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Nor, O judges, has this argument of mine any tendency to invalidate our treaty with the city of Gades. For it would not become me to say anything against the rights of a city which has deserved very well at our hands, against the invariable opinion of antiquity, and against the authority of the senate. For once, at a very critical period of this republic, when Carthage, being exceedingly powerful by sea and land, relying on the two Spains, was threatening this empire, and when those two thunderbolts of our empire, Cnaeus and Publius Scipio, had suddenly perished in Spain, Lucius Marcius, a centurion1 of the first division, is said to have made a treaty with the people of Gades. And as this treaty was maintained more in consequence of the loyalty of that people, of our justice, and, indeed, of its own antiquity, than because it was ratified by any public bond of religion, the people of Gades, being wise men and well instructed in public law, when Marcus Lepidus and Quintus Catulus were consuls, made a request to the senate for a more regular treaty; and then the treaty was renewed or made (whichever you please to call it) with the men of Gades. And concerning that treaty the Roman people never recorded any vote; and they cannot possibly be bound by any religious obligation which has been contracted without their orders.

1 “Polybius, in the fragments of the sixth book, has left an accurate account of the election of centurions. From each division of the legion, i.e. hastati principes, and triarii, they elect ten men in order of merit to command in their own division. After this a second election of a like number takes place, in all sixty, who are called centurions. The centurions of the first election usually command the right of the maniple; but if either of the two is absent, the whole command of the maniple devolves on the other. He who is chosen first is admitted to the councils of the general (principilus). The principilus was the first centurion of the first maniple of the Triarii. He was entrusted with the care of the eagle, and had the right of attending the councils of the general.”—Smith, Dict. Ant. v. Centurio.

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