Battle of Pedum, 338 BC

The battle of Pedum (338 BC) was the decisive battle of the Latin War of 340-338BC and saw the Romans defeat a Latin army sent to protect Pedum and capture the city in the same day.

After a number of Roman successes in 340 BC the focus of the war had moved to Latium, and the small city of Pedum, located due east of Rome. A Roman attempt to take the city in 339 had failed, and so in 338 the Republic decided to make its main effort against the city. The Latin states responded by forming two armies. One, made up of contingents from Valitrae, Lanuvium and Aricia, moved south to join up with the army of Antium, but was defeated on the River Astura by the Roman consul Gaius Maenius.

The main Latin army, with contingents from Tibur and Praeneste, was formed at Pedum itself. The second consul for the year, Lucius Furius Camillus, in his first year as a consul, led the army to Pedum. A battle developed outside the city, and in an attempt to support their allies the garrison of Pedum made a sortie from the town. Camillus was able to deal with both threats (it is possible that the sortie was badly handled and contributed to the defeat). The armies from Tibur and Praeneste were both defeated, and by the end of the day Camillus had stormed the town.

In the aftermath of these two victories the Romans were able to capture every city of Latium as well as Antium, and the two consuls were given triumphs. A new settlement was put in place in Latium, which saw Tibur and Praeneste lose their lands, although the people of Pedum were granted full Roman citizenship.

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (18 November 2009), Battle of Pedum, 338 BC ,

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