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By Plutarch

(died 365 B.C.E.)

Translated by John Dryden

Among the many remarkable things that are related of Furius Camillus,
it seems singular and strange above all, that he, who continually
was in the highest commands, and obtained the greatest successes,
was five times chosen dictator, triumphed four times, and was styled
a second founder of Rome, yet never was so much as once consul. The
reason of which was the state and temper of the commonwealth at that
time; for the people, being at dissension with the senate, refused
to return consuls, but in their stead elected other magistrates, called
military tribunes, who acted, indeed, with full consular power, but
were thought to exercise a less obnoxious amount of authority, because
it was divided among a larger number; for to have the management of
affairs intrusted to the hands of six persons rather than two was
some satisfaction to the opponents of oligarchy. This was the condition
of the times when Camillus was in the height of his actions and glory,
and, although the government in the meantime had often proceeded to
consular elections, yet he could never persuade himself to be consul
against the inclination of the people. In all his other administrations,
which were many and various, he so behaved himself, that, when alone
in authority, he exercised his power as in common, but the honour
of all actions redounded entirely to himself, even when in joint commission
with others; the reason of the former was his moderation in command;
of the latter, his great judgment and wisdom, which gave him without
controversy the first place. 

The house of the Furii was not, at that time, of any considerable
distinction; he, by his own acts, first raised himself to honour,
serving under Postumius Tubertis, dictator, in the great battle against
the Aequians and Volscians. For riding out from the rest of the army,
and in the charge receiving a wound in his thigh, he for all that
did not quit the fight, but, letting the dart drag in the wound, and
engaging with the bravest of the enemy, put them to flight; for which
action, among other rewards bestowed on him, he was created censor,
an office in those days of great repute and authority. During his
censorship one very good act of his is recorded, that, whereas the
wars had made many widows, he obliged such as had no wives, some by
fair persuasion, others by threatening to set fines on their heads,
to take them in marriage; another necessary one, in causing orphans
to be rated, who before were exempted from taxes, the frequent wars
requiring more than ordinary expenses to maintain them. What, however,
pressed them most was the siege of Veii. Some call this people Veientani.
This was the head city of Tuscany, not inferior to Rome, either in
number of arms or multitude of soldiers, insomuch that, presuming
on her wealth and luxury, and priding herself upon her refinement
and sumptuousness, she engaged in many honourable contests with the
Romans for glory and empire. But now they abandoned their former ambitious
hopes, having been weakened by great defeats, so that, having fortified
themselves with high and strong walls, and furnished the city with
all sorts of weapons offensive and defensive, as likewise with corn
and all manner of provisions, they cheerfully endured a siege, which,
though tedious to them, was no less troublesome and distressing to
the besiegers. For the Romans, having never been accustomed to stay
away from home except in summer, and for no great length of time,
and constantly to winter at home, were then first compelled by the
tribunes to build forts in the enemy's country, and raising strong
works about their camp, to join winter and summer together. And now,
the seventh year of the war drawing to an end, the commanders began
to be suspected as too slow and remiss in driving on the siege, insomuch
that they were discharged and others chosen for the war, among whom
was Camillus, then second time tribune. But at present he had no hand
in the siege, the duties that fell by lot to him being to make war
upon the Faliscans and Capenates, who, taking advantage of the Romans
being occupied on all hands, had carried ravages into their country,
and, through all the Tuscan war, given them much annoyance, but were
now reduced by Camillus, and with great loss shut up within their

And now, in the very heat of the war, a strange phenomenon in the
Alban lake, which, in the absence of any known cause and explanation
by natural reasons, seemed as great a prodigy as the most incredible
that are reported, occasioned great alarm. It was the beginning of
autumn, and the summer now ending had, to all observation, been neither
rainy nor much troubled with southern winds; and many of the lakes,
brooks, and springs of all sorts with which Italy abounds, some were
wholly dried up, others drew very little water with them; all the
rivers, as is usual in summer, ran in a very low and hollow channel.
But the Alban lake, that is fed by no other waters but its own, and
is on all sides encircled with fruitful mountains, without any cause,
unless it were divine, began visibly to rise and swell, increasing
to the feet of the mountains, and by degrees reaching the level of
the very tops of them, and all this without any waves or agitation.
At first it was the wonder of shepherds and herdsmen; but when the
earth, which, like a great dam, held up the lake from falling into
the lower grounds, through the quantity and weight of water was broken
down, and in a violent stream it ran through the ploughed fields and
plantations to discharge itself in the sea, it not only struck terror
into the Romans, but was thought by all the inhabitants of Italy to
portend some extraordinary event. But the greatest talk of it was
in the camp that besieged Veii, so that in the town itself, also,
the occurrence became known. 

As in long sieges it commonly happens that parties on both sides meet
often and converse with one another, so it chanced that a Roman had
gained much confidence and familiarity with one of the besieged, a
man versed in ancient prophecies, and of repute for more than ordinary
skill in divination. The Roman, observing, him to be overjoyed at
the story of the lake, and to mock at the siege, told him that this
was not the only prodigy that of late had happened to the Romans;
others more wonderful yet than this had befallen them, which he was
willing to communicate to him, that he might the better provide for
his private interests in these public distempers. The man greedily
embraced the proposal, expecting to hear some wonderful secrets; but
when, by little and little, he had led him on in conversation and
insensibly drawn him a good way from the gates of the city, he snatched
him up by the middle, being stronger than he, and, by the assistance
of others that came running from the camp, seized and delivered him
to the commanders. The man, reduced to this necessity, and sensible
now that destiny was not to be avoided, discovered to them the secret
oracles of Veii; that it was not possible the city should be taken,
until the Alban lake, which now broke forth and had found out new
passages, was drawn back from that course, and so diverted that it
could not mingle with the sea. The senate, having heard and satisfied
themselves about the matter, decreed to send to Delphi, to ask counsel
of the god. The messengers were persons of the highest repute, Licinius
Cossus, Valerius Potitus, and Fabius Ambustus; who, having made their
voyage by sea and consulted the god, returned with other answers,
particularly that there had been a neglect of some of their national
rites relating to the Latin feasts; but the Alban water the oracle
commanded, if it were possible, they should keep from the sea, and
shut it up in its ancient bounds; but if that was not to be done,
then they should carry it off by ditches and trenches into the lower
grounds, and so dry it up; which message being delivered, the priests
performed what related to the sacrifices, and the people went to work
and turned the water. 

And now the senate, in the tenth year of the war, taking away all
other commands, created Camillus dictator, who chose Cornelius Scipio
for his general of horse. And in the first place he made vows unto
the gods, that, if they would grant a happy conclusion of the war,
he would celebrate to their honour the great games, and dedicate a
temple to the goddess whom the Romans call Matuta, the Mother, though,
from the ceremonies which are used, one would think she was Leucothea.
For they take a servant-maid into the secret part of the temple, and
there cuff her, and drive her out again, and they embrace their brothers'
children in place of their own; and, in general, the ceremonies of
the sacrifice remind one of the nursing of Bacchus by Ino, and the
calamities occasioned by her husband's concubine. Camillus, having
made these vows, marched into the country of the Faliscans, and in
a great battle overthrew them and the Capenates, their confederates;
afterwards he turned to the siege of Veii, and, finding that to take
it by assault would prove a difficult and hazardous attempt, proceeded
to cut mines underground, the earth about the city being easy to break
up, and allowing such depth for the works as would prevent their being
discovered by the enemy. This design going on in a hopeful way, he
openly gave assaults to the enemy, to keep them to the walls, whilst
they that worked underground in the mines were, without being perceived,
arrived within the citadel, close to the temple of Juno, which was
the greatest and most honoured in all the city. It is said that the
prince of the Tuscans was at that very time at sacrifice, and that
the priest, after he had looked into the entrails of the beast, cried
out with a loud voice that the gods would give victory to those that
should complete those offerings; and that the Romans who were in the
mines, hearing the words, immediately pulled down the floor, and,
ascending with noise and clashing weapons, frightened away the enemy,
and, snatching up the entrails, carried them to Camillus. But this
may look like a fable. The city, however, being taken by storm, and
the soldiers busied in pillaging and gathering an infinite quantity
of riches and spoils, Camillus, from the high tower, viewing what
was done, at first wept for pity; and when they that were by congratulated
his success, he lifted up his hands to heaven, and broke out into
this prayer: "O most mighty Jupiter, and ye gods that are judges of
good and evil actions ye know that not without just cause, but constrained
by necessity, we have been forced to revenge ourselves on the city
of our unrighteous and wicked enemies. But if, in the vicissitude
of things, there may be any calamity due, to counterbalance this great
felicity, I beg that it may be diverted from the city and army of
the Romans, and fall, with as little hurt as may be, upon my own head."
Having said these words, and just turning about (as the custom of
the Romans is to turn to the right after adoration or prayer), he
stumbled and fell, to the astonishment of all that were present. But,
recovering himself presently from the fall, he told them that he had
received what he had prayed for, a small mischance, in compensation
for the greatest good fortune. 

Having sacked the city, he resolved, according as he had vowed, to
carry Juno's image to Rome; and, the workmen being ready for that
purpose, he sacrificed to the goddess, and made his supplications
that she would be pleased to accept of their devotion toward her,
and graciously vouchsafe to accept of a place among the gods that
presided at Rome; and the statue, they say, answered in a low voice
that she was ready and willing to go. Livy writes, that, in praying,
Camillus touched the goddess, and invited her, and that some of the
standers-by cried out that she was willing and would come. They who
stand up for the miracle and endeavour to maintain it have one great
advocate on their side in the wonderful fortune of the city, which,
from a small and contemptible beginning, could never have attained
to that greatness and power without many signal manifestations of
the divine presence and co-operation. Other wonders of the like nature,
drops of sweat seen to stand on statues, groans heard from them, the
figures seen to turn round and to close their eyes, are recorded by
many ancient historians; and we ourselves could relate divers wonderful
things, which we have been told by men of our own time, that are not
lightly to be rejected; but to give too easy credit to such things,
or wholly to disbelieve them, is equally dangerous, so incapable is
human infirmity of keeping any bounds, or exercising command over
itself, running off sometimes to superstition and dotage, at other
times to the contempt and neglect of all that is supernatural. But
moderation is best, and to avoid all extremes. 

Camillus, however, whether puffed up with the greatness of his achievement
in conquering a city that was the rival of Rome, and had held out
a ten years' siege, or exalted with the felicitations of those that
were about him, assumed to himself more than became a civil and legal
magistrate; among other things, in the pride and haughtiness of his
triumph, driving through Rome in a chariot drawn with four white horses,
which no general either before or since ever did; for the Romans consider
such a mode of conveyance to be sacred and specially set apart to
the king, and father of the gods. This alienated the hearts of his
fellow-citizens, who were not accustomed to such pomp and display.

The second pique they had against him was his opposing the law by
which the city was to be divided; for the tribunes of the people brought
forward a motion that the people and senate should be divided into
two parts, one of which should remain at home, the other as the lot
should decide, remove to the new-taken city. By which means they should
not only have much more room, but, by the advantage of two great and
magnificent cities, be better able to maintain their territories and
their fortunes in general. The people, therefore, who were numerous
and indigent, greedily embraced it, and crowded continually to the
forum, with tumultuous demands to have it put to the vote. But the
senate and the noblest citizens, judging the proceedings of the tribunes
to tend rather to a destruction than a division of Rome, greatly averse
to it, went to Camillus for assistance, who, fearing the result if
it came to a direct contest, contrived to occupy the people with other
business, and so staved it off. He thus became unpopular. But the
greatest and most apparent cause of their dislike against him arose
from the tenths of the spoil; the multitude having here, if not a
just, yet a plausible case against him. For it seems, as he went to
the siege of Veii, he had vowed to Apollo that if he took the city
he would dedicate to him the tenth of the spoil. The city being taken
and sacked, whether he was loth to trouble the soldiers at that time,
or that through the multitude of business he had forgotten his vow,
he suffered them to enjoy that part of the spoils also. Some time
afterwards, when his authority was laid down, he brought the matter
before the senate, and the priests, at the same time, reported, out
of the sacrifices, that there were intimations of divine anger, requiring
propitiations and offerings. The senate decreed the obligations to
be in force. 

But seeing it was difficult for every one to produce the very same
things they had taken, to be divided anew, they ordained that every
one upon oath should bring into the public the tenth part of his gains.
This occasioned many annoyances and hardships to the soldiers, who
were poor men, and had endured much in the war, and now were forced,
out of what they had gained and spent, to bring in so great a proportion.
Camillus, being assaulted by their clamour and tumults, for want of
a better excuse, betook himself to the poorest of defences, confessing
he had forgotten his vow; they in turn complained that he had vowed
the tenth of the enemy's goods, and now levied it out of the tenth
of the citizens'. Nevertheless, every one having brought in his due
proportion, it was decreed that out of it a bowl of massy gold should
be made, and sent to Delphi. And when there was great scarcity of
gold in the city, and the magistrates were considering where to get
it, the Roman ladies, meeting together and consulting among themselves,
out of the golden ornaments they wore contributed as much as went
to the making of the offering, which in weight came to eight talents
of gold. The senate, to give them the honour they had deserved, ordained
that funeral orations should be used at the obsequies of women as
well as men, it having never before been a custom that any women after
death should receive any public eulogy. Choosing out, therefore, three
of the noblest citizens as a deputation, they sent them in a vessel
of war, well manned and sumptuously adorned. Storm and calm at sea
may both, they say, alike be dangerous; as they at this time experienced,
being brought almost to the very brink of destruction, and, beyond
all expectation, escaping. For near the isles of Aeolus the wind slacking,
galleys of the Lipareans came upon them, taking them for pirates;
and, when they held up their hands as suppliants, forbore indeed from
violence, but took their ship in tow, and carried her into the harbour,
where they exposed to sale their goods and persons as lawful prize,
they being pirates; and scarcely, at last, by the virtue and interest
of one man, Timasitheus by name, who was in office as general, and
used his utmost persuasion, they were, with much ado, dismissed. He,
however, himself sent out some of his own vessels with them, to accompany
them in their voyage and assist them at the dedication; for which
he received honours at Rome, as he had deserved. 

And now the tribunes of the people again resuming their motion for
the division of the city, the war against the Faliscans luckily broke
out, giving liberty to the chief citizens to choose what magistrates
they pleased, and to appoint Camillus military tribune, with five
colleagues; affairs then requiring a commander of authority and reputation,
as well as experience. And when the people had ratified the election,
he marched with his forces into the territories of the Faliscans,
and laid siege to Falerii, a well-fortified city, and plentifully
stored with all necessaries of war. And although he perceived it would
be no small work to take it, and no little time would be required
for it, yet he was willing to exercise the citizens and keep them
abroad, that they might have no leisure, idling at home, to follow
the tribunes in factions and seditions; a very common remedy, indeed,
with the Romans, who thus carried off, like good physicians, the ill
humours of their commonwealth. The Falerians, trusting in the strength
of their city, which was well fortified on all sides, made so little
account of the siege, that all, with the exception of those that guarded
the walls, as in times of peace, walked about the streets in their
common dress; the boys went to school, and were led by their master
to play and exercise about the town walls; for the Falerians, like
the Greeks, used to have a single teacher for many pupils, wishing
their children to live and be brought up from the beginning in each
other's company. 

This schoolmaster, designing to betray the Falerians by their children,
led them out every day under the town wall, at first but a little
way, and, when they had exercised, brought them home again. Afterwards
by degrees he drew them farther and farther, till by practice he had
made them bold and fearless, as if no danger was about them; and at
last, having got them all together, he brought them to the outposts
of the Romans, and delivered them up, demanding to be led to Camillus.
Where being come, and standing in the middle, he said that he was
the master and teacher of these children, but preferring his favour
before all other obligations, he was come to deliver up his charge
to him, and, in that, the whole city. When Camillus had heard him
out, he was astounded at the treachery of the act, and, turning to
the standers-by, observed that "war, indeed, is of necessity attended
with much injustice and violence! Certain laws, however, all good
men observe even in war itself, nor is victory so great an object
as to induce us to incur for its sake obligations for base and impious
acts. A great general should rely on his own virtue, and not on other
men's vices." Which said, he commanded the officers to tear off the
man's clothes, and bind his hands behind him, and give the boys rods
and scourges, to punish the traitor and drive him back to the city.
By this time the Falerians had discovered the treachery of the schoolmaster,
and the city, as was likely, was full of lamentations and cries for
their calamity, men and women of worth running in distraction about
the walls and gates; when, behold, the boys came whipping their master
on naked and bound, calling Camillus their preserver and god and father.
Insomuch that it struck not only into the parents, but the rest of
the citizens that saw what was done, such admiration and love of Camillus's
justice, that, immediately meeting in assembly, they sent ambassadors
to him, to resign whatever they had to his disposal. Camillus sent
them to Rome, where, being brought into the senate, they spoke to
this purpose: that the Romans, preferring justice before victory,
had taught them rather to embrace submission than liberty; they did
not so much confess themselves to be inferior in strength, as they
must acknowledge them to be superior in virtue. The senate remitted
the whole matter to Camillus, to judge and order as he thought fit;
who, taking a sum of money of the Falerians, and, making a peace with
the whole nation of the Faliscans, returned home. 

But the soldiers, who had expected to have the pillage of the city,
when they came to Rome empty-handed, railed against Camillus among
their fellow-citizens, as a hater of the people, and one that grudged
all advantage to the poor. Afterwards, when the tribunes of the people
again brought their motion for dividing the city to the vote, Camillus
appeared openly against it, shrinking from no unpopularity, and inveighing
boldly against the promoters of it, and so urging and constraining
the multitude that contrary to their inclinations they rejected the
proposal but yet hated Camillus. Insomuch that though a great misfortune
befell him in his family (one of his two sons dying of a disease),
commiseration for this could not in the least make them abate their
malice. And indeed he took this loss with immoderate sorrow being
a man naturally of a mild and tender disposition and when the accusation
was preferred against him, kept his house, and mourned amongst the
women of his family. 

His accuser was Lucius Apuleius; the charge, appropriation of the
Tuscan spoils; certain brass gates, part of those spoils, were said
to be in his possession. The people were exasperated against him,
and it was plain they would take hold of any occasion to condemn him.
Gathering, therefore, together his friends and fellow-soldiers, and
such as had borne command with him, a considerable number in all,
he besought them that they would not suffer him to be unjustly overborne
by shameful accusations, and left the mock and scorn of his enemies.
His friends, having advised and consulted among themselves, made answer,
that, as to the sentence, they did not see how they could help him,
but that they would contribute to whatsoever fine should be set upon
him. Not able to endure so great an indignity, he resolved, in his
anger, to leave the city, and go into exile; and so, having taken
leave of his wife and his son, he went silently to the gate of the
city, and there stopping and turning round, stretched out his hands
to the Capitol, and prayed to the gods, that if, without any fault
of his own, but merely through the malice and violence of the people,
he was driven out into banishment, the Romans might quickly repent
of it; and that all mankind might witness their need for the assistance,
and desire for the return of Camillus. 

Thus, like Achilles, having left his imprecations on the citizens,
he went into banishment; so that, neither appearing nor making defence,
he was condemned in the sum of fifteen thousand ases, which, reduced
to silver, make one thousand five hundred drachmas; for the as was
the money of the time, ten of such copper pieces making the denarius,
or piece of ten. And there is not a Roman but believes that immediately
upon the prayers of Camillus, a sudden judgment followed, and that
he received a revenge for the injustice done unto him; which though
we cannot think was pleasant, but rather grievous and bitter to him,
yet was very remarkable, and noised over the whole world; such a punishment
visited the city of Rome, an era of such loss and danger and disgrace
so quickly succeeded; whether it thus fell out by fortune, or it be
the office of some god not to see injured virtue go unavenged.

The first token that seemed to threaten some mischief to ensue was
the death of the censor Julius; for the Romans have a religious reverence
for the office of a censor, and esteem it sacred. The second was that,
just before Camillus went into exile, Marcus Caedicius, a person of
no great distinction, nor of the rank of senator, but esteemed a good
and respectable man, reported to the military tribunes a thing worthy
their consideration; that, going along the night before in the street
called the New Way, and being called by somebody in a loud voice,
he turned about, but could see no one, but heard a voice greater than
human, which said these words, "Go, Marcus Caedicius, and early in
the morning tell the military tribunes that they are shortly to expect
the Gauls." But the tribunes made a mock and sport with the story,
and a little after came Camillus's banishment. 

The Gauls are of the Celtic race, and are reported to have been compelled
by their numbers to leave their country, which was insufficient to
sustain them all, and to have gone in search of other homes. And being,
many thousands of them, young men and able to bear arms, and carrying
with them a still greater number of women and young children, some
of them, passing the Riphaean mountains, fell upon the Northern Ocean,
and possessed themselves of the farthest parts of Europe; others,
seating themselves between the Pyrenean mountains and the Alps, lived
there a considerable time, nearer to the Senones and Celtorii; but,
afterwards tasting wine which was then first brought them out of Italy,
they were all so much taken with the liquor, and transported with
the hitherto unknown delight, that, snatching up their arms and taking
their families along with them, they marched directly to the Alps,
to find out the country which yielded such fruit, pronouncing all
others barren and useless. He that first brought wine among them and
was the chief instigator of their coming into Italy is said to have
been one Aruns, a Tuscan, a man of noble extraction, and not of bad
natural character, but involved in the following misfortune. He was
guardian to an orphan, one of the richest of the country, and much
admired for his beauty, whose name was Lucumo. From his childhood
he had been bred up with Aruns in his family, and when now grown up
did not leave his house, professing to wish for the enjoyment of his
society. And thus for a great while he secretly enjoyed Aruns's wife,
corrupting her, and himself corrupted by her. But when they were both
so far gone in their passion that they could neither refrain their
lust nor conceal it, the young man seized the woman and openly sought
to carry her away. The husband, going to law, and finding himself
overpowered by the interest and money of his opponent, left his country
and, hearing of the state of the Gauls, went to them, and was the
conductor of their expedition into Italy. 

At their first coming they at once possessed themselves of all that
country which anciently the Tuscans inhabited, reaching from the Alps
to both the seas, as the names themselves testify; for the North or
Adriatic Sea is named from the Tuscan city Adria, and that to the
south the Tuscan Sea simply. The whole country is rich in fruit-trees,
has excellent pasture, and is well watered with rivers. It had eighteen
large and beautiful cities, well provided with all the means for industry
and wealth, and all the enjoyments and pleasures of life. The Gauls
cast out the Tuscans, and seated themselves in them. But this was
long before. 

The Gauls at this time were besieging Clusium, a Tuscan city. The
Clusinians sent to the Romans for succour, desiring them to interpose
with the barbarians by letters and ambassadors. There were sent three
of the family of the Fabii, persons of high rank and distinction in
the city. The Gauls received them courteously, from respect to the
name of Rome, and, giving over the assault which was then making upon
the walls, came to conference with them; when the ambassadors asking
what injury they had received of the Clusinians that they thus invaded
their city, Brennus, King of the Gauls, laughed and made answer: "The
Clusinians do us injury, in that, being able only to till a small
parcel of ground, they must needs possess a great territory, and will
not yield any part to us who are strangers, many in number, and poor.
In the same nature, O Romans, formerly the Albans, Fidenates, and
Ardeates, and now lately the Veientines and Capenates, and many of
the Faliscans and Volscians, did you injury; upon whom ye make war
if they do not yield you part of what they possess, make slaves of
them, waste and spoil their country, and ruin their cities; neither
in so doing are cruel or unjust, but follow that most ancient of all
laws, which gives the possessions of the feeble to the strong; which
begins with God and ends in the beasts; since all these, by nature,
seek the stronger to have advantage over the weaker. Cease, therefore,
to pity the Clusinians whom we besiege, lest ye teach the Gauls to
be kind and compassionate to those that are oppressed by you." By
this answer the Romans, perceiving that Brennus was not to be treated
with, went into Clusium, and encouraged and stirred up the inhabitants
to make a sally with them upon the barbarians, which they did either
to try their strength or to show their own. The sally being made,
and the fight growing hot about the walls, one of the Fabii, Quintus
Ambustus, being well mounted, and setting spurs to his horse, made
full against a Gaul, a man of huge bulk and stature, whom he saw riding
out at a distance from the rest. At the first he was not recognized,
through the quickness of the conflict and the glittering of his armour,
that precluded any view of him; but when he had overthrown the Gaul,
and was going to gather the spoils, Brennus knew him; and, invoking
the gods to be witness, that, contrary to the known and common law
of nations, which is holily observed by all mankind, he who had come
as an ambassador had now engaged in hostility against him, he drew
off his men, and bidding Clusium farewell, led his army directly to
Rome. But not wishing that it should look as if they took advantage
of that injury, and were ready to embrace any occasion of quarrel,
he sent a herald to demand the man in punishment, and in the meantime
marched leisurely on. 

The senate being met at Rome, among many others that spoke against
the Fabii, the priests called fecials were the most decided, who,
on the religious ground, urged the senate that they should lay the
whole guilt and penalty of the fact upon him that committed it, and
so exonerate the rest. These fecials Numa Pompilius, the mildest and
justest of kings, constituted guardians of peace, and the judges and
determiners of all causes by which war may justifiably be made. The
senate referring the whole matter to the people, and the priests there,
as well as in the senate, pleading against Fabius, the multitude,
however, so little regarded their authority, that in scorn and contempt
of it they chose Fabius and the rest of his brothers military tribunes.
The Gauls, on hearing this, in great rage threw aside every delay,
and hastened on with all the speed they could make. The places through
which they marched, terrified with their numbers and the splendour
of their preparations for war, and in alarm at their violence and
fierceness, began to give up their territories as already lost, with
little doubt but their cities would quickly follow; contrary, however,
to expectation, they did no injury as they passed, nor took anything
from the fields; and, as they went by any city, cried out that they
were going to Rome; that the Romans only were their enemies, and that
they took all others for their friends. 

Whilst the barbarians were thus hastening with all speed, the military
tribunes brought the Romans into the field to be ready to engage them,
being not inferior to the Gauls in number (for they were no less than
forty thousand foot), but most of them raw soldiers, and such as had
never handled a weapon before. Besides, they had wholly neglected
all religious usages, had not obtained favourable sacrifices, nor
made inquiries of the prophets, natural in danger and before battle.
No less did the multitude commanders distract and confound their proceedings;
frequently before, upon less occasions, they had chosen a single leader,
with the title of dictator, being sensible of what great importance
it is in critical times to have the soldiers united under one general
with the entire and absolute control placed in his hands. Add to all,
the remembrance of Camillus's treatment, which made it now seem a
dangerous thing for officers to command without humouring their soldiers.
In this condition they left the city, and encamped by the river Allia,
about ten miles from Rome; and not far from the place where it falls
into the Tiber; and here the Gauls came upon them, and, after a disgraceful
resistance, devoid of order and discipline, they were miserably defeated.
The left wing was immediately driven into the river, and there destroyed;
the right had less damage by declining the shock, and from the low
grounds getting to the tops of the hills, from whence most of them
afterwards dropped into the city; the rest, as many as escaped, the
enemy being weary of the slaughter, stole by night to Veii, giving
up Rome and all that was in it for lost. 

This battle was fought about the summer solstice, the moon being at
full, the very same day in which the sad disaster of the Fabii had
happened, when three hundred of that name were at one time cut off
by the Tuscans. But from this second loss and defeat the day got the
name of Alliensis from the river Allia, and still retains it. The
question of unlucky days, whether we should consider any to be so,
and whether Heraclitus did well in upbraiding Hesiod for distinguishing
them into fortunate and unfortunate, as ignorant that the nature of
every day is the same, I have examined in another place; but upon
occasion of the present subject, I think it will not be amiss to annex
a few examples relating to this matter. On the fifth of their month
Hippodromius, which corresponds to the Athenian Hecatombaeon, the
Boeotians gained two signal victories, the one at Leuctra, the other
at Ceressus, about three hundred years before, when they overcame
Lattamyas and the Thessalians, both which asserted the liberty of
Greece. Again, on the sixth of Boedromion, the Persians were worsted
by the Greeks at Marathon; on the third, at Plataea, as also at Mycale;
on the twenty-fifth, at Arbela. The Athenians, about the full moon
in Boedromion, gained their sea-victory at Naxos under the conduct
of Chabrias; on the twentieth, at Salamis, as we have shown in our
treatise on Days. Thargelion was a very unfortunate month to the barbarians,
for in it Alexander overcame Darius's generals on the Granicus; and
the Carthaginians, on the twenty-fourth, were beaten by Timoleon in
Sicily, on which same day and month Troy seems to have been taken,
as Ephorus, Callisthenes, Damastes, and Phylarchus state. On the other
hand, the month Metagitnion, which in Boeotia is called Panemus, was
not very lucky to the Greeks; for on its seventh day they were defeated
by Antipater, at the battle in Cranon, and utterly ruined; and before,
at Chaeronea, were defeated by Philip; and on the very same day, same
month, and same year, those that went with Archidamus into Italy were
there cut off by the barbarians. The Carthaginians also observe the
twenty-first of the same month, as bringing with it the largest number
and the severest of their losses. I am not ignorant that, about the
Feast of Mysteries, Thebes was destroyed the second time by Alexander;
and after that, upon the very twentieth of Boedromion, on which day
they lead forth the mystic Iacchus, the Athenians received a garrison
of the Macedonians. On the selfsame day the Romans lost their army
under Caepio by the Cimbrians, and in a subsequent year, under the
conduct of Lucullus, overcame the Armenians and Tigranes. King Attalus
and Pompey died both on their birthdays. One could reckon up several
that have had variety of fortune on the same day. This day, meantime,
is one of the unfortunate ones to the Romans, and for its sake two
others in every month; fear and superstition, as the custom of it
is, more and more prevailing. But I have discussed this more accurately
in my Roman Questions. 

And now, after the battle, had the Gauls immediately pursued those
that fled, there had been no remedy but Rome must have wholly been
ruined, and those who remained in it utterly destroyed; such was the
terror that those who escaped the battle brought with them into the
city, and with such distraction and confusion were themselves in turn
infected. But the Gauls, not imagining their victory to be so considerable,
and overtaken with the present joy, fell to feasting and dividing
the spoil, by which means they gave leisure to those who were for
leaving the city to make their escape, and to those that remained
to anticipate and prepare for their coming. For they who resolved
to stay at Rome, abandoning the rest of the city, betook themselves
to the Capitol, which they fortified with the help of missiles and
new works. One of their principal cares was of their holy things,
most of which they conveyed into the Capitol. But the consecrated
fire the vestal virgins took, and fled with it, as likewise their
other sacred things. Some write that they have nothing in their charge
but the ever-living fire which Numa had ordained to be worshipped
as the principle of all things; for fire is the most active thing
in nature, and all production is either motion, or attended with motion;
all the other parts of matter, so long as they are without warmth,
lie sluggish and dead, and require the accession of a sort of soul
or vitality in the principle of heat; and upon that accession, in
whatever way, immediately receive a capacity either of acting or being
acted upon. And thus Numa, a man curious in such things, and whose
wisdom made it thought that he conversed with the Muses, consecrated
fire, and ordained it to be kept ever burning, as an image of that
eternal power which orders and actuates all things. Others say that
this fire was kept burning in front of the holy things, as in Greece,
for purification, and that there were other things hid in the most
secret part of the temple, which were kept from the view of all, except
those virgins whom they call vestals. The most common opinion was,
that the image of Pallas, brought into Italy by Aeneas, was laid up
there; others say that the Samothracian images lay there, telling
a story how that Dardanus carried them to Troy, and when he had built
the city, celebrated those rites, and dedicated those images there;
that after Troy was taken, Aeneas stole them away, and kept them till
his coming into Italy. But they who profess to know more of the matter
affirm that there are two barrels, not of any great size, one of which
stands open and has nothing in it, the other full and sealed up; but
that neither of them may be seen but by the most holy virgins. Others
think that they who say this are misled by the fact that the virgins
put most of their holy things into two barrels at this time of the
Gaulish invasion, and hid them underground in the temple of Quirinus;
and that from hence that place to this day bears the name of Barrels.

However it be, taking the most precious and important things they
had, they fled away with them, shaping their course along the river-side,
where Lucius Albinius, a simple citizen of Rome, who among others
was making his escape, overtook them, having his wife, children, and
goods in a cart; and, seeing the virgins, dragging along in their
arms the holy things of the gods, in a helpless and weary condition,
he caused his wife and children to get down, and, taking out his goods,
put the virgins in the cart, that they might make their escape to
some of the Greek cities. This devout act of Albinius, and the respect
he showed thus signally to the gods at a time of such extremity, deserved
not to be passed over in silence. But the priests that belonged to
other gods, and the most elderly of the senators, men who had been
consuls and had enjoyed triumphs, could not endure to leave the city;
but, putting on their sacred and splendid robes, Fabius the high priest
performing the office, they made their prayers to the gods, and, devoting
themselves, as it were, for their country, sate themselves down in
their ivory chairs in the forum, and in that posture expected the

On the third day after the battle, Brennus appeared with his army
at the city, and, finding the gates wide open and no guards upon the
walls, first began to suspect it was some design or stratagem, never
dreaming that the Romans were in so desperate a condition. But when
he found it to be so indeed, he entered at the Colline gate, and took
Rome, in the three hundred and sixtieth year, or a little more, after
it was built; if, indeed, it can be supposed probable that an exact
chronological statement has been preserved of events which were themselves
the cause of chronological difficulties about things of later date;
of the calamity itself, however, and of the fact of the capture, some
faint rumours seem to have passed at the time into Greece. Heraclides
Ponticus, who lived not long after these times, in his hook upon the
Soul, relates that a certain report came from the west, that an army,
proceeding from the Hyperboreans, had taken a Greek city called Rome,
seated somewhere upon the great sea. But I do not wonder that so fabulous
and high-flown an author as Heraclides should embellish the truth
of the story with expressions about Hyperboreans and the great sea.
Aristotle the philosopher appears to have heard a correct statement
of the taking of the city by the Gauls, but he calls its deliverer
Lucius; whereas Camillus's surname was not Lucius, but Marcus. But
this is a matter of conjecture. 

Brennus, having taken possession of Rome, set a strong guard about
the Capitol and, going himself down into the forum, was there struck
with amazement at the sight of so many men sitting in that order and
silence observing that they neither rose at his coming, nor so much
as changed colour or countenance, but remained without fear or concern
leaning upon their staves, and sitting quietly, looking at each other.
The Gauls, for a great while, stood wondering at the strangeness of
the sight, not daring to approach or touch them, taking them for an
assembly of superior beings. But when one, bolder than the rest, drew
near to Marcus Papirius, and, putting forth his hand, gently touched
his chin and stroked his long beard, Papirius with his staff struck
him a severe blow on the head; upon which the barbarian drew his sword
and slew him. This was the introduction to the slaughter; for the
rest, following his example, set upon them all and killed them, and
despatched all others that came in their way; and so went on to the
sacking and pillaging the houses, which they continued for many days
ensuing. Afterwards, they burnt them down to the ground and demolished
them, being incensed at those who kept the Capitol, because they would
not yield to summons; but, on the contrary, when assailed, had repelled
them, with some loss, from their defences. This provoked them to ruin
the whole city, and to put to the sword all that came to their hands,
young and old, men, women, and children. 

And now, the siege of the Capitol having lasted a good while, the
Gauls began to be in want of provision; and dividing their forces,
part of them stayed with their king at the siege, the rest went to
forage the country, ravaging the towns and villages where they came,
but not all together in a body, but in different squadrons and parties;
and to such a confidence had success raised them, that they carelessly
rambled about without the least fear or apprehension of danger. But
the greatest and best ordered body of their forces went to the city
of Ardea, where Camillus then sojourned, having, ever since his leaving
Rome, sequestered himself from all business, and taken to a private
life; but now he began to rouse up himself, and consider not how to
avoid or escape the enemy, but to find out an opportunity to be revenged
upon them. And perceiving that the Ardeatians wanted not men, but
rather enterprise, through the inexperience and timidity of their
officers, he began to speak with the young men, first to the effect
that they ought not to ascribe the misfortune of the Romans to the
courage of their enemy, nor attribute the losses they sustained by
rash counsel to the conduct of men who had no title to victory; the
event had been only an evidence of the power of fortune; that it was
a brave thing even with danger to repel a foreign and barbarous invader
whose end in conquering was, like fire, to lay waste and destroy,
but if they would be courageous and resolute he was ready to put an
opportunity into their hands to gain a victory, without hazard at
all. When he found the young men embraced the thing, he went to the
magistrates and council of the city, and, having persuaded them also,
he mustered all that could bear arms, and drew them up within the
walls, that they might not be perceived by the enemy, who was near;
who, having scoured the country, and returned heavy-laden with booty,
lay encamped in the plains in a careless and negligent posture, so
that, with the night ensuing upon debauch and drunkenness, silence
prevailed through all the camp. When Camillus learned this from his
scouts, he drew out the Ardeatians, and in the dead of the night,
passing in silence over the ground that lay between, came up to their
works, and, commanding his trumpets to sound and his men to shout
and halloo, he struck terror into them from all, quarters; while drunkenness
impeded and sleep retarded their movements. A few, whom fear had sobered,
getting into some order, for a while resisted; and so died with their
weapons in their hands. But the greatest part of them, buried in wine
and sleep, were surprised without their arms, and despatched; and
as many of them as by the advantage of the night got out of the camp
were the next day found scattered abroad and wandering in the fields,
and were picked up by the horse that pursued them. 

The fame of this action soon fled through the neighbouring cities,
and stirred up the young men from various quarters to come and join
themselves with him. But none were so much concerned as those Romans
who escaped in the battle of Allia, and were now at Veii, thus lamenting
with themselves, "O heavens, what a commander has Providence bereaved
Rome of, to honour Ardea with his actions! And that city, which brought
forth and nursed so great a man, is lost and gone, and we, destitute
of a leader and shut up within strange walls, sit idle, and see Italy
ruined before our eyes. Come, let us send to the Ardeatians to have
back our general, or else, with weapons in our hands, let us go thither
to him; for he is no longer a banished man, nor we citizens, having
no country but what is in the possession of the enemy." To this they
all agreed, and sent to Camillus to desire him to take the command;
but he answered, that he would not, until they that were in the Capitol
should legally appoint him; for he esteemed them, so long as they
were in being, to be his country; that if they should command him
he would readily obey; but against their consent he would intermeddle
with nothing. When this answer was returned, they admired the modesty
and temper of Camillus; but they could not tell how to find a messenger
to carry the intelligence to the Capitol, or rather, indeed, it seemed
altogether impossible for any one to get to the citadel whilst the
enemy was in full possession of the city. But among the young men
there was one Pontius Cominius, of ordinary birth, but ambitious of
honour, who proffered himself to run the hazard, and took no letters
with him to those in the Capitol, lest, if he were intercepted, the
enemy might learn the intentions of Camillus; but, putting on a poor
dress and carrying corks under it, he boldly travelled the greatest
part of the way by day, and came to the city when it was dark; the
bridge he could not pass, as it was guarded by the barbarians; so
that taking his clothes, which were neither many nor heavy, and binding
them about his head, he laid his body upon the corks, and swimming
with them, got over to the city. And avoiding those quarters where
he perceived the enemy was awake, which he guessed at by the lights
and noise, he went to the Carmental gate, where there was greatest
silence, and where the hill of the Capitol is steepest and rises with
craggy and broken rock. By this way he got up, though with much difficulty,
by the hollow of the cliff, and presented himself to the guards, saluting
them, and telling them his name; he was taken in, and carried to the
commanders. And a senate being immediately called, he related to them
in order the victory of Camillus, which they had not heard of before,
and the proceedings of the soldiers, urging them to confirm Camillus
in the command, as on him alone all their fellow-countrymen outside
the city would rely. Having heard and consulted of the matter, the
senate declared Camillus dictator, and sent back Pontius the same
way that he came, who, with the same success as before, got through
the enemy without being discovered, and delivered to the Romans outside
the decision of the senate, who joyfully received it. Camillus, on
his arrival, found twenty thousand of them ready in arms; with which
forces, and those confederates he brought along with him, he prepared
to set upon the enemy. 

But at Rome some of the barbarians, passing by chance near the place
at which Pontius by night had got into the Capitol, spied in several
places marks of feet and hands, where he had laid hold and clambered,
and places where the plants that grew to the rock had been rubbed
off, and the earth had slipped, and went accordingly and reported
it to the king, who, coming in person, and viewing it, for the present
said nothing, but in the evening, picking out such of the Gauls as
were nimblest of body, and by living in the mountains were accustomed
to climb, he said to them, "The enemy themselves have shown us a way
how to come at them, which we knew not of before, and have taught
us that it is not so difficult and impossible but that men may overcome
it. It would be a great shame, having begun well, to fail in the end,
and to give up a place as impregnable, when the enemy himself lets
us see the way by which it may be taken; for where it was easy for
one man to get up, it will not be hard for many, one after another;
nay, when many shall undertake it, they will be aid and strength to
each other. Rewards and honours shall be bestowed on every man as
he shall acquit himself." 

When the king had thus spoken, the Gauls cheerfully undertook to perform
it, and in the dead of night a good party of them together, with great
silence, began to climb the rock, clinging to the precipitous and
difficult ascent, which yet upon trial offered a way to them, and
proved less difficult than they had expected. So that the foremost
of them having gained the top of all, and put themselves into order,
they all but surprised the outworks, and mastered the watch, who were
fast asleep; for neither man nor dog perceived their coming. But there
were sacred geese kept near the temple of Juno, which at other times
were plentifully fed, but now, by reason that corn and other provisions
were grown scarce for all, were but in a poor condition. The creature
is by nature of quick sense, and apprehensive of the least noise,
so that these, being moreover watchful through hunger, and restless,
immediately discovered the coming of the Gauls, and, running up and
down with their noise and cackling, they raised the whole camp, while
the barbarians on the other side, perceiving themselves discovered,
no longer endeavoured to conceal their attempt, but with shouting
and violence advanced to the assault. The Romans, every one in haste
snatching up the next weapon that came to hand, did what they could
on the sudden occasion. Manlius, a man of consular dignity, of strong
body and great spirit, was the first that made head against them,
and, engaging with two of the enemy at once, with his sword cut off
the right arm of one just as he was lifting up his blade to strike,
and, running his target full in the face of the other, tumbled him
headlong down the steep rock; then mounting the rampart, and there
standing with others that came running to his assistance, drove down
the rest of them, who, indeed, to begin, had not been many, and did
nothing worthy of so bold an attempt. The Romans, having thus escaped
this danger, early in the morning took the captain of the watch and
flung him down the rock upon the heads of their enemies, and to Manlius
for his victory voted a reward, intended more for honour than advantage,
bringing him, each man of them as much as he received for his daily
allowance, which was half a pound of bread and one eighth of a pint
of wine. 

Henceforward, the affairs of the Gauls were daily in a worse and worse
condition; they wanted provisions, being withheld from foraging through
fear of Camillus, and sickness also was amongst them, occasioned by
the number of carcasses that lay in heaps unburied. Being lodged among
the ruins, the ashes, which were very deep, blown about by the winds
and combining with the sultry heats, breathed up, so to say, a dry
and searching air, the inhalation of which was destructive to their
health. But the chief cause was the change from their natural climate,
coming as they did out of shady and hilly countries, abounding in
means of shelter from the heat, to lodge in low, and, in the autumn
season, very unhealthy ground; added to which was the length and tediousness
of the siege, as they had now sate seven months before the Capitol.
There was, therefore, a great destruction among them, and the number
of the dead grew so great that the living gave up burying them. Neither,
indeed, were things on that account any better with the besieged,
for famine increased upon them, and despondency with not hearing anything
of Camillus, it being impossible to send any one to him, the city
was so guarded by the barbarians. Things being in this sad condition
on both sides, a motion of treaty was made at first by some of the
outposts, as they happened to speak with one another; which being
embraced by the leading men, Sulpicius, tribune of the Romans, came
to a parley with Brennus, in which it was agreed, that the Romans
laying down a thousand weight of gold, the Gauls upon the receipt
of it should immediately quit the city and territories. The agreement
being confirmed by oath on both sides, and the gold brought forth,
the Gauls used false dealing in the weight, secretly at first, but
afterwards openly pulled back and disturbed the balance; at which
the Romans indignantly complaining, Brennus, in a scoffing and insulting
manner, pulled off his sword and belt, and threw them both into the
scales; and when Sulpicius asked what that meant, "What should it
mean," says he, "but woe to the conquered?" which afterwards became
a proverbial saying. As for the Romans, some were so incensed that
they were for taking their gold back again and returning to endure
the siege. Others were for passing by and dissembling a petty injury,
and not to account that the indignity of the thing lay in paying more
than was due, since the paying anything at all was itself a dishonour
only submitted to as a necessity of the times. 

Whilst this difference remained still unsettled, both amongst themselves
and with the Gauls, Camillus was at the gates with his army; and having
learned what was going on, commanded the main body of his forces to
follow slowly after him in good order, and himself with the choicest
of his men hastening on, went at once to the Romans; where, all giving
way to him, and receiving him as their sole magistrate, with profound
silence and order, he took the gold out of the scales, and delivered
it to his officers, and commanded the Gauls to take their weights
and scales and depart; saying that it was customary with the Romans
to deliver their country with iron, not with gold. And when Brennus
began to rage, and say that he was unjustly dealt with in such a breach
of contract, Camillus answered that it was never legally made, and
the agreement of no force or obligation; for that himself being declared
dictator, and there being no other magistrate by law, the engagement
had been made with men who had no power to enter into it; but now
they might say anything they had to urge, for he was come with full
power by law to grant pardon to such as should ask it, or inflict
punishment on the guilty, if they did not repent. At this, Brennus
broke into violent anger, and an immediate quarrel ensued; both sides
drew their swords and attacked, but in confusion, as could not be
otherwise amongst houses, and in narrow lanes and places where it
was impossible to form in any order. But Brennus, presently recollecting
himself, called off his men, and, with the loss of a few only, brought
them to their camp; and rising in the night with all his forces, left
the city, and, advancing about eight miles, encamped upon the way
to Gabii. As soon as day appeared, Camillus came up with him, splendidly
armed himself, and his soldiers full of courage and confidence; and
there engaging with him in a sharp conflict, which lasted a long while,
overthrew his army with great slaughter, and took their camp. Of those
that fled, some were presently cut off by the pursuers; others, and
these were the greatest number, dispersed hither and thither, and
were despatched by the people that came sallying out from the neighbouring
towns and villages. 

Thus Rome was strangely taken, and more strangely recovered, having
been seven whole months in the possession of the barbarians, who entered
her a little after the Ides of July, and were driven out about the
Ides of February following. Camillus triumphed, as he deserved, having
saved his country that was lost, and brought the city, so to say,
back again to itself. For those that had fled abroad, together with
their wives and children, accompanied him as he rode in; and those
who had been shut up in the Capitol, and were reduced almost to the
point of perishing with hunger, went out to meet him, embracing each
other as they met, and weeping for joy, and, through the excess of
the present pleasure, scarce believing in its truth. And when the
priests and ministers of the gods appeared bearing the sacred things,
which in their flight they had either hid on the spot, or conveyed
away with them, and now openly showed in safety, the citizens who
saw the blessed sight felt as if with these the gods themselves were
again returned unto Rome. After Camillus had sacrificed to the gods,
and purified the city according to the directions of those properly
instructed, he restored the existing temples, and erected a new one
to Rumour, or Voice, informing himself of the spot in which that voice
from heaven came by night to Marcus Caedicius, foretelling the coming
of the barbarian army. 

It was a matter of difficulty, and a hard task, amidst so much rubbish,
to discover and re-determine the consecrated places; but by the zeal
of Camillus, and the incessant labour of the priests, it was at last
accomplished. But when it came also to rebuilding the city, which
was wholly demolished, despondency seized the multitude, and a backwardness
to engage in a work for which they had no materials; at a time, too,
when they rather needed relief and repose from their past labours,
than any new demands upon their exhausted strength and impaired fortunes.
Thus insensibly they turned their thoughts again towards Veii, a city
ready-built and well-provided, and gave an opening to the arts of
flatterers eager to gratify their desires, and lent their ears to
seditious language flung out against Camillus; as that, out of ambition
and self-glory, he withheld them from a city fit to receive them,
forcing them to live in the midst of ruins, and to re-erect a pile
of burnt rubbish, that he might be esteemed not the chief magistrate
only and general of Rome, but, to the exclusion of Romulus, its founder
also. The senate, therefore, fearing a sedition, would not suffer
Camillus, though desirous, to lay down his authority within the year,
though no dictator had ever held it above six months. 

They themselves, meantime, used their best endeavours, by kind persuasions
and familiar addresses, to encourage and appease the people, showing
them the shrines and tombs of their ancestors, calling to their remembrance
the sacred spots and holy places which Romulus and Numa or any other
of their kings had consecrated and left to their keeping; and among
the strongest religious arguments, urged the head, newly separated
from the body, which was found in laying the foundation of the Capitol,
marking it as a place destined by fate to be the head of all Italy;
and the holy fire which had just been rekindled again, since the end
of the war, by the vestal virgins; "What a disgrace it would be to
them to lose and extinguish this, leaving the city it belonged to,
to be either inhabited by strangers and new-comers, or left a wild
pasture for cattle to graze on?" Such reasons as these, urged with
complaint and expostulation, sometimes in private upon individuals,
and sometimes in their public assemblies, were met, on the other hand,
by laments and protestations of distress and helplessness; entreaties
that, reunited as they just were, after a sort of shipwreck, naked
and destitute, they would not constrain them to patch up the pieces
of a ruined and shattered city, when they had another at hand ready-built
and prepared. 

Camillus thought good to refer it to general deliberation, and himself
spoke largely and earnestly in behalf of his country, as also many
others. At last, calling to Lucius Lucretius, whose place it was to
speak first, he commanded him to give his sentence, and the rest as
they followed, in order. Silence being made, and Lucretius just about
to begin, by chance a centurion passing by outside with his company
of the day-guard called out with a loud voice to the ensign-bearer
to halt and fix his standard, for this was the best place to stay
in. This voice, coming in that moment of time, and at that crisis
of uncertainty and anxiety for the future, was taken as a direction
what was to be done; so that Lucretius, assuming an attitude of devotion,
gave sentence in concurrence with the gods, as he said, as likewise
did all that followed. Even among the common people it created a wonderful
change of feeling; every one now cheered and encouraged his neighbour,
and set himself to the work, proceeding in it, however, not by any
regular lines or divisions, but every one pitching upon that plot
of ground which came next to hand, or best pleased his fancy; by which
haste and hurry in building, they constructed their city in narrow
and ill-designed lanes, and with houses huddled together one upon
another; for it is said that within the compass of the year the whole
city was built up anew, both in its public walls and private buildings.
The persons, however, appointed by Camillus to resume and mark out,
in this general confusion, all consecrated places, coming, in their
way round the Palatium, to the chapel of Mars, found the chapel itself
indeed destroyed and burnt to the ground, like everything else, by
the barbarians; but whilst they were clearing the place, and carrying
away the rubbish, lit upon Romulus's augural staff, buried under a
great heap of ashes. This sort of staff is crooked at one end, and
is called lituus; they make use of it in quartering out the regions
of the heavens when engaged in divination from the flight of birds;
Romulus, who was himself a great diviner, made use of it. But when
he disappeared from the earth, the priests took his staff and kept
it, as other holy things, from the touch of man; and when they now
found that, whereas all other things were consumed, this staff had
altogether escaped the flames, they began to conceive happier hopes
of Rome, and to augur from this token its future everlasting safety.

And now they had scarcely got a breathing time from their trouble,
when a new war came upon them; and the Aequians, Volscians, and Latins
all at once invaded their territories, and the Tuscans besieged Sutrium,
their confederate city. The military tribunes who commanded the army,
and were encamped about the hill Maecius, being closely besieged by
the Latins, and the camp in danger to be lost, sent to Rome, where
Camillus was a third time chosen dictator. Of this war two different
accounts are given; I shall begin with the more fabulous. They say
that the Latins (whether out of pretence, or real design to revive
the ancient relationship of the two nations) sent to desire of the
Romans some free-born maidens in marriage; that when the Romans were
at a loss how to determine (for on one hand they dreaded a war, having
scarcely yet settled and recovered themselves, and on the other side
suspected that this asking of wives was, in plain terms, nothing else
but a demand for hostages, though covered over with the specious name
of intermarriage and alliance), a certain handmaid, by name Tutula,
or, as some call her, Philotis, persuaded the magistrates to send
with her some of the most youthful and best-looking maid-servants,
in the bridal dress of noble virgins, and leave the rest to her care
and management; that the magistrates, consenting, chose out as many
as she thought necessary for her purpose, and adorning them with gold
and rich clothes, delivered them to the Latins, who were encamped
not far from the city; that at night the rest stole away the enemy's
swords, but Tutula or Philotis, getting to the top of a wild fig-tree,
and spreading out a thick woollen cloth behind her, held out a torch
towards Rome, which was the signal concerted between her and the commanders,
without the knowledge, however, of any other of the citizens, which
was the reason that their issuing out from the city was tumultuous,
the officers pushing their men on, and they calling upon one another's
names, and scarce able to bring themselves into order; that setting
upon the enemy's works, who either were asleep or expected no such
matter, they took the camp and destroyed most of them; and that this
was done on the Nones of July, which was then called Quintilis, and
that the feast that is observed on that day is a commemoration of
what was then done. For in it, first, they run out of the city in
great crowds, and call out aloud several familiar and common names,
Caius, Marcus, Lucius, and the like in representation of the way in
which they called to one another when they went out in such haste.
In the next place, the maid-servants, gaily dressed, run about, playing
and jesting upon all they meet, and amongst themselves, also, use
a kind of skirmishing, to show they helped in the conflict against
the Latins; and while eating and drinking, they sit shaded over with
boughs of wild fig-tree, and the day they call Nonae Caprotinae, as
some think from that wild fig-tree on which the maid-servant held
up her torch, the Roman name for a wild fig-tree being caprificus.
Others refer most of what is said or done at this feast to the fate
of Romulus, for, on this day, he vanished outside the gates in a sudden
darkness and storm (some think it an eclipse of the sun), and from
this the day was called Nonae Caprotinae, the Latin for a goat being
capra, and the place where he disappeared having the name of Goat's
Marsh, as is stated in his life. 

But the general stream of writers prefer the other account of this
war, which they thus relate. Camillus, being the third time chosen
dictator, and learning that the army under the tribunes was besieged
by the Latins and Volscians, was constrained to arm, not only those
under, but also those over, the age of service; and taking a large
circuit round the mountain Maecius, undiscovered by the enemy, lodged
his army on their rear, and then by many fires gave notice of his
arrival. The besieged, encouraged by this, prepared to sally forth
and join battle; but the Latins and Volscians, fearing this exposure
to an enemy on both sides, drew themselves within their works, and
fortified their camp with a strong palisade of trees on every side,
resolving to wait for more supplies from home, and expecting, also,
the assistance of the Tuscans, their confederates. Camillus, detecting
their object, and fearing to be reduced to the same position to which
he had brought them, namely, to be besieged himself, resolved to lose
no time: and finding their rampart was all of timber, and observing
that a strong wind constantly at sun-rising blew off from the mountains,
after having prepared a quantity of combustibles, about break of day
he drew forth his forces, commanding a part with their missiles to
assault the enemy with noise and shouting on the other quarter, whilst
he, with those that were to fling in the fire, went to that side of
the enemy's camp to which the wind usually blew, and there waited
his opportunity. When the skirmish was begun, and the sun risen, and
a strong wind set in from the mountains, he gave the signal of onset;
and heaving in an infinite quantity of fiery matter, filled all their
rampart with it, so that the flame being fed by the close timber and
wooden palisades, went on and spread into all quarters. The Latins,
having nothing ready to keep it off or extinguish it, when the camp
was now almost full of fire, were driven back within a very small
compass, and at last forced by necessity to come into their enemy's
hands, who stood before the works ready armed and prepared to receive
them; of these very few escaped, while those that stayed in the camp
were all a prey to the fire, until the Romans, to gain the pillage,
extinguished it. 

These things performed, Camillus, leaving his son Lucius in the camp
to guard the prisoners and secure the booty, passed into the enemy's
country, where, having taken the city of the Aequians and reduced
the Volscians to obedience, he then immediately led his army to Sutrium,
not having heard what had befallen the Sutrians, but making haste
to assist them, as if they were still in danger and besieged by the
Tuscans. They, however, had already surrendered their city to their
enemies, and destitute of all things, with nothing left but their
clothes, met Camillus on the way, leading their wives and children,
and bewailing their misfortune. Camillus himself was struck with compassion,
and perceiving the soldiers weeping, and commiserating their case,
while the Sutrians hung about and clung to them, resolved not to defer
revenge, but that very day to lead his army to Sutrium; conjecturing
that the enemy, having just taken a rich and plentiful city, without
an enemy left within it, nor any from without to be expected, would
be found abandoned to enjoyment and unguarded. Neither did his opinion
fail him; he not only passed through their country without discovery,
but came up to their very gates and possessed himself of the walls,
not a man being left to guard them, but their whole army scattered
about in the houses, drinking and making merry. Nay, when at last
they did perceive that the enemy had seized the city, they were so
overloaded with meat and wine, that few were able so much as to endeavour
to escape, but either waited shamefully for their death within doors,
or surrendered themselves to the conqueror. Thus the city of the Sutrians
was twice taken in one day; and they who were in possession lost it,
and they who had lost regained it, alike by the means of Camillus.
For all which actions he received a triumph, which brought him no
less honour and reputation than the two former ones; for those citizens
who before most regarded him with an evil eye, and ascribed his successes
to a certain luck rather than real merit, were compelled by these
last acts of his to allow the whole honour to his great abilities
and energy. 

Of all the adversaries and enviers of his glory, Marcus Manlius was
the most distinguished, he who first drove back the Gauls when they
made their night attack upon the Capitol, and who for that reason
had been named Capitolinus. This man, affecting the first place in
the commonwealth, and not able by noble ways to outdo Camillus's reputation,
took that ordinary course towards usurpation of absolute power, namely,
to gain the multitude, those of them especially that were in debt;
defending some by pleading their causes against their creditors, rescuing
others by force, and not suffering the law to proceed against them;
insomuch that in a short time he got great numbers of indigent people
about him, whose tumults and uproars in the forum struck terror into
the principal citizens. After that Quintius Capitolinus, who was made
dictator to suppress these disorders, had committed Manlius to prison,
the people immediately changed their apparel, a thing never done but
in great and public calamities, and the senate, fearing some tumult,
ordered him to be released. He, however, when set at liberty, changed
not his course, but was rather the more insolent in his proceedings,
filling the whole city with faction and sedition. They chose, therefore,
Camillus again military tribune; and a day being appointed for Manlius
to answer to his charge, the prospect from the place where his trial
was held proved a great impediment to his accusers, for the very spot
where Manlius by night fought with the Gauls overlooked the forum
from the Capitol, so that, stretching forth his hands that way, and
weeping, he called to their remembrance his past actions, raising
compassion in all that beheld him. Insomuch that the judges were at
a loss what to do, and several times adjourned the trial, unwilling
to acquit him of the crime, which was sufficiently proved, and yet
unable to execute the law while his noble action remained, as it were,
before their eyes. Camillus, considering this, transferred the court
outside the gate to the Peteline Grove, from whence there is no prospect
of the Capitol. Here his accuser went on with his charge, and his
judges were capable of remembering and duly resenting his guilty deeds.
He was convicted, carried to the Capitol, and flung headlong from
the rock; so that one and the same spot was thus the witness of his
greatest glory, and monument of his most unfortunate end. The Romans,
besides, razed his house, and built there a temple to the goddess
they call Moneta, ordaining for the future that none of the patrician
order should ever dwell on the Capitoline. 

And now Camillus, being called to his sixth tribuneship, desired to
be excused, as being aged, and perhaps not unfearful of the malice
of fortune, and those reverses which seem to ensue upon great prosperity.
But the most apparent pretence was the weakness of his body, for he
happened at that time to be sick; the people, however, would admit
of no excuses, but, crying that they wanted not his strength for horse
or for foot service, but only his counsel and conduct, constrained
him to undertake the command, and with one of his fellow-tribunes
to lead the army immediately against the enemy. These were the Praenestines
and Volscians, who, with large forces, were laying waste the territory
of the Roman confederates. Having marched out with his army, he sat
down and encamped near the enemy, meaning himself to protract the
war, or if there should come any necessity or occasion of fighting,
in the meantime to regain his strength. But Lucius Furius, his colleague,
carried away with the desire of glory, was not to be held in, but,
impatient to give battle, inflamed the inferior officers of the army
with the same eagerness; so that Camillus, fearing he might seem out
of envy to be wishing to rob the young men of the glory of a noble
exploit, consented, though unwillingly, that he should draw out the
forces, whilst himself, by reason of weakness, stayed behind with
a few in the camp. Lucius, engaging rashly, was discomfited, when
Camillus, perceiving the Romans to give ground and fly, could not
contain himself, but, leaping from his bed, with those he had about
him ran to meet them at the gates of the camp, making his way through
the flyers to oppose the pursuers; so that those who had got within
the camp turned back at once and followed him, and those that came
flying from without made head again and gathered about him, exhorting
one another not to forsake their general. Thus the enemy, for that
time, was stopped in his pursuit. The next day Camillus, drawing out
his forces and joining battle with them, overthrew them by main force,
and, following close upon them, entered pell-mell with them into their
camp, and took it, slaying the greatest part of them. Afterwards,
having heard that the city Satricum was taken by the Tuscans, and
the inhabitants, all Romans, put to the sword he sent home to Rome
the main body of his forces and heaviest-armed, and taking with him
the lightest and most vigorous soldiers, set suddenly upon the Tuscans,
who were in the possession of the city, and mastered them, slaying
some and expelling the rest; and so, returning to Rome with great
spoils, gave signal evidence of their superior wisdom, who, not mistrusting
the weakness and age of a commander endued with courage and conduct,
had rather chosen him who was sickly and desirous to be excused, than
younger men who were forward and ambitious to command. 

When, therefore, the revolt of the Tusculans was reported, they gave
Camillus the charge of reducing them, choosing one of his five colleagues
to go with him. And when every one was eager for the place, contrary
to the expectation of all, he passed by the rest and chose Lucius
Furius, the very same man who lately, against the judgment of Camillus,
had rashly hazarded and nearly lost a battle; willing, as it should
seem, to dissemble that miscarriage, and free him from the shame of
it. The Tusculans, hearing of Camillus's coming against them, made
a cunning attempt at revoking their act of revolt; their fields, as
in times of highest peace, were full of ploughmen and shepherds; their
gates stood wide open, and their children were being taught in the
schools; of the people, such as were trades-men, he found in their
workshops, busied about their several employments, and the better
sort of citizens walking in the public places in their ordinary dress;
the magistrates hurried about to provide quarters for the Romans,
as if they stood in fear of no danger and were conscious of no fault.
Which arts, though they could not dispossess Camillus of the conviction
he had of their treason, yet induced some compassion for their repentance;
he commanded them to go to the senate and deprecate their anger, and
joined himself as an intercessor in their behalf, so that their city
was acquitted of all guilt and admitted to Roman citizenship. These
were the most memorable actions of his sixth tribuneship.

After these things, Licinius Stolo raised a great sedition in the
city, and brought the people to dissension with the senate, contending,
that of two consuls one should be chosen out of the commons, and not
both out of the patricians. Tribunes of the people were chosen, but
the election of consuls was interrupted and prevented by the people.
And as this absence of any supreme magistrate was leading to yet further
confusion, Camillus was the fourth time created dictator by the senate,
sorely against the people's will, and not altogether in accordance
with his own; he had little desire for a conflict with men whose past
services entitled them to tell him that he had achieved far greater
actions in war along with them than in politics with the patricians,
who, indeed, had only put him forward now out of envy; that, if successful,
he might crush the people, or failing, be crushed himself. However,
to provide as good a remedy as he could for the present, knowing the
day on which the tribunes of the people intended to prefer the law,
he appointed it by proclamation for a general muster, and called the
people from the forum into the Campus, threatening to set heavy fines
upon such as should not obey. On the other side, the tribunes of the
people met his threats by solemnly protesting they would fine him
in fifty thousand drachmas of silver, if he persisted in obstructing
the people from giving their suffrages for the law. Whether it were,
then, that he feared another banishment or condemnation, which would
ill become his age and past great actions, or found himself unable
to stem the current of the multitude, which ran strong and violent,
he betook himself, for the present, to his house, and afterwards,
for some days together professing sickness, finally laid down his
dictatorship. The senate created another dictator; who, choosing Stolo,
leader of the sedition, to be his general of horse, suffered that
law to be enacted and ratified, which was most grievous to the patricians,
namely, that no person whatsoever should possess above five hundred
acres of land. Stolo was much distinguished by the victory he had
gained; but, not long after, was found himself to possess more than
he had allowed to others, and suffered the penalties of his own law.

And now the contention about election of consuls coming on (which
was the main point and original cause of the dissension, and had throughout
furnished most matter of division between the senate and the people),
certain intelligence arrived, that the Gauls again, proceeding from
the Adriatic Sea, were marching in vast numbers upon Rome. On the
very heels of the report followed manifest acts also of hostility;
the country through which they marched was all wasted, and such as
by flight could not make their escape to Rome were dispersing and
scattering among the mountains. The terror of this war quieted the
sedition; nobles and commons, senate and people together unanimously
chose Camillus the fifth time dictator; who, though very aged, not
wanting much of fourscore years, yet, considering the danger and necessity
of his country, did not, as before, pretend sickness, or depreciate
his own capacity, but at once undertook the charge and enrolled soldiers.
And, knowing that the great force of the barbarians lay chiefly in
their swords, with which they laid about them in a rude and inartificial
manner, hacking and hewing the head and shoulders, he caused head-pieces
entire iron to be made for most of his men, smoothing and polishing
the outside, that the enemy's swords, lighting upon them, might either
slide off or be broken; and fitted also their shields with a little
rim of brass, the wood itself not being sufficient to bear off the
blows. Besides, he taught his soldiers to use their long javelins
in close encounter, and, by bringing them under their enemy's swords,
to receive their strokes upon them. 

When the Gauls drew near, about the river Anio, dragging a heavy camp
after them, and loaded with infinite spoil, Camillus drew forth his
forces, and planted himself upon a hill of easy ascent, and which
had many dips in it, with the object that the greatest of his army
might lie concealed, and those who appeared might be thought to have
betaken themselves, through fear, to those upper grounds. And the
more to increase this opinion in them, he suffered them, without any
disturbance, to spoil and pillage even to his very trenches, keeping
himself quiet within his works, which were well fortified; till, at
last, perceiving that part of the enemy were scattered about the country
foraging, and that those that were in the camp did nothing day and
night but drink and revel, in the night-time he drew up his lightest-armed
men, and sent them out before to impede the enemy while forming into
order, and to harass them when they should first issue out of their
camp; and early in the morning brought down his main body, and set
them in battle array in the lower grounds, a numerous and courageous
army, not, as the barbarians had supposed, an inconsiderable and fearful
division. The first thing that shook the courage of the Gauls was,
that their enemies had, contrary to their expectation, the honour
of being aggressors. In the next place, the light-armed men, falling
upon them before they could get into their usual order or range themselves
in their proper squadrons, so disturbed and pressed upon them, that
they were obliged to fight at random, without any order at all. But
at last, when Camillus brought on his heavy-armed legions, the barbarians,
with their swords drawn, went vigorously to engage them; the Romans,
however, opposing their javelins and receiving the force of their
blows on those parts of their defences which were well guarded with
steel, turned the edge of their weapons, being made of soft and ill-tempered
metal, so that their swords bent and doubled up in their hands; and
their shields were pierced through and through, and grew heavy with
the javelins that struck upon them. And thus forced to quit their
own weapons, they endeavoured to take advantage of those of their
enemies, laid hold of the javelins with their hands, and tried to
pluck them away. But the Romans, perceiving them now naked and defenceless,
betook themselves to their swords, which they so well used, that in
a little time great slaughter was made in the foremost ranks, while
the rest fled over all parts of the level country; the hills and upper
grounds Camillus had secured beforehand, and their camp they knew
it would not be difficult for the enemy to take, as, through confidence
of victory, they had left it unguarded. This fight, it is stated,
was thirteen years after the sacking of Rome; and from henceforward
the Romans took courage, and surmounted the apprehensions they had
hitherto entertained of the barbarians, whose previous defeat they
had attributed rather to pestilence and a concurrence of mischances
than to their own superior valour. And, indeed, this fear had been
formerly so great that they made a law, that priests should be excused
from service in war, unless in an invasion from the Gaul.

This was the last military action that ever Camillus performed; for
the voluntary surrender of the city of the Velitrani was but a mere
accessory to it. But the greatest of all civil contests, and the hardest
to be managed, was still to be fought out against the people; who,
returning home full of victory and success, insisted, contrary to
established law, to have one of the consuls chosen out of their own
body. The senate strongly opposed it, and would not suffer Camillus
to lay down his dictatorship, thinking that, under the shelter of
his great name and authority, they should be better able to contend
for the power of his aristocracy. But when Camillus was sitting upon
the tribunal, despatching public affairs, an officer, sent by the
tribunes of the people, commanded him to rise and follow him, laying
his hand upon him, as ready to seize and carry him away; upon which,
such a noise and tumult as was never heard before filled the whole
forum; some that were about Camillus thrusting the officer from the
bench, and the multitude below calling out to him to bring Camillus
down. Being at a loss what to do in these difficulties, he yet laid
not down his authority, but, taking the senators along with him, he
went to the senate-house; but before he entered, besought the gods
that they would bring these troubles to a happy conclusion, solemnly
vowing, when the tumult was ended, to build a temple to Concord. A
great conflict of opposite opinions arose in the senate; but, at last,
the most moderate and most acceptable to the people prevailed, and
consent was given, that of two consuls, one should be chosen from
the commonalty. When the dictator proclaimed this determination of
the senate to the people, at the moment pleased and reconciled with
the senate, as indeed could not otherwise be, they accompanied Camillus
home, with all expressions and acclamations of joy; and the next day,
assembling together, they voted a temple of Concord to be built, according
to Camillus's vow, facing the assembly and the forum; and to the feasts,
called the Latin holidays, they added one day more, making four in
all; and ordained that, on the present occasion, the whole people
of Rome should sacrifice with garlands on their heads. 

In the election of consuls held by Camillus, Marcus Aemilius was chosen
of the patricians, and Lucius Sextius the first of the commonalty;
and this was the last of all Camillus's actions. In the year following,
a pestilential sickness infected Rome, which, besides an infinite
number of the common people, swept away most of the magistrates, among
whom was Camillus; whose death cannot be called immature, if we consider
his great age, or greater actions, yet was he more lamented than all
the rest put together that then died of that distemper. 



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Translation of "The Deeds of the Divine Augustus" by Augustus is
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