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[101] When this news was brought to him, he for a while was alarmed and agitated; he turned the blunt end of his pen 1 on to his tablets, and by so doing he overturned the whole of his cause. For he left himself nothing which could be defended by any means whatever. For if he were to urge in his defence, “It is lawful to take a charge against an absent man, no law forbids this being done in a province,” he would seem to be putting forth a faulty and worthless defence, but still it would be some sort of a defence. Lastly, he might employ that most desperate refuge, of saying, that he had acted ignorantly; that he had thought that it was lawful. And although this is the worst defence of all, still he would seem to have said something. He erases that from his tablets which he had put down, and enters “that the charge was brought against Sthenius while he was present.”

1 To turn the pen was to erase what had been written “At one end the stilus was sharpened to a point for scratching the characters on the wax, while the other end, being fat and circular served to render the surface of the tablets smooth again, and so to obliterate what had been written. Thus vertere stilum means to erase, and hence to correct”—Smith, Dict. Ant. in v. ...

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load focus Notes (J. B. Greenough, G. L. Kittredge)
load focus Latin (Albert Clark, William Peterson, 1917)
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  • Cross-references to this page (1):
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), STILUS
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