Cicero, pro Murena (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Cic. Mur.].
<<Cic. Mur. 1 Cic. Mur. 1 (Latin) >>Cic. Mur. 9

Click a word to see morphological information.

What I entreated of the immortal gods, O judges, according to the manners and institutions of our ancestors, on that day when, after taking the auspices in the comitia centuriata, [Note] I declared Lucius Murena to have been elected consul,—namely, that that fact might turn out gloriously and happily for me and for my office, and for the Roman nation and people,—that same thing do I now pray for from the same immortal gods, that the consulship may be obtained by that same man with safety, and that your inclinations and opinions may agree with the wishes and suffrages of the Roman people, and that that fact may bring to you and to the Roman people peace, tranquillity, ease, and unanimity. And if that solemn prayer of the comitia, consecrated under the auspices of the consul, has as much power and holy influence as the dignity of the republic requires, I pray also that the matter may turn out happily, fortunately, and prosperously to those men to whom the consulship was given when I presided over the election.


And as this is the case, O judges, and as all the power of the immortal gods is either transferred to, or at all events is shared with you, the same consul recommends him now to your good faith who before recommended him to the immortal gods; so that he being both declared consul and being defended by the voice of the same man, may uphold the kindness of the Roman people to your safety and that of all the citizens. And since in this duty which I have undertaken the zeal of my defence has been found fault with by the accusers, and even the very fact of my having undertaken the cause at all, before I begin to say anything of Lucius Murena, I will say a few words on behalf of myself; not because at this time the defence of my duty seems to me more important than that of his safety, but in order that, when what I have done is approved of by you, I may be able with the greater authority to repel the attacks of his enemies upon his honour, his reputation, and all his fortunes.

ch. 2


And first of all I will answer Marcus Cato a man who directs his life by a certain rule and system and who most carefully weighs the motives of every duty about my own duty. Cato says it is not right that I who have been consul and the very passer [Note] of the law of bribery and corruption and who behaved so rigorously in my own consulship should take up the cause of Lucius Murena and his reproach has great weight with me and makes me desirous to make not only

-- 332 --

you, O judges, whom I am especially bound to satisfy, but also Cato himself, a most worthy and upright man, approve the reasons of my action. By whom then, O Marcus Cato, is it more just that a consul should be defended than by a consul? Who can there be, who ought there to be, dearer to me in the republic, than he to whom the republic which has been supported by my great labours and dangers is delivered by me alone to be supported for the future? For if, in the demanding back things which may be alienated, he ought to incur the hazard of the trial who has bound himself by a legal obligation, surely still more rightly in the trial of a consul elect, that consul who has declared him consul ought most especially to be the first mover of the kindness of the Roman people, and his defender from danger.

4 And if, as is accustomed to be done in some states, an advocate were appointed to this cause by the public, that man would above all others be assigned to one invested with honours as his defender, who having himself enjoyed the same honour, brought to his advocacy no less authority than ability. But if those who are being wafted from the main into harbour are wont with the greatest care to inform those who are sailing out of harbour, of the character of storms, and pirates, and of places, because nature prompts us to favour those who are entering on the same dangers which we have passed through, of what disposition ought I to be, who after having been much tossed about am now almost in sight of land, towards him by whom I see the greatest tempests of the republic about to be encountered? Wherefore, if it is the part of a virtuous consul not only to see what is being done, but to foresee what is likely to happen, I will show in another place how much it is for the interest of the common safety that there should be two consuls in the republic on the first of January.

5 And if that be the case, then it is not so much my duty which ought to summon me to defend the fortunes of a man who is my friend, as the republic which ought to invite the consul to the defence of the common safety.

ch. 3

For as to my having passed a law concerning bribery and corruption, certainly I passed it so as not to abrogate that law which I have long since made for myself concerning defending my fellow-citizens from dangers. If, indeed, I confessed that a largess had been distributed, and were to defend it as having been rightly done, I should be acting wrongly, even if another had passed the law; but when I am saving in defence that nothing has been done contrary to law; then what reason is there that my having passed the law should he an obstacle to my undertaking the defence?


He says that it does not belong to the same severity of character, to have banished from the city by words, and almost by express command, Catiline, when planning the destruction of the republic within its very walls, and now to speak on behalf of Lucius Murena. But I have always willingly acted the part of lenity and clemency which nature itself has taught me but I have not sought the character of severity and rigour, but I have supported it when imposed upon me by the republic as the dignity of this empire required at the time of the greatest peril to the citizens. But if then, when the public required vigour and severity, I overcame my nature, and was as severe as I was forced to be not as I wished to be; now, when all causes invite me to mercy and humanity, with what great zeal ought I to obey my nature and my usual habits? and concerning my duty of defending, and your method of prosecuting, perhaps I shall have again to speak in another part of my speech.

Cicero, pro Murena (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Cic. Mur.].
<<Cic. Mur. 1 Cic. Mur. 1 (Latin) >>Cic. Mur. 9

Powered by PhiloLogic