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[26] Cæsar built the town of Novum Comum1 at the foot of the Alps and gave it the Latin rights, which included a provision that those who had exercised the yearly chief magistracy should be Roman citizens. One of these men, who had held this office and was consequently considered a Roman citizen, was beaten with rods for some reason by order of Marcellus in defiance of Cæsar--a punishment that was never inflicted on Roman citizens. Marcellus in his passion revealed his real intention that the blows should be the marks of the foreigner, and he told the man to carry his scars and show them to Cæsar. So insulting was Marcellus. Moreover, he proposed to send successors to take command of Cæsar's provinces before his time had expired, but Pompey interfered, making a pretence of fairness and good-will, saying that they ought not to put an indignity on a distinguished man who had been so extremely useful to his country, merely on account of a short interval of time; but he made it plain that Cæsar's command must come to an end immediately on its expiration. For this
Y.R. 704
reason the bitterest enemies of Cæsar were chosen consuls
B.C. 50
for the ensuing year: Æmilius Paulus and Claudius Marcellus, cousin of the Marcellus before mentioned. Curio, who was also a bitter enemy of Cæsar, but extremely popular with the masses and a most accomplished speaker, was chosen tribune. Cæsar was not able to influence Claudius with money, but he bought the neutrality of Paulus for 1500 talents and the assistance of Curio with a still larger sum, because he knew that the latter was heavily burdened with debt. With the money thus obtained Paulus built and dedicated to the Roman people the Basilica that bears his name, a very beautiful structure.

1 The modern Como. Strabo (v. I. 6) says that Pompeius Strabo, the father of Pompey the Great, restored Como, which was then a town of moderate size oppressed by the neighboring Rhetians; that Gains Scipio added about 3000 to its population, and that Cæsar added 5000 more, the most distinguished of whom were 500 Greeks. "To the latter," he continues, " Cæsar gave the right of citizenship and inscribed them among the colonists, but they did not live there permanently, although they gave the name to the settlement. All the inhabitants are called Neocomitæ which, by interpretation, means the people of Novum Comum." So it appears that the place was recruited by Cæsar, not originally founded by him.

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