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CXCII (A V, 8)

INDIFFERENT health, from which I have now recovered (for though ill, I had no fever), as well as waiting for Pomptinus, of whom as yet no rumour even has reached me, have kept me for these twelve days at Brundisium; but I am looking out for an opportunity to set sail. Now if you are still at Rome—for I scarcely think you can be—but if you are, I am Very anxious that you should give your attention to the following. In a letter received from Rome I am informed that my friend Milo writes to complain of my having ill-treated him in allowing Philotimus to have a share in the purchase of his property. I decided on that measure in accordance with the opinion of C. Duronius, 1 whom I had had reason to believe exceedingly friendly to Milo, and whom I knew to be the sort of man you judge him to be. Now his object and mine too was this : first, that the property should remain under our control—lest some outsider, making the purchase at a high price, should deprive him of the slaves, a great number of which he had with him; secondly, that the settlement he had made upon Fausta should be respected. 2 There was the farther motive, that we should ourselves have less difficulty than anyone else in saving anything that could be saved. Now I would have you look thoroughly into the whole affair : for I am frequently having letters on it written in exaggerated terms. If he complains, if he writes about it to his friends, and if Fausta takes the same line, as I told Philotimus by word of mouth, and as he undertook to do, I would not have him take part in the purchase against the will of Milo. It would not be in the least worth our while. But if there is nothing in all this, you will decide the matter. Speak with Duronius. I have written also to Camillus and Lamia, 3 and the more so because I did not feel confident of your being in Rome. The long and short of the whole thing is this : decide as shall seem to you to be in accordance with my honour, good name, and interests.

1 A friend of Milo, otherwise unknown.

2 After condemnation involving a forfeiture of a man's property, the whole was usually purchased for a fixed sum by one or more persons (sectors), who then disposed of it by auction and made what profit they Could. A man who had rich friends might save a wreck of it, (I) if they chose to purchase, returning him the balance made by the sale; (2) or sold enough of it to pay the price which they had bargained to pay the treasury, not exacting the surrender of personalty, slaves, etc., or at any rate taking only a moderate profit. This is what Cicero seems to mean that Philotimus (a freedman of Terentia's) was, with others, going to do in this case. Again, it was customary for a man receiving a dowry with his wife to give security for its repayment in case of divorce or death; such a security was usually respected in case of confiscation, the property being sold with that burden on it, though this payment was at times evaded., as in the case of the Confiscations of the triumvirs in B.C. 42 (Dio Cass. xlii. See Letter LXI.

3 C. Furius Camillus was a lawyer specially skilled in property law (ad Fam. 5.20); Aelius Lamia is probably a lawyer also, but of him we know nothing.

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