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[19] Cicero, who had held supreme power after Cæsar's death, as much as a public speaker could, was proscribed, together with his son, his brother, and his brother's son and all of his household, his faction, and his friends. He fled in a small boat, but as he could not endure the seasickness, he landed and went to a country place of his own near Caieta,1 a town of Italy, which I visited to gain knowledge of this lamentable affair, and here he remained quiet. While the searchers were approaching (for of all others Antony sought for him most eagerly and the rest did so for Antony's sake), crows flew into his chamber and awakened him from sleep by their croaking, and pulled off his bed-covering until his servants, perceiving that this was a warning from one of the gods, put him in a litter and again conveyed him toward the sea, going cautiously through a dense thicket. Many soldiers were hurrying around in squads inquiring if Cicero had been seen anywhere. Some people, moved by good-will and pity, said that he had already put to sea; but a shoemaker, a client of Clodius, who had been a most bitter enemy of Cicero, pointed out the path to Læna, the centurion, who was pursuing with a small force. The latter ran after him, and seeing slaves mustering for the defence in much larger number than the force under his own command, he called out by way of stratagem, "Come on, you centurions in the rear, this is the place;" whereupon the slaves, thinking that more soldiers were coming, were terror-stricken.

1 All the codices say Capua, but Schweighäuser gives two excellent reasons for considering this a copyist's mistake for Caieta, which Livy tells us was the place. A third reason for so thinking is that Caieta was on the sea-shore, whereas Capua was a considerable distance inland. If Appian had written the word Capua he could hardly have said immediately afterward that one of the two parties conveying the news to Antony took ship for that purpose.

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    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Ajax, 32
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