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[58] Sulla took possession of the Cœlian gate and of the adjoining wall with one legion of soldiers, and Pompeius occupied the Colline gate with another. A third advanced to the Sublician bridge, and a fourth remained on guard in front of the walls. With the remainder Sulla entered the city, being in appearance and in fact an enemy. The inhabitants round about tried to fight him off by hurling missiles from the roofs until he threatened to burn the houses; then they desisted. Marius and Sulpicius went, with some forces they had hastily armed, to meet the invaders near the Æsquiline forum, and here a battle took place between the contending parties, the first that was regularly fought in Rome with trumpet and signal under the rules of war, and not at all in the similitude of a faction fight. To such extremity of evil had the recklessness of party strife progressed among them. Sulla's forces were beginning to waver when Sulla seized a standard and exposed himself to danger in the foremost ranks. Out of regard for their general and fear of ignominy if they should abandon their standard, they rallied at once. Sulla ordered up fresh troops from his camp and sent others around by the socalled Suburran road to take the enemy in the rear. The Marians fought feebly against these new-comers, and as they feared lest they should be surrounded they called to their aid the other citizens who were still fighting from the houses, and proclaimed freedom to slaves who would share their labors. As nobody came forward they fell into utter despair and fled at once out of the city, together with those of the nobility who had coöperated with them.

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