Home About Network of subjects Linked subjects heatmap Book indices included Search by subject Search by reference Browse subjects Browse texts

Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



9460
Pliny The Younger, Letters, 6.33


nanTo Romanus: "Away with it all," cried Vulcan, "and cease the task you have begun." Whether you are writing or reading, bid your people take away your pens and books, and receive this speech of mine, which is as divine as the arms made by Vulcan. Could conceit go further? But frankly, I think it is a fine speech, as compared with my other efforts, and I am satisfied to try and beat my own record. It is on behalf of Attia Viriola, and is worth attention owing to the lady's high position, the singular character of the case, and the importance of the trial. She was a person of high birth, was married to a man of praetorian rank, and was disinherited by her octogenarian father within eleven days after he had fallen violently in love, married a second time, and given Attia a step-mother. She sued for her father's effects in the Four Courts. A hundred and eighty judges sat to hear the case, for that is the number appointed for the Four Chambers; there was a crowd of advocates on both sides, and the benches were packed, while there was also a dense ring of people standing many deep around the whole spacious court. Moreover, the tribunal was closely filled, and even in the upper galleries of the hall men and women leant over both to see and hear what was going on, the former being easy but the latter difficult of accomplishment. Fathers, daughters, and step-mothers were on the tip-toe of expectation. The fortunes of the day varied, for in two courts we were victorious, and in two we were beaten. It seemed an extraordinary and remarkable thing, that with the same judges and the same advocates there should be such different verdicts at one and the same time, and that this should be due to chance, though it did not so appear to be. The step-mother, who had been made heir to a sixth of the property, lost, and so too did Suberinus, who, in spite of having been disinherited by his own father, had the amazing impudence to claim the property of someone else's father, but did not dare to claim that of his own. I have entered into these explanations, in the first place to acquaint you by letter of certain facts which you could not gather from the speech, and secondly - for I will be frank, and tell you my little tricks - to make you the more willing to read the speech, by leading you to imagine that you are not merely reading it, but are actually present at the trial. Though the speech is a long one, I am in some hope that it will meet with as kind a reception as a very short one. For the interest is constantly renewed by the fullness of the subject-matter, the neat way in which it is divided, the number of digressions, and the different kinds of eloquence employed. Many parts of it - I would not venture to say so to anyone but yourself - are of sustained dignity, many are controversial, many are closely argued. For constantly, in the midst of my most passionate and lofty passages, I was obliged to go into calculations, and almost had to call for counters and a table to carry them through, the consequence being that the court of law was suddenly turned into a sort of private counting-house. I gave free play to my indignation, to my anger, to my resentment, and so I sailed along, as it were, in this long pleading, as though I were on a vast sea, with a variety of winds to fill my sails. In fine, to say what I said before, some of my intimate friends repeatedly tell me that this speech of mine is as much above my previous efforts as Demosthenes' speech on behalf of Ctesiphon is above his others. Whether they are right in their judgment you will have no difficulty in deciding, for your memory of all my speeches is so good that by merely reading this one you can institute a comparison with them all. Farewell


nanTo Romanus. Away with it all, cried Vulcan, "and cease the task you have begun." * Whether you are writing or reading, bid your people take away your pens and books, and receive this speech of mine, which is as divine as the arms made by Vulcan. Could conceit go further? But frankly, I think it is a fine speech, as compared with my other efforts, and I am satisfied to try and beat my own record. It is on behalf of Attia Viriola, and is worth attention owing to the lady's high position, the singular character of the case, and the importance of the trial. She was a person of high birth, was married to a man of praetorian rank, and was disinherited by her octogenarian father within eleven days after he had fallen violently in love, married a second time, and given Attia a step-mother. She sued for her father's effects in the Four Courts. ** A hundred and eighty judges sat to hear the case, for that is the number appointed for the Four Chambers ; there was a crowd of advocates on both sides, and the benches were packed, while there was also a dense ring of people standing many deep around the whole spacious court. Moreover, the tribunal was closely filled, and even in the upper galleries of the hall men and women leant over both to see and hear what was going on, the former being easy but the latter difficult of accomplishment. Fathers, daughters, and step-mothers were on the tip-toe of expectation. The fortunes of the day varied, for in two courts we were victorious, and in two we were beaten. It seemed an extraordinary and remarkable thing, that with the same judges and the same advocates there should be such different verdicts at one and the same time, and that this should be due to chance, though it did not so appear to be. The step-mother, who had been made heir to a sixth of the property, lost, and so too did Suberinus, † who, in spite of having been disinherited by his own father, had the amazing impudence to claim the property of someone else's father, but did not dare to claim that of his own. I have entered into these explanations, in the first place to acquaint you by letter of certain facts which you could not gather from the speech, and secondly - for I will be frank, and tell you my little tricks - to make you the more willing to read the speech, by leading you to imagine that you are not merely reading it, but are actually present at the trial. Though the speech is a long one, I am in some hope that it will meet with as kind a reception as a very short one. For the interest is constantly renewed by the fullness of the subject-matter, the neat way in which it is divided, the number of digressions, and the different kinds of eloquence employed. Many parts of it - I would not venture to say so to anyone but yourself - are of sustained dignity, many are controversial, many are closely argued. For constantly, in the midst of my most passionate and lofty passages, I was obliged to go into calculations, and almost had to call for counters and a table to carry them through, the consequence being that the court of law was suddenly turned into a sort of private counting-house. I gave free play to my indignation, to my anger, to my resentment, and so I sailed along, as it were, in this long pleading, as though I were on a vast sea, with a variety of winds to fill my sails. In fine, to say what I said before, some of my intimate friends repeatedly tell me that this speech of mine is as much above my previous efforts as Demosthenes' speech on behalf of Ctesiphon is above his others. Whether they are right in their judgment you will have no difficulty in deciding, for your memory of all my speeches is so good that by merely reading this one you can institute a comparison with them all. Farewell


Intertexts (texts cited often on the same page as the searched text):

16 results
1. Aristotle, Rhetoric, None (4th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

2. Cicero, Letters, 1.16.8 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

3. Cicero, Letters, 1.16.8 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

4. Cicero, Letters, 1.16.8 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

5. Cicero, Letters, 1.16.8 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

6. Ovid, Epistulae Ex Ponto, 3.9.53 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

7. Ovid, Fasti, 1.451-1.452 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

1.451. So the white dove, torn from her mate 1.452. Is often burned in the Idalian flames:
8. Propertius, Elegies, 4.5 (1st cent. BCE

9. Quintilian, Institutes of Oratory, 11.1.22 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

11.1.22.  But the most ostentatious kind of boasting takes the form of actual self-derision. Let us therefore leave it to others to praise us. For it beseems us, as Demosthenes says, to blush even when we are praised by others. I do not mean to deny that there are occasions when an orator may speak of his own achievements, as Demosthenes himself does in his defence of Ctesiphon. But on that occasion he qualified his statements in such a way as to show that he was compelled by necessity to do so, and to throw the odium attaching to such a proceeding on the man who had forced him to it.
10. Aelian, Nature of Animals, 4.2 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

11. Aelian, Varia Historia, 1.15 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

12. Pliny The Younger, Letters, 1.1, 1.1.1, 1.3, 1.5, 1.20, 2.11, 3.9, 6.34, 7.6, 7.33, 8.2, 8.15, 8.21, 9.13, 9.20, 9.23 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

1.1. To Septicius. You have constantly urged me to collect and publish the more highly finished of the letters that I may have written. I have made such a collection, but without preserving the order in which they were composed, as I was not writing a historical narrative. So I have taken them as they happened to come to hand. I can only hope that you will not have cause to regret the advice you gave, and that I shall not repent having followed it; for I shall set to work to recover such letters as have up to now been tossed on one side, and I shall not keep back any that I may write in the future. Farewell.. 1.3. To Caninius Rufus. How is Comum looking, your darling spot and mine? And that most charming villa of yours, what of it, and its portico where it is always spring, its shady clumps of plane trees, its fresh crystal canal, and the lake below that gives such a charming view? How is the exercise ground, so soft yet firm to the foot; how goes the bath that gets the sun's rays so plentifully as he journeys round it? What too of the big banqueting halls and the little rooms just for a few, and the retiring rooms for night and day? Have they full possession of you, and do they share your company in turn? or are you, as usual, continually being called away to attend to private family business? You are indeed a lucky man if you can spend all your leisure there; if you cannot, your case is that of most of us. But really it is time that you passed on your unimportant and petty duties for others to look after, and buried yourself among your books in that secluded yet beautiful retreat. Make this at once the business and the leisure of your life, your occupation and your rest; let your waking hours be spent among your books, and your hours of sleep as well. Mould something, hammer out something that shall be known as yours for all time. Your other property will find a succession of heirs when you are gone; what I speak of will continue yours for ever - if once it begins to be. I know the capacity and inventive wit that I am spurring on. You have only to think of yourself as the able man others will think you when you have realised your ability. Farewell. 1.5. To Voconius Romanus. Did you ever see a man more abject and fawning than Marcus Regulus has been since the death of Domitian? His misdeeds were better concealed during that prince's reign, but they were every bit as bad as they were in the time of Nero. He began to be afraid that I was angry with him and he was not mistaken, for I certainly was annoyed. After doing what he could to help those who were prosecuting Rusticus Arulenus, he had openly exulted at his death, and went so far as to publicly read and then publish a pamphlet in which he violently attacks Rusticus and even calls him "the Stoics' ape," adding that "he is marked with the brand of Vitellius." * You recognise, of course, the Regulian style! He tears to pieces Herennius Senecio so savagely that Metius Carus said to him, "What have you to do with my dead men? Did I ever worry your Crassus or Camerinus?" - these being some of Regulus's victims in the days of Nero. Regulus thought I bore him malice for this, and so he did not invite me when he read his pamphlet. Besides, he remembered that he once mortally attacked me in the court of the centumviri. ** I was a witness on behalf of Arionilla, the wife of Timon, at the request of Rusticus Arulenus, and Regulus was conducting the prosecution. We on our side were relying for part of the defence on a decision of Metius Modestus, an excellent man who had been banished by Domitian and was at that moment in exile. This was Regulus's opportunity. "Tell me, Secundus," said he, "what you think of Modestus." You see in what peril I should have placed myself if I had answered that I thought highly of him, and how disgraceful it would have been if I had said that I thought ill of him. I fancy it must have been the gods who came to my rescue. "I will tell you what I think of him," I said, "when the Court has to give a decision on the point." He returned to the charge Well, now the fellow is conscience-stricken, and buttonholes first Caecilius Celer and then implores Fabius Justus to reconcile me to him. Not content with that, he makes his way in to see Spurinna, and begs and prays of him - you know what an abject coward he is when he is frightened - as follows. "Do go," says he, "and call on Pliny in the morning - early in the morning, for my suspense is unbearable - and do what you can to remove his anger against me." I was early awake that day, when a message came from Spurinna, "I am coming to see you." I sent back word, "I will come and see you." We met at the portico of Livia, just as we were each of us on the way to see the other. He explained his commission from Regulus and added his own entreaties, but did not press the point too strongly, as became a worthy gentleman asking a favour for a worthless acquaintance. This was my answer That practically closed the conversation. I did not wish it to go any further, so that I might not commit myself until Mauricus arrived. Moreover, I am quite aware that Regulus is a difficult bird to net. He is rich, he is a shrewd intriguer, he has no inconsiderable body of followers and a still larger circle of those who fear him, and fear is often a more powerful factor than affection. But, after all, these are bonds that may be shattered and weakened, for a bad man's influence is as little to be relied upon as is the man himself. Moreover, let me repeat that I am waiting for Mauricus. He is a man of sound judgment and sagacity, which he has learned by experience, and he can gauge what is likely to happen in the future from what has occurred in the past. I shall be guided by him, and either strike a blow or set aside my weapons just as he thinks best. I have written you this letter because it is only right, considering our regard for one another, that you should be acquainted not only with what I have said and done, but also with my plans for the future. Farewell. 1.20. To Cornelius Tacitus. I am constantly having arguments with a friend of mine who is a learned and practised speaker, but who admires in pleading nothing so much as brevity. I allow that brevity ought to be observed, if the case permits of it; but sometimes it is an act of collusion to pass over matters that ought to be mentioned, and it is even an act of collusion to run briefly and rapidly over points which ought to be dwelt upon, to be thoroughly driven home, and to be taken up and dealt with more than once. For very often an argument acquires strength and weight by being handled at some length, and a speech ought to be impressed on the mind, not by a short, sharp shock, but by measured blows, just as a sword should be used in dealing with the body of an opponent. Thereupon he plies me with authorities, and flourishes before me the speeches of Lysias among the Greeks, and those of the Gracchi and Cato from among Roman orators. The majority of these are certainly characterised by conciseness and brevity, but I quote against Lysias the examples of Demosthenes, Aeschines, Hyperides, and a multitude of others, while against the Gracchi and Cato I set Pollio, Caesar, Caelius, and, above all, Marcus Tullius, whose longest speech is generally considered to be his best. * And upon my word, as with all other good things, the more there is of a good book, the better it is. You know how it is with statues, images, pictures, and the outlines of many animals and even trees, that if they are at all graceful nothing gives them a greater charm than size. It is just the same with speeches, - even the mere volumes themselves acquire a certain additional dignity and beauty from mere bulk. These are but a few of the many arguments I usually employ to establish my point; but there is no pinning my friend down in an argument. He is such a slippery fellow that he wriggles off the pin and declares that these same orators, whose speeches I instance, spoke at less length than their published addresses seem to show. I hold the contrary to be the case, and there are many speeches of many orators in favour of my opinion, as, for example, the 'Pro Murena' and the 'Pro Vareno' of Cicero, in which he indicates by headings alone, and quite barely and briefly, how he dealt with certain charges against his clients. From these it is clear that he actually spoke at much greater length and left out a considerable number of passages when he published the addresses. Cicero indeed says that in his defence of Cluentius "he had simply followed the ancient custom and compressed his whole case into a peroration," and that in defending Caius Cornelius "he had pleaded for four days." ** Hence it cannot be questioned that after speaking somewhat discursively for several days, as he was bound to do, he subsequently trimmed and revised his oration and compressed it into a single book - a long one, it is true, but yet a single book. But, argues my friend, a good indictment is a different thing from a good speech. I know some people hold that view, but I - of course I may be wrong - feel persuaded that though it is possible to have a good indictment without a good speech, it is not possible for a good speech not to be a good indictment. For a speech is the exemplar of an indictment - one might even call it its archetype. Hence in every first-class oration we find a thousand extempore figures of speech, even in those which we know to have been carefully edited. For example, in the Speech against Verres Regulus once said to me when we were in Court together Nor do I forget that in his eulogy of that consummate orator, Pericles, the comedy-writer Eupolis used the following language But, you say, the mean is the best. Quite so, but the mean is as much neglected by those who fail to do justice to their subject as by those who overdo it, by those who restrain themselves as by those who give themselves their heads. And so you often hear the criticism that a speech was "frigid and weak," just as you hear that another was "overloaded and a mass of repetition." The one speaker is said to have over-elaborated his subject, the other not to have risen to the occasion. Both are at fault; one through weakness, the other through too much strength, and the latter, though he may not show the more refined intellect, certainly shows the more robust mind. When I say this it must not be supposed that I am approving Homer's Thersites - the man who was a torrent of words - but rather his Ulysses, whose "words were like snow-flakes in winter," though at the same time I admire his Menelaus, who spoke "Few words, but well to the point." Yet, if I had to choose, I should prefer the speech that is like the winter snow- storm - viz. fluent, flowing, and of generous width; and not only that, but divine and celestial. It may, I know, be said that many people prefer a short pleading. No doubt, but they are lazy creatures, and it is ridiculous to consult the tastes of such sloths as though they were critics. For if you take their opinion as worth anything, you will find that they not only prefer a short pleading, but no pleading at all. Well, I have told you what I think. I shall change my opinion if you do not agree with me, but in that case I beg of you to give me clear reasons for your disagreement; for although I feel bound to bow to a man of your judgment, yet in a point of such importance, I consider that I ought to give way rather to a reasoned statement than to an ipse dixit. But even if you think I am right, still write and tell me so, and make the letter as short as you like - for you will thus confirm my judgment. If I am wrong, see that you write me a very long letter. I feel sure I have not estimated you wrongly in thus asking you for a short note if you agree with me, while laying on you the obligation of writing at length if you disagree. Farewell. 2.11. To Arrianus. I know you are always delighted when the senate behaves in a way befitting its rank, for though your love of peace and quiet has caused you to withdraw from Rome, your anxiety that public life should be kept at a high level is as strong as it ever was. So let me tell you what has been going on during the last few days. The proceedings are memorable owing to the commanding position of the person most concerned; they will have a healthy influence because of the sharp lesson that has been administered; and the importance of the case will make them famous for all time. Marius Priscus, on being accused by the people of Africa, whom he had governed as proconsul, declined to defend himself before the senate and asked to have judges assigned to hear the case. * Cornelius Tacitus and myself were instructed to appear for the provincials, and we came to the conclusion that we were bound in honesty to our clients to notify the senate that the charges of inhumanity and cruelty brought against Priscus were too serious to be heard by a panel of judges, inasmuch as he was accused of having received bribes to condemn and even put to death innocent persons. Fronto Catius spoke in reply, and urged that the prosecution should be confined within the law dealing with extortion Well, the witnesses who were summoned came to Rome, viz., Vitellius Honoratus and Flavius Martianus. Honoratus was charged with having bribed Priscus to the tune of three hundred thousand sesterces to exile a Roman knight and put seven of his friends to death; Martianus was accused of having given Priscus seven hundred thousand sesterces to sentence a single Roman knight to still more grievous punishment, for he was beaten with rods, condemned to the mines, and then strangled in prison. Honoratus - luckily for him - escaped the investigation of the senate by dying; Martianus was brought before them when Priscus was not present. Consequently Tuccius Cerealis, a man of consular rank, pleaded senatorial privileges and demanded that Priscus should be informed of the attendance of Martianus, either because he thought that Priscus by being present would have a better chance of awakening the compassion of the senate or to increase the feeling against him, or possibly, and I think this was his real motive, because strict justice demanded that both should defend themselves against a charge that affected them both, and that both should be punished if they could not rebut the accusation. The subject was postponed to the next meeting of the senate, and a very august assembly it was. The Emperor presided in his capacity as consul; besides, the month of January brings crowds of people to Rome and especially senators, † and moreover the importance of the case, the great notoriety it had obtained, which had been increased by the delays that had taken place, and the ingrained curiosity of all men to get to know all the details of an unusually important matter, had made everybody flock to Rome from all quarters. You can imagine how nervous and anxious we were in having to speak in such a gathering and in the presence of the Emperor on such an important case. It was not the first time that I had pleaded in the senate, and there is nowhere where I get a more sympathetic hearing, but then the novelty of the whole position seemed to afflict me with a feeling of nervousness I had never felt before. For in addition to all that I have mentioned above I kept thinking of the difficulties of the case and was oppressed by the feeling that Priscus, the defendant, had once held consular rank and been one of the seven regulators of the sacred feasts, and was now deprived of both these dignities. † So I found it a very trying task to accuse a man on whom sentence had already been passed, for though the shocking offences with which he was charged weighed heavily against him, he yet was protected to a certain extent by the commiseration felt for a man already condemned to punishment that one might have thought final. However, as soon as I had pulled myself together and collected my thoughts, I began my address, and though I was nervous I was on the best of terms with my audience. I spoke for nearly five hours, for, in addition to the twelve water-clocks - the largest I could get - which had been assigned to me, I obtained four others. And, as matters turned out, everything that I thought before speaking would have proved an obstacle in the way of a good speech really helped me during my address. As for the Emperor, he showed me such kind attention and consideration - for it would be too much to call it anxiety on my behalf - that he frequently nodded to my freedman, who was standing just behind me, to give me a hint not to overtax my voice and lungs, when he thought that I was throwing myself too ardently into my pleading and imposing too great a burden on my slender frame. Claudius Marcellinus answered me on behalf of Martianus, and then the senate was dismissed and met again on the following day. For there was no time to begin a fresh speech, as it would have had to be broken off by the fall of night. On the following day, Salvius Liberalis, a man of shrewd wit, careful in the arrangement of his speeches, with a pointed style and a fund of learning, spoke for Marius, and in his speech he certainly brought out all he knew. Cornelius Tacitus replied to him in a wonderfully eloquent address, characterised by that lofty dignity which is the chief charm of his oratory. Then Fronto Catius made another excellent speech on Marius's behalf, and he spent more time in appeals for mercy than in rebutting evidence, as befitted the part of the case that he had then to deal with. The fall of night terminated his speech but did not break it off altogether, and so the proceedings lasted over into the third day. This was quite fine and just like it used to be for the senate to be interrupted by nightfall, and for the members to be called and sit for three days running. Cornutus Tertullus, the consul-designate, a man of high character and a devoted champion of justice, gave as his opinion that the seven hundred thousand sesterces which Marius had received should be confiscated to the Treasury, that Marius should be banished from Rome and Italy, and that Martianus should be banished from Rome, Italy, and Africa. Towards the conclusion of his speech he added the remark that the senate considered that, since Tacitus and myself, who had been summoned to plead for the provincials, had fulfilled our duties with diligence and fearlessness, we had acted in a manner worthy of the commission entrusted to us. The consuls-designate agreed, and all the consulars did likewise, until it was Pompeius Collega's turn to speak. He proposed that the seven hundred thousand sesterces received by Marius should be confiscated to the Treasury, that Martianus should be banished ‡ for five years, and that Marius should suffer no further penalty than that for extortion - which had already been passed upon him. Opinion was largely divided, and there was possibly a majority in favour of the latter proposal, which was the more lenient or less severe of the two, for even some of those who appeared to have supported Cornutus changed sides and were ready to vote for Collega, who had spoken after them. But when the House divided, those who stood near the seats of the consuls began to cross over to the side of Cornutus. Then those who were allowing themselves to be counted as supporters of Collega also crossed over, and Collega was left with a mere handful. He complained bitterly afterwards of those who had led him to make the proposal he did, especially of Regulus, who had failed to support him in the proposal that he himself had suggested. But Regulus is a fickle fellow, rash to a degree, yet a great coward as well. Such was the close of this most important investigation; but there is still another bit of public business on hand of some consequence, for Hostilius Firminus, the legate of Marius Priscus, who was implicated in the matter, had received a very rough handling. It was proved by the accounts of Martianus and a speech he made in the Council of the Town of Leptis that he had engaged with Priscus in a very shady transaction, that he had bargained to receive from Martianus 50,000 denarii and had received in addition ten million sesterces under the head of perfume money - a most disgraceful thing for a soldier, but one which was not at all inconsistent with his character as a man with well-trimmed hair and polished skin. It was agreed on the motion of Cornutus that the case should be investigated at the next meeting of the senate, but at that meeting he did not put in an appearance, either from some accidental reason or because he knew he was guilty. Well, I have told you the news of Rome, you must write and tell me the news of the country. How are your shrubs getting on, your vines and your crops, and those dainty sheep of yours? In short, unless you send me as long a letter I am sending you, you mustn't expect anything more than the scrappiest note from me in the future. Farewell. 3.9. To Cornelius Minicianus. I can now give you a full account of the enormous trouble entailed upon me in the public trial brought by the Province of Baetica. It was a complicated suit, and new issues kept constantly cropping up. Why this variety, and why these different pleadings? you well ask. Well, Caecilius Classicus - a low rascal who carries his villainy in his face - had during his proconsulship in Baetica, in the same year that Marius Priscus was Governor of Africa, behaved both with violence and rapacity. Now, Priscus came from Baetica and Classicus from Africa, and so there was a rather good saying among the people of Baetica, for even resentment often inspires wit I was acting for the Province, assisted by Lucceius Albinus, an eloquent and ornate speaker, and though we have long been on terms of the closest regard for one another, our association in this suit has made me feel vastly more attached to him. As a rule, and especially in oratorical efforts, people do not run well in double harness in their striving for glory, but he and I were not in any sense rivals and there was no jealousy between us, as we both did our level best, not for our own hand, but for the common cause, which was of such a serious character and of such public importance that it seemed to demand from us that we should not over-elaborate each single pleading. We were afraid that time would fail us, and that our voices and lungs would break down if we tied up together so many charges and so many defendants into one bundle. Again, we feared that the attention of the judges would not only be wearied by the introduction of so many names and charges, but that they would be confused thereby, that the sum-total of the influence of each one of the accused might procure for each the strength of all, and finally we were afraid lest the most influential of the accused should make a scapegoat of the meanest among them, and so slip out of the hands of justice at the expense of someone else - for favour and personal interest are strongest when they can skulk behind some pretence of severity. Moreover, we were advised by the well-known story of Sertorius, who set two soldiers - one young and powerful, and the other old and weak - to pull off the tail of a horse. You know how it finishes. And so we too thought that we could get the better of even such a long array of defendants, provided we took them one by one. Our plan was first to prove the guilt of Classicus himself; then it was a natural transition to his intimates and tools, because the latter could never be condemned unless Classicus were guilty. Consequently, we took two of them and closely connected them with Classicus, Baebius Probus and Fabius Hispanus, both men of some influence, while Hispanus possesses a strong gift of eloquence. To prove the guilt of Classicus was an easy and simple task that did not take us long. He had left in his own handwriting a document showing what profits he had made out of each transaction and case, and he had even despatched a letter couched in a boasting and impudent strain to one of his mistresses containing the words, "Hurrah! hurrah! I am coming back to you with my hands free; * for I have already sold the interests of the Baetici to the tune of four million sesterces." But we had to sweat to get a conviction against Hispanus and Probus. Before I dealt with the charges against them, I thought it necessary to establish the legal point that the execution of an unjust sentence is an indictable offence, for if I had not done this it would have been useless for me to prove that they had been the henchmen of Classicus. Moreover, their line of defence was not a denial. They pleaded that they could not help themselves and therefore were to be pardoned, arguing that they were mere provincials and were frightened into doing anything that a proconsul bade them do. Claudius Restitutus, who replied to me, a practised and watchful speaker who is equal to any emergency however suddenly sprung up upon him, is now going about saying that he never was so dumbfounded and thrown off his balance as when he discovered that the ground on which he placed full reliance for his defence had been cut from under him and stolen away from him. Well, the outcome of our line of attack was as follows In the third action, we thought our best course was to lump the defendants together, fearing lest, if the trial were to be spun out to undue length, those who were hearing the case would grow sick and tired of it, and their zeal for strict justice and severity would abate. Besides, the accused persons, who had been designedly kept over till then, were all of comparatively little importance, except the wife of Classicus, and, although suspicion against her was strong, the proofs seemed rather weak. As for the daughter of Classicus, who was also among the defendants, she had cleared herself even of suspicion. Consequently, when I reached her name in the last trial - for there was no fear then as there had been at the beginning that such an admission would weaken the force of the prosecution - I thought the most honourable course was to refrain from pressing the charge against an innocent person, and I frankly said so, repeating the idea in various forms. For example, I asked the deputation of the Baetici whether they had given me definite instructions on any point which they felt confident they could prove against her; I turned to the senators and inquired whether they thought I ought to employ what eloquence I might possess against an innocent person, and hold, as it were, the knife to her throat; and, finally, I concluded the subject with these words Well, the conclusion of this trial, with its crowd of defendants, was that a certain few were acquitted, but the majority were condemned and banished, some for a fixed term of years, and others for life. In the same decree the senate expressed in most handsome terms its appreciation of our industry, loyalty, and perseverance, and this was the only possible worthy and adequate reward for the trouble we had taken. You can imagine how worn out we were, when you think how often we had to plead, and answer the pleadings of our opponents, and how many witnesses we had to cross-question, encourage, and refute. Besides, you know how trying and vexatious it is to say "no" to the friends of the accused when they come pleading with you in private, and to stoutly oppose them when they confront you in open court. I will tell you one of the things I said. When one of those who were acting as judges interrupted me on behalf of one of the accused in whom he took a special interest, I replied I have brought you up to date as well as I could. You will say, "It was not worthwhile, for what have I to do with such a long letter?" If you do, don't ask again what is going on at Rome, and bear in mind that you cannot call a letter long which covers so many days, so many trials, and so many defendants and pleadings. I think I have dealt with all these subjects as briefly as I am sure they are exactly dealt with. But no, I was rash to say "exactly"; I remember a point which I had omitted, and I will tell you about it even now, though it is out of its proper place. Homer does this, and many other authors have followed his example - with very good effect too - though that is not my reason for so doing. One of the witnesses, annoyed at being summoned to appear, or bribed by some one of the defendants in order to weaken the prosecution, laid an accusation against Norbanus Licinianus, a member of the deputation, who had been instructed to get up the case, and charged him with having acted in collusion with the other side in relation to Casta, the wife of Classicus. It is a legal rule in such instances that the trial of the accused must be finished before inquiry is made into a charge of collusion, on the ground that one can best form an opinion on the sincerity of the prosecution by noticing how the case has been carried through. However, Norbanus reaped no advantage from this point of law, nor did his position as member of the deputation, nor his duties as one of those getting up the action stand him in good stead. A storm of prejudice broke out against him, and there is no denying that his hands were crime-stained, that he, like many others, had taken advantage of the evil times of Domitian, and that he had been selected by the provincials to get up the case, not as a man of probity and honour, but because he had been a personal enemy of Classicus, by whom, indeed, he had been banished. He demanded that a day should be fixed for his trial, and that the charge against him should be published; both were refused, and he was obliged to answer on the spot. He did so, and though the thorough badness and depravity of the fellow make me hesitate to say whether he showed more impudence or resolution, he certainly replied with great readiness. There were sundry things brought against him which did him much greater damage than the charge of collusion, and two men of consular rank, Pomponius Rufus and Libo Frugi, severely damaged him by giving evidence to the effect that during the reign of Domitian he had assisted the prosecution of Salvius Liberalis before the judge. He was convicted and banished to an island. Consequently, when I was accusing Casta, I especially pressed the point that her accuser had been found guilty of collusion. But I did so in vain, and we had the novel and inconsistent result that the accused was acquitted though her accuser was found guilty of collusion with her. You may ask what we were about while this was going on. We told the senate that we had received all our instructions for this public trial from Norbanus, and that the case ought to be tried afresh if he were proved guilty of collusion, and so, while his trial was proceeding, we sat still. Subsequently Norbanus was present every day the trial lasted, and showed right up to the end the same resolute or impudent front. I wonder if I have forgotten anything else. Well, I almost did. On the last day Salvius Liberalis bitterly assailed the rest of the deputation on the ground that they had not brought accusations against all whom they were commissioned to accuse by the province. He is a powerful and able speaker, and he put them 6.34. To Maximus. You did quite right in promising a gladiatorial display to my clients at Verona, for they have long loved you, looked up to you, and honoured you. You took from that city your dearly loved and most estimable wife, and you owe to her memory some public work or festival, and a gladiatorial show is most suitable for a funeral honour. Besides, as the people were so uimous in asking for that form of entertainment, you would have appeared boorish rather than consistent had you refused. Whereas now it stands to your credit that you were not only lavish in giving the show, but were easily persuaded to do so, and it is in matters such as these that magimity is disclosed. I wish that the numerous African panthers you had bought had turned up by the appointed day, but it may be that they were detained by stress of weather. At any rate you have deserved the fullest credit for them, for it was not your fault that the exhibition was not complete. Farewell. 7.6. To Macrinus. The suit against Varenus has come to an unusual and remarkable conclusion, and the issue is even now open to doubt. People say that the Bithynians have withdrawn their accusation against him, on the ground that they entered upon it without adequate proofs. That, I repeat, is what people are saying. However, the legate of the province is in Rome, and he has laid the decree of the Council before Caesar, before many of the leading men here, and even before us who are acting for Varenus. None the less our friend Magnus, as usual, persists in his opposition, and he still keeps worrying that estimable man Nigrinus. He pressed the consuls, through Nigrinus, to force Varenus to produce his official accounts. I was standing by Varenus in a friendly way, and had made up my mind to say nothing, for nothing would have damaged his prospects so much as for me, who had been appointed by the senate to act on his behalf, to begin defending him, as though he were on his trial, when the great thing was to prevent him being put on his trial at all. However, when Nigrinus had concluded his demand, and the consuls looked towards me to say something, I remarked In one instance, a mother who had lost her son - for there is no reason why I should not recall some of my old cases, though this was not my motive in writing this letter - accused his freedmen - who were also co-heirs to the estate - of having forged the will and poisoned their master. She brought the matter to the notice of the Emperor, and obtained permission for Julius Servianus to act as judge. I defended the accused in a crowded court, for the case was a regular cause célèbre, and there were the best counsel of the day engaged on both sides. The hearing was decided by the evidence of the slaves, who were submitted to torture, and their answers were in favour of the accused. Subsequently, the mother appealed to the Emperor, declaring that she had discovered fresh proofs. Suburanus was instructed to give her a hearing again, provided that she brought forward new evidence. Julius Africanus appeared for the mother - a grandson of the orator of whom Passienus Crispus said after listening to his speech It has been much the same in the present case, and my policy in saying just what I did on behalf of Varenus and nothing more has been greatly approved. The consuls, as Polyaenus desired, have left the Emperor an entirely free hand, and I am waiting for him to hear the case, with much anxiety; for, when he does, the issue of the day will either free us, who are on Varenus's side, from all trouble and make our minds perfectly easy, or it will entail our setting to work again and a new period of anxious worry. Farewell. 7.33. To Tacitus. I venture to prophesy - and I know my prognostics are right - that your histories will be immortal, and that, I frankly confess, makes me the more anxious to figure in them. For if it is quite an ordinary thing for us to take care to secure the best painter to paint our portrait, ought we not also to be desirous of getting an author and historian of your calibre to describe our deeds ? That is why though it could hardly escape your careful eye, as it is to be found in the public records - I bring the following incident before your notice, and I do so in order to assure you how pleased I shall be, if you will lend your powers of description and the weight of your testimony to setting forth the way I behaved on an occasion when I reaped credit, owing to the dangers to which I exposed myself. The senate had appointed me to act with Herennius Senecio on behalf of the province of Baetica in the prosecution of Baebius Massa, * and, when Massa had been sentenced, it decreed that his property should be placed under public custody. Senecio came to me, after finding out that the consuls would be at liberty to hear petitions, and said My conduct on this occasion, whatever its worth may have been, will be made even more famous, more distinguished, and more noble if you describe it, although I do not ask of you to go beyond the strict letter of what actually occurred. For history ought never to transgress against truth, and an honourable action wants nothing more than to be faithfully recorded. Farewell. %%% 8.2. To Calvisius. Other people go to their estates to return richer than they went ; I go to come back the poorer. I had sold my vintage to the dealers who bid against one another for the purchase, tempted by the prices quoted at the time and the prices which they thought would be quoted later on. However, their expectations were disappointed. It would have been a simple matter to make certain remissions to all in equal proportions, but it would hardly have met the justice of the case, for it seems to me to be an honourable man's first duty to practise a strict rule of justice, both at home and out-of-doors, in small things as well as in great, and in dealing with one's own as with other people's property. For if, as the Stoics say, all offences are equally serious, all merits should be equally consistent. * Consequently, "in order that no one should go away without a present from me," ** I remitted to each an eighth part of the price at which he had bought, and then I made separate additional remissions for those who had been the largest buyers, inasmuch as they had benefited me more than the others had, and had themselves sustained the greater loss. So to those who had paid more than 10,000 sesterces for their share, I remitted a tenth of the sum paid above 10,000 sesterces, in addition to the other remission of an eighth of the total sum which I had made to all indiscriminately. I am afraid I have not expressed this quite clearly, so I will explain my system more fully. Those, for example, who had purchased 15,000 sesterces' worth of the vintage had remitted to them an eighth of the 15,000 and a tenth of 15,000. Besides this, it struck me that some had actually paid over a considerable share of the purchase money, while others had only paid a fraction, and others none at all, and I thought it was not fair to deal as generously in the matter of remission with the latter as with the former, and place those who had loyally paid up on a level with those who had not. So to those who had paid I remitted a further tenth of the sums paid over. By so doing I made a neat recognition of my acknowledgment of each man's honourable conduct on the old deal, and I also offered them all a bait to make future deals with me, and not only purchase, but pay ready money. This reasonable or generous - whichever you like to call it - conduct on my part has put me to considerable expense, but it was well worth it, for throughout the entire district people are warmly approving this new method of making remissions. As for those whom I graded and classified, without, so to speak, lumping them all together, the more honourable and upright they were, the more devoted to me were they on leaving, since they had discovered that I was not one of those people who "hold in equal honour the good and the bad." † Farewell. 9.13. To Quadratus. The more carefully and closely you have read the books I composed to vindicate the character of Helvidius, the more anxious, you say, you are for me to write an account of the whole affair from beginning to end, which you were too young to take any part in, giving you details which do not appear in my volumes as well as those which do. When Domitian was put to death, I took counsel with myself and came to the conclusion that there was now a splendid and glorious opportunity for prosecuting the guilty, vindicating the oppressed, and at the same time bringing myself into prominence. It seemed to me that of all the many crimes committed by that crowd of wretches, there was none more atrocious than that a senator should have laid violent hands upon another senator in the senate-house, that a man of praetorian rank should have assaulted a man of consular rank, and a judge an accused person. Besides, Helvidius and I were friends, so far as friendship was possible with one who, owing to the terrorism that prevailed, tried to conceal his illustrious name and equally illustrious virtues in strict retirement; and I was also a friend of Arria and Fannia, * the former of whom was the step-mother of Helvidius, and the latter the mother of Arria. But it was not so much my feelings as a friend, but my sense of public duty, my indignation at what had taken place, and the importance of the precedent, which stirred me. For the first few days after liberty had been restored each man was busy in his own interests impeaching his own private enemies - at least the more unimportant of them - and at once obtaining their condemnation, but all was being done with uproar and turbulence. I considered it would show greater modesty and boldness not to overthrow the worst criminal of them all on the general odium against the practices of the late reign, but to attack him on a specific charge, after the first furious outburst had worn itself out and the general rage was daily abating, and when men were beginning again to think of what was just. So, though I was in great distress at the time, for I had just recently lost my wife, ** I sent to Anteia - who was the wife of Helvidius - asking her to come and see me, as the bereavement I had recently suffered kept me still confined to my house. When she came, I said It was my unfailing practice to consult Corellius on all matters, for I looked upon him as the most far-seeing and the wisest man of our time ; but in this business I was satisfied with my own judgment, for I was afraid that he would try and dissuade me from my design, as he was always rather prone to hesitation and caution. However, I could not make up my mind to refrain from giving him a hint, when the day came, of what I was going to do, though I did not ask his advice as to whether I should proceed with my intention, for I have found by experience that, when you have decided on a course of action, it is a mistake to consult as to its wisdom those whose advice you ought to follow when once you ask them for it. I entered the senate ; I craved permission to address the house, and for a little time everyone agreed with what I said. But when I began to touch upon the charge I was bringing and foreshadow whom I was accusing - though I had not yet named him - there were loud cries of dissent from all sides. One exclaimed, "Let us know who it is that you are denouncing out of order? " ; another, "Who is it that is being put on his trial before he has been impeached ?" ; another, "Let us who survive remain in security." I listened without fear or trepidation, sustained by the righteousness of the cause I had undertaken, while it always materially contributes to one's confidence or fear whether one's audience is merely unwilling to hear your case or actively disapproves of it. It would be tedious to relate all the exclamations which were flung from side to side, but at last the consul said By this time the time for recording opinions had arrived. Among the speakers were Domitius Apollinaris, the consul-designate, Fabricius Veiento, Fabius Maximinus, Vettius Proculus, the colleague of Publicius Certus, who was the subject of debate, and the father-in-law of the wife whom I had just lost. After these Ammius Flaccus spoke. They all defended Certus, just as if I had already named him, which I had not, and took up and defended his cause, though the charge had been left vague. †† I need not tell you the substance of their speeches, for you have them in my books, just as I took them down in their own words. They were opposed by Avidius Quietus and Cornutus Tertullus. Quietus urged that it was most unjust to refuse to hear the complaints of the aggrieved persons, and, therefore, Arria and Fannia ought not to be robbed of their right to lodge a complaint. It did not matter, he said, what class a person belonged to, the point was whether his case was just. Cornutus said that he had been appointed guardian by the consuls to the daughter of Helvidius at the request of her mother and step-father, and that he could not think of failing in his duties at such a moment. However, he would set a limit to his own personal resentment and only support the very moderate request of these excellent ladies, who would be satisfied with bringing before the notice of the senate the crime-stained servility of Publicius Certus, and asking that, though the penalty for his most iniquitous crime might be foregone, he might at least be branded with some mark of disgrace similar to being officially degraded by the censors. Satrius Rufus followed with an equivocal speech, the meaning of which was by no means clear. "I consider," he said, "Publicius Certus will be wronged unless he is acquitted ; he has been impeached by the friends of Arria ; and Fannia, and by his own friends. Nor ought we to be anxious on his account, for we, who think well of him, are also to act as his judges. If he is innocent, as I hope and prefer to think he is, and as I shall continue to believe until something is proved against him, you will be able to acquit him." Such were the sentiments delivered, in the order in which the speakers were severally called upon to speak. Then my turn came ; I rose to my feet, and opening my remarks as you will find in my book, I replied to all, one by one. It was wonderful to notice with what attention and applause all my points were received by those who a little before were shouting me down. This sweeping change of view was due either to the importance of the subject under debate, or to the success of my speech, or to the boldness of the speaker. At length I concluded; Veiento began to answer me, but no one suffered him to speak ; he was greeted with such interruptions and clamours that he exclaimed, "I beg of you, conscript fathers, not to force me to appeal to the tribunes for protection." Immediately the tribune Murena broke in with, "I permit you, most honourable Veiento, to speak." At that the tumult broke out again. In the pauses between the outcries the consul read over the names and took the votes by a division, and then adjourned the House, leaving Veiento still on his feet and struggling to deliver his speech. He complained bitterly of the indignity - as he called it - which had been shown him, quoting the line from Homer Certus was not present when all this took place, either owing to his having some suspicion of what was about to happen, or else he was ill, which was the reason he assigned for his absence. It is true that Caesar never referred to the senate the inquiry into Certus's crimes, yet I gained the point for which I had striven. For it was a colleague of Certus who gained the consulship, and Certus's place was taken by someone else, and so the sentence at the close of my speech was fulfilled, where I said, "Let him give back, now that we have a model emperor to reign over us, the prize which was conferred upon him by the worst of emperors." Subsequently, I recalled the speech to my memory as best I could, and added a good deal. By a coincidence, which looked rather more than a coincidence. Certus was taken ill and died a very few days after I published my book. I have heard people say that he was haunted by a phantom which was for ever presenting itself to his mind and gaze, and that he thought he saw me threatening him with a sword. I should not like to say that this actually was the case, but it adds to the moral that it should be considered as true. Well, I have written you a letter which, judged by the standard length of a letter, is about as long as the books you have read, but you have only yourself to blame, inasmuch as you were not content with the published books. Farewell. 9.20. To Venator. Your letter was all the more agreeable to me on account of its length, and because it referred throughout to my books. I am not surprised that they please you, inasmuch as you extend the love you bear me to my writings. I am at present chiefly occupied in getting in my grape harvest, which, though light, is still more plentiful than I had expected - if you can describe as getting in a grape harvest the plucking of an occasional grape, a visit to the wine-press, a taste of the must from the vat, and surprise visits to the domestic servants I brought from the city, who are now superintending my country servants and have left me to my secretaries and readers. Farewell. 9.23. To Maximus. When I have been pleading, it has often happened that the centumviri, after strictly preserving for a long time their judicial dignity and gravity, have suddenly leaped to their feet en masse and applauded me, as if they could not help themselves but were obliged to do so. I have often again left the senate-house with just as much glory as I had hoped to obtain, but I never felt greater gratification than I did a little while ago at something which Cornelius Tacitus told me in conversation. He said that he was sitting by the side of a certain individual at the last Circensian games, and that, after they had had a long and learned talk on a variety of subjects, his acquaintance said to him
13. Pliny The Younger, Letters, 1.1, 1.1.1, 1.3, 1.5, 1.20, 2.11, 3.9, 6.33-6.34, 7.6, 7.33, 8.2, 8.15, 8.21, 9.13, 9.20, 9.23 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

1.1. To Septicius. You have constantly urged me to collect and publish the more highly finished of the letters that I may have written. I have made such a collection, but without preserving the order in which they were composed, as I was not writing a historical narrative. So I have taken them as they happened to come to hand. I can only hope that you will not have cause to regret the advice you gave, and that I shall not repent having followed it; for I shall set to work to recover such letters as have up to now been tossed on one side, and I shall not keep back any that I may write in the future. Farewell.. 1.3. To Caninius Rufus. How is Comum looking, your darling spot and mine? And that most charming villa of yours, what of it, and its portico where it is always spring, its shady clumps of plane trees, its fresh crystal canal, and the lake below that gives such a charming view? How is the exercise ground, so soft yet firm to the foot; how goes the bath that gets the sun's rays so plentifully as he journeys round it? What too of the big banqueting halls and the little rooms just for a few, and the retiring rooms for night and day? Have they full possession of you, and do they share your company in turn? or are you, as usual, continually being called away to attend to private family business? You are indeed a lucky man if you can spend all your leisure there; if you cannot, your case is that of most of us. But really it is time that you passed on your unimportant and petty duties for others to look after, and buried yourself among your books in that secluded yet beautiful retreat. Make this at once the business and the leisure of your life, your occupation and your rest; let your waking hours be spent among your books, and your hours of sleep as well. Mould something, hammer out something that shall be known as yours for all time. Your other property will find a succession of heirs when you are gone; what I speak of will continue yours for ever - if once it begins to be. I know the capacity and inventive wit that I am spurring on. You have only to think of yourself as the able man others will think you when you have realised your ability. Farewell. 1.5. To Voconius Romanus. Did you ever see a man more abject and fawning than Marcus Regulus has been since the death of Domitian? His misdeeds were better concealed during that prince's reign, but they were every bit as bad as they were in the time of Nero. He began to be afraid that I was angry with him and he was not mistaken, for I certainly was annoyed. After doing what he could to help those who were prosecuting Rusticus Arulenus, he had openly exulted at his death, and went so far as to publicly read and then publish a pamphlet in which he violently attacks Rusticus and even calls him "the Stoics' ape," adding that "he is marked with the brand of Vitellius." * You recognise, of course, the Regulian style! He tears to pieces Herennius Senecio so savagely that Metius Carus said to him, "What have you to do with my dead men? Did I ever worry your Crassus or Camerinus?" - these being some of Regulus's victims in the days of Nero. Regulus thought I bore him malice for this, and so he did not invite me when he read his pamphlet. Besides, he remembered that he once mortally attacked me in the court of the centumviri. ** I was a witness on behalf of Arionilla, the wife of Timon, at the request of Rusticus Arulenus, and Regulus was conducting the prosecution. We on our side were relying for part of the defence on a decision of Metius Modestus, an excellent man who had been banished by Domitian and was at that moment in exile. This was Regulus's opportunity. "Tell me, Secundus," said he, "what you think of Modestus." You see in what peril I should have placed myself if I had answered that I thought highly of him, and how disgraceful it would have been if I had said that I thought ill of him. I fancy it must have been the gods who came to my rescue. "I will tell you what I think of him," I said, "when the Court has to give a decision on the point." He returned to the charge Well, now the fellow is conscience-stricken, and buttonholes first Caecilius Celer and then implores Fabius Justus to reconcile me to him. Not content with that, he makes his way in to see Spurinna, and begs and prays of him - you know what an abject coward he is when he is frightened - as follows. "Do go," says he, "and call on Pliny in the morning - early in the morning, for my suspense is unbearable - and do what you can to remove his anger against me." I was early awake that day, when a message came from Spurinna, "I am coming to see you." I sent back word, "I will come and see you." We met at the portico of Livia, just as we were each of us on the way to see the other. He explained his commission from Regulus and added his own entreaties, but did not press the point too strongly, as became a worthy gentleman asking a favour for a worthless acquaintance. This was my answer That practically closed the conversation. I did not wish it to go any further, so that I might not commit myself until Mauricus arrived. Moreover, I am quite aware that Regulus is a difficult bird to net. He is rich, he is a shrewd intriguer, he has no inconsiderable body of followers and a still larger circle of those who fear him, and fear is often a more powerful factor than affection. But, after all, these are bonds that may be shattered and weakened, for a bad man's influence is as little to be relied upon as is the man himself. Moreover, let me repeat that I am waiting for Mauricus. He is a man of sound judgment and sagacity, which he has learned by experience, and he can gauge what is likely to happen in the future from what has occurred in the past. I shall be guided by him, and either strike a blow or set aside my weapons just as he thinks best. I have written you this letter because it is only right, considering our regard for one another, that you should be acquainted not only with what I have said and done, but also with my plans for the future. Farewell. 1.20. To Cornelius Tacitus. I am constantly having arguments with a friend of mine who is a learned and practised speaker, but who admires in pleading nothing so much as brevity. I allow that brevity ought to be observed, if the case permits of it; but sometimes it is an act of collusion to pass over matters that ought to be mentioned, and it is even an act of collusion to run briefly and rapidly over points which ought to be dwelt upon, to be thoroughly driven home, and to be taken up and dealt with more than once. For very often an argument acquires strength and weight by being handled at some length, and a speech ought to be impressed on the mind, not by a short, sharp shock, but by measured blows, just as a sword should be used in dealing with the body of an opponent. Thereupon he plies me with authorities, and flourishes before me the speeches of Lysias among the Greeks, and those of the Gracchi and Cato from among Roman orators. The majority of these are certainly characterised by conciseness and brevity, but I quote against Lysias the examples of Demosthenes, Aeschines, Hyperides, and a multitude of others, while against the Gracchi and Cato I set Pollio, Caesar, Caelius, and, above all, Marcus Tullius, whose longest speech is generally considered to be his best. * And upon my word, as with all other good things, the more there is of a good book, the better it is. You know how it is with statues, images, pictures, and the outlines of many animals and even trees, that if they are at all graceful nothing gives them a greater charm than size. It is just the same with speeches, - even the mere volumes themselves acquire a certain additional dignity and beauty from mere bulk. These are but a few of the many arguments I usually employ to establish my point; but there is no pinning my friend down in an argument. He is such a slippery fellow that he wriggles off the pin and declares that these same orators, whose speeches I instance, spoke at less length than their published addresses seem to show. I hold the contrary to be the case, and there are many speeches of many orators in favour of my opinion, as, for example, the 'Pro Murena' and the 'Pro Vareno' of Cicero, in which he indicates by headings alone, and quite barely and briefly, how he dealt with certain charges against his clients. From these it is clear that he actually spoke at much greater length and left out a considerable number of passages when he published the addresses. Cicero indeed says that in his defence of Cluentius "he had simply followed the ancient custom and compressed his whole case into a peroration," and that in defending Caius Cornelius "he had pleaded for four days." ** Hence it cannot be questioned that after speaking somewhat discursively for several days, as he was bound to do, he subsequently trimmed and revised his oration and compressed it into a single book - a long one, it is true, but yet a single book. But, argues my friend, a good indictment is a different thing from a good speech. I know some people hold that view, but I - of course I may be wrong - feel persuaded that though it is possible to have a good indictment without a good speech, it is not possible for a good speech not to be a good indictment. For a speech is the exemplar of an indictment - one might even call it its archetype. Hence in every first-class oration we find a thousand extempore figures of speech, even in those which we know to have been carefully edited. For example, in the Speech against Verres Regulus once said to me when we were in Court together Nor do I forget that in his eulogy of that consummate orator, Pericles, the comedy-writer Eupolis used the following language But, you say, the mean is the best. Quite so, but the mean is as much neglected by those who fail to do justice to their subject as by those who overdo it, by those who restrain themselves as by those who give themselves their heads. And so you often hear the criticism that a speech was "frigid and weak," just as you hear that another was "overloaded and a mass of repetition." The one speaker is said to have over-elaborated his subject, the other not to have risen to the occasion. Both are at fault; one through weakness, the other through too much strength, and the latter, though he may not show the more refined intellect, certainly shows the more robust mind. When I say this it must not be supposed that I am approving Homer's Thersites - the man who was a torrent of words - but rather his Ulysses, whose "words were like snow-flakes in winter," though at the same time I admire his Menelaus, who spoke "Few words, but well to the point." Yet, if I had to choose, I should prefer the speech that is like the winter snow- storm - viz. fluent, flowing, and of generous width; and not only that, but divine and celestial. It may, I know, be said that many people prefer a short pleading. No doubt, but they are lazy creatures, and it is ridiculous to consult the tastes of such sloths as though they were critics. For if you take their opinion as worth anything, you will find that they not only prefer a short pleading, but no pleading at all. Well, I have told you what I think. I shall change my opinion if you do not agree with me, but in that case I beg of you to give me clear reasons for your disagreement; for although I feel bound to bow to a man of your judgment, yet in a point of such importance, I consider that I ought to give way rather to a reasoned statement than to an ipse dixit. But even if you think I am right, still write and tell me so, and make the letter as short as you like - for you will thus confirm my judgment. If I am wrong, see that you write me a very long letter. I feel sure I have not estimated you wrongly in thus asking you for a short note if you agree with me, while laying on you the obligation of writing at length if you disagree. Farewell. 2.11. To Arrianus. I know you are always delighted when the senate behaves in a way befitting its rank, for though your love of peace and quiet has caused you to withdraw from Rome, your anxiety that public life should be kept at a high level is as strong as it ever was. So let me tell you what has been going on during the last few days. The proceedings are memorable owing to the commanding position of the person most concerned; they will have a healthy influence because of the sharp lesson that has been administered; and the importance of the case will make them famous for all time. Marius Priscus, on being accused by the people of Africa, whom he had governed as proconsul, declined to defend himself before the senate and asked to have judges assigned to hear the case. * Cornelius Tacitus and myself were instructed to appear for the provincials, and we came to the conclusion that we were bound in honesty to our clients to notify the senate that the charges of inhumanity and cruelty brought against Priscus were too serious to be heard by a panel of judges, inasmuch as he was accused of having received bribes to condemn and even put to death innocent persons. Fronto Catius spoke in reply, and urged that the prosecution should be confined within the law dealing with extortion Well, the witnesses who were summoned came to Rome, viz., Vitellius Honoratus and Flavius Martianus. Honoratus was charged with having bribed Priscus to the tune of three hundred thousand sesterces to exile a Roman knight and put seven of his friends to death; Martianus was accused of having given Priscus seven hundred thousand sesterces to sentence a single Roman knight to still more grievous punishment, for he was beaten with rods, condemned to the mines, and then strangled in prison. Honoratus - luckily for him - escaped the investigation of the senate by dying; Martianus was brought before them when Priscus was not present. Consequently Tuccius Cerealis, a man of consular rank, pleaded senatorial privileges and demanded that Priscus should be informed of the attendance of Martianus, either because he thought that Priscus by being present would have a better chance of awakening the compassion of the senate or to increase the feeling against him, or possibly, and I think this was his real motive, because strict justice demanded that both should defend themselves against a charge that affected them both, and that both should be punished if they could not rebut the accusation. The subject was postponed to the next meeting of the senate, and a very august assembly it was. The Emperor presided in his capacity as consul; besides, the month of January brings crowds of people to Rome and especially senators, † and moreover the importance of the case, the great notoriety it had obtained, which had been increased by the delays that had taken place, and the ingrained curiosity of all men to get to know all the details of an unusually important matter, had made everybody flock to Rome from all quarters. You can imagine how nervous and anxious we were in having to speak in such a gathering and in the presence of the Emperor on such an important case. It was not the first time that I had pleaded in the senate, and there is nowhere where I get a more sympathetic hearing, but then the novelty of the whole position seemed to afflict me with a feeling of nervousness I had never felt before. For in addition to all that I have mentioned above I kept thinking of the difficulties of the case and was oppressed by the feeling that Priscus, the defendant, had once held consular rank and been one of the seven regulators of the sacred feasts, and was now deprived of both these dignities. † So I found it a very trying task to accuse a man on whom sentence had already been passed, for though the shocking offences with which he was charged weighed heavily against him, he yet was protected to a certain extent by the commiseration felt for a man already condemned to punishment that one might have thought final. However, as soon as I had pulled myself together and collected my thoughts, I began my address, and though I was nervous I was on the best of terms with my audience. I spoke for nearly five hours, for, in addition to the twelve water-clocks - the largest I could get - which had been assigned to me, I obtained four others. And, as matters turned out, everything that I thought before speaking would have proved an obstacle in the way of a good speech really helped me during my address. As for the Emperor, he showed me such kind attention and consideration - for it would be too much to call it anxiety on my behalf - that he frequently nodded to my freedman, who was standing just behind me, to give me a hint not to overtax my voice and lungs, when he thought that I was throwing myself too ardently into my pleading and imposing too great a burden on my slender frame. Claudius Marcellinus answered me on behalf of Martianus, and then the senate was dismissed and met again on the following day. For there was no time to begin a fresh speech, as it would have had to be broken off by the fall of night. On the following day, Salvius Liberalis, a man of shrewd wit, careful in the arrangement of his speeches, with a pointed style and a fund of learning, spoke for Marius, and in his speech he certainly brought out all he knew. Cornelius Tacitus replied to him in a wonderfully eloquent address, characterised by that lofty dignity which is the chief charm of his oratory. Then Fronto Catius made another excellent speech on Marius's behalf, and he spent more time in appeals for mercy than in rebutting evidence, as befitted the part of the case that he had then to deal with. The fall of night terminated his speech but did not break it off altogether, and so the proceedings lasted over into the third day. This was quite fine and just like it used to be for the senate to be interrupted by nightfall, and for the members to be called and sit for three days running. Cornutus Tertullus, the consul-designate, a man of high character and a devoted champion of justice, gave as his opinion that the seven hundred thousand sesterces which Marius had received should be confiscated to the Treasury, that Marius should be banished from Rome and Italy, and that Martianus should be banished from Rome, Italy, and Africa. Towards the conclusion of his speech he added the remark that the senate considered that, since Tacitus and myself, who had been summoned to plead for the provincials, had fulfilled our duties with diligence and fearlessness, we had acted in a manner worthy of the commission entrusted to us. The consuls-designate agreed, and all the consulars did likewise, until it was Pompeius Collega's turn to speak. He proposed that the seven hundred thousand sesterces received by Marius should be confiscated to the Treasury, that Martianus should be banished ‡ for five years, and that Marius should suffer no further penalty than that for extortion - which had already been passed upon him. Opinion was largely divided, and there was possibly a majority in favour of the latter proposal, which was the more lenient or less severe of the two, for even some of those who appeared to have supported Cornutus changed sides and were ready to vote for Collega, who had spoken after them. But when the House divided, those who stood near the seats of the consuls began to cross over to the side of Cornutus. Then those who were allowing themselves to be counted as supporters of Collega also crossed over, and Collega was left with a mere handful. He complained bitterly afterwards of those who had led him to make the proposal he did, especially of Regulus, who had failed to support him in the proposal that he himself had suggested. But Regulus is a fickle fellow, rash to a degree, yet a great coward as well. Such was the close of this most important investigation; but there is still another bit of public business on hand of some consequence, for Hostilius Firminus, the legate of Marius Priscus, who was implicated in the matter, had received a very rough handling. It was proved by the accounts of Martianus and a speech he made in the Council of the Town of Leptis that he had engaged with Priscus in a very shady transaction, that he had bargained to receive from Martianus 50,000 denarii and had received in addition ten million sesterces under the head of perfume money - a most disgraceful thing for a soldier, but one which was not at all inconsistent with his character as a man with well-trimmed hair and polished skin. It was agreed on the motion of Cornutus that the case should be investigated at the next meeting of the senate, but at that meeting he did not put in an appearance, either from some accidental reason or because he knew he was guilty. Well, I have told you the news of Rome, you must write and tell me the news of the country. How are your shrubs getting on, your vines and your crops, and those dainty sheep of yours? In short, unless you send me as long a letter I am sending you, you mustn't expect anything more than the scrappiest note from me in the future. Farewell. 3.9. To Cornelius Minicianus. I can now give you a full account of the enormous trouble entailed upon me in the public trial brought by the Province of Baetica. It was a complicated suit, and new issues kept constantly cropping up. Why this variety, and why these different pleadings? you well ask. Well, Caecilius Classicus - a low rascal who carries his villainy in his face - had during his proconsulship in Baetica, in the same year that Marius Priscus was Governor of Africa, behaved both with violence and rapacity. Now, Priscus came from Baetica and Classicus from Africa, and so there was a rather good saying among the people of Baetica, for even resentment often inspires wit I was acting for the Province, assisted by Lucceius Albinus, an eloquent and ornate speaker, and though we have long been on terms of the closest regard for one another, our association in this suit has made me feel vastly more attached to him. As a rule, and especially in oratorical efforts, people do not run well in double harness in their striving for glory, but he and I were not in any sense rivals and there was no jealousy between us, as we both did our level best, not for our own hand, but for the common cause, which was of such a serious character and of such public importance that it seemed to demand from us that we should not over-elaborate each single pleading. We were afraid that time would fail us, and that our voices and lungs would break down if we tied up together so many charges and so many defendants into one bundle. Again, we feared that the attention of the judges would not only be wearied by the introduction of so many names and charges, but that they would be confused thereby, that the sum-total of the influence of each one of the accused might procure for each the strength of all, and finally we were afraid lest the most influential of the accused should make a scapegoat of the meanest among them, and so slip out of the hands of justice at the expense of someone else - for favour and personal interest are strongest when they can skulk behind some pretence of severity. Moreover, we were advised by the well-known story of Sertorius, who set two soldiers - one young and powerful, and the other old and weak - to pull off the tail of a horse. You know how it finishes. And so we too thought that we could get the better of even such a long array of defendants, provided we took them one by one. Our plan was first to prove the guilt of Classicus himself; then it was a natural transition to his intimates and tools, because the latter could never be condemned unless Classicus were guilty. Consequently, we took two of them and closely connected them with Classicus, Baebius Probus and Fabius Hispanus, both men of some influence, while Hispanus possesses a strong gift of eloquence. To prove the guilt of Classicus was an easy and simple task that did not take us long. He had left in his own handwriting a document showing what profits he had made out of each transaction and case, and he had even despatched a letter couched in a boasting and impudent strain to one of his mistresses containing the words, "Hurrah! hurrah! I am coming back to you with my hands free; * for I have already sold the interests of the Baetici to the tune of four million sesterces." But we had to sweat to get a conviction against Hispanus and Probus. Before I dealt with the charges against them, I thought it necessary to establish the legal point that the execution of an unjust sentence is an indictable offence, for if I had not done this it would have been useless for me to prove that they had been the henchmen of Classicus. Moreover, their line of defence was not a denial. They pleaded that they could not help themselves and therefore were to be pardoned, arguing that they were mere provincials and were frightened into doing anything that a proconsul bade them do. Claudius Restitutus, who replied to me, a practised and watchful speaker who is equal to any emergency however suddenly sprung up upon him, is now going about saying that he never was so dumbfounded and thrown off his balance as when he discovered that the ground on which he placed full reliance for his defence had been cut from under him and stolen away from him. Well, the outcome of our line of attack was as follows In the third action, we thought our best course was to lump the defendants together, fearing lest, if the trial were to be spun out to undue length, those who were hearing the case would grow sick and tired of it, and their zeal for strict justice and severity would abate. Besides, the accused persons, who had been designedly kept over till then, were all of comparatively little importance, except the wife of Classicus, and, although suspicion against her was strong, the proofs seemed rather weak. As for the daughter of Classicus, who was also among the defendants, she had cleared herself even of suspicion. Consequently, when I reached her name in the last trial - for there was no fear then as there had been at the beginning that such an admission would weaken the force of the prosecution - I thought the most honourable course was to refrain from pressing the charge against an innocent person, and I frankly said so, repeating the idea in various forms. For example, I asked the deputation of the Baetici whether they had given me definite instructions on any point which they felt confident they could prove against her; I turned to the senators and inquired whether they thought I ought to employ what eloquence I might possess against an innocent person, and hold, as it were, the knife to her throat; and, finally, I concluded the subject with these words Well, the conclusion of this trial, with its crowd of defendants, was that a certain few were acquitted, but the majority were condemned and banished, some for a fixed term of years, and others for life. In the same decree the senate expressed in most handsome terms its appreciation of our industry, loyalty, and perseverance, and this was the only possible worthy and adequate reward for the trouble we had taken. You can imagine how worn out we were, when you think how often we had to plead, and answer the pleadings of our opponents, and how many witnesses we had to cross-question, encourage, and refute. Besides, you know how trying and vexatious it is to say "no" to the friends of the accused when they come pleading with you in private, and to stoutly oppose them when they confront you in open court. I will tell you one of the things I said. When one of those who were acting as judges interrupted me on behalf of one of the accused in whom he took a special interest, I replied I have brought you up to date as well as I could. You will say, "It was not worthwhile, for what have I to do with such a long letter?" If you do, don't ask again what is going on at Rome, and bear in mind that you cannot call a letter long which covers so many days, so many trials, and so many defendants and pleadings. I think I have dealt with all these subjects as briefly as I am sure they are exactly dealt with. But no, I was rash to say "exactly"; I remember a point which I had omitted, and I will tell you about it even now, though it is out of its proper place. Homer does this, and many other authors have followed his example - with very good effect too - though that is not my reason for so doing. One of the witnesses, annoyed at being summoned to appear, or bribed by some one of the defendants in order to weaken the prosecution, laid an accusation against Norbanus Licinianus, a member of the deputation, who had been instructed to get up the case, and charged him with having acted in collusion with the other side in relation to Casta, the wife of Classicus. It is a legal rule in such instances that the trial of the accused must be finished before inquiry is made into a charge of collusion, on the ground that one can best form an opinion on the sincerity of the prosecution by noticing how the case has been carried through. However, Norbanus reaped no advantage from this point of law, nor did his position as member of the deputation, nor his duties as one of those getting up the action stand him in good stead. A storm of prejudice broke out against him, and there is no denying that his hands were crime-stained, that he, like many others, had taken advantage of the evil times of Domitian, and that he had been selected by the provincials to get up the case, not as a man of probity and honour, but because he had been a personal enemy of Classicus, by whom, indeed, he had been banished. He demanded that a day should be fixed for his trial, and that the charge against him should be published; both were refused, and he was obliged to answer on the spot. He did so, and though the thorough badness and depravity of the fellow make me hesitate to say whether he showed more impudence or resolution, he certainly replied with great readiness. There were sundry things brought against him which did him much greater damage than the charge of collusion, and two men of consular rank, Pomponius Rufus and Libo Frugi, severely damaged him by giving evidence to the effect that during the reign of Domitian he had assisted the prosecution of Salvius Liberalis before the judge. He was convicted and banished to an island. Consequently, when I was accusing Casta, I especially pressed the point that her accuser had been found guilty of collusion. But I did so in vain, and we had the novel and inconsistent result that the accused was acquitted though her accuser was found guilty of collusion with her. You may ask what we were about while this was going on. We told the senate that we had received all our instructions for this public trial from Norbanus, and that the case ought to be tried afresh if he were proved guilty of collusion, and so, while his trial was proceeding, we sat still. Subsequently Norbanus was present every day the trial lasted, and showed right up to the end the same resolute or impudent front. I wonder if I have forgotten anything else. Well, I almost did. On the last day Salvius Liberalis bitterly assailed the rest of the deputation on the ground that they had not brought accusations against all whom they were commissioned to accuse by the province. He is a powerful and able speaker, and he put them 6.33. To Romanus. Away with it all, cried Vulcan, "and cease the task you have begun." * Whether you are writing or reading, bid your people take away your pens and books, and receive this speech of mine, which is as divine as the arms made by Vulcan. Could conceit go further? But frankly, I think it is a fine speech, as compared with my other efforts, and I am satisfied to try and beat my own record. It is on behalf of Attia Viriola, and is worth attention owing to the lady's high position, the singular character of the case, and the importance of the trial. She was a person of high birth, was married to a man of praetorian rank, and was disinherited by her octogenarian father within eleven days after he had fallen violently in love, married a second time, and given Attia a step-mother. She sued for her father's effects in the Four Courts. ** A hundred and eighty judges sat to hear the case, for that is the number appointed for the Four Chambers ; there was a crowd of advocates on both sides, and the benches were packed, while there was also a dense ring of people standing many deep around the whole spacious court. Moreover, the tribunal was closely filled, and even in the upper galleries of the hall men and women leant over both to see and hear what was going on, the former being easy but the latter difficult of accomplishment. Fathers, daughters, and step-mothers were on the tip-toe of expectation. The fortunes of the day varied, for in two courts we were victorious, and in two we were beaten. It seemed an extraordinary and remarkable thing, that with the same judges and the same advocates there should be such different verdicts at one and the same time, and that this should be due to chance, though it did not so appear to be. The step-mother, who had been made heir to a sixth of the property, lost, and so too did Suberinus, † who, in spite of having been disinherited by his own father, had the amazing impudence to claim the property of someone else's father, but did not dare to claim that of his own. I have entered into these explanations, in the first place to acquaint you by letter of certain facts which you could not gather from the speech, and secondly - for I will be frank, and tell you my little tricks - to make you the more willing to read the speech, by leading you to imagine that you are not merely reading it, but are actually present at the trial. Though the speech is a long one, I am in some hope that it will meet with as kind a reception as a very short one. For the interest is constantly renewed by the fullness of the subject-matter, the neat way in which it is divided, the number of digressions, and the different kinds of eloquence employed. Many parts of it - I would not venture to say so to anyone but yourself - are of sustained dignity, many are controversial, many are closely argued. For constantly, in the midst of my most passionate and lofty passages, I was obliged to go into calculations, and almost had to call for counters and a table to carry them through, the consequence being that the court of law was suddenly turned into a sort of private counting-house. I gave free play to my indignation, to my anger, to my resentment, and so I sailed along, as it were, in this long pleading, as though I were on a vast sea, with a variety of winds to fill my sails. In fine, to say what I said before, some of my intimate friends repeatedly tell me that this speech of mine is as much above my previous efforts as Demosthenes' speech on behalf of Ctesiphon is above his others. Whether they are right in their judgment you will have no difficulty in deciding, for your memory of all my speeches is so good that by merely reading this one you can institute a comparison with them all. Farewell 7.6. To Macrinus. The suit against Varenus has come to an unusual and remarkable conclusion, and the issue is even now open to doubt. People say that the Bithynians have withdrawn their accusation against him, on the ground that they entered upon it without adequate proofs. That, I repeat, is what people are saying. However, the legate of the province is in Rome, and he has laid the decree of the Council before Caesar, before many of the leading men here, and even before us who are acting for Varenus. None the less our friend Magnus, as usual, persists in his opposition, and he still keeps worrying that estimable man Nigrinus. He pressed the consuls, through Nigrinus, to force Varenus to produce his official accounts. I was standing by Varenus in a friendly way, and had made up my mind to say nothing, for nothing would have damaged his prospects so much as for me, who had been appointed by the senate to act on his behalf, to begin defending him, as though he were on his trial, when the great thing was to prevent him being put on his trial at all. However, when Nigrinus had concluded his demand, and the consuls looked towards me to say something, I remarked In one instance, a mother who had lost her son - for there is no reason why I should not recall some of my old cases, though this was not my motive in writing this letter - accused his freedmen - who were also co-heirs to the estate - of having forged the will and poisoned their master. She brought the matter to the notice of the Emperor, and obtained permission for Julius Servianus to act as judge. I defended the accused in a crowded court, for the case was a regular cause célèbre, and there were the best counsel of the day engaged on both sides. The hearing was decided by the evidence of the slaves, who were submitted to torture, and their answers were in favour of the accused. Subsequently, the mother appealed to the Emperor, declaring that she had discovered fresh proofs. Suburanus was instructed to give her a hearing again, provided that she brought forward new evidence. Julius Africanus appeared for the mother - a grandson of the orator of whom Passienus Crispus said after listening to his speech It has been much the same in the present case, and my policy in saying just what I did on behalf of Varenus and nothing more has been greatly approved. The consuls, as Polyaenus desired, have left the Emperor an entirely free hand, and I am waiting for him to hear the case, with much anxiety; for, when he does, the issue of the day will either free us, who are on Varenus's side, from all trouble and make our minds perfectly easy, or it will entail our setting to work again and a new period of anxious worry. Farewell. 7.33. To Tacitus. I venture to prophesy - and I know my prognostics are right - that your histories will be immortal, and that, I frankly confess, makes me the more anxious to figure in them. For if it is quite an ordinary thing for us to take care to secure the best painter to paint our portrait, ought we not also to be desirous of getting an author and historian of your calibre to describe our deeds ? That is why though it could hardly escape your careful eye, as it is to be found in the public records - I bring the following incident before your notice, and I do so in order to assure you how pleased I shall be, if you will lend your powers of description and the weight of your testimony to setting forth the way I behaved on an occasion when I reaped credit, owing to the dangers to which I exposed myself. The senate had appointed me to act with Herennius Senecio on behalf of the province of Baetica in the prosecution of Baebius Massa, * and, when Massa had been sentenced, it decreed that his property should be placed under public custody. Senecio came to me, after finding out that the consuls would be at liberty to hear petitions, and said My conduct on this occasion, whatever its worth may have been, will be made even more famous, more distinguished, and more noble if you describe it, although I do not ask of you to go beyond the strict letter of what actually occurred. For history ought never to transgress against truth, and an honourable action wants nothing more than to be faithfully recorded. Farewell. %%% 8.2. To Calvisius. Other people go to their estates to return richer than they went ; I go to come back the poorer. I had sold my vintage to the dealers who bid against one another for the purchase, tempted by the prices quoted at the time and the prices which they thought would be quoted later on. However, their expectations were disappointed. It would have been a simple matter to make certain remissions to all in equal proportions, but it would hardly have met the justice of the case, for it seems to me to be an honourable man's first duty to practise a strict rule of justice, both at home and out-of-doors, in small things as well as in great, and in dealing with one's own as with other people's property. For if, as the Stoics say, all offences are equally serious, all merits should be equally consistent. * Consequently, "in order that no one should go away without a present from me," ** I remitted to each an eighth part of the price at which he had bought, and then I made separate additional remissions for those who had been the largest buyers, inasmuch as they had benefited me more than the others had, and had themselves sustained the greater loss. So to those who had paid more than 10,000 sesterces for their share, I remitted a tenth of the sum paid above 10,000 sesterces, in addition to the other remission of an eighth of the total sum which I had made to all indiscriminately. I am afraid I have not expressed this quite clearly, so I will explain my system more fully. Those, for example, who had purchased 15,000 sesterces' worth of the vintage had remitted to them an eighth of the 15,000 and a tenth of 15,000. Besides this, it struck me that some had actually paid over a considerable share of the purchase money, while others had only paid a fraction, and others none at all, and I thought it was not fair to deal as generously in the matter of remission with the latter as with the former, and place those who had loyally paid up on a level with those who had not. So to those who had paid I remitted a further tenth of the sums paid over. By so doing I made a neat recognition of my acknowledgment of each man's honourable conduct on the old deal, and I also offered them all a bait to make future deals with me, and not only purchase, but pay ready money. This reasonable or generous - whichever you like to call it - conduct on my part has put me to considerable expense, but it was well worth it, for throughout the entire district people are warmly approving this new method of making remissions. As for those whom I graded and classified, without, so to speak, lumping them all together, the more honourable and upright they were, the more devoted to me were they on leaving, since they had discovered that I was not one of those people who "hold in equal honour the good and the bad." † Farewell. 9.13. To Quadratus. The more carefully and closely you have read the books I composed to vindicate the character of Helvidius, the more anxious, you say, you are for me to write an account of the whole affair from beginning to end, which you were too young to take any part in, giving you details which do not appear in my volumes as well as those which do. When Domitian was put to death, I took counsel with myself and came to the conclusion that there was now a splendid and glorious opportunity for prosecuting the guilty, vindicating the oppressed, and at the same time bringing myself into prominence. It seemed to me that of all the many crimes committed by that crowd of wretches, there was none more atrocious than that a senator should have laid violent hands upon another senator in the senate-house, that a man of praetorian rank should have assaulted a man of consular rank, and a judge an accused person. Besides, Helvidius and I were friends, so far as friendship was possible with one who, owing to the terrorism that prevailed, tried to conceal his illustrious name and equally illustrious virtues in strict retirement; and I was also a friend of Arria and Fannia, * the former of whom was the step-mother of Helvidius, and the latter the mother of Arria. But it was not so much my feelings as a friend, but my sense of public duty, my indignation at what had taken place, and the importance of the precedent, which stirred me. For the first few days after liberty had been restored each man was busy in his own interests impeaching his own private enemies - at least the more unimportant of them - and at once obtaining their condemnation, but all was being done with uproar and turbulence. I considered it would show greater modesty and boldness not to overthrow the worst criminal of them all on the general odium against the practices of the late reign, but to attack him on a specific charge, after the first furious outburst had worn itself out and the general rage was daily abating, and when men were beginning again to think of what was just. So, though I was in great distress at the time, for I had just recently lost my wife, ** I sent to Anteia - who was the wife of Helvidius - asking her to come and see me, as the bereavement I had recently suffered kept me still confined to my house. When she came, I said It was my unfailing practice to consult Corellius on all matters, for I looked upon him as the most far-seeing and the wisest man of our time ; but in this business I was satisfied with my own judgment, for I was afraid that he would try and dissuade me from my design, as he was always rather prone to hesitation and caution. However, I could not make up my mind to refrain from giving him a hint, when the day came, of what I was going to do, though I did not ask his advice as to whether I should proceed with my intention, for I have found by experience that, when you have decided on a course of action, it is a mistake to consult as to its wisdom those whose advice you ought to follow when once you ask them for it. I entered the senate ; I craved permission to address the house, and for a little time everyone agreed with what I said. But when I began to touch upon the charge I was bringing and foreshadow whom I was accusing - though I had not yet named him - there were loud cries of dissent from all sides. One exclaimed, "Let us know who it is that you are denouncing out of order? " ; another, "Who is it that is being put on his trial before he has been impeached ?" ; another, "Let us who survive remain in security." I listened without fear or trepidation, sustained by the righteousness of the cause I had undertaken, while it always materially contributes to one's confidence or fear whether one's audience is merely unwilling to hear your case or actively disapproves of it. It would be tedious to relate all the exclamations which were flung from side to side, but at last the consul said By this time the time for recording opinions had arrived. Among the speakers were Domitius Apollinaris, the consul-designate, Fabricius Veiento, Fabius Maximinus, Vettius Proculus, the colleague of Publicius Certus, who was the subject of debate, and the father-in-law of the wife whom I had just lost. After these Ammius Flaccus spoke. They all defended Certus, just as if I had already named him, which I had not, and took up and defended his cause, though the charge had been left vague. †† I need not tell you the substance of their speeches, for you have them in my books, just as I took them down in their own words. They were opposed by Avidius Quietus and Cornutus Tertullus. Quietus urged that it was most unjust to refuse to hear the complaints of the aggrieved persons, and, therefore, Arria and Fannia ought not to be robbed of their right to lodge a complaint. It did not matter, he said, what class a person belonged to, the point was whether his case was just. Cornutus said that he had been appointed guardian by the consuls to the daughter of Helvidius at the request of her mother and step-father, and that he could not think of failing in his duties at such a moment. However, he would set a limit to his own personal resentment and only support the very moderate request of these excellent ladies, who would be satisfied with bringing before the notice of the senate the crime-stained servility of Publicius Certus, and asking that, though the penalty for his most iniquitous crime might be foregone, he might at least be branded with some mark of disgrace similar to being officially degraded by the censors. Satrius Rufus followed with an equivocal speech, the meaning of which was by no means clear. "I consider," he said, "Publicius Certus will be wronged unless he is acquitted ; he has been impeached by the friends of Arria ; and Fannia, and by his own friends. Nor ought we to be anxious on his account, for we, who think well of him, are also to act as his judges. If he is innocent, as I hope and prefer to think he is, and as I shall continue to believe until something is proved against him, you will be able to acquit him." Such were the sentiments delivered, in the order in which the speakers were severally called upon to speak. Then my turn came ; I rose to my feet, and opening my remarks as you will find in my book, I replied to all, one by one. It was wonderful to notice with what attention and applause all my points were received by those who a little before were shouting me down. This sweeping change of view was due either to the importance of the subject under debate, or to the success of my speech, or to the boldness of the speaker. At length I concluded; Veiento began to answer me, but no one suffered him to speak ; he was greeted with such interruptions and clamours that he exclaimed, "I beg of you, conscript fathers, not to force me to appeal to the tribunes for protection." Immediately the tribune Murena broke in with, "I permit you, most honourable Veiento, to speak." At that the tumult broke out again. In the pauses between the outcries the consul read over the names and took the votes by a division, and then adjourned the House, leaving Veiento still on his feet and struggling to deliver his speech. He complained bitterly of the indignity - as he called it - which had been shown him, quoting the line from Homer Certus was not present when all this took place, either owing to his having some suspicion of what was about to happen, or else he was ill, which was the reason he assigned for his absence. It is true that Caesar never referred to the senate the inquiry into Certus's crimes, yet I gained the point for which I had striven. For it was a colleague of Certus who gained the consulship, and Certus's place was taken by someone else, and so the sentence at the close of my speech was fulfilled, where I said, "Let him give back, now that we have a model emperor to reign over us, the prize which was conferred upon him by the worst of emperors." Subsequently, I recalled the speech to my memory as best I could, and added a good deal. By a coincidence, which looked rather more than a coincidence. Certus was taken ill and died a very few days after I published my book. I have heard people say that he was haunted by a phantom which was for ever presenting itself to his mind and gaze, and that he thought he saw me threatening him with a sword. I should not like to say that this actually was the case, but it adds to the moral that it should be considered as true. Well, I have written you a letter which, judged by the standard length of a letter, is about as long as the books you have read, but you have only yourself to blame, inasmuch as you were not content with the published books. Farewell. 9.20. To Venator. Your letter was all the more agreeable to me on account of its length, and because it referred throughout to my books. I am not surprised that they please you, inasmuch as you extend the love you bear me to my writings. I am at present chiefly occupied in getting in my grape harvest, which, though light, is still more plentiful than I had expected - if you can describe as getting in a grape harvest the plucking of an occasional grape, a visit to the wine-press, a taste of the must from the vat, and surprise visits to the domestic servants I brought from the city, who are now superintending my country servants and have left me to my secretaries and readers. Farewell. 9.23. To Maximus. When I have been pleading, it has often happened that the centumviri, after strictly preserving for a long time their judicial dignity and gravity, have suddenly leaped to their feet en masse and applauded me, as if they could not help themselves but were obliged to do so. I have often again left the senate-house with just as much glory as I had hoped to obtain, but I never felt greater gratification than I did a little while ago at something which Cornelius Tacitus told me in conversation. He said that he was sitting by the side of a certain individual at the last Circensian games, and that, after they had had a long and learned talk on a variety of subjects, his acquaintance said to him
14. Sidonius Apollinaris, Letters, 4.15, 5.6 (5th cent. CE - 5th cent. CE)

15. Epigraphy, Lsam, 86

16. Epigraphy, Lscg, 39



Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
allusion Soldo and Jackson, ›Res vera, res ficta‹: Fictionality in Ancient Epistolography (2023) 29
apollinaris (uncle) Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 74; Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 74
augustan poetry book Soldo and Jackson, ›Res vera, res ficta‹: Fictionality in Ancient Epistolography (2023) 29
centumviral court Papaioannou Serafim and Demetriou, The Ancient Art of Persuasion across Genres and Topics (2019) 319, 334
cicero Papaioannou Serafim and Demetriou, The Ancient Art of Persuasion across Genres and Topics (2019) 334
constantius Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 74; Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 74
debate Papaioannou Serafim and Demetriou, The Ancient Art of Persuasion across Genres and Topics (2019) 324
demosthenes Papaioannou Serafim and Demetriou, The Ancient Art of Persuasion across Genres and Topics (2019) 334
dialogue Papaioannou Serafim and Demetriou, The Ancient Art of Persuasion across Genres and Topics (2019) 324
genre Papaioannou Serafim and Demetriou, The Ancient Art of Persuasion across Genres and Topics (2019) 319
horace Soldo and Jackson, ›Res vera, res ficta‹: Fictionality in Ancient Epistolography (2023) 29
letters Papaioannou Serafim and Demetriou, The Ancient Art of Persuasion across Genres and Topics (2019) 319, 324, 334, 335
means of Papaioannou Serafim and Demetriou, The Ancient Art of Persuasion across Genres and Topics (2019) 319
narrative Papaioannou Serafim and Demetriou, The Ancient Art of Persuasion across Genres and Topics (2019) 319
oratory Papaioannou Serafim and Demetriou, The Ancient Art of Persuasion across Genres and Topics (2019) 319
ovid Soldo and Jackson, ›Res vera, res ficta‹: Fictionality in Ancient Epistolography (2023) 29
persuasion Papaioannou Serafim and Demetriou, The Ancient Art of Persuasion across Genres and Topics (2019) 319
pliny, epistulae Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 74; Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 74
pliny Papaioannou Serafim and Demetriou, The Ancient Art of Persuasion across Genres and Topics (2019) 319, 324, 334, 335
pliny the younger Soldo and Jackson, ›Res vera, res ficta‹: Fictionality in Ancient Epistolography (2023) 29
quintilian Papaioannou Serafim and Demetriou, The Ancient Art of Persuasion across Genres and Topics (2019) 324
readers Papaioannou Serafim and Demetriou, The Ancient Art of Persuasion across Genres and Topics (2019) 335
rhetoric/rhetorical Papaioannou Serafim and Demetriou, The Ancient Art of Persuasion across Genres and Topics (2019) 319, 334, 335
rhetorical question Papaioannou Serafim and Demetriou, The Ancient Art of Persuasion across Genres and Topics (2019) 324
self-praise Papaioannou Serafim and Demetriou, The Ancient Art of Persuasion across Genres and Topics (2019) 334
senate Papaioannou Serafim and Demetriou, The Ancient Art of Persuasion across Genres and Topics (2019) 319
seneca Papaioannou Serafim and Demetriou, The Ancient Art of Persuasion across Genres and Topics (2019) 335
speeches Papaioannou Serafim and Demetriou, The Ancient Art of Persuasion across Genres and Topics (2019) 324, 334, 335
tacitus Papaioannou Serafim and Demetriou, The Ancient Art of Persuasion across Genres and Topics (2019) 319, 324
travel' Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 74
travel Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 74
visigoths Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 74; Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 74
ēthos Papaioannou Serafim and Demetriou, The Ancient Art of Persuasion across Genres and Topics (2019) 319