Cicero, pro S. Roscio Amerino (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Cic. S. Rosc.].
<<Cic. S. Rosc. 116 Cic. S. Rosc. 123 (Latin) >>Cic. S. Rosc. 130

120 Moreover, the thing demanded of you was such that it made no difference whether you refused it or confessed yourself guilty of the crime. And as this is the case, I ask of you why you refused it? When Sextus Roscius was murdered they were there. The slaves themselves, as far as I am concerned, I neither accuse nor acquit; but the point which I see you contending for, namely, that they be not submitted to the question, is full of suspicion. But the reason of their being held in such horror by you, must be that they know something, which, if they were to tell, will be pernicious to you. Oh, say you, it is unjust to put questions to slaves against their masters. Is any such question meant to be put? For Sextus Roscius is the defendant, and when inquiry is being made into his conduct, you do not say that you are their masters. Oh, they are with Chrysogonus. I suppose so; Chrysogonus is so taken with their learning and accomplishments, that be wishes these men—men little better than labourers from the training of a rustic master of a family at Ameria, to mingle with his elegant youths, masters of every art and every refinement—youths picked out of many of the politest households.

121 That cannot be the truth, O judges; it is not probable that Chrysogonus has taken a fancy to their learning or their politeness, or that he should be acquainted with their industry and fidelity in the business of a household. There is something which is hidden; and the more studiously it is bidden and kept back by them, so much the more is it visible and conspicuous.

ch. 42

122

What, then, are we to think? Is Chrysogonus unwilling that these men shall be put to the question for the sake of concealing his own crime? Not so, O judges; I do not think that the same arguments apply to every one. As far as I am concerned, I have no suspicion of the sort respecting Chrysogonus, and this is not the first time that it has occurred to me to say so. You recollect that I so divided the cause at the beginning; into the accusation, the whole arguing of which was entrusted to Erucius; and into audacity, the business of which was assigned to the Roscii;—whatever crime, whatever wickedness, whatever bloodshed there is, all that is the business of the Roscii. We say that the excessive interest and power of Chrysogonus is a hindrance to us, and can by no means be endured; and that it ought not only to be weakened, but even to be punished by you, since you have the power given to you.

123 I think as follows; that he who wishes these men to be put to the question, whom it is evident were present when the murder was committed, is desirous to find out the truth; that he who refuses it, though he does not dare admit it in words, yet does in truth by his actions, confesses himself guilty of the crime. I said at the beginning, O judges, that I was unwilling to say more of the wickedness of those men than the cause required, and than necessity itself compelled me to say. For many circumstances can be alleged, and every one of them can be discussed with many arguments. But I cannot do for any length of time, nor diligently, what I do against my will, and by compulsion. Those things which could by no means be passed over, I have lightly touched upon, O judges; those things which depend upon suspicion, and which, if I begin to speak of them, will require a copious discussion, I commit to your capacities and to your conjectures.

ch. 43

124

I come now to that golden name of Chrysogonus, [Note] under which name the whole confederacy is set up, concerning whom, O judges, I am at a loss both how to speak and how to hold my tongue; for if I say nothing, I leave out a great part of my argument, and if I speak, I fear that not he alone (about whom I am not concerned), but others also may think themselves injured; although the case is such that it does not appear necessary to say much against the common cause of the brokers. For this cause is, in truth, a novel and an extraordinary cause. Chrysogonus is the purchaser of the property of Sextus Roscius.

125 Let us see this first, on what pretence the property of that man was sold, or how they could be sold. And I will not put this question, O judges, so as to imply that it is a scandalous thing for the property of an innocent man to be sold at all. For if these things are to be freely listened to and freely spoken, Sextus Roscius was not a man of such importance in the state as to make us complain of his fortune more than of that of others. But I ask this, how could they be sold even by that very law which is enacted about prescriptions, whether it be the Valerian [Note] or Cornelian law,—for neither know nor understand which it is—but by that very law itself how could the property of Sextus Roscius be sold?

126 For they say it is written in it, “that the property of those men who have been proscribed is to be sold”; in which number Sextus Roscius is not one: “or of those who have been slain in the garrisons of the opposite party.” While there, were any garrisons, he was in the garrisons of Sulla; after they laid down their arms, returning from supper, he was slain at Rome in a time of perfect peace. If he was slain by law, I admit that his property was sold by law too; but if it is evident that he was slain contrary to all laws, not merely to old laws, but to the new ones also, then I ask by what right, or in what manner, or by what law they were sold?

ch. 44



Cicero, pro S. Roscio Amerino (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Cic. S. Rosc.].
<<Cic. S. Rosc. 116 Cic. S. Rosc. 123 (Latin) >>Cic. S. Rosc. 130

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