Letters to Atticus/2.8

Translated by Evelyn Shuckburgh

To Atticus at RomeEdit

Antium, April 59 BCEdit

When I had been eagerly expecting a letter from you as usual till evening, lo and behold a message that slaves have come from Rome. I summon them: I ask if they have any letters. "No," say they. "What do you say," said I, "nothing from Pomponius?" Frightened to death by my voice and look, they confessed that they had received one, and that it had been lost on the journey. Need I say more? I was intensely annoyed. For no letter has come from you for the last few days without something in it important and entertaining. In these circumstances, if there was anything in the letter dated 15th April, worth telling, pray write at once, that I may not be left in ignorance; but if there was nothing but banter, repeat even that for my benefit. And let me inform you that young Curio has been to call on me. What he said about Publius agreed exactly with your letter. He himself, moreover, wonderfully "holds our proud kings in hate."[1] He told me that the young men generally were equally incensed, and could not put up with the present state of things. If there is hope in them, we are in a good way. My opinion is that we should leave things to take their course. I am devoting myself to my memoir. However, though you may think me a Saufeius,[2] I am really the laziest fellow in the world. But get into your head my several journeys, that.you may settle where you intend to come and see me. I intend to arrive at my Formian house on the Parilia (21st April). Next, since you think that at this time I ought to leave out luxurious Crater,[3] on the 1st of May I leave Formiae, intending to reach Antium on the 3rd of May. For there are games at Antium from the 4th to the 6th of May, and Tullia wants to see them. Thence I think of going to Tusculum, thence to Arpinum, and be at Rome on the 1st of June. Be sure that we see you at Formiae or Antium, or at Tusculum. Rewrite your previous letter for me, and add something new.


  1. A verse from Lucilius. "Young Curio" is the future tribune of B.C. 50, who was bribed by Caesar, joined him at Ravenna at the end of that year, was sent by him in B.C. 49 to Sicily and Africa, and fell in battle with the Pompeians and King Iuba.
  2. L. Saufeius, the Epicurean friend of Atticus (see Letter II). He seems to mean, "as indefatigable as Saufeius." But Prof. Tyrrell points out that it might mean, "at the risk of your thinking me a Epicurean and self-indulgent as Saufeius, I say," etc.
  3. The bay of Misenum, near which was Cicero's Pompeianum.