To these are added the legionaries of the Alauda and the rest of the veterans, the seminary of the judges of the third decury; who, having exhausted their own estates, and squandered all the fruits of Caesar's kindness, have now set their hearts on our fortunes. Oh that trustworthy right hand of Antonius, with which he has murdered many citizens!
Unless, indeed, anything which, for the purpose of recollecting it, he entered in a note-book, is to be counted among his acts, and defended, however unjust or useless it may be; and that which he proposed to the people in the comitia centuriata and carried, is not to be accounted one of the acts of Caesar. But what is that third decury? The decury of centurions, says he.
Know then that dancers, harp-players, the whole troop, in fact, of Antonius's revellers, have all been pitchforked into the third decury of judges. Now you see the object of passing so splendid and admirable a law, amid excessive rain, storm, wind, tempest, and whirlwind, amid thunder and lightning; it was that we might have those men for our judges whom no one would like to have for guests.
When the judges petitioned to have a sixth decury added to their number, he not only denied them, but abolished the vacation which had been granted them by Claudius for the winter, and the beginning of the year.
For the effect of the law is, to make those men judges in the third decury who do not dare to judge with freedom. And in that how great, O ye immortal gods! is the error of those men who have desired that law.
Therefore, although they were agreed that there should be some head, yet none could bring himself to give way to another. Accordingly, the hundred senators divided the government among themselves, ten decuries being formed, and the individual members who were to have the chief direction of affairs being chosen into each decury.
If one, two, or more of the decury are made prisoners and the rest do not rescue them, they are put to death. Every man must have two bows, or at least one good bow, three quivers full of arrows, an axe, and certain ropes to draw the military machines. The rich or officers have sharp-pointed swords, somewhat curved and sharp on one edge.
It is the enormity of his wickedness, the consciousness of his crimes, the plunder of that money of which the account was kept in the temple of Ops, which have been the real inventors of this third decury. And infamous judges were not sought for, till all hope of safety for the guilty was despaired of, if they came before respectable ones.
It was therefore their wish that there should be some head, but no one could bring himself to give way to another. Thus the hundred senators divide the government among them, ten decuries being formed, and one selected from each decury, who was to have the chief direction of affairs.
He, also, complains that the conditions which he offered, those reasonable and modest conditions, were rejected; namely, that he was to have the further Gaul, the province the most suitable of all for renewing and carrying on the war; that the legionaries of the Alauda should be judges in the third decury; that is to say, that there shall be an asylum for all crimes, to the indelible disgrace of the republic; that his own acts should be ratified, his, when not one trace of his consulship has been allowed to remain!