1. Sp. Carvilius
Maximus, C. F. C. N., was curule aedile B. C. 299, and consul B. C. 293, with L. Papirius Cursor. Their consulship was distinguished by brilliant victories over the Samnites, who had made immense exertions to ensure success, and had penetrated into Campania. Carvilius first took Amiternum, and then proceeded to assault Cominium, while his colleague engaged with the great Samnite army, the soldiers of which had devoted themselves to conquest or death by the most solemn vows. After Papirius had gained a brilliant victory over this army, Carvilius took Cominium, and then proceeded to attack Palumbinum and Herculaneum, both of which fell into his hands, although he had previously suffered a defeat from the Samnites near the latter town.
After this Carvilius was called away into Etruria, where the Faliscans had broken the peace. Here, too, he was successful; he took the town of Troilium and five other fortified places, defeated the enemy and granted peace to the Faliscans on the payment of a large sum of money On his return to Rome he celebrated a splendid triumph--according to Livy, over the Samnites and Etruscans, and after the triumph of Papirius; according to the Triumphal Fasti, over the Samnites alone, and a month before the triumph of his colleague. Carvilius acquired great popularity by distributing a large part of the booty among the soldiers, which his colleague had not done; but even after this distribution he paid into the treasury 380,000 pounds of bronze, and applied the remainder to the erection of a temple of Fors Fortuna.
With the bronze armour taken from the Samnites he made a colossal statue of Jupiter upon the Capitol, which was of such a height that it could be seen from the temple on the Alban Mount; and with the bronze which fell off in polishing this work he had his own statue cast, which was placed at the feet of the colossus. (Liv. 10.9
; Zonar. 8.1
; Plin. Nat. 34.7
, s. 18; Niebuhr, Hist. of Rome,
vol. iii. p. 392, &c.)
In the year after his consulship Carvilius was appointed legate to the consul D. Junius Brutus, as the consuls of that year did not possess military experience, and had been elected in expectation of a state of peace. (Zonar. l.c.
In B. C. 272, Carvilius was elected consul a second time with his former colleague L. Papirius Cursor, as the people, recollecting their former victories, fully hoped that they would put an end to the Samnite war before Pyrrhus could return again to Italy. They did not disappoint the expectations of the people, though of the details of the war we have no information. They conquered the Samnites, Lucanians, Bruttians, and Tarentines, and celebrated a triumph on account of their victories. (Fasti Capit.; Zonar. 8.6
; Liv. Epit. 14;
Niebuhr, Hist. of Rome
vol. iii. p. 524.)
It must be of this Sp. Carvilius that Velleius Paterculus (2.128) relates, that, though born of equestrian rank, he arrived at the highest honours of the state, and not of the consul of B. C. 234 [No. 2], as Orelli supposes (Onom. Tull.
vol. ii. p. 133).