Cicero : In Verrem 2.1

Sections 58-102

This speech was delivered against C. Verres, in 70 B.C.

The translation is by L.H.G. Greenwood (1928). 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   [58] You will plead that your statues and pictures, like his, have adorned the city and forum of the people of Rome. Yes: I remember standing among the people of Rome, and looking at the decorated forum and comitium ; a decoration splendid to the eye, but painful and melancholy to the heart and mind : I looked at the brilliant show that was made by your thefts, by the robbing of our provinces, by the spoliation of our friends and allies. Note that it was then, gentlemen, that Verres received his chief encouragement to continue his misdeeds: he saw that the men who aimed at being called the masters of the courts were the servants of desire for such things as these. [59] And it was then, on the other hand, and only then, that the allied and foreign peoples abandoned their last hope of prosperity and happiness; for a large number of persons from Asia and Achaia, who happened at the time to be in Rome serving on deputations, beheld in our forum the revered images of their gods that had been carried away from their own sanctuaries, and recognising as well the other statues and works of art, some here and some there, would stand gazing at them with weeping eyes. What we then heard these people saying was always this, that the ruin of our allies and friends was certain beyond all question ; for there in the forum of Rome, in the place where once those who had wronged our allies used to be prosecuted and found guilty, now stood, openly exposed to view, the objects reft from those allies by criminals and robbers.

[60] Now I do not suppose that Verres will at this point deny that he has numerous statues, and more pictures than he can count, in his possession. But I understand it to be his habit now and then to assert that these objects, which he has stolen by force or fraud, have really been bought. It would appear that he was sent out to Achaia and Asia and Pamphylia, at the national expense and with the title of legate, in order to engage in the statue and picture trade. [23.] L   Both his own accounts and his father's have come into my hands ; I have read and studied them carefully ; the father's up to the day of his death, his own for the period during which he claims to have kept them. For you will find this novelty in Verres' case, gentlemen. We have heard of a man's never keeping any accounts; that is what is widely believed about Antonius, ** though incorrectly, for he kept very careful accounts; still we may admit that this sort of thing occurs, and it is far from satisfactory. We have also heard of a man's not keeping accounts to begin with, but doing so from a certain date onwards ; and that too one can to some extent understand. But what we have here is a ridiculous novelty: I demanded his accounts, and he told me that he had kept them duly up to the consulship of Marcus Terentius and Gaius Cassius, ** but stopped keeping them after that. [61] We will consider the significance of this elsewhere; for the moment I am not concerned with it, as I have both your own accounts, Verres, and your father's, for the period with which I am now dealing. You cannot deny that you brought away a large number of beautiful statues and a large number of fine paintings. I only wish you would deny it! Show me the record, either in your own accounts or your father's, of your buying a single one of these things, and I surrender. You cannot show that you have bought even those two beautiful statues which are standing now beside the rain-pool in your hall, and stood for many long years before the doors of Juno in Samos - those two, I mean, that are now left lonely in your house, waiting for the dealer, ** deserted and abandoned by all the others.

[24.] L   [62] But we are no doubt to understand that it is in these directions only that the man's greedy desires were free from all restraint or control, and that there was some limit or check imposed upon his other passions. Are you aware of the number of free-born persons, of respectable married women, to whom he offered violence during his foul and disgusting career as legate? Is there one town in which he set foot where the traces left by his arriving feet are not outnumbered by those of his adulteries and criminal assaults? I will, however, pass over all the outrages whose commission might be denied; I will even omit those that are wholly undeniable and notorious, selecting only a single one of his wicked deeds, that I may the sooner get at last to Sicily, the country that has laid this burdensome duty upon my shoulders.

[63] There is on the shores of the Hellespont, gentlemen, a town called Lampsacum, one of the most famous and illustrious in the province of Asia. The inhabitants are particularly ready to oblige all Roman citizens, and besides that are extremely quiet and well-behaved, almost more inclined than other Greeks are to taking things very easily, and not to any form of violence or turbulence. Verres, having pestered Dolabella to send him on a mission to King Nicomedes and King Sadala, and insisted on a journey more likely to add to his own gains than to forward the interests of Rome, happened in the course of his journey to arrive at Lampsacum, with terrible and almost ruinous consequences to that community. He was received as a guest in the house of a man called Ianitor, and his staff found quarters and hospitality among the rest of the inhabitants. In accordance with his custom and the promptings of his wicked passions, he forthwith instructed the worthless and degraded men who composed his staff to make investigations, and discover whether there was any girl or woman there on whose account it would be worth his while to prolong his stay at Lampsacum. [25.] L   [64] There was a man on his staff called Rubrius, just the sort of creature for the service of his lusts, who used to show remarkable ingenuity, wherever they went, in investigating matters of this sort. Rubrius reported to him that there was a man called Philodamus, whose birth, official position, wealth, and high reputation made him easily the first man in Lampsacum; and that he had a daughter, who, being unmarried, was living at home; a woman of exceptional beauty, but accounted entirely chaste and modest. On hearing this, the scoundrel was so inflamed by the thought of what he had not only never himself seen but not even heard of from anyone who had, that he immediately announced his wish to move to the house of Philodamus. His host Ianitor, having no suspicion of the truth, and being afraid that he was himself failing in some way to give satisfaction, began most urgently to dissuade him from going. Unable to hit upon an excuse for deserting his host, Verres proceeded with a new scheme for achieving his licentious purpose : he complained of the shabby accommodation allotted to his favourite Rubrius, his helper and confidant in all matters of this kind, and ordered him to be transferred to the house of Philodamus. [65] On being told of this, Philodamus, though unaware how great an injury was already being planned against himself and his family, went nevertheless to see Verres, and urged that it was not fair to expect this of him ; that while he had his own share of hospitable duties to perform, it was his custom to invite praetors and consuls to be his guests, and not their legates' attendants. Verres, carried away by his one overmastering desire, paid no attention to this request or to its justice, and ordered Rubrius to be forcibly installed in the house of a man to whose hospitality he had no claim. [26.] L   Unable to maintain his rights, Philodamus now did his best to maintain his accustomed courtesy. He had always been considered most hospitable and cordial towards our people, and he did not wish to give the impression that he was receiving even a man like Rubrius into his house unwillingly. He arranged a dinner-party with the lavish splendour appropriate to one of the most well-to-do men in the place ; asked Rubrius to invite to it anyone he wanted, and to be kind enough to reserve a place for himself only ; even his son, an extremely nice boy, he sent out to supper with a relative. [66] Rubrius invited Verres' staff, and Verres gave them instructions what to do. The guests assembled in good time, and took their places. Conversation began; they were invited to drink in the Greek fashion ** ; their host urged them to drink; they asked for bumpers, and the party became a general buzz of talk and merriment. As soon as Rubrius thought the ice was sufficiently broken, he said, "Tell me, Philodamus, why not send for your daughter to come in and see us? " The respectable and already elderly father received the rascal's suggestion with astonished silence. As Rubrius persisted, he replied, in order to say something, that it was not the Greek custom for women to be present at a men's dinner-party. At this someone in another part of the room called out, "But really, this is intolerable: let the woman be sent for!" At the same moment, Rubrius told his slaves to shut the front door and stand on guard at the entrance. [67] Philodamus, seeing that their purpose and intention was the violation of his daughter, called to his slaves, and told them not to trouble about himself, but to save his daughter; one of them had better rush off to his son with the news of this trouble at home. Before long the whole house was in an uproar, and its most respectable and worthy owner was being knocked about under his own roof in the struggle between his own slaves and those of Rubrius, everyone trying to lay hands upon him ; he was even drenched with a jug of boiling water by Rubrius himself. His son, on receiving the news, was terrified, and at once dashed off home to save his father's life and his sister's honour: and with one accord the people of Lampsacum, when they heard about it, shocked by this gross outrage on a gentleman they respected, gathered in a crowd before his house that night. In the sequel, Cornelius, a lictor of Verres, who with some of Verres' slaves had been posted by Rubrius at the strategic point for abducting the woman, lost his life ; several slaves were wounded, and Rubrius himself was hurt in the struggle. Verres, seeing the fearful uproar to which his licentious passions had led, began to feel anxious to escape somehow if he could. [27.] L   [68] The following morning there was a mass meeting of the inhabitants to consider what it was best to do. Those whose opinions carried most weight made speeches to the gathering, each putting his own view ; and not a man among them but thought, and said, that they ought not to be afraid that if the people of Lampsacum avenged that wicked outrage by main force, the Senate and People of Rome would regard the town as deserving punishment for doing so ; for if the rights of a Roman legate over members of allied and foreign nations were going to preclude them from successfully protecting their children against his lust, any fate would be more endurable than living in such circumstances of violence and wretchedness. [69] This view commanded universal support, man after man expressing, to the same effect, his feelings of indignation. There was a general move to the house in which Verres was staying. They set to work battering the front door with stones and iron implements, and made a pile of logs and brushwood round it which they set on fire. At this point a number of Roman citizens carrying on business in Lampsacum collected hastily on the spot, and began to urge the people of the town to let their respect for Verres' official position outweigh their resentment of his outrageous conduct, admitting that the man was a dirty villain, but urging that, since he had failed in his attempt and would never be at Lampsacum again, they would make a smaller mistake in sparing the life of a criminal than in taking the life of a legate.

[70] The result was that Verres, though a much worse criminal than the notorious Hadrianus, ** had considerably better luck. Hadrianus was burnt alive in his house at Utica because his avarice had become intolerable to Roman citizens, and was held so thoroughly to have deserved his fate that everyone was pleased that no steps were taken to punish the doers. But Verres, though the fire was lit by allied ** hands, and scorched him badly, escaped that dangerous conflagration. Why indeed he allowed himself, or what happened to allow him, to run into so serious a danger at all, is more than he has, from that day to this, been able to explain. For he cannot allege that it was because he wanted to suppress a revolt, requisition corn, exact a tax, or perform, at any rate, some imperial duty : that it was because of any harsh order, any inflicted or threatened punishment. Even did he allege such a cause, he would still deserve censure, did it appear that the reason of his incurring a danger so grave was the brutality of his orders to our allies. [28.] L   [71] As things are, he dare not himself either confess the true explanation of that riot or concoct a false one; and inasmuch as Publius Tettius, who was at that time a police officer under Gaius Nero and a most respectable member of that profession, has told us how he learnt the same story in Lampsacum, while a man of so much distinction as Gaius Varro, who was at that time an army captain {military tribune} in Asia, tells us that he has himself heard exactly the same story from Philodamus, can you doubt that Fortune's purpose was not so much to rescue Verres from that danger as to keep him to be sentenced by yourselves ? Perhaps, however, he will argue as Hortensius did when cross-examining Tettius during the first part of the trial - and by the way, Hortensius then showed clearly enough that where there was anything he could say he could not help saying it, so that all the time when the other witnesses were being examined, and he kept silence, we could all be sure that he had nothing to say : - well, he then argued that Philodamus and his son had been tried and sentenced by Gaius Nero. [72] I will not discuss this subject at length, only observing that the principle on which Nero and his court went was this, that the killing of the lictor Cornelius being established, they were bound to hold that homicide was not justifiable for any man, even in order to avenge a wrong. It is clear to me that this decision of Nero's merely finds those two guilty of homicide, and does not acquit Verres of gross misconduct.

And yet, after all, how was this precious verdict of homicide arrived at? Let me tell you the story, gentlemen ; let your hearts at last feel some pity or our allies, and let them see that they may fairly trust your honour to grant them some measure of protection. [29.] L   Since the whole of Asia regarded the slaying of that man - nominally Verres' lictor, really the instrument of his foul passions - as a just act, Verres was much afraid that Philodamus would be acquitted by Nero's court. He begged and implored Dolabella to leave his province and pay a visit to Nero, pointing out that he was himself a lost man if Philodamus were allowed to live and later on to come to Rome. [73] Dolabella was moved by this appeal, and allowed himself to take the step, which has been widely censured, of leaving his army, his province, and the war he was conducting, and proceeding to Asia, another man's province, for the sake of a wholly worthless man. Upon reaching Nero, he pressed him strongly to try Philodamus. He had come there himself to be one of the court and give his verdict first ; he had brought along with him his own civil and military officers, all of whom Nero invited to be members of the court; Verres, most impartial of judges, was himself a member ; and there were also a number of Roman citizens to whom the Greeks owed money, for the recovery of which the favour of an unscrupulous legate is highly useful. [74] The unhappy Philodamus could find nobody to defend him: for what Roman citizen could avoid being influenced by the desire of pleasing Dolabella, and what Greek could help fearing the strong arm of Dolabella's authority ? The man selected as prosecutor was a Roman citizen, one of the Lampsacum money-lenders, who might expect the help of Dolabella's lictors in extorting his money from his debtors, provided he said what Dolabella ordered him to say. Yet though the campaign was pressed so vigorously, and forces so large employed ; though the poor victim had many prosecutors and not one defender; though Dolabella and his officials fought hard as members of the court, and Verres declared that his fate was at stake; though Verres was at once a.witness, a member of the court, and the organiser of the prosecution; in spite of all this, and in spite of the admitted fact of the homicide : nevertheless the wrong that Verres did was held to be so serious, and his own character so bad, that the verdict on Philodamus was "Further trial required."

[30.] L   [75] No need for me to tell here how, at this second hearing, Dolabella breathed fire and slaughter ; how Verres ran appealing to this person and that with tears in his eyes; how a man with so good and clean a record as Nero could in some respects prove timid and over-submissive ; though in this case he could not do other than he did, except perhaps what everyone at the time regretted his not doing, try the case without the help of Verres or Dolabella; everyone would approve a result reached without them, whatever it were, whereas the sentence actually pronounced was considered due more to Dolabella's intrigues than to Nero's judgement. Philodamus and his son by a very small majority were found guilty of murder. Dolabella pressed and clamoured and appealed for their heads to be cut off at the first possible moment, so that the fewest possible people might have the chance of hearing, from the victims' own lips, the tale of Verres' nefarious wickedness. [76] In the forum of Laodicea a cruel scene was enacted, which caused all the province of Asia profound unhappiness and distress: here the aged father led forth to execution, and there his son: the one for defending the purity of his children, the other for saving his father's life and sister's honour. Both wept, but neither for his own doom: the father for his son's fate, the son for his father's. Imagine the tears that Nero himself must have shed, the sorrow of all Asia, the grief and loud lamentations of the people of Lampsacum, for these innocent and high-born citizens of a state in friendly alliance with the Roman people, brought to the block by the rascality and lecherous passions of an unparalleled blackguard.

[77] After this, Dolabella, I can feel no pity for you ; nor, after this, for the unhappy children you have left behind you in poverty and loneliness. Was Verres so precious to you that you could desire the marks of his lust to be washed out with innocent blood? Could you desert your troops as they faced the enemy, merely to lessen, by violent and cruel means, the risks to a scoundrel like that? Did you think that your having given him the position of your acting quaestor would keep him your friend for ever? Did you not know that the consul Gnaeus Carbo, whose quaestor he really was, was not merely forsaken by him, but robbed by him of supplies and money, most vilely attacked and betrayed by him? Well, you learnt how little he could be trusted, on the day when he joined the ranks of your enemies, when - guilty himself - he gave his savage evidence against you, and determined to secure your conviction before his accounts were audited by the Treasury. **

[31.] L   [78] Now shall your licentiousness, Verres, grow and multiply till it overflows the limits and overtaxes the strength of the Roman and foreign world alike ? Must you but see an object, or hear of it, or conceive the desire or even the thought of it, and then, unless it is on the spot at a sign from you, unless it complies with your lust and cupidity, shall assaults be made and houses taken by storm, shall the towns, not merely of conquered enemies, but of our allies and friends, resort to armed violence, as their only means of averting, from themselves and their children, the wicked passions of a Roman legate? Do you deny the facts? That you were besieged at Lampsacum, that the crowd there began to set fire to the house where you were staying, that the people of Lampsacum intended to burn a Roman legate alive? No, that you cannot: for the evidence you gave before Nero, the letter you wrote to Nero, are in my possession. Kindly read the actual passage from his evidence. [79] Evidence of Gaius Verres against Artemidorus. ** "Into the house, soon afterwards... ." Was the town of Lampsacum aiming at making war upon Rome? Did it mean to revolt from its allegiance to our rule? For I observe, and gather from what I have read and heard, that a town where a Roman representative is, I do not say blockaded, I do not say physically attacked on a large scale with fire and sword, but subjected to the least infraction of his dignity, if it fails officially to make amends, usually has war declared, and made, upon it. [80] What then made the whole community of Lampsacum, when their meeting broke up, gather together, as you say yourself in your letter, to attack your house? For neither in the letter you send Nero, nor in your evidence, do you suggest any reason for such an upheaval. You say that you were besieged, that fire was applied and brushwood heaped up round the door, that your lictor was killed, and that you were prohibited from going out into the street; but the cause of this alarming occurrence you suppress. For had Rubrius committed an outrage on his own account, and not at your instigation and to gratify your passions, they would have come before you to complain of the injury done by a member of your staff, and not to attack yourself. Since, therefore, the witnesses I have brought forward have told us the cause of that upheaval, and Verres has suppressed it, is not the case as I state it confirmed both by their evidence and by his continued silence ?

[32.] L   [81] Will you then, gentlemen, have any mercy on a man like this, who has committed wrongs so horrible that his victims could not wait for the legal hour of vengeance, nor postpone the satisfaction of resentment so overpowering? You were besieged, Verres; and by whom? By the people of Lampsacum. Savages, no doubt? Men who would feel no dread of the name of Rome? Far from it: by those whose nature, habits, and training made them the gentlest of human beings ; by their status the allies, by their condition the slaves, by their disposition the humble suppliants, of the Roman nation: so that it must be obvious to everyone that, had not the wrong been so galling, the outrage so overpowering, as to make these people feel death better than continued endurance, they would never have reached the point of being more influenced by loathing for your lewdness than by fear of your power as legate. [82] By the immortal gods, gentlemen, do not force the nations, without or within our empire, to resort to such extremities, as they must do, if you will not be their champions ! Nothing would have stayed the fury of the people of Lampsacum against that man but the belief that he would be punished at Rome. Though they had suffered a wrong for which no legal process could give them adequate redress, yet even so they resolved to let our laws and judges do what they should, and not their resentment do what it would, to assuage their misery. Tell me this, Verres. Seeing that you were beset by the people of that reputable town through your own criminal and wicked act ; that you forced those unhappy and unfortunate beings, as if there were no hope for them in our laws and law-courts, to fall back upon force and armed violence ; that you have behaved, in the towns and territories of friendly states, not like a Roman governor but like a lustful and cruel despot; that by your vile and wicked conduct you have defiled the fair name of Roman government in the eyes of all foreign nations ; that you have eluded the sword Rome's friends raised to strike you, and escaped the flames Rome's allies kindled to consume you: do you think to find yourself a place of safety here? Not so. They meant this place to be a trap for you, and not a harbour of refuge, or they would never have let you get away alive.

[33.] L   [83] The verdict against Philodamus and his son implies, according to you, a verdict that the beleaguering of the house at Lampsacum was a wrong done to yourself. What if I prove, what if I establish clearly, on the evidence of a worthless person indeed, but still a useful one for my purpose - on your own evidence, I say, I will prove that you transferred to quite different persons the responsibility and blame for this beleaguering of you, and nevertheless took no steps to punish those whom you alleged to be guilty. The verdict of Nero's court does you no good now. Read the letter he wrote to Nero. Letter of Gaius Verres to Nero. " Themistagoras and Thessalus . . ." You here write that it was Themistagoras and Thessalus who instigated the populace. Instigated it to what? To beleaguer your house, and try to burn you alive. Where do we then find you proceeding against these persons, or prosecuting them, or maintaining the rights and prestige of a legate ? [84] Will you pretend that this was done at the trial of Philodamus? Let us have the evidence there given by Verres himself: let us see what this same gentleman said as a sworn witness. Read the passage. "In answer to the prosecutor he said that he was not taking proceedings in connexion with this case : that he intended to do so on some other occasion." Now then, how are you helped by the verdict of Nero's court, or by the condemnation of Philodamus? Although you, a legate, were beleaguered in your house and although, as you wrote to Nero yourself, a signal wrong was done to the Roman nation and to the interests of all legates, yet you took no proceedings. You assert that you intend to do so on some other occasion. When was this occasion ? When did you take proceedings? Why did you infringe the privileges of legates? Why did you fail to be loyal and faithful to Rome? Why did you fail to right the public wrongs that were thus bound up with your own? Was it not your duty to bring up the case before the Senate? To protest against these grave outrages? To have the persons who instigated the populace summoned for trial to Rome by consular warrant? [85] Not long ago Marcus Aurelius Scaurus asserted that, while serving as quaestor at Ephesus, he was forcibly prevented from removing from the temple of Diana his own slave who had there taken sanctuary: and on his application an Ephesian of the highest rank named Pericles was summoned for trial to Rome on the ground that he had been responsible for this act of injustice. If you had informed the Senate how you, a legate, had been treated by the people of Lampsacum - members of your staff wounded, your lictor killed, you yourself surrounded and almost burnt alive - and that the ringleaders and chief promoters had been the men you mention in your letter, Themistagoras and Thessalus: who would not have felt indignation? Who would not have reflected on the risk to himself implied in the wrong done to you ? Who would not have held that, while the matter concerned yourself directly, the interests of everyone were endangered? And indeed the very name legatus ** should inspire such respect that its bearer should be able to move unharmed not only among allies, who acknowledge our rights, but among enemies, whose swords are drawn against us.

[34.] L   [86] Grave as this Lampsacene crime of lust and evil passion must appear, you are now to listen to a charge of avaricious greed that in its own class is hardly less serious. Verres demanded from the people of Miletus a ship to accompany and protect him as far as Myndus. They promptly supplied him from their fleet with an excellent cruiser {myoparo}, fully furnished and equipped; and with this escort he set sail for Myndus. The story of the wool that he stole from the Milesians in the name of the state, of the expense, moreover, that his visit caused, and of his insolent and unjust behaviour towards the chief magistrate of the city - though this true story might be told in stern and emphatic language, I shall nevertheless forbear to tell it, keeping the whole of it for my witnesses. But I will ask you to listen to another story, which can neither by any means be suppressed nor be told as it deserves to be told. [87] Verres ordered the marines and rowers to return from Myndus to Miletus on foot ; ** he himself took that handsome cruiser, the pick of the ten Milesian ships, and sold it to two residents of Miletus, Lucius Magius and Lucius Fannius. These are men whom the Senate recently declared public enemies, and this is the vessel in which they have made voyages, carrying messages between all the enemies of this country from Dianium ** to Sinope.

O immortal gods, what incredible greed, what matchless impudence! Here was a ship belonging to the Roman navy, given you by the city of Miletus as an escort, and you dared to sell it! Even though you were indifferent to the grossness of the offence, and to the discredit that it brought you, did it not even occur to you that this immoral theft - or rather, this nefarious act of piracy - would be established by the evidence of that reputable and famous city ? [88] Or if Dolabella, in deference to you, took steps at the time to punish the cruiser's captain, who had reported the occurrence to the Milesians; or if he ordered this report, which, as required by Milesian law, had been entered in their public records, to be removed therefrom : did that make you think you had escaped this charge? [35.] L   That notion has played you very false, and done so very often too. You have always reckoned, and in Sicily more than anywhere, that you would find yourself adequately secured against attack, if you either forbade a fact to be entered in the public records, or compelled its removal if entered already. How futile this belief is you learnt, to be sure, at the first hearing, from not a few of the states of Sicily, but you may learn it a little better from this same state Miletus. They certainly obeyed the order given them so long as the man who gave it was on the spot ; but the moment he went away, they not only made the prohibited entry, but added the reason why it was not made at the time. [89] There that record of you is at Miletus : there it is, and so long as Miletus endures, there it will be. By the orders of Lucius Murena, ** the people of Miletus built ten ships as part of their imperial tribute, as the other cities of Asia likewise did, each in proportion to its means: and this is why the loss of one of their ten - not through a sudden descent of pirates but through open robbery on the part of a legate, not in a hurricane at sea but in this appalling human hurricane that shipwrecks our allies - was entered in their public records. [90] Envoys from Miletus are now in Rome, men of high rank and political importance in their own community. These await with misgiving the month of February, ** knowing as they do the names of the consuls-elect ** ; none the less, they will not be able to deny, when cross-examined, their knowledge of this monstrous action, nor even to refrain from speaking of it as soon as they are in the witness-box. They will tell us, I repeat - conscience, and respect for their own law, will make them tell us - what happened to that cruiser; they will prove that Gaius Verres acted, towards the fleet that was built to fight the pirates, like a pirate of the guiltiest description.

[36.] L   When Gaius Malleolus, Dolabella's quaestor, was killed, Verres reckoned that two inheritances had come to him; one was that of the quaestorial functions, for he was at once instructed to act as quaestor by Dolabella; the other that of a guardianship, for the young Malleolus being his ward he launched an attack upon his property. [91] Malleolus had gone off to his province so amply provided that he had left nothing at all at home behind him; he had, moreover, invested money locally, and lent sums on note of hand. He had brought with him a great mass of fine silver plate, his morbid passion for which was a bond of union between himself and Verres. At his death he left this great mass of plate, and a large household of slaves, including a number of skilled workmen and a number of handsome attendants. Verres seized all the plate that took his fancy ; took away all the slaves he wanted; shipped off what wine and other things easily procurable in Asia Malleolus had left; sold everything else, and got the money from the buyers. [92] Though it was clearly understood that he had received not less than two million five hundred thousand sesterces, he sent not a word of acknowledgement to his ward when he got back to Rome, not a word to the mother or to the other guardians. Keeping those of his ward's slaves who were skilled workmen in his house, and those who were good-looking and well-educated in attendance upon himself, he gave out that they were his own, that he had bought them. The boy's mother and grandmother asked him repeatedly to tell them at least how much money belonging to Malleolus he had brought away with him, even if he would not hand it over or furnish a statement of account; and appeals from many quarters at last made him own up to one million sesterces. After this, on the last leaf of the account-book, ** he inserted a final entry over a disgraceful erasure, showing six hundred thousand sesterces as received from his ward Malleolus and paid over to his slave Chrysogonus. ** How that one million sesterces has become six hundred thousand sesterces; how that six hundred thousand sesterces works out so exactly in the same way that it becomes the same total as the six hundred thousand sesterces balance in the Carbo account; ** how that money came to be entered as paid to Chrysogonus; and why that item is at the foot of the page and written over an erasure: all this you, gentlemen, will judge for yourselves. [93] Even so, though he had entered six hundred thousand sesterces as received from Malleolus, not fifty thousand sesterces was paid back ** ; some of the slaves were handed over, after this case against him began, but others are being withheld even now, and their private possessions and their own slaves are also all being withheld.

[37.] L   This is the edifying story of his guardianship. Here is the man to whom to entrust your children! Here is loyalty to the memory of a dead friend, and respect for the opinion of the living! With all Asia offered you to harry and plunder, Verres, and all Pamphylia at the mercy of your piratical raids, did such riches as that not satisfy you? Could you not keep your hands from outraging your guardian's duty, your ward, your friend's son ? In this matter it is not the Sicilians, not the farmers, who (as you keep asserting) are trying to circumvent you, not those whose hatred of you has been aroused by your decisions and regulations: it is young Malleolus whom I have brought into court, it is his mother and grandmother, who testify with tears in their eyes, poor creatures, that you have cheated the boy out of his patrimony. [94] What more would you have? Shall Malleolus himself rise up from the world of shades, and demand of you the performance of your duties towards him as guardian and companion and friend? Imagine him here in person. Greedy and unclean wretch, restore the property of your friend's son; if not all that you stole, at least all that you admitted to stealing. Why do you force the first words that your friend's son utters in our forum to be a cry of pain and protest? Why do you force your friend's wife, and the mother of your friend's wife, the whole household of your dead friend, to testify thus against you? See these modest and virtuous ladies, unwillingly facing the unaccustomed sight of this great gathering of men - why do you force them to do it ? - Read the evidence given by all of them. ( Evidence of the mother and the grandmother. )

[38.] L   [95] How, as proquaestor, he harried the Milyad ** community, and the injuries he inflicted throughout Lycia and Pamphylia, Pisidia and Phrygia, ** by demanding corn and making them pay money instead, on his own Sicilian system which he first invented during this period - this I need not expound in detail. But you should note this result of his practice of demanding corn, hides, Cilician rugs and sacks from the various cities, refusing to accept them, and exacting their money value instead - that under these heads alone the damages assessed against Gnaeus Dolabella amounted to three million sesterces : and though it all took place with Dolabella's approval, it was all carried out under Verres' personal direction. [96] I will pause to consider a single item ; there are plenty of others like it. Read this, please. ( The assessment of damages against the praetor Gnaeus Dolabella on account of money illegally exacted by the state. "Inasmuch as from the Milyad community .. ." ) It was you, Verres, I assert, who made these requisitions, you who fixed their value in money, you to whom the money was paid; and I am prepared to show how, amassing huge sums of money with equal violence and injustice, you swept like some destroying hurricane or pestilence through every district in the province. [97] And that, gentlemen, is why Marcus Scaurus, the prosecutor of Dolabella, kept Verres in his power and under his control. Having in the course of his inquiries discovered the man's numerous thefts and evil deeds, the young fellow took an ingenious and skilful line with him. He showed him a large book full of his exploits, ** extracted from him the information he needed against Dolabella, and called him as a witness; whereupon the rascal said what he supposed the prosecutor wished him to say. (I myself could have found any number of witnesses of this type, Verres' accomplices in robbery, if I had cared to make use of them: men who, to secure themselves against the risk of being fined or prosecuted in conjunction with him, were ready to sink to any depth I might choose to order. [98] I rejected the advances of all such persons: no room has been found in my camp for traitors, nor even for simple deserters. It may be that those who have adopted all such methods are to be accounted better prosecutors than I am. Very good. But it is the defender's part, and not the prosecutor's, which I am most ambitious to play with applause.) Well, Verres dared not submit his accounts to the Treasury till after Dolabella's condemnation. He obtained leave from the Senate for an extension of time, on the ground that his account-books had been taken into custody by Dolabella's prosecutors; as if he were not at liberty to make copies of them! He is the one man who will never submit his accounts ** to the Treasury.

[39.] L   You have heard read the accounts relating to his quaestorship, three lines long; and those relating to his service as legate, submitted only after the man who might have exposed them was condemned and banished ; and now, lastly, there are those of his praetorship, which he was bound, by decree of the Senate, to submit without delay, and to this very day has not submitted at all. [99] He told the Senate that he was waiting for his quaestor: ridiculous! a quaestor can submit accounts in his praetor's absence - as you did yourself, Hortensius, and everyone else; and of course a praetor can equally well do so in his quaestor's absence. He said that Dolabella had been granted the same concession: the House found the argument weak but the parallel suggestive, and agreed. But the quaestors too arrived long ago: why are the accounts not yet submitted ? Of the former accounts belonging to your disgusting administration as legate and quaestor, here are the items that necessarily came into the damages assessed against your friend Dolabella. ** Extract from the schedule of damages assessed against the praetor and propraetor Dolabella. [100] ( Amount entered by Verres as paid to Dolabella, less amount returned by Dolabella as received from Verres, five hundred and thirty five thousand sesterces : amount shown by Dolabella as paid to Verres, in excess of what was shown in Verres' account, two hundred and thirty two thousand sesterces : corn shown by Dolabella as received by Verres, in excess of amount actually received, one million eight hundred thousand sesterces ) ** - this because a man of your spotless honesty, Verres, entered the amount otherwise. Hence ** the abundance of those unrecorded sums of money which - though without assistance - I have to some small extent tracked down: hence the account Verres kept ** with the Postumi Curtii, Quintus and Gnaeus, containing a great many entries, not one of which appears in his books: hence the four million sesterces which I will bring evidence to prove was paid at Athens to Publius Tadius : hence the bare-faced purchase of his praetorship - or is there some doubt even about the way in which he made himself praetor? [101] As if he were a man who had toiled hard, or done good work, or had a high character for uprightness, or even, to go no higher, taken trouble about anything! This man, who before he was quaestor spent his time with courtesans and their keepers, discharged his quaestor's duties in the way you have heard related, hardly stayed three days together in Rome after that nefarious quaestorship was over, and did not rest forgotten in his absence, but had everyone perpetually talking about all his wicked actions - it is likely indeed that the moment he came to Rome he was made praetor free of charge. More money still was paid to hinder his prosecution. To whom it was paid is a question that, I take it, concerns neither me nor the matter in hand: that paid it was, nobody at the time doubted for one moment, when the business was fresh. [102] Oh you consummate fool and madman, when you were making up your books and scheming to escape being charged in connexion with those unrecorded sums of money, did you fancy that you could quite evade all suspicion simply by not recording the payment of money to those who took charge of it for you, or by showing your books with no such entries at all, when the accounts of the Curtii recorded all these sums received from you? How did it help you to make no entry of what you paid to them ? Or did you imagine that your case would be tried on the evidence of no one's accounts but your own ?

Following sections (103-158)


34.(↑)   It is doubtful who is meant.

35.(↑)   73 B.C.

36.(↑)   See § 51.

37.(↑)   i.e., (probably) 'propinein', to "take wine with" their host: a touch of special courtesy.

38.(↑)   Governor of the province of Africa a few years earlier.

39.(↑)   It is implied that Roman citizens would be less likely than socii to resort to lynch-law.

40.(↑)   So that Dolabella, being in exile, could not be present to contradict any of Verres' false returns.

41.(↑)   Probably the son of Philodamus.

42.(↑)   This rather thin sophistry depends on the accident that an envoy under a flag of truce has the same title as an assistant-governor : both are legati, "representatives."

43.(↑)   Some fifty miles, as against about thirty by sea.

44.(↑)   On the E. coast of Spain. The Sertorians there were in touch with Mithridates in Pontus.

45.(↑)   Left in charge of the legions in Asia by Sulla at the end of 83.

46.(↑)   The usual month for receiving deputations from allied and foreign states.

47.(↑)   And therefore fearing for the success of their mission, if they offended these supporters of Verres in this trial.

48.(↑)   That of the Malleolus estate.

49.(↑)   i.e., with instructions to refund it to young Malleolus. Or, perhaps, Chrysogonus was the slave of Malleolus.

50.(↑)   See § 36. Verres has a tendency to invent fictitious sums of 600,000 sesterces.

51.(↑)   Or perhaps "50,000 sesterces of this was not paid back"; but 'non soluta sunt' would be more natural Latin in that case.

52.(↑)   Milyas was in Pisidia.

53.(↑)   The province of Cilicia at this date covered a wide area. Part of Phrygia was in Asia: but Cilicia also included Lycaonia and Cyprus.

54.(↑)   He threatened to prosecute Verres, on the strength of what he knew against him, unless Verres would help him against Dolabella.

55.(↑)   i.e., never does it properly, and always tries to avoid doing it at all.

56.(↑)   i.e., the false entries that, being accepted as true, led to Dolabella's being condemned to pay the discrepancies between them and his own entries.

57.(↑)   ( Amount . . . ) : These words are perhaps a verbal quotation from the assessment.

58.(↑)   i.e., as the result of such deliberate falsifications as that just mentioned.

59.(↑)   Cicero had got hold of the books kept by the Curtii showing their account with Verres ; see § 102.

Following sections (103-158) →

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