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Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book VIII Chapter 26: The surrender of Palaeopolis.[326 BC]
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Nymphius at the same time approached the Samnite praetor and persuaded him, now that the whole of the Roman fighting force was either round Palaeopolis or engaged in Samnium, to allow him to sail round with the fleet to the Roman sea-board and ravage not only the coastal districts but even the country close to the city. But to ensure secrecy he pointed out that it would be necessary to start by night, and that the ships should be at once launched. To expedite matters the whole of the Samnite troops, with the exception of those who were mounting guard in the city, were sent down to the shore. Here they were so crowded as to impede one another's movements and the confusion was heightened by the darkness and the contradictory orders which Nymphius was giving in order to gain time. Meantime Charilaus had been admitted by his confederates into the city. When the Romans had completely occupied the highest parts of the city, he ordered them to raise a shout, on which the Greek, acting on the instructions of their leaders kept quiet. The Nolans escaped at the other end of the city and took the road to Nola. The Samnites, shut out as they were from the city, had less difficulty in getting away but when once out of danger they found themselves in a much more sorry flight. They had no arms, there was nothing they possessed which was not left behind with the enemy; they returned home stripped and destitute, an object of derision not only to foreigners but even to their own countrymen. |
I am quite aware that there is another view of this transaction, according to which it was the Samnites who surrendered, but in the above account I have followed the authorities whom I consider most worthy of credit Neapolis became subsequently the chief seat of the Greek population, and the fact of a treaty being made with that city renders it all the more probable that the re-establishment of friendly relations was due to them.
As it was generally believed that the enemy had been forced by the siege to come to terms, a triumph was decreed to Publilius. Two circumstances happened in connection with his consulship which had never happened before -- a prolongation of command and a triumph after he had laid down his command.
Triumph:The highest honour to a general: clad like Jupiter he drove in a chariot drawn by four white horses. Before him walked the prisoners taken in the war, and the spoils of the captured cities, and in later times pictures of the conquered territories were carried before the general's chariot. He was followed by his troops, who sung songs, often extempore effusions, in honour of their commander.