« AnteriorContinuar »
QUAE ERANT SORTITA (words of the
decree, hence sortita passive, an
Att. iv. 18, 1.1 lepidum quo excidat.
lepidum quo exedar!
statua . . . In illa autem . .. in
scriptum est Cos.
ubi tu qui ais ?
από της προεκκειμένης ημέρας: όσας.
Iulia lege transita ... exceptus facit
ut mihi excipiendus sit.
statua . . . In illa autem inscriptum
from some lost poet.)
ad a. d. vi. Id. Them. fuga Cariolani fuga redituque. ego, ut sitio rem, ita. pipulo ac convicio, or pipulo convicio.
APPENDIX TO INTRODUCTION.
ON THB RELATIONS OF CICERO WITH CAESAR AND POMPEIUS BEFORE THE
OUTBREAK OF THE CIVIL WAR.
On pp. 31, 32 (note) above I have quoted some of the words in which a very brilliant reviewer of the first edition of this volume (Times, August 16, 1880), gives his view of this question. I now give the whole of the passage referred to :
“ It cannot be denied that Cicero had too little moral force for the age in which he lived. A mixture of Cato's constancy with Cicero's judgment and taste would have made a model statesman. But posterity would have formed a far higher ople nion of Cicero if this impulsiveness and irresolution had not been noted down for ever at the moment in his letters. Charges of inconsistency and shuffling against even some of our most 'thorough' statesmen might, perhaps, be hard to meet if we had the chronicle of their inmost thoughts before us in black and white to use as evidence. And Cicero's letters to Atticus must, in charity, be read by this light. It is interesting to notice Cicero's estimate of Pompeius at different stages of his career. His real opinion of the man is contained in a curious passage in Att., Bk. i.:
He is affectionate towards me openly; but his dislike is sufficiently obvious. He has no courtesy, no candour, no high-mindedness in his public life, no brilliancy, no resolution, no generosity.' Pompeius's behaviour in face of the victorious advance of Caesar in Italy is thus described : “But our Gnæus—is it not incredible and heartbreaking ?-is completely prostrate! He has no heart, no head, no activity, no troops. It was indeed a cruel disappointment to one who had written to Cælius two years before that Pompeius was a great citizen, and of mind and discretion adequate to all possible emergencies.' But Cicero's contempt for the man himself vanishes when he regards him as the representative of the optima causa, the champion of the Senate and the ancient constitution. He then thinks only of the dignity of Pompeius's position ; of the many ties which bind him to himself: he calls him his dear friend, with whom ho stands or falls. But did Cicero sincerely believe Pompeius to be the champion of the Republic ? This is the nutshell in which the whole question of this part of Cicero's policy lies. If he did believe it, it was his stern duty to adhere to the Pompeians. If he did not, it was open to him either to remain neutral, or to side with whicheter
leader was in his opinion best fitted to govern the State. Cicero makes no disguise to Atticus of his opinion on this point. In March of 49 he writes :
“•What both rivals seek is absolute power; they have not cared ore jot for the prosperity and honour of the State. Nor, indeed, did Pompeius leave the city because he could not defend it, nor Italy because he was driven thence; but from the beginning his design was to move every land and sea, to incite barbarian kings to bring savage nations against Italy, to assemble the largest armies he could. That is the sort of Sullan dominion which many of his suite have long been thirsting for. Do you think an arrangement might not have been come to between the two? Why, such might be framed even at this moment; but our friend (Pompeius) will have none of it; both rivals, I repeat, wish to reign.'
"Thus it is clear that Cicero knew that Pompeius was only using the Constitution as a peg on which to hang his pretensions. Possessing this knowledge, Cicero had no justification for the course he took. Professor Tyrrell is quite right in complaining of Mommsen's and Mr. Beesly's condemnation of Cicero for 'taking the wrong side.' This is refusing to take Cicero's point of view; for how could he know that Caesar's was the right cause? It is easy for us who live long after the event to call Caesar's the 'right' side; to Cicero Caesar's supremacy was a synonym for anarchy. But Professor Tyrrell does not realize the weakness of Cicero in embracing the cause of a party-chief whom he confesses repeatedly to have had no other aim than the tyranny of Rome. If we could not have expected Cicero to join Caesar, neither ought he, as he himself proves, to have sided with Pompeius. But patent as was that leader's imposture, Cicero dared not follow out his conviction to its logical result-neutrality. Strictly considered, his course admits no justification ; but it deserves every excuse on the score of long political association with Pompeius and the Optimates, and above all of his opinion of Caesar and his suite. That opinion was extraordinary, and, as it turned out, unwarranted; but it was sincere. He looked on Caesar as a Saturninus or a Catiline, a reckless adventurer, a canceller of debts, a wholesale confiscator of property. He cannot plead a semblance of constitutionalism in his acts.' 'How can this man act otherwise than profligately?' He calls Caesar's retinue vérvia—'a troop of shadows,' referring to their unsubstantial character-men who had everything to win and nothing to lose. 'He is red-hot with fury and crime. It is hardly astonishing that this estimate of Caesar's morality should have increased his hankerings after the opposite camp."
In answer to this I appealed above to the prevailing tone of Cicero's letters. I now, therefore, proceed to summarise as briefly as I can the evidence afforded by the letters on this point. I shall simply present an array of quotations. This is, surely, the most direct way of settling a question like the present; yet it is strange how seldom such a course is adopted.
Cicero did not look on neutrality as at all a possible course for a man of honour :
Quid ergo, inquis, acturus, es ? idem quod pecudes, quae dispulsae sui generis secuntur greges : ut bos armenta, sic ego bonos viros, aut eos quicunque dicentur boni, sequar, etiam si ruent. (Att. vii. 7, 7.)
Si erit bellum, cum Pompeio esse constitui. (Att. vii. 26, 3.)
(Depugnabo) cum bona quidem spe vel vincendi vel in libertate moriendi. (Att.! vii. 9, 4).
Si enim castris res geretur, video cum altero vinci satius esse quam cum altero. vincere. (Att. vii. 1, 4.)
Sin bellum geretur non deero officio nec dignitati meae. (Att. vii. 17, 4.)
Sive enim ad concordiam res adduci potest sive ad bonorum victoriam, utriusvis rei me aut adiutorem velim esse, aut certe non expertem. (Att. vü. 1, 2.)
Cicero is resolved to follow Pompeius.
(1). Through gratitude and affection :-
Cum merita Pompeii summa erga salutem meam, familiaritasque quae mihi cum eo est, tum ipsa reipublicae causa me adducit, ut mihi vel consilium meum cum illius consilio, vel fortuna cum fortuna coniungenda esse videatur. (Att. viii. 3, 2.)
Εί τοις ευεργέταις και φίλοις συγκινδυνευτέον εν ταις πολιτικούς καν μη δοκώσιν εε BeBouleuobai tepl Tv 8xwv. (Att. ix. 4, 2).
Quid si non étalpo solum sed etiam evepyétn? (Att. ix. 5, 3.)
Beneficium sequor, mihi crede, non causam . . . causa igitur non bona est? immo optima : sed agetur (memento) foedissime. (Att. ix. 7, 3.)
Nec mohercule hoc facio reipublicae causa quam funditus deletam puto; sed ne quis me putet ingratum in eum qui me levavit iis incommodis quibus idem adfecerat. (Att. ix. 19, 2.)
Ego pro Pompeio lubenter omori possum. Facio pluris omnium hominum neminem. Sed non ita : 'uno in eo iudico spem de salute reipublicae,' (Att. viii. 2, 4.)
(2). As leader of the Optimates :5Si maneo et illum comitatum optimorum et clarissimorum civium desero. (Att. vii. 3, 1.)
Dabimus hoc Pompeio quod debemus. Nam me quidem alius nemo movet ; non sermo bonorum qui nulli sunt; non causa quae acta timide est, agetur improbe. Uni, uni hoc damus ne id quidem roganti, nec suam causam (ut ait) agenti, sed publicam. (Att. ix. 4.)
Εί και μη δοκιμάζοντα την διά πολέμου κατάλυσιν της τυραννίδος, συναπογραπτέον Puws rois åplotois. (Att. ix. 4, 2.)
(3). As about to restore the Republic:
Quando Pompeius rempublicam recuperarit. (Att. vii. 3, 2.)
Sed me movet unus vir; cuius fugientis comes, rempublicam recuperantis, videor esse debere. (Att. viii. 14, 2.)
Tali viro talem causam agenti. (Att. ix. 5, 3.)
III. Cicero, however, sees faults many and serious in the optimate side and Pompeius.
(1). He despises their dilatoriness, irresolution, weakness, and abandonment of principle.
Bellum nostri nullum administrant. (Att. vii. 20, 1.)
Nulla causa, nullae vires, nulla sedes quo concurrant qui rempublicam defensam velint. (Att. vii. 3, 4.)
Quem fugiam habeo, quem sequar non habeo. (Att. viii. 7, 2.) See also to end of this letter.
At ille tibi, round xalpely to kang dicens, pergit Brundisium. (Att. viii. 8, 2.)'
Quid hoc miserius, quam alterum plausum in foedissima causa quaerere, alterum offensiones in optima? alterum existimari conservatorem inimicorum, alterum desertorem amicorum. (Att. viii. 9, 3.) Nihil fieri potest miserius, nihil perditius, nihil foedius. (Att. viii. 11, 4.)
(2). He fears that they will inflict a terrible vengeance on their enemies.
lovi ipsi iniquum. (Att. viii. 16, 2.)
Homini magis ad vastandam Italiam quam ad vincendum parato. (Att. viii. 16, 2.)
Bellum crudele et exitiosum suscipi a Pompeio intellegebam. (Att. ix. 6, 7.)
Mirandum in modum Gnaeus noster Sullani regni similitudinem concupivit ... (causa) agetur ... foedissime. (Att. ix. 7, 3.)
Huius belli genus fugi, et eo magis quod crudeliora etiam cogitari et parari videbam. (Att. ix. 10, 3.)
Bellum . . . comparat non iniustum ille quidem sed cum pium tum etiam necessarium, suis tamen civibus exitiabile nisi vicerit, calamitosum etiam si vicerit. (Att. x. 4, 3.)
(3). He fears that Pompeius and the Optimates strive for tyranny as well as Caesar.
De sua potentia dimicant homines hoc tempore, periculo civitatis. (Att. vii. 3, 4.).
Quorum atrique semper patriae salus et dignitas posterior sua dominatione ... fuit. (Att. x. 4, 4.)
IV. Caesar's side he will not, cannot, join.
(1). He looks on Caesar as a leader of revolutionists, and regards his as the wrong side.
Omnes damnatos, omnes ignominia adfectos, omnes damnatione ignominiaque dignos illac facere. (Att. vii. 3,5.)
(At. vii. ant. vii. 3, 4.)