The generals selected for that war by the unanimous choice of all the states were Attius Tullus and Caius Marcius; in the latter of whom their chief hope was reposed.
And this hope he by no means disappointed: so that it clearly appeared that the Roman commonwealth was more powerful by reason of its generals than its army. Having marched to Circeii, he expelled from thence the Roman colonists, and delivered that city in a state of freedom to the Volscians.
From thence passing across the country through byroads into the Latin way, he deprived the Romans of their recently acquired towns, Satricum, Longula, Polusca, Corioli. He next retook Lavinium: he then took in succession Corbio, Vitellia, Trebia, Lavici, and Pedum:
Lastly he marches from Pedum to the city,1
and having pitched his camp at the Cluilian trenches five miles from the city, he from thence ravages the Roman territory, guards being sent among the devastators to preserve the lands of the patricians intact;
whether as being incensed chiefly against the plebeians, or in order that dissension might arise between the senators and the people. And this certainly would have arisen, so powerfully did the tribunes, by inveighing against the leading
men of the state, incite the plebeians, already sufficiently violent of themselves; but their apprehensions of the foe, the strongest bond of concord, united their minds, distrustful and rancorous though they were. The only matter not agreed on was this, that the senate and consuls rested their hopes on nothing else than on arms; the plebeians preferred any
thing to war. Sp. Nautius and Sex. Furius were now consuls. Whilst they were reviewing the legions, posting guards along the walls and other places where they had determined th t there should be posts and watches, a vast multitude of persons de- [p. 126]
manding peace terrified them first
by their seditious clamour; then compelled them to convene the senate, to consider the question of sending ambassadors to C. Marcius. The senate entertained the question, when it became evident that the spirits of the plebeians were giving way, and ambassadors being sent to Marcius concerning peace, brought back
a harsh answer: “If their lands were restored to the Volscians, that they might then consider the question of peace; if they were disposed to enjoy the plunder of war at their ease, that he, mindful both of the injurious treatment of his countrymen, as well as
of the kindness of strangers, would do his utmost to make it appear that his spirit was irritated by exile, not crushed.” When the same persons are sent back a second time, they are not admitted into the camp. It is recorded that the priests also, arrayed in their insignia, went as suppliants to the enemy's camp; and that they did not influence his mind more than the ambassadors.