Cicero, Epistulae ad Brutum (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Cic. ad Brut.].
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ON the 27th of April, when the speeches were being delivered in the senate as to the proceedings to be taken against the men who had been adjudged public enemies, Servilius referred among others to the case of Ventidius, [Note] and also advised that Cassius should conduct the war against Dolabella. I spoke in support of this, and added to the motion that you, if you thought it expedient and to the public advantage, should direct your attack upon Dolabella: and that if you could not do so with advantage to the public service, or if you thought that it was to the interests of the state, you should keep your army in the district in which it now is. The senate could not have paid you a greater compliment than leaving you to decide what you thought to be for the benefit of the state. For my own part my feeling is that, if Dolabella has a body of troops, if he has a camp, if he has any footing anywhere, it concerns your honour and position that you should go against him. As to the forces in the hands of our friend Cassius we know nothing, for we have had no despatch from him personally, nor has any news reached us upon which we can rely. But how important it is that Dolabella should be crushed you certainly fully appreciate, both that he may be punished for his crime, and that there may be no place of refuge for the ringleaders of the outlaws after their rout at Mutina. And indeed that this has all along been my opinion you may recollect from my previous letter—though at that time our only harbour of refuge was in your camp, and we were looking to your army to save us from destruction. Much more, now that we have been freed as I hope from absolute danger, ought we to

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devote ourselves to crushing Dolabella. [Note] But think the matter over carefully, decide it wisely, and—if you deem it right-let me know what you have resolved and what you are actually doing. I wish my son Cicero to be co-opted into your college. [Note] I think in the circumstances that in the election of sacerdotes candidates might be voted for in their absence : for it has been done even before this. For instance, Gaius Marius, though he was in Cappadocia, was created an augur under the lex Domitia; [Note] nor has any law since made that illegal. There is even a clause in the lex Julia—the most recent legislation on the subject of the priesthoods—in these words: "the candidate and anyone for whom votes shall be taken." This clearly indicates that votes can be taken for one who does not act as a candidate. I have written to my son on this subject telling him to follow your advice, as in all other things. It is for you again to decide about Domitius and our friend Cato. [Note] But however legal it may be for votes to be taken for a man in his absence, yet it is easier in every way for those who are on the spot. While if you have

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resolved that you must go to Asia, we shall have no means of summoning our friends to the comitia. Certainly I think that everything would have been more expeditiously done if Pansa were alive: for he would have at once held the election of his colleague, and then the comitia of the sacerdotes would have been held before those of the praetors. As it is, I foresee a long delay on account of the auspicia; for as long as there is a single patrician magistrate left the auspicia cannot revert to the senate. It is certainly a serious complication. [Note] Pray write and tell me your views on the whole question.

5 May.

Cicero, Epistulae ad Brutum (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Cic. ad Brut.].
<<Cic. ad Brut. 1.4a Cic. ad Brut. 1.5 (Latin) >>Cic. ad Brut. 1.6

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