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Letter LXVII: ad familiares 9.15

Rome, first intercalary month after Nov., 46 B.C, (Oct. of the Julian Calendar); see Ep. LXVI. introd. note. For Paetus, see Ep. LXI. introd. note.

Zetho: probably a freedman.

pergratam: cf. Intr. 77.

mihi crede : see Ep. XXVII.1n.

perinde ut: the comparative phrases perinde ut, proinde ac (cf. Fam. 10.31.2; Ep. XCII. 2), proinde ut (cf. Fam. 10.4.4), and pro eo ac (Ep. LXXV.1) seem to be either legal or archaic. Cf. Palmer's note on Plaut. Amph. 685.

reapse: for re eapse = re ipsa. In Plautus such forms as eumpse, eampse, and eapse are not uncommon (cf. Trin. 974; Poen. 272, etc.). Reapse occurs in some five or six other passages in Cicero, but apparently in every case Cicero is affecting an archaic or colloquial tone.

satis: Wölfflin (Lat. u. rom. Comparation, 23) has shown that satis in Plautus and in late Latin sometimes has the force of valde, and that would seem to be its meaning here. Cf., for this meaning, Plaut. M. G. 918; Ter. And. 475; Cic. Fam. 11.10.3; 8.11.3; 10.21A.

Attici (sales): the Athenians were noted for their wit. Cf., e.g., Cic. de Off. 1.104 duplex omnino est iocandi genus: unum inliberale petulans flagitiosum obscenum, alterum elegans urbanum ingeniosum facetum. Quo genere non modo Plautus noster et Atticorum antiqua comoedia, sed etiam philosophorum Socraticorum libri referti sunt. The whole passage may be read to advantage in connection with the letter before us.

capior facetiis : Cicero himself was a noted wit, and collections of his witticisms were made both by his freedman Tiro, and by his friend Trebonius. Cf. quod meum, etc., Ep. LXI.4n. and Fam. 15.21.2.

nostratibus: cf. Ep. XXXVI.1n.

oblitas Latio : i.e. adulterated or tinctured by the admixture of Latin elements.

tum : i.e. about 90 B.C. , when the Italians received the right of Roman citizenship.

bracatis et transalpinis nationibus : Suetonius (Jul. 80) gives the following satirical couplet as one sung in the streets after Caesar gave the Gauls the right of citizenship: “Gallos Caesar in triumphum ducit, idem in curiam.
Galli bracas deposuerunt, latum clavum sumpserunt.

veteris leporis : the contests in wit between the representatives of different Italian towns had been from time immemorial the favorite entertainment of the people at their public gatherings, until they gave way to more conventional dramatic performances of a more or less un-Roman character. Cf. Fam. 7.31.2.

Granios: the generalizing plural. Granius, a herald noted for his wit, was a contemporary of the orator L. Crassus. Cicero mentions him frequently, saying of him (de Or. 2.244): Granio quidem nemo dicacior. Cf. also Brut. 172; pro Planc. 33.

omnis Lucilios: i.e. Lucilius and men like him. Cicero refers to C. Lucilius, the satirist (180-103 B.C. ). Cf. Horace's estimate of the wit of Lucilius in Sat. 1.4 and 10.

Crassos: L. Licinius Crassus, the orator. Cf. Cic. Brut. 143 erat summa gravitas, erat cum gravitate iunctus facetiarum et urbanitatis oratorius, non scurrilis lepos.

Laelios: C. Laelius (Sapiens), the Chief interlocutor in the de Amicitia, and introduced as a speaker into the de Re Publica and the de Senectute. Cicero says of him (de Off. 1.108): in C. Laelio multa hilaritas. Cf. also Hor. Sat. 2.1.71 ff. It is strange, as Manutius observes, that Cicero does not in this connection mention C. Julius Caesar Strabo Vopiscus, of whom he remarks (de Off. 1.133): sale vero et facetiis Caesar, Catuli patris frater, vicit omnes.

moriar si: see ne vivam, Ep. IV.4n.

vernaculae, native; opposed to peregrinus.

emptionis Neapolitanae: with reference to Cicero's purchase of the villa of Selicius; cf. Ep. LXI. 10.

auctorem moderationis : Paetus had deprecated Cicero's apparent purpose of retiring entirely from public life.

urbane: sc. fecisti.

magnam partem: an attributive accusative, and not the object of relinquere; the attributive accusatives magnam partem, maiorem partent, and maximam partem have acquired in colloquial Latin the force of adverbs, and we find them frequently used as such in Plautus (e.g. Plaut. M. G. 94, Plaut. Poen. 413, etc.) and in the Letters (e.g. Fam. 8.9.3).

Catulum: Q. Lutatius Catulus, consul in 78 B.C. and one of the leaders of the aristocracy just after Sulla's legislation had put that party in power.

narras, you talk to me of; cf. Ep. LXI.7n.

mi: cf. mi, Ep. XCIII.2n.

in puppi: cf. contraxi vela, Ep. V.2n.

urgeo forum: this use of urgeo is perhaps found nowhere else. Cf., however, altum urgere, Hor. Od. 2.10.2.

amatorem tuum : i.e. Caesarem.

ponor ad scribendum: cf. legem conscripserunt, Ep. XV.7n. Those who had witnessed and signed a bill were said scribendo adfuisse.

scito : see Ep. II.1n.

quid ergo est: cf. quid quaeris, Ep. V.4n. and Intr. 98.

praefectus: in 46 B.C. Caesar was invested with the functions of the censorship under the new title of praefectus morum; cf. Dio Cass. 43.14; Suet. Jul. 76.

parebo auctoritati tuae: i.e. in advising me to remain at Rome. Cicero speaks as if he were the youth and Paetus the man of wisdom and experience, while the humorous effect is heightened by the unexpected form in which the second alternative is put, ad fungos me tuos conferam.

fungos: highly esteemed by the Romans. Horace's Epicurean friend Catius includes them in his list of delicacies (Sat. 2.4.20); cf. also Fam. 7.26.2; 9.10.2. Paetus would seem to have been an experienced dinner-giver.

domum: sc. at Naples; cf. 3.

sumptuariae legis: the expenditure which the sumptuary laws allowed for one day, should in Cicero's case suffice for ten. Cicero is probably thinking of the lex Julia sumptuaria (cf. Lange, Röm. Alt. 3.450), passed in the autumn of 46 B.C. ; cf. also Fam. 9.26.4; 7.26.

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hide References (21 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (21):
    • Cicero, Letters to his Friends, 10.31.2
    • Cicero, Letters to his Friends, 10.4.4
    • Cicero, Letters to his Friends, 11.10.3
    • Cicero, Letters to his Friends, 15.21.2
    • Cicero, Letters to his Friends, 7.26.2
    • Cicero, Letters to his Friends, 7.31.2
    • Cicero, Letters to his Friends, 8.9.3
    • Cicero, For Plancius, 33
    • Plautus, Poenulus, 1.2
    • Plautus, Poenulus, 1.3
    • Plautus, Trinummus, 4.2
    • Horace, Satires, 2.1.71
    • Plautus, Amphitruo, 2.2
    • Plautus, Miles Gloriosus, 2.1
    • Plautus, Miles Gloriosus, 3.3
    • Terence, Andria, 3.1
    • Cicero, On Oratory, 2.244
    • Suetonius, Divus Julius, 76
    • Cicero, De Officiis, 1.104
    • Cicero, De Officiis, 1.108
    • Cicero, De Officiis, 1.133
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