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Cicero at Brundisium, November, B.C. 48, to September, B.C. 47.

From Patrae he came to Brundisium at the end of October or the beginning of November, by special permission of Caesar obtained through Dolabella.1 He was still accompanied by lictors, as an imperator who had not abandoned his claim to a triumph; but he found it necessary in entering Brundisium to disguise or dismiss them, and we hear nothing of them again.2 It does not appear that he had been forbidden to go to Rome; but Caesar had expressed disapproval of others doing so, and Cicero did not venture to leave Brundisium and approach the city without more distinct authority from the Dictator. The letters from Brundisium are distressing. It was not a pleasant place of residence, and the presence of part of the victorious army at times made it dangerous. As the months went on also he heard of Caesar's difficulties in Alexandria; of mutinies in the Caesarian legions that had been sent back to Italy; of disorders in Rome, caused by the tribunician proceedings of Dolabella, which made the position of Antony, Caesar's Master of the Horse, very difficult; and of the increasing strength of the Pompeians in Africa.3 All these reports made him doubt the wisdom of the step he had taken in submitting to Caesar and throwing himself upon his protection. In doing so he had committed an unpardonable sin in the eyes of the Pompeian party. If they eventually succeeded, therefore, he would be in a still worse position than he was now. His heart was still with them—though he disliked young Gnaeus Pompeius—but for his own personal security he was forced to wish them ill. To complete his unhappiness, the failure of the opposition to Caesar had caused a bitter quarrel with his brother and nephew. The younger Quintus had always been Caesarian in sympathy, and had caused his uncle much disquiet by going to Rome to meet Caesar in the previous year.4 But now the elder Quintus seems to have joined his son in reproaching Cicero with having misled them into joining the losing side. They had parted from him in anger at Patrae, and were on their way to meet Caesar as he was following Pompey through Asia, and make their submission to him. Cicero is not only distressed at the loss of his brother's affection, but fearful of their denouncing him to Caesar.5 As far as the younger Quintus was concerned, there may have been cause for such fears. But though the elder Quintus was always intemperate in language, there does not seem any reason to suppose that he wished or attempted to injure his brother. If he did, Cicero took a generous revenge: for he was careful to let Caesar know that he himself was alone to blame for the course they had taken as a family in the civil war; and that Quintus had followed, not led him, in the matter.6 "Believe rather," he says, "that he always advised our union; and was the companion, not the leader, of my journey." The breach between the brothers was not long in healing; but the subsequent conduct of his nephew, who served under Caesar in Spain, gave Cicero much distress for the next two years.7 An interview between them in December, B.C. 45, described in a letter to Atticus, shews how strained the relations between them still were.8 After Caesar's death, though young Quintus for a time adhered to Antony, he surprised his uncle by suddenly announcing his conversion to the cause of Brutus and Cassius.9 And though Cicero doubted the sincerity and the motives of the change, there seems to have been no farther quarrel, till the proscription overwhelmed all three of them in the same destruction.

Caesar's return to Italy in September, B.C. 47, after successfully settling the difficulties in Alexandria, and the rising in Pontus under Pharnaces, restored peace and safety to Italy.


1 P. 19. Cp. <=>2 Phil. § 5.

2 Pp. 16, 18. Cp. pro Lig. § 7.

3 See p. 27.

4 See vol. ii., pp.363, 366.

5 P.26.

6 See his letter to Caesar, p.30.

7 See pp.88, 144, 280, 321.

8 P.348.

9 Vol. iv., pp.97, 100.

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