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DCCCLXXXVII (F XI, 26)

DECIMUS BRUTUS TO CICERO (AT ROME)
IN CAMP (NEAR CULARO), 3 JUNE
IN the midst of excessive sorrow I find consolation in the fact that the world now knows that it was not without cause that I feared what has actually occurred. Let them consider whether to bring the legions from Africa or not, and also from Sardinia; and whether to summon Marcus Brutus or not; and whether to give or decree me pay for my soldiers. I am sending a despatch to the senate. Believe me that unless all these measures are taken as described in my despatch, we shall be in the greatest danger. I beseech you to see to whom to intrust the business of bringing the legions to me. What is necessary is loyalty and speed. 1

3 June, from camp.


1 We do not possess the public despatch referred to, or any more letters from Decimus Brutus. He evidently knew when he wrote this despairing note that Lepidus had joined Antony—as he did on the 29th of May—and that his chance was over. He did, however, effect a junction with Plancus at Cularo (Grenoble) about the 27th of June, and the two kept open the Alpine pass and communication between Eporedia (Ivrea) and Grenoble for some weeks. But in August or early in September—while Octavian, after entering Rome and securing the consulship, had caused Decimus with the other assassins to be condemned under the lex Pedia—Pollio arrived with his legions, joined Lepidus and Antony, and persuaded Plancus to do the same. The frantic attempts of Decimus to march across Italy to Ravenna or Aquileia and take ship to join M. Brutus in Macedonia, the desertion of his army, his being headed off by Octavian from Aquileia, his flight to the Rhine, and his death by the hands of a Sequanian Gaul, at the command of Antony, followed in September—October. He was the third of the assassins to die a violent death, Trebonius and Aquila having already fallen. He had perhaps less excuse than any for taking part in the crime and blunder of the Ides of March. Cicero exalts his character in grandiloquent terms, and Caesar trusted and employed him constantly; yet he seems to have been a man of little political ability.

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