Cicero of Arpinum: A Political and Literary Biography Being a Contribution to the History of Ancient Civilization and a Guide to the Study of Cicero's Writings

By E. G. Sihler | Go to book overview
Save to active project

CHAPTER SIX
THE FIRST PUBLIC CASE OF CICERO

80 B. C.

IN this year the dictator himself assumed the consulate, having for his colleagues one of his chief lieutenants, Metellus Pius. This year also in a way brought the first test of Sulla's constitution. The form of a republic was to be gradually restored.

A very wealthy elderly gentleman of Ameria, Sextus Roscius, had been murdered in the year 81, at night (18), near the Pallacinian baths,1 which were not far from the Flaminian Circus. The murdered man had been for a long time in a state of feud with two kinsmen (17) called Roscius like himself and domiciled at Ameria, in Southern Umbria, a few miles east of the Tiber. The crime of this assassination took place after the last hour of daylight, and at the dawn of the next morning a message with the news had been carried the fifty-six odd miles north, not to the home of the murdered man, but to one of the hostile kinsmen, Titus Roscius Capito. The facts of this crime, both those revealed and those hidden, are a curious and typical symptom of the subversal bound up with, and produced by, Sulla's autocratic power. Evidently the kindred Roscii made some pact with one of the dictator's freedmen, Cornelius Chyrsogonus, that he was to share in the estate of the murdered man, and as a requital save them from ulterior consequences (21 sq.). The date of the limitation indeed had gone by (June 1, 81), the time up to which any names should or could be proscribed: the proscribing was to be a retroactive legalization of the murder, the rich loot being divided among the two cousins and the favorite of Sulla. What a risk for the young pleader! As a matter of fact he took pains to separate the omnipotent dictator from his freedman. "All these things, gentlemen of the jury (21), I surely know are done without the knowledge of L. Sulla (22), and no wonder, since he at the same time both remedies2 what has gone by, and organizes those things which seem to be on the threshold of the

____________________
1
H. Jordan, Hermes 2, 76, sqq.
2
sanet: other readings are reparet or curet.

-46-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Cicero of Arpinum: A Political and Literary Biography Being a Contribution to the History of Ancient Civilization and a Guide to the Study of Cicero's Writings
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 487

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?