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[112]

How then, O judges, am I to arrive at this knowledge of how much profit was made? Not from the accounts of Apronius, for when I sought for them, I could not find them, and when I brought him into court, I made him deny that he kept any accounts at all. If he was telling lies, why did he remove them out of the way, if they were likely to do you no harm? If he really had kept any accounts at all, does not that alone prove plainly enough, that it was not his own business that he was conducting? For it is a quality of tenths, that they cannot be managed without many papers; for it is necessary to keep an account of, and to set down in books the names of all the cultivators, and with each name the amount of their tenth. All the cultivators made returns of their acres according to your command and regulation; I do not believe that any one made a return of a smaller quantity than he had in cultivation, when there were so many crosses, so many penalties, so many judges of that retinue before his eyes. On an acre of Leontini ground about a medimnus of wheat is usually sown, according to the regular and constant allowance of seed. The land returns about eightfold on a fair average, but in an extraordinarily favourable season, about tenfold. And whenever that is the case, it then happens that the tenth is just the same quantity as was sown; that is to say, as many acres as are sown, so many medimni are due.


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