The consuls elected were Quintus Fabius Vibulanus, a third time, and Lucius Cornelius Maluginensis. The census was performed that year; it was a matter of religious scruple that the lustrum should be closed, on account of the Capitol having been taken and the consul slain.
In the consulate of Quintus Fabius and Lucius Cornelius, disturbances broke out immediately at the commencement of the year. The tribunes were urging on the commons. The Latins and Hernici brought word that a formidable war was in preparation on the part of the Volscians and Aequi; that the troops of the Volscians were now at Antium. Great apprehension was also entertained, that the colony itself would revolt: and with difficulty were the tribunes prevailed on to allow the war to take precedence.
The consuls then divided the provinces between them. It was assigned to Fabius to march the legions [p. 186]
to Antium; to Cornelius, to protect the city; lest any part of the enemy, as was the practice of the Aequi, should come to commit depredations.
The Hernici and Latins were ordered to supply soldiers in conformity to the treaty; and in the army two parts consisted of allies, one part of natives. When the allies came to the day already appointed, the consul pitches his camp outside the Capuan gate. Then, after the army was purified, he set out for Antium, and encamped not far from the town, and standing camp of the enemy.
Where, when the Volscians, not venturing to risk an engagement, were preparing to protect themselves quietly within their ramparts, on the following day Fabius drew up not one mixed army of allies and citizens, but three separate bodies of the three states around the enemy's works. He himself was in the centre with the Roman legions.
He ordered them to watch for the signal from thence, so that the allies might both commence the action together, and retire together, if he should sound a retreat. He placed their cavalry in the rear of each division.
Having thus assailed the camp in three different points, he surrounds it; and when he pressed on from every side, he dislodges from the rampart the Volscians, not able to sustain his attack. Having then crossed the fortifications, he expels from the camp the crowd who were dismayed and inclining towards one direction.
Upon this the cavalry, who could not easily pass over the rampart, having stood by up to that period mere spectators of the fight, having come up with them whilst flying in disorder on the open plain, enjoys a share of the victory, by cutting down the affrighted troops.
The slaughter of them as they fled was great, both in the camp and outside the lines; but the booty was still greater, because the enemy were scarcely able to carry off their arms with them; and their entire army would have been destroyed, had not the woods covered them in their flight.