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Sertorius Chapter 4: In Gaul; Marius vs Sulla.[88-87 BC.]
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|This action made Sertorius highly renowned throughout all Spain, and as soon as he returned to Rome he was appointed quaestor of Cisalpine Gaul, at a very seasonable moment for his country, the Marsian war being on the point of breaking out. Sertorius was ordered to raise soldiers and provide arms, which he performed with a diligence and alacrity, so contrasting with the feebleness and slothfulness of other officers of his age, that he got the repute of a man whose life would be one of action. Nor did he relinquish the part of a soldier, now that he had arrived at the dignity of a commander, but performed wonders with his own hands, and never sparing himself, but exposing his body freely in all conflicts, he lost one of his eyes. This he always esteemed an honor to him; observing that others do not continually carry about with them the marks and testimonies of their valor, but must often lay aside their chains of gold, their spears and crowns; whereas his ensigns of honor, and the manifestations of his courage always remained with him, and those who beheld his misfortune, must at the same time recognize his merits. The people also paid him the respect he deserved, and when he came into the theatre, received him with plaudits and joyful acclamations, an honor rarely bestowed even on persons of advanced standing and established reputation. Yet, notwithstanding this popularity, when he stood to be tribune of the people, he was disappointed, and lost the place, being opposed by the party of Sulla, which seems to have been the principal cause of his subsequent enmity to Sulla. After that Marius was overcome by Sulla and fled into Africa, and Sulla had left Italy to go to the wars against Mithridates, and of the two consuls Octavius and Cinna, Octavius remained steadfast to the policy of Sulla, but Cinna, desirous of a new revolution, attempted to recall the lost interest of Marius, Sertorius joined Cinna's party, more particularly as he saw that Octavius was not very capable, and was also suspicious of anyone that was a friend to Marius. When a great battle was fought between the two consuls in the forum, Octavius overcame, and Cinna and Sertorius, having lost not less than ten thousand men, left the city, and gaining over most part of the troops who were dispersed about and remained still in many parts of Italy, they in a short time mustered up a force against Octavius sufficient to give him battle again.||
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Quaestor:There were two sets of officers bearing this title, the commissioners of the treasure, and the "trackers of murder" -- as their title may be literally translated -- whose duty was to search for and bring up for prosecution those who had been guilty of capital crimes.