Cicero : In Verrem 2.2

Sections 1-67

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

The translation is by L.H.G. Greenwood (1928). Click on the L symbols to go to the Latin text of each section. Click on ** to go to the translator's footnotes.

    ← Part 1

[1.] L   [1] There is much, gentlemen, that I must inevitably pass over, if I am to deal, sooner or later, to the best of my power, with the matters entrusted to my honourable keeping. For I promised to champion Sicily ; it is the province of Sicily that involved me in my present undertaking. And yet, though this is the burden I shouldered, though I did indeed promise to champion Sicily, my thoughts came to embrace a somewhat wider purpose. The fact is that I promised myself to champion the whole Senatorial order, nay, to champion Rome itself: feeling as I did that, if justice was to be done in this court, it was not enough for a guilty man to be prosecuted there; a strong, conscientious man must appear there to prosecute him. [2] And therefore I must not touch upon the rest of Verres' robberies and outrages, but come without delay to the defence of Sicily, that I may be able to conduct it with the maximum of freshness and energy, and have time enough at my disposal for what I have to say.

But before I speak of Sicily's distresses, I feel that I should say a little of the high position of that province, of its antiquity, and of its practical importance. Your attentive consideration, due to the interests of all our allies and all our provinces, is especially due, gentlemen, to those of Sicily, for many strong reasons, the first of which is this, that Sicily was the first of all foreign nations to become the loyal friend of Rome. She was the first of all to receive the title of province, the first such jewel in our imperial crown. She was the first who made our forefathers perceive how splendid a thing foreign empire is. No other nation has equalled her in loyal goodwill towards us: once the various states in the island had embraced our friendship, they never thereafter seceded from it; and most of them, and those the most notable, remained, without a break, our firm friends. [3] From this province therefore it was that our forefathers took that great step in their imperial career, the invasion of Africa : for the great power of Carthage would never have been crushed so readily had not Sicily been at our disposal, supplying us with corn and affording safe harbourage to our fleets. [2.] L   This is why Scipio Africanus, after the destruction of Carthage, richly adorned the cities of Sicily with the finest statues and memorials, intentionally setting up the most abundant memorials of the triumph of Rome among those to whom, he reckoned, that triumph gave most delight. [4] Yes, and Marcus Marcellus himself, known in Sicily as terrible to his enemies, as merciful to the beaten, as a faithful friend of all the rest - Marcellus not only defended those who then fought for us, but in the hour of victory spared those who fought against us. When the noble city of Syracuse, strongly fortified by art, and defended by nature against assault by land or sea, nevertheless fell before his strong arm and military skill, he left it not merely unharmed, but so richly adorned that it was a memorial alike of his victory, of his clemency, and of his self-control, since men beheld the fortress he had captured, the people he had spared, and the treasures he had left unplundered. So much respect he reckoned due to Sicily that the island of our friends was, he judged, not to be deprived even of the city of our enemies. [5] And accordingly our relations with the province for all purposes were always such that we looked upon her various products not as growing on their soil, but as already added to our stores at home. When has she failed to pay us punctually her tribute of grain? When has she not spontaneously offered us what she believed that we wanted? When has she refused to supply what was ordered of her? Cato the Wise called her in consequence "the nation's storehouse, the nurse at whose breast the Roman people is fed." Nay, we in our time have found, in the critical days of the great Italian war, how Sicily has been to us no mere storehouse, but like the ancient and well-filled State Treasury of our fathers' days, supplying us with hides and shirts and grain, free of cost to ourselves, to clothe, feed and equip our great armies. [3.] L   [6] Yes, and she does us services, great services, of which we, gentlemen, I dare say, are not even aware. Many of our citizens are the richer for having a profitable field of enterprise in this loyal province close at hand, which they can visit so easily, and where they can carry on their business so freely. To some of these Sicily supplies merchandise, and sends them away enriched with profits: others she keeps with her, to become, according to their preference, corn farmers or stock farmers or business men, and in short, to settle and make a home there. It is a national advantage of no trifling kind that so large a number of Roman citizens should be kept so near their own country, engaged in occupations so honest and profitable. [7] Our tributes and our provinces constitute, in a sense, our nation's landed estates ; and thus, just as you, gentlemen, gain most pleasure from such of your estates as are close to Rome, so to the nation there is something pleasant in the nearness of this province to the capital.

And then again, the character of the inhabitants is such, so hardy and upright and honest, that it really reminds us of the stern old Roman manners, rather than of those which have come to prevail among us to-day. They have none of the failings found elsewhere among Greeks ; they are neither slothful nor self-indulgent; on the contrary, they are highly industrious, for their own and for the public good; plain-living and conscientious folk. Such, moreover, is their attachment to our own people that among them, and nowhere else, neither tax-collector nor capitalist is an object of dislike. [8] Acts of oppression, again, on the part of Roman officials, they have borne so patiently, time after time, that never before this day have they, as a community, sought a refuge in the sanctuary of the law and the stronghold of your protection: and yet they had to live through that awful year ** which brought them so low that they would certainly have been ruined but for the coming of Gaius Marcellus, sent them, it would seem, by destiny as the second Marcellus to be the saviour of Sicily; and after that they suffered under the autocratic powers conferred on Marcus Antonius. ** It was an inherited tradition of theirs to regard Rome as so great a benefactor of the Sicilians that they must even endure oppression, if the oppressors were Romans. [9] Verres is the first man against whom their cities have officially sent witnesses to testify. They would, in fact, have endured even Verres in silence, if only his offences had been those of an ordinary man, offences of a recognised and usual type, or, indeed, of only a single sort, no matter what. But finding his luxury and his cruelty, his greed and his insolence, beyond their power of endurance; finding all the privileges and rights and benefits ever granted them by the Roman senate and nation reft from them by this one unscrupulous scoundrel: they made up their minds to one of two things ; either to prosecute their oppressor, and secure revenge, if you would help them ; or else, if you should count them unworthy of receiving your aid and succour, to abandon their cities and their homes - their countryside they had already abandoned, driven from it like game by their oppressor. [4.] L   [10] This was the purpose of the entreaty made by all their deputations to Lucius Metellus, that he would take over the government from Verres at the earliest possible moment ; this was the state of mind that led them to pour out their tale of woe so often into their Roman supporters' ears; this was the distress that moved them to present to the consuls those petitions of theirs, which, it was plain, were not really petitions, but charges against that man yonder. And further, their distress and their lamentations succeeded in inducing myself, known to them as a man of honour and integrity, almost to abandon the fixed principle of my life in becoming the prosecutor of Verres, a step intensely repugnant to my ideas and my feelings : even though, in this particular case, I look upon myself as having undertaken the part of defender far more than that of prosecutor. [11] And lastly, men of the highest birth and the highest rank have come to Rome, officially or as private persons, from every part of the province; every great and important city of Sicily has flung itself eagerly into the task of avenging its wrongs.

But in what circumstances, gentlemen, have they thus come to us? I feel that I must, at this point, speak to you on behalf of these Sicilians with less reserve than, it may be, they would themselves wish ; I will aim at forwarding their deliverance rather than their desires. Was ever an accused person, think you, in any of our provinces, protected in his own absence against a prosecutor's investigations by such an expenditure of money and passionate effort? The quaestors of both divisions who had served under him were on the spot to oppose me, supported by lictors : [12] and their successors, being his enthusiastic supporters, and having been liberally dealt with by him out of his fund for travelling expenses, ** opposed me with equal bitterness. Think of the power in the hands of a man who had, in the one province, four quaestors doing their utmost to shield and defend him ; and the praetor, with all the praetor's staff, doing so much for him that it was easy to see that their field of operations had not been Sicily, which they had found empty, but the governor of Sicily, who had gone away full. They threatened the inhabitants with vengeance if they appointed deputations to give evidence against Verres, or if any of them left for Rome: they made the most liberal promises to others if only they would speak in his favour: they took important witnesses, witnesses to private charges, men summoned in person by myself, and set guards to prevent them by force from leaving the country.

[5.] L   [13] Now in spite of all this, let me inform you that only one single city, that of the Mamertines, has sent an official deputation to speak in Verres' support : and the chief man of that very deputation, Gaius Heius, the most distinguished person in that city, has stated on oath in your hearing that a large cargo ship was built for Verres at Messana by workmen officially impressed; and this same representative of the Mamertines and eulogist of Verres has charged Verres with not merely carrying off his personal property but plundering his home of the sacred vessels and household gods that were his family heirlooms. An impressive eulogy indeed, when the energies of those sent to deliver it are divided between praising the thief and denouncing his thefts! You shall, moreover, be told when the time comes of the origin of Messana's attachment to Verres: and you will then see that the grounds for her citizens' goodwill towards him are in themselves sufficient grounds for his conviction. Of the other cities, not one, gentlemen, sends him official support. [14] All the force of his sovereign authority could only so far prevail with a handful of individuals - not cities - that in some cases certain unimportant inhabitants of unprosperous and decaying towns were found ready to go off to Rome without the authority of their town or town council, and in other cases persons who had been appointed to appear against him, and had been supplied with official evidence and instructions, were forced or frightened into staying at home. And after all, I am not sorry that in a few instances this has actually occurred, since it must increase your respect for all the many other great and important cities, in fact for Sicily as a whole, showing you how these people could be withheld by no force, turned back by no peril, from discovering whether you feel any sort of concern for the grievances of your oldest and most loyal allies. [15] As to the statement, which some of you may have heard, that the Syracusans are giving him an official eulogy, you know from the evidence of the Syracusan Heraclius, given at the first hearing, what that means; you shall, however, have the whole facts of the case, so far as Syracuse is concerned, put clearly before you later: and you will certainly perceive that no man was ever hated so heartily by any body of persons as that man was, and is, hated by the people of Syracuse.

[6.] L   It may be suggested that only the Sicilians are his enemies, and that those Roman citizens who are carrying on business in Sicily support him, like him, and desire his acquittal. My first answer to that is this: even were it so, yet the Extortion Court was established for our allies; the law was passed, the procedure was set up, for our allies' benefit; and therefore it is the grievances of our allies to which you, as members of this Court, must listen. [16] But in fact your attention was drawn, in the first hearing, to the important evidence of a large number of reputable Roman citizens from Sicily, showing both the wrongs done to themselves and the wrongs they knew had been done to others. I will tell this Court one thing of whose truth I am sure, and it is this. I believe myself to have gratified the Sicilians by my endeavours to redress their wrongs at the cost of toil, hostility, and danger to myself: I know that this action of mine has been equally gratifying to our countrymen, who believe that the preservation of their rights and liberties, their property and fortunes, depends on the condemnation of the man now before you. [17] And therefore I am content that you should listen to my account of his governorship of Sicily on the understanding that, if he shall appear to have satisfied any description of person, Sicilian or Roman, cultivators or stock-farmers or traders or any class whatsoever; if he shall not appear equally the enemy and robber of all of them ; if, in fact, you find that he has ever in any respect spared any of them - that then you in your turn shall spare him.

No sooner had the lot given him Sicily as his province than he proceeded, while still in Rome, before he left the city, to ask himself, and to discuss with his friends, by what methods he could make most money out of a single year in the province. He was not content to discover these methods on the spot, though he was no raw new-comer to the work of government ; his prey being Sicily, he was anxious to arrive there with his designs thought out and prepared beforehand. [18] Admirably indeed did popular rumour and the general talk of the streets interpret the omens for that unhappy province, inferring with prophetic jests from his name Verres the manner in which he was likely to behave there! Who, to be sure, could feel doubtful - considering his acts of desertion and theft as quaestor, thinking of his plunderings of towns and temples as assistant-governor, seeing in our Forum his deeds of brigandage as praetor - how he would perform the fourth act in the vicious drama of his life? [7.] L   And now, to show you that his researches at Rome included not only the general principles of thieving but the precise names of his victims, let me put some evidence before you that may help you to appreciate the unique quality of his unscrupulous behaviour.

[19] The day he landed in Sicily - mark how Rome's prophetic interpretation of his name was borne out by his full preparations to sweep the province clean on arrival - he promptly sent off from Messana to Halaesa a letter which I conceive he had written in Italy, for he dispatched it the moment he had stepped ashore. In this letter he summoned Dio of Halaesa to appear before him without delay ; he intended, he said, to investigate a legacy received by Dio's son from a relative, Apollodorus Laphiro. [20] This legacy, gentlemen, was a very large sum of money. Dio, you should know, has now the rank of a Roman citizen, conferred on him by Quintus Metellus; and it was he, as was made clear to you at the first hearing of this case by the personal and written evidence of a number of witnesses of high standing, by whom the sum of one million sesterces was paid over to secure from Verres a judgement in his favour on an issue admitting not the smallest shadow of doubt. Besides this, his herds of thoroughbred mares were taken from his fields, and his house plundered of all the silver and tapestries it contained. Thus Dio lost one million sesterces simply through having received a legacy. [21] Now who was praetor ** when this legacy came to Dio's son? Why, the man who was praetor when legacies ** came to Annia the daughter of the senator Publius Annius and to the senator Marcus Ligus - Gaius Sacerdos was praetor. Then did no one make trouble for Dio at that time? No one, any more than for Ligus - so long as Sacerdos was praetor. Then who laid an information against him before Verres? No one, unless we are to suppose informers were waiting for Verres on the quay. [8.] L   While in or near Rome, Verres was told that a large legacy had come to a Sicilian named Dio; that the legatee was required to erect certain statues in the Forum; and that failing such erection the legacy was forfeit to Venus of Eryx. ** Although they had been erected as the will required, the mention of Venus suggested to Verres sufficient opening for a false charge. [22] Accordingly, he put up a man to claim the legacy for Venus of Eryx. No, the claim was not brought, as is usual in such cases, by the quaestor of the division ** in which Mount Eryx lies: it was brought by a man called Naevius Turpio, Verres' agent and emissary, the most worthless of all the informers in that district, . a man who had been sentenced for assault during the praetorship of Sacerdos. The case was indeed of such a kind that the praetor himself, in casting about for a dishonest claimant, could secure no one who was even slightly more respectable than this man. Dio won his case against Venus, but lost it against Verres. ** Our judge naturally would have earth do wrong rather than heaven, and Dio be robbed immorally by him rather than illegally by Venus.

[23] Need I now read you the evidence of Sextus Pompeius Chlorus, who was Dio's advocate and directly acquainted with all the circumstances - a man of the highest character, whose merit has long earned him Roman citizenship, and is none the less to be reckoned the most important and distinguished of Sicilians? Or the evidence of the honoured and honourable Quintus Caecilius Dio himself? Or that of Lucius Caecilius, Lucius Ligus, Titus Manlius, and Lucius Calenus? Everyone of these has testified to the facts about this money that Dio paid. There is similar evidence from Marcus Lucullus, who has stated that his earlier ties of hospitality with Dio led to his knowing what befell that unhappy man. [24] And further, did Lucullus, then in Macedonia, know more of all this than you did, Hortensius - you who were in Rome, you from whom Dio sought help, you who wrote to Verres earnestly protesting against Dio's wrongs? Is all this new and surprising to you? Does this charge now come to your ears for the first time? Did you hear nothing of it from Dio - nothing from that highly-respected lady your mother-in-law Servilia, so long Dio's guest and hostess? Are not many of the facts unknown to my witnesses and known to you? It is not your client's innocence, but the exemption the law gives you, that has deprived me of calling you yourself as a witness to the truth of this charge. - Read the evidence. ( Evidence of Lucullus, Chlorus and Dio. ) [9.] L   Does the Court feel that this devotee of Venus, who came to his province fresh from Chelidon's arms, has used the name of Venus to secure enough for himself ?

[25] Let me now tell you of another false charge, not less unscrupulous, though it involved a smaller sum of money. There are two brothers belonging to Agyrium, named Sosippus and Philocrates. Their father died twenty-two years ago. His will provided that, if a certain stipulation were not carried out, the estate should be forfeited to Venus. No less than twenty years later, after all the praetors and quaestors ** and bringers of false charges who had meanwhile been in the province, the estate was claimed from the brothers on behalf of Venus. Verres tried the case; and nearly four hundred thousand sesterces was paid over to him, through Volcatius, by the two brothers - you have already heard the evidence of a number of witnesses. The Agyrian brothers won their case - and left the court impoverished and broken men. [10.] L   [26] But, we are told, the money did not reach Verres. What manner of defence is this ? a serious plea, or an experiment? I ask, for it is something new in my experience. Verres put up the false claimant, Verres summoned the defendants, Verres tried the case, Verres pronounced judgement; a large sum of money was paid; the payers won the case. Is my opponent to reply : "The cash was not paid to Verres" ? Quite true; my own witnesses endorse this statement ; they tell us they paid it to Volcatius. And who was Volcatius, that he should be able to force four hundred thousand sesterces out of two men? Would anyone whom Volcatius approached on his own responsibility have paid him one penny? Let him approach somebody now, and see what happens: no one will let him into his house. I will put the matter more plainly. I am proving that you have illegally acquired forty million sesterces, and I will say that none of this money has been directly paid to you personally ; but since it was your decrees and edicts, your orders and judgements, that forced the money out of its owners, the point at issue is not whose hands received the cash, but whose tyranny compelled its payment. [27] The members of your select retinue were your hands; your managers, secretaries, orderlies, doctors, soothsayers, and criers were your hands ; the more closely a man was connected with you by any tie of blood, marriage, or friendship, the more he was reckoned one of your hands; the whole of the company that formed your staff, a company that has done Sicily more harm than if it had been a hundred companies of revolted slaves, were undeniably your hands. ** Any sum appropriated by any of these persons must inevitably be judged to have been not only paid to you but paid in cash into your own hands. If this Court is to accept "He did not receive the money himself" as a valid defence, it may as well do away with all judicial investigation of extortion. There can never be any prosecution of any person, however guilty, who will not be able to employ this line of defence. Verres would employ it now ; and can the guilt of any man who shall be prosecuted hereafter be so black that we shall not, when we measure it against the guilt of a Verres, class it with the innocence of a Scaevola? But indeed I feel that in this matter my opponents are aiming less at defending Verres himself than at trying in the person of Verres the effect of a new general line of defence.

[28] Now here, gentlemen, is a danger against which you must guard with care, a matter that vitally concerns the nation's interests, the good name of our Order and the welfare of our allies. If we would have ourselves believed innocent, we must demonstrate not only our own innocence, but that of the persons who form our staff. In the first place, we must do our best to take out with us men who uphold the safety of our reputation and our existence as citizens. ** [11.] L   In the next place, if having made our choice we find our confidence in our friends disappointed, we must punish them or dismiss them, living in perpetual expectation of being called to account for our behaviour. Let me quote you a saying of that very courteous gentleman Scipio Africanus, only first observing that such courtesy is truly admirable in one whose good name is as secure as his was. [29] One of his friends, an old adherent, had asked to be taken to Africa as one of his cavalry officers, and was much offended at being refused. "Do not be surprised," said Scipio, "that I refuse consent to your request. I have for some time been asking a man, who would, as I believe, care much for my honour, to go with me as one of my officers; and he has, so far, refused his consent." And it is surely true that, if we would escape danger and discredit, there is far more need to entreat men to join our staff than to offer such a post as a favour. Yet when you, Verres, invited your friends to join your staff like members of a raiding party, when you carried out your raids in their company or by their means, when you presented them at public gatherings with gold rings, did you not assume that you would be called to account for their actions as well as your own?

[30] Having now set on foot this method of making for himself extensive and lucrative profits out of the cases which he heard himself with the assistance of his court - a court composed of his own staff - he next hit upon another device with unlimited possibilities of seizing vast sums of money. [12.] L   It is plain to us all that every man's whole fortune lies at the mercy of those who appoint and those who compose our courts; that no man among you could remain the owner of his house, or the owner of his land, or the owner of his family property, if when his title thereto in any case were disputed, a dishonest praetor, exercising his authority without appeal, were to appoint the members of the court as he chose, and a worthless and irresponsible court were to give the verdict that the praetor said must be given. [31] And if in addition to this the praetor states the issue in such a form of words that not even a man so well versed in the law and in his duty as (shall we say) Lucius Octavius Balbus could, as a member of the court, alter the issue in his verdict - if the directions to the court are of this type, "Case to come before Lucius Octavius: If it shall appear that Publius Servilius is the lawful owner by Roman law of the estate at Capena in question, And if the said estate shall not be restored to Quintus Catulus, etc.," ** will not Octavius, as judge of the Court, have to compel Servilius to "restore" the estate to Catulus, or failing that have to inflict an unjustified penalty ? It was in this fashion, during the three years of Verres' praetorship, that the whole administration of justice was directed by the praetor and carried out by the courts. The orders made were of this type: "If he refuses to be satisfied with receiving what you state is all you owe him, you are authorised to prosecute him ; and if he sues you further, to have him arrested." Gaius Fuficius, Lucius Suettius, Lucius Racilius were plaintiffs whose arrest he thus ordered. His courts were composed, if the parties were Sicilians, of Roman citizens, though the law of the country required the appointment of Sicilians; and of Sicilians, if the parties were Roman citizens. [32] But that you may be able to grasp the whole bearings of his judicial methods, let me first tell you about the legal rights of Sicily, and then about this man's innovations.

[13.] L   The legal rights of the Sicilians are as follows. Cases between two citizens of the same city should be tried in that city's courts and by that city's laws. For cases between two Sicilians of different cities, the praetor should appoint a court, choosing its members by lot in accordance with the statutes known in Sicily as the Rupilian law, which were enacted by Publius Rupilius ** on the recommendation of the Commission of Ten. When an individual sues a community or a community an individual, the Council of some city is appointed to try the case, each party being entitled to challenge one Council thus proposed. ** A Sicilian is appointed to try any case where a Sicilian is sued by a Roman citizen, and a Roman citizen to try any case where a Roman citizen is sued by a Sicilian. In all other cases the regular procedure is to nominate the court from a panel ** of Roman citizens resident in the district; except that cases between corn-farmers and collectors of tithe are tried as is directed by the corn laws known as the Lex Hieronica.

[33] All these rights, throughout this man's term of office, were not simply disturbed but taken clean away from Sicilians and Roman citizens alike. To begin with the local law of each city: in cases between two citizens of the same city, Verres would either have them tried before anyone it suited him to appoint - some crier or soothsayer or doctor among his own following, or else, if the court was legally composed and the litigants did appear before a fellow-citizen of their own, the latter was allowed no freedom in deciding the case. Listen to this proclamation that the man made, bringing every court in the land into subjection to his own will: I will bring to justice any man who shall give a dishonest legal decision, and will punish him accordingly. That meant, as everyone saw clearly, that the judge in any case must expect his judgement itself to be judged in turn, which might well mean his loss of all his own rights, and that he would therefore, with this hanging over him, follow out the wishes of a man whom he expected shortly to sit in judgement upon him. [34] No judges were ever nominated from the district panel, or from among the business men ** in the place. It was the staff that, as I say, supplied the judges; and not the staff of a Scaevola - though it was not Scaevola's custom, in any case, to draw upon his staff for this purpose - but the staff of Gaius Verres, the character of which may readily be inferred from that of its chief. In the same way, where you find the proclamation "If any Council shall give any dishonest legal decision, etc.," I shall prove that any Council too that was actually appointed ** was forced by Verres into giving decisions of which it did not approve. No judges chosen by lot as the Rupilian law enjoins, except when that man had nothing to lose by it; all the numerous trials that should have occurred in accordance with the Lex Hieronica swept away by a single order; no judges taken from the district panel or from among the business men. You see the extent of Verres' powers: let me now tell you what use he made of them.

[14.] L   [35] Heraclius of Syracuse, the son of Hiero, is a man who holds the highest rank among his own people and in the days before Verres' praetorship was perhaps the wealthiest man in Syracuse; though his sole disaster has been to encounter this greedy tyrant, to-day he is the poorest. By the will of a kinsman of his own name, he received a legacy amounting to a clear three million sesterces and including a house fully furnished with fine engraved silver plate, with an abundance of tapestries, and with valuable slaves ; and which of us does not know this man's crazy passion for such things as those? It was common talk that Heraclius had had a large sum left to him ; that he would be not only wealthy, but richly supplied with furniture, plate, woven fabrics and slaves. [36] Verres too heard of this, and made his first attack on Heraclius by his well-known but comparatively mild method of asking him for the loan of things to look at, with no intention of returning them. It was then suggested to him by certain citizens of Syracuse, Cleomenes and Aeschrio - they were connected with him through their wives, whom he always considered as quite his own ** ; and the extent and disgraceful source of their influence with him will appear plainly in connexion with other charges - these persons, I say, pointed out to him that the property was a very noble one, richly stocked with all manner of good things; that Heraclius himself was elderly and not very energetic ; that apart from the Marcelli ** he had no special protector whom he could approach or call to his help; and that in the will leaving him the property there was a clause requiring him to erect certain statues in the athletic park {palaestra}. "Let us make the curators of the park declare that the statues have not been erected in accordance with the will, and let them claim the estate as being forfeited to the park." [37] The scheme pleased Verres : he foresaw that, once the ownership of a great estate like that became matter of dispute and a claim was brought for its recovery, there was no doubt of his securing some plunder by the time all was over. He approved the plan; he proposed their setting to work without delay, and launching the most violent attack possible against the by no means litigious old gentleman. Heraclius was formally sued. [15.] L   At first there was general astonishment at the wickedness of the false claim; then those who knew Verres began either to suspect or to see distinctly that he had cast his eyes on the estate. Meanwhile the day drew near on which he had announced that he would proceed to the hearing of cases ** at Syracuse, in accordance with the established practice of the Rupilian law. He had arrived in court ready to begin the hearing of this case, when Heraclius represented to him that the hearing could not begin that day, because the Rupilian law forbade the hearing of cases to begin within thirty days from the institution of the suit ; and thirty days had not yet elapsed. Heraclius hoped that, if he could only escape that day, Quintus Arrius, for whom the province was then waiting eagerly, would succeed Verres before the case could come on again. [38] Verres postponed the day for beginning the whole session, and fixed a date late enough for him to begin the hearing of this suit against Heraclius after the legal thirty days had elapsed. When that day had arrived, he began a pretence of being willing to open it in the regular way. ** Heraclius came forward with his supporters, and requested permission to plead his case against the curators - in effect, against the civic body of Syracuse - as citizen versus citizens. ** His opponents requested that judges for this case should be selected, at the discretion of Verres, from all the cities belonging to that assize district. Heraclius urged in reply that the judges should be appointed as directed by the Rupilian law; that there should be no departure from the procedure, established by precedent and sanctioned by the Senate, to which all Sicilians alike were entitled. [16.] L   [39] Need I give you any proof of the criminal way in which this man administers the law as he chooses? Did you not all see how he administered it in Rome? Was the proper legal procedure available at any time for anyone during his term of office, if Chelidon willed otherwise ? Unlike some others, Verres was not morally ruined by his province - he was there what he had been in Rome. When Heraclius pleaded what all knew to be true, that Sicilians had fixed rights in their legal actions against one another; that the Rupilian law was in existence, instituted by the consul Publius Rupilius on the recommendation of the Commission of Ten ; and that all consuls and all praetors in Sicily had maintained this law always: Verres thereupon announced that he would not cast lots as the Rupilian law directed, and appointed to try the case the five persons who suited him best.

[40] How shall such a man be dealt with? What fit punishment can be found for behaviour so outrageous ? You barefaced ruffian! When you found laid down for you the method of appointing courts for purely Sicilian cases ; when any other method was forbidden by the sanction of the chief magistrate of Rome, by the high authority of those ten eminent Commissioners, by that decree of the Senate instructing Rupilius to enact laws for Sicily in accord with the Commissioners' report ; when all your predecessors had strictly maintained the Rupilian statutes, and most strictly of all those that relate to judicial procedure: then could you dare to let all these solemn facts count for nothing when balanced against the prospect of plunder for yourself? Could law and conscience, sense of shame and fear of judgement, be so utterly banished from your mind? Could you let no man's opinion weigh with you, no man's actions make you follow his example ?

[41] But to resume my narrative: defying the law and the constitution, allowing no challenges and drawing no lots, he appointed these five judges, choosing the men he wanted, not to investigate the facts, but to give the verdict he bade them give. That day nothing was done; they were summoned for the day following. [17.] L   Heraclius meanwhile, seeing that every sort of treacherous device to undo him was being employed by the chief magistrate, took the advice of his friends and kinsmen, and resolved not to appear in court. That night, accordingly, he fled from Syracuse. The following morning Verres rose much earlier than he had ever risen before, and ordered the court to be summoned. On learning that Heraclius was not present, he proceeded to direct the judges to find against the defendant by default. They requested him to be good enough to follow his own regular practice, and to wait till four o'clock before directing a judgement by default in favour of the party present; and this he allowed. [42] In the interval he was a good deal upset, both he and his friends and counsellors beginning to feel troubled because of Heraclius's flight. They felt that a judgement against him by default, especially with so large a sum involved, would cause far more ill-feeling than if he had been present when the judgement was given. There was the further fact that the court had not been appointed as required by the Rupilian law, which they saw would make the affair much more discreditable and increase its appearance of unfairness. So he tried to put this straight, and the result was a still clearer revelation of his greed and wickedness. He now declared that he would not employ the five judges already mentioned ; he gave orders for what ought, by the Rupilian law, to have been done at the outset, the summoning of Heraclius and those who were bringing the action; and he said that he was prepared to appoint the court by lot as the law directed. What all the tears and prayers and entreaties of Heraclius had not been able to extract from him the day before, now on the following day occurred to him - that it was his duty to appoint courts in accordance with the Rupilian law. He drew three names out of the urn ; he ordered these persons to find against Heraclius by default; and they found against him accordingly.

[43] O you knave, O you fool! Did you never look to be called to account for your actions? Did you never expect that this honourable Court would hear this story told? Shall an estate be claimed from its lawful owner to become the prey of a governor ? Shall the name of a city be dragged in, and an honoured community be forced to play the foul part of a dishonest claimant? And not only this, but shall the affair be so conducted that not even the pretence of justice is brought into it anywhere? For what difference does it make, in heaven's name, whether the governor orders and forcibly compels a man to hand over his whole property, or so organises the legal proceedings against him that thereby, the man's case unheard, he is stripped of all he possesses? [18.] L   [44] Most certainly you cannot deny that your duty was to appoint the court as the Rupilian law enjoins; all the more so because Heraclius applied for this to be done. And if you allege that you broke the law with his consent, you will be blocking your own path, and entangling yourself in your own defences. For why, in the first place, did Heraclius refuse to appear, if he had judges from the class for which he applied? And why did you in the next place appoint fresh judges by lot after his flight, if those appointed before were appointed with his approval as well as yours ? And note further that all the other cases in that district were tried by Marcus Postumius the quaestor ; this, it will be found, is the only case in those assizes which you tried yourself.

[45] Well, well, someone may tell me, he gave the estate to the citizens of Syracuse. Now to begin with, even were I willing to allow this to be true, you must declare the man guilty in spite of it, for we are not given free leave to rob one man of a thing and give it to another. But you will in fact find little concealment about the way in which he plundered that estate; you will find that the citizens of Syracuse have made themselves thoroughly disliked, taking only the discredit while the profits went elsewhere; and that a few individual Syracusans, being the persons who now tell us they are here officially to testify to the man's merits, shared in the plunder then, and have come here now, not to testify to his merits, but to find themselves assessed along with him for their share of the compensation to be paid. After judgement had been given against Heraclius by default, the palaestra of Syracuse - in other words, the people of Syracuse - received possession not only of the estate in question, his inherited estate, worth three million sesterces, but also of the whole of his own family property, which was worth at least as much more. [46] There is the way to govern a country! You rob the man of an estate that had been left to him by a relative, left to him by will, left to him legally ; a property which Heraclius, the maker of the will, some time before his death, had conveyed complete to this Heraclius for his enjoyment and possession; an inheritance concerning which, though the testator had died long before you came into office, no dispute whatsoever had occurred, no suggestion of such a thing had been made by anyone. [19.] L   But never mind that. Rob the next-of-kin of the legacy, present it to the curators of the park ; pounce upon another man's property in the name of his fellow-citizens ; overthrow the sanctions of law and the rights of bequest, the wishes of the dead and the just claims of the living, if you will: but must you also force Heraclius to give up all that his own father left him ? No sooner had he fled than it was all carried off; and, God help us, with what shameless publicity and cruelty ! What a picture! Heraclius groaning under his calamity, Verres gloating over his profits, the Syracusans blushing with shame, men's hearts everywhere filled with distress! For one thing was promptly seen to - the conveyance to Verres of all the family engraved silver plate and Corinthian brass and tapestries ; and no one could doubt that such things would have to be gathered and brought to him not only from that one captured and devastated house but from the length and breadth of the province. He carried off such of the slaves as he fancied, and sold the others in lots; an auction took place, at which his unconquerable followers had everything at their mercy. ** One incident is truly impressive. [47] The Syracusans who were in charge of this business of nominally selling and really giving away this property of Heraclius submitted a report upon it to their Senate. They stated that several pairs of goblets, some costly silver jugs, a large quantity of fabrics, and some valuable slaves, had been presented to Verres. They stated the sums of money paid ** by his orders to various persons: groans were heard from the citizens at this, but no protest was made. Suddenly there was read out the single item of a payment of three hundred thousand sesterces made by the praetor's orders. This provoked a loud and general uproar, and not only from all the honest people, or those who had all the while felt it to be horrible that a private person should with such flagrant injustice be robbed of his property in the name of the community : even the men who had actually supported the outrage, and who to some small extent had shared in the looting and plundering, began to call out, "Let him keep the estate for himself." 'The uproar in the Senate-house was so violent that a crowd of the townsfolk was attracted. [20.] L   [48] The news spread through the district, and word of it was quickly brought to Verres' house. Filled with personal spite against those who made the report, and general hostility towards all who had joined in the uproar, the fellow boiled over with furious indignation. Nevertheless, he did not on that occasion behave like his usual self. You know his impudence ; you know his audacity : but he was now thoroughly alarmed by the public talk and clamour and the revelation of his theft of that huge sum of money. Pulling himself together, he called a meeting of the citizens. Unable to deny their having paid that money, he did not look far afield, since no one would have believed him, but fixed on his nearest connexion, ** almost a second son of his, to accuse of appropriating the amount, and declared that he would force him to pay it back. The other, on hearing this, behaved as became his rank, age, and birth. He made a speech in the Senate, showing that he was clear of the business, and himself referred not obscurely to what everyone knew to be the truth about Verres. The Syracusans, owing to this, later set up a statue in his honour ; and as soon as he could he abandoned Verres and left the province. [49] And yet they tell us that Verres used now and then to complain of his ill-luck in suffering from misdeeds and charges that concerned not him but those who belonged to him ! - You ruled Sicily for three years ; and your excellent young son-in-law was there with you for one year; intimate friends, gentlemen of honour, even your legates deserted you in your first year ; Publius Tadius, the one legate who did stay behind, spent comparatively little time in your company, and if he had spent all his time there would have taken great care not to injure your reputation, and still more not to injure his own. What ground have you for accusing others? What reason have you for believing that you can transfer the blame of your offences to someone else, or even share it with any second person? [50] That three hundred thousand sesterces was refunded to the Syracusans : how it subsequently came back to Verres by a back door I will show you, gentlemen, by means of documentary and personal evidence.

[21.] L   This piece of wicked injustice, gentlemen - this bestowal of that plundered property on a number of Syracusan individuals against the wishes of the Syracusan Senate and people - is well matched by ** the crimes committed through Theomnastus and Aeschrio, Dionysodorus and Cleomenes, crimes which Syracuse resented bitterly. To begin with, as I intend to tell you in another part of my speech, the whole city was stripped of its treasures; with the help of the persons whom I have named, he carried off from the temples in the city every statue, every ivory carving, every painting, and every sacred image on which he chose to lay his hands. And then, what happened in the Senate-house at Syracuse - the bouleuterion, as they call it there? A revered spot, full of glorious memories for them; a place where stands the bronze statue of the great Marcus Marcellus himself, the man who might, by the custom of war and conquest, have taken the place away from them, but instead of that protected and restored it. In that place they ** erected a gilded statue of Verres, and another in honour of his son, that, so long as their memory of the man lasted, the senators of Syracuse might be unable to sit in their Senate-house without tears and groans. [51] With the help of these same men, who shared with him thefts, outrages, and wives, and by his orders, the Marcellus Festival was suppressed at Syracuse, to the grief and distress of the whole community. This festival was being partly kept as an acknowledgement of the recent favours shown them by Gaius Marcellus ** and partly offered as a cordial tribute of respect to the great Marcellus family as a whole. When Mithridates overran Asia from end to end, he did not suppress the Mucia festival { in honour of Scaevola }; though he was our enemy, and in all but this a most savage and inhuman enemy, yet upon that memorial of human greatness, hallowed by the sanctions of religion, he would lay no hand. And then would such a man as you not let the Syracusans offer a single day of festival to the Marcelli, to whom alone they owe it that they have been able to keep all their other festivals? [52] Ah yes, and truly glorious is the Verres Festival you have given them to keep instead! What a day for which to make contracts, years in advance, for supplying the materials of its ceremonies and banquets! Well, in dealing with impudence so colossal, I feel that I must calm myself a little; the strain must sometimes be relieved; indignation must sometimes be imagined not to inspire my words. The truth is that time, voice, and lung-power would fail me, were I to seek now to express in speech the pitiful shamefulness of this festival, kept in Verres' honour by people who believe Verres responsible for the utter ruin that has engulfed them. Ha, the Verres Festival - splendid! Where, I would know, have you ever gone without bringing your feast-day along with you? What house or town or sanctuary did you ever visit without verily straining and draining it dry ? Oh, by all means let your festival be called the Verria ** : we can see that it was established to celebrate not your name but your greedy hands and grasping character.

[22.] L   [53] Now mark, gentlemen, how easily injustice spreads, how hard it is to check the habit of doing wrong. Bidis is a quite small town not far from Syracuse. Much its most important citizen is a certain Epicrates. This man inherited five hundred thousand sesterces from a female relative; so near a relative that, even had she died intestate, Epicrates would by the laws of Bidis have been her heir. It was not long after the affair, already described to you, of Heraclius the Syracusan, who was ruined simply by having a legacy left him. This man Epicrates also, as I have said, had a legacy left him. [54] His enemies began to reflect that the praetor under whom Heraclius had been ejected from his property was still in office, and that it was equally possible to eject Epicrates from his. Setting secretly to work, they sent word of the business to Verres through his agents. A lawsuit was concocted in which the claimants were again curators of an athletic park {palaestra}; those of Bidis were to claim the legacy of Epicrates just as those of Syracuse had claimed that of Heraclius. Never have you come across a praetor so devoted to athletics ; though his patronage of these curators would usually, to be sure, end in a financial success ** for himself. He promptly demanded a cash payment in advance of eighty thousand sesterces to one of his friends. [55] The secret could not be kept properly, and Epicrates received information through one of the persons concerned. At first he was disposed not to do anything about the matter or take it seriously, his case being so overwhelmingly strong. Presently he remembered Heraclius, and seeing what an unprincipled rascal Verres was, concluded that his best plan was to leave the province secretly ; he did so accordingly, and went off to Regium. [23.] L   This becoming known, those who had paid the money were much upset, believing that the action must drop if Epicrates did not appear ; for Heraclius had at least been in court when the judges in his case were first appointed ; whereas Epicrates had gone off before the suit was instituted, in fact before anything about a counterclaim had been said, and so they believed that the action could not go forward. They set sail for Regium, and there saw Epicrates; they told him what he already knew, that they had paid over eighty thousand sesterces; they suggested that he should make good to them the sum they had themselves parted with, and take security from them, in whatever form he preferred, that no one should bring an action against him in connexion with the legacy. [56] Epicrates made them a long and angry reply, and turned them away. They went back from Regium to Syracuse, and began to bewail, in the hearing of a number of persons, as people will do, that they had paid away eighty thousand sesterces for nothing. The story got about, and began to be mentioned and discussed everywhere. Verres revived his performance at Syracuse, said that he proposed to investigate this story of the eighty thousand sesterces, and summoned a number of persons to attend. The men from Bidis declared they had paid Volcatius the money - not adding "by Verres' orders." Verres sent for Volcatius and ordered repayment to be made. Volcatius, who was losing nothing by this, brought along the money very contentedly and repaid it before numerous witnesses ; and the men from Bidis went off with it. [57] "Well," someone will say, "what fault have you to find with Verres here, where he has not only been no thief himself, but has even prevented theft by another man?" Wait; you will shortly be made aware that the money you have just seen escape him along the high road returned to him by a back lane. For what was he bound to do as praetor, when he found, after investigation in court, that a member of his own staff had been bribed to secure an unjust verdict in a lawsuit - a thing that might mean the praetor's own disfranchisement and disgrace - and that the people of Bidis by giving the bribe had imperilled the praetor's representation and fortunes? Would he not have punished both the man who took the bribe and the men who gave it? You announced your intention of punishing those who should make improper awards, a thing often done inadvertently ; do you let persons escape unpunished who have been capable of either giving or accepting bribes to upset your own ordinances and your own decisions? [24.] L   [58] Volcatius kept his position with you just as before, in spite of the shameful humiliation of his honour as a knight of Rome - for what can be more shameful for a gentleman, what more degrading for a free man, than to be forced by a magistrate to restore stolen goods before the eyes of a large audience? Had he had the feelings of a knight, nay, those of the humblest free man, he could not, after such treatment, have looked you in the face; he must have hated you, privately and publicly, for inflicting such disgrace upon him, had he not been your accomplice at the time and worked to uphold your honour more than his own. How close a friend of yours he has continued, not only as long as he was with you in Sicily, but even now when you are at last deserted by your other friends, you know well and we can infer. But have we no proof that he was in the whole secret except that Volcatius was not angry with him and he punished neither Voleatius or the people of Bidis? That proves much ; but the final proof is this. [59] To these very people of Bidis with whom he was bound to be angry, whom he had found trying to secure by bribery a corrupt decision from him just because they had no legal case against Epicrates even if he should appear - to these very people, I repeat, he gave possession not merely of the legacy left to Epicrates, but, treating him as he had treated Heraclius of Syracuse (only a little more foully, since Epicrates had never been summoned to appear at all), he gave these people of Bidis the money and property inherited by Epicrates from his father. He showed in a new way that he was ready to try any claims against an absent man. The people of Bidis appeared and claimed the legacy: Epicrates' representatives requested that he would either leave the case to be settled by local law or direct a suit to be instituted as required by the Rupilian law. The other side dared not oppose this: they could see no way of escape. Then they alleged that the defendant had absconded to escape paying his creditors, and requested an order for themselves to receive possession of his estate. [60] Epicrates owed no one anything : his friends declared that they would answer in court any claim made against him, and would give guarantees for the payment of any such claim allowed by the court. [25.] L   The whole conspiracy was hanging fire, when at Verres' suggestion the plaintiffs started an allegation that Epicrates had forged the public records - an offence of which there was not the least ground for suspecting him - and applied for permission to prosecute. His friends urged that in his absence no proceedings, no investigation by Verres affecting his character should be allowed to take place, and at the same time continued to reiterate their demand that Verres would refer the matter to be dealt with under their own laws. [61] This gave Verres a good opening ; he had now found a charge against which Epicrates' friends were not ready to defend him in his absence, and declared that he would admit the case for trial at an early date. As everyone saw clearly not only that the cash with which he had ostensibly parted had come back to him, but that he had subsequently laid hands on a good deal more, Epicrates' friends abandoned his defence. Verres ordered the people of Bidis to have possession and ownership of the whole of Epicrates' property, his own original fifteen hundred thousand sesterces as well as the five hundred thousand sesterces legacy. Now had this business such an origin - was it so carried through to its conclusion - was the amount involved so small - is Verres so honest a man - that we can suppose the actions I have recounted to have been done for nothing ?

[62] Let me now show you, gentlemen, the unhappy condition of these Sicilians. Deprived of all they had, both Heraclius of Syracuse and Epicrates of Bidis came to Rome ; and there, wearing the mean clothes and the unshorn hair and beards of men in distress, they remained for nearly two years. When Lucius Metellus left for the province, they left with him, recommended strongly to his protection. As soon as he reached Syracuse, he cancelled both judgements, that against Epicrates and that against Heraclius. Nothing in either estate was left that could be restored, except what it had been impossible to remove; [26.] L   [63] but Metellus behaved admirably, on his first arrival, in cancelling and annulling all the oppressive acts of Verres, so far as he could do so. His orders for the re-instatement of Heraclius not being obeyed, he ordered the arrest of all Syracusan senators prosecuted on this account by Heraclius, and a number of them were arrested accordingly. Epicrates was re-instated promptly. At Lilybaeum, at Agrigentum, at Panhormus, various judgements were cancelled by restitution orders. Metellus gave notice that he would not regard as valid the assessments made during Verres' praetorship, and proclaimed his intention of selling in accordance with the Lex Hieronica the rights of tithe collection which Verres had sold in defiance of that law. All his actions were such that he seemed less to be doing his own work as praetor than undoing the work of his predecessor. No sooner had I reached Sicily than he became another man. [64] Within two days of that time he had had a visit from one Laetilius, a person not unversed in letters, and for that reason employed regularly by Verres to carry his mails. Laetilius had brought several letters, including one from home that had at once changed Metellus completely. He began forthwith to tell people that he was ready to do anything for Verres, that he was Verres' friend and kinsman. There was general surprise at his thinking of this at this late hour, after having officially done and ordered so much to wreck him; some there were who suspected that Laetilius had been dispatched by Verres to remind Metellus that Verres was his well-wisher, friend, and relative. From that time onward he began to urge the different cities to furnish eulogies, and not only to intimidate my witnesses but forcibly to prevent their going. Had I not done something to counter his exertions by my visits, had I not, in dealing with the Sicilians, been armed with the written legal authority of Glabrio instead of that of Metellus, I should not have been able to secure the presence of so many of them at this trial. [27.] L   [65] But let us return to what I began to tell you of our allies' unhappy position. Heraclius and Epicrates, with all their friends, came out a long way to meet me, thanked me with tears as I approached Syracuse, and expressed their eagerness to go off to Rome with me. Having several towns still left which I wished to visit, I arranged a day with them for meeting me at Messana. They sent me word there that they were being detained by the praetor's orders. These witnesses, whom I have officially summoned, whose names I have given in to Metellus, who are most eager to come here and are the victims of outrageous injustice, have so far not arrived. Our allies' rights do not even include permission to complain of their sufferings.

[66] You have already heard the evidence of that young man of high character and position, Heraclius of Centuripa, against whom was brought a lying and malicious claim for one hundred thousand sesterces. Verres forced into the case arbitration agreements and penalties, and took steps to extract four hundred thousand sesterces ; ** and when the arbiter - a man of Centuripa, arbitrating between two of his fellow-citizens - decided in favour of Heraclius, Verres annulled the decision, and pronounced the arbiter guilty of making a false award. He forbade this man to appear in the Senate, attend town gatherings, or enjoy civic privileges; and gave notice that he would allow no action for assault against anyone who might strike him, would appoint one of his staff to decide upon any claim brought against him, and would not allow the man himself to sue another man for anything. [67] His authority was so far effective that nobody assaulted the man, in spite of the nominal permission and actual encouragement to do so given by the praetor to all those under him; that nobody sued him for anything, in spite of Verres' official announcement of a free hand for false claimants; but the man's painful humiliation lasted as long as Verres' term of office lasted. In the face of such unprecedented, such unheard-of intimidation of the courts of law, do you imagine that a single case was decided throughout Sicily except as Verres directed? Do you suppose that the only thing which happened was what certainly did happen, the robbery of this money belonging to Heraclius? That there was not also the further result, a highly profitable result for this robber, that he had, in the name of the law, every man's property and fortunes at his own sole disposal ?

Following sections (68-130)


1.(↑)   80 B.C., during which Lepidus, father of the triumvir, was governor of Sicily.

2.(↑)   See Divinatio § 55. His wide general powers in 74 were like those conferred on Pompeius in 67: but he failed where Pompeius succeeded.

3.(↑)   An ironical way of saying "bribed."

4.(↑)   i.e., propraetor in Sicily and praetor urbanus in Rome respectively.

5.(↑)   See i. 104 and 125.

6.(↑)   i.e, to the famous temple of Venus on Mt. Eryx in Western Sicily.

7.(↑)   Western Sicily.

8.(↑)   Verres made Dio pay 1,000,000 sesterces to escape having the whole legacy adjudged forfeit to Venus.

9.(↑)   The proper claimants on behalf of Venus (see § 22).

10.(↑)   Here there is some play made with the military sense of 'manus' as well as of 'cohors'.

11.(↑)   Because the loss of our 'caput' (civic rights) would be the penalty we might have to pay for their misconduct.

12.(↑)   The formula is of the normal type: the injustice lies in the barefaced substitution of Catulus for Servilius in the second clause. The formula would conclude with the normal direction to inflict a stated penalty on Servilius.

13.(↑)   Proconsular governor of Sicily in 131, when this legislative commission drew up this legal "constitution" for Sicily.

14.(↑)   More literally "after a city on each side has been rejected." The praetor, it would seem, nominated the city council. If either party objected to his choice, he made another nomination. If the other party objected to this one, he made a third, which both were bound to accept.

15.(↑)   A periodical meeting of Roman citizens within a given area, for mutual convenience and business: the word may also signify the persons or the area.

16.(↑)   Apparently temporary, as distinguished from permanent, residents in the district.

17.(↑)   i.e., instead of the usual illegal substitute.

18.(↑)   Alienas has the double sense of "strangers" and "belonging to other people."

19.(↑)   The patroni of all Syracusans since the city's capture.

20.(↑)   Lit. "would draw cases by lot," i.e. would select juries by lot for the respective cases.

21.(↑)   'Sortiri' implies the procedure which Heraclius demands, and which, as appears from the sequel, Verres from the first intended not to employ.

22.(↑)   i.e., before a court chosen (a) by lot, (b) from among his fellow-citizens only.

23.(↑)   The auction was a pretext for further appropriations by Verres. His staff, who would not have to pay, could always outbid genuine purchasers.

24.(↑)   As bribes to Verres' followers: these, and the presents (nominal or real) to Verres himself, are a condition of the town's being allowed to have the rest of the estate.

25.(↑)   His son-in-law, not otherwise known.

26.(↑)   Or perhaps "led to."

27.(↑)   Theomnastus and his fellows: or perhaps the citizen body, under compulsion.

28.(↑)   See note on § 8.

29.(↑)   With allusion to verrere - "to sweep " (cf. § 18, 19) : "the Spring Cleaning Festival."

30.(↑)   Lit. "he would come away from them more anointed (i.e. richer) than before" ; alluding to the oiling practised by athletes.

31.(↑)   Verres made the claimant quadruple his claim, and both parties agree to submit the matter to an arbitrator. Each party had to bind himself by an agreement ('compromissum') to pay a certain sum as penalty ('poena') if he did not abide by the award.

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