in the following year, when Lucius Furius1
Camillus and Gaius Maenius were consuls, the senators, in order to render more conspicuous the negligence of Aemilius in the year before, insisted angrily that men and arms and every kind of force must be employed to capture Pedum and destroy it; and the new consuls were forced to put aside all other matters and set out for that place.
The Latins were now come to such a pass that they could endure neither war nor peace; for war they lacked the means, and they scorned peace, for they still smarted under the confiscation of their land.2
it seemed necessary to adopt a compromise, and keep to their towns —lest they might provoke the Romans and afford them a pretext for hostilities —and if tidings were brought that any town was beleaguered, to send in help to the besieged from all the surrounding peoples.
for all that, the cities that aided Pedum were very few.
The Tiburtes and Praenestini, whose territories lay near by, reached Pedum; the Aricini, Lanuvini, and Veliterni, as they were effecting a juncture with the Antiate Volsci at the river Astura,3
were suddenly attacked by Maenius and routed.
Camillus dealt [p. 55]
with the very powerful army of the Tiburtes4
vincinity of Pedum; the struggle was harder, but the issue was equally successful.
The greatest confusion was occasioned by a sudden sally of the townsfolk during the battle; but Camillus, sending a part of his army against them, not only drove them back into their city, but having discomfited both them and their allies, even took the place by escalade that very day.
The consuls then resolved, with the added energy and courage that came with the capture of one city, to proceed with their victorious army to the thorough conquest of the Latins; nor did they rest until, by storming every city or receiving its surrender, they had brought all Latium under their dominion.
then, distributing garrisons amongst the recovered towns, they departed for Rome, to enjoy the triumph by general consent awarded them. in addition to the triumph, they were granted the honour —a rare one in those days —of equestrian statues put up in the Forum.
before the consular elections for the following year were held, Camillus referred to the senate the disposition of the Latin peoples, and spoke as follows:
“Conscript Fathers, what was needful to be done in Latium in the way of war and arms has now by Heaven's favour and the valour of our troops been brought to a conclusion.
The armies of our enemies have been cut to pieces at Pedum and on the Astura; all the Latin towns, and Antium in the land of the Volsci, have either been carried by storm or have made submission, and are in the keeping of your garrisons.
it remains to consider, since they so often occasion us anxiety by a renewal of hostilities, how we may hold them [p. 57]
quietly to a lasting peace.
The immortal gods have6
given you such absolute control of the situation as to leave the decision in your hands whether Latium is henceforward to exist or not. you are therefore able to assure yourselves of a permanent peace, in so far as the Latins are concerned, by the exercise of either cruelty or forgiveness, at your discretion.
would you adopt stern measures against those who have surrendered or been vanquished? you may blot out all Latium, and make vast solitudes of those places where you have often raised a splendid army of allies and used it through many a momentous war.
would you follow the example of your fathers, and augment the Roman state by receiving your conquered enemies as citizens? you have at hand the means of waxing great and supremely glorious. that government is certainly by far the strongest to which its subjects yield obedience gladly.
but whatever it pleases you to do, you must determine promptly; you are holding so many peoples in suspense betwixt hope and fear, that it behoves you both to resolve your own anxiety regarding them as soon as may be, and to be beforehand with them, whether in the way of punishment or kindness, while they are waiting in a dull amazement.
our task has been to give you the power to decide regarding everything; it is yours to determine what is best for yourselves and for the state.”