Livy, History of Rome 5

LCL 172: 4-5

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a.u.c. 3515est, violenter diremisset, cum ob iram repulsae, quod suffragio duodecim populorum alius sacerdos ei praelatus esset, artifices, quorum magna pars ipsius servi 6erant, ex medio ludicro repente abduxit. Gens itaque ante omnes alias eo magis dedita religionibus, quod excelleret arte colendi eas, auxilium Veientibus 7negandum donec sub rege essent decrevit; cuius decreti suppressa fama est Veiis propter metum regis, qui a quo tale quid dictum referretur, pro seditionis eum principe, non vani sermonis auctore1 8habebat. Romanis etsi quietae res ex Etruria nuntiabantur, tamen quia omnibus conciliis eam rem 9agitari adferebatur, ita muniebant ut ancipitia munimenta essent: alia in urbem et contra oppidanorum eruptiones versa, aliis frons in Etruriam spectans, auxiliis si qua forte inde venirent obstruebatur.

II. Cum spes maior imperatoribus Romanis in obsidione quam in oppugnatione esset, hibernacula etiam, res nova militi Romano, aedificari coepta, consiliumque erat hiemando continuare bellum. 2Quod postquam tribunis plebis, iam diu nullam novandi res causam invenientibus, Romam est allatum, in contionem prosiliunt, sollicitant plebis 3animos, hoc illud esse dictitantes quod aera militibus sint constituta; nec se fefellisse id donum inimicorum 4veneno inlitum fore. Venisse libertatem


Book V

festival, which it is impious to interrupt, in his resentment b.c. 403of a political rebuff; and because the suffrages of the Twelve Peoples had returned another man as priest in preference to him, he had suddenly carried off the actors, most of whom were his own slaves, in the middle of the games. And so the nation which was devoted beyond all others to religious rites (and all the more because it excelled in the art of observing them) voted to refuse its help to the men of Veii, so long as they should obey a king. This vote the Veientes would not suffer to be mentioned, in their fear of the King, who had a way of treating the man by whom any such saying was reported as a leader in sedition, not as the bearer of an idle tale. Although the Romans got word that things were quiet in Etruria, still, because they heard that this question came up at all their meetings, they so constructed their works as to have a double fortification, one facing Veii, to oppose the sallies of the townsfolk, the other confronting Etruria, to shut off any assistance that might come from thence.

II. As the Roman generals hoped more from a siege than from an assault, they even began the erection of winter quarters—a new thing to the Roman soldier—and planned to carry the campaign on, straight through the winter. When news of this came to Rome, to the plebeian tribunes, who had now for a long time been unable to hit upon any pretext for agitation, they hurried before the assembly and set to work upon the passions of the commons: So this was the reason that the soldiers had been granted pay! They had not been mistaken in thinking that this gift of their opponents would be smeared with poison. The liberty of the

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.livy-history_rome_5.1924