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DCCLXXXVIII (F XII, 3)

TO C. CASSIUS LONGlNUS (NEAR PUTEOLI)
ROME (BETWEEN 2 AND 9 OCTOBER)
YOUR friend 1 daily becomes madder. To begin with, he has caused "To the father for his eminent services" to be inscribed on the statue which he has placed on the rostra, so that you are now condemned not only as murderers, but as parricides. 2 But why do I say "you"? Rather I should say "we" are condemned: for that madman asserts that I was the head and front of that most glorious deed of yours. Would that I had been! He would not have been troubling us now. 3 But it is you and your fellows who are responsible for this: and since it is past and done with, I only wish I had some advice to give you. But the fact is, I cannot feel satisfied even of what I myself ought to do. For what is possible against force without having any force oneself? Now the gist of this policy of theirs is to punish the death of Caesar. Accordingly, on the 2nd of October, being introduced to an assembly by Cannutius, Antony got indeed a very sorry reception: still, he did deliver himself of remarks about the saviours of the country which ought only to have been made about traitors. As to me, indeed, he declared outright both that you had acted and that Cannutius was acting in everything on my advice. You may judge of the rest from the fact that they have deprived your legatus of his travelling money. 4 What explanation of that do you suppose that they give? They say, forsooth, that it is being conveyed to a public enemy! What a grievous thing, that we could not endure a master, and yet are slaves to a fellow slave! Yet after all, though my will is better than my hopes, there does remain even now some hope in your valour. But where to get forces? As to the future I would rather you consulted your own feelings, than listened to words of mine.


1 Antony.

2 The title of parens (or pater) patriae had been formally given to Caesar and was inscribed on coins (see Dio, 44, 3; Suet. Iul. 80). Cicero alludes to the guilt of parricide brought thereby upon his assassins in Phil. 2.31 ; cp. Phil. 13.23.

3 Cicero often repeats this sentiment, that if he had been one of the assassins, he would have killed Antony also. See, e.g., Phil. 2.34; supra, p.46.

4 Though Dolabella had gone to take possession of the province of Syria, Cassius still meant to possess himself of it in value of his appointment in Caesar's time. Meanwhile that appointment had been cancelled by the senate, and he had been nominated to Cyrene, and could therefore have legati, and a legal allowance for them. Antony no doubt interfered because he knew that Cassius would not go to Cyrene, but would defy this senatus consultum and go to Syria (Appian B.C. iii. 8, 12).

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