|Do not fly Iberia
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Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book XXVI Chapter 16: The fate of Capua.[211 BC]
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|Because not only what related to the punishment of the Campanians, but most of the other particulars of this affair, were transacted according to the judgment of Flaccus alone, some authors affirm that Appius Claudius died about the time of the surrender of Capua, and that this same Taurea neither came to Cales voluntarily nor died by his own hand, but that while he was being tied to the stake among the rest, Flaccus, who could not distinctly hear what he vociferated from the noise which was made, ordered silence, when Taurea said the things which have been before related "that he, a man of the greatest courage, was being put to death by one who was by no means his equal in respect to valour." That immediately on his saying this, the herald, by command of the proconsul, pronounced this order. Lictor, apply the rods to this man of courage, and execute the law upon him first." Some authors also relate, that he read the decree of the senate before he beheaded them, but that as there was a clause in it, to the effect, that if he thought proper he should refer the entire question to the senate, he construed it that the decision as to what was most for the interest of the state was left to himself. He returned from Cales to Capua. Atella and Calatia surrendered themselves, and were received. Here also the principal promoters of the revolt were punished. Thus eighty principal members of the senate were put to death, and about three hundred of the Campanian nobles thrown into prison. The rest were distributed through the several cities of the Latin confederacy, to be kept in custody, where they perished in various ways. The rest of the Campanian citizens were sold. The remaining subject of deliberation related to the city and its territory. Some were of opinion that a city so eminently powerful, so near, and so hostile, ought to be demolished. But immediate utility prevailed, for on account of the land, which was evidently superior to any in Italy from the variety and exuberance of its produce, the city was preserved that it might become a settlement of husbandmen. For the purpose of peopling the city, a number of sojourners, freedmen, dealers, and artificers, were retained, but all the land and buildings were made the property of the Roman state. It was resolved, however, that Capua should only be inhabited and peopled as a city, that there should be no body-politic, nor assembly of the senate or people, nor magistrates. For it was thought that a multitude not possessing any public council, without a ruling power, and unconnected by the participation of any common rights, would be incapable of combination. They resolved to send a praefect annually from Rome to administer justice. Thus were matters adjusted at Capua, upon a plan in every respect worthy of commendation. Punishment was inflicted upon the most guilty with rigour and despatch, the populace dispersed beyond all hope of return, no rage vented in fire and ruins upon the unoffending houses and walls. Together also with advantage, a reputation for clemency was obtained among the allies, by the preservation of a city of the greatest celebrity and opulence, the demolition of which, all Campania, and all the people dwelling in the neighbourhood of Campania, would have bewailed, while their enemies were compelled to admit the ability of the Romans to punish their faithless allies, and how little assistance could be derived from Hannibal towards the defence of those whom he had taken under his protection.