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FRL V: ORATORY, PART 3

On Pompey and Caesar in the Senate (F5)

F 5 Caes. BCiv. 1.1.2–4.2

referunt consules de re publica infinite.1 L. Lentulus consul senatui rei publicae se non defuturum pollicetur si audacter ac fortiter sententias dicere velint; [3] 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.... [2.4] hi omnes convicio L. Lentuli consulis correpti exagitabantur. [5] Lentulus sententiam Calidi pronuntiaturum se omnino negavit. Marcellus perterritus conviciis a sua sententia discessit. [6] sic vocibus consulis, terrore praesentis exercitus, minis amicorum Pompei plerique compulsi inviti et coacti Scipionis sententiam sequuntur: uti ante certam diem Caesar exercitum dimittat; sinon faciat, eum adversus rem publicam facturum videri.... [4.1] omnibus his resistitur omnibusque oratio

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157 L. CORNELIUS LENTULUS CRUS

On Pompey and Caesar in the Senate (F 5)

In January 49 BC, having just entered the consulship (along with C. Claudius Marcellus, brother of M. Claudius Marcellus [155]), Lentulus spoke in the Senate about Cn. Pompeius Magnus (111) and C. Iulius Caesar (121).

F 5 Caesar, Civil War

The consuls initiate a general debate about the political situation [in response to a letter received from C. Iulius Caesar (121)]. L. Lentulus, the consul, promises that he will not fail the Senate and the Republic if they are willing to put forward proposals boldly and forcefully; [3] but if they should look to Caesar and chase after his favor, as they have done on previous occasions, he will make a plan with himself and not comply with the Senate’s authority; he too has a refuge in Caesar’s favor and friendship.... [2.4] All these men [who had made milder proposals], rebuked with abuse from L. Lentulus, the consul, had strong feelings aroused. [5] Lentulus refused outright to ask for a vote on Calidius’ proposal [M. Calidius (140), F 12A]. Marcellus [M. Claudius Marcellus (155)], thoroughly alarmed by the derision, abandoned his proposal. [6] Thus, prompted by the consul’s language, fear of the nearby army [of Pompey], and threats from Pompey’s [Cn. Pompeius Magnus (111)] friends, the majority, forced, unwilling, and coerced, support Scipio’s proposal [Q. Caecilius Metellus Pius Scipio Nasica (154), F 3]: that Caesar must dismiss his army by a set date; if he does not do so, he will clearly have acted against the Republic.... [4.1] All these [proposals] are resisted, and they all are opposed

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.fragmentary_republican_latin-oratory.2019