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Attempted Revolution of Cinna--Cinna expelled from the City--Raises an Army and returns--Return of Marius--They besiege Rome, and cut off its Supplies--The City surrenders--Massacre of Citizens--Heads exposed in the Forum--Death of Marcus Antonius the Orator--Sulla's Friends killed and his Property confiscated--Death of Merula and Catulus--Death of Marius

[64] When the murder of Pompeius became known in
the city, Sulla became apprehensive for his own safety and was surrounded by friends wherever he went, and had them
Y.R. 667
with him even by night. He did not remain long in the
B.C. 87
city, but went to the army at Capua and from thence to Asia. The friends of the exiles, encouraged by Cinna, Sulla's successor in the consulship, excited the new citizens in favor of the scheme of Marius, that they should be distributed among the old tribes, so that they should not be powerless by reason of voting last. This was preliminary to the recall of Marius and his friends. Although the old citizens resisted with all their might, Cinna coöperated with the new ones. It was supposed that he had been bribed with 300 talents to do this. The other consul, Octavius, sided with the old citizens. The partisans of Cinna took possession of the forum with concealed daggers, and with loud cries demanded that they should be distributed among all the tribes. The more reputable part of the plebeians adhered to Octavius, and they also carried daggers. While Octavius was still at home awaiting the result, the news was brought to him that the majority of the tribunes had vetoed the proposed action, but that the new citizens had started a riot, drawn their daggers on the street, and assaulted the opposing tribunes on the rostra. When Octavius heard this he ran down through the Via Sacra with a very dense mass of men, burst into the forum like a torrent, pushed through the midst of the crowd, and separated them. He struck terror into them, pushed on to the temple of Castor and Pollux, and drove Cinna away. His companions fell upon the new citizens without orders, killed many of them, put the rest to flight, and pursued them to the city gates.

[65] Cinna, who had been emboldened by the numbers of the new citizens to think that he should conquer, seeing the victory won contrary to his expectation by the bravery of the few, ran through the city calling the slaves to his assistance by an offer of freedom. As none responded he hastened to the towns near by, which had lately been admitted to Roman citizenship, Tibur, Præneste, and the rest as far as Nola, inciting them all to revolution and collecting money for the purposes of war. While Cinna was making these preparations and plans, certain senators of his party joined him, among them Gaius Milo, Quintus Sertorius, and Gaius Marius the younger. The Senate decreed that since Cinna had left the city in danger while holding the office of consul, and had offered freedom to the slaves, he should no longer be consul, or even a citizen, and elected in his stead Lucius Merula, the priest of Jupiter (flamen Dialis). It is said that this priest alone wore the flamen's cap at all times, the others wearing it only during sacrifices. Cinna proceeded to Capua, where there was another Roman army, the officers of which, and the senators who were present, he courted. He went to meet them as consul in an assembly, where he laid down the fasces as though he were a private citizen, and shedding tears, said, "From you, citizens, I received this authority. The people voted it to me; the Senate has taken it away from me without your consent. Although I am the sufferer by this wrong I grieve amid my own troubles equally for your sakes. What need is there that we should solicit the favor of the tribes in the elections hereafter? What need have we of you? Where will be your power in the assemblies, in the elections, in the choice of consuls? If you do not confirm what you bestow, you will be robbed whenever you give your decision."

[66] He said this to stir them up, and after exciting much pity for himself he rent his garments, leaped down from the rostra, and threw himself on the ground before them, where he lay a long time. With tears in their eyes they raised him up; they restored him to the curule chair; they lifted up the fasces and bade him be of good cheer, as he was consul still, and lead them wherever he would. At their instance the officers came forward and took the military oath to support Cinna, and administered it each to the soldiers under him. When he had been confirmed in this way he traversed the allied cities and stirred them up also, because it was on their account chiefly that this misfortune had happened to him. They furnished him both money and soldiers; and many others, even of the aristocratic party in Rome, to whom a stable form of government was irksome, came and joined him. While Cinna was thus occupied, the consuls, Octavius and Merula, fortified the city with trenches, repaired the walls, and planted engines on them. To raise an army they sent around to the towns that were still faithful and also to the neighboring Gauls. They also summoned Gnæus Pompeius, the proconsul who commanded the army on the Adriatic, to come in haste to the aid of his country.

[67] Pompeius came and encamped before the Colline gate. Cinna advanced against him and encamped near him. When Gaius Marius heard of these transactions he sailed to Etruria with his fellow-exiles and about 500 slaves who had joined their masters from Rome. Filthy and longhaired, he marched through the towns presenting a pitiable appearance, descanting on his battles, his victories over the Cimbri, and his six consulships; and what was extremely pleasing to them, promising, and also seeming, to be faithful to their interests in the matter of the voting. In this way he collected 6000 Etruscans and joined Cinna, who received him gladly by reason of their common interest in the present enterprise. After their armies were joined they encamped on the banks of the Tiber and divided their forces in three parts: Cinna and Carbo opposite the city, Sertorius above it, and Marius toward the sea. The two latter threw bridges across the river in order to cut off the city's food-supply. Marius captured Ostia and plundered it. Cinna sent a force and captured Ariminum in order to prevent an army coming to the city from the subject Gauls.

[68] The consuls were alarmed. They needed more troops, but they were unable to call Sulla because he had already crossed over to Asia. They ordered Cæcilius Metellus, who was carrying on the remainder of the Social War against the Samnites, to make peace on the best terms he could, and come to the rescue of his beleaguered country. Metellus would not agree to what the Samnites demanded, and when Marius heard of this he made an engagement with them to grant all that they asked from Metellus. In this way the Samnites became allies of Marius. Appius Claudius, a military tribune, who had command of the defences of Rome at the hill called the Janiculum, had once received a favor from Marius which the latter now reminded him of, in consequence of which he admitted him into the city, opening a gate for him at about daybreak. Then Marius admitted Cinna. They were thrust out by Octavius and Pompeius, who attacked them together, but a severe thunder-storm broke upon the camp of Pompeius, and he was killed by lightning together with others of the nobility.

[69] After Marius had stopped the passage of food-supplies from the sea, or by way of the river above, he hastened to attack the neighboring towns where grain was stored for the Romans. He fell upon their garrisons unexpectedly and captured Antium, Aricia, Lanuvium, and others. There were some also that were delivered up to him by treachery. Having cut off their supplies by land in this manner, he advanced boldly against Rome, by the so-called Appian Way, before any other supplies were brought to them by another route. He and Cinna, and their lieutenant-generals, Carbo and Sertorius, halted at a distance of 100 stades from the city and went into camp. Octavius, Crassus, and Metellus had taken position against them at the Alban Mount, where they observed the enemy's movements. Although they considered themselves superior in bravery and numbers, they hesitated to risk hastily their country's fate on the hazard of a single battle. Cinna sent heralds around the city to offer freedom to slaves who would desert to him, and forthwith a large number did desert. The Senate was alarmed. Anticipating the most serious consequences from the people if the scarcity of corn should be protracted, it changed its mind and sent envoys to Cinna to treat for peace. The latter asked them whether they had come to see him as a consul or as a private citizen. They were at a loss for an answer and went back to the city; and now a large number of freemen flocked to Cinna, some from fear of famine and others because they had been previously favorable to his party and had been waiting to see which way the scales would turn.

[70] Now Cinna began to despise his enemies and drew near to the wall, halting at the distance of a stone's throw, where he encamped. Octavius and his party were undecided and fearful, and hesitated to attack him on account of the desertions and the negotiations. The Senate was greatly perplexed and considered it a dreadful thing to depose Lucius Merula, the priest of Jupiter, who had been chosen consul in place of Cinna, and who had done nothing wrong in his office. Yet on account of the impending danger it reluctantly sent envoys to Cinna again, and this time as consul. They no longer expected favorable terms, so they only asked that Cinna should swear to them that he would abstain from bloodshed. He refused to take the oath, but he promised nevertheless that he would not willingly be the cause of anybody's death. He directed, however, that Octavius, who had gone around and entered the city by another gate, should keep away from the forum lest anything should befall him against Cinna's will. This answer he delivered to the envoys from a high platform in his character as consul. Marius stood beside the curule chair silent, but showed by the asperity of his countenance how much murder he would commit. When the Senate had accepted these terms and had invited Cinna and Marius to enter (for it was understood that all the things that Cinna had subscribed to were the doings of Marius), the latter said with a scornful smile that it was not lawful for the banished to enter. Forthwith the tribunes voted to repeal the decree of banishment against him and all the others who were expelled under the consulship of Sulla.

[71] Accordingly Cinna and Marius entered the city and everybody received them with fear. Straightway they began to plunder without restraint the goods of those who were supposed to be of the opposite party. Cinna and Marius had sworn to Octavius, and the augurs and soothsayers had predicted, that he would suffer no harm, yet his friends advised him to fly. He replied that he would never desert the city while he was consul. So he withdrew from the forum to the Janiculum with the nobility and what was left of his army, where he occupied the curule chair and wore his robes of office, attended by lictors as a consul. Here he was attacked by Censorinus with a body of horse, and again his friends and the soldiers who stood by him urged him to fly and brought him a horse, but he disdained even to arise, and awaited death. Censorinus cut off his head and carried it to Cinna, and it was suspended in the forum in front of the rostra, the first head of a consul that was so exposed. After him the heads of others who were slain were suspended there. This shocking custom, which began with Octavius, was not discontinued, but was handed down to subsequent intestine massacres. Now the victors sent out spies to search for their enemies of the senatorial and equestrian orders. After the knights were killed no further attention was paid to them, but all the heads of senators were exposed in front of the rostra. Neither reverence for the gods, nor the indignation of men, nor the fear of odium for their acts existed any longer among them. After committing savage deeds they turned to hideous sights. They killed remorselessly and severed the necks of men already dead, and they paraded these horrors before the public eye, either to inspire fear and terror, or for a monstrous spectacle.

[72] Gaius Julius and Lucius Julius, two brothers, Atilius Serranus, Publius Lentulus, Gaius Numatorius, and Marcus Bæbius were arrested in the street and killed. Crassus was pursued with his son. He anticipated the pursuers by killing his son, but was himself killed by them. Marcus Antonius, the orator, fled to a certain country place, where he was concealed and entertained by the farmer, who sent his slave to a tavern for wine of a better quality than he was in the habit of buying. The innkeeper asked him why he wanted the better quality. The slave whispered the reason to him, bought the wine, and went back. The seller ran and told Marius. When Marius heard this he sprang up with joy as though he would rush to do the deed himself, but he was restrained by his friends. A tribune was despatched to the house, who sent some soldiers upstairs, whom Antonius, a delightful speaker, entertained with a long discourse. He moved their pity by recounting many and various things, until the tribune, who was at a loss to know what had happened, rushed into the house and, finding his soldiers listening to Antonius, killed him while he was still addressing them, and sent his head to Marius.

[73] Cornutus concealed himself in a hut and was saved by his slaves in an ingenious way. They found a dead body and placed it on a funeral pile, and when the searchers came they set fire to it and said that they were burning the body of their master, who had hanged himself. In this way he was saved by his slaves. Quintus Ancharius watched his opportunity till Marius was about to offer sacrifice in the Capitol, hoping that the temple would be a more propitious place for him. But when he approached and saluted Marius, the latter, who was just beginning the sacrifice, ordered the guards to kill him in the Capitol forthwith; and his head, with that of the orator Antonius, and those of others who had been consuls and prætors, was exposed in the forum. Burial was not permitted to any of the slain. The bodies of such men as these were torn in pieces by birds and dogs. There was also much private and irresponsible murder committed by the factions upon each other. There were banishments, and confiscations of property, and depositions from office, and a repeal of the laws enacted during Sulla's consulship. All of Sulla's friends were put to death, his house was razed to the ground, his property confiscated, and himself voted a public enemy. Search was made for his wife and children, but they escaped. Altogether no sort of calamity was wanting, either general or particular.

[74] In addition to the foregoing and under the similitude of legal authority, and after so many had been put to death without trial, accusers were suborned to make false charges against Merula, the priest of Jupiter, who was hated because he had been the successor of Cinna in the consulship, although he had committed no other fault. Accusation was also brought against Lutatius Catulus, who had been the colleague of Marius in the war against the Cimbri, and whose life Marius once saved. It was charged that he had been very ungrateful to Marius and was bitter against him when he was banished. These men were put under secret surveillance, and when the day for holding court arrived were summoned to trial (the proper way was to put the accused under arrest after they had been cited four times at certain fixed intervals), but Merula had opened his own veins, and a tablet lying at his side showed that when he cut his veins he had removed his flamen's cap, for it was accounted a sin for the priest to wear it at his death. Catulus suffocated himself with burning charcoal in a chamber newly plastered and still moist. So these two men perished. The slaves who had joined Cinna in answer to his proclamation and had thereupon been freed and were at this time enrolled in the army by Cinna himself, broke into and plundered houses, and killed persons whom they met on the street. Some of them attacked their own masters particularly. After Cinna had forbidden this several times, but without avail, he surrounded them with his Gallic soldiery one night while they were taking their rest, and killed them all. Thus did the slaves receive fit punishment for their repeated treachery to their masters.

Y.R. 668

[75] The following year Cinna was chosen consul for the

B.C. 86
second time, and Marius for the seventh time; to whom, notwithstanding his banishment and proscription, the augury of the seven young eaglets was yet fulfilled. But he died in the first month of his consulship, while forming all sorts of terrible designs against Sulla. Cinna caused Valerius Flaccus to be chosen in his place and sent him to Asia, and when Flaccus lost his life Cinna chose Carbo as his successor.

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