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14. [40]

What more? Did not your father, O Oppianicus, beyond all question, murder your grandmother Dinea, whose heir you are? who, when he had brought to her his own physician, a well-tried man and often victorious, (by whose means indeed he had slain many of his enemies,) exclaimed that she positively would not be attended by that man, through whose attention she had lost all her friends. Then immediately he goes to a man of Ancona, Lucius Clodius, a travelling quack, who had come by accident at that time to Larinum, and arranges with him for four hundred sesterces, as was shown at the time by his account-books. Lucius Clodius, being a man in a hurry, as he had many more market towns to visit, did the business off-hand, as soon as he was introduced; he took the woman off with the first draught he gave her, and did not stay at Larinum a moment afterwards. [41] When this Dinea was making her will, Oppianicus, who was her son-in-law, having taken the papers, effaced the legacies she bequeathed in it with his finger; and as he had done this in many places, after her death, being afraid of being detected by all those erasures, he had the will copied over again, and had it signed and sealed with forged seals. I pass over many things on purpose. And indeed I fear lest I may appear to have said too much as it is. But you must suppose that he has been consistent with himself in every other transaction of his life. All the senators 1 of Larinum decided that he had tampered with the public registers of the censors of that city. No one would have any account with him; no one would transact any business with him. Of all the connections and relations that he had, no one ever left him guardian to his children. No one thought him fit to call on, or to meet in the street, or to talk to, or to dine with. [42] All men shunned him with contempt and hatred,—all men avoided him as some inhuman and mischievous beast or pestilence. Still, audacious, infamous, guilty as he was, Habitus, O judges, would never have accused him, if he had been able to avoid doing so without danger to his own life. Oppianicus was his enemy; still he was his step-father: his mother was cruel to him and hated him; still she was his mother. Lastly, no one was ever so disinclined to prosecutions as Cluentius was by nature, by disposition, and by the constant habits of his life. But as he had this alternative set before him, either to accuse hint, as he was bound to do by justice and piety, or else to be miserably and wickedly murdered himself, he preferred accusing him any way he could, to dying in that miserable manner. [43]

And that you may have this thoroughly proved to you, I will relate to you the crime of Oppianicus, as it was clearly detected and proved, from which you will see both things, both that my client could not avoid prosecuting him, and that he could not possibly escape being convicted.

1 The term in the original is decuriones. In the colonies “the name of the senate was ordo decurionum, in later times simply ordo or curia, the members of it were decuriones or curiales. Thus in the later ages, curia is opposed to senatus, the former being the senate of a colony, and the latter the senate of Rome.”—Smith, Dict. Ant. p. 259. v. Colonia.

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