A resolution of the senate is passed, that Caius Marius and Lucius Valerius, the consuls, shall employ the tribunes of the people and the praetors as they think fit; and shall take care that the empire and majesty of the Roman people be preserved. They do employ all the tribunes of the people except Saturninus, and all the praetors except Glaucia; they bid every one who desires the safety of the republic to take arms and to follow them. Every one obeys. Arms are distributed from the sacred buildings and from the public armouries to the Roman people, Caius Marius the consul distributing them. Here now, to say nothing of other points, I ask you yourself; O Labienus, when Saturninus in arms was in possession of the Capitol; when Glaucia, and Caius Saufeius, and even that Gracchus 1 just escaped from chains and the jail, were with him; I will add, too, since you wish me to do so, Quintus Labienus, your own uncle; but in the forum were Caius Marius and Lucius Valerius Flaccus the consuls, behind them all the senate, and that senate, too, whom even you yourselves (who try to render the conscript fathers of the present day unpopular, in order the more easily to diminish the power of the senate) are accustomed to extol; when the equestrian order-—what men the Roman knights, O ye immortal gods, then were!—when they supported, as they did in the time of our fathers, a great portion of the republic, and the whole dignity of the courts of justice; when all men, of all ranks, who thought their own safety involved in the safety of the republic, had taken arms;—what, then, was Caius Rabirius to do?
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THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO IN DEFENCE OF CAIUS RABIRIUS, ACCUSED OF TREASON.
1 This was a man of the name of Equitius Tismo, whom Saturninus gave out to be a son of Tiberius Gracchus. When Marius shut up the prisoners who had surrendered in the Curia Hostilia, and the people stripped off the roof; and threw the tiles down on them, this pseudo Gracchus was slain among the others.
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