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CHAP. and the other with the Volscians, there was no one 4 to stop the plunderings of the Veientians. So the

men of the Fabian house consulted together, and when they were resolved what to do, they all went to the senate-house. And Kæso Fabius, who was consul for that year, went into the senate, and said, “ We of the house of the Fabii take upon us to fight with the Veientians. We ask neither men nor money from the Commonwealth, but we will wage the war with our own bodies at our own cost.” The senate heard him joyfully: and then he went home, and the other men of his house followed him; and he told them to come to him the next day, each man

in his full arms; and so they departed. The Fabii The house of Kæso was on the Quirinal hill; and themselves thither all the Fabii came to him the next day, as he Cremera. had desired them; and there they stood in array in

the outer court of his house. Kæso then put on his vest, such as the Roman generals were used to wear in battle, and came out to the men of his house, and led them forth on their way. As they went, å great crowd followed after them and blessed them, and prayed the gods for their prosperity. They were in all three hundred and six men, and they went down from the Quirinal hill, and passed along by the Capitol, and went out of the city by the gate Carmentalis, by the right hand passage of the gate. Then they came to the Tiber, and went over the bridge, and entered into the country of the Veientians, and pitched their camp by the river Cremera ; for there it was their purpose to dwell, and to make

on the river



it a stronghold, from which they might lay waste CHAP. the lands of the Veientians, and carry off their cattle. So they built their fortress by the river Cremera, and held it for more than a year; and the Veientians were greatly distressed, for their cattle and all their goods became the spoil of the Fabians. But there was a certain day 13 on which the men The Veien

tians lay an of the house of the Fabians were accustomed to offer ambush'for

them, and sacrifice and to keep festival together to the gods of kill them their race, in the seat of their fathers on the hill Quirinal. So when the day drew near, the Fabians set out from the river Cremera, three hundred and six men in all, and went towards Rome; for they thought that as they were going to sacrifice to their gods, and as it was a holy time, and a time of peace, no enemy would set upon them. But the Veientians knew of their going, and laid an ambush for them on their way, and followed them with a great army. So when the Fabians came to the place where the ambush was, behold the enemy attacked them on the right and on the left, and the army of the Veientians that followed them fell upon them from behind; and they threw their darts and shot their arrows against the Fabians, without daring to come within reach of

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13 This latter part of the story of the Fabians to the sacrifices of is one of the versions of it given their house on the Quirinal, was by Dionysius, which he rejects as a part of their traditional characimprobable. Of course I am not ter: a similar story was told of maintaining its probability, but I C. Fabius Derso, who broke out agree with Niebuhr in thinking it from the Capitol while the Gauls a far more striking story than were besieging it, and made his that which Dionysius prefers to it, way to the Quirinal hill to perand which has been adopted by form the appointed sacrifice of his Livy and by Ovid. The devotion house.



CHAP. spear or sword, till they slew them every man.

- Three hundred and six men of the house of the Fa

bians were there killed, and there was not a grown man of the house left alive: one boy only on account of his youth had been left behind in Rome, and he lived and became a man, and preserved the race of the Fabians; for it was the pleasure of the gods that great deeds should be done for the Romans by the house of the Fabians in after-times.




'Ολιγαρχία δε των μεν κινδύνων τους πολλούς μεταδίδωσι, τών δ' ωφελίμων ού πλεονεκτεί μόνον, αλλά και ξύμπαν αφελομένη έχει 4 υμών οι τε δυνάμενοι και οι νέοι προθυμούνται, αδύνατα εν μεγάλη πόλει κατασχειν.

THUCYDIDES, VI. 39. Τέταρτον είδος ολιγαρχίας, όταν παίς αντί πατρός εισίη, και άρχη μη ο νόμος αλλ' οι άρχοντες. Και έστιν αντίστροφος αύτη εν ταις ολιγαρχίαις, ώσπερ ή τυραννις εν ταις μοναρχίαις, και περί ης τελευταίας είπομεν δημοκρατίας εν ταις δημοκρατίαις.-AR1sToTLE, Politic. IV. 5.


NOTHING is more unjust than the vague charge some- CHAP. times brought against Niebuhr, that he has denied to the reality of all the early history of Rome. On the contrary, he has rescued from the dominion of scepticism much which less profound inquirers had before too hastily given up to it; he has restored and established far more than he has overthrown. Ferguson finds no sure ground to rest on till he comes to the second Punic war : in his view, not only the period of the kings and the first years of the Commonwealth, but the whole of two additional centuries,-not only the wars with the Æquians and Volscians, but those with the Gauls, the Samnites, and even with Pyrrhus,


CHAP. —are involved in considerable uncertainty. The

progress of the constitution he is content to trace in the merest outline; particular events, and still more particular characters, appear to him to belong to poetry or romance rather than to history. Whereas Niebuhr maintains that a true history of Rome, with many details of dates, places, events, and characters, may be recovered from the beginning of the Commonwealth. It has been greatly corrupted and disguised by ignorant and uncritical writers, but there exist, he thinks, sufficient materials to enable us, not only to get rid of these corruptions, but to restore that genuine and original edifice which they have so long overgrown and hidden from our view. And accordingly, far from passing over hastily, like Ferguson, the period from the expulsion of Tarquinius to the first Punic war, he has devoted to it somewhat more than two large volumes; and from much, that to former writers seemed a hopeless chaos, he has drawn a living picture of events and institutions, as rich in its colouring, as perfect in its composition, as it is faithful to the truth of nature.

Were I indeed to venture to criticise the work of this great man, I should be inclined to charge him with having overvalued rather than undervalued the possible certainty of the early history of the Roman Commonwealth. He may seem in some instances rather to lean too confidently on the authority of the ancient writers, than to reject it too indiscriminately. But let no man judge him hastily, till by long experience in similar researches, he has learnt to esti

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