Inconsistent with this so peaceful a departure of the Etrurian king from the city, is the custom handed down from the ancients, and which continues down to our times among other usages at public sales, (I mean) that of selling the goods of king Porsena;
of which custom must either have occurred during the war, and was not relinquished in peace, or it must have increased from a milder source than the form of expression imports, of selling the goods in a hostile manner.
Of the accounts handed down, the most probable is, that Porsena, on retiring from the Janiculum, made a present to the Romans of his camp well stored with provisions conveyed from the neighbouring and fertile fields of Etruria, the city being then exhausted by the long siege;
that this, lest it should be carried away in a hostile manner, by the people being admitted in, was then sold, and called the goods of Porsena, the expression rather importing gratitude for the gift, than an auction of the king's property, which never even was in the power of the Roman people.
Porsena, after ending the Roman war, that his army might not seem to have been led into these parts without effecting any thing, sent his son Aruns with a part of his forces to besiege Aricia.
The matter not being expected, the Aricians were at first terrified; afterwards assistance, which was sent for from the people of Latium and Cumae, inspired so much hope, that they ventured to meet them in the field. At the commencement of the battle the Etrurians attacked the Aricians so furiously, that they routed them at the first onset.
But the Cuman cohorts, op- [p. 97]
posing stratagem to force, moved off a little to one side, and when the enemy were carried beyond them in great disorder, they faced about and charged them in the rear.
By this means the Etrurians, when they had almost got the victory, were enclosed and cut to pieces.2
A very small part of them, having lost their general, because they had no nearer refuge, came to Rome without their arms, in the condition and with the air of suppliants.
There they were kindly received and provided with lodgings. When their wounds were cured, many of them went home and told the kind hospitality they had met with. Affection for their hosts and for the city detained many at Rome; a place was assigned them to dwell in, which they have ever since called the Tuscan Street.