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Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book III Chapter 23: War with the Volscians and Aequi. Tusculum[458 BC]
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Whilst these events were occurring at Antium, the Aequi sent forward some of their best troops and by a sudden night attack captured the citadel of Tusculum; the rest of the army they halted not far from the walls, in order to distract the enemy. Intelligence of this quickly reached Rome, and from Rome was carried to the camp before Antium, where it produced as much excitement as if the Capitol had been taken. The service which Tusculum had so recently rendered and the similar character of the danger then and now, demanded a similar return of assistance. Fabius made it his first object to carry the spoil from the camp into Antium; leaving a small force there he hastened by forced marches to Tusculum. The soldiers were not allowed to carry anything but their arms and whatever baked bread was at hand, the consul Cornelius brought up supplies from Rome. The fighting went on for some months at Tusculum. With a portion of his army the consul attacked the camp of the Aequi, the rest he lent to the Tusculans for the recapture of their citadel. This could not be approached by direct assault. Ultimately, famine compelled the enemy to evacuate it, and after being reduced to the last extremities, they were all stripped of their arms and clothes and sent under the yoke. Whilst they were making their way home in this ignominious plight, the Roman consul on Algidus followed them up and slew them to a man. After this victory he led his army back to a place called Columen, where he fixed his camp. As the walls of Rome were no longer exposed to danger after the defeat of the enemy, the other consul also marched out of the City. The two consuls entered the enemies' territories by separate routes, and each tried to outdo the other in devastating the Volscian lands on the one side and those of the Aequi on the other. |
I find it stated in the majority of authorities that Antium revolted this year, but that the consul Lucius Cornelius conducted a campaign and recaptured the town, I would not venture to assert, as there is no mention of it in the older writers.
|Dum ad Antium haec geruntur, interim Aequi robore iuuentutis praemisso arcem Tusculanam improuiso nocte capiunt, reliquo exercitu haud procul moenibus Tusculi considunt ut distenderent hostium copias. Haec celeriter Romam, ab Roma in castra Antium perlata mouent Romanos haud secus quam si Capitolium captum nuntiaretur; adeo et recens erat Tusculanorum meritum et similitudo ipsa periculi reposcere datum auxilium uidebatur. Fabius omissis omnibus praedam ex castris raptim Antium conuehit; ibi modico praesidio relicto, citatum agmen Tusculum rapit. Nihil praeter arma et quod cocti ad manum fuit cibi ferre militi licuit; commeatum ab Roma consul Cornelius subuehit. Aliquot menses Tusculi bellatum. Parte exercitus consul castra Aequorum oppugnabat; partem Tusculanis dederat ad arcem reciperandam. Vi nunquam eo subiri potuit: fames postremo inde detraxit hostem. Qua postquam uentum ad extremum est, inermes nudique omnes sub iugum ab Tusculanis missi. Hos ignominiosa fuga domum se recipientes Romanus consul in Algido consecutus ad unum omnes occidit. Victor ad Columen—id loco nomen est—exercitu reducto castra locat. Et alter consul, postquam moenibus iam Romanis pulso hoste periculum esse desierat, et ipse ab Roma profectus. Ita bifariam consules ingressi hostium fines ingenti certamine hinc Volscos, hinc Aequos populantur. Eodem anno descisse Antiates apud plerosque auctores inuenio; L. Cornelium consulem id bellum gessisse oppidumque cepisse. Certum adfirmare, quia nulla apud uetustiores scriptores eius rei mentio est, non ausim.|