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Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book IX Chapter 43: Subjugation of the Hernicans and Aequi -- Peace with the Samnites[306 BC]
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Now that Fabius had evacuated the country the Samnites became restless. Calatia and Sora and the Roman garrisons there were taken by storm, and the soldiers who had been taken prisoners were cruelly massacred. Publius Cornelius was despatched thither with an army. The war with the Anagnians and Hernicans had been assigned to Marcius. At first the enemy occupied such a well-chosen position between the camps of the two consul that no messenger, however active, could get through, and for some days both consuls were kept in ignorance of everything and in anxious suspense as to each other's movements. Tidings of this alarming state of things reached Rome, and every man liable to service was called out; two complete armies were raised against sudden emergencies. But the progress of the war did not justify this extreme alarm, nor was it worthy of the old reputation which the Hernicans enjoyed. They attempted nothing worth mentioning, within a few days they were stripped of three camps in succession, and begged for a thirty days' armistice to allow of their sending envoys to Rome. To obtain this they consented to supply the troops with six months' pay and one tunic per man. The envoys were referred by the senate to Marcius, to whom they had given full powers to treat, and he received the formal surrender of the Hernicans. |
The other consul in Samnium, though superior in strength, was more hampered in his movements. The enemy had blocked all the roads and secured the passes so that no supplies could be brought in, and though the consul drew up his line and offered battle each day he failed to allure the enemy into an engagement. It was quite clear that the Samnites would not risk an immediate conflict, and that the Romans could not stand a prolonged campaign. The arrival of Marcius, who after subjugating the Hernicans had hurried to the assistance of his colleague, made it impossible for the enemy to delay matters any longer. They had not felt themselves strong enough to meet even one army in the open field, and they knew that their position would be perfectly hopeless if the two consular armies formed a junction; they decided, therefore, to attack Marcius while he was on the march before he had time to deploy his men. The soldiers' kits were hurriedly thrown together in the centre, and the fighting line was formed as well as the time allowed. The noise of the battle-shout rolling across and then the sight of the cloud of dust in the distance created great excitement in the standing camp of Cornelius. He at once ordered the men to arm for battle, and led them hurriedly out of the camp into line. It would, he exclaimed, be a scandalous disgrace if they allowed the other army to win a victory which both ought to share, and failed to maintain their claim to the glory of a war which was especially their own. He then made a flank attack, and breaking through the enemy's centre pushed on to their camp, which was denuded of defenders, and burnt it As soon as Marcius' troops caught sight of the flames, and the enemy looking behind them saw them too, the Samnites took to flight in all directions, but no place afforded them a safe refuge, death awaited them everywhere.
After 30,000 of the enemy had been killed the consuls gave the signal to retire. They were recalling and collecting the troops together amidst mutual congratulations when suddenly fresh cohorts of the enemy were seen in the distance, consisting of recruits who had been sent up as reinforcements. This renewed the carnage, for, without any orders from the consuls or any signal given, the victorious Romans attacked them, exclaiming as they charged that the Samnite recruits would have to pay dearly for their training. The consuls did not check the ardour of their men, for they knew well that raw soldiers would not even attempt to fight when the veterans around them were in disorderly flight. Nor were they mistaken; all the Samnite forces, veterans and recruits alike, fled to the nearest mountains. The Romans went up after them, no place afforded safety to the beaten foe, they were routed from the heights they had occupied, and at last with one voice they all begged for peace. They were ordered to supply corn for three months, a year's pay, and a tunic for each soldier, and envoys were despatched to the senate to obtain terms of peace.
Cornelius was left in Samnium; Marcius entered the City in triumphal procession alter his subjugation of the Hernicans. An equestrian statue was decreed to him which was erected in the Forum in front of the Temple of Castor (1). Three of the Hernican communities -- Aletrium, Verulae, and Ferentinum -- had their municipal independence restored to them as they preferred that to the Roman franchise, and the right of intermarriage with each other was granted them, a privilege which for a considerable period they were the only communities amongst the Hernicans to enjoy. The Anagnians and the others who had taken up arms against Rome were admitted to the status of citizenship without the franchise, they were deprived of their municipal self-government and the right of intermarriage with each other, and their magistrates were forbidden to exercise any functions except those connected with religion.
In this year the censor Gaius Junius Bubulcus signed a contract for the building of the temple to Salus which he had vowed when engaged as consul in the Samnite war. He and his colleague, Marcus Valerius Maximus, also undertook the construction of roads through the country districts out of the public funds.
(1): The temple of Castor and Pollux was built on the very spot on which the two brothers had been miraculously seen watering their horses at the spring of Juturna to announce the great victory at Lake Regillus.
|In Samnio quoque, quia decesserat inde Fabius, noui motus exorti. Calatia et Sora praesidiaque quae in his Romana erant expugnata et in captiuorum corpora militum foede saeuitum. Itaque eo P. Cornelius cum exercitu missus. Marcio noui hostesóiam enim Anagninis Hernicisque aliis bellum iussum eratódecernuntur. Primo ita omnia opportuna loca hostes inter consulum castra inter ceperunt ut peruadere expeditus nuntius non posset et per aliquot dies incerti rerum omnium suspensique de statu alterius uterque consul ageret, Romamque is metus manaret, adeo ut omnes iuniores sacramento adigerentur atque ad subita rerum duo iusti scriberentur exercitus. Ceterum Hernicum bellum nequaquam pro praesenti terrore ac uetusta gentis gloria fuit: nihil usquam dictu dignum ausi, trinis castris intra paucos dies exuti, triginta dierum indutias ita ut ad senatum Romam legatos mitterent pacti sunt bimestri stipendio frumentoque et singulis in militem tunicis. Ab senatu ad Marcium reiecti, cui senatus consulto permissum de Hernicis erat; isque eam gentem in deditionem accepit. Et in Samnio alter consul superior uiribus, locis impeditior erat. Omnia itinera obsaepserant hostes saltusque peruios ceperant ne qua subuehi commeatus possent; neque eos, cum cottidie signa in aciem consul proferret, elicere ad certamen poterat, satisque apparebat neque Samnitem certamen praesens nec Romanum dilationem belli laturum. Aduentus Marci, qui Hernicis subactis maturauit collegae uenire auxilio, moram certaminis hosti exemit. Nam ut qui ne alteri quidem exercitui se ad certamen credidissent pares, coniungi utique passi duos consulares exercitus nihil crederent superesse spei, aduenientem incomposito agmine Marcium adgrediuntur. Raptim conlatae sarcinae in medium et, prout tempus patiebatur, instructa acies. Clamor primum in statiua perlatus, dein conspectus procul puluis tumultum apud alterum consulem in castris fecit; isque confestim arma capere iussis raptimque eductis in aciem militibus transuersam hostium aciem atque alio certamine occupatam inuadit, clamitans summum flagitium fore, si alterum exercitum utriusque uictoriae compotem sinerent fieri nec ad se sui belli uindicarent decus. Qua impetum dederat, perrumpit aciemque per mediam in castra hostium tendit et uacua defensoribus capit atque incendit. Quae ubi flagrantia Marcianus miles conspexit et hostes respexere, tum passim fuga coepta Samnitium fieri; sed omnia obtinet caedes nec in ullam partem tutum perfugium est. Iam triginta milibus hostium caesis signum receptui consules dederant colligebantque in unum copias inuicem inter se gratantes, cum repente uisae procul hostium nouae cohortes, quae in supplementum scriptae fuerant, integrauere caedem. In quas nec iussu consulum nec signo accepto uictores uadunt, malo tirocinio imbuendum Samnitem clamitantes. Indulgent consules legionum ardori, ut qui probe scirent nouum militem hostium inter perculsos fuga ueteranos ne temptando quidem satis certamini fore. Nec eos opinio fefellit: omnes Samnitium copiae, ueteres nouaeque, montes proximos fuga capiunt. Eo et Romana erigitur acies, nec quicquam satis tuti loci uictis est et de iugis, quae ceperant, funduntur; iamque una uoce omnes pacem petebant. Tum trium mensum frumento imperato et annuo stipendio ac singulis in militem tunicis ad senatum pacis oratores missi. Cornelius in Samnio relictus: Marcius de Hernicis triumphans in urbem rediit statuaque equestris in foro decreta est, quae ante templum Castoris posita est. Hernicorum tribus populis, Aletrinati Verulano Ferentinati, quia maluerunt quam ciuitatem, suae leges redditae conubiumque inter ipsos, quod aliquamdiu soli Hernicorum habuerunt, permissum. Anagninis quique arma Romanis intulerant ciuitas sine suffragii latione data: concilia conubiaque adempta et magistratibus praeter quam sacrorum curatione interdictum. Eodem anno aedes Salutis a C. Iunio Bubulco censore locata est, quam consul bello Samnitium uouerat. Ab eodem collegaque eius M. Valerio Maximo uiae per agros publica impensa factae. Et cum Carthaginiensibus eodem anno foedus tertio renouatum legatisque eorum, qui ad id uenerant, comiter munera missa.|