In the country of the Volscians Anxur was soon retaken, the guarding of the city having been neglected during a fes- [p. 339]
tival day. This year was remarkable for a cold and snowy winter, so that the roads were impassable, and the Tiber not navigable. The price of provisions underwent no change, in consequence of the abundance previously laid in.
And because Publius Licinius, as he obtained his office without any rioting, to the greater joy of the commons than annoyance of the patricians, so also did he administer it; a rapturous desire of electing plebeians at the next election took possession of them.
Of the patricians Marcus Veturius alone obtained a place: almost all the centuries appointed the other plebeian candidates as military tribunes with consular authority. Marcus Pomponius, Caius Duilius, Volero Publilius, Caeius Genucius, Lucius Atilius.
The severe winter, whether from the ill temperature of the air [arising] from the abrupt transition to the contrary state, or from whatsoever other cause, was followed by an unhealthy summer, destructive to all species of animals; and when neither the cause nor termination of this intractable pestilence could be discovered, the Sibylline books were consulted according to a decree of the senate.
The duumvirs for the direction of religious matters, the lectisternium being then for the first time introduced into the city
of Rome for eight days implored the favour of Apollo and Latona, Diana and Hercules, Mercury and Neptune, three couches being laid out with the greatest magnificence that was then possible. The same solemn rite was observed also by private individuals.
The doors lying open throughout the entire city, and the use of every thing lying out in common, they say that all passengers, both those known and those unknown indiscriminately, were invited to lodgings, and that conversation was adopted between persons at variance with complaisance and kindness, and that they refrained from disputes and quarrels; their chains were also taken off those who were in confinement during those days; that afterward a scruple was felt in imprisoning those to whom the gods had brought such aid.
In the mean while the alarm was multiplied at Veii, three wars being concentred in the one place.
For as the Capenatians and Faliscians had suddenly come with succour [to the Veientians], they had to fight against three armies on different sides in the same manner as formerly, through the whole extent of their works. The recollection of the sentence passed on Sergius and Virginius aided them above every [p. 340]
Accordingly some forces being led around in a short time from the principal camp, where some delay had been made on the former occasion, attack the Capenatians on their rear, whilst they were engaged in front against the Roman rampart. The fight commencing in this quarter struck terror into the Faliscians also, and a sally from the camp opportunely made put them to flight, thrown into disorder as they now were.
The victors, having then pursued them in their retreat, made great slaughter amongst them.
And soon after those who had been devastating the territory of Capena, having met them as it were by chance, entirely cut off the survivors of the fight as they were straggling through the country:
and many of the Veientians in their retreat to the city were slain before the gates; whilst, through fear lest the Romans should force in along with them, they excluded the hindmost of their men by closing the gates.