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DCCX (A XIV, 10)

TO ATTICUS (AT ROME)
CUMAE, 19 APRIL
CAN it be true? Is this all that our noble Brutus has accomplished—that he should have to live at Lanuvium, and Trebonius should have to slink to his province by by-roads? That all the acts, memoranda, words, promises, and projects of Caesar should have more validity than if he were still alive? Do you remember that on that very first day of the retreat upon the Capitol I exclaimed that the senate should be summoned into the Capitoline temple? Good heavens, what might have been effected then, when all loyalists—even semi-loyalists—were exultant, and the brigands utterly dismayed! You lay the blame on the Liberalia. 1 What was possible at the time? Our case had long been hopeless. Do you remember that you explained that it was all over with us, if he were allowed a funeral? But he was even burnt in the forum, and a funeral oration was pronounced over him in moving terms, and a number of slaves and starvelings instigated to attack our houses with firebrands. What next! They even have the impudence to say: "You utter a word against the will of Caesar?" These and other things like them I cannot endure, and accordingly I am thinking of wandering away "from land to land." Your land, 2 however, is too much in the eye of the wind.

Is your sickness quite gone by this time? I rather judged so from the tone of your letter.

I return to the case of the veterans-your Tebassi, Scaevae, and Frangones. Do you suppose these men feel any confidence in retaining their grants so long as our party have any footing in the state? They have found it possessed of more resolution than they expected. They, I presume, are devoted to the cause of public tranquillity rather than supporters of robbery! But when I wrote to you about Curtilius and the estate of Sextilius, I must be understood to have included Censorinus, Messalla, Plancus, Postumus, 3 and the whole lot. It had been better to have risked destruction 4 —which would never have befallen us—when Caesar was killed, rather than to have lived to see this sort of thing.

Octavius arrived at Naples on the 18th of April. There Balbus called on him early next day, and on the same day came to see me at Cumae, with the information that he intended to accept the inheritance, 5 but that, as you say, there will be a fine scrimmage with Antony. Your business about Buthrotum 6 is receiving, as it is bound to do, and will continue to receive my attention. You ask me whether Cluvius's legacy is reaching one hundred sestertia yet. It seems to be approaching that. At least I made eighty the first year.

My brother Quintus writes to me with heavy complaints of his son, chiefly because he is now taking his mother's part, whereas in old times when she was kind to him he was on bad terms with her. He sent me a very hot letter against him. If you know what the young man is doing, and have not yet left Rome, I wish you would write me word, and, by Hercules, on any other matter besides. I find great pleasure in your letters.


1 That is, on what was done in the senate on the 17th of March. The course of events referred to is as follows:

    (a) March 15th. Caesar is assassinated in the Curia Pompei about noon. The conspirators (joined by some who wished to be thought in the plot) marched through the city protected by Dec. Brutus's gladiators and barricaded themselves on the Capitol.
    • There they were visited by Cicero and others.
    • In the afternoon Brutus and Cassius ventured down into the forum and addressed the people, but then returned to the Capitol.
  • (b) March 16th was spent in various negotiations with the consul Antony and with Lepidus, who had an army in the city. In the evening Antony issued a summons for a meeting of the senate next day in the temple of Tellus (near his own house).
  • (c) March 17th. At the meeting of the senate (to which the assassins were summoned, but did not come) Cicero spoke in favour of an amnesty. Dio (44, 23-33) professes to give his speech. At this meeting decrees or resolutions were passed
    • (1) That there should be a general amnesty, i.e., no prosecution of the assassins.
    • (2) That Caesar's acta should be confirmed.
    • (3) That grants of land made or promised to the veterans should hold good.
    • (4) That Caesar should be allowed a public funeral, and that Piso (his father-in-law) should publish his will.

It was the funeral and the recitation of the will to which Atticus (as did Cicero, Phil. 2.89) attributed the revulsion of public feeling and the mischief which followed. The best account of the scene in the senate and of how this last resolution was carried is in Appian, B.C. 2.126-136. The will was read and the fuineral took place apparently on the 18th. The bill declaring it illegal to nominate any man dictator was apparently brought in by Antony a few days later in consequence of a vote in this meeting.

2 Epirus. He seems to mean that it is too easy of access to his enemies. He must go farther.

3 All men enriched in various ways by Caesar's confiscations. For Sextilius see p.11.

4 That is, by taking strong measures. This seems the only meaning possible if the MS. reading, quod nunquam accidisset, is retained, but I doubt whether the meaning is to be got out of the Latin. It would be at any rate much more intelligible if we read with Gronovius, quod utinam accidisset. What Cicero really wrote is of course the question—and of this MSS. are the best though not the certain guides.

5 His stepfather Philippus had advised him not to accept the inheritance and adoption (Nicol. Dam. 18).

6 The saving the Buthrotians from confiscation of land for the colony of Caesar's veterans sent there. See pp.19, 20, etc.

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