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quaestiones, examination (by torture) of Clodius's slaves.

urgent, i.e. is a difficult point for the defence to meet.

in atrio Libertatis: it was in this hall (probably near the present column of Trajan) that questions touching the liberation of slaves were considered, and that torture was inflicted, — not in mockery of the name, but to excite in the slave some hope of freedom.

Appius: an elder brother of Clodius.

de servis: the passage in brackets seems necessary to the sense. The exception de incestu is mentioned to bring the jest upon Clodius.

proxime, very near: i.e. by having his murder treated as sacrilege (i.e. an offence against the gods) in respect to the question of slaves. The whole passage is an argument a fortiori. If the Romans excluded enforced testimony of a master's slaves, even when the truth could be arrived at thereby, how much more should this be excluded here, where the temptation to lie was so great that no trustworthy evidence could be expected from them.

deos accessit is punningly used in two senses, — first, of his near approach to being a god (by having an offence against him treated as sacrilege); second, of his unlawful intrusion on the mysteries of the Bona Dea.

ad ipsos, i.e. in the mysteries of Bona Dea (p. 176, l. 14, note).

non quin, not but: § 540, N.3 (321, R.); B. 286,1, b; G. 541, N.2; H. 588, ii, 2 (516, 2); H-B. 535, 2, b.

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  • Commentary references from this page (1):
    • A. A. Howard, Benj. L. D'Ooge, G. L. Kittredge, J. B. Greenough, Allen and Greenough's New Latin Grammar, 540
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