During the Latin war, there had been neither peace nor war with the nation of the Volscians; for both the Volscians had raised auxiliary troops to send to the Latins had not so much expedition been used by the Roman dictator, and the Roman employed this expedition that he might not have to contend in one and the same battle with the Latin and the Volscian.
In resentment of this, the consuls marched their army into the Volscian territory; the unexpected proceeding alarmed the Volscians, who dreaded no chastisement of mere intention; unmindful of arms, they gave three hundred children of the principal men of Cora and Pometia as hostages. Upon this the legions were withdrawn without coming to any action.
Not long after their natural disposition returned to the Volscians, now delivered of their fears; they again make secret preparation for war, having taken the Hernicians into an alliance with them.
They send ambassadors in every direction to stir up Latium. But the recent defeat received at the lake Regillus, could scarcely restrain the Latins from offering violence to the ambassadors through resentment and hatred of any one who would advise them to take up arms. Having seized the Volscians, they brought them to Rome. They were there delivered up to the consuls, and information was given that the Volscians and Hernicians were making preparations for war against the Romans.
The matter being referred to the senate, it was so gratifying to the senators that they both sent back six thousand prisoners to the Latins, and referred to the new magistrates the business regarding the treaty, which had [p. 105]
been almost absolutely refused them.
Upon this indeed the Latins were heartily glad at what they had done, th advisers of peace were in high esteem. They send a crown of gold to the Capitol as an offering to Jupiter. Along with the ambassadors and the offering there came a great crowd, consisting of the prisoners who had been sent back to their friends.
They proceed to the houses of those persons with whom each had been in servitude, and return thanks for their having been generously kept and treated during their calamity. They then form connexions of hospitality. And never at any former time was the Latin name more closely united to the Roman state, either by public or private ties.