Attackers did not notice that they desecrated the altar's cover.
The message says "Die Heathens".
UPDATE: Read an interview with M. Octavius Corvus on the attack.
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Romans, though you’re guiltless, you’ll still expiate~Horace, Odes, III, 6; A. S. Kline trans.
your fathers’ sins, till you’ve restored the temples,
and the tumbling shrines of all the gods,
and their images, soiled with black smoke.