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DXCVI (A XII, 48 AND 49)

TO ATTICUS (AT ROME)
TUSCULUM, 19 MAY
I FELT all along how much good your presence was doing me, but I feel it much more since your departure. Wherefore, as I wrote to you before, either I must come bodily to you or you to me, as may be possible. Yesterday, not much after you left my house, I think, some men from the city, as they seemed, brought me a message and a letter from "Gaius Marius, son of Gaius, grandson of Gains," 1 written at great length: "they begged me in the name of our relationship to them, in the name of the famous Marius on whom I had composed a poem, 2 in the name of the eloquence of his grandfather L. Cassius, to undertake his defence,"—he then stated his case in full detail. I wrote back to say that he had no need of counsel, as all power was in the hands of his relation Caesar, who was a most excellent and fair-minded man, but that I would support him.

What times we live in! To think that Curtius should be hesitating as to whether he should stand for the consulship ! 3 But enough of this. I am anxious about Tiro. But I shall know directly how he is: for I sent a man yesterday to see, to whom also I entrusted a letter for you. I enclose a letter for my son. Please let me know what day is advertised for the sale of the pleasure-grounds.


1 Cicero quotes the full description that this man gave of himself. He was apparently an impostor named Amatias or Herophilus (a veterinary surgeon), but he claimed to be a grandson of the great Marius, and therefore a relation of Caesar, whose aunt Iulia was wife of Marius. He met the young Octavius on his return after Munda, and begged him to acknowledge his relationship, but was cautiously though politely declined. After Caesar's assassination he again made a parade of his relationship by putting up the column raised to mark the spot in the forum where Caesar's body was burnt; this became the centre of much rioting, and Antony at length interfered and put the would-be Marius to death. See Letters DCCV, DCCVI, DCCVII; Nicolas Dam. vit. Caes. 14; Valer. Max. 1.15,.2; App. B.C. iii. 2, 3. Cicero would be his quasi-relation through his grandmother Gratidia, whose brother adopted the younger Marius, the impostor's supposed father. L. Cassius the orator had a daughter married to this same younger Marius, and therefore claimed by the impostor as his mother.

2 See vol. i., Introduction, p. xiv.

3 The same M. Curtius Postumus, whose expected augurship in B.C. 49 Cicero laughed at. See vol. ii.., p.287.

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