The assembly being then dismissed, a consultation was held, whether they should press forward the siege of Luceria, with all their forces; or, whether with one of the commanders, and his army, trial should be made of the Apulians, a nation in the neighbourhood still doubtful.
The consul Publilius set out to make a circuit through Apulia, and in the one expedition either reduced by force, or received into alliance on conditions, a considerable number of the states.
Papirius likewise, who had remained to prosecute the siege of Luceria, soon found the event agreeable to his hopes: for all the roads being blocked up through which provisions used to be conveyed from Samnium, the Samnites, who were in garrison, were reduced so low by famine, that they sent ambassadors to the Roman consul, proposing that he should raise the siege, on receiving the horsemen who were the cause of the war.
To whom Papirius returned this answer, that “they ought to have consulted Pontius, son of Herennius, by whose advice they had sent the Romans under the yoke, what treatment he thought fitting for the conquered to undergo.
But since, instead of offering fair terms themselves, they chose rather that they should be imposed on them by their enemies, he desired them
to carry back orders to the troops in Luceria, that they should leave within the walls their arms, baggage, beasts of burthen, and all persons unfit for war.
The soldiers he would send under the yoke with single garments, retaliating the disgrace formerly inflicted, not inflicting a new one.” The terms were not rejected. Seven thousand soldiers were sent under the yoke, and an immense booty was seized in Luceria, all the standards and arms which they had lost at Caudium being recovered; and, what greatly surpassed all their joy, recovered the horsemen whom the Samnites had sent to Luceria to be kept as pledges of the peace.
Hardly ever did the Romans gain a victory more distinguished for the sudden reverse produced in the state of their affairs;
especially if it be true, as I find in some annals, that Pontius, son of Herennius, the Samnite general, was sent under the yoke along with the rest, to atone for the disgrace of the consuls.
I think it indeed more strange that there should exist any doubt whether it was Lucius Cornelius, in quality of dictator, Lucius Papirius Cursor being master of the horse, who performed these achievements at Caudium, and afterwards at Luceria, as the single avenger of the disgrace of the Romans, enjoying the best deserved triumph, perhaps, next to that of Furius Camillus, which had ever yet been obtained; or whether that honour belongs to the consuls, and particularly to Papirius.
This uncertainty is followed by another, whether, at the next election, 'Papirius Cursor was chosen consul a third time, with Quintus Aulus Ceretanus a second time, being re-elected in requital of his services at Luceria; or whether it was Lucius Papirius Mugillanus, the surname being mistaken.