At the time when this disaster was received, C. Horatius and T. Menenius were consuls. Menenius was immediately sent against the Etrurians, elated with victory.
Then too an unsuc- [p. 142]
cessful battle was fought, and the enemy took possession of the Janiculum: and the city would have been besieged, scarcity of provisions bearing hard upon them in addition to the war, (for the Etrurians had passed the Tiber,) had not the consul Horatius been recalled from the Volsci; and so closely did that war approach the very walls, that the first battle was fought near the temple of Hope with doubtful success, and a second time at the Colline gate.
There, although the Romans had the advantage in a slight degree only, yet that contest rendered the soldiers better for future battles by restoring to them their former courage. Aulus Virginius and Sp. Servilius are created consuls.
After the defeat sustained in the last battle, the Veientians declined an engagement. Ravages were committed, and they made incursions in every direction on the Roman territory from the Janiculum as if from a fortress; no where were the cattle or the husbandmen safe.
They were afterwards entrapped by the same stratagem as that by which they had entrapped the Fabii: having pursued some cattle that had been driven on designedly for the purpose of decoying them, they fell into an ambuscade; in proportion as they were more numerous, the slaughter was greater.
The violent resentment resulting from this disaster was the cause and commencement of one still greater: for having crossed the Tiber by night, they attempted to assault the camp of the consul Servilius; being repulsed from thence with great slaughter, they with difficulty made good their retreat into the Janiculum.
The consul himself also crosses the Tiber, fortifies his camp at the foot of the Janiculum: at break of day on the following morning, both from being somewhat elated by the success of the battle of the day before, more however because the scarcity of corn forced him into measures which, though dangerous, (he adopted) because they were more expeditious, he rashly marched his army up the steep
of the Janiculum to the camp of the enemy, and being repulsed from thence with more disgrace than he had repulsed them on the preceding day, he was saved, both himself and his army, by the intervention of his colleague.
The Etrurians (hemmed in) between the two armies, when they presented their rear to the one and the other by turns, were entirely cut off. Thus the Veientian war was crushed by a fortunate act of temerity.