Cicero Fam. 7.9: iam diu ignoro

by Tom Gardner

M. CICERO TREBATIO Romae AUC 700

iam diu ignoro quid agas; nihil enim scribis; neque ego ad te bis duobus mensibus scripseram. quod cum Quinto fratre meo non eras, quo mitterem aut cui darem nesciebam. cupio scire quid agas et ubi sis hiematurus; equidem velim cum Caesare, sed ad eum propter eius luctum nihil sum ausus scribere; ad Balbum tamen scripsi. tu tibi desse noli: —

“serius potius ad nos, dum plenior”

quod huc properes, nihil est, praesertim Battara mortuo. sed tibi consilium non dest. quid constitueris, cupio scire. Cn. Octavius est an Cn. Cornelius quidam, tuus familiaris, summo genere natus, terrae filius. is me quia scit tuum familiarem esse, crebro ad cenam invitat. adhuc non potuit perducere, sed mihi tamen gratum est.

Cicero to Trebatius. Rome, October 54 BC.

It’s been a long time since I heard how you were going, as you don’t write, nor have I written to you for two months. I didn’t know where to send a letter or who to give it to, as you weren’t with my brother Quintus. I’m keen to know what you’re doing and where you’ll spend the winter. I think it should be with Caesar, but I haven’t dared to send him anything because of his grief. But I wrote to Balbus nonetheless. Don’t despair of yourself! —

“Better return to us later, with your pockets filled”

There’s no reason to hurry home, especially now that Battara is dead. But you don’t lack a plan. I’m interested to know what you’ve decided on.

There is a certain Cn. Octavius (or Cn. Cornelius), a friend of yours, comes from old money (‘of the land’, so to speak). He keeps asking me to dinner because he knows I’m your friend. He hasn’t managed it so far, but I’m grateful for it anyway.