Text #9230

"Roman-Volscian War", in Wikipedia.

In 379 the Romans assigned command of the Volscian war to consular tribunes P. and C. Manlius due to the two’s high birth and popularity, but this proved to be a mistake. The Roman commanders sent out their foragers without first doing any scouting, and were then tricked into an ambush by an enemy spy who falsely reported that the foragers had been surrounded. The Volsci also attacked the Roman camp. In Rome it was first decided to nominate a Dictator, but when the Romans realized that the Volsci did not intend to follow up their victory, they chose to recall their army from Volscian territory instead. New colonists were also sent to reinforce Setia. The next year, 378, the Volsci invaded and plundered Roman territory in all directions. At Rome the tribunes of the plebs first obstructed the enrolment of troops until the patricians accepted their conditions that no war tax would be paid until the war was over and no debt suits be brought to court. With these internal difficulties out of the way, the Romans divided their forces into two armies. One, commanded by consular tribunes Sp. Furius Medullinus and M. Horatius Pulvillus, to march towards Antium and the coastal areas, the other, under Q. Servilius Fidenas and L. Geganius Macerinus, to head for Ecetra and the mountains. Hoping to draw the Volsci into battle, the Romans set about ravaging the Volscian countryside. Having burned several outlying villages and destroyed the enemy’s harvest, the two armies returned to Rome with their booty.

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