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Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book VIII Chapter 16: War with the Ausonians.[336-4 BC]
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The consuls for the following year were Lucius Papirius Crassus and Caeso Duillius. There was war with the Ausonians; the fact that it was against a new enemy rather than a formidable one made it noticeable. This people inhabited the city of Cales, and had joined arms with their neighbours, the Sidicines. The combined army of the two cities was routed in a quite insignificant engagement; the proximity of their cities made them all the sooner seek a safety in flight which they did not find in fighting. The senate were none the less anxious about the war, in view of the fact that the Sidicines had so frequently either taken the aggressive themselves or assisted others to do so, or had been the cause of hostilities. They did their utmost, therefore, to secure the election of Marcus Valerius Corvus, the greatest commander of his day, as consul for the fourth time. Marcus Atilius Regulus was assigned to him as his colleague. To avoid any chance of mistake, the consuls requested that this war might be assigned to Corvus without deciding it by lot. |
After taking over the victorious army from the previous consuls, he marched to Cales, where the war had originated. The enemy were dispirited through the remembrance of the former conflict, and he routed them at the very first attack. He then advanced to an assault upon their walls . Such was the eagerness of the soldiers that they were anxious to bring up the scaling ladders and mount the walls forthwith, but Corvus perceived the difficulty of the task and preferred to gain his object by submitting his men to the labours of a regular siege rather than by exposing them to unnecessary risks. So he constructed an agger and brought up the vineae and the turrets close to the walls, but a fortunate circumstance rendered them unnecessary. Marcus Fabius, a Roman prisoner, succeeded in eluding his guards on a festival, and after breaking his chains fastened a rope from a battlement of the wall and let himself down amongst the Roman works. He induced the commander to attack the enemy while they were sleeping off the effects of their wine and feasting, and the Ausonians were captured, together with their city, with no more trouble than they had previously been routed in the open field. The booty seized was enormous, and after a garrison was placed in Cales the legions were marched back to Rome. The senate passed a resolution allowing the consul to celebrate a triumph, and in order that Atilius might have a chance of distinguishing himself, both the consuls were ordered to march against the Sidicines. Before starting they nominated, on the resolution of the senate, Lucius Aemilius Mamercinus as dictator, for the purpose of conducting the elections; he named Quintus Publilius Philo as his Master of the Horse. The consuls elected were Titus Veturius and Spurius Postumius. Although there was still war with the Sidicines, they brought forward a proposal to send a colony to Cales in order to anticipate the wishes of the plebs by a voluntary act of kindness. The senate passed a resolution that 2500 names should be enrolled, and the three commissioners appointed to settle the colonists and allocate the holdings were Caeso Duillius, Titus Quinctius, and Marcus Fabius.
Event: War with the Ausonians.
|Insequens annus, L. Papirio Crasso K. Duillio consulibus, Ausonum magis nouo quam magno bello fuit insignis. ea gens Cales urbem incolebat; Sidicinis finitimis arma coniunxerat; unoque proelio haud sane memorabili duorum populorum exercitus fusus, propinquitate urbium et ad fugam pronior et in fuga ipsa tutior fuit. nec tamen omissa eius belli cura patribus, quia totiens iam Sidicini aut ipsi mouerant bellum aut mouentibus auxilium tulerant aut causa armorum fuerant. itaque omni ope adnisi sunt, ut maximum ea tempestate imperatorem M. Valerium Coruum consulem quartum facerent; collega additus Coruo M. Atilius Regulus; et ne forte casu erraretur, petitum ab consulibus ut extra sortem Corui ea prouincia esset. exercitu uictore a superioribus consulibus accepto ad Cales, unde bellum ortum erat, profectus, cum hostes ab superioris etiam certaminis memoria pauidos clamore atque impetu primo fudisset, moenia ipsa oppugnare est adgressus. et militum quidem is erat ardor ut iam inde cum scalis succedere ad muros uellent euasurosque contenderent; Coruus, quia id arduum factu erat, labore militum potius quam periculo peragere inceptum uoluit. itaque aggerem et uineas egit turresque muro admouit, quarum usum forte oblata opportunitas praeuertit. namque M. Fabius, captiuus Romanus, cum per neglegentiam custodum festo die uinculis ruptis per murum inter opera Romanorum, religata ad pinnam muri reste suspensus, manibus se demisisset, perpulit imperatorem ut uino epulisque sopitos hostes adgrederetur; nec maiore certamine capti cum urbe Ausones sunt quam acie fusi erant. praeda capta ingens est praesidioque imposito Calibus reductae Romam legiones. consul ex senatus consulto triumphauit et, ne Atilius expers gloriae esset, iussi ambo consules aduersus Sidicinos ducere exercitum. dictatorem ante ex senatus consulto comitiorum habendorum causa dixerunt L. Aemilium Mamercinum; is magistrum equitum Q. Publilium Philonem dixit. dictatore comitia habente consules creati sunt T. Veturius Sp. Postumius. etsi belli pars cum Sidicinis restabat, tamen, ut beneficio praeuenirent desiderium plebis, de colonia deducenda Cales rettulerunt; factoque senatus consulto ut duo milia quingenti homines eo scriberentur, tres uiros coloniae deducendae agroque diuidundo creauerunt K. Duillium T. Quinctium M. Fabium.|