I think, O judges, that it is proved plainly enough, that Oppianicus was prosecuted on such accusations that it was absolutely impossible for him to be honestly acquitted. Now I will show you that he was brought before the courts as a criminal, in such a way that he came before them already condemned, as there had been more than one or even two previous investigations of his case. For Cluentius, O judges, in the first instance, accused that man in whose hands he had seized the poison. That was Scamander, the freedman of the Fabricii. The Bench was honest. There was no suspicion of the judges having been bribed. A plain case, a well-proved fact, an undeniable charge was brought before the court. So then this Fabricius, the man whom I have mentioned already seeing that, if his freedman were condemned, he himself would be in danger, because he knew that I lived in the neighbourhood of Aletrinum, and was very intimate with many of the citizens of that place, brought a number of them to me: who, although they had that opinion of the man which they could not help having, still, because he was of the same municipality as themselves, thought it concerned their dignity to defend him by what means they could; and they begged of me that I would do so, and that I would undertake the cause of Scamander; and on his cause all the safety of his master depended.
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THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO IN DEFENCE OF AULUS CLUENTIUS HABITUS.
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