The republic was managed with no better success in war than at home.
In this the only fault in the generals was, that they had rendered themselves objects of hatred to their fellow citizens: in other respects the whole fault lay with the soldiers; who, lest any enterprise should succeed under the conduct and auspices of the decemvirs, suffered themselves to be beaten, to their own disgrace, and that of them (the generals). Their armies were routed by the Sabines at Eretum, and in Algidum by the Aequans.
Having fled from Eretum during the silence of the night, they fortified their camp nearer to the city, on an elevated situation between Fidenae and Crustumeria;
no where encountering the enemy, who pursued them, on equal ground, they protected themselves by the nature of the place and a rampart, not by valour or arms.
Greater disgrace and greater loss were sustained in Algidum, their camp also was lost; and the soldiers, stripped of all their utensils, betook themselves to Tusculum, determined to procure the means of subsistence from the good faith and compassion of their hosts; which, however, did not disappoint them.
Such alarming accounts were brought to Rome, that the patricians, having laid aside their hatred of the decemvirs, passed an order that watches should be held in the city; commanded that all who were able by reason of their age to carry arms, should mount guard on the walls, and form out-posts before the gates; they also voted arms to be sent to Tusculum, besides a reinforcement;
that the decemvirs also should come down from the citadel of Tusculum and keep their troops encamped; that the other camp should be removed from Fidenae into the Sabine territory; and that the enemy might be deterred, by thus attacking them first, from entertaining any intentions of attacking the city.