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Meantime, from the continued inaction of our armies, a rumour prevailed that the commanders had been deprived of the right of leading them against the enemy. Thereupon the Frisii moved up their youth to the forests and swamps, and their non-fighting population, over the lakes, to the river-bank, and established themselves in unoccupied lands, reserved for the use of our soldiers, under the leadership of Verritus and Malorix, the kings of the tribe, as far as Germans are under kings. Already they had settled themselves in houses, had sown the fields, and were cultivating the soil as if it had been their ancestors', when Dubius Avitus, who had succeeded Paulinus in the province, by threatening them with a Roman attack if they did not retire into their old country or obtain a new territory from the emperor, con-
GERMAN AMBASSADORS IN ROME
strained Verritus and Malorix to become suppliants. They went to Rome, and while they waited for Nero, who was intent on other engagements, among the sights shown to the barbarians they were admitted into Pompey's theatre, where they might behold the vastness of the Roman people. There at their leisure (for in the entertainment, ignorant as they were, they found no amusement) they asked questions about the crowd on the benches, about the distinctions of classes, who were the knights, where was the Senate, till they observed some persons in a foreign dress on the seats of the senators. Having asked who they were, when they were told that this honour was granted to envoys from those nations which were distinguished for their bravery and their friendship to Rome, they exclaimed that no men on earth surpassed the Germans in arms or in loyalty. Then they went down and took their seat among the senators. The spectators hailed the act goodnaturedly, as due to the impulsiveness of a primitive people and to an honourable rivalry. Nero gave both of them the Roman franchise, and ordered the Frisii to withdraw from the territory in question. When they disdained obedience, some auxiliary cavalry by a sudden attack made it a necessity for them, capturing or slaughtering those who obstinately resisted.

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