Letters to Atticus/1.4

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To Atticus at Athens[edit]

Rome, 66 BC[edit]

You keep on making me expect you again and again. Only the other day, when I thought you on the point of arriving, I was suddenly put off by you till Quintilis (July). Now, however, I do think that you should Come at the time you mention if you possibly can. You will thereby be in time for my brother Quintus's election, will pay me long-deferred visit, and will settle the dispute with Acutilius. This latter Peducaeus also suggested my mentioning to you, for I think it is full time that you settled that affair. My good offices are at your service and always have been so. Here at Rome I have conducted the case of Gaius Macer with a popular approval surpassing belief and unparalleled. Though I had been inclined to take a lenient view of his case, yet I gained much more substantial advantage from the popular approval on his condemnation than I should have got from his gratitude if he had been acquitted.[1] I am very glad to hear what you say about the Hermathena. It is an ornament appropriate to my "Academia" for two reasons: Hermes is a sign Common to all gymnasia, Minerva specially of this particular one. So I would have you, as you say, adorn the place with the other objects also, and the more the better. The statues which you sent me before I have not yet seen. They are in my villa at Formiae, whither I am at this moment thinking of going. I shall get them all transferred to my Tusculan villa. If I find myself with more than I want there I shall begin adorning Caieta. Please reserve your books, and don't despair of my being able to make them mine. If I succeed in that, I am superior to Crassus in wealth and look down on everybody's manors and pastures.[2]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. The annalist C. Licinius Macer was impeached de repetundis (he was praetor about B.C. 70 or 69, and afterwards had a province), and finding that he was going to be condemned, committed suicide. He was never therefore condemned regularly (Val. Max. 9.127; Plut. Cic. 9). Cicero presided at the court as praetor.
  2. The books must have been a very valuable collection, or Cicero would hardly have made so much of being able to buy them, considering his lavish orders for statues or antiques.