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Frank Frost Abbott, Commentary on Selected Letters of Cicero, Cicero's Public Life and Contemporary Politics. (search)
Cicero's Family and Friends. Terentia and Publilia. 52. A fair knowledge of the relations existing between Cicero and his wife Terentia may be gained from the letters of Bk. 14, ad Fam. all of which are addressed to her. In the early letters of this correspondence written in 58 B.C., after twenty years of married life, Cicero expresses himself in most affectionate terms. After this date, with the exception of one letter in 50 B.C., which is mainly upon business matters, there are no letters to Terentia up to 49 B.C., although this interval includes the period of his proconsulship, when he wrote so many letters to his personal and political friends. Even the letters of the year 49, when Cicero was in so much anxiety, are very infrequent. The rest of the letters of Bk. 14, belonging to the next two years, are brief and formal. It appears that an estrangement gradually grew up between them which culminated in their divorce in the early part of 46 B.C. In December of the same yea
Frank Frost Abbott, Commentary on Selected Letters of Cicero, Letter XXXIV: ad familiares 15.4 (search)
Letter XXXIV: ad familiares 15.4 Cilicia, close of 51 B.C. or early part of 50 B.C. Cicero, having Completed a successful Campaign against the independent mountaineers of his province, wrote this letter to secure Cato's support to his request for a supplicatio. Understanding the blunt and frank nature of his correspondent, he affects a similar style, and presents the facts without comment, but with much skill in bringing his best achievements into the foreground, and in making it appear that the retreat of the Parthians was due to their dread of his prowess. The letter presents a side of Cicero's life which is brought out nowhere else. It has also many points of resemblance to Caesar's Commentaries on the Gallic War. The first part of it is essentially a military report without embellishment, addressed, it is true, to Cato, but to all intents and purposes an 'open letter.' So Caesar's Commentaries are a soldier's diary, intended for the eye of the Roman people. In these two do
Letter XXXV: ad Atticum 6.1 Laodicea, Feb. 20, 50 B.C. (The first 16 sections of this letter, dealing with provincial affairs, are omitted.) de statua Africani Metelli: in his de Re Pub. Cicero had made Laelius lament the fact that no statue had been erected to the memory of Scipio Nasica Serapion (cf. Macr. Comment. 1.4). Q. Caecilius Metellus Scipio, a descendant of Nasica, called the attention of Atticus to what he considered Cicero's error, as he himself had set up a gilded equestrian
stingly gives the name of pugna Leuctrica, for, as Greece had been freed from the tyranny of the Spartans by the battle of Leuctra, so Rome was relieved of the domination of its tyrant Clodius by the street-fight in which he fell. Cf. Att. 5.13.1 Ephesum venimus a. d. XI Kal. Sext. sexagesimo et quingentesimo post pugnam Bovillanam (Clodius was killed at Bovillae). Clodius was murdered Jan. 18, 52 B.C.
, so that the date of this letter would be Feb. 20, 50 B.C.
(cf. Schmidt, Briefw. p.76).
Frank Frost Abbott, Commentary on Selected Letters of Cicero, Letter XXXVI: ad familiares 2.11 (search)
Letter XXXVI: ad familiares 2.11 Cilicia, Apr. 4, 50 B.C. Since Ep. XXXIII. was written Caelius has been elected curule aedile (cf. aedili curuli), and has entered on the duties of the office. ut mihi, etc.: cf. Fam. 4.4.1 quem (i.e. me) tu divitias orationis habere dicis, me non esse verborum admodum inopem agnosco. ista vestra oratoria, of you orators there in Rome. Caelius's strength as a lawyer lay in his skill in prosecution; cf. Quint. 6.3.69 idem (Cicero) per allegoriam M. Caelium, melius obicientem crimina quam defendentem, bonam dextram, malam sinistram habere dicebat. levia nostratia: used of the discussion of familiar topics in familiar language, and especially of the sermo cotidianus. Thus Cicero, while recognizing the value of Greek culture, adds, ego autem — existimes licet quidlibet — mirifice capior facetiis, maxime nostratibus, Ep. LXVII. 2; in Tusc. Disp. 5.90, speaking of Roman philosophers as opposed to Greek, he calls the former nostrates philosophi. The passa
Frank Frost Abbott, Commentary on Selected Letters of Cicero, Letter XXXVII: ad familiares 15.15 (search)
Letter XXXVII: ad familiares 15.15 Rome, the end of April or the early part of May, 50 B.C. This is Cato's reply to Ep. XXXIV. It is interesting as the only thing we have from his pen. The blunt manner, the brevity of the letter, and the rigidity of its style not only seem characteristic of the writer, but make the letter an excellent foil to the epistle of Cicero, which is remarkably guarded in referring to the matter at issue, is circumstantial in its statements, and varied in its style. The supplicatio was decreed by the senate, but Cato voted against it. For Cicero's opinion of Cato's course, cf. Att. 7.2. 7 qui (i.e. Cato) quidem in me turpiter fuit malevolus: dedit integritatis iustitiae clementiae fidei mihi testimonium, quod non quaerebam; quod postulabam, id negavit. quod me hortatur: the use of two accusatives is very common in archaic Latin after verbs of seeking, warning, etc., especially when one of the accusatives is a neuter pronoun (cf. e.g. Ter. And. 918; Heau
Frank Frost Abbott, Commentary on Selected Letters of Cicero, Letter XXXVIII: ad familiares 15.6 (search)
Letter XXXVIII: ad familiares 15.6 Tarsus, July, 50 B.C. Cicero's reply to Ep. XXXVII.1 laetus sum: for Cicero's real opinion of Cato's course, cf. Ep. XXXVII. introd. note. Hector, opinor, etc.: cf. Ep. XVIII.7n. aps te: archaic for abs te (=a te). sententiae dictae: sc. in the senate. te dedisse: Cicero was gratified that Cato's statement of the case in the senate was the free-will offering of a friend. currum, lauream: these were among the insignia of a triumph. ad meum sensum, etc., as far as my feelings go and resting one's opinion upoit a really honest and keen judgment. superioribus litteris : cf. idem post iniuriam, etc., Ep. XXXIV. 13 (end). honos: not the supplicatio, but the triumphus. usitato praesertim: possibly a thrust at Cato himself, who secured a thanksgiving of twenty days for his son-in-law Bibulus (Att. 7.2. 7), although Cicero says of him: ego, nisi Bibulus qui, dum unus hostis in Syria fuit, pedem porta non plus extulit quam domo sua, when during his consuls