in the consulship of Gaius Sulpicius Longus1
and Publius Aelius Paetus the good —will which their generous conduct had procured for the Romans had been no less efficacious than their power in maintaining a general peace, when a war broke out between the Sidicini and the Aurunci.
The Aurunci had surrendered in the consulship of Titus Manlius2
and had given no trouble since that time, for which reason they had the better right to expect assistance from the Romans.
but before the consuls marched from Rome —for the Senate had directed them to defend the Aurunci —tidings
were brought that the Aurunci had abandoned their town, in their alarm, and had taken refuge, with their wives and children, in Suessa —now called Aurunca3
—which they had fortified: and that their ancient walls and their city had been destroyed by the Sidicini.
this news [p. 63]
made the senate angry with the consuls, by whose4
tardiness the allies had been betrayed, and they ordered a dictator to be appointed. The nomination fell to Gaius Claudius Inregillensis, who named as his master of horse Gaius Claudius Hortator.
Areligious difficulty was then raised about the dictator, and on the augurs' reporting that there seemed to have been a flaw in his appointment, the dictator and his master of the horse resigned.
in that year the Vestal Minucia, suspected in the first instance because of her dress, which was more ornate than became her station, was subsequently accused before
the pontiffs on the testimony of a slave, and having been by their decree commanded to keep aloof from the sacred rites and to retain her slaves in her own power,5
was convicted and buried alive near the Colline Gate, to the right of the paved road in the Polluted Field —so called, I believe, on account of her unchastity.
in the same year Quintus Publilius Philo was made praetor, —the first to be chosen from the plebs. Sulpicius the Consul opposed his election and declared that he would receive no votes for him; but the senate, having failed in its opposition to plebeian candidates for the highest magistracies, was less obstinate in the matter of the praetorship.6