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If you are well, I am glad.1 I am well. I rejoice not only at the safety and victory of the Republic, but also at the revival of your glorious reputation. That as the noblest of consulars you have surpassed yourself as the noblest of consuls I am at once delighted and unable to wonder sufficiently. A certain special favour of destiny has been shewn to your virtue—of which we have often had practical proofs. For your toga has been more fortunate than everyone else's arms; and has now once more rescued the Republic, when all but conquered, from the hands of its enemies, and restored it to us. So now we shall live free men: now we shall have you—greatest of all citizens and most beloved by me, as you discovered in the darkest hour of the public fortunes—now, I say, we shall have you as a witness to our love both to you and to the Republic, which is so closely bound up with you. And that which you often promised that you would suppress while we were slaves, and would say of me when likely to be to my service, now, I shall not so much desire to be said as to be felt by you. For I would not wish to be commended by you to the good opinion of others more than to have been commended to your own in a manner worthy of my deserts, that you may judge these recent acts of mine to have been no mere hasty impulses or departures from principle, but in harmony with those lines of thought of which you are a witness; and may think that I deserve to be brought forward prominently by yourself, as giving promise of doing excellent service to my country. You, Marcus Tullius, have children and relatives worthy of you and deservedly most beloved by you. Next to them those also ought to be dear to you in public life who emulate your special branch of learning, of whom I wish you a goodly store: yet after all I don't regard myself as excluded, however great the crowd. You will always have room to receive me, and to employ me in everything you wish and approve. Of the goodness of my disposition perhaps you have already been convinced: my ability, certainly, such as it is, our prolonged servitude has allowed to appear less than after all it really is.

From the sea-coast of the province of Asia and from the islands we have launched all the ships we could; we have levied rowers, with great Opposition on the part of the cities, yet with fair rapidity; and we have pursued Dolabella's fleet, which is commanded by Lucius Figulus. This officer, by frequently holding out hopes of deserting to us, and yet keeping continually edging away, has by his most recent move got to Corycus, 2 and having closed the harbour, is beginning to offer resistance. Abandoning that fleet, because we thought it better to make our way to the camp, and because there was another fleet coming, which Tillius Cimber had collected in the previous year, and the quaestor Turullius was commanding, we made for Cyprus. The information I got there I am anxious to tell you as quickly as possible. It is this: Dolabella has been actually invited not only by the people of Tarsus, the worst of allies, but also by the Laodiceans, who are still more disaffected. 3 By the number of Greek soldiers which he has got from both these states, he has secured what looks like an army. He has a camp pitched outside the town of Laodicea, and has pulled down a part of the wall and united his camp with the town. Our friend Cassius with ten legions and twenty auxiliary cohorts, and cavalry 4,000 strong, has a camp pitched twenty miles away at Paltus, and thinks that he can win without a battle: for in Dolabella's quarters corn is already twelve drachmae the medimnus. Unless he manages to get some brought in by the ships of Laodicea, he must soon perish of hunger. That he should not be able to get any in we can easily secure between us—that is, Cassius's fleet, which is a fairly large one under the command of Sextilius Rufus, 4 and the three which I, Turullius, and Patiscus 5 have brought up. I would have you be hopeful, and feel sure that, as you at Rome have relieved the Republic from its difficulties, so on our part it can be quickly relieved by us. Good-bye.

13 June, Cyprus, off Crommyuacris. 6

1 As to the identity of this man—one of the assassins—see my note on Suet. Aug. 4. He is not mentioned before, but is referred to by Horace (Ep. i. 4, 3) as a writer of eminence, and the grammarians who annotated Horace say that he was an Epicurean and wrote satires, elegies and epigrams. He was executed by Augustus at Athens after the battle of Actium—the last of the assassins to perish. Two or three fragments of his poetry have been preserved: and Suetonius quotes part of a letter abusing Augustus. The elaborate and difficult style of this letter—the only one of his—indicates some pedantry and affectation, rather characteristic of the Roman Epicureans. He was perhaps quaestor or proquaestor in Syria now, though one commentator says he was a tribunus militum along with Horace.

2 On the coast of Cilicia Trachea (Korghoz).

3 That is, Tarsus and Leodicea were Caesarian.

4 Quaestor in Cyprus. See vol. iii., p.367.

5 See p.277.

6 Κρομμύου ἄκρα, the northern cape of Cyprus.

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