Against Verres/Second pleading/Book 4
|←Second pleading, book 3||Against Verres by , translated by C. D. Yonge
Second pleading, book 4
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|About the statues
The subject of this oration is the manner in which Verres had plundered not only private individuals, but even some temples, of valuable statues, and other works of art. Among the instances given some of the most prominent are the plunder of Heius, a Messanian, of Philarchus, of Centuripa, of several other private citizens, of Antiochus, the king; and of the temples of Diana, Mercury, and Ceres. A French translator in commenting on this oration says, with reference to the slighting way in which Cicero speaks of the works of art thus stolen,—“The Romans struggled for some time against the seductive power of the arts of Greece, to which for many ages they were strangers. At first they really did despise them, afterwards they affected to despise them, but at last they were forced to bow the head beneath the brilliant yoke of luxury; and Greece, industrious, learned, and polite, subdued by the admiration which it extorted, the ignorant, unlettered, and rude barbarians who had conquered her by force. Faithful to the ancient maxims of the republic, Cicero in this oration speaks only with a sort of disdain of the arts and works of the most famous artists. He even pretends sometimes not to be too well acquainted with the names of the most celebrated statuaries; he often repeats, and with a kind of affectation, that he knows very little of painting or sculpture; and rather prides himself, as one may say, on his ignorance. He seems to regard a taste for art as unworthy of the Romans, and the finest chefs d' oeuvre as children's toys, fit to amuse the trifling and frivolous minds of the Greeks, whose name he usually expresses by a contemptuous diminutive, (Graeculi,) but little calculated to fix the attention, or attract the esteem or wishes of a Roman mind.
In general there runs through these orations a tone more calculated to render Verres ridiculous, than to make one feel how much there was in all his attempts which was odious and horrible. The orator even permitted himself some pleasantries, for which his taste has been, perhaps too severely, called in question. Cicero had no dislike to puns, and has played a good deal on the name of Verres, which means a boar. He was too eager to acquire the reputation of a wit. It is true that the person of Verres was sufficiently inviting as a subject for ridicule. He was one of those gross men overloaded with fat in whom the bulk of body appears to stifle all delicacy of moral feeling. As he had tried to carry off a statue of Hercules which his people could with difficulty move upon its pedestal, Cicero calls this the thirteenth of the labours of Hercules. And playing continually on the name of Verres, he compares him to the boar of Erymanthus. At another time he calls him the dragnet of Sicily, because the name Verres has some resemblance to the word everriculum, which signifies a dragnet.”
Hortensius endeavoured to defend Verres from the charge of having stolen these statues, &c. of which he admits that he had become the possessor, by contending that he had bought them. But it was contrary to the laws for a magistrate to purchase any such articles in his province; and Cicero shows also that the prices alleged to have been given are so wholly disproportionate to their value, that it is ridiculous to assert that the things had been purchased and not taken by force.
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1I come now to what Verres himself calls his passion what his friends call his disease, his madness; what the Sicilians call his rapine; what I am to call it, I know not. I will state the whole affair to you, and do you consider it according to its own importance and not by the importance of its name. First of all, O judges, suffer me to make you acquainted with the description of this conduct of his; and then, perhaps, you will not be very much puzzled to know by what name to call it. I say that in all Sicily, in all that wealthy and ancient province, that in that number of towns and families of such exceeding riches, there was no silver vessel, no Corinthian or Delian plate, no jewel or pearl, nothing made of gold or ivory, no statue of marble or brass or ivory, no picture whether painted or embroidered, that he did not seek out, that he did not inspect, that, if he liked it, he did not take away. 2I seem to be making a very extensive charge; listen now to the manner in which I make it. For I am not embracing everything in one charge for the sake of making an impression, or of exaggerating his guilt. When I say that he left nothing whatever of the sort in the whole province, know that I am speaking according to the strict meaning of the words, and not in the spirit of an accuser. I will speak even more plainly; I will say that he has left nothing in any one's house, nothing even in the towns, nothing in public places, not even in the temples, nothing in the possession of any Sicilian, nothing in the possession of any Roman citizen; that he has left nothing, in short, which either came before his eyes or was suggested to his mind, whether private property or public, or profane or sacred, in all Sicily.
3Where then shall I begin rather than with that city which was above all others in your affection, and which was your chosen place of enjoyment? or with what class of men rather than with your flatterers? For by that means it will be the more easily seen how you behaved among those men who hate you, who accuse you, who will not let you rest, when you are proved to have plundered among the Mamertines, who are your friends, in the most infamous manner.
Caius Heius is a Mamertine—all men will easily grant me this who have ever been to Messana; the most accomplished man in every point of view in all that city. His house is the very best in all Messana,—most thoroughly known, most constantly open, most especially hospitable to all our fellow-citizens. That house before the arrival of Verres was so splendidly adorned, as to be an ornament even to the city. For Messana itself, which is admirable on account of its situation, its fortifications, and its harbour, is very empty and bare of those things in which Verres delights. 4There was in the house of Heius a private chapel of great sacredness, handed down to him from his ancestors, very ancient; in which he had four very beautiful statues, made with the greatest skill, and of very high character; calculated not only to delight Verres, that clever and accomplished man, but even any one of us whom he calls the mob:—one, a statue of Cupid, in marble, a work of Praxiteles; for in truth, while I have been inquiring into that man's conduct, I have learnt the names of the workmen; it was the same workman, as I imagine, who made that celebrated Cupid of the same figure as this which is at Thespiae, on account of which people go to see Thespiae, for there is no other reason for going to see it; and therefore that great man Lucius Mummius, when he carried away from that town the statues of the Muses which are now before the temple of Good Fortune, and the other statues which were not consecrated, did not touch this marble Cupid, because it had been consecrated.
5But to return to that private chapel; there was this statue, which I am speaking of, of Cupid, made of marble. On the other side there was a Hercules, beautifully made of brass; that was said to be the work of Myron, as I believe, and it undoubtedly was so. Also before those gods there were little altars, which might indicate to any one the holiness of the chapel. There were besides two brazen statues, of no very great size, but of marvellous beauty, in the dress and robes of virgins, which with uplifted hands were supporting some sacred vessels which were placed on their heads, after the fashion of the Athenian virgins. They were called the Canephorae, but their maker was.... (who? who was he? thank you, you are quite right,) they called him Polycletus. Whenever any one of our citizens went to Messana, he used to go and see these statues. They were open every day for people to go to see them. The house was not more an ornament to its master, than it was to the city.
6Caius Claudius, whose aedileship we know to have been a most splendid affair, used this statue of Cupid, as long as he kept the forum decorated in honour of the immortal gods and the Roman people. And as he was connected by ties of hospitality with the Heii, and was the patron of the Mamertine people,—as he availed himself of their kindness to lend him this, so he was careful to restore it There have lately been noble men of the same kind, O judges;—why do I say lately, Yes, we have seen some very lately, a very little while ago indeed, who have adorned the forum and the public buildings, not with the spoils of the provinces, but with ornaments belonging to their friends,—with splendid things lent by their own connections, not with the produce of the thefts of guilty men,—and who afterwards have restored the statues and decorations, each to its proper owner; men who have not taken things away out of the cities of our allies for the sake of a four-day festival, under presence of the shows to be exhibited in their aedileship, and after that carried them off to their own homes, and their own villas. 7All these statues which I have mentioned, O judges, Verres took away from Heius, out of his private chapel. Be left, I say, not one of those things, nor anything else, except one old wooden figure.—Good Fortune, as I believe; that, forsooth, he did not choose to have in his house!
Oh! for the good faith of gods and men! What is the meaning of all this? What a cause is this? What impudence is this! The statues which I am speaking of, before they were taken away by you, no commander ever came to Messana without seeing So many praetors, so many consuls as there have been in Sicily, in time of peace, and in time of war; so many men of every sort as there have been—I do not speak of upright, innocent, conscientious men, but so many covetous, so many audacious, so many infamous men as there have been, not one of them all was violent enough, or seemed to himself powerful enough or noble enough, to venture to ask for, or to take away, or even to touch anything in that chapel. Shall Verres take away everything which is most beautiful everywhere? Shall it not be allowed to any one besides to have anything? Shall that one house of his contain so many wealthy houses? Was it for this reason that none of his predecessors ever touched these things, that he might be able to carry them off? Was this the reason why Caius Claudius Pulcher restored them, that Caius Verres might be able to steal them? But that Cupid had no wish for the house of a pimp and the establishment of a harlot; he was quite content to stay in that chapel where he was hereditary; he knew that he had been left to Heius by his ancestors, with the rest of the sacred things which he inherited; he did not require the heir of a prostitute. 8But why am I borne on so impetuously? I shall in a moment be refuted by one word. “I bought it,” says he. O ye immortal gods, what a splendid defence! we sent a broker into the province with military command and with the forces, to buy up all the statues, all the paintings, all the silver plate and gold plate, and ivory, and jewels, and to leave nothing to any body. For this defence seems to me to be got ready for everything; that he bought them. In the first place, if I should grant to you that which you wish, namely, that you bought them, since against all this class of accusations you are going to use this defence alone, I ask what sort of tribunals you thought that there would be at Rome, if you thought that any one would grant you this, that you in your praetorship and in your command bought up so many and such valuable things,—everything, in short, which was of any value in the whole province.
9Remark the care of our ancestors, who as yet suspected no such conduct as this, but yet provided against the things which might happen in affairs of small importance. They thought that no one who had gone as governor or as lieutenant into a province would be so insane as to buy silver, for that was given him out of the public fends; or raiment, for that was afforded him by the laws; they thought he might buy a slave, a thing which we all use, and which is not provided by the laws. They made a law, therefore, “that no one should buy a slave except in the room of a slave who was dead.” If any slave had died at Rome? No, if any one had died in the place where his master was. For they did not mean you to furnish your house in the province, but to be of use to the province in its necessities. 10What was the reason why they so carefully kept us from making purchases in the provinces? This was it, O judges, because they thought it a robbery, not a purchase, when the seller was not allowed to sell on his own terms. And they were aware that, in the provinces, if he who was there with the command and power of a governor wished to purchase what was in any one's possession, and was allowed to do so, it would come to pass that he would get whatever he chose, whether it was to be sold or not, at whatever price he pleased. Some one will say, “Do not deal with Verres in that manner; do not try and examine his actions by the standard of old-fashioned conscientiousness; allow him to have bought them without being punished for it, provided he bought them in a fair way, not through any arbitrary exercise of power, nor from any one against his will, or by violence.” I will so deal with him. If Heius had anything for sale, if he sold it for the price at which he valued it, I give up inquiring why you bought it.
11What then are we to do? Are we to use arguments in a case of this sort? We must ask, I suppose, whether Heius was in debt, whether he had an auction,—if he had, whether he was in such difficulties about money matters, whether he was oppressed by such want, by such necessity, as to strip his private chapel, to sell his paternal gods. But I see that the man had no auction; that he never sold anything except the produce of his land; that he not only had no debts, but that he had always abundance of ready money. Even if all these things were contrary to what I say they were, still I say that he would not have sold things which had been so many years in the household and chapel of his ancestors. “What will you say if he was persuaded by the greatness of the sum given him for them?” It is not probable that a man, rich as he was, honourable as he was, should have preferred money to his own religious feelings and to the memorials of his ancestors. 12“That may be, yet men are sometimes led away from their habits and principles by large sums of money.” Let us see, then, how great a sum this was which could turn Heius, a man of exceeding riches, by no means covetous, away from decency, from affection, and from religion. You ordered him, I suppose, to enter in his account books, “All these statues of Praxiteles, of Myron, of Polycletus, were sold to Verres for six thousand five hundred sesterces.” Read the extracts from his accounts— [The accounts of Heius are read.] I am delighted that the illustrious names of these workmen, whom those men extol to the skies, have fallen so low in the estimation of Verres—the Cupid of Praxiteles for sixteen hundred sesterces. From that forsooth has come the proverb “I had rather buy it than ask for it.”
13Some one will say, “What! do you value those things at a very high price?” But I am not valuing them according to any calculation of my own, or any need which I have for them; but I think that the matter ought to be looked at by you in this light,—what is the value of these things in the opinion of those men who are judges of these things; at what price they are accustomed to be sold; at what price these very things could be sold, if they were sold openly and freely; lastly, at what price Verres himself values them. For he would never have been so foolish, if he had thought that Cupid worth only four hundred denarii, as to allow himself to be made a subject for the common conversation and general reproach of men. 14Who then of you all is ignorant at how great a price these things are valued? Have we not seen at an auction a brazen statue of no great size sold for a hundred and twenty thousand sesterces? What if I were to choose to name men who have bought similar things for no less a price, or even for a higher one? Can I not do so? In truth, the only limit to the valuation of such things is the desire which any one has for them, for it is difficult to set bounds to the price unless you first set bounds to the wish. I see then that Heius was neither led by his inclination, nor by any temporary difficulties, nor by the greatness of the sum given, to sell these statues; and that you, under the presence of purchase which you put forward, in reality seized and took away these things by force, through fear, by your power and authority, from that man, whom, along with the rest of our allies in that country, the Roman people had entrusted not only to your power, but also to your upright exercise of it. 15What can there be, judges, so desirable for me in making this charge, as that Heius should say this same thing? Nothing certainly; but let us not wish for what is difficult to be obtained. Heius is a Mamertine. The state of the Mamertines alone, by a common resolution, praises that man in the name of the city. To all the rest of the Sicilians he is an object of hatred; by the Mamertines alone is he liked. But of that deputation which has been sent to utter his praises, Heius is the chief man; in truth, he is the chief man of his city, and too much occupied in discharging the public duties imposed upon him to speak of his private injuries. 16Though I was aware of and had given weight to these considerations, still, O judges, I trusted myself to Heius. I produced him at the first pleading; and indeed I did it without any danger, for what answer could Heius give even if he turned out a dishonest man, and unlike himself? Could he say that these statues were at his house, and not with Verres? How could he say anything of that sort? If he were the basest of men, and were inclined to lie most shamelessly, he would say this; that he had had them for sale, and that he had sold them at the price he wanted for them. The man the most noble in all his city, who was especially anxious that you should have a high opinion of his conscientiousness and of his worth, says first, that he spoke in Verres's praise by the public authority of his city, because that commission had been given to him; secondly; that he had not had these things for sale, and that, if he had been allowed to do what he wished, he could never have been induced by any terms to sell those things which were in his private chapel, having been left to him and handed down to him from his ancestors.
17Why are you sitting there, O Verres? What are you waiting for? Why do you say that you are hemmed in and overwhelmed by the cities of Centuripa, of Catina, of Halesa, of Tyndaris, of Enna, of Agyrium, and by all the other cities of Sicily? Your second country, as you used to call it, Messana herself attacks you; your own Messana I say; the assistant in your crimes, the witness of your lusts, the receiver of your booty and your thefts. For the most honourable man of that city is present, a deputy sent from his home on account of this very trial, the chief actor in the panegyric on you; who praises you by the public order of his city, for so he has been charged and commanded to do. Although you recollect, O judges, what he answered when he was asked about the ship; that it had been built by public labour, at the public expense, and that a Mamertine senator had been appointed by the public authority to superintend its building. Heius in his private capacity flees to you for aid, O judges; he avails himself of this law, the common fortress of our allies, by which this tribunal is established. Although there is a law for recovering money which has been unjustly extorted, he says that he does not seem to recover any money; which though it has been taken from him, he does not so much care about: but he says he does demand back from you the sacred images belonging to his ancestors, he does demand back from you his hereditary household god? 18Have you any shame, O Verres? have you any religion? have you any fear, You have lived in Heius's house at Messana; you saw him almost daily performing sacred rites in his private chapel before those gods. He is not influenced by money; he does not even ask to have those things restored which were merely ornaments. Keep the Canephorae; restore the images of the gods. And because he said this, because after a given time he, an ally and friend of the Roman people, addressed his complaints to you in a moderate tone, because he was very attentive to religious obligation not only while demanding back his paternal gods, but also in giving his evidence on oath; know that one of the deputies has been sent back to Messana, that very man who superintended the building of that ship at the public expense, to demand from the senate that Heius should be condemned to an ignominious punishment.
19O most insane of men, what did you think? that you should obtain what you requested? Did you not know how greatly he was esteemed by his fellow-citizens; how great his influence was considered? But suppose you had obtained your request; suppose that the Mamertines had passed any severe vote against Heius, what do you think would have been the authority of their panegyric, if they had decreed punishment to the man who it was notorious had given true evidence? Although, what sort of praise is that, when he who utters it, being questioned, is compelled to give answers injurious to him whom he is praising? What! are not those who are praising you, my witnesses? Heius is an encomiast of yours; he has done you the most serious injury. I will bring forward the rest; they will gladly be silent about all that they are allowed to suppress; they will say what they cannot help saying, unwillingly. Can they deny that a transport of the largest size was built for that man at Messana? Let them deny it if they can. Can they deny that a Mamertine senator was appointed by the public authority to superintend the building of that ship? I wish they would deny it. There are other points also which I prefer reserving unmentioned at present, in order to give as little time as possible to them for planning and arranging their perjury. 20Let this praise, then, be placed to your account; let these men come to your relief with their authority, who neither ought to help you if they were able, nor could do so if they wished; on whom in their private capacity you have inflicted many injuries, and put many affronts, while in their city you have dishonoured many families for ever by your adulteries and crimes “But you have been of public service to their city.” Not without great injury to the republic and to the province of Sicily. They were bound to supply and they used to supply sixty thousand modii of wheat to the Roman people for payment; that was remitted by you of your own sole authority. The republic was injured because by your means its right of dominion over one city was disparaged; the Sicilians were injured, because this quantity was not deducted from the total amount of the corn to be provided by the island, but was only transferred to the cities of Centuripa and Halesa, whose inhabitants were exempt from that tax; and on them a greater burden was imposed than they were able to bear. 21It was your duty to require them to furnish a ship, in compliance with the treaty. You remitted it for three years. During all those years you never demanded one soldier. You acted as pirates are accustomed to act, who, though they are the common enemies of all men, still select some friends, whom they not only spare, but even enrich with their booty; and especially such as have a town in a convenient situation, where they often, and sometimes even necessarily, put in with their vessels.
The town of Phaselis, which Publius Servilius took, had not been in former times a city of Cilicians and pirates. The Lycians, a Greek tribe, inhabited it; but because it was in such a situation as it was, and because it projected into the sea, so that pirates from Cilicia often necessarily touched at it when departing on an expedition, and were also often borne thither on their retreats, the pirates connected that city with themselves; at first by commercial intercourse, and afterwards by a regular alliance. 22The city of the Mamertines was not formerly of bad character; it was even a city hostile to dishonest men, and detained the luggage of Caius Cato, the one who was consul But then what sort of a man was he? a most eminent and most influential man; who however, though he had been consul, was convicted. So Caius Cato, the grandson of two most illustrious men, Lucius Paullus and Marcus Cato, and the son of the sister of Publius Africanus; who, even when convicted, at a time when severe judgments were in the habit of being passed, found the damages to which he was liable only estimated at eighteen thousand sesterces; with this man, I say, the Mamertines were angry, who have often expended a greater sum than the damages in the action against Cato were laid at, in one banquet for Timarchides. 23But this city was the Phaselis for that robber and pirate of Sicily. Hither everything was brought from all quarters; with them it was left; whatever required to be concealed, they kept separate and stored away. By their agency he contrived everything which he wished put on board ship privately, and exported secretly; and in their harbour he contrived to have a vessel of the largest size built for him to send to Italy loaded with plunder. In return for these services, he gave them immunity from all expense, all labour, all military service, in short, from everything. For three years they were the only people, not only in Sicily, but, according to my opinion, in the whole world at such a time, who enjoyed excuse, relief, freedom, and immunity from every sort of expense, and trouble, and office. 24Hence arose that Verrean festival; hence it was that he ventured to order Sextus Cominius to be dragged before him at a banquet, at whom he attempted to throw a goblet, whom he ordered to be seized by the throat, and to be hurried from the banquet and thrown into a dark prison; hence came that cross, on which, in the sight of many men, he suspended a Roman citizen; that cross which he never ventured to erect anywhere except among that people, whom he had made sharers in all his crimes and robberies.
Do you, O Mamertines, dare to come to praise any one? By what authority? by that which you ought to have with the Senatorial order? by that which you ought to have with the Roman people? 25Is there any city, not only in our provinces, but in the most distant nations, either so powerful, or so free, or so savage and uncivilized? is there any king, who would not invite a Senator of the Roman people to his house and to his home? An honour which is paid not only to the man, but in the first place to the Roman people, by whose indulgence we have risen to this order, and secondly to the authority of this order; and unless that is respected among our allies, where will be the name and dignity of the empire among foreign nations? The Mamertines did not give me any public invitation—when I say me, that is a trifle, but when they did not invite a Senator of the Roman people, they withheld an honour due not to the man but to his order. For to Tullius himself, the most splendid and magnificent house of Cnaeus Pompeius Basilicus was opened; with whom he would have lodged even if he had been invited by you. There was also the most honourable house of the Percennii, who are now also called Pompeius; where Lucius my brother lodged and was received by them with the greatest eagerness. A Senator of the Roman people, as far as depended on you as a body, lay in your town, and passed the night in the public streets. No other city ever did such a thing. “Yes,” say you, “for you were instituting a prosecution against our friend.” Will you put your own interpretation on what private business I have of my own, by diminishing the honour due to the Senate? 26But I will make my complaint of this conduct, if ever the time comes that there is any discussion concerning you among that body, which, up to this time, has been affronted by no one but you. With what face have you presented yourself before the eyes of the Roman people? when you have not yet pulled down that cross, which is even now stained with the blood of a Roman citizen, which is fixed up in your city by the harbour, and have not thrown it into the sea and purified all that place, before you came to Rome, and before this tribunal. On the territory of the Mamertines, connected with us by treaty, at peace with us, is that monument of your cruelty raised. Is not your city the only one where, when any one arrives at it from Italy, he sees the cross of a Roman citizen before he sees any friend of the Roman people? which you are in the habit of displaying to the people of Rhegium, whose city you envy, and to your inhabitants, Roman citizens as they are, to make them think less of themselves, and be less inclined to despise you, when they see the privileges of our citizenship extinguished by such a punishment.
27But you say you bought these things? What? did you forget to purchase of the same Heius that Attalic tapestry, celebrated over the whole of Sicily? You might have bought them in the same way as you did the statues. For what did you do? Did you wish to spare the account books? This escaped the notice of that stupid man; he thought that what he stole from the wardrobe would be less notorious than what he had stolen from the private chapel. But how did he get it? I cannot relate it more plainly than Heius himself related it before you. When I asked, whether any other part of his property had come to Verres, he answered that he had sent him orders to send the tapestry to Agrigentum to him. I asked whether he had sent it. He replied as he must, that is, that he had been obedient to the praetor; that he had sent it.—I asked whether it had arrived at Agrigentum; he said it had arrived.—I asked in what condition it had returned; he said it had not returned yet.—There was a laugh and a murmur from all the people. 28Did it never occur to you in this instance to order him to make an entry in his books, that he had sold you this tapestry too, for six thousand five hundred sesterces? Did you fear that your debts would increase, if these things were to cost you six thousand five hundred sesterces, which you could easily sell for two hundred thousand? It was worth that, believe me. You would have been able to defend yourself if you had given that sum for it. No one would then have asked how much it was worth. If you could only prove that you had bought it, you could easily make your cause and your conduct appear reasonable to any one. But as it is, you have no way of getting out of your difficulty about the tapestry. What shall I say next? 29Did you take away by force some splendid harness, which is said to have belonged to King Hiero, from Philarchus of Centuripa, a wealthy and high-born man, or did you buy it of him? When I was in Sicily, this is what I heard from the Centuripans and from everybody else, for the case was very notorious; people said that you had taken away this harness from Philarchus of Centuripa, and other very beautiful harness from Aristus of Panormus, and a third set from Gratippus of Tyndarus. Indeed, if Philarchus had sold it to you, you would not, after the prosecution was instituted against you, have promised to restore it. But because you saw that many people knew of it, you thought that if you restored it to him, you would only have so much the less, but the original transaction would be proved against you nevertheless; and so you did not restore it. Philarchus said in his evidence, that when he became acquainted with this disease of yours, as your friends call it, he wished to conceal from you the knowledge of the existence of this harness; that when he was summoned by you, he said that he had not got any; and indeed, that he had removed them to another person's house, that they might not be found; but that your instinct was so great, that you saw them by the assistance of the very man in whose custody they were deposited; that then he could not deny that you had found him out, and so that the harness was taken from him against his will, and without any payment.
30Now, O judges, it is worth your while to know how he was accustomed to find and trace out all these things. There are two brothers, citizens of Cibyra, Tlepolemus and Hiero, one of whom, I believe, was accustomed to model in wax, the other was a painter. I fancy these men, as they had become suspected by their fellow-citizens of having plundered the temple of Apollo at Cibyra, fearing a trial and the punishment of the law, had fled from their homes. As they had known that Verres was a great connoisseur of such works as theirs, at the time that he, as you learnt from the witnesses, came to Cibyra with fictitious bills of exchange, they, when flying from their homes as exiles, came to him when he was in Asia. He has kept them with him ever since that time; and in the robberies he committed, and in the booty he acquired during his lieutenancy, he greatly availed himself of their assistance and their advice. 31These are the men who were meant when Quintus Tadius made an entry in his books that he had given things by Verres's order to some Greek painters. They were already well known to, and had been thoroughly tried by him, when he took them with him into Sicily. And when they arrived there, they scented cut and tracked everything in so marvellous a manner, (you might have thought they were bloodhounds,) that, wherever anything was they found it out by some means or other. Some things they found out by threatening, some by promising; this by means of slaves, that through freemen; one thing by a friend, another by an enemy. Whatever pleased them was sure to be lost. They whose plate was demanded had nothing else to hope, than that Tlepolemus and Hiero might not approve of it.
32I will relate to you this fact, O judges, most truly. I recollect that Pamphilus of Lilybaeum, a connection of mine by ties of hospitality, and a personal friend of mine, a man of the highest birth, told me, that when that man had taken from him, by his absolute power, an ewer made by the hand of Boethus, of exquisite workmanship and great weight, he went home very sad in truth, and greatly agitated, because a vessel of that sort, which had been left to him by his father and his forefathers, and which he was accustomed to use on days of festival, and on the arrival of ancient friends, had been taken from him. While I was sitting at home, said he, in great indignation, up comes one of the slaves of Venus; he orders me immediately to bring to the praetor some embossed goblets. I was greatly vexed, said he; I had two; I order them both to be taken out of the closet, lest any worse thing should happen, and to be brought after me to the praetor's house. When I got there the praetor was asleep; the Cibyratic brothers were walking about, and when they saw me, they said, Pamphilus, where are the cups? I show them with great grief;—they praise them.—I begin to complain that I shall have nothing left of any value at all, if my cups too were taken away. Then they, when they see me vexed, say, What are you willing to give us to prevent these from being taken from you? To make my story short, I said that I would give six hundred sesterces. Meantime the praetor summons us; he asks for the cups. Then they began to say to the praetor, that they had thought from what they had heard, that Pamphilus's cups were of some value, but that they were miserable things, quite unworthy of Verres's having them among his plate. He said, he thought so too. 33So Pamphilus saved his exquisite goblets. And indeed, before I heard this, though I knew that it was a very trifling sort of accomplishment to understand things of that sort, yet I used to wonder that he had any knowledge of them at all, as I knew that in nothing whatever had he any qualities like a man.
But when I heard this, I then for the first time understood that that was the use of these two Cibyratic brothers; that in his robberies he used his own hands, but their eyes. But he was so covetous of that splendid reputation of being thought to be a judge of such matters, that lately, (just observe the man's madness,) after his case was adjourned, when he was already as good as condemned, and civilly dead, at the time of the games of the circus, when early in the morning the couches were spread in preparation for a banquet at the house of Lucius Sisenna, a man of the first consideration, and when the plate was all set out, and when, as was suited to the dignity of Lucius Sisenna, the house was full of honourable men, he came to the plate, and began in a leisurely way to examine and consider every separate piece. Some marveled at the folly of the man, who, while his trial was actually going on, was increasing the suspicion of that covetousness of which he was accused; others marveled at his insensibility, that any such things could come into his head, when the time for judgment in his cause was so near at hand, and when so many witnesses had spoken against him. But Sisenna's servants, who, I suppose, had heard the evidence which had been given against him, never took their eyes off him, and never departed out of reach of the plate. 34It is the part of a sagacious judge, from small circumstances to form his opinion of every man's covetousness or incontinence. And will any one believe that this man when praetor, was able to keep either his covetousness or his hands from the plate of the Sicilians, when, though a defendant, and a defendant within two days of judgment, a man in reality, and in the opinion of all men as good as already condemned, he could not in a large assembly restrain himself from handling and examining the plate of Lucius Sisenna?
35But that my discourse may return to Lilybaeum, from which I have made this digression, there is a man named Diocles, the son-in-law of Pamphilus, of that Pamphilus from whom the ewer was taken away, whose surname is Popillius. From this man he took away every article on his sideboard where his plate was set out. He may say, if he pleases, that he had bought them. In fact, in this case, by reason of the magnitude of the robbery, an entry of it, I imagine, has been made in the account-books. He ordered Timarchides to value the plate. How did he do it? At as low a price as any one ever valued any thing presented to an actor. Although I have been for some time acting foolishly in saying as much about your purchases, and in asking whether you bought the things, and how, and at what price you bought them, when I can settle all that by one word. Produce me a written list of what plate you acquired in the province of Sicily, from whom, and at what price you bought each article. 36What will you do? Though I ought not to ask you for these accounts, for I ought to have your account-books and to produce them. But you say that you never kept any accounts of your expenses in these years. Make me out at least this one which I am asking for, the account of the plate, and I will not mind the rest at present. “I have no writings of the sort; I cannot produce any accounts.” What then is to be done? What do you think that these judges can do? Your house was full of most beautiful statues already, before your praetorship; many were placed in your villas, many were deposited with your friends; many were given and presented to other people; yet you have no accounts speaking of any single one having been bought. All the plate in Sicily has been taken away. There is nothing left to any one that can be called his own. A scandalous defence is invented, that the praetor bought all that plate; and yet that cannot be proved by any accounts. If you do produce any accounts, still there is no entry in them how you have acquired what you have got. But of these years during which you say that you bought the greatest number of things, you produce no accounts at all. Must you not inevitably be, condemned, both by the accounts which you do, and by those which you do not produce?
37You also took away at Lilybaeum whatever silver vessels you chose from Marcus Caelius, a Roman knight, a most excellent young man. You did not hesitate to take away the whole furniture, of Caius Cacurius, a most active and accomplished man, and of the greatest influence in his city. You took away, with the knowledge of every body, a very large and very beautiful table of citron-wood from Quintus Lutatius Diodorus, who, owing to the kind exertion of his interest by Quintus Catulus, was made a Roman citizen by Lucius Sulla. I do not object to you that you stripped and plundered a most worthy imitator of yours in his whole character, Apollonius, the son of Nico, a citizen of Drepanum, who is now called Aulus Clodius, of all his exquisitely wrought silver plate;—I say nothing of that. For he does not think that any injury has been done to him, because you came to his assistance when he was a ruined man, with the rope round his neck, and shared with him the property belonging to their father, of which he had plundered his wards at Drepanum. I am even very glad if you took anything from him, and I say that nothing was ever better done by you. But it certainly was not right that the statue of Apollo should have been taken away from Lyso of Lilybaeum, I a most eminent man, with whom you had been staying as a guest. But you will say that you bought it—I know that—for six hundred sesterces. So I suppose: I know it, I say; I will produce the accounts; and yet that ought not to have been done. Will you say that the drinking vessels with emblems of Lilybaeum on them were, bought from Heius, the minor to whom Marcellus is guardian, whom you had plundered of a large sum of money, or will you confess that they were taken by force?
38But why do I enumerate all his ordinary iniquities in affairs of this sort, which appear to consist only in robberies committed by him, and in losses borne by those whom he plundered? Listen, if you please, O judges, to an action of such a sort as will prove to you clearly his extraordinary madness and frenzy, rather than any ordinary covetousness.
There is a man of Melita, called Diodorus, who has already given evidence before you. He has been now living at Lilybaeum many years; a man of great nobility at home, and of great credit and popularity with the people among whom he has settled, on account of his virtue. It is reported to Verres of this man that he has some exceedingly fine specimens of chased work; and among them two goblets called Thericlean, made by the hand of mentor with the most exquisite skill. And when Verres heard of this, he was inflamed with such a desire, not only of beholding, but also of appropriating them, that he summoned Diodorus, and demanded them. He replied, as was natural for a man who took great pride in them, that he had not got them at Lilybaeum; that he had left them at Melita, in the house of a relation of his. 39On this he immediately sends men on whom he can rely to Melita; he writes to certain inhabitants of Melita to search out those vessels for him; he desires Diodorus to give them letters to that relation of his—the time appeared to him endless till he could see those pieces of plate. Diodorus, a prudent and careful man, who wished to keep his own property, writes to his relation to make answer to those men who came from Verres, that he had sent the cups to Lilybaeum a few days before. In the meantime he himself leaves the place. He preferred leaving his home, to staying in it and losing that exquisitely wrought silver work. But when Verres heard of this, he was so agitated that he seemed to every one to be raving, and to be beyond all question mad. Because he could not steal the plate himself, he said that he had been robbed by Diodorus of some exquisitely wrought vessels; he poured out threats against the absent Diodorus; he used to roar out before people; sometimes he could not restrain his tears. We have heard in the mythology of Eriphyla being so covetous that when she had seen a necklace, made, I suppose, of gold and jewels, she was so excited by its beauty, that she betrayed her husband for the sake of it. His covetousness was similar; but in one respect more violent and more senseless, because she was desiring a thing which she had seen, while his wishes were excited not only by his eyes, but even by his ears.
40He orders Diodorus to be sought for over the whole province. He had by this time struck his camp, packed up his baggage, and left Sicily. Verres, in order by some means or other to bring the man back to the province, devises this plan, if it is to be called a plan, and not rather a piece of madness. He sets up one of the men he calls his hounds, to say that he wishes to institute a prosecution against Diodorus of Melita for a capital offence. At first all men wondered at such a thing being imputed to Diodorus, a most quiet man, and as far removed as any man from all suspicion, not only of crime, but of even the slightest irregularity. But it soon became evident, that all this was done for the sake of his silver. Verres does not hesitate to order the prosecution to be instituted; and that, I imagine, was the first instance of his allowing an accusation to be made against an absent man. 41The matter was notorious over all Sicily, that men were prosecuted for capital offences because the praetor coveted their chased silver plate; and that prosecutions were instituted against them not only when they were present, but even in their absence. Diodorus goes to Rome, and putting on mourning, calls on all his patrons and friends; relates the affair to every one. Earnest letters are written to Verres by his father, and by his friends, warning him to take care what he did, and what steps he took respecting Diodorus; that the matter was notorious and very unpopular; that he must be out of his senses; that this one charge would ruin him if he did not take care. At that time he considered his father, if not in the light of a parent, at least in that of a man. He had not yet sufficiently prepared himself for a trial; it was his first year in the province; he was not, as he was by the time of the affair of Sthenius, loaded with money. And so his frenzy was checked a little, not by shame, but by fear and alarm. He does not dare to condemn Diodorus; he takes his name out of the list of defendants while he is absent. In the meantime Diodorus, for nearly three years, as long as that man was praetor, was banished from the province and from his home. 42Every one else, not only Sicilians, but Roman citizens too, settled this in their minds, that, since he had carried his covetousness to such an extent, there was nothing which any one could expect to preserve or retain in his own possession if it was admired ever so little by Verres.
But after they understood that that brave man, Quintus Arrius, whom the province was eagerly looking for, was not his successor, they then settled that they could keep nothing so carefully shut up or hidden away, as not to be most open and visible to his covetousness. After that, he took away from an honourable and highly esteemed Roman knight, named Cnaeus Salidius, whose son he knew to be a senator of the Roman people and a judge, some beautiful silver horses which had belonged to Quintus Maximus. I did not mean to say this, O judges, for he bought those, he did not steal them; 43I wish I had not mentioned them. Now he will boast, and have a fine ride on these horses. “I bought them, I have paid the money for them.” I have no doubt account books also will be produced. It is well worth while. Give me then the account-books. You are at liberty to get rid of this charge respecting Calidius, as long as I can get a sight of these accounts; still, if you had bought them, what ground had Calidius for complaining at Rome, that, though he had been living so many years in Sicily as a trader, you were the only person who had so despised and so insulted him, as to plunder him in common with all the rest of the Sicilians? what ground had he for declaring that he would demand his plate back again from you, if he had sold it to you of his own free will? Moreover, how could you avoid restoring it to Cnaeus Calidius; especially when he was such an intimate friend of Lucius Sisenna, your defender, and as you had restored their property to the other friends of Sisenna? 44Lastly, I do not suppose you will deny that by the intervention of Potamo, a friend of yours, you restored his plate to Lucius Cordius, an honourable man, but not more highly esteemed than Cnaeus Calidius; and it was he who made the cause of the rest more difficult to plead before you; for though you had promised many men to restore them their property, yet, after Cordius had stated in his evidence that you had restored him his, you desisted from making any more restorations, because you saw that you lost your plunder, and yet could not escape the evidence against you. Under all other praetors Cnaeus Calidius, a Roman knight, was allowed to have plate finely wrought; he was permitted to be able from his own stores to adorn and furnish a banquet handsomely, when he had invited a magistrate or any superior officer. Many men in power and authority have been with Cnaeus Calidius at his house; no one was ever found so mad as to take from him that admirable and splendid plate; no one was found bold enough to ask for it; no one impudent enough to beg him to sell it. 45For it is an arrogant thing, an intolerable thing, O judges, for a praetor to say to an honourable, and rich, and well-appointed man in his province, “Sell me those chased goblets.” For it is saying, “You do not deserve to have things which are so beautifully made; they are better suited to a man of my stamp.” Are you, O Verres, more worthy than Calidius? whom (not to compare your way of life with his, for they are not to be compared, but) I will compare you with in respect of this very dignity owing to which you make yourself out his superior. You gave eighty thousand sesterces to canvassing agents to procure your election as praetor; you gave three hundred thousand to an accuser not to press hardly upon you: do you, on that account, look down upon and despise the equestrian order? Is it on that account that it seemed to you a scandalous thing that Calidius should have anything that you admired rather than that you should?
46He has been long boasting of this transaction with Calidius, and telling every one that he bought the things. Did you also buy that censer of Lucius Papilius, a man of the highest reputation, wealth, and honour, and a Roman knight? who stated in his evidence that, when you had begged for it to look at, you returned it with the emblems torn off; so that you may understand that it is all taste in that man, not avarice; that it is the fine work that he covets, not the silver. Nor was this abstinence exercised only in the case of Papirius; he practiced exactly the same conduct with respect to every censer in Sicily; and it is quite incredible how many beautifully wrought censers there were. I imagine that, when Sicily was at the height of its power and opulence, there were extensive workshops in that island; for before that man went thither as praetor there was no house tolerably rich, in which there were not these things, even if there was no other silver plate besides; namely, a large dish with figures and images of the gods embossed on it, a goblet which the women used for sacred purposes, and a censer. And all these were antique, and executed with the most admirable skill, so that one may suspect everything else in Sicily was on a similar scale of magnificence; but that though fortune had deprived them of much, those things were still preserved among them which were retained for purposes of religion. 47I said just now, O judges, that there were many censers, in almost every house in fact; I assert also, that now there is not even one left. What is the meaning of this? what monster, what prodigy did we send into the province? Does it not appear to you that he desired, when he returned to Rome, to satisfy not the covetousness of one man, not his own eyes only, but the insane passion of every covetous man, for as soon as he ever came into any city, immediately the Cibyratic hounds of his were slipped, to search and find cut everything. If they found any large vessel, any considerable work, they brought it to him with joy; if they could hunt out any smaller vessel of the same sort, they looked on those as a sort of lesser game, whether they were dishes, cups, censers, or anything else. What weepings of women, what lamentations do you suppose took place over these things? things which may perhaps seem insignificant to you, but which excite great and bitter indignation, especially among women, who grieve when those things are torn from their hands which they have been accustomed to use in religious ceremonies, which they have received from their ancestors, and which have always been in their family.
48Do not now wait while I follow up this charge from door to door, and show you that he stole a goblet from Aeschylus, the Tyndaritan; a dish from another citizen of Tyndaris named Thraso; a censer from Nymphodorus of Agrigentum. When I produce my witnesses from Sicily he may select whom he pleases for me to examine about dishes, goblets, and censers. Not only no town, no single house that is tolerably well off will be found to have been free from the injurious treatment of this man; who, even if he had come to a banquet, if he saw any finely wrought plate, could not, O judges, keep his hands from it. There is a man named Cnaeus Pompeius Philo, who was a native of Tyndaris; he gave Verres a supper at his visa in the country near Tyndaris; he did what Sicilians did not dare to do, but what, because he was a citizen of Rome, he thought he could do with impunity, he put before him a dish on which were some exceedingly beautiful figures. Verres, the moment he saw it, determined to rob his host's table of that memorial of the Penates and of the gods of hospitality. But yet, in accordance with what I have said before of his great moderation, he restored the rest of the silver after he had torn off the figures; so free was he from all avarice! 49What want you more? Did he not do the same thing to Eupolemus of Calacta, a noble man, connected with, and an intimate friend of the Luculli; a man who is now serving in the army under Lucius Lucullus? He was supping with him; the rest of the silver which he had set before him had no ornament on it, lest he himself should also be left without any ornament; but there were also two goblets, of no large size, but with figures on them. He, as if he had been a professional diner-out, who was not to go away without a present, on the spot, in the sight of all the other guests, tore off the figures. I do not attempt to enumerate all his exploits of this sort; it is neither necessary nor possible. I only produce to you tokens and samples of each description of his varied and universal rascality. Nor did he behave in these affairs as if he would some day or other be called to account for them, but altogether as if he was either never likely to be prosecuted, or else as if the more he stole, the less would be his danger when he was brought before the court; inasmuch as he did these things which I am speaking of not secretly, not by the instrumentality of friends or agents, but openly, from his high position, by his own power and authority.
50When he had come to Catina, a wealthy, honourable, influential city, he ordered Dionysiarchus the proagorus, that is to say, the chief magistrate, to be summoned before him; he openly orders him to take care that all the silver plate which was in anybody's house at Catina, was collected together and brought to him. Did you not hear Philarchus of Centuripa, a man of the highest position as to noble birth, and virtue, and riches, say the same thing on his oath; namely, that Verres had charged and commanded him to collect together, and order to be conveyed to him, all the silver plate at Centuripa, by far the largest and wealthiest city in all Sicily? In the same manner at Agyrium, all the Corinthian vessels there were there, in accordance with his command, were transported to Syracuse by the agency of Apollodorus, whom you have heard as a witness. 51But the most extraordinary conduct of all was this; when that painstaking and industrious praetor had arrived at Haluntium, he would not himself go up into the town, because the ascent was steep and difficult; but he ordered Archagathus of Haluntium, one of the noblest men, not merely in his own city, but in all Sicily, to be summoned before him, and gave him a chance to take care that all the chased silver that there was at Haluntium, and every specimen of Corinthian work too, should be at once taken down from the town to the seaside. Archagathus went up into the town. That noble man, as one who wished to be loved and esteemed by his fellow citizens, was very indignant at having such an office imposed upon him, and did not know what to do. He announces the commands he has received. He orders every one to produce what they had. There was great consternation, for the tyrant himself had not gone away to any distance; lying on a litter by the sea-side below the town, he was waiting for Archagathus and the silver plate. What a gathering of people do you suppose took place in the sown? what an uproar? what weeping of women? they who saw it would have said that the Trojan horse had been introduced, and that the city was taken. 52Vessels were brought out without their cases; others were wrenched out of the hands of women; many people's doors were broken open, and their locks forced. For what else can you suppose? Even if ever, at a time of war and tumult, arms are demanded of private citizens, still men give them unwillingly, though they know that they are giving them for the common safety. Do not suppose then that any one produced his carved plate out of his house for another man to steal, without the greatest distress. Everything is brought down to the shore. The Cibyratic brothers are summoned; they condemn some articles; whatever they approve of has its figures in relief or its embossed emblems torn off. And so the Haluntines, having had all their ornaments wrenched off, returned home with the plain silver.
53Was there ever, O judges, a dragnet of such a sort as this in that province? People have sometimes during their year of office diverted some part of the public property to their own use, in the most secret manner; sometimes they even secretly plundered some private citizen of something; and still they were condemned. And if you ask me, though I am detracting somewhat from my own credit by saying so, I think those were the real accusers, who traced the robberies of such men as this by scent, or by some lightly imprinted footsteps; for what is it that we are doing in respect of Verres, who has wallowed in the mud till we can find him out by the traces of his whole body? Is it a great undertaking to say anything against a man, who while he was passing by a place, having his litter put down to rest for a little time, plundered a whole city, house by house; without condescending to any pretences, openly, by his own authority, and by an absolute command? But still, that he might be able to say that he had bought them, he orders Archagathus to give those men, to whom the plate had belonged, some little money, just for form's sake. Archagathus found a few who would accept the money, and those he paid. And still Verres never paid Archagathus that money. Archagathus intended to claim it at Rome; but Cnaeus Lentulus Marcellinus demanded him, as you heard him state himself. Read the evidence of Archagathus, and of Lentulus,— 54and that you may not imagine that the man wished to heap up such a mass of figures without any reason, just see at what rate he valued you, and the opinion of the Roman people, and the laws, and the courts of justice, and the Sicilian witnesses and traders. After he had collected such a vast number of figures that he had not left one single figure to anybody, he established an immense shop in the palace at Syracuse; he openly orders all the manufacturers, and carvers, and goldsmiths to be summoned—and he himself had many in his own employ; he collects a great multitude of men; he kept them employed uninterruptedly for eight months, though all that time no vessels were made of anything but gold. In that time he had so skillfully wrought the figures which he had torn off the goblets and censers, into golden goblets, or had so ingeniously joined them into golden cups, that you would say that they had been made for that very purpose; and he, the praetor, who says that it was owing to his vigilance that peace was maintained in Sicily, was accustomed to sit in his tunic and dark cloak the greater part of the day in this workshop.
55I would not venture, O judges, to mention these things, if I were not afraid that you might perhaps say that you had heard more about that man from others in common conversation, than you had heard from me in this trial; for who is there who has not heard of this workshop, of the golden vessels, of Verres's tunic and dark cloak? Name any respectable man you please out of the whole body of settlers at Syracuse, I will produce ham; there will not be one person who will not say that he has either seen this or heard of it. 56Alas for the age! alas for the degeneracy of our manners! I will not mention anything of any great antiquity; there are many of you, O judges, who knew Lucius Piso, the father of this Lucius Piso, who was praetor. When he was praetor in Spain, in which province he was slain, somehow or other, while he was practicing his exercises in arms, the golden ring which he had was broken and crushed. As he wanted to get himself another ring, he ordered a goldsmith to be summoned into the forum before his throne of office, at Corduba, and openly weighed him out the gold. He ordered the man to set up his bench in the forum, and to make him a ring in the presence of every one. Perhaps in truth some may say that he was too exact, and to this extent any one who chooses may blame him, but no further. Still such conduct was allowable for him, for he was the son of Lucius Piso, of that man who first made the law about extortion and embezzlement. 57It is quite ridiculous for me to speak of Verres now, when I have just been speaking of Piso the Thrifty; still, see what a difference there is between the men: that man, while he was making some sideboards full of golden vessels, did not care what his reputation was, not only in Sicily, but also at Rome in the court of justice; the other wished all Spain to know to half an ounce how much gold it took to make a praetor's ring. Forsooth, as the one proved his right to his name, so did the other to his surname.
It is utterly impossible for me either to retain in my memory, or to embrace in my speech, all his exploits. I wish just to touch briefly on the different kinds of deeds, done by him, just as here the ring of Piso reminded me of what had otherwise entirely escaped my recollection. From how many honourable men do you imagine that that man tore the golden rings from off their fingers? He never hesitated to do so whenever he was pleased with either the jewels or the fashion of the ring belonging to any one. I am going to mention an incredible fact, but still one so notorious that I do not think that he himself will deny it. 58When a letter had been brought to Valentius his interpreter from Agrigentum, by chance Verres himself noticed the impression on the seal; he was pleased with it, he asked where the letter came from; he was told, from Agrigentum. He sent letters to the men with whom he was accustomed to communicate, ordering that ring to be brought to him as soon as possible. And accordingly, in compliance with his letter, it was torn off the finger of a master of a family, a certain Lucius Titius, a Roman citizen. But that covetousness of his is quite beyond belief. For as he wished to provide three hundred couches beautifully covered, with all other decorations for a banquet, for the different rooms which he has, not only at Rome, but in his different villas, he collected such a number, that there was no wealthy house in all Sicily where he did not set up an embroiderer's shop.
59There is a woman, a citizen of Segesta, very rich, and nobly born, by name Lamia. She, having her house full of spinning jennies, for three years was making him robes and coverlets, all dyed with purple; Attalus, a rich man at Netum; Lyso at Lilybaeum; Critolaus at Enna; at Syracuse Aeschrio, Cleomenes, and Theomnastus; at Elorum Archonides and Megistus. My voice will fail me before the names of the men whom he employed in this way will; he himself supplied the purple—his friends supplied only the work, I dare say; for I have no wish to accuse him in every particular, as if it were not enough for me, with a view to accuse him, that he should have had so much to give, that he should have wished to carry away so many things; and, besides all that, this thing which he admits, namely, that he should have employed the work of his friends in affairs of this sort. 60But now do you suppose that brazen couches and brazen candelabra were made at Syracuse for any one but for him the whole of that three years? He bought them, I suppose; but I am informing you so fully, O judges, of what that man did in his province as praetor, that he may not by chance appear to any one to have been careless, and not to have provided and adorned himself sufficiently when he had absolute power.
I come now, not to a theft, not to avarice, not to covetousness, but to an action of that sort that every kind of wickedness seems to be contained in it, and to be in it; by which the immortal gods were insulted, the reputation and authority of the name of the Roman people was impaired, hospitality was betrayed and plundered, all the kings who were most friendly to us, and the nations which are under their rule and dominion, were alienated from us by his wickedness. 61For you know that the kings of Syria, the boyish sons of King Antiochus, have lately been at Rome. And they came not on account of the kingdom of Syria; for that they had obtained possession of without dispute, as they had received it from their father and their ancestors; but they thought that the kingdom of Egypt belonged to them and to Selene their mother. When they, being hindered by the critical state of the republic at that time, were not able to obtain the discussion of the subject as they wished before the senate, they departed for Syria, their paternal kingdom. One of them—the one whose name is Antiochus—wished to make his journey through Sicily. And so, while Verres was praetor, he came to Syracuse. 62On this Verres thought that an inheritance had come to him, because a man whom he had heard, and on other accounts suspected had many splendid things with him, had come into his kingdom and into his power. He sends him presents—liberal enough—for all domestic uses; as much wine and oil as he thought fit; and as much wheat as he could want, out of his tenths. After that he invites the king himself to supper. He decorates a couch abundantly and magnificently. He sets out the numerous, and beautiful silver vessels, in which he was so rich; for he had not yet made all those golden ones. He takes care that the banquet shall be splendidly appointed and provided in every particular. Why need I make a long story of it? The king departed thinking that Verres was superbly provided with everything, and that he himself had been magnificently treated. After that, he himself invites the praetor to supper. He displays all his treasures; much silver, also not a few goblets of gold, which, as is the custom of kings, and especially in Syria, were studded all over with most splendid jewels. There was also a vessel for wine, a ladle hollowed out of one single large precious stone, with a golden handle, concerning which, I think, you heard Quintus Minutius speak, a sufficiently capable judge, and sufficiently credible witness. 63Verres took each separate piece of plate into his hands, praised it—admired it. The king was delighted that that banquet was tolerably pleasant and agreeable to a praetor of the Roman people. After the banquet was over, Verres thought of nothing else, as the facts themselves showed, than how he might plunder and strip the king of everything before he departed from the province. He sends to ask for the most exquisite of the vessels which he had seen at Antiochus's lodgings. He said that he wished to show them to his engravers. The king, who did not know the man, most willingly sent them, without any suspicion of his intention. He sends also to borrow the jeweled ladle. He said that he wished to examine it more attentively; that also is sent to him.
64Now, O judges, mark what followed; things which you have already heard, and which the Roman people will not hear now for the first time, and which have been reported abroad among foreign nations to the furthest corners of the earth. The kings, whom I have spoken of, had brought to Rome a candelabrum of the finest jewels, made with most extraordinary skill, in order to place it in the Capitol; but as they found that temple not yet finished, they could not place it there. Nor were they willing to display it and produce it in common, in order that it might seem more splendid when it was placed at its proper time in the shrine of the great and good Jupiter; and brighter; also, as its beauty would come fresh and untarnished before the eyes of men. They determined, therefore, to take it back with them into Syria, with the intention, when they should hear that the image of the great and good Jupiter was dedicated, of sending ambassadors who should bring that exquisite and most beautiful present, with other offerings, to the Capitol. 65The matter, I know not how, got to his ears. For the king had wished it kept entirely concealed; not because he feared or suspected anything, but because he did not wish many to feast their eyes on it before the Roman people. He begs the king, and entreats him most earnestly to send it to him; he says that he longs to look at it himself, and that he will not allow any one else to see it. Antiochus, being both of a childlike and royal disposition, suspected nothing of that man's dishonesty, and orders his servants to take it as secretly as possible, and well wrapped up, to the praetor's house. And when they brought it there, and placed it on a table, having taken off the coverings, Verres began to exclaim that it was a thing worthy of the kingdom of Syria, worthy of being a royal present, worthy of the Capitol. In truth, it was of such splendour as a thing must be which is made of the most brilliant and beautiful jewels; of such variety of pattern that the skill of the workmanship seemed to vie with the richness of the materials; and of such a size that it might easily be seen that it had been made not for the furniture of men, but for the decoration of a most noble temple. And when he appeared to have examined it sufficiently, the servants begin to take it up to carry it back again. He says that he wishes to examine it over and over again; that he is not half satiated with the sight of it; he orders them to depart and to leave the candelabrum. So they then return to Antiochus empty-handed.
66The king at first feared nothing, suspected nothing. One day passed—two days—many days. It was not brought back. Then the king sends to Verres to beg him to return it, if he will be so good. He bids the slaves come again. The king begins to think it strange. He sends a second time. It is not returned. He himself calls on the man; he begs him to restore it to him. Think of the face and marvellous impudence of the man. That thing which he knew, and which he had heard from the king himself was to be placed in the Capitol, which he knew was being kept for the great and good Jupiter, and for the Roman people, that he began to ask and entreat earnestly to have given to him. When the king said that he was prevented from complying by the reverence due to Jupiter Capitolinus, and by his regard for the opinion of men, because many nations were witnesses to the fact of the candelabrum having been made for a present to the god, the fellow began to threaten him most violently. When he sees that he is no more influenced by threats than he had been by prayers, on a sadden he orders him to leave his province before night. He says, that he has found out that pirates from his kingdom were coming against Sicily. 67The king, in the most frequented place in Syracuse, in the forum,—in the forum at Syracuse, I say, (that no man may suppose I am bringing forward a charge about which there is any obscurity, or imagining anything which rests on mere suspicion,) weeping, and calling gods and men to witness, began to cry out that Caius Verres had taken from him a candelabrum made of jewels, which he was about to send to the Capitol, and which he wished to be in that most splendid temple as a memorial to the Roman people of his alliance with and friendship for them. He said that he did not care about the other works made of gold and jewels belonging to him which were in Verres's hands, but that it was a miserable and scandalous thing for this to be taken from him. And that, although it had long ago been consecrated in the minds and intentions of himself and his brother, still, that he then, before that assembled body of Roman citizens, offered, and gave, and dedicated, and consecrated it to the great and good Jupiter, and that he invoked Jupiter himself as a witness of his intention and of his piety.
What voice, what lungs, what power of mine can adequately express the indignation due to this atrocity? The King Antiochus, who had lived for two years at Rome in the sight of all of us, with an almost royal retinue and establishment,—though he had been the friend and ally of the Roman people; though his father, and his grandfather, and his ancestors, most ancient and honourable sovereigns, had been our firmest friends; though he himself is monarch of a most opulent and extensive kingdom, is turned headlong out of a province of the Roman people. 68How do you suppose that foreign nations will take this? How do you suppose the news of this exploit of yours will be received in the dominions of other kings, and in the most distant countries of the world, when they hear that a king has been insulted by a praetor of the Roman people in his province? that a guest of the Roman people has been plundered? a friend and ally of the Roman people insultingly driven out? Know that your name and that of the Roman people will be an object of hatred and detestation to foreign nations. If this unheard-of insolence of Verres is to pass unpunished, all men will think, especially as the reputation of our men for avarice and covetousness has been very extensively spread, that this is not his crime only, but that of those who have approved of it. Many kings, many free cities, many opulent and powerful private men, cherish intentions of ornamenting the Capitol in such a way as the dignity of the temple and the reputation of our empire requires. And if they understand that you show a proper indignation at this kingly present being intercepted, they will then think that their zeal and their presents will be acceptable to you and to the Roman people. But if they hear that you have been indifferent to the complaint of so great a king, in so remarkable a case, in one of such bitter injustice, they will not be so crazy as to spend their time, and labour, and expense on things which they do not think will be acceptable to you.
69And in this place I appeal to you, O Quintus Catulus; for I am speaking of your most honourable and most splendid monument. You ought to take upon yourself not only the severity of a judge with respect to this crime, but something like the vehemence of an enemy and an accuser. For, through the kindness of the senate and people of Rome, your honour is connected with that temple. Your name is consecrated at the same time as that temple in the everlasting recollection of men. It is by you that this case is to be encountered; by you, that this labour is to be undergone, in order that the Capitol, as it has been restored more magnificently, may also be adorned more splendidly than it was originally; that then that fire may seem to have been sent from heaven, not to destroy the temple of the great and good Jupiter, but to demand one for him more noble and more magnificent. 70You have heard Quintus Minucius Rufus say, that King Antiochus stayed at his house while at Syracuse; that he knew that this candelabrum had been taken to Verres's house; that he knew that it had not been returned. You heard, and you shall hear from the whole body of Roman settlers at Syracuse, that they will state to you that in their hearing it was dedicated and consecrated to the good and great Jupiter by King Antiochus. If you were not a judge, and this affair were reported to you, it would be your especial duty to follow it up; to reclaim the candelabrum, and to prosecute this cause. So that I do not doubt what ought to be your feelings as judge in this prosecution, when before any one else as judge you ought to be a much more vehement advocate and accuser than I am.
71And to you, O judges, what can appear more scandalous or more intolerable than this? Shall Verres have at his own house a candelabrum, made of jewels and gold, belonging to the great and good Jupiter? Shall that ornament be set out in his house at banquets which will be one scene of adultery and debauchery, with the brilliancy of which the temple of the great and good Jupiter ought to glow and to be lighted up? Shall the decorations of the Capitol be placed in the house of that most infamous debauchee with the other ornaments which he has inherited from Chelidon? What do you suppose will ever be considered sacred or holy by him, when he does not now think himself liable to punishment for such enormous wickedness? who dares to come into this court of justice, where he cannot, like all others who are arraigned, pray to the great and good Jupiter, and entreat help from him? from whom even the immortal gods are reclaiming their property, before that tribunal which was appointed for the benefit of men, that they might recover what had been extorted unjustly from them? Do we marvel that Minerva at Athens, Apollo at Delos, Juno at Samos, Diana at Perga, and that many other gods besides all over Asia and Greece, were plundered by him, when he could not keep his hands off the Capitol? That temple which private men are decorating and are intending to decorate out of their own riches, that Caius Verres would not suffer to be decorated by a king. 72And, accordingly, after he had once conceived this nefarious wickedness, he considered nothing in all Sicily afterwards sacred or hallowed; and he behaved himself in his province for three years in such a manner that war was thought to have been declared by him, not only against men, but also against the immortal gods.
Segesta is a very ancient town in Sicily, O judges, which its inhabitants assert was founded by Aeneas when he was flying from Troy and coming to this country. And accordingly the Segestans think that they are connected with the Roman people, not only by a perpetual alliance and friendship, but even by some relationship. This town, as the state of the Segestans was at war with the Carthaginians on its own account and of its own accord, was formerly stormed and destroyed by the Carthaginians; and everything which could be any ornament to the city was transported from thence to Carthage. There was among the Segestans a statue of Diana, of brass, not only invested with the most sacred character, but also wrought with the most exquisite skill and beauty. When transferred to Carthage, it only changed its situation and its worshippers; it retained its former sanctity. For on account of its eminent beauty it seemed, even to their enemies, worthy of being most religiously worshipped. 73Some ages afterwards, Publius Scipio took Carthage, in the third Punic war; after which victory, (remark the virtue and carefulness of the man, so that you may both rejoice at your national examples of most eminent virtue, and may also judge tire incredible audacity of Verres worthy of the greater hatred by contrasting it with that virtue,) he summoned all the Sicilians, because he knew that during a long period of time Sicily had repeatedly been ravaged by the Carthaginians, and bids them seek for all they had lost, and promises them to take the greatest pains to ensure the restoration to the different cities of everything which had belonged to them. Then those things which had formerly been removed from Himera, and which I have mentioned before, were restored to the people of Thermae; some things were restored to the Gelans, some to the Agrigentines; among which was that noble bull, which that most cruel of all tyrants, Phalaris, is said to have had, into which he was accustomed to put men for punishment, and to put fire under. And when Scipio restored that bull to the Agrigentines, he is reported to have said, that he thought it reasonable for them to consider whether it was more advantageous to the Sicilians to be subject to their own princes, or to be under the dominion of the Roman people, when they had the same thing as a monument of the cruelty of their domestic masters, and of our liberality.
74At that time the same Diana of which I am speaking is restored with the greatest care to the Segestans. It is taken back to Segesta; it is replaced in its ancient situation, to the greatest joy and delight of all the citizens. It was placed at Segesta on a very lofty pedestal, on which was cut in large letters the name of Publius Africanus; and a statement was also engraved that “he had restored it after having taken Carthage.” It was worshipped by the citizens; it was visited by all strangers; when I was quaestor it was the very first thing, they showed me. It was a very large and tall statue with a flowing robe, but in spite of its large size it gave the idea of the age and dress of a virgin; her arrows hung from her shoulder, in her left hand she carried her bow, her right hand held a burning torch. 75When that enemy of all sacred things, that violator of all religious scruples saw it, he began to burn with covetousness and insanity, as if he himself had been struck with that torch. He commands the magistrates to take the statue down and give it to him; and declares to them that nothing can be more agreeable to him. But they said that it was impossible for them to do so; that they were prevented from doing so, not only by the most extreme religious reverence, but also by the greatest respect for their own laws and courts of justice. Then he began to entreat this favour of them, then to threaten them, then to try and excite their hopes, then to arouse their fears. They opposed to his demands the name of Africanus; they said that it was the gift of the Roman people; that they themselves had no right over a thing which a most illustrious general, having taken a city of the enemy, had chosen to stand there as a monument of the victory of the Roman people. 76As he did not relax in his demand, but urged it every day with daily increasing earnestness, the matter was brought before their senate. His demand raises a violent outcry on all sides. And so at that time, and at his first arrival at Segesta, it is refused. Afterwards, whatever burdens could be imposed on any city in respect of exacting sailors and rowers, or in levying corn, he imposed on the Segestans beyond all other cities, and a good deal more than they could bear. Besides that, he used to summon their magistrates before him; he used to send for all the most noble and most virtuous of the citizens, to hurry them about with him to all the courts of justice in the province, to threaten every one of them separately to be the ruin of him, and to announce to them all in a body that he would utterly destroy their city. Therefore, at last, the Segestans, subdued by much ill-treatment and by great fear, resolved to obey the command of the praetor. With great grief and lamentation on the part of the whole city, with many tears and wailings on the part of all the men and women, a contract is advertised for taking down the statue of Diana.
77See now with what religious reverence it is regarded. Know, O judges, that among all the Segestans none was found, whether free man or slave, whether citizen or foreigner, to dare to touch that statue. Know that some barbarian workmen were brought from Lilybaeum; they at length, ignorant of the whole business, and of the religious character of the image, agreed to take it down for a sum of money, and took it down. And when it was being taken out of the city, how great was the concourse of women! how great was the weeping of the old men! some of whom even recollected that day when that same Diana being brought back to Segesta from Carthage, had announced to them, by its return, the victory of the Roman people. How different from that time did this day seem! then the general of the Roman people, a most illustrious man, was bringing back to the Segestans the gods of their fathers, recovered from an enemy's city; now a most base and profligate praetor of the same Roman people, was taking away, with the most nefarious wickedness, those very same gods from a city of his allies. What is more notorious throughout all Sicily than that all the matrons and virgins of Segesta came together when Diana was being taken out of their city? that they anointed her with precious unguents? that they crowned her with chaplets and flowers? that they attended her to the borders of their territory with frankincense and burning perfumes? 78If at the time you, by reason of your covetousness and audacity, did not, while in command, fear these religious feelings of the population, do you not fear them now, at a time of such peril to yourself and to your children? What man, against the will of the immortal gods, or what god, when you so trample on all the religious reverence due to them, do you think will come to your assistance? Has that Diana inspired you, while in quiet and at leisure, with no religious awe;—she, who though she had seen two cities, in which she was placed stormed and burnt, was yet twice preserved from the flames and weapons of two wars; she who, though she changed her situation owing to the victory of the Carthaginians, yet did not lose her holy character; and who, by the valour of Publius Africanus afterwards recovered her old worship, together with her old situation? And when this crime had been executed, as the pedestal was empty, and the name of Publius Africanus carved on it, the affair appeared scandalous and intolerable to every one, that not only was religion trampled on, but also that Caius Verres had taken away the glory of the exploits, the memorial of the virtues, the monument of the victory of Publius Africanus, that most gallant of men. 79But when he was told afterwards of the pedestal and the inscription, he thought that men would forget the whole affair, if he took away the pedestal to which was serving as a sort of signpost to point out his crime. And so, by his command, the Segestans contracted to take away the pedestal too; and the terms of that contract were read to you from the public registers of the Segestans, at the former pleading.
Now, O Publius Scipio, I appeal to you; to you, I say, a most virtuous and accomplished youth; from you I request and demand that assistance which is due to your family and to your name. Why do you take the part of that man who has embezzled the credit and honour of your family? Why do you wish him to be defended? Why am I undertaking what is properly your business? Why am I supporting a burden which ought to fall on you?—Marcus Tullius is reclaiming the monuments of Publius Africanus; Publius Scipio is defending the man who took them away. Though it is a principle handed down to us from our ancestors, for every one to defend the monuments of his ancestors, in such a way as not even to allow them to be decorated by one of another name, will you take the part of that man who is not charged merely with having in some degree spoilt the view of the monuments of Publius Scipio, but who has entirely removed and destroyed them? 80Who then, in the name of the immortal gods, will defend the memory of Publius Scipio now that he is dead? who will defend the memorials and evidences of his valour, if you desert and abandon them; and not only allow them to be plundered and taken away, but even defend their plunderer and destroyer? The Segestans are present, your clients, the allies and friends of the Roman people. They inform you that Publius Africanus, when he had destroyed Carthage, restored the image of Diana to their ancestors; and that was set up among the Segestans arid dedicated in the name of that general;—that Verres has had it taken down and carried away, and as far as that is concerned, has utterly effaced and extinguished the name of Publius Scipio. They entreat and pray you to restore the object of their worship to them, its proper credit and glory to your own family, so enabling them by your assistance to recover from the house of a robber, what they recovered from the city of their enemies by the beneficence of Publius Africanus.
What can you reply to them with honour, or what can they do but implore the aid of you and your good faith? They are present, they do implore it. You, O Publius, can protect the honour of your family renown; you can, you have every advantage which either fortune or nature ever gives to men. I do not wish to anticipate you in gathering the fruit that belongs to you; I am not covetous of the glory which ought to belong to another. It does not correspond to the modesty of my disposition, while Publius Scipio, a most promising young man, is alive and well, to put myself forward as the defender and advocate of the memorials of Publius Scipio. 81Wherefore, if you will undertake the advocacy of your family renown, it will behoove me not only to be silent about your monuments, but even to be glad that the fortune of Publius Africanus, though dead, is such, that his honour is defended by those who are of the same family as himself, and that it requires no adventitious assistance. But if your friendship with that man is an obstacle to you,—if you think that this thing which I demand of you is not so intimately connected with your duty,—then I, as your locum tenens, will succeed to your office, I will undertake that business which I have thought not to belong to me. Let that proud aristocracy give up complaining that the Roman people willingly gives, and at all times has given, honours to new and diligent men. It is a foolish complaint that virtue should be of the greatest influence in that city which by its virtue governs all nations. Let the image of Publius Africanus be in the houses of other men; let heroes now dead be adorned with virtue and glory. He was such a man, he deserved so well of the Roman people, that he deserves to be recommended to the affection, not of one single family, but of the whole state. And so it partly does belong to me also to defend his honours with all my power, because I belong to that city which he rendered great, and illustrious, and renowned; and especially, because I practice, to the utmost of my power, those virtues in which he was preeminent,—equity, industry, temperance, the protection of the unhappy, and hatred of the dishonest; a relationship in pursuits and habits which is almost as important as that of which you boast, the relationship of name and family.
82I reclaim from you, O Verres, the monument of Publius Africanus; I abandon the cause of the Sicilians, which I undertook; let there be no trial of you for extortion at present; never mind the injuries of the Segestans; let the pedestal of Publius Africanus be restored; let the name of that invincible commander be engraved on it anew; let that most beautiful statue, which was recovered when Carthage was taken, be replaced. It is not I, the defender of the Sicilians,—it is not I, your prosecutor,—they are not the Segestans who demand this of you; but he who has taken on himself the defence and the preservation of the renown and glory of Publius Africanus. I am not afraid of not being able to give a good account of my performance of this duty to Publius Servilius the judge; who, as he has performed great exploits, and raised very many monuments of his good deeds, and has a natural anxiety about them, will be glad, forsooth, to leave them an object of care and protection not only to his own posterity, but to all brave men and good citizens; and not as a mark for the plunder of rogues. I am not afraid of its displeasing you, O Quintus Catulus, to whom the most superb and splendid monument in the whole world belongs, that there should be as many guardians of such monuments as possible, or that all good men should think it was a part of their duty to defend the glory of another. 83And indeed I am so far moved by the other robberies and atrocities of that fellow, as to think them worthy of great reproof; but that might be sufficient for them. But in this instance I am roused to such indignation, that nothing appears to me possible to be more scandalous or more intolerable. Shall Verres adorn his house, full of adultery, full of debauchery, full of infamy, with the monuments of Africanus? Shall Verres face the memorial of that most temperate and religious man, the image of the ever virgin Diana, in that house in which the iniquities of harlots and pimps are incessantly being practised?
84But is this the only monument of Africanus which you have violated? What! did you take away from the people of Tyndaris an image of Mercury most beautifully made, and placed there by the beneficence of the same Scipio? And how? O ye immortal gods! How audaciously, how infamously, how shamelessly did you do so! You have lately, judges, heard the deputies from Tyndaris, most honourable men, and the chief men of that city, say that the Mercury, which in their sacred anniversaries was worshipped among them with the extremest religious reverence, which Publius Africanus, after he had taken Carthage, had given to the Tyndaritans, not only as a monument of his victory, but as a memorial and evidence of their loyalty to and alliance with the Roman people, had been taken away by the violence, and wickedness, and arbitrary power of this man; who, when he first came to their city, in a moment, as if it were not only a becoming, but an indispensable thing to be done?—as if the senate had ordered it and the Roman people had sanctioned it,—in a moment, I say, ordered them to take the statue down and to transport it to Messana. 85And as this appeared a scandalous thing to those who were present and who heard it, it was not persevered in by him during the first period of his visit; but when he departed, he ordered Sopater, their chief magistrate, whose statement you have heard, to take it down. When he refused, he threatened him violently; and then he left the city. The magistrate refers the matter to the senate; there is a violent outcry on all sides. To make my story short, some time afterwards he comes to that city again. Immediately he asks about the statue. He is answered that the senate will not allow it to be removed; that capital punishment is threatened to any one who should touch it without the orders of the senate: the impiety of removing is also urged. Then says he, “What do you mean by talking to me of impiety? or about punishment? or about the senate? I will not leave you alive; you shall be scourged to death if the statue is not given up.” Sopater with tears reports the matter to the senate a second time, and relates to them the covetousness and the threats of Verres. The senate gives Sopater no answer, but breaks up in agitation and perplexity. Sopater, being summoned by the praetor's messenger, informs him of the state of the case, and says that it is absolutely impossible.
86And all these things (for I do not think that I ought to omit any particular of his impudence) were done openly in the middle of the assembly, while Verres was sitting on his chair of office, in a lofty situation. It was the depth of winter; the weather, as you heard Sopater himself state, was bitterly cold; heavy rain was falling; when that fellow orders the lictors to throw Sopater headlong down from the portico on which he himself was sitting, and to strip him naked. The command was scarcely, out of his mouth, before you might have seen him stripped and surrounded by the lictors. All thought that the unhappy and innocent man was going to be scourged. They were mistaken. Do you think that Verres would scourge without any reason an ally and friend of the Roman people? He is not so wicked. All vices are not to be found in that man; he was never cruel. He treated the man with great gentleness and clemency. In the middle of the forum there are some statues of the Marcelli, as there are in most of the other towns of Sicily; out of these he selected the statue of Caius Marcellus, whose services to that city and to the whole province were most recent and most important. On that statue he orders Sopater, a man of noble birth in his city, and at that very time invested with the chief magistracy, to be placed astride and bound to it. 87What torture he suffered when he was bound naked in the open air, in the rain and in the cold, must be manifest to every body. Nor did he put an end to this insult and barbarity, till the people and the whole multitude, moved by the atrocity of his conduct and by pity for his victim, compelled the senate by their outcries to promise him that statue of Mercury. They cried out that the immortal gods themselves would avenge the act, and that in the meantime it was not fit that an innocent man should be murdered. Then the senate comes to him in a body, and promises him the statue. And so Sopater is taken down scarcely alive from the statue of Marcellus, to which he had almost become frozen. I cannot adequately accuse that man if I were to wish to do so; it requires not only genius, but an extraordinary amount of skill.
88This appears to be a single crime, this of the Tyndaritan Mercury, and it is brought forward by me as a single one; but there are many crimes contained in it—only I do not know how to separate and distinguish them. It is a case of money extorted, for he took away from the allies a statue worth a large sum of money. It is a case of embezzlement, because he did not hesitate to appropriate a public statue belonging to the Roman people, taken from the spoils of the enemy, placed where it was in the name of our general. It is a case of treason, because he dared to overturn and to carry away monuments of our empire, of our glory, and of our exploits. It is a case of impiety, because he violated the most solemn principles of religion. It is a case of inhumanity, because he invented a new and extraordinary description of punishment for an innocent man, an ally and friend of our nation. 89But what the other crime is, that I am unable to say; I know not by what name to call the crime which he committed with respect to the statue of Caius Marcellus. What is the meaning of it? Is it because he was the patron of the Sicilians? What then? What has that to do with it? Ought that fact to have had influence to procure assistance, or to bring disaster on his clients and friends? Was it your object to show that patrons were no protection against your violence? Who is there who would not be aware that there is greater power in the authority of a bad man who is present, than in the protection of good men who are absent? Or do you merely wish to prove by this conduct, your unprecedented insolence, and pride, and obstinacy? You thought, I imagine, that you were taking something from the dignity of the Marcelli? And therefore now the Marcelli are not the patrons of the Sicilians. Verres has been substituted in their place. 90What virtue or what dignity did you think existed in you, that you should attempt to transfer to yourself, and to take away from these most trusty and most ancient patrons, so illustrious a body of clients as that splendid province? Can you with your stupidity, and worthlessness, and laziness defend the cause, I will not say of all Sicily, but even of one, the very meanest of the Sicilians? Was the statue of Marcellus to serve you for a pillory for the clients of the Marcelli? Did you out of his honour seek for punishments for those very men who had held him in honour? What followed? What did you think would happen to your statues? was it that which did happen? For the people of Tyndaris threw down the statue of Verres, which he had ordered to be erected in his own honour near the Marcelli, and even on a higher pedestal, the very moment that they heard that a successor had been appointed to him.
The fortune of the Sicilians has then given you Caius Marcellus for a judge, so that we may now surrender you, fettered and bound, to appease the injured sanctity of him to whose statue Sicilians were bound while you were praetor. 91And in the first place, O judges, that man said that the people of Tyndaris had sold this statue to Caius Marcellus Aeserninus, who is here present. And he hoped that Caius Marcellus himself would assert thus much for his sake though it never seemed to me to be very likely that a young man born in that rank, the patron of Sicily, would lend his name to that fellow to enable him to transfer his guilt to another. But still I made such provision, and took such precaution against every possible bearing of the case, that if ally one had been found who was ever so anxious to take the guilt and crime of Verres upon himself, still he would not have taken anything by his motion, for I brought down to court such witnesses, and I had with me such written documents, that it could not have been possible to have entertained a doubt about that man's actions. 92There are public documents to prove that that Mercury was transported to Messana at the expense of the state. They state at what expense; and that a man named Poleas was ordered by the public authority to superintend the business—what more would you have? Where is he? He is close at hand, he is a witness, by the command of Sopater the Proagorus.—Who is he? The man who was bound to the statue. What? where is he? He is a witness—you have seen the man, and you have heard his statement. Demetrius, the master of the gymnastic school, superintended the pulling down of the statue, because he was appointed to manage that business; What? is it we who say this? No, he is present himself; moreover, that Verres himself lately promised at Rome, that he would restore that statue to the deputies, if the evidence already given in the affair were removed, and if security were given that the Tyndaritans would not give evidence against him, has been stated before you by Zosippus and Hismenias, most noble men, and the chief men of the city of Tyndaris.
93What? did you not also at Agrigentum take away a monument of the same Publius Scipio, a most beautiful statue of Apollo, on whose thigh there was the name of Myron, inscribed in diminutive silver letters, out of that most holy temple of Aesculapius? And when, O judges, he had privately committed that atrocity, and when in that most nefarious crime and robbery he had employed some of the most worthless men of the city as his guides and assistants, the whole city was greatly excited. For the Agrigentines were regretting at the same time the kindness of Africanus, and a national object of their worship, and an ornament of their city, and a record of their victory, and an evidence of their alliance with us. And therefore a command is imposed on those men who were the chief men of the city, and a charge is given to the quaestors and aediles to keep watch by night over the sacred edifices. And, indeed, at Agrigentum, (I imagine, on account of the great number and virtue of these men, and because great numbers of Roman citizens, gallant and intrepid and honourable men, live and trade in that town among the Agrigentines in the greatest harmony,) he did not dare openly to carry off, or even to beg for the things that took his fancy. 94There is a temple of Hercules at Agrigentum, not far from the forum, considered very holy and greatly reverenced among the citizens. In it there is a brazen image of Hercules himself, than which I cannot easily tell where I have seen anything finer; (although I am not very much of a judge of those matters, though I have seen plenty of specimens;) so greatly venerated among them, O judges, that his mouth and his chin are a little worn away, because men in addressing their prayers and congratulations to him, are accustomed not only to worship the statue, but even to kiss it. While Verres was at Agrigentum, on a sudden, in the dead of night, a great assemblage of armed slaves, and a great attack on this temple by them, takes place, under the leading of Timarchides. A cry is raised by the watchmen and guardians of the temple. And, at first, when they attempted to resist them and to defend the temple, they are driven back much injured with sticks and bludgeons. Afterwards, when the bolts were forced open, and the doors dashed in, they endeavour to pull down the statue and to overthrow it with levers; meantime, from the outcries of the keepers, a report got abroad over the whole city, that the national gods were being stormed, not by the unexpected invasion of enemies, or by the sudden irruption of pirates, but that a well armed and fully equipped band of fugitive slaves from the house and retinue of the praetor had attacked them. 95No one in Agrigentum was either so advanced in age, or so infirm in strength, as not to rise up on that night, awakened by that news, and to seize whatever weapon chance put into his hands. So in a very short time men are assembled at the temple from every part of the city. Already, for more than an hour, numbers of men had been labouring at pulling down that statue; and all that time it gave no sign of being shaken in any part; while some, putting levers under it, were endeavouring to throw it down, and others, having bound cords to all its limbs, were trying to pull it towards them. On a sudden all the Agrigentines collect together at the place; stones are thrown in numbers; the nocturnal soldiers of that illustrious commander run away—but they take with them two very small statues, in order not to return to that robber of all holy things entirely empty-handed. The Sicilians are never in such distress as not to be able to say something facetious and neat; as they did on this occasion. And so they said that this enormous boar had a right to be accounted one of the labours of Hercules, no less than the other boar of Erymanthus.
96The people of Assorum, gallant and loyal men, afterwards imitated this brave conduct of the Agrigentines, though they did not come of so powerful or so distinguished a city. There is a river called Chrysas, which flows through the territories of Assorum. Chrysas, among that people, is considered a god, and is worshipped with the greatest reverence. His temple is in the fields, near the road which goes from Assorum to Enna. In it there is an image of Chrysas, exquisitely made of marble. He did not dare to beg that of the Assorians on account of the extraordinary sanctity of that temple; so he entrusts the business to Tlepolemus and Hiero. They, having prepared and armed a body of men, come by night; they break in the doors of the temple; the keepers of the temple and the guardians hear them in time. A trumpet the signal of alarm well known to all the neighbourhood, is sounded; men come in from the country, Tlepolemus is turned out and put to fight; nor was anything missed out of the temple of Chrysas except one very diminutive image of brass. 97There is a temple of the mighty mother Cybele at Enguinum, for I must new not only mention each instance with the greatest brevity, but I must even pass over a great many, in order to come to the greater and more remarkable thefts and atrocities of this sort which this man has committed. In this temple that same Publius Scipio, a man excelling in every possible good quality, had placed breastplates and helmets of brass of Corinthian workmanship, and some huge ewers of a similar description, and wrought with the same exquisite skill, and had inscribed his own name upon them. Why should I make any more statements or utter any further complaints about that man's conduct? He took away, O judges, every one of those things. He left nothing in that most holy temple except the traces of the religion he had trampled on, and the name of Publius Scipio. The spoils won from the enemy, the memorials of our commanders, the ornaments and decorations of our temples, will hereafter, when these illustrious names are lost, be reckoned in the furniture and appointments of Caius Verres. 98Are you, forsooth, the only man who delights in Corinthian vases? Are you the best judge in the world of the mixture of that celebrated bronze, and of the delicate tracery of that work? Did not the great Scipio, that most learned and accomplished mall, under stand it too? But do you, a man without one single virtue, without education, without natural ability, and without any information, understand them and value them? Beware lest he be seen to have surpassed you and those other men who wished to be thought so elegant, not only in temperance, but in judgment and taste; for it was because he thoroughly understood how beautiful they were, that he thought that they were made, not for the luxury of men, but for the ornamenting of temples and cities, in order that they might appear to our posterity to be holy and sacred monuments.
99Listen also, O judges, to the man's singular covetousness, audacity and madness, especially in polluting those sacred things, which not only may not be touched with the hands, but which may not be violated even in thought. There is a shrine of Ceres among the Catenans of the same holy nature as the one at home, and worshipped as the goddess is worshipped among foreign nations, and in almost every country in the world. In the inmost part of that shrine there was an extremely ancient statue of Ceres, as to which men were not only ignorant of what sort it was, but even of its existence. For the entrance into that shrine does not belong to men, the sacred ceremonies are accustomed to be performed by women and virgins. Verres's slaves stole this statue by night out of that most holy and most ancient temple. The next day the priestesses of Ceres, and the female attendants of that temple, women of great age, noble and of proved virtue, report the affair to their magistrates. It appeared to all a most bitter, and scandalous, and miserable business. 100Then that man, influenced by the atrocity of the action, in order that all suspicion of that crime might be removed from himself, employs some one connected with him by ties of hospitality to find a man whom he might accuse of having done it, and bids him take care that he be convicted of the accusation, so that he himself might not be subject to the charge. The matter is not delayed. For when he had departed from Catina, an information is laid against a certain slave. He is accused; false witnesses are suborned against him; the whole senate sits in judgment on the affair, according to the laws of the Catenans. The priestesses are summoned; they are examined secretly in the senate-house, and asked what had been done, and how they thought that the statue had been carried off. They answer that the servants of the praetor had been seen in the temple. The matter, which previously had not been very obscure, began to be clear enough by the evidence of the priestesses. The judges deliberate; the innocent slave is acquitted by every vote, in order that you may the more easily be able to condemn this man by all your votes. 101For what is it that you ask, O Verres? What do you hope for? What do you expect? What god or man do you think will come to your assistance? Did you send slaves to that place to plunder a temple, where it was not lawful for free citizens to go, not even for the purpose of praying? Did you not hesitate to lay violent hands on those things from which the laws of religion enjoined you to keep even your eyes? Although it was not even because you were charmed by the eye that you were led into this wicked and nefarious conduct; for you coveted what you had never seen. You took a violent fancy, I say, to that which you had not previously beheld. From your ears did you conceive this covetousness, so violent that no fear, no religious scruple, no power of the gods, no regard for the opinion of men could restrain it. 102Oh! but you had heard of it, I suppose, from some good man, from some good authority. How could you have done that, when you could never have heard of it from any man at all? You heard of it, therefore, from a woman; since men could not have seen it nor known of it. What sort of woman do you think that she must have been, O judges? What a modest woman must she have been to converse with Verres! What a pious woman, to show him a plan for robbing a temple! But it is no great wonder if those sacred ceremonies which are performed by the most extreme chastity of virgins and matrons were violated by his adultery and profligacy.
What, then, are we to think? Is this the only thing that he began to desire from mere hearing, when he had never seen it himself? No, there were many other things besides; of which I will select the plundering of that most noble and ancient temple, concerning which you heard witnesses give their evidence at the former pleading. Now, I beseech you, listen to the same story once more, and attend carefully as you hitherto have done. 103There is an island called Melita, O judges, separated from Sicily by a sufficiently wide and perilous navigation, in which there is a town of the same name, to which Verres never went, though it was for three years a manufactory to him for weaving women's garments. Not far from that town, on a promontory, is an ancient temple of Juno, which was always considered so holy, that it was not only always kept inviolate and sacred in those Punic wars, which in those regions were carried on almost wholly by the naval forces, but even by the bands of pirates which ravage those seas. Moreover, it has been handed down to us by tradition, that once, when the fleet of King Masinissa was forced to put into these ports, the king's lieutenant took away some ivory teeth of an incredible size out of the temple, and carried them into Africa, and gave them to Masinissa; that at first the king was delighted with the present, but afterwards, when he heard where they had come from, he immediately sent trustworthy men in a quinquereme to take those teeth back; and that there was engraved on them in Punic characters, “that Masinissa the king had accepted them ignorantly; but that, when he knew the truth, he had taken care that they should be replaced and restored.” There was besides an immense quantity of ivory, and many ornaments, among which were some ivory victories of ancient workmanship, and wrought with exquisite skill. 104Not to dwell too long on this, he took care to have all these things taken down and carried off at one swoop by means of the slaves of the Venus whom he had sent thither for that purpose.
O ye immortal gods! what sort of man is it that I am accusing? Who is it that I am prosecuting according to our laws, and by this regular process? Concerning whom is it that you are going to give your judicial decision? The deputies from Melita sent by the public authority of their state, say that the shrine of Juno was plundered; that that man left nothing in that most holy temple; that that place, to which the fleets of enemies often came, where pirates are accustomed to winter almost every year, and which no pirate ever violated, no enemy ever attacked before, was so plundered by that single man, that nothing whatever was left in it. What, then, now are we to say of him as a defendant, of me as an accuser, of this tribunal? Is he proved guilty of grave crimes, or is he brought into this court on mere suspicion? Gods are proved to have been carried off, temples to have been plundered, cities to have been stripped of everything. And of those actions he has left himself no power of denying one, no plea for defending one. In every particular he is convicted by me; he is detected by the witnesses; he is overwhelmed by his own admissions; he is caught in the evident commission of guilt; and even now he remains here, and in silence recognises his own crimes as I enumerate them.
105I seem to myself to have been too long occupied with one class of crime. I am aware, O judges, that I have to encounter the weariness of your ears and eyes at such a repetition of similar cases; I will, therefore, pass over many instances. But I entreat you, O judges, in the name of the immortal gods, in the name of these very gods of whose honour and worship we have been so long speaking, refresh your minds so as to attend to what I am about to mention, while I bring forward and detail to you that crime of his by which the whole province was roused, and in speaking of which you will pardon me if I appear to go back rather far, and trace the earliest recollections of the religious observances in question. The importance of the affair will not allow me to pass over the atrocity of his guilt with brevity.
106It is an old opinion, O judges, which can be proved from the most ancient records and monuments of the Greeks, that the whole island of Sicily was consecrated to Ceres and Libera. Not only did all other nations think so but the Sicilians themselves were so convinced of it, that it appeared a deeply rooted and innate belief in their minds. For they believe that these goddesses were born in these districts, and that corn was first discovered in this land, and that Libera was carried off, the same goddess whom they call Proserpina, from a grove in the territory of Enna, a place which, because it is situated in the centre of the island, is called the navel of Sicily. And when Ceres wished to seek her and trace her out, she is said to have lit her torches at those flames which burst out at the summit of Aetna, and carrying these torches before her, to have wandered over the whole earth. 107But Enna, where those things which I am speaking of are said to have been done, is in a high and lofty situation, on the top of which is a large level plain, and springs of water which are never dry. And the whole of the plain is cut off and separated, so as to be difficult of approach. Around it are many lakes and groves, and beautiful flowers at every season of the year; so that the place itself appears to testify to that abduction of the virgin which we have heard of from our boyhood. Near it is a cave turned towards the north, of unfathomable depth, where they say that Father Pluto suddenly rose out of the earth in his chariot, and carried the virgin off from that spot, and that on a sudden, at no great distance from Syracuse, he went down beneath the earth, and that immediately a lake sprang up in that place; and there to this day the Syracusans celebrate anniversary festivals with a most numerous assemblage of both sexes
On account of the antiquity of this belief, because in those places the traces and almost the cradles of those gods are found, the worship of Ceres of Enna prevails to a wonderful extent, both in private and in public over all Sicily. In truth, many prodigies often attest her influence and divine powers. Her present help is often brought to many in critical circumstances, so that this island appears not only to be loved, but also to be watched over and protected by her. 108Nor is it the Sicilians only, but even all other tribes and nations greatly worship Ceres of Enna. In truth, if initiation into those sacred mysteries of the Athenians sought for with the greatest avidity, to which people Ceres is said to have come in that long wandering of hers, and then she brought them corn. How much greater reverence ought to be paid to her by those people among whom it is certain that she was born, and first discovered corn. And, therefore, in the time of our fathers, at a most disastrous and critical time to the republic, when, after the death of Tiberius Gracchus, there was a fear that great dangers were portended to the state by various prodigies, in the consulship of Publius Mucius and Lucius Calpurnius, recourse was had to the Sibylline books, in which it was found set down, “that the most ancient Ceres ought to be appeased.” Then, priests of the Roman people, selected from the most honourable college of decemvirs, although there was in our own city a most beautiful and magnificent temple of Ceres, nevertheless went as far as Enna. For such was the authority and antiquity of the reputation for holiness of that place, that when they went thither, they seemed to be going not to a temple of Ceres, but to Ceres herself. 109I will not din this into your ears any longer. I have been some time afraid that my speech may appear unlike the usual fashion of speeches at trials unlike the daily method of speaking. This I say, that this very Ceres, the most ancient, the most holy, the very chief of all sacred things which are honoured by every people, and in every nation, was carried off by Caius Verres from her temple and her home. Ye who have been to Enna, have seen a statue of Ceres made of marble, and in the other temple a statue of Libera. They are very colossal and very beautiful, but not exceedingly ancient. There was one of brass, of moderate size, but extraordinary workmanship, with the torches in its hands, very ancient, by far the most ancient of all those statues which are in that temple; that he carried off, and yet he was not content with that. 110Before the temple of Ceres, in an open and an uncovered place, there are two statues, one of Ceres, the other of Triptolemus, very beautiful, and of colossal size. Their beauty was their danger, but their size their safety, because the taking of them down and carrying them off appeared very difficult. But in the right hand of Ceres there stood a beautifully wrought image of Victory, and this he had wrenched out of the hand of Ceres and carried off.
What now must be his feelings at the recollection of his crimes, when I, at the mere enumeration of them, am not only roused to indignation in my mind, but even shudder over my whole body? For thoughts of that temple, of that place, of that holy religion come into my mind. Everything seems present before my eyes,—the day on which, when I had arrived at Enna, the priests of Ceres came to meet me with garlands of vervain, and with fillets; the concourse of citizens, among whom, while I was addressing them, there was such weeping and groaning that the most bitter grief seemed to have taken possession of the whole. 111They did not complain of the absolute way in which the tenths were levied, nor of the plunder of property, nor of the iniquity of tribunals, nor of that man's unhallowed lusts, nor of his violence, nor of the insults by which they had been oppressed and overwhelmed. It was the divinity of Ceres, the antiquity of their sacred observances, the holy veneration due to their temple, which they wished should have atonement made to them by the punishment of that most atrocious and audacious man. They said that they could endure everything else, that to everything else they were indifferent. This indignation of theirs was so great, that you might suppose that Verres, like another king of hell, had come to Enna and had carried off, not Proserpina, but Ceres herself. And, in truth, that city does not appear to be a city, but a shrine of Ceres. The people of Enna think that Ceres dwells among them; so that they appear to me not to be citizens of that city, but to be all priests, to be all ministers and officers of Ceres. 112Did you dare to take away out of Enna the statue of Ceres? Did you attempt at Enna to wrench Victory out of the hand of Ceres? to tear one goddess from the other?—nothing of which those men dared to violate, or even to touch, whose qualities were all more akin to wickedness than to religion. For while Publius Popillius and Publius Rupilius were consuls, slaves, runaway slaves, and barbarians, and enemies, were in possession of that place; but yet the slaves ware not so much slaves to their own masters, as you are to your passions; nor did the runaways flee from their masters as far as you flee from all laws and from all right; nor were the barbarians as barbarous in language and in race as you were in your nature and your habits; nor were the enemies as much enemies to men as you are to the immortal gods. How, then, can a man beg for any mercy who has surpassed slaves in baseness, runaway slaves in rashness, barbarians in wickedness, and enemies in inhumanity?
113You heard Theodorus and Numinius and Nicasio, deputies from Enna, say, in the name of their state, that they had this commission from their fellow-citizens, to go to Verres, and to demand from him the restoration of the statues of Ceres and of Victory. And if they obtained it then they were to adhere to the ancient customs of the state of Enna, not to give any public testimony against him although he had oppressed Sicily, since these were the principles which they had received from their ancestors. But if he did not restore them, then they were to go before the tribunal, to inform the judges of the injuries they had received, but, far above all things, to complain of the insults to their religion. And, in the name of the immortal gods I entreat you, O judges, do not you despise, do not you scorn or think lightly of their complaints. The injuries done to our allies are the present question; the authority of the laws is at stake; the reputation and the honesty of our courts of justice is at stake. And though all these are great considerations, yet this is the greatest of all,—the whole province is so imbued with religious feeling, such a superstitious dread arising out of that man's conduct has seized upon the minds of all the Sicilians, that whatever public or private misfortunes happen, appear to befall them because of that man's wickedness. 114You have heard the Centuripans, the Agyrians, the Catenans, the Herbitans, the Ennans, and many other deputies say, in the name of their states, how great was the solitude in their districts, how great the devastation, how universal the flight of the cultivators of the soil how deserted, how uncultivated, how desolate every place was. And although there are many and various injuries done by that man to which these things are owing, still this one cause, in the opinion of the Sicilians, is the most weighty of all; for, because of the insults offered to Ceres, they believe that all the crops and gifts of Ceres have perished in these districts. Bring remedies, O judges, to the insulted religion of the allies; preserve your own, for this is not a foreign religion, nor one with which you have no concern. But even if it were, if you were unwilling to adopt it yourselves, still you ought to be willing to inflict heavy punishment on the man who had violated it. 115But now that the common religion of all nations is attacked in this way, now that these sacred observances are violated which our ancestors adopted and imported from foreign countries, and have honoured ever since,—sacred observances, which they called Greek observances, as in truth they were,—even if we were to wish to be indifferent and cold about these matters, how could we be so?
I will mention the sacking of one city, also, and that the most beautiful and highly decorated of all, the city of Syracuse. And I will produce my proofs of that, O judges, in order at length to conclude and bring to an end the whole history of offences of this sort. There is scarcely any one of you who has not often heard how Syracuse was taken by Marcus Marcellus, and who has not sometimes also read the account in our annals. Compare this peace with that war; the visit of this praetor with the victory of that general; the debauched retinue of the one with the invincible army of the other; the lust of Verres with the continence of Marcellus;—and you will say that Syracuse was built by the man who took it; was taken by the man who received it well established and flourishing. 116And for the present I omit those things which will be mentioned, and have been already mentioned by me in an irregular manner in different parts of my speech—what the market-place of the Syracusans, which at the entrance of Marcellus was preserved unpolluted by slaughter, on the arrival of Verres overflowed with the blood of innocent Sicilians; that the harbour of the Syracusans, which at that time was shut against both our fleets and those of the Carthaginians, was, while Verres was praetor, open to Cilician pirates, or even to a single piratical galley. I say nothing of the violence offered to people of noble birth, of the ravishment of matrons, atrocities which then, when the city was taken, were not committed, neither through the hatred of enemies, nor through military licence, nor through the customs of war or the rights of victory. I pass over, I say, all these things which were done by that man for three whole years. Listen rather to acts which are connected with those matters of which I have hitherto been speaking. 117You have often heard that the city of Syracuse is the greatest of the Greek cities, and the most beautiful of all. It is so, O judges, as it is said to be; for it is so by its situation, which is strongly fortified, and which is on every side by which you can approach it, whether by sea or land, very beautiful to behold. And it has harbours almost enclosed within the walls, and in the sight of the whole city, harbours which have different entrances, but which meet together, and are connected at the other end. By their union a part of the town, which is called the island, being separated from the rest by a narrow arm of the sea, is again joined to and connected with the other by a bridge.
118That city is so great that it may be said to consist of four cities of the largest size; one of which, as I have said, is that “Island,” which, surrounded by two harbours, projects out towards the mouth and entrance of each. In it there is a palace which did belong to king Hiero, which our praetors are in the habit of using; in it are many sacred buildings, but two, which have a great pre-eminence over all the others,—one a temple of Diana, and the other one, which before the arrival of that man was the most ornamented of all, sacred to Minerva. At the end of this island is a fountain of sweet water, the name of which is Arethusa, of incredible size, very full of fish, which would be entirely overwhelmed by the waves of the sea, if it were not protected from the sea by a rampart and dam of stone. 119There is also another city at Syracuse, the name of which is Achradina, in which there is a very large forum, most beautiful porticoes, a highly decorated town-hall, a most spacious senate-house, and a superb temple of Jupiter Olympius; and the other districts of the city are joined together by one broad unbroken street, and divided by many cross streets, and by private houses. There is a third city, which because in that district there is an ancient temple of Fortune, is called Tyche, in which there is a spacious gymnasium, and many sacred buildings, and that district is the most frequented and the most populous. There is also a fourth city, which, because it is the last built, is called Neapolis, in the highest part of which there is a very large theatre, and, besides that there are two temples of great beauty, one of Ceres, the other of Libera, and a statue of Apollo, which is called Temenites, very beautiful and of colossal size; which, if he could have moved them, he would not have hesitated to carry off.
120Now I will return to Marcellus, that I may not appear to have entered into this statement without any reason. He, when with his powerful army he had taken this splendid city, did not think it for the credit of the Roman people to destroy and extinguish this splendour, especially as no danger could possibly arise from it, and therefore he spared all the buildings, public as well as private, sacred as well as ordinary, as if he had come with his army for the purpose of defending them, not of taking them by storm. With respect to the decorations of the city, he had a regard to his own victory, and a regard to humanity, he thought it was due to his victory to transport many things to Rome which might be an ornament to this city, and due to humanity not utterly to strip the city, especially as it was one which he was anxious to preserve. 121In this division of the ornaments, the victory of Marcellus did not covet more for the Roman people than his humanity reserved to the Syracusans. The things which were transported to Rome we see before the temples of Honour and of Virtue, and also in other places. He put nothing in his own house, nothing in his gardens, nothing in his suburban villa; he thought that his house could only be an ornament to the city if he abstained from carrying the ornaments which belonged to the city to his own house. But he left many things of extraordinary beauty at Syracuse; he violated not the respect due to any god; he laid hands on none. Compare Verres with him; not to compare the man with the man,—no such injury must be done to such a man as that, dead though he be; but to compare a state of peace with one of war, a state of law and order, and regular jurisdiction, with one of violence and martial law, and the supremacy of arms; to compare the arrival and retinue of the one with the victory and army of the other.
122There is a temple of Minerva in the island, of which I have already spoken, which Marcellus did not touch, which he left full of its treasures and ornaments, but which was so stripped and plundered by Verres, that it seems to have been in the hands, not of any enemy,—for enemies, even in war, respect the rites of religion, and the customs of the country,—but of some barbarian pirates. There was a cavalry battle of their king Agathocles, exquisitely painted in a series of pictures, and with these pictures the inside walls of the temple were covered. Nothing could be more noble than those paintings; there was nothing at Syracuse that was thought more worthy going to see. These pictures, Marcus Marcellus, though by that victory of his he had divested everything of its sacred inviolability of character, still, out of respect for religion, never touched; Verres, though, in consequence of the long peace, and the loyalty of the Syracusan people, he had received them as sacred and under the protection of religion, took away all those pictures, and left naked and unsightly those walls whose decorations had remained inviolate for so many ages, and had escaped so many wars: 123Marcellus, who had vowed that if he took Syracuse he would erect two temples at Rome, was unwilling to adorn the temple which he was going to build with these treasures which were his by right of capture; Verres, who was bound by no vows to Honour or Virtue, as Marcellus was, but only to Venus and to Cupid, attempted to plunder the temple of Minerva. The one was unwilling to adorn gods in the spoil taken from gods, the other transferred the decorations of the virgin Minerva to the house of a prostitute. Besides this, he took away out of the same temple twenty-seven more pictures beautifully painted; among which were likenesses of the kings and tyrants of Sicily, which delighted one, not only by the skill of the painter, but also by reminding us of the men, and by enabling us to recognise their persons. And see now, how much worse a tyrant this man proved to the Syracusans than any of the old ones, as they, cruel as they were, still adorned the temples of the immortal gods, while this man took away the monuments and ornaments from the gods.
124But now what shall I say of the folding-doors of that temple? I am afraid that those who have not seen these things may think that I am speaking too highly of, and exaggerating everything, though no one ought to suspect that I should be so inconsiderate as to be selling that so many men of the highest reputation, especially when they are judges in this cause, who have been at Syracuse, and who have seen all these things themselves, should be witnesses to my rashness and falsehood. I am able to prove this distinctly, O judges, that no more magnificent doors, none more beautifully wrought of gold and ivory, ever existed in an, temple. It is incredible how many Greeks have left written accounts of the beauty of these doors: they, perhaps, may admire and extol them too much; be it so, still it is more honourable for our republic, O judges, that our general, in a time of war, should have left those things which appeared to them so beautiful, than that our praetor should have carried them off in a time of peace. On the folding-doors were some subjects most minutely executed in ivory; all these he caused to be taken out; he tore off and took away a very tine head of the Gorgon with snakes for hair; and he showed, too, that he was influenced not only by admiration for the workmanship, but by a desire of money and gain; for he did not hesitate to take away also all the golden knobs from these folding-doors, which were numerous and heavy; and it was not the workmanship of these, but the weight which pleased him. And so he left the folding-doors in such state, that, though they had formerly contributed greatly to the ornament of the temple, they now seemed to have been made only for the purpose of shutting it up. 125Am I to speak also of the spears made of grass? for I saw that you were excited at the name of them when the witnesses mentioned them. They were such that it was sufficient to have seen them once, as there was neither any manual labour in them, nor any beauty, but simply an incredible size, which it would be quite sufficient even to hear of, and too much to see them more than once. Did you covet even those?
126For the Sappho which was taken away out of the town-hall affords you so reasonable an excuse, that it may seem almost allowable and pardonable. That work of Silanion, so perfect, so elegant, so elaborate, (I will not say what private man, but) what nation could be so worthy to possess, as the most elegant and learned Verres? Certainly, nothing will be said against it. If any one of us, who are not as happy, who cannot be as refined as that man, should wish to behold anything of the sort, let him go to the temple of Good Fortune, to the monument of Catulus, to the portico of Metellus; let him take pains to get admittance into the Tusculan villa of any one of those men; let him see the forum when decorated, if Verres is ever so kind as to lend any of his treasures to the aediles. Shall Verres have all these things at home? shall Verres have his house full of his villas crammed with, the ornaments of temples and cities? Will you still, O judges, bear with the hobby, as he calls it, and pleasures of this vile artisan? a man who was born in such a rank, educated in such a way, and who is so formed both in mind and body, that he appears a much fitter person to take down statues than to appropriate them. 127And how great a regret this Sappho which he carried off left behind her, can scarcely be told; for in the first place it was admirably made, and, besides, it had a very noble Greek epigram engraved upon the pedestal; and would not that learned man, that Grecian, who is such an acute judge of these matters, who is the only man who understands them, if he had understood one letter of Greek, have taken that away too? for now, because it is engraved on an empty pedestal, it both declares what was once, on the pedestal, and proves that it has been taken away. What shall I say more? Did you not take away the statue of Paean from out of the temple of Aesculapius, beautifully made, sacred, and holy as it was? a statue which all men went to see for its beauty, and worshipped for its sacred character. What more? was not the statue of Aristaeus openly taken away by your command out of the temple of Bacchus? 128What more? did you not take away out of the temple of Jupiter that most holy statue of Jupiter Imperator, which the Greeks call Ourios, most beautifully made? What next? did you hesitate to take away out of the temple of Libera, that most exquisite bust of Parian marble, which we used to go to see? And that Paean used to be worshipped among that people together with Aesculapius, with anniversary sacrifices. Aristaeus, who being, as the Greeks report, the son of Bacchus, is said to have been the inventor of oil, was consecrated among them together with his father Bacchus, in the same temple.
129But how great do you suppose was the honour paid to Jupiter Imperator in his own temple? You may collect it from this consideration, if you recollect how great was the religious reverence attached to that statue of the same appearance and form which Flaminius brought out of Macedonia, and placed in the Capitol. In truth, there were said to be in the whole world three statues of Jupiter Imperator, of the same class, all beautifully made: one was that one from Macedonia, which we have seen in the Capitol; a second was the one at the narrow straits, which are the mouth of the Euxine Sea; the third was that which was at Syracuse, till Verres came as praetor. Flaminius removed the first from its habitation, but only to place it in the Capitol, that is to say, in the house of Jupiter upon earth. 130But as to the one that is at the entrance of the Euxine, that, though so many wars have proceeded from the shores of that sea, and though so many have been poured into Pontus, has still remained inviolate and untouched to this day. This third one, which was at Syracuse, which Marcus Marcellus, when in arms and victorious, had seen, which he had spared to the religion of the place, which both the citizens of, and settlers in Syracuse were used to worship, and strangers not only visited, but often venerated, Caius Verres took away from the temple of Jupiter. 131To return again to Marcellus. Judge of the case, O judges, in this way; think that more gods were lost to the Syracusans owing to the arrival of Verres, than even were owing to the victory of Marcellus. In truth, he is said to have sought diligently for the great Archimedes, a man of the highest genius and skill, and to have been greatly concerned when he heard that he had been killed; but that other man sought for everything which he did seek for, not for the purpose of preserving it, but of carrying it away.
At present, then, all those things which might appear more insignificant, I will on that account pass over—how he took away Delphic tables made of marble, beautiful goblets of brass, an immense number of Corinthian vases, out of every saved temple at Syracuse; 132and therefore, O judges, those men who are accustomed to take strangers about to all those things which are worth going to see, and to show them every separate thing, whom they call mystagogi, (or cicerones,) now have their description of things reversed; for as they formerly used to show what there was in every place, so now they show what has been taken from every place.
What do you think, then? Do you think that those men are affected with but a moderate indignation? Not so, O judges: in the first place, because all men are influenced by religious feeling, and think that their paternal gods, whom they have received from their ancestors, are to be carefully worshipped and retained by themselves; and secondly, because this sort of ornament, these works and specimens of art, these statues and paintings, delight men of Greek extraction to an excessive degree; therefore by their complaints we can understand that these things appear most bitter to those men, which perhaps may seem trifling and contemptible to us. Believe me, O judges, although I am aware to a certainty that you yourselves hear the same things, that though both our allies and foreign nations have during these past years sustained many calamities and injuries, yet men of Greek extraction have not been, and are not, more indignant at any than at this ruthless plundering of their temples and altars. 133Although that man may say that he bought these things, as he is accustomed to say, yet, believe me in this, O judges,—no city in all Asia or in all Greece has ever sold one statue, one picture, or one decoration of the city, of its own free will to anybody. Unless, perchance, you suppose that, after strict judicial decisions had ceased to take place at Rome, the Greeks then began to sell these things, which they not only did not sell when there were courts of justice open, but which they even used to buy up; or unless you think that Lucius Crassus, Quintus Scaevola, Caius Claudius, most, powerful men, whose most splendid aedileships we have seen had no dealings in those sort of matters with the Greeks, but that those men had such dealings who became aediles after the destruction of the courts of justice.
134Know also that that false presence of purchase was more bitter to the cities than if any one were privately to filch things, or boldly to steal them and carry them off. For they think it the most excessive baseness, that it should be entered on the public records that the city was induced by a price, and by a small price too, to sell and alienate those things which it had received from men of old. In truth, the Greeks delight to a marvellous degree in those things, which we despise. And therefore our ancestors willingly allowed those things to remain in numbers among the allies, in order that they might be as splendid and as flourishing as possible under our dominion; and among those nations whom they rendered taxable or tributary, still they left these things, in order that they who take delight in those things which to us seem insignificant, might have them as pleasures and consolations in slavery. 135What do you think that the Rhegians, who now are Roman citizens, would take to allow that marble Venus to be taken from them? What would the Tarentines take to lose the Europa sitting on the Bull? or the Satyr which they have in the temple of Vesta? or their other monuments? What would the Thespians take to lose the statue of Cupid, the only object for which any one ever goes to see Thespiae? What would the men of Cnidos take for their marble Venus? or the Coans for their picture of her? or the Ephesians for Alexander? the men of Cyzicus for their Ajax or Medea? What would the Rhodians take for Ialysus? the Athenians for their marble Bacchus, or their picture of Paralus, or their brazen Heifer, the work of Myron? It would be a long business and an unnecessary one, to mention what is worth going to see among all the different nations in all Asia and Greece; but that is the reason why I am enumerating these things, because I wish you to consider that an incredible indignation must be the feeling of those men from whose cities these things are carried away.
136And to say nothing of other nations, judge of the Syracusans themselves. For when I went to Syracuse, I originally believed what I had heard at Rome from that man's friends, that the city of Syracuse, on account of the inheritance of Heraclius, was no less friendly to him than the city of the Mamertines, because of their participation in all his booty and robberies. And at the same time I was afraid that, owing to the influence of the high-born and beautiful women at whose will he had directed all the measures of his praetorship for three years, and of the men to whom they were married, I should be opposed not only by an excessive lenity, but even by a feeling of liberality towards that man, if I were to seek for any evidence out of the public records of the Syracusans. 137Therefore when at Syracuse I was chiefly with Roman citizens; I copied out their papers; I inquired into their injuries. As I was a long time occupied by that business, in order to rest a little and to give my mind a respite from care, I returned to those fine documents of Carpinatius; in which, in company with some of the most honourable knights of the body of Roman settlers, I unraveled the case of those Verrutii, whom I have mentioned before, but I expected no aid at all, either publicly or privately, from the Syracusans, nor had I any idea of asking for any. While I was doing this, on a sudden Heraclius came to me, who was in office at Syracuse, a man of high birth, who had been priest of Jupiter, which is the highest honour among the Syracusans; he requests of me and of my brother, if we have no objection, to go to their senate; that they were at that moment assembled in full numbers in the senate-house, and he said that he made this request to us to attend by command of the senate. 138At first we were in doubt what to do; but afterwards it soon occurred to us that we ought not to shun that assembly or that place.
Therefore we came to the senate-house; they all rise at our entry to do us honour. We sat down at the request of the magistrates. Diodorus the son of Timarchides, who was the first man in that body both in influence and in age, and also as it seemed to me in experience and knowledge of business, began to speak; and the first sentence of his speech was to this effect—That the senate and people of Syracuse were grieved and indignant, that, though in all the other cities of Sicily I had informed the senate and people of what I proposed for their advantage or for their safety, and though I had received from them all commissions, deputies, letters and evidence, yet in that city I had done nothing of that sort. I answered, that deputies from the Syracusans had not been present at Rome in that assembly of the Sicilians when my assistance was entreated by the common resolution of all the deputations, and when the cause of the whole of Sicily was entrusted to me; and that I could not ask that any decree should be passed against Caius Verres in that senate-house in which I saw a gilt statue of Caius Verres. 139And after I said that, such a groaning ensued at the sight and mention of the statue, that it appeared to have been placed in the senate-house as a monument of his wickednesses and not of his services. Then every one for himself, as fast as each could manage to speak, began to give me information of those things which I have just now mentioned; to tell me that the city was plundered—the temples stripped of their treasures—that of the inheritance of Heraclius, which he had adjudged to the men of the palaestra, he had taken by far the greatest share himself; and indeed, that they could not expect that he should care for the men of the palaestra, when he had taken away even the god who was the inventor of oil; that that statue had neither been made at the public expense, nor erected by public authority, but that those men who had been the sharers in the plunder of the inheritance of Heraclius, had had it made and placed where it was; and that those same men had been the deputies at Rome, who had been his assistants in dishonesty, his partners in his thefts and the witnesses of his debaucheries; and that therefore I ought the less to wonder if they were wanting to the unanimity of the deputies and to the safety of Sicily.
140When I perceived that their indignation at that man's injuries was not only not less, but almost greater than that of the rest of the Sicilians, then I explained my own intentions to them, and my whole plan and system with reference to the whole of the business which I had undertaken; then I exhorted them not to be wanting to the common cause and the common safety, and to rescind that panegyric which they had voted a few days before, being compelled, a, they said, by violence and fear. Accordingly, O judges, the Syracusans, that man's clients and friends, do this. First of all, they produce to me the public documents which they had carefully stored up in the most sacred part of the treasury; in which they show me that everything, which I have said had been taken away, was entered, and even more things than I was able to mention. And they were entered in this way. “What had been taken out of the temple of Minerva .. This,... and that.” “What was missing out of the temple of Jupiter.” “What was missing out of the temple of Bacchus.” As each individual had had the charge of protecting and preserving those things, so it was entered; that each, when according to law he gave in his accounts, being bound to give up what he had received, had begged that he might be pardoned for the absence of these things and that all had accordingly been released from liability on that account, and that it was kept secret; all which documents I took care to have sealed up with the public seal and brought away. 141But concerning the public panegyric on him this explanation was given: that at first, when the letters arrived from Verres about the panegyric, a little while before my arrival, nothing had been decreed; and after that, when some of his friends urged them that it ought to be decreed, they were rejected with the greatest outcry and the bitterest reproaches; but when I was on the point of arriving, then he who at that time was the chief governor had commanded them to decree it, and that it had been decreed in such a manner that the panegyric did him more damage than it could have done him good. So now, judges, do you receive the truth of that matter from me just as it was shown to me by them.
142It is a custom at Syracuse, that, if a motion on any subject is brought before the senate, whoever wishes, gives his opinion on it. No one is asked by name for his sentiments; nevertheless, those are accustomed to speak first of their own accord, and naturally, according as they are superior in honour or in age; and that precedence is yielded to them by the rest; but, if at any time all are silent, then they are compelled to speak by lot. This was the custom when the motion was made respecting the panegyric of Verres. On which subject at first great numbers speak, in order to delay coming to any vote, and interpose this objection, that formerly, when they had heard that there was a prosecution instituted against Sextus Peducaeus, who had deserved admirably well of that city and of the whole province, and when, in return for his numerous and important services, they wished to vote a panegyric on him, they had been prohibited from doing so by Caius Verres; and that it would be an unjust thing, although Peducaeus had now no need of their praise, still not to vote that which at one time they had been eager to vote, before decreeing what they would only decree from compulsion. 143All shout in assent, and say approvingly that that is what ought to be done. So the question about Peducaeus is put to the senate. Each man gave his opinion in order, according as he had precedence in age and honour. You may learn this from the resolution itself; for the opinions delivered by the chief men are generally recorded. Read— [The list of speeches made on the subject of Sextus Peducaeus is read.] It says who were the chief supporters of the motion. The vote is carried. Then the question about Verres is put. Tell me, I pray, what happened. [The list of speeches made on the subject of Caius Verres....] Well what comes next? [As no one rose, and no one delivered his opinion....] What is this? [They proceed by lot.] Why was this? Was no one a willing praiser of your praetorship, or a willing defender of you from danger, especially when by being so he might have gained favour with the praetor? No one. Those very men who used to feast with you, your advisers and accomplices, did not venture to utter a word. In that very senate-house in which a statue of yourself and a naked statue of your son were standing, was there no one whom even your naked son in a province stripped naked could move to compassion? 144Moreover they inform me also of this, that they had passed the vote of panegyric in such a form that all men might see that it was not a panegyric, but rather a satire, to remind every one of his shameful and disastrous praetorship. For in truth it was drawn up in these words. “Because he had scourged no one.” From which you are to understand, that he had caused most noble and innocent men to be executed. “Because he had administered the affairs of the province with vigilance,” when all his vigils were well known to have been devoted to debauchery and adultery; moreover, there was this clause added, which the defendant could never venture to produce, and the accuser would never cease to dwell upon; “Because Verres had kept all pirates at a distance from the island of Sicily;” men who in his time had entered even into the “island” of Syracuse. 145And after I had received this information from them, I departed from the senate-house with my brother, in order that they might decree what they chose.
Immediately they pass a decree. First, “That my brother Lucius should be connected with the city by ties of hospitably;” because he had shown the same goodwill to the Syracusans that I had always felt myself. That they not only wrote at that time, but also had engraved on brazen tablets and presented to us. Truly very fond of you are your Syracusans whom you are always talking of, who think it quite a sufficient reason for forming an intimate connection with your accuser, that he is going to be your accuser, and that he has come among them for the purpose of prosecuting inquiries against you. After that, a decree is passed, not with any difference of opinion, but almost unanimously, “That the panegyric which had been decreed to Caius Verres, be rescinded.” 146But, when not only the vote had been come to, but when it had even been drawn up in due form and entered in the records, an appeal is made to the praetor. But who makes this appeal? Any magistrate? No. Any senator? Not even that. Any Syracusan? Far from it. Who, then, appeals to the praetor? The man who had been Verres's quaestor, Caesetius. Oh, the ridiculous business! Oh, the deserted man! O man despaired of and abandoned by the Sicilian magistracy! In order to prevent the Sicilians passing a resolution of the senate, or from obtaining their rights according to their own customs and their own laws, an appeal is made to the praetor, not by any friend of his, not by any connection, not, in short, by any Sicilian, but by his own quaestor. Who saw this? Who heard it? That just and wise praetor orders the senate to be adjourned. A great multitude flocks to me. First of all, the senators cry out that their rights are being taken away; that their liberty is being taken away. The people praise the senate and thank them. The Roman citizens do not leave me. And on that day I had no harder task, than with all my exertions to prevent violent hands being laid on the man who made that appeal. 147When we had gone before the praetor's tribunal, he deliberates, forsooth, diligently and carefully what decision he shall give; for, before I say one word, he rises from his seat and departs. And so we departed from the forum when it was now nearly evening.
The next day, the first thing in the morning, I beg of him to allow the Syracusans to give me a copy of the resolution which they had passed the day before. But he refuses, and says that it is a great shame for me to have made a speech in a Greek senate; and that, as for my having spoken in the Greek language to Greeks, that was a thing which could not be endured at all. I answered the man as I could, as I chose, and as I ought. Among other things, I recollect that I said that it was easy to be seen how great was the difference between him and the great Numidicus, the real and genuine Metellus. That that Metellus had refused to assist with his panegyric Lucius Lucullus, his sister's husband, with whom he was on the very best terms, but that he was procuring panegyrics from cities for a man totally unconnected with himself, by violence and compulsion. 148But when I understood that it was many recent messengers, and many letters, not of introduction but of credit, that had had so much influence over him, at the suggestion of the Syracusans themselves I make a seizure of those documents in which the resolutions of the senate were recorded. And now behold a fresh confusion and strife. That, however, you may not suppose that he was without any friends or connections at Syracuse, that he was entirely desolate and forsaken, a man of the name of Theomnastus, a man ridiculously crazy, whom the Syracusans call Theoractus. attempted to detain those documents; a man in such a condition, that the boys follow him, and that every one laughs at him every time he opens his mouth. But his craziness, which is ridiculous to others, was then in truth very troublesome to me. For while he was foaming at the mouth, his eyes glaring, and he crying out as loud as he could that I was attacking him with violence, we came together before the tribunal. 149Then I began to beg to be allowed to seal up and carry away the records. He spoke against me; he denied that there had been any regular resolution of the senate passed, since an appeal had been made to the praetor. He said that a copy of it ought not to be given to me. I read the act, that I was to be allowed all documents and records. He, like a crazy man as he was, urged that our laws had nothing to do with him. That intelligent praetor decided that he did not choose, as the resolution of the senate had no business ever to be ratified, to allow me to take a copy of it to Rome. Not to make a long story of it, if I had not threatened the man vigorously, if I had not read to him the provisions of the act passed in this case, and the penalties enacted by it, I should not have been allowed to have the documents. But that crazy fellow, who had declaimed against me most violently on behalf of Verres, when he found he did not succeed, in order I suppose to recover my favour, gives me a book in which all Verres's Syracusan thefts were set down, which I had already been informed of by, and had a list of from them.
150Now, then, let the Mamertines praise you, who are the only men of all that large province who wish you to get off, but let them praise you on condition that Heius, who is the chief man of that deputation, is present; let them praise you on condition that they are here, ready to reply to me on those points concerning which they are questioned. And that they may not be taken by surprise on a sudden, this is what I shall ask them:—Are they bound to furnish a ship to the Roman people? They will admit it. Have they supplied it while Verres was praetor? They will say, No. Have they built an enormous transport at the public expense which they have given to Verres? They will not be able to deny it. Has Verres taken corn from them to send to the Roman people, as his predecessor did? They will say, No. What soldiers or sailors have they furnished during those three years? They will say they furnished none at all. They will not be able to deny that Messana has been the receiver of all his plunder and all his robberies. They will confess that an immense quantity of things were exported from that city; and besides that, that this large vessel given to him by the Mamertines, departed loaded when the praetor left Sicily. 151You are welcome, then, to that panegyric of the Mamertines. As for the city of Syracuse, we see that that feels towards you as it has been treated by you; and among them that infamous Verrean festival, instituted by you, has been abolished. In truth, it was a most unseemly thing for honours such as belong to the gods to be paid to the man who had carried off the images of the gods. In truth, that conduct of the Syracusans would be deservedly reproached, If, when they had struck a most celebrated and solemn day of festival games out of their annals, because on that day Syracuse was said to have been taken by Marcellus, they should, notwithstanding, celebrate a day of festival in the name of Verres; though he had plundered the Syracusans of all which that day of disaster had left them. But observe the shamelessness and arrogance of the man, O judges, who not only instituted this disgraceful and ridiculous Verrean festival out of the money of Heraclius, but who also ordered the Marcellean festival to be abolished, in order that they might every year offer sacrifices to the man by whose means they had lost the sacred festivals which they had ever observed, and had lost their national deities, and that they might take away the festival days in honour of that family by whose means they had recovered all their other festivals.
- The Latin word is imperium. “Imperium (as opposed to Potestas) is the power which was conferred by the state upon an individual who was appointed to command an army... The imperium was as necessary for the governor of a province, as for a general who merely commanded the armies of the republic; as without it he could not exercise military authority... It was conferred by a special law, and was limited, if not by the terms in which it was conferred, at least by usage. It could not be held or exercised within the city.”—Smith, Dict. Ant. p. 508, v. Imperium.
- The Latin word in each case is potestas. “According to Paulus, potestas, as applied to a magistrate, is equivalent to imperium... But potestas is applied to magistrates who had not the imperium as, for instance, to quaestors and tribunes of the people; and potestas and imperium are often opposed in Cicero. Thus it seems that potestas, like many other Roman terms, had both a wider signification and a narrower one; in its wider signification it might mean all the power that was delegated to any person by the state, whatever might be the extent of that power; in its narrower signification, it was on the one hand equivalent to imperium and on the other, it expressed the power of these functionaries who had not the imperium.”—Smith, Dict. Ant. p. 727 v. [Potestas.
- Attalus, king of Pergamus, had been the inventor of weaving gold thread into tapestry work, and therefore tapestry with gold threads interwoven in it was called by his name.
- “Thericles was a potter in the time of Aristophanes, who made earthenware vessels of a peculiar black clay. In subsequent time, any goblets made in imitation of his, whether of wood, silver, or glass, were called Thericlean.”—Graevius.
- The Capitol had been burnt in the civil war between Marius and Sulla, and it was now being restored under the superintendence of Quintus Catulus, to whom that office had been entrusted by the senate.
- We have the same advantage as, or rather greater advantages than Cicero in this respect, for we have heard the story from our boyhood told far more beautifully than any Sicilian ever imagined it. See Ovid Fasti, iv. 419.
- Neapolis meaning “new city,” or as we might say, Newtown, from the Greek words Nea polis, as Tyche is the Greek name of Fortune—Tuchê compare with this passage the description of Syracuse given by Thucydides in his sixth and seventh books.
- The Latin is quos vectigales aut stipendiarius fuerant—“Stipendiarii and vectigales are thus distinguished: Stipendiarii are those who pay annually a fixed sum as tribute; vectigales, those who pay in proportion to their property or income.”—Riddle's Dict. v. Stipendiarius.
- Theoractus seems a sort of nickname, to indicate his insanity, being derived from Theos, God, and rhêgnumi, to break; while Theomnastas derived from Theos and memnêmai, to remember.