Cicero, Pro Roscio Amerino 1

 

1

Credo ego vos, iudices, mirari, quid sit, quod, cum tot summi oratores hominesque nobilissimi sedeant, ego potissimum surrexerim, qui neque aetate neque ingenio neque auctoritate sim cum his, qui sedeant, conparandus. Omnes hi, quos videtis adesse, in hac causa iniuriam novo scelere conflatam putant oportere defendi, defendere ipsi propter iniquitatem temporum non audent. Ita fit, ut adsint propterea, quod officium sequuntur, taceant autem idcirco, quia periculum vitant.

 

1

I imagine that you, O judges, are marvelling why it is that when so many eminent orators and most noble men are sitting still, I above all others should get up, who neither for age, nor for ability, nor for influence, am to be compared to those who are sitting still. For all these men whom you see present at this trial think that a man ought to be defended against an injury contrived against him by unrivalled wickedness; but through the sad state of the times they do not dare to defend him themselves. So it comes to pass that they are present here because they are attending to their business, but they are silent becuase they are afraid of danger.

 

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