From the Sabines and the
Marsi, who were the nearest neighbours of the Romans and had long
lived in peaceful relations with Rome, little more could be expected
than lukewarm sympathy or neutrality. The Apulians, the ancient and
bitter antagonists of the Sabellians, were the natural allies of the
On the other hand it might be expected that the more remote
Etruscans would join the league if a first success were gained; and
even a revolt in Latium and the land of the Volsci and Hernici was
not impossible. But the Samnites--the Aetolians of Italy, in whom
national vigour still lived unimpaired--had mainly to rely on their
own energies for such perseverance in the unequal struggle as would
give the other peoples time for a generous sense of shame, for calm
deliberation, and for the mustering of their forces; a single success
might then kindle the flames of war and insurrection all around Rome.
History cannot but do the noble people the justice of acknowledging
that they understood and performed their duty.