The new consuls then, recovering the army from their predecessors, entered the enemy's territories and carried their depredations up to the walls and the city.
There because the Sidicinians, who had raised a numerous army, seemed determined to fight vigorously for their last hope, and a report existed that Samnium also was preparing for hostilities, Publius Cornelius Rufinus was created dictator by the consuls in pursuance of a decree of the senate;
Marcus Antonius was nominated master of the horse.
A scruple afterwards arose that they were elected under an informality: and they laid down their office; and because a pestilence followed, recourse was had to an interregnum, as if all the auspices had been infected by that irregularity. By Marcus Valerius Corvus, the fifth interrex from the commencement of the interregnum, Aulus Cornelius a second time, and Cneius Domitius were elected consuls.
Things being now tranquil, the rumour of a Gallic war had the effect of a real outbreak, so that they were determined that a dictator should be nominated.
Marcus Papirius Crassus was nominated, and Publius Valerius Publicola master of the horse. And when the levy was conducted by them with more activity than was deemed necessary in the case of neighbouring wars, scouts were sent out and brought word, that there was perfect quiet with the Gauls in every direction.
It was suspected that Samnium also was now for the second year [p. 527]
in a state of disturbance in consequence of their entertaining new designs:
hence the Roman troops were not wit drawn from the Sidicinian territory.
But a hostile attack made by Alexander of Epirus on the Lucanians drew away the attention of the Samnites to another quarter; these two nations fought a pitched battle against the king, as he was making a descent on the district adjoining Paestum.
Alexander, having come off victorious in that contest, concluded a peace with the Romans; with what fidelity he would have kept it, if his other projects had been equally successful, is uncertain.
The same year the census was performed, and the new citizens were rated; on their account the Maecian and Scaptia tribes were added: the censors who added them were Quintus Publilius Philo and Spurius Postumius.
The Acerrans were enrolled as Romans, in conformity with a law introduce by the praetor, Lucius Papirius, by which the right of citizenship with the privilege of suffrage was conferred. These were the transactions at home and abroad during that year.