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XXXV. etiamne asks an indignant question. nonne, etc. The passage is cited by the rhetorician Aquila Romanus, de Fig. Sent. § 13, as an example of διατύπωσις (descriptio or deformatio), i.e. graphic or dramatic style of narrative : cf. de Orat. 3. 202, rerum quasi gerantur sub aspectum paene subiectio. The effect is heightened by the rapid succession of questions. ignarum, without a suspicion of : pro Planc. § 40, me ignaro, necopinante, inscio. Automedontem, the charioteer of Achilles, figurative term for a swift driver ; cf. Suvenal, 1. 61. Iliad 16. 684 ; 17. 459, etc. honoris causa, from personal regard for him (the French en egard) ; ironically for the simple sua causa, as in § 132.
Quid erat . . . What reason was there for his wishing . . . ? nisi hoc = hoc tamen. Nisi here is nearly equivalent to sed ; instances are frequent in the comic poets : cf. Pl. Rud. 751, nescio nisi scio ; Ter. Eun. 827, nescio nisi credo.
palmas : see § 17, note. lemniscatam : Fest. p.115, lemnisci, id est fasciolae coloriae (coloured ribbons), dependentes ex coronis. The lemnisci were an additional mark of distinction, as a reward for a special victory : Auson. Epist. 5.20, Et quae iamdudum tibi palma poetica pollet, Lemnisco ornata est, quo mea palma caret. quae Roma ei deferatur, which is transmitted to him from Rome : a figurative way of saying that the murder had been committed, unlike Capito's former crimes, in Rome ; and that it was the greatest of them all, since a gladiator would prize most highly a victory won in the capital. Cf. Phil. 2.11, Sexta palma urbana etiam in gladiatore difficilis hominis occidendi, in English of murder : cf. §§ 80, 93. Hor. Epist. 1. 2. 32, ut iugulent hominem, surgunt de nocte latrones. Cf. below, § 145, where hominem occidere is in a different sense. habeo dicere, I am able to mention ; as in de Nat. Deor. 3. 93, haec fere dicere habiti de natura deorum. de ponte. Cicero alludes to a proverb well-known in his time, sexagentarios de ponte, throw the sixty-year-old men from the bridge He means, jestingly, that Capito's crime was all the worse because the man he threw was under sixty, in defiance of the proverb. Whence did this strange saying originate? Dr. Warde Fowler ("Roman Festivals," pp. 111-121, and "Religious Experience of the Roman People," pp.321-2) deals with the question, and his conclusions, which we may safely follow, may be summarised thus. Two explanations were current among the Romans (for even they were in doubt). One of these may be at once set aside, though it deserves a mention. According to this view the pons of the proverb had nothing to do with the Tiber, but meant one of the pontes or gangways by which voters in the Comitia passed into the ovile, or enclosure for polling ; and it was said that men over sixty years of age were thrust from the pontes as no longer entitled to vote. Some learned Romans held this theory ; see Festtis, p.334. But it is baseless ; the gangways were a late invention, whereas the proverb goes back to remote antiquity. The other explanation connected the proverb with a ceremony which it is well known took place in Rome. (Cf. Nonius, p.533.) On the ides of May the Vestal Virgins cast into the Tiber from the pons sublicius puppets made of rushes, resembling men bound hand and foot ; and a common notion as to this ceremony, in Rome, was that old men had in earlier days been offered in sacrifice, and that the puppets had been substituted for men in more merciful times : and so, it was thought, the proverb arose. It did unquestionably arise from the ceremony of the puppets. But that the "old ones" thrown had ever been human is very improbable : human sacrifice is far too contrary, on the whole, to the Roman character for this idea to be accepted as true. Modern investigations show that this primeval ceremony, like many analogous rites elsewhere, represented, among other ideas, a casting out of old things, a dismissal of winter when spring had come, or the like. In some rites of this kind the puppet used was called "the old one" ; in others, "the white man" : and in Rome the rush figures were named Argei, a word perhaps = white (ἀργής), which might suit at once the colour of the rushes, and the conventional notion that old ones, human or otherwise, ought to be white-haired. From this there could easily be a gradual transition to the idea that the puppet "old ones" represented human "old ones." With this proverb cf. the similar phrase senes depontaiti (Festus). For other details see Warde Fowler. atque adeo, § 29. audiet. The cross-examination of witnesses at Rome often grew into a formal trial of or an entire speech against a witness : cf. the extant speech against Vatinius, a witness in the trial of P. Sestius. So Cicero threatens to disclose all the crimes of Capito in the testium interrogatio, so as to shake his credit as a witness.
volumen, roll. pro testimonio, as evidence. gravitatem, personal weight ; vitam, character, personage, an exalted term for virum. ius iurandum accommodetis, fit the claims of your oath to suit his evidence.
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