Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

The Orations of Marcus Tullius Cicero, Volume 4 by Cicero

Part 2 out of 11

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 1.3 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

rhetorician, of that land given in Leontini. Your colleague was
sitting in the rostra, clothed in purple robe, on a golden chair,
wearing a crown. You mount the steps; you approach his chair; (if you
were a priest of Pan, you ought to have recollected that you were
consul too;) you display a diadem. There is a groan over the whole
forum. Where did the diadem come from? For you had not picked it up
when lying on the ground, but you had brought it from home with you,
a premeditated and deliberately planned wickedness. You placed the
diadem on his head amid the groans of the people; he rejected it amid
great applause. You then alone, O wicked man, were found, both to
advise the assumption of kingly power, and to wish to have him for
your master who was your colleague; and also to try what the Roman
people might be able to bear and to endure. Moreover, you even sought
to move his pity; you threw yourself at his feet as a suppliant;
begging for what? to be a slave? You might beg it for yourself, when
you had lived in such a way from the time that you were a boy that you
could bear everything, and would find no difficulty in being a slave;
but certainly you had no commission from the Roman people to try for
such a thing for them.

Oh how splendid was that eloquence of yours, when you harangued the
people stark naked! What could be more foul than this? more shameful
than this? more deserving of every sort of punishment? Are you waiting
for me to prick you more? This that I am saying must tear you and
bring blood enough if you have any feeling at all. I am afraid that I
may be detracting from the glory of some most eminent men. Still my
indignation shall find a voice. What can be more scandalous than for
that man to live who placed a diadem on a man's head, when every one
confesses that that man was deservedly slain who rejected it? And,
moreover, he caused it to be recorded in the annals, under the head
of Lupercalia, "That Marcus Antonius, the consul, by command of the
people, had offered the kingdom to Caius Caesar, perpetual dictator;
and that Caesar had refused to accept it." I now am not much surprised
at your seeking to disturb the general tranquillity; at your hating
not only the city but the light of day; and at your living with a pack
of abandoned robbers, disregarding the day, and yet regarding nothing
beyond the day.[20] For where can you be safe in peace? What place can
there be for you where laws and courts of justice have sway, both of
which you, as far as in you lay, destroyed by the substitution of
kingly power? Was it for this that Lucius Tarquinius was driven out;
that Spurius Cassius, and Spurius Maelius, and Marcus Manlius were
slain; that many years afterwards a king might be established at Rome
by Marcus Antonius, though the bare idea was impiety? However, let us
return to the auspices.

XXXV. With respect to all the things which Caesar was intending to
do in the senate on the ides of March, I ask whether you have done
anything? I heard, indeed, that you had come down prepared, because
you thought that I intended to speak about your having made a false
statement respecting the auspices, though it was still necessary for
us to respect them. The fortune of the Roman people saved us from that
day. Did the death of Caesar also put an end to your opinion respecting
the auspices? But I have come to mention that occasion which must
be allowed to precede those matters which I had begun to discuss.
What a flight was that of yours! What alarm was yours on that
memorable day! How, from the consciousness of your wickedness,
did you despair of your life! How, while flying, were you enabled
secretly to get home by the kindness of those men who wished
to save you, thinking you would show more sense than you do! O
how vain have at all times been my too true predictions of the future!
I told those deliverers of ours in the Capitol, when they wished me to
go to you to exhort you to defend the republic, that as long as you
were in fear you would promise everything, but that as soon as you
had emancipated yourself from alarm you would be yourself again.
Therefore, while the rest of the men of consular rank were going
backwards and forwards to you, I adhered to my opinion, nor did I see
you at all that day, or the next; nor did I think it possible for an
alliance between virtuous citizens and a most unprincipled enemy to be
made, so as to last, by any treaty or engagement whatever. The third
day I came into the temple of Tellus, even then very much against my
will, as armed men were blockading all the approaches. What a day was
that for you, O Marcus Antonius! Although you showed yourself all on a
sudden an enemy to me; still I pity you for having envied yourself.

XXXVI. What a man, O ye immortal gods! and how great a man might
you have been, if you had been able to preserve the inclination you
displayed that day;--we should still have peace which was made then by
the pledge of a hostage, a boy of noble birth, the grandson of Marcus
Bambalio. Although it was fear that was then making you a good
citizen, which is never a lasting teacher of duty; your own audacity,
which never departs from you as long as you are free from fear, has
made you a worthless one. Although even at that time, when they
thought you an excellent man, though I indeed differed from that
opinion, you behaved with the greatest wickedness while presiding at
the funeral of the tyrant, if that ought to be called a funeral. All
that fine panegyric was yours, that commiseration was yours, that
exhortation was yours. It was you--you, I say--who hurled those
firebrands, both those with which your friend himself was nearly
burnt, and those by which the house of Lucius Bellienus was set
on fire and destroyed. It was you who let loose those attacks of
abandoned men, slaves for the most part, which we repelled by violence
and our own personal exertions; it was you who set them on to attack
our houses. And yet you, as if you had wiped off all the soot and
smoke in the ensuing days, carried those excellent resolutions in the
Capitol, that no document conferring any exemption, or granting any
favour, should be published after the ides of March. You recollect
yourself, what you said about the exiles; you know what you said
about the exemption; but the best thing of all was, that you for ever
abolished the name of the dictatorship in the republic. Which act
appeared to show that you had conceived such a hatred of kingly power
that you took away all fear of it for the future, on account of him
who had been the last dictator.

To other men the republic now seemed established, but it did not
appear so at all to me, as I was afraid of every sort of shipwreck,
as long as you were at the helm. Have I been deceived? or, was it
possible for that man long to continue unlike himself? While you were
all looking on, documents were fixed up over the whole Capitol, and
exemptions were being sold, not merely to individuals, but to entire
states. The freedom of the city was also being given now not to single
persons only, but to whole provinces. Therefore, if these acts are to
stand,--and stand they cannot if the republic stands too,--then, O
conscript fathers, you have lost whole provinces; and not the revenues
only, but the actual empire of the Roman people has been diminished by
a market this man held in his own house.

XXXVII. Where are the seven hundred millions of sesterces which were
entered in the account-books which are in the temple of Ops? a sum
lamentable indeed, as to the means by which it was procured, but still
one which, if it were not restored to those to whom it belonged, might
save us from taxes. And how was it, that when you owed forty millions
of sesterces on the fifteenth of March, you had ceased to owe them
by the first of April? Those things are quite countless which were
purchased of different people, not without your knowledge; but there
was one excellent decree posted up in the Capitol affecting king
Deiotarus, a most devoted friend to the Roman people. And when that
decree was posted up, there was no one who, amid all his indignation,
could restrain his laughter. For who ever was a more bitter enemy to
another than Caesar was to Deiotarus? He was as hostile to him as he
was to this order, to the equestrian order, to the people of Massilia,
and to all men whom he knew to look on the republic of the Roman
people with attachment. But this man, who neither present nor absent
could ever obtain from him any favour or justice while he was alive,
became quite an influential man with him when he was dead. When
present with him in his house he had called for him though he was his
host, he had made him give in his accounts of his revenue, he had
exacted money from him; he had established one of his Greek retainers
in his tetrarchy, and he had taken Armenia from him, which had been
given to him by the senate. While he was alive he deprived him of all
these things; now that he is dead, he gives them back again. And in
what words? At one time he says, "that it appears to him to be just,
..." at another, "that it appears not to be unjust...." What a strange
combination of words! But while alive, (I know this, for I always
supported Deiotarus, who was at a distance,) he never said that
anything which we were asking for, for him, appeared just to him. A
bond for ten millions of sesterces was entered into in the women's
apartment, (where many things have been sold, and are still
being sold,) by his ambassadors, well-meaning men, but timid and
inexperienced in business, without my advice or that of the rest of
the hereditary friends of the monarch. And I advise you to consider
carefully what you intend to do with reference to this bond. For the
king himself, of his own accord, without waiting for any of Caesar's
memoranda, the moment that he heard of his death, recovered his own
rights by his own courage and energy. He, like a wise man, knew that
this was always the law, that those men from whom the things which
tyrants had taken away had been taken, might recover them when the
tyrants were slain. No lawyer, therefore, not even he who is your
lawyer and yours alone, and by whose advice you do all these things,
will say that anything is due to you by virtue of that bond for those
things which had been recovered before that bond was executed. For he
did not purchase them of you; but, before you undertook to sell him
his own property, he had taken possession of it. He was a man--we,
indeed, deserve to be despised, who hate the author of the actions,
but uphold the actions themselves.

XXXVIII. Why need I mention the countless mass of papers, the
innumerable autographs which have been brought forward? writings of
which there are imitators who sell their forgeries as openly as if
they were gladiators' playbills. Therefore, there are now such heaps
of money piled up in that man's house, that it is weighed out instead
of being counted.[21] But how blind is avarice! Lately, too, a
document has been posted up by which the most wealthy cities of the
Cretans are released from tribute; and by which it is ordained that
after the expiration of the consulship of Marcus Brutus, Crete shall
cease to be a province. Are you in your senses? Ought you not to be
put in confinement? Was it possible for there really to be a decree
of Caesar's exempting Crete after the departure of Marcus Brutus, when
Brutus had no connexion whatever with Crete while Caesar was alive? But
by the sale of this decree (that you may not, O conscript fathers,
think it wholly ineffectual) you have lost the province of Crete.
There was nothing in the whole world which any one wanted to buy that
this fellow was not ready to sell.

Caesar too, I suppose, made the law about the exiles which you have
posted up. I do not wish to press upon any one in misfortune; I only
complain, in the first place, that the return of those men has had
discredit thrown upon it, whose cause Caesar judged to be different
from that of the rest; and in the second place, I do not know why you
do not mete out the same measure to all. For there can not be more
than three or four left. Why do not they who are in similar misfortune
enjoy a similar degree of your mercy? Why do you treat them as you
treated your uncle? about whom you refused to pass a law when you
were passing one about all the rest; and whom at the same time you
encouraged to stand for the censorship, and instigated him to a
canvass, which excited the ridicule and the complaint of every one.

But why did you not hold that comitia? Was it because a tribune of the
people announced that there had been an ill-omened flash of lightning
seen? When you have any interest of your own to serve, then auspices
are all nothing; but when it is only your friends who are concerned,
then you become scrupulous. What more? Did you not also desert him
in the matter of the septemvirate?[22] "Yes, for he interfered
with me." What were you afraid of? I suppose you were afraid that
you would be able to refuse him nothing if he were restored to the
full possession of his rights. You loaded him with every species
of insult, a man whom you ought to have considered in the place
of a father to you, if you had had any piety or natural affection
at all. You put away his daughter, your own cousin, having already
looked out and provided yourself beforehand with another. That
was not enough. You accused a most chaste woman of misconduct.
What can go beyond this? Yet you were not content with this.
In a very full senate held on the first of January, while your
uncle was present, you dared to say that this was your reason for
hatred of Dolabella, that you had ascertained that he had committed
adultery with your cousin and your wife. Who can decide whether it
was more shameless of you to make such profligate and such impious
statements against that unhappy woman in the senate, or more wicked to
make them against Dolabella, or more scandalous to make them in the
presence of her father, or more cruel to make them at all?

XXXIX. However, let us return to the subject of Caesar's written
papers. How were they verified by you? For the acts of Caesar were for
peace's sake confirmed by the senate; that is to say, the acts which
Caesar had really done, not those which Antonius said that Caesar had
done. Where do all these come from? By whom are they produced and
vouched for? If they are false, why are they ratified? If they are
true, why are they sold? But the vote which was come to enjoined you,
after the first of June, to make an examination of Caesar's acts with
the assistance of a council. What council did you consult? Whom did
you ever invite to help you? What was the first of June that you
waited for? Was it that day on which you, having travelled all
through the colonies where the veterans were settled, returned
escorted by a band of armed men?

Oh what a splendid progress of yours was that in the months of April
and May, when you attempted even to lead a colony to Capua! How you
made your escape from thence, or rather how you barely made your
escape, we all know. And now you are still threatening that city. I
wish you would try, and we should not then be forced to say "barely."
However, what a splendid progress of yours that was! Why need
I mention your preparations for banquets, why your frantic
hard-drinking? Those things are only an injury to yourself; these are
injuries to us. We thought that a great blow was inflicted on the
republic when the Campanian district was released from the payment of
taxes, in order to be given to the soldiery; but you have divided
it among your partners in drunkenness and gambling. I tell you, O
conscript fathers, that a lot of buffoons and actresses have been
settled in the district of Campania. Why should I now complain of what
has been done in the district of Leontini? Although formerly these
lands of Campania and Leontini were considered part of the patrimony
of the Roman people, and were productive of great revenue, and very
fertile. You gave your physician three thousand acres; what would you
have done if he had cured you? and two thousand to your master of
oratory; what would you have done if he had been able to make you
eloquent? However, let us return to your progress, and to Italy.

XL. You led a colony to Casilinum, a place to which Caesar had
previously led one. You did indeed consult me by letter about the
colony of Capua, (but I should have given you the same answer about
Casilinum,) whether you could legally lead a new colony to a place
where there was a colony already. I said that a new colony could not
be legally conducted to an existing colony, which had been established
with a due observance of the auspices, as long as it remained in a
flourishing state; but I wrote you word that new colonists might
be enrolled among the old ones. But you, elated and insolent,
disregarding all the respect due to the auspices, led a colony to
Casilinum, whither one had been previously led a few years before; in
order to erect your standard there, and to mark out the line of the
new colony with a plough. And by that plough you almost grazed the
gate of Capua, so as to diminish the territory of that flourishing
colony. After this violation of all religious observances, you hasten
off to the estate of Marcus Varro, a most conscientious and upright
man, at Casinum. By what right? with what face do you do this? By just
the same, you will say, as that by which you entered on the estates of
the heirs of Lucius Rubrius, or of the heirs of Lucius Turselius,
or on other innumerable possessions. If you got the right from any
auction, let the auction have all the force to which it is entitled;
let writings be of force, provided they are the writings of Caesar,
and not your own; writings by which you are bound, not those by which
you have released yourself from obligation.

But who says that the estate of Varro at Casinum was ever sold at all?
who ever saw any notice of that auction? Who ever heard the voice of
the auctioneer? You say that you sent a man to Alexandria to buy it
of Caesar. It was too long to wait for Caesar himself to come! But
whoever heard (and there was no man about whose safety more people
were anxious) that any part whatever of Varro's property had been
confiscated? What? what shall we say if Caesar even wrote you that you
were to give it up? What can be said strong enough for such enormous
impudence? Remove for a while those swords which we see around us. You
shall now see that the cause of Caesar's auctions is one thing, and
that of your confidence and rashness is another. For not only shall
the owner drive you from that estate, but any one of his friends, or
neighbours, or hereditary connexions, and any agent, will have the
right to do so.

XLI. But how many days did he spend revelling in the most scandalous
manner in that villa! From the third hour there was one scene of
drinking, gambling, and vomiting. Alas for the unhappy house itself!
how different a master from its former one has it fallen to the share
of! Although, how is he the master at all? but still by how different
a person has it been occupied! For Marcus Varro used it as a place of
retirement for his studies, not as a theatre for his lusts. What
noble discussions used to take place in that villa! what ideas were
originated there! what writings were composed there! The laws of the
Roman people, the memorials of our ancestors, the consideration of all
wisdom, and all learning, were the topics that used to be dwelt on
then;--but now, while you were the intruder there, (for I will not
call you the master,) every place was resounding with the voices of
drunken men; the pavements were floating with wine; the walls were
dripping; nobly-born boys were mixing with the basest hirelings;
prostitutes with mothers of families. Men came from Casinum, from
Aquinum, from Interamna to salute him. No one was admitted. That,
indeed, was proper. For the ordinary marks of respect were unsuited
to the most profligate of men. When going from thence to Rome he
approached Aquinum, a pretty numerous company (for it is a populous
municipality) came out to meet him. But he was carried through the
town in a covered litter, as if he had been dead. The people of
Aquinum acted foolishly, no doubt; but still they were in his road.
What did the people of Anagnia do? who, although they were out of
his line of road, came down to meet him, in order to pay him their
respects, as if he were consul. It is an incredible thing to say, but
still it was only too notorious at the time, that he returned nobody's
salutation; especially as he had two men of Anagnia with him, Mustela
and Laco; one of whom had the care of his swords, and the other of his
drinking cups.

Why should I mention the threats and insults with which he inveighed
against the people of Teanum Sidicinum, with which he harassed the men
of Puteoli, because they had adopted Caius Cassius and the Bruti as
their patrons? a choice dictated, in truth, by great wisdom, and great
zeal, benevolence, and affection for them; not by violence and force
of arms, by which men have been compelled to choose you, and Basilus,
and others like you both,--men whom no one would choose to have for
his own clients, much less to be their client himself.

XLII. In the mean time, while you yourself were absent, what a day was
that for your colleague when he overturned that tomb in the forum,
which you were accustomed to regard with veneration! And when that
action was announced to you, you--as is agreed upon by all who were
with you at the time--fainted away. What happened afterwards I know
not. I imagine that terror and arms got the mastery. At all events,
you dragged your colleague down from his heaven; and you rendered him,
not even now like yourself, but at all events very unlike his own
former self.

After that what a return was that of yours to Rome! How great was the
agitation of the whole city! We recollected Cinna being too powerful;
after him we had seen Sylla with absolute authority, and we had lately
beheld Caesar acting as king. There were perhaps swords, but they were
sheathed, and they were not very numerous. But how great and how
barbaric a procession is yours! Men follow you in battle array with
drawn swords; we see whole litters full of shields borne along. And
yet by custom, O conscript fathers, we have become inured and callous
to these things. When on the first of June we wished to come to the
senate, as it had been ordained, we were suddenly frightened and
forced to flee. But he, as having no need of a senate, did not miss
any of us, and rather rejoiced at our departure, and immediately
proceeded to those marvellous exploits of his. He who had defended the
memoranda of Caesar for the sake of his own profit, overturned the laws
of Caesar--and good laws too--for the sake of being able to agitate the
republic. He increased the number of years that magistrates were
to enjoy their provinces; moreover, though he was bound to be the
defender of the acts of Caesar, he rescinded them both with reference
to public and private transactions.

In public transactions nothing is more authoritative than law; in
private affairs the most valid of all deeds is a will. Of the laws,
some he abolished without giving the least notice; others he gave
notice of bills to abolish. Wills he annulled; though they have been
at all times held sacred even in the case of the very meanest of the
citizens. As for the statues and pictures which Caesar bequeathed to
the people, together with his gardens, those he carried away, some to
the house which belonged to Pompeius, and some to Scipio's villa.

XLIII. And are you then diligent in doing honour to Caesar's memory?
Do you love him even now that he is dead? What greater honour had he
obtained than that of having a holy cushion, an image, a temple, and
a priest? As then Jupiter, and Mars, and Quirinus have priests, so
Marcus Antonius is the priest of the god Julius. Why then do you
delay? why are not you inaugurated? Choose a day; select some one to
inaugurate you; we are colleagues; no one will refuse O you detestable
man, whether you are the priest of a tyrant, or of a dead man! I ask
you then, whether you are ignorant what day this is? Are you ignorant
that yesterday was the fourth day of the Roman games in the Circus?
and that you yourself submitted a motion to the people, that a fifth
day should be added besides, in honour of Caesar? Why are we not all
clad in the praetexta? Why are we permitting the honour which by your
law was appointed for Caesar to be deserted? Had you no objection to so
holy a day being polluted by the addition of supplications, while you
did not choose it to be so by the addition of ceremonies connected
with a sacred cushion? Either take away religion in every case, or
preserve it in every case.

You will ask whether I approve of his having a sacred cushion, a
temple and a priest? I approve of none of those things. But you,
who are defending the acts of Caesar, what reason can you give for
defending some, and disregarding others? unless, indeed, you choose
to admit that you measure everything by your own gain, and not by
his dignity. What will you now reply to these arguments?--(for I am
waiting to witness your eloquence; I knew your grandfather, who was
a most eloquent man, but I know you to be a more undisguised speaker
than he was; he never harangued the people naked; but we have seen
your breast, man, without disguise as you are.) Will you make any
reply to these statements? will you dare to open your mouth at all?
Can you find one single article in this long speech of mine, to which
you trust that you can make any answer? However, we will say no more
of what is past.

XLIV. But this single day, this very day that now is, this very moment
while I am speaking, defend your conduct during this very moment, if
you can. Why has the senate been surrounded with a belt of armed men?
Why are your satellites listening to me sword in hand? Why are not the
folding-doors of the temple of Concord open? Why do you bring men of
all nations the most barbarous, Ityreans, armed with arrows, into the
forum? He says, that he does so as a guard. Is it not then better to
perish a thousand times than to be unable to live in one's own city
without a guard of armed men? But believe me, there is no protection
in that;--a man must be defended by the affection and good-will of his
fellow citizens, not by arms. The Roman people will take them from
you, will wrest them from your hands, I wish that they may do so while
we are still safe. But however you treat us, as long as you adopt
those counsels, it is impossible for you, believe me, to last long. In
truth, that wife of yours, who is so far removed from covetousness,
and whom I mention without intending any slight to her, has been too
long owing[23] her third payment to the state. The Roman people has
men to whom it can entrust the helm of the state, and wherever they
are, there is all the defence of the republic, or rather, there is
the republic itself, which as yet has only avenged, but has not
reestablished itself. Truly and surely has the republic most high born
youths ready to defend it,--though they may for a time keep in the
background from a desire for tranquillity, still they can be recalled
by the republic at any time.

The name of peace is sweet, the thing itself is most salutary. But
between peace and slavery there is a wide difference. Peace is liberty
in tranquillity, slavery is the worst of all evils,--to be repelled,
if need be, not only by war, but even by death. But if those
deliverers of ours have taken themselves away out of our sight, still
they have left behind the example of their conduct. They have done
what no one else had done. Brutus pursued Tarquinius with war, who
was a king when it was lawful for a king to exist in Rome. Spurius
Cassius, Spurius Maelius, and Marcus Manlius were all slain because
they were suspected of aiming at regal power. These are the first men
who have ever ventured to attack, sword in hand, a man who was not
aiming at regal power, but actually reigning. And their action is not
only of itself a glorious and godlike exploit, but it is also one put
forth for our imitation, especially since by it they have acquired
such glory as appears hardly to be bounded by heaven itself. For
although in the very consciousness of a glorious action there is a
certain reward, still I do not consider immortality of glory a thing
to be despised by one who is himself mortal.

XLV. Recollect then, O Marcus Antonius, that day on which you
abolished the dictatorship. Set before you the joy of the senate and
people of Rome, compare it with this infamous market held by you
and by your friends, and then you will understand how great is the
difference between praise and profit. But in truth, just as some
people, through some disease which has blunted the senses, have
no conception of the niceness of food, so men who are lustful,
avaricious, and criminal, have no taste for true glory. But if praise
cannot allure you to act rightly, still cannot even fear turn you away
from the most shameful actions? You are not afraid of the courts of
justice. If it is because you are innocent I praise you, if because
you trust in your power of overbearing them by violence, are you
ignorant of what that man has to fear, who on such an account as that
does not fear the courts of justice?

But if you are not afraid of brave men and illustrious citizens,
because they are prevented from attacking you by your armed retinue,
still, believe me, your own fellows will not long endure you. And
what a life is it, day and night to be fearing danger from one's own
people! Unless, indeed, you have men who are bound to you by greater
kindnesses than some of those men by whom he was slain were bound to
Caesar, or unless there are points in which you can be compared with

In that man were combined genius, method, memory, literature,
prudence, deliberation, and industry. He had performed exploits in war
which, though calamitous for the republic, were nevertheless mighty
deeds. Having for many years aimed at being a king, he had with great
labour, and much personal danger, accomplished what he intended. He
had conciliated the ignorant multitude by presents, by monuments, by
largesses of food, and by banquets, he had bound his own party to him
by rewards, his adversaries by the appearances of clemency. Why need I
say much on such a subject? He had already brought a free city, partly
by fear, partly by patience, into a habit of slavery.

XLVI. With him I can, indeed, compare you as to your desire to reign,
but in all other respects you are in no degree to be compared to
him. But from the many evils which by him have been burnt into the
republic, there is still this good, that the Roman people has now
learnt how much to believe every one, to whom to trust itself, and
against whom to guard. Do you never think on these things? And do you
not understand that it is enough for brave men to have learnt how
noble a thing it is as to the act, how grateful it is as to the
benefit done, how glorious as to the fame acquired, to slay a tyrant?
When men could not bear him, do you think they will bear you? Believe
me, the time will come when men will race with one another to do
this deed, and when no one will wait for the tardy arrival of an

Consider, I beg you, Marcus Antonius, do some time or other consider
the republic: think of the family of which you are born, not of the
men with whom you are living. Be reconciled to the republic. However,
do you decide on your conduct. As to mine, I myself will declare what
that shall be. I defended the republic as a young man, I will not
abandon it now that I am old. I scorned the sword of Catiline, I will
not quail before yours. No, I will rather cheerfully expose my own
person, if the liberty of the city can be restored by my death.

May the indignation of the Roman people at last bring forth what it
has been so long labouring with. In truth, if twenty years ago in this
very temple I asserted that death could not come prematurely upon a
man of consular rank, with how much more truth must I now say the same
of an old man? To me, indeed, O conscript fathers, death is now even
desirable, after all the honours which I have gained, and the deeds
which I have done. I only pray for these two things: one, that dying
I may leave the Roman people free. No greater boon than this can be
granted me by the immortal gods. The other, that every one may meet
with a fate suitable to his deserts and conduct towards the republic.



After the composition of the last speech, Octavius, considering that
he had reason to be offended with Antonius, formed a plot for his
assassination by means of some slaves, which however was discovered.
In the mean time Antonius began to declare more and more openly
against the conspirators. He erected a statue in the forum to Caesar,
with the inscription, "To the most worthy Defender of his Country."
Octavius at the same time was trying to win over the soldiers of his
uncle Julius, and out-bidding Antonius in all his promises to them, so
that he soon collected a formidable army of veterans. But as he had no
public office to give him any colour for this conduct, he paid great
court to the republican party, in hopes to get his proceedings
authorized by the senate; and he kept continually pressing Cicero to
return to Rome and support him. Cicero, however, for some time kept
aloof, suspecting partly his abilities, on account of his exceeding
youth, and partly his sincerity in reconciling himself to his uncle's
murderers; however, at last he returned, after expressly stipulating
that Octavius should employ all his forces in defence of Brutus and
his accomplices.

Antonius left Rome about the end of September, in order to engage in
his service four legions of Caesar's, which were on their return from
Macedonia. But when they arrived at Brundusium three of them refused
to follow him, on which he murdered all their centurions, to the
number of three hundred, who were all put to death in his lodgings, in
the sight of himself and Fulvia his wife, and then returned to Rome
with the one legion which he had prevailed on; while the other three
legions declared as yet for neither party. On his arrival in Rome he
published many very violent edicts, and summoned the senate to meet
on the twenty-fourth of October; then he adjourned it to the
twenty-eighth; and a day or two before it met, he heard that two out
of the three legions had declared for Octavius, and encamped at Alba.
And this news alarmed him so much, that he abandoned his intention of
proposing to the senate a decree to declare Octavius a public enemy,
and after distributing some provinces among his friends, he put on
his military robes, and left the city to take possession of Cisalpine
Gaul, which had been assigned to him by a pretended law of the people,
against the will of the senate.

On the news of his departure Cicero returned to Rome, where he arrived
on the ninth of December. He immediately conferred with Pansa, one of
the consuls elect, (Hirtius his colleague was ill,) as to the measures
to be taken. He was again addressed with earnest solicitations by
the friends of Octavius, who, to confirm his belief in his good
intentions, allowed Casca, who had been one of the slayers of Caesar,
and had himself given him the first blow, to enter on his office as
tribune of the people on the tenth of December.

The new tribunes convoked the senate for the nineteenth, on which
occasion Cicero had intended to be absent, but receiving the day
before the edict of Decimus Brutus, by which he forbade Antonius to
enter his province (immediately after the death of Caesar he had taken
possession of Cisalpine Gaul, which had been conferred on him by
Caesar), and declared that he would defend it against him by force and
preserve it in its duty to the senate, he thought it necessary to
procure for Brutus a resolution of the senate in his favour. He went
down therefore very early, and, in a very full house, delivered the
following speech.

I. We have been assembled at length, O conscript fathers, altogether
later than the necessities of the republic required; but still we are
assembled, a measure which I, indeed, have been every day demanding,
inasmuch as I saw that a nefarious war against our altars and our
hearths, against our lives and our fortunes was, I will not say being
prepared, but being actually waged by a profligate and desperate man.
People are waiting for the first of January. But Antonius is not
waiting for that day, who is now attempting with an army to invade the
province of Decimus Brutus, a most illustrious and excellent man. And
when he has procured reinforcements and equipments there, he threatens
that he will come to this city. What is the use then of waiting, or
of even a delay for the very shortest time? For although the first of
January is at hand, still a short time is a long one for people who
are not prepared. For a day, or I should rather say an hour, often
brings great disasters, if no precautions are taken. And it is not
usual to wait for a fixed day for holding a council, as it is for
celebrating a festival. But if the first of January had fallen on
the day when Antonius first fled from the city, or if people had not
waited for it, we should by this time have no war at all. For we
should easily have crushed the audacity of that frantic man by the
authority of the senate and the unanimity of the Roman people. And
now, indeed, I feel confident that the consuls elect will do so,
as soon as they enter on their magistracy. For they are men of the
highest courage, of the most consummate wisdom, and they will act in
perfect harmony with each other. But my exhortations to rapid and
instant action are prompted by a desire not merely for victory, but
for speedy victory.

For how long are we to trust to the prudence of an individual to repel
so important, so cruel, and so nefarious a war? Why is not the public
authority thrown into the scale as quickly as possible?

II. Caius Caesar, a young man, or, I should rather say, almost a boy,
endued with an incredible and godlike degree of wisdom and valour, at
the time when the frenzy of Antonius was at its height, and when
his cruel and mischievous return from Brundusium was an object of
apprehension to all, while we neither desired him to do so, nor
thought of such a measure, nor ventured even to wish it, (because it
did not seem practicable,) collected a most trustworthy army from the
invincible body of veteran soldiers, and has spent his own patrimony
in doing so. Although I have not used the expression which I
ought,--for he has not spent it,--he has invested it in the safety of
the republic.

And although it is not possible to requite him with all the thanks to
which he is entitled, still we ought to feel all the gratitude towards
him which our minds are capable of conceiving. For who is so ignorant
of public affairs, so entirely indifferent to all thoughts of the
republic, as not to see that, if Marcus Antonius could have come with
those forces which he made sure that he should have, from Brundusium
to Rome, as he threatened, there would have been no description of
cruelty which he would not have practised? A man who in the house of
his entertainer at Brundusium ordered so many most gallant men
and virtuous citizens to be murdered, and whose wife's face was
notoriously besprinkled with the blood of men dying at his and her
feet. Who is there of us, or what good man is there at all, whom a man
stained with this barbarity would ever have spared; especially as he
was coming hither much more angry with all virtuous men than he had
been with those whom he had massacred there? And from this calamity
Caesar has delivered the republic by his own individual prudence, (and,
indeed, there were no other means by which it could have been done.)
And if he had not been born in this republic we should, owing to the
wickedness of Antonius, now have no republic at all.

For this is what I believe, this is my deliberate opinion, that if
that one young man had not checked the violence and inhuman projects
of that frantic man, the republic would have been utterly destroyed.
And to him we must, O conscript fathers, (for this is the first time,
met in such a condition, that, owing to his good service, we are at
liberty to say freely what we think and feel,) we must, I say, this
day give authority, so that he may be able to defend the republic, not
because that defence has been voluntarily undertaken by him but also
because it has been entrusted to him by us.

III. Nor (since now after a long interval we are allowed to speak
concerning the republic) is it possible for us to be silent about the
Martial legion. For what single man has ever been braver, what single
man has ever been more devoted to the republic than the whole of the
Martial legion? which, as soon as it had decided that Marcus Antonius
was an enemy of the Roman people, refused to be a companion of his
insanity; deserted him though consul; which, in truth, it would not
have done if it had considered him as consul, who, as it saw, was
aiming at nothing and preparing nothing but the slaughter of the
citizens, and the destruction of the state. And that legion has
encamped at Alba. What city could it have selected either more
suitable for enabling it to act, or more faithful, or full of more
gallant men, or of citizens more devoted to the republic?

The fourth legion, imitating the virtue of this legion, under the
leadership of Lucius Egnatuleius, the quaestor, a most virtuous and
intrepid citizen, has also acknowledged the authority and joined the
army of Caius Caesar.

We, therefore, O conscript fathers, must take care that those things
which this most illustrious young man, this most excellent of all men
has of his own accord done, and still is doing, be sanctioned by our
authority; and the admirable unanimity of the veterans, those most
brave men, and of the Martial and of the fourth legion, in their zeal
for the reestablishment of the republic, be encouraged by our praise
and commendation. And let us pledge ourselves this day that their
advantage, and honours, and rewards shall be cared for by us as soon
as the consuls elect have entered on their magistracy.

IV. And the things which I have said about Caesar and about his army,
are, indeed, already well known to you. For by the admirable valour
of Caesar, and by the firmness of the veteran soldiers, and by the
admirable discernment of those legions which have followed our
authority, and the liberty of the Roman people, and the valour of
Caesar, Antonius has been repelled from his attempts upon our lives.
But these things, as I have said, happened before; but this recent
edict of Decimus Brutus, which has just been issued, can certainly not
be passed over in silence. For he promises to preserve the province of
Gaul in obedience to the senate and people of Rome. O citizen, born
for the republic; mindful of the name he bears; imitator of his
ancestors! Nor, indeed, was the acquisition of liberty so much an
object of desire to our ancestors when Tarquinius was expelled, as,
now that Antonius is driven away, the preservation of it is to us.
Those men had learnt to obey kings ever since the foundation of
the city, but we from the time when the kings were driven out have
forgotten how to be slaves. And that Tarquinius, whom our ancestors
expelled, was not either considered or called cruel or impious,
but only The Proud. That vice which we have often borne in private
individuals, our ancestors could not endure even in a king.

Lucius Brutus could not endure a proud king. Shall Decimus Brutus
submit to the kingly power of a man who is wicked and impious? What
atrocity did Tarquinius ever commit equal to the innumerable acts of
the sort which Antonius has done and is still doing? Again, the kings
were used to consult the senate; nor, as is the case when Antonius
holds a senate, were armed barbarians ever introduced into the council
of the king. The kings paid due regard to the auspices, which this
man, though consul and augur, has neglected, not only by passing laws
in opposition to the auspices, but also by making his colleague (whom
he himself had appointed irregularly, and had falsified the auspices
in order to do so) join in passing them. Again, what king was ever
so preposterously impudent as to have all the profits, and
kindnesses, and privileges of his kingdom on sale? But what immunity
is there, what rights of citizenship, what rewards that this man has
not sold to individuals, and to cities, and to entire provinces?
We have never heard of anything base or sordid being imputed to
Tarquinius. But at the house of this man gold was constantly being
weighed out in the spinning room, and money was being paid, and in
one single house every soul who had any interest in the business was
selling the whole empire of the Roman people. We have never heard of
any executions of Roman citizens by the orders of Tarquinius, but this
man both at Suessa murdered the man whom he had thrown into prison,
and at Brundusium massacred about three hundred most gallant men and
most virtuous citizens. Lastly, Tarquinius was conducting a war in
defence of the Roman people at the very time when he was expelled.
Antonius was leading an army against the Roman people at the time
when, being abandoned by the legions, he cowered at the name of Caesar
and at his army, and neglecting the regular sacrifices, he offered up
before daylight vows which he could never mean to perform, and at
this very moment he is endeavouring to invade a province of the Roman
people. The Roman people, therefore, has already received and is still
looking for greater services at the hand of Decimus Brutus than our
ancestors received from Lucius Brutus, the founder of this race and
name which we ought to be so anxious to preserve.

V. But, while all slavery is miserable, to be slave to a man who is
profligate, unchaste, effeminate, never, not even while in fear,
sober, is surely intolerable. He, then, who keeps this man out of
Gaul, especially by his own private authority, judges, and judges most
truly, that he is not consul at all. We must take care, therefore, O
conscript fathers, to sanction the private decision of Decimus Brutus
by public authority. Nor, indeed, ought you to have thought Marcus
Antonius consul at any time since the Lupercalia. For on the day
when he, in the sight of the Roman people, harangued the mob, naked,
perfumed, and drunk, and laboured moreover to put a crown on the head
of his colleague, on that day he abdicated not only the consulship,
but also his own freedom. At all events he himself must at once have
become a slave, if Caesar had been willing to accept from him that
ensign of royalty. Can I then think him a consul, can I think him a
Roman citizen, can I think him a freeman, can I even think him a man,
who on that shameful and wicked day showed what he was willing to
endure while Caesar lived, and what he was anxious to obtain himself
after he was dead?

Nor is it possible to pass over in silence the virtue and the firmness
and the dignity of the province of Gaul. For that is the flower of
Italy, that is the bulwark of the empire of the Roman people, that is
the chief ornament of our dignity. But so perfect is the unanimity of
the municipal towns and colonies of the province of Gaul, that all
men in that district appear to have united together to defend the
authority of this order, and the majesty of the Roman people.
Wherefore, O tribunes of the people, although you have not actually
brought any other business before us beyond the question of
protection, in order that the consuls may be able to hold the senate
with safety on the first of January, still you appear to me to have
acted with great wisdom and great prudence in giving an opportunity
of debating the general circumstances of the republic. For when you
decided that the senate could not be held with safety without some
protection or other, you at the same time asserted by that decision
that the wickedness and audacity of Antonius was still continuing its
practices within our walls.

VI. Wherefore, I will embrace every consideration in my opinion which
I am now going to deliver, a course to which you, I feel sure, have no
objection, in order that authority may be conferred by us on admirable
generals, and that hope of reward may be held out by us to gallant
soldiers, and that a formal decision may be come to, not by words
only, but also by actions, that Antonius is not only not a consul, but
is even an enemy. For if he be consul, then the legions which have
deserted the consul deserve beating[24] to death. Caesar is wicked,
Brutus is impious, since they of their own heads have levied an army
against the consul. But if new honours are to be sought out for the
soldiers on account of their divine and immortal merits, and if it
is quite impossible to show gratitude enough to the generals, who is
there who must not think that man a public enemy, whose conduct
is such that those who are in arms against him are considered the
saviours of the republic?

Again, how insulting is he in his edicts! how ignorant! How like a
barbarian! In the first place, how has he heaped abuse on Caesar,
in terms drawn from his recollection of his own debauchery and
profligacy. For where can we find any one who is chaster than this
young man? who is more modest? where have we among our youth a more
illustrious example of the old-fashioned strictness? Who, on the other
hand, is more profligate than the man who abuses him? He reproaches
the son of Caius Caesar with his want of noble blood, when even his
natural[25] father, if he had been alive, would have been made consul.
His mother is a woman of Aricia. You might suppose he was saying a
woman of Tralles, or of Ephesus. Just see how we all who come from the
municipal towns--that is to say, absolutely all of us--are looked down
upon; for how few of us are there who do not come from those towns?
and what municipal town is there which he does not despise who looks
with such contempt on Aricia; a town most ancient as to its antiquity;
if we regard its rights, united with us by treaty; if we regard its
vicinity, almost close to us; if we regard the high character of its
inhabitants, most honourable? It is from Aricia that we have received
the Voconian and Atinian laws; from Aricia have come many of those
magistrates who have filled our curule chairs, both in our fathers'
recollection and in our own; from Aricia have sprung many of the best
and bravest of the Roman knights. But if you disapprove of a wife from
Aricia, why do you approve of one from Tusculum? Although the father
of this most virtuous and excellent woman, Marcus Atius Balbus, a man
of the highest character, was a man of praetorian rank; but the father
of your wife,--a good woman, at all events a rich one,--a fellow of
the name of Bambalio, was a man of no account at all. Nothing could be
lower than he was, a fellow who got his surname as a sort of insult,
derived[26] from the hesitation of his speech and the stolidity of his
understanding. Oh, but your grandfather was nobly born. Yes, he was
that Tuditanus who used to put on a cloak and buskins, and then go
and scatter money from the rostra among the people. I wish he had
bequeathed his contempt of money to his descendants! You have, indeed,
a most glorious nobility of family! But how does it happen that the
son of a woman of Aricia appears to you to be ignoble, when you
are accustomed to boast of a descent on the mother's side which is
precisely the same?[27] Besides, what insanity is it for that man to
say anything about the want of noble birth in men's wives, when his
father married Numitoria of Fregellae, the daughter of a traitor, and
when he himself has begotten children of the daughter of a freedman.
However, those illustrious men Lucius Philippus, who has a wife who
came from Aricia, and Caius Marcellus, whose wife is the daughter of
an Arician, may look to this; and I am quite sure that they have no
regrets on the score of the dignity of those admirable women.

VII. Moreover, Antonius proceeds to name Quintus Cicero, my brother's
son, in his edict; and is so mad as not to perceive that the way in
which he names him is a panegyric on him. For what could happen more
desirable for this young man, than to be known by every one to be the
partner of Caesar's counsels, and the enemy of the frenzy of Antonius?
But this gladiator has dared to put in writing that he had designed
the murder of his father and of his uncle. Oh the marvellous
impudence, and audacity, and temerity of such an assertion! to dare to
put this in writing against that young man, whom I and my brother,
on account of his amiable manners, and pure character, and splendid
abilities, vie with one another in loving, and to whom we incessantly
devote our eyes, and ears, and affections! And as to me, he does not
know whether he is injuring or praising me in those same edicts. When
he threatens the most virtuous citizens with the same punishment which
I inflicted on the most wicked and infamous of men, he seems to praise
me as if he were desirous of copying me; but when he brings up again
the memory of that most illustrious exploit, then he thinks that he is
exciting some odium against me in the breasts of men like himself.

VIII. But what is it that he has done himself? When he had published
all these edicts, he issued another, that the senate was to meet in a
full house on the twenty-fourth of November. On that day he himself
was not present. But what were the terms of his edict? These, I
believe, are the exact words of the end of it: "If any one fails to
attend, all men will be at liberty to think him the adviser of my
destruction and of most ruinous counsels". What are ruinous counsels?
those which relate to the recovery of the liberty of the Roman people?
Of those counsels I confess that I have been and still am an adviser
and prompter to Caesar. Although he did not stand in need of any one's
advice, but still I spurned on the willing horse, as it is said. For
what good man would not have advised putting you to death, when on
your death depended the safety and life of every good man, and the
liberty and dignity of the Roman people?

But when he had summoned us all by so severe an edict, why did he not
attend himself? Do you suppose that he was detained by any melancholy
or important occasion? He was detained drinking and feasting. If,
indeed, it deserves to be called a feast, and not rather gluttony.
He neglected to attend on the day mentioned in his edict, and he
adjourned the meeting to the twenty-eighth. He then summoned us to
attend in the Capitol, and at that temple he did arrive himself,
coming up through some mine left by the Gauls. Men came, having been
summoned, some of them indeed men of high distinction, but forgetful
of what was due to their dignity. For the day was such, the report of
the object of the meeting such, such too the man who had convened the
senate, that it was discreditable for a senate to feel no fear for the
result. And yet to those men who had assembled he did not dare to
say a single word about Caesar, though he had made up his mind[28]
to submit a motion respecting him to the senate. There was a man of
consular rank who had brought a resolution ready drawn up. Is it not
now admitting that he is himself an enemy, when he does not dare to
make a motion respecting a man who is leading an army against him
while he is consul? For it is perfectly plain that one of the two
must be an enemy, nor is it possible to come to a different decision
respecting adverse generals. If then Caius Caesar be an enemy, why does
the consul submit no motion to the senate? If he does not deserve to
be branded by the senate, then what can the consul say, who, by his
silence respecting him, has confessed that he himself is an enemy? In
his edicts he styles him Spartacus, while in the senate he does not
venture to call him even a bad citizen.

IX. But in the most melancholy circumstances what mirth does he not
provoke? I have committed to memory some short phrases of one edict,
which he appears to think particularly clever, but I have not as yet
found any one who has understood what he intended by them. "That is no
insult which a worthy man does." Now, in the first place, what is the
meaning of "worthy?" For there are many men worthy of punishment, as
he himself is. Does he mean what a man does who is invested with any
dignity?[29] if so, what insult can be greater? Moreover, what is the
meaning of "doing an insult?" Who ever uses such an expression? Then
comes, "Nor any fear which an enemy threatens" What then? is fear
usually threatened by a friend? Then came many similar sentences. Is
it not better to be dumb, than to say what no one can understand? Now
see why his tutor, exchanging pleas for ploughs, has had given to him
in the public domain of the Roman people two thousand acres of land in
the Leontine district, exempt from all taxes, for making a stupid man
still stupider at the public expense.

However, these perhaps are trifling matters. I ask now, why all on a
sudden he became so gentle in the senate, after having been so fierce
in his edicts? For what was the object of threatening Lucius Cassius,
a most fearless tribune of the people, and a most virtuous and loyal
citizen, with death if he came to the Senate? of expelling Decimus
Caifulenus, a man thoroughly attached to the republic, from the senate
by violence and threats of death? of interdicting Titus Canutius, by
whom he had been repeatedly and deservedly harassed by most legitimate
attacks, not only from the temple itself but from all approach to it?
What was the resolution of the senate which he was afraid that they
would stop by the interposition of their veto? That, I suppose,
respecting the supplication in honour of Marcus Lepidus, a most
illustrious man! Certainly there was a great danger of our hindering
an ordinary compliment to a man on whom we were every day thinking
of conferring some extraordinary honour. However, that he might not
appear to have had no reason at all for ordering the senate to
meet, he was on the point of bringing forward some motion about the
republic, when the news about the fourth legion came; which entirely
bewildered him, and hastening to flee away, he took a division on the
resolution for decreeing this supplication, though such a proceeding
had never been heard of before.[30]

X. But what a setting out was his after this! what a journey when he
was in his robe as a general! How did he shun all eyes, and the light
of day, and the city, and the forum! How miserable was his flight! how
shameful! how infamous! Splendid, too, were the decrees of the senate
passed on the evening of that very day; very religiously solemn
was the allotment of the provinces; and heavenly indeed was the
opportunity, when everyone got exactly what he thought most desirable.
You are acting admirably, therefore, O tribunes of the people, in
bringing forward a motion about the protection of the senate and
consuls, and most deservedly are we all bound to feel and to prove to
you the greatest gratitude for your conduct. For how can we be free
from fear and danger while menaced by such covetousness and audacity?
And as for that ruined and desperate man, what more hostile decision
can be passed upon him than has already been passed by his own
friends? His most intimate friend, a man connected with me too, Lucius
Lentulus, and also Publius Naso, a man destitute of covetousness, have
shown that they think that they have no provinces assigned them, and
that the allotments of Antonius are invalid. Lucius Philippus, a man
thoroughly worthy of his father and grandfather and ancestors, has
done the same. The same is the opinion of Marcus Turanius, a man of
the greatest integrity and purity of life. The same is the conduct
of Publius Oppius; and those very men,--who, influenced by their
friendship for Marcus Antonius, have attributed to him more power than
they would perhaps really approve of,--Marcus Piso, my own connexion,
a most admirable man and virtuous citizen, and Marcus Vehilius, a man
of equal respectability, have both declared that they would obey the
authority of the senate. Why should I speak of Lucius Cinna? whose
extraordinary integrity, proved under many trying circumstances, makes
the glory of his present admirable conduct less remarkable; he has
altogether disregarded the province assigned to him; and so has Caius
Cestius, a man of great and firm mind.

Who are there left then to be delighted with this heavensent
allotment? Lucius Antonius and Marcus Antonius! O happy pair! for
there is nothing that they wished for more. Caius Antonius has
Macedonia. Happy, too, is he! For he was constantly talking about this
province. Caius Calvisius has Africa. Nothing could be more fortunate,
for he had only just departed from Africa, and, as if he had divined
that he should return, he left two lieutenants at Utica. Then Marcus
Iccius has Sicily, and Quintus Cassius Spain. I do not know what to
suspect. I fancy the lots which assigned these two provinces, were not
quite so carefully attended to by the gods.

XI. O Caius Caesar, (I am speaking of the young man,) what safety have
you brought to the republic! How unforeseen has it been! how sudden!
for if he did these things when flying, what would he have done when
he was pursuing? In truth, he had said in a harangue that he would be
the guardian of the city; and that he would keep his army at the
gates of the city till the first of May. What a fine guardian (as the
proverb goes) is the wolf of the sheep! Would Antonius have been a
guardian of the city, or its plunderer and destroyer? And he said too
that he would come into the city and go out as he pleased. What more
need I say? Did he not say, in the hearing of all the people, while
sitting in front of the temple of Castor, that no one should remain
alive but the conqueror?

On this day, O conscript fathers, for the first time after a long
interval do we plant our foot and take possession of liberty. Liberty,
of which, as long as I could be, I was not only the defender, but even
the saviour. But when I could not be so, I rested; and I bore the
misfortunes and misery of that period without abjectness, and not
without some dignity. But as for this most foul monster, who could
endure him, or how could any one endure him? What is there in Antonius
except lust, and cruelty, and wantonness, and audacity? Of these
materials he is wholly made up. There is in him nothing ingenuous,
nothing moderate, nothing modest, nothing virtuous. Wherefore, since
the matter has come to such a crisis that the question is whether he
is to make atonement to the republic for his crimes, or we are to
become slaves, let us at last, I beseech you, by the immortal gods,
O conscript fathers, adopt our fathers' courage, and our fathers'
virtue, so as either to recover the liberty belonging to the Roman
name and race, or else to prefer death to slavery. We have borne and
endured many things which ought not to be endured in a free city, some
of us out of a hope of recovering our freedom, some from too great a
fondness for life. But if we have submitted to these things, which
necessity and a sort of force which may seem almost to have been put
on us by destiny have compelled us to endure, though, in point of
fact, we have not endured them, are we also to bear with the most
shameful and inhuman tyranny of this profligate robber?

XII. What will he do in his passion, if ever he has the power, who,
when he is not able to show his anger against any one, has been the
enemy of all good men? What will he not dare to do when victorious,
who, without having gained any victory, has committed such crimes as
these since the death of Caesar? has emptied his well filled house? has
pillaged his gardens? has transferred to his own mansion all their
ornaments? has sought to make his death a pretext for slaughter and
conflagration? who, while he has carried two or three resolutions of
the senate which have been advantageous to the republic, has made
everything else subservient to his own acquisition of gain and
plunder? who has put up exemptions and annuities to sale? who has
released cities from obligations? who has removed whole provinces
from subjection to the Roman empire? who has restored exiles? who has
passed forged laws in the name of Caesar, and has continued to have
forged decrees engraved on brass and fixed up in the Capitol, and has
set up in his own house a domestic market for all things of that sort?
who has imposed laws on the Roman people? and who, with armed troops
and guards, has excluded both the people and the magistrates from the
forum? who has filled the senate with armed men? and has introduced
armed men into the temple of Concord when he was holding a senate
there? who ran down to Brundusium to meet the legions, and then
murdered all the centurions in them who were well affected to the
republic? who endeavoured to come to Rome with his army to accomplish
our massacre and the utter destruction of the city?

And he, now that he has been prevented from succeeding in this attempt
by the wisdom and forces of Caesar, and the unanimity of the veterans,
and the valour of the legions, even now that his fortunes are
desperate, does not diminish his audacity, nor, mad that he is, does
he cease proceeding in his headlong career of fury. He is leading his
mutilated army into Gaul, with one legion, and that too wavering in
its fidelity to him, he is waiting for his brother Lucius, as he
cannot find any one more nearly like himself than him. But now what
slaughter is this man, who has thus become a captain instead of a
matador, a general instead of a gladiator, making, wherever he sets
his foot! He destroys stores, he slays the flocks and herds, and all
the cattle, wherever he finds them, his soldiers revel in their spoil,
and he himself, in order to imitate his brother, drowns himself in
wine. Fields are laid waste, villas are plundered, matrons, virgins,
well born boys are carried off and given up to the soldiery, and
Marcus Antonius has done exactly the same wherever he has led his

XIII. Will you open your gates to these most infamous brothers? will
you ever admit them into the city? will you not rather, now that the
opportunity is offered to you, now that you have generals ready, and
the minds of the soldiers eager for the service, and all the Roman
people unanimous, and all Italy excited with the desire to recover its
liberty,--will you not, I say, avail yourself of the kindness of the
immortal gods? You will never have an opportunity if you neglect this
one. He will be hemmed in in the rear, in the front, and in flank, if
he once enters Gaul. Nor must he be attacked by arms alone, but by
our decrees also. Mighty is the authority, mighty is the name of
the senate when all its members are inspired by one and the same
resolution. Do you not see how the forum is crowded? how the Roman
people is on tiptoe with the hope of recovering its liberty? which
now, beholding us, after a long interval, meeting here in numbers,
hopes too that we are also met in freedom. It was in expectation of
this day that I avoided the wicked army of Marcus Antonius, at a
time when he, while inveighing against me, was not aware for what an
occasion I was reserving myself and my strength. If at that time I had
chosen to reply to him, while he was seeking to begin the massacre
with me, I should not now be able to consult the welfare of the
republic. But now that I have this opportunity, I will never, O
conscript fathers, neither by day nor by night, cease considering what
ought to be thought concerning the liberty of the Roman people, and
concerning your dignity. And whatever ought to be planned or done, I
not only will never shrink from, but I will offer myself for, and beg
to have entrusted to me. This is what I did before while it was in my
power; when it was no longer in my power to do so, I did nothing. But
now it is not only in my power, but it is absolutely necessary for me,
unless we prefer being slaves to fighting with all our strength and
courage to avoid being slaves. The immortal gods have given us these
protectors, Caesar for the city, Brutus for Gaul. For if he had been
able to oppress the city we must have become slaves at once; if he had
been able to get possession of Gaul, then it would not have been long
before every good man must have perished and all the rest have been

XIV. Now then that this opportunity is afforded to you, O conscript
fathers, I entreat you in the name of the immortal gods, seize upon
it; and recollect at last that you are the chief men of the most
honourable council on the whole face of the earth. Give a token to the
Roman people that your wisdom shall not fail the republic, since that
too professes that its valour shall never desert it either. There
is no need for my warning you: there is no one so foolish as not to
perceive that if we go to sleep over this opportunity we shall have to
endure a tyranny which will be not only cruel and haughty, but also
ignominious and flagitious. You know the insolence of Antonius; you
know his friends; you know his whole household. To be slaves to
lustful, wanton, debauched, profligate, drunken gamblers, is the
extremity of misery combined with the extremity of infamy. And if now
(but may the immortal gods avert the omen!) that worst of fates shall
befall the republic, then, as brave gladiators take care to perish
with honour, let us too, who are the chief men of all countries and
nations, take care to fall with dignity rather than to live as slaves
with ignominy.

There is nothing more detestable than disgrace; nothing more shameful
than slavery. We have been born to glory and to liberty; let us either
preserve them or die with dignity. Too long have we concealed what we
have felt: now at length it is revealed: every one has plainly shown
what are his feelings to both sides, and what are his inclinations.
There are impious citizens, measured by the love I bear my country,
too many; but in proportion to the multitude of well-affected ones,
very few; and the immortal gods have given the republic an incredible
opportunity and chance for destroying them. For, in addition to the
defences which we already have, there will soon be added consuls
of consummate prudence, and virtue, and concord, who have already
deliberated and pondered for many months on the freedom of the Roman
people. With these men for our advisers and leaders, with the gods
assisting us, with ourselves using all vigilance and taking great
precautions for the future, and with the Roman people acting
with unanimity, we shall indeed be free in a short time, and the
recollection of our present slavery will make liberty sweeter.

XV. Moved by these considerations, since the tribunes of the people
have brought forward a motion to ensure that the senate shall be able
to meet in safety on the first of January, and that we may be able
to deliver our sentiments on the general welfare of the state with
freedom, I give my vote that Caius Pansa and Aulus Hirtius, the
consuls elect, do take care that the senate be enabled to meet in
safety on the first of January; and, as an edict has been published
by Decimus Brutus, imperator and consul elect, I vote that the senate
thinks that Decimus Brutus, imperator and consul, deserves excellently
well of the republic, inasmuch as he is upholding the authority of the
senate, and the freedom and empire of the Roman people; and as he is
also retaining the province of Gallia Citerior, a province full of
most virtuous and brave men, and of citizens most devoted to the
republic, and his army, in obedience to the senate, I vote that the
senate judges that he, and his army, and the municipalities and
colonies of the province of Gaul, have acted and are acting properly,
and regularly, and in a manner advantageous to the republic. And
the senate thinks that it will be for the general interests of the
republic that the provinces which are at present occupied by Decimus
Brutus and by Lucius Plancus, both imperators, and consuls elect, and
also by the officers who are in command of provinces, shall continue
to be held by them in accordance with the provisions of the Julian
law, until each of these officers has a successor appointed by a
resolution of the senate; and that they shall take care to maintain
those provinces and armies in obedience to the senate and people of
Rome, and as a defence to the republic. And since, by the exertions
and valour and wisdom of Caius Caesar, and by the admirable unanimity
of the veteran soldiers, who, obeying his authority, have been and are
a protection to the republic, the Roman people has been defended, and
is at this present time being defended, from the most serious dangers.
And as the Martial legion has encamped at Alba, in a municipal town
of the greatest loyalty and courage, and has devoted itself to the
support of the authority of the senate, and of the freedom of the
Roman people; and as the fourth legion, behaving with equal wisdom
and with the same virtue, under the command of Lucius Egnatuleius the
quaestor, an illustrious citizen, has defended and is still defending
the authority of the senate and the freedom of the Roman people; I
give my vote, That it is and shall be an object of anxious care to the
senate to pay due honour and to show due gratitude to them for their
exceeding services to the republic: and that the senate hereby orders
that when Caius Pausa and Aulus Hirtius, the consuls elect, have
entered on their office, they take the earliest opportunity of
consulting this body on these matters, as shall seem to them expedient
for the republic, and worthy of their own integrity and loyalty.



* * * * *


After delivering the preceding speech in the senate, Cicero proceeded
to the forum, where he delivered the following speech to the people,
to give them information of what had been done.

I. The great numbers in which you are here met this day, O Romans, and
this assembly, greater than, it seems to me, I ever remember, inspires
me with both an exceeding eagerness to defend the republic, and with a
great hope of reestablishing it. Although my courage indeed has never
failed; what has been unfavourable is the time; and the moment that
that has appeared to show any dawn of light, I at once have been the
leader in the defence of your liberty. And if I had attempted to have
done so before, I should not be able to do so now. For this day, O
Romans, (that you may not think it is but a trifling business in which
we have been engaged,) the foundations have been laid for future
actions. For the senate has no longer been content with styling
Antonius an enemy in words, but it has shown by actions that it thinks
him one. And now I am much more elated still, because you too with
such great unanimity and with such a clamour have sanctioned our
declaration that he is an enemy.

And indeed, O Romans, it is impossible but that either the men must
be impious who have levied armies against the consul, or else that he
must be an enemy against whom they have rightly taken arms. And this
doubt the senate has this day removed--not indeed that there really
was any; but it has prevented the possibility of there being any.
Caius Caesar, who has upheld and who is still upholding the republic
and your freedom by his seal and wisdom, and at the expense of his
patrimonial estate, has been complimented with the highest praises of
the senate. I praise you,--yes, I praise you greatly, O Romans,
when you follow with the most grateful minds the name of that
most illustrious youth, or rather boy; for his actions belong to
immortality, the name of youth only to his age. I can recollect many
things; I have heard of many things; I have read of many things; but
in the whole history of the whole world I have never known anything
like this. For, when we were weighed down with slavery, when the evil
was daily increasing, when we had no defence, while we were in dread
of the pernicious and fatal return of Marcus Antonius from Brundusium,
this young man adopted the design which none of us had ventured to
hope for, which beyond all question none of us were acquainted with,
of raising an invincible army of his father's soldiers, and so
hindering the frenzy of Antonius, spurred on as it was by the most
inhuman counsels, from the power of doing mischief to the republic.

II. For who is there who does not see clearly that, if Caesar had not
prepared an army, the return of Antonius must have been accompanied by
our destruction? For, in truth, he returned in such a state of mind,
burning with hatred of you all, stained with the blood of the Roman
citizens, whom he had murdered at Suessa and at Brundusium, that he
thought of nothing but the utter destruction of the republic. And what
protection could have been found for your safety and for your liberty
if the army of Caius Caesar had not been composed of the bravest of his
father's soldiers? And with respect to his praises and honours,--and
he is entitled to divine and everlasting honours for his godlike and
undying services,--the senate has just consented to my proposals, and
has decreed that a motion be submitted to it at the very earliest

Now who is there who does not see that by this decree Antonius has
been adjudged to be an enemy? For what else can we call him, when the
senate decides that extraordinary honours are to be devised for those
men who are leading armies against him? What? did not the Martial
legion (which appears to me by some divine permission to have derived
its name from that god from whom we have heard that the Roman people
descended) decide by its resolutions that Antonius was an enemy before
the senate had come to any resolution? For if he be not an enemy, we
must inevitably decide that those men who have deserted the consul are
enemies. Admirably and seasonably, O Romans, have you by your cries
sanctioned the noble conduct of the men of the Martial legion, who
have come over to the authority of the senate, to your liberty, and
to the whole republic; and have abandoned that enemy and robber and
parricide of his country. Nor did they display only their spirit
and courage in doing this, but their caution and wisdom also. They
encamped at Alba, in a city convenient, fortified, near, full of brave
men and loyal and virtuous citizens. The fourth legion imitating
the virtue of this Martial legion, under the leadership of Lucius
Egnatuleius, whom the senate deservedly praised a little while ago,
has also joined the army of Caius Caesar.

III. What more adverse decisions, O Marcus Antonius, can you want?
Caesar, who has levied an army against you, is extolled to the skies.
The legions are praised in the most complimentary language, which have
abandoned you, which were sent for into Italy by you; and which,
if you had chosen to be a consul rather than an enemy, were wholly
devoted to you. And the fearless and honest decision of those legions
is confirmed by the senate, is approved of by the whole Roman
people,--unless, indeed, you to-day, O Romans, decide that Antonius is
a consul and not an enemy. I thought, O Romans, that you did think as
you show you do. What? do you suppose that the municipal towns, and
the colonies, and the prefectures have any other opinion? All men are
agreed with one mind; so that every one who wishes the state to be
saved must take up every sort of arms against that pestilence. What?
does, I should like to know, does the opinion of Decimus Brutus,
O Romans, which you can gather from his edict, which has this day
reached us, appear to any one deserving of being lightly esteemed?
Rightly and truly do you say No, O Romans. For the family and name
of Brutus has been by some especial kindness and liberality of the
immortal gods given to the republic, for the purpose of at one time
establishing, and at another of recovering, the liberty of the Roman
people. What then has been the opinion which Decimus Brutus has formed
of Marcus Antonius? He excludes him from his province. He opposes him
with his army. He rouses all Gaul to war, which is already used of its
own accord, and in consequence of the judgment which it has itself
formed. If Antonius be consul, Brutus is an enemy. Can we then doubt
which of these alternatives is the fact?

IV. And just as you now with one mind and one voice affirm that you
entertain no doubt, so did the senate just now decree that Decimus
Brutus deserved excellently well of the republic, inasmuch as he was
defending the authority of the senate and the liberty and empire of
the Roman people. Defending it against whom? Why, against an enemy.
For what other sort of defence deserves praise? In the next place the
province of Gaul is praised, and is deservedly complimented in most
honourable language by the senate for resisting Antonius. But if that
province considered him the consul, and still refused to receive him,
it would be guilty of great wickedness. For all the provinces belong
to the consul of right, and are bound to obey him. Decimus Brutus,
imperator and consul elect, a citizen born for the republic, denies
that he is consul; Gaul denies it; all Italy denies it; the senate
denies it; you deny it. Who then think that he is consul except a few
robbers? Although even they themselves do not believe what they say;
nor is it possible that they should differ from the judgment of all
men, impious and desperate men though they be. But the hope of plunder
and booty blinds their minds; men whom no gifts of money, no allotment
of land, nor even that interminable auction has satisfied; who have
proposed to themselves the city, the properties and fortunes of all
the citizens as their booty; and who, as long as there is something
for them to seize and carry off, think that nothing will be wanting to
them; among whom Marcus Antonius (O ye immortal gods, avert, I pray
you, and efface this omen,) has promised to divide this city. May
things rather happen, O Romans, as you pray that they should, and may
the chastisement of this frenzy fall on him and on his friend. And,
indeed, I feel sure that it will be so. For I think that at present
not only men but the immortal gods have all united together to
preserve this republic. For if the immortal gods foreshow us the
future, by means of portents and prodigies, then it has been openly
revealed to us that punishment is near at hand to him, and liberty to
us. Or if it was impossible for such unanimity on the part of all men
to exist without the inspiration of the gods, in either case how can
we doubt as to the inclinations of the heavenly deities? It only
remains, O Romans, for you to persevere in the sentiments which you at
present display.

V. I will act, therefore, as commanders are in the habit of doing when
their army is ready for battle, who, although they see their soldiers
ready to engage, still address an exhortation to them; and in like
manner I will exhort you who are already eager and burning to recover
your liberty. You have not--you have not, indeed, O Romans, to war
against an enemy with whom it is possible to make peace on any terms
whatever. For he does not now desire your slavery, as he did before,
but he is angry now and thirsts for your blood. No sport appears more
delightful to him than bloodshed, and slaughter, and the massacre
of citizens before his eyes. You have not, O Romans, to deal with a
wicked and profligate man, but with an unnatural and savage beast.
And, since he has fallen into a well, let him be buried in it. For if
he escapes out of it, there will be no inhumanity of torture which it
will be possible to avoid. But he is at present hemmed in, pressed,
and besieged by those troops which we already have, and will soon be
still more so by those which in a few days the new consuls will levy.
Apply yourselves then to this business, as you are doing. Never have
you shown greater unanimity in any cause; never have you been so
cordially united with the senate. And no wonder. For the question now
is not in what condition we are to live, but whether we are to live at
all, or to perish with torture and ignominy.

Although nature, indeed, has appointed death for all men: but valour
is accustomed to ward off any cruelty or disgrace in death. And that
is an inalienable possession of the Roman race and name. Preserve, I
beseech you, O Romans, this attribute which your ancestors have left
you as a sort of inheritance. Although all other things are uncertain,
fleeting, transitory; virtue alone is planted firm with very deep
roots; it cannot be undermined by any violence; it can never be moved
from its position. By it your ancestors first subdued the whole of
Italy; then destroyed Carthage, overthrew Numantia, and reduced the
most mighty kings and most warlike nations under the dominion of this

VI. And your ancestors, O Romans, had to deal with an enemy who had
also a republic, a senate-house, a treasury, harmonious and united
citizens, and with whom, if fortune had so willed it, there might have
been peace and treaties on settled principles. But this enemy of yours
is attacking your republic, but has none himself; is eager to destroy
the senate, that is to say, the council of the whole world, but has no
public council himself; he has exhausted your treasury, and has none
of his own. For how can a man be supported by the unanimity of his
citizens, who has no city at all? And what principles of peace
can there be with that man who is full of incredible cruelty, and
destitute of faith?

The whole then of the contest, O Romans, which is now before the Roman
people, the conqueror of all nations, is with an assassin, a robber, a
Spartacus.[31] For as to his habitual boast of being like Catilina, he
is equal to him in wickedness, but inferior in energy. He, though he
had no army, rapidly levied one. This man has lost that very army
which he had. As, therefore, by my diligence, and the authority of the
senate, and your own zeal and valour, you crushed Catilina, so you
will very soon hear that this infamous piratical enterprise of
Antonius has been put down by your own perfect and unexampled harmony
with the senate, and by the good fortune and valour of your armies and
generals. I, for my part, as far as I am able to labour, and to effect
anything by my care, and exertions, and vigilance, and authority,
and counsel, will omit nothing which I may think serviceable to your
liberty. Nor could I omit it without wickedness after all your most
ample and honourable kindness to me. However, on this day, encouraged
by the motion of a most gallant man, and one most firmly attached to
you, Marcus Servilius, whom you see before you, and his colleagues
also, most distinguished men, and most virtuous citizens; and partly,
too, by my advice and my example, we have, for the first time after a
long interval, fired up again with a hope of liberty.



* * * * *


The new consuls Hirtius and Pansa were much attached to Cicero, had
consulted him a great deal, and professed great respect for his
opinion; but they were also under great obligations to Julius Caesar
and, consequently, connected to some extent with his party and with
Antonius, on which account they wished, if possible, to employ
moderate measures only against him.

As soon as they had entered on their office, they convoked the senate
to meet for the purpose of deliberating on the general welfare of the
republic. They both spoke themselves with great firmness, promising to
be the leaders in defending the liberties of Rome, and exhorting the
senate to act with courage. And then they called on Quintus Fufius
Calenus, who had been consul A.U.C. 707, and who was Pansa's
father-in-law, to deliver his opinion first. He was known to be a firm
friend of Antonius. Cicero wished to declare Antonius a public enemy
at once, but Calenus proposed that before they proceeded to acts of
open hostility against him, they should send an embassy to him to
admonish him to desist from his attempts upon Gaul, and to submit to
the authority of the senate. Piso and others supported this motion,
on the ground that it was cruel and unjust to condemn a man without
giving him a fair chance of submitting, and without hearing what he
had to say. It was in opposition to Calenus's motion that Cicero made
the following speech, substituting for his proposition one to declare
Antonius an enemy, and to offer pardon to those of his army who
returned to their duty by the first of February, to thank Decimus
Brutus for his conduct in Gaul, to decree a statue to Marcus
Lepidus[32] for his services to the republic and his loyalty, to
thank Caius Caesar (Octavius) and to grant him a special commission
as general, to make him a senator and propraetor and to enable him to
stand for any subsequent magistracy as if he had been quaestor, to
thank Lucius Egnatuleius, and to vote thanks and promise rewards to
the Martial and the fourth legion.

I. Nothing, O conscript fathers, has ever seemed to me longer than
these calends of January, and I think that for the last few days you
have all been feeling the same thing. For those who are waging war
against the republic have not waited for this day. But we, while it
would have been most especially proper for us to come to the aid of
the general safety with our counsel, were not summoned to the senate.
However, the speech just addressed to us by the consuls has removed
our complaints as to what is past, for they have spoken in such a
manner that the calends of January seem to have been long wished for
rather than really to have arrived late.

And while the speeches of the consuls have encouraged my mind, and
have given me a hope, not only of preserving our safety, but even of
recovering our former dignity, on the other hand, the opinion of the
man who has been asked for his opinion first would have disturbed me,
if I had not confidence in your virtue and firmness. For this day, O
conscript fathers, has dawned upon you, and this opportunity has been
afforded you of proving to the Roman people how much virtue, how much
firmness and how much dignity exists in the counsels of this order.
Recollect what a day it was thirteen days ago, how great was then your
unanimity, and virtue, and firmness, and what great praise, what great
glory, and what great gratitude you gained from the Roman people.
And on that day, O conscript fathers, you resolved that no other
alternative was in your power, except either an honourable peace, or a
necessary war.

Is Marcus Antonius desirous of peace? Let him lay down his arms, let
him implore our pardon, let him deprecate our vengeance; he will find
no one more reasonable than me, though, while seeking to recommend
himself to impious citizens, he has chosen to be an enemy instead of
a friend to me. There is, in truth, nothing which can be given to him
while waging war, there will perhaps be something which may be granted
to him if he comes before us as a suppliant.

II. But to send ambassadors to a man respecting whom you passed a most
dignified and severe decision only thirteen days ago, is not an act of
lenity, but, if I am to speak my real opinion, of downright madness.
In the first place, you praised those generals who, of their own head,
had undertaken war against him, in the next place, you praised the
veterans who, though they had been settled in those colonies by
Antonius, preferred the liberty of the Roman people to the obligations
which they were under to him. Is it not so? Why was the Martial
legion? why was the fourth legion praised? For if they have deserted
the consul, they ought to be blamed; if they have abandoned an enemy
to the republic, then they are deservedly praised.

But as at that time you had not yet got any consuls, you passed a
decree that a motion concerning the rewards for the soldiers and the
honours to be conferred on the generals should be submitted to you at
the earliest opportunity. Are you then going now to arrange rewards
for those men who have taken arms against Antonius, and to send
ambassadors to Antonius? so as to deserve to be ashamed that the
legions should have come to more honourable resolutions than the
senate if, indeed, the legions have resolved to defend the senate
against Antonius, but the senate decrees to send ambassadors to
Antonius. Is this encouraging the spirit of the soldiers, or damping
their virtue?

This is what we have gained in the last twelve days, that the man
whom no single person except Cotyla was then found to defend, has now
advocates even of consular rank. Would that they had all been asked
their opinion before me, (although I have my suspicions as to what
some of those men who will be asked after me, are intending to say) I
should find it easier to speak against them if any argument appeared
to have been advanced.

For there is an opinion in some quarters that some one intends to
propose to decree Antonius that further Gaul, which Plancus is at
present in possession of. What else is that but supplying an enemy
with all the arms necessary for civil war; first of all with the
sinews of war, money in abundance, of which he is at present
destitute, and secondly, with as much cavalry as he pleases? Cavalry
do I say? He is a likely man to hesitate, I suppose, to bring with him
the barbarian nations,--a man who does not see this is senseless, he
who does see it, and still advocates such a measure, is impious. Will
you furnish a wicked and desperate citizen with an army of Gauls and
Germans, with money, and infantry, and cavalry, and all sorts of
resources? All these excuses are no excuse at all.--"He is a friend of
mine." Let him first be a friend of his country.--"He is a relation of
mine." Can any relationship be nearer than that of one's country, in
which even one's parents are comprised? "He has given me money:"--I
should like to see the man who will dare to say that. But when I have
explained what is the real object aimed at, it will be easy for you to
decide which opinion you ought to agree with and adopt.

III. The matter at issue is, whether power is to be given to Marcus
Antonius of oppressing the republic, of massacring the virtuous
citizens, of plundering the city, of distributing the lands among his
robbers, of overwhelming the Roman people in slavery; or, whether he
is not to be allowed to do all this. Do you doubt what you are to do?
"Oh, but all this does not apply to Antonius." Even Cotyla would not
venture to say that. For what does not apply to him? A man who, while
he says that he is defending the acts of another, perverts all those
laws of his which we might most properly praise. Caesar wished to drain
the marshes: this man has given all Italy to that moderate man Lucius
Antonius to distribute.--What? has the Roman people adopted this
law?--What? could it be passed with a proper regard for the auspices?
But this conscientious augur acts in reference to the auspices
without his colleagues. Although those auspices do not require any
interpretation;--for who is there who is ignorant that it is impious
to submit any motion to the people while it is thundering? The
tribunes of the people carried laws respecting the provinces in
opposition to the acts of Caesar; Caesar had extended the provisions of
his law over two years; Antonius over six years. Has then the Roman
people adopted this law? What? was it ever regularly promulgated?
What? was it not passed before it was even drawn up? Did we not see
the deed done before we even suspected that it was going to be done?
Where is the Caecilian and Didian law? What is become of the law that
such bills should be published on three market days? What is become of
the penalty appointed by the recent Junian and Licinian law? Can these
laws be ratified without the destruction of all other laws? Has any
one had a right of entering the forum? Moreover, what thunder, and
what a storm that was! so that even if the consideration of the
auspices had no weight with Marcus Antonius, it would seem strange
that he could endure and bear such exceeding violence of tempest, and
rain, and whirlwind. When therefore he, as augur, says that he carried
a law while Jupiter was not only thundering, but almost uttering an
express prohibition of it by his clamour from heaven, will he hesitate
to confess that it was carried in violation of the auspices? What?
does the virtuous augur think that it has nothing to do with the
auspices, that he carried the law with the aid of that colleague whose
election he himself vitiated by giving notice of the auspices?

IV. But perhaps we, who are his colleagues, may be the interpreters
of the auspices? Do we also want interpreters of arms? In the first
place, all the approaches to the forum were so fenced round, that even
if no armed men were standing in the way, still it would have been
impossible to enter the forum except by tearing down the barricades.
But the guards were arranged in such a manner, that, as the access of
an enemy to a city is prevented, so you might in this instance see the
burgesses and the tribunes of the people cut off by forts and works
from all entrance to the forum. On which account I give my vote that
those laws which Marcus Antonius is said to have carried were all
carried by violence, and in violation of the auspices; and that the
people is not bound by them. If Marcus Antonius is said to have
carried any law about confirming the acts of Caesar and abolishing the
dictatorship for ever, and of leading colonies into any lands, then I
vote that those laws be passed over again, with a due regard to the
auspices, so that they may bind the people. For although they may be
good measures which he passed irregularly and by violence, still they
are not to be accounted laws, and the whole audacity of this frantic
gladiator must be repudiated by our authority. But that squandering
of the public money cannot possibly be endured by which he got rid of
seven hundred millions of sesterces by forged entries and deeds of
gifts, so that it seems an absolute miracle that so vast a sum of
money belonging to the Roman people can have disappeared in so short
a time. What? are those enormous profits to be endured which the
household of Marcus Antonius has swallowed up? He was continually
selling forged decrees; ordering the names of kingdoms and states, and
grants of exemptions to be engraved on brass, having received bribes
for such orders. And his statement always was, that he was doing these
things in obedience to the memoranda of Caesar, of which he himself was
the author. In the interior of his house there was going on a brisk
market of the whole republic. His wife, more fortunate for herself
than for her husband, was holding an auction of kingdoms and
provinces: exiles were restored without any law, as if by law: and
unless all these acts are rescinded by the authority of the senate,
now that we have again arrived at a hope of recovering the republic,
there will be no likeness of a free city left to us.

Nor is it only by the sale of forged memoranda and autographs that a
countless sum of money was collected together in that house, while
Antonius, whatever he sold, said that he was acting in obedience to
the papers of Caesar; but he even took bribes to make false entries
of the resolutions of the senate; to seal forged contracts; and
resolutions of the senate that had never been passed were entered
on the records of that treasury. Of all this baseness even foreign
nations were witnesses. In the meantime treaties were made; kingdoms
given away; nations and provinces released from the burdens of the
state; and false memorials of all these transactions were fixed up
all over the Capitol, amid the groans of the Roman people. And by all
these proceedings so vast a sum of money was collected in one house,
that if it were all made available, the Roman people would never want
money again.

V. Moreover, he passed a law to regulate judicial proceedings, this
chaste and upright man, this upholder of the tribunals and the law.
And in this he deceived us. He used to say that he appointed men from
the front ranks of the army, common soldiers, men of the Alauda,[33]
as judges. But he has in reality selected gamesters; he has selected
exiles; he has selected Greeks. Oh the fine bench of judges! Oh the
admirable dignity of that council! I do long to plead in behalf of
some defendant before that tribunal--Cyda of Crete; a prodigy even in
that island; the most audacious and abandoned of men. But even suppose
he were not so. Does he understand Latin? Is he qualified by birth and
station to be a judge? Does he--which is most important--does he know
anything about our laws and manners? Is he even acquainted with any of
the citizens? Why, Crete is better known to you than Rome is to Cyda.
In fact, the selection and appointment of the judges has usually been
confined to our own citizens. But who ever knew, or could possibly
have known this Gortynian judge? For Lysiades, the Athenian, we most
of us do know. For he is the son of Phaedrus, an eminent philosopher.
And, besides, he is a witty man, so that he will be able to get on
very well with Marcus Curius, who will be one of his colleagues, and
with whom he is in the habit of playing. I ask if Lysiades, when
summoned as a judge, should not answer to his name, and should have an
excuse alleged for him that he is an Areopagite, and that he is not
bound to act as a judge at both Rome and Athens at the same time, will
the man who presides over the investigation admit the excuse of this
Greekling judge, at one time a Greek, and at another a Roman? Or will
he disregard the most ancient laws of the Athenians?

And what a bench will it be, O ye good gods! A Cretan judge, and he
the most worthless of men. Whom can a defendant employ to propitiate
him? How is he to get at him? He comes of a hard nation. But the
Athenians are merciful. I dare say that Curius, too, is not cruel,
inasmuch as he is a man who is himself at the mercy of fortune every
day. There are besides other chosen judges who will perhaps be
excused. For they have a legitimate excuse, that they have left their
country in banishment, and that they have not been restored since.
And would that madman have chosen these men as judges, would he have
entered their names as such in the treasury, would he have trusted a
great portion of the republic to them, if he had intended to leave the
least semblance of a republic?

VI. And I have been speaking of those judges who are known. Those whom
you are less acquainted with I have been unwilling to name. Know then
that dancers, harp-players, the whole troop, in fact, of Antonius's
revellers, have all been pitchforked into the third decury of judges.
Now you see the object of passing so splendid and admirable a law,
amid excessive rain, storm, wind, tempest, and whirlwind, amid thunder
and lightning; it was that we might have those men for our judges
whom no one would like to have for guests. It is the enormity of his
wickedness, the consciousness of his crimes, the plunder of that money
of which the account was kept in the temple of Ops, which have been
the real inventors of this third decury. And infamous judges were not
sought for, till all hope of safety for the guilty was despaired of,
if they came before respectable ones. But what must have been the
impudence, what must have been the iniquity of a man who dared to
select those men as judges, by the selection of whom a double disgrace
was stamped on the republic: one, because the judges were so infamous;
the other, because by this step it was revealed and published to the
world how many infamous citizens we had in the republic? These then,
and all other similar laws, I should vote ought to be annulled, even
if they had been passed without violence, and with all proper respect
for the auspices. But now why need I vote that they ought to be
annulled, when I do not consider that they were ever legally passed?

Is not this, too, to be marked with the deepest ignominy, and with the
severest animadversion of this order, so as to be recollected by all
posterity, that Marcus Antonius (the first man who has ever done so
since the foundation of the city) has openly taken armed men about
with him in this city? A thing which the kings never did, nor those
men who, since the kings have been banished, have endeavoured to seize
on kingly power. I can recollect Cinna; I have seen Sylla; and lately
Caesar. For these three men are the only ones since the city was
delivered by Lucius Brutus, who have had more power than the entire
republic. I cannot assert that no man in their trains had weapons.
This I do say, that they had not many, and that they concealed them.
But this pest was attended by an army of armed men. Classitius,
Mustela, and Tiro, openly displaying their swords, led troops of
fellows like themselves through the forum. Barbarian archers occupied
their regular place in the army. And when they arrived at the temple
of Concord, the steps were crowded, the litters full of shields were
arranged; not because he wished the shields to be concealed, but that
his friends might not be fatigued by carrying the shields themselves.

VII. And what was most infamous not only to see, but even to hear of,
armed men, robbers, assassins were stationed in the temple of Concord;
the temple was turned into a prison; the doors of the temple were
closed, and the conscript fathers delivered their opinions while
robbers were standing among the benches of the senators. And if I
did not come to a senate-house in this state, he, on the first of
September, said that he would send carpenters and pull down my house.
It was an important affair, I suppose, that was to be discussed. He
made some motion about a supplication. I attended the day after. He
himself did not come. I delivered my opinion about the republic, not
indeed with quite so much freedom as usual, but still with more than
the threats of personal danger to myself made perhaps advisable. But
that violent and furious man (for Lucius Piso had done the same thing
with great credit thirty days before) threatened me with his enmity,
and ordered me to attend the senate on the nineteenth of September. In
the meantime he spent the whole of the intervening seventeen days in
the villa of Scipio, at Tibur, declaiming against me to make himself
thirsty. For this is his usual object in declaiming. When the day
arrived on which he had ordered me to attend, then he came with a
regular army in battle array to the temple of Concord, and out of his
impure mouth vomited forth an oration against me in my absence. On
which day, if my friends had not prevented me from attending the
senate as I was anxious to do, he would have begun a massacre by the
slaughter of me. For that was what he had resolved to do. And when
once he had dyed his sword in blood, nothing would have made him
leave off but pure fatigue and satiety. In truth, his brother, Lucius
Antonius, was present, an Asiatic gladiator, who had fought as a
Mirmillo,[34] at Mylasa; he was thirsting for my blood, and had shed
much of his own in that gladiatorial combat. He was now valuing our
property in his mind, taking notice of our possessions in the city
and in the country; his indigence united with his covetousness was
threatening all our fortunes; he was distributing our lands to
whomsoever and in whatever shares he pleased; no private individual
could get access to him, or find any means to propitiate him, and
induce him to act with justice. Every former proprietor had just so
much property as Antonius left him after the division of his estate.
And although all these proceedings cannot be ratified, if you annul
his laws, still I think that they ought all to be separately taken
note of, article by article; and that we ought formally to decide that
the appointment of septemvirs was null and void; and that nothing is
ratified which is said to have been done by them.

VIII. But who is there who can consider Marcus Antonius a citizen,
rather than a most foul and barbarous enemy, who, while sitting in
front of the temple of Castor, in the hearing of the Roman people,
said that no one should survive except those who were victorious? Do
you suppose, O conscript fathers, that he spoke with more violence
than he would act? And what are we to think of his having ventured to
say that, after he had given up his magistracy, he should still be at
the city with his army? that he should enter the city as often as he
pleased? What else was this but threatening the Roman people with
slavery? And what was the object of his journey to Brundusium? and of
that great haste? What was his hope, except to lead that vast army
to the city, or rather into the city? What a proceeding was that
selection of the centurions! What unbridled fury of an intemperate
mind! For when those gallant legions had raised an outcry against his
promises, he ordered those centurions to come to him to his house,
whom he perceived to be loyally attached to the republic, and then he
had them all murdered before his own eyes and those of his wife, whom
this noble commander had taken with him to the army. What disposition
do you suppose that this man will display towards us whom he hates,
when he was so cruel to those men whom he had never seen? And how
covetous will he be with respect to the money of rich men, when he
thirsted for even the blood of poor men? whose property, such as it
was, he immediately divided among his satellites and boon companions.

And he in a fury was now moving his hostile standards against his
country from Brundusium, when Caius Caesar, by the kind inspiration of
the immortal gods, by the greatness of his own heavenly courage, and
wisdom, and genius, of his own accord, indeed, and prompted by his own
admirable virtue, but still with the approbation of my authority, went
down to the colonies which had been founded by his father; convoked
the veteran soldiery; in a few days raised an army; and checked the
furious advance of this bandit. But after the Martial legion saw this
admirable leader, it had no other thoughts but those of securing our
liberty. And the fourth legion followed its example.

IX. And Antonius, on hearing of this news, after he had summoned the
senate, and provided a man of consular rank to declare his opinion
that Caius Caesar was an enemy of his country, immediately fainted
away. And afterwards, without either performing the usual sacrifices,
or offering the customary vows, he, I will not say went forth, but
took to flight in his robe as a general. But which way did he flee? To
the province of our most resolute and bravest citizens; men who could
never have endured him if he had not come bringing war in his train,
an intemperate, passionate, insolent, proud man, always making
demands, always plundering, always drunk. But he, whose worthlessness
even when quiet was more than any one could endure, has declared war
upon the province of Gaul; he is besieging Mutina, a valiant and
splendid colony of the Roman people; he is blockading Decimus Brutus,
the general, the consul elect, a citizen born not for himself, but for
us and the republic. Was then Hannibal an enemy, and is Antonius a
citizen? What did the one do like an enemy, that the other has not
done, or is not doing, or planning, and thinking of? What was there
in the whole of the journey of the Antonii; except depopulation,
devastation, slaughter, and rapine? Actions which Hannibal never did,
because he was reserving many things for his own use, these men do,
as men who live merely for the present hour; they never have given a
thought not only to the fortunes and welfare of the citizens, but not
even to their own advantage.

Are we then, O ye good gods, to resolve to send ambassadors to this
man? Are those men who propose this acquainted with the constitution
of the republic, with the laws of war, with the precedents of our
ancestors? Do they give a thought to what the majesty of the Roman
people and the severity of the senate requires? Do you resolve to send
ambassadors? If to beg his mercy, he will despise you; if to declare
your commands he will not listen to them; and last of all, however
severe the message may be which we give the ambassadors, the very name
of ambassadors will extinguish this ardour of the Roman people which
we see at present, and break the spirit of the municipal towns and of
Italy. To say nothing of these arguments, though they are weighty, at
all events that sending of an embassy will cause delay and slowness to
the war. Although those who propose it should say, as I hear that some
intend to say,--"Let the ambassadors go, but let war be prepared for
all the same." Still the very name of ambassadors will damp men's
courage, and delay the rapidity of the war.

X. The most important events, O conscript fathers, are often
determined by very trivial moving influences in every circumstance
that can happen in the republic, and also in war, and especially in
civil war, which is usually governed a great deal by men's opinions
and by reports. No one will ask what is the commission with which we
have sent the ambassadors; the mere name of an embassy, and that sent
by us of our own accord, will appear an indication of fear. Let him
depart from Mutina; let him cease to attack Brutus; let him retire
from Gaul. He must not be begged in words to do so; he must be
compelled by arms. For we are not sending to Hannibal to desire him to
retire from before Saguntum; to whom the senate formerly sent Publius
Valerius Flaccus and Quintus Baebius Tampilus; who, if Hannibal did not
comply, were ordered to proceed to Carthage. Whither do we order our
ambassadors to proceed, if Antonius does not comply? Are we sending an
embassy to our own citizen, to beg him not to attack a general and a
colony of the Roman people? Is it so? Is it becoming to us to beg this
by means of ambassadors? What is the difference, in the name of the
immortal gods, whether he attacks this city itself, or whether he
attacks an outpost of this city, a colony of the Roman people,
established for the sake of its being a bulwark and protection to us?
The siege of Saguntum was the cause of the second Punic war, which
Hannibal carried on against our ancestors. It was quite right to send
ambassadors to him. They were sent to a Carthaginian, they were sent
on behalf of those who were the enemies of Hannibal, and our allies.
What is there resembling that case here? We are sending to one of our
own citizens to beg him not to blockade a general of the Roman army,
not to attack our army and our colony,--in short, not to be an enemy
of ours. Come; suppose he obeys, shall we either be inclined, or shall
we be able by any possibility, to treat him as one of our citizens?

XI. On the nineteenth of December, you overwhelmed him with your
decrees; you ordained that this motion should be submitted to you on
the first of January, which you see is submitted now, respecting the
honours and rewards to be conferred on those who have deserved or do
deserve well of the republic. And the chief of those men you have
adjudged to be the man who really has done so, Caius Caesar, who had
diverted the nefarious attacks of Marcus Antonius against this city,
and compelled him to direct them against Gaul; and next to him you
consider the veteran soldiers who first followed Caesar; then those
excellent and heavenly-minded legions the Martial and the fourth,
to whom you have promised honours and rewards, for having not only
abandoned their consul, but for having even declared war against him.
And on the same day, having a decree brought before you and published
on purpose, you praised the conduct of Decimus Brutus, a most
excellent citizen, and sanctioned with your public authority this war
which he had undertaken of his own head.

What else, then, did you do on that day except pronounce Antonius a
public enemy? After these decrees of yours, will it be possible for
him to look upon you with equanimity, or for you to behold him without
the most excessive indignation? He has been excluded and cut off and
wholly separated from the republic, not merely by his own wickedness,
as it seems to me, but by some especial good fortune of the republic.
And if he should comply with the demands of the ambassadors and return
to Rome, do you suppose that abandoned citizens will ever be in need
of a standard around which to rally? But this is not what I am so much
afraid of. There are other things which I am more apprehensive of
and more alarmed at. He never will comply with the demands of the
ambassadors. I know the man's insanity and arrogance; I know the
desperate counsels of his friends, to which he is wholly given up.
Lucius his brother, as being a man who has fought abroad, leads on
his household. Even suppose him to be in his senses himself, which he
never will be; still he will not be allowed by these men to act as if
he were so. In the mean time, time will be wasted. The preparations
for war will cool. How is it that the war has been protracted as long
as this, if it be not by procrastination and delay?

From the very first moment after the departure, or rather after the
hopeless flight of that bandit, that the senate could have met in
freedom, I have always been demanding that we should be called
together. The first day that we were called together, when the consuls
elect were not present, I laid, in my opinion, amid the greatest
unanimity on your part, the foundations of the republic, later,
indeed, than they should have been laid, for I could not do so before,
but still if no time had been lost after that day, we should have no
war at all now. Every evil is easily crushed at its birth, when it has
become of long standing, it usually gets stronger. But then everybody
was waiting for the first of January, perhaps not very wisely.

XII However, let us say no more of what is past. Are we still to allow
any further delay while the ambassadors are on their road to him? and
while they are coming back again? and the time spent in waiting for
them will make men doubt about the war. And while the fact of the war
is in doubt, how can men possibly be zealous about the levies for the

Wherefore, O conscript fathers, I give my vote that there should be no
mention made of ambassadors I think that the business that is to be
done must be done without any delay, and instantly. I say that it is
necessary that we should decree that there is sedition abroad, that we
should suspend the regular courts of justice, order all men to wear
the garb of war, and enlist men in all quarters, suspending all
exemptions from military service in the city and in all Italy, except
in Gaul. And if this be done, the general opinion and report of your
severity will overwhelm the insanity of that wicked gladiator. He
will feel that he has undertaken a war against the republic, he will
experience the sinews and vigour of a unanimous senate For at present
he is constantly saying that it is a mere struggle between parties.
Between what parties? One party is defeated, the other is the heart
of Caius Caesar's party. Unless, indeed, we believe that the party
of Caesar is attacked by Pansa and Hirtius the consuls, and by Caius
Caesar's son. But this war has been kindled, not by a struggle between
parties, but by the nefarious hopes of the most abandoned citizens, by
whom all our estates and properties have been marked down, and already
distributed according as every one has thought them desirable.

I have read the letter of Antonius which he sent to one of the
septemviri, a thoroughpaced scoundrel, a colleague of his own, "Look
out, and see what you take a fancy to, what you do fancy you shall
certainly have". See to what a man we are sending ambassadors, against
what a man we are delaying to make war, a man who does not even let us
draw lots for our fortunes, but hands us over to each man's caprice in
such a way, that he has not left even himself anything untouched, or
which has not been promised to somebody. With this man, O conscript
fathers, we must wage war,--war, I say, and that instantly. We must
reject the slow proceedings of ambassadors.

Therefore, that we may not have a number of decrees to pass every day,
I give my vote that the whole republic should be committed to the
consuls, and that they should have a charge given them to defend the
republic, and to take care "that the republic suffer no injury." And
I give my vote that those men who are in the army of Antonius be not
visited with blame, if they leave him before the first of February.

If you adopt these proposals of mine, O conscript fathers, you will
in a short time recover the liberty of the Roman people and our own
authority. But if you act with more mildness, still you will pass
those resolutions, but perhaps you will pass them too late. As to
the general welfare of the republic, on which you, O consuls, have
consulted us, I think that I have proposed what is sufficient.

XIII. The next question is about honours. And to this point I perceive
that I must speak next. But I will preserve the same order in paying
respect to brave men, that is usually preserved in asking their

Let us, therefore, according to the usages of our ancestors, begin
with Brutus, the consul elect, and, to say nothing of his former
conduct,--which has indeed been most admirable, but still such as has
been praised by the individual judgments of men, rather than by public
authority,--what words can we find adequate to his praise at this very
time? For such great virtue requires no reward except this one of
praise and glory; and even if it were not to receive that, still it
would be content with itself, and would rejoice at being laid up in
the recollection of grateful citizens, as if it were placed in the
full light. The praise then of our deliberate opinion, and of our
testimony in his favour, must be given to Brutus. Therefore, O
conscript fathers, I give my vote that a resolution of the senate be
passed in these words:

"As Decimus Brutus, imperator, consul elect is maintaining the
province of Gaul in obedience to the senate and people of Rome, and as
he has enlisted and collected in so short a time a very numerous army,
being aided by the admirable zeal of the municipal towns and colonies
of the province of Gaul, which has deserved and still does deserve
admirably well of the republic, he has acted rightly and virtuously,
and greatly for the advantage of the republic. And that most excellent
service done by Decimus Brutus to the republic, is and always will be
grateful to the senate and people of Rome. Therefore, the senate and
the Roman people is of opinion that the exertions, and prudence,
and virtue of Decimus Brutus, imperator and consul elect, and the
incredible zeal and unanimity of the province of Gaul, have been a
great assistance to the republic, at a most critical time."

What honour, O conscript fathers, can be too great to be due to such a
mighty service as this of Brutus, and to such important aid as he
has afforded the republic? For if Gaul had been open to Marcus
Antonius--if after having overwhelmed the municipal towns and colonies
unprepared to resist him, he had been able to penetrate into that
further Gaul--what great danger would have hung over the republic!
That most insane of men, that man so headlong and furious in all his

Book of the day: