Cicero : Philippic 13

This speech was delivered against Marcus Antonius, in April 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   [1] From the beginning of this war, conscript fathers, which we have undertaken against disloyal and abandoned citizens, I have feared lest some insidious negotiation for peace should quench our zeal for the recovery of liberty. For the very name of peace allures, while peace itself brings not only delight but safety. Now it seems to me that a man does not hold dear our private hearths, or the public laws, or the rights of liberty, who delights in discord, in massacres of citizens, in civil war; that man should, I think, be ejected from the ranks of his fellows, and banished from the confines of human nature. Therefore, whether it were Sulla or Marius, or both of them, or Octavius, or Cinna, or Sulla again, or the other Marius and Carbo, or any other who has desired civil war, that man I account a citizen born to be held accursed by the State. [2] For why should I speak of the last of them, ** whose acts we defend while we confess their author himself was justly slain? There is then nothing fouler than such a citizen, than such a man, if we can regard either as a citizen or as a man one who desires civil war.

But we must consider this first, conscript fathers, whether peace is possible with all men, or whether there is a sort of war that is inexpiable, in which an agreement for peace is a law sanctioning slavery. Peace with Scipio Sulla either made or pretended to make ; but there were no grounds for despair of an endurable political condition if they had agreed on terms. If Cinna had been willing to establish harmony with Octavius, the condition of men in the State might have remained healthy. In the last war, if Pompeius had relaxed somewhat of his inflexibility, and Caesar much of his cupidity, we should have been permitted to possess a stable peace, and some remnants of a commonwealth.

[2.] L   But what is the present position? can there be peace with the Antonii? with Censorinus, Ventidius, Trebellius, Bestia, Nucula, Munatius, Lento, Saxa ? I have named a few by way of illustration; you yourselves see the countless numbers and the savagery of the rest. [3] Add to these those wrecks among Caesar's friends, the Barbae Cassii, Barbatii, Pollios; add Antonius' fellow-gamblers and comrades, Eutrapelus, ** Mela, Pontius, Coelius, Crassicius, Tiro, Mustela, Petissius ; their following I disregard ; I name the leaders. With these must be classed the legion of the Larks ** and the rest of the veterans, a nursery for jurymen of the third panel ** who, now their own property is exhausted and Caesar's bounties are devoured, have become covetous of our fortunes.

[4] O trusty right hand of Antonius with which he has butchered many citizens! O ratified and sanctified treaty which we shall make with the Antonii! If Marcus shall attempt to violate it the conscientiousness of Lucius will call him back from the crime ! If there shall be place in this city for those men there will be no place for the city itself. Set before your eyes their faces, especially those of the Antonii, their gait, their look, their countenances, their demeanour, of their friends some walking by their side, some walking in front. What a reek of wine, what insults and threatening speech think you will come from them? But perhaps the very fact of peace will appease them, and in particular, when they enter this assembly, they will greet us kindly, and courteously address each one of us!

[3.] L   [5] By the immortal Gods! do you not recall what resolutions you have passed against those men ? You have rescinded the acts of Marcus Antonius ; you have annulled his laws; you have decided they had been proposed by violence and in defiance of the auspices; you have set afoot levies through the whole of Italy ; his colleague and partner ** in all crimes you have adjudged an enemy. With this man what peace is possible? Were he a foreign enemy, it could hardly be after such treatment, yet it might somehow. Seas, mountains, wide regions would intervene ; you might hate a man you did not see. ** These men will fasten themselves upon your eyes, and - when once they get the power - upon your throats; for in what pens shall we confine such savage beasts ?

But, it may be said, the issues of war are uncertain. It is surely the part of brave men, as you should be, to display courage - for that much they can do - and not to dread the whims of fortune. [6] But since from this our order not merely fortitude, but also wisdom, is required - though these qualities seem scarcely severable, yet let us sever them - fortitude bids us fight, it kindles a righteous hatred, it urges us to the conflict, it calls us to the peril. What says Wisdom ? She employs more cautious counsels, she looks to the future, she is in every respect more guarded. What then is her opinion? for we must obey, and regard that conclusion as best that is founded most on Wisdom's precepts. If this be her precept, that I should think nothing of more consequence than my life, should not contend at the peril of my life, should avoid all risk, I will ask her: "Even when, if I do so, I must be a slave?" If she say "Aye," verily to that Wisdom, however learned she may be, I will not hearken. But if she shall reply : "Nay; may you guard your life and person, your fortunes, your private possessions, but only as ranking them after liberty, and only as desiring their enjoyment if it can be had in a free State, and not sacrificing liberty for these, but for the sake of liberty flinging them away as if they were very guarantees of injustice," ** then should I seem to hear the voice of Wisdom, and would obey her as a God. [7] Therefore if, when these men are taken back, we can be free, let us overcome our hatred and put up with peace; but if with these men unpunished no quiet is possible, let us rejoice that a chance of fighting them has been offered. For we shall either by their deaths enjoy a victorious State; or, if we are crushed - may Jupiter avert the omen ! - we shall live, if not with the breath of life, at least with the fame of our virtue.

[4.] L   But, it will be said, Marcus Lepidus, who has been twice an imperator, who is pontifex maximus, and in the last civil war deserved well of the State, exhorts us to peace. ** No man's influence, conscript fathers, is greater with me than that of Marcus Lepidus, whether on account of his owns merits or on account of the dignity of his family. To these reasons may be added many great private kindnesses on his part towards me, and some services on my part towards him. But I count it the greatest benefit of all that he entertains his present feelings towards the State, which has been always dearer to me than my life. [8] For when by his influence he induced Pompeius Magnus, a most noble youth, the son of a most eminent father, to make peace, and without a conflict freed the State from the utmost peril of civil war, then I think by this benefit he held me bound in an obligation even greater than my utmost ability can fulfil. Accordingly, I proposed for him the fullest honours I could, and you agreed with me; and I have never ceased to have and to express the best hopes of him. The State holds Marcus Lepidus bound by many great pledges. His birth is of the noblest, there are all his honours, his most distinguished priesthood, his own numerous embellishments of the city, and the monuments of his brother and of his ancestors, a most respected wife, children most to his desire, a private fortune not only ample but pure of the stain of civil bloodshed. No citizen has been injured by him, many by his kindness and pity have been made free. Such a man, then, and citizen may make a slip in judgment; in inclination he cannot in any way be at variance with the State.

[9] Marcus Lepidus wishes for peace. Admirable! if he can bring about such a peace as he lately brought about, under which peace the State will again see the son of Cnaeus Pompeius, and will welcome him back to her bosom and embrace, accounting it a restoration not only of him but of her own self. This was the reason why you voted him a statue on the rostra with an honourable inscription, ** and a triumph in his absence. For although he had done in war great things and deserving a triumph, yet a grant ** could not be made to him which was not made either to Lucius Aemilius or Scipio Aemilianus, or to the elder Africanus, or to Marius, or Pompeius, who had conducted greater wars; but because he had quietly brought to an end a civil war, the first moment you were able, you conferred on him the greatest honours,

[5.] L   [10] Do you think then, Marcus Lepidus, that the Antonii will be in the State such citizens as the State is likely to find Pompeius? In the one is modesty, firmness, moderation, integrity ; in them - and when I denounce them, I pass over in my mind no one of that gang of brigands - lust, crime, and an immeasurable audacity in working any wickedness. In the next place, conscript fathers, which of you, I entreat you, does not see what Fortune herself, though she is called blind, has seen? For without prejudice to the acts of Caesar, which for the sake of peace we defend, his own house will be open to Pompeius, and he will buy it back at a price not less than Antonius bought it for; the house, I say, of Cnaeus Pompeius his son will buy back. ** A bitter fact! But these things have been bewailed long enough and fully. You have voted to Pompeius a sum ** as great as a conquering enemy would have realised from his father's goods in a partition of booty. [11] But, having regard to my friendship and connection with his father, this disposal of the sum I claim for myself. He will buy back his pleasure-grounds, his house, and certain urban properties, which Antonius holds; for the silver-plate, the garments, the furniture and the wine, which that glutton has squandered, ** he will be content to lose. The Alban and Formian estates he will recover from Dolabella ; also from Antonius the Tusculan; and let those who are now attacking Mutina and besieging Decimus Brutus - let the Ansers ** be driven out of the Falernian. There are others, perhaps, but they slip from my memory. I say too that those who are not of the number of our enemies will restore to the son the possessions of Pompeius at the price they gave. [12] It was inconsiderate enough, not to say audacious, to lay hands on anything out of that property ; but who will be bold enough to retain it when its noble master is restored? Or will not that fellow restore it, he who embracing the patrimony of his master, as a dragon does a treasure, the slave of Pompeius, ** the freedman of Caesar, has taken possession of the estates in Lucania? And that sum of seven hundred million sesterces ** which you, conscript fathers, have promised the young man will be so allotted as to make the son of Cnaeus Pompeius appear to have been settled in his patrimony by you.

So far the Senate; the rest the Roman people will carry out in the case of a family it has marked as the worthiest. First it will give him, in the place of his father, the augurship to which, that I may return to the son what I received from the father, I will nominate him as a colleague. ** Which of the two then shall we the more willingly sanction as augur of Jupiter the Best and Greatest of Gods, whose interpreters and messengers we are? which of the two will the Roman people? Pompeius or Antonius? To me indeed it seems that, by the inspiration of the immortal Gods, Fortune has determined that, in spite of our confirmation and ratification of the acts of Caesar, the son of Cnaeus Pompeius should be able to recover his dignity and the fortune of his father.

[6.] L   [13] And there is something else, conscript fathers, which I do not think I should pass over in silence, the fact that those illustrious envoys, Lucius Paulus, Quintus Thermus, and Caius Fannius, whose unremitting and steadfast good will towards the State you have realised, announce that they turned aside to Massilia in order to meet Pompeius, and recognised that he was most ready to go to Mutina with his forces, but feared to offend the veterans. ** But he is the son of a father who achieved much with wisdom no less than with bravery ; so you understand he was ready in spirit, and not wanting in judgment.

And Marcus Lepidus should see to it, too, that he does not appear to act with greater assumption than befits his character. [14] For if he scare us with an army he does not bear in mind that that army belongs to the Senate and the Roman people, indeed to the whole State, and is not his own. "But he can use it as his own." What then? are good men to do everything they have the power to do, even if those things are base, are pernicious? even if it will be altogether unlawful? And what can be baser, or fouler, or less decent than to march an army against the Senate, against fellow-citizens, against one's country ? what in truth is more blameworthy than to do what is unlawful? Now it is not lawful for any man to march an army against his country; if by "lawful" we mean what is allowed by the law, and the customs and institutions of our ancestors. For what a man can do is not necessarily lawful, nor, if there be no prohibition, is it therefore also permitted. For to you, Lepidus, as to your ancestors, your country gave an army on her own behalf. With this you will resist an enemy, will extend the frontiers of our rule; the Senate and the Roman people you will obey, if they shall happen to transfer you to some other task.

[7.] L   [15] If you think of these things, you are Marcus Lepidus, pontifex maximus, the great-grandson of Marcus Lepidus, pontifex maximus; but if you consider that what is lawful for men is measured by their power, beware of seeming to prefer to follow precedents foreign to your family, and those new ones, rather than those which are both ancient and of your own household. But if you interpose your authority without resort to arms, I do indeed praise you the more; but consider whether doing so is not itself unnecessary. For although there resides in you an authority as great as a man of very noble birth should have, yet the Senate does not despise itself, and never in truth has it been more dignified, more steadfast, more courageous. We are all of us carried along by a fiery zeal to recover our liberty ; by no man's authority can such ardour of Senate and Roman people be quenched ; "we hate; we fight in our wrath "; ** our arms cannot be wrested from our hands ; no note of retreat or of recall from war can we hear; we hope for the best; even the utmost hardship we prefer to suffer rather than be slaves. [16] Caesar has got together an unbeaten army; two most valiant consuls are present with their forces; the various and large reinforcements of Lucius Plancus, the consul-elect, are not wanting; the contest centres in the safety of Decimus Brutus; a single maddened gladiator with a gang of most savage brigands is waging war against his country, against our Household Gods, against our altars and hearths, against four ** consuls. Are we to yield to this man? is it to this man's conditions we are to listen? is it with this man we are to believe peace is possible?

[8.] L   But there is a risk of our being crushed. ** I am not afraid that a man who cannot enjoy his most ample fortune except with the safety of good men should betray his own safety. Nature in the first place makes good citizens, in the next, Fortune helps them ; for it is the interest of all good men that the State should be safe; but it is in those that are fortunate this is more apparent. [17] Who is more fortunate than Lepidus, as I have said before? who is also of sounder principles? His sadness and his tears the Roman people saw at the Lupercalia; it saw how cast down, how overcome he was, when Antonius, by placing a diadem on Caesar's head, chose to be that man's slave rather than his colleague. Had he been able to refrain from all his other outrages and crimes, yet, on account of this action alone, I should think him worthy of any punishment. For if he himself could endure slavery, why was he setting a master over us? and if his boyhood had suffered the lusts of those that were tyrants over him, ** was he also to set up over our children a master and a tyrant? And so when Caesar was slain, he showed himself towards the rest of the world as he wished Caesar to be towards us.

[18] For in what barbarous country was there ever any tyrant as savage, as cruel as, in this city, when fenced by the arms of barbarians, was Antonius? Whilst Caesar was master we used to come into the Senate, if not as free men, at least in safety; under this arch-pirate - for why should I call him merely a tyrant ? - these benches were occupied by Ituraeans. He burst out suddenly to Brundisium that he might from thence reach the city in battle-array ; Suessa, a most splendid town, now inhabited by the honestest of burghers, but formerly by colonists, he drenched with the blood of most valiant soldiers ; at Brundisium, in the very lap of his wife, a woman not only most avaricious but also most cruel, he butchered picked centurions of the Martian legion. From that place in what a frenzy, with what eagerness, did he hurry to our city, that is, to the slaughter of every patriot! At which time the immortal Gods themselves accorded us, though we did not expect it, unlooked-for protection.

[9.] L   [19] For it was the incredible and Heaven-inspired valour of Caesar that stayed the cruel and maddened attacks of a brigand - of Caesar whom that madman then thought he was hurting by edicts, not realising that whatever false charges he was aiming at that most modest of young men in truth recoiled on the memory of his own boyhood. He entered the city, and with what a following, or rather line of battle! when, amid the groans on right and left of the Roman people, he threatened householders, marked their houses, and openly promised to portion out the city among his supporters. He returned to his soldiers: then followed that pestilent harangue at Tibur. After that came the race to the city; the summoning of the Senate to the Capitol; a motion by a consul was prepared for hampering the young man; ** when suddenly - for he knew the Martian legion had halted at Alba - news is brought him of the Fourth. Dumbfounded by this, he abandoned his design of referring Caesar's case to the Senate; he went off, not by main roads, but by by-paths in his general's garb, and that very day he concocted innumerable decrees of the Senate, yes! and all of them were recorded faster than they were drafted! [20] From that time it was not a march, but a race and flight into Gaul. He thought Caesar was following him with the Martian legion, with the Fourth, and with the veterans, whose name he could not endure for fright, and, as he was penetrating into Gaul, Decimus Brutus threw himself in his path, preferring to be surrounded with all the waves of war than that Antonius should retire or advance, and set Mutina on his prancing as a kind of bit for his frenzy. And when he had fenced in the city with works and entrenchments, and when neither the dignity of a most prosperous colony nor the majesty of a consul-elect deterred him from his treason, then - I call you and the Roman people to witness, and all the Gods who preside over this city - against my will and in spite of my protest three consular envoys were sent to a leader of brigands and gladiators.

[21] Who was ever so barbarous, so cruel, so savage, so ferocious? He did not listen; he sent no reply; he scorned and set at nought, not only those who were present, but much more us by whom those envoys had been sent. Afterwards, what crime, what villainy is there the traitor did not perpetrate ? He is besieging our colonists, an army of the Roman people, a general, a consul-elect; he is wasting the lands of loyal citizens; a most hideous enemy is threatening all good men with crucifixion and racks. With this man, Marcus Lepidus, what peace is possible, when it seems that no possible punishment of him can satisfy the Roman people ?

[10.] L   [22] But if any man has so far been capable of a doubt whether any communion of this our order and the Roman people with that most outrageous beast can possibly exist, let him assuredly cease to doubt when he has heard this letter which I have just received from Hirtius the consul. While I read it, and briefly comment on it clause by clause, I beg you, conscript fathers, as you have hitherto done, to hear me with attention.

"Antonius to Hirtius and Caesar."

He neither calls himself a general, nor Hirtius a consul, nor Caesar a propraetor. That is clever enough: he preferred himself to lay down a name that was not his than to give them their own.

"When I heard of the death of Caius Trebonius, my joy was not greater than my grief."

See what he says is the cause of his joy, and what of his grief: your decision on the question of peace will be easier.

"That a criminal has paid the penalty to the ashes and bones of a most illustrious man, ** and that the power of the Gods has been revealed before the end of the year, the punishment for murder being either already inflicted or impending, is matter for rejoicing."

What a Spartacus ! ** for by what fitter name should I call you? a man whose atrocious crimes make Catilina appear tolerable; have you dared to write that we should rejoice that Trebonius has paid the penalty? that Trebonius is a criminal? for what crime except that on the Ides of March ** he withdrew you from the destruction you deserved? [23] Come, you rejoice at this: let us see at what you are annoyed.

"That Dolabella has at this crisis been adjudged an enemy for killing an assassin, and that the son ** of a buffoon seems dearer to the Roman people than Caius Caesar, the father of his country, is matter for lament."

Why do you lament that Dolabella has been adjudged an enemy? What! do you not understand that by the levy held all over Italy, by the despatch of the Consuls, by the honouring of Caesar, finally by the assumption of military garb, you have been adjudged an enemy? And what cause, you criminal, have you to groan that Dolabella has been adjudged an enemy by the Senate, when you hold that order as altogether of no account, but set before yourself as a ground for waging war the utter destruction of the Senate, and the inclusion of all other good men and all wealthy men in the fate of the supreme order. But he calls Trebonius the son of a buffoon ; as if in fact that eminent Roman knight were unknown to us, the father of Trebonius! And does he dare, who has acknowledged children by Fadia, to despise the low birth of anyone?

[11.] L   [24] "But the bitterest thing is that you, Aulus Hirtius, though you have been distinguished by Caesar's benefits, and left by him in a position in which you wonder at yourself - "

I certainly cannot deny that Hirtius was distinguished by Caesar, but those distinctions, when set on virtue and energy, have lustre. But you, who cannot deny you were distinguished by the same Caesar, what would you be if he had not bestowed so much on you? Would your merit have elevated you on to any height? would your birth? You would have wasted every day of your life in brothels, in cook-shops, in gambling, in drinking, as you used to do when you deposited your beard - and your wits - in the bosoms of your actresses. **

"And you, O boy - "

He calls him a boy whom he has felt, and shall feel, to be not only a man, but a very brave man too. That name indeed belongs to his age, but it is one not to be employed by a man who bestows his own madness on this boy as material for glory.

[25] "You who owe everything to a name - "

He owes certainly, and discharges the debt nobly. For if Caesar were the father of his country, as you name him - my sentiments I will reserve - why is this youth not more truly her father from whom we certainly receive our lives rescued from your most criminal hands?

"That you should strive to show that Dolabella was rightly condemned!"

Verily a base action, by which the authority of a most distinguished order is defended against the madness of a most cruel gladiator!

"And that this she-poisoner ** should be liberated from a siege."

Do you dare to call the man a she-poisoner who has discovered a remedy for your poisonings? whom, you new Hannibal (or any other cleverer general), you are besieging so as really to be besieging yourself, without the power, if you wished, of extricating yourself from that position? ** Supposing you retreat, all forces will follow you up on all sides; supposing you remain where you are, you will be caught. Assuredly you rightly call a she-poisoner the man by whom you see your present ruin has been brought about.

"That you should strive that Cassius and Brutus may be as powerful as possible."

[26] You would imagine he was speaking of Censorinus, or Ventidius ** or even the Antonii themselves! And why should they begrudge power to men who are not only most loyal and noble, but also allied with them in the defence of the State?

"Truly you ** regard these things as you did the former " (what things, pray ?): "you used to call the camp of Pompeius the Senate."

[12.] L   Should we rather call your camp the Senate ? where there is yourself, manifestly a consular, when your consulship has been utterly torn out of every recording register; there are two praetors who doubted whether they would get anything - a groundless doubt, for we uphold the benefactions of Caesar ; former praetors, Philadelphus ** Annius and the innocent ** Gallius; former aediles, that boxer's dummy on which I tried my lungs and voice, ** Bestia, and that patron of good faith and swindler of his creditors, Trebellius, ** and that ruptured and ruined Quintus Caelius, and the prop of the friends of Antonius, Cotyla Varius, ** whom Antonius by way of sport at an entertainment ordered to be lashed by public slaves! Of the septemvirate ** are Lento and Nucula; then there is the pet and darling of the Roman people, Lucius Antonius; ** as tribunes, first of all the two tribunes-elect, Tullus Hostilius, who with good right inscribed his name on the gate by which, when he could not betray him, he abandoned his general ; ** the other tribune-elect is one Insteius, a bold brigand, they say, though they report that at Pisaurum he was a temperate man - as a mixer of bath-water. ** [27] Other former tribunes there are too, Titus Plancus especially, who if he had loved the Senate, never would have burned the Senate-house. ** Condemned for that crime, he returned in arms to the city whence he had been expelled by the laws. But this feature is common to him and most of those like him. But one thing surprises me, which in the case of this Plancus is generally said, as it were proverbially, that he cannot die unless his legs have been broken. ** They have been broken, and he lives. But this, and many other things, must be put down to Aquila's credit. **

[13.] L   Decius is also there, sprung, I suppose, from the Decii called Mures; ** accordingly he nibbled Caesar's gifts. The memory of the Decii has indeed been renewed after a long interval through this illustrious man! But how can I pass over Saxa Decidius, a fellow fetched from the remotest nations that we might see as tribune of the plebs a man we had never seen as a citizen? [28] In the same place is one of the Sasernas; but they all of them have such a common likeness that I may mistake their first names. And certainly Extitius, the brother of Philadelphus, the quaestor, must not be omitted ; else, if I say nothing of so noble a youth, I should appear to be envying Antonius his possession. There is also a certain Asinius, a volunteer Senator, chosen by himself: he saw the Senate-house open after Caesar's death; he changed his shoes, ** and suddenly became a Conscript Father. I don't know Sextus Albesius, but I never met anyone so slanderous as to say he was unworthy of Antonius' Senate.

I think I have passed over some ; but concerning those that occurred to me I could not be silent. This then is the Senate on which he relies and despises Pompeius' Senate in which we were ten consulars ; were they all living, this war would not have arisen at all; audacity would have yielded to authority. [29] But what a protection the others would have been you can understand from this: I, the only one left of many, crushed and broke with your assistance the audacity of an exulting robber.

[14.] L   But if Fortune had only not robbed us of Servius Sulpicius, ** and before that of his colleague Marcus Marcellus - and what citizens, what men were they ! - if the State had been able to keep the two consuls, warm lovers of their country, who were together expelled from Italy; or Lucius Afranius, that consummate general; or Publius Lentulus, a citizen of singular worth in other ways but especially in securing my recall; or Marcus Bibulus, whose steadfast devotion to the State has ever been justly extolled; or Lucius Domitius, a most distinguished citizen; or Appius Claudius, a man as eminent for noble birth as for loyalty ; or Publius Scipio, a man ot great distinction and most resembling his ancestors - assuredly with those consulars the Senate of Pompeius would not have been despicable. [30] Which then was fairer, which better for the State, that Pompeius should be living, or the purchaser of Pompeius' confiscated goods, Antonius? But what men the former praetors were! the chief of them was Marcus Cato, the chief too in virtue among all nations. Why should I mention the rest of those most illustrious men? You know them all. I am more afraid of your thinking me tedious in enumerating them than of your thinking me ungrateful in passing them over. What ex-aediles there were! what ex-tribunes! what ex-quaestors! Why say more? The dignity and the number of the Senators was such that those who did not come into that camp had need of a strong excuse. Now attend to the rest of his letter.

[15.] L   "You have had the vanquished ** Cicero for your general."

I hear the word "general" the more gladly because he certainly says it unwillingly; for as to the word "vanquished" I care nothing. For it is my destiny that apart from the State I cannot be vanquished or vanquish.

"You are fortifying Macedonia with garrisons."

Yes, and we have wrested it from your brother, no degenerate from your family.

" Africa you have entrusted to Varus, a man twice ** a captive."

He thinks he is arguing with his brother Caius!

"You have sent Cassius into Syria."

Do you not then feel that the world lies open to our cause, and that you have nowhere outside your lines to plant your foot ?

[31] "You have allowed Casca **to hold the tribuneship."

What then? Were we to expel from the State, like a Marullus, a Caesetius, ** a man through whose aid we have secured the impossibility of the same treatment, and many things of the same kind, ever happening afterwards?

"You have taken from the Luperci the Julian revenues."

Does he dare to mention the Luperci? and not shudder at the recollection of that day ** when, drenched with wine, smeared with unguents, naked, he dared, amid their groans, to urge the Roman people to be slaves?

"You have taken away the veterans' colonies, though planted by law and by decree of the Senate."

Did we take them away, or on the other hand ratify a law passed at the comitia centuriata? Yet consider whether it is not you that have ruined these veterans who had been ruined, and planted ** them in a position from which they themselves already feel they will never escape.

[32] "You are promising to restore to the Massilians what has been taken from them by the laws of war.'' **

I do not argue as to the laws of war - the argument is more easy than necessary; but notice this point, conscript fathers, what a born enemy to this State Antonius is ; who so bitterly hates that community which he knows has been always most friendly to this State.

[16.] L   "You repeat that no surviving adherent of Pompeius is bound by the Hirtian law." **

Who, I ask, now mentions the Hirtian law? a law, I think, the proposer himself regrets no less than those against whom it was passed. In my opinion, indeed, it is not right to call it a law at all; and, even if it be a law, we ought not to regard it as a law of Hirtius.

"You supplied Brutus with the money of Apuleius." **

Well? If the State had armed an excellent man with all its forces, what good man, pray, would regret it? For without money he could not have supported an army, or without an army have taken your brother.

[33] "You approved of the execution of Petraeus and Menedemus, men who had been given the citizenship, and guest-friends of Caesar. "

We did not approve what we had never even heard of. Assuredly in such disorder of public affairs we ought to have given serious attention to two most rascally Greeklings !

"You did not care that Theopompus was stripped and driven out by Trebonius, and took refuge in Alexandria. "

A heavy charge against the Senate! We were careless about Theopompus, that eminent man, about whom, as to where in the world he is, what he is doing, in a word, whether he is alive or dead, who either knows or cares?

"You look on Servius Galba in the camp girt with the identical dagger." **

I make you no reply as to Galba, a most brave and steadfast citizen; he will be present himself, and that dagger you reproach him with will reply to you.

"You have enlisted soldiers, ** either mine or veterans, on the plea that it was for the destruction of Caesar's murderers ; and then these same soldiers you have set on unexpectedly to endanger him ** who had been their quaestor, or their general, or those who had been their own fellow-soldiers."

Of course we cajoled, we deceived them! the Martian legion, the Fourth were ignorant men! the veterans did not know what was being done! they were not supporting the authority of the Senate, the liberty of the Roman people! they wished to avenge the death of Caesar, which all men deemed decreed by destiny ; it was you, no doubt, they were anxious should be safe, happy, and prosperous!

[17.] L   [34] O wretched man, not only from your situation, but especially in not feeling how wretched you are! But listen to the greatest charge.

"In short, what is there you have not approved or done, which, should he come to life again, would be done by - "

By whom? for I suppose he will bring forward the instance of some rascal.

"Cnaeus Pompeius himself - "

Oh, how base we are if we have indeed copied Cnaeus Pompeius !

"Or his son, should he be able to live at home."

He will be able, believe me; for in a few days he will remove into his father's house and pleasure-grounds. **

"Lastly, you say peace is impossible unless I either let out Brutus or supply him with corn."

Others say so; but I think that, even if you do what you say, there will never be peace between you and the State.

"What! is this the opinion of those veterans of yours to whom all courses are still open ? " **

I have seen no course so open to them as to begin an attack on the general whom with such zeal and unanimity they have offended.

[35] "Although you have set out to pervert them with flatteries and poisoned gifts."

Are they so corrupted whose resolve it is to pursue a most foul enemy with a most just war?

"But you say you are bringing aid to the besieged soldiers. I do not mind their being safe, and going where they wish, provided only they suffer him to perish who has deserved it."

How kind! In a word it was by the liberality of Antonius that those soldiers deserted their general and betook themselves in a panic to an enemy, though, had it not been for them, Dolabella would not have offered a sacrifice to his general before Antonius too had done so to his colleague. **

[36] "You write that mention has been made of peace in the Senate, and that the envoys are five consulars. It is difficult to believe that those who drove me headlong though I was offering most equitable terms - and even so thinking of yielding as to some of them - to imagine they will do anything moderate or humane. It is hardly likely too that those who adjudged Dolabella an enemy on account of a most just deed can at the same time spare me who am of the same sentiments."

Does it seem a small thing that he confesses he has entered into a partnership with Dolabella in all his acts? Do you not see that from the one fount well all the crimes? He himself in fact confesses - and shrewdly enough indeed - that those who declared Dolabella an enemy on account "of a most just deed" - as it seems to Antonius - cannot spare him who has the same sentiment.

[18.] L   [37] What would you do with a man who has put to the record of a letter his arrangement with Dolabella that he should slay Trebonius with tortures, and, if he could, Brutus and Cassius too, and that he himself should hold the same punishment over our heads? Oh, a citizen to be preserved along with a treaty so righteous and so just !

He also complains that his terms have been rejected: such fair and modest terms! that he should have Further Gaul, a province most adapted to the renewal and preparation of war; that the Larks should sit as jurymen in the third panel, ** that is to say, that there should be a safe refuge for crime to the foulest disgrace of the State; that his acts should be ratified although no trace of his consulship remains. He was providing also for Lucius Antonius, that most fair partitioner of private and public land, with Nucula and Lento as colleagues.

[38] "Wherefore do you rather consider which is in better taste and more beneficial to your party, to avenge the death of Trebonius or that of Caesar; and whether it is more fitting that we should join battle so that the cause, so often slaughtered, of the Pompeians should more easily come to life, or should agree together, that we may not be a derision to our enemies. - " **

If it had been slaughtered, it would never be rising again - and may that be the fate of you and yours! "Which is in better taste?" he says. And so in this war there is a question of taste! "And more beneficial to your party." [39] "Party," you madman, is a word used in the forum, in the Senate-house. It is war, a nefarious war, you have undertaken against your country; you are blockading Mutina; you are besieging a consul-elect; it is war against you two consuls are waging, and with them the propraetor Caesar; all Italy is in arms against you. Do you call that a "party," or rather a revolt from the Roman people? "To avenge the death of Trebonius or that of Caesar." We sufficiently avenged the death of Trebonius when Dolabella was adjudged an enemy; Caesar's death is most easily defended by oblivion and silence. But mark his object. When he thinks the death of Caesar should be avenged he proposes death not only for the perpetrators of that deed, but also for those who did not resent it.

[19.] L   [40] "For whichever of us falls those enemies will profit. Such a spectacle Fortune herself so far has avoided, that she might not see two armies of one body fighting with Cicero as trainer, ** who is so far fortunate that he has deceived you with the same flowers of speech with which he boasted Caesar was deceived."

He proceeds to abuse of me, as if his former gibes have enjoyed the fairest success; but I will brand him with the truest marks of infamy, and will hand him down to the everlasting memory of men. I "a trainer"? And indeed not an unskilful one: I desire the slaughter of the worst, of the best the victory. "Whichever fall," he writes, "will be to our ** profit." [41] What splendid profit, whereby, if you are the victor - which may the gods forfend! - theirs will be a blessed death who expire without tortures! He says that Hirtius and Caesar ** were "deceived by me by the same flowers of speech." What flower of speech, pray, has so far been bestowed by me on Hirtius? for to Caesar more and finer ones are due. But is it the other Caesar you dare to say was deceived by me? You, you, I say, slew him at the Lupercalia ; and why have you, most ungrateful man, abandoned ** his priesthood? But mark now this great and noble man's admirable gravity and firmness!

[42] "I am resolved to endure no insults to myself or to my friends, and not to desert the party Pompeius hated, nor to permit the veterans to be removed from their abodes, nor to be dragged one by one to torture, nor to betray the pledged faith I have given to Dolabella," -

I leave out the rest ; this loyal fellow cannot abandon the "pledge he gave to Dolabella," that holiest of men. What pledge? One for the massacre of the best citizens, the partition of the city and of Italy, the devastation and plunder of the provinces? For what else was to be ratified by pact and pledge between Antonius and Dolabella, those most shameless murderers?

[43] "Nor to be false to my alliance with Lepidus, the loyalest of men," -

You in alliance with Lepidus, or with any - I will not say good citizen, as he is - but with any sane man? Your endeavour is to show that Lepidus should be regarded as either disloyal or insane. Your endeavour is vain - though to speak positively about another man is difficult - especially about Lepidus, whom I shall never fear; I shall have the best hopes of him while I can. Lepidus wished to win you from your frenzy, not to abet your insanity. You, moreover, seek friends among not merely the loyal, but among the "loyalest," and, though the word does not exist at all in the Latin language, ** you in your divine loyalty introduce a new one.

[44] "Nor to betray Plancus, the partner of my counsels,"'

Plancus a partner? whose remarkable and Heaven-inspired loyalty sheds a lustre on the State - unless perhaps you think he is coming to your aid ** with his most valiant legions, and the greatest force of cavalry and infantry of the Gauls - and who, if you do not pay the penalty to the State before his arrival, will bear the principal part in this war. For, although the first succours are the more useful to the State, yet the last are the more welcome.

[20.] L   [45] But now he pulls himself up, and at the end begins to philosophise :

"If, as I tread the path of an upright purpose, the immortal Gods shall, as I hope, assist me, I will gladly live. But if another fate await me, I anticipate joyfully the punishments you will suffer. For if, when conquered, Pompeians are so insolent, what they will be as conquerors it is you ** rather who will discover."

Anticipation of joys you may have; for yours is a war, not against "Pompeians," but with the universal State. All Gods and men, the highest, middle, and lowest ranks, citizens and foreigners, men and women, freemen and slaves, hate you. We have felt this lately in a false report, ** in a true one we shall feel it presently. If you ponder on these things with yourself, you will die with an easier mind and with greater comfort.

[46] "Finally, the sum of my decision tends to this: I can bear injuries inflicted by my friends, ** if either they themselves are willing to forget the commission of them, or are ready with me to avenge Caesar's death."

Now you know Antonius' resolution, do you think that either Aulus Hirtius or Caius Pansa, the consuls, will hesitate to pass over to Antonius, besiege Brutus, and long to attack Mutina? Why do I speak of Pansa and Hirtius? Will Caesar, a young man of remarkable filial feeling, be able to restrain himself from exacting a penalty for his father's death in the blood of Decimus Brutus? ** So when they had read this letter, they approached ** his siege-works. And hereby the young Caesar has proved himself greater, and to have been born by the greater kindness of the immortal Gods for the service of the State, in that he has never been beguiled by any phantom of his father's name, or by filial feeling, and understands that the greatest duty of a son consists in the preservation of his fatherland. [47] But if there were a party conflict - though the name of party is altogether extinct - would Antonius and Ventidius better defend the party of Caesar than first of all Caesar, a young man of the warmest filial feeling for the memory of his parent, next Pansa and Hirtius, who held as it were Caesar's two wings when that word "party" was truly applicable? But what parties are here when to the one side the authority of the Senate, the liberty of the Roman people, and the safety of the State are set as objects, to the other the massacre of good men and the partition of the city and of Italy?

[21.] L   Let us come at last to the clause "I do not believe envoys are coming" - well he knows me! "where war is coming" - and well it may be when we have set before us the instance of Dolabella. ** I suppose envoys will have rights more sacred than the two consuls against whom he is in arms; than Caesar whose father's priest he is; than a consul-elect whom he is blockading; than Mutina which he is besieging; than his country which he threatens with fire and sword.

[48] "When they come I shall learn their demands."

Destruction and racks fall upon you! Would any man come to you but someone like Ventidius ? ** For the quenching of a rising conflagration we sent men of eminence; you rejected them; are we now to send them into a blaze so great and so firmly settled by delay when you have made for yourself no room - I do not say for peace - but even for surrender?

This letter, conscript fathers, I have read, not because I thought him worthy that I should, but that by the man's own confessions you might see all his treasons laid open. [49] Is it with this man that Marcus Lepidus, richly endowed as he is with all the gifts of virtue and of fortune, would, if he saw this letter, at last desire to make peace, or think it possible? "Sooner fire with water," as some poet says, sooner in short anything than that the State should come to agreement with the Antonii, or the Antonii with the State. These men are monsters and portents, [prodigies] to the State. Better were it that this city of ours should be shifted from her place, and should migrate, if it were possible, to other lands where she should "not hear of the doings or the names" of the Antonii, ** than that she should behold those men who were expelled by Caesar's valour, and by that of Brutus held in check, ** within her walls. Our first prayer is to conquer; in the second place, to regard no chance of fortune as unbearable on behalf of the honour and liberty of our country. What remains is not a third, but the last alternative of all, to incur the greatest turpitude through love of life.

[50] This being so, on the question of the recommendations and the letter ** of that most illustrious man Marcus Lepidus, I agree with Servilius; ** and I propose this addition: "That Magnus Pompeius, the son of Cnaeus, has acted agreeably with the disposition and the zeal towards the State of his father and his ancestors, and with his own accustomed virtue, energy, and good-will, in promising the Senate and the Roman people the assistance of himself and of those with him; and that this action is welcome and acceptable to the Senate and Roman people, and that this action will redound to his honour and dignity." This may either be added to the present decree of the Senate, or can be separated therefrom and independently registered, that the praise of Pompeius may appear in the Senate's own decree.


1.   Caesar.

2.   P. Voluminius E., the former protector of the mime Cytheris: cf. Phil. ii. 24.

3.   See note on Phil. i. 20.

4.   As proposed by Antonius: cf. Phil. i. 8.

5.   Dolabella.

6.   And remain at peace with him. This is impossible if A. be at Rome.

7.   King explains that possessions are a guarantee by Fortune that the owner will suffer wrong from tyrants.

8.   His military exploits were in fact poor, and did not justify his assumption of the title "twice imperator," though he called himself so in his letters to C. (ad Fam. x. 34, 35). The title of Imperator was, however, conferred upon him by the Senate for his reconcilement of S. Pompeius to the State: cf. Phil. v. 15.

9.   Cf. Phil. v. 15.

10.   i.e. of a statue.

11.   C. seems to mean that the purchase by S. Pompeius, with the aid of Fortune, of his father's house out of the State indemnity is not an infringement of Caesar's "act" in confiscating it at first. The house is not lost to Sext.

12.   Fifty million Attic drachmae. This was voted on Ant.'s motion (Dio 45. 10).

13.   As to these, cf, Phil. ii. 97.

14.   An allusion to a second-rate poet, Anser, whom Virgil perhaps referred to in Ecl. 9. 35: 'inter strepere anser olores'.

15.   Probably Demetrius, whose insolence and wealth are mentioned in Plut. Pomp. 40, and Cat. Min. 13.

16.   But see note on § 10. The reading here may be 'bis miliens'.

17.   By the Lex Domitia of 104 B.C., and Lex Atia of 63 B.C., the College of Augurs nominated two candidates, of whom one was selected by 17 (chosen by lot) out of the 35 Roman tribes: cf. Cic. De Lege Agr. 2. 7.

18.   Of Caesar, the opponent of Pompeius the father.

19.   Adapted from Lucilius ('Odi hominem, iratus pugno'), also cited in Tusc. iv. 21.

20.   Hirtius and Pansa, the consuls of the year, and L Plancus and D. Brutus, consuls elect.

21.   If L. were to join Antonius, as he in fact ultimately did. In all this appeal Cic. shows his real distrust of L.

22.   Cf. Phil. ii. 18.

23.   Cf. Phil. iii. 8. He had intended to impeach Caesar Octavianus in the Senate,

24.   Julius Caesar.

25.   The leader of the revolted gladiators in the Servile war of 73-71 B.C.: cf. Phil. iii. 8, and iv. 6.

26.   T. prevented A. entering the Senate on the day of Caesars assassination.

27.   Trebonius.

28.   The play on 'mentum mentemque' seems hardly translateable.

29.   D. Brutus. 'Venefica' has no special meaning being merely a term of abuse, the feminine gender being added by way of contempt: cf. Ter. Eun. 5. 1. 9.

30.   An allusion to the way in which Hannibal was checked by Fabius Maximus Cunctator.

31.   As to V., cf. note on Phil. xiii. 48.

32.   Hirtius and Pansa, to whom the letter is addressed.

33.   T. Annius Cimber, who slew his brother: cf, Phil. xi. 6.

34.   The allusion is unknown.

35.   C. had defended him six times: cf. Phil. xi. 5.

36.   Cf. Phil. vi. 4. 5.

37.   Cf. note on Phil. v. 5.

38.   The commission to assign public lands among the veterans: cf. Phil. vi. 5 and xi. 6.

39.   The patron of the Roman tribes: cf. Phil. vi. 5.

40.   An unknown allusion. Perhaps he escaped by a Porta Hostilia, and so gave a new significance to the name. So King suggests.

41.   Said para prosdokian. Some such word as 'vinum' would have been expected.

42.   Tribune of the Commons in 52 B.C., and chief mover of the riot (in which the Senate-house was burnt) that followed the funeral of C.'s enemy, P. Clodius; cf. note on Phil. vi. 10.

43.   i.e, unless he has been crucified: cf. N.T. St. John xix. 31. As we say of a man "he is born to be hanged."

44.   Who drove him out of Pollentia 'crure fracto' : cf. Phil. xi. 6.

45.   'Mures' = mice. Mus was a family name of the Decian gens. As to the ancestor alluded to, cf. Phil. xi. 6.

46.   Senators wore a special shoe with a crescent attached.

47.   As to Sulp. see Phil. ix. C.'s description of some of the others is highly coloured. For example, Afranius (a Pompeian who surrendered to J. Caesar at Ilerda in Spain) was an incompetent general; and Domitius (an ancestor of the Emperor Nero) was a man of unexampled perfidy and ferocity.

48.   A sneer at C.'s banishment.

49.   Caesar captured him at Corfinium, and afterwards in Africa.

50.   Servilius C., one of Caesar's assassins.

51.   Two tribunes expelled by Caesar from the Senate for tearing down the crowns hung on C.'s statues: cf. Shakesp. J.C. I. i. 73.

52.   When he attempted to put a crown on Caesar's head at the Lupercalia ; cf. Phil. ii. 34.

53.   C. uses advisedly the word 'deducere', the technical term for the planting of a colony.

54.   They had been reduced by Caesar : cf. Phil. viii. 6.

55.   This may have been a law penalising the Pompeians. But its provisions are unknown.

56.   Who handed over to M. Brutus in Macedonia the moneys he had collected as quaestor : cf. Phil. x. 11.

57.   Which he had used against Caesar, under whom he had served in the Gallic War.

58.   The Fourth and the Martian legions which deserted A. Cf. Phil. x. 10.

59.   A. himself.

60.   S. Pompeius had in July 44 made an offer of accommodation with the Republic, but conditional on his being restored to his father's house: ad Att. 16, 4.

61.   A. seems to mean that so far the veterans had not committed themselves by an actual attack on him.

62.   i.e. Dolabella's murder of Trebonius to avenge Caesar, his general, would not have come before A.'s murder of D. Brutus to avenge Caesar, his colleague in the consulship. As to 'parento' cf. note on Phil. i. 13.

63.   Cf. Phil. i. 8.

64.   Cic. and his supporters.

65.   A lanista was the keeper of a school ('ludus') where gladiators (called his 'familia') were, by appropriate diet and exercise in their weapons, trained for the public shows.

66.   Cic. and his party.

67.   C. Octavianus.

68.   By being illegally away from Rome. A flamen (as A. was to Caesar: Phil. ii. 43) could not leave the city.

69.   The superlative 'piissimus' is frequent in writers of the Silver age ; 'pientissimus' is found in inscriptions.

70.   As he eventually did. P. was Governor of N. Gaul.

71.   i.e. Hirtius and Pansa, and the Caesarian party. A.'s argument is that he is fighting, not against the State, but against a Pompeian faction led by Cicero.

72.   That A. was dead.

73.   Those formerly of Caesar's party.

74.   All this is ironical.

75.   C. may here be playing on two senses of accedere, e.g. "to accede to A.'s offer," or "to approach" in a physical sense.

76.   Cf. Phil. xi. 2. 5. Ant. rightly thinks that envoys would not trust their safety to him.

77.   But V. was a remarkable man, and is cited in literature as a typical instance of the caprices of Fortune. He had been a captive in Pompeius Strabo's triumph ; became a mule-contractor ; won the favour of J. Caesar; became tribune, praetor, and consul; defeated the Parthians; was awarded a triumph, being the only Roman who had triumphed over that nation. He was given a public funeral. Cf. Juv. 7. 201; Gell. 15. 4; Plut. Ant. 34; and fragm. 5 of the Philippics.

78.   C. is thinking of the lines of an old tragedy: "Ubi Nec Pelopidarum nomen nec facta audiam." He quotes them in Epp. ad Att. 14. 12.

79.   Before Mutina.

80.   L. had written to the Senate advocating peace: cf. ch. iv. supra.

81.   Who had moved a vote of thanks to L. for his letter.

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