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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
Standard:When an army was in camp, they were fixed in the ground, each marking the station of the cohort to which it belonged; when they were taken up it was the signal for breaking up the camp and commencing the march.
Jugerum:Nearly 5/8 of an acre.