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I beseech you, O Caius Aquillius, and you the assessors in this suit, to observe carefully, in order that you may be able to understand the singular nature of this fraud, and the new method of trickery employed. [23] He says that he had had a sale by auction in Gaul; that he had sold what he thought fit; that he had taken care that the partnership should owe him nothing; that he would have no more to do with summoning any one, or with giving security; if Quinctius had any business to transact with him, he had no objection. He, as he was desirous to revisit his farm in Gaul, does not summon the man at present; so he departs without giving security. After that, Quinctius remains at Rome about thirty days. He gets any securities which he had given other people respited, so as to be able to go without hindrance into Gaul. [24] He goes; he leaves Rome on the twenty-ninth of January, in the Consulship of Scipio and Norbanus;—I beg of you to remember the day. Lucius Albius the son of Sextus of the Quirine tribe, a good man and of the highest reputation for honour, set out with him. When they had come to the place called the fords of Volaterra, they see a great friend of Naevius, who was bringing him some slaves from Gaul to be sold, Lucius Publicius by name, who when he arrived in Rome told Naevius in what place he had seen Quinctius; and unless this had been told Naevius by Publicius, the matter would not so soon have come to trial. [25] Then Naevius sends his slaves round to his friends; he summons himself all his associates from the halls of Licinius and from the jaws of the shambles, and entreats them to come to the booth of Sextus by the second hour of the next day. They come in crowds; he makes oath that Publius Quinctius has not appeared to his bail, and that he has appeared to his. A long protest to this effect is sealed with the seals of noble men. They depart: Naevius demands of Burrienus the praetor, that by his edict he may take possession of Quinctius's goods. 1 He urged the confiscation of the property of that man with whom he had had intimacy, with whom he actually was in partnership, between whom and himself there was a relationship, which while his children lived could not possibly be annulled. [26] From which act it could easily be perceived that there is no bond so holy and solemn, that avarice is not in the habit of weakening and violating it. In truth, if friendship is kept up by truth, society by good faith, relationship by affection, it is inevitable that he who has endeavoured to despoil his friend, his partner, and his relation of fame and fortune, should confess himself worthless and perfidious and impious. [27] Sextus Alphenus, the agent of Publius Quinctius, the intimate friend and relation of Sextus Naevius, tears down the bills; carries off one little slave whom Naevius had laid hold of; gives notice that he is the agent, and that it is only fair that that fellow should consult the fame and fortunes of Publius Quinctius, and await his arrival. But if he would not do so, and believed that by such methods he could bring him into the conditions which he proposed, then he asked nothing as a favour, and if Naevius chose to go to law, he would defend him at the trial. [28] While this is being done at Rome, meantime Quinctius, contrary to law and to custom, and to the edicts of the praetors, is driven by force by the slaves which belonged to both him and Naevius, as partners, from their common lands and estates.

1 If either party did not appear on the appointed day, he was said vadimonium deserere, and the praetor gave to the other party the bonorum possessio. Vide Smith's Dict. Ant. p. 9. v. Actio.

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