This speech was delivered against Marcus Antonius, in March 43 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  In the great sorrow, conscript fathers, or rather lamentation, which the cruel and wretched death of a citizen so loyal and a man so temperate as Caius Trebonius ** has caused us, there is yet something which I think will benefit the State. For we have realised what a degree of savagery there was in those men who have taken up their accursed arms against their country. For here we have two creatures, the foulest and filthiest since the creation of human beings, Dolabella and Antonius, of whom one has effected what he wished, while what the other proposed stands revealed. Lucius Cinna was cruel ; Caius Marius in his anger persistent; Lucius Sulla violent; but in revenge the bitterness of none of these extended beyond infliction of death ; and yet that was held a penalty too cruel to be inflicted on citizens.
 Here you find a pair of twins in wickedness, unprecedented, unheard of, fierce, barbarous. And so the very men between whom, you remember, there was the utmost hatred and dissension formerly have been since bound together by a singular unanimity and affection springing from the similarity of their most reprobate nature and infamous lives. Accordingly, what Dolabella has effected where he had the power Antonius also threatens todo to many, But Dolabella, being far from our consuls and armies, and not yet having perceived that the Senate has united with the Roman people, relied on the forces of Antonius, and committed those crimes which he thought had already been committed at Rome by the partner of his frenzy.  What other object, what other wish, do you suppose Antonius has? or what do you, in fact, suppose is our reason for war? All of us whose sentiments on State affairs are those of free men, who have expressed opinions that become us, who have wished the Roman people to be free, he has determined to be, not merely unfriendly, but his enemies. But he contemplates greater punishments against us than against an enemy ; death he regards as a penalty due to nature, but that to anger belong torment and tortures. What sort of enemy then should we see in him, at whose hands, if victorious, death, if not accompanied by tortures, is counted in the light of a kindness?
[2.] L Wherefore, conscript fathers, though you need no prompter - for you yourselves of your own accord are fired with longing to regain your liberty - yet defend your liberty with the greater spirit and enthusiasm inasmuch as you see the greater penalties that in slavery await the vanquished.  Antonius has invaded Gaul, Dolabella Asia, each of them another man's province. ** The one Brutus has confronted, and has, at the risk of his own life, checked the onset of the madman who longs to harass and pillage everything; he has stayed his progress; he has put a curb on his return; by allowing himself to be besieged he has bound Antonius fast on both sides.
The other has burst into Asia. Why? ** If, to pass on into Syria, there was a way open to him, one defined and not long; but if to join Trebonius, where was the necessity of sending forward with a legion some Marsian or other called Octavius, an accursed and needy brigand, to devastate the land, to harass the cities, not with the hope of establishing his private fortune - those that know him say he cannot preserve that, for to me this Senator is unknown - but to reach some ready pasture for his mendicant condition ?  Dolabella followed him. There being then no suspicion of war - for who could think of it? - there followed most intimate conversations with Trebonius, and embraces, false indications of the highest good-will amid the pretence of love ; pledges by right hands, the usual witnesses to good faith, were perfidiously and criminally violated; there was an entry by night into Smyrna, as into a city of enemies, not of our most trusty and longstanding allies; Trebonius was crushed ; if as by an open enemy, from lack of caution; if as by one who still bore the guise of a fellow-citizen, miserably. From his example no doubt Fortune wished us to receive a proof of what the vanquished had to dread. A consular holding the province of Asia with consular command Dolabella handed over to Samiarius an exile; he was unwilling to slay his captive at once, in order, I suppose, not to appear too generous in his victory. After scarifying that noblest of men with abuse from his filthy lips, he then under the lash and the rack held an inquest as to public moneys, ** and that for two days. Afterwards, when he had broken his neck he cut off his head, and ordered it to be carried about fixed on a spear; the rest of his body, after it had been dragged about and mangled, he cast into the sea.
 This is the enemy with whom we must wage war, one by whose savage cruelty all barbarism has been surpassed. Why should I speak of the slaughter of Roman citizens? of the plunder of temples? Who in terms befitting the atrocity of the facts could deplore such calamities? And now he wanders through all Asia, he flits about like a king; he thinks we are hampered by another war; as if the war against this impious pair were not one and the same !
[3.] L You see in Dolabella the image of the cruelty of Marcus Antonius; on him it has been modelled; it is from him Dolabella's schooling in villainy has been received. Do you think Antonius, if he be allowed, will be more lenient in Italy than Dolabella was in Asia? To me indeed it seems, both that Dolabella has advanced as far as the madness of a savage could go, and that, given the power, there is no punishment of which Antonius will forgo the exaction of even a fragment.
 Set therefore before your eyes, conscript fathers, that picture, wretched and tearful as it is, yet one necessary to stir our feelings: the night attack on the finest city of Asia; the irruption of armed men into Trebonius' house, when that wretched man saw the brigands' swords before he heard what the matter was; the entry of the raging Dolabella, his foul speech and his infamous mouth; the bonds, the stripes, the rack, the torturer and executioner Samiarius; all of which they say Trebonius bore with fortitude and patience. That is great praise, and in my judgment the greatest praise. For it is the part of a wise man to resolve beforehand that whatever can happen to a man should be borne calmly if it shall befall him. It needs altogether greater judgment to provide against such evil happening, and no less courage to bear it with fortitude if it shall befall.  And Dolabella was so regardless of human feeling - though in that he never bad any part - as to practise his insatiable cruelty not only on the living, but even on the dead, and in the mangling and molestation of the body, as he could not glut his soul, he fed his eyes.
[4.] L O Dolabella, much more miserable than he whom you wished to be most miserable! Anguish Trebonius endured to the full; but many from the severity of disease endure greater, yet we do not call them miserable, but afflicted. Two days' anguish was long; yet many have felt it for many years; and the tortures of executioners are indeed not more severe than are sometimes the torments of disease. There are other tortures, others, I say, you most abandoned and insensate wretches! and much more miserable.  For in proportion as the strength of the mind is greater than that of the body, so those ills are more severe that are contracted in the mind than those contracted in the body. More wretched then is he who incurs the guilt of a crime than he who is compelled to undergo the misdeed of another. Trebonius was tortured by Dolabella, and Regulus too by the Carthaginians ; and since on that account the Carthaginians have been adjudged most cruel in the case of an enemy, in the case of a citizen what should be our judgment of Dolabella? Can we really make here any comparison, or doubt which is the more wretched? he whose death the Senate and the Roman people long to avenge, or he who by all the votes of the Senate has been adjudged an enemy? For, indeed, in all the other features of their lives who could, without the greatest insult to Trebonius, compare the life of Trebonius with Dolabella's? Who does not know the prudence of the one, his genius, his humanity, his innocence, his strength of mind displayed in the liberation of his country? To the other from boyhood cruelty was a sport; then came such baseness of lust that he himself has always exulted in his doings being such as he could not be reproached with even by an enemy who was a modest man.
 And this man, Heavens! was at one time my connection ! ** for his vices were hidden from one who made no enquiry. And perhaps now I should not be alienated from him, had he not been proved hostile to you, to the walls of his country, to this city, to the Household Gods, to the altars and hearths of all of us, in a word, to nature and to all mankind. Warned by his example, let us more diligently and more watchfully beware of Antonius.
[5.] L For Dolabella had not with him so many notorious and manifest brigands; but you see whom Antonius has, and how many they are. First, his brother Lucius. Heavens! what a firebrand! what a heap of crime and iniquity? what a sink, what an abyss of prodigality ! What is there, do you suppose, that he is not mentally absorbing, is not gulping down in imagination? whose blood is he not drinking? on whose possessions and fortunes does he not in hope and fancy fix his most shameless eyes? What of Censorinus? who in words stated his desire to be urban praetor, but was, in fact, ** certainly unwilling.  What of Bestia, who proclaims his candidature for the consulship in the place of Brutus? May Jupiter avert this detestable omen! And how absurd it is for a man who could not become praetor to seek the consulship ! ** unless perhaps he considers a conviction as a praetorship. Let that second Caesar Vopiscus, ** a man of highest intellect, of highest influence, who after the aedileship stands for the consulship, be exempted from the laws, though the laws do not bind him by reason, I imagine, of his extraordinary distinction! But this man - I being defending counsel - was five times acquitted; it is hard, even for a gladiator, to win a sixth triumph in Rome. ** But for this the blame is with the jury, not with me. I defended him in the best of faith ; their duty it was to keep within the community this most noble and most illustrious Senator. And yet now he seems to have no other object than to make us understand that those whose verdict we annulled ** decided well and in the interest of the State.
 And this does not apply to this man alone; there are others in the same camp honestly condemned, disgracefully restored. What do you think will be the design of these men, the enemies of all good men, except a most cruel one? There is in addition a certain Saxa, whom Caesar gave us out of the wilds of Celtiberia as tribune of the plebs, a measurer of camps before, ** now to be, as he hopes, a measurer out of the city ; but, since he is a stranger to it, may the omen ** fall on his own head without harm to us! With this man is the veteran Cafo, than whom the veterans hate no man worse. On these men, as a sort of addition to the dowry they had received during our civil troubles, Antonius has lavished Campanian lands that they might have foster-mothers ** for their other farms. Would they had been content with that! we might bear with it, though it was intolerable; but anything was to be endured to free us from this most hideous war.
[6.] L  What more? do you not set before your eyes those luminaries of Marcus Antonius' camp? First of all the two colleagues ** of the Antonii and Dolabella, Nucula and Lento, the parcellers of Italy under the law which the Senate has declared carried by violence, of whom the one has composed mimes, the other has acted in a tragedy. ** What shall I say of Domitius, the Apulian? whose goods lately I have seen posted up for sale - such is the negligence of his agents. ** But the man recently lavished poison on his sister's son, not a mere dose. But men cannot live otherwise than extravagantly who are hoping as they do for our goods while they lavish their own. ** I have also seen the auction of that eminent man Publius Decius, who, following the precedents of his ancestors, has devoted himself as a victim ** - for debt. Yet at that auction not a single buyer could be found. A silly fellow to think he can escape debts to others by selling what belongs to others! For what shall I say of Trebellius, on whom the Furies of the debtors seem to have taken vengeance? for we see a new bill avenging the clean bill. **  What of Titus Plancus, whom that most eminent citizen Aquila drove out of Pollentia, with a broken leg too? would it had happened to him before to prevent him returning here! ** One shining light and ornament of that army I nearly passed over, Titus Annius Cimber, the son of Lysidicus, a Lysidicus himself in Greek phrase, for he has caused the dissolution of all laws; ** but perhaps a Cimber had a right to slay one germanely related. **
Seeing that Antonius has this lot with him, and a number of the same sort, what crime will he forbear, when Dolabella has involved himself in so many murders though he has with him a troop of brigands by no means equal?  Wherefore, as I have often unwillingly dissented from Quintus Fufius, so I willingly assent to his proposal; from this you should judge that I do not usually disagree with the man, but with the cause.
Accordingly I not only assent, but I also thank Fufius; for he has made a motion, severe and dignified in terms, and one worthy of the State ; he has declared that Dolabella is an enemy, and that his estate should be confiscated by public order. Though nothing could be added to this - for what proposal could be made in stronger and severer terms ? - still he said that if any of the Senators afterwards called upon were to propose a heavier penalty, he would vote for him, Who can fail to praise such severity?
[7.] L  Now, as Dolabella has been adjudged an enemy, he must be followed up in war. For he is not inactive; he has a legion, he has fugitive slaves, he has an accursed gang of rebels. he is himself headstrong, uncontrollable, destined to a death like a gladiator's. Wherefore, since Dolabella was yesterday pronounced by decree an enemy, and we must wage war, we must choose a general.
Two opinions have been delivered, ** of which I approve neither; the one because I always regard it as dangerous, save where inevitable; the other because I think it unsuited to these times.  For an extraordinary command springs from the fickle temper of the mob, and is very little suited to our dignity, very little to this our order. In the war with Antiochus, ** a great and serious war, when the province of Asia had fallen to the lot of Lucius Scipio, and he was thought possessed of too little spirit, too little energy, and the Senate was for entrusting the conduct of the war to his colleague, Caius Laelius, the father of the well-known Laelius the Wise, Publius Africanus, the elder brother of Lucius Scipio, got up, and protested against such ignominy to the family, and said that in his brother were found the greatest valour and the greatest judgment, and that he himself, even at his age, and after his exploits, would not refuse to be his legate. When he had said that no change was made in regard to Scipio's province ; nor was an extraordinary command sought for the conduct of that war more than it had been in the two great Punic wars ** previously, which were waged and concluded by consuls or dictators; or in the war with Pyrrhus, ** or Philip, ** or afterwards in the Achaean war, ** or in the third Punic war, for which the Roman people selected for itself a fit general, Publius Scipio, but none the less determined that he should conduct the war as consul.
[8.] L  With Aristonicus ** war was to be waged under Publius Licinius and Lucius Valerius as consuls. The Roman people was asked who it was their pleasure should conduct the war. Crassus, the consul, being pontifex maximus, threatened to fine his colleague Flaccus, the flamen of Mars, if he abandoned his sacred office; which fine the Roman people remitted, yet it ordered the flamen to obey the pontifex. But not even then did the Roman people entrust the war to a private person, although there was Africanus who the year before had triumphed over the Numantines ** ; although he far surpassed all men in reputation and valour, he carried two tribes only. Accordingly the Roman people gave the conduct of the war to the Consul Crassus rather than to Africanus, a private citizen. ** As for the commands of Cnaeus Pompeius, that great and preeminent man, it was turbulent tribunes of the plebs who proposed them. ** For the war with Sertorius was assigned by the Senate to a private person ** because the consuls refused it; and so Lucius Philippus said that he sent him "for the consuls," not as proconsul.
 What then is this election? or what is this canvass which that most consistent and influential citizen, Lucius Caesar, has introduced into the Senate? He has proposed to assign the command to a man of the highest nobility and integrity, but a private person; ** thereby he has imposed on us a very great responsibility. Supposing I assent, I shall introduce a canvass into the Senate-house ; supposing I say No, I shall appear by my vote, as if at an election, to have denied an honour to a very great friend. But if our pleasure is that an election should be held in the Senate, let us be candidates, let us canvass; only let a voting-tablet be given us, as it is given to the people. Why, Caesar, do you compel such an alternative, that either a man of great eminence may appear to have suffered defeat if we do not agree with you, or that each of us is passed over, though of equal dignity, if we are not thought worthy of the same honour?
 But - for I overhear that objection - I by my own proposal gave an extraordinary command to the stripling Caius Caesar Yes, for he had given me extraordinary protection; and when I say "me," I mean the Senate and the Roman people. When the State had received from a man such protection as had been not even imagined, such that without it there could be no safety, was I not to give him an extraordinary command? I had either to take away his army, or to give him the command; for what method is there, or can be, of holding an army together without a command? What is not wrested away should not therefore be regarded as given: you would have wrested from Caius Caesar his command, conscript fathers, if you had not given it. The veteran soldiers who, attaching themselves to his authority, his command, and his name, had taken up arms on behalf of the State, wished to be commanded by him; the Martian legion and the fourth upheld the authority of the Senate and the honour of the State only to demand as their general and leader Caius Caesar. His command the necessities of war gave Caius Caesar, the Senate its ensigns. But to a private person, unoccupied and doing nothing - I beg you to tell me, Lucius Caesar, for I have to deal with a man well versed in precedents - when has the Senate ever given command?
[9.] L But enough of this, lest I appear to be opposing a man who is my great friend, and has done me much kindness; and yet who can oppose a man ** that not only does not ask, but refuses command?  But that other proposal, conscript fathers, is not appropriate to the dignity of the consuls, not appropriate to the severity of the crisis - the proposal that the consuls, by way of prosecuting the war with Dolabella, should have Asia and Syria allotted to them. I will explain why it is inexpedient to the State, but first consider how dishonouring it is to the consuls. When a consul elect is being besieged, when the safety of the State is dependent on his relief, when pestilent citizens and murderers have revolted from the Roman people, and when we are waging a war, a war in which we are contending on behalf of our honour, our liberty, our lives; when, if any man fall into the power of Antonius, racks and tortures are proposed for him; and when the struggle on behalf of all these things has been committed and entrusted to two most excellent and valiant consuls, shall we talk of Asia and Syria, and so appear to have afforded cause for suspicion, or ground for odium?  Oh, but their proposal is "only after Brutus is set free " ; ** for they might have said "abandoned, deserted, betrayed."
But I say that any mention at all of the provinces has been made at a most inopportune time. For however much your mind, Caius Pansa, may be, as it is, directed to the relief of the most valiant and the noblest of all men, yet the nature of the case necessarily forces you sometimes to turn your mind to the pursuit of Dolabella, and to divert to Asia and Syria some portion of your care and your thoughts. But, if it were possible, I would wish you had even several minds, that you might direct them all towards Mutina. Since that cannot be, we wish you with the most excellent and loyal mind you possess only to think of Brutus.  That indeed you are doing, and with the greatest application, as I understand, but two things, above all, two great ones, no man can, I do not say, transact at the same time, but even think out with clearness. We should excite and kindle that most excellent zeal of yours, and not transfer it to some other task in any direction.
[10.] L Add to that the talk of men, add their suspicions, add the odium. Copy me, whom you have always praised, who resigned a province ** organised and equipped by the Senate, so that, dismissing every other thought, I might quench the conflagration that was devouring my country. Except myself alone, with whom you would, having regard to our close friendship, certainly have consulted had you thought anything closely concerned you, there will be no one who will believe that the province was assigned to you against your wish. I beseech you, act in accordance with your singular wisdom, and crush this report, so that you may not appear to be coveting what you do not care for.  And you must strive all the more earnestly, because your most illustrious colleague cannot fall under the same suspicion. He knows nothing, he suspects nothing of these things; he is waging a war: he stands in battle array; he is fighting for his own existence; he will hear a province has been assigned to him before he can have any suspicion that time has been given to discuss that matter. I fear that our armies too, who have come to the assistance of the State, not under a fixed levy, but in their own voluntary zeal, may have their spirits checked if they think we have anything else in contemplation but the urgent war.
But if provinces seem to consuls desirable things - as they have often been desired by the noblest men - first restore to us Brutus, the light and ornament of the community, who should be preserved as carefully as that statue which fell down from heaven, and is kept in the custody of Vesta, and whose safety means we also shall be safe. ** Then we will, if it be possible, lift you to the very sky on our shoulders ; at any rate we will choose for you the most worthy provinces ; now let us set ourselves to the issue we have at hand.
That issue is whether we are to live as free men or die; and death is assuredly to be preferred to slavery.  And what if that proposal of yours also cause delay in our pursuit of Dolabella? For when will a consul come? Are we waiting until not even a vestige of the States and cities of Asia is left?
"But they will send someone of their own body." A proposal greatly to be approved of by me who a while ago refused an extraordinary command to a most distinguished man, if a private citizen! "But they will send a man worthy of the office," More worthy than Publius Servilius? But the community does not possess such a man. When I thought an appointment should be given to no one, not even by the Senate, am I to approve of it being entrusted to one man's decision?  We require, conscript fathers, a man unengaged and ready ; one that has a legitimate command, and authority besides, a name, an army, and a spirit proved in the liberation of the State.
[11.] L Who then is that man? Either Marcus Brutus, or Caius Cassius, or both. I should propose simply, as often is done, "in the case of consuls, one or both," had we not tied ** Brutus to Greece, and not preferred his assistance should be directed towards Italy rather than to Asia; not that we might have a means of escape from the sphere of operations in Italy, but that the army there ** should itself have a support from over the sea also. Besides, conscript fathers, even now Marcus Brutus is detained by Caius Antonius, who holds the great and important city of Apollonia, and holds, I think, Byllis, holds Amantia, is pressing on Epirus, is threatening Oricum, and who has some cohorts and cavalry. If Brutus is drawn away from there to another war, we shall certainly have lost Greece. And we have also to see to Brundisium and that shore of Italy. And yet I wonder Antonius delays so long; for he likes to put on his gloves himself, ** and not endure too long the terrors of a siege. But if Brutus finishes his work, and understands that he will do the State more service by pursuing Dolabella than by remaining in Greece, he will act on his own initiative, as he has hitherto done, and will not, in the midst of so many conflagrations that call for immediate help, wait for the orders of the Senate.  For both Brutus and Cassius have been already their own Senate in many things. For we must in such a general upturn and confusion follow the times rather than precedents. And it is not the first time that Brutus or Cassius has regarded the safety and liberty of their country as the holiest law and most excellent precedent. So even if there were no motion before us for the pursuit of Dolabella, yet I should think it as good as a decree, when we have eminent men of such valour, influence, and nobility of birth, with armies, of one of which we already have knowledge, and of the other report.
[12.] L Did Brutus then wait for our decrees when he knew our minds? For he has not set out for his province of Crete ; he has hurried into that of another, into Macedonia ** ; he considered that all things were his that you wish to be yours; he enrolled new legions, received old ones; he withdrew to himself Dolabella's cavalry, and in his own judgment regarded him, though as yet not stained by such a murder, as an enemy. Had it not been so, by what right would he withdraw his cavalry from a consul?  Again, did not Caius Cassius, a man endowed with equal greatness of mind and judgment, set out from Italy with the avowed object of keeping Dolabella out of Syria? Under what law? By what right? By that which Jupiter himself has sanctioned, that all things salutary for the State should be held as lawful and right; for law is nothing else but a principle of right derived from the will of the Gods, commanding what is honest, forbidding the contrary. This was the law, then, Cassius obeyed when he set out into Syria, a province that, if men obeyed written laws, belonged to another, but that, when these had been overthrown, was his by the law of nature.  But, in order that this may also be confirmed by your authority, I move that:
"Whereas Publius Dolabella, and those that were the ministers, allies, and abettors of his most cruel and savage crime, have been declared by the Senate enemies of the Roman people; and whereas the Senate has decreed that Publius Dolabella should be attacked in war, to the end that he who, by a new, unheard-of, and inexpiable crime, has polluted all the laws of Gods and men, and has involved himself in a murderous attack on his country, may pay to Gods and men the penalties deserved and due -  It is the pleasure of the Senate that Caius Cassius, proconsul, shall hold the province of Syria with the best possible title; that he shall receive from Quintus Marcius Crispus, proconsul, and Lucius Statius Murcus, proconsul, and Aulus Allienus, legate, their armies, and they shall surrender them to him ; and with those forces and others he may have besides enrolled shall attack Publius Dolabella in war by land and sea. In order to wage that war he shall have the right and power in Syria, Asia, Bithynia, and Pontus of making requisitions, from whomsoever he thinks good, of ships, sailors, and money, and other things pertaining to the carrying on of that war; and that, into whatever province he shall come for the carrying on of that war, there Caius Cassius, proconsul, shall have a greater authority than the man who shall then hold that province when Caius Cassius proconsul comes into that province.  That King Deiotarus the father and King Deiotarus the son, if they shall help Caius Cassius, proconsul, with their troops and resources, as in many wars they have helped the empire of the Roman people, will earn the gratitude of the Senate and Roman people ; and also if the other kings, tetrarchs, and dynasts shall do the same thing, the Senate and the Roman people will not be forgetful of their services. And that Caius Pansa and Aulus Hirtius, consuls, the one or both of them, if it seem good to them, after the re-establishment of the State, do at the earliest moment refer the question of the consular and praetorian provinces to this body ; in the meantime let the provinces be held by their present holders until a successor for each be appointed by senatorial decree."
[13.] L  By this decree of the Senate you will inflame the ardour of Cassius, and will arm him with additional arms; for you cannot be ignorant of his spirit and of his forces. His spirit is as you see; his forces those you have heard of, brave and determined men, who, even if Trebonius had been alive, would not have allowed the brigandage of Dolabella to penetrate into Syria. Allienus, my close friend and connexion, after the death of Trebonius will certainly be unwilling even to be called the legate of Dolabella. Quintus Caecilius Bassus, without a commission, but a brave and distinguished man, has a strong and victorious army.  Each of the Deiotari, the kings, father and son, has an army both large and trained in our fashion; the son is a man of the highest promise, of the highest natural intellect, and of the highest character. What am I to say of the father? whose goodwill to the Roman people is coeval with his own age ; who has been not only the ally of our generals in war, but the leader of his own forces also, How often have Sulla, Murena, Servilius, Lucullus spoken of that man in the Senate; in what earnest terms of compliment and honour! **  What shall I say of Cnaeus Pompeius, who considered Deiotarus to be beyond any man in all the world the whole-hearted friend and true well-wisher and faithful ally of the Roman people? Marcus Bibulus and I were in command in neighbouring and adjacent provinces; we were helped by this same king both with cavalry and infantry forces. There followed this most bitter and calamitous civil war, ** in which I need not say what Deiotarus should have done, or what would have been the better policy, especially as victory gave judgment in a manner contrary to his feelings. ** If in that war he made a mistake, the mistake was shared with the Senate; if his judgment was right, we should not abuse even a vanquished cause. To these forces will be added other kings, levies will also be added.  Nor indeed will fleets be wanting; so great is the opinion the Tyrians have of Cassius, so great is his name in Syria and Phoenicia.
[14.] L The State has against Dolabella, conscript fathers, in Caius Cassius a general ready, and not only ready but skilled and brave. He did great things before the arrival of the valiant Bibulus when he routed the most distinguished generals and the innumerable forces of the Parthians, and freed Syria from the ruthless assault of the Parthians. His greatest and especial achievement ** I pass over; for as the mention of it is not yet welcome to all, let us perpetuate it by the testimony of memory rather than of speech.
 I have observed, conscript fathers, and I have also heard it whispered, that Brutus, that Cassius receive exaggerated honour from me; moreover, that to Cassius by my proposal is given the position of a master and of a prince. Whom do I honour? assuredly it is the men who are themselves an honour to the State. What! have l not always honoured Decimus Brutus in my proposals? Do you therefore reprove me? Should I rather pay honour to the Antonii, the shame and disgrace, not of their families alone, but of the Roman name? or should I honour Censorinus ** in war an enemy, in peace a buyer of confiscations? or must I collect the other wreckages from the same brigandage? As for me, I am so far from honouring those enemies of quiet, concord, laws, law-courts, and liberty, that I cannot help but hate them as fully as I love the State.
 "See," he says, "you do not offend the veterans"; this is the whisper I hear most of all. I certainly am bound to safeguard the veterans, those, that is, who are sound in principle, but I am certainly not bound to fear them. But those veterans who have taken up arms in defence of the State, and have followed Caius Caesar, the guarantor of the benefits his father promised, and are to-day defending the State at their great risk - these I am bound, not only to safeguard, but also to load with advantages. And those that are neutral, as the seventh, as the eighth legion, I think should be esteemed worthy of great honour and praise. But the companions of Antonius, who, now they have eaten up Caesar's gifts, are besieging a consul elect, and threatening this city with fire and sword, and have handed themselves over to Saxa and Cafo, men born for crime and plunder, - is there any man that thinks they should be safeguarded? Therefore the veterans are either loyal, and we are bound even to distinguish them; or neutral, and we are bound to preserve them ; or disloyal, and against their madness we are at war, and have justly taken up arms.
[15.] L  Who then are the veterans whose feelings we fear to offend? Those who desire to liberate Decimus Brutus from siege? As the safety of Brutus is precious to them, how can they hate the name of Cassius? Or are they those veterans who stand aloof from either side? I am not afraid that any citizen of those whose delight is repose will be indignant. But the third class, not of veteran soldiers, but of most savage enemies, I wish to sear with a brand of the bitterest pain. But how long, conscript fathers, shall we express our opinions at the precept of the veterans? What means all this conceit of theirs, all this arrogance, so that we even choose our generals as they prescribe?  But I - for I must say, conscript fathers, what I feel - I think we should regard not so much the veterans as what the recruits, the flower of Italy, what the new legions now fully ready to liberate their country, what the whole of Italy feels regarding your firmness. For nothing is for ever flourishing; age succeeds to age. Long were the legions of Caesar vigorous; now the Pansas are vigorous, the Hirtii, the sons of Caesar, and the Planci; they are superior in numbers, they are superior in age; assuredly they are also superior in authority, for they are waging a war that is approved of all nations, Accordingly, to these rewards have been promised, to the others they have been paid. Let those others ** enjoy what they have, to these let there be paid the rewards we have promised; for that, my hope is, the immortal Gods adjudge to be most equitable.
 In these circumstances, I think, conscript fathers, that the proposal I made to you should be affirmed. **
1. Proconsul of Asia, formerly an officer of Caesar, and afterwards one of his assassins.
2. Caesar had assigned Cisalpine Gaul to D. Brutus, and Asia to C. Trebonius.
3. If D. was proceeding to Syria, why did he not take the shortest and direct way by sea? if to Trebonius, why did he invade another man's province ?
4. Apparently he charged T. with concealing them.
5. D. had been C.'s son-in-law.
6. By leaving the city for the camp of Antonius.
7. Such a person being by law ineligible.
8. C. Julius Caesar V. in 90 B.C., after being curule aedile only, stood for the consulship, contrary to the Lex Annalis. This election was vetoed by the tribunes.
9. On the sixth trial he was convicted of bribery.
10. By confirming Caesar's acts. C. had recalled Bestia among the other exiles.
11. i.e. a common workman under the orders of the centurions, whose duty it was to lay out the camp.
12. Of confiscation of land wrongfully bestowed on him in Campania: cf. Phil. viii. 9; x. 10.
13. The rich lands of Campania would compensate for loss on other estates.
14. As septemvirs on the commission to divide lands: cf. Phil. vi. 5.
15. Connection with the stage was, as a rule, regarded with contempt.
16. This is, of course, sarcasm.
17. i.e. they are unsparing even of their poisons. Ducaeus suggests (and the context supports him) that C. is playing on the word 'effundant', in connection with 'infudit'.
18. P. Decius Mus, the consul, in the Latin war of 340 B.C., being warned by a dream, devoted himself with the enemy's army to destruction, and so secured a Roman victory.
19. A play on the meaning of 'tabula'; 'tabulae novae' (new account books) = a cancellation of debts ; 'tabula' = an auction-catalogue. T. had offended debtors by opposing a remission of debts: cf. Phil. vi. 4. C. makes the same pun in In Cat. 2. 8 ('tabulae novae proferentur, verum auctionariae').
20. i.e. "would he had been crucified before he returned from exile."
21. Greek lysidikos = dissolver of laws.
22. Cimber killed his brother; cf. Phil. xiii. 12, where C. calls him Philadelphus. - "Cimber" also means a Cimbrian, one of a German tribe. Hence C.'s pun.
23. One that an extraordinary command should be given ; the other that the consuls of the year should conduct the war.
24. The Great, king of Syria, defeated in 190 B.C. by Scipio at Magnesia, and deprived of his conquests in Asia Minor.
25. Against Carthage, the first from 263-241 B.C. ; the second from 218-201. The third was from 150-146.
26. King of Epirus. The war was from 280-276.
27. Philip V, King of Macedon, at war with Rome 214-194.
28. Against the Achaean League, which ended in 146 in the loss of Greek independence.
29. Who claimed in 131 the kingdom of Pergamus on the death of Attalus III who had bequeathed it to the Romans.
30. Numantia in Spain had revolted, and maintained a war with Rome for several years.
31. The consul himself acted illegally; as Pont. Max. he might not leave Italy.
32. These were (1) over the Mediterranean coasts for the suppression of piracy (Lex Gabinia of 67) ; (2) in Asia for the war against Mithridates, king of Pontus (Lex Manilia of 66). C. conveniently forgets that he himself supported the latter law.
33. Pompeius. Q. Sertorius, a lieutenant of Marius, the popular leader, on Sulla's return to Italy in 83 B.C. fled to Spain, where he set up an independent government.
34. P. Servilius, who subdued in 76 B.C. the Isaurian pirates.
35. P. Servilius.
36. This was, on the motion of Calenus, carried. The only alternative, says C , to release was betrayal.
37. C. after his consulship resigned Gallia Cisalpina. The conflagration was the Catilinarian conspiracy.
38. The Palladium, or image of Pallas, which was kept in the citadel of Troy as a safeguard of the city, and was afterwards Rome. It was, according to ene account, brought by Aeneas to Italy. Paley suggests it was probably a meteoric stone. See Ov. Fast. 6. 419 seqq. The word has become in English symbolic of a safeguard.
39. And an 'expeditus homo' (cf. end of ch. x) being required.
40. i.e. the army of the Consuls Hirtius and Pansa.
41. i.e. he likes to set out when he chooses and does not generally delay till he is forced to move. There is a note of contempt in the word manicas, as effeminate wear.
42. The Senate had on June 1 allotted Crete to Brutus, Macedonia to A., and Africa to Cassius. The subsequent allotment of Mac. to C. Antonius (Phil. iii 10) C. repudiates: cf. Phil. x. 5.
43. He had assisted Sulla, Murena, and Lucullus in separate wars (84-70 B.C.) against Mithridates, king of Pontus; and P. Servilius Varia against the pirates in Cilicia in 78 B.C.
44. Between Caesar and Pompeius,
45. He had supported Pompeius.
46. The assassination of Caesar.
47. Referred to in ch. 5, ante.
48. i.e. the veterans.
49. It was, however, lost, after being vigorously opposed by Pansa.
Attalus' home page | 06.01.24 | Any comments?