In the consulship of Servius Sulpicius and1
Manius Tullius nothing worthy of note occurred. They were succeeded by Titus Aebutius and Gaius Vetusius.
During their year of office Fidenae was besieged, Crustumeria taken; Praeneste went over from the Latins to the Romans, and it was no longer possible to postpone the Latin war, which had now been smouldering for several years.
Aulus Postumius as dictator,2
and Titus Aebutius as master of the horse, set out with large forces of infantry and cavalry, and at Lake Regillus, in the territory of Tusculum, met the enemy's advancing column.
The Romans had learned that the Tarquinii were with the Latin army, and were so enraged that they could not be withheld from instantly attacking, and the battle itself, in consequence of this report, was fought with a good deal more determination and bitterness than any other had been.
For the leaders were not only in the field to direct the engagement with their strategy, but joined battle and fought in their own persons. Almost none of the nobles on either side came off unscathed, except the Roman dictator.
Postumius was in the front rank encouraging his men and forming them, when Tarquinius Superbus, though now burdened with years and broken in strength, rode full-tilt against him. But the old man received a thrust in the side, and his followers rushed in and rescued him.
Similarly on the other wing, Aebutius, the master of the horse, charged Octavius Mamilius. But the Tusculan commander [p. 281]
saw him coming, and he too spurred his horse to3
and so great was the force in their levelled lances as they met, that the arm of Aebutius was transfixed, while Mamilius was struck in the breast.
Mamilius was received by the Latins within their second line: Aebutius, being unable to manage a weapon with his wounded arm, retired from the battle.
The Latin leader, not a jot discouraged by his wound, urged on the fighting, and, because he saw that his men were in retreat, called up a cohort of Roman exiles, commanded by a son of Lucius Tarquinius,4
and these, fighting with greater fury on account of the loss of their property and native land, restored the battle for a while.