Summary of book II

BRUTUS bound the people with an oath to allow no one to reign in Rome. Tarquinius Collatinus, his colleague, who had incurred suspicion because of his relationship to the Tarquinii, he forced to abdicate the consulship and withdraw from the state. He ordered the king's goods to be plundered, and consecrated his land to Mars. It was named the Campus Martius. Certain noble youths—among them his own sons and his brother's—he beheaded, because they had conspired to bring back the kings. To the slave who gave the information, a man called Vindicius, he gave his freedom; from his name came the word vindicta. Having led an army against the princes, who had collected forces from Veii and Tarquinii and begun a war, he fell in the battle, together with Arruns, the son of Superbus, and the matrons mourned for him a year. Publius Valerius the consul proposed a law about appealing to the people. The Capitol was dedicated. Porsenna, king of Clusium, made war in behalf of the Tarquinii and came to Janiculum, but was prevented from crossing the Tiber by the bravery of Horatius Cocles, who, while the others were cutting down the Sublician Bridge, kept the Etruscans at bay, single-handed, and when the bridge had been destroyed, threw himself armed into the river and swam across to his fellows. Another example of courage was exhibited by Mucius. Having entered the camp of the enemy with the purpose of killing Porsenna, he slew a secretary, whom he had taken for the king. Being arrested, he placed his hand upon the altar, where sacrifice had been made, and suffering it to be burned off, declared that there were three hundred others as determined as himself. Overcome with astonishment at their daring, Porsenna proposed terms of peace and, having [p. 437] taken hostages, relinquished the war. One of the hostages, the maiden Cloelia, evaded the sentinels and swam across the Tiber to her people. She was given up to Porsenna, but was restored by him with marks of honour, and was presented with an equestrian statue. Aulus Postumius the dictator fought a successful battle against Tarquinius Superbus, who was advancing with an army of Latins. Appius Claudius came over from the Sabines to the Romans. On this account the Claudian tribe was added and the number of tribes was increased to twent-yone. The plebs, after seceding to the Sacred Mount because of those who had been enslaved for debt, were induced by the advice of Menenius Agrippa to cease from their rebellion. The same Agrippa when he died was buried, owing to his poverty, at the state's expense. Five plebeian tribunes were elected. The Volscian town of Corioli was captured by the valiant efforts of Gnaeus Marcius, who acquired from this circumstance the name of Coriolanus. Titus Latinius, a man of the plebs, was warned in a dream to inform the senate regarding certain offences against religion. Having neglected to do it, he lost a son and was paralysed in his feet. When he had been carried to the senate in a litter and had revealed these same matters, he recovered the use of his feet and returned to his house. When Gnaeus Marcius Coriolanus, who had been driven into exile and had been made general of the Volsci, had led a hostile army nearly to Rome, and when the envoys who had been sent to him at first and afterwards the priests had vainly besought him not to make war upon his native land, his mother Veturia and his wife Volumnia persuaded him to withdraw. For the first time a land-law was proposed. Spurius Cassius, the ex-consul, charged with aspiring to be king, was condemned and put to death. Opillia, a Vestal Virgin, was buried alive for unchastity. The neighbouring Veientes being a troublesome rather than a dangerous enemy, the Fabian family asked to be allowed to carry on that war, and dispatched thither 306 armed men, [p. 439] who were all but one killed by the enemy at the Cremera. When Appius Claudius the consul had sustained a defeat at the hands of the Volsci, owing to the contumacy of his army, he caused every tenth soldier to be scourged to death. It contains besides campaigns against the Volsci, the Hernici, and the Veientes, and the quarrels between the patricians and the plebs.

[p. 443]

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load focus English (Benjamin Oliver Foster, Ph.D., 1919)
load focus English (D. Spillan, A.M., M.D., 1857)
load focus English (Rev. Canon Roberts, 1912)
load focus Latin (Robert Seymour Conway, Charles Flamstead Walters, 1914)
load focus Latin (Benjamin Oliver Foster, Ph.D., 1919)
load focus Latin (W. Weissenborn, H. J. Müller, 1898)
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