Let us see this first, on what pretence the property of that man was sold, or how they could be sold. And I will not put this question, O judges, so as to imply that it is a scandalous thing for the property of an innocent man to be sold at all. For if these things are to be freely listened to and freely spoken, Sextus Roscius was not a man of such importance in the state as to make us complain of his fortune more than of that of others. But I ask this, how could they be sold even by that very law which is enacted about prescriptions, whether it be the Valerian 1 or Cornelian law,—for neither know nor understand which it is—but by that very law itself how could the property of Sextus Roscius be sold?
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THE ORATION FOR SEXTUS ROSCIUS OF AMERIA.
1 Valerius Flaccus had been created Interrex on the death of the two consuls, Marius and Carbo. He appointed Sulla dictator, and passed a law that whatever Sulla had done should be ratified; so that Cicero's meaning here is, that he does not know which was the nominal author of the law he is quoting, Valerius or Sulla.
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