Throw your soldiers into positions whence there is no escape and they will prefer death to flight. — Sun Tzu

Story of Rome - Mary Macgregor

The Disgrace of the Caudine Forks Avenged

A year after the Romans had been, as they felt, disgraced at the Caudine Forks, they determined to blot out their humiliation.

The old annalists, whose one desire was to increase the glory of Rome, wrote of great victories and marvellous deeds achieved by the legions, but historians of a later day say that not all the stories told by these ancient writers are true.

It is one of these old annalists who tells that in 320 B.C. Papirius Cursor marched with an army into Apulia. He did not venture through the fatal pass of the Caudine Forks, but took his men along the coast. If this was a longer way it was at least safer than through the valley.

Reaching Luceria, Papirius took it from the Samnites, and not only so, but he recaptured all the arms and standards which the Romans had lost at the Caudine Forks. The hostages too, who had been taken to Luceria by the Samnites, the Consul found and set free.

Then, that the enemy might never dare to boast of the victory which they had won over the Romans, Papirius made seven thousand Samnite soldiers pass beneath the yoke.

And, by the favour of the gods, Pontius was commander of the city, so that the humiliation he had erstwhile forced upon the Romans he had now himself to endure.

After this victory, the Consul returned to Rome and enjoyed a triumph.

The chief object of the war was to secure Campania. After many battles, in which now one army, now the other was victorious, a decisive one was fought in 314 B.C., when the Romans utterly defeated the Samnites. The whole of Campania was now in the hands of Rome.

So as to protect her new possessions, the Romans sent a colony to Ponza, an island lying off the Campanian and Latin coasts. A new interest thus arose in the sea: in 312 B.C. commissioners were appointed to look after the ships of Rome and see that they were in good repair. The following year the Romans had a small fleet ready to sail along the coast of Campania.

Rome was not yet prepared to test her fleet by fighting at sea, but she was now able to send troops to the coast towns of her enemies.

It was about this time that the Consul Appius Claudius began to build the great road between Rome and Capua, which was called the Appian Way.


Front Matter

The Lady Roma
The She-Wolf
The Twin Boys
Numitor's Grandson
The Sacred Birds
The Founding of Rome
The Sabine Maidens
The Tarpeian Rock
The Mysterious Gate
The King Disappears
The Peace-Loving King
Horatius Slays His Sister
Pride of Tullus Hostilius
King Who Fought and Prayed
The Faithless Friend
A Slave Becomes a King
Cruel Deed of Tullia
Fate of the Town of Gabii
Books of the Sibyl
Industry of Lucretia
Death of Lucretia
Sons of Brutus
Horatius Cocles
Mucius Burns Right Hand
The Divine Twins
The Tribunes
Coriolanus and His Mother
The Roman Army in a Trap
The Hated Decemvirs
The Death of Verginia
The Friend of the People
Camillus Captures Veii
The Statue of the Goddess
Schoolmaster Traitor
Battle of Allia
The Sacred Geese
The City Is Rebuilt
Volscians on Fire
Battle on the Anio
The Curtian Lake
Dream of the Two Consuls
The Caudine Forks
Caudine Forks Avenged
Fabius among the Hills
Battle of Sentinum
Son of Fabius Loses Battle
Pyrrhus King of the Epirots
Elephants at Heraclea
Pyrrthus and Fabricius
Pyrrhus is Defeated
Romans Build a Fleet
Battle of Ecnomus
Roman Legions in Africa
Regulus Taken Prisoner
Romans Conquer the Gauls
The Boy Hannibal
Hannibal Invades Italy
Hannibal Crosses the Alps
Battle of Trebia
Battle of Lake Trasimenus
Hannibal Outwits Fabius
Fabius Wins Two Victories
Battle of Cannae
Despair of Rome
Defeat of Hasdrubal
Claudius Enjoy a Triumph
Capture of New Carthage
Scipio Sails to Africa
Romans Set Fire to Camp
Hannibal Leaves Italy
The Battle of Zama
Scipio Receives a Triumph
Flamininus in Garlands
Death of Hannibal
Hatred of Cato for Carthage
The Stern Decree
Carthaginians Defend City
Destruction of Carthage
Cornelia, Mother of Gracchi
Tiberius and Octavius
Death of Tiberius Gracchus
Death of Gaius Gracchus
The Gold of Jugurtha
Marius Wins Notice of Scipio
Marius Becomes Commander
Capture of Treasure Towns
Capture of Jugurtha
Jugurtha Brought to Rome
Marius Conquers Teutones
Marius Mocks the Ambassadors
Metellus Driven from Rome
Sulla Enters Rome
The Flight of Marius
Gaul Dares Not Kill Marius
Marius Returns to Rome
The Orator Aristion
Sulla Besieges Athens
Sulla Fights the Samnites
The Proscriptions of Sulla
The Gladiators' Revolt
The Pirates
Pompey Defeats Mithridates
Cicero Discovers Conspiracy
Death of the Conspirators
Caesar Captured by Pirates
Caesar Gives up Triumph
Caesar Praises Tenth Legion
Caesar Wins a Great Victory
Caesar Invades Britain
Caesar Crosses Rubicon
Caesar and the Pilot
The Flight of Pompey
Cato Dies Rather than Yieldr
Caesar is Loaded with Honours
Nobles Plot against Caesar
The Assassination of Caesar
Brutus Speaks to Citizens
Antony Speaks to Citizens
The Second Triumvirate
Battle of Philippi
Death of Brutus
Antony and Cleopatra
Battle of Actium
Antony and Cleopatra Die
Emperor Augustus