Cicero, pro S. Roscio Amerino (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Cic. S. Rosc.].
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In a case so evident as this must we seek for arguments, or hunt for conjectures? Do you not seem, O judges, actually to behold with your own eyes what you have been hearing? Do you not see that unhappy man, ignorant of his fate, returning from supper? Do you not see the ambush that is laid? the sudden attack? Is not Glaucia before your eyes, present at the murder? Is not that Titus Roscius present? Is he not with his own hands placing that Automedon in the chariot, the messenger of his most horrible wickedness and nefarious victory? Is he not entreating him to keep awake that night? to labour for his honour? to take the news to Capito as speedily as possible?

99 Why was it that be wished Capito to be the first to know it? I do not know, only I see this, that Capito is a partner in this property. I see that, of thirteen farms, he is in possession of three of the finest.

100 I hear besides, that this suspicion is not fixed upon Capito for the first time now; that he has gained many infamous victories; but that this is the first very splendid [Note] one which he has gained at Rome; that there is no manner of committing murder in which he has not murdered many men; many by the sword, many by poison. I can even tell you of one man whom, contrary to the custom of our ancestors, he threw from the bridge into the Tiber, when he was not sixty years of age; [Note] and if he comes forward, or when he comes forward, for I know that he will come forward, he shall hear of him.

101 Only let him come; let him unfold that volume of his which I can prove that Erucius wrote for him, which they say that he displayed to Sextus Roscius, and threatened that he would mention everything contained in it in his evidence. O the excellent witness, O judges; O gravity worthy of being attended to; O honourable course of life! such that you may with willing minds make your oaths depend upon his testimony! In truth we should not see the crimes of these men so clearly if cupidity, and avarice, and audacity, did not render them blind.

ch. 36


One of them sent a swift messenger from the very scene of murder to Ameria, to his partner and his tutor; so that if every one wished to conceal his knowledge of whom the guilt belonged to, yet he himself placed his wickedness visibly before the eyes of all men. The other (if the immortal gods will only let him) is going to give evidence also against Sextus Roscius. As if the matter now in question were, whether what he said is to be believed, or whether what he did is to be punished. Therefore it was established by the custom of our ancestors, that even in the most insignificant matters, the most honourable men should not be allowed to give evidence in their own cause.

103 Africanus, who declares by his surname that he subdued a third part of the whole world, still, if a case of his own were being tried, would not give evidence. For I do not venture to say with respect to such a man as that, if he did give evidence he would not be believed. See now everything is altered and changed for the worse. When there is a trial about property and about murder, a man is going to give evidence, who is both a broker and an assassin; that is, he who is himself the purchaser and possessor of that very property about which the trial is taking place, and who contrived the murder of the man whose death is being inquired into.

104 What do you want, O most excellent man? Have you anything to say? Listen to me. Take care not to be wanting to yourself; your own interest to a great extent is at stake. You have done many things wickedly, many things audaciously, many things scandalously; one thing foolishly, and that of your own accord, not by the advice of Erucius. There was no need for you to sit there. For no man employs a dumb accuser, or calls him as a witness, who rises from the accuser's bench. There must be added to this, that that cupidity of yours should have been a little more kept back and concealed. Now what is there that any one of you desire to hear, when what you do is such that you seem to have done them expressly for our advantage against your own interest?

105 Come now, let us see, O judges, what followed immediately after.

ch. 37

The news of the death of Sextus Roscius is carried to Volaterra, to the camp of Lucius Sulla, to Chrysogonus, four days after he is murdered. I now again ask who sent that messenger. Is it not evident that it was the same man who sent the news to Ameria? Chrysogonus takes care that his goods shall be immediately sold; he who had neither his own the man nor his estate. But how did it occur to him to wish for the farms of a man who was unknown to him, whom he had never seen in his life? You are accustomed, O judges, when you hear anything of this sort to say at once, some fellow-citizen or neighbour must have told him; they generally tell these things; most men are betrayed by such. Here there is no ground for your entertaining this suspicion.

106 I will not argue thus. It is probable that the Roscii gave information of that matter to Chrysogonus, for there was of old, friendship between them and Chrysogonus; for though the Roscii had many ancient patrons and friends hereditarily connected with them, they ceased to pay any attention and respect to them, and betook themselves to the protection and support of Chrysogonus.

Cicero, pro S. Roscio Amerino (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Cic. S. Rosc.].
<<Cic. S. Rosc. 95 Cic. S. Rosc. 101 (Latin) >>Cic. S. Rosc. 110

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