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DCCCLXVIII (F X, 17)

L. MUNATIUS PLANCUS TO CICERO (AT ROME)
NEAR FORUM VOCONII, 20 MAY
ON the 15th of May Antony reached Forum Iulii with his advanced guard. Ventidius is two days' march behind him. Lepidus is encamped at Forum Voconii, which is twenty-four miles from Forum Iulli, and has settled to await me there, as he has himself written to tell me. But if neither Lepidus himself nor fortune disappoints me in any way, I pledge myself to finish this business quickly in the manner in which you in the senate desire. I told you in a previous letter that my brother was ill, worn out by continuous work and rapid movements. Nevertheless, as soon as he could set foot to ground, considering that his restored health was not his own more than the state's, he was for leading the forlorn hope everywhere. But I have not merely urged, I have forced him to start for Rome—partly on the grounds that in his state of health he was more likely to wear himself to death than to assist me in camp, and partly because I thought that the Republic, having been left bare by the most regrettable death of the consuls, required the presence of such an eminent citizen as praetor for the conduct of city business. But if any of you at Rome disapprove, let it be known that it was I that lacked prudence in counsel, not he fidelity to his country. After all, Lepidus did what I wanted him to do—he sent me Apella to hold as a hostage of his good faith and of his co-operation in the public service. In that business I was well satisfied with the services of L. Gellius, 1 whom I employed as my last emissary to Lepidus. I think that I ascertained him to be attached to the Republic, and it will give me pleasure to testify to him and to all who serve the state well. Take care of your health, return my affection for you, and defend my position, if I deserve it, as you have done up to this time with remarkable kindness.


1 After this name the MSS. have ex tribus fratribus Segaviano, which appear to have no meaning. We know nothing of this L. Gellius. If he was a Romanized Gaul, the right reading may be ex tribus fratribus Segallaunis, "one of three brothers of the Segallauni," a people living round Valence on the Rhone.

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