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

Story of Rome - Mary Macgregor

Sulla Saves Rome from the Samnites

Sulla returned to Italy three years after the death of Marius. During that time the popular party had been in power. But now it feared that its reign was nearly at an end, for Sulla was in Italy, and was coming to Rome, and coming not alone, but with his army.

Carbo was the leader of Sulla's enemies. He had gathered together a large army, but it was scattered over Italy, under his lieutenants. Pompey, who was soon to be known as Pompey the Great, was fighting for Sulla, and he, with three legions, kept Carbo's forces from uniting. This made Sulla's victory the easier.

But while Romans fought with Romans, a new danger threatened the city. An army of Samnites, under a leader named Pontius, slipped past both the army of Sulla and the scattered troops of Carbo, and marched straight toward Rome.

The citizens were in despair. They remembered the Samnites who long ago had entrapped their army at the pass of the Caudine Forks, and their leader Pontius, who had made Roman officers and soldiers pass beneath the yoke, and they trembled. What if the enemy proved as powerful as of old?

Private quarrels were forgotten, while all those of military age in the city armed for her defence.

In their walls the people had no confidence, for here and there they were broken down and unfit to stand a siege.

So out of the city to meet the terrible foe marched the valiant band of Romans, only to find the enemy too strong for it.

When it was known in the city that the army so hastily enrolled had been defeated, the despair was profound. Women ran about the streets crying aloud to their gods and shrieking in terror. At any moment, they believed, the Samnites might enter their city.

Then, just when hope of relief was faintest, a large company of cavalry was seen approaching the gates. It was the vanguard of Sulla's army, and he himself was close behind with the main body of his troops.

For the time a feeling of immense relief was felt in the city. At least the Samnites would not enter Rome now unopposed.

Sulla's officers begged him to allow his troops to rest before attacking the enemy. But he refused, ordering the trumpets at once to sound for battle.

Crassus commanded Sulla's right wing, and, unknown to the general, beat the enemy. The left wing of the Romans was all but repulsed, when Sulla rode to its help, mounted on a swift white steed.

He was recognised by the Samnites, and two of them prepared to fling their darts at the great Roman general. They thought that if he were slain the battle would soon be at an end.

But Sulla's servant saw his master's danger, and gave his steed a touch that made him start suddenly forward. The darts fell harmless to the ground close to the horse's tail, so that the servant had just succeeded in saving his master's life.

Darkness fell, and the battle was still undecided. But during the night messengers from Crassus stole into Sulla's camp for provisions, and the general heard that the enemy had been driven to Antemnæ, three miles away, and that Pontius, the Samnite leader, had been slain. He at once resolved to join Crassus. In the morning the Samnites were surprised to find a large army ready to attack them. But their leader was dead, so they were afraid to fight, and three thousand offered to submit to Sulla.

The general promised these their lives on one condition—that they should attack their own comrades. This the Samnites actually agreed to do, and a large number were killed in the unnatural struggle.

Six thousand who survived were taken to Rome, and by Sulla's orders cut to pieces. The cruelty of the Roman commander seemed to increase the nearer he drew to Rome.