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 About this time [Gaius] Antonius was defeated in Illyria by Pompey's lieutenant, Octavius, and another army of Cæsar mutinied at Placentia, crying out against their officers for prolonging the war and not paying them the five minæ1 that Cæsar had promised them as a donative while they were still at Brundusium. When Cæsar heard of this he flew from Massilia to Placentia and coming before the soldiers, who were still in a state of mutiny, addressed them as follows: " You know what kind of speed I use in everything I undertake. This war is not prolonged by us, but by the enemy, who have fled from us. You reaped great advantages from my command in Gaul, and you took an oath to me for the whole of this war and not for a part only; and now you abandon us in the midst of our labors, you revolt against your officers, you propose to give orders to those from whom you are bound to receive orders. Being myself the witness of my liberality to you heretofore I shall now execute the law of our country2 by decimating the ninth legion, where this mutiny began." Straightway a cry went up from the whole legion, and the officers threw themselves at Cæsar's feet in supplication. Cæsar yielded little by little and so far remitted the punishment as to designate 120 only (who seemed to have been the leaders of the revolt), and chose twelve of these by lot to be put to death. One of the twelve proved that he was absent when the conspiracy was formed, and Cæsar put to death in his stead the centurion who had accused him.
1 The silver mina was equal to about $18 of our money.
2 "The Greek text in several old MSS. at this place reads Πετρηίῳ νόμῳ which supposes a Petreian law totally unknown in Roman history. Casaubon was the first to perceive that it ought to read πατρίῳ νόμῳ instead of πετρηίῳ. Tollius sustained the correction of Casaubon and the MS. of the library of Augsburg and that of Venice, verified by Schweighäuser, have confirmed it." (Combes-Dounous.) The phrase occurs again in Sec. 63 infra.
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