Henceforward shall be recorded wars of greater importance, both by the strength of the belligerent powers, by the distance of the countries, or the length of time during which they were carried on. For in that year arms were taken up against the Samnites, a nation powerful both in wealth and in arms.
Pyrrhus followed as an enemy the war of the Samnites carried on with various success, the Carthaginians followed Pyrrhus. How great a mass of events! How often have extreme dangers been encountered, that the empire might be raised to its present magnitude, which is now scarcely sustained!
But the cause of the war between the Samnites and Romans, as they had been joined in alliance and friendship, came from without; it originated not among themselves.
After the Samnites had unjustly taken up arms, because they had the advantage in strength, against the Sidicinians, the weaker party being obliged to have recourse to the aid of the more powerful, unite themselves to the Campanians.
As the Campanians brought to the relief of their allies rather a name than strength, enervated as they were by luxury, they were beaten in the Sidicinian territory by men who were inured to the use of arms, and then brought on themselves the entire burthen of the war.
For the Samnites, taking no further notice of the Sidicinians, having attacked the Campanians as being the chief of the neighbouring states, from whom the victory might be equally easy, and a greater share of spoil and glory, after they had secured Tifata, a ridge of hills hanging over Capua, with a strong garrison, they march down from thence with their army formed in a square into the plain which lies between Capua and Tifata.
There a second battle was fought; and the Campanians, after an unsuccessful fight, being driven within their walls, when the flower of their youth being cut down, no hope was nigh at hand, they were obliged to sue for aid from the Romans.