Marcus Tullius Cicero.

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i Att. viii. S, 7 (333) ; Caee. B. C. i. 86 fin.

I Dio Ca80. xlii. 22, 2, and vol. in., p. Ivii.

t Att. xi. 6, 3 (418). ♦• Bell. Alex. 48-64. tt Fam. xv. 21 (460).



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Iviu INTRODUCTION.

consul, and the province of Asia decreed to him for the following
year.*

But it would appear that already the plot against Caesar hsA
been set on foot, and that Trebonius was privy to it. In the be-
ginning of 709 (45) Antony and Trebonius met at Narbo, and the
latter sounded Antony on the subject of the conspiracy. Antony
refused to have any connexion with the plot, but did not disclose it
to Caesar.t On the Ides of March the duty assigned to Trebonius
was to keep Antony away from the actual scene of the murder.J
Shortly after the murder Trebonius repaired secretly to his pro-
vince.§ During his journey he wrote in May an interesting
letter to Cicero from Athens. It tells that he had met young
Cicero, who was studying at the university there, and that, as the
young man had expressed a wish to see Asia, he had asked him
to come on a visit, and to bring his tutor Cratippus along with
him, ^so that you must not think that he is going to have a
holiday from his books in Asia.' Trebonius also sent Cicero
some satirical verses against Antony, written in rather * broad*
language in the style of Lucilius, which he had composed during
some leisure hours on ship-board.|| He helped Brutus and Cassius
with money when they went to their provinces,1[ and he would
doubtless have been a strong support to the republican cause, but
he was treacherously murdered by Dolabella at Smyrna in Feb-
ruary, 711 (43).**

Cicero wrote to Trebonius in May, 710 (44), on the general
state of politics (Fam. xv, 20). We have a third extant letter
to him, written about the beginning of February, 711 (43), which,
however, cannot have reached him (Fam. x. 28). This is the
letter which begins with the celebrated words Quam vellem ad illas
pulcherrimas epulaa me Idibus Martm invitasaes : reliquiarum nihii
haheremus,

* Dio xliii. 46, 2 ; Appian, B. C. iii. 2.

t Cic. Phil. ii. 34 ; Pint. Ant. 13.

X Cic. Phil. 1. c, xiii. 22. In Plut. Caes. 66 this duty is said to have been under-
taken by Brutus Albinus, i.e. Decimus Brutus ; in Plut Ant. 13 by < some of the
conspirators.'

§ Att. xiv. 10. H Fam. xii. 16, 2, 3. IT Dio xlvii. 21, 3 ; 26, 1.

*• Cic. Phil. xi. 1-8 ; Fam. xii. 12, 1 ; 14, 6 ; 15, 4.



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2. MARCUS TERENTIU8 VARRO. lix

2. Marcus Terentius Varro.

M. Terentius Varro was bom at Eeate in 638 (116). He first
appears as triumvir monetalis in 660 (94). He subsequently went
through the usual series of magistracies, and was quaestor, tri-
bune, and praetor, the latter probably in 678 (76).* He was
considered the most learned of the Romans.f He was trained
under Aelius Stilo, and attended the lectures of Antiochus.
Though principally a student, Varro did not shrink from military
duties, and in 687 (67), during the Mithradatic war and the war
against the Pirates, we find him in command over Sicily and the
Ionian Sea, as far as Acamania \t and at the outbreak of the Civil
War he was general of one of the divisions of the Pompeian
forces in Spain. Caesar speaks with some coldness of Varro's
time-serving* conduct in that country.§ During the campaign in
Thessaly Varro was with Cicero at Dyrrhaohium.|| His villa at
Gasinum was plundered by Antony when the latter was governor
of Italy in 707 (47) .IT Caesar, as was his wont, forgave Varro,
and appointed him librarian of his new Palatine Library.** Varro
was proscribed during the triumvirate in 711 (43), but, by con-
cealing himself, escaped death, and lived till 726 (28), when he
died at the age of 88.

On his philosophical views see Dr. Beid's ed. of Cicero^s
Academica (p. 50) and St. Augustine (Civ. Dei, xix. 1-3) ; and on
his multifarious learning a brilliant description in Mommsen, B.
H. iv. 591-598, and a detailed account in Teuffel, §§ 164-169.
Of his literary works, his M enippean satires, written in a medley
of prose and verse, are much the most interesting. It would
appear that he was austere, and not very straightforwfiu*d. Cicero
evidently did not like him. He describes him in one place as
* having a most extraordinary character, as you know, all twists and
contortions '; ft in another, by the line in which Patroclus describes

* Gen. xiii. 12, 6 ; 20, 4 ; Appian, B. G. iv. 47.
f Quintil. X. 1, 95; Gell. iv. 9, 1.
I Plin. H. N. iii. 101 ; rii. 116 ; Appian Mithr. 96.
} Caes. B. C. i. 38; ii. 17-20, especially c. 17.

I De Div. i. 68 ; ii. 114. IT Phil. ii. 103-105. *• Suet. Caes. 44.

ft Att. ii. 25, 1 (52), mirabiUter maratut $tt, iicut nosti, lAorra ical odScV ; Att.
xiii. 26, 3 : cp. Horn. II. zi. 654, 9€u^hs drfipt rdxa Ktv Koi hMairiov ki^ridtpro.



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Ix INTRODUCTION.

Achilles, * a terrible man, readily would he blame even one that
was blameless.'

Cicero had to be pressed to write Varro a letter of thanks for
his exertions on his behalf during his exile, as he did not believe
that those exertions were very strenuous.* His letters to Varro
are, as Dr. Reid says, * cold, forced, and artificial '; and the trepi-
dation which Cicero exhibited with regard to the dedication of the
Academica to Varro, shows that the relations between the two men
were strained, and anything but oordial.f



3. Gnaeus Domitius Ahbnobarbus.

Cn. Domitius was son of L. Domitius, who commanded at
Corfinium, and Porcia, sister of Cato. We first hear of him as
accusing the son of Cn. Saturninus, who appears to have been
instrumental in effecting the rejection of the elder Domitius in his
candidature for the augurate: cp. Fam. viii. 14, 1 (280). He
was taken prisoner with his father at Corfinium, but spared
by Caesar. J On March 8th, 705 (49), he passed through For-
miae, on his way to Naples to see his mother, and spread the
report that the elder Domitius was at Bome.§ He did not follow
his father to M assilia, but probably served under his imcle Cato in
Africa. After the collapse of the Pompeians in that country he
returned to Italy; in his despair he appears to have meditated
suicide, and we have a letter written to him by Cicero, Fam. vi.
22 (465), dissuading him from such a desperate act. Domitius
appears not to have been pardoned, and to have lived in obscurity
in Italy during the following years.

It is an undecided question whether he was one of the con-
spirators against Caesar or not. Both Cicero (Phil. ii. 27) and
Dio Cassius (xlviii. 7, 29) maintain that he was one of them, and
Prof. Mayor thinks so too, rejecting the statement to the contrary
by Suetonius (Nero 3) on the ground that flatterers probably had

♦ Att. iii. 16, 3 (73) ; Att. 18, 1 (76). t Cp. Reid, Acad. pp. 34 f.

I Caes. B. C. i. 23. J Att. ix. 3, 1 (368).



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3. GNAEU8 D0MITIU8 AEEN0BARBU8. Ixi

a motive for clearing the memory of Nero's ancestor. But why
are we to suppose that Suetonius follows flatterers of Nero here
when he certainly does not follow them elsewhere P The contem-
porary of Domitius, L. Oocceius Nerva (cp. Appian, v. 62), was of
the same opinion as Suetonius ; and with them Drumann (iii. 25)
agrees, on the grounds that Domitius is not specially mentioned
as one of those who, after the murder of Caesar, went up to the
Capitol, and that the story of his participation in the conspiracy is
very likely to have arisen from his relationship to, and connexion
with, Brutus and Cassius.

But, be that as it may, he certainly espoused the cause of the
republicans, and in the autumn of 710 (44) collected some ships,
and sailed with Brutus and Cassius to Athens. He succeeded next
year in detaching a squadron of cavalry from Dolabella.* He
was accordingly ranked as one of the special enemies of the
triumvirs, and was proscribed by the Lex Fedia, but managed to
escape being put to death.

In 712 (42) in conjunction with Statins Murcus he defeated
on the day of the Battle of Philippi Domitius Calvinus, who
tried to sail out of Brundisium, and for this victory he was saluted
as imperator.f After the defeat of Brutus and Cassius, when
Statins Murcus joined Sext. Pompey, Domitius continued to carry
on the war independently for two years with such success that in
714 (40) he became reconciled with Antony on equal terms ; but
when Octavius complained that union with one of the proscribed
persons was a breach of faith, Antony appointed Domitius to the
province of Bithynia, which he administered from 714 (40) to 719
(35). In 715 (39), when treaty was made with Sext. Pompey,
provision was also made for the restoration of Domitius, and the
consulship promised him for 722 (32). He accompanied Antony
on his Parthian expedition in 718 (36), and addressed the soldiers
^en Antony was ashamed to appear before them. In 722 (32)

• Att. xW. 4, 4; PhiL x. 13.

t Appian, B. C. iy. 86, 100, 108, 116, 116. The exploits of Domitius as come
mander of the fleet are celebrated on coins, which acknowledge Antony as his genera],
so that these coins woidd seem to have been stmck after his reconciliation with
Alttonj: cp. Gardthausen, Augustus, ii. 101. A coin also records his rebuilding,
while imperator, of the temple of Neptune : cp. Plin. H. N. xxxri. 26 ; also Babelon,
Mmmaies romakus, i. 466-7, cp. 178.

TOL. IT. f



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Ixii INTRODUCTION.

he obtained the consulship, and did his best to moderate the
violent proceedings of his colleague Sosius. When the breach
between Antony and Ootavius occurred Domitius went, or was
sent, to Antony at Ephesus; and such was the disgust felt by
many of the officers and soldiers at Antony's subservience to
Cleopatra, that they urged Domitius to take the chief command.
But his health was broken down ; he could not accept the offer, so
he merely left Antony's camp. Antony sent his goods after him,
not with ^gentle adieus and greetings,' but with a scoff at his
amorous propensities. He died shortly after the battle of Actium.
Domitius appears to have been a manly and energetic soldier,
and was doubtless, as Suetonius says, the best of the family of the
Domitii ; but he was hardly, we think, as interesting as Shakspeare
has pourtrayed him in Antony and Cleopatra,*

4. Lucius Cornelius Balbus.

This able man of business was not a native Roman. He was
born at Qades, about 654 (100), of a good family. As soon as
opportunity was granted him he devoted himself to the interests
of the Romans, and did them good service in the Sertorian War.
During that period his merits were recognized by Metellus,
Memmius the brother-in-law of Pompey, and Pompey himself;
and by the help of the latter, he and his brother and nephew
obtained Roman citizenship, a grant which was definitely ratified
by the Lex Cornelia Gellia, passed in 682 (72). The cognomen
Balbus was a very common one, appearing in several families,
such as the Ampii, Atii, Laelii, Lucilii, Nonii, Octavii, &o., and
possibly was a near equivalent of a Punic name;t or perhaps it
was a name given to foreigners from their imperfect pronunciation
of Latin. He adopted the prenomen and nomen Lucius Cornelius,
perhaps from the L. Cornelius who was in old times a patron of
Gades;+ or possibly he adopted the nomen from the Cornelius

* The original evidence for the events of the life of Domitius have been collected
by Drumann, iii. 24—28.

t It has been said that Balbus was the name of a mountain near Carthage, but the
true reading in Liyy xxix. 31, 8, is Bellum,

X Cic. Balb. 41.



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4. LUCIUS CORNELIUS BALBUS. Ixiii

who was joint proposer of the law of 682 (72), and the prenomen
from the other proposer, Lucius Qellius.

In the year 684 (70), when the censorship was restored,
Balbns became a citizen, and was enrolled in one of the city
tribes. Soon afterwards he accused a member of the aristocratic
tnbus Clustumina of ambiius, and having secured a condemnation,
obtained, in accordance with the laws, the place in that tribe
which the convicted man had occupied.* He soon became so
intimate with Pompey and his circle, and was so highly esteemed
by them, that he was adopted by Pompey's confidential friend,
Theophanes of Mytilene, who had himself some time previously
been enfranchised by Pompey.f

Balbus had the thoroughly mercantile gift of forming exten-
sive connexions, and during the years which followed his enfran-
chisement we may be well assured that he made his mark in Kome.
Caesar when he became propraetor of Farther Spain especially
perceived in him a valuable assistant, and in 693 (61) he appointed
Balbus his prae/ectus fabmm ; and again in 696 (58), when he
became proconsul of G^ul he re-appointed him to that position.
As early as 694 (60) it would appear that Balbus was in the most
intimate connexion with Caesar ;t and during most of Caesar's
campaigns in Gaul he acted as Caesar's agent at Kome, and as
such rapidly rose to be a power in the city. But, no matter how
carefully he endeavoured to create no enemies, the influenticJ
foreigner cotdd not escape being regarded with jealousy by the
haughty Boman nobles. The result was that an attempt was
made to deprive Balbus of his Boman citizenship, and thereby to
teach the upstart and alien to remember that the rod could be laid
upon his back ; and this course had the further object in the feeling
that Caesar would be annoyed by an outrage perpetrated on his
trusty dependent.§

♦ Cic. Balb. 67.

t Hence by Capitolinus (Maximus et Balbinus, 7 3) Balbus is called Balbm
Com$Uu$ Theofanes.

X Alt. ii. 3, 3 (29), 'Caesar,' says Cicero, 'fully expects me to support bis
agrarian law' — namfuit apud me Cornelius — hune dieo BaUmm, Caesaris familiarein :
is ^ffirmabat ilium omnibus in rebus meo et Fompeii eonsilio usurum daturumque operam
ut cum I\nnpeio Orassum eoniungeret.

{ Plin. H. N. Tii. 136, Fuit et Balbus Cornelius maior consul, sed aeeusatus idgue ie

f2



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bdv INTRODUCTION.

BalbuB was aoouBed in 698 (56) by a fellow-towiismaii, and
defended by Pompey, Crassus, and Cioero. The speech which
Cicero delivered on this occasion is still extant The prosecutor
urged mainly two points — (1) that the Gtaditanes had a treaty
with Borne, and such i)eople could not be regarded as having the
franchise unless their State adopted it ; (2) that, whereas in many
treaties with other States it was explicitly stated that Bome
should not have the power to make any of the members of those
other States citizens, it may be considered as a general rule that
Bome has no such power. To the first point the answer is, that
it is true that whole communities cannot be regarded as possessing
the citizenship unless they adopt it ; but that it does not follow
that the adoption by the community is necessary to allow iruU^
vidual citizens to accept the grant; and it is quite absurd to
suppose that Bome is to be debarred, unless in special exceptional
cases, from bestowing the honour of her citizenship on individual
foreigners who have done her good service. As regards (2), the
answer is quite simple, and just the reverse of what the prosecutor
urged. If Bome is expressly forbidden by treaties to grant
citizenship to members of certain States, she has perfect liberty
to grant her franchise in cases where no such restriction is found.
Now no such restriction is found in the case of the treaty with
Qades.* Cicero's case was a good one, and deservedly successful,
though not argued quite as lucidly as is Cicero's wont. But there
is one point in the speech which is worth remarking, and that is
the way in which Cicero, while showing that it is pure jealousy
which has prompted the accusation, yet cannot himself refrain
from striking a blow at the upstart. *Balbus,* he says, *i8
accused of having a landed estate. True, but estates pass by
purchase to complete strangers, often to men of the very lowest
rank.'t Balbus must have winced; but he, doubtless, bore it

iure tirgarum in eum iudiee in eonsilium misso, primus exUmorum atque etiam in oeeano
genitorwn utua iUo honore quern maioret Latio guoque negaverint. We remember that
MaroeUus some years later grievously insulted Caesar by actually scourgmg a Traus-
padane: cp. Att. v. 11, 2 (200).

* We need not discuss other very questionable arguments put forward by Cicero,
such as that a law can override obligations made by treaty. The various intricacies of
the case are admirably set forth in Dr. Beid*s Introduction to his edition of the speech.

t Balb. 66, 90^ ad ififimos p&rvenire.



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4. LUCIUS CORNELIUS BALBUS. Ixv

with a patient shrug, for sufferance was the badge of all his
tribe.

We next hear of Balbus as continuing to be Caesar^s agent in
Rome, and as furthering the interests of duintus Cicero, who was
at that time serving under Caesar in Gaul. Marcus Cicero says,
* I regard him as the apple of my eye/ * In 700 (54) Balbus
made (as Dr. Reid most acutely sees) two journeys to Caesar in
Gaul.t He was gradually becoming more and more attached to
Caesar, and drawing away from Pompey. In 703 (51) he expos-
tulated with Metellus Scipio, who proposed that the question of
depriving Caesar of his provinces should be discussed on the
Kalends of March, 704 (50). J In the matter of Cicero's triumph
he declared that Curio's conduct would certainly not meet with
the approval of Caesar.§ Just before the Civil War broke out he
appears to have intended to lay before Scipio certain information
received from Caesar, and thus to have been in intimate connexion
with the Pompeians.il At the same time Balbus, as well as
Caesar, wrote persuasive letters to Cicero, urging him to take
Caesar's side, but Cicero would not deviate a finger's breadth
from the honourable course,ir though he pretended to be troubled
about some money he owed Caesar. ^ If I make a brilliant speech
in the Senate in defence of the constitution, your Tartessian
friend (Balbus) will meet me at the door, and politely ask me for
payment of that money.' **

We have thus seen Balbus as the agent of Caesar and devoted
to his interests, but at the same time in friendly connexion with
decided members of the Pompeian party. This keeping on good
terms with both sides, but on the best terms with the side which
was likely to win, was a gift which Balbus possessed in full
measure. Thus, when the rupture came, he acted as agent both

♦ Q. Fr. iiL 1, 9 (148), in oeulisfero.

t Poedbly the letter from Cicero to Caesar, which is found in Nonius 287, 25 {JBalbi
quantifaciam quamque ex me totum dicaverim ex ipeo aeiee), may have been brought to
Caesar by Balbus in one of these journeys.

I Fam. yiii. 9, 6 (211) : cp. voL in., Ixzi.

§ Fam. Tiii. 11, 2 (267).

I Att. yii. 4, 2 (295).

IT Att. TiL 3, 11 (294), Ille (sc. Caesar) mihi litterae blandae mittit : faeit idem pro
to Balbus : mihi cerium est ab honestissima sentetUia digitum nusquam,

♦• Att. TiL 8, 11 (294).



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Ixvi INTRODUCTION.

for Caesar and for Lentulus, the consul for 705 (49) ;* and owing
to the ohligations he was under to members of both parties^ Oaesar
magnanimously allowed him to take no active part in the war, and
to continue to act as agent for the Fompeians as well as for
himself.t

He frequently corresponded with Cicero, and we have some of
his letters of this period still extant: also letters which Cicero
wrote to him and Oppius.J Towards the end of February, 706
(49), he wrote an effusive letter to Cicero, begging him to use his
influence to bring about peace,§ a letter by which Cicero thought
Balbus meant to ridicule him. About a week later, however, Cicero
wrote to him and Oppius, asking what were Caesar's real plans with
regard to the treatment of Pompey. They replied|| cautiously that
they did not know, and under the circumstances advised Cicero to
remain neutral. The letter reads to us sincere ; but this is not the
case with another (written a few days later, when they knew that
Caesar earnestly desired peace), in which Balbus urged Cicero to
act as he had done himself, and to serve two masters ; also to ask
Caesar for a special guard, as in the Milonian crisis he had asked
for one from Pompey. Balbus is characteristically over-eflEusive
in his general statements when he says, ^ If I know Caesar at all
I pledge my word that he will regard your dignity as more im-
portant than his own interests.' On the 20th of March he wrote
to Cicero, declaring that he was tortured with anxiety and fear
that all negotiations for peace would break down.H Cicero con-
sidered this gross insincerity, and regarded the obvious adoption by
Balbus of Caesar's side as rank ingratitude to Pompey.** After
Cicero's rejection of Caesar's request to attend the meeting of tiie

♦ Att. Tui. 16 a, 2 (346).

t Att. ix.7B, 2(354).

X Gellius zvii. 9, 1-4, tells that Caesar used a cypher in writing to his agents —
Lihri sunt epittolarum C. Caetarit ad C. Oppium et BaUmm Comelium, qui r$s eint
absentit eurabant. In his epistolis quibusdam in locis inveniuntur litterae singularias
tine eoagmentis syllaharum quas tu putes positas incondite : nam verba ex his litteris
conjlei nulla possunt, Erat autem conventum inter eos clandestinum de eommutando situ
litterarum ; ut in seripto quidem alia aliae locum et nomen teneret, sed in legendo loeus
cuique suus et potestas restitueretur : quaenam vera littera pro qua subderetur^ ante iw,
sieuti dixif eomplaeebatf qui hone seribendi laUbram parahant,

§ Att. viii. 16 A (346). | Att. ix. 7 A (361).

1 Att ix. 13 A (370). ♦♦ Att. ix. 13, 8 (371).



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4. LUCIUS CORNELIUS BALBUS. Ixvii

Senate on April let, he still kept up interoourse with BalhuSy and
even oondesoended to clear himself to Balbus of certain suspicions
of hostility to Caesar.* But he evidentlj disliked the man, and
was intensely annoyed at his efforts to become a senator.f

During the following years Balbus still retained the confidence
of Caesar ; and accordingly^ when Cicero returned to Brundisium,
he used what influence he had with Balbus to obtain lenient
treatment from Caesar. Though at first the letters of Balbus were
reassuring, j: he does not appear to have done much for Cicero at
this time, and, as he was uncertain about Caesar's feelings towards
Cicero, he gradually began to hold out less and less hope.§ In
June, 707 (47), Cicero wrote to Balbus and Oppius, as well as to
Antony, asking for permission to leave Brundisium ; but they
were unable to accede to his request, as they had no instructions
from their master on the subject.

On Caesar's return Balbus was doubtless amply rewarded for
his faithful stewardship, and began to live in a grander style than
heretofore. Cicero complains that he is building new mansions
during the crisis of the State— * for what does he careP'H and

♦ Alt. X. 18, 2 (404).

t Att. X. 11, 4 (396), Etiamne Balbui in tenatum ire eogiiet, Schmidt (p. 174)
Aippoees that Balbm ia a mistake here for Oppius, who was made a senator about this
time: cp. Fam. ii. 16, 7 (394). He holds that the facts related in Fam. yiii. 11, 2,
(267), Att. Tii. 3, 11 (294), prove that Balbus was already a senator. But it is quite
poesible that a conversation between Balbus and Curio, held in the office of the former
may hare become public ; and in the other case, probably Balbus may be regarded as
hanng been among the audience who thronged the doors of the senate-house, and who
appear to have been able to recognize what course proceedings were taking : cp. Cio.
PhiL it 112 ; Fam. z. 2, 1. Schmidt's other supposition (p. 174), tliat there was a
special symbol to express Balbus et Oppius, owing to the frequency with which these
names are conjoined, and that hence the mistake arose, cannot be accepted until definite
proof is adduced that there was such a Sjrmbol used in the manuscripts. Far better is
Schmidt's other proposal (p. 177) to read in Att. z. 11, 4 (396) Balbus minor, for this
Balbus bad not as yet held a magistracy : cp. Fam. z. 32, 1. But we see no valid
reason at all for supposing that the elder Balbus was a senator before this time.
8chmidt*s view (p. 165), that the emptus paeijlcator of Att. x. 1, 3 (378) was the elder
Balbus, may possibly be right ; but few will follow him in supposing that Reginus in x.
12, 1 (397) means ' creature of the monarch* (Konigsknecht), and refers to one of
the Balbi.

} Att. xi. 6, 3 (418).

\ Att. xL 9, 1 (423).

Q Att. xii. 2, 2 (469). On aedijkare as a term of reproach cp. Mayor on Jut. xIt. 86.



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Ixviii INTRODUCTION.



Online LibraryMarcus Tullius CiceroThe correspondence of M. Tullius Cicero arranged according to its chronological order.. → online text (page 6 of 70)