Battle (The House War, Book 5)

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Along the way, Percy must stage a daring rescue operation to save his old friend Grover, and he learns a terrible secret about his own family, which makes him question whether being the son of Poseidon is an honor or a curse. When Percy Jackson gets an urgent distress call from his friend Grover, he immediately prepares for battle. He knows he will need his powerful demigod allies at his side, his trusty bronze sword Riptide, and… a ride from his mom. The demigods rush to the rescue to find that Grover has made an important discovery: two powerful half-bloods whose parentage is unknown.

The titan lord Kronos has devised his most treacherous plot yet, and the young heroes have just fallen prey. An ancient monster has arisen — one rumored to be so powerful it could destroy Olympus — and Artemis, the only goddess who might know how to track it, is missing. Now Percy and his friends, along with the Hunters of Artemis, have only a week to find the kidnapped goddess and solve the mystery of the monster she was hunting. Time is running out for Percy.

War between the gods and the Titans is drawing near. To stop them, Percy and his friends must set out on a quest through the Labyrinth — a sprawling underground world with surprises and danger at every turn. The final war begins… with the Battle of the Labyrinth. All year the half-bloods have been preparing for battle against the Titans, knowing the odds of victory are grim. While the Olympians struggle to contain the rampaging monster Typhon, Kronos begins his advance on New York City, where Mount Olympus stands virtually unguarded. And as the battle for Western civilization rages on the streets of Manhattan, Percy faces a terrifying suspicion that he may be fighting against his own fate.

A supplement to the Percy Jackson series, The Demigod Files include three original Percy Jackson short stories, interviews with the characters, and other fun extras! A handbook no half-blood should be without: a fully illustrated, in-depth guide to gods, monsters, and all things Percy. Upon his return from the westerlands, he is faced with the arrest of his own mother, [69] who had freed Jaime Lannister from his imprisonment in the hopes of saving her daughters Sansa and Arya from the Lannisters.

Further friction is caused by Robb himself, who returns from his campaign in the westerlands married to Jeyne Westerling , despite his previous promise to marry a girl from House Frey. All of this causes Robb to change his focus in the war and look north again. After the fall of several northern seats including Winterfell to the ironborn , King Robb Stark sees no other choice than to return north in order to win his kingdom back and avenge the deaths of this brothers, Bran and Rickon , who are believed to be dead.

Lord Walder Frey agrees to reconcile with Robb on the condition that Robb apologizes in person and that Edmure Tully , now Lord of Riverrun following the death of Hoster Tully , marry his daughter Roslin , in place of the broken betrothal made with Robb. After Joffrey's death is confirmed, Cersei Lannister orders the arrest of Tyrion and his wife Sansa Stark , [88] though in truth the poison was supplied by Petyr Baelish via Dontos Hollard and administered by Olenna Tyrell.

The death of Robb Stark is a blow to his young kingdom. For his part Roose is appointed Warden of the North by King Tommen, while his newly legitimized bastard son Ramsay is betrothed to an imposter forced to pose as Arya Stark.

The betrayals of House Frey and House Bolton give the Lannisters a power in the riverlands and north. The Lannister victory seems secure, but the crucial relationship between the Lannisters and the Tyrells quickly begins to fray after several sudden deaths further upset the balance of power. Houses Tully , Mallister , and Blackwood hold out for a time in the riverlands , but no longer pose a serious threat. Likewise, Stannis remains in possession of Dragonstone and Storm's End , though he lacks the strength for open war.

Both Stannis Baratheon and Roose Bolton attempt to carve out new power bases in the vacuum left by the downfall of House Stark. To cement his position, Roose's bastard son Ramsay Snow is legitimized and betrothed to an imposter forced to pose as Arya Stark. Davos convinces his king to concentrate on his duties, rather than his rights, causing Stannis to take his meager forces north by ship and arrive at Castle Black just as the wildling army of Mance Rayder , the King-beyond-the-Wall , attacks Castle Black.

Following Aeron Greyjoy 's call for a kingsmoot , both Victarion and Asha Greyjoy have abandoned their northern conquests, leaving only a token force. After Euron is elected King, Asha flees back north, where she finds herself facing Stannis Baratheon. The accidents the Freys have suffered due to the trap set by Mors Umber appears to have slowed down the attack. Stannis remains at the crofter's village with his army, and is confident in his chances. The War of the Five Kings results in vast devastation and death.

The riverlands have borne the brunt of the fighting but the north , the westerlands , and the stormlands have been hit hard by the war as well. While the Reach did not suffer land hostilities, its resources have been used to supply the armies supported by House Tyrell and it is now suffering raiding and invasions by the ironborn. The only two regions to so far to stay out of the war and keep their armies and food supplies intact are the Vale of Arryn and Dorne.

At the same time, the long-believed-dead Prince Aegon Targaryen is revealed to be alive. Having been rescued from death by Lord Varys during Robert's Rebellion , Aegon has been trained to be the perfect king ever since. Renly Baratheon is nothing to me, nor Stannis neither. Why should they rule over me and mine from some flowery seat in Highgarden or Dorne? What do they know of the Wall or the wolfswood or the barrows of the First Men? Even their gods are wrong. The Others take the Lannisters too. I've had a bellyful of them.

Why shouldn't we rule ourselves again? It was the dragons we married, and the dragons are all dead. There sits the only king I mean to bend my knee to, m'lords: The King in the North! All sorts of people are calling themselves kings these days. Robb : I can't release the Kingslayer , not even if I wanted to. My lords would never abide it. I pay the iron price. I will take my crown, as Urron Redhand did five thousand years ago. When the news of this incident had circulated through the Forum and the City, the plebeians hastily assembled at the Senate-house and declared that they were now part of the infantry force, and though it was not their turn to serve, they promised to give their services to the republic to march to Veii or wherever else they were led.

If, they said, they were led to Veii they would not return till the city was taken. On hearing this it was with difficulty that the senate restrained their delight. They did not, as in the case of the knights, pass a resolution of thanks to be conveyed through the presiding magistrates, nor were any summoned into the House to receive their reply, nor did they themselves remain within the precincts of their House.

They came out on the raised space in front and each independently signified by voice and gesture to the people standing in the comitium the joy they all felt, and expressed their confidence that this unanimity of feeling would make Rome a blessed City, invincible and eternal. They applauded the knights, they applauded the commons, they showered encomiums on the very day itself, and frankly admitted that the senate had been outdone in courtesy and kindness.

Senators and plebeians alike shed tears of joy. At last the sitting was resumed, and a resolution was carried that the consular tribunes should convene a public meeting and return thanks to the infantry and the knights, and say that the senate would never forget this proof of their affection for their country. They further decided that pay should be reckoned from that day for those who, though not called out, had volunteered to serve. A fixed sum was assigned to each knight; this was the first occasion on which the knights received military pay.

The army of volunteers marched to Veii, and not only reconstructed the works that had been lost, but constructed new ones.

Battle of Winterfell

More care was taken in bringing up supplies from the City, that nothing might be wanting for the use of an army that had behaved so well. Servilius Ahala - for the third time - Q. Servilius, Lucius Verginius, Q. Sulpicius, Aulus Manlius - for the second time - and Manius Sergius - also for the second time. During their term of office, whilst every one was preoccupied with the Veientine war, Anxur was lost. The garrison had become weakened through the absence of men on furlough, and Volscian traders were admitted indiscriminately, with the result that the guard before the gates were surprised and the fortified post taken.

The loss in men was slight, as with the exception of the sick, they were all scattered about the fields and neighbouring towns, driving bargains like so many camp-followers. At Veii, the chief point of interest, things went no better. Not only were the Roman commanders opposing one another more vigorously than they opposed the enemy, but the war was rendered more serious by the sudden arrival of the Capenates and the Faliscans. As these two States were nearest in point of distance, they believed that if Veii fell they would be the next on whom Rome would make war.

The Faliscans had their own reasons for fearing hostilities, since they were mixed up in the previous war against Fidenae. So both States, after mutually despatching commissioners for the purpose, swore alliance with each other, and their two armies arrived unexpectedly at Veii. It so happened that they attacked the entrenchments on the side where Manius Sergius was in command, and they created great alarm, for the Romans were convinced that all Etruria had risen and was present in great force.

The same conviction roused the Veientines in the city to action, so the Roman lines of investment were attacked from within and from without. Rushing from side to side to meet first the one attack, then the other, they were unable to confine the Veientines sufficiently within their fortifications or repel the assault from their own works and defend themselves from the enemy outside.

Their only hope was if help came from the main camp so that the legions might fight back to back, some against the Capenates and Faliscans, and others against the sortie from the town. But Verginius was in command of that camp, and he and Sergius mutually detested each other. When it was reported to him that most of the forts had been attacked and the connecting lines surmounted, and that the enemy were forcing their way in from both sides, he kept his men halted under arms, and repeatedly declared that if his colleague needed assistance he would send to him.

This selfishness on his part was matched by the other's obstinacy, for Sergius, to avoid the appearance of having sought help from a personal foe, preferred defeat at the hands of the enemy rather than owe success to a fellow-countryman. For some time the soldiers were being slaughtered between the two attacking forces; at last a very small number abandoned their lines and reached the main camp; Sergius himself, with the greatest part of his force, made his way to Rome.

Here he threw all the blame on his colleague, and it was decided that Verginius should be summoned from the camp and his lieutenants put in command during his absence. The case was then discussed in the senate; few studied the interests of the republic, most of the senators supported one or other of the disputants as their party feeling or private sympathy prompted them.

On their proceeding to vote on this proposal, the other consular tribunes offered no opposition, but strange to say, Sergius and Verginius - the very men on whose account obviously the senate were dissatisfied with the magistrates for that year - after protesting against such humiliation, vetoed the resolution. They declared that they would not resign office before December 13, the usual day for new magistrates to take office.

On hearing this, the tribunes of the plebs, who had maintained a reluctant silence while the State was enjoying concord and prosperity, now made a sudden attack upon the consular tribunes, and threatened, if they did not bow to the authority of the senate, to order them to be imprisoned. There upon C. Servilius Ahala, the consular tribune, replied: "As for you and your menaces, tribunes of the plebs, I should very much like to put it to the proof how your threats possess as little legality as you possess courage to carry them out, but it is wrong to storm against the authority of the senate.

Cease, therefore, to look for a chance of making mischief by meddling in our disputes; either my colleagues will act upon the senate's resolution, or if they persist in their obstinacy, I shall at once nominate a Dictator that he may compel them to resign. In deference to the universal feeling, the two recalcitrant tribunes held an election for consular tribunes who entered office on October 1, they themselves having previously resigned office. Valerius Potitus - for the fourth time - M. Julius Julus. Their year of office was marked by many incidents at home and abroad.

There was a multiplicity of wars going on at once - at Veii, at Capena, at Falerii, and against the Volscians for the recovery of Anxur. In Rome the simultaneous demands of the levy and the war-tax created distress; there was a dispute about the co-opting of tribunes of the plebs, and the trial of two men who had recently held consular power caused great excitement. The consular tribunes made it their first business to raise a levy.

Not only were the "juniors" enrolled, but the "seniors" were also compelled to give in their names that they might act as City guards. But the increase in the number of soldiers necessitated a corresponding increase in the amount required for their pay, and those who remained at home were unwilling to contribute their share because, in addition, they were to be harassed by military duties in defence of the City, as servants of the State. This was in itself a serious grievance, but it was made to appear more so by the seditious harangues of the tribunes of the plebs, who asserted that the reason why military pay had been established was that one half of the plebs might be crushed by the war-tax, and the other by military service.

One single war was now dragging along into its third year, and it was being badly managed deliberately in order that they might have it the longer to manage.

Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians

Then, again, armies had been enrolled for four separate wars in one levy, and even boys and old men had been torn from their homes. There was no difference made now between summer and winter, in order that the wretched plebeians might never have any respite. And now, to crown all, they even had to pay a war-tax, so that when they returned, worn out by toil and wounds, and last of all by age, and found all their land untilled through want of the owner's care, they had to meet this demand out of their wasted property and return to the State their pay as soldiers many times over, as though they had borrowed it on usury.

What with the levy and the war-tax and the preoccupation of men's minds with still graver anxieties, it was found impossible to get the full number of plebeian tribunes elected. Then a struggle began to secure the co-optation of patricians into the vacant places. This proved to be impossible, but in order to weaken the authority of the Trebonian Law, it was arranged, doubtless through the influence of the patricians, that C. Lucerius and M. Acutius should be co-opted as tribunes of the plebs. He declared in excited tones that the position which the senate had assailed, though they had been repulsed in their first attack, had been at last carried by the consular tribunes.

The Trebonian Law had been set aside and the tribunes of the plebs had not been elected by the vote of the people, but co-opted at the command of the patricians, matters had now come to this pass, that they must have either patricians or the hangers-on to patricians as tribunes of the plebs. The Sacred Laws were being wrested from them, the power and authority of their tribunes was being torn away.

This, he contended, was done through the craft and cunning of the patricians and the treacherous villainy of his colleagues. The flame of popular indignation was now beginning to scorch not only the senate, but even the tribunes of the plebs, co-opted and co-opters alike, when three members of the tribunitian college - P.

Curatius, M. Metilius, and M. Minucius - trembling for their own safety, instituted proceedings against Sergius and Verginius, the consular tribunes of the preceding year. By fixing a day for their trial, they diverted from themselves on to these men the rage and resentment of the plebs. They reminded the people that those who had felt the burden of the levy, the war-tax, and the long duration of the war, those who were distressed at the defeat sustained at Veii, those whose homes were in mourning for the loss of children, brothers, and relations, had every one of them the right and the power to visit upon two guilty heads their own personal grief and that of the whole State.

The responsibility for all their misfortunes rested on Sergius and Verginius; this was not more clearly proved by the prosecutor than admitted by the defendants, for whilst both were guilty, each threw the blame on the other, Verginius denouncing the flight of Sergius, and Sergius the treachery of Verginius.

They had behaved with such incredible madness that it was in all probability a concerted plan earned out with the general connivance of the patricians. These men had previously given the Veientines an opening for firing the siege works, now they had betrayed the army and delivered a Roman camp up to the Faliscans.

Everything was being done to compel their young men to grow old at Veii, and to make it impossible for their tribunes to secure the support of a full Assembly in the City either in their resistance to the concerted action of the senate, or for their proposals regarding the distribution of land and other measures in the interest of the plebs. Judgment had already been passed upon the accused by the senate, the Roman people, and their own colleagues, for it was a vote of the senate which removed them from office, it was their own colleagues who upon their refusal to resign, compelled them to do so by the threat of a Dictator, whilst it was the people who had elected consular tribunes to enter upon office, not on the usual day, December 13, but immediately after their election, on October 1, for the republic could no longer be safe if these men remained in office.

And yet, shattered as they were by so many adverse verdicts, and condemned beforehand, they were presenting themselves for trial, and fancying that they had purged their offence and suffered an adequate punishment because they had been relegated to private life two months before the time. They did not understand that this was not the infliction of a penalty, but simply the depriving them of power to do further mischief, since their colleagues also had to resign, and they, at all events, had committed no offence.

The tribunes continued. We are confident that there is not a man in this Assembly who did not on that day call down curses on the persons and homes and fortunes of L. Verginius and Manius Sergius. It would be utterly inconsistent for you not to use your power, when it is your right and duty to do so, against the men on whom each of you has called down the wrath of heaven. The gods never lay hands themselves on the guilty it is enough when they arm the injured with the opportunity for vengeance.

The turning of the popular indignation in this direction threw into the shade the memories of the co-optation of tribunes and the evasion of the Trebonian Law. As a reward to the plebeians for the sentence they had passed, the victorious tribunes at once gave notice of an agrarian measure. They also prevented contributions being paid in for the war-tax, though pay was required for all those armies, and such successes as had been gained only served to prevent any of the wars from being brought to a close. The camp at Veii which had been lost was recaptured and strengthened with forts and men to hold them.

The consular tribunes, Manius Aemilius and Kaeso Fabius, were in command. Furius in the Faliscan territory and Cnaeus Cornelius in that of Capenae found no enemy outside his walls; booty was carried off and the territories were ravaged, the farms and crops being burnt. The towns were attacked, but not invested; Anxur, however, in the Volscian territory, and situated on high ground, defied all assaults, and after direct attack had proved fruitless, a regular investment by rampart and fosse was commenced.


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The conduct of the Volscian campaign had fallen to Valerius Potitus. Whilst military affairs were in this position, internal troubles were more difficult to manage than the foreign wars. Owing to the tribunes, the war-tax could not be collected, nor the necessary funds remitted to the commanders; the soldiers clamoured for their pay, and it seemed as though the camp would be polluted by the contagion of the seditious spirit which prevailed in the City.

Taking advantage of the exasperation of the plebs against the senate, the tribunes told them that the long wished for time had come for securing their liberties and transferring the highest office in the State from people like Sergius and Verginius to strong and energetic plebeians. They did not, however, get further in the exercise of their rights than to secure the election of one member of the plebs as consular tribune, viz.

Licinius Calvus - the rest were patricians - P. Manlius, L. Titinus, P. Maelius, L. Furius Medullinus, and L. Popilius Volscus. The plebeians were no less surprised at such a success than the tribune-elect himself; he had not previously filled any high office of State, and was only a senator of long standing, and now advanced in years. Our authorities are not agreed as to the reason why he was selected first and foremost to taste the sweets of this new dignity.

Some believe that he was thrust forward to so high a position through the popularity of his brother, Cnaeus Cornelius, who had been consular tribune the previous year, and had given triple pay to the "knights. In their exultation over this electoral victory, the tribunes of the plebs gave way over the war-tax, and so removed the greatest political difficulty.

It was paid in without a murmur and remitted to the army. The year was remarkable for such a cold and snowy winter that the roads were blocked and the Tiber rendered unnavigable. There was no change in the price of corn, owing to a previous accumulation of supplies. Licinius had won his position without exciting any disturbance, more to the delight of the people than to the annoyance of the senate, and he discharged his office in such a way that there was a general desire to choose the consular tribunes out of the plebeians at the next election.

The only patrician candidate who secured a place was M. The rest, who were plebeians, received the support of nearly all the centuries.


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Their names were M. In consequence either of the unhealthy weather occasioned by the sudden change from cold to heat, or from some other cause, the severe winter was followed by a pestilential summer, which proved fatal to man and beast. As neither a cause nor a cure could be found for its fatal ravages, the senate ordered the Sibylline Books to be consulted. The priests who had charge of them appointed for the first time in Rome a lectisternium. Apollo and Latona, Diana and Hercules, Mercury and Neptune were for eight days propitiated on three couches decked with the most magnificent coverlets that could be obtained.

Solemnities were conducted also in private houses. It is stated that throughout the City the front gates of the houses were thrown open and all sorts of things placed for general use in the open courts, all comers, whether acquaintances or strangers, being brought in to share the hospitality. Men who had been enemies held friendly and sociable conversations with each other and abstained from all litigation, the manacles even were removed from prisoners during this period, and afterwards it seemed an act of impiety that men to whom the gods had brought such relief should be put in chains again.

In the meanwhile, at Veii there was increased alarm, created by the three wars being combined in one. For the men of Capenae and Falerii had suddenly arrived to relieve the city, and as on the former occasion, the Romans had to fight a back to back battle round the entrenchments against three armies. What helped them most of all was the recollection of the condemnation of Sergius and Verginius. From the main camp, where on the former occasion there had been inaction, forces were rapidly brought round and attacked the Capenates in the rear while their attention was concentrated on the Roman lines.

The fighting which ensued created panic in the Faliscan ranks also, and whilst they were wavering, a well-timed charge from the camp routed them, and the victors, following them up, caused immense losses amongst them. Not long afterwards the troops who were devastating the territory of Capenae came upon them whilst straggling in disorder as though safe from attack, and those whom the battle had spared were annihilated.

Of the Veientines also, many who were fleeing to the city were killed in front of the gates, which were closed to prevent the Romans from breaking in, and so the hindmost of the fugitives were shut out. And now the time for the election of consular tribunes was approaching. The senate was almost more anxious about this than about the war, for they recognised that they were not simply sharing the supreme power with the plebs, but had almost completely lost it. An understanding was come to by which their most distinguished members were to come forward as candidates; they believed that for very shame they would not be passed over.

Besides this, they resorted to every expedient, just as if they were every one of them candidates, and called to their aid not men alone, but even the gods. They made a religious question of the last two elections. In the former year, they said, an intolerably severe winter had occurred which seemed to be a divine warning; in the last year they had not warnings only but the judgments themselves. The pestilence which had visited the country districts and the City was undoubtedly a mark of the divine displeasure, for it had been found in the Books of Fate that to avert that scourge the gods must be appeased.

The auspices were taken before an election, and the gods deemed it an insult that the highest offices should be made common and the distinction of classes thrown into confusion. Men were awestruck not only by the dignity and rank of the candidates, but by the religious aspect of the question, and they elected all the consular tribunes from the patricians, the great majority being all men of high distinction.

Those elected were L. Valerius Potitus - for the fifth time - M. Valerius Maximus, M. Furius Camillus - for the second time - L. Furius Medullinus - for the third time - Q. Servilius Fidenates - for the second time - and Q. Sulpicius Camerinus - for the second time.

During their year of office nothing of any importance was done at Veii; their whole activity was confined to raids. Two of the commanders-in-chief carried off an enormous quantity of plunder - Potitus from Falerii and Camillus from Capenae. They left nothing behind which fire or sword could destroy. One incident, however, caused universal anxiety.

The Alban Lake rose to an unusual height, without any rainfall or other cause which could prevent the phenomenon from appearing supernatural. Envoys were sent to the oracle of Delphi to ascertain why the gods sent the portent. But an explanation was afforded nearer at hand.

Essentials

An aged Veientine was impelled by destiny to announce, amidst the jeers of the Roman and Etruscan outposts, in prophetic strain, that the Romans would never get possession of Veii until the water had been drawn off from the Alban Lake. This was at first treated as a wild utterance, but afterwards it began to be talked about. Owing to the length of the war, there were frequent conversations between the troops on both sides, and a Roman on outpost duty asked one of the townsmen who was nearest to him who the man was who was throwing out such dark hints about the Alban Lake.

When he heard that he was a soothsayer, being himself a man not devoid of religious fears, he invited the prophet to an interview on the pretext of wishing to consult him, if he had time, about a portent which demanded his own personal expiation. When the two had gone some distance from their respective lines, unarmed, apprehending no danger, the Roman, a young man of immense strength, seized the feeble old man in the sight of all, and in spite of the outcry of the Etruscans, carried him off to his own side. He was brought before the commander-in-chief and then sent to the senate in Rome.

In reply to inquiries as to what he wanted people to understand by his remark about the Alban Lake, he said that the gods must certainly have been wroth with the people of Veii on the day when they inspired him with the resolve to disclose the ruin which the Fates had prepared for his native city. What he had then predicted under divine inspiration he could not now recall or unsay, and perhaps he would incur as much guilt by keeping silence about things which it was the will of heaven should be revealed as by uttering what ought to be concealed.

It stood recorded in the Books of Fate, and had been handed down by the occult science of the Etruscans, that whenever the water of the Alban Lake overflowed and the Romans drew it off in the appointed way, the victory over the Veientines would be granted them; until that happened the gods would not desert the walls of Veii. Then he explained the prescribed mode of drawing off the water. The senate, however, did not regard their informant as sufficiently trustworthy in a matter of such importance, and determined to wait for the return of their embassy with the oracular reply of the Pythian god.

They were L. Julius Julus, L. Furius Medullinus - for the fourth time - L. Sergius Fidenas, A. Postumius Regillensis, P. Cornelius Maluginensis, and A. This year a new enemy arose. The people of Tarquinii saw that the Romans were engaged in numerous campaigns - against the Volscians at Anxur, where the garrison was blockaded; against the Aequi at Labici, who were attacking the Roman colonists, and, in addition to these, at Veii, Falerii, and Capenae, whilst, owing to the contentions between the plebs and the senate, things were no quieter within the walls of the City.

Regarding this as a favourable opportunity for mischief, they despatched some light-armed cohorts to harry the Roman territory, in the belief that the Romans would either let the outrage pass unpunished to avoid having another war on their shoulders, or would resent it with a small and weak force. The Romans felt more indignation than anxiety at the raid, and without making any great effort, took prompt steps to avenge it. Postumius and L. Julius raised a force, not by a regular levy - for they were obstructed by the tribunes of the plebs - but consisting mostly of volunteers whom they had induced by strong appeals to come forward.

With this they advanced by cross marches through the territory of Caere and surprised the Tarquinians as they were returning heavily laden with booty. They slew great numbers, stripped the whole force of their baggage, and returned with the recovered possessions from their farms to Rome. Two days were allowed for the owners to identify their property; what was unclaimed on the third day, most of it belonging to the enemy, was sold "under the spear," and the proceeds distributed amongst the soldiers.

The issues of the other wars, especially of that against Veii, were still undecided, and the Romans were already despairing of success through their own efforts, and were looking to the Fates and the gods, when the embassy returned from Delphi with the sentence of the oracle. It was in accord with the answer given by the Veientine soothsayer, and ran as follows: -. Harmless through thy fields Shalt thou disperse it, scattered into rills. Then fiercely press upon thy foeman's walls, For now the Fates have given thee victory.

That city which long years thou hast besieged Shall now be thine. And when the war hath end, Do thou, the victor, bear an ample gift Into my temple, and the ancestral rites Now in disuse, see that thou celebrate Anew with all their wonted pomp. At length it was discovered why the gods were visiting men for neglected ceremonies and religious duties unperformed.

It was in fact due to nothing else but the fact that there was a flaw in the election of the magistrates, and consequently they had not proclaimed the Festival of the Latin League and the sacrifice on the Alban Mount with the due formalities. There was only one possible mode of expiation, and that was that the consular tribunes should resign office, the auspices to be taken entirely afresh, and an interrex appointed.

The Face of Battle pt 1

All these measures were earned out by a decree of the senate. There were three interreges in succession - L. Valerius, Q. Servilius Fidenas, and M. Furius Camillus. During all this time there were incessant disturbances owing to the tribunes of the plebs hindering the elections until an understanding was come to that the majority of the consular tribunes should be elected from the plebeians. Whilst this was going on the national council of Etruria met at the Fane of Voltumna. The Capenates and the Faliscans demanded that all the cantons of Etruria should unite in common action to raise the siege of Veii; they were told in reply that assistance had been previously refused to the Veientines because they had no right to seek help from those whose advice they had not sought in a matter of such importance.

Now, however, it was their unfortunate circumstances and not their will that compelled them to refuse.

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The Gauls, a strange and unknown race, had recently overrun the greatest part of Etruria, and they were not on terms of either assured peace or open war with them. They would, however, do this much for those of their blood and name, considering the imminent danger of their kinsmen - if any of their younger men volunteered for the war they would not prevent their going. The report spread in Rome that a large number had reached Veii, and in the general alarm the internal dissensions, as usual, began to calm down.

Licinius Calvus consular tribune, though he was not a candidate. His appointment was not at all distasteful to the senate, for when in office before he had shown himself a man of moderate views. He was, however, advanced in years. As the voting proceeded it became clear that all who had been formerly his colleagues in office were being reappointed one after another. Titinius, P.


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Maenius, Q. Manlius, Cnaeus Genucius, and L. After the tribes had been duly summoned to hear the declaration of the poll, but before it was actually published, P. Licinius Calvus, by permission of the interrex, spoke as follows: "I see, Quirites, that from what you remember of our former tenure of office, you are seeking in these elections an omen of concord for the coming year, a thing most of all helpful in the present state of affairs.

But, whilst you are re-electing my old comrades, who have become wiser and stronger by experience, you see in me not the man I was, but only a mere shadow and name of P. My bodily powers are worn out, my sight and hearing are impaired, my memory is failing, my mental vigour is dulled.

Here," he said, holding his son by the hand, "is a young man, the image and counterpart of him whom in days gone by you elected as the first consular tribune taken from the ranks of the plebs. This young man whom I have trained and moulded I now hand over and dedicate to the republic to take my place, and I beg you, Quirites, to confer this honour which you have bestowed unsought on me, on him who is seeking it, and whose candidature I would fain support and further by my prayers.

Licinius was formally announced as consular tribune with those above mentioned. Titinius and Genucius marched against the Faliscans and Capenates, but they proceeded with more courage than caution and fell into an ambuscade. Genucius atoned for his rashness by an honourable death, and fell fighting amongst the foremost. Titinius rallied his men from the disorder into which they had fallen and gained some rising ground where he reformed his line, but would not come down to continue the fight on level terms. More disgrace was incurred than loss, but it almost resulted in a terrible disaster, so great was the alarm it created not only in Rome, where very exaggerated accounts were received, but also in the camp before Veii.

Here a rumour had gained ground that after the destruction of the generals and their army, the victorious Capenates and Faliscans and the whole military strength of Etruria had proceeded to Veii and were at no great distance; in consequence of this the soldiers were with difficulty restrained from taking to flight. Still more disquieting rumours were current in Rome; at one moment they imagined that the camp before Veii had been stormed, at another that a part of the enemies' forces was in full march to the City.

They hurried to the walls; the matrons, whom the general alarm had drawn from their homes, made prayers and supplications in the temples; solemn petitions were offered up to the gods that they would ward off destruction from the houses and temples of the City and from the walls of Rome, and divert the fears and alarms to Veii if the sacred rites had been duly restored and the portents expiated.

Accordingly the commander destined by the Fates for the destruction of that city and the salvation of his country - M. Furius Camillus - was nominated Dictator.

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