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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
Interrex:Temporary (5 days!) head of state when the king or both consuls had died.