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PONS ARGENTEUS, 30 MAY M. Lepidus, second time imperator, Pontifex Maximus, greets the praetors, tribunes, the senate, populace, and plebs of Rome. 1

If you and your children are well, I am glad. I and my army are well. I call gods and men to witness, fathers of the senate, what my feelings and sentiments have ever been towards the Republic, and how I have thought nothing of more importance than the common safety and liberty. And this I should shortly have demonstrated to you, had not fortune snatched from me the power of following my own policy. For my whole army broke out into a mutiny, by way of retaining its traditional principle of preserving fellow citizens and the general peace, and—to confess the truth-compelled me to undertake to defend the lives and civil rights of so large a number of Roman citizens. And in regard to this matter, I beg and beseech you, fathers of the senate, to forget private quarrels and to consult for the highest interests of the Republic, and not to regard the compassionate feelings of myself and my army in the light of a crime. But if you take the lives and political position of all into consideration, you will consult better for yourselves and the Republic.

30 May, from Pons Argenteus.

1 This was written on the day after Lepidus consummated his treason by joining Antony. For the titles of Lepidus, see p.265.

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