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If you1 and your children are well, I am glad. I am well. Asia having been overrun by the criminal proceedings of Dolabella, I betook myself to the neighbouring province of Macedonia and to those defences of the Republic which the honourable citizen Marcus Brutus had under his command, and urged that the province of Asia and its revenues should be restored to your authority by those who could do so most promptly. This alarmed Dolabella, and therefore, after plundering the province, seizing its revenues, selecting Roman citizens especially to beggar and sell up, he quitted Asia quicker than the protecting force could be brought into it. I therefore did not think it necessary to delay any longer, nor to wait for the garrison, and I conceived that I ought to return at the earliest opportunity to my duty, in order that I might both collect the arrears of revenue and call in the money I had deposited, and ascertain as soon as possible what part of it had been seized, or by whose fault that had occurred, and inform you about the whole affair.

Meanwhile on my voyage by the island route 2 into Asia I was met by the information that Dolabella's fleet was in Lycia, and that the Rhodians had a number of vessels fully equipped and ready launched. Accordingly, with the ships which either I had brought with me or the proquaestor Patiscus had secured—a man very closely united to me both by intimate friendship and political sympathies—I diverted my course to Rhodes, trusting in your authority and the decree of the senate, by which you had declared Dolabella a public enemy, and also in the treaty which had been renewed with them in the consulship of M. Marcellus and Servius Sulpicius, 3 in which the Rhodians had sworn to have the same enemies as the senate and Roman people. However, I found myself entirely mistaken. For so far from our strengthening our fleet by any assistance from them, our soldiers were even warned off by the Rhodians from city, harbour, the roadstead outside the city, from purchasing provisions, and finally even from taking in water; while I myself was only just allowed to approach in a single boat. This insult and derogation from the dignity, not only of my official position, but also of the imperial position of the Roman people, I did not resent, because from an intercepted despatch I had learnt that Dolabella, if he had despaired of Syria and Egypt—as was certain to happen-was prepared to embark on board his ships with all his outlaws and all his money and make for Italy; and that for that purpose also some transports, not one of which was less than 2,000 amphorae burden, 4 collected in Lycia were being guarded by his fleet. Dismayed by the alarming nature of this report, fathers of the senate, I preferred to submit to the insult and to try first every means, though involving personal indignities. Therefore, being in accordance with their wishes introduced into the city and senate, I pleaded the cause of the Republic with the greatest earnestness of which I was capable, and stated the whole danger of the situation which threatened us, if that outlaw embarked with all his forces. But I found the Rhodians to be so utterly misguided, that they thought the loyalists were the weakest of all parties: that they were more ready to disbelieve in the existing unanimity and agreement of all orders in the defence of liberty: that they were confident that the tolerance of the senate and the aristocracy was even now what it had been before, and that no one would have the Courage to declare Dolabella a public enemy: in fact that they regarded as true all the figments of the traitors rather than what had really taken place and was being stated by me. It was with these views that even before my arrival, after the atrocious murder of Trebonius and numerous other abominable crimes, two embassies from them had gone to Dolabella, and that too contrary to all precedent, 5 it being against their own laws, and in spite of the prohibition of the then existing magistrates. Though they might easily have applied a remedy for this crisis, they refused to do so. I don't know whether it was, as they give out, from fear for the lands which they possess on the continent, or from the infatuation or tolerance of a few politicians who on previous occasions equally insulted men of the highest rank 6 and now do so to those actually in the chief offices, without precedent and without provocation from us. They refused—I say—in spite of the danger threatening us who were on the spot, and of that which threatened Italy and our city, if that murderer with his crew of outlaws sailed to Italy after being expelled from Asia and Syria. Some of us even suspected the magistrates of having detained us and of having wasted time until Dolabella's fleet was informed of our arrival. And this suspicion was deepened by several things that occurred afterwards, especially by the fact that Dolabella's legates Sextus Marius and Gaius Titius suddenly quitted the fleet on the Lycian coast and fled on board a ship of war, abandoning the transports, in the collection of which they had spent considerable time and labour. Accordingly, when we arrived at Lycia from Rhodes with the ships then in our possession, we took over the transports and sent them back to their owners. Thus we ceased to feel what had been our chief fear—that Dolabella might find means to reach Italy with his outlaws. We pursued his flying fleet as far as Sida, which is the farthest district of my province. There I ascertained that some of Dolabella's ships had scattered and fled, that the rest had made for Syria and Cyprus. These being thus dispersed, as I knew that the very large fleet of the eminent citizen and general Cassius would be ready to meet him in Syria, I returned to my official duties: as I shall do my best, fathers of the senate, to give you and the Republic the full benefit of my zeal and industry; and as to money—I will collect as much as I can and with the greatest possible promptness, and will send it by every means in my power. When I have made a tour of my province and have ascertained who have been faithful to us and to the Republic in safeguarding the money which I deposited with them, and who are guilty of actually handing over public money and by this gift entering into a partnership with Dolabella in his crimes, I will inform you. And if you will pass a severe sentence, should it so please you, upon these men and back me up by the weight of your authority, I shall be able with greater ease both to collect the arrears of revenue and keep that already collected safe. Meantime, in order more thoroughly to protect the revenues and to defend my province from ill-treatment, I have enrolled a guard formed of volunteers and only such as was absolutely necessary. 7

After I had written this despatch, 8 about thirty soldiers, whom Dolabella had enlisted in Asia, escaping from Syria arrived in Pamphylia. They brought word that Dolabella bad arrived at Antioch in Syria: that not being admitted he made several attempts to force an entry, but had always been repulsed with great loss; and accordingly after losing about 600 men, abandoning his sick, he retreated by night from Antioch towards Laodicea: that in that night nearly all his Asiatic soldiers deserted him: that of these about 800 returned to Antioch and surrendered to the officers commanding the city who had been left there by Cassius: that the rest crossed Mount Amanus and descended into Cilicia, to which number they said that they also belonged themselves: finally, that Cassius with his whole force was reported to be four days' march from Laodicea at the time when Dolabella was pressing on to that town. Wherefore I feel sure that a most villainous outlaw will be punished sooner than I thought.

2 June, Perga.

1 The title of proquaestor was explained in a note to the previous letter: that of propraetor arose from the fact that, as there was no regular praetorius or consularis in the province (Trebonius being killed), and as the senate had committed the province to the consuls, Lentulus's position was that of legatus to the consuls, and in that case he exercised praetorial functions, and his regular designation was legatus pro praetore. A few years later Augustus used this title for all governors of imperial provinces.

2 As opposed to crossing the Hellespont, reached by the coast road from Macedonia. Per insulas is the technical expression for this route, translating the Greek διὰ νήσων.

3 B.C. 51.

4 About sixty tons burden.

5 Because they always dealt directly with the senate.

6 See previous letter, p.273.

7 Asia as a peaceful province had no regular army stationed in it. A few cohorts accompanied a proconsul or propraetor as a bodyguard.

8 This is evidently a postscript to the preceding despatch, written a few days later and sent with it, and at the same time as the private letter to Cicero which precedes. Tyrrell and Purser arrange it as a separate letter; but I think nothing is gained and something lost by that, and I have followed Mueller therefore in maintaining the old arrangement.

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