Chae'reas, C. Fa'nnius
seems from his name to have been of Greek extraction, and was perhaps a freedman of some C. Fannius.
He had a slave whom he entrusted to Roscius the actor for instruction in his art, and it was agreed that any profits the man might acquire should be shared between them.
The slave was murdered by one Q. Flavius, against whom accordingly an action was brought by Chaereas and Roscius for damages. Roscius obtained a farm for himself from the defendant by way of composition, and was sued by Chaereas, who insisted that he had received it for both the plaintiffs.
The matter was at first referred to arbitration, but further disputes arose, and the transaction ultimately gave occasion to the action of Chaereas against Roscius, in which the latter was defended by Cicero in a speech (pro Q. Roscio
) partially extant. We must form but a low opinion of the respectability of Chaereas if we trust the testimony of Cicero, who certainly indulges himself in the full license of an advocate, and spares neither the character nor the personal appearance of the plaintiff (See especially 100.7.)