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XLVIII. haec, the present regime. queruntur, etc. : in one sense Cicero himself is making this complaint ; but he means that those who merely complain of Chrysogonus' power as an existent fact, only arouse discontent at the system under which that power has grown up ; while those who dispute his right to such power commend the present regime, for they imply that his power is not the legal outcome of it. The point of the sentence is that the jurors are to give such a verdict as implies concessum ei non esse. nihil est quod, there is no reason why . . . improbus, shameless as in §§ 130, 142; Verr. 2. 4. 3, improbissima ratione, in the most shameless manner. decrevissem refers here less to magistrates than to senators, since decernere was said not only of decrees passed by the Senate as a body, but also of the proposals or motions of individual senators. Indicassem, in the capacity of a juror.
magistratus creavit. In 82 B.c. Sulla was appointed dictator on the motion of the interrex L. Valerius Flaccus ; but he caused consuls to be chosen for the next year, in order to carry out his changes under constitutional forms. leges ; referring partly to the constitution and the administration, partly to judicial matters, leges iudiciariae : see Mommsen, Rom. Hist. 3. p.349. procuratio, official activity, action. ne ominis quidem causa ; ne reiterates nolo, as it does nihil in § 38. Cf. § 22, neminem note. I am unwilling--on the mere ground of its being a bad omen I am unwilling--to say anything too severe against them. The mere mention of a thing was looked on as a possible omen of its happening ; cf. Phil. 4. 10, quibus Antonius (o di immortales avertite . . . hoc omen) urbem se divisurum promisit. "Ne ut ominari quidem male in eos videar, nedum quod iis grave aliquid imprecer." Manutius. nostri illi nobiles (with a hint of sarcasm), our illustrious aristocracy. vigilantes, on the alert, as opposed to iners, ignavus ; cf. de Imp. Pomp. 2 ; fortes, courageous, steadfast, to resist all unlawful claims. haec, Sc. vigilantia, etc. ornamenta ; i.e. distinctions, positions of honour, hitherto the prerogative of their rank. necesse est : a true prophecy. Ten years later, B.C. 70, the senators lost their exclusive judicial privileges.
male, disloyally. cum Chrysogono, shortly for cum Chrysogoni causa : cf. in Vatin. 41, etiam illud dixeris, causam Milonis coniunctam cum hoc existimari. equestrem splendorem. Since the time of C. Gracchus the great cause of ill-will between the nobles and the equites was the iudicia, which had been restored by Sulla to the ordo senatorius. In the civil war the equites had been for the most part opposed to Sulla, who afterwards took terrible revenge. servi, ironically for liberti ; viz. Chrysogonus. quam nam . . . adfectet; possibly a quotation from a poet. Munitare (intensive from munire) only occurs here : the phrase iter ad aliquid adfectare is common in Plautus ; it is used again by Cicero, de Lege Agr. 1.5. ad fidem = its aim is to deal a blow at your good faith . . . ad ius jurandum: see § 8, note.
hoc=hoc re, propterea quod verear, subjunctive as being the unreal reason. ausus est, was so daring. speravit sese . . . valiturum, hoped he would have influence. Another reading is speravit se . . . posse (mark the difference of tense), hoped he possessed influence. expectata nobilitas, our long looked-for nobles i.e. while Sulla was away and his party were not in power.
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