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[52] Is it so indeed? when no law has been passed to that effect, when the words of our commander-in-chief have not yet been heard, when the war is not yet over, when king Mithridates, having lost his army, having been driven from his kingdom, is even now planning something against us in the most distant corners of the earth, and while he is still defended by the Maeotis, and by those marshes, and by the narrow defiles through which the only passes lie in those countries, and by the height of the mountains, from the invincible band of Cnaeus Pompeius; when our general is actually engaged in the war against him; and while the name of war still lingers in those districts; shall the decemvirs sell those lands over which the military command and civil authority of Cnaeus Pompeius still extends and ought to extend, according to the principles and usages of our ancestors?

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