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Frank Frost Abbott, Commentary on Selected Letters of Cicero, Cicero's Public Life and Contemporary Politics. (search)
Letter V: ad Atticum 1.16 Rome, May, 61 B.C. This letter tells the story of the trial of Clodius for sacrilege. Cf. also Intr. 10 and Att. l. 13.3. Knowing the conclusive evidence against Clodius, the indignation of the pontifices, and the determined stand taken by the senate in ordering an inquiry, Atticus is surprised to hear of his acquittal, and has asked for an explanation. Cicero in this letter replies to that inquiry, and explains the condition of things in the commonwealth and his own attitude towards Clodius. For further details of the sacrilege of Clodius, cf. Att. 1.12.3; 1.14.5. On Caesar's attitude during the trial, cf. Suet. Iul. 74 testis citatus, negavit se quicquam comperisse, quamvis et mater Aurelia et soror Julia apud eosdem iudices omnia ex fide rettulissent. On the attitude of Pompey, cf. Att. l. 14. I, 2. The conduct of criminal trials in a Roman court was entrusted to the praetor, his consilium, and the iudices. The praetor passed upon questions of law,
Letter VI: ad Atticum 1.17 Rome, Dec. 5, 61 B.C. At this time there had been a disagreement of long standing between Quintus Cicero and his wife Pomponia, who was the sister of Atticus. On leaving Rome to assume the propraetorship of Asia in 61 B.C. , Quintus had invited Atticus to accompany him as legatus, and Atticus had declin61 B.C. , Quintus had invited Atticus to accompany him as legatus, and Atticus had declined the invitation (cf. Ep. V. 14). This refusal and the suspicion of Quintus that Pomponia was abetted in her opposition by her brother (cf. odiosas suspiciones, 1), had led to such a serious breach between the two men that Quintus, as current rumor said, had expressed himself very unfavorably in regard to his brother-in-law at Ro
which would seem to have been very bitter in their tone. Cf. offensionem tam gravem, below.
discedentem: sc. for Epirus at the close of 62 or in the early part of 61 B.C.
(cf. Att. 1.13.1).
insedisse: sc. in animo.
antea saepe: it is evident that the ill-feeling of Quintus antedated the refusal of Atticus to serve as legatus.