(1) Posteā Samnītēs Rōmānōs T. Veturiō et Sp. Postumiō cōnsulibus ingentī dēdecore vīcērunt et sub iugum mīsērunt. Pāx tamen ā senātū et populō solūta est, quae cum ipsīs propter necessitātem facta fuerat. Posteā Samnītēs victī sunt ā L. Papīriō cōnsule, septem mīlia eōrum sub iugum missa. Papīrius prīmus dē Samnītibus triumphāvit.

(2) Eō tempore Ap. Claudius cēnsor aquam Claudiam indūxit et viam Appiam strāvit. Samnītēs reparātō bellō Q. Fabium Māximum vīcērunt, tribus mīlibus hominum occīsīs. Posteā, cum pater eī Fabius Māximus lēgātus fuisset, et Samnītas vīcit et plūrima ipsōrum oppida cēpit.

(3) Deinde P. Cornēlius Rūfīnus M'. Curius Dentātus, ambō cōnsulēs, contrā Samnītas missī ingentibus proeliīs eōs cōnfēcēre.

(4) Tum bellum cum Samnītibus per annōs quadrāgintā novem āctum sustulērunt: neque ūllus hostis fuit intrā Ītaliam, quī Rōmānam virtūtem magis fatīgāverit.

    Romans Defeated at Caudine Forks, 321 BCE

    (1) T. Veturiō et Sp. Postumiō cōnsulibus: 321 BCE. Ablative absolute with form of esse assumed (AG 419.a)

    ingentī dēdecore: in 321 BCE the Romans suffered one of their worst disasters. An army of 20,000 men marched from near Capua to cross the Apennines into Apulia. Trapped by the Samnites in a narrow defile called the Caudine Forks, it was compelled to capitulate. The Samnites exacted a humiliating treaty. Fregellae and other Roman posts and six hundred Roman equestrians were surrendered, and the Roman soldiers were forced to pass under a yoke of spears wearing only their tunics. The treaty lasted for five years (Bird). The commander of the Samnites was Gavius Pontius (Hazzard). Florus says:

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    Yet a terrible and infamous Roman defeat occurred at the Caudine Forks during the consulships of Veturius and Postumius. For due to their enemy's cunning, the Roman army was trapped in this marsh and could not escape. The enemy leader, Pontius, showing his inexperience, asked his father Herennius what he should do with them; Herennius, wise beyond his years, replied that he should either kill them all or let them all go. His son, however, preferred to strip them all of rank and send them under the yoke. This was a mistake, for now the Romans were no longer allies bound by his aid, but enemies roused by bitter abuse. As a result, the consuls immediately removed the disgrace from the treaty by offering themselves up for punishment. Now under Papirius' command, the army demanded vengeance. They brandished their swords, running amok as they approached the battlefield; and when they engaged in battle, even the enemy admitted that their eyes were burning with rage. They didn't stop until they brought both the enemy and its leader under the yoke (1.11.29-43).

    sub iugum: the yoke was formed by sticking two spears in the ground and fastening a third on top. To pass under the yoke was a sign of subjection, and is equivalent to our expression, "laying down arms" (Hazzard). Compare the English word “subjugate,” and LS iugum I.B.4.

    Pāx tamen ā senātū et populō solūta est: a Roman general could not make peace with the enemy without the ratification of the senate and the people (Hazzard). For the use of solvo in legal terms, see LS solvō II.B.3.a

    ipsīs: Samnitibus

    propter necessitātem: the Romans used the following five years to reorganize and augment their army. In 316 BCE they repudiated the treaty and the next year they renewed hostilities. Although the Samnites had won an initial victory at Lautalae, the Romans drove them from Tarracina and recaptured Capua in 315 BCE. That same year the consul L. Papirius Cursor captured Luceria and sent seven thousand Samnite soldiers under the yoke. For this achievement he celebrated a triumph (Bird).

    facta fuerat: Eutropius ordinarily uses fueram, etc., for eram in the pluperfect passive indicative (Hazzard).

    eōrum: refers to the Samnites

    missa: supply sunt

    (2) Ap. Claudius: In 312 BCE Appius Claudius Caecus, as censor, built Rome's first aqueduct [Aqua Appia] and the first Italian all-weather highway [Via Appia] between Rome and Capua. The former was nearly 8 miles long and mostly underground, the latter was 132 miles in length and became Rome’s principal road to southern Italy (Bird).

    aquam Claudiam: i.e., aquaeductus

    strāvit: "paved," see LS sterno II.A.2

    reparātō bellō: ablative absolute using perfect passive participle (AG 419)

    Q. Fabium Māximum: called Gurges, the son of Q. Fabius Maximus mentioned in Brev. 2.8. In the Third Samnite War (298-290 BCE), the consul of 292, Q. Fabius Maximus Gurges suffered losses and the senate considered relieving him of his command, but his father promised to serve under him and the senate agreed. He was then successful against Gavius Pontius, the Samnite general who had defeated the Romans at the Caudine Forks, and was awarded a triumph (Bird).

    tribus mīlibus hominum occīsīs: ablative absolute using perfect passive participle (AG 419)

    ipsōrum: Samnitum

    (3) P. Cornēlius Rūfīnus M. Curius Dentātus, ambō cōnsulēsPublius Cornelius Rufinus and Manius Curius Dentatus were consuls in 290 BCE.

    missī: supply sunt

    eōs: Samnites

    cōnfēcēre: "Finally defeated," syncopated form of cōnfēcērunt

    (4) āctum: "waged," agrees with bellum (Hazzard)

    sustulērunt: "brought to an end," < tollō

    quī Rōmānam virtūtem magis fatīgāveritrelative clause of characteristic (AG 534)

    Core Vocabulary | Numbers | Dates

    Samnītēs, um, Gr. acc. pl. Samnītas, pl. m.

    the Samnites, a branch of the Sabine race inhabiting the mountains southeast of Latium

    T. abbreviation of the praenomen Titus
    Veturius, ī, m. T. Veturius, consul 321 B.C.
    Sp. an abbreviation of the praenomen Spurius
    Postumius, ī, m.

    Sp. Postumius (Albīnus), consul 344 and 321 B.C.

    dēdecus, oris [dē + decus, honor], n. disgrace, dishonor
    Papirius, ī, m. the name of a Roman gens.
    triumphō, āre, āvī, ātus to celebrate a triumph
    Appius, ī, m. (abbr. Ap.)

    a praenomen especially common in the Claudian gens 2

    Claudius, ī, m.

    the name of one of the oldest and most famous of the Roman gentes. (1.) Claudius I. Tib. Claudius Drusus Nero, Roman emperor, 41–54 A.D.; (2) Claudius II., M. Aurelius Claudius Gothicus, Roman emperor, 268–270 A.D.

    cēnsor, ōris [cēnseō, to value], m. censor, a Roman magistrate, elected
    Claudius, a, um Claudian
    indūcō, ere, dūxī, ductus to lead in; induce; put on, cover
    sternō, ere, strāvī, strātus to lay low, scatter; pave
    reparō, āre, āvī, ātus to renew
    Q. abbreviation of the praenomen Quīntus
    Fabius, ī, m.

    the name of a Roman gens. Fabia familia, the Fabian gens. (1) C. Fabius, consul 477 B.C.; (2) Q. Fabius, the first Roman annalist; (3) C. Fabius Pīctor, consul 269 B.C.

    Māximus, ī, m.

    a Roman cognomen meaning "greatest, most powerful"; (1) Q. Fabius Māximus, consul six times; (2) Q. Fabius Māximus, defeated by the Samnites 292 B.C.; (3) Q. Fabius Māximus (Cunctātor), five times consul.

    Appius, a, um

    Appian; especially the via Appia, the famous road built by Appius Claudius the Censor, 312 B.C.


    abbreviation of the praenomen or nomen Publius 3

    Cornēlius, ī, m.

    the name of a large and important gens at Rome. See Asina, Cinna, Dolābella, Faustus, Fuscus, Galbus, Lentulus, Rūfinus, Scīpiō, Sulla.

    Rūfīnus, ī, m. P. Cornēlius Rūfīnus, consul 290 B.C.

    M., abbreviation of the praenomen Marcus; M'., abbreviation of the praenomen Manius

    Curius, ī., m. the name of a Roman gens
    Dentātus, ī, m. M. Curius Dentātus, consul 290 and 275 B.C.
    ambō, ae, ō, adj. both
    fatīgō, āre, āvī, ātus to tire, vex; test


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