At the same time, complaints were laid before the senate against Caius Cassius, who had been consul the year before, and was then a military tribune in Macedon, under Aulus Hostilius, and ambassadors came from Cincibilus, a king of the Gauls.
His brother made a speech to the senate, com- [p. 2037]
plaining that Caius Cassius had entirely wasted the country of the Alpine Gauls, their allies, and carried off into slavery many thousands of their people.
Ambassadors came at the same time from the Carnians, Istrians, and Iapidans, who represented, that “at first guides had been demanded from them by the consul, Cassius, to point out the road to him, leading his army into Macedon: that he had parted from them in a peaceable manner, as if to carry war elsewhere;
but afterwards, when he had proceeded half way, he returned, and overran their country in a hostile manner, spreading depredations and fires through every quarter; nor had they as yet been able to discover for what reason they were treated as enemies by the consul.”
The following answer was returned to the absent prince of the Gauls, and the states present, that “the senate had no previous knowledge of those acts of which they complained; nor did they approve of them if they did take place. But that it would still be unjust to condemn, unheard and absent, a man of consular rank, especially as he was employed abroad in the business of the public.
That, when Caius Cassius should come home from Macedonia, if they chose then to prosecute their complaints against him, in his presence, the senate, after examining the matter, would endeavour to give them satisfaction.”
It was further resolved, that not only a verbal answer should be given, but that ambassadors should be also sent to those nations, (two to the transalpine chieftain, and three to the other states,) to notify to them the determinations of the senate.
They voted, that presents, to the amount of two thousand asses,1
should be sent to the ambassadors; and to the prince, and his brother, some of extraordinary value: two chains made of gold, and weighing five pounds; five silver vases, amounting to twenty pounds' weight; two horses, fully caparisoned, with grooms to attend them, and horsemen's armour and cloaks, besides suits of apparel to their attendants, both freemen and slaves.
These were presented to them; and, on their request, permission was given to each of them to purchase ten horses, and convey them out of Italy.
Caius Laelius and Marcus Aemilius were sent ambassadors with the Gauls, to the regions on the northern side of the Alps; and Caius Cicinius, Publius Cornelius Blasio, and Titus Memmius, to the other states [p. 2038]