But the Teutones, since Marius kept quiet, attempted to take his camp by storm; many missiles, however, were hurled against them from the fortifications, and they lost some of their men. They therefore decided to march forward, expecting to cross the Alps without molestation. So they packed up their baggage and began to march past the camp of the Romans. Then, indeed, the immensity of their numbers was made specially evident by the length of their line and the time required for their passage; for it is said they were six days in passing the fortifications of Marius, although they moved continuously.
And they marched close to the camp, inquiring with laughter whether the Romans had any messages for their wives;
‘for,’ said they,
‘we shall soon be with them.’ But when the Barbarians had passed by and were going on their way, Marius also broke camp and followed close upon them, always halting near by and at their very side, but strongly fortifying his camps and keeping strong positions in his front, so that he could pass the night in safety.
Thus the two armies went on until they came to the place called Aquae Sextiae, from which they had to march only a short distance and they would be in the Alps. For this reason, indeed, Marius made preparations to give battle here, and he occupied for his camp a position that was strong, but poorly supplied with water, wishing, as they say, by this circumstance also to incite his soldiers to fight.
At any rate, when many of them were dissatisfied and said they would be thirsty there, he pointed to a river that ran near the barbarian fortifications, and told them they could get water there, but the price of it was blood.
‘Why, then,’ they said,
‘dost thou not lead us at once against the enemy, while our blood is still moist ?’ To which Marius calmly replied:
‘We must first make our camp strong.’