Letter LII: ad familiares 9.9
Caesar's camp near Dyrrachium, June, 48 B.C.
For Dolabella, see Intr. 56. For Cicero's movements after writing Ep. LI., cf. Intr. 31. Dolabella was in Caesar's camp, and Cicero was probably in Pompey's.
S. v. g. v.: for si vales, gaudeo. Valeo. Literary Latin failed to perpetuate gaudeo in its archaic sense, which crops out here and there in colloquial Latin. In Plautus it is regularly used in welcoming a friend on his return from foreign parts; cf., e.g., Trin. 1097 et salve et salvom te advenisse gaudeo. It is quite natural that Dolabella in his free and easy style should write s. v. g. instead of the common formula s. v. b. e. Cf. also Intr. 62.
recte : regularly used in inquiries and answers concerning one's health. Cf., e.g., satine recte (valetis)? Ter. And. 804; nempe recte valet? Plaut. Bacch. 188; DEM. quid agitur? SY. recte (agitur), Ter. Adel. 884.
minus belle (sc. se) habuit: on belle, see bellus, Ep. XXIV.2n. The omission of se in this phrase and in similar ones is colloquial; cf. Ter. Adel. 365 omnem rem modo seni quo pacto haberet enarramus ordine; Phorm. 429 bene habent tibi principia. While in Cicero the pronoun is ordinarily expressed in this phrase (cf., eg., ea res sic se habet, Fam. 3.5.3), in one or two passages it is omitted. Cf. Fam. 16.15.1 is etsi mihi nuntiavit te plane febri carere et belle habere; pro Mur. 14 bene habet. A similar ellipsis occurs in colloquial Latin with facere, agere, capessere, probare, recipere, etc.
certum scio: that certum in the common phrases certum scio and certum nescio is an adverb is evident from Cic. pro Scauro, 34 qui sive patricius sive plebeius esset, nondum enim certum constituerat; Hon Sat. 2.6. 27 postmodo, quod mi obsit, dare certumque locuto; 2.5. 100 certum vigilans (Hofmann).
rectissime sunt : cf. Intr. 85.
suadere: in apposition to suspicionem; cf. accedere, Ep. L.3n.
inclinata victoria, since victory has already turned (from the Pompeians).
mi Cicero: cf. mi Pomboni, Ep. X. n.
ab animo: most editors strike out ab, but the style of Dolabella is very colloquial, and the Latin of everyday life was fond not only of personification in general, but of the representation of the individual by this word animus; cf. anime mi (e.g. Plaut. Curc. 165; Men. 182) as a term of endearment; cf. also Ep. LX XVII. 1 praesertim vel animo defatigato tuo qui nunc requiem quaerat ex magnis occupationibus; Ep. LXI. 8 volo enim videre animum qui mihi audeat ista [gap in text] apponere.