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1 (3) Cato and the publicans,
2 The publicans, farmers of the revenue, were the moneyed men of the times, and belonged to the equestrian order. They purchased from the senate the farming of the revenues and then sublet their contract to the collectors. Sometimes they found that they had agreed to pay too high a rate and petitioned the senate to release them from their contract or reduce their obligations, as on this occasion (B.C. 61). The opposition of Cato and others strained the relations between the senate, who had control of the business, and the equestrian order, driving many of the equites over to Caesar's side. Complete harmony between the senate and the knights, as Cicero says, was the only thing that could have saved Rome from the popular party and Caesar.
3 (4) Curio and the colonies.
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