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[43]

In the first place, I say, that the naval affairs were managed, not with the view of defending the province, but of acquiring money under presence of providing a fleet. Though this had been the custom of former praetors, to impose a contribution of ships and of a fixed number of sailors and soldiers on each city, yet you imposed no contribution on the very important and wealthy city of the Mamertines. What money the Mamertines gave you secretly for that indulgence, will be seen hereafter; we will ascertain that from their own letters and witnesses.


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