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[6] Thus, out of multifarious civil commotions, the Roman state passed into solidarity and monarchy. To show how these things came about I have written and compiled piled this narrative, which is well worth the study of those who wish to know the measureless ambition of men, their dreadful lust of power, their unwearying perseverance, and the countless forms of evil. It is especially necessary for me to describe these things beforehand since they are the preliminaries of my Egyptian history, and end where that begins, for Egypt was seized in consequence of this last civil commotion, Cleopatra having joined forces with Antony. On account of its magnitude I have divided the work, first taking up the events that occurred from the time of Sempronius Gracchus to that of Cornelius Sulla; next, those that followed to the death of Cæsar. The remaining books of the civil wars treat of those waged by the triumvirs against each other and the Roman people, until the end of these conflicts, and the greatest achievement, the battle of Actium, fought by Octavius Cæsar against Antony and Cleopatra together, which will be the beginning of the Egyptian history.

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