Immagini della pagina

Syracuse; but having been driven back by unfavorable winds to Leucopetra, on the southern coast of Italy, he was informed that favorable tidings had recently been received from Rome, that there was a prospect of a complete reconciliation of parties, and that the state needed his presence and counsel. Accordingly, abandoning his contemplated visit to Greece, he hastened to Rome, where he arrived on the thirty-first of August. But his expectations were again disappointed. Antony, whose power was still unchecked, had summoned the senate to meet on the following day, to decree new honors to Caesar's memory. Cicero excused himself from attending on the ground of fatigue and ill-health; but Antony, losing his self-possession, rose in his place and assailed the absent senator with a tirade of abuse. On the following day, the senate was again in session, but Antony found it convenient to be absent. Cicero was present, and, in the course of the debate, delivered his First Philippic.* It was a masterly effort. With calm dignity and perfect self-possession, he explained his own course, stated his views of the duties of the hour, and exposed the ambitious designs of Antony.







I. VI. Introduction. Cicero explains his recent Movements. He had planned a Journey to Greece, but had returned to Rome without accomplishing it. He replies to the Threats of Antony.

3. Profectionis et reversionis. See Introduction, p. 291. Reversio is the appropriate word, as Cicero returned without attaining the object of his journey.

*So called from the Philippics of Demosthenes pronounced against Philip of Macedon.


4. Aliquando; i. e., after the assassination of Caesar on the Ides 120 of March.

8. Eo die. This was the seventeenth of March. - Aedem Telluris. This was probably situated on the western slope of the Esquiline Hill. The senate met in this temple because the senate-house was too near the capitol, which was held by the conspirators.

9. Atheniensium... exemplum. The allusion is to the general amnesty proclaimed after the overthrow of the Thirty Tyrants, 403 B. C. The Greek word which Cicero is said to have used was àμvnoria, équivalent to the Latin oblivio.

15. Per liberos=per filium. Antony treated with Brutus and the other conspirators in the capitol, and sent them his son as a hostage.

19. Res optimas deferebat, he reported most excellent measures. This refers probably to the purport of documents found among Caesar's papers. Nihil tum . . . reperiebatur. Subsequently Antony pretended to find many things of a very different character.

1. Num qui, etc. Num immunitates, etc. These inquiries re- 121 late to the purport of Caesar's papers. - Unum. This was probably Sex. Clodius, the unprincipled agent of the notorius Publius Clodius.

3. Ser. Sulpicio. See note on the same, p. 116, line 14.-Ne qua tabula. Laws were engraved upon brazen tablets, which were for a time exposed to public view, and then deposited in the treasury.

8. De qua ... diximus; i. e., the proposition was adopted without debate.

16. Quod saepe justum. Originally dictators were appointed only in times of great danger. They were invested with almost unlimited power, but only for a period of six months. Sulla, in the year 82 B. C., was the first to make himself perpetual dictator.

18. Liberatus. The energetic measures adopted by Antony promised peace and security.

19. Uncus... fugitivo, etc. Uncus was the hook by which the bodies of executed criminals were dragged away and thrown into the Tiber. The allusion is to the pretender Amatius, who, claiming to be the grandson of C. Marius, Caesar's uncle, attempted to raise a disturbance, but was put to death by Antony.

21. Cum collega. P. Cornelius Dolabella became the colleague of Antony in the consulship after the death of Caesar.

22. Abfuisset. Antony was absent from the city during a part of April and May. -Iis; i. e., to Antony and Dolabella.

24. Bustum, a monument; called in line 30, below, columna.

25. Illam insepultam sepulturam, that irregular burial; referring to the burning of Caesar's body, contrary to custom, in the Forum.





32. Ut... edixerant. They had called a meeting of the senate. 33. Nihil per senatum, etc. Supply fecit. Antony procured the ratification of his measures by the comitia, but, according to Cicero, few respectable citizens were present.

34. Consules designati. C. Pansa and A. Hirtius.

2. Veterani... caverat. The senate had assigned lands to these veterans in various parts of Italy.

6. Jus... liberum. Dolabella had given him a commission as his lieutenant for his province of Syria. He calls it liberum, because he could use it or not at pleasure, at any time within a period of five years.

7. Kalendis Januariis . . . videbatur. Because upon that day the government would be organized under the new consuls.

11. Brundisium, etc. Brundisium, on the southeastern coast of Italy, the usual port of embarkation for Greece, was under the control of the partisans of Antony.

13. Syracusas, to Syracuse; an important city in Sicily.

19. Regini. See note on Regini, p. 49, line 32.

22. Intempesta nox, late at night, the dead of night.

26. Contionem. Of this speech we know only what we can gather from this passage.

28. Edictum Bruti et Cassii. This was probably the farewell proclamation which they issued on leaving Italy. Brutus and Cassius, it will be remembered, were leading conspirators.

31. Boni quid, something good, i. e., some good news.

33. Rem conventuram, that an arrangement would be effected, i. e., between opposing parties.

34. Remissis... Galliis. Antony endeavored to secure the province of Cisalpine Gaul for himself, although it had been assigned to D. Brutus. It was, moreover, at one time reported that he intended also to claim Transalpine Gaul.

3. Ad tempus; i. e., in time for the meeting of the senate on the first of September. - Sed ne. Supply timebam before ne.

5. Veliam, to Velia, a town in Lucania, in Southern Italy.

7. Ex qua Brutus, etc. Brutus, the conspirator, was going into voluntary exile.

12. L. Pisonis oratio. Piso, Caesar's father-in-law, advocated the authority of the senate.

13. Id ipsum, this fact itself.

17. Hunc ut sequerer, to support him.

22. Erga se, towards herself; i. e., to the state. Se rather than eam is used to give prominence to rei publicae, as if he had said ut res pub lica haberet.

24. Utriusque consilii profectionis et reversionis.

26. Antonii injuria. This refers to the threats of Antony in consequence of the absence of Cicero from his place in the senate. See Introduction, p. 291.

27. Idque me debere esse, and that I ought to be so, lit., this, i. e., a friend.

31. Ea res, ut, such a subject that.

32. Hannibal, Pyrrhi. Hannibal was the celebrated Carthaginian general with whom the Romans waged the Second Punic War, 219 to 201 B. C. Pyrrhus, King of Epirus, invaded Italy 280 B. C. Observe the irony in this passage.

34. Appium. Appius Claudius persuaded the senate to reject the terms proposed by Pyrrhus.

35. De supplicationibus, etc. When a thanksgiving was decreed in honor of a victorious general, senators were ordinarily very ready to show their interest in the subject by attending. The proposition of Antony, however, seems to have been that, at all future thanksgivings, honor should be paid to Caesar as a deified hero.



1. Pignoribus. The consuls had a right to demand pledges of sen- 124 ators as security for their attendance.

6. Cum fabris... venturum esse, i. e., for the purpose of demolishing it.

10. Publice; construe with aedificatam. Cicero's house, which was destroyed by Clodius, was rebuilt at the public expense.

12. Quam sententiam dicturus essem. Cicero would, of course, have opposed the measure recommended by Antony.

16. Parentalia, festivals in honor of deceased relatives.

17. Inexpiabiles religiones, unpardonable rites.

19. Brutus. L. Junius Brutus, who, five hundred years before, aided in expelling King Tarquin. He is here represented as the ancestor of M. Brutus, Caesar's assassin.

26. Eam, ut possem, such that I might.

29. Quae partim . . . partim, some of which... others.

1. Ne unus modo, that not one only; referring to Piso. See p. 123, 125 line 12.

9. Quae, malum! est ista, etc., what, the mischief, means that, etc. G. 557.

10. Fuerit quaedam necessaria, some of it may have been compulsory. It was so, of course, on the part of the followers of Antony. Hoc, this, i. e., that one should express one's own convictions and maintain the right.

15. Alium deesse. This depends upon suspicionem.




VII.-X. Cicero favors the Ratification of the Acts of
Caesar, but protests against Certain Measures which
Antony professed to have found in the Dictator's
Private Papers.

25. Sine advocatis, without his assistants; referring to the soldiers who attended him the day before.

27. Doceret; construe, like adesset, with vellem.

34. Promisit; i. e., in his memoranda.

4. Pecunia utinam, etc. The public money in the Temple of Ops amounted, at the death of Caesar, to almost $30,000,000. Antony took possession of this money. The Temple of Ops stood on the Capitoline Hill. - Ad Opis; G. 398, 1.

5. Cruenta, blood-stained, so called because of the manner in which it was collected by Caesar.

10. Gracchi. C. Sempronius Gracchus, who, as tribune for the years 123 and 122 B. C., made many reforms in the interest of the people. His laws embodying these reforms are called the Sempronian Laws, from Sempronius, as laws and ordinances were usually called after the middle name (nomen) of the proposer.- Sullae. L. Cornelius Sulla, the wellknown Dictator. His measures, embodied in the Cornelian Laws, were in the interest of the senate and the aristocracy.

19. Optima re publica, in the best period of the republic.


20. Ne praetoriae . . . obtinerentur. This is the purport of one of Caesar's own laws, the Julia Lex de Provinciis. Provinces were called praetorian or consular, accordingly as they were governed by praetors or by consuls.

23. De tertia decuria, in regard to the third decury, or class, i. e., of judges. The Aurelian Law, 70 B. C., established three classes (decuriae) of judges; one to be selected from senators, one from knights, and one from the tribunes of the treasury. Caesar, by his Lex Julia, abolished the last class, but Antony put in its place a third class consisting chiefly of centurions and soldiers. See note on ex dissensione, etc., p. 44, line 1; also on judices, p. 48, line 1.

28. Quod, id, but that which. G. 636, I., 1. comitiis. See note on centuriis, p. 60, line 15.


30. Isti ordini... lege Julia, etc. Under those laws, a Roman citizen who held the office of centurion had just as good prospects of an appointment as judge, as he would have had if not a centurion, but no better.

31. Julia, Aurelia. See note on de tertia centuria, line 23, above.

« IndietroContinua »