|Do not fly Iberia
Display Latin text
Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book VII Chapter 38: Mutiny of Troops in Campania.[343-2 BC]
Return to index
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