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Letter XXX: ad Atticum 5.1

Minturnae, about May 7, 51 B.C. Cicero apparently left Rome May 1, spent a day at his Tusculan villa with Philotimus, his business agent, and Atticus (3), and went thence to Minturnae by the way of Arpinum and Aquinum (3). He reached his destination, Laodicea in Phrygia, July 31 (Att. 5.15.1). With 3-5 of this letter, cf. Ep. VI.1.


ego vero: these words imply that Cicero has in mind a remark in the letter of Atticus. Cf. Fam. 16.10.1.

ut ... ne: ut ne is frequent in Latin comedy in clauses both of result and of purpose, and the explanation would seem to be that originally ne had purely a negative force in the combination, e.g. “faciemus ut, quod viderit, ne viderit,Plaut. M. G. 149; “merito ut ne dicant, id est (mi in manu),Plaut. Trin. 105. Colloquial language, being conservative of old usages, retained this archaism and others after they had disappeared from general use in formal language. The separation of ut and ne is remarkable, but finds parallels, especially in Latin comedy: cf. ut quom opus sit ne in mora nobis siet, Ter. Ad. 354, and Plaut. M. G. 149 (above); in fact, the use of ut ne instead of ne makes it possible to put ne in the middle or near the end of the sentence, and thus secure the desired emphasis upon the negation. According to Seyffert-Millier (on Laelius, 305), ut ne frequently appears in the language of the laws where we should expect ne. This coincidence between the legal and colloquial style is due to the conservatism of each form of speech, and is especially noticeable in the letter from the jurist Sulpicius (Ep. LXXV.).


Annio Saturnino: probably a freedman of T. Annius Milo.

aliquot satisdationes secundum mancipium, some satisfactory evidence with reference to ownership. Cicero was apparently about to sell some property, and advises Atticus to give such proof of the validity of his title as was given in the case of the Mennian estate — or the Atilian (as I had better call it).

de Oppio: C. Oppius, Caesar's agent in Rome, belonged to that little group of young men who followed Caesar's cause faithfully. His biography of Caesar probably formed the basis of Plutarch's sketch.

quod DCCC aperuisti, because you have expressed a readiness to pay the 800,000 sesterces. The meaning of aperuisti is, however, doubtful. This debt to Caesar, which was still outstanding in Dec., 50 B.C. (Att. 7.3. II), was evidently expected to block Cicero's opposition to the triumvirs. The plan accomplished its object; cf. Att. 7.3.11 “But you know how much is still due him. Do you think, pray, that I have reason to fear lest some Pompeian may twit me with it, if my opposition to Caesar is rather half-hearted, or lest Caesar may call in the loan, if I oppose him somewhat vigorously? I fancy that, if I ever speak boldly in the senate in behalf of the commonwealth, I fancy, I say, that your Tarshish friend Balbus will meet me at the door and say, “Pray let me have a cheque for that money.””

vel versura facta, even if a (new) loan has to be made.


transversum ... versiculum: the line written lengthwise along the margin.

sorore: Pomponia, the wife of Quintus.

Arpinas: sc. praedium.

in Tusculano: see intr. to letter.

mite: cf. patientia, Ep. XVI.7n.

nihil: cf. Ep. XXV.4n.

dies fecit: the day being a holiday, it was incumbent upon Quintus to spend it upon his estate with his tenants and slaves.

accivero: the fut. perf. indicates sometimes what will happen while something else takes place. Cf. dimisero, Ep. XV.2n.

pueros: probably young Marcus and young Quintus, who accompanied the orator to Cilicia.

ego ... hospita, I am a stranger here.

Statius: Pomponia was annoyed at what she regarded as the officiousness of Statius. Cf. Ep. VII.1n.

ut videret, to see to: a colloquial use of videre. Cf. talaria videamus, Att. 14.21.4 and Ter. Heaut. 459.

en, see that; a common interjection in lively conversation, as Latin comedy abundantly proves. Cf. Brix, Plaut. Trin. 3.


sic absurde: this use of sic to express intensity with verbs and adjectives is found chiefly in Cicero and the comic writers (Tyrrell). Similar cases, perhaps, are Hor. Sat. 1.5.69; 2.3.1.

stomacho, annoyance; common in this sense only in the Letters.

quid quaeris: cf. Ep. V.4n.

tuas ... monendi: Atticus is requested to reprove his sister, just as he had apparently asked Cicero to reprove Quintus; cf. 3. Quintus and Pomponia were divorced about seven years later.


Pomptinum: C. Pomptinus, who was praetor in 63 B.C. , was Cicero's able assistant in the suppression of the Catilinarian conspiracy; cf. in Cat. 3.5. He was a man of military experience, and Cicero, appreciating his own ignorance in military affairs, and the danger which threatened his province from the Parthians, had made him one of his four legati.

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

cui ... velim: I wish that you would tell him that I have written to you about him. The reference is to the complimentary remarks just made.


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hide References (12 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (12):
    • Cicero, Letters to his Friends, 16.10.1
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 14.21.4
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 5.15.1
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 7.3
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 7.3.11
    • Cicero, Against Catiline, 3.5
    • Plautus, Trinummus, 1.2
    • Horace, Satires, 1.5.69
    • Terence, The Self-Tormenter, 3.1
    • Plautus, Miles Gloriosus, 2.1
    • Plautus, Trinummus, prologue.0
    • Terence, The Brothers, 3.2
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