Cicero, pro Flacco (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Cic. Flac.].
<<Cic. Flac. 93 Cic. Flac. 98 (Latin) >>Cic. Flac. 106

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96 Let us then offer a sacrifice to Lentulus, let us make atonement to Cethegus, let us recall the exiles, let us in our turn, if you, O judges, think fit, suffer the punishment due to too great piety, and to the greatest possible affection towards our country. At this moment we are being mentioned by name by the informers; accusations are being invented against us; dangers are being prepared for us. And if they did these things by the instrumentality of others,—if, in short, by using the name of the people, they had excited a mob of ignorant citizens, we could bear it with more equanimity.

But this can never be borne, that they should think that, by means of senators and knights of Rome, who have done all these things with a view to the safety of all the citizens, by their common decision, animated with one idea, and inspired with one and the same virtue, the prime movers, and leaders, and chief actors in these transactions, can be deprived of all their fortunes, and be expelled from the city. In truth, they are acquainted with the feelings and inclinations of the Roman people; by every means which it is master of, the Roman people indicates what are its opinions and feelings; there is no diversity of opinion, or of inclination, or of language.

97 Wherefore, if any one summons me, I come. I not only do not object to the Roman people as arbitrators in my cause, but I even demand them. Let there be no violence; let weapons and stones be kept at a distance let the artisans depart; let the slaves be silent. No one who hears me will be so unjust, if he be only a free man and a citizen, as not to think that he ought rather to think of rewards for me than of punishment.

ch. 39

O ye immortal got! what can be more miserable than this? We who wrested fire and sword out of the hands of Publius Lentulus, are trusting now to the judgment of an ignorant multitude, and are in dread of the sentence of chosen men and most honourable citizens.

98 Our fathers by their decision delivered Marcus Aquillius, who had been convicted of many charges of avarice, proved by abundant evidence, because he had behaved gallantly in the Servile war. I, when consul, lately defended Cnaeus Piso; who, because he had been a gallant and fearless consul, was preserved to the republic uninjured. I, when consul, defended also Lucius Murena, the consul elect. Not one of the judges in that case—though they were most eminent men who were the prosecutors—thought that they ought to entertain for one moment the accusation of bribery, because, while Catiline was still waging war against the republic, they agreed with me that it was necessary for them to have two consuls on the first of January. Aulus Thermius, an innocent and virtuous man, and one adorned with every sort of distinction, has been twice acquitted this year, when I have defended him. How great was the joy, how great were the congratulations of the Roman people at that event, for the sake of the republic! Wise and grave judges have always, when deciding in criminal trials, considered what the interests of the state, and the general safety, and the present necessities of the republic required.

99 When the voting tablets are given to you, O judges, it will not be Flaccus alone who will be interested in their verdict; the generals and all those who are leaders in the preservation of the city will all be interested; all good men will be interested; you yourselves will be interested; your children, your own lives, your country, the general safety, will all be interested in your vote. In this cause you are not determining about foreign nations, or about the allies; you are deciding on the welfare of your own selves and your own republic.

ch. 40


And if the consideration of the provinces has more weight with you than that of your own interests, I not only do not object, but I even demand that you should be influenced by the authority of the provinces. In truth, we will oppose to the province of Asia first of all a great part of the same province, which has sent deputies and panegyrists to stand up and defend this man from danger; in the next place we will set against it the province of Gaul, the province of Cilicia, the province of Spain, and the province of Crete; and against Greeks, whether they be Lydians, Mysians, or Phrygians, shall be set the men of Massilia, the Rhodians, the Lacedaemonians, the Athenians, and all Achaia, Thessaly, and Boeotia. Septimius and Caelius, the witnesses for them, shall be balanced by Publius Servilius and Quintus Metellus, as witnesses of this man's moderation and integrity. The Asiatic jurisdiction shall be replied to by the jurisdiction of the city; and the whole conduct and entire life of Lucius Flaccus shall defend him from accusations brought against him, all relying on the transactions of a single year.

101 And if, O judges, it ought to avail Lucius Flaccus that, as tribune of the soldiers, as quaestor, as lieutenant to the most illustrious generals, he has behaved among the most distinguished armies, and in the most important provinces, in a manner worthy of his ancestors; let it also avail him, that before your own eyes, at a time of general danger to you all, he united his fate to mine, and shared my danger; let the panegyrics of most honourable municipalities and colonies avail him; let the most glorious and genuine praise of the Roman senate and Roman people avail him.


-- 468 --

Oh that night, that night which nearly brought eternal darkness on this city, when the Gauls were invited to war, when Catiline was invited into the city, when the conspirators were invited to bring fire and sword upon us all; when I, O Flaccus, invoking heaven and night, was with tears entreating your aid, and you in tears were listening to me; when I commended to your honest and well-proved loyalty the safety of the city and of the citizens. You, O Flaccus, being at that time praetor, took the messengers of the general destruction; it was you who arrested that plague [Note] [Note]

ch. 41

Cicero, pro Flacco (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Cic. Flac.].
<<Cic. Flac. 93 Cic. Flac. 98 (Latin) >>Cic. Flac. 106

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