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3 A full senate, however, had but a short time before, etc.] The senate had already decreed that they were enemies to their country; Cicero now calls a meeting to ascertain what sentence should be passed on them.
4 On this occasion--moved] “Tunc--decreverat.” The tunc (or as most editors have it, tum) must be referred to the second meeting of the senate, for it does not appear that any proposal concerning the punishment of the prisoners was made at the first meeting. There would be no doubt on this point, were it not for the pluperfect tense, decreverat. I have translated it as the perfect. We must suppose that Sallust had his thoughts on Cæsar's speech, which was to follow, and signifies that all this business had been done before Cæsar addressed the house. Kritzius thinks that the pluperfect was referred by Sallust, not to Cæsar's speech; but to the decree of the senate which was finally made; but this is surely a less satisfactory method of settling the matter. Sallust often uses the pluperfect, where his reader would expect the perfect; see, for instance, concusserat, at the beginning of c. 24.
5 That he would go over to the opinion of Tiberius Nero] “Pedibus in sententian Tib. Neronis--iturum.” Any question submitted to the senate was decided by the majority of votes, which was ascertained either by numeratio, a counting of the votes, or by discessio, when those who were of one opinion, at the direction of the presiding magistrate, passed over to one side of the house, and those who were of the contrary opinion, to the other. See Aul. Gell. xiv. 7; Suet. Tib. 31; Adam's Rom. Ant.; Dr. Smith's Dictionary, Art. Senatus.
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