Cicero of Arpinum: A Political and Literary Biography Being a Contribution to the History of Ancient Civilization and a Guide to the Study of Cicero's Writings

By E. G. Sihler | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE
THE LAST YEAR OF CICERO'S LIFE

43 B.C.

ANTONY had completed his circumvallation1 of Mutina, where Decimus Brutus was cooped up. At last had come the day -- it seemed almost a mere vision to him -- which Cicero had so eagerly looked forward to since the Ides of March. On the Kalends of January there were inaugurated Hirtius and Pansa, Caesareans indeed, and once named for the consular office by the Regent himself. They meant to govern however with the cooperation and consent of the senate. Cicero, now sixty-three years old, childless in a way, and alone, hoped to be himself once more and to resume that life and those labors, which in all his being and experience were the most precious to him. The new consuls made their report on the state of the government. The most conspicuous item was Mark Antony. What of Mutina? Fufius Calenus was the first speaker invited by the consul. He was a spokesman for Antony always and in the face of any circumstances. Then the jurist Servius was called upon, after him P. Servilius Isauricus, probably the oldest consular in that assembly. Cicero was fourth. Some were in favor of recalling Plancus from Gallia Comata and giving it to Antony. Indeed, was not all the so-called legislation of Antony illegal and passed in defiance of constitutional precedent? Was not his appropriation of the public funds gross robbery?2 What of the traffic in privileges carried on in Fulvia's boudoir? Antony's entire administration was reviewed in scathing terms together with all ignoble features of his private life (15 sq.). If envoys were sent, Antony would not heed them. The senate must now act with solidarity. The present war (of Mutina) is begotten (32) from the hope and prospect of spoliation and of confiscation. "I have read a letter of Antony's to this effect: 'what you are setting your desires on is your concern: what you shall set your desires on. you shall surely have.' Cicero intimates that the ulte

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Lange, 3, 520. Dio 46, 35.
5 Phil. 5 sqq.

-434-

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