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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
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
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
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.