The release of Mucius, who was afterwards known as Scaevola,1
from the loss of his right hand, was followed by the arrival in Rome of envoys from Porsinna.
The king had been so disturbed, what with the hazard of the first attack upon his life, from which nothing but the blunder of his assailant had preserved him, and what with the anticipation of having to undergo the danger as many times more as there were conspirators remaining, that he voluntarily proposed terms of peace to the Romans.
In these terms Porsinna suggested, but without effect, that the Tarquinii should be restored to power, more because he had been unable to refuse the princes this demand upon their behalf than that he was ignorant that the Romans would refuse it.
In obtaining the return of their lands to the Veientes he was successful; and the Romans were compelled to give hostages if they wished the garrison to be withdrawn from Janiculum. On these terms peace was made, and Porsinna led his army down from Janiculum and evacuated the Roman territory.
The Fathers bestowed on Gaius Mucius, for his bravery, a field across the Tiber, which was later known as the Mucian Meadows.
Now when courage had been thus distinguished, even the women were inspired to deeds of patriotism. Thus the maiden Cloelia, one of the hostages, eluded [p. 263]
the sentinels, when it chanced that the Etruscans had2
encamped not far from the bank of the Tiber, and heading a band of girls swam the river and, under a rain of hostile darts, brought them all back in safety to their kinsmen in Rome.
When this had been reported to the king, he was at first enraged and sent emissaries to Rome to demand that the hostage Cloelia be given up, for he made no great account of the others.
Then, admiration getting the better of anger, he asserted that her feat was a greater one than those of Cocles and Mucius, and declared that although in case the hostage was not returned he should regard the treaty as broken, yet if she were restored to him he would send her back safe and inviolate to her friends. Both parties kept their word.
The Romans returned the pledge of peace, as the treaty required; and the Etruscan king not only protected the brave girl but even honoured her, for after praising her heroism he said that he would present her with half the hostages, and that she herself should choose the ones she wished.
When they had all been brought out it is said that she selected the young boys, because it was not only more seemly in a maiden, but was unanimously approved by the hostages themselves, that in delivering them from the enemy she should give the preference to those who were of an age which particularly exposed them to injury.
When peace had been established the Romans rewarded this new valour in a woman with a new kind of honour, an equestrian statue, which was set up on the summit of the Sacred Way, and represented the maiden seated on a horse.