The consuls, Caius Junius Bubulcus and Quintus Aemilius Barbula, at the conclusion of the year, delivered over the legions, not to the consuls elected by themselves, who were Spurius Nautius and Marcus Popillius, but to a dictator, Lucius Aemilius.
He, with Lucius Fulvius, master of the horse, having commenced to lay siege to Saticula, gave occasion to the Samnites of reviving hostilities.
Hence a twofold alarm was occasioned to the Roman army. On one side, the Samnites having collected a numerous force to relieve their allies from the siege, pitched their camp at a small distance from that of the Romans: on the other side, the Saticulans, opening suddenly their gates, ran up with violent tumult to the posts of the enemy.
Afterwards, each party, relying on support from the other, more than on its own strength, formed a regular attack, and pressed on the Romans. The dictator, on his part, though obliged to oppose two enemies at once, yet had his line secure on both sides; for he both chose a position not easily surrounded, and also formed two different fronts.
However, he directed his greater efforts against those who had sallied from the town, and, without much resistance, drove them back within the walls. He then turned his whole force against the Samnites: there he found greater difficulty.
But the victory, though long delayed, was neither doubtful nor alloyed by losses. The Samnites, being forced to fly into their camp, extinguished their fires at night, and marched away in silence; and renouncing all hopes of relieving Saticula, sat themselves down before Plistia, which was in alliance with the Romans, that they might, if possible, retort equal vexation on their enemy.