Letter XCIX: ad familiares 11.12Rome, about May 13, 43 B.C. For the movements of D. Brutus after Antony's defeat near Mutina, cf. Ep. XCVIII. introd. note.
tres ... epistulas: sc. Fam. 11.9, 10, and 11, written April 29, May 5, and May 6 respectively. Flacco Volumnio, T. Vibi, Graecei: little more is known of these men than we gather from this letter. Lupus : probably P. Rutilius Lupus, who was praetor in 49 B.C. , and was probably at this time the legate of D. Brutus, in whose letters he is frequently mentioned. litteris : apparently in a plural sense here, as several times in Cicero, e.g. accipio excusationem tuam, qua usus es, cur saepius ad me litteras uno exemplo (of the same tenor) dedisses, Fam. 4.4.1; raras tuas quidem--fortasse enim non perferuntur, sed suaves accipio litteras, Fam. 2.13.1. Cf. also Ep. XI.1. In strict usage litterae has always the singular meaning, unless the distributive adjective is added to it, as binas a te accepi litteras, Fam. 4.14.1. Cicero himself called attention to this fact; cf. Servius ad Verg. Aen. 8.168: Cicero per epistulam culpat filium, dicens male eum dixisse “direxi litteras duas,” cum litterae, quotiens epistulam significant, numeri tantum pluralis sint. oratione, words; cf. Epp. XXXII. 4; XCII. 5. inflammatum: cf. Fam. 11.10.3 revertor nunc ad Antonium, qui ex fuga cum parvulam manum peditum haberet inermium, ergastula solvendo omneque genus hominum abripiendo satis magnum numerum videtur effecisse; hoc accessit manus Ventidi; and Fam. 11.11.1. Contains the news that Antony is advancing to meet Lepidus, and has sent proposals of alliance to Pollio and to Plancus. inermis: from an archaic nominative inermus. Cicero uses both forms; cf. e.g. inermem, Fam. 12.10.3.
audiebam de: audio ex or ab is much more usual; cf. Att. 16.7.8. alii facti sunt : this meaning of alius, which comes near that of diversus, belongs to colloquial Latin; cf. Plaut. Trin. 160 “pro di immortales, verbis paucis quam cito aliunt fecisti me: alius ad te veneram” (Böckel). in eo, in his case or in their treatment of him. abuti: explanatory of hoc. libertate, freedom of speech; as repeated in eam, however, it means freedom in its widest sense. providendumst: cf. persuasissimumst, Ep. XCVII.2n. res se sic habet: a stereotyped introductory phrase, and therefore without influence upon the construction of the following sentence. is bellum confecerit: the same opinion is expressed in nearly the same words in Fam. 10.13.2; 19.2. hoc quam vim habeat: Cicero is probably hinting at the possible disloyalty of Lepidus, Pollio, and Plancus. It is necessary to crush Antony before any one of these men goes over to Antony's side. It is noticeable that although Brutus had written to Cicero pretty plainly of his suspicions of Lepidus in particular (cf. Ep. XCVII. 1), Cicero makes no reply upon this point, although he evidently shares the distrust which was felt by Brutus.