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[152] He, through the wicked letting out of contracts by that man, and through his nefarious robbery, being deprived of all his paternal property and fortune, came before your tribunal, if for nothing else, at least to see him through whose conduct he himself has passed many years in mourning, a little less gaily 1 dressed than he was used to be. Therefore, O Hortensius, it was not his age but his cause, not his dress but his fortune, that seemed to you calculated to rouse the popular feeling. Nor did it move you so much that he had come with the praetexta, as that he had come without the bulla. 2 For no one was influenced by that dress which custom and the right of his free birth allowed him to wear. Men were indignant, and very indignant, that the ornament of childhood which his father had given him, the proof and sign of his good fortune, had been taken from him by that robber.


1 Dressed, that is, in the mourning robe in which defendants in criminal prosecutions usually appeared in court.

2 “The bulla was an ornament of gold worn by children, suspended from their necks, especially by the children of the noble and wealthy; it was worn by children of both sexes, as a token of paternal affection and of high birth. Instead of the bulla of gold, boys of inferior rank, including the children of freedmen, wore only a piece of leather.”—Smith, Dict. Ant. v. Bulla.

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load focus Notes (J. B. Greenough, G. L. Kittredge)
load focus Latin (Albert Clark, William Peterson, 1917)
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  • Cross-references to this page (1):
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), BULLA
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