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[58] While they were thus engaged Dolabella put Trebonius to death in Asia and Antony besieged Decimus Brutus in Cisalpine Gaul. The Senate in indignation voted both Dolabella and Antony public enemies, and restored both Brutus and Cassius to the former commands and added Illyria to that of Brutus. It also ordered all other persons holding commands of Roman provinces or armies, between the Adriatic and Syria, to obey the orders of Cassius and Brutus. Thereupon Cassius anticipated Dolabella by entering Syria, where he raised the standards of a governor and won over twelve legions of soldiers who had been enlisted and trained by Gaius Cæsar long before. One of these Cæsar had left in Syria when he was contemplating a war against the Parthians, and had placed it under the charge of Cæcilius Bassus, but had given the nominal command to Sextus Julius, a young man who was his kinsman.1 This Julius was a fellow of loose habits who led the legion into shameful dissipations and once insulted Bassus when the latter remonstrated with him. Afterward he summoned Bassus to his presence, and when the latter delayed he ordered that he be dragged before him. There was a disgraceful tumult in consequence, and some blows were given to Bassus, the sight of which the army resented, and Julius was stabbed. This act was followed straightway by repentance and fear of Cæsar, and so they bound each other by an oath that, unless they were granted pardon and reconciliation, they would fight to the death; and they compelled Bassus to take the same oath. They recruited another legion and both were drilled together. Cæsar sent Statius Murcus against them with three legions, but they resisted bravely. Marcius Crispus was then sent from Bithynia to the aid of Murcus with three additional legions, and thus Bassus was besieged by six legions altogether.

1 The text here is almost identical with that which describes the same events in Book iii. 77, 78.

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