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When Elpines was archon at Athens the Romans elected as consuls Marcus Poplius Laenas and Gnaeus Maemilius Imperiosus,2 and the one hundred sixth celebration was held of the Olympian games, at which Porus3 the Malian won the stadion race. During their term of office, in Italy there gathered in Lucania a multitude of men from every region, a mixture of every sort, but for the most part runaway slaves. These at first led a marauding life and as they habituated themselves to out-of-door life and making raids they gained practice and training in warfare; consequently, since they regularly had the upper hand with the inhabitants in their battles, they reached a state of considerably increased importance. [2] First they took by siege the city Terina4 and plundered it completely; then, having taken Hipponium, Thurii, and many other cities,5 they formed a common government and were called Bruttians from the fact that most of them were slaves, for in the local dialect runaway slaves were called "bruttians."6

Such, then, was the origin7 of the people of the Bruttians in Italy.

1 356/5 B.C.

2 These names appear in Livy 7.12.1 as Marcus Popilius Laenas and Gnaeus Manlius.

3 Cp. chap. 2.1.

4 A city on the west coast of Bruttian peninsula probably founded by Croton.

5 Sybaris on the Trais is mentioned in Book 12.22.1.

6 Perhaps Oscan. Yet other legends have Brettos (Stephanus of Byzantium, Βρέττος), son of Hercules and Valentia, as eponymous hero, and still others Brettia (Justin 23.1.12), as eponymous heroine. But the term Brettios is older than the date of this passage (see Aristoph. fr. 629 Kock).

7 See Justin 23.1.3-14; Strabo 6.1.4.

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