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[53] When Octavius returned from Gaul to Rome he heard about those who had set sail for Athens. Not knowing exactly what answer Antony had given them, he began to excite the colonized soldiers against the latter, representing that Antony intended to bring back Pompeius with the owners of the lands which the soldiers now held, for most of the owners had taken refuge with Pompeius. Although this cause of irritation was plausible, the soldiers would not even then take up arms against Antony with any zeal, the reputation he had gained at Philippi having made him popular. Octavius considered himself far superior to Antony, to Pompeius, and to Ahenobarbus in the number of troops, as he now had more than forty legions, but as he had no ships and no time to make any, while they had 500, he feared lest they should bring famine upon Italy by patrolling the coast. While meditating on those things, and while he had the choice of many virgins in marriage, he wrote to Mæcenas to make an engagement for him with Scribonia,1 the sister of Libo, the father-in-law of Pompeius, so that he might have the means of coming to an arrangement with the latter if need be. When Libo heard of this he wrote to his family that they should betroth her to Octavius without delay. Then Octavius, on various pretexts, sent away, to this place and that, such of Antony's friends and soldiers as he could not trust, and he sent Lepidus to Africa, the province assigned to him, and with him the six of Antony's legions who were under suspicion.

1 Suetonius says that Scribonia had already been married twice to men of consular rank, and had been a mother by one of them. (Aug. 62.)

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