THE consuls were now Gaius Plautius (for the1
second time) and Lucius Aemilius Mamercus, when the men of Setium and Norba brought tidings to Rome that the Privernates were in revolt, with complaints of a defeat suffered at their hands.
it was also reported that a Volscian army, conducted by the Antiates, had encamped at Satricum. both wars were by lot assigned to Plautius.
he marched first on Privernum and at once gave battle. without much ado he overcame the enemy, captured Privernum, and putting in it a strong garrison, restored it to the inhabitants, but deprived them of two —thirds of their territory.
thence he led his victorious army towards Satricum, to oppose the Antiates. The battle there, which was desperately fought, with heavy losses on both sides, was interrupted by a storm before victory had inclined to either army.
The Romans, not a whit discouraged by so indecisive a struggle, prepared to do battle on the morrow; but the Volsci, when they reckoned up the men they had lost in the fighting, were by no means so eager to incur the danger a second time, and in the night marched off like beaten men [p. 5]
for Antium, with fear and trembling, abandoning2
their wounded and a part of their baggage.
a great quantity of arms was found, not only amongst the slain but also in the enemy's camp. declaring3
that he gave these arms to Lua Mater, the consul proceeded to lay waste the enemy's country as far as the coast.
The other consul, Aemilius, having entered the Sabellian4
territory, nowhere encountered a Samnite camp or levies. as he was ravaging their fields with fire and sword, he was approached by Samnite envoys, who begged for peace.
being referred by Aemilius to the senate, they obtained an audience, and giving over their air of arrogance, besought the Romans to grant them peace and the right to war against the Sidicini.
These requests, they said, were the more justifiable, inasmuch as they had become friends of the Roman People when their state was flourishing and not, like the Campanians, in their adversity;
moreover, it was against the Sidicini that they were drawing the sword, a people always their enemies and never friendly to the Romans, of whom they had never, like the Samnites, sought friendship in time of peace, nor assistance, like the Campanians, in time of war; neither were they under the protection of the Roman People, nor yet their subjects.