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DCLXX (F XIII, 5)

TO Q. VALERIUS ORCA (IN ETRURIA)
ROME (AUTUMN)
CICERO greets Q. Valerius, legatus pro praetore. I am not sorry that my friendship for you is known as widely as possible. Not, however, that I wish on that plea—as you may well believe—to prevent your carrying out the business you have undertaken with good faith and activity, to the satisfaction of Caesar, who has intrusted to you a matter of great importance and difficulty. For though I am besieged with petitions from men who are assured of your kindness to me, I am always careful not to embarrass you in the performance of your duty by any self-seeking on my part.

I have been very intimate with Gaius Curtius from our earliest days. I was grieved at the most undeserved calamity which befell him and the others in the Sullan epoch: and when it appeared that those who had suffered a similar wrong, though they lost all their property, were yet allowed by universal consent to return to their native country, I supported the removal of his disability. This man has a holding 1 in the territory of Volaterrae, having betaken himself to it as a kind of salvage from shipwreck. Recently also Caesar has selected him for a seat in the senate—a rank which he can scarcely maintain if he loses this holding. 2 Now it is a great hardship that, having been raised in rank, he should occupy an inferior position in regard to wealth, and it is not at all consistent that a man who is a senator by Caesar's favour should be dispossessed of land which is being divided by Caesar's order. But I don't so much care to write at length on the legal merits of the case, lest I should be thought to have had influence with you owing to its strength rather than from your personal feeling for me. Wherefore I beg you with more than common earnestness to look upon Gaius Curtius's affair as mine; and whatever you do for my sake, I beg you to consider, though you have done it for Gaius Curtius, that I have from your hand what he has obtained through my influence. I reiterate this request with warmth.


1 Possessio, a term properly applied to the holding of ager publicus; it was short of dominium, "absolute ownership."

2 That is, with proper social distinction. It seems certain that at this time there was no legal qualification as to property necessary for a senator.

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