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But in a time of sedition, the base man too is in honour,
1 and so in Rome at that time, since the people was corrupt and their government in a distempered state, men of various origin rose to power. And it was no wonder that Sulla held sway, when such men as Glaucia and Saturninus drove such men as Metellus from the city, when sons of consuls were butchered in assemblies, when silver and gold purchased arms and men to wield them, and laws were enacted with fire and sword in defiance of all opposition.

1 A proverb in hexameter verse, attributed to Callimachus of Alexandria. Plutarch uses it also in the Nicias, xi. 3, and in , Morals p. 479a.

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