For the most eminent men of the state, by whose counsels I acted when I preserved the republic, and in deference to whose authority I avoided that union with Caesar to which he invited me, deny that the Julian laws, and the others which were passed during his consulship, were legally passed at all. And at the same time they say that the bill for my proscription was passed in a manner contrary to the safety of the republic, but still without any illegal disregard of the auspices. Therefore a man of the highest authority, and of the greatest eloquence, said with great positiveness that that disaster of mine was a funeral of the republic, but a funeral performed with all regular solemnity. To me myself it is altogether excessively complimentary, that my departure should be called the funeral of the republic. His other expressions I do not find any fault with, but I will assume them as a foundation for the sentiments which I feel. For if men have ventured to say that that proposition was carried in a regular manner, for which there was no precedent nor any law authorizing such a bill to be carried, merely because no one had been observing the heavens at the time, had they forgotten that, at the time that the man who carried this bill was made a plebeian by a lex curiata, it was announced that a magistrate was observing the heavens? And if it was absolutely irregular for him to be made a plebeian, how could he be made a tribune of the people? And if his tribuneship be declared valid, there is then no one of Caesar's acts which can possibly be invalid; and so, will not, not merely his tribuneship, but also other matters the most mischievous imaginable, appear to have been passed with proper regularity, if it be decided that the religious respect due to the auspices was preserved?
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THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO AGAINST PUBLIUS VATINIUS; CALLED ALSO, THE EXAMINATION OF PUBLIUS VATINIUS.
THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO ON THE SUBJECT OF THE CONSULAR PROVINCES.
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