Letter XLV: ad Atticum 8.3
Cales, Feb.18, 49 B.C.
Cicero had received a letter from Pompey (Att. 8.11 A) directing him to proceed to Luceria at once and join the other Pompeians. He accordingly left Formiae on Feb. 17 (cf. Att. 8.11D. 1 ) and advanced to Cales, from which place this letter was written, apparently in the night of Feb. 18. Finding his way blocked by Caesar's troops, he turned back (cf. 7) and was in Formiae again Feb. 21.
erga salutem meam: sc. in helping to secure his recall from exile.
unius: i.e. Caesaris.
provisum: in 56 B.C.
Cicero had placated Caesar by withdrawing his opposition to certain of Caesar's agrarian laws (Q. fr. 2.6 . 2), by speaking in favor of a grant of money to Caesar's troops (de Prov. Cons. 28), by extolling Caesar's success in Gaul, and by opposing the withdrawal of a province from him (de Prov. Cons. 17-35), and in 54 B.C.
by defending some of Caesar's friends.
summis honoribus imperusque: i.e. as praetor and consul. The connection precludes any reference to the military imperium which he had just held as proconsul.
sacerdotio: cf. Ep. XXXIV.13n. The most plausible conjecture for the emendation of this passage is to insert sit qui fuerit with Lehmann. The meaning then is: whether it is proper for a brave man and a good citizen to remain in a city in which, after enjoying the most exalted positions of honor and power, he will not be the man he was, and must undergo the risk of bringing some shame upon himself, etc. See Crit. Append.
fore: in apposition to and explanatory of periculum. Ne with the subj. would be a more natural construction, but cf. cum subest ille timor, ea (utilitate) neglecta ne dignitatem quidem posse retineri, de Or. 2.334. The statement of one side of the question, which began with 2, comes to an end with this sentence.