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Quote of the day: Convinced that the vigour of the State w
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History of Rome (Ab Urbe Condita) by Livy
Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book IV Chapter 50: War with the Volscians Capture of Ferentinum.[413 BC]
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Quintus Fabius Vibulanus, as interrex, presided over the elections. The consuls elected were Aulus Cornelius Cossus and Lucius Furius Medullinus. At the beginning of their year of office, a resolution was adopted by the senate empowering the tribunes to bring before the plebs at the earliest possible date the subject of an inquiry into the circumstances of the death of Postumius, and allowing the plebs to choose whom they would to preside over the inquiry. The plebs by a unanimous vote left the matter to the consuls. They discharged their task with the greatest moderation and clemency; only a few suffered punishment, and there are good grounds for believing that these died by their own hands. They were quite unable, however, to prevent their action from being bitterly resented by the plebeians, who complained that whilst measures brought forward in their own interests were abortive, one which involved the punishment and death of members of their order was meanwhile passed and put into immediate execution. After justice had been meted out for the mutiny, it would have been a most politic step to appease their resentment by distributing the conquered territory of Bolae. Had the senate done this they would have lessened the eagerness for an agrarian law which proposed to expel the patricians from their unjust occupation of the State domains. As it was, the sense of injury was all the keener because the nobility were not only determined to keep the public land, which they already held, by force, but actually refused to distribute the vacant territory recently conquered, which would soon, like everything else, be appropriated by a few.

During this year the consul Furius led the legions against the Volscians, who were ravaging the Hernican territory. As they did not find the enemy in that quarter they advanced against Ferentinum, to which place a large number of Volscians had retreated, and took it. There was less booty there than they had expected to find, for as there was little hope of defending the place, the Volscians carried off their property and evacuated it by night. The next day, when captured, it was almost deserted. The town and its territory were given to the Hernici

Event: Second war with the Volscians

Perlata haec vox Postumi ad milites multo in castris maiorem indignationem movit: praedaene interceptorem fraudatoremque etiam malum minari militibus? Itaque cum fremitus aperte esset, et quaestor P. Sestius eadem violentia coerceri putaret seditionem posse qua mota erat, misso ad vociferantem quendam militem lictore cum inde clamor et iurgium oreretur, saxo ictus turba excedit, insuper increpante qui volnerauerat habere quaestorem quod imperator esset militibus minatus. Ad hunc tumultum accitus Postumius asperiora omnia fecit acerbis quaestionibus, crudelibus suppliciis. Postremo cum modum irae nullum faceret, ad vociferationem eorum quos necari sub crate iusserat concursu facto, ipse ad interpellantes poenam vecors de tribunali decurrit. Ibi cum submoventes passim lictores centurionesque vexarent turbam, eo indignatio erupit ut tribunus militum ab exercitu suo lapidibus cooperiretur. Quod tam atrox facinus postquam est Romam nuntiatum, tribunis militum de morte collegae per senatum quaestiones decernentibus tribuni plebis intercedebant. Sed ea contentio ex certamine alio pendebat quod cura incesserat patres ne metu quaestionum plebs iraque tribunos militum ex plebe crearet, tendebantque summa ope ut consules crearentur. Cum senatus consultum fieri tribuni plebis non paterentur, iidem intercederent consularibus comitiis, res ad interregnum rediit. Victoria deinde penes patres fuit.