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3. [5]

The soldiers of the Roman people have been taken prisoners, put to death, abandoned, and dispersed in a most miserable manner. They have been wasted away by neglect, by famine, by disease, by every sort of disaster; so that (and it is a most scandalous thing) the wickedness of the general appears
* * *to have been chastised by the punishment of the fatherland and the army. And this Macedonia, as all the neighbouring nations had been subdued, and all the barbarians checked, we used to be able to preserve by its own resources, in a peaceable state, and in perfect tranquillity, with a very slight garrison, and a small army, even without a commander-in-chief, by means of lieutenants, and by the bare name of the Roman people. And yet now, when there is a man there with consular command and a consular army, it is so harassed that it is scarcely able to recruit its strength by a peace of any duration. And in the meantime who is there of you who has not heard and who does not know that the Achaeans are every year paying a vast sum to Lucius Piso? that all the revenues and harbour duties of the Dyrrachians have been converted to a source of profit for this one man? that the city of the Byzantines, a city most loyal to you and to this empire, is harassed as if it belonged to an enemy? to which city he, after he could no longer squeeze anything out of them, because of the poverty to which he had reduced them, and could not by any acts of violence extort anything more from them, miserable as they were, sent his cohorts into winter quarters, and gave them commanders whom he thought likely to be his most complying and diligent agents in wickedness, and ministers to his desires.

[6] I say nothing of the way in which he exercised his jurisdiction in a free city contrary to the laws and to the resolutions of the senate. I pass over his murders, I omit all mention of his acts of lust; of which there is a most bitter token, for the lasting recollection of his infamy, and almost bringing even our sovereignty into just odium, in the fact that it is notorious that some virgins of the noblest birth threw themselves into wells, and by a voluntary death escaped from otherwise inevitable disgrace. Nor do I omit them now because they are not most enormous atrocities, but because I am speaking without the support of any witnesses.

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