The consuls Gaius Junius Bubulcus and1
Quintus Aemilius Barbula gave over their legions, at [p. 245]
the conclusion of the year, not to Spurius Nautius2
and Marcus Popilius, the consuls at whose election they had presided, but to a dictator —Lucius Aemilius.
The latter, with Lucius Fulvius, his master of the horse, laid siege to Saticula,3
and by so doing afforded the Samnites a pretext for renewing the war.
The Romans were thus threatened in two quarters: on the one side the Samnites, with a large army which they had mustered to relieve their besieged allies, were encamped at no great distance from the Roman camp; on the other side the Saticulani suddenly threw their gates wide open and charged pell —mell against the outposts of the Romans.
both hostile armies —each relying rather on the other's help than on any strength of its own —then pressed home their attack, in what soon developed into a general engagement. but the dictator, despite the twofold struggle, was protected on both fronts, since he had chosen a position that was difficult to tum, and made his maniples face opposite ways.
however, he attacked the sallying party with the greater fury, and, encountering no very sharp resistance, drove them back into the town. he then directed his entire line against the Samnites.
there was more resistance here, but though the victory was slow in coming yet it was neither dubious nor partial. The Samnites fled in disorder to their camp, and in the night, putting out their fires, they silently stole away, and relinquishing all hope of saving Saticula, themselves laid siege to Plistica, an ally of Rome, that they might pay the enemy out in their own coin.