Cicero, pro Flacco (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Cic. Flac.].
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74 Do you wonder that you could not get Flaccus to approve of this conduct? I should like to know who you did persuade to approve of it? You contrived fictitious purchases, you put up advertisements of estates in concert with some wretched women,—open frauds. According to the laws of the Greeks it was necessary to name a guardian to look after these matters. You named Polemocrates a hired slave and minister of your designs. Polemocrates was prosecuted by Dion for treachery and fraud on account of this very guardianship. What a crowd was there from all the neighbouring towns on every side! What was their indignation! How universal were their complaints! Polemocrates was convicted by every single vote; the sales were annulled, the advertisements were canceled. Do you restore the property? You bring to the men of Pergamus, and beg them to enter in their public registers, those beautiful advertisements and purchases of yours. They refuse, they reject them. And yet who were the men who did so? The men of Pergamus, your own panegyrists. For you appear to me to boast as much of the panegyric of the citizens of Pergamus, as if you had arrived at all the honours which had been attained by your ancestors. And you thought yourself in this respect better off than Laelius, that the city of Pergamus praised you. Is the city of Pergamus more honourable than that of Smyrna? Even the men of Pergamus themselves do not assert that.

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I wish that I had leisure enough to read the decree of the Smyrnaeans, which they made respecting the dead Castricius. In the first place, that he was to be brought into the city, which is an honour not granted to others; in the next place, that young men should bear his coffin; and lastly, that a golden crown should be put upon the dead body. These honours were not paid to that most illustrious man, Publius Scipio, when he had died at Pergamus. But what language, O ye immortal gods, do they use concerning him, calling him “the glory of his country, the ornament of the Roman people, the flower of the youth.” Wherefore, O Decianus, if you are desirous of glory, I advise you to seek other distinctions. The men of Pergamus laughed at you.

76 What? Did you not understand that you were being made sport of, when they read those words to you, “most illustrious man, of most extraordinary wisdom, of singular ability.” I assure you they were joking with you. But when they put a golden crown at the head of their letters, in reality they did not entrust you with more gold than they would trust to a jackdaw; could you not even perceive the neatness and facetiousness of the men? They, then,—those men of Pergamus,—repudiated the advertisements which you produced. Publius Orbius, a man both prudent and incorruptible, gave every decision that he did give against you.

ch. 32

You received more favour from Publius Globulus, an intimate friend of mine. I wish that neither he nor I may repent it? [Note]

77 You add real causes of the enmity between you, that your father as tribune of the people prosecuted the father of Lucius Flaccus when he was curule aedile. But that ought not to have been very annoying even to Flaccus's father himself; especially as he, who was prosecuted, was afterwards made praetor and consul, and the man who prosecuted him could not even remain in the city as a private individual. But if you thought that a reasonable ground for enmity, why, when Flaccus was military tribune, did you serve as a soldier in his legion, when by the military law you might have avoided the injustice of the tribune? And why did the praetor summon you, his hereditary enemy, to his counsels? And how sacredly such obligations are accustomed to be observed, you all know.

78 At present we are prosecuted by men who were our counselors. “Flaccus issued a decree.” Did he issue a different decree from what he ought? “against freemen.” Was it contrary to the resolution to which the senate had come? “He issued this decree against an absent man.” When you were in the same race, and when you refused to come forward, that is a different thing from being absent. [The resolution of the senate and the decree of Flaccus are read.] What next? suppose he had not made a decree, but had only issued an edict, who could have found fault with him with truth? Are you going to find fault with the letters of my brother, full of humanity and equity. The same [Note] letters which, having been given by me Read the letters of Quintus Cicero. [The letters of Quintus Cicero are read.] What? did the people of Apollonides, when they had an opportunity, report these things to Flaccus?

79 Were they not argued in court before Orbius? Were they not reported to Orbius? Did not the deputies of Apollonia report to our senate in my consulship all the demands which they had to make respecting the injuries which they had received from this one man, Decianus?

“Oh, but you gave in an estimate of these farms also at the census.” I say nothing of their being other people's property; I say nothing of their having been got possession of by violence; I say nothing of the conviction by the Apollonidians that ensued; I say nothing of the business having been repudiated by the people of Pergamus; I say nothing of the fact that restitution of the whole was compelled by our magistrates; I say nothing of the fact that neither by law, nor in fact, nor even by the right of occupation, did they belong to you.

80 I only ask this; whether those farms can be bought and sold by the civil law; whether they come under the provisions of the civil law, whether or no they are freehold, whether they can be registered at the treasury and before the censor? Lastly, in what tribe did you register those farms? You managed it so, that if any serious emergency had arisen, tribute might have been levied on the same farms both at Apollonides and at Rome. However, be it so; you were in a boastful humour. You wanted a great amount of land to be registered as yours, and of that land too, which cannot be distributed among the Roman people. Besides that, you were registered as possessed of' money in hand, cash to the amount of a hundred and thirty thousand sesterces. I do not suppose that you counted that money; but I pass over all these things. You registered the slaves of Amyntas; and, in that respect you did not wrong; for Amyntas is the owner of those slaves. And at first indeed he was alarmed when he heard that you had registered his slaves. He consulted lawyers. It was decreed by all of them that if Decianus could make other people's property his by registering it as such, he would have very great

ch. 33

Cicero, pro Flacco (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Cic. Flac.].
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