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[25] Presently a rumor was noised about that the Getæ, learning of Cæsar's death, had made an incursion into Macedonia and were ravaging it. Antony asked the Senate to give him an army in order to punish them, saying that this army had been prepared by Cæsar to be used against the Getæ before marching against the Parthians, and that everything was now quiet on the Parthian frontier. The Senate distrusted the rumor, and sent messengers to make inquiry. Antony, in order to dissipate their fear and suspicion, proposed a decree that it should not be lawful for anybody, for any cause whatever, to vote for a dictatorship, or to accept it if offered. If anybody should disregard any of these provisions, he might be killed with impunity by anybody who should meet him.1 Having deceived the Senate2 chiefly by this means, and having agreed with the friends of Dolabella to give him one legion, he was chosen absolute commander of the forces in Macedonia. Having obtained what he desired, he sent his brother Gaius with haste to communicate the decree of the Senate to the army. Those who had been sent to inquire into the rumor came back and reported that they had seen no Getæ in Macedonia, but they added, either truthfully, or because they were instructed to do so by Antony, that it was feared that they would make an incursion into Macedonia if the army were withdrawn.

1 This action was much earlier in point of time than it is here represented. Cicero informs us that the law abolishing the dictatorship was proposed by Antony at the meeting of the Senate in the temple of Tellus immediately after the assassination. (Phil. i. I.)

2 ἑλὼν τοὺς ἀκούοντας: "having captured his hearers."

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