Front Page Titles (by Subject) THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO IN BEHALF OF KING DEIOTARUS. ADDRESSED TO CAIUS CÆSAR. - Orations vol. 3: Containing the Orations for his House, Plancius, Sextius, Coelius, Milo, Ligarius, etc.
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THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO IN BEHALF OF KING DEIOTARUS. ADDRESSED TO CAIUS CÆSAR. - Marcus Tullius Cicero, Orations vol. 3: Containing the Orations for his House, Plancius, Sextius, Coelius, Milo, Ligarius, etc. 
The Orations of Marcus Tullius Cicero, trans. C.D. Yonge (London: G. Bell and Sons, 1913-21). Vol. 3.
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THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO IN BEHALF OF KING DEIOTARUS.
This speech, like those for Marcellus and Ligarius, was addressed to Cæsar. Deiotarus was king of Galatia, and during Cicero’s proconsulship in Cilicia he had formed a friendship with him, and had been of great assistance to him in his campaign against Pacorus and the Parthians. Having been an adherent of Pompey, he had already been deprived of a considerable part of his dominions by Cæsar, and he was now accused by his grandson, who was aware of Cæsar’s inveterate dislike to him, of having formed a design against Cæsar’s life four years before, when he entertained him in his palace on his return from Egypt. It is probable that Cæsar was aware of the groundlessness of the charge, but countenanced it, and allowed it to be brought before him, in the hopes of finding a pretext for stripping the king of all the rest of his dominions.
Brutus espoused Deiotarus’s cause very warmly, and went towards Spain to meet Cæsar, and made him a most earnest address in favour of Deiotarus.
The present trial was held in Cæsar’s house, and Cicero proved the king’s innocence so completely, that he was unable to condemn him; but, as he would not acquit him, he adjourned the further consideration of the matter till he himself could go into the East and investigate the affair on the spot.
This speech was delivered in the year of Cæsar’s fourth consulship; the year before he was killed.
I.In all causes of more than ordinary importance, O Caius Cæsar, I am accustomed, at the beginning of my speech, to be more vehemently affected than either common custom or my own age appears to require. And in this particular cause I am agitated by so many considerations, that in proportion as my fidelity to my friend inspires me with zeal to defend the safety of king Deiotarus, in the same proportion do my fears take away from my ability to do so. In the first place, I am speaking in defence of the life and fortunes of a king; and although there is no particular injustice in such a fact, especially when it is oneself who is in danger, yet it is so unusual for a king to be tried for his life, that up to this time no such thing has ever been heard of. In the second place, I am compelled now to defend against a most atrocious accusation that very king whom I, in common with all the senate, used formerly to extol on account of his uninterrupted services towards our republic. There is this further consideration, that I am disturbed by the cruelty of one of the prosecutors, and by the unworthy conduct of the other.
O cruel, not to say wicked and impious, Castor! a grandson, who has brought his grandfather into danger of his life, and has caused that man to dread his youth, whose old age he was bound to defend and protect; who has sought to recommend his entrance into life to our favour by impiety and wickedness; who has instigated his grandfather’s slave, whom he corrupted by bribes, to accuse his master, and has carried him away from the feet of the king’s ambassadors.
But when I saw the countenance and heard the words of this runaway slave, accusing his master,—his absent master,—his master, who was a most devoted friend to our republic,—I did not feel so much grief at the depressed condition of the monarch himself, as fear for the general fortunes of every one. For though, according to the usage of our ancestors, it is not lawful to examine a slave as a witness against his master, not even by torture,—in which mode of examination pain might, perhaps, elicit the truth from a man even against his will,—a slave has arisen, who, without any compulsion, accuses him against whom he might not legally say a word even on the rack.
II. This thing also, O Caius Cæsar, at times disturbs me; which, however, I cease to fear when I come to a complete recollection of your disposition. For in principle it is an unjust thing, but by your wisdom it becomes a most just one. For it is a serious business (if you consider the matter by itself) to speak concerning a crime before that man against whose life you are accused of having meditated that crime; for there is hardly anybody who, when he is a judge in any matter in which his own safety is at stake, does not act with more partiality towards himself than towards the accused person; but, O Caius Cæsar, your admirable and extraordinary natural virtue to a great extent releases me from this fear. For I am not so much afraid what you may wish to decide with respect to king Deiotarus, as I am sure what you wish to decide in all other cases.
I am affected, also, by the unusual circumstance of the trial in this place; because I am pleading so important a cause—one, the fellow of which has never been brought under discussion—within the walls of a private house; I am pleading it out of the hearing of any court or body of auditors, which are a great support and encouragement to an orator. I rest on nothing but your eyes, your person and countenance; I behold you alone; the whole of my speech is necessarily confined to you alone. And if those considerations are very important as regards my hope of establishing the truth, they for all that are impediments of the energy of my mind, and to the proper enthusiasm and ardour of speaking.
For if, O Caius Cæsar, I were pleading this cause in the forum, still having you for my auditor and my judge, with what great cheerfulness would the concourse of the Roman people inspire me! For what citizen would do otherwise than favour that king, the whole of whose life he would recollect had been spent in the wars of the Roman people? I should be beholding the senate-house, I should be surveying the forum, I should call the heaven above me itself to witness;—and so, while calling to mind the kindnesses of the immortal gods, and of the Roman people, and of the senate to king Deiotarus, it would be impossible for me to be at a loss for topics or arguments for my speech. But since the walls of a house narrow all these topics, and since the pleading of the cause is greatly crippled by the place, it behoves you, O Cæsar, who have yourself often pleaded for many defendants, to consider within yourself what my feelings at present must be; so that your justice, and also your careful attention in listening to me, may the more easily lessen my natural agitation and anxiety.
But before I say anything about the accusation itself, I will say a few words about the hopes entertained by the accusers. For though they appear to be possessed of no great still or experience in affairs, nevertheless they have never, surely, undertaken this cause without some hope or other and some definite design.
III. They were not ignorant that you were offended with king Deiotarus. They recollected that he had been already exposed to some inconvenience and loss on account of the displeasure with which you regarded him; and while they knew that you were angry with him, they had had proofs also that you were friendly to them. And as they would be speaking before you of a matter involving personal danger to yourself, they reckoned that a fictitious charge would easily lodge in your mind, which was already sore. Wherefore, O Caius Cæsar, first of all by your good faith, and wisdom, and firmness, and clemency deliver us from this fear, and prevent our suspecting that there is any ill-temper lurking in you. I entreat you by that right hand of yours which you pledged in token of everlasting friendship to king Deiotarus; by that right hand, I say, which is not more trustworthy in wars or in battles than in promises and pledges of good faith. You have chosen to enter his house, you have chosen to renew with him the ancient ties of friendship and hospitality. His household gods have received you under their protection; the altars and hearths of king Deiotarus have beheld you at peace with and friendly towards him.
You are accustomed, O Caius Cæsar, not only to be prevailed upon by entreaties easily, but to be prevailed on once for all. No enemy has ever been reconciled to you who has found any remnant of hostility remaining in your breast afterwards. Although, who is there who has not heard of your complaints against king Deiotarus? You have never accused him as being an enemy to you, but as being a friend very slack in his duty; because his inclination led him more to friendships with Cnæus Pompeius than with you. And yet that very fact you said that you would have pardoned, if when he sent reinforcements and even his son to Pompeius, he had himself availed himself of the excuse furnished him by his age. And in this way, while you were acquitting him of the most important charges, you left behind only the little blame of his friendship for another. Therefore, you not only abstained from punishing him, but you released him from all apprehension; you acknowledged him as your friend, you left him king. And, indeed, his proceedings were not dictated by any hatred of you; he fell by the general error of us all. That king, whom the senate had repeatedly addressed by this name, using it in decrees most complimentary to him, and who from his youth up had always considered that order most important and most sacred, being a man living at a great distance, and a foreigner by birth, was perplexed by the same affairs which embarrassed us who were born and who at all times had lived in the middle of the republic.
IV. When he heard that men had taken arms by the authority of the senate, acting with great unanimity; that the defence of the republic had been entrusted to the consuls, the prætors, the tribunes of the people, and to all of us who had received the title of Imperator, he was agitated in his mind, and being a man most deeply attached to this empire, he became alarmed for the safety of the Roman people, in which also he considered that his own was bound up. And being in a state of the greatest alarm, he thought it best to remain quiet himself. But he was beyond measure agitated when he heard that the consuls had fled from Italy, and all the men of consular rank (for so it was reported) with them, and all the senate, and that the whole of Italy was emptied. For the road was wide open for all such messengers and reports to travel to the East, and no true accounts followed. He never heard a word of the conditions which you offered, nor of your eagerness for concord and peace, nor of the way in which certain men conspired against your dignity. And though this was the state of things, still he continued quiet until ambassadors and letters came to him from Cnæus Pompeius. Pardon Deiotarus, pardon him, I entreat you, O Cæsar, if he, though a king, yielded to the authority of that man whom we all followed, and on whom both gods and men had heaped every sort of distinction, and on whom you yourself had conferred the most numerous and most important honours1 of all. Nor, indeed, does it follow that, because your exploits have thrown a cloud over the praises of others, we have, therefore, entirely lost all recollection of Cnæus Pompeius. Who is there who is ignorant how great the name of that man was, how great his influence, how great his renown in every description of war, how great were the honours paid him by the Roman people, and by the senate, and by you yourself? He had surpassed all his predecessors in glory as much as you have surpassed all the world. Therefore, we used to count up with admiration the wars, and the victories, and the triumphs, and the consulships, of Cnæus Pompeius. But yours we are wholly unable to reckon.
V. To him then came king Deiotarus in this miserable and fatal war, to him whom he had previously assisted in his regular wars against the enemies of Rome, and with whom he was bound, not only by ties of hospitality, but also by personal intimacy. And he came, either because he had been asked, as a friend; or because he had been sent for as an ally; or because he had been summoned, like one who had learnt to obey the senate; and last of all, he came as to a man flying, not to one pursuing others—that is to say, as a sharer of danger, not a partner in victory.
Therefore, after the result of the battle of Pharsalia, he departed from Pompeius; he did not choose to persist in hopes of which he saw no end. He thought he had done quite enough to satisfy the claims of duty, if indeed he was under any such obligations, and that he had made quite mistake enough if he had ignorantly erred. He returned home; and all the time that you were engaged in the Alexandrian war, he consulted your interests. He supported in his palaces and from his own resources the army of Cnæus Domitius, that most distinguished man. He sent money to Ephesus to him whom you selected as the most faithful and most highly esteemed of all your friends. He gave him money a second time; he gave him money a third time for you to employ in the war, though he was forced to sell property by auction in order to raise it. He exposed his own person to danger, and he was with you, serving in your army against Pharnaces, and he considered him as his own enemy because he was yours. And all those actions of his were accepted by you, O Caius Cæsar, in such a spirit that you paid him the highest possible honours, and confirmed him in the dignity and title of king.
He, therefore, having been not only released from danger by you, but having been also distinguished by you with the highest honours, is now accused of having intended to assassinate you in his own house—a thing which you cannot in truth possibly suspect, unless you consider him to have been utterly mad. For, to say nothing of what a deed of enormous wickedness it would have been to assassinate his guest in the sight of his own household gods; what a deed of enormous unreasonableness it would have been to have extinguished the brightest light of all nations, and of all human recollection; what a deed of enormous ferocity it would have been to have had no dread of the conqueror of the whole earth; what a sign of an inhuman and ungrateful disposition it would have been to be found to behave like a despot to the very man by whom he had been addressed as a king;—to say nothing of all this, what a deed of utter frenzy would it have been to rouse all kings, of whom there were numbers on the borders of his own kingdom, all free nations, all the allies, all the provinces, all the arms, in short, of every people on earth against himself alone! To what misery would he not have exposed his kingdom, his house, his wife, and his beloved son, not merely by the accomplishment of such a crime, but even by the bare idea of it!
VI. But I suppose that improvident and rash man did not see all this! On the contrary, who is a more considerate man than he? Who is more secret in his plans? Who is more prudent? Although in this place it is not so much on the ground of cleverness and prudence that it seems to me that I should defend Deiotarus, as on that of good faith and religious feeling and conduct. You are well acquainted, O Caius Cæsar, with the honesty of the man, with his virtuous habits, with his wisdom and firmness. Indeed, who is there who has ever heard of the name of the Roman people, who has not heard also of the integrity, and wisdom, and virtue, and good faith of Deiotarus? A crime, then, that cannot be imputed to an imprudent man, on account of his fear of instant destruction, nor to an unscrupulous man, unless he be at the same time utterly insane; will you pretend that such a crime was thought of by a most virtuous man, and one too who was never accounted a fool?
And in what a way do you try and support this invention! in a way not only not calculated to win belief, but not even such as to give rise to the least suspicion. When, says the prosecutor, you had come to the Luceian fort, and had turned aside to the palace of the king your entertainer, there was a certain place where all those things were arranged which the king had settled to offer you as presents. To this place he intended to conduct you on coming out of the bath, before you lay down; for there were armed men stationed in that very place on purpose to kill you. This is the charge; this is the reason why a runaway should accuse a monarch, a slave accuse his master! I, in truth, O Caius Cæsar, at the very beginning, when the cause was originally laid before me, was struck with a suspicion that Phidippus the physician, one of the king’s slaves, who had been sent with the ambassadors, had been corrupted by that young man. He has suborned the physician to act as informer, thought I; he will be sure to invent some accusation of poisoning. Although my conjecture was some way from the exact truth, it was not much out as to the general principle of the accusation. What says the physician? Not a word about poison. But in the first place, that might have been administered much more secretly in a potion or in food; in the second place, a crime is committed in that way with greater impunity, because when it has been done, it can be denied. If he had assassinated you openly, he would have brought upon himself not only the hatred of all nations, but their arms also. If he had slain you by poison, to be sure he never would have been able to conceal the action from the divine wrath of the Jupiter who presides over hospitality, but he might perhaps have concealed it from men. Are we, then, to suppose that that which he might have attempted in secret, and have executed with great caution, he never entrusted to you who were a skilful physician, and, as he believed, a faithful servant, and yet that he could conceal nothing from you with respect to arms, and blood, and ambuscade? And how cleverly is the whole accusation worked up! It was your own good fortune, says he, that fortune which always preserves you, which saved you then. You said that you did not wish at that moment to see the presents.
VII. What happened afterwards? Did Deiotarus, after he had failed in accomplishing the business at that time, at once dismiss his army? was there no other place where he could set an ambush? But you said that when you had supped you would come back again the same way; and you did so. Was it a very difficult job to detain the armed men one or two hours in the place where they had been stationed? After you had spent your time at the banquet courteously and merrily, then you went back that way, as you had said; and then and there you found that the behaviour of Deiotarus to you resembled that of king Attalus to Publius Africanus: to whom, as we have read, he sent the most magnificent gifts from Asia to Numantia; which Africanus accepted in the sight of all his army. And when Deiotarus, being present with you, had done all this in a kingly spirit and with royal courtesy, you departed to your chamber. I entreat you, O Cæsar, trace back your recollection of that time, bring that day back before your eyes, remember the countenances of the men who were then gazing on you and admiring you; was there any trepidation among them? any disorder? Was anything done except in an orderly and quiet manner,—except as became the establishment of a dignified and honourable man? What reason then can be imagined why he should have intended to murder you after you had bathed, and why he should not have chosen to do so after you had supped? “Oh, he put it off,” says the prosecutor, “till the next day, in order that when he arrived at the Luceian fort, he might there put his designs in execution.” I do not understand the effect of his changing the place; but still the whole case was conducted in an incriminatory manner. “When,” says the prosecutor, “you said after supper that you wished to vomit, they began to lead you to the bath-room; for that was the place where the ambuscade was; but still that same fortune of yours saved you; you said that you had rather go to your bedroom.” May the gods forgive you, you runaway slave! Are you so utterly, not only worthless and infamous, but also stupid and senseless? What? were they brazen statues that he had planted in ambush, so that they could not be moved from the bath-room to the bed-chamber?
Here you have the whole charge as to the ambuscade: for he said nothing further. “In all this,” says he, “I was his accomplice.” What do you mean? Was he so demented as to allow a man to leave him who was privy to so enormous a wickedness? As even to send him to Rome, where he knew his grandson was, who was most bitterly hostile to him, and where Caius Cæsar was, against whom he had laid this plot? especially when he was the only man who could give any information against him in his absence. “My brothers too,” says he, “because they also were privy to it, he threw into prison.” When, then, he was putting those men in prison whom he had with him, did he leave you at large and send you to Rome,—you who knew the very same facts which you say that they knew?
VIII. The remainder of the accusation was of a twofold character; one part of which was, that the king was always in his watch-tower because he was so disaffected to your interests; the other, that he had levied a large army against you. As to the army, I will reply to that charge in a very few words, as I will to the rest of the charges. King Deiotarus never had any forces with which he could have made war upon the Roman people; but only just sufficient to protect his own territories from the incursions of enemies, and to send reinforcements to our generals. And before this time he was able to maintain a larger force than he can now; at present he can with difficulty keep up a very small one. “Oh, but he sent to Cæcilius; I don’t know who it was he sent, but he threw those whom he sent, or rather ordered to go, into prison, because they would not go.” I do not stop to ask how far it is probable that a king should have had no one to send; or that those whom he ordered to go should not have obeyed him; or how it was that those men who refused obedience in so important an affair, were put in prison, and not executed; but still, when he was sending to Cæcilius,1 was he ignorant that that party had been defeated, or did he think that Cæcilius a person of great importance? a man whom he, who was well acquainted with our leading men, would have despised because he knew him, and just as much because he did not know him. He added, also, that he did not send his best cavalry;—I dare say, they were old troops, O Cæsar: nothing to your cavalry; but still they were the best men he had, his picked men. He says, that one of the body was recognised as being a slave;—I do not believe it; I never heard of it. But still, even if such a thing had happened, I should not conceive that that was any fault of the king’s.
IX. “He was very ill-disposed towards you.” How so? He hoped, I suppose, that you would find it difficult to get out of Alexandria, on account of the nature of the country and of the river. But, at that very time, he supplied you with money, and with provisions for your army; he cooperated to the utmost of his power with the officer to whom you had given command in Asia; he assisted you when victorious, not only in the way of affording you hospitality, but with you he encountered danger, and stood by your side in the array of battle.
The African war followed: there were unfavourable reports spread about you, which also roused that frantic Cæcilius. What on that occasion was the disposition evinced towards you by the king? He sold property by auction, and preferred stripping himself, to not supplying you with money. “But,” says the prosecutor, “at that very time he was sending men to Nicæa, and to Ephesus, to catch every report that came from Africa, and to bring it to him with all speed.” Therefore, when news came that Domitius had perished by shipwreck, and that you were blockaded in some fortress, he quoted a Greek verse with reference to Domitius, having the same meaning as that of our poet:
an expression which he would never have uttered had he been ever so much an enemy to you. For he himself is a man of a humane disposition; and that verse is a savage one. Besides, how could a man be a friend to Domitius, who was an enemy to you? Moreover, why should he be an enemy to you, by whom he might even have been put to death according to the laws of war, and by whom he recollected that he and his son had been appointed kings?
What is the next statement? What is the next step taken by this scoundrel? He says that Deiotarus was so elated at this, that he drowned his joy in wine, and danced naked at a banquet. What cross is there that could be a sufficient punishment for this slave? Did any one ever see Deiotarus dancing,—did any one ever see him drunk? All kingly virtues are united in that man, and that I think yourself are well aware of, O Cæsar; but most especially is that singular and admirable economy of his conspicuous. Although this is an attribute for which I know that it is not usual to praise kings. To say that a man is economical is not much praise for a king. To be brave, just, severe, dignified, magnanimous, open-handed, beneficent, liberal,—these are the praises suited to a king. Economy is a virtue for a private individual. Let every one take it as he pleases: but I consider economy—that is to say, moderation and temperance—the very greatest of virtues. And this existed in this man from his earliest youth, and was experienced by, and known to, all Asia, and by all our magistrates and ambassadors, and by all the Roman knights who trafficked in Asia.
It was by many successive steps of dutiful service towards our republic that he arrived at this title of king; but still, whatever leisure he had from the wars of the Roman people, he devoted entirely to cultivating friendship and intimacy with our citizens, and to uniting his affairs and interests to theirs. So that he was not only considered a noble tetrarch, but also an excellent father of a family, and a most industrious farmer and grazier. Did he, then, who, while a young man, before he had arrived at his subsequent high rank, never did anything that was inconsistent with the most rigid virtue and the greatest dignity, after he had raised to himself the esteem in which he is now held, and when he had become of so advanced an age, did he dance?
X. You ought, O Castor, rather to imitate the manner and principles of your grandfather, than calumniate a most virtuous and most illustrious man with the language of a runaway slave. Even if you had had a grandfather who was a dancer, and not a man from whom examples of modesty and chastity might be derived, still this reproach is one which is very little suited to your age. Those pursuits to which he had been habituated from his earliest age—not dancing, but such as would train him to wield his arms and manage his horses in the best manner,—those all had now failed him at his advanced time of life; so that we used to wonder, when several men had lifted Deiotarus on his horse, how so old a man as he could contrive to stick on. But this young man, who was a soldier of mine in Cilicia, and a comrade of mine in Greece, how was he used to ride about in that army of ours, with his own picked body of cavalry, whom his father had sent with him to join Pompeius! what gallops he used to take! how he used to display his skill! What a parade he used to make! How did he refuse to yield to any one in his zeal and eagerness for the success of that cause! But even after the army was lost, I, who had at all times been an adviser of peace, but who, after the battle of Pharsalia, urged every one not to lay aside, but to throw away their arms, could never bring this young man to adopt my advice, both because of his own eagerness for that war, and because he thought himself bound to satisfy the expectations of his father.
Happy is that house which has obtained, not only impunity, but licence to accuse others! Unfortunate Deiotarus, who is not only accused by one who was in the same camp with him, before you, but who is impeached even by his own relations. Cannot you, O Castor, be content with your own good fortune without bringing misery on your relations?
XI. Grant that there may be enmity between you; which, however, there ought not to be; for it was king Deiotarus who raised your family, when abject and obscure, from darkness into light. Who ever heard of your father, or who he was, before they heard whose son-in-law he was? But even supposing you repudiated the name of the connexion with ever so much ingratitude and impiety, still you might have conducted your quarrel like a man, and not pursue him with a false accusation, not seek his life, not prosecute him on a capital charge. Be it so:—let even this excess of bitterness and hatred be permitted. Was it to go to such an extent, that all the laws of ordinary life and of common safety, and even of humanity, are to be violated? to tamper with slaves by words, to corrupt them by hopes and promises; to lead them away to your own house, to arm them against their master, to wage an impious war not against one relation, but against every family in the world? For that corruption of slaves, if it be not only unpunished, but even approved by such a great authority as that of this tribunal, no walls, no laws, no rights will be sufficient for the protection of our safety. For when that which is in our houses and is our own can sally out with impunity and fight against us, slavery then gets the mastery and the master’s position is slavery.
Shame on the times, and on our present habits! That Cnæus Domitius, whom we as boys saw consul, and censor, and chief pontiff, when, as tribune of the people, he had impeached Marcus Scaurus, the chief man of the state, before the people, and when a slave of Scaurus had come secretly to him at his own house, and had offered to give information with respect to charges which might be brought against his master, ordered the slave to be apprehended, and taken to Scaurus. See what a difference there is now,—although it is a shame of me to compare Castor to Domitius; still, he sent his slave back to his enemy, you have seduced one from your grandfather; he refused to listen to one though he had not been bribed, you have brided one; he rejected a slave as his assistant against his master, you have employed one even as an accuser. But was it only once that that fellow was corrupted by you? Did he not escape back again to the ambassadors after he had been brought forward by you, and after he had been with you? Did he not even come to this Cnæus Domitius? Did not he, in the hearing of this Servius Sulpicius, that most illustrious man, who is present here, and of this Titus Torquatus, a most virtuous young man, who is also present, confess that he had been bribed by you, and that it was by your promises that he had been instigated to this dishonesty?
XII. What then is the object of this shameless, and barbarous, and unrestrained inhumanity? Was it for this that you came into this city, that you might corrupt the principles predominant in, and the examples furnished by this city, and that you might pollute the humanity of our state by your own private ferocity?
And how ingeniously have all your charges been collected! Blesamius, says he, (for it was in his name, a very excellent man, and one who was a stranger to you, that he was calumniating you, O Deiotarus,) used to write to the king, that you, O Cæsar, were very unpopular; that you were considered a tyrant; that men were exceedingly offended at your statue having been placed among those of the kings; that you were never well received on your appearance in public. Do not you perceive, O Cæsar, that these statements were collected by these fellows, from the city conversation of spiteful men? Could Blesamius have written to say that Cæsar was a tyrant? Ay, for he had seen the heads of many citizens exposed; he had seen many men by the orders of Cæsar ill-treated, scourged and executed; he had seen many houses pillaged and destroyed; he had seen the forum filled with armed troops!—No; those things which previously we always have felt after victories in civil war, we have not seen now, when you have been our conqueror. You are the only man—you I say, O Caius Cæsar, are the only man, by whose victory no one has perished except with arms in his hand. And can the man whom we, free men, born in the enjoyment of the perfect liberty of the Roman people, consider not only no tyrant, but as even the most merciful man possible in the use of victory, can he appear a tyrant to Blesamius, who is living under a king? For who complains about a statue, especially about one single statue, when he sees such a number? Great reason have we, indeed, to envy a man his statues, when we do not grudge him trophies; for if it be the place which provokes envy, surely there is no place more open and fit for a statue than the rostra. And as to the way in which he is received in public, why need I make any reply at all? for public applause has never been desired by you, and sometimes, owing to the amazement with which men have viewed your achievements, it has even been stifled by the excess of their admiration; and perhaps, too, it has been omitted because nothing vulgar could possibly appear worthy of you.
XIII. I do not think that anything has been omitted by me; but some topics have been reserved for the end of my speech, and they are of such a nature that they ought to reconcile you cordially to Deiotarus—for I am not now afraid of your being angry with him; I am apprehensive rather of your suspecting that he harbours some resentment against you. And that suspicion, believe me, O Cæsar, is as remote as possible from the truth. For he recollects only what he still has left owing to you, and not what he has lost by your means; nor does he consider that he has been deprived of anything by you, but, being aware that it was necessary for you to give many rewards to many people, he did not think it hard that you should take something from him who had been on the other side. In truth, if that great prince, Antiochus the Great, the king of Asia, who, after he had been conquered by Scipio, was ordered to consider Mount Taurus as the boundary of his dominions, and was deprived of all this Asia which is now a province of our own,—if he was accustomed to say that he had been kindly treated by the Roman people, because he had been released by them from the care of an overgrown empire, and was now at liberty to enjoy a kingdom of moderate extent, Deiotarus can comfort himself much more easily. For Antiochus had suffered a chastisement for his insanity, my client only for an error. You, O Cæsar, gave everything to Deiotarus when you gave him and his son the title of King; and as long as he is allowed to retain and preserve this title, he does not think that the kindness of the Roman people is at all diminished, or that the senate has come to any unfavourable decision respecting him. He preserves a great and lofty spirit, and will never succumb to his enemies, nor even to fortune.
He thinks that by his previous conduct he has given birth to much, and that by his own courage and virtue he still has much which he cannot possibly be deprived of. For what fortune, or what accident, or what injury can happen to Deiotarus of such severity as to efface the decrees of all our generals respecting him? For he has been complimented and distinguished ever since he was of an age to serve in their camps, by all those men who have had the conduct of our wars in Asia, and in Cappadocia, and in Pontus, and in Cilicia, and in Syria. And what length of time will ever efface, what forgetfulness will ever obliterate those numerous and honourable resolutions of the senate respecting him, which have been recorded in the public writings and memorials of the Roman people?
Why need I speak of his valour? why of his greatness of mind? of his wisdom? of his firmness and consistency? qualities which not only have all wise and learned men pronounced to be the greatest blessings, but which some have even considered the only real ones, and have said that virtue wanted nothing more than these for the purpose of living not only well, but even happily. He, considering these things, and reflecting on them day and night, is so far from feeling resentment against you, (for he would not only be ungrateful, but even mad to do so,) that he attributes the whole of the tranquillity and quiet of his old age which he enjoys, to your clemency.
XIV. And as these were his sentiments previously, I do not doubt also that after the receipt of your letters, of which I have read a copy, which you gave to this Blesamius at Tarraco for Deiotarus, his spirit became loftier still, and that he ceased to feel any anxiety whatever. For in them you bid him entertain good hopes, and to be of good courage—expressions which I know you are not in the habit of using without a meaning: for I recollect that you wrote to me in almost the same language, and that when you bade me entertain good hopes of the future you were not deceiving me.
I am anxious, indeed, in this cause of King Deiotarus, with whom the affairs of this republic have united me in friendship, while our mutual regard for one another has connected us by ties of hospitality, with whom long acquaintance has engendered intimacy, and his great services to me and to my army have wrought in me the greatest affection for him. But while I am anxious about him, I am anxious also about many most distinguished men, who have been pardoned by you, and who ought to be able to consider their pardon, whenever pronounced, as binding for ever; and who ought not to feel that a doubt is thrown on the permanency of your kindness to them, nor to have a perpetual anxiety implanted in their minds; nor, in short, ought it to be allowed to happen that any one of those men should begin again to feel apprehension, who has once been released by you from fear.
I ought not, O Cæsar, to endeavour, as is often done by men in such danger as this, to move your pity by my language. There is no need of my doing so. Your feelings are of their own accord accustomed to come to the aid of the suppliant and unfortunate, without being elicited by the eloquence of anybody. Place before your eyes two kings, and contemplate with your mind what you cannot behold with your eyes. You will surely yield to your feelings of compassion what you refused to your resentment. There are many monuments of your clemency, but the chief, sure, are the secure happiness of those men to whom it is you have been the author of safety. And if such an action is glorious in the case of a private individual, much more will it be celebrated when it is a king who is the object of it. The title of King has always been accounted a holy name in this city; but the names of ally and king, when united together, are then the holiest of all titles.
XV. And these kings were afraid that if you were victorious they might lose that name. But now that they have been allowed to retain it, and have been confirmed in it by you, I confidently trust that they will even transmit it to their posterity. Moreover, these ambassadors whom you see before you, Hieras, and Blesamius, and Antigonus, men with whom you and all of us have long been acquainted, and also Dorylaus, a man of the same loyalty and virtue as they, who was lately sent as ambassador to you in company with Hieras, devoted friends of the king, and men too who, as I hope, are highly esteemed by you, offer you their persons as hostages and pledges to secure the safety of their prince. Ask Blesamius whether he ever wrote anything to the king to the disparagement of your dignity. Hieras, indeed, undertakes the whole cause of Deiotarus, and offers himself as the defendant against all these charges in behalf of, and instead of the king. He implores the aid of your recollection in his favour; a quality in which you greatly excel: he declares that all the time that you were in the tetrarchy of Deiotarus he never left your side. He says that he met you on the frontier, and that he attended you to the borders on the opposite side of the country; that when you left the bath he was with you, and when you surveyed all those presents after supper, and when you retired to rest in your bed-chamber. And he says, too, that he attended you in the same unremitting manner all the next day.
Wherefore, if any one of those things which Deiotarus has been accused of, really was thought of, he does not object to your thinking the crime his. I entreat you, O Caius Cæsar, to consider that on this day your sentence will bring on those kings either most miserable calamity, accompanied with infinite disgrace, or an unsullied reputation attended with safety; and to desire the one of those results would be an act of cruelty, to secure the other is an action suitable to your clemency.
END OF VOL. III.
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[1 ]For Cæsar had given Pompey his daughter in marriage.
[1 ]This was Quintius Cæcilius Brassus, a zealous partisan of Pompey’s, who after the battle of Pharsalia collected some of the remnants of his army in Syria, with which he afterwards joined Cassius after the death of Cæsar.
[1 ]The Greek proverb is given by Plutarch as ἐῤῥέτω ϕίλος σὸν ἔχθρω. If the Latin iambic quoted by Cicero comes from any Latin poet, it is not known who he was.