Key to Umbria
 

Sidicini and Aurunci/Ausones (337 -332 BC)


War Between the Sidicini and the Aurunci (337 BC)

Livy began his account of 337 BC with a war near the border of Samnium in which the Romans were only peripherally involved:

  1. “... a war broke out between the Sidicini and the Aurunci   The latter had the better right to expect assistance from the Romans, because they had had given no trouble since they had surrendered in [340 BC.  However], before the consuls could march from Rome ... to defend [them], the news arrived that [they] had abandoned their [original city on the Monte Roccamonfina] and ... had taken refuge ... in [a new city, Suessa Aurunca] ..., which they had fortified”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 15: 1-6).

Thus, the Aurunci were ensconced in Suessa Aurunca, safe from further attack by the Sidicini, and the Romans had avoided the need to intervene on their behalf. 

Defeat of the Ausones (336-5 BC)

The Ausones, who seem to have been related to the Aurunci, apparently had a city of some sort at Cales, since, according to Livy:

  1. “The following year [336 BC], being the consulship of Lucius Papirius Crassus and Caeso Duillius, was remarkable for a war (more novel than important) with the Ausonians of Cales, who had joined forces with their neighbours, the Sidicini.  The Romans defeated the army of the two peoples in a single and by no means memorable battle”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 16: 1-3).

This single defeat had driven the two armies back into their respective cities of Cales and Teanum Sidicini, but the consuls made no further progress, and:

  1. “The Senate... did not cease to be concerned over this war, because the Sidicini ... [had caused the Romans problems] so many times before.  They accordingly made every effort to elect the greatest soldier of that age, Marcus Valerius Corvus, to his fourth consulship [in 335 BC], giving him Marcus Atilius Regulus as his colleague; and, lest there should by chance be some miscarriage, they requested of the consuls that Corvus be given the command, without the drawing of lots. [Taking over the victorious army from the previous consuls, he marched on Cales, where the war had originated.  He routed the Ausones (who had as yet not even recovered from the panic of the earlier encounter) and ... attacked [Cales] itself. ... [With the help of a Roman prisoner there who had escaped from his drunken guards], Valerius easily captured the Ausones and [Cales].  Huge spoils were taken, a garrison was established in the town, and the legions were led back to Rome, where Valerius  triumphed ... ”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 16: 6-11).

The fasti Triumphalis record the award of a triumph to Valerius over the Caleni (presumably, the Ausones of Cales).  

Livy continued:

  1. “... lest Atilius should go without his share of glory, both consuls were directed to march against the Sidicini.  But, before so-doing, on the instructions of the Senate, they named a dictator to preside at the [forthcoming] elections.  Their choice fell on Lucius Aemilius Mamercinus, who selected Quintus Publilius Philo to be master of the horse”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 16: 6-11).

Dictator Year 334/3 BC

Latin Colony Founded at Cales (334/3 BC)

According to Livy:

  1. “... under the presidency of the dictator, Titus Veturius Calvinus and Spurius Postumius Albinus were chosen as consuls [for 334/3 BC].  Although half of the war with the Sidicini remained [i.e. their allies, the Ausones of Cales had been routed, but they themselves remained undefeated, the new consuls] nevertheless brought in a proposal for sending out a colony to Cales, in order to anticipate the desires of the plebs by doing them a service.  The Senate resolved that 2,500 men should be enrolled for it, and they appointed a commission of three (Caeso Duillius, Titus Quinctius Poenus, and Marcus Fabius [possibly Marcus Fabius Dorsuo]) to conduct the settlers to the land and apportion it amongst them”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 16: 12-4).

Velleius Patroculus (‘Roman History’, 1: 14: 3) also dated the foundation of this colony to 334/3 BC. Thus, it is clear that the Ausones had been expelled from Cales. 

This was the earliest of Livy’s 30 Latin colonies (‘History of Rome’, 27: 9: 7), except for the continuing priscae Latinae coloniae (Ardea; Circeii; Norba; Setia; and Signia).  Its foundation marked an important development in Rome’s expansionist policy: as Timothy Cornell (referenced below, 1995, at pp. 351-2) pointed out:

  1. “After the [defeat of the Latin League in 338 BC], Latin status ceased to have a distinct ethnic or linguistic significance ... A Latin state could therefore be created simply by [the conferral] of Latin rights on it. ... The first colony to be established under these conditions was [founded in 334/3 BC] at Cales.”

As Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 1998, at p. 582) observed, the site on which the new colony was founded:

  1. “... was a strategic one: ... its territory separated the Sidicini ... from [the] Samnites, and, above all, it was only 13 km northwest of Capua, which it was thus able to watch.”

Raid on the Sidicini  (334/3 BC)

Unsurprisingly, the act of founding a colony at Cales did nothing to ease the tension of the border of Samnium and Campania.  Veturius and Postumius:

  1. “... took over the army from their predecessors and, entering the territory of the Sidicini, laid it waste as far as their city walls”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 17: 1).

Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 1998, at pp. 573-4) suggested that the city in question was Teanum Sidicinum, and that it is possible that the Romans failed to attack the city itself in either 335 or 334/4 BC because it was particularly well-fortified.

Appointment of a Dictator (334/3 BC)

Livy recorded that:

  1. “At this juncture, since the Sidicini had themselves raised an enormous army and seemed likely to make a desperate struggle on behalf of their last hope, and since the rumour circulated that Samnium was [also] arming, the Senate authorised the consuls to nominate a dictator.  They appointed Publius Cornelius Rufinus, and Marcus Antonius was made master of the horse.  However, concern was subsequently raised about the regularity of their appointment, and they resigned their office ...”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 17: 1-4).

As explained in my page Dictator Years (334/3; 325/4; 310/9; and 302/1 BC), some sources claim that a dictator and his master of horse (presumably Publius Cornelius Rufinus and Marcus Antonius) ruled without consuls throughout the following year.  The same sources record the same situation in each of 324,309 and 301 BC.  However, as Timothy Cornel (referenced below, 2015, at pp. 108-9 pointed out:

  1. “These ‘dictator years’, as they are called, do not appear in Livy or in any other historical account, and are actually a blatant antiquarian fabrication by the scholars who produced the so-called Varronian chronology [in ca. 45 BC].”

In order to avoid the need to ‘re-date’ history, scholars designate them as: 334/3, 325/4; 310/9; and 302/1 BC because (as we shall see) the Livy recorded that each of the dictators in question held this office during the preceding consular year.

Events of 332 BC

Livy recorded that the resignation of the dictator did not remove the problem that had led to his abdication, and:

  1.   “... when a pestilence ensued, it was supposed that all the auspices were affected by that irregularity, and the state reverted to an interregnum.  Finally Marcus Valerius Corvus, the fifth interrex from the beginning of the interregnum, achieved the election to the consulship of Aulus Cornelius [Cossus Arvina] (for the second time) and Cnaeus Domitius [Corvinus]”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 17: 4-5).

It seems that the threat from the Sidicini and their enormous army of 334/3 BC soon subsided, and that the Romans were not expecting hostilities of any kind in 332 BC.  Thus:

  1. “Coming, as it did, when all was tranquil, the rumour of a Gallic war worked like an actual rising, and caused the senate to have recourse to a dictator.  Marcus Papirius Crassus was the man, and he named Publius Valerius Publicola master of the horse.  While they were conducting their levy more strenuously than they would have done for a war against a neighbouring state, scouts were sent out, and returned with the report that all was quiet amongst the Gauls”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 17: 6-7).

The Romans also kept the Samnites under surveillance:

  1. “Samnium likewise had now for two years been suspected of hatching revolutionary schemes, for which reason the Roman army was not withdrawn from the Sidicine territory”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 17: 8).

Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 1998, at pp. 574) pointed out that, as in 335 and 334/4 BC:

  1. “... there is no report of a pitched battle [with the Sidicini] or an assault on Teanum Sidicinum.  At this point, the Sidicini disappear from Livy’s narrative until [297 BC, early in the Third Samnite War, when the Romans used Sidicine territory as one of their bases from which to invade Samnium], and we should probably assume that some kind of treaty brought an end to the fighting [of 337 - 332 BC].”

The Samnite threat also receded when:

  1. “... an invasion by King Alexander of Epirus drew the Samnites off into Lucania, and these two peoples [i.e. the Samnites and the Lucanians] engaged in a pitched battle with the Alexander as he was marching up from Paestum. Alexander, who emerged victorious,  then made a treaty of peace with the Romans; with what faith he intended to keep it, had the rest of his campaign been equally successful, is an open question”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 17: 9-10).

War: Privernum and Fundi (330 -328 BC)


With the Sidicini increasingly under the sway of the Samnites and the Latins, the Hernici, the Antiates and the northern Campani securely under Roman control, the days of Volscian independence were obviously numbered.  Thus, Livy recorded that, in 330 BC:

  1. “... ambassadors came to Rome from the Volscians of Fabrateria and the Lucani [also Volscian ?], requesting acceptance into the fides of Rome and promising that, if they were defended from the arms of the Samnites, they would faithfully and obediently accept the government of the Roman people.  The Senate sent ambassadors to warn the Samnites to refrain from aggression against these peoples.  This embassy proved effective, not because the Samnites were desirous of peace, but because they were not [yet] prepared for war”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 19: 1-3).

As Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 1998, at pp. 606-7) explained, the most natural reading of ‘ex Volscis Fabraterni et Lucani’ is that both were Volscian centres, albeit that Volscian Luca is otherwise unknown.     

Revolt of the Peoples of Privernum and Fundi (330 - 329 BC)

We should start by summarising Livy’s account of the relevant events of 341 -33 BC:

  1. In 341 BC, after a brief revolt, Privernum surrendered to Rome.  Although it retained its independence at this point, it suffered the confiscation of two thirds of its territory (‘History of Rome’, 8: 1: 3).

  2. In 340 BC, this confiscated land was distributed in small allotments among the Roman plebs (‘History of Rome’, 8: 11: 15).

  3. In 338 BC:

  4. “... the peoples of Fundi and Formiae [were granted civitas sine suffragio], because they had always afforded [the Romans] a safe and peaceful passage through their territories [presumably even during the Latin War]”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 14: 10).


Then, in 330 BC, at a tome when (as noted above) the Samnites were causing trouble in the area:

  1. “... a war broke out [between Roman and] the people of Privernum, in which the people of [recently-incorporated people of] Fundi were their supporters.  The [rebel] leader was Vitruvius Vaccus of Fundi, who was a man of distinction, not only at home, but also in Rome ... [The consul] Lucius Papirius Crassus, having set out to oppose him whilst he was devastating the [Roman-controlled] districts of Setia, Norba, and Cora, posted himself at no great distance from his camp.  ... [Vitruvius’ army was easily defeated and] repaired to Privernum in trepidation, so that the soldiers might protect themselves within its walls ...”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 19: 4-9). 

In 329 BC, the consul Gaius Plautius Decianus was charged with ending the revolt at Privernum.  Livy had at least two sources for the subsequent events:

  1. “Some say, that Privernum was taken by storm, and that Vitruvius was taken alive, while others maintain that the townsmen surrendered to Plautius ... and that Vitruvius was delivered up by his own troops”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 20: 6).

In any event, after Plautius’ success:

  1. “The Senate ... sent word that Plautius should demolish the walls of Privernum and, leaving a strong garrison there, return to Rome and enjoy the honour of a triumph.  They also ordered that Vitruvius should be kept in prison in Rome until Plautius arrived ... [Furthermore], they decreed that all those who had continued to act as a senator of Privernum during the revolt should henceforth reside on the farther side of the Tiber, under the same restrictions as [the exiled senators] of Velitrae [see above].  ... Vitruvius and his accomplices were put to death Plautius had triumphed”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 20: 4-10).

The fasti Triumphales record that both consuls (Plautius and his colleague Lucius Aemilius Mamercinus, who is given the surname ‘Privernas’) were awarded triumphs against the Privernates.    

Settlement with Privernum

According to Livy, Plautius argued in the Senate against any further punishment of the people of Privernum, who:

  1. “... are neighbours to the Samnites, whose peaceful relations with ourselves are at this time most precarious:  [we should therefore ensure] that as little bad feeling as possible is created between them and us”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 20: 12).

This argument prevailed, and it was agreed that:

  1. “... a bill to award civitas to the people of Privernum should be brought before the people”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 21: 10).  

Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 1998, at p. 620) argued that:

  1. “... this grant of citizenship [to the people of Privernum] must have been sine suffragio ..."

Settlement with Fundi (and Formiae ?)

There had, of course, been repercussions for the people of Fundi: in 330 BC, while Lucius Papirius Crassus was engaged at Privernum:

  1. “The other consul, Lucius Plautius Venox ... led his army into the territory of Fundi.  The senate there met him as he was crossing their borders, declaring that they had not come to intercede on behalf of Vitruvius [and] his faction, but on behalf of the [other, blameless] people of Fundi ... [where there was] ... gratitude for the [Roman] citizenship that the people had received.  They begged Plautius to refrain from war  ....  Plautius ... [duly] despatched letters to Rome [reporting that] the people of Fundi had preserved their allegiance, and then  marched on Privernum”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 19: 9-13).

Livy acknowledged that the annalist Quintus Claudius Quadrigarius had recorded a different version of the fate of the people of Fundi:

  1. “Claudius states that Plautius first punished those people of Fundi who had been at the head of the conspiracy.  According to him, 350 of the conspirators were sent in chains to Rome, but that the Senate refused to accept their submission because they considered that the people of Fundi wished to escape with impunity by the punishment of needy and humble persons”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 19: 14).

However, Livy does not inform us of the penalty (if any) inflicted on Fundi in this version of events.

Colonia Maritima at Anxur/ Tarracina (329 BC)

Livy ended his account of 329 BC by recording that:

  1. “... 300 colonists were sent to Anxur, where they each received 200 iugera of land”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 21: 10-11).

Velleius Patroculus (‘Roman History’, 1: 14: 4) also recorded the foundation of a colony here in 329 BC, albeit that he referred to it by its Roman name, Tarracina.  It was the first citizen colony that the Romans had created since that of Antium in 338 BC.  Livy listed it among the seven coloniae maritimae that resisted an emergency military levy in 207 BC.  As discussed below, it is likely that it was founded on land that had been confiscated from Privernum.  Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 1998, at p. 621) suggested that:

  1. “... its foundation in the year in which Privernum and Fundi were defeated can hardly have been coincidental, and its purpose will have been to exercise some control over the activities of those Volscian towns.”

As we shall see on the following page, the citizen colonists at Tarracina were probably registered in a new tribe, the Oufentina, which was created in 318 BC.

Political Settlements (338 - 328 BC)


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Incorporation of the Cities of Campania

As we have seen, after the Campani who had joined the Latin revolt surrendered in 340 BC:

  1. they were deprived of the ager Falernus, which was distributed in small allotments among the Roman plebs (‘History of Rome’, 8: 11: 12-14); although

  2. the 1600 Campanian knights who had sided with Rome were exempted from this land confiscation and also received full Roman citizenship (‘History of Rome’, 8: 11: 16).

As Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 1998, at p. 554) pointed out:

  1. “... neither [Capua] nor any other Campanian cities are recorded as taking any further part in the Latin War.”

According to Livy, as part of the settlement of 338 BC:

  1. “... as a compliment to Campanian knights (who had not consented to join the Latin revolt), the Campani were granted civitas sine suffragio”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 14: 101).

Michael Fronda (referenced below, at p. 129) suggested that ‘the Campani’ included Capua and its satellites: Atella; Casilinum; and Calatia, all of which were in northern Campania.  Livy also recorded the incorporation sine suffragio of three other cities of Campania:

  1. In 338 BC:

  2. “It was [also] voted to give the people of Cumae and Suessula the same rights and the same terms as the people of Capua”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 14: 10-11); and

  3. at the time of the census of 332 BC:

  4. .. a law introduced by the praetor, Lucius Papirius, conferred civitas sine suffragio on the people of Acerrae”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 17: 12).

Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 1998) addressed the reason for the incorporation of Cumae, Suessula and Acerrae alongside that of Capua:

  1. At p. 569, he argued that, although there is no record that either Cumae or  Suessula was allied with Capua against Rome in 340 BC, this had probably been the case. 

  2. At p. 550, he argued that:

  3. “[Although] Rome is not known to have been at war with [Acerrae] ,  ... it is quite conceivable that there was fighting [between them], either in 340-338 BC or subsequently, and that this information has been passed over by our sources.”

In other words, these cases do not necessarily disprove his view, articulated at p. 568 (see also below) that, although Livy often portrayed incorporation as a reward (as here, when he suggested that the incorporation of the Campani was a reward for the loyalty of the Campanian knights), it is more likely that it was generally an act of Roman retribution.

Date of these Incorporations

As noted above, Livy placed the incorporation of Capua and its satellites (Atella, Casilinum and Calatia), Cumae and Suessula in 338 BC and that of Acerrae in 332 BC.  However, Velleius Patroculus recorded a different sequence of events:

  1. “... in the consulship of Spurius Postumius Albinus and Titus Veturius Calvinus [334/3 BC], the citizenship without the right of voting was given to the Campani and to a portion of the Samnites: in the same year, a colony was  established at Cales” (‘Roman History’, 1: 14: 3).

As noted above, Livy also dated the foundation of the colony of Cales (immediately to the east of the ager Falernus) to 344 BC.  Both authors also agree on the date of the subsequent incorporation of the Campanian centre of Acerrae: according to Velleius Patroculus:

  1. “... the citizenship was granted to the inhabitants of Acerrae by the censors [of 332 BC], Spurius Postumius Albinus and Quintus Publilius Philo” (‘Roman History’, 1: 14: 4).

Thus, as Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 1998, at pp. 554-5) pointed out, the key discrepancy between these sources relates to the date of the incorporation of Capua:

  1. “If one follows Livy, then Rome waited just two years (that is, until the Latins had been finally subjugated).  [However], his testimony is probably to be rejected in favour of 334/3 BC, the date recorded by [Velleius Paterculus ] ...”

Oakley gave his reason for preferring Velleius’ date at pp. 539-40:

  1. “Livy presents [the settlement that he described in Chapter 8:14] as the record of decrees resulting from a meeting of the Senate after the end of the Latin War.  [However], although it contains a remarkable array of reliable factual information relating to the constitutional settlement, [it is unlikely that] it reflects a series of decrees [that were all] passed in 338 BC. ... Now, the [alternative] information of Velleius Patroculus ... is internally inconsistent [see below] ... For this reason, some will wish to dismiss [it].  However, it is much more likely that Livy or one of his sources combined into one synoptic passage measures originally passed over a period of time than that Velleius has redistributed a series of measures [that were actually] passed in 338 BC over the following years.  [Also against Livy is the fact that] it is perhaps unlikely that the Romans would have been able to effect so radical a series of reforms in the space of one year.”

Oakley conceded (at pp. 554-5) that:

  1. “[It is unclear] why the final settlement took six years ... , but presumably the terms of incorporation were reached only after some negotiation, albeit with Rome very much in the dominant position.”

It seems to me that the Romans might also have delayed its final settlement with the northern Campani until it had consolidated its hold on them (and on the confiscated ager Falernus) by expelling the Ausones from nearby Cales and founding a colony there.

Conclusions: Incorporation of of the Cities of Campania

In the light of Oakley’s hypotheses, we might reasonably assume that:

  1. In 340 BC, Capua and its satellites (Atella, Casilinum and Calatia) joined the Latin revolt, probably supported by Cumae and Suessula and possibly also by Acerrae.

  2. After the Campanian allies surrendered later that year, Rome confiscated the ager Falernus, which had formally belonged to the (northern) Campani.  However, some 1,600 Campanian knight who had remained loyal to Rome were rewarded: they received citizenship (probably optimo iure) and were exempted from the confiscation of any land that they owned in the ager Falernus.

  3. In 334/3 BC, at about the time of the foundation of Cales (on the eastern edge of the ager Falernus), the (northern) Campani were incorporated sine suffragio. 

  4. the incorporation sine suffragio of Cumae and Suessula presumably occurred at or shortly after that of the Campani; and

  5. that of Acerrae took place in 332 BC.

Incorporation of Fundi and Formiae

According to Livy (as noted above) Fundi and Formiae were incorporated sine suffragio in 338 BC.  As Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 1998: at pp. 568-9) noted, this was the first time that either of them had appeared in our surviving sources.  It is particularly important to bear in mind that, although Livy implies that their incorporation was part of the settlement that followed the Latin War, Livy had not named them among the participants in it.  Oakley argued (at p. 568) that: 

  1. “... such incorporations [as these] were generally aggressive acts on Rome’s part, but here we are told [see ‘History of Rome’, 8: 14: 10] that it was a reward for allowing Roman armies to pass through their territory .”

Livy had also claimed (above) that, when negotiating with Plautius in 330 BC, the people of Fundi had insisted that they had not joined the revolt of Privernum, insisting (inter alia) that they remembered with gratitude the recent award of Roman citizenship (‘History of Rome’, 8: 19: 11).  In his preferred version of these events, Livy had the Romans accept that Vitruvius Vaccus of Fundi, the leader of the revolt at Privernum, had been a renegade who had acted outside the control of the authorities of his native city.

However, Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 1998, at p. 604) pointed out that, in Quadrigarius’ alternate version of these events, which Livy cited at ‘History of Rome’, 8: 19: 14:

  1. “... Quadrigarius clearly believed that Fundi [had been] engaged in hostilities with Rome [in 330 BC].  It is possible that neither of the variants that Livy offered] was authentic, but the version of Quadrigarius is much more credible than Livy’s [preferred version], whose empty moralising it avoids.”

It is therefore at least possible that both Fundi and Formiae revolted alongside Privernum in 330 BC.  Following this line of thought, Oakley argued (at p. 605) that:

  1. “... it is [therefore] tempting to place the incorporation of both [Fundi and Formiae], together with that of Privernum, in [329 BC].”

As it happens, support for this hypothesis can be found in the chronology presented by Velleius Patroculus (‘Roman History’, 1: 14: 3-4):

  1. In the consulship of Spurius Postumius Albinus and Titus Veturius Calvinus:

  2. “... the citizenship without the right of voting was given to the Campani ... ; and

  3. a colony was established at Cales”

  4. After an interval of three years:

  5. “... the people of Fundi and of Formiae were admitted to the citizenship... ; 

  6. In the following year:

  7. “ ... the citizenship was granted to the inhabitants of Acerrae by the censors Spurius Postumius Albinus and Quintus Publilius Philo;

  8. Three years later:

  9. “... a colony was established at Tarracina”.

Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 1998, at p. 539) acknowledged that the chronology here is internally inconsistent.  In particular, since:

  1. the consulship of Spurius Postumius Albinus and Titus Veturius Calvinus was in 334/3 BC; and

  2. the censorship of Spurius Postumius Albinus and Quintus Publilius Philo was in 332 BC;

the incorporation of Fundi and of Formiae cannot have been both three years after the first event and one year before the second.  However, as discussed above, he suggested that the correct date was 329 BC.

Conclusions: Incorporation of Fundi and Formiae

If Oakley’s hypothesis is accepted, then Velleius’ chronology makes sense:

  1. In 334 BC:

  2. ‘the Campani’ (presumably the people of Capua and its satellites (Atella, Casilinum and Calatia), Cumae and Suessula) were incorporated; and

  3. a colony was founded  at Cales (as agreed by Livy).

  4. In 332 BC, Acerrae was incorporated (as agreed by Livy).

  5. Three years later (i.e. in 329 BC):

  6. Fundi and Formiae were incorporated (as suggested by Oakley); and

  7. a colony was founded at Tarracina (as agreed by Livy).

Land Confiscation at Privernum

Livy’s account of the conquest of Privernum can be summarised as follows:

  1. In 341 BC, after a brief revolt, Privernum surrendered to Rome.  Although it retained its independence at this point, it suffered the confiscation of two thirds of its territory (‘History of Rome’, 8: 1: 3).

  2. In 340 BC, this confiscated land was distributed in small allotments among the Roman plebs (‘History of Rome’, 8: 11: 15).

  3. In 330 BC, Privernum revolted again.

  4. Following its surrender in 329 BC:

  5. “The Senate ... decreed that all those who had continued to act as a senator of Privernum during the revolt should henceforth reside on the farther side of the Tiber, under the same restrictions as [the exiled senators] of Velitrae [in 338 BC - see above]”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 20: 9-10)

  6. The consul Caius Plautius Decianus argued in the Senate against any further punishment of the people of Privernum, who:

  7. “... are neighbours to the Samnites, whose peaceful relations with ourselves are at this time most precarious:  [we should therefore ensure] that as little bad feeling as possible is created between them and us”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 20: 12).

  8. This argument prevailed, and it was agreed that:

  9. “... a bill to award civitas to the people of Privernum should be brought before the people”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 21: 10).  

  10. Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 1998, at p. 620) argued that:

  11. “... this grant of citizenship [to the people of Privernum] must have been sine suffragio ..."

  12. Once again, Livy presents this incorporation, somewhat improbably, as an act of magnanimity that would be well-received by the recipients.

  13. Also in 329 BC, the colonia maritima of Tarracina was founded on land that had almost certainly been confiscated from Privernum.

Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 1998, at p. 393) argued that:

  1. “It is a major difficulty that  ... [the capture of Privernum is recorded in 341 BC and also] in 329 BC, bot years in which [Lucius Aemilius Mamercinus Privernas] was consul with a C. Plautius [Caius Plautius Decianus in 329 BC].  Some scholars have therefore argued that the two reported captures are doublets of the same event.”

He pointed out (at pp. 393-4) that there is no reason why Rome should not have fought with Privernum in 341 BC and 329 BC, although:

  1. “... perhaps [Livy’s] notice of the confiscation of two thirds of [Privernate territory] should be transferred [from 341] to 329 BC.”

He concluded (at p. 394, note 1) that:

  1. “... the matter cannot be decided beyond all doubt.”

It seems to me that, even if the major confiscation had occurred in 341 BC, the lands of the exiled senators would surely have fallen into Roman hands in 329 BC (as had been the case at Velitrae).

Conclusions: Incorporation of Privernum

To summarise:

  1. In 341 BC, it is possible (as Livy claimed) that two thirds of the territory of Privernum was confiscated, and that the land was assigned in small lots for viritane settlement in the following year.

  2. In 330 BC, Privernum and Fundi revolted.

  3. In 329 BC, after Privernum and Fundi surrendered:

  4. Privernum was incorporated sine suffragio

  5. some land was probably confiscated at Privernum:

  6. -if not the two thirds of its territory that Livy recorded as confiscated in 341 BC; then

  7. -possibly further land confiscated from the exiled senators; and

  8. a citizen colony was founded at Tarracina on land that had been confiscated from Privernum in 341 or 329 BC. 

Conclusions: Political Settlements (338 - 328 BC)

If we combine the three chronologies  suggested above, the revised chronology would be:

  1. In 341 BC, it is possible (as Livy claimed) that two thirds of the territory of Privernum was confiscated.

  2. In 340 BC, Rome confiscated the ager Falernus, which had formally belonged to the Campani.  However, some 1,600 Campanian knight who had remained loyal to Rome were rewarded: they received citizenship (probably optimo iure) and were exempted from the confiscation of any land that they owned in the ager Falernus.

  3. In 334/3 BC:

  4. a Latin colony was founded at Cales; and

  5. Capua and its satellites (Atella, Casilinum and Calatia), Cumae and Suessula were incorporated sine suffragio.

  6. In 332 BC:

  7. Quintus Publilius Philo and Spurius Postumius Albinus performed the census; and

  8. Acerrae was incorporated sine suffragio.

  9. In 329 BC:

  10. Privernum, Fundi and Formiae were incorporated sine suffragio

  11. some land was probably confiscated at Privernum:

  12. -if not the two thirds of its territory that Livy recorded as confiscated in 341 BC; then

  13. -possibly further land confiscated from the exiled senators; and

  14. a citizen colony was founded at Tarracina on land that had been confiscated from Privernum in 341 or 329 BC.


Read more:

T. Cornell, “Crisis and Deformation in the Roman Republic: the Example of the Dictatorship”, in

  1. V. Gouschin and P. Rhodes (Eds), “Deformations and Crises of Ancient Civil Communities” (2015)  Stuttgart, at pp. 101-26

M. Fronda, “Between Rome and Carthage”, (2010) Cambridge

S. Oakley, “A Commentary on Livy, Books VI-X:Volume II: Books VII and VIII”, (1998) Oxford

T. Cornell, “The Beginnings of Rome: Italy and Rome from the Bronze Age to the Punic Wars (ca. 1000-264 BC)”, (1995) London and New York


  1. Roman Conquest: Conquest of Veii - Renewal of Latin Peace (406 - 358 BC)

Renewed Latin Peace to 1st Samnite War (358 - 341 BC)

Between First Two Samnite Wars I (341 - 338 BC)    Between First Two Samnite Wars II (337 - 328 BC) Second Samnite War I (328 - 316 BC)     Second Samnite War II (315  - 304 BC)

Between 2nd and 3rd Samnite Wars (304 -298 BC)

Third Samnite War (298 - 290 BC)     

Conquest of the Sabines (290 BC)     Wars with Gauls and Etruscans (285 - 280 BC)

End Game (280-241 BC)


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