Concerning the migration of the Gauls into Italy we are told as follows: While Tarquinius Priscus reigned at Rome, the Celts, who make up one of the three divisions of Gaul, were under the domination of the Bituriges, and this tribe supplied the Celtic nation with a king.
Ambigatus was then the man, and his talents, together with his own and the general good fortune, had brought him great distinction; for Gaul under his sway grew so rich in corn and so populous, that it seemed hardly possible to govern so great a multitude.
The king, who was now an old man and wished to relieve his kingdom of a burdensome throng, announced that he meant to send Bellovesus and Segovesus, his sister's sons, two enterprising young men, to find such homes as the gods might assign to them by augury;
and promised them that they should head as large a number of emigrants as they themselves desired, so that no tribe might be able to prevent their settlement. Whereupon to Segovesus were by lot assigned the Hercynian highlands1
; but to [p. 119]
Bellovesus the gods proposed a far pleasanter road, into2
Taking out with him the surplus population of his tribes, the Bituriges, Arverni, Senones, Haedui, Ambarri, Carnutes, and Aulerci, he marched with vast numbers of infantry and cavalry into the country of the Tricastini.3
There the Alps stood over against them; and I for one do not wonder that they seemed insuperable, for as yet no road had led across them —as far back at all events as tradition reaches —unless one chooses to believe the stories about Hercules.
While they were there fenced in as it were by the lofty mountains, and were looking about to discover where they might cross, over heights that reached the sky, into another world, superstition also held them back, because it had been reported to them that some strangers seeking lands were beset by the Salui.
These were the Massilians, who had come in ships from Phocaea. The Gauls, regarding this as a good omen of their own success, lent them assistance, so that they fortified, without opposition from the Salui, the spot which they had first seized after landing.
They themselves crossed the Alps through the Taurine passes and the pass of the Duria; routed the Etruscans in battle not far from the river Ticinus, and learning that they were encamped in what was called the country of the Insubres, who bore the same name as an Haeduan canton, they regarded it as a place of good omen, and founded a city there which they called Mediolanium.4