Cicero : Philippic 2

Sections 64-119

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.

    ← Previous sections (1-63)

[26.] L   [64] Caesar came back from Alexandria, happy, as he indeed fancied, but in my opinion no man that is an enemy of the State can be happy. The spear ** was erected in front of the temple of Jupiter Stator, and the goods of Cnaeus Pompeius - alas ! alas! for, when tears are spent, yet deep-seated grief abides - the goods, I say, of Cnaeus Pompeius the Great were submitted to the harsh announcement of the auctioneer. In that one matter forgetful of its slavery, the public groaned, and though their hearts were enslaved - since all things were possessed by fear - yet the groans of the Roman people were free. While all were waiting to see who could be so disloyal, so mad, so hostile to Gods and men, as boldly to support that criminal auction, not a single man was found save Antonius, and that too when there stood around that spear such a throng of men who were bold enough for anything besides; one single man was found ** bold enough for that from which the audacity of all beside had shrunk back appalled. [65] Did such stupidity, I say, overcome you, or - to speak more truly - such madness, as to leave you ignorant that, firstly, being a purchaser at all ** - a man of your birth - and secondly the purchaser of Pompeius goods, you have become an object of execration, of loathing to the Roman people, that all Gods, all men, are and will remain your enemies? But how insolently did the glutton at once take possession of the fortunes of the man by whose valour the Roman people was more dreaded by foreign races, by whose justice it was more endeared to them!

[27.] L   When he had all at once begun to wallow in the ample wealth of that great man, he was transported with joy, the very character in a farce, now needy, suddenly rich. But - as some poet ** says - "evil gains come to an evil end." [67] It is incredible, and almost portentous how in so few days - I do not say months- - he squandered so much property. There was an immense store of wine, a very great weight of the finest silver, a costly wardrobe, much elegant and magnificent furniture in many places, the belongings of a man not indeed lavish but fully supplied. Of these in a few days nothing remained. What Charybdis was so voracious? Charybdis do I say? if it ever existed, it was a single animal! an Ocean, so help me Heaven! scarce seems capable of having swallowed so quickly things so scattered, situated in so many different places. Nothing was locked up, nothing sealed, nothing catalogued. Whole wine bins were made presents to the vilest characters. Some things actors looted, others actresses; the house was crammed with gamblers, full of drunkards ; whole days there was drinking and that in many places; to crown all - for the fellow is not always lucky - were frequent gaming losses. In the garrets of slaves you would see beds covered with the purple tapestries of Cnaeus Pompeius. Wherefore cease to wonder these things were so quickly exhausted. Not a single patrimony alone, however ample, as that was, but cities and kingdoms such profusion could have swiftly devoured. But he also occupied the house and the gardens. [68] What monstrous audacity! Did you so much as dare to put foot into that house; you to pass over that most sacred threshold; you to show your most profligate face to the household Gods of that dwelling? A while past no man could look at, none pass the house without tears - are you not ashamed to be so long an inmate in such a house, where, though you have no sense, none the less nothing can give you pleasure?

[28.] L   Do you, when in that forecourt you have seen ships' beaks and spoils, think you are entering your own house? It cannot be. However much you are without intelligence, without feeling, as you are, you still know both your own self, and your own belongings, and your own friends. And yet I do not believe that you, whether awake or asleep, can be easy in mind. However drunken and distracted you may be, as you are, it needs must be that, when the image of that matchless man is presented to you you should start from slumber in terror, often too feel distraught when awake. [69] As for me, I pity those very walls and that roof. For what had that house ever seen but what was pure? but what sprang from the most perfect morals and the holiest discipline? For that man, Conscript Fathers, was, as you know, alike illustrious abroad, and admirable at home, not more worthy of praise for his foreign achievements than for his domestic habits. In this fellow's abode brothels take the place of bedrooms, food outlets of dining-rooms. However, he now denies it. Don't enquire - he has become a sober character; that actress of his he has divorced ; ** under the Law of the Twelve Tables he has taken away her keys, has turned her out. What a sterling citizen he is henceforth! how tried and tested! a man whose whole life shows nothing more honourable than his divorce of a female mime ! [70] And how often does he use the phrase "Both consul and Antonius!" that is to say, "both consul and very lewdness,"   "both consul and very iniquity."   For what else is Antonius? For if worth were signified in the name, your grandfather would, I suppose, have sometimes called himself, "both consul and Antonius." He never did so. My colleague too, your uncle, ** would have done so, unless perchance you are the only Antonius.

But I pass over offences not peculiar to the political role in which you harassed the State: I return to your proper role, that is, to the civil war which was born, kindled, begun by your work.

[29.] L   [71] That war you took no part in, partly through cowardice ** more so through your lusts. You had tasted, or rather had drunk deeply, the blood of citizens: you had been in the lines of Pharsalia in the front rank; you had slain Lucius Domitius, a man most distinguished and noble; and many besides who had fled from the battle, whom Caesar would perhaps have spared, as he did some, you had most cruelly pursued and butchered. After so many brilliant exploits what reason was there why you should not follow Caesar into Africa, especially when so great a part of the war remained? Accordingly what place did you hold with Caesar himself after his return from Africa? In what account were you? Though when he was commander you had been his quaestor, when he was dictator, his master of the horse, the chief mover of the war, the instigator of his cruelty, the partner in his plunder, though you were by his will, as you yourself stated, his adopted son, you were called upon for the money you owed for your house, for your gardens, for your purchases at auction. [72] At first you answered pretty fiercely, and - for I would not appear to be always against you - you said what was almost fair and just. " Is it of me Caius Caesar asks for money? why not rather I from him? was it without me he conquered? Nay, it was even beyond his power. I brought him a pretext for civil war, I proposed pernicious laws, I took up arms against the consuls and generals of the Roman people, against the Senate and the Roman people, against my country's Gods and altars and hearths, against my country. Did he conquer for himself alone? Where men share in the crime, why are they not also to share in the booty?" You demanded your rights: but what has that to do with it? He was the stronger.

[73] So, having shaken off your expostulations, he sent soldiers, both to you and to your sureties, and then all of a sudden that wonderful catalogue of yours was produced. How men laughed that there should be such a long catalogue, such various articles, so many possessions out of which, except a share in the land at Misenum, ** there was nothing the man who was putting them up for auction could call his own! And the auction itself was a miserable sight : ** Pompeius' wardrobe, a scanty one, and that stained ; some dinted silver vases of his, some shabby slaves, so that we grieved that anything remained of his for us to see. [74] Yet this was the auction the heirs of Lucius Rubrius ** stopped by Caesar's decree. The spendthrift was in a difficulty : he had nowhere to turn. Moreover at this very time an assassin sent by him was said to have been caught at Caesar's house dagger in hand; of which Caesar complained and openly attacked you in the Senate. Caesar sets out for Spain, having given you, because of your poverty, a few days' grace for payment. Not even then do you follow him. So stout a gladiator, and so quick a discharge? ** And when he was so fearful in support of his own side - I mean of his own fortunes - is any man to stand in fear of him?

[30.] L   [75] At length he did set out after all for Spain, but, as he says, he could not reach it in safety. How then did Dolabella reach it? Either you should never have adopted that cause, Antonius, or, having adopted it, you should have defended it to the last. Three times Caesar fought with citizens, in Thessaly, Africa, Spain. At all these battles Dolabella was present; in the Spanish one he also received a wound. If you ask my opinion, I could wish he had not been present; yet, though policy may be originally blameable, steadfastness is laudable. But what are you? The sons of Cnaeus Pompeius were then seeking in the first place to recover their country. Good! let this be treated as your party's common concern. ** They were seeking further to recover besides their country's Gods, altars, hearths, the household Gods of their home, all of which you had seized. When those, whose property they were by law, were seeking to recover these things by arms, who - though what justice can there be in a most unjust business - should most justly have fought against the sons of Cnaeus Pompeius? who? You, the purchaser. [76] While you at Narbo were vomiting over the tables of your hosts, was Dolabella to be battling for you in Spain?

And what a return from Narbo! He even asked why my return, when actually on my journey, was so sudden. I have lately, ** Conscript Fathers, explained the reason of my return: I wished, if I could, even before the Kalends of January to be of use to the State. As for your question how I had returned, first I returned in daylight, not in the dark; next in boots and with a toga, not in any Gaulish slippers or in a mantle. ** And yet you look at me, and, as it seems, in anger. I am sure you would now be reconciled to me if you knew how ashamed I am of your misdoings, of which you yourself are not ashamed. Out of all outrages in the world I have seen nothing, heard of nothing, more disgraceful. You, who imagined you had been a master of the horse, who were a candidate, or rather a beggar, for the next year's consulship, you, through the municipia and colonies of Gaul, which we, when the consulship was canvassed for, not begged for, used to canvass, raced in Gaulish slippers and in a mantle.

[31.] L   [77] But regard the levity of the man! When about the tenth hour of the day he had reached Saxa Rubra, he lurked in a certain petty tavern and then, hiding himself, went on drinking till evening ; thence swiftly carried in a gig to the city, he arrived home with his head muffled. Door-keeper: "Who are you?"   "A courier from Marcus."   He is immediately conducted to her ** on whose account he had come, and he handed her a letter. While she was reading it with tears - for it was written in amatory style - but the gist of the letter was that he would have nothing to do with that mime for the future; he had discarded all love in that quarter, and had transferred it to her - when the woman was weeping copiously, the soft-hearted fellow could not bear it, he unveiled his head, and fell on her neck. Oh, what an abandoned fellow! For what else can I call him? I can say nothing more fitting. Was it then in order that the woman might enjoy the surprise of seeing a catamite like you, when you had shown yourself unexpectedly, that you upset the city with terror by night, and Italy with apprehension for many days? [78] And within doors, indeed, an amour provided you with an excuse; outside you had an even viler motive - to prevent Lucius Plancus selling up your sureties. But when you had been brought before a public meeting by a tribune of the people, and had replied that you had come on your own private affairs, you made the very populace witty at your expense. But we speak too much of trifles: let us come to more weighty topics.

[32.] L   When Caesar was returning from Spain you went a long distance to meet him. You made haste to go, haste to return, so that he might recognise that, if you were weak in courage, you were at least strong in energy. You were somehow made again his familiar friend. This was entirely Caesar's way: when a man was utterly ruined by debt and in want, if he recognised in that man an audacious rascal, he most willingly admitted him into his familiarity. [79] You then being eminently recommended by these qualifications, he orders that you should be returned as consul, and that together with himself. I make no complaint on Dolabella's account, who had been then urged to stand, brought forward, and fobbed off. In this matter who does not know how great was the treachery of both of you towards Dolabella? Caesar brought him forward as a candidate, Caesar intercepted and transferred to himself what he had promised and guaranteed: you made yourself the willing instrument of his perfidy. The Kalends of January arrive; we are forced into the Senate; Dolabella inveighed against that fellow much more fully and elaborately than I do now. [80] Good heavens! what a speech this man ** made in his anger! First of all, although Caesar had made it clear that, before he set out, he would order Dolabella's election as consul - and they say that the man who was always both doing and saying something of that kind was not a king ! - well, when Caesar had said this, then this excellent augur asserted that he was invested with a priesthood of such a character that he could by the auspices either hinder or nullify the election, and he assured us he would do so. [81] Here, first of all, mark the incredible stupidity of the man. For look you! This act, which you asserted you were able to do by right of your priesthood, would you have been less able to do if you were not an augur but consul? Surely, even more easily. For we augurs have only the right of report, the consuls and the rest of the magistrates the right also of observing the heavens. ** Well, let it be: this was his inexperience; for we can't require knowledge from a man never sober. But mark his impudence! Many months before he said in the Senate he would by the auspices either forbid Dolabella's election, or would do what in fact he did. Can anyone divine what flaw there will be in the auspices except the man that has determined to observe the heavens? But it is illegal to do this during an election; and he who has observed ought to make his report, not when the election has been made, but before it is begun. But his ignorance and his impudence are mixed up, and he does not know what an augur should know, or act as a modest man should. [82] And so recall his consulship from that day up to the Ides of March. What lackey was ever so humble, so abject? He could do nothing himself: everything was a request; putting his head into the back of the litter he used to solicit his colleague ** for favours which he could market.

[33.] L   Now comes the day of Dolabella's election. The right of the first vote is determined by lot: he remains quiet. The result is announced: he is dumb. The first class is called: its vote announced ; then, as usual, the votes of the knights; then the second class is called; all this is done quicker than my description. When the business is finished the good augur - you would call him Caius Laelius ** - says "On another day." ** [83] What consummate impudence! What had you seen? what had you perceived? what had you heard? For you did not assert that you had observed the heavens, nor do you say so to-day. So the flaw interposed which on the Kalends of January you had already foreseen, and so long before predicted. So, by Hercules, you falsified the auspices - as I hope, with great disaster to yourself, not to the State; you bound the Roman people by a religious liability ; as augur you reported ill omens to an augur, as consul to a consul. I do not wish to say more, or I shall appear to nullify Dolabella's acts which must some time or other be referred to our college. ** [84] But mark the arrogance and insolence of the man! So long as you choose, Dolabella is a consul with defective election; again, when you choose, one appointed without violation of the auspices, If there be nothing in the terms of an augur's report which you employed, confess that when you said "On another day" you were not sober; but if there be some force in those words, I, as an augur of his colleague, ask you what they mean. **

But that amongst the many exploits of Marcus Antonius my speech may not accidentally pass over one act of his, the very fairest of all, let us come to the Lupercalia,

[34.] L   He does not disguise his feelings, Conscript Fathers; it is clear he is moved, he sweats, he grows pale. Let him do what he pleases, except being sick, as he was in the Portico of Minucius. ** What defence can there be for such disgraceful conduct? I long to hear, by way of understanding where his rhetorician's big fee is represented, that is to say, where the Leontine land ** shows a return.

[85] Your colleague ** was seated on the rostra, clad in a purple gown, on a golden chair, with a wreath. You mount up, you approach the chair - if you were Lupercus, yet you should have remembered you were consul too - you display a diadem. There is a groan all over the forum. Whence came the diadem? For you had not picked up something cast away, but had brought it from your house, a crime rehearsed and fully planned. You persisted in putting it on his head amid the lamentations of the people; he amid their applause persisted in rejecting it. You then, traitor, were discovered to be the one man who, while establishing a tyranny and willing to have your colleague as our master, were at the same time making trial of what the Roman people could bear and endure. [86] Nay, you even courted compassion ; you threw yourself as a suppliant at his feet. Asking for what? Slavery? You should have asked for it for yourself alone, whose life from a boy showed you would submit ** to anything, would lightly be a slave; from us and from the Roman people at least you had not that as a mandate. Oh, how splendid was that eloquence of yours when you harangued naked! What is more disgraceful, more foul than this, what more meriting any punishment? Are you waiting for us to spit you with an ox-goad? These words of mine, if you have any particle of feeling, these tear you, cut you to the heart. I fear I may be lessening the glory of illustrious men ; ** yet I will speak, moved as I am by indignation. What is more shameful than that he should be living who set on the diadem, while all men confess that he was rightly slain who flung it away? [87] But he even ordered this entry under the Lupercalia in the public records: "To Caius Caesar, perpetual dictator, Marcus Antonius the consul, by command of the people, offered the kingship: Caesar was unwilling." By now I cease wholly to wonder that peace discomposes you; that you hate, not only the city, but even the light; that you live with the most abandoned brigands, not only on what the day brings, but also only for the day. For where in peace will you plant your foot? What place can there be for you, while the laws and the courts survive which, so far as you could, you overthrew by the tyranny of a king? Was it for this Lucius Tarquinius was banished, Spurius Cassius, Spurius Maelius, Marcus Manlius were put to death, that, many generations after, by an act of desecration, there should be set up by Marcus Antonius a king at Rome?

[35.] L   [88] But let us return to the auspices, the subject with which Caesar intended to deal in the Senate on the Ides of March. I ask, what would you then have done? ** I heard indeed you had come primed, because you thought I intended to speak on the falsification of the auspices, which nevertheless ** we had to obey. That day the fortune of the Roman people made abortive. ** Did the death of Caesar also make abortive your opinion of the auspices? But I have lit upon a time which I must allude to before I touch upon those matters I had begun to discuss. What a flight was yours! what a panic on that notable day! what despair of life through consciousness of guilt when, after that flight, thanks to those that wished your safety if you were sane, you secretly found refuge in your home! [89] Oh, how to no purpose have my auguries of the future been ever unerring! I told those, our liberators, in the Capitol, ** when they wished me to approach you and exhort you to defend the State, that, so long as you were afraid, you would promise anything, but that, as soon as you ceased to fear, you would be like yourself. So, when the other consulars were going to and fro, I abided by my opinion; nor did I see you on that day, or on the next, nor did I believe that any alliance could be established by any treaty between the best citizens and their most savage enemy. Two days after I came into the Temple of Tellus, unwillingly indeed, seeing that armed men beset all the approaches. [90] What a day was that for you, Antonius! Though you have suddenly stood forward as my enemy, yet I pity you for having been grudging to your own fame. **

[36.] L   Heavens! what a man and how great you would have been had you been able to keep your resolution of that day! We should be enjoying the peace that was made through the hostage, a boy of good birth, the grandson of Marcus Bambalio. ** However it was fear - no steadfast teacher of duty - that made you good: what made you unprincipled was that which, in the absence of fear, never departs from you, audacity. And even then, when men, contrary to my belief, thought you most loyal, you most criminally presided at the tyrant's funeral, if a funeral it was. [91] Yours was that beautiful panegyric, yours the commiseration, yours the exhortation; you, you, I say, kindled those torches, those alike by which he was half cremated, ** and those by which the house of Lucius Bellienus was set on fire and burnt down; you it was who directed against our homes those assaults of abandoned men, for the most part slaves, which we repelled by force of arms. None the less it was you too who, as if you had wiped off the soot ** on the following days in the Capitol carried noble decrees that, after the Ides of March, no placard of exemption from taxation or of any privilege should be posted up. You yourself remember about the exiles, you know what you said of the exemptions. And, best thing of all, you abolished out of the State for ever the title of dictator, and by this action indeed it seemed you had conceived such a hatred of kingship that, on account of our recent fear of a dictator, you were abolishing its very name. [92] The State seemed to others established, but by no means so to me, who feared shipwreck while you were at the wheel. Did his character escape me? or could he any longer be unlike himself? In your very faces, all over the Capitol, placards were being posted up, and exemptions were being sold, not to individuals only, but to whole States; the citizenship was no longer being given to individuals, but to whole provinces. Accordingly, if these things remain - and while the State stands they cannot - you, Conscript Fathers, have lost whole provinces; and not revenues only, but the very empire of the Roman people has been diminished by this man's domestic market.

[37.] L   [93] Where are the seven hundred million sesterces entered in the account-books at the Temple of Ops? moneys, ill-omened, ** it is true, but which, if not returned to their owners, might yet set us free from property taxes. And you, how did you before the Kalends of April cease to owe the forty million sesterces you owed on the Ides of March? Indeed innumerable are the decrees that were being purchased from your partisans, not without your knowledge; but one remarkable decree concerning King Deiotarus, ** a great friend of the Roman people, was posted in the Capitol: and, when it was proposed, there was no man, even in the midst of his grief, that could restrain his laughter. [94] For who was ever more hostile to any man than Caesar to Deiotarus? as hostile as he was to this our order, to the equestrian order, to the Massilians, to all to whom he felt the State of the Roman people was dear. Accordingly, while from the living man King Deiotarus, whether present or absent, never won any justice, any kindness, on death he became the object of his favour. Face to face with his host, he had called him to account; had reckoned the sums; had demanded the money ; had settled one of his own Greek companions in his tetrarchy ; had taken away Armenia, the gift of the Senate. These things he took away in life, he returns them in death. [95] But in what words? ** At one time "it seems fair," at another "not unfair." A wonderful conjunction of words! But Caesar never acknowledged - I always appeared for Deiotarus in his absence, and know - that any claims we made on his behalf seemed fair. A bond for ten million sesterces was signed through the agency of envoys - good men, but timid and inexperienced, and without my advice or that of the rest of the King's friends: this was in the women's apartment ** a place where many things have been and are sold. On this bond I advise you to consider what you are to do. For the King himself, of his own motion, apart from Caesar's note-books, as soon as he heard of his death, recovered his own by his own valour. [96] Being a wise man he knew that it had always been held lawful that what tyrants had seized, those from whom it was seized might recover when the tyrants had been slain. There is no lawyer therefore, not even that one who advises you, his one client, through whom you are now acting, that says there is a debt on that bond for things that had been recovered before the bond was made. For he did not buy of you: he himself took possession before you should sell him his own property. He was a man; we indeed are to be despised, who hate the author, ** but defend his acts.

[38.] L   [97] What am I to say of the endless notebooks, the innumerable autographs? of which there are even hawkers to sell them openly as if they were gladiatorial programmes. Thus such huge heaps of coin are being piled up in that house of his that moneys are now being weighed out, not counted. But how blind is avarice! Lately an advertisement has been posted, whereby the most wealthy communities of the Cretans are being exempted from tribute, and it is ordained that after the proconsulship of Marcus Brutus Crete should be no longer a province. Are you in possession of your wits? Should you not be put under restraint? Could Crete by decree of Caesar be exempted after the departure of Marcus Brutus when Crete had nothing to do with Brutus when Caesar was alive? ** But by the sale of this decree - lest you should think nothing has been done - you have lost the province of Crete. ** In fact there never was a buyer of anything but this man was the seller. [98] And as to the law concerning the exiles which you advertised - did Caesar propose that? I rail at no man's misfortunes: this much I complain of; first that a blot has been cast on the return of those whose case Caesar judged to be distinguishable ; ** next I fail to see why you do not grant the same favour to the rest: for not more than three or four remain, Why do those in the same misfortune not also enjoy at your hands the same clemency? Why do you rank them with your uncle on whose behalf you would not make a proposal when you did so for the rest, and whom you even urged to stand for the censorship, and organised a canvass that moved men's laughter and indignation. ** [99] But why did you not hold that election? or was it because a tribune of the people reported thunder on the left? When any interest of yours is concerned, auspices are nothing; when that of your friends is, then you become scrupulous. Again, in the case of the septemvirs ** also, did you not leave him in the lurch ? for some one intervened whom, I suppose, you feared to deny at the peril of your life. You loaded with every insult the man whom, if you had any affection in you, you ought to have honoured as a father. His daughter, ** your cousin, you turned out of doors when you had first sought and provided for another match. ** That is not enough; you accused of misconduct a woman of the greatest purity. What can be said more? You were not content with that. At a crowded sitting of the Senate on the Kalends of January, in the presence of your uncle, you dared to allege this as your reason for hating Dolabella - your discovery of his attempted adultery with your cousin and wife. Who can determine whether you were the more impudent to make this charge in the Senate, or more desperate to make it against Dolabella, or more indecent to make it in your uncles hearing, or more cruel to make it in such foul and unnatural fashion against that unhappy woman?

[39.] L   [100] But let us return to the autographs. What was your enquiry? For the acts of Caesar were, for the sake of peace, confirmed by the Senate ; that is to say, Caesar's own "acts," not such as Antonius had said were Caesar's. From what source do those acts burst forth? on whose authority are they produced? If false, why are they held valid ? if true, why sold? But the resolution was in these terms, that after the Kalends of June you Senators should enquire into Caesar's "acts " with the help of a commission. What commission was there? whom did you ** ever summon? what Kalends of June did you wait for? or was it those Kalends on which, when you had made a progress through the colonies of veterans, you brought yourself back, surrounded by armed men?

What a splendid excursion was that of yours in the months of April and May, that is, at the time when you even attempted to found a colony at Capua! How you departed thence, or rather almost failed to depart, ** we know. [101] That city you threaten. I hope you will make an attempt on it so that that word "almost'' may at last be eliminated! But what a noble progress of yours followed! Why should I reveal the sumptuousness of those lunches, the madness of your wine-bibbing? Those are your losses: these are ours. The Campanian land, whose exemption from tribute in order that it should be given to the soldiers we yet thought was inflicting a great wound on the State, you were for dividing among your boon-companions and fellow-gamblers. Male and female mimes, I say, Conscript Fathers, were planted on the Campanian land. After that why should I complain of the Leontine land? as I well might, since these arable farms in Campanian and Leontine land used to be deemed vastly productive and fruitful as part of the patrimony of the Roman people. To your doctor three thousand iugera: what would he have got if he had made you sane? To your rhetorician, two: what if he had been able to make you eloquent? But let us return to your journey and to Italy.

[40.] L   [102] You founded a colony at Casilinum where Caesar had founded one before. You consulted me by letter - about Capua, it is true, but I should have made the same reply about Casilinum - could you legally found a new colony where there was one already? I said that where a colony had been founded under the auspices, while the latter existed a new colony could not legally be founded ; ** but that new colonists could be added I admitted in my reply. But you, insolently elated, and unsettling all the law of the auspices, founded a colony at Casilinum, where a few years before one had been founded, so that you even raised your standard, and marked boundaries by the plough; ** yes, and by that ploughshare you almost grazed the gate of Capua, so that the territory of a flourishing colony was diminished. [103] From this unsettlement of religious rules you swoop down on to the farm at Casinum of Marcus Varro, a most pious and honest man. By what right? with what face? The same, you will say, with which you invaded the farms of the heirs of Lucius Rubrius, of Lucius Tursellius, innumerable other possessions. And if you bought at auction, let the auction stand, let the accounts stand, provided they are Caesar's, not yours; those by which you were a debtor, not those whereby you freed yourself from debt. ** As to Varro's farm at Casinum, who asserts it was sold? who saw the spear that marked that sale? who heard the voice of the auctioneer? You say you sent an agent to Alexandria to buy it from Caesar; for it was too much to wait for the man himself! [104] But who ever heard - for no man's safety was of more general concern - that any thing had been filched from Varro's property? Again: if Caesar even wrote to you to restore it, what adequate description could be given of such impudence? Remove for a while those swordsmen we see: you will soon understand that Caesar's auction is one thing, your assurance and rashness another: for not the owner himself only, but any friend of his, neighbour, guest, steward, will drive you from that dwelling. [41.] L   But how many days did you most disgracefully carouse in that villa! From the third hour ** there was drinking, gaming, vomiting. O unhappy dwelling, "with what an ill-matched owner"! ** And yet how was that fellow an owner? at any rate with what an ill-matched tenant! For Varro wished that house to be a retreat for his own studies, not for lust. [105] What discussions formerly took place in that villa, what meditations ! what thoughts were committed to writing! The laws of the Roman people, the memorials of antiquity, every system of philosophy and of learning. But in your tenancy - for no owner were you - the whole place rang with the voices of drunken men; the pavements swam with wine; the walls were wet; boys of free birth were consorting with those let for hire; harlots with mothers of families. Men came from Casinum to pay their respects, from Aquinum, from Interamna ; no one was admitted. That indeed was right; for, in the person of so vile a man, the insignia of rank were becoming sullied.

[106] When, setting out for Rome from that place, he was approaching Aquinum, as the municipium is a populous one, quite a large crowd came to meet him. But he was carried through the town in a closed litter like a corpse. The people of Aquinum acted foolishly, but they lived on the way. What of the Anagnians? They, although they lived off the road, came down to greet the fellow as consul, as though he were really such. The story is past belief, but at that time was fully accepted, that no man was greeted in return, and that though he had with him two Anagnians, Mustela and Laco, the one the prince of swordsmen, the other of topers. [107] Why should I mention the threats and insults of that fellow with which he inveighed against the Sidicinians, and harassed the men of Puteoli, for having adopted Caius Cassius and the Brutuses as patrons? This they did with great zeal and judgment, in kindness and affection, not by force of arms, the way in which they adopted you and Basilus, and others like you, whom no man would wish to have as clients, much less as patrons.

[42.] L   In the meantime, during your absence, what a day for your colleague ** that was when he overthrew in the forum the altar ** you were wont to revere! When this was reported to you - as was evident to those with you - you collapsed. What happened afterwards I do not know: I suppose fear prevailed and force; your colleague, it is certain, you dragged down from heaven, and made him, not even now indeed like you, but at least unlike himself.

[108] But what a return was there then to Rome! what perturbation of the whole city! We remembered Cinna's excessive power, Sulla's domination afterward; lately we had seen the reign of Caesar. Then possibly there were swords, but they were hidden, and not very many. But what a barbaric display is this of yours! Sword in hand they follow him in battalions; of shields we see litter-loads carried. And to all this, so habitual, Conscript Fathers, has it become, custom has rendered us callous. On the Kalends of June, although we wished to attend the Senate, as had been arranged, yet overcome by fear we of a sudden fled in all directions. [109] But he, having no need of a Senate, missed no man's presence: he rather rejoiced at our departure, and at once carried out those astonishing crimes. Though he had defended Caesar's signatures for his own profit, yet he upset Caesar's laws, even when they were excellent, that he might be able to shake the State. He extended the tenure of provinces; and at the same time, though he was bound to be defender of Caesar's acts, he rescinded Caesar's acts both in public and in private matters. In public matters nothing is more important than a law ; in private the most unchangeable thing is a will. Some laws of Caesar's he abolished by laws never advertised ** ; in order to abolish others he advertised new laws. He nullified a will, a thing that has always been held valid even in the case of the lowest citizens. Statues, pictures, which Caesar bequeathed to the people together with his gardens, he carried off, partly to the gardens of Pompeius, partly to the villa of Scipio.

[43.] L   [110] And are you zealous in respecting Caesar's memory? do you love him in death? What greater honour had he obtained than to have a couch, an image, a pediment to his house, a flamen? ** As Jupiter, as Mars, as Quirinus has a flamen, so the flamen to divine Julius is Marcus Antonius. Why then delay? Why not be inaugurated? Select your day; look out for your inaugurator; we are colleagues; no one will say no. O detestable man, whether as priest of Caesar or of a dead man! I ask you next whether you are ignorant what day this is. Do you not know that yesterday was the fourth day of the Roman Games in the Circus? and also that you yourself proposed to the people a fifth day ** in addition should be assigned to Caesar? Why are we not in holiday garb? Why do we permit an honour granted to Caesar under your law to be disregarded? or is it that, while you allowed the public thanksgiving to be polluted by the addition of a day, you were unwilling the couches should be also? ** Either abolish altogether religious scruples, or maintain them on all occasions. [111] You ask whether I am pleased there should be a couch, a pediment, a flamen. I indeed am pleased with none of those things; but as for you who defend the acts of Caesar, what excuse can you give for defending some, disregarding others? unless perhaps you wish to confess that you measure all things by your own profit, not by Caesar's honour. What, pray, can you say to this? for I am looking forward to your eloquence. Your grandfather was, I know, a very ready speaker, but I know that you in speaking unbosom yourself more freely. ** He never made an harangue naked; your breast, simple man, we have seen! Will you reply to this? or dare to open your mouth at all? Will you find in so long a speech of mine something to which you may with confidence reply?

[44.] L   [112] But let us disregard what is past and gone; the doings of this one day, this very present day, I repeat, this point of time in which ] am speaking - defend them if you can. Why is the Senate hedged in by a cordon of armed men? Why are your henchmen listening to me sword in hand? Why do the doors of Concord not lie open? Why do you bring Ityraeans, of all tribes the most barbarous, down into the forum with their arrows? It is for his own protection he says he does this. Are not then a thousand deaths better than not to be able to live in one's own community without a guard of armed men? But that "protection," believe me, is none; it is by the affection and good will of your fellow-citizens you should be hedged, not by arms. [113] The Roman people will wrest those arms from you, and wrench them out of your grip - may it be while we are still safe! - but in whatever way you deal with us, while you pursue your present policy you cannot, believe me, live long. For that consort of yours - of all wives the least illiberal, whom I portray without irreverence ** - has been too long a debtor to the Roman people for her third instalment. ** The Roman people still has men to whom to commit the helm of state: wherever they are, there is the State's every defence, or rather, the State itself, which so far has only avenged itself, ** and not restored its strength. It has, I say, assuredly young men ** of the highest birth ready to be its defenders: let them stay apart regardful of their ease as they choose, yet they will be recalled by the State. And the name of peace is sweet, and the thing itself wholesome, but between peace and servitude the difference is great. Peace is tranquil liberty, servitude the last of all evils, one to be repelled, not only by war. but even by death. [114] But if those our liberators have withdrawn themselves out of our sight, yet they have left the example of what they did. They did what no man had done. Brutus waged war against Tarquin who was a king when to be a king was lawful at Rome; Spurius Cassius, Spurius Maelius, Marcus Manlius, because of the suspicion that they aimed at kingly power, were put to death; the men of to-day were the first to attack with swords one not aiming at kingly power, but who was a king. That deed is not only in itself illustrious and godlike, but also set before us for our imitation, all the more because they achieved such a glory as seems scarce to be bounded by heaven itself. For although in the very consciousness of a splendid deed there was sufficient reward, yet by a mortal immortality should not, I think, be despised.

[45.] L   [115] Recall therefore, Marcus Antonius, that day on which you abolished the dictatorship; set before your eyes the joy of the Senate and of the Roman people; compare it with this monstrous sales-market conducted by you and your friends: then will you understand how great the difference between gain and glory. But assuredly, even as some, through a kind of disease and numbness of perception, do not perceive the flavour of food, so the lustful, the avaricious, the criminal, have no estimation of genuine glory. But if glory cannot allure you to right doing, cannot even fear call you away from the foulest deeds? The law-courts you do not fear. If because of your innocence, I praise you; but if because of your violence, do you not understand what he must be afraid of who in such fashion is not afraid of the law-courts? [116] Yet if you have no fear of brave men and honest citizens because they are kept from your body by an armed guard, your own followers, believe me, will not endure you any longer. And what a life is it, day and night to dread your own followers ? unless indeed you have men bound to you by greater favours than Caesar had in some of those by whom he was slain, or yourself are in any respect to be compared with him. In him there was genius, calculation, memory, letters, industry, thought, diligence; he had done in war things, however calamitous to the State, yet at least great; having for many years aimed at a throne, he had by great labour, great dangers, achieved his object; by shows, buildings, largesses, banquets he had conciliated the ignorant crowd; his own followers he had bound to him by rewards, his adversaries by a show of clemency : in brief, he had already brought to a free community - partly by fear, partly by endurance - a habit of servitude.

[46.] L   [117] With him I can compare you in lust of domination, but in other things you are in no wise comparable. But out of very many evils which he has inflicted on the Commonwealth, there has emerged this much good : the Roman people has now learned how much to trust each man, on whom to rely, of whom to beware. Think you not of these things? and do you not understand that it is enough for brave men to have learned how beautiful in act, how grateful in benefit, how glorious in report, it is to slay a tyrant? Or will men, when they did not endure him, endure you? [118] In rivalry hereafter, believe me, they will hurry to do this work, and no slow-coming opportunity will be waited for.

Recover your senses, at length, I beseech you; consider those from whom you are sprung, not those with whom you live; treat me as you will; be reconciled to the State. But you must look to your own conduct; for myself I will make my own profession. I defended the State in youth, I will not desert it in old age; I despised the swordsmen of Catiline, I will not dread yours. Aye, and even my body will I gladly offer if the liberty of the State can be realised by my death, so that the anguish of the Roman people may some time bring to birth that with which it has so long travailed. [119] For if nearly twenty years ago in this very temple I said that death could not come untimely to a consular, ** with how much greater truth shall I say it in old age! By me indeed, Conscript Fathers, death is even to be wished for, now that the honours I have won and the deeds I have performed are past. These two things only I pray for; one, that in my death I may leave the Roman people free - than this no greater gift can be given me by the immortal Gods - the other, that each man's fortune may be according to his deserts toward the State.


63.   A spear was a symbol of a public auction, the custom being derived from sales of things captured in war.

64.   This is not true, as C. himself shows: cf. Phil xiii. 5 ("sunt alii plures fortasse").

65.   Of confiscated goods at auction.

66.   Cn. Naevius ; cf. also Plaut. Poen 843 ("male partum male disperit").

67.   The words "keep your own property," and the taking away of keys, constituted a divorce. As Cytheris was not 'uxor', this is of course sarcasm.

68.   C. Ant., the colleague of C. in 63 B.C., in the consulship.

69.   C. refutes his own charge by saying in the next sentence that A. was in the front rank at Pharsalia. Plutarch (Ant. 8) also speaks of A.'s bravery.

70.   Which was shared with A.'s creditors.

71.   A. had dissipated all the rest of Pompeius' property: cf. ch. 27.

72.   Who had made A. his heir to the exclusion of his nephew: cf. ch. 16. The natural heirs appear to have objected to the sale.

73.   The rudis was a wooden sword given to a gladiator on his discharge from service.

74.   i.e. of the Caesarean party, and not affecting A. individually.

75.   On Sept. 2; cf. Phil. i. 1-3.

76.   i.e., in the dress of a dignified Roman. A mantle (Suet. Aug. 40) {lacerna}, which Aug. prohibited in the forum, was regarded as effeminate and ostentatious (Margnardt 2. 568).

77.   Fulvia.

78.   Antonius.

79.   An augur, as such, had no right of taking the auspices unless he was called in by a magistrate, to whom he made a report ('nuntiatio', or, if unfavourable, 'obnuntiatio'). A magistrate had the right of observing the heavens ('spectio)', and also - at any rate if he were a superior magistrate, such as a consul - the right of 'obnuntiatio' to another magistrate presiding. The 'obnuntiatio' was abolished by tbe Lex Clodia of 58 B.C., but the law was frequently disregarded and is here ignored by C., who, however, afterwards recognises it ("neque licet per leges").

80.   Caesar.

81.   Called Sapiens, or the Wise. He was the friend of the younger Scipio, and is an interlocutor in C.'s De Amicitia and De Senectute.

82.   The regular formula for "The omens are unfavourable."

83.   i.e, of augurs.

84.   i.e. if they don't mean what they say, viz. that D.'s election was void. But now you acknowledge his consulship.

85.   cf. ch. 25 ante.

86.   cf. ch. 27 ante.

87.   Caesar.

88.   An allusion to his relations with Curio: cf. ch. 18.

89.   Brutus and Cassius, and the other conspirators.

90.   ie, would A. have opposed Caesar, or would he have declared Dolabella duly elected ?

91.   i.e., until they had been declared invalid.

92.   The death of Caesar prevented discussion.

93.   On March 15.

94.   By abandoning the patriotic role he had at first adopted : cf, Phil. i. 1.

95.   A.'s son by Fulvia. He and Lepidus sent their sons to the conspirators in the Capitol as pledges for their security. Bambalio is described in Phil. iii.6 as "homo nullo numero."

96.   An unworthy sneer, and untrue. C. himself says (Epp. ad Att. xiv. 10.1) that Caesar was "in foro combustus."

97.   The soot of Caesar's cremation, with the second sense of ill deeds.

98.   As representing the blood and the confiscated property of citizens, particularly of the Pompeians. In Phil. i. 7 C. calls the money 'cruenta'.

99.   King of Galatia, an adherent of Pompeius. Caesar deprived him of part of his dominions, and was preparing to deprive him of the rest on a false charge brought against him by his grandson of plotting Caesar's death. Cicero defended him before Caesar in the speech 'Pro Rege Deiotaro'. A. for a bribe contracted to restore him : see infra.

100.   C. quotes from Caesar's supposed Lex Julia de Deiotaro.

101.   Fulvia's. C. says (ad. Att. xiv. 12) that Deiotarus was "omni regno dignus, sed non per Fulviam."

102.   Caesar.

103.   Caesar had nominated B. to Macedonia. The regulation as to Crete could thus not be a genuine "act" of Caesar's.

104.   An impossible conclusion. The loss of tribute was not the loss of a province. "You" is the Senate.

105.   As not being reprobates : cf. ch. 23.

106.   Because the uncle had been convicted of extortion, and expelled by the censor from the Senate.

107.   As to this see Phil. vi. 5, xi. 6.

108.   Antonia, his second wife.

109.   Fulvia.

110.   "You" is here Antonius.

111.   A. was roughly handled by the Capuans : cf. Phil. xii. 7.

112.   A space marked out 'sub auspiciis' was a 'templum' or holy place: Nieb. Hist. Rom. 2. 625.

113.   Colonists proceeded to the site of the new colony in military array ('sub vexillo'), and the boundaries of the new city were marked out by the plough.

114.   'Tabulae' is used in two senses, "auction catalogues," and so "auction," and "accounts" (of the money in the Temple of Ops).

115.   The usual hour for the 'cena 'was the ninth.

116.   A quotation from an unknown poet. C. also quotes it in De Off. 1.139.

117.   Dolabella.

118.   Cf. n. to Phil. i. 9.

119.   On three market-days, as required by law.

120.   'Pulvinar' = a couch at the lectisternium (feast of couches), on which the image of a God was set with sacrificial viands placed before it. 'Fastigium' = a pediment resembling that of a temple. 'Flamen' = a special priest. All were signs of divine honours paid to Caesar.

121.   Which would be Sept. 19, the day on which this speech purported to be delivered.

122.   A. on Sept. 1 proposed that in all public thanksgivings ('supplicationes') to the Gods a special day should be added for offerings to the deified Caesar (Dio xliii. 44; Phil. i. 5, 6). He had thus allowed the impiety of blending honour paid to the Gods with honour paid to a mortal. Yet, although he was Caesar's priest, he shrank from placing his bust on a couch at the lectisternium.

123.   C. plays on the meaning of 'apertus,' i.e. "frank," or "open to view." A. harangued nudus at the Lupercalia ; cf. Phil. iii. 5.

124.   A sarcastic use of the polite formula customary when a living person is ceremoniously mentioned: cf. Phil, ii. 12-30.

125.   The death of a third husband, i.e. Antonius.

126.   By Caesar's death.

127.   Brutus and Cassius, etc.

128.   "Neque turpis mors forti viro potest accidere, neque immatura consulari, nec misera sapienti" ; in Cat. iv. 2. 3.

Attalus' home page   |   22.10.22   |   Any comments?