Fulvius and Claudius were far from being agreed as to the punishment of the Campanian senators. Claudius was disposed to grant their prayer for pardon, but Fulvius was more inclined to severity.
Appius, therefore, was for referring the entire disposal of the question to the Roman senate.
He thought it right also, that the fathers should have the opportunity of asking them whether any of the Latin confederates, or of the municipal towns, had taken part in these designs, and whether they had derived any assistance from them in the war.
Fulvius, on the contrary, urged that they ought by no means to run the hazard of having the minds of faithful allies harassed by doubtful accusations, and subjected to informers who never cared at all what they did or what they said. For this reason he said that he should prevent and put a stop to any such inquiry.
After this conversation they separated; Appius not doubting but that his colleague, though he expressed himself so warmly, would, nevertheless, wait for a letter from Rome, in an affair of such magnitude.
But Fulvius, fearing that his designs would be frustrated by that very means, dismissed his council, and commanded the military tribunes and the praefects of the allies to give notice to two thousand chosen horsemen to be in readiness at the third trumpet.
Setting out for Teanum with this body of cavalry, he entered the gate at break of day, and proceeded direct to the forum; and a number of people having flocked together at the first entrance of the horsemen, he ordered the Sidicinian magistrate to be summoned; when he desired him to bring forth the Campanians whom he had in custody.
These were all accordingly brought forth, scourged, and beheaded. He then proceeded at full speed to Cales; where, [p. 1038]
when he had taken his seat on the tribunal, and while the Campanians, who had been brought forth, were being bound to the stake, an express arrived from Rome, and delivered to him a letter from Caius Calpurnius, the praetor, and a decree of the senate.
A murmur immediately pervaded the whole assembly, beginning at the tribunal, that the entire question respecting the Campanians was referred to the decision of the fathers; and Fulvius, suspecting this to be the case, took the letter, and without opening it put it into his bosom, and then commanded the crier to order the lictor to do his duty. Thus punishment was inflicted on those also who were at Cales.
The letter was then read, together with the decree of the senate, when it was too late to prevent the business which was already executed, and which had been accelerated by every means to prevent its being obstructed.
When Fulvius was now rising from his seat, Jubellius Taurea, a Campanian, making his way through the middle of the city and the crowd, called upon him by name;
and when Flaccus, who wondered greatly what he could want, had resumed his seat, he said, “Order me also to be put to death, that you may be able to boast, that a much braver man than yourself has been put to death by you.”
Fulvius at first said, that the man could not certainly be in his senses; then, that he was restrained by a decree of the senate, even though he might wish it; when Jubellius exclaimed:
“Since, after the capture of my country, and the loss of my relations and friends, after having killed, with my own hand, my wife and children to prevent their suffering any indignity, I am not allowed even to die in the same manner as these my countrymen, let a rescue be sought in courage from this hated existence.”
So saying, he thrust a sword, which he had concealed under his garment, right through his breast, and fell lifeless at the general's feet.