Messius, with a band of the bravest youths, by a furious charge through heaps of slaughtered foes, was carried on to the camp of the Volscians, which had not yet been taken: the same route the entire body of the army followed.
The consul, pursuing them in their disordered flight to the very rampart, attacks both the camp and the rampart; in the same direction the dictator also brings up his forces on the other side.
The assault was conducted with no less intrepidity than the battle had been. They say that the consul even threw a standard within the rampart, in order that the soldiers might push on the more briskly, and that the first impression was made in recovering the standard. The dictator also, having levelled the rampart, had now carried the fight into the camp.
Then the enemy began in every direction to throw down their arms and to surrender: and their camp also being taken,! all the enemy were set up to sale, except the senators.1
Part of the plunder was restored to the Latins and Hernicians, when they demanded their property; the remainder the dictator sold
by auction: and the consul, being invested with the command of the camp, he himself, entering the city in triumph, resigned his dictatorship. Some writers cast a gloom on the memory of this glorious dictatorship, when they state that his son, though
victorious, was beheaded by Aulus Postumius, because, tempted by a favourable opportunity of fighting to advantage, he had left his post without orders. We are disposed to refuse our belief; and we are warranted by the variety of opinions on the matter. And it is an argument against it, that such orders have been entitled “Manlian,” not “Postumian,” since the person who first set on foot so barbarous a precedent, was likely to obtain
the signal title of cruelty. Besides, the cognomen of “Imperiosus” was affixed to Manlius: Postumius has not been marked by any hateful brand. Caius Julius the consul, in the absence of his col- league, without casting lots, dedicated the temple of Apollo: Quintius resenting this, when, after disbanding his army, he returned into the city, made a complaint of it in the senate to no purpose.
To the year marked by great achievements is added an event which seemed to have no relation to the interest of [p. 284]
Rome, viz. that the Carthaginians, destined to be such formidable enemies, then, for the first time, on the occasion of some disturbances among the Sicilians, transported an army into Sicily in aid of one of the parties.