Cicero, pro Flacco (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Cic. Flac.].
<<Cic. Flac. 42 Cic. Flac. 48 (Latin) >>Cic. Flac. 54

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46 And that you may be thoroughly aware of his impudence, listen, I entreat you, to the cause which excited the animosity of this most worthless man against Flaccus.

ch. 20

He bought at Rome a farm in the district of Cyme, from a minor whose name was Meculonius. Having made himself out in words to be a rich man,—though he had in reality nothing beyond the stock of impudence which you

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see,—he borrowed the money from Sextus Stola, one of our judges now present a man of the highest consideration, who is acquainted with the circumstances, and not unacquainted with the man; but who trusted him on the security of Publius Fulvius Veratius, a most unexceptionable man. And to pay this loan he borrowed money of Caius and Marcus Fufius, Roman knights, men of the highest character. Here, in truth, he caught a weasel asleep, as people say; for he cheated Hermippus, a learned man, his own fellow-citizen, who ought to have known him well enough; for on his security he borrowed money of the Fufii. Hermippus, without feeling any anxiety, goes away to Temnos, as he said that he would pay the Fufii the money which he had borrowed on his security, out of what he received from his pupils.

47 For he, as a rhetorician, had some rich men for pupils whom he was going to make as foolish again as they were when they came to him, (for they could acquire nothing from him, except an ignorance of every sort of learning;) but he could not infatuate any one to such an extent as to get him to lend him a single farthing. Therefore, having left Rome secretly, and cheated numbers of people by trifling loans, he came into Asia; and when Hermippus asked him what he had done about the bond given to the Fufii, he said that he paid the entire sum to the Fufii. In the mean time, not long afterwards, a freedman comes to Hermippus with letters from the Fufii. The money is demanded of Hermippus. Hermippus demands it of Heraclides; however, he himself satisfies the claim of the Fufii who are at a distance, and discharges the security which he had given. He then prosecutes Heraclides, in spite of all his fuming and shuffling, in a formal manner: the cause is tried before judges.


Do not fancy, O judges, that the impudence of cheats and repudiators is not one and the same in all places. This man did the very same things which debtors here are in the habit of doing. He denied that he had ever borrowed any money at all at Rome. He asserted that he had actually never heard the name of the Fufii; and he attacked Hermippus himself, a most modest and virtuous man, an ancient friend and hereditary connection of my own, the most eminent and accomplished man in his city, with every sort of reproach and abuse. But after this voluble gentleman had delivered himself in that fashion with a prodigious rapidity of eloquence for some time, all of a sudden, when the evidence of the Fufii and the items of their claim were read, though a most audacious man, he got alarmed; through a most talkative one, he became dumb. Therefore, the judges at the first trial gave a decision against him, in a matter which certainly did not admit of much doubt. As he did not comply with their decision, he was given up to Hermippus and put in prison by him.

ch. 21


Now you know the honesty of the man and the value of his evidence, and the whole reason of his enmity to Flaccus. Having been released by Hermippus after having sold him a few slaves, he came to Rome from thence he returned into Asia, when my brother Quintus had succeeded Flaccus in that government and went to him and related his story in this manner, saying that the judges being compelled and put in fear by the violence of Flaccus had given a false decision against their will. My brother as became his impartiality and prudence, decreed that if he demurred to the previous decision, he was to give security to double the amount; and that if he said that they were compelled by fear at the first trial, he should have the same judges again. He refused this, and as if there had been no trial and no decision, he began on the spot to demand back from Hermippus the slaves which he himself had sold him. Marcus Gratidius, the lieutenant, before whom he went refused to give him leave to proceed with the action, but declared that he should adhere to the decision already given.

50 A second time, as he had no place anywhere where he could remain, he betook himself to Rome. Hermippus, who never yields to his impudence, follows him hither. Heraclides demands from Caius Plotius, a senator, a man of the highest character, who had served in Asia as lieutenant some slaves, which he said he had sold under compulsion, at a time when an unjust decision had been given against him. Quintus Naso, a most accomplished man, who had been praetor, is appointed judge; and when he showed that he was going to give sentence in favour of Plotius, Heraclides left the judge, and abandoned the whole cause as if he had not had a fair and legal trial. Do I appear to you, O judges, to be dwelling too much on each individual witness, and not to be discussing the whole class of witnesses, as I originally intended?

51 I come now to Lysanias, of the same city,—your own especial witness, Decianus,—a

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man whom you, as you had known him at Temnos when a youth, since he had pleased you when naked, wished to be always naked. You took him from Temnos to Apollonia. You lent money to him while quite a youth, at great interest, having taken good security for the loan. You say that the securities have been forfeited to you, and to this day you detain them and keep them in your possession. And you have compelled this man to come forward to give evidence as a witness by the hope of recovering his paternal estate. And as he has not yet given his evidence, I am waiting to see what it is that he will state. For I know the sort of men that they are,—I know their habits, I know their licentious ways. Therefore, although I am certain what he is prepared to state, still I will not argue against it before he has stated it; for if I do, he will alter it all and invent something else. Let him, then, keep what he has prepared; and I will keep myself fresh for whatever statements he makes.

ch. 22

Cicero, pro Flacco (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Cic. Flac.].
<<Cic. Flac. 42 Cic. Flac. 48 (Latin) >>Cic. Flac. 54

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