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fortress of Sutrium was hotly besieged. But all was in vain; in 310 B.c. Quintus Fabius Rullianus penetrated for the first time Etruria proper, marching through the Ciminian forest, and at the Vadimonian Lake crushed the roused Etruscans. The three most powerful towns, Perusia, Cortona, and Arretium, made peace with Rome; and two years later, after another defeat, Tarquinii followed their example, and the Etruscans laid down their arms. Meanwhile the Samnites abated not their exertions; but their hopes, based on Etruscan aid, were rudely dashed to the ground by the terrible battle in 309 B.C., in which the very flower of their army —the wearers of striped tunics and golden shields, and the wearers of white tunics and silver shields—was extirpated by Lucius Papirius Cursor. Too late to save them came the allied forces of the Umbrians, the Marsi, and Paeligni, and, later, the Hernicans, who all rose against Rome—too late, for the Etruscans had already cowered back into inaction. The first three peoples were soon mastered by Roman arms; but for a moment the rising of the Hernicans in the rear of the Roman army threatened destruction. But Anagnia, the chief Hernican city, fell; and two consular armies penetrated the fastnesses of Samnium, and took the Samnian capital, Bovianum, by storm in 305 B.c. A brief peace, on moderate terms, ensued, not only with Samnium, but with all the Sabellian tribes; and about the same time, owing to the withdrawal of the Spartan Cleonymus to Corcyra, Tarentum, whose part in the contest we have already described, came to formal terms with Rome.
Rome lost no time in turning her victory to good account. In the first place, she dissolved the Hernican league, and punished those communities which had revolted, by taking away their autonomy and giving them citizenship without voting power. Those Hernican communities which had not joined in the revolt remained with their old rights. In carrying out her wise policy of subjugating central Italy, Rome severed the north of Italy from the south, and prevented the inhabitants from being in direct touch with one another. The old Volscian land was completely subdued and soon Romanized, by planting a legion of four thousand men in Sora on the upper Liris, by making Arpinum subject, and taking away a third of its territory from Frusino. Two military roads ran through the country separating Samnium from Etruria; the northern one which was afterwards the Flaminian, covered the line of the Tiber, passing through Ocriculum to Nequinum, which was later called Narnia, 299-290 B.C.
when the Romans colonized it in 299 B.C. The southern road, afterward called the Valerian, commanded the Marsian and Aequian land, running along the Fucine Lake by way of Carsioli and Alba, in both of which towns colonies were planted. Thus, when we remember the roads and fortresses which already commanded Apulia and Campania, it is easy to see that Samnium was enclosed by a net of Roman strongholds. Such a peace was more ruinous than war, and the proud and heroic Samnites viewed it in that light.
We have now reached the third and final period of their brave but ill-fated struggle. This time the Samnites, taught by experience, brought pressure to bear on the Lucanians, and secured their alliance; strong hopes were entertained, not only of a rising in central Italy, but of active aid from the Etruscans and from mercenary Gauls. War broke out afresh in 298 B.C., and the first move was the suppression of the Lucanians by Roman arms, and two Samnite defeats in the following year. The superhuman efforts of the Samnite nation put three fresh armies into the field, and their general, Gellius Egnatius, who led an army into Etruria, caused the Etruscans to rise once more and take into their pay numerous Celtic bands. The Romans strained every nerve to meet the threatened danger; and, by sending part of their forces into Etruria, drew off a portion of the Etruscan forces which were encamped with the Samnites and Gauls near Sentinum, in Umbria, on the eastern slope of the Apennines, in 295 B.C. It was here that the two consuls Publius Decius Mus and the aged Quintus Fabius Rullianus encountered the confederate army; and it was here that the heroic death of Publius Decius rallied the Roman legions when wavering before the Gallic hordes, and at the cost of nine thousand Roman lives gained a victory, which broke the coalition and made Etruria sue for peace. The Samnites, however, met their fate with a spirit unbroken by disaster, and in the following year gained some successes over the Roman consul, Marcus Atilius; but in 293 B.C. the battle of Aquilonia dealt a blow to the Samnites from which they never recovered; and. though in their mountain strongholds they continued the struggle till 290 B.c., deserted by all to whom they looked for aid, decimated and exhausted by a war which had lasted thirty-seven years, they at last concluded an honorable peace.
For Rome, their great antagonist, was too wise to impose disgraceful or ruinous conditions. Her object was to secure for295-239 B.C.
ever what she had already subjugated. With this end in view, two fortresses, Minturnae and Sinuessa, were established on the Campanian coast in 295 B.c. All the Sabines were forced to become subjects in 290, and the strong fortress of Hatria was established in the Abruzzi, not far from the coast, in 289 B.C. Still more important was the colony of Venusia, founded with twenty thousand colonists in 291 B.C., which, standing on the great road between Tarentum and Samnium, at the borders of Samnium, Apulia, and Lucania, kept in check the neighboring tribes, and interrupted the communications between Rome's two most powerful enemies in southern Italy. Thus the compact Roman domain at the close of the Samnite wars extended on the north to the Ciminian forest, on the east to the Abruzzi, on the south to Capua, while the two advanced posts, Luceria and Venusia, established towards the east and south on the lines of communication of their opponents, isolated them on every side. Rome was no longer merely the first, but was already the ruling power in the peninsula when, towards the end of the fifth century of the city, those nations which had been raised to supremacy, by the favor of the gods and by their own capacity, began to come into contact in council and on the battlefield; and as at Olympia the preliminary victors girt themselves for a second and more serious struggle, so on the larger arena of the nations, Carthage, Macedonia, and Rome now prepared for the final and decisive contest.
WAR WITH PYRRHUS—UNION WITH ITALY
T[E preceding chapter presented the chief features of that career of conquest which left Rome without a rival in Italy. But before her position was firmly and permanently established, and before the various Italian races were united under her rule, one more step remained, and one more struggle had to be decided. The interest of this final phase in the subjugation of Italy is chiefly due to the romantic charm of the name of Pyrrhus. The personal qualities and adventurous enterprises of Pyrrhus himself cannot but excite our imagination and kindle our sympathies. Of still greater moment is the fact that this was the first occasion on which Roman and Greek influences met in conflict; that from Pyrrhus date Rome's direct relations with Greece; that the struggle between phalanxes and cohorts, between a mercenary army and a militia, between military monarchy and senatorial government, between individual talent and national vigor, was first fought out in the battles between Pyrrhus and the Roman generals. The victory on this occasion, as on all others, rested with Roman arms, but the victory was of a different character from that over Gauls and Phoenicians; for in the end the subtle charm of Hellenic ideas and Hellenic life amply avenged the physical and political inferiority of the Greek to the Roman.
For the sake of chronological sequence it will be well to reach the causes which brought Pyrrhus to Italy before we narrate his previous career or estimate his position in history.
The peace with Samnium had scarce been concluded when the storm broke out afresh, and this time from a new quarter. The Romans had granted the Lucanians, in consideration of their services in the Samnite war, the Greek cities in their territory. In consequenca of this, Thurii, among other cities, was attacked by the Lucanians and Bruttians, and reduced to great extremities. Thurii appealed for protection to Rome; and Rome, feeling that the
fortress of Venusia enabled her to dispense with the Lucanian alliance, granted the appeal. The Lucanians and Bruttians, thus foiled by the Romans, proceeded to form a new coalition against their old allies, and at the same time opened the campaign by a fresh attack on Thurii about 285 B.c. This coalition was at once joined by the Etruscans, Gauls, Umbrians, and Samnites. The last-named, exhausted and hemmed in on all sides as they were, could render but little assistance. But in the north, under the walls of Arretium, the Roman army, led by the praetor Lucius Caecilius, was annihilated by the Celtic Senones, who were in the pay of the Etruscans.
As reprisals a terrible revenge was executed on the Senones in 283 B.c., by the consul Publius Cornelius Dolabella, who carried fire and sword through their territory, and completely expelled the whole Celtic tribe from Italy. Their Celtic kinsmen and neighbors, the Boii, at once joined the Etruscans, and a mighty combined army marched to wreak vengeance on Rome; but two battles, one near Lake Vadimo in 283 B.c., and another near Populonia in the following year, crushed this combination, and caused the Boii to conclude a separate peace with Rome. The Romans were now free to prosecute with vigor the war in southern Italy. Thurii was relieved and the Lucanians utterly defeated in 282 B.C.; the most important places—Locri, Croton, Thurii, and Rhegium —were garrisoned. That part of the Adriatic coast which had been occupied by the Senones was secured by a colony planted in the seaport of Sena, the former Senonian capital. A Roman fleet sailed from the Tyrrhene Sea to take up its station in the Adriatic, and, on its way, anchored in the harbor of Tarentum. The time had at last arrived for the supine people of Tarentum to shake off their lethargy; but their awakening came too late. Old treaties had forbidden Roman men-of-war from sailing beyond the promontory of Lacinium. Fiery appeals by mob-orators excited the Tarentine multitude to such a degree of senseless passion that it rushed down to the harbor, fell upon the unsuspecting Romans, and seized their ships and crews after a sharp struggle. The wanton outrage was followed up by the surprise of Thurii and the severe punishment of its inhabitants. Notwithstanding this violent breach of all civilized law, the Romans displayed great moderation and forbearance in the terms they offered Tarentum. But all negotiations failed, and the Roman consul, Lucius Aemilius, entered Tarentine