‘As in the decade after C. Gracchus' murder, so in the decade after Saturninus’ murder popular fervor abated …’
In the unexceptional judgement quoted above Saturninus is clearly identified with the ‘popular cause’ and from that equation all sorts of assumptions flow. The presumption that Marius turned to Saturninus (as to Glaucia) because he needed his strengths, amongst which, it is assumed, was his influence with the populace, is rarely challenged. That is understandable. The presumption of Saturninus' popularity would seem to be based on ancient judgement.