5. For as the returns of Appius were said to have been kept carelessly, and as the trifling conduct of Gabinius, before he was convicted, and his misfortune after his condemnation, had taken away all credit from the public registers, Metellus, the most scrupulous and moderate of all men, was so careful, that he came to Lucius Lentulus, the praetor, and to the judges, and said that he was greatly vexed at an erasure which appeared in one name. In these documents, therefore, you will see no erasure affecting the name of Aulus Licinius.  And as this is the case, what reason have you for doubting about his citizenship, especially as he was enrolled as a citizen of other cities also? In truth, as men in Greece were in the habit of giving rights of citizenship to many men of very ordinary qualifications, and endowed with no talents at all, or with very moderate ones, without any payment, it is likely, I suppose, that the Rhegians, and Locrians, and Neapolitans, and Tarentines should have been unwilling to give to this man, enjoying the highest possible reputation for genius, what they were in the habit of giving even to theatrical artists. What, when other men, who not only after the freedom of the city had been given, but even after the passing of the Papian law, crept somehow or other into the registers of those municipalities, shall he be rejected who does not avail himself of those other lists in which he is enrolled, because he always wished to be considered a Heraclean?  You demand to see our own censor's returns. I suppose no one knows that at the time of the last census he was with that most illustrious general, Lucius Lucullus, with the army; that at the time of the preceding one he was with the same man when he was in Asia as quaestor; and that in the census before that, when Julius and Crassus were censors, no regular account of the people was taken. But, since the census does not confirm the right of citizenship, but only indicates that he, who is returned in the census, did at that time claim to be considered as a citizen, I say that, at that time, when you say, in your speech for the prosecution, that he did not even himself consider that he had any claim to the privileges of a Roman citizen, he more than once made a will according to our laws, and he entered upon inheritances left him by Roman citizens; and he was made honourable mention of by Lucius Lucullus, both as praetor and as consul, in the archives kept in the treasury.
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THE SPEECH OF M. T. CICERO FOR AULUS LICINIUS ARCHIAS, THE POET
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