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B.C. 57 coss., P. Cornelius Lentulus Spinther, Q. Caecilius Metellus Nepos.
The new year found Cicero still at Dyrrachium, waiting for the law to pass for his recall, which (owing chiefly to the riotous opposition of Clodius) did not pass till the 5th of August. We have no letters in the interval between January and August, but a few lively ones recounting the nature of his return of (4th September), and four speeches dealing with his position and that of his property. He seems at once to have attached himself to Pompey, and to have promoted his appointment as praefectus annonae.


I have received a letter from my brother Quintus inclosing the decree of the senate passed Concerning me. My intention is to await the time for legislation, and, if the law is defeated, I shall avail myself of the resolution of the senate, 1 and prefer to be deprived of my life rather than of my Country. Make haste, I beg, to come to me.

1 On 1st January, B.C. 57, P. Lentulus brought the case of Cicero before the senate. The prevailing opinion was that his interdictio having been illegal, the senate could quash it. But Pompey, for the sake of security, recommended a lex. One of the tribunes, without actually vetoing the senatus consultum, demanded a night for consideration. The question was again debated in succeeding meetings of the senate, but on the 25th was not decided. Technically an auctoritas was a decree that bad been vetoed by a tribune, and Cicero (pro Sest. § 74) implies that such a veto had been put in, and at any rate the noctispostulatio was equivalent to a veto.

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