Front Page Titles (by Subject) XXXIX: Trajan to Pliny - Letters of Marcus Tullius Cicero
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XXXIX: Trajan to Pliny - Marcus Tullius Cicero, Letters of Marcus Tullius Cicero 
Letters of Marcus Tullius Cicero: with his Treatises on Friendship and Old Age, trans. E.S. Shuckburgh. And Letters of Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus, trans. William Melmoth, revised by F.C.T. Bosanquet (New York: P.F. Collier, 1909).
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Trajan to Pliny
Sempronius Caelinus has acted agreeably to my orders, in sending such persons to be tried before you as appear to deserve capital punishment. It is material however, in the case in question, to inquire whether these slaves inlisted themselves voluntarily, or were chosen by the officers, or presented as substitutes for others. If they were chosen, the officer is guilty; if they are substitutes, the blame rests with those who deputed them; but if, conscious of the legal inabilities of their station, they presented themselves voluntarily, the punishment must fall upon their own heads. That they are not yet entered into any legion, makes no great difference in their case; for they ought to have given a true account of themselves immediately, upon their being approved as fit for the service.