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Bill Thayer

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This webpage reproduces part of
The Spanish War

by an unknown author, attached to the name of
Julius Caesar

Loeb Classical Library

The text is in the public domain.

This text has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!

Spanish War

 p401  Appendix C

The Behaviour of the Ateguan Envoys
on their Return to the Town

(Spanish War chapter 18)

For the first three sentences of this chapter Klotz adopts the following reading:—

Remissis legatis, cum ad portam venissent, <constitit> Tib. Tullius, et cum introeuntem Catonem​1 insecutus non esset, revertit ad portam et hominem adprehendit. quod Tiberius cum fieri animadvertit, simul pugionem eduxit et manum eius incidit. Ita refugerunt ad Caesarem.

From the explanation which Klotz gives in his commentary he would seem to interpret as follows:—

'When the envoys had been sent back and had come to the gate, Tiberius Tullius stopped; and as, when Cato was going in, Tiberius did not follow him, Cato turned back to the gate and grabbed the fellow. Observing this action, Tiberius at once drew a dagger and stabbed the other's hand. So they fled back to Caesar.'

This reading, which is very close to the MSS., is in many ways attractive; but two serious objections can, I think, reasonably be made to the sense it gives.

(i) Why should both men flee back to Caesar? Klotz suggests that 'they did not return to the town, probably because they were not sure of the commandant.'  p402 But when they had just fallen out — presumably over the question of the terms of surrender — and one had stabbed the other, it seems unlikely that both would flee to Caesar.

(ii) The phrase quod Tiberius cum fieri animadvertit seems to me inappropriate as applied to a man in the very act of being grabbed: on the contrary, it suggests a third party witnessing an action in which he is not immediately involved.

My own belief is that there were three envoys, not two; that the MSS. reading C. Antonius has partially preserved an original Catonem Antonius; and that at the beginning of ch. 17 Lusitano is a corruption of et Antonio.

On this assumption the narrative seems much easier to follow. Caesar had apparently rejected conditional terms of surrender. Tiberius and Antonius may have favoured unconditional surrender but have been overruled by Cato. By the time they reached the town they may have realised that Cato might denounce them to the commandant as traitors; and when he resorted to force, they sought safety with Caesar. That they later returned to the town and Cato was won over to their view is implied at the end of ch. 19.

The Loeb Editor's Note:

1 C. Antonius MSS.: Catonem Mommsen.

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Page updated: 7 Feb 13