The same night messengers reached Tusculum
with tidings of the capture of the Citadel, the seizure of the Capitol, and the generally disturbed state of the City.
L. Mamilius was at that time Dictator of Tusculum
. After hurriedly convening the senate and introducing the messengers, he strongly urged the senators not to wait until envoys arrived from Rome
begging for help;
the fact of the danger and the seriousness of the crisis, the gods who watched over alliances, and loyalty to treaties, all demanded instant action. Never again would the gods vouchsafe so favourable an opportunity for conferring an obligation on so powerful a State or one so close to their own doors.
They decided that help should be sent, the men of military age were enrolled, arms were distributed. As they approached Rome
in the early dawn, they presented in the distance the appearance of enemies; it seemed as though Aequi or Volscians were coming.
When this groundless alarm was removed they were admitted into the City and marched in order into the Forum, where P. Valerius, who had left his colleague to direct the troops on guard at the gates, was forming his army for battle.
It was his authority that had achieved this result; he declared that if, when the Capitol was recovered and the City pacified they would allow the covert dishonesty of the Law which the tribunes supported to be explained to them, he would not oppose the holding of a plebeian Assembly, for he was not unmindful of his ancestors or of the name he bore, which made the protection of the plebs, so to speak, a hereditary care.
Following his leadership, amid the futile protests of the tribunes, they marched in order of battle up the Capitoline hill, the legion from Tusculum
marching with them. The Ro- mans and their allies were striving which should have the glory of recapturing the Citadel.
Each of the commanders were encouraging his men. Then the enemy lost heart, their only confidence was in the strength of their position; whilst thus demoralised the Romans and allies advanced to the charge.
They had already forced their way into the vestibule of the temple, when P. Valerius, who was in the front, cheering on his men, was killed. P. Volumnius, a man of consular rank, saw him fall. Directing his men to protect the body, he ran to the front and took the consul's place. In the heat of their charge the soldiers were not aware of the loss they had sustained; they gained the victory before they knew that they were fighting without a general.
Many of the exiles defiled the temple with their blood, many were taken prisoners, Herdonius was killed. So the Capitol was recovered. Punishment was inflicted on the prisoners according to their condition, whether slave or freeman; a vote of thanks was accorded to the Tusculans; the Capitol was cleansed and solemnly purified.
It is stated that the plebeians threw quadrantes
into the consul's house that he might have a more splendid funeral.