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Letter XCVII: ad familiares 11.9

From the camp at Regium, Apr. 29, 43 B.C. On Brutus, cf. Ep. LXXXVI. introd. note.


consulibus sublatis: Hirtius was killed on the field of battle, while Pansa was mortally wounded, and died two days later. Cf. Intr. 42.--Had this catastrophe not occurred, Antony would probably have been crushed, and the course of events greatly changed, as the jealousy which the senate excited in Octavius by conferring the chief command upon D. Brutus, led to his withdrawal from the campaign.

praestaturum ... ne: a construction not found in Cicero (cf., however, praestare ut, de Or. 1.44), but used by Caelius (Fam. 8.10.5), and Cassius (Fam. 12.13.4).

Ventidius: P. Ventidius Bassus with three legions joined Antony May 3 at Vada Sabatia.

ventosissimum: used metaphorically as in Cic. Philipp. 11.17; Hor. Ep. 1.8.12.

Lepidum: M. Aemilius Lepidus, who had been consul in 46 B.C. , was now governor of Gallia Narbonensis and Hispania Citerior. He became a member of the Second Triumvirate a few months later.

mittas: apparently Cicero complied with this request, as about three weeks later Lepidus wrote to him (Fam. 10.34 and Fam. 10.34A), describing the state of affairs in the North, adding quod ad bellum hoc attinet, nec senatui nec rei publicae deerimus (Fam. 10.34.2).

de Pollione Asinio : C. Asinius Pollio was governor of Hispania Vlterior. True to that tendency which in after life kept him from an active participation in politics, he was at present holding aloof from the struggle about Mutina. Later he joined Antony. In after life he is known to us as the friend of Vergil and Horace, and the liberal patron of art and literature. Three of his letters to Cicero are extant (Fam. 10.31-33). His poems and historical writings are lost. On the order of the nomen and cognomen, cf. Galli Canini, Ep. XIX.4n. On de, see Intr. 91.

quid facturus sit: a suspicion of the loyalty of Pollio to the senate is suggested

multae ... legiones: Lepidus had seven, Pollio three legions


persuasissimumst>: cf. Intr 82 (end).

id de hoc dubium est: a harsh expression but the style of D. Brutus lacks polish

si ... traiecerit: Cf Plancus in Cic. Fam. 10.9.3 exercitum Rhodanum traieci; so in Caesar and frequently in Livy. Occasionally the preposition is repeated, e.g. Liv. 21.26.6 omnibus ferme suis trans Rhodanum traiectis. More frequently traicere is followed simply by the acc. of the thing crossed.

Regi: i.e. Regium Lepidi; cf. Ep. XCV. 2.


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hide References (8 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (8):
    • Cicero, Letters to his Friends, 10.31
    • Cicero, Letters to his Friends, 10.34
    • Cicero, Letters to his Friends, 10.34.2
    • Cicero, Letters to his Friends, 10.9.3
    • Cicero, Letters to his Friends, 12.13.4
    • Cicero, Philippics, 11.17
    • Cicero, On Oratory, 1.44
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 21, 26
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