Letter coll=Q FR:book=2:letter=3
Letter XVI: ad Quintum fratrem 2.3
Rome, written Feb.12, sent Feb.15, 56 B.C.
This letter presents in a graphic manner the disordered state of affairs in Rome in 56 B.C.
and the isolation of Pompey. The latter fact led Pompey to meet Caesar at Luca in April and renew the Triumvirate, notwithstanding his manifest jealousy of Caesar and his open enmity towards Crassus; cf. Momm. Rm. Hist. IV. 354-370.
antea: in his last letter, Q. fr. 2.2, written Jan. 17.
legationes: i.e. audiences given to foreign embassies.
reiciebantur, were postponed. The reception of foreign embassies was the regular order of business for February.
eo die: i.e. the Ides.
res: Ptolemy Auletes, the king of Egypt, being unable to maintain his position at home, had fled to Rome for help, and in his absence the Alexandrians had placed his daughter Berenice on the throne. The senate, at the suggestion of the consul Lentulus Spinther, voted that the consul who should receive Cilicia as his province should restore Ptolemy. Cilicia fell to Lentulus, but the friends of Pompey contended that the restoration of Ptolemy should be placed in his hands. For the dispute which followed, cf. Fam. 1.1. Cicero espoused the cause of Lentulus. He uses simply res in referring to the matter here, as he had written in detail upon the subject in his last letter to Quintus (Q. fr. 2.2.3).
adfuit (sc. comitiis tributis): Milo was accused of riotous proceedings by Clodius. For the method of procedure before the comitia tributa, cf. Momm. St. N. III. 354-357.
advocatus: the advocatus appeared to give advice and to lend the defendant the benefit of his moral support; M. Marcellus was the patronus, or legal adviser and advocate.
honeste discessimus, we came out of it with flying colors.
prodicta dies: a trial before the comitia tributa ran through four meetings of that assembly. In this case the days of the trial were Feb. 2, Feb. 6, Feb.17 (2, end), and May 7 (cf. Q. fr. 2.5.4).
de omandis praetoribus: i.e. supplying the praetors with the troops necessary for their provinces.
querelis interponendis: abi. cause; cf. recitando, Ept XV. 6 n.
C. Cato: a tribune and enemy of Pompey (Fam. 1.5 B. I); not to be confused with M. Cato.
de abrogando: so as to checkmate the plans of Lentulus with reference to Egypt.
vestitum filius mutavit: the son put on mourning in order to excite sympathy for his father and prevent the passage of the bill, as did Cicero's friends in 58 B.C.
, when the law threatening him with banishment was pro. posed; cf. Att. 3.15.5.