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Pro Milone: Cicero’s Second Thoughts*

  • A. M. Stone (a1)


Asconius believed he had access to two published editions of Cicero’s defence of Milo. The first purported to be a record of the speech as delivered at the trial, in which Cicero was not at his best. The second edition was regarded by Asconius as Cicero’s supreme achievement in oratory. This edition is that which we still have; the first has perished, and it has even been suggested that Asconius — and Quintilian — were duped by a forgery. Even so Asconius’ knowledge of Cicero’s line of defence in the trial cannot have depended on the text of this supposed verbatim record alone, but rather on an ample historiography on which he drew for the long and circumstantial argumentum to his Milonian commentary. (A forger, for that matter, who could impose on Asconius and Quintilian must also have been historically well informed about the case.) Any indication by Asconius, therefore, of a divergence between the original defence and the extant version is likely to rest on specific knowledge.



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1 42 C : ‘Manet autem ilia quoque excepta eius oratio: scripsit uero hanc quam legimus ita perfecte ut iure prima haberi possit.’

2 Asconius (ibid.) says only that Cicero did not speak with his usual constancy; the more colourful account of Cicero’s disgrace that is the modern vulgate appears in Dio (40.54) and (in very similar form) in the Scholia Bobiensia 112 St.; cf. Plutarch, Cicero 35 with different details. That Dio attributes Cicero’s supposed panic to the sight of Pompey’s soldiers, whose protection had in fact been requested on the first day of the trial precisely by Milo and his patron Marcellus, who was all but lynched by the Clodian mob (Asc. 40 C), and that in the following chapter Dio makes Cicero’s successful prosecution of Plancus a similar fiasco (καίπερ καΐ τότε ό Κικέρων ούδέν βέλτιον του Πλάγκου κατηγόρησεν ή ύπερ τοϋ Μίλωνος άπελογήσατο) should give pause to the widespread confidence in Dio’s judgment and accuracy in this section. Reasons for a more generous assessment of Cicero’s performance at the trial are adduced by Settle, J.N., ‘The Trial of Milo and the other Pro Milone’, TAPA 94 (1963), at 271–3.

3 42 C. This assessment is endorsed by Quintilian (Inst. Or. 4. 2. 25: ‘in oratione pulcherrima quam pro Milone scriptam reliquit’), who also draws on it frequently as a model.

4 Settle, loc. cit. 274–80. But Asconius was not an easy victim: cf. ‘feruntur quoque orationes nomine illorum (Catiline and C. Antonius) editae, non ab ipsis scriptae sed ab Ciceronis obtrectatoribus’ (94 C) and (with what caution!) ‘ex libro apparet qui Ciceronis nomine inscribitur de optimo genere oratorum’ (30 C).

5 Inst. Or. 4. 3. 17: ‘ut ipsa oratiuncula qua usus est patet’. That Quintilian did accept the existence of two versions is not to be evaded. The extant speech is not an oratiuncula and Settle’s attempt (loc. cit. 279 n. 25) to suggest that Quintilian could have used this ‘ever-elusive diminutive’ to designate what he had elsewhere called ‘oratio pulcherrima’ must fail.

6 Fenestella and the Acta are mentioned (31 C). He probably used Livy (attested for the In Cornelianam 66, 77 C) and may have used others (e.g. Pollio). The chronological disorder points to a number of sources.

7 Ciaceri, E., Cicerone e i suoi tempi2 (Milan 1941), 150–5: ‘sviluppo’ with its synonyms in all languages is inherently ambiguous, but the context of Ciaceri’s discussion reins it in.

8 Ibid. 155; but cf. Dio (40. 54. 2) explicitly ‘χρόνψ ποθ ύστερον’.

9 Humbert, J., Les plaidoyers écrits et les plaidoiries réelles de Cicerén (Paris 1925), 189–97.

10 41 C; cf. Schol. Bob. 112 St., signifying that Cicero and Brutus actually discussed the best way to defend Milo. But this may be no more than inference from the publications: cf. Quint. Inst. Or. 3. 6. 93, without implying conference between them.

11 Pro Milone 12: ‘Quando enim frequentissimo senatu quattuor aut summum quinqué sunt inuenti qui Milonis causam non probarent?'; Asc. 30 C: ‘sed Milo pro melioribus partibus stabat.’; 53–4 C: ‘Fuerunt qui crederent M. Catonis sententia eum esse absolutum; nam et bene cum re publica actum esse morte P. Clodi non dissimulauerat et studebat in petitione consulatus Miloni et reo adfuerat.’ The Optimate conscience was undisturbed by Milo’s methods.

12 The extant speech makes no reference to the attack on the inn, the killing of Clodius there and the raid on Clodius‘ Alban estate. Suppression was one of the orator’s more desperate resorts (De oratore 2. 294). That Cicero was compelled to do this at the trial as well even Humbert comes close to admitting (op. cit. 194–5).

13 41 C: ‘Ciceroni id non placuit ut, quisquis bono publico damnari, idem etiam occidi indemnatus posset.’ This is faithfully ‘developed’ by Ciaceri (151).

14 Mil. 12: ‘caedem, in qua P. Clodius occisus esset(H, Bake andedd., est [rell.J) senatum iudicasse contra rem publicam esse factam.’ A.C. Clark in his edition of Pro Milone (1895) asserts ad loc. that Cicero has twisted the words of the senatus consultum which he thinks are correctly given by Asconius (44 C): ‘in quibus (the Acta) cognoui pridie Kal. Mart. S.C. esse factum, P. Clodi caedem et incendium curiae et oppugnationem aedium M. Lepidi contra rem p. factam’. A.B. Poynton in his second edition of Pro Milone (1902) notes ad loc. that Cicero also refers to Pompey’s legislation (carried ‘ex s.c.’ [Asc. 36 C]) in the terms ascribed to the s.c: ‘tulit enimde caede quae in Appiauia facta esset, in qua P. Clodius occisus esset’. This does not refute Clark; it would merely indicate Cicero’s consistency. Cicero’s accuracy is to be vindicated rather by reference to the role played by Hortensius (Asc. 44 C) and Cicero himself (Mil. 14; cf. 31, where the Senate’s decision is referred to in terms nearly identical with those he uses of his own proposal at 14) in formulating the terms of the decree. That Milo’s friends should have framed it so as to cut away all grounds for defence is inconceivable: ‘senatus rem, non hominem notauit’, proclaims Cicero (Mil. 31). That he is accurate is indicated not so much by his own claim that hardly four or five senators could be found hostile to Milo’s cause as by the attacks of the opposition on his potentia over the Senate, Plancus declaring that the Senate decreed not what it thought but what Cicero wished (Mil. 12). Milo’s friends were unable to sweep the Clodian affair away; they were able, however, to designate it so far as possible without prejudice to Milo and to bracket with it a number of Clodian misdeeds. It is preferable therefore to conclude that it is Asconius who has (without insidious intent) twisted the terms of the decree by simplifying a cumbersome clause into ‘P. Clodi caedem’.

15 MIL. 15; Asc. 36 C. I take the Senate’s pronouncements to have found a place in the preamble to the law. However it has been put to me by Dr R.A. Bauman that the law will not have taken up the ‘contra rem publicam’-declaration but will have been in terms analogous to those of the Lex Mamilia of 109 B.C. (Sailust, Jug. 40) and the Lex Varia of 90 B.C. (Asc. 22 C; Val. Max. 8. 6.4), in both of which an inquiry is ordered into the perpetrators of a number of specific acts, on which no opinion is expressed in the law as to their being perduellio or uis or anything else (e.g. Sail. Jug. 40: ‘utiquaerereturineos quorum Consilio Iugurtha senati decreta neglegisset … ’). He agrees that the pronouncements of the Senate are nevertheless part of the terms of reference of the trial.

16 Mil. 6.

17 Asc. 31–2, 41 C; Appian, B.C. 2. 21; Veil. Pat. 2. 47; Dio 40. 48.

18 Lintott, A.W., ‘Cicero and Milo’, JRS 64 (1974), 74: ‘It is at first sight puzzling to us that the prosecution tried to prove too much.’

19 Ibid. 74–5. Lintott does not adduce in support an alternative wording of the Lex Varia ‘quae iubebat quaeri quorum dolo malo socii ad arma ire coacti essent’ (Val. Max. 8. 6. 4).

20 Mil. 23: ‘… reliquum est, iudices, ut nihil iam quaerere aliud debeatis nisi uter utri insidias fecerit.’; 32: ‘Quonam igitur pacto probari potest insidias Miloni fecisse Clodium?’

21 Mil. 6 (bis), 10,14,23,27,31,32,48,53,60,88; ‘insidiator’ 10,11,19,28,30,49,54; ‘insidian’ 37, 47, 52; ‘insidiosus’ 50. ‘Insidiator’ is applied ironically to Milo at 28 and 49. That this theme was part of the original defence is shown by Asconius at 41 C.

22 JRS 64 (1974), 75.

23 Mil. 31 : ‘Insidias factas esse constat, et id est quod senatus contra rem publicam factum iudicauit’; cf. 14: ‘cuminessetinreuis et insidiae, crimen iudicio reseruaui, remnotaui’, Insidiae was as integral to the case as uis.

24 32, 33 C.

25 51 C.

26 As from 22 January.

27 33 C: ‘Contionem ei post aliquot dies dedit M. Caelius tribunus plebis ac (Cicero) ipse etiam causarti egit ad populum. Dicebant uterque Miloni a Clodio factas esse insidias.’ ‘Cicero’ is a conjecture on the basis of ‘ac ci P: acci S: aci M’. (Madvig proposed ‘atque’.) If Cicero’s name is to be rejected as an intrusion, ‘uterque’ must referto Caelius and Milo. Milo may at first have been genuinely under the impression that there had been a conspiracy to ambush him. His descent upon Clodius’ Alban villa and the torture of the slave Halicor, represented later by Scipio as being directed against Clodius’ young son (Asc. 35 C), make better sense if interpreted as an attempt by Milo to discover the dimensions of — and forestall by all means — a plot against his life. He must soon have regretted the blunder, but the very violence with which he had pursued his suspicions will have made it impossible for him (and therefore his friends) to depart from the story of an ambush, which was soon to be propped up by all sorts of fictitious exculpatory details.

28 Asc. 34–5 C: ‘Clodium Aricinos decuriones alloquendi gratia abisse profectum cum sex ac XX seruis; Milonem subito post horam quartam, senatu misso, cum seruis amplius ccc armatis obuiam ei contendisse et supra Bouillas inopinantem in itinere aggressum.’ It is the perfect reverse of the picture painted later by Cicero (Mil. 26–9, 45–60).

29 Asconius at 34 C does not date the s.c. ultimum but places the request for Milo’s slaves in the intercalary month. To allow time for Pompey’s levy of troops it is best to accept Lintott’s dating of the s.c. ultimum to February (loc. cit. 71 and esp. note 112).

30 Asc. 34 C; cf. Cic. Mil. 29 (representing the affray as a minor Trasimene with a happier outcome).

31 51 C: ‘… num ad eum delatum esset illius quoque rei indicium, suae uitae insidiari Milonem.’

32 50–2 C.

33 Asconius makes Plancus play Iago: 38 C: ‘(Plancus) Pompeio autem suspectum faciebat Milonem, ad perniciem eius comparari uim uociferatus: Pompeiusque ob ea saepius querebatur sibi quoque fieri insidias et id palam, ac maiore manu se armabat.’

34 34, 39 C.

35 39 C; Cic. Mil. 59.

36 Mil. 56–60.

37 Mil. 55.

38 Mil. 55: ‘ipse Clodius tamen mulier inciderai in uiros’; 89: ‘nisi eum di immortales in earn mentem impulissent ut homo effeminatus fortissimum uirum conaretur occidere …’.

39 Mil. 6; ‘… nec postulaturi (sumus) ut, quia mors P. Clodi salus uestra fuerit, idcirco earn uirtuti Milonis potius quam populi Romani felicitati adsignetis.’; cf. Mil. 83.

40 Mil. 63, 64; cf. Pompey’s publicized fear: Mil. 67 and Asc. 36, 38, 52 C.

41 E.g. Mil. 28, 55.

42 And again not with that of Cato and his nephew: Cato sturdily denied the applicability of the ‘contra rem publicam’-pronouncement to the case: ‘bene cum re publica actum esse morte P. Clodi’ (Asc. 54 C).

43 Cicero was trapped by his acceptance of the ‘contra rem publicam’-pronouncement into near absurdity. The suppression of the Gracchi and Saturninus was e re publica, but the violence used to do it was contra rem publicam (Mil. 13–14).

43 aAsc. 44 C.

44 The extraordinary magistrate as healer will be discussed in the next section.

45 41 C.

46 Mil. 6.

47 Mil. 72–91.

48 Mil. 72–5.

49 Mil. 92

50 Ad Herennium 1. 24: ‘Adsumptiua pars est cum per se defensio infirma est, adsumpta extraña re comprobatur.’; Quint. Inst. Or. 7. 4. 7.

51 Schol. Bob. 112 St.. Thus Brutus’ entire pamphlet was a compensatio for an impossible defence.

52 Mil. 92–105.

53 Mil 72–8.

54 83–5.

55 Mil. 86.

56 Mil. 77–8, 88–9.

57 41 C; Lintott (70, 74) makes the point but puts it at its minimum: ‘He did not use the argument that Clodius’ murder was pro re publica in the defence speech that he was to deliver but its brief appearance in the published version is a reminder that it still carried weight for him.’

58 Mil. 77: ‘unum post hominum memoriam T. Annium plurimum rei publicae profuisse’.

59 Ibid.: ‘multas tamen iam summorum imperatorum clarissimas uictorias aetas nostra uidit, quarum nulla neque tarn diuturnam laetitiam attulit nec tantam.’

60 Mil. 78; Humbert notes ([above, note 9] 193–4) that April 52 B.C. was rather too early for congratulations on the achievements of the sole consulate.

61 Mil. 78–9.

62 Mil. 87–9.

63 Mil. 89: ‘… hodie rem publicam nullam haberetis’.

64 Mil. 88.

65 The term gratia indicates something more practical (and more nefarious) than the normal constraints of amicitia.

66 Mil. 89: ‘Milone occiso (Clodius) habuisset suos cónsules’.

67 Mil. 65: ‘commissa tota res publica est’; 66: ‘pro tota re publica suscepta’.

68 Mil. 68: ‘sedquis non intelligitomnis tibi rei publicae partis aegras et labantis, ut eas his armis sanares et confirmares, esse commissas?’

69 Appian, B.C. 2. 23: The Senate felt that a dictatorship for Pompey was necessary θεραπεία; 25: Pompey had speedily restored the sick (νοσούσαν) Republic; 28: his third consulate, wrote Pompey, was not to please himself but to provide θεραπεία for the City; Plutarch,Pompey 55: Pompey's marriage celebrations were inappropriate at a time when he had been called in as a physician (Ιατρός); Caesar 28: Many ventured to say that the Republic was incurable (άνήκεστον) except by monarchy and that they should take the remedy (φάρμακον) offered by the gentlest of physicians (τοϋ πραοτάτου των Ιατρών).

70 Mil. 88: ‘Aliter perire pestis illa non potuit.’

71 It is used of Verres (Verr. II 3.125), of Catiline (Mur. 52), of Gabinius and Piso (Dom. 2A; Sest. 65; Vat. 18; Prov. cons. 13), of Vatinius (Vat. 6); it was to be resurrected for Antony (e.g. Phil. 4.7). It is used of Clodius — prophetically — at Har. Resp. 6: just as Scipio had been born to destroy Carthage, so T. Annius had been born and donated to the Republic by divine gift, as it were, to put down and utterly destroy that pestis.

72 Thus it is applied in this speech without obvious resonance to Clodius (Mil. 40) and to Clodius’ proposed laws (Mil. 33).

73 Mil. 68.

74 Mil. 78.

75 Mil. 79: ‘… ab eisne poenam timeret quos liberauisset?’

76 Mil.12 (as Plancus could testify).

77 Mil.2: ‘sapientissimi et iustissimi uiri’.

78 Mil. 19: ‘ei uiro autem mors parabatur cuius in uita nitebatur salus ciuitatis; eo porro rei publicae tempore quo, si unus ille occidisset, non haec solum ciuitas sed gentes omnes concidissent.’

79 Mil. 21: ‘homo sapiens atque alta et diuina quadam mente praeditus’.

80 Mil. 15.

81 Mil. 21.

82 Mil. 22.

83 Mil. 18–19.

84 Mil. 39: ‘auctor et dux mei reditus, illius hostis’.

85 Mil. 73: (of Pompey) ‘eum qui plurimis caedibus in foro factis singulari uirtute et gloria ciuem domum ui et armis compulit’; (of Cicero) ‘eum qui ciuem quern senatus, quem populus Romanus, quem omnes gentes urbis ac uitae ciuium conseruatorem iudicarant seruorum armis exterminauit’. And Mil. 87: ‘Cn. Pompeio nefarium bellum indixerat.’

86 Asc. 36, 38, 50–2 C.

87 Mil. 65; cf. Asc. 51 C.

88 Mil. 65.

89 38 C.

90 36, 38, 50–2 C.

91 Mil. 65–6; Cicero had also proclaimed this general truth at the time (Asc. 36 C).

92 Mil. 67–9.

93 Mil. 70–1.

94 Mil. 66.

95 Mil. 70: ‘Satis iudicatum est a Pompeio, satis, falso ista conferri in Milonem, qui legem tulit qua, ut ego sentio, Milonem absolui a uobis oporteret, ut omnes confitentur, liceret.’

96 Mil. 67–9.

97 Mil. 66: ‘cauebat magis Pompeius quam timebat’; ‘non poteram Cn. Pompeium, prestantissima uirtute uirum, timidum suspicari’.

98 Mil. 67: ‘Si Milonem times …’.

99 Mil. 68.

100 Mil. 67.

101 Mil. 68: ‘Quod si locus Miloni datus esset, probasset profecto tibi ipsi, neminem umquam hominem homini cariorem fuisse quam te sibi; nullum se umquam periculum pro tua dignitate fugisse, cum ilia ipsa taeterrima peste se saepissime pro tua gloria contendisse …’.

102 Mil. 69.

103 Op. cit. Vol. 2, p. 154.

104 This is the period of the Law of the Ten Tribunes passed on Caesar's behalf with Pompey’s assistance (Cic. Att. 7. 1.4; Dio 40. 51; cf.Plut. Pompey 56 [garbled]).

105 The harsh resumption of the main argument (that Pompey is favourable) at Mil. 70 with ‘Quamquam …’ is noteworthy.

106 E.g. Mil. 69: Pompey will one day need a friend like Milo; cf. 79: the jury are the avengers of Clodius’ death.

107 Mil. 93.

108 Mil. 99.

109 Mil. 25: ‘contulit se ad eius competitores, sed ita totam ut petitionem ipse solus etiam inuitis Mis gubernaret.’; Mil. 32: ‘ut eis consulibus praetor esset quibus si non adiuuantibus at coniuentibus certe speraret se posse eludere in illis suis cogitatis furoribus’.

110 Mil. 89: ‘Milone occiso habuisset suos cónsules’.

111 Asc. 34–5 C: Scipio had denounced Milo in the Senate as an insidiator, 48 C: there had been murderous gang-warfare between Hypsaeus and Milo.

112 Suspicion attaches, for example, to ‘nec postulaturi … felicitati adsignetis’ (Mil. 6); to ‘praesertim omnia… non nulla credenti’ (Mil. 61); there may be some patchwork in the peroration (e.g. Mil. 105). Some harsh discords between the published and the original line of approach may have been attended to. And there may be some or much purely literary revision.

113 As to the latter, the abrupt apostrophe of Pompey at Mil. 67, the ingenuous labelling of the ‘extra causam’-section (Mil. 92: ‘sed iam satis multa de causa, extra causam etiam nimis fonasse multa’) and the presentment of the peroration virtually as a dialogue between Milo and Cicero are, I believe, evidences of Cicero’s artistic integrity, signals that his second thoughts were not being confused among his first.

114 Dio 40.54: τούτον γάρ τον λόγον τον νυν φερόμενον ως καιύπέρτοΰ Μίλωνος τότε λεχθέντα χοόνφ ποθ' ύστερον καΐ κατά σχολήν άναθαρσήσας έγραψε; Schol. Bob. 112 St.: ‘Hanc orationem postea legitimo opere etmaiorecura, utpote iam confirmai» animo et in securitate, conscripsit.’ The same source must stand behind both. The context reveals it to be anti-Ciceronian.

115 Asc. 55 C.

116 Asc. 55–6 C.

117 Asc. 44 C; Mil. 14, 31; and note 14 above .

118 Asc. 40 C; cf. Dio 40. 54. The light shining on the soldiers’ arms which allegedly dismayed the orator and which has added life, like the mullets of Massilia, to accounts composed ever since, first flashes in Plutarch’s Life of Cicero (35). The roar of the Clodian mob (‘exceptus est acclamatione Clodianorum’ Asc. 41 C) is quite as dramatic and better history. (On Cicero’s bodyguard, see note 125 below.)

119 Caelius denounced Pompey’s legislation as a priuilegium against Milo and specifically objected to the rushing through of trials under the shortened procedure (Asc. 36 C). But the same procedure was to apply to the trials of Clodiani charged with the burning of the senate-house (ibid.).

120 Asc. 38 C: ‘Album quoque iudicum qui de ea re iudicarent Pompeius tale proposuit ut numquam neque clariores uiros neque sanctiores propositos esse constaret.’

121 Asc. 53–4 C; cf. Mil. 58. (What is Asconius’ authority for conjecturing a possible adverse vote by Cato, a betrayal of Milo on principle?)

122 Mil. 22; Asc. 38 C; cf. Plut. Pompey 52. Domitius’ obstinacy in competing with Pompey and Crassus for office in 55 B.C. was to be repeated later at Corfinium.

123 Mil. 21.

124 Asc. 55–6 C. Sextus Cloelius was condemned by 46 votes to 5. Milo had done better than that: 38 to 13 (Asc. 53 C). Well might Cicero term them even in a rebuke ‘amicissimi’ (Mil. 99). (Cf. their treatment of Plancus in section VI below.)

125 Fam. 3. 10. 10 (to Ap. Claudius Pulcher, April 50 B.C.): ‘qua denique illie facilitate, qua humanitate tulit contentionem meam pro Milone aduersantem interdum action-ibus suis, quo studio prouidit, ne quae me illius temporis inuidia attingeret, cum me Consilio, cum auctoritate, cum armis denique texit suis!’ Cf. Att. 9. 7 Β.2 (Balbus to Cicero, March 49 B.C.): ‘… et ab eo praesidium petere, ut petisti a Pompeio me quidem adprobante temporibus Milonianis’.

126 Au. 7. 1.4. (October 50 B.C.): ‘nam ut illi hoc (i.e. ‘ratio absentis’) liceret adiuui, rogatus ab ipso Rauennae de Caelio tribuno pi. ab ipso autem? etiam a Gnaeo nostro in ilio diuino tertio consulatu.’

127 Att. 7. 3. 4; 8. 3. 3; Flores 2. 13. 16.

128 Suetonius (Julius 26) makes Caesar persuade the tribunes himself and leaves Pompey out as a bystander: ‘egit cum tribunis plebis collegam se Pompeio destinantibus, id potius ad populum ferrent, ut absenti sibi…’. Dio (40. 51) has Pompey persuade the tribunes in order to avoid either Caesar’s being made his colleague or Caesar’s resentment at being neglected. Appian (B.C. 2. 25) has Caesar persuade the tribunes without opposition from Pompey, implicitly late in Pompey’s consulate (ύπατεύοντος ετι του Πομπηίου).

129 Asc. 34 C; Caesar, B.G. 7.1; i.e. at some time in February or early in the intercalary month. Gruen, (The Last Generation of the Roman Republic [Berkeley, 1974], 455) suggests that Cicero may have been Pompey’s emissary. Cicero did not have identical interests with the two dynasts, however; even before the death of Clodius, Cicero was distanced from them by his commitment to Milo’s consular campaign. To use such an intermediary might lead to misunderstanding.

130 This may be the ‘compensating service’ that Lintott (see note 18 above) 73 finds wanting.

131 Mil. 64.

132 Mil. 70–1.

133 Mil. 63. The armed guard and the searching of Milo are analogous to (and imitative of?) Cicero’s breastplate at the elections of 63 B.C.

134 The rapprochement, if such it was, between the tribunes Q. Pompeius Rufus and C. Sallustius Crispus on the one hand and Milo and Cicero on the other was probably not part of the deal. Lintott notes Cicero’s continuing hostility to Pompeius Rufus; it is also strange that Pompey failed to call Plancus off if muzzling the tribunes was included in the terms.

135 Att. 7. 1. 4; 8. 3. 3: ‘idem etiam tertio consuiatu, postquam esse defensor rei publicae coepit, contendit ut decern tribuni pl. ferrent ut absentis ratio haberetur …’;Fam. 6.6. 5 ‘ipso consule pugnante’.

136 Asc. 36 C.

137 It is uncertain how long Caesar remained to take a hand. B.G. 7.6. shows that Pompey had restored some measure of order before Caesar re-crossed the Alps. Both Suetonius (Julius 26) and Dio (40. 51) are clear that the proposal to make Caesar consul immediately was in response to the Senate’s proposal that Pompey be sole consul. Caesar therefore cannot have returned to Transalpine Gaul at the beginning of March and may have stayed longer to get the ratio absentis off the ground; I have argued above, however, that Pompey and Caesar themselves (and probably Cicero) had settled the matter some time before Pompey came into office. Conditions were still wintry when Caesar re-crossed the Alps, i.e. well before the end of March. (Ed. Meyer, , Caesars Monarchie und das Principat des Pompeius [Stuttgart 1922], 233–4, Lintott 73).

138 The words ‘rogatus ab ipso Rauennae de Caelio tribuno pl. ab ipso autem? etiam a Gnaeo nostro in ilio diuino tertio consulate’ (Att. 7. 1.4) surely indicate two different occasions.

139 Asc. 36 C; Plut. Pompey 54; Dio 40. 50: ‘(The senators) hoped to make Pompey their own (σφετεριεΐσθαι). And so it turned out.’

140 It was at Milo’s trial that the mob learned that Pompey was in earnest with them too: Asc. 41 C: ‘Cicero … exceptas est acclamatione Clodianorum, qui se continere ne metu quidem circumstantium militum potuerunt.’ Compare Dio 40. 53: Swords were turned upon the mob first to deter and then to kill.

141 Perhaps their real feelings were better indicated by the acquittal of Saufeius, whose cause was worse than Milo’s own (Asc. 55 C). It is not known whether Pompey expressed an opinion this time.

142 Plut. Pomp. 55.

143 Ibid.

144 Asc. 33 C.

145 Asc 44 C.

146 Asc. 44 C; Cic. Mil. 14, 31 and note 14 above.

147 Asc. 36 C.

148 Asc. 44–5 C; Cic. Mil. 13–14.

149 Asc. 36, 38 C.

150 Dio 40. 55: έπειδή πρώτον έκτης αρχής έξηλθον .... In Appendix II of his edition, pp. 129–33, Clark argues that the tribunes went out of office in mid-52 B.C. because Dio 40. 45 has Q. Pompeius Rufus already tribune in mid-53 B.C. He supposes that delays similar to those affecting consular elections had distorted the tribunician year. But the consular year had not been distorted by delays; it still ran from January to December. Gruen’s point that Pompey’s giving written rather than verbal testimony for Plancus — Plutarch’s statement that Pompey attended in person (Pompey 55) is contradicted by Valerius Maximus 6. 2. 5, Dio 40. 55 and Plutarch himself (Cato Minor 48) — is evidence for his being no longer consul but proconsul should be given weight (Last Generation 346). The trial is best placed in January 51 B.C. There is no legal problem with this: the Quaestio Variana continued into a second year (Cic. Brutus 305). The special courts would sit until they ran out of cases falling within their terms of reference. (Cf. Shackleton Bailey’s note, Vol. 1 p. 351, dating the letter to M. Marius (Fam. 7. 2), which gives the news of the verdict, to January-early February 51 B.C. on the basis of the reference to a prospective intercalation.)

151 Val. Max. 4. 2. 7.

152 Fam. 7. 2; cf. 8. 1. 4 (5): Caelius writes to Cicero of ‘Plancus … tuus’.

153 Cic. Brutus 273: Cicero speaks in the highest terms of Caelius’ tribunate conducted under his guidance. Cicero’s absence in Cilicia led to a falling away, though the letters of Ad Familiares Books 2 and 8 testify to a close and continuing political friendship.

154 Mil. 12.

155 Asc. 38 C.

156 Asc. 37–8 C; 40 C.

157 Plut. Cato Minor 48; Pomp. 55; cf. Val. Max. 6. 2. 5; Dio 40.55, who have Cato merely objecting to the illegality. Cato was challenged by the defence and set aside (Plutarch, Dio).

158 Tac. Annals 3. 28: ‘Cn. Pompeiustertium consul … suarumque legum auctoridem ac subuersor’.

159 Fam. 7. 2. 2–3; on the date see note 150 above.

160 This seems to be meaning of ‘gloria potius amici quam calamitate’. So Shackleton Bailey takes it (ad loc.) with the reservation that it ‘may allude to some circumstance unknown’.

161 I can discern no other cause of a grief that could be shared with all good citizens in this context than Milo’s ruin. The personal disloyalty of Plancus to Cicero (‘hunc defenderam’) seems insufficient to rouse them against Pompey.

162 Especially Mil. 88–9.

163 At Mil. 93–4 Milo is made to yield with a gentle reproach, asking where his natural allies are: the Senate, the equites, the municipio and Italy. Where above all is Cicero? He pardons everyone, however, in the following chapter, as having acted out of timidity, not ingratitude. But at Mil. 100 Cicero has forgotten the timidity for which he apologized and glories in the loyalty and vigour with which he has challenged the powers that be (‘ego inimicitias potentium pro te appetiui’). Again, Milo is represented as distressed at Mil. 94–5 but at 96–8 as being easily and with a Stoic magnanimity consoled more by the consciousness of good deeds and by the recognition (‘gloria’) that attaches to them than by cruder rewards. At 99 Milo’s apatheia lets Cicero and the jury off the hook: it is possible for Cicero to proclaim the indissoluble ties that unite him with the iudices despite their regrettable lapse in Milo’s case. At Mil. 102–3 Cicero retrospectively offers himself and even a Clodius alive and praetor, consul, dictator in return for Milo’s absolution. But at 104 Milo prefers to make the sacrifice himself, which at 105 Cicero at last accepts, patriotically bemoaning the loss and congratulating the happy land that receives him into exile.

164 Dio 40. 54.

165 Att. 6. 1. 10.

166 Dio 40. 59. The context shows it to be early in 51 B.C. Letters written by Cicero in July (Att. 5. 11.3) and October (Fam. 3. 8. 10 to Ap. Claudius Pulcher) show him still anxious that Pompey would really go.

167 Asc. 34, 40 C.

168 Att. 5. 2. 3 (10 May 51) on a decree of the Senate (vetoed) to invalidate Caesar’s making Novum Comum a Roman colony; Att. 5. 11. 2 (6 July 51 — at Athens, therefore the event was some time before) on Marcellus' flogging one of Caesar’s ‘Roman citizens’. Cicero comments that it was likely to antagonize not only Caesar (and the Transpadanes) but Pompey.

169 Fam. 8. 1. 2 (Caelius to Cicero, late in May 51); cf. 8. 10.3(the same on Marcellus’ slow and inefficient character).

170 Fam. 4. 3. 1 (Cicero to Sulpicius, 46 B.C.): Cicero refers specifically to hearing Sulpicius’ speeches on this subject in the period before he left for Cilicia, i.e. before the end of April.

171 40. 59: He explains Marcellus’ activities as flowing from membership of ‘Pompey’s party’, but Pompey cannot have approved of Marcellus’ crass treatment of the Transpadane issue (cf. note 168 above) and secured postponement of consideration of the succession to Caesar until 1 March 50 B.C. (Fam. 8. 8. 9, Caelius to Cicero, October 51).

172 Att. 5. 7 (22 May 51).

173 Fam. 2. 8. 2: the talks were about nothing but public affairs; they were too hush-hush to go into a letter, though it could be said that Pompey was prepared to deal with all eventualities.

174 Att. 5. 11. 3.

175 Cf. note 150 above. The only obvious reason for any delay in publication was the pressure of business in the courts (Fam. 7. 2. 4).

176 Mil. 68

177 Mil. 69. It is absurd to reject this chapter as an anachronism in the early months of 51 B.C. when the consul Sulpicius, a far less mercurial temperament than Cicero, was in the same period giving public warnings of the same thing. Both men show themselves agonized by their memories of the first round of civil wars; cf. Mil. 69 ‘sed fortasse in motu aliquo communium temporum, qui quam crebro accidat experti scire debemus’ and Cicero to Sulpicius (Fam. 4.3.1): ‘…et ipse adfui primis temporibus tui consulatus, cum accuratissime monuisti senatum collectis omnibus bellis civilibus ut et illa timerent quae meminissent et scirent, cum superiores nullo tali exemplo antea in re publica cognito tarn crudeles fuissent, quicumque postea rem publicam oppressisset armis multo intolerabiliorem futurum.' A repetition of horror was not unthinkable early in 51 B.C.

1 A version of this paper was read at an Ancient History seminar held at the University of Sydney in August 1979. The author is grateful to those who took part in the subsequent discussion and in particular to Dr R.A. Bauman and Dr B.A. Marshall for their considered and detailed criticisms.

Pro Milone: Cicero’s Second Thoughts*

  • A. M. Stone (a1)


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