Translated with the sanction of the author by William Purdie Dickson
The execution of the measures resolved on against Cato and Cicero was committed to the loose and dissolute, but clever and pre- eminently audacious Publius Clodius, who had lived for years in the bitterest enmity with Cicero, and, with the view of satisfying that enmity and playing a part as demagogue, had got himself converted under the consulship of Caesar by a hasty adoption from a patrician into a plebeian, and then chosen as tribune of the people for the year 696. To support Clodius, the proconsul Caesar remained in the immediate vicinity of the capital till the blow was struck against the two victims.
Agreeably to the instructions which he had received, Clodius proposed to the burgesses to entrust Cato with the regulation of the complicated municipal affairs of the Byzantines and with the annexation of the kingdom of Cyprus, which as well as Egypt had fallen to the Romans by the testament of Alexander II, but had not like Egypt bought off the Roman annexation, and the king of which, moreover, had formerly given personal offence to Clodius. As to Cicero, Clodius brought in a project of law which characterized the execution of a burgess without trial and sentence as a crime to be punished with banishment. Cato was thus removed by an honourable mission, while Cicero was visited at least with the gentlest possible punishment and, besides, was not designated by name in the proposal.
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