1. C. Calvisius
Sabinus, one of the legates of Caesar in the civil war, was sent by him into Aetolia in B. C. 48, and obtained possession of the whole of the country. (Caes. Civ. 3.34
It is related by Appian (App. BC 2.60
) that he was defeated by Metellus Scipio in Macedonia, but this statement is hardly consistent with Caesar's account. In B. C. 45 he received the province of Africa from Caesar. Having been elected praetor in B. C. 44, he obtained from Antony the province of Africa again.
It was pretended that the lot had assigned him this province; on which Cicero remarks that nothing could be more lucky, seeing that he had just come from Africa, leaving two legates behind him in Utica, as if he had divined that he should soon return.
He did not, however, return to Africa, as the senate, after the departure of Antony for Mutina, conferred it upon Q. Cornificius (Cic. Phil. 3.10
, ad Fam.
12.25). Sabinus was consul B. C. 39 with L. Marcius Censorinus, and in the following year he commanded the fleet of Octavian in the war with Sex. Pompey.
In conjunction with Menas, who had deserted Pompey, he fought against Menecrates, Pompey's admiral, and sustained a defeat off Cumae. When Menas went over to Pompey again, just before the breaking out of hostilities in B. C. 36, Sabinus was deprived of the command of the fleet, because he had not kept a sufficient watch over the renegade.
This, at least, is the reason assigned by Appian; but Octavian had for other reasons determined to entrust the conduct of the war to Agrippa.
It is evident moreover that Sabinus was not looked upon with suspicion by Octavian, for at the close of the war the latter gave him the task of clearing Italy of robbers, He is mentioned too at a later time, shortly before the battle of Actium, as one of the friends of Octavian. (D. C. 48.34
; Appian, App. BC 5.81
; Plut. Ant. 58