For who is there who does not see clearly that, if Caesar had not prepared an
army, the return of Antonius must have been accompanied by our destruction? For,
in truth, he returned in such a state of mind, burning with hatred of you all,
stained with the blood of the Roman citizens, whom he had murdered at Suessa and
, that he thought
of nothing but the utter destruction of the republic. And what protection could
have been found for your safety and for your liberty if the army of Caius Caesar
had not been composed of the bravest of his father's soldiers? And with respect
to his praises and honors,—and he is entitled to divine and
everlasting honors for his godlike and undying services,—the senate
has just consented to my proposals, and has decreed that a motion be submitted
to it at the very earliest opportunity.
Now who is there who does not see that by this decree Antonius has been adjudged
to be an enemy? For what else can we call him, when the senate decides that
extraordinary honors are to be devised for those men who are leading armies
against him? What? did not the Martial legion (which appears to me by some
divine permission to have derived its name from that god from whom we have heard
that the Roman people descended) decide by its resolutions that Antonius was an
enemy before the senate had come to any resolution? For if he be not an enemy,
we must inevitably decide that those men who have deserted the consul are
enemies. Admirably and seasonably, O Romans, have you by your cries sanctioned
the noble conduct of the men of the Martial legion, who have come over to the
authority of the senate, to your liberty, and to the whole republic; and have
abandoned that enemy and robber and parricide of his country.
Nor did they display only their spirit and courage in doing
this, but their caution and wisdom also. They encamped at Alba, in a city
convenient, fortified, near, full of brave men and loyal and virtuous citizens.
The fourth legion imitating the virtue of this Martial legion, under the
leadership of Lucius. Egnatuleius, whom the senate deservedly praised a little
while ago, has also joined the army of Caius Caesar.