The Orations of Marcus Tullius Cicero, Volume 4
by Cicero
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Since, then, all deliberation turns on these two points, let us first speak of utility, which is conversant about the distinction between advantages and disadvantages. But of advantages, some are necessarily such; as life, chastity, liberty, or as children, wives, relations, parents; and some are not necessarily such; and of these last, some are to be sought for their own sakes, as those which are classed among the duties or virtues, and others are to be desired because they produce some advantage, as riches and influence. But of those advantages which are sought for their own sake, some are sought for their honourableness, some for their convenience, which is inherent in them: those are sought for their honourableness which proceed from those virtues which have been mentioned a little while ago, which are intrinsically praiseworthy on their own account; but those are sought on account of some inherent advantage which are desirable as to goods of fortune or of the body: some of which are to a certain extent combined with honourableness, as honour, and glory; some have no connexion with that, as strength, beauty, health, nobleness, riches, troops of dependents. There is also a certain sort of matter, as it were, which is subordinate to what is honourable, which is most particularly visible in friendship. But friendships are seen in affection and in love. For regard for the gods, and for our parents, and for our country, and for those men who are eminent for wisdom or power, is usually referred to affection; but wives, and children, and brothers, and others whom habit and intimacy has united with us, although they are bound to us by affection, yet the principal tie is love. As, then, you know now what is good in these things, it is easily to be understood what are the contrary qualities.

XXV. But if we were able always to preserve what is best, we should not have much need of deliberation, since that is usually very evident. But because it often happens on account of some peculiarity in the times, which has great weight, that expediency is at variance with what is honourable, and since the comparison of the two principles gives rise to deliberation, lest we should either pass over what is seasonable, on account of some considerations of dignity, or what is honourable on account of some idea of expediency, we may give examples to guide us in explaining this difficulty. And since an oration must be adapted not only to truth, but also to the opinions of the hearers, let us first consider this, that there are two kinds of men: one of them unlettered and rustic, always preferring what is expedient to what is honourable; the other, accomplished and polite, preferring dignity to everything. Therefore, the one class sets its heart upon, praise, honour, glory, good faith, justice, and every virtue; but the other regards only gain, emolument, and profit. And even pleasure, which is above all things hostile to virtue, and which adulterates the nature of what is good by a treacherous imitation of it, which all men of grosser ideas eagerly follow, and which prefers that spurious copy, not only to what is honourable, but even to what is necessary, must often be praised in a speech aiming at persuasion, when you are giving counsel to men of that sort.

XXVI. This also must be considered, how much greater eagerness men display in fleeing from what is disadvantageous, than in seeking what is advantageous; for they are in the same manner not so zealous in seeking what is honourable, as in avoiding what is base. For who ever seeks for honour, or glory, or praise, or any kind of credit as earnestly as he flees from ignominy, infamy, contumely, and disgrace? For these things are attended with great pain. There is a class of men born for honour, not corrupted by evil training and perverted opinions—on which account, when exhorting or persuading, we must keep in view the object of teaching them by what means we may be able to arrive at what is good, and to avoid what is evil. But before men who have been properly brought up we shall dwell chiefly on praise and honourableness, and speak chiefly of those kinds of virtues which are concerned in maintaining and increasing the general advantage of men. But if we are speaking before uneducated and ignorant men, then we shall set before them profits, emoluments, pleasures, and the means of escaping pain; we shall also introduce the mention of insult and ignominy; for no one is such a clown, as not (even though honour itself may have no influence on him) to be greatly moved by insult and disgrace.

Wherefore we must find out from what has been already said, what has reference to utility; but as to what is possible to be done or not, with reference to which people usually inquire also how easily a thing can be done, and how far it is desirable that it should be done, we must consider chiefly with reference to those causes which produce each separate result. For there are some causes which of themselves produce results, and some which only contribute to the production of a result. Therefore, the first are called efficient causes; and the last are classed as such, that without them a thing cannot be brought about. Again, of efficient causes, some are complete and perfect in themselves; some are accessory to, and, as it were, partners in the production of the result in question. And of this kind the effect is very much diversified, being sometimes greater or less; so that which is the most efficacious is often called the only cause, though it is in reality but the main one. There are also other causes which, either on account of their origin or on account of their result, are called efficient causes. But when the question is, what is best to be done, then it is either utility or the hope of doing it which urges men's minds to agree with the speaker. And since we have now said enough about utility, let us speak of the means of effecting it.

XXVII. And on this point of the subject we must consider with whom, and against whom, and at what time, and in what place we are to do such and such a thing, also what means of arms, money, allies, or those other things which relate to the doing of any particular thing we have it in our power to employ. Nor must we consider only those means which we have, but those circumstances also which are unfavourable to us. And if in the comparison the advantages preponderate, then we must persuade our hearers, not only that what we are advising can be effected, but we must also take care that it shall appear easy, manageable, and agreeable. But if we are dissuading from any particular course, then we must either disparage the utility of it, or we must make the most of the difficulties of doing it, not having recourse to other rules, but to the same topics as are used when trying to persuade our hearers to anything. And whether persuading or dissuading, the speaker must have a store of precedents, either modern, which will be the best known, or ancient, which will perhaps have the most weight. And in this kind of discourse he must consider how he may be able often to make what is useful or necessary appear superior to what is honourable, or vice versa. But sentiments of this kind will have great weight in influencing men's minds, (if it is desirable to make an impression on them,) which relate either to the gratification of people's desires, or to the glutting of hatred, or to the avenging of injury. But if the object is to repress the feelings of the hearers, then they must be reminded of the uncertainty of fortune, of the doubtfulness of future events, and of the risk there may be of retaining their existing fortune, if it is good; and on the other hand, of the danger of its lasting if it is bad. And these are topics for a peroration. But in expressing one's opinions, the opening ought to be short, for the orator does not come forth as a suppliant, as if he were speaking before a judge, but as an exhorter and adviser. Wherefore, he ought to settle beforehand with what intention he is going to speak, what his object is, what the subject of his discourse is to be, and he ought to exhort his hearers to listen to him while he detains them but a short time. And the whole of his oration ought to be simple, and dignified, and embellished rather by its sentiments than by its expressions.

XXVIII. C.F. I understand the topics of panegyric and persuasion. Now I am waiting to hear what is suited to judicial oratory, and I think that that is the only subject remaining.

C.P. You are quite right. And of that kind of oratory the object is equity, which is regarded, not in a single point of view only, but very often by a sort of comparison: as when there is a dispute as to who is the most appropriate prosecutor; or when the possession of an inheritance is sought for without any express law, or without any will. In which causes the question is, which alternative is the more equitable or which is most equitable. And for these causes a supply of arguments is sought for out of those topics of equity which will be mentioned presently. And even before the decision is given, there is often a dispute about the constitution of the bench of judges, when the question is either whether the person who brings the action has a right of action, or whether he has it at the present time, or whether he has ceased to have it, or whether the action ought to be brought under the provisions of this law, or according to that formula. And if these points are not discussed, or settled, or decided, before the case is brought into court, still they often have very great weight even at the trial itself, when the case is stated in this way:—"You demanded too much; you demanded it too late; it was not your business to make such a demand at all; you ought not to have demanded it of me; or you ought not to have done so under this law, or in accordance with this formula, or in this court." And this class of cases belongs to civil law, which depends on laws respecting public and private affairs, or on precedent; and the knowledge of it seems to have been neglected by most orators, but to us it appears very necessary for speaking. Wherefore, as to arranging the right of action, as to accepting or standing a trial, as to demurring to the illegality of a proceeding, as to comparisons of justice, all which topics usually belong to this class of oration, so that although they often get mixed up with the judicial proceedings, still they appear to deserve to be discussed separately; and therefore I separate them a little from the judicial proceedings, more, however, as to the time at which they are to be introduced into the discussion, than from any real diversity of character. For all discussions which are introduced about civil law, or about what is just and good, belong to that sort of discussion in which we doubt what sort of thing such and such a thing which we are going to mention is. And this question turns chiefly on equity and right.

XXIX. In all causes, then, there are three degrees, of which one at least is to be taken for the purposes of defence, if you are limited to one. For you must either take your stand in denying that the act imputed to you has been done at all, or in denying that that which you admit to have been done has the effect which, and is of the character which, the adversary asserts. Or if there can be no doubt as to the action, or the proper name of the action, then you must deny that what you are accused of is such as he states it to be; and you must urge in your defence that what you have done must be admitted to be right. Accordingly, the first objection,—the first point of conflict with the adversary, as I may call it, depends on a kind of conjecture; the second, on a kind of definition, or description, or notion of the word; but the third plea is to be maintained by a discussion on equity, and truth, and right, and on the becomingness to man of a disposition inclined to pardon. And since he who defends ought not always to resist the accuser by some objection, or denial, or definition, or opposite principles of equity, but should also at times advance general principles on which he founds his defence, the first kind of objection has in it the principle of asserting the charge to be unjust, an absolute denial of the fact; the second urges that the definition given by the adversary does not apply to the action in question the third consists in the advocate defending the action as having been rightly done, without raising any dispute as to the name of it.

In the next place, the accuser must oppose to every argument that, which if it were not in the accusation, would prevent, there being any cause at all. Therefore, those arguments which are brought forward in that way, are said to be the foundations of causes, although those which are brought forward in opposition to the plan of the defence, are no more so in reality than the principles of the defence themselves; but for the sake of distinction, we call that a reason which is urged by the party on his trial in the way of demurrer for the sake of repelling an accusation; and unless he had such a refuge he would have nothing to allege by way of defence: but the foundation of his defence is that which is alleged by way of undermining the arguments of the adversary, without which the accusation can have no ground to stand upon.

XXX. But from the meeting and conflict, as it were, of the reasons and of the corroborative proofs, a question arises, which I call a dispute, in which the question is, what is the question before the court, and what the dispute is about. For the first point which the adversaries contend for implies an inquiry of large extent in conjecture: as "Whether Decius has received the money;" in definition, as "Whether Norbanus has committed treason against the people;" in justice, as "Whether Opimius slew Gracchus lawfully." These questions which come into conflict first by arguing and resisting, are, as I have said, of wide extent and doubtful meaning. The comparison of the arguments and corroborative proofs narrows the question in dispute. In conjecture there is no dispute at all. For no one either can, or ought to, or is accustomed to, give a reason for an act which he asserts never took place. Therefore, in these causes the original question and the ultimate dispute are one and the same thing. But in them, when the assertion is advanced, "He did not commit treason in proceeding to violent measures in respect to Caepio; for it was the first indignation of the Roman people that prompted that violent conduct, and not the conduct of the tribune: and the majesty, since it is identical with the greatness of the Roman people, was rather increased than diminished by retaining that man in power and office." And when the reply is, "Majesty consists of the dignity of the empire and name of the Roman people, which that man impairs, who excites sedition by appealing to the violent passions of the multitude;" then comes the dispute, Whether his conduct was calculated to impair that majesty, who acted upon the inclinations of the roman people, so as to do a thing which was both just and acceptable to them by means of violence. But in such causes as these, when it is alleged in defence of the accused party that something has been rightly done, or when it must be admitted that it has been done, while the principle of the act is open to discussion: as in the case of Opimius, "I did it lawfully, for the sake of preserving the general safety and the republic;" and when Decius replies, "You had no power or right to slay even the wickedest of the citizens without a trial." Then arises the dispute, "Had Opimius lawfully the power, for the sake of the safety of the republic, to put to death a citizen who was overturning the republic, without his being condemned?" And so those disputes which arise in these controversies which are marked out by certain persons and times become gradually infinite, and after the times and persons are put out of the question, are again reduced to the form and rules under which their merits can be discussed.

XXXI. But in corroborative arguments of the most important character, those points must also be established which can be opposed to the defence, being derived either from the letter of the law, or of a will, or from the language of a judicial decision, or of a stipulation, or of a covenant. And even this kind has no connexion with those causes which depend upon conjecture. For when an action is denied altogether, it cannot be impeached by reference to the letter of the law. It does not even come under definition, as to the character of the letter of the law itself. For although some expression or other is to be defined by reference to the letter of the law, so as to be sure what meaning it has: as when the question arises out of a will, what is meant by provisions, or out of the covenant of a lease, what are moveables or fixtures; then it is not the fact of there being written documents, but the interpretation of what is written, that gives rise to controversy. But when many things may be implied by one expression, on account of the ambiguity of some word or words, so that he who is speaking on the other side may be allowed to draw the meaning of what is written as is advantageous to him, or in fact, as he pleases; or, if the document be not drawn up in ambiguous language, he may either deduce the wish and intention of the writer from the words, or else say that he can defend what has been done by a document which is perfectly different relating to the same facts; then a dispute arises from a comparison of the two written documents; so that the writings being ambiguous, it is a question which is most strongly implied; and in a comparison between the letter and the spirit of the documents an argument is adduced to show which the judge is the most bound to be guided by; or in documents of a wholly contradictory nature, which is the most to be approved.

But when the point in dispute is once established, then the orator ought to keep in view, what is to be proved by all the arguments derived from the different topics for discovering arguments. And although it is quite sufficient for him who sees what is concealed in each topic, and who has all those topics, as a kind of treasury of arguments, at his fingers' ends; still we will touch upon those which are peculiar to certain causes.

XXXII. In conjecture, then, when the person on his trial takes refuge in denial of the fact, these are the two first things for the accuser to consider, (I say accuser, meaning every kind of plaintiff or commencer of an action; for even without any accuser, in the strict sense of the word, these same kinds of controversies may frequently arise;) however, these are his first points for consideration, the cause and the event. When I say the cause, I mean the reason for doing a thing. When I say the event, I mean that which was done. And this same division of cases was made just now, when speaking of the topics of persuasion. For the rules which were given in deliberating upon the future, and how they ought to have a bearing upon utility, or a power of producing effects, a man who is arguing upon a fact is bound to collect, so as to show that they must have been useful to the man whom he is accusing, and that the act might possibly have been done by him. The question of utility, as far as it depends upon conjecture, is opened, if the accused person is said to have done the act of which he is accused, either out of the hope of advantage or the fear of injury. And this argument has the greater weight, the greater the advantages or disadvantages anticipated are said to be. With reference to the motive for an action we take into consideration also the feelings of minds, if any recent anger, or long-standing grudge, or desire for revenge, or indignation at an injury; if any eagerness for honour, or glory, or command, or riches; if any fear of danger, any debt, any difficulties in pecuniary matters, have had influence; if the man is bold, or fickle, or cruel, or intemperate, or incautious, or foolish, or loving, or excitable, or given to wine; if he had any hope of gaining his point, or any expectation of concealing his conduct; or, if that were detected, any hope of repelling the charge, or breaking through the danger, or even postponing it to a subsequent time; or if the penalty to be inflicted by a court of justice is more trifling than the prize to be gained by the act; or if the pleasure of the crime is greater than the pain of the conviction.

It is generally by such circumstances as these that the suspicion of an act is confirmed, when the causes why he should have desired it are found to exist in the party accused, together with the means of doing it. But in his will we look for the benefit which he may have calculated on from the attainment of some advantage, or the avoidance of some disadvantage, so that either hope or fear may seem to have instigated him, or else some sudden impulse of the mind, which impels men more swiftly to evil courses than even considerations of utility. So this is enough to have said about the causes.

C.F. I understand; and I ask you now what the events are which you have said are produced by such causes?

XXXIII. C.P. They are certain consequential signs of what is past, certain traces of what has been done, deeply imprinted, which have a great tendency to engender suspicion, and are, as it were, a silent evidence of crimes, and so much the more weighty because all causes appear as a general rule to be able to give ground for accusations, and to show for whose advantage anything was; and these arguments have an especial propriety of reference to those who are accused, such as a weapon, a footstep, blood, the detection of anything which appears to have been carried off or taken away; or any reply inconsistent with the truth, or any hesitation, or trepidation, or the fact of the accused person having been seen with any one whose character is such as to give rise to suspicion; or of his having been seen himself in that very place in which the action was done; or paleness, or tremor, or any writing, or anything having been sealed up or deposited anywhere. For these are circumstances of such a nature as to make the charge full of suspicion, either in connexion with the act itself, or with the time previous or subsequent to it. And if they are not so, still it will be proper to rely on the causes themselves, and on the means which the accused person had of doing the action, with the addition of that general argument, that he was not so insane as to be unable to avoid or conceal any indications of the action, so as to be discovered and to give ground for an accusation. On the other hand, there is that common topic, that audacity is joined to rashness, not to prudence. Besides, there comes the topic suited to amplification, that we are not to wait for his confessing; that offences are proved by arguments; and here, too, precedents will be adduced. And thus much about arguments.

XXXIV. But if there is also a sufficiency of witnesses, the first thing will be to praise the party accused, and to say that he himself has taken care not to be convicted by argument; that he could not escape from witnesses: then each of the witnesses must be praised, (and we have stated already what are the things for which people can be praised;) and in the next place, it must be urged that it is possible for it to be quite justifiable not to yield to a specious argument, (inasmuch as such an one is often false,) but quite impossible to refuse belief to a good and trusty man, unless there is some fault in the judge. And then, too, if the witnesses are obscure or insignificant, we must say that a man's credit is not to be estimated by his fortune, but that those are the most trustworthy witnesses on every point who have the easiest means of knowing the truth of the matter under discussion. If the fact of an examination of slaves under torture having taken place, or a demand that such should take place, will assist the cause, then in the first place the general character of such examinations must be extolled: we must speak of the power of bodily pain; of the opinion of our ancestors, who would certainly have abolished the whole system if they had not approved of it; of the customs of the Athenians and Rhodians, very wise men, among whom (and that is a most terrible thing) even freemen and citizens are tortured; of the principles also of the most prudent of our own countrymen, who though they are unwilling to allow slaves to be examined against their masters, still did allow of such examination in the case of incest and conspiracy,—and in fact such an examination took place in my consulship. That declamation which men are in the habit of using to throw discredit on such examinations must be laughed out of court, and called studied and childish. Then a belief must be inculcated that the examination has been conducted with care, and without any partiality; and the answers given in the examination must be weighed by arguments and by conjecture. And these are for the most part the divisions of an accusation.

XXXV. But the first division of a defence is the invalidating of the motives alleged for the action,—either as having no real existence, or as not having been so important, or as not having been likely to influence any one but the person accused; or we may urge that he could have attained the same object more easily; or that he is not a man of such habits, or of such a character; or that he was not so much a slave to sudden impulses, or at all events not to such trifling ones. And the advocate for the defence will disparage the means alleged to be in the power of the accused person, if he shows that either strength, or courage, or power, or resources were wanting to him; or that the time was unfavourable, or the place unsuitable; or that there were many witnesses, not one of whom he would have chosen to trust; or that he was not such a fool as to undertake a deed which he could not conceal; nor so senseless as to despise the penalties of the law and the courts of justice. And he will do away with the effect of the consequences alleged, by explaining that those things are not certain proofs of an act which might have happened even if the act had never been done; and he will dwell on the details, and urge that they belong as much to what he himself alleges was the fact, as to that which is at present the ground of accusation: or if he agrees with the accuser on those points, still he will say that ought to be of avail rather as a defence to himself against danger, than as an engine for injuring his safety; and he will run down the whole body of witnesses and examinations under torture, generally, and also in detail as far as he can, by the use of the topics of reprehension which have been explained already. The openings of these causes which are intended to excite suspicion by their bitterness will be thus laid down by the accuser; and the general danger of all intrigues will be denounced; and men's minds will be excited so as to listen attentively. But the person who is being accused will bring forward complaints of charges having been trumped up against him, and suspicions ferreted out from all quarters; and he will speak of the intrigues of the accuser, and also of the common danger of all citizens from such proceedings: and so he will try to move the minds of the judges to pity, and to excite their good-will in some degree. But the narration of the accuser will be a separate count, as it were, which will contain an explanation of every sort of transaction liable to suspicion, with every kind of argument scattered over it, and all the topics for the defence discredited. But the speaker for the defence must pass over or discredit all the arguments employed to raise suspicion, and will limit himself to a narration of the actual facts and events which have taken place. But in the corroboration of our own arguments, and in the invalidation of those of our adversaries, it will be often the object of the accuser to rouse the feelings of the minds of his hearers, and of the advocate for the defence to pacify them. And this will be the course of both of them especially in the peroration. The one must have recourse to a reiteration of his arguments, and to a general accumulation of them together; the other, when he has once clearly explained his own cause, refuting the statements of his adversary, must have recourse to enumeration; and, when he has effaced every unfavourable impression, then at the end he will endeavour to move the pity of his judges.

XXXVI. C.F. I think I know now how conjecture ought to be dealt with. Let me hear you now on the subject of definition.

C.P. With respect to that the rules which are given are common to the accuser and the defender. For whichever of them by his definition and description of a word makes the greatest impression on the feelings and opinions of the judges, and whichever keeps nearest to the general meaning of the word, and to that preconceived opinion which those who are the hearers have adopted in their minds, must inevitably get the better in the discussion. For this kind of topic is not handled by a regular argumentation, but by shaking out, as it were, and unfolding the word; so that, if, for instance, in the case of a criminal acquitted through bribery and then impeached a second time, the accuser were to define prevarication to be the utter corruption of a tribunal by an accused person; and the defender were to urge a counter definition, that it is not every sort of corruption which is prevarication, but only the bribing of a prosecutor by a defendant: then, in the first place, there would be a contest between the different alleged meanings of the word; in which case, though the definition, if given by the speaker for the defence, approaches nearest to general usage and to the sense of common conversation, still the accuser relies on the spirit of the law, for he says that it ought not to be admitted that those men who framed the laws considered a judicial decision as ratified when wholly corrupt, but that if even one judge be corrupted, the decision should be annulled. He relies on equity; he urges that the law ought to have been framed differently, if that was what was meant; but that the truth is, that whatever kinds of corruption could possibly exist were all meant to be included under the one term prevarication. But the speaker for the defence will bring forward on his side the usage of common conversation; and he will seek the meaning of the word from its contrary; from a genuine accuser, to whom a prevarication is the exact opposite; or from consequents, because the tablets are given to the judge by the accuser; and from the name itself, which signifies a man who in contrary causes appears to be placed, as it were, in various positions. But still he himself will be forced to have recourse to topics of equity, to the authority of precedents, and to some dangerous result. And this may be a general rule, that when each has stated his definition, keeping as accurately as he can to the common sense and meaning of the word, he should then confirm his own meaning and definition by similar definitions, and by the examples of those men who have spoken in the same way.

And in this kind of cause that will be a common topic for the accuser,—that it must never be permitted that the man who confesses a fact, should defend himself by a new interpretation of the name of it. But the defender must rely on those general principles of equity which I have mentioned, and he must complain that, while that is on his side, he is weighed down not by facts, but by the perverted use of a word; and while speaking thus he will be able to introduce many topics suited to aid him in discovering arguments. For he will avail himself of resemblances, and contrarieties, and consequences; and although both parties will do this, still the defendant, unless his cause is evidently ridiculous, will do so more frequently. But the things which are in the habit of being said, for the sake of amplification, or in the way of digression, or when men are summing up, are introduced either to excite hatred, or pity, or to work on the feelings of the judges by means of those arguments which have been already given; provided that the importance of the facts, or the envy of men, or the dignity of the parties, will allow of it.

XXXVII. C.F. I understand that. Now I wish to hear you speak of that part which, when the question is what is the character of such and such a transaction, will be suitable both for the accusation and also for the defence.

C.P. In a cause of that kind those who are accused confess that they did the very thing for which they are blamed; but since they allege that they did it lawfully, it is necessary for us to explain the whole principles of law. And that is divided into two principal divisions,—natural law and statute law. And the power of each of these is again distributed into human law and divine law; one of which refers to equity and the other to religion. But the power of equity is two-fold: one part of which is upheld by considerations of what is straightforward, and true, and just, and, as it is said, equitable and virtuous; the other refers chiefly to requiting things done to one suitably,—which in the case of that which is to be requited being a kindness, is called gratitude, but when it is an injury, it is called revenge. And these principles are common both to natural and statute law. But there are also other divisions of law; for there is both the written and the unwritten law,—each of which is maintained by the rights of nations and the customs of our ancestors. Again, written law is divided into public law and private law. Public law is laws, resolutions of the senate, treaties; private law is accounts, covenants, agreements, stipulations.

But those laws which are unwritten, owe their influence either to custom or to some agreement between, and as it were to the common consent of men. And indeed it is in some degree prescribed to us by the laws of nature, that we are to uphold our customs and laws. And since the foundations of equity have been briefly explained in this manner, we ought to meditate carefully, with reference to causes of this kind, on what is to be said in our speeches about nature, and laws, and the customs of our ancestors, and the repelling of injuries, and revenge, and every portion of human rights. If a man has done anything unintentionally, or through necessity, or by accident, which men would not be excused for doing if they did it of their own accord and intentionally, by way of deprecating punishment for the action he should implore pardon and indulgence, founding his petition on many topics of equity. I have now explained as well as I could every kind of controversy, unless there is anything besides which you wish to know.

XXXVIII. C.F. I wish to know that which appears to me to be the only point left,—what is to be done when the discussion turns upon expressions in written documents.

C.P. You are right to ask: for when that is explained I shall have discharged the whole of the task which I have undertaken. The rules then which relate to ambiguity are common to both parties. For each of them will urge that the signification which he himself adopts is the one suited to the wisdom of the framer of the document; each of them will urge that that sense which his adversary says is to be gathered from the ambiguous expression in the writing, is either absurd, or inexpedient, or unjust, or discreditable, or again that it is inconsistent with other written expressions, either of other men, or, if possible, of the same man. And he will urge further that the meaning which he himself contends for is the one which would have been intended by every sensible and respectable man; and that such an one would express himself more plainly if the case were to come over again, and that the meaning which he asserts to be the proper one has nothing in it to which objection can be made, or with which any fault can be found; but that if the contrary meaning is admitted, many vices, many foolish, unjust, and inconsistent consequences must follow. But when it appears that the writer meant one thing and wrote another, then he who relies on the letter of the law must first explain the circumstances of the case, and then recite the law; then he must press his opponent, repeat the law, reiterate it, and ask him whether he denies that that is the expression contained in the writing, or whether he denies the facts of the case. After that he must invoke the judge to maintain the letter of the law. When he has dwelt on this sort of corroborative argument he must amplify his case by praising the law, and attack the audacity of the man who, when he has openly violated it, and confesses that he has done so, still comes forward and defends his conduct. Then he must invalidate the defence when his opponent says that the writer meant one thing and wrote another, and say that it is intolerable that the meaning of the framer of the law should be explained by any one else in preference to the law itself. Why did he write down such words if he did not mean them? Why does the opponent, while he neglects what is plainly written, bring forward what is not written anywhere? Why should he think that men who were most careful in what they wrote are to be convicted of extreme folly? What could have hindered the framer of this law from making this exception which the opponent contends that he intended to make, if he really had intended it? He will then bring forward those instances where the same writer has made a similar exception, or if he cannot do that, at least he will cite cases where others have made similar exceptions. For a reason must be sought for, if it is possible to find one, why this exception was not made in this case. The law must be stated to be likely to be unjust, or useless, or else that there is a reason for obeying part of it, and for abrogating part; it must be that the argument of the opponent and the law are at variance. And then, by way of amplification, it will be proper, both in other parts of the speech, and above all in the peroration, to speak with great dignity and energy about the desirableness of maintaining the laws, and of the danger with which all public and private affairs are threatened.

XXXIX. But he who defends himself by appeals to the spirit and intention of the law, will urge that the force of the law depends on the mind and design of the framer, not on words and letters. And he will praise him for having mentioned no exceptions in his law, so as to leave no refuge for offences, and so as to bind the judge to interpret the intention of the law according to the actions of each individual. Then he must cite instances in which all equity will be disturbed if the words of the law are attended to and not the meaning. Then all cunning and false accusation must be endeavoured to be put before the judge in an odious light, and complaints uttered in a tone of indignation. If the action in question has been done unintentionally, or by accident, or by compulsion, rather than in consequence of any premeditation,—and actions of those kinds we have already discussed,—then it will be well to use the same topics of equity to counteract the effect of the harshness of the language.

But if the written laws contradict one another, then the connexion of art is such, and most of its principles are so connected and linked together, that the rules which we a little while ago laid down for cases of ambiguity, and which have just been given with reference to the letter and spirit of the law, may be all transferred to this third division also. For the topics by which, in the case of an ambiguous expression, we defended that meaning which is favourable to our argument must also be used to defend the law which is favourable to us when there are inconsistent laws. In the next place, we must contrive to defend the spirit of one law, and the letter of the other. And so the rules which were just now given relating to the spirit and letter of the law may all be transferred to this subject.

XL. I have now explained to you all the divisions of oratory which have prevailed, as laid down by the academy to which we are devoted, and if it had not been for that academy they could not have been discovered, or understood, or discussed. For the mere act of division, and of definition, and the distribution of the partitions of a doubtful question, and the understanding the topics of arguments, and the arranging the argumentation itself properly, and the discerning what ought to be assumed in arguing, and what follows from what has been assumed, and the distinguishing what is true from what is false, and what is probable from what is incredible, and refuting assumptions which are not legitimate, or which are inappropriate, and discussing all these different points either concisely as those do who are called dialecticians, or copiously as an orator should do, are all fruits of the practice in disputing with acuteness and speaking with fluency, which is instilled into the disciples of that academy. And without a knowledge of these most important arts how can an orator have either energy or variety in his discourse, so as to speak properly of things good or bad, just or unjust, useful or useless, honourable or base?

Let these rules then, my Cicero, which I have now explained to you, be to you a sort of guide to those fountains of eloquence, and if under my instruction or that of others you arrive at them, you will then acquire a clearer understanding of these things and of others which are much more important.

C.F. I will strive to arrive at them with great eagerness, my father; and I do not think that there is any greater advantage which I can derive even from your many excellent kindnesses to me.


This little piece was composed by Cicero as a sort of preface to his translation of the Orations of Demosthenes and Aeschines de Corona; the translations themselves have not come down to us.

I. There are said to be classes of orators as there are of poets. But it is not so; for of poets there are a great many divisions; for of tragic, comic, epic, lyric, and also of dithyrambic poetry, which has been more cultivated by the Latins, each kind is very different from the rest. Therefore in tragedy anything comic is a defect, and in comedy anything tragic is out of place. And in the other kinds of poetry each has its own appropriate note, and a tone well known to those who understand the subject. But if any one were to enumerate many classes of orators, describing some as grand, and dignified, and copious, others as thin, or subtle, or concise, and others as something between the two and in the middle as it were, he would be saying something of the men, but very little of the matter. For as to the matter, we seek to know what is the best; but as to the man, we state what is the real case. Therefore if any one likes, he has a right to call Ennius a consummate epic poet, and Pacuvius an excellent tragic poet, and Caecilius perhaps a perfect comic poet. But I do not divide the orator as to class in this way. For I am seeking a perfect one. And of perfection there is only one kind; and those who fall short of it do not differ in kind, as Attius does from Terentius; but they are of the same kind, only of unequal merit. For he is the best orator who by speaking both teaches, and delights, and moves the minds of his hearers. To teach them is his duty, to delight them is creditable to him, to move them is indispensable. It must be granted that one person succeeds better in this than another; but that is not a difference of kind but of degree. Perfection is one thing; that is next to it which is most like it; from which consideration it is evident that that which is most unlike perfection is the worst.

II. For, since eloquence consists of words and sentences, we must endeavour, by speaking in a pure and correct manner, that is to say in good Latin, to attain an elegance of expression with words appropriate and metaphorical. As to the appropriate words, selecting those which are most suitable; and when indulging in metaphor, studying to preserve a proper resemblance, and to be modest in our use of foreign terms. But of sentences, there are as many different kinds as I have said there are of panegyrics. For if teaching, we want shrewd sentences; if aiming at giving pleasure, we want musical ones; if at exciting the feelings, dignified ones. But there is a certain arrangement of words which produces both harmony and smoothness; and different sentiments have different arrangements suitable to them, and an order naturally calculated to prove their point; but of all those things memory is the foundation, (just as a building has a foundation,) and action is the light. The man, then, in whom all these qualities are found in the highest perfection, will be the most skilful orator; he in whom they exist in a moderate degree will be a mediocre orator: he in whom they are found to the slightest extent will be the most inferior sort of orator. All these, indeed, will be called orators, just as bad painters are still called painters; not differing from one another in kind, but in ability. So there is no orator who would not like to resemble Demosthenes; but Menander did not want to be like Homer, for his style was different.

This difference does not exist in orators; or if there be any such difference, that one avoiding gravity aims rather at subtlety; and on the other hand, that another desires to show himself acute rather than polished: such men, although they may be tolerable orators, are certainly not perfect ones; since that is perfection which combines every kind of excellence.

III. I have stated these things with greater brevity than the subject deserves; but still, with reference to my present object, it was not worth while being more prolix. For as there is but one kind of eloquence, what we are seeking to ascertain is what kind it is. And it is such as flourished at Athens; and in which the genius of the Attic orators is hardly comprehended by us, though their glory is known to us. For many have perceived this fact, that there is nothing faulty in them: few have discerned the other point; namely, how much in them there is that is praiseworthy. For it is a fault in a sentence if anything is absurd, or foreign to the subject, or stupid, or trivial; and it is a fault of language if any thing is gross, or abject, or unsuitable, or harsh, or far-fetched. Nearly all those men who are either considered Attic orators or who speak in the Attic manner have avoided these faults. But if that is all their merit, then they may deserve to be regarded as sound and healthy, as if we were regarding athletes, to such an extent as to be allowed to exercise in the palaestra, but not to be entitled to the crown at the Olympic games. For the athletes, who are free from defects, are not content as it were with good health, but seek to produce strength and muscles and blood, and a certain agreeableness of complexion; let us imitate them, if we can; and if we cannot do so wholly, at least let us select as our models those who enjoy unimpaired health, (which is peculiar to the Attic orators,) rather than those whose abundance is vicious, of whom Asia has produced numbers. And in doing this (if at least we can manage even this, for it is a mighty undertaking) let us imitate, if we can, Lysias, and especially his simplicity of style: for in many places he rises to grandeur. But because he wrote speeches for many private causes, and those too for others, and on very trifling subjects, he appears to be somewhat simple, because he has designedly filed himself down to the standard of the inconsiderable causes which he was pleading.

IV. And a man who acts in this way, even if he be not able to turn out a vigorous speaker as he wishes, may still deserve to be accounted an orator, though an inferior one; but even a great orator must often also speak in the same manner in causes of that kind. And in this way it happens that Demosthenes is at times able to speak with simplicity, though perhaps Lysias may not be able to arrive at grandeur. But if men think that, when an army was marshalled in the forum and in all the temples round the forum, it was possible to speak in defence of Milo, as if we had been speaking in a private cause before a single judge, they measure the power of eloquence by their own estimate of their own ability, and not by the nature of the case. Wherefore, since some people have got into a way of repeating that they themselves do speak in an Attic manner, and others that none of us do so; the one class we may neglect, for the facts themselves are a sufficient answer to these men, since they are either not employed in causes, or when they are employed they are laughed at; for if the laughter which they excite were in approbation of them, that very fact would be a characteristic of Attic speakers. But those who will not admit that we speak in the Attic manner, but yet profess that they themselves are not orators; if they have good ears and an intelligent judgment, may still be consulted by us, as one respecting the character of a picture would take the opinion of men who were incapable of making a picture, though not devoid of acuteness in judging of one. But if they place all their intelligence in a certain fastidiousness of ear, and if nothing lofty or magnificent ever pleases them, then let them say that they want something subtle and highly polished, and that they despise what is dignified and ornamented; but let them cease to assert that those men alone speak in the Attic manner, that is to say, in a sound and correct one. But to speak with dignity and elegance and copiousness is a characteristic of Attic orators. Need I say more? Is there any doubt whether we wish our oration to be tolerable only, or also admirable? For we are not asking now what sort of speaking is Attic: but what sort is best. And from this it is understood, since those who were Athenians were the best of the Greek orators, and since Demosthenes was beyond all comparison the best of them, that if any one imitates them he will speak in the Attic manner, and in the best manner, so that since the Attic orators are proposed to us for imitation, to speak well is to speak Attically.

V. But as there was a great error as to the question, what kind of eloquence that was, I have thought that it became me to undertake a labour which should be useful to studious men, though superfluous as far as I myself was concerned. For I have translated the most illustrious orations of the two most eloquent of the Attic orators, spoken in opposition to one another: Aeschines and Demosthenes. And I have not translated them as a literal interpreter, but as an orator giving the same ideas in the same form and mould as it were, in words conformable to our manners; in doing which I did not consider it necessary to give word for word, but I have preserved the character and energy of the language throughout. For I did not consider that my duty was to render to the reader the precise number of words, but rather to give him all their weight. And this labour of mine will have this result, that by it our countrymen may understand what to require of those who wish to be accounted Attic speakers, and that they may recal them to, as it were, an acknowledged standard of eloquence.

But then Thucydides will rise up; for some people admire his eloquence. And they are quite right. But he has no connexion with the orator, which is the person of whom we are in search. For it is one thing to unfold the actions of men in a narration, and quite a different one to accuse and get rid of an accusation by arguing. It is one thing to fix a hearer's attention by a narration, and another to excite his feelings. "But he uses beautiful language." Is his language finer than Plato's? Nevertheless it is necessary for the orator whom we are inquiring about, to explain forensic disputes by a style of speaking calculated at once to teach, to delight, and to excite.

VI. Wherefore, if there is any one who professes that he intends to plead causes in the forum, following the style of Thucydides, no one will ever suspect him of being endowed with that kind of eloquence which is suited to affairs of state or to the bar. But if he is content with praising Thucydides, then he may add my vote to his own. Moreover, even Isocrates himself, whom that divine author, Plato, who was nearly his contemporary, has represented in the Phaedrus as being highly extolled by Socrates, and whom all learned men have called a consummate orator, I do not class among the number of those who are to be taken for models. For he is not engaged in actual conflict; he is not armed for the fray; his speeches are made for display, like foils. I will rather, (to compare small things with great,) bring on the stage a most noble pair of gladiators. Aeschines shall come on like aeserninus, as Lucilius says—

"No ordinary man, but fearless all, And skill'd his arms to wield—his equal match Pacideianus stands, than whom the world Since the first birth of man hath seen no greater."

For I do not think that anything can be imagined more divine than that orator. Now this labour of mine is found fault with by two kinds of critics. One set says, "But the Greek is better." And I ask them whether the authors themselves could have clothed their speeches in better Latin? The others say, "Why should I rather read the translation than the original?" Yet those same men read the Andria and the Synephebi; and are not less fond of Terence and Caecilius than of Menander. They must then discard the Andromache, and the Antiope, and the Epigoni in Latin. But yet, in fact, they read Ennius and Pacuvius and Attius more than Euripides and Sophocles. What then is the meaning of this contempt of theirs for orations translated from the Greek, when they have no objection to translated verses?

VII. However, let us now come to the task which we have undertaken, when we have just explained what the cause is which is before the court.

As there was a law at Athens, that no one should be the cause of carrying a decree of the people that any one should be presented with a crown while invested with office till he had given in an account of the way in which he had discharged its duties; and another law, that those who had crowns given them by the people ought to receive them in the assembly of the people, and that they who had them given to them by the senate should receive them in the senate; Demosthenes was appointed a superintendent of repairs of the walls; and he did it at his own expense. Therefore, with reference to him Ctesiphon proposed a decree, without his having given in any accounts, that he should be presented with a golden crown, and that that presentation should take place in the theatre, the people being summoned for the purpose, (that is not the legitimate place for an assembly of the people;) and that proclamation should be made, "that he received this present on account of his virtue and devotion to the state, and to the Athenian people." Aeschines then prosecuted this man Ctesiphon because he had proposed a decree contrary to the laws, to the effect that a crown should be given when no accounts had been delivered, and that it should be presented in the theatre, and that he had made false statements in the words of his motion concerning Demosthenes's virtue and loyalty; since Demosthenes was not a good man, and was not one who had deserved well of the state.

That kind of cause is indeed inconsistent with the precedents established by our habits; but still it has an imposing look. For it has on each side of the question a sufficiently clever interpretation of the laws, and a very grave contest as to the respective services done by the two rival orators to the republic. Therefore the object of Aeschines was, since he himself had been prosecuted on a capital charge by Demosthenes, for having given a false account of his embassy, that now a trial should take place affecting the conduct and character of Demosthenes, that so, under pretence of prosecuting Ctesiphon, he might avenge himself on his enemy. For he did not say so much about the accounts not having been delivered, as to the point that a very bad citizen had been praised as an excellent.

Aeschines instituted this prosecution against Ctesiphon four years before the death of Philip of Macedon. But the decision took place a few years afterwards; when Alexander had become master of Asia. And it is said that all Greece thronged to hear the issue of the trial. For what was ever better worth going to see, or better worth hearing, than the contest of two consummate orators in a most important cause, inflamed and sharpened by private enmity?

If then, as I trust, I have given such a copy of their speeches, using all their excellencies, that is to say, their sentiments, and their figures, and the order of their facts; adhering to their words only so far as they are not inconsistent with our customs, (and though they may not be all translated from the Greek, still I have taken pains that they should be of the same class,) then there will be a standard to which the orations of those men must be directed who wish to speak Attically. But I have said enough of myself—let us now hear Aeschines speaking in Latin. (These Orations are not extant.)



[Footnote 1: Dolabella had been married to Cicero's daughter Tullia, but was divorced from her.]

[Footnote 2: The name was given them early. Juvenal, who wrote within a hundred years of Cicero's time, calls them "divina Philippica."]

[Footnote 3: This meeting took place on the third day after Caesar's death.]

[Footnote 4: [Greek: Mae mnaesikakin].]

[Footnote 5: The hook was to drag his carcass along the streets to throw it into the Tiber. So Juvenal says—

"Sejanus ducitur unco Spectandus."—x. 66.]

[Footnote 6: This refers to a pillar that was raised in the forum in honour of Caesar, with the inscription, "To the Father of his Country."]

[Footnote 7: See Philippic 2.]

[Footnote 8: This was the name of a legion raised by Caesar in Gaul, and called so, probably, from the ornament worn on their helmet.]

[Footnote 9: He meant to insinuate that Antonius had been forging Caesar's handwriting and signature]

[Footnote 10: Fulvia, who had been the wife of Clodius, and afterwards of Curio, was now the wife of Antonius.]

[Footnote 11: These were the names of slaves.]

[Footnote 12: Ityra was a town at the foot of Mount Taurus.]

[Footnote 13: Brutus was the Praetor urbanus this year, and that officer's duty confined him to the city; and he was forbidden by law to be absent more than ten days at a time during his year of office.]

[Footnote 14: I have translated jugerum "an acre," because it is usually so translated, but in point of fact it was not quite two-thirds of an English acre. At the same time it was nearly three times as large as the Greek [Greek: plethros] such by the fault of fortune and not by his own. You assumed the manly gown, which you soon made a womanly one: at first a public prostitute, with a regular price for your wickedness, and that not a low one. But very soon Curio stepped in, who carried you off from your public trade, and, as if he had bestowed a matron's robe upon you, settled you in a steady and durable wedlock. No boy bought for the gratification of passion was ever so wholly in the power of his master as you were in Curio's. How often has his father turned you out of his house? How often has he placed guards to prevent you from entering? while you, with night for your accomplice, lust for your encourager, and wages for your compeller, were let down through the roof. That house could no longer endure your wickedness. Do you not know that I am speaking of matters with which I am thoroughly acquainted? Remember that time when Curio, the father, lay weeping in his bed; his son throwing himself at my feet with tears recommended to me you; he entreated me to defend you against his own father, if he demanded six millions of sesterces of you; for that he had been bail for you to that amount. And he himself, burning with love, declared positively that because he was unable to bear the misery of being separated from you, he should go into banishment. And at that time what misery of that most nourishing family did I allay, or rather did I remove! I persuaded the father to pay the son's debts; to release the young man, endowed as he was with great promise of courage and ability, by the sacrifice of part of his family estate; and to use his privileges and authority as a father to prohibit him not only from all intimacy with, but from every opportunity of meeting you. When you recollected that all this was done by me, would you have dared to provoke me by abuse if you had not been trusting to those swords which we behold?]

[Footnote 15: Sisapo was a town in Spain, celebrated for some mines of vermilion, which were farmed by a company.]

[Footnote 16: She was a courtesan who had been enfranchised by her master Volumnius. The name of Volumnia was dear to the Romans as that of the wife of Coriolanus, to whose entreaties he had yielded when he drew off his army from the neighbourhood of Rome.]

[Footnote 17: This is a play on the name Hippia, as derived from [Greek: hippos], a horse.]

[Footnote 18: The custom of erecting a spear wherever an auction was held is well known, it is said to have arisen from the ancient practice of selling under a spear the booty acquired in war.]

[Footnote 19: There seems some corruption here. Orellius apparently thinks the case hopeless.]

[Footnote 20: The Latin is, "non solum de die, sed etiam in diem, vivere;" which the commentators explain, "De die is to feast every day and all day. Banquets de die are those which begin before the regular hour." (Like Horace's Partem solido demere de die.) "To live in diem is to live so as to have no thought for the future."—Graevius.]

[Footnote 21: This accidental resemblance to the incident in the "Forty Thieves" in the "Arabian Nights" is curious.]

[Footnote 22: The septemviri, at full length septemviri epulones or epulonum, were originally triumviri. They were first created BC. 198, to attend to the epulum Jovis, and the banquets given in honour of the other gods, which duty had originally belonged to the pontifices. Julius Caesar added three more, but that alteration did not last. They formed a collegium, and were one of the four great religious corporations at Rome with the pontifices, the augures, and the quindecemviri. Smith, Diet, Ant. v. Epulones.]

[Footnote 23: It had been explained before that Fulvia had been the widow of Clodius and of Curio, before she married Antonius.]

[Footnote 24: Riddle (Dict. Lat. in voce) says, that this was the regular punishment for deserters, and was inflicted by their comrades.]

[Footnote 25: Cnaeus Octavius, the real father of Octavius Caesar, had been praetor and governor of Macedonia, and was intending to stand for the consulship when he died.]

[Footnote 26: Bambalio is derived from the Greek word [Greek: bambala] to lisp.]

[Footnote 27: Julia, the mother of Antonius and sister of Lucius Caesar, was also a native of Aricia.]

[Footnote 28: He had intended to propose to the senate to declare Octavius a public enemy. We must recollect that in these orations Cicero, even when he speaks of Caius Caesar, means Octavius.]

[Footnote 29: It is quite impossible to give a proper idea of Cicero's meaning here. He is arguing on the word dignus, from which dignitas is derived. But we have no means of keeping up the play on the words in English.]

[Footnote 30: The general proceeding on such occasions being to ask each senator's opinion separately, which gave those who chose an opportunity for pronouncing some encomium on the person honoured.]

[Footnote 31: Spartacus was the general of the gladiators and slaves in the Servile war.]

[Footnote 32: Lepidus had not in reality done any particular service to the republic (he was afterwards one of the triumviri), but he was at the head of the best army in the empire, and so was able to be of the most important service to either party, and, therefore, Cicero hoped to attach him to his side by this compliment.]

[Footnote 33: It has been already explained that this was the name of one legion.]

[Footnote 34: The mirmillo was the gladiator who fought with the retiarius; he wore a Gallic helmet with a fish for a crest.]

[Footnote 35: The English reader must recollect that what is called Gaul in these orations, is Cisalpine Gaul containing what we now call the North of Italy, coming down as far south as Modena and Ravenna.]

[Footnote 36: After the year B.C. 403 there were two classes of Roman knights, one of which received a horse from the state, and were included in the eighteen centuries of service, the other class, first mentioned by Livy (v. 7) in the account of the siege of Veii, served with their own horses, and instead of having a horse found them, received a certain pay, (three times that of the infantry) and were not included in the eighteen centuries of service. The original knights, to distinguish them from these latter, are often called equites equo publico, sometimes also ficus vanes or trossuli Vide Smith, Dict. Ant. P. 394-396, v. Equites]

[Footnote 37: He had been one of the septemvirs appointed to preside over the distribution of the lands.]

[Footnote 38: Janus was the name of a street near the temple of Janus, especially frequented by bankers and usurers. It was divided into summus, nedus and imus Horace says—

Hase Janus summus ab imo Edocet [lacuna] Postquam omms res mea Janum Ad medium fracta cat.


[Footnote 39: I.e. tumultus, as if it were tumor multus]

[Footnote 40: These were the names of officers devoted to Antonius.]

[Footnote 41: The province between the Alps and the Rubicon was called Gallia Citerior, or Oisalpina, from its situation, also Togata, from the inhabitants wearing the Roman toga. The other was called Ulterior, and by Cicero often Ultima, or Transalpina, and also Comata, from the fashion of the inhabitants wearing long hair]

[Footnote 42: Sulpicius was of about the same age as Cicero, and an early friend of his, and he enjoyed the reputation of being the first lawyer of his time, or of all who ever had studied law as a profession in Rome.]

[Footnote 43: There is some corruption of the text here.]

[Footnote 44: Brutus had been adopted by his maternal uncle Quintus Servilius Caepio, so that his legal designation was what is given in the text now, as Cicero is proposing a formal vote—though at all other times we see that he calls him Marcus Brutus]

[Footnote 45: The Latin is Samiarius, or as some read it Samarius. Orellius says, "perhaps it means some sort of trade, for I doubt its having been a Roman proper name." Nizollius says, "Samarius exul—proverbium." Facciolatti calls him a man whose business it was to clean the arms of the guards, &c. with Samian chalk.]

[Footnote 46: Vopiscus is another name of Bestia.]

[Footnote 47: It is impossible to give the force of the original here, which plays on the word tabula. The Latin is, "vindicem enim novarum tabularum novam tabulam vidimus," novae tabulae meaning as is well known a law for the abolition of debts, nova tabula in the singular an advertisement of (Trebellius's) property being to be sold.]

[Footnote 48: Here too is a succession of puns. Lysidicus is derived from the Greek [Greek: lyo] to loosen and [Greek: dikae], justice. Cimber is a proper name, and also means one of the nation of the Cimbri, Germanus is a German, and germanus a brother, and he means here to impute to Caius Cimber that he had murdered his brother.]

[Footnote 49: Compare St Paul,—"For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?" 1 Cor. xiv 8.]

[Footnote 50: That is, without being crucified like a slave.]

[Footnote 51: The Latin here is "Itaque Caesaris munera rosit,"—playing on the name mus, mouse; but Orellius thinks the whole passage corrupt, and indeed there is evident corruption in the text here in many places.]

[Footnote 52: He means Lucius Aemilius Paullus, and Caius Claudius Marcellus, who were consuls the year after Servius Sulpicius and Marcus Claudius Marcellus, A.U.C. 704.]

[Footnote 53: These two were tribunes of the people, who had been dispossessed of their offices by Julius Caesar.]

[Footnote 54: There is some difficulty here. Many editors propose to read "offen lerint" which Orellius thinks would hardly be Latin. He says, "Antonius is here speaking of those veterans who had deserted him indeed but who, at the time of his writing this letter, had not acted against him". Therefore, he says it is open to them to become reconciled to him again (wishing to conciliate them, and to alarm his enemies). On the other hand, Cicero replies, Nothing is so open to them now as to do what their duty to the republic requires. That is to say, openly to attack you, whose party they have already abandoned.]

[Footnote 55: There were two wine feasts, Vinalia, at Rome: the vinalia urbano, celebrated on the twenty-third of April; and the vinalia rustica, on the nineteenth of October. This was the urbana vinalia; on which occasion the wine casks which had been filled in the autumn were tasted for the first time.]

[Footnote 56: There is much dispute as to who is meant here. Some say Cicero refers to Amphion, some to Orpheus, and some to Mercury; the Romans certainly did attribute the civilization of men to Mercury, as Horace says—

Qui feros cultus hominum recenti Voce formasti catus I. 9, 2.]

[Footnote 57: This is very frequently quoted by Cicero; the Latin lines being the opening of the Medea of Ennius, translated from the first lines of the Medea of Euripides.]

[Footnote 58: The Talysus was a hunter at Rhodes, of whom Protogenes had made an admirable picture, which was afterwards brought to Rome, and placed in the temple of Peace.]

[Footnote 59: Brutus was at present propraetor in Gaul.]

[Footnote 60: Theophrastus's real name was Tyrtamus, but Aristotle, whose pupil he was, surnamed him Theophrastus, from the Greek words [Greek: Theos], God and [Greek: phrazo], to speak.]

[Footnote 61: He refers to the Menexenus.]

[Footnote 62: Cape si vis.]

[Footnote 63: "Assiduus. Prop, sitting down, seated, and so, well to do in the world, rich. The derivation ab assis duendis is therefore to be rejected. Servius Tullius divided the Roman people into two classes, assidui, i. e. the rich, who could sit down and take their ease, and proletarii, or capite censi, the poor."—Riddle, in voc. Assiduus, quoting this passage. One does not see, however, why aelius and Cicero should not understand the meaning and derivation of a Latin word. Smith's Dict. Ant. takes no notice of the word at all.]

[Footnote 64: See chap. x.]


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