In 321 B.C.E., a Roman army led by both that year's consuls was trapped near Caudium, in a defile named the Caudine Forks, the result of a clever strategem devised by the Samnite general Gaius Pontius. According to Livy, writing some three hundred years later, the Samnites had made no plan to capitalize on their good fortune, and so they sent to Pontius's father, Herennius Pontius, to seek his advice. “Let them all go unharmed,” he said. The messenger who returned with that advice was promptly sent back. “All right,” said Herennius, “kill every single one of them.” Unable to decide whether his father had lost his mind, the son had his father brought to the camp, where he gave the same two pieces of advice and justified each. But what would happen, he was asked, “if they are sent away unharmed and conditions are imposed upon them as conquered, in accordance with the law of war (ut et dimitterentur incolumes et leges iis ire belli victis imponerentur)?”1 That practice neither makes friends nor removes enemies, replied the father. Their humiliation will rankle them until they avenge it.