Searching for Antonius /Cic. Phil.
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.
And Calenus, indeed, in order that he may appear a more conscientious senator, says that he ought not to be a friend to him; since, though Antonius was under great obligations to him, he still had acted against him. See how great is his affection for his country. Though he is angry with the individual, still he defends Antonius for the sake of his country.
When you are so bitter, O Quintus Fufius, against the people of Marseilles, I cannot listen to you with calmness. For how long are you going to attack Marseilles? Does not even a triumph put an end to the war? in which was carried an image of that city, without whose assistance our forefathers never triumphed over the Transalpine nations. Then, indeed, did the Roman people groan. Although they had their own private griefs because of their own affairs, still there was no citizen who thought the miseries of this most loyal city unconnected with himself.
Cic. Phil. 5.3.1 (y)
Is Marcus Antonius desirous of peace? Let him lay down his arms, let him implore our pardon, let him deprecate our vengeance: he will find no one more reasonable than me; though, while seeking to recommend himself to impious citizens, he has chosen to be an enemy instead of a friend to me. There is, in truth, nothing which can be given to him while waging war; there will perhaps be something which may be granted to him if he comes before us as a suppliant.
II. But to send ambassadors to a man respecting whom you passed a most dignified and severe decision only thirteen days ago, is not an act of lenity, but, if I am to speak my real opinion, of downright madness. In the first place, you praised those generals who, of their own head, had undertaken war against him; in the next place, you praised the veterans who, though they had been settled in those colonies by Antonius, preferred the liberty of the Roman people to the obligations which they were under to him.
Place before your eyes Marcus Antonius, as a man of consular rank; add to him Lucius, hoping to obtain the consulship; join to them all the rest, and those too not confined to our order, who are fixing their thoughts on honours and commands. Do not despise the Tiros, and the Numisii, or the Mustellæ, or the Seii. A peace made with those men will not be peace, but a covenant of slavery. That was an admirable expression of Lucius Piso, a most honourable man, and one which has been deservedly praised by you, O Pansa, not only in this order, but also in the assembly of the people. He said, that he would depart from Italy, and leave his household gods and his native home, if (but might the gods avert such a disaster!) Antonius overwhelmed the republic.
Cic. Phil. 9.7.1 (y)
And as Antonius was above all things disturbed by his arrival, because the commands which were laid upon him by your orders had been drawn up by the authority and wisdom of Servius Sulpicius, he showed plainly how he hated the senate by the evident joy which he displayed at the death of the adviser of the senate.
Leptines then did not kill Octavius, nor did the king of Veii slay those whom I have just named, more clearly than Antonius killed Servius Sulpicius. Surely he brought the man death, who was the cause of his death. Wherefore, I think it of consequence, in order that posterity may recollect it, that there should be a record of what the judgment of the senate was concerning this war. For the statue itself will be a witness that the war was so serious an one, that the death of an ambassador in it gained the honour of an imperishable memorial.
VIII. Let the ambassadors go, with all our good wishes; but let those men go at whom Antonius may take no offence. But if you are not anxious about what he may think, at all events. O conscript fathers, you ought to have some regard for me. At least spare my eyes, and make some allowance for a just indignation. For with what countenance shall I be able to behold, (I do not say, the enemy of my country, for my hatred of him on that score I feel in common with you all,) but how shall I bear to look upon that man who is my own most bitter personal enemy, as his most furious harangues against me plainly declare him? Do you think that I am so completely made of iron as to be able unmoved to meet him, or look at him? who lately, when in an assembly of the people he was making presents to those men who appeared to him the most audacious of his band of parricidal traitors, said that he gave my property to Petissius of Urbinum, a man who, after the shipwreck of a very splendid patrimony, was dashed against these rocks of Antonius.
On which account I give my vote that those laws which Marcus Antonius is said to have carried were all carried by violence, and in violation of the auspices; and that the people is not bound by them. If Marcus Antonius is said to have carried any law about confirming the acts of Cæsar and abolishing the dictatorship for ever, and of leading colonies into any lands, then I vote that those laws be passed over again, with a due regard to the auspices, so that they may bind the people. For although they may be good measures which he passed irregularly and by violence, still they are not to be accounted laws, and the whole audacity of this frantic gladiator must be repudiated by our authority.
V. However, I return to your love and especial delight, Lucius Antonius, who has admitted you all to swear allegiance to him. Do you deny it? is there any one of you who does not belong to a tribe? Certainly not. But thirty-five tribes have adopted him for their patron. Do you again cry out against my statement? Look at that gilt statue of him on the left: what is the inscription upon it? “The thirty-five tribes to their patron.” Is then Lucius Antonius the patron of the Roman people? Plague take him! For I fully assent to your outcry. I won’t speak of this bandit whom no one would choose to have for a client; but was there ever a man possessed of such influence, or illustrious for mighty deeds, as to dare to call himself the patron of the whole Roman people, the conqueror and master of all nations?
Let, then, that man be distinguished by that honour also, a man to whom no honour can be given which is not deserved. Let us be grateful in paying respect in death to him to whom we can now show no other gratitude. And by that same step let the audacity of Marcus Antonius, waging a nefarious war, be branded with infamy. For when these honours have been paid to Servius Sulpicius, the evidence of his embassy having been insulted and rejected by Antonius will remain for everlasting.
VII. On which account I give my vote for a decree in this form: “As Servius Sulpicius Rufus, the son of Quintus, of the Lemonian tribe, at a most critical period of the republic, and being ill with a very serious and dangerous disease, preferred the authority of the senate and the safety of the republic to his own life, and struggled against the violence and severity of his illness, in order to arrive at the camp of Antonius, to which the senate had sent him; and as he, when he had almost arrived at the camp, being overwhelmed by the violence of the disease, has lost his life in discharging a most important office of the republic; and as his death has been in strict correspondence to a life passed with the greatest integrity and honour, during which he, Servius Sulpicius, has often been of great service to the republic, both as a private individual and in the discharge of various magistracies;
Then it was that this order armed the consuls, and the rest of the magistrates who were invested with either military or civil command, against you, and you never would have escaped them, if you had not taken refuge in the camp of Cæsar.
XXII. It was you, you, I say, O Marcus Antonius, who gave Caius Cæsar, desirous as he already was to throw everything into confusion, the principal pretext for waging war against his country. For what other pretence did he allege? what cause did he give for his own most frantic resolution and action, except that the power of interposition by the veto had been disregarded, the privileges of the tribunes taken away, and Antonius’s rights abridged by the senate? I say nothing of how false, how trivial these pretences were; especially when there could not possibly be any reasonable cause whatever to justify any one in taking up arms against his country. But I have nothing to do with Cæsar. You must unquestionably allow, that the cause of that ruinous war existed in your person.
Cic. Phil. 4.3.1 (y)
I praise you,—yes, I praise you greatly, O Romans, when you follow with the most grateful minds the name of that most illustrious youth, or rather boy; for his actions belong to immortality, the name of youth only to his age. I can recollect many things; I have heard of many things; I have read of many things; but in the whole history of the whole world I have never known anything like this. For, when we were weighed down with slavery, when the evil was daily increasing, when we had no defence, while we were in dread of the pernicious and fatal return of Marcus Antonius from Brundusium, this young man adopted the design which none of us had ventured to hope for, which beyond all question none of us were acquainted with, of raising an invincible army of his father’s soldiers, and so hindering the frenzy of Antonius, spurred on as it was by the most inhuman counsels, from the power of doing mischief to the republic.
Cic. Phil. 4.8.1 (y)
What then has been the opinion which Decimus Brutus has formed of Marcus Antonius? He excludes him from his province. He opposes him with his army. He rouses all Gaul to war, which is already roused of its own accord, and in consequence of the judgment which it has itself formed. If Antonius be consul, Brutus is an enemy. Can we then doubt which of these alternatives is the fact?
IV. And just as you now with one mind and one voice affirm that you entertain no doubt, so did the senate just now decree that Decimus Brutus deserved excellently well of the republic, inasmuch as he was defending the authority of the senate and the liberty and empire of the Roman people. Defending it against whom? Why, against an enemy. For what other sort of defence deserves praise?
Cic. Phil. 4.5.1 (y)
Now who is there who does not see that by this decree Antonius has been adjudged to be an enemy? For what else can we call him, when the senate decides that extraordinary honours are to be devised for those men who are leading armies against him? What? did not the Martial legion (which appears to me by some divine permission to have derived its name from that god from whom we have heard that the Roman people descended) decide by its resolutions that Antonius was an enemy before the senate had come to any resolution? For if he be not an enemy, we must inevitably decide that those men who have deserted the consul are enemies. Admirably and seasonably, O Romans, have you by your cries sanctioned the noble conduct of the men of the Martial legion, who have come over to the authority of the senate, to your liberty, and to the whole republic; and have abandoned that enemy and robber and parricide of his country.
Antonius has invaded Gaul; Dolabella, Asia; each a province with which he had no business whatever. Brutus has opposed himself to the one, and at the peril of his own life has checked the onset of that frantic man wishing to harass and plunder everything, has prevented his further progress, and has cut him off from his return. By allowing himself to be besieged he has hemmed in Antonius on each side.
The other has forced his way into Asia. With what object? If it was merely to proceed into Syria, he had a road open to him which was sure, and was not long. What was the need of sending forward some Marsian, they call him Octavius, with a legion; a wicked and necessitous robber; a man to lay waste the lands, to harass the cities, not from any hope of acquiring any permanent property, which they who know him say that he is unable to keep, (for I have not the honour of being acquainted with this senator myself,) but just as present food to satisfy his indigence?
Cic. Phil. 6.6.1 (y)
Antonius is not that sort of man. For if he had been, he would never have allowed matters to come to such a pass, as for the senate to give him notice, as it did to Hannibal at the beginning of the Punic war not to attack Saguntum. But what ignominy it is to be called away from Mutina, and at the same time to be forbidden to approach the city as if he were some fatal conflagration! what an opinion is this for the senate to have of a man! What? As to the commission which is given to the ambassadors to visit Decimus Brutus and his soldiers, and to inform them that their excellent zeal in behalf of, and services done to the republic, are acceptable to the senate and people of Rome, and that that conduct shall tend to their great glory and to their great honour; do you think that Antonius will permit the ambassadors to enter Mutina? and to depart from thence in safety? He never will allow it, believe me. I know the violence of the man, I know his impudence, I know his audacity.