Cicero, Pro Roscio Amerino 30

 

30

Pater occisus nefarie, domus obsessa ab inimicis, bona adempta, possessa, direpta, filii vita infesta, saepe ferro atque insidiis adpetita. Quid ab his tot maleficiis sceleris abesse videtur? Tamen haec aliis nefariis cumulant atque adaugent, crimen incredibile confingunt, testes in hunc et accusatores huiusce pecunia comparant; hanc condicionem misero ferunt, ut optet, utrum malit cervices T. Roscio dare an insutus in culleum per summum dedecus vitam amittere. Patronos huic defuturos putaverunt; desunt; qui libere dicat, qui cum fide defendat, id quod in hac causa satis est, [quoniam quidem suscepi] non deest profecto, iudices.

30

The father infamously murdered; the house besieged by enemies; the property removed, seized, plundered, the hateful life of the son, often attacked by sword and treachery. What wickedness seems to be absent from these numberless atrocities? And yet they accumulate and increase them by other nefarious deeds: they invent an incredible accusation; through bribery, they procure witnesses against this man and accusers of the same; they offer the wretched man this alternative, as he chooses, whether he prefers to offer his neck to Roscius, or, sown up in a sack, to lose his life most shamefully. They thought patrons would be lacking for this man; they are lacking. But one who might speak freely, one who might defend him with integrity, which is sufficient in this case [since indeed I have taken it on], he certainly is not lacking, judges.

 

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