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46

1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 46: AUCTORITAS SUPREME

2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0 Cicero now sums up his discussion of auctoritas, using some of the same pieces of evidence he mustered to illustrate Pompey’s virtus. The geographical sweep in the first sentence (quod ex locis tam longinquis tamque diversis tam brevi tempore omnes huic se uni dediderunt) recalls similar formulations in § 31 (Hoc tantum bellum, tam turpe, tam vetus, tam late divisum atque dispersum, quis umquam arbitraretur aut ab omnibus imperatoribus uno anno aut omnibus annis ab uno imperatore confici posse?) and § 35 (Ita tantum bellum, tam diuturnum, tam longe lateque dispersum, quo bello omnes gentes ac nationes premebantur, Cn. Pompeius extrema hieme apparavit, ineunte vere susceptit, media aestate confecit) among others. Also in § 35, Cicero had already brought the Cretan embassy to Pompey into play (idem Cretensibus, cum ad eum usque in Pamphyliam legatos deprecatoresque misissent, spem deditionis non ademit, obsidesque imperavit), which he revisits here in some more detail. The illos reges Cicero mentions at the end of the paragraph hark back to his discussion of Mithridates and Tigranes in § 45. And his concluding reference to the amplification of Pompey’s auctoritas through his own deeds and magnis vestris iudiciis reiterates the socio-political economy that Cicero outlined at the beginning of the section (§ 43: de quo homine vos, – id quod maxime facit auctoritatem, – tanta et tam praeclara iudicia fecistis?).

3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0 Age vero illa res quantam declarat eiusdem hominis apud hostes populi Romani auctoritatem, quod ex locis tam longinquis tamque diversis tam brevi tempore omnes huic se uni dediderunt: the subject of the sentence is the vague illa res (‘that matter’); Cicero explicates what ‘that matter’ is in the quod-clause (‘namely that…’). The main verb is declarat, which takes quantam … auctoritatem as accusative object: the hyperbaton is massive! The genitive eiusdem hominis (of course referring to Pompey) depends on auctoritatem.

4 Leave a comment on paragraph 4 0 age vero: the opening age vero is a transitional phrase, with age, the second person singular imperative active of ago, not impacting on the syntax of the sentence. Cicero already used this transition in § 40 (see above).

5 Leave a comment on paragraph 5 0 ex locis tam longinquis tamque diversis tam brevi tempore: Cicero here merges a prepositional phrase (ex … diversis) to do with geography and an ablative of time (tam brevi tempore) into a tricolon of sorts by means of the three adjectives (agreeing with two nouns), which are further emphasized by the triple anaphora of tam. The –que after the second tam links longinquis and diversis, the two attributes of locis. The phrasing asserts a control over space and time perfectly suited to Rome’s imperial needs.

6 Leave a comment on paragraph 6 0 omnes huic se uni dediderunt: omnes is the subject, the reflexive pronoun se the accusative object of dediderunt. Interspersed between is the dative huic … uni: ‘to him alone’.

7 Leave a comment on paragraph 7 0 quod a communi Cretensium legati, cum in eorum insula noster imperator exercitusque esset, ad Cn. Pompeium in ultimas prope terras venerunt eique se omnes Cretensium civitates dedere velle dixerunt!: This quod-clause too stands in apposition to illa res at the beginning of the paragraph. The subject is legati, the verbs are venerunt and dixerunt, linked by the –que after ei. Cicero here refers to the fact that the Cretans preferred to send legates after Pompey who was in Pamphylia at the time instead of turning to the Roman general in command of the army on their island (noster imperator is Quintus Metellus). He makes it out that the reason was Pompey’s auctoritas. The truth of the matter is more complex: Pompey offered more favourable terms of peace, in part because he did not fancy prolonged fighting on the island. See further § 35.

8 Leave a comment on paragraph 8 0 a communi Cretensium: communi is the ablative singular of the neuter noun commune.

9 Leave a comment on paragraph 9 0 cum in eorum insula noster imperator exercitusque esset: the cum has concessive force: ‘even though’.

10 Leave a comment on paragraph 10 0 eique se omnes Cretensium civitates dedere velle dixerunt: the subject continues to be legati, the verb is dixerunt. It introduces an indirect statement with omnes … civitates as subject accusative and velle as infinitive. dedere is a supplementary infinitive with velle, which takes the reflexive pronoun se as accusative object and ei (i.e. Pompey) as dative object: they want to hand over themselves (se) to him (ei).

11 Leave a comment on paragraph 11 0 Quid? idem iste Mithridates nonne ad eundem Cn. Pompeium legatum usque in Hispaniam misit?: In 75 BC, Pompey was in Spain fighting against Sertorius (see above § 28). Mithridates reached out to Sertorius as a potential ally in his fight against Rome. See Plutarch, Life of Sertorius 23:

His negotiations with king Mithridates further argue the greatness of his mind. For when Mithridates, recovering himself from his overthrow by Sulla, like a strong wrestler that gets up to try another fall, was again endeavouring to reestablish his power in Asia, at this time the great fame of Sertorius was celebrated in all places and when the merchants who came out of the western parts of Europe, bringing these, as it were, among their other foreign wares, had filled the kingdom of Pontus with their stories of his exploits in war, Mithridates was extremely desirous to send an embassy to him, being also highly encouraged to it by the boastings of his flattering courtiers, who, comparing Mithridates to Pyrrhus, and Sertorius to Hannibal, professed that the Romans would never be able to make any considerable resistance against such great forces, and such admirable commanders, when they should be set upon on both sides at once, on one by the most warlike general, and on the other by the most powerful prince in existence. Accordingly, Mithridates sends ambassadors into Spain to Sertorius with letters and instructions, and commission to promise ships and money towards the charge of the war, if Sertorius would confirm his pretensions upon Asia, and authorize him to possess all that he had surrendered to the Romans in his treaty with Sulla. Sertorius summoned a full council which he called a senate, where, when others joyfully approved of the conditions, and were desirous immediately to accept his offer, seeing that he desired nothing of them but a name, and an empty title to places not in their power to dispose of in recompense of which they should be supplied with what they then stood most in need of Sertorius would by no means agree to it; declaring that he was willing that king Mithridates should exercise all royal power and authority over Bithynia and Cappadocia, countries accustomed to a monarchical government, and not belonging to Rome, but he could never consent that he should seize or detain a province, which, by the justest right and title, was possessed by the Romans, which Mithridates had formerly taken away from them, and had afterwards lost in open war to Fimbria, and quitted upon a treaty of peace with Sulla. For he looked upon it as his duty to enlarge the Roman possessions by his conquering arms, and not to increase his own power by the diminution of the Roman territories.

13 Leave a comment on paragraph 13 0 idem iste Mithridates: the very Mithridates that the lex Manilia is about.

14 Leave a comment on paragraph 14 0 nonne: the interrogative particle introduces a question expecting an answer in the affirmative.

15 Leave a comment on paragraph 15 0 eum quem Pompeius legatum semper iudicavit, ii quibus erat molestum ad eum potissimum esse missum, speculatorem quam legatum iudicari maluerunt: the subject is ii, the verb maluerunt; it introduces an indirect statement with eum as subject accusative and iudicari as infinitive; speculatorem quam legatum modify eum in predicative position: ‘… that he is considered a spy rather than an ambassador’. The sentence confirms that someone from Mithridates made it to Pompey in Spain, but also that there was considerable controversy about the status of this person. Pompey claimed that the individual in question was an official ambassador tasked specifically with seeking out Pompey. Others, who found this a self- aggrandizing claim, argued that the person had no official diplomatic brief whatsoever and was rather a spy (speculatorem). But the whole sentence is odd and does not fit particularly well into Cicero’s discourse at this point: it reminds everyone that within the ruling elite Pompey’s achievements and self-promotion were highly controversial, whatever their popularity among the populace. Why should Cicero draw attention to this fact here? One could therefore consider bracketing the sentence as a marginal gloss on legatum in the previous sentence that then got included in the body of the text.

16 Leave a comment on paragraph 16 0 ii quibus erat molestum ad eum potissimum esse missum: ii is the antecedent of the relative pronoun quibus (in the dative following molestum: ‘to whom it was irksome…’). It is unclear to whom Cicero is referring (as in the previous sentence he refrains from naming Pompey’s rivals), but it is not unreasonable to suppose that the consul in charge of operations in Spain, Q. Metellus Pius, was one of them. erat molestum governs an indirect statement with the subject accusative (eum = the person sent by Mithridates) suppressed and esse missum as (perfect passive) infinitive.

17 Leave a comment on paragraph 17 0 ad eum: sc. Pompey.

18 Leave a comment on paragraph 18 0 potissimum: potissimum is an adverb (even though it may look as if it agrees with ad eum) and underscores the notion that Mithridates’ man sought out Pompey, who only had the rank of quaestor at the time, above all others – including much higher-ranking officers, such as Quintus Metellus Pius, the consul of 80 BC, and in overall charge of the war against Sertorius until Pompey appeared on the scene.

19 Leave a comment on paragraph 19 0 Potestis igitur iam constituere, Quirites, hanc auctoritatem, multis postea rebus gestis magnisque vestris iudiciis amplificatam, quantum apud illos reges, quantum apud exteras nationes valituram esse existimetis.: constituere sets up two indirect questions both introduced by quantum in asyndetic sequence. The verb of both quantum-clauses is existimetis, which governs an indirect statement with hanc auctoritatem as subject accusative and valituram esse as infinitive. For emphasis, Cicero pulls hanc auctoritatem out of the clauses into which it belongs and places it up front, right after the address to the citizens, an effect further enhanced by the participle phrase multis postea rebus gestis magnisque vestris iudiciis amplificatam. To appreciate the emphasis, economy, and elegance achieved by Cicero’s word order, it may help to write out the sentence in the painful prolixity that would result if one were to restore normal word order and avoid all ellipses:

potestis igitur iam constituere, Quirites,

quantum hanc auctoritatem, multis postea rebus gestis magnisque vestris iudiciis amplificatam, apud illos reges valituram esse existimetis,

quantum hanc auctoritatem [multis postea rebus gestis magnisque vestris iudiciis amplificatam] apud exteras nationes valituram esse existimetis.

23 Leave a comment on paragraph 23 0 The placement of hanc auctoritatem and the two indirect questions introduced by quantum recall the hyperbaton quantam … auctoritatem at the beginning of the paragraph.

24 Leave a comment on paragraph 24 0 multis postea rebus gestis magnisque vestris iudiciis amplificatam: Cicero here specifies Pompey’s deeds (res gestae) and the perceptive decisions and evaluations about him made by the Roman people (vestra iudicia), which resulted in the election of Pompey to honores (‘public offices’), as the two sources that have jointly enhanced Pompey’s auctoritas. The two iudicia that stand out are Pompey’s election to the consulship of 70 BC and his appointment to fight the pirates under the lex Gabinia in 68 BC. The sentence looks back to § 43: see our commentary there. It neatly encapsulates Cicero’s attempt to weld together the past deeds of an individual and their public recognition by means of constitutional procedures (which are vested in the people) in his notion of auctoritas, thereby uniting Pompey and the populus.

25 Leave a comment on paragraph 25 0 apud illos reges: Cicero refers back to Mithridates and Tigranes, whom he mentioned by name in § 45.

26 Leave a comment on paragraph 26 0 valituram esse: valituram is the future active participle in the feminine accusative singular (agreeing with auctoritatem) of valeo.

27 Leave a comment on paragraph 27 0  

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Source: https://deimperio.theclassicslibrary.com/commentary/46-2/