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at . . . mitterent: purpose.

equitatum: the Roman cavalry was at this time chiefly composed of Gallic and other auxiliaries.

sibi (copias) refers to the conspirators; sibi (confirmasse) to the envoys: ยง 300, I and 2 (I 96, a, I and 2); B. 244, i, ii; H.-B. 262, 2.

defuturas [esse] depends on the idea of saying implied in praescriptum.

fatis: the books bought by Tarquinius Superbus of the Cumaean Sibyl. They were kept in charge of a board, collegium, the quindecemviri sacris faciundis, and consulted in cases of great public emergency (cf. Aeneid 6. 71).

haruspicum: the haruspices were Etruscan soothsayers, who interpreted the will of the gods, chiefly from the entrails of animals sacrificed. They were a private class, of low standing, and are not to be confounded with the augurs, who were a board of Roman noblemen, of high rank, who interpreted the auspices according to the native Roman rules, chiefly by the flight of birds, by lightning, etc.

Cinnam, etc.: L. Cornelius Cinna was colleague of Marius, and ruled Rome after his death, B.C. 86. L. Cornelius Sulla ruled Rome B.C. 82-79 (see sect. 24).

virginam: the Vestal Virgins, six in number, maidens of high rank, consecrated to chastity and the service of Vesta. They were peculiarly sacred, and were highly privileged. Violation of their vow of chastity was incestus, and was regarded as a prodigium of very bad omen. Of the incident referred to here nothing further is known.

Capitoli: the temple of Jupiter Capitolinus (see "Plunder of Syracuse," sect. 15) was burned during the rule of the Marian faction, B.C. 83.

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