| The History of Rome, by Theodor Mommsen|
| Etext Book II Chapter 7|
Rising Of The Italians Against Rome -- The Lucanians -- The Etruscans And Celts -- The Samnites -- The Senones Annihilated
The interval of repose, which the peace with Samnium in 464 had procured for Italy, was of brief duration; the impulse which led to the formation of a new league against Roman ascendency came on this occasion from the Lucanians. This people, by taking part with Rome during the Samnite wars, paralyzed the action of the Tarentines and essentially contributed to the decisive issue; and in consideration of their services, the Romans gave up to them the Greek cities in their territory. Accordingly after the conclusion of peace they had, in concert with the Bruttians, set themselves to subdue these cities in succession. The Thurines, repeatedly assailed by Stenius Statilius the general of the Lucanians and reduced to extremities, applied for assistance against the Lucanians to the Roman senate -- just as formerly the Campanians had asked the aid of Rome against the Samnites -- and beyond doubt with a like sacrifice of their liberty and independence. In consequence of the founding of the fortress Venusia, Rome could dispense with the alliance of the Lucanians; so the Romans granted the prayer of the Thurines, and enjoined their friends and allies to desist from their designs on a city which had surrendered itself to Rome. The Lucanians and Bruttians, thus cheated by their more powerful allies of their share in the common spoil, entered into negotiations with the opposition-party among the Samnites and Tarentines to bring about a new Italian coalition; and when the Romans sent an embassy to warn them, they detained the envoys in captivity and began the war against Rome with a new attack on Thurii (about 469), while at the same time they invited not only the Samnites and Tarentines, but the northern Italians also -- the Etruscans, Umbrians, and Gauls -- to join them in the struggle for freedom. The Etruscan league actually revolted, and hired numerous bands of Gauls; the Roman army, which the praetor Lucius Caecilius was leading to the help of the Arretines who had remained faithful, was annihilated under the walls of Arretium by the Senonian mercenaries of the Etruscans: the general himself fell with 13,000 of his men (470). The Senones were reckoned allies of Rome; the Romans accordingly sent envoys to them to complain of their furnishing warriors to serve against Rome, and to require the surrender of their captives without ransom. But by the command of their chieftain Britomaris, who had to take vengeance on the Romans for the death of his father, the Senones slew the Roman envoys and openly took the Etruscan side. All the north of Italy, Etruscans, Umbrians, Gauls, were thus in arms against Rome; great results might be achieved, if its southern provinces also should seize the moment and declare, so far as they had not already done so, against Rome. In fact the Samnites, ever ready to make a stand on behalf of liberty, appear to have declared war against the Romans; but weakened and hemmed in on all sides as they were, they could be of little service to the league; and Tarentum manifested its wonted delay. While her antagonists were negotiating alliances, settling treaties as to subsidies, and collecting mercenaries, Rome was acting. The Senones were first made to feel how dangerous it was to gain a victory over the Romans. The consul Publius Cornelius Dolabella advanced with a strong army into their territory; all that were not put to the sword were driven forth from the land, and this tribe was erased from the list of the Italian nations (471). In the case of a people subsisting chiefly on its flocks and herds such an expulsion en masse was quite practicable; and the Senones thus expelled from Italy probably helped to make up the Gallic hosts which soon after inundated the countries of the Danube, Macedonia, Greece, and Asia Minor.