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DCCCXLVI (BRUT. I, II)

M. IUNIUS BRUTUS TO CICERO (AT ROME)
DYRRACHIUM (MAY)
ANTISTIUS VETUS is so devoted to the Republic that I feel no doubt of his shewing himself in the case both of Caesar and Antony a most determined champion of the common liberty, if he ever gets the opportunity. For the man who, meeting P. Dolabella in Achaia in possession of infantry and cavalry, preferred incurring any danger from the treachery of an utterly unscrupulous outlaw to being thought either to have been compelled to give money, or to have given it voluntarily to a most abandoned and unprincipled man-he, I say, has not only promised but has paid us 2,000 Sestertia out of his own pocket, and, what is much more valuable, has presented himself in person and has joined us. 1 I have been desirous to persuade him to remain in my camp in military command and to support the Republic. But he has made up his mind that he is bound to go home after having dismissed his army. He assured us, however, that he would return promptly in the position of legatus, 2 unless the consuls intended holding the praetorian elections; for with a man of his political views, I was urgent that he should not postpone the time of his canvass. What this man has done ought to be approved by everybody, at any rate by those who believe that this army is of great moment to the state, by you all the more so in proportion as you defend our liberty with greater spirit and fame, and are sure to enjoy a higher position if the result of our plans is what we desire it to be. I also ask you, my dear Cicero, as a personal favour, and with the confidence of a friend, to love Vetus and to desire the highest promotion for him. For though nothing can turn him from his purpose, he will yet be capable of being incited by your praises and kindness still more to embrace and hold fast your principles. I shall be very grateful if it is so.


1 Vetus had evidently brought to Brutus what was properly public money. It may be the C. Antistius Vetus who in the previous year was in Syria engaged in attacking Caecilius Bassus. See p. 15.

2 I do not think this can mean a libera legatio. Vetus was going home apparently to stand for the praetorship. If he could not get that, owing to the elections being suspended in the absence of the consuls, he would accept the office of legatus under Brutus.

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