Did Cicero ‘Proscribe’ Marcus Antonius

Author: Ramsey, John T.
Title: Did Cicero ‘Proscribe’ Marcus Antonius
Review/Collection: Classical Quarterly 69, no 2
Year edition: 2019
Pages: 793–800
Keywords: Histoire - Storia - History, Politique - Politica - Politics
Description: Pliny's celebration of Cicero's consular achievements contains a striking anomaly, namely the assertion that Cicero proscribed Marcus Antonius (HN 7.117). That statement turns Cicero, the victim of Antonius’ murderous vendetta, into the one who wielded the executioner's axe, and it abruptly shifts the focus of the passage from 63 to 43 b.c. Two slight corrections to the Latin text can eliminate the intrusion of the proscriptions by substituting a reference to the control Cicero exercised in 63 over Gaius Antonius, his consular colleague and an old ally of Catiline. In his In Pisonem (§5), Cicero takes credit for combatting the threat posed by his colleague, and it is highly probable that HN 7.117 mentioned Gaius (not Marcus) Antonius as well, since Pliny's summary of Cicero's consular deeds and honours is nearly identical to the one found in Pis. 4–6. The beauty of the emended text is that it restores both historical fact and a logical progression to the overall structure of Pliny's encomium. [Author]
Author initials: Ramsey 2019