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Letter XXXIX: ad familiares 16.4

Leucas, Nov. 7, 50 B.C. Cicero apparently left Tarsus July 30 (cf. Fam. 2.17.1), and, after a delay of several weeks in Rhodes and Ephesus, reached the Piraeus Oct. 14. Toward the end of the month he set out by land for Rome. Tiro, who was with him, was taken ill on the way, and was left behind at Patrae, while Cicero continued his journey through Alyzia and Leucas.


existimari: probably impersonal, although after de introducing a transition we find such loose constructions that it would be possible to consider existimari personal with an omitted eum for its subject. Cf. de Quinto fratre, scito eum non mediocriter laborare, etc., Att. 10.15.4.

ius, soup.

κακοστόμαχος: as the physicians were usually Greeks, technical medical expressions were in Greek. Cf. the prescription which Cicero urges upon Tiro: ea (i.e. valetudo) quid postulet, non ignoras; πέψιν, ἀκοπίαν, περίπατον, σύμμετρον, τρῖψιν, εὐλυσίαν κοιλίας Fam. 16.18.1.

Lysonem: Tiro was staying at Lyso's house.


Curium: M.' Curius, a Roman knight carrying on a banking business in Patrae. The one letter which we have from him, Fam. 7.29, full as it is of commercial terms, would of itself betray his calling. Fam. 7.28, 30, and 31 are addressed to him.

ad se, to his house.

omnes Graeci : cf. Q.fr. 1.2.4 Graecorum ingenia ad fallendum parata; ... pertaesum est (eorum) levitatis adsentationis, animorum non officiis, sed temporibus servientium.

sumptu: the contracted form for the dative in the fourth decl. seems to occur most frequently in poetry and in post-Augustan prose, although it is found occasionally in the prose of both Caesar and Cicero; cf. Neue, Formenlehre, 1.2 356-358.


domestica forensia, etc. : cf. Intr. 94.

litteris: cf. Tiro Tullius, M. Ciceronis libertus, sane quidem fuit ingenia homo eleganti et hautquaquam rerum litterarumque veterum indoctus, eoque ab ineunte aetate liberaliter instituto adminiculatore et quasi administro in studiis litterarum Cicero usus est Gel. 6.3.8; Fam. 16.20.2 litterulae meae sive nostrae tui desiderio oblanguerunt. See also Intr. 57.

bellissime : cf. bellus, Ep. XXIV.2n.; XLI. 1.

recte erit: cf. Intr. 85a.

Mescinio: the poor opinion which Cicero had of his quaestor L. Mescinius Rufus (Att. 6.4.1 nihil minus probari poterat quam quaestor Mescinius) is not out of harmony with the lukewarm expression non inhumanus est. In Fam. 13.26, written four years later, Cicero recommends him to Servius Sulpicius, but in terms which are cold in comparison with those found in his other letters of introduction. Fam. 5.19 and 5.20 are to him.

decursurum: as we say, make the run, i.e. from Patrae to Leucas.


sic habeto: cf. Ep. XXVI.1n.

nullo loco: for nulla in re. Cf. omnibus locis, Ep. XLII.1.

Lepta: cf. Ep. XXXV. 22.


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hide References (10 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (10):
    • Cicero, Letters to his Friends, 13.26
    • Cicero, Letters to his Friends, 16.18.1
    • Cicero, Letters to his Friends, 2.17.1
    • Cicero, Letters to his Friends, 5.19
    • Cicero, Letters to his Friends, 7.28
    • Cicero, Letters to his Friends, 7.29
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 10.15.4
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 6.4.1
    • Cicero, Letters to his brother Quintus, 1.2.4
    • Gellius, Noctes Atticae, 6.3.8
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