The Latins with the Campanians revolt; and ambassadors having been sent to the senate, they propose that, if they wished for peace, they should elect one of the consuls from among the Latins. Titus Manlius, the consul, put his son to death, because he had fought, though successfully, against the Latins, contrary to orders. The Romans being hard pressed in the battle, Publius Decius, then consul with Manlius, devoted himself for the army. The Latins surrender. None of the young men came out to meet Manlius on his return to the city. Minucia, a vestal virgin, was condemned for incest. Several matrons convicted of poisoning. Laws then first made against that crime. The Ausonians, Privernians, and Palæpolitans subdued. Quintus Publilius the first instance of a person continuing in command after the expiration of his office, and of a triumph decreed to any person not a consul. Law against confinement for debt. Quintus Fabius, master of the horse, fights the Samnites with success, contrary to the orders of Lucius Papirius, dictator; and, with difficulty, obtains pardon, through the intercession of the people. Successful expedition against the Samnites.
1. The consuls now were Caius Plautius a second time, and Lucius Æmilius Mamercinus; when the people of Setia and Norba came to Rome to announce the revolt of the Privernians, with complaints of the damages received by them. News were brought that the army of the Volscians, under the guidance of the people of Antium, had taken post at Satricum. Both wars fell by lot to Plautius. He, marching first to Privernum, immediately came to an engagement. The enemy were defeated after a slight resistance: the town was taken, and given back to the Privernians, a strong garrison being placed in it: two thirds of their land were taken from them. The victorious army was marched thence to Satricum against the Antians; there a desperate battle was fought with great slaughter on both sides; and when a storm separated the combatants, hope inclining to neither side, the Romans, nowise disheartened by this so indecisive an engagement, prepare for battle against the following day. The Volscians, reckoning up what men they had lost in battle, had by no means the same spirits to repeat the risk. They went off in the night to Antium as a vanquished army in the utmost confusion, leaving behind their wounded and a part of their baggage. A vast quantity of arms was found, both among the dead bodies of the enemy, and also in the camp. These, the consul declared, that he offered up to Mother Lua; and he laid waste the enemy's country as far as the sea-coast. The other consul, Æmilius, on entering the Sabellan territory, found neither a camp of the Samnites nor legions opposed to him. Whilst he laid waste their territories with fire and sword, the ambassadors of the Samnites came to him, suing for peace; by whom being referred to the senate, after leave to address them was granted, laying aside their ferocious spirits, they sued for peace for themselves from the Romans, and the right of waging war against the Sidicinians. Which requests, [they alleged,] that "they were the more justified in making, because they had both united in friendship with the Roman people, when their affairs were flourishing, not under circumstances of distress, as the Campanians had done, and they were taking up arms against the Sidicinians, ever their enemies, never the friends of the Roman people; who had neither, as the Samnites, sought their friendship in time of peace, nor, as the Campanians, their assistance in time of war, and were neither in alliance with, nor under subjection to the Roman people."
2. After the prætor Tiberius Æmilius had consulted the senate respecting the demands of the Samnites, and the senate voted that the treaty should be renewed with them, the prætor returned this answer to the Samnites: "That it neither had been the fault of the Roman people that their friendship with them was not perpetual; nor was any objection made to that friendship being once more re-established, since they themselves were now become tired of a war entered into through their own fault. With respect to what regarded the Sidicinians, they did not interfere with the Samnite nation having the free decision of peace and war." The treaty being concluded, on their return home, the Roman army was immediately withdrawn after they had received a year's pay, and corn for three months: for which the consul had stipulated, to grant time for a truce, until the ambassadors should return. The Samnites having marched against the Sidicinians with the same forces which they had employed in their war against the Romans, entertained rather sanguine hopes of becoming masters of the enemies' citadel. Then the Sidicinians first began to surrender to the Romans. Afterwards, when the senate rejected that offer as too late, and as being wrung from them by extreme necessity, it was made to the Latins, who were already taking up arms on their own account. Nor did even the Campanians (so much stronger was their recollection of the injuries done them by the Samnites than of the kindness of the Romans) keep themselves from this quarrel. Out of these so many states, one vast army, entering the territories of the Samnites under the direction of the Latins, committed more damage by depredations than by battles; and though the Latins had the advantage in the field, they retired out of the enemies' territory without reluctance, that they might not be obliged to fight too frequently. This opportunity was afforded to the Samnites to send ambassadors to Rome. When they appeared before the senate, having complained that they, though now confederates, were subjected to the same hardships as those they had suffered as enemies, solicited, with the humblest entreaties, that "the Romans would think it enough the victory, of which they had deprived the Samnites, over their Campanian and Sidicinian enemy; that they would not besides suffer them to be vanquished by these most dastardly states. That they could by their sovereign authority keep the Latins and the Campanians out of the Samnite territory, if they really were under the dominion of the Roman people; but if they rejected their authority, that they might compel them by arms." To this an equivocal answer was returned, because it was mortifying to acknowledge, that the Latins were not now in their power, and they were afraid lest by finding fault they might estrange them from their side: that the case of the Campanians was different, they having come under their protection, not by treaty but by surrender: accordingly, that the Campanians, whether they wished or not, should remain quiet: that in the Latin treaty there was no clause by which they were prevented from going to war with whomsoever they pleased.
3. Which answer, whilst it sent away the Samnites uncertain as to what conduct they were to think that the Romans would pursue, it further estranged the Campanians through fear; it rendered the Samnites more presuming, they considering that there was nothing which the Romans would now refuse them. Wherefore, proclaiming frequent meetings under the pretext of preparing for war against the Samnites, their leading men, in their several deliberations among themselves, secretly fomented the plan of a war with Rome. In this war the Campanians too joined against their preservers. But though all their schemes were carefully concealed, and they were anxious that their Samnite enemy should be got rid of in their rear before the Romans should be aroused, yet through the agency of some who were attached [to the latter] by private friendships and other ties, information of their conspiracy made its way to Rome, and the consuls being ordered to resign their office before the usual time, in order that the new consuls might be elected the sooner to meet so important a war, a religious scruple entered their minds at the idea of the elections being held by persons whose time of office had been cut short. Accordingly an interregnum took place. There were two interreges, Marcus Valerius and Marcus Fabius. The consuls elected were Titus Manlius Torquatus a third time, and Publius Decius Mus. It is agreed on that, in this year, Alexander, king of Epirus, made a descent on Italy with a fleet. Which war, if the first commencement had been sufficiently successful, would unquestionably have extended to the Romans. The same was the era of the exploits of Alexander the Great, whom, being son to the other's sister, in another region of the world, having shown himself invincible in war, fortune cut short in his youth by disease. But the Romans, although the revolt of their allies and of the Latin nation was now no matter of doubt, yet as if they felt solicitude regarding the Samnites, not for themselves, summoned ten of the leading men of the Latins to Rome, to whom they wished to issue such orders as they might wish. Latium had at that time two prætors, Lucius Annius, a native of Setia, and Lucius Numisius of Circeii, both from the Roman colonists; through whose means, besides Signia and Velitræ, also Roman colonies, the Volscians too had been stirred up to arms. It was determined that these two should be summoned specially; it was a matter of doubt to no one, on what matter they were sent for. Accordingly the prætors, having held an assembly, before they set out for Rome, inform them, that they were summoned by the Roman senate, and consult them as to what answer it was their wish should be given on those subjects which they thought would be discussed with them.
4. When different persons advanced different opinions, then Annius says: "Though I myself put the question, as to what answer it might be your pleasure should be given, yet I think it more concerns our general interest how we should act than how we should speak. Your plans being once unfolded, it will be easy to suit words to the subject; for if even now we are capable of submitting to slavery under the shadow of a confederacy on equal terms, what is wanting but to betray the Sidicinians, be obedient to the orders not only of the Romans, but of the Samnites, and tell the Romans, that we will lay down our arms whenever they intimate it to be their wish? But if at length a desire of liberty stimulates your minds, if a confederacy does subsist, if alliance be equalization of rights, if there be reason now to boast that we are of the same blood as the Romans, of which they were formerly ashamed, if they have such an army of allies, by the junction of which they may double their strength, such a one as their consuls would be unwilling to separate from themselves either in concluding or commencing their own wars; why are not all things equalized? why is not one of the consuls chosen from the Latins? Where there is an equal share of strength, is there also an equal share in the government? This indeed in itself reflects no extraordinary degree of honor on us, as still acknowledging Rome to be the metropolis of Latium; but that it may possibly appear to do so, has been effected by our long-continued forbearance. But if ye ever wished for an opportunity of sharing in the government, and enjoying freedom, lo! this opportunity is now at hand, presented both by your own valor and the bounty of the gods. Ye have tried their patience by refusing them soldiers. Who doubts that they were fired with rage, when we broke through a custom of more than two hundred years? Still they submitted to this feeling of resentment. We waged war with the Pelignians in our own name. They who formerly did not even concede to us the right of defending our own territories through ourselves, interfered not. They heard that the Sidicinians were received under our protection, that the Campanians had revolted from themselves to us, that we were preparing armies against their confederates, the Samnites; yet they stirred not from the city. Whence this so great forbearance on their part, except from a knowledge of our strength and their own? I have it from competent authority, that when the Samnites complained of us, such an answer was given them by the Roman senate, as plainly showed that not even themselves insisted that Latium was under the Roman jurisdiction. Only assume your rights in demanding that which they tacitly concede to you. If fear prevents any one from saying this, lo! I pledge myself that I will say it, in the hearing not only of the Roman people and senate, but of Jupiter himself, who inhabits the Capitol; that if they wish us to be in confederacy and alliance with them, they are to receive one consul from us, and one half of the senate." When he not only recommended these measures boldly, but promised also his aid, they all, with acclamations of assent, permitted him to do and say whatever might appear to him conducive to the republic of the Latin nation and his own honor.
5. When they arrived in Rome, an audience of the senate was granted them in the Capitol. There, when Titus Manlius the consul, by direction of the senate, required of them not to make war on their confederates the Samnites, Annius, as if he had taken the Capitol by arms as a victor, and were not addressing them as an ambassador protected by the law of nations, says: "It were time, Titus Manlius, and you, conscript fathers, to cease at length treating with us on a footing of superiority, when you see Latium in a most flourishing state by the bounty of the gods in arms and men, the Samnites being vanquished in war, the Sidicinians and Campanians our allies, the Volscians now united to us in alliance, and that your own colonies even prefer the government of Latium to that of Rome. But since ye do not bring your minds to put an end to your arbitrary despotism, we, though able by force of arms to vindicate the independence of Latium, yet will make this concession to the ties of blood between us, as to offer terms of peace on terms of equality for both, since it has pleased the immortal gods that the strength of both is equalized. One of the consuls must be selected out of Rome, the other out of Latium; an equal portion of the senate must be from both nations; we must be one people, one republic; and that the seat of government may be the same, and we all may have the same name, since the concession must be made by the one party or other, let this, and may it be auspicious to both, have the advantage of being the mother country, and let us all be called Romans." It so happened that the Romans also had a consul, a match for this man's high spirit; who, so far from restraining his angry feelings, openly declared, that if such infatuation took possession of the conscript fathers, that they would receive laws from a man of Setia, he would himself come into the senate armed with a sword, and would slay with his hand any Latin whom he should see in the senate-house. And turning to the statue of Jupiter, "Hear thou, Jupiter," says he, "hear these impious proposals; hear ye them, Justice and Equity. Jupiter, art thou to behold foreign consuls and a foreign senate in thy consecrated temple, as if thou wert a captive and overpowered? Were these the treaties which Tullus, a Roman king, concluded with the Albans, your forefathers, Latins, and which Lucius Tarquinius subsequently concluded with you? Does not the battle at the Lake Regillus occur to your thoughts? Have you so forgotten your own calamities and our kindnesses towards you?"
6. When the indignation of the senate followed these words of the consul, it is recorded that, in reply to the frequent appeals to the gods, whom the consuls frequently invoked as witnesses to the treaties, an expression of Annius was heard in contempt of the divinity of the Roman Jupiter. Certainly, when aroused with wrath he was proceeding with rapid steps from the porch of the temple, having fallen down the stairs, his head being severely struck, he was dashed against a stone at the bottom with such force, as to be deprived of sense. As all writers do not say that he was killed, I too shall leave it in doubt; as also the circumstance, that a storm, with a dreadful noise in the heavens, took place during the appeal made in reference to the violated treaties; for they may both be true, and also invented aptly to express in a striking manner the resentment of heaven. Torquatus, being dispatched by the senate to dismiss the ambassadors, on seeing Annius lying prostrate, exclaimed, so as that his voice was heard both by the people and the senate, "It is well. The gods have excited a just war. There is a deity in heaven. Thou dost exist, great Jove; not without reason have we consecrated thee the father of gods and men in this mansion. Why do ye hesitate, Romans, and you, conscript fathers, to take up arms under the direction of the gods? Thus will I lay low the legions of the Latins, as you now see this man lying prostrate." The words of the consul, received with the approbation of the people, filled their breasts with such ardor, that the ambassadors on their departure were protected from the anger and violence of the people more by the care of the magistrates, who escorted them by order of the consul, than by the law of nations. The senate also voted for the war; and the consuls, after raising two armies, marched into the territories of the Marsians and Pelignians, the army of the Samnites having joined them, and pitched their camp near Capua, where the Latins and their allies had now assembled. There it is said there appeared to both the consuls, during sleep, the same form of a man larger and more majestic than human, who said, "Of the one side a general, of the other an army was due to the dii Manes and to Mother Earth; from whichever army a general should devote the legions of the enemy and himself, in addition, that the victory would belong to that nation and that party." When the consuls compared together these visions of the night, it was resolved that victims should be slain for the purpose of averting the anger of the gods; at the same time, that if the same portents were exhibited in the entrails as those which had been seen during sleep, either of the consuls should fulfill the fates. When the answers of the haruspices coincided with the secret religious impression already implanted in their minds; then, having brought together the lieutenant-generals and tribunes, and having openly expounded to them the commands of the gods, they settle among themselves, lest the consul's voluntary death should intimidate the army in the field, that on which side soever the Roman army should commence to give way, the consul in that quarter should devote himself for the Roman people and the Quirites. In this consultation it was also suggested, that if ever on any occasion any war had been conducted with strict discipline, then indeed military discipline should be reduced to the ancient standard. What excited their attention particularly was, that they had to contend against Latins, who coincided with themselves in language, manners, in the same kind of arms, and more especially in military institutions; soldiers had been mixed with soldiers, centurions with centurions, tribunes with tribunes, as comrades and colleagues, in the same armies, and often in the same companies. Lest in consequence of this the soldiers should be involved in any mistake, the consuls issue orders that no one should fight against an enemy out of his post.
7. It happened that among the other prefects of the troops, who had been sent out in all directions to reconnoiter, Titus Manlius, the consul's son, came with his troop to the back of the enemy's camp, so near that he was scarcely distant a dart's throw from the next post. In that place were some Tusculan cavalry; they were commanded by Geminus Metius, a man distinguished among his countrymen both by birth and exploits. When he recognized the Roman cavalry, and conspicuous among them the consul's son marching at their head, (for they were all known to each other, especially the men of note,) "Romans, are ye going to wage war with the Latins and allies with a single troop. What in the interim will the consuls, what will the two consular armies be doing?" "They will be here in good time," says Manlius, "and with them will be Jupiter himself, as a witness of the treaties violated by you, who is stronger and more powerful. If we fought at the lake Regillus until you had quite enough, here also we shall so act, that a line of battle and an encounter with us may afford you no very great gratification." In reply to this, Geminus, advancing some distance from his own party, says, "Do you choose then, until that day arrives on which you are to put your armies in motion with such mighty labor, to enter the lists with me, that from the result of a contest between us both, it may be seen how much a Latin excels a Roman horseman?" Either resentment, or shame at declining the contest, or the invincible power of fate, arouses the determined spirit of the youth. Forgetful therefore of his father's command, and the consul's edict, he is driven headlong to that contest, in which it made not much difference whether he conquered or was conquered. The other horsemen being removed to a distance as if to witness the sight, in the space of clear ground which lay between them they spurred on their horses against each other; and when they were together in fierce encounter, the spear of Manlius passed over the helmet of his antagonist, that of Metius across the neck of the other's horse. Then wheeling round their horses, when Manlius arose to repeat the blow, he fixed his javelin between the ears of his opponent's horse. When, by the pain of this wound, the horse, having raised his fore-feet on high, tossed his head with great violence, he shook off his rider, whom, when he was raising himself from the severe fall, by leaning on his spear and buckler, Manlius pierced through the throat, so that the steel passed out through the ribs, and pinned him to the earth; and having collected the spoils, he returned to his own party, and with his troop, who were exulting with joy, he proceeds to the camp, and thence to the general's tent to his father, ignorant of what awaited him, whether praise or punishment had been merited. "Father," says he, "that all may truly represent me as sprung from your blood; when challenged, I slew my adversary, and have taken from him these equestrian spoils." When the consul heard this, immediately turning away from his son, he ordered an assembly to be summoned by sound of trumpet. When these assembled in great numbers, "Since you, Titus Manlius," says he, "revering neither the consular power nor a father's majesty, have fought against the enemy out of your post contrary to our orders, and, as far as in you lay, have subverted military discipline, by which the Roman power has stood to this day, and have brought me to this necessity, that I must either forget the republic, or myself and mine; we shall expiate our own transgressions rather than the republic should sustain so serious a loss for our misdeeds. We shall be a melancholy example, but a profitable one, to the youth of future ages. As for me, both the natural affection for my children, as well as that instance of bravery which has led you astray by the false notion of honor, affects me for you. But since either the authority of consuls is to be established by your death, or by your forgiveness to be for ever annulled; I do not think that even you, if you have any of our blood in you, will refuse to restore, by your punishment, the military discipline which has been subverted by your misconduct. Go, lictor, bind him to the stake." All became motionless, more through fear than discipline, astounded by so cruel an order, each looking on the axe as if drawn against himself. Therefore when they stood in profound silence, suddenly, when the blood spouted from his severed neck, their minds recovering, as it were, from a state of stupefaction, then their voices arose together in free expressions of complaint, so that they spared neither lamentations nor execrations: and the body of the youth, being covered with the spoils, was burned on a pile erected outside the rampart, with all the military zeal with which any funeral could be celebrated: and Manlian orders were considered with horror, not only for the present, but of the most austere severity for future times.
8. The severity of the punishment however rendered the soldiers more obedient to the general; and besides that the guards and watches and the regulation of the posts were every where more strictly attended to, such severity was also profitable in the final struggle when they came into the field of battle. But the battle was very like to a civil war; so very similar was every thing among the Romans and Latins, except with respect to courage. The Romans formerly used targets; afterwards, when they began to receive pay, they made shields instead of targets; and what before constituted phalanxes similar to the Macedonian, afterwards became a line drawn up in distinct companies. At length they were divided into several centuries. A century contained sixty soldiers, two centurions, and one standard-bearer. The spearmen (hastati) formed the first line in fifteen companies, with small intervals between them: a company had twenty light-armed soldiers, the rest wearing shields; those were called light who carried only a spear and short iron javelins. This, which constituted the van in the field of battle, contained the youth in early bloom advancing towards the age of service. Next followed men of more robust age, in the same number of companies, who were called principes, all wearing shields, and distinguished by the completest armor. This band of thirty companies they called antepilani, because there were fifteen others placed behind them with the standards; of which each company consisted of three divisions, and the first division of each they called a pilus. Each company consisted of three ensigns, and contained one hundred and eighty-six men. The first ensign was at the head of the Triarii, veteran soldiers of tried bravery; the second, at the head of the Rorarii, men whose ability was less by reason of their age and course of service; the third, at the head of the Accensi, a body in whom very little confidence was reposed. For this reason also they were thrown back to the rear. When the army was marshalled according to this arrangement, the spearmen first commenced the fight. If the spearmen were unable to repulse the enemy, they retreated leisurely, and were received by the principes into the intervals of the ranks. The fight then devolved on the principes; the spearmen followed. The Triarii continued kneeling behind the ensigns, their left leg extended forward, holding their shields resting on their shoulders, and their spears fixed in the ground, with the points erect, so that their line bristled as if enclosed by a rampart. If the principes also did not make sufficient impression in the fight, they retreated slowly from the front to the Triarii. Hence, when a difficulty is felt, "Matters have come to the Triarii," became a usual proverb. The Triarii rising up, after receiving the principes and spearmen into the intervals between their ranks, immediately closing their files, shut up as it were the openings; and in one compact body fell upon the enemy, no other hope being now left: that was the most formidable circumstance to the enemy, when having pursued them as vanquished, they beheld a new line suddenly starting up, increased also in strength. In general about four legions were raised, each consisting of five thousand infantry and three hundred horse. As many more were added from the Latin levy, who were at that time enemies to the Romans, and drew up their line after the same manner; and they knew that unless the ranks were disturbed they would have to engage not only standard with standard, spearmen with spearmen, principes with principes, but centurion also with centurion. There were among the veterans two first centurions in either army, the Roman by no means possessing bodily strength, but a brave man, and experienced in the service; the Latin powerful in bodily strength, and a first-rate warrior; they were very well known to each other, because they had always held equal rank. The Roman, somewhat diffident of his strength, had at Rome obtained permission from the consuls, to select any one whom he wished, his own subcenturion, to protect him from the one destined to be his adversary; and this youth being opposed to him in the battle, obtained the victory over the Latin centurion. They came to an engagement not far from the foot of Mount Vesuvius, where the road led to the Veseris.
9. The Roman consuls, before they marched out their armies to the field, offered sacrifices. The aruspex is said to have shown to Decius the head of the liver wounded on the side relating to himself, in other respects the victim was acceptable to the gods; whilst Manlius obtained highly favorable omens from his sacrifice. "But all is well," says Decius, "if my colleague has offered an acceptable sacrifice." The ranks being drawn up in the order already described, they marched forth to battle. Manlius commanded the right, Decius the left wing. At first the action was conducted with equal strength on both sides, and with the same ardent courage. Afterwards the Roman spearmen on the left wing, not sustaining the violent assault of the Latins, betook themselves to the principes. In this state of trepidation the consul Decius cries out with a loud voice to Marcus Valerius, "Valerius, we have need of the aid of the gods. Come, as public pontiff of the Roman people, dictate to me the words in which I may devote myself for the legions." The pontiff directed him to take the gown called prætexta, and with his head covered and his hand thrust out under the gown to the chin, standing upon a spear placed under his feet, to say these words: "Janus, Jupiter, father Mars, Quirinus, Bellona, ye Lares, ye gods Novensiles, [nine deities: Lara, Vesta, Minerva, Feronia, Concord, Faith, Fortune, Chance, Health] ye gods Indigetes, ye divinities, under whose power we and our enemies are, and ye dii Manes, I pray you, I adore you, I ask your favor, that you would prosperously grant strength and victory to the Roman people, the Quirites; and that ye may affect the enemies of the Roman people, the Quirites, with terror, dismay, and death. In such manner as I have expressed in words, so do I devote the legions and auxiliaries of the enemy, together with myself, to the dii Manes and to Earth for the republic of the Quirites, for the army, legions, auxiliaries of the Roman people, the Quirites." Having uttered this prayer, he orders the lictors to go to Titus Manlius, and without delay to announce to his colleague that he had devoted himself for the army. He, girding himself in a Gabine cincture, and fully armed, mounted his horse, and rushed into the midst of the enemy. He was observed by both armies to present a more majestic appearance than human, as one sent from heaven as an expiation of all the wrath of the gods, to transfer to the enemy destruction turned away from his own side: accordingly, all the terror and panic being carried along with him, at first disturbed the battalions of the Latins, then completely pervaded their entire line. This was most evident, because, in whatever direction he was carried with his horse, there they became panic-stricken, as if struck by some pestilential constellation; but when he fell overwhelmed with darts, instantly the cohorts of the Latins, thrown into manifest consternation, took to flight, leaving a void to a considerable extent. At the same time also the Romans, their minds being freed from religious dread, exerting themselves as if the signal was then given for the first time, commenced to fight with renewed ardor. For the Rorarii also pushed forward among the antepilani, and added strength to the spearmen and principes, and the Triarii resting on the right knee awaited the consul's nod to rise up.
10. Afterwards, as the contest proceeded, when the superior numbers of the Latins had the advantage in some places, the consul, Manlius, on hearing the circumstance of his colleague's death, after he had, as was right and just, honored his so glorious a death with tears, as well as with praises so well merited, hesitated, for a little time, whether it was yet time for the Triarii to rise; then judging it better that they should be kept fresh for the decisive blow, he ordered the Accensi to advance from the rear before the standards. When they moved forward, the Latins immediately called up their Triarii, as if their opponents had done the same thing: who, when they had by desperate fighting for a considerable time both fatigued themselves, and had either broken or blunted their spears, and were, however, beating back their adversaries, thinking that the battle was now nearly decided, and that they had come to the last line; then the consul calls to the Triarii, "Arise now, fresh as ye are, against men now wearied, mindful of your country and parents, your wives and children; mindful of your consul who has submitted to death to insure your victory." When the Triarii arose, fresh as they were, with their arms glittering, a new line which appeared unexpectedly, receiving the antepilani into the intervals between the ranks, raised a shout, and broke through the first line of the Latins; and goading their faces, after cutting down those who constituted their principal strength, they passed almost intact through the other companies, with such slaughter that they scarcely left one fourth of the enemy. The Samnites also, drawn up at a distance at the foot of the mountain, struck terror into the Latins. But of all, whether citizens or allies, the principal praise for that action was due to the consuls; the one of whom turned on himself alone all the threats and dangers (denounced) by the divinities of heaven and hell; the other evinced such valor and such judgment in the battle, that it was universally agreed among both the Romans and Latins who have transmitted to posterity an account of the battle, that, on whichever side Titus Manlius held the command, the victory must belong to that. The Latins in their flight betook themselves to Minturnæ. Immediately after the battle the camp was taken, and great numbers still alive were surprised therein, chiefly Campanians. Night surprised them in their search, and prevented the body of Decius from being discovered on that day. On the day after it was found amid vast heaps of slaughtered enemies, pierced with a great number of darts, and his funeral was solemnized under the direction of his colleague, in a manner suited to his death. It seems right to add here, that it is lawful for a consul, a dictator, and a prætor, when he devotes the legions of the enemy, to devote not himself particularly, but whatever citizen he may choose out of a Roman legion regularly enrolled: if the person who has been devoted die, the matter is duly performed; if he do not perish, then an image, seven feet high or more, must be buried in the ground, and a victim slain, as an expiation. Where that image shall be buried, there it is not lawful that a Roman magistrate should pass. But if he wish to devote himself, as Decius did, unless he who has devoted himself die, he shall not with propriety perform any act of religion regarding either himself or the public. Should he wish to devote his arms to Vulcan or to any other god, he has a right, whether he shall please, by a victim, or in any other manner. It is not proper that the enemy should get possession of the weapon, on which the consul, standing, pronounced the imprecation: if they should get possession of it, then an expiation must be made to Mars by the sacrifices called the Suove-taurilia. Although the memory of every divine and human custom has been obliterated, in consequence of preferring what is modern and foreign to that which is ancient and belonging to our own country, I deemed it not irrelevant to relate the particulars even in the very terms used, as they have been handed down and expressed.
11. I find it stated in some writers, that the Samnites, having awaited the issue of the battle, came at length with support to the Romans after the battle was over. Also aid from Lavinium, whilst they wasted time in deliberating, was at length sent to the Latins after they had been vanquished. And when the first standards and part of the army just issued from the gates, news being brought of the defeat of the Latins, they faced about and returned back to the city; on which occasion they say that their prætor, Milionius, observed, that "for so very short a journey a high price must be paid to the Romans." Such of the Latins as survived the battle, after being scattered over many roads, collected themselves into a body, and found refuge in the city of Vescia. There their general, Numisius, insisted in their counsels, that "the truly common fortune of war had prostrated both armies by equal losses, and that only the name of victory rested with the Romans; that in other respects they too shared the lot of defeated persons; the two pavilions of the consuls were polluted; one by the murder committed on a son, the other by the blood of a devoted consul; that their army was cut down in every direction; their spearmen and principes were cut down; great havoc was made before the standards and behind them; the Triarii at length restored their cause. Though the forces of the Latins were cut down in an equal proportion, yet for reinforcements, Latium or the Volscians were nearer than Rome. Wherefore, if they thought well of it, he would speedily call out the youth from the Latin and Volscian states, and would return to Capua with a determined army, and by his unexpected arrival strike dismay among the Romans, who were expecting nothing less than battle." Deceptive letters being sent around Latium and the Volscian nation, a tumultuary army, hastily raised from all quarters, was assembled, for as they had not been present at the battle, they were more disposed to believe on slight grounds. This army the consul Torquatus met at Trisanum, a place between Sinuessa and Minturnæ. Before a place was selected for a camp, the baggage on both sides being piled up in a heap, they fought and terminated the war; for so impaired was their strength, that all the Latins surrendered themselves to the consul, who was leading his victorious army to lay waste their lands, and the Campanians followed the example of this surrender. Latium and Capua were fined some land. The Latin with the addition of the Privernian land; and the Falernian land, which had belonged to the people of Campania, as far as the river Vulturnus, is all distributed to the commons of Rome. In the Latin land two acres a man were assigned, so that they should receive an additional three-fourths of an acre from the Privernian land; in the Falernian land three acres were assigned, one fourth of an acre being further added, in consideration of the distance. Of the Latins the Laurentians were exempted from punishment, as also the horsemen of the Campanians, because they had not revolted. An order was issued that the treaty should be renewed with the Laurentians; and it is renewed every year since, on the tenth day after the Latin festival. The rights of citizenship were granted to the Campanian horsemen; and that it might serve as a memorial, they hung up a brazen tablet in the temple of Castor at Rome. The Campanian state was also enjoined to pay them a yearly stipend of four hundred and fifty denarii each; their number amounted to one thousand six hundred.
12. The war being thus concluded, after rewards and punishment were distributed according to the deserts of each, Titus Manlius returned to Rome: on his approach it appears that the aged only went forth to meet him; and that the young men, both then, and all his life after, detested and cursed him. The Antians made incursions on the territories of Ostia, Ardea, and Solonia. The consul Manlius, because he was unable by reason of his health to conduct that war, nominated as dictator Lucius Papirius Crassus, who then happened to be prætor; by him Lucius Papirius Cursor was appointed master of the horse. Nothing worthy of mention was performed against the Antians by the dictator, although he had kept a standing camp for several months in the Antian territory. To a year signalized by a victory over so many and such powerful states, further by the illustrious death of one of the consuls, as well as by the unrelenting, though memorable, severity of command in the other, there succeeded as consuls Titus Æmilius Mamercinus and Quintus Publilius Philo; neither to a similar opportunity of exploits, and they themselves being mindful rather of their own interests as well as of those of the parties in the state, than of the interests of their country. They routed on the plains of Ferentinum, and stripped of their camp, the Latins, who, in resentment of the land they had lost, took up arms again. Publilius, under whose guidance and auspices the action had been fought, receiving the submission of the Latin states, who had lost a great many of their young men there, Æmilius marched the army to Pedum. The people of Pedum were supported by the states of Tibur, Præneste, and Velitræ; auxiliaries had also come from Lanuvium and Antium. Where, though the Romans had the advantage in several engagements, still the entire labor remained at the city of Pedum itself and at the camp of the allied states, which was adjoining the city: suddenly leaving the war unfinished, because he heard that a triumph was decreed to his colleague, he himself also returned to Rome to demand a triumph before a victory had been obtained. The senate displeased by this ambitious conduct, and refusing a triumph unless Pedum was either taken or should surrender, Æmilius, alienated from the senate in consequence of this act, administered the remainder of the consulship like to a seditious tribuneship. For, as long as he was consul, he neither ceased to criminate the patricians to the people, his colleague by no means interfering, because he himself also was a plebeian; (the scanty distribution of the land among the commons in the Latin and Falernian territory afforded the groundwork of the criminations;) and when the senate, wishing to put an end to the administration of the consuls, ordered a dictator to be nominated against the Latins, who were again in arms, Æmilius, to whom the fasces then belonged, nominated his colleague dictator; by him Junius Brutus was constituted master of the horse. The dictatorship was popular, both in consequence of his discourses containing invectives against the patricians, and because he passed three laws, most advantageous to the commons, and injurious to the nobility; one, that the orders of the commons should be binding on all the Romans; another, that the patricians should, before the suffrages commenced, declare their approbation of the laws which should be passed in the assemblies of the centuries; the third, that one at least of the censors should be elected from the commons, as they had already gone so far as that it was lawful that both the consuls should be plebeians. The patricians considered that more of detriment had been sustained on that year from the consuls and dictator than was counterbalanced by their success and achievements abroad.
13. On the following year, Lucius Furius Camillus and Caius Mænius were consuls, in order that the neglect of his duty by Æmilius, the consul of the preceding year, might be rendered more markedly reproachful, the senate loudly urge that Pedum should be assailed with arms, men, and every kind of force, and be demolished; and the new consuls, being forced to give that matter the precedence of all others, set out on that expedition. The state of affairs was now such in Latium, that they could no longer submit to either war or peace. For war they were deficient in resources; they spurned at peace through resentment for the loss of their land. It seemed necessary therefore to steer a middle course, to keep within their towns, so that the Romans by being provoked might have no pretext for hostilities; and that if the siege of any town should be announced to them, aid should be sent from every quarter from all the states. And still the people of Pedum were aided by only a very few states. The Tiburtians and Prænestines, whose territory lay nearest, came to Pedum. Mænius suddenly making an attack, defeated the Aricinians, and Lanuvians, and Veliternians, at the river Astura, the Volscians of Antium forming a junction with them. The Tiburtian, far the strongest body, Camillus engages at Pedum, encountering much greater difficulty, though with a result equally successful. A sudden sally of the townsmen during the battle chiefly occasioned confusion: Camillus, turning on these with a part of his army, not only drove them within their walls, but on the very same day, after he had discomfited themselves and their auxiliaries, he took the town by scalade. It was then resolved to lead round with greater energy and spirit his victorious army from the storming of a single city to the entire conquest of Latium. Nor did they stop until they reduced all Latium, either by storming, or by becoming masters of the cities one after the other by capitulation. Then, disposing garrisons in the towns which they had taken, they departed to Rome to a triumph universally admitted to be due to them. To the triumph was added the honor of having equestrian statues erected to them in the forum, a compliment very unusual at that period. Before they commenced holding the meeting for the election of the consuls for the ensuing year, Camillus moved the senate concerning the Latin states, and spoke thus: "Conscript fathers, that which was to be done by war and arms in Latium has now been fully accomplished by the bounty of the gods and the valor of the soldiers. The armies of the enemy have been cut down at Pedum and the Astura. All the Latin towns, and Antium belonging to the Volscians, either taken by storm, or received into surrender, are occupied by your garrisons. It now remains to be considered, since they annoy us by their repeated rebellions, how we may keep them in quiet submission and in the observance of perpetual peace. The immortal gods have put the determination of this matter so completely in your power, that they have placed it at your option whether Latium is to exist henceforward or not. Ye can therefore insure to yourselves perpetual peace, as far as regards the Latins, either by adopting severe or lenient measures. Do ye choose to adopt cruel conduct towards people who have surrendered and have been conquered? Ye may destroy all Latium, make a vast desert of a place whence, in many and serious wars, ye have often made use of an excellent army of allies. Do you wish, according to the example of your ancestors, to augment the Roman state by admitting the vanquished among your citizens? Materials for extending your power by the highest glory are at hand. That government is certainly by far the most secure, which the subjects feel a pleasure in obeying. But whatever determination ye wish to come to, it is necessary that it be speedy. So many states have ye in a state of suspense between hope and fear; and it is necessary that you be discharged as soon as possible of your solicitude about them, and that their minds, whilst they are still in a state of insensibility from uncertainty, be at once impressed either by punishment or clemency. It was our duty to bring matters to such a pass that you may have full power to deliberate on every matter; yours to decide what is most expedient to yourselves and the commonwealth."
14. The principal members of the senate applauded the consul's statement of the business on the whole; but said that "as the states were differently circumstanced, that their plan might be readily adjusted so that it might be determined according to the desert of each, if they should put the question regarding each state specifically." The question was therefore so put regarding each separately and a decree past. To the Lanuvians the right of citizenship was granted, and the exercise of their religious rights was restored to them with this provision, that the temple and grove of Juno Sospita should be common between the Lanuvian burghers and the Roman people. The Aricians, Nomentans, and Pedans were admitted into the number of citizens on the same terms as the Lanuvians. To the Tusculans the rights of citizenship which they already possessed were continued; and the crime of rebellion was turned from disaffection on public grounds against a few instigators. On the Veliternians, Roman citizens of long standing, measures of great severity were inflicted because they had so often rebelled; their walls were razed, and their senate removed from thence, and they were ordered to dwell on the other side of the Tiber, so that the fine of any individual who should be caught on the hither side of that river should amount to one thousand asses; and that the person who had apprehended him, should not discharge his prisoner from confinement, until the money was paid down. Into the land of the senators colonists were sent; from the additions of which Velitræ recovered its appearance of former populousness. A new colony was also sent to Antium, with this provision, that if the Antians desired to be enrolled as colonists, permission to that effect should be granted. Their ships of war were removed from thence, and the people of Antium were interdicted the sea, and the rights of citizenship were granted them. The Tiburtians and Prænestines were amerced in some land, not only on account of the recent guilt of the rebellion, which was common to them with the other Latins; but also because, from their dislike to the Roman government, they had formerly associated in arms with the Gauls, a nation of savages. From the other Latin states they took away the privileges of intermarriage, commerce, and of holding meetings. To the Campanians, in compliment to their horsemen, because they had refused to join in rebellion with the Latins, and to the Fundans and Formians, because the passage through their territories had been always secure and peaceful, the freedom of the state was granted with the right of suffrage. It was determined that the people of Cumæ and Suessula should have the same rights and be on the same footing as Capua. Of the ships of the Antians some were drawn up to the docks at Rome, some were burned, and with the prows of these a pulpit built in the forum was ordered to be decorated; and that temple was called Rostra.
15. During the consulship of Caius Sulpicius Longus and Publius Ælius Pætus, when the Roman power not more than the kindly feeling engendered by acts of kindness diffused the blessings of peace among all parties, a war broke out between the Sidicinians and Auruncans. The Auruncans having been admitted into alliance on the occasion of their surrendering, had since that period made no disturbance; accordingly they had a juster pretext for seeking aid from the Romans. But before the consuls led forth their army from the city, (for the senate had ordered the Auruncans to be defended,) intelligence is brought that the Auruncans deserted their town through fear, and flying with their wives and children, that they fortified Suessa, which is now called Aurunca; that their ancient walls and city were demolished by the Sidicinians. The senate being in consequence incensed against the consuls, by whose delays the allies had been betrayed, ordered a dictator to be created. Caius Claudius Regillensis was appointed, and he nominated Caius Claudius Hortator as master of the horse. A scruple afterwards arose concerning the dictator; and when the augurs declared that he seemed to have been created under an informality, the dictator and the master of the horse laid down their office. This year Minucia, a vestal, at first suspected on account of her dress being more elegant than was becoming, afterwards being arraigned before the pontiffs on the testimony of a slave, after she had been ordered by their decree to abstain from meddling in sacred rites, and to keep her slaves under her own power, when brought to trial, was buried alive at the Colline gate, on the right of the causeway, in the field of wickedness. I suppose that name was given to the place from her crime. On the same year Quintus Publilius Philo was the first of the plebeians elected prætor, being opposed by Sulpicius the consul, who refused to take any notice of him as a candidate; the senate, as they had not succeeded on that ground in the case of the highest offices, being less earnest with respect to the prætorship.
16. The following year, Lucius Papirius Crassus and Kæso Duilius being consuls, was distinguished by a war with the Ausonians, as being new rather than important. This people inhabited the city Cales; they had united their arms with their neighbors the Sidicinians; and the army of the two states being defeated in one battle scarcely worthy of record, was induced to take to flight the earlier in consequence of the proximity of the cities, and the more sheltered on their flight. Nor did the senate, however, discontinue their attention to that war, because the Sidicinians had now so often taken up arms either as principals, or had afforded aid to those who did so, or had been the cause of hostilities. Accordingly they exerted themselves with all their might, to raise to the consulship for the fourth time, Marcus Valerius Corvus, the greatest general of that day. To Corvus was added Marcus Atilius Regulus as colleague; and lest any disappointment might by any chance occur, a request was made of the consuls, that, without drawing lots, that province might be assigned to Corvus. Receiving the victorious army from the former consuls, proceeding to Cales, whence the war had originated, after he had, at the first shout and onset, routed the enemy, who were disheartened by the recollection also of the former engagement, he set about attacking the town itself. And such was the ardor of the soldiers, that they wished to advance immediately up to the walls, and strenuously asserted that they would scale them. Corvus, because that was a hazardous undertaking, wished to accomplish his object rather by the labor than the risk of his men. Accordingly he formed a rampart, prepared his vineæ, and advanced towers up to the walls; but an opportunity which accidentally presented itself, prevented the occasion for them. For Marcius Fabius, a Roman prisoner, when, having broken his chains during the inattention of his guards on a festival day, suspending himself by means of a rope which was fastened to a battlement of the wall, he let himself down by the hands, persuaded the general to make an assault on the enemy whilst stupefied by wine and feasting; nor were the Ausonians, together with their city, captured with greater difficulty than they had been routed in the field. A great amount of booty was obtained; and a garrison being stationed at Cales, the legions were marched back to Rome. The consul triumphed in pursuance of a decree of the senate; and that Atilius might not be without a share of glory, both the consuls were ordered to lead the army against the Sidicinians. But first, in conformity with a decree of the senate, they nominated as dictator for the purpose of holding the elections, Lucius Æmilius Mamercinus; he named Quintus Publilius Philo his master of the horse. The dictator presiding at the elections, Titus Veturius and Spurius Postumius were elected consuls. Though a part of the war with the Sidicinians still remained; yet that they might anticipate, by an act of kindness, the wishes of the commons, they proposed about sending a colony to Cales; and a decree of the senate being passed that two thousand five hundred men should be enrolled for that purpose, they appointed Kæso Duilius, Titus Quinctius, and Marcus Fabius commissioners for conducting the colony and distributing the land.
17. The new consuls then, recovering the army from their predecessors, entered the enemy's territories and carried their depredations up to the walls and the city. There because the Sidicinians, who had raised a numerous army, seemed determined to fight vigorously for their last hope, and a report existed that Samnium also was preparing for hostilities, Publius Cornelius Rufinus was created dictator by the consuls in pursuance of a decree of the senate; Marcus Antonius was nominated master of the horse. A scruple afterwards arose that they were elected under an informality: and they laid down their office; and because a pestilence followed, recourse was had to an interregnum, as if all the auspices had been infected by that irregularity. By Marcus Valerius Corvus, the fifth interrex from the commencement of the interregnum, Aulus Cornelius a second time, and Cneius Domitius were elected consuls. Things being now tranquil, the rumor of a Gallic war had the effect of a real outbreak, so that they were determined that a dictator should be nominated. Marcus Papirius Crassus was nominated, and Publius Valerius Publicola master of the horse. And when the levy was conducted by them with more activity than was deemed necessary in the case of neighboring wars, scouts were sent out and brought word, that there was perfect quiet with the Gauls in every direction. It was suspected that Samnium also was now for the second year in a state of disturbance in consequence of their entertaining new designs: hence the Roman troops were not withdrawn from the Sidicinian territory. But a hostile attack made by Alexander of Epirus on the Lucanians drew away the attention of the Samnites to another quarter; these two nations fought a pitched battle against the king, as he was making a descent on the district adjoining Pæstum. Alexander, having come off victorious in that contest, concluded a peace with the Romans; with what fidelity he would have kept it, if his other projects had been equally successful, is uncertain. The same year the census was performed, and the new citizens were rated; on their account the Mæscian and Scaptian tribes were added: the censors who added them were Quintus Publilius Philo and Spurius Postumius. The Acerrans were enrolled as Romans, in conformity with a law introduced by the prætor, Lucius Papirius, by which the right of citizenship with the privilege of suffrage was conferred. These were the transactions at home and abroad during that year.
18. The following year was disastrous, whether by the intemperature of the air, or by human guilt, Marcus Claudius Marcellus and Caius Valerius being consuls. I find in the annals Flaccus and Potitus variously given as the surname of the consul; but in this it is of little consequence which is the true one. I would heartily wish that this other account were a false one, (nor indeed do all writers mention it,) viz. that those persons, whose death rendered the year signal for the pestilence, were carried off by poison. The circumstance however must be stated as it is handed down to us, that I may not detract from the credit of any writer. When the principal persons of the state were dying of similar diseases, and all generally with the same result, a certain maid-servant undertook, before Quintius Fabius Maximus, curule ædile, to discover the cause of the public malady, provided the public faith would be given to her by him, that the discovery should not be made detrimental to her. Fabius immediately lays the matter before the consuls, and the consuls before the senate, and with the concurrence of that order the public faith was pledged to the informer. It was then disclosed that the state was afflicted by the wickedness of certain women, and that certain matrons were preparing those poisonous drugs; and if they wished to follow her forthwith, they might be detected in the very fact. Having followed the informer, they found women preparing certain drugs, and others of the same kind laid up. These being brought into the forum, and several matrons, to the number of twenty, in whose possession they had been detected, being summoned by the beadle, two of them, Cornelia and Sergia, both of patrician rank, maintaining that these drugs were wholesome, were directed by the informer who confronted them to drink some, that they might convict her of having stated what was false; having taken time to confer together, when, the crowd being removed, they referred the matter to the other matrons in the open view of all; they also not refusing to drink, they all drank off the preparation, and perished by their own wicked device. Their attendants being instantly seized, informed against a great number of matrons, of whom to the number of one hundred and seventy were condemned. Nor up to that day was there ever an inquiry made at Rome concerning poisoning. The circumstance was considered a prodigy; and seemed the act rather of insane persons than of persons depraved by guilt. Wherefore mention having been found in the annals, that formerly in the secessions of the commons the nail had been driven by the dictator, and that the minds of the people, distracted by discord, had been restored to a sane state, it was determined that a dictator should be nominated for the purpose of driving the nail. Cneius Quinctilius being nominated, appointed Lucius Valerius master of the horse, who, as soon as the nail was driven, abdicated their offices.
19. Lucius Papirius Crassus a second time, and Lucius Plautius Venno were elected consuls; at the commencement of which year ambassadors came to Rome from the Fabraternians, a Volscian people, and from the Lucanians, soliciting to be admitted into alliance: [promising] that if they were defended from the arms of the Samnites, they would continue in fidelity and obedience under the government of the Roman people. Ambassadors were then sent by the senate; and the Samnites were directed to withhold all violence from the territories of those states; and this embassy proved effectual not so much because the Samnites were desirous of peace, as because they were not prepared for war. The same year a war broke out with the people of Privernum; in which the people of Fundi were their supporters, their leader also being a Fundanian, Vitruvius Vaccus; a man of distinction not only at home, but in Rome also. He had a house on the Palatine hill, which, after the building was razed and the ground thrown open, was called the Vacciprata. Lucius Papirius having set out to oppose him whilst devastating extensively the districts of Setia, Norba, and Cora, posted himself at no great distance from his camp. Vitruvius neither adopted the prudent resolution to enclose himself with his trenches against an enemy his superior in strength, nor had he sufficient courage to engage at any great distance from his camp. When his army had scarcely got out of the gate of the camp, and his soldiers were looking backwards to flight rather than to battle or the enemy, he enters on an engagement without judgment or boldness; and as he was conquered by a very slight effort and unequivocally, so did he by the very shortness of the distance, and by the facility of his retreat into the camp so near at hand, protect his soldiers without difficulty from much loss; and scarcely were any slain in the engagement itself, and but few in the confusion of the flight in the rear, whilst they were making their way into the camp; and as soon as it was dark they repaired to Privernum in trepidation, so that they might protect themselves rather by walls than by a rampart. Plautius, the other consul, after laying waste the lands in every direction and driving off the spoil, leads his army into the Fundanian territory. The senate of the Fundanians met him as he was entering their borders; they declare that "they had not come to intercede in behalf of Vitruvius or those who followed his faction, but in behalf of the people of Fundi, whose exemption from any blame in the war had been proved by Vitruvius himself, when he made Privernum his place of retreat, and not his native country, Fundi. At Privernum, therefore, the enemies of the Roman people were to be looked for, and punished, who revolted at the same time from the Fundanians and the Romans, unmindful of both countries. That the Fundanians were at peace, that they had Roman feelings and a grateful recollection of the political rights received. They entreated the consul to withhold war from an inoffensive people; their lands, city, their own bodies and those of their wives and children, were, and ever should be, at the disposal of the Roman people." The consul, having commended the Fundanians, and dispatched letters to Rome that the Fundanians had preserved their allegiance, turned his march to Privernum. Claudius states, that the consul first punished those who were at the head of the conspiracy; that three hundred and fifty of the conspirators were sent in chains to Rome; and that such submission was not received by the senate, because they considered that the people of Fundi wished to come off with impunity by the punishment of needy and humble persons.
20. While the siege of Privernum was being conducted by the two consular armies, one of the consuls was recalled to Rome, on account of the elections. This year jails were first erected in the circus. While the attention of the public was still occupied by the Privernian war, an alarming report of the Gauls being in arms, a matter scarcely ever slighted by the senate, suddenly came on them. The new consuls, therefore, Lucius Æmilius Mamercinus and Caius Plautius, on the calends of July, the very day on which they entered into office, received orders to settle the provinces immediately between themselves; and Mamercinus, to whom the Gallic war fell, was directed to levy troops, without admitting any plea of immunity: nay, it is said, that even the rabble of handicrafts, and those of sedentary trades, of all the worst qualified for military service, were called out; and a vast army was collected at Veii, in readiness to meet the Gauls. It was thought proper not to proceed to a greater distance, lest the enemy might by some other route arrive at the city without being observed. In the course of a few days it being ascertained, on a careful inquiry, that every thing on that side was quiet at the time; the whole force, which was to have opposed the Gauls, was then turned against Privernum. Of the issue of the business, there are two different accounts: some say, that the city was taken by storm; and that Vitruvius fell alive into the hands [of the conquerors]: others maintain that the townsmen, to avoid the extremities of a storm, presenting the rod of peace, surrendered to the consul; and that Vitruvius was delivered up by his troops. The senate, being consulted with respect to Vitruvius and the Privernians, sent directions, that the consul Plautius should demolish the walls of Privernum, and, leaving a strong garrison there, come home to enjoy the honor of a triumph; at the same time ordering that Vitruvius should be kept in prison, until the return of the consul, and that he should then be beaten with rods, and put to death. His house, which stood on the Palatine hill, they commanded to be razed to the ground, and his effects to be devoted to Semo Sancus. With the money produced by the sale of them, brazen globes were formed, and placed in the chapel of Sancus, opposite to the temple of Quirinus. As to the senate of Privernum, it was decreed, that every person who had continued to act as a senator of Privernum, after the revolt from the Romans, should reside on the farther side of the Tiber, under the same restrictions as those of Velitræ. After the passing of these decrees, there was no further mention of the Privernians, until Plautius had triumphed. After the triumph, Vitruvius, with his accomplices, having been put to death, the consul thought that all being now fully gratified by the sufferings of the guilty, allusion might be safely made to the business of the Privernians, he spoke in the following manner: "Conscript fathers, since the authors of the revolt have received, both from the immortal gods and from you, the punishment so well merited, what do ye judge proper to be done with respect to the guiltless multitude? For my part, although my duty consists rather in collecting the opinions of others than in offering my own, yet, when I reflect that the Privernians are situated in the neighborhood of the Samnites, our peace with whom is exceedingly uncertain, I should wish, that as little ground of animosity as possible may be left between them and us."
21. The affair naturally admitted of a diversity of opinions, each, agreeably to his particular temper, recommending either severity or lenity; matters were still further perplexed by one of the Privernian ambassadors, more mindful of the prospects to which he had been born, than to the exigency of the present juncture: who being asked by one of the advocates for severity, "What punishment he thought the Privernians deserved?" answered, "Such as those deserve who deem themselves worthy of liberty." The consul observing, that, by this stubborn answer, those who were adverse to the cause of the Privernians were the more exasperated against them, and wishing, by a question of favorable import, to draw from him a more conciliating reply, said to him, "What if we remit the punishment, in what manner may we expect that ye will observe the peace which shall be established between us?" He replied, "If the peace which ye grant us be a good one, both inviolable and eternal; if bad, of no long continuance." Then indeed some exclaimed, that the Privernian menaced them, and not in ambiguous terms; and that by such expressions peaceable states were incited to rebellion. But the more reasonable part of the senate interpreted his answers more favorably, and said, that "the words they had heard were those of a man, and of a free-man. Could it be believed that any people, or even any individual, would remain, longer than necessity constrained, in a situation which he felt painful? That peace was faithfully observed, only when those at peace were voluntarily so; but that fidelity was not to be expected where they wished to establish slavery." In this opinion they were led to concur, principally, by the consul himself, who frequently observed to the consulars, who had proposed the different resolutions, in such a manner as to be heard by several, that "surely those men only who thought of nothing but liberty, were worthy of being made Romans." They consequently both carried their cause in the senate; and, moreover, by direction of that body, a proposal was laid before the people, that the freedom of the state should be granted to the Privernians. The same year a colony of three hundred was sent to Anxur, and received two acres of land each.
22. The year following, in which the consuls were Publius Plautius Proculus and Publius Cornelius Scapula, was remarkable for no one transaction, civil or military, except the sending of a colony to Fregellæ, a district which had belonged to the Sidicinians, and afterwards to the Volscians; and a distribution of meat to the people, made by Marcus Flavius, on occasion of the funeral of his mother. There were many who represented, that, under the appearance of doing honor to his parent, a deserved recompense was made to the people, for having acquitted him, when prosecuted by the ædiles on a charge of having debauched a married woman. This distribution of meat intended as a return for favors shown on the trial, proved also the means of procuring him the honor of a public office; for, at the next election, though absent, he was preferred before the candidates who solicited in person the tribuneship of the commons. The city of Palæpolis was situated at no great distance from the spot where Neapolis now stands. The two cities were inhabited by one people: these came from Cumæ, and the Cumans derive their origin from Chalcis in Euboea. By means of the fleet in which they had been conveyed hither, they possessed great power on the coast of the sea, near which they dwelt. Having first landed on the islands of Ænaria, and the Pithecusæ, they afterwards ventured to transfer their settlement to the continent. This state, relying both on their own strength, as well as on the treacherous nature of the alliance of the Samnites with the Romans; or, encouraged by the report of a pestilence having attacked the city of Rome, committed various acts of hostility against the Romans settled in the Campanian and Falernian territories. Wherefore, in the succeeding consulate of Lucius Cornelius, and Quintus Publilius Philo a second time, heralds being sent to Palæpolis to demand satisfaction, when a haughty answer was returned by these Greeks, a race more magnanimous in words than in action, the people, in pursuance of the direction of the senate, ordered war to be declared against the Palæpolitans. On settling the provinces between the consuls, the war against the Greeks fell to Publilius. Cornelius, with another army, was appointed to watch the Samnites if they should attempt any movement; but a report prevailed that they, anxiously expecting a revolt in Campania, intended to march their troops thither; that was judged by Cornelius the properest station for him.
23. The senate received information, from both the consuls, that there was very little hope of peace with the Samnites. Publilius informed them, that two thousand soldiers from Nolæ, and four thousand of the Samnites, had been received into Palæpolis, a measure rather forced on the Greeks by the Nolans than agreeable to their inclination. Cornelius wrote, that a levy of troops had been ordered, that all Samnium was in motion, and that the neighboring states of Privernum, Fundi, and Formiæ, were openly solicited to join them. When in consequence it was thought proper, that, before hostilities were commenced, ambassadors should be sent to the Samnites, an insolent answer is returned by them; they even went so far as to accuse the Romans of behaving injuriously towards them; but, nevertheless, they took pains to clear themselves of the charges made against them, asserting, that "the Greeks were not assisted with either counsel or aid by their state, nor were the Fundanians or Formians tampered with by them; for, if they were disposed to war, they had not the least reason to be diffident of their own strength. However, they could not dissemble, that it gave great offense to the state of the Samnites, that Fregellæ, by them taken from the Volscians and demolished, should have been rebuilt by the Romans; and that they should have established a colony within the territory of the Samnites, to which their colonists gave the name of Fregellæ. This injury and affront, if not done away by the authors, they were determined themselves to remove, by every means in their power." When one of the Roman ambassadors proposed to discuss the matter before their common allies and friends, their magistrate said, "Why do we disguise our sentiments? Romans, no conferences of ambassadors, nor arbitration of any person whatever, can terminate our differences; but the plains of Campania, in which we must meet; our arms and the common fortune of war will settle the point. Let our armies, therefore, meet between Capua and Suessula; and there let us decide, whether the Samnite or the Roman shall hold the sovereignty of Italy." To this the ambassadors of the Romans replied, "that they would go, not whither their enemy called, but whither their commanders should lead." In the mean time, Publilius, by seizing an advantageous post between Palæpolis and Neapolis, had cut off that interchange of mutual aid, which they had hitherto afforded each other, according as either place was hard pressed. Accordingly, when both the day of the elections approached, and as it was highly inexpedient for the public interest that Publilius should be called away when on the point of assailing the enemy's walls, and in daily expectation of gaining possession of their city, application was made to the tribunes, to recommend to the people the passing of an order, that Publilius Philo, when his year of office should expire, might continue in command, as pro-consul, until the war with the Greeks should be finished. A letter was dispatched to Lucius Cornelius, with orders to name a dictator; for it was not thought proper that the consul should be recalled from the vigorous prosecution of the war now that he had entered into Samnium. He nominated Marcus Claudius Marcellus, who appointed Spurius Postumius master of the horse. The elections, however, were not held by the dictator, because it became a question whether he had been appointed under an irregularity; and the augurs being consulted, pronounced that it appeared that the dictator's appointment was defective. The tribunes inveighed against this proceeding as dangerous and dishonorable; "for it was not probable," they said, "that such defect could have been discovered, as the consul, rising in the night, had nominated the dictator while every thing was still; nor had the said consul in any of his letters, either public or private, made any mention of such a thing to any one; nor did any person whatever come forward who said that he saw or heard any thing which could vitiate the auspices. Neither could the augurs sitting at Rome divine what inauspicious circumstance had occurred to the consul in the camp. Who did not plainly perceive, that the dictator's being a plebeian, was the defect which the augurs had discovered?" These and other arguments were urged in vain by the tribunes: the affair however ended in an interregnum. At last, after the elections had been adjourned repeatedly on one pretext or another, the fourteenth interrex, Lucius Æmilius, elected consuls Caius Pætelius, and Lucius Papirius Mugillanus, or Cursor, as I find him named in some annals.
24. It has been recorded, that in this year Alexandria in Egypt was founded; and that Alexander, king of Epirus, being slain by a Lucanian exile, verified in the circumstances of his death the prediction of Jupiter of Dodona. At the time when he was invited into Italy by the Tarentines, a caution had been given him, "to beware of the Acherusian waters and the city Pandosia, for there were fixed the limits of his destiny." For that reason he made the greater haste to pass over to Italy, in order to be at as great a distance as possible from the city Pandosia in Epirus, and the river Acheron, which, after flowing through Molossis, runs into the lakes called Infernal, and is received into the Thesprotian gulf. But, (as it frequently happens, that men, by endeavoring to shun their fate, run directly upon it,) after having often defeated the armies of Bruttium and Lucania, and taken Heraclea, a colony of the Tarentines, Consentia and Metapontum from the Lucanians, Terina from the Bruttians, and several other cities of the Messapians and Lucanians; and having sent into Epirus three hundred illustrious families, whom he intended to keep as hostages, he posted his troops on three hills, which stood at a small distance from each other, not far from the city Pandosia, and close to the frontiers of the Bruttians and Lucanians, in order that he might thence make incursions into every part of the enemy's country. At that time he kept about his person two hundred Lucanian exiles, as faithful attendants, but whose fidelity, according to the general disposition of people of that description, was ever ready to follow the changes of fortune. When continual rains spread such an inundation over all the plains, as cut off from the three separate divisions of the army all means of mutual aid, the two parties, in neither of which the king was present, were suddenly attacked and overpowered by the enemy, who, after putting them to the sword, employed their whole force in blockading the king himself. From this place the Lucanian exiles sent emissaries to their countrymen, and stipulating a safe return for themselves, promised to deliver the king, either alive or dead, into their power. But he, bravely resolving to make an extraordinary effort, at the head of a chosen band, broke through the midst of their forces; engaged singly, and slew the general of the Lucanians, and collecting together his men, who had been scattered in the retreat, arrived at a river which pointed out his road by the ruins of a bridge which had been recently broken by the violence of the flood. Here, while the party was fording the river on a very uneven bottom, a soldier, almost spent with fatigue and apprehension, cried out as a reflection on the odious name of it,--"You are justly named Acheros (dismal):" which expression reaching the king's ears, and instantly recalling to his mind the fate denounced on him, he halted, hesitating whether he should cross over or not. Then Sotimus, one of the royal band of youths which attended him, asking why he delayed in such a critical moment, showed him that the Lucanians were watching an opportunity to perpetrate some act of treachery: whereupon the king, looking back, and seeing them coming towards him in a body, drew his sword, and pushed on his horse through the middle of the river. When he had now reached the shallow, a Lucanian exile from a distance transfixed him with a javelin: after his fall, the current carried down his lifeless body, with the weapon sticking in it, to the posts of the enemy: there a shocking mangling of it took place; for dividing it in the middle, they sent one half to Consentia, and kept the other, as a subject of mockery, to themselves. While they were throwing darts and stones at it, a woman mixing with the crowd, who were enraged to a degree beyond the credible extent of human resentment, prevailed on them to stop for a moment. She then told them with tears in her eyes that she had a husband and children, prisoners among the enemy; and that she hoped to be able with the king's body, however disfigured, to ransom her friends: this put an end to their outrages. The remnants of his limbs were buried at Consentia, entirely through the care of the woman; and his bones were sent to Metapontum to the enemy, from whence they were conveyed to Epirus to his wife Cleopatra and his sister Olympias; the latter of whom was the mother, the former the sister, of Alexander the Great. Such was the melancholy end of Alexander of Epirus; of which, although fortune did not allow him to engage in hostilities with the Romans, yet, as he waged war in Italy, I have thought it proper to give this brief account. This year, the fifth time since the building of the city, the lectisternium was performed at Rome for procuring the favor of the same deities to whom it was addressed before.
25. When the new consuls had, by order of the people, sent persons to declare war against the Samnites, and they themselves were making all preparations with greater energy than against the Greeks, a new accession of strength also came to them when expecting no such thing. The Lucanians and Apulians, nations who, until that time, had no kind of intercourse with the Roman people, proposed an alliance with them, promising a supply of men and arms for the war: a treaty of friendship was accordingly concluded. At the same time, their affairs went on successfully in Samnium. Three towns fell into their hands, Allifæ, Callifæ, and Ruffrium; and the adjoining country to a great extent was, on the first arrival of the consuls, laid entirely waste. Whilst the war on this side was commenced with so much success, so the war in the other quarter where the Greeks were held besieged, now drew towards a conclusion. For, besides the communication between the two posts of the enemy being cut off, by the besiegers having possession of part of the works through which it had been carried on, they now suffered within the walls hardships far more grievous than those with which the enemy threatened them, and as if made prisoners by their own garrison, they were now subjected to the greatest indignities in the persons of their wives and children, and to such extremities as are generally felt on the sacking of cities. When, therefore, intelligence arrived that reinforcements were to come from Tarentum and from the Samnites, all agreed that there were more of the latter already within the walls than they wished; but the young men of Tarentum, who were Greeks as well as themselves, they earnestly longed for, as they hoped to be enabled by their means to oppose the Samnites and Nolans, no less than to resist their Roman enemies. At last a surrender to the Romans appeared to be the lightest evil. Charilaus and Nymphius, the two principal men in the state, consulting together on the subject, settled the part which each was to act; it, was, that one should desert to the Roman general, and the other stay behind to manage affairs in the city, so as to facilitate the execution of their plan. Charilaus was the person who came to Publilius Philo; he told him that "he had taken a resolution, which he hoped would prove advantageous, fortunate, and happy to the Palæpolitans and to the Roman people, of delivering the fortifications into his hands. Whether he should appear by that deed to have betrayed or preserved his country, depended on the honor of the Romans. That for himself in particular, he neither stipulated nor requested any thing; but, in behalf of the state, he requested rather than stipulated, that in case the design should succeed, the Roman people would consider more especially the zeal and hazard with which it sought a renewal of their friendship, than its folly and rashness in deviating from its duty." He was commended by the general, and received a body of three thousand soldiers, with which he was to seize on that part of the city which was possessed by the Samnites; this detachment was commanded by Lucius Quinctius, military tribune.
26. At the same time also, Nymphius, on his part, artfully addressing himself to the commander of the Samnites, prevailed upon him, as all the troops of the Romans were employed either about Palæpolis or in Samnium, to allow him to sail round with the fleet to the territory of Rome, where he undertook to ravage, not only the sea-coast, but the country adjoining the very city. But, in order to avoid observation, it was necessary, he told him, to set out by night, and to launch the ships immediately. That this might be effected with the greater despatch, all the young Samnites, except the necessary guards of the city, were sent to the shore. While Nymphius wasted the time there, giving contradictory orders, designedly, to create confusion, which was increased by the darkness, and by the crowd, which was so numerous as to obstruct each other's operations, Charilaus, according to the plan concerted, was admitted by his associates into the city; and have filled the higher parts of it with Roman soldiers, he ordered them to raise a shout; on which the Greeks, who had received previous directions from their leaders, kept themselves quiet. The Nolans fled through the opposite part of the town, by the road leading to Nola. The flight of the Samnites, who were shut out from the city, was easier, but had a more disgraceful appearance; for they returned to their homes without arms, stripped, and destitute of every thing; all, in short, belonging to them being left with their enemies; so that they were objects of ridicule, not only to foreigners, but even to their own countrymen. I know that there is another account of this matter, according to which the town is represented to have been betrayed by the Samnites; but I have this account on the authority most worthy of credit; besides, the treaty of Neapolis, for to that place the seat of government of the Greeks was then transferred, renders it more probable that the renewal of friendship was voluntary on their side. A triumph was decreed to Publilius, because people were well convinced that the enemy, reduced by the siege, had adopted terms of submission. These two extraordinary incidents, which never before occurred in any case, befell this man: a prolongation of command never before granted to any one; and a triumph after the expiration of his office.
27. Another war soon after arose with the Greeks of the other coast. For the Tarentines having, for a considerable time, buoyed up the state of Palæpolis with delusive hopes of assistance, when they understood that the Romans had gotten possession of that city, as if they were the persons who had suffered the disappointment, and not the authors of it, they inveighed against the Palæpolitans, and became furious in their anger and malice towards the Romans; on this account also, because information was brought that the Lucanians and Apulians had submitted to the Roman people; for a treaty of alliance had been this year concluded with both these nations. "The business," they observed, "was now brought almost to their doors; and that the matter would soon come to this, that the Romans must either be dealt with as enemies, or received as masters: that, in fact, their interests were involved in the war of the Samnites, and in its issue. That that was the only nation which continued to make opposition; and that with power very inadequate, since the Lucanians left them: these however might yet be brought back, and induced to renounce the Roman alliance, if proper skill were used in sowing dissension between them." These reasonings being readily adopted, by people who wished for a change, some young Lucanians of considerable note among their countrymen, but devoid of honor, were procured for money; these having lacerated each other's persons with stripes, after they had come naked into a public meeting of their countrymen, exclaimed that, because they had ventured to go into the Roman camp, they had been thus beaten with rods, by order of the consul, and had hardly escaped the loss of their heads. A circumstance, so shocking in its nature, carrying strong proofs of the ill-treatment, none of artifice, the people were so irritated, that, by their clamors, they compelled the magistrates to call together the senate; and some standing round that assembly, insisted on a declaration of war against the Romans, others ran different ways to rouse to arms the multitude residing in the country. Thus the tumult hurrying into imprudence the minds even of rational men, a decree was passed, that the alliance with the Samnites should be renewed, and ambassadors sent for that purpose. Because this so sudden a proceeding was totally devoid of any obvious cause for its adoption, and consequently was little relied on for its sincerity; they were, however, obliged both to give hostages, and also to receive garrisons into their fortified places; and they, blinded by fraud and resentment, refused no terms. In a little time after, on the authors of the false charges removing to Tarentum, the whole imposition came to light. But as they had given all power out of their own hands, nothing was left them but unavailing repentance.
28. This year there arose, as it were, a new era of liberty to the Roman commons; in this that a stop was put to the practice of confining debtors. This alteration of the law was effected in consequence of the lust and signal cruelty of one usurer. His name was Lucius Papirius. To him one Caius Publilius having surrendered his person to be confined for a debt due by his father, his youth and beauty, which ought to have excited commiseration, operated on the other's mind as incentives to lust and insult. He first attempted to seduce the young man by impure discourses, considering the bloom of his youth his own adventitious gain; but finding that his ears were shocked at their infamous tendency, he then endeavored to terrify him by threats, and reminded him frequently of his situation. At last, convinced of his resolution to act conformably to his honorable birth, rather than to his present condition, he ordered him to be stripped and scourged. When with the marks of the rods imprinted in his flesh the youth rushed out into the public street, loudly complaining of the depravedness and inhumanity of the usurer; a vast number of people, moved by compassion for his early age, and indignation at his barbarous treatment, reflecting at the same time on their own lot and that of their children, flocked together into the forum, and from thence in a body to the senate-house. When the consuls were obliged by the sudden tumult to call a meeting of the senate, the people, falling at the feet of each of the senators, as they were going into the senate-house, presented to their view the lacerated back of the youth. On that day, in consequence of the outrageous conduct of an individual, the strongest bonds of credit were broken; and the consuls were commanded to propose to the people, that no person should be held in fetters or stocks, except convicted of a crime, and in order to punishment; but that, for money due, the goods of the debtor, not his person, should be answerable. Thus the confined debtors were released; and provision made, for the time to come, that they should not be liable to confinement.
29. In the course of this year, while the war with the Samnites was sufficient in itself to give full employment to the senate, besides the sudden defection of the Lucanians, and the Tarentines, the promoters of the defection, [another source of uneasiness] was added in a union formed by the state of the Vestinians with the Samnites. Which event, though it continued, during the present year, to be the general subject of conversation, without coming under any public discussion, appeared so important to the consuls of the year following, Lucius Furius Camillus a second time, and Junius Brutus Scæva, that it was the first business which they proposed to the consideration of the state. And though the matter was still recent, still great perplexity seized the senate, as they dreaded equally the consequences, either of passing it over, or of taking it up; lest, on the one hand, impunity might stir up the neighboring states with wantonness and arrogance; and, on the other, punishment inflicted on them by force of arms, and dread of immediate danger, might produce the same effect by exciting resentment. And the whole body, too, was in every way equal in strength to the Samnites, being composed of the Marsians, the Pelignians, and the Marrusinians; all of whom would have to be encountered as enemies, if the Vestinians were to be interfered with. However, that side prevailed which might, at the time, seem to have more spirit than prudence; but the event proved that fortune assists the brave. The people, in pursuance of the direction of the senate, ordered war against the Vestinians; that province fell by lot to Junius, Samnium to Camillus. Armies were led to both places, and by carefully guarding the frontiers, the enemy were prevented from joining their forces. But the other consul, Lucius Furius, on whom the principal weight of the business rested, was withdrawn by chance from the war, being seized with a severe sickness. Being therefore ordered to nominate a dictator to conduct the business, he nominated Lucius Papirius Cursor, the most celebrated general, by far, of any in that age, who appointed Quintus Fabius Maximus Rullianus master of the horse: a pair of commanders distinguished for their exploits in war; more so, however, for a quarrel between themselves, and which proceeded almost to violence. The other consul, in the territory of the Vestinians, carried on operations of various kinds; and, in all, was uniformly successful. For he both utterly laid waste their lands, and, by spoiling and burning their houses and corn, compelled them to come to an engagement; and, in one battle, he reduced the strength of the Vestinians to such a degree, though not without loss on his own side, that the enemy not only fled to their camp, but, fearing even to trust to the rampart and trench, dispersed from thence into the several towns, in hopes of finding security in the situation and fortifications of their cities. At last, having undertaken to reduce their towns by force, amid the great ardor of the soldiers, and their resentment for the wounds which they had received, (hardly one of them having come out of the battle unhurt,) he took Cutina by scalade, and afterwards Cingilia. The spoil of both cities he gave to the soldiers, in consideration of their having bravely surmounted the obstruction both of gates and walls.
30. The commanders entered Samnium under uncertain auspices; an informality which pointed, not at the event of war, for that was prosperous, but at the furious passions and the quarrels which broke out between the leaders. For Papirius the dictator, returning to Rome in order to take the auspices anew, in consequence of a caution received from the aruspex, left strict orders with the master of the horse to remain in his post, and not to engage in battle during his absence. After the departure of the dictator, Fabius having discovered by his scouts that the enemy were in as unguarded a state as if there was not a single Roman in Samnium, the high-spirited youth, (either conceiving indignation at the sole authority in every point appearing to be lodged in the hands of the dictator, or induced by the opportunity of striking an important blow,) having made the necessary preparations and dispositions, marched to a place called Imbrinium, and there fought a battle with the Samnites. His success in the fight was such, that there was no one circumstance which could have been improved to more advantage, if the dictator had been present. The leader was not wanting to the soldiers, nor the soldiers to their leader. The cavalry too, (finding, after repeated charges, that they could not break the ranks,) by the advice of Lucius Cominius, a military tribune, pulled off the bridles from their horses and spurred them on so furiously, that no power could withstand them; forcing their way through the thickest of the enemy, they bore down every thing before them; and the infantry seconding the charge, the whole body was thrown into confusion. Twenty thousand of the enemy are said to have fallen on that day. I have authority for saying that there were two battles fought during the dictator's absence, and two victories obtained; but, according to the most ancient writers, only this one is found, and in some histories the whole transaction is omitted. The master of the horse getting possession of abundance of spoils, in consequence of the great numbers slain, collected the arms into a huge heap, and burned them; either in pursuance of a vow to some of the gods, or, if we choose to credit the authority of Fabius, it was done on this account, that the dictator might not reap the fruits of his glory, inscribe his name on them, or carry the spoils in triumph. His letters also, containing an account of the success, being sent to the senate, not to the dictator, showed plainly that he wished not to impart to him any share of the honor; who certainly viewed the proceeding in this light, for while others rejoiced at the victory obtained, he showed only surliness and anger; insomuch that, immediately dismissing the senate, he hastened out of the senate-house, and frequently repeated with warmth, that the legions of the Samnites were not more effectually vanquished and overthrown by the master of the horse, than were the dictatorial dignity and military discipline, if such contempt of orders escaped with impunity. Thus, breathing resentment and menaces, he set out for the camp; but, though he travelled with all possible expedition, he was unable, however, to outstrip the report of his coming. For messengers had started from the city before him, who brought intelligence that the dictator was coming, eager for vengeance, and in almost every second sentence applauding the conduct of Titus Manlius.
31. Fabius instantly called an assembly, and entreated the soldiers to "show the same courage in protecting him, under whose conduct and auspices they had conquered, from the outrageous cruelty of the dictator, which they had so lately displayed in defending the commonwealth from its most inveterate enemies. He was now coming," he told them, "frantic with envy; enraged at another's bravery and success, he was mad, because, in his absence, the business of the public had been executed, with remarkable success; and if he could change the fortune of the engagement, would wish the Samnites in possession of victory rather than the Romans. He talked much of contempt of orders; as if his prohibition of fighting were not dictated by the same motive, which caused his vexation at the fight having taken place. He wished to shackle the valor of others through envy, and meant to take away the soldiers' arms when they were most eager for action, and that no use might be made of them in his absence: he was further enraged too, because without Lucius Papirius the soldiers were not without hands or arms, and because Quintus Fabius considered himself as master of the horse, not as a beadle to the dictator. How would he have behaved, had the issue of the fight been unfortunate; which, through the chances of war and the uncertainty of military operations, might have been the case; since now, when the enemy has been vanquished, (as completely, indeed, as if that leader's own singular talents had been employed in the matter,) he yet threatens the master of the horse with punishment? Nor is he more incensed against the master of the horse, than against the military tribunes, the centurions, and the soldiers. On all, he would vent his rage if he could; and because that is not in his power, he vents it on one. Envy, like flame, soars upwards; aims at the summit; that he makes his attack on the head of the business, on the leader. If he could put him out of the way, together with the glory of the service performed, he would then lord it, like a conqueror over vanquished troops; and, without scruple, practice against the soldiers what he had been allowed to act against their commander. That they should, therefore, in his cause, support the general liberty of all. If the dictator perceived among the troops the same unanimity in justifying their victory that they had displayed in the battle, and that all interested themselves in the safety of one, it would bend his temper to milder counsels. In fine," he told them, "that he committed his life, and all his interests, to their honor and to their courage."
32. His speech was received with the loudest acclamations from every part of the assembly, bidding him "have courage; for while the Roman legions were in being, no man should offer him violence." Not long after, the dictator arrived, and instantly summoned an assembly by sound of trumpet. Then silence being made, a crier cited Quintus Fabius, master of the horse, and as soon as, on the lower ground, he had approached the tribunal, the dictator said, "Quintus Fabius, I demand of you, when the authority of dictator is acknowledged to be supreme, and is submitted to by the consuls, officers endowed with regal power; and likewise by the prætors, created under the same auspices with consuls; whether or no you think it reasonable that it should not meet obedience from a master of the horse? I also ask you whether, when I knew that I set out from home under uncertain auspices, the safety of the commonwealth ought to have been endangered by me, whilst the omens were confused, or whether the auspices ought to be newly taken, so that nothing might be done while the will of the gods remained doubtful? And further, when a religious scruple was of such a nature as to hinder the dictator from acting, whether the master of the horse could be exempt from it and at liberty? But why do I ask these questions, when, though I had gone without leaving any orders, your own judgment ought to have been regulated according to what you could discover of my intention? Why do you not answer? Did I not forbid you to act, in any respect, during my absence? Did I not forbid you to engage the enemy? Yet, in contempt of these my orders, while the auspices were uncertain, while the omens were confused, contrary to the practice of war, contrary to the discipline of our ancestors, and contrary to the authority of the gods, you dared to enter on the fight. Answer to these questions proposed to you. On any other matter utter not a word. Lictor, draw near him." To each of these particulars, Fabius, finding it no easy matter to answer, at one time remonstrated against the same person acting as accuser and judge, in a cause which affected his very existence; at another, he asserted that his life should sooner be forced from him, than the glory of his past services; clearing himself and accusing the other by turns; so then Papirius' anger blazing out with fresh fury, he ordered the master of the horse to be stripped, and the rods and axes to be got ready. Fabius, imploring the protection of the soldiers, while the lictors were tearing his garments, betook himself to the quarters of the veterans, who were already raising a commotion in the assembly: from them the uproar spread through the whole body; in one place the voice of supplication was heard; in another, menaces. Those who happened to stand nearest to the tribunal, because, being under the eyes of the general, they could easily be known, entreated him to spare the master of the horse, and not in him to condemn the whole army. The remoter parts of the assembly, and the crowd collected round Fabius, railed at the unrelenting spirit of the dictator, and were not far from mutiny; nor was even the tribunal perfectly quiet. The lieutenants-general standing round the general's seat besought him to adjourn the business to the next day, and to allow time to his anger, and room for consideration; representing that "the indiscretion of Fabius had been sufficiently rebuked; his victory sufficiently disgraced; and they begged him not to proceed to the extreme of severity; not to brand with ignominy a youth of extraordinary merit, or his father, a man of most illustrious character, together with the whole family of the Fabii." When they made but little impression either by their prayers or arguments, they desired him to observe the violent ferment of the assembly, and told him that "while the soldiers' tempers were heated to such a degree, it became not either his age or his wisdom to kindle them into a flame, and afford matter for a mutiny; that no one would lay the blame of such an event on Quintus Fabius, who only deprecated punishment; but on the dictator, if, blinded by resentment, he should, by an ill-judged contest, draw on himself the fury of the multitude: and lest he should think that they acted from motives of regard to Quintus Fabius, they were ready to make oath that, in their judgment, it was not for the interest of the commonwealth that Quintus Fabius should be punished at that time."
33. When by these expostulations they rather irritated the dictator against themselves, than appeased his anger against the master of the horse, the lieutenants-general were ordered to go down from the tribunal; and after several vain attempts were made to procure silence by means of a crier, the noise and tumult being so great that neither the voice of the dictator himself, nor that of his apparitors, could be heard; night, as in the case of a battle, put an end to the contest. The master of the horse was ordered to attend on the day following; but when all assured him that Papirius, being agitated and exasperated in the course of the present contention, would proceed against him with greater violence, he fled privately from the camp to Rome; where, by the advice of his father, Marcus Fabius, who had been three times consul, and likewise dictator, he immediately called a meeting of the senate. While he was strenuously complaining before the fathers of the rage and injustice of the dictator, on a sudden was heard the noise of lictors before the senate-house, clearing the way, and Papirius himself arrived, full of resentment, having followed, with a guard of light horse, as soon as he heard that the other had quitted the camp. The contention then began anew, and the dictator ordered Fabius to be seized. Where, when his unrelenting spirit persisted in its purpose, notwithstanding the united intercessions of the principal patricians, and of the whole senate, Fabius, the father, then said, "Since neither the authority of the senate has any weight with you; nor my age, which you wish to render childless; nor the noble birth and merit of a master of the horse, nominated by yourself; nor prayers which have often mitigated the rage of an enemy, and which appease the wrath of the gods; I call upon the tribunes of the commons for support, and appeal to the people; and since you decline the judgment of your own army, as well as of the senate, I call you before a judge who must certainly be allowed, though no other should, to possess more power and authority than yourself, though dictator. I shall see whether you will submit to an appeal, to which Tullus Hostilius, a Roman king, submitted." They proceeded directly from the senate-house to the assembly; where, being arrived, the dictator attended by few, the master of the horse by all the people of the first rank in a body, Papirius commanded him to be taken from the rostrum to the lower ground; his father, following him, said, "You do well in ordering us to be brought down to a place where even as private persons we have liberty of speech." At first, instead of regular speeches, nothing but altercation was heard; at length, the indignation of old Fabius, and the strength of his voice, got the better of noise, while he reproached Papirius with arrogance and cruelty. "He himself," he said, "had been dictator at Rome; and no man, not even the lowest plebeian, or centurion, or soldier, had been outraged by him. But Papirius sought for victory and triumph over a Roman commander, as over the generals of the enemy. What an immense difference between the moderation of the ancients, and modern oppression and cruelty. Quinctius Cincinnatus when dictator exercised no further severity on Lucius Minucius the consul, although rescued by him from a siege, than leaving him at the head of the army, in the quality of lieutenant-general, instead of consul. Marcus Furius Camillus, in the case of Lucius Furius, who, in contempt of his great age and authority, had fought a battle with a most disgraceful result, not only restrained his anger at the time so as to write no unfavorable representation of his conduct to the people or the senate; but after returning home, when the patricians gave him a power of electing from among his colleagues whoever he might approve as an associate with himself in the command, chose that very man in preference to all the other consular tribunes. Nay, that not even the resentment of the people, with whom lay the supreme power in all cases, was ever exercised with greater severity towards those who, through rashness and ignorance, had occasioned the loss of armies, than the fining them in a sum of money. Until that day, a capital prosecution for ill conduct in war had never been instituted against any commander, but now generals of the Roman people when victorious, and meriting the most honorable triumphs, are threatened with rods and axes; a treatment which would not have been deemed allowable, even towards those who had been defeated by an enemy. What would his son have to suffer, if he had occasioned the loss of the army? if he had been routed, put to flight, and driven out of his camp? To what greater length could his resentment and violence be stretched, than to scourge him, and put him to death? How was it consistent with reason, that through the means of Quintus Fabius, the state should be filled with joy, exulting in victory, and occupied in thanksgivings and congratulations; while at the same time, he who had given occasion to the temples of the gods being thrown open, their altars yet smoking with sacrifices, and loaded with honors and offerings, should be stripped naked, and torn with stripes in the sight of the Roman people; within view of the Capitol and citadel, and of those gods not in vain invoked in two different battles? With what temper would the army which had conquered under his conduct and auspices have borne it? What mourning would there be in the Roman camp! what joy among their enemies!" This speech he accompanied with an abundant flow of tears; uniting reproaches and complaints, imploring the aid both of gods and men, and warmly embracing his son.
34. On his side stood the majesty of the senate, the favor of the people, the support of the tribunes, and regard for the absent army. On the other side were urged the inviolable authority of the Roman government and military discipline; the edict of the dictator, always observed as the mandate of a deity; the orders of Manlius, and his postponing even parental affection to public utility. "The same also," said the dictator, "was the conduct of Lucius Brutus, the founder of Roman liberty, in the case of his two sons. That now fathers were become indulgent, and the aged indifferent in the case of the authority of others being despised, and indulge the young in the subversion of military order, as if it were a matter of trifling consequence. For his part, however, he would persevere in his purpose, and would not remit the smallest part of the punishment justly due to a person who fought contrary to his orders, while the rites of religion were imperfectly executed, and the auspices uncertain. Whether the majesty of the supreme authority was to be perpetual or not, depended not on him; but Lucius Papirius would not diminish aught of its rights. He wished that the tribunitian office, inviolate itself, would not by its interposition violate the authority of the Roman government; nor the Roman people, to their own detriment particularly, annihilate the dictator and the rights of the dictatorship together. But if this should be the case, not Lucius Papirius but the tribunes and the people would be blamed by posterity in vain; when military discipline being once dissolved, the soldier would no longer obey the orders of the centurion, the centurion those of the tribune, the tribune those of the lieutenant-general, the lieutenant-general those of the consul, nor the master of the horse those of the dictator. No one would then pay any deference to men, no, nor even to the gods. Neither edicts of generals nor auspices would be observed. The soldiers, without leave of absence, would straggle at random through the lands of friends and of foes; and regardless of their oath would, influenced solely by a wanton humor, quit the service whenever they might choose. The standards would be unattended and forsaken: the men would neither assemble in pursuance of orders, nor would any distinction be made as to fighting by night or by day, on favorable or unfavorable ground, by order or without the the orders of the general; nor would they observe standards or ranks; the service, instead of being solemn and sacred, would be confused and the result of mere chance, like that of freebooters. Render yourselves then, tribunes of the commons, accountable for all these evils to all future ages. Expose your own persons to these heavy imputations in defense of the licentious conduct of Quintus Fabius."
35. The tribunes now confounded, and more anxiously concerned at their own situation than at his for whom their support was sought, were freed from this embarrassment by the Roman people unanimously having recourse to prayers and entreaties, that the dictator would, for their sakes, remit the punishment of the master of the horse. The tribunes likewise, following the example set them of employing entreaties, earnestly beseech the dictator to pardon human error, to consider the immaturity of the offender's age; that he had suffered sufficiently; and now the youth himself, now his father, Marcus Fabius, disclaiming further contest, fell at the dictator's knees and deprecated his wrath. Then the dictator, after causing silence, said, "Romans, it is well. Military discipline has prevailed; the majesty of government has prevailed; both which were in danger of ceasing this day to exist. Quintus Fabius, who fought contrary to the order of his commander, is not acquitted of guilt; but after being condemned as guilty, is granted as a boon to the Roman people; is granted to the college of tribunes, supporting him with their prayers, not with the regular power of their office. Live, Quintus Fabius, more happy in this united sympathy of the state for your preservation, than in the victory in which you lately exulted. Live, after having ventured on such an act, as your father himself, had he been in the place of Lucius Papirius, would not have pardoned. With me you shall be reconciled whenever you wish it. To the Roman people, to whom you owe your life, you can perform no greater service than to let this day teach you a sufficient lesson to enable you to submit to lawful commands, both in war and peace." He then declared, that he no longer detained the master of the horse, and as he retired from the rostrum, the senate being greatly rejoiced, and the people still more so, gathered round him and escorted him, on one hand commending the dictator, on the other congratulating the master of the horse; while it was considered that the authority of military command was confirmed no less effectually by the danger of Quintus Fabius that the lamentable punishment of young Manlius. It so happened, that, through the course of that year, as often as the dictator left the army the Samnites were in motion: but Marcus Valerius, the lieutenant-general who commanded in the camp, had Quintus Fabius before his eyes for an example, not to fear any violence of the enemy, so much as the unrelenting anger of the dictator. So that when a body of his foragers fell into an ambuscade and were cut to pieces in disadvantageous ground, it was generally believed that the lieutenant-general could have given them assistance if he had not been held in dread by his rigorous orders. The resentment for this also alienated the affections of the soldiery from the dictator, already incensed against him because he had been implacable towards Quintus Fabius, and because he had granted him pardon at the intercession of the Roman people, a thing which he had refused to their entreaties.
36. The dictator, having appointed Lucius Papirius Crassus, as master of the horse, to the command of the city, and prohibited Quintus Fabius from acting in any case as magistrate, returned to the camp; where his arrival brought neither any great joy to his countrymen, nor any degree of terror to the enemy: for on the day following, either not knowing that the dictator had arrived, or little regarding whether he were present or absent, they approached his camp in order of battle. Of such importance, however, was that single man, Lucius Papirius, that had the zeal of the soldiers seconded the dispositions of the commander, no doubt was entertained that an end might have been put that day to the war with the Samnites; so judiciously did he draw up his army with respect to situation and reserves, in such a manner did he strengthen them with every advantage of military skill: but the soldiers exerted no vigor; and designedly kept from conquering, in order to injure the reputation of their leader. Of the Samnites, however, very many were slain; and great numbers of the Romans wounded. The experienced commander quickly perceived the circumstance which prevented his success, and that it would be necessary to moderate his temper, and to mingle mildness with austerity. Accordingly, attended by the lieutenants-general, going round to the wounded soldiers, thrusting his head into their tents, and asking them, one by one, how they were in health; then, mentioning them by name, he gave them in charge to the officers, tribunes, and præfects. This behavior, popular in itself, he maintained with such dexterity, that by his attention to their recovery he gradually gained their affection; nor did any thing so much contribute towards their recovery as the circumstance of this attention being received with gratitude. The army being restored to health, he came to an engagement with the enemy; and both himself and the troops, being possessed with full confidence of success, he so entirely defeated and dispersed the Samnites, that that was the last day they met the dictator in the field. The victorious army, afterwards, directed its march wherever a prospect of booty invited, and traversed the enemies' territories, encountering not a weapon, nor any opposition, either openly or by stratagem. It added to their alacrity, that the dictator had, by proclamation, given the whole spoil to the soldiers; so that they were animated not only by the public quarrel, but by their private emolument. Reduced by these losses, the Samnites sued to the dictator for peace, and, after they had engaged to supply each of his soldiers with a suit of clothes and a year's pay, being ordered to apply to the senate, they answered, that they would follow the dictator, committing their cause wholly to his integrity and honor. On this the troops were withdrawn out of Samnium.
37. The dictator entered the city in triumph; and, though desirous of resigning his office immediately, yet, by order of the senate, he held it until the consuls were elected: these were Caius Sulpicius Longus a second time, and Quintus Æmilius Cerretanus. The Samnites, without finishing the treaty of peace, the terms being still in negotiation, brought home with them a truce for a year. Nor was even that faithfully observed; so strongly was their inclination for war excited, on hearing that Papirius was gone out of office. In this consulate of Caius Sulpicius and Quintus Æmilius, (some histories have Aulius,) to the revolt of the Samnites was added a new war with the Apulians. Armies were sent against both. The Samnites fell by lot to Sulpicius, the Apulians to Æmilius. Some writers say, that this war was not waged with the Apulians, but that the allied states of that nation were defended against the violence and injustice of the Samnites. But the circumstances of the Samnites, who could with difficulty, at that period, support a war in which themselves were engaged, render it more probable that they did not make war on the Apulians, but that both nations were in arms against the Romans at the same time. However, no memorable event occurred. The lands of the Apulians and of Samnium were utterly laid waste; but in neither quarter were the enemy to be found. At Rome, an alarm, which happened in the night, suddenly roused the people from their sleep, in such a fright, that the Capitol and citadel, the walls and gates, were all filled with men in arms. But after they had called all to their posts, and run together in bodies, in every quarter, when day approached, neither the author nor cause of the alarm could be discovered. This year, in pursuance to the advice of Flavius, the Tusculans were brought to a trial before the people. Marcus Flavius, a tribune of the commons, proposed, that punishment should be inflicted on those of the Tusculans, "by whose advice and assistance the Veliternians and Privernians had made war on the Roman people." The Tusculans, with their wives and children, came to Rome. The whole party in mourning habits, like persons under accusation, went round the tribes, throwing themselves at the feet of the citizens. The compassion thus excited operated more effectually towards procuring them pardon, than all their arguments did towards clearing them of guilt. Every one of the tribes, except the Pollian, negatived the proposition. The sentence of the Pollian tribe was, that the grown-up males should be beaten and put to death, and their wives and children sold by auction, according to the rules of war. It appears that the resentment which rose against the advisers of so rigorous a measure, was retained in memory by the Tusculans down to the age of our fathers; and that hardly any candidate of the Pollian tribe could, ever since, gain the votes of the Papirian.
38. On the following year, in the consulate of Quintus Fabius and Lucius Fulvius, Aulus Cornelius Arvina being made dictator, and Marcus Fabius Ambustus master of the horse, a levy being held with more than usual rigor in consequence of their apprehension of a very serious war in Samnium, (for it was reported that some young men had been hired from their neighbors,) led forth a very strong army against the Samnites. Although in a hostile country, their camp was pitched in as careless a manner as if the foe were at a great distance; when, suddenly, the legions of the Samnites approached with so much boldness as to advance their rampart close to an out-post of the Romans. Night was now coming on; that prevented their assaulting the works; but they did not conceal their intention of doing so next day, as soon as the light should appear. The dictator found that there would be a necessity for fighting sooner than he had expected, and lest the situation should be an obstruction to the bravery of the troops, he led away the legions in silence, leaving a great number of fires the better to deceive the enemy. On account of the proximity of the camps, however, he could not escape their observation: their cavalry instantly pursued, and pressed closely on his troops, in such a way as to refrain from attacking them until the day appeared. Their infantry did not even quit their camp before daylight. As soon as it was dawn, the cavalry venturing to attack the enemy by harassing the Roman rear, and pressing them in places of difficult passage, considerably delayed their march. Meanwhile their infantry overtook the cavalry; and now the Samnites pursued close with their entire force. The dictator then, finding that he could no longer go forward without great inconvenience, ordered the spot where he stood to be measured out for a camp. But it was impossible, while the enemy's horse were spread about on every side, that palisades could be brought, and the work be begun: seeing it, therefore, impracticable, either to march forward or to settle himself there, he drew up his troops for battle, removing the baggage out of the line. The enemy likewise formed their line opposite to his; fully equal both in spirit and in strength. Their courage was chiefly improved from not knowing that the motive of the Romans' retreat was the incommodiousness of the ground, so that they imagined themselves objects of terror, and supposed that they were pursuing men who fled through fear. This kept the balance of the fight equal for a considerable time; though, of late, it had been unusual with the Samnites to stand even the shout of a Roman army. Certain it is, that the contest, on this day, continued so very doubtful from the third hour to the eighth, that neither was the shout repeated, after being raised at the first onset, nor the standards moved either forward or backward; nor any ground lost on either side. They fought without taking breath or looking behind them, every man in his post, and pushing against their opponents with their shields. The noise continuing equal, and the terror of the fight the same, seemed to denote, that the decision would be effected either by fatigue or by the night. The men had now exhausted their strength, the sword its power, and the leaders their skill; when, on a sudden, the Samnite cavalry, having learned from a single troop which had advanced beyond the rest, that the baggage of the Romans lay at a distance from their army, without any guard or defense; through eagerness for booty, they attack it: of which the dictator being informed by a hasty messenger, said, "Let them only encumber themselves with spoils." Afterwards came several, one after another, crying out, that they were plundering and carrying off all the effects of the soldiers: he then called to him the master of the horse, and said, "Do you see, Marcus Fabius, that the fight has been forsaken by the enemy's cavalry? They are entangled and encumbered with our baggage. Attack them whilst scattered about, as is the case of every multitude employed in plundering; you will find few mounted on horseback, few with swords in their hands; and, while they are loading their horses with spoil, and unarmed, put them to the sword, and make it bloody spoil for them. I will take care of the legions, and the fight of the infantry: yours be the honor which the horse shall acquire."
39. The body of cavalry, in the most exact order possible, charging the enemy, who were straggling and embarrassed, filled every place with slaughter: for amid the packages which they hastily threw down, and which lay in the way of their feet, and of the affrighted horses, as they endeavored to escape, being now unable either to fight or fly, they are slaughtered. Then Fabius, after he had almost entirely cut off the enemy's horse, led round his squadrons in a small circuit, and attacked the infantry in the rear. The new shout, raised in that quarter, terrified the Samnites on the one hand; and when, on the other, the dictator saw their troops in the van looking behind them, their battalions in confusion, and their line wavering, he earnestly exhorted and animated his men, calling on the tribunes and chief centurions, by name, to join him in renewing the fight. Raising the shout anew, they pressed forward, and as they advanced, perceived the enemy more and more confused. The cavalry now could be seen by those in front, and Cornelius, turning about to the several companies, made them understand, by raising his voice and hands, that he saw the standards and bucklers of his own horsemen. On hearing which, and at the same time seeing them, they, at once, so far forgot the fatigue which they had endured through almost the whole day, and even their wounds, that they rushed on against the enemy with as much vigor and alacrity as if they were coming fresh out of camp on receiving the signal for battle. The Samnites could no longer sustain the charge of horse and foot together; part of them, enclosed on both sides, were cut off; the rest were scattered and fled different ways. The infantry slew those who were surrounded and made resistance; and the cavalry made great havoc of the fugitives, among whom fell their general. This battle crushed, at length, the power of the Samnites so effectually, that, in all their meetings, they said, "it was not at all to be wondered at, if in an impious war, commenced in violation of a treaty, when the gods were, with justice, more incensed against them than men, they succeeded in none of their undertakings. That war must be expiated and atoned for with a heavy penalty. The only alternative they had, was whether the penalty should be the guilty blood of a few, or the innocent blood of all." Some now ventured to name the authors of the war; one name in particular, by the united voices of all, was mentioned, that of Brutulus Papius; he was a man of power and noble birth, and undoubtedly the violator of the late truce. The prætors being compelled to take the opinion of the assembly concerning him, a decree was made, "that Brutulus Papius should be delivered into the hands of the Romans; and that, together with him, all the spoil taken from the Romans, and the prisoners, should be sent to Rome, and that the restitution demanded by the heralds, in conformity to treaty, should be made, as was agreeable to justice and equity." In pursuance of this determination heralds were sent to Rome, and also the dead body of Brutulus; for, by a voluntary death, he avoided the punishment and ignominy intended for him. It was thought proper that his goods also should be delivered up along with the body. But none of all those things were accepted, except the prisoners, and such articles of the spoil as were recognized by the owners. The dictator obtained a triumph by a decree of the senate.
40. Some writers affirm, that this war was conducted by the consuls, and that they triumphed over the Samnites; and also, that Fabius advanced into Apulia, and carried off from thence abundance of spoil. But that Aulus Cornelius was dictator that year is an undisputed fact. The question then is, whether he was appointed for the purpose of conducting the war, or on occasion of the illness of Lucius Plautius, the prætor; in order that there might be a magistrate to give the signal for the starting of the chariots at the Roman games. This latter is asserted of him; and that after performing the business, which in truth reflected no great luster on his office, he resigned the dictatorship. It is not easy to determine between either the facts or the writers, which of them deserves the preference: I am inclined to think that history has been much corrupted by means of funeral panegyrics and false inscriptions on statues; each family striving by false representations to appropriate to itself the fame of warlike exploits and public honors. From this cause, certainly, both the actions of individuals and the public records of events have been confused. Nor is there extant any writer, contemporary with those events, on whose authority we can with certainty rely.
Titus Veturius and Spurius Postumius, with their army, surrounded by the Samnites at the Caudine forks; enter into a treaty, give six hundred hostages, and are sent under the yoke. The treaty declared invalid; the two generals and the other sureties sent back to the Samnites, but are not accepted. Not long after, Papirius Cursor obliterates this disgrace, by vanquishing the Samnites, sending them under the yoke, and recovering the hostages. Two tribes added. Appius Claudius, censor, constructs the Claudian aqueduct, and the Appian road; admits the sons of freedom into the senate. Successes against the Apulians, Etruscans, Umbrians, Marsians, Pelignians, Aequans, and Samnites. Mention made of Alexander the Great, who flourished at this time; a comparative estimate of his strength, and that of the Roman people, tending to show, that if he had carried his arms into Italy, he would not have been as successful there as he had been in the Eastern countries.
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1. This year is followed by the convention of Caudium, so memorable on account of the misfortune of the Romans, the consuls being Titus Veturius Calvinus and Spurius Postumius. The Samnites had as their commander that year Caius Ponius, son to Herennius, born of a father most highly renowned for wisdom, and himself a consummate warrior and commander. When the ambassadors, who had been sent to make restitution, returned, without concluding a peace, he said, "That ye may not think that no purpose has been effected by this embassy, whatever degree of anger the deities of heaven had conceived against us, on account of the infraction of the treaty, has been hereby expiated. I am very confident, that whatever deities they were, whose will it was that you should be reduced to the necessity of making the restitution, which had been demanded according to the treaty, it was not agreeable to them, that our atonement for the breach of treason should be so haughtily spurned by the Romans. For what more could possibly be done towards appeasing the gods, and softening the anger of men, than we have done? The effects of the enemy, taken among the spoils, which appeared to be our own by the right of war, we restored: the authors of the war, as we could not deliver them up alive, we delivered them dead: their goods we carried to Rome, lest by retaining them, any degree of guilt should remain among us. What more, Roman, do I owe to thee? what to the treaty? what to the gods, the guarantees of the treaty? What arbitrator shall I call in to judge of your resentment, and of my punishment? I decline none; neither nation nor private person.
But if nothing in human law is left to the weak against stronger, I will appeal to the gods, the avengers of intolerant arrogance, and will beseech them to turn their wrath against those for whom neither the restoration of their own effects nor additional heaps of other men's property, can suffice, whose cruelty is not satiated by the death of the guilty, by the surrender of their lifeless bodies, nor by their goods accompanying the surrender of the owner; who cannot be appeased otherwise than by giving them our blood to drink, and our entrails to be torn. Samnites, war is just to those for whom it is necessary, and arms are clear of impiety for those who have no hope left but in arms. Wherefore, as in every human undertaking, it is of the utmost importance what matter men may set about with the favor, what under the displeasure of the gods, be assured that the former wars ye waged in opposition to the gods more than to men; in this, which is now impending, ye will act under the immediate guidance of the gods themselves."
2. After uttering these predictions, not more cheering than true, he led out the troops, and placed his camp about Caudium as much out of view as possible. From thence he sent to Calatia, where he heard that the Roman consuls were encamped, ten soldiers, in the habit of shepherds, and ordered them to keep some cattle feeding in several different places, at a small distance from the Roman posts; and that, when they fell in with any of their foragers, they should all agree in the same story, that the legions of the Samnites were then in Apulia, that they were besieging Luceria with their whole force, and very near taking it by storm. Such a rumor had been industriously spread before, and had already reached the Romans; but these prisoners increased the credit of it, especially as they all concurred in the same report. There was no doubt but that the Romans would carry succor to the Lucerians, as being good and faithful allies; and for this further reason, lest all Apulia, through apprehension of the impending danger, might go over to the enemy. The only point of deliberation was, by what road they should go. There were two roads leading to Luceria, one along the coast of the upper sea, wide and open; but, as it was the safer, so it was proportionably longer: the other, which was shorter, through the Caudine forks. The nature of the place is this: there are two deep glens, narrow and covered with wood, connected together by mountains ranging on both sides from one to the other; between these lies a plain of considerable extent, enclosed in the middle, abounding in grass and water, and through the middle of which the passage runs: but before you can arrive at it, the first defile must be passed, while the only way back is through the road by which you entered it; or if in case of resolving to proceed forward, you must go by the other glen, which is still more narrow and difficult. Into this plain the Romans, having marched down their troops by one of those passes through the cleft of a rock, when they advanced onward to the other defile, found it blocked up by trees thrown across, and a mound of huge stones lying in their way. When the stratagem of the enemy now became apparent, there is seen at the same time a body of troops on the eminence over the glen. Hastening back, then, they proceed to retrace the road by which they had entered; they found that also shut up by such another fence, and men in arms. Then, without orders, they halted; amazement took possession of their minds, and a strange kind of numbness seized their limbs: they then remained a long time motionless and silent, each looking to the other, as if each thought the other more capable of judging and advising than himself. After some time, when they saw that the consul's pavilions were being erected, and that some were getting ready the implements for throwing up works, although they were sensible that it must appear ridiculous the attempt to raise a fortification in their present desperate condition, and when almost every hope was lost, would be an object of necessity, yet, not to add a fault to their misfortunes, they all, without being advised or ordered by any one, set earnestly to work, and enclosed a camp with a rampart, close to the water, while themselves, besides that the enemy heaped insolent taunts on them, seemed with melancholy to acknowledge the apparent fruitlessness of their toil and labor. The lieutenants-general and tribunes, without being summoned to consultation, (for there was no room for either consultation or remedy,) assembled round the dejected consul; while the soldiers, crowding to the general's quarters, demanded from their leaders that succor, which it was hardly in the power of the immortal gods themselves to afford them.
3. Night came on them while lamenting their situation rather than consulting, whilst they urged expedients, each according to his temper; one crying out, "Let us go over those fences of the roads;" others, "over the steeps; through the woods; any way, where arms can be carried. Let us be but permitted to come to the enemy, whom we have been used to conquer now near thirty years. All places will be level and plain to a Roman, fighting against the perfidious Samnite." Another would say, "Whither, or by what way can we go? Do we expect to remove the mountains from their foundations? While these cliffs hang over us, by what road will you reach the enemy? Whether armed or unarmed, brave or dastardly, we are all, without distinction, captured and vanquished. The enemy will not even show us a weapon by which we might die with honor. He will finish the war without moving from his seat." In such discourse, thinking of neither food nor rest, the night was passed. Nor could the Samnites, though in circumstances so joyous, instantly determine how to act: it was therefore universally agreed that Herennius Pontius, father of the general, should be consulted by letter. He was now grown feeble through age, and had withdrawn himself, not only from all military, but also from all civil occupations; yet, notwithstanding the decline of his bodily strength, his mind retained its full vigor. When he heard that the Roman armies were shut up at the Caudine forks between the two glens, being consulted by his son's messenger, he gave his opinion, that they should all be immediately dismissed from thence unhurt. On this counsel being rejected, and the same messenger returning a second time, he recommended that they should all, to a man, be put to death. When these answers, so opposite to each other, like those of an ambiguous oracle, were given, although his son in particular considered that the powers of his father's mind, together with those of his body, had been impaired by age, was yet prevailed on, by the general desire of all, to send for him to consult him. The old man, we are told, complied without reluctance, and was carried in a wagon to the camp, where, when summoned to give his advice, he spoke in such way as to make no alteration in his opinions; he only added the reasons for them. That "by his first plan, which he esteemed the best, he meant, by an act of extraordinary kindness, to establish perpetual peace and friendship with a most powerful nation: by the other, to put off the return of war to the distance of many ages, during which the Roman state, after the loss of those two armies, could not easily recover its strength." A third plan there was not. When his son, and the other chiefs, went on to ask him if "a plan of a middle kind might not be adopted; that they both should be dismissed unhurt, and, at the same time, by the right of war, terms imposed on them as vanquished?" "That, indeed," said he, "is a plan of such a nature, as neither procures friends or removes enemies. Only preserve those whom ye would irritate by ignominious treatment. The Romans are a race who know not how to sit down quiet under defeat; whatever that is which the present necessity shall brand will rankle in their breasts for ever, and will not suffer them to rest, until they have wreaked manifold vengeance on your heads." Neither of these plans was approved, and Herennius was carried home from the camp.
4. In the Roman camp also, when many fruitless efforts to force a passage had been made, and they were now destitute of every means of subsistence, forced by necessity, they send ambassadors, who were first to ask peace on equal terms; which, if they did not obtain, they were to challenge the enemy to battle. To this Pontius answered, that "the war was at an end; and since, even in their present vanquished and captive state, they were not willing to acknowledge their situation, he would send them under the yoke unarmed, each with a single garment; that the other conditions of peace should be such as were just between the conquerors and the conquered. If their troops would depart, and their colonies be withdrawn out of the territories of the Samnites; for the future, the Romans and Samnites, under a treaty of equality, shall live according to their own respective laws. On these terms he was ready to negotiate with the consuls: and if any of these should not be accepted, he forbade the ambassadors to come to him again." When the result of this embassy was made known, such general lamentation suddenly arose, and such melancholy took possession of them, that had they been told that all were to die on the spot, they could not have felt deeper affliction. After silence continued a long time, and the consuls were not able to utter a word, either in favor of a treaty so disgraceful, or against a treaty so necessary; at length, Lucius Lentulus, who was the first among the lieutenants-general, both in respect of bravery, and of the public honors which he had attained, addressed them thus: "Consuls, I have often heard my father say, that he was the only person in the Capitol who did not advise the senate to ransom the state from the Gauls with gold; and these he would not concur in, because they had not been enclosed with a trench and rampart by the enemy, (who were remarkably slothful with respect to works and raising fortifications,) and because they might sally forth, if not without great danger, yet without certain destruction. Now if, in like manner as they had it in their power to run down from the Capitol in arms against their foe, as men besieged have often sallied out on the besiegers, it were possible for us to come to blows with the enemy, either on equal or unequal ground, I would not be wanting in the high quality of my father's spirit in stating my advice. I acknowledge, indeed, that death, in defense of our country, is highly glorious; and I am ready, either to devote myself for the Roman people and the legions, or to plunge into the midst of the enemy. But in this spot I behold my country: in this spot, the whole of the Roman legions, and unless these choose to rush on death in defense of their own individual characters, what have they which can be preserved by their death? The houses of the city, some may say, and the walls of it, and the crowd who dwell in it, by which the city is inhabited. But in fact, in case of the destruction of this army, all these are betrayed, not preserved. For who will protect them? An unwarlike and unarmed multitude, shall I suppose? Yes, just as they defended them against the attack of the Gauls. Will they call to their succor an army from Veii, with Camillus at its head? Here on the spot, I repeat, are all our hopes and strength; by preserving which, we preserve our country; by delivering them up to death, we abandon and betray our country. But a surrender is shameful and ignominious. True: but such ought to be our affection for our country, that we should save it by our own disgrace, if necessity required, as freely as by our death. Let therefore that indignity be undergone, how great soever, and let us submit to that necessity which even the gods themselves do not overcome. Go, consuls, ransom the state for arms, which your ancestors ransomed with gold."
5. The consuls having gone to Pontius to confer with him, when he talked, in the strain of a conqueror, of a treaty, they declared that such could not be concluded without an order of the people, nor without the ministry of the heralds, and the other customary rites. Accordingly the Caudine peace was not ratified by settled treaty, as is commonly believed, and even asserted by Claudius, but by conventional sureties. For what occasion would these be either for sureties or hostages in the former case, where the ratification is performed by the imprecation, "that whichever nation shall give occasion to the said terms being violated, may Jupiter strike that nation in like manner as the swine is struck by the heralds." The consuls, lieutenants-general, quaestors, and military tribunes, became sureties; and the names of all these who became sureties are extant; where, had the business been transacted by treaty, none would have appeared but those of the two heralds. On account of the necessary delay of the treaty six hundred horsemen were demanded as hostages, who were to suffer death if the compact were not fulfilled; a time was then fixed for delivering up the hostages, and sending away the troops disarmed. The return of the consuls renewed the general grief in the camp, insomuch that the men hardly refrained from offering violence to them, "by whose rashness," they said, "they had been brought into such a situation; and through whose cowardice they were likely to depart with greater disgrace than they came. They had employed no guide through the country, nor scouts; but were sent out blindly, like beasts into a pitfall" They cast looks on each other, viewed earnestly the arms which they must presently surrender; while their persons would be subject to the whim of the enemy: figured to themselves the hostile yoke, the scoffs of the conquerors, their haughty looks, and finally, thus disarmed, their march through the midst of an armed foe. In a word, they saw with horror the miserable journey of their dishonored band through the cities of the allies; and their return into their own country, to their parents, whither themselves, and their ancestors, had so often come in triumph. Observing, that "they alone had been conquered without a fight, without a weapon thrown, without a wound; that they had not been permitted to draw their swords, nor to engage the enemy. In vain had arms, in vain had strength, in vain had courage been given them." While they were giving vent to such grievous reflections, the fatal hour of their disgrace arrived, which was to render every circumstance still more shocking in fact, than they had preconceived it in their imaginations. First, they were ordered to go out, beyond the rampart, unarmed, and with single garments; then the hostages were surrendered, and carried into custody. The lictors were next commanded to depart from the consuls, and the robes of the latter were stripped off. This excited such a degree of commiseration in the breasts of those very men, who a little before, pouring execrations upon them, had proposed that they should be delivered up and torn to pieces, that every one, forgetting his own condition, turned away his eyes from that degradation of so high a dignity, as from a spectacle too horrid to behold.
6. First, the consuls, nearly half naked, were sent under the yoke; then each officer, according to his rank, was exposed to disgrace, and the legions successively. The enemy stood on each side under arms, reviling and mocking them; swords were pointed at most of them, several were wounded and some even slain, when their looks, rendered too fierce by the indignity to which they were subjected, gave offense to the conquerors. Thus were they led under the yoke; and what was still more intolerable, under the eyes of the enemy. When they had got clear of the defile, they seemed as if they had been drawn up from the infernal regions, and then for the first time beheld the light; yet, when they viewed the ignominious appearance of the army, the light itself was more painful to them than any kind of death could have been; so that although they might have arrived at Capua before night, yet, uncertain with respect to the fidelity of the allies, and because shame embarrassed them, in need of every thing, they threw themselves carelessly on the ground, on each side of the road: which being told at Capua, just compassion for their allies got the better of the arrogance natural to the Campanians. They immediately sent to the consuls their ensigns of office, the fasces and lictors; to the soldiers, arms, horses, clothes, and provisions in abundance: and, on their approach to Capua, the whole senate and people went out to meet them, and performed every proper office of hospitality, both public and private. But the courtesy, kind looks, and address of the allies, could not only not draw a word from them, but it could not even prevail on them to raise their eyes, or look their consoling friends in the face, so completely did shame, in addition to grief, oblige them to shun the conversation and society of these their friends. Next day, when some young nobles, who had been sent from Capua, to escort them on their road to the frontiers of Campania, returned, they were called into the senate-house, and, in answer to the inquiries of the elder members, said, that "to them they seemed deeply sunk in melancholy and dejection; that the whole body moved on in silence, almost as if dumb; the former genius of the Romans was prostrated, and that their spirit had been taken from them, together with their arms. Not one returned a salute, nor returned an answer to those who greeted them; as if, through fear, they were unable to utter a word; as if their necks still carried the yoke under which they had been sent. That the Samnites had obtained a victory, not only glorious, but lasting also; for they had subdued, not Rome merely, as the Gauls had formerly done, but what was a much wore warlike achievement, the Roman courage." When these remarks were made and attentively listened to, and the almost extinction of the Roman name was lamented in this assembly of faithful allies, Ofilius Calavius, son of Ovius, a man highly distinguished, both by his birth and conduct, and at this time further respectable on account of his age, is said to have declared that he entertained a very different opinion in the case. "This obstinate silence," said he, "those eyes fixed on the earth,--those ears deaf to all comfort,--with the shame of beholding the light,--are indications of a mind calling forth, from its inmost recesses, the utmost exertions of resentment. Either he was ignorant of the temper of the Romans, or that silence would shortly excite, among the Samnites, lamentable cries and groans; for that the remembrance of the Caudine peace would be much more sorrowful to the Samnites than to the Romans. Each side would have their own native spirit, wherever they should happen to engage, but the Samnites would not, every where, have the glens of Caudium."
7. Their disaster was, by this time, well known at Rome also. At first, they heard that the troops were shut up; afterwards the news of the ignominious peace caused greater affliction than had been felt for their danger. On the report of their being surrounded, a levy of men was begun; but when it was understood that the army had surrendered in so disgraceful a manner, the preparations were laid aside; and immediately, without any public directions, a general mourning took place, with all the various demonstrations of grief. The shops were shut; and all business ceased in the forum, spontaneously, before it was proclaimed. Laticlaves [In the original, lati clavi. The latus clavus was a tunic, or vest, ornamented with a broad stripe of purple on the fore part, worn by the senators; the knights wore a similar one, only ornamented with a narrower stripe. Gold rings were also used as badges of distinction, the common people wore iron ones.] and gold rings were laid aside: and the public were in greater tribulation, if possible, than the army itself; they were not only enraged against the commanders, the advisers and sureties of the peace, but detested even the unoffending soldiers, and asserted, that they ought not to be admitted into the city or its habitations. But these transports of passion were allayed by the arrival of the troops, which excited compassion even in the angry; for entering into the city, not like men returning into their country with unexpected safety, but in the habit and with the looks of captives, late in the evening; they hid themselves so closely in their houses, that, for the next, and several following days, not one of them could bear to come in sight of the forum, or of the public. The consuls, shut up in private, transacted no official business, except that which was wrung from them by a decree of the senate, to nominate a dictator to preside at the elections. They nominated Quintus Fabius Ambustus, and as master of the horse Publius Aelius Paetus. But they having been irregularly appointed, there were substituted in their room, Marcus Aemilius Papus dictator, and Lucius Valerius Flaccus master of the horse. But neither did these hold the elections: and the people being dissatisfied with all the magistrates of that year, an interregnum ensued. The interreges were, Quintus Fabius Maximus and Marcus Valerius Corvus, who elected consuls Quintus Publilius Philo, and Lucius Papirius Cursor a second time; a choice universally approved, for there were no commanders at that time of higher reputation.
8. They entered into office on the day they were elected, for so it had been determined by the fathers. When the customary decrees of the senate were passed, they proposed the consideration of the Caudine peace; and Publilius, who was in possession of the fasces, said, "Spurius Postumius, speak:" he arose with just the same countenance with which he had passed under the yoke, and delivered himself to this effect: "Consuls, I am well aware that I have been called up first with marked ignominy, not with honor; and that I am ordered to speak, not as being a senator, but as a person answerable as well for an unsuccessful war as for a disgraceful peace. However, since the question propounded by you is not concerning our guilt, or our punishment; waving a defense, which would not be very difficult, before men who are not unacquainted with human casualties or necessities, I shall briefly state my opinion on the matter in question; which opinion will testify, whether I meant to spare myself or your legions, when I engaged as surety to the convention, whether dishonorable or necessary: by which, however, the Roman people are not bound, inasmuch as it was concluded without their order; nor is any thing liable to be forfeited to the Samnites, in consequence of it, except our persons. Let us then be delivered up to them by the heralds, naked, and in chains. Let us free the people of the religious obligation, if we have bound them under any such; so that there may be no restriction, divine or human, to prevent your entering on the war anew, without violating either religion or justice. I am also of opinion, that the consuls, in the mean time, enlist, arm, and lead out an army; but that they should not enter the enemy's territories before every particular, respecting the surrender of us, be regularly executed. You, O immortal gods! I pray and beseech that, although it has not been your will that Spurius Postumius and Titus Veturius, as consuls, should wage war with success against the Samnites, ye may yet deem it sufficient to have seen us sent under the yoke; to have seen us bound under an infamous convention; to have seen us delivered into the hands of our foes naked and shackled, taking on our own heads the whole weight of the enemy's resentment. And grant, that the consuls and legions of Rome may wage war against the Samnites, with the same fortune with which every war has been waged before we became consuls." On his concluding this speech, men's minds were so impressed with both admiration and compassion, that now they could scarce believe him to be the same Spurius Postumius who had been the author of so shameful a peace; again lamenting, that such a man was likely to undergo, among the enemy, a punishment even beyond that of others, through resentment for annulling the peace. When all the members, extolling him with praises, expressed their approbation of his sentiments, a protest was attempted for a time by Lucius Livius and Quintus Maelius, tribunes of the commons, who said, that "the people could not be acquitted of the religious obligation by the consuls being given up, unless all things were restored to the Samnites in the same state in which they had been at Caudium; nor had they themselves deserved any punishment, for having, by becoming sureties to the peace, preserved the army of the Roman people; nor, finally, could they, being sacred and inviolable, be surrendered to the enemy or treated with violence."
9. To this Postumius replied, "In the mean time surrender us as unsanctified persons, which ye may do, without offense to religion; those sacred and inviolable personages, the tribunes, ye will afterwards deliver up as soon as they go out of office: but, if ye listen to me, they will be first scourged with rods, here in the Comitium, that they may pay this as interest for their punishment being delayed. For, as to their denying that the people are acquitted of the religious obligation, by our being given up, who is there so ignorant of the laws of the heralds, as not to know, that those men speak in that manner, that they themselves may not be surrendered, rather than because the case is really so? Still I do not deny, conscript fathers, that compacts, on sureties given, are as sacred as treaties, in the eyes of all who regard faith between men, with the same reverence which is paid to duties respecting the gods: but I insist, that without the order of the people, nothing can be ratified that is to bind the people. Suppose that, out of the same arrogance with which the Samnites wrung from us the convention in question, they had compelled us to repeat the established form of words for the surrendering of cities, would ye, tribunes, say, that the Roman people was surrendered? and, that this city, these temples, and consecrated grounds, these lands and waters, were become the property of the Samnites? I say no more of the surrender, because our having become sureties is the point insisted on. Now, suppose we had become sureties that the Roman people should quit this city; that they should set it on fire; that they should have no magistrates, no senate, no laws; that they should, in future, be ruled by kings: the gods forbid, you say. But, the enormity of the articles lessens not the obligation of a compact. If there is any thing in which the people can be bound, it can in all. Nor is there any importance in another circumstance, which weighs, perhaps, with some: whether a consul, a dictator, or a praetor, be the surety. And this, indeed, was what even the Samnites themselves proved, who were not satisfied with the security of the consuls, but compelled the lieutenants-general, quaestors, and military tribunes to join them. Let no one, then, demand of me, why I entered into such a compact, when neither such power was vested in a consul, and when I could not either to them, insure a peace, of which I could not command the ratification; or in behalf of you, who had given me no powers. Conscript fathers, none of the transactions at Caudium were directed by human wisdom. The immortal gods deprived of understanding both your generals and those of the enemy. On the one side we acted not with sufficient caution in the war; on the other, they threw away a victory, which through our folly they had obtained, while they hardly confided in the places, by means of which they had conquered; but were in haste, on any terms, to take arms out of the hands of men who were born to arms. Had their reason been sound, would it have been difficult, during the time which they spent in sending for old men from home to give them advice, to send ambassadors to Rome, and to negotiate a peace and treaty with the senate, and with the people? It would have been a journey of only three days to expeditious travellers. In the interim, matters might have rested under a truce, that is, until their ambassadors should have brought from Rome, either certain victory or peace. That would have been really a compact, on the faith of sureties, for we should have become sureties by order of the people. But, neither would ye have passed such an order, nor should we have pledged our faith; nor was it right that the affair should have any other issue, than, that they should be vainly mocked with a dream, as it were, of greater prosperity than their minds were capable of comprehending, and that the same fortune, which had entangled our army, should extricate it; that an ineffectual victory should be frustrated by a more ineffectual peace; and that a convention, on the faith of a surety, should be introduced, which bound no other person beside the surety. For what part had ye, conscript fathers; what part had the people, in this affair? Who can call upon you? Who can say, that he has been deceived by you? Can the enemy? Can a citizen? To the enemy ye engaged nothing. Ye ordered no citizen to engage on your behalf. Ye are therefore no way concerned either with us, to whom ye gave no commission; nor with the Samnites, with whom ye transacted no business. We are sureties to the Samnites; debtors, sufficiently wealthy in that which is our own, in that which we can offer--our bodies and our minds. On these, let them exercise their cruelty; against these, let them whet their resentment and their swords. As to what relates to the tribunes, consider whether the delivering them up can be effected at the present time, or if it must be deferred to another day. Meanwhile let us, Titus Veturius, and the rest concerned, offer our worthless persons, as atonements for the breaking our engagements, and, by our sufferings liberate the Roman armies."
10. Both these arguments, and, still more, the author of them, powerfully affected the senators; as they did likewise every one, not excepting even the tribunes of the commons who declared, that they would be directed by the senate. They then instantly resigned their office, and were delivered, together with the rest, to the heralds, to be conducted to Caudium. On passing this decree of the senate, it seemed as if some new light had shone upon the state: Postumius was in every mouth: they extolled him to heaven; and pronounced his conduct as equal even to the devoting act of the consul Publius Decius, and to other illustrious acts. "Through his counsel, and exertions," they said, "the state had raised up its head from an ignominious peace. He now offered himself to the enemy's rage, and to torments; and was suffering, in atonement for the Roman people." All turned their thoughts towards arms and war, [and the general cry was,] "When shall we be permitted with arms in our hands to meet the Samnites?" While the state glowed with resentment and rancor, the levies were composed almost entirely of volunteers. New legions, composed of the former soldiers, were quickly formed, and an army marched to Caudium. The heralds, who went before, on coming to the gate, ordered the sureties of the peace to be stripped of their clothes, and their hands to be tied behind their backs. As the apparitor, out of respect to his dignity, was binding Postumius in a loose manner, "Why do you not," said he, "draw the cord tight, that the surrender may be regularly performed?" Then, when they came into the assembly of the Samnites, and to the tribunal of Pontius, Aulus Cornelius Arvina, a herald, pronounced these words: "Forasmuch as these men, here present, without orders from the Roman people, the Quirites, entered into surety, that a treaty should be made, and have thereby rendered themselves criminal; now, in order that the Roman people may be freed from the crime of impiety, I here surrender these men into your hands." On the herald saying thus, Postumius gave him a stroke on the thigh with his knee, as forcibly as he could, and said with a loud voice, that "he was now a citizen of Samnium, the other a Roman ambassador; that the herald had been, by him, violently ill-treated, contrary to the law of nations; and that his people would therefore have the more justice on their side, in waging war."
11. Pontius then said, "Neither will I accept such a surrender, nor will the Samnites deem it valid. Spurius Postumius, if you believe that there are gods, why do you not undo all that has been done, or fulfill your agreement? The Samnite nation is entitled, either to all the men whom it had in its power, or, instead of them, to a peace. But why do I call on you, who, with as much regard to faith as you are able to show, return yourself a prisoner into the hands of the conqueror? I call on the Roman people. If they are dissatisfied with the convention made at the Caudine forks, let them replace the legions within the defile where they were pent up. Let there be no deception on either side. Let all that has been done pass as nothing. Let them receive again the army which they surrendered by the convention; let them return into their camp. Whatever they were in possession of, the day before the conference, let them possess again. Then let war and resolute counsels be adopted. Then let the convention, and peace, be rejected. Let us carry on the war in the same circumstances, and situations, in which we were before peace was mentioned. Let neither the Roman people blame the convention of the consuls, nor us the faith of the Roman people. Will ye never want an excuse for not standing to the compacts which ye make on being defeated? Ye gave hostages to Porsena: ye clandestinely withdrew them. Ye ransomed your state from the Gauls, for gold: while they were receiving the gold, they were put to the sword. Ye concluded a peace with us, on condition of our restoring your captured legions: that peace ye now annul; in fine, ye always spread over your fraudulent conduct some show of right. Do the Roman people disapprove of their legions being saved by an ignominious peace? Let them have their peace, and return the captured legions to the conqueror. This would be conduct consistent with faith, with treaties, and with the laws of the heralds. But that you should, in consequence of the convention, obtain what you desired, the safety of so many of your countrymen, while I obtain not, what I stipulated for on sending you back those men, a peace; is this the law which you, Aulus Cornelius, which ye, heralds, prescribe to nations? But for my part, I neither accept those men whom ye pretend to surrender, nor consider them as surrendered; nor do I hinder them from returning into their own country, which stands bound under an actual convention, formally entered into carrying with them the wrath of all the gods, whose authority is thus baffled. Wage war, since Spurius Postumius has just now struck with his knee the herald, in character of ambassador. The gods are to believe that Postumius is a citizen of Samnium, not of Rome; and that a Roman ambassador has been violated by a Samnite; and that therefore a just war has been waged against us by you. That men of years, and of consular dignity, should not be ashamed to exhibit such mockery of religion in the face of day! And should have recourse to such shallow artifices to palliate their breach of faith, unworthy even of children! Go, lictor, take off the bonds from those Romans. Let no one delay them from departing when they think proper." Accordingly they returned unhurt from Caudium to the Roman camp, having acquitted, certainly, their own faith, and perhaps that of the public.
12. The Samnites finding that instead of a peace which flattered their pride, the war was revived, and with the utmost inveteracy, not only felt, in their minds, a foreboding of all the consequences which ensued, but saw them, in a manner, before their eyes. They now, too late and in vain, applauded the plans of old Pontius, by blundering between which, they had exchanged the possession of victory for an uncertain peace; and having lost the opportunity of doing a kindness or an injury, were now to fight against men, whom they might have either put out of the way, for ever, as enemies; or engaged, for ever, as friends. And such was the change which had taken place in men's minds, since the Caudine peace, even before any trial of strength had shown an advantage on either side, that Postumius, by surrendering himself, had acquired greater renown among the Romans, than Pontius among the Samnites, by his bloodless victory. The Romans considered their being at liberty to make war, a certain victory; while the Samnites supposed the Romans victorious, the moment they resumed their arms. Meanwhile, the Satricans revolted to the Samnites, who attacked the colony of Fregellae, by a sudden surprise in the night, accompanied, as it appears, by the Satricans. From that time until day, their mutual fears kept both parties quiet: the daylight was the signal for battle, which the Fregellans contrived to maintain, for a considerable time, without loss of ground; both because they fought for their religion and liberty; and the multitude, who were unfit to bear arms, assisted them from the tops of the houses. At length a stratagem gave the advantage to the assailants; for they suffered the voice of a crier to be heard proclaiming, that "whoever laid down his arms might retire in safety." This relaxed their eagerness in the fight, and they began almost every where to throw away their arms. A part, more determined, however, retaining their arms, rushed out by the opposite gate, and their boldness brought greater safety to them, than their fear, which inclined them to credulity, did to the others: for the Samnites, having surrounded the latter with fires, burned them all to death, while they made vain appeals to the faith of gods and men. The consuls having settled the province between them, Papirius proceeded into Apulia to Luceria where the Roman horsemen, given as hostages at Caudium were kept in custody: Publilius remained in Samnium, to oppose the Caudine legions. This proceeding perplexed the minds of the Samnites: they could not safely determine either to go to Luceria, lest the enemy should press on their rear or to remain where they were, lest in the mean time Luceria should be lost. They concluded, therefore, that it would be most advisable to trust to the decision of fortune, and to take the issue of a battle with Publilius: accordingly they drew out their forces into the field.
13. When Publilius was about to engage, considering it proper to address his soldiers first, he ordered an assembly be summoned. But though they ran together to the general's quarters with the greatest alacrity, yet so loud were the clamors, demanding the fight, that none of the general's exhortations were heard: each man's own reflections on the late disgrace served as an exhortation. They advanced therefore to battle, urging the standard-bearers to hasten; at rest, in beginning the conflict, there should be any delay, in wielding their javelins and then drawing their swords, they threw away the former, as if a signal to that purpose had been given, and, drawing the latter, rushed in full speed upon the foe. Nothing of a general's skill was displayed in forming ranks or reserves; the resentment of the troops performed all, with a degree of fury little inferior to madness. The enemy, therefore, were not only completely routed, not even daring to embarrass their flight by retreating to their camp but dispersing, made towards Apulia in scattered parties: afterwards, however, collecting their forces into one body, they reached Luceria. The same exasperation, which had carried the Romans through the midst of the enemy's line, carried them forward also into their camp, where greater carnage was made, and more blood spilt, than even in the field, while the greater part of the spoil was destroyed in their rage. The other army, with the consul Papirius, had now arrived at Arpi, on the sea-coast, having passed without molestation through all the countries in their way; which was owing to the ill-treatment received by those people from the Samnites, and their hatred towards them, rather than to any favor received from the Roman people. For such of the Samnites as dwelt on the mountains in separate villages, used to ravage the low lands, and the places on the coast; and being mountaineers, and savage themselves, despised the husbandmen who were of a gentler kind, and, as generally happens, resembled the district they inhabited. Now if this tract had been favorably affected towards the Samnites, either the Roman army could have been prevented from reaching Arpi, or, as it lay between Rome and Arpi, it might have intercepted the convoys of provisions, and utterly destroyed them by the consequent scarcity of all necessaries. Even as it was, when they went from thence to Luceria, both the besiegers and the besieged were distressed equally by want. Every kind of supplies was brought to the Romans from Arpi; but in so very scanty proportion, that the horsemen had to carry corn from thence to the camp, in little bags, for the foot, who were employed in the outposts, watches, and works; and sometimes falling in with the enemy, they were obliged to throw the corn from off their horses, in order to fight. Before the arrival of the other consul and his victorious army, both provisions had been brought in to the Samnites, and reinforcements conveyed in to them from the mountains; but the coming of Publilius contracted all their resources; for, committing the siege to the care of his colleague, and keeping himself disengaged, he threw every difficulty in the way of the enemy's convoys. There being therefore little hope for the besieged, or that they would be able much longer to endure want, the Samnites, encamped at Luceria, were obliged to collect their forces from every side, and come to an engagement with Papirius.
14. At this juncture, while both parties were preparing for an action, ambassadors from the Tarentines interposed, requiring both Samnites and Romans to desist from war; with menaces, that "if either refused to agree to a cessation of hostilities, they would join their arms with the other party against them." Papirius, on hearing the purport of their embassy, as if influenced by their words, answered, that he would consult his colleague: he then sent for him, employing the intermediate time in the necessary preparations; and when he had conferred with him on a matter, about which no doubt was entertained, he made the signal for battle. While the consuls were employed in performing the religious rites and the other usual business preparatory to an engagement the Tarentine ambassadors put themselves in their way, expecting an answer: to whom Papirius said, "Tarentines, the priest reports that the auspices are favorable, and that our sacrifices have been attended with excellent omens: under the direction of the gods, we are proceeding, as you see, to action." He then ordered the standards to move, and led out the troops; thus rebuking the exorbitant arrogance of that nation, which at a time when, through intestine discord and sedition, it was unequal to the management of its own affairs, yet presumed to prescribe the bounds of peace and war to others. On the other side, the Samnites, who had neglected every preparation for fighting, either because they were really desirous of peace, or it seemed their interest to pretend to be so, in order to conciliate the favor of the Tarentines, when they saw, on a sudden, the Romans drawn up for battle, cried out, that "they would continue to be directed by the Tarentines, and would neither march out, nor carry their arms beyond the rampart. That if deceived, they would rather endure any consequence which chance may bring, than show contempt to the Tarentines, the advisers of peace." The consuls said that "they embraced the omen, and prayed that the enemy might continue in the resolution of not even defending their rampart." Then, dividing the forces between them, they advanced to the works; and, making an assault on every side at once, while some filled up the trenches, others tore down the rampart, and tumbled it into the trench. All were stimulated, not only by their native courage, but by the resentment which, since their disgrace, had been festering in their breasts. They made their way into the camp; where, every one repeating, that here was not Caudium, nor the forks, nor the impassable glens, where cunning haughtily triumphed over error; but Roman valor, which no rampart nor trench could ward off;--they slew, without distinction, those who resisted and those who fled, the armed and unarmed, freemen and slaves, young and old, men and cattle. Nor would a single animal have escaped, had not the consuls given the signal for retreat; and, by commands and threats, forced out of the camp the soldiers, greedy of slaughter. As they were highly incensed at being thus interrupted in the gratification of their vengeance, a speech was immediately addressed to them, assuring the soldiers, that "the consuls neither did nor would fall short of any one of the soldiers, in hatred toward the enemy; on the contrary, as they led the way in battle, so would they have done the same in executing unbounded vengeance, had not the consideration of the six hundred horsemen, who were confined as hostages in Luceria, restrained their inclinations; lest total despair of pardon might drive on the enemy blindly to take vengeance on them, eager to destroy them before they themselves should perish." The soldiers highly applauded this conduct, and rejoiced that their resentment had been checked, and acknowledged that every thing ought to be endured, rather than that the safety of so many Roman youths of the first distinction should be brought into danger.
15. The assembly being then dismissed, a consultation was held, whether they should press forward the siege of Luceria, with all their forces; or, whether with one of the commanders, and his army, trial should be made of the Apulians, a nation in the neighborhood still doubtful. The consul Publilius set out to make a circuit through Apulia, and in the one expedition either reduced by force, or received into alliance on conditions, a considerable number of the states. Papirius likewise, who had remained to prosecute the siege of Luceria, soon found the event agreeable to his hopes: for all the roads being blocked up through which provisions used to be conveyed from Samnium, the Samnites, who were in garrison, were reduced so low by famine, that they sent ambassadors to the Roman consul, proposing that he should raise the siege, on receiving the horsemen who were the cause of the war, to whom Papirius returned this answer, that "they ought to have consulted Pontius, son of Herennius, by whose advice they had sent the Romans under the yoke, what treatment he thought fitting for the conquered to undergo. But since, instead of offering fair terms themselves, they chose rather that they should be imposed on them by their enemies, he desired them to carry back orders to the troops in Luceria, that they should leave within the walls their arms, baggage, beasts of burthen, and all persons unfit for war. The soldiers he would send under the yoke with single garments, retaliating the disgrace formerly inflicted, not inflicting a new one." The terms were not rejected. Seven thousand soldiers were sent under the yoke, and an immense booty was seized in Luceria, all the standards and arms which they had lost at Caudium being recovered; and, what greatly surpassed all their joy, recovered the horsemen whom the Samnites had sent to Luceria to be kept as pledges of the peace. Hardly ever did the Romans gain a victory more distinguished for the sudden reverse produced in the state of their affairs; especially if it be true, as I find in some annals, that Pontius, son of Herennius, the Samnite general, was sent under the yoke along with the rest, to atone for the disgrace of the consuls. I think it indeed more strange that there should exist any doubt whether it was Lucius Cornelius, in quality of dictator, Lucius Papirius Cursor being master of the horse, who performed these achievements at Caudium, and afterwards at Luceria, as the single avenger of the disgrace of the Romans, enjoying the best deserved triumph, perhaps, next to that of Furius Camillus, which had ever yet been obtained; or whether that honor belongs to the consuls, and particularly to Papirius. This uncertainty is followed by another, whether, at the next election, Papirius Cursor was chosen consul a third time, with Quintus Aulus Ceretanus a second time, being re-elected in requital of his services at Luceria; or whether it was Lucius Papirius Mugillanus, the surname being mistaken.
16. From henceforth, the accounts are clear, that the other wars were conducted to a conclusion by the consuls. Aulius by one successful battle, entirely conquered the Forentans. The city, to which their army had retreated after its defeat, surrendered on terms, hostages having been demanded. With similar success the other consul conducted his operations against the Satricans; who, though Roman citizens, had, after the misfortune at Caudium, revolted to the Samnites, and received a garrison into their city. The Satricans, however, when the Roman army approached their walls, sent deputies to sue for peace, with humble entreaties; to whom the consul answered harshly, that "they must not come again to him, unless they either put to death, or delivered up, the Samnite garrison:" by which terms greater terror was struck into the colonists than by the arms with which they were threatened. The deputies, accordingly, several times asking the consul, how he thought that they, who were few and weak, could attempt to use force against a garrison so strong and well-armed: he desired them to "seek counsel from those, by whose advice they had received that garrison into the city." They then departed, and returned to their countrymen, having obtained from the consul, with much difficulty, permission to consult their senate on the matter, and bring back their answer to him. Two factions divided the senate; one that whose leaders had been the authors of the defection from the Roman people, the other consisted of the citizens who retained their loyalty; both, however, showed an earnest desire, that every means should be used towards effecting an accommodation with the consul for the restoration of peace. As the Samnite garrison, being in no respect prepared for holding out a siege, intended to retire the next night out of the town, one party thought it sufficient to discover to the consul, at what hour, through what gate, and by what road, his enemy was to march out. The other, against whose wishes defection to the Samnites had occurred, even opened one of the gates for the consul in the night, secretly admitting the armed enemy into the town. In consequence of this twofold treachery, the Samnite garrison was surprised and overpowered by an ambush, placed in the woody places, near the road; and, at the same time, a shout was raised in the city, which was now filled with the enemy.
Thus, in the short space of one hour, the Samnites were put to the sword, the Satricans made prisoners, and all things reduced under the power of the consul; who, having instituted an inquiry by whose means the revolt had taken place, scourged with rods and beheaded such as he found to be guilty; and then, disarming the Satricans, he placed a strong garrison in the place. On this those writers state, that Papirius Cursor proceeded to Rome to celebrate his triumph, who say, that it was under his guidance Luceria was retaken, and the Samnites sent under the yoke. Undoubtedly, as a warrior, he was deserving of every military praise, excelling not only in vigor of mind, but likewise in strength of body. He possessed extraordinary swiftness of foot, surpassing every one of his age in running, from whence came the surname into his family; and he is said, either from the robustness of his frame, or from much practice, to have been able to digest a very large quantity of food and wine. Never did either the foot-soldier or horseman feel military service more laborious, under any general, because he was of a constitution not to be overcome by fatigue. The cavalry, on some occasion, venturing to request that, in consideration of their good behavior, he would excuse them some part of their business, he told them, "Ye should not say that no indulgence has been granted you,--I excuse you from rubbing your horses' backs when ye dismount." He supported also the authority of command, in all its vigor, both among the allies and his countrymen. The praetor of Praeneste, through fear, had been tardy in bringing forward his men from the reserve to the front: he, walking before his tent, ordered him to be called, and then bade the lictor to make ready his axe, on which, the Praenestine standing frightened almost to death, he said, "Here, lictor, cut away this stump, it is troublesome to people as they walk;" and, after thus alarming him with the dread of the severest punishment, he imposed a fine and dismissed him. It is beyond doubt, that during that age, than which none was ever more productive of virtuous characters, there was no man in whom the Roman affairs found a more effectual support; nay, people even marked him out, in their minds, as a match for Alexander the Great, in case that, having completed the conquest of Asia, he should have turned his arms on Europe.
17. Nothing can be found farther from my intention, since the commencement of this history, than to digress, more than necessity required, from the course of narration; and, by embellishing my work with variety, to seek pleasing resting-places, as it were, for my readers, and relaxation for my own mind: nevertheless, the mention of so great a king and commander, now calls forth to public view those silent reflections, whom Alexander must have fought. Manlius Torquatus, had he met him in the field, might, perhaps, have yielded to Alexander in discharging military duties in battle (for these also render him no less illustrious); and so might Valerius Corvus; men who were distinguished soldiers, before they became commanders. The same, too, might have been the case with the Decii, who, after devoting their persons, rushed upon the enemy; or of Papirius Cursor, though possessed of such powers, both of body and mind. By the counsels of one youth, it is possible the wisdom of a whole senate, not to mention individuals, might have been baffled, [consisting of such members,] that he alone, who declared that "it consisted of kings," conceived a correct idea of a Roman senate. But then the danger was, that with more judgment than any one of those whom I have named he might choose ground for an encampment, provide supplies, guard against stratagems, distinguish the season for fighting, form his line of battle, or strengthen it properly with reserves. He would have owned that he was not dealing with Darius, who drew after him a train of women and eunuchs; saw nothing about him but gold and purple; was encumbered with the trappings of his state, and should be called his prey, rather than his antagonist; whom therefore he vanquished without loss of blood and had no other merit, on the occasion, than that of showing a proper spirit in despising empty show. The aspect of Italy would have appeared to him of a quite different nature from that of India, which he traversed in the guise of a traveller, at the head of a crew of drunkards, if he had seen the forests of Apulia, and the mountains of Lucania, with the vestiges of the disasters of his house, and where his uncle Alexander, king of Epirus, had been lately cut off.
18. We are now speaking of Alexander not yet intoxicated by prosperity, the seductions of which no man was less capable of withstanding. But, if he is to be judged from the tenor of his conduct in the new state of his fortune, and from the new disposition, as I may say, which he put on after his successes, he would have entered Italy more like Darius than Alexander; and would have brought thither an army that had forgotten Macedonia, and were degenerating into the manners of the Persians. It is painful, in speaking of so great a king, to recite his ostentatious change of dress; of requiring that people should address him with adulation, prostrating themselves on the ground, a practice insupportable to the Macedonians, had they even been conquered, much more so when they were victorious; the shocking cruelty of his punishments; his murdering his friends in the midst of feasting and wine; with the folly of his fiction respecting his birth. What must have been the consequence, if his love of wine had daily become more intense? if his fierce and uncontrollable anger? And as I mention not any one circumstance of which there is a doubt among writers, do we consider these as no disparagements to the qualifications of a commander? But then, as is frequently repeated by the silliest of the Greeks, who are fond of exalting the reputation, even of the Parthians, at the expense of the Roman name, the danger was that the Roman people would not have had resolution to bear up against the splendor of Alexander's name, who, however, in my opinion, was not known to them even by common fame; and while, in Athens, a state reduced to weakness by the Macedonian arms, which at the very time saw the ruins of Thebes smoking in its neighborhood, men had spirit enough to declaim with freedom against him, as is manifest from the copies of their speeches, which have been preserved; [we are to be told] that out of such a number of Roman chiefs, no one would have freely uttered his sentiments. How great soever our idea of this man's greatness may be, still it is the greatness of an individual, constituted by the successes of a little more than ten years; and those who give it pre-eminence on account that the Roman people have been defeated, though not in any entire war, yet in several battles, whereas Alexander was never once unsuccessful in a single fight, do not consider that they are comparing the actions of one man, and that a young man, with the exploits of a nation waging wars now eight hundred years. Can we wonder if, when on the one side more ages are numbered than years on the other, fortune varied more in so long a lapse of time than in the short term of thirteen years? [The duration of Alexander's military career.] But why not compare the success of one general with that of another? How many Roman commanders might I name who never lost a battle? In the annals of the magistrates, and the records, we may run over whole pages of consuls and dictators, with whose bravery, and successes also, the Roman people never once had reason to be dissatisfied. And what renders them more deserving of admiration than Alexander, or any king, is, that some of these acted in the office of dictator, which lasted only ten, or it might be twenty days, none, in a charge of longer duration than the consulship of a year; their levies obstructed by plebeian tribunes; often late in taking the field; recalled, before the time, on account of elections; amidst the very busiest efforts of the campaign, their year of office expired; sometimes the rashness, sometimes the perverseness of a colleague, proving an impediment or detriment; and finally succeeding to the unfortunate administration of a predecessor, with an army of raw or ill-disciplined men. But, on the other hand, kings, being not only free from every kind of impediment, but masters of circumstances and seasons, control all things in subserviency to their designs, themselves uncontrolled by any. So that Alexander, unconquered, would have encountered unconquered commanders; and would have had stakes of equal consequence pledged on the issue. Nay, the hazard had been greater on his side; because the Macedonians would have had but one Alexander, who was not only liable, but fond of exposing himself to casualties; the Romans would have had many equal to Alexander, both in renown, and in the greatness of their exploits; any one of whom might live or die according to his destiny, without any material consequence to the public.
19. It remains that the forces be compared together, with respect to their numbers, the quality of the men, and the supplies of auxiliaries. Now, in the general surveys of the age, there were rated two hundred and fifty thousand men, so that, on every revolt of the Latin confederates, ten legions were enlisted almost entirely in the city levy. It often happened during those years, that four or five armies were employed at a time, in Etruria, in Umbria, the Gauls too being at war, in Samnium, in Lucania. Then as to all Latium, with the Sabines, and Volscians, the Aequans, and all Campania; half of Umbria, Etruria, and the Picentians, Marsians, Pelignians, Vestinians, and Apulians; to whom may add, the whole coast of the lower sea, possessed by the Greeks, from Thurii to Neapolis and Cumae; and the Samnites from thence as far as Antium and Ostia: all these he would have found either powerful allies to the Romans or deprived of power by their arms. He would have crossed the sea with his veteran Macedonians, amounting to no more than thirty thousand infantry and four thousand horse, these mostly Thessalians. This was the whole of his strength. Had he brought with him Persians and Indians, and those other nations, it would be dragging after him an encumbrance other than a support. Add to this, that the Romans, being at home, would have had recruits at hand: Alexander, waging war in a foreign country, would have found his army worn out with long service, as happened afterwards to Hannibal. As to arms, theirs were a buckler and long spears; those of the Romans, a shield, which covered the body more effectually, and a javelin, a much more forcible weapon than the spear, either in throwing or striking. The soldiers, on both sides, were used to steady combat, and to preserve their ranks. But the Macedonian phalanx was unapt for motion, and composed of similar parts throughout: the Roman line less compact, consisting of several various parts, was easily divided as occasion required, and as easily conjoined. Then what soldier is comparable to the Roman in the throwing up of works? who better calculated to endure fatigue? Alexander, if overcome in one battle, would have been overcome in war. The Roman, whom Claudium, whom Cannae, did not crush, what line of battle could crush? In truth, even should events have been favorable to him at first, he would have often wished for the Persians, the Indians, and the effeminate tribes of Asia, as opponents; and would have acknowledged, that his wars had been waged with women, as we are told was said by Alexander, king of Epirus, after receiving his mortal wound, when comparing the wars waged in Asia by this very youth, with those in which himself had been engaged. Indeed, when I reflect that, in the first Punic war, a contest was maintained by the Romans with the Carthaginians, at sea, for twenty-four years, I can scarcely suppose that the life of Alexander would have been long enough for the finishing of one war [with either of those nations]. And perhaps, as both the Punic state was united to the Roman by ancient treaties, and as similar apprehensions might arm against a common foe those two nations the most potent of the time in arms and in men, he might have been overwhelmed in a Punic and a Roman war at once. The Romans have had experience of the boasted prowess of the Macedonians in arms, not indeed under Alexander as their general, or when their power was at the height, but in the wars against Antiochus, Philip, and Perses; and not only not with any losses, but not even with any danger to themselves. Let not my assertion give offense, nor our civil wars be brought into mention; never were we worsted by an enemy's cavalry, never by their infantry, never in open fight, never on equal ground, much less when the ground was favorable. Our soldiers, heavy laden with arms, may reasonably fear a body of cavalry, or arrows; defiles of difficult passage, and places impassable to convoys. But they have defeated, and will defeat a thousand armies, more formidable than those of Alexander and the Macedonians, provided that the same love of peace and solicitude about domestic harmony, in which we now live, continue permanent.
20. Marcus Foslius Flaccinator and Lucius Plautius Venno were the next raised to the consulship. In this year ambassadors came from most of the states of the Samnites to procure a renewal of the treaty; and, after they had moved the compassion of the senate, by prostrating themselves before them, on being referred to the people, they found not their prayers so efficacious. The treaty therefore, being refused, after they had importuned them individually for several days, was obtained. The Teaneans likewise, and Canusians of Apulia, worn out by the devastations of their country, surrendered themselves to the consul, Lucius Plautius, and gave hostages. This year praefects first began to be created for Capua, and a code of laws was given to that nation, by Lucius Furius the praetor; both in compliance with their own request, as a remedy for the disorder of their affairs, occasioned by intestine dissensions. At Rome, two additional tribes were constituted, the Ufentine and Falerine. On the affairs of Apulia falling into decline, the Teatians of that country came to the new consuls, Caius Junius Bubulcus, and Quintus Aemilius Barbula, suing for an alliance; and engaging, that peace should be observed towards the Romans through every part of Apulia. By pledging themselves boldly for this, they obtained the grant of an alliance, not however on terms of equality, but of their submitting to the dominion of the Roman people. Apulia being entirely reduced, (for Junius had also gained possession of Forentum, a town of great strength,) the consuls advanced into Lucania; there Nerulum was surprised and stormed by the sudden advance of the consul Aemilius. When fame had spread abroad among the allies, how firmly the affairs of Capua were settled by [the introduction of] the Roman institutions, the Antians, imitating the example, presented a complaint of their being without laws, and without magistrates; on which the patrons of the colony itself were appointed by the senate to form a body of laws for it. Thus not only the arms, but the laws, of Rome became extensively prevalent.
21. The consuls, Caius Junius Bubulcus and Quintus Aemilius Barbula, at the conclusion of the year, delivered over the legions, not to the consuls elected by themselves, who were Spurius Nautius and Marcus Popillius, but to a dictator, Lucius Aemilius. He, with Lucius Fulvius, master of the horse, having commenced to lay siege to Saticula, gave occasion to the Samnites of reviving hostilities. Hence a twofold alarm was occasioned to the Roman army. On one side, the Samnites having collected a numerous force to relieve their allies from the siege, pitched their camp at a small distance from that of the Romans: on the other side, the Saticulans, opening suddenly their gates, ran up with violent tumult to the posts of the enemy. Afterwards, each party, relying on support from the other, more than on its own strength, formed a regular attack, and pressed on the Romans. The dictator, on his part, though obliged to oppose two enemies at once, yet had his line secure on both sides; for he both chose a position not easily surrounded, and also formed two different fronts. However, he directed his greater efforts against those who had sallied from the town, and, without much resistance, drove them back within the walls. He then turned his whole force against the Samnites: there he found greater difficulty. But the victory, though long delayed, was neither doubtful nor alloyed by losses. The Samnites, being forced to fly into their camp, extinguished their fires at night, and marched away in silence; and renouncing all hopes of relieving Saticula, sat themselves down before Plistia, which was in alliance with the Romans, that they might, if possible, retort equal vexation on their enemy.
22. The year coming to a conclusion, the war was thenceforward conducted by a dictator, Quintius Fabius. The new consuls, Lucius Papirius Cursor and Quintus Publilius Philo, both a fourth time, as the former had done, remained at Rome. Fabius came with a reinforcement to Saticula, to receive the army from Aemilius. For the Samnites had not continued before Plistia; but having sent for a new supply of men from home, and relying on their numbers, had encamped in the same spot as before; and, by provoking the Romans to battle, endeavored to divert them from the siege. The dictator, so much the more intently, pushed forward his operations against the fortifications of the enemy; considering that only as war which was directed against the city, and showing an indifference with respect to the Samnites, except that he placed guards in proper places, to prevent any attempt on his camp. The more furiously did the Samnites ride up to the rampart, and allowed him no quiet. When the enemy were now come up close to the gates of the camp, Quintus Aulius Cerretanus, master of the horse, without consulting the dictator, sallied out furiously at the head of all the troops of cavalry, and drove back the enemy. In this desultory kind of fight, fortune worked up the strength of the combatants in such a manner, as to occasion an extraordinary loss on both sides, and the remarkable deaths of the commanders themselves. First, the general of the Samnites, indignant at being repulsed, and compelled to fly from a place to which he had advanced so confidently, by entreating and exhorting his horsemen, renewed the battle. As he was easily distinguished among the horsemen, while he urged on the fight, the Roman master of the horse galloped up against him, with his spear directed, so furiously, that, with one stroke, he tumbled him lifeless from his horse. The multitude, however, were not, as is generally the case, dismayed by the fall of their leader, but rather raised to fury. All who were within reach darted their weapons at Aulius, who incautiously pushed forward among the enemy's troops; but the chief share of the honor of revenging the death of the Samnite general they assigned to his brother; he, urged by rage and grief, dragged down the victorious master of the horse from his seat, and slew him. Nor were the Samnites far from obtaining his body also, as he had fallen among the enemies' troops: but the Romans instantly dismounted, and the Samnites were obliged to do the same; and lines being thus formed suddenly but, at the same time, untenable through scarcity of necessaries: "for all the country round, from which provisions could be supplied, has revolted; and besides, even were the inhabitants disposed to aid us, the ground is unfavorable. I will not therefore mislead you by leaving a camp here, into which ye may retreat, as on a former day, without completing the victory. Works ought to be secured by arms, not arms by works. Let those keep a camp, and repair to it, whose interest it is to protract the war; but let us cut off from ourselves every other prospect but that of conquering. Advance the standards against the enemy; as soon as the troops shall have marched beyond the rampart, let those who have it in orders burn the camp. Your losses, soldiers, shall be compensated with the spoil of all the nations round who have revolted." The soldiers advanced against the enemy with spirit inflamed by the dictator's discourse, which seemed indication of an extreme necessity; and, at the same time, the very sight of the camp burning behind them, though the nearest part only was set on fire, (for so the dictator had ordered,) was small incitement: rushing on therefore like madmen, they disordered the enemy's battalions at the very first onset; and the master of the horse, when he saw at a distance the fire in the camp, which was a signal agreed on, made a seasonable attack on their rear. The Samnites, thus surrounded on either side, fled different ways. A vast number, who had gathered into a body through fear, yet from confusion incapable of fleeing, were surrounded and cut to pieces. The enemy's camp was taken and plundered; and the soldiers being laden with spoil, the dictator led them back to the Roman camp, highly rejoiced at the success, but by no means so much as at finding, contrary to their expectation, every thing there safe, except a small part only, which was injured or destroyed by the fire.
24. They then marched back to Sora; and the new consuls, Marcus Poetelius and Caius Sulpicius, receive the army from the dictator Fabius, discharging a great part of the veteran soldiers, having brought with them new cohorts to supply their place. Now while, on account of the dire situation of the city, no certain mode of attack could be devised, and success must either be distant in time, or at desperate risk; a deserter from Sora came out of the town privately by night, and when he had got as far as the Roman watches, desired to be conducted instantly to the consuls: which being complied with, he made them an offer of delivering the place into their hands. When he answered their questions, respecting the means by which he intended to make good his promise, appearing to state a project by no means idle, he persuaded them to remove the Roman camp, which was almost close to the walls, to the distance of six miles; that the consequence would be that this would render the guards by day, and the watches by night, the less vigilant. He then desired that some cohorts should post themselves the following night in the woody places under the town, and took with himself ten chosen soldiers, through steep and almost impassable ways, into the citadel, where a quantity of missive weapons had been collected, larger than bore proportion to the number of men. There were stones besides, some lying at random, as in all craggy places, and others heaped up designedly by the townsmen, to add to the security of the place. Having posted the Romans here, and shown them a steep and narrow path leading up from the town to the citadel--"From this ascent," said he, "even three armed men would keep off any multitude whatever. Now ye are ten in number; and, what is more, Romans, and the bravest among the Romans. The night is in your favor, which, from the uncertainty it occasions, magnifies every object to people once alarmed. I will immediately fill every place with terror: be ye alert in defending the citadel." He then ran down in haste, crying aloud, "To arms, citizens, we are undone, the citadel is taken by the enemy; run, defend it." This he repeated, as he passed the doors of the principal men, the same to all whom he met, and also to those who ran out in a fright into the streets. The alarm, communicated first by one, was soon spread by numbers through all the city. The magistrates, dismayed on hearing from scouts that the citadel was full of arms and armed men, whose number they multiplied, laid aside all hopes of recovering it. All places are filled with terror: the gates are broken open by persons half asleep, and for the most part unarmed, through one of which the body of Roman troops, roused by the noise, burst in, and slew the terrified inhabitants, who attempted to skirmish in the streets. Sora was now taken, when, at the first light, the consuls arrived, and accepted the surrender of those whom fortune had left remaining after the flight and slaughter of the night. Of these, they conveyed in chains to Rome two hundred and twenty-five, whom all men agreed in pointing out as the authors, both of the revolt, and also of the horrid massacre of the colonists. The rest they left in safety at Sora, a garrison being placed there. All those who were brought to Rome were beaten with rods in the forum, and beheaded, to the great joy of the commons, whose interest it most highly concerned, that the multitudes, sent to various places in colonies should be in safety.
25. The consuls, leaving Sora, turned their warlike operations against the lands and cities of the Ausonians; for all places had been set in commotion by the coming of the Samnites, when the battle was fought at Lautulae: conspiracies likewise had been formed in several parts of Campania; nor was Capua itself clear of the charge: nay, the business spread even to Rome, and inquiries came to be instituted respecting some of the principal men there. However, the Ausonian nation fell into the Roman power, in the same manner as Sora, by their cities being betrayed: these were Ausona Minturnae, and Vescia. Certain young men, of the principal families, twelve in number, having conspired to betray their respective cities, came to the consuls; they informed them that their countrymen, who had for a long time before honestly wished for the coming of the Samnites, on hearing of the battle at Lautulae, had looked on the Romans as defeated, and had assisted the Samnites with supplies of young men and arms; but that, since the Samnites had been beaten out of the country, they were wavering between peace and war, not shutting their gates against the Romans, lest they should thereby invite an attack; yet determined to shut them if an army should approach; that in that fluctuating state they might easily be overpowered by surprise. By these men's advice the camp was moved nearer; and soldiers were sent, at the same time, to each of the three towns; some armed, who were to lie concealed in places near the walls; others, in the garb of peace, with swords hidden under their clothes, when, on the opening of the gates at the approach of day, were to enter into the cities. These latter began with killing the guards; at the same time, a signal was made to the men with arms, to hasten up from the ambuscades. Thus the gates were seized, and the three towns taken in the same hour and by the same device. But as the attacks were made in the absence of the generals, there were no bounds to the carnage which ensued; and the nation of the Ausonians, when there was scarcely any clear proof of the charge of its having revolted, was utterly destroyed, as if it had supported a contest through a deadly war.
26. During this year, Luceria fell into the hands of the Samnites, the Roman garrison being betrayed to the enemy. This matter did not long go unpunished with the traitors: the Roman army was not far off, by whom the city, which lay in a plain, was taken at the first onset. The Lucerians and Samnites were to a man put to the sword; and to such a length was resentment carried, that at Rome, on the senate being consulted about sending a colony to Luceria, many voted for the demolition of it. Besides, their hatred was of the bitterest kind, against a people whom they had been obliged twice to subdue by arms; the great distance, also, made them averse from sending away their citizens among nations so ill-affected towards them. However the resolution was carried, that the colonists should be sent; and accordingly two thousand five hundred were transported thither. This year, when all places were becoming disaffected to the Romans, secret conspiracies were formed among the leading men at Capua, as well as at other places; a motion concerning which being laid before the senate, the matter was by no means neglected. Inquiries were decreed, and it was resolved that a dictator should be appointed to enforce these inquiries. Caius Maenius was accordingly nominated, and he appointed Marcus Foslius master of the horse. People's dread of that office was very great, insomuch that the Calavii, Ovius and Novius, who were the heads of the conspiracy, either through fear of the dictator's power, or the consciousness of guilt, previous to the charge against them being laid in form before him, avoided, as appeared beyond doubt, trial by a voluntary death. As the subject of the inquiry in Campania was thus removed, the proceedings were then directed towards Rome: by construing the order of the senate to have meant, that inquiry should be made, not specially who at Capua, but generally who at any place had caballed or conspired against the state; for that cabals, for the attaining of honors, were contrary to the edicts of the state. The inquiry was extended to a greater latitude, with respect both to the matter, and to the kind of persons concerned, the dictator scrupling not to avow, that his power of research was unlimited: in consequence, some of the nobility were called to account; and though they applied to the tribunes for protection, no one interposed in their behalf, or to prevent the charges from being received. On this the nobles, not those only against whom the charge was levelled, but the whole body jointly insisted that such an imputation lay not against the nobles, to whom the way to honors lay open if not obstructed by fraud, but against the new men: so that even the dictator and master of the horse, with respect to that question, would appear more properly as culprits than suitable inquisitors; and this they should know as soon as they went out of office. Then indeed Maenius, who was more solicitous about his character than his office, advanced into the assembly and spoke to this effect, "Romans, both of my past life ye are all witnesses; and this honorable office, which ye conferred on me, is in itself a testimony of my innocence. For the dictator, proper to be chosen for holding these inquiries, was not, as on many other occasions, where the exigencies of the state so required, the man who was most renowned in war; but him whose counsel of life was most remote from such cabals. But certain of the nobility (for what reason it is more proper that ye should judge than that I, as a magistrate, should, without proof, insinuate) have labored to stifle entirely the inquiries; and then, finding their strength unequal to it, rather than stand a trial have fled for refuge to the stronghold of their adversaries, an appeal and the support of the tribunes; and on being there also repulsed, (so fully were they persuaded that every other measure was safer than the attempt to clear themselves,) have made an attack upon us; and, though in private characters have not been ashamed of instituting a criminal process against a dictator. Now, that gods and men may perceive that they to avoid a scrutiny as to their own conduct, attempt even things which are impossible, and that I willingly meet the charge, and face the accusations of my enemies, I divest myself of the dictatorship. And, consuls, I beseech you, that if this business is put into your hands by the senate, ye make me and Marcus Foslius the first objects of our your examinations; that it may be manifested that we are safe from such imputations by our own innocence, not by the dignity of office." He then abdicated the dictatorship, as did Marcus Foslius, immediately after, his office of master of the horse; and being the first brought to trial before the consuls, for to them the senate had committed the business, they were most honorably acquitted of all the charges brought by the nobles. Even Publilius Philo, who had so often been invested with the highest honors, and had performed so many eminent services, both at home and abroad, being disagreeable to the nobility, was brought to trial, and acquitted. Nor did the inquiry continue respectable on account of the illustrious names of the accused, longer than while it was new, which is usually the case; it then began to descend to persons of inferior rank; and, at length, was suppressed, by means of those factions and cabals against which it had been instituted.
27. The accounts received of these matters, but more especially the hope of a revolt in Campania, for which a conspiracy had been formed, recalled the Samnites, who were turning towards Apulia, back to Caudium; so that from thence, being near, they might, if any commotion should open them an opportunity, snatch Capua out of the hands of the Romans. To the same place the consuls repaired with a powerful army. They both held back for some time, on the different sides of the defiles, the roads being dangerous to either party. Then the Samnites, making a short circuit through an open tract, marched down their troops into level ground in the Campanian plains, and there the hostile camps first came within view of each other. Trial of their strength in slight skirmishes was made on both sides, more frequently between the horse than the foot; and the Romans were no way dissatisfied either at the issue of these, or at the delay by which they protracted the war. The Samnite generals, on the contrary, considered that their battalions were becoming weakened daily by small losses, and the general vigor abated by prolonging the war. They therefore marched into the field, disposing their cavalry on both wings, with orders to give more heedful attention to the camp behind than to the battle; for that the line of infantry would be able to provide for their own safety. The consuls took post, Sulpicius on the right wing, Poetelius on the left. The right wing was stretched out wider than usual, where the Samnites also stood formed in thin ranks, either with design of turning the flank of the enemy, or to avoid being themselves surrounded. On the left, besides that they were formed in more compact order, an addition was made to their strength, by a sudden act of the consul Poetelius; for the subsidiary cohorts, which were usually reserved for the exigencies of a tedious fight, he brought up immediately to the front, and, in the first onset, pushed the enemy with the whole of his force. The Samnite line of infantry giving way, their cavalry advanced to support them; and as they were charging in an oblique direction between the two lines, the Roman horse, coming up at full speed, disordered their battalions and ranks of infantry and cavalry, so as to oblige the whole line on that side to give ground. The left wing had not only the presence of Poetelius to animate them, but that of Sulpicius likewise; who, on the shout being first raised in that quarter, rode thither from his own division, which had not yet engaged. When he saw victory no longer doubtful there, he returned to his own post with twelve hundred men, but found the state of things there very different; the Romans driven from their ground, and the victorious enemy pressing on them thus dismayed. However, the arrival of the consul effected a speedy change in every particular; for, on the sight of their leader, the spirit of the soldiers was revived, and the bravery of the men who came with him rendered them more powerful aid than even their number; while the news of success in the other wing, which was heard, and after seen, restored the fight. From this time, the Romans became victorious through the whole extent of the line, and the Samnites, giving up the contest, were slain or taken prisoners, except such as made their escape to Maleventum, the town which is now called Beneventum. It is recorded that thirty thousand of the Samnites were slain or taken.
28. The consuls, after this important victory, led forward the legions to lay siege to Bovianum; and there they passed the winter quarters, until Caius Poetelius, being nominated dictator, with Marcus Foslius, master of the horse, received the command of the army from the new consuls, Lucius Papirius Cursor a fifth, and Caius Junius Bubulcus a second time. On hearing that the citadel of Fregellae was taken by the Samnites, he left Bovianum, and proceeded to Fregellae, whence, having recovered possession of it without any contest, the Samnites abandoning it in the night, and having placed a strong garrison there, he returned to Campania, directing his operations principally to the recovery of Nola. Within the walls of this place, the whole multitude of the Samnites, and the inhabitants of the country about Nola, betook themselves on the approach of the dictator. Having taken a view of the situation of the city, in order that the approach to the fortifications may be the more open, he set fire to all the buildings which stood round the walls, which were very numerous; and, in a short time after, Nola was taken, either by the dictator Poetelius, or the consul Caius Junius, for both accounts are given. Those who attribute to the consul the honor of taking Nola, add, that Atina and Calatia were also taken by him, and that Poetelius was created dictator in consequence of a pestilence breaking out, merely for the purpose of driving the nail. The colonies of Suessa and Pontiae were established in this year. Suessa had belonged to the Auruncians: the Volscians had occupied Pontiae, an island lying within sight of their shore. A decree of the senate was also passed for conducting colonies to Interamna and Cassinum. But commissioners were appointed, and colonists, to the number of four thousand, were sent by the succeeding consuls, Marcus Valerius and Publius Decius.
29. The war with the Samnites being now nearly put an end to, before the Roman senate was freed from all concern on that side, a report arose of an Etrurian war; and there was not, in those times, any nation, excepting the Gauls, whose arms were more dreaded, by reason both of the vicinity of their country, and of the multitude of their men. While therefore one of the consuls prosecuted the remains of the war in Samnium, Publius Decius, who, being attacked by a severe illness, remained at Rome, by direction of the senate, nominated Caius Junius Bubulcus dictator. He, as the magnitude of the affair demanded, compelled all the younger citizens to enlist, and with the utmost diligence prepared arms, and the other matters which the occasion required. Yet he was not so elated by the power he had collected, as to think of commencing offensive operations, but prudently determined to remain quiet, unless the Etrurians should become aggressors. The plans of the Etrurians were exactly similar with respect to preparing for, and abstaining from, war: neither party went beyond their own frontiers. The censorship of Appius Claudius and Caius Plautius, for this year, was remarkable; but the name of Appius has been handed down with more celebrity to posterity, on account of his having made the road, [called after him, the Appian,] and for having conveyed water into the city. These works he performed alone; for his colleague, overwhelmed with shame by reason of the infamous and unworthy choice made of senators, had abdicated his office. Appius possessing that inflexibility Of temper, which, from the earliest times, had been the characteristic of his family, held on the censorship by himself. By direction of the same Appius, the Potitian family, in which the office of priests attendant on the great altar of Hercules was hereditary, instructed some of the public servants in the rites of that solemnity, with the intention to delegate the same to them. A circumstance is recorded, wonderful to be told, and one which should make people scrupulous of disturbing the established modes of religious solemnities: for though there were, at that time, twelve branches of the Potitian family, all grown-up persons, to the number of thirty, yet they were every one, together with their offspring, cut off within the year; so that the name of the Potitii became extinct, while the censor Appius also was, by the unrelenting wrath of the gods, some years after, deprived of sight.
30. The consuls of the succeeding year were, Caius Junius Bubulcus a third time, and Quintus Aemilius Barbula a second. In the commencement of their office, they complained before the people, that, by the improper choice of members of the senate, that body had been disgraced, several having been passed over who were preferable to the persons chosen in; and they declared, that they would pay no regard to such election, which had been made without distinction of right or wrong, merely to gratify interest or humor: they then immediately called over the list of the senate, in the same order which had existed before the censorship of Appius Claudius and Caius Plautius. Two public employments, both relating to military affairs, came this year into the disposal of the people; one being an order, that sixteen of the tribunes, for four legions, should be appointed by the people; whereas hitherto they had been generally in the gift of the dictators and consuls, very few of the places being left to suffrage. This order was proposed by Lucius Atilius and Caius Marcius, plebeian tribunes. Another was, that the people likewise should constitute two naval commissioners, for the equipping and refitting of the fleet. The person who introduced this order of the people, was Marcus Decius, plebeian tribune. Another transaction of this year I should pass over as trifling, did it not seem to bear some relation to religion. The flute-players, taking offense because they had been prohibited by the last censors from holding their repasts in the temple of Jupiter, which had been customary from very early times, went off in a body to Tibur; so that there was not one left in the city to play at the sacrifices. The religious tendency of this affair gave uneasiness to the senate; and they sent envoys to Tibur to endeavor that these men might be sent back to Rome. The Tiburtines readily promised compliance, and first, calling them into the senate-house, warmly recommended to them to return to Rome; and then, when they could not be prevailed on, practiced on them an artifice not ill adapted to the dispositions of that description of people: on a festival day, they invited them separately to their several houses, apparently with the intention of heightening the pleasure of their feasts with music, and there plied them with wine, of which such people are always fond, until they laid them asleep. In this state of insensibility they threw them into wagons, and carried them away to Rome: nor did they know any thing of the matter, until, the wagons having been left in the forum, the light surprised them, still heavily sick from the debauch. The people then crowded about them, and, on their consenting at length to stay, privilege was granted them to ramble about the city in full dress, with music, and the licence which is now practiced every year during three days. And that licence, which we see practiced at present, and the right of being fed in the temple, was restored to those who played at the sacrifices. These incidents occurred while the public attention was deeply engaged by two most important wars.
31. The consuls adjusting the provinces between them, the Samnites fell by lot to Junius, the new war of Etruria to Aemilius. In Samnium the Samnites had blockaded and reduced by famine Cluvia, a Roman garrison, because they had been unable to take it by storm; and, after torturing with stripes, in a shocking manner, the townsmen who surrendered, they had put them to death. Enraged at this cruelty, Junius determined to postpone every thing else to the attacking of Cluvia; and, on the first day that he assaulted the walls, took it by storm, and slew all who were grown to man's estate. The victorious troops were led from thence to Bovianum; this was the capital of the Pentrian Samnites, by far the most opulent of their cities, and the most powerful both in men and arms. The soldiers, stimulated by the hope of plunder, for their resentment was not so violent, soon made themselves masters of the town: where there was less severity exercised on the enemy; but a quantity of spoil was carried off, greater almost than had ever been collected out of all Samnium, and the whole was liberally bestowed on the assailants. And when neither armies, camps, or cities could now withstand the vast superiority of the Romans in arms; the attention of all the leading men in Samnium became intent on this, that an opportunity should be sought for some stratagem, if by any chance the army, proceeding with incautious eagerness for plunder, could be caught in a snare and overpowered. Peasants who deserted and some prisoners (some thrown in their way by accident, some purposely) reporting to the consul a statement in which they concurred, and one which was at the same time true, that a vast quantity of cattle had been driven together into a defile of difficult access, prevailed on them to lead thither the legions lightly accoutred for plunder. Here a very numerous army of the enemy had posted themselves, secretly, at all the passes; and, as soon as they saw that the Romans had got into the defile, they rose up suddenly, with great clamor and tumult, and attacked them unawares. At first an event so unexpected caused some confusion, while they were taking their arms, and throwing the baggage into the center; but, as fast as each had freed himself from his burden and fitted himself with arms, they assembled about the standards, from every side; and all, from the long course of their service, knowing their particular ranks, the line was formed of its own accord without any directions. The consul, riding up to the place where the fight was most warm, leaped from his horse, and called "Jupiter, Mars, and the other gods to witness, that he had come into that place, not in pursuit of any glory to himself, but of booty for his soldiers; nor could any other fault be charged on him, than too great a solicitude to enrich his soldiers at the expense of the enemy. From that disgrace nothing could extricate him but the valor of the troops: let them only join unanimously in a vigorous attack against a foe, already vanquished in the field, beaten out of their camps, and stripped of their towns, and now trying their last hope by the contrivance of an ambuscade, placing their reliance on the ground they occupied, not on their arms. But what ground was now unsurmountable to Roman valor?" The citadel of Fregellae, and that of Sora, were called to their remembrance, with many other places where difficulties from situation had been surmounted. Animated by these exhortations, the soldiers, regardless of all difficulties, advanced against the line of the enemy, posted above them; and here there was some fatigue whilst the army was climbing the steep. But as soon as the first battalions got footing in the plain, on the summit, and the troops perceived that they now stood on equal ground, the dismay was instantly turned on the plotters; who, dispersing and casting away their arms, attempted, by flight, to recover the same lurking-places in which they had lately concealed themselves. But the difficulties of the ground, which had been intended for the enemy, now entangled them in the snares of their own contrivance. Accordingly very few found means to escape; twenty thousand men were slain, and the victorious Romans hastened in several parties to secure the booty of cattle, spontaneously thrown in their way by the enemy.
32. While such was the situation of affairs in Samnium, all the states of Etruria, except the Arretians, had taken arms, and vigorously commenced hostilities, by laying siege to Sutrium; which city, being in alliance with the Romans, served as a barrier against Etruria. Thither the other consul, Aemilius, came with an army to deliver the allies from the siege. On the arrival of the Romans, the Sutrians conveyed a plentiful supply of provisions into their camp, which was pitched before the city. The Etrurians spent the first day in deliberating whether they should expedite or protract the war. On the day following, when the speedier plan pleased the leaders in preference to the safer, as soon as the sun rose the for battle was displayed, and the troops marched out to the field; which being reported to the consul, he instantly commanded notice to be given, that they should dine, and after taking refreshment, then appear under arms. The order was obeyed; and the consul, seeing them armed and in readiness, ordered the standards to be carried forth beyond the rampart, and drew up his men at a small distance from the enemy. Both parties stood a long time with fixed attention, each waiting for the shout and fight to begin on the opposite side; and the sun had passed the meridian before a weapon was thrown by either side. Then, rather than leave the place without something being done, the shout was given by the Etrurians, the trumpets sounded, and the battalions advanced. With no less alertness do the Romans commence the fight: both rushed to the fight with violent animosity; the enemy were superior in numbers, the Romans in valor. The battle being doubtful, carries off great numbers on both sides, particularly the men of greatest courage; nor did victory declare itself, until the second line of the Romans came up fresh to the front, in the place of the first, who were much fatigued. The Etrurians, because their front line was not supported by any fresh reserves, fell all before and round the standards, and in no battle whatever would there have been seen less disposition to run, or a greater effusion of human blood, had not the night sheltered the Etrurians, who were resolutely determined on death; so that the victors, not the vanquished, were the first who desisted from fighting. After sunset the signal for retreat was given, and both parties retired in the night to their camps. During the remainder of the year, nothing memorable was effected at Sutrium; for, of the enemy's army, the whole first line had been cut off in one battle, the reserves only being left, who were scarce sufficient to guard the camp; and, among the Romans, so numerous were the wounds, that more wounded men died after the battle than had fallen in the field.
33. Quintus Fabius, consul for the ensuing year, succeeded to the command of the army at Sutrium; the colleague given to him was Caius Marcius Rutilus. On the one side, Fabius brought with him a reinforcement from Rome, and on the other, a new army had been sent for, and came from home, to the Etrurians. Many years had now passed without any disputes between the patrician magistrates and plebeian tribunes, when a contest took its rise from that family, which seemed raised by fate as antagonists to the tribunes and commons of those times; Appius Claudius, being censor, when the eighteen months had expired, which was the time limited by the Aemilian law for the duration of the censorship, although his colleague Caius Plautius had already resigned his office, could not be prevailed on, by any means, to give up his. There was a tribune of the commons, Publius Sempronius; he undertook to enforce a legal process for terminating the censorship within the lawful time, which was not more popular than just, nor more pleasing to the people generally than to every man of character in the city. After he frequently appealed to the Aemilian law, and bestowed commendations on Mamercus Aemilius, who, in his dictatorship, had been the author of it, for having contracted, within the space of a year and six months, the censorship, which formerly had lasted five years, and was a power which, in consequence of its long continuance, often became tyrannical, he proceeded thus: "Tell me, Appius Claudius, in what manner you would have acted, had you been censor, at the time when Caius Furius and Marcus Geganius were censors?" Appius insisted, that "the tribune's question was irrelevant to his case. For, although the Aemilian law might bind those censors, during whose magistracy it was passed,--because the people made that law after they had become censors; and whatever order is the last passed by the people, that is held to be the law, and valid:--yet neither he, nor any of those who had been created censors subsequent to the passing of that law, could be bound by it."
34. While Appius urged such frivolous arguments as these, which carried no conviction whatever, the other said, "Behold, Romans, the offspring of that Appius, who being created decemvir for one year, created himself for a second; and who, during a third, without being created even by himself or by any other, held on the fasces and the government though a private individual; nor ceased to continue in office, until the government itself, ill acquired, ill administered, and ill retained, overwhelmed him in ruin. This is the same family, Romans, by whose violence and injustice ye were compelled to banish yourselves from your native city, and seize on the Sacred mount; the same, against which ye provided for yourselves the protection of tribunes; the same, on account of which two armies of you took post on the Aventine; the same, which violently opposed the laws against usury, and always the agrarian laws; the same, which broke through the right of intermarriage between the patricians and the commons; the same, which shut up the road to curule offices against the commons: this is a name, more hostile to your liberty by far, than that of the Tarquins. I pray you, Appius Claudius, though this is now the hundredth year since the dictatorship of Mamercus Aemilius, though there have been so many men of the highest characters and abilities censors, did none of these ever read the twelve tables? none of them know, that, whatever was the last order of the people, that was law? Nay, certainly they all knew it; and they therefore obeyed the Aemilian law, rather than the old one, under which the censors had been at first created; because it was the last order; and because, when two laws are contradictory, the new always repeals the old. Do you mean to say, Appius, that the people are not bound by the Aemilian law? Or, that the people are bound, and you alone exempted? The Aemilian law bound those violent censors, Caius Furius and Marcus Geganius, who showed what mischief that office might do in the state; when, out of resentment for the limitation of their power, they disfranchised Mamercus Aemilius, the first man of the age, either in war or peace. It bound all the censors thenceforward, during the space of a hundred years. It binds Caius Plautius your colleague, created under the same auspices, with the same privileges. Did not the people create him with the fullest privileges with which any censor ever was created? Or is yours an excepted case, in which this peculiarity and singularity takes place? Shall the person, whom you create king of the sacrifices, laying hold of the style of sovereignty, say, that he was created with the fullest privileges with which any king was ever created at Rome? Who then, do you think, would be content with a dictatorship of six months? who, with the office of interrex for five days? Whom would you, with confidence, create dictator, for the purpose of driving the nail, or of exhibiting games? How foolish, how stupid, do ye think, those must appear in this man's eyes, who, after performing most important services, abdicated the dictatorship within the twentieth day; or who, being irregularly created, resigned their office? Why should I bring instances from antiquity? Lately, within these last ten years, Caius Maenius, dictator, having enforced inquiries, with more strictness than consisted with the safety of some powerful men, a charge was thrown out by his enemies, that he himself was infected with the very crime against which his inquiries were directed;--now Maenius, I say, in order that he might, in a private capacity, meet the imputation, abdicated the dictatorship. I expect not such moderation in you; you will not degenerate from your family, of all others the most imperious and assuming; nor resign your office a day, nor even an hour, before you are forced to it. Be it so: but then let no one exceed the time limited. It is enough to add a day, or a month, to the censorship. But Appius says, I will hold the censorship, and hold it alone, three years and six months longer than is allowed by the Aemilian law. Surely this is like kingly power. Or will you fill up the vacancy with another colleague, a proceeding not allowable, even in the case of the death of a censor? You are not satisfied that, as if a religious censor, you have degraded a most ancient solemnity, and the only one instituted by the very deity to whom it is performed, from priests of that rite who were of the highest rank to the ministry of mere servants. [You are not satisfied that] a family, more ancient than the origin of this city, and sanctified by an intercourse of hospitality with the immortal gods, has, by means of you and your censorship, been utterly extirpated, with all its branches, within the space of a year, unless you involve the whole commonwealth in horrid guilt, which my mind feels a horror even to contemplate. This city was taken in that lustrum in which Lucius Papirius Cursor, on the death of his colleague Julius, the censor, rather than resign his office, substituted Marcus Cornelius Maluginensis. Yet how much more moderate was his ambition, Appius, than yours! Lucius Papirius neither held the censorship alone, nor beyond the time prescribed by law. But still he found no one who would follow his example; all succeeding censors, in case of the death of a colleague, abdicated the office. As for you, neither the expiration of the time of your censorship, nor the resignation of your colleague, nor law, nor shame restrains you. You make fortitude to consist in arrogance, in boldness, in a contempt of gods and men. Appius Claudius, in consideration of the dignity and respect due to that office which you have borne, I should be sorry, not only to offer you personal violence, but even to address you in language too severe. With respect to what I have hitherto said, your pride and obstinacy forced me to speak. And now, unless you pay obedience to the Aemilian law, I shall order you to be led to prison. Nor, since a rule has been established by our ancestors, that in the election of censors unless two shall obtain the legal number of suffrages, neither shall be returned, but the election deferred,--will I suffer you, who could not singly be created censor, to hold the censorship without a colleague." Having spoken to this effect he ordered the censor to be seized, and borne to prison. But although six of the tribunes approved of the proceeding of their colleague, three gave their support to Appius, on his appealing to them, and he held the censorship alone, to the great disgust of all ranks of men.
35. While such was the state of affairs at Rome, the Etrurians had laid siege to Sutrium, and the consul Fabius, as he was marching along the foot of the mountains, with a design to succor the allies, and attempt the enemy's works, if it were by any means practicable, was met by their army prepared for battle. As the wide-extended plain below showed the greatness of their force, the consul, in order to remedy his deficiency in point of number, by advantage of the ground, changed the direction of his route a little towards the hills, where the way was rugged and covered with stones, and then formed his troops, facing the enemy. The Etrurians, thinking of nothing but their numbers, on which alone they depended, commence the fight with such haste and eagerness, that, in order to come the sooner to a close engagement, they threw away their javelins, drew their swords, rushing against the enemy. On the other side, the Romans poured down on them, sometimes javelins, and sometimes stones which the place abundantly supplied; so that whilst the blows on their shields and helmets confused even those whom they did not wound, (it was neither an easy matter to come to close quarters, nor had they missive weapons with which to fight at a distance,) when there was nothing now to protect them whilst standing and exposed to the blows, some even giving way, and the whole line wavering and unsteady the spearmen and the first rank, renewing the shout, rush on them with drawn swords. This attack the Etrurians could not withstand, but, facing about, fled precipitately towards their camp; when the Roman cavalry, getting before them by galloping obliquely across the plain, threw themselves in the way of their flight, on which they quitted the road, and bent their course to the mountains. From thence, in a body, almost without arms, and debilitated with wounds, they made their way into the Ciminian forest. The Romans, having slain in many thousands of the Etrurians, and taken thirty-eight military standards, took also possession of their camp, together with a vast quantity of spoil. They then began to consider of pursuing the enemy.
36. The Ciminian forest was in those days deemed as impassable and frightful as the German forests have been in latter times; not even any trader having ever attempted to pass it. Hardly any, besides the general himself, showed boldness enough to enter it; the others had not the remembrance of the disaster at Caudium effaced from their mind. On this, of those who were present, Marcus Fabius, the consul's brother, (some say Caeso, others Caius Claudius, born of the same mother with the consul,) undertook to go and explore the country, and to bring them in a short time an account of every particular. Being educated at Caere, where he had friends, he was perfectly acquainted with the Etrurian language. I have seen it affirmed, that, in those times, the Roman youth were commonly instructed in the Etrurian learning, as they are now in the Greek: but it is more probable, that there was something very extraordinary in the person who acted so daringly a counterfeit part, and mixed among the enemy. It is said, that his only attendant was a slave, who had been bred up with him, and who was therefore not ignorant of the same language. They received no further instructions at their departure, than a summary description of the country through which they were to pass; to this was added the names of the principal men in the several states, to prevent their being at a loss in conversation, and from being discovered by making some mistake. They set out in the dress of shepherds, armed with rustic weapons, bills, and two short javelins each. But neither their speaking the language of the country, nor the fashion of their dress and arms, concealed them so effectually, as the incredible circumstance of a stranger's passing the Ciminian forest. They are said to have penetrated as far as the Camertian district of the Umbrians: there the Romans ventured to own who they were, and being introduced to the senate, treated with them, in the name of the consul, about an alliance and friendship; and after being entertained with courteous hospitality, were desired to acquaint the Romans, that if they came into those countries, there should be provisions in readiness for the troops sufficient for thirty days, and that they should find the youth of the Camertian Umbrians prepared in arms to obey their commands. When this information was brought to the consul, he sent forward the baggage at the first watch, ordering the legions to march in the rear of it. He himself staid behind with the cavalry, and the next day, as soon as light appeared, rode up to the posts of the enemy, which had been stationed on the outside of the forest; and, when he had detained them there for a sufficient length of time, he retired to his camp, and marching out by the opposite gate, overtook the main body of the army before night. At the first light, on the following day, he had gained the summit of Mount Ciminius, from whence having a view of the opulent plains of Etruria, he let loose his soldiers upon them. When a vast booty had been driven off, some tumultuary cohorts of Etrurian peasants, hastily collected by the principal inhabitants of the district, met the Romans; but in such disorderly array, that these rescuers of the prey were near becoming wholly a prey themselves. These being slain or put to flight, and the country laid waste to a great extent, the Romans returned to their camp victorious, and enriched with plenty of every kind. It happened that, in the mean time, five deputies, with two plebeian tribunes, had come hither, to charge Fabius, in the name of the senate, not to attempt to pass the Ciminian forest. These, rejoicing that they had arrived too late to prevent the expedition, returned to Rome with the news of its success.
37. By this expedition of the consul, the war, instead of being brought nearer to a conclusion, was only spread to a wider extent: for all the tract adjacent to the foot of Mount Ciminius had felt his devastations; and, out of the indignation conceived thereat, had roused to arms, not only the states of Etruria, but the neighboring parts of Umbria. They came therefore to Sutrium, with such a numerous army as they had never before brought into the field; and not only ventured to encamp on the outside of the wood, but through their earnest desire of coming to an engagement as soon as possible, marched down the plains to offer battle. The troops, being marshalled, stood at first, for some time, on their own ground, having left a space sufficient for the Romans to draw up, opposite to them; but perceiving that the enemy declined fighting, they advanced to the rampart; where, when they observed that even the advanced guards had retired within the works, a shout at once was raised around their generals, that they should order provisions for that day to be brought down to them: "for they were resolved to remain there under arms; and either in the night, or, at all events, at the dawn of day, to attack the enemy's camp." The Roman troops, though not less eager for action, were restrained by the commands of the general. About the tenth hour, the consul ordered his men a repast; and gave directions that they should be ready in arms, at whatever time of the day or night he should give the signal. He then addressed a few words to them; spoke in high terms of the wars of the Samnites, and disparagingly of the Etrurians, who "were not," he said, "as an enemy to be compared with other enemies, nor as a numerous force, with others in point of numbers. Besides, he had an engine at work, as they should find in due time; at present it was of importance to keep it secret." By these hints he intimated that the enemy was circumvented in order to raise the courage of his men, damped by the superiority of the enemy's force; and, from their not having fortified the post where they lay, the insinuation of a stratagem formed against them seemed the more credible. After refreshing themselves, they consigned themselves to rest, and being roused without noise, about the fourth watch, took arms. Axes are distributed among the servants following the army, to tear down the rampart and fill up the trench. The line was formed within the works, and some chosen cohorts posted close to the gates. Then, a little before day, which in summer nights is the time of the profoundest sleep, the signal being given, the rampart was levelled, and the troops rushing forth, fell upon the enemy, who were every where stretched at their length. Some were put to death before they could stir; others half asleep, in their beds; the greatest part, while they ran in confusion to arms; few, in short, had time afforded them to arm themselves; and these, who followed no particular leader, nor orders, were quickly routed by the Romans and pursued by the Roman horse. They fled different ways; to the camp and to the woods. The latter afforded the safer refuge; for the former, being situated in a plain, was taken the same day. The gold and silver was ordered to be brought to the consul; the rest of the spoil was given to the soldiers. On that day, sixty thousand of the enemy were slain or taken. Some affirm, that this famous battle was fought on the farther side of the Ciminian forest, at Perusia; and that the public had been under great dread, lest the army might be enclosed in such a dangerous pass, and overpowered by a general combination of the Etrurians and Umbrians. But on whatever spot it was fought, it is certain that the Roman power prevailed; and, in consequence thereof, ambassadors from Perusia, Cortona, and Arretium, which were then among the principal states of Etruria, soliciting a peace and alliance with the Romans, obtained a truce for thirty years.
38. During these transactions in Etruria, the other consul, Caius Marcius Rutilus, took Allifae by storm from the Samnites; and many of their forts, and smaller towns, were either destroyed by his arms, or surrendered without being injured. About the same time also, the Roman fleet, having sailed to Campania, under Publius Cornelius, to whom the senate had given the command on the sea-coast, put into Pompeii. Immediately on landing, the soldiers of the fleet set out to ravage the country about Nuceria: and after they had quickly laid waste the parts which lay nearest, and whence they could have returned to the ships with safety, they were allured by the temptation of plunder, as it often happens, to advance too far, and thereby roused the enemy against them. While they rambled about the country, they met no opposition, though they might have been cut off to a man; but as they were returning, in a careless manner, the peasants overtook them, not far from the ships, stripped them of the booty, and even slew a great part of them. Those who escaped were driven in confusion to the ships. As Fabius' having marched through the Ciminian forest had occasioned violent apprehensions at Rome, so it had excited joy in proportion among the enemy in Samnium: they talked of the Roman army being pent up, and surrounded; and of the Caudine forks, as a model of their defeat. "Those people," they said, "ever greedy after further acquisitions, were now brought into inextricable difficulties, hemmed in, not more effectually by the arms of their enemy, than by the disadvantage of the ground." Their joy was even mingled with a degree of envy, because fortune, as they thought, had transferred the glory of finishing the Roman war, from the Samnites to the Etrurians: they hastened, therefore, with their whole collected force, to crush the consul Caius Marcius; resolving, if he did not give them an opportunity of fighting, to proceed, through the territories of the Marsians and Sabines, into Etruria. The consul met them, and a battle was fought with great fury on both sides, but without a decisive issue. Although both parties suffered severely, yet the discredit of defeat fell on the Romans, because several of equestrian rank, some military tribunes, with one lieutenant-general, had fallen; and, what was more remarkable than all, the consul himself was wounded. On account of this event, exaggerated by report as is usual, the senate became greatly alarmed, so that they resolved on having a dictator nominated. No one entertained a doubt that the nomination would light on Papirius Cursor, who was then universally deemed to possess the greatest abilities as a commander: but they could not be certain, either that a message might be conveyed with safety into Samnium, where all was in a state of hostility, or that the consul Marcius was alive. The other consul, Fabius, was at enmity with Papirius, on his own account; and lest this resentment might prove an obstacle to the public good, the senate voted that deputies of consular rank should be sent to him, who, uniting their own influence to that of government, might prevail on him to drop, for the sake of his country, all remembrance of private animosities. When the deputies, having come to Fabius, delivered to him the decree of the senate, adding such arguments as were suitable to their instructions, the consul, casting his eyes towards the ground, retired in silence, leaving them in uncertainty what part he intended to act. Then, in the silent time of the night, according to the established custom, he nominated Lucius Papirius dictator. When the deputies returned him thanks, for so very meritoriously subduing his passion, he still persevered in obstinate silence, and dismissed them without any answer, or mention of what he had done: a proof that he felt an extraordinary degree of resentment, which had been suppressed within his breast. Papirius appointed Caius Junius Bubulcus master of the horse; and, as he was proceeding in an assembly of the Curiae [The comitia curiata, or assemblies of the curiae, alone had the power of conferring military command; no magistrate, therefore, could assume the command without the previous order of their assembly. In time, this came to be a mere matter of form; yet the practice always continued to be observed.] to get an order passed respecting the command of the army, an unlucky omen obliged him to adjourn it; for the Curia which was to vote first, happened to be the Faucian, remarkably distinguished by two disasters, the taking of the city, and the Caudine peace; the same Curia having voted first in those years in which the said events are found. Licinius Macer supposes this Curia ominous, also, on account of a third misfortune, that which was experienced at the Cremera.
39. Next day the dictator, taking the auspices anew, obtained the order, and, marching out at the head of the legions, lately raised on the alarm occasioned by the army passing the Ciminian forest, came to Longula; where having received the old troops of the consul Marcius, he led on his forces to battle; nor did the enemy seem to decline the combat. However, they stood drawn up for battle and under arms, until night came on; neither side choosing to begin the fray. After this, they continued a considerable time encamped near each other, without coming to action; neither diffident of their own strength, nor despising the adversary. Meanwhile matters went on actively in Etruria; for a decisive battle was fought with the Umbrians, in which the enemy was routed, but lost not many men, for they did not maintain the fight with the vigor with which they began it. Besides this the Etrurians, having raised an army under the sanctions of the devoting law, each man choosing another, came to an engagement at the Cape of Vadimon, with more numerous forces, and, at the same time, with greater spirit than they had ever shown before. The battle was fought with such animosity that no javelins were thrown by either party: swords alone were made use of; and the fury of the combatants was still higher inflamed by the long-continued contest; so that it appeared to the Romans as if they were disputing, not with Etrurians, whom they had so often conquered, but with a new race. Not the semblance of giving ground appeared in any part; the first lines fell; and lest the standards should be exposed, without defense, the second lines were formed in their place. At length, even the men forming the last reserves were called into action; and to such an extremity of difficulty and danger had they come, that the Roman cavalry dismounted, and pressed forward, through heaps of arms and bodies, to the front ranks of the infantry. These starting up a new army, as it were, among men now exhausted, disordered the battalions of the Etrurians; and the rest, weak as their condition was, seconding their assault, broke at last through the enemy's ranks. Their obstinacy then began to give way: some companies quitted their posts, and, as soon as they once turned their backs, betook themselves to more decided flight. That day first broke the strength of the Etrurians, now grown exuberant through a long course of prosperity; all the flower of their men were cut off in the field, and in the same assault their camp was seized and sacked.
40. Equal danger, and an issue equally glorious, soon after attended the war with the Samnites; who, besides their many preparations for the field, made their army to glitter with new decorations of their armor. Their troops were in two divisions, one of which had their shields embossed with gold, the other with silver. The shape of the shield was this; broad at the middle to cover the breast and shoulders, the summit being flat, sloping off gradually so as to become pointed below, that it might be wielded with ease; a loose coat of mail also served as a protection for the breast, and the left leg was covered with a greave; their helmets were adorned with plumes, to add to the appearance of their stature. The golden-armed soldiers wore tunics of various colors; the silver-armed, of white linen. To the latter the right wing was assigned; the former took post on the left. The Romans had been apprised of these splendid accoutrements, and had been taught by their commanders, that "a soldier ought to be rough; not decorated with gold and silver, but placing his confidence in his sword. That matters of this kind were in reality spoil rather than armor; glittering before action, but soon becoming disfigured amid blood and wounds. That the brightest ornament of a soldier was valor; that all those trinkets would follow victory, and that those rich enemies would be valuable prizes to the conquerors, however poor." Cursor, having animated his men with these observations, led them on to battle. He took post himself on the right wing, he gave the command of the left to the master of the horse. As soon as they engaged, the struggle between the two armies became desperate, while it was no less so between the dictator and the master of the horse, on which wing victory should first show itself. It happened that Junius first, with the left wing, made the right of the enemy give way; this consisted of men devoted after the custom of Samnites, and on that account distinguished by white garments and armor of equal whiteness. Junius, saying "he would sacrifice these to Pluto," pressed forward, disordered their ranks, and made an evident impression on their line: which being perceived by the dictator, he exclaimed, "Shall the victory begin on the left wing, and shall the right, the dictator's own troops, only second the arms of others, and not claim the greatest share of the victory?" This spurred on the soldiers: nor did the cavalry yield to the infantry in bravery, nor the ardor of lieutenants-general to that of the commanders. Marcius Valerius from the right wing, and Publius Decius from the left, both men of consular rank, rode off to the cavalry, posted on the extremities of the line, and, exhorting them to join in putting in for a share of the honor, charged the enemy on the flanks. When the addition of this new alarm assailed the enemies' troops on both sides, and the Roman legions, having renewed the shout to confound the enemy, rushed on, they began to fly. And now the plains were quickly filled with heaps of bodies and splendid armor. At first, their camp received the dismayed Samnites; but they did not long retain even the possession of that: before night it was taken, plundered, and burnt. The dictator triumphed, in pursuance of a decree of the senate; and the most splendid spectacle by far, of any in his procession, was the captured arms: so magnificent were they deemed, that the shields, adorned with gold, were distributed among the owners of the silver shops, to serve as embellishments to the forum. Hence, it is said, arose the custom of the forum being decorated by the aediles, when the grand processions are made on occasion of the great games. The Romans, indeed, converted these extraordinary arms to the honor of the gods: but the Campanians, out of pride, and in hatred of the Samnites, gave them as ornaments to their gladiators, who used to be exhibited as a show at their feasts, and whom they distinguished by the name of Samnites. During this year, the consul Fabius fought with the remnants of the Etrurians at Perusia, which city also had violated the truce, and gained an easy and decisive victory. He would have taken the town itself (for he marched up to the walls,) had not deputies come out and capitulated. Having placed a garrison at Perusia, and sent on before him to the Roman senate the embassies of Etruria, who solicited friendship, the consul rode into the city in triumph, for successes more important than those of the dictator. Besides, a great share of the honor of reducing the Samnites was attributed to the lieutenants-general, Publius Decius and Marcius Valerius: whom, at the next election, the people, with universal consent, declared the one consul, the other praetor.
41. To Fabius, in consideration of his extraordinary merit in the conquest of Etruria, the consulship was continued. Decius was appointed his colleague. Valerius was created praetor a fourth time. The consuls divided the provinces between them. Etruria fell to Decius, Samnium to Fabius. The latter, having marched to Nuceria, rejected the application of the people of Alfaterna, who then sued for peace, because they had not accepted it when offered, and by force of arms compelled them to surrender. A battle was fought with the Samnites; the enemy were overcome without much difficulty: nor would the memory of that engagement have been preserved, except that in it the Marsians first appeared in arms against the Romans. The Pelignians, imitating the defection of the Marsians, met the same fate. The other consul, Decius, was likewise very successful in his operations: through terror he compelled the Tarquinians to supply his army with corn, and to sue for a truce for forty years. He took several forts from the Volsinians by assault, some of which he demolished, that they might not serve as receptacles to the enemy, and by extending his operations through every quarter, diffused such a dread of his arms, that the whole Etrurian nation sued to the consul for an alliance: this they did not obtain; but a truce for a year was granted them. The pay of the Roman army for that year was furnished by the enemy; and two tunics for each soldier were exacted from them: this was the purchase of the truce. The tranquillity now established in Etruria was interrupted by a sudden insurrection of the Umbrians, a nation which had suffered no injury from the war, except what inconvenience the country had felt in the passing of the army. These, by calling into the field all their own young men, and forcing a great part of the Etrurians to resume their arms, made up such a numerous force, that speaking of themselves with ostentatious vanity and of the Romans with contempt, they boasted that they would leave Decius behind in Etruria, and march away to besiege Rome; which design of theirs being reported to the consul Decius, he removed by long marches from Etruria towards their city, and sat down in the district of Pupinia, in readiness to act according to the intelligence received of the enemy. Nor was the insurrection of the Umbrians slighted at Rome: their very threats excited tears among the people, who had experienced, in the calamities suffered from the Gauls, how insecure a city they inhabited. Deputies were therefore dispatched to the consul Fabius with directions, that, if he had any respite from the war of the Samnites, he should with all haste lead his army into Umbria. The consul obeyed the order, and by forced marches proceeded to Mevania, where the forces of the Umbrians then lay. The unexpected arrival of the consul, whom they had believed to be sufficiently employed in Samnium, far distant from their country, so thoroughly affrighted the Umbrians, that several advised retiring to their fortified towns; others, the discontinuing the war. However, one district, called by themselves Materina, prevailed on the rest not only to retain their arms, but to come to an immediate engagement. They fell upon Fabius while he was fortifying his camp. When the consul saw them rushing impetuously towards his rampart, he called off his men from the work, and drew them up in the best manner which the nature of the place and the time allowed; encouraging them by displaying, in honorable and just terms, the glory which they had acquired, as well in Etruria as in Samnium, he bade them finish this insignificant appendage to the Etrurian war, and take vengeance for the impious expressions in which these people had threatened to attack the city of Rome. Such was the alacrity of the soldiers on hearing this, that, raising the shout spontaneously, they interrupted the general's discourse, and, without waiting for orders, advanced, with the sound of all the trumpets and cornets, in full speed against the enemy. They made their attack not as on men, or at least men in arms, but, what must appear wonderful in the relation, began by snatching the standards out of the hands which held them; and then, the standard-bearers themselves were dragged to the consul, and the armed soldiers transferred from the one line to the other; and wherever resistance was any where made, the business was performed, not so much with swords, as with their shields, with the bosses of which, and thrusts of their elbows, they bore down the foe. The prisoners were more numerous than the slain, and through the whole line the Umbrians called on each other, with one voice, to lay down their arms. Thus a surrender was made in the midst of action, by the first promoters of the war; and on the next and following days, the other states of the Umbrians also surrendered. The Ocriculans were admitted to a treaty of friendship on giving security.
42. Fabius, successful in a war allotted to another, led back his army into his own province. And as, in the preceding year, the people had, in consideration of his services so successfully performed, re-elected him to the consulship, so now the senate, from the same motive, notwithstanding a warm opposition made by Appius, prolonged his command for the year following, in which Appius Claudius and Lucius Volumnius were consuls. In some annals I find, that Appius, still holding the office of censor, declared himself a candidate for the consulship, and that his election was stopped by a protest of Lucius Furius, plebeian tribune, until he resigned the censorship. After his election to the consulship, the new war with the Sallentine enemies being decreed to his colleague, he remained at Rome, with design to increase his interest by city intrigues, since the means of procuring honor in war were placed in the hands of others. Volumnius had no reason to be dissatisfied with his province: he fought many battles with good success, and took several cities by assault. He was liberal in his donations of the spoil; and this munificence, engaging in itself, he enhanced by his courteous demeanor, by which conduct he inspired his soldiers with ardor to meet both toil and danger. Quintus Fabius, proconsul, fought a pitched battle with the armies of the Samnites, near the city of Allifae. The victory was complete. The enemy were driven from the field, and pursued to their camp; nor would they have kept possession of that, had not the day been almost spent. It was invested, however, before night, and guarded until day, lest any should slip away. Next morning, while it was scarcely clear day, they proposed to capitulate, and it was agreed, that such as were natives of Samnium should be dismissed with single garments. All these were sent under the yoke. No precaution was taken in favor of the allies of the Samnites: they were sold by auction, to the number of seven thousand. Those who declared themselves subjects of the Hernicians, were kept by themselves under a guard. All these Fabius sent to Rome to the senate; and, after being examined, whether it was in consequence of a public order, or as volunteers, that they had carried arms on the side of the Samnites against the Romans, they were distributed among the states of the Latins to be held in custody; and it was ordered, that the new consuls, Publius Cornelius Arvina and Quintus Marcius Tremulus, who by this time had been elected, should lay that affair entire before the senate: this gave such offense to the Hernicians, that, at a meeting of all the states, assembled by the Anagnians, in the circus called the Maritime, the whole nation of the Hernicians, excepting the Alatrians, Ferentines, and Verulans, declared war against the Roman people.
43. In Samnium also, in consequence of the departure of Fabius, new commotions arose. Calatia and Sora, and the Roman garrisons stationed there, were taken, and extreme cruelty was exercised towards the captive soldiers: Publius Cornelius was therefore sent thither with an army. The command against the new enemy (for by this time an order had passed for declaring war against the Anagnians, and the rest of the Hernicians) was decreed to Marcius. These, in the beginning, secured all the passes between the camps of the consuls, in such a manner, that no messenger, however expert, could make his way from one to the other; and each consul spent several days in absolute uncertainty regarding every matter and in anxious suspense concerning the state of the other. Apprehensions for their safety spread even to Rome; so that all the younger citizens were compelled to enlist and two regular armies were raised, to answer sudden emergencies. The conduct of the Hernicians during the progress of the war afterwards, showed nothing suitable to the present alarm, or to the ancient renown of that nation. Without ever venturing any effort worth mentioning, being stripped of three different camps within a few days, they stipulated for a truce of thirty days, during which they might send to Rome, to the senate, on the terms of furnishing two months' pay, and corn, and a tunic to every soldier. They were referred back to Marcius by the senate, whom by a decree they empowered to determine regarding the Hernicians, and he accepted their submission. Meanwhile, in Samnium, the other consul, though superior in strength, was very much embarrassed by the nature of his situation; the enemy had blocked up all the roads, and seized on the passable defiles, so that no provisions could be conveyed; nor could the consul, though he daily drew out his troops and offered battle, allure them to an engagement. It was evident, that neither could the Samnites support an immediate contest, nor the Romans a delay of action. The approach of Marcius, who, after he had subdued the Hernicians, hastened to the succor of his colleague, put it out of the enemy's power any longer to avoid fighting: for they, who had not deemed themselves a match in the field, even for one of the armies, could not surely suppose that if they should allow the two consular armies to unite, they could have any hope remaining: they made an attack therefore on Marcius, as he was approaching in the irregular order of march. The baggage was hastily thrown together in the center, and the line formed as well as the time permitted. First the shout which reached the standing camp of Cornelius, then the dust observed at a distance, excited a bustle in the camp of the other consul. Ordering his men instantly to take arms, and leading them out to the field with the utmost haste, he charged the flank of the enemy's line, which had enough to do in the other dispute, at the same time exclaiming, that "it would be the height of infamy if they suffered Marcius's army to monopolize the honor of both victories, and did not assert their claim to the glory of their own war." He bore down all before him, and pushed forward, through the midst of the enemy's line, to their camp, which, being left without a guard, he took and set on fire; which when the soldiers of Marcius saw in flames, and the enemy observed it on looking about, a general flight immediately took place among the Samnites. But they could not effect an escape in any direction; in every quarter they met death. After a slaughter of thirty thousand men, the consuls had now given the signal for retreat; and were collecting, into one body, their several forces, who were employed in mutual congratulations, when some new cohorts of the enemy, which had been levied for a reinforcement, being seen at a distance, occasioned a renewal of the carnage. On these the conquerors rushed, without any order of the consuls, or signal received, crying out, that they would make these Samnites pay dearly for their introduction to service. The consuls indulged the ardor of the legions, well knowing that the raw troops of the enemy, mixed with veterans dispirited by defeat, would be incapable even of attempting a contest. Nor were they wrong in their judgment: all the forces of the Samnites, old and new, fled to the nearest mountains. These the Roman army also ascended, so that no situation afforded safety to the vanquished; they were beaten off, even from the summits which they had seized. And now they all, with on voice, supplicated for a suspension of arms. On which, being ordered to furnish corn for three months, pay for a year, and a tunic to each of the soldiers, they sent deputies to the senate to sue for peace. Cornelius was left in Samnium. Marcius returned into the city, in triumph over the Hernicians; and a decree was passed for erecting to him, in the forum, an equestrian statue, which was placed before the temple of Castor. To three states of the Hernicians, (the Alatrians, Verulans, and Ferentines,) their own laws were restored, because they preferred these to the being made citizens of Rome; and they were permitted to intermarry with each other, a privilege which they alone of the Hernicians, for a long time after, enjoyed. To the Anagnians, and the others, who had made war on the Romans, was granted the freedom of the state, without the right of voting; public assemblies, and intermarriages, were not allowed them, and their magistrates were prohibited from acting except in the ministration of public worship. During this year, Caius Junius Bubulcus, censor, contracted for the building of a temple to Health, which he had vowed during his consulate in the war with the Samnites. By the same person, and his colleague, Marcus Valerius Maximus, roads were made through the fields at the public expense. During the same year the treaty with the Carthaginians was renewed a third time, and ample presents made to their ambassadors who came on that business.
44. This year had a dictator in office, Publius Cornelius Scipio, with Publius Decius Mus, master of the horse. By these the election of consuls was held, being the purpose for which they had been created, because neither of the consuls could be absent from the armies. The consuls elected were Lucius Postumius and Titus Minucius; whom Piso places next after Quintus Fabius and Publius Decius, omitting the two years in which I have set down Claudius with Volumnius, and Cornelius with Marcius, as consuls. Whether this happened through a lapse of memory in digesting his annals, or whether he purposely passed over those two consulates as deeming the accounts of them false, cannot be ascertained. During this year the Samnites made incursions into the district of Stellae in the Campanian territory. Both the consuls were therefore sent into Samnium, and proceeded to different regions, Postumius to Tifernum, Minucius to Bovianum. The first engagement happened at Tifernum, under the command of Postumius. Some say, that the Samnites were completely defeated, and twenty thousand of them made prisoners. Others, that the army separated without victory on either side; and that Postumius, counterfeiting fear, withdrew his forces privately by night, and marched away to the mountains; whither the enemy also followed, and took possession of a stronghold two miles distant. The consul, having created a belief that he had come thither for the sake of a safe post, and a fruitful spot, (and such it really was,) secured his camp with strong works. Furnishing it with magazines of every thing useful, he left a strong guard to defend it; and at the third watch, led away the legions lightly accoutred, by the shortest road which he could take, to join his colleague, who lay opposite to his foe. There, by advice of Postumius, Minucius came to an engagement with the enemy; and when the fight had continued doubtful through a great part of the day, Postumius, with his fresh legions, made an unexpected attack on the enemy's line, spent by this time with fatigue: thus, weariness and wounds having rendered them incapable even of flying, they were cut off to a man, and twenty-one standards taken. The Romans then proceeded to Postumius's station, where the two victorious armies falling upon the enemy, already dismayed by the news of what had passed, routed and dispersed them: twenty-six military standards were taken here, and the Samnite general, Statius Gellius, with a great number of other prisoners, and both the camps were taken. Next day Bovianum was besieged, and soon after taken. Both the consuls were honored with a triumph, with high applause of their excellent conduct. Some writers say, that the consul Minucius was brought back to the camp grievously wounded, and that he died there; that Marcus Fulvius was substituted consul in his place, and that it was he who, being sent to command Minucius's army, took Bovianum. During the same year, Sora, Arpinum, and Censennia were recovered from the Samnites. The great statue of Hercules was erected in the Capitol, and dedicated.
45. In the succeeding consulate of Publius Sulpicius Saverrio and Publius Sempronius Sophus, the Samnites, desirous either of a termination or a suspension of hostilities, sent ambassadors to Rome to treat of peace; to whose submissive solicitations this answer was returned, that, "had not the Samnites frequently solicited peace, at times when they were actually preparing for war, their present application might, perhaps, in the course of negotiating, have produced the desired effect. But now, since words had hitherto proved vain, people's conduct must be guided by facts: that Publius Sempronius the consul would shortly be in Samnium with an army: that he could not be deceived in judging whether their dispositions inclined to peace or war. He would bring the senate certain information respecting every particular, and their ambassadors might follow the consul on his return from Samnium." When the Roman army accordingly marched through all parts of Samnium, which was in a state of peace, provisions being liberally supplied, a renewal of the old treaty was, this year, granted to the Samnites. The Roman arms were then turned against the Aequans, their old enemies, but who had, for many years past, remained quiet, under the guise of a treacherous peace, because, while the Hernicians were in a state of prosperity, these had, in conjunction with them, frequently sent aid to the Samnites; and after the Hernicians were subdued, almost the whole nation, without dissembling that they acted by public authority, had revolted to the enemy; and when, after the conclusion of the treaty with the Samnites at Rome, ambassadors were sent to demand satisfaction, they said, that "this was only a trial made of them, on the expectation that they would through fear suffer themselves to be made Roman citizens. But how much that condition was to be wished for, they had been taught by the Hernicians; who, when they had the option, preferred their own laws to the freedom of the Roman state. To people who wished for liberty to choose what they judged preferable, the necessity of becoming Roman citizens would have the nature of a punishment." In resentment of these declarations, uttered publicly in their assemblies, the Roman people ordered war to be made on the Aequans; and, in prosecution of this new undertaking, both the consuls marched from the city, and sat down at the distance of four miles from the camp of the enemy. The troops of the Aequans, like tumultuary recruits, in consequence of their having passed such a number of years without waging war on their own account, were all in disorder and confusion, without established officers and without command. Some advised to give battle, others to defend the camp; the greater part were influenced by concern for the devastation of their lands, likely to take place, and the consequent destruction of their cities, left with weak garrisons. Among a variety of propositions, one, however, was heard which, abandoning all concern for the public interest, tended to transfer every man's attention to the care of his private concerns. It recommended that, at the first watch, they should depart from the camp by different roads, so as to carry all their effects into the cities, and to secure them by the strength of the fortifications; this they all approved with universal assent. When the enemy were now dispersed through the country, the Romans, at the first dawn, marched out to the field, and drew up in order of battle; but no one coming to oppose them, they advanced in a brisk pace to the enemy's camp. But when they perceived neither guards before the gates, nor soldiers on the ramparts, nor the usual bustle of a camp,--surprised at the extraordinary silence, they halted in apprehension of some stratagem. At length, passing over the rampart, and finding the whole deserted, they proceeded to search out the tracks of the enemy. But these, as they scattered themselves to every quarter, occasioned perplexity at first. Afterwards discovering their design by means of scouts, they attacked their cities, one after another, and within the space of fifty days took, entirely by force, forty-one towns, most of which were razed and burnt, and the race of the Aequans almost extirpated. A triumph was granted over the Aequans. The Marrucinians, Marsians, Pelignians, and Ferentans, warned by the example of their disasters, sent deputies to Rome to solicit peace and friendship; and these states, on their submissive applications, were admitted into alliance.
46. In the same year, Cneius Flavius, son of Cneius, grandson of a freed man, a notary, in low circumstances originally, but artful and eloquent, was appointed curule aedile. I find in some annals, that, being in attendance on the aediles, and seeing that he was voted aedile by the prerogative tribe, but that his name would not be received, because he acted as a notary, he threw down his tablet, and took an oath, that he would not, for the future, follow that business. But Licinius Macer contends, that he had dropped the employment of notary a considerable time before, having already been a tribune, and twice a triumvir, once for regulating the nightly watch, and another time for conducting a colony. However, of this there is no dispute, that against the nobles, who threw contempt on the meanness of his condition, he contended with much firmness. He made public the rules of proceeding in judicial causes, hitherto shut up in the closets of the pontiffs; and hung up to public view, round the forum, the calendar on white tablets, that all might know when business could be transacted in the courts. To the great displeasure of the nobles, he performed the dedication of the temple of Concord, in the area of Vulcan's temple; and the chief pontiff, Cornelius Barbatus, was compelled by the united instances of the people, to dictate to him the form of words, although he affirmed, that, consistently with the practice of antiquity, no other than a consul, or commander-in-chief, could dedicate a temple. This occasioned a law to be proposed to the people, by direction of the senate, that no person should dedicate a temple, or an altar, without an order from the senate, or from a majority of the plebeian tribunes. The incident which I am about to mention would be trivial in itself, were it not an instance of the freedom assumed by plebeians in opposition to the pride of the nobles. When Flavius had come to make a visit to his colleague, who was sick, and when, by an arrangement between some young nobles who were sitting there, they did not rise on his entrance, he ordered his curule chair to be brought thither, and from his honorable seat of office enjoyed the sight of his enemies tortured with envy. However, a low faction, which had gathered strength during the censorship of Appius Claudius, had made Flavius an aedile; for he was the first who degraded the senate, by electing into it the immediate descendants of freed men; and when no one allowed that election as valid, and when he had not acquired in the senate-house that influence in the city which he had been aiming at, by distributing men of the meanest order among all the several tribes, he thus corrupted the assemblies both of the forum and of the field of Mars; and so much indignation did the election of Flavius excite, that most of the nobles laid aside their gold rings and bracelets in consequence of it. From that time the state was split into two parties. The uncorrupted part of the people, who favored and supported the good, held one side; the faction of the rabble, the other; until Quintus Fabius and Publius Decius were made censors; and Fabius, both for the sake of concord, and at the same time to prevent the elections remaining in the hands of the lowest of the people, purged the rest of the tribes of all the rabble of the forum, and threw it into four, and called them city tribes. And this procedure, we are told, gave such universal satisfaction, that, by this regulation in the orders of the state, he obtained the surname of Maximus, which he had not obtained by his many victories. The annual review of the knights, on the ides of July, is also said to have been instituted by him.