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Letter LXVI: ad familiares 6.14

Rome, Nov. 26 (Sept. 23 of the Julian calendar), 46 B.C. Q. Ligarius was in 50 B.C. legate in charge of the province of Africa. When in 49 B.C. the Pompeian P. Attius Varus, who had formerly been propraetor of Africa, appeared in the province, Ligarius delivered it over to him, and assisted him later in maintaining his position against L. Aelius Tubero, who had been sent out by the senate as governor. After the battle of Thapsus, in which Ligarius took part against Caesar, he was captured by the Caesarians, and in 46 B.C. was living in exile. The combined efforts of Cicero and the relatives of Ligarius had thus far failed to secure his recall. To prevent the success of the movement in his behalf, Q. Tubero, son of Aelius Tubero, brought a charge de vi against him. In his defense Cicero delivered an oration (still extant), which made so deep an impression upon Caesar, who presided at the trial (cf. pro Lig. 37), that Ligarius was ultimately recalled. He joined later the conspiracy against Caesar, and was probably put to death under the Second Triumvirate.

exploratum habeam: Cf. sollicitum habent, Ep. LI.1n. and Intr. 84d.

a. d. v. K., etc.: i.e. Nov. 26 under the old calendar, or Sept. 23 under the new. The Roman calendar was so far from correct at this time, that Jan. 1, 46 B.C. , came in the middle of the autumn. This state of things Caesar remedied by the insertion of 90 extra days into the year 46 B.C. The year 46 contained, therefore, 445 days. After the Terminalia (Feb.23), an intercalary month of 23 days was inserted, and between November and December two intercalary months were inserted containing together 67 days. These months were distinguished as mensis intercalaris prior and mensis intercalaris posterior. Cf. Zeitrechnung d. Griechen u. Römer by von Unger in Muller's Handbuch, 1.816f.

mane ad Caesarem: cf. Att. 14.1.2 cum Sesti rogatu apud eum fuissem exspectaremque sedens quoad vocarer, dixisse eum: “Ego dubitem quin summo in odio sim, cum M. Cicero sedeat nec suo commodo me convenire possit?” These two passages indicate a most significant change in the old Roman salutatio. There is now one patronus par excellence viz. Caesar, and all Romans are his clientes, who, whether plebeian or aristocrat, must wait their turn in his antechamber (exspectarem sedens), and seek favors at his hands by the most abject signs of submission (iacerent ad pedes).

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  • Commentary references from this page (2):
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 14.1.2
    • Cicero, For Ligarius, 37
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