Letter LXXXVI: ad familiares 11.1
Rome, Mar. 17, 44 B.C.
The 17th and 18th of March were taken up with meetings of the senate (cf. Phil. 2.89). Mar. 19 was a holiday (Quinquatrus), on which a burial could not take place, so that the burning of Caesar's body and Antony's address in the Forum cannot have taken place before Mar. 20. On the other hand, seven days seem to have been the extreme interval allowed between death and burial amongst the Romans (cf. Herodian, 4.2.4, with note by Marquardt, Handbuch, VII. 348). The burial must have taken place, therefore, on or before Mar. 22, i.e. Mar. 20-22 (Ruete, 16). As for the date of this letter, there is no mention in it of Caesar's burial, so that it was probably written before Mar. 21-22. In fact, the remarks in 6 make it highly probable that it was written on the morning of Mar. 17. Decimus Junius Brutus Albinus had served under Caesar with distinction in the campaigns against the Veneti in 56 B.C.
(cf. B. G. 3.11.5), and against Vercingetorix in 52 (cf. B. G. 7.9.1). He followed Caesar in the Civil War (cf. Caes. B. C. 1.56-58 et passim), and later served twice as governor of Gallia Vlterior. In spite of these favors from Caesar, he was one of the three most active and prominent leaders of the conspiracy (cf. Suet. Jul. 80; Vell. Paterc. 2.56), and induced Caesar to go to the curia on the Ides of March. Caesar had designated him as one of his second heirs and as governor of Gallia Cisalpina (cf. Intr. 40). M. Junius Brutus, who is addressed (cf. Bruto suo), had espoused the cause of Pompey in the Civil War (cf. Att. 11.4.2), but was subsequently pardoned by Caesar and made governor of Gallia Cisalina (cf. Ep. LXV.10n.). At the time of Caesar's assassination he was praetor. C. Cassius Longinus (cf. Cassio), as proquaestor of Syria, while Cicero was governor of Cilicia, carried on a brilliant campaign against the Parthians (cf. quo [gap in text] recesstsse, Ep. XXXIV.7n.). He supported Pompey in 49 B.C.
, but was subsequently pardoned by Caesar and made one of his legates (cf. Ep. LXV. To n.). At the time of Caesar's death he was praetor.
Hirtius: consul with Pansa in 43 B.C.
Cf. Ep. LXI. 7.
infidelissima: this unusual superlative Cicero himself uses in Ep. LX. 2.
provinciam: i.e. Gallia Cisalpina.
aiebat : sc. Antonius.
mediocre auxilium dignitatis : with especial reference to se [gap in text] provinciam dare posse, above. Caesar's assignment of Gallia Cisalpina to D. Brutus was, however, ratified by the senate Mar. 18.
his: i.e. Antony and his followers.