Key to Umbria

Prior Events (327 BC)

Black asterisks = centres incorporated sine suffragio after the Latin War

Red squares = Roman citizen colonies

Black squares = Latin colonies

Foundation of a Latin Colony at Fregellae  (328 BC)

Livy noted (somewhat laconically) that the following year (328 BC):

  1. “... was not marked by any significant military or domestic event, except that a colony was sent out to Fregellae, a territory that had belonged [originally] to the people of Signia [sic ?], and afterwards to the Volsci”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 22: 1-2).

Fregellae occupied a strategically-important site at the confluence of the Liris and the Sacco/Tolerus rivers.  Although Livy claimed here that the new colony had been built on Volscian territory, the Samnites had recently destroyed the earlier Volscian settlement of Fregellae and now regarded the territory as their own.

Start of the Neapolitan War (327 BC)

According to Livy began when a Greek city called Palaepolis, which was:

  1. “... not far from where Neapolis [modern Naples] now stands ... committed numerous hostile acts against the Romans who inhabited  the ager Campanus and the ager Falernus”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 22: 7).

Livy also explained that Palaepolis and Neapolis were:

  1. “... inhabited by one people, [and the originally Greek colony of Cumae  had been] their mother city”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 22: 5).

In response, when the new consuls, Quintus Publilius Philo and Lucius Cornelius Lentulus took office in 327 BC:

  1. “... fetials were dispatched to Palaepolis to demand redress.  When they reported a spirited answer from the Greeks (a race more valiant in words than in deeds), the people acted upon a resolution of the Senate and commanded that war be made upon Palaepolis:

  2. the war with the Greeks fell to Publilius; and

  3. Cornelius, ... was ordered to be ready for the Samnites, in case they should take the field.  Since it was rumoured that they were only waiting to bring up their army the moment the Campani began a revolt, that seemed to be the best place for Cornelius’ camp”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 22: 5-10).

Dionysius of Halicarnassus gave a parallel account of these events, albeit that only a fragment survives:

  1. “When the Campanians made repeated charges and complaints against the Neapolitans, the Roman Senate voted to send ambassadors to the [Neapolitans] to demand that they should do no wrong to the subjects of the Roman empire.  ... in particular, the envoys, if they could do so by courting the favour of the influential [Neapolitans], were to [persuade Neapolis] to revolt from the Samnites and become friendly to the Romans”, (‘Roman Antiquities’, 15: 1).


  1. “It chanced that, at the same time, [Neapolis received] ambassadors from other places:

  2. men of distinction who had inherited ties of hospitality with [the Neapolitans] came from [Greek Tarentum, in the heel of Italy, which had formed an alliance with the Samtites in 334 BC]; and

  3. others [were] sent by the [Oscans of Nola], who were neighbours [of Neapolis] and greatly admired the Greeks.

  4. [These ambassadors urged the] Neapolitans, on the contrary, neither to make an agreement with the Romans or their subjects, nor to give up their friendship with the Samnites”, (‘Roman Antiquities’, 15: 2).

He then gave a lucid account of the debate between the Neapolitan factions:

  1. “The element among the Neapolitans that was reasonable and able to foresee long in advance the disasters that would come upon the city from the war, wished to remain at peace [with Rome]; but, the element that was fond of innovations and sought the personal advantages to be gained from turmoil joined forces for the war.  There were mutual recriminations and skirmishes, and the strife was carried to the point of hurling stones; in the end the worse element overpowered the better, so the ambassadors of the Romans returned home without having accomplished anything.  For these reasons the Roman senate resolved to send an army against the Neapolitans”, (‘Roman Antiquities’, 15: 7).

Interestingly, Dionysius never mentioned Palaepolis.  Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 1998, at p. 643) argued that:

  1. “It is absurd to believe that, in 327 BC, there was a sovereign state called Palaepolis ...”

He suggested (at p. 644) that:

  1. “The best way of accounting for the surviving [linguistic, literary and archeological] evidence is to hold that the Neapolitan populus did indeed occupy two sites: one was the site of the city of Neapolis itself, while the other was on the height known today as Pizzofalcone, ... which would have offered] a good defensive position. ... Livy’s account may be accepted if we adopt this interpretation of the name Palaepolis and argue that [Livy’s sources only] recorded fighting [there] ... ”

Declaration of War with the Samnites (327 BC)

In due course:

  1. “Both consuls informed the Senate that there was very little hope of peace with the Samnites:

  2. Publilius reported that 2,000 soldiers from Nola and 4,000 Samnites had been received into Palaepolis, under compulsion from the people of Nola, rather than by the request of the Greeks themselves.

  3. Cornelius reported that:

  4. the Samnite magistrates had proclaimed a military levy, and that the whole of Samnium was up in arms; and

  5. the Samnites were openly urging the neighbouring cities of Privernum, Fundi, and Formiae to join them.

  6. In view of these facts, the Senate ... voted to send ambassadors to the Samnites before [finally deciding whether it was time to declare] war ...”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 23: 1-3).

Livy then described the Samnites’ indignant response to the ambassadors’ ultimatum, in which:

  1. “...  they went so far as to accuse the Romans of improper conduct: 

  2. They vigorously denied the Roman allegations, asserting that:

  3. the Greeks [of Palaepolis] ... were receiving no public counsel or support from them; and

  4. they had asked the people of neither Fundi nor Formiae to revolt; indeed, if they [the Samnites] chose to fight [the Romans], they were quite strong enough to fight alone.

  5. [On the question of the Romans’ recent conduct], they could not hide the outrage of their nation that the Romans:

  6. had restored Fregellae, [a city that they] they had captured from the Volsci and destroyed; and

  7. founded a colony in [what they now regarded as] Samnite territory, which the Roman colonists actually called by [the name of the city that they had destroyed].  This was an insult and an injury and, if the Romans did not redress it [presumably by abandoning the colony], then they would do their utmost to remove it”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 23: 4-10).

The Roman ambassadors suggested independent arbitration:

  1. “... to which the Samnite spokesman replied: ‘Why do we beat about the bush? Our differences, Romans, will be decided by [neither negotiation nor] arbitration, but: by the Campanian plain, where we must meet in battle; by the sword; and by the fortunes of war.  Let us therefore camp, face to face, between Suessula and Capua, and settle the question of whether the Samnites or Romans are to govern Italy’”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 23: 10-12).

The text that follows is corrupt but. as we shall see, the Romans declared war against the Samnites in 326 BC.

Thus, while the foundation of the Latin colony at Fregellae might have triggered the onset of hostilities between Rome and the Samnites, it seems that the underlying cause (at least initially) was the Samnites’ displeasure at the recent Roman expansion into Volscian, Auruncan and Campanian territory.  Although Livy had the benefit of hindsight, he might well have been correct when he suggested (above) that, in the longer term, the Romans and the Samnites regarded it as the war that would decide which of them would “govern Italy”.  

End of the Neapolitan War (326 BC)

It seems that Publilius was charged with neutralising the threat from Palaepolis.  According to Livy:

  1. “ ... by taking up a favourable position between Palaepolis and Neapolis, Publilius  ... [prevented the Samnites from sending reinforcements].  However, as the time for the [consular] elections drew near, since it would have been disadvantageous for Publilius ... to be called away from the prospective capture of the city, the Senate [arranged that he should continue in office as proconsul] until the Greeks had been conquered”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 23: 10-12).

Livy had a number of varying sources for the events that followed (‘History of Rome’, 8: 25:5-26: 6), but the outcome is clear: Publillius managed  to keep the Samnites at bay while besieging Palaepolis, which (according to Livy’s preferred sources, he finally took with the help of a pro-Roman faction.  Livy then recorded that the Romans then agreed a treaty with:

  1. “... Neapolis, to which place the Greeks now transferred the seat of government ...”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 26: 6).

It is likely that he or  his sources were mistaken here, and that the seat of government had always been in the city in the plain.  Livy acknowledged that some sources attributed the fall of Palaepolis to its betrayal by the Samnites, but he noted that:

  1. “[The presumably favourable] terms of this treaty make it more likely that the Greeks [had not been forced to surrender, but had rather] renewed the friendship [with Rome] voluntarily”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 26: 6). 

Finally, Livy noted that

  1. “Publilius was decreed a triumph, since it was generally believed that the enemy had surrendered only because they had been broken by the siege [of Palaepolis].  Publilius received two unprecedented distinctions:

  2. an extension of his command, something that had never before been granted to any [serving consul]; and

  3. a triumph after the expiration of his [extended] term”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 26: 6).

The ‘fasti Triumphales’ recorded that Quintus Publilius Philo was the first proconsul to be awarded a triumph, in this case over the Samnites and the Palaepolitani.  (We might reasonably assume that the compiler of the fasti used the same source as Livy.)

First Phase of the War (326 - 321 BC)

According to Livy in 326 BC, while Publilius continued the siege of Palaepolis as proconsul, the new consuls, Caius Poetelius Libo Visolus and Lucius Papirius:

  1. “... sent fetials ... to declare war on the Samnites ... [They soon] received new and ... quite unexpected help: the Lucanii and Apuliini, nations that had had no previous dealings with the Romans, put themselves under their protection and promised arms and men for the war.  They were accordingly received into a treaty of friendship”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 25: 2-3).

If Livy is correct here, then the Samnites, having lost their alliance with Neapolis to the Romans, now found other allies of Rome on their southern and eastern borders.  However, as we shall see, the putative alliances with the Lucanii and the Apulini seem to have been short-lived (if they existed at all).

The Romans now fought on Samnite territory for the first time, as both consuls:

  1. “... conducted a successful campaign in Samnium: three towns (Allifae, [the now-unknown] Callifae and Rufrium) fell into their hands, and the rest of the country was devastated far and wide ...”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 25: 4).

Thus, as Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 1998, at p. 649) pointed out:

  1. “... it seems that the Romans were raiding the middle Volturnus valley ..., an area that they could have reached quite easily ... from their bases at Capua or Cales.  [As we shall see], Allifae was back in Samnite hands by 310/9 BC at the latest, but this is hardly problematic: the Romans did no more than raid in 326 BC and may not have tried to install  a garrison.”

Livy then recorded that the Vestini rebelled in 325 BC.  The consuls Lucius Furius Camillus  and Decimus Junius Brutus Scaeva brought the matter before the Senate, who had been reluctant to address it since:

  1. “... the race as a whole was fully equal to the Samnites in military power, since it included the Marsi, and the Paeligni and Marrucini, all of whom [would take the part of the Vestini, should they] be attacked.  [However, despite these fears], the people voted a war against the Vestini, and this command was assigned by lot to Brutus”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 29: 4-7).

He devastated the territory and drove the Vestini back into their strongholds, two of which (the now-unknown Cutina and Cingilia) he destroyed.  Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 1998, at p. 701) noted that this is the first time that the tribes of the Abruzzo appear in Livy’s work since 340 BC, when they had allowed the Romans passage into Samnium for their joint attack on Capua.  He argued that:

  1. “... two interpretations of [Livy’s record of their interaction with Rome in 325 BC] are possible:

  2. either the Vestini, alone of these tribes, were not prepared to guarantee Roman armies passage and [therefore] had to be brought to heel; or

  3. their defeat made it clear to themselves and to the other tribes that they should not try to resist the passage of Roman arms.”

Meanwhile, Camillus marched into Samnium in order to prevent them from aiding the Vestini.  However, according to Livy: 

  1. “... Lucius Furius became dangerously ill and was forced to relinquish his command; Lucius Papirius Cursor, who was by far the most distinguished soldier of the time, [took over his command] as dictator, ... with Quintus Fabius Maximus Rullianus as his master of the horse.  [Although the two men were famous for their] victories as magistrates, they were even more famous for their quarrelling, which almost went the length of a mortal feud”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 29: 8-10).

Livy devoted the next six chapters to the details of their first major quarrel, which now took place in the context of a battle that took place at an unknown location called Imbrinium.  The ‘fasti Triumphales’ recorded that Papirius , as dictator, was awarded a triumph over the Samnites in the dictator year 325/4 BC, but it is unclear exactly what this achieved in strategic terms. 

The same might be said of another campaign fought at an unknown location in Samnium in 322 BC, which Livy described (in chapters 38-39) as a triumph for another dictator, Aulus Cornelius Arvina.   However, he noted that: 

  1. “Some writers hold that this war was waged by the consuls [Quintus Fabius Maximus Rullianus, mentioned above as Paprius’ master of horse in 325 BC, and Lucius Fulvius Curvus], and that it was they who triumphed over the Samnites; they say that Fabius even advanced into Apulia and thence drove off much booty”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 40: 1).

For example, the ‘fasti Triumphales’ recorded triumphs in this year for:

  1. Fabius, over the Samnites and the Apulini; and

  2. Fulvius, over the Samnites

Livy noted in exasperation that:

  1. “ ... it is not easy to choose between these accounts ... I think that the records have been vitiated by funeral eulogies and by lying inscriptions under portraits, every family endeavouring mendaciously to appropriate victories and magistracies to itself, a practice that has certainly wrought confusion in the achievements of individuals and in the public memorials of events.  Nor is there extant any writer contemporary with that period on whose authority we may safely take our stand”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 40: 3-5).

In my estimation, this is Livy at his finest!  What we might usefully add is that, again, the strategic effect (if any) of this putative victory is unclear.

Disaster at the Caudine Forks (321 BC)

Livy began Book 9 by describing 321 BC as the year of:

  1. “... the Caudine Peace, the notorious sequel to a disaster to the Roman arms:

  2. the [unfortunate] consuls wereTitus Veturius Calvinus and Spurius Postumius; and

  3. the Samnite’s general for that year was Caius Pontius:

  4. his father Herennius far excelled [all the Samnites] in wisdom; while

  5. [Caius Pontius himself] was their foremost warrior...”, (‘History of Rome’, 9: 1: 1).

Thus Livy set the scene for his account of a Roman humiliation that is still remembered as such to this day.

Livy’s account of the encounter under discussion here began with Pontius’ army:

  1. “... camped in the vicinity of Caudium.   [From this secret location], he dispatched ten soldiers disguised as shepherd in the direction of Calatia, where he had heard that the Roman consuls were already camped.  [The ‘shepherds’] were ordered to graze their flocks at different places near to the Romans and, on encountering [Roman] raiding parties, they were all to say the same thing; that the Samnite levies were in Apulia, where they were laying siege ... to Luceria [in Apulia], which they were on point of taking it by assault.  ... The Romans [took the bait and] did not hesitate in deciding to help their good and faithful allies of Luceria, [not least because they wanted] to avoid a general defection Apulia.  The only question was the route that they should take.  There were two roads [from Calatia] to Luceria:

  2. one skirted the Adriatic and, though open and unobstructed, was as long as it was safe; while

  3. the other, which led through the Caudine Forks, was shorter, but [much more dangerous, since it passed through] two narrow, deep and wooded defiles ... Having entered the first of these, [the army would have only two options: to retrace its steps [through the first ravine] or to continue through the second, which was even narrower and more difficult than the first”, (‘History of Rome’, 9: 2: 6-8).

The Romans decided on the second route and marched into the inevitable ambush: with the Samnites blocking both ravines, all they could do was build a fortified camp in the plain between them.  The consuls had no alternative other than to sue for peace.  In Livy’s account:

  1. “Pontius made answer that,  ... since they would not acknowledge their defeat, ... he intended to send them, unarmed and with a single garment each. under the yoke [an arch of spears].  The other peace conditions would be on equal terms; for if the Romans would evacuate the Samnite territory and withdraw their colonies, Romans and Samnites should thenceforward live by their own laws in an equal alliance”, (‘History of Rome’, 9: 4: 3-5).

The details of this account have been shown to have been largely invented.  In particular, as Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 2005, at p. 26) observed:

  1. “... it seems rather unlikely that, in 321 BC, the Romans would have contemplated marching through the middle of Samnium.  It is therefore more likely that [the consuls] were trying to deliver a decisive blow against Samnite communities in the area of Caudium and Beneventum.”

He also pointed to other sources that suggest that the Romans were almost certainly defeated in battle before they sued for peace:

  1. According to Cicero:

  2. “Veturius and Spurius Postumius ... lost the battle at the Caudine Forks, and our legions were sent under the yoke”, (‘De Officiis’, 3:109).

  3. According to Appian:

  4. “... the Romans were defeated by the Samnites and compelled to pass under the yoke”, (‘Samnite Wars’, fragment 6).

It does seem that the army did indeed submit to the humiliation of marching, almost naked, under the yoke. 

However, in relation to Pontius’ request for a treaty, Livy insisted that:

  1. “... a foedus (treaty) could not be made without: the authorisation of the Roman people; the presence of fetials; or the rest of the customary ceremonial.  Consequently, the Caudine Peace was entered into, not by means of a foedus, as people in general believe and as [Quintus Claudius Quadrigarius] actually states, but by a sponsio (solemn pledge) [made by the consuls]”, (‘History of Rome’, 9: 5: 1-2).

In fact, as Stephen Oakley (referenced below 2005, at p. 31 et seq.) modern scholars almost all follow Quadrigarius:

  1. “... the whole notion of sponsio [a pledge given by a defeated Roman commander, which required ratification] is a late fiction.” 

Livy seems to have adopted it because his sources:

  1. invented major victories in the following two years that  expunged the humiliation of the Caudine Peace; and

  2. since these would have violated a formal treaty, they took refuge in the further fiction of a sponsio that had been made by the consuls and never ratified.

As Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 2005, at p. 76) observed:

  1. “The Romans almost certainly lost control of Fregellae [under the terms of this treaty]; it is assumed by many historians that they lost control of Cales too,and the [fact that Livy referred to colonies in the plural] perhaps supports this.”

Caudine Peace (321 - 315 BC)

As noted above, Rome agreed to a truce with the Samnites  after their defeat at the Caudine Forks in 321 BC.  

Roman Engagements with the Frentani and Satricani (319 BC)


According to Livy, the consul Quintus Aulius Cerretanus:

  1. “...finished the campaign against the Frentani in one successful battle, after which, he received the surrender of the [unnamed] town and took hostages”, (‘History of Rome’, 9: 16: 1).

Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 2005, at p. 171) observed  that this is the first time that Livy referred to the Frentani tribe, whose shared the culture of their Samnite neighbours.  He suggested that:

  1. “It is quite likely that [they] were  often politically dependent [these] powerful neighbours.”


Meanwhile, according to Livy, the other consul, Lucius Papirius Cursor:

  1. “... overcame the Satricans, who, though Roman citizens, had defected t the Samnites after the Caudine misfortune and admitted a Samnite garrison into their city”, (‘History of Rome’, 9: 16: 2).

Livy obviously referred here to Satricum in Latium, which had been incorporated optimo iure in 338 BC.  However, we know fro Cicero that there was a centre called Satricum near his native Arpinum: writing to his brother Quintus in 54 BC (when Cicero was in Arpinum and Quintus was in Britain), he reported that:

  1. “On the 13th of September I was at Laterium.  I examined the road, which appeared to me to be so good as to seem almost like a high road, except for [a stretch] 150 paces ... from the little bridge at the temple of Furina, in the direction of Satricum”, (‘Letter to Quintus’, fragment 3).

Since there is no other evidence that the Samnites penetrated Latium at this time, then the now-unknown Satricum in the Liris valley is an attractive candidate for Papirius’ victor.  Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 2005, at p. 146) concluded that:

  1. “A certain solution to these difficulties is not to be found.  But, perhaps it is best to argue that, although Livy’s ultimate source referred to the capture of the site in the Liris valley, Livy himself and his more immediate sources were unaware of its existence and imagined that the notice referred to the site [in Latium].”  

Livy continued:

  1. “When the Roman army drew near the walls of Satricum, the townspeople sent ambassadors to sue for peace; but [Papirius] replied that [he would negotiate only if] they killed the Samnite garrison or delivered it up. ... [The Satricani betrayed the Samnite garrison, following which], in one crowded hour, the Samnites were slain, the Satricans were captured, and [Papirius was in complete control. ... He had the leaders of the revolt] beheaded, after which he imposed a strong garrison on the Satricani and deprived them of their arms”, (‘History of Rome’, 9: 16: 3-10).

Livy’s account ended with a long paean of praise for Papirius:

  1. “Papirius ... then departed for Rome to celebrate his triumph, [at least] according to those writers who name him as the commander who recovered Luceria and sent the Samnites under the yoke. [These writers were recording an event in 319 BC that almost certainly never happened.].  No question, he was a man deserving of all praise as a soldier ... there can be no doubt that, in his generation, ... there was no-one who did more to uphold the Roman State.  Indeed people regard him as one who might have been a match ... for Alexander the Great, if the latter, after subjugating Asia, had turned his arms against Europe”, (‘History of Rome’, 9: 16: 11-19).

The ‘fasti Triumphales’ recorded that Lucius Papirius Cursor was awarded a triumph over the Samnites in his third term as consul (319 BC).

Renewal of Peace with Samnium (318 BC)

It is possible that the Roman engagements described above, which were both on the borders of Samnium, interrupted the Caudine Peace. This would make sense of Livy’s claim that, in 318 BC:

  1. “... ambassadors from many Samnite states [came to Rome] to seek a renewal of the treaty. ... they were refused the treaty, but ... succeeded in obtaining a two years' truce”, (‘History of Rome’, 9: 20: 1-3).

Timothy Cornell (referenced below, 1989, at p 371) observed that:

  1. “It seems likely enough ... that, by 318 BC, open hostilities between Rome and the Samnites had ceased, as a result of

  2. either the original foedus [of 321 BC];

  3. or a subsequent truce at the beginning of 318 BC. 

  4. This left the Romans free to strengthen their position [in the territories that they had acquired over the last two decades and also in Apulia and Lucania].”  

It seems that it also left space for the Romans to continue with the consolidation of their earlier expansion.

Census of 318 BC

The fasti Capitolini recorded that:

  1. the censors of 332 BC (Spurius Postumus Albinus and Quintus Philo Publilius) completed the 24th lustrum; and

  2. those of 318 BC (Lucius Papirius Crassus and Caius Maenius) completed the 25th lustrum.

Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 2005, at p. 268) pointed out that there is fragmentary evidence for the appointment of censors in 319 BC, but they seem to have abdicated before the completion of their term.  In other words, the census of 318 BC was probably only the second to be completed since the end of the Latin War.

The census of 332 BC (discussed on the previous page) seems to have been largely concerned with the formalisation of the settlement in Latium after the Latin War (albeit that, according to Velleius Patroculus, the censors of 332 BC,  were responsible for the incorporation of Campanian Acerrae).  Now that relations with the Samnites were quiescent, the Romans  could address the consolidation of the territory outside Latium that they had acquired during and after this earlier war.  Livy did not refer directly to the census that took place in 318 BC, but he recorded that, in this year:

  1. “At Rome, two tribes were added, the Oufentina and the Falerna”, (‘History of Rome’, 9: 20: 6).

These were the first new tribes that had been created since 332 BC, when (in the census of that year) the Maecia and the Scaptiahad been created for new citizens in Latium.


Adapted from G. Tol et al. (referenced below) p. 114, Figure 1)

According to Festus:

Oufentinae tribus initio causa fuit nomen fluminis Ofens, quod est in agro Privernate mare intra et Terracinam”, (‘de verborum significatu’, 212, Lindsay)

“The Oufentina was named for the Ufens river, which is in the ager Privernus,

between the sea and Tarracina” (my translation)

According to Strabo:

  1. “In front of Tarracina lies a great marsh that is formed by two rivers, the larger of which is called Aufidus.  It is here that Via Appia [see below] first touches the sea”, (‘Geography’, 5: 3: 6).

According to Duane Roller (referenced below, at p. 251):

  1. “[Strabo’s] Aufidus is probably the Ufens (modern Uffente), which flows down the east side of the Pomptine plain, with its mouth just west of Taracina.”

Given the context, the other river must have been the Amasenus (modern Amaseno). 

As Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 2005, at p. 268) pointed out:

  1. “[The Oufentina] must have been established on land confiscated from Privernum, whose territory was thereby restricted to the Amaseno valley and its surroundings.”

It is not clear whether this land was confiscated in 340 or in 329 BC.  Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 1998, at p. 393) observed that creation at the latter date would explain why the Oufentina was created in the census of 318 rather than in that of 332 BC, although he pointed out (at p. 394, note 1) that:

  1. “... the matter cannot be decided beyond all doubt.”

In either event, it seems likely that the land of the senators who were exiled in 329 BC would also have become available for citizen settlement at this point.  

Centres underlined in blue (Privernum; Tarracina,; Frusino ?; and Aquinum)  = Oufentina

As Heikki Solin (referenced below, at p. 78) pointed out,

  1. “The Oufentina was [eventually] the tribe of  citizens of [the following centres in] Regio I: Aquinum; [possibly] Frusino; Privernum; and Tarracina” (my translation).

(For the uncertainty about the assignation of Frusino, see his note 1 at p. 71). 

  1. It seems likely that the Oufentina was created for the viritane settlers on the land that had been confiscated from Privernum in 340 and/0r 329 BC.

  2. As discussed on the previous page, 300 citizens were enrolled in a new colony at Tarracina in 329 BC on land that had been confiscated from Privernum.  Its colonists were presumably also re-registered in the Oufentina in 318 BC. 

  3. As we shall see below, viritane citizen settlers on land that was confiscated from Frusino in 303 BC might have  re-registered in the Oufentina shortly after. 

  4. When the people of Privernum, Frusino and Aquinum were eventually enfranchised (probably after the Social War), they too were (or, in the case of Frusino, were probably) assigned to the Oufentina.  


Underlined in blue = assigned to the Falerna tribe

Other tribes: Cumae = Claudia ?; Suessula and Casilinum = unknown tribe (if any)

See G. Camodeca (referenced below) for these tribal assignations

Red asterisks (Volturnum; Liternum; Puteoli; and Salernum) = citizen colonies founded in 194 BC

Underlined in green = Campanian prefectures (see below)

Adapted from this map on the webpage on Roman Campania by Jeff Matthews

According to Festus:

Falerina tribus ab agro Falerno in Campania”, (‘de verborum significatu’, ??? Lindsay)

“The Falerna tribe is named for the ager Falernus in Campania” (my translation)

There is little doubt that this was the land north of the Volturnus that the Romans had confiscated from Capua in 340 BC.  Saskia Roselaar (referenced below, at pp. 301-2, entry 5) suggested that this territory had been confiscated in its entirety and (at note 20) that, since:

  1. “There is no record of the later distribution of land in the area, .. the whole ager Falernus seems to have been distributed in its entirety [at the time of its confiscation].”

However, as noted on the previous page, the 1,600 Campanian knights who had remained loyal to Rome during the Latin revolt had received citizenship and had been exempted from this confiscation:

  1. We might reasonably assume that the Falerna was created for the re-registration of the ‘old’ citizens who had been settled on the remaining land here during the 22 years since its confiscation.

  2. According to Lily Ross Taylor (referenced below, at p. 160, note 3):

  3. “There is no evidence for t[he tribe to which the 1,600 knights of Capua who had been fully incorporated into the Roman state in 340 BC were registered], but it may have been the Falerna ...”

  4. It seems to me that, since they had retained their land in the ager Falernus in 340 BC, this putative assignation to the Falerna is almost certain.

  5. According to Giuseppe Camodeca (referenced below), a single inscription suggests that the citizens of Forum Popillii in the ager Falernus, which was presumably a Roman foundation, were assigned to the Falerna.

As with the Oufentina, we might wonder why the Romans waited so long to create the Falerna for settlers on land that had been confiscated in 340 BC.  However, new tribes were always added in even numbers (to preserve the total as an odd number, thereby avoiding tied elections), and it might be that the delay related to the situation in the ager Privernus, rather than that in the ager Falernus.

As discussed on the previous page, Capua was incorporated sine suffragio in 338 or (more probably) 334 BC.  Despite this, it revolted against Rome in 216 BC, during the Hannibalic War and (as we shall see) suffered the confiscation of the entire ager Campanus.  Two citizen colonies (Voltumnum and Liternum) were founded on coastal sites here in 194 BC, along with two others on the coast of Campania (Puteoli, the port of Cumae; and Salernum): the citizen colonists at all four were (or, in the cases of Liturnum and Salernum, were probably) assigned to the Falerna.   The case of Capua itself is more complex: according to Lily Ross Taylor (referenced below, at p. 160, note 3):

  1. “The ager Campanus [remained as]  public land until 59 BC, and  was not assigned to a tribe. ... Capua [itself] was assigned to [the Falerna] when it was colonised by [Julius Caesar in 59 BC].

When the majority of the people of Campania were eventually enfranchised after the Social War, a number of them, including those of Calatia, Atella, Suessula and Nola, were assigned to the Falerna: however, according to Giuseppe Camodeca (referenced below), there is no surviving epigraphic evidence for the Falerna at Cumae, and some for its assignation to the ancient Claudia tribe.

Imposition of Roman Laws at Capua (318 BC ?)

According to Livy:

  1. “... praefecti (Roman prefects) began to be appointed for Capua after legibus ab L. Furio praetore datis (the praetor Lucius Furius had given/ imposed laws) on the Campani.  The Campani themselves had asked for both [the appointment of a prefect and the imposition of Roman laws], as a remedy for the distress occasioned by internal discord”, (‘History of Rome’, 9: 20: 5-6).

In this translation, I have attempted to reflect the comments of Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 2005, at pp. 266-7) and Corey Brennan (referenced below, at p. 61).  Both of these authors cited  Jerzy Linderski (referenced below, 1979, at p. 248, note 5), who summarised the situation as follows:

  1. “The Capuans asked the Romans to provide them with [laws] and to send prefects for the administration of justice.  ... It is obvious that a praetor could [neither give laws to anyone nor] send out the prefects without being authorised to do so by the Senate or the [Roman] people.”

This arrangement seems to have been an administrative innovation: according to Corey Brennan (referenced below, at p.61_:

  1. “The early appearances of the praetor in Livy are [all]:

  2. outside Rome; [and]

  3. in a military capacity ... .

  4. When we do see the praetor acting in [Rome itself] ... he is doing practically everything accorded to him by virtue of his imperium except hearing cases at law. ... In one case, we we do see him in a law-making context, but [this case concerns] Capua ....”

This case is also the first time that Livy mentioned dispatch of Roman prefects (presumably as delegates of the praetor) to administer justice in out-lying districts that were under Roman jurisdiction.

Degree of Administrative Independence at Capua (340 - 211 BC)

Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 1998, at pp. 556-7) pointed out that, at the time that Capua defected to Hannibal in 216 BC, it clearly enjoyed substantial independence from Rome.  For example, Livy recorded that, on the eve of this revolt, the consul Caius Terentius Varro reminded the Campani that:

  1. “... after you surrendered [to Rome in 340 BC], we:

  2. gave you a treaty on equal terms;

  3. allowed you to retain your own laws; and ...

  4. granted our citizenship to most of you; and

  5. made you members of our commonwealth”, (‘History of Rome’, 23: 5: 5).

There is also other evidence that Capua retained its pre-Roman magistracies up to that point:

  1. According to Livy, by 216 BC

  2. “... Pacuvius Calavius held the senate of Capua entirely in his power  ... He happened to be in summo magistratu (the chief magistrate at Capua) in the year in which [Hannibal defeated the Romans at Lake Trasimene (i.e., in 218 BC)] ...”, (‘History of Rome’, 23: 2: 3).

  3. In 216 BC, we find Marius Blossius, as praetorem Campanum, dealing directly with Hannibal (‘History of Rome’, 23: 7: 8).

  4. In 215 BC, we find Marius Alfius, the medix tuticus, presiding over a local ritual at Hamae, near Cumae.  Livy gave him his Oscan title here, and then explained that this was the title of  the chief Campanian magistrate (‘History of Rome’, 23: 35: 13).

Michael Fronda and François Gauthier (referenced below, at pp. 317-8 and note 37) noted that, despite the variety of terms that Livy used in these passages, all three magistrates were Campanian medices.  Furthermore, Livy referred to four other medices  (two of whom were unnamed) before this final Campanian revolt ended in 211 BC.  Only then did Capua lose its independence: according to Livy, some 370 prominent Campani were executed:

  1. “... and the remaining mass of citizens were sold [into slavery].  ... The whole [of the ager Campanus]  ... became public property of the Roman  people.  While Capua survived as a nominal city, ... it was decided that it should have no political body (neither senate nor council of the plebs) and no magistrates. ... ”, (‘History of Rome’, 26: 16: 6-10).

Thus, we can reasonably assume that Capua also retained its own laws until 211 BC.  If so, we need to consider how the laws that Lucius Furius imposed on the Campani in 318 BC sat alongside Campanian law.  However, before addressing this question, we need to consider more fully what kind of laws those imposed by Furius might have been.

Nature of the Leges Datae of 318 BC

Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 2005, at p. 267) argued that the expression ‘legibus a ... praetore datis ’ used in the passage above is:

  1. “... a general expression for the imposition of a law, [rather than] a technical term.  Nevertheless, it is ... often found in the context of a Roman magistrate arranging the affairs of a community under Rome’s jurisdiction ...”

He cited a number of examples of this type of arrangement, all of which came from part of speech (‘in Verrem’, 2: 2) that Cicero delivered in his prosecution Caius Verres, the erstwhile governor of the province of Sicily, in 70 BC.  Verres was charged with (inter alia) using bribery to subvert the rule of law in Sicily, and the material that Cicero  presented in court in this part of his speech throws light on the way in which Roman law supplemented traditional Sicilian law at this time. 

Oakley’s first example related to the so-called leges Rupiliae, which were named for Publius Rupilius, who was consul and then proconsul in Sicily  at the time of the First Sicilian Slave War (132-131 BC).  As Oakley pointed out, Cicero’s phrase:

legem esse Rupiliam, quam P. Rupilius consul ... dedisset’ (2: 2: 39)

the lex Rupilia, which Publius Rupilius had given/imposed

is very similar to that used by Livy in the passage under discussion here.  Jonathan Prag (referenced below, at p. 170) argued that laws of this kind:

  1. “... were not statute laws of the Roman people, but leges datae from an individual magistrate in the field, which in turn came to  be maintained and enshrined within the edicts of subsequent governors of Sicily, at their individual discretion, but at the injunction of the original senatus consultum.”

Cicero also claimed that, before Verres became governor:

  1. “... everyone had most strictly observed the leges Rupiliae on all points, and especially in judicial matters (2: 2: 40).

From this, it is clear that Rupilius had given the province of Sicily a number of laws, only some of which involved judicial matters. 

Cicero threw further light on only one of Rupilius’ laws:

  1. “If a Sicilian has a dispute with another Sicilian from a different city, then the praetor is to assign judges of that dispute according to the law of Publius Rupilius, which ... the Sicilians call the lex Rupilia”, (2: 2: 32).

From the context of this last remark, we know that this lex Rupilia operated along other Sicilian laws:

  1. disputes between Sicilians of the same city were decided “according to the laws there existing”;

  2. in disputes between Sicilians from different cities, the judge was selected in accordance with a lex Rupilia;

  3. disputes between a Sicilian and his own community were decided by the arbitration of another city;

  4. a Sicilian judge was assigned in cases in which a Roman citizen made a claim against a Sicilian;

  5. a Roman citizen was appointed to judge cases in which a Sicilian made a claim against a Roman citizen;

  6. ‘in all other matters’, judges were appointed from among the Roman citizens who lived in the relevant community; and

  7. in cases between the farmers and the tax collectors, trials were regulated by the ‘law about corn’ that was known as the Lex Hieronica (which was probably named for Hiero II, the tyrant of Syracuse in 270 - 215 BC)

Oakley’s other examples from in Verrem are more directly relevant to the case of Capua, because they related to leges datae at individual Sicilian cites.  As Jonathan Prag (referenced below, at pp. 170-1) pointed out, Cicero described three such laws in this speech, which related to the cities of:

  1. “...Agrigentum, Halaesa and Heraclea, and [which] were composed by, respectively:

  2. an unidentified Scipio (some time in the 2nd century BC?);

  3. Caius Claudius Pulcher, the praetor de repetundis of 95 BC; and

  4. Publius Rupilius [whose provincial legislation was discussed above].”

In fact, we can identify the ‘Scipio’ who gave lawa to Agrigentum, because Cicero referred to him again in a passage (2: 2: 86-7) that clearly related to the activities of Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus in Sicily immediately after the fall of Carthage in 146 BC: this passage is translated in the website of ‘Attalus’, alongside a confirming inscription.  We might therefore reasonably assume that the Scipio associated with the leges datae at Agrigentium was Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus, and that this law was given in or shortly after 146 BC. 

Taking these three site-specific leges datae in chronological order:

  1. Agrigentum:

  2. “The people of Agrigentum have old laws about appointing their senate, given to them [in ca. 146 BC by Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus], in which the same principles [as those of the law of Claudius Pulcher at Halaesa - see below] are laid down.  [However], there are two classes of citizens of Agrigentum:

  3. one class made up of the old inhabitants; and

  4. the other made up of the new settlers whom Titus Manlius, when praetor [in 197 BC], had led from other Sicilian towns to [a new colony at] Agrigentum, in obedience to a resolution of the Senate. 

  5. [For this reason], the laws of Scipio [contained a provision that was not subsequently needed at Halaesa]: that the number of senators drawn from the [colonists of 197 BC] should not exceed the number drawn from the old inhabitants of Agrigentum”, (2: 2: 123).

  6. Heraclea:

  7. “Publius Rupilius [as proconsul in 131 BC] had led settlers [to Heraclea] and legesque similis  ... dedisset (had given them similar laws) [to those that Scipio had given to Agrigentum] that dealt with:

  8. the appointment of the senate; and

  9. the [proportions] of the old and new senators”, (2: 2: 125).

  10. Halaesa:

  11. “The citizens of Halaesa had long retained their own laws, in return for [their loyalty and that of] their ancestors to our Republic.  [However], in the consulship of Lucius Licinius Crassus and Quintus Mucius Scaevola Pontifex [i.e., in 95 BC], they requested laws from our Senate, as they had disputes among themselves about the elections into their senate.  Our Senate ... voted that Caius Claudius Pulcher, the son of Appius the praetor, should draw up regulations for the elections to their senate.  [He duly] gave laws to the men of Halaesa (leges Halaesinis dedit) ... in which he laid down many rules relating to: the age of the men who might be elected (no one might be under 30 years of age); trade (those engaged in it were ineligible); [the minimum required] income; and all other matters”, ( 2: 2: 122).

Jonathan Prag (as above) pointed out that Cicero used these three examples because they related to:

  1. “... the principal occasions on which Verres’ interference in local civic arrangements could be presented as most unreasonable [to Roman eyes, because these cities had all] ... received specific charters from imperium-holding Roman magistrates, backed by the Roman Senate.”

This is clearest in Cicero’s charge that Verres had ignored:

  1. “... not only the laws of the Sicilians, but even those that had been given to them by the Senate and the People of Rome: for the laws made by those:

  2. whose supreme command had been given to them by the Roman people: and

  3. whose authority to make laws had been conferred on them by the Senate;

  4. ought to be considered the laws of the Senate and People of Rome”, (2: 2: 122).

The most interesting things about these three leges datae for our present purpose are that:

  1. they all relate to the election of local senators;

  2. at the colonies of Agrigentum and Heraclea, they regulated (inter alia) the proportion of ‘old’ and ‘new’ inhabitants who could be elected at any one time; and

  3. at Halaesa, the people (however defined) asked for leges datae to replace existing local laws that (for whatever reason) had become the subject of contention.

This body of evidence from ‘in Verrum’ contains most of what we know about leges datae.   It seems to me that we might hypothesise about its content on the basis of the following facts:

  1. Livy identified seven cities that had been incorporated sine suffragio since 338 BC (Capua, Cumae, Suessula, Acerrae, Privernum, Fundi and Formiae), but only one that received leges datae (Capua, in 318 BC).  Thus, it seems unlikely that a law of this kind was needed to supplement other legislation  (presumably bilateral treaties and/ or municipal charters) that regulated the new relationships of the civitates sine suffragio with Rome.

  2. In particular, although Livy noted the creation of the Falerna and the Oufentina tribes in 318 BC, which indicate that there was a significant level of citizen settlement on land that had been confiscated from (respectively) Capua and Privernum, he did not record leges datae at Privernum. 

  3. It is possible that hostility between the citizen settlers in the ager Falernus and the native Campani caused the settlers to ask for the laws that Lucius Furius imposed on Capua.  If so, then they would probably have related to legal disputes between the native Campani and the recent settlers from Rome. 

  4. However, it is difficult to imagine why relations between the native Privernates and the recent settlers from Rome in its erstwhile territory should have been less hostile.

  5. There is one way in which Capua can be distinguished from all of the other six new civitates sine suffragio, including Privernum: 1,600 Campanian knights had received full citizenship in 340 BC.  This might well have prompted a lively debate about:

  6. whether local or Roman law applied to the enfranchised Campani;

  7. how legal disputes between enfranchised and un-enfranchised Campani were to be resolved; and

  8. the proportions in which enfranchised and un-enfranchised Campani could be elected to the local senate at any one time.

  9. It seems to me that the most likely scenario is that the enfranchised Campani asked for the laws that Lucius Furius imposed on Capua, and that it dealt with matters like these.

The Practice of Sending Roman Prefects to Capua

As noted above, Livy recorded that, in 318 BC:

  1. “... praefecti (prefects) began to be appointed for Capua ... as [part of] a remedy for the distress occasioned by internal discord”, (‘History of Rome’, 9: 20: 5-6).

As noted above, this is the first time that Livy mentioned dispatch of Roman prefects (presumably as delegates of the urban praetor) to administer justice in out-lying districts under Roman jurisdiction.

Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 1998, at pp. 555-6) pointed out that Livy:

  1. “... need not imply that prefects were sent to Capua every year [from this point]: rather, [in this year] Capua had appealed to Rome, and the praetor consequently passed some laws, [after which] a prefect was dispatched to apply them.”

Oakley was making two suggestions here:

  1. that the first prefects sent to Capua wer sent specifically and solely for the purpose of applying the leges datae and thereby remedying the internal conflict there; and

  2. that Livy’s phrasing does not imply that the sending of prefects was a regular occurrence thereafter.  In his opinion (see Oakley, 1998, at p. 556):

  3. “How often prefects went to Capua after 318 BC we simply cannot say."

It seems to me that Oakley’s first suggestion needs further consideration. 

In the section above, I suggested that:

  1. it was probably the enfranchised Campanian knights who asked the Romans for the imposition of leges datae on Capua in 318 BC; and

  2. this body of Roman law probably addressed matters such as:

  3. whether local or Roman law applied to the enfranchised Campani;

  4. how legal disputes between enfranchised and un-enfranchised Campani were resolved; and

  5. the proportions in which enfranchised and un-enfranchised Campani could be elected to the local senate at any one time.

If this is correct, then the likelihood is that, after its imposition, Roman law would have governed disputes:

  1. between enfranchised Campani; and

  2. (probably) between enfranchised and un-enfranchised Campani. 

Although Capua still had its own magistrates, they could hardly have been tasked with the application of Roman law, not least because at least some of them would not have been proficient in Latin.  In other words, I think that, from this point, Roman prefects were probably sent regularly (perhaps annually) to Capua for the purpose of administering the legal affairs of enfranchised Campani.

Date of these Legislative Innovations at Capua

As noted above, Livy asserted that, in 318 BC, 

  1. the people of Capua asked the Romans to:

  2. provide them with leges datae; and

  3. begin the practice of sending prefects; and

  4. that these measures were needed:

  5. “... as a remedy for the distress occasioned by internal discord”, (‘History of Rome’, 9: 20: 6).

Adrian Sherwin White (referenced below, at p. 43) argued that:

  1. “... the leges a praetore datae should have provided a permanent solution of the troubles of the time".  

However, as we shall see, the Campani revolted again in 314 BC, in circumstances that suggest  that internal discord had by no means ended in 318 BC.  It therefore seems to me that it is at least possible (pace Livy) that the legal innovations discussed here were actually made after that rebellion was ended.  I discuss this possibility at the end of the section below on the Campanian Revolt (314 BC).

Antium (318 BC ?)

The people of what was then the Volscian city of Antiumhad joined the Latins in ther rebellion agains Rome in 340 - 338 BC.  Livy had described the Roman settlement with the Antiates after thier surrender as follows:

  1. “... a colony was dispatched to Antium, with an understanding that the Antiates were permitted, if they wished, to enrol as colonists.  ... They were granted civitas (citizenship)”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 14: 7-9).

Since Livy recorded that the Antiates received civitas (as opposed to civitas sine suffragio) we might reasonably assume that they were incorporated optimo iure after their final defeat.  Thus, after 338 BC, ‘the Antiates’ comprised:

  1. citizens from Rome who were enrolled in the colony; and

  2. the people of the Volscian city, all of whom were fully enfranchised, who included:

  3. some who were also enrolled in the colony; and

  4. others who were not.

In 318 BC, according to Livy:

  1. “Once it had become known among the allies that the affairs of Capua had been stabilised by Roman discipline, the Antiates, too, complained that they were living without fixed statutes and without magistrates.  The Senate designated the colony's own patrons give laws [to them]”, (‘History of Rome’, 9: 20: 10).

There has been a debate among scholars as to which ‘Antiates’ had complained that they were in a legal vacuum.  However, as Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 1998, at p. 566) pointed out, the colony:

  1. “... must always have had [at least] some constitution ...”

He therefore argued (at p. 566) that:

  1. during the twenty years after they received civitas optimo iure, the Antiates who had not enrolled in the colony had no urban settlement to which they might belong; and

  2. thereafter, the laws drawn up by the patrons of the colony meant that they were regulated from it.

This view now seems to be widely accepted: for example, Jeremia Pelgrom (referenced below, at Chapter 5, p. 179) observed that:

  1. “... the consensus now seems to be that the Antiates who were the recipients of a corpus of legal regulations (iura statuenda) from the patrons of the colony were the indigenous people of Antium [who were not colonists].”

Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 2005, at p. 275) suggested that the ‘patrons’ who drew up these laws would have been the triumviri coloniae deducendae, the three magistrates who had founded the colony, enrolled its colonists, divided its territory for assignation to the colonists, and given it its laws.

Conclusions: Laws Imposed at Capua and Antium in 318 (?) BC

It is interesting to compare the scenarios suggested above for the imposition of Roman laws at Capua and at Antium:

  1. Both bodies of law probably applied specifically to anomalous groups of ‘natives’:

  2. the enfranchised Campani at the civitates sine suffragio of Capua; and

  3. those enfranchised Antiates who had chosen not to be enrolled at the citizen colony of Antium.

  4. Both of these anomalous groups contained only Roman citizens.

  5. However:

  6. the urban praetor seems to have appointed a prefect to draw up the leges datae given to Capua; while

  7. the triumviri coloniae deducendae were available at Antium to draw up the corpus of legal regulations that applied to those Antiates who were not enrolled in the colony.

If these scenarios are accepted, we can also infer why prefects sent to Capua but not to Antium:

  1. Roman prefects would have been needed on a regular basis to apply the Roman  leges datae at Capua, since the Campanian magistrates there who applied local law would not have been qualified to do so.

  2. However, there would have been no need for prefects at Antium, since the colony’s existing [and presumably Roman] magistrates who already administered the legal aspects of the colonial charter would have been well-placed to take on the administration of the enfranchised Antiate who were not enrolled in the colony.

I discuss below the possibility that these new measures at Capua and Antium were actually taken after the revolt of the northern Campani in 314-3 BC.

Apulia and Lucania

According to Livy, in 318 BC:

  1. “In Apulia, ... the [people of Teanum Apulum and Canusium, like the Samnites,] were exhausted by the devastation of their lands.  [They] surrendered to the consul, Lucius Plautius Venox, and gave hostages”, (‘History of Rome’, 9: 20: 4).

In 317 BC, after the surrender of Teanum Apulum and Canusium:

  1. “... the Apulian Teates [see below] came to the new consuls, Gaius Junius Bubulcus and Quintus Aemilius Barbula, to sue for a treaty, [promising to deliver to Rome] peace throughout Apulia.  By this bold pledge, they succeeding in obtaining  a treaty , not, however, on equal terms, but such as made them subject to the Romans.  After Apulia had been thoroughly subdued (for Forentum, a strong town [in Apulia, whose precise location is now unknown], had also fallen into the hands of Junius) the campaign was extended to the Lucanii, from whom, on the sudden arrival of Aemilius, [the now-unknown] Nerulum was taken by assault”, (‘History of Rome’, 9: 20: 7-10).

Some of these place names are problematic: according to Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 2005, at pp. 268- 270):

  1. The advance on Teanum Apulum and then Canusium would have been the natural continuation of Rome’s conquest of the Frentani (above);

  2. The ‘Apulian Teates’ were none other than the people of Teanum Apulum, which suggests that Livy mistakenly reported their surrender in both  318 and in 317 BC.

  3. The capture of Forentum is likely enough, albeit that its precise location is unknown.

  4. Oakley pointed out (at p. 270) that the obscurity of Nerulum is an argument in favour of the putative Roman incursion into Lucania, although its location (and hence, its strategic significance) is unclear.

The implication of Livy’s record of these hostilities of 318/7 BC is that the Romans were taking advantage of the Caudine Peace to encircle the Samnites.

Resumption of Hostilities (315 - 314 BC)

According to Livy (‘History of Rome’, 9: 21: 1-6), the Romans resumed hostilities against the Samnites by besieging the Samnite stronghold of Saticula, on the  border with Campania.  However, Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 2005, at pp. 276-81) argued that Livy described another Roman siege of Saticula in 315 BC, and noted (at p. 279) that:

  1. “... the campaign of 315 BC is accepted by all scholars, and [Livy’s record of 316 BC]  is probably a doublet of it.”

In other words, as far as we can tell from the surviving sources, the Caudine Peace probably ended in 315 BC, when the Romans laid siege to Saticula. 

Two men served as consul for the fourth time in 315 BC: Lucius Papirius Cursor and Quintus Publilius Philo.  Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 2005, at p. 282) noted that Livy’s account of the events of this year):

  1. “... presents major historical difficulties.  Fortunately, the long, parallel narrative of Diodorus Siculus is more coherent, although it too is unreliable in various ways.”

Hostilities at Sora and Saticula (315 BC)

Diodorus account began with the consuls engaging in Apulia and at Sora:

  1. “In Italy, the Samnites ...  took by siege [the now-unknown stronghold of Plistica, which was probably near the border of Samnium and Campania], which had a Roman garrison.  They also persuaded the people of Sora to slay the Romans who were among them and to make an alliance with themselves.  Next, as the Romans were besieging Saticula, the Samnites suddenly appeared with a strong army, intent upon raising the siege.  A great battle then took place in which many were slain on both sides, albeit that the Romans eventually gained the upper hand.  [They took Saticula] and then advanced at will, subjecting the nearby towns and strongholds”, (‘Library of History, 19: 72: 3-4).

Thus the Samnites gained control of Sora and the now-unknown stronghold of Plistica, while the Romans gained control of Saticula.

Battle at Lautulae (315 BC)

According to Diodorus, since the Romans had recently advanced into Apulia (above):

  1. “... the Samnites enrolled all who were of age for military service, ... as if intending to decide the whole issue.  When the Romans learned of this, they became anxious about what was impending and sent out a large army.   As it was their custom in a dangerous crisis to appoint one of their eminent men as military dictator, they now elected [Quintus Fabius Maximus Rullianus for that post], with [Quintus Aulius Cerretanus] as master-of‑horse.  [Fabius and Aulius], after assuming command of the army, ... fought against the Samnites at Lautulae ..., losing many of their soldiers”, (‘Library of History, 19: 72: 3-4).

Neither this account nor that of Livy (‘History of Rome’, 9: 23: 1-5) gives a satisfying account of these events.  Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 2005, at pp. 284-5) suggested that:

  1. “... perhaps the Samnites, [having taken Sora, were able] to make their way [along the Liris, passing Fregellae, which they already controlled, and to]  reach the coas because the Romans had weakened their own defences on the Liris by driving into Samnium and Apulia.]

If so, then they marched for the first time through Roman territory (past Formiae and Fundi) in order to reach the pass at Lautulae.  Although Livy had Fabius appointed as dictator at the start of the consular year, Oakley argued that:

  1. “Diodorus must have been right to make this the moment when Fabius was created dictator.”

Both Livy and Diodorus recorded the subsequent engagement as inconclusive, Livy acknowledged that:

  1. “I find in some authorities that the Romans were defeated in this battle ...”, (‘History of Rome’, 9: 23: 6).

Oakley argued that subsequent events suggest that:

  1. “Apart from the crisis at Sentinum [in 295 BC], and perhaps also [that at] the Caudine Forks [in 321 BC], the defeat at Lautulae was Rome’s most dangerous hour in the Samnite Wars.”

In particular, he suggested that

  1. “... the events of 315 BC form the obvious context for [the following two passages of Strabo]:

  2. “Near Ardea too there is a temple of Aphrodite, where the Latini hold religious festivals.  But the places were devastated by the Samnites”, (‘Geography’, 5: 3: 5).

  3. “In earlier times, [the Samnites] made expeditions even as far as ... Ardea, and then, after that, they ravaged Campania itself, [which shows that] they must have possessed considerable power”, (‘Geography’, 5: 4: 11).

The Samnite raid through Latium figures in no other surviving source, but there is no reason to doubt that Strabo was correct in this respect: after all, the their raid on Campania was also recorded by Livy (see below).  Fortunately for the Romans, they did not (apparently) countenance an attempt on Rome itself, which (as Oakley observed, was:

  1. “... protected by her massive ‘Servian’ walls.”

Colony at Luceria (315-4 BC)

Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 2005, at p. 283) observed, Diodorus seems to have believed that Lautulae was in Apulia.  He therefore recorded that, after the Roman set-back there and:

  1. “... fearing that they might completely lose control throughout Apulia, [they] sent a colony to Luceria, which was the most noteworthy of the cities of that region. Using it as a base, they continued the war against the Samnites ...”, (‘Library of History, 19: 72: 8).

Oakley argued that:

  1. “... we should accept that there was a major [Roman] campaign in Apulia [in 315 BC]. and that Luceria was indeed captured.  This capture was a very significant landmark in Rome’s conquest of the area.  Nevertheless, it is unlikely that Luceria was actually colonised [immediately], and for this, at least, Livy’s date is preferable.”

According to Livy, in 314 BC:

  1. “... Luceria, betraying its Roman garrison to the enemy, passed into the possession of the Samnites; but the traitors did not long go unpunished for their deed: there was a Roman army nearby, which captured the city (situated as it was in a plain) at the first attack.  The Lucerini and Samnites were shown no quarter, and resentment ran so high that even in Rome, when the Senate was debating the dispatch of colonists to Luceria, there were many who voted to destroy the town ... besides [the treachery of the Lucerini], there was also the remoteness of the place, which made them shrink from condemning fellow-citizens to an exile so far from home and surrounded by such hostile tribes.  However, the proposal to send colonists prevailed, and 2,500 were sent”, (‘History of Rome’, 9: 26: 1-5).

Luceria was a Latin colony: according to Livy, it was one of:

  1. “... the 18 [out of 30 Latin] colonies ... [that confirmed to the senate] that they [still] had soldiers in readiness according to their obligations [at the time of the Hannibalic War]...”, (‘Roman History’, 27: 10: 3-7).

Defeat of the Samnites (314 BC)

The consuls of 314 BC were Caius Sulpicius Longus and Marcus Poetelius Libo.  The ‘fasti Triumphales’ record that Sulpicius celebrated a triumph over the Samnites in 314 BC. As we shall see, there was almost certainly a Roman victory in this year, and it proved to be the turning point in the war.

Once again, Diodorus and Livy give significantly different accounts of the events of this year, and, once again, it is convenient to begin with Diodorus:

  1. “In Italy, the Samnites were advancing with a large army, destroying whatever cities in Campania were supporting the Romans.  Sulpicius and Poetelius soon came to the aid of ... those [Campanian] allies who were in danger.  They first took the field against the [Samnites] near [Kinna or Kina] and at once relieved that city from its immediate fears.  Then, a few days later, when both sides had drawn up their armies, a hard-fought battle took place and many fell on both sides.  Finally the Romans ... got the better of [the Samnites] and killed more than 10,000 of them”, (‘Library of History, 19: 76: 1-2).

Livy (‘History of Rome’, 9: 27):

  1. placed this decisive Roman victory at the end of the consular year;

  2. attributed it to both consuls (as did Diodorus); and

  3. located it near Caudium

Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 2005, at p. 282) argued that:

  1. the other events of 314 BC would make more sense if they followed a Roman victory over the Samnites early in the consular year; and

  2. since it is hard to see why the fasti would have ignored a triumph that had been awarded to  Poetelius if he had been awarded one, the likelihood is that he had not taken part in the battle.

Oakley discounted Livy’s record that the battle was fought at Caudium as an annalistic fantasy, but he pointed out that the frequent assumption that Diodorus’ Kinna/ Kina was Tarracina also presents difficulties.  In short, we do not really know where this victory was secured.

Livy recorded that, after the victory:

  1. “The consuls, who had won a brilliant victory, at once marched away to lay siege to Bovianum, where they remained in winter quarters [until the end of the consular year]”, (‘History of Rome’, 9: 28: 1-2).

Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 2005, at p. 303) observed that:

  1. “... it seems rather improbable that, at this date, [a roman army could have] wintered near the capital settlement of the Pentri [the most important of the Samnite tribes] ... and the [notice of 313 BC, like others that followed it], seems rather doubtful.”

In any case, as discussed above, it is likely that this victory was won early in the consulr year, and that Poetelius and  Sulpicius continued in the field to consolidate their gains.

Recapture of Sora (314 BC)

According to Livy, Poetelius and  Sulpicius then marched on Sora, where a deserter from the city offered to betray it to them.  A Roman advance party was therefore able to effect entry, and:

  1. “... Sora was already taken, when the consuls arrived at early dawn to receive the surrender of the survivors] of  the rout and slaughter of the night.  225 of them were [identified] as the authors of the revolt and the  massacre of the [Roman garrison], and these they sent to Rome in chains; they left the others unharmed in Sora, only setting a garrison over them. [15] all those who were taken to Rome were scourged and beheaded in the Forum ...”, (‘History of Rome’, 9: 24: 13-5).

The ‘fasti Triumphales’ record a triumph awarded in 312 BC to the consul Marcus Valerius Maximus Corvus over the Samnites and the Sorani.  Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 2005, at p. 302) observed that either year is possible, but that there is no reason to reject Livy, since:

  1. “... Sora was a crucial site, which the Romans would have wished to retake quickly [once the Samnites had been defeated].”

Defeat of the Aurunci (314 BC)

As discussed in the previous page, the Aurunci had first submitted to Rome in 340 BC.  Their neighbours, the Sidicini had attacked them in 337 BC, at which point they had established a stronghold at what became known as Suessa Aurunca.  In 336 BC, the ‘Ausones of Cales’ who seem to have been a branch of the Aurunci, rebelled and were defeated.  It seems that the Ausones were expelled from Cales and that its territory was confiscated, since, in 334 BC:

  1. “The Senate [resolved]: to found a colony at Cales; to enrol 2,500 men for it; and to appoint a commission of three (Caeso Duillius, Titus Quinctius, and Marcus Fabius) to conduct the settlers to the land and apportion it amongst them”, (‘History of Rome’, 8: 16: 14).

We hear no more about the Aurunci until 314 BC, when, according to Livy, it was in Samnite hands.  After the Samnite defeat in 314 BC, Sulpicius and Poetelius marched from Sora into the territory of the Aurunci, and were met by:

  1. “Twelve young nobles from [the Auruncan towns of];

  2. [Suessa Aurunca, which Livy called Ausona];

  3. Minturnae; and

  4. Vescia [the precise location of which is unknown];

  5. [who] conspired to betray their cities [to Rome]”, (‘History of Rome’, 9: 25: 4).

These deserters first  explained the circumstances in which the Aurunci had defected:

  1. “... their countrymen had no sooner heard of [the Roman defeat at] the battle at Lautulae than they had concluded that the Romans were vanquished and had aided the Samnites with men and arms”, (‘History of Rome’, 9: 25: 4-5).

They also explained that, now that the Samnites were defeated, the Aurunci were unsure of how to react to the Roman advance.  Finally, they suggested a strategy by which the rebel cities could be taken.  This strategy worked, and

  1. “... the three towns were taken in an hour ... Because the leaders were not present when the attacks were made, there was no limit to the slaughter, and the Ausonian nation was wiped out ...”, (‘History of Rome’, 9: 25: 8-9).

Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 2005, at p. 301) observed that:

  1. “The inevitable confiscation of territory followed subjugation, and this provided land for both

  2. the Latin colony of Suessa Aurunca, founded in 313 BC; and

  3. the [citizen] maritime colonies of Minturnae and Sinuessa, founded in 296 BC.”

As we shall see in the following page, the citizen colonists of Minturnae and Sinuessa were assigned to the Teretina, a new tribe that was created in the census of 300 BC.  Oakley suggested that is therefore:

  1. “... quite likely that the Aurunci were incorporated into the Roman state optimo iure.”

The suggestion here is that the Teretina was created for the putative newly-enfranchised Aurunci, and that it also became the tribe of the citizen colonists who were enrolled at Minturnae and Sinuessa four years later.  However, it seems to me that the Teretina could have been created for viritane citizen settlers on land that had been confiscated from the Aurunci.  I return to this discussion on the following page.

Revolt at Capua (314 BC)

Centres in italics (Casilinum, Calatia and Atella) = satellites of Capua

It seems that the Roman defeat at Lautulae  also had repercussion  among the Campani.  Once more, Diodorus and Livy gave significantly different accounts

  1. According to Diodorus:

  2. “While [the Roman victory over the Samnites] was still unknown to them, the Campani ... rose in rebellion [against Rome]; but the [Romans] immediately sent an army against them with the dictator Caius Maenius in command ... When [this army was] in position near Capua, the Campani initially [decided] to fight.  [However], on hearing of the Roman victory and realising that [the entire Roman army might well now] come against them, they made terms with the Romans:

  3. the Campani handed over [to the Romans] those guilty of [fomenting] the uprising, and they killed themselves [without awaiting trial] ...; and

  4. the [Campanian cities that had revolted] gained pardon and were reinstated in their former alliances”, (‘Library of History, 19: 76: 3-5).

  5. According to Livy:

  6. “Whilst disloyalty was thus manifesting itself everywhere [after the defeat at Lautulae], Capua also became the centre of intrigues amongst some of her principal men. When the matter came up in the Senate, ... a decree was passed authorising the immediate opening of a court of inquiry, and Caius Maenius was nominated dictator to conduct the proceedings. ... The greatest alarm was created by this step, and the ringleaders, Ovius and Novius Calavius, did not wait to be denounced to the dictator ... [before committing suicide].  After that, the need for an enquiry at Capua disappeared, and the proceedings were transferred to Rome, on the principal that the Senate had ordered an investigation ... of all who had anywhere combined or conspired against the State [which included a faction in Rome itself]”, (‘History of Rome’, 9: 26: 7).

As Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 2005, at p. 300) pointed out, although Livy (or his sources) obscured the situation in Campania:

  1. “... there is little reason to doubt that Capua defected (or, at least, tried to defect) to the Samnites.”

He also observed (at pp. 300-1) that:

  1. “There is no reason to doubt that, Maenius held a quaestio at Capua [as Livy recorded], but Diodorus must be right to suggest that he went there at the head of an army and was prepared to fight.”

Both sources recorded that the Romans were content to restore the status quo ante once the ringleaders of the revolt had killed themselves.  Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 2005, at p. 300) argued that the fact that:

  1. “... the historical tradition made light of the affair ... may suggest that [Capua] was put under intolerable pressure by the Samnites.”

However, it is also possible that the sources on which both Diodorus and Livy and relied had deliberately minimised the seriousness of the situation.  It is surely significant that:

  1. Diodorus reported that the Romans reinstated the Campanian cities in their former alliances after they surrendered in 313 BC, which suggests that some or all of Casilinum, Calatia and Atella (which all seem to have been politically dependent on Capua) had also rebelled; and

  2. according to Livy, the Romans laid siege to, and then recaptured, Calatia in the following year.

This suggests (at least to me) that:

  1. both authors underestimated the significance of this revolt; and

  2. the ringleaders of the revolt at Capua took refuge at Calatia in 314 BC and that the revolt was not completely suppressed until Calatia fell in the following year (at which point the ringleaders might well have committed suicide).

In that case, one might have expected that the Romans would have taken other measures to consolidate their hold on the cities of northern Campania.  It is in this context that I suggested above that the leges datae imposed on Capua, which Livy mentioned in the context of the census of 318 BC, actually formed part of a settlement that followed the suppression of the revolt of 314-3 BC.  I elaborate on this suggestion in the section below.

Date of the Leges Datae at Capua (again)

As noted above, Livy asserted that, in 318 BC,  the people of Capua had asked the Romans to provide them with leges datae (and to begin sending prefects to the city):

  1. “... as a remedy for the distress occasioned by internal discord”, (‘History of Rome’, 9: 20: 6);

Adrian Sherwin White (referenced below, at p. 43) argued that:

  1. “... the leges a praetore datae should have provided a permanent solution of the troubles of the time".  

However, as we have seen, when Rome faced a serious threat from the Samnites in 314 BC, a pro-Samnite faction at Capua was still strong enough to foment a pro-Samnite rebellion that might well have been finally ended only in 313 BC:

  1. There is a danger of applying hindsight here: it is possible that the Romans were sufficiently in control of events in 318 BC to impose these laws, and that the subsequent revolt at Capua took them by surprise. 

  2. However, as discussed above, it is at least possible that these measures followed the revolt of 314-3 BC, at which time the pro-Roman faction at Capua (which would surely have included most of the knights who had been enfranchised in 340 BC) would have been in the ascendancy.  In other words, this would have been the ideal time for them to request (and for the Romans grant the)  measures that would enshrine their position

In this context, we might look again at how Livy concluded his account of the imposition of the leges datae at Capua:

  1. “Once it had become known among the allies that the affairs of Capua had been stabilised by Roman discipline, the Antiates, too, complained that they were living without fixed statutes and without magistrates.  The Senate designated the colony's own patrons give laws [to them.  Now, not only] Roman arms, but also Roman law, began to exert a widespread influence”, (‘History of Rome’, 9: 20: 10).

Thus, it seemed to Livy that, with the imposition of the leges datae at Capua, the way in which Rome controlled the outlying areas under her jurisdiction changed fundamentally.  Thus, in my view, it is at least possible that this measure belonged in the period 314-2 BC, in which the Romans:

  1. defeated the Aurunnci and seized their territory (above);

  2. suppressed the revolt of the norther Campani; and

  3. as we shall see:

  4. defeated the Campanian city of Nola;

  5. established or re-established a chain of Latin colonies on the western border of Samnium; and

  6. built the Via Appia from Rome to Capua, through what was now a continuous tract of territory that was securely within the jurisdiction of Rome.

Dictator of 313 BC

The consuls of 313 BC were both experienced men:

  1. Lucius Papirius Cursor was now serving for the fifth time; and

  2. Caius Junius Bubulcus Brutus for the second time.

In addition,

  1. the fasti Capitolini, record that Caius Poetelius Libo Visolus appointed as dictator rei gerundae caussa (for the purpose of conducting affairs);

  2. Livy (History of Rome’, 9: 28: 3-6) recorded that the consuls appointed Poetilius as dictator, but his sources were split between:

  3. those that claimed that he acted dictator rei gerundae caussa and commanded the Roman army Fregellae  and Nola (see below) as; and

  4. those that claimed that he was appointed as ‘dictator clavi figendi causa’ (dictator appointed to undertake the ritual of fixing the nail) for expiatory purposes during a serious outbreak of plague

  5. Diodorus (‘Library of History’, 19: 101: 3),  recorded that Quintus Fabius Maximus Rullianus acted dictator rei gerundae caussa and commanded the Roman army Fregellae  and Nola.

Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 2005, at p. 332) found Diodorus’ suggestion that Fabius was once more dictator to be suspect, and we might reasonably discount it:  Poetelius was almost certainly appointed as dictator in 313 BC, but his precise role needs to be addressed.

Mark Wilson (referenced below, at p. 3545, entry 54) observed that:

  1. “Unusually, this dictatorship came, not in the wake of a crisis or disaster, but [in the wake of] a great victory won the previous year by the consuls [of 314 BC.  Nevertheless, according to Livy’s preferred sources, the consuls for 313 BC] elected to choose a dictator to [continue the prosecution] ...”

He also noted that later tradition had Poetelius as ‘dictator clavi figendi causa‘ in 313 BC.   Stephen Oakley (as above) pointed out that the appointment of a dictator ‘clavi figendi causa’ was unusual, which makes it more likely that this was, indeed the post assigned to Poetilius in 313 BC. Finally, Mark Wilson (referenced below, at pp. 327-8) observed that:

  1. “To accept [Poetelius as as ‘dictator clavi figendi causa’] makes sense of the otherwise mysterious decision to appoint an inexperienced dictator over very experienced consuls to fight (of all enemies) the Samnites ” (my slightly changed word order).

Thus, the likelihood is that one or both of the consuls were responsible for each of the military campaigns of 313 BC.  Nevertheless, since the matter is not completely clear, I have replaced the individual names in the passages below by the phrase ‘the Romans’, ‘the Romans army’ or ‘the Roman commander’.  

Recapture of Fregellae (313 BC)

As discussed above, it is likely that:

  1. the Romans’ foundation of a Latin colony at Fregellae in 328 BC had been an important factor in precipitating the Second Samnite War;

  2. the Romans withdrew the colonists and the Samnites recovered the territory after their victory at the Caudine Forks in 321 BC; and

  3. the Samnites remained in continuous control of this territory until 313 BC:  Livy (who implied, probably incorrectly, that the Romans had already regained Fregellae) recorded that, at the start of this consular year, the Roman commanders:

  4. “.... on hearing that the Samnites had [recaptured] the arx Fregellana (citadel of Fregellae) ... proceeded to Fregellae.  Having regained possession of the place without a struggle (for the Samnites fled from it in the night) [they] installed a strong garrison there”, (‘History of Rome’, 9: 28: 3).

In other words, we might reasonably assume that the Romans were able to re-found the Latin colony at Fregellae at this point.

Fregellae was to remain as one of the most loyal of the Latin colonies until the late Republic.  Thus, it provided the spokesman for:

  1. “... the 18 [out of 30 Latin] colonies ... [that confirmed to the senate] that they [still] had soldiers in readiness according to their obligations [at the time of the Hannibalic War]...”, (‘Roman History’, 27: 10: 3-7).

Capture of Atina (313 BC) ?

According to Livy, after the recapture of Fregellae:

  1. “... [the Roman army] marched into Campania [see below].... Some sources claim that Atina [was captured at this time by the Romans]”, (‘History of Rome, 9: 28: 3-6).

Atina had been a Volscian stronghold in the valley of the Melfa (a tributary of the Liris).  Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 2005, at p. 334) commented that:

  1. “The Romans further consolidated their position in the Liris Valley by capturing, probably for the first time, Atina, the leading settlement in the Val di Comino ...” 

He acknowledged that, since this notice is embedded in one that otherwise relates to the Campani:

  1. “... some scholars think that Livy meant Atella (another satellite of Capua) rather than Atina here.”

However, Oakley himself argued that:

  1. “... the geographical position of Atina shows the [Livy’s] notice is quite credible.”

If it is correct, then this engagement was of little significance: as we shall see, Atina was in Samnite hands in 293 BC, during the Third Samnite War.

Hostilities in Campania (313 BC)

Both Livy and Diodorus Siculus recorded Roman activity in Campania in 313 BC:

  1. According to Livy, after the recapture of Fregellae (and probably that of Atina):

  2. “... [the Roman army] marched into Campania, chiefly for the purpose of winning back Nola by force of arms.  As [it] drew near, the whole Samnite population and the Nolani of the countryside took refuge within its walls.  ... Nola was captured”, (‘History of Rome’, 9: 28: 3-6). 

  3. He also noted that some of his sources claimed that the Romans also captures Calatia, a satellite of Capua at this point.

  4. According to Diodorus Siculus:

  5. “... the Roman army marched into] hostile territory, and took by siege Calatia and the citadel of Nola: [the Roman commander] sold a large amount of spoil but allotted much of the land to his soldiers”, (‘Library of History’, 19: 101: 1-3).


As noted above, the people of Nola had supported the Samnite faction at Neapolis in the Neapolitan War (327 BC).  The Romans took no action against them after the fall of Neapolis, but it is possible that the Roman action against them in 313 BC represented delayed reprisals.  Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 2005, at pp. 332-3) noted that Rome:

  1. “... extended her power on the Campanian plain further east by subduing, probably for the first time, Nola, which had consistently supported the Samnites since the beginning of the war.”

He observed (at pp. 272-3) that, in a later passage, Livy recorded a speech in which Herennius Bassus, one of the leading senators at Nola in 215 BC (during the Second Punic War), referred to:

  1. “... the bond of friendship between the peoples of Rome and Nola [that] has existed for many years ...”, (‘History of Rome’, 23: 44: 1).

He also noted  (at p. 333) that Livy does not say that the Romans took Nola by force in 313 BC.  He therefore suggested that, since Nola:

  1. “... enjoyed a favourable alliance, she may have surrendered voluntarily; thereafter she remained loyal.”


Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 2005, at p. 332) noted that:

  1. “In Campania, Livy and Diodorus concur that [the Romans] recaptured Calatia, a satellite of Capua [in 313 BC] ...”

As noted above, while Livy had obscured the fact that Capua defected to the Samnites in 314 BC, Diodorus recorded both this defection and the fact that, when the revolt was suppressed:

  1. “...the [Campanian] cities [that had revolted] gained pardon and were reinstated in their former alliance [with Rome]”, (‘Library of History, 19: 76: 5).

However, ias discussed above, both he and Livy concurred that the Romans besieged and then recaptured Calatia, a satellite of Capua, in 313 BC. 

Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 2005, at p. 332 and note 3) pointed out that these sources might have meant Caiatia, a Samnite stronghold that was some 17 km northeast of Capua, but he concluded that this was unlikely.  As discussed above, I wonder whether, pace Livy, the ringleaders of the revolt of the previous year  at Capua had taken refuge at Calatia, and that the fall of Calatia in 313 BC was the last act in the Roman suppression of this revolt.

New Latin Colonies (313-2 BC)

Red squares = citizen maritime colonies: Antium (338 BC); Tarracina (329 BC)

Black squares = Latin colonies:  Circeii (before 338 BC); Cales (334 BC); Fregellae (328, refounded 313  BC);

Luceria (314 BC); Suessa Aurunca, Pontiae and Saticula (313 BC); Interamna Lirenas and (312 BC)

Three surviving sources record the foundation of new Latin colonies at this time

  1. Livy recorded that:

  2. “Colonies were planted [in 313 BC] ... at:

  3. Suessa [Aurunca], which had belonged to the Aurunci; and

  4. Pontiae, an island that the Volsci had inhabited, which lay within sight of their own coast.

  5. The Senate also passed a resolution that a colony be sent out to Interamna [Lirenas], but it was left [to the consuls of 312 BC] to appoint the three commissioners and to send out 4,000 settlers”, (‘History of Rome’, 9: 28: 7-8). 

  6. Diodorus (‘Library of History’, 19: 101: 3) recorded only  the foundation of the colony of Pontiae. 

  7. Velleius Patroculus  recorded that

  8. “... a colony was established at Tarracina [in 329 BC]; four [sic] years afterwards, another at Luceria:

  9. [two] others three years later, at Suessa Aurunca and Saticula;

  10. another two years after these, at Interamna.

  11. After that the work of colonisation was suspended for ten years. (‘History of Rome’, 1: 14: 4-5).

We might reasonably assume that Velleius had the colony at Luceria founded 14 years after that at Tarracina, so the chronologies of all three sources are broadly consistent.  However, only Velleius mentioned the foundation of the colony at Saticula.

Like the earlier colonies of Circeii, Cales, Fregellae and Luceria, all of  Suessa Aurunca, Pontiae, Saticula and Interamna Lirensis were among the 30 coloniae populi Romani (colonies of the people of Rome, or Latin colonies) that, according to Livy, existed in 209 BC:

  1. There were at that time 30 coloniae populi Romani ... 12 [of which]  informed the consuls that they had no means of furnishing soldiers and money [for the on-going Hannibalic War].  These [included] ... Suessa ... and Interamna”, (‘Roman History’, 27: 9: 7); and

  2. “... the 18 colonies ... [that confirmed] that they [still] had soldiers in readiness according to their obligations ...  [included] ... Saticula, ...and Pontiae ...”, (‘Roman History’, 27: 10: 3-7).

As Timothy Cornell (referenced below, 1995, at pp. 354-5) observed:

  1. “The result was that, by 312 BC, Samnium was s ... confronted in the sensitive Liris - Volturnus region by strings of Latin colonies on strategic sites ...  [This was] the turning point of the war ... [The Romans] were no longer in any serious danger of defeat.”

Suessa Aurunca

As we have seen, the Aurunci had defected to the Samnites in 315 BC.  The Romans retook Suessa Aurunca, Minturnae and Vescia in the following year, and:

  1. “Because the [Auruncian] leaders were not present when the attacks were made, there was no limit to the slaughter, and the Ausonian nation was wiped out ...”, (‘History of Rome’, 9: 25: 8-9).

Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 2005, at p. 301) observed that:

  1. “The inevitable confiscation of territory followed subjugation, and this provided land for both

  2. the Latin colony of Suessa Aurunca, founded in 313 BC; and

  3. the [citizen] maritime colonies of Minturnae and Sinuessa, founded in 296 BC [as discussed on the following page].”


The record of the colony founded at Pontiae is the first time that this location features in our surviving sources.  Thus, we do not know when it passed from Volscian to Roman control.  Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 2005, at p. 335) suggested that it:

  1. “... protected Roman communications with Campania by sea, and [thus provided] a safeguard against the [land] route ... being cut, as it had been in 315-4 BC.”

It seems to have played little part in later Roman history, albeit that, as noted above, it met its obligations to Rome in the trying circumstances of 209 BC. 


As noted above, the Samnite stronghold of Saticula had fallen to the Romans in 315 BC.  Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 2005, at p. 335) suggested that it:

  1. “... drove a wedge into the land of the [Samnite tribe known as the] Caudini and protected the northeastern flank of Campania.”

It seems that Saticula was the first Samnite stronghold to fall into Roman hands, although it did not (as far as we know) play a significant role in the closing stages of the war.

Interamna Lirenas

Livy called this colony ‘Interamna Sucasina’, in reference to the fact that it was ‘below’ Casinum (later Montecassino), on the border of Volscian and Samnite territory.  Its name of the colony is clearly Latin, which suggests that it was founded on land that had not previously been settled to any great extent.  ‘Interamna’ signifies that it was between two rivers: Strabo, who called it ‘Interamnium’ and observed that it was sited on via Latina (see below), placed it:

  1. “.... at the confluence of two rivers, the Liris and another”, (‘Geography’, 5: 3: 9)

According to Duane Roller (referenced below, at pp. 260-1), the other river was the Scatebra (modern Gari).   Given its location on the Liris, it presumably played a part in protecting the Romans’ access to Capua along Via Latina. 

Via Latina

All of Fregellae, Interamna Lirenas and Cales were on a road that the Romans called via Latina, which connected Rome to Capua down the Sacco (also known as the Trerus or Tolerus) and Liris valleys.  Stephen Oakley (referenced below, 2007, at p. 371) pointed out that:

  1. “The date of its construction is uncertain and, indeed, [it is not clear that] it ever was formally constructed: probably, there had always been a route down these valleys, and it would not be surprising if the quality of a [pre-exiting] road was enhanced ... when Latin colonies were established at Cales (334 BC)],  Fregellae (328 BC) and Interamna Lirenas (312 BC)”

Giovanna Bellini and colleagues (referenced below, at p. 3) pointed out that:

  1. “The area was inhabited by the Volsci and the Ausones/Aurunci and [by the late 4th century BC, had become] the focus of the clash between Rome and the Samnites in their struggle to control Campania.  The foundation of the Latin colonies of [Cales , Fregellae and Interamna Lirenas ... on the via Latina, was imposed at the expense of earlier settlements and sounded the death knell of Samnite presence in the region.”

Census of 312 BC

The fasti Capitolini record that the censors of 312 BC (Appius Claudius and Caius Plautius) completed the 26th lustrum.   Livy described the context:

  1. “The war with the Samnites was practically ended. ...  The year was noteworthy for the censorship of Appius Claudius and Caius Plautius, although Appius’ name was ... [better-remembered] because he built a road, and also brought water into the City.  He carried out these undertakings by himself, [after] his colleague had resigned ...”, (‘History of Rome’, 9: 29: 6-7).

Via Appia (312 BC)

Michel Humm (referenced below, 1t p. 713, note 42) observed that:

  1. “The Roman expansion into Campania and southern Italy in the 2nd half of the 4th century BC and the Samnite threat certainly induced Appius Claudius to build a road that offered a faster and safer alternative to via Latina ...: the road built by Appius Claudius followed the route of an old,coastal road ...”

He also gave the distances from Rome to Capua by each of these roads:

  1. Via Latina: 147 Roman miles (218 km); and

  2. Via Appia: 132 Roman miles (196 km).

Its route is described in the Unesco website:

“For the first 90 km [from Rome, Via Appia ran straight [across the Pontine marshes] to Tarracina.  ... for the last 28 [of these 90 km, it was flanked] by a canal collecting waters of the reclamation works; travellers could then change to boats instead of travelling in wagons or on horseback.  After Tarracina, the road swerved towards Fundi, across the towering gorges of Itri and then down to Formiae, Minturnae and Sinuessa; from there straight again towards Casilinum ... on the river Volturnus, and then on to ...Capua ... .

As Stephen Oakley (2005, at pp. 373-4) suggested that:

  1. “From Minturnae, the original course to Capua is uncertain, but it probably passed through Suessa Aurunca and the ager Falernus.  Later, it passed through Sinuessa, but this route would have left the new Latin colony at Suessa Aurunca isolated: [this route is unlikely to have been followed before the foundation of the citizen colony of Sinuessa in 296 BC]”

He observed that:

  1. “The construction of Via Appia was one of the most important [events] in Roman history: it was the first road that the Romans constructed for imperialistic purposes, and the precedent was to be repeated all over what was to become the Roman Empire.”

Read more:

D. Roller, “A Historical and Topographical Guide to the Geography of Strabo”, (2018) Cambridge

M. Fronda and F. Gauthier , “Italy and Sicily in the Second Punic War: Multipolarity, Minor Powers, and Local Military Entrepreneurialism”, in

  1. T. Ñaco del Hoyo and F. López Sánchez (eds.), “War, Warlords and Interstate Relations in the Ancient Mediterranean”, (2017) Boston

M. Wilson, "The Needed Man: The Evolution, Abandonment, and Resurrection of the Roman Dictatorship" (2017), thesis of the City University of New York (online)

J. Prag, “Cities and Civic Life in Late Hellenistic Roman Sicily”, Cahiers Du Centre Gustave Glotz 25 (2014) 165-208

G. Tols et al., “Minor Centres in the Pontine Plain: the Cases of 'Forum Appii' and 'Ad Medias'’”, Papers of the British School at Rome, 82 (2014) 109-134

G. Bellini et al., “Roman Colonial Landscapes: Interamna Lirenas and its Territory through Antiquity” (2013) online

J. Pelgrom, “Colonial Landscapes: Demography, Settlement Organisation and Impact of Colonies founded by Rome (4th-2nd centuries BC)”, (2012) thesis, Leiden University

G. Camodeca, “Regio I (Latium et Campania): Campania”, in

  1. M. Silvestrini (Ed.), “Le Tribù Romane: Atti della XVIe Rencontre sur l’Epigraphie du Monde Romaine (Bari, 8-10 Ottobre 2009)”, (2010) Bari, at pp. 179-83 

S. Roselaar, “Public Land in the Roman Republic: A Social and Economic History of Ager Publicus in Italy, 396 - 89 BC”, (2010) Oxford

H. Solin, “Problemi delle tribù nel Lazio meridionale”, in

  1. M. Silvestrini (Ed.), “Le Tribù Romane: Atti della XVIe Rencontre sur l’Epigraphie du Monde Romaine (Bari, 8-10 Ottobre 2009)”, (2010) Bari, at pp. 71-9 

S. Oakley, “A Commentary on Livy, Books VI-X:Volume IV: Book X”, (2007) Oxford

S. Oakley, “A Commentary on Livy, Books VI-X:Volume III: Book IX”, (2005) Oxford

T. C. Brennan, “The Praetorship in the Roman Republic”, (2000) Oxford

S. Oakley, “A Commentary on Livy, Books VI-X:Volume II: Books VII and VIII”, (1998) Oxford

M. Humm, “Appius Claudius Caecus et la Construction de la Via Appia”, Mélanges de l'Ecole Française de Rome (Antiquité), 108:2 (1996) 693-746

T. Cornell, “The Beginnings of Rome: Italy and Rome from the Bronze Age to the Punic Wars (ca. 1000-264 BC)”, (1995) London and New York

T. Cornell, “The Conquest of Italy”, in:

  1. F. Walbank et al. (eds), The Rise of Rome to 220 BC (“The Cambridge Ancient History, Volume 7:2)”, (1989) Cambridge, at pp. 351-419

J. Linderski, “Legibus Praefecti Mittebantur (Mommsen and Festus 262. 5, 13 L)”, Historia: Zeitschrift für Alte Geschichte, 28:2 (1979) 247-250

A. N. Sherwin-White, “The Roman Citizenship (Second Edition)”, (1973) Oxford

L. Ross Taylor, “The Voting Districts of the Roman Republic: The 35 Urban and Rural Tribes”, (1960) Rome

  1. Roman Conquest: Conquest of Veii - Renewal of Latin Peace (406 - 358 BC)

Renewed Latin Peace to 1st Samnite War (358 - 341 BC)

Between 1st and 2nd Samnite War (341 - 328 BC)    

Second Samnite War I: 328 - 312 BC     Second Samnite War II: 311  - 304 BC

Etruscan War  (311 - 308 BC)      Between 2nd and 3rd Samnite Wars (304 -298 BC)

Third Samnite War      End Game (290-241 BC)

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