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Title: Stories From Livy
Author: Church, Alfred John, 1829-1912
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Stories From Livy" ***

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By The Rev. Alfred Church, M.A.

Professor of Latin in University College, London

With Illustrations From Designs By Pinelli.

Scribner And Welford


[Illustration: Frontispiece 011]

[Illustration: Titlepage 012]





I had wished to say a few words as to the great difficulty of
transforming Livy's ornate diction into the simple style I have hitherto
adopted; but a stroke of illness has prevented my being able even to
correct the proofs--a work which has been carried out for me by my kind
friend, C. Simmons, Esq., of Balliol College, Oxford.

Pymlico, Hadley,

October 2, 1882.



Æneas of Troy, coming to the land of Italy, took to wife Lavinia,
daughter of King Latinus, and built him a city, which he called
Lavinium, after the name of his wife. And, after thirty years, his son
Ascanius went forth from Lavinium with much people, and built him a new
city, which he called Alba. In this city reigned kings of the house and
lineage of Æneas for twelve generations. Of these kings the eleventh in
descent was one Procas, who, having two sons, Numitor and Amulius, left
his kingdom, according to the custom, to Numitor, the elder. But Amulius
drave out his brother, and reigned in his stead. Nor was he content with
this wickedness, but slew all the male children of his brother. And the
daughter of his brother, that was named Rhea Silvia, he chose to be a
priestess of Vesta, making as though he would do the maiden honour; but
his thought was that the name of his brother should perish, for they
that serve Vesta are vowed to perpetual virginity.

But it came to pass that Rhea bare twin sons, whose father, it was said,
was the god Mars. Very wroth was Amulius when he heard this thing;
Rhea he made fast in prison, and the children he gave to certain of his
servants that they should cast them into the river. Now it chanced
that at this season Tiber had overflowed his banks, neither could the
servants come near to the stream of the river; nevertheless they did not
doubt that the children would perish, for all that the overflowing of
the water was neither deep nor of a swift current Thinking then that
they had duly performed the commandment of the King, they set down the
babes in the flood and departed. But after a while the flood abated, and
left the basket wherein the children had been laid on dry ground. And
a she-wolf, coming down from the hill to drink at the river (for the
country in those days was desert and abounding in wild beasts), heard
the crying of the children and ran to them. Nor did she devour them,
but gave them suck; nay, so gentle was she that Faustulus, the King's
shepherd, chancing to go by, saw that she licked them with her tongue.

[Illustration: The Wolf and the Twins 024]

This Faustulus took the children and gave them to his wife to rear; and
these, when they were of age to go by themselves, were not willing to
abide with the flocks and herds, but were hunters, wandering through the
forests that were in those parts. And afterwards, being now come to
full strength, they were not content to slay wild beasts only, but
would assail troops of robbers, as these were returning laden with their
booty, and would divide the spoils among the shepherds. Now there was
held in those days, on the hill that is now called the Palatine,
a yearly festival to the god Pan. This festival King Evander first
ordained, having come from Arcadia, in which land, being a land of
shepherds, Pan that is the god of shepherds is greatly honoured. And
when the young men and their company (for they had gathered a great
company of shepherds about them, and led them in all matters both of
business and of sport) were busy with the festival, there came upon them
certain robbers that had made an ambush in the place, being very wroth
by reason of the booty which they had lost. These laid hands on Remus,
but Romulus they could not take, so fiercely did he fight against them.
Remus, therefore, they delivered up to King Amulius, accusing him of
many things, and chiefly of this, that he and his companions had invaded
the land of Numitor, dealing with them in the fashion of an enemy and
carrying off much spoil. To Numitor, therefore, did the King deliver
Remus, that he might put him to death. Now Faustulus had believed from
the beginning that the children were of the royal house, for he knew
that the babes had been cast into the river by the King's command, and
the time also of his finding them agreed thereto. Nevertheless he had
not judged it expedient to open the matter before due time, but waited
till occasion or necessity should arise. But now, there being such
necessity, he opened the matter to Romulus. Numitor also, when he had
the young man Remus in his custody, knowing that he and his brother were
twins, and that the time agreed, and seeing that they were of a high
spirit, bethought him of his grandsons; and, indeed, having asked many
questions of Remus, was come nigh to knowing of what race he was. And
now also Romulus was ready to help his brother. To come openly with his
whole company he dared not, for he was not a match for the power of King
Amulius; but he bade sundry shepherds make their way to the palace, each
as best he could, appointing to them a time at which they should meet.
And now came Remus also, with a troop of youths gathered together from
the household of Numitor. Then did Romulus and Remus slay King Amulius.
In the meanwhile Numitor gathered the youth of Alba to the citadel,
crying out that they must make the place safe, for that the enemy was
upon them; but when he perceived that the young men had done the deed,
forthwith he called an assembly of the citizens, and set forth to them
the wickedness which his brother had wrought against him, and how his
grandsons had been born and bred and made known to him, and then, in
order, how the tyrant had been slain, himself having counselled the
deed. When he had so spoken the young men came with their company into
the midst of the assembly, and saluted him as King; to which then the
whole multitude agreeing with one consent, Numitor was established upon
the throne.

After this Romulus and his brother conceived this purpose, that, leaving
their grandfather to be king at Alba, they should build for themselves a
new city in the place where, having been at the first left to die, they
had been brought up by Faustulus the shepherd. And to this purpose
many agreed both of the men of Alba and of the Latins, and also of the
shepherds that had followed them from the first, holding it for
certain all of them that Alba and Lavinium would be of small account in
comparison of this new city which they should build together. But while
the brothers were busy with these things, there sprang up afresh the
same evil thing which had before wrought such trouble in their house,
even the lust of power. For though the beginnings of the strife between
them were peaceful, yet did it end in great wickedness. The matter fell
out in this wise. Seeing that the brothers were twins, and that neither
could claim to have the preference to the other in respect of his age,
it was agreed between them that the gods that were the guardians of that
country should make known by means of augury which of the two they chose
to give his name to the new city. Then Romulus stood on the Palatine
hill, and when there had been marked out for him a certain region of
the sky, watched therein for a sign; and Remus watched in like manner,
standing on the Aventine. And to Remus first came a sign, six vultures;
but so soon as the sign had been proclaimed there came another to
Romulus, even twelve vultures. Then they that favoured Remus clamoured
that the gods had chosen him for King, because he had first seen
the birds; and they that favoured Romulus answered that he was to be
preferred because he had seen more in number. This dispute waxed so hot
that they fell to fighting; and in the fight it chanced that Remus was
slain. But some say that when Romulus had marked out the borders of the
town which he would build, and had caused them to build a wall round it,
Remus leapt over the wall, scorning it because it was mean and low; and
that Romulus slew him, crying out, "Thus shall every man perish that
shall dare to leap over my walls." Only others will have it that though
he perished for this cause Romulus slew him not, but a certain Celer.
This much is certain, that Romulus gained the whole kingdom for himself
and called the city after his own name. And now, having first done
sacrifice to the gods, he called a general assembly of the people, that
he might give them laws, knowing that without laws no city can endure.
And judging that these would be the better kept of his subjects if he
should himself bear something of the show of royal majesty, he took
certain signs of dignity, and especially twelve men that should
continually attend him, bearing bundles of rods, and in the midst of the
rods an axe; these men they called _lictors_.

Meanwhile the city increased, for the King and his people enlarged their
borders, looking rather to the greatness for which they hoped than to
that which they had. And that this increase might not be altogether
empty walls without men, Romulus set up a sanctuary, to which were
gathered a great multitude of men from the nations round about. All that
were discontented and lovers of novelty came to him. Nor did he take any
account of their condition, whether they were bond or free, but received
them all. Thus was there added to the city great strength. And the King
when he judged that there was strength sufficient, was minded to add to
the strength counsel. Wherefore he chose a hundred men for counsellors.
A hundred he chose, either because he held that number to be sufficient,
or because there were no more that were fit to bear this dignity and be
called Fathers, for this was the name of these counsellors.

After this the people bethought themselves how they should get for
themselves wives, for there were no women in the place. Wherefore
Romulus sent ambassadors to the nations round about, praying that they
should give their daughters to his people for wives. "Cities," he said,
"have humble beginnings even as all other things. Nevertheless they that
have the gods and their own valour to help become great. Now that the
gods are with us, as ye know, be assured also that valour shall not be
wanting." But the nations round about would not hearken to him, thinking
scorn of this gathering of robbers and slaves and runaways, so that they
said, "Why do ye not open a sanctuary for women also that so ye may
find fit wives for your people?" Also they feared for themselves
and their children what this new city might grow to. Now when the
ambassadors brought back this answer the Romans were greatly wroth, and
would take by force that which their neighbours would not give of their
free will. And to the end that they might do this more easily, King
Romulus appointed certain days whereon he and his people would hold a
festival with games to Neptune; and to this festival he called all
them that dwelt in the cities round about. But when many were gathered
together (for they were fain to see what this new city might be), and
were now wholly bent on the spectacle of the games, the young men of the
Romans ran in upon them, and carried off all such as were unwedded among
the women. To these King Romulus spake kindly, saying, "The fault is not
with us but with your fathers, who dealt proudly with us, and would not
give you to us in marriage. But now ye shall be held in all honour as
our wives, and shall have your portion of all that we possess. Put away
therefore your anger, for ye shall find us so much the better husbands
than other men, as we must be to you not for husbands only but parents
also and native country."

In the meanwhile the parents of them that had been carried off put on
sackcloth, and went about through the cities crying out for vengeance
upon the Romans. And chiefly they sought for help from Titus Tatius,
that was king of the Sabines in those days, and of great power and
renown. But when the Sabines seemed to be tardy in the matter, the men
of Caere first gathered together their army and marched into the country
of the Romans. Against these King Romulus led forth his men and put them
to flight without much ado, having first slain their king with his own
hand. After then returning to Rome he carried the arms which he had
taken from the body of the king to the hill of the Capitol, and laid
them down at the shepherds' oak that stood thereon in those days. And
when he had measured out the length and breadth of a temple that he
would build to Jupiter upon the hill, he said, "O Jupiter, I, King
Romulus, offer to thee these arms of a King, and dedicate therewith
a temple in this place, in which temple they that come after me shall
offer to thee like spoils in like manner, when it shall chance that the
leader of our host shall himself slay with his own hands the leader of
the host of the enemy." And this was the first temple that was dedicated
in Rome. And in all the time to come two only offered in this manner,
to wit, Cornelius Cossus that slew Lars Tolumnius, king of Veii, and
Claudius Marcellus that slew Britomarus, king of the Gauls.

After this, King Tatius and the Sabines came up against Rome with a
great army. And first of all they gained the citadel by treachery in
this manner. One Tarpeius was governor of the citadel, whose daughter,
Tarpeia by name, going forth from the walls to fetch water for a
sacrifice, took money from the King that she should receive certain of
the soldiers within the citadel; but when they had been so received, the
men cast their shields upon her, slaying her with the weight of them.
This they did either that they might be thought to have taken the place
by force, or that they judged it to be well that no faith should be kept
with traitors.

[Illustration: The Death of Tarpeia 038]

Some also tell this tale, that the Sabines wore great bracelets of gold
on their left arms, and on their left hands fair rings with precious
stones therein, and that when the maiden covenanted with them that she
should have for a reward that which they carried in their left hands,
they cast their shields upon her. And other say that she asked for their
shields having the purpose to betray them, and for this cause was slain.

Thus the Sabines had possession of the citadel; and the next day King
Romulus set the battle in array on the plain that lay between the hill
of the Capitol and the hill of the Palatine. And first the Romans were
very eager to recover the citadel, a certain Hostilius being their
leader. But when this man, fighting in the forefront of the battle, was
slain, the Romans turned their backs and fled before the Sabines, even
unto the gate of the Palatine. Then King Romulus (for he himself had
been carried away by the crowd of them that fled) held up his sword
and his spear to the heavens, and cried aloud, "O Jupiter, here in the
Palatine didst thou first, by the tokens which thou sentest me, lay the
foundations of my city. And lo! the Sabines have taken the citadel by
wicked craft, and have crossed the valley, and are come up even hither.
But if thou sufferest them so far, do thou at the least defend this
place against them, and stay this shameful flight of my people. So will
I build a temple for thee in this place, even a temple of Jupiter the
Stayer, that may be a memorial to after generations of how thou didst
this day save this city." And when he had so spoken, even as though he
knew that the prayer had been heard, he cried, "Ye men of Rome, Jupiter
bids you stand fast in this place and renew the battle." And when the
men of Rome heard these words, it was as if a voice from heaven had
spoken to them, and they stood fast, and the King himself went forward
and stood among the foremost. Now the leader of the Sabines was one
Curtius. This man, as he drave the Romans before him, cried out to his
comrades, "See we have conquered these men, false hosts and feeble foes
that they are! Surely now they know that it is one thing to carry off
maidens and another to fight with men." But whilst he boasted himself
thus, King Romulus and a company of the youth rushed upon him. Now
Curtius was fighting on horseback, and being thus assailed he fled,
plunging into a certain pool which lay between the Palatine hill and
the Capitol. Thus did he barely escape with his life, and the lake was
called thereafter Curtius' pool. And now the Sabines began to give
way to the Romans, when suddenly the women for whose sake they fought,
having their hair loosened and their garments rent, ran in between them
that fought, crying out, "Shed ye not each other's blood ye that are
fathers-in-law and sons-in-law to each other. But if ye break this bond
that is between you, slay us that are the cause of this trouble. And
surely it were better for us to die than to live if we be bereaved
of our fathers or of our husbands." With these words they stirred the
hearts both of the chiefs and of the people, so that there was suddenly
made a great silence. And afterwards the leaders came forth to make a
covenant; and these indeed so ordered matters that there was not peace
only, but one state where there had been two. For the Sabines came to
Rome and dwelt there; and King Romulus and King Tatius reigned together.
Only, after a while, certain men of Lanuvium slew King Tatius as he was
sacrificing to the gods at Lavinium; and thereafter Romulus only was
king as before.

When he had reigned thirty and seven years there befell the thing that
shall now be told. On a certain day he called the people together on
the Field of Mars, and held a review of his army. But while he did this
there arose suddenly a great storm with loud thunderings and very
thick clouds, so that the king was hidden away from the eyes of all the
people. Nor indeed was he ever again seen upon the earth. And when men
were recovered of their fear they were in great trouble, because they
had lost their King, though indeed the Fathers would have it that he had
been carried by a whirlwind into heaven. Yet after awhile they began to
worship him as being now a god; and when nevertheless some doubted, and
would even whisper among themselves that Romulus had been torn in pieces
by the Fathers, there came forward a certain Proculus, who spake after
this manner: "Ye men of Rome, this day, in the early morning, I saw
Romulus, the father of this city, come down from heaven and stand before
me. And when great fear came upon me, I prayed that it might be lawful
for me to look upon him face to face. Then said he to me, 'Go thy way,
tell the men of Rome that it is the will of them that dwell in heaven
that Rome should be the chiefest city in the world. Bid them therefore
be diligent in war; and let them know for themselves and tell their
children after them that there is no power on earth so great that it
shall be able to stand against them.' And when he had thus spoken, he
departed from me going up into heaven." All men believed Proculus when
he thus spake, and the people ceased from their sorrow when they knew
that King Romulus had been taken up into heaven.

And now it was needful that another king should be chosen. No man in
those days was more renowned for his righteousness and piety than a
certain Numa Pompilius that dwelt at Cures in the land of the Sabines.
Now it seemed at first to the Senate that the Sabines would be too
powerful in the state if a king should be chosen from amongst them,
nevertheless because they could not agree upon any other man, at last
with one consent they decreed that the kingdom should be offered to him.
And Numa was willing to receive it if only the gods consented. And the
consent of the gods was asked in this fashion. Being led by the augur
into the citadel, he sat down on a stone, with his face looking towards
the south, and on his left hand sat the augur, having his head covered
and in his hand an augur's staff, which is a wand bent at the end and
having no knot. Then looking towards the city and the country round
about, he offered prayers to the Gods and marked out the region of the
sky from the sunrising to the sunsetting; the parts towards the south
he called the right, and the parts towards the north he called the left;
and he set a boundary before as far as his eye could reach. After this
he took his staff in his left hand and laid his right on the head of
Numa, praying in these words: "Father Jupiter, if it be thy will that
this Numa Pompilius, whose head I hold, should be King of Rome, show us,
I pray thee, clear tokens of this thy will within the space which I have
marked out." He then named the tokens which he desired, and when they
had been shown, Numa was declared to be King.

King Numa, considering that the city was but newly founded, and that by
violence and force, conceived that he ought to found it anew, giving it
justice and laws and religion; and that he might soften the manners and
tempers of the people, he would have them cease awhile from war. To this
end he built a temple of Janus, by which it might be signified whether
there was peace or war in the State; for, if it were peace, the gates
of the temple should be shut, but if it were war, they should be open.
Twice only were the gates shut after the days of Numa; for the first
time when Titus Manlius was Consul, after the ending of the first war
against Carthage, and for the second time when the Emperor Augustus,
after vanquishing Antony at Actium, established universal peace both
by land and sea. This temple then King Numa built, and shut the gates
thereof, having first made treaties of peace with the nations round

Many other things did King Numa set in order for his people. First he
divided the year into twelve months, each month being according to the
course of the moon, and in every twenty-fourth year another month, that
the year might so agree with the course of the sun. Also he appointed
certain lawful days for business, and other days on which nothing might
be done. He made priests also, of whom the chief was the priest of
Jupiter, to whom he gave splendid apparel and a chair of ivory. Two
other priests he made, one of Mars, and the other of Quirinus, that
is to say, of Romulus the god. And he chose virgins for the service
of Vesta, who should keep alive the sacred fire, and twelve priests
of Mars, whom he called the Salii, to be keepers of the sacred shield.
(This shield, men said, fell down from heaven, and that it might be kept
the more safely, King Numa commanded that they should make eleven other
shields like unto it.) This shield and its fellows the Salii were to
carry through the city, having on flowered tunics and breastplates of
brass, and dancing and singing hymns. And many other things as to the
worship of the gods, and the interpreting of signs, and the dealing with
marvels and portents, King Numa set in order. And that the people might
regard these laws and customs with the more reverence, he gave out that
he had not devised them of his own wit, but that he had learnt them from
a certain goddess whose name was Egeria, whom he was wont to meet in a
grove that was hard by the city.

King Numa died, having reigned forty and three years; and the people
chose in his room one Tullus Hostilius.


King Tullus Hostilius, being newly come to the throne, looked about
for an occasion of war; for the Romans had now for a long time been at
peace. Now it chanced that in those days the men of Rome and the men of
Alba had a quarrel, the one against the other, the country folk being
wont to cross the border and to plunder their neighbours; and that
ambassadors were sent from either city to seek restitution of such
things as had been carried off. King Tullus said to his ambassador,
"Delay not to do your business so soon as ye shall be come to Alba;"
knowing that the men of Alba would certainly refuse to deliver up the
things, and thinking that he could thus with a good conscience proclaim
war against them. As for the ambassadors of Alba, when they were come
to Rome, they made no haste about their business, but ate and drank, the
King entertaining them with much courtesy and kindness. While therefore
they feasted with him, there came back the ambassadors of Rome telling
the King how they had made demand for the things carried off, and when
the men of Alba had refused to deliver them, had declared war within the
space of thirty days. Which when the King heard, he called to him the
ambassadors of Alba, and said to them, "Wherefore are ye come to
Rome? Set forth now your mission." Then the men, not knowing what had
befallen, began to make excuse, saying, "We would not willingly say
aught that should displease the King, but we are constrained by them
that have sent us thither. We are come to ask for the things that your
country folk have carried off. And, if ye will not deliver them up, we
are bidden to declare war against you." To this Tullus made answer,
"Now do I call the Gods to witness that ye men of Alba first refused
to repair the thing that has been done amiss, and I pray them that they
will bring all the blood of this war upon your heads." And with this
message the men of Alba went home.

After this the two cities made great preparations for war. And because
the men of Troy had built Lavinium, from which some going forth had
set up the city of Alba, and from the royal house of Alba had come the
founder of Rome, it was as though the children would fight against their
fathers. Yet it came not to this, the matter being finished without
a battle. The men of Alba first marched into the land of the Romans,
having with them a very great army, and pitched their camp five miles
from the city, digging about it a deep ditch. But while they lay in this
camp their King Cluilius died, and a certain Mettus was made dictator in
his room. Which when King Tullus heard, he became very bold, saying that
the gods had smitten Cluilius for his wrong-doing, and would smite also
the whole people of Alba. Whereupon he marched into the land of the
Albans, leaving the enemy's camp to one side. And when these also had
come forth against him, and the two armies were now drawn up in battle
array, the one against the other, there came a messenger to King Tullus,
saying that Mettus of Alba desired to have speech with him, having that
to say to him which concerned the Romans not less than the men of Alba.
Nor did King Tullus refuse to hear him, though indeed battle had pleased
him better than speech. So when the King and certain nobles with him
had gone forth into the open space that was between the two armies, and
Mettus also with his companions had come to the same place, this last
spake, saying, "I have heard King Cluilius that is dead affirm that your
wrong-doing, ye men of Rome, in that ye would not deliver up the things
that had been carried off, was the cause of this war; nor do I doubt
but that thou, King Tullus, hast the same quarrel against us. Yet if we
would speak that which is true rather than that which has a fair show,
we should, I doubt not, confess that we, though we be both kinsmen and
neighbours, are driven into this war by the lust of power. Now I say not
whether this be just or no. Let others look to this; for I am not King
of Alba, but captain of the host only. Yet there is a matter which
I would fain call to thy mind, King. Thou knowest the Etruscans, how
mighty they are both by land and sea; for indeed they are nearer by far
to thee at Rome than to us at Alba. Bethink thee, therefore, how, when
thou shalt give the signal of battle between thy army and our army, the
same Etruscans will look on, rejoicing to see us fight together; and
how, when the battle is ended, they will fall upon us, having us at
disadvantage; for of a truth, whether ye or we prevail, we shall have
but little strength remaining to us. If therefore we be not content
with the freedom that we have, but must needs set on the chance of a die
whether we shall be masters or servants, let us devise some way by which
the one may win dominion over the other without great loss and shedding
of blood." Now King Tullus was a great warrior, and would willingly
have fought, being confident that he and his people would prevail;
nevertheless the thing that Mettus of Alba had said pleased him. And
when they came to consider the matter, there seemed by good fortune
to be a way ready to their hands. There were in the army of Alba three
brothers that had been born at one birth, whose name was Curiatius.
And in the army of the Romans there were other three, and these born
likewise at one birth, whose name was Horatius. Nor was there much
difference in respect either of age or of strength between the brothers
of Alba and the brothers of Rome. Then King Tullus and Mettus of Alba
called for the brothers, and enquired of them whether they were willing
to fight, each three for their own country, agreement being first
made that that people should bear rule for ever whose champions should
prevail in the battle. And as the young men were willing, a place was
appointed for the battle and a time also. But first there was made a
treaty in this fashion, for the fashion of making treaties is the same
always, though their conditions be different. The herald said, "Wilt
thou, King Tullus, that I make a treaty with the minister of the people
of Alba?" And when the King answered "Yea," the herald said, "I will
that thou give me the sacred herbs." Then the King made reply, "Take
them, and see that they be clean." So the herald took them clean from
the hill of the citadel. Having done this, he said to the King, "Dost
thou appoint me to do the pleasure of the people of Rome, me and my
implements and my attendants with me?" And the King answered, "So that
it be without damage to the people of Rome." Then the herald appointed
one Spurius to be minister that he should take the oath, and touched his
hair with the sacred herbs. And when Spurius had taken the oath, and the
conditions of the treaty had been read aloud, he spake, saying, "Hear
thou, Jupiter, and thou also, minister of the people of Alba, and ye men
of Alba; as these conditions have been duly read aloud this day from
the beginning even to the end from these tables, and after the
interpretation by which they may be the most easily understood, even
so shall the Roman people abide by them. And if this people, acting by
common consent, shall falsely depart from them, then do thou, O Jupiter,
smite the Roman people, even as I shall smite this swine to-day. And
smite them by so much the more strongly as thou art stronger than I."
And when he had said this he smote the swine with a knife of stone.
The men of Alba also took the oath, and confirmed it after their own
fashion. These things having been thus ordered, the champions made them
ready for battle. And first their fellows exhorted them severally in
many words, saying that the gods of their country, their countrymen
also and kinsfolk, whether they tarried at home or stood in the field,
regarded their arms that day; and afterwards they went forth into the
space that lay between the two armies. And these sat and watched them
before their camps, being quit indeed of the peril of battle, but full
of care how the matter should end, seeing that so great things, even
sovereignty and freedom, should be decided by the valour and good luck
of so few men. Then, the signal of battle being given, the three met the
three with such courage and fierceness as though there were a whole army
on either side. And as their swords rang against each other and flashed,
all men trembled to see, and could scarcely speak or breathe for fear
of what should happen. And for a while, in so narrow a space did the men
fight, nought could be seen but how they swayed to and fro, and how the
blood ran down upon the ground. But afterwards it was plain to see that
of the three Romans two were fallen dead upon the ground, and that of
the three champions of Alba each man was wounded.

[Illustration: Death of the Horatti and Curiattii 056]

At this sight the Alban host shouted for joy, but the men of Rome had
no more any hope but only fear, to think what should befall their one
champion that had now three enemies against him. Now, by good luck, it
had so fallen out that this one had received no wound, so that, though
he was no match for the three together, he did not doubt but that he
should prevail over them severally one by one. Wherefore, that he might
so meet them, dividing them the one from the other, he made a feint to
fly, thinking that they would follow him each as quickly as his wound
might suffer him. And so it fell out. For when he had fled now no
small space from the ground where they had fought at the first, he
saw, looking behind him, that the three were following him at a great
distance one from the other, and that one was very near to himself. Then
he turned himself and ran fiercely upon the man; and behold even while
the men of Alba cried aloud to the two that they should help their
brother, he had slain him, and was now running towards the second. And
when the men of Rome saw what had befallen, they set up a great shout,
as men are wont when they have good luck beyond their hopes; and their
champion made such haste to do his part that or ever the third of the
Alban three could come up, though indeed he was close at hand, he had
slain the second also. And now, seeing that there remained one only on
either side, there was in some sort an equality, yet were the two
not equal either in hope or in strength. For the champion of Rome had
suffered no wound, and having overcome his foes now once and again
was full of courage; but the champion of Alba being now spent with his
wound, and wearied also with running, was as it were vanquished already.
Nor indeed was there a battle between the two; for the Roman cried, "One
and another of my foes have I offered to the spirits of my brothers; but
this third will I offer to the cause for which we have fought this day,
even that Rome may have the dominion over Alba." And when the champion
of Alba could now scarce bear up his shield, he stood over and ran his
sword downwards into his throat Afterwards, as the man lay dead upon
the ground, he spoiled him of his arms. Then did the men of Rome receive
their champion with much rejoicing, having all the more gladness because
they had been in so great fear. Afterwards each host set themselves to
bury their dead, whose tombs remain to this day, each in the spot where
he fell, for the two Romans are buried in one sepulchre nearer to
Alba, and the three champions of Alba as you go towards Rome, but with
somewhat of space between them, even as they fought.

Before the armies departed to their homes, Mettus of Alba inquired of
Tullus what he would have him to do according to treaty. And the King
answered, "Keep the young men under arms. I shall call for them if I
have war against the men of Veii."

And now the men of Rome went back to the city, and Horatius went before
them, carrying the spoils of the three whom he had slain. But at the
Capene gate there met him his sister, who was betrothed to one of the
champions of Alba; and when the maiden saw upon his shoulders the cloak
of her betrothed (and indeed she had wrought it with her own hands) she
tore her hair and cried to the dead man by name with a lamentable voice.
But Horatius was wroth to hear the words of mourning on the day when
he had won so great a victory and the people rejoiced; and he drew his
sword and slew the maiden, crying, "Depart hence to thy lover with
the love that thou cherishest out of season; thou that forgettest thy
brethren that are dead, and thy brother that is yet alive, and thine own
people also. So perish whosoever shall make lamentations for an enemy
of Rome." And when the Fathers and the Commons saw what was done, they
thought it a wicked deed, but remembered what great service the man had
newly rendered to Rome. Nevertheless they laid hands on him and took him
to the King that he should judge him. But the King being loath to judge
such a matter, or to give sentence against the man, said, "I appoint
two men as the law commands, who shall judge Horatius for murder." Now
the law was this: "If a man do murder, two men shall judge him; if he
appeal against the two, let the appeal be tried; if their sentence be
confirmed, ye shall cover his head and scourge him within the walls
or without the walls, and hang him by a rope upon the gallows." Then
there were appointed two men according to the law, who affirmed that they
could not let the man go free, whether his guilt was small or great,
seeing that he had manifestly done the deed. Therefore said one of them,
"Publius Horatius, we adjudge thee to be guilty of murder. Go, lictor,
bind his hands." But when the lictor came and was now ready to cast the
rope about him, Horatius cried, "I appeal to the people;" for the King
himself, being mercifully disposed to him, bade him do so. Then was
there a trial before the people, in which that which most wrought upon
the hearts of men was that the father of Horatius constantly affirmed
that his daughter had been rightly slain. "Nay," said he, "verily, if
the young man had not slain her, I had used against him my right as a
father, and had condemned him to die."

Then again he besought them that they should not leave him desolate and
bereaved of his children, he who but the day before had had so fair a
stock. Afterwards, throwing his arms about the young man, he stretched
out his hands to the spoils of the Curiatii, crying, "Will ye endure,
men of Rome, to see him bound under the gallows and beaten with stripes
whom ye beheld but yesterday adorned with these spoils and rejoicing in
his victory? Not so. Surely the men of Alba themselves had not borne to
see such a sight. Go, lictor, bind his hands, though but yesterday they
won so great a dominion for the people of Rome. Go, cover the head of
him that made this people free; hang him upon the accursed tree; scourge
him, whether within the walls, so that thou do it among the spoils
of them that he slew, or without the walls, so that it be near to the
sepulchres of the champions of Alba. Whither can ye take this youth
that the memorials of his valour shall not save him from so foul a
punishment?" And when the people saw the tears of the old man, and
bethought them also what great courage the youth had shown in danger,
they could not endure to condemn him; but regarding his valour rather
than the goodness of his cause, let him go free. Only, because the deed
had been so manifest, a command was laid upon the father that he should
make a trespass offering for his son at the public charge. Then the
father, having made certain sacrifices of expiation--which are performed
to this day in the house of Horatius--set up a beam across the way and
covered his son's head, and led him beneath it. As for the maiden, they
built her tomb of hewn stone in the place where she was slain.

Now the men of Alba were wroth to think that the fortunes of the whole
people had been thus trusted to the hands of three soldiers; and Mettus,
being of an unstable mind, was led away to evil in his desire to do
them a pleasure. And as before he had sought for peace when others were
desirous of war, so now he desired war when others were minded to be at
peace. But because he knew that the men of Alba were not able of their
own strength to do that which they desired, he stirred up certain others
of the nations round about, that they should make war openly against
Rome. As for himself and his people, he purposed that they should seem
indeed to be friends and allies, but should be ready for treachery when
occasion served. Thereupon the men of Fidenæ, being colonists from Rome,
and the men of Veii promised that they would make war, and Mettus on
his part promised that he would come over to them with his army in
the battle. First the men of Fidenæ rebelled, and King Tullus marched
against them, bidding Mettus come also with his army, and having crossed
the river Anio, pitched his camp where Anio flows into Tiber. And by
this time the men of Veii also had come up with their army, and these
were on the right wing next to the river, and the men of Fidenæ on the
left, next to the mountains. The ordering of King Tullus was that he and
his men should do battle with the men of Veii, and Mettus and the Albans
with the men of Fidenæ. Now Mettus, as he was not minded to do right, so
had no courage to do wrong boldly; and because he dared not to go over
to the enemy, led his men away slowly towards the mountains. Being come
thither, he set out his men in battle array, being minded to join them
whom he should perceive to prevail. At first the Romans marvelled that
Mettus and his men should so depart from them; and after a while they
sent a messenger to the King, saying, "The men of Alba have left us."
Then the King knew in his heart that there was treachery, and he vowed
that he would build temples to Paleness and Panic, if he should win the
victory that day. Nevertheless he showed no sign of fear, but cried to
the horsemen with a loud voice, that the enemy might hear, saying, "Go
thou back to the battle, and bid thy comrades be of good courage. Mettus
does my bidding that he may take the men of Fidenæ in the rear." Also
he bade the cavalry raise their spears in the air, that so the Romans
might, for the most part, be hindered from seeing that the men of Alba
had deserted them; and they that saw, believing what the King had said,
fought with the more courage. Then there fell a great fear upon the
enemy, for these also had heard the saying, which, being in the Latin
tongue, was understood of the men of Fidenæ. They, therefore, fearing
lest Mettus and the army of Alba should come down from the mountains and
shut them off from their town, began to give ground. And when the King
had broken their array, he turned the more fiercely on the men of Veii.
These also fled before him, but were hindered from escape by the river.
And some, throwing away their arms, ran blindly into the water, and some
while they lingered on the bank, and knew not whether they should fight
or fly, so perished. Never before had the Romans so fierce a fight with
their enemies.

After this the army of Alba came down from the mountains, and Mettus
said to the King that he rejoiced that he had won so great a victory,
and the King on his part spake friendly to him, and would have him join
his camp with the camp of the Romans. Also he appointed a sacrifice of
purification for the next day. And when it was day, all things being now
ready after the custom of such sacrifices, the King commanded that both
armies should be called to an assembly. And the heralds summoned the men
of Alba first, so that they might be in the inner place; to which also
they came of their own accord, for they sought to be near the King,
greatly desiring to hear what he should say. And the King so ordered it
to the end that the army of Rome might surround them on all sides. Also
he gave his commands to certain captains of hundreds that they fulfil
without delay whatsoever commands he should give them. After this the
King spoke in this fashion, "Men of Rome, if ever before ye had occasion
to give thanks for victory won, first to the immortal Gods, and secondly
to your own valour, such occasion ye found in the battle of yesterday.
For ye fought not only with the enemy, but with that from which there
is peril greater by far, even treachery in allies. I would not have you
ignorant of the truth. It was not by any ordering of mine that the men
of Alba went towards the mountains. I gave no such command; yet did I
feign that I had given it to this end, that ye might not know that ye
were deserted, and so might fight with the better courage, and that our
enemies, thinking that they should be assailed from behind, might be
stricken with fear and so fly before us. Yet I say not that all the men
of Alba are guilty of this matter. They followed their captain, even as
ye, men of Rome, would have followed me whithersoever I might have led
you. Mettus only is guilty. He contrived this departure, even as he
brought about this war, and brake the covenant that was between Alba and
Rome. And what he hath done others may dare hereafter, if I do not so
deal with him that he shall be an ensample for all that come after."
Then the captains of hundreds, having arms in their hands, laid hold
upon Mettus. After this the King spake again: "May the Gods bless to the
people of Rome, and to me, and to you also, men of Alba, that which I
purpose to do. For my purpose is to carry away the people of Alba to
Rome; the commons of Alba will I make citizens of Rome, and the nobles
will I number among our Senators. So shall there be one city and one
commonwealth." When the men of Alba heard these words, all had not
the same mind about the matter, but all kept silence, fearing to speak,
because being without arms they were compassed on every side with armed

Then said the King, "Mettus, if indeed thou couldst learn faith and the
keeping of treaties, I had suffered thee to live that thou mightest have
such teaching from me. But now, seeing that thy disease is past healing,
thou shalt teach other men to hold in reverence the holy things which
thou hast despised. For even as thou wast divided in heart between Rome
and Fidenæ, so shall thy body be divided." Then at the King's bidding,
they brought two chariots, with four horses harnessed to each of them;
and binding the body of Mettus to the chariots, they drave the horses
divers ways so that the man was torn asunder.

In the meanwhile there had been sent horsemen to Alba who should bring
the people to Rome; and now the army also was led thither that they
might destroy the city utterly. Great sorrow was there in Alba that day,
men knowing not for fear and grief what they should carry with them or
leave behind. For a while, indeed, they wandered through their houses,
knowing that they should not see them any more. But when the horsemen
shouted to them that they should depart, and the crash of houses which
men were now destroying began to be heard, and the dust rising up from
the outskirts of the city covered all things as with a cloud, then they
snatched up in haste each such things as they could, and so departed the
home in which they had been born and bred. Very lamentable was their cry
as they went, more especially of the women, when they saw armed men
in the temples wherein they had been wont to worship, the very gods
themselves being left, as it seemed, in captivity. And when the people
were now gone forth from their city the Romans left not one stone upon
another of all that was in the city; so that that which had been four
hundred years in building (for so long had Alba endured) perished in
one hour. Nevertheless they harmed not the temples, for so the King had

But because Alba was thus brought to destruction, Rome increased
greatly; for the number of the citizens was increased twofold. The
Coelian hill was added to the city, in which hill, that others might the
more readily dwell there, the King himself commanded that they should
build him a palace. Also the chief houses of Alba, as the house of
Julius and of Servilius, were chosen into the Senate; and that there
might be a place of meeting for the Senate being thus multiplied, the
King built a temple and called it Hostilia, after his own name. Also
ten squadrons of horsemen were chosen out of the men of Alba. But after
certain days, when the Romans had now conquered the Sabines, and had
made treaties of peace with the Etrurians, and were in great peace and
prosperity, they and their King, there was brought tidings to Rome that
there had fallen a shower of stones on Mount Alba. Which when men could
scarce believe, they sent messengers to learn if these things were true,
who having come to Alba, found the stones lying on the ground, even as
it had been hail. Also there was heard a voice from the grove that was
on the top of the hill, saying, "Let the men of Alba do worship after
the manner of their fathers;" for they having left their country, had
left also their gods, and did worship after the manner of the Romans, or
for wrath at that which had befallen them, as is wont to be with men
in such case, had ceased from worship altogether. The Romans also, by
reason of this same voice that was heard on Mount Alba, or by warning of
the soothsayers, kept a festival of nine days. And this became a custom
for the time to come, that when there came tidings of such marvels to
Rome, there was kept a like festival. Now the end of King Tullus was
this. There came a pestilence upon the land. And when for this cause
the people were wearied of war, nevertheless the King, both because he
delighted in war, and because he believed that the young men should have
better health if they went abroad than if they tarried at home, gave
them no rest But after a while he also fell into a tedious sickness,
which so brake him both in body and mind that, whereas in time past he
thought it unworthy of a King to busy himself with matters of religion,
now he gave himself up wholly to superstition, and filled the minds of
his people also with the like thoughts, so that they regarded nothing
but this, how they should make atonement to the Gods, and so be rid of
their present distress. As for the King himself, men say that reading
the sacred book of King Numa he found therein certain sacrifices, very
secret and solemn, that should be done to Jupiter by such as would
bring him down from heaven, and that he shut himself up to do these
sacrifices; but because he set not about them rightly or did them not in
due form, there appeared to him no similitude of the immortal gods
(for such he had hoped to see); but Jupiter, having great wrath at such
unlawful dealings, struck him with lightning, and consumed both him and
his house.


Demaratus was lord of Corinth in the land of Greece. This Demaratus had
a son who, having been driven from Corinth by strife among the citizens,
came to Tarquinii that is in the land of Etruria, and dwelt there. And
having married a wife, he had two sons born to him, Lucumo and Aruns.
(It was the custom of the princes of the Etrurians to call the eldest
son Lucumo and the younger Aruns.) This Lucumo, being very wealthy (for
his father had left to him all his riches, his brother Aruns having
died), took to wife a certain Tanaquil that was a noble lady in those
parts. Now Tanaquil could not endure that any should be preferred before
him, wherefore when the people of Tarquinii despised Lucumo, because he
was the son of a stranger, Tanaquil could not endure it, and caring
not for her country, if only she could see her husband held in honour,
purposed to depart thence and dwell elsewhere. And of all places Rome
seemed to her the best, being a new country wherein men were honoured
for their deservings rather than for their birth, and he that should
show himself brave and diligent would find occasion to win renown. So
Numa, coming from Cures that is in the land of the Sabines, had been
called to the kingdom. King Ancus also was born of a mother that was a
Sabine, nor was noble at all save for his kinship to Numa. With these
words she easily persuaded her husband, so that, gathering together all
his possessions, he departed from Tarquinii to Rome. And when he came
near to the city, at the hill that is called Janiculum, there happened
to him this marvel. As he sat in the chariot with his wife, an eagle,
having its wings stretched out, descended slowly upon him from the sky,
and carried off the hat that was upon his head. Then for a while it flew
over the chariot, making a great crying, and afterwards, as it had been
inspired to do this office, set it back upon his head, and so vanished
into the air. Now all the women of the Etrurians have great knowledge
of augury (for so they call the signs and tokens of birds), and Tanaquil
was of good courage when she saw what the eagle had done, and she
embraced her husband, and bade him hope for great honours in Rome; for
the bird, she said, had come from the sky, and the sign that it showed
concerned the crown of a man, for it had taken from his head the glory
that man's hand set upon it, that it might give it back to him from the
gods. So Lucumo and Tanaquil his wife came to Rome, hoping to do
great things; and the man dwelt there, giving out that his name was
Tarquinius. And because he was a new comer and wealthy, men took the
more note of him; also he would speak courteously to all men, and use
much hospitality, and do such service as he could to them that had need
of it And after a while King Ancus heard of him, and made acquaintance
with him, which acquaintance grew into friendship, till at the last,
having found him faithful and ready in all that was put into his charge,
whether at home or abroad, he appointed him to be guardian to his

After this King Ancus died, having reigned twenty and four years, and
left two sons, not yet old enough to reign, yet nearly grown to manhood.
And some would have delayed the choosing of a king till these should
be come to full age, but Tarquinius counselled that he should be chosen
forthwith. And when the day for this choosing was appointed, having sent
out the lads to hunt, he spake to the people after this manner. "This
is no new thing that I seek the kingdom at your hands; for Tatius the
Sabine became your king, having been before not a stranger only but also
an enemy; and Numa also was called to this dignity, though he sought not
for it. As for me, I came hither so soon as I was master of myself; and
of the years of my manhood, I have lived in Rome more than in my own
country; nor have I been ill taught the ways of a King, ministering to
Ancus both at home and abroad."

With these words he persuaded the people that they chose him to be king.
Being so chosen he did many things that pleased the people; for having
waged war with the Latins, and taken one of their cities and with it
much booty, he built the great circus, and fetched horses and boxers
from the land of Etruria to make sport. This became a custom year by
year; and they called these games the Great Games of Rome.

Afterwards he would have compassed the city with a wall of stone; but
while he was busy with the building of it the Sabines came upon him. And
this they did with such speed that they had crossed the Anio before ever
the Romans were ready to meet them; and when they fought many were slain
on both sides, but neither had the victory. Now when the King, the enemy
having returned to their camp, had space to consider how he might best
make his army the stronger, it seemed that it would profit him most if
he should increase the number of his horsemen, of whom there were three
companies only. But when he was minded to add others to them, and
to call them after his own name, one Attus Navius, that was a famous
soothsayer in those days, withstood him. "For," said he, "King Romulus
made these companies in due form, and thou mayest not add to their
number, unless the gods permit, signifying their will by the voices
of birds." But the King was wroth to hear these words, and mocked the
soothsayers art, saying, "Come now, thou wise man, divine unto me, can
that which I think in my heart be done, or no?" Attus answered, having
first made trial of his art, "Of a surety it can be done." Then said the
King, "I thought this thing in my heart, that thou shouldest cut asunder
this whetstone with a razor. Take it, therefore, and cut it asunder; for
thy birds will have it that thou canst." And straightway Attus took the
whetstone and cut it asunder. So they made a statue of him, standing
with his head covered, in the place where the thing was done; even in
the place of assembly, on the right hand of the steps by which a man
goes up to the senate-house. And by his side they laid the stone to be a
memorial of this miracle to them that should come after. Certainly there
came such honour to the soothsayers that nothing thereafter was done at
home or abroad except they first allowed it; and if an assembly of the
people was called or the army gathered together, it must be dispersed
again unless the birds should signify that it was according to the
pleasure of the gods. King Tarquin, therefore, changed not the number or
the name of the companies. Only he added to each as many more horsemen
as it had at the first.

After this there was yet another battle with the Sabines; and these fled
before the Romans, the horsemen especially doing good service against
them. And the King sent them that were taken captive and the booty to
Rome; but the arms of those that were slain he made into a great heap,
and burned them with fire, for he had vowed thus to Vulcan, that is the
god of fire. And the King took Collatia, that is a town of the Sabines,
from them, and afterwards he subdued the whole nation of the Latins that
it became obedient to Rome.

They tell this story also of King Tarquin. There came to him one day
a woman bearing twelve books, which she said were books of prophecies,
wherein were written all things that should come to pass thereafter
concerning the city of Rome. These books she would have sold to him. But
because he knew not who she was, nor what she brought, and also because
the price of the books seemed great out of measure, he would have none
of them. Then the woman departed, and having burned three of the books
with fire, brought back the nine that remained, and would sell them. And
the price that she had demanded for the twelve, this she asked without
abatement for the nine. And when the King would not buy, she departed
and burned three more; and so returning would sell the six; but the
price was that which she demanded for the twelve. Then the King, being
greatly astonished, asked counsel of the priests and the soothsayers,
and so bought the books. These were kept with great care and honour at
Rome; and when in time to come there arose great need or peril in the
city, then there were appointed men of repute who should open the books
and learn what had best be done.

In those days there happened, in the palace of the King, a great marvel.
There was a certain slave boy whose name was Servius Tullius. The head
of this boy, as he slept, was seen to burn with fire; and when the King
and the Queen had been called to see this strange thing, and certain
of the servants would have fetched water wherewith to quench the fire,
Queen Tanaquil would not suffer them, but commanded that they should
leave the child as he lay. And when he woke from his sleep, lo! the
flame departed. Then said Queen Tanaquil to her husband, "Seest thou
this boy whom we rear in this humble fashion? Know that he will be in
time to come a light in our darkness, and a succour to our house in its
great trouble. Let us, therefore, use all favour and kindness to him."
Thereafter they dealt with the lad as though he were free-born and not
a slave, and gave him such teaching as befits them that are born to
high place. The lad also, on his part, showed such parts and temper as
befitted the house of a king; and when Tarquin would choose a husband
for his daughter there was not found one fitter for such honour than
Servius. So the King betrothed to him his daughter. Yet is it scarce
to be believed that he would have done this thing if Servius had been
indeed born of a bond-woman. Some say, therefore, and the story seems
worthy of belief, that he was the son of a great lady of Corniculum,
which was a town of the Latins; that this town being taken by King
Tarquin, Servius Tullius, that was its chief ruler, was slain, whose
wife, being with child, was carried to Rome; and that because she was of
noble birth she was not sold into slavery with the other women but taken
into the King's palace, and there bare this child, of whom, because his
mother had been taken captive in war, men said that he was the son of a

Now the sons of Ancus, since they had been grown to manhood, had taken
it ill that Tarquin had been preferred before them to the throne of
their father, and now they were the more angry, seeing how he had chosen
another than them to be king after him. "See, now," they said, "this
fellow that is not a Roman, nay, nor an Italian, but a stranger from
Greece, how being made tutor to us by the King our father, he filched
the throne from us by craft, and now handeth it over to one that is the
son of a bond-woman. Surely this is a shameful thing for this city and
people. For the kingdom of Romulus, that is now a god in heaven, will
pass within the space of a hundred years to one that is a slave."

And first they would avenge themselves on King Tarquin. This they did
after this fashion. They chose them two shepherds, the fiercest of their
company, and caused them to come, carrying crooks of iron, after their
custom, within the King's palace; who, so soon as they were come within
the porch, made as if they had a grievous quarrel the one against the
other, and cried out that the King should be the judge between them; for
in those days kings were wont to perform the office of a judge. So they
that kept order in the palace brought them before the King. At the first
they made both of them a great uproar, crying out against each other;
but afterwards, when the beadle bade them be quiet if they would be
heard of the King, bare themselves in more orderly fashion. Then the
first began to tell his story; but when the King turned to him, and was
wholly given up to hearing what the man might say, the other dealt him a
great blow upon the head with the iron which he carried. And when he
had done this he left the iron where it was, and hasted, he and his
companion with him, to escape by the door. Then some of the ministers of
the court caught the King as he fell ready to die upon the ground, and
others laid hold on the murderers and hindered them from escaping. At
the same time much people ran together to the place, wondering what new
thing had happened. But Queen Tanaquil gave command that they should
shut the doors of the palace, and would have none remain within but her
own folk. And first she prepared with all diligence such things as might
be serviceable in the dressing of the wound, making as if there were
some hope that the King might yet live; and next she devised how, this
hope failing her, things might nevertheless be ordered according to her
wish. Sending, therefore, for Servius in all haste, she pointed to the
King, as he lay now ready to die, and spake, saying, "Servius, my son,
this kingdom is thine if thou wilt only show thyself a man. Neither
shall it go to them who have done this wicked deed, albeit not by their
own hands. Rouse thyself, therefore, and follow the leading of the Gods,
who, in days past, showed that thy head should bear great honour by the
fire from heaven which they caused to shine round about it. Let that
fire stir thee this day. Nor do thou take account of thy birth. For
we also were strangers to this city and yet have borne rule therein.
Bethink thee, therefore, what manner of man thou art, rather than of
whom thou wast born. And if perchance thine own counsels are troubled at
so grievous a chance, be thou obedient unto mine."

After this, as the people without the palace cried aloud and would have
thrust in the doors, the Queen went to an upper chamber and spake to
the multitude through a window that looked upon the New Street (for the
palace of the King stood hard by the temple of Jupiter the Stayer).
"Be of good courage and hope," she said; "the King was stunned by the
suddenness of the blow, but the iron entered not deep into the flesh,
and he came speedily to himself. Now we have washed off the blood and
looked into the wound. All is well. Be of good cheer, therefore, and
believe that before many days be past ye shall see the King. Meanwhile,
render due obedience to Servius, who will do justice between man and
man in the room of the King and order all else that shall be needed." So
Servius came forth to the people, wearing the royal robe, with the men
that bare the axes after him; and sitting down on the throne of the
King, heard the causes of them that sought for justice, giving judgment
in some things, and in others making mention that he would consult King
Tarquin. This he did for many days, none knowing that the King was
dead, and established himself in power, while he made as if he were
administering the power of another. And when Queen Tanaquil thought
that the due time was come, she gave out that King Tarquin was dead, and
commanded that mourning should be made for him according to custom. And
Servius, coming forth with his guards about him, was proclaimed King;
only at the first the Senate alone, and not the people, consented. As
for the sons of An eus, when they heard that the murderers had been
taken, and that the King was yet alive, and that Servius also was so
well established in his power, they fled to the town of Suessa Pometia.


And now Servius thought to establish himself in his kingdom. And first
of all, lest the sons of King Tarquin should so regard him as the son
of Ancus had regarded King Tarquin, he gave his daughters in marriage to
the two young men (for King Tarquin had left two sons, Lucius and Aruns
by name). Nor yet did the counsels of man avail to change the decree of
fate, that there should rise up against the King foes from out of his
own household, as, indeed, will be shown hereafter. Yet for a while all
things went peaceably. First the King got himself great renown in a war
with the men of Veii, with whom the truce had expired by lapse of time.
These he put to flight with great slaughter, and so returning to Rome
was manifestly acknowledged not by the Senators only, but was also by
the people.

And now he set about the work of ordering the state, dividing the
citizens according to their birth and to that which they possessed.
First of all he put the Senators, and after them such as served in the
wars on horseback, and these he called knights. And the rest of the
people he divided into classes according to the armour with which they
were able to furnish themselves for war. The first class were they that
had one hundred thousand pounds of brass or more; and these had for
armour a helmet, a long shield, a cuirass, and greaves upon their legs,
of brass all of them, and for warfare a spear and a sword. In this
class there were eighty companies of a hundred, forty of the elders
that should defend the city, and of the younger that should go and fight
abroad forty also. The next class to these had a short shield for a
long, and lacked the cuirass; and after these another that had the same
arms, only wanting the greaves. The fourth class had nothing of armour,
and for weapons a spear and a javelin; and the fifth slings and stones.
These last were such as had eleven thousand pounds of brass; as for such
as had less they were free from service in war. When this ordering was
finished, he commanded that the people should assemble themselves on the
field of Mars; and when their number was counted, it was found that they
were eighty thousand in all. King Servius also was minded to enlarge his
kingdom by including within it the nations round about, seeking to do
this not by arms so much as by counsel. And first he joined the Latins
to the Romans, contriving the matter in this fashion. There was in those
days a famous temple of Diana at Ephesus which the cities of Asia had
joined together in building. Now King Servius would often speak of this
thing to the Princes of Latium, to whom, indeed, he was careful to use
much hospitality, declaring how noble and excellent a thing it was that
they who dwelt in the same land should have their gods also and worship
in common. And when he had ofttimes used much argument to this purpose,
at the last he persuaded them that the cities of Latium should join
together with men of Rome and build a temple to Diana, and that this
temple should be at Rome, whereby it was confessed that Rome was the
chief city.

As for the Sabines this same end was brought about in a different
fashion. There was a certain householder of this nation that had born
upon his farm a heifer of marvellous greatness and beauty. How great it
was might be seen from the horns of the beast which hung in the front
of Diana's temple for many generations. Now the birth of this great
creature was counted for a portent; and the prophets prophesied that
the rule should belong to that nation whose citizens should offer it
in sacrifice to Diana; and this prophecy came to the ears of Diana's
priest. The Sabine therefore, so soon as a fitting day for sacrifice was
come, brought the great heifer to the temple at Rome and set it before
the altar. And when the priest saw it he perceived from its greatness
that it was the beast of which the prophets had spoken. Therefore
knowing what they had said he spake to the man, saying, "Friend, what
is this that thou art minded to do? Wilt thou do sacrifice to Diana
profanely, not having first cleansed thyself? See now where the Tiber
flows in the valley beneath. Do thou therefore bathe thyself therein and
so offer thy sacrifice." And when the man, being very scrupulous to do
all things in order that the thing might have its due fulfilment, went
down to this river, the priest took the heifer and offered it up to the
goddess. This thing was marvellously pleasing to King Servius and to all
the people.

The King, having now enlarged his borders, divided the land which had
been taken from the enemy man by man among the people; and feared not,
having gained their hearts by this bounty, to ask them, being gathered
together in assembly, "Is it your pleasure that I should reign over
you?" To which question there was given such assent as no king before
him had received. Nevertheless the son of King Tarquin ceased not to
cherish in his heart the hope of the kingdom; to which hope, indeed, he
was the more stirred up by Tullia his wife. For now there sprang up in
the palace of the kings of Rome a monstrous growth of wickedness, to
the end, it may well be believed, that the people might, for hatred of
kingship and its way, come the earlier to love liberty.

Now King Tarquin had two sons, this Lucius, of whom mention has been
made, a haughty and violent man, and another, Aruns by name, that was of
a quiet and gentle temper. And as they differed the one from the other,
so also did their wives, the daughters of King Servius; and it so fell
out that she that had the fiercer temper of the two, a certain Tullia,
was married to Aruns, and she that was gentle to Lucius. Now it vexed
Tullia to the heart that her husband was of so peaceable a spirit, so
that in the end she despised him, and looked to his brother as being the
more worthy to be her husband. And the end of the matter was this, that
Lucius and Tullia plotted together this great wickedness, that he should
rid himself of his wife and she should rid herself of her husband. And
this they did; and then the two being thus in evil fashion made one,
Lucius took Tullia to wife, the King not hindering the thing, though
indeed he approved it not. And now did this wicked woman increase day by
day her rage and fury against the King her father. For having done one
evil deed she began to compass others; nor would she suffer her husband
to rest, stirring him up to all wickedness, and speaking to him in such
fashion as this: "Truly I had a husband that pleased me well had I been
content to serve together with him. But the husband that I looked for
was one that should think himself worthy to be a king, that should
remember that he was a son of King Tarquin, that should choose rather to
have the crown in possession than to hope for it hereafter. Such an one
I thought to find in thee; and if I thought right, then truly I call
thee true husband and King, but if not, then I count myself to have
suffered loss, seeing that thou art not a coward only, but also
bloodguilty. Be up and doing, therefore. Thou hast not, as had thy
father, to pome from Corinth, or even from Tarquinii, to win for himself
a kingdom among strangers. All things that are about thee mark thee out
for kingship, to which, if thou judge thyself unequal, then depart from
this place where thou seemest to be that which thou art not."

With such words did Tullia daily stir up her husband; thinking shame to
herself, if so be Tanaquil, who was a foreigner, had been able to make
two kings, first her husband and then her son-in-law, she, being the
daughter of a king, could not accomplish as much. Then did Lucius begin
to seek favour among the nobles, especially such as were of the lesser
houses, and so ambitious of higher place in the State. Some he would
remind of kindnesses that his father had done them in past time, and
would ask for a like return; and to some he would promise gifts; and all
he sought to turn against the King. And at the last, when it now seemed
time to make his venture, he burst into the market-place, having with
him a company of armed men; and all that stood near being so stricken
with dismay that they hindered him not, commanded the herald that he
should call the Senators to meet King Tarquin. Nor did the Senators,
being thus summoned, refuse to come, for some had been won over to the
young man beforehand, and others feared that they should suffer harm if
they came not, for the matter was altogether beyond their expectation;
also they thought that King Servius had already perished. And when they
were were assembled, Tarquin sat down upon the throne and spake in
some such fashion as this: "The slave that was the son of a slave-woman
seized the kingdom when the King my father had been shamefully slain.
Neither was there any assembly held for election; nor did the people
give their votes for him, nor did the Senate confirm the matter. By none
of these things doth he possess this great dignity, but by the bounty of
a woman. And now he, being such an one as he is, favours the lowest
of the people, to whom he divideth this land, which is of right the
possession of the nobles; in like manner the burdens which at one time
were borne in common by all, he putteth upon you; and this ordering of
the citizens that he hath lately established, for what purpose is it but
that he may know who hath aught, that he may make distribution to the

While he thus spake there came in King Servius, having been fetched by
a messenger in hot haste, and cried with a loud voice from the porch of
the senate-house, "What doest thou here, Tarquin? How darest thou,
while I am yet alive, to call the Senators together and to sit upon my

To this Tarquin made answer, "This throne is the throne of the King my
father, of which I, being the son of a king, am worthier than thou that
art the son of a slave. Surely now thou hast long enough triumphed over
them that are by right thy masters."

After this there was a great shouting and tumult, some favouring Servius
and some Tarquin; and the people ran together into the senate-house;
and it was manifest that he that should prevail in that conflict would
possess the kingdom. Then Tarquin, thinking that having ventured so much
he must dare all things, laid hands on King Servius and cast him down
the steps of the senate-house into the market-place. Then they that
accompanied the King, that, is to say his ministers and guards, were
stricken with fear and fled, and Servius himself, seeking to return to
the palace, and having now reached the end of the street of Cyprus, was
overtaken by them that Tarquin had sent to pursue him, and there slain.
And men say that this was done at the bidding of Tullia; and indeed it
agrees with the other wickedness of this woman. That she rode in her
carriage into the market-place, and, fearing not to come into the
assembly of men, called forth her husband from the senate-house, and
before all others saluted him as King--all this is known for certain.
And when he bade her depart to her home, and she had come to the top
of the street of Cyprus, and would turn aside to the Esquiline Hill,
he that drave the horses drew back the rein and tarried, showing to his
mistress the body of Servius where it lay in the street Then did she a
wicked deed, whereof there remains a memorial to this day, in that men
call the street the Wicked Street, for she drave her carriage over the
body of her father, and so went on to her house, having the blood of her
father upon her wheels, aye, and upon her own garments. And as the reign
of King Tarquin began with blood, even so also did it end.

[Illustration: Tullia driving over the body of her Father 098]


Lucius Tarquin, having thus seized the kingdom (for he had not the
consent either of the Senators or of the Commons to his deed), bare
himself very haughtily, so that men called him Tarquin the Proud. First,
lest some other, taking example by him, should deal with him as he had
dealt with Tullius, he had about him a company of armed men for guards.
And because he knew that none loved him, he would have them fear him. To
this end he caused men to be accused before him. And when they were so
accused, he judged them by himself, none sitting with him to see that
right was done. Some he slew unjustly, and some he banished, and some he
spoiled of their goods. And when the number of the Senators was greatly
diminished by these means (for he laid his plots mostly against the
Senators, as being rich men and the chief of the State), he would not
choose any into their place, thinking that the people would lightly
esteem them if there were but a few of them. Nor did he call them
together to ask their counsel, but ruled according to his own pleasure,
making peace and war, and binding treaties or unbinding, with none to
gainsay him.

Nevertheless, for a while he increased greatly in power and glory. He
made alliance with Octavius Mamilius, prince of Tusculum, giving him his
daughter in marriage; nor was there any man greater than Mamilius in
all the cities of the Latins; and Suessa Pometia, that was a city of the
Volsci, he took by force, and finding that the spoil was very rich (for
there were in it forty talents of gold and silver), he built with the
money a temple to Jupiter on the Capitol, very great and splendid, and
worthy not only of his present kingdom but also of that great Empire
that should be thereafter. Also he took the city of Gabii by fraud, as
shall now be told.

The manner of his fraud was this. He made as if he had changed his
purpose about the city, leading away his army from before it, and
busying himself with laying the foundations of the Temple of Jupiter and
other like things. But while he did this, Sextus, that was the youngest
of his three sons, fled to Gabii, as if he were a deserter from the army
of his father, and complained grievously to the men of the city of the
cruelty which the King had used towards him. "Surely now," he said, "my
father has turned away his fury from others upon them that are of his
own household; and that same solitude which he has made in the Senate he
would have also in his own home, being so jealous of his kingdom that he
will not have any near him that shall inherit it. As for myself I barely
escaped with my life from them that would have slain me by his command;
nor do I count myself safe except among such as are enemies to the King.
As for you, think not that he has given up his purpose concerning you.
He only waits an occasion when he may take you unawares." The men of
Gabii, when they heard these words, received the young man kindly and
bade him be of good cheer, for that they would defend him from his
father. They said also that they counted themselves fortunate to
gain such help, knowing him to be brave and skilful in war, and that
doubtless, with his aid, they should soon carry the war from their own
city even to the walls of Rome. After this, when the young man had gone,
not once only but many times, with the young men of Gabii, making war
against the Romans and plundering their country, and had always fared
well, putting the enemy to flight and' bringing back much spoil (and,
indeed, things were so ordered by the King that it should be so), the
people of Gabii were persuaded that he was dealing honestly with them,
and chose him to be the captain of their host. After this, when he found
that he could now do all things at his pleasure in Gabii, he sent a
messenger to the King his father, desiring to know what he would
have him do. To this messenger the King, doubting whether the man was
faithful, gave no answer by word of mouth, but rose up from his place
and walked in the garden that was by the palace, having the look of one
that took deep counsel with himself. And as he walked he smote off the
heads of the tallest poppies that were in the garden with a staff that
he had in his hand, but spake never a word. At the last, the messenger
being wearied out with the asking of a question to no purpose, departed,
thinking that he had now fulfilled his errand. And when he came to Gabii
he told to Sextus what he had seen; "only," he said, "the King your
father, whether for anger or for haughtiness, spake not one word." But
Sextus knew right well what his father would have him do. For he set
himself to overthrow the chief men of the city. Some he accused to
the people; and against some he took occasion of offence given to the
Commons. Some were put to death publicly, and others, to whose charge
nothing could be laid, were slain by secret violence. Others again were
suffered to go of their own accord into banishment; and the goods of
all, whether they were slain or banished, were divided amongst the
Commons; nor did these, being blinded by the desire of gain, perceive
what damage the State suffered, till Gabii, having lost all its rulers
and counsellors, fell into the hands of the Romans without so much as a
battle. By such means did King Tarquin increase his power.

Now there was at Rome in the days of Tarquin a noble youth, by name
Lucius Junius, who was akin to the house of Tarquin, seeing that his
mother was sister to the King. This man, seeing how the King sought
to destroy all the chief men in the State (and, indeed, the brother of
Lucius had been so slain), judged it well so to bear himself that there
should be nothing in him which the King should either covet or desire.
 a prey; for which reason men gave him the name of Brutus, or the
Foolish. Then he bided his time, waiting till the occasion should come
when he might win freedom for the people.

Now it chanced that King Tarquin, being disturbed by the marvel of a
great snake, which had been seen of a sudden to glide from the altar
in his house, sent messengers to Delphi to inquire of the god what this
thing might mean. And because he cared not that any strangers should
hear the answer of the oracle, he sent his own sons, Titus and Aruns,
and with them, to bear them company, or rather as one of whom they might
make sport, this same Lucius Brutus. And when the young men offered
gifts to the god, Brutus offered gold hidden away in a stick that had
been hollowed to receive it; meaning thereby a parable of himself, as of
a light hidden beneath that which seemed dull and of little worth. Now
when the sons of the King had fulfilled the commands of their father,
there came upon them a desire to enquire of the god which of them should
be king in time to come. Whereupon there came forth from the depths of
the cave this voice: "Know, O young men, that he of you who shall first
give a kiss to his mother, shall bear the chief rule hereafter at
Rome." When the sons of the King heard these words they would have their
brother Sextus, who had been left behind at Rome, know nothing of the
matter, lest he also should have a hope of the kingdom, Wherefore they
agreed among themselves that the matter should be kept secret, and that
they should leave to the casting of lots which of the two should first
give a kiss to his mother. But Brutus judged that the answer of the god
had another signification than this. Therefore, so soon as they were
come out of the temple, he made as if he stumbled, and falling on his
face, he kissed the earth, holding that the earth was his mother, being
indeed the common mother of us all.

Not many days after these things there came to Brutus an occasion
of showing what manner of man he was. Sextus, the King's son, did so
grievous a wrong to Lucretia, that was the wife of Collatinus, that the
woman could not endure to live, but slew herself with her own hand. But
before she died she called to her her husband and her father and Brutus,
and bade them avenge her upon the evil house of Tarquin. And when her
father and her' husband sat silent for grief and fear, Brutus drew the
knife wherewith she slew herself from the wound, and held it before him
dripping with blood, and cried aloud, "By this blood I swear, calling
the Gods to witness, that I will pursue with fire and sword and with all
other means of destruction Tarquin the Proud, with his accursed wife and
all his race; and that I will suffer no man hereafter to be king in this
city of Rome." And when he had ended he bade the others swear after the
same form of words. This they did and, forgetting their grief, thought
only how they might best avenge this great wrong that had been done.

First they carried the body of Lucretia, all covered with blood, into
the market-place of Collatia (for these things happened at Collatia),
and roused all the people that saw a thing so shameful and pitiful, till
all that were of an age for war assembled themselves carrying arms. Some
of them stayed behind to keep the gates of Collatia, that no one should
carry tidings of the matter to the King, and the rest Brutus took with
him with all the speed that he might to Rome. There also was stirred up
a like commotion, Brutus calling the people together and telling them
what a shameful wrong the young Tarquin had done. Also he spake to them
of the labours with which the King wore them out in the building of
temples and palaces and the like, so that they who had been in time past
the conquerors of all the nations round about were now come to be but
as hewers of wood and drawers of water. Also he set before them in what
shameful sort King Tullius had been slain, and how his daughter had
driven her chariot over the dead body of her father. With suchlike words
he stirred up the people to great wrath, so that they passed a decree
that there should be no more kings in Rome, and that Lucius Tarquin with
his wife and his children should be banished. After this Brutus made
haste to the camp and stirred up the army against the King. And in the
meanwhile Queen Tullia fled from her palace, all that saw her cursing
her as she went As for King Tarquin, when he came to the city he found
the gates shut against him; thereupon he returned and dwelt at Caere
that is in the land of Etruria, and two of his sons with him; but Sextus
going to Gabii, as to a city which he had made his own, was slain by the

The King and his house being thus driven out, Brutus was made consul
with one Collatinus for his colleague. First he bound the people by an
oath that they would never thereafter suffer any man to be king at
Rome; and afterwards, because Collatinus was of the name and lineage of
Tarquin, he wrought with them that he also should be banished from the
city. "These Tarquins," he said, "are overmuch accustomed to kingship.
For Tarquin the elder reigned in Rome, and though after him another,
even Servius, was king, yet did not his son forget the kingdom of his
father, but took it for his own. And now this Collatinus Tarquin bears
rule in the city, whose very name, seeing that they of his house know
not how to be subject unto others, has in it great danger to liberty."
When he had wrought on the minds of the people with these words, he
called the people to an assembly, and spake to them thus: "Ye have sworn
that ye will suffer no man to be king at Rome, nor endure aught which
may bring liberty into peril. Now this that I am about to say, I say
against my will, speaking against a man that is dear to me, nor indeed
had I said it but that my love for my country prevailed over all other
things. The Roman people are not assured in their heart that they have
won liberty in very deed and truth, knowing that they who are of the
house and lineage of the King not only dwell in this State, but even
bear rule in it. Do thou, therefore, Collatinus, remove this fear from
the heart of thy countrymen. We deny not that thou didst drive away the
kings. Complete therefore this thy good deed, even by taking away from
this city a name which is the name of kings. All that thou hast we will
duly render thee; nay more, if thou lackest anything, we will supply it
bountifully. Depart therefore as a friend might depart; for though this
fear be idle, yet it troubles thy countrymen who think that they shall
not be quit of kingship till they be quit of all that bear a king's
name." To these words Collatinus at the first could answer nothing,
so astonished was he at the matter; and afterwards, when he would have
spoken, the chief men of the State came round, entreating that he would
hearken to Brutus. So when he had considered the thing for a space, he
consented, fearing lest, when he should be no longer Consul, the same
might happen to him, together also with loss of his goods and much wrong
to himself. Wherefore he abdicated his office and departed with all that
he had to Lanuvium. After this Brutus caused that the people passed a
law that all of the house of Tarquin should be banished for ever.

That the King would seek to come back by force of arms none doubted. But
while he delayed, as indeed he did delay beyond the expectation of all,
liberty was well nigh lost by treachery and treason. There were among
the youth of Rome certain young nobles that had been wont to live as
companions with the King's son with much license and luxury, after the
fashion of courts. These men, now that all citizens had equal rights,
loudly complained among themselves that other men's freedom had turned
to their own bondage. "It pleaseth us well," said they, "to have a king,
for he is a man even as we are, from whom we may ask and obtain what we
will, be it right or wrong, who can have a favour and do kindness, can
be angry or have compassion, whereas laws are deaf and not to be turned
by prayers, being better forsooth for the poor than for the rich."

While they thought these things in their hearts there chanced to come
ambassadors from King Tarquin. These made no mention of the matter
whether the King should return, but asked only that his goods should be
restored to him. To these the Senate gave audience; and when they had
heard them were not a few days in debating the matter, for they said,
"If we give not back these goods, there is open cause for war; and if
we give them back, we minister means by which war may be carried on."
In the meanwhile the ambassadors, making pretence to concern themselves
only about the goods of the King, plotted in secret how they might bring
him back. Going about therefore among the young nobles as if they would
bespeak their favour on behalf of their errand, they made trial of what
temper they were as to the bringing back of the King, and when they
found that their words were not ill taken, they gave them certain tokens
that they had brought from Tarquin, and had converse how the gates might
be opened to him by night. And the matter was put in charge of certain
noblemen, brothers, whose sister Brutus had to wife, and of this
marriage there had been born to Brutus two sons that were now grown to
manhood; and these young men had knowledge of the plot from the brethren
of their mother. After a while the Senate passed a decree that the goods
of the King should be given back to him; and the ambassadors made excuse
to tarry yet longer, asking time of the Consul that they find waggons
sufficient, to carry the goods. This time they spent wholly in
consulting with them that were privy to the plot, being urgent with them
that; they should give them a letter to carry to the King, "for," said
they, "who will believe us if we bring not some written testimony in
a matter so grave?" So the conspirators gave them a letter and thereby
made manifest proof of their guilt. For a certain slave had conceived
some suspicion of the matter, but waited for some more certain
knowledge. Now it fell out that on the night before the day when the
ambassador should depart there was a banquet at the house of them that
had chief charge of the matter in Rome, at which banquet there was much
talk, none being present but such as were privy to the plot. But the
slave of whom mention has been made, having hidden himself, overheard
that which was said; and when he knew that the letter had been given, he
carried the matter straightway to the Consuls, who going laid hands on
the ambassadors and on them that were privy to the plot, and so without
uproar or violence brought the matter to an end. They that would have
betrayed their country were thrown straightway into prison; as for the
ambassadors, men doubted awhile how they should deal with them; but
judged it better to send them away unhurt for all their misdoing. About
the Kings goods counsel was taken anew; and the Senate decreed that
neither should they be given back, nor should the price of them be
brought into the treasury, but rather that the people should spoil them
at their will. This having been done, the conspirators were brought to
judgment, and being condemned, suffered death, being first beaten with
rods and then beheaded. Now the Consuls' office was that, sitting in
their seats, they should see sentence executed on evil doers. And this
they did, nor did Brutus turn away from his duty, for all that his own
sons were done to death before his eyes, but sat in his place, seeing
that all things were done according to the law. As for the slave that
bare witness against the conspirators, he had freedom and citizenship
for his reward.

[Illustration: Brutus condemning his sons to death 118]

The end of Brutus was this. The men of Veii and the men of Tarquinii
gathered together their armies and marched against Rome, that they
might bring back King Tarquin. And the Romans came forth to meet them,
Valerius having command of the foot soldiers and Brutus riding before
with the horsemen. In the host of the enemy also the horsemen had the
first place, their leaders being Aruns son of King Tarquin. And the
lictors told Aruns, while they were yet far off, "See there is Brutus
the Consul," who himself also, when the armies were now near together,
knew the face of the man. Then he cried aloud in great wrath, "Lo, there
is the man that hath driven us forth into banishment. See how proudly he
goeth, bearing the honours that by good right are ours. Now may the gods
that avenge the wrongs of kings be with me that I may slay him." So he
struck spurs into his horse, and when Brutus saw that Aruns came against
him he made haste to meet him. (In those days they that led armies into
battle held it to be to their honour themselves to do battle.) And so
full of fury were these two that neither took any thought how he might
defend himself, but each smote the other through the body with his
spear, so that they fell dying both of them from their horses.

After this there was fought a great battle, neither side having the
victory, for when the men of Veii fled before the Romans, the men
of Tarquinii prevailed against them that stood over against them.
Nevertheless in the night a great panic fell upon the army of the
Etrurians, so that they departed and went to their homes. Also they
say that there was heard a voice from the grave of the hero Horatius,
saying, "There fell in this battle more in number by one of the
Etrurians than of the Romans; therefore the Romans are conquerors." When
it was now day there was not a man of the Etrurians in his place; so
Valerius the consul gathered together the spoil and returned in great
triumph to Rome. Also he made a great burial for Brutus; and the people
also mourned greatly for him, the women lamenting him for the space of a
whole year, even as is the custom for women to lament for a father or
a brother. And this they did because he had avenged the wrong done to a
woman in so noble a fashion.


King Tarquin and his son Lucius (for he only remained to him of the
three) fled to Lars Porsenna, king of Clusium, and besought him that he
would help them. "Suffer not," they said, "that we, who are Tuscans by
birth, should remain any more in poverty and exile. And take heed also
to thyself and thine own kingdom if thou permit this new fashion of
driving forth kings to go unpunished. For surely there is that in
freedom which men greatly desire, and if they that be kings defend not
their dignity as stoutly as others seek to overthrow it, then shall
the highest be made even as the lowest, and there shall be an end of
kingship, than which there is nothing more honourable under heaven."
With these words they persuaded King Porsenna, who judging it well for
the Etrurians that there should be a king at Rome, and that king an
Etrurian by birth, gathered together a great army and came up against
Rome. But when men heard of his coming, so mighty a city was Clusium in
those days, and so great the fame of King Porsenna, there was such fear
as had never been before. Nevertheless they were steadfastly purposed to
hold out. And first all that were in the country fled into the city,
and round about the city they set guards to keep it, part thereof being
defended by walls, and part, for so it seemed, being made safe by the
river. But here a great peril had well nigh overtaken the city; for
there was a wooden bridge on the river by which the enemy had crossed
but for the courage of a certain Horatius Cocles. The matter fell out in
this wise.

There was a certain hill which men called Janiculum on the side of the
river, and this hill King Porsenna took by a sudden attack. Which when
Horatius saw (for he chanced to have been set to guard the bridge, and
saw also how the enemy were running at full speed to the place, and how
the Romans were fleeing in confusion and threw away their arms as they
ran), he cried with a loud voice, "Men of Rome, it is to no purpose that
ye thus leave your post and flee, for if ye leave this bridge behind you
for men to pass over, ye shall soon find that ye have more enemies in
your city than in Janiculum. Do ye therefore break it down with axe and
fire as best ye can. In the meanwhile I, so far as one man may do, will
stay the enemy." And as he spake he ran forward to the further end
of the bridge and made ready to keep the way against the enemy.
Nevertheless there stood two with him, Lartius and Herminius by name,
men of noble birth both of them and of great renown in arms. So these
three for a while stayed the first onset of the enemy; and the men of
Rome meanwhile brake down the bridge. And when there was but a small
part remaining, and they that brake it down called to the three that
they should come back, Horatius bade Lartius and Herminius return, but
he himself remained on the further side, turning his eyes full of wrath
in threatening fashion on the princes of the Etrurians, and crying,
"Dare ye now to fight with me? or why are ye thus come at the bidding
of your master, King Porsenna, to rob others of the freedom that ye care
not to have for yourselves?" For a while they delayed, looking each
man to his neighbour, who should first deal with this champion of the
Romans. Then, for very shame, they all ran forward, and raising a great
shout, threw their javelins at him. These all he took upon his shield,
nor stood the the less firmly in his place on the bridge, from which
when they would have thrust him by force, of a sudden the men of Rome
raised a great shout, for the bridge was now altogether broken down, and
fell with a great crash into the river. And as the enemy stayed a while
for fear, Horatius turned him to the river and said, "O Father Tiber, I
beseech thee this day with all reverence that thou kindly receive this
soldier and his arms." And as he spake he leapt with all his arms into
the river and swam across to his own people, and though many javelins of
the enemy fell about him, he was not one whit hurt.

[Illustration: Horatius on the Bridge 126]

Nor did such valour fail to receive due honour from the city. For the
citizens set up a statue of Horatius in the market-place; and they gave
him of the public land so much as he could plough about in one day. Also
there was this honour paid him, that each citizen took somewhat of his
own store and gave it to him, for food was scarce in the city by reason
of the siege.

After these things King Porsenna thought not any more to take the city
by assault, but rather to shut it up. To this end he held Janiculum with
a garrison, and pitched his own camp on the plain ground by the river;
and the river he kept with ships, lest food should be brought into the
city by water. Thus it came to pass in no long time that the famine in
the city was scarcely to be endured, so that the King had good hopes
that the Romans would surrender themselves to him. But being in these
straits, they were delivered by the boldness of a noble youth, whose
name was Caius Mucius. This man at the first purposed with himself to
make his way into the camp of the enemy without the knowledge of any;
but fearing lest if he should go without bidding from the Consuls, no
man knowing his purpose, he might haply be taken by the sentinels and
carried back to the city as one that sought to desert to the enemy--Rome
being in so evil a plight that such an accusation would be readily
believed--he sought audience of the Senate. And being admitted he said,
"Fathers, I purpose to cross the Tiber, and to enter, if I shall be
able, the camp of the enemy; plunder I seek not, but have some greater
purpose in my heart." So the Fathers giving their consent, he hid a
dagger under his garment and set forth; and having made his way into
the camp, he took his stand where the crowd was thickest, hard by
the judgment-seat of the King. Now it chanced that the soldiers were
receiving their wages. There sat by the King's side a scribe, and the
man wore garments like unto the King's garments. And Mucius, seeing that
the man was busy about many things, and that the soldiers for the most
part spake with him rather than with the other, and fearing to ask which
of the two might be the King, lest he should so show himself to be a
stranger, left the matter to chance, and slew the scribe. Then he turned
to flee, making a way for himself through the crowd with his bloody
sword; but the ministers of the King laid hands on him, and set him
before the judgment-seat. Thereupon he cried, "I am a citizen of Rome,
and men call me Caius Mucius. Thou art my enemy, O King, and I sought to
slay thee; and now, as I feared not to smite, so I fear not to die. We
men of Rome have courage both to do and to suffer. Think not that I only
have this purpose against thee; there are many coming after me that seek
honour in this same fashion by slaying thee. Prepare thee, therefore, to
stand in peril of thy life every hour, and know that thou hast an enemy
waiting ever at thy door. The youth of Rome declares war against thee,
and this war it will wage, not by battle, but by such deeds as I would
have done this day."

[Illustration: Mutius before King Porsenna 132]

King Porsenna, when he heard these words, was greatly moved both by
wrath and by fear and bade them bring fire, as though he would have
burned the young man alive, unless he should speedily reveal what that
danger which he threatened against the King might be. Then said Mucius,
"See now and learn how cheaply they hold their bodies that set great
glory before their eyes," and he thrust his right hand into a fire that
had been lighted for sacrifice. And as he stood and seemed to have no
feeling of the pain, the King, greatly marvelling at the thing, leapt
from his seat and bade them take, away the young man from the altar.
"Depart thou hence," he cried, "for I see that thou darest even worse
things against thyself than against me. I would bid thee go on and
prosper with thy courage wert thou a friend and not an enemy. And now I
send thee away free and unharmed." Then said Mucius, as though he would
make due return for such favour, "Hearken, O King; seeing that thou
canst pay due respect unto courage, I will tell thee freely that which
thou couldst never have wrung from me by threats. Three hundred youths
of Rome have banded themselves together with an oath that they will slay
thee as I would have slain thee. And because the lot fell to me I came
first of the three hundred, who all will follow, each in his own time,
according as the lot shall fall."

So Mucius departed; and men called him thereafter Scævola, or the
left-handed, because he had thus burned his right hand in the fire. No
long time after there came ambassadors from King Porsenna to Rome, for
the King was so moved not only by the peril that was past, but also by
that which was to come, so long as any of the three hundred yet lived,
that of his own accord he offered conditions of peace to the Romans.
And in these conditions he made mention of bringing back the Tarquins,
knowing indeed that the men of Rome would not allow it, but because he
was under promise to make such demand. As to other matters, he required,
the Romans consenting, that the land of the men of Veii should be given
back to them, and he would have hostages given to him if he should take
away his garrison from Janiculum.

To this also the Romans agreed by compulsion. So King Porsenna departed
from Rome; and the Senate gave to Mucius certain lands beyond the Tiber
that were called in time to come after his name.

And now were the women of Rome also stirred up to do bold deeds for
their country. For a certain maiden, Cloelia by name, that was one of
the hostages, the camp of the Etrurians having been pitched near unto
the Tiber, escaped from them that kept her, and swam across the river,
the whole troop of her companions following her. These she brought back
to the city and delivered safe to their kinsfolk.

[Illustration: Cloelia and her companions 136]

News of this deed being brought to the King he was at the first moved to
great wrath, and sent ambassadors to Rome who should demand the hostage
Cloelia to be restored; as for the others he cared little for them; but
afterwards, his wrath giving place to wonder, he cried, "Surely this
deed is greater even than the keeping of the bridge by Horatius, or the
burning of his right hand by Scævola. As for the treaty, I shall hold it
to be broken if the Romans give not up the hostage; but if she be given
up I will send her back unharmed to her own kindred." And so indeed it
was done, both parties keeping faith, for the Romans gave up Cloelia
as the treaty commanded, and the King judged valour to be worthy not of
safety alone but also of reward. "I will give thee," he said to her, "a
certain portion of the hostages: thou shalt choose whom thou wilt." Then
she chose such as were of tender age, not only because this best became
the modesty of a maiden, but because such would be in the greater peril
of harm. To her the Romans set up in the Sacred Road a statue, a maiden
sitting on horseback--a new honour, even as the valour that was so
honoured was new also.

So King Porsenna departed from Rome, and departing gave his camp, that
was full of all manner of good things, to the men of Rome, there being
great scarcity in the city by reason of the length of the siege. In the
next year he sent ambassadors yet once again who should deal with the
people of Rome about the bringing back of the King. To them was given
this answer, "that the Senators would send ambassadors about the
matter." These ambassadors, who were the chiefest men in the city, being
arrived, spake in this fashion: "We might have answered thy ambassadors,
O King, in very few words, saying that we take not back the King. But
we are come this day that there may never again be made mention of this
matter, lest there come out of it trouble both to thee and to us, if
thou shouldst ask that which would be against the liberty of the Roman
people, and we should be driven to refuse something to thee who would
gladly refuse thee nothing. The men of Rome are free and serve not
kings, and verily they would the sooner open their gates to their
enemies than to kings. And this is the mind of us all. That day which
shall make an end of our freedom shall make an end also of our city.
If therefore thou wouldst have us live, suffer us, we pray thee, to be

To this the King made answer in these words: "I will weary you no more
by asking that which ye may not grant, nor will I deceive the Tarquins
by show of help that it is not in me to give. As for them, whether
they be minded to have peace or war, let them seek for another place
of exile, that there come not anything to make mischief between you and

To these words he added much kindness in deeds, for he gave back such
of the hostages as yet remained with him; also he restored to the Romans
the land of the men of Veii that had been taken from them by the treaty
of Janiculum.

After this, King Tarquin took up his abode with Mamilius Octavius, his
son-in-law, that dwelt at Tusculum. And Mamilius stirred up the thirty
cities of Latium to make war against Rome. For five years he made great
preparations, and in the sixth year he set forth. And when the Romans
knew of his coming, they made Aulus Postumius Dictator. Now a dictator
was one that had the power, as it were, of a king in the city, only
he might not remain for a greater space than six months. And Postumius
chose Æbutius to be Master of the Horse, for the Master of the Horse
is next under the Dictator. These, having gathered together their army,
marched forth' and met the Latins hard by the Lake Regillus that is in
the land of Tusculum. And so soon as the Romans knew that King Tarquin
was in the army of the Latins, they were full of wrath and would fight
without more delay. Nor indeed was ever battle harder and fiercer than
this; for the chiefs contented themselves not with giving counsel how
it might best be ordered, but themselves fought together, so that scarce
one of them, save the Dictator only, came out of the battle unhurt.
First of all King Tarquin, for all that he was an old man whose force
was somewhat abated, when he saw the Dictator in the front ranks setting
his men in order and bidding them be of good cheer, set spurs to his
horse and rode against him; but some one smote him on the side as he
rode. Nevertheless, his own men running about him, he was carried back
alive into the host. On the other wing the Master of the Horse made at
Mamilius, prince of Tusculum. And when Mamilius saw him coming he also
spurred his horse against him, and the two came together with so great
force that Mamilius was wounded in the breast, and Æbutius was smitten
through the arm. Then the Master of the Horse, because his right arm was
wounded, and he could not hold a weapon in it, departed from the battle,
but Mamilius, caring nought for his wound, still stirred up the Latins
to fight; and because he perceived them to be somewhat troubled with
fear, he bade advance the company of exiles that had gone forth from
Rome with King Tarquin. Very fiercely did they fight, as men that had
been spoiled both of goods and country, and bare back the Romans a
space. And when Valerius that was brother to Publicola (than whom none
but Brutus only had been more zealous in driving out the King) saw the
King's son among the foremost of the exiles, he set spurs to his horse
and made at him with his spear. Nor did the young Tarquin abide his
coming, but turned his back, hiding himself in the company of the
exiles; and as Valerius pursued him and rode, taking no thought of what
he did, into the very ranks of the enemy, one smote him upon the side so
that he fell from his horse dying. And when the Dictator saw that so
brave a champion was dead, and that the exiles were pressing on more
fiercely and that the Romans gave place in great fear, he cried to the
company that followed him, "See that ye deal with any Roman that ye see
fleeing as with an enemy." Then they that fled, seeing this peril behind
them, stayed their steps and addressed themselves again to the battle.
But when Mamilius saw that the company of exiles was well nigh
surrounded by the Dictator and his men (for these were fresh and
vigorous), he brought up sundry companies from the reserve, and would
have assailed them. But Herminius, the same that kept the bridge over
Tiber along with Horatius against the army of King Porsenna, espied him
coming, and knew him for the Chief by his garments. He made at him with
all his might, and with one blow smote him through the side and slew
him. But while he stripped the body of its armour one of the Latins
thrust at him with a spear, and hurt him that he fell to the earth. Men
carried him back to the camp, but when they would have tended his wound
he died. Then the Dictator cried to the horsemen that followed him, "See
now how the foot soldiers are wearied out. Leap down therefore from off
your horses, and fight on foot." And when the foot soldiers saw them
leap down, they took courage again, and made forward against the Latins;
and these, after a while, turned their backs and fled. Then the Dictator
bade them bring again their horses for the horsemen, that they might the
more conveniently pursue the enemy. Also, that no help either from god
or man might be wanting, he made a vow to the Twin Brethren that he
would build them a temple, and he proclaimed that he would give rewards,
one to him who should be first in the camp of the enemy, and another to
him who should be second. So great, indeed, was the courage of the
soldiers that they took the camp of the Latins that very same hour. Thus
did the men of Rome put the Latins to flight at the Lake Regillus, and
the Dictator with the Master of the Horse returned in great triumph to


It came to pass about the space of fifty years after the driving out of
the kings that there arose great talk in Rome by reason of those that
were in debt, their creditors dealing harshly with them. For the law was
that if a man was in debt and had not wherewithal to pay, his creditor
could cast him into prison and scourge him, dealing with him in all ways
as with a slave. And when many of the people were already in this case,
and many more feared lest they should be so hereafter, neither was there
any hope of relief, because the rich men would not, for the most part,
relax a right that was their due, they took counsel how they might best
deliver themselves from this bondage. Now it chanced in a certain year
that the army, having put to flight all their enemies, and being now
returned to Rome, was bidden by the Consuls to set forth yet again to
the battle, for the Consuls feared lest the men, being discharged
from their service, should seek to make some change in the State. This
bidding they were not willing to obey. First they doubted whether they
should not slay the Consuls, thinking thus to be free from their oath;
but, considering that a man cannot free himself from an oath by such
ill-doing, they followed rather the counsel of a certain Sicinius, who
bade them depart from Rome as though they would build them a city of
their own. So they departed, marching to a certain place that men call
the Sacred Hill, that is distant from the city about three miles, and is
on the other side of the river Anio. There they made a camp with trench
and rampart, and abode in this place many days, doing nothing either for
good or evil. But when the nobles saw what had been done, they were in
great fear what this thing might mean, but doubted not that Rome must
be brought to destruction, unless the rich and the poor should be
reconciled the one to the other. Therefore they sent a certain Menenius
Agrippa, an eloquent man and dear to the Commons, as belonging to them
by birth, who should be their spokesman. So Agrippa, coming to the camp
and being admitted thereunto, spoke to the Commons this parable only;
for in those days men were not wont to make set speeches. "In old times
the members of man lived not together in such harmony as we now see to
be among them; but each member had his own counsel and his own speech.
All the other members therefore had great wrath against the belly,
because that all things were gained for it by their care and labour
and service, while it, remaining at rest in the midst of them all, did
nought but enjoy the pleasures provided for it Wherefore they conspired
that the hands should not carry food to the mouth, that the mouth should
not take that which was offered to it, nor the teeth chew it. So it came
to pass that while they would have subdued the belly by hunger, they
themselves and the whole body were brought to great extremity of
weakness. Then did it become manifest that the belly was not idle,
but had also an office and service of its own, feeding others, even as
itself was fed, seeing that it changed the food into that blood from
which we have life and vigour, and so sent it back into all parts of the
body. Consider then, and see how this wrath of the Commons against the
nobles is as the wrath of the members against the belly." With these
words he wrought upon the minds of the people so that they were willing
to be reconciled, certain conditions being granted, whereof the chief
was this, that the Commons should have officers of their own, tribunes
by name, whom no man might harm under pain of death, and who should
help the Commons, if need should arise, against the Consuls. Also it was
provided that no noble should hold this office forever. Now it fell out
not many days after these things that there arose a great famine in this
land, so that the slaves and not a few of the Commons also had perished,
but that the Consuls diligently gathered wheat from all places where it
could be bought. And it came to pass that there was brought much wheat
from the island of Sicily, and the Senators debated among themselves on
what terms it should be given to the people. Now there were some among
the nobles that took it very ill that the Commons should have officers
of their own, by whose help they might stand against the Consuls, and
the counsel of these was to use the occasion of this famine against
them. The chiefest of these was a certain Marcius, that was surnamed

How Marcius had won for himself this surname must now be told. The army
of the Romans besieged Corioli, that was a town of the Volsci; and while
they were busy with the siege, and thought only of the townsfolk that
were shut in the town, there came upon them of a sudden an army of the
Volscians from Antium, and at the same time the townsfolk sallied forth
from the city. Now Marcius chanced to be on guard, and he, having a
chosen band of soldiers with him, not only drave back them that had
sallied forth, but entered into the city by the gate that was opened to
receive them, slew them that were near, and set fire to such houses as
were near to the walls. And when the townsfolk set up a shout, and the
women and children cried out as is their wont in such alarm, the courage
of the Romans was greatly increased, and the Volscians were troubled,
thinking that the city to whose help they had come was already taken.
Thus did Corioli come into possession of the Romans, and men gave to
Marcius thereafter the surname of Coriolanus.

This Coriolanus therefore, being ill content that the Commons should
have tribunes, spake in the Senate in this manner: "If the people will
have such cheapness in corn as they had in old time, let them render
back to the Fathers such rights as they also in old times possessed. Why
should I see officers chosen from the multitude, and such a fellow as is
this Sicinius bearing rule? Should I endure such disgrace longer than I
needs must? If I would not endure King Tarquin, should I now endure King
Sicinius? Let him call the Commons, if he will, to the Sacred Hill. The
way thither--aye, and to other hills besides--is open if he would go.
They have made this dearth for themselves, suffering their lands to be
untilled; let them therefore enjoy what they have made."

This counsel seemed over harsh to the Senate; as for the Commons, it
wrought them to madness. "See now," they cried, "how they would subdue
us by hunger, even as though we were enemies! See how they would cheat
us even of food! Lo! there is come this wheat from the stranger, which
fortune has given us beyond all our hopes, and they would snatch it even
from our mouths, unless, forsooth, we hand over our tribunes bound hand
and foot to this Marcius, when they may work their will on the Commons
of Rome with their scourges. What a savage is this that has risen up in
our State, bidding us chose whether we will have slavery or death!" And
as Coriolanus went forth from the senate-house they would have taken his
life, but that the tribune named a day when he should stand his trial
before the people. When they heard this their wrath abated, knowing that
they had the power of life and death over their enemy.

Now at the first Coriolanus made light of the matter. "Who are these
tribunes," he would say, "that they venture on such matters? Succour
they may give to them that need it, but whence have they the power to
punish? And are they not tribunes of the Commons and not of the nobles?"
Notwithstanding, when the wrath of the people increased beyond all
measure, the Fathers perceived that they must let one man suffer for
all. For a while, indeed, they held their place, using all their power
if haply they might prevail. First, they would set their followers about
the city, who might prevent the Commons from holding assemblies, and so
bring the matter to nought. After they came forth all of them, so that
a man might have thought that all the Fathers were on their trial, using
prayers and supplications for Coriolanus. "If ye will not acquit him of
the charge, count him guilty indeed, but spare him for favour towards

When the day of trial was come, Coriolanus appeared not to answer, and
the wrath of the people was still fierce against him. Being condemned,
he was banished, and was to pass his exile among the Volscians, having
even now in his heart the spirit of an enemy against Rome.

The Volscians, indeed, bade him welcome right heartily; and their
goodwill towards him increased when they perceived what wrath he bore
against his native country. His host was a certain Attius Tullus, than
whom there was none among the Volscians either more powerful or more
hostile to Rome. So the two held counsel together how they might stir
up war. They knew, indeed, that the people could not easily be moved to
that which they had tried so often with ill success. For their spirits
were broken not only with many defeats which they had suffered in time
past from the men of Rome, but also from pestilence, which had of late
sorely troubled them. Nevertheless Attius had good hopes that he
might yet kindle their anger against the Romans; and this indeed he
accomplished, as shall now be told.

It chanced that in that year the great games at Rome were celebrated a
second time; and the reason why they were celebrated a second time
was this. On the day of the first celebration, early in the morning,
a certain householder drave one of his slaves through the marketplace,
beating him with rods. Afterwards the games began, and no man thought
that aught was amiss. But no long time after a certain Atinius, a man of
the people, dreamed a dream. He saw Jupiter, who spake to him saying,
"I liked not him that danced the first dance at my Games. Unless they be
celebrated again, and that right splendidly, there will be danger to the
city. And do thou go and tell this to the Consuls." Now the man was not
careless of the Gods, nevertheless because he stood in great fear of the
Consuls he went not, lest he should be laughed to scorn for idle words.
But this delay cost him dearly, for within a few days his son died.
And that he might not doubt what this great trouble might mean, the god
appeared to him yet again in a dream. "Hast thou had wages enough for
thy neglect of that which I commanded? Verily, thou shalt receive
yet more if thou tell not the matter straightway to the Consuls."
Nevertheless, though the matter was now more urgent, yet the man
delayed, and there fell upon him suddenly a great sickness and weakness.
Thereupon he called his kinsfolk together to counsel, and told them
all that he had seen and heard, how Jupiter had appeared to him in his
dream, and had threatened him with punishment, and what had thereupon
ensued When they heard these things, all with one consent agreed that
the man should be carried straightway in a litter to the market-place
into the presence of the Consuls. The Consuls commanded that he should
be taken into the senate-house, where, being set down, he related all
that had been told, to the great wonder of the Fathers. And when he
had finished speaking, lo! there followed another marvel. His sickness
departed from him in a moment, so that he that had been brought into the
senate-house without power to move any limb, now, having fulfilled the
command of the god, returned upon his feet to his own home.

The Senate, therefore, decreed that the Great Games should be celebrated
a second time with great pomp. To this festival there came, at the
bidding of Attius, a great company of the Volscians. But before the
beginning of the games Attius, having agreed with Coriolanus what should
be done, sought audience of the Consuls, saying that he would speak
with them of a matter of great moment to the State. To them, none others
being present, he said, "I like not to speak ill of my own countrymen.
Yet seeing that I have not to accuse them of aught that they have done
amiss, but rather to take care that they do it not, I will even speak my
mind. The Volscians are of too light and fickle temper. From this cause
we have already in time past suffered many things, so that in truth it
is of your long-suffering rather than of our well-deserving that we are
alive this day. Even now there is a great company of my people in this
city; ye, men of Rome, will be wholly occupied with these games. Now
I remember what on the like occasion was done in this place by certain
young men of the Sabines, and I am in some fear lest the Volscians
also should venture on a like misdeed. Of this, therefore, I give you
warning, not for your sakes only, but also for ours. As for myself, it
is my purpose to return straightway to my own home, lest something of
the guilt of my countrymen should fall also upon me."

So Attius departed. And when the Consuls had brought the matter before
the Senate, the Fathers, judging that they must take heed to that which
had been told on such authority, commanded that all the Volscians should
depart forthwith from the city. Thereupon criers were sent into all
parts making proclamation, "Let every Volscian depart hence before
nightfall." At the first, on the hearing of these words, as they
hastened each man to his lodgings, to take up such things as belonged
to him, there was great fear; and afterwards, when they were now setting
out on their journey, not the less anger. "What is this," said they,
"that we are driven forth from the presence of gods and men on a day of
festival as if we were polluted with crime?" Now Attius had gone before
them to the Fountain of Ferentina; and as each of the chief men of the
State came thither he spake with him about this matter, making loud
complaints and much display of wrath. And the chiefs gathered the people
together to an assembly in the plain ground that is beneath the road.
To whom Tullus spake, saying, "Though ye forget, ye Volscians, all the
wrong that the Romans have done to us in old times and all that we have
suffered at their hands, how will ye bear the scorn that hath been put
upon you this day, when they have begun their games by making sport of
us? Do ye not perceive that when ye departed in this fashion ye were
made a spectacle to citizens and strangers and all the nations round
about? What thought they that heard the voice of the crier? or they that
saw you depart? or they that met you as ye came hither in such unseemly
plight? What but this, that ye had done some great wickedness, wherefore
ye must be driven away from the gathering of gods and men lest your
presence should be a defilement? Is not this a city of enemies, wherein
if ye had tarried but one single day ye would all have suffered death?
They have declared war against you, and if ye are men they will suffer
no small loss therefrom."

Thus it was brought to pass that all the Volscians joined together
to make war against Rome. First they chose for leaders Attius and
Coriolanus, in whom indeed they trusted the more of the two. And indeed
they trusted rightly, as was proved in the end, so that it became
manifest that Rome had prevailed rather through the skilfulness of
leaders than the courage of armies. First Coriolanus came to Circeii,
that is hard by the sea, and drave out thence the Roman colonists, and
gave over the city to the Romans. After this he took many cities of the
Latins, and at the last pitched his camp five miles from Rome, sending
out thence those who might spoil the lands of the Romans. Only he gave
commandment that they should not spoil the lands of the nobles. And this
he did, either because he hated the Commons more than the nobles, or
that he would sow dissension between the two. This, indeed, he did
not, for a common fear bound them together. Yet there was so much of
disagreement that the nobles would have had recourse to war to rid them
of the enemy, but the Commons were urgent that they should rather
seek for conditions of peace. And this opinion prevailed. Ambassadors
therefore were sent to Coriolanus, to whom he gave this answer only:
"When ye shall have given back all their lands to the Volscians, then
may ye talk of peace. But if ye seek to enjoy in peace that which ye
took for yourselves by war, ye shall see that I forget neither what
wrong I suffered from my own people, nor what kindness I have received
from my hosts." And when the ambassadors were sent a second time he
would not suffer them to enter the camp. After them came the priests,
bearing the emblems of their office; nor did these prevail more than
the ambassadors. Then a great company of the women came to Veturia, the
mother of Coriolanus, and to Volumnia, that was his wife. But whether
they did this by consent of the rulers, or by prompting of their own
fear, cannot be affirmed for certain. These women then prevailed with
Veturia, though she was now well stricken in years, and with Volumnia,
that they should go to the camp to Coriolanus; and Volumnia carried with
her the two sons that she had borne to Coriolanus. These having come,
it was told the man that a great company of women was arrived. At the
first, indeed, he was not minded to yield to their tears that which
he had steadfastly refused to the ambassadors. But afterwards, when
a certain one of his friends, seeing Veturia stand together with her
daughter-inlaw and grandsons, said, "Unless my eyes deceive me, thy
mother and wife and children are here." Coriolanus, being greatly
troubled, leapt from his seat and would have embraced his mother. But
she, turning from supplication to anger, cried, "I would fain know,
before I receive thy embrace, whether I see a son or an enemy before me,
whether I am thy mother or a prisoner. Has long life been given me for
this, that I should see thee first an exile and afterwards an enemy?
Couldst thou bear to lay waste this land which gave thee birth and
nurture? Didst thou not think to thyself, seeing Rome, 'Within those
walls are my home, my mother, my wife, my children'? As for me I cannot
suffer more than I have already endured; nor doth there yet remain to me
a long space of life or of misery. But consider these thy children. If
thou art steadfast to work thy will, they must either die before their
time or grow old in bondage."

[Illustration: Coriolanus before his mother 162]

When she had ended these words, his wife and his children embraced him;
and at the same time the whole company of women set up a great wailing.
Thus was the purpose of Coriolanus against his country changed, and,
breaking up his camp, he led his army away. Some say that the Volscians
slew him for wrath that he let slip this occasion against Rome; but
others relate that he lived to old age, being wont to say, "There is no
man so unhappy as he that is old and also an exile."


Of the chief houses in Rome there was none greater than the house of
the Fabii; nor in this house any man of more valour and renown than a
certain Kæso. Good service had he done, more particularly against the
Etrurians, and thrice was he chosen consul. Now the third time that he
was so chosen he was urgent with the Fathers that they divide the land
that had been taken from the enemy as fairly as might be among the
Commons. For the tribunes of the Commons were wont, year after year, to
demand such division, and the counsel of Kæso was that the nobles should
be beforehand with them, giving them this boon of their own accord.
"Verily," he said, "it is well that they should have the land who
have won it by their own toil and by the shedding of their blood."
Nevertheless this counsel pleased not the nobles. "This Kæso," they
said, "was wise, but too great glory has turned his wisdom into folly."
For this cause Kæso was ill content, and was the more willing to take
such occasion as offered of serving his country elsewhere than at Rome.

Now the city of Veii, being ten miles only distant from Rome, was ever
at variance with it. Never was there peace between these two, neither
was there open war. When the Roman legions marched forth, the men of
Veii would flee before them and seek refuge in their city; but so soon
as they perceived that the legions had departed, then they would sally
forth and spoil the land of the Romans. These had other enemies also
with whom to deal; for the Æquians and the Volscians were content to be
quiet only till they should have recovered themselves from the loss they
had of late suffered, and the Sabines were always enemies, and all the
cities of Etruria were manifestly making ready for war.

These things being so, Kæso Fabius, the Consul, on behalf of the whole
house of the Fabii, spake thus to the Senate: "This war with the men of
Veii, as ye well know, Fathers, needeth not a great army, yet needeth
one that shall be ever at hand. With this, therefore, we that are of the
house of Fabius will deal; the others we leave to you. This will we wage
of our own strength and at our own cost, with some saving, we trust, of
men and money to the State." The Senate receiving these words with much
thankfulness, the Consul departed to his own house; the Fabii, who
had stood in the porch of the senate-house till the matter should
be settled, following him. Straightway the fame of the thing spread
throughout the city, and all men extolled the Fabii. "See now," they
said, "how this one family has undertaken the burden of the State. Had
we but two such houses besides who might undertake, this to do battle
with the Æquians and that with the Volscians, the city might remain at
peace and do its business quietly, while all the nations round about
should be subdued unto it." The next day the Fabii arm themselves for
battle, and assemble as Kæso had commanded. Then the Consul, coming
from his house with his soldiers cloak, upon his shoulders, saw all his
kindred drawn up in array before the porch. And when these had received
him into their midst, he bade them lift the standards. Never had there
passed through the city a smaller army, or one more renowned and admired
among men. Three hundred and six soldiers there were, nobles all of
them, all of one house, not one but might well have been a leader
of men. And after them followed a great crowd, first of kinsfolk and
friends, then of the other citizens, bidding them God speed in this
their enterprise. "Be bold." they cried, "and fortunate. Let the issue
of this undertaking be even as the beginning, and ye shall have from us
consulships and triumph, yea, and all honours that ye can desire." And
as the army passed by the Capitol they prayed to all the Gods that they
would guide it safely on its way and bring it back safely home. They
prayed to no purpose. Passing by that which men call the Unlucky Way,
through the right archway of the Gate of Carmenta, the Fabii went on
their way till they came to the river Cremera, thinking that to be a fit
place for building a fort.

For a while all things prospered with the Fabii in their dealings with
the men of Veii. And not only did they make incursions upon their lands
and carry off much booty, but fought set battles, not once or twice, but
many times; a single Roman house so winning victory over that which was
the wealthiest of all the cities of Etruria. Now this seemed to the men
of Veii a shameful thing, and one that was not to be endured. So they
began to take counsel how they might take this enemy by subtlety, and
perceived, not without joy, that the Fabii grew daily bolder by success.

So when the men went to gather booty they would cause that herds of
cattle came in their way, as though it had been by chance, and that
companies of soldiers, sent to hinder them from their plundering,
fled before them, making pretence of fear. And now the Fabii had such
contempt for the enemy that they thought themselves such as could never
be conquered at any place or time. In which confidence, seeing on a
certain day herds of cattle on the plain, they ran forth to drive them,
heeding not that they were distant from the fort a great space of plain.
And so, scattering themselves in thoughtless fashion, they passed a
place where the enemy had set an ambush, and busied themselves with the
cattle. Then all of a sudden the Etrurians rose up from the ambush, and
lo! there were enemies both before them and on all sides. These set up
a great shout and threw their javelins, still closing in upon them, so
that the Fabii also were compelled to gather themselves more and more
closely together, so making it the more evident how few they were in
comparison of them that were against them. After this they fought not as
before, turning every way against them that pressed upon them, but set
themselves with all their strength to gain one certain point--a hill
of no great height that stood hard by the road. And to this, by dint of
strength and plying their swords, they won their way, and made there
a stand for a while; nay more, because the higher ground gave them
breathing space and advantage, they drave back them that assailed them
from below. But after a time the men of Veii, climbing the ridge from
behind, took them in the rear, so that the enemy was again above them.
Thus all the Fabii were slain that day; and indeed the whole house had
perished, but that there had been left behind at Rome a youth not fully
grown to manhood. From him there sprang anew a race of Fabii that did
good service to Rome in perilous times, both at home and abroad.


In the seventy and third year after the driving out of the kings the
strife between the nobles and the Commons grew to be fierce beyond
measure; for on the one hand the Consuls would have levied an army to
make war with the Volscians, and this the tribunes hindered; and on the
other hand the tribunes sought to establish a law that should set bounds
to the power of the Consuls, and this law the nobles hindered that
it should not be passed. Now among the nobles (who were mostly of the
younger sort, for the elders held aloof from the matter) the chief mover
was one Kæso Quinctius, a youth of singular strength and courage, and
that had won for himself great renown in war. This man was wont to drive
the tribunes from the market-place and scatter the people, and when
Virginius, that was one of the tribunes, named a day on which he should
be brought to judgment for his misdeeds, he was not one whit dismayed,
but bare himself as haughtily as before. Meanwhile Virginius stirred
up the people, saying, "See ye not, men of Rome, that if ye suffer this
Kæso to dwell in this city, it cannot be that this law which ye desire
should be established? But why speak I of laws? This man is the enemy of
liberty itself; not King Tarquin himself was so haughty and violent. He
is a very king already; what think ye will he be if he be made consul
or dictator?" To these words many gave assent, complaining that Kæso had
beaten them, and were urgent with the tribune that he should carry the
matter to an end. Then it came to pass that, when the day of trial was
come, the people were of one mind that Kæso should be condemned.
Then, indeed, the young man and his kinsfolk and friends turned to
supplications and prayers. Titus Quinctius, that had been three times
consul, affirmed, "Never in the home of Quinctius, never verily in this
city of Rome, has there been a soldier of so ripe a courage. When I was
captain of the host, he was ever the first; with these eyes have I seen
him fighting against the enemy." Also Lucretius, that had been consul
the year before, winning great glory from the Volscians and Æquians,
testified that Kæso had helped him to conquer as none other had done;
and one Furius that he had delivered him and his army from great
peril of defeat As for Lucius Quinctius, his father, whose surname was
Cincinnatus, he sought not to magnify the valour and brave deeds of his
son, lest haply he should so stir up the more jealousy against him,
but sought to make excuse for him, as one who had erred for want of
discretion, beseeching men that, if he himself had wronged no man by
word or deed, so they would grant him for a favour the pardon of his
son. But nothing availed with the people, some fearing the wrath of
their fellows if they should give ear to such words, and some making
complaint that they had suffered violence from the hands of Kæso, and
affirming that they would be avenged of him for his misdeeds. Now of
all things that were alleged against him the most grievous was the
accusation brought by a certain Volscius that had once been tribune of
the Commons; for Volscius bare this witness against him: "Not many days
after the plague had ceased from the city, I, with others in my company,
fell in with certain young men, of whom this Kæso was one, disporting
themselves in the street. These fell out with us, and Kæso smote my
elder brother with the fist, so that he fell fainting to the ground,
being then not wholly recovered from the plague. And being carried home,
he died by noon, as I doubt not, of this blow. But when I would have
brought Kæso to judgment for this offence, the Consuls would not suffer
it." At the hearing of this tale the wrath of the Commons waxed so hot
that they could scarcely be kept from falling on Kæso and slaying him.
At the last, after much debate between the nobles and the tribunes, it
was agreed that the young man should appear the next day to make his
answer to these accusations, giving sureties in the meanwhile lest he
should fail to do so. Ten sureties he gave, and each was bound in
three thousand pounds of copper. So being suffered to depart from
the market-place, he departed that same night from Rome, going into
banishment among the Etrurians. As for his sureties, the money was
exacted from his father to the uttermost farthing, so that he was
compelled to sell all his goods, and to dwell in a mean cottage on the
other side of the Tiber.

It came to pass in the third year after these things that the Æquians
brake the treaty of peace which they had made with Rome, and, taking one
Gracchus Cloelius for their leader, marched into the land of Tusculum;
and when they had plundered the country thereabouts, and had gathered
together much booty, they pitched their camp on Mount Ægidus. To them
the Romans sent three ambassadors, who should complain of the wrong
done, and seek redress. But when they would have fulfilled their errand,
Gracchus the Æquian spake, saying, "If ye have any message from the
Senate of Rome, tell it to this oak, for I have other business to do;"
for it chanced that there was a great oak that stood hard by, and made
a shadow over the general's tent. Then one of the ambassadors, as he
turned to depart, made reply, "Yes, let this sacred oak and all the
gods that are in heaven hear how ye have wrongfully broken the treaty of
peace; and let them that hear help us also in the day of battle, when we
shall avenge on you the laws both of gods and of men that ye have set at

When the ambassadors had returned to Rome the Senate commanded that
there should be levied two armies; and that Minucius the consul should
march with the one against the Æquians on Mount Ægidus, and that the
other should hinder the enemy from their plundering. This levying the
tribunes of the Commons sought to hinder; and perchance had done so, but
there also came well-nigh to the walls of the city a great host of
the Sabines plundering all the country. Thereupon the people willingly
offered themselves, and there were levied forthwith two great armies.
Nevertheless when the consul Minucius had marched to Mount Ægidus, and
had pitched his camp not far from the Æquians, he did nought for fear of
the enemy, but kept himself within his entrenchments. And when the
enemy perceived that he was afraid, growing the bolder for his lack of
courage, they drew lines about him, keeping him in on every side. Yet
before that he was altogether shut up there escaped from his camp five
horsemen, that bare tidings to Rome how that the Consul, together with
his army, was besieged. The people were sorely dismayed to hear such
tidings; nor, when they cast about for help, saw they any man that might
be sufficient for such peril, save only Cincinnatus. By common consent,
therefore, he was made Dictator for six months, a thing that may well be
noted by those who hold that nothing is to be accounted of in comparison
of riches, and that no man may win great honour or show forth singular
virtue unless he be well furnished with wealth. For here in this great
peril of the Roman people there was no hope of safety but in one who was
cultivating with his own hand a little plot of scarcely three acres of
ground. For when the messengers of the people came to him they found him
ploughing, or, as some say, digging a ditch. When they had greeted each
the other, the messengers said, "May the Gods prosper this thing to
the Roman people and to thee. Put on thy robe and hear the words of the

[Illustation: Cincinnatus called to be Dictator 180]

Then said Cincinnatus, being not a little astonished, "Is all well?"
and at the same time he called to his wife Racilia that she should bring
forth his robe from the cottage. So she brought it forth, and the man
wiped from him the dust and the sweat, and clad himself in his robe, and
stood before the messengers. These said to him, "The people of Rome make
thee Dictator, and bid thee come forthwith to the city." And at the same
time they told how the Consul and his army were besieged by the Æquians.
So Cincinnatus departed to Rome; and when he came to the other side
of the Tiber there met him first his three sons, and next many of his
kinsfolk and friends, and after them a numerous company of the nobles.
These all conducted him to his house, the lictors, four and twenty
in number, marching before him. There was also assembled a very great
concourse of the people, fearing much how the Dictator might deal with
them, for they knew what manner of man he was, and that there was no
limit to his power, nor any appeal from him.

The next day before dawn the Dictator came into the market-place,
and appointed one Lucius Tarquinius to be Master of the Horse. This
Tarquinius was held by common consent to excel all other men in
exercises of war; only, though, being a noble by birth, he should have
been among the horsemen, he had served, for lack of means, as a foot
soldier. This done he called an assembly of the people and commanded
that all the shops in the city should be shut; that no man should
concern himself with any private business, but all that were of an age
to go to the war should be present before sunset in the Field of Mars,
each man having with him provisions of cooked food for five days, and
twelve stakes. As for them that were past the age, they should prepare
the food while the young men made ready their arms and sought for the
stakes. These last they took as they found them, no man hindering
them; and when the time appointed by the Dictator was come, all were
assembled, ready, as occasion might serve, either to march or to give
battle. Forthwith they set out, the Dictator leading the foot soldiers
by their legions, and Tarquinius the horsemen, and each bidding them
that followed make all haste. "We must needs come," they said, "to our
journey's end while it is yet night. Remember that the Consul and his
army have been besieged now for three days, and that no man knows what
a day or a night may bring forth." The soldiers themselves also were
zealous to obey, crying out to the standard-bearers that they should
quicken their steps, and to their fellows that they should not lag
behind. Thus they came at midnight to Mount Ægidus, and when they
perceived that the enemy was at hand they halted the standards. Then the
Consul rode forward to see, so far as the darkness would suffer him, how
great was the camp of the Æquians and after what fashion it was pitched.
This done he commanded that the baggage should be gathered together into
a heap, and that the soldiers should stand every man in his own place.
After this he compassed about the whole army of the enemy with his own
army, and commanded that at a set signal every man should shout, and
when they had shouted should dig a trench and set up therein the stakes.
This the soldiers did, and the noise of the shouting passed over the
camp of the enemy and came into the city, causing therein great joy,
even as it caused great fear in the camp. For the Romans cried, "These
be our countrymen, and they bring us help." Then said the Consul, "We
must make no delay. By that shout is signified, not that they are come
only, but that they are already dealing with the enemy. Doubtless the
camp of the Æquians is even now assailed from without. Take ye your arms
and follow me." So the legion went forth, it being yet night, to the
battle, and as they went they shouted, that the Dictator might be aware.
Now the Æquians had set themselves to hinder the making of a ditch and
rampart which should shut them in; but when the Romans from the camp
fell upon them, fearing lest these should make their way through the
midst of their camp, they left them that were with Cincinnatus to finish
their entrenching, and fought with the Consul. And when it was now
light, lo! they were already shut in, and the Romans, having finished
their entrenching, began to trouble them. And when the Æquians perceived
that the battle was now on either side of them, they could withstand
no longer, but sent ambassadors praying for peace, and saying, "Ye have
prevailed; slay us not, but rather permit us to depart, leaving our arms
behind us." Then said the Dictator, "I care not to have the blood of the
Æquians. Ye may depart, but ye shall depart passing under the yoke, that
ye may thus acknowledge to all men that ye are indeed vanquished." Now
the yoke is thus made. There are set up in the ground two spears, and
over them is bound by ropes a third spear. So the Æquians passed under
the yoke.

In the camp of the enemy there was found abundance of spoil. This the
Dictator gave wholly to his own soldiers. "Ye were well-nigh a spoil to
the enemy," said he to the army of the Consul, "therefore ye shall
have no share in the spoiling of them. As for thee, Minucius, be thou a
lieutenant only till thou hast learnt how to bear thyself as a consul."
Meanwhile at Rome there was held a meeting of the Senate, at which it
was commanded that Cincinnatus should enter the city in triumph, his
soldiers following him in order of march.

Before his chariot there were led the generals of the enemy; also the
standards were carried in the front; and after these came the army,
every man laden with spoil. That day there was great rejoicing in the
city, every man setting forth a banquet before his doors in the street.

After this, Volscius, that had borne false witness against Kæso, was
found guilty of perjury, and went into exile. And when Cincinnatus
saw that justice had been done to this evil-doer, he resigned his
dictatorship, having held it for sixteen days only.


It was agreed between the nobles and the Commons that, to make an end
of disputing about the laws, ambassadors should be sent into Greece, and
especially to Athens (which city and its lawgiver, Solon, were held in
high repute in those days), to learn what manner of laws and customs
they had, and to bring back a report of them. And when the ambassadors
had brought back their report, it seemed good to the people that in the
following year there should be appointed neither consuls nor any other
magistrate, but decemvirs only; that is to say, ten men, who should set
in order the laws of Rome. Thus it came to pass in the ninety and first
year from the driving out of the kings, that decemvirs were appointed in
the stead of consuls, Appius Claudius being the chief of the ten.

For a while these pleased the people well, doing justice equally
between man and man. And the custom was that each day one of the ten sat
as judge with the twelve lictors about him, the nine others sitting with
one minister only. Also they busied themselves with the ordering of the
laws; and at last set forth ten tables on which these were written. At
the same time they called the people together to an assembly, and spake
to them thus: "The Gods grant that this undertaking may turn to the
credit of the State, and of you, and of your children. Go, therefore,
and read these laws which we have set forth; for though we have done
what ten men could do to provide laws that should be just to all,
whether they be high or low, yet the understandings of many men may yet
change many things for the better. Consider therefore all these matters
in your own minds, and debate them among yourselves. For we will that
the Roman people should be bound by such laws only as they shall have
agreed together to establish."

The ten tables were therefore set forth, and when these had been
sufficiently considered, and such corrections made therein as seemed
good, a regular assembly of the people was called, and the laws were
duly established. But now there was spread abroad a report that two
tables were yet wanting, and that when these should have been added the
whole would be complete; and thence there arose a desire that the Ten
should be appointed to hold office a second year. This indeed was done;
but Appius Claudius so ordered matters that there were elected together
with him none of the chief men of the State, but only such as were of an
inferior condition and fortune.

After this the Ten began more and more to set aside all law and right.
Thus whereas at the first one only on each day was followed by the
twelve lictors, each of the ten came daily into the market-place so
attended; and whereas before the lictors carried bundles of rods only,
now there was bound up with the rods an axe, whereby was signified the
power of life and death. Their actions also agreed with this show, for
they and their ministers plundered the goods and chattels of the people.
Some also they scourged, and some they beheaded. And when they had so
put a man to death, they would divide his substance among those that
waited upon them to do their pleasure.

Among their misdeeds two were especially notable. There was a certain
Sicinius in the host, a man of singular strength and courage, who took
it ill that the Ten should thus set themselves above all law, and was
wont to say to his comrades that the Commons should depart from the city
as they had done in time past, or should at the least make them tribunes
to be their champions as of old. This Sicinius the Ten sent on before
the army, there being then war with the Sabines, to search out a place
for a camp; and with him they sent certain others, bidding them slay him
when they should have come to some convenient place. This they did, but
not without suffering much loss; for the man fought for his life and
defended himself, slaying many of his enemies. Then they that escaped
ran into the camp, saying that Sicinius had fallen into an ambuscade,
and had died along with certain others of the soldiers. At the first,
indeed, this story was believed; but afterwards, when, by permission of
the Ten, there went some to bury the dead, they found that none of the
dead bodies had been spoiled, and that Sicinius lay with his arms in the
midst, the others having their faces towards him; also that there was
no dead body of an enemy in the place, nor any track as of them that had
gone from the place; for which reasons they brought back tidings that
Sicinius had certainly been slain by his own comrades. At this there was
great wrath in the camp; and the soldiers were ready to carry the body
of Sicinius to Rome, but that the Ten made a military funeral for him at
the public cost. So they buried Sicinius with great lamentation; but the
Ten were thereafter in very ill repute among the soldiers.

Again, there was a certain centurion, Lucius Virginius by name, an
upright man and of good credit both at home and abroad. This Virginius
had a daughter, Virginia, a very fair and virtuous maiden, whom he
had espoused to a certain Icilius that had once been a tribune of the
Commons. On this maiden Appius Claudius, the chief of the Ten, sought to
lay hands, and for this end gave commandment to one Marcus Claudius, who
was one of the clients of his house, that he should claim the girl for
a slave. On the morrow therefore as Virginia passed across the
market-place, being on her way to school (for the schools in those days
were held in the market-place), this Claudius seized her, affirming that
she was born of a woman that was a slave, and was therefore by right
a slave herself. The maiden standing still for fear, the nurse that
attended her set up a great cry and called the citizens to help.
Straightway there was a great concourse, for many knew the maiden's
father Virginius, and Icilius to whom she was betrothed. Then said
Claudius, seeing that he could not take her by force, "There is no
need of tumult or of gathering a crowd. I would proceed by law, not by
force." Thereupon he summoned the girl before the judge. When they came
to the judgment-seat of Appius the man told a tale that had already
been agreed upon between the two. "This girl," he said, "was born in
my house, and was thence secretly taken to the house of Virginius,
and passed off on the man as his daughter. Of this I will bring proof
sufficient, such as will convince Virginius himself, who doubtless has
received the chief wrong in this matter. But in the meanwhile it is
reasonable that the slave should remain in the house of her master." To
this the friends of the girl made answer, "Virginius is absent on the
service of the State, and will be here within the space of two days, if
tidings of this matter be sent to him. Now it is manifestly wrong that
judgment concerning a man's children should be given while he is himself
absent. Let the cause, therefore, be postponed till he come. Meanwhile
let the maiden have her freedom according to the law which Appius and
his fellows have themselves established."

Appius gave sentence in these words: "That I am a favourer of freedom
is manifest from this law of which ye make mention. Yet this law must
be observed in all cases and without respect of persons; and as to this
girl, there is none but her father only to whom her owner may yield
the custody of her. Let her father therefore be sent for; but in the
meanwhile Claudius must have custody of her, as is his right, only
giving security that he will produce her on the morrow."

At this decree, so manifestly unrighteous was it, there was much
murmuring, yet none dared to oppose it, till Numitorius, the girl's
uncle, and Icilius came forth from the crowd. The lictor cried,
"Sentence has been given," and bade Icilius give place. Then Icilius
turned to Appius, saying, "Appius, thou must drive me hence with the
sword before thou canst have thy will in this matter. This maiden is my
espoused wife; and verily, though thou call hither all thy lictors and
the lictors of thy colleagues, she shall not remain in any house save
the house of her father."

To this Appius, seeing that the multitude was greatly moved and were
ready to break forth into open violence, made this reply: "Icilius cares
not for Virginia, but being a lover of sedition and tumult, seeks an
occasion for strife. Such occasion I will not give him to-day. But that
he may know that I yield not to his insolence, but have regard to the
rights of a father, I pronounce no sentence. I ask of Marcus Claudius
that he will concede something of his right, and suffer surety to be
given for the girl against the morrow. But if on the morrow the father
be not present here, then I tell Icilius and his fellows that he who is
the author of this law will not fail to execute it. Neither will I call
in the lictors of my colleagues to put down them that raise a tumult.
For this my own lictors shall suffice."

So much time being thus gained, it seemed good to the friends of the
maiden that the son of Numitorius and the brother of Icilius, young men
both of them and active, should hasten with all speed to the camp, and
bring Virginius thence as quickly as might be. So the two set out, and
putting their horses to their full speed, carried tidings of the matter
to the father. As for Appius, he sat awhile on the judgment-seat,
waiting for other business to be brought before him, for he would not
have it seem that he had come for this cause only; but finding that
there was none, and indeed the people were wholly intent on the matter
of Virginia, he departed to his own house. Thence he sent an epistle to
his colleagues that were at the camp, saying, "Grant no leave of absence
to Virginius, but keep him in safe custody with you." But this availed
nothing, for already, before ever the epistle was brought to the camp,
at the very first watch of the night, Virginius had set forth.

When Virginius was come to the city, it being then early dawn, he put on
mean apparel, as was the custom with such as were in danger of life or
liberty, and carried about his daughter, who was clad in like manner,
praying all that he met to help and succour him. "Remember," said he,
"that day by day I stand fighting for you and for your children against
your enemies. But what shall this profit you or me if, this city being
safe, nevertheless our children stand in peril of slavery and shame?"
Icilius spake in like manner, and the women (for a company of matrons
followed Virginia) wept silently, stirring greatly the hearts of all
that looked upon them. But Appius, so set was his heart on evil, heeded
none of these things; but so soon as he had sat him down on the seat of
judgment, and he that claimed the girl had said a few words complaining
that right had not been done to him, he gave his sentence; suffering
not Virginius to speak. What pretence of reason he gave can scarce be
imagined, but the sentence (for this only is certain) was that the girl
should be in the custody of Claudius till the matter should be decided
by law. But when Claudius came to take the maiden, her friends and all
the women that bare her company thrust him back. Then said Appius, "I
have sure proof, and this not from the violence only of Icilius, but
from what is told to me of gatherings by night in the city, that there
is a purpose in certain men to stir up sedition. Knowing this I have
come hither with armed men; not to trouble quiet citizens, but to punish
such as would break the peace of the State. Such as be wise, therefore,
will keep themselves quiet. Lictor, remove this crowd, and make room for
the master that he may take his slave." These words he thundered forth
in great anger; and the people, when they heard them, fell back in fear,
so that the maiden stood without defence. Then Virginius, seeing that
there were none to help him, said to Appius, "I pray thee, Appius, if
I have said aught that was harsh to thee, that thou wilt pardon it,
knowing how a father must needs suffer in such a case. But now suffer me
to enquire somewhat of this woman that is the girl's nurse, that I may
know what is the truth of the matter. For if I have been deceived in
the matter, and am not in truth father to the girl, I shall be more
content." Then, Appius giving permission, he led his daughter and her
nurse a little space aside, to the shops that are by the temple of
Cloacina, and snatching a knife from a butcher's, said, "My daughter,
there is but this one way that I can make thee free," and he drave the
knife into her breast.

[Illustration: The death of Virginia 200]

Then he looked back to the judgment-seat and cried, "With this blood,
Appius, I devote thee and thy life to perdition." There went up a great
cry from all that stood there when they saw so dreadful a deed, and
Appius commanded that they should seize him. But no man laid hands on
him, for he made a way for himself with the knife that he carried in his
hand, and they that followed defended him, till he came to the gate of
the city.

Then Icilius and Numitorius took up the dead body of the maiden and
showed it to the people, saying much of the wickedness of him who had
driven a father to do such a deed, and much also of the liberty which
had been taken from them, and which, if they would only use this
occasion, they might now recover. As for Appius, he cried out to his
lictors that they should lay hands on Icilius, and when the crowd
suffered not the lictors to approach, would himself have made a way
to him, by the help of the young nobles that stood by him. But now the
crowd had leaders, themselves also nobles, Valerius and Horatius. These
said, "If Appius would deal with Icilius according to law we will be
securities for him; if he mean to use violence, we are ready to meet
him." And when the lictor would have laid hands on these two the
multitude brake his rods to pieces. Then Appius would have spoken to
the people, but they clamoured against him, so that at last, losing all
courage and fearing for his life, he covered his head and fled secretly
to his own house.

Meanwhile Virginius had made his way to the camp, which was now on Mount
Vecilius, and stirred up the army yet more than he had stirred the city.
"Lay not to my charge," he said, "that which is in truth the wickedness
of Appius; neither turn from me as from the murderer of my daughter. Her
indeed I slew, thinking that death was better than slavery and shame;
nor indeed had I survived her but that I hoped to avenge her death
by the help of my comrades." Others also that had come from the city
persuaded the soldiers; some saying that the power of the Ten was
overthrown, and others that Appius had gone of his own accord into
banishment. These words so prevailed with the soldiers that, without any
bidding from their generals, they took up their arms, and, with their
standards carried before them, came to Rome and pitched their camp on
the Aventine.

Nevertheless, the Ten were still obstinate, affirming that they would
not resign their authority till they had finished the work for which
they had been appointed, namely, the drawing up of the twelve tables
of the laws. And when the army perceived this they marched from the
Aventine and took up their abode on the Sacred Hill, all the Commons
following them, so that there was not left in the city a single man that
had ability to move; nor did the women and children stay behind, but
all, as many as could move, bare them company; for Duilius, that had
been tribune, said, "Unless the Senate see the city deserted, they will
take no heed of your complaints." And indeed, when these perceived what
had taken place, they were more urgent than before that the Ten should
resign their office. And these at last consented; "Only," said they, "do
not suffer us to perish from the rage of the Commons. It will be an
ill day for the nobles when the people shall learn to take vengeance on
them." And the Senate so wrought that though at the first the Commons in
their great fury demanded that the Ten should be burned alive, yet they
were persuaded to yield, it being agreed that each man should be judged
by the law according to his deserts. Appius, therefore, was accused
by Virginius, and being cast into prison, slew himself before the day
appointed for the trial. Oppius also, another of the Ten, whom the
Commons hated for his misdeeds next after Appius, was accused and died
in like manner. As for Claudius, that had claimed Virginia for his
slave, he was condemned to be banished. And thus at the last, the guilty
having been punished, the spirit of Virginia had rest.


In the three hundred and forty-eighth year after the building of the
city, the truce that had been for now nearly twenty years with the men
of Veii being ended, ambassadors and heralds were sent thither to demand
satisfaction for injuries received. So coming to the border of the land
they encountered an embassy from Veii journeying to Rome. These
made request that the Romans should not go to Veii before that they
themselves had had audience of the Senate. Such audience they had,
and obtained their petition; to wit, that satisfaction should not be
demanded that year, because they were much troubled by strife among
themselves. But in the year following there was war. For when the
ambassadors came from Rome making the same demand for restitution as
before, the men of Veii made answer to them in these words: "Make haste
and depart from the land, else we will give you such answer as Lars
Tolumnius gave to your fellows."

Now the story of Lars Tolumnius is this. Fidenæ, that was a colony of
Rome, revolted to Veii, of which city Lars Tolumnius was king in those
days. And when the Romans sent ambassadors enquiring of the men of the
city why they had done this thing, the ambassadors were put to death;
and this was done, it was said, at the bidding of Tolumnius. But some
have sought to excuse Tolumnius in this fashion. They say that he was
playing at dice, and that when the men of Fidenæ came to him
asking, "Shall we do well to slay these ambassadors of Rome?" he
said, "Excellently," not hearing what they said, but thinking only of
the dice and of his game, for he had at the very moment thrown most
fortunately. But it cannot be believed that in so great a matter he
should have been so careless. This Lars Tolumnius was slain afterwards
by Cornelius Cossus in single combat, and his spoils were dedicated in
the temple of Jupiter, hard by the spoils which King Romulus won from
the King of Cære.

When this answer was brought back to Rome, the Senate would have war
declared against Veii without delay; but the people murmured, saying,
"We have enough to do already with the Volscians, and why will ye have
another war with the men of Veii, who will stir up all the Etrurians
against you?" The tribunes took occasion by this to hinder the matter,
and the war was delayed.

The next year there was war with the Volscians, and Anxur, one of their
chief cities, was taken, and the spoil was given to the soldiers. They
were greatly pleased with this bounty, and yet more when it was ordained
that thereafter the soldiers should have pay from the public treasury.
And now it was resolved, none opposing, that war should be declared
against Veii, for which war a great army was levied forthwith, the
greater part of the soldiers offering themselves of their own free will.
Thus it came to pass that in the three hundred and fiftieth year after
the building of the city, Veii was shut in.

In the third year of the siege the men of Veii, being weary of the
strife which troubled them year by year in the choosing of their
magistrates, made for themselves a king. But this thing was a grievous
offence to the other Etrurians, who hated not so much kingship as the
man who had been chosen to be king. The cause of which hatred was this,
that the man, being angry because, by the vote of the twelve nations of
the Etrurians, another had been preferred before him to be high priest,
had caused their yearly festival to be broken off in the midst, a thing
which the Etrurians, than whom was never a people more scrupulous in
matters of religion, judged to be most impious. This thing he did by
taking away the actors of plays, who were for the most part his own
slaves. And now the whole nation, being assembled in council, decreed
that no help should be given to the men of Veii so long as they should
be under the rule of a king. But of this decree no mention was made in
Veii, for the King gave out that if any man talked of such matters he
should be held guilty of sedition. Nevertheless the Romans, fearing
lest the purpose of the Etrurians might suffer a change, made the
fortifications wherewith they had shut in the city to be double, having
one face against such sallies as the townsmen might make, and the other
turned towards Etruria, if perchance help should come thence to the

In this year also, because the Romans hoped to take the city by siege
rather than by assault, winter quarters, a wholly new thing in those
days, were begun to be built; and it was decreed that the army should
abide before the city continually, not departing, as the custom had
been, at the beginning of the winter. About this there was great debate
at Rome, the tribunes protesting that the nobles had invented this
device against liberty, contriving that the better part of the Commons
should thus be kept away perpetually from the city; while the nobles
on the other hand protested by the mouth of Appius Claudius, son of the
decemvir, that in no other way could this war be brought to an end, for
that it was a grievous waste of time and labour that the works which
had been made with so much toil in the summer should be destroyed or
suffered to perish in the winter. "The love of sport," said he, "takes
them that hunt to the mountains, where they suffer frost and rain
without complaint, and shall our soldiers be less enduring when they
fight for their country? And if the Greeks were content, for the sake of
a woman, to besiege the city of Troy for ten years without ceasing,
and that far from their country and beyond the sea, shall we refuse to
remain for the space of a year before a city which is not so much as
twenty miles distant?"

While this matter was debated at Rome, the people inclining, for the
most part, to Appius rather than to the tribunes, there came such
tidings from Veii as made all men agree that the city must be attacked
with all steadfastness and energy. The works of the besiegers were now
pushed forward well-nigh to the walls, and the minds of all being wholly
given to the finishing of them, it followed, that though they were
diligently advanced in the day, they were the less carefully watched by
night. The townsfolk perceiving this, a great multitude of men issued
forth from the gates carrying torches in their hands, and set fire to
the works, consuming in a very brief space of time that which had been
finished after many months. Not a few also of them that would have
stayed the burning perished either by fire or by the sword. When
these tidings were brought to them the city was greatly disturbed.
Nevertheless the matter turned to the public good. First they that had
the dignity of horsemen in the State, but were not called to serve, came
forward saying that they would serve, finding horses at their own cost;
likewise a great multitude of the people offered themselves to serve as
foot soldiers. Thus was there raised a great army, which, marching to
Veii, not only restored that which had been destroyed by fire, but also
made works that were larger and stronger by far.

In the fourth year of the siege the Romans suffered no small loss.
First Anxur was lost, the garrison being surprised by the Volscians, and
afterwards there followed great reverses at Veii. The men of Capena and
Falerii came to the help of Veii, judging that if this city should be
taken they themselves would be the next to perish. These fought against
a certain part of the Romans, and at the same time the townsfolk sallied
from the gates. And when help should have been given to them from the
other part of the camp, because there was a strife between the generals,
none such was sent; for the one said, "If my colleague be in need of
help he will ask for it," and the other, for pride and jealousy, had
rather be conquered by the enemy than conquer by aid of one whom he
loved not. So it came to pass that Sergius (for he it was whom the men
of Capena and Falerii had attacked) with his soldiers left the works
and fled, some escaping to the other camp, but the greater part making
escape to Rome.

In the seventh year of the siege there happened many marvels. Of these,
for the most part? men took little count; but one seemed especially
noteworthy, to wit, that the water of the lake of Alba rose to such a
height as had never been seen before, and this without great rains
or any other cause which might make the thing less to be wondered at.
Messengers therefore were sent to the oracle of Delphi to enquire of
the god what this might portend. But the Romans found, for so fate would
have it, an interpreter of the marvel that was nearer at hand than the
oracle of Apollo. As the Roman soldiers and the soldiers of Veii talked
together at the outposts, a certain old man, an Etrurian, chanted in the
fashion that prophets use this verse--

     "Ne'er till the depths of Alba's lake be drained
     Shall Veii's walls by Roman arms be gained."

Of these words none at first took any heed, but afterwards some began
to doubt what they might mean. A certain Roman therefore enquired of
the townsfolk (for the siege having now endured for many years there
had grown up acquaintance between them) who the man might be that had
chanted this prophecy. And when he heard he was a soothsayer, he spake
to him, saying that he would fain have some talk with him, for that
there had happened to himself a certain marvel, and he desired to know
how he might rightly deal with it. So the two went to a certain place by
themselves, neither of them carrying arms. Then the Roman (for he was a
young man and of great strength) caught up the Etrurian in his arms and
carried him away to the camp, the Etrurians not being able to hinder
him. So they brought the soothsayer to the general, and the general sent
him to the Senate; and when the Senate enquired of him what it was that
he had prophesied concerning the lake of Alba, the old man answered,
"Surely the Gods were wroth with Veii that day when they put it into my
mind to betray the thing which by the ordering of fate must bring about
the destruction of the city. Nevertheless I cannot recall that which I
once uttered by divine inspiration so that it should be as if it were
unsaid; and perchance there is no less wickedness in concealing that
which the immortal Gods would have revealed than in uttering that which
they would have concealed. Know therefore that in the books of fate and
in the lore of the Etrurians it is written that if ever the water of the
lake of Alba shall increase, the Romans, draining it off in due manner,
shall prevail over the men of Veii, but that before that shall have been
done, the Gods will not desert the walls of the city." And when he had
said this he expounded to them what the due manner of draining off
the water might be. Nevertheless because the man seemed to be of small
authority, upon whom it would not be well to trust in so great a matter,
the Senate determined that messengers should be sent to enquire of the
god at Delphi. In the ninth year of the war these messengers returned,
bringing back this answer from the god.

     "Let not imprisoned chafe the Alban Lake,
     Nor yet to sea its wilful passage take;
     Draw high its gates, but in the boundless plain
     Disperse its power, its pride of speed refrain;
     Then mount the breach, for then by Heaven's decree
     Long-leaguered Veii, Roman, yields to thee.
     Thy warfare done, throng thankful to the shrine,
     Repair thy great default, and pay me that is mine."

When this answer was had the Etrurian soothsayer was held in great
honour, and the magistrates sought his help that all things might be
done duly and in order. Especially they desired to know what rites had
been neglected, and what solemnity left unperformed. As to this they
discovered that magistrates not appointed according to due order had
kept profanely the yearly festival of the Latins on the hills of Alba.
It was commanded therefore that these should resign their office and
that all things should be done afresh.

In the meanwhile there was held a council of the tribes of the Etrurians
at the temple of Voltumna, and when the men of Capena and of Falerii
demanded that the whole nation should join their forces with one
consent, and deliver Veii from being besieged, they were thus answered:
"Before we denied our aid to the men of Veii because they had not asked
our counsel in a matter wherein such counsel was most needed. But now it
is not we but our necessities that deny it, and especially in this part
of Etruria, for there is come hither among us a strange people even the
Gauls, with whom we have neither sure peace nor open war."

And now in the tenth year the games and the great festival of the Latins
had been celebrated anew, and the water had been drained off from the
lake of Alba, and the day was drawing near when Veii should perish. And
because there seemed but one man whom the Gods were keeping to do this
work for Rome, Furius Camillus was chosen Dictator, and Camillus chose
Cornelius Scipio to be Master of the Horse. And now the general being
changed, all things beside seemed to be changed also. First Camillus
went to the camp that he might encourage the soldiers; and afterwards
he raised a new army in the city, neither did any man draw back from
the service. The warriors also of the Latins and of the Hernici came
offering help, to whom the Senate gave public thanks. Then the Dictator
vowed that he would celebrate the Great Games when Veii should have been
taken; also he vowed to build anew and dedicate the temple of Mother
Matuta, which temple King Servius Tullius dedicated at the first. And so
setting forth, and putting to flight on his way the men of Falerii and
of Capena, he came to Veii. There he strengthened the works, shutting up
the enemy more closely than before. Also he commanded that a mine should
be driven under the very citadel of the town. And that this might not be
interrupted on the one hand, nor they that did it spent with labour on
the other, he divided them that made the mine into six companies, and
commanded that each company should labour for six hours. So the work was
carried on without ceasing both by night and by day, till the mine was
driven into the citadel.

After this, seeing that victory was now in his hands, and considering
also that he was about to capture a very wealthy city, wherein was
such spoil as had never before been taken in all the wars of the Roman
people, he feared lest the soldiers should be provoked to anger if he
should seem to grudge them the booty, or the Senate blame him if he
should be too bountiful. Whereupon he wrote a letter in these words:
"The favour of the Gods and my own counsels and the valour of the
soldiers have brought it to pass that Veii will soon be in the
possession of the Roman people. What then, think ye, should be done with
the spoil?" On this matter there was great debate in the Senate; but at
the last it seemed good that proclamation should be made to the people:
"Whosoever will have a share in the spoil of Veii, let him go to the
camp to the Dictator."

This proclamation having been made, a vast multitude set forth, so that
the camp was filled from the one end to the other. Then the Dictator,
after duly performing sacrifice, commanded the soldiers that they should
arm themselves. Afterwards he prayed, speaking these words, "Apollo,
God of Delphi, by whose guidance and bidding I have come to destroy this
city of Veii, to thee I vow a tenth part of the spoil. And do thou also,
Queen Juno, that now dwellest in Veii, follow us, I pray thee, to Rome,
that is now our city and shall soon be thine, where also thou shalt have
a temple worthy of thy magnificence."

When he had thus prayed, seeing that he had an exceedingly great
multitude of men, he attacked the city on all sides at the same time,
because the inhabitants would be thus at less leisure to observe the
peril that was threatening them from the mine. As to the men of Veii,
they knew not that the oracles of the stranger, yea, that their own
prophets, had betrayed them, that the gods of their land were even now
looking to dwell in the temples of Rome, and that even now their
last day had come; neither did they think that their walls had been
undermined, and that their very citadel was full of enemies. With
good heart, therefore, they took up their arms and ran to the walls,
marvelling what strange fury was this that drave the Romans to attack
them thus suddenly, seeing that now for many days none had moved in the
outposts. And some tell this story: that as the king of Veii was doing
sacrifice, an augur that stood by cried aloud, "To him that shall cut in
pieces the inwards of this victim shall be given the victory;" and
that the Roman soldiers, being in the mine below, heard the words, and
breaking open the mine, laid hands on the victim, and carried it to the
Dictator. But whether this be true or no, no man can say; nevertheless
it is certain that at the time appointed a great company of men, chosen
for this end, suddenly came forth from the mine, in the temple of Juno,
which was in the citadel. Of these some took the enemy in the rereward
as they stood upon the walls, and some drew back the bolts of the gates;
and others, seeing that the women and slaves were casting stones and
tiles from the roofs of the houses, began to set fire to the city. And
now, the armed men being driven from off the wall and the gates being
thrown open, there ran in many from the host that was without. And now
there was fighting in all the streets and squares of the city, and
many were slain; till, the men of Veii growing feeble, the Dictator
proclaimed that all such as did not bear arms should be spared. After
this there was no more bloodshed; the inhabitants threw down their arms
and surrendered themselves; and the soldiers, the Dictator permitting
them, scattered to gather spoil. And when the Dictator saw how great
was the spoil and of how precious things, being far beyond all hope and
expectation, he lifted up his hands to heaven and prayed, saying, "If
the good fortune of the Roman people seem over great to any god or man,
I pray that such jealousy may be appeased by my own loss rather than by
the damage of the State." But as he turned him after making this prayer
he stumbled and fell. And this omen was judged by them that interpreted
it by the things that followed, to look first to the condemnation of
Camillus by the people, and second to the great overthrow of the city at
the hands of the Gauls; both of which things will be related hereafter.

This day, therefore, was spent in the subduing of the enemy and in the
plundering of the city; and never indeed was city more wealthy. The next
day the Dictator sold by public auction all the inhabitants that were
of free condition; the money from which sale was brought into the public
treasury; and though none other was so brought the Commons took it ill.
And indeed for such spoil as each man bare home with him, they thought
themselves to be in debt not indeed to Camillus, that had referred to
the Senate a matter that lay within his own power, but to him that had
prevailed with the Senate that it should be given to the people.

All the possessions of the men of Veii having been now carried away,
the Romans began to remove the offerings of the gods and the gods
themselves; but this they did after the manner of worshippers rather
than of plunderers. For certain young men, chosen out of the whole host,
having first washed their bodies in pure water and clothed themselves in
white garments, came into the temple, having made due obeisance; and so,
with much awe, laid their hands on the goddess. It was the custom among
the Etrurians that none should touch that image save the priests
only. This having been done, one of the youths, whether speaking by
inspiration from heaven, or in boisterous jest, cried, "Wilt thou away
to Rome, Juno?" and the others cried that the image nodded her head. In
after time it was said that the image even spake the words, "I will."
Certainly it is related that it was moved from its place with small
trouble, and that when it was carried to Rome it passed lightly and
easily, as one that followed freely; and so was brought unhurt to its
dwelling on Mount Aventine, where was built a temple, according to the
vow of the Dictator, which temple he himself in due time dedicated.

Thus perished the city of Veii, than which there was none among the
Etrurians more wealthy. For ten years was it besieged, both summer
and winter; and now it fell not so much by force as by the art of the

The tidings of this thing being brought to Rome there was great
rejoicing; because, for all the prophecies of the soothsayers and the
answers of the oracle, and the greatness of Camillus, men had scarce
believed that so strong a city, from which so much loss had been
suffered in time past, would indeed be conquered, Straightway the
temples were crowded with women that gave thanks to the gods. And the
Senate decreed a thanksgiving of four days, such as never had been
decreed before.

As for the Dictator, when he came back to the city, there went out to
meet him men of all ranks and conditions. Such honour was rendered
to him as had never before been rendered to any man. But when he rode
through the city in a chariot drawn by white horses, men said, "This
becometh not a citizen, nor indeed a man, how great soever he be.
He maketh himself equal to Jupiter or Apollo." Afterwards, having
contracted for the building of a temple to Queen Juno on Mount Aventine,
and dedicated the temple to Mother Matuta, he resigned the dictatorship.
And now came the paying of the tenth of the spoil to Apollo, according
to the vow which Camillus had vowed. For the priests affirmed that the
people were bound by the vow. It was commanded, therefore, that every
man should set a price on the spoil which he had carried away from Veii,
and should pay a tenth part to the god. This also turned away the hearts
of the Commons from Camillus.


In the next year the Senate would have sent a colony into the country
of the Volscians, giving to each man two acres of land and more. But the
thing pleased not the Commons, who said, "Why do ye send us into exile
in the land of the Volscians while this fair city of Veii lieth within
view, having lands both wider and more fertile than are the lands of
Rome?" The city also they preferred to their own, both for its situation
and for the magnificence of its buildings both public and private. Their
counsel, therefore, was that the State should be divided, and that the
nobles should dwell at Rome and the Commons at Veii. But the nobles
steadfastly withstood it, saying, "We will die rather than that such
a thing be done. If there be such trouble in one city, how much more,
think ye, will there be in two? Will ye prefer a city that is vanquished
to that which is victorious? Will ye leave Romulus, your founder, a god
and the son of a god, and follow Sicinius?" (This Sicinius was tribune of
the Commons and had brought this matter forward.)

None was more urgent against this counsel than Camillus. "Verily," he
would say, "there is nothing at which to marvel in these troubles. The
whole state is mad, for, though it is bound by a vow, it careth for
every matter rather than how this vow may best be paid. Of that which
was paid for the tenth, verily a small part in place of the whole, I say
nothing. This toucheth the consciences of all, but the state is free.
But there is another matter of which I dare not be silent any more. We
have set apart a tenth of those things which were moveable. Of the city
and of the lands ye make no mention, yet were these comprehended in the
vow." This matter the Senate referred to the priests, and the priests,
having called Camillus into council, gave this sentence: "There is due
to Apollo a tenth of all that before the uttering of the vow belonged
to the men of Veii, and afterwards came into the power of the Roman
people." Thus the city and the lands thereof were included. The money,
therefore, was paid out of the public treasury; and the magistrates were
commanded to purchase gold therewith. And when there was not found a
sufficient quantity of this metal, the matrons, having first met and
deliberated on the matter, promised that they would themselves supply
the magistrates with gold, and carried all their ornaments to the

[Illustration: Roman ladies bringing their ornaments 228]

Never was anything done that more pleased the Senate than this
liberality of the women; and, by way of recompense, it was ordered
that they should thereafter enjoy this privilege, that they should use
covered chariots whensoever they went to public worship or to the
games, and other carriages on any day, whether festival or common.
Notwithstanding, the tribunes of the Commons were still bitter against
Camillus. "Verily," they said, "by his confiscations and consecrations
he hath brought the spoil of Veii to nothing."

The next year there was war with the men of Falerii. These at the
first, for fear of the Romans, kept themselves within their walls; but
afterwards, not enduring to see the plundering of their lands, came
forth, and pitched their camp about the space of a mile from the town,
in a steep and difficult place. But Camillus, for he was the captain of
the host, taking for his guide a man of those parts that had been made
prisoner, left his place by night, and showed himself in the morning
on ground higher by far. And when the enemy assailed him, as he was
fortifying his camp, he put them to flight, putting them into such fear
that they left their camp and fled to the city, but suffered much loss
of slain and wounded before they could arrive at the gates.

The town was now shut up; but because they that were besieged had better
supply of corn and other things needful than they that besieged, the
matter might have been delayed no less than was the taking of Veii, but
for the good fortune and virtue of Camillus.

It was the custom among the men of Falerii to use the same person
for teachers of their children and also for their companions. Also,
according to the Greek fashion, many boys would be taught by the same
man. Now the children of the chief citizens of the place were in the
charge of a certain teacher, that had the repute of excelling all others
in knowledge. This man had been wont in time of peace to lead the boys
out of the city for the sake of exercise and sport; and this custom he
had not ceased even after the beginning of the war, but would take
them away from the gates at one time in longer at another in shorter
journeys. At length he took occasion to lead them farther than before,
and to bring them, occupying them meanwhile with sport and talk, as
far as the camp of the Romans. Taking them therefore to the tent of
Camillus, he said, "I have delivered Falerii into your hands, for these
boys that ye see are the children of the chief men of the city." To this
Camillus made answer, "Neither the general nor the people to whom thou
comest bringing this wicked gift is like unto thyself. With the men of
Falerii we have not indeed friendship, yet we have with them as with all
men a natural fellowship. War also has laws even as peace, and to these
laws we have learnt obedience, even as we have learned courage. Our arms
we carry not against lads of tender age, who are not harmed even in
the storming of cities, but against men that carry arms in their hands.
These I shall conquer, even as I conquered Veii, in Roman fashion, even
by valour, by labour, and by arms."

When he had so spoken he commanded that the man should be stripped of
his clothing, and that his hands should be tied behind his back. In this
plight he delivered him to the lads to be taken back to the city,
giving them rods wherewith to scourge the traitor, and drive him back
to Falerii. There was a great concourse of people to see this sight; and
the Senate was summoned by the magistrates to consider the matter. So
great a change was wrought in the minds of men that they who a little
before had been obstinate to perish like the men of Veii, now with one
voice desired peace. Ambassadors therefore were sent to Camillus, who,
having been bidden by him to go to Rome, had audience of the Senate, to
whom they spake thus: "Fathers, ye and your generals have overcome us in
such a fashion as neither gods nor men can blame. We therefore surrender
ourselves to you, making no doubt that we shall live more happily under
your government than under our own laws." Peace was granted to them on
the condition that they should bring the tax for that year, that the
burden of the Commons might be eased.

After this the Senate sent three messengers to Delphi bearing with them
the offering of the Roman people to the god, namely, a mixing-bowl of
gold. These messsengers were taken by pirates of Lipara and carried
to that town. Now the custom at Lipara was that plunder so taken was
divided among the people. But the chief magistrate of Lipara for
that year, having a reverence for the character of ambassadors, and
considering also that they were carrying an offering to the god, and
knowing for what cause this offering was made, persuaded the multitude
also. The messengers, therefore, were entertained at the public expense,
and having been sent with a convoy of ships to Greece, were so brought
back safe to the city of Rome.

In the fourth year after these things, one Marcus Cædicius, a man of
the Commons, gave information to the magistrates that in the new street
above the temple of Vesta he had heard a voice louder than the voice of
man, that said these words, "The Gauls are coming." No heed was taken of
this thing, both because the man that told it was of little account, and
because the nation of the Gauls, dwelling far off, was little known.

Not only did the people of Rome despise the warnings of the gods, but
also they deprived themselves, as far as in them lay, of all human help,
driving away Camillus from their city. For, having been summoned to
stand his trial by one of the tribunes of the Commons in the matter of
the spoil of Veii (and it had chanced also that in those same days
he had suffered the loss of a son that was almost grown to years of
manhood), he called together to his house the members of his tribe and
his dependants, being themselves no small part of the Commons, and laid
the matter before them. And when they had answered him that they would
contribute among themselves whatsoever fine he might be condemned to
pay, but that they could not bring it about that he should be acquitted,
he went into exile, first putting up to the immortal gods this prayer.
"If I am not deserving of this wrong, cause, I beseech you, that this
people may repent them that they have driven me forth." Being absent on
the day of trial he was condemned to pay fifteen thousand pounds' weight
of copper.


In this same year, being the three hundred and sixty and fourth from the
building of the City, came ambassadors from Clusium asking help of the
Romans against the Gauls. Now some men say that these Gauls crossed the
Alps and took to themselves the lands which the Etrurians had before
possessed, being drawn by the delightsomeness of the things grown
therein, especially of wine, a pleasure before unknown to them. And they
say also that wine was brought into Gaul by one Aruns of Clusium for the
sake of avenging himself upon a certain Lucumo who had taken from him
his wife, this Lucumo being a prince in his country, whom there was no
hope that he could punish unless he should get help in some such way
from foreigners. However this may be, it is certain that the Gauls
crossed the Alps before this time by many years, and that they fought
many battles with the Etrurians. First, in the days of King Tarquinius
the Elder, one Ambigatus that was king of the Celts, who inhabited the
third part of Gaul, sent his sister's sons to seek out for themselves
new kingdoms, of whom one was directed by the oracle to go towards
Germany, and the other by a far more pleasant way to Italy. These then
having come to the Alps wondered how they might pass them, the top of
them seeming to be joined to the sky. And while they doubted there came
tidings how certain others, strangers like to themselves, and that had
come seeking lands wherein to dwell, were attacked by the natives of the
Salyi. (These strangers were the inhabitants of Phocaea, that had fled
from their town when it was besieged by Cyrus king of Persia.) Having
helped the Phocæans to build a city, they themselves climbed over the
Alps, and, descending on the other side, put to flight the Etrurians
near the river Ticinus, and formed a city called Mediolanum.

After these came many companies of Gauls by the same way into Italy,
those that were now fighting against Clusium being the nations of the
Senones. And the men of Clusium, seeing how great was the multitude of
this people, and what manner of men they were, being unlike to any that
they had seen before, and of very great stature, and also what arms
they carried, were in great fear. Knowing also that the armies of the
Etrurians had often been put to flight by them, they determined to send
ambassadors to Rome, asking help from the Senate, though, indeed, they
had no claim either for friendship or alliance' sake, save only that
they had not given succour to their kinsmen of Veii. Help the Senate was
not willing to give; but they sent three ambassadors, brothers and sons
of Fabius Ambustus, who should say to the Gauls, "In the name of the
Senate and Commons of Rome we bid you do no harm to them who are allies
and friends of the Roman people, and from whom ye have suffered no
wrong. For them, if occasion demand, we must support even by force of
arms. Nevertheless it will please us well to be friends rather than
enemies of the Gauls, of whom we have now for the first time knowledge."

The message, indeed, was sufficiently gentle, but it was entrusted to
men of too fierce a temper, that were, indeed, like to Gauls rather than
to Romans. When the Fabii had set forth the commission in an assembly
of the Gauls, there was made to them this answer: "We have not, indeed,
before heard the name of the Romans, but we believe you to be brave men,
seeing that the men of Clusium have sought to you for help. Seeing that
ye would stand between us and your allies, and would deal by persuasion
rather than by force of arms, we accept your conditions; only let the
men of Clusium, seeing that they possess more land than they need, give
up that which is over and above to the Gauls. On these terms only will
we give peace. Let them answer now in your presence. And if they will
not give the land, let them fight with us also in your presence, that
ye may tell your countrymen how far we excel all other men in valour."
"Nay," said the Romans, "by what right do ye ask land from them that
possess it, and threaten war to them that refuse? And what concern have
ye, being Gauls, with the men of Etruria?" To this the Gauls made reply
in haughty words: "Our right we carry on the points of our swords, for
to the brave all things belong."

Thus there was great anger stirred up on both sides; and they made ready
for battle. And now (for so the destiny of the city of Rome would have
it) the ambassadors, setting the law of nations at nought, went into the
battle. Nor was this hidden from the Gauls, for not only were the three
conspicuous for strength and courage, but one of them, Quintus by name,
spurring out before the line, slew a chieftain of the Gauls that had
fallen upon the standards of the Etrurians, running him through with
his spear. And the Gauls knew him for one of the ambassadors, while he
spoiled the body of the arms. Straightway the report of this thing was
spread through the whole army, and the signal was given to retreat, for
they thought no more of the Clusines, but would have vengeance on the
Romans. Some indeed would have had the host march straightway; but the
elders prevailed, advising that ambassadors should be sent complaining
of the wrong done, and demanding that the Fabii should be given up to
them for punishment. So ambassadors were sent, and when these had set
forth the matter, the Senate was much displeased with the Fabii, and
confessed that the Gauls demanded only that which was within their
right. Nevertheless, because the Fabii were men of high degree, favour
prevailed against justice. But lest they should be blamed if any
misfortune followed, the Senators referred the decision of the matter to
an assembly of the people; in which assembly favour and wealth availed
so much that the Fabii were not only let go unpunished, but were even
chosen with three others to be tribunes of the soldiers for the year to
come. When the ambassadors of the Gauls knew what had been done, they
were greatly wroth, and returned to their countrymen, having first
proclaimed war against Rome. And now, though so great a peril was at
hand, none at Rome thought or cared. And indeed it is always thus that
they that are doomed to perish have their eyes blinded against that
which is coming upon them. For though the Romans had been wont to
use all means of help against enemies near at hand, and to appoint a
dictator in times of need, yet now, having to deal with an enemy of whom
they had had before no experience or knowledge, they neglected all these
things. They whose rashness had brought about the war, having the charge
of the thing committed to them, used no more diligence in the levying of
an army than if they were dealing with one of the nations round about,
but made light of the matter. In the meanwhile the Gauls, when they
heard that the very men that had set at nought the law of nations had
been promoted to great honour, were filled with fury, and forthwith
snatching up their standards, marched towards Rome with all speed. And
when the inhabitants of the country were terrified at their coming,
the dwellers in the cities running to arms, and the countryfolk leaving
their homes, the Gauls cried out to them that they were bound for Rome.
Nevertheless the report of their coming went before them, messengers
from Clusium and from other states hastening to Rome, from whose
reports, as also from the great speed of the enemy, there arose great
fear among the Romans. These levied an army with all haste and marched
forth, meeting the Gauls at the river Allia, where, flowing down from
the mountains of Crustumeria in a very deep channel, it is joined to the
Tiber, about eleven miles from Rome. There they found the whole country,
both in front and on either side, occupied by great multitudes of Gauls,
and in an uproar with the loud singing and shouting with which this
nation is wont to terrify its enemies.

And now the tribunes of the soldiers, having neither pitched a camp nor
made a rampart to be a defence if they should be driven back, nor taken
any account of omens, nor offered sacrifice (for they were careless
alike of gods and of men), drew up their army in array, extending their
line lest they should be surrounded by the multitude of the enemy. But
even then, though they so weakened the middle part that their ranks
scarce held together, they could not make their front equal to the front
of the enemy. There was a little hill on the right hand, and this they
occupied with a reserve. Against this reserve Brennus, the king of the
Gauls, made his first attack; for seeing that the Romans were few in
number, he judged that they must excel in skill, and that the hill had
been thus occupied to the end that the Gauls might be assailed from
behind while they were fighting with the legions in front. He judged,
therefore, that if he could thrust down them that were on this hill his
army might easily deal with the Romans on the plain, seeing that
they far exceeded them in number. So true is it that on this day the
barbarians were superior not in fortune only but also in judgment and
skill. As for the Romans, neither the captains nor the soldiers were
in anywise worthy of their name. Their souls were wholly possessed with
terror, so that, forgetting everything, they fled to Veii, that had
belonged to their enemies, and this though the Tiber was in their way,
rather than to Rome, to their wives and children. The reserves were
defended for a while by the ground whereon they stood, but the rest of
the army turned their backs forthwith and fled so soon as they heard
the battle shout of the Gauls. For they sought not to come to blows with
them, nor even set up a shout in answer; but without making trial of the
enemy, nor so much as daring to look at him, fled with all haste. In the
battle, indeed, none were slain; but there was great slaughter among the
rereward when these were crowded together in such haste and confusion
that they hindered one another. Many also were slain on the bank of the
Tiber, whither the whole of the left wing of the host had fled, first
throwing away their arms; and many also were swallowed up by the
river, either not knowing how to swim or from lack of strength, being
overburdened by the weight of their coats of mail and other armour.
Nevertheless the greater part of the men escaped safe to Veii; but none
went from this place to the help of Rome, nor did they so much as send
tidings of the battle. As for them that had been set on the right
wing, these all went to Rome; and when they were come thither, delayed
not even to shut the gate of the city, but fled straightway into the
citadel. This battle was fought on the eighteenth day of the month
Quintilis; nor was it ever lawful in Rome thereafter to do any public
business on that day.

The Gauls were beyond measure astonished that they had vanquished their
enemy so easily and in so short a space of time. At the first they stood
still in fear, not knowing what had taken place; afterwards they began
to fear some stratagem; at last they buried the dead bodies of the
slain, and piled together the arms in heaps according to their custom.
And now, not perceiving in any place the sign of an enemy, they began
to march forward, and came to Rome a little before sunset. But when
the horsemen whom they had sent on before brought back tidings that
the gates were open, with none to defend them and no soldiers upon the
walls, they were not less astonished than before, and came to a halt,
fearing lest, in the darkness of the night and in a place whereof they
knew nothing, they might fall into some peril. They took up a station,
therefore, between Rome and the river Anio, sending scouts about the
walls and the gates of the city who should learn what the enemy purposed
to do in the great extremity whereunto they had been brought.


Meanwhile the city was full of weeping and wailing, for none thought
that they who had fled to Veii were yet alive, or that any had been
saved from the battle, save such as were already come back to Rome. But
when tidings were brought that the Gauls were close at hand, sorrow
gave place to fear. And now the Gauls were seen to move backwards and
forwards before the walls, and there was heard the sound of shouting and
of the barbarous music that this people use. And still the inhabitants
expected till an attack should be made upon the city. At first they
thought that this would be done at the first coming of the enemy; but
afterwards believed that it would be delayed until nightfall, that the
terror might be increased by the darkness. Nevertheless all men bore
themselves bravely, and altogether unlike to them who had turned their
backs in such shameful fashion at the river Allia. For since there was
no hope that the city should be defended by the small number that yet
remained, it was resolved that all the young men that could bear arms,
together with such of the Senators as had strength sufficient for
war, should go up with their wives and children to the Citadel and the
Capitol, where stores of arms and corn having been collected, they
might defend the gods of Rome and the honour of the State. Also it was
determined that the priests of Quirinus, and the virgins of Vesta
with him, should carry away far from peril of fire and sword all that
appertained to the gods, that their worship might not be interrupted so
long as any should be left to perform it. For they said, "If the citadel
and the Capitol, wherein are the dwellings of the Gods, and the Senate,
which is the council of the State, and the youth that are of an age to
carry arms, survive the destruction that hangs over the city, it is but
a small matter that the aged should perish." And that the common people
might bear their fate with the more willingness, the old men of
the nobles that had been honoured in former days with triumphs and
consulships affirmed that they would meet death together with the rest;
neither would they burden the scanty stores of the fighting men with
bodies that had no longer the strength to carry arms.

When the old men had thus comforted one another they addressed
themselves to encourage the young. These they accompanied to the
Capitol, commending to their valour and strength all that now was left
of the greatness of Rome. And now when they who were resolved that they
would not survive the capture and destruction of the city had departed,
the women ran to and fro asking of their husbands and of their sons what
they should do. But of these many were suffered to follow their husbands
and kinsfolk into the Capitol, none forbidding, though none called them,
for that which would have profited the besieged, by diminishing the
number of the useless, seemed to be barbarous and cruel. As for the rest
of the people, for whom there was neither room in so small a hill nor
food in so scanty a provision of corn, these went forth from the city,
as it were in a great host, towards the hill Janiculum.

Thence some scattered themselves over the country, and some made their
way to the neighbouring cities; but there was no leader or common
purpose, and each concerned himself with his own affairs only, for
of the State all despaired. Meanwhile the priests of Quirinus and the
virgins of Vesta, taking no thought for their own affairs, took counsel
together which of the sacred things they should carry away with them and
which they should leave behind, for they had not strength sufficient
for the carrying of all; also in what place they might most safely leave
them. It seemed good to them to put such things as it was needful to
leave behind in a cask and to bury them in the ground within the chapel
that was hard by the dwelling-house of the priests of Quirinus. The rest
they, carried, dividing the burden of them among themselves, and went by
the way that leads to the mount Janiculum, over the wooden bridge. And
while they were mounting the hill, one Lucius Albinius, a man of the
Commons, saw them, who was carrying his wife and children in a cart
amongst the crowd that was leaving the city as having no strength for
arms. This Albinius forgot not even in such peril the reverence due to
religion, and thinking it shame that the priests with the holy things
should go afoot while he and his were carried, bade his wife and
children come down from the cart, and putting therein the virgins, with
the sacred things, carried them to Caere, whither it had been their
purpose to go.

Meanwhile at Rome all things had been set in order, as far as might be,
for the defending of the Citadel; and the old men, going back to their
homes, sat awaiting the coming of the Gauls with minds wholly fixed
on death. And such among them as had borne the more honourable
magistracies, because they would die having on them the emblems of their
old glory, put on them the splendid robes which they wear who draw the
ropes of the chariots of the gods, or ride in triumph, and so sat down
in their ivory chairs before their houses. Some say that, following
a form of words which Marcus Folius the chief priest repeated, they
devoted themselves to death for their country and for the citizens of

The next day the Gauls entered the city by the Colline Gate without any
anger or fury, for such as had been stirred by the battle had abated
during the night; and indeed they had met with no peril in the field,
nor did they now take the city by storm. So they came to the marketplace
and thence looked about them on the Citadel, which alone in the city
still preserved some semblance of war, and on the temples of the Gods.
Here they left a guard of no great strength, lest haply some attack
should be made upon them from the Capitol, while they were scattered;
and the rest scattered themselves to gather spoil, some seeking it in
the dwellings that were nigh at hand, and some in such as were more
distant, thinking that they would find these rather untouched and
abounding with riches. Thence again, terrified by the silence of the
place, and fearing lest some stratagem of the enemy might be concealed
thereby, they returned to the market-place and to the parts adjacent
thereto. Here finding that the palaces of the nobles were open, and the
houses of the common folk barred, they were slower to enter the open
than the shut, for they beheld with no small reverence the men that sat
each in the porch of his house, noting how great was the splendour
of their apparel and their ornaments, and that the majesty of their
countenances was rather that of gods than of men. So they stood
marvelling at them as though they had been images of the gods, till a
certain Marcus Papirius, one of the priests, smote a Gaul on the head
with his ivory staff, the man having stroked his beard, which it was
then the custom to wear of a great length. The barbarian in a rage
slew him, and all the others also were slain where they sat. The nobles
having thus perished, all others that were found in the city were
slaughtered in like manner, the houses were plundered, and being emptied
of their goods were set on fire.

[Illustration: The Gauls and the Senators 254]

For a while no small part of the city was spared, for the leaders of
the Gauls said, "It may be that the hearts of them that keep the Citadel
will be turned to surrender by the loss of their own homes." These
indeed were full of grief and anger, seeing the streets of the city full
of the enemy, and beholding new destructions every hour. Never indeed
were men besieged in such evil plight, for they were shut out from their
country, and saw all their possessions in the power of the enemy. For
all this their courage failed not for one hour, though all
 about them was laid even with the ground by fire and sword, but were
obstinate to keep the hill which was now the sole abiding-place of
freedom. As for their troubles they took no account of them, nor had any
hope save only in the swords which they carried in their hands.

The Gauls having spent their fury on the dwellings in the city,
seeing that the spirit of the Romans was in no wise subdued, but was
steadfastly set against surrender, resolved to make an assault on the
Citadel. Therefore, at dawn of day, after signal had been given, they
drew up their whole army in the marketplace; and then, setting up a
shout and locking shields over their heads in the fashion that is called
the "tortoise," they began to climb the hill. On the other hand the
Romans did nothing rashly or in a hurry; but strengthening the guards at
every point of attack, set their main body where the Gauls were coming;
and these they suffered to climb the slope, judging that the higher they
should have mounted the more easily would they be driven down. But when
they were come to the middle of the hill, then the Romans ran down
upon them, and made a great slaughter among them, driving them over the
steep, so that never again, either with a part of their force or with
the whole thereof, did they make trial of this manner of fighting. They
set themselves, therefore, to take the Citadel by blockade. But for this
they had made no preparation, having burned all the provision of food
that was in the houses of the city, while that which was in the field
had by this time been carried into Veii; wherefore, dividing their
forces, they set some to keep watch on the Citadel, and some they sent
to gather spoil in the country round about.

Now they that were sent to gather spoil came by chance to Ardea, in
which city Camillus dwelt, grieving for his country rather than for
himself, and marvelling what had befallen the men who with him had
conquered Veii and Falerii. And now, hearing that the Gauls were near
at hand, and that the men of Ardea, being in no small fear, were taking
counsel about the matter, he came forward in the assembly and spake
thus: "Men of Ardea, ye have now opportunity to repay the benefits which
ye have received from the Roman people, concerning which benefits, how
many and how great they be, there is no need that I remind you. And ye
have opportunity also to win for yourselves great renown. These
Gauls that are coming against you are great in stature rather than in
strength, and make a terrible show in battle, but yet are not hard to
withstand. For consider what has befallen Rome, They took the city when
all the gates lay open; but now the Citadel, though it is kept by a
small company, they are not able to take. Wearied already of besieging
it, they are scattering themselves over the face of the land to gather
spoil. Their manner is to gorge themselves with meat and great draughts
of wine, and at nightfall to throw themselves on the ground like beasts,
without defence or outposts or guards. And now by reason of their late
victory they are careless even beyond their wont. If then ye would keep
your city safe, and would not have this whole land become a part of
Gaul, take all of you your arms at the first watch of the night. Follow
me, and if I deliver them not in your hands, fast bound with sleep, to
be slaughtered as cattle, then banish me even as the Romans banished

Now all that heard him knew that there was no man so great in war as he.
Therefore, when the assembly was dismissed, they refreshed themselves
and waited eagerly till he should give the signal. And when they heard
it, they hastened to the gate of the city to meet Camillus; nor had
they gone far from the city when they found the camp of Gauls was, as
Camillus foretold, altogether without guards; and setting up a shout
they fell upon it. No fighting was there, but only a great slaughter,
for the men were naked and overpowered with sleep. Some also that were
in the furthest part of the camp, being awakened by the uproar, and not
knowing what had happened, fell into the hands of the enemy; and many
going forth to plunder the lands of the men of Antium fell upon a
company of the townsfolk, and were surrounded and slain.

Meanwhile the Gauls watched the Citadel at Rome, that none should go
forth between the posts. And now there was done by a Roman youth a thing
which both friends and foes greatly admired. The house of the Fabii had
a yearly sacrifice on the Hill of Quirinus. A certain Quintus Fabius
Dorso, therefore, that he might duly perform this sacrifice, came down
from the Capitol, clad in the vestment that is used for such purpose,
and carrying the holy things in his hands, and so came to the Hill of
Quirinus, passing through the midst of the guards of the enemy, and
heeding not their speech or threatening. There he duly performed all the
ceremony, and, coming back by the same way, with look and step composed
as before, returned to his friends in the Capitol, having a good hope
that the gods, whose service he had not neglected for any extremity of
fear, looked upon him with favour. As for the Gauls, they did him no
harm, either for wonder at his boldness, or for religion's sake, for
which indeed this people had no small regard.

Meanwhile they that were at Veii gathered daily both courage and
strength, for not only did the Romans that had escaped from the battle
or fled from the city assemble themselves there, but volunteers also
from Latium flocked thither, hoping to share in the spoil of the enemy.
And now it seemed high time that they should deliver their country out
of the hand of the Gauls; only, though the body was strong, there yet
lacked a head. Then, because the place wherein they were reminded them
of Camillus, and because many of the soldiers had had him for their
captain in time past, they all agreed that he should be sent for from
Ardea. But first they would consult the Senate at Rome, so careful were
they of law, not forgetting for all their extremity of peril that which
was right to be done. Now there was no small danger in passing through
the posts of the enemy. This a certain Cominius, a young man and of
great activity, undertook to do; and he, supporting himself on corks,
was carried down the Tiber as far as the city. There, climbing the side
that was nearest to the river, where the rock was steep, and for that
cause left unguarded by the Gauls, he climbed into the Capitol; and
then, being brought before the magistrates, delivered to them the
message of the army. Then the Senate passed a decree that Camillus,
having been first in due form released from exile, should be Dictator,
so that the soldiers might have him for captain whom they desired. With
this decree the messenger returned to Veii by the same way by which he
came, and messengers went to fetch Camillus from Ardea.

While these things were being done at Veii, the Citadel of Rome had been
in great peril, for the Gauls either had seen the footmarks where the
messenger from Veii had climbed into the Capitol, or had observed for
themselves that there was an easy ascent by the rock of Carmentis. On
a moonlight night, therefore, having first sent a man unarmed to make
trial of the ascent, they set out. Their arms they handed one to the
other, and when there was any hindrance in the way they supported or
drew up each other, and so climbed to the top, and this so silently that
they did not even wake the dogs, though these animals are very watchful
for any noise that may take place in the night. But they escaped not
the notice of the geese, for there were geese in the Capitol, and these,
being sacred to Juno, they had not eaten, though being sorely in need of
food. And this regard for holy things was their salvation. For a certain
Marcus Manlius, being awoke by their cries and by the flapping of their
wings, hasted forth, catching up his arms, and calling all the rest
to do likewise. And they indeed were at first in great confusion, but
Manlius drave the boss of his shield against a Gaul, for one was now
standing on the very top of the hill. And the man fell and overthrew
them that stood close at hand; and when the others in great fear dropped
their arms and laid hold of the rocks, he fell upon them and slew
them. By this time others also had rallied to him, and these, throwing
javelins and stones upon the Gauls, beat them down, so that the whole
company were overthrown and fell headlong down the steep. The rest of
that night they slept, so far as they could for remembrance of the great
peril from which they had been delivered; and at dawn all the soldiers
were summoned to an assembly by sound of the bugle, it being needful to
give due recompense both to that which had been well and that which had
been ill done. First Manlius received both praises and gifts for his
valour, and this not only from the captains, but from the common consent
of the soldiers, every man carrying to his house, which was in the
Capitol, half a pound of corn and half a pint of wine, a gift which
seems indeed very small in the telling, but yet was a great proof of
affection, the great scarcity of all things which prevailed at the time
being considered, since all subtracted something from their necessary
food to give it to this one man. After this the guards that had been
set to watch the place by which the enemy had climbed up the hill were
summoned to the assembly. Of these, though Sulpicius, tribune of the
soldiers, had affirmed that he would deal with all of them according to
military custom, only one was punished, all agreeing to throw the chief
blame on him, and he, being beyond all doubt guilty in the matter, was
by common consent cast down from the rock. After this the watch was kept
more diligently on both sides, for the Gauls knew that messengers had
gone to and fro between Veii and Rome, and the Romans remembered from
how great a peril they had escaped.

Beyond all other evils of war famine troubled both armies. The Gauls
were vexed with pestilence also, having their camp in low ground that
lay among hills, and was scorched with the burning of the houses. If
there was anything of wind also, this brought with it not dust only
but ashes. All these things and the heat of the year the Gauls, who are
accustomed to wet and cold, were little able to endure, so that they
died, as it were, in herds; so that their fellows, wearied of burying
the dead one by one, made great heaps of their carcases and burned them
with fire. And now a truce was made with the Romans, and conferences
held. In this the Gauls spake much of the famine as being good cause of
surrender; whereupon, it is said, the Romans threw loaves of bread among
their posts, as if to show them that there was no scarcity among them.
Nevertheless their hunger was such that now it could neither be hidden
nor endured. Wherefore, while Camillus levied an army at Ardea, the
garrison of the Capitol, worn out with watching, and yet able to endure
all other ills save hunger only, seeing that the help they looked for
came not, and that when the guards went forth to their watch they could
scarce for weakness stand up under their arms, were resolute that they
should either surrender or ransom themselves on such terms as might be
had. And this they did the more readily because the Gauls had made it
plain that they might be persuaded by no great sum of money to give up
the siege. The Senate, therefore, was called together, and the matter
was entrusted to the tribunes of the soldiers. After this a conference
was held between Sulpicius and Brennus, king of the Gauls, by whom it
was agreed that a thousand pounds' weight of gold should be the ransom
of a people that was thereafter to rule the world; a shameful thing,
made yet more shameful by insult. For the Gauls bringing false weights
which the tribune refused, King Brennus threw his sword into the scale
that held the weights, saying at the same time words that no Roman could
endure: "Woe to the vanquished!"

But both gods and men forbad that Rome should be ransomed in this
fashion. For before the payment was made, the whole quantity of gold not
having been weighed by reason of this dispute, the Dictator coming up
commanded that the gold should be taken away, and bade the Gauls depart.
These indeed made opposition, affirming that the covenant had been made
and must be performed; to which Camillus made answer that it had been
made without his permission by a lower magistrate he being at the
time Dictator, and he warned the Gauls to make them ready forthwith
to battle. To his own men he gave command that they should throw their
baggage into a heap and gird on their arms. "Ransom your country,"
said he, "with steel rather than with gold, having before your eyes the
temples of the Gods, your wives, your children, and all which ye most
desire." After this he drew up in line of battle, as well as the place
permitted, being covered with the ruins of the city. The Gauls, troubled
by these things, which had happened beyond all their expectations, took
up their arms and ran upon the Romans with much rage but little skill.
And now (such change was there in fortune) they were put to flight no
less easily than they had put the Romans to flight at Allia. There was
yet another battle between the Gauls and the Romans; and this was fought
at the eighth milestone on the road to Gabii, for to this place they had
fled from Rome. Here there was slaughter without end. The camp of the
Gauls was taken, and all perished, so that not so much as one was left
to carry home the tidings. Then Camillus returned in triumph to Rome,
being greeted by the soldiers in their rude fashion as a second Romulus,
the true father and founder of his country.

Having now saved Rome by war, he saved it beyond all doubt in peace
also, for he forbade the people to depart from the city and take up
their dwelling at Veii, which counsel was urged more diligently by the
tribunes now that the city had been burned by fire, the commons being
not a little inclined thereto. But Camillus, that he might the more
effectually hinder it, resigned not his office of dictator, according to
custom, after his triumph, but still kept it till all these things were
brought to an end.

First, being always careful of things that concerned the gods, he
proposed that all the temples should be duly restored and purified; that
the people of Caere should be admitted to the friendship of the Roman
people, because they had given shelter to the priests and the virgins
and the sacred things, and that games should be held in honour of
Jupiter of the Capitol as having delivered the city from the enemy. The
gold that had been taken from the Gauls, with that which had been
taken from the temples, no one knowing to whom or to what place it
appertained, was to be laid beneath the throne of Jupiter. To the
matrons public thanks were given, with this honour, that they should
be praised with funeral orations in like manner with men. Then he spake
about the counsel of departing to Veii, showing them many causes why
they should refuse it, and this above all others, that it was not lawful
to worship the gods of their country in any other place but only in
Rome. But that which prevailed with them more than all the speech of
Camillus was a word spoken by chance. While the Senate debated the
matter in the Hall of Hostilius, certain cohorts that were returning
from keeping the guards passed through the market-place, whereupon a
centurion cried out, "Standard-bearer, set up thy standard. We shall
best remain in this place." And when the Senate heard these words they
exclaimed with one voice, "We accept the omen;" and the multitude of the
people that stood around approved.


There dwelt in Rome a certain Lucius Manlius, of the kindred of that
Manlius that thrust down the Gauls from the Capitol, and men gave him
the surname of Imperious by reason of the haughtiness of his temper.
This Manlius was made dictator for this one purpose, that he might drive
a nail into the wall of the temple of Jupiter. For it had been a custom
in old time that whoever was chief magistrate at Rome should drive a
nail in this place on the fifteenth day of the month September, to the
end that the number of the year might thus be marked, there being in
those days but small use of letters and figures; and this nail was
driven into the wall that looks towards the temple of Minerva, because
Minerva is the goddess of numbers. But in the days of Manlius this
custom had been long since forgotten; and when it chanced that a
pestilence came upon the city and nothing else availed to stay it (for
besides other things stage players were brought from Etruria to make
a show that might appease the anger of the gods), certain old men
remembered that in former years such plagues had been stayed by the
appointing of a dictator to drive in a nail. This Manlius then was thus
appointed; but when he had done his office he conceived the purpose of
carrying on war against the Hernici, and would have levied an army but
that the tribunes of the Commons hindered him.

In the beginning of the next year one of the tribunes, Pomponius by
name, brought Manlius to trial, bringing sundry accusations against him.
For in the levy that he sought to make he had dealt cruelly with them
that answered not to their names, causing some to be beaten with rods
and casting others into prison. His surname also was proof sufficient
that he was of such a temper as could not be endured in a free state.
"And this temper," said the tribune, "he had shown not to strangers
only, but even to those that are of his own blood. His own son, a young
man uncondemned of any crime, he has banished from the city and from
his home, forbidding him to have any converse with his fellows, and
compelling him to work after the fashion of a slave. And for what fault
in the young man, think ye, that he hath done this thing? Because he is
not eloquent or ready of speech. But should not a father, if there be
any natural kindness in him, seek to apply remedies to such defects
rather than to punish them? Even the brute beasts, if their offspring
chance to be ill-shaped, are the more careful to nourish and cherish it.
But this Manlius has rather increased the affliction of his son, and
made his wits yet slower than they were, extinguishing such natural
power as he may have by causing him to dwell among the beasts of the

This accusation stirred great anger against the father in all men save
only in the son himself. For when the young man knew that an accusation
had been made against his father on his account he was much troubled.
And that both gods and men might know that he desired to give help to
his father rather than to the enemies of his father, he conceived a plan
which indeed ill became a citizen and one who would be obedient to the
laws, yet still was to be commended for its piety. Girding himself with
a knife he came, none knowing his purpose, early in the morning to the
city, and went straightway from the gate to the house of Pomponius the
tribune. Then he said to the porter, "I must needs speak forthwith with
your master. Tell him that Titus Manlius, son of Lucius Manlius, seeks
him." The tribune, thinking that the young man had come full of
anger against his father, to bring, it might be, some new accusation,
commanded that he should be brought into his chamber. When they had
greeted one another Manlius said, "I have somewhat to say to thee
which thou must hear alone." So the tribune bade all that were present
withdraw themselves. This being done Manlius drew his dagger, and
standing over the bed, threatened that he would run him through
therewith unless he should swear in words that he would himself dictate
that he would never hold a meeting of the Commons before which to bring
his father to judgment. The tribune, fearing the steel which glittered
before his eyes, and knowing that the young man was not only of
exceeding strength but also of a very fierce and savage temper, and
being himself without arms, sware as he was bidden, and afterwards told
what had taken place, showing that he had given up his purpose under
compulsion. The people took it ill that they could not sit in judgment
on a man of so cruel a temper; nevertheless they commended the son for
his piety; and all the more because the harshness of his father had not
extinguished in him his natural affection. The father indeed escaped
not, being brought to trial, and the son reaped from the matter this
reward, that in the following year, when the people for the first time,
for so it chanced to happen, chose their tribune in the army, he was so
chosen, having the second place among six; and this though he had
done nothing either at home or abroad which might commend him to their

In the year following there was a war with the Gauls, who had pitched
their camp three miles only from Rome on the other side of the river
Anio. A certain Quinctius Pennus, being made dictator, gathered a great
army and encamped on the near side of the river. Now between the two
armies there was a bridge, which neither the one nor the other would
break down, lest they should seem to fear the enemy. For this bridge
many battles were fought; and it could not be told, so equal was the
strength on either side, to whom it belonged. At a certain day there
came forth a Gaul of exceeding great stature and stood upon the bridge,
crying with a loud voice, "Hear now, ye men of Rome, let the bravest
man that ye have among you come forth, and let him fight with me; and
according as I shall prevail over him, or he prevail over me, so shall
we know whether Gauls or Romans are the better in war."

For a long time there was silence among the Roman people, for they were
ashamed to refuse the battle, yet were loath to take the very first
place in this great peril. Then Titus Manlius, the son of Lucius, came
forth, and said to the Dictator, "I would never fight out of my due
place in the host without thy bidding, not even though I should see
victory clearly assured. But now, if thou wilt suffer me, I would gladly
show to that brute beast that shows himself so confidently before the
standards of the enemy that I am of the name of Manlius and of the
kindred of him that drave down the Gauls from the Capitol." To him the
Dictator made answer, "Thou doest well, Manlius, with thy valour and thy
piety, both towards thy country and thy father. Go thou and show, the
Gods helping thee, that a Roman cannot be conquered." Then his comrades
armed the youth, giving him the long shield of a foot soldier and a
Spanish sword, which, for its shortness, was well suited for fighting in
close combat. Then they led him forward against the Gaul; and even noted
how, for scorn of his enemy, the barbarian thrust out his tongue. So the
two stood together between the armies, being ill matched, if one would
judge by the appearance. The Gaul, indeed, was of exceedingly great
stature, and was clad in a garment of many colours, and his arms were
painted and inlaid with gold. As for the Roman, he was of the middle
stature, such as is commonly to be seen among soldiers, his bearing
being without pride, and his arms fitted for use rather than for show.
He used no song of defiance, nor leaping from the ground, nor idle
shaking of his arms; but kept his courage and wrath silent within his
heart, nor showed his fierceness till the combat itself should need
it. So they stood, and the two armies regarded them with hope and fear.
First the Gaul, being like to some great mass that was ready to crush
everything under it, thrusting forward his shield on his left arm, dealt
a great blow on the armour of Manlius with his sword, striking with the
edge (for the swords of the Gauls had no points), but harming him not,
though the sound of it was great. But the Roman, first thrusting aside
the shield of the enemy with his own shield, ran in close upon him, so
that the man could not strike him--his sword being over long--and so
driving his sword pointwise from beneath, smote him twice in the belly
and in the groin, so that he fell his whole length upon the ground. And
as he lay, he stripped from his body, to which he did no other harm,
a chain of twisted gold that the man wore, and threw it, covered with
blood as it was, about his own neck. Meanwhile the Gauls stood still for
fear and wonder; but the Romans running forth with joy from their ranks
to meet their champion, so led him to the Dictator. From this deed Titus
Manlius was called "Manlius of the Twisted Chain;" and this name he
handed down to his descendants after him.

About twenty years after this deed there was a great war between the
Romans and the Latins (for the Latins demanded that one consul should
always be of their nation, and, this being denied to them, made war
against Rome) and this same Manlius was consul. Now it was needful that
there should be discipline of the strictest sort in the army; and also,
because the Latins spake the same tongue as did the Romans, and had
their arms and all other things that appertained to war the same, the
Consuls issued a decree that no man should fight with the enemy, save
only at his post in the army.

Now it chanced that Titus Manlius, son of the Consul, being captain of a
squadron of horsemen, rode so far with his squadron (the horsemen being
sent out in all directions to spy out the country) that he was scarce
the length of a spear's throw from the camp of the enemy, at a certain
part where the horsemen of Tusculum had their station. The leader of
these horsemen was Metius, a certain man of noble birth and renowned
among his countrymen for his valour. This Metius, seeing the Roman
horsemen, and Manlius the Consul's son riding in the front, and knowing
him who he was (for indeed all the men of note in the two armies were
known to each other), cried out, "Are ye minded, ye men of Rome, being
but one squadron, to do battle with the Latins and their allies? What
are the Consuls doing, and their two armies?" To this Manlius made
answer, "They will come in due time; aye, one that is mightier than
they, even Jupiter, will come also: Jupiter, who is witness to the
treaties which ye have broken. If at the Lake Regillus we fought with
you till ye were weary, so here also we will give you such entertainment
as ye shall little like." Then said Metius, "Art thou willing, then, in
the meanwhile, while the day on which ye will make so mighty a stir is
yet coming, to fight here with me, that from the issue of our meeting
all men may know by how much a Latin horseman is better than a horseman
of the Romans?" Thereupon anger, or shame that he should seem to shrink
from such combat, or, it may be, the will of fate, that none may escape,
stirred the young man's haughty spirit, so that, taking no account of
his father's commands or of the decree of the Consuls, he thrust himself
headlong into a combat in which it mattered but little whether he was
vanquished or no. The other horsemen removed themselves far off to look
at the combat, leaving a space of clear ground for the two, who,
driving their horses over the plain, met in the midst with their spears
levelled. The spear of Metius crossed the horse's neck of Manlius, and
the spear of Manlius passed above the head of the Latin. After this they
wheeled their horses about, and Manlius, rising first to deal a second
blow, smote the horse of the Latin between the ears; and when the horse
felt the wound he reared himself upon his hind legs and shook off his
rider; and when the man, sorely shaken by so grievous a fall, would have
raised himself by help of his shield and spear, the Roman smote him with
his spear in the throat, so that the point came out through his ribs,
making him fast to the earth. Then Manlius gathered the spoils from the
dead man, and rode back to the camp, his squadron following him with
great joy. Being come to the camp, he went to the general's tent,
knowing not what fate awaited him or whether he had earned praise or
punishment. Then he said to his father, "I desired that all men should
know that I am truly thy son; and therefore, having been challenged to
combat, I fought, and now bring back these spoils from the enemy whom I
slew." But the Consul, so soon as he heard these words, turning his
face from his son, commanded that the bugle should be sounded and the
soldiers called to an assembly. And when the men had come together in
great numbers, he said, "Titus Manlius, thou hast had no respect to
the authority of the Consuls or to the dignity of thy father, and,
disobeying our decree, hast fought with the enemy elsewhere than in
thy place, loosening thereby, so far as in thee lay, that military
discipline by which up to this time the commonwealth of Rome hath stood
and been established. And me thou hast brought into these straits, that
I must forget either the commonwealth or myself and my own kindred.
Rather, therefore, will we suffer ourselves for our own fault than
suffer the commonwealth to suffer for us at so great a loss to itself.
Truly we two shall be a warning, sad indeed yet wholesome, to our youth
in time to come. As for myself, I am truly troubled, not only by that
love for my children which is natural to all men, but also by the valour
which, led astray by a false appearance of glory, thou hast shown
this day. Nevertheless, seeing that the Consuls' power must either be
established for ever by thy death or abolished for ever by thy escape,
I judge that thou thyself also, if there is aught of my blood in thee,
wilt not refuse to die, and so establish again that military discipline
which thou hast weakened by thy misdoing. Go, lictor, bind him to the

All that were present in the assembly stood stricken with terror at
so cruel a command, and stood silent, but rather from fear than from
obedience, each seeming to see the axe made ready against himself. Thus
were they overwhelmed with astonishment, and stood holding their peace.
But when the young man's head was smitten off and the blood was seen
to pour forth, then, recovering themselves, they cried aloud and spared
neither lamentations nor curses. Afterwards for the young man they made
a soldiers funeral with all the zeal that they could show, covering his
body with the spoils of war and burning it on a pile in a place without
the rampart of the camp. From that day, when men would speak of some
savage command or exercising of power, they are wont to call it a
"Manlian rule." As for Titus Manlius the father, when he came back in
triumph to Rome (for the Romans were victorious in the war, as will be
told hereafter) the elders only went forth to meet him; the young men,
both then and ever afterwards, so long as he lived, turned from him with
hatred and curses.


In the three hundred and ninety-third year after the building of the
city there was seen suddenly to open in the market-place a great gulf of
a deepness that no man could measure. And this gulf could not be filled
up though all the people brought earth and stones and the like to cast
into it. But at the last there was sent a message from the gods that
the Romans must enquire what was that by which more than all things the
State was made strong. "For," said the soothsayer, "this thing must be
dedicated to the Gods in this place if the commonwealth of Rome is to
stand fast for ever." And while they doubted, one Marcus Curtius, a
youth that had won great renown in war, rebuked them saying, "Can ye
doubt that Rome hath nothing better than arms and valour?" Then all the
people stood silent; and Curtius, first beholding the temples of the
immortal gods that hung over the market-place and the Capitol, and
afterwards stretching forth his hands both to heaven above and to this
gulf that opened its mouth to the very pit, as it were, of hell, devoted
himself for his country; and so, being clothed in armour and with arms
in his hand, and having his horse arrayed as sumptuously as might be, he
leapt into the gulf; and the multitude, both of men and women, threw in
gifts and offerings of the fruits of the earth, and afterwards the earth
closed together.

[Illustration: Curtius leaping into the chasm 288]

About the space of thirteen years after these things there was again
war with the Gauls; and when the Romans had levied a great army of ten
legions of men, Camillus the Consul (being son to that Camillus that
 the city in time past) marched therewith into the Latin plain, and
pitched his camp near to the marshes by the sea, over against the camp
of the Gauls.

And while the two armies lay quiet, a Gaul of great stature, and having
splendid arms, came forth, who, striking his shield with his spear, by
way of token that he would have silence, challenged by the mouth of an
interpreter any one that would of the men of Rome to do battle with
him. Thereupon a certain Marcus Valerius, thinking that he might win
for himself like renown with Manlius, that was surnamed of the Twisted
Chain, came forth fully armed into the space between the two armies,
having first obtained permission of the Consul. When these two were
about to join battle, a crow lighted suddenly upon the helmet of
Valerius, with his face towards the Gaul. And Valerius received it with
joy as an augury sent from heaven, crying out, "May the god or goddess
that hath sent this bird of good omen to me be favourable to me and
succour me." Then, marvellous to relate, the bird not only remained
steadfast in the place whereupon it had lighted, but as soon as the two
began to fight together, raised itself upon its wings, and wounded with
its beak and claws the face and eyes of the enemy, so that, terrified
by so marvellous a thing, he was easily slain by Valerius. Now, up to
this time the foremost lines of both armies had remained quiet; but when
Valerius began to strip the spoils from the body of the dead man, the
Gauls ran forward to hinder him. Then with yet greater speed ran the
Romans to his help; and there was a great fight about the dead body. And
Camillus seeing that the men were confident by reason not only of the
valour of Valerius, but also of the manifest favour of the Gods, he
cried aloud, "Soldiers, do as Valerius hath done, and slay multitudes
of Gauls as he hath slain their champion." Thus was there won a great
victory over the Gauls, for though some of them fought valiantly, the
greater part fled before even the Romans had come within a spear's cast
of them. As for Valerius, he was made Consul in the year following,
though he was but twenty and three years of age (It was not lawful in
those days that a man should be Consul till he was forty and two years
of age); and he and his posterity after him had for themselves the
surname of Corvus, which is, being interpreted, a crow. In the four
hundred and twelfth year after the building of the city there was war
between the Romans and the Samnites, in which war, when the one Consul,
Valerius, had won a great victory, the other, Cornelius, was well-nigh
destroyed together with his army. For, leading his soldiers into a
certain narrow pass, he did not perceive that it was surrounded on all
sides by the enemy, and that these were also on the higher ground
above him. And while he doubted what he should do (for it was no longer
possible that he should return by the same way by which he came), a
certain Decius Mus, being a tribune of the soldiers, perceived a hill
above the camp of the enemy, and that this hill might easily be climbed
by soldiers lightly armed. Thereupon he said to the Consul, "Cornelius,
seest thou that hill? Thereby we may save ourselves if we only make
haste and occupy it; for the Samnites are blind that they have not
occupied it before. Give me only the front rank and the spearmen of one
legion; and when with these I shall have climbed to the top, do thou
move forward with the legions, fearing nothing, for the Samnites cannot
follow thee, having to pass this hill. As for us, the fortune of the
Roman people or our own valour will deliver us." And when he had said
this, leading his men by secret paths, he climbed to the top of the
hill, the Samnites not perceiving what he did. And while these doubted
what they should do for wonder and fear, the Consul escaped with his
army. As to Decius also, they knew not whether they should surround the
hill on all sides, and so shut him in, or, leaving a way open, should
attack him when he should have come down to the plain. And while they
doubted, darkness came upon them.

At the first Decius thought that the enemy would come up the hill
against him, and that he should fight against them with advantage from
the higher ground, but when they neither came nor yet began to build a
rampart round the hill, he called his centurions to him and said, "What
ignorance or indolence is this in these men, that they sit still and do
nothing when they might by this time have shut us in? Surely we shall be
as bad as they if we stop longer in this place than shall be convenient
to us. Come then with me, and while there is yet some light, let us
see where they have set their guards, and where we may find a way of
departing from this place." So the centurions, having clad themselves in
the garb of common soldiers, lest the enemy should know them, spied out
the nature of the place. Afterwards, when he had posted the sentinels,
he commanded that the rest of the soldiers should assemble at the
second watch. To them he said, "Ye must hear my words in silence, not
signifying your assent by a shout in soldiers' fashion. Such as shall
approve my counsel let them come over to the right side; and if the
greater part of you shall so come, we will abide by it. The enemy having
neglected to occupy this place at the first, have neglected also to to
shut us in with a rampart. Stay we cannot, lest we perish with hunger
and thirst. Sally forth we must, if we are to be delivered. And if we
wait for day, can we doubt that the enemy will do that which he should
have done long since, and make a ditch and a rampart about the place?
Night therefore is the better time, and if the night, then also this
hour of the night is better than all others; for at this second watch
the sleep of men is commonly the deepest. Follow me therefore even as ye
have followed me hitherto. Let them to whom this counsel seems good come
over to the right side." They came over all of them, and followed Decius
as he led the way by a place which the enemy had left without guards.
But when they were now come to the middle of the camp, one of the
Romans, as he would have stepped over a sleeping man, stumbled upon
his shield and so woke him. The man roused his neighbour, and he again
others; and Decius, perceiving that he was discovered, commanded his men
to shout; and the Samnites, being confused and scarcely yet awake,
nor able to bestir themselves, could not hinder him and his men from
escaping. The next day, after he had entered the camp of the Consul (for
though he reached it before the night was spent, he would not enter till
it was day, thinking that they came back to their countrymen with such
glory as should not be concealed by darkness), Cornelius summoned the
soldiers to assembly and began to set forth the praises of Decius. But
Decius said, "I would counsel, Cornelius, that you postpone everything
to the occasion of victory that is now given you. Attack the enemy while
they are in confusion and scattered, for doubtless many have been sent
to pursue me." This the Consul did, and won a great victory over the
Samnites, and took their camp, wherein were slain, it is said, thirty
thousand men.

As for Decius, the Consul gave him a golden crown and a hundred oxen,
whereof one was white and of surpassing beauty, having gilded horns. And
to each of the soldiers that had followed him he gave a double portion
of corn for ever and an ox and two garments. And the legion set on the
head of Decius a crown of grass, by which was signified deliverance
from siege; his own men also gave him another such crown. Then Decius
sacrificed the white ox to Mars, and gave the other oxen to his soldiers.
To these men the rest of the legions made a contribution, a pound of
corn and a pint of wine for each.

In the third year after these things, Decius being then Consul together
with Manlius, there was a great war with the Latins. And while the
armies lay over against each other in a place near to the city of Capua,
there appeared to both Consuls, as they slept, the same figure of a man,
only of greater stature and of more dignity than belongs to man, which
figure spake to each the same words: "There is due to the Gods that
dwell below, and to Mother Earth, from the one side a general, and from
the other an army. And on which side soever of these two a general shall
devote himself, together with the army of the enemy, to the Gods below
and to Mother Earth, that side shall have the victory." When the Consuls
had told their dreams one to the other, they ordered that sacrifices
should be offered to avert the wrath of the gods; and that if the
soothsayers examining the entrails of the beasts should find the signs
therein to agree with the dreams that they had dreamed, one or other
of the Consuls should fulfil the decree of fate. So they sacrificed the
beasts, and hearing from the soothsayers that such signs had been found,
they called the officers together and told them how they agreed that if
either side began to give way the consul then commanding should devote
himself for the Roman people and for his country.

On the morning of the day when the battle was fought (the place being
near to Mount Vesuvius) the Consuls offered sacrifice each for himself.
Then the soothsayer showed the Consul Decius how, the signs being in
other respects altogether favourable, the head of the liver was wounded
on that side that regarded himself. Manlius, on the other hand, found
all things altogether favourable. Then said Decius, "It is well if the
offering of my colleague has been accepted." After these things they
marched forth to the battle, Manlius commanding the right wing and
Decius the left.

For a while both armies fought with equal courage and strength. Then the
Roman spearmen, being the front rank, gave way before the Latins, and
fell back upon the rank behind them. Thereupon Decius cried with a loud
voice to Valerius, "Valerius, we have need of the help of the Gods. Come
therefore, and, as high priest of the Roman people, dictate to me the
words in which I may devote myself for the legions." Then the high
priest bad him put on the robe that is called Prætexta--that is to say,
having a stripe of purple about it-and to cover his head, and, thrusting
his hand under his gown up to his chin, to say after him these words: "O
Janus, Jupiter, Father Mars, Quirinus, Bellona, Gods of the households,
Gods of the land, Gods of the dwellings below, I beseech you that
ye grant strength and victory to the Roman people, and send upon the
enemies of the Roman people terror, and panic, and death. And now I
devote myself, and with me the legions of our enemies, to the infernal
Gods, on behalf of the commonwealth of Rome and the legions of the Roman

[Illustration: Decius devoting himself for his country 300]

Then girding himself after the manner of Gabii, and taking his sword, he
leapt upon his horse and hastened into the midst of the enemy. To both
armies he seemed to be more than man, being sent, as it were, from
heaven, to avert the anger of the gods, to avert destruction from
his countrymen, and to bring it upon his enemies; and the Latins were
overwhelmed with terror, giving way before him wherever his horse
carried him, and when at last he fell slain by a shower of javelins,
flying from the place where he lay. As for the Romans, they fought with
greater hope and courage, as knowing that they had been delivered from
the anger of the gods.

When the battle had now lasted many hours, and the Latins had no fresh
soldiers to bring up, the consul Manlius cried to the veterans whom
he had kept behind, kneeling on one knee, till they should be needed,
"Rise, and deal with the enemy as men that are fresh to the battle
should deal with the weary. Remember your wives and children; remember
also your Consul that has died that ye may have, victory." So the
veterans rose and advanced, bringing up a fresh line against the enemy;
nor could these withstand them, but turned and fled. Many were slain in
the field, and many also in the camp, which was taken that same day. The
day following the body of Decius was found, covered with javelins, with
many dead corpses of the enemy about it; and the consul Manlius made for
this a great funeral.

In the forty-second year after these things, Publius Decius Mus, being
son to that Decius who devoted himself for the army in the battle of
Mount Vesuvius, was made consul together with Quintus Fabius, having
been consul three times before. In that year the Gauls had leagued
together with the Etrurians against the Romans, having also upon their
side the Umbrians and the Samnites. And the armies pitched their camps
near to Sentinum, having a space of about four miles between them. Now
it had been agreed among the enemy that on the day of battle the Gauls
with the Samnites should fight with the army, and that the Etrurians
with the men of Umbria should attack the camp. But this counsel certain
deserters from Clusium declared to the Consuls. Thereupon the Consuls
sent word by letter to their lieutenants that they should lay waste the
country of the Etrurians. And this they did, working such destruction
that the Etrurians with the men of Umbria straightway departed, that
they might defend their own possessions. Then the Consuls made haste
that they might fight before these should come back. For two days,
therefore, they challenged the enemy to battle; but though a few were
killed on either side, nothing worthy of note was done. But on the third
day both the armies came down into the plain ready to do battle,
and, while they stood, a hind that fled from a wolf ran down from the
mountains across the plain that lay between the two hosts, and the two
beasts went different ways, the hind among the Gauls and the wolf among
the Romans. The hind, indeed, the Gauls slew, but the Romans gave place
to the wolf to pass through their lines. Then a soldier that stood in
the front rank cried aloud, "Look ye, flight and slaughter go that way
where ye see the hind, a beast that is sacred to the goddess Diana,
lie dead; but to us the wolf of Mars, whom we have left unharmed, is a
pledge of victory, reminding us of him of whose race we come."

On the right wing of the enemy were the Gauls, and on the left the
Samnites, Quintus Fabius being set to fight against these, and Decius
Mus against the Gauls. At the first when the battle was begun the
strength on either side was so equal that, if only the Etrurians or the
men of Umbria had been there, the Romans had doubtless suffered some
great loss either in the field or in the camp. Nevertheless the fashion
of the battle was not the same in both wings. For Fabius and his legions
defended themselves rather than attacked; Fabius judging that the Gauls
and Samnites were most to be feared at their first charge, and that if
only this could be sustained the day would go well with the Romans; the
Samnites growing slack in valour, and the Gauls being unaccustomed to
endure toil and heat for a long space of time, so that at the first they
would fight with more than the strength of men, and at the last with
less than the strength of women. Wherefore he kept the best strength of
his soldiers till such time as the enemy were accustomed to be worsted.
But Decius, being vigorous in body and of a high spirit, used his whole
strength to the utmost in the very beginning of the battle. And because
the foot soldiers seemed to him to fight with a certain slackness, he
brought up the horsemen to their help. Then riding into the midst of one
of the squadrons in which were many youths of noble birth, he cried to
them, saying, "Follow me against the enemy. Ye shall win for yourselves
a double share of glory if the victory shall be first won on this side."
Twice did they put to flight the horsemen of the Gauls; but when they
charged now for a third time, riding far on among the enemy, they were
thrown into confusion by a certain new and strange manner of fighting.
For suddenly there came upon them a number, of the enemy that stood upon
chariots, and who, advancing against them with a great noise both of
horses' hoofs and of wheels, affrighted their horses. Thus there came
a sudden panic upon them in the very hour of their victory, and turning
their backs they fled headlong. Then the legions also were disordered,
many that stood in the front rank being cast to the ground and crushed,
both by their horsemen and by the chariots of the enemy. And when
the Gauls saw how the Romans gave way they pressed on, giving them no
breathing space nor time of recovery. Then cried the Consul Decius,
"Whither do ye fly? what hope have ye in flight?" And he strove to stay
them as they fled, and call them back into the battle. But when he saw
that he could avail nothing, so overwhelmed were they with fear, he
called aloud on the name of Publius Decius, his father, and said, "Why
do I delay any longer the fate that belongs to my race? This is
the privilege of my house, to be victims whereby the dangers of the
commonwealth may be expiated. Therefore I give myself, and together with
me the army of the enemy, to Mother Earth, and to the Gods of the dead."
When he had so spoken, he bade Marcus Livius, the high priest (on whom,
when he went into the battle, he had laid his commands that he should
never depart from his side), dictate the words by which he might devote
himself and the army of the enemy for the army of the Roman people. Then
he arrayed himself in the same manner and prayed the same words as his
father had done in the battle by Mount Vesuvius. To this he added these
words, "Lo! I carry before me terror and flight, slaughter and blood,
and the wrath of the Gods of heaven and of hell; with the curses of
death will I smite the standards, weapons, and armour of the enemy,
accomplishing in one and the same place my own destruction and the
destruction of the Gauls and of the Samnites." And when he had thus
cursed both himself and the enemy he spurred his horse into the lines of
the Gauls, where he saw them to be thickest, and so fell pierced through
with many spears.

After the death of Decius the Romans fought with such strength and
courage as seemed beyond the nature of men. For the Romans, when their
leader was dead (a thing that commonly is wont to be the cause of much
fear), stayed from their flight and took heart to begin the battle
afresh. But as for the Gauls, and those especially that stood about the
dead body of the Consul, they cast their javelins at random and to
no purpose, as though they were beside themselves; and some were so
stupefied with fear that they could neither fight nor fly. Then Livius
the high priest, to whom the Consul Decius had given over his lictors,
bidding him take upon himself the command, cried aloud, "The Romans have
conquered, being delivered from peril by the death of the Consul. The
Gauls and the Samnites are the possession of Mother Earth and of the
Gods of the dead. Decius is calling and drawing to him the army that he
devoted to death together with himself; and the whole host of the enemy
is full of madness and fear." And while he set the battle in order again
on this side of the field there came up two lieutenants whom Fabius the
Consul had sent from the rereward to the help of his colleague. And when
they heard that Decius was dead, and in what manner, they all addressed
themselves to the battle with fresh courage. So when the Gauls stood
in close array, with their shields set up before them, and it seemed no
easy thing to come to close combat with them, the lieutenants commanded
that they should gather together the javelins which lay on the ground in
the space between the two armies, and cast them against the shields of
the enemy. And when most of these pierced their shelter, and some that
had the longer points were even driven into their bodies, the army was
overthrown, not a few falling to the ground though their bodies were
unhurt. Such changes of fortune were there in the left wing of the

Meanwhile, in the right wing, when Fabius perceived that the enemy
shouted not as loudly as before, nor cast their javelins with as much
strength, he commanded the captains of the horsemen to take a compass
with their squadrons and fall upon the Samnites in the rear when he
should give the signal. This done he bade the legions advance their
standards. And when he saw that the enemy were beyond all doubt wearied
with fighting, he called to him all the reserves that he had kept back
for this end, and gave the signal, so that the legions fell upon the
enemy from before and the horsemen fell upon them from behind at one and
the same time. Thereupon the Samnites turned their backs and fled with
all speed to their camp; but the Gauls, locking their shields in close
array, stood fast. And now there came tidings to Fabius how that
his colleague was dead; and when he heard them he bade the Companion
Knights, being a company of about five hundred horsemen, leave the line
and fall upon the Gauls in the rear; with whom went also a part of
the third legion, to fall upon the enemy wherever their line should be
broken by the horsemen. And he himself, having first vowed a temple and
all the spoils of victory to Jupiter the Conqueror, marched to the camp
of the Samnites. Then again was there a battle, for the multitude of
them that fled was so great that they could not enter by the gates, so
that they fought perforce. Then Egnatius, captain of the host of the
Samnites, was slain. And in no great space of time the Samnites were
driven within the ramparts and the camp also was taken. The Gauls also,
being surrounded on all sides, could withstand the Romans no more. That
day there fell five and twenty thousand of the enemy, and eight thousand
were taken alive. Nor did the Romans escape without damage, for in the
army of Decius were slain seven thousand and in the army of Fabius one
thousand seven hundred. Fabius, having first sent men to search for the
body of his colleague, gathered together in a great heap all the spoils
of the enemy, and offered them for a burnt offering to Jupiter the
Conqueror. On the morrow they found the body of Decius, covered with
dead bodies of the Gauls, and brought it back to the camp amidst much
weeping of the soldiers. And Fabius made for him as great a funeral as
he could prepare.


In the four hundred and thirty-third year after the building of the city
there was war between the Romans and the Samnites. Now there is in the
land of the Samnites a certain pass which men call the Pass of Caudium.
Near to this the captain of the host of the Samnites, a man very skilful
in war, Caius Pontius by name, pitched his camp, hiding it from sight as
much as might be. This done he sent twelve soldiers, clad as shepherds,
to Calatia, in which place he knew the Consuls to be with the army of
the Romans. He commanded these men that they should feed their flocks
not far from the camp of the Romans, one in one place and another in
another, and that when the plunderers should fall upon them and take
them they should tell all of them the same tale, that the legions of the
Samnites were in Apulia, laying siege to the town of Luceria with all
their might, and were on the point to take it. Now this same report had
been spread abroad before of set purpose, and had come to the ears of
the Romans; and now when these prisoners said the same words, agreeing
all of them one with another, the Romans must needs believe it to be
true. Now that the Romans would help the men of Luceria was manifest,
because they were good allies and faithful, and because also, if it
should be taken, all Apulia would fall away from them from present fear
of the enemy. But by which way they would go men doubted much: for there
were two ways, the one broad and easy, along the coast of the Upper Sea;
but this way, as it was safe, so also was long. The other way, and this
the shorter by far, lay through the Passes of Caudium. Now the nature
of these passes is this. There are two deep glens, narrow and grown with
woods, having mountains on either side of them; and between these there
is a plain, of no small extent, grassy and well watered, and the road
passes through the midst of it. But before a man can come to this plain
he must needs go through the first pass; and when he would leave, if he
will not return by the way by which he came, he must needs go through
the second, and this is yet more narrow and difficult than the first.
Into this plain, therefore, the Romans marched with their whole army
through a cleft in the rocks--that is to say, through the first pass;
but when they came to the second, they found it shut with the trunks
of trees and great stones. And now the stratagem of the enemy became
manifest, and at the same time also there was seen on the mountains
above them a great army of the Samnites. And when they went back in all
haste to the pass by which they had entered, they found this also shut
by a fence of the like sort, kept by armed men. Thereupon they halted,
though no man had given the word, for they were utterly confounded,
neither was there any strength left in their limbs; and they stood
speechless, looking upon each other as men that sought for help.
Nevertheless, the tents of the Consuls were set up, and the tools for
fortifying the camp got ready, though it seemed an idle thing for men
that were in such plight to fortify a camp; but because they would not
make their trouble worse by neglect they addressed themselves to work,
and, without bidding or command from any man, fortified a camp; but not
the less they knew their labour to be in vain; nor did the enemy cease
to mock at them. This being done, the lieutenants and the tribunes came
together without any bidding, for the Consuls called no council, as
knowing that there was no device or knowledge that could avail them.
The soldiers also ran together to the Consuls' tent, asking from their
leaders such help as the gods themselves could scarce have given. And
while they doubted what might be done darkness came upon them. Some
said, "Let us make our way through these things that bar the way," and
others, "Why should mountains and wood hinder us while we have swords in
our hands? Suffer us only to come at the enemy, whom we have conquered
now for thirty years; there is no place whereon the Romans cannot
prevail over the Samnites, how many soever they may be."

But others said, "Whither shall we go? and by what way? Shall we move
these mountains from their place? for while they yet hang over us how
can we come at our enemies? Truly we are given into their hands bound
hand and foot, and they will conquer us without so much as moving from
their place." Thus did they talk one to the other; and that night they
thought neither of food nor of sleep.

The Samnites also doubted much what they should best do now that their
counsels had so greatly prospered. With one consent, therefore, they
wrote letters to Herennius Pontius, father to Pontius their general,
seeking for his advice. Now Pontius was a very old man, and had long
since withdrawn himself not from war only, but also from all affairs of
state. Nevertheless, though his body was weak, the power of his mind was
not abated. When he heard that the Roman army had been shut in between
the Passes of Caudium, and that his son would fain have his counsel,
he said, "Let the men go, and harm them not." And when, despising this
counsel, they sent the messenger again, asking the same question, he
answered, "Slay them all; spare not one." When they heard these two
answers, being so different the one from the other, it seemed to Pontius
that his father's mind had failed him, even as his body had failed him.
Nevertheless, when all would have it that the old man himself should be
sent for, he yielded to their desire. And Pontius the elder agreeing was
carried to the camp, they say, in a waggon; and when he was come they
brought him into the council. There he spoke, changing indeed nothing of
that which he had said, but adding his reasons. "My first counsel I yet
judge to be the best, for thus by a great benefit ye will make peace and
friendship for ever with a very powerful nation. If ye follow my second
counsel ye will put off war with Rome for many generations; since,
losing two great armies, they will not readily recover their strength.
But counsel other than these two there is none." And when his son and
others of the captains asked him whether there were not some middle way,
so that the prisoners should be sent away unhurt but with conditions
according to the right of war, "That," said he, "is a counsel which will
neither get friends for you nor rid you of enemies. For think who they
are that ye will provoke by such disgrace. The Romans cannot endure to
sit quiet under defeat, nor will they rest till they have got manifold
vengeance for that which present necessity shall have compelled them
to suffer." Then, the Samnites not approving either counsel, Pontius
departed to his home.

And now the Romans, having sought many times in vain to break forth, and
being now destitute of everything, sent ambassadors to the Samnites
to seek peace, and, if peace were not given, to challenge the enemy to
battle. To these Pontius made answer, "Since ye will not confess your
plight, prisoners though ye be, I will send you under the yoke without
arms, each having one garment only. As to the conditions of peace, they
shall be equal and right. Ye shall depart from the land of the Samnites,
and take away your colonies; and hereafter both Romans and Samnites
shall live under their own laws. If these conditions please the Consuls,
I will make a treaty with them; if they please them not, return not
hither again." When this message was brought back there arose a general
lamentation; for it seemed better to die than to suffer such disgrace.
And when the Consuls knew not what to say, Lucius Lentulus, being first
of the lieutenants, both in respect of valour and of the honours which
he had received, then spake: "Consuls, I have often heard from my father
that he only gave counsel to the Senate that they should not ransom
their country for gold, and that he did this because the Gauls had not
enclosed the capital, and that therefore they might sally forth, not
indeed without danger, yet without certainty of destruction. I also
would give like advice this day if we could come near our enemies to
fight with them. But seeing this may not be, and that if this army be
destroyed, Rome is destroyed with it (for how can an unarmed multitude
defend it?) my counsel is that we accept these conditions. So shall we
deliver our country, not indeed by our death, yet by our disgrace."

Thereupon the Consuls going to Pontius made with him, not indeed, a
treaty, for such could not be made without the consent of the people
and the ministry of the heralds, but a covenant, for which the Consuls,
lieutenants, quaestors, and tribunes were made sureties. And because
peace could not be confirmed forthwith it was agreed that six hundred
horsemen should be given as hostages, who should suffer death if the
covenant should not be fulfilled. But when the Consuls came back to
the camp the grief in the camp broke out afresh, and the soldiers could
scarcely be kept from doing them violence. "Your rashness," they cried,
"brought us into this place, and through your cowardice we come out of
it with disgrace. No guide had ye, nor sent scouts to explore, but
went blindly, even as beasts fall into a pit. As for us, we have been
overcome and yet have not suffered a wound or struck a blow." While they
thus murmured the time came when they must endure this great disgrace.
First they were bidden to come without the rampart, having no arms and
one garment only for each man. Afterwards the hostages were given up
and led away to prison. Then the lictors were commanded to leave the
Consuls; and these had their soldiers cloaks taken from them, so that
they who had just cursed them, crying out that they should be delivered
to the torturers, now pitied them, turning their eyes away, and thinking
not of their own condition for shame that the majesty of so high an
office should be so brought low. First the Consuls were sent under the
yoke, half naked, and after them the other officers, according to their
rank, and lastly the soldiers according to their legions. The enemy
stood about, mocking and reviling them; some they threatened with their
swords, and others that seemed to bear themselves too proudly they
wounded and even slew.

Then, going on their way, the Romans came near to Capua, but for shame
and for fear lest their allies should desert them, entered not the
city, but cast themselves down upon the road. But the men of Capua
had compassion on them, and sent to them all that they needed, and
entertained them both publicly and privately with all hospitality. But
the Romans answered not a word, nor so much as lifted up their eyes, so
overwhelmed were they with shame and grief. The next day certain young
noblemen of Capua, going with them to the borders of their country, made
this answer to some that questioned them in the Senate concerning
the behaviour of the Romans: "These men are wholly sunk in grief and
despair, and have lost not their arms only but also their courage.
Verily they seem to have yet on their necks the yoke under which they
were made to pass; and as for the Samnites, they have won a victory to
which there will be no end. The Gauls took the city of Rome, but these
men have taken the very courage of the Roman people." Then said a
certain Calavius, a man of renown and venerable for his age, "This
silence, this shame, this refusing of all comfort are signs of a wrath
that is both great and deep. If I know aught of the Roman people from
this silence will come loud lamentation to the Samnites."

Meanwhile these ill tidings had been carried to Rome. First they heard
that the army was besieged; after that there had been made this shameful
peace. Thereupon the soldiers, whom the magistrates had begun to levy on
news of the siege, were dismissed, and a public mourning made by common
consent. The shops were shut round the market-place, and also the courts
of the judges; and the magistrates laid aside their ornaments and gold
rings. At the first there was great wrath, not against the generals
alone, but also against the soldiers, whom they counted unworthy to be
admitted into the city; but when the army came in pitiable plight wrath
was changed to compassion.

So soon as the Consuls of the next year were appointed they called the
Senate to consider what should be done concerning the peace of Caudium.
And first they bade Postumius, that was one of the Consuls, speak his
mind. Then said Postumius (and as he spake he bare the same look that he
had borne under the yoke), "I hold that by this peace the Roman people
is not bound, seeing that it was made without their authority, but only
they that made themselves surety for it. Let us therefore be delivered
up to the Samnites naked and in chains by the heralds; so shall we
set free the people if they be in any wise bound. I hold also that the
Consuls should forthwith levy an army and march forth therewith, but
that they should not cross the border of the enemy till all these
things be duly finished. And I pray to the Gods of heaven that they be
satisfied with our disgrace, and that they prosper the arms of Rome even
as they have prospered them in time past."

To these words two tribunes of the Commons, having been among the
sureties, made objection, saying, "Ye cannot set the Roman people free
by giving up the sureties, but only by restoring all things as they were
at Caudium. Neither do we deserve punishment because we saved the army;
and seeing that we are sacred we may not be surrendered to the enemy."

To this Postumius made answer, "If this be so, men of Rome, give up us
that are common persons; and as for these sacred tribunes, touch them
not till their time of office be ended. Only, if ye will listen to
me, afterwards, before ye give them up, beat them with rods in the
market-place, and so take usury for the delay of payment. That the Roman
people are bound by this peace I deny. Think ye that they had been bound
if we had promised to surrender their city, their temples, their land,
their rivers, so that all that now belongs to the Romans should belong
to the Samnites? And if ye ask me why I made such a peace having no
authority, I answer this only. Nothing at Caudium was done wisely, but
all things foolishly. The Gods smote not us only, but also the enemy
with madness. We went blindly into the peril, and they cast away the
victory which they had won. For why did they not send ambassadors to
Rome, seeing that it was but a three days' journey, that peace might be
made in due form? Surely neither Fathers nor Commons are bound to that
in which they had no part. We that were sureties are bound, and we will
give ourselves up that they may work their will on us."

Even the tribunes of the Commons were persuaded by these words, so that
they abdicated their office, and were given to the heralds to be led to
Caudium together with the consuls and the other sureties. Thereupon the
heralds, going before, when they came to the gate, commanded that their
garments should be stripped from them that had been sureties for the
peace, and that their hands should be bound behind their backs. And when
the lictor, for reverence' sake, would have tied the cord loosely about
the hands of Postumius, Postumius said, "Nay, but bind tight the cord
that the matter may be done rightly." Afterwards, when they were come to
the judgment-seat of Pontius, the herald thus spake: "Forasmuch as these
men here present without bidding of the Roman people gave themselves
as sureties that a treaty should be made, and so did great wrong, I now
give up these men to you, that the Roman people may be set free
from guiltiness in this matter." While the herald was thus speaking,
Postumius with his knee smote him on the thigh with all his might,
saying, with a loud voice, "I am a citizen of Samnium, and thou art an
ambassador; I have smitten a herald contrary to the law of nations, so
that ye will wage war not without good cause."

Then said Pontius, "I accept not this surrender, neither I nor the
Samnites. If thou believest, Postumius, that there are gods, why dost
thou not either undo all that has been done or stand by thy covenant?
But I ask not this of thee, I ask it of the Roman people. If this peace
please them not, let them send back the legions to their place. Let all
that hath been done be undone. They shall have the arms which they gave
up. Then, if ye will, refuse this peace. Will ye never lack a cause for
going back from your word? Ye gave hostages to Porsenna and got them
back by stealth. Ye ransomed your State from the Gauls for gold, and
slew them even while ye paid it. Ye made peace with us that ye might get
back your legions that were taken, and now ye would disannul it. Is this
the law of nations, thou herald, as thou takest it to be? As for these
men, I accept them not. They may go back to their own country and carry
with them the wrath of the Gods whom they have despised. Ye will wage
war forsooth with us because Portumius hath struck the herald with his
knee. Ye will persuade the Gods that he is not a Roman but a Samnite,
and that therefore ye have just cause of war against us. Shame that old
men that have borne office should not be ashamed to work such mockeries
in the light of day, excusing themselves for their falsehood by such
tricks as verily children would count to be unworthy of them. Go,
lictor, loosen the bonds of the Romans; let no one hinder them from
going whither they will." So the Romans, having acquitted certainly
their own faith, and it may be the faith of the State, departed to their
own homes.


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