Polybius, The Histories

LCL 138: 446-447

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The Histories of Polybius

Fragmenta Libri VII

I. Res Italiae

1. Πολύβιος δ᾿ ἐν τῇ ἑβδόμῃ “Καπυησίους τοὺς ἐν Καμπανίᾳ διὰ τὴν ἀρετὴν τῆς γῆς πλοῦτον περιβαλομένους ἐξοκεῖλαι εἰς τρυφὴν καὶ πολυτέλειαν, ὑπερβαλλομένους τὴν περὶ Κρότωνα καὶ Σύβαριν παραδεδομένην 2φήμην. οὐ δυνάμενοι οὖν, φησί, φέρειν τὴν παροῦσαν εὐδαιμονίαν ἐκάλουν τὸν Ἀννίβαν. διόπερ 3ὑπὸ Ῥωμαίων ἀνήκεστα δεινὰ ἔπαθον. Πετηλῖνοι δὲ τηρήσαντες τὴν πρὸς Ῥωμαίους πίστιν εἰς τοσοῦτον καρτερίας ἦλθον πολιορκούμενοι ὑπ᾿ Ἀννίβα ὥστε μετὰ τὸ πάντα μὲν τὰ κατὰ τὴν πόλιν δέρματα καταφαγεῖν, ἁπάντων δὲ τῶν κατὰ τὴν πόλιν δένδρων τοὺς φλοιοὺς καὶ τοὺς ἁπαλοὺς πτόρθους ἀναλῶσαι, καὶ ἕνδεκα μῆνας ὑπομείναντες τὴν πολιορκίαν, οὐδενὸς βοηθοῦντος, συνευδοκούντων Ῥωμαίων παρέδοσαν ἑαυτούς.” [Athenaeus xii. 36, p. 528 a.]

4Ἡ δὲ Καπύη μεταθεμένη πρὸς τοὺς Καρχηδονίους τῷ βάρει συνεπεσπάσατο καὶ τὰς ἄλλας πόλεις.

[Suidas s.v. Καπύη.]


Book VII

Fragments of Book VII

I. Affairs of Italy

Capua and Petelia

1. Polybius in his seventh book says that the people of Capua in Campania, having acquired great wealth owing to the fertility of their soil, fell into habits of luxury and extravagance surpassing even the reports handed down to us concerning Croton and Sybaris.1 Being unable, then, to support the burden of their prosperity they called in Hannibal, and for this received from the Romans a chastisement which utterly ruined them. But the people of Petelia2 who remained loyal to Rome suffered such privation, when besieged by Hannibal,3 that after eating all the leather in the city and consuming the bark and tender shoots of all the trees in it, having now endured the siege for eleven months without being relieved, they surrendered with the approval of the Romans. [From Athenaeus xii. 538 a.]

When Capua defected to the Carthaginians, its weight swept along the other cities.4 [Suidas s.v Καπύη.]

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.polybius-histories.2010