Directly after this the Sabines also caused an alarm at Rome —for it was indeed a turmoil rather than war. One night the City got word that a Sabine army bent on pillage had come as near as the river Anio, and was there plundering and burning farmhouses right and left.
The Romans at once dispatched in that direction all their cavalry, under Aulus Postumius, who had been dictator in the Latin war. He was followed by the consul Servilius with a picked body of foot-soldiers.
Many stragglers were cut off by the cavalry and, when the column of infantry drew near, no resistance was offered by the Sabine troops. Exhausted not only by their march but by their night of pillage as well, a great part of them had gorged themselves in the farmhouses with food and wine, and had scarcely vigour enough to run away.
A single night having sufficed for hearing of the Sabine war and ending it, men's hopes next day ran high that peace was now assured in every quarter, when legates from the Aurunci appeared before the senate to say that unless the territory of the Volsci were evacuated they should declare war.
The Auruncan army had set out from home at the same time with the legates, and the report that it had already been seen not far from Aricia threw Rome into such a state of confusion that it was impossible to bring the matter regularly before the senate, or to return a peaceful answer to a people who had already drawn the sword, while they themselves were also arming.
They marched on Aricia in fighting order, joined [p. 303]
battle with the Aurunci not far from the town, and1
in a single engagement finished the war.