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Here the "argument from probability" is very skillfully carried out. In sect. 22 Cicero draws such a contrast between the nature of the crime and the character of the defendant as to appeal powerfully to the imagination of the jury as well as to their reason, Describing briefly and vividly the three types of men who might be recognized as likely to commit such a murder (the weak-minded stripling led astray by evil companions, the hardened cut-throat, the ruined debauchee), he points to the life and character of Roscius as having nothing in common with any of these. This leads up at once to the question of motive: if Roscius's character was so little suited to the crime, the motive must have been extraordinarily powerful ; but no motive at all has been shown (sect. 23).

patrem, etc.: to preserve the emphasis we may render a parricide has been committed by Sex. Roscius.

qui homo? what sort of man (is it who has committed such a crime) ?

adulescentulus: the diminutive suggests a weak stripling led astray (inductus) ; the defendant was, in fact, a man of forty.

nequam, with hominibus.

major: anomalous for the more usual plus or amplius; ยง 407, c (247, c); B. 217, 3; G. 311, R.4; H.471, 4 (417, I, N.2) ; H.-B 416, d.

vetus (emphatic), old (in the sense of the English derivative inveterate).

videlicet, no doubt, of course.

de luxuria: for constr. see note on de parricidio (p. 8, l. 7).

cuiquam: words in italics are not in the manuscripts, but are supplied by modern scholars (from conjecture) as being necessary to the construction or the sense.

objecit: the accuser had made it a point in his argument that the defendant was of a morose temper, shunning all society and burying himself in the country. Cicero deftly turns these assertions to the advantage of his client.

officio, sense of duty, and consequent discharge of it; especially used with reference to filial duty (pietas).


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hide References (3 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (3):
    • Cicero, For Sextus Roscius of Ameria, 22
    • Cicero, For Sextus Roscius of Ameria, 23
    • A. A. Howard, Benj. L. D'Ooge, G. L. Kittredge, J. B. Greenough, Allen and Greenough's New Latin Grammar, 407
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