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[31] But if this also be added, that the praetor assigns the trial to take place according to such a formula, that even Lucius Octavius Balbus, if he were judge, (a man of the greatest experience in all that belongs to the law and to the duties of a judge,) could not decide otherwise: suppose it ran in this way:—“Let Lucius Octavius be the judge; if it appears that the farm at Capena, which is in dispute, belongs, according to the law of the Roman people, to Publius Servilius, that farm must be restored to Quintus Catulus,” will not Lucius Octavius be bound, as judge, to compel Publius Servilius to restore the farm to Quintus Catulus, or to condemn him whom he ought not to condemn? The whole praetorian law was like that; the whole course of judicial proceedings in Sicily was like that for three years, while Verres was praetor. His decrees were like this:—“If he does not accept what you say that you owe, accuse him; if he claims anything, take him to prison.”

He ordered Caius Fuficius, who claimed something, to be taken to prison; so he did Lucius Suetius and Lucius Rucilius. His tribunals he formed in this way:—those who were Roman citizens were to be judges, when Sicilians ought to have been, according to their laws, those who were Sicilians were to be judges, when Romans 1 should have been.

1 The text here is very much disputed, and is probably wholly corrupt. I have endeavoured to give what is certainly the general sense intended to be conveyed, though it can scarcely be extracted from the Latin Graevius reads,...“Si Siculi essent, tum si eorum legibus...” printing it all in large letters, as if they were the words of a decree of Verres.

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load focus Notes (J. B. Greenough, G. L. Kittredge)
load focus Latin (Albert Clark, William Peterson, 1917)
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  • Cross-references to this page (2):
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), AC´TIO
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), FI´CTIO
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