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Letter XLIX: ad Atticum 9.11a

Formiae, March 19 (or 20), 49 B.C. Cicero's reply to Ep. XLVII. A copy of it was forwarded to Atticus with Att. 9.11 (cf. Att. 9.11, end). Cicero still cherishes the hope that he may be able to effect a reconciliation between Caesar and Pompey, and with that object in view, and perhaps also to present himself in a favorable light before Caesar, he emphasizes the neutrality of his course thus far, and condemns the radical steps taken by the Pompeians. Caesar's definite request that Cicero should come to Rome and assist him in restoring public order is not answered categorically. This letter was published, and called forth some unfavorable criticism. For Cicero's own interpretation of certain parts of it, cf. Att. 8.9.1f.

consilio: in the letter to Atticus accompanying this epistle Cicero writes : huic1 ego in multo sermone epistulam ad me Caesaris ostendi, eam, cuius exemplum ad te antea misi, rogavique ut interpretaretur quid esset quod ille scriberet, “consilio meo se uti velle gratia dignitate ope rerum omnium.” Respondit se non dubitare quin et opem et gratiam meam ille ad pacificationem quaereret, Att. 9.11.2; cf. also Att. 9.16.1.

admirabili: for Cicero's explanation of his use of this adj., cf. Att. 8.9.1.

de pace: Caesar, after his return to Rome from Brundisium, proposed to negotiate with Pompey, and the senate approved the plan, but no one was willing to act as envoy (cf. Caes. B. C. 1.32, 33).

naturam: sc. as a man of peace, and not inclined to extremes in politics.

magis idoneum: see introd. note to Ep. XLII. and mederi, Ep. XLII.2n.

cum primum potui: sc. after Jan. 4, on his arrival from Cilicia. Cf. Fam. 4.1.1; 16.12.2; 4.14.2; Vell. Paterc. 2.48.5.

belli: Cicero is thinking of the fact that he had not accompanied the Pompeians in their flight. Furthermore, he had done practically nothing to levy recruits for the Pompeians in Campania. Cf. nihil fugam, Ep. XLV.5n. While Cicero's statement in the text seems to be true, it does not harmonize with the impression which he sought to convey to Pompey a month earlier; cf. Att. 8.11B.2. See also Att. 7.14.2.

beneficio: with reference to the law passed in 52 B.C. giving Caesar the right to sue for the consulship while absent from the city. Cf. Ep. XLII. introd. note, and Intr. 26.

aliquid impertias temporis: for Cicero's comments on this phrase, see Att. 8.9. 1.

tuo beneficio: sc. in not forcing him to give up his neutrality, and thus losing a chance to help Pompey.

pius: sc. in remembering the duty he owed to his old friend Pompey.

ad tuam fidem: Caesar steadily maintained that he desired peace.

per te ... conservari: i.e. that I be not constrained to appear at Rome and thus lose my neutral position, and with it my ability to secure a peaceful solution of the present difficulty.

de Lentulo: Cicero had thanked Caesar in a previous letter for his generosity in allowing Lentulus Spinther, who had been captured at Corfinium, to go free. For Caesar's reply, cf. Att. 9.16. At this time Lentulus was at Puteoli; cf.Att. 9.11.1.

qui fuerat: in 57 B.C. Lentulus as consul had worked for Cicero's recall from exile. Cf. also Ep. XIV. 2.

1 i.e. Matio

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hide References (11 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (11):
    • Cicero, Letters to his Friends, 4.1.1
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 7.14.2
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 8.11
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 8.9
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 8.9.1
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 9.11
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 9.11.1
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 9.11.2
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 9.16
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 9.16.1
    • Caesar, Civil War, 1.32
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