Text #9229"Roman-Latin Wars", in .
Livy provides the only full narrative for 380. After a failed census in Rome, the plebeian tribunes started agitating for debt relief and obstructed the enrolment of fresh legions for the war against Praeneste. Not even the news that the Praenestines had advanced into the district of Gabii deterred the tribunes. Learning that Rome had no army in the field, the Praenestine army pushed on until it stood before the Colline Gate. Alarmed, the Romans appointed T. Quinctius Cincinnatus as Dictator with A. Sempronius Atratinus as his Master of the Horse and assembled the army. In response the Praenestines withdrew to the Allia where they set up camp, hoping that memories of their earlier defeat against the Gauls at the same place would cause dread among the Romans. The Romans however recalled their previous victories against the Latins and relished the chance of wiping out previous defeats. The Dictator ordered A. Sempronius to charge the Praenestine center with the cavalry, the Dictator would then attack the disordered enemy with the legions. The Praenestines broke at the first charge. In the panic they abandoned their camp, the flight not stopping until they were within sight of Praeneste. At first unwilling to abandon the countryside to the Romans, the Praenestines established a second camp, but on the arrival of the Romans this second camp was also abandoned and the Praenestines retreated behind the walls of their city. The Romans first captured eight towns subordinated to Praeneste and then marched on Velitrae which was stormed. When the Roman army arrived before Praeneste the Praenestines surrendered. Having defeated the enemy in battle and captured two camps and nine towns, Titus Quinctius returned to Rome in triumph, carrying with him from Praeneste a statue of Jupiter Imperator. This statue was set up on the Capitol between the shrines of Jupiter and Minerva with the inscription “Jupiter and all the gods granted that the dictator Titus Quinctius should capture nine towns”. Titus Quinctius laid down his office on the twentieth day after his appointment. According to D.H. and Festus the nine towns were captured in nine days. Festus further adds that Quinctius captured Praeneste on the tenth and dedicated a golden crown weighing two and one third of a pound. D.S. also records a Roman victory in battle against the Praenestines in this year, but does not provide any details. According to Livy, the next year, 379, the Praenestines renewed hostilites by instigating revolts among the Latins; however, apart from this notice Praeneste is not mentioned again in the sources until 358.
Modern historians generally accept the core of Livy’s account of Titus Quinctius’ dictatorship and its dating to 380. Thus that he captured nine towns subordinated to Praeneste and forced the Praenestines to sue for peace is considered historical. Oakley (1998) also believes Quinctius’ victory in pitched battle could be historical, and maybe also his capture of Velitrae as well, no fighting is reported against Velitrae until 369, but this could also be a later invention. However the claims that the Praenestines marched on Rome via Gabii and the placement of the battle at the Allia are of very doubtful historicity. With regards to the discrepancies between Livy and Festus, Oakley believes that Festus, while mistaken when claiming that Praeneste was stormed, was correct in stating that T, Quinctius dedicated a crown rather than more magnificently, brought back a statue from Praeneste. Titus Quinctius Flamininus is said to have brought back a statue of Jupiter from Macedonia after his victories in the Second Macedonian War two centuries later and these two events have become then confused. This view is accepted by Forsythe (2005). Forsythe considers T. Quinctius Cincinnatus’ inscription to be origin of the more famous, but in Forsythe’s view fictitious, story of Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus’ dictatorship and victory against the Aequi in 458 BC.