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M. CICERO, imperator, 1 greets M. Caelius, curule aedile elect. Just see how letters fail to reach me! For I cannot be induced to believe that you have not sent me any letter since your election to the aedileship, considering the importance of the fact and the congratulation for which it called: on your account, because it was what I was hoping for, on that of Hillus 2 (you see I lisp) because it was what I had not expected. However, be assured that I have received no letter from you since that glorious election, which transported me with delight. This makes me fear that the same may happen to my letter. For my part, I have never sent a single packet home without an enclosure for you, and nothing can be more delightful and beloved than you are to me. But let us return (not "weturn," for I have lost my lisp) to business.

It is as you desired. For you could have wished me, you say, to have no more trouble than just enough for the laurel. 3 You are afraid of the Parthians, because you have no confidence in the forces at my disposal. Well, the course of affairs has been as follows. On the announcement of a Parthian invasion, relying on certain difficulties in the country and on the natural features of the mountains, I led my army to Amanus, supported by a fairly good contingent of auxiliary forces, and by a certain prestige attaching to my reputation among populations who had no personal knowledge of me. For one often hears in these parts, "Is that the man by whom the city—,whom the senate—?" You can imagine the rest. By the time I had arrived at Amanus, which is a mountain common to me and Bibulus, the dividing line being the watershed, our friend Cassius, to my great joy, had repulsed the enemy from Antioch: Bibulus had taken over his province. Meanwhile, with my full forces I harassed the population of Amanus, our immemorial foes. Many were killed and taken prisoners, the rest were scattered: the fortified Strongholds were taken by surprise and burnt. Accordingly, after a complete victory, having been acclaimed imperator at Issus—in which place, as I have often been told by you, Clitarchus related to you that Darius was conquered by Alexander—I drew off my army to the most disturbed part of Cilicia. There for the past twenty-five days I have been assailing a very strongly fortified town called Pindenissus with earthworks, pent-houses, towers, and with such great resources and energy, that the only thing now wanting to the attainment of the most glorious renown is the credit of taking the town; and if, as I hope, I do take it, I will then at Once send an official despatch. For the present I content myself with writing this to you, to give you hope of attaining your wish. But to return to the Parthians, the present summer has had the fairly fortunate result I have mentioned: for the next, there is much cause for alarm. Wherefore, my dear Rufus, be vigilant: in the first place, that I may have a successor: but if that shall turn out to be, as you write, too much of a business, then, what is easy enough, that no additional period be imposed. About politics I expect in your letters, as I have said before, current events and, even more, conjectures of the future. Wherefore I beg you earnestly to write me an account of everything in the greatest detail.

1 Cicero calls himself imperator, as having been greeted by that title by his soldiers in the field. This was a special usage of the title, to be distinguished from the same word applied to a magistrate with imperium. This title by acclamation could only be given once in the same war. It always comes after the name. The chief authority ou this subject is Dio, 43, 44; cp. 70, 21.

2 Hillus for Hirrus. It doesn't seem much of a jest.

3 For a triumph.

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