Front Page Titles (by Subject) THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO IN DEFENCE OF MARCUS ÆMILIUS SCAURUS. 1 - Orations vol. 2: Three Orations on the Agrarian Law, the four against Cataline, the Orations for Rabirius Murena, Sylla, Archias, Flaccus, Scaurus, etc
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THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO IN DEFENCE OF MARCUS ÆMILIUS SCAURUS. 1 - Marcus Tullius Cicero, Orations vol. 2: Three Orations on the Agrarian Law, the four against Cataline, the Orations for Rabirius Murena, Sylla, Archias, Flaccus, Scaurus, etc 
The Orations of Marcus Tullius Cicero, trans. C.D. Yonge (London: G. Bell and Sons, 1913-21). Vol. 2.
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THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO IN DEFENCE OF MARCUS ÆMILIUS SCAURUS.1
Marcus Scaurus was the step-son of Sylla, in the time of whose triumph he had behaved with the greatest moderation. He had been ædile, in which office he had exhibited the games with the greatest magnificence, so as greatly to embarrass his private fortunes. He then became prætor, and afterwards, having received Sardinia as his province, he lost his character for moderation, being said to have treated the natives with rapacity and excessive arrogance. After his return to Rome, he obtained some celebrity by defending some persons under prosecution; and among others, Caius Cato.
At the end of June, a.u.c. 699, he returned to Rome to stand for the consulship; on which he was accused by Publius Valerius Triarius, (a young man of a high reputation for industry and eloquence,) of acts of oppression and extortion among the Sardinians. And the trial came on before Marcus Cato, who was a great friend of Triarius, only three days after Caius Cato had been acquitted by the exertions of Scaurus. Lucius Marius and Marcus and Quintus Pacuvius seconded Triarius in the prosecution; these two last having had a commission given to them to go to Corsica and Sardinia to inquire into the state of the case there, which commission they had neglected, excusing themselves on the ground that the consular comitia were at hand, and that they were afraid that while they were away, Scaurus would buy the consulship, and so get the means of oppressing other provinces.
Scaurus relied on the support of Pompeius, with whom he was connected by marriage; and he was defended by Cicero and five other advocates, among whom was Quintus Hortensius. While the prosecution was going on, Faustus Sylla, the son of the great Sylla, and half-brother of Scaurus, who was also quæstor at the time, came out among the people severely wounded, crying out that he had been attempted to be murdered by Scaurus’ competitors, and he went about with three hundred armed guards, prepared to defend himself, if need were, by force. Scaurus also made a speech on his own behalf, and produced a great effect on the judges by the recollection of his own ædileship, and the recollection of his father’s high character. He was acquitted; but he did not succeed in obtaining the consulship.
I. 1. a. NA* * * * It was desirable above all things for Marcus Scaurus, O judges, to retain (as he has always been most especially anxious and attentive to do) the dignity of his race, and family, and name, without incurring the hatred of any one, and without either giving offence to or receiving annoyance from NA* * *
[But, since his adverse destiny has brought about this state of things, he does not think that he ought to grumble at meeting with the same fortune as his father, who was more than once compelled by his enemies to plead his cause as a defendant.]
1. b. [We know that the most eminent men of our state was accused by Marcus Brutus. Orations are extant, from which it can be seen that many things were said against Scaurus himself. Falsely. No one doubts that; but still they were said and urged against him as accusations by his enemy.]
NA* * * * * he also was tried before the people, when Cnæus Domitius, a tribune of the people, instituted the prosecution NA* * *
2. NA* * * * He was prosecuted by Quintus Servilius Cæpio, under the Servilian law, at the time when the tribunals of judges were furnished exclusively by the equestrian body; and after Publius Rutilius was condemned, no one could appear so innocent as to have no reason to fear that tribunal.
* * * * * *
3. NA* * * * again also that guardian of the republic was accused of treason by the same man, under the Varian law. And not long before he was attacked by Quintus Varius, a tribune of the people.
[And now, O judges, his enviers and enemies seek to bring disgrace on the son of this man who was in his time attacked by the false accusations of many men, by an ignominious prosecution on the ground of extortion. And I have thought it due to the memory of his most illustrious father to undertake his cause.]
4. a. NA* * * * for I not only admired that man as every one else did, but I also loved him above all things. For when I was burning with a desire for glory, he first encouraged me to hope that virtue without any assistance from fortune could, by means of labour and perseverance, arrive at the object of its desires.NA* * *
4. b. NA* * * * and since the prosecution has been loaded with a vast heap of charges, but without any great diversity or variety of kind; [if] I were to reply to these generally [rather than by arguments on each separate charge, I should appear to have fallen short of what I owe to the cause, and to my own duty. Nevertheless, O judges, we will [Editor: illegible word] unfold the whole cause to you, and consider it when we have laid it open before your eyes. And by this means you will most easily arrive at the understanding of the things about which it is necessary for us to speak, and of the arguments which you are required to follow.]
4. c. NA* * * * a man of the name of Bostar, a Norensian, fleeing from Sardinia.NA* * * [Triarius alleges as an article of accusation, that he was recalled from his flight by the insidious blandishments of Scaurus, and received at his table inhospitality and then murdered by poison by his host and NA* * * ] NA* * * that he was buried before Scaurus’s supper was taken away.NA* * *
4. d. [And how slight are the grounds for any suspicion of poison having been administered, O judges, will appear immediately, if you will only consider the many causes which frequently produce sudden death.] NA* * *
4. e. [Scaurus was a man so happily situated by fortune, that he could not only retain his own possessions with the greatest ease, but that he was more likely to be able to acquire new] ones, than to be forced to sell what he had, Come, then, while I defend Scaurus, O Triarius, do you defend the mother [of Bostar, whom I accuse of being implicated in this crime.] NA* * *
[I have also refuted that assertion of yours] that you were afraid that NA* * * * [unless, as Bostar had died intestate, he had managed the matter in such a way as if the inheritance belonged to himself, and as if this did not seem to him a sufficient reason for putting Bostar to death by poison.]
4. f. [But Scaurus] NA* * * * could not by any possibility have entered on the possession of that property.NA* * *
5. NA* * * * If, in truth, O judges, I were speaking in defence of Lucius Tubulus, who is reported to have been the most wicked and most audacious man that ever lived, still I should not be afraid that if he were accused of having given poison to any guest or companion of his while he was supping wih him, though he was not his heir, and had no quarrel with him NA* * * [any one would think that credible.]
6. [I come now to the charge of incontinence, and intemperate lust, with which the accuser has endeavoured to brand Scaurus and his character,] when Aris would not give up [the very wife, says he, whom he himself loved NA* * * * * to his inflamed lust and unbridled desire.] NA* * *
7. He was compelled to make his escape secretly out of Sardinia.NA* * *
[Forsooth, he left his wife behind him and consulted his own safety by flight, just as beavers, they say, flying from the hunters] NA* * * * ransom themselves with that part of their body on account of which they are chiefly sought for!NA* * *
8. [But even though Scaurus had at all times been the most dissolute and licentious of all men, still that is incredible, O judges, which Triarius added, that the wife of Aris was reduced to such distress by the licentiousness of the prætor as to seek a remedy for her embarrassment by hanging herself. For the very first desire which is implanted in man by nature, and one which we have in common with the very beasts, is that which prompts and induces a man to preserve his life, and which instigates him to shun death and all those things which seem likely to produce death.]
II. 1. a. NA* * * * And this, I say, O judges, is the state of the case. Nor is this a new assertion of mine; but it has been elicited by the investigations of others NA* * * * 1. b. [But still it can be proved by examples. Lucretia having been ravished by force by the king’s son, having invoked the citizens to revenge her, slew herself. And this indignation of hers was the cause of liberty to the state. And even the bravest men have not sought death of their own accord, except in the most extreme necessity, for the purpose of avoiding some disgrace. As Publius Crassus Mucianus, when waging war against Aristonicus, in Asia, being intercepted between Elæa and Smyrna, by the Thracians, of whom Aristonicus had a great number in his different garrisons, and fearing to fall into his power, escaped disgrace by provoking death intentionally. For he is said to have run the stick which he had been using to manage his horse, into the eye of one of the barbarians, who, being infuriated by the pain, stabbed Crassus with his dagger, and so, while avenging himself, delivered the Roman general from the disgrace of captivity. And by this means Crassus showed to Fortune how little the man whom she was loading with such bitter insult deserved it; since with equal prudence and courage he burst the chains which she was throwing over his liberty, and restored himself to his own dignity, though she had almost given him to Aristonicus.] NA* * * * This, indeed, we know from hearsay; but this we ourselves can recollect, and have almost seen, namely, how Publius Crassus, of the same family and name, slew himself that he might not fall into the hands of the enemy.NA* * *
But Marcus Aquillius, who had behaved like a thoroughly brave man in war, and who had attained the same honours as the elder Crassus, could not imitate his action NA* * * * [but] he disgraced [the recollection of his you]th and of his early exploits by the infamy of his old age. What need I say besides? Could either those most illustrious men the Julii, or could Marcus Antonius, a man of the very highest ability, imitate the conduct of the other Crassus in those times? Need I cite any more instances? Who is there found among all the records of Greece, (which are richer in fine stories than in great actions,) if you only forget Ajax and the plays of the tragedians, who of his own accord, as the poet says, being
except Themistocles the Athenian, who did put himself to death? But these Greeks invent heaps of stories; and among them they make out that Cleombrotus, of Ambracia, threw himself down from a high wall, not because he had suffered any misfortune, but (as I see it written among the Greeks) after having read a very eloquently and elegantly written book, of that greatest of philosophers, Plato, about death; the one, I suppose, in which Socrates, on that very day on which he was to die, argues at great length that this is death which we fancy to be life, when the soul is held in, shut up in the body as in a prison; and that that is life when the same soul, having been released from the bonds of the body, flies back to that place from which it originated. Had that Sardinian woman of yours, then, known anything about, or had she read Pythagoras or Plato? Though even these men praise death with such limitations that they forbid our flying from life, and say that such conduct is contrary to the conditions and laws of nature. And in truth you will not be able to find any other reason which can justify a voluntary death. And this, too, the prosecutor saw; for he let out an insinuation somewhere, that that woman preferred being deprived of life to being robbed of her chastity. But immediately he went off from that point, and said no more about chastity, being afraid, I suppose, lest he should be giving us some opportunity for joking and laughing. For it is quite notorious that she was abominably ugly and excessively old. And so, however lustful that Sardinian may have been, what suspicions of licentiousness or love can there be on the part of my client?
And that you may not suppose, O Triarius, that I am inventing the allegations which I am now making, and that I have not derived my information on the subject from the instructions of the defendant, I will tell you what were the opinions in Sardinia about that woman’s death, (for there were two opinions,) so that you may the more easily
* * * * * *
[and that these men may see the innocence of Scaurus, and the audacity of your witnesses, and the scandalous nature of the actions which were then done. Aris, the husband of that Sardinian woman NA* * * * * * ] had for a long time loved [the mother of Bostar NA* * * ] NA* * * a licentious and wicked woman, and had lived in shameless and notorious adultery with her. He was afraid of his wife, who was an old woman, rich and ill-tempered; still, though he did not like to keep her as his wife, because of her ugliness, he did not like to divorce her, because of her riches. And so, by previous agreement, he concerted a plan with the mother of Bostar, that they should both of them come to Rome; and he promised that when there he would find out some contrivance for making her his wife.
There were, as I have said, two opinions,—one, not inconsistent with the circumstances or with the nature of the case, that the wife of Aris was very indignant at his adultery when she heard that he had fled to Rome with that love of his, pretending to have fled for fear of her, or in order, as there had been a criminal connexion between them before, to be now formally joined in wedlock; and that she was so excited with feminine indignation, that she preferred dying to bearing it. The other was no less probable, and, as I believe, was even more generally believed in Sardinia, namely, that Aris, that witness and host of yours, O Triarius, when departing for Rome, had entrusted the commission to his freedman, not indeed to offer open violence to that old woman, for that would not have been right to his mistress, but to press her throat with his two fingers, and then to fasten a little cord round it, so that she might be supposed to have died by hanging. And this suspicion prevailed all the more, because, when the Norensians were celebrating their festivals in honour of the dead, and NA* * * * * * had all, according to the custom of their tribe, left the city, then she was said by the freedman to have hanged herself; and it was clearly desirable for a man who strangled his mistress to seek for the solitary time when the people left the city; but his mistress, who wished to die, had no such necessity for doing so. And the suspicion was confirmed, because, immediately after the old woman was dead, the freedman started for Rome, as if he had executed his commission; and Aris, as soon as his freedman brought him news of the death of his wife, instantly, at Rome, married that mother of Bostar.
See now, O judges, to what a foul and polluted and infamous NA* * * family you are called on, O judges, to surrender this family of Scaurus. Just consider who the witnesses are by whom you are required to be influenced in your decision about a great man, about a noble family, about an illustrious name! Do you think that it becomes you to forget the crimes of the mothers against their children, and of the husbands against their wives? You see, you behold infamous lust mingled with cruelty. You have before you the authors of two most enormous crimes, by which our cause is endeavoured to be tainted by men who are either ignorant of the truth, or else who are prompted only by envy. You have before you men disgraced by every sort of guilt and atrocity.
Is there, then, the slightest suspicion attaching to us after all these charges of the prosecutor? Have they not been wholly cleared up? Have they not been refuted? Have they not been scattered to the winds? And how has that been done? Because you gave me, O Triarius, a charge which I could efface, which I could argue about, which I could dilate upon; because it was a charge of that sort which did not entirely depend on the witness, but which the judge could by himself form his own opinion on. Nor, O judges, ought we to do anything else in the case of an unknown witness, except by argument, and conjecture, and by suspicion, inquire, as well as we can, into the state and nature of the circumstances to which he deposes. In truth, not only an African witness, (or indeed a Sardinian one, if that is what they prefer being called,) but even more civilized and scrupulous men than they, are liable to be prompted, or deterred, or guided, or diverted from their purpose; and such a man is the master of his own inclination, and may, if he pleases, lie with impunity. But the argument which is suited to the case, (and nothing else can properly be called argument,) is the voice of circumstances, the traces of nature, the mark of truth; and of whatever sort it be, it must remain immutable, for it is not invented by the orator, but assumed. Wherefore, if I were worsted by that sort of accusation, I should yield and submit; I should be defeated in every respect,—I should be defeated in the cause, I should be defeated by truth. Are you going to bring up against me troops and armies of Sardinians? and are you going to endeavour to frighten me, not by accusations, but by the roaring of Africans? I shall not, indeed, be able to argue, but I shall be able [to flee for refuge to] the good faith and clemency of these [judges, to their regard for their oaths, to the equi]ty of the Roman people, which has considered the family of Scaurus as one of the chief families in the city; and I shall be able to implore the divine protection of the immortal gods, who have always been favourers of his race and name.
“He demanded money, he exacted it, he seized it by violence, he extorted it.” If the accuser proves all that by the accounts, since the way in which the accounts are made up show the regular series and order in which he transacted his affairs, I will attend carefully, and I will consider how I am to proceed in conducting the defence. If you rely on witnesses, (I will not insist upon their being good and respectable men, as long as they are men of whom it is known who they are,) then I will consider how I am to struggle with each of them separately. If there is but one complexion, one voice, and one notion among all the witnesses; if, as they say, they not only do not attempt to corroborate their statements by any arguments, but if they do not even produce any description of documents either public or private, (which, however, can easily be forged,) then, O judges, which way am I to turn, or what am I to do? Am I to argue with every one of them?NA* * * Had you nothing to give? He will say he had. Who is to know that? Who is to judge that there was no reason NA* * * ? He will make out that there was. How can we refute him, and show that it was in his power not to give if he did not choose? He will say that it was extorted by force. What eloquence is able by force of argument to confute the impudence of a man whom one does not know? I will not, therefore, plead against that conspiracy of Sardinians, and with perjury ingeniously contrived, and procured, and suborned; nor will I even examine at all into some of the elaborately wrought out arguments; but with all my power I will meet and struggle against their direct attack. I do not want to drag forward each individual out of their line of battle, nor to fight and do battle with each separate champion. I must rout their whole array at one shock, and I will.
For there is one especial most important charge concerning corn, and applying to the whole of Sardinia, about which Triarius questioned all the Sardinians; and that was corroborated by the agreement and unanimity of evidence of all the witnesses. And before I touch upon that charge, I beg of you, O judges, to allow me to lay down a few principles to serve, as it were, for the foundations of our whole defence. And if they are once laid down, and established according to my intentions and expectations, I shall then fear no part of the prosecution. For I will speak first of the sort of accusation; after that I will speak of the Sardinians; then I will say a little about Scaurus himself; and when I have said enough on these subjects, then at last I will come to this horrible and formidable charge about the corn.
What sort of accusation, then, is this, O Triarius? First of all, that you did not go to examine into it. What was the meaning of the fierce and positive confidence that you had as to trusting this man? It seems to me that when we were children we heard that Lucius Ælius, a freedman, a well-educated and witty man, when he was avenging injuries sustained by his patron, instituted a prosecution against Quintus Multo, a very mean man. And when he was asked what province he required to conduct his investigation in, or how many days he would want to collect his witnesses in, he asked till eight o’clock, during which time he might prosecute his investigation in the cattle-market. Did you think that you were to act in the same way in the case of Marcus Æmilius Scaurus? “Yes,” says he, “for the whole cause was fully reported to me at Rome.” Well? Did not the Sicilians lay before me every particular of the cause of Sicily while we were both at Rome? And they were men prudent by nature, cunning by experience, and learned by education. And still I thought it necessary to go into the province itself, for the purpose of coming to a right understanding and thorough knowledge of the cause of the province. Was I not bound to examine into the complaints and injuries of the cultivators of the soil, in the very lands and fields themselves? I travelled, I say, O Triarius, in a most bitter winter over the valleys and hills of the Agrigentines. That noble and most fertile plain of the Leontini itself, I may almost say, instructed me in the cause. I visited the cottages of the farmers; men talked with me at the plough; and therefore that cause was so thoroughly sifted and laid open by me, that the judges seemed not so much to hear the facts which I related, as to see them and lay hold of them. For it seemed neither reasonable nor honest for me, when I had undertaken the cause of a most faithful and ancient province, to learn the particulars of it, as I might have done in the case of an individual client, in my chamber.
When lately the people of Reate, who were devoted to my interest, wished me to plead the public cause of their state, concerning the streams of the Velinus and the subterranean canals, before the present consuls, I do not think that I should either satisfy the claims of the dignity of a most eminent prefecture, or do all that was required by good faith on my part, if I did not get instruction as to the cause not only from the people themselves, but from the place also and from the lake itself. Nor would you have acted in any different manner, O Triarius, if those Sardinians of yours had wished you to do so, I mean those who in reality were above all things unwilling that you should enter Sardinia, lest you should find that everything was in a totally different condition from that in which it had been represented to you; that there were no complaints on the part of the people in Sardinia, nor any hatred of the populace towards Scaurus. [And consider, O Triarius, how vast a difference there is between your accusation and mine; I never delayed one moment, until, just as Jupiter (if we believe the fables of the poets) covered over Euceladus when he was stricken down and half burnt, by putting the whole island on him, or as some say Typhon, by whose panting they say that Ætna is kept constantly on fire,—until, I say, I had in the same manner overwhelmed Verres by producing all Sicily as a witness against him.] You adjourned the case against the defendant after one witness had been produced. And what a witness! O ye immortal gods! It was not enough that he was only one; it was not enough that he was a man utterly unknown; it was not enough that he was a man on whom no one could rely. Did you not ruin also your former trial by producing Valerius as a witness, who, having had the rights of a citizen conferred on him by the favour of your father, requited his kindness not by honourable services, but by open perjury? But if you were haply swayed by the omen of your name, still we, according to the precedent of our ancestors, because we think that a fortunate omen, interpret it not to the injury of others, but to their safety. But all that rapidity and haste, the fact of your having put an end to the investigation and to the whole of the previous trial, has made that plain and notorious—which, however, was never a secret—that this trial was contrived, not for the sake of justice, but because of the consular comitia.
And while speaking on this point, I will on no occasion find fault with Appius Claudius, a most gallant consul and a most accomplished man, and who, as I hope, is connected with me by a trustworthy and lasting reconciliation. For this part belonged either to that man whom his own indignation and suspicion compelled to act in that manner, or to him who requested that part for himself, because either he did not perceive whom he was attacking, or because he thought that the path to a reconciliation would be easy. I will only say this, which may be sufficient for my cause, and which cannot appear otherwise than far removed from harshness or severity towards him. For what disgrace is there in the fact of Appius Claudius being an enemy to Marcus Scaurus? What, I say? Was not his grandfather an enemy to Publius Africanus? What, I say? Is not that very man himself an enemy to me? Or am not I to him? And those enmities have perhaps at times caused vexation to each of us, but certainly have never brought disgrace upon either of us. The one who was quitting office envied his successor, and wished him to meet with as many disasters as possible, in order that his own memory might be the more conspicuous. A state of things not only not foreign to our habits, but one that has become very usual, and exceedingly frequent. Nor indeed would such an every-day occurrence have of itself had any influence at all upon Appius Claudius, a man endowed with the greatest humanity and wisdom, if he had not thought that Scaurus was going to be a competitor of Caius Claudius his brother.
Who, whether he was a patrician, or a plebeian, (for he had not yet settled that for a certainty,) thought that the contest would lie chiefly with him: and Appius thought it would be so much the more severe a contest, because he recollected that, when standing for the pontificate, for the priesthood of Mars, and for other offices, he had stood as a patrician. Wherefore, while he was consul he did not wish his brother to meet with a repulse, and yet, if he stood as a patrician, he saw that he would certainly not be equal to Scaurus, unless he could get rid of him either by some terror, or by some disgrace.
Should not I think that a brother may be excused for such an idea, when the most distinguished honours of his brother are at stake, especially when I am aware, almost beyond all other men, how great is the influence of brotherly love? Oh, but his brother is now not a candidate. What then? If he, having been detained by all Asia, which came to him as his suppliant,—if he, yielding to the entreaties of the men of business, and of the farmers of the revenues, and of all men both allies and citizens, preferred the advantage and safety of the province to the acquisition of honour for himself; is that a reason for your thinking that a disposition once thoroughly diseased can be so easily cured?
Although, in all those affairs, especially among barbarian nations, opinion is often of more influence than the facts themselves. The Sardinians were persuaded that they could do nothing which would be more acceptable to Appius than if they disparaged the reputation of Scaurus. They are swayed besides by the hope of many advantages and many rewards; they think that a consul can do everything, especially when he makes promises of his own accord. About which I will not at present say any more; although what I have said I have said in no other manner than I should have said them if I had been his brother; not such an one as he is who is his brother, and who has said a great deal, but such an one as I am accustomed to be towards my own brother. You ought, therefore, O judges, to resist every part of an accusation of this sort, in which nothing is done according to precedent, nothing with moderation, nothing with consideration, nothing with integrity; but, on the contrary, you see that everything has been undertaken wickedly, turbulently, precipitately, rapidly,—everything by means of a conspiracy, and of absolute power, and of illegal influence, and of hopes and of threats.
I come now to the witnesses; and I will not only show that there is no confidence to be placed in, no authority to be attributed to them, but I will prove that there is not even any appearance of or resemblance to evidence in them. In truth, in the first place, the minute agreement between them all destroys their credibility, which was proved by the reading of the undertaking entered into by the Sardinians, and by the conspiracy which they formed. Secondly, their covetousness, which was excited by the hope and promise of rewards, does so too. Lastly, their national origin does so, for the worthlessness of their nation is such that they think that liberty is only to be distinguished from slavery by the boundless licence for telling lies which it gives. Nor do [I say] that these judges ought never to be influenced by the complaints of the Sardinians. I am not so inhuman, nor so hostile to the Sardinians, especially when my brother has only lately left their island, having been sent thither by Cnæus Pompeius to superintend the corn-markets and supplies of the island; in which office he, as became his integrity and humanity, consulted their interests himself, and was in turn very popular and very much beloved among them. Let then this refuge be open to indignation, let it be open to just complaints, but let the path be closed against conspiracy, let it be closed against treachery: and this not more among the Sardinians than among the Gauls, among the Africans, and among the Spaniards. Titus Albucius was condemned; Caius Meguboccus was condemned on account of complaints proceeding from Sardinia, though some of the Sardinians even praised him. And in that case the very variety of their sentiments gained them the more credit. For those men were convicted by fair witnesses, and by documents which no one had tampered with. Now there is but one language and one feeling; one not extorted by indignation, but feigned; not excited by the injuries inflicted by this man, but by the promises and bribes of others. But the Sardinians have not been always disbelieved. And perhaps they will again be believed sometime or other, if they come like honest men, and without having been bribed, and of their own accord, and not because of the instigation of any one else, and under no obligation to any one, and free. And when all these circumstances are united, still they may exult and marvel if they are believed. But when these circumstances are all wanting, will they still persist in forgetting who they are? will they not take care to shun the reputation of their race?
All the monuments of the ancients and all histories have handed down to us the tradition that the nation of the Phœnicians is the most treacherous of all nations. The Pœni, who are descended from them, have proved by many rebellious of the Carthaginians, and very many broken and violated treaties, that they have in no respect degenerated from them. The Sardinians, who are sprung from the Pœni, with an admixture of African blood, were not led into Sardinia as colonists and established there, but are rather a tribe who were draughted off, and put there to get rid of them.
Wherefore, as there was never anything honest in the nation when united, how must we suppose that its roguery has been sharpened by so many mixtures of different races? And here Cnæus Domitius Sincerus, a most accomplished man, my ancient and intimate friend, will pardon me NA* * * * all who had the freedom of the city conferred on them by the same Cnæus Pompeius; all of whom we now cite as favourable witnesses; and other virtuous men from Sardinia will pardon me; for I believe there are some such men there. Nor indeed, when I speak of the vices of the nation, do I except no one. But I am forced to speak generally of the entire race; in which, perhaps, some individuals by their own civilized habits and natural humanity have got the better of the vices of their family and nation. That the greater part of the nation is destitute of faith, destitute of any community and connexion with our name, the facts themselves plainly show. For what province is there besides Sardinia which has not one city in it on friendly terms with the Roman people, not one free city?
Africa itself is the parent of Sardinia, which has waged many most bitter wars against our ancestors, and not only in its kingdoms, which were loyal to their native monarchs, but even in our very province it kept itself from all alliance with us at the time of the Punic wars, as the case of Utica proves. The further Spain, ennobled by the de[ath of the Scipios, and by the funeral pile of the Saguntine loyalty, has the city of Gades joined to us by reciprocal good offices, by common dangers, and by treaty. I ask now whether any city of Sardinia can be mentioned which is joined to us by treaty? Not one. With what face, then, can a Sardinian witness dare to come before the Roman people] NA* * * powerless in resources, treacherous by descent?NA* * * * [Have you, too, come hither to repulse Marcus Scaurus from the consulship, and are you attempting to deprive him of the kindness of the Roman people? By what authority are you acting in this manner?]
[The prosecutor has said that you are afraid lest Scaurus might purchase the consulship with that money which he has taken from the allies; and, as his father did before him, enter on his province before any decision could be come to respecting him, and again plunder other provinces before he gave any account of his former administration; and Triarius alleged this as the very reason why he had undertaken the conduct of this prosecution in so hasty and so disorderly a manner. What extraordinary thing is this? What prodigy is this?] NA* * * * Did the sheepskins of the Sardinians move that man whom the royal purple could not influence?NA* * * *
[For there is no one so completely a stranger in this city, no one whose ears are so much on their travels, and so wholly ignorant of the ordinary conversation in the republic, as not to know that Marcus Scaurus, when his step-father Sylla was victorious, and liberal enough to his comrades in victory, was so moderate that he would not allow any presents to be made to him, nor did he purchase anything at any auction. This seems a strange thing to others; but it was impossible for him to act otherwise. For he recollected that he was the son of that man, who by the resolution of the senate, of which he was the chief, and almost by his own nod, had governed, I may almost say, the entire world. Wherefore, O you venal Sardinians, I command you NA* * * ] NA* * * * when you hear this name, which is well known among all the nations upon earth, to entertain also, with respect to that noble family, the same sentiments which all the rest of the earth entertains.
[At present, Marcus Scaurus, in mourning attire, worn out with tears and misery, is your suppliant, O judges, implores the aid of your good faith, entreats your pity and clemency and fixes his eyes and hopes on your power and your protection. Do not, I entreat you, by the immortal gods, O judges, permit your fellow-citizen and suppliant to be deprived by unknown witnesses and barbarians, not only of the consulship by which he trusted to receive an accession of honour, but also of the other distinctions which he had acquired before, and of all his dignity and fortune. Scaurus, O judges, also begs and entreats you to save him from this, if he has never injured any one unjustly, nor offended any one’s ears or inclination, if (to use the mildest expression) he has never given any one any reason to hate him. Once only has his filial affection imposed on him the duty of so doing] NA* * * *
NA* * * * * for as, out of many men who had done so, Dolabella was the only one of his father’s enemies who remained, who had joined Quintus Cæpio, his relation, in signing articles of accusation against Scaurus his father; he thought it behoved him for the sake of [his filial affection to continue that enmity which he had not originated himself, but had bequeathed to him as an inheritance; emulating Marcus and Lucius Lucullus, who being men of like industry and like piety with himself, when very young men, had adopted and followed out the quarrels of their fathers to their own great glory.]
[But how great has been the injustice of Triarius accusing Scaurus of having so magnificent a house! Oh for that ancient and severe censor, according to whom even a man who had attained the highest honours of the state, and who was one of the chief men in it, was not allowed to have a convenient or splendid house] NA* * * * especially when its nearness to the street, and the populous character of its situation, must remove from him all suspicion of laziness or ambition.
* * * * * *
[But in what an arrogant way, O Triarius, did your oration go on, when you said that such enormous masses of Lucullus’s marbles and pillars, which we now see placed in Scaurus’s hall, were carried through the city, past the plaster ornaments on the tops of the temples of the gods, to a private house,—that the contractor for keeping the drains in repair had a claim for the damage done by dragging them up the Palatine Hill in wagons. I suppose those pillars which are thus held up to odium were carried there solely for the purpose of gratifying the pride of individuals, which the Roman people detests, and not for the sake of being a public ornament to the city, which it approves of. Are you the only man in Rome ignorant that Scaurus used those pillars when he was ædile for the ornamenting of the theatre, in order that, by the magnificence of his exhibition, and by his great liberality devoted in that manner to the honour of the immortal gods, he might increase the religious reverence with which the games were observed by the splendour of his preparation?] NA* * *
NA* * * Moreover, I, who have pillars of Alban marble, brought them up in panniers!NA* * *
[What? what vast and what prodigal expense did you yourself, O Triarius, incur in procuring pillars!]
NA* * * For this I do marvel at, and of this I do complain,—that any man should be so anxious to do injury to another by his words, as to bore holes in the ship in which he himself is sailing.NA* * *
NA* * * Were you in want of a house? You had one. Had you too much money? You were in want of money. But you went mad after pillars. You were frantic to get hold of what belonged to other people. You valued a pulled down, windowless, destroyed house, at a greater price than yourself and all your fortunes.NA* * *
[What then? Suppose Scaurus had appealed to you as an arbitrator, to decide “whether you had not gone to much greater expense,—whether you had not committed much greater extravagance, in proportion to your income, for pillars than he had,” would it have been necessary to go through the formalities of a trial to decide whether he had been guilty of prodigality, who, being possessed of a most ample estate, and of great family wealth and reputation, had set off his dignity with a fine house, or he who, when he was over head and ears in debt before, had sought to obtain dignity by building a house?] NA* * *
As it would not be possible for you to escape this argument, will you still argue and demand that Marcus Æmilius, with all his own dignity,—with the splendid memory of his father,—with the renown of his grandfather, be sacrificed to a most sordid, fickle and insignificant nation, and to a lot of (I had almost said) barbarian witnesses?NA* * *
NA* * * Wherever I turn, not only my thoughts, but even my eyes, every place supplies me with arguments to advance in favour of Marcus Scaurus. That senate-house bears witness to you of the fearless and dignified way in which his father held the post of the chief man of the city. Lucius Metellus himself, his grandfather, appears, O judges, to have placed those most holy gods in that temple in your sight, that they might gain from you the safety of his grandson by their entreaties, as they have, before now, often aided by their divine assistance many other men in distress who implored their help. That Capitol, adorned with three temples,—the approaches to the temples of the all-good and all-powerful Jupiter, and of Juno the queen, and of Minerva, adorned by most magnificent presents of this man’s father and of himself, defend Marcus Scaurus [before you now by the recollection of this munificence and liberality to the public, from every suspicion of avarice or covetousness. That temple of Vesta, which is close at hand, warns you to keep it in your minds.] That great Lucius Metellus, the Pontifex Maximus, who, when that temple was on fire, threw himself into the middle of the flames, and saved from the fire that image of Minerva, which, as if it were a pledge of our safety and of the empire, is guarded by the protection of Vesta;—would that that great man could be among us, though but for a short time; he, forsooth, would save from the flames this man, his descendant, as he before saved from that other conflagration that hea[venly pledge of our safety. I am moved by the thought that the gods should be so little propitious to a priest, that, even though they were saved by him, they do not preserve his race which was recommended by him to their protec]tion. But as for you, O Marcus Scaurus, I see you, I do not merely think of you; nor, indeed, is it without great distress and grief of mind that I do call you to mind when I behold the mournful appearance of your son.
And I wish that, as during the whole of this cause you have been constantly present before my eyes, you would, in like manner, now present yourself to the minds of these our judges, and plant yourself deeply in all their thoughts. If your appearance, I call [the gods to witness, could come to life again, (for we have never seen any one equal to you in wisdom, and dignity, and firmness, and all other virtues,) it would have such weight with every one, that whoever beheld it,] even if by chance he did not recognise it, would still pronounce it to be one of the chief men in the state.
How, then, can I now address you? As a man? But you are no longer among us. As a deceased person? But you live and flourish; but you are present to the minds of all this court,—you are visible to their eyes; your godlike soul had nothing mortal about it, nor was anything belonging to you which could die, except your body. Whatever way, therefore, [it is proper for you to be addressed, be present to us, I entreat you, and terrify, by your mere countenance,—by the bare sight of yourself, the emptiness and impudence of those most worthless and mendacious witnesses. Be present to us, and bring to your fellow-citizens the light of your counsel, to the authority of which they never repented deferring, and so prevent them from dishonouring your race with ignominy and disaster, and from crushing by their sentence your own son, who is no degenerate heir of his father’s name.]
end of vol. ii.
LONDON: PRINTED BY WILLIAM CLOWES AND SONS, LIMITED, DUKE STREET, STAMFORD STREET, S.E., AND GREAT WINDMILL STREET, W.
[1 ]This oration is in a very corrupt and fragmentary state. It is here translated as corrected and filled up by Beier in the edition of Orellius. Beier’s “supplements,” as Orellius calls them, are inserted between brackets [ ]