Cicero : In Verrem 2.3

Sections 116-171

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.

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[49.] L   [116] The return of acreage under crop in the district was about 30,000 iugera. This gives us 90,000 medimni, or 540,000 modii, of wheat. Subtract 216,000 modii, the price for which the tithes were sold, and we have 324,000 modii. Add to this 6 per cent of the total amount of 540,000 modii, which comes to 32,400 modii - for an additional 6 per cent was exacted from everyone ** - and we now have a total of nearly 360,000 modii. ** Well, but did I not say that the profit made came to 400,000? Yes: for in the above reckoning I have not taken account of those who were not allowed to get off with 3 medimni a iugerum. However, to make up the promised total without taking this into account, let me tell you that cash fees were exacted as well, 2 sesterces a medimnus from many farmers, 14 from many others, and 1 from those who came off most lightly : and to take the lowest figure, since we are reckoning 90,000 medimni as the amount, we must add 90,000 sesterces for this villainous innovation. ** [117] And now will the man still dare to tell me that he sold the tithes for a high price, when he has appropriated for himself double the amount that he sent from the same area for the use of the Roman people ? - You sold the Leontini tithes for 216,000 modii. A high price, if your methods had been legal ; but if they were such as to make your own wanton pleasure the test of legality - such as to make the nominal 10 per cent into 50 per cent - then the price was a low price, for the year's harvest in Sicily could have been sold for a much higher price, had the Senate and People of Rome bidden you do thus. ** - And in fact the tithes have often been sold for as much, under the Lex Hieronica, as they have now been sold for under the code of Verres. - Let us have, if you please, the record of tithe-sales under Gaius Norbanus. (The statement is read.) - And yet men were not then prosecuted for the returns of acreage they made ; nor was Cornelius Artemidorus a judge of claims; nor had the local magistrate to make the farmer pay over whatever amount of corn the collector announced was due ; nor was the collector entreated to be so very kind as to agree to a settlement at three medimni a iugerum ; nor was the farmer compelled to pay additional fees in cash or supplementary percentages of corn. And in spite of that, plenty of corn used to be sent for the use of Rome.

[50.] L   [118] What, too, is the meaning of those percentages and those additional fees in cash? By what legal right, or indeed by what moral right, did you exact these? Cash from a farmer - how and whence did he get it? he might heap up his measure perhaps, if he would be especially open-handed - as was common enough once in paying tithes, when those tithes were sold on fair terms and conditions - but pay money ? from what source ? from the sale of his corn? as if he had had any corn to sell, when you were governor ! Oh well, he must break off a bit from his capital, to provide for a cash gratuity for Apronius in addition to his harvest from the farms. And what is more, did they pay that willingly or reluctantly ? Willingly ? Well - of course they were fond of Apronius. Reluctantly? Then what, unless it were brutal violence, made them pay it ?

I may add that lunatic charged money fees at the time of selling the tithes, so much for each district. Not a large sum : 2000 or 3000 sesterces each : perhaps 500,000 sesterces in all for the three years. He had no precedent and no legal right behind him in this; and he never rendered any account of these sums ; nor will anyone ever be able to guess how the man is going to defend himself against this little charge. -

[119] In the face of all this do you dare to tell us that you sold the tithes for a high price, when it is plain as daylight that what you sold was the farmers' property and livelihood, and that you sold them not for the profit of the Roman nation but for your own ? - It is as if the manager of a farm that was rich enough to bring in ten thousand sesterces a year were to cut down and sell the timber, remove the roofing, sell off the equipment and live stock, and then send the owner twenty thousand sesterces instead of a hundred, while pocketing another thousand for himself. The owner, knowing nothing of the damage done to him, would be much pleased at first, and delighted with his manager for making his farm bring in so large a return. But when he heard presently how everything on which the fertility and cultivation of his farm depended had been taken off and sold, he would think himself badly treated, and would punish that manager most severely. Not otherwise does the Roman nation, when told that Gaius Verres has sold the tithes for more than his upright predecessor Gaius Sacerdos, imagine itself to have had a good caretaker and manager in charge of its corn-lands and its harvests. But when it is fully aware that Verres has sold all the farmers' gear and all our sources of revenue ; that his greed has bereft us of all hope for the years to come; that he has converted our revenue-producing farms and fields into a barren and empty desert ; and that by his robberies he has made vast profits for himself: then it will recognise that it has been treated most foully, and will hold the man to deserve the severest punishment.

[51.] L   [120] How, you may ask, can the truth of what I say be recognised ? Most clearly from the fact that, owing to Verres' greed, the tithe-paying lands of the province of Sicily were deserted. What happened was not merely that those who did stay on their land continued their farming on a much smaller scale, ** but that a great many well-to-do men, the active cultivators of extensive properties, abandoned their broad and fertile fields, and left their farms completely derelict. The truth of this statement can be confirmed with ease from the public records of the various communities, because by a law of the Lex Hieronica an official return of the number of farmers is made to the local magistrates every year. - And now, please, read us the return of the number of farmers in the Leontini district when Verres arrived in Sicily. "84." Now the number who returned themselves in his third year. "32." - Fifty-two farmers, we observe, cast out in such a fashion that nobody so much as came in to take their places. - How many farmers were there in the Mutyca district when you were on your way to Sicily? Let us consult the official record: "187." Next, how many in your third year? "86." - Through the oppression of Verres, one single district mourns the loss of one hundred and one farmers: nay, since it is the revenues of the Roman nation that we speak of, it is our own country itself mourns the loss of all these men and their families, and demands their restoration. The Herbita district had 252 farmers in his first year, 120 in his third : 132 of its householders left their homes and fled elsewhere. - The farmers of the Agyrium district - fine, estimable, substantial fellows they are - numbered 250 in the first year of your governorship. And now, how many in your third year? 80 - as you, gentlemen, have heard from the representatives of Agyrium, who read the statement from their official records. - [52.] L   [121] By the immortal gods ! were it all Sicily from which you had thus ejected 170 farmers, could a strict and just Court acquit you? - It is the one district of Agyrium, gentlemen, that is the emptier by 170 farmers : this will enable you to judge what befell Sicily as a whole. And you will find this state of things repeated throughout the tithe-paying areas. You will find some men left behind, men who even now have been left with some fraction of the wealth they inherited ; their equipment is reduced, their oxen are far fewer than they were; but they stayed, fearing to lose, if they went, all the means of livelihood yet left them. But you will find that those whom Verres had left with nothing to lose fled not only from their farms but from their countries. Even those who remained on their farms, a bare tenth of the whole number, intended to go, and would have gone, had not Metellus told them in a letter from Rome that he would sell the tithes as required by the Lex Hieronica, and entreated them to sow as freely as possible - as they always had done on their own account, without anyone's asking them to do it, so long as they could feel that they were sowing seed, and spending money, and working hard, to benefit themselves and the Roman nation instead of Verres and Apronius.

[122] And now, gentlemen, though you pay no heed to these Sicilians' fate, and the treatment of Roman allies by Roman magistrates cause you no concern, yet I bid you accept the task of protecting the common interests of the Roman nation. I assert that those farmers have been driven out by Verres, that the lands that produce our revenues have been ravaged and converted into desert, that our province has been despoiled and devastated. I establish the truth of these assertions by the written statements of the towns, I demonstrate it by the official evidence of the most important of these towns and by the private evidence of the most notable individuals. [53.] L   What more would you have? Do you expect that Lucius Metellus, who used his official authority to deter many other persons from giving evidence against Verres, should nevertheless himself testify from Sicily to Verres' shameless and criminal wickedness? Presumably not. Yet Verres' successor, it may be argued, has had exceptional opportunities for learning of it. He has: but personal friendship ties his hands. Still, you urge, he ought to inform you of the present state of the province. [123] He ought : but at the same time he is not compelled to do so. Does anyone wish that Metellus had given evidence against Verres? No. Or demand that he should? No, I take it. Well, then, if I confirm the truth of all that I have said by evidence that Metellus gives, by a letter that he wrote, what will you say ? That what he wrote is false, or that he was anxious to damage his friend, or that as governor he was unaware of the ruin of his province ? - Read us the letter of Lucius Metellus, addressed to the consuls Gnaeus Pompeius and Marcus Crassus, to the praetor Marcus Mummius, and to the city quaestors. (The letter is read: "I have sold the corn-tithes in accordance with the Lex Hieronica . . ." ) - When he says in this letter that he has sold the tithes in accordance with the code of Hiero, what is he saying ? That he has sold them as all governors have sold them - except Verres. What, I ask again, is he saying when he uses these words? That he has given back to the Sicilians what Verres wrenched from them : our ancestors' benefactions, their own legal rights, their status of alliance and friendship established by treaty. He tells us the price for which he sold the tithes of each district ; and what does he say next ? - Read us the rest of the letter. [124] "I have exerted myself to the utmost to secure the highest price possible for them." - Then why, Metellus, did you secure so modest a price for them? Because you found the farms abandoned, the countryside stripped bare, the province ruined and miserable. And further: how was anyone found to sow what corn was sown ? - Read on, please. - He tells us that he wrote to the farmers and encouraged them, that he brought his official power into play. Metellus has all but given hostages to those farmers to guarantee his behaviour unlike that of Verres in every respect. But what is it, pray, over which he tells us he has taken such elaborate pains ? - Read further. "That the surviving farmers should sow as much corn as possible." -   "The surviving farmers" ? What does "surviving" mean? What war or devastation do they survive ? What horrible disaster, what prolonged and calamitous war has been visiting Sicily while you were its governor, that your successor should make us feel that he has pulled together, and inspired with fresh life, the "surviving" farmers ?

[54.] L   [125] In the days when Sicily was laid waste by the wars with Carthage, and on the two later occasions when, as our fathers and ourselves remember, great bands of escaped slaves roamed about the province, there was nevertheless no ruin of the farmers. At such times, sowing would be prevented, or the harvest lost, and there would be no return for that year's toil; yet the total number of householders and farmers remained intact, and the praetors who on those occasions succeeded Marcus Laevinus ** or Publius Rupilius or Manius Aquilius ** as governors of the province had not to pull the "surviving" farmers together. Did Verres and his lieutenant Apronius bring into our province of Sicily so much worse horrors than Hasdrubal with his Carthaginian army, or than Athenio with his immense bands of escaped slaves, that whereas in those earlier times, once the enemy was beaten, farming began again everywhere, and the governor did not write letters of entreaty to the farmer, nor beseech him in person, to sow his land as freely as he could : yet now, even after the departure of this calamitous monster, not one farmer was found who resumed work of his own accord, and the survivors were few whom the authority of Metellus induced to go back to their farms and their own hearths and homes ?

[126] Can you not feel, you unprincipled madman, how this letter is like a knife at your throat? When your successor speaks of "surviving" farmers, can you not see what his letter expressly signifies - that these men are survivors not of war nor of any similar visitation, but of your own cruel wickedness and pitiless greed ? - Read the rest of the letter, please. "However, so far as the difficulties of the situation and the scarcity of the farmers allowed . . ." -   "The scarcity of the farmers," he says. Gentlemen, if I myself, the prosecutor, were to refer to the same point as often as this, I should be afraid of your finding me monotonous. "Had I not written" cries Metellus but that does not content him; and "had I not personally encouraged them" - but not even this is enough for him. "The surviving farmers," he writes, and describes the plight of Sicily by using a word of almost funereal gloom - and then he adds, "the scarcity of the farmers." [55.] L   [127] Insist, gentlemen, insist, if you can, on further confirmation of the charge I bring. I tell you that the farmers have been driven out by Verres' greed - and Metellus writes that he has encouraged the farmers who "survive." I tell you that the fields have been abandoned and the farms left desolate - and Metellus writes of the scarcity of the farmers, and in doing so signifies that these friends and allies of the Roman nation were driven forth, were expelled, from all they could call their own. Even had the occurrence of any disaster to such men as these by the fault of Verres left our revenues unimpaired, it would still be your duty to punish him, especially since the law under which you sít here to try him was made for such men's benefit. And as the ruin and beggary of our allies is attended by this loss of national revenue - as Verres' greed has for the years to come destroyed the growing of corn, destroyed the abundant supplies on which the life of our city and our armies must depend - then do you take heed for the interests of Rome, even though you be not concerned to provide for those of our loyal allies. [128] And to convince you that Verres, eager for the profit and plunder of the moment, has taken no thought for your revenues or for the days to come, l will tell you what Metellus writes towards the end of his letter. "However, I have taken steps to secure the revenues for the future." He has taken steps, he says, to secure the revenues for the future. - He would not be saying that he had taken steps to secure the revenues unless he meant to show that you had wrecked those revenues. - Why should Metellus be taking steps to secure the revenues from the tithes, or from the growing of corn generally, unless Verres had diverted the revenues of the nation into his own coffers? And Metellus himself, who is thus "taking steps to secure the revenue," who is pulling together the "surviving" farmers - Metellus aims at nothing more than the resumption of farming by those who can do it, by those whom Verres' satellite Apronius has left with at least something in the way of a "surviving" plough to farm with, by those who in spite of everything have stayed on their land, awaiting hopefully the advent of Metellus. And what of the rest? what of that immense number of farmers who not only have been driven from their land, but have fled from their districts, nay, from Sicily itself, bereft of all their possessions and livelihood? How shall they be brought back ? How many honest and intelligent governors must we not have before all those many farmers are settled on their own land and in their own homes at last ?

[56.] L   [129] Now if it seems wonderful to you that the number of these fugitives was as great as the official returns of the farming population have shown you that it was, you must know that Verres' cruelty and wickedness towards the farmers were such that some men - this, gentlemen, incredible as it seems, is a fact, and a fact that is known throughout Sicily - some men were led, by the wanton injustice of the tithe-collectors, to take their own lives. It is an established fact that a well-to-do man of Centuripa named Diocles hanged himself on the day on which he was told of Apronius having bought his tithe. So too one Tyracinus, the chief man in his town, as the eminent Archonidas of Helorus stated in your hearing, killed himself on learning that the collector, in accordance with Verres' edict, had declared a larger amount due to him than the whole of the resources of Tyracinus would be enough to pay. - Dissolute and cruel as you have ever been beyond all other men, these horrors, nevertheless, you would not have allowed, because the cries of grief they provoked in Sicily meant the risk of your own destruction : you would not, I say, have allowed men to seek refuge from your oppression by hanging themselves to death, unless that oppression had meant profit for you and plunder for you.

[130] And there is another thing that you would not have allowed. - I ask for your attention, gentlemen : I must strain every nerve, I must spare no kind of effort, to convince the world how brazen, how manifest, how fully admitted is the conduct for which he would use his money to buy himself acquittal. It is a fearful and a terrible charge - it is the most terrible that any man can remember since our Extortion Courts were set up - this charge against a governor of being in league with the collectors of tithe. [57.] L   This charge, now brought against him by his personal enemy and official prosecutor, he does not hear brought now for the first time. He has heard it before now. He has heard it while he sat as governor in his seat of office. Though he was set supreme over the province of Sicily, though both the power that he possessed like every other governor, and the cruelty that is his own peculiar distinction, made him formidable to all men, he has heard that charge brought again and again ; nor was it carelessness that made him slow to take measures against the bringers, but the consciousness of his own guilt and greed that forcibly restrained him. The collectors used to talk openly, and none more openly than the man who had most power with Verres and laid waste the largest areas of corn-land, I mean Apronius, how out of those big profits mighty little reached themselves, for the governor was their partner. - [131] Now when the collectors were thus talking openly all through Sicily, and connecting your name with a business so vile and disgraceful, did it never occur to you to look after your reputation - to ensure your escape from beggary and destruction? Your terrible name was ringing in the farmers' ears and souls ; it was your name, your wickedness, not their own violence, that the collectors brought to bear against the farmers in forcing those agreements on them. Could you think that any court in Rome would be so lax, so immoral, so venal, that any power of deliverance could deliver you out of its hand? Could you think thus, when, after sales of tithe that violated every custom and regulation and precedent, the collectors of tithes kept saying that you were their partner in stripping and despoiling the farmers, that it was your business and the plunder yours, while you said nothing to all this - while, unable to feign ignorance of it, you were able to endure and tolerate it, because the greatness of your profits obscured the greatness of your peril, and greed of gain moved you considerably more than fear of your judges.

[132] Very good: all this you cannot deny. But there is one thing left. Can you declare that you heard nothing of all this, that no word of your evil report came to your own ears? No; you have not left yourself the power of saying even this. The farmers complained of their injuries, with groans and lamentation : did you not know of that? There were murmurings from the whole province: did no one report them to you? Meetings were held at Rome to protest against your oppression: were you unaware of them ? or unaware of any of these facts ? Nay, further, when Lucius Rubrius, in your hearing, openly and before a large gathering at Syracuse, formally challenged ** Quintus Apronius to prove that he, Apronius, had not said repeatedly that you were his partner in tithe-farming, did these words not penetrate your complacency, or stimulate you to think of your own fortunes and your own safety ? You held your tongue ; you allayed the contention between the two men ; you did your utmost to stay the challenge from going forward. - [58.] L   By the immortal gods, I ask whether an innocent man could have borne this, and whether the guiltiest man, if he thought of judgement impending in Rome, would not have made some pretence of innocence wherewith to deck out his case before the eyes of the world. What can this mean ? - [133] A challenge is made that means ruin and degradation for you : and you sit there, inactive? you do not follow the matter up? you carry it no further? you do not inquire to whom Apronius said this thing, or who heard him say it? whence it was conceived, and how it was brought to birth ? Had someone but come and whispered in your ear that Apronius was telling people that you were his partner, the news should have shaken you; you should have demanded explanations from Apronius, and not have exonerated him until public opinion had exonerated you. And seeing that this allegation was made nominally and ostensibly about Apronius but in reality about you, before a great gathering in the midst of a populous city, could you possibly have submitted to such an attack without saying one word, unless you had made up your mind that where the facts were so plain you could say nothing that would not make things worse for you? [134] Many a governor has dismissed, and turned out of his province, quaestors and legates, prefects and tribunes, because he believed his reputation to be suffering through what they were saying of him, or because he held them guilty of some misconduct of their own. You would not have suffered a semi-slave like Apronius, a filthy immoral brute whose mind was as inevitably unwholesome as the very breath of his mouth was inevitably foul - assuredly you would not have incurred such shame for yourself by allowing such a man to escape without so much as a harsh word from you, no solemn sense of the loyalty due to such a confederate would have made you neglect the risk of your own degradation, if you had not been aware that the facts of the case were known and plain to everyone. -

[135] Publius Scandilius, a Roman knight with whom you are all well acquainted, subsequently issued, to this same Apronius, the same challenge as Rubrius had meant to issue before. He persisted, pressed the matter, refused to let him off. The challenge was accepted, for the sum of 5000 sesterces. ** Scandilius proceeded to apply for a court, or a single judge, to try the case. [59.] L   A tolerably close net, you will agree, to be woven round a dishonest governor - that he should be compelled, in his own province, nay, on his own seat of judgement, either to sit there and allow an issue that might mean his own ruin to be tried in his own presence, or to confess that no court could try him and not find him guilty. - Apronius is challenged to deny that he has been calling you his partner in farming the tithes. You are governor of Sicily ; you are present here ; you are applied to for a court to judge the case. What do you do? what is your decision? You reply that you will appoint judges. Quite right - though how shall we find judges with enough backbone to venture, in the presence of the governor of the province in which they are, on giving a decision hostile not only to his wishes but to his interests? But let that pass. [136] The facts are clear. There is no man but would state plainly that he has heard of them. The most substantial and trustworthy persons would testify to them. In all Sicily there was no man but knew that the tithe-profits were in the governor's hands, and had heard Apronius say so again and again. And Syracuse is the headquarters of a large body of honourable and respected Roman knights : the court should be chosen from their ranks, and could not possibly come to any other decision than that indicated. Scandilius urged his request that a court should be appointed : whereupon Verres - this innocent gentleman who was so anxious to dispel this false rumour and clear his own name - stated that he would select the court from the members of his own staff.

[60.] L   [137] In the name of all that is just and holy, what manner of man is this whom I am prosecuting, whom I would make the means of proving myself a zealous and strenuous prosecutor ? What is there that any utterance or device of mine can be needed to achieve or to secure? We see him plunging his hands deep into the revenues of Rome, into nothing less than the harvests of our province of Sicily ; we see this thief, I say, embezzling before our eyes the whole of the corn and a vast sum of money as well ; we see him, I repeat, so clearly that no denial is in his power. For here - what will he say ? - A challenge has been issued to your agent Apronius, a challenge that threatens your utter ruin, bidding him rebut the statement that he has been talking of you as his partner in tithe-farming. The public waits eagerly to see how deeply this challenge disturbs you, what steps you mean to take to vindicate yourself and establish your innocence in the eyes of the world. Will you, even here, appoint your physician or diviner or crier to judge the issue, or even Papirius Potamo, that inflexible adherent of the ancient tradition of the knights, ** whom you had on your staff to be used as a judge of proverbial ** integrity for cases of exceptional importance ? Scandilius then claimed to have a court appointed from among the local Roman citizens ; whereupon Verres said that he would entrust none but his own people with a verdict that concerned his own reputation. Mere business men hold it discreditable to reject, as judges who are prejudiced against them, the citizens of the district in which their business is conducted: and here a governor rejects as prejudiced judges the whole population of his province! [138] Never was there a worse piece of effrontery. Here is a man appealing for acquittal at Rome who has already pronounced his acquittal in his own province impossible, who thinks it easier to bribe a distinguished body of senators than to intimidate a trio of traders! Well, Scandilius declared that he would not open his mouth before a court made up of men like Artemidorus. - At the same time, he made you the most generous and liberal of offers, if you would only accept it : should you decide that no man could be found in all the province of Sicily fit to try this case, by himself or with others, he requested you to send on the case to be heard at Rome. [139] And at that, if you please, you cried out upon his unfairness in asking for a case that touched your own reputation to be tried in a place where he well knew you were unpopular ; you would not send on the case to Rome, you said, nor would you select a court from the Roman citizens of the district; he must have your own staff. - Scandilius then said that he would drop the case altogether, and take it up again when it suited him. - And what was your reply to that? what did you do then? You compelled Scandilius . . . to do what? To acknowledge the issue as settled ? No, not that: it would have been shameless ** to disappoint the public of the expected verdict upon your character. What, then, did you do? [140] Allow Apronius to select such members of your staff as he preferred to try the case? Oh no; it would have been unfair to allow one of the parties to select a court from among persons prejudiced against the other, instead of allowing both parties the right of choice ** from among persons prejudiced against neither. You did neither this nor the other thing. What did you do, then? Was there some still more unscrupulous course open to you? - There was. He compelled Scandilius to pay Apronius, then and there, that sum of five thousand sesterces. **

Can you conceive a more graceful action for a governor desirous of a good reputation - for one who desired to repel all suspicion from himself and rescue himself from becoming infamous? [61.] L   He had been made the subject of scandal, of unpopularity, of denunciation. That filthy scoundrel Apronius had been asserting that the governor was his partner. The truth of this was about to be tested by a public hearing. The upright and blameless Verres was offered the chance of punishing Apronius, and of freeing himself thereby from discredit of the most infamous kind. What penalty or punishment does he devise for Apronius? In return for that unique piece of brazen rascality, that assertion of an iniquitous partnership with himself, he compels Scandilius to pay Apronius 5000 sesterces as what he calls damages or compensation. - [141] What difference was there, you brazen fellow, between making that order and yourself confessing and repeating what Apronius had been repeating about you? Here is a man whom, if there had been any sense of shame in you - nay, even any sense of your danger - you should not have allowed to escape unpunished ; and you would not allow him to take his leave of you unrewarded !

Gentlemen, the treatment of Scandilius which I have denounced is enough by itself to tell you everything. First, it tells you that this charge of partnership in tithe-farming has not taken its rise here in Rome. It has not been invented by the prosecutor. It is not - in the words sometimes used by counsel for the defence - a home-made and home-bred charge. It has not been put together to serve the immediate purpose of securing Verres' conviction. It is a charge of long standing, set going and circulated while Verres was still in office. It has not been concocted at Rome by his enemies, but brought to Rome from his province. [142] At the same time this affair tells you of Verres' devotion to Apronius, and why Apronius not only acknowledged that devotion but boasted of it openly. And it tells you this fact as well - how sure Verres felt that the opportunity of delivering, in his province, any verdict that might affect his reputation, must be granted to nobody save the members of his staff.

[62.] L   Is there one member of this Court who has not, at the very outset of that part of the prosecution that dealt with the tithes, been convinced of Verres' violent assault on the property and livelihood of the farmers? Is there one who did not reach this conclusion as soon as I showed how he had sold the tithes under a new law, or rather a negation of law, that violated the custom and ordinances of all previous governors? [143] Nay, to say nothing of my having a Court to deal with composed of men so strict, so watchful, so scrupulous as yourselves, is there one among you who has not long felt sure of that conclusion by considering the magnitude of the wrongs he did, the shameless orders he made, the unfair trials he conducted? Let us even suppose that this or that man among you is unduly lax as a judge, unduly heedless of the law and his duty to enforce the law, of his country and his country's friends and allies. What then? can such a one doubt the guilt of Verres, when he learns of the vast profits made, of the iniquitous agreements extorted by force and intimidation, of the immense bounties that violence backed by authority, that fear of the lash or of death, have compelled those cities to pay, not merely to Apronius and his like but even to temple slaves ? [144] And if there be some of you whose hearts are not touched by our allies' troubles, not stirred to their depths by the ruin and flight and exile and suicide of those farmers, I still cannot doubt that they, having learnt, from the evidence sent by the cities and the letter that Metellus wrote, how Sicily has been laid waste and her farms left desolate, feel it impossible that Verres should escape the severest condemnation. Will there still be those who can pretend to ignore and neglect all these facts? I have brought to your notice challenges on the subject of Verres' partnership in tithe-farming, made in the presence of Verres himself, and by Verres himself prevented from being investigated : and for what plainer proof than this can any man possibly ask me.

Gentlemen, I have no doubt that you are satisfied by what you have heard from me. None the less, I will go further : not, believe me, in order to increase the certainty that I am quite sure you already feel ; but to make Verres at last abandon his impudent tactics, and cease at last to fancy that he can purchase things that he himself has always thought purchasable - honour and honesty, respect for one's oaths, duty to men and to gods ; and to make his friends at last cease saying things that may cause injury and dishonour and unpopularity and disgrace to all of us. ** [145] His friends - think of them! How the misconduct of a few unworthy senators has afflicted the whole order, and brought it unpopularity and discredit ! Aemilius Alba sits at the entrance to the provision-market, and talks openly about how Verres has won the day - how he has bought his judges, paying 400,000 sesterces for one, 500,000 sesterces for another, 300,000 sesterces for the cheapest! And when someone said to this that it could not be done, that plenty of witnesses would appear against him, and moreover that I was going to do my best as prosecutor, "Good Lord," he says, "let them all say what they like : after what we have done, unless such plain facts are brought up that there is no answer to make to them, we have won." [146] Very good, Alba: I will meet you on your own terms. You believe that in our courts no one is swayed by inferences or circumstantial evidence, nor by the character that a man has borne all his life, nor by the evidence of honest witnesses, nor by the responsible written statements of citizen bodies ; and you insist on plain facts. Well, I do not ask for judges as scrupulous as the Cassii, nor seek for a trial as strict as those of old, nor call upon the members of this Court to bring to this trial the honesty, the seriousness, the solemn sense of duty that are theirs. No, I will have Alba as judge, a man who himself aims at the reputation of a scurrilous wit - and who is always spoken of by the wits as less a wit than a brute; and I will adduce a fact, in connexion with the tithes, of such a kind that Alba himself will admit that Verres has plundered, openly and publicly, our supplies of corn and the property of our farmers.

[63.] L   [147] You tell us that you sold the tithes of the Leontini district at a high price. ** Now I showed at the outset that a man cannot be held to have sold tithes for a high price when it is only in name that he has sold tithes at all, and in fact, what with his conditions and his terms and his regulations and the illegalities of his collectors, has left the farmers with less than the amount of the tithe for themselves. And I further showed that other governors had sold at a high price the tithes of the Leontini district and of the other districts ; that they had both sold them in accordance with the Lex Hieronica and sold them at an even higher price than you did ; and that in spite of this none of the farmers complained. - There was in truth no room for any farmer to complain, since the sales were conducted in accordance with an equitable law, and since it never made any difference to the farmer how high a price was secured. For the position is not that if the price secured is high more is due from the farmers, and less if the price is low. The amount of tithe sold corresponds to the yield of the harvest, and it is to the advantage of the farmer to have crops so heavy that the tithes may fetch the highest prices : so long as the farmer hands over no more than his tithe, the larger that tithe is, the greater his profit. - [148] However, I gather that you mean your main plea to be that you sold the tithes at a high price, and that while you sold the tithes of other districts at a price that was high in relation to their particular harvests, you sold those of the Leontini district, the most productive, for 216,000 modii of wheat. If I prove that you might have sold them for appreciably more than that, and refused to knock them down to those who were bidding against Apronius, and handed them over to Apronius for much less than you might have sold them for to others - if I prove this, will Alba himself, your oldest friend and indeed your oldest lover, be able to vote our acquittal ?

[64.] L   I assert that Quintus Minucius, a Roman knight and a man of high position, along with others of his own class, was prepared to pay, for the tithes of the Leontini district, not one, nor two, nor three thousand modii of wheat beyond the amount the tithes were sold for, but thirty thousand more, simply for the tithes of one single district ; and that he was not allowed the opportunity of buying them, in order that Apronius might not be deprived of them. [149] Deny this you cannot possibly, unless you have made up your mind to deny everything. The thing was done openly at Syracuse before a large gathering. The whole province is a witness to the fact, since men come regularly from every part of it to Syracuse to attend the sales of tithe. Confess it now, or have it proved against you hereafter - can you not see how numerous, and how unmistakable, are the facts here proved against you? In the first place, that this was your affair, and that the plunder came to you. Had it been otherwise, why would you have the Leontini tithes go not to Minucius but to Apronius, who was being talked of by everyone as being your agent in the tithe-farming and conducting your business? Next, it is proved that the profit made was immense, enormous ; for even if that 30,000 had no effect on you, Minucius would undoubtedly have been glad to pay Apronius the same amount as a bonus if Apronius would have accepted it ** ; [150] we can therefore conceive what hopes of plunder were before the eyes of a man who could contemptuously despise so vast an immediate profit, to be obtained without exertion. In the next place, Minucius himself would certainly not have been willing to pay so much for the tithes, if you had been selling them in accordance with the Lex Hieronica : it was because he saw that your new and iniquitous orders and regulations would enable him to take a good deal more than his tenth of the corn - that was why he went so much further. Now Apronius was always allowed to take a great deal more than even your regulations allowed. We can therefore imagine the amount of profit made by this man who had unlimited licence, when a man who, if he had bought the tithes, would not have had the same licence was ready to pay so large a bonus to secure them. [151] And finally, you are at any rate precluded from the plea by means of which you have always counted on being able to cover up all your thefts and rascalities - the plea that you sold the tithes dear, that you forwarded the interests of the Roman populace, that you took steps to make corn plentiful. That cannot be said by a man who cannot deny that he sold the tithe of a single district for 30,000 modii less than he might. So that even if I grant you the point that you did not transfer the tithe to Minucius because you had knocked them down to Apronius already (that is what you are reported to have been saying, and I hope with all my heart that you will offer this defence) - but even granted this, you still cannot proclaim as a glorious achievement your sale of the tithes at a high price, when you admit that there was a man ready to pay a much higher one.

[65.] L   [152] Well then, gentlemen, this man's avaricious greed, his unblushing and criminal wickedness, are already proved, and proved unmistakably. And now, if what I have been saying is the expressed opinion of his own friends and supporters, what more would you have? Upon the arrival as governor of Lucius Metellus, the whole of whose staff Verres had turned into his own friends by means of his own famous Universal Elixir, a summons was issued against Apronius to appear before the governor. It was issued by Gaius Gallus, a man of high rank and a senator, who applied to Metellus for permission to prosecute Apronius, in accordance with the governor's own edict, on the charge of "Robbery with Violence or Intimidation," a form of action, instituted by Octavius, ** which Metellus had accepted as valid when in Rome ** and was accepting as valid now in Sicily. ** Metellus refused the application, on the ground that he was unwilling, by allowing the case to be heard, to have judgement pronounced in advance on the capital charge now being brought against Verres. The whole of his staff showed their gratitude ** by appearing to support Apronius ; and Gaius Gallus, a senator like yourselves, was refused leave, in spite of his close acquaintance with Metellus, for a trial that was authorised by the governor's edict. [153] I do not blame Metellus : he did his best for a man who was his friend, and indeed - as he has himself said in my hearing - his intimate friend. I do not blame Metellus, I repeat; but what does surprise me is this: when he refused to allow that court to pronounce an advance judgement on Verres, how could he help thereby pronouncing an advance judgement himself, nay, a final judgement of the most weighty and emphatic kind? For, in the first place, if he thought Apronius would be acquitted, he had no reason to be afraid of any advance judgement; and in the next, if, Apronius being found guilty, everyone would regard the fate of Verres as bound up with his, Metellus at any rate was certainly pronouncing the judgement that the fate and fortunes of the two men were bound up together, when he laid it down that the conviction of Apronius would be an advance judgement of Verres. And we find at the same time one fact proving two other facts - that the farmers were forced or terrified into giving Apronius far more than was due from them, and that Apronius was acting nominally for himself but really for Verres - when we find Metellus certain that the conviction of Apronius must carry with it the condemnation of Verres' criminal wickedness.

[66.] L   [154] I now come to the letter of Verres' freedman and attendant Timarchides, having dealt with which I shall have completed my case so far as the tithes are concerned. This, gentlemen, is a letter that we found, in the course of our search for documentary evidence, in the house of Apronius at Syracuse. It was dispatched, as its contents indicate, on the return journey after Verres had left his province ; and it was written by Timarchides himself. - Read it aloud. - (The letter is read. "Timarchides, attendant of Verres, sends greeting . . .") - Now I have no objection to his styling himself "attendant." Why should clerks alone pretend to this privilege and begin their letters "Lucius Papirius, clerk" ? I would have them share it with attendants and policemen and call-boys. - "See that you do all you can to protect the governor's reputation." He appeals to Apronius on behalf of Verres, and bids him make head against the latter's enemies. - Well and truly is your reputation defended, if that defence is the hard-working and highly-respected Apronius. - "You are a man of character and eloquence." [155] How rich and impressive is this eulogy of Apronius by Timarchides! Whom can I imagine dissatisfied with one whom Timarchides approves so warmly? - "You have money for expenses." - Of course, any surplus from the profits your master and you made out of the corn business was bound to find its way to your agent. - "Get hold of the new clerks and assistants. Lucius Volteius can do a great deal : join with him, go for them, push your hardest." - We can see the assured confidence Timarchides has in his own rascality, when he gives even Apronius lessons in wickedness. And look at those words "Go for them" and "push your hardest" : one sees him producing from his former master's cellar expressions so applicable to every type of wickedness. - "I hope, old chap, you will trust your little brother.” - Yes, he is his own father's son when it comes to moneymaking and thieving, his twin and his double in immorality and rascality and effrontery. - [67.] L   "The staff **will be devoted to you." - And what do you mean by that? Teach your grandmother! Did Apronius get on to Verres' staff ** because you showed him the way, or on his own account ? - "Let everyone have as much as may be necessary." - Imagine the man's shamelessness in the days of power when he is so unprincipled in the days of exile. Everything can be managed with money, he says ; you must give money, you must pour it out, if you mean to win. What troubles me is not so much that Timarchides should urge Apronius to do this as that he is giving exactly the same instructions to his old master. ** - "Everyone succeeds who has you to canvass for him." - [156] Well yes, when Verres is governor : not under Sacerdos, or Peducaeus, or Metellus himself who is governor now. - " Metellus, as you know, is an old wiseacre." - Now this is really intolerable - that the ability of so great a man as Metellus should be derided and scorned and despised by a gaol-bird like Timarchides. - "Get Volteius to help, and you will find the whole business child's-play." - Here Timarchides is emphatically mistaken, in supposing either that Volteius can be bribed, or that Metellus's administration is under any one man's control. But his mistake is an inference from his own experience. He has seen that for many people it was child's-play to manage Verres, directly or through others ; and believes in consequence that all governors are amenable to the same methods. - Why did you rascals find it such child's-play to get what you wanted out of Verres? Because you had so varied an acquaintance with the little chap's games. - "Metellus and Volteius have had it impressed upon them that it was you who ruined the farmers." - Who ever blamed Apronius for it, when he ruined this farmer or that ? or blamed Timarchides, when he took a bribe to secure some verdict or decree, or to get someone ordered to do this or excused from doing that? or blamed Sextius the lictor, when he cut off the head of this or of that innocent man? Nobody: everyone blamed then the man whom they hope to see found guilty now. - [157] "People have dinned it into his ears that you were in partnership with the governor." - Now can you see, Verres, how obvious that fact is and has been, when even Timarchides is thus afraid of it ? Will you admit that this charge against you is no invention of ours, but one to meet which your freedman has, for months past, been trying to discover some defence ? Your freedman and attendant, a man joined by the closest ties of every kind to you and your children, says in a letter to Apronius that the partnership of Apronius with yourself in the tithe business is a fact to which everyone has repeatedly drawn attention. "Make him see what rascals the farmers are. They shall sweat for it themselves, if the gods are willing." What, by the immortals gods, are we to make of this violent and savage hatred of the farmers and what has aroused it? What great wrong have the farmers done Verres, that even his freedman and attendant should feel and write with so much fury against them ?

[68.] L   Now, gentlemen, my only purpose in reading you this gaol-bird's letter was that you might learn from it the rules and principles and methods of the whole gang. You see him instructing Apronius in the methods he must use and the gifts he must make, so as to worm himself into favour with Metellus, seduce Volteius, and bribe clerks and attendants into acquiescence. His teaching is based on experience ; he is instructing an outsider in the wisdom he has learnt himself at home. But he makes one mistake - in thinking that the one road will lead equally well to the favour of everyone. [158] I have good reason to be angry with Metellus; but none the less I will be honest, and say this. So far as Metellus himself is concerned, Apronius could not seduce him, as he seduced Verres, by means of money and dinner-parties and women and vile filthy conversation - methods whereby he had not crept quietly and im perceptibly into Verres' affection, but had rapidly secured the complete mastery of Verres, as a man and as a governor. And as for the staff of Metellus, to which he refers, why should he try to seduce it, when none of its members were being appointed to hear charges against the farmers ? [159] And when he says that Metellus has a young son, he is making a very bad mistake : not all the sons of governors are open to the same inducements. The son whom Metellus has with him, my good Timarchides, is no mere boy, but a young man, and an upright and modest young man worthy of the rank and name he bears ; whereas the behaviour of that young boy of yours ** in Sicily is such as I would not mention, if I thought the boy himself was to blame for it and not his father. - How could you, Verres, knowing yourself and the life you lead, take with you to Sicily a young son who was no longer a child, so that, even if his natural bent tended to wean him from his father's vices and make him unlike his family, habit and training might nevertheless keep him true to type? [160] Suppose there had been in him the stuff and the disposition to make a Laelius or a Cato of him, what good could be hoped for, or produced from, a boy living amid his father's debaucheries, so that he never set eyes on one decent or sober dinner-party ; a boy who day by day for three years spent his adolescence feasting with unchaste women and intoxicated men, who never heard his father say anything that could make him more modest or virtuous, or do anything that he could copy without incurring the foul disgrace of being recognised as his father's son ?

[69.] L   [161] And by treating your son thus, Verres, you have wronged not him alone, but your country too. You begot children not only for yourself, but for your fatherland, that they might not merely be a pleasure to yourself, but also, in due season, do good service to your country. It was your duty to educate and instruct them in the ways of our forefathers and the traditions of our national life, not in your own depraved and disgraceful behaviour ; and if your son, for all his father's idleness and dishonesty and uncleanness, grew up active and honest and decent, you would have done your duty by the country to some extent at least. As it is, you have but supplied the nation with another Verres to take your place ; or it may be with one still worse, if that be possible, inasmuch as you have turned out what you are after being trained and educated not by a debauchee but merely by a thief and a bribery-agent: [162] can we ever hope to see a more delightful creature than that boy of yours, if he is your son by birth, your pupil by training, and your imitator by disposition? For my own part, gentlemen, I should be quite ready to let the boy turn out a thoroughly stout and honest fellow ; I am not disturbed by the thought of possible future enmity between him and myself. For if I remain consistently upright in the future as in the past, what harm will his enmity do me? and if I become like Verres in this way or that, I shall find my enemy as surely as Verres has found his. The fact is, gentlemen, that our national life should be such, and, if our courts do their duty, will be such, that personal enmities shall be as inevitable for the guilty as they are harmless for the innocent. And therefore there is no reason why I should not wish this lad to get himself clear of his father's shames and vices ; and hard as that must be for him, it may perhaps be possible, especially if the guardians set over him by his friends continue to watch over him as they are doing now, to make up for the reckless irresponsibility of his father.

[163] But in saying all this I have strayed farther than I intended from Timarchides' letter, with the reading of which I said I would close that part of my prosecution that concerns the tithes. What I have said has now shown you that for a period of three years the country has been cheated, and the farmers robbed, of a quantity of corn that defies calculation.

[70.] L   My next business, gentlemen, is to put before you the huge and impudent thefts connected with the purchase of corn. I ask for your attention while I state a few certain and important facts regarding them.

By decree of the Senate and under the provisions of the corn law of the year of Terentius and Cassius, ** it was Verres' duty to make purchases of corn in Sicily. There were two kinds of purchase to be carried out, the first of a tithe, the second an additional purchase to be distributed fairly among the various communities. ** The amount of the former was to be the same as that yielded by the original tithes; that of the latter - the "requisitioned" corn - was to be 800,000 modii of wheat each year. The price fixed was 3 sesterces a modius for the tithe corn and 3½ sesterces a modius for the requisitioned corn. Verres was therefore assigned 2,800,000 sesterces a year to pay the farmers for the requisitioned corn, and about 9,000,000 sesterces a year to pay for the second tithe. Thus the amount paid over to Verres in each of his three years for this purchase of corn in Sicily was nearly 12,000,000 sesterces.

[164] This great sum of money, given to you from a needy and depleted Treasury - given you to get corn, that first necessity for life and existence - given you to pay the farmers of Sicily on whom the state was imposing so heavy a burden - upon this money I assert that you made such inroads that I could, if I chose, make my hearers believe that you diverted the whole of it into your own coffers ; for indeed you have handled the whole of this business in such a fashion that the least prejudiced member of this Court might believe no less than that. But I will not forget the trust that is reposed in me. I will not forget the spirit and the purpose with which I have undertaken the defence of the nation's interests, I will not use the licence of a prosecutor in dealing with you : I will not indulge in fancies, nor hope that anyone will believe anything, because I say it, unless I have already come to believe it myself. - [165] Gentlemen, his thefts of this government money were of the three following kinds. In the first place, the money being in the hands of companies on whom he was to draw for its payment, he lent it to them - at 24 per cent. ** Secondly, to a great may cities he paid nothing at all for their corn. Finally, from any payment he did make to any city he deducted as much as he liked, and never paid the full amount due to any of them.

[71.] L   To begin with, I will ask you a question. We know that it was you to whom the tax-farmers passed a vote of thanks because of what Carpinatius wrote to them. ** But when public money had been assigned to you from the treasury, when orders had been made for its payment, out of the nation's revenues, for the purchase of corn - is it true that this money became a source of gain to yourself and brought you in 24 per cent? Doubtless you will deny the charge : to admit the truth of it would be discreditable - and dangerous. [166] And it is a charge very troublesome for me to substantiate. For what evidence can I produce ? That of the tax-farmers ? You have treated them handsomely, and they will say nothing. That of their records? By a vote of the tithe-collectors, these have been destroyed. How then shall I proceed ? Am I to pass over conduct so scandalous, effrontery so unblushing, and fail to press my charge, because I lack witnesses and documents ? - Not so, gentlemen. I have a witness to produce: and who is it? It is a most distinguished and respected member of the equestrian order, Publius Vettius Chilo, who is so friendly and intimate with Verres that even if he were not an honest man we should attach importance to anything he said against him, and who is so honest a man that even if he were Verres' worst enemy his evidence ought to be trusted. [167] Our friend is surprised, I see, and wonders what Vettius means to say. He will say nothing devised for this occasion, nothing intended to suit his own purposes, though he might, surely, have said either with propriety. Vettius wrote a letter to Carpinatius in Sicily, as director of a company farming the pasture-tax and six other imposts, ** a letter that I came upon in the house of Carpinatius at Syracuse among the files of letters received, and a copy of it at Rome in the house of Lucius Tullius, another director (and your intimate friend, Verres), among the files of letters dispatched : and I ask the Court to note our money-lender's shameless conduct as revealed in this letter. The letter is read, signed by Vettius, Servilius, and Antistius, directors of the company. - Vettius says he will be on the spot when you arrive, and will scrutinise the accounts you submit to the treasury, so as to make you pay the company the sum you received as interest, unless your accounts show it as paid over to the state. [168] Is this man's evidence - is the signature of leading and respected men like these directors Servilius and Antistius - is the authority of the company whose records I am quoting - enough to substantiate my statement, or must I look for some still stronger and weightier proof of it? [72.] L   Vettius your particularly close friend ; Vettius your kinsman - the man whose sister you have married, your wife's brother; Vettius your own quaestor's brother : Vettius in his letter testifies to your committing this shameless and unquestionable act of theft and embezzlement - for what other name are we to give the lending of public money for your own benefit? He tells us that the accounts of this loan were kept by your clerk ; and the directors in their letter threaten your clerk as well as yourself - it so happened that two of the directors, colleagues of Vettius, were clerks themselves. ** They feel it intolerable that they should have the 24 per cent taken from them. And they are justified in feeling this. For what other magistrate has ever done, or indeed tried to do, or thought it possible to do, anything so impudent as this? Whereas the Senate has frequently helped tax-farmers by allowing them interest, ** here is a magistrate who robs tax-farmers by taking interest from them ! - This man would certainly have no chance of escape if this Court were composed of tax-farmers - in other words, of Roman knights. [169] His chance should be still smaller as it is, with you, gentlemen, investigating the case : the more so that the resentment of other men's wrongs is a more creditable motive than the consideration of one's own advantage.

What answer do you contemplate making to this charge? Will you deny its truth, or will you plead that your action was lawful? Deny its truth - how can you? will you attempt it, only to be refuted by all these convincing documents and the evidence of all these tax-farmers? And how can you plead that your action was lawful? y, good heavens, were I to prove that you, while governor of a province, had been lending out your own money there, even that would be enough to convict you. But it was public money, money voted for corn purchase, money received from the tax-farmers plus the interest already due ** ; and how will you make anyone believe that your lending out that money was lawful? You yourself, not to speak of others, have never done anything more shamelessly dishonest. - I assure you, gentlemen, that the action of which I have next to speak, an action that all men look upon as in a class by itself, his taking the corn from a great number of cities without paying for it at all - even that action I cannot call more boldly shameless than this one : more profitable perhaps, but certainly not more shameless. [170] And now, since enough has been said of this money-lending business, I will, with your permission, give you the full story of the money he misappropriated in this other way.

[73.] L   Gentlemen, there are in Sicily many cities of fame and high repute, and among the foremost of these is to be reckoned the city of Halaesa ; for you will find none whose obligations are more scrupulously fulfilled, whose resources are more abundant, or whose opinion is more respected. Verres, having ordered this city to supply 60,000 modii of wheat each year, took from it a sum of money equivalent to the current price of that amount of wheat in Sicily, and kept the whole of the public money that had been paid over to him. ** I was astounded, gentlemen, when I received my first information about this, at a meeting of the city senate in Halaesa, from Aeneas, an extremely able, judicious and influential citizen of that place, who had been officially instructed by his senate to convey the city's thanks to myself and my cousin,** and at the same time to give us any information bearing on this trial. [171] Aeneas informed me that Verres' regular procedure was as follows. Having had the whole of the corn brought where he could deal with it, ostensibly for tithe purposes, he would make the several cities pay him money, refusing to pass their corn, and sending to Rome the amount he had to send there by drawing on his own ill-gotten supplies. I asked for the city's accounts, and examined these records. I found that Halaesa, which had been ordered to supply 60,000 modii of corn a year, had not paid over one grain, but that they had paid money to Volcatius, to Timarchides, and to Verres' clerk. You see, gentlemen, the type of robbery I thus unearthed. A governor whose duty it is to buy corn sells it instead, embezzling and walking off with all the money which it is his duty to pay to the various states. I felt that it was something too monstrously unnatural to be called a mere robbery, this plan of refusing to pass the cities' corn and passing his own, then setting a price on this corn of his own, exacting a corresponding sum from the cities, and keeping the money paid over to him by the Roman nation.

Following sections (172-228)


54.(↑)   On what pretext? Cicero says so little of this that it would seem to have some precedent. Perhaps it was a safety margin to allow for a proportion of bad grain.

55.(↑)   More exactly, 356,400.

56.(↑)   As before, the 'accessio' was probably demanded as an inspector's fee or the like. At 15 sesterces a medimnus, it is equivalent to 6000 medimni or 36,000 modii : and the 400,000 modii are very nearly accounted for.

57.(↑)   The reference is to the years when one or more additional tithes were exacted, as during the crisis of the Social War, when Norbanus was consul.

58.(↑)   Literally "went on ploughing with far fewer yoke (of oxen)."

59.(↑)   In 210 B.C.

60.(↑)   After the two Slave Wars.

61.(↑)   This challenge has the shape of a recognised way of bringing an action at law, and it may have been that, in actual fact, and may have been heard before some court or body of arbitrators, the loser in the dispute forfeiting to the winner such a sum of money as each had by agreement deposited at the outset,

62.(↑)   See note on § 132.

63.(↑)   'Severum . . . disciplina' is possibly ironical.

64.(↑)   The Cassius family tradition in this matter is stated in the Actio Prima, § 30.

65.(↑)   And therefore, it is ironically suggested, out of the question for Verres.

66.(↑)   Literally, "of challenging" a certain number each of the judges nominated.

67.(↑)   As though Scandilius, by refusing to proceed with his challenge, had admitted himself wrong, and thus forfeited his deposit.

68.(↑)   To the whole senatorial order, in respect of their judicial functions.

69.(↑)   As before, the "price" is not a sum of money but a quantity of grain : see note on § 75.

70.(↑)   i.e, on condition that Apronius transferred the tithe-rights to Minucius and his friends: they would of course also pay to the State the amount for which the rights had been knocked down to Apronius.

71.(↑)   Probably the consul of 75. See Long's excursus, pp. 429-435.

72.(↑)   As one of the praetors of 71.

73.(↑)   His 'edictum' had stated, or implied, that he would allow such actions to be brought.

74.(↑)   For Verres' bribes—the "elixir" already mentioned.

75.(↑)   That of Metellus.

76.(↑)   Vestram cohortem means "the staff to which you (i.e., Timarchides and his friends) belonged."

77.(↑)   i.e., to bribe the members of the present Court.

78.(↑)   The plural 'vester' is part of the innuendo against the son of Verres.

79.(↑)   73 B.C.

80.(↑)   i.e. all the corn-growing cities of Sicily, not merely those who were subject to tithe.

81.(↑)   The high rate of interest is not the offence—the loan was not forced on the companies. But either the money should not have been lent at all, or not for so long, but paid promptly to the farmers; or at least the State, and not Verres, should have received the interest. 'Binis centesimis' means literally "for two hundredths," i.e., per month. The companies were Sicilian companies who owed money to the Roman government.

82.(↑)   See Book ii. § 172.

83.(↑)   The meaning of 'publicorum' is very doubtful.

84.(↑)   Ex-clerks, now wealthy men, but still (like Horace after his rise) members of the clerks' Guild, and concerned for its honour. The clerk of Verres was probably threatened with expulsion from the guild for "unprofessional conduct."

85.(↑)   Either by allowing them discount for prompt payment to the Treasury, or by letting them defer such payment and invest the money meanwhile.

86.  * i.e., due to the state from the tax-farmers, for the period between its becoming payable to the State and its actually being paid to Verres, during which the holders had had the use of it.

87.(↑)   i.e., as much as would have paid for 60,000 modii at 3½ sesterces a modius.

88.(↑)   Lucius Tullius Cicero, the orator's cousin ('frater patruelis'), went with him to Sicily to help him collect his evidence.

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