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While Porsena was closely investing the city, a famine afflicted the Romans,1 and another Tuscan army on its own account invaded their territory. Publicola, who was now consul for the third time, thought that Porsena must be met by a quiet and watchful resistance within the city; but he sallied out upon the other Tuscan army, engaged it, routed it, and slew five thousand of them.

The story of Mucius has been often and variously told, but I must give it as it seems most credible to me.2

1 Cf. Livy, ii. 12, 1.

2 Plutarch's version is far less coherent and dramatic than Livy's (ii. 12).

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