The fortunate outcome of this war not1
only impelled the Faliscans, with whom there was a truce, to ask the senate for a treaty, but caused the Latins, whose armies were ready to take the field, to transfer their attack from Rome to the Paeligni.
Nor was the fame of this success confined to Italy; even the Carthaginians sent their envoys to Rome, with congratulations and the gift of a golden crown, weighing five and twenty pounds, to be placed in the shrine of Jupiter on the Capitol.
Both consuls triumphed over the Samnites, and after them came Decius, conspicuous in his decorations and so renowned, that the soldiers in their rude jests named the tribune no less often than the consuls.
The deputations of the Campanians and the Suessulani were then heard, and a favourable reply was made to their petition that a garrison should be dispatched, to remain through the winter with them and protect them against inroads by the Samnites.
Capua was even then a far from wholesome place for military discipline, and with its means for [p. 497]
gratifying every pleasure proved so fascinating to the2
soldiers that they forgot their native land, and formed a project, while in winter quarters, for taking the city away from the Campanians by the same wicked practice by which the Campanians had taken it from its ancient inhabitants.3
There would be a certain justice, they argued, in turning their own example against them. Besides, why should the most fertile land in Italy, and a city worthy of the land, belong to the Campanians, who were incapable of defending either themselves or their possessions? Why, rather, should it not belong to the conquering army, which had toiled and bled to drive the Samnites out of it?
Was it fair that their surrendered subjects should enjoy that fertile and agreeable tract, while they, exhausted with campaigning, wrestled with the arid and noxious soil in the neighbourhood of Rome, or endured the ruinous usury that had fastened on the City and was increasing from one day to the next?
These schemes, discussed in secret cabals and not yet communicated to all the troops, were discovered by the new consul, Gaius Marcius Rutulus, to whom the lot had assigned Campania for his province, leaving Quintus Servilius, his colleague, in charge at Rome.
And so having found out through his tribunes exactly what had taken place, Rutulus, who was of ripe years and experience, —for the present consulship was his fourth and he had been both dictator and censor —thought that his best course would be to frustrate the men's impetuosity, by encouraging the hope that they would be able at any time they chose to carry out their plan.
He accordingly set on foot a rumour that the garrisons [p. 499]
would winter in the same towns in the following4
year also, —for they had been distributed among the cities of Campania and from Capua their designs had spread to the entire army, —and the conspirators being thus afforded time for breathing, the sedition subsided for the present.