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Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book VI Chapter 31: Domestic Troubles. War with Volscians.[378 BC]
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The new consular tribunes were Spurius Furius, Quintus Servilius(for the second time), Lucius Menenius (for the third time), Publius Cloelius, Marcus Horatius, and Lucius Geganius. |
No sooner had their year begun than the flames of a violent disturbance broke out, for which the distress caused by the debts supplied both cause and motive. Spurius Servilius Priscus and Quintus Cloelius Siculus were appointed censors to go into the matter, but they were prevented from doing so by the outbreak of war. The Volscian legions invaded the Roman territory and were committing ravages in all directions. The first intimation came through panic-stricken messengers followed by a general flight from the country districts. So far was the alarm thus created from repressing the domestic dissensions that the tribunes showed all the greater determination to obstruct the enrolment of troops. They succeeded at last in imposing two conditions on the patricians: that none should pay the war-tax until the war was over, and that no suits for debt should be brought into court.
After the plebs had obtained this relief there was no longer any delay in the enrolment. When the fresh troops had been raised they were formed into two armies, both of which were marched into the Volscian territory. Spurius Furius and Marcus Horatius turned to the right in the direction of Antium and the coast; Quintus Servilius and Lucius Geganius proceeded to the left towards Ecetra and the mountain district. In neither direction did the enemy meet them. So they commenced to ravage the country in a very different method from that which the Volscians had practised. These, emboldened by the dissensions but afraid of the courage of their enemy, had made hasty depredations like freebooters dreading a surprise, but the Romans acting as a regular army wreaked their just anger in ravages which were all the more destructive because they were continuous. The Volscians, fearing lest an army might come from Rome, confined their ravages to the extreme frontier; the Romans, on the other hand, lingered in the enemy's country to provoke him to battle. After burning all the scattered houses and several of the villages and leaving not a single fruit tree or any hope of harvest for the year, and carrying off as booty all the men and cattle that remained outside the walled towns, the two armies returned to Rome.
Event: Second war with Volscians
|Insequentis anni principia statim seditione ingenti arsere tribunis militum consulari potestate Sp. Furio Q. Seruilio iterum Licinio~ Menenio tertium P. Cloelio M. Horatio L. Geganio. erat autem et materia et causa seditionis aes alienum; cuius noscendi gratia Sp. Seruilius Priscus Q. Cloelius Siculus censores facti ne rem agerent bello impediti sunt; namque trepidi nuntii primo, fuga deinde ex agris legiones Volscorum ingressas fines popularique passim Romanum agrum attulere. in qua trepidatione tantum afuit ut ciuilia certamina terror externus cohiberet, ut contra eo uiolentior potestas tribunicia impediendo dilectu esset, donec condiciones impositae patribus ne quis, quoad bellatum esset, tributum daret aut ius de pecunia credita diceret. eo laxamento plebi sumpto mora dilectui non est facta. legionibus nouis scriptis placuit duos exercitus in agrum Volscum legionibus diuisis duci. Sp. Furius M. Horatius dextrorsus [in] maritimam oram atque Antium, Q. Seruilius et L. Geganius laeua ad montes [et] Ecetram pergunt. neutra parte hostis obuius [fuit]. populatio itaque non illi uagae similis quam Volscus latrocinii more, discordiae hostium fretus et uirtutem metuens, per trepidationem raptim fecerat sed ab iusto exercitu iusta ira facta, spatio quoque temporis grauior. quippe a Volscis timentibus ne interim exercitus ab Roma exiret incursiones in extrema finium factae erant; Romano contra etiam in hostico morandi causa [erat], ut hostem ad certamen eliceret. itaque omnibus passim tectis agrorum uicisque etiam quibusdam exustis, non arbore frugifera, non satis in spem frugum relictis, omni quae extra moenia fuit hominum pecudumque praeda abacta Romam utrimque exercitus reducti.|