Key to Umbria

Renewed Peace with the Samnites (341 BC)

As discussed on the previous page, Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 1997, at p. 197) noted that the treaty of 354 BC between the Romans and the Samnites involved:

  1. “... an undertaking not to engage in aggression in the sphere of interest of a friendly state and not to help her enemies. ... It is almost invariably held that this treaty established the river Liris (modern Garigliano) as the line demarcating the Roman and Samnite spheres of influence.  This is entirely plausible, but rests only on [the] indirect testimony [of later events].”

In other words, later events suggest that the Samnites recognised Rome’s actual or prospective hegemony north and west of the Liris, while Rome recognised that the territory to the east and south of the river (possibly including Campania) lay within the Samnites’ sphere of influence. 

The events of the First Samnite War (discussed on the previous page) brought Capua and the surrounding territory south of the Liris into the Roman sphere of influence (which might have constituted a breach of the original treaty).  Nevertheless, according to Livy, after the Samnites were defeated, they:

  1. “... pleaded with Romans to grant them peace and the right to war against the Sidicini ... , a people who  ... [were neither under the protection of the Roman people, nor yet their subject.  Titus Aemilius, the praetor, laid the Samnites’ petition before the Senate, which voted to renew the treaty with them”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 1:  7-10).

It seem that the renewed treaty recognised the new reality, leaving the Romans free to consolidate their hold on the fertile territory in the coastal strip south of the river and, in return, they were content to allow the Samnites free reign against the Sidicini.

War with Privernum and Antium (342-1 BC)

Likely locations of the Poblilia and Pomptina voting districts (358 BC)

Yellow dots = Rome and the centres of Latium

Blue squares = Volscian centres ( including Satricum, which was rebuilt and colonised by Antium in 348 BC)

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

  1. “As Rome steadily grew more influential in Campania, it was inevitable that the Volsci should make a bid for freedom before they were entirely enveloped by territory controlled by [Rome.  Since] Rome was embroiled in both domestic strife and conflict with the Samnites [in 342-1 BC, this] was a particularly good time [for the Volsci] to make a move.”

Thus, Livy recorded that, in 342 BC:

  1. “... the Privernates made a sudden incursion and devastated the neighbouring Roman colonies of Norba and Setia”, (‘History of Rome’, 7: 42:  8).

Then, in 341 BC (in the final stage of the First Samnite War):

  1. “... the men of [the Latin colonies of] Norba and Setia brought tidings to Rome that the Privernates were in revolt, and complained of a defeat that they had suffered at their hands.   It was also reported that a Volscian army, led by the people of Antium, had encamped at Satricum.  [Responsibility for] both wars [was] assigned by ballot to [the consul Caius Plautius Venox]: 

  2. He marched first on Privernum ... [He easily] overcame the enemy and captured Privernum.  After installing a strong garrison in it, he restored it to its inhabitants, but deprived them of two thirds of their territory. 

  3. He then led his victorious army towards Satricum, in order to oppose the Antiates.  The battle there ... was interrupted by a storm before either army had achieved victory. ... [However], the Volsci marched off in the night, like beaten men, for Antium.  ... Plautus proceeded to lay waste the enemy's country as far as the coast”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 1: 1-6).

The most significant element of this account is Livy’s claim  that the Romans confiscated two thirds of the territory of Privernum after its surrender.  However, as we shall see, there is no evidence that they made any use of it until after the Preivernates had revolted and surrendered again in 329 BC.  Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 1998, at p. 394 and note 1) suggested that:

  1. “... perhaps [Livy’s] notice of the confiscation of two thirds of [Privernate territory in 341 BC] should be transferred to 329 BC, ... [albeit that] the matter cannot be decided beyond all doubt.”

I discuss this suggestion further below.

Second Latin War (341 - 338 BC)

According to Livy, after the renewal of their treaty with Rome in 341 BC:

  1. “The Samnites marched against the Sidicini ...  [who] attempted to anticipate them by surrendering to the Romans.  [When the Romans] rejected their offer ..., they took it to the Latins, who had already risen in arms on their own account.  Even the Campani [i.e. the people of Capua and its satellites, Atella, Casilinum and Calatia] joined this notionally anti-Samnite alliance] ... and a great army that had been gathered out of all these nations invaded the borders of the Samnites under a Latin general ... The Samnites [insisted that], since the Latins and Campani were subject to ... the Romans, [the latter should] use their authority and keep them from invading Samnium ... [or, failing that], should hold them in check by force of arms.  [Following an apparently evasive Roman response], the Campani  .. persuaded the Latins [and, presumably, the Sidicini, to plan for war against both Samnium and Rome]”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 2:5 - 3:3).

Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 1998, at p. 394) pointed out that:

  1. “Since there is no doubt that that the Latins were [allied with] the Sidicini and the Campani in their struggle against Rome [in 340 BC], it is  likely ... that Livy was correct to date the formation of this alliance to 341 BC or thereabouts. ... [However], little confidence should be placed in [his] detailed version of the chain of events [that lead to the formation of this alliance against both the Romans and the Samnites].”

Oakley subsequently observed (at p. 429) that, in 340 BC:

  1. “... the Romans [and Samnites] were fighting an alliance of Latins, Volsci, Aurinci, Sidicini and Campani ...”

Timothy Cornell (referenced below, 1995, at p. 347) similarly asserted that, soon after the end of the First Samnite War:

  1. “... the Sidicini and the Campani ... joined up with the Latins and Volsci, who were already in revolt against Rome.  This alliance, which also included the Aurunci, was presumably in response to Rome’s growing power.”

In other words, the so-called Second Latin War was, in fact, a war between:

  1. on the one hand, Romans and Samnites; and

  2. on the other, the peoples who had been most threatened by the terms of the recently-renewed treaty between them.

In the passage above, Livy had no compunction in recording the fact that the Samnites immediately exercised their ‘rights’ under the treaty to attack the Sidicini.  However, he was obviously keen to portray the Romans as unwilling participants in the events that this aggression precipitated.  However, we cannot rule out the possibility that, like the Samnites, the Romans moved swiftly and forcefully to consolidated their hold over the territory west of the Liris and the newly-surrendered land in Campania to the south. In any case, whoever ‘started it’, this war was a direct result of the renewal of the treaty between the two most powerful and aggressive peoples of central Italy.

Battle of the Veseris (340 BC)

According to Livy, in 340 BC, the Romans, who were: 

  1. “... quite certain that socii nominis Latini (the allies of the Latin name) were going to revolt, ... summoned to Rome ten principes Latinorum (leaders of the Latins), so that they might [warn them against taking hostile action against Rome itself or its Samnite allies]”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 3: 8).

When these Latin representatives proved to be unbowed:

  1. “The Senate ... agreed on war: the consuls [Titus Manlius Imperiosus Torquatus and Publius Decius Mus] enrolled two armies and marched out through the country of the Marsi and Paeligni.  Having collected the army of the Samnites, they established their camp near Capua, where the Latins and their allies had already assembled”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 6: 8).

This route would have taken the Roman armies along the north shore of the Fucine Lake and then south into Samnium and on to Capua.  According to Livy (‘History of Rome’, 8: 6: 9), during the night of their arrival there, both consuls had the same dream, in which they learned that the gods would require one of them to sacrifice his life in order to secure a Roman victory.  Livy did not say exactly where this camp was located.  However:

  1. according to Valerius Maximus, the camp it was located:

  2. “... not far from the foot of Mount Vesuvius”, (‘Of Memorable Things’, 7:3); and

  3. according to Livy, the subsequent battle was fought:

  4. “... not far from the foot of Mount Vesuvius, at the point where the road led off to the [now-unknown stream or river] Veseris”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 8: 19).

Thus, at least according to the sources used by Livy and Valerius Maximus, the battle was fought near the Romans’ first camp, which was below Mount Vesuvius, some 50 km south of Capua. 

However, a surviving fragment from Dionysius of Halicarnassus gives an account that obviously relied on other sources, according to which, the consuls and their armies:

  1. “... passed unhindered [along the road that leads from Rome to Campania], with some of the [local] people offering no opposition and others actually escorting them on their way.  There were many difficult passes along [this] road ... and it was not easy to get through them when the enemy had occupied them in advance.  [The Romans] also crossed a river called the Volturnus, which flowed through the territory and city of Casilinum, ... by means of a wooden bridge that they constructed in 3 days. They faced these difficulties in order: to inspire confidence in those of those Campani that sided with them; and to... inspire fear in those that did not.  When they had advanced beyond the city [Casilinum ?/ Capua ?], they encamped at a distance of 40 stades [about 7 km] from Capua, entrenching themselves in a lofty position, where they waited ... for the provisions and reinforcements that they expected from the Samnites: it seems that the Samnites kept promising [much] while furnishing nothing worth mentioning ... The consuls, therefore, ... resolved to set to work [without them] ...”, (‘Roman Antiquities’, 15: 4: 1-4)

Thus, unlike Livy, Dionysius had the Romans:

  1. march directly to Capua through enemy territory, essentially along the route of the future Via Appia;

  2. camp some 7 km from Capua, on a ‘lofty position’ (which presumably means the Monti Tifatini); and

  3. fight the subsequent battle without Samnite reinforcements (an assertion that Livy also found in some of his sources; see ‘History of Rome’, 8: 11: 2).

The subsequent battle is mainly remembered in Roman tradition for the facts that:

  1. Manlius enforced army discipline by executing his son for disobeying an order; and

  2. Decius sacrificed his life in battle, as portended in the consuls’ dream, in a ritual that the Romans designated as a ‘devotio’ (see Stephen Oakley, 1998, at pp. 500-5 ).

As the battle moved towards its conclusion:

  1. “[The Romans] threw the [Latin] front ranks into disorder and ... disposed of the fine flower of their manhood  ... [leaving] barely a quarter [of them] alive.  The Samnites, who were drawn up a little way off, at the foot of the mountain,represented another source of terror to the Latins.  But, of all the citizens and allies [who fought in the Roman and Samnite alliance], the chief glory of that war went to the consuls, of whom:

  2. one [Decius] had drawn all the threats and menaces of the  ... gods upon himself alone; and

  3. the other [Manlius] had shown such valour and ability in the battle ...

  4. The Latins fled to [the Auruncan stronghold of] Minturnae.  Their camp was captured after the battle and many men, chiefly Campani, were caught and slain there”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 10: 5-10).

However, despite Livy’s obvious admiration for this victory, the war was by no means over.

Battle at Trifanum (340 BC)

We have two surviving accounts of battles fought by the Romans on Auruncan territory in 340 BC, both of which are much shorter and much less embroidered than Livy’s account of the Battle of the Veseris:

  1. According to Livy himself:

  2. “... the Latins who survived the [Battle of the Veseris] ... reunited and took refuge in the [now-unknown Auruncan] town of Vescia.  In the councils that they held there, Numisius, their commander ... [proposed that they should] speedily recruit [new] fighting men from the Latin and Volscian tribes and return ... to Capua, where their unexpected arrival would strike dismay into the Romans. ... An army  was  consequently levied in haste and brought together from every quarter.  [Manlius] met this force near [the now-unknown Auruncan centre of] Trifanum, a place situated between Sinuessa and Minturnae.  Both armies ... [immediately] fell to fighting, and the war was quickly ended: the enemy's strength had been brought so low [in the earlier battle] that, when Manlius led his victorious army to pillage their fields, the Latins all surrendered and the Campani followed their example”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 11: 5-12).

  3. According to Diodorus Siculus:

  4. “The Romans were victorious in a battle against the Latins and Campani in the vicinity of [the Auruncan centre of] Suessa and annexed part of the territory of the vanquished.  Manlius, the consul who had won the victory, celebrated a triumph”, (‘Library of History’, 14: 34: 7).

Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 1998, at p. 430) observed that:

  1. “The equation of these two battles [seems] inevitable: [indeed, this is hardly a matter of conjecture, since] Suessa and Sinuessa were very close together.”

Manlius’ Triumph (340 BC)

Surprisingly, Livy did not record the award of a triumph to Manlius, the surviving consul of 340 BC.  However:

  1. as noted above, Diodorus recorded that he was awarded a triumph over the Latins and Campani after his victory near Suessa; while

  2. the fasti Triumphalis record that his triumph of this year was awarded over the Latins, Campani, Sidicini and Aurunci. 

The record in the fasti of the composition of the defeated armies might well be accurate since, as Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 1998, at p. 430) observed:

  1. “One effect of the fighting of 340 BC was to detach ... the Campani, Sidicini and Aurunci from the [anti-Roman] alliance ...”

That left only the Latins and the Volsci to continue the war.

Political Settlements in 340 BC

According to Livy, after their defeat at Trifanum:

  1. “Latium and Capua were deprived of territory:

  2. the Latin territory;

  3. the territory of Privernum; and

  4. the ager Falernus; which had belonged to the populi Campani [people of [i.e. the people of Capua and its satellites, Atella, Casilinum and Calatia] as far as the river Volturnus;

  5. was parcelled out amongst the Roman plebs.  The [individual] assignments were: 

  6. 2 iugera in Latium;

  7. [2.75] iugera at Privernum ... ; and

  8. 3 iugera [in the ager Falernus].

  9. The Laurentes and the Campanian knights were exempted from ... [this punishment] because they had not revolted ... ”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 11: 12-15).

See Saskia Roselaar (referenced below, at pp. 300-1, entry 3 and note 20) for this interpretation of Livy’s description of the size of the individual allotments at Privernum.

Latins (including the Laurentes of Lavinium)

In the passage above, Livy recorded that, in 340 BC:

  1. “Latium ... [was] deprived of territory, ... [which] was parcelled out amongst the Roman plebs.   The assignment was two iugera [per settler] ...”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 11: 13-14).

As we shall see below, he subsequently recorded that:

  1. further confiscations took place in Latium after the end of the war in 338 BC (see below); and

  2. some of the viritane citizen settlers in Latium were assigned to one of two new voting tribes, the Maecia and the Scaptia, that were established in 332 BC (see below).

Laurentes (People of Lavinium)

Livy did not record the names of the Latin centres from which land was confiscated in 340 BC, but he did record that:

  1. The Laurentes, ... were exempted from the punishment inflicted on the [other] Latins because they had not revolted; it was ordered that the treaty with them should be renewed [annually], and it has [indeed] been renewed every year from that time, on the 10th day of the feriae Latinae”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 11: 12-14).

Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 1998, at pp. 506-7) observed that the ‘Laurentes’ were the people of Lavinium, and:

  1. “[The fact that it is unnecessary to look elsewhere] for a separate ‘Laurentium’ is shown by inscriptions [such as CIL XIV 2070] that refer to the populus Laurens Lavinas as a single entity.”

Alison Cooley (referenced below, at pp. 173-4) noted that:

  1. “In the surviving epigraphic evidence [from the imperial period], ... a cohesive group known simply as the Laurentes existed only in the minds of emperors: by contrast, when the Laurentes actually set up inscriptions, they subdivided themselves into ‘Laurentes Lavinates’ and ‘Laurentes vico Augustano’.  Thus, [by this time], the idea of an overall regional identity incorporated further layers of refinement based upon the Augustan vicus and the town of Lavinium.”

She also described (at pp. 177-8) an interesting inscription (CIL X 797) from Pompeii, which dates to the reign of the Emperor Claudius (46 - 54 AD); it came from the base of a statue of Spurius Turranius Proculus Gellianus, whose cursus included the posts of:

  1. praif(ectus) pro pr(aetore) i(ure) d(icundo in urbe Lavinio (prefect with the powers of a praetor in charge of jurisdiction in the city of Lavinium”; and

  2. pater patratus populì Laurentis (‘father’ of the deputation of the Laurentes) in charge of [renewing] the treaty with the Roman people in accordance with the Sibylline books, which relates to the rites that are:

  3. concerned with the origins of the Roman people (the Quirites) and of the people of the Latin name; and

  4. observed among the Laurentes.”

Thus, it seems that this treaty had included terms that related to the observance at Lavinium of an ancient rite that was relevant to the foundation myths of both the Romans and the Latins, and that it was still being renewed annually in the early imperial period.

Livy had described the circumstances in which the Laurentes had avoided participating in the recent hostilities, apparently by accident:

  1. “The Latins ... were already defeated when the Laurentes, who were wasting time in deliberation, began to march to their assistance.  They received word of the [Roman victory at the Veseris] ... just as their foremost ensigns and a portion of their column had passed out through the city gates.  [Unsurprisingly], they turned around and returned into the city: it is said that their praetor, Milionius, remarked that they would have to pay a large price to the Romans for such a short march”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 11: 3-4).

However, it seems that Milionius’ the worst of his fears were not realised: the Laurentes apparently retained all of their land and additionally their nominal independence.  It seems to me that the both the apparent reluctance of the Laurentes to clash with Roman and that of the Romans to punish them for coming close to doing so were rooted in their shared heritage: as Alison Cooley  (referenced below, at pp. 174-6) observed:

  1. “The legendary disembarkation of Aeneas onto the litus Laurentinum at a point called ‘Troy’ in his honour ... created ties between this region and Rome on a more ancient and profound basis than [for example. patterns of] property ownership by members of the Roman élite, and that these [ties] extended further inland too.”

Campani [People of Capua and its Satellites: Atella; Casilinum; and Calatia]

In the passage above, Livy recorded that, in 340 BC:

  1. “ Latium and Capua were deprived of territory ...: the ager Falernus, which had belonged to the Campani, was parcelled out amongst the Roman plebs.  The assignment was ... 3 iugera [per settler].  The Campanian knights were exempted from the punishment inflicted on the Latins, because they had not revolted ...  [They] received civitas Romana (Roman citizenship) and a bronze tablet was fastened up in the temple of Castor at Rome to commemorate the occasion.  The [other] Campani were commanded to pay them each a yearly stipend (there were 1,600 of them), amounting to 450 denarii”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 11: 12-16).

Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 1998, at p. 514) argued that these 1,600 knights almost certainly  received full citizenship, and that they and their descendants would thus have been able to vote when they were in Rome at the time of elections.

Saskia Roselaar (referenced below, at pp. 301-2, entry 5) suggested that the ager Falernus was confiscated in its entirety and (at note 20) that:

  1. “[Since] there is no record of the later distribution of land in the area, .. the whole ager Falernus seems to have been distributed [in 340 BC].”

However, it seems to me that, since:

  1. the Campanian knights escaped confiscation; and

  2. the confiscated land seems to have been confined to the ager Falernus;

then Livy must have meant that they retained their the land that they retained their lands in the ager Falernus.   In other words, after 340 BC, the ager Falernus was entirely in the hands of Roman citizens, comprising Campanian knights and viritane settlers from Rome.  As we shall see, these citizens were registered or re-registered in a new tribe, the Falerna, in 318 BC.


In the passage above, Livy recorded that, in 340 BC:

  1. “... territory ... [that had been confiscated from] Privernum ... was parcelled out amongst the Roman plebs.   The assignment was [2.75 iugera per settler] ...”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 11: 15).

As noted above, Livy had recorded that, in the previous year, the consul Caius Plautius Venox had:

  1. “... captured Privernum.  After installing a strong garrison in it, he restored it to its inhabitants, but deprived them of two thirds of their territory”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 1: 3).

Saskia Roselaar (referenced below, at pp. 300-1, entry 3) noted that some of this land was used for the assignations to the plebs that Livy described here (at 8:11: 14), which she dated this to 338 BC.  However, Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 1998, at p. 394 and note 1) suggested that:

  1. “... perhaps [Livy’s] notice of the confiscation of two thirds of [Privernate territory in 341 BC] should be transferred to 329 BC, ... [albeit that] the matter cannot be decided beyond all doubt.”

I return to this point below.

War with the Latins and the Antiates (340 - 338 BC)

Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 1998, at p. 430) observed that, with the Campani, Sidicini and Aurunci all defeated, the Roman could concentrate on:

  1. “... campaigns nearer home against the Volsci and the Latins ...”

As far as we know, the Samnites played no part in these Roman campaigns (discussed below), although it is likely that they continued to campaign against the Sidicini and possible that they also campaigned against the Volsci east of the Liris.  

Events of 340 and 339 BC

In his account of these events, Livy was still at pains to portray the Romans as the aggrieved party.  Thus, he claimed that, after Manlius’ return to Rome in 340 BC:

  1. “The Antiates ravaged the lands of Ostia, Ardea and [the now-unknown Latin centre of] Solonium.  Since Manlius was unable himself to conduct this war because of ill-health, he appointed as dictator Lucius Papirius Crassus, who at that time happened to be praetor .... Papirius accomplished nothing noteworthy against the Antiates, despite having been camped in their territory for some months”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 12: 2-3).

Then, in 339 BC, when Tiberius Aemilius Mamercinus and Quintus Publilius Philo served as consuls:

  1. “The Latins took up arms again, being incensed at the confiscation of their land, and suffered a defeat and the loss of their camp in the [now unknown] campi Fenectani.  While Publilius, under whose command and auspices this campaign had been conducted, was receiving the surrender of the Latin peoples whose soldiers had fallen there, Aemilius led his army against Pedum, ... [which was] supported by the people of Tibur, Praeneste ,Velitrae, ... Lanuvium and Antium.  ... [When Aemilius heard] that his colleague had been decreed a triumph, left the war [with Pedum and its allies] unfinished [and returned to Rome. ... The Senate] denied him a triumph until he should either capture Pedum or receive its surrender [neither of which he achieved].  Estranged from the Senate by this rebuff, Aemilius  ... [criticised] the senators before the people ...[for] the niggardly apportionment to the plebeians of land in Latium and the ager Falernus”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 12: 5-12).

The fasti Triumphalis record the award of a triumph over the Latins to Philo.  However, as Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 1998, at p, 431) observed:

  1. “... since the Latins were able to take to the field again in 338 BC, it is perhaps unlikely that Philo received many of them into deditio.”

Battle of Pedum (338 BC)

The hostile situation at Pedum remained unresolved until the following year (338 BC), when the new consuls, Lucius Furius Camillus and Gaius Maenius:

  1. “... put aside all other matters and set out for that place.  [By then, the Latins’ resolve had weakened and] very few cities were able to help Pedum:

  2. the Tiburtes and Praenestini, whose territories lay near by, did reach Pedum; but

  3. Maenius attacked and routed the Aricini, Lanuvini and Veliterni as they were joining up with the Volsci from Antium at the river Astura [see below].

  4. Camillus dealt with the very powerful army of the Tiburtes near Pedum; the struggle was harder [than that at Antium], but the issue was equally successful.  The greatest confusion was occasioned by a sudden sally of the townsfolk during the battle, but Camillus ... not only drove them back into their city, but  ... even took the place by escalade that very day”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 13: 1-7).  

Somewhat surprisingly, Livy did not address the circumstances in which Tibur and Praeneste were defeated.

Battle of Antium (338 BC)

As noted above, according to Livy, while Camillus was engaged at Pedum:

  1. “Maenius attacked and routed the Aricini, Lanuvini and Veliterni as they were joining up with the Volsci from Antium at the river Astura”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 13: 5). 

As John Rickard (referenced below) observed:

  1. “The location of [this] battle is something of a puzzle: ... Velitrae, Lanuvium and Aricia ... were located quite close together to the southeast of Rome, and yet they were defeated on the River Astura, 20 miles further south and just to the east of Antium.  The question is: why did those cities move their armies away from Pedum, and not towards it ?”

He put forward a number of possibilities, but there is no knowing which (if any) of them is correct.  It seems to me that, since Livy implied that none of the Latins except Tibur and Praeneste were able to help Pedum, the most likely of Rickard’s hypotheses is that:

  1. “... the Roman presence around Pedum might have been strong enough to prevent these three Latin armies from moving north.”

It is also possible that, had they reached the Astura, the Latins would have attempted to outflank the Romans with the help of the Antiates’ powerful fleet.

It is also surprising Livy did not describe the actual battle on the Astura: all he said about it in this chapter was that, at the end of the campaign, Camillus reported to the Senate that:

  1. “The armies of our enemies have been cut to pieces at Pedum and on the Astura; all the Latin towns, together with Antium in the land of the Volsci, have either been carried by storm or have made submission, and are in the keeping of your garrisons”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 13: 5). 

In the following chapter, he noted that:

  1. “Some of the ... ships [captured at Antium] were laid up in the Roman dockyards.  Others were burnt, and it was decided that their rostraque (prows) should be used to embellish a dais erected in the Forum.  This sacred place [thus] became known as the Rostra”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 14: 11-12).

This platform enjoyed a prominent location in the Forum, and was used for addressing the plebs assembled in either the Forum or the adjacent Comitium.  Florus, who was probably writing in the early 2nd century AD, asserted that:

  1. “Spoils won from Antium still exist, which Maenius fixed up on the tribunal of the Forum after the capture of the enemies' fleet ( if it can be called a fleet, for it consisted of only six beaked ships: in those ancient days, however, a fleet of that number was sufficient for a war at sea)”, (‘Epitome of Roman History”, 1: 11: 10).

This suggests that there were six ships’ prows on the Rostra in Florus’ time (although, pace Florus, this gives no indication of the total size of the Antiate fleet that Maenius seized in 338 BC, since the prows came from the ships that the Romans burned rather than preserved).

Final Subjugation of the Latins (338 BC)

Following these two important victories:

  1. “The consuls ... resolved ... to proceed with their victorious army to the thorough conquest of the Latins; nor did they rest until, by storming every city or receiving its surrender, they had brought all Latium under their dominion.  Then, distributing garrisons amongst the recovered towns, they departed for Rome, to enjoy the triumph  ... [and] were granted the honour (a rare one in those days) of equestrian statues put up in the Forum”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 13: 1-9).

The fasti Triumphalis record the award of triumphs to:

  1. Furius, over the Pedani and Tiburtes; and

  2. Maenius, over the Antiates, Lavinii [sic ?] and Veliterni.

If Livy is correct in recording that:

  1. Maenius had defeated the Aricini, Lanuvini and Veliterni ; and

  2. the Laurentes (people of Lavinium) had not participated in the war (see also the discussion below);

then the engraver of the fasti must have meant Lanuvini (people of Lanuvium) rather than Lavini (particularly since the people from  Lavinium were more usually referred to as Laurentes).

Political Settlements after 338 BC


According to Livy, after the successful conclusion of the campaign of 338 BC, Furius addressed the Senate as follows:

  1. “Conscript Fathers, what was needful to be done in Latium in the way of war and arms has now ... been done.  The armies of our enemies have been cut to pieces at Pedum and on the [river] Astura; all the Latin towns, together with Antium in the land of the Volsci, have either been carried by storm or have made submission, and are in the keeping of your garrisons.  It remains to consider ...  how we may hold them quietly in a lasting peace.  ... Whatever you decide, speed is of the essence ...”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 13: 11-18).

Livy then described the Senate’s decisions in the following chapter.  Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 1998, at p. 538) described the resulting settlement as:

  1. “... one of the most significant moments in Roman history.  It provided Rome with the secure system of incorporated states and subject allies that was to [serve as] the rock upon which [its] great expansion in Italy ... was based.”

Communities Incorporated with Voting Rights

Red asterisks (Nomentum, Pedum, Tusculum, Lanuvium and ?Veltrae)

                                                    =  centres incorporated as non-colonial civitates optimo iure after the Latin War

Red dot s (Ostia and Antium) = citizen colonies

Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 1998, at pp. 542-3) observed that one of the innovations of the political settlement after the Latin War:

  1. “... was the incorporation of defeated states into the Roman state.  Already in 381 BC, Tusculum had been annexed in this way [see earlier page], but now, this pioneering experiment was developed on [a much] larger scale.  The annexed states fell into two classes:

  2. those incorporated optimo iure with the right of suffrage; and

  3. those incorporated sine suffragio [i.e., without voting rights].”

He pointed out that, in this chapter:

  1. “... Livy distinguishes carefully between civitas [indicating civitas optimo iure] and  civitas sine suffragio”.

The present section deals with the first of these categories.

Previous Examples of Incorporation Optimo Iure

We have already come across the incorporation into the Roman state otimo iure (with voting rights) of neighbouring peoples

  1. In 389 BC:

  2. “... those Veientians, Capenates, and Faliscans that had [remained loyal to Rome during the recoent war with Rome] received citizenship and an allotment of land”, (‘History of Rome’, 6: 4: 4).

  3. Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 1997, at pp. 345) argued that, although Livy:

  4. “... regarded this as a reward for those who had deserted to Rome, ... his notice [more probably indicated] the wholesale incorporation [into the Roman state] of the inhabitants of the conquered area”.

  5. In 387 BC:

  6. “Four tribes were added from the new citizens: the Stellatina; the Tromentina; the Sabatina; and the Arnensis; which took the number of [Roman voting] tribes to 25”, (‘History of Rome’, 6: 5: 8).

  7. This was the first occasion since 495 BC on which new tribes had been created.  Since these four tribes were created for ‘new citizens’, we might reasonably assume that the incorporated Veientians, Capenates, and Faliscans received voting rights.

  8. In 381 BC, the people of Tusculum had joined an anti-Roman uprising.  Following their complete submission, they::

  9. “... obtained peace ... and, not long after, civitatem etiam impetrauerunt (they obtained citizenship)”, (History of Rome’, 6: 26: 8).

  10. Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 1997, at p. 358) observed that:

  11. “It seems reasonable to assume that the incorporation was similar to the later incorporation of [other] Latin states optimo iure (with voting rights) in 338 BC.”

  12. According to Livy, although citizens of Tusculum had joined the Latin revolt of 338 BC, after their surrender, they: 

  13. “... were allowed to retain their citizenship, and the charge of renewing the war was laid on a few ringleaders, without endangering [the rest of the] community”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 14: 4).

Incorporation of Lanuvium, Aricia, Nomentum and Pedum

Livy identified four Latin communities that were incorporated after their submissions of 338 BC:

  1. “The people of Lanuvium were given civitas, and their cults were restored to them, with the stipulation that the temple and grove of Juno Sospita should be held in common by the citizens of Lanuvium and the Roman people.  The people of Aricia, Nomentum and Pedum were received civitas on the same terms as those of Lanuvium”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 14: 2-3).

Since Livy did not explicitly say that they were incorporated sine suffragio, we might reasonable assume that their incorporation was optimo iure.


The case of Velitrae is more complicated: although it had been a priscae Latinae colonia (see below), it had fallen to the Volsci in the early 5th century BC.  According to Livy:

  1. “The people of Velitrae, who were veteres cives Romanos (Roman citizens of old), were severely punished because they had so often revolted: not only were their walls torn down, but their senators were deported and ordered to dwell across the Tiber ... [Viritane] colonists were settled on the farm- lands [confiscated from] the senators and, after their enrolment, Velitrae regained its former population density”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 14: 5-7).

Although this passage comes immediately after after those relating to the incorporation optimo iure of the peoples of Lanuvium, Aricia, Nomentum and Pedum and immediately before those relating to the incorporation optimo iure of the people of Antium (see below), we might at first glance assume that the people of Velitrae were also incorporated.  However, Livy does not actually say that Velitrae was incorporated at all.  On the other hand, he says is that they were veteres cives Romanos and he does not say that this status had been lost.

The evidence of the so-called Tabula Veliterna, a four-line bronze inscription dating to the 3rd century BC, which:

  1. was found at Velitrae and which was presumably inscribed there;

  2. is inscribed in a language that is not Latin (albeit that it uses the Latin alphabet); and

  3. mentions a pair of ‘meddices’ (magistrates found among Sabellian populations);

suggests that Velitrae remained essentially a Volscian community for many decades after its submission to Rome.  This has prompted many scholars to suggest that Velitrae must have been incorporated sine suffragio in 338 BC.  For example, Heikki Solin (referenced below, at p. 77) asserted that:

  1. “Velitrae remained for a long time (perhaps up to the Social War) civitas sine suffragio: otherwise:

  2. why would [it] still produce official documents in the Volscian language and employ old forms of civic administration towards the middle of the 3rd century BC; and

  3. why would [the full citizens of Velitrae] not have initiated political Romanisation if they had been present in the territory for almost a century ?” (my translation).

Daniel Gargola (referenced below, at p.91) observed that Velitrae (some 30 km from Rome) may have been the community closest to Rome to have been incorporated without voting rights.

In the other camp, Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 1998, at pp. 506-7) argued that, although Livy:

  1. “... does not specifically state that citizenship was forced upon the Veliterni, ... that seems be implied by both ‘veteres cives Romanos’ and the general context of [8: 14: 2-7].”

He argued (at  p. 563) that, although the Tabula Veliterna:

  1. “ ... is certainly not in Latin, and it may be  written in a Volscian or an Oscan dialect, it is improbable  that Latin was not spoken at all in Velitrae, which was very close to Cora and Lanuvium”

In other words, in Oakley’s view:

  1. linguistic considerations would not have obstructed the full incorporation of Velitrae; and

  2. the evidence of Livy’s testimony arguably points in the direction of full incorporation, albeit that he was not explicit on this point. 

I return to the likely status of Velitrae in the conclusions section below..

Antium and the Coloniae Maritimae

Antium, like Velitrae, had been a priscae Latinae colonia (see below) before falling to the Volsci in the 5th century BC.  However, according to Livy, its settlement with Rome in 338 BC differed fundamentally with that of Velitrae:

  1. “... a colony was dispatched to Antium, with an understanding that the Antiates were permitted, if they wished, to enrol as colonists.  However, their warships were confiscated and their people were forbidden the sea.  They were granted civitas (citizenship)”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 14: 7-9).

Since Livy recorded that the Antiates received civitas (as opposed to civitas sine suffragio) we might reasonably assume that they were incorporated optimo iure after their final defeat.  However, unlike any of the other communities discussed so far, Antium also received a Roman colony, in which the newly-enfranchised Antiates were permitted but not compelled to enrol .  Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 1998, at p. 566) argued that those who chose not to enrol were initially regulated from the new colony.

Livy subsequently identified Antium as one of the seven coloniae maritimae that resisted an emergency levy in 207 BC, during the Hannibalic War:

  1. “[The following coloniae maritimae] came before the Senate [in order to claim military exemption]: Ostia, Alsium, Antium, Anxur [Tarracina], Minturnae, Sinuessa and ... Sena [Gallica, on the Adriatic].  Although each of them read the evidence of its exemption, it was accepted only for Antium and Ostia for the period in which the enemy remained in Italy.  Furthermore, in the case of these two colonies, the younger men were made to swear that they would not pass the night outside the walls of their colony for more than 30 days, so long as the enemy was in Italy”, (‘History of Rome’, 27: 38: 4).

Livy produced a similar list in 191 BC (‘History of Rome’, 36: 3: 3-5), when none of the appellants were successful in avoiding the levy.  This second list:

  1. also included Antium and Ostia; and

  2. allows us to add another three to our list of known coloniae maritimae: Castrum Novum, Pyrgi, and Fregenae.

According to Graham Mason (referenced below, at p. 75):

  1. “Between the end of the Latin War (338 BC) and the end of the First Punic War (241 BC), Rome founded her first ten coloniae civium Romanorum: Ostia, Antium, Tarracina, Minturnae, Sinuessa, Sena Gallica, Castrum Novum, Pyrgi, Alsium, and Fregenae, in approximate order of foundation.  ... [These were] the first Roman colonies to consist of full Roman citizens instead of burghers with Latin rights ...”

However, Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 1998, at p. 559) observed that the date of the foundation of the colonia maritima at Ostia is, in fact, unknown:

  1. “If Ostia ... was the first such foundation, then the practice [of founding citizen colonies on coastal sites] may have originated before 338 BC; [however], Antium is the first [such] colony whose date of foundation is certainly known, and it was followed ... by Anxur [Tarracina] (in 329 BC) ...”

None of the others in Livy’s lists were founded before the start of the following century. 

William Harris (referenced below) pointed out that:

  1. “It is impossible to gain a clear idea of what was in Roman minds when Rome first established secure access to the sea by:

  2. fortifying Ostia somewhat before 350 BC;  and

  3. by setting up a citizen colony at Antium in 338,BC [and] ... at Tarracina in 329 BC [see below]. 

  4. [However], these coastal sites could certainly not have been defended effectively without [at least] some warships.”

We might note in this context that, according to Livy (above):

  1. “Some of the ... ships [captured at Antium in 338 BC] were laid up in the Roman dockyards.  Others were burnt, and it was decided that their rostraque (prows) should be used to embellish a dais erected in the Forum.  This sacred place [thus] became known as the Rostra”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 14: 11-12).

In other words:

  1. the fortification of Ostia,

  2. the confiscation of most of the Antiate fleet; and

  3. the foundation of the maritime colonies of the 4th century BC;

might have been part of a Roman plan to create a significant naval force.  However, if this was the case, then the plan was apparently initially unsuccessful: as Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 2005, at p.394) observed:

  1. “... our (no doubt incomplete) sources record only two occasions during the 50 years before the First Punic War [264-241 BC] in which the Romans were involved in naval activity (the unsuccessful raid on Pompeii and Nuceria Alfaterna in 310/9 BC and the defeat at the hands of  Tarentum in 282 BC ...”


Although Ostia apparently featured in neither the Latin War nor settlement of 338 BC, it is convenient to discuss its early development here.  Livy recorded that King Ancus Marcius had founded Ostia urbs (the city of Ostia) in the late 7th century BC (History of Rome’, 1: 33: 9).  Roman tradition transformed  Livy’s ancient urbs into Rome’s first colonia.  Thus

  1. An inscription (CIL XIV 4338) from the imperial period, fragments of which were found at Ostia Antica and which probably came from the base of a statue of Ancus Marcius, recorded that:

  2.   A[nco]/Mar[cio],/ reg[i Rom(ano)]/ quart[o a R]omul[o],

  3. qui ab ur[be c]ondit[a] / [pri]mum colon[iam]/ [c(ivium) Rom(anorum)] dedux[it]

  4. Ancus Marcius, the fourth of the kings after Romulus from the founding of the city [Rome]

  5. founded this first colony of the Roman people

  6. The tradition continued into the 5th century AD: as Douglas Boin (referenced below, at p. 20) observed, the calendar compiled by Polemius Silvius at that time also recorded that Ostia had been Rome’s first colony. 

However, Timothy Cornell (referenced below, 1995, at p. 385) pointed out that the earliest archeological evidence on the site relates to:

  1. “... a small Roman settlement founded in the early 4th century BC, [which] was no more than a fort to guard the estuary [of the Tiber] ...”

This presumably governed Harris’ assertion (above) that Ostia was first fortified ‘somewhat before 350 BC’.  This fortification might have coincided with the foundation of the colony, albeit that Ostia was not recorded as a colony in our surviving literary sources until Livy’s record of 207 BC (see above).

Incorporation Optimo Iure: Conclusions

Livy did not identify any of the Latin communities that:

  1. participated in the battles of 340 BC; and/or

  2. suffered land confiscation in the political settlement that followed them.

However, as we have seen, he did record that:

  1. The Laurentes [the people of Lavinum], ... were exempted from the punishment inflicted on the [other] Latins because they had not revolted; it was ordered that the treaty with them should be renewed [annually], and it has [indeed] been renewed every year from that time, on the 10th day of the feriae Latinae”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 11: 12-14).

Thus, it seems that the Laurentes also escaped incorporation into the Roman state.

Livy also identified a number of the communities that participated in the hostilities of 339 BC:

  1. the hostilities at Pedum involved the people of Pedum itself and those of Tibur and Praeneste; and

  2. the hostilities at Antium involved the people of Antium itself and those of Lanuvium, Aricia and Velitrae.

Of these seven communities, only Tibur and Praeneste retained their independence: as discussed below, this was probably because the incorporation of these two relatively powerful centres would have created more problems than it would have solved.  More interestingly:

  1. all of Pedum, Antium, Lanuvium, Aricia and Velitrae were incorporated into the Latin state; and

  2. Livy identified only one other Latin community that shared this fate: the people of  Nomentum (who might also have played a part at Pedum, although there is no explicit evidence for this).

With the possible exception of Velitrae, all of these communities were incorporated optimo iure.  Furthermore, all four communities that were (or were probably) incorporated in this way in the 380s BC discussed above:

  1. the Etruscans of Veii;

  2. the Capenates, and the Faliscans, whose cultures were allied to that of the Etruscans; and

  3. and the Latins of Tusculum;

also met this fate after having been defeated by Rome.

We might also note that:

  1. All of the centres that  were or were probably/ possibly incorporated optimo iure in the period 389-329 BC were relatively close to Rome:

  2. Veii, Tusculum, Pedum and Aricia were within 25 km;

  3. Lanuvium and the ager Capenas were within 35 km;

  4. Velitrae, Antium and the ager Faliscus, respectively, about 40, about 50 and about 60 km from the city.

  5. On the other hand, as we shall see, all of the centres that were incorporated sine suffragio in the period 338-329 BC, with the possible exception of Velitrae,  were 90 km or more from the city. 

In other words, although Livy often portrays incorporation as a privilege, it was almost certainly perceived by the recipients as unavoidable retribution.  The decision as to whether the recipients received the vote was probably a matter of practicality:

  1. those within relatively easy reach of Rome (be they: Latins; Etruscans; Capenates; Faliscans; or Volscians) received the vote; while

  2. those that were further away did not.

On this basis, we might reasonably conclude (in my view) that Velitrae was indeed incorporated optimo iure.

Census of 332 BC

According to Livy:

  1. “... the census was taken [in 332 BC] and new citizens were assessed.  Because of these [new citizens], the Maecia and Scaptia tribes were added.  The censors who added them were Quintus Publilius Philo and Quintus Spurius Postumius Albinus”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 17: 11-12).

Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 1998, at p. 592) pointed out that:

  1. “This was the first census since the settlement of 338 BC:

  2. It put into effect the measures of that year and allowed the new [full citizens] to vote in their tribes ...; and

  3. it re-registered Romans who had gone to settle on [land in Latium that had been confiscated in 340 and 338 BC].

  4. Some of the new registrations could be could be incorporated by extensions [of the territories] of existing tribes but, as this was not always [practical], two new tribes had to be created.”

Lily Ross Taylor (referenced below, 1960, at p. 41) noted that there is, in fact, a dearth of epigraphic evidence for the tribes assigned to the enfranchised peoples of Latium,.  However, she  noted (at p. 43) that at least two of the six  peoples under discussion here (both of which were about 25 km from Rome) can be securely assigned to existing tribes:

  1. Tusculum was assigned to the Papiria; and

  2. Aricia was assigned to the Horatia. 

She further suggested (at pp. 43-4) that the people of Nomentum and Pedum (both of which were also about 25 km from Rome) might also been assigned to old tribes (the Cornelia and the Menenia respectively), although Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 1998, at p. 543, note2) argued that the tribes of these two centres are, in fact, unknown.

Ostia, Antium and the Voturia Tribe

Ostia was securely assigned to the ancient Voturia tribe.  Heikki Solin (referenced below, at p. 75) discussed the epigraphic evidence for the tribe of Antium.  He concluded that it indicated two possible candidates: the Quirina and/or the Voturia:

  1. the evidence for the Quirina is extensive and secure, but this tribe was created only in 241 BC; while

  2. the evidence for the Voturia rests on only two inscriptions, neither of which (as we shall see) can be securely related to a native of Antium.

Lily Ross Taylor (referenced below, at p. 320) suggested that the Voturia:

  1. “.... was extended down the coast [from Ostia] to Antium [in 332 BC.  However], the much more abundant testimony for the Quirina [at Antium] needs to be explained.  I suggest that it was a secondary tribe... , given to veterans settled in a colony there by [the Emperor Nero (54 - 68 AD)] soon after his succession.”

The evidence for Nero’s colony rests with Suetonius, who recorded that Nero was born in Antium (‘Life of Nero’, 6:1), and added that:

  1. “He established a colony at Antium, enrolling the veterans of the praetorian guard and joining with them the wealthiest of the chief centurions, whom he compelled to change their residence; and he also made a harbour there at great expense”, (‘Life of Nero’, 9:1).

In other words, it is possible that the Voturia was extended southwards in 332 BC for:

  1. the registration of the newly-enfranchised Antiates;

  2. the re-registration of the newly-enrolled colonists from Rome. 

On this model, Nero (for whatever reason) would have arranged for the veterans that he settled there in ca. 54 AD to be registered in the Quirina. 

It has to be said that the epigraphic evidence for the presence of the Voturia at Antium before ca. 54 AD consists of only a single inscription (CIL VI 0903), which records an aedile, Lucius Scrìbonius Celer, of the Voturia tribe and which can be securely dated to 36 AD.  Furthermore, as  Heikki Solin (referenced below, at p. 76) pointed out, Scribonius might have come from Ostia, where his family name was well-attested.  Nevertheless, the southwards extension of the Voturia would have been an obvious way of accommodating the new colonists and the newly-enfranchised Antiates in 332 BC.  Solin concluded (at p/ 7)  that:

  1. “The tribal history of Antium remains an open question, although hypothesis of ... Lily Ross Taylor is certainly possible, even plausible” (my translation).  

New Citizens Assigned to the Maecia and the Scaptia

We might reasonably assume that citizens at Lanuvium and Velitrae would have been assigned to one of the new tribes:

  1. Livy (above) recorded that these new tribes were needed for the new citizens; and

  2. since Lanuvium and Velitrae (both about 35 km from Rome) were the two newly-incorporated centres that were furthest from Rome, they are likely to have been the the least easily absorbed into existing voting districts. 

Indeed, the evidence that Lanuvium was assigned to the Maecia is compelling:

  1. According to Festus (‘Epitome’, 121 Lindsay):

  2. Maecia tribus a quodam castro sic appellata”,

  3. “The Maecia tribe was named for a castrum (military camp)” (my translation)

  4. As Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 1997, at p. 407) pointed out:

  5. “... we know [from Livy, ‘History of Rome’, 6: 2: 8] that this [castrum] was not far from Lanuvium ... [and thus that] Lanuvium was almost certainly in the Maecia tribe ...”

  6. (See also, Lily Ross Taylor, referenced below: at p. and note 24; and at p. 273, where she listed a number of senatorial families from Lanuvium that were assigned to the Maecia.)

It is therefore tempting to assume (with Lily Ross Taylor, referenced below, at p. 55) that the Scaptia was created for the Roman citizens at Velitrae:

  1. Taylor herself assumed that the people of Velitrae were incorporated without voting rights in 338 BC, and that the Scaptia was created for citizens from Rome who settled on land that had been confiscated from the exiled Veliternian senators.

  2. However, as discussed above, it is possible that the tribe was created for both existing (but re-registered) and new Roman citizens at Veliitrae.

Unfortunately, there is no hard evidence to support either of these hypotheses since we know neither:

  1. the precise location of the Scaptia voting district; nor

  2. the tribe to which the citizens at Velitrae were assigned.

Velitrae and the Scaptia Tribe

As far as the location of the Scaptia voting district is concerned, we have the testimony of Festus (‘Epitome’, 464 Lindsay):

S<captia tribus a no> mine urbis Scaptiae a<ppellata, quam Latini > incolebant

“The Scaptia tribe is named  for the Latin city of that name” (my translation)

Unfortunately, according to Pliny the Elder (who was writing in the 1st century AD), Scaptia was among  the 53:

  1. “... famous towns of Latium ... [that had] passed away without leaving any traces of their existence”, (‘Natural History’, 3:9).

There are two main strands of scholarly thought as to its original location: 

  1. Julius Beloch (referenced below, at p. 26) placed it between Ardea and Aricia, because (according to Livy, ‘History of Rome’, 3: 71-72), when these two centres both claimed a particular piece of land in 466 BC, an old man called Scaptius testified that, as a young soldier, he had fought with the army that had won the land in question for Rome. 

  2. As noted above, Lily Ross Taylor (referenced below, at pp. 54-5) suggested that the Scaptia had more probably been created for the Romans who settled on confiscated land at Velitrae in 338 BC.  She based this on evidence from Suetonius’ biography of Caius Octavius (better known as the Emperor Augustus), to the effect that:

  3. “... the family of the Octavii  was of the first distinction in Velitrae” (‘Life of Augustus’, 1); and

  4. “[Augustus was enrolled in both] the Fabian and Scaptian tribes”, (Life of Augustus’, 40: 2).

  5. She reasoned that, since the Fabia was the tribe of Augustus’ father by adoption (Julius Caesar), the Scaptia must have been the tribe of his natural father (also called Caius Octavius) and this branch of the gens Octavii, and thus of the people of Velitrae.

Unfortunately, it is not certain that Velitrae had been assigned to the Scaptia in 338 BC.  The surviving epigraphic evidence for the tribe of Velitrae is unhelpful in this respect: Heikki Solin (referenced below, at p. 77) cited four surviving inscriptions, each of which apparently related to a native of the town, and each of which placed the native in question in a different tribe: the Clustumina; the Pollia; the Quirina; or the Stellatina.  He observed that this disparate evidence:

  1. “... does not rule out the possibility that ... , when [the people of Velitrae finally received] full citizenship, its inhabitants were registered in [the Scaptia].  However, this cannot be demonstrated from the sources at our disposal: [in the absence of any other evidence], the fact that Augustus' father belonged to the Scaptia is not enough to prove that this was the tribe of the  people of Velitrae, because his family was not necessarily of remote Veliternian origin” (my translation).

Given these uncertainties, there are at least two schools of thought, as represented by the opinions of Heikki Solin and Stephen Oakley:

  1. Heikki Solin (referenced below, at p. 77), who believed that the people of Velitrae had been incorporated in 338 BC without voting rights, concluded that:

  2. “I would look for the territory of the Scaptia tribe (according to Livy and in agreement with Beloch) between Ardea and Aricia” (my translation).

  3. Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 1998, at p. 592), who believed that the people of Velitrae had been incorporated with voting rights, was of the opinion that:

  4. “On current evidence, the matter [of their tribal assignation at this point] must remain undecided.”

However, he observed (at p. 543) that, whether the Scaptia was between Ardea and Aricia or around Velitrae:

  1. “... the creation, in 332 BC of ... the Maecia and the Scaptia [would have] linked the outlying Pomptina and Poblilia [voting districts] with the rest of Roman territory.”

Communities Allied with Rome

Red asterisks =  centres incorporated as civitates optimo iure  (see above)

Red squares (Ostia, Antium) =  Maritime citizen colonies (see above )

Black circles ( Lavinum, Tibur and Praenese) =  allied non-colonial centres

Black squares (Ardea, Circeii, Norba, Setia, Signia) =  Latin colonies

Livy recorded that:

  1. “The rest of the Latin peoples [by which, he presumably meant all those who were not incorporated into the Roman state] were deprived of the rights of: mutual trade ; intermarriage; and holding common councils”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 14: 10).

The first two of these prohibitions ended bilateral relations between the unincorporated Latin centres.  The third was perhaps more fundamental: as Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 1998, at p. 540) observed:

  1. “... [they] were forbidden to use their old [pan-Latin] assemblies, and were joined to Rome by direct and individual treaties.  Never again would there be a Latin League able to foster resentment against Rome.”

Oakley also noted (at p. 541) that:

  1. “[Although] these [Latin allies] remained nominally independent ... , they were now linked to Rome so closely by treaty that all possibility of an independent foreign policy was lost. ... Like other allies, [they] were expected to provide troops to fight alongside the Romans ... [However, their] status was enhanced by privileges not shared by other allies: they traditionally shared [the so-called Latin rights in their dealings with Rome and Roman citizens]:

  2. commercium [the right of land ownership];

  3. conubium [the right to make a lawful marriage];  and

  4. the ius migrationis [the right to acquire citizenship simply by taking up permanent residence] ...”

Livy subsequently recorded this privileged group as socii nominis Latini (the allies of the Latin name).

  1. As noted above, he had used this expression for the Latins who had joined the revolts that had precipitated the Latin War in 340 BC.  At this time, it would have referred collectively to those who were then party to the foedus Cassianum, which had been renewed in  358 BC. 

  2. Now that this treaty was terminated, the phrase referred collectively to the allies with Latin rights, each of which would have had a bi-lateral treaty with Rome.  As Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 1998, at p. 541) pointed out, the first of these references in the post-war context related to the army that the the Latin allies sent to assist the Romans at the Battle of Sentinum (295 BC):

  3. “The force with which the consuls took to the field ... [included] an army  of the allies of the Latin name that was even larger army than the Roman army”, (‘History of Rome’, 10: 26: 14).

  4. As we shall see below, by this time, these Latin allies would have included a number of colonies with Latin rights (i.e. Latin colonies) that had been founded outside Latium.

Lavinium, Tibur and Praeneste

As noted above, the people of Lavinium, who shad uffered no land confiscation in 340 BC because they had not participated in the revolt, had also agreed a treaty with Rome at that time. 

In his account of the settlement of 338 BC, Livy mentioned by name only two other unincorporated Latin communities:

  1. “The Tiburtes and Praenestini, [both of whom had participated in the hostilities at Pedum in 338 BC], were deprived of territory, not only because of [this rebellion] ... , but also because they had once ...  united in arms with the Gauls ... [against Rome]”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 14: 9-10).  

Edward Salmon (referenced below, at p. 50) suggested that the Romans had allowed these centres to retain their nominal independence because they were both:

  1. “...ancient and populous Latin towns to whom the very idea of annexation would have been anathema, [so that forced incorporation] would undoubtedly have kept them in a state of smouldering rebelliousness: although they had been mulcted of some of their territory ... , they were still ...[relatively] powerful ... , [and] their recalcitrance could [not have been] simply disregarded.  Wisely, Rome decided to make them allies ...”

Lily Ross Taylor (referenced below, 1960, at p. 43) pointed out that, when Tibur and Praeneste were finally enfranchised (probably after the Social War), they were each assigned to one of the original rural tribes:

  1. Tibur was assigned to the Camilia; and

  2. Praeneste was assigned to the Menenia. 

She noted that the original territories of:

“... these tribes adjoined the land confiscated from the two people, and that, ... [after the Social War, each of them] regained its old territory and the took tribe in which that territory had been placed [in 338 BC].”

Daniel Gargola (referenced below, 2017, at p. 95, in map 4) tentatively placed:

  1. the Camilia between Tibur and Rome; and

  2. the Menenia between Tibur and Praeneste. 

Whether or not this was the case, it is clear that the Romans used the excuse of recent treachery to deprive these large communities of territory that was essential to their own defence, which they presumably repopulated it with Roman citizens.

Former Priscae Latinae Coloniae

Priscae Latinae Coloniae  in Latium

Those underlined (Ardea, Circeii, Setia, Signia; and Norba) were recorded as Latin colonies in 209 BC

Adapted from Monica Chiabà (referenced below), who adapted

R. J. A. Talbert (ed.), “Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World”, (2000) Princeton, Maps 42 and 44

Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 1997, at pp. 341-2)  listed the following 13 centres in Latium that are known from surviving sources to have been founded or re-founded in the period from the start of the Republic to the end of the Latin War: Antium; Ardea; Circeii; Cora; Fidenae; Labicum; Norba; Pometia; Satricum; Setia; Signia;  Velitrae; Vitellia.  (See also Monica Chiabà, referenced below).  Oakley argued (at p. 343) that, although it is often assumed that all of these colonies had been founded by the Latin League, in fact:

  1. “... most of [them] were founded by a joint decision of Rome and the Latin League ...”

These are known collectively (together with Nepete and Sutrium, north of Latium. as the priscae  Latinae coloniae. Livy identified only two of them by name (Antium and Velitrae, both of which had subsequently been overrun by the Volsci) in his account of the settlement of 338 BC.

Another five priscae  Latinae coloniae (Ardea; Circeii; Norba; Setia; and Signia, all underlined on the map above) were among the 30 coloniae populi Romani (colonies of the people of Rome) that, according to Livy, existed in 209 BC:

  1. There were at that time 30 coloniae populi Romani ... 12 [of which]  informed the consuls that they had no means of furnishing soldiers and money [for the on-going Hannibalic War].  These [included] Ardea ... Circeii, [and] Setia ...”, (‘Roman History’, 27: 9: 7); and

  2. “... the 18 colonies ... [that confirmed] that they [still] had soldiers in readiness according to their obligations ...  [included] Signia and Norba ...”, (‘Roman History’, 27: 10: 3-7).


  1. these five centres presumably still had Latin rights;

  2. Livy did not differentiate them in any way from the other 25 coloniae populi Romani; and

  3. Livy used the term coloniae civium Romanorum for colonies of Roman citizens;

we might reasonably assume that all 30 coloniae populi Romani of 209 BC had Latin rights, and that Ardea; Circeii; Norba; Setia; and Signia had retained this status after 338 BC (albeit with new bilateral relations with Rome). 

We thus need to account for the six priscae Latinae coloniae that did not appear among the 30 Latin colonies of 209 BC:

  1. Pliny the Elder (who was writing in the 1st century AD), included four of them (Fidenae; Pometia; Satricum; and Vitellia) among  the 53:

  2. “... famous towns of Latium ... [that had] passed away without leaving any traces of their existence”, (‘Natural History’, 3:9);

  3. Labicum seems to have lost its colonial status and subsequently declined in importance: in 54 BC, Cicero included it with Tusculum, Gabii and Bovillae, as examples of:

  4. “... municipia in which you can now hardly find a single citizen to bear a part in the Feriae Latinae [annual Latin festival]” (‘Pro Plancia’ 23);  and

  5. Cora: according to Monica Chiabà, referenced below, p. 8 and note 41):

  6. “The situation in relation to the status of Cora is complex: what is certain is that it subsequently lost its status as a colony.  After 338 BC, it was subjected to a bilateral treaty” (my translation).

Campanian and Volscian Territory

Livy (‘History of Rome’, 8: 14: 10) concluded his account of the settlement of 338 BC with a record of the settlements that the Romans made in relation to

  1. the defeated Campani; and

  2. the Volscian peoples of Fundi and Formiae. 

However, Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 1998, at pp. 539-40) observed that, although Livy’s chapter (8:14):

  1. “... contains a remarkable array of reliable factual information relating to the constitutional settlements, ... it is perhaps unlikely that the Romans would have been able to effect so radical a series of of reforms in the space of one year.”

He cited evidence (discussed below) that suggests that this was particularly the case for the settlements with the Campani and with Fundi and Formiae.  I therefore defer discussion of these settlements until after the section below on Rome’s relations with its non-Latin neighbours in the decade after the Latin War.

Read more:

D. Gargola, “The Shape of the Roman Order: the Republic and its Spaces”, (2017) Chapel Hill, North Carolina

W. Harris, “Rome at Sea: the Beginnings of Roman Naval Power”, Greece and Rome, 64:1 (2017) 14-26 (published online)

D. Boin, “Ostia in Late Antiquity”, (2013) Cambridge

M. Chiabà, “Roma e le Priscae Latinae Coloniae: Ricerche sulla Colonizzazione del

Lazio dalla Costituzione della Repubblica alla Guerra Latina”, (2011) Trieste

S. Roselaar, “Public Land in the Roman Republic: A Social and Economic History of Ager Publicus in Italy, 396 - 89 BC”, (2010) Oxford

H. Solin, “Problemi delle tribù nel Lazio meridionale”, in

  1. M. Silvestrini (Ed.), “Le Tribù Romane: Atti della XVIe Rencontre sur l’Epigraphie du Monde Romaine (Bari, 8-10 Ottobre 2009)”, (2010) Bari, at pp. 71-9 

J. Rickard, “Battle of Asturia (338 BC)”, (2009) Military History Encyclopedia (on line)

S. Oakley, “A Commentary on Livy, Books VI-X:Volume III: Books IX”, (2005) Oxford

A. Cooley, “Politics and Religion in the Ager Laurens”, in:

  1. A. Cooley (Ed.), “The Epigraphic Landscape of Roman Italy”, Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies, Supplement 73 (2000) 173-191, at pp. 173-4

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

S. Oakley, “A Commentary on Livy, Books VI-X:Volume I: Introduction and Book VI”, (1997) 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

G. Mason, “The Agrarian Role of Coloniae Maritimae: 338-241 BC”, Zeitschrift für Alte Geschichte, 41:1 (1992)  75-87

E. Salmon, “Roman Colonisation under the Republic”, (1970) New York

L. Ross Taylor, “The Voting Districts of the Roman Republic: The 35 Urban and Rural Tribes”, (1960) Rome

K. J. Beloch, “Römische Geschichte bis zum Beginn der Punischen Kriege”, (1926) Berlin and Leipzig

  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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