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B.C. 66. Coss., M. Aemilius Lepidus, L. Volcacius Tullus.
In this year Cicero was praetor, and delivered his first extant public speech (apud populum) in support of the lex Manilia, which gave Pompey the command in the Mithridatic War with the provinces of Asia and Bithynia. The strict Optimates opposed it. Cicero supported it on the grounds of the importance of the war and the proofs Pompey had already given of military ability, courage, personal prestige, and good fortune. He takes occasion to point out the mischief done to the Roman name by oppressive or fraudulent governors and imperators. In this same year he delivered one of his ablest speeches in court in defending A. Cluentius Habitus on a charge of poisoning. At the consular elections this year the two first elected were disabled for bribery.

VIII (A I, 3)

I have to inform you of the death of your grandmother from pining at your long absence, and at the same time because she was afraid that the Latin towns would revolt and fail to bring the victims up the Alban Mount. I presume that L. Saufeius will send you a letter of condolence on the subject. 1 I am expecting you here in the course of January—is it a mere rumour or does it come from letters of yours to others? For to me you have not mentioned the subject. The statues which you got for me have been landed at Caieta. I haven't seen them, for I have been unable to leave Rome. I have sent a man to clear the freightage. I am exceedingly obliged to you for having taken so much trouble to get them, and so reasonably. As to your frequent remarks in your letters about pacifying my friend, I have done everything I could and tried every expedient; but he is inveterate against you to a surprising degree, on what suspicions though I think you have been told, you shall yet learn from me when you come. I failed to restore Sallustius 2 to his old place in his affections, and yet he was on the spot I tell you this because the latter used to find fault with me in regard to you Well, he has found by personal experience that he is not so easy to pacify, and that on my part no zeal has been lacking either on his or your behalf. I have betrothed Tulliola to C. Piso Frugi, son of Lucius. 3

1 The point of this frigid joke is not clear. Was the grandmother really dead? What was she to do with the Latin feriae? Mr. Strachan Davidson's explanation is perhaps the best, that Cicero means that the old lady was thinking of the Social War in B.C. 89, when the loyalty of the Latin towns must have been a subject of anxiety. She is in her dotage and only remembers old scares. This is understanding civitates with Latinae. Others understand feriae or mulieres. Saufeius, a Roman eques, was an Epicurean, who would hold death to be no evil. He was a close friend of Atticus, who afterwards saved his property from Confiscation by the Triumvirs (Nep. Att. 12).

2 Cneius Sallustius, a learned friend of Cicero's, of whom we shall often hear again.

3 C. Calpurnius Piso, quaestor B.C. 58, died in B.C. 57. The marriage took place in B.C. 63.

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