Letter XXI: ad familiares 7.5
Rome, April, 54 B.C.
C. Trebatius Testa, the date of whose birth is uncertain, came as a boy to Rome to study law. He became attached to Cicero, and pleased the latter by both his wit and good-fellowship, and also assisted him by his knowledge of jurisprudence. Being anxious, however, to see something of the world, to win his spurs, and to make a fortune, perhaps, in the provinces, Trebatius set out for the Roman camp in Gaul, carrying with him this letter of recommendation. Cicero's relations with Trebatius were of a most intimate nature, as his seventeen letters to him (Fam. 7.6-22) prove. Like most of the young men who served upon Caesar's staff in Gaul, Trebatius became his devoted admirer, and followed his fortunes in the Civil War. He was one of the few members of that coterie of young men about Caesar who survived the Civil War and lived to see Rome at peace under Augustus. Horace introduces him as a speaker in Sat. 2.1.
me alterum: cf. Ep. XV.7n.
quocumque exirem: Pompey had named Cicero as one of his 15 legati on the corn commission in 57 B.C.
(Ep. XV. 7), and Cicero would naturally have gone to some province in connection with that matter, but as he preferred to stay at Rome, his place was taken by Quintus, who went to Sardinia (Ep. XVI. 7); or perhaps reference is made to the fact that the province of Spain was assigned to Pompey at the close of his consulship in 55 B.C.
, and Cicero may have been invited to accompany him as his legatus, but, as we know, Pompey remained at Rome.
dubitatio: Cicero's hesitation to leave Rome was due perhaps partly to a fear that Clodius might attack him during his absence, and partly to a fondness for Rome. Cf. si potes, etc., Ep. XVII.2n.
exspectare [gap in text] sperasset: in the contrast between these two words lies a delicate compliment to Caesar. The favor of the successful governor of the Gauls would insure to Trebatius what the friendship of a legatus to Spain could only make probable.
prolixe: not infrequently in the Letters with verbs of hoping, thinking, and promising, adverbs are used instead of the neut. acc. plur. of the adj. used substantively, e.g. ut ipse facile animadverterem male (for mala) eum de me cogitare, Fam. 8, 12.1; non licuit diutius bene de eo sperare, Fam. 10.21.1; si humaniter et sapienter et amabiliter in me cogitare vis, Att. 14.13A. 2. This is a colloquial usage.
promisi: used of a formal agreement, while polliceri implies a voluntary promise.