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[132] This seemed to be the end of the civil dissensions. Octavius was now twenty-eight years of age. Cities joined in placing him among their tutelary gods. At this time Italy and Rome itself were openly infested with bands of robbers, whose doings were more like barefaced plunder than secret theft. Sabinus was chosen by Octavius to correct this disorder. He executed many of the captured brigands, and within one year brought about a condition of absolute security. At that time, they say, originated the custom and system of cohorts of night watchmen still in force. Octavius excited astonishment by having put an end to this evil with such unexampled rapidity. He allowed the yearly magistrates to administer public affairs, in many particulars, according to the customs of the fathers. He burned the writings which contained evidence concerning the civil strife, and said that he would abdicate entirely when Antony should return from the Parthian war, for he was persuaded that Antony, too, would be willing to lay down the government, the civil wars being at an end. Thereupon he was chosen tribune for life by acclamation, the people urging him, by the offer of this perpetual magistracy, to give up his former one.1 This he accepted, and at the same time he wrote privately to Antony in reference to their government. Antony gave instructions to Bibulus, who was going away from him, to confer with Octavius. He sent governors to take charge of his provinces in like manner as Octavius had done, and he had thoughts of joining the latter in his expedition against the Illyrians.

1 The true date of his election to the tribuneship, deduced from the testament of Augustus inscribed on the wall of the Augusteum at Ancyra, was B.C. 25, i.e., eleven years later than Appian makes it.

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