Cicero, Pro Roscio Amerino 5

 

5

His de causis ego huic causae patronus extiti non electus unus, qui maximo ingenio, sed relictus ex omnibus, qui minimo periculo possem dicere, neque uti satis firmo praesidio defensus Sex. Roscius, verum uti ne omnino desertus esset.
   Forsitan quaeratis, qui iste terror sit et quae tanta formido, quae tot ac talis viros impediat, quo minus pro capite et fortunis alterius, quem ad modum consueverunt, causam velint dicere. Quod adhuc vos ignorare non mirum est, propterea quod consulto ab accusatoribus eius rei, quae conflavit hoc iudicium, mentio facta non est.

5

On these accounts I have stood forward as the advocate in this cause, not as being the one selected who could plead with the greatest ability, but as the one left of the whose body who could do so with the least danger; and not in order that Sextus Roscius might be defended by a sufficiently able advocacy, but that he might not be wholly abandoned. Perhaps you may ask, What is that dread, and what is that alarm which hinders so many, and such eminent men, from being willing, as they usually are, to plead on behalf of the life and fortunes of another? And it is not strange that you are as yet ignorant of this, because all mention of the matter which has given rise to this trial has ben designedly omitted by the accusers.

 

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