In answer to these questions the language of Tempanius is said to have been entirely devoid of elegance, but firm as became a soldier, not vainly parading his own merits, nor exulting in the inculpation of others:
“How much military skill Caius Sempronius possessed, that it was not his business as a soldier to judge with respect to his commander, but the business of the Roman people when they were choosing consuls at the election.
Wherefore that they should not require from him a detail of the plans to be adopted by a general, nor of the qualifications to be looked for in a consul; which matters required to be considered by great minds and great capacities; but what he saw, that he could state.
That before he was separated from his own party, he saw the consul fighting in the first line, encouraging his men, actively employed amid the Roman ensigns and the weapons of the enemy; that he was afterwards carried out of sight of his friends.
That from the din and shouting he perceived that the contest was protracted till night; nor did he think it possible, from the great numbers of the enemy, that they could force their way to the eminence which he had seized on.
Where the army might be, he did not know; he supposed that as he protected himself and his men, by advantage of situation when in danger, in the same way the consul, for the purpose of preserving his army, had selected a more secure place for his camp.
Nor did he think that the affairs of the Volscians were in a better condition than those of the Roman people. That fortune and the night had occasioned a multitude of mistakes on both sides:” [p. 297]
and then when he begged that they would not detain him, fatigued with toil and wounds, he was dismissed with high encomiums, not more on his bravery than his modesty.
While these things were going on, the consul was at the temple of Rest on the road leading to Lavici. Waggons and other modes of conveyance were sent thither from the city, and took up the army, exhausted by the action and the travelling by night.
Soon after the consul entered the city, not more anxious to remove the blame from himself, than to bestow on Tempanius the praises so well deserved.
Whilst the citizens were still sorrowful in consequence of their ill success and incensed against their leaders, Marcus Postumius, being arraigned and brought before them, he who had been military tribune with consular power at Veii, is condemned in a fine of ten thousand asses
in weight, of brass.
His colleague, Titus Quintius, who endeavoured to shift the entire blame of that period on his previously condemned colleague, was acquitted by all the tribes, because both in the country of the Volscians, when consul, he had conducted business successful y under the auspices of the dictator, Postumius Tubertus, and also at Fidenae, as lieutenant-general of another dictator, Mamercus Aemilius.
The memory of his father, Cincinnatus, a man highly deserving of veneration, is said to have been serviceable to him, as also Capitolinus Quintius, now advanced in years humbly entreating that they would not suffer him who had so short a time to live to be the bearer of such dismal tidings to Cincinnatus.