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[64]

Caesar came back from Alexandria, fortunate, as he seemed at least to himself; but in my opinion no one can be fortunate who is unfortunate for the republic. The spear was set up in front of the temple of Jupiter Stator, and the property of Cnaeus Pompeius Magnus—(miserable that I am, for even now that my tears have ceased to flow, my grief remains deeply implanted in my heart),—the property, I say, of Cnaeus Pompeius the Great was submitted to the pitiless voice of the auctioneer. On that one occasion the state forgot its slavery, and groaned aloud; and though men's minds were enslaved, as every thing was kept under by fear, still the groans of the Roman people were free. While all men were waiting to see who would be so impious, who would be so mad, who would be so declared an enemy to gods and to men as to dare to mix himself up with that wicked auction, no one was found except Antonius, even though there were plenty of men collected round that spear1 who would have dared any thing else.

1 The custom of erecting a spear wherever an auction was held is well known; it is said to have arisen from the ancient practice of selling under a spear the booty acquired in war.

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load focus Latin (Albert Clark, Albert Curtis Clark, 1918)
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    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), SECTIO
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