On the same night, messengers come to Tusculum announcing that the citadel was taken, and the Capitol seized, and the other state of disturbance in the city.
Lucius Mamilius was at that time dictator at Tusculum; he, having immediately convoked the senate and introduced the messengers, earnestly advises:
“That they should not wait until ambassadors came from Rome, suing for assistance; that the very danger and risk, and the social gods, and the faith of treaties, demanded it; that the gods would never afford them an equal opportunity of obliging so powerful a state and so near a neighbour.” It is determined that assistance should be sent: the young men are enrolled; arms are given to them.
Coming to Rome at break of day, they at a distance exhibited the appearance of enemies. The Aequi or Volscians appeared to be coming. Then when the groundless alarm was removed, they are admitted into the city, and descend in a body into the forum.
There Publius Valerius, having left his colleague to guard the gates, was now drawing up in order of battle.
The great influence of the man had produced an effect, when he affirmed that, “the Capitol being recovered, and the city restored to peace, if they would allow themselves to be convinced what lurking fraud was concealed under the law proposed by the tribunes, that he would offer no obstruction to the meeting of the people, mindful of his ancestors, mindful of his surname, and that the province of protecting the people had been handed down to him as hereditary by his ancestors.”
Following him as their leader, notwithstand- [p. 181]
ing the tribunes cried out against it, they direct their march up the Capitoline hill. The Tusculan troops also joined them. Allies and citizens vied with each other which of them should appropriate to themselves the honour of recovering the citadel. Each leader encourages his own men.
Then the enemy became terrified, and placed no dependence on any but the place. The Romans and allies advance on them whilst in this state of alarm. They had now broken into the porch of the temple, when Publius Valerius is slain animating the fight at the head of his men.
Publius Volumnius, a man of consular rank, saw him falling. Having directed his men to cover the body, he rushes forward to the place and office of consul. Through their ardour and impetuosity the perception of so heavy a blow did not reach the soldiers; they conquered before they perceived that they conquered without a leader.
Many of the exiles defiled the temple with their blood; many were taken alive; Herdonius was slain. Thus the Capitol was recovered. With respect to the prisoners,1
punishment was inflicted on each according to his
station, whether he was a freeman or a slave. The commons are stated to have thrown farthings into the consul's house, that he might be buried with greater solemnity.