The Ancient Library

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his assassins; and as a well-wisher to the public good and the new constitution, to Antony. But Hirtius was not qualified to cause or to control a revolution, and he took refuge at Puteoli from the despotic arrogance of Antony and the threats of the veterans. (Cic. ad Fam. xvi. 24, ad Att. xiv. 9, 11.) Occasionally, indeed, he mediated between the latter and the party of Brutus and Cassius (ad Fam. xi. 1), and his moderation led the conspira­tors to hope that through Cicero they might convert the tolerant Caesarian, who, though abhorring their act, did not renounce their intercourse, into an active partisan. Cicero discouraged, and secretly derided their hopes (ad Att. xiv. 20, 21, xv. 5). But Hirtius,. though inconvertible, was a useful friend to the opponents of Antony. Atticus applied to him for the protection of his estates near Bu-throtum in Epeirus against the veterans whom Caesar had established in the neighbourhood (ad Att. xv. 1, 3, xvi. 16). To Brutus and Cassius who had requested his aid, he gave the good advice not to return to Rome, where their destruction by Antony and the veterans was certain (ad Fam. xi. 1), nor to leave Italy and appeal to arms when their success might be doubtful (ad Att. xv. 6), and he had previously urged Dec. Brutus to quit the city, where his presence only led to daily bloodshed (ad Fam. xi. 1). Both at this (b.c. 44) and at an earlier period of the revolution (45, 46, &c.), Cicero's letters show the importance he at­tached to his relations with Hirtius. When writing confidentially, indeed, he ranks him with the other " Pelopidae," that is, the Caesarian chiefs, whom he wished never to hear of or see again (ad Fam. vii. 28, 30); but to Pompey, Brutus, and the senatorian party, he represents himself as on the best terms with Caesar's favourite (vi. 12). At the baths of Puteoli, in April, b. c. 44, their daily intercourse was renewed, and Cicero again gave lessons in oratory to Hirtius and his colleague elect, Vibius Pansa (ad Att. xiv. 12, 22 ; Suet, de Clar. RJiet. i.). His treatise de Fato Cicero represents as arising out of a discussion with Hirtius at Puteoli in the same year (de Fafo, 1). Hirtius left Cam­pania to attend the senate summoned for the first of June by Antony (ad Att. xv. 5), but,finding himself in danger from the veterans, he returned to his Tusculan villa (ad Att. xv. 6). In the autumn of this year Hirtius was disabled from attendance in the senate by sickness (ad Fam. xii. 22), from which he never perfectly recovered (Phil. i. 15, vii. 4, x. 8). According to Cicero, the people offered vows for his restoration, and at such a crisis the moderate and unambitious Hirtius was of no mean worth to the commonwealth.

According to a decree of the senate passed in the preceding December (Cic. Phil. iii. ad Fam. xi. 6), Hirtius and Pansa summoned the senate for the 1st of January, b. c. 43. After the usual sacrifices, they proceeded to the capitol, and laid before a nu­merous meeting the general state of the common­wealth, and the rogation respecting honours to Octavius Caesar, Dec. Brutus, and the martial and fourth legions. The debate was opened by Hirtius and his colleague, who declared their attachment to the existing constitution, and exhorted the senate to similar firmness and consistency. (Phil. v. 1, 12, 13, 35, vi. 11 ; Dion Cass. xiv. 17; App. B. C. iii. 50.) The discussion lasted four days. On the second the decree for honours to Brutus, Octavius, and the legions, was passed (App. B. C. iii. 51—

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64 ; Cic. Phil. vii. 4, xi. 8, xiii. 10 ; Dion Cass. xlvi. 29 ; Plut. Cic. 45 ; Veil. Pat. ii. 61 ; Suet; Octav. 10 ; Tac. Ann. i. 10) ; but on the fourth, Cicero and the oligarchy failed in their motion to have Antony declared a public enemy, and for the city to assume the sagum. (Cic, PhiL vi. 3.) It was resolved—and the resolution was supported by Hirtius and the Caesarian party—to try negotia­tion, and to send delegates to his camp at Mutina. Hirtius, on whom the lot fell, was despatched in February, although still enfeebled by sickness, to Cisalpine Gaul. He immediately attacked An­tony's outposts, and drove them from Claterna; then, uniting his forces with those of Octavius at Forum Cornelii, he, as consul, took the chief command, and laid up both armies in winter-quarters. (App. B. C. iii. 65 ; Cic. ad Fam. xii. 5.)

Hirtius did not wish for open, at least not im­mediate, collision with Antony, and the senate desired to have in the field a superior officer to Octavius. (Dion -Cass. xlvi. 35.) Antony, whom these movements compelled to divide his forces, addressed a letter to Hirtius and Octavius jointly, remonstrating with them for being the dupes of Cicero and his faction, and for weakening the Cae­sarian party by division. Without replying to it, Hirtius forwarded this letter to the senate, and an acute and acrimonious dissection of it forms the substance of Cicero's thirteenth Philippic; During some weeks of inactivity, Hirtius omitted no means of throwing supplies into Mutina, or of encourage­ment to Dec. Brutus to hold out against the inces­sant assaults of Antony, and the more dangerous progress of famine. (Front. Strat. iii. 13. § 7, 14. § 3 ; Plin. H. N. x. 53.) Towards the end of March his colleague, Pansa, crossed the Apennines, and reaching Bononia, which Hirtius and Octavius had previously taken, was defeated on the follow­ing day by Antony at Forum Gallorum, and, as it proved, mortally wounded in the battle. (Cic. ad Fam. x. 30 ; comp. Ov. Fast. iv. 625.) Hirtius, however, retrieved this disaster on the same even­ing, by suddenly attacking Antony on his return to the camp at Mutina. Honours, on Cicero's motion, had scarcely been decreed by the senate to Hirtius for his victory (Cic. Phil, xiv.), when news arrived at Rome of the rout of Antony on the 27th, the deliverance of Mutina, and the fall of Hirtius in leading an assault on the besiegers' camp. (Ad Fam. x. 30, 33, xi. 9, 10, 13, xii. 2ovPhil. xiv. 9, 10, 14 ; App. B. C. iii. 66—71 ; Dion Cass. xlvi. 36—39 ; Plut. Ant. 17, Cic. 45 ; Veil. Pat. ii. 61; Liv. Epit. 119 ; Eutrop. vii. 1 ; Oros. vi. 18 ; Zonar. x. 14.) Octavius sent the bodies of the slain consuls, with a numerous escort, to Rome, where they were received with extraordinary honours,, and publicly buried in the Field of Mars. The grief and dismay at their fall was universal: the company of contractors for funerals refused any re­compense for their interment (Val. Max. v. 2. § 10; App. B. C. iii. 76 ; Veil. Pat. ii. 62) ; and the day of their death became an epoch of chronology. (Ovid. Trist. iv. 10, 6 ; Tibull. iii. 5, 18.) Yet, however calamitous to the commonwealth, the fall of Hirtius and his colleague was probably fortunate for themselves. They could not have long hin­dered the union of Antony and Octavius, and they would have been among the first victims of pro­scription. To Octavius their removal from the scene was so timely, that he was accused by many of murdering them. (Dion Cass. xlvi. 39 ; Suet,

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