Cicero, pro S. Roscio Amerino (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Cic. S. Rosc.].
<<Cic. S. Rosc. 99 Cic. S. Rosc. 108 (Latin) >>Cic. S. Rosc. 116

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.

107 I can say all this with truth; for in this case I have no need to rely on conjecture. I know to a certainty that they themselves do not deny that Chrysogonus made the attack on this property at their instigation. If you see with your own eyes who has received a part of the reward for the information, can you possibly doubt, O judges, who gave the information? Who then are in possession of that property; and to whom did Chrysogonus give a share in it? The two Roscii!—Any one else? No one else, O judges. Is there then any doubt that they put this plunder in Chrysogonus's way, who have received from him a share of the plunder?

108 Come now let us consider the action of the Roscii by the judgment of Chrysogonus himself. If in that contest the Roscii had done nothing which was worth speaking of, on what account were they presented with such rewards by Chrysogonus? If they did nothing more than inform him of the fact, was it not enough for him to thank them? Why are these farms of such value immediately given to Capito? Why does that fellow Roscius possess all the rest in common property with Chrysogonus? Is it not evident, O judges, that Chrysogonus, understanding the whole business, gave them as spoils to the Roscii?

ch. 38


Capito came as a deputy to the camp, as one of the ten chief men of Ameria. Learn from his behaviour on this deputation the whole life and nature and manners of the man. Unless you are of opinion, O judges, that there is no duty and no right so holy and solemn that his wickedness and perfidy has not tampered with and violated it, then judge him to be a very excellent man.

110 He is the hindrance to Sulla's being informed of this affair; he betrays the plans and intentions of the other deputies to Chrysogonus; he gives him warning to take care that the affair be not conducted openly; he points out to him, that if the sale of the property be prevented, he will lose a large sum of money, and that he himself will be in danger of his life. He proceeds to spur him on, to deceive those who were joined in the commission with him; to warn him continually to take care; to hold out treacherously false hopes to the others; in concert with him to devise plans against them, to betray their counsels to him; with him to bargain for his share in the plunder, and, relying constantly on some delay or other, to cut off from his colleagues all access to Sulla. Lastly, owing to his being the prompter, the adviser, the go-between, the deputies did not see Sulla; deceived by his faith, or rather by his perfidy, as you may know from themselves, if the accuser is willing to produce them [Note] as witnesses, they brought back home with a false hope instead of a reality.

111 In private affairs if any one had managed a business entrusted to him, I will not say maliciously for the sake of his own gain and advantage, but even carelessly, our ancestors thought that he had incurred the greatest disgrace. Therefore, legal proceedings for betrayal of a commission are established, involving penalties no less disgraceful than those for theft. I suppose because, in cases where we ourselves cannot be present, the vicarious faith of friends is substituted; and he who impairs that confidence, attacks the common bulwark of all men, and as far as depends on him, disturbs the bonds of society. For we cannot do everything ourselves; different people are more capable in different matters. On that account friendships are formed, that the common advantage of all may be secured by mutual good offices.

112 Why do you undertake a commission, if you are either going to neglect it or to turn it to your own advantage? Why do you offer yourself to me, and by feigned service hinder and prevent my advantage? Get out of the way, I will do my business by means of some one else. You undertake the burden of a duty which you think you are able to support; a duty which does not appear very heavy to those who are not very worthless themselves.

ch. 39

This fault therefore is very base, because it violates two most holy things, friendship and confidence; for men commonly do not entrust anything except to a friend, and do not trust any one except one whom they think faithful. It is therefore the part of a most abandoned man, at the same time to dissolve friendship and to deceive him who would not have been injured unless he had trusted him.

Cicero, pro S. Roscio Amerino (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Cic. S. Rosc.].
<<Cic. S. Rosc. 99 Cic. S. Rosc. 108 (Latin) >>Cic. S. Rosc. 116

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