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DCCLVI (A XV, 25)

TO ATTICUS (AT ROME)
TUSCULUM (28 JUNE)
As to my journey various opinions are expressed: for I have a great number of visitors. But pray throw yourself heart and soul into that question. It is a serious matter. Do you approve of my idea of returning by the 1st of January? My mind is quite open on the subject-only provided that I do not give offence. I should like to know also the day on which the Olympic games begin. As you say in your letter, chance will decide the plan of my journey. 1 Don't let me make up my mind, therefore. For a winter voyage is detestable, and it was on that account I asked you the day of the mysteries. Brutus, as you say, I imagine that I shall probably see. I think of leaving this place on the 30th.


1 The text of these two sentences is so corrupt that it is necessary to state distinctly what reading I have adopted. Velim etiam scire quo die Olympia (sint). Ut tu scribis, casus consilium nostri itineris iudicabit. I altogether disbelieve the idea that olim piaculum (for Olympia sint) can be explained by a reference to Clodius's violation of the mysteries of the Bona Dea. That was now nearly eighteen years ago. Its importance is generally exaggerated owing to its immediate effects on Cicero, and it was well forgotten by this time after so many more startling events, and we cannot conceive its influencing the date of Cicero's return. I think the mysteria scilicet grew out of a mistaken explanation of a mistaken reading and should be left out. The second reference to mysteria I think refers to the Eleusinian mysteries. Cicero was going to Athens and wished to stay till after their annual celebration (September), but did not wish to stay so late as to have to sail home in the winter if he could help it. The reason he asks about the Olympia is shewn by Att.

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