Letter C: ad familiares 10.24

In camp, July 28, 43 B.C. On May 29, Lepidus, forced by his soldiers, as he claimed in his letter to the senate (Fam. 10.35; cf. also Fam. 10.21.4), joined his forces with those of Antony at Pons Argenteus, and June 30 was declared an hostis by the senate (Fam. 12.10.1). Plancus had not carried out the plan of campaign against Antony, which he had outlined in a previous letter (Ep. XCVIII.), but, after the union of the forces of Antony and Lepidus, recrossed the Isara to wait for D. Brutus, who probably joined him June 12 at Cularo. Octavius, who was slighted by the transfer of Pansa's troops to D. Brutus, pursued a policy of inaction. This is the last extant letter in Cicero's correspondence. Cf. Intr. 65.

in singulas res: for ob singulas res or pro singulis rebus.

mehercules: the form preferred by Plancus. Cf. Fam. 10.11.3; Fam. 10.18.3; Fam. 10.23.1; Fam. 10.23.7. For Cicero's usage, cf. mercule, Ep. XXV.3n.

gratiarum actionem: cf. quamquam gratiarum actionem a te non desiderabam, cum te re ipsa atque animo scirem esse gratissimum, tamen (fotendum est enim) fuit ea mihi periucunda (Cicero to Plancus, Fam. 10.19.1).

amicitias propinquitates : for amicos propinquos. The use of an abstract for a concrete noun seems to be especially common in the case of words expressing an emotion or a state of the mind. Cf. Draeg. Hist. Syn. 12 22-24.

tua observantia: the objective genitive tui would be more regular.

adlaturus : agreeing in gender with amor, as iudicium de me merely expresses one of the means through which the amor found expression.

de ... commodis: a commission of ten was appointed by the senate to divide lands among the veterans of D. Brutus and Octavius (cf. Fam. 11.21.2, 5), and probably the troops of Plancus were similarly favored. Cicero apparently proposed the measure and was a member of the commission. On de, cf. Intr. 91 and Ep. XC.8n.

novissime : cf. novissima, Ep. LXXXVI.3n.

omni omnium: the so-called figura etymologica, of which one of the most striking cases is “optumo optume optumam operam das,Plaut. Amph. 278; cf. also occidione occisum, Ep. XXXIV.7n. Combinations of various forms of omnis are special favorites.

quanta sit ... scio, I know kow great an eagerness people feel for a decisive victory. See Crit. Append.

hominum ... victoriae: a subjective and an objective genitive depending upon aviditas.

impetu: commonly regarded as a dative. For such contract forms, cf. Neue, Formenlehre d. lat. Sprache 12. pp.356-358.

parricidarum: used by Plancus here, as it is used in Fam. 10.23.5 of the followers of Antony. It is the epithet which Antony applied with special fondness to Caesar's assassins. Cf. Cicero's words to Cassius (Fam. 12.3.1): primum in statua quam posuit in rostris inscripsitparenti optime meritout non modo sicarii sed iam etiam parricidae iudicemini. Cf. also Val. Max. 6.4.5 M. Brutus suarum prius virtutum quam patriae parentis parricida. The same epithet is applied by Sallust to Catiline's associates; cf. Sall. Cat. 14.3; 51.25.

nimium saepe : in the war between Caesar and Pompey, the Pompeian forces were made up to a great extent of recruits, while the Caesarian troops had been seasoned by campaigns in Gaul. Cf. Ep. XLIV. 2; Att. 7.13 A.2, also Caes. B. C. 3.4.

expertum habemus: for experti sumus; cf. Intr. 84d.

Africanus exercitus: two legions under the command of Q. Comificius, governor of Africa.

propius, etc.: i.e. that success was easier of accomplishment (lit., nearer) with Caesar's support than with that of the African army. The phrase quod ... attinet seems very awkward, but is perhaps not objectionable enough to warrant a textual change in a letter from Plancus. See Crit. Append.

venire: the present to indicate that he will arrive in the immediate future. This usage is found mainly with the first person, and with the infin. in the orat. obl. representing the first person (Andresen).

ad alia consilia : i.e. his candidacy for the consulship. Cf. Intr. 42 (end).

Furnium nostrum : cf. Ep. XLVII. n.

mi Cicero: cf. mi Pomponi, Ep. X. n.

in familiaritate Caesaris: cf. in victoria, Ep. XC 11.2 n. The reference is to Julius Caesar here, to Octavius above (ad Caesaris amorem).

quoad potui: Plancus can scarcely have known the nineteen-year-old Octavius personally.

illius et vestro iudicio: Julius Caesar had in his will made Octavius his adopted son. vestro refers by anticipation to the action of the comitia curiata in confirming the adoption. The confirmation had not yet taken place.

acceptum referre, to set down to the credit of. Cf. Ep. XXXVII.2n.

professus est ... venire: cf. venire, 4 n.

aversissimam illis Hispaniam: Spain, as the former stronghold of the Pompeians, would naturally be unfriendly to the followers of Antony. For the reason why Octavius hesitated, cf. Intr. 42. See also Crit. Append.

quorum consilia: cf. Ep. ad Brut. 1.10.3.

necessaria : Octavius and Antony were rival representatives of the Caesarian tradition and interests. Both had felt the truth of that fact the year before at Rome, so that the destruction of Antony seemed necessary to the full success of Octavius.

bimestris: Octavius was actually elected consul Aug. 19, but Plancus could scarcely expect that he would be elected so soon, and, in general, is speaking sarcastically of the short-lived honor. Manutius and O. E. Schmidt would, however, read quinquemestris.

efflagitatione: the centurion Cornelius, at the head of a deputation of the troops of Octavius, went to Rome to demand the consulship for their leader; cf. Suet. Aug. 26.

exputare : stronger than putare. Cf. demiror, Ep. XXVI.4n., and see Thielmann, de Sermonis Proprietatibus, etc., 39.

necessarii eius : especially his stepfather L. Philippus and his brother-in-law C. Claudius Marcellus.

tu quoque : when Octavius came to Rome after Julius Caesar's death, he showed great deference for Cicero; cf. Att. 14.11.2 modo venit Octavius, et quidem in proximam villam Philippi, mihi totus deditus; 14.12.2 nobiscum hic perhonorifice et amice Octavius, and Ep. ad Brut. 1.18.3 (written in 43 B.C. ) cum me pro adulescentulo ac paene puero res publica accepisset vadem.

tanta merita: by his many complimentary references to Octavius in the senate, and notably by his action in securing a senatus consultum authorizing a thanksgiving of fifty days in honor of the victory gained by Octavius, Hirtius, and Pansa near Forum Gallorum. Cf. Philipp. 5.45; 14.29.

bellum sustinemus: an unusual expression. Cf. sustinere, Antibarbarus, and see the similar phrase in 3, nos adhuc, etc.

se respexerit, shall be mindful of his real interests. For this phrase, cf. Plaut. Pseud. 612; Ter. Heaut. 70; 919.

ex castris: at Cularo probably.

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  • Commentary references from this page (23):
    • Cicero, Letters to his Friends, 10.11.3
    • Cicero, Letters to his Friends, 10.18.3
    • Cicero, Letters to his Friends, 10.19.1
    • Cicero, Letters to his Friends, 10.21.4
    • Cicero, Letters to his Friends, 10.23.1
    • Cicero, Letters to his Friends, 10.23.5
    • Cicero, Letters to his Friends, 10.23.7
    • Cicero, Letters to his Friends, 10.35
    • Cicero, Letters to his Friends, 11.21.2
    • Cicero, Letters to his Friends, 12.10.1
    • Cicero, Letters to his Friends, 12.3.1
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 14.11.2
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 7.13a.2
    • Cicero, Letters to Brutus, 1.10.3
    • Cicero, Letters to Brutus, 1.18.3
    • Cicero, Philippics, 5.45
    • Plautus, Pseudolus, 2.2
    • Suetonius, Divus Augustus, 26
    • Caesar, Civil War, 3.4
    • Terence, The Self-Tormenter, 1.1
    • Terence, The Self-Tormenter, 5.1
    • Plautus, Amphitruo, 1.1
    • Sallust, Catilinae Coniuratio, 14
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