The Samnites were a fierce and proud people
and resisted Rome for long

The Samnites were enemies of Rome and lived in the south of Italy (Campania) and fought 3 wars and several major battles with varying outcome.

Sacred chickens
In de third war consul L.Papirius Cursor had ordered the pullarius to observe the omens :
(T Livius ab urbe condita 10.40 )

"The chickens refused to eat, but the pullarius ventured to misrepresent matters, and reported to the consul that they had eaten so greedily that the corn dropped from their mouths on to the ground. The consul, delighted at the news, gave out that the omens could not have been more favorable; they were going to engage the enemy under the guidance and blessing of heaven. He then gave the signal for battle......"

When he was told that the pullarius lied to him:

"But," he continued, "if the man who is watching the omens makes a false report, he brings down the divine wrath on his own head. As far as I am concerned, I have received the formal intimation that the chickens ate eagerly, there could be no more favorable omen for the Roman people and army."

And he placed the pullarius in the first line where the man got killed.
The Romans attacked and won the battle.

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