When the Ligurians re-assembled in one body, after their scattered flight, they found that a much greater number of their countrymen were lost than left alive (for there were not above ten thousand men surviving); on which they surrendered. They did not stipulate for any terms, yet entertained hopes that the consul would not treat them with greater severity than former commanders.
But he immediately took their arms from them, razed their town, and sold themselves and their effects;
and he then sent a letter to the senate, relating the services which he had performed.
When Aulus Atilius, the praetor, read this letter in the council, (for the other consul, Postumius, was absent, being employed in surveying the lands in Campania,) the proceeding appeared to the senate in a heinous light;
“that the people of Satiella, who alone, of all the Ligurian nation, had not borne arms against the Romans, should be attacked, when not offering hostilities, and even after surrendering themselves in dependence on the protection of the Roman people, should be butchered and exterminated, that so many thousands of innocent persons suffering, who had implored the protection of the Roman people, estab- [p. 1966]
lished the worst possible precedent, calculated to deter any one from ever venturing to surrender to them;
dragged as they were away into various parts of the country, and made slaves to those who were formerly the avowed enemies of Rome, though now reduced to quiet.
That for these reasons the senate ordered, that the consul, Marcus Popilius, should reinstate the Ligurians in their liberty, repaying the purchase-money to the buyers, and should likewise use his best endeavours to recover and restore their effects.
That arms should be made for them, as soon as possible; and that the consul should not depart from his province before he restored to their country the Ligurians that had surrendered. That victory derived its lustre from conquering the enemy in arms, not from cruelty to the vanquished.”