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Frank Frost Abbott, Commentary on Selected Letters of Cicero, Cicero's Public Life and Contemporary Politics. (search)
Frank Frost Abbott, Commentary on Selected Letters of Cicero, Letter LXI: ad familiares 9.16 (search)
Letter LXI: ad familiares 9.16 Tusculum, July, 46 B.C. L. Papirius Paetus, to whom are addressed Fam. 9.15-26, was a friend of long standing. We first hear of him through a collection of books which he presented to Cicero in 60 B.C. (Att. 1.20.7; 2.1.12). Like Atticus, he was an Epicurean and held himself aloof from politics. The large fortune which he had inherited made it unnecessary for him to engage in business, and he was able to give himself up to the pleasures of a literary and social life. Cicero's letters to him testify to their intimate relations, and offer the best commentary upon his character and tastes. No better specimens of the sermo urbanus and no better proof of Cicero's wit and brilliancy as a letter-writer can be found than in the letters to Paetus. amavi amorem: cf. occidione occisum, Ep. XXXIV.7n., and cura ut valeas meque ames amore illo tuo singulari, Fam.15.20.3. Silius: probably P. Silius Nerva, to whom, when he was propraetor of Bithynia in 51 and 50 B
Frank Frost Abbott, Commentary on Selected Letters of Cicero, Letter LXII: ad familiares 9.18 (search)
Letter LXII: ad familiares 9.18 Tusculum, about July 20, 46 B.C. discipulos : i.e. Hirtius and Dolabella. Cf. Ep. LXI.7n. obviam (sc. Caesari) : the battle of Thapsus took place in April, 46, and Caesar was on his way back to Rome. He reached the city July 25. eadem (sc. opera): this omission is common in Plautus with eadem and una. Cf. M. G.. 303, and Brix on Trin. 581. Dionysius: sc. the younger. sublatis iudiciis : the orderly administration of justice, with which politics had interfered for many years, had been almost suspended during the Civil War; cf. pro Marc. 23 (delivered in this very year) omnia sunt excitanda tibi, C. Caesar, uni, quae iacere sentis, belli ipsius impetu, quod necesse fuit, perculsa atque prostrata: constituenda iudicia, etc. regno forensi: cf. regnum iudiciale, Ep. 1.1. quid quaeris: cf. Ep. V.4n. and Intr. 98. id nescio: i.e. I do not know of what value this protection is which the friendship of such men as Hirtius and Dolabella gives me. in acie n
Frank Frost Abbott, Commentary on Selected Letters of Cicero, Letter LXIII: ad familiares 9.20 (search)
Letter LXIII: ad familiares 9.20 Rome, early part of Aug., 46 B.C. scurram velitem: the scurra was the professional wit and diner-out, whose object in life was to secure a good dinner, and whose stock in trade was flattery, wit, and buffoonery, -- the character which has been immortalized by Terence in the person of Phormio, and by Plautus in Peniculus. The veles was a skirmisher. Therefore a scurra veles would be a wit who carried on a guerilla warfare, taking a shot at every one and everything about him. The comparison is made more apt by the fact that in these very letters (e.g. Ep. LXI. 7) Cicero has been threatening to dine with Paetus whether he wishes him or not. The opportunity of the scurra at a dinner came with the secunda mensa, when the company gave itself up to conversation and jest, but the mala (apples), which were brought on at this point, lent themselves as ready missiles to be used against the jester. In a similar way, to the volley of wit which Cicero had aime
Frank Frost Abbott, Commentary on Selected Letters of Cicero, Letter LXIV: ad familiares 9.17 (search)
Letter LXIV: ad familiares 9.17 Rome, Aug. or Sept., 46 B.C. Balbus: see Ep. XXI. 2 fl. For the visit, cf. Fam. 9.19. de agris: there was a possibility that land in Campania would be assigned to Caesar's veterans, and, if this were done, the estates of Paetus would go with the rest. immo vero: commonly used to make an emphatic correction; cf., e.g., Ter. Phorm. 936; And. 854. In combination with si, immo vero and immo are very common in colloquial Latin; cf., e.g., Ter. Eun. 355; Cic. Fam. 8.8.2; 8.9.1. de nobis: in contrast to de municipiis, above. primum vivimus: i.e. the mere chance to live was an unexpected boon. de lucro: a mercantile expression; cf. Liv. 40.8; Ter. Phorm. 251 quicquid praeter spem eveniet, omne id deputabo esse in lucro. For a similar use of de, cf. Cic. Verr. 2.3.105 de publico convivari. ille: i.e. Caesar. quid habet, he doesn't know what to do. cessator: cf. Intr. 75. de isto periculo: cf. de istis municipiis, 1.
Frank Frost Abbott, Commentary on Selected Letters of Cicero, Letter LXV: ad familiares 6.6 (search)
Letter LXV: ad familiares 6.6 Rome, Sept. or Oct., 46 B.C. A. Caecina, descended from an old Etruscan family, was a man of considerable ability, both as a writer and as an orator. Cf. Sen. Nat. Quaest. 2.56.1 hoc apud Caecinam invenia, facundum virum et qui habuisset aliquando in eloquentia nomen, nisi illum Ciceronis umbra pressisset. In fact it was his course as a political pamphleteer, rather than as a soldier, which led Caesar to banish him (cf. Suet. Iul. 75). He was at this time in Sicily. It was in his father's behalf that Cicero delivered the oration pro Caecina in 69 B.C. Cicero wrote two other letters to the younger Caecina (viz. Fam. 6.5 and 8), one in his behalf (Fam. 13.66), and received one from him (Fam. 6.7). studiorum parium: Caecina was an authority upon the Etruscan method of interpreting omens, and had written a book, de Etrusca Disciplina, while Cicero, after his elevation to the augurate, had interested himself in the same class of subjects, and had writte
Frank Frost Abbott, Commentary on Selected Letters of Cicero, Letter LXVI: ad familiares 6.14 (search)
Letter LXVI: ad familiares 6.14 Rome, Nov. 26 (Sept. 23 of the Julian calendar), 46 B.C. Q. Ligarius was in 50 B.C. legate in charge of the province of Africa. When in 49 B.C. the Pompeian P. Attius Varus, who had formerly been propraetor of Afr
rnor. After the battle of Thapsus, in which Ligarius took part against Caesar, he was captured by the Caesarians, and in 46 B.C.
was living in exile. The combined efforts of Cicero and the relatives of Ligarius had thus far failed to secure his rec nder the old calendar, or Sept. 23 under the new. The Roman calendar was so far from correct at this time, that Jan. 1, 46 B.C.
, came in the middle of the autumn. This state of things Caesar remedied by the insertion of 90 extra days into the year 46 B.C.
The year 46 contained, therefore, 445 days. After the Terminalia (Feb.23), an intercalary month of 23 days was inserted, and between November and December two intercalary months were inserted containing together 67 days. These month