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Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book II Chapter 25: Fifth war of Rome and Sabines.[495 BC]
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The very next night the Volscians, trusting to the dissensions amongst the Romans, made an attempt on the camp, on the chance of desertions taking place, or the camp being betrayed, in the darkness. The outposts perceived them, the army was aroused, and on the alarm being sounded they rushed to arms, so the Volscian attempt was foiled; for the rest of the night both sides kept quiet. The following day, at dawn, the Volscians filled up the trenches and attacked the rampart. This was already being torn down on all sides while the consul [Note 1], in spite of the shouts of the whole army -- of the debtors most of all -- demanding the signal for action, delayed for a few minutes, in order to test the temper of his men. When he was quite satisfied as to their ardour and determination, he gave the signal to charge and launched his soldiery, eager to engage, upon the foe. They were routed at the very first onset, the fugitives were cut down as far as the infantry could pursue them, then the cavalry drove them in confusion to their camp. They evacuated it in their panic, the legions soon came up, surrounded it, captured and plundered it. The following day the legions marched to Suessa Pometia, whither the enemy had fled, and in a few days it was captured and given up to the soldiers to pillage. This to some extent relieved the poverty of the soldiers. |
The consul, covered with glory, led his victorious army back to Rome. Whilst on the march he was visited by envoys from the Volscians of Ecetra, who were concerned for their own safety after the capture of Pometia. By a decree of the senate, peace was granted to them, some territory was taken from them.
Note 1: consul = Servilius