~ 321 BC
|A ROMAN ARMY PASSING UNDER THE YOKE|
Caius Pontius was the Samnite Leader who trapped the Roman army at a pass at Caudine Forks.
Before negotiating with the Romans, Caius asked his father what he should do with his captives.
The father advised him either to allow them to go, without condition, thereby befriending the
Romans, or else to slaughter the whole army without mercy. Pontius chose the middle way, and
released the army on condition of the Romans ceding territory to the Samnites. This, however,
was not agreed to by the Roman Senate, they sent all of the leaders of the army back in chains
to Pontius, refusing his offer. They did not, however, agree to restore the entire army.
One generation later, the Romans achieved a decisive victory over the Samnites at Sentinum.
Pontius was taken as a captive, humiliated in a triumph, and then beheaded. (It is not certain
that this was the same Pontius.)
Key events during the life of Pontius:
||Trapped Roman army in a pass at Caudine Forks.
||Taken as prisoner three years after Battle of Sentinum, and beheaded.
||Hero of the Battle of Sentinum, against the Gauls and Samnites.
||Father of Caius, who counseled either mercy or severity.
||Consul who was returned to Pontius in chains, when Rome refused the treaty.