After that flight, the witness of his crime, and of his consciousness of it, he never ventured to commit himself to the protection of a court of justice, or of the laws,—he never dared to trust himself unarmed among his enemies; but at the time when violence was stalking abroad, after the victory of Lucius Sulla, he came to Larinum with a body of armed men, to the great alarm of all the citizens; he carried off the quatuorviri, 1 whom the citizens of that municipality had elected; he said that he and three others had been appointed by Sulla; and he said that he received orders from him to take care that that Aurius who had threatened him with prosecution and with danger to his life, and the other Aurius, and Caius Aurius his son, and Sextus Vibius, whom he was said to have employed as his agent in corrupting the man who had given the information, were proscribed and put to death. Accordingly, when they had been most cruelly murdered, the rest were ale thrown into no slight fear of proscription and death by that circumstance. When these things had been made manifest at the trial, who is there who can think it possible that he should have been acquitted?
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THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO IN DEFENCE OF AULUS CLUENTIUS HABITUS.
1 “The highest magistrates of a colonia were the decemviri or quatuorviri, so called as the numbers might vary, whose functions may be compared with those of the consulate at Rome, before the establishment of the praetorship. Their principal duties were the administration of justice.”—Smith, Dict. Ant. p. 259, v. Colonia.
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