Capture of Fidenae (435 BC)

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Capture of Fidenae (435 BC)
Part of Rome's early Italian campaigns
Date435 BC
Location
Fidenae, about 8 km north of Rome
Result Roman victory
Belligerents
Vexilloid of the Roman Empire.svg Roman Republic Fidenae
Commanders and leaders
Quintus Servilius Priscus Structus Fidenas
Postumus Aebutius Helva Cornicen

The Capture of Fidenae was a battle fought in 435 BC between the Fidenates and the Roman Republic under dictator Quintus Servilius Priscus Structus Fidenas. [1]

Contents

Background

Following an incident earlier in 435 BC in which Fidenates entered Roman territory and ravaged it, Priscus was appointed dictator for the year by the senate. [2] Priscus chose former consul Postumus Aebutius Helva Cornicen to join him as his magister equitum.

Battle

Priscus ordered that all men strong enough to bear arms were to muster at the Colline Gate. From there, they marched north in the direction of Fidenae. They first engaged the Fidenates past Fidenae near Nomentum, and the Fidenates were driven southwards back into Fidenae. Priscus built circumvallation around the town. Because of the town's elevation and its bountiful resources and supplies, Priscus decided not to lay siege or charge into the city. He instead decided to exploit the natural fortifications on the opposite side of town in order to enter it. He divided his army in such a way that certain groups would be able to constantly attack the walls of the town while another would be able to work on tunneling through the hill. When the hill was finally tunneled through, the Romans entered the town, taking the Fidenates, who had been preoccupied with the attackers at the walls, by surprise. [3]

Aftermath

Priscus was given the cognomen "Fidenas" because of his victory.

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References

  1. Harry Thurston Peck. 1898. "Priscus, Servilius" In Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities
  2. Liv. 4 21
  3. Liv. 4 22