in that same year, though the Samnite1
war and the sudden revolt of the Lucanians, together with the Tarentines their abettors, were enough of themselves to fill the senators with concern, yet the Vestini added to their cares by uniting with the Samnites.
this action was widely discussed in private conversations, without being made the subject, in that year, of any public deliberations; but the consuls of the following year, Lucius Furius Camillus (for the second time) and Junius Brutus Scaeva, deemed it a matter that should take precedence over all other business to come before the senate.
there, notwithstanding it was no news to them, the situation occasioned the Fathers so great anxiety as to make them equally afraid to deal with it or to let it alone, lest the impunity of the Vestini might inspire the neighbouring tribes with licence and insolence, or a punitive war inflame them with apprehensions of imminent danger and with resentment;
moreover the race as a whole was fully equal to the Samnites in military power, comprising, as it did, the Marsi, and the Paeligni and Marrucini, —all of whom must be had for enemies, should the Vestini be molested.
The day, however, was carried by that party which might have seemed at the moment to have on its side a greater share of courage than of wisdom; but the sequel showed that Fortune favours the brave.
being authorized by the senate, the people voted a war against the Vestini.
this command was assigned by lot to [p. 113]
Brutus, that against the Samnites to Camillus.2
armies were dispatched in both directions, and the enemy, concerned to protect their borders, were kept from joining forces.
but one of the consuls, Lucius Furius, on whom the heavier burden had been laid,3
had the misfortune to fall dangerously ill and was compelled to relinquish his command;
being ordered to nominate a dictator for the purpose of carrying on the war, he named by far the most distinguished soldier of that time, Lucius Papirius Cursor, by whom Quintus Fabius Maximus Rullianus4
was appointed master of the horse.
they were a pair famous for the victories won while they were magistrates; but their quarrelling, which almost went the length of a mortal feud, made them more famous still.
The other consul, in the country of the Vestini, carried on a war of many phases, but of unvarying success at every point.
for he ravaged their farms, and by pillaging and burning their houses and their crops, compelled them against their will to take the field; and then in a single battle wrought such havoc with the Vestinian power —though his own troops came off by no means scatheless —that the enemy not only retreated to their camp, but, no longer trusting to their parapet and trenches, slipped away to their several towns, seeking protection in the situation of the places and their walls.
finally, the consul addressed himself to the capture of these towns. The soldiers fought with great fury to revenge their wounds, for hardly a man had come unhurt out of the battle; and first Cutina was carried by escalade, and then Cingilia.
The consul gave the booty of both these cities to his men, [p. 115]
because neither the gates nor the walls of the5
enemy had held them back.