Then Lucius Cotta, being asked his opinion first, said what was most worthy of the republic,—that nothing had been done respecting me justly, nothing according to the usages of our ancestors, nothing according to the laws that no one could be removed out of the city without a regular trial, that it not only was illegal for any law to be passed, but that no decision even could be come to except at the comitia centuriata, that that was all violence, a flame arising from the confusion of the republic, and the agitated state of the times, when all rights and all courts of justice were destroyed, that when a great revolution was impending, I turned aside a little, and out of hope of future tranquillity, had shunned the present waves and tempests. Wherefore, as I had when absent delivered the republic from no less serious dangers than I had previously when present, he said that it was fitting that I should not only be restored, but also complimented by the senate. He also discussed many other points with great wisdom, arguing that that most insane and profligate enemy of modesty and chastity had framed the law which he had enacted concerning me in such a manner, in such language and with such statements of fact that even if it had been legally proposed and earned still it could not have had any force. Wherefore he said, that as I was not away because of any law, I ought to be recalled not by a law but by the authority of the senate.
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THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO IN DEFENCE OF PUBLIUS SESTIUS.
THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO AGAINST PUBLIUS VATINIUS; CALLED ALSO, THE EXAMINATION OF PUBLIUS VATINIUS.
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