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[12] The plebeians swore to observe these laws forever, and Cæsar directed the Senate to do the same. Many of them, including Cato, refused, and Cæsar proposed and the people enacted the death penalty to the recusants. Then they became alarmed and took the oath, including the tribunes,1 for it was no longer of any use to speak against it after the law had been confirmed by the others. And now Vettius, a plebeian, ran into the forum with a drawn dagger and said that he had been sent by Bibulus, Cicero, and Cato to kill Cæsar and Pompey, and that the dagger had been given to him by Postumius, the lictor of Bibulus. Although this affair was open to suspicion on both sides, Cæsar made use of it to inflame the multitude and postponed the examination of the assailant. Vettius was thrown into prison and killed the same night. As this transaction was variously commented on, Cæsar did not let it pass unnoticed, but said that it had been done by the opposite party who were afraid of exposure.2 Finally, the people furnished him a guard to protect him against conspirators, and Bibulus abstained from public business altogether, like a private citizen, and did not go out of his house for the remainder of his official term.

1 The text is somewhat confused here. Mendelssohn suspects a lacuna.

2 τοὺς δεδιότας, "those who were afraid." Mendelssohn suggests the addition of ἀντιστασιώτας, "the opposite party," to complete the sense.

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  • Cross-references to this page (2):
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), LEX
    • Smith's Bio, Ve'ttius
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