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Let us now, in regular order, proceed to see in what way the city of Herbita, an honourable and formerly a wealthy city, was harassed and plundered by him. A city of what sort of men? Of excellent agriculturists, men most remote from courts of law, from tribunals, and from disputes; whom you, O most profligate of men, ought to have spared, whose interests you ought to have consulted, the whole race of whom you ought most carefully to have preserved. In the first year of your praetorship the tenths of that district were sold for eighteen thousand 1 medimni of wheat. When Atidius, who was also his servant in the matter of tenths, had purchased them, and when he had come to Herbita with the title of' prefect, attended by the slaves of Verres, and when a place where he might lodge had been assigned him by the public act of the city, the people of Herbita are compelled to give him as a profit thirty-seven thousand modii of wheat, when the tenths of the wheat had been sold at eighteen thousand. And they are compelled to give this vast quantity of wheat in the name of their city, since the private cultivators of the soil had already fled from their lands, having been plundered and driven away by the injuries of the collectors.

1 Orellius considers that all the figures and measures in this and the next chapter are in a state of hopeless corruption and confusion; and they are certainly not very easily reconciled with each other. The effect of the oration in general is not weakened, but we must not suppose that we have the exact statements which were addressed by Cicero to the Judges.

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load focus Notes (J. B. Greenough, G. L. Kittredge)
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    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), ACCESSIO
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