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B.C. 49. Coss., C. Claudius, Marcellus, L. Cornelius Lentulus Crus.

B.C. 49. Coss., C. Claudius, Marcellus, L. Cornelius Lentulus Crus.
In this year the Civil War began in earnest as soon as Caesar crossed the Rubicon. Directly the news arrived Pompey left Rome to gather soldiers stationed in winter quarters and on garrison duty in various parts of Italy, and Italy itself was portioned out into districts for defence under various magistrates and senators. But by the 18th of March Pompey had quitted Italy, never to return, with the two consuls and other magistrates; and before the end of the month Caesar had arrived at Rome, left it in charge of the praetor Lepidus, and Italy in charge of the tribune Antony, specially invested with praetorian powers, and had gone to besiege Marseilles and to fight Pompey's legates in Spain. Cicero, who had had the district of Capua assigned to him, had nothing left but to keep as quiet as he could in his country houses. But his conscience left him no peace until he had joined Pompey in Greece, though he was fully aware of the unsatisfactory nature of the party which had accompanied him there. After long hesitation, he at last made up his mind, early in June, to join Pompey's camp. After his arrival there we have no more letters this year.


CICERO and his son, Terentia, Tullia, Quintus and his son, send warm greetings to Tiro. Though I miss your ever-ready help at every turn yet it is not for my sake so much as for yours that I grieve at your illness. But now that the violence of your disease has abated so far as to become a quartan fever—for so Curius writes me word—I hope that with care you will soon become stronger. Only be sure-as becomes a man of your good sense—to think of nothing for the present except how to get well in the best possible way. I know how your regret at being absent worries you, but all difficulties will disappear, if you get well. I would not have you hurry, for fear of your suffering from sea-sickness in your weak state, and finding a winter voyage dangerous. I arrived at the city walls on the 4th of January. Nothing could be more complimentary than the procession that came out to meet me; but I found things in a blaze of civil discord, or rather civil war. I desired to find a cure for this, and, as I think, could have done so; but I was hindered by the passions of particular persons, for on both sides there are those who desire to fight. The long and short of it is that Caesar himself—once our friend— has sent the senate a menacing and offensive despatch, 1 and is so insolent as to retain his army and province in spite of the senate, and my old friend Curio is backing him up. Farthermore, our friend Antonius and Q. Cassius, having been expelled from the house, though without any violence, left town with Curio to join Caesar, directly the senate had passed the decree ordering " consuls, praetors, tribunes, and us proconsuls to see that the Republic received no damage." 2 Never has the state been in greater danger: never have disloyal citizens had a better prepared leader. On the whole, however, preparations are being pushed on with very great activity on our side also. This is being done by the influence and energy of our friend Pompey, who now, when it is too late, begins to fear Caesar. In spite of these exciting incidents, a full meeting of the senate clamoured for a triumph being granted me: but the consul Lentulus, in order to enhance his service to me, said that as soon as he had taken the measures necessary for the public safety, he would bring forward a motion on the subject. I do nothing in a spirit of selfish ambition, and consequently my influence is all the greater. Italy has been marked out into districts, shewing for what part each of us is to be responsible. I have taken Capua. That is all I wanted to tell you. Again and again I urge you to take care of your health, and to write to me as often as you have anyone to whom to give a letter. Good-bye, good-bye

12 January.

CCCI (F V, 20)

I3 would have done my very best to meet you, if you had chosen to come to the place arranged. Wherefore, although from regard to my convenience you were unwilling to disturb me, I should wish you to believe that, if you had sent me word, I should have preferred your wish to my own convenience. In reply to your letter, I Should have been able to write to you on the details more conveniently, if my secretary, M. Tullius, had been with me. lie, I feel certain, at any rate in making up the accounts—I cannot speak of other things-did not knowingly do anything adverse to your interest or your reputation. And in the next place I can assure you that, if the old rule and ancient custom as to giving in accounts had been in force, I should never have given them in until I had first checked and made them up with you, as our close official connexion demanded. What I should have done outside Rome, had the old custom remained in force, that I did in the province, because, by the Julian law, it was necessary to leave accounts in the province and to give in a verbatim copy of them at the treasury. I did not do this with a view of forcing you to adopt my calculation; but I put a great confidence in you, and shall never be sorry that I did so. For I handed over my secretary to your entire control—of whom I now see that you entertain suspicions—and you joined your brother M. Mindius with him in the business. The accounts were made up, in my absence, under your eye, to which I did nothing whatever beyond reading them. When I received a copy from my secretary, I regarded it as received from your brother. If that was a compliment, I could not pay you a greater one: if it was an instance of confidence, I have shewn you almost more than I shewed myself: if my duty had been to see that nothing was entered in them that was not for your honour and advantage, there was no one to whom I could have intrusted them in preference to the man to whom I did do so. At any rate, I merely obeyed the law by depositing copies of the accounts made up and audited in two cities, Laodicea and Apamea, which I regarded as the two chief cities (for it had to be the chief cities). So then to this point my first reply is that, though for good and sufficient reasons I have made haste to give in the accounts at the treasury, yet I should have waited for you, had I not considered that depositing the accounts in the province was tantamount to giving them in at the treasury. 4

As to what you say of Volusius, that has nothing to do with the accounts. I have been advised by experts-among them by C Camillus, the best lawyer of the day and a very kind friend of mine— that the debt (the amount was not 3,000 sestertia, as you say, but 1,900) could not be transferred from Valerius to Volusius, and that the sureties of Valerius were liable. For a sum of money had been paid us in the name of Valerius as purchaser: the balance I entered in the accounts. 5 But your proposal robs me of the fruit of my liberality, of my activity, and even (what, after all, I do not much care about) of a moderate amount of good sense: of my liberality, because you prefer to suppose my legate and my prefect, Q. Lepta, to have been relieved from a most serious calamity by the good offices of my secretary rather than of myself, and that though they ought never to have been made liable: of my activity, because you suppose that in regard to so important a duty, I may say so grave a danger, I neither knew anything nor took any thought—that my secretary made any entry he chose without even going through the form of reading it over to me: of my good sense, because you think that an arrangement, which had been thought out by me with no little acuteness, had been practically not thought of at all. The fact of the matter is that the release of Volusius was my own design, and I also formed the plan for relieving the securities of Valerius and Tit. Marius himself from so heavy a loss. And this scheme has not only the approval of everybody, but their warm commendation, and, if you wish to know the real truth, I perceived that my secretary was the one person who did not like it. But it was my view that, so long as the People got its own, a good man should consult for the interests of so large a number-whether of friends or fellow citizens. As regards Lucceius, the arrangement Come to, at the suggestion of Pompey, was that the money should be deposited in a temple. I acknowledged that as having been done on my order. This money Pompey has employed, as Sestius did that deposited by you. But this, I am aware, does not affect you. I should have been sorry to have omitted to record your having deposited the money in the temple on my order, had not that sum been attested by records of the most solemn and precise nature— stating to whom it was paid, by what decree of the senate, and in virtue of what written order from you and from myself it had been handed over to P. Sestius. 6 Seeing that these facts had been put on record in so many ways, that a mistake in regard to them was impossible, I did not make an entry, which after all had no reference to you. However, I wish now I had made the entry, since I see that you regret its not having been done.

I quite agree as to your being obliged, as you Say, to enter this transaction, and your balance will not differ at all from mine by your doing so. You may add also, "on my authority," which, though I did not add it, I have no reason for denying, nor should deny, had there been any such reason, and had you declined to add it. Again, as to the sum of 900,000 sesterces: that, at any rate, was entered in accordance with your own or your brother's wishes. However, if there is any entry (for the posting of the public ledger is not Completed) which I can correct even now in my accounts, I must consider—since I have not taken advantage of the decree of the senate—what grace the laws allow me. 7 Anyhow, you were not bound to make the entry you have made in regard to the amount collected tally with my accounts, 8 unless I am mistaken-for there are others with more technical knowledge than myself. But pray do not doubt my doing everything that I think to be for your interests or in accordance with your wish, if I possibly can.

As to what you say about the list for good-service rewards, you must know that I have returned the names of my military tribunes and prefects, and the members of the staff—at least of my own staff.

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