The cavalry, drawn up in the most perfect order, charged their scattered and embarrassed enemies and cut them down on every hand.
they had hastily flung aside their packs —which lay all about and impeded the terrified horses as they tried to run away —and, powerless either to resist or to escape, were massacred where they stood.
then Marcus Fabius, having almost annihilated the enemy's cavalry, fetched a short compass with his squadrons and attacked from behind their line of infantry.
The shouts that were now heard in that quarter struck terror into the hearts of the Samnites; and the dictator, seeing the men in their fighting line glance nervously behind them, and their standards [p. 153]
become disordered, and their line begin to waver,1
then cried out to his men, then urged them on, and called by name on tribunes and company —commanders to join him in a new attack.
with a fresh cheer the ranks pressed forward, and at each advance perceived the Samnites to be more and more confused.
The horse themselves could now be seen by those in the van; and Cornelius, looking back on the maniples of soldiers, made them understand as best he could with hand and voice that he saw the banners and round shields of their comrades.
on hearing and at the same time seeing them, they straightway forgot the toil they had endured for well —nigh the entire day, and forgot their wounds, and, like troops who were but that moment fresh from camp and had received the battle —signal, they flung themselves upon the enemy.
The Samnites could support no longer the fury of the cavalry and the violent onset of the foot; some were slaughtered in the midst, others were scattered abroad in flight.
The foot —soldiers surrounded those who resisted and put them to the sword; the cavalry made havoc of the fugitives, amongst whom perished their general himself.
this defeat, after all that had gone before, so broke the spirit of the Samnites, that in all their councils they began to murmur that it was no wonder if they met with no success in an impious war, undertaken in violation of a treaty,2
for the gods had even more right than men to be incensed with them.
they would have to pay a heavy price to expiate this war and atone for it; the only question was, should they offer atonement with the blood of the guilty few or with that of the innocent [p. 155]
multitude? some ventured at this juncture to name3
those who had been responsible for the war.
one name in particular could be distinguished; for all agreed in denouncing Papius Brutulus, a powerful noble who had without question been the breaker of the latest truce.
The praetors were compelled to refer his case to the council, which decreed that Papius Brutulus should be surrendered to the Romans, and that all the Roman booty and all the prisoners should be sent with him to Rome; and further, that all the property which the fetials had sought to recover under the provisions of the treaty should be restored in compliance with law and with religion.
The fetials proceeded to Rome, in accordance with this resolution, taking with them the lifeless body of Brutulus, who had escaped the humiliation and punishment by a voluntary death.
it was voted to surrender his goods also with his body. but of all these things the Romans would accept none but the prisoners and such articles of booty as they recognized as theirs; the surrender of all the rest was of no effect.4
The dictator triumphed by resolution of the senate.