Episode 93 – Divide and Conquer

Rome emerges from the year of pestilence and moves straight on to divide and conquer. While this seems implausible, we’re still navigating the tricky gaps in our annalist historians – uncertainty is the name of the historical game at this stage. Welcome to c. 462 BCE!

The pestilence ensured the death of both consuls of c. 463 BCE so it’s only after a series of interreges that we stumble into the new consular year. Join as we explore all c. 462 BCE has to offer including:

  • some of the factors to keep in mind when we encounter plague narratives
  • the increasing divergences in the narratives of Livy and Dionysius of Halicarnassus
  • the battle tactics designed to draw armies away from their chosen theatre of war
Episode 93 – Divide and Conquer

Bandits, Aequians, or Volscii?

One of the big discrepancies we consider this episode is just who is the enemy? A raiding force causes trouble outside Rome, but who are they exactly? Livy and Dionysius offer different interpretations of the evidence leaving us a central puzzle to resolve concerning battle tactics and probabilities.

Trouble in (Hernican) Paradise

While Rome’s been down and out, the Aequians and Volscii alliance have taken the opportunity to strike! Hernican territory is a great strategic choice, but they are definitely allies with Rome so … we’re here to guide you through all the consequences!

The major players

Consuls of c. 462 BCE

  • Lucius Lucretius Tricipitinus (patrician)
  • Titus Veturius Geminus Cicurinus (patrician)

Tribune of the plebs

  • Sextus Titius

The Urban Prefect

  • Quintus Fabius (Vibulanus) (or Quintus Furius in your Dion. Hal.) consul II (467, 465 BCE)

Scholarly material

Dr G gets more excited about pestilence than perhaps is appropriate but it did lead to some of the work of Northwood:

Northwood, S. J. 2006. ‘Grain Scarcity and Pestilence in the Early Roman Republic: Some Significant Patterns’ in Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies 49.81-92


Source: Costumes of All Nations 1882 by Albert Kretschmer, painters and costumer to the Royal Court Theatre, Berin, and Dr. Carl Rohrbach. Courtesy of: wikimedia commons

Drs R and G laugh and spar their way through the ancient Roman world!

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