such were the opinions that were spoken1
and listened to, and the Roman name had well —nigh
been given up for lost in the council of Rome's faithful allies, when Aulus Calavius, son of Ovius, a man of famous birth and achievements and at that time venerable also for his age, asserted that the case was very different:
that obstinate silence, those eyes fixed on the ground and ears deaf to every consolation, that shame at looking on the light, were signs, he argued, of bosoms bursting with passionate resentment;
either he knew nothing of the Roman character, or that silence was destined ere long to draw from the Samnites cries and groans of anguish, and the Caudine Peace to become a far more bitter memory to Samnites than to Romans;
for each people would have its own native spirit wherever they might encounter, but the Samnites would not everywhere have a Caudine Pass.
by this time Rome, too, had heard of her shameful [p. 187]
The first news was that the army was2
entrapped; then came a gloomier report, more by reason of the disgraceful peace than because of the peril.
on the rumour of a blockade they had begun to hold a levy; but they afterwards gave over their measures for relief, when they learned that there had been so infamous a capitulation, and immediately, without official sanction of any sort, betook themselves with one mind to every form of mourning.
The booths round about the Forum were shut up, and ere proclamation could be made, all business was suspended; tunics with the broad stripe of purple were discarded, as were golden rings.3
The citizens were almost more dejected than the army; and not only were they enraged against their generals and those who had favoured and guaranteed the peace, but they even visited their hate upon the innocent soldiers and proposed to exclude them from the City and from their homes.
but this flurry of resentment was dispelled by the arrival of the army, which even angry men could not but pity.
for they came not like men returning in safety to their homes, after all hope of them had been abandoned; but entering the City late in the day, with the bearing and looks of prisoners, they slipped away every man to his own house, and on the next and the succeeding days not one of them would look into the Forum or the streets.
The consuls shut themselves up in their houses and would transact no public business, except that they were forced by a senatorial decree to name a dictator to preside at the election.
they designated Quintus Fabius Ambustus, with Publius Aelius Paetus to be master of the horse.
a flaw in their appointment occasioned the substitution in their [p. 189]
room of Marcus Aemilius Papus, as dictator, and4
Lucius Valerius Flaccus, as master of the horse. however, even they did not hold an election; and because the people were dissatisfied with all the magistrates of that year, the state reverted to an interregnum.
The interreges were Quintus Fabius Maximus and Marcus Valerius Corvus. The latter announced the election to the consulship of Quintus Publilius Philo (for the third time) and Lucius Papirius Cursor (for the second) with the unmistakable approval of the citizens, for there were at that time no leaders more distinguished.