Then indeed those decisions of the senatorial body, branded with no imaginary odium, but with real and conspicuous infamy, covered with disgrace and ignominy, would have left no room for any defence of them. For what answer could these judges make if any one asked of them, “You have condemned Scamander; of what crime? Because, forsooth, he attempted to murder Habitus by poison, by the agency of the slave of the doctor. What was Scamander to gain by the death of Habitus? Nothing; but he was the agent of Oppianicus. You have condemned Caius Fabricius; why so? Because, as he himself was exceedingly intimate with Oppianicus, and as his freedman had been detected in the very act, it was not proved that he was entirely ignorant of his design.” If, then, they had acquitted Oppianicus himself, after he had been twice condemned by their own decisions, who could have endured such infamy on the part of the tribunals, such inconsistency in judicial decisions, and such caprice on the part of the judges?
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THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO IN DEFENCE OF AULUS CLUENTIUS HABITUS.
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