Page 0850

850

UNIVERSAL HISTORY- THE ANCIENT WORLD.

back Quintus Lutatius Catulus from the Brenner pass of the Alps, and made

its way into the valley of the Po. In the mean time Marius had proceeded to

Rome, and was there offered a triumph; but he declined the honor on the

ground that the Cimbri had not yet been subdued. As soon as practicable he

proceeded to the north and joined his forces with those of Catulus. After

crossing the Po, the consul made offer of battle to the enemy, but the

Cimbri, made cautious by the annihilation of their countrymen, seemed

unwilling to stake all on the hazard of an engagement. They accordingly

entered upon negotiations, and sent an embassy to Marius, requesting the

privilege of settling on the lands of Cisalpine Gaul; but the consul

sternly answered that the Teutons had their possessions on the other side

of the Alps, and that there they should remain. A battle was then fought at

Vercellae, on the same field where Hannibal had gained his first victory

after entering Italy. As in the previous engagement, the Romans were

victorious; the barbarian host was overthrown and dispersed. Only a few of

the vast horde escaped. Those who survived the carnage of the battle were

reserved for the slave market of Rome.

Now it was that Marius accepted of a double triumph. His name was

associated by the multitude with those of Romulus and Camillus as the third

founder of the city. Novus homo as he was, he overtopped the whole

aristocracy as the burly oak looks down on the forest of saplings. Nor was

his fame undeserved by great achievement. He had protected the Republic

from foreign violence. The civil questions which now confronted his

administration were not less serious than the craft of Jugurtha or the

recent menace of barbarism. In the course of the late wars it had been

found in making drafts upon the