When he had made a complete survey, he gave the signal with the trumpet, and ordered the cohorts to advance slowly. The army of the enemy followed his example; and when they approached so near that the action could be commenced by the light-armed troops, both sides, with a loud shout, rushed together in a furious charge.1
They threw aside their missiles, and fought only with their swords. The veterans, calling to mind their deeds of old, engaged fiercely in the closest combat. The enemy made an obstinate resistance; and both sides contended with the utmost fury. Catiline, during this time, was exerting himself with his light troops in the front, sustaining such as were pressed, substituting fresh men for the wounded, attending to every exigency, charging in person, wounding many an enemy, and performing at once the duties of a valiant soldier and a skillful general.
When Petreius, contrary to his expectation, found Catiline attacking him with such impetuosity, he led his prætorian cohort against the centre of the enemy, among whom, being thus thrown into confusion, and offering but partial resistance,2
he made great slaughter, and ordered, at the same time, an assault on both flanks. Manlius and the Fæsulan, sword in hand, were among the first3
that fell; and Catiline, when he saw his army routed, and himself left with but few supporters, remembering his birth and former dignity, rushed into the thickest of the enemy, where he was slain, fighting to the last.