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Quote of the day: A shudder comes over my soul, whenever I
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History of Rome (Ab Urbe Condita) by Livy
Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book II Chapter 7: After the death of Brutus.[509 BC]
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After the battle had gone in this way, so great a panic seized Tarquin and the Etruscans that the two armies of Veii and Tarquinii, on the approach of night, despairing of success, left the field and departed for their homes.

The story of the battle was enriched by marvels. In the silence of the next night a great voice is said to have come from the forest of Arsia, believed to be the voice of Silvanus, which spoke thus: "The fallen of the Tusci are one more than those of their foe; the Roman is conqueror." At all events the Romans left the field as victors; the Etruscans regarded themselves as vanquished, for when daylight appeared not a single enemy was in sight.

Publius Valerius, the consul, collected the spoils and returned in triumph to Rome. He celebrated his colleague's obsequies with all the pomp possible in those days, but far greater honour was done to the dead by the universal mourning, which was rendered specially noteworthy by the  fact that the matrons were a whole year in mourning for him, because he had been such a determined avenger of violated chastity.

Growing impopularity of Valerius.

After this the surviving consul, who had been in such favour with the multitude, found himself -- such is its fickleness -- not only unpopular but an object of suspicion, and that of a very grave character. It was rumoured that he was aiming at monarchy, for he had held no election to fill Brutus place, and he was building a house on the top of the Velia, an impregnable fortress was being constructed on that high and strong position. The consul felt hurt at finding these rumours so widely believed, and summoned the people to an assembly.
As he entered the fasces were lowered, to the great delight of the multitude, who understood that it was to them that they were lowered as an open avowal that the dignity and might of the people were greater than those of the consul. Then, after securing silence, he began to eulogise the good fortune of his colleague who had met his death, as a liberator of his country, possessing the highest honour it could bestow, fighting for the common-wealth, whilst his glory was as yet undimmed by jealousy and distrust. Whereas he himself had outlived his glory and fallen on days of suspicion and opprobrium; from being a liberator of his country he had sunk to the level of the Aquilii and Vitellii "Will you," he cried, "never deem any man's merit so assured that it cannot be tainted by suspicion? Am I, the most determined foe to kings, to dread the suspicion of desiring to be one myself? Even if I were dwelling in the Citadel on the Capitol, am I to believe it possible that I should be feared by my fellow-citizens? Does my reputation amongst you hang on so slight a thread? Does your confidence rest upon such a weak foundation that it is of greater moment where I am than who I am? The house of Publius Valerius shall be no check upon your freedom, your Velia shall be safe. I will not only move my house to level ground, but I will move it to the bottom of the hill that you may dwell above the citizen whom you suspect.
Am I, the most determined foe to kings, to dread the suspicion of desiring to be one myself? Even if I were dwelling in the Citadel on the Capitol, am I to believe it possible that I should be feared by my fellow- citizens? Does my reputation amongst you hang on so slight a thread? Does your confidence rest upon such a weak foundation that it is of greater moment where I am than who I am? The house of Publius Valerius shall be no check upon your freedom, your Velia shall be safe. I will not only move my house to level ground, but I will move it to the bottom of the hill that you may dwell above the citizen whom you suspect. Let those dwell on the Velia who are regarded as truer friends of liberty than Publius Valerius." All the materials were forthwith carried below the Velia and his house was built at the very bottom of the hill where now stands the temple of Vica Pota(1)]

(1): Vica Pota = Victory and Potency;" another form of the goddess Victoria".

Event: War with Tarquin

Ita cum pugnatum esset, tantus terror Tarquinium atque Etruscos incessit ut omissa inrita re nocte ambo exercitus, Veiens Tarquiniensisque, suas quisque abirent domos. Adiciunt miracula huic pugnae: silentio proximae noctis ex silua Arsia ingentem editam uocem; Siluani uocem eam creditam; haec dicta: uno plus Tuscorum cecidisse in acie; uincere bello Romanum. Ita certe inde abiere, Romani ut uictores, Etrusci pro uictis; nam postquam inluxit nec quisquam hostium in conspectu erat, P. Valerius consul spolia legit triumphansque inde Romam rediit. Collegae funus quanto tum potuit apparatu fecit; sed multo maius morti decus publica fuit maestitia, eo ante omnia insignis quia matronae annum ut parentem eum luxerunt, quod tam acer ultor uiolatae pudicitiae fuisset. Consuli deinde qui superfuerat, ut sunt mutabiles uolgi animi, ex fauore non inuidia modo sed suspicio etiam cum atroci crimine orta. Regnum eum adfectare fama ferebat, quia nec collegam subrogauerat in locum Bruti et aedificabat in summa Velia: ibi alto atque munito loco arcem inexpugnabilem fieri. Haec dicta uolgo creditaque cum indignitate angerent consulis animum, uocato ad concilium populo submissis fascibus in contionem escendit. Gratum multitudini spectaculum fuit, submissa sibi esse imperii insignia confessionemque factam populi quam consulis maiestatem uimque maiorem esse. Ibi audire iussis consul laudare fortunam collegae, quod liberata patria, in summo honore, pro re publica dimicans, matura gloria necdum se uertente in inuidiam, mortem occubuisset: se superstitem gloriae suae ad crimen atque inuidiam superesse; ex liberatore patriae ad Aquilios se Vitelliosque recidisse. "Nunquamne ergo" inquit, "ulla adeo uobis spectata uirtus erit, ut suspicione uiolari nequeat? Ego me, illum acerrimum regum hostem, ipsum cupiditatis regni crimen subiturum timerem? Ego si in ipsa arce Capitolioque habitarem, metui me crederem posse a ciuibus meis? Tam leui momento mea apud uos fama pendet? Adeone est fundata leuiter fides ut ubi sim quam qui sim magis referat? Non obstabunt Publi Valeri aedes libertati uestrae, Quirites; tuta erit uobis Velia; deferam non in planum modo aedes sed colli etiam subiciam, ut uos supra suspectum me ciuem habitetis; in Velia aedificent quibus melius quam P. Valerio creditur libertas." Delata confestim materia omnis infra Veliam et, ubi nunc Vicae Potae est, domus in infimo cliuo aedificata.