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Letter V: ad Atticum 1.16

Rome, May, 61 B.C. This letter tells the story of the trial of Clodius for sacrilege. Cf. also Intr. 10 and Att. l. 13.3. Knowing the conclusive evidence against Clodius, the indignation of the pontifices, and the determined stand taken by the senate in ordering an inquiry, Atticus is surprised to hear of his acquittal, and has asked for an explanation. Cicero in this letter replies to that inquiry, and explains the condition of things in the commonwealth and his own attitude towards Clodius. For further details of the sacrilege of Clodius, cf. Att. 1.12.3; 1.14.5. On Caesar's attitude during the trial, cf. Suet. Iul. 74 testis citatus, negavit se quicquam comperisse, quamvis et mater Aurelia et soror Julia apud eosdem iudices omnia ex fide rettulissent. On the attitude of Pompey, cf. Att. l. 14. I, 2. The conduct of criminal trials in a Roman court was entrusted to the praetor, his consilium, and the iudices. The praetor passed upon questions of law, in the decision of which he was assisted by the consilium, a body of jurists called in to give legal advice, while questions of fact were relegated to the iudices. A list of several hundred iudices, chosen under the lex Aurelia of 70 B.C. from the ranks of the senators, knights, and tribuni aerarii (fiscal officials of the tribes; cf. Momm. St. R. III.189-196), was published at the beginning of each year. From this list the iudices for a particular trial were selected by lot. A verdict rendered by a majority of them was valid.

quaeris: Atticus in his letter had asked Cicero two questions: (1) why the trial of Clodius resulted so unexpectedly in an acquittal; (2) why Cicero proved so poor a fighter. Cicero replies to the second question first, the answer extending to the sentence, itaque, si causam, etc., 2, and then to the first one. He applies to this inverted order the phrase ὕστερον πρότερον, Ὁμηρικῶς, because, in the first book of the Odyssey, Odysseus is introduced in the midst of his wanderings, his previous adventures being narrated in subsequent books.

quod ... factum sit: the subjunctive is used because the reason is urged by Atticus.

senatus auctoritas: cf. Att. 1.14.5 cum decerneretur frequenti senatu, contra pugnante Pisoni, ad pedes omnium singillatim accidente Clodio, ut consules populum cohortarentur ad rogationem accipiendam.

ille: Clodius.

cum ... uteretur: after the passage in the senate of the resolution given above, Clodius contiones miseras habebat, in quibus Lucullum, Hortensium, C. Pisonem, Messallam consulem contumeliose laedebat; me tantumcomperisseomnia criminabatur (Att. 1.14.5). The word “comperi” Cicero had unfortunately used so often with reference to the movements of the Catilinarian conspirators (cf. in Cat. 1.10 and 3.4) that it had evidently become a byword with his enemies, and was used by Clodius in taunting him; cf. also Fam. 5.5.2.

quas ego, etc.: cf. also proeliatus sum above. Just such extravagant figures drawn from military life as Plautus puts into the mouth of the scheming slave or parasite who has outgeneraled his opponent; cf e.g. Capt. 153, M. G. 815, 1156, and the striking passage 221-227. With such a wariike people as the Romans were, such metaphors were very natural and effective in the language of everyday life. The use of them here harmonizes with the colloquial tone of the entire letter; cf . also Intr. 99.

Pisonem: though consul, and ordered by the senate to further the passage of the law by the comitia, Piso was really acting in the interests of Clodius. Cf. note to senatus auctoritas above.

Curionem: father of the Curio who, as tribune in 50 B.C. , defended Caesar so brilliantly in the senate. He led the opposition in the senate to the bill of investigation (Att. 1.14.5).

senum: Piso and the elder Curio.

iuventutis: the younger Curio and young men like him.

Hortensius: consul in 69 B.C. , and the most prominent leader of the Optimates at this time. He had been the leading orator in Rome until Cicero appeared; cf. Brut. 1.1.

de religione: concerning the sacrilege which had been committed.

legem ferret: a technical expression, used of bringing forward a bill. A rogatio was a bill submitted to the people for confirmation in the comitia, for which the people were asked to vote, and affirmative ballots were marked V. R. (uti rogas). The rogatio was in this case to be submitted by a consul (rogatio consularis) in accordance with the resolution of the senate quoted above. Cf. note to senatus auctaritas.

iudicum genus: by the action of the senate, which was submitted to the people for confirmation, a special tribunal would have been established for the trial of Clodius, in which the presiding praetor would have chosen the iudices. Through the treachery of Piso and the use of force by Clodius this bill was not passed in the comitia (Att. 1.14.5). About the middle of February, Fufius, acting in the interests of Clodius, and carrying out a compromise accepted by Hortensius, allowed the passage by the comitia of a bill which provided for a court of inquiry, but left the iudices to be chosen as usual by lot, since the friends of Clodius thought that in this way a venal jury could be secured more easily, as the defense would have the right under this arrangement to reject a certain number of jurors.

nullis iudicibus: the negation belongs logically with posse.

contraxi vela: Cicero is fond of figures drawn from ships or shipwreck; cf., for instance, Fam. 12.25.5 quam ob rem, mi Quinte, conscende nobiscum, et quidem ad puppim; una navis est iam bonorunt omnium, quam quidem nos damus operant ut rectam teneamus; utinam prospero cursu! sed, quicumque venti erunt, ars nostra certe non aberit. Cf. also the reference to the shipwrecked fortunes of Catiline's followers, and the comparison of the conspirators to bilge-water in the ship of state (in Cat. 2.7).

inopiam: their poverty and probable venality.

neque dixi ... testatum: Clodius tried to establish an Blibi by proving that on the night in question he was at Interamna, 90 miles from Rome, while Cicero testified that Clodius had visited his house that very day, within three hours of the time in question (cf. Att. 2. l. 5; Plut. Cic. 29).

πρὸς τὸ πρότερον: to return to the first question, i.e. quid accident de iudicio.

infamia, disgrace, not technically, 'loss of citizenship.'

sordibus: the mourning worn by persons accused (Watson).

iugulatum in: scarcely a literary word, but borrowed from colloquial Latin. Thus, cf. Plaut. Stich. 581ita mi auctores fuere, ut ego met me hodie iugularem fame”. Cf also Hor. Sat. 1.7.35.

diceret: cf. diceret, Ep 13 n.

incredibili exitu sc. fuit. Cf. Intr. 95.

sic has here the force of a predicate adjective after fuit to be supplied the trial was of such a nature Cf Plaut. Trin. 46, Catul. 3.13, Hor. Sat. 2.2.120, Petronius 46; and see Intr. 85.

reiectio: the prosecution and the defense had, as with us, the privilege of 'peremptorily challenging' a certain number of iudices, whose places were then filled by new men. Cf. voluntati, Ep. 11.1 n.

accusator: L. Lentulus Crus.

lanista: an owner and trainer of bands of gladiators. As the kind-hearted lanista avoids sending his best gladiators into encounters where they will be sure to lose their lives, so the defendant avoids sending honest men into a jury-box where they will lose their reputation. For another explanation, see Tyrrell. The Correlation of ut facta est and ut primum ... consederunt would not be found in careful prose.

in ludo talario: the vestis talaris reached to the ankles, and was not worn by respectable people (cf. Gel. 6. [7.] 12), and a ludus talarius was probably an entertainment of a low class where the performers wore this garment; cf. Fronto, Ep. p. 160 Naber laudo censoris illud, qui ludos talarios (effugeret), quod semet ipsum diceret, cum en praeterisset, difficile dignitati servire, quin ad modum crotali aut cymbali pedem poneret.

maculosi: perhaps in its general sense, perhaps with special reference to men after whose names the censors had placed a nota.

nudi, destitute; cf. inopiam, 2 n.

tribuni ... aerati: this is difficult to understand. The common reading is, non tam aerati ... aerarii. The term aerarii was sometimes applied to citizens of the lowest class, outside the limits of the centuries of the Servian constitution, the 'riff-raff' of the population; and the phrase is understood as meaning, 'not so much tribunes with money (aerati) as tribunes without money or reputation (aerarii).' The objections to this explanation are that the point is obscure, and that in a list of the three classes of people composing the jury, where the technical designations have been used in two instances, we expect to find the third term used, and used in the technical sense, i.e. we expect senatores ... equites, tribuni non tam aerarii. The transposition by a copyist of aerarii (or aerari, as the MS. really reads) and aerati would not be unnatural. If we may adopt the reading non tam aerarii ... aerati, the expression would mean 'not so much tribunes who have money (for the tribuni aerarii had money in their charge) as tribunes who are to be had for money (aerati).' This reading brings into relief the essential point, viz. the venality of the judges. This conjecture was first put forward by Muretus. Cicero is quoting one of those witticisms current in Rome which are so frequent in his letters; 'not so much tribuni aerarii as, to quote the current witticism, tribuni aerati.'

maesti ... et maerentes: maesti seems to refer rather to the sorrow shown by the looks and general aspect, maerentes to sorrow expressed in words (Tyrrell). Possibly for maerentes we should read mirantes.

primis postulationibus: the preliminary legal questions concerning the conduct of the trial. The term consilium was sometimes applied to the jury, but here and in 5 it refers to the body of jurists who were called in to give legal advice to the praetor (cf. Madvig, Verf u. Verw. d. röm. St. 2.255, Momm. St. R. 2.307-319). In the trial of Quinctius, the consilium was composed of three men (Cic. pro Quinct<. 54).

quid quaeris? in a word. Cf. Att. 2.1.4 praeclare Metellus impedit et impediet. Quid quaeris? Est consul φιλόπατρις et, ut semper iudicavi, natura bonus. Such exclamatory questions are very frequent in Latin comedy (cf. Plaut. M. G. 322, 472, 818, 834; also Hor. Ep. 1.10.8, etc.), and their frequency and variety in Cicero's letters is a strong indication of the colloquial tone of the letters. Some of these familiar questions which are used to give animation to the narrative are quid est and quid iam (Ep. XLVIII. I), quid ergo (Fam. 8.12.2), cur hoc (Fam. 8.17.2), and quid dicam de, etc. (Ep. XC. 4). Cf. also Intr. 98.

se vidisse tantum, that he had shown such foresight.

nemo ... arbitraretur, there was no one who thought of him as accused but rather as convicted a thousand times over. The use of miliens harmonizes with the extravagant tone of the letter. Cf. n. on quas ego above,and Intr. 96.

ex acclamatione ... facta sit, how the iudices in consequence of the outcry made by the supporters of Clodius rose in a body. The laxity of the Roman court in allowing an expression of partisan feeling in the courtroom and in maintaining no surveillance over the jury during the trial (5) is noticeable.

Xenocratem, Metelli Numidici: both incidents are again mentioned in Cic. pro Balb. 11, 12, though without Xenocrates's name. Metellus was tried for misappropriation of public money while propraetor in Africa. Cicero's vanity is shown by his expression of pleasure at the complimentary action of a jury whose character he has just criticised so severely, and whose conduct he immediately proceeds to condemn with equal severity.

tui cives: the Athenians are called in jest the fellow-citizens of Atticus because of the fondness which Atticus had shown for Athens, as indicated by his long stay in the city. Perhaps Cicero has in mind also his friend's cognomen. The Athenians wished to bestow upon Atticus Athenian citixenship (Nepos, Att. 3.1), but he declined it.

tabulas, accounts; sc. of public funds managed by him.

conciderunt, collapsed; like fractus, used colloquially.

postridie convenit: i.e. in the morning to pay their respects.

quacum ... reductus: at the conclusion of his consulship, Cicero took an oath before the people that he had saved the commonwealth, and then occurred the incident to which he refers; quo quidem tempore is meus domum fuit e foro reditus ut nemo, nisi qui mecum esset, civium esse in numero videretur, Cic. in Pis. 7.

Ariopagitae: ironical.

una sola ... desideravit: there was only one vote in the negative.

negotium: sc. of protecting the jury.

Ἔσπετε νῦν μοι etc.: Hom. Il. 16.112, 113.

Calvum: in a recent letter, Att. 1.14.31 Cicero had written to Atticus of a speech made by Crassus complimentary to him; the clause, de cuius oratione, etc., shows, therefore, that Calvum refers to Crassus. Calvus was apparently a nickname given to Crassus, perhaps because of his baldness.

ex Nanneianis: if the reading is correct, a thrust at Crassus, understood by Atticus but unintelligible to us.

arcessivit: sc. iudices.

intercessit: i.e. gave security for the payment.

summo discessu bonorum, notwithstanding the withdrawal of all honest men.

quos fames magis quam fama commoveret, who were influenced more by hunger than by honor. Cf. Intr. 103.

Catulus: consul in 78 B.C. Cf. Cic. de lege Manil. 51.

bonorum omnium coniunctione: Cicero prided himself upon the reconciliation of the senators and knights which his consulship had brought about. Cf. Cic. in Cat. 4.15.

si iudicium est, etc., if it can be called a trial when thirty, etc.

non modo homines, verum etiam pecudes: a proverbial expression.

Talnam, Plautum, and Spongiam: fictitious names given in derision of the low origin of the judges.

ceteras huiusmodi quisquilias, the rest of the riff-raff of that ilk.

quisquilias: a colloquial word. Cf. Novius, Tog. 88, Ribbeck; cf. also Italian quisquiglia.

senatus auctoritas: the senate had taken the initiative in bringing Clodius to justice.

poenas ab optimo quoque: the earliest indication, perhaps, in Cicero's letters of his consciousness that the democratic party was planning to punish those who were responsible for the execution of the Catilinarian conspirators.

idem ego ille: sc. whose severity had made the wicked suffer.

aliis legi, to be read to others. This explanation of legi as equivalent to recitari is justified by Ep. LX. 1 ex iis litteris quas Atticus a te missas mihi legit, quid ageres et ubi esses cognovi. The use of epistula (not litterae) harmonizes with the expression quam nolo aliis legi, and emphasizes, what is evident in the letter itself, its confidential character; epistula was usually applied to a personal letter.

victoriae: join with παρρησίαν.

omnem παρρησίαν eripui, I took all the brag out of. Greek words and expressions in the letters are often from the literary slang of the period., e.g. (Att. 7.1.5) ἐπίτηκτα, 'veneering'; (Att. 10.17.1) ἐκτένεια, 'gush,' and in many cases play the same part in colloquial Latin (cf. Tyrrell, 1.2 p.67) that French phrases do with us, e.g. (Att. 12.45.2) ἀκηδίδα, ennui, (Att. 7.1.5) ὁδοῦ πάρεργον, en passant. Cf. Intr. 97.

consistere, to get a footing.

desponsam (not decretam): i.e. promised to Piso by Pompey, who had just organized Syria into a province, but not officially assigned to him by the senate.

vos, you Athenians. Cf. tui cives, 4.

Idibus Maus: this fixes the date of the letter as later than May 15.

rogatus sententiam: the technical expression used of the action of the presiding consul in asking senators their views on the question before the senate. The rules of the Roman senate allowed a senator to depart from the special topic under consideration, and de summa republica dicere. Cf. Willems, II. 186.

ille locus, etc., the following point was developed by me with telling effect.

Lentulum: Catiline's fellow-conspirator, who was accused de peculatu in 60 B.C. , and at a later date underwent a similar experience.

Catilinam: tried on a charge of 'repetundae' in 65 B.C. (cf. intr. to Ep. II.). He was again on trial, in 64 B.C. , for the murder of M. Marius Gratidianus. No mention is made here of the charge of incest brought in 73 B.C. against the Vestal Fabia, sister of Cicero's wife Terentia, in which Catiline was implicated. Cicero regarded the charge as unfounded, and wished, furthermore, to spare the good name of Terentia's family.

immissum: properly used of wild beasts. Catiline is Compared to a wolf, Cic. in Cat. 2.2.

reservarunt: Cicero addressed Catiline in 64 B.C. in almost the same language: O miser, qui non sentias illo iudicio te non absolutum, verum ad aliquod severius iudicium ac maius supplicium reservatum (Or. in tog. cand.).

exsilio privare: if Clodius had been convicted, he would have been exiled. The iudices, by acquitting him, have deprived him of the safety which exile would give, and allowed him an open field in which to commit a crime punishable with death, the carcer being the common place of execution for citizens. The oration of which this was a part was entitled, Oratio in P. Clodium et C. Curionem, and has been preserved in a fragmentary form.

illa ... consensio: 'that harmony which my consulship secured.' Cf. note on 6.

quod erat inventum est: the jurors who acquitted Clodius were venal before; the trial had merely brought that fact to light.

pulchellus: diminutive of pulcher, a parody upon Clodius's cognomen Pulcher, while at the same time it contains an ironical allusion to his lack of personal beauty, to which Cicero refers, Or. in P. Clod. et C. Cur.: sed credo postquam speculum tibi adlatum est longe te a pulchris abesse sensisti. Pulchellus may also be used in derision of the effeminacy of Clodius, for, speaking of the group of young men to whom Clodius belonged, Cicero says, concursabant barbatuli iuvenes, totus ille grex Catilinae, Att. 1.14.5. Well-trimmed beards marked the climax of dandyism. Diminutives do not always indicate that the individual in question is smaller than others of its kind, but that the speaker feels affection, pity, or contempt for it. Thus Cicero speaks of his daughter as Tulliola (my darling Tullia), Att. 4.1.4; Servius, referring to the sad death of the same woman, speaks of her as a muliercula, Fam. 4.5.4; while the predominant feeling suggested by pulchellus is one of contempt. Such a use of the diminutive is especially common in colloquial language. Diminutive adjectives and adverbs with this force are farther removed from formal language than diminutive nouns, and the very fact that these adjectives and adverbs are not infrequent in Cicero's letters is one of the strongest indications of the familiar character of the letters. Cf. misellus (Att. 3.23.5), vetulus (Att. 13.29.1), and even from comparatives, minusculus (Att. 14.13.5), and minuscule (Att. 4.6.2). Cf. also Intr. 76.

ad Baias: Clodius twits Cicero with living at the fashionable seaside resort Baiae, whose reputation for strictness of morals was a little questionable. Cicero, disdaining to defend himself, intimates that Clodius had been found once in far more suspicious surroundings, i.e. at the festival of the Bona Dea.

falsum, sed tamen quid huic (sc. falsum id esse responderem): addressed to Atticus, not to Clodius. One of Cicero's houses was at Puteoli, so that while he could technically deny having a villa at Baiae, he was within the circle of its influence, as he himself felt, for he refers to the place as Cratera illum delicatum (Crater with its well-known allurements), Att. 2.8.2.

in operto (Bonae Deae): a technical phrase, 'at the mystic rites.'

quid homini Arpinati cum aquis calidis: i.e. what business has a countryman from Arpinum at a watering-place? Cicero replies, 'Make that remark to your patron (Curio) who was terribly anxious for the springs of a countryman from Arpinum.' The Aquae Arpinatis were medicinal springs upon an estate once belonging to C. Marius. Cicero parries the thrust at his provincialism, therefore, by referring to the fact that one of Rome's most illustrious men lived in his native town Arpinum, and hits Clodius through Curio, for the latter had obtained the estate during the Sullan proscriptions, and therefore not in an honorable way.

nosti enim marinas: addressed to Atticus. These springs were perhaps called marinae because they were near the sea-coast.

regem appellas, cum ... fecerit, do you talk of a rex, when Rex made no mention of you? Q. Marcius Rex was brother-in-law of Clodius, and at his death passed over the latter entirely in his will.

ille autem, etc.: a parenthetical explanation to Atticus, as the death of Rex had occurred very recently.

domum: Cicero's house was in the most fashionable part of the city, on the Palatine, and cost him $150,000 (Fam. 5.6.2).Cf. Intr. 45. Clodius wishes to characterize Cicero as a parvenu, and perhaps to suggest that the money had been obtained in a questionable way. Gell.12.12 tells us that the money for the purchase of the house came from P. Cornelius Sulla, who was defended by Cicero in 62 B.C.

putes: indefinite second person, while the subject of dicere is te, referring to Clodius.

iuranti: i.e. when he gave his testimony. If the judges had believed Cicero's testimony, they would have convicted Clodius.

crediderunt ... crediderunt: the play upon words can be reproduced in English by the word 'trusted.' Cf. Intr. 103.

concidit: cf. 5 n.

noster autem status: with these words the third topic of the letter begins, Cicero's political and personal fortunes.

melius: cf. Intr. 85a.

quam reliquisti: we should expect quam quos nos reliquisti.

et illud non obest: this calls for et illud prodest, but the form of expression undergoes change, and the place of the second correlative is taken by accedit illud.

missus est, has been let; a surgical expression. Cf. Att. 6.1. 2 sic Appius, cum ἐξ ἀφαιρέσεως provinciam curarit, sanguinem miserit, quicquid potuit detraxerit, mihi tradiderit enectam, προσανατρεφομένην eam a me non libenter videt; cf. also Livy, 3.54.4.

sine dolore: i.e. without weakening Cicero, for the reason indicated in the following passage.

rem manifestam, etc.: 'that the case was clear, and an acquittal secured from the jurors by the use of money.'

contionalis hirudo aerari: the populace who spent their time in the contiones, instead of being at work, and who lived upon largesses of corn granted by the leges frumentariae.

plebecula: the diminutive expresses contempt; cf. note to pulchellus, To. The populace was composed largely of freedmen. Cicero refers to them elsewhere (Att. 2. 16. I) as pedisequi, 'lackeys.' His earlier democratic tendencies would seem to have given way already to aristocratic sympathies.

Magno: i.e. Pompey. The force of putat is a common one: 'The people think that I am loved by Pompey, but they are mistaken.' Only four months before Cicero had indulged in this caustic arraignment of Pompey: nihil come, nihil simplex, nihil ἐν τοῖς πολιτικοῖς illustre, nihil honestum, nihil forte, nihil liberum (Att. 1.13.4).

isti comissatores coniurationis, those who conspired only over their wine-cups (Tyrrell).

barbatuli: Caelius, Dolabella, Curio filius, Clodius, etc. Cf. note to pulchellus, 10.

Cn. Ciceronem: the nickname given to Pompey may suggest that he was as vacillating as Cicero in his actions, as Mommsen explains it, or that the friendship between Cicero and Pompey was so close as to make them one.

ludis et gladiatoribus: colloquial ablatives of time. Cf. Intr. 83d. Such colloquial ablatives Cicero has with one exception (Philipp. 9. i6) avoided outside the letters. The ludi referred to were probably the ludi Megalenses in April.

ἐπισημασίας: these indications of popularity were probably given when Cicero and Pompey entered while the games were being held. For a similar scene when Caesar and Curio entered the theatre, cf. Ep. VII. 3.

pastoricia fistula: shrill whistles were used by a politician's opponents to drown the applause of his supporters. Hissing was also common (Ep. VII. 2).

comitiorum: the consular election.

Auli filium: i.e. L. Afranius. By designating him as Auli filium Cicero means perhaps that Afranius was himself a man of no worth. He was consul in 60 B.C. , proconsul of Gallia Cisalpina in 59 B.C. , was pardoned by Caesar for espousing the cause of Pompey in the Civil War, joined the Pompeian forces again, and was captured and put to death after the battle of Thapsus.

Philippus: the methods of Philip of Macedon had become proverbial. Cf. Hor. Od. 3.16.13-15 diffidit urbium portas vir Macedo et subruit aemulos reges muneribus. In Juv. 12.47 he is callidus emptor Olynthi.

consul ... ille: i.e. Piso.

deterioris histrionis: a δευτεραγωνιστής. Pompey takes the leading role in this comedy of the election of Afranius, and the consul Piso plays the second part.

divisores : men to distribute money.

quod ego non credo: the context would indicate that Cicero did believe the story, and this saving clause may have been added for fear that the letter might be intercepted.

Domitio: cf. Ep. 1.3 n.

unum ... alterum: one, that the houses of the magistrates might be searched for professional bribers or money to be used in bribery; the other, that if bribery agents were found at the house of a magistrate, such a magistrate should be considered guilty of an offense against the public weal. As the person of a magistrate was inviolable during his term of office, this was the only action possible against him. Cf. Momm. St. R. l. 705.

adversus rem publicam: (sc. eum focere).

Lurco autem, etc.,furthermore Lurco the plebeian tribune,who has taken a magistracy impugned by the Aelian law, has been exempted from the operation of both the Aelian and Fufian laws, in order that he might bring forward his bill in regard to bribery, which he has published under good auspices, seeing that he is a lame man. The leges Aelia et Fufia gave elections precedence in point of time over the introduction of new laws. By the postponement of the comitia in order that Lurco might bring in his bill, this section of the law was suspended. Cf. Mommsen, St. R. 1.83 and 111, n.4

magistratum insimulatum lege Aelia: one portion of the Aelian law, passed about 155 B.C. , apparently for the first time gave to magistrates the right to take the auspices before the meeting of the concilium plebis, and, by announcing them as unfavorable, to interfere with the action of the tribune who presided over this assembly. Cf. Herzog, 1.419, 1163. By the Aelian law, therefore, Lurco's own office was insimulatus.

bono auspicio claudus homo: ironical. In eariy days bodily infirmity debarred a man from office altogether. The proposal of a bill by a lame man, therefore, scarcely augured well for its success.

quoad vivat: i.e. every year for the rest of his life.

HS. : the usual abbreviation for sestertius and sestertium, derived from HS(emis), as the sestertius was worth 2 1/2 asses. The horizontal stroke indicates that the symbols have a numerical value.

HS. CIR CIR CIR: 3000 sesterces, or more than $120.00. As there were 35 tribes, the annual fine would have been over $4200

heus tu! a colloquial exclamation, commonly fullowed in Plautus by a command. Cf. Bacch. 327 Cf. also Intr. 92.

hic: i.e. Afranius.

factus erit: sc. consul.

Fabam Mimum: if the reading is correct, perhaps Böckel's explanation is the most plausible one. The mimus (a kind of farce) was a popular form of entertainment. One of these farces well known at Rome was called the Faba Mimus. Both here and in the other passage (Seneca, Ἀπολοκολοκύντωσις, 9) where the expression occurs, the writer is speaking on the subject of an apotheosis. Now the Pythagoreans were the most prominent teachers of reincarnation, and at the same time laid down certain rules in regard to the use of beans as an article of diet. The Faba Mimus may therefore have been a parody on the teachings of Pythagoras upon these two points, and well known for its wit or nonsense, so that the meaning of the passage may be, "if Afranius is elected consul, that consulship of mine, which Curio used in mockery to call an apotheosis, will be the sort of an apotheosis that one sees in the 'Bean Farce,' for my companion in apotheosis will be this nobody Afranius." See Crit. Append.

φιλοσοφητέον, one must play the philosopher.

id quod tu facis: Atticus throughout his life, except during Cicero's consulship and his candidacy for that office, held aloof from politics, following in this respect the teachings of his school, the Epicurean.

facteon: a hybrid form, instead of faciendum, suggested by φιλοσοφητέον, and after the analogy of the Greek verbal in -τέον with the accusative after it. Cf. Intr. 74.

te in Asiam, etc.: Quintus Cicero, who was going out to Asia as propraetor, had invited his brother-in-law Atticus, to accompany him as legatus. Cf. Ep. VI.7n.

vereor ne quid, etc.: Quintus did take umbrage at the refusal of Atticus. Cicero would also have gladly seen Atticus go, to restrain his hot-headed brother.

cum egomet, etc.: Cicero declined a province at the close of his consulship.

Amaltheo: the villa of Atticus near Buthrotum, in Epirus, was so called from the nymph Amalthea. The library of this villa was adorned with the busts of noted Romans. Cicero's was among the rest. Beneath the busts (Nepos, Att. 15.5) were Commemorative inscriptions. Cicero is pleased to receive this recognition, especially as the contemporary poets at Rome, Thyillus and Archias, are neglecting him. Archias is well known because of Cicero's oration in his behalf. He had begun a poem upon Cicero's consulship (pro Ar. 28).

Caecilianam fabulam: we know from Cicero's oration in support of Archias of the friendship existing between the latter and the Caecilii Metelli. The work here mentioned would seem to have been a dramatic composition founded upon the achievements of the Caecilian family. One of the earlier writers of comedy was Caecilius Statius, whom Cicero calls (Att. 7.3.10) malus auctor Latinitatis, and Caecilianam fabulam may therefore have a double meaning, 'a play in the manner of Caecilius (Statius) upon the Caecilians.'

Antonio: C. Antonius, Cicero's colleague in the consulship, and now governor of Macedonia, a province which he had received in return for not supporting the Catilinarians. Cicero had asked Antonius to grant Atticus some favor (Fam. 5.5).

Mallio: perhaps T. Manlius, a negotiator of Thespiae in whose interest Fam. 13.22 was written.

quo darem, where to send it.

valde te venditavi, I have heartily praised you, i.e. to Antonius.

Cincius: cf. Ep. l. I n.

facere: i.e. an Amaltheum.

nihil erat absoluti, I have nothing finished. For the tense, cf. Intr. 84c.

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hide References (44 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (44):
    • Cicero, Letters to his Friends, 13.22
    • Cicero, Letters to his Friends, 4.5.4
    • Cicero, Letters to his Friends, 5.5
    • Cicero, Letters to his Friends, 5.5.2
    • Cicero, Letters to his Friends, 5.6.2
    • Cicero, Letters to his Friends, 8.17.2
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 10.17.1
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 13.29.1
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 14.13.5
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 15.5
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 1.12.3
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 1.13.4
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 1.14.5
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 2
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 2.1.4
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 2.8.2
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 3.1
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 3.23.5
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 4.1.4
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 4.6.2
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 6.1
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 7.1.5
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 7.3.10
    • Cicero, Letters to Brutus, 1.1
    • Homer, Iliad, 16.112
    • Catullus, Poems, 3
    • Cicero, Against Catiline, 1.10
    • Cicero, Against Catiline, 2.2
    • Cicero, Against Catiline, 2.7
    • Cicero, Against Catiline, 4.15
    • Cicero, For Archias, 28
    • Cicero, For Cornelius Balbus, 11
    • Plautus, Stichus, 4.2
    • Plautus, Trinummus, 1.2
    • Horace, Satires, 1.7
    • Horace, Satires, 2.2.120
    • Plautus, Bacchides, 2.3
    • Plautus, Captivi, 1.2
    • Plautus, Miles Gloriosus, 2.2
    • Plautus, Miles Gloriosus, 2.3
    • Plautus, Miles Gloriosus, 2.5
    • Plautus, Miles Gloriosus, 3.2
    • Plautus, Miles Gloriosus, 4.4
    • Gellius, Noctes Atticae, 6
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