In the prosecution of this dangerous enterprise, Gabinius relied
strongly on the assistance of a very remarkable man, then his second in
command, who afterward acted a very important part in the subsequent
history of Cleopatra. His name was Mark Antony. Antony was born in Rome,
of a very distinguished family, but his father died when he was very
young, and being left subsequently much to himself, he became a very
wild and dissolute young man. He wasted the property which his father
had left him in folly and vice; and then going on desperately in the
same career, he soon incurred enormous debts, and involved himself, in
consequence, in inextricable difficulties. His creditors continually
harassed him with importunities for money, and with suits at law to
compel payments which he had no means of making. He was likewise
incessantly pursued by the hostility of the many enemies that he had
made in the city by his violence and his crimes. At length he absconded,
and went to Greece.

Here Gabinius, when on his way to Syria, met him, and invited him to
join his army rather than to remain where he was in idleness and
destitution. Antony, who was as proud and lofty in spirit as he was
degraded in morals and condition, refused to do this unless Gabinius
would give him a command. Gabinius saw in the daring and reckless energy
which Antony manifested the indications of the class of qualities which
in those days made a successful soldier, and acceded to his terms. He
gave him the command of his cavalry. Antony distinguished himself in the
Syrian campaigns that followed, and was now full of eagerness to engage
in this Egyptian enterprise. In fact, it was mainly his zeal and
enthusiasm to embark in the undertaking which was the means of deciding
Gabinius to consent to Ptolemy's proposals.

[...]
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