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[50] In Rome, at the beginning of the new year, the consuls, Hirtius and Pansa, convened the Senate on the subject of Antony immediately after the sacrifices had been
B.C. 43
performed and in the very temple. Cicero and his friends urged that Antony be now declared a public enemy, since he had seized Cisalpine Gaul with an armed force against the will of the Senate and made of it a point of attack on the republic, and had brought into Italy an army given to him to operate against the Thracians. They spoke also of his seeking the supreme power as C├Žsar's successor, because he publicly surrounded himself in the city with such a large body of armed centurions, and converted his house into a fortress with arms and countersigns, and had borne himself more haughtily in other respects than was befitting a yearly magistrate. Lucius Piso, who had charge of Antony's interests in his absence, a man among the most illustrious in Rome, and others who sided with him on his own account, or on Antony's, or because of their own opinion, contended that Antony ought to have a trial, that it was not the custom of their ancestors to condemn a man unheard, that it was not decent to declare a man an enemy to-day who was a consul yesterday, and especially one whom Cicero himself as well as the rest had so often lavishly praised. The Senate, which was about equally divided in opinion, remained in session till night. Early the next morning it reassembled to consider the same question and then the party of Cicero was in the majority and Antony would have been voted a public enemy had not the tribune Salvius adjourned the sitting to the following day; for among the magistrates the one who has the veto power always prevails.

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