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THE

HISTORY OF ROME.

BOOK VI.

Successful operations against the Equans, and Volscians, and Prænestines. Four new tribes added. Marcus Manlius, who defended the Capitol, being convicted of aspiring to regal power, is thrown from the Tarpeian rock. A law, proposed by two plebeian tribunes, that consuls might be chosen from among the commons, causes a long and violent contest, during which, for five years, the same set of plebeian tribunes are the only magistrates in the state is at length passed: and Lucius Sextus, one of the proposers, made the first plebeian consul. A law passed, that no person shall possess more than five hundred acres of land.

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Y.R.365.

I. IN the five preceding books, I have exhibited a view of the affairs of the Romans, from the building of the city of Rome, until its capture; under the gov- B.C.387. ernment, first, of kings; then of consuls and dictators, decemvirs, and consular tribunes; their foreign wars, and domestic dissensions: matters involved in obscurity, not only by reason of their great antiquity, like objects placed at such a distance as to be scarcely discernible by the eye; but also because that, in those times, the use of letters, the only faithful guardian of the memory of events, was very rare. And besides, whatVOL. II.-B

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ever information might have been contained in the commentaries of the pontiffs, and other public or private records, it was almost entirely lost in the burning of the city. Henceforward, from the second origin of Rome, from whence, as from its root, receiving new life, it sprung up with redoubled health and vigour, I shall be able to give the relation of its affairs, both civil and military, with more clearness and certainty. Now, after its restoration, it leaned still, for principal support, on the same instrument which had raised it from ruin, Marcus Furius Camillus. Nor did the people suffer him to lay aside the dictatorship before the end of that year. It was judged improper that the tribunes, during whose administration the city had been taken, should preside at the elections for the year ensuing, and an interregnum was resolved on. While the public were kept diligently employed in repairing the city, Quintus Fabius, as soon as he went out of office, had a prosecution instituted against him by Caius Marcius, a tribune of the commons, for having, while in the character of ambassador, contrary to the law of nations, acted in arms against the Gauls, with whom he had been sent as a minister to negotiate: he escaped standing his trial, by a death so opportune, that most people believed it voluntary. The interregnum commenced. Publius Cornelius Scipio was interrex; and, after him, Marcus Furius Camillus a second time. He elected military tribunes, with consular power, Y.R.366. Lucius Valerius Poplicola a second time, Lucius Virginius, Publius Cornelius, Aulus Manlius, Lucius Æmilius, and Lucius Postumius. These, entering on office, immediately on the conclusion of the interregnum, consulted the senate on no other business previous to that which related to religion. They ordered, in the first place, that a collection should be made of the treaties and laws which could be found. The latter consisted of the twelve tables, and some laws enacted

B.C.386.

by the kings. Some of these were publicly promulgated; but such as related to religious matters were kept secret, chiefly through means of the pontiffs, that they might hold the minds of the multitude in bondage. They next turned their deliberations to those days, which were to be accounted displeasing to the gods; and the fifteenth day of the calends of August was distinguished by an order, that on that unfortunate day no public or private business whatever should be transacted it was deemed doubly unfortunate: for, on that day, the Fabii were slain at Cremera; and, afterwards, on the same day, the fatal battle of Allia, which effected the destruction of the city, was fought: from the latter disaster, it was denominated the Allian day. Some are of opinion, that, because, on the day following the ides of July, Sulpicius, when military tribune, had neglected to perform the rites of the augury; and, without being assured of the favour of the gods, had, on the third day after, exposed the Roman army to the enemy, it was ordained, that the days following the calends, and the nones, should also be accounted equally inauspicious.

II. But it was not long allowed them to consult, in quiet, on the means of raising up the city, after such a grievous fall. On one side, their old enemy, the Volscians, had taken arms, resolved to extinguish the Roman name; and, on the other, according to intelligence received from certain traders, a conspiracy of the leading men, from all the several states of Etruria, had been formed at the temple of Voltumna, for the purpose of commencing hostilities. To which was added a new cause of apprehension, by the defection of the Latines and Hernicians, who, ever since the battle fought at the lake Regillus, during the course of near an hundred years, had continued in friendship with the Roman people without ever giving reason to doubt their fidelity. Wherefore, when such alarms started up on every side, and all men plainly perceived,

that the Roman name was not only loaded with hatred among their enemies, but also with contempt among their allies, it was determined that the defence of the commonwealth should be conducted by the same auspices which had effected its recovery, and that Marcus Furius Camillus should be nominated dictator. On being invested with that office, he appointed Caius Servilius Ahala master of the horse; and, proclaiming a cessation of civil business, made a levy of the younger citi zens, at the same time administering the oath of obedience to such of the elders also as retained any considerable degree of strength, and enrolling them among the troops. The army, thus enlisted and armed, he divided into three parts; one division he opposed to the Etrurians, in the Veientian territories; another he ordered to encamp near the city: the latter were commanded by Aulus Manlius, military tribune; those who were sent against the Etrurians, by Lucius Æmilius. The third division he led, in person, against the Volscians, and prepared to assault their camp at a place called Admarcium, near Lanuvium. Their inducement to begin this war was, a belief that almost the whole of the Roman youth were cut off by the Gauls; nevertheless, on hearing that the command was given to Camillus, they were struck with such terror, that they fenced themselves with a rampart, which they further secured with trees piled on each other, that the enemy might find no pass by which they could enter the works. As soon as Camillus saw the nature of this defence, he ordered it to be set on fire: a high wind blowing at the time towards the enemy, the flames quickly opened a passage, which, together with the heat, the smoke, and the cracking of the green timber in burning, filled them with such consternation, that the Romans found less difficulty in climbing over the rampart into the Volscian camp, than they had met in making their way across the fence, after it was consumed by the flames. The enemy being routed and put to the sword, the dictator,

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