Now the tribunes were Titus Quinctius1
Capitolinus, Quintus Quinctius Cincinnatus, Gaius Julius Iulus (for the second time), Aulus Manlius, Lucius Furius Medullinus (for the third time), and Manius Aemilius Mamercus.
By them Veii was for the first time besieged. Shortly after this siege began, the Etruscans held a numerously attended council at the shrine of Voltumna, but could reach no decision as to whether the entire nation should go to war in defence of the Veientes.
The siege languished during the year that followed, for some of the tribunes and a part of the army were called away to fight the Volsci.
The military tribunes with consular powers for this year were Gaius Valerius Potitus (for the third time), Manius Sergius Fidenas, Publius Cornelius Maluginensis, Gnaeus Cornelius Cossus, Gaius Fabius Ambustus, and (for the second time) Spurius Nautius [p. 457]
A pitched battle was fought with the2
Volsci between Ferentinum and Ecetra, in which fortune favoured the Romans. The tribunes then laid siege to Artena, a Volscian town.
While attempting a sortie the enemy were driven back into the city and afforded the Romans an opportunity of forcing an entrance, so that the whole place, except the citadel, was captured; to this fortress, which was naturally strong, a band of armed men retired; below the citadel a large number were killed or taken prisoner.
The citadel was then besieged, but could neither be taken by assault, having a sufficient garrison in proportion to its area, nor appeared likely to surrender, for the whole public store of grain had been conveyed into the fortress before the capture of the town. The Romans would have withdrawn, discouraged, had not a slave betrayed the place into their hands.
This man admitted some soldiers by way of a steep approach, and they captured it and slew the sentries; whereupon the rest of the garrison was seized with a sudden panic and surrendered.
After demolishing the citadel and the town of Artena, the legions were withdrawn from the Volsci and all the might of Rome was brought to bear upon Veii.
The traitor was given the property of two families as a reward, besides his liberty, and was named Servius Romanus.3
There are those who think that Artena had belonged to the Veientes, not to the Volsci.
Their mistake is due to the fact that there was a city of the same name between Caere and Veii; but this place was destroyed by the Roman kings,4
and it had been a dependency of Caere, not of Veii; the other town of the same name, whose overthrow I have just related, was in Volscian territory. [p. 459]