previous next


CCCIX (A VII, 14)

TO ATTICUS (AT ROME)
CALES, 25 JANUARY
I WRITE this letter, though suffering from slight inflammation of the eyes, when on the point of quitting Cales for Capua. L. Caesar brought Caesar's message to Pompey on the 23rd, while the latter was at Teanum with the consuls. His proposal was accepted, but on condition of his withdrawing his garrisons from the towns which he had occupied outside his province. If he did this, they said in their answer that we would return to Rome and conclude the negotiation in the senate. 1 I hope for the present we have peace: for he is not quite easy about his mad enterprise, nor our general as to the amount of his forces. Pompey has directed me to come to Capua and assist the levy, to which the Campanian settlers 2 do not make a very eager response. Caesar's gladiators at Capua, about whom I gave you some incorrect information on the authority of a letter from A. Torquatus, Pompey has very adroitly distributed among the heads of families, two to each. 3 There were 5,000 shields in the school: they were said to be contemplating breaking out. Pompey's measure was a very wise precaution for the safety of the state. As to our ladies, in whom I include your sister, pray consider whether they can stay at Rome with propriety, when other ladies of the same rank have left town. I have said this to them and to yourself in a previous letter. I would like you to urge upon them to leave the city, especially as I have properties on the sea-coast—now under my presidency—on which they might reside in tolerable comfort, considering all things. For if I get into any difficulty 4 about my son-in-law, though I am not bound to be responsible for him, yet it is made worse by my women folk having remained in Rome longer than others. Please let me know what you and Sextus are thinking of doing as to leaving town, and what your opinion is on the whole situation. For my part, I never cease urging peace, which, however unfair, is better than the justest war in the world. But this is in the hands of fortune.


1 Caesar (B.C. 1.14) calls this proposal unfair, for Pompey, who consented to promise to go to his province, mentioned no time at which he would go to Spain, and proposed to retain his province and legions, while Caesar's army was to be disbanded.

2 Many of Pompey's own veterans had been settled with grants of land in the ager Campanus, the old territory of Capua, by Caesar's agrarian law of B.C. 59.

3 Caesar gives an account of this (Caes. B.C. 1.14). He says that Lentulus, the consul, at first called these men out with a promise of freedom. But this seemed shocking to Roman ideas, and, being remonstrated with, he billeted them out as described. Cicero would seem to put the matter, as though this billeting them out in pairs was, from the first, a precautionary measure. It may be that Cicero is right, and that Caesar got a false idea of the transaction from some hostile source.

4 I. e., with Pompey and his party, because Dolabella was with Caesar.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Latin (L. C. Purser)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: