[84] Sed arrogantiam hominis īnsolentiamque cognōscite. quamdiū tū volēs, vitiōsus cōnsul Dolābella; rūrsus, cum volēs, salvīs auspiciīs creātus. sī nihil est cum augur eīs verbīs nūntiat quibus tū nūntiāstī, cōnfitēre tē, cum ‘aliō diē’ dīxerīs, sōbrium nōn fuisse; sīn est aliqua vīs in istīs verbīs, ea quae sit augur ā collēgā requīrō. Sed nē forte ex multīs rēbus gestīs M. Antōnī rem ūnam pulcherrimam trānsiliat ōrātiō, ad Lupercālia veniāmus. nōn dissimulat, patrēs cōnscrīptī: appāret esse commōtum; sūdat, pallet. quidlibet, modō nē faciat quod in porticū Minuciā fēcit. quae potest esse turpitūdinis tantae dēfēnsiō? cupiō audīre, ut videam ubi campus Leontīnus appāreat.

On to the Lupercalia...

Cicero is winding down the discussion of Antony’s augural objections to the consulship of Dolabella. The next topic on the agenda is the festival of the Lupercalia on 15 February 44 BCE. At Phil. 13.41 Cicero suggests that Antony as good as murdered Caesar on that day by trying to crown him with a diadem. What exactly happened — and why — is difficult to establish with certainty — not least since it is tied up with the significance of a rather strange religious rite, the Lupercalia, which has been the subject of much scholarly controversy. [more] [study questions]

Sed arrogantiam hominis insolentiamque cognoscite: the -que links arrogantiam and insolentiam, the two accusative objects of cognoscite (second person plural present imperative active). hominis goes with both nouns, which are virtual synonyms of each other.

quamdiu tu voles, vitiosus consul Dolabella [erit]; rursus, cum voles, salvis auspiciis creatus [est]: Cicero foregrounds the whim of Antony by using the personal pronoun tu (to be pronounced with contempt and outrage in equal measure), which, from a syntactical point of view is strictly speaking unnecessary. Cicero here seems to be objecting to Antony’s inconsistent behaviour in the aftermath of the election. In a senate meeting on 17 March, i.e. shortly after the assassination of Caesar, he accepted Dolabella as his colleague in the consulship despite his obnuntiatio during the election. This shift towards a more accommodating stance will likely have come as a reaction to Dolabella’s strategic schmoozing with the liberators, motivated no doubt by his desire to have his consulship officially recognized: see Ramsey (2003: 143–44). Cicero ignores these pragmatic considerations, preferring to portray Antony’s oscillations as an index of his arrogance — the action of a high and mighty individual who does not play by the republican rule book and enjoys jerking his peers around.

quamdiu tu volesquamdiu is a temporal conjunction used to express contemporaneous action (‘as long as’); voles is the second person singular future active of volovelle: Antony’s control over the status of Dolabella’s election to the consulship depends on his whim and will and extends indefinitely into the future (at least until the college of augurs considered the case and produced a definitive ruling: but Cicero isn’t interested in such nuances).

vitiosus consul Dolabella: a very condensed way of saying ‘Dolabella will be a consul, whose election to office is tainted by a religious flaw’. vitiosus is short for vitio creatus: see Mayor (1861: 127).

rursus: introduces the second of two contrasting terms (OLD s.v. 6), here vitiosus and salvis auspiciis creatus.

cum voles: a case of ‘conditional cum’. See Gildersleeve & Lodge 373: ‘cum with the Future, Future Perfect, or Universal Present, is often almost equivalent to si, if, with which it is sometimes interchanged’. Cicero drives home the point that Antony, whenever it suits him, considers Dolabella’s election unflawed, ignoring his own religious objection.

salvis auspiciis: a nominal ablative absolute (consisting of an adjective and a noun) and technical phrase meaning ‘with the auspices in order’.

si nihil est cum augur eis verbis nuntiat quibus tu nuntiasti, confitere te, cum ‘alio die’ dixeris, sobrium non fuisse; sin est aliqua vis in istis verbis, ea quae sit augur a collega requiro: we are here dealing with two simple conditions in the present:

1.protasis: si nihil est (followed by a temporal cum-clause in the indicative and a relative clause) — apodosis: the present imperative confitere (of the deponent confiteor), which introduces an indirect statement with te as subject accusative, sobrium as predicative complement, and non fuisse as verb.)

ii.protasis: sin est aliqua vis — apodosis: requiro.

They map out two different ways to explain Antony’s inconsistent attitude towards his own augural objection to scupper his attempt to have it both ways: (i) one may assume that an augur using the phrase alio die makes a meaningless utterance — in which case Antony was drunk when he made it. The drift of Cicero’s thought here is not entirely obvious given that the premise specified in the si-clause is false (augural utterances are meaningful), and the inference (Antony must have been drunk when he said it) hence seemingly arbitrary. Arguably, what Cicero wishes to say is that if Antony considers his own utterance of no moment, it is because he was not qualified at the time to make it owing to his intoxication. As Lacey (1986: 219) explains: ‘The madman (furiosus) and the man who had had a seizure (mente captus) were debarred from legal acts… Cicero suggests that this could be true of the drunk too’.

(ii) or perhaps Antony operates on the basis of a special force of the formula so far only known to himself, which renders one and the same pronouncement valid at one moment and invalid the next, depending on the whim of the augur in question: Cicero, as a fellow augur, asks Antony with mock politeness whether he is able to explain this novel usage of the ritual idiom.

si nihil est: ‘if it means nothing’

cum augur eis verbis nuntiat quibus tu nuntiastieis verbis refers to the formula alio die. Cicero uses nuntiat and nuntiasti (the syncopated second person singular perfect indicative active of nuntio = nuntia|vi|sti) in an absolute sense, without an accusative object or object sentence: ‘to make an announcement’.

sin est aliqua vis in istis verbis, ea quae sit augur a collega requiroea picks up vis and belongs into the indirect question quae sit (hence the subjunctive); the nominative augur stands either in apposition or in predicative position to the subject of the sentence, with Cicero self-identifying: ‘I, an augur / as augur, ask from his colleague what that (sc. force) is’.

sed ne forte ex multis rebus gestis M. Antoni rem unam pulcherrimam transiliat oratio, ad Lupercalia veniamus: At this point, Cicero breaks off his discussion of Antony’s manipulation of augural law to ensure coverage of the anecdote he labels the most disgraceful (pulcherrimam = turpissimam) on Antony’s record, his attempt to crown Caesar king at the Lupercalia, which took place on 15 February 44.

ex multis rebus gestis M. Antoni: a partitive use of the preposition ex. Cicero here harks back to his earlier point that the number of Antony’s misdeeds calls for abbreviated and selective treatment. res gestae usually refers to (glorious) deeds done in the service of the state; Antony has been accumulating the debauched counterfeit of the real thing.

veniamus: first person plural present subjunctive active (exhortative): ‘Let us…’

non dissimulat, patres conscripti: apparet [eum] esse commotum; sudat, pallet: upon his mention of the Lupercalia, Cicero imagines Antony showing physical signs of distress. He is unable to suppress (non dissimulat) his inner turmoil (apparet esse commotum), breaks out in cold sweat (sudat) and turns pale (pallet).

apparet: the accusative commotum indicates that apparet is an impersonal verb (‘it appears’) that governs an indirect statement. The subject accusative (eum) needs to be supplied. (Alternatively, Cicero could have written apparet esse commotus: ‘he appears to be agitated’.)

quidlibet [faciat], modo ne faciat quod in porticu Minucia fecit: i.e. puking all over the place. The signs of physical distress that Cicero attributes to Antony are so powerful that he begins to wonder whether Antony is going to be sick — not least since he has a track record of letting it all out. The reference in the quod-clause is to Antony doing the technicolour yawn after over-indulging the night before while conducting public business — an anecdote Cicero dwells on at length at 2.63 (cited above 227–28).

modo ne faciatmodo ne (= dummodo ne) here means ‘provided that’ and introduces a conditional wish (hence the present subjunctive faciat).

in porticu Minucia: the porticus Minucia, located in the Campus Martius, was built by M. Minucius Rufus (consul in 110 BCE), with the spoils of a military campaign in Thrace. See Velleius Paterculus 2.8.3: per eadem tempora clarus eius Minuci qui porticus, quae hodieque celebres sunt, molitus est, ex Scordiscis triumphus fuit (‘about the same time took place the famous triumph over the Scordisci of Minucius, the builder of the porticoes which are famous even in our own day’).

quae potest esse turpitudinis tantae defensio?quae is an interrogative adjective modifying defensio: ‘what defence can there be of shamefulness so profound?’

cupio audire, ut videam ubi campus Leontinus appareat: Cicero continues by saying ‘let’s hear it!’ — after all, Antony has gifted his teacher in rhetoric with such riches that we can expect an outstanding performance. After Phil. 2.8–9 and 42–43, he thus has yet another dig at Sextus Clodius, whom Antony enriched with money and a chunk of what had been public land (ager publicus) in a particularly fertile region in Sicily around the town of Leontini, which Antony distributed among his followers as part of his settlement projects earlier in the year. Sextus Clodius had a hand in drafting Antony’s response to Cicero’s first Philippic, delivered in the senate on 19 September 44 BCE, so he is an obvious proxy target in the second. His entry in Suetonius’ On Teachers of Grammar and Rhetoric (De Grammaticis et Rhetoribus), which is partly based on evidence from Cicero’s Philippic 2, reads as follows (29): 

Sextus Clodius e Sicilia, Latinae simul Graecaeque eloquentiae professor, male oculatus et dicax par oculorum in amicitia M. Antoni triumviri extrisse se aiebat; eiusdem uxorem Fulviam, cui altera bucca inflatior erat, acumen stili temptare dixit, nec eo minus — immo vel magis — ob hoc Antonio gratus. a quo mox consule ingens etiam congiarium accepit, ut ei in Philippicis Cicero obicit (2.42–43).

[Sextus Clodius, from Sicily, taught both Greek and Latin rhetoric. Having poor sight but a ready tongue, he used to say that he had worn out both his eyes in the friendship of Marcus Antonius the triumvir. He also once said that Antonius’ wife Fulvia — one of whose cheeks was rather puffy — was ‘testing the point of his pen’; and yet Antonius found him no less agreeable — or rather, all the more agreeable — on this account. Soon, when Antonius was consul, he also gave Clodius a huge gift, as Cicero charges in the Philippics.]

More generally, Cicero likes to show up his adversaries not just in substance but also in style. (For example: in the Divinatio in Caecilium and the pro Caelio, Cicero delights in demonstrating to a younger orator how things are done.) See also Phil. 2.84, 2.101; 3.22; 5.19.

arrogantia –ae f.: arrogance; gall

īnsolentia –ae f.: unusualness, strangeness, novelty; pride, haughtiness, arrogance, insolence:

quamdiū or quam diū: (for) how long; as long as

vitiōsus –a –um: full of faults, faulty, defective, invalid

Dolābella –ae m.: Dolabella

salvus –a –um: safe, healthy, intact

auspicium auspicī(ī) n.: divination (by the flight of birds)

augur auguris m. or f.: seer, augur, soothsayer

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

sōbrius –a –um: sober, moderate

sīn: but if; if on the contrary

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

requīrō requīrere requīsīvī requīsītus: to require, seek, ask for; need; miss, pine for

Marcus Marcī m.: Marcus

Antōnius –iī m.: Antonius (a name)

trānsiliō –īre –īvī (–iī or –uī): to leap over; pass over; fly through (> trans and salio)

Lupercālia n. pl. (genitive Lupercālium): The Lupercalia, a Roman festival

dissimulō dissimulāre dissimulāvī dissimulātus: to conceal, dissemble, disguise, hide; ignore

cōnscrībō cōnscrībere cōnscrīpsī cōnscrīptus: to enroll, write

commoveō commovēre commōvī commōtus: to shake/stir up, agitate; displace, disturb, trouble/worry, upset; jolt; excite; waken; provoke; move (money/camp); produce; cause, start (war); raise (point)

sūdō sūdāre sūdāvī sūdātus: to sweat, w. abl.; ooze out, distill

palleō –ēre –uī: to be pale; p., pallens, entis, pallid, wan, pale

quīlibet quaelibet quodlibet (or quīlubet, etc.): whoever or whatever you please; anyone, anything

nauseō –āre –āvī: to be be sea–sick, be sick

porticus porticus f.: covered walk, colonnade, portico

Minucius –iī m.: Minucius

turpitūdō turpitūdinis f.: disgrace, turpitude

dēfēnsiō dēfēnsiōnis f.: defence

rhētor rhētoris: teacher of rhetoric

mercēs mercēdis f.: pay, wages, interest; article for sale, commodity

Leontīnus –a –um: of or belonging to Leontini, Leontine

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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.