vero: in reference to the statement at the beginning of sect. 12. hanc quaestionem, this special court cujus: observe that the relative precedes the antecedent (ejus), as often in Latin. There is no antecedent noun ("man," "person") expressed. de illo incesto stupro, that incestuous outrage: this refers to a frightful scandal when the mysteries of the Bona Dea (a rite held solely by women) were profaned by Clodius's introducing himself in female attire. The mysteries were being held at the official residence of Caesar, then pontifex maximus, and the latter's wife Pompeia was thought to have connived at the intrusion. Caesar affected to believe no harm, but presently divorced Pompeia, with the famous remark that "Caesar's wife must be above suspicion." Being brought to trial, Clodius tried to prove an alibi, but this attempt was frustrated, in part by the testimony of Cicero. A corrupt jury acquitted Clodius, but he never forgave Cicero for appearing as a witness against him. erepta: a special investigation had been ordered on account of the religious importance of the case; hence the decision was taken away from the Senate. cur igitur, etc.: Cicero puts himself for the moment in the place of the other side and himself asks the question which an objector might put. He answers this question in quia nulla, etc. (1.19). incendium curiae: see note on sect. 12 (p. 176, 1. I), above. Lepidi: after the death of Clodius, M. Aemilius Lepidus (afterwards triumvir with Octavianus and Antony) had been appointed interrex, a formality necessary to give regularity to the forms of election when there were no consuls (see Introd. to this Oration, p.170 of text). In the disorders that followed his house was stormed and plundered by the mob. non contra, [which is] not, etc.
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