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In his defence Fulvius threw all the blame upon his men. They clamoured, he said, for battle, and he led them out, not at the moment, for it was late in the day, but on the following morning. Though they were drawn up on favourable ground, at an early hour they found either the terror of the enemy's name or the strength of his attack too much for them.  When they were all flying in disorder he was swept away by the rush as Varro was at Cannae and as many other commanders have been at different times. What help would he have given to the republic by staying there alone?  unless indeed his death would have warded off other national disasters. His failure was not due to lack of supplies, or to incautiously taking up a position on unfavourable ground; he had not been ambushed through insufficient reconnoitring; he had been beaten in a fair fight on an open field.  Men's tempers, on whichever side they were, were beyond his control, a man's natural disposition made him either brave or cowardly. The speeches of the prosecutor and the defendant occupied two days, on the third day the witnesses were produced.  Besides all the other serious charges brought against him, a great many men stated on oath that the panic and flight began with the praetor, and that when the soldiers found that they were left to themselves, and thought that their commander had good ground for fear, they too turned their backs and fled.  The prosecutor had in the first instance asked for a fine, but the evidence which had been given roused the anger of the people to such an extent that they insisted upon a capital charge being laid.  This led to a fresh contest. As the prosecutor during the first two days had limited the penalty to a fine and only on the third day made the charge a capital one, the defendant appealed to the other tribunes, but they refused to interfere with their colleague.  It was open to him by ancient custom to proceed either by statute law or by customary precedent, whichever he preferred, until he had obtained judgment, whether the penalty were a capital or a pecuniary one.  On this Sempronius announced that he should prosecute C. Fulvius on the charge of treason and requested the City praetor to convene the Assembly for the purpose on the appointed day.  Then the accused tried another way of escape. His brother Quintus was in high favour with the people at the time, owing to his former successes and the general conviction that he would soon take Capua, and the defendant hoped that he might be present at his trial.  Quintus wrote to the senate for their permission, appealing to their compassion and begging to be allowed to defend his brother's life, but they told him in reply that it would militate against the interests of the State for him to leave Capua.  Just before the day of trial Cn. Fulvius went into exile at Tarquinii. The plebs affirmed by resolution his legal status as exile and all the consequences it involved.
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