Searching for Antonius \Cic. Phil.
Cic. Phil. 6.8.1 (y)
Was it not in his power, if he had considered Antonius a consul, and Gaul the province of Antonius, to have given over the legions and the province to Antonius? and to return home himself? and to celebrate a triumph? and to be the first man in this body to deliver his opinion, until he entered on his magistracy? What was the difficulty of doing that?
But how constantly does he harp on the expression “the consul Antonius!” This amounts to say “that most debauched consul,” “that most worthless of men, the consul.” For what else is Antonius? For if any dignity were implied in the name, then, I imagine, your grandfather would sometimes have called himself “the consul Antonius.” But he never did. My colleague too, your own uncle, would have called himself so. Unless you are the only Antonius. But I pass over those offences which have no peculiar connexion with the part you took in harassing the republic; I return to that in which you bore so principal a share,—that is, to the civil war; and it is mainly owing to you that that was originated, and brought to a head, and carried on.
Unless, indeed, when you were decreeing honours to Caius Cæsar, well-deserved indeed by and fairly due to him, but still unprecedented and never to be forgotten, for one single reason,—because he had levied an army against Marcus Antonius,—you were not judging Marcus Antonius to be an enemy; and unless Antonius was not pronounced an enemy by you, when the veteran soldiers were praised by your authority, for having followed Cæsar; and unless you did not declare Antonius an enemy when you promised exemptions and money and lands to those brave legions, because they had deserted him who was consul while he was an enemy.
IV. What? when you distinguished with the highest praises Brutus, a man born under some omen, as it were, of his race and name, for the deliverance of the republic, and his army, which was waging war against Antonius on behalf of the liberty of the Roman people, and the most loyal and admirable province of Gaul, did you not then pronounce Antonius an enemy? What? when you decreed that the consuls, one or both of them, should go to the war, what war was there if Antonius was not an enemy?
As, then, there is in seeds the cause which produces trees and plants, so of this most lamentable war you were the seed. Do you, O conscript fathers, grieve that these armies of the Roman people have been slain? It is Antonius who slew them. Do you regret your most illustrious citizens? It is Antonius, again, who has deprived you of them. The authority of this order is overthrown; it is Antonius who has overthrown it. Everything, in short, which we have seen since that time, (and what misfortune is there that we have not seen?) we shall, if we argue rightly, attribute wholly to Antonius. As Helen was to the Trojans, so has that man been to this republic,—the cause of war, the cause of mischief, the cause of ruin. The rest of his tribuneship was like the beginning. He did everything which the senate had laboured to prevent, as being impossible to be done consistently with the safety of the republic. And see, now, how gratuitously wicked he was even in accomplishing his wickedness.
VIII. What peace can there be between Marcus Antonius and (in the first place) the senate? with what face will he be able to look upon you, and with what eyes will you, in turn, look upon him? Which of you does not hate him? which of you does not he hate? Come, are you the only people who hate him, and whom he hates? What? what do you think of those men who are besieging Mutina, who are levying troops in Gaul, who are threatening your fortunes? will they ever be friends to you, or you to them? Will he embrace the Roman knights? For, suppose their inclinations respecting, and their opinions of Antonius were very much concealed, when they stood in crowds on the steps of the temple of Concord, when they stimulated you to endeavour to recover your liberty, when they demanded arms, the robe of war, and war, and who, with the Roman people, invited me to meet in the assembly of the people, will these men ever become friends to Antonius? will Antonius ever maintain peace with them?
Therefore, I give my vote, “That of those men who are with Marcus Antonius, those who abandon his army, and come over either to Caius Pansa or Aulus Hirtius the consuls; or to Decimus Brutus, imperator and consul elect; or to Caius Cæsar, proprætor, before the first of March next, shall not be liable to prosecution for having been with Antonius. That, if any one of those men who are now with Antonius shall do anything which appears entitled to honour or to reward, Caius Pansa and Aulus Hirtius the consuls, one or both of them, shall, if they think fit, make a motion to the senate respecting that man’s honour or reward, at the earliest opportunity. That, if, after this resolution of the senate, any one shall go to Antonius except Lucius Varius, the senate will consider that that man has acted as an enemy to the republic.”
Therefore, I can differ from you without using any insulting language, though not without feeling the greatest grief of mind. For is the dissension between you and me a trifling one, or on a trifling subject? Is it merely a case of my favouring this man, and you that man? Yes; I indeed favour Decimus Brutus, you favour Marcus Antonius; I wish a colony of the Roman people to be preserved, you are anxious that it should be stormed and destroyed.
VI. Can you deny this, when you interpose every sort of delay calculated to weaken Brutus, and to improve the position of Antonius? For how long will you keep on saying that you are desirous of peace? Matters are progressing rapidly; the works have been carried on; severe battles are taking place. We sent three chief men of the city to interpose. Antonius has despised, rejected, and repudiated them. And still you continue a persevering defender of Antonius.
Cic. Phil. 5.4.1 (y)
Is it not so? Why was the Martial legion? why was the fourth legion praised? For if they have deserted the consul, they ought to be blamed; if they have abandoned an enemy to the republic, then they are deservedly praised.
But as at that time you had not yet got any consuls, you passed a decree that a motion concerning the rewards for the soldiers and the honours to be conferred on the generals should be submitted to you at the earliest opportunity. Are you then going now to arrange rewards for those men who have taken arms against Antonius, and to send ambassadors to Antonius? so as to deserve to be ashamed that the legions should have come to more honourable resolutions than the senate: if, indeed, the legions have resolved to defend the senate against Antonius, but the senate decrees to send ambassadors to Antonius. Is this encouraging the spirit of the soldiers, or damping their virtue?
But as for that splendid statue, concerning which, if the times were better, I could not speak without laughing, “To Lucius Antonius, patron of the middle of Janus.” Is it so? Is the middle of Janus a client of Lucius Antonius? Who ever was found in that Janus who would have lent Lucius Antonius a thousand sesterces?
VI. However, we have been spending too much time in trifles. Let us return to our subject and to the war. Although it was not wholly foreign to the subject for some characters to be thoroughly appreciated by you, in order that you might in silence think over who they were against whom you were to wage war.
But I exhort you, O Romans, though perhaps other measures might have been wiser, still now to wait with calmness for the return of the ambassadors. Promptness of action has been taken from our side; but still some good has accrued to it.
We, then, have to war against this enemy by whose most foul cruelty all the savageness of barbarous nations is surpassed. Why need I speak of the massacre of Roman citizens? of the plunder of temples? Who is there who can possibly deplore such circumstances as their atrocity deserves? And now he is ranging all over Asia, he is triumphing about as a king, he thinks that we are occupied in another quarter by another war, as if it were not one and the same war against this outrageous pair of impious men.
III. You see now an image of the cruelty of Marcus Antonius in Dolabella; this conduct of his is formed on the model of the other. It is by him that the lessons of wickedness have been taught to Dolabella. Do you think that Antonius, if he had the power, would be more merciful in Italy than Dolabella has proved in Asia? To me, indeed, this latter appears to have gone as far as the insanity of a savage man could go; nor do I believe that Antonius either would omit any description of punishment, if he had only the power to inflict it.
My mind shudders at the recollection, O conscript fathers, and shrinks from relating the cruelties which Lucius Antonius perpetrated on the children and wives of the citizens of Parma. For whatever infamy the Antonii have willingly undergone in their own persons to their own infamy, they triumph in the fact of having inflicted on others by violence. But it is a miserable violence which they offered to them; most unholy lust, such as the whole life of the Antonii is polluted with.
IV. Is there then any one who is afraid to call those men enemies, whose wickedness he admits to have surpassed even the inhumanity of the Carthaginians? For in what city, when taken by storm, did Hannibal even behave with such ferocity as Antonius did in Parma, which he filched by surprise? Unless, mayhap, Antonius is not to be considered the enemy of this colony, and of the others towards which he is animated with the same feelings.
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.
In short, I have at all times inveighed against the whole family and party of Antonius. Therefore, as those impious citizens began to congratulate one another the moment the hope of peace was presented to them, as if they had gained the victory, so also they abused me as unjust: they made complaints against me; they distrusted Servilius also; they recollected that Antonius had been damaged by his avowed opinions and propositions; they recollected that Lucius Cæsar, though a brave and consistent senator, is still his uncle; that Calenus is his agent; that Piso is his intimate friend; they think that you yourself, O Pansa, though a most vigorous and fearless consul, are now become more mercifully inclined. Not that it really is so, or that it possibly can be so. But the fact of a mention of peace having been made by you, has given rise to a suspicion in the hearts of many, that you have changed your mind a little. The friends of Antonius are annoyed at my being included among these persons; and we must no doubt yield to them, since we have once begun to be liberal.
These men, then, appeared likely to have some reason for exhorting us to peace, which they had done for some time. The consul, too, added the weight of his exhortation; and what a consul! If we look for prudence, one who was not easily to be deceived; if for virtue and courage, one who would never admit of peace unless Antonius submitted and confessed himself to be vanquished; if for greatness of mind, one who would prefer death to slavery. You, too, O conscript fathers, appeared to be induced to think not of accepting but of imposing conditions, not so much because you were forgetful of your most important and dignified resolutions, as because you had hopes suggested you of a surrender on the part of Antonius, which his friends preferred to call peace. My own hopes, and I imagine yours also, were increased by the circumstance of my hearing that the family of Antonius was overwhelmed with distress, and that his wife was incessantly lamenting. And in this assembly, too, I saw that the partisans, on whose countenance my eyes are always dwelling, looked more sorrowful than usual.