Letters to Atticus/4.11

To Atticus at RomeEdit

Cumae, April 55 BCEdit

I was delighted with your two letters which I received together on the 26th. Go on with the story. I long to know all the facts of what you write about. Also I should like you to find out what this means: you can do so from Demetrius. Pompey told me that he was expecting Crassus in his Alban villa on the 27th: that as soon as he arrived, they were going at once to Rome to settle accounts with the publicani. I asked, "During the gladiatorial exhibitions?" He answered, "Before they were begun." What that means I wish you would send me word either at once, if you know, or when he has reached Rome. I am engaged here in devouring books with the aid of that wonderful fellow Dionysius,[1] for, by Hercules, that is what he seems to me to be. He sends compliments to you and all your party.

No bliss so great as knowing all that is.

Wherefore indulge my thirst for knowledge by telling what happened on the first and on the second day of the shows: what about the Censors,[2] what about Appius,[3] what about that she-Appuleius of the people?[4] Finally, pray write me word what you are doing yourself. For, to tell the truth, revolutions don't give me so much pleasure as a letter from you. I took no one out of town with me except Dionysius: yet I am in no fear of wanting conversation—so delightful do I find that youth. Pray give my book to Lucceius.[5] I send you the book of Demetrius of Magnesia,[6] that there may be a messenger on the spot to bring me back a letter from you.


  1. A learned freedman of Atticus's.
  2. See Letter CXII. Censors were elected this year, but the powers of the censorship had been much curtailed by a law of Clodius in B.C. 58.
  3. Appius Claudius (brother of Clodius) was a candidate for the consulship of B.C. 54.
  4. Clodius, a revolutionary, like Appuleius Saturninus. The feminine gender is an insult.
  5. Either his poem "On his own Times," or the notes of events which he had promised in Letter CVIII.
  6. A treatise on union (peri homonoias). The rhetorician Dionysius of Magnesia had been with Cicero during his tour in Asia.