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Several Gallic Tribes Join Forces

Accordingly the two most extensive tribes, the Insubres
B. C. 231
and Boii, joined in the despatch of messengers to the tribes living about the Alps and on the Rhone, who from a word which means "serving for hire," are called Gaesatae. To their kings Concolitanus and Aneroetes they offered a large sum of gold on the spot; and, for the future, pointed out to them the greatness of the wealth of Rome, and all the riches of which they would become possessed, if they took it. In these attempts to inflame their cupidity and induce them to join the expedition against Rome they easily succeeded. For they added to the above arguments pledges of their own alliance; and reminded them of the campaign of their own ancestors in which they had seized Rome itself, and had been masters of all it contained, as well as the city itself, for seven months; and had at last evacuated it of their own free will, and restored it by an act of free grace, returning unconquered and scatheless with the booty to their own land. These arguments made the leaders so eager for the expedition, that there never at any other time came from that part of Gaul a larger host, or one consisting of more notable warriors. Meanwhile, the Romans, informed of what was coming, partly by report and partly by conjecture, were in such a state of constant alarm and excitement, that they hurriedly enrolled legions, collected supplies, and sent out their forces to the frontier, as though the enemy were already in their territory, before the Gauls had stirred from their own lands.

It was this movement of the Gauls that, more than anything else, helped the Carthaginians to consolidate their power in Iberia. For the Romans, as I have said, looked upon the Celtic question as the more pressing one of the two, as being so near home; and were forced to wink at what was going on in Iberia, in their anxiety to settle it satisfactorily first. Having, therefore, put their relations with the Carthaginians on a safe footing by the treaty with Hasdrubal, which I spoke of a short time back,1 they gave an undivided attention to the Celtic war, convinced that their interest demanded that a decisive battle should be fought with them.

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