Letter VI: ad Atticum 1.17
Rome, Dec. 5, 61 B.C.
At this time there had been a disagreement of long standing between Quintus Cicero and his wife Pomponia, who was the sister of Atticus. On leaving Rome to assume the propraetorship of Asia in 61 B.C.
, Quintus had invited Atticus to accompany him as legatus, and Atticus had declined the invitation (cf. Ep. V. 14). This refusal and the suspicion of Quintus that Pomponia was abetted in her opposition by her brother (cf. odiosas suspiciones, 1), had led to such a serious breach between the two men that Quintus, as current rumor said, had expressed himself very unfavorably in regard to his brother-in-law at Rome, and had actually left the city without writing to him (cf. 4). Atticus naturally felt aggrieved, and in his letter to Marcus Cicero took occasion to remind his friend of the services which he had rendered him in the past (cf. 5). To avoid a misunderstanding with Atticus, and to put his brother's conduct in a more favorable light, without aggravating the quarrel between Quintus and Pomponia, and without putting Atticus in the wrong, constitute the delicate task which Cicero essays. With this letter, cf. Ep. XXX. 3, 4.
epistularum [gap in text] exempla: the letters which Quintus addressed to Atticus from Thessalonica (cf. 4), which would seem to have been very bitter in their tone. Cf. offensionem tam gravem, below.
discedentem: sc. for Epirus at the close of 62 or in the early part of 61 B.C.
(cf. Att. 1.13.1).
insedisse: sc. in animo.
antea saepe: it is evident that the ill-feeling of Quintus antedated the refusal of Atticus to serve as legatus.