Cicero, Epistulae ad Familiares 15.1-4

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מקורות ראשוניים ועתיקים ק / מקורות ראשוניים ועתיקים C


טקסט

Cic. Fam. 15.1: M. Tullius Cicero, son of Marcus, proconsul, greets the consuls, praetors, tribunes, and senate. If you are well, I am glad. I and the army are well.

Although I had undoubted assurance that the Parthians had crossed the Euphrates with nearly all their forces, yet, believing that more definite information could be sent you on these points by the proconsul M. Bibulus, I concluded that it was not incumbent on me to mention in a public despatch reports reaching me concerning the province of another.

Having since then, however, received information on the most unquestionable authority-from legates, messengers, and despatches—whether I considered the importance of the matter itself, or the fact of not having yet heard of Bibulus's arrival in Syria, or that the conduct of this war was almost as much my business as that of Bibulus, I came to the conclusion that it was my duty to write you word of what had reached my ears. The legates of king Antiochus of Commagene were the first to inform me that large bodies of Parthians had begun to cross the Euphrates. On the receipt of this report, as there were certain persons who thought that full credit could not be given to that sovereign, I made up my mind that I must wait for more trustworthy information.

On the 18th of September, whilst marching into Cilicia at the head of my army, on the frontier between Lycaonia and Cappadocia, a despatch was handed to me from Tarcondimotus, who is considered to be the most faithful ally and the most devoted friend of the Roman people beyond Mount Taurus, announcing that Pacorus, son of Orodes, the king of the Parthians, had crossed the Euphrates with a very large body of Parthian cavalry, and had pitched his camp at Tyba, and that consequently a very serious commotion had been caused in the province of Syria. On the same day a despatch on the same subject reached me from Iamblichus, phylarch of the Arabians, who is generally considered to be well-disposed and friendly to our Republic.

 

Cic. Fam. 15.3: Ambassadors sent to me by Antiochus of Commagene having arrived at the camp at Iconium on the 28th of August, and having announced to me that the son of the king of the Parthians, whose wife was the sister of the king of the Armenians, had arrived on the Euphrates with a very large force of Parthians, and a great host of other nations besides, and had actually begun the passage of the Euphrates, and that it was reported that the Armenian king was about to make a raid upon Cappadocia--I thought that, considering our close friendship, I ought to write and tell you this news.

I have sent no public despatch for two reasons: first, because the ambassadors said that the Commagenian himself had at once sent messengers and a despatch to the senate; and, secondly, because I believed that M. Bibulus, proconsul of Syria, who started thither by sea from Ephesus about the 13th of August, seeing that he had had the wind in his favour, had by this time arrived in his own province, and I thought that the senate was sure to get more definite information on all points in a despatch from him.

For myself, considering the circumstances and the gravity of the war, my chief anxiety is to retain by my own leniency and purity, and the loyalty of our allies, what I can scarcely hope to retain by the amount of my forces and material resources. I would beg you, on your part, to continue your habitual affection for me and the defence of me in my absence.


Cic. Fam. 15.3: While this was going on, and when, after reviewing the army, I had on the 28th of August begun my march to Cilicia, some legates sent to me by the sovereign of Commagene announced, with every sign of panic, yet not without some foundation, that the Parthians had entered Syria. On hearing this I was rendered very anxious both for Syria and my own province, and, in fact, for all the rest of Asia.

Accordingly, I made up my mind that I must lead the army through the district of Cappadocia, which adjoins Cilicia. For if I had gone straight down into Cilicia, I could easily indeed have held Cilicia itself, owing to the natural strength of Mount Amanus—for there are only two defiles opening into Cilicia from Syria, both of which are capable of being closed by insignificant garrisons owing to their narrowness, nor can anything be imagined better fortified than is Cilicia on the Syrian side—but I was disturbed for Cappadocia, which is quite open on the Syrian side, and is surrounded by kings, who, even if they are our friends in secret, nevertheless do not venture to be openly hostile to the Parthians.



 

הערות 

  • קיקרו, בהיותו מושל קיליקיה, מוסר דיווח מודיעיני לסנאט ברומא בשנת 51BC.
  • בדיווח הוא מציין כי הראשון למסור מידע על חציית הפרת ע"י כוח פרתי ממזרח הוא אנטיוכוס I מקומגנה.
  • קיקרו מציין כי היו אלו אשר רצו לתת לאניטוכוס קרדיט מלא על המידע המודיעיני, אך הוא עצמו החליט לחכות לאימות המידע.
  • לעומת חוסר האמון המלא במידע אשר העביר אנטיוכוס I מקומגנה, קיקרו מציין כי מידע זהה הגיע משליט מקומי אחר ("איימבליכוס שליט הערבים") אשר נחשב לחבר הרפובליקה - ועל כן זהו למעשה אישור למידע המודיעיני הראשוני.

 

  • במכתב נוסף למרקוס פורקיוס קאטו אוטיקנסיס (קאטו הצעיר) מציין קיקרו כי מלח קומגנה שלח שליחים אליו ואל הסנט.
  • קיקרו מציין כי הפרו-קונסול של פרובינקיה סוריה M. Bibulus יצא אף הוא עם ידיעה זהה לרומא.
  • קיקרו מציין כי דאגתו העיקרית היא הסתמכות על מידע מודיעיני של בן ברית אשר נאמנותו מוטלת בספק (אנטיוכוס מקומגנה), אשר עלולה לפגוע ב"יושרו" וב"טוהרו" ברומא עצמה. 


  • קיקרו לבסוף מקבל את המידע המודיעיני, ופועל על פיו.


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