That which, in even the least offences and in the more trifling crimes, which are more frequent and of almost daily occurrence, is asked most earnestly and as the very first question, namely what motive there was for the offence; that Erucius does not think necessary to be asked in a case of parricide. A charge which, O judges, even when many motives appear to concur, and to be connected with one another, is still not rashly believed, nor is such a case allowed to depend on slight conjecture, nor is any uncertain witness listened to, nor is the matter decided by the ability of the accuser. Many crimes previously committed must be proved, and a most profligate life on the part of the prisoner, and singular audacity, and not only audacity, but the most extreme frenzy and madness. When all these things are proved, still there must exist express traces of the crime: where, in what manner, by whose means, and at what time the crime was committed. And unless these proofs are numerous and evident—so wicked, so atrocious, so nefarious a deed cannot be believed.
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THE ORATION FOR SEXTUS ROSCIUS OF AMERIA.
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