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DCCXLII (A XV, 12)

TO ATTICUS (AT ROME)
ASTURA, 10 JUNE
I am glad to hear about Buthrotum. 1 But I had sent Tiro, as you bade me, to Dolabella with a letter. What harm can it do? About our friends at Antium I think my last letter was sufficiently full and explicit. It must have convinced you that they intended to take no active step, but to avail themselves of Antony's insulting favour. Cassius would have nothing to do with the corn business. Servilia said that she would get it cut out of the senatorial decree. 2 Our friend Brutus, however, assumes very tragic airs and says-after agreeing with me that he cannot be safe at Rome—that he will start for Asia as soon as he has handed over the equipment for the games to those who are to hold them, for he prefers to give them, though he won't be present at them. He is collecting vessels. He is full of his voyage. Meanwhile they intend to stay where they are. Brutus indeed says that he will visit Astura. Lucius Antonius on his part writes to me in a courteous tone bidding me have no anxiety. I owe him one favour, perhaps I shall owe him another if he comes to my Tusculan house. 3 What unendurable worries! Yet we do endure them after all. "Which of the Bruti (oh rightly named!) is to blame for this?" 4 In Octavianus, 5 as I have perceived, there is no little ability and spirit; and he seems likely to be as well disposed to our heroes as I could wish. But what confidence one can feel in a man of his age, name, inheritance, and upbringing may well give us pause. His stepfather, whom I have seen at Astura, thinks none at all. However, we must foster him and—if nothing else-keep him apart from Antony. Marcellus 6 will be doing admirable service if he gives him good advice. 7 Octavian seemed to me to be devoted to him: but he has no great confidence in Pansa and Hirtius. His disposition is good, if it does but last.


1 The favourable decision of the consuls. See pp.94-95.

2 The decree promoted by Antony seems to have had two provisions: (a) an indemnity to Brutus and Cassius for being absent from Rome during their praetorship; (b) an appointment to a curatio annonae in Sicily and Asia. The compromise suggested by Servilia seems to have been that the first should be passed, but not the second, or if it named Sicily and Asia as the places to which they were authorized to go, that the purpose (the curatio annonae) should not be mentioned.

3 Lucius Antonius was a tribune. He seems to have written to Cicero telling him that he need have no anxiety as to the rumoured intention of attacking his house at Tusculum. See p. 65.

4 Cicero seems to be punning on the word brutus, "stupid," and to hesitate as to which of the two Bruti was most to blame for the present

5 This is the first time that Cicero gives the young Augustus the name which acknowledges his adoption by Caesar's will. Though the full formalities were not carried out for another year, he was by that adoption Gajus Julius Caesar Octavianus (instead of Octavius).

6 Husband of Octavia, Octavian's sister. Consul B.C. 49.

7 The text is corrupt.

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