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DCCCLXXII (F X, 34, §§ 3, 4)

M. AEMILIUS LEPIDUS TO CICERO (AT ROME)
PONS ARGENTEUS, 22 MAY
M. LEPIDUS, a second time imperator, 1 Pontifex Maximus, greets Marcus Tullius Cicero. Though at every period we have vied with each other, in the interchange of good offices in a manner worthy of our mutual friendship, and have both been careful to keep them up, still I have no doubt that in such a sudden disturbance of political affairs some reports about me have been conveyed to you in groundless rumours by my detractors, sufficient greatly to agitate your mind in view of your devotion to the Republic. That you have been cautious in receiving them, and have not judged it right to believe them without inquiry, I have been informed by my agents. This is exceedingly gratifying to me, as it is bound to be. For I remember what on a previous occasion your kindness prompted you to do in order to promote and enhance my position: and it will ever remain fixed in my heart. I earnestly beg of you, my dear Cicero, if you have proof of my life and of my zeal in the most careful performance of public duties being worthy of the name of Lepidus, to expect equal or even more splendid services in the future, and to think accordingly that I am one who deserves the protection of your authority, in proportion as your good services make me deeper in your debt. Goodbye.

22 May, in camp at the bridge over the Argens.


1 This is the title by acclamation given to a successful commander by his soldiers. It could not properly be given more than once in the same war. Lepidus must therefore refer to some prior campaign (Dio, 70, 21). The official heading of the letter, as well as its style, denotes that Lepidus felt the awkwardness of his position, which he veils under the most stiff and formal language. It will be observed that with much bombast Lepidus contrives to say nothing whatever. He was only seven days from his formal coalition with Antony (p.281).

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