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35. [85]

It was by you that the temple of Jupiter Urius, the most ancient and the most venerated of all the temples of the barbarians, was plundered. They are your crimes which the immortal gods have been avenging on our soldiers; for when they were all attacked by one kind of disease, and when no one who had once fallen sick was found to recover, no one had any doubt that it must have been the insults offered to men connected with us by ties of hospitality, and the murder of ambassadors, and the attacking of peaceful and allied tribes with wanton and wicked war, and the plundering of temples, which were the causes of this great destruction. You can recognise in such brief particulars as these the universal nature of your wickedness and cruelty. [86]

Why need I now detail the whole course of your avarice which is connected with innumerable crimes? I will just mention a few which are most notorious in a lump. Did you not after they had been paid to you from the treasury leave behind you at Rome, to be put out to usury the eighteen millions of sesterces which you had obtained under pretence of its being money for your fit out as governor of a province, but which was in reality the price for which you had sold my life?1 Did you not when the people of Apollonia had given you two hundred talents at Rome, in order, by your means, to avoid payment of their just debts,—did you not, I say, actually give up Fufidius, a Roman knight, a most accomplished man, to his debtors? Did you not when you had given up your winter quarters to your lieutenant and prefect, utterly destroy those miserable cities? which were not only drained of all their wealth, but were compelled to undergo all the unholy cruelties and excesses of your lusts. What was your method of valuing corn? or the compliment which you claimed? if, indeed, that which is extorted by violence and by fear can be called a compliment. And this conduct of yours was felt nearly equally by all, but most bitterly by the Boeotians, and Byzantines, and by the people of the Chersonesus and Thessalonica. You were the only master, you were the only valuer, you were the only seller of all the corn in the whole province for the space of three years.

1 The reader may as well be reminded that the Latin word caput, here and elsewhere translated life, means in reality, when employed, as here, in a legal sense, the civil privileges of a Roman citizen as well as his life, and they were destroyed by banishment as completely as by death.

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