On these things being announced to him, as they had occurred, Tarquin, inflamed not only with grief for the frustration of such great hopes, but with hatred and resentment also, when he saw that the way was blocked up against stratagem, considering that he should have recourse to war open- [p. 86]
ly, went round as a suppliant
to the cities of Etruria, “that they should not suffer him, sprung from themselves, of the same blood, exiled and in want, lately in possession of so great a kingdom, to perish before their eyes, with the young men his sons.
That others had been invited to Rome from foreign lands to the throne; that he, a king, extending the Roman empire by his arms, was driven out by those nearest to him by a villanous conspiracy; that they had by violence divided the parts among themselves, because no one individual among them was deemed sufficiently deserving of the kingdom; that they had given up his effects to the people to be pillaged by them, that no one might be free from that guilt. That he was desirous to recover his country and his kingdom, and to punish his ungrateful subjects. That they should bring succour and aid him; that they might also revenge the injuries done to them of old, their legions so often slaughtered, their land taken from them.”
These arguments prevailed on the people of Veii, and with menaces they declare that now at least, under the conduct of a Roman general, their former disgrace should be wiped off, and what they had lost in war should be recovered.
His name and relation to them induced the people of Tarquinii to take part with him; it seemed an honour that their countrymen should reign at Rome. Therefore the two armies of these two states followed Tarquin in order to recover his kingdom, and to take vengeance upon the Romans.
When they entered the Roman territories, the consuls marched to meet them. Valerius led up the foot in a square battalion, and Brutus marched before with his horse to reconnoitre (the enemy). Their cavalry likewise came up first; Aruns, Tarquin's son, commanded it; the king himself followed with the legions.
Aruns, when he knew at a distance by the lictors that it was a consul, and on coming higher discovered for certain that it was Brutus by his face, all inflamed with rage, he cried out, “There is the villain who has banished us from our native country! see how he rides in state adorned with the ensigns of our dignity!
now assist me, gods, the avengers of kings.” He put spurs to his horse and drove furiously against the consul. Brutus perceived the attack made on him; as it was honourable in these days for the generals to engage in combat, he eagerly offered himself to the combat.
They encountered one another with such furious animosity, neither mind- [p. 87]
ful of protecting his own person, provided he could wound his adversary; so that both, transfixed through the buckler by the blow from the opposite direction, fell lifeless from their horses, entangled together by the two spears.
The engagement between the rest of the horse commenced at the same time, and soon after the foot came up. There they fought with doubtful success, and as it were with equal advantage, and the victory doubtful. The right wings of both armies were victorious, and the left worsted.
The Veientians, accustomed to be discomfited by the Roman soldiers, were routed and put to flight. The Tarquinienses, who were a new enemy, not only stood their ground, but even on their side obliged the Romans to give way.