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DCCVII (A XIV, 8)
SINUESSA, 15 APRIL
YES, you thought when you wrote that I was already in my seaside houses, and I received your letter on the 15th, whilst in my little lodge at Sinuessa. As to Marius, excellent! Yet I sympathize with the grandson of Lucius Crassus. I am glad that Antony's conduct is so much * approved even by our friend Brutus. For as to your saying that Tunia has brought a letter written in a moderate and friendly spirit-Paullus* shewed me one which he had received from his brother, at the end of which he said that he knew there was a plot forming against himself, and that he had ascertained it on undoubted authority. I wasn't pleased with that, and Paullus much less so. I am not sorry for the Queen's flight. I should like you to tell me what Clodia has done. See to the business of the Byzantines, as everything else, and send for Pelops to come and see you. I will, as you ask, see to the fellows at Baiæ and all that lot, about whom you wish to know; and when I have seen how things stand, I will write and tell you everything. What the Gauls, the Spaniards, and Sextus Pompeius are doing I am
I For the impostor, see vol. iii., p. 256. Antony had just put him to death without trial (App. B. C. iii. 3). For the lodge at Sinuessa, see vol. iii., p. 367.
2 Ironical, for this Amatius, calling himself Marius, claimed to be the son of the younger Marius, who appears to have married a daughter of the celebrated orator L. Crassus (ob. B.C. 91).
3 From her husband M. Lepidus (the future triumvir) to her brother Brutus.
4 L. Æmilius (Lepidus), who had taken the name of Paullus from adoption, brother of the triumvir. Consul B.C. 50.
*Cleopatra, who had been staying at Rome-in Cæsar's transtiberine horti-at the time of the assassination.
8 We know nothing of this business, but Plutarch (Cic. 25) says that Cicero wrote to a Byzantine named Pelops in Greek in regard to some honours the Byzantines proposed to bestow on him.
anxious to hear. You will of course make all that clear to me, as you have done everything else. I am not sorry that your slight attack of sickness has given you an excuse for taking a holiday; for as I read your letter I thought you had had a short rest. Always write and tell me everything about Brutus, where he is, what he is thinking of doing. I do hope that by this time he is able even without a guard to wander in safety in any part of the city. But after all
DCCVIII (F VI, 17)
For every reason I am anxious for the constitution to be at length put on a sound footing; but, believe me, an additional motive for desiring it still more is supplied me by the promise conveyed in your letter. You say in it that, if that is ever the case, you will pass your time in my society. Such a wish on your part is highly gratifying to me, and is entirely in accord with our close friendship and with the opinion your illustrious father entertained of me. For believe me when I say that others, who have had at times or still have the opportunity, may be more closely united to you by the amount of their services than I am, but that in friendship no one can be so. Accordingly, I am gratified both by your recollection of our intimacy and by your wish to increase it.
1 Reading aut valent. ? For the letter to which this is answer, see DCXCVIII., p. 3.
DCCIX (A XIV, 9)
PUTEOLI, 18 APRIL
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. 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 !? Good God, the tyranny survives though the tyrant is dead ! ! We rejoice at his assassination, yet support his acts ! Accordingly, M. Curtius 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 Cæcilius Bassus, and was on the point of compelling him
i Some property that had been left to Cicero and others by Cluvius of Puteoli. Cicero had bought out his co-heirs (vol. iii., p. 321).
2 Pansa and Hirtius had been designated consuls by Cæsar, though probably a form of election had been gone through.
3 M. Curtius Postumus, an ardent Cæsarian. See vol. ii., p. 316.
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)
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
i 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.
3 That is Belgic Gaul, where a rising had been feared. See p. 5.
4 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
assassins were summoned, but did not come) Cicero spoke in
of the assassins.
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.