Part two of the Roman defeat, at the Caudine Forks. Also, a tribute to those very first gladiators of Rome.
Hello, this is Abel, speaking from Beijing, China. Welcome to my podcast.
The Tale of Rome, Episode 38 — The First Gladiators.
If last episode’s thing was closure — or loss, then today’s episode thing is SHAME.
Yep — SHAME.
Last episode we had closures.
The Latin War. Decius Mus. Villages and peoples of Italy.
Marcus, the Gladiator. And his mother, Aeliana, who died less than a month after Marcia.
In this episode, the topics are shame and humiliation, and we’ll see why.
In Rome, news arrived that the troops got caught at the Caudine Forks.
No-one knew exactly, how many were caught, and all the details of the event, but this was more than enough for an emergency session at the Senate of Rome.
And even before that EMERGENCY SESSION went into gear, the Senators dispatched orders. A new army would be raised, because they didn’t know what exactly happened.
For all intents and purposes, the army could be dead by now. All of them.
Less than a week later, however, fresher — and more reliable news broke.
And that’s when the entire city felt the humiliation of the event.
50,000 Roman soldiers surrendered — without ever drawing a single sword, to a guy called Gaius Pontius.
Well, to make a long story short, our old Marcus, knew that his next fight might as well be his last one.
And because of that, he invited his nephew, to watch him die.
—”Spurius,” Marcus said, as they walked past markets and shops, “Rome will soon be the master of this whole region. Not just Capua, but the whole south of Italy. And I don’t want to be alive, by the time that happens.”
—”What are you trying to tell me,” Spurius asked.
—”In seven days I get to face Croccus,” Marcus said.
— “Croccus — The lion killer?”
— “That’s right.”