And when they could now be withstood in no part, the Volscian commander gives a signal, that an opening should be made for the targeteers, the enemy's new cohort; until carried away by their impetuosity they should be cut off from their own party.
When this was done, the horsemen were intercepted; nor were they able to force their way in the same direction as that through which they had passed;
the enemy being thickest in that part through which they had made their way; and the consul and Roman legions, when they could no where see that party which had lately been a protection to the entire army, lest the enemy should cut down so many men of distinguished valour by cutting them off, push forward at all hazards.
The Volscians, forming two fronts, sustained the attack of the consul and the legions on the one hand, with the other front pressed on Tempanius and the horsemen:
and when they after repeated attempts were unable to force their way to their own party, they took possession of an eminence, and defended themselves by forming a circle, not without taking vengeance on their enemies. Nor was there an end of the battle before night.
The consul also, never relaxing his efforts as long as any light remained, kept the enemy employed. The night at length separated them undecided as to victory; and such a panic seized both camps, from their uncertainty as to the issue, that, leaving behind their wounded and a great part of the baggage, both armies, as if vanquished, betook themselves to the adjoining mountains.
The eminence, however, continued to be besieged till beyond midnight; but when word was brought to the besiegers that the camp was deserted, supposing that their own party had been defeated, they too fled, each whithersoever his fears carried him in the dark.
Tempanius, through fear of an ambush, detained his men till daylight. Then having himself descended with a few men to look about, when he ascertained by inquiring from some of the wounded enemy that the camp of the Volscians was deserted, he joyously calls down his men from the eminence, and makes his way into the [p. 295]
where, when he found every thing waste and deserted, and the same unsightliness as with the enemy, before the discovery of this mistake should bring back the Volscians, taking with him all the wounded he could, and not knowing what route the consul had taken, he proceeds by the shortest roads to the city.