previous next

Letter XXVI: ad familiares 7.18

A villa near Ulubrae, April 8, 53 B.C.

sic habeto: like scito (cf.Intr. 89), a lively colloquial expression which is used frequently in the Letters. Sic takes the place of an object Cf. Fam. 1.7.4; 16.4.4; Ep. LXI. 2. The construction is indicated in Fam. 2.6.5 unum hoc sic habeto, etc. Habere with the force of scire or audivisse, though found most frequently in the imperative, is not confined to that mode. Cf. habes omnia, Att. 5.20.7; habes consilia nostra, nunc cognosce de Bruto, Att. 5.21.10. Cf. the English colloquial expression, 'you have it,' i.e. you have the idea.

maiori curae: cf. Ep. XXV.2n.

vestrae cautiones ... chirographi mei: the guaranty-bonds drawn up by you lawyers for your clients are so poor that I am afraid your position will not be a stable one if you depend upon your own support. This letter, therefore, is a guaranty, with a Greek coloring to it, to be sure, of my support. Graeculam is very obscure, but in the diminutive force the key to the explanation seems to lie. Cf. Tusc. Disp. 1.86, where Cicero characterizes the extravagant congratulations which the Neapolitans offered to Pompey on his recovery after a dangerous illness as ineptum sane negotium et Graeculum; and pro Flacc. 23 motus quidam temerarius Graeculae contionis. The assembly showed the instability so characteristic of the Greeks. The congratulations for Pompey were marked by that extravagance or lack of dignity which one is accustomed to look for in the Greeks. With this explanation of Graeculam the meaning is: I send you therefore in this letter, lacking as it may seem in seriousness, because of its light tone of raillery, a promise of my support.

ignavissimo cuique: Cicero cannot mean, as many suppose, that he would like the evidence of aspectator concerning the Gallic war, because Caesar's Commentaries were thought to put mat ters in too rose-colored a ltght. The Commentaries were published two years later.

cetera belle: sc. fuerunt. Cf. sic, Ep. V.3n, and bellus, Ep. XX IV. 2 n.

eodem exemplo, with identical contents.

sed miror, etc.: the matter must have been very poor which Trebatius erased to make room for such a letter as the one was which took its place.

tuas formulas: attracted by haec into the acc.

non enim puto, etc., you are not scratching out my letters, are you, to make room for yours?

frigere te: cf. Intr. 99.

chartam: cf. Intr. 59.

verecundiam: in Ep. XXI. 3 Cicero recommends Trebatius to Caesar on the score of modesty.

Balbo: cf. Ep. XXI.2n.

more Romano: cf. Ep. XXI.3n.

eram afuturus: cf. Intr. 84c.

M. Aemili Philemonis: freedman of M. Lepidus.

devertissem, had put up at.

fremitum clientium meorum: Trebatius was the patron of Ulubrae, a little town near the Pomptine marshes, and on leaving Rome for Caesar's camp had entrusted the interests of the town to Cicero. The latter, upon passing through the district, is saluted by Trebatius's clients the frogs, for the marshes were full of them, as we know also from Hor. Sat. 1.5.I4.

legi: cf. Ep. V.8n.

ita: referring back to conscidi.

demiror (for miror): a tendency to exaggerate has already been noticed as a characteristic of colloquial language (Intr. 96). Like the frequentative (cf. Intr. 79), the verb compounded with a prep. takes the place of the simple verb, because it is stronger; but from frequent use it ultimately loses its characteristic meaning, and does not differ in sense from the simple verb. Cf. also Intr. 76, 78.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
53 BC (1)
hide References (5 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (5):
    • Cicero, Letters to his Friends, 1.7.4
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 5.20.7
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 5.21.10
    • Cicero, For Flaccus, 23
    • Horace, Satires, 1.5
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: