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When the senate, as I have stated, had gone over to the opinion of Cato, the counsel, thinking it best not to wait till night, which was coring on, lest any new attempts should be made during the interval, ordered the triumvirs1 to make such preparations as the execution of the conspirators required. He himself, having posted the necessary guards, conducted Lentulus to the prison; and the same office was performed for the rest by the prætors.

There is a place in the prison, which is called the Tullian dungeon,2 and which, after a slight ascent to the left, is sunk about twelve feet under ground. Walls secure it on every side, and over it is a vaulted roof connected with stone arches;3 but its appearance is disgusting and horrible, by reason of the filth, darkness, and stench. When Lentulus had been let down into this place, certain men, to whom orders had been given,4 strangled him with a cord. Thus this patrician, who was of the illustrious family of the Cornelli, and who filled the office of consul at Rome, met with an end suited to his character and conduct. On Cethegus, Statilius, Gabinius, and Cæparius, punishment was inflicted in a similar manner.

1 LV. The triumvirs] “Triumviros.” The triumviri capitales who had the charge of the prison and of the punishment of the condemned. They performed their office by deputy, Val. Max., v. 4, 7.

2 The Tullian dungeon] “Tullianum.Tullianum is an adjective, with which robur must be understoood, as it was originally constructed, wholly or partially, with oak. See Festus, sub voce Robum or Robur: his words are arcis robustis incluaebatur, of which the sense is not very clear. The prison at Rome was built by Ancus Marcius, and enlarged by Servius Tullius, from whom this part of it had its name; Varro de L. L., iv. 33. It is now transformed into a subterranean chapel, beneath a small church erected over it, called San Pietro in Carcere. De Brosses and Eustace both visited it; See Eustace's Classical Tour, vol. i. p. 260, in the Family Library. See also Wasse's note on this passage.

3 A vaulted roof connected with stone arches] “Camera lapideis fornicibus vincta.” “"That camera was a roof curved in the form of a testudo, is generally admitted; see Vitruv. vii. 3; Varr., R. R. iii. 7, init."” Dietsch. The roof is now arched in the usual way.

4 Certain men, to whom orders had been given] “Quibus præceptum erat.” The editions of Havercamp, Gerlach, Kritzius, and Dietsch, have vindices rerum capitalium, quibus, etc. Cortius ejected the first three words from his text as an intruded gloss. If the words be genuine, we must consider these vindices to have been the deputies, or lictors, of the triumvirs mentioned above.

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