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8. Q. Hortensius Hortalus, Q. F. L. N., son of the great orator, by Lutatia. His education was probably little cared for, for Cicero attributes his profligacy to the corrupting influence of one Salvius, a freedman (ad Att. 10.18). On his return from his province, in B. C. 50, Cicero found him at Laodicea, living with gladiators and other low company (ad Att. 6.3). From the expressions in the same place, it appears that his father had cast him off; and we learn from other authority that he purposed to make his nephew, Messalla, his heir, to the exclusion of this son. (Val. Malx. 5.9.2.) However, he came in for part, at least, of his father's property; for we find Cicero inquiring what he was likely to offer for sale to satisfy his creditors (ad Att. 7.3). However, in 49, the civil war broke out, and Hortensius seized on the opportunity to repair his ruined fortunes. He joined Caesar in Cisalpine Gaul, and was sent on by him to occupy Ariminum; he therefore was the man who first actually crossed the Rubicon. (Plut. Caes. 32; Suet. Jul. 31. ) Soon after he commanded a cruising squadron on the coast of Italy, and received a letter from Curio, Caesar's lieutenant in Sicily, desiring him to favour the escape of Cicero. He visited Terentia, Cicero's wife, at their Cuman villa, and Cicero himself at his Pompeian, to assure them of his good offices (Cic. Att. 10.12, 16, 17); but he did not, or perhaps could not, keep his word. (Ib. 18). His squadron joined the fleet of Dolabella a little before the battle of Pharsalia. [DOLABELLA, No. 8.]

In B. C. 44 he held the province of Macedonia, and Brutus was to succeed him. After Caesar's assassination, M. Antony gave the province to his brother Caius. Brutus, however, had already taken possession, with the assistance of Hortensius. (Cic. Phillipp. x. (6, 11.) When the proscription took place, Hortensius was in the list; and in revenge he ordered C. Antonius, who had been taken prisoner, to be put to death. [ANTONIUS, No. 13, p. 216.] After the battle of Philippi, he was executed on the grave of his victim.

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  • Cross-references from this page (5):
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 10.12
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 10.16
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 10.17
    • Suetonius, Divus Julius, 31
    • Plutarch, Caesar, 32
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