The school master went nuts. A new year had come and his city, Falerii, was still under siege with no end in sight. The other cities in the Etruscan federation had failed to heed the calls for help; perhaps they were convinced that Falerii, on cliffs 100 m above the river valley and with its strong walls protecting the only part accessible to the plain, was perfectly impregnable. It was the year 395 BC.

He hit on what he thought was a brilliant idea, a way to stop the siege and the war without having to argue with the old fuddy-duddies on the city council who insisted on holding out against the Romans. One balmy morning he had his boys bring a picnic lunch and took them on a field trip in the countryside. Further and further away from the city walls they went until they