Cicero, pro S. Roscio Amerino (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Cic. S. Rosc.].
<<Cic. S. Rosc. 121 Cic. S. Rosc. 128 (Latin) >>Cic. S. Rosc. 135

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


You ask, against whom do I say this, O Erucius. Not against him whom you are meaning and thinking of; for both my speech from the very beginning, and also I is own eminent virtue, at all times has acquitted Sulla. I say that Chrysogonus did all this in order to tell lies; in order to make out Roscius to have been a bad citizen; in order to represent him as slain among the opposite party; in order to prevent Lucius Sulla from being rightly informed of these matters by the deputies from Ameria. Last of all, I suspect that this property was never sold at all; and this matter I will open presently, O judges, if you will give me leave.

128 For I think it is set down in the law on what day these proscriptions and sales shall take place, forsooth on the first of January. Some months afterwards the man was slain, and his property is said to have been sold. Now, either this property has never been returned in the public accounts, and we are cheated by this scoundrel more cleverly than we think, or, if they were returned, then the public accounts have some way or other been tampered with, for it is quite evident that the property could not have been sold according to law. I am aware, O judges, that I am investigating this point prematurely, and that I am erring as greatly as if, while I ought to be curing a mortal sickness of Sextus Roscius, I were mending a whitlow; for he is not anxious about his money; he has no regard to any pecuniary advantage; he thinks he can easily endure his poverty, if he is released from this unworthy suspicion, from this false accusation.

129 But I entreat you, O judges, to listen to the few things I have still to say, under the idea that I am speaking partly for myself, and party for Sextus Roscius. For the things which appear to me unworthy and intolerable, and which I think concern all men unless we are prudent, those things I now mention to you for my own sake, from the real feelings and indignation of my mind. What relates to the misfortunes of the life, and to the cause of my client, and what he wishes to be said for him, and with what condition he will be content, you shall hear, O judges, immediately at the end of my speech. I ask this of Chrysogonus of my own accord, leaving Sextus Roscius out of the question.

ch. 45


First of all, why the property of a virtuous citizen was sold? Next, why the property of a man who was neither proscribed, nor slain in the garrisons of the opposite party, were sold; when the law was made against them alone? Next, why were they sold long after the day which is appointed by the law? Next, why were they sold for go little! And if he shall choose, as worthless and wicked freedmen are accustomed to do, to refer all this to his patrons, he will do himself no good by that For there is no one who does not know that on account of the immensity of his business, many men did many things of which Lucius Sulla knew very little.

131 Is it right, then, that in these matters anything should be passed over without the ruler knowing it? It is not right, O judges, but it is inevitable. In truth, if the great and kind Jupiter, by whose will and command the heaven, the earth, and the seas are governed, has often by too violent winds, or by immoderate tempests, or by too much heat, or by intolerable cold, injured men, destroyed cities, or ruined the crops; nothing of which do we suppose to have taken place, for the sake of causing injury, by the divine intention, but owing to the power and magnitude of the affairs of the world; but on the other hand we see that the advantages which we have the benefit of, and the light which we enjoy, and the air which we breathe, are all given to and bestowed upon us by him; how can we wonder that Lucius Sulla, when he alone was governing the whole republic, and administering the affairs of the whole world, and strengthening by his laws the majesty of the empire, which he had recovered by arms, should have been forced to leave some things unnoticed? Unless this is strange that human faculties have not a power which divine might is unable to attain to.

Cicero, pro S. Roscio Amerino (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Cic. S. Rosc.].
<<Cic. S. Rosc. 121 Cic. S. Rosc. 128 (Latin) >>Cic. S. Rosc. 135

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