Text #9241

"Roman-Volscian War", in Wikipedia.

Livy states that colonists from Antium rebuilt Satricum in 348. Then in 346 news reached Rome that emissaries from Antium were attempting to stir up the Latins against Rome. Consul Marcus Valerius Corvus marched to Satricum with his army and engaged the Antiates and other Volscian troops in battle. The Volsci fled into Satricum, but surrendered just as the Romans were about to storm the town. 4000 men and numerous non-combatants were taken prisoner. Satricum was sacked and burned; only the temple of Mater Matuta was spared. The 4000 who had surrendered were marched in front of the consul’s chariot during his triumphal procession and subsequently sold, bringing in a large sum for the State treasury. According to some of Livy’s sources these prisoners were slaves that had been captured at Satricum. Livy found this more plausible than their being surrendered fighting men. The Fasti Triumphales records that Marcus Valerius Corvus celebrated his triumph over the Antiates and Satricani on 1 February.

Modern historians have widely considered the two destructions of Satricum in 377 and 346, both times only the temple of Mater Matuta survives, to be a doublet. The town’s supposed rebuilding in 348 is more likely to be a reconstruction by a later annalist to explain how Satricum could be destroyed for a second time. Archaeological excavations have confirmed that only the temple of Mater Matuta survived of Satricum after the mid-fourth century. However, if then the double destruction of Satricum is rejected as unhistorical, it does not necessarily follow that this hotly contested town was not captured both in 377 and 346. The claim of 4000 captives taken, whether they be prisoners of war or slaves, is most likely a later invention and not based on any authentic record.

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