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29. The1 Samnite war was now drawing to a close, but before the senate could dismiss it entirely from their thoughts there was a rumour of war on the side of Etruria. [2] With the one exception of the Gauls, no nation was more dreaded at that time, owing to their proximity to Rome and their vast population.

[3] One of the consuls remained in Samnium to finish the war, the other, P. Decius, was detained in Rome by serious illness, and on instructions from the senate, nominated C. Junius Bubulcus Dictator. [4] In view of the seriousness of the emergency the Dictator compelled all who were liable for service to take the military oath, and used his utmost endeavours to have arms and whatever else was required in readiness. Notwithstanding the great preparations he was making, he had no intention of assuming the aggressive, and had quite made up his mind to wait until the Etruscans made the first move The Etruscans were equally energetic in their preparations, and equally reluctant to commence hostilities. [5] Neither side went outside their own frontiers.

This year (312 B.C.> was signalised by the censorship of Appius Claudius. His claim to distinction with posterity rests mainly upon his public works, the road2 and the aqueduct3 which bear his name. [6] He carried out these undertakings single-handed, for, owing to the odium he incurred by the way he [7??] revised the senatorial lists and filled up the vacancies, his colleague, thoroughly ashamed of his conduct, resigned. In the obstinate temper which had always marked his house, Appius continued to hold office alone. [8] 4 It was owing to his action that the Potitii, whose family had always possessed [9??] the right of ministering at the Ava Maxima of Hercules, transferred that duty to some temple servants, whom they had instructed in the various [10] observances. There is a strange tradition connected with this, and one well calculated to create religious scruples in the minds of any who would disturb the established order of ceremonial usages. It is said that though when the change was made there were twelve branches of the family of the Potitii5 comprising thirty adults, not one member, old or young, was alive twelve months [11] later. Nor was the extinction of the Potitian name the only consequence; Appius himself some years afterwards was struck with blindness by the unforgetting wrath of the gods.

1 The Censorship of Appius Claudius.

2 The Via Appia. This famous road, one of the greatest engineering works in the Old World, extended from Rome to Capua, a distance of about 120 miles, and was carried through deep cuttings, over the hills, and on vast substructures of stones through the valleys. It was subsequently extended to Brundisium.

3 the Appian Aqueduct was the first of fourteen which were successively constructed to supply the Romans with pure water. It was nearly eight miles in length and ran almost the whole way underground.

4 If a censor died or resigned before the legal expiry of this office his colleague as a rule resigned also rather than bear the responsibility of such vast powers alone.

5 They are first introduced to us on p. 10, Vol. I.

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load focus Notes (W. Weissenborn, H. J. Müller, 1898)
load focus Summary (Latin, Benjamin Oliver Foster, Ph.D., 1926)
load focus Summary (Latin, W. Weissenborn, H. J. Müller, 1898)
load focus Summary (English, Benjamin Oliver Foster, Ph.D., 1926)
load focus English (D. Spillan, A.M., M.D., Cyrus Evans, 1849)
load focus Latin (Charles Flamstead Walters, Robert Seymour Conway, 1919)
load focus Latin (Benjamin Oliver Foster, Ph.D., 1926)
load focus Latin (W. Weissenborn, H. J. Müller, 1898)
load focus English (Benjamin Oliver Foster, Ph.D., 1926)
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  • Commentary references to this page (7):
    • John Conington, Commentary on Vergil's Aeneid, Volume 1, 1.4
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 33-34, commentary, 34.54
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 33-34, commentary, 34.7
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 35-38, commentary, 35.12
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 35-38, commentary, 35.6
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 35-38, commentary, 36.10
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 43-44, commentary, 43.16
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