The dictator, having entered the City1
in triumph, would have laid down his office, but was commanded by the senate first to hold a consular election; he announced that Gaius Sulpicius Longus had been chosen for the second time, together with Quintus Aemilius Cerretanus.
The treaty was not completed, owing to a disagreement over terms, and the Samnites left the City with a truce for a year; nor did they scrupulously hold even to that; so encouraged were they to make war, on learning that Papirius had resigned.
in the consulship of Gaius Sulpicius and Quintus Aemilius —some annals have Aulius —the defection of the Samnites was followed by a new war with Apulia. armies were sent out in both directions.
The lots assigned the Samnites to Sulpicius, the Apulians to Aemilius. some say that the war was not waged against the Apulians, but in defence of some of the allies of that people whom the Samnites had wantonly invaded;
but the circumstances of the Samnites, who at that time could hardly ward off [p. 145]
invasion from themselves, render it more probable that2
they did not attack the Apulians but that they and the Apulians were at war with Rome simultaneously.
there was, however, no memorable engagement. The Romans laid waste Apulia and Samnium, without encountering the enemy in either country.
at Rome a nocturnal alarm awoke the sleeping citizens with such a fright that Capitol and Citadel, walls and gates, were crowded with armed men; and after all the hurrying to posts and crying “to arms!”
in every quarter, day broke and discovered neither author nor occasion of the panic.
in the same year, the Tusculans were tried before the people in accordance with the Flavian rogation.
Marcus Flavius, a plebeian tribune, had proposed to the people that the Tusculans be punished for having lent their countenance and aid to the Veliterni and Privernates in their war with the Roman People.
The citizens of Tusculum, with their wives and children, came to Rome; and the great throng, putting on the sordid raiment of defendants, went about amongst the tribes and clasped the knees of the citizens in supplication.
and so it happened that pity was more effective in gaining them remission of their punishment than were their arguments in clearing away the charges.
all the tribes rejected the proposal, save only the Pollian, which voted that the grown men should be scourged and put to death, and their wives and children sold at auction under the laws of war.
it seems that the resentment engendered in the Tusculans by so cruel a proposal lasted down to our fathers' time, and that a candidate of the Pollian tribe almost never got the vote of the Papirian.3 [p. 147]