zondag 24 juni 2012



This momentous year opened apparently without any special signs of danger. Cicero was employed in finishing his Tusculan Disputations, and we have practically only one letter from him before the Ides of March (the others being mere letters of introduction of the usual formal kind). But in the one addressed to Curius, he takes occasion to shew his discontent at the regime. He seems to have been specially annoyed at the disparagement of the consular dignity involved in Caesar appointing Rebilus to that office for one day, the last of the year, in order to reward him by the rank of a consular. This calm was suddenly interrupted by the murder of Caesar, and Cicero immediately threw himself into politics again with the idea that the republic was restored. He soon found however that the regnum had not ended with the death of the rex, and that Antony had no intention of sinking into the position of a mere constitutional magistrate, to say nothing of the claims of the young Octavius - whom Cicero at first hoped to play off against Antony. From about June to the end of August therefore Cicero again avoided politics by visiting his villas and devoting himself to literature, intending also to visit his son at Athens. The de Natura Deorum, de Divinatione, de Fato, de Senectute, de Amicitia, de Gloria, de Officiis, and Topica, were all finished in this year, and probably in the first half of it. After the beginning of September he was engaged heart and soul in the leadership of the senatorial patty against Antony. The first four speeches against Antony (Phil. 1-4) were written and three of them delivered before the end of the year. The last letter to Atticus is written in December of this year.

Introduction to Cicero’s
‘letters to his friends’ for the year 44 B.C.
translated by Evelyn S Shuckburgh.
Publ: London: G. Bell and Sons, 1920.
These letters are in the public domain.

First period of letters: From 15th of March to 31st of August

The letters in this volume bring us to the end of the correspondence and to the last period of Cicero's life. They naturally fall into two divisions, those following the assassination of Caesar to September, B.C.44 - five months of hesitation and doubt - and those which begin after Cicero's return to Rome from his abortive start for Greece (31st August), and bring him before us once more active and eager, all doubt and hesitation thrown to the winds. He is straining every nerve to organize opposition to Antony, whom he has now made up his mind to be the enemy of the constitution and of liberty - a weaker and a worse Caesar, trading on his great patron's name, intoxicated with the wealth that has fallen into his hands, and stained with every private and public vice.

The first period is one of disenchantment, the second of desperate strife. The disenchantment indeed begins at once: The volume opens with a note, scarcely more than a line in length, addressed to one of the assassins, of almost hysterical exultation. Cicero had been in the senate when the assassination took place:1 he tells us of the "joy with which he feasted his eyes on the just execution of a tyrant."2 He and again declares that the Ides of March consoled him for all his troubles and disappointments. The assassins he calls "heroes" or almost divinities. But the uselessness of this treacherous crime was at once made evident, and became more and more conspicuous every day that followed it. Within a month Cicero saw that "the constitution had not been recovered along with liberty," and was discussing with Atticus whose fault it was. At the meeting of the senate, summoned by Antony on the 17th of March, the acta’s of Caesar had been confirmed, and a public funeral voted. The revulsion of popular feeling, caused by Antony's funeral oration and the publication of Caesar's will, had encouraged Antony to make the fullest use of the confirmation of the acta, until Cicero indignantly exclaimed that the concession made to the exigencies of the time was "being abused without moderation or gratitude," that "measures which Caesar would never have taken nor sanctioned are now produced from his forged minutes," and that "we, who could not endure being his slaves, are the humble servants of his memorandum books." 3

The difficult position of the assassins.

Added to this was the increasing difficulty of the position of the leaders in the assassination. Decimus Brutus indeed, in spite of Antony's protest, went to his province of Gallia Cisalpina and took over the command of the troops there; while Trebonius started for his province of Asia, having a secret understanding with the Ciceronian party that he was to concert measures and collect forces in view of future contingencies. But M. Brutus and C. Cassius, though praetors, could not venture to Rome, and Antony was eventually able to force the senate to name others to the provinces of Macedonia and Syria, to which they had been respectively nominated by Caesar: while Trebonius could only leave Italy for his province by travelling almost in disguise by by-roads to the coast. Every day that passed seemed to shew that they would have to fight for their position or even their lives. Antony was gathering a considerable force in Rome, under the pretence of a bodyguard, and against an alleged intention of Brutus and Cassius to resort to force. This bodyguard was partly at least formed by inducing Caesar's veterans to rejoin, and was continually increasing. Even those veterans who did not actually rejoin the colours were persuaded to hold themselves in readiness for a summons, with their proper arms provided, and at any rate to be prepared to come to Rome to vote in favour of Antony's proposals. Besides this Antony extorted from the senate early in June, if not before, the command of the legions which had been stationed in the province of Macedonia with a view to the Getic and Parthian expeditions, and presently sent over his brother Gaius to bring them to Italy. Brutus and Cassius on their part were collecting ships and men, resolved to possess themselves of the provinces originally assigned to them (Macedonia and Syria) at the end of their praetorship; Decimus Brutus by engaging his forces against the Alpine tribes was training troops which he might use against any "intending successor," and all things pointed to a coming struggle. "In my opinion," says Cicero on the 15th of June, "the state of affairs points to bloodshed and that at an early date. You see what the men are, you see how they are arming."

Arrival of Octavian.

Matters had been farther complicated by the appearance of the young Octavian on the scene. He had been sent by his uncle for the winter to Apollonia, where he might with less interruption than at Rome pursue his studies and perfect his military education. But immediately he received from his mother the news of the Dictator's assassination, he started with a small retinue of friends for Italy. On the 11th of April Cicero writes that he has heard of his arrival and is anxious to know how he has been received. On the 18th he came to Naples, saw Balbus, and declared his acceptance of his great-uncle's inheritance, which was sure to cause, Balbus thinks, much bad blood between him and Antony, who had laid hands on much which Octavian would claim, on the ground that it was public money. In a letter of the 22nd Cicero decribes a meeting with him at the villa of his stepfather Philippus near Puteoli. He watched to see how he was addressed by his friends. They all called him Caesar, in virtue of his adoption in the will of his great-uncle. But Philippus - who wished him to refuse the inheritance - did not do so. Cicero therefore also refrained, but anxiously observed his disposition towards the party of Antony. The young man appears to have been characteristically cautious, speaking of the existing state of things indeed as "intolerable," but not suggesting his views as to their remedy or committing himself to anything. Cicero was doubtful. He mistrusted the friends surrounding him, who would make it "impossible for him to be a good citizen," and he felt indignant at his being able to go safely to the city from which Brutus and Cassius and the other "heroes" were excluded. Still he could not but acknowledge that Octavian treated him personally with respect, and he presently began to cherish a hope that he might use his grievances against Antony to draw him into closer union with the party of the Optimates. But this hope was a good deal dashed early in May by the report of a speech delivered in Rome by Octavian, in which he spoke in glowing terms of his great-uncle, declared his intention of paying the legacies to the citizens, and celebrating the games which he had promised. However, Cicero did not give up hope of him, and his final verdict at this period is distinctly rather favourable: “In Octavianus, as I have perceived, there is no little ability and spirit, and he seems likely to be as well disposed to our heroes as I could wish. But what confidence one can feel in a man of his age, name, inheritance, and upbringing may well give us pause. His stepfather, whom I have seen at Astura, thinks none at all. However, we must foster him, and, if nothing else, keep him apart from Antony. Marcellus will be doing admirable service if he gives him good advice. Octavian seemed to me to be devoted to him: but he has no great confidence in Pansa and Hirtius. His disposition is good if it does but last.”

It will be observed that Cicero now speaks of the young man as Octavianus, thus acknowledging his adoption. He also seems now or soon after to have begun a correspondence with him, unfortunately lost, which later on became almost more continuous than he quite relished. For the present he was only one of the agents whom he hoped to use against Antony. Like so many of his hopes, this too was doomed to disappointment. Octavian was determined to maintain his rights against Antony, but in his heart was no thought of permanent friendship with the clique which had murdered his uncle and adoptive father, and was anxious above all things to retain the direction of the state and the wealth of the provinces in its hands.

Pansa and Hirtius.

Another cause of anxiety which Cicero had in this first half of the year was the uncertainty of the line likely to be taken by Pansa and Hirtius, who were consuls-designate and would come into office on the 1st of January, B.C. 43. Of Hirtius especially, who had been Caesar's intimate friend and trusted officer, he was more than doubtful. It was true that he had been on good social terms with Cicero, had taken lessons in rhetoric from him, and in return had initiated him in the art of dining. But at the end of a visit of Hirtius at his villa at Puteoli, Cicero writes to Atticus (17th May): “When Hirtius was leaving my house at Puteoll on the 16th of May, I had a clear view of his whole mind. For I took him aside and exhorted him earnestly to preserve the peace. He could not of course say that he did not wish for peace: but he indicated that he was no less afraid of our side appealing to arms than of Antony doing so: and that, after all, both sides had reason to be on their guard, but that he feared the arms of both. I needn't go on: there is nothing sound about him.” This mistrust of Hirtius was not much relieved by a letter which he wrote to Cicero a few days later, begging him to warn Brutus and Cassius to keep quiet. Pansa, though using more satisfactory language, did not appear to Cicero to be much more trustworthy. A severe illness put Hirtius aside for some time from active intervention in politics, but the future tenure of the consulship by these two men did not in the first half of the year inspire Cicero with much hope. Still, it was not likely to be as bad as the policy of Antony; and when the meeting of the senate of the 1st of June, so far from producing a compromise which would satisfy Brutus and Cassius, actually irritated them farther by offering them for the rest of the year the inferior office of curatores annonae, and changing their praetorian provinces for the next year, Cicero could only look forward to the 1st of January as the time when it might be proper for him once more to attend the senate and take part in politics. Meanwhile he was meditating a tour to Athens, both for the sake of withdrawing himself from possible collisions with Antony, and in order to visit his son, whose first year as a student there had given Cicero much anxiety, but who was now shewing signs of iniprovement, and might be confirmed in better ways by the personal influence of an indulgent father.

Cicero's voyage to Greece begun and abandoned (July-August).

But, as usual with Cicero, this step caused him much searching of heart and many weeks of hesitation and irresolution. As usual also, all his doubts and difficulties are imparted to Atticus, whose advice is constantly asked, and somewhat querulously criticised when given. Cicero was torn different ways by the refiexion that a departure from Italy at this time might be regarded as a desertion of his party and his country: that in his absence some blow might be struck for liberty, the credit of which he should be sorry not to share. On the other hand, as long as Antony was consul things would most likely remain as they were, and he would be personally safer out of the country, and would be doing his duty in visiting his son. But he was a wretched sailor, the long voyage was odious to him, and especially one that would have to be taken late in the year, if he was to be back in Rome before the beginning of the new consulate. Again, he would have liked to sail with Brutus; but Brutus was delaying indefinitely, and besides, did not receive the suggestion very warmly. After one abortive start (1st August), on which he got as far as Syracuse, he again set sail from Leucopetra on the 6th of August. But the south wind was too strong and the ship put back to Rhegium.4 There Cicero stayed in a friend's villa for the night and heard next day what he thought was good news. There was to be a full meeting of the senate on the 1st of September, for Brutus and Cassius - still in Italy - had issued an edict urging the attendance of their partisans, and it was believed that they had come to some understanding with Antony, whereby they would be able to resume their position at Rome and take up their provinces at the end of their year's praetorship. The men who gave Cicero his intelligence also told him that he was wanted, and that his absence was being unfavourably criticised.5

This was precisely what Cicero wished to hear, and we may be sure that he did not make very curious inquiries as to the authenticity of the report, or the means of knowing the truth possessed by his informants. He regarded himself as "recalled by the voice of the Republic," and blessed the south winds for having saved him from deserting his country in its need. He visited Brutus at Velia on his way to Rome, and no doubt heard from him what somewhat cooled his ardour. He determined, however, to continue his return to Tusculum, though with no definite intention of taking as yet any leading part in politics, or indeed of attending the senate at all. But the state of affairs which he found existing at Rome on his arrival on the 31st of August soon dispelled any ideas of repose, and drew him into the final storm and stress of political contest, from which he was not free when the correspondence ceases, and which brought him finally to the grave.

The final breach with Antony, Sept., B.C. 44.

The meeting of the senate on the 1st of September, for the sake of which Cicero professed to have come to Rome, was not attended by him. Among the agenda at that meeting he found that there was included a motion of Antony's for a supplicatio in honour of Caesar's memory. To this, of ourse, Cicero objected on political grounds; but he also advanced the technical objection that it was mixing up funeral rites with divine worship (parentalia with supplicationes), and he was at any rate determined not to vote for it, and did not wish to exasperate Antony by voting against it.6 There was to be also some farther confirmation of Caesar's acta, which would be equally objectionable in Cicero's eyes,because it meant the production of more of Caesar's memoranda and notes, which he believed to be falsified or altogether invented by Antony himself. He therefore abstained from attending the senate, but did not thereby avoid exasperating Antony. His arrival in Rome was of course known to Antony, who regarded his excuse of fatigue after his journey as a mere pretext (which it was), and threatened openly in the senate not only to use his consular power of compelling his attendance, but to send a gang of workmen to demolish his house.

The first Philippic, 2nd Sept., B.C. 44.

On the 2nd of September therefore Cicero attended and made a statement of his position and views, which has come down to us as the first Philippic. It is a dignified and comparatively gentle statement of his case against Antony. But it puts clearly his belief as to the abuse by him of the confirmation of Caesar's acta, passed by the senate on the 17th of March. It recalls Antony's own measures of which Cicero approved - especially the abolition of the dictatorship and the suppression of the riots round the memorial column - and appeals to him to keep within the lines of the constitution, and to trust to the affection rather than the fears of his fellow citizens. There is an absence of personal invective and insult, which shews that Cicero was not yet prepared to throw away the scabbard in his contest with Antony, though he had long seen that his existence made the murder of Caesar vain and useless. The tyrant was dead, not the tyranny; the assassins had acted with the courage of heroes, but the folly of children, and left the heir to the tyranny alive. Yet he remained on tolerably courteous terms with Antony, and even requested a legatio from him. But that was to be over for ever.

Antony's reply to the first Philippic, delivered after much preparation on the 19th of September, and containing every kind of invective against Cicero's life, policy, and public conduct, drew from Cicero the terrible second Philippic, which, though never delivered, was handed about among all kinds of people who cared to read it.

It made all reconciliation, however formal or official, for ever impossible. From that time forward the letters shew us Cicero in determined and unhesitating opposition to Antony. For some weeks still he is doubtful as to what practical steps he is to take, but he has no more hesitation as to what his political object is to be: it is to crush Antony by any and every means within his power. The letters henceforth are more and more exclusively political. Though references to private affairs and to literary questions, connected with the de Officiis, still occur in the letters to Atticus, even they are almost monopolized by the one absorbing subject. He still expresses gratitude to philosophy, "which not only diverts me from anxious thoughts, but also arms me against all assaults of fortune" - but literature and philosophy in the old sense are over for him: and when for a nioment he touches on lighter subjects to Paetus, he hastens to excuse himself: "Don't suppose because I write jestingly I have cast off all care for the state. Be assured, my dear Paetus, that I work for nothing, care for nothing all day and night except the safety and freedom of my fellow citizens."

The legions from Macedonia.

The final step on Antony's part which made war inevitable in Cicero's view was connected with the six Macedonian legions. He had - as I have said - earlier in the year obtained from the senate the command of these legions on the plea that the Getae were threatening Macedonia. One of them he gave over to his colleague Dolabella, one was to be left to guard Macedonia, which he intended should be governed by his brother Gaius at the end of his praetorship. The other four he regarded as being at his own disposal for his provincial governorship, to begin in January, B.C. 43. This he now resolved should be Cisalpine Gaul. The senate refused to assign him this province, but he got it by a lex carried in spite of the senate; and Gaius was sent to bring over the legions. On the 9th of October he started to meet them at Brundisium. There he found them in a mutinous state, and had recourse to great severity in order to reduce them to obedience. Two of them, the Martia and the fourth legion, were ordered to march up the coast road to Ariminum in readiness to enter Gallia Cisalpina with him; the rest he led himself towards Rome, and encamped at Tibur.

Octavian arms.

In answer to this measure Octavian, now in constant communication with Cicero, began on his own authority, and at his own cost, raising troops among the veterans in Campania. He was very successful, "and no wonder," says Cicero, "for he gives a bounty of 500 denarii apiece." Cicero, then at Puteoli, was at first in grave doubts as to the effects of this step. He did not feel sure of Octavian's real aims, he mistrusted his youth and his name; and yet was inclined to accept his aid, and help him to get senatorial sanction: and soon afterwards - having finished his de Officiis - he began a leisurely journey to Arpinum, and thence to Tusculum. He agrees with the suggestion of Atticus that, "if Octavian gets much power, the acta of Caesar will be confirmed more decisively than they were in the temple of Tellus," but yet he sees that "if he is beaten, Antony becomes intolerable." 7 But events were soon to leave Cicero no choice. The fourth legion and the Martia, instead of going as ordered to Ariminum, turned off to Alba Fucentia and closed its gates. Antony, who had meanwhile arrived at Rome and summoned a meeting of the senate for the 23rd of November, heard of this and hurried off to Alba Fucentia to recover the loyalty of the legions, but was repelled from the walls of the town by a shower of stones. He therefore returned to Rome, hurriedly held the postponed meeting of the senate, at which a sortitio was accomplished assigning Macedonia to Gains Antonius, and then joined his own camp at Tibur. The Martia and the fourth legion presently declared their adhesion to Octavian, who, thus reinforced, marched at Antony's heels northwards in the direction of Ariminum.

Cicero takes the lead in the senate in promoting measures against Antony.

Cicero arrived at Rome on the 9th of December, the day before the new tribunes, one of whom was the tyrannicide Casca, entered office. The state of the Empire in regard to the government of the provinces was this. Southern Spain (Baetica) was in the hands of Pollio, Gallia Narbonensis and Hispania Citerior were held by Lepidus, the rest of Gallia Transalpina by Plancus. It was uncertain which side these three men would take, and Cicero was in constant correspondence with them, urging them to be loyal to the senate. Africa was in the hands of Cornificius, whose loyalty was certain. Gaius Antonius was on his way to take over Macedonia. Trebonius, a strong Ciceronian, was in possession of Asia; Dolabella - whose sentiments were not certainly known - was on his way to Syria; while Marcus Brutus and Cassius were also on their way, the former to Greece, with the intention of disputing the possession of Macedonia with Gaius Antonius, the latter to Syria, where he meant to supersede Dolabella.

Antony and Dec. Brutus in Gallia Cisalpina.
The third and fourth Philippics, 20th Dec., B.C. 44.

But the immediate point at which war seemed certain was Gallia Cisalpina. There Decimus Brutus had been governor since April, and it remained to be seen whether he would acknowledge the validity of the law which named Antony as his successor. This question was set at rest by the publication of his edict in Rome on the 19th of December, in which he forbade anyone with imperium to enter his province. But by this time Antony was on the point of investing him in Mutina, and Octavian on his way to relieve him. Such was the state of things when the tribunes summoned a meeting of the senate on the 20th, at which the state of the Republic was referred to the senators by Casca. A motion was proposed and carried by Cicero, giving the consuls-elect authority to protect the senate at its meeting on the 1st of January, and ordering all holders of provinces to continue in office until successors were appointed by the senate; approving of the edict of Decimus Brutus; and formally commending the actions of Octavian and of the fourth legion and the Martia. Cicero's speech is that now called the third Philippic and the decree of the senate was explained to the people in a contio now called the fourth Philippic.

From the 1st of January, B.C. 43.

The reader of the letters, taken in combination with the remaining Philippics, will now be able to follow the course of events almost step by step: the futile negotiations with Antony, the authority and rank bestowed on Octavian, the defeat of Antony at Mutina, and his masterly retreat across the Maritime Alps to Vada, the vain pursuit of him by Decimus Brutus, his reinforcement by Ventidius Bassus, and the treason of Lepidus, who after a few weeks' hesitation united his forces with him. There, too, he will see foreshadowed, though not completed, the similar treason of Plancus and of Pollio, the coming destruction of Decimus Brutus, and the unfolding of Octavian's real policy in regard to the Optimates. In the East he will find M. Brutus master of Macedonia, with Gaius Antonius a prisoner in his camp: Trebonius put to death in his province of Asia by Dolabella, and Dolabella being slowly but surely brought to bay by Cassius. The defeat of Antony at Forum Gallorum and Mutina (April 13th and 15th) was the prelude to a series of bitter disappointments to Cicero. When the report reached Rome he and his party confidently believed that the war was over, that Antony was entirely crushed, that the old liberty was restored. This exultation was very little damped by the subsequent intelligence that both consuls had fallen. Decent expressions of regret and complimentary votes in their honour seemed all that was necessary. But despatch after despatch from Decimus Brutus revealed the fact of how little had been accomplished, and how strong Antony still was. Cicero, whose energy was still unabated, turned with frantic eagerness to the task of inducing Lepidus and Plancus to remain loyal to the senate; and, as a last hope, to persuade Brutus and Cassius that it was their duty to return to Italy with their victorious armies and protect Rome from Antony. The correspondence leaves Cicero still hopeful and eager, before Plancus had declared for Antony, or Decimus Brutus had been finally ruined; and before it had become evident that Octavian meant to turn upon the senate, under whose authority he had been acting.

The last days of Cicero.

But within a month from the date at which the correspondence stops Cicero knew that his last chance was gone. The inaction of Octavian after the victory of Forum Gallorum puzzled Decimus Brutus, Plancus, and Cicero almost equally. He declined to hand over any legions to Decimus Brutus, or to join him in the pursuit of Antony; but he did not commit any act of positive hostility against him. There were, however, sinister rumours. An epigram of Cicero's, to the effect that the young man was to be "complimented, promoted, and - got rid of;" was said to have been retailed to Octavian, and he had replied that he had no intention of being got rid of. Other reports asserted that Pansa's wound had been poisoned by his physician at Octavian's suggestion. Others, again, that he was negotiating with Cicero, with a view to holding the consulship as his colleague. All that was certainly known was that he was keeping his whole force in hand, and shewed no sign of intending to lay down his command. Successive decrees of the senate had invested him with imperium, the praetorian, and then the consular rank, and had given him the privilege of standing for the consulship long before the legal age. But after the victory at Forum Gallorum the tone of the senate towards him altered. His name was ostentatiously omitted in the complimentary vote of thanks to the army, and when presently some of his officers appeared in the senate with a formal demand to be allowed to stand for the consulship at once, the demand was rejected. The senate trusted for protection to two legions which were being sent from Africa by Cornificius; but Octavian at once started for Rome in person at the head of his army. There were no troops between him and Rome, or in Rome itself; to withstand him. The legions from Africa arrived indeed about the same time as he did, but their officers almost immediately surrendered them to him. Cornutus, the praetor urbanus, committed suicide in despair, and the senate and city were alike at his disposal. Cicero, among the rest, had to make a somewhat pitiful submission, and after one attempt to organize an opposition, on a false report that the Martia and fourth legion had deserted Octavian, he retired to Tusculum and disappeared from public life.

The only question for him and his brother now was whether they would be allowed to live unmolested in a private station. Octavian soon made it evident that he meant relentlessly to punish his uncle's murderers. He was elected consul on the 19th of August with his cousin Q. Pedius. By his direction Pedius brought in a law condemning all the assassins of Caesar, and the tribune Casca was the first victim under it. The law did not touch Cicero personally, but events quickly followed that made his death certain. What Octavian had now to deal with was the force collected in Gaul. By this time Antony had been joined not only by Lepidus, but by Plancus from Celtic Gaul, and by Pollio from Baetica. He had therefore a formidable force. Decimus Brutus was now a condemned man, and was besides entirely powerless; for when Plancus joined Antony nearly all the troops of Decimus Brutus did the same. He was almost alone, and was making desperate efforts to find his way to Marcus Brutus in Macedonia. So that when Octavian, leaving the care of the city to Pedius, started once more for the north, though his object was nominally to crush Decimus Brutus, he had nothing to do but to prevent his reaching Ravenna, and force him back to Gaul, where he was arrested and put to death by Antony's order. The real question for Octavian was how to deal with Antony. He had resolved on coming to terms with him, and after a certain amount of negotiation, he met him and Lepidus on a small island in one of the tributaries of the P0, not far from Bononia, and agreed to share the Empire as "triumvirs for the reconstitution of the state." They were to be appointed for five years, and as a preliminary were to draw up a list mutually agreed upon of men who were to be declared outside the law, and liable to be put to death at  once. The obedient people of Rome accordingly voted the appointment on the 27th of November, and the first exercise of their dictatorial powers was the publication of an edict and a provisional list of men to be thus "proscribed." The first list had been forwarded to Pedius before the actual publication of the edict,8 and Cicero, who was at Tusculum, soon learnt that his own name, and those of his brother and nephew, were on it. The last scene shall be told in the words of Plutarch.

Death of Cicero.

"While the conference between the triumvirs was going on Cicero was in his villa at Tusculum with his brother. When they heard of the proscription they resolved to remove to his seaside villa at Astura, and thence to take ship and join Brutus in Macedonia: for there were great reports of his success there. They travelled in litters overpowered by distress; and whenever there was a halt in the journey, the two litters were placed side by side and the brothers mingled their lamentations. Quintus was the more cast down of the two and was haunted with the idea of their want of money, for he had brought nothing, he said, with him, and Cicero himself was poorly provided for a journey. It would be better, therefore, he thought, for Cicero to precede him in his flight, while he went home, collected what was necessary, and hurried after him. This course was resolved up on, and the brothers parted with embraces and tears. Not many days after this Quintus was betrayed by his slaves and was put to death with his son. But Cicero reached Astura, found a vessel, embarked, and sailed with a favourable wind as far as Circeii. The pilots wished to put out to sea from that place at once: but whether it was that he feared the sea or had not yet given up all trust in the promise of Octavian, he disembarked and travelled a hundred furlongs upon the road to Rome. But once more, almost beside himself with distress and indecision, he returned to the sea-coast at Astura and there spent the night in terrified and hopeless reflexions. One of his ideas was to go to Octavian's house in disguise and kill himself at the hearth - altar and thus bring a curse upon it. But from undertaking this journey also he was deterred by a dread of being put to torture; and with his mind still dazed with confused and contradictory designs, he put himself in the hands of his servants to be conveyed by sea to Caieta, as he had property there and an agreeable summer retreat, when the Etesian winds are at their pleasantest. In this spot there stands a temple of Apollo just above the sea: from it a flock of ravens rose and flew towards Cicero's ship as it was being rowed to land, and settling down upon the yard-arm on both sides of the mast, some of them began uttering loud cries and others pecking at the ends of the ropes. Everybody thought this a bad omen. Cicero, however, disembarked and went to the lodge and lay down to get some rest. But most of the ravens lighted down about the window uttering cries of distress, and one of them settling on the bed, where Cicero was lying with his head covered, gradually drew off the covering from his face with its beak. The servants, seeing this, thought that they would be base indeed if they endured to be spectators of their master's murder, and did nothing to protect him, while even animals were helping him and sympathizing in his undeserved misfortune, and so, partly by entreaties and partly by compulsion, they got him again into his litter and began carrying him down to the sea.

"Meanwhile the executioners arrived, Herennius the centurion and Popillus the military tribune (whom he once defended on a charge of parricide) with their attendants. Finding the doors locked, they broke into the house; but when Cicero was not to be seen, and those indoors denied knowing anything about him, it is said that a young man named Philologus - a freedman of Quintus, whom Cicero had educated in polite learning and philosophy - told the tribune about the litter which was being carried through woodland and over-shadowed paths towards the sea. So the tribune, taking a small party with him, ran round to the entrance to the grounds, while Herennius ran down the pathway. Cicero perceived him coming and ordered his servants to set down the litter. Cicero himself, with his left hand as usual on his chin, sat gazing steadfastly on the executioners, unwashed, with streaming locks, his brow contracted with his anxieties. It was more than those present could endure, and they covered their faces while Herennius was killing him, as he thrust out his head from the litter and received the stroke. He was in his sixty-fourth year. By the command of Antony the man cut off his head and the hands with which he had written the Philippics!" 9

Estimate of Cicero's character.

The character and aims of Cicero will have been abundantly illustrated for the reader of these letters. That controversies should rage round his memory is only what must always be the case with a man who takes an active share in political life. Enmities and their expression in invective are more interesting to many than praise, and therefore more lasting. It is an easy task, moreover, to find faults in a character so impulsive, so many-sided, and so complex as that of Cicero. But the one view which I think inadmissible is the Mommsenian one of sheer contempt. Perhaps Cicero was not so important a figure in Roman politics as he thought himself: that he was of no importance is disproved both by the warmth of his friends and the rancour of his enemies. If he lacked originality as a writer or philosopher, neither did he pretend to any. He wished to interpret the Greek philosophers to his countrymen: he did it imperfectly, but he did it as no one else could or did. The magic of style has found its way to the intelligence and taste of mankind, as many a more learned and accurate man would have failed and has failed to do. He composed speeches which are often unfair, overstrained, and disingenuous, but they remain among the first in the world. He wrote letters incessantly: they are sometimes insincere, sometimes weak and tiresome, but taken as a whole they are scarcely surpassed by any existing collection. Signor E. Masè-Dari has lately written a volume tending to throw a doubt on his financial purity, especially in his administration of Cilicia. The attempt is, I think, a failure; and though Cicero was a man habitually embarrassed in regard to ready money, it seems that the Roman system of investment - of short loans and accommodation money - is more accountable for this than personal extravagance or reckless contraction of debt. In politics, he doubtless made the mistake of putting confidence in the leaders of the losing side. But it was really because he believed their side to be the side of right and justice. He had no personal aim in the choice, beyond the advantages which he would share with all his fellow citizens, and the primary desire to be allowed to live and enjoy the position to which his talents had raised him. His vacillation is never in his conviction as to right and wrong: but that which arose from his innate faculty of seeing every side of a question and all possible contingencies. To a nervous temperament such as his it was impossible that the dangers to himself and his family should not loom large before his eyes. But when the time came to act, he usually shewed far more resolution than his own language allows us to expect. If we had as much self-revelation from the other men of his days as we have from him, we should probably find no less vacillation, and certainly no greater conscientiousness. His almost savage expressions of joy at the murder of Caesar do not present his character in an amiable light. But then in his eyes Caesar had ruined the state. The constitution needed reform: Caesar had destroyed it. Social and political life needed purifying: Caesar had used some of the most reprobate members of society to put an end to all political and social freedom. That may not be the true state of the case as we see it, but it is what Cicero saw and believed. Caesar was a tyrannus. Even when he did well, he did it in the wrong way, and could give no security that it would not be wholly undone by a successor. The only security for justice was law-abiding and constitutional government, and that Caesar had made for ever impossible. By a convention as old as the Republic, " lynching" was the proper punishment of a man who set himself up as rex, and that Caesar practically, and almost even in name, had done.

The last months of Cicero's life are not marred by the vacillations of former periods. From the 1st of September, B.C. 44, his aim is single and continuous. He was resolved to resist to the death the attempt to perpetuate Caesarism after Caesar's death, and to use all his powers of eloquetice and persuasion to rouse the loyalist party to make a stand for liberty. And when one after the other his hopes failed and his supports fell away, he met death with a courage which did not belie his life and his philosophy.

Cicero's correspondents.

Besides Atticus, who still claims a considerable share of the correspondence, the majority of letters in these last months are addressed to Plancus, Decimus Brutus, Lepidus, Cassius, and M. Brutus. There is one to Antony, afterwards quoted by him against Cicero in the senate, and some few to Dolabella.

Marcus Antonius, b. B.C. 83.

This is hardly the time at which a final review of Antony's character should be made, for the test of his real worth as a statesman and ruler came in the period following Cicero's death. Yet in spite of personal prejudice Cicero does not seem to have made a mistaken estimate of him. In B.C. 51 he had foreseen that he and his brothers were likely to be important personages in the Caesarian era, and had warned his friend Thermus not to offend them. Marcus had been through the regular official round. He had served with Gabinius in Syria and Egypt (B.C. 57-56), had been quaestor and legatus to Iulius Caesar in Gaul (B.C. 54-52), and was one of the tribunes of B.C. 50-49 who vetoed the fatal motion in January, B.C. 49, for his recall. His greatness then began. After Pompey's flight and Caesar's departure for Spain, he was left in charge of Italy with the rank of propraetor. In B.C. 48 he joined Caesar in Epirus with reinforcements, fought at Pharsalia, and was sent back after the victory to take over again the management of Rome and Italy; and when Caesar was named Dictator in B.C. 47 Antony was named his Master of the Horse. Thus far his energy and courage had put him in the front rank of Caesar's younger officers. But from this time his weaknesses as well as his strength began to shew themselves. He was not successful in his government at Rome during Caesar's absence in Alexandria, and the disorders which grew to a dangerous height under his administration, both in the city and among the veteran legions, were only suppressed by the return of the Dictator. His wild debaucheries seem to have contributed to weaken his influence, and his financial embarrassments, partly at least to be attributed to them, caused him to attempt their relief by dealing with confiscated properties in a way which brought him into collision with Caesar. A coldness appears to have arisen between them, and Lepidus took his place as Master of the Horse. But this coldness, whatever its nature and cause, disappeared upon Caesar's return from Spain in B.C. 45, and Antony was named consul as Caesar's colleague for B.C. 44. In spite of Cicero's invectives against him in the last months of the orator's life, Antony does not seem to have treated him with personal disrespect or harshness: and this Cicero often acknowledges, scandalized as he was by his conduct whilst in charge of Italy. He was in fact not unkindly by nature, capable of genuine affection and even passion (he ended, we all know, in throwing away the world for a woman's smile), good-natured, and florid in person as well as in style of speech and writing. But with some amiable qualities, he was without virtues. In a ruler good-natured indulgence to followers means often suffering to the ruled. In a competitor for empire, reckless gallantry is by itself no match for self-control and astuteness. In the end the unimpassioned youth, whom we find him here treating with some disdain, out-manoeuvred him and outbid him for popular favour, and finally even beat him in war. In these letters, in spite of their hostility, we learn of what was perhaps his greatest military achievement, his masterly retreat from Mutina and his rally in Gallia Narbonensis.

P. Cornelius Dolabella, b. about B.C. 70.

Dolabella is on a much lower plane than Antony, and would not be much worth our attention were it not for his peculiar connexion with Cicero. He was one of the wildest and most extravagant of the young nobles of the day, but was apparently possessed of some oratorical ability. As was the fashion of the time, he trusted to this ability to bring him office and means to escape from his embarrassments, and in order to make himself a name as an orator and man of affairs commenced a prosecution of a man of high rank for malversation in his province. The person he selected was Appius Claudius, Cicero's predecessor in Cilicia. This happened to be particularly inconvenient to Cicero, who, besides wishing to stand well with Claudius, found that just about the time the prosecution was to begin (early in B.C. 50) his wife had consented to Dolabella's marriage with Tullia. It is not quite clear what Cicero's views on the subject were. He had been consulted, and wrote to Terentia leaving the matter in her hands. Yet when he found it an accomplished fact, he felt much annoyed, especially as in the meanwhile he had been visited by Tiberius Nero with a proposal for Tullia's hand, and would have preferred him. The marriage, however, had taken place, and he was obliged to make the best of it, and consoled himself in B.C. 50-49 with the reflexion that, as Dolabella took Caesar's side in the Civil War, he might prove a protection to his wife's family, which perhaps turned out to be the case. But neither was the marriage a happy one, owing to Dolabella's gross misbehaviour, nor had Cicero any reason to approve his son-in-law's public conduct. He was tribune in B.C. 47, whilst Caesar was in Alexandria, and produced much uproar in Rome by proposing a law for the abolition of debts. Though his conduct was condoned by Caesar, who took him on his campaigns in Africa and Spain (B.C. 46-45), he never shewed any qualities fitting him for public life. However, his behaviour in the field may be supposed to have earned Caesar's regard, for he promised him the consulship for half the year B.C. 44, when he himself should have gone on the Getic and Parthian expeditions. Antony objected to such a colleague and went so far as to attempt to invalidate the election - as he had threatened to do - by announcing bad omens. The decision of the augurs on the point was not given when Caesar was assassinated, and in the confusion that followed Dolabella assumed the insignia of the consulship. Two years before this his conduct had been so outrageous that Cicero had induced Tullia - somewhat unwillingly, it seems - to divorce him. But the strangest part of the business to our feelings is the cordial and almost affectionate manner in which Cicero continues to address him. This is raised to absolute adulation - in spite of a private grievance as to the failure to repay Tullia's dowry - by his belief that after Caesar's death Dolabella meant to take the constitutional side. He had at first openly shewn his sympathy with the assassins, and a few weeks later had suppressed the riots which took place round the column and altar placed over the spot where Caesar's body had been burnt, by executing - in what appears a most arbitrary manner - a number of citizens and slaves. But this show of republican ardour soon disappeared. He shared with Antony in the plunder of the temple of Ops, obtained a nomination to the province of Syria, left Rome while still consul to take possession before Cassius could get there, and on his way through Asia barbarously murdered the governor of Asia, Trebonius (February, B.C. 43). Trebonius was in Asia with the express understanding that he was to collect forces and money for the republican party; and this act of Dolabella's was a declaration of hostility to it. The senate declared him a hostis and Cassius was commissioned to crush him. Rumour of his fall (he committed suicide while blockaded in Laodicea) reached Rome before the correspondence closes, but no official confirmation of it. Dolabella's private character was bad, and there is nothing in his public conduct to make up for it.

C. Cassius Longinus, born B.C. 83.

But the chief figures in the last stage of the correspondence are the two Bruti, Marcus and Decimus, Gaius Cassius, Plancus and Lepidus. With Cassius Cicero's intimacy seems to have begun in B.C. 46, when they were both living in Rome by Caesar's indulgence, and both of them with feelings of very doubtful loyalty to his régime. Cassius had distinguished himself after the fall of Crassus - whose quaestor he was - by successfully getting the remains of the Roman army back to Antioch, and repelling an attack of the Parthians on that town in the following year (B.C. 52). His success made Cicero's year in Cilicia (B.C. 51-50) safe as far as the Parthians were concerned. But he does not speak with much cordiality about it, or as if he knew Cassius at all intimately. Cassius was in command of a fleet off Sicily when the battle of Pharsalia took place. When he heard of it he sailed towards the Hellespont; apparently with a view of intercepting Caesar, but almost immediately surrendered to him. After the Alexandrian War he seems to have returned to Rome and turned his attention to philosophy, adopting the doctrines of the Epicurean School. His letter (vol. iii., p.194) shews the zeal of a late convert, as Cicero implies that he was (vol. iii., p.174). He was never a hearty Caesarian, though, like others, he submitted. In B.C. 46-45, when Caesar was going to Spain to attack the sons of Pompey, he seems to have excused himself from fighting against old friends, and consequently to have received a hint that he had better go on a tour that would keep him from Rome during Caesar's absence. On Caesar's return, however, in the middle of B.C. 45, he appears to have been treated respectfully and nominated as praetor for B.C. 44, though he was annoyed at the preference being given to his brother-in-law M. Brutus, who was praetor urbanus. They were also to be consuls in B.C. 41, their proper year. To assign his personal annoyance as to the urban praetorship as the motive for his promotion of the conspiracy does not seem reasonable, in face of the evidence of his profound discontent at the Caesarian régime. He of course accepted office by Caesar's favour, but he probably regarded that office as no more than his due, and the influence which gave it him as an unconstitutional exercise of prerogative, with which he could have dispensed if the state of the Republic had been normal. On the whole his share in the crime of the Ides of March is not aggravated by the additional stigma of ingratitude to the same extent as some of the others. His letters from Syria are short and soldierlike. Without being a man of great ability, he evidently possessed energy and military capacity.

L. Munatius Plancus and M. Aemilius Lepidus.

Plancus was only accidentally of interest to Cicero. He was one of Caesar's legati in Gaul who stood by him in the Civil War. He fought with success at Ilerda in B.C. 49 (Caes. B. C. i. 40) and in the African Campaign of B.C. 46 (Caes. Afr. iv.), and was to be rewarded by the governorship of Celtic Gaul in B.C. 44-43, and the consulship in B.C. 42. His connexion with Antony afterwards, his long residence with him in Egypt, and his ultimate betrayal of his secrets to Augustus made the court historian Paterculus particularly fierce in denouncing him as inflicted with a kind of disease of treason, and as the most shifty of men. His letters to Cicero do not do much to relieve his character, clever and graphic as they are. He was influenced, it seems, almost entirely by personal considerations. If he did not resist Antony, he feared he should lose his province; if he did so unsuccessfully, he feared he might lose the consulship of B.C. 42. He therefore is vehement in his professions of loyalty to the senate, as long as it seemed that their generals were winning. He allowed Decimus Brutus to join forces with him, and was urgent that Octavian should do the same. But when he found that Antony had been joined by Lepidus and Pollio, he accepted the compromise offered him, and saved his consulship, if not his honour.

Lepidus was another man whom the chances of civil war had brought to a higher position than he had strength or character to maintain. He happened to be praetor in B.C. 49, and to do Caesar some service in securing his nomination as Dictator to hold the consular election. He was rewarded by the governorship of Hispania Citerior in B.C. 48-47, and the consulship of B.C. 46 as colleague of Caesar himself. Caesar does not seem to have employed him in a military capacity, but to have left him at home to keep order in Rome: and when Caesar was again appointed Dictator after Thapsus, and again for life after Munda, Lepidus was named his second in command or Master of the Horse. Though he still held that office in B.C. 44, he was not to accompany Caesar in the Parthian War, but was to hold the combined provinces of Narbonensis and Hispania Citerior. He used the troops collected for those provinces to keep order in Rome after the assassination. He did not, however, stay long in Rome. Having secured his own election as Pontifex Maximus in succession to Caesar, he went to his province. Whether he had any understanding with Antony or not, he seems at first to have been engaged in negotiations with Sext. Pompeius ostensibly in the interests of the senatorial party. From the proceedings of Antony in B.C. 44, and his ultimate determination to oust Decimus Brutus from Gallia, he stood aloof. When the siege of Mutina began he seems to have sent officers nominally to communicate with Brutus, but with secret orders not to take part in the struggle; and when Antony entered Narbonensis, after his retreat from Mutina, his officers at the frontier made no resistance, and though he feigned to be displeased and to punish them, they evidently were acting with his connivance. He was - says Decimus Brutus - "the shiftiest of men" (homo ventosissimus 10), and his letters to Cicero and the senate professing loyalty, when on the eve of joining forces with Antony, are curious for their laboured treason. Like turncoats generally, he was little valued by the side which he thus joined. Antony and Octavian found it convenient to admit him to the triumvirate, but he was always treated with contempt by his two colleagues, and after his futile attempt in B.C. 36 to undermine Octavian's authority in Sicily, he was compelled to live in ignominious retirement till his death in B.C. 13. Cicero did his best by flattery and exhortation to keep him loyal, but never thought highly of him.

Decimus Iunius Brutus Albinus.

Of all those who joined in the murder of Caesar, Decimus Brutus seems to have had the least personal motive and the least excuse. Caesar evidently thought highly of him, and regarded him with personal affection. He had served with some distinction in Gaul. He commanded the fleet against the Veneti in B.C. 56, was left in charge of troops in Auvergne, and fought at Alesia in B.C. 52. Caesar always calls him adulescens on these occasions: he probably therefore was under thirty, and had not held the quaestorship. When the Civil War broke out he was placed in command of the fleet built by Caesar's orders to blockade Marseilles (B.C. 49), and seems to have shewn himself efficient. We have no information as to the years in which he held office; but he was in Rome in B.C. 50, and may have been quaestor. He does not seem to have been in any of the other battles of the Civil War. Soon after B.C. 49 he was named governor of Farther Gaul, and fought successfully with the Bellovaci. There he seems to have remained for about three years, and on his return to Rome, about the same time that Caesar came back from Spain (B.C. 45). was received by Caesar with great honour and affection, being admitted to ride in a carriage with Octavius and Antony, behind that of the Dictator, when he entered Rome.11 He was also named for the province of Cisalpine Gaul for B.C. 44-43, and to the consulship for B.C. 42 with Plancus. Finally, as it transpired after Caesar's death, he was named "second heir" in the Dictator's will. There seems no explanation of his having joined in the conspiracy except possibly his marriage with Paulla Valeria, the sister of a strong Pompeian. His known influence with Caesar enabled him to play a particularly treacherous part. When the usual honorary procession of senators called at Caesar's house on the fatal Ides of March they found him disinclined to go to the Curia, owing to various warnings, dreams, and omens. To Dec. Brutus was therefore assigned the task of persuading him to alter his resolution. The letter written by Decimus immediately afterwards shews no sign of remorse or regret. He was therefore fully persuaded in his own mind that he was doing a public duty. He gained nothing by it, and could hardly have hoped to do so. At first it seemed likely that he would be prevented from taking over his province. But Antony appears to have found it impossible to prevent his going there; and as the regular complement of men were already awaiting him, as soon as he entered the province he was able to act in all respects as a lawfully appointed governor.12 But he was also resolved to hold the province through B.C. 43, to the eve of his consulship, and refused to acknowledge the lex obtained by Antony authorizing him to succeed Brutus in January of that year. This was the origin of the war of Mutina, which fills so large a part in the letters of this volume. Cicero's letters to him in B.C. 44 will illustrate his position before Antony's open war against him, and his own despatches after his relief at Mutina (April, B.C. 43) take us step by step along the road in that vain pursuit of Antony, which finally brought Decimus himself to destruction.

M. Iunius Brutus (Caepio), b. B.C. 83, ob. B.C. 42.

The most notable figure in this last section of the correspondence is Marcus Brutus. He has long enjoyed a unique reputation, founded partly on his name and imaginary descent from the expeller of kings, partly on the supposed loftiness of his motives and his stoical purity. He was the preux chevalier of the conspiracy, a Bayard or a Sidney, who acted only as a gentleman, a patriot, and a Stoic was bound to act. Even Antony acknowledged that he alone of the assassins was without selfish aims; and Shakespeare faithfully caught the spirit of his authorities when he made him the hero of his Julius Caesar. There have not, of course, been wanting critics to take a different view of the character and career of Brutus. He is, for instance, an object of positive aversion to the editors of the great Dublin edition of the letters, who not only refer to his stiff and ungracious manners, of which Cicero himself seems to complain, and to his shallow pedantry, but accuse him of gross oppression and usury in Asia and Cyprus, of betraying to Caesar Pompey's intention of going to Egypt after Pharsalia, of mean motives and gross ingratitude in the assassination of Caesar, and, while trying to make terms with the Antonians, of failing his party at their direst need by not coming over from Macedonia with his army. There is thus nothing left of the heroic about him, or even of what is decently honourable. If whitewashing the villains of history is an unsatisfactory employment, a still less satisfactory one is that of dispelling our illusions as to its heroes. His contemporaries admired Brutus, even his opponents admitted his high qualities, an almost constant tradition agreed in exalting his character. If Dante placed him in his lowest hell, it was from the stern condemnation of murder, whatever might be pleaded for the murderer. There was no more pardon for him than for Francesca's adultery, in spite of infinite pity. It is, of course, impossible to acquit Brutus of sinking to the level of his age and belying his philosophy in the usurious proceedings in Cyprus, and of at least indifference as to the harshness with which his agents exacted the money. It was, however, too common a custom among the Roman nobility to shock his contemporaries, or to surprise moderns who know how often practice does not square with theory. In the government of Gallia Cisalpina (B.C. 56) he seems to have been blameless in regard to money, and to have shewn considerable ability. The alleged betrayal of Pompey's intention of going to Egypt is not really substantiated by Plutarch, and seems to be rendered nearly impossible from the fact that Pompey had not made up his mind himself when he escaped from Pharsalia; and Brutus, who left the camp after him, could scarcely have known it, if he had. In the matter of Caesar's murder he was as guilty as the rest - neither more nor less. He probably felt no special gratitude to Caesar, who could hardly have done other than spare him after Pharsalia, in view of his own relations with his mother Servilia. The rumour that Brutus was in reality Caesar's son is in the highest degree improbable, though perhaps not absolutely impossible. He had no reason to love Pompey, who had treacherously killed his father, but he did love his uncle Cato, whose death was at Caesar's door. His coming over to Italy in B.C. 43, as Cicero urged him to do, even if it had been possible with such transport as he had, would hardly have been wise. His opponents were then in great strength; there is no reason to believe that Italy was - as Cicero alleged - ready to rise in his support, and an unsuccessful battle with Antony, Lepidus and Octavian, who would assuredly have united to oppose him, would have not only entailed the final loss of the cause, but have given the excuse for a massacre worse than the proscriptions. The charge of dallying with the Antonians rests on his leniency in the matter of Gaius Antonius, whom he had taken prisoner. On the 13th of April, just before the result of the battles of Mutina was known, a despatch arrived from Brutus, accompanied by one from Gaius Antonius himself, which began Gaius Antonius proconsul. They were brought by Pilius Celer, the father-in-law of Atticus, and handed to a tribune. The tribune passed them to Cornutus, the praetor urbanus who was presiding in the senate in the absence of the consuls. The despatch of Brutus referred to Antonius in indulgent terms, and the fact of having allowed him to style himself proconsul was regarded by the Ciceronians as a practical abandonment of their contention, that Brutus was alone lawful proconsul of Macedonia. Cicero felt so much embarrassed that he said nothing. But at the next day's meeting he spoke severely of this assumption of the title of proconsul, and some of the party tried to insinuate that the despatch of Brutus was a forgery. There is no evidence, however, that Brutus ever attempted to disown the despatch, and even after the battles of Mutina he continued to treat Gaius Antonius with consideration, who, according to the most probable account, was not put to death till towards the end of the year, and then not directly by the order of Brutus. Some of the Ciceronian party were alarmed at the possible position of their relations if they had borne arms against a "proconsul," and were therefore eager to mark the rejection of the claim implied by the use of the title. But there could not be any doubt of the right of Gaius Antonius to this designation, as he had doubtless been invested with imperium in the usual way. The question was really whether he had any lawful claim to be exercising that imperium in Macedonia. In that point of view he stood - as Cicero remarked - in the same position as his brother Marcus in Gaul. But Marcus had been proclaimed by the senate a hostis, which it does not seem that Gaius had been. There may, therefore, have been room for negotiation, and in the midst of so much bloodshed it is hardly a matter for reproach to Brutus that he hesitated to execute a prisoner captured in open fight, and was willing to allow him to obtain terms from the senate. In Cicero's view, however, everything but war à l'outrance with the Antonies was treason, and he constantly presses upon Brutus the necessity of getting rid of him.

The genuineness of the letters ad M. Brutum.

As controversy has thus raged round the character of Brutus, so has it done also on the genuineness of the two books of letters between Brutus and Cicero. The question has been fully stated and the latest arguments reviewed by the Dublin editors, and need not be discussed over again here. The general result is that the two books are shewn to be part of one book, the ninth, of a much larger collection once existing; that those in Book II. should precede those in Book I.; and that the evidence is in favour of the genuineness of all the letters except 1.16, 17 (pp.243-252). Even of these the Dublin editors think that the evidence in their favour is on the whole stronger than that against them. The MS. authority of these two letters is not different from that for the rest of the book, but I believe that there are many points both of style and historical allusion that would strike a reader of the correspondence as suspicious. The letter to Cicero is worse than that to Atticus both in substance and in style, but neither is worthy of the reputation of Brutus. We unfortunately do not know the details of Cicero's dealings with Octavian well enough to pronounce with certainty that he did not write to him in the tone to which Brutus objects. But we do know that the senate - acting under Cicero's influence - in their vote of honours to the army rather studiously ignored Octavian's services,13 and rejected the mission of Salvidienus when he asked for the consulship for him. If Cicero was at the same time writing in flattering terms to him and proposing an ovation, he was playing a very treacherous and very dangerous game. Therefore if Letters 1. 16, 17 are to be put aside as later compositions, we should be glad to think that 1.15 (pp. 318-324) must follow in the same road: and the panegyric on Messalla - so premature, and so likely to be inserted afterwards - makes the spuriousness at any rate of part of the letter highly probable. There seems to be a kind of fashion in criticism. Forty or fifty years ago there was a tendency to throw doubt on the genuineness of ancient writings with a kind of triumphant scepticism; now the pendulum has swung back - for the most part happily so - and the impulse is to defend everything. Neither fashion is wholly in the right.

1 This has been doubted, but I think his own expressions make it practically certain.
2  ad Att. xiv. 14)
3  "We seemed not to have been freed from a tyranny - only from a tyrant: for though the tyrant has been killed we obey his every word . . . immunities are being granted; immense sums of money squandered; exiles recalled; forged decrees of the senate entered in the aerarium."
4 1 Phil. §7.
5  He says that he also had a copy of a contio of Antony's, as well as the edict of Brutus and Cassius, which he mentions in the letter.
6 1 Phil. § 13.
7 Cicero, however, believed and approved of the plot to assassinate Antony, attributed to Octavian.
8 The edict was not put up till the triumvirs entered Rome; but Cicero's name was among those forwarded before (App. B. C. iv. 4). For the text of the edict, see App. iv. 8-11.
9 Plutarch, Cicero, xlvii.-xlviii. There is also a somewhat similar account by Livy preserved by Seneca, Suasoriae, i. 7.
10 Cicero speaks of him as levissimus ("most unstable.)
11 Plut. Ant. xi.
12 See his expedition against Alpine tribes.
13 App. B. C. iii. 74, 86.

The proscription edict.

Appian of Alexandria (AD.ca. 95-165)
Civil Wars 4.2,8-11 abridged.

8.” Marcus Lepidus, Marcus Antonius, and Octavius Caesar, chosen by the people to set in order and regulate the Republic, declare as follows:
Had not perfidious traitors begged for mercy and when they had obtained it become the enemies of their benefactors and conspired against them, neither would Caius Caesar been slain by those whom he saved by his clemency after capturing them in war, whom he admitted to his friendship, and upon whom he heaped offices, honors, and gifts, nor should we have been compelled to use this widespread severity against those who have insulted us and declared us public enemies.  Now, seeing that the malice of those who have conspired against us and by whose hands Caius Caesar perished cannot be mollified by kindness, we prefer to anticipate our enemies rather than suffer at their hands.

Let no one who sees what both Caesar and we ourselves have suffered consider our action unjust, cruel, or immoderate.  Although Caesar was clothed with supreme power, although he was pontifex maximus, although he had overthrown and added to our sway the nations most formidable to the Romans, although he was the first man to attempt the untried sea beyond the Pillars of Hercules and was the discoverer of a country hitherto unknown to the Romans, this man was slain in the middle of the Senate house, which is designated as sacred, under the eyes of the gods, with twenty-three dastardly wounds, by men whom he had taken prisoner in war and had spared, while some of them he had named co-heirs of his wealth.  After this execrable crime, instead of arresting the guilty wretches, the rest sent them forth as commanders and governors, in which capacity they seized upon the public money, with which they are collecting an army against us and are seeking reinforcements from barbarians ever hostile to Roman rule.  Cities subject to Rome that would not obey them they have burned, ravaged, or levelled to the ground, other cities they have forced by terror to bear arms against the country and against us.

9. Some of them we have punished already; and by the aid of divine providence you shall presently see the rest punished.  Although the chief part of this work has been finished by us or is well under control, namely the settlement of Spain and Gaul as well as matters here in Italy, one task still remains, and that is to march against Caesar’s assassins beyond the sea.  On the eve of undertaking this foreign war for you, we do not consider it safe, either for you or for us, to leave other enemies behind to take advantage of our absence and watch for opportunities during the war; nor again do we think that in such great urgency we should delay on their account, but that we ought rather to sweep them out of our pathway once and for all, seeing that they began the war against us when they voted us and the armies under us public enemies.

10. What vast numbers of citizens have they, on their part, doomed to destruction with us, disregarding the vengeance of the gods and the reprobation of mankind!

We shall not deal harshly with any multitude of men, nor shall we count as enemies all who have opposed or plotted against us, or those distinguished for their riches merely, their abundance or their high position, or as many as another man slew who held the supreme power before us when he too was regulating the commonwealth in civil convulsions, and whom you named the Fortunate on account of his success, and yet necessarily three persons will have more enemies than one.  We shall take vengeance only on the worst and most guilty.

This we shall do for your interest no less than for our own, for while we keep up our conflicts you will all be involved necessarily in great dangers, and it is necessary for us also to do something to quiet the army, which has been insulted, irritated, and decreed a public enemy by our common foes.  Although we might arrest on the spot whomsoever we had determined on, we prefer to proscribe rather than seize them unaware – and this too on your account, so that it may not be in the power of enraged soldiers to exceed their orders against persons not responsible, but that they may be restricted to a certain number designated by name and spare the others according to order.

11. So it be then a! Let no one harbor anyone of those whose names are appended to this edict, or conceal them, or send them away anywhere, or be corrupted by their money.  Whoever shall be detected in saving, aiding, or conniving with them we will put on the list of the proscribed without allowing any excuse or pardon.  Let those who kill the proscribed bring us their heads and receive the following rewards:
to a free man 25.000 Attic drachmas per head, to a slave his freedom and 10.000 Attic drachmas and his masters right of citizenship.

Informers shall receive the same rewards.  In order that they may remain unknown the names of those who receive the rewards shall not be inscribed in our records.”

Such was the language of the proscription edict of the triumvirs as nearly as it can be rendered from Latin into Greek.

a ‘So it be then’ (or) ‘so be it then!’
A pious formula like the Latin;
quod felix faustumque sit.
[R.I. May it be good, fortunate and prosperous!]

DCXCVI (Fam. VI. 15)
Cicero to L. Minucius Basilus  (On the Capitol) – 
Rome, 15 March, 44 B.C.
I congratulate you! For myself I am rejoiced! I love you: I watch over your interests: I desire to be loved by you and to be informed of how you are, and what is being done. 

1. Basilus. One of the assassins, who struck so wildly that he wounded Rubrius (Nic. Dam. c. 24). He was murdered early in the next year by his own slaves in retaliation for a barbarous punishment inflicted on some of them (Appian, B. C. iii. 98). The note is no doubt written immediately after the assassination; though there is no direct evidence of it, nor do we know anything of Cicero's relations with Basilus to explain why he is selected for congratulation out of all the conspirators. He is only once mentioned before (vol. iii., p. 13), where it appears that he had been inclined to befriend Cicero after Pharsalia, but Cicero only commissions Atticus to send him a formal letter in his name.  (15 March: Ides of March!

DCXCVII (Fam. VI. 1)


I write to let you know our position. Yesterday evening Hirtius called on me, and told me about the disposition of Antony. It is of course as bad and untrustworthy as possible. For he said that he could not give me my province, and did not think that it was safe for any of us to remain in Rome, considering the extreme irritation of the soldiery and the common people. I think you are aware that both these allegations are false, and that the truth is what Hirtius affirmed, namely, that Antony is afraid that, if we got even a moderate assistance in support of our position, there would be no part left for them to play in the state. Being in these straits I determined to demand a free legation12 for myself and the rest of us, in order to obtain a decent excuse for leaving the City. He promised that he would procure it, but I don't feel sure that he will do so; for people are so unreasonable and the set against us is so strong. Even if they granted our request, I yet think that before long we should be declared public enemies and forbidden water and fire.

"What, then," you say, "is your advice?" We must yield to fortune: we must quit Italy I think, and retire to Rhodes  or some place or other in the world. If any improvement occurs we will return to Rome. If things go only fairly well we will live in exile; if the worst comes to the worst, we will have recourse to extreme measures in our support.3 Perhaps it will here occur to one of you - why should we wait for the worst, rather than make some attempt at once? Because we have no one to depend upon for safety except Sextus Pompeius and Caecilius Bassus, 45 who I think are likely to be still more determined when they hear the news about Caesar. It will be soon enough for us to join them when we know their strength. If you wish me to give any undertaking for Cassius and yourself, I will give it: for Hirtius demands that I should do so. I beg you to answer this letter as promptly as possible - for I have no doubt that Hirtius will inform me on these points 56 before ten o'clock - and tell me where we can meet and to what place you wish me to come.

After my last conversation with Hirtius I decided to ask that we should be allowed to remain at Rome under the protection of a state guard. I don't think they will concede that; for we shall be casting a grave slur upon them. However, I thought I must not omit to make any demand which I considered equitable.

1] [R.I. free legation.
(Liberam Legationem; Free Commission.)
In the later Republic the practice arose by which a senator proposing to travel to a province on private business, after stating the purpose and destination of his journey, was granted the title of ambassador by the senate. That meant that he travelled at the state’s expense and enjoyed the other advantages and dignities of an ambassadorial status. A legatio Libera would not confer immunity from prosecution.]

Leg.III.18 strongly condemns this abuse, which Cicero had tried as consul to abolish, but only succeeded in limiting to a tenure of one year. He never accepted this form of legatio himself.)
2] Rhodes was a libera civitas, and had the right of receiving exiles.
[R.I. The term Libera Civitas simply means "free city." The Romans, allowed Rhodes to govern herself separately from the provincial government. This meant that Rhodes was exempt from paying any taxes to Rome, and all her merchants were exempt from all duty taxes.]
3] That is, take up arms against the government.
4] Sext. Pompeius had a large fleet in Sicily and neighbouring islands. Caecilius Bassus was in arms in Syria. Both were at present in a position independent of either party in the state.
5] That is, as to the llibera legatio and the guard

DCC (A XIV. 1)


I have come on a visit to the man, of whom I was talking to you this morning.1 His view is that "the state of things is perfectly shocking: that there is no way out of the embroglio. For if a man of Caesar's genius failed, who can hope to succeed?" In short, he says that the ruin is complete. I am not sure that he is wrong but then he rejoices in it, and declares that within twenty days there will be a rising in Gaul: that he has not had any conversation with anyone except Lepidus since the Ides of March: finally that these things can't pass off like this. What a wise man Oppius is, who regrets Caesar quite as much, but yet says nothing that can offend any loyalist! But enough of this. Pray don't be idle about writing me word of anything new, for I expect a great deal. Among other things, whether we can rely on Sextus Pompeius; but above all about our friend Brutus, of whom my host says that Caesar was in the habit of remarking: "It is of great importance what that man wishes; at any rate, whatever he wishes he wishes strongly": and that he noticed, when he was pleading for Deiotarus at Nicaea,2 that he seemed to speak with great spirit and freedom. Also - for I like to jot down things as they occur to me - that when on the request of Sestius I went to Caesar's house, and was sitting waiting till I was called in, he remarked: "Can I doubt that I am exceedingly disliked, when Marcus Cicero has to sit waiting and cannot see me at his own convenience? And yet if there is a good-natured man in the world it is he; still I feel no doubt that he heartily dislikes me." This and a good deal of the same sort. But to my purpose. Whatever the news, small as well as great, write and tell me of it. I will on my side let nothing pass.

1] Gaius Matius (Calvena), as shewn in the letters following.
2] In B.C. 47, when Caesar was on his way home from the Pontic campaign. Deiotarus had been Pompeian, and was afterwards accused of having attempted to poison Caesar, but the subject of Brutus' pleading was whether he was to retain his dominions.



I hope you are now as well as I could wish - for you were fasting owing to a slight indisposition: still, I should like to know how you are.1 Among good signs is Calvena's annoyance at being an object of suspicion to Brutus. It will be a bad symptom if the legions come from Gaul with their ensigns. What think you as to those that were already in Spain - won't they make the same demands? As also those that Annius has taken across thither? I didn't mean Annius, I meant to say C. Asinius.2 It was a slip of memory. A fine embroglio the Gambler3 has brought about! For that conspiracy of Caesar's freedmen would have been easily put down, if Antony had had his wits about him. How foolishly scrupulous I was not to accept a free legation before the vacation! I didn't wish to appear to shirk this ferment: for if it had been possible for me to remedy it, I should certainly have been bound to stick to my post. But you see what sort of magistrates we have - if magistrates they are to be called. You see, after all, the tyrant's hangers-on in enjoyment of imperium, you see his armies, his veterans on our flank! All these are materials easily fanned into a flame. While the men who ought not merely to be hedged round, but to be protected by the watchful care of all the world, you see merely made the objects of commendation and affection, but confined within the walls of their houses. Yet they - whatever their position - are happy. It is the state that is wretched.

But I should like to know something about the arrival of Octavius.4 Is there a great flocking to visit him, any suspicion of a coup on his part? I don't expect it myself: still I should like to know the truth whatever it is.

I write this to you on the point of starting from Astura, 11th of April

1] We have heard once or twice before of some illnesses of Atticus, but Nepos says that he had no occasion for medicine for thirty years of his life. He seems, however, to have had a tendency to stomach disorders which he treated by fasting (Nep. Att. 21, 22).
2] That is, C. Asinius Pollio, now governor of Hispania Ulterior.
3] Aleatore. Cicero makes a good deal of Antony's gambling propensities in 2 Phil. §§ 35, 67. But the reading is doubtful. Mueller reads balneatore, in which case it may refer to the pseudo-Marius, the leader in these disorders (see vol. iii., p.256). They took the form of mass meetings round the column and altar set up by this man to mark the spot where Caesar's body was buried. Eventually Dolabella pulled it down and executed some of the most violent of the rioters (Phil. 1.5; Phil. 2.107; infra, pp.12, 13).
4] C. Octavius (the future Augustus) was at Apollonia in Epirus when the letter from his mother informed him of his great-uncle's death. The legions in the neighbourhood, that had wintered there to be ready for Caesar's expedition against the Getae, offered him their support. But he refused it and started for Italy with his friends. Cicero seems to think that he was already in Rome, but he did not go there for some weeks. He went to his mother and stepfather's Villa near Cumae, where he now is and where Cicero a little later met him. Cicero still calls him Octavius - not Octavianus - an indication that he was not (as some have maintained) adopted in his uncle's lifetime. After adoption his name is Gaius lulius Caesar Octavianus.



I have learnt a good deal about public affairs from your letters, a considerable batch of which I received at the same time from the freedman of Vestorius. However, to your questions I shall make a short answer. I must premise that I am delighted with the Cluvian estate.1 As to your question about the reason for my having sent for Chrysippus - two of my shops have fallen down and the rest are cracking. So not only the tenants but the very mice have migrated. Other people call this a misfortune, I don't call it even a nuisance. Oh Socrates and Socratic philosophers, I shall never be able to thank you enough! Good heavens, how paltry such things are in my eyes! But after all I am adopting a plan of building on the suggestion and advice of Vestorius, which will convert this loss into a gain.

Here there is a great crowd of visitors and there will, I hear, be a greater still. Our two consuls-designate forsooth!2 Good God, the tyranny survives though the tyrant is dead! We rejoice at his assassination, yet support his acts! Accordingly, M. Curtius3 criticises us with such severity that one feels ashamed to be alive. And not without reason: for it had been better to die a thousand deaths than to endure the present state of things, which seems to me likely to be more than a passing phase. Balbus too is here and often at my house. He has had a letter from Vetus, dated on the last day of the year, announcing that "when he was investing Caecilius Bassus, and was on the point of compelling him to surrender, the Parthian Pacorus arrived with an immense force: that accordingly Bassus was snatched from his hands, for which he blames Volcatius."4 Accordingly, I think that a war there is imminent. But that will be the affair of Dolabella and Nicias. Balbus also gives better news from Gaul.6 He has a letter dated twenty-one days back announcing that the Germans and the tribes there, on hearing about Caesar's death, sent legates to Aurelius, who was put in command by Hirtius, promising obedience. In short, everything speaks of peace in those parts, contrary to what Calvena said to me.7

1] Some property that had been left to Cicero and others by Cluvius of Puteoli. Cicero had bought out his co-heirs.
2] Pansa and Hirtius had been designated consuls by Caesar, though probably a form of election had been gone through.
3] M. Curtius Postumus, an ardent Caesarian.
4] Q. Caecilius Bassus (quaestor B.C. 59) escaped from Pharsalia to Syria, where he induced some of the soldiers of the praetor Sext. Iulius to murder their commander and join him, asserting that he had been appointed propraetor of Syria, and maintained himself for three years in Apamea till Cassius arrived early in B.C. 45. C. Antistius Vetus, who had been with Caesar in Spain in B.C. 61-60, had apparently been sent out specially to attack him. Volcatius is probably L. Volcatius Tullus, praetor in B.C. 46.
5] Dolabella had been allotted the province of Syria. Nicias Curtius of Cos was a Greek grammarian who had been with Cicero in Cilicia, and was now with Dolabella as secretary-friend, and Cicero jestingly supposes that he will have to take part in the war.
6] That is Belgic Gaul, where a rising had been feared.
7] See Letter DCC. C. Matius Calvena had prophesied a rising in Gaul. Hirtius, though he had been made governor of Gallia Belgica by Caesar in B.C. 44, had not gone to the province, but had governed it by a deputy.

DCCX (A XIV. 10)


Can it be true? Is this all that our noble Brutus has accomplished - that he should have to live at Lanuvium, and Trebonius should have to slink to his province by by-roads? That all the acts, memoranda, words, promises, and projects of Caesar should have more validity than if he were still alive? Do you remember that on that very first day of the retreat upon the Capitol I exclaimed that the senate should be summoned into the Capitoline temple? Good heavens, what might have been effected then, when all loyalists - even semi-loyalists - were exultant, and the brigands utterly dismayed! You lay the blame on the Liberalia.1 What was possible at the time? Our case had long been hopeless. Do you remember that you explained that it was all over with us, if he were allowed a funeral? But he was even burnt in the forum, and a funeral oration was pronounced over him in moving terms, and a number of slaves and starvelings instigated to attack our houses with firebrands. What next! They even have the impudence to say: "You utter a word against the will of Caesar?" These and other things like them I cannot endure, and accordingly I am thinking of wandering away "from land to land." Your land,2 however, is too much in the eye of the wind.
Is your sickness quite gone by this time? I rather judged so from the tone of your letter.

I return to the case of the veterans - your Tebassi, Scaevae, and Frangones. Do you suppose these men feel any confidence in retaining their grants so long as our party have any footing in the state? They have found it possessed of more resolution than they expected. They, I presume, are devoted to the cause of public tranquillity rather than supporters of robbery! But when I wrote to you about Curtilius and the estate of Sextilius, I must be understood to have included Censorinus, Messalla, Plancus, Postumus,3 and the whole lot. It had been better to have risked destruction4  - which would never have befallen us - when Caesar was killed, rather than to have lived to see this sort of thing.

Octavius arrived at Naples on the 18th of April. There Balbus called on him early next day, and on the same day came to see me at Cumae, with the information that he intended to accept the inheritance, but that, as you say, there will be a fine scrimmage with Antony. Your business about Buthrotum is receiving, as it is bound to do, and will continue to receive my attention. You ask me whether Cluvius's legacy is reaching one hundred sestertia yet. It seems to be approaching that. At least I made eighty the first year.

My brother Quintus writes to me with heavy complaints of his son, chiefly because he is now taking his mother's part, whereas in old times when she was kind to him he was on bad terms with her. He sent me a very hot letter against him. If you know what the young man is doing, and have not yet left Rome, I wish you would write me word, and, by Hercules, on any other matter besides. I find great pleasure in you letters.

1] That is, on what was done in the senate on the 17th of March. The course of events referred to is as follows: (a) March 15th. Caesar is assassinated in the Curia Pompey about noon. The conspirators (joined by some who wished to be thought in the plot) marched through the city protected by Dec. Brutus's gladiators and barricaded themselves on the Capitol.
• There they were visited by Cicero and others.
• In the afternoon Brutus and Cassius ventured down into the forum and addressed the people, but then returned to the Capitol.
• (b) March 16th was spent in various negotiations with the consul Antony and with Lepidus, who had an army in the city. In the evening Antony issued a summons for a meeting of the senate next day in the temple of Tellus (near his own house).

(c) March 17th. At the meeting of the senate (to which the assassins were summoned, but did not come) Cicero spoke in favour of an amnesty. Dio (44, 23-33) professes to give his speech. At this meeting decrees or resolutions were passed
• (1) That there should be a general amnesty, i.e., no prosecution of the assassins.
•(2) That Caesar's acta should be confirmed.
•(3) That grants of land made or promised to the veterans should hold good.
•(4) That Caesar should be allowed a public funeral, and that Piso (his father-in-law) should publish his will.

It was the funeral and the recitation of the will to which Atticus (as did Cicero, Phil. 2.89) attributed the revulsion of public feeling and the mischief which followed. The best account of the scene in the senate and of how this last resolution was carried is in Appian, B.C. 2.126-136. The will was read and the fuineral took place apparently on the 18th. The bill declaring it illegal to nominate any man dictator was apparently brought in by Antony a few days later in consequence of a vote in this meeting.
2] Epirus. He seems to mean that it is too easy of access to his enemies. He must go farther.
3] All men enriched in various ways by Caesar's confiscations.
4] That is, by taking strong measures. This seems the only meaning possible if the MS. reading, quod nunquam accidisset, is retained, but I doubt whether the meaning is to be got out of the Latin. It would be at any rate much more intelligible if we read with Gronovius, quod utinamaccidisset. What Cicero really wrote is of course the question - and of this MSS. are the best though not the certain guides.



The day before yesterday I sent you a fairly long letter. Now I will answer your last.  I only wish to heaven Brutus would stay at Astura. You mention the "intemperance"1 of the Caesarians. Did you expect anything else? For my part, I look for worse things. For when I read his speech "Concerning so great a man," "Concerning a most illustrious citizen," I can scarcely contain myself; yet all that sort of thing is now really ludicrous. But remember this: the habit of delivering unprincipled speeches is being fostered to such a pitch that our - I won't say heroes - our gods, while sure of eternal glory, will yet not escape prejudice or even danger. They, however, have a great consolation in the consciousness of a most magnificent and noble deed: what consolation is there for us, who, though the tyrant is slain, are not free? But let fortune look to this, since reason is not at the helm. What you say about my son is very gratifying - God bless him! I am exceedingly obliged to you for arranging that he should have an allowance ample for the amenities as well as the necessaries of life; and I emphatically beg you to continue to do so. About the Buthrotians your idea is quite right. I am not losing sight of that affair. I will undertake to plead the entire case, and I perceive that it daily grows simpler. As to the Cluvian inheritance, since in all business of mine you even surpass me in interest - I may tell you that the total is approaching one hundred sestertia. The fall of the houses did not depreciate the value of the property: I am not sure that it didn't increase it. I have here with me Balbus, Hirtius, and Pansa. Octavius has lately arrived at the next villa to mine, that of Philippus.2 He is quite devoted to me. Spinther is staying with me today: he goes early tomorrow.

1] ἀκολασίαν. Cicero is no doubt quoting the exact word used by Atticus. Fulvia. In Phil. 2.93 Cicero says that Deiotarus repossessed himself of his dominions by force on hearing of Caesar's death, and will therefore demur to paying the sum agreed upon by his agents. Cicero's objection to the citizenship of the Sicilians is the loss of revenue, for they would no longer pay tributum (Phil. 2.92).
2] The stepfather of Octavius. It was the policy of Octavius for the present to feign devotion to the boni as a protection against Antony. He presently made them see what his real feeling to them was, though he sincerely admired and liked Cicero.



Ah, my dear Atticus, I fear the Ides of March have brought us nothing beyond exultation, and the satisfaction of our anger and resentment. What news reaches me from Rome! What things are going on here under my eyes! Yes, it was a fine piece of work, but inconclusive after all! You know how fond I am of the Sicilians, and what an honour I consider it to be their patron. Caesar granted them many privileges with my full approval, though their having the ius Latinum was intolerable; yet, after all. But look at Antony! For an enormous bribe he has put up a law - alleged to have been carried at the comitia by the dictator, granting the Sicilians full Roman citizenship; though while he was alive there was never a word said about it. Again: take the case of my client Deiotarus, isn't it exactly parallel? He, of course, deserved any kingdom you please, but not through Fulvia.1 There are hundreds of similar cases. However, I come back to this: shall I not be able to maintain in some degree the case of Buthrotium  -  a case so clear, so fully supported by witnesses, and so intrinsically just?2 And indeed all the more so that Antony is being so lavish in his grants?
Octavius here treats me with great respect and friendliness. His own people addressed him as "Caesar," but Philippus did not, so I did not do so either.3                      I declare that it is impossible for him to be a good citizen.4 He is surrounded by such a number of people, who even threaten our friends with death. He says the present state of things is unendurable. But what do you think of it, when a boy like that goes to Rome, where our liberators cannot be in safety. They indeed will always be illustrious, and even happy, from the consciousness of their great deed. But for us, unless I am mistaken, we shall be ruined. Therefore I long to leave the country and go "Where of the Pelopidae," etc. I don't like even these consuls-designate,5 who have actually forced me to give them some declamations, to prevent my having any rest even at the seaside. But that's what I get by being too good-natured. For in old times declamation was in a manner a necessity of my existence: now, however things turn out, it is not so. For what a long time now have I had nothing to write to you about! Yet I do write, not to give you any pleasure by this letter, but to extract one from you. Pray write on every sort of thing, but anyhow about Brutus, whatever there is to say. I write this on the 22nd of April, while dining with Vestorius, a man who has no idea of philosophy, but is well versed in figures.6

1] Deiotarus of Galatia, whom Cicero had defended before Caesar, was restored by Antony to the possession of lesser Armenia - who alleged a minute of Caesar's; but really, Cicero says, because Deiotarus had bribed him.

2] Cicero means that Caesar had promised to revoke the confiscation of lands in the territory of Buthrotum, and this promise - besides being just - can be testified to by many. If Antony carries out his measures on pretended minutes of Caesar, surely this genuine one ought to hold good.
3] Being adopted in Caesar's will the future Augustus was now properly Gaius Iulius Caesar Octavianus (the adjectival form of his original name, as usual). But this adoption required a formal confirmation by a lex curiata - which Antony managed to postpone till August B.C. 43. Meanwhile his friends gave him by courtesy the name which he was entitled to claim, but to which he had not yet technically a full right. We shall find Cicero calling him Octavianus by-and-by, but not "Caesar" till it became necessary to compliment him.
4] Reading bonum civem esse. By omitting esse Cicero is made to say that no good citizen could call him "Caesar," as it would be acknowledging the adoption. This seems to me much too strong. Cicero had consented to the confirmation of Caesar's public acta, surely it would be unreasonable to reject the disposition of his private property.
5] Pansa and Hirtius.
6] Vestorius was a banker of Puteoli, often mentioned in the letters. For writing letters at the dinner table.

DCCXIV (A XIV. 13 b)   


The request you make to me by letter I have only one reason for wishing that you had made personally. For in that case you would have been able to perceive my affection for you not merely by my language, but from my "expression, eyes, and brow" - as the phrase goes. For while I have always loved you - incited thereto at first by your zeal in my service and then by your actual favours - so in these times the interests of the state have so recommended me to you, that there is no one whom I regard with warmer affection. Moreover, the very affectionate and complimentary tone of your letter had such an effect upon me that I felt as though I were not doing you a favour, but receiving one from you, when you qualified your request by an assurance that you would not restore a personal enemy of mine, who was a friend of your own, if I did not wish it, though you could have done so without any trouble. Of course, my dear Antony, I give you my free consent, besides acknowledging that by expressing yourself as you have done you have treated me with the utmost liberality and courtesy. And while I should have thought it my duty to have granted what you ask without reserve, whatever the circumstances, I now grant it as a concession to my own feelings and inclination. For I never had a spark, I won't' say of bitterness, in me, but even of sternness or severity beyond what the service of the state required. I may add that even against Clodius himself my exasperation has never been extravagant, and I have always held that the friends of my enemies were not proper objects for attack, especially those in a lower position of life. Nor ought we ourselves to be deprived of such supporters.

As for the boy Clodius, I think it is your duty to imbue what you call "his young and impressionable" mind with the conviction that no vindictive feelings remain between our families. I fought P. Clodius, since I was supporting the interests of the state, he his own. Upon the merits of our controversies the state has decided. If he were now alive, I should have had no cause of contention with him remaining. Wherefore, since you put this request to me with the reservation that you will not avail yourself of what is undoubtedly within your power against my wishes, please grant this to the boy also as a present from me, if you think it right. Not because a man of my age need suspect any danger from a boy of his, nor because a man in my position has reason to shrink from any controversy,1 but that we may be still more closely united than we have as yet been: for owing to the intervention of these feuds your heart has been more open to me than your house. But enough of this. I will only add, that I shall always zealously do without hesitation whatever I think to be your wish and to your advantage.2

1] An answer to Antony's veiled threat at the end of his letter as to "a quiet old age".
2 Antony quoted this letter in his speech in the Senate in answer to the first Philippic (September 19th). See 2 Phil. §§ 7-10.



Your letter of the 19th did not reach me till the seventh day. In it you ask me (and even seem to think I can't answer) which of the two I like best-hills and a fine view or a walk along a flat coast. Well, it is quite true that, as you say, the charm of both spots is so great, that I can't make up my mind which is to be preferred.

“But 'tis no time to think of dainty fare,
When heaven upon us rolls this cloud of woe:
We look and shudder  -  is it life or death?”1

For though you have sent me important and welcome news about Decimus Brutus having joined his legions,2 in which I see the promise of very great things. Nevertheless, if there is to be a civil war, as there is sure to be, if Sextus Pompeius is going to remain in arms - as I know for certain he will - what I am to do I am at loss to conceive. For it will not be allowable now, as it was in Caesar's war, to go neither to the one nor to the other. For anyone that this party shall believe to have rejoiced at Caesar's death  -  and we all of us shewed our joy in the most open way - they will consider in the light of a public enemy: and that means a formidable massacre. The only resource is to go to the camp of Sextus Pompeius or perhaps to that of Brutus. It is a tiresome step and quite unsuitable to our time of life. Considering the uncertainty of war, and somehow or another I can say to you and you to me:

"My son, the deeds of war are not for you:
Seek rather thou the witching works of speech.”3

But I will leave all this to chance, which in such matters is more powerful than design. For ourselves let us only take care - a thing which is within our power - that we bear whatever happens with courage and philosophy, remember that we are but mortal, and allow literature to console us much, but the Ides of March most of all.

Now join me in the deliberation which is distracting my mind, owing to the many conflicting arguments which occur to me on either side. Shall I start for Greece, as I had determined, with a libera legatio? Thereby I seem to avoid a considerable risk of impending massacre, but to be likely to expose myself to some reproach for having deserted the state at such a grave crisis. If on the other hand I remain, I perceive that I shall be in danger indeed, but I suspect that an opportunity may occur of my being able to benefit the republic. There is also a consideration of a private nature, namely, that I think it of great importance for confirming my son in his good resolutions that I should go to Athens, and I had no other motive for my journey at the time when I contemplated accepting a libera legatio from Caesar. Therefore pray take under your consideration the whole question, as you always do in anything which you think touches my interests.

Now I return to your letter. You say that there are rumours that I am about to sell my property on the Lake;4 while I am going to convey my bijou villa - and that at a fancy price - to my brother Quintus, for him to bring home, as young Quintus has told you, the rich heiress Aquilia. The real truth is that I have no thoughts of selling unless I find something that pleases me better; while Quintus has no idea of purchasing at this time. He is quite bothered enough by his obligation to repay the dowry. To marriage, moreover, he has such a distaste that he assures me that nothing can be pleasanter than a bed to oneself.5 But enough of that. I return to the downcast or rather to the non-existent republic. Marcus Antonius has written to me about the recall of Sextus Clodius  - in what a complimentary manner, as far as I am concerned, you may see from his letter, for I am sending you a copy. But you will at the same time have no difficulty in recognizing the unprincipled and improper nature of his proposal,- so mischievous in fact that it sometimes makes one wish Caesar back again. For measures which Caesar would never have taken or sanctioned are now produced from his forged minutes. However, I made no difficulty about it to Antony: for of course, having once made up his mind that he may do what he chooses, he would have done it all the same if I had refused. So I inclose a copy of my letter also.

1] Homer, Il. 9.228.It is no time - Cicero means - to be thinking about picturesque scenery in tbe midst of these troubles.
2] Decimus Brutus had been named to the government of Gallia Cisalpina by Caesar, and had gone there in spite of Antony's opposition. He had three legions there (App. B.C. 3.6).
3] Homer, Il. 5.428. Cicero has substituted λόγοιο, "of speech," for γάμοιο, "of wedlock," at the end of the second line.
4] The Lucrine lake.
5] Quintus Cicero had recently divorced Pomponia.



"Oh tell me o'er your tale again."1 Our nephew Quintus at the Parilia wearing a garland?2 Was he alone? You certainly mention Lamia also, which does utterly astonish me, but I am eager to know who the others were: although I am quite sure that there was no one that wasn't a traitor. Please therefore make this clearer. For myself, it chanced that I had just despatched a fairly long letter to you on the 26th, when about three hours later I received yours, which was also very bulky. So I needn't write to tell you that I had a hearty laugh over your witty and amusing remarks about Vestorius's "sect" and the Puteolian custom of the Pheriones.3

Now about things more "political." You defend the two Brutuses and Cassius as though I were finding fault with them: whereas the fact is I cannot praise them enough. lt was the weak points in the situation, not in the individuals, that I reviewed. For though the tyrant has been removed, I see that the tyranny remains. For instance, things which Caesar never intended to do are being done: as in the case of Clodius - in regard to which I have full assurance not only that Caesar was not likely to have done it himself, but that he would have actually forbidden it. The next will be Vestorius's old foe Rufio,4 Victor whose name was never in Caesar's minutes, and so on with the rest - who shall we not see restored? We could not endure being his slaves; we are the humble servants of his memorandum books.

As to the senate of the 17th of March - who was strong enough to refuse to attend? Suppose that could somehow have been done: when I did attend, could I possibly speak with freedom? Wasn't it on every ground necessary, seeing that I had nothing to protect me, to speak up for the veterans who were there with arms in their hands? You can bear me witness that I never approved of that lingering on the Capitol. Well, was that the fault of the Brutuses? Not at all, but of those other dull brutes, who think themselves cautious and wise, who thought it enough in some cases to rejoice, in others to congratulate, in none to persevere. But let us leave the past: let us bestow all our care and power of protection on our heroes, and, as you advise, let us be content with the Ides of March. Yet though they gave our friends - those inspired heroes - an entrance to heaven, they have not given the Roman people liberty. Recall your own words. Don't you remember exclaiming that all was lost if Caesar had a public funeral?5 Wisely said! Accordingly, you see what has been the issue of it.

So you say that on the 1st of June Antony means to bring the allotment of provinces before the senate, and to propose taking the Gauls himself. Well, will the senate be free to pass a decree? If it is, then I shall rejoice that liberty has been recovered. If not, what will that change of masters have brought me except the joy with which I feasted my eyes on the just execution of a tyrant? You mention plundering going on at the temple of Ops.6 I, too, was a witness to that at the time. Yes in truth, we have been freed by heroic champions with the result that we are not free after all! So theirs is the glory, ours the fault. And do you advise me to write history?

To record the outrageous crimes of the men by whom we are still held down? Shall I be able to refrain from complimenting those very persons, who have asked you to act as their witness? 7 And it isn't, by heaven, the petty gain that moves me; but it is painful to attack with invectives men who have shewn me personal goodwill, whatever their character.

However, as you say, I shall be able to determine my whole line of conduct with greater clearness by the 1st of June. I shall attend on that day and shall strive by every means and exertion in my power-with the assistance of your influence and popularity and the essential justice of the cause - to get a decree through the senate about the Buthrotians in the sense of your letter. The plan of which you bid me think I will of course think over, though I had already in my previous letter commended it to your consideration. But here are you seeking just as though the Constitution were already recovered - to give back their just rights to your neighbours of Marseilles. These rights may possibly be restored to them by arms - though I do not know how far we can rely on them - they cannot be so by anybody's influence.8

P.S. The short letter written by you afterwards was very agreeable to me - that about Brutus's letter to Antony, and also his to you. It seems possible that things may be better than they have been hitherto. But I must take measures as to my present position and as to where to go immediately.

1] This quotation, expressing horrified incredulity, is from the Iliona of Pacuvius (Ribbeck, 202). Cicero twice elsewhere employs it, Acad. prior. 2.88; Tusc. 2.44.
2] See DCCXXII. The Parilia were on the 21st of April.
3] Cicero had jocosely referred to the banker Vestorius as "no philosopher but good at accounts," and Atticus seems to have replied by a punning reference to the αἵρεσις, "sect," with perhaps an allusion to the meaning "taking," as the characteristic of a banker. We can never explain the joke as to the local habits of the "Pheriones," because we don't know who they were or what Atticus said about them. May it be a similar pun on pherein "to carry off" - "convey the wise it call"? Puteoli was the mart of the corn trade from Egypt, and its merchants and bankers may have had a name for sharp practice.
4] Apparently C. Sempronius Rufus, who had a controversy with Vestorius.
5] The scene at the reading of Caesar's will, the funeral oration of Antony, and the burning of the body in the forum  - so faithfully dramatized by Shakespeare - is given most fully by Appian (B.C. 3.143-148). The revulsion of feeling caused by it made Antony all-powerful for some weeks.
6] Cicero elsewhere insinuates that Antony took forcible possession of 700,000 sestertia (about £5,600,000) deposited in Caesar's lifetime in the public treasury at the temple of Ops (Phil. 2.93).
7] Of wills, in which legacies were left to Cicero.
8] Massilia (as we have seen, had held out against Caesar in B.C. 49, and had been obliged to surrender after a long siege, and had given up its arms and ships. But it does not appear to have lost its position as a libera civitas, or if it did, it soon regained it. A figure of Massilia was carried in Caesar's triumph (Off. 2.28: see also Phil. 2.94; Phil. 8.18), and this perhaps implies a loss of libertas for the time. Why Cicero calls the people of Massilia "neighbours" to Atticus is not clear. One suggestion is tbat their ambassadors were living near him at Rome.


CUMAE, 1 MAY 44 B.C.

My admirable Dolabella! For now I call him mine. Before this, believe me, I had my secret doubts. It is indeed a notable achievement - execution from the rock1, on the cross, removal of the column, the contract given out for paving the whole spot.2                 In short - positively heroic! He seems to me to have put an end to that artificial pretence of regret, which up to this time was daily growing, and which, if it became deeply rooted, I feared might prove dangerous to our tyrannicides. As it is, I entirely agree with your letter and hope for better things: though I cannot stand those people who, while pretending to desire peace, defend unprincipled proceedings: but we can't have everything at once. Things are beginning to go better than I had expected: and of course I will not leave the country till you think I may do so with honour. Brutus certainly I will always be ready to serve at any time or place, and that I should have done, even if there were no ties between us, for the sake of his unparalleled and extraordinary character. I put this whole villa and all that it contains at the service of our dear Pilia, being myself on the point of departing this 1st of May for my house at Pompeii. How I wish you could persuade Brutus to stay at Astura.

1] [R.I. The Tarpeian Rock (Rupes Tarpeia) was a steep cliff of the southern summit of the Capitoline Hill, overlooking the Forum Romanum. It was used during the Roman Republic as an execution site. Traitors and criminals would be led to its top and then hurled down.]
2] In the absence of Antony (2 Phil. 107), who had already punished some of the rioters, Dolabella took stringent measures - pulled down the memorial column (Phil. 1.2), crucified those of the rioters who were slaves, and hurled from the Tarpeian rock some who were free. This unconstitutional conduct on the part of both consuls was condoned by the Senate and Optimates because exercised against Caesarian sympathisers. Dolabella, after Caesar's murder, had at first taken the side of the murderers and even pretended to have been privy to the plot, but seems gradually to have betrayed sentiments of the opposite description (App. B.C. 3.122).

DCCXIX (A XIV. 17 a & Fam. IX. 14)


Though I am quite content, my dear Dolabella, with the glory you have earned, and feel it to be a source of great exultation and pleasure, yet I cannot help confessing that it adds a finishing stroke to my joy that popular opinion associates my name with your praises. I meet a great many people every day, for large numbers of men of rank are collected in this district for their health, besides a goodly crowd of friends of mine from the country towns. Well, I have met none who did not with one consent praise you to the skies, adding in the same breath a very warm expression of thanks to me. For they say that they have no doubt that it is in obedience to my precepts and advice that you are shewing yourself to be a most eminent citizen and brilliant consul. Though I can answer such men with the most absolute truth that what you are doing you do on your own judgment and your own initiative, and do not need any man's advice, yet I neither admit outright the truth of their remark, lest I should detract from your glory by making it seem to have sprung entirely from my advice, nor do I deny it entirely either. For I am even too covetous of honour. And, after all, it is no disparagement to your dignity - as it was not to that of Agamemnon himself the "king of kings" - to have some Nestor to assist you in forming your plans. Whereas it redounds to my glory that as still a young man1 you should have a brilliant reputation as a Consul while being, so to speak, a pupil of my school.2

Lucius Caesar, for instance, when I visited him on his sick bed at Naples, though racked with pains all over his body, scarcely got the formal words of greeting out of his mouth before he exclaimed: "Oh my dear Cicero, I congratulate you on having an influence with Dolabella, such as if I had had with my sister's son,3 we might now have been safe. Your Dolabella indeed I both congratulate and thank - for he is the only man since your consulship that I can with any truth call a consul." Then he proceeded to say a great deal about the occurrence, and how you had managed the affair, declaring that no more splendid and brilliant act had ever been done, nor one more beneficial to the state. And this was the observation of everyone.

Now, I beg of you to allow me to accept this quasi-inheritance, so to speak, of another man's glory, and to permit me to some extent to be a sharer in your reputation. However, my dear Dolabella - for this is only my joke - it would give me greater pleasure to divert the full stream of my glories, if I may be said to have any, upon you, than to draw off any part of yours. For while I have always had the warm attachment to you which you have had every opportunity of appreciating, by your recent acts I have been so inflamed that nothing can exceed the ardour of my attachment. For there is nothing, believe me, fairer, more beautiful, or more attractive than virtue. I have always, as you know, loved Marcus Brutus for his eminent ability, his very agreeable manners, and unequalled honesty and consistency. Nevertheless, on the Ides of March my affection was so much enhanced, that I was surprised to find an addition possible in what I had looked upon as having long ago reached its height. Who could have thought that any addition was possible to my affection for you? Yet so great an addition has been made that I seem to myself never to have loved before, only to have liked. Wherefore what need to exhort you to support your position and reputation? Shall I quote to you the examples of illustrious men, as people usually do when exhorting another. I have none to quote more illustrious than yourself. You must imitate yourself, vie with yourself. It is not even admissible after such great achievements for you to fail to be like yourself.4

This being so, exhortation is superfluous. What is called for is rather congratulation. For it has been your good fortune - as I think it has never been anyone else's - to inflict the most severe punishment, not only without exciting ill feeling, but with full popular approval, and to the greatest and most universal satisfaction of aristocrat and plebeian alike. If this were merely a stroke of luck in your case I should have congratulated your good fortune; but it is in fact the result of a certain largeness of spirit, ability, and prudence. For I read your speech. It was wisdom itself. So well did you feel your way in first approaching and then avoiding the points of the case, that by universal consent the time for striking the blow seemed naturally to arise from the facts. So you have freed the city from danger and the state from terrorism, and not only done a useful service in view of the present emergency, but have set a precedent. Wherefore you ought to understand that the constitution depends on you, and that you are bound not only to protect, but to honour the men who laid the foundation of liberty. But of such matters at greater length when we meet, which I hope will be soon. For you, my dear Dolabella, since you are preserving the Republic and us, take care to guard your own life with every possible precaution.

1]That is, below the statutable age for the consulship. Dolabella was only about twenty-five.
2] vol. iii., p.93, forDolabella's study of rhetoric under Cicero.
3] L. Caesar's sister Iulia married first Antonius Creticus, by whom she was the mother of Marcus Antonius, and secondly Lentulus, the Catilinarian conspirator                 (Phil. 2.14).
4] Surely party spirit never so perverted a great man as when it induced Cicero to write these words to a dissolute young scoundrel like Dolabella; and in praise of an act of wholly unconstitutional cruelty. Even the unhappy boys hanged after the Gordon riots were allowed some form of trial.



Being in my Pompeian villa on the 7th of May I received two letters from you, the first dated five days ago, the second three. I will therefore answer the earlier one first. How glad I am that Barnaeus delivered my letter at the nick of time! Yes, with Cassius as before. It is, however, a lucky coincidence that I had just done what you advise me to do. Five days ago I wrote to him and sent you a copy of my letter. But after I had been thrown into a great state of despair by Dolabella's avarice1  - to use your expression - lo and behold, arrives a letter from Brutus and one from you. He is meditating exile: I, however, see before me a different port, and one better suited to my time of life.2 Though, of course, I should prefer entering it with Brutus in prosperity and the constitution on a sound footing. As it is indeed, you are right in saying that we have now no choice in the matter. For you agree with me that my age is unsuitable to a camp, especially in a civil war. Marcus Antonius merely said about Clodius, in answer to my letter, that my leniency and placability had been very gratifying to him, and would be a source of great pleasure to myself. But Pansa seems to be fuming about Clodius as well as about Deiotarus. His words are stern enough, if you choose to believe them. Nevertheless, he is not sound - as I think - on the subject of - Dolabella's achievement,3 of which he loudly expresses His disapproval. As to the men with the garlands,4 when your sister's son was reproved by his father, he wrote back to say that he had worn a garland in honour of Caesar, that he had laid it aside as a sign of mourning; lastly, that he -was quite content to be vilified for loving Caesar even when dead. To Dolabella I have written cordially, as you said that you thought I ought to do. I have also done so to Sicca. I don't lay the responsibility of this upon you: I don't want you to incur his wrath. I recognize Servius's style of talk, in which I see more of timidity than wisdom. But since we have all been frightened out of our wits, I have nothing to say against Servius. Publilius has taken you in. For Caerellia was sent here by them as their envoy; but I convinced her without difficulty that what she asked was not even legal, to say nothing of my disliking it.5 If I see Antony I will seriously press the case of Buthrotum.

I come now to your later letter, though I have already answered you in regard to Servius. You say that I am "making a good deal of Dolabella's achievement." Well, by heaven, it is my genuine opinion that it could not be surpassed in the circumstances and actual state of affairs. But after all, whatever credit I give him is founded on what you wrote. However, I agree with you that it would be a still greater "achievement" on his part, if he paid me what he owes me.6 I should like Brutus to stay at Astura. You praise me for coming to no decision about leaving Italy till I see how affairs at Rome are likely to turn out. But I have changed my mind about that. I shall not, however, do anything till I have seen you. I am pleased that our dear Attica thanks me for what I have done for her mother. I have in fact put the whole villa and store-room at her service, and am thinking of going to see her on the 11th. Please give my love to Attica. I will take good care of Pilia.

1] No doubt - if the reading is sound - he refers to Dolabella still retaining Tullia's dowry in part.
2] That is, "death" (cp. de Sen. § 91). He had just written the essay on Old Age. There he makes Cato say that at his age death is so pleasant that "as I approach it more, I seem to be catching sight of land and to be at length coming into port after a long voyage." We often find the sentiment occurring in his letters which he was at the time expressing in books.
3] In executing the rioters collecting round the pillar marking the spot in the forum where his body was burnt. See pp.33-35.
4] At the Palilia. See Letter DCCXVI.
5] Remarriage with the divorced Publilia.
6] The instalment of Tullia's dowry which he had to repay.



From Pompeii I came by boat to the hospitable house of my friend Lucullus on the 10th, about nine o'clock in the morning. On disembarking I received your letter which your letter-carrier is said to have taken to my house at Cumae, dated the 7th of May. Next day, leaving Lucullus, I arrived at my house at Puteoli about the same hour. There I found two letters from you, one dated the 7th, the other the 9th. So now take my answer to all three.

First, thank you for what you have done on my behalf both as to the payment and the business with Albius. Next, as to your Buthrotum. When I was at my Pompeian villa, Antony came to Misenum: but left it for Samnium before I heard of his arrival. You must not build too much hope on him. Accordingly, I shall have to see to Buthrotum at Rome. L. Antonius's1 speech - shocking! Dolabella's - famous! By all means let him keep his money, so long as he pays on the Ides. I am sorry for dear Tertia's2 miscarriage: we want as many Cassii produced as Bruti. I wish it may be true about the Queen and that Caesar of hers.3

I have answered your first letter: I now come to your second. I will see to the Quinti and Buthrotum when I come, as you say. Thank you for supplying my son. You think me mistaken in my idea that the constitution depends on Brutus. The truth is that it will all go or will be saved by him and his friends. You urge me to send you a written copy of a speech to the people. Well, here, my dear Atticus, you may take it from me as a general maxim applicable to the affairs in which we have had a fairly wide experience - no one ,whether poet or orator, ever yet thought anyone else better than himself This is the case even with bad ones. What can you expect of the brilliant and accomplished Brutus. I had actual experience of him recently in the matter of the edict.4 I drafted one on your request. I liked mine, he his. Nay, more, when in answer to what I may almost call his en treaties I had dedicated my book "On the best Style of Oratory" to him, he wrote not only to me, but to you also, to say that he did not agree with my choice of style. Wherefore, pray, let each man write for himself:

a “Each man has the best of wives: So have I.
    That you have a sweeter love, I deny.”

It is not well put, for it is by Atilius,5 the most wooden of poets. And I only hope he may be allowed to deliver a speech at all! If he can but shew himself in the city with safety, it will be a triumph for us. For if he sets up as a leader in a new civil war, no one will follow him, or only such as can be easily beaten.

Now for your third letter. I am glad that Brutus and Cassius liked my letter. Accordingly, I have written back to them. They want Hirtius made a better citizen by my influence. Well, I am doing my best, and his language is very satisfactory, but he passes his time and almost shares houses with Balbus, who also uses loyalist language. What to believe of that I must leave you to determine. I see that you are much pleased with Dolabella; I am eminently so. I saw a good deal of Pansa at Pompeii. He quite convinced me of the soundness of his views and his desire for peace. I can see plainly that a pretext for war is being sought. I quite approve of the edict of Brutus and Cassius. You wish me to turn over in my mind what course I think they ought to take. We must adapt our plans to circumstances, which you see change every hour. Dolabella seems to me to have done a great deal of good both by that first move of his and by this speech against Antonius. Certainly there is progress. Now, too, we seem likely to have a leader; which is the one thing the country towns and loyal citizens want. Do you allude to Epicurus and venture to quote: "Engage not in politics"? Does not the frown of our Brutus warn you off from such talk? The younger Quintus, as you say, is Antony's right hand. By his means, therefore, we shall get what we want. I am anxious to hear, in case Lucius Antonius has introduced Octavius to a public meeting, as you think he will, what kind of speech he has made. I can add no more, for Cassius's letter-carrier is just about to start. I am going directly to call on Pilia; thence to dinner with Vestorius6 by boat. Best love to Attica.

1] Brother of Marcus Antonius. He was tribune this year, and had been speaking about a distribution of land.

2] Tertia half-sister of Brutus, and wife of Cassius. She was daughter of Servilia by D. Iunius Silanus. Another sister was married to Lepidus.
[R.I. See Tacitus, Ann.III.76 & Sir Ronald Syme’s “The Augustan Aristocracy”]
3] Some report of harm having happened to Cleopatra. The son called Caesarion (Suet. Aug. 17) was believed to be Caesar's, though Caesar himself is said to have denied it, and his friend C. Oppius published a pamphlet to disprove it. Suetonius (Iul.52) says that Caesar granted Cleopatra permission to call the boy after him as a favour. And Plutarch (Caes. 49) attributes the assertion to the common talk of Alexandria. Antony always maintained it however, even in his will (Dio 49, 4; 50, 3).
4] Atticus had suggested Cicero sending a draft of a contio for Brutus to deliver Cicero replies that Brutus would prefer to compose his own, as he did in the case of an edict, of which Cicero had supplied a sketch. See Letter DCCXXXVII, p.64.
5] A translator of tragedies and comedies. See de Fin. 1.2, where Cicero, speaking of his translation of the Electra of Sophocles, calls him a ferreus poeta, "stiff."
6] The banker at Puteoli.
a [R.I. Suam quoi/que sponsam, mi/hi meam;
          suum quoi/que amorem, mi/hi meum.]


PUTEOLI, 11 MAY (at Vestorius’ place) 44 B.C.

Only a little while ago I had sent you a letter by Cassius's letter-carrier, when my own letter-carrier arrived on the 11th, and, marvellous to say, without a letter from you. But I soon concluded that you had been at Lanuvium. Eros, however, made great haste to have Dolabella's letter delivered to me. It was not about my money - for he had not received my letter: but he wrote in answer to the letter of which I sent you a copy. It was very well expressed. Balbus, however, came to see me immediately after I had despatched Cassius's letter-carrier. Good heavens! how plainly he shewed his dread of peace! You know, too, what a reserved fellow he is, yet he told me Antony's plans. That he was making the round of the veterans, to induce them to confirm Caesar's acta, and to take an oath that they would do so; to secure that they all had arms; and that two commissioners should inspect them every month.1 He also grumbled about the prejudice existing against himself, and his whole conversation indicated an affection for Antony. In a word, there is nothing sound about him. For my part, I feel certain that things have a warlike look. For that deed was done with the courage of men, but the imprudence of a child. For who can fail to see that an heir to the tyranny has been left?2 Now what can be more irrational than “To fear the one, nor dread at all the other?” Nay, at this very moment there are many circumstances of a paradoxical character. What about the mother of the tyrannicide retaining the Neapolitan villa of Pontius?3 I must read over again and again my Cato Maior, which is dedicated to you. For old age is spoiling my temper. Everything puts me in a rage. But for me life is over. The rising generation must look to it. Take care of my affairs, as you always do.

I write, or rather dictate this, after the dessert has been put on the table at the house of Vestorius. Tomorrow I am thinking of dining with Hirtius - the sole survivor indeed of our set of five.4 That is my way of bringing him over to the Optimates.     It is all nonsense: for there is not one of that party who does not dread a period of peace. Wherefore let us look out our winged-sandals! For I prefer anything to a camp. Pray give my best love to Attica. I am anxious to hear of Octavius's speech and anything else, but specially whether Dolabella has the true money chink, or has gone in for "repudiation" in regard to my debt also.5

The text of this clause is doubtful, arma being a conjecture for utram of the MSS. Mueller reads castra. The duumviri also may mean the two chief magistrates of the colonia. For Antony's tour through the colonies of the veterans, see Phil. 2.100. 2] Cicero often says that Antony ought to have been killed at the same time as Caesar (Phil. 2.34).

3] Servilia, the mother of Brutus, had an estate at Naples given her by Caesar.
4] penteloipon. The reading, however, is not certain. Tyrrell and Purser reckon the set or coterie at Puteoli as including Hirtius, Pansa, Octavius, Lentulus Spinther, and Philippus. But the political views referred to in the next sentence do not apply to Philippus.
5] As he did in his tribuneship of B.C. 47. Tinniat has a double meaning: (i) ringing true, like a vessel when tapped, and so being "honest (cp. Persius, 3.20); (2) "to chink" like money when handled, and so to be ready to pay.



My letter-carrier has come back from Brutus, and has brought me a letter both from him and from Cassius. They are very earnest to have my advice - Brutus, indeed, wants to know which of the two courses I recommend. What a miserable state of things! I am quite uncertain what to say to them. So I think I shall try silence, unless you think I had better not. But if anything occurs to you, pray write and tell me. Cassius, however, begs and entreats me earnestly to bring Hirtius over to the right side as much as possible. Do you think he is in his right senses?

“ Ashes and dust
Is all our trust.”1

I inclose his letter. Balbus also writes to the same effect as you do as to the province of Brutus and Cassius to be assigned by decree of the senate. And Hirtius, too, says that he shall absent himself.2 For he is now in his Tusculan villa, and is earnestly advising me to keep away. He does so because of the danger which he asserts to have threatened even him: I, however-even supposing there to be no danger - am so far from caring to avoid Antony's suspicion and his thinking me displeased at his success, that the very cause of my unwillingness to come to Rome is to avoid seeing him. Our friend Varro, however, has sent me a letter - I don't know from whom, for he had erased the name - in which it was asserted that the veterans whose claims are postponed - for a certain number had been disbanded - are using most mutinous language, declaring that those who are thought to be against their party will find themselves in great danger at Rome. What then will be "our coming and going, our look and our gait," among such fellows? Nay, if Lucius Antonius - as you tell me - is attacking Decimus Brutus, and the rest our heroes, what am I to do? How am I to bear myself? In short, I have made up my mind - at any rate, if things don't alter - to absent myself from a city in which I once not only flourished in the highest position, but even when a subject enjoyed one of some sort. However, I have not so much resolved to quit Italy - about which I will consult you - as not to come to Rome.

1] The MSS. have the apparently unmeaning words ὅτε ναῦς ἄνθρακες. I venture to propose a proverb which makes sense, and which is no violent change in the MSS., considering the hopeless confusion with which they generally present Greek words. It is ὁ θησαυρός, "the treasure turns out to be dust and ashes," a proverb for disappointed hopes (see Lucian, Zeuxis, § 2; Timon, § 41). Cicero says in the next letter that Hirtius, though annoyed with Antony, is devoted to the Caesarian party (as also to the memory of Caesar. If, therefore, they trust in his support, they will find themselves deceived - they will be reckoning without their host, and will find only disappointment. 2] That is, from the meeting of the senate on the 1st of June. At this meeting Antony was to report on the acta of Caesar, which he in conjunction with a small committee had been directed to investigate. Cicero, however, declares that the committee never met, that Antony decided as to Caesar's memoranda and acta as he chose, and when the senate met surrounded it with armed guards (2 Phil. §§ 100, 108).



Brutus and Cassius, praetors, to M. Antonius, consul.
If we had not been convinced of your honour and kind feeling to ourselves, we should not have written this letter to you. And this being the state of your mind, you will, we feel sure, receive it with all possible favour. Our correspondents inform us that a crowd of veterans has already collected at Rome, and that there will be a much greater one there by the 1st of June. If we entertained any doubt or fear of you, we should be untrue to ourselves. But since we have put ourselves in your hands, and under your advice have dismissed our friends from the country towns, and done so by a circular letter as well as by an edict, we have a claim to be admitted to your confidence, especially in a matter which touches ourselves.

Wherefore we beg you to let us know what your feeling towards us is: whether you think that we shall be safe in the midst of such a crowd of veteran soldiers, who, we hear, even think of replacing the altar.1 That is a thing which we think that hardly anyone can wish or approve, who desires our safety and honour. The result shews clearly that our aim from the first was peace, and that we have had no other object than the liberty of all. No one can beguile us except yourself, and that is a course of conduct quite alien to your virtue and honour. But no one else has the means of deceiving us: for it is you alone that we have trusted and intend to trust. Our friends are disturbed by a very great alarm on our account. For though they have every confidence in your good faith, they yet cannot help reflecting that the crowd of veteran soldiers can be more easily moved by others in any particular direction, than they can be held back by you. We ask you to write back and explain everything. For the suggestion that notice has been given to the veterans to appear, because you intended to bring in a law about their pensions in June, is wholly inadequate and meaningless. For whom do you think likely to hinder it, since in regard to ourselves we have made up our minds to do nothing whatever? We ought not to be thought by anyone too greedy of life, since nothing can happen to us without general disaster and confusion.

1] The altar and column erected by the pseudo-Marius in the forum on the spot where Caesar's body had been burnt. Dolabella had removed it.



On the evening of the 2nd I received a letter from Balbus telling me that there would be a meeting of the senate on the 5th, in order to appoint Brutus to the superintendence of the corn-supply in Asia, Cassius in Sicily. What an indignity! To begin with, to take any appointment from that party, and then, if they must take some office, such a subordinate one as that, which could be done by legati! And yet I don't feel sure that it isn't better than sitting idle on the banks of his Eurotas.1 But these things will be governed by fortune. He says also that a decree is going to be passed at the same meeting for assigning provinces to them and other ex-praetors. This is certainly better than his "Persian Portico" - for I would not have you imagine that I mean a Sparta farther off than Lanuvium.2 "Are you laughing," you ask, "in such grave matters?" What am I to do? I am tired of lamenting. Good heavens, what a fright the first page of your letter gave me! Why, how did that warlike outbreak in your house come about? But I rejoice that that storm-cloud at any rate has passed quickly away. I am very anxious to hear how you sped on that conciliatory mission - it was a melancholy as well as a difficult one.3 For the knot cannot be untied: we are so completely hemmed in by every kind of force. For myself, the letter of Brutus, which you shew me that you have read, has caused me so much agitation that, though I was already at a loss which course to adopt, I am yet rendered still less ready to act from distress of mind. But I will write more fully when I have your news. For the present I have nothing to say, and the less so that I am doubtful of your getting even this letter. For it is uncertain whether the letter-carrier will find you. I am very anxious for a letter from you.

1] A stream in the property of Brutus at Lanuvium, to which he had given the name of the river of Sparta.2] Reading nolo enim Lacedaemonem longinquiorem Lanuvio existimaris. But both text and meaning are very uncertain. The Περσικὴporticus seems to refer to some covered walk in Brutus's property at Lanuvium, also named from the στοὰΠερσκιὴ at Sparta, for which see Pausanias, 2.11, 3. The latter was so named from being adorned by spoils taken at Plataea. The Roman Stoics affected an admiration of Sparta and Spartan ways.

3] Apparently Atticus was contemplating a visit to Brutus at Lanuvium with some proposals from Antony's party. The visit, however, did not come off, and Brutus and Cassius presently removed to Antium. What the casus armorum refers to we cannot tell. Some of Antony's ever-increasing bodyguards may have had some fracas at his house.

DCCXLI (A XV. 10 (2))


I reached Antium on the 8th. Brutus was delighted at my arrival. Thereupon in the presence of a large party - Servilia, dear Tertia, and Porcia1 - he asked me my opinion. Favonius2 was there too. I had thought over what to say as I was on the road, and now advised him to avail himself of the corn-purchasing office in Asia.           I urged that all we could now do was to consult for his safety: that on him depended the defence of the constitution itself. I had just got well into my speech when Cassius came in. I repeated the same remarks. At this point Cassius with a determined look in his eyes - you would have said he was breathing war - declared that "he would not go to Sicily. Was he to accept as a favour what was meant as an insult?" "What are you going to do then?" said I. He replied that he would go to Achaia. "And you, Brutus?" said I. "To Rome, if you think it right," said he. "I don't think so at all," said I, "for you will not be safe." "But if I could be there safely, would you think I ought to go?" "Yes," said I, "and that you should not go to a province either now or after your praetorship. But I do not advise your trusting yourself to the city." Then I stated the reasons, which will doubtless occur to you, why he was not likely to be safe there. Then followed a long conversation in which they complained -and especially Cassius - that opportunities had been let slip. They were especially hard upon Decimus.3 I said that they should not harp on the past, but I agreed with them all the same. When, however, I had begun discussing what ought to have been done - my topics were the old ones and such as are in everybody's mouth -without touching upon the question as to whether some one else ought to have been attacked,4 I said that the senate should have been summoned, the people already burning with excitement should have been still farther roused, that the whole government of the state should have been taken in hand by them. At that point your friend Servilia exclaims: "That indeed I never heard anyone - " Here I stopped her. But I not only think that Cassius will go,5 for Servilia promised to see that this corn-commissionership should be cut out of the senatorial decree, but Brutus also was quickly induced to give up that foolish talk of being determined to go to Rome. He accordingly settled that the games should be given in his name without his presence. He, however, appeared to me to wish to start for Asia from Antium. In short, I got no satisfaction from my journey except the consciousness of having done my duty. For it was impossible for me to allow him to quit Italy without my having had an interview with him. Barring the discharge of this obligation of duty and affection, I could only ask myself: “What doth thy journey here avail thee, seer?” In good truth I found a ship with timbers all started, or rather gone to pieces. No plan, no system, no method! Accordingly, though I had no doubt before, I am now more bent than ever "to fly away" - and that at the first chance –

“Where deeds and fame of the Pelopidae
May greet my ears no more.”6

But look here! Not to keep you in the dark, Dolabella named me his legatus on the 2nd of June. That announcement reached me yesterday evening. Even you did not approve of my having a "votive legation." And indeed it would have been absurd for me to be discharging the vows made in case of the constitution being maintained, after that constitution had been overthrown. Besides "free legations" have, I think, a fixed limit of time by the Julian law, and an addition is difficult to secure. The sort of legation I want is one that admits of my coming back or going out as I choose: and that is now secured to me.7 Very pleasant too is the privilege of exercising this right for five years.8 Yet why think about five years? If I am not deceived the end is not far off. But absit omen.

1] Servilia, mother of Brutus; Tertia, his half-sister and wife of Cassius; Porcia, his second wife, recently married.
2] For this imitator of Cato, see vol. ii., p.31 ; cp. vol. i., pp.35, 188.
3] Because he had used his forces in Gallia Cisalpina in wars with the natives instead of attacking Antony.
4] That is, Antony.
5] To Achaia, on his way to take possession of his province of Syria.
6] See vol. iii., p.100, etc.
7] Cicero was named an ordinary legatus to Dolabella as governor of Syria, though of course it was understood that he was to do no duties.  A libera legatio did not attach a man to any particular governor, but on the other hand was limited in point of time. Cicero himself had carried a law in his consulship in regard to them.
8] The period for which Dolabella had the governorship apparently, for he was to carry on the Parthian war (Appian, B.C. 3.7, 8).



I am glad to hear about Buthrotum.1 But I had sent Tiro, as you bade me, to Dolabella with a letter. What harm can it do? About our friends at Antium I think my last letter was sufficiently full and explicit. It must have convinced you that they intended to take no active step, but to avail themselves of Antony's insulting favour. Cassius would have nothing to do with the corn business. Servilia said that she would get it cut out of the senatorial decree.2 Our friend Brutus, however, assumes very tragic airs and says - after agreeing with me that he cannot be safe at Rome - that he will start for Asia as soon as he has handed over the equipment for the games to those who are to hold them, for he prefers to give them, though he won't be present at them. He is collecting vessels. He is full of his voyage. Meanwhile they intend to stay where they are. Brutus indeed says that he will visit Astura. Lucius Antonius on his part writes to me in a courteous tone bidding me have no anxiety. I owe him one favour, perhaps I shall owe him another if he comes to my Tusculan house.3 What unendurable worries! Yet we do endure them after all. "Which of the Bruti (oh rightly named!) is to blame for this?"4 In Octavianus,5 as I have perceived, there is no little ability and spirit; and he seems likely to be as well disposed to our heroes as I could wish. But what confidence one can feel in a man of his age, name, inheritance, and upbringing may well give us pause. His stepfather, whom I have seen at Astura, thinks none at all. However, we must foster him and - if nothing else - keep him apart from Antony. Marcellus6 will be doing admirable service if he gives him good advice. 7 Octavian seemed to me to be devoted to him: but he has no great confidence in Pansa and Hirtius. His disposition is good, if it does but last.

1] The favourable decision of the consuls.
2] The decree promoted by Antony seems to have had two provisions:  (a) an indemnity to Brutus and Cassius for being absent from Rome during their praetorship; (b) an appointment to a curatio annonae in Sicily and Asia. The compromise suggested by Servilia seems to have been that the first should be passed, but not the second, or if it named Sicily and Asia as the places to which they were authorized to go, that the purpose (the curatio annonae) should not be mentioned.
3] Lucius Antonius was a tribune. He seems to have written to Cicero telling him that he need have no anxiety as to the rumoured intention of attacking his house at Tusculum.
4] Cicero seems to be punning on the word brutus, "stupid," and to hesitate as to which of the two Bruti was most to blame for the present
5] This is the first time that Cicero gives the young Augustus the name which acknowledges his adoption by Caesar's will. Though the full formalities were not carried out for another year, he was by that adoption Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus (instead of Octavius).
6] Husband of Octavia, Octavian's sister. Consul B.C. 49.
7] The text is corrupt.



I arrived at Puteoli on the 7th. I write this on the following day as I am crossing to Nesis.1 But on the day of my arrival, as I was at dinner Eros brought me your letter. Is it really so? "Nones of July!"2 The gods confound them! But one might rage all day long. What could be a greater insult to Brutus than "July"? I come back to my old quousque tandem? I have never seen anything worse. But what is this, pray, about the land-grabbers being cut to pieces at Buthrotum?3 How also came Plancus to be on the run day and night - for that is whispered to me? I am very anxious to know what it means. I am glad that my going abroad is commended: I must try and get my staying at home praised also. That the Dymaeans4 should harry the sea after being expelled from their lands is no wonder. There seems to be some protection in making the voyage in company with Brutus. But I think his vessels are small. However, I shall know all about it directly, and will write to you tomorrow. As to Ventidius,5 I think it is a canard. As to Sextus, it is regarded as certain that he is giving in.6 If this is true, we must submit to being slaves even without a civil war. What are we to say then? Is our hope in Pansa and the 1st of January? That's all moonshine, considering the drunken and drowsy habits of these men. About the 230 sestertia -  capital! Let my son's accounts be put straight. For Ovius has just arrived7 and his report is much to my satisfaction: among other things it is by no means bad that seventy-two sestertia is enough, and quite liberal, but that Xeno furnishes him very sparingly and stingily. You say that your bill of exchange amounted to more than the rent of the town lots. Well, let the year in which he had the additional expense of the journey be credited with the balance. From the 1st of April next let his allowance be kept to the eighty sestertia.8 For the town lots now produce that amount. We must see to some settlement for him when he is back in Rome. For I don't think that he could endure that woman as a mother-in-law. About my Cuman villa I said "no" to Pindarus.

Now let me inform you of my motive for sending you a letter-carrier. Young Quintus promises me that he will be a regular Cato. But both father and son urged me to guarantee this to you, though with the understanding that you shouldn't believe it till you had practical proof of it yourself. I will give him a letter such as he desires. Don't let it influence your opinion. I am writing this to prevent your supposing that I am convinced. Heaven send that he carries out his promises! It will be a satisfaction to everyone concerned. But I - well, I will say nothing more. He starts on the 10th. He says he is making a consignment of debts for the 15th, but that he is being very hard pressed. You will judge from my letter what answer to give him. I will write at greater length when I have seen Brutus and am sending Eros back. I quite accept my dear Attica's apology, and love her dearly Give my kind regards to her and Pilia.

1] Nesis (mod. Nisidia) is a small island between Puteoli and Naples, on which Brutus or perhaps his mother (see ad Att. 14.21) had a villa.
2] The change of name of the month Quintilis to Iulius, as being the month of Caesar's birth, was voted by the senate early in this year, Dio, 44, 5; but it does not seem to have quickly come into public use, for it was re-enacted in his honour after his death, Dio, 45, 8. It probably had not been used in formal documents, and Cicero thinks it particularly bad taste to have used the word in regard to the games, for which Brutus was paying.
3] New coloni often found themselves roughly treated by the men dispossessed in their favour. See last letter, p.104, and Phil. 2.300.
4] Some of the pirates whom Pompey had settled on lands at Dyme in Achaia, after the Piratic war of B.C. 57-56, Plut. Pomp. 28.
5] P. Ventidius Bassus, a devoted adherent of Antony, was now praetor-designate. Probably the rumour was as to his raising troops, as he did later on.
6] Lepidus was negotiating with Sextus Pompeius, offering him the restitution of his father's wealth (Dio, 45, 10). It is rumoured that be is accepting. Cicero thinks that that will make Antony all-powerful. Ad arma in the text is wrong. Mr. Tyrrell suggests ad Larem (cp. p.103). I suggest daremanus. If abbreviated dar ma, it might be easily turned into adarma.
7] From Athens.
8] About £640, accruing from the rents of the blocks of houses (insulae) which apparently formed part of Terentia's property secured to her son. His first year's expenditure had exceeded, his second year had fallen below it, and Cicero says the two are to be lumped together.



I have not yet been able to make up my mind whether Trebatius - kind man and devoted friend of us both - brought me more pain or pleasure. The fact is that I having reached Tusculum in the evening, early next day he called on me: though he was not fully recovered. I scolded him for not being sufficiently considerate of his weak health: but he said that nothing had been more wearisome to him than waiting to see me. "Nothing fresh happened, has there?" said I. Then he told me of your grievance. But before I answer it I will put before you a few facts. As far back as I can remember I have no older friend than your-self. But after all the length of a friendship is something in which many others share. Not so warmth of affection. I became attached to you the first day I knew you, and formed the opinion that you were attached to me. After that your absence - which was a very prolonged one - my own official career, and the different line we took in life did not allow our inclinations to be cemented by a constant intercourse. Nevertheless, I had proof of your affection for me many years before the civil war, when Caesar was in Gaul. For you secured what you were strongly of opinion was to my advantage and not without advantage to Caesar himself - that the latter should like me, pay me attention, and rate me among his friends. I pass over instances in those times of words, letters, and various communications of the most friendly character passing between us. For a more dangerous crisis followed: and at the beginning of the civil war, when you were on your way to Brundisium to join Caesar, you came to call on me at Formiae. How much that implies in itself, to begin with, especially at such a crisis! And in the next place, do you suppose that I have forgotten your advice, conversation, and kindly interest? And in these I remember that Trebatius took part.1 Nor, again, have I for gotten the letter you sent me after you had met Caesar in the district, if I remember rightly, of Trebula. Then followed the period in which whether you call it shame or duty or fortune compelled me to go abroad to join Pompey. What service or zeal was wanting on your part, either towards myself when away from town, or my family, who were still there? Whom did all my family regard as more warmly attached either to me or to themselves?

I came to Brundisium:2 do you suppose that I have forgotten with what speed you flew to me from Tarentum, as soon as you heard of it? Or, of how patiently you sat by my side, talked to me, and strengthened my courage, which had been broken by the dread of the universal ruin? At length our residence at Rome began: could anything be more intimate than we were? In questions of the first importance I consulted you as to my attitude towards Caesar, and in other matters availed myself of your good offices. Setting Caesar aside, whom else but me did you so far distinguish as to visit constantly at home, where you often spent many hours in the most delightful conversation? And it was then too, if you remember, that you instigated me to write these philosophical works. After Caesar's return, was there any object dearer to you than that I should be on the terms of closest friendship with him? And this you had accomplished.

To what end, therefore, is this preamble which has run to greater length than I anticipated? Why, to explain my surprise that you, who were bound to have known all this, should have believed me capable of having done anything incompatible with our friendship. For besides these facts, which are well attested and as clear as the day, I could mention many others of a more secret nature, such as I can hardly express in words. Everything about you gives me pleasure: but above all your surpassing fidelity in friendship, the prudence, trustworthiness and consistency of your character, as well as the charm of your manners, the cultivation of your intellect, and your knowledge of literature.

This being understood, I return to your statement of grievance. That you voted for that law3 I at first refused to believe. In the next place, if I had believed it, I should never have believed that you did so without some sound reason. Your rank makes it inevitable that whatever you do should be noticed: while the ill-nature of the world causes certain things to be represented in a harsher light than your actions have really warranted. If you never hear such observations I don't know what to say. For my part, whenever I hear them I defend you, as I know that I am always defended by you against my detractors. Now my line of defence is twofold. There are some statements which I meet with a blank denial, as about that very vote of yours. Others I defend on the ground of the loyalty and kindness of your motives, as in regard to the superintendence of the games. But it does not escape a mind so highly cultivated as yours that, if Caesar was a tyrant - as I think he was - two opposite theories are capable of being maintained in regard to your services. One is mine - when I hold that your loyalty and kindness are to be commended for shewing affection to a friend, even after his death. The opposite theory, advanced by some, is that the liberty of our country is to be preferred to the life of a friend. From such discussions as these I only wish that the arguments I have advanced had come to your ears! Two other points, which above everything else redound to you reputation, no one could put oftener and with more satisfaction than I do: that your voice was the strongest both against beginning the civil war, and for moderation in victory. And in this I have never found anyone who did not agree with me. Therefore I am grateful to our friend Trebatius for giving me an excuse for writing this letter. And if you do not believe in it, you will thereby condemn me as wanting in duty and good feeling: than which nothing can be more discreditable to me or more foreign to your own character.
1] For a joint letter from Matius and Trebatius acquainting Cicero with Caesar's movements in B.C. 49, see vol. ii., p.350.

2] That is, after Pharsalia, at the beginning of November, B.C. 48.
3] We have no certain indication of what law is meant. It may mean the law which gave Antony Gallia Cisalpina and the Macedonian legions.



Your letter gave me great pleasure by convincing me that your opinion of me was what I had hoped and wished that it should be. And although I had no doubt about that, yet, as I valued it very highly, I was anxious that it should remain intact. I was, moreover, conscious in my own mind of having done nothing calculated to wound the feelings of any good man. Therefore I was all the less inclined to believe that a man of your many splendid qualities could be induced to adopt any opinion inconsiderately, especially as my good feeling towards you had always been, and still was, heartfelt and uninterrupted. As then I know this to be as I wished it to be, I will now answer the charges, which - as was natural from your unparalleled kindness and our friendship - you have often rebutted in my behalf.

Now I am well acquainted with the allegations made against me since Caesar's death. People blame me for shewing grief at the death of a dear friend, and expressing my indignation that the man whom I loved had been killed. For they say that country should be preferred to friendship, as though they had actually proved that his death has been beneficial to the Republic. Well, I will speak frankly. I confess that I have not attained to that height of philosophy. For in the political controversy it was not Caesar that I followed, but it was a friend whom - though disapproving of what was being done - I yet refused to desert. Nor did I ever approve of a civil war, nor of the motive of the quarrel, which in fact I strove my utmost to have nipped in the bud. Accordingly, when my friend was victorious I was not fascinated by the charm either of promotion or of money-rewards upon which others, though less influential with him than I was, seized with such intemperate avidity. In fact, even my own personal property was curtailed by the law of Caesar,1 thanks to which most of those who now exult in Caesar's death maintained their position in the state. I was as anxious that conquered citizens should be spared as I was for my own safety. Wishing therefore the preservation of all, could I fail to be indignant that the man by whose means that preservation had been secured had perished? Especially when the very same men had caused both the feeling against him. and the death which befell him. "Well then," say they, "you are assailed for venturing to shew your disapprobation of our deed." What unheard of tyranny! One party are to boast of a crime, others are not to be allowed even to grieve at it with impunity! Why, even slaves have always been free to fear, to rejoice, and to grieve at their own will rather than at the behest of another - emotions of which, to judge from the frequent remarks of your champions of liberty, they are now endeavouring to deprive us by force. But they are throwing away their labour. I shall never be deterred from duty and humanity by the threats of any danger. For I have convinced myself that an honourable death is never to be shunned, is often even to be sought. But why are they angry with me for wishing them to repent of what they have done? For I desire Caesar's death to be regretted by all. 'But," say they, "I ought as a citizen to desire the safety of the Republic." If my past life and future hopes do not prove me - without my saying a word - to desire that, I do not expect to convince them by anything I can say. Therefore I ask you with more than usual earnestness to regard facts as more convincing than words; and if you think it good for the world that right should prevail, to believe that I can have nothing in common with criminals. The principles which I maintained as a young man, when I might have had some excuse for going wrong, am I now that my life is drawing to its close entirely to change and with my own lips to give the lie to my whole career? I will not do so! Yet I will not act in a way to cause offence farther than by avowing my grief at the hard fate of one so deeply loved, and a man of such extraordinary distinction. But if I were otherwise disposed I would never deny what I was doing, lest I should get the reputation of being at once unscrupulous in committing crime, and timid and false in disavowing it.

"But," say they, "I superintended the games given by the young Caesar in honour of Caesar's victory." That is a matter of private obligation with no constitutional significance. Yet, after all, a service which I was bound to render to the memory of a dear friend even after his death, I could not refuse to the request of a young man of very great promise and in the highest degree worthy of Caesar.

I have also frequently been to the house of the consul Antonius to pay my respects. Yes, and those who now regard me as unpatriotic you will find going there in crowds to prefer some petition or to pocket some bounty. But what insolence is this that, whereas Caesar never interfered with my being intimate with whom I chose, even with those whom he personally disliked, these men who have torn my friend from me should now endeavour by their captious remarks to prevent my loving whom I choose? But I have no fear either of the regularity of my life not being sufficient to protect me hereafter, or of those very men who hate me for my constancy to Caesar not preferring to have friends like me rather than like themselves. For myself, if I get what I like, I shall spend the remainder of my life in retirement at Rhodes: but if some accident intervenes, though I am at Rome I shall always desire the right to prevail. I am very much obliged to our friend Trebatius, for having shewn me your true-hearted and affectionate feeling towards myself, and for having given me additional reasons for being still more bound to cultivate and respect a man for whom I have always felt a spontaneous affection.
Good-bye, and do not cease to love me.

1] There were two financial laws of Caesar's, one in B.C. 49, which provided for the payment of loans - minus interest - by transferring property at a valuation, and regulated the proportion of money to be invested in Italian land (App. B.C. 3.48; Caes. B.C. iii. I; Dio, 41, 38); and a second of B.C. 47, remitting certain proportions of house and land rent in Rome and Italy (Dio, 42, 51; Suet. Iul. 38). Matius may be referring to either or both. He lost by them, being an investor rather than a borrower of money.

a [R.I. Prof.Sir Ronald Syme’s remark about this letter:
           “A monument to the eternal glory of C.Matius.”


CICERO TO C. CASSIUS LONGlNUS (NEAR PUTEOLI) –                                           ROME (BETWEEN 2 AND 9 OCTOBER) 44 B.C.

Your friend1 daily becomes madder. To begin with, he has caused "To the father for his eminent services" to be inscribed on the statue which he has placed on the rostra, so that you are now condemned not only as murderers, but as parricides.2 But why do I say "you"? Rather I should say "we" are condemned: for that madman asserts that I was the head and front of that most glorious deed of yours. Would that I had been! He would not have been troubling us now.3 But it is you and your fellows who are responsible for this: and since it is past and done with, I only wish I had some advice to give you. But the fact is, I cannot feel satisfied even of what I myself ought to do. For what is possible against force without having any force oneself? Now the gist of this policy of theirs is to punish the death of Caesar. Accordingly, on the 2nd of October, being introduced to an assembly by Cannutius, Antony got indeed a very sorry reception: still, he did deliver himself of remarks about the saviours of the country which ought only to have been made about traitors. As to me, indeed, he declared outright both that you had acted and that Cannutius was acting in everything on my advice. You may judge of the rest from the fact that they have deprived your legatus of his travelling money.4 What explanation of that do you suppose that they give? They say, forsooth, that it is being conveyed to a public enemy! What a grievous thing, that we could not endure a master, and yet are slaves to a fellow slave! Yet after all, though my will is better than my hopes, there does remain even now some hope in your valour. But where to get forces? As to the future I would rather you consulted your own feelings, than listened to words of mine.

1] Antony.
2] The title of parens (or pater) patriae had been formally given to Caesar and was inscribed on coins (see Dio, 44, 3; Suet. Iul. 80). Cicero alludes to the guilt of parricide brought thereby upon his assassins in Phil. 2.31 ; cp. Phil. 13.23.
3] Cicero often repeats this sentiment, that if he had been one of the assassins, he would have killed Antony also. See, e.g., Phil. 2.34; supra, p.46.
4] Though Dolabella had gone to take possession of the province of Syria, Cassius still meant to possess himself of it in value of his appointment in Caesar's time. Meanwhile that appointment had been cancelled by the senate, and he had been nominated to Cyrene, and could therefore have legati, and a legal allowance for them. Antony no doubt interfered because he knew that Cassius would not go to Cyrene, but would defy this senatus consultum and go to Syria (Appian B.C. iii. 8, 12).



Tratorius has explained to me the whole state of the case regarding your governorship and the position of your province. How many intolerable things are being done in all quarters! But considering your high rank, the treatment accorded to you is still less endurable. For because you put up with these things in the loftiness of your spirit and character without excessive irritation, they none the less call for your vengeance, even though they do not sting your heart. But of this at a future time.1

I feel sure that a gazettea of transactions in the city reaches you. If I had not thought so I would have written an account of them myself, and first and foremost of the attempt made by Octavianus. In regard to this the common people think it a charge trumped up by Antony, as an excuse for making an inroad upon the young man's money. Men of the world, however, and loyalists both believe that it took place and approve of it.2 In short, I have great hopes of him. There is nothing he may not be expected to do in future for fame and glory's sake. Antonius, however, our whilom intimate friend, feels himself to be the object of such violent dislike, that though he caught the assassins within his own doors, he does not venture to make the fact public. On the 9th of October he set out to meet the four Macedonian legions, which his idea is to win over to his side by money-bounties, to lead them to the city, and station them as fetters for our necks.3

There is the state of the Republic for you, if a republic can be said to exist in a camp. And in this matter I often lament your fortune in not being old enough ever to have had a taste of a sound and healthy republic. And up to this time indeed it was at least possible to hope: now even that is snatched from us. For what hope can there be, when Antony ventures to say in a public meeting that Cannutius is "seeking a place for himself with men, for whom as long as he was alive there could be no place in the state "?

For my part I bear these things, and in fact all that can befall a mortal, in such a way as to make me grateful to philosophy, which not only diverts me from anxious thoughts, but also arms me against all assaults of fortune. And you too, I think, should do the same: and believe that to a man who is clear of all wrong-doing nothing is to be reckoned an evil. But you understand this better than I.

I always thought highly of our friend Tratorius, but I have been specially struck by his eminent fidelity, activity, and good sense in your business affairs. Take care of your health: nothing you can do could please me more than that.

1] Q. Cornificius had gone as governor to Africa in B.C. 45. A law of Caesar's had limited a praetorian province to one year. But though Antony had caused that law to be revoked (Phil. 1.19), a successor had yet been nominated to Cornificius in the person of C. Calvisius Sabinus (praetor B.C. 43), who had already been there before Cornificius (3 Phil § 26), and was a devoted Caesarian. See infra, Letter DCCCXXII.

2] Whether Octavian did really countenance the attempt to assassinate Antony is a matter of much dispute. Appian (B.C. 3.39 denies it, shewing that it was not in his interest to get rid of Antony at this time. Plutarch (Ant. 16) disbelieved it, and Nicolas (vit. Aug. 30), who probably gives Octavian's own version, says that Antony invented both plot and the report inculpating Octavian, who, as soon as be heard of it, went to Antony's house and offered to act as one of his guard. Suetonius (Aug. 10) of course believes it. See also Seneca, de Clem. i. 9, 1. Cicero evidently had no definite knowledge on the subject. I am myself inclined to the version of Nicolas that the whole thing was a deliberate canard.
3] There were six legions stationed in Macedonia by Caesar with full complement of cavalry and equipment for the Getic and Parthian wars. Antony first extorted from the senate the command of them on the plea that the Getae were threatening Macedonia. Having surrendered one of the legions to Dolabella, he shortly afterwards asked the senate to give him Cisalpine Gaul instead of Macedonia - which was to be transferred to his brother Gaius. The senators - seeing how they were entrapped - refused, but Antony carried it over their heads by a lex: and then sent Gaius to bring over the four legions, leaving one for the protection of Macedonia. With these he proposed to drive Decimus Brutus from Cisalpine Gaul, which the senate secretly instigated Brutus to retain. See Appian, B.C. 3.25, 27.

a [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.]



On the 25th I received two letters from you. I will therefore answer the earlier one first. I agree with you: but I would neither lead the van or bring up the rear, and yet be on that side in sympathy. I am sending you my speech. As to whether it is to be kept locked up or published, I leave the decision to you. But when shall we see the day when you shall think that it ought to be published?1 I cannot see the possibility of the truce which you mention. Better a masterly silence, which I think I shall employ. You say that two legions have arrived at Brundisium: you in Rome get all news first. So please write and tell me whatever you hear. I am anxious for Varro's "Dialogue."2 I am now all for writing something in the Heracleides style,3 especially as you like it so much. But I should like to know the sort you want. As to what I said to you before (or "previously" - as you prefer to express it), you have, to confess the honest truth, made me keener for writing. For to your own opinion, with which I was already acquainted, you have added the authority of Peducaeus - a very high one in my eyes, and among the most weighty. I will therefore do my best to prevent your feeling the lack either of industry or accuracy on my part.

Yes, as you suggest in your letter, I am keeping up with Vettienus and Faberius. I don't think Clodius meant any harm, although. But it is all one! As to the maintenance of liberty - surely the most precious thing in the world -  I agree with you. So it is Caninius Gallus's4 turn now, is it? What a rascal he is! That's the only word for him. Oh cautious Marcellus! I am the same - yet not after all the most cautious of men!

I have answered your longer and earlier letter. Now for the shorter and later one - what answer am I to make except that it was a most delightful one? Events in Spain are going very well. If I do but see Balbilius safe and sound, I shall have a support for my old age. As to the estate of Annius your opinion is mine. Visellia shews me great attention. But that's the way of the world. Of Brutus you say that you know nothing: but Servilia says that Marcus Scaptius5 has arrived, and that he will pay her a secret visit at her house without any parade, and that I shall know everything. Meanwhile, she also tells me that a slave of Bassus has arrived to announce that the legions at Alexandria are in arms; that Bassus6 is being summoned; Cassius's7 arrival looked for with eagerness. In short, the Republic seems about to recover its legitimate authority. But no shouting before we are out of the wood! You know what adepts in rascality and how reckless these fellows8 are.

1] The venomous second Philippic - perhaps the most terrible invective ever composed - was never delivered. It is a pamphlet in the form of a speech supposed to be delivered in the senate on the 19th of September in answer to Antony's.
2] Varro had promised a Dialogue either dedicated to Cicero, or in which Cicero was to be one of the speakers.
3] That is, on constitutional theories, like the work of Heracleides of Pontus.
4] Most editions now read C. Annio, and refer it to C. Annius Cimber (Phil. 11.34), a follower of Antony's. In this case, Oh hominem nequam must be referred to Annius. The MS. reading is Gallo Caninio. For L. Caninius Gallus, see infra, p. 156. He seems to have just died, and if the name is retained here, we must refer Oh hominem nequam to Antony, and suppose Atticus to have told Cicero of some sharp practice of Antony's in regard to his will and property.
5] For this agent of Brutus, see vol. ii., p.329.
6] For Caecilius Bassus, the Pompeian who had nearly succeeded in occupying the province of Syria, see vol. iii., p.335.
7] Cassius was on his way to Syria - in spite of the senate having been forced by Antony to deprive him of that province and give him Cyrene.
8] The partisans of Antony.



When I know what day I am coming to town I will let you know. I must expect some hindrances, and there is illness among my household. On the evening of the 1st I got a letter from Octavian. He is entering upon a serious undertaking. He has won over to his views all the veterans at Casilinum and Calatia. And no wonder: he gives a bounty of 500 denarii apiece. Clearly, his view is a war with Antony under his leadership. So I perceive that before many days are over we shall be in arms. But whom are we to follow? Consider his name, consider his age!1 Again, to begin with, he demands a secret interview with me, at Capua of all places! It is really quite childish if he supposes that it can be kept private. I have written to explain to him that it is neither necessary nor practicable. He sent a certain Caecina of Volaterrae2 to me, an intimate friend of his own, who brought me the news that Antony was on his way towards the city with the legion Alauda, was imposing a money contribution on the municipal towns, and was marching at the head of the legion with colours flying. He wanted my opinion whether he should start for Rome with his army of 3,000 veterans, or should hold Capua, and so intercept Antony's advance, or should join the three Macedonian legions now sailing by the Mare Superum, which he hopes are devoted to himself. They refused to accept a bounty offered them by Antony, as my informant at least says. They even used grossly insulting language to him, and moved off when he attempted to address them. In short, Octavian offers himself as our military leader, and thinks that our right policy is to stand by him. On my part I advised his making for Rome. For I think that he will have not only the city mob, but, if he can impress them with confidence, the loyalists also on his side. Oh, Brutus, where are you? What an opportunity you are losing I For my part I did not foresee this, but I thought that something of the sort would happen. Now, I desire to have your advice. Shall I come to Rome or stay on here? Or am I to fly to Arpinum? There is a sense of security about that place! My opinion is - Rome, lest my absence should be remarked, if people think that a blow has been struck. Unravel this difficulty. I was never in greater perplexity.

1] Augustus was born in September, B.C. 63, and was therefore now nineteen. In the Monumentum Ancyranum, § I, he begins the record of his achievements thus: "When nineteen years old I collected an army on my own account and at my own expense, by means of which I restored to liberty the Republic, which had been enslaved by the tyranny of a faction." By a "faction" Augustus here means, however, the anti-Caesarian aristocrats. At this time Cicero hoped that this army was to be used in their interests as against Antony's, though, as we see, he had uneasy doubts about it.
2] Of the Caecinae of Volaterrae. See vol. iii., p.123.



Two letters on the same day from Octavian! His present view is that I should come to Rome at once: and that he wishes to act through the senate. I told him that a meeting of the senate was impossible before the 1st of January:1 and I believe it is really so. But he adds also: "And by your advice." In short, he insists: while I "suspend judgment." I don't trust his youth. I am in the dark as to his disposition.                I am not willing to do anything without your friend Pansa. I am afraid of Antony succeeding, and I don't like going far from the sea: and at the same time I fear some great coup without my being there. Varro, for his part, doesn't like the youth's plan.     I don't agree with him. He has forces on which he can depend. He can count on Decimus Brutus, and is making no secret of his intentions. He is organizing his men in companies at Capua; he is paying them their bounty-money. War seems to be ever coming nearer and nearer. Do answer this letter. I am surprised that my letter-carrier left Rome on the 1st without anything from you.

1] Impossible, that is, with safety to the opponents of Antony, the boni. For Antony as consul would preside, and it would be surrounded by his guards. Several meetings of the senate were, as a matter of fact, held before Antony's term of office was over. On the 1st of January the new consuls, Pansa and Hirtius, would preside.
2] Now governor of Gallia Cisalpina, who would be sure to take Octavian's side, because Antony claimed to have been nominated to his province.



Don't put it down to idleness that I do not write with my own hand - and yet, by heaven, do put it down to idleness; for I have no other excuse to give: and, after all, I think I recognize the hand of Alexis in your letters. But to come to business. If Dolabella had not treated me in the most dishonourable manner, I should perhaps have considered whether to be somewhat easy with him or to press for my strict rights. As it is, however, I even rejoice that an opportunity has been presented me of making both him and everybody else perceive that I have become alienated from him. I will avow it openly, and shew indeed that it is not only for my own sake, but for that of the Republic also, that I detest him: because, after having undertaken under my advice to support it, he has not only deserted it for a money bribe, but has also, as far as in him lay, contributed to its ruin. Well, you ask what proceedings I wish to be taken. As soon as the day comes, I should like them to be of such a nature as to make it natural for me to be at Rome. But in regard to that, as in regard to everything else, I will yield to your opinion. On the main question, however, I wish the matter pressed with all vigour and severity. Though it does not look well to call upon sureties for payment, yet I would have you consider how far such a step is justifiable. For it is open to me, with a view to his sureties being eventually called upon, to bring his agents into the case. I am sure the latter will not defend the suit. Though, if they do, I am aware that the sureties are thereby relieved from obligation. But I think that it would be a stigma on him not to free his agents from a debt for which he gave security; and that my character requires me to enforce my right without inflicting signal disgrace upon him. Pray write and tell me what you think of this. I have no doubt that you will conduct the whole case with all proper mildness.

I return to public affairs. I have received - heaven knows - many a prudent word from you under the head of politics, but never anything wiser than your last letter: "Though that youth is powerful and has given Antony a fine check: yet, after all, we must wait to see the end." Why, what a speech!1 It has been sent to me. He qualifies his oath by the words: "So may I attain to the honours of my father!" and at the same time he held out his right hand in the direction of his statue. Nec servatoribus istis! But, as you say in your letter, the most certain source of danger I see to be the tribuneship of this Caesar of ours. This is what I spoke about to Oppius. When he urged me to open my arms to the young man, the whole cause, and the levy of veterans, I replied that I could by no means do so unless I was completely satisfied that he would be not only not hostile to the tyrannicides, but actually their friend. When he remarked that it would be so, I said, "What is our hurry then? For Octavian does not require my services till the 1st of January: whereas we meanwhile shall learn his disposition before the 13th of December in the case of Casca."2 He cordially assented. Wherefore, so far so good. For the rest you shall have a letter-carrier every day, and, as I think, you will have something to write to me every day. I inclose a copy of Lepta's letter, from which I gather that that braggart captain3 has lost his footing. But you will judge when you read it.

P.S. - When I had already sealed this letter I got one from you and Sextus.4 Nothing could be more delightful and loving than Sextus's letter. For yours was only a short note. Your previous one was fuller of matter. Your advice is as prudent as it is friendly - that I should remain in this neighbourhood by preference, until I hear how the present movements end. But for myself, my dear Atticus, it isn't the Republic that at this moment gives me great anxiety - not because there is anything dearer than it in my eyes or ought to be so, but Hippocrates himself forbids medical treatment in desperate cases. So good-bye to all that! It is my personal property that affects me. Property, do I say? Nay, rather my personal reputation. For great as my balances are, I have not yet realized enough even to pay Terentia. Terentia, do I say? You know that we some time ago settled to pay twenty-five sestertia for the debt to Montanus. My son, from a very keen sense of honour, asked us to pay this out of his allowance: and very liberal too it was of him, as you also thought. I promised him, and told Eros to earmark it. Not only did he not do so; but Aurelius5 was forced to raise a fresh loan at a most oppressive rate of interest. For as to the debt to Terentia, Tiro wrote me word that you said that there would be cash from Dolabella. I believe that he misunderstood you - if ever a man did misunderstand - or rather that he did not understand anything about it. For you wrote and told me the answer made by Cocceius, and so did Eros in nearly the same words.

We must come therefore to Rome - however hot the conflagration. For personal insolvency is more discreditable than public disaster. Accordingly, on the other subjects, on which you wrote to me in a most charming style, I was too completely upset to be able to reply in my usual way. Give your mind to enabling me to extricate myself from the anxiety in which I now am. By what measures I am to do so, some ideas do occur to my mind, but I can settle nothing for certain until I have seen you. Why should I be less safe at Rome than Marcellus? But that is not now the question; nor is that the thing about which I am chiefly anxious. You see what is occupying my thoughts. I am with you directly therefore.6

1] The contio delivered by Octavian on his first visit to Rome.
2] One of the assassins. He was tribune-elect, and would come into office 10th December.
3] Antony, some of whose men had been deserting to Octavian.
4] Sextus Peducaeus.
5] The agent of Montanus.
6] Cicero reached Rome on the 9th of December. Therefore the correspondence with Atticus was interrupted, as he was with him in (text missing)



Our friend Lupus, having reached Rome on the sixth day from Mutina, came to call on me next morning and delivered your message to me in the most explicit terms and gave me your letter. When you commend the defence of your political position to me, I regard you as at the same time commending to me my own, which, by heaven, I do not regard as dearer to me than yours. Wherefore you will be doing me the greatest favour, if you will regard it as a settled thing that no counsel or zeal on my part will ever be wanting in the promotion of your reputation. The tribunes of the plebs having given notice of a meeting of the senate for the 20th of December, and designing to make a proposal for the protection of the consuls-designate, though I had resolved not to attend the senate before the 1st of January, yet as your edict also was put up on that same day, I thought that it would be shocking either that a meeting of the senate should be held without any mention being made of your brilliant services to the Republic - which would have been the case had I been absent - or that, if anything complimentary to you were said, I should not be there to support it. Accordingly, I went to the senate early, and when that was observed there was a very full house. The motion I made in regard to you in the senate, and the speech I made in a very crowded public meeting, I should prefer your learning from the letters of others.1 Pray make up your mind that I will ever undertake and support with the greatest zeal every measure tending to enhance your political position, splendid as it already is in itself. I know that I shall have many companions in that policy, yet I shall aim at taking the lead in it.

1] The speech delivered by Cicero in the senate is that known as the third Philippic, the speech in the public meeting as the fourth Philippic. The speech in the senate ended with a series of resolutions, or rather a resolution in several heads (§§ 37-39):

• (1) C. Pansa and A. Hirtius, the consuls-designate, are authorized to provide for the protection of the senate on the 1st of January.
• (2) In regard to the edict of Brutus his services are to be commended, and he - like the other governors - is to hold his province for the full term of his appointment by the lex Iulia, and until successors are named by the senate.
• (3) The action of Octavian (whom he now calls Gaius Caesar) in raising the veterans is to be commended, and also that of the Martian and fourth legions, as done in the defence of senate and people.
 See also Dio 45, 19, sq.

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