In the first instance, however, the outbreak of the insurrection,
and the terrorism which the commission of high treason exercised,
produced at least a semblance of unity and vigour. Party feuds were
silent; able officers of all shades--democrats like Gaius Marius,
aristocrats like Lucius Sulla, friends of Drusus like Publius
Sulpicius Rafus--placed themselves at the disposal of the government.
The largesses of corn were, apparently about this time, materially
abridged by decree of the people with a view to husband the financial
resources of the state for the war; which was the more necessary, as,
owing to the threatening attitude of king Mithradates, the province of
Asia might at any moment fall into the hand of the enemy and thus one
of the chief sources of the Roman revenue be dried up. The courts,
with the exception of the commission of high treason, in accordance
with a decree of the senate temporarily suspended their action; all
business stood still, and nothing was attended to but the levying of
soldiers and the manufacture of arms.