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tivation and fine manners. By his open, unaffected behaviour, by his friendliness and sociability, but still more by his extravagant liberality, he made himself beloved by all. But ambition and the love of fame were his motives in all his actions; he knew how to conceal his plans with the greatest dissimulation, and he deceived friends and foes by his irresistible eloquence. When once he had overcome his rivals, he knew neither pity nor mercy, but he gave the rein to his love of vengeance with the most detestable cruelty. In quiet times he was prone to cast himself into the excess of indulgence, but he never let himself be deterred from business by his pleasures.
A bloody civil war raged throughout Italy for two years, and in the course of this war Sulla had won for himself the greatest praise. Accordingly, when the Romans made war on Mithridates of Pontus, a powerful king of Asia, the senate appointed Sulla commander-in-chief. Meanwhile Marius, who had returned to Rome, felt himself deeply injured by this appointment. He had wished to have this post as a reward for his eminent services, and thought he was entitled to press for it. The mass of the poorer citizens were in his favour, and therefore in the comitia of the centuries, the supreme command was taken from Sulla and given to Marius. Then Sulla, who, as consul, was at the head of an army, determined to take a desperate remedy. He called on the soldiers to help him, and those men whose patriotism had long vanished in the general corruption, and who could be used for any purpose which promised prizes and booty, were ready to follow him to Rome. This was the first occasion on which a consul had led a Roman army against the metropolis. Marius assembled hastily a few men, but he was beaten, and obliged to fly. Sulla entered Rome at the head of the soldiers, drove away his most distinguished opponents after an obstinate street fight, and then marched to meet Mithridates in Asia.
Marius had fled from Rome. during the combat, and was subsequently declared an outlaw. Nevertheless he escaped a thousand adventures and dangers. On one occasion he could only escape by hiding himself in a loaded cart, and three times he was obliged to conceal himself in a marsh, while his pursuers hastened past him. At last he was recognized by an enemy during his flight, and given up to the authorities of a small town, who caused Marius, now an old man of seventy, to be cast into prison, and resolved to have him killed there. As no one else was ready, they sent a Cimbric horseman, of colossal stature, into the prison to kill the prisoner. But the aged yet heroic Marius called out to
him with thundering voice, "Darest thou, man, to kill Marius?". Terrified by the flaming eyes and terrible voice, the soldier fled away, and acknowledged that he was incapable of accomplishing the act. But soon after the authorities changed their decision, allowed the prisoner to escape, and even favoured his evasion.
Arrived in Africa, Marius met his most valued friends and awaited with them the day for vengeance. This came shortly, for scarcely had they learned that Sulla had sailed for Asia, when they hastened back to Italy, assembled the people hostile to Sulla, and especially the Samnites, and, accompanied by the Consul Cinna, hastened to Rome. A terrible scene of plunder and murder ensued, for Marius was surrounded by an armed body-guard of slaves who cut down all to whom he pointed with his finger. Many senators and knights lost their lives at a sign from Marius, for every feeling of humanity seemed to have died out in the gray-haired warrior. His savage band raged for five days in the unhappy city, gorged with murder and plunder, and the horrors did not cease till the murderers, who no longer obeyed any orders, were cut down by the soldiers at command of Marius. Marius died the following year (B.c. 86), exhausted with his exertions and cares.
Meanwhile, Sulla had been very successful in Asia. While Italy was plunged in fearful anarchy, Sulla defeated the generals of Mithridates VI., and gained two great victories of Choronea (B.C. 87) and Orchomenus (B.c. 85). Then Sulla concluded an arrangement with Mithridates, king of Pontus, obliging him to give back all the provinces he had taken, and plate and money. After this, Sulla marched against Fimbria, general of the senate in Lydia, and as the whole army of the latter disbanded on the approach of Sulla, Fimbria slew himself, after having previously murdered Flaccus, who had been appointed commander-in-chief by the senate.
Nothing now opposed the projects of Sulla in Italy, and he prepared to make his enemies at Rome pay dearly for a momentary triumph. Sulla returned to Italy with an army fully devoted to him. A series of splendid victories over the adherents of Marius brought the country and the capital into his power, and now began a massacre, sparing neither age nor sex. Named dictator for an unlimited time, Sulla issued proscription lists against the most distinguished citizens, and laid a price upon their head. This initiated a general slaughter in the streets and houses, in which more than 100,000 persons met their end. All the bonds of society, of friendship, and of nature were dissolved; wives betrayed
their husbands, children their parents, not even the temples of the gods offered protection to the victims.
Whosoever was suspected of the least connivance with the enemy (the party of Marius) was brought to judgment, and the sword of revenge swept not only over Rome but over the whole of Italy. After a dictatorship of two years, the terrible Sulla put down his authority, and soon after sunk a victim of his life of indulgence and extravagance, dying of a horrible and loathsome disease.
MARCUS TULLIUS CICERO.
About this time a man obtained the consulship at Rome, who in some respects was the greatest character under the republic. Cicero had, indeed, many weaknesses, but so have all great men, and his virtues form a pleasing contrast to the corruption of the age. Cicero's intellect was more versatile and comprehensive than that of any other Roman, and in some respects he had more of the Greek than the Roman. His literary activity was almost unparalleled, and his eloquence. unrivalled in the Forum. But we must give some lines to his biography. Marcus Tullius Cicero, next to Demosthenes, the greatest orator among the ancients, was born at the pleasant little country town of Arpinum (B.c. 106), on the Liris (Garigliano), among the picturesque slopes of the Apennines, a town in the territory of the Volsci. His family was respectable though not distinguished, his father being of the equestrian order. He studied under some of the most celebrated orators and philosophers of Greece, and served his only campaign in the Social or Marsic War, at the time of Cinna and Marius (B.c. 89). In the agitated time that followed, he devoted himself with the utmost perseverance to the studies essential to his success as a lawyer and orator.
After the final discomfiture of the party of Marius, Cicero appeared as a pleader, at the age of twenty-five. He delivered two speeches at this time, which are extant (for P. Quintius, and for Sextus Roscius, charged with the murder of a freedman of Sallust). He appears to have suffered in health at this period, and going abroad, spent two years in the schools of Athens and Asia Minor. On his return to Rome, he became at once one of the most prominent orators, his most formidable rivals, Hortensius and Ĉ. Aurelius Cotta, being forced to yield the supremacy. The following were the steps by which he rose to the highest functions in the magistracy. Elected quæstor* in B.C. 76, he
* The quæstors were the paymasters of the state, their duty being to receive the revenues, and to make all necessary payments. Originally two, their number increased after.
was made ædile* in B.C. 69, and prætort in B.C. 66. At length, in B.C. 63, he became consul with C. Antonius. Cicero's quæstorship in Sicily, B.C. 76, was followed by his impeachment of Verres, who had shamefully oppressed the Sicilians as prætor of Syracuse, during three years (B.c. 73-71). After collecting evidence for one hundred and ten days, and traversing Sicily during two months to obtain witnesses, notwithstanding the vigorous opposition of Hortensius, counsel for the defendant, so decisive was the proof of the guilt of Verres, brought forward by Cicero, and so powerful were the arguments and language of the orator, that Verres gave up the contest, and retired of his own accord to exile.
In B.C. 65 occurred the first conspiracy of Catiline. Sulla, instead of turning his veterans into peaceful labourers, as he had expected, had left behind him an army of assassins, thirsting for fresh plunder. Their supplies of gold were exhausted, and one of their former chiefs, Catiline, sought for new convulsions to procure more.
L. Sergius Catiline's was a nature powerfully wrought for evil. During the proscriptions he had signalized himself among the most ferocious murderers; he had killed his brother-in-law to gratify his evil propensities, and he slew his wife and her son, actuated by his wicked passions. When proprætor in Africa, he was guilty of the vilest peculation (B.c.66). On his return to Rome he sought the consulship, but he was condemned by a deputation from Africa; the senate struck him off the list of candidates, and he retired foaming with rage. He was cut off as candidate even for law appointments, and he resolved on revolution.
He had long been associated with all the scum of Rome. Catiline's first attempt was made with these people, and he induced two candidates for the consulship to join it, because they had been set aside as having bribed votes (Antonius and C. Sulla, B.C. 65). Crassus and Cæsar were said to be associated with this plot, but the senate managed to quash it, and Cicero even defended Catiline, who was acquitted on the charge of embezzlement, but ruined.
About this time Cæsar sought to gain popularity by the most splendid displays, and particularly to preserve the memory of his father, he caused three hundred and twenty couples of gladiators to appear on the arena, all covered with gilt armour. Soon
* The four Ædiles were police-magistrates, and had care of the public works.
There were six Prætors, two of whom remained at home; their chief duty was the administration of justice.
after Cæsar was given the office of supreme pontiff, though he openly professed his disbelief in the gods. And now Cicero was elected consul, providentially, as it would seem, to defeat the terrible attempt of Catiline.
A dreadful danger threatened the republic. Losing patience, this arch conspirator had resolved to play for the highest stake. His preparations were immense and complete. The veterans in Umbria, Etruria, and Samnium, gained by emissaries, werequietly arming. The fleet at Ostia seemed to be bribed, and Sittius promised to foment an insurrection in Africa and Spain. Even at Rome Catiline thought he could reckon on the Consul Antonius. He had only to give the signal to have the flames break forth everywhere. This signal was given when he failed in being elected by the consulary comitia.
Shortly after the senate heard that armed bodies were collecting in Picenum and Apulia, and that a former officer of Sulla, Mallius, was encamped at Fasule with an army derived from the military colonies and ruined peasants. Happily there were two pro-consuls at Rome, just arrived from the East. Of these, Martius Rex was sent against Mallius, and Metellus Creticus against Apulia. Rome was placed in a state of siege. The consuls were invested with discretionary power, guards were placed on the walls, and patrols watched the streets. Yet Catiline stayed at Rome, and even dared to enter the senate. Then Cicero gave utterance to one of his great outbursts of eloquence, in order to force the conspirator to unmask his projects: "How far, O Catiline, wilt thou abuse our patience? (Quousque abutere patientia nostra ?) When neither the night-watch on Mount Palatine, nor the troops gathered in the city, nor the consternation of the people, nor this assembly of good citizens, nor the fortified place where the senate meets, nor the indignant looks cast on thee, nothing avails to stop thee! O times! O manners! All these plots the senate knows, and sees, and yet he lives?"
The great orator went on thus at length, till driven out by his great language, Catiline went forth, with threats on his lips. Night arrived; he departed to place himself at the head of the forces of Mallius. Cicero tried also to get rid of his accomplices in Rome by unveiling their projects in the senate. But only a few were frightened, and left. Lentulus, Cethegus, and Bestia remained; but proofs were as yet wanting to condemn them. These were soon afforded by the seizure of documents compromising Lentulus in an attempt to raise up the Allobroges in Gaul, who