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Letter XI: ad familiares 14.4

Brundisium, April 29, 58 B.C. On suis, cf. suis, Ep. XIII. superscription, n.

litteras: litterae probably indicates here, as in several other pBssages, more than one letter; cf. litteris, Ep. XCIX.1n.

vitae cupidi: Cicero may be regretting either his mistake in not having met death while making an armed resistance to Clodius, as some of his friends advised, or his failure to commit suicide; cf. poenitet viver4 Ep. X. n.

aliquam alicuius ... aliquando: these words indicate sufficiently Cicero's despair. - dii ... servivi: a statement suggestive of the respective attitudes of the two sexes in Cicero's time in religious matters.

neque homines ... rettulerunt: Cicero's friends did, however, stand by him, and many of those outside Rome, like Flaccus at Brundisium (2) and Plancius at Thessalonica (Att. 3.14. 2), assisted him at the peril of their lives and fortunes, while his friends at Rome and the people throughout Italy worked steadily for his recall. For the risk which Flaccus ran, cf. pro Planc. 97 in hortos me M. Laeni Flacci contuli, cui cum omnis metus publicatio bonorum exsilium mors proponeretur haec perpeti, si acciderent, maluit quam custadiam mei capitis dimittere.

capitis : citizenship in its broadest sense.

poena: cf. ne periret, Ep. X. n.

profecti sumus: a regular use of the epistolary perfect for the present. Cicero is on the point of sailing.

a. d. II K. Mai.: an unusual expression for pridie AS Mai., but for the same formula, cf. C. L L. 1.902, 979.

petebamus: a regular epistolary imperfect, indicating what would be going on at the time the letter was received. Cf. Intr. 84c.

aegram ... corpore: Terentia's health would seem to have been delicate at the best, if we may judge from Cicero's earnest words in several letters, e.g. Ep. LVIII. and Fam. 14.22. Cf. also Ep. LVI.

sic agam: a colloquial phrase, meaning little more than this is the best plan. Its stereotyped character is shown by the fact that Cicero proceeds to state a plan of action, not for himself but for Terentia.

confirmes ... adiuves: on the mood and tense, cf. Intr. 84b.

transactum est, it's all over; a colloquialism. Actum est is more common cf., e.g. Att. 5.15.1; 9.12.4, and Plaut. Trin. 308; Ter. And. 465. Both phrases convey the idea of an unfortunate conclusion. In Ter. Heaut. 564 that idea is more fully expressed by the addition of peni.

quid Tulliola mea fiet: cf. Att. 6.1. 14 quid illo fiet? quid me? On the diminutives Tulliola and misellae (below), cf. Intr. 76 and pulchellus, Ep. V.10n.

matrimonio: Tullia's marriage to her first husband Piso; cf. Pisonem nostrum, Ep. XIII. 2 n. Cicero is thinking of the payment of the dowry.

Cicero meus: Marcus Cicero, the orator's son.

de familia liberata: Cicero's disposition of his own slaves before leaving Rome is fully explained in the sentence, ceterorum servorum ... oppido pauci. Terentia evidently fears the loss of her slaves. Cicero quiets her anxiety by assuring her that the control of her slaves rests in her own hands (te facturam esse, etc.).

in officio, faithful.

si obtinere potuissent, if they could maintain (their claim to freedom against my enemies).

oppido: a colloquial word; cf. Dziatzko on Ter. Phorm. 317 and Wölfflin, Lat. U. rom. Comparation, 21.

esset licitum: cf. licitum est, Ep. LXXV.3n.

ornamentis: i.e. position and dignity.

Clodium Philhetaerum, Sallustius, Pescennius: freedmen.

Sica: cf. Ep. X.

perbenevolus: cf. Intr. 77.

quod potes: with posse the restrictive relative quod and quod ejus are often found with the indic. in Cicero and in Terence (Böckel). Cf. Att. 10.2.2 tu tamen, quodpoteris, ut adhucfecisti, nos consiliss iuvabit. In this letter, one of the most familiar and unreserved in the correspondence, there is a pronounced colloquial tone, e.g. sic agam, transactum est (3), oppido (4), and essetlicitum (5). Brundisio: cf. Intr. 62.

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58 BC (1)
hide References (11 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (11):
    • Cicero, Letters to his Friends, 14.22
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 10.2.2
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 3.14
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 5.15.1
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 6.1
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 9.12.4
    • Cicero, For Plancius, 97
    • Plautus, Trinummus, 2.2
    • Terence, The Self-Tormenter, 3.3
    • Terence, Phormio, 2.2
    • Terence, Andria, 3.1
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