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11. The skill of the argument in sects. 32-50 is remarkable. Cicero contrives, without directly asserting that Hortensius is guilty of judicial corruption, to suggest that he is in a measure responsible for its prevalence. He declares his intention of devoting his aedileship to exposing such practices, and adds that he expects to be opposed by Hortensius. He calls attention to several notorious cases of bribery which he means to use as illustrations in pressing his reforms. Then, in a moment, he makes it clear, by a sudden turn, that he has not been digressing, but simply accumulating force for his main point: "How shall I feel," he asks suddenly (sect. 40), "if I find this present case of Verres added to the long list of instances of corruption? His guilt is clear: it is the court that is on trial!" In this way what appears at the outset to be a personal attack on the opposing counsel is made a most effective means for the introduction of the central point of the whole oration.



legitimo tempore: he had a right to use twenty days for developing the points of the prosecution.

capiam,i.e. by showing, in a long speech, how carefully he had prepared his case.

ne elabatur, withpericulum est,which takes the constr. of a verb of fearing.

possit:see § 535, a (320, a); B. 283, 2; G. 631, 2; H. 591 (503, i); H.-B 521, I.


perpetua oratione, a continuous argument, before bringing up the witnesses. This is what we possess in the five speeches of the Accusatio, which, in the usual order of proceeding, would have been delivered before bringing up the witnesses, but which were in fact never spoken at all (see Introd. to the oration, page 28).

percipi,reaped: the regular term for gathering crops.

potuit, might have been: § 517, c (308, c); B. 304, 3, a; G. 597, R.3; H. 583 (511, 1, N.3); H.-B. 582, 3,a.

publicis:see note on p. 35, l. 23.

tabulis,records.

auctoritatibus, documents.

res omnis:here, after stating his plan briefly, Cicero goes off into a seeming digression against Hortensius. In this he shows clearly one of his principal motives in undertaking the prosecution, namely, to overthrow the latter's excessive control of the courts. The attack is skillfully introduced. His sole reason, he says, for departing from the ordinary course of procedure is that Hortensius does not wish to meet him in fair legal fight. The sally against Hortensius, again, serves as a transition to Cicero's final appeal to the sense of shame and the prudence of the court.

diluendis, explicandis:technical terms in argument (see Vocab.).

ex tua nature:Hortensius, like M. Metullus, was personally an amiable and honorable man, though pledged to a bad cause.

rationi,scheme, course, looking to the method; consilio,plan of action, looking to the end. Cicero contrasts them more than once.


binos ludos,i.e. Pompey's and the Roman games.

comperendinem,close my case (lit. adjourn over). After the testimony was all in, it was customary to adjourn over to the next day but one (comperendinare), in order to give opportunity for a rehearing (usually a brief one). When this stage had been reached, there was no chance for further postponement. Cicero's determination to bring about a comperendinatio before Pompey's games—i.e. within ten days settled the case in his favor; for, as has been shown, the only hope of the defence lay in putting off the trial, Hortensius having absolutely nothing to say in behalf of his client's innocence.

necessarium, unavoidable (not a mere shrewd trick like that of Hortensius).


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hide References (5 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (5):
    • Cicero, Against Verres, 1.1.32
    • Cicero, Against Verres, 1.1.40
    • Cicero, Against Verres, 1.1.50
    • A. A. Howard, Benj. L. D'Ooge, G. L. Kittredge, J. B. Greenough, Allen and Greenough's New Latin Grammar, 517
    • A. A. Howard, Benj. L. D'Ooge, G. L. Kittredge, J. B. Greenough, Allen and Greenough's New Latin Grammar, 535
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