THE consuls now were Caius Plautius a second time, and Lucius Aemilius Mamercinus; when the people of Setia and Norba came to Rome to announce the revolt of he Privernians, with complaints of the damages received by them.
News were brought that the army of the Volscians, under the guidance of the people of Antium, had taken post at Satricum. Both wars fell by lot to Plautius.
He, marching first to Privernum, immediately came to an engagement. The enemy were defeated after a slight resistance: the town was taken, and given back to the Privernians, a strong garrison being placed in it: two thirds of their land were taken front them.
The victorious army was marched thence to Satricum against the Antians; there a desperate battle was fought with great slaughter on both sides; and when a storm separated the combatants, hope inclining to neither side, the Romans, nowise disheartened by this so indecisive an engagement, pre- [p. 504]
pare for battle against the following day.
The Volscians, reckoning up what men they had lost in battle, had by no means the same spirits to repeat the risk. They went off in the night to Antium as a vanquished army in the utmost confusion, leaving behind their wounded and a part of their baggage.
A vast quantity of arms was found, both among the dead bodies of the enemy, and also in the camp. These, the consul declared, that he offered up to Mother Lua; and he laid waste the enemy's country as far as the sea-coast.
The other consul, Aemilius, on entering the Sabellan territory, found neither a camp of the Samnites nor legions opposed to him. Whilst he laid waste their territories with fire and sword, the ambassadors of the Samnites came to him, suing for peace;
by whom being referred to the senate, after leave to address them was granted, laying aside their ferocious spirits, they sued for peace for themselves from the Romans, and the right of waging war against the Sidicinians.
Which requests, [they alleged,] that “they were the more justified in making, because they had both united in friendship with the Roman people, when their affairs were flourishing, not under circumstances of distress, as the Campanians had done, and they were taking up arms against the Sidicinians, ever their enemies, never the friends of the Roman people;
who had neither, as the Samnites, sought their friendship in time of peace, nor, as the Campanians, their assistance in time of war, and were neither in alliance with, nor under subjection to the Roman people.”