The greatest number and the best fighters of the enemy were cut to pieces on the spot; for to prevent their ranks from being broken, those who fought in front were bound fast to one another with long chains which were passed through their belts. The fugitives, however, were driven back to their entrenchments, where the Romans beheld a most tragic spectacle.
The women, in black garments, stood at the waggons and slew the fugitives—their husbands or brothers or fathers, then strangled their little children and cast them beneath the wheels of the waggons or the feet of the cattle, and then cut their own throats. It is said that one woman hung dangling from the tip of a waggon-pole, with her children tied to either ankle;
while the men, for lack of trees, fastened themselves by the neck to the horns of the cattle, or to their legs, then plied the goad, and were dragged or trampled to death as the cattle dashed away. Nevertheless, in spite of such self-destruction, more than sixty thousand were taken prisoners; and those who fell were said to have been twice that number.
Now, the enemy's property became the booty of the soldiers of Marius, but the spoils of battle, the standards, and the trumpets, were brought, we are told, to the camp of Catulus and Catulus relied chiefly upon this as a proof that the victory was won by his men. Furthermore, a dispute for the honour of the victory arose among the soldiers, as was natural, and the members of an embassy from Parma were chosen to act as arbitrators. These men the soldiers of Catulus conducted among the dead bodies of the enemy, which were clearly seen to have been pierced by their javelins; for these could be known by the name of Catulus which had been cut into the shaft.
However, the entire success was attributed to Marius, both on account of his former victory and of his superior rank. 1
Above all, the people hailed him as the third founder of Rome, 2
on the ground that the peril which he had averted from the city was not less than that of the Gallic invasion; and all of them, as they made merry at home with their wives and children, would bring ceremonial offerings of food and libations of wine to Marius as well as to the gods, and they were insistent that he alone should celebrate both triumphs.
Marius, however, would not do this, but celebrated his triumph with Catulus, wishing to show himself a man of moderation after a course of so great good fortune. Perhaps, too, he was afraid of the soldiers, who were drawn up and ready, in case Catulus were deprived of his honour, to prevent Marius also from celebrating a triumph.