Letters to friends/2.11

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To M. Caelius Rufus[edit]

Laodicea, 4 April 50 BC[edit]

Would you have supposed that words could possibly fail me, and not only oratorical words, such as you advocates use, but even this common vernacular which I employ? Still, fail me they do, and for this reason—I am surprisingly anxious as to what decree may pass about the provinces. An astonishing yearning for the city possesses me, an incredible longing for my friends and for you among the first, and at the same time a weariness of a province, either because I seem to have gained so much reputation, that an accession to it is now not so much to be sought, as some change of fortune to be feared; or because the whole business is one unworthy of my powers, able and accustomed as I am to sustain more important burdens in the public service; or, again, because an alarm of a serious war is hanging over us, which I seem likely to avoid by quitting my province on the day appointed. The panthers are being energetically attended to by the ordinary hunters in accordance with my orders: but there is a great scarcity of them, and such as there are, I am told, complain loudly that they are the only things for which traps are set in all my province, and they are said in consequence to have resolved to quit our province for Caria. However, the business is being pushed on zealously, and especially by Patiscus. All that turn up shall be at your service, but how many that is I don't in the least know. I assure you I am much interested in your aedileship: the day itself reminds me of it; for I am writing on the very day of the Megalensia.[1] Please write the fullest particulars as to the state of politics in general: for I shall look on information from you as the most trustworthy I get.


  1. The festival of Cybele, the Great Mother, began on the 4th of April. It and the ludi Romani were under the charge of the aediles.