Cicero, pro S. Roscio Amerino (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Cic. S. Rosc.].
<<Cic. S. Rosc. 26 Cic. S. Rosc. 33 (Latin) >>Cic. S. Rosc. 43

30 The father infamously murdered; the house besieged; the property taken away, seized and plundered by enemies; the life of the son, hostile to their purposes, attacked over and over again by sword and treachery. What wickedness does there seem to be wanting in these numberless atrocities? And yet they crown and add to them by other nefarious deeds, they invent an incredible accusation; they procure witnesses against him and accusers of him by bribery; they offer the wretched man this alternative, whether he would prefer to expose his neck to Roscius to be assassinated by him, or, being sewn in a sack, to lose his life with the greatest infamy. They thought advocates would be wanting to him; they are wanting. There is not wanting in truth, O judges, one who will speak with freedom, and who will defend him with integrity, which is quite sufficient in this cause, (since I have undertaken it).

31 And perhaps in undertaking this cause I may have acted rashly, in obedience to the impulses of youth; but since I have once undertaken it, although forsooth every sort of terror and every possible danger were to threaten me on all sides, yet I will support and encounter them. I have deliberately resolved not only to say everything which I think is material to the cause, but to say it also willingly, boldly, and freely. Nothing can ever be of such importance in my mind that fear should be able to put a greater constraint on me than a regard to good faith.

32 Who, indeed, is of so profligate a disposition, as, when he sees these things, to be able to be silent and to disregard them? You have murdered my father when he had not been proscribed; you have classed him when murdered in the number of proscribed persons; you have driven me by force from my house; you are in possession of my patrimony. What would you more? have you not come even before the bench with sword and arms, that you may either convict Sextus Roscius or murder him in this presence?

ch. 12


We lately had a most audacious man in this city, Caius Fimbria, a man, as is well known among all except among those who are mad themselves, utterly insane. He, when at the funeral of Caius Marius, had contrived that Quintus Scaevola, the most venerable and accomplished man in our city, should be wounded;—(a man in whose praise there is neither room to say much here, nor indeed is it possible to say more than the Roman people preserves in its recollection)—he, I say, brought an accusation against Scaevola, when he found that he might possibly live. When the question was asked him, what he was going to accuse that man of, whom no one could praise in a manner sufficiently suitable to his worth, they say that the man, like a madman as he was, answered, for not having received the whole weapon in his body. A more lamentable thing was never seen by the Roman people, unless it were the death of that same man, which was so important that it crushed and broke the hearts of all his fellow-citizens; for endeavouring to save whom by an arrangement, he was destroyed by them. [Note]

34 Is not this case very like that speech and action of Fimbria? You are accusing Sextus Roscius. Why so? Because he escaped out of your hands; because he did not allow himself to be murdered. The one action, because it was done against Scaevola, appears scandalous; this one, because it is done by Chrysogonus, is intolerable. For, in the name of the immortal gods, what is there in this cause that requires a defence? What topic is there requiring the ability of an advocate, or even very much needing eloquence of speech? Let us, O judges, unfold the whole case, and when it is set before our eyes, let us consider it; by this means you will easily understand on what the whole case turns, and on what matters I ought to dwell, and what decision you ought to come to.

ch. 13


There are three things, as I think, which are at the present time hindrances to Sextus Roscius:—the charge brought by his adversaries, their audacity, and their power. Erucius has taken on himself the pressing of this false charge as accuser; the Roscii have claimed for themselves that part which is to be executed by audacity; but Chrysogonus, as being the person of the greatest influence, employs his influence in the contest. On all these points I am aware that I must speak.

36 What then am I to say? I must not speak in the same manner on them all; because the first topic indeed belongs to my duty, but the two others the Roman people have imposed on you. I must efface the accusations; you ought both to resist the audacity, and at the earliest possible opportunity to extinguish and put down the pernicious and intolerable influence of men of that sort.

37 Sextus Roscius is accused of having murdered his father. O ye immortal gods! a wicked and nefarious action, in which one crime every sort of wickedness appears to be contained. In truth, if, as is well said by wise men, affection is often injured by a look, what sufficiently severe punishment can be devised against him who has inflicted death on his parent, for whom all divine and human laws bound him to be willing to die himself, if occasion required?

38 In the case of so enormous, so atrocious, so singular a crime, as this one which has been committed so rarely, that, if it is ever heard of, it is accounted like a portent and prodigy—what arguments do you think, O Caius Erucius, you as the accuser ought to use? Ought you not to prove the singular audacity of him who is accused of it? and his savage manners, and brutal nature, and his life devoted to every sort of vice and crime, his whole character, in short, given up to profligacy and abandoned? None of which things have you alleged against Sextus Roscius, not even for the sake of making the imputation.

ch. 14

Cicero, pro S. Roscio Amerino (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Cic. S. Rosc.].
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