Letter XLII: ad familiares 16.11
Near Rome, Jan. 12, 49 B.C.
Cicero reached Rome, after his absence in Cilicia, Jan. 4, 49 B.C.
(cf. 2), but, being anxious to obtain a triumph, remained without the city. This enabled him to avoid participating in the exciting debates which took place in the senate Jan. 1-2 and 5-6, and left him free to negotiate for peace between Caesar and Pompey. On Jan. 1 Curio, Caesar's representative, laid before the senate a proposition to the effect that Caesar should be allowed to sue for the consulship while absent from the city, in accordance with the special law passed in 52 B.C.
granting him that privilege (cf. Intr. 26), or if it should be considered necessary for him to give up his army and provinces, that Pompey should be required to do the same. Although this document was read in the senate, the consuls refused to allow a vote upon it, and after fiery speeches by Lentulus, Scipio, and others, it was voted uti ante certam diem (July 1, 49) Caesar exercitum dimittat; si non faciat, eum adversus rem publicam facturum videri (Caes. B. C. 1.2). After consultations with Pompey, whose imperium, as he was still governor of Spain, did not allow him to enter the city, on Jan. 7 the senate passed the senatus consultum ultimum: dent operam consules praetores tribuni plebis quique pro consulibus sint ad urbem, ne quid res publica detrimenti capiat (Caes. B. C. 1.5).
QQ.: cf. Ep. XL. introd. note.
doleo [gap in text] valere: that while the course of political events was of such absorbing interest at Rome, Cicero's thoughts are first directed towards Tiro and Tiro's illness, affords a striking proof of his affection for his faithful freedman.
quartanam: the appearance of the febris quartana indicated convalescence. Cf. Juv. 4.57 quartanam sperantibus aegris.
Curius: cf. Ep. XXXIX.2n.