At this time a dissension arose between the Antians and the Latins; when the Antians, overcome by misfortunes and reduced by a war, in which they had both been born and had grown old, began to think of a surrender;
whilst their recent revolt after a long peace, their spirits being still fresh, rendered the Latins more determined to persevere in the war. There was an end to the contest, when it became evident to both parties that neither would stand in the way of the other [p. 432]
so as to prevent them from following out their own views.
The Latins by departing redeemed themselves from a share in what they deemed a dishonourable peace.
The Antians, on the removal of those who by their presence impeded their salutary counsels, surrender their city and lands to the Romans. The resentment and rage of the Latins, because they were neither able to damage the Romans in war, nor to retain the Volscians in arms, vented itself in setting fire to the city of Satricum, which had been their first place of retreat after their defeat; nor did any other building in that city remain, since they cast firebrands indiscriminately into those sacred and profane, except the temple of Mother Matuta.
From that neither the sanctity of the building itself, nor respect for the gods, is said to have restrained them, but an awful voice, emitted from the temple with threats of dismal vengeance, unless they removed their abominable fires to a distance from the temples.
Fired with this rage, their impetuosity carried them on to Tusculum, under the influence of' resentment, because, having abandoned the general association of the Latins, they joined themselves not only in alliance with the Romans, but also as members of their state.
As they unexpectedly rushed in at the gates, which were lying open, the town, except the citadel, was taken at the first shout. The townsmen with their wives and children took refuge in the citadel, and sent messengers to Rome, to inform the senate of their situation.
An army was led to Tusculum with no less expedition than was worthy of the honour of the Roman people. Lucius Quinctius and Servius Sulpicius, military tribunes, commanded it.
They beheld the gates of Tusculum shut, and the Latins, with the feelings of besiegers and besieged, on the one side defending the walls of Tusculum, on the other hand attacking the citadel; they struck terror and felt it at the same time.
The arrival of the Romans produced a change in the minds of both parties: it turned the Tusculans from great alarm into the utmost alacrity, and the Latins from almost assured confidence of soon taking the citadel, as they were masters of the town, to very slender hope of even their own safety.
A shout is raised by the Tusculans from the citadel; it is answered by a much louder one from the Roman army. The Latins are hard pressed on both sides: they neither withstand the force of the Tusculans pouring down on them from the higher ground; nor are they [p. 433]
able to repel the Romans advancing up to the walls, and forcing the bars of the gates.
The walls were first taken by scalade; the gates were then broken open; and when the two enemies pressed them both in front and in the rear, nor did there remain any strength for fight, nor any room for running away, between both they were all cut to pieces to a man. Tusculum being recovered from the enemy, the army was led back to Rome.