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Cicero : Pro Flacco

Sections 52-106

This speech was delivered for L. Valerius Flaccus, in 59 B.C.

The translation is by L.E. Lord (1937). Click on the L symbols to go to the Latin text of each section. Click on ** to go to the translator's footnotes.



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[22.] L   [52] I come now to that state to which I have devoted much careful attention and many services, a state my brother especially cherishes and loves. If this state had reported its grievances to you through honourable and influential men, I should be a little more moved. But now what am I to think - that the people of Tralles ** have entrusted the case of their state to Maeandrius, a poverty-stricken individual, of low caste, without distinction, without reputation, without property ? Where were the men like Pythodorus, Archidemus, Epigonus, and other men known to us and noble among their own people ? Where was that state's magnificent and glorious display ? Was it not a shame, if they were conducting this case in a strict manner, that Maeandrius should be called not only their envoy, but even a citizen of Tralles at all ? Would they have delivered over Lucius Flaccus, their patron, as was his father and his ancestors before him, to this envoy, to this public witness, to be slaughtered by the evidence of their state ? Not so, gentlemen, certainly not so. [53] I saw lately, in a certain trial, Philodorus of Tralles acting as a witness, I saw Parrhasius, I saw Archidemus and indeed let me tell you this same Maeandrius was there, a sort of attendant instructor, suggesting to me against his own fellow-citizens and his state things that I might tell if I wished. For nothing is more fickle than that man, nothing more needy, nothing more filthy. Therefore, if the people of Tralles have this man to express their grief, to guard their records, to bear witness to their wrongs, to voice their complaints, let them check their haughty spirit, humble their pride, suppress their arrogance, let them admit that in the character of Maeandrius the true picture of their state is drawn. But if they themselves have always thought that he should be cast down and trampled under foot at home, let them cease to think that there is any weight in that evidence for which a nobody is found responsible.

[23.] L   But I will show you what the trouble is, so that you may be able to understand why that state neither violently opposed Flaccus nor enthusiastically supported him. [54] It was offended at him in the matter of a debt owed to Castrienus. Hortensius has covered the whole case. The state had unwillingly paid Castrienus money long due to him. From this came all the hatred and all the offence. When Laelius had come to the city of those disaffected men, and had reopened by his talk this wound caused by Castricius, the chief men were silent and did not attend that assembly, nor did they wish to be responsible for that vote and that testimony. That assembly was so deserted by the chief men that Maeandrius was the chief of the chiefs. That assembly of paupers was then swept by his tongue as by a fan of sedition. [55] So listen to the just complaint and accusation of a state, a decent city, as I have always thought, influential, as they themselves wish to be thought. The money from the states that was deposited with them in the name of Flaccus's father - this, they complain, was taken from them. At another point I shall raise the question of what power Flaccus had ; now I am only asking of the people of Tralles what money this was which, according to their complaints, was taken away. Do they say it was their own, contributed to them by the states for their own use ? I wish to hear. "We say no," he says. [56] What then ? "It was given to us, entrusted to us in the name of Lucius Flaccus's father, for a festival and games in his honour." What then ? "It was not lawful for you to take that money," he says. I will take up that point presently, but first I will emphasise this fact. A dignified, wealthy, honoured state is complaining because it does not keep what does not belong to it. It says it has been robbed because it does not have something which it never owned. What can be said or imagined more impudent ? A town was selected in which to deposit money collected from all Asia for the honour of Lucius Flaccus. All this money was diverted from honouring him to gain and usury ; many years later it was reclaimed. [24.] L   [57] What injustice been done to the state ? "But the state does not like it." I suppose that is true, for profit was lost contrary to expectation which in anticipation had already been swallowed up. "But the state complains." The complaint is unjustified, for we cannot justly complain of everything which we dislike. "But it accuses him in the strongest terms." Not the state, but worthless men suborned by Maeandrius. At this point I warn you again and again to be sure that you remember the instability of a crowd, the fickleness that is ingrained in the Greeks, how influential is a seditious speech in an assembly. Here in this most dignified and well-regulated state, when the forum is full of cases in law courts, full of magistrates, full of the best men and citizens, when the senate-house - the enemy of rashness and the director of duty - watches and overshadows the rostra, ** yet even here what waves of excitement do you see m the assemblies ! What do you think happens at Tralles ? Isn't it what happened at Pergamum ? Unless perhaps these states wish it to be thought that they are more easily moved and could be more easily persuaded by a single letter of Mithridates ** to violate the friendship of the Roman people, their own loyalty, all the laws of duty and humanity, than to injure by their testimony a son whose father they had voted to repel from their walls by force of arms. [58] Therefore, do not cast in my teeth the names of these noble states ; for this family will never fear as witnesses those men whom they despised as enemies. But you must admit, if your states are ruled by the counsels of the leading men, that it was not by the rashness of the crowd, but by the counsel of the men of the highest rank, that these states undertook a war with the Roman people ; but if that uprising was then instigated by the rashness of ignorant folk, then allow me to distinguish between the crimes of the crowd and the cause of the state. [25.] L   [59] "But he had no right to take that money." Would you be willing to admit that Flaccus's father had the right or not ? If it was his right, as it certainly was, then the son was within his rights in taking the money entrusted for honours in his father's name from which he himself got nothing : if it was not lawful for the father to take the money, yet after his death not only a son but any heir could take it with complete justification And then the people of Tralles, after they themselves had enjoyed the use of this money for many years at exorbitant interest, still received every concession they asked from Flaccus, nor were they so bold as to dare to say what Laelius said, that Mithridates had taken this money from them. For who was there who did not know that Mithridates was more anxious to honour the people of Tralles than to despoil them ?

[60] If I should say the things I ought to say, gentlemen, I would deal more severely than I have up to this point with the amount of credence you should give to the testimony of Asiatics. I would recall to your minds the memory of the war with Mithridates, that terrible and cruel slaughter of all the Roman citizens in so many cities at a single moment, our praetors betrayed, our ambassadors cast into chains, the memory almost of the Roman name with every trace of the government obliterated, not only from the settlements of the Greeks, but from written documents. They called Mithridates god, father, the saviour of Asia, Euhius, Nysius, Bacchus, Liber. ** [61] That was the very time when all Asia closed its gates to the consul Lucius Flaccus, ** but not only received the Cappadocian ** into its cities but even voluntarily invited him. Let it be permitted us, if we cannot forget these things, at least to be silent about them, let it be permitted me to speak rather of the fickleness of the Greeks than of their cruelty ; should they have influence with these people whose very existence they did not desire ? For they killed all the Roman citizens they could, they destroyed the Roman name so far as it was in their power. [26.] L   Should they now vaunt themselves in this city which they hate, in the presence of those whom they look upon with disgust, in a state for whose destruction they lacked not the will but the power ? Let them look at this fair assemblage of delegates and supporters of Flaccus for the real and true Greece, then let them weigh themselves, compare themselves with these men, and, if they dare, prefer the rank they have to theirs.

[62] Here present are men from Athens, where men think humanity, learning, religion, grain, ** rights, and laws were born, and whence they were spread through all the earth. For the possession of their city - because of its beauty - even the gods contended, ** as the story goes. It is of such antiquity that it produced, so they say, its people from its own soil, and the same land is their mother, their nurse, and their country. It has, moreover, such renown that the now shattered and weakened name of Greece is supported by the reputation of this city. [63] Men of Sparta are here ; the tried and famed valour of that state is thought to have been supported, not by nature only, but by discipline. They alone in the whole earth have lived for more than seven hundred years with customs unaltered and laws unchanged. Here are present from all Achaia many delegates, and delegates from Boeotia and from Thessaly, where Flaccus was lately legate under the commander Metellus. Nor shall I fail to mention you, Massilia, which knew Flaccus as military tribune and quaestor. I will say that the training and the dignity of that state deserve to be preferred, not only to Greece, but probably to all nation. Though it is far removed from all Greek territory, with a different training and speech, though it lies in a remote region, girt around by the tribes of Gaul and washed by the waves of savagery, still it has been so ruled by the wisdom of its best citizens that all men can more easily praise than imitate its regulated life. [64] Their commendation Flaccus enjoys, he has them to testify to his innocence - if I may oppose Greeks by the aid of Greeks

[27.] L   And yet who that has ever felt even a moderate desire to know about these things is ignorant that there are really three divisions of the Greek race ? Of these the Athenians are one , they are considered to be of the Ionian race. The second are called Aeolians, the third Dorians. And all Greece which was so exalted in fame, glory, learning, in many an art and even governmental and military distinction, occupies and has always occupied, as you know, only a small part of Europe. It conquered the coast of and girt it with cities, not to fortify it with colonies, race by race, but to keep it surrounded. [65] Therefore, I pray you, witnesses of Asia, when you wish to know truly how much influence you bring to the trial, remember that you yourselves must give Asia its reputation and remember, not what other nations are wont to say of you, but what you yourselves think of your own race. For, as I think, your Asia consists of Phrygia, Mysia, Caria, Lydia. Is, then, this proverb ours or yours ? "A Phrygian is usually improved by whipping." Then, again, has not this saying about all Caria been spread by your own lips ? "If you wish to run a risk in any experiment, you must, in doing so, use a Carian ** for preference." Moreover, what is so well known and commonplace in the Greek language if anyone is spoken of with contempt, as to say, "He's the lowest of the Mysians" ? What shall I say about Lydia ? What Greek ever wrote a comedy in which the leading slave part was not taken by a Lydian ? So what injustice is done if we decide to take you at your own valuation ? [66] Indeed, now I think I have said enough and more than enough about Asiatic witnesses as a class ; but still it is your duty, gentlemen, to grasp with your own thoughts and imagination everything which can be said about the fickleness, irresponsibility, and greed of these men, since I have by no means said it all.

[28.] L   There follows the odium that is attached to Jewish gold. This is no doubt the reason why this case is being tried not far from the Aurelian Steps. ** You procured this place and that crowd, Laelius, for this trial. You know what a big crowd it is, how they stick together, how influential they are in informal assemblies. So, I will speak in a low voice so that only the jurors may hear ; for those are not wanting who would incite them against me and against every respectable man. I shall not help them to do this more easily. [67] When every year it was customary to send gold to Jerusalem on the order of the Jews from Italy and from all our provinces, Flaccus forbade by an edict its exportation from Asia. Who is there, gentlemen, who could not honestly praise this action ? The senate often earlier and also in my consulship most urgently forbade the export of gold. But to resist this barbaric superstition ** was an act of firmness, to defy the crowd of Jews when sometimes in our assemblies they were hot with passion, for the welfare of the state was an act of the greatest seriousness. "But Gnaeus Pompeius when Jerusalem was captured laid his victorious hands on nothing in that shrine." [68] In that he was especially wise - as in many other matters. In a state so given to suspicion and calumny he left his critics no opportunity for gossip. But I do not think that illustrious general was hindered by the religious feelings of the Jews and his enemies, but by his sense of honour. Where, then, is the ground for an accusation against Flaccus, since, indeed, you never make any charge of theft, you approve his edict, you confess that there was judgement for debt, you do not deny the business was openly proposed and published, and the facts show it was administered by excellent men ? At Apamea ** a little less than a hundred pounds of gold was openly seized and weighed before the seat of the praetor in the forum through the agency of Sextius Caesius, a Roman knight, an upright and honourable man ; at Laodicea a little more than twenty pounds by Lucius Peducaeus, our juror. At Adramyttium . . . ** by Gnaeus Domitius, the legate, at Pergamum a small amount. The accounting for the gold is correct. [69] The gold is in the treasury, no embezzlement is charged, it is just an attempt to fix odium on him. The plea is not addressed to the jury ; the voice the advocate is directed to the attendant crowd and the mob. Each state, Laelius, has its own religious scruples, we have ours. Even while Jerusalem was standing and the Jews were at peace with us, the practice of their sacred rites was at variance with the glory of our empire, the dignity of our name, the customs of our ancestors. But now it is even more so, when that nation by its armed resistance has shown what it thinks of our rule ; how dear it was to the immortal gods is shown by the fact that it has been conquered, let out for taxes, made a slave.

[29.] L   [70] Therefore, since what you wished to be a matter of accusation has been turned, as you see, entirely to a matter of commendation, let us come now to the complaints of the Roman citizens, of which let that of Decianus certainly be first. What injustice, pray, was done you, Decianus ? You were trading in a free state. First, let me be inquisitive. How long will you continue in trade, especially since you were born in that station ? For thirty years you were busy in the forum - but that was at Pergamum. After a long time - when perhaps it is your pleasure to travel abroad - you come to Rome, you bring us a new appearance, an old name, and Tyrian purple , - in this I envy you because you can be smartly dressed for so long in a single set of garments. [71] But, let that go. It is your pleasure to be a trader : why not trade at Pergamum, Smyrna, Tralles, where there are many Roman citizens and the law is administered by our magistrates ? Quiet delights you ; strife, turmoil, a judge, are hateful ; you like the freedom of the Greeks. Why, then, do you alone plague the people of Apollonis ** - most devoted to the Roman people, most faithful allies more than Mithridates or even your father ever did ? Why is it that you did not allow them to enjoy their freedom and to be in fact free ? In all Asia they are the most thrifty and upright of men, freest from the extravagance and fickleness of the Greeks, householders content with their lot, tillers of the soil, dwellers in the fields They have fields naturally very good and made better by care and cultivation. In this district you desired to have an estate. I would altogether have preferred - and it would have been more like you, if fertile fields were your delight - that you should have acquired an estate somewhere near here in Crustumium or Capena. ** [72] But let that pass. There is a saying of Cato, "Money is balanced by feet." ** It is a long way from the Tiber to the Caicus - a place where even Agamemnon would have lost his way with his army if he had not found Telephus to guide him. ** But I concede this point too. The town was pleasing, the country delightful. [30.] L   You should have purchased some of it. Amyntas is the leading man of that state, in birth, station, reputation, wealth. His mother-in-law, a woman of poor judgement, but quite rich, Decianus attached to himself by flattery, and while she was ignorant of what was being done he established his retainers in the possession of her estate ; he took Amyntas's wife from him. She was pregnant and gave birth to a daughter in Decianus's home. To-day both Amyntas's wife and daughter are in Decianus's house. [73] I am not inventing any of these things, am I, Decianus ? All the nobles know them, honest men know them, finally our own people know them, the petty traders know them. Bestir yourself, Amyntas, demand back from Decianus, not your money, not your estate, let him even keep your mother-in-law, but let him restore your wife, let him give the daughter back to her poor father. He cannot restore the limbs which he has maimed with stones, clubs, and fetters, the hands which he has crushed, the fingers which he has broken, the tendons which he has cut; the daughter, the daughter, I say, Decianus, give back to her grief-stricken father. [74] Do you wonder you did not secure Flaccus's approval of these things ? Whose approval, pray, did you secure ? You made false sales, false notices of sales of estates in open fraud with weak-minded women. In these cases, according to Greek law, a guardian had to be appointed. You appointed Polemocrates, your hired servant, your tool to effect your plans. Polemocrates was brought to trial for conspiracy and fraud by Dio in the matter of this guardianship. What a crowd there was from all the near-by towns, what expressions of grief, what complaints against him ! Polemocrates was declared guilty by all the votes. The sales were declared void, the notices of sale invalid. You did not make restitution, did you ? You took the matter to the people of Pergamum, that they might enter in their public records your notable notices and sales. They refuse, they reject them. "But what men did this ?" Men of Pergamum, the men who praised you. For you seemed to me to glory in the commendation of the men of Pergamum ** as if you had attained the rank of your ancestors. ** And in this you thought you were superior to Laelius because the citizens of Pergamum praised you. The state of Pergamum is not more honourable than Smyrna, is it ? Not even the people of Pergamum themselves say that.

[31.] L   [75] I wish I had time to recite the decree of the people of Smyrna which they passed for Castricius ** after his death, first that he should be brought into the city- a privilege not allowed others - secondly that young men should bear him, finally that a crown of gold should be placed on him even though he was dead. This was not done for Publius Scipio, that illustrious man, when he died at Pergamum. But for Castricius - O immortal gods, what words did they use ! They call him "The glory of his country, the ornament of the Roman people, the flower of the youth." Therefore, Decianus, if you are eager for glory I advise you to seek other accolades. The people of Pergamum have been making fun of you. [76] Again, did you not know you were being derided when they used these words to describe you ? "A most famous man, of outstanding wisdom, of unusual talent." Believe me, they were making sport of you. But when they were putting a golden crown over the letters of the decree, they were really entrusting you with no more gold than they would bestow on a jackdaw. Could you not even then perceive the wit and the humour of the men ? And so the people of Pergamum themselves repudiated the notices of sale which you brought for record. Publius Orbius, a gentleman of sense and honour, decided every case against you. [32.] L   With Publius Globulus, my friend, you found more favour. Would that neither he nor I repented it now ! You say Flaccus decided unfairly in your case. [77] You add as reasons for his enmity that your father when he was tribune of the plebs brought to trial Lucius Flaccus's father, the curule aedile. But that should not have been very disagreeable even to the father himself of Flaccus, especially since he who was thus brought to trial was later made praetor and consul, while he who indicted him could not remain in the state as a private citizen. But if you think the enmity was justified, why were you a soldier in Flaccus's legion when he was a military tribune, when by the military regulation you were allowed to escape the injustice of a tribune ? Moreover, when he was praetor why did he make you, his own hereditary enemy, a member of his council ? You all know, indeed, with what solemn care these lights are observed. Now we are being accused by those who were members of our council. [78] "Flaccus made a decree." There was nothing wrong in that, was there ? "Against men of a free state." The senate did not vote otherwise, did it ? "Against a man in his absence." He issued the decree when you we're actually there, but you were unwilling to come forward. That is not against a man "in his absence" but against a defendant in hiding !

( The vote of the senate and the decree of Flaccus are read. )

Very well. If he had not issued a particular decree but a general order, who could reasonably have found fault with him ? For you will not criticise, will you, the letter of my brother filled with kindness and justice? - a letter about this woman which was written at Patara to me and which he demands. Read it. **

( The letter of Quintus Cicero is read. )

[79] Well then ? Did not the people of Apollonis, taking advantage of the opportunity, report these things to Flaccus, were they not acted on before Orbius, were they not reported to Globulus? When I was consul did not envoys of Apollonis refer to our senate all the claims arising from the injuries of Decianus alone ? But you even returned these estates for assessment in the census. I say nothing of the fact that they belonged to others, nor that you occupied them by violence, nor that they were proved not to belong to you by the people of Apollonis, nor that they were refused by the people of Pergamum, nor that they were returned in their entirety by their magistrates, nor that you held them without any right of property or occupation ; [80] I ask only this : were those estates subject to the census, did they have full legal status, were they transferable only by formal purchase or not, can they be formally registered at the treasury and with the censor ? Moreover, under what tribe did you enter those estates in the census ? You ran the risk of having taxes laid on these same estates both at Apollonis and Rome if a time of great difficulty had come. But let it pass. You were grandiose, you wished to be credited in the census with a great quantity of land, and land which cannot be divided up among the Roman commons. You had declared besides one hundred and thirty thousand sesterces in cash. I think you never counted so many of your own. But I pass over that. You declared the slaves of Amyntas and in that you did him no wrong. For Amyntas does own these slaves. And indeed at first he was afraid when he heard that you had declared his slaves. He consulted the jurists. They all agreed that if Decianus could make other people's property his by declaring it he would have the greatest . . .

[33.] L   [81] You now understand the cause of the enmity which led Decianus to deliver to Laelius this notable accusation. For Laelius made this complaint when he was speaking of the perfidy of Decianus . "He who was my authority, who reported the case to me, whom I took as my guide, he was suborned by Flaccus, he deserted and betrayed me." Were you then, pray, responsible for causing Laelius to run the risk of losing all his fortune ? You were in his counsel. With him you held all your public positions ** and he was a man of honour, a man of high nobility, a man who had served the state well. Of course, I shall defend Decianus, whom you suspect through no fault of his own. He was not corrupted, believe me. [82] For what could be procured from him ? That he should prolong the trial ? The law allowed only six hours for that. How much, pray, would he have taken from these hours if he had wished to humour you ? Of course, what he suspects himself is that you are envious of the talent of your joint signatory, because he glibly performed the part which he had taken and questioned the witnesses shrewdly. Or perhaps he would have contrived that you might escape the criticism of the people, and so you steered Decianus toward the encircling crowd of listeners. But while this is quite likely, it is very unlikely that Decianus was suborned by Flaccus, and be sure that the other statements are equally false ; [83] as, for instance, Apuleius's statement that Lucius Flaccus wished to give him two million sesterces to break his oath. Do you accuse him of greed who, you say, wished to squander two million sesterces ? For what was he buying when he was buying you, Decianus ? Your allegiance to his side ? What part of the case would we have given you ? Or was it that you should disclose Laelius's plan, or what witnesses would come forward for him ? Again, did we not see for ourselves ? That you were living with him ? Who does not know that ? That the records were in Laelius's possession ? Is there any doubt of that ? Or was it that you should not press your charge with spirit and completeness ? Now you are raising a suspicion, for you have spoken so that it seems as if he did obtain something from you.

[34.] L   [84] "But a grave injustice and one not to be borne was done to Sextilius Andro, because when his wife, Valeria, ** died intestate, Flaccus arranged the estate as if the inheritance belonged to him." In this matter I desire to know what you find amiss. That he made a false claim ? How do you prove it ? He says, "She was free-born ." O learned jurist ! What ? Do not inheritances come by law from free-born women "She had been married into his ownership," ** he says. Now I am hearing something ; but, I ask, was the marriage by "cohabitation" or by sale ? ** In the case of a common-law marriage the inheritance was impossible, for nothing can be taken from an estate in the hands of trustees -without the consent of all the trustees. By sale ? Well then, was it with the approval of all trustees ? You will certainly not say that Flaccus was among them ! [85] There remains only this, which he has not ceased to utter at the top of his voice, that it was not fitting for him while he was praetor to forward his own interests and discuss inheritance. I hear that you, Lucius Lucullus, who are about to cast your vote on the case of Lucius Flaccus, gain very great legacies in return for your excellent liberality and great benefits done to your friends when you governed the province of Asia as proconsul. If anyone had said these belonged to him, would you have given them up ? You, Titus Vettius, if an inheritance shall come to you in Africa, will you forgo its enjoyment or will you keep it as your own, without greed and with no loss of prestige ? But the possession of that inheritance was claimed in the name of Flaccus while Globulus was praetor. And so no force, no chance, no violence, no opportunity, no authority, no symbols of power, have prompted Flaccus to commit an act of injustice. [86] And the excellent Marcus Lurco, my friend, directs the sting of his testimony to the same point ; he says a praetor should not seek money from a private citizen in his province. Why, pray, Marcus Lurco, should he not ? He should not force it by torture, nor receive it contrary to the law ; that he should not ask it you will never prove unless you prove that it is unlawful. Or is it right to accept free travelling-expenses while making an investigation, as you did lately and many good men have often done - a thing which I do not object to but I see the allies complain about it - and do you think that a praetor ought not only to be censured but even convicted, if he does not abandon an inheritance in his province ? [35.] L   He says, "Valeria had put all her property into her dowry." That cannot at all be explained unless you show that she was not in the guardianship of Flaccus. If she was, any dowry assigned without his consent is invalid.

[87] But still you saw that Lurco was incensed at Flaccus although, in keeping with his dignity, he consistently adopted a moderate tone in giving his testimony. For he did not conceal the cause of his anger nor did he think he should do so ; he complained that his freedman had been condemned while Flaccus was praetor. Oh wretched state of our provincial administration, where devotion to duty breeds hatreds, carelessness breeds recriminations, where firmness is dangerous, kindness begets thanklessness; where talk is filled with treachery, affability with danger ; where every man's appearance is friendly, the minds of many are full of anger ; hatreds are concealed, flattery is open ! they look with expectation for the praetors when they are coming ; they are deferential to them while they are present ; they desert them when they are leaving ! But let us omit complaints lest we seem to be praising our own decision to refuse the government of a province. ** [88] Flaccus sent a letter about the steward of an honourable gentlemen named Publius Septimius. This steward had committed a murder. You could see Septimius blazing with anger. Flaccus gave judgement against Lurco's freedman in accordance with the published code : Lurco is an enemy. What then ? Was Asia to be surrendered to the freedmen of influential and powerful men ? Or is Flaccus cherishing some sort of a grudge against your freedmen ? Or do you hate firmness when it is employed against you and yours and extol it when you are pronouncing judgement on us ?

[36.] L   But this Andro who, as you say, was despoiled of his property, has not come to give his testimony. [89] What if he should come ? ** Gaius Caecilius was the referee of the settlement. What distinction, what honesty, what uprightness he had ! The witness by seal was Gaius Sextilius, the son of Lurco's sister, a man careful and staunch and influential. If there was violence, fraud, intimidation, misrepresentation, who forced the agreement or compelled them to attend the arbitration ? Again, if all that money has been restored to this youth Lucius Flaccus, ** if it was demanded and repaid by the assistance of this Antiochus, the freedman of the young man's father, and one highly approved by the elder Flaccus, would it seem that we were not only escaping the charge of greed but even winning praise for exceptional liberality ? For he gave up an inheritance, which by law had come jointly to them both, to a young relative of his, but he himself took no part of the Valerian estate. What he had decided to do, influenced by his modesty and not by the very large fortune of his patron, he not only did but he did it readily and generously. From this it should be understood that he, who was so generous in surrendering an inheritance, did not take money contrary to law.

[90] But the accusation of Falcidius is overwhelming. He says he gave Flaccus fifty talents. Let us hear the man. He isn't here. Well, what did he say ? His mother is bringing a letter and his sister another. They say he wrote to them that that large sum was given to Flaccus. And will this person, whom no one I would believe if he took an oath with his hand on the altar, prove in this fashion by a letter what he wishes, unsworn ? But what a man he is ! How his fellow-citizens love him ! He preferred to squander on banquets for the Greeks his considerable patrimony which he might have finished off here among us. [91] Why was it necessary for him to leave this city, to be deprived of such glorious liberty, to take the risk of a voyage ? - as if he could not devour his living at home. And, finally, the gay son excuses himself to his poor mother, a dear little old woman quite unsuspicious, in a letter, in order that it may not seem that he squandered that money with which he crossed the sea, but gave it to Flaccus ! [37.] L   "But the taxes of Tralles had been sold when Globulus was praetor ; Falcidius bought them for nine hundred thousand sesterces. ** " If he gave so much money to Flaccus, of course, he gave it to bind his bargain. For he was buying something that would be certainly worth much more. He made that payment out of his profits. He took nothing from his principal. He was therefore only making a smaller profit. [92] Why did he give orders to sell his estate at Alba ? Why, moreover, does he wheedle his mother ? Why in his letters is he taking advantage of the weakness of his sister and his mother ? Finally, why do we not hear him himself ? He is detained in the province, I suppose. His mother denies that. "He would have come," she says, "if a summons had been sent him." You certainly would have compelled his attendance if you had placed any reliance on that witness, but you did not wish to interrupt his business.

He had a great contest ahead of him, a great rivalry with the Greeks, but they, as I think, are down and done for. For this man alone outdid all Asia in the size of his cups and in his drinking. But who told you about these letters, Laelius ? The women say that they do not know who it is. Did he therefore himself tell you that he had written to his mother and sister ? Or did he write at your request ? [93] Did you not question Marcus Aebutius, a most trustworthy and honourable gentleman, a relative of Falcidius, did you not question Gaius Manilius, his son-in-law - a man of equal fidelity to truth ? These men certainly could not have failed to hear about so large an amount if it was given. Did you think, Decianus , by the recital of these letters, by producing these poor women as witnesses, that you would prove so serious a charge in the absence of that esteemed author, especially when you yourself by not producing Falcidius have created the opinion that a forged letter will have more weight than the hypocritical voice and pretended grief of the man present in person ?

[94] But why, I ask, do I say so much about the letters of Falcidius or about Sextilius Andro and the census returns of Decianus, while I am silent on the question of our universal safety, the future of the state, the highest interests of the republic, all of which you, gentlemen, in this trial, are carrying on your shoulders, - you, I say. You see in what uncertain times, in what turmoil and confusion, we are living. [38.] L   Certain people are full of these schemes, but this is their aim in particular, that your intentions, your decisions, your votes may be found most inimical and most hostile to all respectable citizens. You have made many notable decisions worthy of our national dignity regarding the crime of the conspirators. They do not think the state is sufficiently overturned unless they have involved the most deserving citizens in the same punishment with the criminals. Gaius Antonius ** has been laid low [95] So be it. He did have a certain ill fame of his own. Still he would not have been convicted if you had been his jurors (I have a good right to say it). When he was condemned, the grave of Lucius Catiline was adorned with flowers and was the scene of a banquet and a gathering of men most bold, the enemies of their country. Funeral rites have been performed for Catiline ** ; now through you the attempt is being made to visit Lentulus's punishment on Flaccus. How can you make a more pleasing sacrifice to Publius Lentulus, who tried to slay you in the embrace of your children and your wives and to bury you in a holocaust of the country, than by glutting his accursed hatred for us all with the blood of Lucius Flaccus ? [96] So let us propitiate Lentulus with an offering, let us offer a sacrifice of atonement to Cethegus, let us recall the exiles ; let us in our turn, if it is your pleasure, pay the penalty for too great devotion and supreme love for our fatherland ! We are already named by informers, accusations are being invented against us, perils are being prepared for us. If others were their agents, if the name of the Roman people had been used to excite the crowd of ignorant citizens, we could bear it with greater equanimity, but it is intolerable to believe that senators and knights of Rome, who with a common counsel, united purpose, and courage have done all these things for the common safety, should be able to despoil of all their fortunes and drive from the state the prime movers, leaders and actors in these transactions. For they see that the Roman people have the same purpose and wish ; in every way that it can the Roman people shows what it thinks, men are unanimous in opinion, wish and expression. [97] So if anyone summons me thither, I come. I do not refuse to be judged by the Roman people. I even demand it. Let there be no violence, no recourse to knives and stones, let the day-labourers withdraw, let the slaves be quiet. No one who will hear me will be so unjust - provided only he is a free man and a citizen - as to think I should be punished. He will rather think I should be rewarded.

[39.] L   O immortal gods, what is worse than this ? We who wrenched the sword and torch from the hands of Publius Lentulus, we who trusted the judgement of the ignorant mob, do we fear the votes of these choice spirits, these men of dignity and substance ?

[98] Our ancestors cancelled the sentence against Manius Aquilius, who had been convicted of extortion on many charges by many witnesses, because he had fought bravely against runaway slaves. Lately when consul I defended Gaius Piso ; he was preserved for the state uncondemned because he had been a courageous and steadfast consul. While consul I defended Lucius Murena also - the consul-elect. Though his accusers were men of great eminence, no one of the jurors thought he should listen to the charge of bribery, for Catiline was already making war, and at my suggestion all decided that there must be two consuls on the first of January. ** Aulus Thermus, ** an innocent and upright man, distinguished in every way, on my defence was twice acquitted this year. What joy the people of Rome felt for our state, what congratulations followed ! Sober and wise jurors in deciding cases have always considered what the interest of the state, the common safety, the experiences of the republic, demanded. [99] When the ballot shall be given you, gentlemen, it will not be a ballot to vote on Flaccus alone, but on the leaders and the authors of the national safety, on all good citizens, on you yourselves, on your children, on your lives, the fatherland, and the safety of us all. You are not deciding in this case about foreign nations, nor your allies, you are deciding about yourselves and your own country. [40.] L   [100] But if the interests qf the provinces influence you more than your own, I do not only not refuse but I even demand that you be moved by the influence of the provinces. For to the province of Asia, in the first place, we shall oppose a large part of the same province which has sent delegates and advocates to assist Flaccus in his perils, and next the provinces of Gaul, Cilicia, Spain, and Crete. Moreover, the Greeks of Lydia, Phrygia and Mysia will be opposed by the Greeks of Massilia, Rhodes, Sparta, Athens, all Achaia, Thessaly, Boeotia. Against the witnesses Septimius and Caelius there will be arrayed Publius Servilius and Quintus Metellus, witnesses of his modesty and honesty; the administration of justice at Rome will be set against the administration of justice in Asia. The entire career and the whole life of Lucius Flaccus will defend him against the accusations involving a single year. [101] And if it ought to be counted in favour of Lucius Flaccus that he has shown himself worthy of his ancestors as a military tribune, as quaestor, as legate to the most famous generals, in the most distinguished armies, in most important provinces, let it also be counted in his favour that here under your own eyes, in the common perils of us all, he has shared my dangers with me. Let the praise of the most honourable towns and colonies be counted in his favour, as well as the loud and sincere praise of the senate and the Roman people. [102] Think of that night ** which almost brought eternal darkness to this city, when the Gauls were invited to war, Catiline to the city, and the conspirators to sword and fire, when, invoking heaven and night, I adjured you, Flaccus, with tears, and with tears you heard me when I entrusted to your glorious and well-tried loyalty the safety of the city and the citizens ! Then you, Flaccus, the praetor, seized the messengers of our common destruction, you captured the letters and the curse to the state contained in them. You brought the proofs of our danger, the means of our salvation to me and to the senate. What thanks were given then to you by me, by the senate, by all the upright ! Who would ever think that any honourable man would refuse, not acquittal, but any honour to you and to Gaius Pomptinus, ** a very brave man ? Oh that fifth of December ** in my consulship ! That day I can truly call the birthday of this city, or at least the day of its salvation . [41.] L   [103] Think of that night ** preceding that day - fortunate for this city but (woe is me) fatal, I fear, for us ! What spirit had Lucius Flaccus then (for I will say nothing of myself), what love of country, what valour, what steadfastness ! But why do I speak of these things which at the time they were done were praised to the skies by the common consent of all, by the unanimous voice of the Roman people, by the testimony of the whole world ? Now I fear that, far from counting in Flaccus's favour, they may somewhat injure him. For I know that sometimes the memory of evil men is much keener than that of good men. It is I, Flaccus, I, I say, who will have ruined you if anything goes amiss. Mine was the pledge, mine the assurance, mine the guarantee when I solemnly promised that if we saved the state, so long as you lived you would not only be guarded but even honoured by the protection of all respectable men. I have thought, I have hoped, even if our honour was cheaper in the sight of you all, that at least our safety would be assured. [104] And indeed, gentlemen, if a grave injustice should be done to Lucius Flaccus (and may the immortal gods avert the omen), he still will never regret that he took measures for your preservation, that he took counsel for you, your children, your wives, and your fortunes. He will always believe this - that he owed such a duty to the dignity of his family, to the honour of himself and his country. See to it, gentlemen, by the immortal gods, that you be not ashamed for failing to spare such a citizen. For how many are there who are followers of that party in the state, who desire to please you and men like you, who regard the influence of every notable and influential man and of every order as of great importance, when they see that here is a shorter way for them to office and everything else which they covet ?

[42.] L   But let them have everything else ; let them keep their power, their offices, their complete control of other advantages, but let those who wished to save the state, themselves be safe. [105] Do not think, gentlemen, that these who are unattached to any party, who have not yet attained to office, are not awaiting the outcome of this trial. If such great affection for all good men, such devotion to the senate, shall bring disaster on Lucius Flaccus, who will there be, do you imagine, hereafter so foolish as not to think he should prefer that way of life, which he has before considered treacherous and slippery, to the straight and narrow path ? But if you are weary of citizens of this type, gentlemen, declare it ; those who can will change their rule of life, those who are unattached to any party will decide what to do, we who are already well along in our careers will endure the consequences of our thoughtlessness. But if you wish as many as possible to be of this type, you will show in this trial what you think. [106] To this poor lad, ** a suppliant to you and your children, you will give, gentlemen, by this trial a rule of life. If you acquit his father, you will show him what sort of citizen he should himself be. But if you take his father from him, you will show that you are offering no regard for a plan of life that is upright, steadfast, and honourable He now begs you not to increase his grief by his father's tears, nor his father's sorrow by his weeping ; for he is of an age to suffer for his father's grief but not to help his father. See, he turns to me, he looks at me appealingly and, in a way, he weeping calls on my honour, and asks for that place of distinction which I promised formerly to his father for saving our native land. Have pity, gentlemen, on the family, have pity on this most courageous father, have pity on the son ; for the sake of the family, for the sake of its ancient lineage, for the sake of the man himself, preserve for the state a most illustrious and glorious name.



FOOTNOTES


36.(↑)   A town in Caria on the Maeander.

37.(↑)   The platform from which the Roman magistrates addressed the people.

38.(↑)   This was the famous letter King Mithridates had dispatched to all the cities of Asia Minor - Pergamum and Tralles among the others - inciting them to kill the Roman citizens on an appointed day.

39.(↑)   Euhius, a name derived from the Bacchic cry 'euhoi', Nysius from Nysa, the fabled birthplace of Bacchus, and Liber are all appellations of Bacchus.

40.(↑)   Father of the defendant. The statement may be politely called a rhetorical exaggeration.

41.(↑)   A contemptuous term for Mithridates.

42.(↑)   Triptolemus first planted and cultivated wheat, Demeter's gift, in Attica.

43.(↑)   It was decided that the newly founded city was to have as its patron that god who could create the most useful gift for mortals. Poseidon created the horse, Athena the olive. The gods decided in Athena's favour and the city is called

44.(↑)   The Greek proverb is ἐν τῷ Καρὶ ὁ κίνδυνος κινδυνεύηται (Plato, Laches, 187 b). It means that a Carian slave is so worthless that he may be risked m any experiment. Cf. "try it on the dog.”

45.(↑)   Belonging to the Aurelian tribunal erected by Marcus Aurelius Cotta in the forum not far from the temple of Castor and Pollux — a favourite place for the Jews to congregate.

46.(↑)   Since the gold - in part at least - was to be used for the support of the Jewish Temple.

47.(↑)   A city in Phrygia next in commercial importance to Ephesus.

48.(↑)   The amount is lacking in the text.

49.(↑)   At Apollonis Decianus would probably be less subject to Roman supervision than at Smyrna or Tralles.

50.(↑)   Both near Mt. Soracte a few miles north of Rome.

51.(↑)   As quoted here the phrase means, "more distant property is less expensive." What Cato seems to have meant is, "Money is made by activity,"   "Shoe leather counts."

52.(↑)   Eustathius on Iliad, i 59, gives the story. Agamemnon in search of Troy made a false landing. Telephus, who opposed the landing, was wounded by Achilles, who later healed the wound. Telephus then guided the Greeks to Ilium.

53.(↑)   See Section 76.

54.(↑)   He was of equestrian, his father of senatorial rank.

55.(↑)   Introduced as an example of extravagant praise given by a Greek city to a commonplace citizen.

56.(↑)   This unintelligible digression is due to the unsatisfactory character of the mss.

57.(↑)   What positions is not known. Perhaps it refers to his army service with Laelius.

58.(↑)   Her name shows that she was of the Valerian gens as was Flaccus. His claim was doubtless based on this kinship.

59.(↑)   By a marriage 'in manum' the wife comes into the legal possession of her husband. She stood in the same legal relation to him as a daughter.

60.(↑)   By a year's cohabitation ('usus') a couple became legally married. Sale ('coemptio') was a legal procedure by which a woman sold herself to a man and then became his wife.

61.(↑)   Cicero refused a province both after his praetorship and after his consulship.

62.(↑)   The details of the dispute can only be inferred from Cicero's statement.

63.(↑)   The relationship of the defendant to this young Flaccus and his father is unknown.

64.(↑)   Buying the taxes means buying the privilege of collecting the taxes.

65.(↑)   Cicero's colleague in the consulship.

66.(↑)   As a traitor Catiline was not entitled to burial. Cicero's argument is that the friends of Catiline are now trying to secure the conviction and punishment on some charge or other of Cicero's friends in revenge for each of the convicted conspirators.

67.(↑)   If Murena had been disqualified only a single consul would have taken office on January first 62 B.C.

68.(↑)   Unknown.

69.(↑)   The night on which Flaccus arrested the Allobroges and seized the letters which made possible the conviction of the conspirators.

70.(↑)   Flaccus's associate in the arrest of the Allobroges.

71.(↑)   The night when Lentulus and the other conspirators were arrested.

72.(↑)   The night of the arrest. The evidence was given to the senate the next day.

73.(↑)   Flaccus's son, introduced to arouse the sympathy of the jury.



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