During the consulship of Caius Sulpicius Longus and Publius Aelius Paetus, when the Roman power not more than the kindly feeling engendered by acts of kindness diffused the blessings of peace among all parties, a war broke out between the Sidicinians and Auruncans.
The Auruncans having been admitted into alliance on the occasion of their surrendering, had since that period made no disturbance; accordingly they had a juster pretext for seeking aid from the Romans.
But before the consuls led forth their army from the city, (for the senate had ordered the Auruncans to be defended,)
intelligence is brought that the Auruncans deserted their town through fear, and flying with their wives and children, that they fortified Suessa, which is now called Aurunca; that their ancient walls and city were demolished by the Sidicinians.
The senate being in consequence incensed against the consuls, by whose delays the allies had been betrayed, ordered a dictator to be created. Caius Claudius Regillensis was appointed, and he nominated Caius Claudius Hortator as master of the horse.
A scruple afterwards arose concerning the dictator; and when the augurs declared that he seemed to have been created under an informality, the dictator and the master of the horse laid down their office.
This year Minucia, a vestal, at first suspected on account of her dress being more elegant than was becoming, afterwards being arraigned before the pontiffs on the testimony of a slave,
after she had been ordered by their decree to abstain from meddling in sacred rites, and to keep her slaves under her own power, when brought to trial, was buried alive at the Colline gate, on the right of the causeway, in the field of wickedness. I suppose that name was given to the place from her crime.
On the same year Quintus Publilius Philo was the first of the plebeians elected praetor, being opposed by Sulpicius the consul, who refused to take any notice of him as a candidate; the senate, as they had not suc- [p. 525]
ceeded on that ground in the case of the highest offices, being less earnest with respect to the praetorship.