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CCI (A V, 12)

A sea voyage is a serious business, and in the month of July too. We got to Delos on the sixth day from Athens. On the 6th of July we got from the Piraeus to Zoster, with a troublesome wind, which kept us there on the 7th. On the 8th we got to Ceos with a pleasant voyage. Thence to Gyaros with a violent wind, though it wasn't against us. Hence to Syros, and from that to Delos ; we in both cases accomplished the passage quicker than we could have wished. You have had experience of Rhodian open vessels: they are the worst things in the world for rough water. Accordingly, my intention is not to be at all in a hurry, nor to stir from Delos unless I see "Gyrae¹s headlands" all clear. 1

I wrote to Messalla at once from Gyaros, directly I heard, and also (which was my own idea) to Hortensius, for whom, indeed, I felt much sympathy. 2 But I am very anxious to get your letter about what is said as to that verdict, and, indeed, about the political situation generally—a letter written somewhat more from the politician's point of view, for you are now, with the aid of Thallumetus, studying my books 3 —a letter from which I may learn not what is actually happening (for that very "superior person," your client Helonius, can do that for me), but what is going to happen. By the time you read this our consuls will have been elected. You will be able to make out all about Caesar, Pompey, and the trials themselves. My own affairs, since you are staying on in Rome, pray put straight. As to the point I forgot to mention in my answer to you—as to the brickwork, and as to the water, if anything can be done, pray shew your accustomed kindness. I think the latter of very great importance from my own ideas as well as from what you say about it. So please have it done. Again, if Philippus makes any application, do exactly what you would have done in your own case. 4 I will write at greater length to you when I have come to land ; at present I am well out at sea.

1 Reading ἄκρα Γυρέων, which I think Tyrrell and Purser have established. Gyrae, the southern promontory of Tenos, due north of Delos, would he a weather guide. If clear, fair weather might he expected ; if cloudy, had.

2 For the acquittal of Messalla and the hissing that his uncle and advocate got for it, see Letter CXCV. I have translated Madvig's reading, ad Messallam, omitting a te (which by Cicero's usage should be de te). The point is rather that Cicero had written before he heard from Atticus, on getting the news from Caelius.

3 His treatise de Republica. Thallumetus is Atticus's slave, or perhaps freedman, and reader.

4 See next letter. Philippus seems to he the contractor for the work.

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