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CCXV (F XV, 9)

TO M. CLAUDIUS MARCELLUS (CONSUL)
(LYCAONIA, SEPTEMBER)
I am exceedingly glad that by the election of Gaius Marcellus to the consulate you have reaped the reward of your loyalty to your friends, your patriotic spirit, and your own most brilliant and excellent consulship. I have no doubt about the feelings of those at home: for myself, indeed, distant as I am and sent by your own action to the other end of the earth, I am praising you, by Hercules, up to the skies with the most sincere and well-deserved compliments. For as I have had from boyhood a singular affection for you, while you have ever wished and judged me to be a man of the widest influence, so by this achievement, whether due to yourself or the favourable judgment of the Roman people concerning you, my affection for you has become warmer and stronger, and I feel the greatest delight when I am told by people of the greatest wisdom and men of the highest character, that in word and deed, in tastes and principles, I am like you or you are like me. If you will add one thing to the eminent achievements of your consulship-the securing of some one to succeed me at the earliest possible opportunity, or the prevention of any addition being made to the time which you defined in virtue both of a senatorial decree and of the law 1 —I shall consider that I shall owe you everything. Take care of your health and let me have your regard and support in my absence. The news that has reached me about the Parthians, as I do not think it necessary at present to send an official despatch about them, I have resolved not to communicate to you as my intimate friend, for, as I was addressing a consul, it might be considered that I was writing officially.


1 The senatorial decree assigning Cilicia to Cicero would mention the term of one year, but so would the lex, which it was necessary to pass in order to give him imperium ; it is to this lex, and not to the lex Pompeia of B.C. 52, that he seems here to refer. See Willem, Le Sénat, Vol. ii., p. 590; cp. ib. p. 167.

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