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Letter XXXVIII: ad familiares 15.6

Tarsus, July, 50 B.C. Cicero's reply to Ep. XXXVII.1

laetus sum: for Cicero's real opinion of Cato's course, cf. Ep. XXXVII. introd. note.

Hector, opinor, etc.: cf. Ep. XVIII.7n.

aps te: archaic for abs te (=a te).

sententiae dictae: sc. in the senate.

te ... dedisse: Cicero was gratified that Cato's statement of the case in the senate was the free-will offering of a friend.

currum, lauream: these were among the insignia of a triumph.

ad meum sensum, etc., as far as my feelings go and resting one's opinion upoit a really honest and keen judgment.


superioribus litteris : cf. idem post iniuriam, etc., Ep. XXXIV. 13 (end).

honos: not the supplicatio, but the triumphus.

usitato praesertim: possibly a thrust at Cato himself, who secured a thanksgiving of twenty days for his son-in-law Bibulus (Att. 7.2. 7), although Cicero says of him: ego, nisi Bibulus qui, dum unus hostis in Syria fuit, pedem porta non plus extulit quam domo sua, 1 adniteretur de triumpho, aequo animo essem. Att. 6.8.5.

ex te: the Letters have not only the regular construction aliquid abs te peto, but also aliquid ex te peto and aliquid te peto. Cf. Ep. XXVI.1n.; Ep. LII.2n.

quod amicissime scribis: cf. existimes ... quod ... gaudere, Ep. XXXVII. 3.

id quod maluero: i.e. a triumph. The expression contains a thrust at Cato for his presumption in trying to secure for Cicero a resolution complimenting him upon the uprightness of his administration (cf. Ep. XXXVII.1) for which he had not asked, instead of a thanksgiving and a possible future triumph, which he did desire.

scribendo adfuisti: i.e. when the bill was drawn up in legal form; cf. legem conscripserun4 Ep. XV.7n.

re publica meliore: the violent discussions in the senate concerning a successor to Caesar were at their height.


1 when during his consulship with Caesar he shut himself up in his own house

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  • Commentary references from this page (2):
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 6.8.5
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 7.2
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