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I SUPPOSE that the winter has as yet prevented us from getting any certain news from you, as to what you are doing, and above all where you are. Nevertheless, it is the general talk—the wish, no doubt, is father to the thought—that you are in Syria and in possession of forces. That statement finds the readier belief that it seems likely in itself. Our friend Brutus for his part has gained a brilliant reputation: for his achievements have been so great and unexpected that, while welcome in themselves, their distinction was enhanced by their rapidity. 1 But if you command the extent of territory which we suppose, the Republic has gained very strong supports. For from the nearest shore of Greece as far as Egypt we shall have been put under the protection of the authority and forces of the most loyal citizens. However, unless I am mistaken, as the situation now stands, the ultimate decision of the whole war seems to rest with Decimus Brutus. If he, as we hope, breaks cut from Mutina, I think there will be a complete collapse of the war. The forces at present besieging him are very small, because Antony is occupying Bononia with a large army. Our friend Hirtius, moreover, is at Claterna, 2 Caesar at Forum Cornelium, both with a strong army; while Pansa has collected large forces at Rome from the levy in Italy. Winter has at present prevented any movement. Hirtius seems likely to do nothing, as he tells me in frequent letters, without careful preparation. Except Bononia, Regium Lepidi, and Parma, we have the whole of Gaul devoted heart and soul to the constitution. Even your clients the Transpadani we find attached to the cause with surprising unanimity. The senate, with the exception of the consulars, is most resolute, 3 but of the consulars Lucius Caesar alone is loyal and honest. By the death of Servius Sulpicius we have lost a great support For the rest, some are inactive and some disloyal A certain number are envious of the reputation of those whom they see to be held in honour in the Republic. But the unanimity of the Roman people and the whole of Italy is wonderful. This is pretty well all which I wanted you to know. My present hope and prayer is that the sun of your valour may shine forth from those regions of the East.

1 Referring to M. Brutus having collected an army, occupied Greece, Macedonia, and Illyricum (App. B.C. 3.79; Dlo, 47, 21 sq.).

2 Modern Quaderna, on the Aemilian road between Forum Cornelium and Bononia (Bologna).

3 The surviving consulars were in several cases those who had owed their promotion to Caesar.

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