5.  I understand, O judges, that this whole accusation is divided into three parts, and that one of them refers to find my fault with Murena's habits of life, another to his contest for the dignity, and a third to charges of bribery and corruption. And of these three divisions, that first which ought to have been the weightiest of all, was so weak and trifling, that it was rather some general rule of accusing, than any real occasion for finding fault, which prompted them to say anything about the way of life of Lucius Murena. For Asia has been mentioned as a reproach to him, which was not sought by him for the sake of pleasure and luxury, but was traversed by him in the performance of military labours; but if he while a young man had not served under his father when general, he would have seemed either to have been afraid of the enemy, or of the command of his father, or else to have been repudiated by his father. Shall we say that, when all the sons who wear the praetexta 1 are accustomed to sit on the chariot of those who are celebrating a triumph, this man ought to have shunned adorning the triumph of his father with military gifts, so as almost to share his fathers triumph for exploits which they had performed in common?  But this man, O judges, both was in Asia and was a great assistance to that bravest of men his own father in his dangers, a comfort to him in his labours a source of congratulation to him in his victory. And if Asia does carry with it a suspicion of luxury, surely it is a praiseworthy thing, not never to have seen Asia, but to have lived temperately in Asia. So that the name of Asia should not have been objected to Lucius Murena, a country whence renown was derived for his family, lasting recollection for his race, honour and glory for his name, but some crime or disgrace, either incurred in Asia, or brought home from Asia. But to have served campaigns in that war which was not only the greatest, but the only war which the Roman people was waging at that time, is a proof of valour; to have served most willingly under his father, who was commander-in-chief, is a proof of piety; that the end of his campaign was the victory and triumph of his father, is a proof of good fortune. There is, therefore, no room in these matters for speaking ill of him, because praise takes up the whole room.
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
THE ORATION OF M. T. CICERO IN DEFENCE OF L. MURENA, PROSECUTED FOR BRIBERY.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.