¶ 2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0 Cicero here reaches the third of the four qualities that distinguish his perfect general: auctoritas. See the blueprint he gave his audience in § 28: Ego enim sic existimo, in summo imperatore quattuor has res inesse oportere: (i) scientiam rei militaris, (ii) virtutem, (iii) auctoritatem, (iv) felicitatem. After his lengthy treatment of virtus (§§ 29-42), Cicero devotes §§ 43-46 to his treatment of auctoritas before moving on to felicitas in §§ 47-48. Unlike scientia militaris and virtus, auctoritas is not an ‘innate’ quality. It captures the prestige and respect (and hence the ‘commanding influence’) that others accord an individual on the basis of his previous achievements – and the ‘commanding influence’ that he can therefore exercise. auctoritas, then, implies a socio- political context. It is a specifically Roman notion (and form of power ). Yet unlike potestas or imperium, which are formalized modes of power linked to social roles (such as that of pater familias, ‘father of a household’, which comes with patria potestas) or public office (election to the consulship gives the individual consular potestas and the right to command an army, i.e. imperium), auctoritas is more diffuse, if no less potent: it enables those who have it to get things done without needing to flex their muscle, simply on the basis of the authoritative respect they command. In this and the following paragraph, Cicero argues that the auctoritas enjoyed by Pompey among friends and foes alike has no equal and illustrates its strategic value in warfare (and not least the ongoing war against Mithridates).
¶ 3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0 Et quoniam auctoritas quoque in bellis administrandis multum atque in imperio militari valet, certe nemini dubium est quin ea re idem ille imperator plurimum possit. The main clause is certe nemini dubium est; it is preceded by a causal subordinate clause introduced by quoniam (quoniam … valet) and followed by a quin-clause. dubium governs the dative nemini: ‘doubtful to nobody’.
¶ 4 Leave a comment on paragraph 4 0 multum: a so-called ‘adverbial accusative’: with certain adjectives such as multus or plurimus (for which see below) the neuter accusative singular serves as adverb; it goes with the verb of the quoniam-clause, i.e. valet.
¶ 5 Leave a comment on paragraph 5 0 quin … possit: after negated expressions of doubt or hesitation (here the negation is nemini and the expression of doubt dubium), quin is a conjunction meaning ‘that’. Such quin-clauses are in indirect speech and hence take the subjunctive (possit.
¶ 8 Leave a comment on paragraph 8 0 plurimum possit: plurimum, the neuter accusative singular of plurimus (the superlative of plus) is another ‘adverbial accusative’: see above on multum. It goes with possit: note the alliteration. There is a nice step-up in intensity from multum valet to plurimum possit.
¶ 9 Leave a comment on paragraph 9 0 Vehementer autem pertinere ad bella administranda, quid hostes, quid socii de imperatoribus nostris existiment, quis ignorat, cum sciamus homines in tantis rebus, ut aut contemnant aut metuant, aut oderint aut ament, opinione non minus et fama quam aliqua ratione certa commoveri?: The main clause is the question quis ignorat…? ignorat governs an indirect statement with (the impersonal verb) pertinere as infinitive and the quid-clauses functioning as subject accusatives. quis ignorat is followed by a causal cum-clause (cum … commoveri). It explains why Cicero considers this to be a rhetorical question. The verb of the cum-clause is sciamus, which governs an indirect statement with homines as subject accusative and commoveri as infinitive. ut introduces a result clause set up by tantis.
¶ 12 Leave a comment on paragraph 12 0 cum sciamus homines in tantis rebus, ut aut contemnant aut metuant, aut oderint aut ament, opinione non minus et fama quam aliqua ratione certa commoveri?: Cicero here states a generally agreed truth (cf. the first person plural verb sciamus) about human nature: homines, the generic term for ‘human beings’, elevates his discourse to the level of universalizing reflections about humanity, subsuming in the process the two categories he specified previously, i.e. hostes and socii. Notionally, the subject of contemnant, metuant, oderint, and ament is homines, but contemnant and metuant refer back to hostes (enemies despise a weak and are afraid of a strong, authoritative general), whereas oderint and ament pick up socii (allies hate a weak and love a strong, authoritative general). By associating auctoritas with fama and opinio, and contrasting these social phenomena with ratio, Cicero pinpoints the irrational element inherent in auctoritas. (See also the end of § 45, where Cicero affiliates auctoritas with nomen and rumor, all of which are, however influential they might be, less substantial than virtus, imperium, and exercitus.)
¶ 14 Leave a comment on paragraph 14 0 Quod igitur nomen umquam in orbe terrarum clarius fuit? quod is an interrogative adjective agreeing with nomen (‘which name…’). The question it introduces is rhetorical. clarius is the comparative form of the adverb. Cicero leaves the comparison implicit: no name is more famous than that of Pompey.
¶ 15 Leave a comment on paragraph 15 0 cuius res gestae pares [sc. fuerunt]? The verb is elided but can easily be supplied from the previous clause. Again Cicero does not spell out the comparison: nobody’s deeds are equal to those of Pompey.
¶ 16 Leave a comment on paragraph 16 0 de quo homine vos, id quod maxime facit auctoritatem, tanta et tam praeclara iudicia fecistis? quo is another interrogative adjective agreeing with homine. The parenthetical id quod maxime facit auctoritatem states a general principle (hence the present tense), which finds its historical application in the main clause (vos tanta et tam praeclara iudicia fecistis). For Cicero’s identification of the populus as a source of special auctoritas, see the Introduction 2.4.