Their exhortations were then turned to the band of young men, whom they escorted to the Capitol and citadel, commending to their valour and youth whatever might be the remaining fortune of a city, which for three hundred and sixty years had been victorious in all its wars.
When those who carried with them all their hope and resources, parted with the others, who had determined not to survive the ruin of their captured city;
both the circumstance itself and the appearance [it exhibited] was really distressing, and also the weeping of the women, and their undecided running together, following now these, now those, and asking their husbands and children what was to become of them, [all together] left nothing that could be added to human misery.
A great many of them, however, escorted their friends into the citadel, no one either preventing or inviting them; because the measure [p. 373]
which was advantageous to the besieged, that of reducing the number of useless persons, was but little in accordance with humanity.
The rest of the crowd, chiefly plebeians, whom so small a hill could not contain, nor could they be supported amid such a scarcity of corn, pouring out of the city as if in one continued train, repaired to the Janiculum.
Frog thence some were dispersed through the country, some made for the neighbouring cities, without any leader or concert, following each his own hopes, his own plans, those of the public being given up as lost.
In the mean time the Flamen Quirinalis and the vestal virgins, laying aside all concern for their own affairs, consulting which of the sacred deposits should be carried with them, which should be left behind, for they had not strength to carry them all, or what place would best preserve them in safe custody, consider it best to put them into casks and to bury them in the chapel adjoining to the residence of the Flamen Quirinalis, where now it is profane to spit out.
The rest they carry away with them, after dividing the burden among themselves, by the road which leads by the Sublician bridge to the Janiculum.
When Lucius Albinius, a Roman plebeian, who was conveying his wife and children in a waggon, beheld them on that ascent among the rest of the crowd which was leaving the city as unfit to carry arms;
even then the distinction of things divine and human being preserved, considering it an outrage on religion, that the public priests and sacred utensils of the Roman people should go on foot and be carried, that he and his family should be seen in a carriage, he commanded his wife and children to alight, placed the virgins and sacred utensils in the vehicle, and carried them on to Caere, whither the priests had intended to go.