At Capua meantime, while Flaccus was spending his time in selling the property of leading men, in leasing lands that had been confiscated1
— and he leased them all in return for grain —a fresh crime fomented in secret was brought to light by informers, that he might not lack occasion for harsh treatment of the Capuans.
The soldiers had been removed from dwellings, in order that houses in the city might be leased together with the land, and because Flaccus at the same time feared that the great charms of the city might weaken his army also, as they had Hannibal's. Accordingly he had compelled them to build their own shelters soldier-fashion at the gates and along the walls.
Furthermore most of these were made of wickerwork and planks, others of reeds interwoven, all of them thatched with straw, as though these materials were deliberately intended to feed the flames.
A hundred and seventy Capuans,2
under the lead of the brothers Blossii, had conspired to set fire to all of these huts at the same hour of the night.
Information in regard to this was given by slaves of the Blossii, and the gates were suddenly closed by order of the proconsul. The soldiers having rushed to arms at a given signal, all who were involved in the crime were arrested, and after a rigorous inquiry were condemned and put to death.
The informers received [p. 213]
their freedom and ten thousand asses
each. As for3
the men of Nuceria and Acerrae, who complained that they had no dwelling-place, since Acerrae had been partly burned and Nuceria destroyed,4
Fulvius sent them to the senate at Rome.
The Acerrans were permitted to restore what had been burned; the Nucerians, having so elected, were conducted to Atella, while the Atellans were ordered to migrate to Calatia.5
Among the many important events which were engaging men's attention, as being now favourable and now unfavourable, the citadel of Tarentum6
also was not forgotten.
Marcus Ogulnius and Publius Aquilius set out for Etruria as commissioners to buy up grain to be shipped to Tarentum. And a thousand soldiers, equally divided between Romans and allies from the army at the city, were sent with the grain to the same place on garrison duty.