Gaius Papius Mutilus
Gaius Papius Mutilus was a Samnite
Samnium is a Latin exonym for a region of south or south and central Italy in Roman times. The name survives in Italian today, but today's territory comprising it is only a small portion of what it once was. The populations of Samnium were called Samnites by the Romans...

 noble who is best known for being the leader of the southern rebels who fought against the army of Rome in the Social War of 91-87 BC (also known as the Italic War).

The Southern Forces Under Gaius Papius

The Samnite army, consisting of southern rebels, was very similar to that of the Romans. Two men were elected consuls while another twelve were granted the position of praetor
Praetor was a title granted by the government of Ancient Rome to men acting in one of two official capacities: the commander of an army, usually in the field, or the named commander before mustering the army; and an elected magistratus assigned varied duties...

. The consuls were the leaders of their respective armies and are referred to as “commanders in chief.” Papius became the consul
Consul was the highest elected office of the Roman Republic and an appointive office under the Empire. The title was also used in other city states and also revived in modern states, notably in the First French Republic...

 for the southern rebel forces, known as the Samnites, in 90 BC. His fellow consul was Quintus Poppaedius Silo; the leader of a centrally located army, staffed mainly by members of Italic tribe of Marsi
Marsi is the Latin exonym for a people of ancient Italy, whose chief centre was Marruvium, on the eastern shore of Lake Fucinus, drained for agricultural land in the late 19th century. The area in which they lived is now called Marsica. During the Roman Republic the people of the region spoke a...

. Both of these men held the position of consul into the year 89 BC due to their success during the campaigning season of the following year.

Success in Battle

Papius achieved great success as the leader of the Samnite army during his advance into Roman territory. One of the more famous battles fought by the southern rebels occurred at the city of Nola
Nola is a city and comune of Campania, southern Italy, in the province of Naples, situated in the plain between Mount Vesuvius and the Apennines...

. The Samnite army captured the city with 2,000 Roman soldiers remaining inside. The soldiers did not accept Papius' offer to serve under him and were therefore starved to death.

Following his victory at Nola, Papius took the cities of Stabiae
Stabiae was an ancient Roman town, located close to the modern town of Castellammare di Stabia approximately 4.5 km southwest of Pompeii. It was positioned on a 50 m high headland overlooking the Gulf of Naples...

, Minervium, and Salernum while conquering the country around Nuceria. The citizens of these cities and those surrounding feared the wrath of Papius. He gathered the prisoners and slaves from each city while also being given infantry and cavalry out of fear (these troops amounted to over 10,000 infantry and 1,000 cavalry). Papius continued to destroy the Romans while continuing to have success in the city of Campania
Campania is a region in southern Italy. The region has a population of around 5.8 million people, making it the second-most-populous region of Italy; its total area of 13,590 km² makes it the most densely populated region in the country...

 and the regions surrounding it. During his leadership of the Samnite army, Papius only lost two notable battles. These were to consul L. Iulius Caesar
Lucius Julius Caesar
In Ancient Rome, several men of the Julii Caesares family were named Lucius Julius Caesar. Distinct by their praenomen, "Lucius", none of these members of the Julii Caesares family can be confused with their distant relative and much more famous Gaius Julius Caesar, the Roman who conquered Gaul,...

 in 90 BC and to Cornelius Sulla Felix in 89 BC. Following his loss to Sulla, Papius is said to have been granted Roman citizenship. Shortly after, he was proscribed and committed suicide
Suicide is the act of intentionally causing one's own death. Suicide is often committed out of despair or attributed to some underlying mental disorder, such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, alcoholism, or drug abuse...

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