The contests at home were now concluded. A Veientian war broke out, with whom the Sabines had united their forces. The consul P. Valerius, after auxiliaries were sent for from the Latins and Hernicians, being despatched to Veii with an army, immediately attacks the Sabine camp, which had been pitched before the walls of their allies: and occasioned such great consternation, that while, dispersed in different directions, they sally forth to repel the assault of the enemy, the gate which the Romans first attacked was taken; then within the rampart there was rather a carnage than a battle.
From the camp the alarm spreads into the city; the Veientians run to arms in as great a panic as if Veii had been taken: some come up to the support of the Sabines, others fall upon the Romans, who had directed all their force against the camp.
For a little while they were disconcerted and thrown into confusion; then they too forming two fronts make a stand: and the cavalry, being commanded by the consul to charge, routs the Etrurians and puts them to flight; and in the same hour two armies and two of the most influential and powerful of the neighbouring states were vanquished.
Whilst these transactions are going on at Veii, the Volsci and Aequi had pitched their camp in the Latin territory, and laid waste their frontiers. The Latins, by their own exertions, being joined by the Hernicians, without either a Roman general or Roman auxiliaries, stripped them of their camp.
Besides recovering their own effects, they obtained immense booty. The consul C. Nautius, however, was sent against the Volsci from Rome. The custom, I suppose, was not pleasing for allies to carry on wars with their own forces and under their own direction without a Roman general and troops.
There was no kind of injury or indignity that was not practised against the Volsci; nor could they be prevailed on however to come to an engagement in the field.