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As there have been twenty-one editions of this celebrated letter, there are some variations; the quotation is given as it is found in the oldest edition, which says: "Baptizata sunt plusquam ducenta quinquaginta millia hominum, quingenta deorum templa sunt destructa, et plusquam vicesies mille figuræ dæmonum, quas adorabant, fractæ et combustæ."
Cato asks whether any enactment punishes _intent_ (for the Rhodians were charged with having _intended_ hostility to Rome), and points his argument by the following _reductio ad absurdum_ of legislation conceived in this spirit, Si quis plus quingenta jugera habere voluerit, tanta poena esto: si quis majorem pecuum numerum habere voluerit, tantum damnas esto.
Quintius primo noxios tradi fibi juflk, & pro quingentis militibus (tot cnim intercepti erant; quingenta talenta Boeotos conferre.