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DXLII (F IX, 13)

C. SUBERNIUS of Cales is both my friend and very closely connected with Lepta, who is a very intimate friend of mine. Having for the express purpose of avoiding the war one to Spain with M. Varro before it began, with a view of being in a province in which none of us had thought that there was likely to be any war after the defeat of Afranius, 1 he found himself plunged into the precise evils which he had done his very best to avoid. For he was overtaken by a sudden war, which being set in motion by Scapula was afterwards raised to such serious proportions by Pompey, that it became impossible for him to extricate himself from that unhappy affair. 2 M. Planius Heres, also of Cales, and also a very close friend of our friend Lepta, is in much the same position. These two men, therefore, I commend to your protection with a care, zeal, and heartfelt anxiety beyond which I cannot go in commending anyone. I wish it for their own sake, and in this matter I am also strongly influenced by motives of humanity no less than by friendship. For since Lepta is so anxious that his fortunes would seem to be at stake, I cannot but be in a state of anxiety next or even equal to his. Therefore, although I have often had proof of how much you loved me, yet I would have you be convinced that I shall have no better opportunity than this of judging that to be so. I therefore ask you, or, if you allow it, I implore you to save from disfranchisement two unhappy men, who owe their loss of citizenship to fortune—which none can avoid-rather than to any fault of their own. Be so good as to allow me by your help to bestow this favour both on the men themselves, who are my friends, and also on the municipium of Cales, with which I have strong ties, and lastly upon Lepta, whom I regard more than all the rest. What I am going to say I think is not much to the point, yet, after all, there is no harm in saying it. The property of one of them is very small, of the other scarcely up to the equestrian standard. Wherefore, seeing that Caesar, with his usual high-mindedness, has granted them their lives, and since there is very little else that can be taken from them, do secure these men their return, if you love me as much as I am sure you do. The only possible difficulty is the long journey; which their motive for not shirking is their desire to be with their families and to die at home. That you do your best and exert yourself, or rather that you carry it through—for as to your ability to do it I have no doubt—I strongly and repeatedly entreat you.

1 Afranius and Petreius were conquered by Caesar in B.C. 49. See p. 1.

2 Baetica and the legions there were disaffected to Caesar all along. They turned out Caesar's first governor, Cassius, and afterwards Trebonius. After Thapsus (B.C. 46) they invited the surviving Pompeians to come to them, and meanwhile elected Titus Quintus Scapula and Quintus Afranius to command them. When Cn. and Sextus Pompeius and the other survivors of Thapsus arrived, the state of things became so serious that Caesar had to go to Spain himself.

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