Cicero /

Edited by: Ingo Gildenhard, Louise Hodgson, et al.

DE IMPERIO 46 ESSAY

Auctoritas supreme

Cicero now sums up his discussion of auctoritas, using some of the same pieces of evidence he mustered to illustrate Pompey’s virtus. The geographical sweep in the first sentence (quod ex locis tam longinquis tamque diversis tam brevi tempore omnes huic se uni dediderunt) recalls similar formulations in § 31 (Hoc tantum bellum, tam turpe, tam vetus, tam late divisum atque dispersum, quis umquam arbitraretur aut ab omnibus imperatoribus uno anno aut omnibus annis ab uno imperatore confici posse?) and § 35 (Ita tantum bellum, tam diuturnum, tam longe lateque dispersum, quo bello omnes gentes ac nationes premebantur, Cn. Pompeius extrema hieme apparavit, ineunte vere susceptit, media aestate confecit) among others. Also in § 35, Cicero had already brought the Cretan embassy to Pompey into play (idem Cretensibus, cum ad eum usque in Pamphyliam legatos deprecatoresque misissent, spem deditionis non ademit, obsidesque imperavit), which he revisits here in some more detail. The illos reges Cicero mentions at the end of the paragraph hark back to his discussion of Mithridates and Tigranes in § 45. And his concluding reference to the amplification of Pompey’s auctoritas through his own deeds and magnis vestris iudiciis reiterates the socio-political economy that Cicero outlined at the beginning of the section (§ 43: de quo homine vos, – id quod maxime facit auctoritatem, – tanta et tam praeclara iudicia fecistis?).

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