Jump to Content

Main Text


Editor’s Note1 Cic. Att. 4.1.5 (Sept. 57 bce): postridie in senatu, qui fuit dies Non. Sept., senatui gratias egimus.

Editor’s Note2 Cic. Planc. 74 (54 bce): nihil autem me novi, nihil temporis causa dicere, nonne etiam est illa testis oratio quae est a me prima habita in senatu? in qua cum perpaucis nominatim egissem gratias, quod omnes enumerari nullo modo possent, scelus autem esset quemquam praeteriri, statuissemque eos solum nominare qui causae nostrae duces et quasi signiferi fuissent, in his Plancio gratias egi. recitetur oratio, quae propter rei magnitudinem dicta de scripto1 est; in qua ego homo astutus ei me debebam cui nihil magno opere deberem, et huius offici tanti servitutem astringebam testimonio sempiterno. nolo cetera quae a me mandata sunt litteris recitare; praetermitto, ne aut proferre videar ad tempus aut eo genere uti litterarum quod meis studiis aptius quam consuetudini iudiciorum esse videatur.

Editor’s Note3 Cic. Fam. 1.9.4 (Dec. 54 bce, to Lentulus): ego me, Lentule, initio <beneficio>2 rerum atque actionum tuarum non solum meis sed etiam rei publicae restitutum putabam et, quoniam tibi incredibilem quendam amorem et omnia in te ipsum summa ac singularia studia deberem, rei publicae, quae te in me restituendo multum adiuvisset, eum certe me animum merito ipsius debere arbitrabar quem antea tantum modo communi officio civium, non aliquo erga me singulari beneficio debitum praestitissem. hac me mente fuisse et senatus ex me te consule audivit et tu in nostris sermonibus conlocutionibusque vidisti3.

Editor’s Note4 Schol. Bob., arg. ad Cic. RQ (p. 110.3–12 Stangl): <…>4 superiore commune est. restitutus enim M. Tullius, quod eandem causam beneficii videbat in suam pg 4dignitatem prope omnium favore conlati, cum gratias egisset senatui, etiam populo consequenter agendas arbitratus in contionem processit et eadem paene quae aput patres conscriptos dixerat nunc etiam populo audiente percenset, magis, ut opinor, gloriae suae consulens, ut existimetur omnium ordinum consensu restitutus nec ulla populi <pars>5 ab sua dignitate dissenserit: quo videlicet honestius gloriatur necessarium se tuendae patriae iudicatum. et hic igitur demonstrativae qualitatis implet exsecutionem, simul et beneficia commemorans et vim querellae in invidiam conferens inimicorum, quia sive auctores fuerant exolandi sive quia diu facultatem non permiserant revertendi.

Editor’s Note5 Schol. Bob., arg. ad Cic. Planc. (p. 153.7–9 Stangl): dein postea restitutus inter ceteros et ipsi gratias egit iis orationibus quarum alteram in contione, alteram vero habuit in senatu.

Editor’s Note6 Schol. Bob. ad Cic. Planc. 74 (p. 165.5 Stangl): suffecerat enim de ea oratione dixisse qua vel senatui vel populo gratias egit.

Editor’s Note7 Cass. Dio 39.9.1: κατῆλθέ τε οὖν ὁ Κικέρων‎, καὶ χάριν τῇ τε βουλῇ καὶ τῷ δήμῳ‎, παρασχόντων αὐτῷ τῶν ὑπάτων καὶ‎ {κατὰ‎}6 τὸ συνέδριον καὶ τὴν ἐκκλησίαν‎, ἔγνω‎.



1 In the Senate, on the following day, which was the day of the Nones of September [5 Sept. 57 bce], we expressed our thanks to the Senate.

2 But of the fact that I say nothing new, nothing for the sake of this situation, isn't that speech also a witness that was the first to be delivered by me in the Senate? In that one, although I had expressed thanks by name to very few, since all could in no way be enumerated, but it would be a crime to pass over anyone, and I had decided to mention by name only those who had been the leaders and standard-bearers, as it were, of our cause, among these I expressed thanks to Plancius. The speech shall be read out; because of the importance of the matter it was delivered from a written text. In that [speech] I, a clever man, put myself under obligation to a person to whom I owed nothing much, and I confirmed the servitude arising from that great deed of his by a perpetual testimonial. I do not wish to have read out other things that have been set down by me in writing; I pass over those, so that I do not seem either to bring them up for the occasion or to employ that kind of writing that seems to be more suited to my literary endeavours than to the conventions of the courts.

3 I believed, Lentulus, that initially through <the favour> realized by your doings and actions I was restored not only to my family, but also to the Republic, and, since I owed you some incredible love and all kinds of the greatest and special devotion towards you, I thought that towards the Republic, which had assisted you a lot in restoring me, I should definitely show that attitude, as it deserves, that previously I had only shown as owed to the common duty of citizens, not to some special favour towards me. That I had been of this mind both the Senate heard from me in your consulship and you saw in our talks and conversations.

4 <…> is shared with the previous [speech]. For M. Tullius, having been restored, since he saw the same reason for the favour conferred upon his standing by the goodwill of almost all, when he had expressed gratitude to the Senate, pg 5believing that consequently it should also be expressed to the People, proceeded to a meeting of the People and now goes through almost the same as what he had said among the senators also with the People listening, more, as I believe, concerned about his own glory, so that he would be believed to have been restored by the consensus of all classes and that no <part> of the People had disagreed with his standing: thus, obviously, he boasted more creditably that he was regarded as necessary for defending the country. And here, then, he fulfils the execution of the demonstrative quality, as, at the same time, he both recalls the favours and turns the force of complaint against the ill will of the enemies, either because they had been authors of banishing him or because, for a long time, they had not granted the opportunity to return.

5 Then, after having been restored, he [Cicero] expressed thanks, among others, also to him [Plancius] in those orations of which he delivered one at a popular meeting and the other in the Senate.

6 For it had been sufficient to have talked about that speech by which he [Cicero] expressed thanks, be it to the Senate, be it to the People.

7 Then Cicero returned, and he expressed gratitude to the Senate and to the People, when the consuls granted him [the chance to address] both the council and the assembly of the People.

Notes Settings


Editor’s Note
In three later works of different literary genres (T 1–3) Cicero mentions that he delivered a speech of thanks to the Senate after his return to Rome; he notes that it included thanks to Cn. Plancius (T 2), quaestor of the governor of Macedonia in 58 bce (Cic. RS 35 n.), and P. Cornelius Lentulus Spinther (T 3), one of the consuls of 57 bce (Cic. RS 5 n.).
The Scholia Bobiensia on Cicero's speeches remark that Cicero delivered two speeches, one in the Senate and one to the People (T 4–6). In the most detailed comment the scholiast suggests that these two orations were determined not just by Cicero's desire to express his thanks to everybody, but also by his intention to re-establish his standing in the community (T 4). The later Greek historian Cassius Dio records that Cicero delivered speeches of thanks to the Senate and to the People when the consuls gave him the opportunity to do so (T 7).
Editor’s Note
(1) This remark in a letter from Cicero to Atticus, written shortly afterwards, provides the date of Cicero's speech of thanks to the Senate (5 Sept. 57 bce), namely the day after Cicero's return to Rome, and confirms that a version of the speech (RS) was delivered (see Introduction, section 2; RS, Introduction).
Editor’s Note
(2) This passage in Cicero's Pro Plancio provides a comment on the content of the speech of thanks to the Senate and on its mode of composition and delivery. In the context of the later trial (54 bce) Cicero notes that the earlier speech is available as a piece of evidence, since it was delivered on the basis of a written text (see Introduction, section 3.3).
The remark indicates that, unusually, the speech of thanks to the Senate was written up before delivery, rather than afterwards (for the standard practice, see, e.g., Cic. Off. 2.3; Rosc. Am. 3; Att. 1.13.5; 15.1a.2); typically, only key sections, openings, or formal elements would be prepared in writing (e.g. Cic. Phil. 1.3; Quint. Inst. 10.7.30). Here it is also implied that the text composed in advance is still available at the time of Plancius' trial and not substantially different from the delivered speech. The reason for creating a written draft, according to Cicero, was the importance of the occasion and the need to render adequate thanks to everyone who deserved it. Accordingly, Cicero states that he expressed gratitude generally (cf. Cic. Sest. 108) and thanked by name a few people who stood out in their support for him, including the defendant Plancius (Cic. RS 35).
The unusual scenario has given rise to scholarly discussion. Bücher/Walter (2006; also Bücher 2006, 243 n. 70) comment that Cicero would not have gone into the Senate with a manuscript on such an occasion; they argue that the transmitted text dicta de scripto is without parallels in Cicero and should be changed to edita de scripta or, more likely, diligenter descripta (Bücher 2006, 243 n. 70 considers dicta descripta): in this scenario Cicero could have written the speech in advance, but he would not claim to have delivered it from a written text. Thus, depending on the choice of readings, the text of the speech would have been edited on the basis of a written draft or of minutes taken during delivery; it would be implied that this version is close to what was said on the day and could thus be adduced as evidence. In response, Vössing (2008) collects parallels for de scripto dicere (Cic. Sest. 129; Phil. 10.5; Fam. 10.13.1; Att. 4.3.3) and points out that it was not entirely unusual to read out epideictic speeches (that one might occasionally bring a written script is envisaged at Cic. De or. 1.152). Therefore, in the absence of further evidence about what happened in 57 bce, there is no sufficient reason to change the text and posit another scenario that is not attested elsewhere and transfers the motif of the importance of the occasion from the composition to the recording and transmission of the speech.
The first speech to be delivered by Cicero in the Senate in this context is 'the first after his return to Rome'.
Critical Apparatus
1 de scripto vel descripta codd.
Editor’s Note
(3) In this letter to P. Cornelius Lentulus Spinther, one of the consuls in 57 bce (Cic. RS 5 n.), written a few years later (54 bce), Cicero says that the Senate could hear Cicero's attitude during Lentulus' consulship, i.e. as outlined in a speech given by Cicero in the Senate in 57 bce. Since this attitude consists of a debt of gratitude to Lentulus and the Republic for restoring Cicero and of his resulting willingness to show himself to be a dutiful citizen, this must refer to Cicero's speech of thanks delivered in the Senate, in which he comments on Lentulus' support (Cic. RS 8–9). In the speeches given after his return Cicero claims a number of times that he and the Republic had been away together and returned together (see Introduction, section 3.4), but they do not include the strong version of this motif, namely that the Republic assisted Lentulus in recalling Cicero; this might be a variant developed here for the conversation with Lentulus.
Critical Apparatus
2 initio <beneficio> (vel beneficio) Sternkopf : initio codd.
Critical Apparatus
3 vidisti vel ipse vidisti vel audisti codd.
Editor’s Note
(4) In the introduction to the commentary on the speech of thanks delivered to the People (RQ) the scholiast notes that its substance is similar to that of the speech given in the Senate: indeed, while the content is not exactly the same, many points and motifs occur in both speeches (see Introduction, section 3.3). The reason for this procedure, according to the scholiast, is that Cicero wished to demonstrate that he was recalled unanimously by all parts of the population. The scholiast does not feel that the main purpose of these speeches is to express genuine thanks; he rather sees these speeches as part of a publicity campaign to re-establish Cicero's status.
In passing, the scholiast mentions that Cicero delivered the speech to the People at a contio (also in T 5), the usual venue for such speeches. In 57 bce Cicero was not in a position to call a contio; thus, magistrates in office would have had to do this for him (see T 7; Introduction, section 3.3).
The scholiast goes on to note that Cicero fulfils the requirements of the genus demonstrativum (e.g. Lausberg 1998, §§ 239–54) by voicing praise of his supporters and blame for his enemies (e.g. Quint. Inst. 3.7.1). In fact, criticism of Cicero's enemies is less extensive and less strong in the speech to the People (Cic. RQ 13–14) than in the speech given in the Senate (esp. Cic. RS 10–18). Generally, epideictic speeches do not often include examples of both praise and blame.
Critical Apparatus
4 <argumentum huius orationis Tullianae prorsus cum> ed. Romana Angeli Mai 1828 : <huic orationi ad populum principium et argumentum prorsus cum> Luterbacher
Critical Apparatus
5 populi <pars> Stangl : <pars> populi edd. vet. : populi ab sua dignitate dissensio fuisse Luterbacher
Editor’s Note
(5) In the introduction to Cicero's speech Pro Plancio the scholiast comments that, after his return to Rome, Cicero delivered a pair of orations in the Senate and at a contio in which he expressed thanks (see T 4): thus, both speeches are described as having been delivered and having similar content. In the context of Pro Plancio, the scholiast highlights that Cicero expressed thanks to Plancius. Read literally, the statement means that Cicero thanked Plancius in both speeches; yet he does so only in the speech given in the Senate (Cic. RS 35). The scholiast may regard the pair of speeches as one unit and just indicate that it includes an expression of thanks to Plancius.
Editor’s Note
(6) Commenting on the passage in Pro Plancio (Cic. Planc. 74) in which Cicero mentions the speech of thanks to the Senate (T 2), the scholiast explains that it was sufficient for Cicero to refer to the speech by which he expressed thanks, be it to the Senate, be it to the People (without the need for further evidence or argument). A speech of thanks in which gratitude for Plancius is expressed identifies Cicero's oration given in the Senate. Therefore, it is odd that the text provides the alternative vel senatui vel populo with reference to a single speech, while in T 5 the scholiast identifies two speeches and distinguishes between them (alteram…alteram). Maybe the two options are given for the sake of completeness (although the phrasing is grammatically problematic), or what was originally an explanary gloss has entered the text.
Editor’s Note
(7) The only testimonium not deriving from the writings of Cicero or Cicero's commentators is part of a description of the historical events of the period by the Greek historian and Roman senator Cassius Dio. He notes that, after his return to Rome, Cicero delivered speeches of thanks to the Senate and the People when given the opportunity by the consuls. This remark provides the detail that the consuls arranged for Cicero to speak to the Senate and to the People. It is uncertain whether the statement is based on specific evidence or inferred from common practice or from what is known about the attitude of that year's consuls towards Cicero. Since a reference to this circumstantial point is added, Cassius Dio might have had access to sources including this information; then this remark would confirm that both speeches were delivered and that Cicero's appearances before both bodies were arranged by his supporters (see Introduction, section 3.3).
Critical Apparatus
6 del. Boissevain ('Inde a Roberto Stephano haec ita eduntur : παρασχόντων‎ αὐτῷ‎ τῶν‎ ὑπάτων‎, καὶ‎ κατὰ‎ τὸ‎ συνέδριον‎ καὶ‎ <κατὰ‎> τὴν‎ ἐκκλησίαν‎ ἔγνω‎, quae non uno nomine displicent, maxime vero eo quod futile est dicere Ciceronem senatui in curia et populo in contione populi gratias egisse. (non ita Cic. ad Att. 4.1.5 ex.)').
logo-footer Copyright © 2022. All rights reserved.