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[88] About the same time Metellus gained a victory over the other army of Carbo, and here again five cohorts, for safety's sake, deserted to Metellus during the battle. Pompey overcame Marcius near Senæ and plundered the town. Sulla, having shut Marius up in Præneste, drew a line of circumvallation around the town a considerable distance from it and left the work in charge of Lucretius Ofella, as he intended to reduce Marius by famine, not by fighting. When Marius saw that his condition was hopeless he hastened to put his private enemies out of the way. He wrote to Brutus, the city prætor, to call the Senate together on some pretext or other and to kill Publius Antistius, the other Papirius, Lucius Domitius, and Mucius Scævola, the pontifex maximus. Of these the two first were slain in their seats as Marius had ordered, assassins having been introduced into the senate-house for this purpose. Domitius ran out, but was killed at the door, and Scævola was killed a little farther away. Their bodies were thrown into the Tiber, for it was now the custom not to bury the slain. Sulla sent an army to Rome in detachments by different roads with orders to seize the gates, and if they were repulsed to rendezvous at Ostia. The towns on the way received them with fear and trembling, and the city opened its gates to them because the people were oppressed by hunger, and because, of present evils, they were accustomed to yield to the ones which were immediately weighing upon them.

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