With these feelings on either side they came to the Allia. The Roman dictator, when the enemy were in view drawn up and ready for action, says, “Aulus Sempronius, do you see that these men have taken their stand at the Allia, relying on the fortune of the place? nor have the immortal gods granted them any thing of surer confidence, or any more effectual support.
But do you, relying on arms and on courage, make a brisk charge on the middle of their line; I will bear down on them when thrown into disorder and consternation with the legions. Ye gods, witnesses of the treaty, assist us, and exact the penalty, due for yourselves having been violated, and for us who have been deceived through the appeal made to your divinity.”
The Praenestines sustained not the attack of cavalry, or infantry; their ranks were broken at the first charge and shout. Then when their line maintained its ground in no quarter, they turn their backs; and being [p. 428]
thrown into consternation and carried beyond their own camp by their panic, they stop not from their precipitate speed, until Praeneste came in view.
There, having been dispersed in consequence of their flight, they select a post for the purpose of fortifying it in a hasty manner; lest, if they betook themselves within the walls, the country should be burned forthwith, and when all places should be desolated, siege should be laid to the city.
But when the victorious Romans approached, the camp at the Allia having been plundered, that fortress also was abandoned, and considering the walls scarcely secure, they shut themselves up within the town of Praeneste.
There were eight towns besides under the sway of the Praenestines.
Hostilities were carried round to these also; and these being taken one after the other without much difficulty, the army was led to Velitrae. This also was taken by storm.
They then came to Praeneste, the main source of the war. That town was obtained, not by force, but by capitulation. Titus Quinctius, being once victorious in a pitched battle, having taken also two camps belonging to the enemy, and nine towns by storm, and Praeneste being obtained by surrender, returned to Rome: and in his triumph brought into the Capitol the statue of Jupiter Imperator, which he had conveyed from Praeneste.
It was dedicated between the recesses of Jupiter and Minerva, and a tablet fixed under it, as a monument of his exploits, was engraved with nearly these words:
“Jupiter and all the gods granted, that Titus Quinctius, dictator, should take nine towns.” On the twentieth day after the appointment he abdicated the dictatorship.