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praetores: although the regular duties of the praetors were judicial, yet they possessed the imperium, and in virtue of this could command troops in the absence of the consuls, or under their authority.

qui . . . sentirent (subj. of characteristic), as men who, etc.

pontem Mulvium: the bridge over the Tiber, about two miles above the city, by which the principal roads (the Flaminian and Cassian) led into north Italy.

inter eos, i.e. between the two divisions.

praefectura: the title given to the politically lowest class of Italian towns, which had lost their independence; cf. Vocab. under colonia and municipium.

Reatina: Reate was a very ancient town of the Sabines, about forty miles northeast of Rome. Cicero was the patronus of Reate, that is, acted as its attorney and legal counsel; which accounts for his having this body-guard of young men from that place. Besides, these simple mountaineers still retained something of the old Italian virtues, and therefore were well fitted for this service.

praesidio: dat. of service.

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