The result of this contest obliged the Faliscians, who were on terms of a truce, to petition for a treaty of alliance from the senate; and diverted the Latins, who had their armies already prepared, from the Roman to a Pelignian war.
Nor did the fame of such success confine itself within the limits of Italy; but the Carthaginians also sent ambassadors to Rome to congratulate them, with an offering of a golden crown, to be placed in Jupiter's shrine in the Capitol. Its weight was twenty-five pounds.
Both consuls triumphed over the Samnites, whilst Decius followed distinguished with [p. 496]
praises and presents, when amid the rough jesting of the soldiers the name of the tribune was no less celebrated than that of the consuls.
The embassies of the Campanians and Suessulans were then heard; and to their entreaties it was granted that a garrison should be sent thither, in order that the incursions of the Samnites might be repelled.
Capua, even then by no means favourable to military discipline, alienated from the memory of their country the affections of the soldiers, which were debauched by the supply of pleasures of all kinds; and schemes were being formed in winter-quarters for taking away Capua from the Campanians by the same kind of wickedness as that by which they had taken it from its original possessors: “and not undeservedly would they turn their own example against themselves.
For why should the Campanians, who were neither able to defend themselves nor their possessions, occupy the most fertile land of Italy, and a city worthy of that land, rather than the victorious army, who had driven the Samnites from thence by their sweat and blood?
Was it reasonable that men who had surrendered to them should have the full enjoyment of that fertile and delightful country; that they, wearied by military toil, had to struggle in an insalubrious and arid soil around their city, or within the city to suffer the oppressive and exhausting weight of interest-money daily increasing?”
These schemes agitated in secret cabals, and as yet communicated only to a few, were encountered by the new consul Caius Marcius Rutilus, to whom the province of Campania had fallen by lot, Quintus Servilius, his colleague, being left behind in the city.
Accordingly when he was in possession of all these circumstances just as they had occurred, having ascertained them through the tribunes, matured by years and experience, (for he was consul now for the fourth time, and had been dictator and censor,) thinking it the wisest proceeding to frustrate the violence of the soldiers, by prolonging their hope of executing their project whenever they might wish, he spreads the rumour, that the troops were to winter in the same towns on the year after also.
For they had been cantoned throughout the cities of Campania, and their plots had spread from Capua to the entire army. This abatement being given to the eagerness of their projects, the mutiny was set at rest for the present.