On the following year, when the consuls Caius Sulpicius and Caius Licinius Calvus led an army against the Hernicians, and finding no enemy in the country took their city Ferentinum by storm, as they were returning thence, the Tiburtians shut their gates against them.
Though many complaints had been made on both sides before this, this was the determining cause why war was declared against the Tiburtian people, restitution having been demanded through heralds.
It is sufficiently ascertained that Titus Quinctius Pennus was dictator that year, and that Servius Cornelius Maluginensis was his master of the horse. Macer Licinius writes, that he was named by the consul for the purpose
of holding the elections, because his colleague hastening to have the elections over before undertaking the war, that he might continue the consulship, he thought it right to thwart his ambitious designs. This being designed as a compliment to his own family, renders the authority of Licinius of the less weight.
As I find no mention of that circumstance in the more ancient annals, my mind inclines me to consider that the dictator was appointed on account of the Gallic war.
On that year, certainly, the Gauls pitched their camp at the third stone on the Salarian road, at the further side of the bridge of the Anio. The dictator, after he had proclaimed a cessation of civil business on [p. 457]
account of the Gallic tumult, bound all the younger citizens by the military oath; and having set forth from the city with a great army, pitched his camp on the hither bark of the Anio..
The bridge lay between both armies, neither side attempting to break it down, lest it should be an indication of fear. There were frequent skirmishes for the possession of the bridge; nor could it be clearly determined who were masters of it, the superiority being so indecisive.
A Gaul of very large stature advanced on the bridge, then unoccupied, and says with as loud a voice as he could exert, “Let the bravest man that Rome now possesses come forward here to battle, that the event of an engagement between us both may show which nation is superior in war.”