This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 "Father Antony (for the benefits that Cæsar conferred upon you and your gratitude toward him warrant me in giving you that title), for some of the things that you have done since his death I praise you and owe you thanks; for others I blame you. I shall speak freely of what my sorrow prompts me to speak. When Cæsar was killed you were not present, as the murderers detained you at the door; otherwise you would have saved him or incurred the danger of sharing the same fate with him. If the latter would have befallen you, then it is well that you were not present. When certain senators proposed rewards to the murderers as tyrannicides you strongly opposed them. For this I give you hearty thanks, although you knew that they intended to kill you also;1 not, as I think, because you were likely to avenge Cæsar, but, as they themselves say, lest you should be his successor in the tyranny. At the same time they made it clear that they were not tyrant-killers, but murderers,2 by taking refuge in the Capitol, either as guilty suppliants in a temple or as enemies in a fortress. How then could they have obtained amnesty and impunity for their crime unless some portion of the Senate and people had been corrupted by them? Yet you, as consul, ought to have seen what would be for the interest of the majority,3 and if you had wished to avenge such a monstrous crime, or to reclaim the erring, your office would have enabled you to do either. But you sent hostages from your own family to the murderers at the Capitol for their security. Let us suppose that those who had been corrupted forced you to do this also, yet when Cæsar's will had been read, and you had delivered your righteous funeral oration, and the people, in lively remembrance of Cæsar, had carried firebrands to the houses of the murderers, but spared them for the sake of their neighbors, agreeing to come back armed the next day, why did you not coöperate with them and lead them with fire or arms? Or why did you not bring them to trial, if trial was necessary for men seen in the act of murder -- you, Cæsar's friend; you, the consul; you, Antony?
1 The interpretation of this passage is doubtful. Schweighäuser thinks that Octavius means to say that he thanks Antony for opposing the proposition to reward the murderers, although he may have had a selfish interest in doing so.
2 ῞Αμα δ᾽ οὐκ ἦσαν ἐκεῖνοι τυραννοκτόνοι εἰ μὴ καὶ φονεῖς ἦσαν: literally, "these men were not tyrant-killers unless they were murderers also." I have followed the Latin version of Schweighäuser, which differs from those of his predecessors. He said that the text conveyed no clear meaning to him, and that his version was guesswork.
3 καὶ σὲ τὸ τῶν πλεόνων ὀρᾷν ἑχρῆν, ὕπατον ὄντα. Schweighäuser and his predecessors rendered these words: " You as consul ought to see what would be agreeable to the majority (quid placeret pluribus)." The Didot version more properly renders it quid prodesset pluribus.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.