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DCCCLXX (BRUT. I, 2, §§ 1-3)

TO M. IUNIUS BRUTUS (IN MACEDONIA)
ROME (LATE IN MAY)
WHEN I had already written and sealed a despatch to you, a letter from you was delivered to me full of startling intelligence. But the most surprising of all was that Dolabella had sent five cohorts 1 into the Chersonese. 2 Is he so flush of troops that a man who was said to be in flight from Asia is now attempting to get a foothold in Europe? With five cohorts, moreover, what did he think that he could do when you had five legions, 3 a splendid body of cavalry, and very large auxiliary forces? These same cohorts, I hope, by this time are in your hands, since that outlaw has been so insensate. I strongly commend your policy in not having moved your army from Apollonia and Dyrrachium, until you heard of the flight of Antony, of Decimus Brutus having broken out of Mutina, and of the victory of the Roman people. Accordingly, in saying that you had afterwards resolved to lead your army into the Chersonese, and not to suffer the government of the Roman people to be a laughingstock to an enemy stained with the worst of crimes, you are acting in the interests of your own position and of the Republic. You speak of an outbreak in the fourteenth legion on account of Gaius Antonius; you will excuse my saying that I am in sympathy with the severity of the soldiers rather than with yours. 4


1 That is, half a legion.

2 The Thracian Chersonese.

3 Brutus seems to have had five legions originally. He added one when he took Gaius Antonius, and enlisted two more in the province (App. B.C. 3.79).

4 Reading, with Mueller, quarta decima Antoni. .. magis mihi probatur militum severitas quam tua. If this is right, what seems to have happened is that the fourteenth legion were guilty of a riotous demonstration against Gaius Antonius, which Brutus punished as a breach of military discipline. Appian (B.C. 3.79) says that Antonius was eventually put to death for tampering with the legions; Plutarch (Brut. 28) that he was put to death by Brutus in retaliation for the murder of Cicero. In that case it was not till December; but Cicero evidently shews that he was in favour of getting rid of him in any way. According to Dio (47, 24), Brutus left him at Apollonia—when he went to Asia—under the charge of Gaius Clodius, who put him to death to prevent his being rescued by his brother Marcus.

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