When the Romans were beginning to give ground on that side, M. Valerius, brother to Poplicola, having observed young Tarquin boldly figuring away at the head of his exiles, fired with the renown of his family, that the slaying of the princes might belong to the same family whose glory their expulsion had been, clapped spurs to his
horse, and with his javelin presented made towards Tarquin.
Tarquin retired from his violent enemy into a battalion of his own men. As Valerius rushed rashly into the line of the exiles, one of them ran him sideways through the body, and as the horse was in no way retarded by the wound of his rider, the expiring Roman fell to the ground, his arms falling over him.
Postumius the dictator, on seeing so distinguished a man slain, the exiles advancing boldly in a body, and his own men disheartened and giving ground, gives the signal to
his own cohort, a chosen body of men which he kept for the defence of his person, to treat every Roman soldier whom they should see fly from the battle as an enemy.
Upon this the Romans, by reason of the danger on both sides, turned from their flight against the enemy, and, the battle being restored, the dictator's cohort now for the first time engaged in the fight, and with fresh vigour and undaunted resolution falling on the wearied exiles, cut them to pieces.
Here another engagement took place between the leading officers. The Latin general, on seeing the cohort of the exiles almost surrounded by the Roman dictator, advanced in haste to the front with some companies of the body of reserve.
T. Herminius, a lieutenant-general, having seen them moving in a body, and well knowing Mamilius, distinguished from the rest by his armour and dress, encountered the leader of the enemy with a force so much superior to that wherewith the general of the horse had lately done, that at one thrust [p. 103]
he ran him through the side and slew him;
and while stripping the body of his enemy, he himself received a wound with a javelin; and though brought back to the camp victorious, yet he died during the first dressing of it.
Then the dictator flies to the cavalry, entreating them in the most pressing terms, as the foot were tired out with fighting, to dismount from their horses and join the fight. They obeyed his orders, dismounted, flew to the front, and taking their post at the first line, cover themselves with their targets.
The infantry immediately recovered courage, when they saw the young noblemen sustaining a share of the danger with them, the mode of fighting being now assimilated. Thus at length were the Latins beaten back, and their line giving way,1
The horses were then brought up to the cavalry that they might pursue the enemy, and the infantry likewise followed. On this, the dictator, omitting nothing (that could conciliate) divine or human aid, is said to have vowed a temple to Castor, and likewise to have promised rewards to the first and second of the soldiers who should enter the enemy's camp.
And such was their ardour, that the Romans took the camp with the same impetuosity wherewith they had routed the enemy in the field. Such was the engagement at the lake Regillus. The dictator and master of the horse returned to the city in triumph.