while the two consular armies were laying1
siege to Privernum, the other consul was recalled to [p. 79]
Rome to hold the elections.
chariot cells were2
built this year for the first time in the Circus.3
The war with Privernum was not yet out of the way, when there came an alarming report of a Gallic rising, a warning which the senate almost never disregarded.
accordingly, without a moment's hesitation, the new consuls, Lucius Aemilius Mamercinus and Gaius Plautius, were directed, on the very day on which they entered office —the Kalends of July4
—to divide the commands between them, and Mamercinus, to whom the Gallic war had fallen, was bidden to enlist an army without granting a single exemption;
indeed it is said that a rabble of craftsmen even, and sedentary mechanics, was called out —a type the least qualified of all for military service.
An enormous army was brought together at Veii, which was to be the base for the campaign against the Gauls; further afield they would not go, lest the enemy, advancing upon the City, might slip by them on another road. after a few days it became quite evident that no disturbance on the part of the Gauls was to be apprehended at that time, whereupon the whole array was directed against Privernum.
from this point there is a twofold tradition: some say that the city was carried by storm, and that Vitruvius was taken alive; others, that before the final assault was made, the people came out with a flag of truce5
to the consul and surrendered, and that Vitruvius was betrayed by his own followers.
The senate, being consulted regarding Vitruvius and the Privernates, commanded the [p. 81]
consul Plautius to raze the walls of Privernum, and6
placing a strong garrison in the town, to come to Rome and triumph.
Vitruvius was to be held a prisoner till the consul should return, and then scourged and put to death; his house on the Palatine was to be pulled down, and his goods dedicated to Semo Sangus.7
out of the bronze which his chattels realized were fashioned bronze disks, which were placed in the shrine of Sangus, over against the temple
of Quirinus. concerning the senate of Privernum, it was decreed that any senator who had remained in Privernum after its defection from the Romans should dwell across the Tiber on the same terms as
These decrees having been promulgated, no more was said about the Privernates, until Plautius had triumphed. after his triumph the consul caused Vitruvius and his associates in wrongdoing to be executed, and deeming it now safe to take up the question of the Privernates with men who were already sated with the punishment of the guilty, spoke
as follows: “since the authors of rebellion have now received the reward they merited, at the hands of the immortal gods, and at your own hands, Conscript Fathers, what is your pleasure regarding the
innocent multitude? for my own part, though it becomes me rather to ask opinions than to offer one, yet when I see that the Privernates are neighbours to the Samnites, whose peaceful relations with ourselves are at this time most precarious, I could wish that as little bad feeling as possible might be left between them and us.”