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Quote of the day: Poppaea died from a casual outburst of r
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History of Rome (Ab Urbe Condita) by Livy
Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book II Chapter 64: War with the Sabines, Aequi, and Volscians (Cont.)[468 BC]
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Towards the close of the year there was a short interval of peace, but, as usual, it was marred by the struggle between the patricians and the plebeians. The plebs, in their exasperation, refused to take any part in the election of consuls; Titus Quinctius and Quintus Servilius were elected consuls by the patricians and their clients. They had a year similar to the previous one: agitation during the first part, then the calming of this by foreign war. The Sabines hurriedly traversed the plains of Crustumerium, and carried fire and sword into the district watered by the Anio, but were repulsed when almost close to the Colline gate and the walls of the City. They succeeded, however, in carrying off immense spoil both in men and cattle. The consul Servilius followed them up with an army bent on revenge, and though unable to come up with their main body in the open country, he carried on his ravages on such an extensive scale that he left no part unmolested by war, and returned with spoil many times greater than that of the enemy. Amongst the Volscians also the cause of Rome was splendidly upheld by the exertions of general and soldiers alike. To begin with, they met on level ground and a pitched battle was fought with immense losses on both sides in killed and wounded. The Romans, whose paucity of numbers made them more sensible of their loss, would have retreated had not the consul called out that the enemy on the other wing were in flight, and by this well-timed falsehood roused the army to fresh effort. They made a charge and converted a supposed victory into a real one. The consul, fearing lest by pressing the attack too far he might force a renewal of the combat, gave the signal for retiring. For the next few days both sides kept quiet, as though there were a tacit understanding. During this interval, an immense body of men from all the Volscian and Aequan cities came into camp, fully expecting that when the Romans heard of their arrival they would make a nocturnal retreat. Accordingly, about the third watch they moved out to attack the camp. After allaying the confusion caused by the sudden alarm, Quinctius ordered the soldiers to remain quietly in their quarters, marched out a cohort of Hernicans to the outposts, mounted the buglers and trumpeters on horseback, and ordered them to sound their calls and keep the enemy on the alert till dawn. For the remainder of the night all was so quiet in the camp that the Romans even enjoyed ample sleep. The sight of the armed infantry whom the Volscians took to be Romans and more numerous than they really were, the noise and neighing of the horses, restless under their inexperienced riders and excited by the sound of the trumpets, kept the enemy in constant apprehension of an attack.

Event: Second War of Romans with Veii and Sabines

Extremo anno pacis aliquid fuit, sed, ut semper alias, sollicitae certamine patrum et plebis. Irata plebs interesse consularibus comitiis noluit; per patres clientesque patrum consules creati T. Quinctius Q. Seruilius. Similem annum priori habent, seditiosa initia, bello deinde externo tranquilla. Sabini Crustuminos campos citato agmine transgressi cum caedes et incendia circum Anienem flumen fecissent, a porta prope Collina moenibusque pulsi ingentes tamen praedas hominum pecorumque egere. Quos Seruilius consul infesto exercitu insecutus ipsum quidem agmen adipisci aequis locis non potuit, populationem adeo effuse fecit, ut nihil bello intactum relinquerent multiplicique capta praeda rediret. Et in Volscis res publica egregie gesta cum ducis tum militum opera. Primum aequo campo signis conlatis pugnatum, ingenti caede utrimque, plurimo sanguine; et Romani, quia paucitas damno sentiendo propior erat, gradum rettulissent, ni salubri mendacio consul fugere hostes ab cornu altero clamitans concitasset aciem. Impetu facto dum se putant uincere uicere. Consul metuens ne nimis instando renouaret certamen, signum receptui dedit. Intercessere pauci dies, uelut tacitis indutiis utrimque quiete sumpta, per quos ingens uis hominum ex omnibus Volscis Aequisque populis in castra uenit, haud dubitans si senserint Romanos nocte abituros. Itaque tertia fere uigilia ad castra oppugnanda ueniunt. Quinctius sedato tumultu quem terror subitus exciuerat, cum manere in tentoriis quietum militem iussisset, Hernicorum cohortem in stationem educit, cornicines tubicinesque in equos impositos canere ante uallum iubet sollicitumque hostem ad lucem tenere. Reliquum noctis adeo tranquilla omnia in castris fuere ut somni quoque Romanis copia esset. Volscos species armatorum peditum, quos et plures esse et Romanos putabant, fremitus hinnitusque equorum, qui et insueto sedente equite et insuper aures agitante sonitu saeuiebant, intentos uelut ad impetum hostium tenuit.