The maritime war against the pirates, which began at the same time
with the continental war and was all along most closely connected
with it, yielded no better results. It has been already mentioned
(20) that the senate in 680 adopted the judicious resolution
to entrust the task of clearing the seas from the corsairs
to a single admiral in supreme command, the praetor Marcus Antonius.
But at the very outset they had made an utter mistake in the choice
of the leader; or rather those, who had carried this measure
so appropriate in itself, had not taken into account that in the senate
all personal questions were decided by the influence of Cethegus(21)
and similar coterie-considerations.
They had moreover
neglected to furnish the admiral of their choice with money
and ships in a manner befitting his comprehensive task,
so that with his enormous requisitions he was almost as burdensome
to the provincials whom he befriended as were the corsairs.