Cicero : Philippic 2

Sections 1-63

This speech was written against Marcus Antonius, in October 44 B.C.

The translation is by W.C.A. Ker (1926). Click on the L symbols to go to the Latin text of each section. Click on ** to go to the translator's footnotes.

[1.] L   [1] To what fate of mine, conscript fathers, shall I attribute it that no man has these twenty years been the enemy of the State without at the same time declaring war on me also? There is in truth no need that any man should be named by me: you yourselves have memories. They have paid me greater penalties than I wished: I wonder that you, Antonius, while you copy their deeds, do not shudder at their end. And this surprised me less in the case of others. For none of those men was unfriendly to me of his own will: it was by me they were all attacked on behalf of the State. You, not injured by even a word, to prove yourself more audacious than Catiline, more frenzied than Clodius, though unprovoked, attacked me with abuse, and thought that your estrangement from me would be your recommendation to disloyal citizens. What am I to think? That I am scorned? [2] I cannot perceive, whether in my life, or in my popularity, or in these moderate abilities of mine, anything to be despised by Antonius. Is it in the Senate he believed he could most easily disparage me, an order that has borne its testimony to illustrious citizens - for their administration of the State to many, to me alone for its preservation? Or did he wish to strive against me in a match of oratory? That indeed is a kindness: for what fuller, more exuberant subject is there than to speak both for myself and against Antonius? The fact of course is this: he did not think he could approve himself to men like himself as an enemy of his fatherland unless he were unfriendly to me. And before I reply to him on other points I will say a few words as to the friendship which he charges me with having violated, for I account that the heaviest of charges.

[2.] L   [3] He has complained that at some time or other I appeared in court against his interests. ** Was I not to appear against a stranger for an intimate acquaintance and friend, not to appear against favour won, not by the hope of virtue, but by the prostitution of youth ? not to appear against a wrong which that fellow upheld by the friendly veto of a most dishonest tribune, not by process of the praetor? But I think you have mentioned this for this reason, to commend yourself to the lowest order of citizens, since they would all remember that you had been the son-in-law of a freedman, ** and children of yours had been grandsons of Quintus Fadius, a freedman. Oh, but you had surrendered yourself to my instruction - for this is what you said - you had frequented my house. ** Truly, if you had done so, you would have better consulted your reputation, better your purity. But you neither did so, nor, had you wished, would Caius Curio ** have allowed you. [4] You said you waived your candidature for the augurate in my favour. What incredible audacity ! What crying impudence! For at a time when the whole college wanted me as augur, and Cnaeus Pompeius and Quintus Hortensius nominated me - nomination by more was not allowed - neither were you solvent, nor could you - so you thought - anyhow save yourself except by the overthrow of the State. Besides, could you at that time stand for the augurate seeing that Caius Curio was not in Italy? or, when you were elected, could you have carried a single tribe ** without the help of Curio, whose friends were even convicted of riot because they had been too zealous in your behalf?

[3.] L   [5] But I had found in you a benefactor. How? The very fact, however, you mention I have always kept before me; I have preferred to admit a debt to you rather than seem to anyone less informed not grateful enough. But how a benefactor? Because you did not slay me at Brundisium? ** When the very victor, who, as you used to boast, had conferred on you the chief place among his brigands, wished a man to be safe, and had ordered him to return to Italy - were you to slay that man? Assuming it was in your power: how are brigands "benefactors," except in being able to assert that they have granted life to those from whom they have not taken it? But if this were a "benefaction," those that assassinated the man by whom they had been saved - men you are wont to call most noble - would never have achieved such glory. ** And what sort of "benefaction" is it to have kept yourself from a nefarious crime? In such circumstances not to have been slain by you seemed to me justly not so much a matter for gratification as for bitter regret that it was in your power to do so with impunity.

[6] But granted it was a benefaction, since no greater could be received from a brigand - wherein can you call me ungrateful? Ought I not to have complained of the destruction of the State, that I might not appear ungrateful to you? And yet in that complaint, ** piteous and mournful as it was, but, having regard to this position in which the Senate and Roman people have placed me, incumbent on me, what was said by me with insult? What without moderation? What in an unfriendly tone? What a sign indeed of self-control it was, while I was complaining of Marcus Antonius, to abstain from abuse! all the more when you had scattered abroad the last remnants of the constitution; when at your house by the foulest traffic all things were on sale; when you confessed that those laws that had never been advertised ** had been proposed for your own behoof and by yourself ** ; when, as augur, you had abolished the auspices, as consul the tribunes' veto; when you were most shamefully fenced round by armed men; when, exhausted with wine and debauchery, you were practising in your licentious house all forms of impurity. [7] But for my part, as if the conflict was with Marcus Crassus, with whom I have had many great ones, not with a gladiator of all the most villainous, while making great complaint about public affairs, I said nothing concerning the man. Therefore I will make him understand to-day how great was the "benefaction" he then received from me.

[4.] L   But he even quoted a letter which he said I had written him - this fellow devoid of good breeding, and ignorant of the usages of life! For what man, having only a slight knowledge of the customs of gentlemen, because of some offence in the meantime, ever produced in public a letter written to him by a friend and openly quoted it? What is this but to eradicate from life life's social intercourse, to eradicate the communion of friends in absence? How many jokes are commonly found in letters which, if published, seem jejune! how many serious thoughts which nevertheless should in no way be divulged! [8] So much for ill-breeding: mark his incredible folly! "What have you in reply to me, O man of eloquence, as you now appear to Mustela and Tiro ** - and seeing that at this very time they are standing sword in hand in the sight of the Senate, I too will think you eloquent if you show how you propose to defend them on a charge of assassination. But what reply would you make, pray, were I to deny I had ever written that letter to you? by what witness would you convict me? By handwriting ? of which you have a profitable knowledge. ** How could you? It is in the hand of a secretary. Here I envy your teacher who for so great a fee - its amount I will reveal presently - teaches you to have no sense. [9] For what can be less proof, I do not say of an orator, but of a man, than to make such an objection to an adversary that, on a bare word of denial, the objector can proceed no further? But I make no denial, and you in this very matter I convict not merely of ill-breeding, but also of madness. For what word is there in that letter that is not full of civility, of friendliness, of kindness? This is the sum of your charge, that in this letter I express no bad opinion of you, that I write as if to a fellow-citizen, as if to a good man, not as if to a criminal and a brigand. But I, although by right I might do so, as having been attacked by you, will not produce your letter ** that in which you ask me to allow you to recall some exile, and assure me that you will not do so without my consent. And that consent you obtained from me. For why should I set myself against your audacity, which neither the authority of this body, nor the opinion of the Roman people, nor any laws could restrain? [10] Yet after all what reason had you to request me if the man about whom you made your request had been already restored by a law of Caesar's? But of course he wished the credit to be mine in a matter wherein even he himself could win none, as a law had been passed.

[5.] L   But since, conscript fathers, I must both say something on my own behalf and much against Marcus Antonius, while to the one I ask your consideration, as I speak for myself; as to the other, I will myself take care that while I am speaking against him you shall hear me with attention. At the same time I make this request: if you recognise my moderation and restraint in every part of my life, and in particular as a speaker, not to think that to-day when I shall have made a reply to him in accordance with bis challenge, I have been totally forgetful of myself. I will not treat him as a consul: he has not treated me even as a consular. Though he is in no way a consul, whether as regards his life, or his administration of the State, or the manner of his appointment, I without any controversy am a consular. [11] Accordingly, that you might understand what sort of consul he professed to be, he has flung my consulship in my teeth. That consulship, in name mine, conscript fathers, was in fact yours. For what did I establish, what policy did I adopt, what did I execute but on the advice, authority, opinion of this body? And have you in your wisdom - to say nothing of eloquence - dared to vilify those acts in the face of those by whose advice and wisdom they were transacted? And who has been found to vilify my consulship, save you and P. Clodius, whose fate indeed awaits you, as it does C. Curio; for you have that ** in your house which to each of them was fatal.

[12] My consulship does not please Marcus Antonius. But it pleased Publius Servilius - if among the consulars of that period I may mention one who has recently died; it pleased Quintus Catulus, whose authority will always survive in this commonwealth; it pleased the two Luculluses, Marcus Crassus, Quintus Hortensius, Caius Curio, Caius Piso, Manius Glabrio, Manius Lepidus, Lucius Volcatius, Caius Figulus, Decimus Silanus, and Lucius Murena, who then were consuls elect; the same conduct that pleased the consulars pleased Marcus Cato, who, in his departure out of life showed large foresight, and above all in not having a sight of you as consul. But most of all did my consulship gain the approval of Cnaeus Pompeius: who, the first moment he saw me, on quitting Syria, embraced me, thanked me, and said that it was owing to my services that he would see his country again. But why do I mention individuals? In a very full assembly my consulship so pleased the Senate that there was no senator but thanked me as if I were his father, but credited me with the preservation of his life, his fortunes, his children, and the State.

[6.] L   [13] But seeing that the State has been deprived of the many illustrious men I have named, let us come to the living, of whom two out of the ranks of consulars remain. Lucius Cotta, a man of the finest intellect, and of the highest judgment, after the exploits you censure, moved in the most complimentary terms for a public thanksgiving, and to that motion the very consulars I have just named, and the whole Senate, assented; an honour since the foundation of this city paid to no civilian except me. [14] Lucius Caesar, your maternal uncle - with what eloquence, with what earnestness, with what gravity, did he give his vote against his sister's husband, your stepfather! ** He was the man whom you should have had as your adviser and preceptor in all your policy and in your whole course of life; yet you preferred to resemble your stepfather rather than your uncle. His advice, I, though no kin of his, enjoyed when I was consul ; did you, his sister's son, ever refer to him any matter of State? But to whom does he refer such things? Heavens! why, to those whose very birthdays must be announced to us. [15] "To-day Antonius does not come down." Why? He is giving a birthday-feast in his gardens, To whom? I will give no name; imagine it to be given, at one time to some Phormio, at another to a Gnatho, at another even to a Ballio. ** What outrageous indecency the fellow shows! what impudence, wickedness, lust intolerable! When you have a principal senator, an eminent citizen so closely allied to you, would you refer no matter of State to him, but refer it to those that possess no property of their own, and drain yours dry? [7.] L   Your consulship we must allow was a salutary one, mine pernicious! Have you so lost your sense of shame with your purity that you have dared to say this in that temple, where I used to consult that Senate which in days of its power was supreme over the world, where you have stationed the greatest of reprobates sword in hand. [16] But you even dared - and what is there you would not dare? - to say that, when I was consul, the slope of the Capitol was full of armed slaves. In order, I suppose, that those nefarious resolutions ** of the Senate might pass I was offering violence to the Senate! O wretched fellow! if those doings are unknown to you - for you know nothing good - or if they are known, to make such an impudent statement in the face of such an assembly! For what Roman knight, what youth of good birth saving you, what man of any class, that remembered he was a citizen, when the Senate was sitting in this temple, was not on the slope of the Capitol? who was there that did not give in his name, though there were neither clerks enough, nor registers to take their names? [17] For when nefarious conspirators to destroy their country were confess ing, compelled as they were by the evidence of their accomplices, by their own handwriting, by letters which almost spoke aloud, that they had agreed to burn the city, to massacre the citizens, to lay waste Italy, and to wipe out the State, who would there be who would not be stirred to defend the common safety, especially when the Senate and Roman people possessed a leader ** such that, were his like now here, the same fate would have overtaken you as befell them?

He says I refused to surrender his stepfather's? body for burial. [18] That charge not even Publius Clodius ever made ; and, since I was justly that man's enemy, I lament that he has been in every vice already surpassed by you. But how did it occur to you to recall to our memory your education in the house of Publius Lentulus? Were you afraid we might think that by nature alone you could not have turned out so shameless had training also not come to your aid?

[8.] L   And so void of sense were you that throughout your speech you were at war with yourself, were making not only inconsistent statements, but statements so entirely disjointed and contrary to one another that the contest was not so much with me as with yourself. You confessed that your stepfather was implicated in that great crime, you complained of his paying the penalty. Thus what is peculiarly my part you praised, what is wholly that of the Senate you blamed: for the arrest of guilty men was my duty, their punishment that of the Senate. This eloquent fellow does not understand that his opponent is being praised by him, his audience abused. [19] Moreover, what a sign it is, I do not say of audacity - for to be audacious is his desire - but of the last thing he desires, of the stupidity wherein he is unrivalled, to allude to the slope of the Capitol when armed men find a place among our benches! when, Good Heavens! in this shrine of Concord, where in my consulship salutary votes were given whereby we have survived up to this time, men stand posted sword in hand. Accuse the Senate: accuse the equestrian order, which was then allied with the Senate: accuse all classes, all citizens - if you only confess that this our order at this very time is beleaguered by Ituraeans. It is not audacity that causes you to make such impudent statements, but being blind to such self-contradiction, you show yourself a perfect fool. For what is madder, when you yourself have taken up arms to destroy the State, than to reproach another for taking them up to save it?

[20] But you were even pleased on one occasion to be facetious. Heavens! how clumsy you were! And here some blame attaches to you, for you might have derived some wit from your actress ** wife. "Let arms yield to the gown." ** Well! did they not yield then? But afterwards the gown yielded to your arms. Let us therefore ask whether it was better for the arms of criminals to yield to the liberty of the Roman people, or for our liberty to yield to your arms. However I will make no further reply to you on the verses; this much I will say briefly, that you neither know them nor any literature at all ; that I, though never wanting in duty either to the State or my friends, have yet by every kind of memorial of myself, secured that my vigils and my writings should both bring to youth something of profit, and to the Roman name something of honour. But these are not topics for the present occasion: let us consider greater matters.

[9.] L   You said P. Clodius was slain by my advice. [21] What would men think if he had been killed at the time when you, in the forum, in the sight of the Roman people, attacked him with a sword, and would have finished the affair if he had not thrown himself on to the stairs of a bookshop, and baffled your attack by barricading them? In this proceeding indeed I confess I supported you, that I instigated it not even you assert. But Milo's action I had no opportunity even to support: he finished the business before anyone suspected he would act. ** "But I prompted it." No doubt such was Milo's temperament that he could not serve thc State without a prompter! "But I rejoiced." What then? When all the community was so joyful, must I have been the only one sorrowful? [22] However, as to the death of Clodius there was an enquiry - not indeed set up with much wisdom (for what was the use of an enquiry into homicide under a special law ** when there was by the laws a proper court already constituted ? ) yet enquiry there was. And so, whereas no one made such a charge against me when the matter was in issue, have you been found to make it so many years after ?

[23] As to your audacious statement, and that in many words, that it was by my doing that Pompeius was severed from Caesar's friendship, and for that reason it was by my fault the civil war arose, here you are mistaken, not indeed in the facts as a whole, but - what is most important - in the dates.

[10.] L   In the consulship of that most eminent citizen, Marcus Bibulus, I left nothing undone, to the full extent of my activities and efforts, to win Pompeius from alliance with Caesar. Here Caesar was more fortunate; for he severed Pompeius from intimacy with myself. But after Pompeius surrendered himself wholly to Caesar, why should I attempt to part him from Caesar? To hope it had been folly, to urge it impudence. [24] None the less there did happen two occasions for me to give Pompeius some advice against Caesar: you may carp at them if you can. One was that he should not extend Caesar's command for five years; the other that he should not tolerate a proposal that Caesar's candidature should be recognised in his absence. If on either of these points I had prevailed we never should have fallen into this unhappy condition. Yes, and I too, after Pompeius had already carried over to Caesar all his own resources and those of the Roman people, and had too late begun to perceive what I had long before foreseen, and after I saw the unnatural war that was assailing my country, it was I who never ceased to urge peace, and concord, and reconciliation; and my saying at that time is known to many : "Pompeius, would that either you had never joined in partnership with Caesar, or had never dissolved it! The one course would have shown your steadfastness, the other your foresight." These, Marcus Antonius, were always my counsels both as concerning Pompeius and the State : had they prevailed, the republic would now be standing ; it is you that by your crimes, your penury, your infamy would have been brought to ruin.

[11.] L   [25] But this is old history : the next accusation is new, that Caesar was slain by my advice. And here I am afraid, conscript fathers, to appear, by the most dishonourable act, to have suborned a mock accuser, not only to trick me out in my own merits, but also to load me with borrowed ones. ** For who ever heard of my name among the partners in that most glorious deed? And what man's name among that number was concealed? Concealed, say I? whose name was not at once made public? I would sooner assert that some boasted of the deed to win the reputation of a partner though they were not privy, than that any partner wished his name concealed. [26] Moreover how likely it is that, among so many men, some obscure, some young, who were not suppressing any name, my name could have lain hid? For if advisers were wanted for the liberation of the country when those men were the actors, should I incite the Brutuses, of whom the one saw every day the bust of Lucius Brutus, ** the other that of Ahala also? ** Should these men then, with such a lineage as this, seek counsel from strangers rather than from their own kin, and abroad rather than at home? Again: Caius Cassius, a man born of a family that could not endure, I do not say sovereignty, but even the superior power of any man, wanted me, I suppose, as an adviser; Cassius who, without the aid of these most noble men, would have finished this business in Cilicia at the mouth of the river Cydnus if Caesar had, as arranged, moored his vessels to one bank instead of the opposite. ** [27] Cnaeus Domitius too - it was not the death of that most illustrious gentleman, his father, not the death ot his maternal uncle, ** not the deprivation of his rank, that stirred him to the recovery of his liberty, but my influence? Did I convince Caius Trebonius? I should not have ventured even to advise him. Wherefore the State owes a greater debt of gratitude to him who set the liberty of the Roman people above one man's friendship, and preferred to resist a sovereignty rather than to share it. Did Lucius Tillius Cimber follow me as his adviser? I was rather astonished that he performed that deed than thought he would do so - astonished for this reason : he had forgotten benefits, but remembered his country. Again: the two Serviliuses ? - shall I call them Cascas or Ahalas? ** And these men you think were aroused by my advice rather than by affection for the State? It would be long to go through the rest of the names: that they were so many is an honour to the State, for themselves a title to glory.

[12.] L   [28] But consider how this sharp fellow has convicted me. "When Caesar had been slain," he says, "Brutus, at once lifting high his bloody dagger, shouted for Cicero by name, and congratulated him on the recovery of freedom." Why for me especially? because I was privy to the plot? See whether the reason of his calling on me was not this, that, as he had done a deed exactly like those deeds I myself had done, he called me especially to witness that he had appeared as a rival of my fame? [29] But you, most foolish of all men, do you not understand that, if it be a crime - as you assert against me - to have wished for Caesar's slaying, to have rejoiced at his death is also a crime? For what difference is there between the adviser and the approver of a deed? or what does it matter whether I wished it done, or was glad that it was done? Is there then any man, except those that were glad of his reign, who repudiated that deed, or disapproved of it when it was done? All therefore are to blame, for all good men, so far as their own power went, slew Caesar; some lacked a plan, others courage, others opportunity: will no man lacked. [30] But regard the stupidity of the fellow, or - I should say - of the blockhead. For this is what he said: "Brutus, whom I name with respect, ** grasping his bloody dagger, shouted for Cicero; whence it should be understood that he was an accomplice." So I, whom you suspect of having suspected something, am called by you a criminal ; he who held up before him his dripping dagger, he is named by you with respect? Be it so: let the stupidity of your words be as I say: how much greater is it in your deeds and sentiments! Determine this some time or other, consul, what view you wish held of the Brutuses, of Caius Cassius, of Cnaeus Domitius, of Caius Trebonius, and of all the rest: sleep off, I say, and exhale the fume of debauch. Must torches be brought to rouse you as over such an issue you lie asleep? Will you never understand that you must determine whether the doers of that deed are murderers or avengers of liberty?

[13.] L   For attend for a while, and assume for a moment the thoughts of a sober man. [31] I who am, as I myself confess, the friend, and, as you argue, the ally, of those men, say there is no middle course: I confess that they, if they are not the liberators of the Roman people and the saviours of the State, are worse than assassins, worse than murderers, worse even than parricides - if indeed it be more atrocious to slay the father of the country than one's own, You, wise and thoughtful fellow, what do you call them? If parricides, why have they been always named with respect by you both in this assembly and before the Roman people? why was Marcus Brutus on your motion exempted from the statutes, though absent from the city longer than ten days? ** why were the Apollinarian Games held with incredible proofs of honour towards Marcus Brutus? why were provinces given to Brutus, to Cassius? why were additional quaestors assigned them? why was the number of their legates increased? And these things were done through your means. Not murderers therefore. It follows that in your judgment they are saviours, since indeed there can be no middle term. [32] What is the matter? do I disconcert you? for perhaps you do not sufficiently grasp what is put as a dilemma? Yet this is the gist of my conclusion: that, as they have been absolved by you from crime, by you too are they adjudged most worthy of the fullest rewards. Therefore I now recast my speech. I will write to them, that if any persons happen to ask them whether your charge against me ** is true, they are not to deny it to any. For I fear that, either their keeping me in ignorance of the plot may be dishonourable to the men themselves, or my refusal of their invitation my own utter disgrace. For what thing, holy Jupiter! ever done, not in this city only but in all the world, was greater? what more glorious? what more to be commended to men's everlasting memory? Do you admit me, with its chiefs, into the partnership of this enterprise, as into a Trojan horse? ** I do not decline; I even thank you, whatever be your motive. [33] For the matter is so great that I do not account that odium you wish to excite against me as comparable with the renown. For what happier fortune is there than that of the men whom you proclaim you have expelled and banished? what spot is there so deserted, or so savage, as not, as it were, to seem to accost them when they come, and welcome them? what men so boorish as not to think, when they see these men, that they themselves have reaped the fullest harvest that life gives? what future generation indeed shall be found so unmindful, what literature so ungrateful, as not to enshrine their glory in an immortal record? Aye! enrol me in the number of such.

[14.] L   [34] But one thing I fear you will not approve of. For had I been one of them, I would have removed, not a king only, but kingship, out of the State ; and if that pen ** had been mine, as is said, believe me, I would have made an end, ** not of one act only, but of the whole story. And yet, if to have wished for Caesar's slaying is a crime, consider, I pray, Antonius, what will be your position, who, it is well known, entered into this scheme ** at Narbo with Caius Trebonius, and, because of partnership in that design, were, we have seen, drawn aside by Trebonius at the time when Caesar was being slain. But I - see how I treat you in no unfriendly way ! - praise you for having at one time had a noble thought; for not having informed, I thank you; your failure to act I pardon. [45] That matter called for a man. But if any one were to drag you into court, and were to adopt that maxim of Cassius, "To whose advantage was it?" take care, I pray, you are not embarrassed. Although that deed was in fact, as you said, a gain for all men who repudiated slavery, yet for you it was especially so, who not only are not a slave, but even a king, who have at the Temple of Ops delivered yourself from a load of debt; who by means of those same documents have squandered moneys innumerable ; you, to whom so much was brought out of Caesar's house; you, at whose house is a most lucrative factory of forged note-books and signatures, a most outrageous market for lands, towns, exemptions from taxation, revenues. [36] For what could have alleviated your need and your debt save the death of Caesar? You seem to me somewhat disturbed : have you some secret fear this charge may seem to attach to you? I free you from apprehension: no one will ever believe it; it is not your nature to deserve well of the State: as authors of that most glorious deed the State possesses most illustrious men: I only say you are glad of it, I do not contend you did it.

I have replied to his greatest charges; now I must also reply to what remains.

[15.] L   [37] You reproached me with the camp of Pompeius and with all that time. ** If at that time indeed, as I have said, mv advice and influence had prevailed you would to-day be in want, we should be free, the State would not have lost so many leaders and armies. For I confess that, foreseeing what actually happened, I was filled with the sadness other loyal citizens would have felt, had they foreseen the same. I grieved, I grieved, conscript fathers, that the State, saved formerly by your and my counsels, should shortly perish. Not that I was indeed so ignorant and inexperienced as to despair through desire of life, the continuance of which would overwhelm me with anguish, the loss set me free from all troubles. It was those most eminent men, the beacon-lights of the State, I wished to preserve alive, so many consulars, so many ex-praetors, so many most honourable Senators, all the flower too of our nobility and youth, as well as the armies of loyal citizens, since were they alive now, however harsh were the conditions of peace - for to me any peace with citizens seemed more profitable than civil war - we should be holding fast the republic to-day. [38] Had that opinion prevailed, and had not they, for whose lives I was anxious, elated by the hope of victory, been my principal opponents, then, to say nothing of other results, you at any rate would never have remained here in this body, or rather never in this city. But, you say, my style of talking alienated Pompeius from me. Was there any man he loved more? any man with whom he shared his talk or his counsels more often? And indeed it was a great thing that men who were at variance on the highest matters of State should retain an unbroken intimacy of friendship. I saw what his feelings and objects were, and on the other hand he saw mine. I thought of the safety of citizens first of all that we might afterwards think of their dignity ; he rather of their present dignity. But the definiteness of the aim on either side made our disagreement the more endurable. [39] But the feelings towards me of that pre-eminent and almost godlike man are known to those that followed him during the time of his flight from Pharsalia to Paphos. There was never any mention by him of me except with honour, except full of the most friendly regret, while he acknowledged I had seen further, but that he had indulged in happier hopes. And then do you dare to attack me in the name of that man, whose friend you confess I was, while you were the buyer of his confiscated goods?

[16.] L   But let us pass over that war in which you were unduly lucky. I will not reply even with regard to the jests you said I made in the camp. That camp was indeed full of care; but men, in however troublous times - if only they are human - sometimes relax their minds. [40] But as the same man criticises both my sadness and my jests, it is a great proof that I was moderate in both.

You said no inheritances come my way. ** Would this your charge were true! more friends and relations of mine would be living. But how did that occur to you? By inheritances I have entered in my accounts as received more than twenty million sesterces, However, in this particular I acknowledge your greater good fortune. Me none but a friend made his heir, so that with that benefit, such as it was, some sorrow might be allied ; you Lucius Rubrius Casinas, a man you have never seen, made his heir. [41] And mark too how the man loved you, a man the very colour of whose skin ** you do not know. He passes over his brother's son: the son of Quintus Fufius, a most honourable Roman knight, and his own very dear friend, whom he had always openly proclaimed his heir, he does not even name; you whom he had never seen, or at any rate never visited, he made heir. Please tell me, if it is no trouble, the features of Lucius Turselius, his stature, his township, his tribe. "I know nothing," you will say; "except what farms he had." This then is why, disinheriting his brother, he made you his heir? And many sums besides belonging to total strangers, when he had ousted the true heirs, he seized, as if he were the heir. [42] And yet this is what I have particularly marvelled at, your daring to mention inheritances when you yourself had not entered into your father's inheritance. **

[17.] L   Was it to rake together these charges, that you, you utter madman, spent so many days declaiming in another man's villa? And yet in your case, as your most familiar friends are always saying, you practise declamation to evaporate your wine, not to sharpen your wits. Yet by way of a jest you call in an instructor, a man whom you and your boon-companions voted to be a rhetorician, whom you allowed to say what he wished against you - a witty fellow no doubt, but material lies ready to hand for witticisms against you and your friends. Now mark the difference between you and your grandfather. [43] He said deliberately what advanced his case: you at haphazard say what is irrelevant to it. And what a fee was paid the rhetorician! Listen, listen, conscript fathers, and appreciate the wounds of the State. Two thousand iugera of Leontine land you assigned to Sextus Clodius the rhetorician, and that exempt from taxes, so that, for such a fee paid by the Roman people, you might learn to be a fool. Was this too, you most audacious fellow, derived from Caesar's note-books?

But I will speak in another place both of the Leontine and the Campanian lands, those lands he robbed from the State, and has defiled with the infamy of their occupants. For now, since I have sufficiently answered his charges, our reformer and censor himself calls for some few remarks. For I shall not squander my whole store, so that, if I have to contend with him frequently, as I shall, I may still come always with something fresh: the abundance of his vices and misdoings offers liberal opportunity.

[18.] L   [44] Would you have us then examine you from your boyhood? Yes, I think: let us set out from the beginning. Do you remember that, while yet in your boyish gown, you were bankrupt. "That is my father's fault," you will say. I grant it, for it is a defence full of filial piety. But this touches your own native audacity, your sitting in the fourteen rows although by the Roscian law ** a particular place had been assigned to bankrupts, however much a man had gone bankrupt by fault of fortune, not by his own. You assumed a man's gown, and at once turned it into a harlot's. At first you were a common prostitute, the fee for your infamies was fixed, and that not small; but Curio quickly turned up, who withdrew you from your meretricious traffic, and, as if he had given you a matron's robe, established you in an enduring and stable wedlock. [45] No boy ever bought for libidinous purposes was ever so much in the power of his master as you were in Curio's. How often did his father eject you from his house, how often did he set watchmen that you might not cross his threshold ! while you nevertheless, with night as your abettor, at the bidding of lust, and the compulsion of your pay, were let down through the tiles. These infamies that house could bear no longer. Do you know I am speaking of things well known to me? Recall that time when Curio the father, sick at heart, was lying on his bed: his son, throwing himself at my feet, with tears commended you to me ; he implored me to defend you ** against his own father in case he should sue you for six million sesterces: for this, he said, was the amount for which he had become your surety. But for himself, in the ardour of his passion he assured me he would go into exile, as he could not endure the regret of being parted from you. [46] How great were the ills of a most prosperous family I at that time mitigated, or rather cured! I persuaded the father to discharge his son's debt; to redeem by his family resources a young man of the greatest promise both of heart and intellect; and by the rights and authority of a father to keep him, not merely from familiarity, but even from meeting with you. Remembering that this was done through me, if you were not trusting in the swords we see yonder, would you have dared to assail me with abuse ?

[19.] L   [47] But let us now dismiss his whoredoms and outrages; there are some things I cannot speak of with decency; you, however, have greater freedom because the acts of which you have been guilty are such as you would never hear from the lips of a modest enemy. But regard the rest of his life, which I will quickly touch upon. For my mind hastens to his acts in the civil war amid the crowning misery of the State, and to the acts he is doing daily. As to these, though they are much better known to you than to me, yet I beg you to listen to me attentively, as you are doing. For in such matters our minds ought to be stirred, not only by the knowledge of things, but also by their recollection. We must, however, I think, cut short the middle of the story that we may not arrive too late at the end.

[48] He was intimate in the tribuneship with Clodius, ** though he recounts his services to me; he was the firebrand of that man's incendiary acts, and it was at his house too that he even then attempted a certain deed. ** What I mean he himself best understands. Then he journeyed to Alexandria, in disregard of the Senate's authority, in disregard of the interests of the State, and the sanctions of religion ; ** but he had as leader Gabinius, with whom whatever he might do was entirely right. How did he return, or in what style? He went from Egypt to furthest Gaul before going home. But what home? For every man possessed his own home then, ** and nowhere was there one of yours. Home do I say? What spot of earth was there where you could plant your foot on your own property except Misenum alone, and that was a sort of Sisapo ** which you shared with partners.

[20.] L   [49] You came out of Gaul to stand for the quaestorship. Say, if you dare, that you visited your mother before me! I had previously received a letter from Caesar, asking me to admit your overtures: so I did not allow you even to mention reconciliation. After that I was courted by you, you were befriended by me in your candidature for the quaestorship. It was just at that time that, with the approval of the Roman people, you attempted to slay Publius Clodius in the forum, and, although you attempted that deed of your own motion, and not at my instigation, yet you professed your belief that, except by slaying him, you could never make amends for your wrongs ** against me. As to that indeed I wonder why you say Milo did that deed at my instigation, although, when you voluntarily offered me the same service, I never gave you encouragement. However, should you persist in your purpose, I preferred it should go to the credit of your own honour rather than that of any gratitude towards myself. [50] You were appointed quaestor; then at once, without decree of the Senate, without drawing of lots, ** without any legal title, you ran off to Caesar ; for that, you thought, was the one refuge in the world your ruined resources possessed from need, debt, and iniquity. When you had filled yourself up there both with his largesses and your own robberies (if one can speak of filling up with what you gorge, to disgorge immediately), you fled in your need to the tribuneship, that you might, if you could, be in that magistracy like your husband. **

[21.] L   Hear now, I pray you, the record, not of the impurity and intemperance with which he disgraced himself and his own family, but of his disloyalty and crimes against us and our fortunes, that is, against the whole State; for from this man's misdeeds you will find sprang the beginning of all our ills. [51] For when, in the consulship of Lucius Lentulus and Caius Marcellus, on the Kalends of January, you were anxious to prop up the State, tottering as it was and well nigh falling, and were willing, if he were in his senses, to have agreed to the interests of Caius Caesar himself, then that fellow set the tribuneship, which he had sold and subjected to a master, in opposition to your counsels, and laid his own neck under the axe whereby many in less offence have perished. Against you, Marcus Antonius, the Senate - and it was then still intact, its many lights not yet quenched - passed the decree ** usually made against a civilian enemy by custom of our ancestors. And have you dared to speak against me before the conscript fathers, though I was by this body adjudged a saviour, you an enemy of the State? Allusion to that crime of yours has ceased, it has not been wiped out of memory. While the race of men, while the name of the Roman people shall exist - and, if you permit it, it shall be everlasting - that deadly veto ** of yours will be spoken of. [52] What passionate or rash action was being taken by the Senate when you - a single youth - forbade the whole order passing a decree concerning the safety of the State, and that not once, but several times, and refused all negotiations with you about the authority of the Senate? Yet what was their aim except to prevent you from seeking the utter destruction and overthrow of the State? It was when neither the chief men of the community by entreaty, nor your elders by advice, nor a crowded Senate by deliberation on the veto which you had sold and delivered ** could move you - it was then, when many efforts had been made, that blow was necessarily dealt you, which had been dealt to few before, of whom not one escaped - [53] it was then this order put weapons in the hands of the consuls, and the other powers, military and civil, weapons you would not have escaped had you not betaken yourself to Caesar's camp.

[22.] L   You, you, I say, it was, Marcus Antonius, who most of all gave Caius Caesar, aiming as he did at general confusion, a pretext for waging war against his country. For what other reason did he allege? what reason for his most crazy policy and actions did he present but the disregard of the tribune's veto, the destruction of the rights of the tribunes, and the restriction by the Senate of Antonius's power? I pass over the falsity, the triviality, of these pretexts, all the more because no just cause whatever can exist for any man's taking up arms against his country. But let me say nothing of Caesar: you at least must confess that the excuse for a most pernicious war centred in your person. [54] O wretched man if you understand these things, O more wretched still if you do not understand that this is committed to record, this is handed down to memory, that of this posterity even to the remotest generation will not be forgetful, that the consuls were driven from Italy, and with them Cnaeus Pompeius, he that was the glory and the light of the empire of the Roman people; that all the consulars whose health enabled them to effect that disastrous flight, praetors, ex-praetors, tribunes of the people, a great part of the Senate, all the breed of our youth, in one word the State had been driven and expelled from its home. [55] As then there is in seeds the principle of trees and plants, so of this most mournful war were you the seed. You grieve, conscript fathers, that three armies of the Roman people have been slaughtered : ** Antonius slaughtered them. You mourn the noblest of your citizens: Antonius robbed us of them too. The authority of this our order has been overthrown; Antonius overthrew it. In a word, all we have seen afterwards - and what evil have we not seen ? - if we shall reason rightly, we shall credit to Antonius alone. As Helen was to the Trojans, so that man has been to this State the cause of war, the cause of ruin and destruction. The sequel of his tribuneship was like the beginning. He effected everything that the Senate, while there was still a constitution, had rendered impossible.

[23.] L   [56] Yet mark his crimes within crimes. ** He reinstated many unfortunate persons, Among them is no mention of his uncle. If he must be severe, why not against all? if pitiful, why not towards his own kin? But I pass over other cases: in that of Licinius Denticulus, his fellow-gambler, a man convicted of dicing, he reinstated him - on the plea, no doubt, that it was illegal to gamble with a convict - but in fact that, thanks to a law, he might discharge a gaming debt, What reason did you give the Roman people why he should be reinstated? He was prosecuted, I suppose, in his absence: the matter was decided without his case being heard; the prosecution for gambling was legally null and void; he was crushed by force of arms; finally, as was said in your uncle's case, the verdict was corrupt. None of these excuses. Ah, then he was a good man, and a deserving citizen. That indeed is nothing to the point, but, seeing that having been convicted goes for nothing, I would, if that were his character, be lenient. But when an utter reprobate, one who would not even shrink from gambling in the forum, is convicted under the Gambling law, does not the man who reinstates him in all his rights most openly proclaim his own bias?

[57] Then in the same tribuneship, after Caesar in setting out for Spain had surrendered Italy to this man to be trampled under foot, what a progress there was in his journeys! what a traversing of the municipia! I know I am dealing with matters much discussed in general talk, and that what I say, and shall say, is better known to all then in Italy than to me who was absent. ** Yet I will notice individual points, although my account can in no way come up to your knowledge. For what outrage so monstrous was ever heard to have existed in the world? what turpitude? what dishonour?

[24.] L   [58] A tribune of the people was driven in a Gaulish chariot **; laurel-crowned ** lictors preceded him ; in their midst a female mime was carried in an open litter, a woman whom citizens from the towns, decent men, coming out perforce to meet her, saluted, not by her known professional name, but as Volumnia.There followed a travelling-coach of pimps, a most iniquitous retinue ; a mother set in the rear attended on her vicious son's mistress as though she were a daughter-in-law. O wretched mother, disastrously fertile! With the imprints of these infamies did that man set his seal on all the municipia, praefectures, and colonies, in a word on the whole of Italy.

[59] To reprove the rest of his doings, conscript fathers, is truly a task at once difficult and hazardous. ** He was occupied in war; he gorged himself with the blood of citizens most unlike himself; he was fortunate, if there can be any good fortune in crime. But, as we wish to regard the interests of the veterans - though the case of soldiers is different from yours: they followed a leader, you looked out for one - that you may not bring me into odium with them, I will say nothing as to the character of the war. You returned, a conqueror, from Thessaly with your legions to Brundisium. There you did not slay me. What a great "benefaction''! ** for I confess you could have done so. And yet none of those with you then but thought I ought to be spared ; [60] for so great is love of country that even to your legions I was sacred because they remembered that it had been saved by me. But grant you gave me what you did not take away, and that I owe you my life because you did not rob me of it; did your insults permit me to cherish this your "benefaction" - as I cherished it - aye, your insults, and that though you saw I should make this reply?

[25.] L   [61] You came to Brundisium, that is to say, into the lap and into the embraces of your dear mime. What? do I lie? How wretched it is to be unable to deny what it is most disgraceful to confess! If you had no shame before the municipia, had you none even before your army of veterans? For what soldier was there that did not see her at Brundisium? who that did not know she had come so many days' journey to congratulate you? who did not grieve to have been so late in discovering how villainous a man he followed? [62] There was again a progress through Italy with the same mime as companion: into the towns a cruel and galling drafting of soldiers: in the city a shameful pillaging of gold, silver, and especially of wine. To this was added, without the knowledge of Caesar, because he was at Alexandria, his appointment by favour of Caesar's friends as master of the horse. Then he thought he might as of right live with Hippias, ** and hand over the horses for hire ** to Sergius the mime. At that time he had selected for his residence, not the house ** he now holds with difficulty, but M. Piso's. Why should I bring forward the fellow's decrees, his robberies, his bestowing, his laying hands on inheritances? Need compelled him ; he had nowhere to turn; not yet had ample inheritance come to him from Lucius Rubrius, from Lucius Turselius; not yet had he stepped, an upstart heir, into the shoes of Cnaeus Pompeius and of many other absent persons. He had to live after the fashion of brigands, so that he possessed just so much as he could plunder.

[63] But let us pass over these things: they are the proofs of a more robust improbity: let us speak rather of the vilest kind of vulgarity. You with that gorge of yours, with those lungs, with that gladiatorial strength of your whole body, had swallowed so much wine at Hippias' wedding that you were forced to vomit in the sight of the Roman people the next day. Oh, the hideousness of it, not only to see, but even to hear of! If during the banquet, in the very midst uf those enormous potations of yours, this had happened to you, who would not think it disgraceful? But at an assembly of the Roman people, while in the conduct of public business, a master of the horse, for whom it would be disgraceful to belch, vomited and filled his own lap and the whole tribunal with fragments of food reeking of wine. However these things he himself confesses belong to his more ignoble doings; let us come to more brilliant ones.

Following sections (64-119)


1.   The allusion is to some suit against a friend of A. in which Cicero appeared for the plaintiff. The details are unknown.

2.   Fadia, A.'s first wife, was the daughter of Q. Fadius, a freedman.

3.   Young men used to attach themselves to those eminent in the State for training in public life: Plin. Epp. 8. 14.

4.   For his relations with Curio, see ch. 18.

5.   The tribes elected one of two nominated by the college: cf. note to Phil. xiii. 5.

6.   c.f. note to Phil. i. 4. 11.

7.   Brutus and Cassius, whom Caesar spared after the battle of Pharsalia, would have been regarded as ungrateful, not as saviours of their country,

8.   The first Philippic.

9.   On three market days according to law : cf. Phil. v. 8.

10.   If the lex created an office or power, the proposer and his kinsmen were by law excluded from benefits. The allusion is to the Septemvirate (Phil. vi. 5).

11.   Satellites of A. The former is called (ch. 41, s. 106) "gladiatorum princeps."

12.   An allusion to A.'s forgeries of decrees, exemptions, etc., on pretence that they were Caesar's; cf. ch. 38, 39 (ss. 97-100).

13.   It is given in Epp. ad Att. 14. 13. The man referred to was S. Clodius.

14.   Fulvia, successively the wife of Clodius, Curio, and Antonius.

15.   P. Lentulus Sura, put to death for his share in Catiline's conspiracy.

16.   Ph. and Gn. are parasites in the Phormio and Eunuchus of Terence respectively: Ballio is a pimp in the Pseudolus of Plautus,

17.   Against the Catilinarian conspirators.

18.   Cicero himself.

19.   One Cytheris (the Lycoris of Virg. Ecl. x. 2), formerly the mistress of Volumnius Eutrapelus: cf. ch. 24. "Uxor" is ironical.

20.   "Cedant arma togae, concedat laurea laudi" : This line and another ("O fortunatam natam me consule Romam!") were two unfortunate lines from Cicero's Epic on his own times, which were often quoted against him : cf. Quint, xi. 1. 24; Juv. x. 123. Ant. had probably sneered at the line.

21.   T. Annius Milo, having accidentally in 52 B.C. met the turbulent tribune P. Clodius on the Appian Way, on a quarrel arising between the respective servants, slew the tribune. He was afterwards prosecuted. C., being overawed by armed men, made a weak defence of his client, who was banished to Massilia.

22.   The Lex Pompeia de vi of 52 B.C. It applied only to Milo.

23.   A praevaricator was an advocate, who, by collusion with the other side, sets up a sham accusation or defence. C. means that he appears to have set up A. to accuse him of what were really good actions.

24.   The founder of the republic.

25.   Servilia, the mother of M. Brutus, the assassin of Julius Caesar, claimed descent from C. Servilius Ahala, who in 439 B.C. slew Sp. Maelius as an alleged conspirator to seize kingly power.

26.   Caesar in 47 B.C. marched from Egypt towards Pontus through Cilicia. But nothing is known of the incident mentioned.

27.   L. Domitius, slain at Pharsalia, and M. Cato, who committed suicide at Utica, respectively.

28.   P. and C. Casca, the assassins of Caesar, and Ahala, who slew the traitor Sp. Maelius, were named Servilius. They might almost change names with him.

29.   A common formula of politeness in speaking of a living person.

30.   Brutus, as praetor urbanus, could not by law be absent from the city longer than ten nights.

31.   That C. was privy to Caesar's death.

32.   A horse of wood in which the Greek chiefs concealed themselves and were stealthily admitted into Troy.

33.   The stilus, used for writing upon wax, was a pointed instrument, something like a dagger, and C. thinks of it here as something which could stab or kill; cf. Hor. Sat. 11. i. 39, where Horace compares his pen (stilus) to a sword (ensis).

34.   i.e. A. should have been slain as well as Caesar.

35.   An unjust charge. A. was merely sounded, and did not consent.

36.   The summer of 49 B.C., when C. joined the other Pompeians in Epirus before the battle of Pharsalia in 48.

37.   It was considered derogatory by the Romans not to be mentioned in a friend's will.

38.   Proverbial of complete ignorance ; cf. Cat. 93.

39.   Probably there was no estate, but C. means, either that A. was not mentioned in his father's will, or (so Dr. Reid) that, the estate being bankrupt, A., though made heir, refused to take possession, thus casting on his father the stigma of bankruptcy.

40.   The law of L. Roscius Otho, the tribune, passed in 67 B C., and assigning to knights the 14 rows in the theatre behind the orchestra where senators sat.

41.   If "orabat ut se defenderet . . . si peteret" be read, the meaning would be that the younger Curio begged C. to defend him against his father's anger if he, the son, begged him to repay what the son had been compelled to pay as A.'s surety.

42.   C.'s bitter enemy, and the author of his exile.

43.   Probably an intrigue with Fulvia, the wife of Clodius.

44.   The Sibylline books had forbidden the restoration of Ptolemy Auletes by force of arms to the throne of Egypt, and the Senate had refused to do so. C. explains the religio in Epp. ad Fam. 11. 1 and 2.

45.   Before the confiscations.

46.   i.e. held in partnership with his creditors. Sisapo was a town in Hispania Baetica where were cinnabar mines worked by a company.

47.   Probably A.'s intimacy with C.'s enemy Clodius.

48.   The quaestors divided the provinces by lot.

49.   Curio. In his tribuneship in 50 B.C. he had deserted the interests of the Senate for those of Caesar, and was also under suspicion of bribery.

50.   "Dent operam, consules ne quid respublica detrimenti capiat" (let the consuls see to it that the State suffer no harm). This emergency decree gave the consuls a Dictator's powers, including that of life and death, over an enemy (hostis) citizen within the walls (to gates).

51.   A. as tribune vetoed the proceedings of the Senate which had made a decree that Caesar should disband his army.

52.   To Caesar.

53.   At Pharsalia, Thapsus, and Munda.

54.   In recalling condemned exiles and not including his own

55.   This assertion is false; C. was at Cumae (ad Att, x. 10).

56.   Acc. to Pliny (N.H. 8. 21) and Plut. (Ant. 9), drawn by lions.

57.   As for a victory. According to Plut. (Q.R. 81) a tribune could not have lictors, or use a horse or carriage, or wear a praetexta, or indulge in any display.

58.   C. is afraid of offending Caesar's veterans.

59.   As to this see ch. 3. ante.

60.   As being himself 'hipparchos' (Greek for 'magister equitum').

61.   The meaning of 'equi vectigales' is uncertain. The meaning may be horses for public games (Mayor) ; or horses delivered by tributary States (Orelli) Hipp. and Serg. were actors. Juv. (6. 82) strangely takes 'Hippia' as feminine.

62.   The house of Pompeius. This is "held with difficulty," as Sext. Pompeius, the son, claims it.

Following sections (64-119) →

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