Letter LXXXVII: ad familiares 9.14
Pompeii, May 3, 44 B.C.
One of the many demagogues in Rome at this time, Herophilus or Amatius by name, who claimed to be descended from Gaius Marius, took advantage of the excitement to erect an altar to Caesar in the Forum, on the spot where Caesar's body had been burned. Although Herophilus was put to death as an instigator of riot, the altar which he had erected remained, and a column in Caesar's honor was soon after set up. Dolabella, Cicero's former son-ln-law, who was one of the consuls for 44, during the absence from Rome of his colleague Antony, had the altar and column destroyed, and those concerned in the movement put to death (cf. Att. 14.15.1). It was this action on Dolabella's part which called forth this enthusiastic letter from Cicero. The extravagant tone of the letter has been condemned by many, but Cicero's real purpose was not so much to compliment Dolabella for the vigor of his action, although he appreciated that, as to attach him definitely to the cause of Brutus and Cassius. This hope of Cicero was short-lived. Dolabella's action had been merely a bid for a bribe from the Caesarians, and when this was forthcoming, he ceased to pose as a republican; cf. Intr. 56.
valetudinis causa: the Bay of Naples was and still is a favorite health resort. Cf. ad Baias, Ep. V.10n.
necessarii mei: Cicero's hold upon the municipia was a strong one; cf. concursu Italiae, Ep. XV.4n.
ad caelum, etc.: cf. Bibulus in caelo est, Ep. VII. 2.