[107] Quid ego illās istīus minās contumēliāsque commemorem quibus invectus est in Sidicīnōs, vexāvit Puteolānōs, quod C. Cassium et Brūtōs patrōnōs adoptāssent? magnō quidem studiō, iūdiciō, benevolentiā, cāritāte, nōn, ut tē et Basilum, vī et armīs, et aliōs vestrī similīs quōs clientīs nēmō habēre velit, nōn modo illōrum cliēns esse. intereā dum tū abes, quī diēs ille collēgae tuō fuit, cum illud quod venerārī solēbās bustum in forō ēvertit! quā rē tibi nūntiāta, ut cōnstābat inter eōs quī ūnā fuērunt, concīdistī. quid ēvēnerit posteā nesciō — metum crēdō valuisse et arma; collēgam quidem dē caelō dētrāxistī effēcistīque nōn tū quidem etiam nunc ut similis tuī, sed certē ut dissimilis esset suī.

Symbolic Strutting after Caesar

The paragraph falls into two halves: in the first (Quid ego … cliens esse), Cicero continues to belabour the theme of Antony’s maltreatment of local communities in Italy that happened to pique his anger, though the praeteritio-mode he now adopts suggests that he is starting to run out of steam. Halfway through, his focus turns back to Rome (interea dum tu abes … ut dissimilis esset sui), and he homes in on an event that happened in the capital during Antony’s absence: Dolabella’s destruction of the altar to Caesar erected by Amatius. The thematic link between the two halves consists in the invocation of the persons and policies that support Cicero’s republican politics. [more] [study questions]

Quid ego illas istius minas contumeliasque commemorem quibus invectus est in Sidicinos, vexavit Puteolanos, quod C. Cassium et Brutos patronos adoptassent?: Cicero launches into another praeteritio cast in the form of a rhetorical question. The main verb is commemorem (in the ‘deliberative’ subjunctive), followed by a bipartite relative clause (invectus estvexavit), in asyndetic sequence introduced by quibus. The sentence finishes with a causal quod-clause, with a syncopated third person plural pluperfect subjunctive active (adopta|vi|ssent) as verb. Causal sentences with quod (quiaquoniamquando) take the indicative in direct discourse, but the subjunctive in indirect discourse, whether explicit or — as here — implied: ‘because [so Antony said] they had adopted…’: see Gildersleeve and Lodge 349–50.

illas istius minas contumeliasque: the two accusative objects (linked by -que), the demonstrative adjective illas and the demonstrative pronoun istius form a phonetically well-balanced unit, with touches of alliteration (il-, is-), homoioteleuton (-las, -nas, -lias), and sound-play (minas ~ -melias). The disdain built into istius stands out more prominently against a background of three words ending in -as.

Sidicinos: the Sidicini inhabited territory along the Liri River around their capital Teanum Sidicinum (modern day Teano).

Puteolanos: the Puteolani were located at the northern end of the bay of Naples. Their capital was Puteoli (modern day Pozzuoli).

C. Cassium et Brutos: Gaius Cassius and Marcus and Decimus Brutus (note that Brutos is in the plural) were the three leading figures among the assassins of Caesar.

magno quidem studio, iudicio, benevolentia, caritate [C. Cassium et Brutos patronos adoptaverunt], non, ut te et Basilum, vi et armis, et alios vestri similis quos clientis nemo habere velit, non modo illorum cliens esse: to understand the syntax here, it is necessary to import the verb and the accusative object from the previous sentence. Cicero compares and contrasts the reasons why the Sidicini and the people of Puteoli adopted Cassius and the Bruti as their patrons (detailed in four causal ablatives in asyndetic sequence at the beginning of the sentence) with the reason why other, unnamed communities ‘preferred’ Antony and Basilus: vi et armis — as a result of force of arms. He concludes the sentence by turning Antony and Basilus into representatives of a larger ilk (et alios vestri similis), which no one wishes to have as clients, let alone as patrons.

magno quidem studio, iudicio, benevolentia, caritate: ‘out of great devotion, esteem (for this sense of iudicium, see OLDs.v. 10), goodwill, and affection’: the reason for this outpour of positive emotion is the fact that Cassius and the two Bruti freed the commonwealth from tyranny. iudicium, which emphasizes considered judgement and free decision-making, offers a sharp contrast to the use of physical force by Antony and his ilk.

Basilum: the reference is to M. Satrius, who acquired the cognomen Basilus when he was adopted by his maternal uncle L. Minucius Basilus; according to Cicero, On Duties (de Officiis) 3.74, he became a patron of the Picenian and Sabine territory (patronum agri Piceni et Sabini), which Cicero considered a disgrace (o turpem notam temporum illorum), apparently by employing the same means as Antony to get what he wanted — the threat of physical violence.

alios vestri similissimilis is accusative plural agreeing with alios (= similes). The genitive vestri, which depends on similis, refers back to Antony and Basilus: ‘others similar to you (pl.).

quos clientis nemo habere velit, non modo illorum cliens esse: ‘whom no-one wishes to have as clients (clientis is accusative plural = clientes), let alone be a client of theirs’. With non modo (‘not to speak of, let alone’: OLD s.v. 2b; here ‘curiously used for nedum’: Denniston (1926: 165), Cicero partly falls out of the syntax of the relative clause introduced by quos, continuing with the demonstrative pronoun illorum (rather than a second relative pronoun), but carrying over subject (nemo) and verb (velit): quos clientis nemo habere velit [et quorum] cliens (nemo) esse (velit). He lands a double punch, not just disqualifying Antony as a desirable patronus, but also hitting below the belt by haughtily assessing (and dismissing) him as a potential cliens.

interea dum tu abes, qui dies ille collegae tuo fuit, cum illud quod venerari solebas bustum in foro evertit!dum + present indicative (here abes) captures an on-going situation in the course of which a single event occurs, quite irrespective of the tense of the main verb (here the perfect fuit): OLD s.v. dum 3b: ‘during the time that’, ‘while’. Retaining the present tense in English would sound weird, but a noun phrase could do the trick: ‘Meanwhile, during your absence, what a day that was for your colleague, when…’

illud … bustumillud agrees with bustum, which is the antecedent of the relative pronoun quod and the accusative object of evertit. The monument that Amatius and his followers erected seems to have consisted of a column made of Numidian marble inscribed with PARENTI PATRIAE (‘To the Father of the Country’) (see Suetonius, Life of Julius Caesar85) and an altar (ara) for sacrifices (Cic. Fam. 11.2.2 = 329 SB). Cicero’s consistent reference to the monument as a bustum(which means ‘funeral pyre’ or ‘tomb’) in his Philippics (see already Phil. 1.30) is therefore polemical: it was designed to bring to mind the botched funeral and the half-burnt corpse (see §§ 90–91) and emphasize Caesar’s mortality: the dictator is dead and done, rather than dead and deified.

qua re tibi nuntiata, ut constabat inter eos qui una fuerunt, concidisti: Cicero lines up his unanimous eyewitnesses first (ut constabat … fuerunt) before specifying what they saw: that Antony collapsed upon hearing the news. Why he should do so is a puzzle: with his execution of pseudo-Marius, he had done his bit to suppress the cultic worship of Caesar. The news that Dolabella had taken a further step will have been unwelcome, but not sufficiently so to justify a collapse on the spot. Perhaps Cicero simply hams up Antony’s mental instability — or he wishes to suggest that Antony is emotionally invested in the veneration of a dead person. Philippic 2, after all, postdates Antony’s endorsement of Caesar’s deification on 1 September, and Cicero wouldn’t have thought twice of falsely superimposing the implications of recent developments onto the events in spring if this served his invective purpose.

qua re tibi nuntiataqua is a connecting relative (= et ea) modifying re; the whole phrase is an ablative absolute.

quid evenerit postea nescio — metum credo valuisse et arma; collegam quidem de caelo detraxisti effecistique non tu quidem etiam nunc ut similis tui [esset], sed certe [effecisti] ut dissimilis esset sui: the previous sentence suggests radical differences between Antony and Dolabella, even though Cicero knew all too well that they were very much in cahoots during the period in question. He now feigns ignorance, before speculating about the reason why Dolabella, after trying to increase his republican credentials with the destruction of the place of Caesar’s worship, continued to collaborate closely with Antony. As a result, Dolabella, shortly after elevating himself to the stars (or being praised to the sky by people like Cicero: see Fam. 9.14 = 326 SB and Att. 14.15–16 = 369–370 SB), comes back down to earth in terms of republican esteem, and while he is not quite as bad as Antony, his close association with Antony means that he is no longer his old self.

quid evenerit postea nescionescio governs an indirect question (quid … postea), hence the (perfect) subjunctive evenerit.

metum credo valuisse et armacredo governs an indirect statement with metum and arma — in husteron proteron: the threat of physical violence (arma) induces fear (metum) — as subject accusatives and valuisse as infinitive. As his correspondence shows, Cicero knows that the reasons he gives here are false: Antony won Dolabella over by paying off his debts with public money. See Att. 14.18 = 373 SB and 16.15.1 = 426 SB.

effecistique non tu quidem etiam nunc ut similis tui [esset], sed certe [effecisti] ut dissimilis esset sui: and (while) you indeed (tu quidem) did not achieve even now (etiam nunc) that he became like you (tui is the genitive of the personal pronoun in the second person singular depending on similis), you certainly (certe) did manage that he became unlike himself (sui is the genitive of the personal pronoun in the third person singular depending on dissimilis). Cicero is trying to grade political villainy, suggesting that Antony has a corrupting influence on someone of sound moral and political fibre. He perverts Dolabella’s true identity — though falls short of turning him into a spitting image of himself.

minae –ārum f. pl.: threats, menaces; projecting points, pinnacles

contumēlia contumēliae f.: insult

commemorō commemorāre commemorāvī commemorātus: to recall (to self/other); keep in mind, remember; mention/relate; place on record

invehō –ere –vexī –vectus: to carry into or forward; (pass.), invehi, to ride or drive; sail; w. acc. of place, sail to, arrive at, or in; enter

Sidicīni -ōrum: of the Sidicini

vexō vexāre vexāvī vexātus: to annoy, vex, attack; afflict

Puteolānus -a -um: of the Puteoli

quod: because, the fact that

Gāius –iī m.: Gaius

Cassius –iī m.: Cassius (a Roman cognomen)

Brūtus –ī m.: Brutus, a surname of the Junian gens, derived from Lucius Junius Brutus, the patrician leader who delivered Rome from the Tarquins

patrōnus patrōnī m.: protector, defender, patron; (in law) defending counsel, advocate, lawyer

optō –āre: to take by choice, select, choose, adopt

benevolentia benevolentiae f.: goodwill, benevolence

cāritās cāritātis f.: dearness, affection

Basilus –ī m.: agnomen pf Lucius Minucius Basilus, an officer in Caesar's army

cliēns clientis m.: client (of a patron), dependent

intereā: meanwhile

collēga collēgae m.: colleague (in official/priestly office); associate, fellow (not official)

veneror venerārī venerātus sum: to venerate

būstum –ī n.: the mound where the dead have been burned; funeral pile; tomb (cf. comburo)

ēvertō ēvertere ēvertī ēversus: to overturn, overthrow

nūntiō nuntiāre nuntiāvī nuntiātus: to announce/report/bring word/give warning; convey/deliver/relate message/greeting

ūnā: together, together with; at the same time, along with

concidō concidere concidī: to fall down, fall faint, fall dead, fall victim, fall to earth, fall short, collapse; drop, subside; decline; perish, be slain/sacrificed; lose one's case, fail, give out, lose heart, decay

ēveniō ēvenīre ēvēnī ēventus: to come out/about/forth; happen; turn out

dētrahō –ere –trāxī –tractum: to take away from

etiamnum or etiamnunc: yet, till now, still, even now, even to this time, even at this time

dissimilis dissimile: dissimilar, unlike, different (+ gen. or dat.)

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Suggested Citation

Ingo Gildenhard, Cicero: Philippic 2.44–50, 78–92, 100–119. Carlisle, Pennsylvania: Dickinson College Commentaries, 2020. ISBN: 978-1-947822-12-2.