13 In truth, what else is aimed at by this trial, except that it may be lawful to commit such acts? They are the accusers who have invaded this man's fortunes. He is pleading his cause as defendant, to whom these men have left nothing except misfortune. They are the accusers, to whom it was an advantage that the father of Sextus Roscius should be put to death. He is the defendant, to whom the death of his father has brought not only grief, but also poverty. They are the accusers, who have exceedingly desired to put this man himself to death. He is the defendant who has come even to this very trial with a guard, lest he should be slain here in this very place, before your eyes. Lastly, they are the accusers whom the people demand punishment on, as the guilty parties.
14 He is the defendant, who remains as the only one left after the impious slaughter committed by them. And that you may be the more easily able to understand, O judges, that what has been done is still more infamous than what we mention, we will explain to you from the beginning how the matter was managed, so that you may the more easily be able to perceive both the misery of this most innocent man, and their audacity, and the calamity of the republic.
Sextus Roscius, the father of this man, was a citizen [Note] of Ameria, by far the first man not only of his municipality, but also of his neighbourhood, in birth, and nobility and wealth, and also of great influence, from the affection and the ties of hospitality by which he was connected with the most noble men of Rome. For he had not only connections of hospitality with the Metelli, the Servilii, and the Scipios, but he had also actual acquaintance and intimacy with them; families which I name, as it is right I should, only to express my sense of their honour and dignity. And of all his property he has left this alone to his son,—for domestic robbers have possession of his patrimony, which they have seized by force the fame and life of this innocent man is defended by his paternal connections [Note] and friends.
16 As he had at all times been a favourer of the side of the nobility, so, too, in this last disturbance, when the dignity and safety of all the nobles was in danger, he, beyond all others in that neighbourhood, defended that party and that cause with all his might, and zeal, and influence. He thought it right, in truth, that he should fight in defence of their honour, on account of whom he himself was reckoned most honourable among his fellow-citizens. After the victory was declared, and we had given up arms, when men were being proscribed, and when they who were supposed to be enemies were being taken in every district, he was constantly at Rome, and in the Forum, and was daily in the sight of every one; so that he seemed rather to exult in the victory of the nobility, than to be afraid lest any disaster should result to him from it.
17 He had an ancient quarrel with two Roscii of Ameria, one of whom I see sitting in the seats of the accusers, the other I hear is in possession of three of this man's farms; and if he had been as well able to guard against their enmity as he was in the habit of fearing it, he would be alive now. And, O judges, he was not afraid without reason. In these two Roscii, (one of whom is surnamed Capito; the one who is present here is called Magnus,) are men of this sort. One of them is an old and experienced gladiator, who has gained many victories, but this one here has lately betaken himself to him as his tutor: and though, before this contest, he was a mere tyro in knowledge, he easily surpassed his tutor himself in wickedness and audacity.
For when this Sextus Roscius was at Ameria, but that Titus Roscius at Rome; while the former, the son, was diligently attending to the farm, and in obedience to his father's desire had given himself up entirely to his domestic affairs and to a rustic life, but the other man was constantly at Rome, Sextus Roscius, returning home after supper, is slain near the Palatine baths. I hope from this very fact, that it is not obscure on whom the suspicion of the crime falls; but if the whole affair does not itself make plain that which as yet is only to be suspected, I give you leave to say my client is implicated in the guilt.
19 When Sextus Roscius was slain, the first person who brings the news to Ameria, is a certain Mallius Glaucia, a man of no consideration, a freedman, the client and intimate friend of that Titus Roscius; and he brings the news to the house, not of the son, but of Titus Capito, his enemy, and though he had been slain about the first hour of the night, this messenger arrives at Ameria by the first dawn of day. In ten hours of the night he travelled fifty-six miles in a gig; not only to be the first to bring his enemy the wished-for news, but to show him the blood of his enemy still quite fresh, and the weapon only lately extracted from his body.