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[116] While Cæsar was being borne to the Senate one of his intimates, who had learned of the conspiracy, ran to his house to tell what he knew. When he arrived there and found only Calpurnia he merely said that he wanted to speak to Cæsar about urgent business, and then waited for him to come back from the Senate, because he did not know all the particulars of the affair. Meantime Artemidorus, whose hospitality Cæsar had enjoyed at Cnidus, ran to the Senate and found him already murdered. A tablet informing him of the conspiracy was put into Cæsar's hand by another person while he was sacrificing in front of the curia, but he went in immediately and it was found in his hand after his death. Directly after he stepped out of the litter Popillius Læna, who a little before had joined his prayers with the party of Cassius, accosted Cæsar and engaged him aside in earnest conversation. The sight of this proceeding and especially the length of the conversation struck terror into the hearts of the conspirators, and they made signs to each other that they would kill themselves rather than be captured. As the conversation was prolonged they saw that Læna did not seem to be revealing anything to Cæsar, but rather to be urging some petition. They recovered themselves and when they saw him return thanks to Cæsar after the conversation they took new courage. It was the custom of the magistrates, when about to enter the Senate, to take the auspices at the entrance. Here again Cæsar's first victim was without a heart, or, as some say, the beginning of the entrails was wanting. A soothsayer said that this was a sign of death. Cæsar, laughing, said that the same thing had happened to him when he was beginning his campaign against Pompeius in Spain. The soothsayer replied that he had been in very great danger then and that now the omen was still more entitled to credence.1 So Cæsar ordered him to sacrifice again. None of the victims were more propitious; but being ashamed to keep the Senate waiting, and being urged by his enemies in the guise of friends, he went in disregarding the omens. For it was fated that Cæsar should meet his doom.

1 ἔτι πιθανώτερον: here we encounter a curiosity in the text. In Sec. 153 infra the author says: "As Cæsar was entering the Senate for the last time, as I have shortly before related, the same omens were observed, but he said jestingly that the same thing happened to him in Spain. The soothsayer replied that he was in danger then and that the omen was now more deadly, ἐπιθανατώτερον. The close resemblance of the text of the two phrases suggested to Musgrave the query whether Appian had not written the same in both places. Schweighäuser thought that it was altogether probable, but as all the codices agreed he did not venture to change the text. Mendelssohn has changed it in the Teubner edition, while the Didot edition adheres to the original.

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