The consul roused by the tumult ordered two of the allied cohorts, those from Luca and Suessa, which happened to be the nearest, to protect the headquarters' tent, and then he mustered the maniples in the via principalis
They got into line almost before they were in proper fighting trim, and they located the enemy by the direction of the shouting rather than by anything that they could see; as to his numbers they were quite unable to form any estimate.
Doubtful as to their position they at first retreated, and thus allowed the enemy to advance as far as the middle of the camp.
Seeing this the consul asked them whether they were going to be driven outside their rampart, and then try to recover their camp by assaulting it. Then they raised the battle-shout and steadily held their ground until they were able to take the offensive and force the
enemy back, which they did persistently without giving him a moment's respite, until they had driven him outside the gate and past the rampart. Further than that they did not venture to go in pursuit, because the bad light made them fear the possibility of a surprise.
Content with having cleared the enemy out of the camp they retired within the rampart, having killed about 300. On the Roman side, the outposts who were killed and those who fell round the quaestor's tent amounted to 230.
The partial success of this daring manoeuvre raised the spirits of the Samnites, and they not only prevented the Romans from advancing but they even kept the foraging parties out of their fields, who had consequently to fall back on the pacified district of Sora.
The report of this occurrence which reached Rome, and which was a much more sensational one than the facts warranted, compelled the other consul, L. Postumius, to leave the City before his health was quite re-established.
He issued a general order for his men to assemble at Sora, and previous to his departure he dedicated the temple to Victory which he had, when curule aedile, built out of the proceeds of fines.
On rejoining his army he marched from Sora to his colleague's camp. The Samnites despaired of offering an effectual resistance to two consular armies and withdrew; the consuls then proceeded in different directions to lay waste their fields and storm their cities.