his first real appearance in politics six years later as the
prosecutor of Verres.
Verres, who had been governor of Sicily from 73 to 71 B.C., was charged
by the Sicilians with extortion and cruelty. Cicero, who conducted the
prosecution, presented the facts in such a masterly way that Hortensius, the
advocate of Verres, withdrew from the case, and Verres himself went into
exile.Plutarch, Cic. 7, 8; in Verr. 2.2.192.
4. His prosecution of Verres as well as his defense of Roscius Amerinus (80
B.C.) and of Cornelius Sulla (in 62 B.C.) have caused much discussion of
Cicero's political tendencies during this early period. All three of these
cases had a pronounced political character, and in all three Cicero was the
advocate of democratic interests. He defended Roscius against the attacks of
Sulla's favorite, during the lifetime of that champion of the aristocratic
cause. He prosecuted Verres without mercy, although Verres was
backed by the entire senatorial party, which felt that it