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7. [19]

Now I will just briefly relate to you on what charges Oppianicus was convicted; that you may be able to see clearly both the constancy of Aulus Cluentius and the cause of this accusation. And first of all I will show you what was the cause of the prosecution of Oppianicus; so that you may see that, Aulus Cluentius only instituted it because he was compelled by force and absolute necessity. [20]

When he had evidently taken poison, which Oppianicus, the husband of his mother, had prepared for him; and as this fact was proved, not by conjecture, but by eyesight,—by his being caught in the fact; and as there could be no possible doubt in the case, he prosecuted Oppianicus. With what constancy, with what diligence he did so, I will state hereafter; at present I wish you to be aware that he had no other reason for accusing him, except that this was the only method by which he could escape the danger manifestly intended to his life, and the daily plots laid against his existence. And that you may understand that Oppianicus was accused of charges from which a prosecutor had nothing to fear, and a defendant nothing to hope, I will relate to you a few of the items of accusation which were brought forward at that trial; [21] and when you have heard them, none of you will wonder that he should have distrusted his case, and betaken himself to Stalenus and to bribery?

There was a woman of Larinum, named Dinea, the mother-in-law of Oppianicus, who had three sons, Marcus Aurius, Numerius Aurius, and Cnaeus Magius, and one daughter, Magia, who was married to Oppianicus. Marcus Aurius, quite a young man, having been taken prisoner in the social war at Asculum, fell into the hands of Quintus Sergius, a senator, who was convicted of assassination, and was put by him in his slaves' prison. But Numerius Aurius, his brother, died, and left Cnaeus Magius, his brother, his heir. Afterwards, Magia, the wife of Oppianicus, died; and last of all, that one who was the last of the sons of Dinea, Cnaeus Magius, also died. He left as his heir that young Oppianicus, the son of his sister, and enjoined that he should share the inheritance with his mother Dinea. In the meantime an informant comes to Dinea, (a man neither of obscure rank, nor uncertain as to the truth of his news,) to tell her that her son Marcus Aurius is alive, and is in the territory of Gaul, in slavery. [22] The woman having lost her children, when the hope of recovering one of her sons was held out to her, summoned all her relations, and all the intimate friends of her son, and with tears entreated them to undertake the business to seek out the youth, and to restore to her that son whom fortune had willed should be the only one remaining to her out of many. Just when she had begun to adopt these measures, she was taken ill. Therefore she made a will in these terms: she left to that son four hundred thousand sesterces; and she made that Oppianicus who has been already mentioned, her grandson, her heir. And a few days after, she died. However, these relations, as they had undertaken to do while Dinea was alive, when she was dead, went into the Gallic territory to search out Aurius, with the same man who had brought Dinea the information.

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