at the same time Nymphius for his part had gone craftily to work with the Samnite commander, and pointing out that all the forces of the Romans were either about Palaepolis or in Samnium, got him to consent1
that he should take a fleet and sail round them to the Roman seaboard, where he proposed, so he said, to ravage not only the coastal region, but the vicinity of Rome itself;
it would however be necessary, in order to slip past the enemy unobserved, to put out at night, and the ships must be drawn down at once.
that this might be accomplished the more expeditiously, all the Samnite soldiers, except the few who were needed to mount guard in the city, were sent down to the shore. while Nymphius was killing time there in the darkness, purposely issuing contradictory orders to confuse the throng, which was so large as to get in its own way, Charilaus, having been received into the city, as agreed upon by the conspirators, had occupied the highest part of it with Roman soldiers, whom he now commanded to give a cheer.
on hearing this, the Greeks, who had received a signal from their leaders, remained still, but the Nolani fled through the opposite quarter of the city by the road that leads to Nola. The Samnites, being shut out from the town, enjoyed a momentary advantage in the ease with which they fled, but appeared in a more disgraceful light, when the danger had been left behind.
unarmed —for they had abandoned everything to the enemy —they returned to their homes despoiled and destitute, a laughingstock not only to strangers but to their own [p. 105]
i am not unaware of the other2
tradition which ascribes the capture to betrayal by the Samnites, but have followed the authorities who are more deserving of credence; moreover, the treaty with Neapolis —to which place the Greeks now transferred the seat of government —makes it more likely that they renewed the friendship voluntarily.3
Publilius was decreed a triumph, in consequence of a belief that the enemy had surrendered because they were forced to do so by the siege. he was the first to enjoy these two distinctions: an extension of his command, never before granted to any, and a triumph after the expiration of his term.