In view of these things Marius was summoned to Rome. When he had arrived there, it was the general expectation that he would celebrate the triumph which the senate had readily voted him. But he refused to do so, either because he did not wish to deprive his soldiers and comrades-in-arms of their due honours, or because he would encourage the multitude in view of the present crisis by entrusting the glory of his first success to the fortune of the state, in the hope that it would be returned to him enhanced by a second.
Having said what was suitable to the occasion, he set out to join Catulus, whom he tried to encourage, while at the same time he summoned his own soldiers from Gaul. When these had come, he crossed the Po and tried to keep the Barbarians out of the part of Italy lying this side of the river. But the Barbarians declined battle, alleging that they were waiting for their brethren the Teutones and wondered why they were so long in coming; this was either because they were really ignorant of their destruction, or because they wished to have the appearance of disbelieving it.
For they terribly mishandled those who brought tidings of it, and sent to Marius demanding territory for themselves and their brethren and enough cities for them to dwell in. When Marius asked their ambassadors whom they meant by their brethren, they said they meant the Teutones. At this, all the other Romans who heard them burst out laughing, and Marius scoffingly said:
‘Then don't trouble yourselves about your brethren, for they have land, and they will have it forever—land which we have given them.’
The ambassadors understood his sarcasm and fell to abusing him, declaring that he should be punished for it, by the Cimbri at once, and by the Teutones when they came.
‘Verily,’ said Marius,
‘they are here, and it will not be right for you to go away before you have embraced your brethren.’ Saying this, he ordered the kings of the Teutones to be produced in fetters; for they had been captured among the Alps, where they were fugitives, by the Sequani.