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Though I have some political news for you, yet I don't think I have anything to tell you that you will be more glad to hear than this: I have to inform you that C. Sempronius Rufus—Rufus, your pet darling —has been convicted of vexatious prosecution with universal applause. You ask, in what case? Well, he indicted M. Tuccius (who had formerly prosecuted him) after the Roman games for illegal violence under the lex Plotia. His object was this: he saw that, unless some defendant were put on the list for trial whose case could take priority, he would have to stand his own trial this year. Moreover, he had no doubt what would happen to him. 1 This prosecution was a small favour he preferred to do to his accuser more than anyone else! Accordingly, without anyone backing his indictment, he came down into the forum and indicted Tuccius. As soon as I heard of it, I hurried without waiting for a summons to the defendant's bench. I rose, and without saying a word on the merits of the case, I showed up his whole character and career, even bringing in the matter of Vestorius, and telling the story of his having surrendered to you as a favour "whatever Vestorius held contrary to his own legal rights." 2

The following hotly contested case is also at present taking up the attention of the forum. 3 M. Servilius had, as was to be expected from his previous conduct, become utterly bankrupt, and had nothing left which he was not prepared to sell to anybody, and when he became my client had already exposed himself to the most violent scandal. But when Pausanias initiated proceedings against him for "fraudulent possession of the money" (I acting as counsel for the defence), the praetor Laterensis declined to allow the action. Then Q. Pilius, the connexion of our friend Atticus, initiated proceedings against him for extortion. Much talk at once arose about the case, and strong remarks began to be made about a conviction. Moved by this storm of popular feeling, Appius the younger laid an information as to a sum of money having been transferred from his father's estate to Servilius, and stated that 81 sestertia (about £648) had been deposited to enable him to secure the collusive failure of the prosecution. 4 You are surprised at this folly; nay, what would you have said if you had heard him conducting the case, and the admissions which he made, foolish in the extreme as far as he was himself concerned, and positively shameful as regards his father? 5 The jury called upon to consider their verdict was the same as that which had assessed the damages in the former case. The votes having turned out to be equal, Laterensis, from imperfect acquaintance with the laws, announced the verdict of each of the decuriae separately, and finally, according to the custom of the praetors, gave the decision "for the defendant." 6 After leaving the court, Servilius being thenceforth regarded as acquitted, Laterensis read the 101st clause of the law, which contains the words "The verdict of the majority of the jurors shall be good and decisive." He thereupon did not enter him on the records as acquitted, but only entered a statement of the verdict of the several decuriae. 7 Upon Appius, however, applying for a new trial, he said that he had consulted L. Lollius 8 and would record the facts. So that now, being neither acquitted nor condemned, Servilius will be at the disposal of Pilius for an action for extortion, with a reputation already damaged. For Appius, though he had already sworn that there was no collusion, did not venture to dispute the right to prosecute 9 with Pilius, and has himself had proceedings begun against him for extortion by the Servilii, besides having been indicted for violence by a creature of his own, Sextius Tettius. 10 They are a worthy pair!

As for political business, for many days past nothing at all has been done, owing to the suspense as to the arrangements to be made about the Gauls. At last, however, after frequent postponements and serious debates, and when Pompey's wishes had been clearly seen to incline in the direction of passing a decree for Caesar quitting his province after the 1st of March next, a decree of the senate was passed, which I hereby send you, and some resolutions which were reduced to writing. “

Resolutions of the Senate.

Twenty-ninth of September; in the temple of Apollo; the following assisted in drawing up the decree: L. Domitius Ahenobarbus, son of Gnaeus, of the Fabian tribe; Q. Caecilius Metellus Pius Scipio, son of Quintus, of the Fabian tribe; L. Villius Annalis, son of Lucius, of the Pomptinian tribe; C. Septimius, son of Titus, of the tribe Quirina; C. Lucilius Hirrus, son of Gaius, of the tribe Pupinia; C. Scribonius Curio, son of Gaius, of the tribe Popilia; L. Atteius Capito, son of Lucius, of the tribe Aniensis; M Eppius, son of Marcus, of the tribe Terentina.

Seeing that M Marcellus, the consul has made mention of the consular provinces, on that subject the senators have voted as follows: L. Paullus, C. Marcellus, the consuls, shall when they have entered on their office, on the first of the month of March that is about to fall within their year of office, bring the matter of the consular provinces before the senate, and shall not from the first of March bring any motion before the senate in preference thereto; nor shall anything be brought before the senate in conjunction therewith by the consuls. And for the sake of that business they shall hold meetings of the senate, comitial days notwithstanding; and shall draw up decrees of the senate. And when that business is being brought before the senate by the consuls, they may bring into the house those of the senators who are among the three hundred and sixty jurors without incurring penalties thereby. If on that matter it is necessary to bring any resolution before the people or plebs, Ser. Sulpicius and M Marcellus, the consuls, the praetors, and the tribunes of the plebs, to whichever of them it seems good, shall bring it before the people or plebs. But if they shall fail to bring it, whosoever are next in office shall bring it before people or plebs.

No one vetoed.

Twenty-ninth of September; in the temple of Apollo; the following assisted at drawing up the decree; L. Domitius Ahenobarbus, son of Gnaeus, of the Fabian tribe; Q. Caecilius Metellus Pius Scipio, son of Quintus of the Fabian tribe; L. Villius Annalis, son of Lucius, of the Pomptinian tribe; C. Septimius, son of Titus, of the tribe Quirina; C. Lucilius Hirrus, son of Gaius, of the tribe Pupinia; C. Scribonius Curio, son of Gaius, of the tribe Popilia; L. Atteius Capito, son of Lucius, of the tribe Aniensis; M Eppius, son of Marcus, of the tribe Terentina.

Seeing that M Marcellus, the consul has made mention of the consular provinces, on that subject the senators voted as follows: The senate is of opinion that none of those who have the power of vetoing or staying proceedings ought to offer any hindrance to a motion being brought before the house concerning the Republic of the Roman people, the Quirites, or a decree of the senate being made: whoso shall have so hindered or prohibited, the senate is of opinion that he has acted against the Republic. If anyone shall veto this decree, the senate orders that its resolution shall be committed to writing, and that the matter shall thereupon be brought before the senate (and people).

C. Caelius, L. Vinicius, P. Cornelius, C. Vibius Pansa, tribunes, vetoed this decree.

Ordered also by the senate concerning the soldiers now in the army of Gaius Caesar. as to those of them who have served their full time or have pleas to allege whereby they ought to be discharged, a motion shall be brought before the house to take cognizance of them and to look into their cases. If anyone vetoes this decree, ordered that the resolution be reduced to writing, and a motion brought before this house thereon.

C. Caelius, C. Pansa, tribunes, vetoed this decree of the senate.

Ordered also by the senate that into the province of Cilicia, into the eight remaining provinces administered by ex-praetors with authority of praetor, those who have been praetors and have not been to a province with imperium, such of them as in accordance with the decree of the senate are due to be sent into province as propraetors, shall be sent into provinces as by lot shall be assigned. If from the category of these, thus due to be sent into provinces, there be not sufficient in number to go into the said provinces, then from whichever in each case is the senior college of praetors who have not been to provinces, they shall in like manner go to provinces by lot.- if they are not sufficient to make up the number, then the members of the college next in order shall have their names put into the lottery, until such time as the number is made up to such number as is due to be sent into provinces. If anyone vetoes this decree of the senate, let the resolution be reduced to writing.

C. Caelius, C. Pansa, tribunes, vetoed this decree of the senate.

The following observation also of Cn. Pompeius attracted attention, and gave people a very great feeling of security, when he said that he could not, without unfairness, settle anything about Caesar's provinces before the 1st of March, but that after the 1st of March he would not hesitate. When asked, what if anyone on that date vetoed it, he said that it made no difference whether Caesar refused to obey the senate, or secured some one to prevent the senate passing a decree. "What if," said some one else, "he shall determine both to be consul and to keep his army?" To which he answered—with what mildness !—"What if my son should choose to strike me with his stick?" By such words as these he has made people think that some negotiation was going on between Pompey and Caesar. And so I think Caesar is minded to adopt one of two alternatives—either to remain in his province, and not be a candidate this next year, or, if he succeeds in getting elected, to leave his province. Curio is preparing to oppose him at every point. What he can do I don't know. I clearly see this, that if Curio keeps his wits about him, even though he effects nothing, he cannot possibly come utterly to grief. Curio treats me in a very gentlemanly way, and has forced a troublesome business on me by his present. For if he had not given me those African beasts, which had been imported for him to use at his games, the thing might have been omitted. Now, however, since give games I must, I would beg you, as I have often asked you before, to see that I have some beasts from your parts. I also commend to your attention the bond held by Sittius. I am sending my freedman Philo and the Greek Diogenes to Cilicia, to whom I have entrusted a message and a letter to you. Pray be so good as to give them, and the business on which I have sent them, your special attention. For in the letter, which I have given them for you, I have stated in detail how extremely important it is to me.

1 A prosecution de vi took precedence of one de ambitu. Therefore, if he prosecuted Tuccius for vis, Tuccius would have to wait before he could bring his accusation de ambitu. As there was no case in the accusation de vi, Sempronius was accused of bringing a vexatious action, i.e., an action not sincerely meant to be what it pretended, but begun merely for obstructive purposes. Roman games, 4th-19th September.

2 Reading and interpretation are doubtful. Apparently Cicero, as arbitrator between Sempronius and Vestorius, had decided in favour of the latter; but Sempronius, while refusing to submit, pretended to yield as a favour what (as he alleged) Vestorius was wrongfully withholding from him, the point being that he himself is in the wrong all the time.

3 The story is difficult to follow. C. Claudius Pulcher, after his praetorship of Asia (B.C. 56-53), was in B.C. 51 condemned for extortion. He either died or left Rome, and his property was not sufficient to pay the damages. Pausanias (unknown to us) asked leave to prosecute his legatus (or other official), M. Servilius, for wrongful possession of money (quo ea pecunia peroenisset), but the praetor Laterensis decided that there was no case to go into court. Then Pilius began a prosecution of him de repetundis, but this was anticipated by another by Appius (son of C. Claudius), who prosecuted him for wrongful possession, being able to make out a better prima facie case. The votes in this trial were equal, but Servilius was left in a questionable position by an irregularity of the praetor in recording the verdict. Caelius says that he is now going to be prosecuted by Pilius on the criminal charge of extortion. The young Appius had made a mess of it, had exposed his own and his father's malpractices, and was himself now being prosecuted by members of Servilius's family.

4 Praevaricatio, where the professed prosecuters voluntarily, and for corrupt motives, allow the case to go against them.

5 Because they confessed to his father having tried to get off by collusion with the prosecution, thereby acknowledging his guilt.

6 Non redigam, lit. "I will not exact the money," i.e., the money alleged to have been fraudulently received.

7 Such a record would not, on the face of it, prove acquittal, because a man might be acquitted by a small majority in two decuriae and yet be condemned by so large a majority in the third as not to have a majority of the whole jury in his favour as required by law.

8 Apparently a jurisconsult, but he is unknown.

9 Divinatio, a technical name for the trial between two or more rival claimants for the conduct of a prosecution.

10 These actions, meant to tie the hands of Appius and prevent his farther attacks on Servilius, were also probably grounded on his own revelations. He had, we may suppose, been with his father in Asia on his staff, and therefore, under the Julian law, was open to prosecution de repetundis. See Pliny, Ep. 3.9.

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