Searching for Antonius /Cic. Phil.
With what eloquence, with what firm wisdom, with what a weight of authority did Lucius Cæsar, your uncle, pronounce his opinion against the husband of his own sister, your stepfather. But you, when you ought to have taken him as your adviser and tutor in all your designs, and in the whole conduct of your life, preferred being like your stepfather to resembling your uncle. I, who had no connexion with him, acted by his counsels while I was consul. Did you, who were his sister’s son, ever once consult him on the affairs of the republic?
But who are they whom Antonius does consult? O ye immortal gods, they are men whose birthdays we have still to learn. To-day Antonius is not coming down.
All the legions, all the forces which exist anywhere, belong to the Roman people. Nor shall those legions which have quitted Marcus Antonius be called the legions of Antonius rather than of the republic; for he loses all power over his army, and all the privileges of military command, who uses that military command and that army to attack the republic.
VI. But if the republic itself could give a decision, or if all rights were established by its decrees, would it adjudge the legions of the Roman people to Antonius or to Brutus? The one had flown with precipitation to the plunder and destruction of the allies, in order, wherever he went, to lay waste, and pillage, and plunder everything, and to employ the army of the Roman people against the Roman people itself. The other had laid down this law for himself, that wherever he came he should appear to come as a sort of light and hope of safety. Lastly, the one was seeking aids to overturn the republic; the other to preserve it. Nor, indeed, did we see this more clearly than the soldiers themselves; from whom so much discernment in judging was not to have been expected.
And, to say nothing of the other parts of Gaul, (for they are all alike,) the people of Patavium have excluded some men who were sent to them by Antonius, and have driven out others, and have assisted our generals with money and soldiers, and with what was above all things wanting, arms. The rest have done the same; even those who formerly were of the party of Antonius, and who were believed to have been alienated from the senate by the injuries of many years. Men, who indeed there is no great reason to wonder at being faithful now, after the freedom of the republic has been shared with them, when, even before they had been admitted to those privileges, they always behaved with loyalty and good faith.
V. All these men, then, who are now sanguine of victory, we are to meet with the name of peace; that is to say, with a complete despair of victory.
In truth, though on the previous occasion I had voted against the ambassadors being decreed, still I consoled myself with this reflection, that, when they had returned from Antonius despised and rejected, and had reported to the senate, not merely that he had not withdrawn from Gaul, as we had voted that he should, but that he had not even retired from before Mutina, and that they had not been allowed to proceed on to Decimus Brutus, all men would be inflamed with hatred and stimulated by indignation, so that we should reinforce Decimus Brutus with arms, and horses, and men. But we have become even more languid since we have become acquainted with, not only the audacity and wickedness of Antonius, but also with his insolence and pride.
Plut. Aem. 1.25.3 (prr)
When, namely, Antonius was in revolt from Domitian, and a great war was expected from Germany, and Rome was in commotion, suddenly and spontaneously the people of their own accord spread abroad a report of a victory, and a story coursed through Rome that Antonius himself had been slain, and that of his defeated army not a portion was left alive. Belief in the story became so strong and distinct that many of the magistrates actually offered sacrifices.
Cic. Phil. 2.2.1 (y)
I see nothing either in my life, or in my influence in the city, or in my exploits, or even in the moderate abilities with which I am endowed, which Antonius can despise. Did he think that it was easiest to disparage me in the senate? a body which has borne its testimony in favour of many most illustrious citizens that they governed the republic well, but in favour of me alone, of all men, that I preserved it. Or did he wish to contend with me in a rivalry of eloquence? This, indeed, is an act of generosity; for what could be a more fertile or richer subject for me, than to have to speak in defence of myself, and against Antonius? This, in fact, is the truth. He thought it impossible to prove to the satisfaction of those men who resembled himself, that he was an enemy to his country, if he was not also an enemy to me.
“Since you yourselves have sold yourselves for flatteries and poisoned gifts.”
Are those men depraved and corrupted, who have been persuaded to pursue a most detestable enemy with most righteous war?
“But you say, you are bringing assistance to troops who are hemmed in. I have no objection to their being saved, and departing wherever you wish, if they only allow that man to be put to death who has deserved it.”
How very kind of him! The soldiers availing themselves of the liberality of Antonius have deserted their general, and have fled in alarm to his enemy; and if it had not been for them, Dolabella, in offering the sacrifice which he did to the shade of his general, would not have been beforehand with Antonius in propitiating the spirit of his colleague by a similar offering.
I. Although, O conscript fathers, it seems very unbecoming for that man whose counsels you have so often adopted in the most important affairs, to be deceived and deluded, and to commit mistakes; yet I console myself, since I made the mistake in company with you, and in company also with a consul of the greatest wisdom. For when two men of consular rank had brought us hope of an honourable peace, they appeared, as being friends and extremely intimate with Marcus Antonius, to be aware of some weak point about him with which we were unacquainted. His wife and children are in the house of one; the other is known every day to send letters to, to receive letters from, and openly to favour Antonius.
What can be more foul than that beast? what more savage? who appears born for the express purpose of preventing Marcus Antonius from being the basest of all mortals. They have with them Trebellius, who, now that all debts are cancelled, is become reconciled to them; and Titus Plancus, and other like them; who are striving with all their hearts, and whose sole object is, to appear to have been restored against the will of the republic. Saxa and Capho, themselves rustic and clownish men, men who never have seen and who never wish to see this republic firmly established, are tampering with the ignorant classes; men who are not upholding the acts of Cæsar but those of Antonius; who are led away by the unlimited occupation of the Campanian district; and who I marvel are not somewhat ashamed when they see that they have actors and actresses for their neighbours.
Admirable gain, when, if you, O Antonius, are victorious, (may the gods avert such a disaster!) the death of those men who depart from life untortured will be accounted happy! He says that Hirtius and Cæsar “have been cajoled by me by the same compliments.” I should like to know what compliment has been as yet paid to Hirtius by me; for still more and greater ones than have been paid him already are due to Cæsar. But do you, O Antonius, dare to say that Cæsar, the father, was deceived by me? You, it was you, I say, who really slew him at the Lupercal games. Why, O most ungrateful of men, have you abandoned your office of priest to him? But remark now the admirable wisdom and consistency of this great and illustrious man.
But we were caught by this expression of Quintus Fufius; “Shall we not listen to Antonius, even if he retires from Mutina? Shall we not, even if he declares that he will submit himself to the authority of the senate?” It seemed harsh to say that. Thus it was that we were broken; we yielded. Does he then retire from Mutina? “I don’t know.” Is he obeying the senate? “I think so,” says Calenus, “but so as to preserve his own dignity at the same time.” You then, O conscript fathers, are to make great exertions for the express purpose of losing your own dignity, which is very great, and of preserving that of Antonius, which neither has nor can have any existence; and of enabling him to recover that by your conduct, which he has lost by his own.
I wish, indeed, that Antonius may hear this news as speedily as possible, so that he may understand that it is not Decimus Brutus whom he is surrounding with his ramparts, but he himself who is really hemmed in.
V. He possesses three towns only on the whole face of the earth. He has Gaul most bitterly hostile to him; he has even those men the people beyond the Po, in whom he placed the greatest reliance, entirely alienated from him; all Italy is his enemy. Foreign nations, from the nearest coast of Greece to Egypt, are occupied by the military command and armies of most virtuous and intrepid citizens. His only hope was in Caius Antonius; who being in age the middle one between his two brothers, rivalled both of them in vices. He hastened away as if he were being driven away by the senate into Macedonia, not as if he were prohibited from proceeding thither.
Suet. Dom. 6.2 (r)
A civil war which was set on foot by Lucius Antonius, governor of Upper Germany, was put down in the emperor’s absence by a remarkable stroke of good fortune; for at the very hour of the battle the Rhine suddenly thawed and prevented his barbarian allies from crossing over to Antonius. Domitian learned of this victory through omens before he actually had news of it, for on the very day when the decisive battle was fought a magnificent eagle enfolded his statue at Rome with its wings, uttering exultant shrieks; and soon afterwards the report of Antony’s death became so current, that several went so far as to assert positively that they had seen his head brought to Rome.
J. AJ 14.221 (wst)
Publius Dolabella and Marcus Antonius, the consuls, made this reference to the senate, that as to those things which, by the decree of the senate, Caius Caesar had adjudged about the Jews, and yet had not hitherto that decree been brought into the treasury, it is our will, as it is also the desire of Publius Dolabella and Marcus Antonius, our consuls, to have these decrees put into the public tables, and brought to the city quaestors, that they may take care to have them put upon the double tables.
Here now you have a pair equal in wickedness; unprecedented, unheard of, savage, barbarous. Therefore those men whose vehement mutual hatred and quarrel you recollect a short time ago, have now been united in singular unanimity and mutual attachment by the singularity of their wicked natures and most infamous lives. Therefore, that which Dolabella has now done in a case in which he had the power, Antonius threatens many with. But the former, as he was a long way from our counsels and armies, and as he was not yet aware that the senate had united with the Roman people, relying on the forces of Antonius, has committed those wicked actions which he thought were already put in practice at Rome by his accomplice in wickedness.