Such were the feelings on either side when the Romans arrived at the Allia. As they came within sight of the enemy, drawn up and eager for the fray, the dictator addressed Sempronius. “Do you see,” he said, “how they have made their stand at the Allia, putting their trust in the fortune of the place? We shall find the immortal gods have given them no surer grounds for confidence nor any more substantial help.
But do you confide in arms and valour, and charge their centre at the gallop; I, with the legions, will attack them when they are in disorder and confusion. Be with us, gods of the treaty, and exact the penalties due to you for the injury you have suffered and to us for the deception put upon us in your holy name!”
The men of Praeneste could cope with neither horse nor foot. Their ranks were broken at the first shout and charge; then, as their line yielded at every point, they turned and fled, and in their confusion were carried even beyond their own camp; neither did they check their headlong flight until they had come within sight of Praeneste.
There the scattered remnants of the rout took up a position which lent itself to hasty fortification, lest, if they sought refuge within the walls, they might immediately find the torch put to their crops, and, after losing everything, be subjected to a siege.
But no sooner had the victorious Romans appeared, fresh from plundering the camp on the Allia, than they abandoned these defences also, and, regarding even walls as little enough protection, immured themselves in the town of Praeneste.
There were eight [p. 299]
other towns which were under the sway of the1
Against these the Romans directed their campaign, and having taken them, with no great exertion, one after the other, marched to Velitrae and stormed that place also.
Coming then to Praeneste, the fountain-head of the war, they got possession of it not by force but through capitulation. Titus Quinctius had gained one pitched battle, captured two camps, taken nine towns by assault, and received the surrender of Praeneste. He returned to Rome bringing with him from Praeneste the image of Jupiter Imperator.
This he bore in triumph to the Capitol, where he dedicated it, between the shrine of Jupiter and that of Minerva.
Below it he placed a tablet, in commemoration of his deeds, with an inscription to the following effect: “Jupiter and all the gods granted Titus Quinctius the dictator that he should take nine towns.”2
On the twentieth day after his appointment he resigned the dictatorship.