Capitulum vicesimum quintum. Eutropius.
THE Romanes commaunde batelle to the Sampnites, whiche be as in the myddes betwene Campania and Apuleia, hauenge armoure of golde and of siluyr. The cause and movenge of that bataile was for that londe Campania, whiche is a ryalle cuntre and a pleyne. The chiefe cite of whom, Capua by name, is comparate in magnitude and habun|dance vn to Rome, other to Cartago. Lucius Cursius, a Page 375, vol.3 dictator, sende to ȝiffe batelle to the Sampnites, return|enge ageyn to Rome, commaundede Quintus Fabius, maister of the horsemen, that he scholde not ȝiffe bataile to theym in his absence in eny wise. This Quintus Fabius fyndenge an occasion and avauntage, ȝafe batelle to theyme, and ob|teynede the victory, subduenge the Sampnites to theyme. Wherefore he was condempnede to dethe by Lucius Cur|sius the dictator, in that he did fiȝte in his absence ageyne his commaundemente; neuerthelesse he was delyuerede thro the fauore of the knyȝhtes and peple, movede þerfore ageyne the dictator that thei hade sleyne hym allemoste. Titus Livius. The gouernoure of the Sampnites, Poncius by name, sette his hoste by a place whereby he supposede the Page 377, vol.3 Romanes to comme, whiche place was wallede abowte with hilles on either side, hauenge a pleyne in the myddes with a streyte entre and also a streite goenge furthe. This Poncius and gouernoure of the Sampnites sende afore diuerse of his knyȝhtes in the habite of schepardes, to say to the hoste of the Romanes, inquirenge of the Sampnites, that thei were goen to lay sege to a cite callede Lucre|cia, confederate to the Romanes. The Romanes herenge that, entrede in to that streyte place as for to socoure that [folio 154b] cite y-segede, and so thei were closede in that place with the Sampnites that they kowthe not goe furthe neither returne, for the Sampnites hade stoppede the goenges with gre*. [Sic.] multitude of trees, and toke theire stacion in toppe of the hilles. And so the Romanes were coacte to desire Page 379, vol.3 pease of the Sampnites, other elles to ȝiffe batelle. Poncius the gouernoure of the Sampnites sende worde to the Romanes that thei hade fauȝhten welle, wherefore he grawntede peace to theym in this condicion, that theire armoure delyuerede so thei hade noo other thynge but to kouer theire secrete mem|bres, and that thei scholde go on longe in the maner of oxen drawenge in a plowȝhe, vjc. men of armes of the Romanes putte in plegge. Eutropius. In the yere folowenge, the senate commaundede Lucius Papirius to ȝiffe batelle to the Sampnites, in whiche conflicte he hade the victory of the Sampnites. Orosius, libro tertio. A soore and grevous*. [A grete pestilence.] pestilente aier infecte the cite of Rome soone after that vic|tory, in so moche þat peple as innumerable diede, wherefore the noble men laborenge the bokes of Sibilla þe prophetisse hade cownselle by theyme how thei scholde save the cite. Wherefore thei sende to Epidaurus, kynge of Grece, for the similachre of Esculapius, whiche is feynede god of medicynes, whiche apperethe to men doenge honor to hym Page 381, vol.3 in the likenesse of a serpente. Item Orosius. The women of Rome feynenge theym as brennenge in luffe made drynkes to theire howsebondes, as schewenge and apper|enge to þeim drynke of pleasaunce and made for luffe, but the drynkes were made with grevous and soore poy|son, whiche thynge was schewede to the cenate by oon of theire maides. Then the cenatores perceyvenge the trawthe causede theire wyfes to drynke that confeccion, where thro a grete multitude of theyme diede as sodenly, also cc. and lxxti women begynnenge that myschefe were condempnede to dethe. Gaufridus. Guitelinus, the son of Gurguncius, reignede abowte this tyme in Briteyne; Marcia, the wife of whom, instructe in alle artes, made a lawe callede the [folio 155a] lawe Marcian. ℞. Beholde of that mater afore, libro primo, capitulo de Legibus. Gaufridus. The seide Marcia reignede a certeyn space after the dethe of here howse|bonde; after her Sisillus reignede, whom Kynmaurus suc|cedede; Page 383, vol.3 after whom Danius reignede, and Moruidius the cruelle tiraunte reignede, whiche was devourede of a wilde beste.