Searching for Antonius /Cic. Phil.
X. Why need I speak of Hirtius? who, the moment he heard of what was going on, with incredible promptness and courage led forth two legions out of the camp; that noble fourth legion, which, having deserted Antonius, formerly united itself to the martial legion; and the seventh, which, consisting wholly of veterans, gave proof in that battle that the name of the senate and people of Rome was dear to those soldiers who preserved the recollection of the kindness of Cæsar. With these twenty cohorts, with no cavalry, while Hirtius himself was bearing the eagle of the fourth legion,—and we never heard of a more noble office being assumed by any general,—he fought with the three legions of Antonius and with his cavalry, and overthrew, and routed, and put to the sword those impious men who were the real enemies to this temple of the all-good and all-powerful Jupiter, and to the rest of the temples of the immortal gods, and the houses of the city, and the freedom of the Roman people, and our lives and actual existence; so that that chief and leader of robbers fled away with a very few followers, concealed by the darkness of night, and frightened out of all his senses.
Oh what a most blessed day was that, which, while the carcases of those parricidal traitors were strewed about everywhere, beheld Antonius flying with a few followers, before he reached his place of concealment.
But how does it happen that the son of a woman of Aricia appears to you to be ignoble, when you are accustomed to boast of a descent on the mother’s side which is precisely the same? Besides, what insanity is it for that man to say anything about the want of noble birth in men’s wives, when his father married Numitoria of Fregellæ, the daughter of a traitor, and when he himself has begotten children of the daughter of a freedman. However, those illustrious men Lucius Philippus, who has a wife who came from Aricia, and Caius Marcellus, whose wife is the daughter of an Arician, may look to this; and I am quite sure that they have no regrets on the score of the dignity of those admirable women.
VII. Moreover, Antonius proceeds to name Quintus Cicero, my brother’s son, in his edict; and is so mad as not to perceive that the way in which he names him is a panegyric on him. For what could happen more desirable for this young man, than to be known by every one to be the partner of Cæsar’s counsels, and the enemy of the frenzy of Antonius?
XI. In truth, O conscript fathers, now we have begun to entertain hopes of liberty again, after a period of six years, during which we have been deprived of it, having endured slavery longer than prudent and industrious prisoners usually do, what watchfulness, what anxiety, what exertions ought we to shrink from, for the sake of delivering the Roman people? In truth, O conscript fathers, though men who have had the honours conferred on them that we have, usually wear their gowns, while the rest of the city is in the robe of war, still I decided that at such a momentous crisis, and when the whole republic was in so disturbed a state, we would not differ in our dress from you and the rest of the citizens. For we men of consular rank are not in this war conducting ourselves in such a manner that the Roman people will be likely to look with equanimity on the ensigns of our honour, when some of us are so cowardly as to have cast away all recollection of the kindnesses which they have received from the Roman people; some are so disaffected to the republic that they openly allege that they favour this enemy, and easily bear having our ambassadors despised and insulted by Antonius, while they wish to support the ambassador sent by Antonius. For they said that he ought not to be prevented from returning to Antonius, and they proposed an amendment to my proposition of not receiving him. Well, I will submit to them. Let Varius return to his general, but on condition that he never returns to Rome. And as to the others, if they abandon their errors, and return to their duty to the republic, I think they may be pardoned and left unpunished.
Cic. Phil. 3.8.1 (y)
IV. And the things which I have said about Cæsar and about his army, are, indeed, already well known to you. For by the admirable valour of Cæsar, and by the firmness of the veteran soldiers, and by the admirable discernment of those legions which have followed our authority, and the liberty of the Roman people, and the valour of Cæsar, Antonius has been repelled from his attempts upon our lives. But these things, as I have said, happened before; but this recent edict of Decimus Brutus, which has just been issued, can certainly not be passed over in silence. For he promises to preserve the province of Gaul in obedience to the senate and people of Rome. O citizen, born for the republic; mindful of the name he bears; imitator of his ancestors! Nor, indeed, was the acquisition of liberty so much an object of desire to our ancestors when Tarquinius was expelled, as, now that Antonius is driven away, the preservation of it is to us.
Cic. Phil. 6.9.1 (y)
But as he remembered that he was Brutus, and that he was born for your freedom, not for his own tranquillity, what else did he do but—as I may almost say—put his own body in the way to prevent Antonius from entering Gaul? Ought we then to send ambassadors to this man, or legions? However, we will say nothing of what is past. Let the ambassadors hasten, as I see that they are about to do. Do you prepare your robes of war. For it has been decreed, that, if he does not obey the authority of the senate, we are all to betake ourselves to our military dress. And we shall have to do so. He will never obey. And we shall lament that we have lost so many days, when we might have been doing something.
IV. I have no fear, O Romans, that when Antonius hears that I have asserted, both in the senate and in the assembly of the people, that he never will submit himself to the power of the senate, he will, for the sake of disproving my words, and making me to appear to have had no foresight, alter his behaviour and obey the senate. He will never do so. He will not grudge me this part of my reputation; he will prefer letting me be thought wise by you to being thought modest himself.
But Cæsar, though many years younger, armed veterans who were now eager to rest; he has embraced that cause which was most agreeable to the senate, to the people, to all Italy,—in short, to gods and men. And Pompeius came as a reinforcement to the extensive command and victorious army of Lucius Sylla; Cæsar had no one to join himself to. He, of his own accord, was the author and executor of his plan of levying an army, and arraying a defence for us. Pompeius found the whole Picene district hostile to the party of his adversaries; but Cæsar has levied an army against Antonius from men who were Antonius’s own friends, but still greater friends to liberty. It was owing to the influence of Pompeius that Sylla was enabled to act like a king. It is by the protection afforded us by Cæsar that the tyranny of Antonius has been put down.
And, moreover, he caused it to be recorded in the annals, under the head of Lupercalia, “That Marcus Antonius, the consul, by command of the people, had offered the kingdom to Caius Cæsar, perpetual dictator; and that Cæsar had refused to accept it.” I now am not much surprised at your seeking to disturb the general tranquillity; at your hating not only the city but the light of day; and at your living with a pack of abandoned robbers, disregarding the day, and yet regarding nothing beyond the day. For where can you be safe in peace? What place can there be for you where laws and courts of justice have sway, both of which you, as far as in you lay, destroyed by the substitution of kingly power? Was it for this that Lucius Tarquinius was driven out; that Spurius Cassius, and Spurius Mælius, and Marcus Manlius were slain; that many years afterwards a king might be established at Rome by Marcus Antonius, though the bare idea was impiety? However, let us return to the auspices.
XI. On the nineteenth of December, you overwhelmed him with your decrees; you ordained that this motion should be submitted to you on the first of January, which you see is submitted now, respecting the honours and rewards to be conferred on those who have deserved or do deserve well of the republic. And the chief of those men you have adjudged to be the man who really has done so, Caius Cæsar, who had diverted the nefarious attacks of Marcus Antonius against this city, and compelled him to direct them against Gaul; and next to him you consider the veteran soldiers who first followed Cæsar; then those excellent and heavenly-minded legions the Martial and the fourth, to whom you have promised honours and rewards, for having not only abandoned their consul, but for having even declared war against him. And on the same day, having a decree brought before you and published on purpose, you praised the conduct of Decimus Brutus, a most excellent citizen, and sanctioned with your public authority this war which he had undertaken of his own head.
What else, then, did you do on that day except pronounce Antonius a public enemy?
Cic. Phil. 5.6.1 (y)
Will you furnish a wicked and desperate citizen with an army of Gauls and Germans, with money, and infantry, and cavalry, and all sorts of resources? All these excuses are no excuse at all:—“He is a friend of mine.” Let him first be a friend of his country:—“He is a relation of mine.” Can any relationship be nearer than that of one’s country, in which even one’s parents are comprised? “He has given me money:”—I should like to see the man who will dare to say that. But when I have explained what is the real object aimed at, it will be easy for you to decide which opinion you ought to agree with and adopt.
III. The matter at issue is, whether power is to be given to Marcus Antonius of oppressing the republic, of massacring the virtuous citizens, of plundering the city, of distributing the lands among his robbers, of overwhelming the Roman people in slavery; or, whether he is not to be allowed to do all this. Do you doubt what you are to do? “Oh, but all this does not apply to Antonius.”
Brutus, therefore, bided his time. For, as long as he saw you endure everything, he himself behaved with incredible patience; after that he saw you roused to a desire of liberty, he prepared the means to protect you in your liberty.
But what a pest, and how great a pest was it which he resisted? For if Caius Antonius had been able to accomplish what he intended in his mind, (and he would have been able to do so if the virtue of Marcus Brutus had not opposed his wickedness,) we should have lost Macedonia, Illyricum, and Greece. Greece would have been a refuge for Antonius if defeated, or a support to him in attacking Italy; which at present, being not only arrayed in arms, but embellished by the military command and authority and troops of Marcus Brutus, stretches out her right hand to Italy, and promises it her protection. And the man who proposes to deprive him of his army, is taking away a most illustrious honour, and a most trustworthy guard from the republic.
What a storm, O ye immortal gods! what a conflagration! what a devastation! what a pestilence to Greece would that man have been, if incredible and godlike virtue had not checked the enterprise and audacity of that frantic man. What promptness was there in Brutus’s conduct! what prudence! what valour! Although the rapidity of the movement of Caius Antonius also is not despicable; for if some vacant inheritances had not delayed him on his march, you might have said that he had flown rather than travelled. When we desire other men to go forth to undertake any public business, we are scarcely able to get them out of the city; but we have driven this man out by the mere fact of our desiring to retain him. But what business had he with Apollonia? what business had he with Dyrrachium? or with Illyricum? What had he to do with the army of Publius Vatinius, our general? He, as he said himself, was the successor of Hortensius. The boundaries of Macedonia are well defined; the condition of the proconsul is well known; the amount of his army, if he has any at all, is fixed. But what had Antonius to do at all with Illyricum and with the legions of Vatinius?
But Brutus had nothing to do with them either. For that, perhaps, is what some worthless man may say.
Nor is this the case with respect to this man alone; there are other men in the same camp honestly condemned and shamefully restored; what counsel do you imagine can be adopted by those men who are enemies to all good men, that is not utterly cruel? There is besides a fellow called Saxa; I don’t know who he is; some man whom Cæsar imported from the extremity of Celtiberia and gave us for a tribune of the people. Before that, he was a measurer of ground for camps: now he hopes to measure out and value the city. May the evils which this foreigner predicts to us fall on his own head, and may we escape in safety! With him is the veteran Capho; nor is there any man whom the veteran troops hate more cordially: to these men, as if in addition to the dowry which they had received during our civil disasters, Antonius had given the Campanian district, that they might have it as a sort of nurse for their other estates. I only wish they would be contented with them! We would bear it then, though it would not be what ought to be borne; but still it would be worth our while to bear anything, as long as we could escape this most shameful war.
VI. What more? Have you not before your eyes those ornaments of the camp of Marcus Antonius?
Cic. Phil. 1.8.1 (y)
And as the night was stormy, and as I had lodged that night in the villa of Publius Valerius, my companion and intimate friend, and as I remained all the next day at his house waiting for a fair wind, many of the citizens of the municipality of Rhegium came to me. And of them there were some who had lately arrived from Rome; from them I first heard of the harangue of Marcus Antonius, with which I was so much pleased that, after I had read it, I began for the first time to think of returning. And not long afterwards the edict of Brutus and Cassius is brought to me; which (perhaps because I love those men, even more for the sake of the republic than of my own friendship for them) appeared to me, indeed, to be full of equity. They added besides, (for it is a very common thing for those who are desirous of bringing good news to invent something to make the news which they bring seem more joyful,) that parties were coming to an agreement; that the senate was to meet on the first of August; that Antonius having discarded all evil counsellors, and having given up the provinces of Gaul, was about to return to submission to the authority of the senate.
And this man, O ye immortal gods, was once my relation! For his vices were unknown to one who did not inquire into such things: nor perhaps should I now be alienated from him if he had not been discovered to be an enemy to you, to the walls of his country, to this city, to our household gods, to the altars and hearths of all of us,—in short, to human nature and to common humanity. But now, having received this lesson from him, let us be the more diligent and vigilant in being on our guard against Antonius.
V. Indeed, Dolabella had not with him any great number of notorious and conspicuous robbers. But you see there are with Antonius, and in what numbers. In the first place, there is his brother Lucius—what a firebrand, O ye immortal gods! what an incarnation of crime and wickedness! what a gulf, what a whirlpool of a man! What do you think that man incapable of swallowing up in his mind, or gulping down in his thoughts? Who do you imagine there is whose blood he is not thirsting for? who, on whose possessions and fortunes he is not fixing his most impudent eyes, his hopes, and his whole heart? What shall we say of Censorinus? who, as far as words go, said indeed that he wished to be the city prætor; but who, in fact, was unwilling to be so.
Cic. Phil. 4.6.1 (y)
Nor did they display only their spirit and courage in doing this, but their caution and wisdom also. They encamped at Alba, in a city convenient, fortified, near, full of brave men and loyal and virtuous citizens. The fourth legion imitating the virtue of this Martial legion, under the leadership of Lucius Egnatuleius, whom the senate deservedly praised a little while ago, has also joined the army of Caius Cæsar.
III. What more adverse decisions, O Marcus Antonius, can you want? Cæsar, who has levied an army against you, is extolled to the skies. The legions are praised in the most complimentary language, which have abandoned you, which were sent for into Italy by you; and which, if you had chosen to be a consul rather than an enemy, were wholly devoted to you. And the fearless and honest decision of those legions is confirmed by the senate, is approved of by the whole Roman people,—unless, indeed, you to-day, O Romans, decide that Antonius is a consul and not an enemy.