There was at that time among the cavalrymen a tribune of the soldiers named Aulus Cornelius Cossus, a man of strikingly handsome person and no less distinguished for courage and strength. Proud of his name, which was very famous when it came to him, he left to his descendants one still greater and more glorious.
This man, seeing how Tolumnius, wherever he charged, brought confusion to the Roman squadrons, and recognizing him, conspicuous in his royal dress, as he galloped swiftly up and down the line, exclaimed, “Is this the breaker of human leagues, the violater of the law of nations?
I will speedily offer him up as a sacrificial victim, if only it is the will of Heaven that there should be aught sacred on this earth, to the manes of the envoys!”
Clapping spurs to his charger and levelling his spear, he made for his one enemy. Having struck and unhorsed his man, he himself leaped quickly to the ground by the help of his lance, and as the king struggled to his feet flung him back with the boss of his shield, and plunging the spear again and again into his body, pinned him to earth.
Then stripping the spoils from the corpse and cutting off the head, he bore it victoriously on the point of his spear and drove the enemy before him, panic-stricken at the sight of their slain king. Thus [p. 321]
even the cavalry was routed, which alone had made1
the issue of the contest doubtful.
The dictator pressed on after the flying legions, and pursuing them to their camp cut them to pieces. Large numbers of the Fidenates escaped, thanks to their knowledge of the ground, into the mountains. Cossus crossed the Tiber with his cavalry, and from the fields of the Veientes brought a vast quantity of booty back to town.
During the battle there was also fighting at the Roman camp with a part of the forces of Tolumnius which he had dispatched against it, as has been said before.
Fabius Vibulanus first manned the rampart with a cordon of defenders; and then, when the attention of the enemy was fixed on the wall, sallied out of the Porta Principalis, on the right,2
with his reserves,3
and fell suddenly upon them. In consequence of the panic thus occasioned, though the slaughter was less, because fewer were engaged, yet the rout was quite as complete as in the battle-line.