And if Publius Sestius had then yielded up, in the temple of Castor, that life which he hardly retained, I have no doubt that if only the senate had continued to exist and if the majesty of the Roman people had ever recovered, a statue would at some future time have been erected to him in the forum, as to a man who had been slain in the cause of the republic. Nor, indeed, would any one of those men to whom you see that statues after their death have been erected by our ancestors in that place in the rostra, deserve to be thought more of than Publius Sestius, either as respects the cruelty of their death, or their attachment to the republic: if, when he had undertaken the cause of a citizen oppressed by undeserved misfortune,—the cause of a friend,—the cause of a man who had done great services to the republic,—the cause of the senate, the cause of Italy, the cause of the republic; and when, in obedience to the requirements of religion and to the auspices, he had given notice to the magistrates of what omens he had observed, he had been slain by those impious pests of their country in the light of day, openly, within the sight of gods and men, in a most holy temple, in a most holy cause, and while invested with a most holy magistracy. Will any one, then, say that the life of that man ought to be stripped of its proper dignity and honour, when you would have thought his death entitled to the honour of an everlasting monument?
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO IN DEFENCE OF PUBLIUS SESTIUS.
THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO AGAINST PUBLIUS VATINIUS; CALLED ALSO, THE EXAMINATION OF PUBLIUS VATINIUS.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.