No one indeed dared singly to oppose the opinion of Cassius, but
clamorous voices rose in reply from all who pitied the number, age, or sex,
as well as the undoubted innocence of the great majority. Still, the party
which voted for their execution prevailed. But the sentence could not be
obeyed in the face of a dense and threatening mob, with
SLAVES OF MURDERED MAN EXECUTED
stones and firebrands.
Then the emperor reprimanded the people by edict, and lined with a force of
soldiers the entire route by which the condemned had to be dragged to
execution. Cingonius Varro had proposed that even all the freedmen under the
same roof should be transported from Italy
. This the
emperor forbade, as he did not wish an ancient custom, which mercy had not
relaxed, to be strained with cruel rigour.