Cicero, Letters to Friends

LCL 205: 354-355

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Marcus Tullius Cicero


Illud nunc a te peto, si eris, ut spero, otiosus, aliquod ad nos, ut intellegamus nos tibi curae esse, σύνταγμα conscribas. ‘qui5 tibi istuc’ inquis ‘in mentem venit, homini non inepto?’ <cupio>6 aliquod7 ex tam multis tuis monumentis exstare quod nostrae amicitiae memoriam po<s>teris quoque prodat. cuius modi velim, puto, quaeris. tu citius, qui omnem nosti disciplinam, quod maxime convenit excogitabis, genere tamen quod et ad nos pertineat et διδασκαλίαν quandam, ut versetur inter manus, habeat.

80 (II.8)

Scr. Athenis prid. Non. Quint. an. 51



Quid? tu me hoc tibi mandasse existimas ut mihi gladiatorum compositiones, ut vadimonia dilata et Chresti compilationem mitteres et ea quae nobis cum Romae sumus narrare nemo audeat? vide quantum tibi meo iudicio tribuam (nec mehercule iniuria; πoλιτικώτερoν enim te adhuc neminem cognovi): ne illa quidem curo mihi scribas quae maximis in rebus rei publicae geruntur cottidie, nisi quid ad me ipsum pertinebit. scribent alii, multi nuntiabunt, perferet multa etiam ipse rumor. qua re ego nec praeterita nec praesentia abs te sed, ut ab homine longe in

  • 5quid (Man.)
  • 6(Ern.: volo Wes.)
  • 7aliquid (Man.)

Letters to Friends

Now I have a favour to ask. If you are going to have time on your hands, as I expect you will, won’t you write a tract on something or other and dedicate it to me, as a token of your regard? You may ask what put that into my tolerably sensible head. Well, I have a desire that among the many works that will keep your name alive there should be one which will hand down to posterity the memory of our friendship. I suppose you will want to know what sort of book I have in mind. With your command of the whole range of knowledge you will think out the most appropriate subject quicker than I; but in general terms, let it be something of relevance to me, with a didactic character so as to have a steady circulation.


Athens, 6 July 51

From M. Cicero, Proconsul, to M. Caelius greetings.

Really! Is this what you think I asked you to do—to send me pairings of gladiators, court adjournments, Chrestus’1 pilfering, all the trivia which nobody would dare tell me when I am in Rome? Let me show you how highly I value your judgement—and right I am, for I have never known a better politique than you! I do not even particularly want you to tell me day-to-day political developments in matters of major consequence, unless I am affected personally. Others will be writing, I shall have plenty of oral informants, even common report will transmit a good deal. So I do not expect things past or present from your pen. What I want from so far-sighted a fellow as yourself is the future.

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.marcus_tullius_cicero-letters_friends.2001