Rome was getting more and more powerful as it grew. At the beginning of the 5 century BC the Romans were fighting a war against the Volsci who were another tribe.
The Romans were besieging the Volscian city of Corioli but were struggling to defeat them. A brave soldier named Gnaeus Marcius forced his way into the city walls and threw a burning torch into the most crowded part of the city.
The town then fell, and the Romans took it. People admired Gnaeus Marcius bravery and he was named Coriolanus, conqueror of Corioli. This victory won the war.
After the war Coriolanus became involved in Roman politics. He didn’t like the plebeians who were the ordinary and poorer citizens and he arrogantly disposed their leaders. Coriolanus then became very unpopular in Rome and was soon expelled out of Rome.
After being expelled, Coriolanus went to live with the Volsci who were now allies of Rome. He was very angry about Rome expelling him and attempted to convince the Volsci to wage war on Rome. Attuis Tullius was a Volscian who became friends with Coriolanus helped him with a plan to bring about war.
There was a Roman festival which many Volscians were planning to attend. Tullius, pretending to be an ally of Rome, warned the Romans that the Volscians were planning to attack. The Volscians were expelled as a precaution of a sudden attack. Infuriated by this insult, the Volscians declared war.
The Volscians made Coriolanus their leader and overtook many cities, the Romans were extremely worried about Coriolanus’ many victories, so they sent many messengers to beg mercy, but Coriolanus didn’t listen to them.
Eventually the Roman Senate sent Coriolanus’ wife and close family to try and convince him to stop. When Coriolanus tried to embrace them his mother said, “you are no son of mine if you attack the city of your fathers”. His mother’s words moved him, and Coriolanus abandoned the attack. Feeling angry and betrayed the Volsci had him put to death.