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Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book II Chapter 65: War with the Sabines, Aequi, and Volscians (Cont.)[468 BC]
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At daybreak the Romans, fresh from their undisturbed sleep, were led into action, and at the first charge broke the Volscians, worn out as they were with standing and want of sleep. It was, however, a retreat rather than a rout, for in their rear there were hills to which all behind the front ranks safely retired. When they reached the rising ground, the consul [Note 1] halted his army. The soldiers were with difficulty restrained, they clamoured to be allowed to follow up the beaten foe. The cavalry were much more insistent, they crowded round the general and loudly declared that they would go on in advance of the infantry. While the consul, sure of the courage of his men, but not reassured as to the nature of the ground, was still hesitating, they shouted that they would go on, and followed up their shouts by making an advance. Fixing their spears in the ground that they might be more lightly equipped for the ascent, they went up at a run. The Volscians hurled their javelins at the first onset, and then flung the stones lying at their feet upon the enemy as they came up. Many were hit, and through the disorder thus created they were forced back from the higher ground. In this way the Roman left wing was nearly overwhelmed, but through the reproaches which the consul cast upon his retreating men for their rashness as well as their cowardice, he made their fear give way to the sense of shame. At first they stood and offered a firm resistance, then when by holding their ground they had recovered their energies they ventured upon an advance. With a renewed shout the whole line went forward, and pressing on in a second charge they surmounted the difficulties of the ascent, and were just on the point of reaching the summit when the enemy turned and fled. With a wild rush, pursuers and fugitives almost in one mass dashed into the camp, which was taken. Those of the Volscians who succeeded in escaping made for Antium; thither the Roman army was led. After a few days' investment the place was surrendered, not owing to any unusual efforts on the part of the besiegers, but simply because after the unsuccessful battle and the loss of their camp the enemy had lost heart.
Note 1: consul = Titus Quinctius