In the mean time Rome increases by the demolition of Alba. The number of citizens is doubled. The Cœlian mount is added to the city, and in order that it might be inhabited more populously, Tullus selects that situation for his [p. 42]
palace and there took up his abode.
The leading persons among the Albans he enrols among the patricians, that that branch of the state also might increase, the Julii, Servilii, Quinctii, Geganii, Curiatii, Clœlii; and as a consecrated place of meeting for the order augmented by him he built a senate-house, which was called Hostilia even down to the age of our fathers.
And that every rank might acquire some additional strength from the new people, he formed ten troops of horsemen from among the Albans: he likewise recruited the old, and raised new legions from the same source.
Confiding in this increase of strength, Tullus declares war against the Sabines, a nation at that time the most powerful, next to the Etrurians, in men and in arms. Injuries had been done on both sides, and restitution demanded in vain.
Tullus complained that some Roman merchants had been seized in an open market near the temple of Feronia; the Sabines, that some of their people had taken refuge in the asylum, and were detained at Rome.
These were assigned as the causes of the war. The Sabines, holding in recollection both that a portion of their strength had been fixed at Rome by Tatius, and that the Roman power had also been lately increased by the accession of the Alban people, began, on their part, to look around for foreign aid.
Etruria was in their neighbourhood; of the Etrurians the Veientes were the nearest. From thence they drew some volunteers, their minds being stirred up to a revolt, chiefly in consequence of the rankling animosities from (former) wars. And pay also had its weight with some stragglers belonging to the indigent population.
They were assisted by no aid from the government, and the faith of the truce stipulated with Romulus was strictly observed by the Veientes (for with respect to the others it is less surprising). While they were preparing for war with the utmost vigour, and the matter seemed to turn on this, which should first commence hostilities, Tullus first passes into the Sabine territory.
A desperate battle ensued at the wood called Malitiosa,1
in which the Roman army was far superior, both by the strength of their foot, and also by the recent augmentation of their cavalry.
The Sabine ranks were thrown into disorder by a sudden charge of the cavalry, nor could either the fight be afterwards restored, or a retreat accomplished without great slaughter. [p. 43]