. . they thereafter1
caused such terror as2
they entered the camp, displaying the heads, that if the army had been brought up at once, the camp might have been taken.
Even as it was, a great panic took place, and there were those who advised sending envoys to beg for peace; many cities, too, on hearing this news, offered themselves in surrender.
These cities cleared themselves and placed the blame on the folly of two men3
who had of their own accord gone to meet their punishment, and the praetor, having accepted these excuses, set out at once for the other cities and, since everybody obeyed his
commands, passed without using his army through a region, now peaceful, which shortly before had been aflame with a huge uprising.
This clemency of the praetor, whereby without bloodshed he had tamed a very war-like people, was the more pleasing to the Roman commons and the Fathers because the campaign in Greece had been conducted with too much cruelty and greed by both the consul Licinius and Lucretius the praetor.
Lucretius was assailed in his absence by the tribunes of the people in meeting after meeting, although it was stated in his behalf that he was absent in the service of the state; but in that day even the neighbourhood of the city was such unknown territory that he was at that time on his estate at Antium4
and was engaged in bringing water to Antium from the River Loracina5
at the [p. 17]
cost of his spoils.
He is said to have let the contract6
for this work at one hundred and thirty thousand asses;
he also decorated with paintings from the booty the temple of Aesculapius.7
Disapprobation and disgrace were diverted from Lucretius to Hortensius, his successor, by envoys from Abdera,8
who wept before the senate-house and complained that their city had been stormed and plundered by Hortensius;
the reason for the destruction of the city had been, they said, that when the praetor had ordered a hundred thousand denarii
and fifty thousand peeks of wheat, they had asked for a stay, during which they might send envoys about the matter to the consul Hostilius and to Rome. Hardly had they come to the consul when they heard that their town had been stormed, their leading men beheaded with the axe, and the rest sold at auction.
This seemed to the senate a disgraceful occurrence, and they issued the same decree about the
people of Abdera which they had issued the preceding year about the people of Coronea,9
and instructed Quintus Maenius the praetor10
to make a similar proclamation before an assembly. Furthermore, two envoys, Gaius Sempronius Blaesus and Sextus Julius Caesar, were sent to restore the people of Abdera to freedom.
To these same envoys instructions were given to inform both Hostilius the consul and Hortensius the praetor that
the senate had resolved that an improper war had been undertaken against the people of Abdera, and that it was just that all who were [p. 19]
enslaved should be sought out and restored to11