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[188]

I have spoken, O judges, of the corn collected as tenths; I have spoken of that which was purchased; the last, the only remaining topic, is the valuation of the corn, which ought to have weight with every one, both from the vastness of the sum involved, and from the description of the injustice done; and more than either, because against this charge he is provided, not with some ingenious defence, but with a most scandalous confession of it. For though it was lawful for him, both by a decree of the senate, and also by the laws, to take corn and lay it up in the granaries, and though the senate had valued that corn at four sesterces for a modius of wheat, two for one of barley, Verres, having first added to the quantity of wheat, valued each modius of wheat with the cultivators at three denarii. 1 My charge is not this, O Hortensius; do not you think about this; I know that many virtuous, and brave, and incorruptible men, have often valued, both with the cultivators of the soil and with cities, the corn which ought to have been taken and laid up in the granary, and have taken money instead of corn; I know what is accustomed to be done; I know what is lawful to be done; nothing which has been previously the custom of virtuous men is found fault with ill the conduct of Verres.


1 A denarius was about eight pence half-penny; a sestertius only fraction over two-pence.

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