Letter XCVI: ad familiares 10.12Rome, April 11,43 B.C. L. Munatius Plancus was in 44 B.C. made governor of northern Gaul, with an army of four or five legions. Immediately after Antony's attack upon Cicero in Sept., 44 B.C. , the long correspondence (Fam. 1O. 1-24, excepting the 8th letter) between Cicero and Plancus begins, in which Cicero exhorts Plancus to remain true to the cause of the senate. His efforts seemed to have accomplished their purpose, as the senate had just received a letter from Plancus (Fam. 10.8), avowing his fidelity. The letter before us was written upon the arrival of this document, and in response to a letter from Plancus (Fam. 10.7), requesting Cicero's assistance in securing a complimentary decree from the senate.
tantum ... praesidi : in response to Fam. 10.7.2 quod spero, si me fortuna non fefellerit, me consecuturum, ut maximo praesidio rei publicae nos fuisse et nunc sentiant homines et in posterum memoria teneant. ita te ... complectar ... ut ... adfert: cf. ita te ... videam ut ... fecisti, Ep. XXVII.1. In a similar way after moriar, peream, ne vivam the clause of condition stands in the indicative. Cf. Att. 16.13 A.1 “ne sim salvus, si aliter scribo ac sentio” (Böckel). tuas ... in senatu ... recitatas: i.e. Fam. 10.8; cf. introd. note. quadam, very; strengthening the force of the adj. tuarum litterarum: i.e. Fam. 10.4 and 7. Furnio: the legate of Plancus. For the statement, cf. Fam. 10.6.1; 10.10.1. exploratum satis habebat : cf. Intr. 84d.
M. Varisidius: a Roman knight, who came from the camp of Plancus; cf. Fam. 10.7.1. Munatius noster: T. Munatius Plancus, a relative of the person addressed. Cf. 5. ego ei litteras tuas: sc. legendas dedi. nihildum: the enclitic dum is appended in comedy frequently to imperatives and interjections, and occasionally to enumerative words like primum. Cf. Brix on Plaut. Trin. 98, and Lorenz on Most. 120. In prose it is found elsewhere only in the combinations nondum, vixdum, interdum, etiamdum, agedum, and agitedum. eas quas publice: the letter to the senate, Fam. 10.8.
quod consules aberant: cf. Intr. 42. oblata ... est, a religious difficulty presented itseif. pullariorum: in early times the pullarii helped the magistrates in taking the auspicia ex tripudiis, but in Cicero's day this title was applied to those who assisted in taking other auspices also. Before a meeting of the senate, the presiding officer was required to sacrifice a victim and take the auspices (Willems, II. 173, n. 7). eum ... dedisse: depending on admonitu. nostro collegio: sc. augurum. Servilio: P. Servilius Vatia. Cf. Ep. LXXI. introd. note. ut sua sententia prima pronuntiaretur: when a number of propositions had been made concerning a matter laid before the senate, the presiding officer decided upon the order in which they should be submitted to a vote, announced the first proposition to be voted on (sententiam primam pronuntiavit), and said to the senators, Qui hoc censetis, illuc transite; qui alia omnia, in hanc partem (Festus). In the division those favoring a proposition went to the side of the senate chamber on which the author of the motion sat, the opponents went to the other side. Cf. also Fam. 1.2.1 itaque, cum sententia prima Bibuli pronuntiata esset, ut tres legati regent reducerent, secunda Hortensi, ut tu sine exercitu reduceres, tertia Volcaci, ut Pompeius reduceret, postulatum est ut Bibuli sententia divideretur: ... de tribus legatis frequentes ierunt in alia omnia (i.e. voted against the proposition, as in the case before us). Cf. also Fam. 8.13.2; Plin. Ep.8.14.19. P. Titius: tribune of the people. res ... dilata: a veto in the senate affected the validity of a particular vote only. At any time after a veto a subject could be considered and submitted to a vote again, and the motion, if supported by a majority of the senators, and not again vetoed, became a senatus consultum. A tribune sometimes used his power therefore merely to postpone action upon a subject. Cf. pro Sest. 74; Willems, 11.203.
Iovi ipsi iniquus: a popular expression; cf. the similar phrase, dis hominibusque infestus. See also Otto, Sprichwörter, 179.