Cinna and His Times - Harold Bennett

Chapter I
Bellum Octaviunum

The position of affairs in 88 B.C.—Cinna chosen consul for 87.—With or without Sulla's consent?—His relations with the Italians—Renewal of the Sulpician Rogations—"Octavian's Day"—Preparations for Revolution—Return of Marius—Cinna's Relationship with him—The Siege of Rome Position of the four armies—Attitude of Strabo—Cinnan expedition to Ariminum—Extension of franchise to "dediticii" by senate—Storming of the Janiculum—Did Cinna and Marius enter the city?—New tactics of revolutionaries—Attempts to negotiate on the Appian Way—Capitulation of Rome.

In writing a monograph on as short a period of history as that which I propose to discuss, one is, I think, permitted to assume in such readers as he may expect, a familiarity with the chief movements of Roman history and a general understanding of the evolution of government down to the time when his period begins. Still, that we may not plunge quite abruptly "in medias res," it does seem desirable to sketch very briefly the series of events which immediately preceded, and to some extent caused, the sensational rise to power of L. Cornelius Cinna."

The record of Cinna's career begins in the year 88 B.C., when the Social War, brought on by the refusal of Rome to grant full citizenship to her Italian allies, was in its closing stages. This perilous conflagration, which threatened to lay waste the unity of Italy and destroy the Roman world, burst into sudden flame in the year 91 B.C., following the assassination of the champion of Italian rights, M. Livius Drusus; but after a year of Roman disasters was checked by the timely concessions granted under the Lex Julia (end of 90 B.C.) and the Lex Plautia-Papiria (beginning of 89 B.C.). The fighting of 89 B.C. was favorable to the Romans, and in the spring of 88 B.C., Cinna and Q. Caecilius Metellus Pius, both at that time legates of the Northern commander, Cn. Pompeius Strabo, shared the honor of reducing the Marsi and compelling them to sue for peace. In the summer of that year, Asculum, the stronghold of the revolt in the North, fell to Strabo, and by the end of the year all the Italians had made peace with Rome save the Samnites and Lucanians. These held out stubbornly, though decidedly worsted in the brilliant campaign of the consul L. Cornelius Sulla, who was in command of the Roman forces in the South.

During this same year, 88 B.C., important political events took place at the capital. The loyal Italians, who had accepted the proffer of Roman citizenship under the Julian and Plautio-Papirian laws, found that they had actually obtained no more than the shadow of what they had been promised. They were enrolled as citizens, it is true, but all were registered in ten tribes which voted last, so that their wishes could have but little weight in the assemblies. They felt, rightly enough, that they had been cheated, and at once began an agitation for redress. In this movement they found a champion in the person of P. Sulpicius Rufus, a patrician turned tribune, who prepared a law ordering that they should be distributed over all the thirty-five tribes, that is, upon a basis of equality with the old citizens. Besides the Italian citizens he included under the terms of his law also the city freedmen, and from both classes had recruited a following by means of which he was prepared to carry his proposals through the comita by armed force.

His plans, however, were blocked by the consuls, P. Cornelius Sulla and Q. Pompeius Rufus, who on the senate's orders, announced extraordinary religious observances during which the popular assemblies could not be legally held. Rioting ensued in which the son of the consul Rufus was killed, and the consuls themselves were in danger of their lives. Finally they yielded; the feriae were officially ended, and the Sulpician rogations formally became law. Their author, however, now added to them another proposal to the effect that the chief command against Mithradates should be transferred from Sulla to C. Marius. Evidently Sulpicius feared that the consul would lead his legions from Campania to the city for the purpose of continuing the political feud, and to forestall this move struck a bargain with Marius, who coveted the Eastern command which had recently been conferred upon Sulla. Marius was to take over the army at once and keep it out of politics. The plan miscarried, however, for instead of handing over the legions Sulla led them against Rome, and defeated the hastily collected defenders on the streets of the city. Twelve of the leaders took to flight and were proscribed as public enemies, but only Sulpicius himself was caught and killed, the others escaping across the sea.

Sulla used this victory to strengthen the position of the oligarchy and to guard against any future abuse of the tribunician magistracy for revolutionary purposes. The Sulpician laws were annulled by vote of the senate on the grounds that they had been passed by violence, and new laws were enacted reorganizing the comita centuriata on the original Servian basis, and withdrawing from the tribunes the privilege of initiating legislation without the previous consent of the senate. It is probable that the membership of the senate was at this time raised to six hundred by the enrollment of three hundred new members.

This brief sketch will serve to recall the position of affairs in Rome at the time when Cinna returned, fresh from his victories, to sue for the consulship of 87 B.C. Of his antecedents and previous career we know nothing save that a person of the same name, presumably his father, held the consulship in 127 B.C.; and that he himself at this time had already been praetor. His political record linked him with the anti-senatorial party, and the people, smarting under Sulla's attack upon democratic institutions, welcomed him as a champion of their rights. The view, however, which has been held by certain modern historians, that Cinna was elected in defiance of Sulla's wishes, does not seem to accord with the evidence. "The people's hatred and indignation," says Plutarch, "was made manifest to him (i.e. Sulla) by their acts. For instance, contemptuously rejecting Nonius, his nephew, and Servilius, who were seeking offices, they chose other magistrates by whose preferment they expected to vex him most. But he affected to be glad of this, saying that the people, in doing as they liked, enjoyed a freedom which they owed to him, and by way of allaying the hatred of the multitude he made Lucius Cinna, a man of the opposite faction, consul, after binding him by solemn oaths to be favorable to his policies."

It has generally been thought that the Nonius and Servilius here mentioned were Sulla's candidates for the consulship, but there are a number of serious objections to this view, and it seems to me far more likely that these men were candidates for some minor office, probably the tribunate, the election for which preceded that for the consulship.

In the first place, Nonius was Sulla's own nephew and could hardly have been of consular age at this time; probably he was the Sex. Nonius who as praetor held the first "Ludi Victoriae" in honor of Sulla's victory at the Colline Gate in 81 B.C. Servilius cannot be certainly identified. Mommsen thought of P. Servilius Vatia Isauricus, who had already held the praetorship, and so would have been a consular candidate, but there is no evidence apart from the name, and this fits equally well a certain Servilius, probably a much younger man, who was defeated at Ariminum in the following year after levying troops in Cisalpine Gaul on behalf of the senate.

In the second place, Plutarch asserts that the people chose other magistrates, "by whose preferment they expected to vex him most." This could hardly be said of the consular elections, for Cn. Octavius, who was chosen as Cinna's colleague, was a staunch supporter of the Sullan policies and in the following year gave his life in defending them. In the third place, it seems most unlikely that the people could have elected an anti-senatorial consul, against Sulla's wishes, in the comitia centuriata, which had just been reformed in the senatorial interest; but quite to be expected that they should register their displeasure in the comitia tributa, where the election of tribunes took place.

Finally, the actual words of Plutarch are against the view that Sulla's candidates were defeated in the consular elections, for [Greek character] ought to mean "he made Lucius Cinna consul," and it is certainly forcing the common meaning of the words to translate "allowed Lucius Cinna to be invested consul" (Perrin, in Loeb Classical Library) or "let him be appointed," (Holden, in edition of Plutarch's Sulla).

For these reasons, then, I believe that the election in which Sulla's candidates met rebuff was that for the tribunes of the people. Confronted with this popular hostility, Sulla realized that he must change his tactics if his laws were to be observed after he and his army had withdrawn. With a view, therefore, to conciliating public opinion, he offered to support Cinna's candidacy in the consular elections on the condition that Cinna would be favorable to his interests and support his laws. The proposal was accepted, and Cinna swore an oath before the shrine of Jupiter on the Capitol praying that if he failed to maintain his loyalty to Sulla he might be cast out of the city like the stone which he threw from his hand.

This interpretation of the narrative of Plutarch is corroborated by a fragment from Cassius Dio, which quite definitely represents Sulla as having been personally responsible for the election of Cinna, and adds the explanation that his motive was to forestall an attack upon his interests after he had departed for the East. It also affords a satisfactory explanation of why Cinna consented to take the oath. He surely would not have done so if he had been elected as an anti-Sullan champion, for Cinna was neither a weakling nor a fool, and Sulla at this time would hardly have ventured to depose a legally elected consul against whom he could allege nothing save that he held democratic views.

Cinna, then, was made consul and with him Cn. Octavius, a safe man of the senatorial party. Hardly had he entered office in the beginning of 87 B.C., when he began to repudiate his oath; not, however, in the interest of the populace with a view to the reestablishment of the democratic institutions which Sulla had destroyed, but in partnership with the friends of the exiles and the Italian leaders who desired a renewal of the Sulpician rogations. This must have been for Cinna an entirely new line of policy. It is hardly possible that he could have taken any part in the machinations of Sulpicius and Marius, for had he been implicated he would surely have fled the city with the other defeated leaders. A still surer indication, however, that he was not in 88 B.C. a recognized Italian sympathizer is seen in the popularity of his candidacy, for the subject of Italian equalization was one issue on which senate and Subura stood together in perfect unanimity.

Cinna's connection with the Italians, therefore, was probably formed only after his election. Appian represents the initiative as having come from the friends of the exiles, who, with Cinna's encouragement, stirred up the Italians in favor of a renewal of the Sulpician laws. It does not seem likely, however, that the Italians needed any stimulation, but much more probable that their leaders co-operated with the friends of the exiles in persuading Cinna to take up their cause. This view is corroborated by the story, also recorded by Appian, that Cinna's support was purchased by a bribe of three hundred talents. The veracity of this charge has been doubted, but seems likely enough in view of Cinna's ambiguous position and the fact that under Sulla's reforms the tribunes of the people no longer had the power of initiating legislation.

Before he could safely launch his new program, however, Cinna had to get rid of Sulla and his legions. Openly urging upon him the exigency of the situation in the East, he secretly incited a tribune of the people, by name M. Vergilius, to bring an accusation demanding Sulla for trial. The nature of the charge is unrecorded, but it is not unlikely that it was for having illegally procured the death of Sulpicius without a trial. As Cinna had foreseen, Sulla did not wait to face the court, but immediately embarked for the war against Mithradates, taking with him five of the six legions which he commanded in Campania. The remaining one was left under the command of a certain Appius Claudius, to continue the siege of Nola, which was still occupied by the Samnites who had seized it in the first year of the Social War.

On the summons of Cinna, great numbers of the new citizens now flocked to the city from all parts of Italy, and in due course the consul renewed the proposal that they and the city freedmen should be distributed throughout the thirty-five tribes. This was to be followed by the legal recall of Marius and the other exiles. On the day of the voting the Italian citizens crowded into the forum and with loud cries demanded the passing of the law. It was duly proposed by Cinna and promptly vetoed by opposing tribunes. The Italians thereupon produced concealed weapons and pressed toward the rostrum, but were met by the weapons of the old citizens, who had also come prepared. At the height of the ensuing riot, Octavius, the other consul, appeared on the Via Sacra with an organized following of armed men. Sweeping down on the struggling factions they deliberately avoided Cinna and the rostrum, but opened up a way for themselves across the forum to the temple of Castor. Doubtless it had been the purpose of Octavius simply to disperse the mob, but his men exceeded their orders and fell upon the Italians, killing until the forum ran with blood. Those who escaped the sword they put to flight and pursued to the city gates.

Cinna, when he saw his plans frustrated by his colleague's coup de main, hurried through the streets calling the slaves to his assistance by promises of freedom, but getting no response finally fled from the city, accompanied by the tribunes who had espoused his cause. The senate thereupon deposed him from office and citizenship on the grounds that he had abandoned the state in time of danger and had incited the slaves to revolt. This step was unconstitutional and is without a parallel in Roman history. Towards the end of the Republic the senate seems to have asserted successfully the right of suspending a magistrate from the exercise of his functions, e.g. Caesar from the praetorship and Metellus from the tribunate in 62 B.C., and Caelius Rufus from the praetorship in 48 B.C., but in all these cases, as certainly in the last, the suspension was probably brought about technically through the maius imperium of the consul. In the case of Cinna, however, the constitutional defect was covered by the timely discovery in the Sibylline books of an oracle which made it clear that only in this way could the peace and security of the state be restored. For consul suffectus the choice fell upon L. Cornelius Merula, the flamen Dialis, a conscientious man, who accepted the office with reluctance and only because it was urged upon him as a duty to the state.

Cinna was not pursued, so did not go far. Visiting nearby towns, including Tibur and Praeneste, he represented himself to the townsmen as having suffered on their behalf and pleaded for the means to renew the struggle. In these activities he was assisted by a number of his partisans, including Q. Sertorius, C. Milo, and M. Marius Gratidianus. The latter is named only as [Greek characters], but there can be little doubt as to the identification, as C. Marius the Younger was in exile along with his father. Appian asserts that these men came and joined Cinna; Plutarch, however, represents Sertorius, at any rate, as having left the city with the consul, and it seems more probable that all should have left at the same time as Cinna, if not actually in his company; for his following at Rome cannot have been large and it is unlikely that his supporters would have risked themselves in the city after their principal had left. Lange suggested that Milo and Marius were two of the tribunes who fled with Cinna (see note 36) and this view is strengthened by the fact that Appian refers to them as senators. Sertorius, however, does not appear to have been a tribune at this time, and it is therefore probable that Appian is wrong in calling him a senator, for a man of his age and position could hardly have entered the senate except through the tribunate.

With these associates Cinna moved southward, continually raising troops and money, until he came to the Campanian town of Nola, which the legion left behind by Sulla was still holding in siege. First winning over its centurions and tribunes by a distribution of Italian gold, he secured the means of addressing the men. Appearing before them as a consul before an assembly, he told them, with tears in his eyes, that he, their legally chosen representative, had been unconstitutionally deposed from office by the senate. His appeal to their sympathy, their sense of justice, and perhaps also to their scent for plunder, was so successful that the legion went over to him as a whole, excepting only Appius Claudius, the commander, men and officers alike binding themselves to his cause by the military oath of allegiance. Resuming now the insignia of consul, Cinna continued his appeal to the Italian communities of southern Italy, who furnished him with more money and men, until, according to one account, his army reached the huge total of thirty legions.

The senate could not long remain blind to these preparations or ignorant of their meaning. On its orders the consuls, Octavius and Merula, fortified the city with trenches, repaired its crumbling walls and erected on them engines of defence. There were in Italy at this time two well-trained armies outside of that legion which had gone over to Cinna. Cn. Pompeius Strabo still held under arms the forces with which he had successfully waged war against the revolting allies in Northern Italy. Sulla had planned to leave this army in the safe hands of his friend and colleague in the consulship, Q. Pompeius Rufus, but the latter was murdered by the soldiers, probably at the instigation of Strabo, within a few days of his arrival, and the old general had resumed command. His attitude toward the political situation was uncertain.

In the south, Metellus Pius, the former associate of Cinna, was carrying on a campaign against the Samnites, who still remained defiant and unsubdued in the Social War. There was no doubt of his loyalty to the administration, but his army was not free.

The senate, therefore, decided to summon Strabo to the defence of the city, at the same time sending out an appeal to the towns which were still loyal, and authorizing a levy in Cisalpine Gaul. Strabo came, and pitched his camp near the Colline Gate about the same time as Cinna arrived in the environs of the city. Had he attacked at once, the revolution would probably have ended then and there, for Cinna's army, though probably more numerous, would have been no match for these veterans of a hard campaign; but Strabo did not strike. He proved to be less interested in the issues at stake than in his own ambitions, and proceeded to exploit his country's misfortune for his own advancement. In a word, he wanted a second consulship and let it be known that he would side with either faction which would take him for its leader and make him master of Rome. Since neither was ready to pay the price, he did nothing, and thus worked for Cinna, whose strength was increasing daily.

In the meantime, Marius had returned from Africa with some of his fellow exiles and a company of about a thousand men, made up of slaves who had fled from Rome to their masters, and a small body of native horsemen. He landed at Telamon, in Etruria, and was at once joined by a considerable body of volunteers, by whose services he increased his fleet to forty ships and filled them with competent crews. There too he was joined by other exiles, including M. Junius Brutus, who had crossed from Spain. The offer of his services to Cinna, whom he promised to obey as consul, was accepted in spite of the urgent warning of Sertorius that it would be better to avoid the entanglements of this alliance. Cinna declared that Marius had come on his invitation and straightway appointed him to a proconsular command.

This incident is particularly interesting for the light it throws upon the relationship between Cinna and Marius. Whether Marius really did come on Cinna's invitation cannot be finally demonstrated, but however that may have been, the attitude of Sertorius clearly shows that up to this time Cinna's closest associates did not regard him as the accredited representative of a Marian party or as under any obligation to Marius. It cannot be held that Sertorius was urging Cinna to break faith with Marius in any sense, for as soon as Cinna informed him that Marius had come on invitation Sertorius immediately withdrew his objections and said that in that case he must be received.

It becomes clear, therefore, that the subsequent partnership between Marius and Cinna, just like the earlier one between Marius and Sulpicius, was based upon mutual service rather than upon a common political interest. Sulpicius offered Marius the command against Mithradates in return for the guarantee of protection from military interference in the field of politics. Cinna, contemplating civil war, saw in Marius a powerful ally, valuable not less for his mastery of military strategy than for the support which might be rallied by exciting sympathy for his tragic reversal of fortune. Marius cared nothing about the aspirations of the Italians or their potentiality as a political force; he wanted revenge and the Eastern command. The partnership, then, which they formed at this time was one of mutual accommodation rather than of common policy, of utility rather than of sentiment.

Marius disdained the fasces which Cinna had sent, and still wearing the garb of mourning and leaving his hair uncut, as he had done since the day of his banishment, marched southwards on foot through the towns of Etruria, appealing to the pity of the inhabitants by his sordid appearance, and promising to serve their interests in the matter of the citizenship. Nor did he despise the help of slaves, but ordered the ergastula to be broken open, and offered arms and freedom to all who joined him from the great estates of that district. 60 By these means he increased his strength to a full legion, 61 and with this force presently joined Cinna. A council of war was held and a plan of campaign agreed upon. All the troops were pooled and redivided into four armies, which were to be commanded respectively by Marius, Cinna, Sertorius, and Cn. Papirius Carbo. Marius received three legions in place of the one which he had himself recruited. It is, of course, by no means certain that the four armies were numerically equal, but it is, I think, quite unlikely that Marius received less than a full quarter of the aggregate. Using this as a basis for calculation, the maximum for the whole army would amount to twelve legions, a figure which is at least far more credible than that reported by Velleius.

The four new divisions took up positions along the Tiber; Cinna and Carbo opposite the city, Sertorius above it, and Marius farther down towards the sea. The two latter threw bridges across the river with a view to cutting off the food supplies which reached the city by water. Evidently the position of Sertorius was on the left bank of the river between it and Strabo's camp at the Colline Gate, for otherwise he would not have been able to protect his blockading bridge. Cinna and Carbo, however, who are reported to have encamped "on the river" and "opposite the city" must have been on the right bank of the stream. Probably they occupied the Ager Vaticanus (Prati di Castello), for that district would suit better than any other the account of the subsequent operations, in which Marius returning from Ostia stormed the Janiculum in concert with Cinna and evidently from the opposite side. Marius played the most active role. By means of his fleet, which had evidently sailed down the coast in conjunction with his march through Etruria, he cut off and plundered provision ships approaching the Tiber. Ostia fell into his power through the connivance of a certain Valerius, who was in command of the cavalry entrusted with its defence, and the town was handed over to the soldiers for pillage.

At about the same time Strabo made an assault upon the division of Sertorius. His overtures to the revolutionary leaders seem to have received a decisive rebuff, probably as a result of the conference between Cinna and Marius, and he had now definitely resolved to throw in his lot with the government. 70 The transfer of the greater part of the Cinnan troops across the river had left him opposed by a force which was probably less numerous than his own, and he had every reason to hope for an easy success. The fighting lasted all day and both sides lost about six hundred men, but neither could gain the victory. Licinianus, Valerius Maximus, and Orosius tell in connection with this battle the anecdote of a soldier who unwittingly killed his own brother, and, upon discovering what he had done, killed himself on his brother's burning pyre. Sisenna and Livy, however, seem to have connected this incident with the subsequent battle at the Janiculum. There can be no question of identifying the battle between Sertorius and Strabo with that at the Janiculum, for Licinianus describes both, and the number of losses given by Orosius for the Sertorius-Strabo fight shows that it was insignificant beside the great struggle at the Janiculum, of which the losses are specified by Licinianus. The point as to which of the two battles gave rise to the fratricidal episode, or whether it actually occurred at all, is of course not worth arguing.

Shortly after this battle, according to a story told only by Plutarch, a conspiracy was formed against Strabo and his son, (later Pompey the Great), who was with him in the camp. Plutarch says that Cinna corrupted Lucius Terentius to assassinate the younger Pompey, who was his tent-mate, and at the same time arranged for other conspirators to set fire to Strabo's quarters. The young man was warned of the plot, and not only saved his own life and that of his father, but also by personal entreaties won back to loyalty all except eight hundred of the soldiers, who in the general uproar were on the point of deserting to Cinna. The form of the story is evidently the work of flatterers of the great Pompey, who desired to show that from his earliest years their great patron had always been a prodigy of resourcefulness and the idol of the army; for it is quite unreasonable that Cinna should have directed a plot of which the primary object was the removal of this lad of eighteen years. Probably the truth is that some of Strabo's subordinate officers had been bribed to stir up a revolt with a view to stampeding the whole army to Cinna, but that they met with more opposition than they had anticipated and only eight hundred went over.

Disillusioned in their hopes of whole-hearted support from Strabo, the consuls had also been disappointed in their expectations of securing troops from Gaul. M. Marius Gratidianus, who had been sent in command of an expedition by Cinna, seized Ariminum, at the gateway of the Po valley, and cut off the return of Servilius, who had made the senatorial levy. In an engagement near the city, Servilius was put to flight, a few of his men killed, and the rest, who had been canvassed, went over in surrender.

Finding itself under the pressing necessity of securing help from some other source, the senate swallowed its pride and voluntarily extended the citizenship to all the Italian communities which had fought and been defeated in the Social War. Included in this category were the Marsians, Paelignians, and much of the best fighting stock of Italy. They had forfeited their treaty rights by revolution, and were at this time in the position of dediticii, that is, temporarily without any rights at all, until such time as it pleased their conquerors to dictate their new position. It was an act of apparent magnanimity, therefore, for the senate to extend to these people the full citizenship rights, and they expected by this concession to raise many thousands of troops.

The contingents which actually arrived, however, amounted to something less than sixteen cohorts. Despairing then of securing help from any other source, the senate at last sent legates to Metellus ordering him to make peace with the Samnites on the best terms possible and to hurry back to the relief of Rome. He opened negotiations, but the terms demanded by the enemy were so humiliating that he would not accept them without express authority from the senate. They ordered him to leave a small force behind and to come at once. Hearing of the failure of these negotiations, Cinna and Marius immediately sent their legate, C. Flavius Fimbria, to the Samnites, offering to concede all that they asked, with the result that the Samnites, after attacking and defeating Plautus, the legate left by Metellus, sent their contingent to swell the ranks of the insurgents.

Marius, after the plundering of Ostia, closed in upon the Janiculum, where the outer defences of the city were held by a garrison under command of a military tribune, by name Appius Claudius, and in co-operation with Cinna, Carbo, and Sertorius, took it by storm, inflicting heavy losses upon the defenders and putting all captives to the sword. According to one account, the fall of the garrison was due to the treachery of its commander, who on being reminded of a long-standing obligation to Marius, opened a gate for him at dawn, whereupon Marius in turn admitted Cinna. This charge against Appius Claudius cannot be verified, but it seems likely enough that the Janiculum fell by a surprise attack at dawn, for the invaders were driven out again on the same day after a fierce and bloody battle with the forces of Octavius and Strabo. Six cohorts of Strabo's veterans were transferred to Octavius's command, but it is clear that Strabo also took part in the fighting and actually assumed control of the situation. Milo, the legate of Cinna, was killed, and the troops sent to his assistance by Sertorius were put to flight. The losses of the Marians are reported at seven thousand men, and a still more crushing defeat might have been inflicted had not Strabo compelled Octavius to check his advance and to recall his legate, P. Licinius Crassus, who had undertaken a pursuit of the retreating enemy. Strabo was still scheming to win the consulship for the next year and did not want the war to end before the elections should have been held.

Appian's account of this important battle throws an interesting light upon the question of the fortification of the Janiculum. He says that Appius Claudius admitted Marius "es Tho Tolv," meaning Rome, which he evidently regards as extending to and including the Janiculum. If, then, by taking the Janiculum the revolutionary leaders penetrated into the city, it follows that they must have been up to that time excluded from all the district between the Janiculum and the Tiber. This territory, though not officially incorporated with Rome until the time of Augustus, was apparently already well settled at this time and organized as a pagus. The latest archaeological opinion is that the Janiculum was surmounted by a fort, but that this was not connected by walls with the fortifications of the city proper, which stopped at the Tiber. The situation under review, however, compels the assumption of some kind of fortification connecting the walls on the hill with the river. Otherwise the taking of the Janiculum could not be regarded as a penetration of the city; nor indeed would there have been any security in garrisoning the Janiculum, if there was nothing to prevent Cinna from occupying the Pagus Janiculensis. The fortifications need not have been permanent, however; possibly there was nothing more than the ordinary trench and rampart fortification of a Roman camp. Appian expressly mentions the preparation of other fortifications beside the repairs of the Servian wall.

The account of Appian also furnishes corroboration for the view that the position of Cinna's camp on the right bank of the river was in the Ager Vaticanus. For it is clear that Marius advancing upon the city from Ostia would naturally be most likely to assault the Janiculum from the south. If, then, Cinna was admitted afterwards by Marius, it is probable that he was attacking the hill from the opposite side.

Shortly after this battle a pestilence broke out in both armies, but wrought special havoc among the crowded and ill-nourished troops of the defenders. Octavius lost six thousand men and Strabo eleven thousand. The latter was himself afflicted with the disease, and while confined to his tent by its effects was struck by lightning and killed. His corpse was carried into the city which he had refused to save except at the price of its liberty, and its angry citizens tore his body from the bier and dragged it by a hook through the mud of the streets. The remainder of his army was incorporated with that of Octavius.

After the defeat at the Janiculum, the armies of the insurgents retired from the immediate vicinity of Rome. The outbreak of the plague may have been partly responsible for this move, but in any case it was sound strategy. Having failed in the first assault upon the city, Marius now proceeded to tighten the blockade. His fleet at the mouth of the Tiber had effectually cut off the supplies from the sea, and his troops had plundered Ostia, the great warehouse of Rome, but food could still be brought into the city from the south, and large stocks of grain were stored up in some of the neighboring towns of Latium. The plan of Marius, then, was to capture these towns and cut off land traffic from the south by securing control of the Appian Way.

By sudden attacks and by secret negotiations he obtained possession of many of these warehouse - towns, including Antium, Lanuvium and Aricia. In the neighborhood of the latter, along the Appian Way, he concentrated his forces against the senatorial army under Metellus, Octavius, and Crassus, who had marched out and occupied the Alban Mount. The arrival of Metellus from Samnium had been signalized by an unfortunate event, which furnishes a significant indication of the attitude of the troops under Octavius. Because they considered Metellus a better commander, they deserted the consul and came desiring him to take command of them, "that they, having an experienced, valiant commander, might fight courageously and come off conquerors." When Metellus indignantly ordered them to return to the consul, many deserted to the enemy.

Still clearer proof of the wavering allegiance of the sentorial troops was given at the Alban Mount. Metellus had led the forces out for battle, but when his men came within hailing distance of the enemy they shouted a friendly greeting to the opposing lines and were greeted in return. Metellus pursued the only possible course. He led back his troops into camp and arranged a conference with Cinna with a view to effecting a settlement by compromise. This had no good result, but served only to inflame the extremists of both sides. Octavius charged Metellus with treachery; Marius denounced Cinna as a pusillanimous fool who did not know how to reap the fruits of victory. Convinced that he could be of no further service to his country, Metellus abandoned the stubborn consul to his fate and withdrew to Africa, where he remained until the return of Sulla.

The consul's scrupulous adhesion to what he considered to be his duty thus cost the senatorial party its best general. It also gave to Cinna considerable fighting strength from the slaves of Rome. His heralds appeared on the streets and offered freedom to all who would come out and join him, and many did so; but when it was suggested to Octavius that he should meet the emergency by a similar offer, he indignantly scorned the proposal. Meanwhile, conditions had been going from bad to worse in the senatorial army. Crassus seems to have made several attempts to bring on a battle, but on each occasion was driven off by Fimbria. As a result of the activities of Cinna's agents, desertions were a daily occurrence in ever increasing numbers.

The military situation aggravated the unrest in the city, which was already great on account of the scarcity of food, to such an extent that the senate was at last compelled to send envoys to Cinna regarding peace. They returned with the message that he demanded recognition as consul as a preliminary condition to any negotiations. Merula promptly relieved the senate of its embarrassing predicament by abdicating his office, but much valuable time was lost, during which a constant stream of citizens flowed out to Cinna's camp. Now confident in his strength, he did not await the envoys return, but marched his huge following under the very eyes of Octavius, sitting in helpless chagrin on the Alban Mount, and pitched his camp close to the gates of Rome. It was no longer a question of terms, for both parties knew that the city was at Cinna's mercy.

Envoys came again and, this time hailing him as consul, invited him and Marius to come within the walls, asking only that he swear to abstain from bloodshed. Cinna made the equivocal promise that he would not willingly be the cause of any man's death, but refused to give an oath, and specifically declined to accept responsibility for the safety of Octavius, who had meantime returned to the city and entered by another gate. Marius stood scowling behind the curule chair on which Cinna was seated, and said nothing. At the conclusion of this conference Cinna, with part of the army, entered the city at once, but Marius, with a nice regard for law, sullenly declared that as he had been banished by decree, so he must now be legally recalled if his presence were desired. The people were hurriedly assembled by the tribunes, and the recall of Marius and his fellow-exiles proposed by the reinstated consul, but before the voting was completed he tired of the farce and entered the city with the remainder of the army, and personally attended by a select bodyguard of slaves, whom he called Bardyaei.