Their disaster was, by this time, well known at Rome also.
At first, they heard that the troops were shut up; afterwards the news of the ignominious peace caused greater affliction than had been felt for their danger.
On the report of their being surrounded, a levy of men was begun; but when it was understood that the army had surrendered in so disgraceful a manner, the preparations were laid aside; and immediately, without any public directions, a general mourning took place, with all the various demonstrations of grief.
The shops were shut; and all business ceased in the forum, spontaneously, before it was proclaimed.
rings were laid aside: and the public were in greater tribula- tion, if possible, than the army itself; they were
not only en- raged against the commanders, the advisers and sureties of the peace, but detested even the unoffending soldiers, and asserted, that they ought not to be admitted
into the city or its habita- tions. But these transports of passion were allayed by the arrival of the troops, which excited compassion even in the angry; for entering into the city, not
like men returning into their country with unexpected safety, but in the habit and with the looks of captives, late in the evening; they hid themselves so closely in their houses, that,
for the next, and several following days, not one of them could bear to come in [p. 569]
sight of the forum, or of the public. The consuls, shut up in private, transacted no official business, except that which was
wrung from them by a decree of the senate, to nominate a dictator to preside at the elections. They nominated Quintus Fabius
Ambustus, and as master of the horse Publius Aelius Paetus. But they having been irregularly appointed, there were substituted in their room, Marcus
Aemilius Papus dictator, and Lucius Valerius Flaccus master of the horse. But neither did these
hold the elections: and the people being dissatisfied with all the magistrates of that year, an interregnum ensued. The interreges were, Quintus Fabius Maximus and Marcus Valerius Corvus, who elected consuls Quintus Publilius Philo, and Lucius Papirius Cursor a second time; a choice universally approved, for there were no commanders at that time of higher reputation.