Cicero Philippics II – 100-119 (Group 3)


Introduction

100

English

But let us return to the manuscripts. What was your investigation? For the acts of Caesar were confirmed by the senate for the sake of peace: those which Caesar had actually done, not those which Antony said Caesar had done. Where are those ones breaking out from? On whose authority are they being produced? If they are fake, why are they being approved? If they are genuine, why are they for sale? But the senate had decreed this: that, from the first of June, you were to investigate Caesar’s acts assisted by a council. What council was there? Whom did you ever send for? What first of June did you await? Or (was it) that on which, having travelled through the colonies of veteran soldiers, you returned surrounded by weapons. What a splendid romp of yours in the months of April and May, at that time when you tried even to lead a colony down to Capua! We know how you got away from there, or rather almost did not get away.

Notes

101

English

And you are threatening this city. I wish you would try, so that at some point that “almost” may be lifted! But how noble was that journey of yours! Why should I mention your preparations for luncheon, why your frenzied boozing? Those are your afflictions; that (journey) is ours. The Campanian district, which when it was being freed from paying taxes so that it might be given to soldiers, we still thought a great wound was being inflicted on the republic, this you tried to carve up for your dinner-buddies and fellow gamblers. I tell you, senators, male and female mime artists have been settled in the Campanian district. Why should I now complain about the district of Leontini? Since indeed these public farms of Campania and Leontini were once said to be part of the inheritance of the Roman people – productive and fruitful. Three thousand jugers (c. 800 ha) for your doctor? What if he had cured you? Two thousand for your teacher of rhetoric? What if he had been able to make you eloquent? But let us return to your journey and to Italy.

Notes

102

English

You led a colony to Casilinum, where Caesar had previously founded a colony. You did indeed consult me about Capua through letters (but I would have given the same response about Casilinum): whether you could legally found a new colony in a place where there was a colony. I said that a new colony could not legally be led to a colony which had been founded with favourable auspices, as long as it was intact: (but) I did write back that new colonists could be registered. However, you, carried away by self-importance, with every rule of the auspices torn up, led a colony to Casilinum, where one had been founded a few years previously, so that you might raise the flag, so that you might drag a plough around; and, in fact, with its ploughshare you nearly grazed the gate of Capua, so that the territory of a flourishing colony might be reduced.

Notes

103

English

After this disruption of religious matters you dashed to the farm at Casinum of Marcus Varro, a man of the greatest piety and integrity. By what right? With what face? You will say: ‘With the same (face) with which (I dashed) to the estates of the heirs of Lucius Rubrius, with which (I dashed) to the estates of the heirs of Lucius Turselius, with which (I dashed) to countless other properties.’ And if (you obtained them) from an auction, let the auction stand, let the records stand, provided they’re Caesar’s records, not yours, (the ones) in which you have acquired debt, not (the ones) in which you have freed yourself. In fact, who says that Varro’s farm at Casinum was for sale? Who saw the auction of that sale? Who heard the voice of the auctioneer? You say that you sent (someone) to Alexandria to buy it from Caesar; because it would have been too much to wait for him in person!

Notes

104

English

Indeed who ever heard – and nobody’s safety was a concern to more people – that anything had been confiscated from Varro’s possessions? What? Even if Caesar wrote to you to return it, what can be stated strongly enough about such great arrogance? Remove briefly those swords(men) whom we see: you will now learn that the status of Caesar’s auction is one thing, that of your arrogance and rashness is another. For not only the owner, but any friend, guest, or manager will keep you away from that estate. But how many days did you waste revelling most shamelessly in that villa! From the third hour there was drinking, gambling and vomiting. O wretched building, ‘How different an owner’ – although in what way was he the owner? – but still, by how different a person it was occupied! For Marcus Varro wanted it as a retreat for his studies, not a den of pleasures.

Notes

105

English

What things were said in that villa previously, what things were pondered, what things were committed to writing! The laws of the Roman people, the memorials of our ancestors, a record of all wisdom and of all learning. But indeed, with you as a lodger – for you were not the owner – everything echoed with the voices of drunk people, the pavements were swimming in wine, the walls were dripping, freeborn boys mingled with rent boys, whores with matriarchs. People were coming from Casinum, Aquinum, and Interama to greet him; no one was let inside – indeed this (was done) correctly; for in the case of the most shameless person the marks of rank were being debased.

Notes