that all the adult males should be scourged and beheaded, and their wives and children sold into slavery. Even as late as the last generation the Tusculans retained the memory of that cruel sentence, and their resentment against its authors showed itself in the fact that the Papirian tribe (in which the Tusculans were afterwards incorporated) hardly ever voted for any candidate belonging to the Pollian tribe.