a treaty was entered into at Rome this year with the Vestini, who solicited friendship.
thereafter there were alarms in several quarters. it was reported that Etruria was up in arms, in consequence of an outbreak that had its origin in dissensions at [p. 369]
Arretium, where a movement was begun to drive out1
the Cilnii —a very powerful family2
—because of the envy occasioned by their wealth. at the same time the Marsi forcibly resisted the confiscation of their land, where the colony of Carscoli had been planted with an enrolment of four thousand men.3
in view, therefore, of these tumults, Marcus Valerius Maximus was appointed dictator and named Marcus Aemilius Paulus to be his master of the horse.
this I choose rather to believe than that Quintus Fabius, at his time of life and after the offices he had held, was made subordinate to Valerius; but I would not deny that the error might have originated in the surname of Maximus.4
—Setting out with his army, the dictator overthrew the Marsi in a single battle; then shutting them up in their walled cities, he captured Milionia, Plestina, and Fresilia, in the course of a few days, and having fined the Marsi in a part of their territory, renewed the treaty with them.
The campaign was then directed against the Etruscans;
the dictator having set out for Rome, to take the auspices over again, the master of the horse went out to forage, and being ambushed, lost a number of standards and was driven back into his camp, with a shameful rout and slaughter of his soldiers.
—This discomfiture is very unlikely to have befallen Fabius, not only because if in any quality he came up to his surname, he assuredly did so in the glory of a soldier, but also because, remembering the severity of Papirius, he could never have been brought to engage in battle without the orders of the dictator.5