The dictator commanded everybody to be outside the Colline Gate at break of day. All those who were able to bear arms were at hand. The [p. 329]
standards were taken out of the treasury and brought1
to the dictator.
While this was going on, the enemy withdrew to a more elevated position. Thither the dictator marched under arms, and not far from Nomentum joined battle with the Etruscan forces and put them to rout.
From there he drove them into the city of Fidenae, which he surrounded with a rampart; but could not capture it with scaling-ladders, since it was a lofty, well-fortified town, nor accomplish anything by blockade, for they not only had corn enough for their necessities, but in fact were lavishly supplied with it from stores which they had collected in advance.
In despair therefore alike of storming the place and of forcing it to surrender; the dictator, operating in a region which was familiar from its nearness to Rome, began, on the farthest side of the city, which was least guarded because its peculiar character made it the safest of all, to drive a mine into the citadel.
He himself, advancing against the city from widely separated points-with his army in four divisions, that they might relieve one another in the attack —by
fighting continuously day and night distracted the enemy's attention from the work, until a tunnel had been dug through the hill and a passage-way constructed up into the citadel; when the Etruscans, intent on groundless alarms and unmindful of their real danger, were apprised by the shouts of the enemy above their heads that their city had been taken.
In that year Gaius Furius Paculus and Marcus Geganius Macerinus the censors approved a public building erected in the Campus Martius, and the census of the people was taken there for the first time. [p. 331]