The entire force of the Volscians was assembled with speed and alacrity, and was then seen to be so large that they determined to leave a part of it behind for the security of their cities, and with the other part to march against the Romans. Moreover, Marcius left it to the choice of Tullus which of the two divisions he would command. Then Tullus, remarking that Marcius was clearly in no wise inferior to himself in valour, and had enjoyed a better fortune in all his battles, bade him lead the division that was to take the field, and he himself would remain behind to guard the cities and provide what was requisite for the army abroad.1
With a stronger force than before, then, Marcius set out first against Circeii, a city which was a colony of Rome; this surrendered to him of its own accord, and he did it no harm. Next, he laid waste the country of the Latins, where he expected that the Romans would engage him in defence of the Latins, who were their allies and by frequent messengers were calling upon them for help.
But the commons were indifferent to the appeal, the consuls were unwilling to risk a campaign during the short time left of their term of office, and therefore the Latin envoys were dismissed. Under these circumstances Marcius led his forces against their cities, and taking by assault those which offered resistance to him, namely, Tolerium, Lavicum, Pedum, and later Bola, he made slaves of the inhabitants and plundered their property. But for those who came over to him of their own accord he showed much concern, and that they might suffer no harm, even against his wishes, he encamped as far as he could from them, and held aloof from their territory.