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Caesar

Liber I

1

Litteris Caesaris consulibus redditis aegre ab his impetratum est summa tribunorum plebis contentione, ut in senatu recitarentur; ut vero ex litteris ad senatum referretur, impetrari non potuit. Referunt consules de re publica.1 Incitat L. Lentulus consul senatum rei publicae se non defuturum pollicetur, si audacter ac fortiter sententias dicere velint; sin Caesarem respiciant atque eius gratiam sequantur, ut superioribus fecerint temporibus, se sibi consilium capturum neque senatus auctoritati obtemperaturum: habere se quoque ad Caesaris gratiam atque amicitiam receptum. In eandem sententiam loquitur Scipio: Pompeio esse in animo reipublicae non deesse, si senatus sequatur; si cunctetur atque agat lenius, nequiquam eius auxilium, si postea velit, senatum imploraturum.

2

Haec Scipionis oratio, quod senatus in urbe habebatur Pompeiusque aderat, ex ipsius ore Pompei mitti videbatur. Dixerat aliquis leniorem sententiam, ut primo M. Marcellus, ingressus in eam orationem, non oportere ante de ea re ad senatum

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Civil Wars, Book I

Book I

1

When Caesar’s dispatch had been handed to the consuls, the tribunes, with difficulty and after much wrangling, gained their permission for it to be read in the senate, but they could not obtain consent for a motion to be brought before the senate on the subject of the dispatch. The consuls bring forward a motion on the state of public affairs. The consul L. Lentulus puts pressure on the senate, and promises that he will not fail the republic if the senators are willing to express their opinions with boldness and resolution; but if they pay regard to Caesar and try to win favour with him as they have done on previous occasions, he says that he will consider his own interests and will not obey their authority. “I too,” said he, “can shelter myself under the favour and friendship of Caesar.” Scipio expresses himself in similar terms—that Pompeius is inclined not to desert the republic if the senate follows him; but if it delays and acts remissly, it will in vain solicit his aid should it wish to do so in the future.

2

This speech of Scipio appeared to come from the mouth of Pompeius himself, since the senate was meeting in the city and Pompeius was close at hand. Some had expressed less rigorous views, such as M. Marcellus, who at first embarked on a speech to the effect that the question ought not to be referred to

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.caesar-civil_wars.1914