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When the news of this disaster reached Rome the Senate refused to ratify the peace, and resolved that the two Consuls and all the officers who had sworn to the peace should be delivered up to the Samnites as persons who had deceived them. They were conducted to Caudium by a Fetialis; and when they appeared before the tribunal of C. Pontius, Postumius, with superstitious folly, struck the Fetialis with his foot, saying that he was now a Samnite citizen, and that war might be renewed with justice by the Romans, since a Samnite had insulted the sacred envoy of the Roman people. But Pontius refused to accept the persons who were thus offered, and told them, if they wished to nullify the treaty, to send back the army to the Caudine Forks. Thus Postumius and his companions returned to Rome, and the 600 knights were alone left in the hands of the Samnites.

While the Roman legions in the East were acquiring wealth and winning easy conquests, their less fortunate comrades in the West were carrying on a severe struggle with the warlike Gauls, Ligurians, and Spaniards. The Romans had hardly concluded the Second Punic War when they received intelligence that Hamilcar, a Carthaginian officer, had excited several tribes in Northern Italy to take up arms against Rome. These were the Gauls on both sides of the Po, and the Ligurians, a race of hardy mountaineers, inhabiting the upper Apennines and the Maritime Alps. They commenced the war in B.C. 200 by the capture and destruction of the Roman colony of Placentia, and by laying siege to that of Cremona, the two strong-holds of the Roman dominion in Northern Italy. The Romans now set themselves to work, with the characteristic stubbornness of their nation, to subdue thoroughly these tribes. The Insubres and the Cenomani, to the north of the Po, were the first to yield; but the Boii resisted for some years all the efforts of the Romans, and it was not till B.C. 191 that the Consul P. Cornelius Scipio Nasica received their final submission.

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