Cicero, pro S. Roscio Amerino (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Cic. S. Rosc.].
<<Cic. S. Rosc. 80 Cic. S. Rosc. 87 (Latin) >>Cic. S. Rosc. 95

84 You found no motive in Sextus Roscius; but I do find one in Titus Roscius For I have to do with you now, O Titus Roscius, since you are sitting there and openly professing yourself an enemy. We shall see about Capito afterwards, if he comes forward as a witness as I hear he is ready to do then he shall hear of other victories of his, which he does not suspect that I ever even heard. That Lucius Cassius, whom the Roman people used to consider a most impartial and able judge, used constantly to ask at trials, “to whom it had been any advantage?” The life of men is so directed that no one attempts to proceed to crime without some hope of advantage.

85 Those who were about to be tried avoided and dreaded him as an investigator and a judge; because, although he was afraid of truth, he yet seemed not so much inclined by nature to mercy, as drawn by circumstances to severity. I, although a man is presiding at this trial who is both brave against audacity, and very merciful to innocence, would yet willingly suffer myself to speak in behalf of Sextus Roscius either before that very acute judge himself, or before other judges like him, whose very name those who have to stand a trial shudder at even now.

ch. 31

86

For when those judges saw in this cause that those men are in possession of abundant wealth, and that he is in the greatest beggary, they would not ask who had got advantage from the deed, but they would connect the manifest crime and suspicion of guilt rather with the plunder than with the poverty. What if this be added to that consideration that you were previously poor? what if it be added that you are avaricious? what if it be added that you are audacious? what if it be added that you were the greatest enemy of the man who has been murdered? need any further motive be sought for, which may have impelled you to such a crime? But which of all these particulars can be denied?

87 The poverty of the man is such that it cannot be concealed, and it is only the more conspicuous the more it is kept out of sight. Your avarice you make a parade of when you form an alliance with an utter stranger against the fortunes of a fellow-citizen and a relation. How audacious you are (to pass over other points), all men may understand from this, that out of the whole troop, that is to say, out of so many assassins, you alone were found to sit with the accusers, and not only to show them your countenance, but even to volunteer it. You must admit that you had enmity against Sextus Roscius, and great disputes about family affairs.

88 It remains, O judges, that we must now consider which of the two rather killed Sextus Roscius; did he to whom riches accrued by his death, or did he to whom beggary was the result? Did he who, before that, was poor, or he, who after that became most indigent? Did he, who burning with avarice rushes in like an enemy against his own relations, or he who has always lived in such a manner as to have no acquaintance with exorbitant gains, or with any profit beyond that which he procured with toil? Did he who, of all the brokers [Note] is the most audacious, or he who, because of the insolence of the forum and of the public courts, dreads not only the bench, but even the city itself? Lastly, O judges, what is most material of all to the argument in my opinion did his enemy do it or his son?

ch. 32

89

If you, O Erucius, had so many and such strong arguments against a criminal, how long you would speak; how you would plume yourself,—time indeed would fail you before words did. In truth, on each of these topics the materials are such that you might spend a whole day on each. And I could do the same; for I will not derogate so much from my own claims, though I arrogate nothing, as to believe that you can speak with more fluency than I can. But I, perhaps, owing to the number of advocates, may be classed in the common body; the battle of Cannae [Note] has made you a sufficiently respectable accuser. We have seen many men slain, not at Thrasymenus, but at Servilius. [Note]

90 “Who was not wounded there with Phrygian [Note] steel?”
I need not enumerate all,—the Curtii, the Marii, the Mamerci, whom age now exempted from battles; and, lastly, the aged Priam himself, Antistius, [Note] whom not only his age, but even the laws excused from going to battle. There are now six hundred men, whom nobody even mentions by name because of their meanness, who are accusers of men on charges of murdering and poisoning; all of whom, as far as I am concerned, I hope may find a livelihood. For there is no harm in there being as many dogs as possible, where there are many men to be watched, and many things to be guarded.

91 But, as is often the case, the violence and tumultuous nature of war brings many things to pass without the knowledge of the generals. While he who was administering the main government was occupied in other matters, there were men who in the meantime were curing their own wounds; who rushed about in the darkness and threw everything into confusion as if eternal night had enveloped the whole Republic. And by such men as these I wonder that the courts of justice were not burnt, that there might be no trace left of any judicial proceedings; for they did destroy both judges and accusers. There is this advantage, that they lived in such a manner that even if they wished it, they could not put to death all the witnesses; for as long as the race of men exists, there will not be wanting men to accuse them: as long as the state lasts, trials will take place. But as I began to say, both Erucius, if he had these arguments to use which I have mentioned, in any cause Of his, would be able to speak on them as long as he pleased, and I can do the same. But I choose, as I said before, to pass by them lightly, and only just to touch on each particular, so that all men may perceive that I am not accusing men of my own inclination, but only defending my own client from a sense of duty.

ch. 33



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