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 In the meantime four of the five Macedonian legions had joined Antony at Brundusium. They blamed him because he had not proceeded against the murderers of Cæsar. They conducted him without applause to the platform, implying that they required explanations on this subject first. Antony was angry at their silence. He did not keep his temper, but charged them with ingratitude in that they had expressed no thanks for being transferred from the Parthian expedition to Italy. He blamed them because they had not arrested and delivered to him the emissaries of a rash boy (for so he called Octavius) who had been sent among them to stir up discord. But he would find them out, he said. He would lead the army to the province voted to him, the fair Gallic country, and would give 100 drachmas to each man present. They laughed at his parsimony, and when he became angry they broke out in tumult and went away. Antony rose and departed, saying, "You shall learn to obey orders." Then he required the military tribunes to bring before him the fomenters of the sedition (for it is customary in Roman armies to keep at all times a record of the character of each man). From these he chose by lot a certain number according to military law, and he put to death not every tenth man, but a smaller number, thinking to strike terror into the rest by means of the few. But the others were turned to rage and hatred instead of fear by this act.1
1 This execution of soldiers at Brundusium is mentioned by Cicero in the third Philippic (4), where he says that the number of soldiers put to death was 300. In the fifth Philippic (8) he gives a more particular account of the affair, saying: " What did his (Antony's) journey to Brundusium mean? Why such haste? What did he hope to do unless to lead a great army to the city, or rather into the city ? Why that casting of lots by the centurions and that fierce outbreak of uncontrollable temper? When our bravest legions exclaimed against his promises, he commanded those centurions to come to his house whose strong attachment to the republic he was acquainted with, and there at his own feet, and at the feet of his wife, whom this austere general took with him to the army, he caused them to be killed." These soldiers were clearly mutineers, and Antony did not exceed his authority in punishing them; but mutiny and "going over to the enemy" were so common at that time that each man measured the turpitude of the act by its bearings on his own party.
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