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DCXCIII (F V, 10)

P. VATINIUS TO CICERO (AT ROME)
NARONA (JANUARY)
If you are well I am glad; I am also well. I have not yet fished out anything about your Dionysius; 1 and the less so, because the Dalmatian cold, which forced me out of that country, has again frozen me here. However, I will not give up till I have sooner or later got hold of him. Yet after all you are always setting me some hard task. You wrote something or other to me about Catilius 2 —earnestly pleading for his pardon. Don't talk about our friend Sextus Servilius, for by heaven I am as fond of him as you are. But are these the sort of clients, and these the sort of causes which you undertake? Catilius—the cruellest fellow in the world, who has murdered, abducted, ruined so many free-born men, matrons, citizens of Rome! Who has laid waste so many countries! The fellow—half-ape and not worth twopence—took up arms against me, and I have taken him prisoner in war. But after all, my dear Cicero, what can I do? I swear to you that I desire to do anything you ask. My sentence upon him and this punishment which I was going to inflict on him as my prisoner, I freely remit in deference to your request. But what am I to say to those who demand his punishment for the plunder of their property, the capture of their ships, the murder of their brothers, sons, and parents? Even if I had, by Jove, the impudence of Appius, into whose place in the college I was elected, I could not face that out. What is to be done then? I will do my best to carry out anything that I know you wish. He is being defended by Q. Volusius, a pupil of your own, if that fact may chance to rout his enemies. That is his best hope.

Pray defend me at Rome if there is any occasion for it. Caesar is still treating me unfairly. He still doesn't bring any motion before the senate about the supplication in my honour, or about my Dalmatian campaign: as though my operations in Dalmatia did not in truth most thoroughly deserve a triumph! For if I have to wait until I finish the whole war, there are thirty ancient cities in Dalmatia; those which the Dalmatians have themselves annexed are more than sixty. If no supplication is to be decreed in my honour unless I storm all these, then I am on a very different footing from all other commanders. 3


1 See pp. 303, 344.

2 Some man who had been acting as a pirate on the coasts of Illyricum, perhaps an old Pompeian officer.

3 Vatinius, after being consul for a few days in B.C. 47, was sent to Illyricum at the end of that year, and was still there in B.C. 44, when he handed over his troops to M. Brutus, whether voluntarily or under compulsion is not certain. Anyhow he got his triumph at the end of B.C. 43.

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