And, indeed, of so great moment was the contest with respect to the issue of the war in general, that on the night following the army of the Gauls, having abandoned their camp in confusion, passed over into the territory of Tibur, and from thence soon after into Campania, having concluded an alliance for the purpose of war, and being abundantly supplied with provision by the Tiburtians.
That was the reason why, on the next year, Caius Paetelius Balbus, consul, though the province of the Hernicians had fallen to the lot of his colleague, Marcus Fabius Ambustus, led an army, by order of the people, against the Tiburtians.
To whose assistance when the Gauls came back from Campania, dreadful devastations were com- [p. 459]
mitted in the Lavican, Tusculan, and Alban territories.
And though the state was satisfied with a consul as leader against the Tiburtian enemy, the alarm created by the Gauls rendered it necessary that a dictator should be appointed. Quintus Servilius Ahala having been appointed, named Titus Quinctius master of the horse; and with the sanction of the senate, vowed the great games, should that war turn out successfully.
The dictator then, having ordered the consular army to remain to confine the Tiburtians to their own war, bound all the younger citizens by the military oath, none declining the service.
A battle was fought not far from the Colline gate with the strength of the entire city, in the sight of their parents, wives, and children: which being great incitements to courage, even when these relatives are absent, being now placed before their eyes, fired the soldiers at once with feelings of shame and compassion.
Great havoc being made on both sides, the Gallic army is at length worsted. In their flight they make for Tibur, as being the main stay of the war; and being intercepted whilst straggling by the consul Paetelius not far from Tibur, and the Tiburtians having come out to bring them aid, they are with the latter driven within the gates.
Matters were managed with distinguished success both by the dictator and the consul. And the other consul, Fabius, at first in slight skirmishes, and at length in one single battle, defeated the Hernicians, when they attacked him with all their forces.
The dictator, after passing the highest encomiums on the consuls in the senate and before the people, and yielding up the honour of his own exploits to them, resigned his dictatorship. Paetelius enjoyed a double triumph, over the Gauls and the Tiburtians. Fabius was satisfied with entering the city in ovation.
The Tiburtians derided the triumph of Paetelius; “for where,” they said, “had he encountered them in the field? that a few of their people having gone outside the gates to witness the flight and confusion of the Gauls, on seeing an attack made on themselves, and that those who came in the way were slaughtered without distinction, had retired within the city.
Did that seem to the Romans worthy of a triumph? They should not consider it an extraordinary and wondrous feat to raise a tumult at the enemy's gates, as they should soon see greater confusion before their own walls.”