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Now at last the enemy was roused; there was a lull in the storm and daylight was approaching.  Hannibal's garrison in the city amounted to about 5000 men, and the citizens themselves had raised a force of 3000. These the Carthaginians put in front to meet the enemy, that there might be no attempt at treachery in their rear.  The fighting began in the dark in the narrow streets, the Romans having occupied not only the streets near the gate but the houses also, that they might not be assailed from the roofs. Gradually as it grew light some of the citizen troops and some of the Romans recognised one another, and entered into conversation.  The Roman soldiers asked what it was that the Arpinians wanted, what wrong had Rome done them, what good service had [5??] Carthage rendered them that they, Italians-bred and born, should fight against their old friends the Romans on behalf of foreigners and barbarians, and wish to make Italy a tributary province of Africa.  The people of Arpi urged in their excuse that they knew nothing of what was going on, they had in fact been sold by their leaders to the Carthaginians, they had been victimised and enslaved by a small oligarchy.  When a beginning had been once made the conversations became more and more general; at last the praetor of Arpi was conducted by his friends to the consul, and after they had given each other mutual assurances, surrounded by the troops under their standards, the citizens suddenly turned against the Carthaginians and fought for the Romans.  A body of Spaniards also, numbering something less than a thousand, transferred their services to the consul upon the sole condition that the Carthaginian garrison should be allowed to depart uninjured.  The gates were opened for them and they were dismissed, according to the stipulation, in perfect safety, and went to Hannibal at Salapia.  Thus Arpi was restored to the Romans without the loss of a single life, except in the case of one man who had long ago been a traitor and had recently deserted.  The Spaniards were ordered to receive double rations, and the republic availed itself on very many occasions of their courage and fidelity. While one of the consuls was in Apulia and the other in Lucania some hundred and twelve Campanian nobles left Capua by permission of the magistrates for the purpose, as they alleged, of carrying away plunder from the enemy's territory.  They really, however, rode off to the Roman camp above Suessula, and when they came up to the outposts they told them that they wished for an interview with the commander, Cn. Fulvius.  On being informed of their request he gave orders for ten of their number to be conducted to him, after they had laid aside their arms. When he heard what they wanted, which was simply that, after the recapture of Capua, their property might be restored to them, he received them all under his protection.  The other praetor took the town of Atrinum by storm. More than 7000 were taken prisoners and a considerable quantity of bronze and silver coinage seized.  At Rome there was a dreadful fire which lasted for two nights and a day. All the buildings between the Salinae and the Porta Carmentalis, including the Aequimaelium, the Vicus Jugarius, and the temples of Fortune and Mater Matuta were burnt to the ground.  The fire travelled for a considerable distance outside the gate and destroyed much property and many sacred objects.
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