15 March 44 BCE (?): To Lucius Minucius Basilus (on the Capitol?) from Cicero (at Rome)
The Ides of March are come 🔪
[The date and circumstance of this letter are contentious.]
I congratulate you, and I myself rejoice! I love you, and I support your interests. I hope I am a friend to you, and that I am kept informed about what you do and about what happens.
Read Ad Familiares 6.15 in Latin here | Check the glossary here
This letter has been dated to the Ides of March since at least the 19th century, solely on the basis of Basilus being one of Caesar’s assassins. There are numerous flaws in the reasoning for this dating: ‘As regards Basilus himself, he certainly was not a leader in the conspiracy. Why should Cicero write to him and not to one of the actual leaders, especially as these leaders were among Cicero's most intimate friends, and we have nothing to indicate that at this time Cicero and Basilus were on especially intimate terms ? Or if he wrote letters to all, or to several, what editor or what chance could be so preposterous as to preserve to us this note addressed to one of the least of the company, and none of the other messages?’
I have chosen to post it today despite this, for reasons of Drama and Narrative.