Cicero, pro Flacco (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Cic. Flac.].
<<Cic. Flac. 37 Cic. Flac. 43 (Latin) >>Cic. Flac. 48

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41 And when this Dorylaean was lately carried out to burial in the presence of a great multitude and numerous assembly of you, Laelius tried to excite odium against Lucius Flaccus by imputing his death to him. You are acting unjustly, O Laelius, if you think that it is our risk whether your comrades live or die; especially as I think that this instance proceeded from your own carelessness. For you gave a Phrygian, a man who had never seen a fig-tree, a whole basket of figs; and his death was to some extent a relief to you, for you lost a very voracious guest. But what good did it to Flaccus, as he was well enough till he came forward here, and who died after he had put out his sting and delivered his evidence? But that prop of your cause, Mithridates, was retained as a witness by us and examined two whole days; and, after he had said all that he wished, departed reproved, convicted, and broken down, and now walks about in a breastplate. That learned and sagacious man is afraid that Lucius Flaccus may burden himself with a crime, now that he cannot escape him as a witness; so that he, who, before the evidence was given, restrained himself when he might have got something by the deed, is likely now to add the guilt of an enormous crime to the charge of covetousness,

-- 444 --

which is only supported by false evidence. But since Quintus Hortensius has spoken at great length and with great acuteness concerning this witness, and respecting the whole charge which has reference to Mithridates, we, as we originally intended, will proceed to the other points.

ch. 18

42

The principal man in stirring up all the Greeks,—he who is sitting with the prosecutors,—Heraclides of Temnos, a silly chattering fellow, but (in his own opinion) so learned, that he calls himself even their tutor, and so ambitious, that he salutes all of you and of us every day. Old as he is, he has not yet been able to get admission into the senate of Temnos; and he, the man who professes himself able to teach the art of speaking to others, has himself been convicted in some very discreditable trials.

43 Of similar good fortune was Nicomedes, who came with him as a deputy, who was not allowed to enter the senate on any terms, but had been convicted of theft, and of defrauding his partner. For Lysanias, the chief man of the deputation, obtained the rank of senator; but as he showed himself rather too much devoted to the riches of the republic, he was convicted of peculation, and lost his property and his title of senator. These three men tried to render the accounts of even our own treasury false. For they returned themselves as having nine slaves, when they had in reality come without one single companion. I see at the first framing of the decree Lysanias was present, he, whose brother's property was sold by public order during the praetorship of Flaccus, because he did not pay what he owed to the people. Besides him there is Philippus, the son-in-law of Lysanias; and Hermobius, whose brother also, by name Poles, was convicted of embezzling the public money.

ch. 19

44

These men say that they gave Flaccus and those who were with him fifteen thousand drachmas. I have to do with a most active city, and one which is an admirable hand at keeping its accounts; a city in which not a farthing can be disposed of without the intervention of five praetors, three quaestors, and four bankers, who are elected in that city by the burgesses. Of all that number not one has been brought hither as a witness; and when they return that money as having been given to Flaccus by name, they say that they gave him also a still larger sum, entered as having been given for the repair of a temple. But this is not a very consistent story; for either everything ought to have been kept secret or else everything ought to have been returned without any disguise. When they enter the money as having been given to Flaccus, naming him expressly, they fear nothing, they apprehend nothing. When they return the money as having been given for a public work, then all of a sudden those same men begin to be afraid of the very man whom they had despised before. If the praetor gave the money, as it is set down, he drew it from the quaestor, the quaestor from the public bank, the public bank derived it either from revenue or from tribute. All this will never be like a crime, unless you explain to me the whole business both with respect to the persons and to the accounts.

45 Or, as it is written in this same decree, that the most illustrious men of the city,—men who had had the highest honours of the state conferred on them,—were circumvented by him while he was praetor, why are they not present in court or why, at all events, are they not named in the decree? For I do not suppose that Heraclides, who is pricking up his head, is the person here intended. For is he one of the most eminent of the citizens, when Hermippus brought him here for trial? a man who did not even receive his present commission to come on this deputation from his fellow-citizens by their voluntary choice, but who went all the way from Tmolus to solicit it? a man on whom no honour was ever conferred in his own city; and the only business which ever has been entrusted to him, is one which is usually entrusted to the most insignificant people. He, in the praetorship of Titus Autidius, was appointed guardian of the public corn. And when he had received money from Publius Varinius the praetor for this purpose, he concealed it from his fellow-citizens, and charged the whole of the expense to them. And after this was made known and revealed at Temnos, by letters which were sent thither by Publius Varinius, and when Cnaeus Lentulus, he who was the censor, the patron of the people of Temnos, had sent letters on the same subject, no one ever afterwards saw that man Heraclides at Temnos.



Cicero, pro Flacco (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Cic. Flac.].
<<Cic. Flac. 37 Cic. Flac. 43 (Latin) >>Cic. Flac. 48

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