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Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book IV Chapter 22: The Revolt of Fidenae. The End.[435 BC]
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The dictator [Note 1] issued an order for all to muster outside the Colline gate by daybreak. Every man strong enough to bear arms was present. The standards were quickly brought to the dictator from the treasury. |
While these arrangements were being made, the enemy withdrew to the foot of the hills. The dictator followed them with an army eager for battle, and engaged them not far from Nomentum. The Etruscan legions were routed and driven into Fidenae; the dictator surrounded the place with lines of circumvallation. But, owing to its elevated position and strong fortifications, the city could not be carried by assault, and a blockade was quite ineffective, for there was not only corn enough for their actual necessities, but even for a lavish supply from what had been stored up beforehand. So all hope of either storming the place or starving it into surrender was abandoned. As it was near Rome, the nature of the ground was well known, and the dictator was aware that the side of the city remote from his camp was weakly fortified owing to its natural strength. He determined to carry a mine through from that side to the citadel. He formed his army into four divisions, to take turns in the fighting, and by keeping up a constant attack upon the walls in all directions, day and night, he prevented the enemy from noticing the work. At last the hill was tunnelled through and the way lay open from the Roman camp up to the citadel. Whilst the attention of the Etruscans was being diverted by feigned attacks from their real danger, the shouts of the enemy above their heads showed them that the city was taken.
(1): Public works were let out to contractors, and it was the duty of the censors, after satisfying themselves that they were constructed according to specifications, to take them over for the State.
Event: The Revolt of Fidenae.
|Dictator omnes luce prima extra portam Collinam adesse iubet. Quibuscumque vires suppetebant ad arma ferenda praesto fuere. Signa ex aerario prompta feruntur ad dictatorem. Quae cum agerentur, hostes in loca altiora concessere. Eo dictator agmine infesto subit; nec procul Nomento signis conlatis fudit Etruscas legiones. Compulit inde in urbem Fidenas valloque circumdedit; sed neque scalis capi poterat urbs alta et munita neque in obsidione vis ulla erat, quia frumentum non necessitati modo satis, sed copiae quoque abunde ex ante conuecto sufficiebat. Ita expugnandi pariter cogendique ad deditionem spe amissa, dictator in locis propter propinquitatem notis ab auersa parte urbis, maxime neglecta quia suapte natura tutissima erat, agere in arcem cuniculum instituit. Ipse diversissimis locis subeundo ad moenia quadrifariam diviso exercitu qui alii aliis succederent ad pugnam, continenti die ac nocte proelio ab sensu operis hostes auertebat, donec perfosso monte erecta in arcem via est, intentisque Etruscis ad uanas a certo periculo minas clamor supra caput hostilis captam urbem ostendit. Eo anno C. Furius Paculus et M. Geganius Macerinus censores villam publicam in campo Martio probauerunt, ibique primum census populi est actus.|