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DCCCXVI (F X, 28)

TO GAIUS TREBONIUS (IN ASIA)
ROME, 2 FEBRUARY
How I could wish that you had invited me to that most glorious banquet on the Ides of March! We should have had no leavings! While, as it is, we are having such a trouble with them, that the magnificent service which you men then did the state leaves room for some grumbling. In fact, for Antony's having been taken out of the way by you—the best of men—and that it was by your kindness that this pest still survives, I sometimes do feel, though perhaps I have no right to do so, a little angry with you. For you have left behind an amount of trouble which is greater for me than for everyone else put together.

For as soon as a meeting of the senate could be freely held, after Antony's very undignified departure, 1 I returned to that old courage of mine, which along with that gallant taking over the province, as though he were "succeeding" to the governorship, without allowing his predecessor even the thirty days beyond his year given him by the Julian law. citizen, your father, you ever had upon your lips and in your heart. For the tribunes having summoned the senate for the 20th of December, and having brought a different piece of business before it, I reviewed the situation as a whole, and spoke with the greatest fire, and tried all I could to recall the now languid and wearied senate to its ancient and traditional valour, more by an exhibition of high spirit than of eloquence. 2

This day and this earnest appeal from me were the first things that inspired the Roman people with the hope of recovering its liberty. And had not I supposed that a gazette of the city and of all acts of the senate was transmitted to you, I would have written you out a copy with my own hand, though I have been overpowered with a multiplicity of business. But you will learn all that from others. From me you shall have a brief narrative, and that a mere summary. Our senate is courageous, but the consulars are partly timid, partly disaffected. 3 We have had a great loss in Servius. 4 Lucius Caesar entertains the most loyal sentiments, but, being Antony's uncle, he refrains from very strong language in the senate. The consuls are splendid. Decimus Brutus is covering himself with glory. The youthful Caesar is behaving excellently, and I hope he will go on as he has begun. You may at any rate be sure of this—that, had he not speedily enrolled the veterans, 5 and had not the two legions 6 transferred themselves from Antony's army to his command, and had not Antony been confronted with that danger, there is no crime or cruelty which he would have omitted to practise. Though I suppose these facts to have been told you, yet I wished you to know them still better. I will write more when I get more leisure.


1 When Antony had met the legions from Macedonia at Brundisium, he preceded them with a strong detachment to Rome, arriving between the 15th and 22nd of November, his main body of troops being ordered to muster at Tibur. He ordered in an edict a meeting of the senate un the 23rd, but did not appear, having put off the meeting by another edict to the 28th. He, however, only transacted some formal business—a supplicatio in honour of Lepidus, and a sortitio of the provinces—and then hurriedly left the city for Tibur, probably on hearing of the desertion of the two legions.

2 This is the speech known as the third Philippic.

3 Cicero had advocated in the senate on the 1st and following days of January the most uncompromising hostility to Antony, the fullest recognition of Octavian and of the action of the two legions, and of Decimus Brutus. But he could not get his motion passed, the embassy to Antony being voted on the 7th, as a tentative measure before pro- ceeding to extremities.

4 Servius Sulpicius Rufus, who died while on the mission in Antony's camp, near Mutina.

5 See p.145.

6 The Martia and the quarta. See p. 166.

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