Translated by Evelyn Shuckburgh

To Q. Tullius Cicero in GaulEdit

Cumae, May 54 BCEdit

I have up to now received two letters from you, one just as I was leaving town, the other dated Ariminum: others which you say in your letter that you have sent I have not received. I am having a fairly pleasant time (except that you are not here) at Cumae and [w:Pompeii|Pompeii]], and intend staying in these parts till the 1st of June. I am writing the treatise of which I spoke to you, On the Republic, a very bulky and laborious work. But if it turns out as I wish, it will be labour well bestowed, and if not I shall toss it into the very sea which I have before my eyes as I write, and set to work on something else; since to do nothing is beyond my power. I will carefully observe your instruction both as to attaching certain persons to myself and not alienating certain others. But my chief care will be to see your son, or rather our son, if possible, every day at any rate, and to watch the progress of his education as often as possible; and, unless he declines my help, I will even offer to be his instructor, a practice to which I have become habituated in the leisure of these days while bringing my own boy, the younger Cicero, on. Yes, do as you say in your letter, what, even if you had not said so, I know you do with the greatest care—digest, follow up, and carry out my instructions. For my part, when I get to Rome, I will let no letter-carrier of Caesar go without a letter for you. During these days you must excuse me: there has been no one to whom I could deliver a letter until the present bearer M. Orfius, a Roman knight, a man that is my friend as well from personal consideration as because he comes from the municipium of Atella,[1] which you know is under my patronage. Accordingly, I recommend him to you with more than common warmth, as a man in a brilliant position in his own town and looked up to even beyond it. Pray attach him to yourself by your liberal treatment of him: he is a military tribune in your army. You will find him grateful and attentive. I earnestly beg you to be very friendly to Trebatius.


  1. A municipium of Campania nine miles from Naples.