discussion in the senate was soon over. every opinion was for entering into a treaty with [p. 401]
Lucania and demanding satisfaction of the Samnites.1
The Lucanians received a friendly answer, and the league was formed. fetials were then sent to command the Samnites to leave the country belonging to Rome's allies, and withdraw their army from the territory of Lucania. they were met on the way by messengers, whom the Samnites had dispatched to warn them that if they went before any Samnite council they would not depart unscathed.
when these things were known at Rome, the senate advised and the people voted a declaration of war against the Samnites.2
The consuls divided the commands between them, Scipio getting Etruria and Fulvius the Samnites, and set out for their respective wars. Scipio looked forward to a slow campaign like that of the previous year, but was met near Volaterrae by the enemy drawn up in
The fighting, which lasted for the best part of a day, was attended with heavy losses on
both sides; and night came on while it was yet uncertain to which nation victory had been vouchsafed. The morning showed who was victor and who vanquished, for in the silence of the night the Etruscans
had decamped. The Romans marched out into line of battle; and when they saw that the enemy by his retreat had conceded their superiority, they advanced and possessed themselves of the camp, which was unoccupied and contained much booty, for it had been a permanent post and had been
hurriedly abandoned. Scipio then led his troops back into the Faliscan territory, and having left his baggage with a small guard in Falerii, set out with [p. 403]
his army in light marching order to ravage the4
the enemy. The whole country was laid waste with fire and sword and booty was brought in from all directions. not only was the soil left bare for the enemy, but even strongholds and villages were burned. The consul stopped short of attacking the walled towns, into which the frightened Etruscans had fled
The other consul, Gnaeus Fulvius, fought a famous battle in Samnium, near Bovianum, and gained a victory that was by no means doubtful. he then attacked and captured Bovianum, and not long afterwards Aufidena.