n Acta Classica : Proceedings of the Classical Association of South Africa - C. Trebatius Testa and the British Charioteers : the Relationship of Cic. 7.10.2 to Caes. 4.25 and 33

Volume 46, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0065-1141
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This paper responds to the suggestion of H.A. Sanders, 'Swimming among the Greeks and Romans', CJ 20 (1924-25) 567, that the phrase 'qui neque in Oceano natare volueris' at Cic. <I>Ad Fam.&lt;/I&gt; 7.10.2 points to an exaggerated report of the difficulty of Caesar's landings in Britain. In the clause that follows Cicero also refers to Trebatius' reluctance to look on the British charioteers ('essedarii'). In a note on the term 'essedum' Servius (<I>in Verg. Georg.&lt;/I&gt; 3.204) suggests that Cicero's source for its use was his correspondence with Caesar. This article reviews the use of the term 'essedum' and its derivative 'essedarius' by Caesar and Cicero and places the reference to Britain at Ad Fam. 7.10.2 in the wider context of Caesar's &lt;I&gt;Commentarii&lt;/I&gt; and Cicero's letters. I argue that <I>De Bello Gallico&lt;/I&gt; 4 is a more likely inspiration for Cicero, <I>Ad Fam.&lt;/I&gt; 7.10.2 and that, if this is the case, then we must concur with T.P. Wiseman, 'The publication of <I>De Bello Gallico/</I>, in K. Welch & A. Powell (eds), <I>Julius Caesar as Artful Reporter&lt;/I&gt; (London 1998) 1-9, that the first four books of Caesar's work were published no later than 55-54 BC.

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