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Julius CaesarThe People's Dictator$
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Luciano Canfora

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780748619368

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748619368.001.0001

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Caesar̓s ‘programme’:In Search of Consensus

Caesar̓s ‘programme’:In Search of Consensus

(p.150) Chapter 19 Caesar̓s ‘programme’:In Search of Consensus
Julius Caesar
Luciano Canfora, Julian Stringer
Edinburgh University Press

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

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