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obtrectatum esse: the subject of obtrectatum esse is the wish of the opponents to defeat the proposed measure (the appointment of Gabinius as lieutenant); as this wish, if successful, would be (like the affirmative measure) a determination, it is expressed by a purpose clause, ne legaretur.

adhuc: this opposition began in connection with the Gabinian Law and is still continued in connection with the Manilian.

quid liceat, i.e. how far they can safely go.

considerabunt, i.e. before they set themselves against the manifest will of the people.

socius: not as legatus, but simply as partner in his former honor and credit. This association of Gabinius with Pompey is used as an argument for giving him the office of legatus now.

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