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Campus Martius (Italy) (search for this): book 3, chapter 3
their plundering expeditions fatal to them. Few of the enemy escaped; all the plunder was recovered. The consul's return put an end to the suspension of business, which lasted four days. Then the census was made and the lustrum closed by Quinctius.Lustrum, or expiation (see note 9, Book I). 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 peri
o others, and the vague rumours became still more exaggerated and false. The running and clamour of men shouting To arms! created nearly as great a panic as though the City was actually taken. Fortunately the consul Quinctius had returned to Rome from Algidus. This relieved their fears, and after allaying the excitement and rebuking them for being afraid of a defeated enemy, he stationed troops to guard the gates. The senate was then convened, and on their authority he proclaimed a s numbers of the census are stated to have been one hundred and four thousand seven hundred and fourteen, exclusive of widows and orphans. Nothing further of any importance occurred amongst the Aequi. They withdrew into their towns and looked on passively at the rifling and burning of their homesteads. After repeatedly marching through the length and breadth of the enemies' territory and carrying destruction everywhere, the consul returned to Rome with immense glory and immense spoil.