From the Founding of the City/Book 13
[Y.R. 472. B.C. 280.] Valerius Laevinus, consul, engages with Pyrrhus, and is beaten, his soldiers being terrified at the unusual appearance of elephants. After the battle, Pyrrhus, viewing the bodies of the Romans who were slain, remarks, that they all of them lay with their faces turned towards their enemy. He proceeds towards Rome, ravaging the country as he goes along. C. Fabricius is sent by the senate to treat for the redemption of the prisoners: the king, in vain, attempts to bribe him to desert his country. The prisoners restored without ransom. Cineas, ambassador from Pyrrhus to the senate, demands, as a condition of peace, that the king be admitted into the city of Rome: the consideration of which being deferred to a fuller meeting, Appius Claudius, who, on account of a disorder in his eyes, had not, for a long time, attended in the senate, comes there; moves, and carries his motion, that the demand of the king be refused. Cneius Domitius, the first plebeian censor, holds a lustrum; the number of the citizens found to be two hundred and seventy-eight thousand two hundred and twenty-two. A second, but undecided battle with Pyrrhus. [Y.R. 473. B.C. 279.] The treaty with the Carthaginians renewed a fourth time. An offer made to Fabricius, the consul, by a traitor, to poison Pyrrhus; [Y. R. 474. B. C. 278.] he sends him to the king, and discovers to him the treasonable offer. Successful operations against the Etruscans, Lucanians, Bruttians, and Samnites.