The Samnites withdrew their garrisons from Sora and Arpinum, and sent envoys to Rome to sue for peace; the Sabellian tribes, the Marsi, Marrucini, Paeligni, Frentani, Vestini, and Picentes followed their example. The terms granted by Rome were tolerable; cessions of territory were required from some of them, from the Paeligni for instance, but they do not seem to have been of much importance. The equal alliance was renewed between the Sabellian tribes and the Romans (450).

And With Tarentum

Presumably about the same time, and in consequence doubtless of the Samnite peace, peace was also made between Rome and Tarentum. The two cities had not indeed directly opposed each other in the field. The Tarentines had been inactive spectators of the long contest between Rome and Samnium from its beginning to its close, and had only kept up hostilities in league with the Sallentines against the Lucanians who were allies of Rome. In the last years of the Samnite war no doubt they had shown some signs of more energetic action. The position of embarrassment to which the ceaseless attacks of the Lucanians reduced them on the one hand, and on the other hand the feeling ever obtruding itself on them more urgently that the complete subjugation of Samnium would endanger their own independence, induced them, notwithstanding their unpleasant experiences with Alexander, once more to entrust themselves to a -condottiere-. There came at their call the Spartan prince Cleonymus, accompanied by five thousand mercenaries; with whom he united a band equally numerous raised in Italy, as well as the contingents of the Messapians and of the smaller Greek towns, and above all the Tarentine civic army of twenty-two thousand men. At the head of this considerable force he compelled the Lucanians to make peace with Tarentum and to install a government of Samnite tendencies; in return for which Metapontum was abandoned to them. The Samnites were still in arms when this occurred; there was nothing to prevent the Spartan from coming to their aid and casting the weight of his numerous army and his military skill into the scale in favour of freedom for the cities and peoples of Italy. But Tarentum did not act as Rome would in similar circumstances have acted; and prince Cleonymus himself was far from being an Alexander or a Pyrrhus. He was in no hurry to undertake a war in which he might expect more blows than booty, but preferred to make common cause with the Lucanians against Metapontum, and made himself comfortable in that city, while he talked of an expedition against Agathocles of Syracuse and of liberating the Sicilian Greeks. Thereupon the Samnites made peace; and when after its conclusion Rome began to concern herself more seriously about the south-east of the peninsula--in token of which in the year 447 a Roman force levied contributions, or rather reconnoitred by order of the government, in the territory of the Sallentines--the Spartan -condottiere- embarked with his mercenaries and surprised the island of Corcyra, which was admirably situated as a basis for piratical expeditions against Greece and Italy. Thus abandoned by their general, and at the same time deprived of their allies in central Italy, the Tarentines and their Italian allies, the Lucanians and Sallentines, had now no course left but to solicit an accommodation with Rome, which appears to have been granted on tolerable terms. Soon afterwards (451) even an incursion of Cleonymus, who had landed in the Sallentine territory and laid siege to Uria, was repulsed by the inhabitants with Roman aid.

Consolidation Of The Roman Rule In Central Italy

The victory of Rome was complete; and she turned it to full account. It was not from magnanimity in the conquerors--for the Romans knew nothing of the sort--but from shrewd and far-seeing calculation that terms so moderate were granted to the Samnites, the Tarentines, and the more distant peoples generally. The first and main object was not so much to compel southern Italy as quickly as possible to recognize formally the Roman supremacy, as to supplement and complete the subjugation of central Italy, for which the way had been prepared by the military roads and fortresses already established in Campania and Apulia during the last war, and by that means to separate the northern and southern Italians into two masses cut off in a military point of view from direct contact with each other. To this object accordingly the next undertakings of the Romans were with consistent energy directed. Above all they used, or made, the opportunity for getting rid of the confederacies of the Aequi and the Hernici which had once been rivals of the Roman single power in the region of the Tiber and were not yet quite set aside. In the same year, in which the peace with Samnium took place (450), the consul Publius Sempronius Sophus waged war on the Aequi; forty townships surrendered in fifty days; the whole territory with the exception of the narrow and rugged mountain valley, which still in the present day bears the old name of the people (Cicolano), passed into the possession of the Romans, and here on the northern border of the Fucine lake was founded the fortress Alba with a garrison of 6000 men, thenceforth forming a bulwark against the valiant Marsi and a curb for central Italy; as was also two years afterwards on the upper Turano, nearer to Rome, Carsioli --both as allied communities with Latin rights.

The fact that in the case of the Hernici at least Anagnia had taken part in the last stage of the Samnite war, furnished the desired reason for dissolving the old relation of alliance. The fate of the Anagnines was, as might be expected, far harder than that which had under similar circumstances been meted out to the Latin communities in the previous generation. They not merely had, like these, to acquiesce in the Roman citizenship without suffrage, but they also like the Caerites lost self-administration; out of a portion of their territory on the upper Trerus (Sacco), moreover, a new tribe was instituted, and another was formed at the same time on the lower Anio (455).

From the Abolition of the Monarchy in Rome to the Union of Italy Page 58

Italian Authors

Italian Books

Free Books in the public domain from the Classic Literature Library ©

Italian Books
Theodor Mommsen
Classic Literature Library

All Pages of This Book