(21) Such was the people's talk at that time. Later, in the course of the winter, a festival was held in Rome, called Lupercalia, in which old and young men together take part in a procession, naked except for a girdle, and anointed, railing that those whom they meet and striking them with pieces of goat hide. When this festival came on Marcus Antonius was chosen director[hegemon]. He proceeded through the Forum, as was the custom, and the rest of the throng followed him. Caesar was sitting in a golden chair on the Rostra, wearing a purple toga. At first Licinius advanced toward him carrying a laurel wreath, though inside it a diadem was plainly visible. He mounted up, pushed up by his colleagues (for the place from which Caesar was accustomed to address the assembly was high), and set the diadem down before Caesar's feet. Thereupon Caesar called Lepidus, the Master of the Horse, to ward him off, but Lepidus hesitated. In the meanwhile Cassius Longinus, one of the conspirators, pretending to be really well disposed toward Caesar so that he might the more readily escape suspicion, hurriedly removed the diadem and placed it in Caesar's lap. Publius Casca was also with him. While Caesar kept rejecting it, and among the shouts of the people, Antonius suddenly rushed up, naked and anointed, just as he was in the procession, and placed it on his head. But Caesar snatched it off, and threw it into the crowd. Those who were standing at some distance applauded this action, but those who were near at hand clamored that he should accept it and not repel the people's favor. Various individuals held different views of the matter. Some were angry, thinking it an indication of power out of place in a democracy; others, thinking to court favor, approved; still others spread the report that Antonius had acted as he did not without Caesar's connivance. There were many who were quite willing that Caesar be made king openly. All sorts of talk began to go through the crowd. When Antonius crowned Caesar a second time, the people shouted in chorus, "Hail, King"; but Caesar still refusing the crown, ordered it to be taken to the Temple of Capitoline Jupiter, saying that it was more appropriate there. Again the same people applauded as before. There is told another story, that Antonius acted thus wishing to ingratiate himself with Caesar, and at the same time was cherishing the hope of being adopted as his son. Finally, he embraced Caesar and gave the crown to some of the men standing near to place it on the head of the statue of Caesar which was near by. This they did. Of all the occurrences of that time this was not the least influential in hastening the action of the conspirators, for it proved to their very eyes the truth of the suspicions they entertained.
(22) Not long after this, the Praetor Cinna propitiated Caesar to the extent of securing a decree which allowed the exiled tribunes to return; though in accordance with the wish of the people they were not to resume their office, but to remain private citizens, yet not excluded from public affairs. Caesar did not prevent their recall, so they returned. Caesar called the annual comitia (for he had the authority of a decree to do so) and appointed Vibius Pansa and Aulus Hirtius as consuls for the ensuing year; for the year after that, Decimus Brutus, one of the conspirators, and Munatius Plancus. Directly after this, another thing happened that greatly aroused the conspirators. Caesar was having a large handsome forum laid out in Rome, and he had called together the artisans and was letting the contracts for its construction. In the meanwhile, up came a procession of Roman nobles, to confer the honors which had just been voted him by common consent. In the lead was the consul (the one who was Caesar's colleague at that time), and he carried the decree with him. In front of him were lictors, keeping the crowd back on either side. With the consul came the praetors, tribunes, quaestors, and all the other officials. Next came the Senate, in orderly formation, and then a multitude of enormous size--never so large. The dignity of the nobles was awe inspiring--they were entrusted with the rule of the whole empire, and yet looked with admiration on another as if he were still greater. Caesar was seated while they advanced and because he was conversing with men standing to one side, he did not urn his head toward the approaching procession or pay any attention to it, but continued to prosecute the business which he had on hand, until one of his friends, nearby, said , 'Look at these people coming up in front of you.' Then Caesar laid down his papers and turned around and listened to what they had come to say. Now among their number were the conspirators, who filled the others with ill-will toward him, though the others were already offended at him because of this incident.
Then those also were excited who wished to lay hands on him not to recover liberty but to destroy the entire extant system; they were looking for an opportunity to overcome one who seemed to be absolutely invincible. For, although he had participated up to this time in three hundred and two battles in both Asia and Europe, it appeared that he had never been worsted. Since, however, he frequently came out by himself and appeared before them, the hope arose that he could be taken by treachery. They tried to bring about, somehow, the dismissal of his bodyguard by flattering him when they addressed him, saying that he ought to be considered sacred in the eyes of all and be called 'pater patriae'; and by proposing decrees to that effect in the hope that he would be thus misled and actually trust to their affection, and that he would dismiss his spearmen in the belief that he was guarded by the good will of everyone. This actually came to pass, and made their task far easier.
(23) The conspirators never met to make their plans in the open, but in secret, a few at a time in each other's houses. As was natural, many plans were proposed and set in motion by them as they considered how and when they should commit the awful deed. Some proposed to attach him while on his way through the 'Via Sacra', for he often walked there; others, at the time of the comitia, when he had to cross a certain bridge to hold the election of magistrates in the field before the city. They would so divide their duties by lot that some should jostle him off the bridge and the others should rush upon him and slay him. Others proposed that he be attacked when the gladiatorial shows were held (they were near at hand), for then, because of these contests no suspicion would be aroused by the sight of men armed for the deed. The majority urged that he be killed during the session of the Senate, for then he was likely to be alone. There was no admittance to non-members, and many of the senators were conspirators, and carried swords under their togas. This plan was adopted.
Fortune [Tyche] had a part in this by causing Caesar himself to set a certain day on which the members of the Senate were to assemble to consider certain motions which he wished to introduce. When the appointed day came the conspirators assembled, prepared in all respects. They met in the portico (stoa) of Pompeius' theater, where they sometimes gathered. Thus the divinity showed the vanity of man's estate--how very unstable it is, and subject to the vagaries of fortune--for Caesar was brought to the house of his enemy, there to lie, a corpse, before the statue of one whom, now dead, he had defeated when he was alive. And Fate [Moira] becomes a still stronger force if indeed one acknowledges her part in these things: on that day his friends, drawing conclusions from certain auguries, tried to prevent him from going to the Senate Room [bouleuterion], as did also his physicians on account of vertigoes to which he was sometimes subject, and from which he was at that time suffering; and especially his wife Calpurnia, who was terrified by a dream that night. She clung to him and said that she would not let him go out on that day. But Brutus, one of the conspirators, though he was at that time thought to be one of his most intimate friends, came up to him and said, 'What do you say, Caesar? Are you going to pay any attention to a woman's dreams and foolish men's omens, a man such as you? Are you going to insult the Senate which has honored you and which you yourself convened, by not going out? No; if you take my advice you will dismiss from your mind the dreams of these people and go, for the Senate has been in session since morning, and is awaiting you.' He was persuaded and went out.
(24) Meanwhile the assassins were making ready, some of them stationing themselves beside his chair, others in front of it, others behind it. The augurs brought forward the victims for him to make his final sacrifice before his entry into the Senate Room. It was manifest that the omens were unfavorable. The augurs substituted one animal after another in the attempt to secure a more auspicious forecast. Finally they said that the indications from the gods where unfavorable and that there was plainly some sort of curse hiding in the victims. In disgust, Caesar turned away toward the setting sun, and the augurs interpreted this action still more unfavorably. The assassins were on hand and were pleased at all this. Caesar's friends begged that he postpone the present session on account of what the soothsayers had said; and for his part, he was just giving the order to do this, but suddenly the attendants came to summon him, saying that the Senate had a quorum. Then Caesar cast a look toward his friends. And Brutus approached him again and said, 'Come Sir, turn your back on these people's nonsense and do not postpone the business that deserves the attention of Caesar and of the great empire, but consider your own worth a favorable omen.' Thus persuading him, he at the same time took him by the hand and led him in, for the Senate-chamber was nearby. Caesar followed in silence. When he came in and the Senate saw him, the members rose out of respect to him. Those who intended to lay hands on him were all about him. The first to come to him was Tullius Cimber, whose brother Caesar had exiled, and stepping forward as though to make an urgent appeal on behalf of his brother, he seized Caesar's toga, seeming to act rather boldly for a suppliant, and thus prevented him from standing up and using his hands if he so wished. Caesar was very angry, but the men held to their purpose and all suddenly bared their daggers and rushed upon him. First Servilius Casca stabbed him on the left shoulder a little above the collar bone, at which he had aimed but missed through nervousness. Caesar sprang up to defend himself against him, and Casca called to his brother, speaking in Greek in his excitement. The latter obeyed him and drove his sword into Caesar's side. A moment before Cassius had struck him obliquely across the face. Decimus Brutus struck him through the thigh. Cassius Longinus was eager to give another stroke, but he missed and struck Marcus Brutus on the hand. Minucius, too, made a lunge at Caesar but he struck Rubrius on the thigh. It looked as if they were fighting over Caesar. He fell,under many wounds, before the statue of Pompey, and there was not one of them but struck him as he lay lifeless, to show that each of them had had a share in the deed, until he had received thirty-five wounds, and breathed his last.
(25) A tremendous uproar arose from those who had no knowledge of the plot and who were rushing terror-stricken from the senate house, thinking that the same awful thing was going to happen to themselves also; and from those of Caesar's associates who were outside and who thought that the whole senate was involved and that a large army was on hand for the purpose; and from those who, ignorant of the affair, were terrified and thrown into confusion from the suddenness of the noise and from what burst upon their view (for all at once the assassins, with bloody daggers in their hands ....). The whole place was full of people running and shouting. There was a crowd, too, in the Theater, which got up and rushed out in disorder (there happened to be a gladiatorial exhibition in progress) knowing nothing definite of what had happened but frightened by the shouting all about them. Some said that the Senate was being slaughtered by gladiators, others that Caesar had been murdered and that his army had started to pillage the city; some got one impression, others another. There was nothing clear to be heard, for there was a continuous tumult until the people saw the assassins and Marcus Brutus trying to stop the outcry and exhorting the people to be of good courage, for that no evil had taken place The sum and substance of his words (as the rest of the assassins also loudly boasted) was that they had slain a tyrant. It was proposed by some of the conspirators that they ought to put out of the way still others who were likely to oppose them and again try to gain control. They say that Marcus Brutus restrained them, declaring that it was not right to kill, for the sake of vague suspicion, people against whom there was no clear charge; and this view prevailed. Then rushing forth the assassins fled in haste through the Forum up to the Capitoline, carrying their swords bare and shouting that they had acted in behalf of common freedom. A great crowd of gladiators and slaves, who had been prepared for the purpose, followed them. There was much running in the streets and through the Forum, now that the news that Caesar had been murdered became known to the throng. The city looked as if it had been occupied by an enemy. After the conspirators had ascended the Capitoline, they distributed themselves in a circle about the place and mounted a guard, fearing that Caesar's soldiers would attack them.
(26) The body of Caesar lay just where it fell, ignominiously stained with blood--a man who had advanced westward as far as Britain and the Ocean, and who had intended to advance eastward against the realms of the Parthians and Indi, so that, with them also subdued, an empire of all land and sea might be brought under the power of a single head. There he lay, no one daring to remain to remove the body. Those of his friends who had been present had run away, and those who were away remained hidden in their houses, or else changed their clothing and went out into the country districts nearby. Not one of his many friends stood by him, either while he was being slaughtered or afterward, except Calvisius Sabinus and Censorinus; but these also, though they offered some slight opposition when Brutus and Cassius and their followers made their attack, had to flee because of the greater number of their opponents. All the others looked out for themselves and some even acquiesced in what had occurred. They say that one of them thus addressed the body: 'Enough of truckling to a tyrant.' A little later, three slaves, who were nearby, placed the body on a litter and carried it home through the Forum, showing, where the covering was drawn back on each side, the hands hanging limp and the wounds on the face. Then no one refrained from tears, seeing him who had lately been honored like a god. Much weeping and lamentation accompanied them from either side, from mourners on the roofs, in the streets, and in the vestibules. When they approached his house, a far greater wailing met their ears, for his wife rushed out with a number of women and servants, calling on her husband and bewailiing her lot in that she had in vain counseled him not to go out on that day. But he had met with a fate far worse than she ever expected.
(26b) These were now preparing for his burial, but the assassins had secured a number of gladiators some time previous to the deed when they were about to attack him and had placed them under arms, between the senate house and the theater in Pompeius' arcade. Decimus Brutus had got them ready under the pretext that he wished to seize one of the gladiators who were assembling in that theater, a man whom he had previously hired. (The contests were taking place at that time, and as he was going to conduct some himself, he pretended that he was jealous of the present exhibitor.) As a matter of fact, this preparation was more with reference to the assassination, so that, in case any resistance should be offered by Caesar's guards, the conspirators should have assistance at hand. With these gladiators and an additional throng of slaves they descended from the Capitoline. Calling together the people, they decided to test them and the magistrates, finding out how they were regarded by them; whether they were looked upon as having ended a tyranny or as murderers . . . . . that still greater ills were likely to burst forth in consequence of the late deed; for the action had taken place with no inconsiderable forethought and preparation on the part of those who accomplished it, and on the part of those against whom the plot was laid; and that there was a considerable number of Caesar's auxiliary troops and important commanders still left, who would take over the task of carrying out his plans. There was profound silence then because of the unusual nature of the situation, for men's minds were confused, everyone watching eagerly to see what bold move might first be made in such a crisis, and be the beginning of a revolution. Meanwhile since the people were quietly awaiting the consequences, Marcus Brutus (honored throughout his whole life because of his discretion and the renown of his ancestors and the fairness which he was supposed to have) made the following speech (See my work, 'Concerning Public Speeches.')
(27) After this harangue the conspirators withdrew again to the Capitoline and took council [sic; ebouleuonto] as to what ought to be done under the present circumstances. They decided to send envoys to Lepidus and Antonius to persuade them to come to them in the temple and there confer with them in planning the future of the state; and to promise them that everything which they possessed from Caesar's hands would be considered as authorized gifts, so that there would be no cause for dissent on these grounds. When the envoys arrived Antonius and Lepidus said that they would answer on the following day. These things were done in the late evening, and a greater confusion laid hold on the city. Everyone saw to his own property, deserting the public interests, for they feared sudden plots and attacks, seeing that the leaders were encamped under arms in opposition to each other; nor was it yet clear to them who would gain complete control. When night came on they dispersed. On the following day the consul Antonius was under arms; and Lepidus, having collected a considerable force of auxiliaries proceeded through the middle of the Forum, having decided to avenge Caesar. when those who had previously been in doubt saw this, they joined Antonius and Lepidus, with their respective retinues under arms, and the result was an army of considerable size. There were some who acted thus through fear, not wishing to seem too delighted at Caesar's death, and at the same time looking to their future interests by joining the consuls.
Many messages were sent to those who had benefitted at Caesar's hands (whether through grants of dwelling places in cities, through grants of land, or allotments of money)saying that everything would be changed unless some strenuous efforts were exerted by them as well. Then his friends received many mournful entreaties, reminding those especially who had once taken the field with him how he had suffered death abandoned by his friends, great as he was. Accordingly, many joined the consuls out of compassion and friendship, finding a chance for private gain as well as what would result from a revolution, especially since the course of their opponents seemed to lack vigor and was not what they previously expected it to be when they believed that the had a stronger force. Now it was openly said that Caesar must be avenged, and that this was the only thing to do, and that his death must not go unpunished. Gathering into groups they expressed various views, some suggesting one course, others another.
However, those who advocated a republican form of government were gratified at the whole change, and only blamed Caesar's murderers because they had not done away with more of the people who were at that time viewed with suspicion, and thus brought about a real liberty; for those who were still left would be likely to give considerable trouble. There were also men who had a reputation for greater foresight, and who had gained knowledge from experience with what had happened before in Sulla's time; they cautioned one another to keep to a middle course, for at the time of Sulla those who were thought to have been destroyed, suddenly took fresh courage and drove out their late conquerors. They declared that Caesar would give his murderers and their companions much trouble, even though he was dead, since here was a large force threatening them, with energetic men in charge of it.
Antonius and his associates before preparing for action sent a legation to parley with the forces on the Capitoline, but later, emboldened by the amount of their arms and the number of their men, they felt justified in taking full charge of the government, and ending the disturbance in the city. First of all they took council (having asked their friends to be present) how they ought to act toward the assassins. Lepidus proposed that they should fight them and avenge Caesar. Hirtius thought that they should discuss the matter with them and come to friendly terms. Someone else, supporting Lepidus, expressed the opposite opinion, saying that it would be sacrilegious to pass by the murder of Caesar unavenged, and furthermore, it would not be safe for all those who had been his friends; 'for even if the murderers are inactive now, yet as soon as they get more power, they will go still further.' Antonius favored the proposal of Hirtius, and voted to save them. There were others who urged that they be dismissed from the city under truce.
(28) After the great Caesar's death and burial, his friends counselled Octavian to cultivate Antonius' friendship, and put him in charge of his interests . . . . [long lacuna, some months]. And though there were many other contributory causes toward disagreement between them, he seemed the more to incite enmity between them,for he was at odds with Octavian, and a partisan of Antonius. Octavian, however, in no wise frightened, because of his high spirit, gave some exhibitions on the occasion of the festival of Venus Genetrix which his father had established. He again approached Antonius with a number of his friends, requesting that permission be given for the throne and wreath to be set up in his father's honor. Antonius made the same threat as before, if he did not drop that proposal and keep quiet. Octavian withdrew and made no opposition to the veto of the consul. When he entered the theater, however, the people applauded him loudly, and his father's soldiers, angered because he had been prevented from paying tribute to the honored memory of his father, gave him, as a mark of their approval, one round of applause after another all through the performance. Then he counted out for the people their allotted money, and that secured him their especial good will.
From that day Antonius was manifestly still more ill disposed toward Octavian, who stood in the way of the people's zeal for him. Octavian saw (what had become very plain to him from the present situation) that he was in need of political authority. He also saw that the consuls, secure in mucy power, were openly resisting nim and appropriating still more power for themselves. Even the city treasury, which his father had filled with funds, they had emptied within two months after Caesar's death, wasting money in large lots on any excuse that offered in the general confusion; and furthermore they were on good terms with the assassins. So Octavian was the only one left to avenge his father, for Antonius let the whole matter pass, and was even in favor of an amnesty for the assassins. A number of men, indeed, joined Octavian, but many joined Antonius and Dolabella also. There were others who, from a middle ground, tried to foment enmity between them, and doing so . . . . . [lacuna] The chief of these were the following men: Publius, Vibius, Lucius and especially Cicero. Octavian was not ignorant of the reason why the associated themselves with him, trying to provoke him against Antonius, but he did not repel them, for he wished to have their assistance and a more powerful guard thrown around him, though he was aware that each of these men was very little concerned over public interests but that they were looking about for an opportunity to acquire public office and supreme power. To their mind, the man who had previously enjoyed that power was out of the way, and Octavian was altogether too young and not likely to hold out against so great a tumult, with one man looking out for one thing, another for another, and all of them aeizing what they could for their own gain. For with all attention to public welfare put away, and with the foremost citizens separated into many factions, and everyone trying to encompass all the power for himself, or at least as much of it as could be detached, the rule showed many strange aspects.
Lepidus, who had broken off a part of Caesar's army and who was trying to seize the command himself, was in Nearer Spain; he also held the part of Gaul which borders on the upper sea. Gallia Comata Lucius Munatius Plancus, the consul-elect, held with anoth Lepidus, who had broken off a part of Caesar's army and who was trying to seize the command himself, was in Nearer Spain; he also held the part of Gaul which borders on the upper sea. Gallia Comata Lucius Munatius Plancus, the consul-elect, held with another army. Farther Spain was in charge of Gaius Asinius, with another army. Decimus Brutus held Cisalpine Gaul with two legions, against whom Antonius was just preparing to march. Gaius Brutus laid claim to Macedonia, and was just about to cross over to that place from Italy; Cassius Longinus laid claim to Syria, though he had been appointed Praetor for Illyria. So many were the armies that had been put in the field at that time, and with such men in charge, each of whom was trying to get complete power into his own hands without consideration of law and justice, every matter being decided according to the amount of force that was available for application in each case. Octavian alone, to whom all the power had justly been bequeathed, in accordance with the authority of him who had obtained it in the first instance, and because of his relationship to him, was without any share of authority whatever, and he was buffeted between the political envy and greed of men who were lying in wait to attack him and seize the supreme command. Divine providence [Tyche] finally ordered these things aright. But for the present fearing for his life, knowing Antonius' attitude toward him and yet quite unable to change it, Octavian remained at home and awaited his opportunity.
(29) The first move in the city came from his father's soldiers, who resented Antonius' contempt for them. At first they discussed their own forgetfulness of Caesar in allowing his son to be thus insulted, that son for whom they all ought to act as guardians if they were to take any account of what was just and righteous. Then gathering in a great company and reproaching themselves still more bitterly they set out for Antonius' house (for he also was relying on them) and made some plain statements to him: that he ought to treat Octavian more fairly and keep in mind his father's instructions; that it ws their sacred duty not to overlook these, but to carry out even the details of his memoranda, not to mention supporting the man he had named as his son and successor; that they saw that to Antonius and Octavian a reconciliation would be most advantageous at the present time because of the multitude of foes pressing on from every side. After this speech Antonius, in order not to seem to be opposing their endeavor, for he happened to be really in need of their services, said that he approved of and desired that very course, if only Octavian would also act with moderation and render him the honor which was his due; that he was ready to have a conference with him in their presence and within their hearing. They were satisfied with this and agreed to conduct him into the Capitol and act as mediators in the reconciliation if he should so desire. He then assented and immediately went up into the Temple of Jupiter, and sent them after Octavian.
They were pleased and went to his house in a great body, so that he felt some anxiety when it was announced that there was a large crowd of soldiers outside and that some were in the house looking for him. In his agitation, he first went upstairs with h is friends who happened to be present, and looking down, asked the men what they wanted and why they had come, and then he discovered that they were his own soldiers. They answered that they had come for his own good and that of his whole party, if he also was willing to forget what Antonius had done, for his actions had not been pleasing to them either; that he and Antonius ought to put aside all resentment and be reconciled simply and sincerely. Then one of them called out in a somewhat louder voice and bade him be of good cheer and be assured that he had inherited all their support, for they thought of his late father as a god, and would do and suffer anything for his successors. Another one shouted out still more loudly and said that he would make away with Antonius with his own hands if he did not observe the provisions of Caesar's will and keep faith with the Senate. Octavian, encouraged at this, went downstairs to them, and embracing them showed much pleasure at their eager good will toward him. They seized him and led him in triumph through the Forum to the Capitol, vieing with each other in their zeal, some because of their dislike of Antonius' rule and others out of reverence for Caesar and his heir; others led on (and rightly enough) by the hope of obtaining great davantages at his hands, and still others who were eager for revenge on the assassins, believing that this would be accomplished most readily through the boy if they had the assistance of the consul also. In fact, all those who approached him advised him out of good will not to be contentious but to think of their own safety, and how he could gain more supporters, remembering how unexpected Caesar's death had been. Octavian heard all this and saw that the people's zeal for him was natural; he then entered the Capitol and saw there many more of his father's soldiers, on whom Antonius was relying, but who were really far better disposed toward himself, if Antonius should try to injure him in any way. The marjority of the throng withdrew and the two leaders with their friends were left to discuss the situation.
(30) When Octavian went home after his reconciliation with Antonius, the latter, left to himself, became provoked again at seeing the good will of all the soldiers inclining very much toward Octavian. For they held that he was Caesar's son and that he had been proclaimed his heir in his will; that he was called by the same name and that he exhibited excellent promise from the very energy of his nature, of which Caesar had taken cognizance in bringing about his adoption no less than of his degree of kinship, in the belief that he alone might be entrusted with preserving all of Caesar's authority and the dignity of his house. When Antonius reflected on all this he changed his mind again, especially when he saw the Caesarian soldiers desert him right before his eyes and escort Octavian in a body from the temple. Some thought that he would not have refrained from apprehending Octavian, had he not been in fear of the soldiers, lest they should set on him and mete out punishment, easily diverting all his faction from him; for each of them had an army which was waiting to see how things would turn out. Reflecting on all this, he still delayed and hesitated, although he had changed his mind. Octavian, however, auctually believing that the reconciliation between them was in good faith, went every day to Antonius' house, as was quite proper, since Antonius was consul and an older man and a friend of his father's; and he paid him every other respect according to his promise until Antonius did him a second wrong in the following manner: Having acquired the province of Gaul in exchange for Macedonia, he transferred the troops which were in the latter place to Italy, and when they arrived he left Rome and went down as far as Brundisium to meet them. Then, thinking that he had a suitable opportunity for what he had in mind, he spread a report that he was being plotted against, and seizing some soldiers, he threw them into chains, on the pretext that they had been sent for this very purpose of killing him. He hinted at Octavian but did not definitely name him. The report quickly ran through the city that the consul had been plotted against, but had seized the men who had come to attack him. Then his friends gathered at his house, and soldiers under arms were summoned. In the late afternoon the report reached Octavian also that Antonius had been in danger of being assassinated, and that he was sending for troops to guard him that night. Immediately Octavian sent word to him that he was ready to stand beside his bed with his own retinue to keep him safe, for he thought that the plot had been laid by some of the party of Brutus and Cassius. He was thus in readiness to do an act of kindness entirely unsuspicious of the rumor Antonius had started or of the plot. Antonius, however, did not even permit the messenger to be received indoors, but dismissed him discourteously. The messenger returned after hearing fuller reports and announced to Octavian that his name was being mentioned among the men about Antonius' door as being himself the man who had despatched the assassins against Antonius, who were now in prison. Octavian, whe he heard this, at first did not believe it because of its improbable sound, but soon he perceived that the whole plan had been directed against himself, so he considered with his friends as to what he should do. Philippus and Atia his mother came also, at a loss over the strange turn of affairs, and desiring to know what the report meant and what were Antonius' intentions. They advised Octavian to withdraw from the city at once for a few days until the matter could be investigated and cleared up. He, unconscious of any guilt, thought that it would be a serious matter for him to conceal himself and in a way incriminate himself, for he would gain nothing toward his safety by withdrawing, while he might the more easily be destroyed in secret if he were away from home. Such was the discussion in which he was thus engaged.
On the following morning he sat as usual with his friends and gave orders that the doors be opened to those of his townsmen, guests, and soldiers who were accustomed to visit him and greet him, and he conversed with them all in his usual way, in no wise changing his daily routine. But Antonius called an assembly of his friends and said in their presence that the was aware that Octavian had even earlier been plotting against him, and that when he was to leave the city to go to the army that had come for him, he had provided Octavian with this opportunity against him. that one of the men sent to accomplish the crime had, by means of substantial bribes, turned informer in the matter; and hence he had seized the others; and he had now called his friends together to hear their opinions as to what should be done in the light of the recent events. When Antonius had spoken the members of his council asked to be shown where the men were who had been seized, so that the might find out something from them. Then Antonius pretended that this had nothing to do with the present business, since, forsooth, it had already been confessed to; and he turned the discourse into other channels, watching eagerly for someone to propose that they ought to take vengeance on Octavian and not quietly submit. However, they all sat in silent thought, since no apparent proof lay before them, until someone said that Antonius would do well to dismiss the assembly, saying that he ought to act moderately and not stir up any disturbance, for he was consul. After this discussion, Antonius dismissed the assembly. Two or three days afterward, he set out for Brundisium to take over the army which had now arrived there. There was no further discussion about the plot, and when he left, his friends who remained behind dismissed the whole matter, and no one ever saw any of the conspirators who were alleged to have been taken.
Octavian, although now exonerated from the charge, was nonetheless chagrined at the talk about him, interpreting it as evidence of a great conspiracy against him. He thought that if Antonius had happened toget the army on his side by means of briges he would not have delayed in attacking him, not because he had been wronged in any respect, but simply led on to that course as an outcome of his former hopes. It was manifest that a man who had concocted this charge would go further to others and that he would have been eager to do this from the first if he had not had to fear the army. Accordingly Octavian was filled with righteous indignation against Antonius and with some concern for his own person, now that the other's intention had become plain. Reviewing all contingencies, he saw that he must not remain quiet, for this was not safe, but that he must seek out some aid wherewith to oppose the other's power and strategems. So then, reflecting upon this quesiton, he decided that he had better take refuge in his father's colonies, where his father had granted allotments and founded cities, to remind the people of Caesar's beneficence and to bewail his fate and his own sufferings, and thkus to secure their support, attracting them also by gifts of money. He thought that this would be his only safe course, that it would redound greatly to his fame, and that it would also redeem the prestige of his family. It was a far better and juster course than to be pushed aside out of his inherited honor by men who had no claim to it, and finally to be foully and nefariously slain just as his father had been. After consulting over this with his friends and after sacrificing, with good fortune, to the gods, that they might be his assistants in his just and glorious endeavor, he set out, taking with him a considerable sum of money, first of all into Campania where were the Seventh and Eighth Legions (for that is what the Romans call their regiments). He thought that he ought first to sound the feelings of the Seventh, for its fame was greater, and with this colony aligned in his favor, and many others with it . . . . . [lacuna] and in this plan and in the events that followed, he had the approval of his friends. These were: Marcus Agrippa, Lucius Maecenas, Quintus Juventius, Marcus Modialius, and Lucius. Other officers, centurions, and soldiers followed, as well as a multitude of slaves and a pack train carrying the pay-money and the supplies. As for his mother, he decided not to acquaint her with his plan, lest, out of affection and weakness, like a woman and a mother, she might be a hindrance to his great purpose. He gave out openly that he was going to Campania to sell some of his father's property there, to take the money and put it to the uses that his father had enjoined. But even so, he went off entirely without her consent.