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Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book V Chapter 31: Various Wars.[392 BC]
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This bounty soothed the feelings of the plebs, and no opposition was offered to the election of consuls. The two elected were Lucius Valerius Potitus and Marcus Manlius, who afterwards received the title of Capitolinus. They celebrated the Great Games which Marcus Furius had vowed when dictator in the Veientine war. In the same year the temple of queen Juno, which he had also vowed at the same time, was dedicated, andthe tradition runs that this dedication excited great interest amongst the matrons, who were present in large numbers.|
An unimportant campaign was conducted against the Aequi on Algidus; the enemy were routed almost before they came to close quarters. Valerius had shown greater energy in following up the fugitives; he was accordingly decreed a triumph; Manlius an ovation.
In the same year a new enemy appeared in the Volsinians. Owing to famine and pestilence in the district round Rome, in consequence of excessive heat and drought, it was impossible for an army to march. This emboldened the Volsinians in conjunction with the Salpinates to make inroads upon Roman territory. Thereupon war was declared against the two States.
Gaius Julius, the censor, died and Marcus Cornelius was appointed in his place. This proceeding was afterwards regarded as an offence against religion because it was during that lustrum that Rome was taken, and no one has ever since been appointed as censor in the room of one deceased. The consuls were attacked by the epidemic, so it was decided that the auspices should be taken afresh by an interrex. The consuls accordingly resigned office in compliance with a resolution of the senate, and Marcus Furius Camillus was appointed interrex. He appointed Publius Cornelius Scipio as his successor, and Scipio appointed Lucius Valerius Potitus. The last named appointed six consular tribunes so that if any of them became incapacitated through illness there might still be a sufficiency of magistrates to administer the republic.
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Marcus Manlius Capitolinus
Great Games:Were celebrated in honour of a God, usually in fulfilment of a vow made by the commander-in-chief at the commencement of a war, or as an act of thanksgiving at deliverance of the City from some great danger.
Triumph:The highest honour to a general: clad like Jupiter he drove in a chariot drawn by four white horses. Before him walked the prisoners taken in the war, and the spoils of the captured cities, and in later times pictures of the conquered territories were carried before the general's chariot. He was followed by his troops, who sung songs, often extempore effusions, in honour of their commander.
Ovation:In the ovation the general entered the City on foot, in later times on horseback, clothed in a simple toga praetexta, and often unattended by his soldiers. In the "triumph" the general sacrificed a bull to Jupiter on the Capitol; in the "ovation" a sheep was substituted. Hence its name ovis (= sheep).
Lustrum:Lustrum, or expiation. The last act of the censors during their period of office was to offer an expiatory sacrifice for the whole people. On the appointed day the citizens assembled in military formation in the Campus Martius. The victims, a boar, a ram, and a bull -- hence the name of the sacrifice, suovetaurilia" -- were carried thrice round the assembled host, who were then declared "purified," and whilst the animals were being offered on the altar, the censor to whom the lot had fallen of conducting the ceremony recited a traditional form of prayer for the strengthening and extension of the might of the Roman people. As the censor's office was originally fixed for five years, "lustrum" was used to denote that period of time.
Auspicium:Type of divination
Interrex:Temporary (5 days!) head of state when the king or both consuls had died.