the defendant shifted the blame from himself to the soldiers. they had been fiercely clamouring for battle, he said, when they were led out into line, not on the day they wished, since it was too late, but on the following day, and although drawn up at a favourable time and place, they failed to withstand the reputed or the real strength of the enemy.
when they were all fleeing in disorder, he too was carried away by the crowd, as Varro in the battle of Cannae, as many other generals.
how, he said, could he have been of service to the state by resisting all alone, unless his death was to be a remedy for national disasters?
it was not that for lack of supplies he had been imprudently led into an unfavourable position; it was not that while advancing in column without reconnoitring he had been surprised and surrounded; it was by an open attack, by arms, by a [p. 13]
battle —line that he had been defeated. neither the1
spirit of his own men nor that of the enemy had been under his control: every man's own temperament, he said, produces boldness or consternation.
twice he was accused and a fine required;2
at the third hearing witnesses were furnished, and he was not only loaded with every kind of reproach, but also many swore that the beginning of flight and panic was made by the praetor;
that the soldiers, deserted by him, in the belief that the general's fear was not unfounded, had retreated. thereupon such anger was kindled that the assembly shouted that the magistrate must demand a capital penalty.
on that point3
also a fresh dispute began.
for when the accuser, having twice demanded a fine, said at the third hearing that he demanded capital punishment, the tribunes were appealed to.4
and they said that they would not stand in their colleague's way, to prevent him from doing what was permitted him by ancestral custom, that is, from making his demand either according to the laws or according to custom, as he preferred, until he should condemn the defendant either to capital punishment or to pay a fine.5
upon that Sempronius said he judged Gnaeus Fulvius guilty of treason and asked of Gaius Calpur-. nius, the city praetor, a day for the assembly.6
then the defendant had recourse to another hope, in case his brother Quintus Fulvius might be able to attend at the trial, as he was then influential both from the fame of his successes and from the hope, now almost fulfilled, of taking Capua.
after Fulvius had written a pitiful letter in that sense on behalf of his brother's life, and the senators had declared that leaving Capua was not to the
interest of the state, [p. 15]
when the day for the assembly was at hand Gnaeus7
Fulvius went into exile at Tarquinii. the plebs voted that his exile was legal.8