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; § 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).
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
text S. Rosc.
Defence of Roscius. ( Pro Sex. Roscio Amerino ) B.C. 80.
Roscius had not only no motive to commit the crime, but no means of committing it. Erucius is challenged to tell how Roscius could himself have killed his father or could have procured his death through others.
The sale of the property of the elder Roscius was illegal and his proscription in every way irregular. For this act Chrysogonus is to be blamed, not Sulla for Sulla was necessarily so much occupied with affairs of state that details of this kind escaped his attention.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.