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At Rome, in the mean time, Caius Mamilius Limetanus, one of the tribunes, proposed that the people should pass a bill for instituting an inquiry into the conduct of those by whose influence Jugurtha had set at naught the decrees of the senate, as well as of those who, whether as embassadors or commanders, had received money from him, or who had restored to him his elephants and deserters, or had made any compacts with the enemy relative to peace or war. To this bill some, who were conscious of guilt, and, others, who apprehended danger from the jealousy of parties, secretly raised obstructions through the agency of friends, and especially of men among the Latins and Italian allies,1 since they could not openly resist it, without admitting that these and similar practices met their approbation. But as to the people, it is incredible what eagerness they displayed, and with what spirit they approved, voted, and passed the bill, though rather from hatred to the nobility, against whom these severe measures were directed, than from concern for the republic; so violent was the fury of party.

While the rest of the delinquents were in trepidation, Marcus Scaurus,2 whom I have previously noticed as Bestia's lieutenant, contrived, amid the exultation of the populace, the dismay of his own party, and the continued agitation in the city, to have himself elected one of the three commissioners who were appointed by the bill of Mamilius to carry it into execution. But the investigation, notwithstanding, was conducted3 with great rigor and violence, under the influence of common rumor and popular caprice; for the insolence of success, which had often distinguished the nobility, on this occasion characterized the people.

1 XL. The Latins and Italian allies] “Per homines nominis Latini, et socios Italicos.” “"The right of voting was not extended to all the Latin people till A.U.C. 664, and the Italian allies did not obtain it till some years afterward."” Kritzius. So that at this period, which was twenty years earlier, their influence could only be employed in an underhand way. Compare c. 42.

2 Marcus Scaurus] See c. 15. That he was appointed on this occasion, is an evident proof of his commanding influence.

3 But the investigation, notwithstanding, was conducted, etc.] “Sed quœstio exercita,” etc. Scaurus, it is probable, did what he could to mitigate the violence of the proceedings. Cicero, however, says that Caius Galba, a sacerdos, with four consulares, Bestia, Caius Cato, Albinus, and Opimius, were condemned and exiled by this law of Mamilius. See Brut., c. 34.

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