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Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book VIII Chapter 11: The Revolt of the Latins and Campanians. The end.[340 BC]
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Although the memory of every traditional custom relating to either human or divine things has been lost through our abandonment of the old religion of our fathers in favour of foreign novelties, I thought it not alien from my subject to record these regulations in the very words in which they have been handed down. |
In some authors I find it stated that it was only after the battle was over that the Samnites who had been waiting to see the result came to support the Romans. Assistance was also coming to the Latins from Lanuvium whilst time was being wasted in deliberation, but whilst they were starting and a part of their column was already on the march, news came of the defeat of the Latins. They faced about and re-entered their city and it is stated that Milionius, their praetor, remarked that for that very short march they would have to pay a heavy price to Rome. Those of the Latins who survived the battle retreated by many different routes, and gradually assembled in the city of Vescia. Here the leaders met to discuss the situation, and Numisius assured them that both armies had really experienced the same fortune and an equal amount of bloodshed; the Romans enjoyed no more than the name of victory, in every other respect they were as good as defeated. The head-quarters of both consuls were polluted with blood; the one [Note 1] had murdered his son [Note 2], the other [Note 3] had devoted himself to death; their whole army was massacred, their hastati and principes killed; the companies both in front of and behind the standards had suffered enormous losses; the triarii in the end saved the situation. The Latin troops, it was true, were equally cut up, but Latium and the Volsci could supply reinforcements more quickly than Rome. If, therefore, they approved, he would at once call out the fighting men from the Latin and Volscian peoples and march back with an army to Capua, and would take the Romans unawares; a battle was the last thing they were expecting. He despatched misleading letters throughout Latium and the Volscian country, those who had not been engaged in the battle being the more ready to believe what he said, and a hastily levied body of militia, drawn from all quarters, was got together. This army was met by the consul at Trifanum, a place between Sinuessa and Menturnae. Without waiting even to choose the sites for their camps, the two armies piled their baggage, fought and finished the war, for the Latins were so utterly worsted that when the consul with his victorious army was preparing to ravage their territory, they made a complete surrender and the Campanians followed their example.
Latium and Capua were deprived of their territory. The Latin territory, including that of Privernum, together with the Falernian, which had belonged to the Campanians as far as the Volturnus, was distributed amongst the Roman plebs. They received two jugera a head in the Latin territory, their allotment being made up by three-quarters of a jugerum in the Privernate district; in the Falernian district they received three entire jugera, the additional quarter being allowed owing to the distance. The Laurentes, amongst the Latins and the aristocracy of the Campanians, were not thus penalised because they had not revolted. An order was made for the treaty with the Laurentes to be renewed, and it has since been renewed annually on the tenth day after the Latin Festival. The Roman franchise was conferred on the aristocracy of Campania, and a brazen tablet recording the fact was fastened up in Rome in the temple of Castor, and the people of Campania were ordered to pay them each -- they numbered 1600 in all -- the sum of 450 denarii annually.