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[17] The massacre began, as it happened, among those who were still in office, and the first one slain was the tribune Salvius. His was, according to the laws, a sacred and inviolable office, endowed with the greatest powers, even that of imprisoning the consuls in certain circumstances. Salvius was the tribune who had at first prevented the Senate from declaring Antony a public enemy, but later he had coöperated with Cicero in everything. When he heard of the agreement of the triumvirs, and of their hastening to the city, he gave a banquet to his friends, believing that he should not have many more opportunities for doing so. Soldiers burst in while the feast was going on. Some of the guests started up in tumultuous alarm, but the centurion in command ordered them to resume their places and remain quiet. Then, seizing Salvius by the hair, just as he was, the centurion drew him as far as need be across the table, cut off his head, and ordered the guests to stay where they were and make no disturbance unless they wished to suffer a like fate. So they remained after the centurion's departure, stupefied and speechless, till the most silent watches of the night, reclining by the side of the tribune's body. The second one slain was the prætor Minucius, who was holding the comitia in the forum. Learning that the soldiers were seeking him, he fled, and while he was still running about looking for a hiding-place he changed his clothes, and then darted into a shop, sending away his attendants and the insignia of his office. The attendants, moved by shame and pity, lingered near the place, and thus unintentionally made the discovery of the prætor more easy to his slayers.

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