Letter XXIX: ad familiares 3.2
After leaving Rome, about Mar., 51 B.C.
Cicero's request, embodied in this letter, that Appius Claudius Pulcher, his predecessor in the proconsulship of Cilicia, should turn over the province to him in as satisfactory a condition as possible, was far from being fulfilled; and Cicero found himself under the necessity of changing many of the corrupt and tyrannous practices of the late governor, a course which brought upon him the enmity of Appius. Upon his return to Rome, Appius was charged with misgovernment by Dolabella, Cicero's son-in-law, but escaped punishment with the help of Pompey. For the limits of Cicero's province, cf. Intr. 23. The possession of the title proconsul (procos.), carrying along with it the imperium, indicates that Cicero wrote this letter at some point outside of Rome. Appius received the title of imperator (imp.) from his troops, because of a successful campaign against the mountaineers of his province.
contra voluntatem [gap in text] et praeter opinionem: Cicero had declined a province both at the close of his praetorship and of his consulship. The words contra voluntatem indicate that in declining Macedonia in favor of C. Antonius in 63 B.C.
he did not show so much self-abnegation as he would lead us elsewhere to infer. Cf. Ep. XXXIV. 13 si quisquam, etc. His assignment to a province in this case was one of the results of a law passed rather unexpectedly; cf. Intr. 22.
amicior: cf. Appium, Ep. VIII.2n.
summa coniunctione: both were augurs. See also amicior Above.
quaeso: here (with peto) followed by an object clause, a rare use. In classical prose quaeso is used parenthetically either alone or with a single word for an object, especially deos or a personal pronoun (cf. Phil. 7.8).
consulas, etc.: instead of complying with this request, Appius proposed a decrease in the scanty military force in the province (cf. Fam. 3.3.2), and treated Cicero with marked disrespect (cf. Fam. 3.8.6). The letters of the two men are full of mutual recriminations and explanations; cf. Fam. 3.7.2; 3.9.1; 3.11.5.