quantum, so far as (adverbial acc.). quid igitur est? how then? primo quoque tempore, the very first opportunity (i.e that which the present case affords) since the violence and disorder of the Civil War. exstinguere debetis: the courts had just been restored by Sulla after a long interval of lawlessness, and the case of Roscius was the first to come before the reorganized Quaestio inter Sicarios. There was a general feeling that the courts ought to do something at once, a feeling that might well be prejudicial to the defendant even though he was innocent. To remove this prejudice Cicero (1) suggests that the conspirators relied on it in bringing their iniquitous charge (sect. 18: ita loqui homines . . . esset), and (2) shows that an acquittal, by rebuking the effrontery and violence of men like Chrysogonus and his confederates, would do much to restore law and order.
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text S. Rosc.
Defence of Roscius. ( Pro Sex. Roscio Amerino ) B.C. 80.
Roscius had not only no motive to commit the crime, but no means of committing it. Erucius is challenged to tell how Roscius could himself have killed his father or could have procured his death through others.
The sale of the property of the elder Roscius was illegal and his proscription in every way irregular. For this act Chrysogonus is to be blamed, not Sulla for Sulla was necessarily so much occupied with affairs of state that details of this kind escaped his attention.
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