Letters to Atticus/4.13

To Atticus at RomeEdit

Tusculum, 15 November 55 BCEdit

I see that you know of my arrival at Tusculum on the 14th of November. I found Dionysius there. I wish to be at Rome on the 17th. Why do I say "wish"? Rather I am forced to be so. Milo's wedding. There is some idea of an election. Even supposing that to be confirmed,[1] I am glad to have been absent from the wrangling debates which I am told have taken place in the senate. For I should either have defended him, which would have been against my opinion, or have deserted him whom I was bound to defend. But, by Hercules, describe to me to the utmost of your power those events, and the present state of politics, and how the consuls stand this bother. I am very ravenous for news, and, to tell you the truth, I feel no confidence in anything. Our friend Crassus indeed, people say, started in his official robes with less dignity than in the old times did L. Paullus,[2] at the same time of life as he is, and, like him, in his second consulship. What a sorry fellow! About my oratorical books, I have been working hard. They have been long in hand and much revised: you can get them copied.[3] I again beg of you an outline sketch of the present situation, that I may not arrive in Rome quite a stranger.


  1. Ego, ut sit rata, Schutz's reading, which seems the best for the unintelligible ergo et si irata of the MSS. It would mean, "though I regret not having been back for Domitius's election (if it has taken place), I am glad to have been away from the previous wrangling in the senate."
  2. Crassus starts for Syria; he compares him to L. Aemilius Paullus starting for the war with Perses (B.C. 168). Paullus was, like Crassus, sixty years old, and in his second consulship. Paullus set out with good omens, Crassus with a curse, denounced by the tribune C. Ateius Capito (de Div. 1.29; Plutarch, Crass. 16).
  3. By his librarii. Atticus was again acting as his publisher.