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[8] But why am I borne on so impetuously? I shall in a moment be refuted by one word. “I bought it,” says he. O ye immortal gods, what a splendid defence! we sent a broker into the province with military command and with the forces, to buy up all the statues, all the paintings, all the silver plate and gold plate, and ivory, and jewels, and to leave nothing to any body. For this defence seems to me to be got ready for everything; that he bought them. In the first place, if I should grant to you that which you wish, namely, that you bought them, since against all this class of accusations you are going to use this defence alone, I ask what sort of tribunals you thought that there would be at Rome, if you thought that any one would grant you this, that you in your praetorship and in your command 1 bought up so many and such valuable things,—everything, in short, which was of any value in the whole province.

1 The Latin word is imperium. “Imperium (as opposed to Potestas) is the power which was conferred by the state upon an individual who was appointed to command an army.... The imperium was as necessary for the governor of a province, as for a general who merely commanded the armies of the republic; as without it he could not exercise military authority.... It was conferred by a special law, and was limited, if not by the terms in which it was conferred, at least by usage. It could not be held or exercised within the city.”—Smith, Dict. Ant. p. 508, v. Imperium.

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load focus Notes (J. B. Greenough, G. L. Kittredge)
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