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At Rome, for a long period of time, the quantity of gold was but very small. At all events, after the capture of the City by the Gauls, when peace was about to be purchased, not more than one thousand pounds' weight of gold could be collected. I am by no means unaware of the fact that in the third1 consulship of Pompeius there was lost from the throne of Jupiter Capitolinus two thousand pounds' weight of gold, originally placed there by Camillus; a circumstance which has led most persons to suppose, that two thousand pounds' weight was the quantity then collected. But in reality, this excess of one thousand pounds was contributed from the spoil taken from the Gauls, amplified as it was by the gold of which they had stripped the temples, in that part of the City which they had captured.

The story of Torquatus,2 too, is a proof that the Gauls were in the habit of wearing ornaments of gold when engaged in combat;3 from which it would appear that the sum taken from the Gauls themselves, and the amount of which they had pillaged the temples, were only equal to the amount of gold collected for the ransom, and no more; and this is what was really meant by the response given by the augurs, that Jupiter Capitolinus had rendered again the ransom twofold.4 As we were just now speaking on the subject of rings, it may be as well to add, by way of passing remark, that upon the officer5 in charge of the Temple of Jupiter Capitolinus being arrested, he broke the stone of his ring between his teeth,6 and expired upon the spot, thus putting an end to all possibility of discovering the perpetrator of the theft.

It appears, therefore, that in the year of the City 364, when Rome was captured by the Gauls, there was but two thousand pounds' weight of gold, at the very most; and this, too, at a period when, according to the returns of the census, there were already one hundred and fifty-two thousand five hundred and seventy-three free citizens in it. In this same city, too, three hundred and seven years later, the gold which C. Marius the younger7 conveyed to Præneste from the Temple of the Capitol when in flames, and all the other shrines, amounted to thirteen thousand pounds' weight, such being the sum that figured in the inscriptions at the triumph of Sylla; on which occasion it was displayed in the procession, as well as six thousand pounds' weight of silver. The same Sylla had, the day before, displayed in his triumph fifteen thousand pounds' weight of gold, and one hundred and fifteen thousand pounds' weight of silver, the fruit of all his other victories.

1 The reading in most MSS. is the "fourth consulship." This, however, is an error which has been rectified by the Bamberg and some other MSS. Pompey was but thrice consul. M. Crassus was the person generally accused of the act of robbery here alluded to.

2 Who took the golden tore (torques) from the Gaul whom he slew; whence his name.

3 "Cum auro pugnare solitos."

4 "Quod equidem in augurio intellectum est, cum Capitolinus duplum reddidisset." The meaning of this passage is obscure, and cannot with certainty be ascertained. Holland renders it, "To the light and knowledge whereof we come by means of revelation from Augurie, which gave us to understand, that Jupiter Capitolinus had rendered again the foresaid summe in duple proportion." Littré gives a similar translation. Ajasson translates it, "This, at least, is what we may presume, from the fact of there being discovered double the amount expected;" following the explanation given by Hardouin.

5 The "ædituus," or "temple keeper." See B. xxxvi. 4.

6 Beneath which there was poison concealed, Hardouin says. Hannibal killed himself in a similar manner; also Demosthenes, as mentioned in the next Chapter.

7 The adopted son of the great Marius. This event happened in his consulship, B.C. 82. After his defeat by Sylla at Sacriportus, he retired into the fortified town of Præneste, where he had deposited the treasures of the Capitoline temple. The temple, after this conflagration, was rebuilt by order of Sylla.

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