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regarded Marius as their friend and benefactor. The consuls interfered, but Marius and his ally occupied the Forum with an armed force, compelled the consuls to withdraw their interdict, passed the law by intimidation, and easily obtained a vote of the tribes appointing Marius to the command of the Pontic War.
140. This brutal interference with the forms of law was naturally met by an opposing force. The military tribunes sent by Marius to take command, in his name, of the army at Nola, were stoned to death by the soldiers of Sulla, who instantly marched upon Rome at the head of six legions. The city was unprepared for resistance; Sulla became its master, and Marius, with his son and partisans, fled. He wandered, a fugitive and outlaw, along the coast of southern Italy; now half starved in a wood, now buried all night to his chin in a swamp; again indebted for a few hours' sleep to the charity of a ship-master or to a peasant, who refused the reward offered by Sulla for the head of the outlaw, and enabled him to elude his pursuers.
At Minturnæ he was sheltered by a woman to whom he had formerly rendered some kindness; but the officers of the town resolved to comply with the orders of the government at Rome, and with difficulty prevailed upon a Gallic or Cimbrian soldier to undertake the work of despatching him. But no sooner had the barbarian entered the room where the old general, unarmed and defenseless, lay upon a bed, than his courage failed, his drawn sword fell from his hand, and he rushed from the house, exclaiming, “I can not kill Caius Marius!"
141. The people of Minturnæ now took more generous counsel, and resolved not to destroy the deliverer of Italy. They provided him with a ship, and conducted him with good wishes to the sea, where he embarked for Africa. Here, too, he was warned by the governor to leave the country, or be treated as an enemy of Rome. But a revolution had by this time taken place in Rome itself, which favored the return of Marius. Cinna, one of the new consuls, was of the Marian party, and wished to enforce the laws of Rufus. The aristocrats armed, under the command of the other consul, Octavius, and a battle was fought in the Forum, in which Cinna was defeated and expelled from the city. Like Sulla, he appealed to the army; and as the army was now composed of Italians, who could not but favor that party which promised them supreme power in the Roman elections, the tide was turned against the aristocrats.
Marius returned, seized upon Ostia and other ports on the Latin coast, captured the corn ships, and thus starved Rome into surrender. This time the captured city was given up to a reign of terror. As Marius walked through the streets, his guards stabbed all persons whom he did not salute. Fresh lists were made out every day of those whom he either feared or hated, as victims for the dagger. Marius and Cinna
declared themselves consuls for B. C. 86, in contempt of the usual form of election. But the unrelenting master of Rome did not long enjoy his seventh consulship, which he had all his life superstitiously expected, and now so unscrupulously obtained. He died on the eighteenth day of his magistracy, and in the seventy-first year of his age.
142. Sulla had brought the Mithridatic War to a victorious conclusion, having conducted five difficult and costly campaigns at his own expense, and recovered for Rome the revolted territories of Greece, Macedonia, and Asia Minor. But he never forgot that the Republic which he was serving had declared him a public enemy, confiscated his wealth, and murdered his best friends for their adherence to him. If his vengeance was delayed, it was only the more bitter and effectual. He now returned with a powerful army devotedly attached to his person, and laden with treasure collected from the conquered cities of Asia.
To disarm the enmity of the Italians, who formed the most valuable part of his opponents' forces, he proclaimed that he would not interfere with the rights of any citizen, old or new. He suffered no injury to be done to either the towns or fields of the Italians, and he made separate treaties with many of their cities, by which he guaranteed their full enjoyment of Roman privileges so long as they should favor his interests. The Samnites alone held out against Sulla, and in concert with the Marian party renewed their old hostilities. Cinna was murdered by his own troops, on his way to meet Sulla in Dalma'tia.
143. Landing at Brundis'ium, Sulla marched without opposition through Calabria, Apulia, and Campania; defeated one consul near Capua, and won over the entire army of the other by means of emissaries well supplied with gold. He was reinforced by three legions, under Cneius Pompey, and by the adherence of many distinguished citizens, among whom were Metellus Pius, Crassus, and Lucullus. He was still outnumbered by the Marians, who, in 82 B. C., brought into the field an army of 200,000 men, under the two consuls Papir'ius Carbo and the younger Marius. The latter was defeated, however, with great loss at Sacripor tus, and took refuge in Præneste, where he had deposited his military chest, enriched by the treasures of the Capitoline temples. This town was blockaded, while Sulla marched upon Rome. Marius had secretly ordered his partisans in the city to put to death the most illustrious of the Cornelian faction; and thus perished the pontifex maximus, and many others whose sacred office or exalted character would, in more virtuous times, have made them secure from violence.
144. The army of Samnites and Lucanians, by the request of Marius, moved toward Rome, Telesi'nus, their leader, declaring that he would raze the city to the ground. A furious battle was fought near the Colline Gate, in which Sulla was victorious; and, with a cold-blooded