the consulship of L. Genucius and Ser. Cornelius there was almost a complete respite from foreign wars. Colonists were settled at Sora and Alba.
The latter was in the country of the Aequi; 6000 colonists were settled there. Sora had been a Volscian town, but the Samnites had occupied it; 4000 men were sent there.
The right of citizenship was conferred this year upon the Arpinates and the Trebulans. The Frusinates were mulcted in a third of their territory, for it had been ascertained that they were the instigators of the Hernican revolt. The senate decreed that the consuls should hold an inquiry, and the ringleaders were scourged and beheaded.
However, in order that the Romans might not pass a whole year without any military operations, a small expeditionary force was sent into Umbria. A certain cave was reported to be the rendezvous of a body of freebooters, and from this hiding-place they made armed excursions into the surrounding country.
The Roman troops entered this cave, and many of them were wounded, mostly by stones, owing to the darkness of the place. At length they discovered another entrance, for there was a passage right through the cave, and both mouths of the cavern were filled up with wood.
This was set on fire, and, stifled by the smoke, the bandits, in trying to escape, rushed into the flames and 2000 perished.
M. Livius Denter and M. Aurelius were the new consuls, and during their year of office hostilities were resumed by the Aequi.
They resented the planting within their borders of a colony which was to be a stronghold of Roman power, and they made a desperate effort to capture it, but were beaten off by the colonists.
In their weakened condition it seemed almost incredible that the Aequi could have begun war, relying solely upon themselves, and the fear of an indefinitely extended war necessitated the appointment of a Dictator. C. Junius Bubulcus was nominated, and he took the field, with M. Titinius as Master of the Horse.
In the very first battle he crushed the Aequi, and a week later he returned in triumph to the City. Whilst Dictator he dedicated the temple of Salus which he had vowed as consul and the con- struction of which he had contracted for when censor.