Translated with the sanction of the author by William Purdie Dickson
They were sure of Catilina; Antonius, originally a Sullan like Catilina and like the latter brought to trial on that account some years before by the democratic party and ejected from the senate(12)--otherwise an indolent, insignificant man, in no respect called to be a leader, and utterly bankrupt-- willingly lent himself as a tool to the democrats for the prize of the consulship and the advantages attached to it.
12. Cf. V. III. Attacks on the Senatorial Tribunals, V. III. Renewal of the Censorship
Through these consuls the heads of the conspiracy intended to seize the government, to arrest the children of Pompeius, who remained behind in the capital, as hostages, and to take up arms in Italy and the provinces against Pompeius. On the first news of the blow struck in the capital, the governor Gnaeus Piso was to raise the banner of insurrection in Hither Spain. Communication could not be held with him by way of the sea, since Pompeius commanded the seas. For this purpose they reckoned on the Transpadanes the old clients of the democracy-- among whom there was great agitation, and who would of course have at once received the franchise--and, further, on different Celtic tribes.(13)
13. The -Ambrani- (Suet. Caes. 9) are probably not the Ambrones named along with the Cimbri (Plutarch, Mar. 19), but a slip of the pen for -Arverni-.
The threads of this combination reached as far as Mauretania. One of the conspirators, the Roman speculator Publius Sittius from Nuceria, compelled by financial embarrassments to keep aloof from Italy, had armed a troop of desperadoes there and in Spain, and with these wandered about as a leader of free-lances in western Africa, where he had old commercial connections.
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