Caesar̓s ‘programme’:In Search of Consensus

Edited by Luciano Canfora and Julian Stringer

in Julius Caesar

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print February 2007 | ISBN: 9780748619368
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748670734 | DOI:
Caesar̓s ‘programme’:In Search of Consensus

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It is thanks to Cicero's correspondence with Atticus that we know of a letter written by Caesar on the march towards Rome shortly after the capitulation of Corfinium. On 13 March 49 bc Cicero writes to Atticus, who is advising him not to break with Caesar. As confirmation that this is the correct approach, Cicero informs his friend of the content of the lively correspondence between him on the one hand and Oppius and Cornelius Balbus, Caesar's agents in Rome and his political advisers, on the other. He also attaches Caesar's letter to Oppius and Cornelius Balbus, the latter having sent him a copy: a letter, he adds, ‘which is sane enough considering these mad times’. Caesar's ‘open’ letter to his agents is in a sense a proclamation of his next steps, but also a declaration of his long-term and enduring aims. Basically it anticipates the line that Caesar adheres to throughout the endless civil war that began with the crossing of the Rubicon. What is of fundamental importance here is his decision not to follow in Sulla's footsteps, that is, not to persecute his opponents, as had happened previously in the history of the republic, when, in the so-called ‘proscriptions’, Sulla declared his enemies outlawed, with all the familiar consequences.

Keywords: Julius Caesar; Atticus; letters; Cicero; Oppius; Cornelius Balbus; civil war

Chapter.  3973 words. 

Subjects: Greek and Roman Archaeology

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