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Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book IV Chapter 47: Capture of Labici.[418-6 BC]
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The arrogance and carelessness which the Roman generals had shown had now passed over to the Aequi in the hour of their success. The result appeared in the very first battle. After shaking the enemies' front with a cavalry charge, the dictator [Note 1] ordered the standards of the legions to be rapidly advanced, and as one of his standard-bearers hesitated, he slew him. So eager were the Romans to engage that the Aequi did not stand the shock. Driven from the field in headlong flight they made for their camp; the storming of the camp took less time and involved less fighting than the actual battle. The spoils of the captured camp the dictator gave up to the soldiers. The cavalry who had pursued the enemy as they fled from the camp brought back intelligence that the whole of the defeated Labicans and a large proportion of the Aequi had fled to Labici. On the morrow the army marched to Labici, and after the town was completely invested it was captured and plundered. |
After leading his victorious army home, the dictator laid down his office just a week after he had been appointed. Before the tribunes of the plebs had time to get up an agitation about the division of the Labican territory, the senate in a full meeting passed a resolution that a body of colonists should be settled at Labici. One thousand five hundred colonists were sent, and each received two jugera of land.
In the year following the capture of Labici the consular tribunes were Menenius Lanatus, Lucius Servilius Structus, Publius Lucretius Tricipitinus - each for the second time- and Spurius Veturius Crassus. For the next year they were Aulus Sempronius Atratinus - for the third time- and Marcus Papirius Mugilanus and Spurius Nautius Rutilus - each for the second time. During these two years foreign affairs were quiet, but at home there were contentions over the agrarian laws.
Note 1: dictator = Quintus Servilius
Event: Siege and relief of Ardea
|Transierat ex re bene gesta superbia neglegentiaque ad Aequos, quae in Romanis ducibus fuerat. Itaque primo statim proelio cum dictator equitatu immisso antesignanos hostium turbasset, legionum inde signa inferri propere iussit signiferumque ex suis unum cunctantem occidit. Tantus ardor ad dimicandum fuit ut impetum Aequi non tulerint; victique acie cum fuga effusa petissent castra, breuior tempore et certamine minor castrorum oppugnatio fuit quam proelium fuerat. Captis direptisque castris cum praedam dictator militi concessisset, secutique fugientem ex castris hostem equites renuntiassent omnes Labicanos victos, magnam partem Aequorum Labicos confugisse, postero die ad Labicos ductus exercitus oppidumque corona circumdata scalis captum ac direptum est. Dictator exercitu victore Romam reducto, die octauo quam creatus erat, magistratu se abdicavit; et opportune senatus priusquam ab tribunis plebi agrariae seditiones mentione inlata de agro Labicano dividendo fierent, censuit frequens coloniam Labicos deducendam. Coloni ab urbe mille et quingenti missi bina iugera acceperunt. Captis Labicis, ac deinde tribunis militum consulari potestate Agrippa Menenio Lanato et C. Seruilio Structo et P. Lucretio Tricipitino, iterum omnibus his, et Sp. Rutilio Crasso, et insequente anno A. Sempronio Atratino tertium, et duobus iterum, M. Papirio Mugillano et Sp. Nautio Rutulo, biennium tranquillae externae res, discordia domi ex agrariis legibus fuit.|