The broken bands of Marius threw themselves into the neighbouring
and strong cities of new burgesses Norba and Praeneste: Marius in
person with the treasure and the greater part of the fugitives
entered the latter. Sulla left an able officer, Quintus Ofella,
before Praeneste just as he had done in the previous year before
Capua, with instructions not to expend his strength in the siege
of the strong town, but to enclose it with an extended line of
blockade and starve it into surrender.
He himself advanced from
different sides upon the capital, which as well as the whole
surrounding district he found abandoned by the enemy, and occupied
without resistance. He barely took time to compose the minds of
the people by an address and to make the most necessary arrangements,
and immediately passed on to Etruria, that in concert with Metellus
he might dislodge his antagonists from Northern Italy.