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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.
|Eodem tempore et Nymphius praetorem Samnitium arte adgressus perpulerat, ut, quoniam omnis Romanus exercitus aut circa Palaepolim aut in Samnio esset, sineret se classe circumuehi ad Romanum agrum, non oram modo maris sed ipsi urbi propinqua loca depopulaturum; sed ut falleret, nocte proficiscendum esse extemploque naues deducendas. quod quo maturius fieret, omnis iuuentus Samnitium praeter necessarium urbis praesidium ad litus missa. ubi dum Nymphius in tenebris et multitudine semet ipsa impediente, sedulo aliis alia imperia turbans, terit tempus, Charilaus ex composito ab sociis in urbem receptus, cum summa urbis Romano milite implesset, tolli clamorem iussit; ad quem Graeci signo accepto a principibus quieuere, Nolani per auersam partem urbis uia Nolam ferente effugiunt. Samnitibus exclusis ab urbe ut expeditior in praesentia fuga, ita foedior postquam periculo euaserunt uisa, quippe qui inermes nulla rerum suarum non relicta inter hostes, ludibrium non externis modo sed etiam popularibus, spoliati atque egentes domos rediere. haud ignarus opinionis alterius, qua haec proditio ab Samnitibus facta traditur, cum auctoribus hoc dedi, quibus dignius credi est, tum foedus Neapolitanum + eo enim deinde summa rei Graecorum uenit + similius uero facit ipsos in amicitiam redisse. Publilio triumphus decretus, quod satis credebatur obsidione domitos hostes in fidem uenisse. duo singularia haec ei uiro primum contigere, prorogatio imperii non ante in ullo facta et acto honore triumphus.|