Story of Rome - Mary Macgregor

The Statue of the Goddess

When Veii had fallen into his hands, Camillus allowed not only the soldiers, but the citizens of Rome to plunder the city, for he had agreed with the Senate that all the people should share in the spoil.

As he stood on a high tower watching the sack of the city which had resisted Rome for ten years, Camillus wept for pity. Then, covering his face with his toga, he prayed that if his great victory had made him proud, Jupiter would punish, not Rome or the army, but only him, and that 'with as little hurt as might be.'

Turning then to his right, as was the custom after prayer, the Dictator slipped and fell to the ground. This, he believed, was the 'little hurt' sent to him by the god.

Many treasures were taken from the conquered city to Rome, but none more sacred than the statue of Juno.

Camillus ordered some young men to clothe themselves in white robes, and then to go to the temple to remove the statue.

It was a solemn moment when the youths stood before the image, scarce venturing to look upon it, lest they should be punished for their boldness.

One of them, half mocking, yet, it may be, half in earnest too, said: 'O Juno, wilt thou go to Rome?'

Clear through the temple echoed the voice of the goddess: 'I will.'

Then reverently the young men lifted the image, but to their astonishment it was so light that they felt as though their arms were empty, and the goddess was walking by their side.

In safety they reached Rome with the wondrous image, and Camillus built a temple on the Aventine hill, in which henceforth the statue of Juno stood.

When the Dictator returned to Rome he enjoyed a great triumph. Dressed in the garments of Jupiter, he drove through the gates in a chariot drawn by four white horses, his soldiers following him, shouting the praises of their leader.

But the people of Rome were displeased with the Dictator, for none but kings might drive in a chariot drawn by four white horses.

Soon they even hated Camillus, for he sided with the Senate against those tribunes who had been faithful to the plebeians. Moreover, he had vowed to give a tenth of the spoil taken at Veii to the god Apollo. At the time that the city was sacked, it seemed that the Dictator had forgotten his vow. When he remembered it, the people had spent or parted with their share of the spoil, so Camillus forced them to give up the tenth part of their goods. At this the poor folk grumbled, as indeed they had some cause to do.

But much as the people hated Camillus, they could not do without him. When war broke out against a people called the Falerians, he was elected as a military tribune, and at once marched away with his army to besiege the strongly fortified town of Falerii.

In his heart Camillus hoped that if he was successful in taking the city, the Romans would forget their anger against him.


Front Matter

The Lady Roma
The She-Wolf
The Twin Boys
Numitor's Grandson
The Sacred Birds
The Founding of Rome
The Sabine Maidens
The Tarpeian Rock
The Mysterious Gate
The King Disappears
The Peace-Loving King
Horatius Slays His Sister
Pride of Tullus Hostilius
King Who Fought and Prayed
The Faithless Friend
A Slave Becomes a King
Cruel Deed of Tullia
Fate of the Town of Gabii
Books of the Sibyl
Industry of Lucretia
Death of Lucretia
Sons of Brutus
Horatius Cocles
Mucius Burns Right Hand
The Divine Twins
The Tribunes
Coriolanus and His Mother
The Roman Army in a Trap
The Hated Decemvirs
The Death of Verginia
The Friend of the People
Camillus Captures Veii
The Statue of the Goddess
Schoolmaster Traitor
Battle of Allia
The Sacred Geese
The City Is Rebuilt
Volscians on Fire
Battle on the Anio
The Curtian Lake
Dream of the Two Consuls
The Caudine Forks
Caudine Forks Avenged
Fabius among the Hills
Battle of Sentinum
Son of Fabius Loses Battle
Pyrrhus King of the Epirots
Elephants at Heraclea
Pyrrthus and Fabricius
Pyrrhus is Defeated
Romans Build a Fleet
Battle of Ecnomus
Roman Legions in Africa
Regulus Taken Prisoner
Romans Conquer the Gauls
The Boy Hannibal
Hannibal Invades Italy
Hannibal Crosses the Alps
Battle of Trebia
Battle of Lake Trasimenus
Hannibal Outwits Fabius
Fabius Wins Two Victories
Battle of Cannae
Despair of Rome
Defeat of Hasdrubal
Claudius Enjoy a Triumph
Capture of New Carthage
Scipio Sails to Africa
Romans Set Fire to Camp
Hannibal Leaves Italy
The Battle of Zama
Scipio Receives a Triumph
Flamininus in Garlands
Death of Hannibal
Hatred of Cato for Carthage
The Stern Decree
Carthaginians Defend City
Destruction of Carthage
Cornelia, Mother of Gracchi
Tiberius and Octavius
Death of Tiberius Gracchus
Death of Gaius Gracchus
The Gold of Jugurtha
Marius Wins Notice of Scipio
Marius Becomes Commander
Capture of Treasure Towns
Capture of Jugurtha
Jugurtha Brought to Rome
Marius Conquers Teutones
Marius Mocks the Ambassadors
Metellus Driven from Rome
Sulla Enters Rome
The Flight of Marius
Gaul Dares Not Kill Marius
Marius Returns to Rome
The Orator Aristion
Sulla Besieges Athens
Sulla Fights the Samnites
The Proscriptions of Sulla
The Gladiators' Revolt
The Pirates
Pompey Defeats Mithridates
Cicero Discovers Conspiracy
Death of the Conspirators
Caesar Captured by Pirates
Caesar Gives up Triumph
Caesar Praises Tenth Legion
Caesar Wins a Great Victory
Caesar Invades Britain
Caesar Crosses Rubicon
Caesar and the Pilot
The Flight of Pompey
Cato Dies Rather than Yieldr
Caesar is Loaded with Honours
Nobles Plot against Caesar
The Assassination of Caesar
Brutus Speaks to Citizens
Antony Speaks to Citizens
The Second Triumvirate
Battle of Philippi
Death of Brutus
Antony and Cleopatra
Battle of Actium
Antony and Cleopatra Die
Emperor Augustus