When Sicily was harassed in the Carthaginian wars, and afterwards, in our fathers' and our own recollection, when great bands of fugitive slaves twice occupied the province, still there was no destruction of the cultivators of the soil; then, if the sowing was hindered, or the crop lost, the yearly revenue was lost too, but the number of owners and cultivators of the land remained undiminished. Then those officers who succeeded the praetors Marcus Laevinus, or Publius Rupilius, or Marcus Aquillius in that province, had not to collect the cultivators who were left. Did Verres and Apronius bring so much more distress on the province of Sicily than either Hasdrubal with his army of Carthaginians, or Athenio with his numerous bands of runaway slaves, that in those times, as soon as the enemy was subdued, all the land was ploughed, and the praetor had not to send letters to beg the cultivator to come to him, and entreat him to sow as much land as he could; but now, even after the departure of this most ill-omened pestilence, no one could be found who would till his land of his own free-will; and very few were left to return to their farms and their own familiar household gods, even when urged by the authority of Lucius Metellus?
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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