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[4]

Lar Tolumnius, the king of Veii, slew four ambassadors of the Roman people, at Fidenae, whose statues were standing in the rostra till within my recollection. The honor was well deserved. For our ancestors gave those men who had encountered death in the cause of the republic an imperishable memory in exchange for this transitory life. We see in the rostra the statue of Cnaeus Octavius, an illustrious and great man, the first man who brought the consulship into that family, which afterward abounded in illustrious men. There was no one then who envied him, because he was a new man; there was no one who did not honor his virtue. But yet the embassy of Octavius was one in which there was no suspicion of danger. For having been sent by the senate to investigate the dispositions of kings and of free nations, and especially to forbid the grandson of king Antiochus, the one who had carried on war against our forefathers, to maintain fleets and to keep elephants, he was slain at Laodicea, in the gymnasium, by a man of the name of Leptines.

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