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Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book II Chapter 16: Fourth war with the Sabines.[505-3 BC]
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The new consuls were Marcus Valerius and Publius Postumius. This year a successful action was fought with the Sabines; the consuls celebrated a triumph.|
Then the Sabines made preparations for war on a larger scale. To oppose them and also at the same time to guard against danger in the direction of Tusculum, from which place war, though not openly declared, was still apprehended, the consuls elected were Publius Valerius for the fourth time and Titus Lucretius for the second.
A conflict which broke out amongst the Sabines between the peace party and the war party brought an accession of strength to the Romans. Attius Clausus, who was afterwards known in Rome as Appius Claudius, was an advocate for peace, but, unable to maintain his ground against the opposing faction, who were stirring up war, he fled to Rome with a large body of clients. They were admitted to the citizenship and received a grant of land lying beyond the Anio. They were called the Old Claudian tribe, and their numbers were added to by fresh tribesmen from that district. After his election into the senate it was not long before Appius gained a prominent position in that body.
The consuls marched into the Sabine territory, and by their devastation of the country and the defeats which they inflicted so weakened the enemy that no renewal of the war was to be feared for a long time. The Romans returned home in triumph.
The following year, in the consulship of Agrippa Menenius and Publius Postumius, Publius Valerius died. He was universally admitted to be first in the conduct of war and the arts of peace, but though he enjoyed such an immense reputation, his private fortune was so scanty that it could not defray the expenses of his funeral. They were met by the State. The matrons mourned for him as a second Brutus.
War with the Auruncans
In the same year two Latin colonies, Pometia and Cora, revolted to the Auruncans. War commenced, and after the defeat of an immense army which had sought to oppose the advance of the consuls into their territory, the whole war was centred round Pometia. There was no respite from bloodshed after the battle any more than during the fighting, many more were killed than were taken prisoners; the prisoners were everywhere butchered; even the hostages, three hundred of whom they had in their hands, fell a victim to the enemy's bloodthirsty rage.
This year also there was a triumph in Rome.
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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.