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Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book VII Chapter 38: Mutiny of Troops in Campania.[343-2 BC]
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The success which attended these operations made the people of Falerii anxious to convert their forty years' truce into a permanent treaty of peace with Rome. It also led the Latins to abandon their designs against Rome and employ the force they had collected against the Paelignians. The fame of these victories was not confined to the limits of Italy; even the Carthaginians sent a deputation to congratulate the senate and to present a golden crown which was to be placed in the Chapel of Jupiter on the Capitol. It weighed twenty-five pounds. Both the consuls celebrated a triumph over the Samnites. A striking figure in the procession was Decius, wearing his decorations; in their extempore effusions the soldiers repeated his name as often as that of the consul. |
-- Soon after this an audience was granted to deputations from Capua and from Suessa, and at their request it was arranged that a force should be sent to winter in those two cities to act as a check upon the Samnites. Even in those days a residence in Capua was by no means conducive to military discipline; having pleasures of every kind at their command, the troops became enervated and their patriotism was undermined. They began to hatch plans for seizing Capua by the same criminal means by which its present holders had taken it from its ancient possessors. "They richly deserved," it was said, "to have the precedent which they had set turned against themselves. Why should people like the Campanians who were incapable of defending either their possessions or themselves enjoy the most fertile territory in Italy, and a city well worthy of its territory, in preference to a victorious army who had driven off the Samnites from it by their sweat and blood? Was it just that these people who had surrendered themselves into their power should be enjoying that fertile and delightful country while they, wearied with warfare, were struggling with the arid and pestilential soil round the City, or suffering the ruinous consequences of an evergrowing interest which were awaiting them in Rome?"
This agitation which was being conducted in secret, only a few being yet taken into the conspirators' confidence, was discovered by the new consul, Gaius Marcius Rutilus, to whom Campania had been allotted as his province, his colleague, Quintus Servilius, being left in the City. Taught by years and experience -- he had been four times consul as well as dictator and censor -- he thought his best course would be, after he was in possession of the facts as ascertained through the tribunes, to frustrate any chance of the soldiers carrying out their design by encouraging them in the hope of executing it whenever they pleased. The troops had been distributed amongstthe cities of Campania, and the contemplated plan had been propagated from Capua throughout the entire force. The consul caused a rumour, therefore, to be spread that they were to occupy the same winter-quarters the following year. As there appeared to be no necessity for their carrying out their design immediately, the agitation quieted down for the present.
Event: Mutiny of Troops in Campania
|Huius certaminis fortuna et Faliscos, cum in indutiis essent, foedus petere ab senatu coegit et Latinos iam exercitibus comparatis ab Romano in Paelignum uertit bellum. Neque ita rei gestae fama Italiae se finibus tenuit sed Carthaginienses quoque legatos gratulatum Romam misere cum coronae aureae dono, quae in Capitolio in Iouis cella poneretur; fuit pondo uiginti quinque. Consules ambo de Samnitibus triumpharunt sequente Decio insigni cum laude donisque, cum incondito militari ioco haud minus tribuni celebre nomen quam consulum esset. Campanorum deinde Suessulanorumque auditae legationes, precantibusque datum ut praesidium eo in hiberna mitteretur, quo Samnitium excursiones arcerentur. Iam tum minime salubris militari disciplinae Capua instrumento omnium uoluptatium delenitos militum animos auertit a memoria patriae, inibanturque consilia in hibernis eodem scelere adimendae Campanis Capuae per quod illi eam antiquis cultoribus ademissent: neque immerito suum ipsorum exemplum in eos uersurum; cur autem potius Campani agrum Italiae uberrimum, dignam agro urbem, qui nec se nec sua tutari possent, quam uictor exercitus haberet qui suo sudore ac sanguine inde Samnites depulisset? An aequum esse dediticios suos illa fertilitate atque amoenitate perfrui, se militando fessos in pestilenti atque arido circa urbem solo luctari aut in urbe insidentem labem crescentis in dies fenoris pati? Haec agitata occultis coniurationibus necdum uolgata in omnes consilia inuenit nouus consul C. Marcius Rutulus, cui Campania sorte prouincia euenerat, Q. Seruilio collega ad urbem relicto. Itaque cum omnia ea, sicut gesta erant, per tribunos comperta haberet, et aetate et usu doctus quippe qui iam quartum consul esset dictatorque et censor fuisset, optimum ratus differendo spem quandocumque uellent consilii exsequendi militarem impetum frustrari, rumorem dissipat in iisdem oppidis et anno post praesidia hibernatura—diuisa enim erant per Campaniae urbes manauerantque a Capua consilia in exercitum omnem. Eo laxamento cogitationibus dato quieuit in praesentia seditio.|