The dictator entered the city in triumph; and, though desirous of resigning his office immediately, yet, by order of the senate, he held it until the consuls were elected: these were Caius Sulpicius Longus a second time, and Quintus Aemilius Cerretanus.
The Samnites, without finishing the treaty of peace, the terms being still in negotiation brought home with them a truce for a year. Nor was even that faithfully observed; so strongly was their inclination for war excited, on hearing that Papirius was gone out of office.
In this consulate of Caius Sulpicius and Quintus Aemilius, (some histories have Aulius,) to the revolt of the Samnites was added a new war with the Apulians. Armies were sent against both. The Samnites fell by lot to Sulpicius, the Apulians to Aemilius.
Some writers say, that this war was not waged with the Apulians, but that the allied states of that nation were defended against the violence and injustice of the Samnites.
But the circumstances of the Samnites, who could with difficulty, at that period, support a war in which themselves were engaged, render it more probable that they did not make war on the Apulians, but that both nations were in arms against the Romans at the same time. However, no memorable event occurred.
The lands of the Apulians and of Samnium were utterly laid waste; but in neither quarter were the enemy to be found. At Rome, an alarm, which happened in the night, suddenly roused the people from their sleep, in such a fright, that the Capitol and citadel, the walls and gates, were all filled with men in arms.
But after they had called all to their [p. 554]
posts, and run together in bodies, in every quarter, when day approached, neither the author nor cause of the alarm could be discovered.
This year, in pursuance to the advice of Flavius, the Tusculans were brought to a trial before the people. Marcus Flavius, a tribune of the commons, proposed, that punishment should be inflicted on those of the Tusculans, “by whose advice and assistance the Veliternians and Privernians had made war on the Roman people.” The Tusculans, with their wives and children, came to Rome.
The whole party in mourning habits, like persons under accusation, went round the tribes, throwing themselves at the feet of the citizens. The compassion thus excited operated more effectually towards procuring them pardon, than all their arguments did towards clearing them of guilt.
Every one of the tribes, except the Pollian, negatived the proposition.
The sentence of the Pollian tribe was, that the grown-up males should be beaten and put to death, and their wives and children sold by auction, according to the rules of war.
It appears that the resentment which rose against the advisers of so rigorous a measure, was retained in memory by the Tusculans down to the age of our fathers; and that hardly any candidate of the Pollian tribe could, ever since, gain the votes of the Papirian.