The Speech of M. T. Cicero on the Subject of the Consular Provinces.
"This speech was delivered about the middle of the year of the consulship of Cnæus Cornelius Lentulus Marcellinus, and Lucius Marcius Philippus, a.u.c. 698. Before the new consuls were elected, the senate assembled to deliberate on what provinces should be allotted to them on the expiration of their year of office. The provinces about which the question really was were the two Gauls which Cæsar had, and Macedonia and Syria, which had been given to Lucius Calpurnius Piso Cæsonius, and to Aulus Gabinius, the consuls of the year 696. Several senators had spoken when Cicero rose; and had all, except Servilius, advocated the taking one or both of the Gauls from Cæsar, which was in fact what the senate was desirous to do; but Cicero, who had himself been treated with the greatest indignity by Piso and Gabinius, was anxious instead to get them recalled with some marks of disgrace, and to have their provinces assigned to the consuls; and he urged also that Cæsar's command should be continued to him till he had finished the war which he was carrying on with such success, and till he had settled the conquered countries. This was much against the wishes of the senate, and even of the existing consuls, who were principally concerned in the matter; so that Philippus reproached Cicero, and reminded him that he had received worse treatment from Cæsar than he had even from Gabinius, since Cæsar had been the real author of the calamities which had befallen him. But Cicero replied that his object was not the satisfying of his own private resentment, but the promotion of the real interests of the republic; that Cæsar was deserving well of his country; that if he remained in his province he would soon reduce all Gaul to subjection; but that Piso and Gabinius were only tyrannising over and draining their provinces, while they were objects of contempt to all foreign enemies."
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