When Menon was
archon in Athens
, the Romans chose as consuls
Lucius Aemilius Mamercus and Gaius Cornelius Lentulus, and in Italy
a war broke out between the Tarantini and the Iapygians.
For these peoples, disputing with each other over some land on their
borders, had been engaging for some years in skirmishings and in raiding each other's
territory, and since the difference between them kept constantly increasing and frequently
resulted in deaths, they finally went headlong into out-and-out contention.
Now the Iapygians not only made ready the army of their own men but they
also joined with them an auxiliary force of their neighbours, collecting in this way a total
body of more than twenty thousand soldiers; and the Tarantini, on learning of the great size of
the army gathered against them, both mustered the soldiers of their state and added to them
many more of the Rhegians, who were their allies.
battle took place and many fell on both sides, but in the end the Iapygians were victorious.
When the defeated army split in the flight into two bodies, the one retreating to Tarentum
and the other fleeing to Rhegium
, the Iapygians, following their example, also divided.
Those who pursued the Tarantini, the distance being short, slew many of
the enemy, but those who were pressing after the Rhegians were so eager that they broke into
together with the fugitives and took
possession of the city.