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The senate had to thank Pacuvius for its life, and it was much more under his control than under that of the populace. By common consent he now wielded supreme power and needed no armed support.  Henceforth the senators, forgetting their rank and independence, flattered the populace, saluted them courteously, invited them as guests, [3??] received them at sumptuous banquets, undertook their cases, always appeared on their side, and when they were trying suits they always decided the actions in a way to secure the favour of the mob. In fact, the proceedings in the senate were exactly as though it had been a popular assembly.  The city had always been disposed to luxury and extravagance, not only through the weakness of the character of its citizens, but also through the superabundance of the means of enjoyment and the incitements to every kind of pleasure which land or sea could furnish, and now, owing to the obsequiousness of the nobility and the licence of the populace, it was becoming so demoralised that the sensuality and extravagance which prevailed exceeded all bounds.  They treated the laws, the magistrates, the senate with equal contempt, and now after the defeat of Cannae they [6??] began to feel contempt for the one thing which they had hitherto held in some respect-the power of Rome. The only circumstances which prevented them from immediately revolting were the old established right of intermarriage which had led [7??] to many of their illustrious and powerful families becoming connected with Rome and the fact that several citizens were serving with the Romans.  The strongest tie of this nature was the presence of three hundred cavalry, from the noblest families in Capua, in Sicily, whither they had been specially sent by the Roman authorities to garrison the island. The parents and relatives of these troopers succeeded after much difficulty in getting envoys sent to the Roman consul.
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