Take away this hope, take away this protection from Roman citizens, establish the fact that there is no assistance to be found in the words “I am a Roman citizen;” that a praetor, or any other officer, may with impunity order any punishment he pleases to be inflicted on a man who says that he is a Roman citizen, though no one knows that it is not true; and at one blow, by admitting that defence; you cut off from the Roman citizens all the provinces, all the kingdoms, all free cities, and indeed the whole world, which has hitherto been open most especially to our countrymen. But what shall be said if he named Lucius Pretius, a Roman knight, who was at that time living in Sicily as a trader, as a man who would vouch for him? Was it a very great undertaking to send letters to Panormus? to keep the man? to detain him in prison, confined in the custody of your dear friends the Mamertines, till Pretius came from Panormus? Did he know the man? Then you might remit some part of the extreme punishment. Did he not know him? Then, if you thought fit, you might establish this law for all people, that whoever was not known to you, and could not produce a rich man to vouch for him, even though he were a Roman citizen, was still to be crucified.
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
The first oration against Verres.
THE FIRST BOOK OF THE SECOND PLEADING AGAINST CAIUS VERRES.
THE SECOND BOOK OF THE SECOND PLEADING AGAINST CAIUS VERRES.
THE THIRD BOOK OF THE SECOND PLEADING IN THE ACCUSATION AGAINST CAIUS VERRES.
THE FOURTH BOOK OF THE SECOND PLEADING IN THE PROSECUTION OF VERRES.
The Fifth Book of the Second Pleading in the Prosecution against Verres.
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