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To this extraordinary mark of contempt for the senate, he added another affront still more outrageous. For when, after the sacred rites of the Latin festival, he was returning home, amidst the immoderate and unusual acclamations of the people, a man in the crowd put a laurel crown, encircled with a white fillet,1 on one of his statues; upon which, the tribunes of the people, Epidius Marullus, and Caesetius Flavus ordered the fillet to be removed from the crown, and the man to be taken to prison. Caesar, being much concerned either that the idea of royalty had been suggested to so little purpose, or, as was said, that he was thus deprived of the merit of refusing it, reprimanded the tribunes very severely, and dismissed them from their office. From that day forward, he was never able to wipe off the scandal of affecting the name of king, although he replied to the populace when they saluted him by that title, "I am Caesar, and no king." And at the feast of the Lupercalia,2 when the consul Antony placed a crown upon his head in the rostra several times, he as often put it away, and sent it to the Capitol for Jupiter, the Best and the Greatest. A report was very current, that he had a design of withdrawing to Alexandria or Ilium, whither he proposed to transfer the imperial power, to drain Italy by new levies, and to leave the government of the city to be administered by his friends. To this report 'it was added, that in the next meeting of the senate, Lucius Cotta, one of the fifteen, 3 would make a motion, that as there was in the Sibylline books a prophecy, that the Parthians would never be subdued but by a king, Caesar should have that title conferred upon him.
2 The Lupercalia was a festival, celebrated in a place called the Lupercal, in the month of February, in honour of Pan. During the solemnity, the Luferci, or priests of that god, ran up and down the street naked, with only a girdle of goat's skin round their waist, and thongs of the same in their hands; with which they struck those they met, particularly married women, who were thence supposed to be rendered prolific.
3 Persons appointed to inspect and expound the Sibylline books.
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