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[4] All these private matters, all these transactions which took place in the city, I say nothing about; though they are of such a nature that Hannibal himself never wished so much evil to this city, as those men have done. I come to the case of the provinces themselves, of which Macedonia, which was formerly fortified not by the towers built, but by the trophies erected by numbers of our generals, which had long ago been reduced to a state of tranquillity by many victories and triumphs, is now so harassed by the barbarians who are not allowed to rest in peace in consequence of the avarice of the late consul, that the people of Thessalonica, placed in the lap as it were of our empire are compelled to abandon their town and to fortify their citadel, that that military road of ours which reaches all through Macedonia as far as the Hellespont is not only infested by the incursions of the barbarians but is even studded with and divided among Thracian encampments. And so those nations which had given large sums of money to our illustrious commanders to purchase the blessings of peace, in order to be able to replenish their houses which had been thus drained, instead of the peace which they had purchased, have waged against us what is little short of a regular war. And now that very army of ours, collected by a most splendid enlistment, and by a very rigid levy, has almost entirely perished. I say this with the most real grief.

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