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The Orations of Marcus Tullius Cicero, Volume 4 by Cicero

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[_Reprinted from Stereotype plates_.]


The Fourteen Orations against M. Antonius, called Philippics:--

The First Philippic

The Second Philippic

The Third Philippic

The Fourth Philippic

The Fifth Philippic

The Sixth Philippic

The Seventh Philippic

The Eighth Philippic

The Ninth Philippic

The Tenth Philippic

The Eleventh Philippic

The Twelfth Philippic

The Thirteenth Philippic

The Fourteenth Philippic

* * * * *


Book I.

Book II.








When Julius, or, as he is usually called by Cicero Caius Caesar was
slain on the 15th of March, A.U.C. 710, B.C. 44 Marcus Antonius
was his colleague in the consulship, and he, being afraid that the
conspirators might murder him too, (and it is said that they had
debated among themselves whether they would or no) concealed himself
on that day and fortified his house, till perceiving that nothing
was intended against him, he ventured to appear in public the day
following. Lepidus was in the suburbs of Rome with a regular army,
ready to depart for the government of Spain, which had been assigned
to him with a part of Gaul. In the night, after Caesar's death he
occupied the forum with his troops and thought of making himself
master of the city, but Antonius dissuaded him from that idea and won
him over to his views by giving his daughter in marriage to Lepidus's
son, and by assisting him to seize on the office of Pontifex Maximus,
which was vacant by Caesar's death.

To the conspirators he professed friendship, sent his son among them
as a hostage of his sincerity, and so deluded them, that Brutus supped
with Lepidus, and Cassius with Antonius. By these means he got them to
consent to his passing a decree for the confirmation of all Caesar's
acts, without describing or naming them more precisely. At last, on
the occasion of Caesar's public funeral, he contrived so to inflame the
populace against the conspirators, that Brutus and Cassius had some
difficulty in defending their houses and their lives and he gradually
alarmed them so much, and worked so cunningly on their fears that they
all quitted Rome. Cicero also left Rome, disapproving greatly of the
vacillation and want of purpose in the conspirators. On the first of
June Antonius assembled the senate to deliberate on the affairs of
the republic, and in the interval visited all parts of Italy. In the
meantime young Octavius appeared on the stage; he had been left by
Caesar, who was his uncle, the heir to his name and estate. He returned
from Apollonia, in Macedonia, to Italy as soon as he heard of his
uncle's death, and arrived at Naples on the eighteenth of April, where
he was introduced by Hirtius and Pansa to Cicero, whom he promised
to be guided in all respects by his directions. He was now between
eighteen and nineteen years of age.

He began by the representation of public spectacles and games in
honour of Caesar's victories. In the meantime Antonius, in his progress
through Italy, was making great use of the decree confirming all
Caesar's acts, which he interpolated and forged in the most shameless
manner. Among other things he restored Deiotarus to all his dominions,
having been bribed to do so by a hundred millions of sesterces by the
king's agents, but Deiotarus himself, as soon as he heard of Caesar's
death, seized all his dominions by force. He also seized the public
treasure which Caesar had deposited in the temple of Ops, amounting to
above four millions and a half of our money, and with this he won over
Dolabella,[1] who had seized the consulship on the death of Caesar, and
the greater part of the army.

At the end of May Cicero began to return towards Rome, in order to
arrive there in time for the meeting of the senate on the first of
June, but many of his friends dissuaded him from entering the city,
and at last he determined not to appear in the senate on that day, but
to make a tour in Greece, to assist him in which, Dolabella named
him one of his lieutenants. Antonius also gave Brutus and Cassius
commissions to buy corn in Asia and Sicily for the use of the
republic, in order to keep them out of the city.

Meantime Sextus Pompeius, who was at the head of a considerable
army in Spain, addressed letters to the consuls proposing terms
of accommodation, which after some debate, and some important
modifications, were agreed to, and he quitted Spain, and came as far
as Marseilles on his road towards Rome.

Cicero having started for Greece was forced to put back by contrary
winds, and returned to Velia on the seventeenth of August, where he
had a long conference with Brutus, who soon after left Italy for his
province of Macedonia, which Caesar had assigned him before his death,
though Antonius now wished to compel him to exchange it for Crete.
After this conference Cicero returned to Rome, where he was received
with unexampled joy, immense multitudes thronging out to meet him, and
to escort him into the city. He arrived in Rome on the last day of
August. The next day the senate met, to which he was particularly
summoned by Antonius, but he excused himself as not having recovered
from the fatigue of his journey.

Antonius was greatly offended, and in his speech in the senate
threatened openly to order his house to be pulled down, the real
reason of Cicero's absenting himself from the senate being, that the
business of the day was to decree some new and extraordinary honours
to Caesar, and to order supplications to him as a divinity, which
Cicero was determined not to concur in, though he knew it would be
useless to oppose them.

The next day also the senate met, and Antonius absented himself, but
Cicero came down and delivered the following speech, which is
the first of that celebrated series of fourteen speeches made in
opposition to Antonius and his measures, and called Philippics from
the orations of Demosthenes against Philip, to which the Romans were
in the habit of comparing them.[2]

I. Before, O conscript fathers, I say those things concerning the
republic which I think myself bound to say at the present time, I
will explain to you briefly the cause of my departure from, and of
my return to the city. When I hoped that the republic was at last
recalled to a proper respect for your wisdom and for your authority, I
thought that it became me to remain in a sort of sentinelship, which
was imposed upon me by my position as a senator and a man of consular
rank. Nor did I depart anywhere, nor did I ever take my eyes off from
the republic, from the day on which we were summoned to meet in the
temple of Tellus,[3] in which temple, I, as far as was in my power,
laid the foundations of peace, and renewed the ancient precedent set
by the Athenians, I even used the Greek word,[4] which that city
employed in those times in allaying discords, and gave my vote that
all recollection of the existing dissensions ought to be effaced by
everlasting oblivion.

The oration then made by Marcus Antonius was an admirable one, his
disposition, too, appeared excellent, and lastly, by his means and
by his sons', peace was ratified with the most illustrious of the
citizens, and everything else was consistent with this beginning. He
invited the chief men of the state to those deliberations which
he held at his own house concerning the state of the republic, he
referred all the most important matters to this order. Nothing was
at that time found among the papers of Caius Caesar except what was
already well known to everybody, and he gave answers to every question
that was asked of him with the greatest consistency. Were any exiles
restored? He said that one was, and only one. Were any immunities
granted? He answered, None. He wished us even to adopt the proposition
of Servius Sulpicius, that most illustrious man, that no tablet
purporting to contain any decree or grant of Caesar's should be
published after the Ides of March were expired. I pass over many
other things, all excellent--for I am hastening to come to a very
extraordinary act of virtue of Marcus Antonius. He utterly abolished
from the constitution of the republic the Dictatorship, which had by
this time attained to the authority of regal power. And that measure
was not even offered to us for discussion. He brought with him a
decree of the senate, ready drawn up, ordering what he chose to have
done: and when it had been read, we all submitted to his authority in
the matter with the greatest eagerness; and, by another resolution
of the senate, we returned him thanks in the most honourable and
complimentary language.

II. A new light, as it were, seemed to be brought over us, now that
not only the kingly power which we had endured, but all fear of such
power for the future, was taken away from us; and a great pledge
appeared to have been given by him to the republic that he did wish
the city to be free, when he utterly abolished out of the republic the
name of dictator, which had often been a legitimate title, on account
of our late recollection of a perpetual dictatorship. A few days
afterwards the senate was delivered from the danger of bloodshed, and
a hook[5] was fixed into that runaway slave who had usurped the name
of Caius Marius. And all these things he did in concert with his
colleague. Some other things that were done were the acts of Dolabella
alone; but, if his colleague had not been absent, would, I believe,
have been done by both of them in concert.

For when enormous evil was insinuating itself into the republic, and
was gaining more strength day by day; and when the same men were
erecting a tomb[6] in the forum, who had performed that irregular
funeral; and when abandoned men, with slaves like themselves, were
every day threatening with more and more vehemence all the houses and
temples of the city; so severe was the rigour of Dolabella, not
only towards the audacious and wicked slaves, but also towards the
profligate and unprincipled freemen, and so prompt was his overthrow
of that accursed pillar, that it seems marvellous to me that the
subsequent time has been so different from that one day.

For behold, on the first of June, on which day they had given notice
that we were all to attend the senate, everything was changed.
Nothing was done by the senate, but many and important measures were
transacted by the agency of the people, though that people was both
absent and disapproving. The consuls elect said, that they did not
dare to come into the senate. The liberators of their country were
absent from that city from the neck of which they had removed the yoke
of slavery; though the very consuls themselves professed to praise
them in their public harangues and in all their conversation. Those
who were called Veterans, men of whose safety this order had been most
particularly careful, were instigated not to the preservation of those
things which they had, but to cherish hopes of new booty. And as I
preferred hearing of those things to seeing them, and as I had an
honorary commission as lieutenant, I went away, intending to be
present on the first of January, which appeared likely to be the first
day of assembling the senate.

III. I have now explained to you, O conscript fathers, my design
in leaving the city. Now I will briefly set before you, also, my
intention in returning, which may perhaps appear more unaccountable.
As I had avoided Brundusium, and the ordinary route into Greece, not
without good reason, on the first of August I arrived at Syracuse,
because the passage from that city into Greece was said to be a good
one. And that city, with which I had so intimate a connexion, could
not, though it was very eager to do so, detain me more than one night.
I was afraid that my sudden arrival among my friends might cause some
suspicion if I remained there at all. But after the winds had driven
me, on my departure from Sicily, to Leucopetra, which is a promontory
of the Rhegian district, I went up the gulf from that point, with the
view of crossing over. And I had not advanced far before I was driven
back by a foul wind to the very place which I had just quitted. And as
the night was stormy, and as I had lodged that night in the villa of
Publius Valerius, my companion and intimate friend, and as I remained
all the nest day at his house waiting for a fair wind, many of the
citizens of the municipality of Rhegium came to me. And of them there
were some who had lately arrived from Rome; from them I first heard
of the harangue of Marcus Antonius, with which I was so much pleased
that, after I had read it, I began for the first time to think of
returning. And not long afterwards the edict of Brutus and Cassius is
brought to me; which (perhaps because I love those men, even more for
the sake of the republic than of my own friendship for them) appeared
to me, indeed, to be full of equity. They added besides, (for it is a
very common thing for those who are desirous of bringing good news to
invent something to make the news which they bring seem more joyful,)
that parties were coming to an agreement; that the senate was to
meet on the first of August; that Antonius having discarded all evil
counsellors, and having given up the provinces of Gaul, was about to
return to submission to the authority of the senate.

IV. But on this I was inflamed with such eagerness to return, that no
oars or winds could be fast enough for me; not that I thought that I
should not arrive in time, but lest I should be later than I wished in
congratulating the republic; and I quickly arrived at Velia, where I
saw Brutus; how grieved I was, I cannot express. For it seemed to be
a discreditable thing for me myself, that I should venture to return
into that city from which Brutus was departing, and that I should be
willing to live safely in a place where he could not. But he himself
was not agitated in the same manner that I was; for, being elevated
with the consciousness of his great and glorious exploit, he had no
complaints to make of what had befallen him, though he lamented your
fate exceedingly. And it was from him that I first heard what had been
the language of Lucius Piso, in the senate of August; who, although
he was but little assisted (for that I heard from Brutus himself) by
those who ought to have seconded him, still according to the testimony
of Brutus, (and what evidence can be more trustworthy?) and to the
avowal of every one whom I saw afterwards, appeared to me to have
gained great credit. I hastened hither, therefore, in order that as
those who were present had not seconded him, I might do so; not with
the hope of doing any good, for I neither hoped for that, nor did I
well see how it was possible; but in order that if anything happened
to me, (and many things appeared to be threatening me out of the
regular course of nature, and even of destiny,) I might still leave
my speech on this day as a witness to the republic of my everlasting
attachment to its interests.

Since, then, O conscript fathers, I trust that the reason of my
adopting each determination appears praiseworthy to you, before I
begin to speak of the republic, I will make a brief complaint of the
injury which Marcus Antonius did me yesterday, to whom I am friendly,
and I have at all times admitted having received some services from
him which make it my duty to be so.

V. What reason had he then for endeavouring, with such bitter
hostility, to force me into the senate yesterday? Was I the only
person who was absent? Have you not repeatedly had thinner houses than
yesterday? Or was a matter of such importance under discussion, that
it was desirable for even sick men to be brought down? Hannibal, I
suppose, was at the gates, or there was to be a debate about peace
with Pyrrhus, on which occasion it is related that even the great
Appius, old and blind as he was, was brought down to the senate-house.
There was a motion being made about some supplications, a kind of
measure when senators are not usually wanting, for they are under the
compulsion, not of pledges, but of the influence of those men whose
honour is being complimented, and the case is the same when the motion
has reference to a triumph. The consuls are so free from anxiety at
these times, that it is almost entirely free for a senator to absent
himself if he pleases. And as the general custom of our body was well
known to me, and as I was hardly recovered from the fatigue of my
journey, and was vexed with myself, I sent a man to him, out of regard
for my friendship to him, to tell him that I should not be there. But
he, in the hearing of you all, declared that he would come with
masons to my house; this was said with too much passion and very
intemperately. For, for what crime is there such a heavy punishment
appointed as that, that any one should venture to say in this assembly
that he, with the assistance of a lot of common operatives, would pull
down a house which had been built at the public expense in accordance
with a vote of the senate? And who ever employed such compulsion
as the threat of such an injury as to a senator? or what severer
punishment has ever been he himself was unable to perform? As, in
fact, he has failed to perform many promises made to many people. And
a great many more of those promises have been found since his death,
than the number of all the services which he conferred on and did to
people during all the years that he was alive would amount to.

But all those things I do not change, I do not meddle with. Nay, I
defend all his good acts with the greatest earnestness. Would that the
money remained in the temple of Opis! Bloodstained, indeed, it may be,
but still needful at these times, since it is not restored to those to
whom it really belongs.[7] Let that, however, be squandered too, if
it is so written in his acts. Is there anything whatever that can be
called so peculiarly the act of that man who, while clad in the robe
of peace, was yet invested with both civil and military command in
the republic, as a law of his? Ask for the acts of Gracchus, the
Sempronian laws will be brought forward; ask for those of Sylla, you
will have the Cornelian laws. What more? In what acts did the third
consulship of Cnaeus Pompeius consist? Why, in his laws. And if you
could ask Caesar himself what he had done in the city and in the garb
of peace, he would reply that he had passed many excellent laws; but
his memoranda he would either alter or not produce at all; or, if
he did produce them, he would not class them among his acts. But,
however, I allow even these things to pass for acts; at some things I
am content to wink; but I think it intolerable that the acts of Caesar
in the most important instances, that is to say, in his laws, are to
be annulled for their sake.

VIII. What law was ever better, more advantageous, more frequently
demanded in the best ages of the republic, than the one which forbade
the praetorian provinces to be retained more than a year, and the
consular provinces more than two? If this law be abrogated, do you
think that the acts of Caesar are maintained? What? are not all the
laws of Caesar respecting judicial proceedings abrogated by the law
which has been proposed concerning the third decury? And are you the
defenders of the acts of Caesar who overturn his laws? Unless, indeed,
anything which, for the purpose of recollecting it, he entered in a
note-book, is to be counted among his acts, and defended, however
unjust or useless it may be; and that which he proposed to the people
in the comitia centuriata and carried, is not to be accounted one
of the acts of Caesar. But what is that third decury? The decury of
centurions, says he. What? was not the judicature open to that order
by the Julian law, and even before that by the Pompeian and Aurelian
laws? The income of the men, says he, was exactly defined. Certainly,
not only in the case of a centurion, but in the case, too, of a Roman
knight. Therefore, men of the highest honour and of the greatest
bravery, who have acted as centurions, are and have been judges. I am
not asking about those men, says he. Whoever has acted as centurion,
let him be a judge. But if you were to propose a law, that whoever had
served in the cavalry, which is a higher post, should be a judge, you
would not be able to induce any one to approve of that; for a man's
fortune and worth ought to be regarded in a judge. I am not asking
about those points, says he; I am going to add as judges, common
soldiers of the legion of Alaudae;[8] for our friends say, that that
is the only measure by which they can be saved. Oh what an insulting
compliment it is to those men whom you summon to act as judges though
they never expected it! For the effect of the law is, to make those
men judges in the third decury who do not dare to judge with freedom.
And in that how great, O ye immortal gods! is the error of those men
who have desired that law. For the meaner the condition of each judge
is, the greater will be the severity of judgment with which he will
seek to efface the idea of his meanness; and he will strive rather to
appear worthy of being classed in the honourable decuries, than to
have deservedly ranked in a disreputable one.

IX. Another law was proposed, that men who had been condemned of
violence and treason may appeal to the public if they please. Is this
now a law, or rather an abrogation of all laws? For who is there at
this day to whom it is an object that that law should stand? No one is
accused under those laws; there is no one whom we think likely to be
so accused. For measures which have been carried by force of arms will
certainly never be impeached in a court of justice. But the measure is
a popular one. I wish, indeed, that you were willing to promote any
popular measure; for, at present, all the citizens agree with one
mind and one voice in their view of its bearing on the safety of the

What is the meaning, then, of the eagerness to pass the law which
brings with it the greatest possible infamy, and no popularity at all?
For what can be more discreditable than for a man who has committed
treason against the Roman people by acts of violence, after he has
been condemned by a legal decision, to be able to return to that very
course of violence, on account of which he has been condemned? But why
do I argue any more about this law? as if the object aimed at were to
enable any one to appeal? The object is, the inevitable consequence
must be, that no one can ever be prosecuted under those laws. For
what prosecutor will be found insane enough to be willing, after the
defendant has been condemned, to expose himself to the fury of a
hired mob? or what judge will be bold enough to venture to condemn a
criminal, knowing that he will immediately be dragged before a gang of
hireling operatives? It is not, therefore, a right of appeal that is
given by that law, but two most salutary laws and modes of judicial
investigation that are abolished. And what is this but exhorting young
men to be turbulent, seditious, mischievous citizens?

To what extent of mischief will it not be possible to instigate the
frenzy of the tribunes now that these two rights of impeachment for
violence and for treason are annulled? What more? Is not this a
substitution of a new law for the laws of Caesar, which enact that
every man who has been convicted of violence, and also every man who
has been convicted of treason, shall be interdicted from fire and
water? And, when those men have a right of appeal given them, are not
the acts of Caesar rescinded? And those acts, O conscript fathers,
I, who never approved of them, have still thought it advisable to
maintain for the sake of concord, so that I not only did not think
that the laws which Caesar had passed in his lifetime ought to be
repealed, but I did not approve of meddling with those even which
since the death of Caesar you have seen produced and published.

X. Men have been recalled from banishment by a dead man; the freedom
of the city has been conferred, not only on individuals, but on entire
nations and provinces by a dead man; our revenues have been diminished
by the granting of countless exemptions by a dead man. Therefore, do
we defend these measures which have been brought from his house on the
authority of a single, but, I admit, a very excellent individual, and
as for the laws which he, in your presence, read, and declared, and
passed,--in the passing of which he gloried, and on which he believed
that the safety of the republic depended, especially those concerning
provinces and concerning judicial proceedings,--can we, I say, we who
defend the acts of Caesar, think that those laws deserve to be upset?

And yet, concerning those laws which were proposed, we have, at all
events, the power of complaining, but concerning those which are
actually passed we have not even had that privilege. For they, without
any proposal of them to the people, were passed before they were
framed. Men ask, what is the reason why I, or why any one of you, O
conscript fathers, should be afraid of bad laws while we have virtuous
tribunes of the people? We have men ready to interpose their veto,
ready to defend the republic with the sanctions of religion. We ought
to be strangers to fear. What do you mean by interposing the veto?
says he, what are all these sanctions of religion which you are
talking about? Those, forsooth, on which the safety of the republic
depends. We are neglecting those things, and thinking them too
old-fashioned and foolish. The forum will be surrounded, every
entrance of it will be blocked up, armed men will be placed in
garrison, as it were, at many points. What then?--whatever is
accomplished by those means will be law. And you will order, I
suppose, all those regularly passed decrees to be engraved on brazen
tablets "The consuls consulted the people in regular form," (Is this
the way of consulting the people that we have received from our
ancestors?) "and the people voted it with due regularity" What people?
that which was excluded from the forum? Under what law did they do so?
under that which has been wholly abrogated by violence and arms? But
I am saying all this with reference to the future, because it is the
part of a friend to point out evils which may be avoided and if they
never ensue, that will be the best refutation of my speech. I am
speaking of laws which have been proposed, concerning which you have
still full power to decide either way. I am pointing out the defects,
away with them! I am denouncing violence and arms, away with them too!

XI. You and your colleague, O Dolabella, ought not, indeed, to be
angry with me for speaking in defence of the republic. Although I do
not think that you yourself will be; I know your willingness to listen
to reason. They say that your colleague, in this fortune of his, which
he himself thinks so good, but which would seem to me more favourable
if (not to use any harsh language) he were to imitate the example set
him by the consulship of his grandfathers and of his uncle,--they say
that he has been exceedingly offended. And I see what a formidable
thing it is to have the same man angry with me and also armed;
especially at a time when men can use their swords with such impunity.
But I will propose a condition which I myself think reasonable, and
which I do not imagine Marcus Antonius will reject. If I have said
anything insulting against his way of life or against his morals,
I will not object to his being my bitterest enemy. But if I have
maintained the same habits that I have already adopted in the
republic,--that is, if I have spoken my opinions concerning the
affairs of the republic with freedom,--in the first place, I beg that
he will not be angry with me for that; but, in the next place, if I
cannot obtain my first request, I beg at least that he will show his
anger only as he legitimately may show it to a fellow-citizen.

Let him employ arms, if it is necessary, as he says it is, for his own
defence: only let not those arms injure those men who have declared
their honest sentiments in the affairs of the republic. Now, what can
be more reasonable than this demand? But if, as has been said to me by
some of his intimate friends, every speech which is at all contrary
to his inclination is violently offensive to him, even if there be no
insult in it whatever; then we will bear with the natural disposition
of our friend. But those men, at the same time, say to me, "You will
not have the same licence granted to you who are the adversary of
Caesar as might be claimed by Piso his father-in-law." And then they
warn me of something which I must guard against; and certainly, the
excuse which sickness supplies me with, for not coming to the senate,
will not be a more valid one than that which is furnished by death.

XII. But, in the name of the immortal gods! for while I look upon you,
O Dolabella, who are most dear to me, it is impossible for me to keep
silence respecting the error into which you are both falling; for I
believe that you, being both men of high birth, entertaining lofty
views, have been eager to acquire, not money, as some too credulous
people suspect, a thing which has at all times been scorned by every
honourable and illustrious man, nor power procured by violence and
authority such as never ought to be endured by the Roman people, but
the affection of your fellow-citizens, and glory. But glory is praise
for deeds which have been done, and the fame earned by great services
to the republic; which is approved of by the testimony borne in its
favour, not only by every virtuous man, but also by the multitude. I
would tell you, O Dolabella, what the fruit of good actions is, if I
did not see that you have already learnt it by experience beyond all
other men.

What day can you recollect in your whole life, as ever having beamed
on you with a more joyful light than the one on which, having purified
the forum, having routed the throng of wicked men, having inflicted
due punishment on the ringleaders in wickedness, and having delivered
the city from conflagration and from fear of massacre, you returned to
your house? What order of society, what class of people, what rank of
nobles even was there who did not then show their zeal in praising and
congratulating you? Even I, too, because men thought that you had been
acting by my advice in those transactions, received the thanks and
congratulations of good men in your name. Remember, I pray you, O
Dolabella, the unanimity displayed on that day in the theatre, when
every one, forgetful of the causes on account of which they had been
previously offended with you, showed that in consequence of your
recent service they had banished all recollection of their former
indignation. Could you, O Dolabella, (it is with great concern that I
speak,)--could you, I say, forfeit this dignity with equanimity?

XIII. And you, O Marcus Antonius, (I address myself to you, though
in your absence,) do you not prefer that day on which the senate was
assembled in the temple of Tellus, to all those months during which
some who differ greatly in opinion from me think that you have been
happy? What a noble speech was that of yours about unanimity! From
what apprehensions were the veterans, and from what anxiety was the
whole state relieved by you on that occasion! when, having laid aside
your enmity against him, you on that day first consented that your
present colleague should be your colleague, forgetting that the
auspices had been announced by yourself as augur of the Roman people;
and when your little son was sent by you to the Capitol to be a
hostage for peace. On what day was the senate ever more joyful than on
that day? or when was the Roman people more delighted? which had never
met in greater numbers in any assembly whatever. Then, at last, we did
appear to have been really delivered by brave men, because, as they
had willed it to be, peace was following liberty On the next day, on
the day after that, on the third day, and on all the following days,
you went on without intermission giving every day, as it were, some
fresh present to the republic, but the greatest of all presents was
that, when you abolished the name of the dictatorship. This was in
effect branding the name of the dead Caesar with everlasting ignominy,
and it was your doing,--yours, I say. For as, on account of the
wickedness of one Marcus Manlius, by a resolution of the Manlian
family it is unlawful that any patrician should be called Manlius, so
you, on account of the hatred excited by one dictator, have utterly
abolished the name of dictator.

When you had done these mighty exploits for the safety of the
republic, did you repent of your fortune, or of the dignity and renown
and glory which you had acquired? Whence then is this sudden change? I
cannot be induced to suspect that you have been caught by the desire
of acquiring money; every one may say what he pleases, but we are not
bound to believe such a thing; for I never saw anything sordid or
anything mean in you. Although a man's intimate friends do sometimes
corrupt his natural disposition, still I know your firmness; and I
only wish that, as you avoid that fault, you had been able also to
escape all suspicion of it.

XIV. What I am more afraid of is lest, being ignorant of the true path
to glory, you should think it glorious for you to have more power by
yourself than all the rest of the people put together, and lest you
should prefer being feared by your fellow-citizens to being loved by
them. And if you do think so, you are ignorant of the road to glory.
For a citizen to be dear to his fellow-citizens, to deserve well
of the republic, to be praised, to be respected, to be loved, is
glorious; but to be feared, and to be an object of hatred, is odious,
detestable; and moreover, pregnant with weakness and decay. And we see
that, even in the play, the very man who said,

"What care I though all men should hate my name,
So long as fear accompanies their hate?"

found that it was a mischievous principle to act upon.

I wish, O Antonius, that you could recollect your grand father of
whom, however, you have repeatedly heard me speak. Do you think that
he would have been willing to deserve even immortality, at the price
of being feared in consequence of his licentious use of arms? What he
considered life, what he considered prosperity, was the being equal to
the rest of the citizens in freedom, and chief of them all in worth.
Therefore, to say no more of the prosperity of your grandfather, I
should prefer that most bitter day of his death to the domination of
Lucius Cinna, by whom he was most barbarously slain.

But why should I seek to make an impression on you by my speech? For,
if the end of Caius Caesar cannot influence you to prefer being loved
to being feared, no speech of any one will do any good or have any
influence with you; and those who think him happy are themselves
miserable. No one is happy who lives on such terms that he may be put
to death not merely with impunity, but even to the great glory of his
slayer. Wherefore, change your mind, I entreat you, and look back
upon your ancestors, and govern the republic in such a way that your
fellow-citizens may rejoice that you were born; without which no one
can be happy nor illustrious.

XV. And, indeed, you have both of you had many judgments delivered
respecting you by the Roman people, by which I am greatly concerned
that you are not sufficiently influenced. For what was the meaning
of the shouts of the innumerable crowd of citizens collected at the
gladiatorial games? or of the verses made by the people? or of the
extraordinary applause at the sight of the statue of Pompeius? and at
that sight of the two tribunes of the people who are opposed to you?
Are these things a feeble indication of the incredible unanimity of
the entire Roman people? What more? Did the applause at the games of
Apollo, or, I should rather say, testimony and judgment there given
by the Roman people, appear to you of small importance? Oh! happy are
those men who, though they themselves were unable to be present on
account of the violence of arms, still were present in spirit, and
had a place in the breasts and hearts of the Roman people. Unless,
perhaps, you think that it was Accius who was applauded on that
occasion, and who bore off the palm sixty years after his first
appearance, and not Brutus, who was absent from the games which he
himself was exhibiting, while at that most splendid spectacle the
Roman people showed their zeal in his favour though he was absent, and
soothed their own regret for their deliverer by uninterrupted applause
and clamour.

I myself, indeed, am a man who have at all times despised that
applause which is bestowed by the vulgar crowd, but at the same time,
when it is bestowed by those of the highest, and of the middle, and of
the lowest rank, and, in short, by all ranks together, and when those
men who were previously accustomed to aim at nothing but the favour
of the people keep aloof, I then think that, not mere applause, but a
deliberate verdict. If this appears to you unimportant, which is in
reality most significant, do you also despise the fact of which you
have had experience,--namely, that the life of Aulus Hirtius is so
dear to the Roman people? For it was sufficient for him to be esteemed
by the Roman people as he is; to be popular among his friends, in
which respect he surpasses everybody; to be beloved by his own
kinsmen, who do love him beyond measure; but in whose case before
do we ever recollect such anxiety and such fear being manifested?
Certainly in no one's.

What, then, are we to do? In the name of the immortal gods, can you
interpret these facts, and see what is their purport? What do you
think that those men think of your lives, to whom the lives of those
men who they hope will consult the welfare of the republic are so
dear? I have reaped, O conscript fathers, the reward of my return,
since I have said enough to bear testimony of my consistency whatever
event may befall me, and since I have been kindly and attentively
listened to by you. And if I have such opportunities frequently
without exposing both myself and you to danger, I shall avail myself
of them. If not, as far as I can I shall reserve myself not for
myself, but rather for the republic. I have lived long enough for the
course of human life, or for my own glory. If any additional life is
granted to me, it shall be bestowed not so much on myself as on you
and on the republic.



* * * * *


This second speech was not actually spoken at all. Antonius was
greatly enraged at the first speech, and summoned another meeting of
the senate for the nineteenth day of the month, giving Cicero especial
notice to be present, and he employed the interval in preparing an
invective against Cicero, and a reply to the first Philippic. The
senate met in the temple of Concord, but Cicero himself was persuaded
not to attend by his friends, who were afraid of Antonius proceeding
to actual violence against him, (and indeed he brought a strong guard
of armed men with him to the senate) He spoke with the greatest fury
against Cicero, charging him with having been the principal author and
contriver of Caesar's murder, hoping by this to inflame the soldiers,
whom he had posted within hearing of his harangue.

Soon after this, Cicero removed to a villa near Naples for greater
safety, and here he composed this second Philippic, which he did not
publish immediately, but contented himself at first with sending a
copy to Brutus and Cassius, who were much pleased with it.

I. To what destiny of mine, O conscript fathers, shall I say that it
is owing, that none for the last twenty years has been an enemy to the
republic without at the same time declaring war against me? Nor is
there any necessity for naming any particular person; you yourselves
recollect instances in proof of my statement. They have all hitherto
suffered severer punishments than I could have wished for them; but I
marvel that you, O Antonius, do not fear the end of those men whose
conduct you are imitating. And in others I was less surprised at this.
None of those men of former times was a voluntary enemy to me; all of
them were attacked by me for the sake of the republic. But you, who
have never been injured by me, not even by a word, in order to appear
more audacious than Catiline, more frantic than Clodius, have of your
own accord attacked me with abuse, and have considered that your
alienation from me would be a recommendation of you to impious

What am I to think? that I have been despised? I see nothing either in
my life, or in my influence in the city, or in my exploits, or even
in the moderate abilities with which I am endowed, which Antonius
can despise. Did he think that it was easiest to disparage me in the
senate? a body which has borne its testimony in favour of many most
illustrious citizens that they governed the republic well, but in
favour of me alone, of all men, that I preserved it. Or did he wish to
contend with me in a rivalry of eloquence? This, indeed, is an act of
generosity; for what could be a more fertile or richer subject for
me, than to have to speak in defence of myself, and against Antonius?
This, in fact, is the truth. He thought it impossible to prove to the
satisfaction of those men who resembled himself, that he was an enemy
to his country, if he was not also an enemy to me. And before I make
him any reply on the other topics of his speech, I will say a few
words; respecting the friendship formerly subsisting between us, which
he has accused me of violating,--for that I consider a most serious

II. He has complained that I pleaded once against his interest. Was
I not to plead against one with whom I was quite I unconnected, in
behalf of an intimate acquaintance, of a dear friend? Was I not to
plead against interest acquired not by hopes of virtue, but by the
disgrace of youth? Was I not to plead against an injustice which that
man procured to be done by the obsequiousness of a most iniquitous
interposer of his veto, not by any law regulating the privileges of
the praetor? But I imagine that this was mentioned by you, in order
that you might recommend yourself to the citizens, if they all
recollected that you were the son-in-law of a freedman, and that your
children were the grandsons of Quintus Fadius a freedman.

But you had entirely devoted yourself to my principles; (for this is
what you said;) you had been in the habit of coming to my house. In
truth, if you had done so, you would more have consulted your own
character and your reputation for chastity. But you did not do so,
nor, if you had wished it, would Caius Curio have ever suffered you to
do so. You have said, that you retired in my favour from the contest
for the augurship. Oh the incredible audacity! oh the monstrous
impudence of such an assertion! For, at the time when Cnaeus Pompeius
and Quintus Hortensius named me as augur, after I had been wished for
as such by the whole college, (for it was not lawful for me to be
put in nomination by more than two members of the college,) you were
notoriously insolvent, nor did you think it possible for your safety
to be secured by any other means than by the destruction of the
republic. But was it possible for you to stand for the augurship at a
time when Curio was not in Italy? or even at the time when you were
elected, could you have got the votes of one single tribe without the
aid of Curio? whose intimate friends even were convicted of violence
for having been too zealous in your favour.

III. But I availed myself of your friendly assistance. Of what
assistance? Although the instance which you cite I have myself at
all times openly admitted. I preferred confessing that I was under
obligations to you, to letting myself appear to any foolish person not
sufficiently grateful. However, what was the kindness that you did me?
not killing me at Brundusium? Would you then have slain the man whom
the conqueror himself, who conferred on you, as you used to boast,
the chief rank among all his robbers, had desired to be safe, and had
enjoined to go to Italy? Grant that you could have slain him, is not
this, O conscript fathers, such a kindness as is done by banditti, who
are contented with being able to boast that they have granted their
lives to all those men whose lives they have not taken? and if that
were really a kindness, then these who slew that man by whom they
themselves had been saved, and whom you yourself are in the habit of
styling most illustrious men, would never have acquired such immortal
glory. But what sort of kindness is it, to have abstained from
committing nefarious wickedness? It is a case in which it ought not
to appear so delightful to me not to have been killed by you, as
miserable, that it should have been in your power to do such a thing
with impunity. However, grant that it was a kindness, since no greater
kindness could be received from a robber, still in what point can
you call me ungrateful? Ought I not to complain of the ruin of the
republic, lest I should appear ungrateful towards you? But in that
complaint, mournful indeed and miserable, but still unavoidable for a
man of that rank in which the senate and people of Rome have placed
me, what did I say that was insulting? that was otherwise than
moderate? that was otherwise than friendly? and what instance was it
not of moderation to complain of the conduct of Marcus Antonius, and
yet to abstain from any abusive expressions? especially when you had
scattered abroad all relics of the republic; when everything was on
sale at your house by the most infamous traffic; when you confessed
that those laws which had never been promulgated, had been passed with
reference to you, and by you; when you, being augur, had abolished the
auspices; being consul, had taken away the power of interposing the
veto; when you were escorted in the most shameful manner by armed
guards; when, worn out with drunkenness and debauchery, you were every
day performing all sorts of obscenities in that chaste house of yours.
But I, as if I had to contend against Marcus Crassus, with whom I have
had many severe struggles, and not with a most worthless gladiator,
while complaining in dignified language of the state of the republic,
did not say one word which could be called personal. Therefore, to-day
I will make him understand with what great kindness he was then
treated by me.

IV. But he also read letters which he said that I had sent to him,
like a man devoid of humanity and ignorant of the common usages of
life. For who ever, who was even but slightly acquainted with the
habits of polite men, produced in an assembly and openly read letters
which had been sent to him by a friend, just because some quarrel had
arisen between them? Is not this destroying all companionship in life,
destroying the means by which absent friends converse together? How
many jests are frequently put in letters, which, if they were produced
in public, would appear stupid! How many serious opinions, which, for
all that, ought not to be published! Let this be a proof of your utter
ignorance of courtesy. Now mark, also, his incredible folly. What
have you to oppose to me, O you eloquent man, as you seem at least
to Mustela Tamisius, and to Tiro Numisius? And while these men are
standing at this very time in the sight of the senate with drawn
swords, I too will think you an eloquent man if you will show how you
would defend them if they were charged with being assassins. However
what answer would you make if I were to deny that I ever sent
those letters to you? By what evidence could you convict me? by my
handwriting? Of handwriting indeed you have a lucrative knowledge.[9]
How can you prove it in that manner? for the letters are written by
an amanuensis. By this time I envy your teacher, who for all that
payment, which I shall mention presently, has taught you to know

For what can be less like, I do not say an orator, but a man, than to
reproach an adversary with a thing which if he denies by one single
word, he who has reproached him cannot advance one step further? But
I do not deny it; and in this very point I convict you not only of
inhumanity but also of madness. For what expression is there in those
letters which is not full of humanity and service and benevolence? and
the whole of your charge amounts to this, that I do not express a bad
opinion of you in those letters; that in them I wrote as to a citizen,
and as to a virtuous man, not as to a wicked man and a robber. But
your letters I will not produce, although I fairly might, now that I
am thus challenged by you; letters in which you beg of me that you may
be enabled by my consent to procure the recall of some one from exile;
and you will not attempt it if I have any objection, and you prevail
on me by your entreaties. For why should I put myself in the way
of your audacity? when neither the authority of this body, nor the
opinion of the Roman people, nor any laws are able to restrain you.
However, what was the object of your addressing these entreaties to
me, if the man for whom you were entreating was already restored by a
law of Caesar's? I suppose the truth was, that he wished it to be done
by me as a favour; in which matter there could not be any favour done
even by himself, if a law was already passed for the purpose.

V. But as, O conscript fathers, I have many things which I must say
both in my own defence and against Marcus Antonius, one thing I ask
you, that you will listen to me with kindness while I am speaking for
myself; the other I will ensure myself, namely, that you shall listen
to me with attention while speaking against him. At the same time
also, I beg this of you; that if you have been acquainted with my
moderation and modesty throughout my whole life, and especially as a
speaker, you will not, when to-day I answer this man in the spirit
in which he has attacked me, think that I have forgotten my usual
character. I will not treat him as a consul, for he did not treat me
as a man of consular rank; and although he in no respect deserves to
be considered a consul, whether we regard his way of life, or his
principle of governing the republic, or the manner in which he was
elected, I am beyond all dispute a man of consular rank.

That, therefore, you might understand what sort of a consul he
professed to be himself, he reproached me with my consulship;--a
consulship which, O conscript fathers, was in name, indeed, mine, but
in reality yours. For what did I determine, what did I contrive, what
did I do, that was not determined, contrived, or done, by the counsel
and authority and in accordance with the sentiments of this order? And
have you, O wise man, O man not merely eloquent, dared to find fault
with these actions before the very men by whose counsel and wisdom
they were performed? But who was ever found before, except Publius
Clodius, to find fault with my consulship? And his fate indeed awaits
you, as it also awaited Caius Curio; since that is now in your house
which was fatal to each of them.[10]

Marcus Antonius disapproves of my consulship; but it was approved of
by Publius Servilius--to name that man first of the men of consular
rank who had died most recently. It was approved of by Quintus
Catulus, whose authority will always carry weight in this republic;
it was approved of by the two Luculli, by Marcus Crassus, by Quintus
Hortensius, by Caius Curio, by Caius Piso, by Marcus Glabrio, by
Marcus Lepidus, by Lucius Volcatius, by Caius Figulus, by Decimus
Silanus and Lucius Murena, who at that time were the consuls elect;
the same consulship also which was approved of by those men of
consular rank, was approved of by Marcus Cato; who escaped many evils
by departing from this life, and especially the evil of seeing you
consul. But, above all, my consulship was approved of by Cnaeus
Pompeius, who, when he first saw me, as he was leaving Syria,
embracing me and congratulating me, said, that it was owing to my
services that he was about to see his country again. But why should I
mention individuals? It was approved of by the senate, in a very full
house, so completely, that there was no one who did not thank me as if
I had been his parent, who did not attribute to me the salvation of
his life, of his fortunes, of his children, and of the republic.

VI. But, since the republic has been now deprived of those men whom
I have named, many and illustrious as they were, let us come to the
living, since two of the men of consular rank are still left to us:
Lucius Cotta, a man of the greatest genius and the most consummate
prudence, proposed a supplication in my honour for those very actions
with which you find fault, in the most complimentary language, and
those very men of consular rank whom I have named, and the whole
senate, adopted his proposal; an honour which has never been paid to
any one else in the garb of peace from the foundation of the city
to my time. With what eloquence, with what firm wisdom, with what
a weight of authority did Lucius Caesar your uncle, pronounce his
opinion against the husband of his own sister, your stepfather. But
you, when you ought to have taken him as your adviser and tutor in all
your designs, and in the whole conduct of your life, preferred being
like your stepfather to resembling your uncle. I, who had no connexion
with him, acted by his counsels while I was consul. Did you, who
were his sister's son, ever once consult him on the affairs of the

But who are they whom Antonius does consult? O ye immortal gods, they
are men whose birthdays we have still to learn. To-day Antonius is not
coming down. Why? He is celebrating the birthday feast at his villa.
In whose honour? I will name no one. Suppose it is in honour of some
Phormio, or Gnatho, or even Ballio.[11] Oh the abominable profligacy
of the man! Oh how intolerable is his impudence, his debauchery, and
his lust! Can you, when you have one of the chiefs of the senate, a
citizen of singular virtue, so nearly related to you, abstain from
ever consulting him on the affairs of the republic, and consult men
who have no property whatever of their own, and are draining yours?

VII. Yes, your consulship, forsooth, is a salutary one for the state,
mine a mischievous one. Have you so entirely lost all shame as well
as all chastity, that you could venture to say this in that temple
in which I was consulting that senate which formerly in the full
enjoyment of its honours presided over the world? And did you place
around it abandoned men armed with swords? But you have dared besides
(what is there which you would not dare?) to say that the Capitoline
Hill, when I was consul, was full of armed slaves. I was offering
violence to the senate, I suppose, in order to compel the adoption of
those infamous decrees of the senate. O wretched man, whether those
things are not known to you, (for you know nothing that is good,) or
whether they are, when you dare to speak so shamelessly before such
men! For what Roman knight was there, what youth of noble birth except
you, what man of any rank or class who recollected that he was a
citizen, who was not on the Capitoline Hill while the senate was
assembled in this temple? who was there, who did not give in his name?
Although there could not be provided checks enough, nor were the books
able to contain their names.

In truth, when wicked men, being compelled by the revelations of the
accomplices, by their own handwriting, and by what I may almost call
the voices of their letters, were confessing that they had planned the
parricidal destruction of their country, and that they had agreed
to burn the city, to massacre the citizens, to devastate Italy, to
destroy the republic; who could have existed without being roused to
defend the common safety? especially when the senate and people of
Rome had a leader then; and if they had one now like he was then, the
same fate would befall you which did overtake them.

He asserts that the body of his stepfather was not allowed burial by
me. But this is an assertion that was never made by Publius Clodius,
a man whom, as I was deservedly an enemy of his, I grieve now to see
surpassed by you in every sort of vice. But how could it occur to you
to recal to our recollection that you had been educated in the house
of Publius Lentulus? Were you afraid that we might think that you
could have turned out as infamous as you are by the mere force of
nature, if your natural qualities had not been strengthened by

VIII. But you are so senseless that throughout the whole of your
speech you were at variance with yourself; so that you said things
which had not only no coherence with each other but which were most
inconsistent with and contradictory to one another; so that there was
not so much opposition between you and me as there was between you and
yourself. You confessed that your stepfather had been duplicated
in that enormous wickedness, yet you complained that he had had
punishment inflicted on him. And by doing so you praised what was
peculiarly my achievement, and blamed that which was wholly the act of
the senate. For the detection and arrest of the guilty parties was my
work, their punishment was the work of the senate. But that eloquent
man does not perceive that the man against whom he is speaking is
being praised by him, and that those before whom he is speaking
are being attacked by him. But now what an act, I will not say of
audacity, (for he is anxious to be audacious,) but (and that is what
he is not desirous of) what an act of folly, in which he surpasses
all men, is it to make mention of the Capitoline Hill, at a time when
armed men are actually between our benches--when men, armed with
swords, are now stationed in this same temple of Concord, O ye
immortal gods, in which, while I was consul, opinions most salutary to
the state were delivered, owing to which it is that we are all alive
at this day.

Accuse the senate; accuse the equestrian body, which at that time was
united with the senate; accuse every order of society, and all the
citizens, as long as you confess that this assembly at this very
moment is besieged by Ityrean[12] soldiers. It is not so much a proof
of audacity to advance these statements so impudently, as of utter
want of sense to be unable to see their contradictory nature. For
what is more insane than, after you yourself have taken up arms to do
mischief to the republic, to reproach another with having taken them
up to secure its safety? On one occasion you attempted even to be
witty. O ye good gods, how little did that attempt suit you! And yet
you are a little to be blamed for your failure in that instance, too.
For you might have got some wit from your wife, who was an actress.
"Arms to the gown must yield." Well, have they not yielded? But
afterwards the gown yielded to your arms. Let us inquire then whether
it was better for the arms of wicked men to yield to the freedom of
the Roman people, or that our liberty should yield to your arms. Nor
will I make any further reply to you about the verses. I will only
say briefly that you do not understand them, nor any other literature
whatever. That I have never at any time been wanting to the claims
that either the republic or my friends had upon me; but nevertheless
that in all the different sorts of composition on which I have
employed myself, during my leisure hours, I have always endeavoured to
make my labours and my writings such as to be some advantage to our
youth, and some credit to the Roman name. But, however, all this
has nothing to do with the present occasion. Let us consider more
important matters.

IX. You have said that Publius Clodius was slain by my contrivance.
What would men have thought if he had been slain at the time when you
pursued him in the forum with a drawn sword, in the sight of all the
Roman people; and when you would have settled his business if he had
not thrown himself up the stairs of a bookseller's shop, and, shutting
them against you, checked your attack by that means? And I confess
that at that time I favoured you, but even you yourself do not say
that I had advised your attempt. But as for Milo, it was not possible
even for me to favour his action. For he had finished the business
before any one could suspect that he was going to do it. Oh, but I
advised it. I suppose Milo was a man of such a disposition that he was
not able to do a service to the republic if he had not some one to
advise him to do it. But I rejoiced at it. Well, suppose I did; was I
to be the only sorrowful person in the city, when every one else was
in such delight? Although that inquiry into the death of Publius
Clodius was not instituted with any great wisdom. For what was the
reason for having a new law to inquire into the conduct of the man who
had slain him, when there was a form of inquiry already established by
the laws? However, an inquiry was instituted. And have you now been
found, so many years afterwards, to say a thing which, at the time
that the affair was under discussion, no one ventured to say against
me? But as to the assertion that you have dared to make, and that at
great length too, that it was by my means that Pompeius was alienated
from his friendship with Caesar, and that on that account it was my
fault that the civil war was originated; in that you have not erred so
much in the main facts, as (and that is of the greatest importance) in
the times.

X. When Marcus Bibulus, a most illustrious citizen, was consul, I
omitted nothing which I could possibly do or attempt to draw off
Pompeius from his union with Caesar. In which, however, Caesar was
more fortunate than I, for he himself drew off Pompeius from his
intimacy with me. But afterwards, when Pompeius joined Caesar with all
his heart, what could have been my object in attempting to separate
them then? It would have been the part of a fool to hope to do so, and
of an impudent man to advise it. However, two occasions did arise, on
which I gave Pompeius advice against Caesar. You are at liberty to
find fault with my conduct on those occasions if you can. One was when
I advised him not to continue Caesar's government for five years more.
The other, when I advised him not to permit him to be considered as
a candidate for the consulship when he was absent. And if I had been
able to prevail on him in either of these particulars, we should never
have fallen into our present miseries.

Moreover, I also, when Pompeius had now devoted to the service of
Caesar all his own power, and all the power of the Roman people, and
had begun when it was too late to perceive all those things which I
had foreseen long before, and when I saw that a nefarious war was
about to be waged against our country, I never ceased to be the
adviser of peace, and concord, and some arrangement. And that language
of mine was well known to many people,--"I wish, O Cnaeus Pompeius,
that you had either never joined in a confederacy with Caius Caesar,
or else that you had never broken it off. The one conduct would have
become your dignity, and the other would have been suited to your
prudence." This, O Marcus Antonius, was at all times my advice both
respecting Pompeius and concerning the republic. And if it had
prevailed, the republic would still be standing, and you would have
perished through your own crimes, and indigence, and infamy.

XI. But these are all old stories now. This charge, however, is quite
a modern one, that Caesar was slain by my contrivance. I am afraid, O
conscript fathers, lest I should appear to you to have brought up a
sham accuser against myself (which is a most disgraceful thing to do);
a man not only to distinguish me by the praises which are my due, but
to load me also with those which do not belong to me. For who ever
heard my name mentioned as an accomplice in that most glorious action?
and whose name has been concealed who was in the number of that
gallant band? Concealed, do I say? Whose name was there which was not
at once made public? I should sooner say that some men had boasted in
order to appear to have been concerned in that conspiracy, though they
had in reality known nothing of it, than that any one who had been
an accomplice in it could have wished to be concealed. Moreover, how
likely it is, that among such a number of men, some obscure, some
young men who had not the wit to conceal any one, my name could
possibly have escaped notice! Indeed, if leaders were wanted for
the purpose of delivering the country, what need was there of my
instigating the Bruti, one of whom saw every day in his house the
image of Lucius Brutus, and the other saw also the image of Ahala?
Were these the men to seek counsel from the ancestors of others rather
than from their own? and out of doors rather than at home? What? Caius
Cassius, a man of that family which could not endure, I will not say
the domination, but even the power of any individual,--he, I suppose,
was in need of me to instigate him? a man who, even without
the assistance of these other most illustrious men, would have
accomplished this same deed in Cilicia, at the mouth of the river
Cydnus, if Caesar had brought his ships to that bank of the river
which he had intended, and not to the opposite one. Was Cnaeus
Domitius spurred on to seek to recover his dignity, not by the death
of his father, a most illustrious man, nor by the death of his uncle,
nor by the deprivation of his own dignity, but by my advice and
authority? Did I persuade Caius Trebonius? a man whom I should not
have ventured even to advise. On which account the republic owes him
even a larger debt of gratitude, because he preferred the liberty
of the Roman people to the friendship of one man, and because he
preferred overthrowing arbitrary power to sharing it. Was I the
instigator whom Lucius Tillius Cimber followed? a man whom I admired
for having performed that action, rather than ever expected that he
would perform it; and I admired him on this account, that he was
unmindful of the personal kindnesses which he had received, but
mindful of his country. What shall I say of the two Servilii? Shall
I call them Cascas, or Ahalas? and do you think that those men were
instigated by my authority rather than by their affection for the
republic? It would take a long time to go through all the rest; and it
is a glorious thing for the republic that they were so numerous, and a
most honourable thing also for themselves.

XII. But recollect, I pray you, how that clever man convicted me of
being an accomplice in the business. When Caesar was slain, says he,
Marcus Brutus immediately lifted up on high his bloody dagger, and
called on Cicero by name; and congratulated him on liberty being
recovered. Why on me above all men? Because I knew of it beforehand?
Consider rather whether this was not his reason for calling on me,
that, when he had performed an action very like those which I myself
had done, he called me above all men to witness that he had been an
imitator of my exploits. But you, O stupidest of all men, do not you
perceive, that if it is a crime to have wished that Caesar should be
slain--which you accuse me of having wished--it is a crime also to
have rejoiced at his death? For what is the difference between a man
who has advised an action, and one who has approved of it? or what
does it signify whether I wished it to be done, or rejoice that it has
been done? Is there any one then, except you yourself and those men
who wished him to become a king, who was unwilling that that deed
should be done, or who disapproved of it after it was done? All men,
therefore, are guilty as far as this goes. In truth, all good men, as
far as it depended on them, bore a part in the slaying of Caesar. Some
did not know how to contrive it, some had not courage for it, some had
no opportunity,--every one had the inclination.

However, remark the stupidity of this fellow,--I should rather say, of
this brute beast. For thus he spoke:--"Marcus Brutus, whom I name to
do him honour, holding aloft his bloody dagger, called upon Cicero,
from which it must be understood that he was privy to the action."
Am I then called wicked by you because you suspect that I suspected
something; and is he who openly displayed his reeking dagger, named by
you that you may do him honour? Be it so. Let this stupidity exist in
your language: how much greater is it in your actions and opinions!
Arrange matters in this way at last, O consul; pronounce the cause of
the Bruti, of Caius Cassius, of Cnaeus Domitius, of Caius Trebonius
and the rest to be whatever you please to call it: sleep off that
intoxication of yours, sleep it off and take breath. Must one apply
a torch to you to waken you while you are sleeping over such an
important affair? Will you never understand that you have to decide
whether those men who performed that action are homicides or assertors
of freedom?

XIII. For just consider a little; and for a moment think of the
business like a sober man. I who, as I myself confess, am an intimate
friend of those men, and, as you accuse me, an accomplice of theirs,
deny that there is any medium between these alternatives. I confess
that they, if they be not deliverers of the Roman people and saviours
of the republic, are worse than assassins, worse than homicides, worse
even than parricides: since it is a more atrocious thing to murder
the father of one's country, than one's own father. You wise and
considerate man, what do you say to this? If they are parricides, why
are they always named by you, both in this assembly and before the
Roman people, with a view to do them honour? Why has Marcus Brutus[13]
been, on your motion, excused from obedience to the laws, and allowed
to be absent. Why were the games of Apollo celebrated with incredible
honour to Marcus Brutus? why were provinces given to Brutus and
Cassius? why were quaestors assigned to them? why was the number of
their lieutenants augmented? And all these measures were owing to you.
They are not homicides then. It follows that in your opinion they are
deliverers of their country, since there can be no other alternative.
What is the matter? Am I embarrassing you? For perhaps you do not
quite understand propositions which are stated disjunctively. Still
this is the sum total of my conclusion; that since they are acquitted
by you of wickedness, they are at the same time pronounced most worthy
of the very most honourable rewards.

Therefore, I will now proceed again with my oration. I will write to
them, if any one by chance should ask whether what you have imputed to
me be true, not to deny it to any one. In truth, I am afraid that it
must be considered either a not very creditable thing to them, that
they should have concealed the fact of my being an accomplice; or else
a most discreditable one to me that I was invited to be one, and that
I shirked it. For what greater exploit (I call you to witness, O
august Jupiter!) was ever achieved not only in this city, but in all
the earth? What more glorious action was ever done? What deed was ever
more deservedly recommended to the everlasting recollection of men?
Do you, then, shut me up with the other leaders in the partnership in
this design, as in the Trojan horse? I have no objection; I even thank
you for doing so, with whatever intent you do it. For the deed is so
great an one, that I cannot compare the unpopularity which you wish to
excite against me on account of it, with its real glory.

For who can be happier than those men whom you boast of having now
expelled and driven from the city? What place is there either so
deserted or so uncivilized, as not to seem to greet and to covet the
presence of those men wherever they have arrived? What men are so
clownish as not, when they have once beheld them, to think that they
have reaped the greatest enjoyment that life can give? And what
posterity will be ever so forgetful, what literature will ever be
found so ungrateful, as not to cherish their glory with undying
recollection? Enrol me then, I beg, in the number of those men.

XIV. But one thing I am afraid you may not approve of. For if I had
really been one of their number, I should have not only got rid of the
king, but of the kingly power also out of the republic; and if I had
been the author of the piece, as it is said, believe me, I should not
have been contented with one act, but should have finished the whole
play. Although, if it be a crime to have wished that Caesar might be
put to death, beware, I pray you, O Antonius, of what must be your own
case, as it is notorious that you, when at Narbo, formed a plan of
the same sort with Caius Trebonius; and it was on account of your
participation in that design that, when Caesar was being killed, we
saw you called aside by Trebonius. But I (see how far I am from any
horrible inclination towards,) praise you for having once in your life
had a righteous intention; I return you thanks for not having revealed
the matter; and I excuse you for not having accomplished your purpose.
That exploit required a man.

And if any one should institute a prosecution against you, and employ
that test of old Cassius, "who reaped any advantage from it?" take
care, I advise you, lest you suit that description. Although, in
truth, that action was, as you used to say, an advantage to every one
who was not willing to be a slave, still it was so to you above all
men, who are not merely not a slave, but are actually a king; who
delivered yourself from an enormous burden of debt at the temple of
Ops; who, by your dealings with the account books, there squandered a
countless sum of money; who have had such vast treasures brought to
you from Caesar's house; at whose own house there is set up a most
lucrative manufactory of false memoranda and autographs, and a most
iniquitous market of lands, and towns, and exemptions, and revenues.
In truth, what measure except the death of Caesar could possibly have
been any relief to your indigent and insolvent condition? You appear
to be somewhat agitated. Have you any secret fear that you yourself
may appear to have had some connexion with that crime? I will release
you from all apprehension; no one will ever believe it; it is not like
you to deserve well of the republic; the most illustrious men in the
republic are the authors of that exploit; I only say that you are glad
it was done; I do not accuse you of having done it. I have replied to
your heaviest accusations, I must now also reply to the rest of them.

XV. You have thrown in my teeth the camp of Pompeius and all my
conduct at that time. At which time, indeed, if, as I have said
before, my counsels and my authority had prevailed, you would this day
be in indigence, we should be free, and the republic would not have
lost so many generals and so many armies. For I confess that, when I
saw that these things certainly would happen, which now have happened,
I was as greatly grieved as all the other virtuous citizens would have
been if they had foreseen the same things. I did grieve, I did grieve,
O conscript fathers, that the republic which had once been saved by
your counsels and mine, was fated to perish in a short time. Nor was
I so inexperienced in and ignorant of this nature of things, as to be
disheartened on account of a fondness for life, which while it endured
would wear me out with anguish, and when brought to an end would
release me from all trouble. But I was desirous that those most
illustrious men, the lights of the republic, should live: so many
men of consular rank, so many men of praetorian rank, so many most
honourable senators; and besides them all the flower of our nobility
and of our youth; and the armies of excellent citizens. And if they
were still alive, under ever such hard conditions of peace, (for any
sort of peace with our fellow-citizens appeared to me more desirable
than civil war,) we should be still this day enjoying the republic.

And if my opinion had prevailed, and if those men, the preservation of
whose lives was my main object, elated with the hope of victory, had
not been my chief opposers, to say nothing of other results, at all
events you would never have continued in this order, or rather in this
city. But say you, my speech alienated from me the regard of Pompeius?
Was there any one to whom he was more attached? any one with whom he
conversed or shared his counsels more frequently? It was, indeed,
a great thing that we, differing as we did respecting the general
interests of the republic, should continue in uninterrupted
friendship. But I saw clearly what his opinions and views were, and he
saw mine equally. I was for providing for the safety of the citizens
in the first place, in order that we might be able to consult their
dignity afterwards. He thought more of consulting their existing
dignity. But because each of us had a definite object to pursue, our
disagreement was the more endurable. But what that extraordinary and
almost godlike man thought of me is known to those men who pursued him
to Paphos from the battle of Pharsalia. No mention of me was ever made
by him that was not the most honourable that could be, that was not
full of the most friendly regret for me; while he confessed that I had
had the most foresight, but that he had had more sanguine hopes. And
do you dare taunt me with the name of that man whose friend you admit
that I was, and whose assassin you confess yourself?

XVI. However, let us say no more of that war, in which you were too
fortunate. I will not reply even with those jests to which you have
said that I gave utterance in the camp. That camp was in truth full of
anxiety, but although men are in great difficulties, still, provided
they are men, they sometimes relax their minds. But the fact that the
same man finds fault with my melancholy, and also with my jokes, is a
great proof that I was very moderate in each particular.

You have said that no inheritances come to me. Would that this
accusation of yours were a true one; I should have more of my friends
and connexions alive. But how could such a charge ever come into your
head? For I have received more than twenty millions of sesterces in
inheritances. Although in this particular I admit that you have been
more fortunate than I. No one has ever made me his heir except he was
a friend of mine, in order that my grief of mind for his loss might be
accompanied also with some gain, if it was to be considered as such.
But a man whom you never even saw, Lucius Rubrius, of Casinum, made
you his heir. And see now how much he loved you, who, though he did
not know whether you were white or black, passed over the son of his
brother, Quintus Fufius, a most honourable Roman knight, and most
attached to him, whom he had on all occasions openly declared his
heir, (he never even names him in his will,) and he makes you his heir
whom he had never seen, or at all events had never spoken to.

I wish you would tell me, if it is not too much trouble, what sort of
countenance Lucius Turselius was of; what sort of height; from what
municipal town he came; and of what tribe he was a member. "I know
nothing," you will say, "about him, except what farms he had."
Therefore, he, disinheriting his brother, made you his heir. And
besides these instances, this man has seized on much other property
belonging to men wholly unconnected with him, to the exclusion of the
legitimate heirs, as if he himself were the heir. Although the thing
that struck me with most astonishment of all was, that you should
venture to make mention of inheritances, when you yourself had not
received the inheritance of your own father.

XVII. And was it in order to collect all these arguments, O you
most senseless of men, that you spent so many days in practising
declamation in another man's villa? Although, indeed, (as your most
intimate friends usually say,) you are in the habit of declaiming,
not for the purpose of whetting your genius, but of working off the
effects of wine. And, indeed, you employ a master to teach you jokes,
a man appointed by your own vote and that of your boon companions; a
rhetorician, whom you have allowed to say what ever he pleased against
you, a thoroughly facetious gentleman; but there are plenty of
materials for speaking against you and against your friends. But just
see now what a difference there is between you and your grandfather.
He used with great deliberation to bring forth arguments advantageous
to the cause he was advocating; you pour forth in a hurry the
sentiments which you have been taught by another. And what wages have
you paid this rhetorician? Listen, listen, O conscript fathers,
and learn the blows which are inflicted on the republic. You have
assigned, O Antonius, two thousand acres[14] which is often translated
acre also, of land, in the Leontine district, to Sextus Clodius, the
rhetorician, and those, too, exempt from every kind of tax, for the
sake of putting the Roman people to such a vast expense that you might
learn to be a fool. Was this gift, too, O you most audacious of men,
found among Caesar's papers? But I will take another opportunity to
speak about the Leontine and the Campanian district; where he has
stolen lands from the republic to pollute them with most infamous
owners. For now, since I have sufficiently replied to all his charges,
I must say a little about our corrector and censor himself. And yet I
will not say all I could, in order that if I have often to battle
with him I may always come to the contest with fresh arms; and the
multitude of his vices and atrocities will easily enable me to do so.

XVIII. Shall we then examine your conduct from the time when you were
a boy? I think so. Let us begin at the beginning. Do you recollect
that, while you were still clad in the praetexta, you became a
bankrupt? That was the fault of your father, you will say. I admit
that. In truth, such a defence is full of filial affection. But it
is peculiarly suited to your own audacity, that you sat among the
fourteen rows of the knights, though by the Roscian law there was a
place appointed for bankrupts, even if any one had become so.

XIX. But let us say no more of your profligacy and debauchery. There
are things which it is not possible for me to mention with honour; but
you are all the more free for that, inasmuch as you have not scrupled
to be an actor in scenes which a modest enemy cannot bring himself to

Mark now, O conscript fathers, the rest of his life, which I will
touch upon rapidly. For my inclination hastens to arrive at those
things which he did in the time of the civil war, amid the greatest
miseries of the republic, and at those things which he does every day.
And I beg of you, though they are far better known to you than they
are to me, still to listen attentively, as you are doing, to my
relation of them. For in such cases as this, it is not the mere
knowledge of such actions that ought to excite the mind, but the
recollection of them also. Although we must at once go into the middle
of them, lest otherwise we should be too long in coming to the end.

He was very intimate with Clodius at the time of his tribuneship;
he, who now enumerates the kindnesses which he did me. He was the
firebrand to handle all conflagrations; and even in his house he
attempted something. He himself well knows what I allude to. From
thence he made a journey to Alexandria, in defiance of the authority
of the senate, and against the interests of the republic, and in spite
of religious obstacles; but he had Gabinius for his leader, with whom
whatever he did was sure to be right. What were the circumstances of
his return from thence? what sort of return was it? He went from Egypt
to the furthest extremity of Gaul before he returned home. And what
was his home? For at that time every man had possession of his own
house; and you had no house anywhere, O Antonius. House, do you say?
what place was there in the whole world where you could set your foot
on anything that belonged to you, except Mienum, which you farmed with
your partners, as if it had been Sisapo?[15]

XX. You came from Gaul to stand for the quaestorship. Dare to say that
you went to your own father before you came to me. I had already
received Caesar's letters, begging me to allow myself to accept of your
excuses; and therefore, I did not allow you even to mention thanks.
After that, I was treated with respect by you, and you received
attentions from me in your canvass for the quaestorship. And it was at
that time, indeed, that you endeavoured to slay Publius Clodius in the
forum, with the approbation of the Roman people; and though you made
the attempt of your own accord, and not at my instigation, still you
clearly alleged that you did not think, unless you slew him, that you
could possibly make amends to me for all the injuries which you had
done me. And this makes me wonder why you should say that Milo did
that deed at my instigation; when I never once exhorted you to do it,
who of your own accord attempted to do me the same service. Although,
if you had persisted in it, I should have preferred allowing the
action to be set down entirely to your own love of glory rather than
to my influence.

You were elected quaestor. On this, immediately, without any resolution
of the senate authorizing such a step, without drawing lots, without
procuring any law to be passed, you hastened to Caesar. For you thought
the camp the only refuge on earth for indigence, and debt, and
profligacy,--for all men, in short, who were in a state of utter ruin.
Then, when you had recruited your resources again by his largesses and
your own robberies, (if, indeed, a person can be said to recruit,
who only acquires something which he may immediately squander,) you
hastened, being again a beggar, to the tribuneship, in order that in
that magistracy you might, if possible, behave like your friend.

XXI. Listen now, I beseech you, O conscript fathers, not to those
things which he did indecently and profligately to his own injury and
to his own disgrace as a private individual; but to the actions which
he did impiously and wickedly against us and our fortunes,--that is to
say, against the whole republic. For it is from his wickedness that
you will find that the beginning of all these evils has arisen.

For when, in the consulship of Lucius Lentulus and Marcus Marcellus,
you, on the first of January, were anxious to prop up the republic,
which was tottering and almost falling, and were willing to consult
the interests of Caius Caesar himself, if he would have acted like
a man in his senses, then this fellow opposed to your counsels his
tribuneship, which he had sold and handed over to the purchaser, and
exposed his own neck to that axe under which many have suffered for
smaller crimes. It was against you, O Marcus Antonius, that the
senate, while still in the possession of its rights, before so many
of its luminaries were extinguished, passed that decree which, in
accordance with the usage of our ancestors, is at times passed against
an enemy who is a citizen. And have you dared, before these conscript
fathers, to say anything against me, when I have been pronounced by
this order to be the saviour of my country, and when you have been
declared by it to be an enemy of the republic? The mention of that
wickedness of yours has been interrupted, but the recollection of it
has not been effaced. As long as the race of men, as long as the name
of the Roman people shall exist, (and that, unless it is prevented
from being so by your means, will be everlasting,) so long will that
most mischievous interposition of your veto be spoken of. What was
there that was being done by the senate either ambitiously or rashly,
when you, one single young man, forbade the whole order to pass
decrees concerning the safety of the republic? and when you did so,
not once only, but repeatedly? nor would you allow any one to plead
with you in behalf of the authority of the senate; and yet, what did
any one entreat of you, except that you would not desire the republic
to be entirely overthrown and destroyed; when neither the chief men of
the state by their entreaties, nor the elders by their warnings, nor
the senate in a full house by pleading with you, could move you from
the determination which you had already sold and as it were delivered
to the purchaser? Then it was, after having tried many other
expedients previously, that a blow was of necessity struck at you
which had been struck at only few men before you, and which none of
them had ever survived. Then it was that this order armed the consuls,
and the rest of the magistrates who were invested with either military
or civil command, against you, and you never would have escaped them,
if you had not taken refuge in the camp of Caesar.

XXII. It was you, you, I say, O Marcus Antonius, who gave Caius Caesar,
desirous as he already was to throw everything into confusion, the
principal pretext for waging war against his country. For what other
pretence did he allege? what cause did he give for his own most
frantic resolution and action, except that the power of interposition
by the veto had been disregarded, the privileges of the tribunes taken
away, and Antonius's rights abridged by the senate? I say nothing of
how false, how trivial these pretences were; especially when there
could not possibly be any reasonable cause whatever to justify any one
in taking up arms against his country. But I have nothing to do with
Caesar. You must unquestionably allow, that the cause of that ruinous
war existed in your person.

O miserable man if you are aware, more miserable still if you are not
aware, that this is recorded in writings, is handed down to men's
recollection, that our very latest posterity in the most distant ages
will never forget this fact, that the consuls were expelled from
Italy, and with them Cnaeus Pompeius, who was the glory and light of
the empire of the Roman people; that all the men of consular rank,
whose health would allow them to share in that disaster and that
flight, and the praetors, and men of praetorian rank, and the tribunes
of the people, and a great part of the senate, and all the flower of
the youth of the city, and, in a word, the republic itself was driven
out and expelled from its abode. As, then, there is in seeds the cause
which produces trees and plants, so of this most lamentable war you
were the seed. Do you, O conscript fathers, grieve that these armies
of the Roman people have been slain? It is Antonius who slew them. Do
you regret your most illustrious citizens? It is Antonius, again, who
has deprived you of them. The authority of this order is overthrown;
it is Antonius who has overthrown it. Everything, in short, which we
have seen since that time, (and what misfortune is there that we
have not seen?) we shall, if we argue rightly, attribute wholly to
Antonius. As Helen was to the Trojans, so has that man been to this
republic,--the cause of war, the cause of mischief, the cause of ruin.
The rest of his tribuneship was like the beginning. He did everything
which the senate had laboured to prevent, as being impossible to be
done consistently with the safety of the republic. And see, now, how
gratuitously wicked he was even in accomplishing his wickedness.

XXIII. He restored many men who had fallen under misfortune. Among
them no mention was made of his uncle. If he was severe, why was he
not so to every one? If he was merciful, why was he not merciful to
his own relations? But I say nothing of the rest. He restored Licinius
Lenticula, a man who had been condemned for gambling, and who was a
fellow-gamester of his own. As if he could not play with a condemned
man; but in reality, in order to pay by a straining of the law in his
favour, what he had lost by the dice. What reason did you allege to
the Roman people why it was desirable that he should be restored?
I suppose you said that he was absent when the prosecution was
instituted against him; that the cause was decided without his having
been heard in his defence; that there was not by a law any judicial
proceeding established with reference to gambling; that he had been
put down by violence or by arms; or lastly, as was said in the case of
your uncle, that the tribunal had been bribed with money. Nothing of
this sort was said. Then he was a good man, and one worthy of the
republic. That, indeed, would have been nothing to the purpose, but
still, since being condemned does not go for much, I would forgive you
if that were the truth. Does not he restore to the full possession of
his former privileges the most worthless man possible,--one who would
not hesitate to play at dice even in the forum, and who had been
convicted under the law which exists respecting gambling,--does not he
declare in the most open manner his own propensities?

Then in this same tribuneship, when Caesar while on his way into Spain
had given him Italy to trample on, what journeys did he make in every
direction! how did he visit the municipal towns! I know that I am
only speaking of matters which have been discussed in every one's
conversation, and that the things which I am saying and am going to
say are better known to every one who was in Italy at that time, than
to me, who was not. Still I mention the particulars of his conduct,
although my speech cannot possibly come up to your own personal
knowledge. When was such wickedness ever heard of as existing upon
earth? or such shamelessness? or such open infamy?

XXIV. The tribune of the people was borne along in a chariot, lictors
crowned with laurel preceded him; among whom, on an open litter, was
carried an actress; whom honourable men, citizens of the different
municipalities, coming out from their towns under compulsion to meet
him, saluted not by the name by which she was well known on the stage,
but by that of Volumnia.[16] A car followed full of pimps; then a
lot of debauched companions; and then his mother, utterly neglected,
followed the mistress of her profligate son, as if she had been her
daughter-in-law. O the disastrous fecundity of that miserable woman!
With the marks of such wickedness as this did that fellow stamp every
municipality, and prefecture, and colony, and, in short, the whole of

To find fault with the rest of his actions, O conscript fathers, is
difficult, and somewhat unsafe. He was occupied in war; he glutted
himself with the slaughter of citizens who bore no resemblance to
himself. He was fortunate--if at least there can be any good fortune
in wickedness. But since we wish to show a regard for the veterans,
although the cause of the soldiers is very different from yours; they
followed their chief; you went to seek for a leader; still, (that I
may not give you any pretence for stirring up odium against me among
them,) I will say nothing of the nature of the war.

When victorious, you returned with the legions from Thessaly to
Brundusium. There you did not put me to death. It was a great
kindness! For I confess that you could have done it. Although there
was no one of those men who were with you at that time, who did not
think that I ought to be spared. For so great is men's affection for
their country, that I was sacred even in the eyes of your legions,
because they recollected that the country had been saved by me.
However, grant that you did give me what you did not take away from
me; and that I have my life as a present from you, since it was not
taken from me by you; was it possible for me, after all your insults,
to regard that kindness of yours as I regarded it at first, especially
after you saw that you must hear this reply from me?

XXV. You came to Brundusium, to the bosom and embraces of your
actress. What is the matter? Am I speaking falsely? How miserable is
it not to be able to deny a fact which it is disgraceful to confess!
If you had no shame before the municipal towns, had you none even
before your veteran army? For what soldier was there who did not see
her at Brundusium? who was there who did not know that she had come
so many days' journey to congratulate you? who was there who did not
grieve that he was so late in finding out how worthless a man he had
been following?

Again you made a tour through Italy, with that same actress for your
companion. Cruel and miserable was the way in which you led your
soldiers into the towns; shameful was the pillage in every city, of
gold and silver, and above all, of wine. And besides all this, while
Caesar knew nothing about it, as he was at Alexandria, Antonius, by the
kindness of Caesar's friends, was appointed his master of the horse.
Then he thought that he could live with Hippia[17] by virtue of his
office, and that he might give horses which were the property of the
state to Sergius the buffoon. At that time he had selected for himself
to live in, not the house which he now dishonours, but that of Marcus
Piso. Why need I mention his decrees, his robberies, the possessions
of inheritances which were given him, and those too which were seized
by him? Want compelled him; he did not know where to turn. That great
inheritance from Lucius Rubrius, and that other from Lucius Turselius,
had not yet come to him. He had not yet succeeded as an unexpected
heir to the place of Cnaeus Pompeius, and of many others who were
absent. He was forced to live like a robber, having nothing beyond
what he could plunder from others.

However, we will say nothing of these things, which are acts of a more
hardy sort of villany. Let us speak rather of his meaner descriptions
of worthlessness. You, with those jaws of yours, and those sides of
yours, and that strength of body suited to a gladiator, drank such
quantities of wine at the marriage of Hippia, that you were forced
to vomit the next day in the sight of the Roman people. O action
disgraceful not merely to see, but even to hear of! If this had
happened to you at supper amid those vast drinking cups of yours, who
would not have thought it scandalous? But in an assembly of the Roman
people, a man holding a public office, a master of the horse, to whom
it would have been disgraceful even to belch, vomiting filled his own
bosom and the whole tribunal with fragments of what he had been eating
reeking with wine. But he himself confesses this among his other
disgraceful acts. Let us proceed to his more splendid offences.

XXVI. Caesar came back from Alexandria, fortunate, as he seemed at
least to himself; but in my opinion no one can be fortunate who is
unfortunate for the republic. The spear was set up in front of
the temple of Jupiter Stator, and the property of Cnaeus Pompeius
Magnus--(miserable that I am, for even now that my tears have ceased
to flow, my grief remains deeply implanted in my heart,)--the
property, I say, of Cnaeus Pompeius the Great was submitted to the
pitiless, voice of the auctioneer. On that one occasion the state
forgot its slavery, and groaned aloud, and though men's minds were
enslaved, as everything was kept under by fear, still the groans of
the Roman people were free. While all men were waiting to see who
would be so impious, who would be so mad, who would be so declared an
enemy to gods and to men as to dare to mix himself up with that wicked
auction, no one was found except Antonius, even though there were
plenty of men collected round that spear[18] who would have dared
anything else. One man alone was found to dare to do that which the
audacity of every one else had shrunk from and shuddered at. Were you,
then, seized with such stupidity,--or, I should rather say, with such
insanity,--as not to see that if you, being of the rank in which you
were born, acted as a broker at all, and above all as a broker in the
case of Pompeius's property, you would be execrated and hated by the
Roman people, and that all gods and all men must at once become and
for ever continue hostile to you? But with what violence did that
glutton immediately proceed to take possession of the property of that
man, to whose valour it had been owing that the Roman people had been
more terrible to foreign nations, while his justice had made it dearer
to them.

XXVII. When, therefore, this fellow had begun to wallow in the
treasures of that great man, he began to exult like a buffoon in a
play, who has lately been a beggar, and has become suddenly rich. But,
as some poet or other says,--

"Ill gotten gain comes quickly to an end."

It is an incredible thing, and almost a miracle, how he in a few,
not months, but days, squandered all that vast wealth. There was an
immense quantity of wine, an excessive abundance of very valuable
plate, much precious apparel, great quantities of splendid furniture,
and other magnificent things in many places, such as one was
likely to see belonging to a man who was not indeed luxurious,
but who was very wealthy. Of all this in a few days there was
nothing left. What Charybdis was ever so voracious? Charybdis,
do I say? Charybdis, if she existed at all, was only one animal.
The ocean, I swear most solemnly, appears scarcely capable of
having swallowed up such numbers of things so widely scattered, and
distributed in such different places, with such rapidity. Nothing
was shut up, nothing sealed up, no list was made of anything. Whole
storehouses were abandoned to the most worthless of men. Actors seized
on this, actresses on that, the house was crowded with gamblers, and
full of drunken men, people were drinking all day, and that too in
many places, there were added to all this expense (for this fellow was
not invariably fortunate) heavy gambling losses. You might see in
the cellars of the slaves, couches covered with the most richly
embroidered counterpanes of Cnaeus Pompeius. Wonder not, then, that all
these things were so soon consumed. Such profligacy as that could have
devoured not only the patrimony of one individual, however ample it
might have been, (as indeed his was) but whole cities and kingdoms.

And then his houses and gardens! Oh the cruel audacity! Did you dare
to enter into that house? Did you dare to cross that most sacred
threshold? and to show your most profligate countenance to the
household gods who protect that abode? A house which for a long time
no one could behold, no one could pass by without tears! Are you not
ashamed to dwell so long in that house? one in which, stupid and
ignorant as you are, still you can see nothing which is not painful to

XXVIII. When you behold those beaks of ships in the vestibule, and
those warlike trophies, do you fancy that you are entering into a
house which belongs to you? It is impossible. Although you are devoid
of all sense and all feeling,--as in truth you are,--still you are
acquainted with yourself, and with your trophies, and with your
friends. Nor do I believe that you either waking or sleeping, can ever
act with quiet sense. It is impossible but that, were you ever so
drunk and frantic,--as in truth you are,--when the recollection of the
appearance of that illustrious man comes across you, you should be
roused from sleep by your fears, and often stirred up to madness if
awake. I pity even the walls and the roof. For what had that house
ever beheld except what was modest, except what proceeded from the
purest principles and from the most virtuous practice? For that man
was, O conscript fathers, as you yourselves know, not only illustrious
abroad, but also admirable at home; and not more praiseworthy for his
exploits in foreign countries, than for his domestic arrangements. Now
in his house every bedchamber is a brothel, and every dining-room a
cookshop. Although he denies this:--Do not, do not make inquiries.
He is become economical. He desired that mistress of his to take
possession of whatever belonged to her, according to the laws of the
Twelve Tables. He has taken his keys from her, and turned her out of
doors. What a well-tried citizen! of what proved virtue is he! the
most honourable passage in whose life is the one when he divorced
himself from this actress.

But how constantly does he harp on the expression "the consul
Antonius!" This amounts to say "that most debauched consul," "that
most worthless of men, the consul." For what else is Antonius? For
if any dignity were implied in the name, then, I imagine, your
grandfather would sometimes have called himself "the consul Antonius."
But he never did. My colleague too, your own uncle, would have called
himself so. Unless you are the only Antonius. But I pass over those
offences which have no peculiar connexion with the part you took
in harassing the republic; I return to that in which you bore so
principal a share,--that is, to the civil war; and it is mainly owing
to you that that was originated, and brought to a head, and carried

XXIX. Though you yourself took no personal share in it, partly through
timidity, partly through profligacy, you had tasted, or rather had
sucked in, the blood of fellow-citizens: you had been in the battle
of Pharsalia as a leader; you had slain Lucius Domitius, a most
illustrious and high-born man; you had pursued and put to death in the
most barbarous manner many men who had escaped from the battle, and
whom Caesar would perhaps have saved, as he did some others.

And after having performed these exploits, what was the reason why you
did not follow Caesar into Africa; especially when so large a portion
of the war was still remaining? And accordingly, what place did you
obtain about Caesar's person after his return from Africa? What was
your rank? He whose quaestor you had been when general, whose master of
the horse when he was dictator, to whom you had been the chief cause
of war, the chief instigator of cruelty, the sharer of his plunder,
his son, as you yourself said, by inheritance, proceeded against you
for the money which you owed for the house and gardens, and for
the other property which you had bought at that sale. At first you
answered fiercely enough, and that I may not appear prejudiced against
you in every particular, you used a tolerably just and reasonable
argument. "What, does Caius Caesar demand money of me? why should he do
so, any more than I should claim it of him? Was he victorious without
my assistance? No, and he never could have been. It was I who supplied
him with a pretext for civil war, it was I who proposed mischievous
laws, it was I who took up arms against the consuls and generals of
the Roman people, against the senate and people of Rome, against the
gods of the country, against its altars and healths, against the
country itself. Has he conquered for himself alone? Why should not
those men whose common work the achievement is, have the booty also in
common?" You were only claiming your right, but what had that to do
with it? He was the more powerful of the two.

Therefore, stopping all your expostulations, he sent his soldiers to
you, and to your sureties, when all on a sudden out came that splendid
catalogue of yours. How men did laugh! That there should be so vast a
catalogue, that their should be such a numerous and various list of
possessions, of all of which, with the exception of a portion of
Misenum, there was nothing which the man who was putting them up to
sale could call his own. And what a miserable sight was the auction. A
little apparel of Pompeius's, and that stained, a few silver vessels
belonging to the same man, all battered, some slaves in wretched
condition, so that we grieved that there was anything remaining to be
seen of these miserable relics. This auction, however, the heirs of
Lucius Rubrius prevented from proceeding, being armed with a decree of
Caesar to that effect. The spendthrift was embarrassed. He did not know
which way to turn. It was at this very time that an assassin sent
by him was said to have been detected with a dagger in the house of
Caesar. And of this Caesar himself complained in the senate, inveighing
openly against you. Caesar departs to Spain, having granted you a few
days delay for making the payment, on account of your poverty. Even
then you do not follow him. Had so good a gladiator as you retired
from business so early? Can any one then fear a man who was as timid
as this man in upholding his party, that is, in upholding his own

XXX. After some time he at last went into Spain; but, as he says, he
could not arrive there in safety. How then did Dolabella manage to
arrive there? Either, O Antonius, that cause ought never to have
been undertaken, or when you had undertaken it, it should have
been maintained to the end. Thrice did Caesar fight against his
fellow-citizens; in Thessaly, in Africa, and in Spain. Dolabella was
present at all these battles. In the battle in Spain he even received
a wound. If you ask my opinion, I wish he had not been there. But
still, if his design at first was blameable, his consistency and
firmness were praiseworthy. But what shall we say of you? In the first
place, the children of Cnaeus Pompeius sought to be restored to their
country. Well, this concerned the common interests of the whole party.
Besides that, they sought to recover their household gods, the gods of
their country, their altars, their hearths, the tutelar gods of their
family; all of which you had seized upon. And when they sought to
recover those things by force of arms which belonged to them by the
laws, who was it most natural--(although in unjust and unnatural
proceedings what can there be that is natural?)--still, who was it
most natural to expect would fight against the children of Cnaeus
Pompeius? Who? Why, you who had bought their property. Were you at
Narbo to be sick over the tables of your entertainers, while Dolabella
was fighting your battles in Spain?

And what a return was that of yours from Narbo? He even asked why
I had returned so suddenly from my expedition. I have just briefly
explained to you, O conscript fathers, the reason of my return. I was
desirous, if I could, to be of service to the republic even before the
first of January. For, as to your question, how I had returned; in the
first place, I returned by daylight, not in the dark; in the second
place, I returned in shoes, and in my Roman gown, not in any Gallic
slippers, or barbarian mantle. And even now you keep looking at me;
and, as it seems, with great anger. Surely you would be reconciled
to me if you knew how ashamed I am of your worthlessness, which you
yourself are not ashamed of. Of all the profligate conduct of all the
world, I never saw, I never heard of any more shameful than yours. You
who fancied yourself a master of the horse, when you were standing
for, or I should rather say begging for the consulship for the
ensuing year, ran in Gallic slippers and a barbarian mantle about the
municipal towns and colonies of Gaul from which we used to demand the
consulship when the consulship was stood for and not begged for.

XXXI. But mark now the trifling character of the fellow. When about
the tenth hour of the day he had arrived at Red Rocks, he skulked into
a little petty wine-shop, and, hiding there, kept on drinking till
evening. And from thence getting into a gig and being driven rapidly
to the city, he came to his own house with his head veiled. "Who are
you?" says the porter. "An express from Marcus." He is at once taken
to the woman for whose sake he had come; and he delivered the letter
to her. And when she had read it with tears, (for it was written in
a very amorous style, but the main subject of the letter was that he
would have nothing to do with that actress for the future; that he
had discarded all his love for her, and transferred it to his
correspondent,) when she, I say, wept plentifully, this soft-hearted
man could bear it no longer; he uncovered his head and threw himself
on her neck. Oh the worthless man! (for what else can I call him?
there is no more suitable expression for me to use,) was it for this
that you disturbed the city by nocturnal alarms, and Italy with
fears of many days' duration, in order that you might show yourself
unexpectedly, and that a woman might see you before she hoped to do
so? And he had at home a pretence of love; but out of doors a cause
more discreditable still, namely, lest Lucius Plancus should sell up
his sureties. But after you had been produced in the assembly by one
of the tribunes of the people, and had replied that you had come on
your own private business, you made even the people full of jokes
against you. But, however, we have said too much about trifles. Let us
come to more important subjects.

XXXII. You went a great distance to meet Caesar on his return from
Spain. You went rapidly, you returned rapidly in order that we might
see that, if you were not brave, you were at least active. You again
became intimate with him; I am sure I do not know how. Caesar had this
peculiar characteristic; whoever he knew to be utterly ruined by debt,
and needy, even if he knew him also to be an audacious and worthless
man, he willingly admitted him to his intimacy. You then, being
admirably recommended to him by these circumstances, were ordered to
be appointed consul, and that too as his own colleague. I do not make
any complaint against Dolabella, who was at that time acting under
compulsion, and was cajoled and deceived. But who is there who does
not know with what great perfidy both of you treated Dolabella in that
business? Caesar induced him to stand for the consulship. After having
promised it to him, and pledged himself to aid him, he prevented
his getting it, and transferred it to himself. And you endorsed his
treachery with your own eagerness.

The first of January arrives. We are convened in the senate. Dolabella
inveighed against him with much more fluency and premeditation than I
am doing now. And what things were they which he said in his anger, O
ye good gods! First of all, after Caesar had declared that before he
departed he would order Dolabella to be made consul, (and they deny
that he was a king who was always doing and saying something of this
sort,)--but after Caesar had said this, then this virtuous augur said
that he was invested with a pontificate of that sort that he was able,
by means of the auspices, either to hinder or to vitiate the comitia,
just as he pleased; and he declared that he would do so. And here, in
the first place, remark the incredible stupidity of the man. For what
do you mean? Could you not just as well have done what you said you
had now the power to do by the privileges with which that pontificate
had invested you, even if you were not an augur, if you were consul?
Perhaps you could even do it more easily. For we augurs have only the
power of announcing that the auspices are being observed, but the
consuls and other magistrates have the right also of observing them
whenever they choose. Be it so. You said this out of ignorance. For
one must not demand prudence from a man who is never sober. But still
remark his impudence. Many months before, he said in the senate that
he would either prevent the comitia from assembling for the election
of Dolabella by means of the auspices, or that he would do what he
actually did do. Can any one divine beforehand what defect there will
be in the auspices, except the man who has already determined to
observe the heavens? which in the first place it is forbidden by law
to do at the time of the comitia. And if any one has been observing
the heavens, he is bound to give notice of it, not after the comitia
are assembled, but before they are held. But this man's ignorance is
joined to impudence, nor does he know what an augur ought to know, nor
do what a modest man ought to do. And just recollect the whole of his
conduct during his consulship from that day up to the ides of March.
What lictor was ever so humble, so abject? He himself had no power at
all; he begged everything of others; and thrusting his head into the
hind part of his litter, he begged favours of his colleagues, to sell
them himself afterwards.

XXXIII. Behold, the day of the comitia for the election of Dolabella
arrives. The prerogative century draws its lot. He is quiet. The vote
is declared; he is still silent. The first class is called.[19]
Its vote is declared. Then, as is the usual course, the votes are
announced. Then the second class. And all this is done faster than I
have told it. When the business is over, that excellent augur (you
would say he must be Caius Laelius,) says,--"We adjourn it to another
day." Oh the monstrous impudence of such a proceeding! What had you
seen? what had you perceived? what had you heard? For you did not say
that you had been observing the heavens, and indeed you do not say
so this day. That defect then has arisen, which you on the first of
January had already foreseen would arise, and which you had predicted
so long before. Therefore, in truth, you have made a false declaration
respecting the auspices, to your own great misfortune, I hope, rather
than to that of the republic. You laid the Roman people under the
obligations of religion; you as augur interrupted an augur; you as
consul interrupted a consul by a false declaration concerning the

I will say no more, lest I should seem to be pulling to pieces the
acts of Dolabella; which must inevitably sometime or other be
brought before our college. But take notice of the arrogance
and insolence of the fellow. As long as you please, Dolabella
is a consul irregularly elected; again, while you please,
he is a consul elected with all proper regard to the auspices. If it
means nothing when an augur gives this notice in those words in which
you gave notice, then confess that you, when you said,--"We adjourn
this to another day," were not sober. But if those words have any
meaning, then I, an augur, demand of my colleague to know what that
meaning is.

But lest by any chance, while enumerating his numerous exploits, our
speech should pass over the finest action of Marcus Antonius, let us
come to the Lupercalia.

XXXIV. He does not dissemble, O conscript fathers; it is plain that he
is agitated; he perspires; he turns pale. Let him do what he pleases,
provided he is not sick, and does not behave as he did in the Minucian
colonnade. What defence can be made for such beastly behaviour? I
wish to hear, that I may see the fruit of those high wages of that

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