There was no place in the Mediterranean that Rome did not covet. Mare Nostrum was to be theirs, and Sardinia was not going to stand in their path. In fact, later on the Romans discovered at Olbia and on the rest of the island a paradise, and so close to their capital. On top of everything, its rich lead deposits were mined to cover the Empire’s demands for this metal.
So an invasion was planned. What surprised the Roman hosts was that, on landing, they found nobody.
Could it be possible that the place was uninhabited? But this was not so. The natives, upon seeing the approaching Roman ships, had hidden in caves near the coast. These people, mainly fishermen and farmers, were not prepared to enter into battle with fearsome soldiers. They preferred to stay hidden and wait and see what unfolded.
However, some of the younger men began to become impatient. One of them, Ostio, gathered a group of young people together and they planned a surprise attack on the Romans. Prepared for battle, they departed for the Romans’ camp one night. The attack was kept secret from the older Sardinians.
As the band was leaving in the quiet of the night as the others slept, one old shepherd realized what was happening and warned the young men’s parents.
The parents set off in pursuit, fearing the worst. After some time following the young men, they spied the Romans in the distance. When they approached, they realized that the Romans were unarmed, and were together with the young Sardinians. The islanders were baffled until one of the soldiers explained the situation:
“We will not fight children. However, their bravery has astonished up. We would like to make peace with their fathers.” The Roman added: “Rome does not pay traitors, but it is ready to deal with the bold.”