But the cause of the Roman people, the laws of the state, all the property, fortune, and possessions of every one will again become uncertain and doubtful. This will be established, this will be settled by your authority; that, if you hereafter have a dispute with any one about ownership, if you drive him away when he has once entered on his property, you must make restitution; but if, as he is coming to enter, you meet him with an armed multitude and repel him, put him to flight, and heat him off while still only on his road, then you shall not make restitution. Then you will establish this principle as law and justice, that violence can only exist where there is murder, that it has nothing to do with the intention or the will; that, unless blood be spilt, there has been no violence offered; that it is wrong to say that a man has been driven away, who has been prevented from entering; that no man can be driven away except from a place where he has planted his footsteps.
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
THE ORATION OF M. T. CICERO IN BEHALF OF AULUS CAECINA.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.