Cicero, pro Fonteio (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Cic. Font.].
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For I defend Marcus Fonteius, O judges, on this ground, and I assert that after the passing of the Valerian law, from the time that Marcus Fonteius was quaestor till the time when Titus Crispinus was quaestor, no one paid it otherwise. I say that he followed the example of all his predecessors, and that all those who came after him, followed his. What, then, do you accuse?

2 what do you find fault with? For because in these accounts, which he says were begun by Hirtuleius, he misses the assistance of Hirtuleius, I cannot think that he either does wrong himself, or wishes you to do wrong. For I ask you, O Marcus Plaetorius, whether you will consider our case established, if Marcus Fonteius, in the matter respecting which he is now accused by you, has the man whom you praise above all others, namely Hirtuleius, for his example; and if Fonteius is found to have done exactly the same as Hirtuleius in the matters in which you commend Hirtuleius? You find fault with the description of payment. The public registers prove that Hirtuleius paid in the same manner. You praise him for having established these peculiar accounts. Fonteius established the same, with reference to the same kind of money. For, that you may not ignorantly imagine that these accounts refer to some different description of debt, know that they were established for one and the same reason, and with reference to one and the same sort of money. For when

ch. 2


No one—no one, I say, O judges—will be found, to say that he gave Marcus Fonteius one sesterce during his praetorship, or that he appropriated one out of that money which was paid to him on account of the treasury. In no account-books is there any hint of such a robbery among all the items contained in them there will not be found one trace of any loss or diminution of such monies. But all those men whom we ever see accused and found fault with by this sort of inquiry, are overwhelmed with witnesses; for it is difficult for him who has given money to a magistrate to avoid being either induced by dislike of him, or compelled by scrupulousness, to mention it; and in the next place, if the witnesses are deterred from appearing by any influence, at all events the account-books remain uncorrupted and honest. Suppose that every one was ever so friendly to Fonteius; that such a number of men to whom he was perfectly unknown, and with whom he was utterly unconnected, spared his life, and consulted his character; still, the facts of the case itself, the consideration of the documents, and the composition of the account-books, have this force, that from them, when they are once given in and received, everything that is forged, or stolen, or that has disappeared, is detected. All those men made entries of sums of money having been received for the use of the Roman people; if they immediately either paid or gave to others equally large sums, so that what was received for the Roman people was paid to some one or other, at all events nothing can have been embezzled. If any of them took any money home

ch. 3


Oh, the good faith of gods and men! no witness is found in a case involving a sum of three million two hundred thousand sesterces! Among how many men? Among more than six hundred. In what countries did this transaction take place? In this place, in this very place which you see. Was the money given irregularly? No money at all was touched without many memoranda. What, then, is the meaning of this accusation, which finds it easier to ascend the Alps than a few steps of the treasury; which defends the treasury of the Ruteni with more anxiety than that of the Roman people; which prefers using unknown witnesses to known ones, foreign witnesses to citizens; which thinks that it is establishing a charge more plainly by the capricious evidence of barbarians than by documents written by our fellow citizens?

5 Of two magistracies, each of which is occupied in handling and dealing with large sums of money, the triumvirate [Note] and the quaestorship, such accurate accounts have been rendered, that in those things which were done in the sight of men, which affected many men's interests, and which were set forth both in public and private registers, no hint of robbery, no suspicion of any offence can possibly arise.

6 The embassy to Spain followed, in a most disturbed time of the republic; when, on the arrival of Lucius Sulla in Italy, great armies quarrelled about the tribunals and the laws; and in this desperate state of the republic

ch. 4

7 If no money was paid, of what sum is that fiftieth a part?

Since his cause is not the same as that of Verres


a great quantity of corn from Gaul; infantry, and a most numerous army from Gaul, a great number of cavalry from Gaul


That after this the Gauls would drink their wine more diluted, because they thought that there was poison in it


ch. 5

Cicero, pro Fonteio (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Cic. Font.].
<<Cic. Font. 1 Cic. Font. 1 (Latin) >>Cic. Font. 13

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