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CCCLXIX (A IX, 13 a)

BALBUS TO CICERO (AT FORMIAE)
ROME, 20 MARCH
Caesar has sent me a very short note, of which I append a copy. From the shortness of the letter you will be able to gather that he is much occupied, or he would not have written so briefly on so important a subject. If I get any farther intelligence I will at once write you word. “

CAESAR TO OPPIUS AND CORNELIUS
On the 9th of March I reached Brundisium. I have pitched my camp under the walls. Pompey is at Brundisium. He sent Numerius Magius to me to negotiate for peace. 1 I answered as I thought right. I wished you to know this at once. As soon as I see any prospect of success in coming to terms, I will at once inform you of it.


You can imagine, my dear Cicero, my state of torturing anxiety, after having again conceived some hope of peace, lest any circumstance should prevent their coming to terms. For I earnestly wish it, which is all I can do at this distance. If I were only there, I might perhaps possibly seem of some use in the matter; as it is, I am wracked with anxious suspense.


1 Numerius Magius was Pompey's praefectus fabrum. According to Caesar (B.C. 1.24-26, see p. 303), he fell into Caesar's hands during his march on Brundisium, and was sent by him with a message to Pompey, but did not return with any answer. Caesar then sent Caninius Rutilius to endeavour to induce Pompey to, have a personal conference. In the Commentaries Caesar may, from a lapse of memory, have confused matters. Still, it looks as though in the commentary he meant to justify himself. He has represented the proposals for peace as emanating from himself, whereas the letter shews that they came from Pompey. It may, however, be that when Magius is said to have been deprensus ex itinere he was really on his way with a message from Pompey.

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