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[69] After Marius had stopped the passage of food-supplies from the sea, or by way of the river above, he hastened to attack the neighboring towns where grain was stored for the Romans. He fell upon their garrisons unexpectedly and captured Antium, Aricia, Lanuvium, and others. There were some also that were delivered up to him by treachery. Having cut off their supplies by land in this manner, he advanced boldly against Rome, by the so-called Appian Way, before any other supplies were brought to them by another route. He and Cinna, and their lieutenant-generals, Carbo and Sertorius, halted at a distance of 100 stades from the city and went into camp. Octavius, Crassus, and Metellus had taken position against them at the Alban Mount, where they observed the enemy's movements. Although they considered themselves superior in bravery and numbers, they hesitated to risk hastily their country's fate on the hazard of a single battle. Cinna sent heralds around the city to offer freedom to slaves who would desert to him, and forthwith a large number did desert. The Senate was alarmed. Anticipating the most serious consequences from the people if the scarcity of corn should be protracted, it changed its mind and sent envoys to Cinna to treat for peace. The latter asked them whether they had come to see him as a consul or as a private citizen. They were at a loss for an answer and went back to the city; and now a large number of freemen flocked to Cinna, some from fear of famine and others because they had been previously favorable to his party and had been waiting to see which way the scales would turn.

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