A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology

Smith, William

A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology. William Smith, LLD, ed. 1890

8. Q.TulliusCicero, son of No. 6, and of Pomponia, sister of Atticus, must have been born about B. C. 66 or 67, for we find that it was proposed to invest him with the manly gown in the year B. C. 51 (ad Att. 5.20). He passed a considerable portion of his boyhood with his cousin Marcus, under the eye of his uncle, whom he accompanied to Cilicia, and who at an early period remarked his restless vehemence and self-confidence, observing that he required the curb, while his own son stood in need of the spur (ad Att. 6.1, 3, 7), although he at the same time had formed a favourable opinion of his disposition from the propriety with which he conducted himself amidst the wrangling of his parents (ad Att. l.c.). Before leaving Cicilia, however, he appears to have begun to entertain some doubts of his nephew's uprightness, and these suspicions were fully verified by a letter which the youth, tempted it would seem by the prospect of a great reward, despatched to Caesar soon after the outbreak of the civil war, betraying the design which his father and his uncle had formed of quitting Italy. (Ad Att. 10.4, 7.) His unamiable temper broke forth with savage violence after the battle of Pharsalia, when he loaded his uncle with the most virulent vituperation in hopes that he might thus the more easily propitiate the conqueror. Having obtained pardon from Caesar he accompanied him to Spain, ever seeking to gain favour by railing against his own nearest relations, and after the death of the dictator was for a while the right-hand man of Antony (ad Att. 14.20), but, having taken some offence, with characteristic fickleness he went over to Brutus and Cassius, by whom he was kindly received, was in consequence included in the proscription of the triumvirs, and was put to death at Rome in B. C. 43. He is said on this occasion to have in some degree made amends for his former errors by the steadfastness with which he refused to divulge the place where his father was concealed, even when pressed by torture. (D. C. 47.10.)