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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.
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.
(1): Vica Pota = Victory and Potency;" another form of the goddess Victoria".
Event: War with Tarquin
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Triumph:The highest honour to a general: clad like Jupiter he drove in a chariot drawn by four white horses. Before him walked the prisoners taken in the war, and the spoils of the captured cities, and in later times pictures of the conquered territories were carried before the general's chariot. He was followed by his troops, who sung songs, often extempore effusions, in honour of their commander.
Fasces:Rods of wood tied by a red thong into a bundle from which an axe projected. Symbol of regal and later magesterial authority.