Letter VIII: ad Atticum 2.22Rome, Aug. or Sept., 59 B.C. The excited tone and the abrupt style of the letter betray the writer's appreciation of the imminence of the danger threatening him.
quam vellem Romae: if the text is correct, either to be connected with the greeting (cf. Fam. 1.10), or an extreme case of ellipsis, with te esse understood. Cf. Att. 13.21.6 de Caesaris adventie scripsit ad me Balbus non ante Eat; 13.2.1 Pisonem sicubi (poteris, conveni, Ut) de auro (coificias), and Intr. 95. Pulchellum: cf. Ep. V.10n. nunc: in the existing state of affairs, in contrast to what would have been true had Atticus remained. - denuntiat (sc. vim): the absolute use of denuntio is remarkable. See Crit. Append. eos: i.e. the triumvirs. exercitus: the force awaiting Caesar in Gaul.
cum hoc: i.e. Clodio. alium testem: this suggests a doubt of the truth of Pompey's statement. There can in fact be little doubt that Caesar and Pompey understood the designs of Clodius, and tacitly approved of his election to the tribuneship. It was part of their plan to break down the prestige of the senate, and that could be accomplished in no better way than by degrading one of its leaders and discrediting its somewhat autocratic treatment of the Catilinarian conspiracy. cum . . passus esset: Pompey actually took some part in the proceedings of the comitia curiata when Clodius was adopted; cf. Att. 2.12.1. fidem recepisse, etc.: 'both Clodius and Appius have given him (Pompey) a promise not to attack me.' Recipio in this sense is colloquial. The full expression is in me recipio. Appium: Appius Claudius Pulcher, the brother of Clodius, had been Cicero's friend until the quarrel with Clodius occurred. He was in 52 B.C. Cicero's predecessor as governor of Cilicia. The 13 letters of Bk. 3 ad Fam., are addressed to him. multa contra : (sc. dixisse): cf. Intr. 95. The verb of saying is most frequently omitted, as here, in reporting the words of another.
in causis: in this year Cicero delivered orations in behalf of C. Antonius, of A. Thermus, and of L. Flaccus. Of these a portion of the oration for Flaccus is preserved. occurritur: men run to meet me when I appear upon the street.
expedita, etc.: Cicero in later years did not consider the advice of Atticus, who came to Rome to help him, so judicious as he had hoped it would be; cf. Ep. XV.1 (written in 57 B.C. ) cognoram ... te in consiliis mihi dandis nec fortiorem nec prudentiorem quam me ipsum. Varronem: cf. intr. to Ep. LX. Varro was an intimate friend of Pompey, and could therefore be of service to Cicero.
Si te videro: protases of the future form often stand in the oratio obliqua in the indicative to indicate the time relation solely (Böckel). Cf. also Intr. 84a. Si ante: sc. te videro; cf. quam vellem, I n. ille meat magistratum: Clodius would become tribune in December. puto Pompeium, etc.: 'I think that if you are here, while Crassus is urging Pompey on, you, who can find out from the prime mover himself through her of the ox-eyes, with how much sincerity the triumvirs are acting, I think, I say, that we shall be either free from annoyance or at least from misconceptions.' Crasso urgente: the dislike which Crassus felt for Cicero seems to date from 66 B.C. , when Cicero, in his speech for the Manilian law, by exaggerating the part which Pompey had played in certain matters, had belittled the achievements of Crassus. An apparent, not a real, reconciliation took place in the senate in 61 B.C. (cf. Ep. V.5n; XIII. 2). Another open quarrel between the two men occurred in 54 B.C. ; cf. Fam. 1.9.20. βοῶπις: Clodia, the sister of Clodius. This epithet of Hera as applied to her has a double meaning. On the one hand, as with Hera, the brilliancy of Clodia's eyes was one of her claims to beauty. Cicero speaks of her flagrantia oculorum, pro Cael. 49. On the other hand, her will was imperious, and her fondness to control men and things as well marked as was that of Hera. She was the Lesbia of the poet Catullus, and the mistress of the young orator Caelius, by whom the letters of Bk. 8, ad Fam. were written. For a sketch of her life, cf. Boissier, Cicéon et ses Amis, 174-186. Cf. also Merrill's Catullus, Intr. 18 ff. She hated Cicero, and knew and sympathized with her brother's plans against him. Apparently Atticus was one of her friends.
de re publica: cf. Intr. 91. nihil habeo ad te scribere, I have nothing to write you. Cf. Cic. pro Balb. 33 quid habes igitur dicere de Gaditano foedere. qui tenent omnia: i.e. the triumvirs. non provideo satis, etc.: colloquial for non provideo satis qui exitus futurus sit. Such penphrases occur most frequently after dicere, arbitrari, credere, and praedicare. They are very frequent in Latin comedy, as “sedfinem fore quem disam nescio, haut.” Trin. 2; “sed dic tamen unde onustam celocem agere te praedicem,” Plaut. Pseud. 1306; “inimiciorem nunc utrum credam magis sodalemne esse an Bacchidem, incertum admodumst,” Plaut. Bacch. 500 f.
libros Alexandri: in 59 B.C. Cicero was at work on his Chorographia, a treatise upon geography (cf. Att. 2.4. 3; 2.6.1; 2.7.1), and Atticus had sent to him a poem upon the same subject, written by Alexander of Ephesus (Att. 2.20.6). Numerium Numestium: recommended to Cicero by Atticus; cf. Att. 2.20. I.