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16. Previous1 to their return, and before any way of dealing with the Alban portent was discovered, the new consular tribunes entered upon office. They were L. Julius Julus, L. Furius Medullinus —for the fourth time —L. Sergius Fidenas, A. Postumius Regillensis, P. Cornelius Maluginensis, and A. Manlius.

This year a new enemy [2] arose. The people of Tarquinii saw that the Romans were engaged in numerous campaigns —against the Volscians at Anxur, where the garrison was blockaded; against the Aequi at Labici, who were attacking the Roman colonists, and, in addition to these, at Veii, Falerii, and Capenae, whilst, owing to the contentions between the plebs and the senate, things were no quieter within the walls of the [3] City. Regarding this as a favourable opportunity for mischief, they despatched some light-armed cohorts to harry the Roman territory, in the belief that the Romans would either let the outrage pass unpunished to avoid having another war on their shoulders, or would resent it with a small and weak [4] force. The Romans felt more indignation than anxiety at the raid, and without making any great effort, took prompt steps to avenge it. A. Postumius and L. Julius raised a force, not by a regular levy —for they were obstructed by the tribunes of the plebs —but consisting mostly of volunteers whom they had induced by strong appeals to come [5] forward. With this they advanced by cross marches through the territory of Caere and surprised the Tarquinians as they were returning heavily laden with [6] booty. They slew great numbers, stripped the whole force of their baggage, and returned with the recovered possessions from their farms to Rome. Two days were allowed for the owners to identify their [7] property; what was unclaimed on the third day, most of it belonging to the enemy, was sold ‘under the spear,’2 and the proceeds distributed amongst the [8] soldiers.

The issues of the other wars, especially of that against Veii, were still undecided, and the Romans were already despairing of success through their own efforts, and were looking to the Fates and the gods, when the embassy returned from Delphi with the sentence of the [9] oracle. It was in accord with the answer given by the Veientine soothsayer, and ran as follows: —

‘See to it, Roman, that the rising flood At Alba flow not o'er its banks and shape Its channel [10] seawards. Harmless through thy fields Shalt thou disperse it, scattered into rills. Then fiercely press upon thy foeman's walls, For now the Fates have given thee victory. That city which long years thou hast besieged Shall now be [11] thine. And when the war hath end, Do thou, the victor, bear an ample gift Into my temple, and the ancestral rites Now in disuse, see that thou celebrate Anew with all their wonted pomp.’

1 War with Tarquinii —The Answer of the Oracle.

2 See note in chap. xxix, Book IV.

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load focus Notes (W. Weissenborn, H. J. Müller, 1898)
load focus Summary (Latin, Benjamin Oliver Foster, Ph.D., 1924)
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load focus Summary (Latin, W. Weissenborn, H. J. Müller, 1898)
load focus English (D. Spillan, A.M., M.D., 1857)
load focus Latin (W. Weissenborn, H. J. Müller, 1898)
load focus English (Benjamin Oliver Foster, Ph.D., 1924)
load focus Latin (Benjamin Oliver Foster, Ph.D., 1924)
load focus Latin (Robert Seymour Conway, Charles Flamstead Walters, 1914)
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  • Commentary references to this page (7):
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 31-32, commentary, 32.10
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 33-34, commentary, 34.35
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 35-38, commentary, 35.1
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 35-38, commentary, 37.60
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 41-42, commentary, 41.2
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 43-44, commentary, 43.6
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, book 45, commentary, 45.39
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  • Cross-references in notes to this page (1):
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (16):
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