DURING the consulate of Lucius Genucius and Servius Cornelius, the state enjoyed almost uninterrupted rest from foreign wars. Colonies were led out to Sora and Alba.
For the latter, situated in the country of the Aequans, six thousand colonists were enrolled. Sora had formerly belonged to the Volscian territory, but had fallen into the possession of the Samnites: thither were sent four thousand settlers.
This year the freedom of the state was granted to the Arpinians and Trebulans. The Frusinonians were fined a third part of their lands, because it was discovered that the Hernicians had been tampered with by them; and the heads of that conspiracy, after a trial before the consuls, held in pursuance of a decree of the senate, were beaten with rods and beheaded.
However, that the Romans might not pass the year entirely exempt from war, a little expedition was made into Umbria; intelligence being received from thence, that excursions of men, in arms, had been made, from a certain cave, into the adjacent country.
Into this cave the troops penetrated with their standards, and, the place being dark, they received many wounds, chiefly from stones thrown. At length the other mouth of the cave being found, for it was pervious, both the openings were filled up with wood, which being set on fire, there perished by means [p. 629]
of the smoke and heat, no less than two thousand men;
many of whom, at the last, in attempting to make their way out, rushed into the very flames.
The two Marci, Livius Denter and Aemilius, succeeding to the consulship, war was renewed with the Aequans; who, being highly displeased at the colony established within their territory, as if it were a fortress, having made an attempt, with their whole force, to seize it, were repulsed by the colonists themselves.
They caused, however, such an alarm at Rome, that, to quell this insurrection, Caius Junius Bubulcus was nominated dictator: for it was scarcely credible that the Aequans, after being reduced to such a degree of weakness, should by themselves alone have ventured to engage in a war.
The dictator, taking the field, with Marcus Titinius, master of the horse, in the first engagement reduced the Aequans to submission; and returning into the city in triumph, on the eighth day, dedicated, in the character of dictator, the temple of Health, which he had vowed when consul, and contracted for when censor.