Page images
PDF
EPUB

"1

to surrender, the Parthian Pacorus arrived with an immense force: that accordingly Bassus was snatched from his hands, for which he blames Volcatius.' 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. He has a letter dated twenty-one days back announcing that the Germans and the tribes there, on hearing about Cæsar'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.“

DCCX (A XIV, 10)

TO ATTICUS (AT ROME)

CUMÆ, 19 APRIL

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 Cæsar should have more validity than if he were still

1

[ocr errors]

Q. Cæcilius Bassus (quæstor B.C. 59) escaped from Pharsalia to Syria, where he induced some of the soldiers of the prætor Sext. Iulius to murder their commander and join him, asserting that he had been appointed proprætor 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 Cæsar in Spain in B.C. 61-60, had apparently been sent out specially to attack him. Volcatius is probably L. Volcatius Tullus, prætor in B.C. 46.

* Dolabella had been allotted the province of Syria. Nicias Curtius of Cos was a Greek grammarian who had been with Cicero in Cilicia (vol. ii., p. 221), and was now with Dolabella as secretary-friend, and Cicero jestingly supposes that he will have to take part in the war.

* That is Belgic Gaul, where a rising had been feared. See p. 5.

* See Letter DCC. C. Matius Calvena had prophesied a rising in Gaul. Hirtius, though he had been made governor of Gallia Belgica by Cæsar in B.C. 44, had not gone to the province, but had governed it by a deputy.

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. 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 Cæsar ?” These and other things like

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. Cæsar is assassinated in the Curia Pompei 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. (6) 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 Cæsar's acta should be confirmed.
(3) That grants of land made or promised to the veterans should

hold good. (4) That Cæsar 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, 2 Phil. $ 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. ii. 126-136. The will was read and the funeral 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.

them I cannot endure, and accordingly I am thinking of wandering away from land to land." Your land,' 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, Scævæ, 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,' and the whole lot. It had been better to have risked destruction:which would never have befallen us—when Cæsar 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 Cumæ, 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 Buthrotumo 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.

1

My brother Quintus writes to me with heavy complaints of his son, chiefly because he is now taking his mother's

Epirus. He seems to mean that it is too easy of access to his enemies. He must go farther.

2 All men enriched in various ways by Cæsar's confiscations. For Sextilius see p. II.

3 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 utinam accidisset. What Cicero really wrote is of course the questionand of this MSS. are the best though not the certain guides.

· His stepfather Philippus had advised him not to accept the inheritance and adoption (Nicol. Dam. 18).

* The saving the Buthrotians from confiscation of land for the colony of Cæsar's veterans sent there. See pp. 19, 20, etc.

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 your letters.

DCCXI (A XIV, 11)

TO ATTICUS (AT ROME)

(PUTEOLI) 21 APRIL

» 1

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 of the Cæsarians. 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

i åkolaolav. Cicero is no doubt quoting the exact word used by Atticus.

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.” He is quite devoted to me. Spinther is staying with me today: he goes early to-morrow.

DCCXII (A XIV, 12)

TO ATTICUS (AT ROME)

PUTEOLI, 22 APRIL

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. Cæsar 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. There are hundreds of

[ocr errors]

See p. 15. ? 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.

3 Deiotarus of Galatia, whom Cicero had defended before Cæsar, was restored by Antony to the possession of lesser Armenia—who alleged a minute of Cæsar's ; but really, Cicero says, because Deiotarus had bribed

« PreviousContinue »