The games and the Latin festival had now been performed anew; now the water from the Alban lake had been discharged upon the fields, and the fates were demanding [the ruin of] Veii.
Accordingly a general destined for the destruction of that city and the preservation of his country, Marcus Furius Camillus, being nominated dictator, appointed Publius Cornelius Scipio his master of the horse.
The change of the general suddenly produced a change in every thing. Their hopes seemed different, the spirits of the people were different, the fortune also of the city seemed changed.
First of all, he punished according to military discipline those who had fled from Veii in that panic, and took measures that the enemy should not be the most formidable object to the soldier.
Then a levy being proclaimed for a certain day, he himself in the mean while makes an excursion to Veii to strengthen the spirits of the soldiers: thence he returns to Rome to enlist the new army, not a single man declining the service.
Youth from foreign states also, Latins and Hernicians, came, promising their service for the war: after the dictator returned them thanks in the senate, all preparations being now completed for the war, he vowed, according to a decree of the senate, that he would, on the capture of Veii, celebrate the great games, and that he would repair and dedicate the temple of Mother Matuta, which had been formerly consecrated by King Servius Tullius.
Having set out from the city with his army amid the high expectation1
rather than mere hopes
of persons, he first encountered the Faliscians and Capenatians in the district of Nepote. Every thing there being managed with consummate prudence and skill, was attended, as is usual, with success. He not only routed the enemy in battle, but he stripped them also of their camp, and obtained a great quantity of spoil, the principal part of
which was handed over to the quaestor; not much was given to the soldiers. From thence the army was marched to Veii, and additional forts close to each other were [p. 347]
erected; and by a proclamation being issued, that no one should fight without orders, the soldiers were takes off from those skirmishes, which frequently took place
at random between the wall and rampart, [so as to apply] to the work. Of all the works, far the greatest and
more laborious was a mine which they commenced to carry into the enemies' citadel. And that the work might not be interrupted, and that the continued labour under ground might not exhaust the same individuals, he divided the number of pioneers into six companies; six hours were allotted for the work in rotation; nor by night or day did they give up, until they made a passage into the citadel.