zaterdag 23 juni 2012



The last letter from Cicero possessed by us is dated not later than the 27th of July: he was murdered on the 7th of December. For the last four months of his life therefore we have nothing from him to tell us of the events leading up to his death. But up to the battle of Forum Gallorum (15th of April) we have letters from or to Cicero which carry us through the exciting events of the early months. Antony's investment of Decimus Brutus in Mutina: the negotiations between him and the senate, the march to the relief of Mutina of Octavian, and the consuls Hirtius and Pansa successively, and the final battles which compelled or induced Antony to raise the siege of Mutina and march away to Gallia Narbonensis. But it only lets us see the beginning of the subsequent collapse of the senatorial hopes. How Decimus Brutus failed to retain the support of Octavian, and in his vain pursuit of Antony - after being first joined and then deserted by Plancus - found his army melt away, till he lost his own life. How Antony, reinforced by Ventidius Bassus, was joined first by Lentulus and then by Pollio, and finally by Plancus in Narbonensis. How Octavian, having first marched upon Rome and forced an unwilling senate to allow him to be returned consul, then came to terms with Antony and Lepidus, ostensibly to attack whom he had again marched from Rome. How the triumvirate was arranged, nominally as a corn mission of reform, really to override the constitution itself, and the terrible vengeance the three were to take upon their enemies—and upon the Ciceros among the first. Cicero, though of course he could not foretell the exact course which events were to take, yet well knew that he and his party were in the gravest danger. His one hope was in provincial governors known to be favourable to the constitution and in command of forces - especially Cornificius in Africa, Cassius in Syria, and Marcus Brutus in Macedonia. We find him therefore to the last exhorting them to come to Italy with their troops, that the senate might resist possible attacks from Antony and deal with a free hand with Octavian. But when on Octavian's entry into Rome (August) Cicero made his last despairing effort to collect the senate and organize an opposition, he must have known that all hope was over, and he probably spent the next two months in retirement at Tusculum, till he heard of the triumvirate and the proscription lists. Cicero's literary work was now all over; but the Philippic Speeches (5-14) belong to the first four months of this year, and represent vividly to us the progressive steps in the quarrel with Antony.



Your wife Paulla1 sent a message asking me "whether I had anything to send to you," at a time when I had nothing particular to say. For everything is in a state of suspense because we are waiting for the return of the ambassadors, 2 of whose success there is as yet no news. However, I thought I ought to write and tell you this much: the senate and people of Rome are very anxious about you, not merely for the sake of their own security, but also for that of your political position. In fact the affection in which your name is held is remarkable, and the love of all the citizens for you is unparalleled. For they rest great hopes in you, and feel confident that as you formerly freed the Republic from a tyrant you will now free it from a tyranny. A levy is being held in Rome and throughout Italy, if it is to be called a levy, when all offer themselves spontaneously. Such is the enthusiasm which has taken possession of men's minds from a yearning for liberty and a loathing for their long-continued slavery. On other matters we ought by this time to be expecting a despatch from you telling us what you and our friend Hirtius are doing, and my dear Caesar, both of whom I hope will be before long united to you in the fellowship of victory. All that remains for me to say is what I prefer your learning from the letters of your family, as I hope you do - that I am not failing in any particular to support your position, and will never do so.

1] Paulla Valeria, whom he here calls Polla (cp. Claudius and Clodius). See Fam. 8.7. For her brother Triarius, see vol. iii., p.221.
2] Those sent to Antony while encamped before Mutina. This measure had been proposed on the 1st of January, but successfully resisted by Cicero (fifth Philippic):                it was, however, carried on the 6th, and Servius Sulpicius, L. Piso, and L. Philippus were despatched. Servius Sulpicius died in the course of the negotiations, and the other two brought back a very uncompromising answer. See the eighth Philippic.



I could wish that you had invited me to the banquet of the Ides of March: there would have been nothing left over! As it is, your leavings give me much trouble - yes, me more than anybody. Though our consuls are splendid, our consulars are utterly shameful. Though the senate is courageous, it is the lowest in rank that are most so. Nothing, indeed, can surpass the resolute bearing of the people, and of all Italy with one accord. Nothing, on the other hand, can well be more scandalous and unprincipled than our emissaries Philippus and Piso. For having been sent to deliver to Antony certain definite orders, in accordance with the vote of the senate, upon his refusing to comply with one of them, they have brought back to us some intolerable demands on his part.1 The result is that my house is thronged, and that though I am supporting a sound constitutional measure, I have now become a popular hero.

But what you are doing or intending to do, even where you are, I do not know. Report will have it that you are in Syria. But there is no confirmation of it. About M. Brutus, as he is less remote, news seems more trustworthy. Dolabella is being soundly abused by the wits for being so prompt in relieving you before you had been full thirty days in Syria.2 So all are agreed that he ought not to be admitted into Syria. You and Brutus are both highly commended because you are thought to have collected an army beyond what was hoped. I would have written at greater length, had I known the facts and the real state of the case. As it is, what I write is founded on common opinion and rumour. I am anxiously longing for a letter from you.                 

1] This is the subject of the eighth Philippic delivered on the 3rd of February. Antony's postulata are discussed in §§ 25-58. They included: (1) amnesty for all proceedings of the past year; (2) confirmation of his consular acta; (3) lands for his soldiers; (4) no inquiry as to the money taken from the temple of Ops; (5) the amnesty to include all his agents and friends; (6) the governorship of Gallia Comata for five years with six legions. In return he will give up Gallia Cisalpina.
2] Dolabella had spent some time in Asia on his way to Syria. The murder of Trebonius took place on the 2nd of February. He then went on to Syria.                                    
The quid nuncs spoke jestingly of his Opposition to Cassius.



How I could wish that you had invited me to that most glorious banquet on the Ides of March! We should have had no leavings! While, as it is, we are having such a trouble with them, that the magnificent service which you men then did the state leaves room for some grumbling. In fact, for Antony's having been taken out of the way by you - the best of men - and that it was by your kindness that this pest still survives, I sometimes do feel, though perhaps I have no right to do so, a little angry with you. For you have left behind an amount of trouble which is greater for me than for everyone else put together.

For as soon as a meeting of the senate could be freely held, after Antony's very undignified departure,1 I returned to that old courage of mine, which along with that gallant taking over the province, as though he were "succeeding" to the governorship, without allowing his predecessor even the thirty days beyond his year given him by the Julian law. citizen, your father, you ever had upon your lips and in your heart. For the tribunes having summoned the senate for the 20th of December, and having brought a different piece of business before it, I reviewed the situation as a whole, and spoke with the greatest fire, and tried all I could to recall the now languid and wearied senate to its ancient and traditional valour, more by an exhibition of high spirit than of eloquence.2

This day and this earnest appeal from me were the first things that inspired the Roman people with the hope of recovering its liberty. And had not I supposed that a gazette of the city and of all acts of the senate was transmitted to you, I would have written you out a copy with my own hand, though I have been overpowered with a multiplicity of business. But you will learn all that from others. From me you shall have a brief narrative, and that a mere summary. Our senate is courageous, but the consulars are partly timid, partly disaffected.3 We have had a great loss in Servius.4 Lucius Caesar entertains the most loyal sentiments, but, being Antony's uncle, he refrains from very strong language in the senate. The consuls are splendid. Decimus Brutus is covering himself with glory. The youthful Caesar is behaving excellently, and I hope he will go on as he has begun. You may at any rate be sure of this - that, had he not speedily enrolled the veterans, and had not the two legions5 transferred themselves from Antony's army to his command, and had not Antony been confronted with that danger, there is no crime or cruelty which he would have omitted to practise. Though I suppose these facts to have been told you, yet I wished you to know them still better. I will write more when I get more leisure.

1] When Antony had met the legions from Macedonia at Brundisium, he preceded them with a strong detachment to Rome, arriving between the 15th and 22nd of November, his main body of troops being ordered to muster at Tibur. He ordered in an edict a meeting of the senate un the 23rd, but did not appear, having put off the meeting by another edict to the 28th. He, however, only transacted some formal business - a supplicatio in honour of Lepidus, and a sortitio of the provinces - and then hurriedly left the city for Tibur, probably on hearing of the desertion of the two legions.
2] This is the speech known as the third Philippic.
3] Cicero had advocated in the senate on the 1st and following days of January the most uncompromising hostility to Antony, the fullest recognition of Octavian and of the action of the two legions, and of Decimus Brutus. But he could not get his motion passed, the embassy to Antony being voted on the 7th, as a tentative measure before proceeding to extremities.
4] Servius Sulpicius Rufus, who died while on the mission in Antony's camp, near Mutina.
5] The Martia and the quarta.



I suppose that the winter has as yet prevented us from getting any certain news from you, as to what you are doing, and above all where you are. Nevertheless, it is the general talk - the wish, no doubt, is father to the thought - that you are in Syria and in possession of forces. That statement finds the readier belief that it seems likely in itself. Our friend Brutus for his part has gained a brilliant reputation: for his achievements have been so great and unexpected that, while welcome in themselves, their distinction was enhanced by their rapidity.1 But if you command the extent of territory which we suppose, the Republic has gained very strong supports. For from the nearest shore of Greece as far as Egypt we shall have been put under the protection of the authority and forces of the most loyal citizens. However, unless I am mistaken, as the situation now stands, the ultimate decision of the whole war seems to rest with Decimus Brutus. If he, as we hope, breaks cut from Mutina, I think there will be a complete collapse of the war. The forces at present besieging him are very small, because Antony is occupying Bononia with a large army. Our friend Hirtius, moreover, is at Claterna,2 Caesar at Forum Cornelium, both with a strong army; while Pansa has collected large forces at Rome from the levy in Italy. Winter has at present prevented any movement. Hirtius seems likely to do nothing, as he tells me in frequent letters, without careful preparation. Except Bononia, Regium Lepidi, and Parma, we have the whole of Gaul devoted heart and soul to the constitution. Even your clients the Transpadani we find attached to the cause with surprising unanimity. The senate, with the exception of the consulars, is most resolute,3 but of the consulars Lucius Caesar alone is loyal and honest. By the death of Servius Sulpicius we have lost a great support. For the rest, some are inactive and some disloyal. A certain number are envious of the reputation of those whom they see to be held in honour in the Republic. But the unanimity of the Roman people and the whole of Italy is wonderful. This is pretty well all which I wanted you to know. My present hope and prayer is that the sun of your valour may shine forth from those regions of the East.

1] Referring to M. Brutus having collected an army, occupied Greece, Macedonia, and Illyricum (App. B.C. 3.79; Dlo, 47, 21 sq.).
2] Modern Quaderna, on the Aemilian road between Forum Cornelium and Bononia (Bologna).
3] The surviving consulars were in several cases those who had owed their promotion to Caesar.



If you are well, I am glad. I and the army are well. I have to inform you that I went to Syria to join the imperators Lucius Murcus and Quintus Crispus. Those gallant gentlemen and excellent citizens, having heard what was going on at Rome, handed over their armies to me and are themselves now assisting me with the greatest gallantry in the public service. Also I have to report that the legion which was under the command of Quintus Caecilius Bassus 1 has joined me, and that the four legions which Aulus Allienus led from Egypt have also been handed over to me. In these circumstances I do not think that you require urging to defend me in my absence and the public interests, as far as in you lies. I wish you to know that neither you nor the senate are without trustworthy support to enable you to defend the constitution with the highest hopes and the firmest courage. Of the rest you will be informed by Lucius Carteius, my intimate friend. Good-bye.
7 March, in camp at Tarichea.

1] Crispus and Murcus had been sent with proconsular authority by Caesar to put down Bassus. Allienus was a legatus of Trebonius (Phil. 11.30). Cassius says nothing of the murder of Trebonius by Dolabella, but he must have known it by this time.



With what zeal I have defended your political position, both in the senate and before the people, I would rather you learnt from your family than from me: and my proposal would have been carried in the senate, had it not been for the strong opposition of Pansa.1 After having made that proposal in the senate I was introduced to a public meeting by the tribune M. Servilius. I said what I could about you in a voice loud enough to fill the whole forum, and with such cheering and acclamation from the people, that I have never seen anything like it. Pray pardon me for acting in this against the wish of your mother-in-law.2 The lady is timid and was afraid of Pansa's feelings being hurt. In the public meeting in fact Pansa stated that your own mother also and your brother were against my making that motion. But I was not moved by these things. My mind was set on other objects. It was the Republic of which I was thinking, of which I have always thought, and of your position and glory. Now I hope that you will redeem the pledges which I gave both in senate and before the people at considerable length. For I promised and almost pledged myself that you had not waited and would not wait for any decrees of ours, but would yourself defend the constitution in your own way. And although we have not yet had any intelligence either of where you are or what forces you have, yet I have made up my mind that all the resources and troops in that part of the world are in your hands, and feel confident that by your means the province of Asia has been already recovered for the Republic. Take care to surpass yourself in promoting your own glory. Good-bye.

1] The proposal of Calenus supported in the eleventh Philippic, delivered in the senate after the news of the murder of Trebonius, intrusting the war against Dolabella, already declared a public enemy, to Cassius. The contio on the same subject to which Cicero alludes, has not been preserved. They were delivered early in March.
2] Servilia, whose daughter Tertia was the wife of Cassius.

DCCCXXII (F XII, 25, §§1-5)


On the 17th of March I received your letter, which your son handed to me on the 21st day - as he said - from its despatch. Neither on that nor the following day was there any meeting of the senate. On the Quinquatrus Minervae (19th of March) before a full house I pleaded your cause - not unfavoured by Minerva herself.For in fact on that very day the senate decreed that my statue of Minerva, which a storm had thrown down, should be restored.1 Pansa read your despatch. It was followed by strong expression of approval from the senate, to my great joy and the great chagrin of the "Minotaur "- I mean Calvisius and Taurus;2 and a decree was passed about you in complimentary terms. A demand was even made that these men should have some stigma inflicted upon them, but Pansa was for milder measures. For myself, my dear Cornificius, on the day (the 20th of December) on which I first conceived a hope of freedom and, while everybody else shrank from beginning, laid the foundations of a recovered constitution - on that very day, I say, I made careful provision and calculation for the maintenance of your position. For it was for my motion as to the retention of the provinces  that the senate voted. Nor indeed did I subsequently cease from discrediting the man, who to your great injury and to the discredit of the Republic was retaining the province, though he had himself left it.3 Accordingly, he was unable to stand out against my frequent, or rather daily attacks upon him, and unwillingly returned to Rome: and was driven not from a mere hope, but from what was now a certainty and an actual possession, by my most righteous and dignified invective. That you have employed your eminent courage in successfully retaining your position, and have been complimented by the greatest honours a province can bestow, is a subject of lively satisfaction to me.

As to your defence of yourself in regard to Sempronius, I accept your explanation; for that was a dark period of servitude. I, the supporter of your policy and champion of your position, enraged at the position of affairs and despairing of freedom, was on the point of hurrying off to Greece, when the Etesian winds, like loyal citizens, refused to further me in my desertion of the Republic, and a south wind blowing in my teeth carried me back by his strongest blast to your fellow tribesmen of Rhegium. And so from thence I hurried at full speed - sail and oar together - to my country; and the day after my arrival was the one free man in a nation of slaves.4 I delivered such an invective against Antony5 that he could not bear it, and vented all his vinous madness on my devoted head,6 and endeavoured at one time to entice me to give him an excuse for bloodshed, at another tried to entrap me. But I hunted him belching and vomiting into the toils of Caesar Octavianus. For that illustrious youth collected for himself a protecting force - at first in favour of our party, and subsequently in that of the supreme state. And if it hadn't been for him, Antony's return from Brundisium7 would have sealed the fate of Rome. The events which followed I think you know. But to return to the point from which I have strayed. I accept your explanation as to Sempronius: for you could have no fixed principle of procedure in the midst of such complete disorganization.
“ But time has passed and taught a different way;
  And nobler manners asks our nobler day,”
as Terence says.8 Wherefore, my dear Quintus, embark with us, and even approach the helm. All loyalists are now in the same boat, which we are doing our best to keep in the straight course. Pray heaven for a prosperous voyage! But whatever the winds may be, skill on my part at least shall not be wanting: for to what beyond that can virtue pledge itself? For your part keep a good heart and lofty spirit, and reflect that your whole position must needs stand and fall with the Republic.

1] Cicero uses the common phrase non invita Minerva, "not without success", in order to bring in the double reference to the feast of Minerva (quinquatrus Minervae) and to the statue of bust of Minerva which he had dedicated on the Capitol before he went into exile, as a guardian goddess of the city. See de Leg. 2.42.
2] Calvisius, appointed to succeed Sulpicius. T. Statilius Taurus had been named his legatus. The senate now confirmed Sulpicius in the province of Africa.
3] C. Calvisius made provision for retaining the province of Africa by leaving two of his legates there. See Phil. 3.26.
4] Because he refused Antony's summons to the senate on the 1st of September.
5] The first Philippic on the 2nd of September.
6] In the carefully prepared speech of the 19th of September.
7] Where he had been to meet the legions.
8] Terence, Andr. 189.

DCCCXXIV A (13 PHIL. §§ 22-46)


The news of the death of Gaius Trebonius caused me as much regret as joy. One cannot help being glad that a wicked wretch has given satisfaction to the ashes and bones of a most illustrious man, and that Divine Providence has manifested its power before the end of one revolving year in the punishment, or immediate prospect of the punishment, of parricide. On the other hand, one cannot repress a sigh that Dolabella at such a time as this should be adjudged a public enemy for having killed a murderer; and that the Roman people should care more for the son of a mere man-about-town than for Gaius Caesar. But the most painful thing of all, Aulus Hirtius, is that you who were ennobled by the favours of Caesar and left by him in a position which surprises yourself - and that you, young sir, who owe everything to his name - are acting in a way to sanction Dolabella's condemnation and to release this pestilent fellow from his state of siege. In order, I suppose, that Brutus and Cassius may be all-powerful! The fact is, you regard the present situation as you did the former, when you used to speak of Pompey's camp as "the senate." You have taken Cicero as your leader, who was beaten then; you are strengthening Macedonia with troops; you have intrusted Africa to Varus, who had been twice made a prisoner; you have sent Cassius to Syria; you have allowed Casca to be tribune; you have withdrawn the revenue given by Iulius to the Luperci;2 you have by decree of the senate abolished colonies of veterans which were established by law; you are promising the Massilians to refund what was taken from them by the right of war; you give out that no living Pompeian comes under the lex Hirtia;3 you have supplied M. Brutus with money sent by Appuleius;4 you have commended the executions of Petrus had a copy of it which he read in the senate on the 20th of March, when there was a proposal made to send a second embassy to Antony. Cicero accompanied it with a running comment of abuse, meant to shew that it was hopeless to deal with Antony. It puts forcibly Antony's case, and therefore I have thought it well to insert it here. It is extracted from the thirteenth Philippic. and Menedemus,5 who were presented with the citizenship and were beloved by Caesar. You have taken no notice of the expulsion of Theopompus by Trebonius and of his flying stripped of everything to Alexandria; you have Servius Galba in your camp armed with the self-same dagger.6 You have got together an army of soldiers who are either legally mine, or who have served their time, on the pretext of destroying the murderers of Caesar, and yet have forced them contrary to their expectations to assist in endangering the lives of their own quaestor or commander or fellow soldiers. In fact what have you not consented to or done which Gnaeus Pompeius would do, if he could come to life again, or his son if he could regain his home? Lastly, you say that there can be no peace, unless I either allow Decimus Brutus to march out or supply him with corn. Do you mean to tell me that this is the opinion of the veterans who have not yet committed themselves, even though you have been corrupted by flattery and insidious gifts to come here? But, you will say, it is besieged soldiers that you are attempting to relieve. Them I have no objection to spare and to allow to go wherever you order them, on the one condition that they give him7 up to the death he has so richly deserved. You say in your letter that mention has been made in the senate of a pacification, and that five consulars have been appointed as legates. It is difficult to believe that the men who violently repelled me, though I offered the most equitable terms, and was thinking nevertheless of mitigating even them, should be entertaining any thoughts of moderation or be likely to act with common charity. It is scarcely likely even that men who have declared Dolabella a public enemy for a most righteous act should be capable of sparing us who are at one with him in heart.

Wherefore I would have you consider which of the two courses is in the better taste and the more advantageous to your party - to punish the death of Trebonius or that of Caesar: and whether it is more right that we should meet as foes and so allow the Pompeian cause so often defeated to revive, or that we should come to terms and so avoid being a laughing-stock to our enemies, who will be the gainers whichever of us perishes? Such a spectacle as this Fortune herself as yet has shunned. She has not seen, that is, two armies of the same body politic fighting like gladiators with Cicero for a trainer, who has been so far successful as to deceive you both by the same formal honours by which he has boasted of having deceived Caesar.8 For my part I am resolved not to submit to the degradation of myself or my friends, nor to desert the party which Pompey hated, nor to allow the veterans to be turned out of their homes, nor to be dragged off one by one to punishment, nor to break the faith which I pledged to Dolabella, nor to violate my compact with that devoted patriot Lepidus, nor to betray Plancus who is a sharer in my policy.

If the immortal gods, as I hope they will, aid me in my plain and honest course, I shall survive with satisfaction to myself; but if a different fate awaits me, I feel an anticipatory pleasure in the punishment which will befall you. For if the Pompeians are so arrogant in defeat, I would rather you than I should experience what they will be in victory. In fact the upshot of my decision is this: I am ready to put up with the injuries done to my party, if they will either consent to forget that they are Caesar's assassins, or are prepared to join us in avenging his death. I cannot believe in legates approaching a place which is being at the same time menaced by war. When they have arrived I shall learn their demands.

1] This letter is not included in the Cicero correspondence; yet he
had a copy of it which he read in the senate on the 20th of March,
when there was a proposal made to send a second embassy to Antony.
Cicero accompanied it with a running comment of abuse, meant to
shew that it was hopeless to deal with Antony. It puts forcibly
Antony's case, and therefore I have thought it well to insert it here. 
It is extracted from the thirteenth Philippic.
2] The Lupercalia had been falling into disrepute, but were revived by Iulius and the Luperci endowed.
3] A law, perhaps passed when Hirtius was praetor or praefectus in B.C. 46, to exclude Pompeians from office. But it is not certain.
4] Appuleius was quaestor in Asia (App. B.C. 3.63; Plut. Brut. 24, 25).
5] Cicero declares that the senate knew nothing about the case.
6] That is, with which he killed Caesar.
7] Decimus Brutus.
8] An allusion to the ornandum, laudandum, tollendum epigram, for which see Letter DCCCLXXIV.



I am anxiously expecting the letter which you wrote after you received the news of my movements and of the death of Trebonius.1 For I feel certain that you will expound your plan of action. By a shocking crime we have at once lost a most loyal citizen and have been driven from the possession of a province, the recovery of which is easy. But its subsequent recovery will not relieve the scandal and crime. Antonius2 is still in my camp; but, on my honour, I am much affected by the man's entreaties, and I fear a violent outbreak in some quarter may carry him off. I am really distracted with indecision. But if I knew your opinion, I should cease to be anxious: for I should be persuaded that it was the best thing to be done. Wherefore at the earliest possible moment let me know what your opinion is. Our friend Cassius holds Syria and the legions stationed in it, having indeed been actually invited to come by Murcus, Marcius, and the army itself. I have written to my sister Tertia and my mother, not to publish this most admirable and fortunate achievement of Cassius before they knew what your advice was and you thought it right. I have read two of your speeches, one delivered on the 1st of January, the other against Calenus. You are, of course, waiting for my praise of them at this time of day! I cannot decide whether it is your courage or your genius that is the more admirably displayed in these pamphlets. I quite agree in their having even the title of Philippics by which you jestingly described them in one of your letters.3

The two things which I want are money and more men. The latter - the sending some part of the soldiers now in Italy to me - you can accomplish either by a secret arrangement with Pansa or by bringing the matter before the senate. The former can be got from the senate direct. This is still more necessary, and not more so for my army than for that of the other commanders. This makes me the more regret that we have lost Asia: which I am told is being so harassed by Dolabella that his murder of Trebonius no longer appears the most cruel thing he has done. Antistius Vetus,4 however, has come to my aid with money. Your son Cicero is giving me such ion by his industry, endurance, hard work, and high courage, in short, by every kind of service, that he seems to me never to forget for a moment whose son he is. Therefore, as I cannot by any possibility think more highly than I already do of one who is the dearest object of your affection, pay my sagacity the compliment of believing that he will not have to trade upon your reputation for the attainment of the same offices as his father held before him.
1 April, Dyrrachium.

1] The murder of Trebonius by Dolabella.
2] Gaius Antonius, to whom his brother had caused the senate to transfer the province of Macedonia from himself, having previously transferred it from M. Brutus, who had been nominated by Caesar. Brutus had seized him and was keeping him prisoner.
3] The letter containing this jest of Cicero's is lost. The title Philippics was the current one by the time of Iuvenal at any rate (x. 125), and Plutarch (Cic. 24) says that Cicero himself placed that title on the copies. Against this the authority of Aulus Gellius (vii. II; xiii. I, 21), who calls them Orationes Antonianae, is not worth much.
4] Vetus apparently brought the money sent by Appuleius the quaestor from Asia.


ROME, 12 APRIL 43 B.C.

After I had given Scaptius a letter for you on the morning of the 11th of April, I received one from you in the evening of the same day, dated from Dyracchium on the 1st of April. Accordingly, on the morning of the 12th, having been informed by Scaptius that the men to whom I had given the letter the day before had not started and were going at once, I have dashed off this brief note in the midst of the turmoil of my morning levée. I am delighted with the news about Cassius, and I congratulate the Republic, and also myself, for having proposed in the senate, in spite of Pansa's opposition and anger, that Cassius should make war upon Dolabella.1 And indeed I boldly maintained that he was already engaged in that war without any decree of ours. About you also I said on that occasion what I thought ought to be said. This speech2 shall be transmitted to you, since I perceive that you like my "Philippics." You ask my advice as to Gaius Antonius: my opinion is that he should be kept under arrest till we know the fate of Decimus Brutus. From the letter you addressed to me it appears that Dolabella is harassing Asia and behaving in a most abominable manner there. You have mentioned also to several people that Dolabella has been prevented from landing by the Rhodians. But if he has approached Rhodes, I think he must have abandoned Asia. If that is so, I think you should stay where you are. But if he once gets a hold of that province, believe me it will not be right for you to do so, but I think you will have to go to Asia to attack him. As to your saying that you are in want of two necessary things - money and more men - it is difficult to see what to suggest. For I can't think of any resources upon which you can draw, except those which the senate has assigned to you by its decree - that you should raise loans from the cities. As to more men also, I do not see what can possibly be done. For so far from Pansa sparing you any of his own army or levy, he is even annoyed that so many are going to you as volunteers: because, as I believe, he thinks that he cannot have too great a force; but, as many suspect, because he doesn't wish you to be too strong either. But this is a suspicion which I do not share. You say in your letter that you have written to Tertia and your mother not to disclose the achievements of Cassius until I think it right. I understand your motive to be a fear lest the feelings of Caesar's party - as that party is still called - should be violently affected. But before your letter was received, the facts had been heard and were quite public property. Your letter-carriers also had brought letters to many of your intimate friends. Therefore there is no need to suppress the truth, especially as it is impossible to do so. Besides, even if it had been possible, I should have thought that it should be spread broadcast rather than be kept concealed. As to my son, if he has all the good in him which you describe, I am of course as delighted as I am bound to be, and if you exaggerate it from affection for him, the mere fact of your being attached to him rejoices me more than I can say.

1] Trebonius, who had gone as governor of Asia soon after the murder of Caesar, was avowedly collecting troops and money and fortifying towns with a view of supporting the tyrannicides. When Dolabella arrived at Smyrna on his way to Syria he was still consul, but Trebonius declined to admit him there or at Pergamus. Dolabella went on his way to Ephesus, followed by a body of men whom Trebonius sent to watch him. He, however, laid a trap for them, captured or killed them, and, hurrying back to Smyrna, surprised and captured Trebonius, who according to one story was at once put to death, and according to another was tortured for two days first. On news of this reaching Rome, Dolabella was on the motion of Cicero declared a hostis, and Cassius was authorized to wage war against him (Phil. 11.29, sq.; Appian, B.C. 3.26).
2] The eleventh Philippic.



On the 15th of April, the day on which Pansa was to arrive at the camp of Hirtius, with the former of whom I was - for I had gone along the road a hundred miles to hasten his arrival -  Antony brought out two legions, the second and the thirty-fifth, and two praetorian cohorts, one his own and the other that of Silanus, and a party of reservists. He confronted us with such a force because he thought that we had only four legions of recruits. But in the course of the night, in order to enable us to reach the camp in greater safety, Hirtius had sent us the Martian legion—which I usually command - and two praetorian cohorts. As soon as Antony's horsemen came in sight, neither the Martian legion nor the cavalry could be held back. The rest of us were obliged to follow them, as we could not stop them. Antony was keeping his men under cover at Forum Gallorum, and did not wish it to be known that he had the legions. He was allowing none but his cavalry and light-armed men to be seen. When Pansa saw that the legion was advancing in spite of him, he ordered two legions of recruits to follow his lead. As soon as we had got past the narrow ground of marsh and forest, our line was drawn up, consisting of twelve cohorts. The two legions had not yet come up. All on a sudden Antony brought his forces out of the village on to the field, and without waiting charged. At first the fighting was as keen as it was possible for it to be on both sides: although the right wing, on which I was with eight cohorts of the Martian legion, had at the first brush put Antony's thirty-fifth legion to flight, so that it advanced more than five hundred paces beyond the line from its original ground. Accordingly, when the cavalry attempted to outflank our wing, I began to retire and to throw my light-armed troops in the way of the Moorish cavalry, to prevent their charging my men in the rear. Meanwhile, I became conscious that I was between two bodies of Antony's troops, and that Antony was himself some way on my rear. I at once galloped towards the legion of recruits that was on its way up from camp, with my shield slung behind my back. Antony's men set off in pursuit of me; while our own men began pouring in a volley of pila. It was a stroke of good luck that I got safely out of it, for I was soon recognized by our men. On the Aemilian road itself, where Caesar's praetorian cohort was stationed, the fight was protracted. The left wing, being somewhat weak, consisting of two cohorts of the Martian legion and a praetorian cohort, began to give ground, because it was in danger of being outflanked by the cavalry, in which Antony is exceedingly strong. When all our lines had retired, I began retiring myself towards the camp on the extreme rear. Antony, regarding himself as having won the victory, thought that he could capture our camp. But when he reached it he lost a large number of men without accomplishing anything. The news having reached Hirtius, he met Antony as he was returning to his own camp with twenty veteran cohorts, and destroyed or put to flight his whole force, on the same ground as the battle had been fought, namely, at Forum Gallorum. Antony, with his cavalry, reached his camp near Mutina at the fourth hour after sunset. Hirtius returned to the camp, from which Pansa had issued, where he had left the two legions which had been assaulted by Antony. Thus Antony has lost the greater part of his veteran forces. This, however, naturally could not be accomplished without some loss in our praetorian cohorts and the Martian legion. Two eagles and sixty colours of Antony's have been brought in. It is a great victory.
16 April, in camp.


ROME, 16 APRIL 43 B.C.

I believe that your friends - to not one of whom do I yield in affection to you - have written to tell you what despatches were read in the senate on the 13th of April from you, and at the same time from Antony. But though there was no need for us all to repeat the same story, yet it is necessary that I should write and tell you my feeling, deliberate opinion, and sentiments as to the nature of this war generally. My object, Brutus, in imperial politics has always been the same as your own: my policy in certain points - not in all - has perhaps been somewhat more drastic. You know that it was always my opinion that the Republic should be delivered not only from a tyrant but from a tyranny also.1 You took a more indulgent view - to your own undying honour, no doubt. But which was the better course we have felt to our bitter sorrow, and are still feeling to our grave peril. More recently you have directed all your efforts to secure peace - which could not be brought about by mere words - I to secure liberty, which is impossible without peace.2 But my view was that peace itself could be brought about by war and arms. There was no want of enthusiasts who were eager to fight, but we checked their enthusiasm and damped their ardour. And so it had come to such a pass that, had not some god inspired Caesar Octavianus with that resolution, we must necessarily have fallen under the power of Marcus Antonius, the most abandoned and depraved of men, with whom you see at this very moment in what a desperate contest we are engaged. Now that, of course, would never have occurred if Antony had not been spared at that time3 But I pass over these reflexions: for the deed which you performed - ever memorable and all but divine - disarms all criticism, for it is one which can never be even praised in terms adequate to its merit.

You lately came to the front again with a look of stern resolve. In a brief time you collected by your unaided exertions an army, forces, sufficient legions. Great heavens! What a message, what a despatch!4 What exultation was there in the senate, what an outburst of cheerfulness in the city! I never saw anything praised with such complete unanimity. There was some anxiety about the remnants of Antony's forces, whom you had deprived for the most part of his cavalry and legions. But that was happily relieved. For your next despatch, which was read in the senate, clearly sets forth the excellence both of com mander and soldiers, and the good service done by your staff -  among others, by my son.5 And if your friends here had thought it right that a motion should be brought before the senate in consequence of its despatch, and had it not come at a time of great confusion, just after the departure of the consul Pansa, a regular vote of thanks and one due to the immortal gods would have been passed.

Lo and behold, on the 13th of April, early in the morning comes Pilius Celer in hot haste - what a man, good heavens! How trustworthy and consistent! What an honest politician! He brings two letters, one in your name, a second in that of Antony. He hands them to the tribune Sevilius. Sevilius passed them on to Cornutus.6 They are read in the senate.
"ANTONIUS PROCONSUL! " - There was as much surprise expressed as though the words read had been "DOLABELLA IMPERATOR"; from whom indeed letter-carriers have arrived, but no one of the position of Pilius to venture to produce a despatch and to hand it to the magistrates.7 Your despatch is read. It was short indeed, but very indulgent in its reference to Antonius. The senate was greatly astonished. And I could not see my way clearly as to what I ought to do. Was I to declare it a forgery? What if you had acknowledged it? Was I to assert its genuineness? That will be a reflexion on your official position. So I let that day pass without saying anything. But next day, when there had begun to be much talk about it, and Pilius had made himself offensively conspicuous, the first step was after all taken by me. I said a great deal about "the proconsul" Antonius. Sestius backed me up. Afterwards, in private conversation with me, he dwelt on the danger he inferred for his own son and mine if they bore arms against "a proconsul." You know the sort of man he is. However, he did not shrink from supporting the contention.8 Others also spoke. Our friend Labeo, for instance, remarked that there was neither any seal of yours on the despatch, nor any date affixed, and that you had not written to your friends, as was your custom.9 By this he meant to argue that the despatch was a forgery, and, if you would know the truth, he was thought to be convincing.

Now, Brutus, you must take into consideration the whole question of the war. I notice that you take pleasure in lenient measures, and think that the most advantageous line to take. It is an admirable sentiment: but it is for other circumstances and other times that a place for clemency generally is and ought to be reserved. As things are now, Brutus, what is actually being done? The hope of the needy and the ruined is the plunder of the temples of the immortal gods; and what depends upon the issue of this war is neither more nor less than our bare existence. Who is it that we are sparing, or what is our object? Are we then consulting for the interests of those, whose victory means that not a trace of us will be left? For what difference is there between Dolabella and any one of the three Antonies? If we spare any of the latter, we have been harsh in the case of Dolabella. That the senate and Roman people take this view is partly the result of the mere facts of the case, but for the most part has been brought about by my advice and influence. If you disapprove this policy, I will speak up for your opinion, but I shall not abandon my own. From you men expect neither weakness nor cruelty. An obvious mean between these is that you should be stern to the leaders, placable to the soldiers. I should like my son, my dear Brutus, to be as much as possible by your side He will find no better school of virtue than the contemplation and imitation of you.
16 April.

1] That is, that Antony should have shared the fate of Caesar.
2] Cicero puts the converse in Phil. 2.113, when he says that "peace is liberty without war," pax est tranquilla libertas.
3] That is, when Caesar was murdered. Cicero still labours under the delusion that the revolution all depended on one man. If Antony had been murdered on the Ides of March, were there no others ready to play his part, and still more ably? Augustus is the best answer. It is well to observe how little mere assassination has ever been able to effect in political movements.
4] The despatch in which Brutus announced that he had taken possession of Macedonia, and was beleaguering Gaius Antonius in Apollonia (see Phil. 10.26). A second despatch announced his capture.
5] Young Cicero is said to have defeated Gaius Antonius in an engagement at Byllis, near Apollonia (Plutarch, Brut. 26).
6] Who was praetor urbanus, and therefore presided in the senate in the absence of the consuls.
7] The province of Macedonia had been assigned during Caesar's life to Brutus, probably by a lex. After his death Antony induced the senate to nominate himself (App. B.C. 3.24). Later on in B.C. 44, by a lex proposed by a tribune, Cisalpine Gaul was transferred to Antony (App. 3.30). Macedonia was therefore vacant, and a sortitio held in the senate on the 28th of November gave it to Gaius Antonius (Phil. 3.26). As a matter of fact, however, the outgoing proconsul Q. Hortensius had handed over his province and army to Brutus (Plut Brut. 25), and the senate, now under Cicero's influence, would only acknowledge Brutus as proconsul. For Dolabella, see p.210.
8] That is, the contention (causa) that M. Brutus was the legal proconsul in Macedonia.
9] That is, that the bearer of the public despatch brought no private letters at the same time, as we have seen was the almost invariable custom. For as there was no postal services, such messengers were always used for this purpose. It was a good argument against the genuineness of the letter.

DCCCXLIII (BRUT. 1, 3, § 4)

ROME, 27 APRIL 43 B.C.

We have lost two consuls - good men enough; yes, at any rate good men. As for Hirtius, he fell in the moment of victory,1 having also won a great battle only a few days before. For Pansa had retreated, after receiving wounds which put him out of action.2 Decimus Brutus and Caesar are in pursuit of the remnants of the enemy.3 All, moreover, have been declared "enemies," who followed the party of Antony: and that decree of the senate most people interpret as applying also to those whom you have captured or who have surrendered to you. For my part I refrained from urging any severity, though I proposed a decree referring to Gaius Antonius by name: for I had made up my mind that the senate ought to be informed by you of the merits of his case. 27 April.

] In storming Antony's camp a week after the battle of Forum Gallorum (21st April).
2] Pansa appears to have retired wounded to Bononia after the battle. It is rather remarkable that Galba says nothing of his being wounded in Letter DCCCXXXVIII.
3] It turned out that Caesar had refused to join Decimus Brutus in the pursuit of Antony.



What a loss the Republic has sustained by the death of Pansa you must be well aware. In these circumstances you must use your influence and foresight to prevent our opponents hoping to regain their strength now that the consuls have been removed. I will take care that Antony is unable to keep any footing in Italy. I am following him in hot haste. I hope that I shall secure two things - that Ventidius does not slip past me1 nor Antony remain in Italy. I specially beg you to send instructions to that shiftiest of men Lepidus, that he may not be in a position to renew the war against me if Antony effects a junction with him. For as to Asinius Pollio, I think you are quite clear as to what he will do. The legions of Lepidus and Asinius are numerous, good, and strong. And I don't write this to you because I know that the same facts escape your notice, but because I am most thoroughly convinced that Lepidus will never go straight - should you by chance have any doubt on that point! I beg you also to keep Plancus up to the mark, who will - I hope - stick to the Republic now that Antony has been defeated. If Antony has got himself across the Alps, I have resolved to station a force on the Alps and to keep you informed of everything.
29 April, in camp at Regium.2

[The next day's march of Decimus Brutus ended at Parma. There he found that Antony had been some days before him, and had plundered the town to supply his army. Two words of a despatch from Parma - Parmenses miserrimos, "Oh most wretched people of Parma" - are preserved and numbered in some editions Fam. 11.13b. See Phil. 14.9.]

1] Ventidius Bassus, as we have seen, did get past Decimus and join Antony.
2] Regium Lepidi, mod. Reggio, on the Aemi1ian road between Mutina and Parma.



I give you undying thanks, and shall do so as long as I live: since I cannot promise to repay you. For I do not think that I can possibly make a return for such great services as yours, unless by chance, as you remarked in such eloquent and impressive words in your letter, you will consider me to have repaid you as long as I remember them. If it had been a question of your own son's position, you could not have acted at any rate more affectionately. Your first motions in the senate proposing unlimited rewards for me, your later ones made to square with circumstances and the wishes of my friends, your constant and formal speeches about me, and your wordy-warfare on my behalf with my detractors-these are all most thoroughly known to me. I must be more than commonly careful to shew myself as a citizen worthy of your praise, mindful and grateful as your friend. For the future see that your bounty is not wasted; and if by results and facts you find that I am the man you wished me to be, defend me and take up my cause. Having crossed the Rhone with my troops, and having sent forward my brother with 3,000 cavalry, while I was myself on the march for Mutina, I was told on the road of the battle that had taken place, and of Brutus and Mutina being relieved. I saw that Antony and the remains of his force had no other place of retreat except in this district, and that he had two hopes in view-one of Lepidus himself; the other of his army. As a certain fraction of my army is as infatuated as those who were with Antony, I recalled my cavalry. I halted in the country of the Allobroges myself; that I might be as completely prepared for every eventuality as the situation required. If Antony comes into this district without forces, I think I am strong enough by myself to resist him, and to carry on the business of the country in accordance with the judgment of your house, even though he be admitted by the army of Lepidus. But if he brings some of his forces with him, and if the tenth veteran legion, which, having been recalled to its duty by my exertion, is now with the others, relapses into its old mad conduct, nevertheless I will do my best to prevent any loss; and I hope I shall prevent it, provided that forces from Rome are sent across, and by forming a junction with me find it easier to crush these abandoned men. This much I will promise you, my dear Cicero, that no vigour or careful attention shall be wanting on my part. I would to heaven there was no anxiety left, but if there is, I will not fall short of any man's loyalty or perseverance on behalf of you all. I am indeed doing my best to induce Lepidus to share this policy with me, and I am promising to defer to him in every way, if he will only consent to regard the interests of the Republic. I am employing as coadjutors and go-betweens in this negotiation my brother, and Laterensis, and our friend Furnius. I will not be stopped by private quarrels from coming to an understanding with my bitterest foe on behalf of the safety of the Republic. But if I am unsuccessful, nevertheless I will do what you wish with the greatest determination, and perhaps with some addition of reputation to myself. Take care of your health, and give me love for love.


ROME (5 MAY) 43 B.C.

On the 27th of April, when the speeches were being delivered in the senate as to the proceedings to be taken against the men who had been adjudged public enemies, Servilius referred among others to the case of Ventidius,1 and also advised that Cassius should conduct the war against Dolabella. I spoke in support of this, and added to the motion that you, if you thought it expedient and to the public advantage, should direct your attack upon Dolabella: and that if you could not do so with advantage to the public service, or if you thought that it was to the interests of the state, you should keep your army in the district in which it now is. The senate could not have paid you a greater compliment than leaving you to decide what you thought to be for the benefit of the state. For my own part my feeling is that, if Dolabella has a body of troops, if he has a camp, if he has any footing anywhere, it concerns your honour and position that you should go against him. As to the forces in the hands of our friend Cassius we know nothing, for we have had no despatch from him personally, nor has any news reached us upon which we can rely. But how important it is that Dolabella should be crushed you certainly fully appreciate, both that he may be punished for his crime, and that there may be no place of refuge for the ringleaders of the outlaws after their rout at Mutina. And indeed that this has all along been my opinion you may recollect from my previous letter - though at that time our only harbour of refuge was in your camp, and we were looking to your army to save us from destruction. Much more, now that we have been freed as I hope from absolute danger, ought we to devote ourselves to crushing Dolabella.2 But think the matter over carefully, decide it wisely, and - if you deem it right - let me know what you have resolved and what you are actually doing. I wish my son Cicero to be co-opted into your college.3 I think in the circumstances that in the election of sacerdotes candidates might be voted for in their absence : for it has been done even before this. For instance, Gaius Marius, though he was in Cappadocia, was created an augur under the lex Domitia;4 nor has any law since made that illegal. There is even a clause in the lex Julia - the most recent legislation on the subject of the priesthoods - in these words: "the candidate and anyone for whom votes shall be taken." This clearly indicates that votes can be taken for one who does not act as a candidate. I have written to my son on this subject telling him to follow your advice, as in all other things. It is for you again to decide about Domitius and our friend Cato.5 But however legal it may be for votes to be taken for a man in his absence, yet it is easier in every way for those who are on the spot. While if you have resolved that you must go to Asia, we shall have no means of summoning our friends to the comitia. Certainly I think that everything would have been more expeditiously done if Pansa were alive: for he would have at once held the election of his colleague, and then the comitia of the sacerdotes would have been held before those of the praetors. As it is, I foresee a long delay on account of the auspicia; for as long as there is a single patrician magistrate left the auspicia cannot revert to the senate. It is certainly a serious complication.6 Pray write and tell me your views on the whole question. 5 May.

1] Ventidius Bassus, the praetor, who had marched from Ariminum and joined Antony at Vada Sabata.
2] Cicero means that he had thought Brutus ought to pursue Dolabella, though before the success at Mutina it was important for the Optimates at Rome to have Brutus near at hand in case of danger. Now that the battle of Mutina had relieved them of that fear, there can be no reason why Brutus should not go to Asia, or anywhere else that was necessary.
3] The college of the pontifices. Two vacancies had occurred by the death of Iulius Caesar and P. Servilius Isauricus. They were filled up later in the year by Ventidius Bassus and Cornelius Balbus.
4] Marius went to Cappadocia in B.C. 99-98 on a votiva legatio to the mother of the gods, really with a view to see the state of things in regard to the encroachments of Mithradates, against whom he wished to be appointed to command. The lex Domitia, B.C. 104, left the right of co-optatio in a modified form to the sacred colleges. Two of the existing members nominated a man, who was next elected by seventeen of the tribes in the sacerdotum comitia, and was then - as though by a congé d' élire - co-opted by the whole college. This had since that time been again modified by Sulla, the intermediate process of election by the seventeen tribes being omitted or in some way reduced to a mere form; but after Sulla the old practice was resumed.
5] That is, whether you wish them to be candidates. L. Domitius Ahenobarbus (who fell at Pharsalia) married Porcia, a sister of Cato Uticensis, and Brutus was married to Porcia, a daughter of the same Cato. Therefore the son of Domitius - Cn. Domitius Ahenobarbus and young Cato, the son of Cato Uticensis, were connexions of Brutus, and he might wish to back them.
6] The same difficulty had occurred in B.C. 49, when both consuls were abroad. The lesser magistrate cannot "create," i.e., hold the election for, the greater. In old times, when the consuls were the only curule magistrates, in case of their disappearance by death or otherwise, the auspicial - the right of taking the auspices, without which there could be no valid election - were said to revert to the patres of the senate. The senate then nominated interreges, who held the election. But the question is now complicated by the fact that there are other curule magistrates who possess the auspicia, which therefore cannot revert to the patres unless they abdicate. In B.C. 52 the question did not arise, for the elections having been all prevented till after the 1st of January, all curule magistrates had vacated their offices, and therefore the auspicia had reverted to the patres. By a "patrician magistrate," Cicero practically means a curule magistrate, originally confined to the patricians: the term is still used, though the old "patrician" monopoly of the auspicia had long disappeared.

DCCCL (F XI, 10)


I do not think that the Republic owes me more than I owe you. You have good assurance of my being capable of greater gratitude to you than those misguided persons shew me: and that if after all my words seem to be dictated by the exigencies of the hour, I prefer your approval to that of all those people on the other side. For your judgment of us proceeds from an independent and sincere feeling: they are debarred from that by malice and jealousy. Let them interpose to prevent my receiving marks of honour, so long as they do not prevent the public service being properly conducted by me. The extreme danger in which that now stands I will explain as briefly as I can. To begin with, you cannot fail to observe what a confusion in city business is caused by the death of the consuls, and how much ambition this vacancy in the office inspires in men. I think I have written as much as can be committed to paper. For I know to whom I am writing. I now return to Antony, who, though when he fled he had only a handful of unarmed infantry, seems, by breaking open slave-barracks and requisitioning every kind of human being, to have made up a very considerable number. To this has been added the force of Ventidius, which after accomplishing a difficult march across the Apennines has reached Vada and has there affected a junction with Antony. There is a very considerable number of veterans and fully armed soldiers with Ventidius. Antony's plan of campaign must certainly be either to join Lepidus, if Lepidus will have him; or to keep behind the lines of the Apennines and Alps, and to lay waste the district which he has invaded by sending out parties of cavalry, of which he has large numbers; or to draw back into Etruria, since that part of Italy has no army in it. But if Caesar had listened to me and crossed the Apennines, I should have reduced Antony to such straits, that he would have been ruined by failure of provisions rather than by the sword. But neither can anyone control Caesar, nor can Caesar control his own army - both most disastrous facts. These things being so, I won't hinder anybody, as far as I am concerned, from interposing, as I said before. It alarms me to think how these difficulties are to be removed, and, when they are removed by you, of the fresh hindrances that may intervene. I am already unable to feed and pay my men. When I undertook the task of freeing the Republic I had more than 40,000 sestertia1 in money. So far from any part of my private property remaining unencumbered, I have by this time loaded all my friends with debt. I am now supporting a force amounting to seven legions, you can imagine with what difficulty. Not if I had all the treasures of Varro,2 could I stand the expense. As soon as I have any certain information about Antony I will let you know. Pray continue to love me with the assurance that I entertain the same feeling for you.
5 May, in camp, Dertona.

1] About £320,000.
2] M. Terentius Varro was not a particularly rich man, or at any rate not sufficiently so to be proverbial. But he wrote a book de divitiis, in which he may have told the story of Crassus saying that no one was rich till he could keep a legion on the interest of his capital (Pliny, N. H. 33, § 134). Another suggestion is that it refers to some character in one of Varro's plays.


SYRIA, 7 MAY 43 B.C.

If you are well, I am glad. I also am well. I have read your letter in which I recognized your uncommon affection for me. For you seemed not merely to wish me well - as you always have done on private arid public grounds alike - but to have involved yourself'in very grave responsibility and to be exceedingly anxious about us. Therefore, because in the first place I thought that you would believe that we could not remain inactive when the Republic was crushed: and in the second place because, as you suspected that we were moving, I thought you would be anxious as to our safety and the result of the operations, as soon as I received the legions brought by Aulus Allienus from Egypt,1 I wrote to you and sent a number of messengers to Rome. I also wrote a despatch to the senate, which I said was not to be delivered until it had been read to you - if by any chance my messengers have chosen to obey me. If these letters have not reached you, I have no doubt that Dolabella, who seized the government of Asia after the abominable murder of Trebonius, has caught my letter-carriers and intercepted the despatches. I have now under me all the Roman forces in Syria. I have been delayed for a short time whilst providing the promised pay for the soldiers. I am only just free from that difficulty. I beg you to consider that the defence of my position is committed to you, as you know full well that I have declined no danger and no labour in the service of my country: as on your suggestion and advice I have taken up arms against the most, unscrupulous outlaws: as I have not only collected armies to defend the Republic and liberty, but have also rescued them from the most bloodthirsty tyrants. If Dolabella had anticipated me in getting hold of these armies he would have strengthened Antony's hands, not only by their actual arrival, but also by giving him reason to think 'and expect that they were coming. For which achievements defend my soldiers, since you understand that they have done wonderfully, good service to the state, and secure' that they do not regret having preferred to make the Republic the object of their labours rather than the hope of booty and plunder. Maintain. also the position of the imperators Murcus and Crispus2 as far as lies in your power. For Bassus was desperately unwilling to hand over his, legion' to me. Had not his soldiers in spite of him sent agents to me, he would have kept Apamea closed until it had been stormed. I make these remarks to you not only in the name of the Republic, which has always been the object of your deepest affection, 'but also in the name of our friendship, which I feel 'sure has the greatest weight with you. Believe me that this army is at the service of the senate and all the 'most loyal citizens, and above all of yourself. For from continually being told of your patriotism they regard you with wonderful devotion and affection. And if they come to understand that their interests engage your attention, they will also regard themselves as owing ydu everything. Since writing this letter I have been informed that Dolabella has arrived in Cilicia with his forces. I shall start for Cilicia. Whatever I succeed in doing I will take care to let you know promptly. I can only hope that we may be as fortunate as our services to the state deserve. Keep well, and love me.
7 May, in camp.

1] Aulus Allienus was a legatus of Trebonius, and had been sent to Egypt lor the legions stationed there.
2] L. Murcus and Q. Marcius Crispus, who had been engaged against Caecilius Bassus, and had handed over their legions to Cassius.

DCCCLIII (BRUT. I, 4, §§ 1-3)


My joy at hearing of the success of our friend Decimus Brutus and the Consuls it is easier for you to imagine than for me to write.1 I have nothing but praise and pleasure for everything that has occurred, but especially for the fact that the sortie of Brutus not only proved his own salvation, but also a very great assistance to the victory.2

You remark that all the three Antonies stand on one and the same ground, and that it rests with me to decide what view I take. Well, my only conclusion is that the decision in regard to those citizens who have fought and not been killed rests with the senate or the Roman people. "Ah, but," you will say, "you are wrong to begin with in calling men citizens whose feelings to the state are those of enemies." On the contrary, I am acting with the strictest justice. For that which the senate has not yet voted, nor the Roman people ordained - that I do not take upon myself to prejudge, nor do I claim to decide it on my own authority. From this position I do not budge - from the man, whom circumstances did not compel me to put to death, I have not wrested anything in a spirit of cruelty, nor have I given him any indulgence from mere weakness; but I have retained him in my power until the end of the war. I consider it much the more honourable course, and one which the Republic can with more safety concede, not to press heavily on the unfortunate, rather than to indulge men of influence in what is calculated to inflame their ambition and arrogance.3 In this matter, Cicero, you - who have done the most splendid and gallant services, and are most deeply beloved by all on private and public grounds alike - seem to me too ready to believe what you hope; and the moment anyone has done anything well, to be ready to give and concede everything to him. As though it were not quite possible that a mind should be corrupted by bribery and perverted to evil. You are so good-natured that you won't be angry at receiving this hint, especially as it concerns the common safety. You will act, however, as it may seem best to you. Even I, when you have admonished me... 4

1] Brutus could not have known of the death of the consuls, which indeed was not known at first even at Rome. Galba's letter says nothing even of Pansa's wound, and as Brutus refers below to the last words of Letter DCCCXLI, he could not have as yet received DCCCXLIII.
2] According to Dio (46, 40), Decimus Brutus and his besieged garrison made no sortie during the battle, nor took any part in it. But there is nothing surprising in M. Brutus having heard that he did. The inaccuracy of the reports during the war has again and again been apparent.
3] Brutus seems to be referring to those members of the party who were in favour of severities to the opposition, partly from desire for vengeance, and partly with an eye to confiscations and other personal advantages. We heard much of this in the early times of the civil war.
4] The end of the letter is lost.

DCCCLV (F XI, 13, §§ 1-4)


I am not going to thank you any more; for when one can make a man no return in deeds, it is impossible to satisfy his just claims by mere words. I want you to notice what I have on my hands. For your insight is so great that you will take in the whole situation, if you read my letter with care. I was unable, my dear Cicero, to pursue Antony at once for the following reasons. I had no cavalry, no transport animals; I did not know that Hirtius was dead; I did not know that Aquila was dead; I couldn't put any confidence in Caesar without first visiting and holding a conversation with him. So passed the first day. Next day early I was summoned by Pansa to Bononia. While I was on the way news was brought to me that he was dead. I hurried back to my poor little force - for I can call it so with truth. It was most woefully reduced and in the very worst condition from want of every kind of necessary. Antony thus got two days start of me. He made much longer marches, as being in retreat, than I could in pursuit. For he marched in loose order, I in close. Wherever he came he broke open the slave-barracks and forcibly requisitioned the men. He never made any halt anywhere till he reached Vada. I would like you to know about this place. It lies between the Apennines and the Alps, very difficult to reach by a march. When I was thirty miles from it, and when Ventidius had already effected a junction with him, a public speech delivered by Antony was reported to me, in which he began entreating his men to follow him across the Alps, telling them that he had an understanding with Marcus Lepidus. There was some murmuring, and from a good many of Ventidius's men - for Antony has very few of his own - that it was their duty to perish or conquer in Italy; and they began begging him to allow them to march to Pollentia. Not being able to withstand them, he arranged to begin his march the next day. When I received this intelligence I at once sent forward five cohorts to Pollentia and directed my march to that place. My advanced guard arrived at Pollentia an hour before Trebellius with his cavalry.1 I was greatly delighted: for I think that this constitutes a victory. ...2

1] There is no doubt that Decimus Brutus was completely outmanoeuvred. Antony's despatch of cavalry to Pollentiawas a feint to draw Decimus Brutus away from the road to Vada, and he fell into the trap.
2] The end of the letter is lost.


CULARO1, 13 MAY 43 B.C.

What has happened since my last letter2 was written I thought it for the public service that you should know. My persevering attention has, I hope, borne some fruit both for myself and the Republic. For by a continual interchange of messages I urged Lepidus, laying aside all controversies and admitting a reconciliation between us, to join me in coming to the rescue of the Republic; to have regard for himself; his children, and the city, as more precious than one abandoned and humiliated outlaw: and I promised him that he should find me thoroughly at his command in every undertaking if he did so. I have made some way with him; and accordingly he has by our intermediary Laterensis pledged his word to me that he will make war on Antony, if he fails to prevent his entrance into his province. He has asked me to join him and combine our forces. He is the more urgent on that point because Antony for his part is said to be strong in cavalry, while Lepidus himself is not even moderately equipped in that respect. For even from the small number that he did possess, ten of the best a few days ago had deserted to my camp. When I was informed of these facts I did not delay: I thought that Lepidus was to be encouraged in the path of loyalty. I saw what my arrival was likely to effect, either because I could, as I reckoned, pursue and crush his cavalry with mine, or because I might, I thought, by bringing my army up, reform and put pressure upon that part of Lepidus's army which was disaffected and disloyal to the state. Accordingly, having made a bridge in a single day across the Isara - a very large river which bounds the territory of the Allobroges - I got my army across on the 12th of May. Having, however, received information that Lucius Antonius with cavalry and some cohorts had been sent in advance and had arrived at Forum Iulli, I sent my brother with 4,000 cavalry on the 13th of May to meet him. I am going to follow him with four legions in fighting order and the rest of my cavalry as quickly as I can march. If the good fortune of the Republic aids us even to a moderate degree, we shall here find an end to the presumption of a set of ruffians and to our own anxiety. But if that outlaw gets timely warning of our approach and retreats into Italy, it will be the business of Brutus to meet him, who will not, I know, lack either strategy or courage. However, if that happens, I shall send my brother with the cavalry in pursuit of him, to protect Italy from being looted. Take care of your health and return my affection.

1] Modern Grenoble
2] See Letter DCCCXLV. This may have been sent with it.



I1 have read an extract from your letter to Octavius which was sent me by Atticus. Your zeal and care for my safety gave me no novel pleasure; for it is not merely a matter of habit, but of daily habit, to be told of you that you have said or done something in defence of my position which displayed your fidelity and complimentary opinion of me. But that same extract of your letter to Octavius about us caused me a distress as great as my heart is capable of feeling. For you thank him in the name of the Republic in such terms! With such abject and whispering humbleness - why must I write the word? I blush to think of my position and high estate, yet I must write it - you commend our safety to him! Could any death be worse disaster? You, in fact, avow that the slavery is not abolished, only the master changed! Recall your words and dare to say that those prayers are not the prayers of an enslaved subject to a tyrant. The one and only thing - you say - that is demanded and expected of him is that he consent to the safety of those citizens, of whom the loyalists and the people have a good opinion. What? If he doesn't consent, shall we not be safe? And yet it is better not to be than to be by his favour.2 Upon my honour I do not think that all the gods are so hostile to the safety of the Roman people, that we need entreat Octavius for the safety of any citizen, not to say for "the liberators of the world" - for there is a certain advantage in using strong language, and at any rate there is a propriety in doing so to people who do not know what every man ought to fear or to aim at.

Do you confess, Cicero, that Octavius has this power, and are you his friend? Or, if you regard me with affection, do you wish me to appear at Rome, when in order to do so safely I have had to be recommended to that boy? Why do you thank him, if you think he has to be asked to allow and suffer us to keep our lives? Is it to be regarded as a favour that he has preferred to be himself rather than a second Antony, to whom we had to make petitions like that? Does anyone address to the destroyer of another's tyranny, and not rather to its successor, a prayer that those who have done the most splendid services to their country may be allowed their lives? This is mere weakness and a counsel of despair. And the fault is not yours more than everyone else's. It was this that egged on Caesar to desire royalty, and induced Antony after his death to aim at occupying the place of the dead man, and has at the present moment put that boy of yours on such a pedestal, as to make you think that he must be absolutely entreated to grant life to such men as us, and that we shall even now be able to enjoy a bare safety from the pity of one man, and by nothing else whatever. But if we had remembered that we were Romans, these dregs of mankind would not have conceived the ambition of playing the tyrant with more boldness than we should have forbidden it: nor would Antony have had his ambition more roused by Caesar's royalty, than his fears excited by Caesar's death. For yourself; a consular and the avenger of such abominable crimes - and I fear that by their suppression the mischief was only postponed by you for a short time - how can you contemplate your own achievements, and at the same time countenance, or at any rate endure these things with such abject humbleness as to have the air of countenancing them? Again, what was your private and personal quarrel with Antony? Why, it was just because he made this very claim - that our safety should be asked as a favour from him; that we should hold our civil rights on sufferance - we from whom he had himself received his freedom; that he should be absolute in the Republic - it was for these reasons that you thought we must take up arms to prevent his playing the tyrant. Was the object of doing so that, when he had been prevented, we should have to petition another man to allow himself to be put in his place? Or was it that the Republic should be its own master and at its own disposal? Surely: unless we are to suppose that our objection was not to slavery but to the terms of our slavery! And yet, not only had we the opportunity of supporting our high estate with Antony as a liberal master, but even of enjoying rewards and honours as his partners to the top of our ambition: for what would he have refused to men, whose submissiveness he saw would be the greatest bulwark of his tyranny? But nothing seemed sufficient to make us barter our honour and freedom.

This very boy, whom the name of Caesar appears to instigate against the slayers of Caesar, what would he give, if there were a chance of such traffic, to be as powerful with our support, as he certainly will be when we choose life for its own sake, and the possession of money, and the title of consulars! But Caesar will have perished in vain: for why did we rejoice at his death, if we were to become none the less slaves when he is dead? No one else cares about these things, but may the gods and goddesses take from me everything sooner than the resolution of never conceding what I would not endure in Caesar - I won't say to the heir of the man I killed, but even to my father himself if he were to come to life again - namely, that he should, without a protest from me, be more powerful than the laws and the senate. Are you so deluded as to think that the rest of the world will be free from one without whose consent there is no footing for us in Rome? Moreover, how can you possibly get what you ask? For you ask that he would consent to our safety: do we therefore appear likely to accept safety, since we have accepted life? But how can we accept it, if we previously give up position and liberty? Do you count the fact of living at Rome as complete citizenship? It is circumstance, not the particular place of residence, that must secure me that. I was neither properly a full citizen while Caesar was alive, except when I had resolved upon doing that deed; nor can I ever be anywhere an exile so long as I abhor servitude and submission to insult worse than every other evil. To ask a man who has adopted a tyrant's name as his own3 for the safety of the avengers and destroyers of the tyranny - is not this to fall back into the very dungeon from which you have just escaped? Why, in Greek states when tyrants are put down their sons are included under the same punishment.4 Am I to desire to see a state, or to regard it as a state at all, which is incapable of recovering even a freedom handed down by its ancestors and rooted in its very being, and which is more afraid of the name of a slain tyrant in the person of a mere boy, than confident in itself; though seeing the very man who possessed the most over-weening power removed by the valour of a few? For myself - do not henceforth recommend me to your Caesar, nor yourself either, if you will listen to me. You must have a great value for the few years that your time of life allows you, if for their sake you are going to be a suppliant to that boy of yours. Again, take care that those very splendid attacks which you have made and are still making upon Antony, instead of getting you credit for courage, are not misinterpreted into a belief that you are afraid. For if you think Octavius the sort of person from whom to make petitions for our safety, you will be thought not to have fled from a master, but to have looked out for a more agreeable master. Of your praising him for his conduct up to this time I quite approve, for it deserves to be praised, provided that he adopted these measures against the tyrannical power of another and not in support of his own. But when you shew your opinion that he is not only to be allowed so much power, but is even to have so much tendered to him by yourself; as to be petitioned not to refuse us our lives, you are making a very bad bargain with him, for you are giving away to him the very thing of which the Republic seemed to be in possession through him. And it does not occur to you that, if Octavius deserves those honours for waging war on Antony, to those who have cut up that mischief by the roots - of which the present position is but the last trace - the Roman people will never give what is an adequate reward of their service, though it should heap everything it had to give upon them at once. See too how much more awake people are to actual fear than to the memory of past terrors. Because Antony is still alive and in arms, while in regard to Caesar what could and was bound to be done is all over and cannot be undone, Octavius is the man whose decision as to us is awaited by the Roman people; we are in such a position that one man has to be petitioned to enable us to live. I however - to return to your policy - so far from being the sort of man to supplicate, am one forcibly to coerce those who demand that supplications should be addressed to them. If I can't do that, I will withdraw far from the servile herd and will for myself regard as Rome wherever I am able to be free. I shall feel only pity for men like yourself; if neither age nor honours nor the example of other men's courage has been able to lessen your clinging to life. For my part I shall only think myself happy if I abide with firmness and persistency in the idea that my patriotism has had its reward: for what is there better than the memory of good actions, and for a man - wanting nothing except liberty - to disregard the vicissitudes of human life? But at any rate I will not yield to the yielders, nor be conquered by those who are willing to be conquered themselves. I will try every expedient, every plan: and I will never desist from the attempt to rescue our country from slavery. If the luck follows which ought to follow, I shall rejoice: if not, I shall rejoice all the same, for on what better deeds or thoughts can my life be spent than on those which are directed to the liberation of my fellow citizens? For you, Cicero, I beg and entreat you not to give in to fatigue or despair. In warding off actually existing evils ever seek to discover those that will occur if they are not prevented, and so prevent their creeping in upon us. Consider that the brave and independent spirit, with which as consul and now as a consular you have vindicated the freedom of the state, ceases to exist if a consistent and even tenor of conduct is not preserved. For I confess that tried virtue is in a harder position than virtue that is unknown. We exact good deeds as a debt: we assail the reverse with anger in our hearts, as though we were cheated by such men. So, for instance, though it is a most laudable thing that Cicero should resist Antony, yet because the consul of that time is thought naturally to guarantee the consular of today, no one admires him. And if this same Cicero when dealing with others has distorted his judgment, which he kept unshaken with such steadiness and high spirit in routing Antony, he will not only snatch the glory of future action from his own grasp, but will even force his past career to fade from sight (for there is nothing which is truly great in itself; unless it is deliberate and systematic), because no one is under a greater obligation to love the Republic and to be the champion of liberty, whether we regard his ability or his great past or the eager demands upon him from all the world. Wherefore Octavius ought not to be petitioned to consent to our safety. Rather do you rouse yourself to the fixed belief that the state in which you have performed the most splendid services will be free and honoured, if only the people have leaders in their resistance to the plots of traitors.

1] The textual history of this and the following letter (to Atticus) is strong enough, and the references in Plutarch's Brutus (ch. xxii) are sufficient to prove that they, or documents exceedingly like them, existed in his time and were believed to be genuine. To my mind the letter to Atticus has much the stronger internal signs of genuineness of the two. For in spite of every attestation one is loath to think that the present letter was really written by a man who enjoyed as high a reputation among his contemporaries as Brutus did. It is so querulous, poor, ill-expressed, and tautological - so entirely unworthy of the subject and the writer and the recipient - that we should be glad to know of a dull pupil in a rhetorical school being discovered to be its author. To read arguments in favour of its being Brutus's usual style reminds one of a criticism of Charles Lamb, who, being told that somebody's sonnets were like those of Petrarch, replied, "Yes, they are like Petrarch's, if we could suppose Petrarch to have been born a fool." I have left these letters in the place assigned them in Messrs. Tyrrell and Purser's edition; but one of the gravest objections to them is the difficulty of deciding to what particular juncture they can refer: and for some reasons it seems to me to be most natural to put at any rate the first of them before the battle of Mutina.
2] This of course recalls Shakespeare, and may have suggested, “ I had as lief not be as live to be
In awe of such a thing as I myself.” Jul. Caes. i. 2, 95.
3] Octavius by adoption in Caesar's will was now C. Iulius Caesar Octavianus. Brutus never calls him Octavianus, as that would acknowledge the adoption, and only Caesar ironically.
4] A verse of Stasimus is quoted by Polybius (23, 10) on the policy of killing sons as well as fathers νήπιος ὃς πατέρα κτείνας υἱοὺςκαταλείπει, "Oh fool! to slay the sire and leave the sons!"



You say in your letter that Cicero wonders at my never making any remark about his political actions. Since you ask me, under compulsion from you I will set down my sentiments. I know that Cicero does everything with the best intentions - for what could be clearer to me than his devotion to the Republic? But he, the acutest of men, appears to me in certain things to have acted with a want of - shall I call it tact or disinterestedness? - in spite of the fact that he has not scrupled to incur the enmity of Antony at the height of his power on behalf of the Republic. I don't know what to set down on paper for you except the one thing: that the boy's ambition and unscrupulousness have been rather provoked than repressed by Cicero: and that he carries this indulgence to such a pitch that he does not abstain from abusive remarks - remarks which recoil upon himself with double force, because he put more than a single person to death, and ought rather to confess himself a murderer than to taunt Casca as he does, and because he imitates in Casca's case the conduct of Bestia.1 Pray, because we are not always bragging of the Ides of March, as he always has his Nones of December on his lips, is Cicero in any better position for vilifying a most glorious deed than Bestia and Clodius were for their habitual attacks upon his consulship? Our friend Cicero boasts to me that he has, though a civilian, successfully faced the war of Antony. What good is that to me, if as a price for crushing Antony succession into Antony's position is demanded, and if the avenger of that evil comes forward as the supporter of another destined to have a deeper foundation and to strike deeper roots, unless we prevent it? Granted that his present policy proceeds from fear - shall we say of tyranny, or of a tyrant, or of Antony? Well, but I feel no gratitude to one who, to avoid being the slave of a bad-tempered master, does not deprecate slavery itself - nay, rather proposes to give him a triumph and pay for his men, and by all manner of decrees instigates him not to shrink from coveting the high position of the man whose name he has adopted. Is this worthy of a consular or of a Cicero? Since I have not been allowed to be silent, you will have to read what must necessarily give you annoyance, for I am conscious myself of the pain with which I have written this to you; nor am I ignorant what your sentiments as to the situation are, and how desperate also you think the possibility of its cure.2 Nor, by heaven, do I blame you, Atticus. For your age, your habits, and your children3 make you unenterprising - a fact which I gathered also from our friend Flavius. But I return to Cicero. What is the difference between Salvidienus4 and him? What greater honour could he have proposed in the senate? Cicero is afraid," you will say, "even now of the remnant of the civil war." Does anyone then, while fearing a war nearly concluded, think that neither the tyrannical power of 'the victorious army's commander nor the rashness of the boy is at all alarming? Or is his motive for this very action the idea that now, owing to the greatness of his power, every kind of honour must be spontaneously offered to him? How strange is the blindness of fear! While taking precautions against what you dread, actually to invite danger and to bring it upon you, though you might perhaps have avoided it altogether! We are over-fearful of death, exile, and poverty: I think that these things are the worst of evils in Cicero's eyes, and that while he has people from whom to get what he wants, and by whom to be made much of and flattered, he has no aversion to servitude, if it be but tempered by a show of respect - if there can be any respect in what is the last and most wretched degradation. Therefore, though Octavius call Cicero "father," consult him in everything, praise and thank him, nevertheless the truth will come out that words do not agree with deeds. For what can be more contrary to common sense than to regard a man as a father, who is not even reckoned as free? For my part, I set no store by those accomplishments with which I know Cicero to be better furnished than anyone else: for what good to him are the speeches on behalf of his country's liberty, the essays on dignity, death, exile, poverty, which he has composed with the utmost wealth of language? What a much truer view Philippus seems to have of those things, when he refused all compliments to his own stepson,5 than Cicero has, who pays them to one who has no connexion with him! Let him cease then from absolutely insulting our misfortunes by his boastful language; for what does it profit us that Antony has been conquered, if the only result of his defeat is to leave his place open to another? However, even now there is a note of uncertainty in your letter. Long live Cicero - as he may well do - to cringe and serve! if he is not ashamed to think of his age nor his honour, nor his great past. For myself, at any rate, there is no condition of servitude, however favourable, which will deter me from waging war on the principle: that is, on royalty, unconstitutional magistracies, absolutism, and power that aims at being above the laws. Though Antony may be a good man, as you say in your letter - which, however, has never been my opinion -  yet the law of our ancestors was that no one, not even a father, should be an absolute master. Unless I had been as deeply attached to you as Cicero believes that Octavius is devoted to him, I should not have written this to you. I am grieved to think that as you read this you are getting angry - for you are most affectionate to all your friends, and especially to Cicero: but assure yourself of this, that my personal goodwill to Cicero is in no way modified, though my opinion is largely so, for you cannot ask a man to judge except from what seems to him to be truth in each case. I could have wished that you had mentioned in your letter what arrangements were being made for the betrothal of our dear Attica: I might have said something to you of what I felt about the matter. I am not surprised that you are anxious about Porcia's health.6 Lastly, I will gladly do what you ask, for my sisters7 ask me the same, and I know the man and his views.

1] That is, he is as bitter to Casca as Bestia was formerly to himself. L. Calpurnius Bestia had been a partisan of Catiline (pro Sest. § 11). Yet Cicero defended him on a charge of ambitus in B.C. 56. There were two brothers Casca - C. Servilius Casca and P. Servilius Casca - engaged in the assassination. Publius was tribune in B.C. 44-43. From ad Att. 16.159, it would seem that Octavian had protested against his tribuneship (cp. Phil. 13.31). It seems almost too great an inconsistency to be believed that Cicero should ever have reproached any man with the death of Caesar.
2] It seems necessary in the context that this sentence should mean that Atticus despaired of remedial measures. Various emendations have been proposed. I have simply changed desperatam to desperatum, and regarded posse sanari as a substantive, "the possibility of a cure," which is a rather characteristic usage in these letters.
3] Atticus - we should observe - had only one child, a daughter. But perhaps we may pass liberi as a facon de parler.
4] Salvidienus Rufus, an early friend of Octavian's, who had been with him at Apollonia. He was a man of obscure origin (ex infima fortuna, Suet. Aug. 66), but was employed on confidential matters for some time by Augustus. He has now apparently been sent to Rome with Octavian's demand for the consulship. In B.C. 42 and 41 he was employed against Sextus Pompeius in Sicily, and from thence was despatched to secure Gaul and Spain: and returned to take part in the siege of Perusia. After the fall of Perusia (B.C. 40), he went with Augustus to Gaul, where he was left in command, and designated consul for B.C. 39. But in the autumn of B.C. 40, when Antony came to Brundisium, he seems to have told Augustus that Salvidienus had been tampering with the loyalty of the Gauls, and he was convicted of maiestas and declared a hostis by the senate; and thereupon put to death (App. B.C. 5.52-56; Dio, 48, 13-33).
5] For Philippus would not address him as Caesar, at any rate when he first came to Italy.
6] Porcia, if we are to accept the consolatio (Letter DCCCXCVII) as genuine, seems to have died soon after this.
7] Half-sisters: Iunia married to Lepidus, Tertia to Cassius. We have no means of knowing to whom Brutus is referring - perhaps to Lepidus, to whom Cicero may have asked him to write.

DCCCLXV (F X, 34, §§ 1, 2)


If you are well, I am glad. I am well. Having been informed that Antony, after sending Lucius Antonius in advance with a detachment of his cavalry, was coming with his forces into my province, I moved with my army from the confluence of the Rhone and determined to oppose them. Accordingly, I have come by daily marches to Forum Voconii,2 and to the east of that town I have pitched a camp on the river Argens opposite the Antonians. Publius Ventidius has united his three legions with him and has pitched a camp still farther to the east. Antony had before this junction the fifth legion, and a large number of men drawn from the other legions, but without arms. He has a large force of cavalry: for it got away after the battle without loss, so that there are more than five thousand troopers. A large number of infantry and cavalry have deserted to me from him, and his force is shrinking every day. Silanus and Culleo have abandoned him.3 Although they had done me a serious wrong in having joined Antony contrary to my wish, yet for kindness' sake, and in view of our close connexion, I have granted them their lives, but I am not employing them, nor allowing them to remain in camp, and I have not given them any command. As far as this war is concerned, I shall not be wanting in my duty to the senate nor to the Republic. I will keep you acquainted with my future proceedings.4

1] The confluence of the Rhone and the Durance, near Avignon.
2] A station on the via Aurelia, but its exact site is uncertain. Mr. Hall (The Romans on the Riviera) places it in the territory of le Luc, twenty-four Roman miles west of Fréjus.
3] M. Iunius Silanus was a son of Servilia by her second husband, D. Iunius Silanus, and therefore half-brother of Marcus Brutus and brother-in-law of Lepidus. He commanded the praetorian cohort in Antony's army, and fought at Mutina. He survived to be consul in B.C. 25. His connexion with Lepidus no doubt caused his present move. According to Dio (46, 38), he had been sent by Lepidus to assist Decimus at Mutina with the secret understanding that he was to do nothing. Q. Terentius Culleo - mentioned once or twice before - must have been a rather lukewarm Caesarian. Lepidus had, however, stationed him on the pass over the Maritime Alps - the Riviera - but probably by connivance of Lepidus himself he had not opposed Antony's passage, and indeed seems to have joined him (App. B. C. iii. 83).
4] On the 29th of May Lepidus joined Antony.


GAUL, 18 MAY 43 B.C.

What I had in my mind when Laevus and Nerva quitted me you have been able to ascertain by the letter which I forwarded by them and from these men personally, who have taken part in all my actions and consultations. There has happened to me what usually does happen to a man of honour and one who is desirous of doing his duty to the state, in fact to all good men, that I preferred to pursue a dangerous course with an approving conscience, rather than a safe one which might lay me open to some reproach. Accordingly, after the departure of his legates, as Lepidus in two successive letters begged me to join him, and Laterensis still more strongly begged me to do so in terms almost of entreaty - shewing no dread of anything except what causes me also some alarm, the fickleness and untrustworthy temper of his army - I thought I ought not to hesitate about hurrying to his assistance and confronting the common danger. Now the safe course for me was to wait on the Isére till Dec. Brutus got his army across the mountains, and to go to meet the enemy with a colleague in sympathy with my views and an army in full accord and well-affected to the had not opposed Antony's passage, and indeed seems to have joined him1. Republic, as his soldiers are. Nevertheless I knew that if Lepidus while entertaining loyal ideas came to any harm, it would all be laid to the charge either of my obstinacy or my timidity. I saw plainly that this would' be so, if I either failed to relieve a man closely united with the Republic, though on bad terms with myself, or had myself withdrawn from the struggle in a war of such moment. So I preferred to run the risk, and to see whether my presence might afford Lepidus protection and render his army better-affected, rather than appear over-cautious. At any rate I think there never was anyone more anxious, without any fault of his own, than myself. For the very situation which was causing me no hesitation, supposing Lepidus's army away, in the present state of things brings me great anxiety and involves great risk. For if it had been my fortune to encounter Antony first, he would not, by heaven, have held his ground an hour. So confident do I feel in myself and so completely do I despise his demoralized forces and the division of Ventidius the mule-man.2 But I cannot but shudder at the idea of some hidden wound, which may cause mischief before it can be known and treated. But certainly unless I had remained on the same ground Lepidus himself and the well-affected part of his army would have incurred great danger. The unscrupulous enemy also would have secured a great accession of force, if they had withdrawn any of his troops from Lepidus. And if my arrival has stopped these things occurring I shall thank my stars and my own firmness, which incited me to make this experiment. Therefore on the 20th of May I broke up my camp on the Isére: I left the bridge standing, however, which I had constructed over that river, with a fort placed at each end of it; and in them I stationed strong garrisons, that there might be a means of crossing without delay ready for Brutus and his army when he came.3 I shall myself, I hope, in eight days from the despatch of this letter effect a junction with the forces of Lepidus.

1] App. B.C. 3.83.
2] P. Ventidius Bassus had in earlier life contracted for the supply of mules to Caesar's army. It was in that capacity that he seems to have attracted Caesar's notice and confidence.
3] Decimus Brutus was at Eporedia (Ivree), ready to cross by the Little St. Bernard pass, which would bring him into Provence, and in his march south he would have to cross the Isére.



On the 15th of May Antony reached Forum Iulii1 with his advanced guard. Ventidius is two days' march behind him. Lepidus is encamped at Forum Voconii, which is twenty-four miles from Forum Iulli, and has settled to await me there, as he has himself written to tell me. But if neither Lepidus himself nor fortune disappoints me in any way, I pledge myself to finish this business quickly in the manner in which you in the senate desire. I told you in a previous letter that my brother was ill, worn out by continuous work and rapid movements. Nevertheless, as soon as he could set foot to ground, considering that his restored health was not his own more than the state's, he was for leading the forlorn hope everywhere. But I have not merely urged, I have forced him to start for Rome - partly on the grounds that in his state of health he was more likely to wear himself to death than to assist me in camp, and partly because I thought that the Republic, having been left bare by the most regrettable death of the consuls, required the presence of such an eminent citizen as praetor for the conduct of city business. But if any of you at Rome disapprove, let it be known that it was I that lacked prudence in counsel, not he fidelity to his country. After all, Lepidus did what I wanted him to do - he sent me Apella to hold as a hostage of his good faith and of his co-operation in the public service. In that business I was well satisfied with the services of L. Gellius,2 whom I employed as my last emissary to Lepidus. I think that I ascertained him to be attached to the Republic, and it will give me pleasure to testify to him and to all who serve the state well. Take care of your health, return my affection for you, and defend my position, if I deserve it, as you have done up to this time with remarkable kindness.

1] [R.I. now Fréjus.]
2] After this name the MSS. have ex tribus fratribus Segaviano, which appear to have no meaning. We know nothing of this L. Gellius. If he was a Romanized Gaul, the right reading may be ex tribus fratribus Segallaunis, "one of three brothers of the Segallauni," a people living round Valence on the Rhone.



If you1 and your children are well, I am glad. I am well. Asia having been overrun by the criminal proceedings of Dolabella, I betook myself to the neighbouring province of Macedonia and to those defences of the Republic which the honourable citizen Marcus Brutus had under his command, and urged that the province of Asia and its revenues should be restored to your authority by those who could do so most promptly. This alarmed Dolabella, and therefore, after plundering the province, seizing its revenues, selecting Roman citizens especially to beggar and sell up, he quitted Asia quicker than the protecting force could be brought into it. I therefore did not think it necessary to delay any longer, nor to wait for the garrison, and I conceived that I ought to return at the earliest opportunity to my duty, in order that I might both collect the arrears of revenue and call in the money I had deposited, and ascertain as soon as possible what part of it had been seized, or by whose fault that had occurred, and inform you about the whole affair.

Meanwhile on my voyage by the island route2 into Asia I was met by the information that Dolabella's fleet was in Lycia, and that the Rhodians had a number of vessels fully equipped and ready launched. Accordingly, with the ships which either I had brought with me or the proquaestor Patiscus had secured - a man very closely united to me both by intimate friendship and political sympathies - I diverted my course to Rhodes, trusting in your authority and the decree of the senate, by which you had declared Dolabella a public enemy, and also in the treaty which had been renewed with them in the consulship of M. Marcellus and Servius Sulpicius,3 in which the Rhodians had sworn to have the same enemies as the senate and Roman people. However, I found myself entirely mistaken. For so far from our strengthening our fleet by any assistance from them, our soldiers were even warned off by the Rhodians from city, harbour, the roadstead outside the city, from purchasing provisions, and finally even from taking in water; while I myself was only just allowed to approach in a single boat. This insult and derogation from the dignity, not only of my official position, but also of the imperial position of the Roman people, I did not resent, because from an intercepted despatch I had learnt that Dolabella, if he had despaired of Syria and Egypt - as was certain to happen - was prepared to embark on board his ships with all his outlaws and all his money and make for Italy; and that for that purpose also some transports, not one of which was less than 2,000 amphorae burden,4 collected in Lycia were being guarded by his fleet. Dismayed by the alarming nature of this report, fathers of the senate, I preferred to submit to the insult and to try first every means, though involving personal indignities. Therefore, being in accordance with their wishes introduced into the city and senate, I pleaded the cause of the Republic with the greatest earnestness of which I was capable, and stated the whole danger of the situation which threatened us, if that outlaw embarked with all his forces. But I found the Rhodians to be so utterly misguided, that they thought the loyalists were the weakest of all parties: that they were more ready to disbelieve in the existing unanimity and agreement of all orders in the defence of liberty: that they were confident that the tolerance of the senate and the aristocracy was even now what it had been before, and that no one would have the Courage to declare Dolabella a public enemy: in fact that they regarded as true all the figments of the traitors rather than what had really taken place and was being stated by me. It was with these views that even before my arrival, after the atrocious murder of Trebonius and numerous other abominable crimes, two embassies from them had gone to Dolabella, and that too contrary to all precedent,5 it being against their own laws, and in spite of the prohibition of the then existing magistrates. Though they might easily have applied a remedy for this crisis, they refused to do so. I don't know whether it was, as they give out, from fear for the lands which they possess on the continent, or from the infatuation or tolerance of a few politicians who on previous occasions equally insulted men of the highest rank6 and now do so to those actually in the chief offices, without precedent and without provocation from us. They refused - I say - in spite of the danger threatening us who were on the spot, and of that which threatened Italy and our city, if that murderer with his crew of outlaws sailed to Italy after being expelled from Asia and Syria. Some of us even suspected the magistrates of having detained us and of having wasted time until Dolabella's fleet was informed of our arrival. And this suspicion was deepened by several things that occurred afterwards, especially by the fact that Dolabella's legates Sextus Marius and Gaius Titius suddenly quitted the fleet on the Lycian coast and fled on board a ship of war, abandoning the transports, in the collection of which they had spent considerable time and labour. Accordingly, when we arrived at Lycia from Rhodes with the ships then in our possession, we took over the transports and sent them back to their owners. Thus we ceased to feel what had been our chief fear - that Dolabella might find means to reach Italy with his outlaws. We pursued his flying fleet as far as Sida, which is the farthest district of my province. There I ascertained that some of Dolabella's ships had scattered and fled, that the rest had made for Syria and Cyprus. These being thus dispersed, as I knew that the very large fleet of the eminent citizen and general Cassius would be ready to meet him in Syria, I returned to my official duties: as I shall do my best, fathers of the senate, to give you and the Republic the full benefit of my zeal and industry; and as to money - I will collect as much as I can and with the greatest possible promptness, and will send it by every means in my power. When I have made a tour of my province and have ascertained who have been faithful to us and to the Republic in safeguarding the money which I deposited with them, and who are guilty of actually handing over public money and by this gift entering into a partnership with Dolabella in his crimes, I will inform you. And if you will pass a severe sentence, should it so please you, upon these men and back me up by the weight of your authority, I shall be able with greater ease both to collect the arrears of revenue and keep that already collected safe. Meantime, in order more thoroughly to protect the revenues and to defend my province from ill-treatment, I have enrolled a guard formed of volunteers and only such as was absolutely necessary.7

After I had written this despatch,8 about thirty soldiers, whom Dolabella had enlisted in Asia, escaping from Syria arrived in Pamphylia. They brought word that Dolabella bad arrived at Antioch in Syria: that not being admitted he made several attempts to force an entry, but had always been repulsed with great loss; and accordingly after losing about 600 men, abandoning his sick, he retreated by night from Antioch towards Laodicea: that in that night nearly all his Asiatic soldiers deserted him: that of these about 800 returned to Antioch and surrendered to the officers commanding the city who had been left there by Cassius: that the rest crossed Mount Amanus and descended into Cilicia, to which number they said that they also belonged themselves: finally, that Cassius with his whole force was reported to be four days' march from Laodicea at the time when Dolabella was pressing on to that town. Wherefore I feel sure that a most villainous outlaw will be punished sooner than I thought.
2 June, Perga.

1] The title of proquaestor was explained in a note to the previous letter: that of propraetor arose from the fact that, as there was no regular praetorius or consularis in the province (Trebonius being killed), and as the senate had committed the province to the consuls, Lentulus's position was that of legatus to the consuls, and in that case he exercised praetorial functions, and his regular designation was legatus pro praetore. A few years later Augustus used this title for all governors of imperial provinces.
2] As opposed to crossing the Hellespont, reached by the coast road from Macedonia. Per insulas is the technical expression for this route, translating the Greek διὰνήσων.
3] B.C. 51.
4] About sixty tons burden.
5] Because they always dealt directly with the senate.
6] See previous letter.
7] Asia as a peaceful province had no regular army stationed in it. A few cohorts accompanied a proconsul or propraetor as a bodyguard.
8] This is evidently a postscript to the preceding despatch, written a few days later and sent with it, and at the same time as the private letter to Cicero which precedes. Tyrrell and Purser arrange it as a separate letter; but I think nothing is gained and something lost by that, and I have followed Mueller therefore in maintaining the old arrangement.



If you are well, I am glad. I am also well. Lepidus caused me to be later than I should have been in receiving intelligence of the battles fought near Mutina, for he detained my letter-carriers for nine days. However, it is almost a thing to be desired, that one should be as late as possible in hearing of such a calamity to the Republic, especially for those who can do no good or offer any cure for it. And oh! that by the same decree by which you summoned Plancus and Lepidus into Italy, you had also ordered me to come! Assuredly the Republic would not have sustained this blow. At which, if certain persons rejoice for the moment, because both officers and veterans of Caesar's party appear to have perished, it is yet inevitable that they will presently have cause to mourn, when they contemplate the havoc of Italy. For the flower and main stock of our soldiers have been destroyed, if at least the news reaching me is in any degree true. Nor do I fail to perceive of how much service to the Republic I was likely to have been, had I come to Lepidus: for I should have dispelled all his hesitation, especially with the aid of Plancus. But it was clearly necessary for me to smooth down a man who writes me the sort of letter which I inclose for your perusal, exactly in the same tone as the harangues which he is said to have delivered at Narbo, if I wished to have any provisions during a march through his province. Besides I was afraid, if the battle took place before I had accomplished my purpose, that my detractors would put an exactly opposite interpretation on my patriotic design on account of my friendship with Antony, which after all was not greater than that with Plancus. Therefore in April having embarked two letter-carriers on two separate ships at Gades, I wrote to you and the consuls and Octavian, requesting to be informed how I could do the best service to the Republic. But, as I calculate the time, the ships started from Gades on the very day on which Pansa fought his battle:1 for that was the first day since the winter that navigation was possible. And by heaven, being far from any suspicion of the coming civil outbreak,2 I had put the legions into winter quarters in remote parts of Lusitania. Moreover, both sides were in such a hurry to fight, as though they were afraid of the war being settled without the greatest possible damage to the Republic. However, if such haste was necessary, I perceive that the strategy of Hirtius was in all respects that of a consummate general. At present I have the following news from Lepidus's district of Gaul3 by letter and messengers: that Pansa's army has been cut to pieces; that Pansa has died of his wounds: that in the same battle the Martian legion was annihilated, and L. Tabatus, Gaius Peducaeus, and Decimus Carfulenus killed: that in the battle fought by Hirtius4 both the fourth legion and all Antony's alike were cut to pieces, as well as those of Hirtius; that the fourth, indeed, after also capturing Antony's camp were annihilated by the fifth: that there Hirtius also and Pontius Aquila perished: that Octavian also is said to have fallen - for this if true, which God forbid!5 I am exceedingly grieved: that Antony has abandoned the siege of Mutina with disgrace, but has 5,000 cavalry, three legions fully armed and organized,6 and one commanded by Publius Bagiennus:7 that Ventidius also with the seventh, eighth, and ninth legions has effected a junction with him: and that if Antony finds nothing to hope for from Lepidus, he will have recourse to extreme measures, and raise not only the native tribes, but also the slaves: that Parma has been sacked:  that L. Antonius has occupied the pass of the Alps. very doubtful whether this military organization of the equites existed at this time in reality. It was elaborated by Augustus some years later. Now if these things are true, not one of us ought to be idle or wait for a decree from the senate. For the situation forces all to aid in quenching such a dreadful conflagration, who wish the Empire, or in fact the very name, of the Roman people, to survive. For I hear that Decimus Brutus has only seventeen cohorts, and two weak legions of recruits, which Antony had enrolled. However, I have no doubt the survivors of Hirtius's army are all flocking to him. For I don't think there is much hope in a levy, especially as, nothing can be more risky than that Antony should have time given him for concentration. The season of the year too gives me more freedom of action, because the corn is by this time in the fields8 or in the farmhouses. Therefore in my next letter my plans shall be explained: for I do not wish to fail in duty to or to survive the Republic. However, what vexes me most is the length and dangerous nature of the journey to my quarters, the result of which is that no news reaches me till the fortieth day after the event, or even later.

1] April 15th, at Forum Gallorum.
2] He uses the constitutional word tumultus, which was properly applied to civil war within the borders of Italy as opposed to bellum, a foreign war: though the latter is frequently used of it by Cicero and others, partly because the distinction is not observed in ordinary language, and partly ad invidiam, Antony having been declared a hostis. Pollio's having no suspicion of what was coming is a little too innocent. He was, in fact, at heart a Caesarian, and an opponent of Cicero.
3] Lepidus was governor of Northern Spain and Gallia Narbonensis.
4] He seems to confuse the afternoon battle at Forum Gallorum by Hirtius, after Pansa's repulse, with the battle fought in the assault on Antony's camp near Mutina, a week after that at Forum Gallorum (April 15th-21st).
5] Perhaps this parenthesis was inserted when the letters were edited. The mixture of truth and inaccuracy in the war news reaching Pollio will seem very natural to us in these days (1899-1900).
6] Lit. "under standards," i.e., when the several cohorts and maniples were still under their proper standards, and the men not crowded together indiscriminately, as would be the case in a beaten and disorganized legion.
7] This name is very uncertain. The MSS. have pupilli Bagienni. It seems likely that a legion raised among the Bagienni living near the source of the Po is meant. "Publius the Bagiennian" may be the commander of it - a Romanized native.
8] That is, cut and stacked in the fields, and therefore he can get plenty without trouble.



My quaestor Balbus1 having amassed from the public taxes a large sum of ready money, a great amount of bullion, and a still greater amount of silver, has withdrawn from Gades without even paying the soldiers, and after being detained three days off Calpe by bad weather, on the 1st of June crossed into the kingdom of Bogudes,2 with a very pretty bit of money in his pocket. With the rumours now going about I don't yet know whether he intends to return to Gades or to go to Rome - for at every fresh piece of news he changes his plans in the most contemptible manner. But besides his peculations and violent robberies and flogging of allies, he has done the following - as he is himself accustomed to boast - in imitation of Caesar. At the games which he gave at Gades, on the last day of the show, he presented the actor Herennius Gallus with a gold ring and formally conducted him to a seat in the fourteen rows3  - for he had arranged that number of rows for men of equestrian rank. He also caused his office as one of the quattuorviri4 to be continued beyond the year: he held elections for two years in two following days, that is, he declared whom he chose elected: he recalled exiles, not those of recent times, but of that period in which the senate was massacred or expelled by rebels in the proconsulship of Sextus Varus.5 The next thing, at any rate, is not covered by a precedent of Caesar's: he put on the stage a "Roman drama" representing his own expedition to solicit the proconsul Lucius Lentulus, and, what is more, whilst it was being acted he burst into tears, affected by the memory of his own adventures.6 At the gladiatorial Contests, moreover, there was the case of the old Pompeian soldier named Fadius. Because this man, having been pressed into the gladiatorial school, and having fought twice without pay, refused to bind himself as a professional gladiator, and threw himself on the protection of the people, he first of all sent a squadron of Gallic horse to charge the people - for stones were thrown at him as Fadius was being dragged off - and then, having seized him, he half buried him in the school and burnt him alive. While this was being done he walked about after dinner without his boots,7 with tunic ungirdled, and his hands behind his back, and in answer to the unhappy man crying out" I am a born Roman citizen," he replied: "Off with you then, and appeal to the people"8 He also exposed Roman citizens to the beasts, among them a certain travelling pedlar - a very well-known character at Hispalis from his misshapen body. This is the kind of monster with whom I have had to deal. But more about him when we meet. For the present the important thing is to make up your minds what you want me to do. I have three strong legions, one of which - the twenty-eighth - Antonius tried to get to join him by promising that on the day it arrived in camp he would give each soldier 500 denarii,9 and the same bounty in case of victory as to his own legions. And of such bounties who thinks that there will be any limit or end? - Nevertheless I have managed to retain it though in a most restless state: nor should I have retained it, if I had kept it united and stationary, for certain cohorts have actually mutinied. My other legions also he has not ceased to solicit by letters and unlimited promises. Nor, indeed, has Lepidus been less urgent with me - in letters of his own and from Antony - to send them the thirtieth legion. So the army which I have refused to part with at any price, or to weaken from fear of the dangers portended in case they were victorious, you ought to consider to have been retained and preserved for the Republic, and to believe that I was prepared to obey any future commands of yours, since I have obeyed those which you have given. For I have kept my province in peace and my army under my own control: I have not quitted the borders of my province in any direction: I have not despatched a single soldier anywhere - not only of the legions, but even of the auxiliaries; and such of the cavalry as I have detected in trying to get out of the country I have punished. For these acts I shall think myself sufficiently rewarded if the Republic is safe. But if the Republic and the majority of the senate had known me as well as they ought, they would have got greater advantages out of me. A despatch which I have addressed to Balbus, since he is at this moment in the province, I am sending for your perusal. Also if you will care to read a "Roman drama,"10 ask my friend Cornelius Gallus11 for it. Corduba, 8 June.

1] Balbus the younger, nephew of Cicero's client. He had been a warm Caesarian.
2] Mauretania Tingitana (Tangiers). Bogudes or Bogud was a supporter of the Caesarians.
3] That is, he made him an eques. Fourteen rows in the theatres, even in the provinces, were reserved for equites, in accordance with the lex Roscia. The gold ring had been the special mark of equites since some period before the Punic wars. Once it had been confined to senators going abroad on missions, and under the empire it was used by all ingenui. The reference to the action of Iulius Caesar is to his treatment of Decimus Laberius (see Suet. Iul. 39), who played his own mime: donatusque L sestertiis et anulo aureo in quattuordecim e scaena per orchestram transiit. But Suetonius infers that Laberius was an eques already.
4] The magistrates of Gades, as a municipium, were quattuorviri. The Balbi were natives of Gades, and he no doubt, being in Spain, had as a favour to his town accepted the office, though he was a Roman quaestor. See the case of Cicero's son at Arpinum, vol. iii., p 63.
5] B.C. 56. Sextus Quintilius Varus was praetor in B.C 57.
6] The story is told by Velleius Paterculus (ii. 51) how Balbus," with a daring almost passing belief," made his way into Pompey's camp at Dyrrachium, and tried to persuade Lentulus (consul B.C. 49) to desert to Caesar.
7] The calcei were taken off before dinner in the house and slippers put on - called soleae or gallicae (see Phil. 2.76). So the story of Caesar's emotion at hearing of Octavius's illness. He was at dinner, and springing up went to the house ἀνυπόδητος, i.e., nudis pedibus, with his dinner-slippers on.
8] The brutality is pointed by the wretched man being half-buried and unable to stir.
9] About £20.
10] Praetexta, sc. fabula, as above. A drama on Roman subjects as opposed to the palliata, a play from the Greek. We know from Horace (Od. 2.1) that Pollio, among other literary accomplishments, was a dramatic writer.
11] The poet (B.C. 66-26), the friend of Augustus, first governor of Egypt, who killed himself when he fell into disfavour. His elegiac poems - which Ovid thought the best existing in his time (Tr. 4.10, 5) - have perished.



I have no letter as yet from you - not so much as a rumour - to shew that you are aware of the resolution of the senate and are bringing your army into Italy. That you should do so, and with all speed, the Republic urgently requires: for the internal mischief daily grows more serious, and we are in difficulties from enemies at home no less than from those abroad. The former have, it is true, always existed from the beginning of the war, but they were then more easily crushed. The senate was then in a more resolute frame of mind, roused to action not only by the motions which I brought forward, but also by my earnest exhortations. Pansa was then in the senate very strenuous and bold in his attacks upon all men of that sort, and especially his father-in-law.1 As consul his courage never failed him from the beginning, nor his loyalty at the end. The conduct of the war at Mutina left nothing to complain of in Caesar, though some few points in Hirtius. The fortune of this war is “For happy though but ill, for ill not worst.”2 The Republic was victorious: Antony's forces were cut to pieces, and he himself driven out of the country. Then came so many mistakes on the part of Decimus Brutus, that in a certain sense the victory slipped through our fingers.3 Our generals did not pursue the demoralized, unarmed, wounded enemy, and time was granted to Lepidus to give us a taste of that fickleness, which we had had many occasions to know before, in a more disastrous field. The armies of Brutus and Plancus are good but raw; their auxiliary forces of Gauls are very numerous and very loyal. But certain persons by most unprincipled letters and misleading agents and messages induced Caesar - up to that time wholly governed by my advice, and personally possessed of brilliant ability and admirable firmness of character - to entertain a very confident hope of the consulship. As soon as I discovered that, I never ceased offering him advice by letter in his absence, and remonstrating with his connexions who were in town, and who seemed to be supporting his ambition; nor in the senate did I hesitate to lay bare the sources of a most criminal plot. Nor indeed do I remember a better disposition on the part of senate or magistrates. For in the case of voting an extra-constitutional office to a man of power, or rather of super-eminent power - since power now depends on force and arms - it never yet happened that no tribune, no one in any other office, no private senator was found to support it. But in spite of this firmness and manly spirit, the city was after all in a state of anxiety. For we are flouted, Brutus, both by the airs assumed by the soldiers and the arrogance of their commander. Each man claims to be powerful in the Republic in proportion to his physical force. Reason, moderation, law, custom, duty - all go for nothing: as do the judgment and opinion of their fellow citizens, and their respect for the verdict of posterity. It was because I foresaw all this long ago that I was on the point of flying from Italy at the time when the report of the edicts issued by you and Cassius recalled me. You also roused my spirits, Brutus, at Velia. For though it vexed me to be going to a city from which you who freed it were an exile - which had also happened to me formerly in a similar danger, though with more melancholy result-yet I continued my journey and reached Rome, and without any guard to protect me I shook the power of Antony, and encouraged by my influence and advice the protecting force offered by Caesar against his treasonable arms. And if Caesar keeps his word and follows my counsel, I think we shall have protection enough. But if the counsels of the disloyal have greater weight than mine, or if the weakness of his time of life proves unequal to the strain of the business, our whole hope is in you. Wherefore fly hither, I beseech you, and put the last touch to the freedom of a state, which you liberated by courage and high spirit rather than by any fortunate coincidence. Men of all sorts will crowd round you. Write and urge Cassius to do the same. Hope of liberty is nowhere to be found except in the headquarters of your two camps. We have, it is true, generals and armies in the west on which we can rely. The protecting force of the young Caesar, for instance, I regard at present as trustworthy: but so many are trying to shake his loyalty that at times I am mortally afraid of his giving way.

That is a complete view of the political situation, as it exists at the moment at which I write. I could wish that it might improve as we go on: but if otherwise - which God forbid! I shall grieve for the sake of the Republic, which ought to have been immortal: but for myself - what a brief span of life is left!

1] Fufius Calenus, who desired terms made with Antony (Phil. 8.11).
2] Twice quoted before. 
3] Very different froni the language which Cicero employs to Decimus himself. The fact is that Decimus could not possibly pursue Antony effectively. His garrison had suffered greatly from want of food in Mutina, and from natural excess after the siege was raised. He had no transport. Octavius refused ahsolutely to assist him, or to have anything to do with him. And the fourth and Martian legions stuck to Octavius, as did most of the veterans with Hirtius and Pansa. Antony had two days' start at least, and was not - as Cicero fondly imagined - leading away a demoralized army. His cavalry was intact, and the splendid march by Acqui to Vado, and then by the Riviera to Frejus, shews that the rest of his forces was in no desperate case.



The crime of your relative Lepidus1 and the extreme fickleness and levity of his conduct2 I think that you will have learnt from the gazette3 of the senate, which I am assured is sent to you. Accordingly, after once finishing the war we have a renewed war upon our hands, and our whole hope is in Decimus Brutus and Plancus. If you would have the real truth, it is in you and our friend M. Brutus, not only for immediate safety, if, what I trust may not be the case, any reverse occurs, but also for securing a permanent liberty. We at Rome have gratifying intelligence about Dolabella, but it does not rest on good authority. Let me assure you that you are the hero of the hour, both from present impressions and future expectations. With this knowledge before your eyes, be sure that you aim at the highest achievement. There is nothing which the Roman people does not think can be accomplished and sustained by you.

1] Lepidus and Cassius were married to the two half-sisters of Brutus, Iunia and Tertia.
2] Lepidus joined Antony on the 29th of May. This would be known at Rome in about ten days, which will roughly date this letter at about June 8th-10th.
3] The acta of the senate, which would contain the proceedings by which Lepidus was declared a hostis, and Octavian was commissioned to make war on both him and Antony (Dio, 42, 46). For the acta, see Appendix to vol. ii.

[R.I. The Acta Urbis or Acta Diurna was a publication begun by Julius Caesar and – with a break under Tiberius - continued by his successors, which contained official announcements, and general news that the government desired to convey to the public.]



If you are well, I am glad.1 I am well. I rejoice not only at the safety and victory of the Republic, but also at the revival of your glorious reputation. That as the noblest of consulars you have surpassed yourself as the noblest of consuls I am at once delighted and unable to wonder sufficiently. A certain special favour of destiny has been shewn to your virtue - of which we have often had practical proofs. For your toga has been more fortunate than everyone else's arms; and has now once more rescued the Republic, when all but conquered, from the hands of its enemies, and restored it to us. So now we shall live free men: now we shall have you - greatest of all citizens and most beloved by me, as you discovered in the darkest hour of the public fortunes - now, I say, we shall have you as a witness to our love both to you and to the Republic, which is so closely bound up with you. And that which you often promised that you would suppress while we were slaves, and would say of me when likely to be to my service, now, I shall not so much desire to be said as to be felt by you. For I would not wish to be commended by you to the good opinion of others more than to have been commended to your own in a manner worthy of my deserts, that you may judge these recent acts of mine to have been no mere hasty impulses or departures from principle, but in harmony with those lines of thought of which you are a witness; and may think that I deserve to be brought forward prominently by yourself, as giving promise of doing excellent service to my country. You, Marcus Tullius, have children and relatives worthy of you and deservedly most beloved by you. Next to them those also ought to be dear to you in public life who emulate your special branch of learning, of whom I wish you a goodly store: yet after all I don't regard myself as excluded, however great the crowd. You will always have room to receive me, and to employ me in everything you wish and approve. Of the goodness of my disposition perhaps you have already been convinced: my ability, certainly, such as it is, our prolonged servitude has allowed to appear less than after all it really is.

From the sea-coast of the province of Asia and from the islands we have launched all the ships we could; we have levied rowers, with great opposition on the part of the cities, yet with fair rapidity; and we have pursued Dolabella's fleet, which is commanded by Lucius Figulus. This officer, by frequently holding out hopes of deserting to us, and yet keeping continually edging away, has by his most recent move got to Corycus,2 and having closed the harbour, is beginning to offer resistance. Abandoning that fleet, because we thought it better to make our way to the camp, and because there was another fleet coming, which Tillius Cimber had collected in the previous year, and the quaestor Turullius was commanding, we made for Cyprus. The information I got there I am anxious to tell you as quickly as possible. It is this: Dolabella has been actually invited not only by the people of Tarsus, the worst of allies, but also by the Laodiceans, who are still more disaffected.3 By the number of Greek soldiers which he has got from both these states, he has secured what looks like an army. He has a camp pitched outside the town of Laodicea, and has pulled down a part of the wall and united his camp with the town. Our friend Cassius with ten legions and twenty auxiliary cohorts, and cavalry 4,000 strong, has a camp pitched twenty miles away at Paltus, and thinks that he can win without a battle: for in Dolabella's quarters corn is already twelve drachmae the medimnus. Unless he manages to get some brought in by the ships of Laodicea, he must soon perish of hunger. That he should not be able to get any in we can easily secure between us - that is, Cassius's fleet, which is a fairly large one under the command of Sextilius Rufus,4 and the three which I, Turullius, and Patiscus have brought up. I would have you be hopeful, and feel sure that, as you at Rome have relieved the Republic from its difficulties, so on our part it can be quickly relieved by us.
13 June, Cyprus, off Crommyuacris.5

1] As to the identity of this man - one of the assassins - see my note on Suet. Aug. 4. He is not mentioned before, but is referred to by Horace (Ep. i. 4, 3) as a writer of eminence, and the grammarians who annotated Horace say that he was an Epicurean and wrote satires, elegies and epigrams. He was executed by Augustus at Athens after the battle of Actium - the last of the assassins to perish. Two or three fragments of his poetry have been preserved: and Suetonius quotes part of a letter abusing Augustus. The elaborate and difficult style of this letter - the only one of his - indicates some pedantry and affectation, rather characteristic of the Roman Epicureans. He was perhaps quaestor or proquaestor in Syria now, though one commentator says he was a tribunus militum along with Horace.
2] On the coast of Cilicia Trachea (Korghoz).
3] That is, Tarsus and Leodicea were Caesarian.
4] Quaestor in Cyprus.
5] Κρομμύου ἄκρα, the northern cape of Cyprus.

CMV (F XII, 10)


Lepidus, your marriage relation, and my friend, was on the 30th of June declared a public enemy by a unanimous vote of the senate, as well as all who with him deserted the Republic. To them, however, a chance of returning to their right minds was given up to the 1st of September. The senate was very resolute, but chiefly in reliance on your aid. There is, in fact, a very grave war in progress at the moment of my writing this, owing to the crime and instability of Lepidus. We daily hear satisfactory intelligence about Dolabella, but as yet by mere rumour - without definite source or confirmation. But though that is the case, still the letter which I have received from you dated from camp on the 7th of May has persuaded the whole city to believe that he has already been crushed, and that you are on your way to Italy with an army, so that, if affairs in these parts are settled as we wish, we may rely on your counsel and influence; and if there is any mishap - as will occur in war - we may rely on your army. This army, indeed, I will compliment by all the means in my power. The time for that will be when it has begun to be known what amount of aid it is likely to give to the Republic, or what amount it has already given. For at present we are only told of attempts  - excellent indeed and most glorious - but we wait to hear of some decisive action: which for my own part I feel sure has taken place or is near doing so. Nothing can be more glorious than your valour and high spirit. Therefore we long to see you as soon as possible in Italy. We shall think that we have the Republic, if we have you. We had gained a splendid victory, had not Lepidus received Antony when he was without provisions or arms and in flight.1 Therefore Antony was never such an object of dislike to the state as Lepidus is now. For the former stirred up war when the Republic was in a revolutionary state, the latter when victory had been crowned by peace. Opposed to this war we have the consuls-designate.2 In them we have indeed high hopes, but owing to the uncertainty of the results of battles, we are in all the anxiety of suspense. Assure yourself; therefore, that everything depends on you and Marcus Brutus, and that you are both anxiously expected, Brutus indeed now momentarily. And if; as I hope, your arrival finds our enemies conquered, yet your authority will enable the Republic to raise its head and once more to stand on some tolerable foundation. For there will be many things demanding reform, even if the Republic shall seem fairly well released from the criminal attempts of its enemies.

1] Cicero's radical mistake was his view of Antony's retirement, as a flight of a helpless and demoralized force. It was, in fact, a masterly retreat, carried out with great skill and vigour, and with little or no loss; and before Antony came across Lepidus he had been strongly reinforced by Ventidius.
2] Plancus and Decimus Brutus.

CMIX (BRUT. I, 15)


You have Messalla with you. What letter, therefore, can I write with such minute care as to enable me to explain to you what is being done and what is occurring in public affairs, more thoroughly than he will describe them to you, who has at once the most intimate knowledge of everything, and the talent for unfolding and conveying it to you in the best possible manner? For beware of thinking, Brutus - for though it is unnecessary for me to write to you what you know already, yet I cannot pass over in silence such eminence in every kind of greatness - beware of thinking, I say, that he has any parallel in honesty and firmness, care and zeal for the Republic. So much so that in him eloquence - in which he is extraordinarily eminent - scarcely seems to offer any opportunity for praise. Yet in this accomplishment itself his wisdom is made more evident; with such excellent judgement and with so much acuteness has he practised himself in the most genuine style of rhetoric. Such also is his industry, and so great the amount of midnight labour that he bestows on this study, that the chief thanks would not seem to be due to natural genius, great as it is in his case.1 But my affection carries me away: for it is not the purpose of this letter to praise Messalla, especially to Brutus; to whom his excellence is not less known than it is to me, and these particular accomplishments of his which I am praising even better. Grieved as I was to let him go from my side, my one consolation was that in going to you who are to me a second self; he was performing a duty and following the path of the truest glory. But enough of this I now come, after a long interval of time, to a certain letter of yours, in which, while paying me many compliments, you find one fault with me - that I was excessive and, as it were, extravagant in proposing votes of honour. That is your criticism: another's, perhaps, might be that I was too stern in inflicting punishment and exacting penalties, unless by chance you blame me for both. If that is so, I desire that my principle in both these things should be very clearly known to you. And I do not rely solely on the dictum of Solon, who was at once the wisest of the Seven and the only lawgiver among them. He said that a state was kept together by two things-reward and punishment. Of course there is a certain moderation to be observed in both, as in everything else, and what we may call a golden mean in both these things. But I have no intention to dilate on such an important subject in this place.

But what has been my aim during this war in the motions I have made in the senate I think it will not be out of place to explain. After the death of Caesar and your ever memorable Ides of March, Brutus, you have not forgotten what I said had been omitted by you and your colleagues, and what a heavy cloud I declared to be hanging over the Republic. A great pest had been removed by your means, a great blot on the Roman people wiped out, immense glory in truth acquired by yourselves: but an engine for exercising kingly power had been put into the hands of Lepidus and Antony, of whom the former was the more fickle of the two, the latter the more corrupt, but both of whom dreaded peace and were enemies to quiet. Against these men, inflamed with the ambition of revolutionizing the state, we had no protecting force to oppose. For the fact of the matter was this: the state had become roused as one man to maintain its liberty; I at the time was even excessively warlike; you, perhaps with more wisdom, quitted the city which you had liberated, and when Italy offered you her services declined them. Accordingly, when I saw the city in the possession of parricides, and that neither you nor Cassius could remain in it with safety, and that it was held down by Antony's armed guards, I thought that I too ought to leave it: for a city held down by traitors, with all opportunity of giving aid cut off, was a shocking spectacle. But the same spirit as always had animated me, staunch to the love of country, did not admit the thought of a departure from its dangers. Accordingly, in the very midst of my voyage to Achaia, when in the period of the Etesian gales a south wind - as though remonstrating against my design - had brought me back to Italy, I saw you at Velia and was much distressed: for you were on the point of leaving the country, Brutus - leaving it, I say, for our friends the Stoics deny that wise men ever "flee." As soon as I reached Rome I at once threw myself in opposition to Antony's treason and insane policy: and having roused his wrath against me, I began entering upon a policy truly Brutus – like - for this is the distinctive mark of your family - that of freeing my country. The rest of the story is too long to tell, and must be passed over by me, for it is about myself. I will only say this much: that this young Caesar, thanks to whom we still exist, if we would confess the truth, was a stream from the fountain-head of my policy. To him I voted honours, none indeed, Brutus, that were not his due, none that were not inevitable. For directly we began the recovery of liberty, when the divine excellence of even Decimus Brutus had not yet bestirred itself sufficiently to give us an indication of the truth, and when our sole protection depended on the boy who had shaken Antony from our shoulders, what honour was there that he did not deserve to have decreed to him? However, all I then proposed for him was a complimentary vote. of thanks, and that too expressed with moderation. I also proposed a decree conferring imperium on him, which, although it seemed too great a compliment for one of his age, was yet necessary for one commanding an army - for what is an army without a commander with imperium?2 Philippus proposed a statue; Servius at first proposed a licence to stand for office before the regular time. Servilius afterwards proposed that the time should be still farther curtailed. At that time nothing was thought too good for him.

But somehow men are more easily found who are liberal at a time of alarm, than grateful when victory has been won. For when that most joyful day of Decimus Brutus's relief from blockade had dawned on the Republic and happened also to be his birthday, I proposed that the name of Brutus should be entered in the fasti under that date. And in that I followed the example of our ancestors, who paid this honour to the woman Laurentia, at whose altar in the Velabrum you pontiffs are accustomed to offer sacrifice. And when I proposed this honour to Brutus I wished that there should be in the fasti an eternal memorial of a most welcome victory: and yet on that very day I discovered that the ill-disposed in the senate were somewhat in a majority over the grateful. In the course of those same days I lavished honours - if you like that word-upon the dead Hirtius, Pansa, and even Aquila. And who has any fault to find with that, unless he be one who, no sooner an alarm is over, forgets the past danger? There was added to this grateful memorial of a benefit received some consideration of what would be for the good of posterity also; for I wished that there should exist some perpetual record of the popular execration of our most ruthless enemies. I suspect that the next step does not meet with your approbation. It was disapproved by your friends, who are indeed most excellent citizens, but inexperienced in public business. I mean my proposing an ovation for Caesar. For myself; however - though I am perhaps wrong, and I am not a man who believes his own way necessarily right - I think that in the course of this war I never took a more prudent step. The reason for this I must not reveal, lest I should seem to have a sense of favours to come rather than to be grateful for those received. I have said too much already: let us look at other points. I proposed honours to Decimus Brutus, and also to Lucius Plancus. Those indeed are noble spirits whose spur to action is glory but the senate also is wise to avail itself of any means - provided that they are honourable - by which it thinks that a particular man can be induced to support the Republic. But - you say - I am blamed in regard to Lepidus: for, having placed his statue on the rostra, I also voted for its removal.3 I tried by paying him a compliment to recall him from his insane policy. The infatuation of that most unstable of men rendered my prudence futile. Yet all the same more good was done by demolishing the statue of Lepidus, than harm by putting it up.

Enough about honours; now I must say a few words about penalties. For I have gathered from frequent expressions in your letters that in regard to those whom you have conquered in war, you desire that your clemency should be praised. I hold, indeed, that you do and say nothing but what becomes a philosopher. But to omit the punishment of a crime - for that is what "pardoning" amounts to - even if it is endurable in other cases, is mischievous in a war like this. For there has been no civil war, of all that have occurred in the state within my memory, in which there was not certain to be some form of constitution remaining, whichever of the two sides prevailed. In this war, if we are victorious, I should not find it easy to affirm what kind of constitution we are likely to have; if we are conquered, there will certainly never be any. I therefore proposed severe measures against Antony, and severe ones also against Lepidus, and not so much out of revenge as in order that I might for the present prevent unprincipled men by this terror from attacking their country, and might for the future establish a warning for all who were minded to imitate their infatuation. However, this proposal was not mine more than it was everybody's. The point in it which had the appearance of cruelty was that the penalty extended to the children who did not deserve any. But that is a thing of long standing and characteristic of all states. For instance, the children of Themistocles were in poverty. And if the same penalty attaches to citizens legally condemned in court, how could we be more indulgent to public enemies? What, moreover, can anyone say against me when he must confess that, had that man conquered, he would have been still more revengeful towards me?

Here you have the principles which dictated my senatorial proposals, at any rate in regard to this class of honours and penalties. For, in regard to other matters, I think you have been told what opinions I have expressed and what votes I have given. But all this is not so very pressing What is really pressing, Brutus, is that you should come to Italy with your army as soon as possible. There is the greatest anxiety for your arrival. Directly you reach Italy all classes will flock to you. For whether we win the victory - and we had in fact won a most glorious one, only that Lepidus set his heart on ruining everything and perishing himself with all his friends - there will be need of your counsel in establishing some form of constitution. And even if there is still some fighting left to be done, our greatest hope is both in your personal influence and in the material strength of your army. But make haste, in ,God's name! You know the importance of seizing the right moment, and of rapidity What pains I am taking in the interests of your sister's children, I hope you know from the letters of your mother and sister.4 In undertaking their cause I shew more regard to your affection, which is very precious to me, than, as some think, to my own consistency. But there is nothing in which I more wish to be and to seem consistent than in loving you.

1] According to Eusebius, Messalla was born in B.C. 59. He would in that case be now only between fifteen and sixteen, and could not possibly have done anything to justify this panegyric or to account for it. Accordingly, it has been argued that he was born in B.C. 70, one of the many expedients that have had to be resorted to to prove the genuineness of these letters. He survived to make the motion in the senate (B.C. 2) conferring on Augustus the title of pater patriae (Suet. Aug. 58). As, however, he was contemporary with young Marcus at Athens, he was probably born about B.C. 65.
2] This is founded on Phil. 5.45
3] When Lepidus was declared a public enemy.
4] Servilia and his half-sister Iunia, wife of Lepidus.

CMXI (F X, 24)


I cannot refrain from thanking you in view of the course of events and of your services. But, by heaven! I blush to do it. For an intimacy as close as that which you have wished me to have with you seems not to require any formal thanks, nor do I willingly pay the poor recompense of words in return for your supreme kindness, and I would rather, when we meet, prove my gratitude by my respect, my obedience to your wishes, and my constant attentions. But if to live on is my fate, in this same respect, obedience to your wishes, and constant attentions, I will surpass all your beloved friends and even your devoted relatives. For whether your affection for me and your opinion of me are likely to bring me greater reputation in perpetuity or greater daily pleasure, I should find it hard to decide.

You have concerned yourself as to the bounties to the soldiers; whom I wished to be rewarded by the senate, not to enhance my own power - for I am conscious of entertaining no thoughts except for the common benefit - but first of all, because in my opinion they deserved it; next, because I wished them to be still more closely attached to the Republic in view of all eventualities; and lastly, in order that I might guarantee their continuing as completely proof against all attempts to tamper with their loyalty, as they have been up to this time.

As yet we have kept everything here in statu quo. And this policy of ours, though I know how eager men are and with reason for a decisive victory, is yet, I hope, approved of by you. For if any disaster happens to these armies, the Republic has no great forces in reserve to resist any sudden attack or raid of the parricides. The amount of our forces I presume is known to you. In my camp there are three legions of veterans, one of recruits perhaps the finest of all: in the camp of Decimus Brutus there is one veteran legion, a second of two-years' - service men, eight of recruits. Therefore the whole force taken together is very strong in numbers, in stamina inferior. For how much it is safe to trust to raw levies in the field we have had too frequent experience. To the strength of these armies of ours, if there was added either the African army which consists of veterans, or that of Caesar, we should hazard the safety of the Republic on a battle without any uneasiness. Now, as to Caesar, we see that he is considerably the nearer of the two. I have therefore never ceased importuning him by letter, and he has uniformly replied that he is coming without delay: while all the time I perceive that he has given up that idea and has taken up some other scheme. Nevertheless, I have sent our friend Furnius1 to him with a message and a letter, in case he may be able to do some good. You know, my dear Cicero, that in regard to love for Caesar you and I are partners, either because, being one of Iulius Caesar's intimates, I was obliged - while he was alive - to look after the boy and shew him affection; or because he was himself, as far as I could make out, of a very orderly and kindly disposition; or because, after such a remarkable friendship as existed between me and Iulius Caesar, it seems discreditable that I should not regard as a son one who was adopted into that position by his decision and by that of your house alike.2 Yet after all - and whatever I write to you I write rather in sorrow than in anger - the fact that Antony is alive today, that Lepidus is with him, that they have far from contemptible armies, that they are hopeful and bold - for all these they may thank Caesar. I will not go back to old matters, but from the moment that he gave out that he was coming to me, if he had chosen to come, the war would at once have either been put an end to, or, to their very great loss, have been thrust back into Spain, which is most hostile in sentiment to them. What idea or whose advice has withdrawn him from such great glory, which was at the same time required by his interests and needful for his safety, and has turned his attention to the thought of a two-months' consulship, entailing a great and general panic, and demanded in a peremptory and offensive manner - I cannot conjecture. It seems to me that in this matter his relations could exercise considerable influence both for his sake and for that of the Republic: most of all, as I think, could you also do so, since he is more obliged to you than anyone else is except myself - for I shall never forget that the obligations I owe you are exceedingly great and numerous. I commissioned Furnius to urge these considerations upon him. But if I prove to have as great an influence with him as I ought to have, I shall have done him a great service himself. Meanwhile we are maintaining the war at a disadvantage, because we do not think an engagement the safest solution of the difficulty, and yet will not allow the Republic to suffer greater loss by our retirement. But if either Caesar has bethought himself; or the African legions have come promptly,3 we will relieve you of anxiety on this side. I beg you to continue to honour me with your regard, and to believe that I am peculiarly at your service.
28 July, in camp.

1] Gaius Furnius.
2] For the adoption of Octavian, see p.21. By vestro Plancus seems to refer to the senate, which, though the curiate law for the formal adoption had not yet been passed, yet practically acknowledged the adoption of Octavian in his great-uncle's will by the wording of its decrees.
3] The African legions came from Cornificius, but they almost directly joined Octavian, which was the last blow to the hopes of Cicero and the senate (App. B.C. 3.91, 92).

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