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[48] After thus quelling the mutiny at Placentia Cæsar proceeded to Rome, where the trembling people chose him dictator without any decree of the Senate and without the intervention of a magistrate. But he, either deprecating the office as likely to prove invidious or not desiring it, after holding it only eleven days (as some say) designated himself and Publius Isauricus as consuls.1 He appointed or changed the governors of provinces according to his own pleasure. He assigned Marcus Lepidus to Spain, Aulus Albinius to Sicily, Sextus Peducæus to Sardinia, and Decimus Brutus to the newly acquired Gaul. He distributed corn to the suffering people and at their petition he allowed the return of all exiles except Milo. When he was asked to decree an abolition of debts, on the ground that the wars and seditions had caused a fall of prices, he refused it, but appointed appraisers of vendible goods which debtors might give to their creditors instead of money.2 When this had been done, about the winter solstice, he sent for his whole army to rendezvous at Brundusium and he himself took his departure in the month of December, according to the Roman calendar, not waiting for the beginning of his consulship on the calends of the new year, which was close at hand. The people followed him to the city gates, urging him to come to an arrangement with Pompey, for it was evident that whichever of them should conquer would wield sovereign power. Cæsar departed on his journey and travelled with all possible speed.

1 Cæsar says that while he was at Massilia he learned that a law had been passed for creating a dictator and that he had been named for that office by Marcus Lepidus, the prætor.

2 Cæsar's account of this matter is as follows: " Since credit was at a low ebb in the whole of Italy and debts could not be paid in money, Cæsar decided that arbiters should be appointed to appraise the property and possessions of the debtors at their value before the war and hand them over to the creditors." (Civil War, iii. I.)

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