Home Introduction Persons Geogr. Sources Events Mijn blog(Nederlands)
Religion Subjects Images Queries Links Contact Do not fly Iberia
This is a non-commercial site. Any revenues from Google ads are used to improve the site.

Custom Search
Quote of the day: He, incited by lust of sovereignty, form
Notes
Do not display Latin text
History of Rome (Ab Urbe Condita) by Livy
Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book V Chapter 19: The Capture of Veii.[396 BC]
Next chapter
Return to index
Previous chapter
By this time the Games and the Latin Festival been celebrated afresh, and the water drawn off from the Alban Lake on the fields, and now the fated doom was closing over Veii. Accordingly the commander destined by the Fates for the destruction of that city and the salvation of his country -- Marcus Furius Camillus -- was nominated dictator. He appointed as his Master of the Horse Publius Cornelius Scipio. With the change in the command everything else suddenly changed; men's hopes were different, their spirits were different, even the fortunes of the City wore a different aspect.
His first measure was to execute military justice upon those who had fled during the panic from the camp, and he made the soldiers realise that it was not the enemy who was most to be feared. He then appointed a day for the enrolment of troops, and in the interim went to Veii to encourage the soldiers, after which he returned to Rome to raise a fresh army. Not a man tried to escape enlistment. Even foreign troops -- Latins and Hernicans -- came to offer assistance for the war. The dictator formally thanked them in the senate, and as all the preparations for war were now sufficiently advanced, he vowed, in pursuance of a senatorial decree, that on the capture of Veii he would celebrate the Great Games and restore and dedicate the temple of Matuta the Mother, which had been originally dedicated by Servius Tullius. He left the City with his army amid a general feeling of anxious expectation rather than of hopeful confidence on the part of the citizens, and his first engagement was with the Faliscans and Capenates in the territory of Nepete. As usual where everything was managed with consummate skill and prudence, success followed. He not only defeated the enemy in the field, but he stripped them of their camp and secured immense booty. The greater part was sold and the proceeds paid over to the quaestor, the smaller share was given to the soldiers.
From there the army was led to Veii. The forts were constructed more closely together. Frequent skirmishes had occurred at random in the space between the city wall and the Roman lines, and an edict was issued that none should fight without orders, thereby keeping the soldiers to the construction of the siege-works. By far the greatest and most difficult of these was a mine which was commenced, and designed to lead into the enemies' citadel. That the work might not be interrupted, or the troops exhausted by the same men being continuously employed in underground labour, he formed the army into six divisions. Each division was told off in rotation to work for six hours at a time; the work went on without any intermission until they had made a way into the citadel.

Events: Siege of Veii, 396 BC. Veii conquered, War with Faliscans and Capenae.

Iam ludi Latinaeque instaurata erant, iam ex lacu Albano aqua emissa in agros, Veiosque fata adpetebant. Igitur fatalis dux ad excidium illius urbis seruandaeque patriae, M. Furius Camillus, dictator dictus magistrum equitum P. Cornelium Scipionem dixit. Omnia repente mutauerat imperator mutatus; alia spes, alius animus hominum, fortuna quoque alia urbis uideri. Omnium primum in eos qui a Veiis in illo pauore fugerant more militari animaduertit, effecitque ne hostis maxime timendus militi esset. Deinde indicto dilectu in diem certam, ipse interim Veios ad confirmandos militum animos intercurrit; inde Romam ad scribendum nouum exercitum redit, nullo detractante militiam. Peregrina etiam iuuentus, Latini Hernicique, operam suam pollicentes ad id bellum uenere; quibus cum gratias in senatu egisset dictator, satis iam omnibus ad id bellum paratis, ludos magnos ex senatus consulto uouit Veiis captis se facturum aedemque Matutae Matris refectam dedicaturum, iam ante ab rege Ser. Tullio dedicatam. Profectus cum exercitu ab urbe exspectatione hominum maiore quam spe, in agro primum Nepesino cum Faliscis et Capenatibus signa confert. Omnia ibi summa ratione consilioque acta fortuna etiam, ut fit, secuta est. Non proelio tantum fudit hostes, sed castris quoque exuit ingentique praeda est potitus; cuius pars maxima ad quaestorem redacta est, haud ita multum militi datum. Inde ad Veios exercitus ductus, densioraque castella facta, et a procursationibus quae multae temere inter murum ac uallum fiebant, edicto ne quis iniussu pugnaret, ad opus milites traducti. Operum fuit omnium longe maximum ac laboriosissimum cuniculus in arcem hostium agi coeptus. Quod ne intermitteretur opus neu sub terra continuus labor eosdem conficeret, in partes sex munitorum numerum diuisit; senae horae in orbem operi attributae sunt; nocte ac die nunquam ante omissum quam in arcem uiam facerent.