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 Messala, a young man of distinction, fled to Brutus. The triumvirs, fearing his high spirit, published the following edict: "Since the relatives of Messala have made it clear to us that he was not in the city when Gaius Cæsar was slain, let his name be removed from the list of the proscribed." He would not accept pardon, but, after Brutus and Cassius had fallen in Thrace, although there was a considerable army left, as well as ships and money, and although strong hopes of success still existed, Messala would not accept the command when it was offered to him, but persuaded his associates to yield to overpowering fate and join forces with Antony. He became intimate with Antony and adhered to him until the latter became the slave of Cleopatra. Then he heaped reproaches upon him and joined himself to Octavius, who made him consul in place of Antony himself when the latter was deposed and again voted a public enemy. After the battle of Actium, where he held a naval command against Antony, Octavius sent him as a general against the revolted Celts and awarded him a triumph for his victory over them.1 Bibulus was received into favor at the same time with Messala, and was given a naval command by Antony, and often served as an intermediary in the negotiations between Octavius and Antony. He was appointed governor of Syria by Antony and died while serving in that capacity.
1 See Illyr. 17 supra and v. 102 infra. Messala was a distinguished orator as well as soldier. He is mentioned in one of Cicero's letters (Ad Brutum, 12) as having gone to join Brutus in Macedonia about the time that Lepidus and Antony joined forces in Gaul. His oratory is praised by Quintilian (x. 1. 13) and his character by Velleius (ii. 71). He served under Brutus in the battle of Philippi, and his account of it is quoted by Plutarch (Life of Brutus, 40-42).
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