The same year had a dictator in the1
person of Publius Cornelius Scipio, the master of the horse being Publius Decius Mus.
These men held a consular election —for to this end they had been appointed, since neither consul had been able to leave the seat of war.
The consuls chosen were Lucius Postumius and Tiberius Minucius. Piso2
makes these men follow Quintus Fabius and Publius Decius, omitting the two years in which we have placed the consulship of Claudius and Volumnius and that of Cornelius and Marcius.
whether in the redaction of his annals he forgot them, or omitted two sets of consuls purposely, as not authentic, is uncertain.
in that year also the Samnites made forays upon the Campus Stellatis3
both consuls were accordingly dispatched into Samnium in different directions, Postumius marching on Tifernum, and Minucius on Bovianum. The fighting began at Tifernum, where Postumius commanded.
some relate that the Samnites were decisively beaten and that twenty thousand prisoners were taken;
others that the armies quitted the field on even terms, and that Postumius, feigning fear, in the night withdrew his [p. 343]
forces secretly to the mountains, where the enemy4
followed him and themselves entrenched a camp, at a distance of two miles from his.
The consul, that it might appear to have been his object to gain a position at once secure and abounding in supplies, — and such indeed it was —having
fortified his camp and equipped it with all manner of useful things, left in it a strong garrison, and in the third watch led his legions in light marching order by the most direct route to his colleague, who likewise lay in camp, facing another army.
there, at the instigation of Postumius, Minucius gave battle to the enemy; and when the doubtful struggle had been prolonged until late in the afternoon, Postumius with his fresh legions fell unexpectedly upon the now jaded forces of their opponents.
The Samnites, debarred by their weariness and wounds even from flight, were utterly annihilated, and the Romans, having taken twenty —one standards, set out for the camp of Postumius.
there the two victorious armies assailed the enemy, already dismayed by the tidings of the other battle, and overwhelmingly routed them, capturing six —and —twenty standards, the commander of the Samnites —Statius Gellius —and many other prisoners, besides both camps.
on the following day they began the siege of the city of Bovianum, and on its capture, which quickly ensued, the consuls crowned their glorious achievements with a triumph.
some writers state that Minucius the consul was severely wounded and expired after being carried back to his camp. they add that Marcus Fulvius was made consul suffect in his place, and that it was he who, being sent out to the army of Minucius, captured Bovianum.
in that year Sora, Arpinum, and Cesennia5
won back from the Samnites. The great statue of Hercules was set up and dedicated on the Capitol.7