But so be it. Some fearless and experienced cultivator will be found, who, when he has paid the collector as much as he says is due, will seek to recover it by course of law, and will sue for the eightfold penalty. I look for the vigour of the edict, for the impartiality of the praetor; I espouse the cause of the cultivator; I wish to see Apronius condemned in the eightfold penalty. What now does the cultivator demand? Nothing but sentence for an eightfold penalty, according to the edict. What says Apronius? He is unable to object. What says the praetor? He bids him challenge the judges. Let us, says he, make out the decuries. What decuries? Those from my retinue; you will challenge the others. What? of what men is that retinue composed? Of Volusius the soothsayer, and Cornelius the physician, and the other dogs whom you see licking up the crumbs about my judgment-seat. For he never appointed any judge or recuperator 1 from the proper body. 2 He said all men who possessed one clod of earth were unfairly prejudiced against the collectors. People had to sue Apronius before these men who had not yet got rid of the surfeit from his last banquet.
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.
2 The Latin word here is conventus, which often occurs in these orations; properly it means any assembly of men, but when the Romans had reduced foreign countries into the form of provinces, it assumed a nave definite meaning. Sometimes it was applied to the whole body of Roman citizens who were either permanently or temporarily settled in a province. Also in order to facilitate the administration of justice, a province was divided into a number of districts, each of which was called conventus... Roman citizens living in a province, at certain times of the year, fixed by the proconsul, assembled in the chief town of the district, and this meeting bore the name of conventus. At this conventus litigant, parties applied to the proconsul, who selected a number of judges from the conventus to try their causes. The proconsul himself presided at the trial, and pronounced the sentence according to the views of the judges who were his assessors.—Smith, Dict. Ant in v. Conventus.
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