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In 102 b.c.e., the Romans sent Marcus Antonius Orator to Cilicia with an army, opening a new theater of campaigns. The timing seems strange: in 102, Rome had a manpower shortage and Roman forces were still bogged down in Gaul, Sicily, and quite probably Africa. I argue that the beginning of Roman involvement in Cilicia was rooted in Roman reactions to the ongoing struggles in Sicily and a Roman perception (whether true or false) that the slave wars in Sicily were actually instigated by Easterners. Moreover, this perception continued to affect Rome’s legislation in and control of Cilicia for years afterward.