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7. [16]

Now, since Dolabella has been pronounced a public enemy, he must be pursued by war. For he himself will not remain quiet. He has a legion with him; he has troops of runaway slaves, he has a wicked band of impious men; he himself is confident, intemperate, and bent on falling by the death of a gladiator. Wherefore since as. Dolabella was voted an enemy by the decree which was passed yesterday, war must be waged, we must necessarily appoint a general.

Two opinions have been advanced; neither of which do I approve. The one, because I always think it dangerous unless it be absolutely necessary; the other, because I think it wholly unsuited to the emergency. [17] For an extraordinary commission is a measure suited rather to the fickle character of the mob; one which does not at all become our dignity or this assembly. In the war against Antiochus, a great and important war, when Asia had fallen by lot to Lucius Scipio as his province, and when he was thought to have hardly spirit and hardly vigor enough for it; and when the senate was inclined to entrust the business to his colleague Caius Laelius, the father of this Laelius, who was surnamed the Wise; Publius Africanus, the elder brother of Lucius Scipio, rose up, and entreated them not to cast such a slur on his family, and said that in his brother there was united the greatest possible valor, with the most consummate prudence; and that he too, notwithstanding his age, and all the exploits which he had performed, would attend his brother as his lieutenant. And after he had said this, nothing was changed in respect to Scipio's province; nor was any extraordinary command sought for any more in that war than in those two terrible Punic wars which had preceded it, which were carried on and conducted to their termination either by the consuls or by dictators; or than in the war with Pyrrhus, or in that with Philippus, or afterward in the Achaean war, or in the third Punic war; for which last the Roman people took great care to select a suitable general, Publius Scipio, but at the same time it appointed him to the consulship in order to conduct it.

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