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The difficult position of the assassins.

Added to this was the increasing difficulty of the position of the leaders in the assassination. Decimus Brutus indeed, in spite of Antony's protest, went to his province of Gallia Cisalpina and took over the command of the troops there; while Trebonius started for his province of Asia, having a secret understanding with the Ciceronian party that he was to concert measures and collect forces in view of future contingencies. But M. Brutus and C. Cassius, though praetors, could not venture to Rome, and Antony was eventually able to force the senate to name others to the provinces of Macedonia and Syria, to which they had been respectively nominated by Caesar: while Trebonius could only leave Italy for his province by travelling almost in disguise by by-roads to the coast.1 Every day that passed seemed to shew that they would have to fight for their position or even their lives. Antony was gathering a considerable force in Rome, under the pretence of a bodyguard, and against an alleged intention of Brutus and Cassius to resort to force. This bodyguard was partly at least formed by inducing Caesar's veterans to rejoin, and was continually increasing.2 Even those veterans who did not actually rejoin the colours were persuaded to hold themselves in readiness for a summons, with their proper arms provided, and at any rate to be prepared to come to Rome to vote in favour of Antony's proposals.3 Besides this Antony extorted from the senate early in June, if not before, the command of the legions which had been stationed in the province of Macedonia with a view to the Getic and Parthian expeditions, and presently sent over his brother Gaius to bring them to Italy. Brutus and Cassius on their part were collecting ships and men, resolved to possess themselves of the provinces originally assigned to them (Macedonia and Syria) at the end of their praetorship; Decimus Brutus by engaging his forces against the Alpine tribes was training troops which he might use against any "intending successor,"4 and all things pointed to a coming struggle. "In my opinion," says Cicero on the 15th of June, "the state of affairs points to bloodshed and that at an early date. You see what the men are, you see how they are arming."5


1 P. 16

2 Pp.7-8, 17, 48, 64, 75.

3 P. 45.

4 P. 145.

5 P.77.

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