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Cicero, Against Verres, 2.1.53-86

Ingo Gildenhard


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§ 53

1Cicero’s main aim in this paragraph is to illustrate the magnitude of Verres’ greed, in particular how it manifests itself in comprehensive looting. The contrast between what Cicero will not say and what he is saying (non dicam – hoc dico), made more forceful by the demonstrative pronoun hoc, is between selective thieving and systematic plunder. The paragraph thus continues themes that are prominent throughout Cicero’s portrayal of Verres: complete lack of self-control, resulting in the uninhibited indulgence in excessive behaviour, especially where objects of art and sex are concerned.

2A key theme in the paragraph is Cicero’s depiction of public and private space: the town of Aspendos, with its richly adorned temples and civic spaces, is set in contrast to the location where the treasures end up: the house of Verres. Note, too, how in the course of the paragraph Cicero alternates his addressees: he begins with a gesture to the judges (scitis), then switches to Verres (named in the vocative), before concluding with a sentence in third-person reporting mode (sustulit... posuit), which, however, includes a relative clause that is again addressed directly to the judges (de quo... audistis).

  • 1 Hofman, J. B., Szantyr, A. (1965), Lateinische Syntax und Stilistik, vol. 2, Munich, 707: ‛the fre (...)

3Aspendum vetus oppidum et nobile in Pamphylia scitis esse, plenissimum signorum optimorum. Non dicam illinc hoc signum ablatum esse et illud. hoc dico, nullum te Aspendi signum, Verres, reliquisse: Cicero uses *homoioteleuton as a stylistic device to connect three main themes of the paragraph: (i) the town of Aspendos, (ii) its rich treasure of statues, and (iii) their plunder by Verres. Even after the climactic nullum signum, the ending -um continues Cicero’s habit of underscoring thematic coherence by means of stylistic coherence: in his discussion of the one item of art singled out for special attention, that is the introspective cithara-player, *homoioteleuton recurs (illum Aspendium citharistam; illum ipsum). Some may consider a recurrent um-ending plodding, or even cacophonous in principle, but here it produces an *onomatopoetic effect that enhances Cicero’s feeling of outrage at Verres’ misdeeds.1

4Aspendum: located on the Southern coast of Turkey on the right bank of the river Eurymedon (between the modern tourist hotspots Antalya and Alanya), Aspendos was a significant centre of trade in ancient times, especially for salt, oil, grain, and wool; after the battle of Magnesia in 190 BC, it became part of the kingdom of Pergamum, which King Attalus III, at his death without heir, bequeathed to Rome in 133 BC. Still, it is unclear whether all members of Cicero’s Roman audience would have been able to locate the town securely on a map.

5Aspendi: a locative (‛in Aspendos’).

  • 2 See Scheer, T. (1993), Mythische Vorväter: Zur Bedeutung griechischer Heroenmythen im Selbstverstä (...)

6vetus: Cicero may allude to Greek traditions according to which the city was founded by ‛the Argives’, perhaps in the aftermath of the Trojan war. The evidence is murky.2 In 44 BC, when he wrote the de Divinatione, Cicero was familiar with local lore (Div. 1.88: Amphilochus et Mopsus Argivorum reges fuerunt, sed iidem augures, iique urbis in ora maritima Ciliciae Graecas condiderunt), but this is just the sort of information he could have picked up during his pro-consulship in Cilicia in 51 BC.

7nobile: the attribute strikes a note of pathos and, also from an etymological point of view [nosco + bilis], points forward to scitis: the city, Cicero claims, is so renowned that its prestige and location can count as common knowledge.

8Pamphylia: a region on the Southern coast of Asia Minor, between Lycia in the West and ’rough’ Cilicia in the East; at the time of the trial it was part of the Roman province of Cilicia, though until recently it had also served as a stronghold of pirates – suppressed in 77 BC by Publius Servilius Vatia Isauricus (see below § 56).

9scitis: To what extent that was indeed the case is difficult to ascertain; but the deliberate over-estimation of the degree of insight and knowledge of the audience on the part of an orator is a well-known technique of currying favour by means of flattery, or, in Latin, *captatio benevolentiae. Cicero, at any rate, typically characterized his audience as being more knowledgeable than it most likely was. See also the note on de quo saepe audistis below.

10scitis... te..., Verres: the second person plural addressing the judges, the deictic pronoun, and the vocative are all features that produce and sustain the illusion of a life-performance: Cicero wants his audience to re-imagine the courtroom setting and him turning to and directly addressing the main parties involved in the trial: here he makes a gesture to the judges before turning to the defendant. (For deixis and the adjective ’deictic’, which comes from the Greek deiktikos, meaning ‛able to show, showing directly’ see Morwood (1999) 151: ‛the use of words or expressions to point to some feature of a situation. Pronouns... and words of place... and time tell us such things about a situation as who is involved in it, and where or when it takes place.’ Throughout his corpus of speeches, which reproduce in written form a past or imagined performance, Cicero retains deictic features to recreate the dramatic setting: he wishes to generate the impression for his audience that they are actually there.)

11plenissimum: Cicero is very fond of ‛extreme’ expressions, such as superlatives (as here; see also optimorum and intimis) or adjectives that articulate extremes or a sense of totality, such as nullus and omnis (which in this paragraph alone occurs three times): see next note.

12hoc signum. et illud. nullum. signum. omnia: The sentence explains what happened to the richness of the city. Cicero contrasts a selective removal of ‛this or that statue’ with Verres’ approach to plunder, which is meticulously comprehensive: ‛none was left, all were taken’. By varying the verbs (reliquisse; evecta exportataque esse), Cicero manages to apply both of the antithetical poles ‛none’ and ‛all’ to Verres’ despoilment of Aspendos, in keeping with his preference for ‛extreme’ expressions (see note on plenissimum above).

13Non dicam: ‛an effective form of comparatio, rising from a lesser variety of wrongdoing to a greater’: Mitchell (1986) 185.

14hoc dico...: Latin authors frequently add a demonstrative pronoun to verbs of thinking and stating that introduce an accusative + infinitive construction to give special emphasis to the indirect statement: ‛This I say, namely that you.’ The feature gains in force and prominence here by way of contrast to the non-dicam clause, where Cicero does not use it.

15nullum te Aspendi signum, Verres, reliquisse, omnia ex fanis, ex locis publicis, palam, spectantibus omnibus, plaustris evecta exportataque esse: Cicero builds up carefully towards this quick-fire sentence, with its notably *asyndetic style. Contrast the ‛leisurely’ and exactly parallel constructions vetus oppidum et nobile and (with added *hyberbaton) hoc signum... et illud with the absence of connectives here: Cicero uses none between reliquisse and evecta exportataque esse, ex fanis and ex locis publicis, or palam, spectantibus omnibus, and plaustris. Other rhetorical features energize Cicero’s ‛rhetorical pouncing’: the switch from the (retarding) future non dicam to the much more immediate present dico; the use of the demonstrative pronoun hoc (see previous note); the switch from a generalizing passive construction in the indirect statement after non dicam (signum ablatum esse) to the active reliquisse with a specific agent (te), reinforced by a direct address (Verres); and the expansion of the idea of ‛carrying away’ from the single ablatum esse to the *alliterative *pleonasm evecta exportataque esse. Note also the crescendo from one accusative object (omnia) to two prepositional phrases in the ablative, the second with an attribute (ex fanis, ex locis publicis), to three phrases indicating modalities of removal: palam (an adverb), spectantibus omnibus (an ablative absolute), plaustris (an instrumental ablative).

  • 3 Stangl, T. (1964), Ciceronis Orationum Scholiastae, Hildesheim (photographic reprint of 1912 editi (...)

16Aspendium citharistam... quem omnia ‛intus canere’ dicebant: The tithara was a musical instrument similar to a lyre. Aspendioi kitharistai – that is, tithara-players of Aspendos – were known for their custom of playing the instrument, designed for both hands, with their left hand only, which was placed between the cithara and the player (hence intus), without using the right hand that held the plectron and was placed ‛outside’, facing the audience. Pseudo-Asconius’ commentary on this passage is worth quoting in full since it brings out an otherwise obscure nuance of Cicero’s text:3

cum canunt citharistae, utriusque manus funguntur officio. Dextra plectro utitur, et hoc est foris canere; sinistrae digiti chordas carpunt, et hoc est intus canere. Difficile est autem quod Aspendius citharista faciebat: ut non uteretur cantu utraque manu, sed omnia, id est universam cantionem, intus et sinistra tantum manu complecteretur. Unde omnes quotquot fures erant a Graecis Aspendii citharistae in proverbio dicebantur, quod, ut ille carminis, ita isti furtorum occultatores erant. Valet hoc proverbium et in eos qui multum intestinis suis commodis consulunt praeter honestatem. (When cithara-players perform, they make use of both hands: the right hand uses the plectron and this is called ‛to perform outside’; the fingers of the left hand pluck the strings and this is called ‛to perform inside’. But what the cithara-player of Aspendos is wont to do is difficult: for he does not use both hands in a performance, but does everything, that is, the entire performance, ‛inside’ and with the left hand only. This is the reason why the Greeks proverbially called all thieves ‛Aspendian cithara-players’: he concealed his music-playing, just as these concealed their thefts. This proverb also applies to those who look much after their own personal interests at the expense of moral rectitude.)

17In the light of this observation, Cicero seems to be cracking a complex joke here: in addition to the analogy between the ‘hiding away’ performed by the statue and by Verres (the former shielding his playing of music from the audience, the latter concealing his plunder from public viewing), the statue itself is proverbially associated with thievery, which means that Verres imitates and outdoes his looted artwork. This nuance, however, which Cicero does not explicitly emphasize in the text itself, would only have been apparent to those members of Cicero’s audience familiar with the Greek proverb, and it is by no means certain that all (or any) of them were (see also next note, de quo saepe audistis).

18de quo saepe audistis: the knowledge of a Roman court audience is difficult to calibrate but the assumption that many of the senators that sat in judgement at Verres’ trial had frequently heard of a piece of proverbial commentary based on a specific type of Greek statuary is probably no more than that – an assumption. By turning it into a fact, Cicero both flatters and bullies the audience: since no one likes to appear ignorant, presumably even those members of the audience (most likely the majority) who had never heard of either the statue or the proverb would have nodded knowingly. The problem is of course less acute when we imagine the context of reception to be not an oral performance during a public trial, but a private reading session at a villa: in that case, any reader unfamiliar with the proverb and interested in ascertaining its wider significance could have found out by quizzing one of his learned Greek slaves.

19quem omnia ‛intus canere’ dicebant: the antecedent of quem is citharistam; the relative pronoun quem is the subject accusative of the indirect statement introduced by dicebant; omnia is accusative object of canere. The (fairly frequent) phenomenon of a relative pronoun assuming a twofold syntactic function is best illustrated by rephrasing the relative clause as a main clause: eum omnia ‛intus canere’ dicebant – ‛they used to say that he played all of his music inside’. It is impossible to reproduce this construction literally in English: one can either turn the relative clause into a main clause or add the verb in apposition, i.e. ‛who, as they used to say, played all of his music inside’.

20intus canere: as discussed above, the expression refers to a technique of playing only that side of the cithara which is turned away from the audience: Cicero quips that Verres has outdone the activity represented by the statue by hiding it away in the innermost part of his house. This is in direct antithesis to the emphasis on the public despoiling (palam), which everyone witnessed as onlookers (omnibus spectantibus).

21intus – intimus: a *paronomasia; Cicero plays with the fact that the two words are etymologically related.

§ 54

22Building on the themes and the idiom of the previous paragraph, Cicero increases the intensity of his condemnation. Particularly aggressive features are: (a) the emphasis on a specific and highly venerable shrine (inclusive of its cult statue), that Verres violated, in contrast to the generic reference to shrines (ex fanis) in § 53; (b) the use of verbs from the sphere of warfare and military plunder (see esp. spoliare and invadere) to characterize Verres’ ‛collections’ of artworks; and (c) the inclusion of an emotive exclamation (quae, malum, est ista tanta audacia atque amentia!) that gives the impression that Cicero has reached the limits of his rhetoric – Verres’ actions are depraved beyond words.

  • 4 For a good discussion of the topic see Shatzman, I. (1972), ‛The Roman General’s Authority Over Bo (...)

23The contrast between public and private continues: Cicero argues that military commanders displayed the spoils of their victory in the public spaces of Rome, rather than using them to adorn their personal estates. It is worth stressing that the picture he draws is highly idealized. Roman generals had much leeway over how to dispose of booty: they could distribute it among their soldiers, keep it for themselves, or hand it over to the public treasury (or any combination thereof). In general, the handling of booty was a highly controversial issue throughout the Republic.4 The famous quip of Cato the Elder that thieves of private property are put into shackles and fetters, whereas ‛public thieves’ (i.e. Roman generals) lead a life in wealth and luxury arguably offers a more realistic perspective, at cross-purposes to the one evoked by Cicero (see Aulus Gellius, Attic Nights 11.18.18: fures privatorum furtorum in nervo atque in compedibus aetatem agunt, fures publici in auro atque in purpura): personal enrichment through war spoils was a prime source of financial and symbolic capital in Roman politics, especially during the last two centuries of the Republic.

24What Cicero passes over in silence is that Verres could apparently rely on the help of local collaborators. Thus he mentions in a later speech that an inhabitant of Perge, a doctor with the name Artemidorus, acted as Verres’ executor and mastermind in the despoilment of his own native town and subsequently became Verres’ personal doctor and a member of his entourage under the name Cornelius. See Ver. 2.3.54:... Cornelium – is est ArtemidorusPergaeus, qui in sua patria dux isti quondam et magister ad spoliandum Dianae templum fuit; and 2.3.68 where Cicero again calls Artemidorus a temple-robber and takes exception to his ‘sudden’ assumption of a Roman name. Here, Cicero mentions none of this since it would have enfeebled his attempt to brand Verres as the lone culprit.

25Pergae: the capital of Pamphylia. The form is the locative (‛in Perge’).

  • 5 For discussions of Artemis, see Burkert, W. (1985), Greek Religion, trans. by J. Raffan, Cambridge (...)

26fanum... Dianae: Perge was famous for its temple of Artemis (the Greek equivalent to Diana), the second most distinguished site of worship of the goddess in Asia Minor outside Ephesus. In the cult practice of Asian Greeks, Artemis was not primarily the virgin goddess of the hunt (her dominant image in much of Greek mythology), but the mother goddess who represented natural fertility.5 Cicero is distinctly disinterested in these religious nuances, though he may play on the association of Diana with chastity and virginity (see note on nudatum ac spoliatum).

27antiquissimum et sanctissimum: Cicero continues in superlative mode, here rightly so: the cult site was very ancient and sacred.

28scimus: in variation to the scitis and audistis in § 53, Cicero here uses the first person plural, thereby constituting a community of knowledge that includes himself and the judges. See also §§ 55 (videmus), 59 (audiebamus), 60 (audimus, two times), 61 (considerabimus), 84 (videamus).

29id quodque... esse dico: in the course of this sentence, Cicero picks up fanum... Dianae in two ways: he proceeds from the shrine itself to its centre, that is the cult statue, and in doing so he renders the abstract divinity material and concrete – ready for the taking.

30nudatum ac spoliatum: as in § 53 (the *assonance evecta exportataque), Cicero describes Verres’ actions by pairing two verbs: see also detractum atque ablatum. The same stylistic habit is on display in his exclamatory comment ista tanta audacia atque amentia (again reinforced by assonance), the phrase sociorum atque amicorum, the description of Verres’ legal status (legationis iure et nomine), the hypothetical scenario of warfare (cum exercitu imperioque) and his description of the spoils (signa atque ornamenta).

31spoliatum esse, ex ipsa Diana... ablatum esse dico: Cicero *asyndetically juxtaposes the two indirect statements depending on dico. The effect is jarring, especially because of the switch in the subject accusative from id (that is, fanum) to [id] quod habebat auri. (See further below on auri.)

32ex ipsa Diana: the formulation has considerable shock value: Cicero’s formulation deliberately blurs the distinction between the goddess and her cult statue, thus suggesting that Verres does not shy away from laying hands on the deity, and his earlier use of nudatum may proleptically introduce a sexual aspect to this act of aggression. In Rome, Diana is famed for her chastity and commitment to virginity, though her cultic significance in Perge will have focused on different aspects (see above on fanum.... Dianae.) As such, the accusation here complements an earlier section in the speech, where Cicero described Verres’ theft of the cult statue of Apollo at Delos (2.1.46-48). In contrast to the rather detailed and colourful explication of the episode at Delos, which includes a reference to the wrath of the god and much mythological detail (such as comments on Delos as the birthplace of Apollo and Diana), Cicero avoids specifics here: while his imaginary audience was most likely able to relate to general points about Delos and the mythology of Apollo and Diana, in the context of the trial it would hardly have been interested in the religious practices and believes of a city in Asia Minor. In a later speech, he recalls the incident as part of a recapitulation of the divinities whom Verres committed sacrilege against in the course of his career (Ver. 2.4.71): Miramur Athenis Minervam, Deli Apollinem, Iunonem Sami, Pergae Dianam, multos praeterea ab isto deos tota Asia Graeciaque violatos, qui a Capitolio manus abstinere non potuerit? (‛Are we astonished that Minerva at Athens, Apollo at Delos, Juno at Samos, Diana at Perge, and many further gods all over Asia and Greece suffered sacrilege on the part of this man here who could not keep his hands away from the Capitol?’)

33auri: partitive genitive depending on quod. The antecedent of the relative clause quod habebat auri (namely id), which is also the subject accusative of the second half of the indirect statement, is elided.

34Quae, malum, est ista tanta audacia atque amentia!: an exclamation of extreme irritation, reinforced at the sound level by the *homoioteleuton ista tanta and the *assonance audacia atque amentia.

35audacia: for the meaning and rhetorical function of audax and audacia in the political discourse of the late republic, see Wirszubski, C. (1961), ‛Audaces: A Study in Political Phraseology’, Journal of Roman Studies 51, 12-22, who gives the following definition (p. 15): ‛If I were to define, in Roman terms, who is audax in a political sense, I would say that he is a man, notably a public man, who dared in public life to do what no good man would think of doing.’

  • 6 See further Gildenhard (2011) 99-124, esp. 113-16 (‛Criminal Insanity’), which includes an analysi (...)

36amentia: ‛insanity’ is a favourite charge in the late-Republican rhetoric of abuse in general and in the oratory of Cicero in particular. Verres is the first victim of his tendency to turn his adversaries into madmen; Catiline and his ilk, Clodius, and Mark Antony were to follow. Frequently (as here), the charge of madness occurs in a context of religious significance. The proverb Quos deus vult perdere dementat prius (‛Those whom a god wishes to destroy he strikes with madness first’) perfectly sums up Cicero’s approach, especially in this particular speech. The theme of divinely induced madness is present from the outset, and indeed underwrites the very fiction of the second actio: Cicero presents Verres’ (entirely imaginary) appearance in court as an act of insanity, caused by supernatural forces keen on exacting retribution for Verres’ religious and political crimes, not least on behalf of Rome’s civic community. Consider 2.1.6: de impudentia singulari, quod adest, quod respondet, sunt qui mirentur. Mihi pro cetera eius audacia atque amentia ne hoc quidem mirandum videtur; multa enim et in deos et in homines impie nefarieque commisit, quorum scelerum poenis agitatur et a mente consilioque deducitur (‛some wonder about his unparalleled shamelessness in being present in court and facing trial. To me, however, given his overall impudence and insanity, not even this seems to be cause for astonishment; for he perpetrated many unholy and wicked deeds against both gods and humans and he is haunted by the avenging spirits of these crimes and is deprived of his mind and reason’). Being a mente, i.e. deprived of his rational mind and judgment, manifests itself in amentia, i.e. madness, and, in Cicero’s logic of crime and punishment, entails the perpetration of further crimes and insane actions (such as Verres’ appearance in court, despite the fact that everyone knows him to be guilty) in an inexorable movement towards justice. The theme of madness also dominates Cicero’s conclusion of the Delos episode (2.1.48): Hoc tu fanum depopulari, homo improbissime atque amentissime, audebas? Fuit ulla cupiditas tanta quae tantam exstingueret religionem? (’You dared to plunder this shrine, you most wicked and utterly insane human? Was there ever any desire of such magnitude as to overcome such a degree of religious scruple?’).6

37Quas enim... deportasses: Quas is a connecting relative; deportasses is the main verb of the sentence – ‛a pluperfect subjunctive used in a jussive sense to indicate what should or should not have been done’: Mitchell (1986) 186. Both relative clauses (quas enim.; quae signa.) are ‘out of place’ as it were – Cicero places them ahead of the clauses into which they belong and includes the two antecedents (urbis and signa atque ornamenta) within the relative clauses. The relative clauses are, respectively, picked up by the demonstrative pronouns in eas and haec. The placing of the first relative clause at the beginning of the sentence makes sense thematically: it states what Cicero says actually happened and thus serves as foil for the unfulfilled condition si.invasisses, deportasses. Cicero may have repeated the anticipation of the relative clause in the main clause to produce a parallel syntactic pattern between protasis (si-clause) and apodosis (main clause). Rewritten without Cicero’s rhetorical emphases, the sentence would run: Si enim in sociorum atque amicorum urbis, quas adisti legationis iure et nomine, vi cum exercitu imperioque invasisses, tamen, opinor, signa atque ornamenta, quae ex iis urbibus sustulisses, non in tuam domum neque in suburbana amicorum, sed Romam in publicum deportasses.

  • 7 This note is based on material kindly made available to me by Myles Lavan. It forms part of his fo (...)

38sociorum atque amicorum urbis: Cicero’s usage of the terms ‛allies’ (socii) and ‛friends’ (amici) is very fluid and varies from context to context. In the stretch of text under consideration here, he employs the phrase ‛allies and friends’ (the former carrying technically legal, the latter emotive connotations) to refer to the non-citizen inhabitants of the Roman provinces in Asia Minor. (Indeed, some define the status of socius in the context of Rome’s international diplomacy as comprising anyone who was not a citizen (civis) or an enemy (hostis).) The positive associations of the phrase ensured that it was tailor-made for rhetoric in the extortion court since it portrayed the victims of Roman exploitation on the lexical level as integral parts of the Roman world rather than subjects and dependents. Throughout the Verrines, Cicero calls the Sicilians and other provincials socii (91 times) or socii et amici (29 times).7

39vi cum exercitu imperioque: generally speaking, vis denotes the application of physical force; in a civic context, vis is unequivocally negative – it refers to illegitimate use of violence. Cicero’s gloss cum exercitu imperioque makes it clear that in his hypothetical scenario (the sack of the city in the context of war) the violence involved is authorized and sanctioned – in direct contrast to the vis that Verres brings to bear upon friends and allies of the Roman people. The phrase here is the first in a series of similar formulations in the following paragraphs, designed to establish the distinction between legitimate and illegitimate use of violence: see § 55 (vi ac virtute); § 56 (vi, copiis, consilio, virtute); and § 57 (vi ac virtute).

40suburbana: a suburbanum is a country seat near a city, here of course Rome.

41non (a) in tuam domum neque (b) in suburbana amicorum, sed (b) Romam (a) in publicum: Cicero concludes this paragraph on the same theme as the previous one, the contrast between Verres’ private enterprise and Rome’s public sphere. The arrangement is *chiastic: Cicero contrasts Verres’ domus with the public spaces of Rome (in publicum), and he contrasts the city of Rome with the country houses (suburbana), which are removed from the urban settings in which the senate and the people of Rome interact with one another (law courts, the forum). (a) tuam (b) domum also forms a *chiasmus with (b) suburbana (a) amicorum as Cicero emphasizes the personal enrichment of Verres and his cronies. In contrast, Romam in publicum is utterly laconic and to the point.

42amicorum: Cicero’s reference to Verres’ friends recalls his technical use of the word at the beginning of the sentence: Verres despoils friends of the Roman people for the benefit of his buddies.

43deportasses: here in the specific sense ‛to bring back to Rome from the provinces’: OLD s.v. 2a.

§ 55

44Cicero here produces a catalogue of rhetorical questions, each focusing on a landmark battle and commander in the context of Rome’s imperial expansion. With one exception, the list is arranged chronologically and traces significant military encounters in Sicily and the Greek East from the late third century to the middle of the second: i.e. exactly those regions of the Mediterranean in which Verres was active – but also those that produced the most spoils for the coffers of generals and the treasury. Spain was a much less attractive theatre of operation in this respect; but the omission of Carthage – sacked in the same year as Corinth – indicates that Cicero chooses those exempla of particular relevance to the case at hand. Despite the itemizing, Cicero endows his list with a sense of ring-composition, insofar as the list of conquest starts with a city (Syracuse) moves on to region & king (Asia and Antiochus) and king & region (Philip and Macedonia) to king only (Perses) before concluding with one named and many unnamed cities (Corinth and the cities of Achaia and Boeotia more generally).

45At the end of the paragraph, Cicero draws his conclusion and establishes a double contrast between the precedents set by the ancestors and the conduct of Verres: their family homes shone with symbolic prestige and excellence but were otherwise unadorned since they put on display their spoils in the public spaces of the city of Rome and all of Italy. With Verres, the exact opposite is the case: the houses of himself and his friends are crammed full with plundered items (yet, by implication, devoid of honos and virtus), whereas the general public in Rome and Italy benefits not at all.

46Lists of items can easily become monotonous. This is not the case here. While sticking to a basic ‛subject-object-verb-of-conquest structure’ throughout, Cicero alters details and constructs the overall list climactically. The ensuing effect combines the desirable relentlessness (a long list of ancestral precedents, outstanding figures and their deeds, of which Verres has fallen pitifully short) with the equally desirable variety (to maintain interest and suspense):

  • Marcellus: Syracusas, urbem ornatissimam, cepit: one verb, one direct object with an amplification in apposition. Claudius Marcellus (consul 222, 215, 214, 210, 208) sacked Syracuse in 212 – it is perhaps not a coincidence that an event in Sicily inaugurates the catalogue. See also Ver. 2.4.120-1.
  • Scipio: bellum in Asia gessit Antiochumque, regem potentissimum, vicit: two verbs, two direct objects, the second with an amplification in apposition. L. Cornelius Scipio Asiaticus (consul 190, proconsul 189) beat King Antiochus III in the battle of Magnesia in 190.
  • Flamininus: qui regem Philippum et Macedoniam subegit: one verb, two direct objects in *chiastic order to the king (Antiochus) and the theatre of operation (Asia) in the previous sentence; there is no amplifying attribute, but the shift from an adverbial specification of place (in Asia) to direct object (Macedoniam) ensures an increase in imperial pressure. T. Quinctius Flamininus (consul 198) defeated king Philip of Macedon in the battle of Cynoscephalai in 197. It is difficult to say why Cicero presents this exemplum out of chronological order. Perhaps he wanted to touch on the two geographic regions of greatest pertinence to the case at hand (Sicily and Asia) first, before adding three examples all to do with mainland Greece? Or perhaps he simply wanted the two great battles against Macedon (at Cynoscephalai and Pydna: see next item) to follow on one another?
  • Paulus: qui regem Persen vi ac virtute superavit: Paulus’ success is located in the same theatre of operation as Flamininus’ (Macedonia). Cicero underscores the personal quality of the general epitomized by the term virtus, which he here uses in its basic sense of ‛military prowess’. The *alliterative *paronomasia vis ~ virtus ~ superavit implies an inherent connection between the three words. L. Aemilius Paullus Macedonicus (consul 182 and 168), father of Scipio Aemilianus, defeated Perses of Macedon in the battle of Pydna in 168.
  • Mummius: qui urbem pulcherrimam atque ornatissimam, Corinthum, plenissimam rerum omnium, sustulit, urbisque Achaiae Boeotiaeque multas sub imperium populi Romani dicionemque subiunxit: after his pithy restraint with the first four figures, Cicero opens the floodgates of his rhetoric: two superlatives modifying urbs, the name of the city in apposition, with a further superlative (plenissimam) and a totalizing expression (rerum omnium) attached to it. L. Mummius Achaicus, as consul, sacked Corinth in 146, when he was in charge of the war against the Achaean Confederacy. Elsewhere, Cicero is highly critical of the devastation he wrought: see de Officiis 1.35 and 3.46.

47ego... loquar: the subject and verb of each of the quid-questions, but elided after the first.

48ornatissimam. potentissimum. pulcherrimam atque ornatissimam. plenissimam: this paragraph too amply illustrates Cicero’s fondness for the superlative.

49cepit?... vicit?... subegit?... superavit?... sustulit,... subiunxit?: Each of the verbs places the emphasis on the act of military conquest; the subsequent despoiling of the conquered cities and territories is elided, though at the end of the paragraph Cicero, in praising the civic spirit and personal modesty that informs the public display of war spoils in Rome and Italy, makes it clear that these generals took as much as Verres did, if not more. The fact of plunder is not the issue, but rather the terms and motivations for it.

50urbisque: the -que links sustulit and subiunxit.

51Boeotiaeque: the -que links Achaiae and Boeotiae.

52sub imperium populi Romani dicionemque: this is the Roman language of power and military conquest. As in the previous paragraph, Cicero voices no objections to the violent extension of Roman rule; rather, he disapproves of the abuse of diplomatic functions for personal enrichment.

53dicionemque: the -que links imperium and dicionem.

54Quorum domus: a connecting relative: ‘their houses’

  • 8 See in detail Flower, H. (1996), Ancestor Masks and Aristocratic Power in Roman Culture, Oxford.

55honore ac virtute: the formulation recalls the phrase vi ac virtute in §§ 55 and 57. Cicero celebrates the combination of recognition in Rome and (martial) excellence abroad, outstanding achievement based on military leadership and courage in battle, and commitment to a code of conduct that meant that the ensuing riches and spoils resulted in acts of public munificence (see dona), rather than private display. Honos also means ‛public office’; the attainment of public office was the only way to enter into the collective memory of one’s kin group familia or gens) and the res publica at large. The core of Rome’s ruling elite, the so-called nobility, consisted of families that produced office-holders, especially consuls, across many generations and their offspring were expected to live up to the standards of achievement set by their ancestors, by entering upon the so-called cursus honorum, i.e. being voted into (ever more important) magistracies in the running of the res publica. Rome’s memorial culture awarded former office holders with a wax mask (imago) upon their death and celebrated their achievements with a public funeral; these aristocratic funerals included a procession (the so-called pompa funebris) from the house of the deceased to the forum, consisting of the corpse and an entourage of actors who had donned the wax-masks and official garb of former family members who had received similar distinctions. In the forum, a son or other close relative of the deceased delivered a funeral oration (laudatio funebris), praising his deeds in the context of those of his ancestors. The wax-masks were stored in little shrines put on display in the atrium, together with stemmata and tituli that indicated genealogical connections, the public career, and the most outstanding military deeds of the person thus honoured.8

  • 9 See further Meyer, E. A. (2004), Legitimacy and Law in the Roman World: Tabulae in Roman Belief an (...)
  • 10 See further Holliday, P. J. (2002), The Origins of Roman Historical Commemoration in the Visual Ar (...)

56signis et tabulis pictis: an ablative of separation depending on vacuae. signa are statues, tabulae pictae are paintings; the two often go together: see below § 60: mercator signorum tabularumque pictarum; Cicero, de Oratore 1.161: tabulis et signis propalam conlocatis; Livy 42.63.11. Apart from a wooden panel used for painting as here, tabula designated more generally any object with a flat surface, which could be of various types of material (wood, stone, metal). Tabulae played an extraordinarily important role in Roman culture: apart from paintings, they could feature permanent inscriptions (the law code of the ‛Twelve Tables’ is the most famous example), or could be used for the temporary display of information (such as the tabula dealbata used by the pontiffs to record significant events throughout the year). Tabula could also mean ‛writing-tablet’ (in its simplest form a board coated with wax), and tabulae (pl.) could designate ‛account books’ (the meaning of the term in § 57 below).9 In the present context, Cicero seems to be referring to paintings plundered from Greek cities; but he may also have had in mind the ‘victory paintings’ that offered a pictorial record of the deeds of the general and his army and were carried through the streets of Rome during the triumph, before finding a place of permanent display.10

57urbem totam... omnisque Italiae partes: the attributes totam and omnis are two further examples of Cicero’s penchant for ‛totalizing’ expressions. He presents the places that feature war spoils in a *climactic *tricolon that moves from the city, to the dwelling places of the gods (templa deorum) to all of Italy.

58templaque deorum: this destination is particularly pointed, since the adornment of temples by Rome’s successful generals stands in direct contrast to Verres’ practice of despoiling temples. Cicero of course suppresses the fact that generals also plundered sites sacred to the people they conquered.

59videmus: the switch to the first person plural present indicative underscores the lasting importance of the achievements and the generosity of the illustrious forebears mentioned and their continuing presence within Rome’s civic community (‛all of us see their munificence’).

§ 56

60After adducing figures from the period 212 – 146 BC in the previous paragraph, Cicero suddenly pauses to voice the fear that his grand sweep of exempla from the more or less distant past will be deemed ‛ancient history’, that is, lacking pertinence in the present context. After an attempt to explicate the reason for his apprehension, he homes in on a contemporary figure, P. Servilius, whose conduct in office he explores in detail as a positive foil for Verres in both this and the subsequent paragraph.

  • 11 A German dissertation by Bücher, F. (2006), Verargumentierte Geschichte. Exempla Romana im politis (...)
  • 12 See Flower, H. (2003), ‛Memories of Marcellus: History and Memory in Roman Republican Culture’, in (...)

61nimis antiqua et iam obsoleta: this is a surprising point of view in a culture that placed a premium on tradition and often equated antiquity with authority. As recent studies have shown, however, the Roman attitude towards their own past in general and Cicero’s handling of exempla maiorum in particular defy easy simplifications.11 Two points are worth bearing in mind: (i) exempla and exemplary figures were often hotly contested, especially during the late Republic: was Scipio Nasica, who killed Tiberius Gracchus in 133 BC, a cold-blooded murderer who ought to be executed or a heroic killer of a potential tyrant who deserved the gratitude of the senate and the people of Rome? Opinion on this differed according to political persuasion. But struggles over the meaning of history were co-existent with Roman Republican history (and, of course, beyond). An example from an earlier period is the controversy around the historical significance of outstanding individuals: a prime example is the above-mentioned Claudius Marcellus, whose reputation was slandered by his opponents after he died ignobly in an ambush.12 (ii) All this adds up to the second point, namely that Cicero never simply invokes exempla as if they pre-existed as readily available facts; rather, he construes them for the rhetorical purpose at hand.

62videantur. videatur: Cicero here develops a hypothetical scenario, reinforced by the use of forte (‛conceivably’, ‛perhaps’) and quispiam (‛an unspecified person’, ‛someone’).

  • 13 The notion of praise belonging to a period rather than to specific individuals who lived within it (...)

63haec laus. esse videatur: another interesting line of thought, which builds on the notion of the exempla just listed being potentially out of date. The sentence is meant to explain why Cicero fears that some may consider his precedents obsolete (see enim). The explanation is quite contrived, presupposes a great deal, and is therefore not entirely easy to untangle. The aspects that make up the argument are as follows: (i) Cicero implies that the praise and admiration that his exemplary ancestors nowadays attract is a retrospective phenomenon; during their lifetime, they would not have appeared extraordinary since everyone was equally excellent; (ii) in the absence of degrees of excellence, the praise belongs not (just) to individuals, but (also) to the period;13 this presupposes that the excellence of specific individuals did not owe itself to any personal qualities – rather, it was simply the result of the good luck of living at a good moment in history; (iii) times have changed, and the behavioural patterns that were once common (and now elicit praise) have become obsolete; note that for this inference to make sense Cicero presupposes for the sake of the argument that human beings are by and large creatures of the period in which they happen to live – a notion that, apart from doing away with personal agency and responsibility, would seem to eliminate the past as a meaningful reservoir of norms, values, and exemplary conduct; (iv) a consequence of the presupposition that we are creatures of our times is that the negative comparison of Verres with figures of the past is by the way – since times have changed, so the implied argument, past paragons of virtue (who anyway did nothing more than act in the spirit of their period) possess no authoritative value. What Cicero leaves unexplained in all this is why the current generations of Romans should attach laus to times past (and specific historical figures): this implies, after all, that they did perceive a difference between ancient excellence and the current state of affairs – though his hypothetical adversary could have argued, from within his model of historical determinism, that the perception and evaluation of historical difference is one thing and drawing consequences for current practice quite another. Cicero of course does not endorse this hypothetical line of reasoning at all; for him the past remains a meaningful resource of precedents and normative benchmarks. But why does he go to such length to refute the potential objection that his historical exempla could be dismissed as irrelevant? Perhaps we here capture a mainstay of defences in extortion trials, namely the argument that the behaviour of the defendant did not differ from that of fellow-Romans, that he simply acted like his contemporaries. One way of countering this objection was to cite a contemporary figure who exhibited what some considered outdated excellence; and this, of course, is exactly what Cicero does: he devotes the remainder of § 56 and all of § 57 to a comparison between Verres and P. Servilius, who, conveniently, was part of the jury.

64hominum. temporum illorum: genitives of possession depending on esse

65temporum illorum: illorum is ambiguous: it could mean either ‛their times’, i.e. referring back to hominum (pronominal use of ille), or ‛those times’ (adjectival use of ille).

66Olympum: a city in Cilicia (that is, the very region where Verres served as legate), which served as basis for pirates; the sack yielded a significant amount of booty.

  • 14 References in Münzer, F. (1923), ‘93) P. Servilius Vatia Isauricus’, Real-Encyclopädie 2.4, 1812-1 (...)

67P. Servilius: P. Servilius Vatia Isauricus (consul 79, proconsul in Cilicia 78-77) fought the pirates of the Eastern Mediterranean and local tribes of Asia Minor as proconsul from 78-74. (One of the tribes were the Isauri, inhabitants of Isauria, a region of Asia Minor on the borders of Pisidia and Cilicia, hence his triumphant epithet Isauricus; for the custom of attaching a geographical moniker to a name to signal military involvement in a region one can compare Lawrence of Arabia or Earl Mountbatten of Burma.) In Cicero’s oeuvre, Servilius and superlatives (or alternative markers of distinction) go hand-in-hand: in addition to clarissimus and fortissimus as here, we find gravissimus, amplissimus, sanctissimus, ornatissimus, constantissimus and such formulations as in senatu princeps erat, amabatur a populo.14 Servilius was one of the most distinguished jurors sitting in judgement at Verres’ trial, and Cicero names him repeatedly in the Verrines. They remained close political allies until Servilius’ death as nonagenarian in 44 BC.

68vir clarissimus: at the time of Cicero, the adjective clarus tended to be used of senators, but it was not yet a technical term that designated senatorial rank (as it became under the empire): see Berry, D. H. (1996), Cicero, Pro P. Sulla Oratio, edited with introduction and commentary, Cambridge, 136 (on Sul. 3.2).

69vi, copiis, consilio, virtute: an intricate quadruple: whereas *alliteration links vi with virtute and copiis with consilio, in thematic terms vi goes with copiis (the troops) and consilio with virtute (the general).

70laturus: Mitchell (1986) 187 points out that this ‛is the only example in Cicero of the use of the future participle to convey the idea of purpose.’

71Recens: placed first for emphasis; it stands in implied antithesis to the nimis antiqua et iam obsoleta of the opening sentence.

72profero: the verb can have the legal sense ‛to produce (documents, etc.) in evidence’ and, more generally (as here), ‛to bring up (a fact, circumstance, etc.) in support of a contention, adduce, put forward for consideration’: OLD s.v. 5.

73nam postea Servilius imperator populi Romani Olympum urbem hostium cepit quam tu in isdem illis locis legatus quaestorius oppida pacata sociorum atque amicorum diripienda ac vexanda curasti: Cicero’s report of Servilius’ achievements recalls the idiom used to enumerate the exempla maiorum in the previous paragraph: subject – object – verb of conquest, with subject and object being developed in precise parallel. Here Servilius corresponds to Olympum, imperator to urbem, and populi Romani to hostium. Cicero’s laconic precision in recounting the deed of Servilius (‛he sacked the hostile city Olympus’) contrasts with his verbose description of the activities of Verres. imperator populi Romani contrasts with legatus quaestorius (by adding the qualification ‘of the Roman people’ Cicero reinforces the theme of rightful entitlement and action taken on behalf of the entire commonwealth), just as urbem hostium stands in sharp *antithesis to oppida pacata sociorum atque amicorum. The rhetoric (understatement in one case, hyperbole in the other) misrepresents the facts: whatever Verres may have done, he hardly inflicted more suffering on the locals with his thievery than Servilius did with his military operations – though this is precisely what Cicero implies with diripienda ac vexanda, two verbs that belong in the context of warfare and, in particular, looting.

74postea. quam: Cicero elaborates on recens by stressing (not least by means of the *tmesis and the massive *hyperbaton which allow him to place postea prominently at the beginning of the sentence) that he now brings into play events so recent that they happened after Verres’ stint as legate. ‛Postea. quam brackets the main clause and signals the upcoming temporal clause’: Mitchell (1986) 187. Note that there is a slight inconcinnity in Cicero’s argument here: because he wishes to emphasize the recent nature of the exemplum and the fact that Servilius and Verres acted in the same geographic region (in isdem illis locis), we have the seemingly paradoxical situation that at the time of Verres the region was full of pacified towns and friends and allies of the Roman people, yet several years later, during Servilius’ pro-consulship it had somehow turned into an enemy stronghold. One wonders how ‘pacified’ and ‛friendly’ Cilicia truly was when Verres was legate.

75curasti: syncopated form of curavisti; Cicero is being highly ironic, while setting up the non-ironic use of curare in the following paragraph.

§ 57

76The paragraph continues the contrast between Verres and Servilius, with a particular emphasis on their respective practices of accounting.

77Tu quae... perscribenda curavit: The sentence contains a comparison between Verres and Servilius that combines precise parallels on the level of syntax with diametrical opposition on the level of theme. The correlations can be tabulated as follows:

78Thus (i) Verres (ii) perpetrated (iii) blasphemous (iv) thievery (v) for private gain; in contrast, (i) Servilius (ii) performed (iii) a heroic conquest (iv) according to military law (v) for the public benefit.

79Tu quae ~ ea nos: the *antithesis, arranged in a *chiasmus, with Tu in the exposed, initial position, generates a contrast between Verres and his ilk and the expansive ‛we’ that Cicero adopts, including both him and the Roman populace at large. (Note that from the point of view of Latin grammar, neither the Tu nor the nos, are strictly speaking, necessary.) That Verres’ shenanigans are entirely for private benefit is reinforced by the *polyptoton Tu, tuis, tuorum – which is picked up at the end of the paragraph by te tua furta.

  • 15 T. Habinek defines bandits thus: ‘bandits are criminals who operate in the spaces that are claimed (...)

80per scelus et latrocinium: the criminal tribunal dealing with illegal conduct on the part of magistrates or jurymen (quaestio de repetundis) policed, among other things, the distinction between ‛criminal’ and ‛acceptable’ exploitation of the provinces. But the court setting also provided an ideal context for rival politicians to pursue personal or political agendas by means of criminalizing their opponents. Cicero was arguably more radical than most in demonizing his adversaries as hardened criminals and he often split the political field in Rome – which featured many shades of grey – into black and white, the wicked (improbi) and the good (boni). When Cicero accuses Verres (and other aristocratic adversaries, such as Catiline) of banditry (latrocinium), he uses the term metaphorically; the effect is a rhetorical disenfranchisement – the individual so labelled ceases to be a Roman citizen or, indeed, member of Rome’s ruling elite, living within the legal order of the commonwealth and abiding by its laws; instead he becomes a criminal figure at the margins of society, an ‛outlaw’, who threatens to undo order and stability.15

81in tuis amicorumque tuorum tectis: mimetic word order: the syntax reproduces the theme of something locked inside a house, with in tuis and tectis framing and embracing the reference to Verres and his friends. The -que links tuis and amicorum tuorum, which are both dependent on tectis.

82nos videre nisi... non possumus: Cicero delays the final, powerful negative (non) for great effect, with nisi functioning as a retarding element, specifying the exception; the alliteration nos ~ non (with nisi providing variation) and the *homoioteleuton tuis... tectis endow the sentence with coherence on the sound-level. While Verres’ plunder simply disappears from public view, the opposite is the case with Servilius’ war spoils (see below).

83vi et virtute: as the vi ac virtute in § 57, this is an abbreviated repetition of vi, copiis, consilio, virtute in § 56 and anticipating the formulation virtutis victoriaeque iucunditas later on in the paragraph.

  • 16 See e.g. Beard, M. (2007), The Roman Triumph, Cambridge/ MA, or Östenberg, I. (2009), Spoils, Capt (...)

84triumphus: the Roman ritual of victory, which has received much scholarly discussion in recent years.16 Many aspects of modern reconstructions of this ancient ritual are controversial, but the point that matters for our purposes is reasonably straightforward: protocols that governed the distribution of spoils existed, even if they were constantly in dispute, evolved over time, and were not codified in law. Cicero simplifies to gain rhetorical purchase on his adversary: he wants a stark and easily intelligible opposition between public spirited commanders who gained their spoils through effort and excellence, on behalf and for the benefit of the Roman people and a criminal who, under the cover of a minor Roman magistracy, operates for private gain and acquires his plunder by means of thievery for the exclusive enjoyment of himself and his friends. From a different point of view, one could argue that P. Servilius and the culture of military triumphs and Verres and the exploitation of the provinces are two aspects of the same phenomenon.

85belli lege atque imperatorio iure: the rules of war and the privileges that come with military command – this has nothing to do with the Geneva convention, but rather the fact that the spoils belong to the victor.

86ea... adportavit... vexit... curavit: whereas the part of the sentence dealing with Verres contains a surprising break in subject between the relative clause (tu) and the main clause (nos... non possumus), the same is not the case in the half devoted to Servilius: he remains the subject throughout, not least in the highly ordered, *asyndetic *tricolon adportavit, vexit, curavit, which details the action of ‛bringing spoils to the city’, ‛displaying them publicly during a triumph’, and ‛entering them into the civic records afterwards’.

87populo Romano... in tabula publica... ex litteris publicis... praedam populi Romani: Cicero stresses the public presentation and the public record for the people (populus) of Rome. The correlation of publicus and populus lies at the very heart of the political culture of the Roman Republic, which was grounded in the principle that members of the ruling elite performed outstanding deeds for the benefit of the people (or the res publica), who in turn rewarded them with public recognition in the form of further magistracies (honores), social standing (dignitas) and fame (gloria). This ideology underwrites Cicero’s famous definition of ‛res publica’, i.e. commonwealth, from which derives the English term ‛republic’, at de Republica 1.39, which links res publica and populus by suggesting a (fake) etymological relation: est igitur. res publica res populi, populus autem non omnis hominum coetus quoquo modo congregatus, sed coetus multitudinis iuris consensu et utilitatis communione sociatus. (‛A commonwealth, therefore, is the property of the people. But a people is not every kind of human congregation, brought together in whatever manner, but the congregation of a large number united by consensual commitment to law and community of interest.’). Verres goes against the very principles that hold the Roman commonwealth together, i.e. public accountability and ownership, recognition of law, and shared utility. (The organic interlocking of Cicero’s vision of Rome’s political culture and his political philosophy, which operates with categories derived from Greek political thought, is a dimension of his oeuvre that remains underappreciated.)

88aerarium: here refers to Rome’s public treasury, which was located in the temple of Saturn.

89perscribenda (also end of paragraph, perscripta): perscribere is a technical term of Roman accounting, and means ‛to enter a detailed record of official transactions in an account-book’.

90curavit: picks up the ironic curasti in § 56.

91Recita: such orders to the clerk and gestures to documentary material reinforce the illusion that the speech is the record of an actual performance. Se also §§ 79, 83, and 84.

92Rationes Relatae P. Servili: the phrase serves as a place-holder, indicating the moment when Cicero would have stopped speaking and a court clerk would have read out the accounts registered by P. Servilius. See OLD s.v. refero 5 for rationes referre = ‛to render an account of one’s actions’.

93vides: after an address to the judges (cognoscite) and an order to the court clerk (recita), Cicero turns straight to Verres, forcing him to confront the evidence of how his aristocratic peer handled his accounts.

94Certe... cupiditate: this reads almost like a marginal gloss that has intruded into the text; it certainly interrupts the train of thought, separating the report of Servilius’ conduct from the punchline, i.e. the damning comparison between him and Verres. In contrast, this sentence is about moral philosophy and consists of the assertion that the wellbeing that attends good deeds and outstanding achievements surpasses the pleasure derived from fulfilling illicit passions and desires. Not everyone would agree with the assertion. Yet the Latin is unexceptionally Ciceronian and the sentence reinforces one of Cicero’s major lines of attack in the Verrines, i.e. the portrayal of Verres as a (ultimately subhuman) creature who lives on passionate and wicked lusts and instincts; it also sets up servos cupiditatum in the following paragraph.

95virtutis victoriaeque: the logical step after vi et virtute, with virtus functioning as connecting pivot between military violence (vis) and victory (victoria).

96(a)numerum (b) signorum. (b) unius cuiusque (a) magnitudinem, figuram, statum: the *chiastic structure of decidedly unequal length helps to produce wording of mimetic force: after a straightforward reference to the overall number of statues (numerum signorum), Cicero honours (and stylistically re-enacts) Servilius’ punctilious itemization of each piece included in the tally with an elaborate *asyndetic *tricolon, of descending numbers of syllables (5, 3, 2).

97(a) praedam (b) populi Romani ~ (b) tua (a) furta: a *chiastic arrangement designed to bring out the *antithesis between legitimate spoils of war and Verres’ criminal thievery; it revolves around the contrast between praeda and furta. The two nouns recall the opening contrast between spoils of war after the sack of a city and illicit plunder (latrocinium).

98notata atque perscripta: the participles go both with praedam and furta, but grammatically correspond to the nearest noun, i.e. furta. Cicero tolerates the apparent paradox in his claim that stolen items ought to be correctly entered in public accounts.

§ 58

  • 17 Brunt, P. A. (1980), ‛Patronage and Politics in the Verrines’, Chiron 10, 273-89, 280: ‛But why wa (...)

99In this paragraph Cicero changes tack, as he anticipates (note the future dices) and counters the potential objection by Verres that, far from hiding away his plundered treasures, he put them on public display at the centre of the city. It is not entirely clear what occasion Cicero refers to. As Mitchell (1986) 185 points out, ‛it was customary for aediles to decorate the comitium and the forum for major festive occasions, and they often had to resort to borrowing works of art from friends and from provincial and allied communities to secure the necessary adornments’ (with reference to our passage, as well as Ver. 2.3.9, 2.4.6, and 2.4.126). Pseudo-Asconius suggests that Verres helped Hortensius and the Metelli brothers in that way (nam aedili atque praetori Hortensio et item Metellis rapta ex provinciis signa ad ornandum forum et comitium commodaverat Verres). Along those lines, P. A. Brunt has more recently argued that Hortensius’ otherwise inexplicable devotion to Verres derived from the fact that he was a prime beneficiary of Verres’ extortions.17

100As for dates: Hortensius was aedile in 75 and praetor in 72; Quintus Caecilius Metellus Creticus (in 70 consul designate, together with Hortensius) canvassed for the praetorship in 75 (and must have held it in one of the following years given his application to the consulship in 70); L. Caecilius Metellus was praetor in 71; and Marcus Caecilius Metellus was praetor designate in 70. (We do not have information about the cursus honorum of a fourth brother, C. Caecilius Metellus.) Alternatively, Cicero may be recalling (memini) the year 74 when Verres was himself urban praetor and hence responsible for the ludi Apollinares. Most likely, however, he deliberately avoids specifying the precise occasion, leaving it up to the audience in joining him ‘to think back’ to any one occasion when Verres’ plundered artworks adorned the public spaces of Rome. As far as Cicero was concerned, Verres was damned if he did as well as when he did not: the public spectacle he generated out of his large-scale thievery for himself or for others might have been magnificent to behold, but the sight saddened anyone endowed with thought and feeling. In the second half of the paragraph, however, Cicero makes it clear that this by no means included all sightseers. Quite the contrary: Verres had occasion to observe (vidit) the reaction of fellow senators to his spectacle, and what he saw was appreciative greed. Cicero reproachfully identifies this experience of implicit encouragement from his peer group as providing the stimulus for Verres to perpetrate further crimes of a similar nature in future.

101ornamento urbi foroque... fuisse: a double dative: urbi and foro are in the dative of advantage (dativus commodi); ornamento is a dative of purpose (dativus finalis)

102Memini: highly ironic: ‛don’t tell me, I remember very well!’

  • 18 For a good, basic account of Roman assemblies see Beard, M. and Crawford, M. (1985), Rome in the L (...)

103comitium: an open space adjacent to the forum, used for assemblies.18

104adornatum ad speciem magnifico ornatu, sed ad sensum cogitationemque acerbo et lugubri: a contorted and *pleonastic way to describe the complex and contradictory response of those who saw Verres’ displays: they were indeed splendid to look upon (a point reinforced by the *figura etymologica adornatum ~ ornatu, which picks up ornamento in the opening sentence of the paragraph); but whatever awe the splendour was designed to inspire was overpowered by thoughts and emotions of grief. Cicero again enacts the point stylistically, achieving emphasis through quantity of verbiage: ad speciem is dwarfed by ad sensum cogitationemque, and the single qualifier magnifico is outdone by the two qualifiers acerbo et lugubri.

105magnifico: both magnifico and acerbo et lugubri are in the predicative position. The forum and the comitium were adorned (adornatum) with ornamentation (ornatu), which was spectacular (magnifico) to behold ( ad speciem), but bitter and distressing (acerbo et lugubri) to feeling and thought (ad sensum cogitationemque).

106lugubri: Cicero returns to the theme of distress and grief caused by Verres’ public displays in more detail in the following paragraph.

107vidi ... vidi ... vidit: Cicero stages an intricate drama of sight. In the first half of the paragraph he describes his own experience, which, he implies, coincided with the experience of the Roman people (vidi simul cum populo Romano); in the second half, he focuses on what Verres sees, namely senators looking at his display in rampant greed. Cicero fingers their admiration and approval as the stimulus for future crimes on Verres’ part. In essence, he here implicates much of Rome’s senatorial elite in Verres’ crimes and his personality defects. This aggressive strategy recurs throughout the Verrines and has its flipside in Cicero’s repeated reminders that the jury can rid itself of suspicions of complicity with Verres (and regain at least a minimal reputation for righteousness and integrity) by deciding the case in his favour.

108furtis tuis, praeda provinciarum, spoliis sociorum atque amicorum: a *climactic *tricolon of instrumental ablatives, with each colon dramatically increasing in size on account of the attributes. Further stylistic touches include the *homoioteleuton furtis tuis and the *alliterations praeda provinciarum and spoliis sociorum.

109iudiciorum... dominos... cupiditatum... servos: a powerful *antithesis – the group of established aristocrats who think like Verres want to be masters of the lawcourts, but they are in fact slaves of their desires. Cicero here reactivates a theme that he pursues through the entire corpus of the Verrines: the deep-seated corruption of the senate in the aftermath of Sulla’s reforms, which had put senators in charge of the law courts. (Control of the courts would revert to the knights soon after the case against Verres.) It is unlikely that senators openly wanted to be called ‛masters of the court’ – outside the context of the familia and master-slave relationships, dominus comes close to being an insult: it implies the abuse of power.

§ 59

110Cicero here elaborates on the idea he introduced obliquely in the previous paragraph, with the formulation ornatu. acerbo et lugubri. The scenes he pretends to remember are as emotionally moving as they are implausible: ambassadors from all over Greece and Asia spending their days in Rome worshipping in front of cult statues that Verres had plundered from their shrines and displayed in the forum or gazing tearfully on other statuary and precious objects. Cicero’s creative writing manifests itself in an overwrought, emphatic idiom; notable stylistic features include the conjuration of a historical watershed (tum primum), the series of superlative, totalizing or ‛absolute’ phrases (spem omnem; plurimi; Quorum omnium; nihil), and highly dramatic images and expressions (spem omnem. abiecerunt; lacrimantes; de exitio). Some imaginative touches add colour to the scene that Cicero here invokes: features to savour include the disingenuous casu (for which see below) and the delayed plurimi (‛there happened to be Greek ambassadors in Rome – a whole crowd of them’).

111In the course of the paragraph, Cicero moves from an emphasis on practice and sight (venerabantur, intuebantur) to hearsay and reflection (sermonem, audiebamus); there is an analogous movement from a concern with objects of spiritual and material value (rerum ac fortunarum suarum, deorum simulacra, signa et ornamenta) to more abstract considerations of life and death (de exitio), the principles of international relations and justice (or its perversion). All this is designed to set up the punch-line of the paragraph: the same public spaces of the city that were previously used to bring crimes against the allies to justice now serve to celebrate them. The end of § 59 thus harks back to and elaborates on the end of § 58: if in the previous paragraph, we got the reaction of Verres’ aristocratic peers to his public displays, namely emulative greed of other prospective perpetrators along with further encouragement of Verres, here we get the perspective of the victims: utter despair. (Cicero underscores the correlation on the lexical level: see below on spem omnem.)

112Socii vero nationesque exterae: Cicero distinguishes between civic communities within a Roman province and people not subjected to Roman rule. The socii here are the first item in a magnificent *polyptoton: after the initial nominative, we get the allies in the genitive (sociorum), the dative (sociis) and the ablative (ab sociis). The foreign peoples, on the other hand, drop from view.

113vero. spem omnem. abiecerunt: the formulation works in antithesis to spem maximam at the end of the previous paragraph, with the adversative vero functioning as pivot. The highly promising prospect of future criminal exploitation for Verres correlates with the utter loss of hope among the provincials.

114rerum ac fortunarum suarum: an emphatic *pleonasm (‛their property and possessions’). Cicero here touches upon an issue that continues to resonate forcefully today in the sphere of international diplomacy and justice: to whom do objects of plunder and exploitation belong? Cicero’s Verrines have assumed archetypal importance in western thinking on the subject: see the highly accessible analysis by Miles M. M. (2008), Art as Plunder: The Ancient Origins of Debate about Cultural Property, New York, who explores Greek precedents, devotes a significant part of her discussion to Cicero’s Verrines, and outlines continuities and changes in practice and the terms of the debate from late antiquity to modern times.

115propterea quod casu legati ex Asia atque Achaia plurimi Romae tunc fuerunt: given the vagueness of Cicero’s temporal indications (see introduction to the previous paragraph) it is difficult to ascertain the precise year Cicero had in mind and why there happened to be a large number of envoys from Asia and Achaia in Rome at the time. But the period in question falls in the wake of Sulla’s war against Mithradates, after which he burdened the province of Asia with the enormous penalty of 20,000 talents. Many cities were unable to collect sufficient taxes and had to lend money at exorbitant interest-rates, not least from Roman creditors, to meet their obligations, a vicious cycle that drove them gradually to ruin, necessitating envoys to Rome to plead their cause. In the light of all this, Cicero’s use of casu (‛by chance’) is utterly disingenuous: the envoys were in Rome because the provinces suffered inordinately from systemic Roman exploitation. This, however, was not something he was keen to emphasize given his strategy of portraying the Roman system of government as essentially sound, well-liked, and beneficial, with only the occasional rotten apple, such as Verres or Dolabella. See also below on § 73 (togati creditores).

116Romae: a locative (‛in Rome’).

117simulacra... sublata: the two words are linked by *alliteration.

  • 19 Steiner, D. (2002), Images in Mind: Statues in Archaic and Classical Greek Literature and Thought, (...)

118deorum simulacra. venerabantur: the religious spirit of the provincials contrasts sharply with the materialist attitude of Verres: what for the latter are objects of plunder are cult-images of the gods for the former, i.e. objects of worship that retain their numinous power and link with the supernatural beings they represent even outside their usual abode in temples.19

119cetera signa: that is, further, non-religious statuary.

120cetera signa et ornamenta cum cognoscerent: the postponement of cum puts special emphasis on cetera signa et ornamenta; note the harsh *alliteration cetera – cum – cognoscerent, which contrasts in sound with the subsequent plaintive alia alio in loco lacrimantes.

121lacrimantes intuebantur: lacrimantes is a circumstantial participle (‛while weeping’, ‛in tears’).

122nihil esse quod: ‛there is no reason why’: OLD s.v. nihil 5a.

123cum quidem viderent. ereptaque essent: this sentence functions as Cicero’s explanatory gloss on why the talk of the allies was all about doom and death. As Mitchell (1986) 188 notes, ‛the indicatives fecerant and solebant show this is Cicero’s own comment, not part of what the allies said.’

124qui sociis iniurias fecerant: the antecedent (ii) needs to be supplied.

125in foro populi Romani – quo in loco – ibi: in loco and ibi are strictly speaking unnecessary and are added to underscore Verres’ perversion of a public space for his private displays: the very location in which Roman courts in the past dispensed justice for allies now serves as a showcase of criminal exploitation.

§ 60

126In this and the following paragraph, Cicero considers the possibility that Verres, rather than having stolen his artworks, bought them – as Verres himself seems to have claimed. In which context, how, and with what frequency Verres insisted on the legal acquisition of his treasures remains unclear. Cicero argues that it has happened often (see solet, non numquam), but the information on which he relies is mere hearsay (and marked as such by Cicero by means of the hedge ut opinor: Verres never seems to have made this claim in Cicero’s presence) without any legal value. Still, Cicero gets a lot of rhetorical mileage out of subjecting the notion to scrutiny. He first ridicules the idea of a Roman official travelling east to buy up art and then dismisses the claim as a bare-faced lie: not one of the artworks once on display in Verres’ house had ever been entered into either his own account books or those of his father. The topic of account books offers Cicero the opportunity to introduce an aside which is not strictly pertinent to the early stages of Verres’ career under consideration here, but of great importance for Verres’ conduct in Sicily: apparently, Verres, in the run-up to the trial, declared that he had ceased to keep accounts after his year as praetor (74 BC), meaning that no account book existed for this time in Sicily (73-71 BC). Cicero is alluding to this claim here and by means of comparison with other possibilities exposes this approach towards accounting as ludicrous. But the looting of Greece and Asia falls into the period during which Verres kept accounts.

127Hic: the adverb (with a long i), rather than the demonstrative pronoun hic; the meaning here is either ‛At this point (in my speech)’ or, more likely, a retrospective ‛In the light of what I’ve just said’.

128ego: emphatic use of the personal pronoun (‛I, for one’)

129arbitror illum negaturum. se. habere: two indirect statements, the first (negaturum, with illum as subject accusative) depending on arbitror, the second (habere, with se as subject accusative) depending on negaturum.

130signa se: the placing of se after signa produces an *alliterative association between the statues and Verres.

131signa... plurima, tabulas pictas innumerabilis: again a climactic arrangement, where Cicero reinforces the step from ‛a whole lot’ to ‛countless’ by the increasing number of syllables (5:11) and the quantity of the vowels (signa plurima are all short, whereas the last syllables of tabulas and pictas are long and innumerabilis contains three long syllables: - v v - v -). Cf. § 57 above on numerum signorum.

132solet... dicere se emisse: a word order that builds up suspense. After the non-descript main verb (solet: Verres used to... do/say what?) Cicero establishes the facts in the intervening relative clause before providing the infinitive that completes solet; the punchline of what Verres is wont to say is saved for last: the indirect statement (depending on dicere) se emisse. In delivery, one can imagine Cicero hesitating just a moment after dicere before delivering the coup de grâce. The absurd lie or euphemism se emisse is designed to trigger hilarity in the audience.

133non numquam: double negation (not never); the technical term for this rhetorical device is *litotes.

134quoniam quidem: after eliciting laughter by means of se emisse, Cicero elaborates on the joke. The particle quidem after quoniam helps to keep the tone light, placing a notional ‘as if!’ over the clause.

135in Achaiam, Asiam, Pamphyliam: *asyndetic *tricolon that covers the geographical area of Verres’ exploits. As in § 55, Cicero gives his audience a grand, geopolitical sweep. But rather than military expansion as in § 55, here he traces a trail of illegal looting.

136(a) sumptu (b) publico et (b) legationis (a) nomine: the arrangement is *chiastic. The phrase as a whole underscores the crucial point that Verres travelled to Asia in an official capacity – a reminder that sets up the punchline of the sentence, that is, the contrast between Verres’ actual status and the role he foolishly claimed for himself (see next note).

137mercator signorum tabularumque pictarum missus est: here we have the reductio ad absurdum of Verres’ apology that he ‛bought’ his work of art – as if the Roman people had sent him on a special mission as a mercator, a merchant or trader, a profession utterly irreconcilable with the dignity of a Roman magistrate. Cicero here draws out the implications of Verres’ apology that he bought the artworks, making it seem preposterous.

  • 20 Cf. Peterson, W. (1903), ‘Emendations of Cicero’s Verrines’, The Classical Review 17, 198-202 (201 (...)

138Habeo et ipsius et patris eius accepti tabulas omnis: there is a textual difficulty here. The manuscripts have accepi (I have received) rather than accepti (the genitive of acceptum, i.e. ‛the receipt side of an account’). This generates an undesirable *tautology with habeo (I have). accepti tabulas omnis, the reading found in Pseudo-Asconius and printed here, is a somewhat cumbersome way of saying ‛all the accounting books’. Another way of solving the difficulty is to read accepi and to delete habeo. In his Oxford Classical Text, W. Peterson prints the elegant et istius et patris eius accepi tabulas omnis.20

139et ipsius et patris eius... patris... tuas: another *chiastic arrangement: Cicero begins and ends with Verres filius. ipsius (or istius) and eius are contemptuous and distance Verres emotionally from his father (preparing the ground for their diverse morals and habits of accounting), an effect enhanced by Cicero’s sudden shift to tuas and his direct address to Verres in ais.

140patris eius. patris, quoad vixit: Verres’ father, who had the same name as his son, was a senator still alive at the end of 72 BC, as Ver. 2.2.95 shows, where Cicero recalls his intervention on behalf of his son when complaints about Verres’ maladministration in Sicily came to the attention of the senate. He must have died shortly before the trial. Whereas Cicero thinks nothing of slandering Verres’ son, whom he proclaims to be as morally depraved as his father (see 2.1.32), he is noticeably more respectful of Verres’ father.

141diligentissime: Cicero repeats the adverb, which he here uses of himself in an act of self-promotion designed to impress the judges, with reference to Antonius a few lines later (nam fecit diligentissime). Their exacting standards serve as positive foil for Verres’ careless and unsystematic approach to record-keeping.

142legi atque digessi: the basic sense of digerere [dis-+gerere] is ‛to scatter, disperse’ and the OLD lists our passage s.v. 4a ‛to lay or set out, dispose’. But what Cicero most likely means is that he ‛took them apart’, that is, studied them in depth.

143confecisse: conficere in the sense ‛to keep accounts or records’: OLD s.v. 3b. Cicero uses the verb six times in the paragraph: of Verres (confecisse), twice of Antonius (first the compositum confecisse, then the simplex fecit), twice of anonymous (first the simplex fecisse, then the compositum confecisse), and finally again of Verres (confecisse). The pattern is *chiastic: a1 a2 b2 b3 a3 a1, with a = compositum, b = simplex, and a1 = Verres, a2/b2 = Antonius, and b3/a3 = anonymous. Keeping accounts (and different ways of doing so) is of course the main theme of the paragraph and Cicero takes care that his use of the key word generates a symmetrical pattern that gives structure and coherence on the formal level. The dot on the i in this artful arrangement is the fact that conficere has to be supplied mentally for a seventh time right at the very end of the paragraph, as infinitive complement to destitisse (i.e. ‛he ceased’, sc. ‛to keep records’). The absent presence is of course thematically fully appropriate: Verres’ records are shockingly incomplete.

144Nam in isto, iudices: after his direct address to Verres, Cicero instantly re-establishes distance by turning back to the judges: the phrase in isto resounds with mocking disgust, as Cicero exposes Verres like a disagreeable insect to the inspection of the audience: what they will find is unprecedented, indeed scandalous (hoc novum reperietis). The direct address is a particularly powerful technique to encourage the audience to engage with the point made by the speaker.

145(a) hoc novum... (b) Audimus... (b) Audimus... (a) Hoc vero novum et ridiculum est: Cicero first announces something new, but then delays specification of what ‛hoc novum’ actually is by first rehearsing other possible ways of doing accounts. These serve as foils for his climactic return to hoc novum and give added force to the further attribute ridiculum. On the lexical level, the pattern is again *chiastic; but note that Cicero subsumes two different genera of keeping accounts under the first Audimus: by alluding to the mistaken opinion about Antonius’ record keeping he is able to contrast his exacting punctiliousness throughout with keeping no records at all. After sketching out the best and the worst (marked by the two superlatives diligentissime and minime), Cicero adds the middling type under the second Audimus, i.e. those who weren’t quite on the ball from the start, but at some point got their act together and then kept at it. Verres, in contrast, falls outside this spectrum of ‘reasonable’ possibilities: his way of doing accounts, i.e. to have begun, but then to have ceased abruptly and arbitrarily, is unprecedented (novum) and makes no sense at all: it is laughable (ridiculum).

146quae est. diligentissime: quae is a connecting relative; for Cicero’s argument, this information, which is presented as if it were in parenthesis, may at first sight look like a marginal gloss, not least since it disrupts an otherwise perfectly symmetrical arrangement. Consider the text without it:

(i) audimus (ii) aliquem (iii) tabulas numquam confecisse; [quae...diligentissime] (iv) verum sit hoc genus aliquod, minime probandum.
(i) audimus (ii) alium (iii) non ab initio fecisse, sed ex tempore aliquo confecisse; (iv) est aliqua etiam huiusce rei ratio.

147Put differently, Cicero opens anaphorically with the same verb (i: audimus), before identifying an anonymous representative of the respective approach (ii: aliquem/ alium); he then specifies the vital criterion for his attack on Verres, namely the duration of the record keeping, when it began and ended, if at all (iii: numquam/ non ab initio, sed ex tempore aliquo); and concludes with an appraising comment (iv). The mention of Antonius on the other hand breaks the anonymity and has the odd effect that Cicero gives, and then instantly invalidates, an example of the first approach; we also do not hear anything of when Antonius began keeping his accounts and for how long he continued, though the implication is clearly that he started when he should have and kept it up throughout his public career; still a strategic semper or something similar would not have come amiss. On the other hand, as pointed out above, Cicero gets some rhetorical purchase out of including Antonius, not least the full spectrum of more or less ‘rational’ possibilities, marked by the two superlatives minime and diligentissime.

148Antonio: Marcus Antonius (cos. 99), one of the interlocutors in Cicero’s de Oratore (completed in 55). For a recent account of his public career see Fantham, E. (2004), The Roman World of Cicero’s De Oratore, Oxford, 26-48.

149verum sit hoc genus aliquod, minime probandum: ‛but may this be [in the sense of: count as] one possible approach, though in no way to be approved.’

  • 21 For more on ancient dating systems see Feeney, D. C. (2007), Caesar’s Calendar: Ancient Time and t (...)

150usque ad M. Terentium et C. Cassium consules: i.e. 73 BC in our reckoning. Romans of the Republic dated their years according to the consuls in office (‛the annalistic scheme’). The alternative dating ‛ab urbe condita’ was a later invention. (Imagine referring to years past by American Presidents and British Prime Ministers: ‛in the first year of Clinton’s second term in office and Blair’s first’; ‛1997’ is far more convenient.)21 Verres, in other words, maintained that he had kept accounts during the initial phase of his public career (up till the end of his praetorship in 74 BC), but discontinued doing so afterwards: this piece of information is vital for the years during which he governed Sicily as pro-magistrate (73-71 BC), but irrelevant in the present context: for his time as legate in Asia, account books apparently existed.

§ 61

151After looking into Verres’ (lack of) accounting during his pro-praetorship, which will much preoccupy him in later books of the second actio, Cicero calls himself to order and sets aside the topic for further treatment in future (see alio loco hoc cuius modi sit considerabimus). During his years in the Greek East, after all, it is Verres’ keeping of accounts that Cicero uses as basis for his attack: the records prove that none of the statues and artworks that he brought back to Rome was properly bought.

152Alio loco. nunc: Cicero now concedes that his mockery of Verres’ way of accounting at a later stage of his career has no relevance to the issue at hand.

153cuius modi sit: an indirect question.

154Plurima signa pulcherrima, plurimas tabulas optimas: four superlatives; the two phrases are constructed in precise parallel.

155Atque utinam neges!: neges is present subjunctive expressing a wish. Both the conjunction atque (as an emphatic introduction) and the particle utinam reinforce the intensity of the wish. With this wish Cicero submits that, on the basis of the account books, Verres would have been better off denying that he brought any artwork to Rome rather than claiming that he bought any. The fact that such a denial is itself an absurd impossibility (see the previous sentence:... te negare non potes) underscores how ridiculous the claim of legal acquisition in Verres’ case truly is.

156Unum ostende: an imperative and hence a direct challenge to Verres. unum is the subjective accusative of the indirect statement depending on ostende, but Cicero’s word order initially gives the impression that it is a direct object.

157quae nunc ad impluvium tuum stant, quae multos annos ante valvas Iunonis Samiae steterunt: two *asyndetic relative clauses that, by means of precise parallelisms, establish a laconic contrast between past and present:

158nunc ~ multos annos; ad impluvium tuum ~ ante valvas Iunonis Samiae; stant ~ steterunt. Within these indications of time, location, and placement Cicero has embedded an outrageous change in ownership, from Samian Juno (Iunonis Samiae) to Verres (tuum).

159impluvium: specifically, the quadrangular basin in the floor of the atrium of a Roman house that received the rain water from the roof; more generally, the entire open space of the atrium.

160valvas: the folding doors of the temple.

161Iunonis Samiae: The island of Samos became part of the province of Asia in 84 BC; it boasted a famous Heraion, i.e. temple of Hera (the Greek counterpart to the Roman Juno), which featured masterpieces from various famous sculptors (Polycletus, Praxiteles, Myron). Cicero here harks back to his account at 2.1.49-51. Lactantius (c. 250 – c. 320) quotes Varro (116 – 27 BC) as saying that the island was called ‛Parthenia’ since it was where Juno grew up and also married Jupiter. He refers to her temple there as nobilissimum et antiquissimum and discusses her cult statue – it was apparently dressed up as a bride, and the annual worship centred on nuptial rites (Divine Institutes, 1.17.8). One of Juno’s spheres of responsibility was the wellbeing of women and marriage. By recalling Verres’ manhandling of statues associated with her temple here, Cicero obliquely reminds his audience of Verres’ debauchery, the character trait that received brief mention in *praeteritio in his account of Verres’ youth (2.1.32-33) and will dominate his version of what happened at Lampsacus (§§ 63-9).

162habes [sc. ostendere] quo modo emeris: habes here means ‛to have the wherewithal, be in a position (to)’: OLD s.v. 12c. Cicero elides the complementary infinitive, which is understood from the previous sentence.

163quo modo emeris: an indirect question; emeris is second person singular perfect subjunctive.

164haec, inquam, duo. a ceteris signis: Cicero endows the two statues with human qualities: they experience loneliness (sola), await what lies in store for them (exspectant), and feel sadness as if the other statues (ab statuis: ablative of the agent) had abandoned them (relicta ac destituta). He feels compassion for the last two (duo. sola) remaining pieces of plunder left over from the great many (plurima) that Verres started out with.

165sector: from seco, to cut or slice; here: ‛One who buys up captured or confiscated property at a public auction, with a view to reselling it’ (OLD s.v. 2). Cicero employs the term quite frequently to abuse an adversary as a profiteer of injustice and slaughter.

166relicta ac destituta a ceteris signis: apparently, as long as Verres thought that the trial could be delayed to ensure a favourable outcome, he retained possession of his plunder; but once he realized that Cicero had pushed through his own schedule, he cleared his house of all statuary, except these two from Samos. See 2.1.51 (the section where he describes Verres’ ravaging of the island of Samos, a particularly rich hunting ground):. nullum signum domi reliquisti praeter duo quae in mediis aedibus sunt, quae ipsa Samo sublata sunt? (‛... did you not leave no other statue in your house except two that stood in the middle of it, and even those were taken from Samos?’). relicta ac destituta is a *pleonasm.

§ 62

167A transitional paragraph, in the course of which Cicero shifts the focus from Verres’ illicit desire for works of art to his sexual licence. The common theme is his uncontrollable lust: he is a man ruled by his passions, whatever they are. His disrespect for the female deities Diana (§ 53) and Juno (§ 61) anticipate his maltreatment of human women.

168At, credo: a parenthetical opening that endows what follows with an ironic force: see OLD s.v. at 12 and s.v. credo 8c.

169in hisce solis rebus: -ce is an enclitic, deictic particle, attached to the ablative plural (his) of the demonstrative pronoun hic, haec, hoc. Its use here reinforces the irony that Cicero introduced with At credo, by putting special stress on solis. What Cicero is actually saying is something like ‛You are not foolish enough to believe that the lust for artworks was Verres’ one and only passion, judges, are you?’ The locked word order, in which the two attributes hisce and solis are framed by the preposition in and their referent rebus, reproduces iconically the notion of a confined or limited problem – in contrast to indomitas cupiditates atque effrenatas, where the way in which Cicero adds on the synonymous second attribute atque effrenatas enacts the idea of passions being out of control.

170indomitas cupiditates atque effrenatas: etymologically, in-domitus means ‛untamed’ (dominari) and hence incapable of living within a human household (domus); Latin authors use it predominantly of beasts, though Cicero is fond of applying it metaphorically to human beings as well, either specific individuals, whom he deems to be in the thrall of irrational (that is, beastly) passions and desires, or a certain segment of the population, namely the people/masses, whom social elites throughout history have frequently portrayed as acting on instincts, just as animals: see, for instance, de Republica (‛On the Commonwealth’) 1.9, 1.49 and 1.68. The notion of desires that are out of control implies as a corollary that they have come to dominate the person (and his rational self), who harbours them. The idea that, within an individual, reason has to restrain the passions underwrites much moral philosophy from Plato onwards and also informs other literary genres (such as tragedy, comedy, historiography, or oratory) concerned with the representation of human beings and their motivations for action (see note on ratione aliqua aut modo). The upshot of Cicero’s abuse is that Verres’ agency emerges as severely compromised: he is not a dignified senator who controls his desires and hence has the right to govern Rome and the world, but a subhuman creature, in the thrall of passions, who acts out his animal-instincts. Effrenatus (ex + frenum) is the perfect passive participle of effreno (though the Thesaurus Linguae Latinae s.v. moots the possibility that the finite form was derived from the participle). It is synonymous with indomitus (with an even stronger, literal link to the animal sphere) and one of Cicero’s favourite terms of abuse, usually linked to a noun from the domain of the passions: cupiditates (as here), but also libido, audacia, or furor. The ensuing image is of a person ‛gone wild’, behaving utterly out of control, unleashed from any civilizing inhibitions, which is not unlike the effect of charging Verres with insanity (a-mentia: see above § 54).

171ceterae libidines: Cicero uses cupiditates and libidines synonymously; both are non-technical words for desires or passions (in contrast to the philosophical, and specifically Stoic, affectus, which Cicero uses in his philosophical writings, but not in his speeches).

172ratione aliqua aut modo: modus is the consequence of ratio; it is possible to see the phrase as a *hendiadys, in the sense of ‘rational moderation’.

173Quam multis... quam multis... existimatis?: the emotive *anaphora of the interrogative proverb quam and the indiscriminate multis prepares Cicero’s punchline that Verres’ transgressions are countless. The question is clearly rhetorical.

174ingenuis. matribus familias: Cicero singles out two categories of victims: freeborn individuals (ingenuus, ingenua; in the dative plural the gender remains unspecified) and wedded mothers who preside over the household (familia). Put differently, Verres’ conduct tears apart the normative fabric of society, turning free people into slaves of his passion and violating those who sustain society by means of reproduction (matribus) and oversight of a key social institution familias). (Note that familias is an archaic form of the genetive singular.)

  • 22 See Adams, J. (1982), The Latin Sexual Vocabulary, London, 200-1.

175stuprorum flagitiorumque: the original meaning of stuprum was ‛disgrace’; in the sexual arena it refers to an illicit act, on the grounds of adultery or violence.22 Here it picks up the claim in the previous sentence that Verres was a serial rapist of married women, i.e. perpetrated adulterous violence on a large scale. Flagitium does not have a technical sexual sense.

176taetra atque impura: taeter means ‛morally offensive, abominable, foul’ and carries connotations of monstrosity – it is one of Cicero’s favourite attributes of abuse and lowers the person thus labelled to a subhuman level. impurus means ‛morally foul, esp. in regard to sexual conduct’ (OLD s.v. 2) and can carry connotations of religious pollution. It, too, features frequently in Ciceronian invective, and is an attribute that accompanies Verres throughout the Verrines: see e.g. 2.1.32 and 2.2.192.

177... reliquerit?: another rhetorical question.

178Ecquo in oppido: ec- is a prefix that gets attached to interrogatives with intensive or indefinite force, hence the interrogative adjective ecqui, -ae/a, -od ‛is there any?’ Cicero uses it to underscore the indiscriminate and random trail of outrage and violence that Verres left behind wherever he went. See also ecqua virgo sit at the end of § 63.

179Ecquo in oppido pedem posuit ubi non plura stuprorum: the opening of the sentence contains a variety of sound effects: the rhyme ecquo ~ oppido, the *alliteration in pedem posuit (prepared for by oppido and continued by plura), and the assonance of ‘p’, ‘u’ and ‘r’ in plura ~ stuprorum.

180plura... vestigia: a remarkable *hyperbaton (from Greek huperbaino, that is, ‛to step over’); Cicero may even be punning on the technical term of the rhetorical device he is using, given that he here comments on where Verres put his feet or left traces, both literally and metaphorically. Likewise, Cicero enacts the hyperbolic claim that Verres’ acts of transgression outnumber his footprints in the respective length of the two genitive phrases that depend on vestigia: stuprorum flagitiorumque suorum has 12 syllables, adventus sui 5.

181adventus sui: genitive of adventus, -us, m., depending on vestigia; its technical meaning is ‛arrival’.

182vim attulisse: also below § 67. For oratorical decorum in sexual matters, see Adams, J. N. (1982), The Latin Sexual Vocabulary, Baltimore and London, 222-23.

183omnia quae... praetermittam; haec quae... relinquam; unum aliquod... eligam: the last sentence is built as a *tricolon, with the first two items serving as foil for the third (see next note). Cicero marks the contrast syntactically, using an accusative object + attached relative clause for the first two units and an accusative object only for the third. The effect is a heightened sense of drama, as Cicero diminishes the length but increases the rhetorical force. The way he sets up his choice of illustrative example implies that denial of its truth is impossible: as a matter of course he does not touch upon anything in doubt (omnia quae negari poterunt praetermittam), and only chooses one instance from among those transgressions that are well established and notorious.

184praetermittam. relinquam: Cicero here employs the rhetorical device of *praeteritio, which works according to the principle of having your cake and eating it at the same time – by mentioning omission, he ensures that what is omitted nevertheless registers with the audience. Often, praeteritio is cast in such a way (as here) that its use is advertised as being motivated by consideration for the audience or a sense of duty and thereby heightens appreciation for the orator’s sense of decorum (‛of what is appropriate’): Cicero could if he wished spend several days detailing the sexual exploits and outrages of Verres – he won’t, limiting himself to one instance only in order to press on with the real business.

185de nefariis... factis: nefarius is an adjective derived from nefas, ‛what is not fas’, that is, in violation of divine law. Its basic meanings are ‛immoral’ or ‛wicked’ and it carries connotations of sacrilege. It continues the theme of Verres as a religious criminal who does not shy away from plundering shrines of the gods and manhandling their cult-statues.

186oneris negotique: a *hendiadys; the phrase is a partitive genitive depending on hoc.

187pervenire: the infinitive complements and completes possim; Cicero again uses *hyperbaton (see above on plura), and again the stylistic device mirrors the theme, that is, the distance that Cicero’s speech needs to cover before arriving at its final destination, Sicily. Despite his commitment to economy of coverage (see above on praetermittam... relinquam, here recalled by means of facilius, which picks up theannouncement that Cicerowillchooseonedeed only for further comment), the path is long (see aliquando: ‛finally’) – even though he has decided to take shortcuts through the terrain of Verres’ crimes before his governorship of Sicily.

§ 63

  • 23 Steel, C. (2004), ‛Being Economical with the Truth: What Really Happened at Lampsacus?’, in J. Pow (...)

188The events at Lampsacus, which was located in the Roman province of Asia, will preoccupy Cicero until the beginning of § 86. This is a fairly self-contained unit of text. Mitchell (1986) 188 calls Cicero’s account of what happened at Lampsacus ‛one of the finest examples of his skill in narratio’ – and, as one could add with reference to Catherine Steel’s study, spin.23 For in order to appreciate the text in all of its nuances it is of vital importance to bear in mind that we are not getting an objective record of what actually happened, but what Cicero wants his audience to believe has happened. He accordingly manipulates the available information (or facts) in such a way as to capture the attention of his audience by means of a fascinating story that portrays Verres in the worst possible light. In Cicero, narration always has the double function of report and argument. Indeed, the facts that can be established with reasonable certainty from Cicero’s text (our only source) boil down to: (i) during Verres’ stay at Lampsacus, a commotion broke out at a dinner party that the highranking Lampsacene citizen Philodamus organized and which was attended by several members of Verres’ entourage (not by Verres himself); (ii) during this commotion, Cornelius, one of Verres’ lictors, was killed; (iii) at the subsequent trial, over which Dolabella presided, Philodamus and his son were sentenced to death and summarily executed. Everything else remains unsubstantiated and circumstantial – we have to take Cicero’s word for it, even though in § 71 he mentions his informants (P. Tettius and C. Varro, who belonged to the staff of C. Nero, the governor of Asia at the time). Cicero’s purpose is obvious: he construes his tale in such a way that Verres emerges as the mastermind behind the commotion at the dinner party, driven on by lust and lechery; that Philodamus and his son are the innocent and upright victims of Roman aggression; and that the court proceedings were skewed by Verres and his supporters, meaning that the Roman provincial governors of Cilicia (Dolabella) and Asia (Nero) perpetrated judicial homicide to protect Verres. A good way to approach this portion of the text is to ask at every step what techniques Cicero employs to endow his version of the story with plausibility: how does he enhance the appearance of veracity? What parts of his story do not stand up to scrutiny? How does he brush over details that suggest a different explanation of what happened? What is the balance between argument and appeal to the emotions, logic and outrage, that Cicero aims for? Are you, in the end, convinced that Cicero has actually told us what really happened at Lampsacus?

189In terms of structure, the story itself falls into two parts, roughly equal in length: §§ 63-69 give an account of what happened in Lampsacus; §§ 70-76 deal with the judicial aftermath, i.e. the trial and the execution of Philodamus and his son. This is followed by a lengthy attempt to discredit Verres’ version of the story (§§ 77-85). The strategy is telling: Cicero first advances his own account and then uses it as foil to question Verres’ ‘official’ version of the story.

190In § 63, Cicero sets the scene. He begins in an ethnographic vein, introducing the inhabitants of the city and their key traits, before detailing how it came about that Verres paid a visit to the city. The final part of the paragraph details what Verres initiated upon his arrival at Lampsacus; Cicero makes it out that he is reporting ‛standard operating procedure’ (see esp. ut mos erat istius), thereby underscoring his earlier point that he chose this episode exempli gratia: it stands in for countless similar events that Cicero is passing over in silence. The claim that we are witnessing ‘routine business’ adds to the plausibility of the tale – but it may not be more than a claim.

191autem: in its basic sense, it expresses a contrast ‛without any pronounced adversative sense’ (OLD s.v. 1) – here it is between the qualities of the town (fame and renown) and the qualities of the inhabitants (peace-loving and dutiful).

192clarum et nobile: a surprising, and perhaps slightly ironic, choice of attributes: in Rome, public recognition derived from political and, especially, military success; the so-called nobiles were those who belonged to aristocratic families with a distinguished record of past achievement in politics and warfare, including at least one consulship. Here Cicero uses nobile in the generic, non-technical sense of ‛renowned’ or ‛famous’, as if he wishes to underscore cross-cultural differences between Greece and Rome: if in Rome, renown derives first and foremost from strenuous feats of public endeavour, in the Greek-speaking East, a lifestyle of leisure seems capable of ensuring a famous reputation – though it is important to bear in mind that Cicero, strictly speaking, applies the attributes to the town, not its inhabitants. Alternatively, ‛the description of the city itself as clarum et nobile may be meant to indicate that it is not democratic, and therefore not in thrall to the lower classes’: Steel (2004) 243.

193homines... ipsi Lampsaceni: technically speaking, the homines here is superfluous – Cicero could simply have refered to the Lampsaceni, that is, the inhabitants of Lampsacus; but contrasting different types of human beings is one of his favourite ploys: Gildenhard (2011) 50-73. His account of the events at Lampsacus offers a perfect case study in his ‘anthropological rhetoric’ insofar as Cicero uses his version of the events to highlight what type of human being (or rather non-human monster) Verres is. In the paragraph here, he contrasts the gentle human beings who live in Lampsacus with the human beings that make up Verres’ entourage and who are utterly wicked and sinful: see nequissimis turpissimisque hominibus towards the end of the paragraph. It is important to bear in mind that the generic portrayal of the inhabitants that Cicero offers has no historical value.

194officiosi. sedati et quieti. accommodati: In each case the verb (sunt) is implied. Cicero assumes the point of view of the ethnographer who informs his Roman audience of the characteristics of the inhabitants of Lampsacus. Three qualities stand out: they are particularly well predisposed towards Roman citizens; they have an extraordinarily calm disposition; and they value a life of leisure even more than the rest of the Greeks. The *ellipsis results in a more concentrated focus on the attributes of the Lampsacenes that Cicero wishes to highlight.

  • 24 See Gildenhard (2011) 266-67.

195prope: ‛almost’, ‛virtually’; Cicero often slips in qualifications (such as quasi, paene, or, as here, prope, ‛which expresses the idea of falling short by a little’: OLD s.v. 6) to put some perspective on his *hyperboles or take the edge off an excessively outrageous statement.24 In this paragraph, he uses prope twice.

196Graecorum: *apo koinou: the genitive is shared between praeter ceteros and otium.

197cum. tum: coordinating two co-existing circumstances, with a special emphasis on the second: OLD s.v. cum 14.

198summe... maxime... ad summum... otium: Cicero again operates in superlative mode: the two adverbs (summe, maxime) and the one attribute (summum) suggest that the inhabitants of Lampsacus are so peaceful as to be all but comatose.

  • 25 The topic of ethnic stereotypes in ancient thought has recently received a new monographic treatme (...)

199ad summum Graecorum otium: Romans (and in particular Cicero) stereotypically portrayed Greeks as fond of leisure – in contrast to the Romans, who were busy conquering and governing the world. In Cicero, this ethnic difference manifests itself paradigmatically in the two figures of the Greek philosopher, who lives a life of leisure in idle speculations of a theoretical nature, and the Roman statesman, who is fully preoccupied with the administration of public (and military) affairs at home and abroad. Cicero here extends a highly tendentious view of the life-style choices of cultural elites to entire ethnic groups, in an attitude of appreciative and jovial benevolence: here, for once, the Greeks are ‘the good guys’, the victims of Roman oppression. The stereotypes to which he resorts when the Greeks are ‘the bad guys’ are more insidious.25

200potius quam ad ullam vim aut tumultum: violence (vis) and unrest (tumultum), the antithesis of otium, are of course precisely the eventual outcome of Verres’ visit to the city. The formulation thus has a proleptic force: it obliquely alerts the audience to what will happen. But initial characterization of the Lampsacenes suggests that violent unrest in their city is the most unlikely turn of events, indeed a perversion of their nature, and thus it prepares the ground for his argument that the responsibility for what was to come rests entirely with Verres.

201Accidit. ut. veniret: after setting the scene, Cicero turns to the plot; the impersonal main verb accidit takes the exposed, front position, whereas the complementary ut-clause is much delayed (accidit ut + subjunctive means ‛it happens or comes about that’, ‛it is the case that’: OLD s.v. 7a.): in-between (from cum iste. to adcommodatum depoposcisset) Cicero inserts the requisite background information that explains how Verres happened to visit Lampsacus. This syntax does not translate easily into English.

202a Cn. Dolabella efflagitasset: flagito, as well as the intensive efflagito, means ‛to ask imperiously’; Verres in other words behaves rudely towards his superior in charge; later on in the paragraph Cicero portrays Verres as a man ruled by his disgraceful desires (libidines flagitiosae: see below), which sheds retrospective light on the reasons for his outrageous conduct: he is a man ruled by his disgraceful passions.

  • 26 For a discussion of the events, see Gruen, E. (1966), ‛The Dolabellae and Sulla’, American Journal (...)

203Cn. Dolabella: Cn. Cornelius Dolabella was praetor in 81 BC, before becoming governor of the province Cilicia (80-79 BC). Verres served him first as legate and, after the death of his quaestor C. Malleolus, as pro-quaestor. Shortly after Dolabella’s return to Rome, he was successfully prosecuted on the charge of extortion by M. Aemilius Scaurus and sentenced to exile in 78 BC.26 A prime witness for the prosecution was none other than Verres, who took this opportunity to blame any mismanagement and misdeed that happened during his time in Asia Minor on his superior-in-command. Cicero makes heavy weather of this act of treachery at various moments in the Verrines, notably at 2.1.44-45, that is, shortly before our present passage and again in § 77 (where he addresses Dolabella directly).

204ad regem Nicomedem regemque Sadalam: Nicomedes IV Philopator was king of Bithynia, Sadalas a Thracian king. As Mitchell (1986) 190 points out, ‛embassies to allied or client states could be highly profitable’ – on account of the lavish gifts and hospitality that such kings parcelled out to get on good terms with their Roman visitors. Steel (2004) 241 n. 18, however, cautions us to take Cicero’s insinuations at face value: ‛given the delicate situation of the whole region following the first Mithradatic War, we do not have to follow Cicero in his suggestion that there was no pressing public interest which could justify the embassy.’

205cumque: the -que connects the two cum-clauses.

206iter hoc: the phrase correlates *chiastically with illo itinere in the subsequent clause.

207sibi: the dative of advantage (dativus commodi) is strictly speaking unnecessary, but nicely reinforces ad quaestum suum and more generally the utterly selfish nature of Verres’ motivation.

208depoposcisset: ‛to demand peremptorily’ – as with ef-flagitasset, Cicero intensifies the meaning of the verb by opting for a composite form (de-poscere).

209magis ad. quam ad. adcommodatum: with slight variation, Cicero uses the same construction of Verres as he just did of the Lampsacenes (ad. potius quam ad. adcommodati). The different positions of the comparatives magis and potius serve to emphasize the positive in the case of the Lampsacenes and the negative in the case of Verres. Note also the shift in focus from the Lampsacenes themselves (accommodati) to an aspect of Verres’ doings (accommodatum modifies iter).

210ad (a) quaestum (b) suum... ad (b) rei publicae (a) tempus: the arrangement is *chiastic. With tempus Cicero signals that Verres is wasting his time in office – a short and precious resource – that he ought to spend in seeing to the public interest for his personal gain and pleasure.

211cum magna calamitate et prope pernicie civitatis: cum here means ‛with as a consequence, with resulting’: OLD s.v. 12; civitatis modifies both calamitate and pernicie (that is, it is used *apo koinou) and constitutes a shocking end to the question as to who has suffered the calamity: nothing less than the entire citizen community. Again, Cicero proclaims the outcome at the beginning. The phrase is well balanced in terms of syllables and assonance: magna calamitate (2:5), prope pernicie (2:4); but it also sports variation: magna is an attribute, prope an adverbial qualification. The arrangement is *climactic, moving from terrible disaster (calamitas) to complete destruction (pernicies). Cicero here falls out of his reporter’s logic – it almost sounds as if Verres, the subject of the two cum-clauses as well as the purpose-clause – demands to travel by way of Lampsacus in order to visit death and destruction upon its community. This, of course, is not the case. Yet by his anticipation of the consequences of Verres’ visits (whatever his intentions), Cicero manages to imply that calamitas and pernicies are inevitable byproducts of Verres’ approach to provincial administration.

212Deducitur iste... comitesque... conlocantur: verbs and subjects form a *chiasmus, whereas ad lanitorem quendam hospitem and apud ceteros hospites are construed in parallel fashion. Note the switch into the historic present.

213Ut mos erat istius, atque ut eum suae libidines flagitiosae facere admonebant: the imperfect tense here indicates iteration: Cicero recounts routine business. Libidines flagitiosae harks back to his earlier discussion of Verres’ lustfulness. Note how Cicero’s choice of grammar helps portray Verres as a plaything of his passions: it is not he who is in control of his own passions, his passions are in control of him; they are in the nominative and are the subject of admonebant, whereas Verres is the accusative object, the person whom they govern (eum). The combination of this figure of thought with a reference to habit (mos), i.e. a customary practice, generates a particularly insidious effect: it suggests that passionate, i.e. unpredictable, irrational, un-Roman, and despicable, actions that fall short of standards of rational and socially acceptable behaviour are the norm, rather than the exception, with Verres. Not unlike the reference to voluptas, libido, and cupiditas in § 57, the clause atque ut... admonebant thus constitutes a piece of spiteful ethopoiea not strictly necessary for the advancement of the plot.

214iste. comitesque eius: Cicero’s account targets both Verres and his cronies. See the introduction for some comments on the entourage of Roman officials.

215nequissimis turpissimisque hominibus: two further abusive superlatives; as elsewhere Cicero characterizes Verres’ entourage from an anthropological perspectives: in the apposition, he specifies what kind of human beings (hominibus) follow him.

216ecqua virgo sit aut mulier: the formulation recalls § 62, where Cicero also used a form of equis (ecquo in oppido) and a reference to two types of women (ingenuae and matres familias) to underscore the arbitrary, indiscriminate, and hence comprehensive nature of Verres’ sexual crimes. The stylistic and rhetorical reminiscences reinforce Cicero’s claim that he has quite randomly chosen one specific example to illustrate a countless number of transgressions. If the omission of familias after mulier downgrades the outrage (though broadens the remit of the order), the switch from ingenuae to virgo heightens the premonition that the sex-monster Verres is about to rape an innocent virgin, aided by his vile companions.

217digna: highly ironic – as if Verres were particularly choosy concerning his victims.

218quam ob rem: also written as one word (quamobrem), it is an interrogative or relative adverbial phrase: ‛for which reason, for the sake of which, why’: OLD s.v. 2.

219quam ob rem ipse Lampsaci diutius commoraretur: Cicero insidiously suggests that the quality of the city’s ‘female resources’, rather than any concern for public business, are Verres’ only reason to linger.

§ 64

220After the generic references in § 63 (ut mos erat istius, negotium dat illis suis comitibus, ecqua virgo sit aut mulier), Cicero now zooms in on specifics: in this particular case, the companion who came up with the goods was one Rubrius, who, being particularly talented for this sort of thing, learned from hearsay that one high-ranking citizen in Lampsacus called Philodamus had an outstandingly beautiful daughter known for her chastity. (We never learn her actual name.) This piece of information, so Cicero submits, was all it took to inflame Verres with an all-consuming passion to have his way with the woman. A tragic farce begins to play itself out. Comic elements include the role of Rubrius, who acts as scout and pimp; Verres’ instant outburst into passion upon hearing news of Philodamus’ daughter; the speaking name of Ianitor, Verres’ host; and hyperbolic statements such as the use of excessive force (summa vi) by which Ianitor is trying to prevent Verres from moving house. (The notion that a chap called ‘Porter’ gets into a pushing and pulling match with a Roman official to keep him lodged in his house borders on the absurd – it is a scene more at home in dramatic and literary genres, such as comedy or love elegy, than in Roman provincial administration.) The assimilation of the narrative to a farce or mime is further aided by Cicero’s generic use of homo to refer to the protagonists.

  • 27 For the life of leading citizens in the Greek cities of Asia Minor in Hellenistic and Roman times, (...)

221Rubrius quidam; Philodamum... quendam: quidam means ‛a certain’ – Cicero uses the tag to introduce characters of the tale otherwise unknown to his audience. ‘Nothing is known about Rubrius apart from what emerges in this passage; but given his position, as part of the entourage of a legate, it is probable that he was a young man who was in the provinces, quite possibly for the first time, to gain experience as a preliminary to a political career’: Steel (2004) 240 n.14. Philodamus, on the other hand, whose name means something akin to ‛fond (philo-) of the people (damos)’, clearly belonged to the citizen-elite of Lampsacus, in terms of wealth, social rank, and willingness to undertake civic obligations, not least those imposed by Rome.27 Cicero recognizes his status as a local aristocrat, but then concentrates on his private role as father and family man.

222homo [i.e. Rubrius] factus ad istius libidines.... Homo [i.e. Verres], ut haec audivit, sic exarsit.......hominem [i.e. Verres] summa vi retinere coepit: Cicero continues his ‛anthropological idiom’, which transposes the events from Roman history into a narrative about human types, from the good to the depraved.

223rem istam: the accusative object of defert, which proleptically sums up, and finds explication in, the indirect statements Philodamum esse quendam eius esse filiam,.; eam. existimari.

224genere, honore, copiis, existimatione: four ablatives of respect, in *asyndetic sequence that refer to different areas of distinction: descent (genus), rank in the community (honos), wealth (copiae), and reputation (existimatio).

225filiam. cum patre. virum. mulierem: Cicero here reports what Rubrius reported to Verres. This raises the question of focalization – is the idiom that of Rubrius or that of Cicero? Whereas the first three nouns (filia, pater, vir) are value-neutral, mulier (‛a woman who is married or has had sexual experience (opp. virgo’): OLD s.v. 2) here surprises: from Cicero’s point of view one would have expected rather virgo. He may have opted for mulier to convey a sense of Rubrius’ crudity: he calls her a mulier to suggest that this female wants a male, that is Verres. Another possibility is that the daughter of Philodamus was indeed a mulier, rather than a virgo, perhaps because she had once been married, before returning to live with her father (as widow or divorcee?).

226eximia pulchritudine; summa integritate pudicitiaque: ablatives of description, the first referring to natural endowment, the second to her moral character and reputation. Cicero submits that it is the tension between utmost desirability and utter unattainability that sets Verres’ perverse mind afire. Note again Cicero’s predilection for extreme diction: eximia, summa. His rhetoric colours everything as brightly and graphically as possible.

227sic exarsit [ad id quod non modo ipse numquam viderat, sed ne audierat quidem ab eo qui ipse vidisset], ut statim...: the sic sets up the consecutive ut-clause; the intervening quod-clause, which heightens the sense of Verres being utterly out of control (he is set on fire by mere hearsay), finds confirmation in his demand for instant action (statim).

228exarsit... coepit... coepit... dicit... iubet: Cicero again switches from the perfect to the ‘historical present’ to make his narrative more vivid.

  • 28 Morwood (1999) 100, Nr. 5 and 8.

229ab eo qui ipse vidisset: not Rubrius, but a hypothetical ‘someone’ who (unlike Rubrius) had actually seen Philodamus’ daughter with his own eyes. The perfect subjunctive is generic (‛... from a person of the kind that he had seen it himself’).28

230Ianitor, qui nihil suspicaretur: Ianitor is a so-called ‛speaking name’, that is, a name that carries a meaning beyond designating an individual. In this case, the meaning (‛Porter’, ‛Gatekeeper’) is closely related to what Ianitor is doing, namely preventing Verres from leaving the house. Cicero most likely invented the name for the occasion to enhance the tragi-comic appeal of his narrative. (That an inhabitant of a Greek city should have a Latin name tailour-made for the yarn that Cicero is here spinning staggers belief.) The subjunctive in the relative clause has causal force.

231ne quid: after si, nisi, ne and num, ali- disappears; here (ali)quid functions adverbially, in the sense of ‛somehow’.

232Rubrium, delicias suas, in omnibus eius modi rebus adiutorem suum et conscium, parum laute deversari dicit: Cicero, who here reports what Verres said, includes two phrases in apposition in the indirect statement: (a) delicias suas; (b) in omnibus eius modi rebus adiutorem suum et conscium. This again raises the question of focalization: are we supposed to imagine these phrases as having been part of what Verres allegedly said at the time or are they rather Cicero’s observations, added to provide a commentary on Verres’ utterance? Whereas (b) is clearly Cicero’s point of view since it could not have been part of Verres’ statement, the case is less clear cut with (a): in many ways, focalization via Verres produces a more vicious meaning, with Cicero putting the following into Verres’ mouth: ‘Rubrius, my darling, suffers in a substandard accommodation – have him transferred to Philodamus.’ As Steel (2004) 239 n. 10 puts it: ‛Is this markedly colloquial phrase, delicias suas, simply Cicero’s description of Rubrius? Or does Cicero want us to think that Verres is so far gone in shamelessness that he could reveal such a liaison to a provincial?’

233delicias suas: literally, deliciae means ‛pleasures’ or ‛delights’ and it is then used as an endearing expression of a ‛delightful person’ (in the sense of ‛sweetheart’ or ‛pet’), most frequently in direct addresses. It is a mannerism of Roman New Comedy, but here constitutes an inappropriate endearment in several respects: in contrast to the Greek personnel of the genre, Verres is a Roman magistrate; his relationship to Rubrius should not follow any New-Comic pattern or habit of speech; the phrase, which is erotically charged, hinting at sexual delight, feminizes Rubrius by suggesting that he was Verres’ ‛toyboy’; and if the generic connotations of comedy resonate, the plot that unfolds here is tragic. (Cf. § 76, which describes the heart-wrenching and tear-inducing spectaculum – the public execution of Philodamus and his son – that brings the affair to a sorry end.)

234deversari: ‛to have lodgings’.

235Iste, qui. reperire non posset,. coepit: Cicero here portrays Verres in a hilarious fisty-cuff battle with a stubborn provincial, who is loath to see his distinguished visitor go and hence manhandles him. Being at a loss of how to extricate himself from the unwanted hospitality of Ianitor, Verres, so Cicero notes with sarcastic undertone, in his shrewdness devises a Plan B. Note the lexical and syntactical parallels between this and the previous sentence, in which Cicero described Ianitor: Hospes Ianitor corresponds to Iste, in each case the subjects are further described by a relative clause with causal force, and both sentences have coepit as main verb. Cicero thereby assimilates Verres to a character in a comic plot, at the same level as his stereotypical Ianitor.

§ 65

236The paragraph recounts the encounter between Verres and Philodamus, when the latter tries to register a protest against the indignity of being forced to quarter a low-ranking Roman over and above his regular hospitality duties, which he so far had met without fail. He emerges as courageous and courteous, full of dignity, and conscious of his rank and standing within his city, yet at the same time well-disposed to a fault towards the Romans. He calmly and rationally presents his case to Verres, yet once he realizes that there is nothing to be done, he graciously accepts defeat and tries to make the best of an unpleasant situation. In contrast, Verres appears as the stereotype of the arrogant Roman: he imperiously disregards Philodamus’ legitimate objection, driven as he is by his consuming passion for sexual gratification by whatever means necessary. At the same time, if one sets aside Cicero’s portrayal of the two characters and only looks at the facts, some oddities emerge: in particular, Philodamus’ dinner plans look over the top – as well as terribly naive. Why did he become so utterly self-effacing as to give Rubrius a free hand in organizing the dinner? Why did he not simply hand over the house, if he was so inclined, but asked for a place for himself? Why did he send away his son? All of these actions turn him retrospectively into an unwitting facilitator of Verres’ criminal ambitions (as construed by Cicero), but it raises the question whether Cicero’s account of the social dynamics behind the dinner arrangements actually captures the truth.

237tametsi: tam + etsi – introduces a concessive clause (‛even though’).

238quantum. mali: mali is a partitive genitive depending on quantum. The *hyberbaton underscores the extent of the evil that lies in wait for Philodamus.

239iam tum: the phrase reinforces the idea of premeditation: Cicero makes it out that Verres and his cronies hatched a detailed plan of how to achieve the rape of Philodamus’ daughter. The motivation that determines the sequence of events is Verres’ beastly lust; Cicero never allows for the possibility that other factors (such as chance) may have played a role.

  • 29 See for more details Lintott, A. (1993), Imperium Romanum: Politics and Administration, London and (...)

240munus. cum suae partes essent hospitum recipiendorum: a munus is a (public) duty or obligation. In addition to official taxation, pro-magistrates in charge of provinces, as well as members of their entourage, could demand a certain amount of supplies and entertainment to be provided by the local population. The Romans passed some legislation designed to curb excessive use of this form of exploitation, but in practice much must have depended on the attitude and expectations of individual magistrates.29

241praetores et consules, non legatorum adseculas: Philodamus’ phrasing implies that even Verres (who was a legatus) falls short of the required rank: his hospitality usually extends only to high magistrates of the Roman people (praetors or consuls), not to any lesser official, and hence a fortiori not to mere members of the entourage.

242adseculas: adsecula, ae (m.) means ‛follower’.

243postulatum causamque: possibly a *hendiadys: ‛legitimate grievance’. This is the only hint in Cicero’s account that Philodamus may have overstepped the tightly circumscribed boundaries within which provincials could object to the demands of their Roman superiors.

244per vim. imperavit. Hic: Cicero has conjured a moment of crisis: we have reached a point in the narrative where a resort to violence (per vim) looms. Verres is beyond reason and ready to enforce his will by any means necessary. But the physical confrontation is averted since Philodamus gives in: ‛at this point’ (hic, with a long i), that is, when he sees that he will not be able to attain what is his right (ius), he wishes to save face and make the best of an unpleasant situation. Thus he counters the threat of force with obliging kindness: the contrast between the vis of Verres and the humanitas of Philodamus could not be sharper; in Cicero’s thought, it coincides with the distinction between barbarity and civilization. Yet whereas normally provincials or foreigners are associated with barbarity and the Romans with civilization, here the affiliations are inverted.

245imperavit... noluit... comparat... rogat... mittit: as in the previous paragraph, Cicero starts out to narrate events in the perfect tense, before switching to the more vivid present.

246laborabat: the imperfect tense here signifies ‘attempt’ – the so-called ‘conative’ use of the imperfect (from conari, to try, attempt).

247humanitatem consuetudinemque suam: a *hendiadys, best rendered by turning the second noun (consuetudo) into an adjective (‛usual’), such as ‛usual human kindness’ or ‛standards of civilized conduct’. Humanitas is one of Cicero’s favourite nouns, with a range of meanings, including compassion, human kindness, (Roman) civilization, and Roman-elite, yet Greek-educated urbanity. See Gildenhard (2011) 201-16.

248Homo, qui semper hospitalissimus amicissimusque nostrorum hominum existimatus esset.: that Cicero uses homo twice right after mentioning Philodamus humanitas is no coincidence: he construes a group of human beings that includes the provincial Philodamus and all right-minded Romans (nostri homines) on the grounds of shared human values, such as hospitality, urbanity, respect for the law, and the disinclination to use violence, but excludes Verres and his entourage. Throughout the Verrines, Cicero pursues a systematic campaign of portraying his adversary as subhuman.

249magnifice et ornate: Steel (2004) 240 questions whether the banquet really was of the ‛splendidly lavish scale’ that Cicero makes it out to be. She argues that it was most likely a relatively minor affair, which would explain in part why Philodamus sent away his son – he ‛had better things to do than have dinner with some unimportant Romans’. This interpretation chimes well with Philodamus’ grievance that he was used to entertaining much more important persons than legates (let alone the riff-raff in a legate’s entourage) and why he did not invite any other local dignitary or even neighbours, but decided to deal with the unpleasant situation by himself (see locum sibi soli).

250copiosus: wealthy – the attribute picks up copiis in § 64.

251copiosus, convivium comparat: the adjective, the noun, and the verb are linked both by *alliteration and thematically. Note, with reference to the following paragraph, that Philodamus organizes a (Roman) convivium, rather than a (Greek) symposion (for the difference see below).

252ut quos ei commodum sit invitet: the antecedent of quos (eos), which is also the accusative object of invitet, is left out.

§ 66

  • 30 See further the collection of papers edited by J. Donahue and B. K. Gold (2005), Roman Dining, Bal (...)

253Cicero describes the banquet that Philodamus put on in honour of his guest, emphasizing the hybrid nature of the event, in which elements of the Roman convivium (a dinner-party) and the Greek symposium (a drinking party) get mixed. The etymologies of the two terms underscore the different emphases of the two get-togethers: convivium comes from con-vivo, i.e. to live together, spend one’s time in company, and hence dine together, with a stress on conviviality, that is, the enjoyment of one another’s company and the social dimension of the affair; sym-posion comes from sun-poteo, that is, to drink together, which, while also highlighting the social aspect of the activity with the prefix sun- (‛with, together’ – the Greek equivalent of Latin cum), focuses on alcohol consumption. What starts out as an orderly Roman dinner party ends up as a rowdy Greek symposium. One significant difference in the social etiquettes that governed the Roman convivium and the Greek symposium concerned the role of women: while ladies of the household could be present at the former (though they tended to sit on chairs, or were often represented as doing so, rather than to recline on couches), the only females present at the latter were courtesans. The occasion was strictly off-limits to women of the household, especially unmarried and hence supposedly virginal daughters.30

  • 31 With reference to Corbeill, A. (1996), Controlling Laughter: Political Humor in the Late Republic, (...)

254Strikingly, Cicero does nowhere say that Verres himself was actually present at the banquet, though some of his formulations are designed to generate the (erroneous) impression that he was. But the sentence Rubrius istius comites invitat makes it clear that Verres himself was not invited – even though Cicero instantly follows up this piece of information by saying that Verres briefed the invitees before they went to dinner (eos omnis Verres certiores facit quid opus esset). Steel (2004) 237 is surely right in arguing that Cicero would have made much more of it if Verres had participated in the banquet: ‛quite apart from his role in the supposed kidnap, allegations of misbehaviour in sympotic contexts are a recurrent feature of Cicero’s invective against Verres elsewhere in the Verrines, and against his other forensic opponents and political enemies.’31 As it is, the care Cicero takes to assert Verres’ involvement, if not to suggest his presence, without ever committing himself to an explicit statement concerning his whereabouts, would seem to imply that his absence from the banquet was too well-established a fact to bend it much.

255Why did the brawl break out? Cicero overlays two scenarios, which are not mutually exclusive: (i) a cross-cultural misunderstanding concerning the presence of women at a party that got out of hand: see Steel (2004) 240, who moots the possibility that ‛Rubrius simply did not understand how offensive and inappropriate his request was, and that the incident was a cultural misunderstanding and not the start of a premeditated attack’; or (ii) a carefully devised plot, hatched and masterminded by Verres and Rubrius before the dinner even started. (ii) is clearly the scenario that Cicero presupposes and tries to render plausible, while building aspects of scenario (i) into his account. But we have to ask ourselves: does scenario (i) not suffice to explain what happened – or indeed constitute, by itself, the more plausible scenario? Is it really likely that Verres devised a scheme that would have him wait elsewhere until his henchmen brought him his prey? Could Roman magistrates count on abducting a random woman from the household of their hosts to have their way with her and expect to get away with it? Would it not have made more sense for Verres to join the party (after all, according to Cicero, Rubrius was at liberty to invite anyone he wanted) and to see what would transpire? In short, should we not rather reckon with a version of scenario (i), namely chance circumstances that turned awry on the spot, owing to cross-cultural misunderstandings and the inebriation of the participants, which Cicero then embeds within the freely invented scenario (ii)? These are fraught questions: a dinner party getting out of control is one thing, a violent abduction to perpetrate premeditated rape quite another.

256Rubrius invitat; Verres certiores facit; veniunt; discumbitur; fit sermo; invitatio ut... biberetur; hortatur hospes; poscunt; celebratur... convivium;. Rubrio visa est: after setting up Rubrius and Verres as masterminds of the whole affair, Cicero describes the proceedings without reference to specific actors, using the impersonal third person singular (discumbitur, biberetur) and anonymous third person plurals (veniunt, poscunt), an effect reinforced by the passive celebratur and the deponent fit. The only identifiable subject in this stretch is Philodamus who, as host (hospes), sees to it that a good time is had by all. Then, when the decisive moment has come, Cicero returns to naming Rubrius (and by implication Verres).

257Rubrius istius comites invitat; eos omnes Verres certiores facit quid opus esset: Cicero here both acknowledges and obfuscates the rather crucial fact that Verres himself was not present at the banquet.

258sermo: small-talk, easy-going conversation, often involving wit and urbanity; in contrast to the protocols of alcohol consumption the party adopted (see invitatio ut Graeco more biberetur), it is a markedly Roman term.

259ut Graeco more biberetur: Graeco more could either refer to the habit of drinking to the health of the person to whom the cup is then passed or the practice of imbibing the wine undiluted with water.

260Homo, qui... esset: the relative clause has causal meaning, hence the subjunctive.

261et summa gravitate et iam id aetatis et parens: *a polysyndetic sequence: Cicero gives three weighty reasons why Philodamus was taken aback by Rubrius’ suggestion. summa gravitate is an ablative of description, id aetatis a partitive genitive.

262Homo... obstipuit hominis improbi dicto: again we have a sharp, anthropological contrast between one type of human being and another, underscored on the lexical and stylistic level by the *polyptoton homohominis. Improbus (‛wicked’) is a favourite attribute of abuse in Cicero: he routinely contrasts ‛the good’ (boni) with ‘the wicked’ (improbi).

263poscunt maioribus poculis: a complementary infinitive such as bibere (to drink) is to be supplied after poscunt.

264Instare Rubrius: Cicero uses an infinitive in place of the finite verb (instat) to enhance vividness. Philodamus is shocked into silence, but Rubrius rudely presses on.

265ut aliquid responderet: a purpose clause – the emphasis is on aliquid: Philodamus is still under shock, but makes a dignified effort to say something.

  • 32 Bibliography on the Greek and Roman family and gender issues includes: Lacey, W. K. (1968), The Fa (...)

266moris esse Graecorum: moris is a genitive of characteristic; in ancient Greek society the men and the women of the household mixed far less than in Rome’s aristocratic milieu.32 Philodamus tries his best to explain some basic cross-cultural differences to his guest, obviously to no avail.

267ut in convivio virorum accumberent mulieres: following up on his reference to Greek customs, Philodamus now spells out the gender protocols that he insists on upholding at an event such as this, using the *antithesis virorummulieres for clarity. (Note that Philodamus too is presented as referring to his daughter as mulier.)

268Hic tum alius ex alia parte: the seemingly synchronized response by everyone present generates the impression of prior coordination: everyone appeared to know exactly what to do and reacted right on cue.

269simul servis suis: emphatic initial position, reinforced by the s-alliteration, to indicate how quickly Rubrius acted; Cicero thereby again reinforces, however obliquely, his charge of premeditation.

§ 67

270The paragraph focuses on the events that unfold in Philodamus’ house, and how the dwelling becomes the centre of attention for the entire town. For the news spread fast: first the son, informed of the outrage, rushes back, then all of the inhabitants of Lampsacus come together at the house. In his description of the fighting, Cicero foregrounds Rubrius and Philodamus and the slaves, and rather sidelines the fact that a Roman lictor (Cornelius) was killed in the melee. The paragraph concludes with an unexpected glimpse of Verres: he seems not to have been present at the banquet (at least Cicero never gives him an active part in the turmoil) and it remains unclear where precisely he was; but, Cicero submits, he somehow stayed abreast of developments and realized what he had caused.

271Quod: connecting relative.

272servos suos ad se vocat – his imperat ut se ipsum neglegant: the *alliteration underscores the telling dynamic of Philodamus summoning his slaves to him only to tell them to disregard his own safety.

273ut se ipsum neglegant, filiam defendant: the *asyndeton (no et or equivalent after neglegant) conveys something of the breathlessness and urgency with which Philodamus issues his orders.

274excurrat: subjunctive – syntactically, Cicero continues the ut-clause introduced by imperat. Just as the *asyndeton (see previous note), the disjointed, *elliptic language underscores the stress Philodamus experiences.

  • 33 Secondary literature on Greek houses includes Jameson, M. (1990), ‛Private Space in the Greek City (...)

275domestici mali. tota domo. domi suae: Cicero emphasizes by means of a *figura etymologica and the *polyptoton domo – domi that the commotion takes place not in public spaces but a private dwelling – this is not a riot of provincials, but an attack carried out by Romans on what ought to be a sanctuary of peace for the owners. The domestic motif continues with ad aedis contendit and ad aedis... convenerunt.33

276pugna inter servos Rubri atque hospitis: Cicero elides the verb; it is either est or fit (from the previous sentence).

277iactatur domi suae vir primarius et homo honestissimus: Cicero’s syntax enacts the confusion he depicts – the subject comes at the end (rather than the beginning) and the verb (iactatur) at the beginning (rather than the end).

278vir primarius et homo honestissimus: Cicero uses an elaborate paraphrasis of Philodamus that combines the generic terms vir and homo with superlative attributes and a climactic increase of syllables (1:4: 2:5); the *alliteration homo honestissimus reinforces the overall effect of pathos and outrage at the Romans’ utter disregard for the respectability and social standing of their host.

279... Philodamus perfunditur: again, the subject is effectively delayed until the very end; the two words go well together at the sound level (perhaps enacting the drenching?), not least since all five vowels feature (i-o-a-u + e-u-i-u).

280Haec ubi filio nuntiata sunt: there is a minor inconcinnity in Cicero’s account: for the violence against the father, of which the son is notified here, occurred after Philodamus’ orders to his slaves to fetch his son (see excurrat aliquis); so either the slaves waited to witness the further developments or we have to reckon with two messengers.

281exanimatus: literally, exanimatus (the participle of ex-animo) means ‛deprived of one’s soul/ life (anima)’, hence killed, but it is also used figuratively to signify ‛paralyzed with fear or passion’. This metaphorical usage is particularly widespread in New Comedy; Cicero, too, uses exanimatus frequently in this sense to heighten the drama of a situation.

  • 34 See further Marshall, A. J. (1984), ‛Symbols and Showmanship in Roman Public Life: the Fasces’, Ph (...)

282lictor istius Cornelius: Roman magistrates were accompanied by attendants who helped them carry out their official duties; they famously carried the fasces, which symbolized the right and the power to command and exercise jurisdiction. The number of lictors varied according to office: a Roman consul had twelve, a legate two.34 The presence of the lictor, at an advanced stage of the fighting, comes as somewhat of a surprise. Cicero gives the impression that he had been there from the start, and was supposed to play a key role in the abduction plot. But another scenario, suggested by Steel (2004) 241, is equally plausible: that he was ‛summoned once the fight began’. The brawling, after all, went on for some time: if Philodamus was able to dispatch messengers to recall his son (and the entire town to gather around Philodamus’ house at the news of the commotion), Verres, too, must have become aware of the disorder in the city – and sending a lictor in the first instance to see that order was observed would have been an obvious thing to do.

283Cornelius... occiditur; servi... vulnerantur; ipse Rubrius... sauciatur: in all three passive constructions, Cicero studiously suppresses the agent – in contrast to his earlier specification that Philodamus was drenched in boiling water ‛by Rubrius’ (a Rubrio ipso Philodamus perfunditur). The killing and the wounding occur in the wake of the son rushing (contendit) to the house to aid his father and sister and the Lampsacenes coming together (convenerunt) in outrage, but Cicero passes over in silence what these parties actually did upon arrival. He thereby elegantly sidesteps the issue of who was actually responsible for the death of a Roman official.

284quasi in praesidio ad auferendam mulierem conlocatus: a paradoxical formulation: praesidium usually occurs in scenarios of protection, not abduction. As often when he experiments conceptually, Cicero here hedges with the modifier quasi, which puts imaginary scare-quotes around in praesidio, thus signalling the irony.

285Iste... qui... videret: Cicero here describes Verres’ reaction to the turmoil as if he were an eye-witness (clearly the impression he wished to generate among members of the jury). But videre can also have (as here) the more abstract meaning, ‛perceive’, ‛come to understand’. As Steel (2004) 238 points out ‛Cicero is not saying something obviously false, and the alert reader will see that he must mean that Verres wished that he were no longer in Lampsacus.’

286cupere: Cicero uses the historic infinitive, instead of a finite verb form, to enhance the vividness of his account.

§ 68

287Cicero here details the reaction of the civic community on ‛the morning after’: we get an image of ordered proceedings, but also a firm commitment to basic principles of fairness and justice. There is, then, a decisive shift in register and tone, away from the sordid affairs and the private lusts of Verres into the public sphere and collective decision-making within a civic setting. The turn at the end from the specific case at hand to general views about Roman (mal-) administration in the provinces implicitly highlights the wider significance of Verres’ misbehaviour and the importance of bringing him to justice. Cicero here gives a very partial and incomplete account of what happened in the aftermath of the fateful banquet. In particular, he leaves out any mention of the two inhabitants whom Verres would later on identify as the ringleaders of the uprising, namely Themistagoras and Thessalus (see §§ 83 and 85). The selective reporting has a rhetorical purpose: Cicero generates the impression of a collective moral outrage of all the inhabitants of Lampsacus, which nevertheless manifests itself at least initially in ordered political procedure, an impression that the naming of specific individuals responsible for instigating others into violent action would have weakened significantly.

288in contionem. auctoritatis plurimum. ad populum loquebatur: Cicero projects familiar elements of Rome’s political culture onto the Greek city: a contio is a meeting devoted to public deliberation that consists of speeches by members of the elite to the assembled populace (in contrast to voting meetings, which were called comitia); auctoritas is a Roman term that denotes respect and recognition granted on the basis of rank, standing, and achievement and carried much weight in Roman politics; and populus refers to a civic community held together by law. The use of the term here sets up an inherent affinity with the senate and the people of Rome, which are mentioned right afterwards. These are all markers of civilization and proper political procedure, the exact opposite of a raging mob of unruly provincials. Pseudo-Asconius perceptively comments on the ethnographic subtext in Cicero’s account: adeo non Graeca levitate res gestae sunt, sed agitato consilio defensa libertas. levitas (‛fickleness’) was a standard stereotype that the Romans ascribed to the Greeks, and Cicero does his best to obviate any charge that the Lampsacenes acted rashly (as Greeks were, from a Roman perspective, wont to do). Pseudo-Asconius attribute Graeca sets up the second half of an implicit antithesis: the defence of liberty after due consideration (agitato consilio) resonates in a Roman key.

289pro se quisque... in quoque: a *polyptoton designed to underscore that the opinion of each individual add up to one collective view of the matter. Cicero’s depiction of the transformation of a plurality of voices into the unanimous outlook of the entire civic community is far more damning for Verres than Verres’ own account of the affair, which Cicero supplies only much later (§§ 83 and 85).

290loquebatur: the imperfect stresses duration – the Lampsacenes, so Cicero implies, took their time to come to a considered view of the affair.

291quid optimum factu sit: factu is an ablative supine: ‛what is best in the doing’, i.e. ‛what is best to do’.

292et sententia et oratio: the nouns set up a complicated indirect statement that falls into two parts. The two verbs are (i) non esse metuendum; (ii) esse satius. (i) non esse metuendum is followed by a fear clause (ne... putaret) that also forms the apodosis of a conditional clause (Cicero has put the protasis si... ulti... essent, which logically belongs into the ne-clause, ahead of it). (ii) esse satius is also the apodosis of a conditional clause (with quodsi... uterentur as protasis); it takes two complementary infinitives: (quidvis) perpeti and (in tanta vi atque acerbitate) versari. Overall, the indirect statement specifies the two core ideas (one optimistic, the second – a default position – pessimistic) that emerged from the deliberations of the Lampsacenes: first, they believe that they have actually nothing to fear from the senate and the people of Rome if they avenged the injustice they suffered at the hands of Verres; and secondly, if Rome were to endorse Verres’ behaviour, then violent resistance would anyway be the only course of action.

293ulti. essent: the third person plural pluperfect subjunctive of ulciscor. As Steel (2004) 246 n. 28 points out, the ‛vengeance’ in question could refer either to an act in the past (the death of the lictor) or the future (the riot that is about to start), depending on whether the pluperfect subjunctive in the indirect statement represents an original past tense or a future perfect.

294in eam civitatem animadvertendum: animadvertere + in + acc. means, in an absolute sense, ‛to take punitive action (against)’, ‛to inflict (capital) punishment on’: OLD s.v. 8b. Here it is part of an indirect statement dependent on putaret, with esse to be supplied: ‛... that punitive action ought to be taken against this citizenry’.

295hoc iure: bitterly ironic. The paradox of ius functioning as the basis of oppression is heightened by the adversative force of in socios nationesque exteras.

296legati populi Romani: legati is nominative plural (the subject of uterentur), populi Romani genitive singular.

297pudicitiam liberorum servare ab eorum libidine tutam: a carefully constructed phrase that features *chiasmus, i.e. (a) pudicitiam (b) liberorum (b) eorum (a) libidine, *alliteration (liberorum, libidine), and *hyperbaton (pudicitiam – tutam), with the predicative attribute tutam coming as an emphatic surprise since it is strictly speaking superfluous.

298quidvis esse perpeti satius: satius esse is syntactically at the same level as non esse metuendum and expresses the second, complementary opinion that emerged from the meeting of the Lampsacenes. See above on et sententia et oratio. perpeti is a complementary infinitive depending on satius esse, and quidvis (‛anything’) is the accusative object of perpeti.

299in tanta vi atque acerbitate: a *hendiadys – what is so bitter is the kind of violent oppression the Lampsacenes suffer, which involves destruction of their nearest and dearest and the disrespect of everything they value.

§ 69

300The shift from considered deliberation to violent action is swift and unanimous. If in the previous paragraph Cicero described the (impressively measured) proceedings on the basis of which the Lampsacenes opted for a course of violent self-defence to redress the injury suffered, he now details the outcome: because of Verres, the peace-loving inhabitants of the city have turned into a determined crowd of enemies. (The flip from lethargic lovers of peace and victims of exploitation into a mob set on physical violence reminds one of the meeting of the Ents and its outcome in J. R. R.

301Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, Chapter ‛Treebeard’, The Two Towers.) The Roman citizens who convince the Lampsacenes to desist from violence, however, leave no doubt that Rome will deem such violent uproar an unacceptable transgression and retaliate, especially if Verres should suffer harm or indeed be killed. Aggression against a Roman magistrate, however justified, almost inevitably set Rome’s military machine into motion.

302omnes – omnes: Cicero emphasizes the unanimity with which the Lampsacenes acted in the matter.

303sensu ac dolore: a *hendiadys (‛feeling of grief’, ‛grievance’).

304caedere ianuam saxis, instare ferro, ligna et sarmenta circumdare ignemque subicere: the list of actions contains four units, which Cicero has arranged chiastically: verb (caedere) – nouns (ianuam saxis), verb (instare) – noun (ferro): nouns (ligna et sarmenta) – verb (circumdare), noun (ignem) – verb (subicere). But if one focuses on Cicero’s use of connectives, a tripartite structure emerges, which proceeds *climactically from stones to swords to fire: the unit from caedere to circumdare forms an *asyndetic *tricolon, with the last phrase ignemque subicere not adding a new idea but elaborating on ligna et sarmenta circumdare. The lack of connectives in the first half enacts the rage of the attack, whereas the two connectives in the second half (et and -que, one linking nouns, the other verbs) matches well the more deliberate, step-by-step mode of operation required for setting the house afire.

305cives Romani: note that Cicero here emphasizes the citizenship of the Roman ‘businessmen’ who intervene with sound advice; this is in pointed contrast to their colleagues who help Verres in executing the judicial murder of Philodamus and his son out of greed: Cicero calls them togati creditores (§ 73).

306negotiabantur: a deponent, here used in the intransitive sense ‛to do business’.

307gravius... nomen legationis quam iniuria legati: Cicero ascribes the same argument to the Roman businessmen at Lampsacus in their reasoning with the enraged citizens that he will make throughout the oration, namely that one needs to distinguish between an office and its holder. The further distinction between homo and legatus at the end of the paragraph follows a similar logic (see below).

308sese intellegere – levius peccatum fore: sese and levius peccatum are the subjective accusatives, intellegere and fore the verbs of an indirect statement; the main verb (something like dicunt) is implied.

309si homini scelerato pepercissent quam si legato non pepercissent: the Roman citizens formulate a dilemma: the Lampsacenes can sin either by sparing the wicked human being or by not sparing a magistrate of the Roman people. They submit that the former transgression is lighter, under the circumstances – Verres, after all, failed to carry out the misdeed he had planned and would shortly depart from Lampsacus forever anyway. Killing a Roman magistrate, on the other hand, even if he had proved himself wicked and worthless, would inevitably entail drastic retaliation on the part of Rome’s military machine – a thought that the Roman citizens who argue with the enraged Lampsacenes only hint at.

§ 70

310Cicero here faces a tricky moment: he needs to justify the claim that Verres, who was, after all, a Roman official, would have deserved to be killed by a provincial mob. This is not a notion easily rendered plausible in front of Roman judges. Cicero adduces a precedent (Hadrianus); and then focuses on the fact that Verres himself never offered an adequate explanation of why the inhabitants of Lampsacus behaved the way they did – the implication being that the reasons he has just provided in his own version of events must be true. Cicero then proceeds to rule out systematically that the tumult had anything to do with any legitimate action that Verres undertook as a Roman official, to reinforce the impression that the uproar was caused entirely by his criminal lust. He concludes this line of reasoning with the counterfactual condition that even if Verres were to justify the events on the grounds that he executed his official business in, perhaps, too harsh a fashion, he would be responsible for what happened on account of his maltreatment of allies. The argument in this paragraph thus also sounds out – and tries to establish – parameters of what is to count as acceptable practice in provincial administration.

311iste... ille Hadrianus... Ille... hic...: the first half of the paragraph is taken up by a two-part comparison between Verres and Hadrianus. Cicero employs a *husteron proteron: he first draws the conclusion, then details the respective facts on which it is based. Overall, the arrangement is *chiastic: Verres (iste, hic) comes first and last, Hadrianus (ille – ille), the foil, takes the less conspicuous position in the middle.

312Hadrianus: C. Fabius Hadrianus was praetor or propraetor of the province Africa in the late 80s BC. In 84, he prevented Metellus Pius from taking charge of the province for Sulla; in 82, he was burned to death in his praetorium. As Mitchell (1986) 191 notes: ‛Cicero naturally omits any reference to his political affiliations, almost certainly the reason his murder went unpunished.’ Put differently, he spins the deplorable incident in such a way as to turn it into a suitable precedent for what happened at Lampsacus.

313multo... aliquanto: multo is an ablative of the measure of difference and together with the adverb aliquanto (‛considerably’) indicates the different degrees to which Verres was more criminal (sceleratior) and wicked (nequior) as well as luckier (felicior) than Hadrianus. Cicero points to an imbalance in justice, contained within the surprising phrase aliquanto etiam felicior: for to the extent that Verres outdoes Hadrianus in vice one would have expected him to be more wretched (miserior) rather than luckier if the universe were just; yet while Verres, the greater criminal, suffered some harm, he still came out of the affair better than his counterpart. Cicero, however, always clung to the belief in the overall justice of the universe (however rough and ready this might be), even in the face of massive evidence to the contrary. And in the following paragraph he counters the challenge to the notion that the universe is just, which he here implicitly issues: he makes it clear that Verres only appeared to outdo Hadrianus in luck by escaping; in fact, Fortuna had a providential hand in it since she wanted to ensure that Verres would receive his punishment at Rome, in this very law court. The argument elevates the judges into arbiters and agents of cosmic justice.

314Uticae domi suae: two locatives.

315Uticae ... suae vivus exustus: note the *homoioteleuta.

316Exustus ... ambustus: Cicero operates his comparison by way of two compounds of uro: exuro here signifies ‛to burn completely’ whereas amburo (ambi + uro) means ‛to burn around’, i.e. only on the surface.

317animadversio: picking up animadvertendum from § 68.

318ex illa flamma periculoque: a *hendiadys. The lexeme periculum recurs twice more in the paragraph (ut in tantum periculum veniret; in tantum adductus periculum) and is further developed in § 71 (ex illo periculo). Throughout the episode Cicero exploits the puzzling gaps between the peace-loving nature of the Lampsacenes and the danger in which Verres found himself.

319Non enim potest dicere: what follows is a list of reasons that may provoke allies and provincials to resort to violence against Roman officials – Cicero categorically denies that Verres can adduce any of them to explain the attack of the Lampsacenes.

320Cum ... cum ... cum ... cum ... quod ... quod ... quod ...: Cicero splits the list into two halves, marked by a switch in his choice of causal conjunction; the cum-clauses specify official types of actions (summed up in the fourth), whereas the simpler quod-clauses indicate more personal failings, that is, ways in which Verres may have been lacking in ‘emotional intelligence’ in his dealings with the provincials.

321seditionem sedare: an *alliterative *paronomasia.

322stipendium: ‛a cash payment levied from conquered states to defray the expenses of the occupying army’: OLD s.v. 3.

323Quae si diceret: quae is a connecting relative; si introduces a present counterfactual condition – apparently, the list of justification that Cicero just rehearsed are all hypothetical defences that Verres never actually brought into play, and even if he did he would still have to bear the blame for what happened.

324nimis atrociter imperando: Cicero here realistically rephrases the (euphemistic) quod acrius imperavi that he had put into Verres’ mouth.

325Alternatively, we could read Verres’ formulation as truthful and Cicero’s rewriting as *hyperbolic.

326adductus: supply esse.

§ 71

327It is hardly a coincidence that only now, after establishing his version of what happened at Lampsacus and adducing Verres’ silence in support of its veracity, Cicero brings his witnesses into play: however much he talks up P. Tettius and C. Varro, they rank lower in dignitas and possess less auctoritas than the Roman officials who handled the Lampsacus incident, notably C. Nero and Dolabella – a serious problem in a Roman court. Even more damningly for Cicero, a Roman magistrate and his consilium had condemned Philodamus and his son to death – a fact duly brought to the attention of the court by Hortensius; Cicero is unable to dispute this (and will spend several paragraphs explaining why this verdict constituted an outrageous miscarriage of justice). Here he belittles Hortensius’ earlier intervention as a move of desperation: Verres’ case is so weak that the famous orator took advantage of any opening, however small, to get a word in edgewise but was most of the time consigned to silence. Needless to say, this derogatory comment has nothing to do with the point at issue.

328The paragraph consists of two long, complex periods. The first begins with a series of cum-clauses, before a brief main clause (potestis dubitare), and the concluding quin-clause. The second begins with a conditional clause (introduced by nisi), part of which is a relative clause (quod) that leads on to a further relative clause (introduced by quo tempore) and some further subordinate clauses (until... quod diceret); only at this point does Cicero reach the main clause (hoc tum dixit) and the concluding indirect statement. The syntax is so contrived and so difficult to follow, especially if compared to his rather straightforward account of what transpired at Lampsacus, that it detracts from the audience’s ability to take in what, precisely, Cicero is saying here: most likely a deliberate effect. For Cicero here finally names his sources of information and also confronts an obvious objection to his version of the events, which Hortensius, a member of Verres’ defence team, had already voiced during the earlier proceeding.

329Nunc cum ipse... audeat..., homo autem... dixerit... dicat, potestis dubitare quin... iudicium reservare?: One long period that starts with a subordinate cum-clause, which falls into three segments, each with its own subjects: Verres (audeat), P. Tettius (dixerit), and C. Varro (dicat), followed by the main clause – potestis dubitare, with the judges as subjects – which in turn introduces a subordinate quin-clause, the subject of which is fortuna. autem introduces a contrast within the cum-clause, between Verres on the one hand and Tettius and Varro on the other.

330homo autem... audisse dicat: in this part of the sentence Cicero introduces his two witnesses for his version of what happened at Lampsacus, P. Tettius and C. Varro. It is, of course, vital that their stories coincide, and Cicero takes care to stress that both of his informants reported exactly the same things (haec eadem). The table below illustrates how style enacts theme: Cicero has opted for a virtually identical overall design, into which he has inserted elements of variation to obviate monotony and boredom. In addition, he subtly foregrounds Varro, who has the higher rank and claims to have his information from Philodamus himself, whereas Tettius relied on hearsay he picked up in Lampsacus. (Cicero suppresses the fact that he and Varro were related: see below.) The design can be tabulated as follows:

  • 35 There is a textual issue here. Instead of the se ipso printed here, our codices have ipsa se, whic (...)

1. Subject: homo and vir here function as virtual synonyms. Cicero may have been motivated to designate Varro vir by the *alliterative assonance; but vir is also a more distinguished designation than homo, recalling such qualities as virtus and masculine prowess.
2. Predicative attribute in the superlative (frugalissimus, ornatissimus) with further specification in the partitive genitive (ordinis sui) or the ablative of respect (omnibus rebus): both of the specifications consist of a noun (a) and an attribute (b), though in chiastic order: (a) ordinis (b) sui ~ (b) omnibus (a) rebus. In each case, the specification is designed to underscore the integrity, esteem and overall trustworthiness of the witness. Yet in line with Cicero’s policy of foregrounding Varro, in Tettius’ case his superlative ranking is confined to his ordo, whereas Varro excels in more general fashion ‛in all things’.
3/4. Relative Clause and Name in Apposition: Cicero again opts for a chiastic order: (a) relative clause + (b) name (for Tettius) ~ (b) name + (a) relative clause (for Varro) to eschew tedious uniformity while still keeping the overall design exactly identical. The same principle is on display in the relative clause: each of the two consists of exactly the same elements, i.e. relative pronoun (qui), temporal adverb (tum), indication of role or office held (accensus, militum tribunus), further specification (C. Neroni, in Asia), verb fit); yet the office and the further specifications are again arranged chiastically: (a) accensus (b) C. Neroni ~ (b) in Asia (a) militum tribunus. A further nuance consists in the fact that in Tettius’ case the specification is a dative that indicates lines of command, whereas in Varro’s case it is a prepositional phrase in the ablative indicating geographical location: Cicero thereby marks Tettius as more of a subordinate than Varro.
5. Indirect statement: the accusative object of the indirect statement, the decisive phrase haec eadem is exactly the same as is the overall structure; haec eadem is followed in each case by the subject accusative (se) and specification of the source (Lampsaci, ipso ex Philodamo) and the verb of the indirect statement (cognosse, audisse).35
6. Verb: Cicero uses the same verb (dicere) that he already used in the opening segment on Verres, moving from the perfect (dixerit) to the present subjunctive (dicat). The difference in tense may be due to the fact that Tettius was called up as witness and gave his testimony during the first actio, whereas Varro seems not to have done so – yet, so Cicero now insists, he is saying exactly the same.

  • 36 The information on accensi derives from Kunkel, W. (1995), Staatsordnung und Staatspraxis der römi (...)

331accensus: formed from the perfect participle of accenseo, but used as a noun: ‛an attendant, orderly’: OLD s.v. 2. The accensus was one category among the staff of a high magistrate or pro-magistrate, not dissimilar to the lictor, though limited in its function to warfare or more generally the sphere of militiae. In ancient times, they were selected from the century of the accensi velati – non-armed participants of military campaigns – but in the late republic, (pro-)magistrates tended to select them from among their own freedmen; their stipend was slightly higher than that of lictors. It was a position of considerable influence and Cicero, in a letter to his brother Quintus (Q. fr. 1.1.13), recommends the careful selection of a person suitable for the position. What accensi actually did is difficult to reconstruct: most likely they were involved in organizing and facilitating the day-to-day affairs of their superiors.36

332C. Neroni: Gaius Claudius Nero: as pro-praetor of Asia, Lampsacus fell within his jurisdiction; Cicero first mentions him at 2.1.50, as the target of envoys from Samos, who complained about Verres’ attack on the temple of Juno. His reply was that for this sort of thing, which involved a legate of the Roman people and his alleged misbehaviour, they should not come to him, but go to Rome. In the following paragraphs, he emerges as the feeble colleague of Dolabella (Verres’ direct superior), who was pro-praetor of Cilicia.

  • 37 Gundel, H. (1961), ‘3) C. Visellius Varro’, Realencyclopädie 9 A 1, 355-58.

333P. Tettius... dixerit – C. Varro... dicat: nothing further is known of Publius Tettius; Gaius Visellius Varro was Cicero’s consobrinus or ‘cousin-german’ (Varro’s mother, Helvia, was Cicero’s aunt); he was Cicero’s near-contemporary (c. 104 – 58 BC); like Cicero he came from Arpinum, though went to Rome early on for his training and education.37 The distinction between past (dixerit) and present (dicat) is curious. As the second half of the paragraph makes clear, Tettius was one of Cicero’s witnesses in the actio prima; there is no indication, however, that Varro was as well. Perhaps Cicero kept him out of the proceedings deliberately to save time; or, since Tettius’ was interrupted during his testimony by a cat-calling Hortensius, he now adds him on as a ‛further voice’ to back up Tettius’ version of the events. Steel (2004) 236 n. 4 suggests that Cicero may have heard about the incident from Varro right after his return from the East and now, a decade later, puts it to good use in the trial. Conveniently, Varro got his version of the events – or so Cicero claims – straight from Philodamus; to what extent that proves anything must remain an open question.

334potestis dubitare.?: a rhetorical question that demands a negative answer (‛of course not!’); Cicero often uses this bullying device when he advances a feeble argument: of course his audience was at liberty to doubt his dubious assertion.

  • 38 On the different semantics of Fortuna see Gildenhard (2011) 40-49.

335fortuna: the goddess of caprice or happenstance, who here acts as an agent of justice – Verres’ escape from the conflagration was not due to luck (fortuna, in the sense of the Greek tuche, that is, an irrational force who distributes her favours indiscriminately without regard for merit), but foresight (fortuna, in the sense of a divine force who presides over a universe that exhibits patterns of rationality and justice): Verres was saved so that he could get his comeuppance in Rome during the present trial. The appeal to fortuna comes as a bit of a surprise, almost as a dea ex machina to help Cicero out of a tight spot in the argument, even though the inexorable workings of supernatural justice are a prevalent theme throughout the Verrines.38

336dicet: Cicero imagines that Verres will repeat what Hortensius said by way of a (rude) interruption in the first proceeding, when Tettius gave his evidence.

  • 39 For their complex relationship and its evolution over time, see Dyck, A. R. (2008), ‛Rivals into p (...)

337Hortensius: Quintus Hortensius Hortalus (114 – 50 BC; cos. 69) was Cicero’s formidable rival and – until Cicero dethroned him by winning his case against Verres to take his place – ‛king’ of the Roman courts. In the early part of his career (up to and including the Verrines), Cicero attacks him as a representative of the established ruling elite who abuses his influence in helping his clients; but in his late philosophica, he appreciates and honours his rival as an outstanding representive of free speech and the senatorial tradition of republican government, notably at the end of the de Oratore, the opening of the Brutus, and in the Hortensius (a dialogue that has only survived in meagre fragments).39

338quo tempore... diceret: before Cicero deigns to share what it was that Hortensius brought into play he takes a detour to ridicule his opponent and proleptically discredit his objection. He portrays his adversary as so hard put to say anything at all in the face of the evidence that he grasped at every tenuous opportunity to say something – and still was forced to remain silent most of the time. Cicero thereby intimates that whatever he did say on those few occasions where he spoke up was by definition insignificant – an act of despair or a token gesture, rather than a substantial contribution to the issue at hand. In the second actio, Cicero refers frequently to Hortensius’ failure to turn the cross-examination of witnesses during the first actio to his advantage: see Ver. 2.1.151, 2.2.156, and 2.5.155.

339signi satis: signi is a partitive genitive depending on satis.

340si quid: after si, the ali- of aliquid disappears. See above § 64.

341ut... scire omnes possemus nihil habuisse quod diceret: omnes is the subject of the consecutive ut-clause (‛we all’); the complementary infinitive scire introduces an indirect statement (nihil habuisse), in which the subject accusative (se, i.e. Hortensius) needs to be supplied. The *ellipsis hardly registers, given that it comes in the immediate wake of the earlier (complete) indirect statement se tacere non posse.

342hoc tum dixit, Philodamum et filium eius a C. Nerone esse damnatos: only after Cicero has thoroughly discredited Hortensius’ point does he share what it was: it turns out that C. Nero, the superior of one of Cicero’s principal witnesses, had actually condemned Philodamus and his son to death. This, of course, would seem to vindicate Verres and his version of what happened – and Cicero has a problem at his hand. He needs to explain the verdict and why it was wrong.

§ 72

343This paragraph picks up the rather vital piece of information that Cicero shared almost en passant as a seemingly unimportant interjection of Hortensius at the end of the previous paragraph: that the pro-magistrate in charge of Asia at the time, C. Nero, condemned Philodamus and his son to death after consideration of the case. In this and the following paragraphs, Cicero takes a closer look at how this verdict came into being, in effect launching a subtle campaign of besmearing first C. Nero’s and then Dolabella’s handling of provincial jurisdiction to show that the condemnation and eventual execution of the two Lampsacenes constituted an outrageous miscarriage of (Roman) justice and a human tragedy of the first order. To underscore his – often feeble – argument, Cicero digs deep into his rhetorical trick-box (not least in redefining Rome’s constitutional realities as he sees fit: see below on istius ille verbo lictor, re vera minister improbissimae cupiditatis) and drumming up pathos (see below on Audite... et... aliquando miseremini... et ostendite).

344Cicero switches his attention between Dolabella and Nero. We begin with a paragraph featuring only Nero (71), as the one in charge of jurisdiction. Two paragraphs follow in which both are mentioned by name (72, 73); then Nero momentarily disappears: Dolabella dominates the paragraph in which Cicero recounts the final verdict (74), both feature in 75, but the paragraph on the execution only mentions Nero – in tears (76). Subsequently, Cicero turns to Dolabella only, in direct address for a final reckoning (77).

345De quo ne multa disseram: an announcement by Cicero to limit himself to the essentials should alert the attentive reader that the argument has reached a tight spot, which Cicero wishes to dispatch quickly; of course, he often lingers nevertheless (as here).

  • 40 Kunkel, W. (1995), Staatsordnung und Staatspraxis der römischen Republik, Zweiter Abschnitt: Die M (...)
  • 41 Kunkel, 138-39.

346consilium: the consilium is a typically Roman institution: it was in effect a group of esteemed and experienced persons who acted in an advisory capacity; any Roman in a position of power, whether in his role as pater familias or as a magistrate or pro-magistrate of the Roman people, was expected to consult his consilium before making an important or difficult decision. He alone was responsible for it, but if anything went wrong, disastrous decisions made after consultation of the consilium were more easily forgiven than those taken without consultation of the consilium (often seen as an act of unacceptable arrogance). Generally speaking, the consilium was therefore one means by which office-holders could diffuse the risk of making decisions by integrating others into the decision-making process; while the consilium operated in a largely informal capacity, the institution still significantly circumscribed the power of the (pro-)magistrate to act as he wished.40 In the administration of criminal justice in the provinces, the consilium played the role of jury that voted on the innocence or guilt of the defendant. Only after the consilium had decided on a verdict of guilty (condemnatio) was the (pro-) magistrate able to set in motion the execution.41 Nero, then, followed standard operating procedure and the fact that his consilium, at least eventually, opted to declare Philodamus and his son as guilty represents a significant rhetorical challenge for Cicero: he needed to discredit both Nero and his group of advisors – and this is the task he tackles in this and the subsequent paragraphs.

347quod Cornelium lictorem occisum esse constaret, putasse non oportere esse cuiquam ne in ulciscenda quidem iniuria hominis occidendi potestatem: Cicero here obliquely ridicules Nero’s handling of the case. Proper proceedings would have involved (a) ascertaining the facts and the wider circumstances, especially the motivation of the perpetrator; (b) reference to a code of law; (c) deliberation of guilt or innocence; (d) the passing and justification of the verdict. Nero and his consilium, however, at least in Cicero’s account, do not enquire into the case beyond recognizing the obvious fact of homicide; and they judge the matter on the basis of the personal opinion (see putasse) that the desire for revenge does not justify homicide. The way Cicero presents this chain of reasoning is designed to throw doubt on the judgment of Nero and his advisors: there is no compelling logical connection between the indisputable fact that a homicide occurred and their belief that no one has the right to kill someone even to avenge an injustice. For Roman law recognized that in certain circumstances (such as self-defence) homicide was justified and did not entail any punitive sanctions. What mattered was the motivation of the killer, and this motivation had to be inferred from careful consideration on a case-by-case basis. Nero and his advisors are shown up doubly: the prohibition to kill to avenge an injustice is not a matter of belief, but of law; but in this case, this law is irrelevant since revenge was not the motivation behind the killing. Cicero puts matters so as to suggest a shocking degree of incompetence on the part of those who presided over the verdict.

348putasse non oportere esse cuiquam... hominis occidendi potestatem: acomplicated bit of syntax that can be sorted into three different levels: (i) putasse is the main verb of an indirect statement dependent on dico, with Nero and his consilium being the implied subject accusative (‛they believed that...’); (ii) putasse introduces an indirect statement of its own, consisting of the impersonal verb (non) oportere; (iii) oportere is complemented by the infinitive phrase esse cuiquam hominis occidendi potestatem (cuiquam being a dative of possession with esse).

349in quo video... caedis: Cicero points out that the legal principle that Nero and his consilium applied to establish the guilt of the defendant does not absolve Verres from crime: the homicide may have been punishable by death, but that does not do away with the iniuria which provoked it.

350ne in ulciscenda quidem iniuria: apparently, Nero and his advisors did not view the incident as a case of ‛self-defence’, but considered the killing the result of an escalation of violence motivated by the desire for avenging an injury suffered. This throws an interesting, retrospective light on Cicero’s partial account of what happened – the way he spun his tale the death of Cornelius was an unfortunate accident in a general brawl in which Verres and his men were the aggressors and Philodamus and his household the victims.

351Audite... et... aliquando miseremini... et ostendite: a highly emotional *tricolon of imperatives addressed to the judges. aliquando (‛at long last’) underscores the enormous deficit in humane feelings towards those who suffer from Roman exploitation and maladministration among members of the Roman elite.

352quaeso, iudices: Cicero is pleading.

353aliquid... praesidi: praesidi is a partitive genitive depending on aliquid. The *hyperbaton stresses that Cicero is only asking for a minimal degree of protection.

354aliquid iis in vestra fide praesidi esse oportere: the construction with oportere as the impersonal verb of an indirect statement mockingly recalls the wayward application of legal principles that Nero and his advisors believed in. It is as if Cicero shows that he alone knows how to argue logically and coherently.

355Quod toti Asiae iure occisus... iudicio liberatur: there is an apparent inconcinnity in Cicero’s argument; up to this point, it appeared as if Nero and his consilium had condemned Philodamus and his son to death. Now, however, it becomes clear that this verdict was only reached after considerable complications. Initially, it seems to have looked as if the defendants might walk free, not least on account of an apparent upswell of public opinion and outrage throughout the entire province of Asia. At this point – apparently before the official part of the trial got underway and certainly long before the final verdict – Verres started to fear that matters might not take the course he was hoping for and solicited the help of his immediate superior, Dolabella. Cicero hardly ever tells it straight, but fits and bits and pieces of information around an overriding rhetorical agenda.

356toti Asiae: another ‛totalizing’ expression. See Mitchell (1986) 192: ‛Cicero commonly cites the sermo vulgi or the reactions of certain people and communities to reinforce the particular impression he is seeking to create.’

357istius ille verbo lictor, re vera minister improbissimae cupiditatis: verbo ~ re vera marks a dichotomy between ‛signifier’ and ‛signified’, appearance and reality: Cornelius is Verres’ lictor in name, but in name only: in fact (re vera) he is a servant of Verres’ lust. There are two ways of looking at this: from Cicero’s perspective, Verres perverts Roman constitutional realities – under his influence a lictor ceases to be what he officially was and turns into something else; from Verres’ point of view, Cicero is illicitly challenging constitutional facts and Roman authority: a lictor is an appointed official and demands respect. Redefining constitutional realities according to his own criteria is a constant of Cicero’s oratory, and he became more radical in applying this technique over time: Gildenhard (2011) 141-67.

358ut de sua provincia decedat: the affairs at Lampsacus fell into the jurisdiction of the governor of the province of Asia, i.e. Nero; Verres, however, feared that Philodamus might walk free and therefore urged Dolabella to leave his province of Cilicia to join the judicial proceedings.

359incolumem: Verres’ concern for his personal safety is of course highly ironic.

§ 73

360Cicero uses this paragraph to discredit thoroughly the group of advisors that helped Nero decide the case: Dolabella’s arrival and intervention are uncalled-for and irresponsible; his crowding of Nero’s consilium with his own men clearly prejudices the outcome; the presence of Verres among those deciding upon the case constitutes an injustice of the first order; and the inclusion of notoriously unscrupulous creditors, who have everything to gain from supporting Verres, adds insult to injury.

361id... ut... relinqueret: a so-called epexegetical ut-clause, in apposition to id, which it explains further.

362ut exercitum, provinciam, bellum relinqueret: an *asyndetic *tricolon, designed to emphasize the irresponsible haste with which Dolabella let drop all of his official responsibilities to help out his rogue legate. Ver. 2.1.154 suggests that Dolabella was at the moment involved in warfare against the pirates who had strongholds at the costal border of Cilicia.

363hominis nequissimi... aequissimus iudex... improbissimi cuiusque legati: three superlatives, paired, respectively, with the generic homo, followed by two nouns (‛judge’ and ‛legate’) that designate official roles, which require a high level of ethics and sense of responsibility. Nequissimus and improbissimus heighten the bitter sarcasm of aequissimus. The fourth superlative in the paragraph, plurimum, integrates the Roman creditors into the corrupt economy of services that Roman magistrates and businessmen maintained for the exploitation of provincials.

  • 42 Kunkel, W. (1995), Staatsordnung und Staatspraxis der römischen Republik, Zweiter Abschnitt: Die M (...)
  • 43 indicta causa = the hasty processing of cognitio so as to obviate the possibility of a considered (...)

364causam cognosceret: cognoscere is a technical term of Roman criminal procedure and, when used of magistrates, refers generally speaking to those cases in which the magistrate personally oversees the taking of evidence of the case and the passing of a verdict.42 Elsewhere in the Verrines, Cicero portrays how Verres, when presiding over a case, makes a mockery of proper procedure, including cognitio (2.2.75): Tum iste aliquando ‛Age dic!’ inquit. Reus orare atque obsecrare ut cum consilio cognosceret. Tum repente iste testis citari iubet; dicit unus et alter breviter; nihil interrogatur; praeco dixisse pronuntiat. Iste, quasi metueret ne Petilius... cum ceteris in consilium reverteretur, ita properans de sella exsilit, hominem innocentem a C. Sacerdote absolutum indicta causa de sententia scribae medici haruspicisque condemnat. (Then this man here finally said: ‛Go on, speak!’ The accused begged and beseeched him to investigate the matter in the presence of his advisory council. Then this man here suddenly orders the witnesses to be called in; one or the other speaks briefly; there is no cross-examination; the herald announces that each party has spoken. This man here jumped up from his seat with such haste, as if he feared that Petilius... could come back with the others into the advisory council, and, without the case having been properly pleaded,43 sentences the innocent man, who had been freed by C. Sacerdos, on the basis of the opinion of his scribe, his doctor, and his soothsayer.)

365Venerat ipse qui esset in consilio et primus sententiam diceret: a relative clause of purpose (hence the subjunctive).

366praefectos et tribunos militaris suos: praefecti were officers in the Roman army in charge of a military unit; military tribunes were partly elected by the Roman people, partly appointed by the commanding officer, and were in charge of important military business. Put differently, Cicero suggests that Dolabella ridiculously overreacted in bringing along half of his staff of command (and leaving his own province exposed in the process) just to do Verres’ bidding.

367quos Nero omnis in consilium vocavit: a reminder that Nero stayed nominally in charge of proceedings.

  • 44 The toga was the distinctive, and distinctively cumbersome, Roman dress that turned those who wore (...)

368togati creditores: creditors ‛clad in the toga’, i.e. Roman.44 Pseudo-Asconius spots the euphemism: noluit dicere equites Romanos (‛he [sc. Cicero] did not want to say “Roman knights”’). These moneylenders played a key role in the Roman system of provincial exploitation. Routinely charging outrageous interest rates, they often relied on the help of magistrates to enforce repayment. At the time, many were active in Asia, ‛aiding’ communities to meet indemnity obligations imposed upon them by Sulla, in the wake of the first war against Mithradates. As Steel (2004) 249 points out, ‛given the extent to which the cities were in debt in this period, it would probably have been difficult for Nero to find any Romans of suitable standing who were not creditors of the Greeks.’ See Plutarch, Lucullus 7.6 and 20 and Appian, Roman History 12, 62-63, two sources that describe the unholy alliance between Roman tax farmers (publicani) and Roman money-lenders (creditores) and the misery that Sulla’s punitive sanctions brought to the cities of Asia.

369improbissimi cuiusque legati plurimum prodest gratia: Cicero presents legates as more or less useful to creditors in direct proportion to the degree of their wickedness. Verres tops this scale: he is the most (plurimum) useful since he is the most wicked (improbissimus).

§ 74

370Cicero here continues his description of how Verres and his supporters manipulated the proceedings against Philodamus, but adds a new twist: the basic theme of the paragraph consists of the contrast between the power and the resources at the disposal of Verres and the prosecution on the one hand, and the utter helplessness of the defendant on the other. The point of the contrast is that in spite of the fact that everything was stacked against Philodamus, the group judging the case was still not able to reach a verdict during the first hearing.

371quis enim esset... qui...?: a rhetorical question; the imperfect subjunctive conveys the sense that the possibility of anyone, be it Roman, be it Greek, standing up for Philodamus was entirely counterfactual. The Romans kept quiet out of self-interest since they did not wish to court controversy with someone as influential as Dolabella; the Greeks since they were intimidated by Dolabella’s official power and imperial command (vi et imperio).

372togatus – Graecus: Cicero again uses the generic adjective togatus to specify persons in possession of Roman citizenship. On the toga as the distinctive Roman dress see above § 73.

373gratia: here ‛influence’: OLD s.v. 5c.

374adponitur – qui si dixisset... posset exigere: the passive construction obfuscates who was behind the appointment, though Cicero later on in the paragraph specifies that it was Verres (idem accusatorem parasset). The syntax of the sentence qui si dixisset... exigere produces a similar effect: it remains unclear who is responsible for briefing the prosecutor that getting Philodamus sentenced to death would be to his own advantage, though, as the clause quod iste iussisset suggests, it does not seem to have been Verres.

375qui si dixisset... posset exigere: an indirect statement depending on an imagined ‛he was told that’; qui is a connecting relative pronoun.

376Cum haec... parasset: One long series of concessive cum-clauses; Cicero sums up the machinations on the part of Dolabella and Verres with haec cum omnia fierent and then adds the fact that someone had been killed before continuing with the corresponding tamen.

377tanta contentione, tantis copiis – multi accusarent, nemo defenderet: two ablatives of instrument, enumerated *asyndetically but linked by an *anaphoric *polyptoton (tanta ~ tantis) and *alliteration; the (stylistic) coordination of effort and resources in the first cum-clause contrasts with the antithetical design in the subsequent cum-clause (multi ~ nemo; accusarent ~ defenderet).

378cumque: by means of the -que Cicero distinguishes the cum-clauses that indicate the general set-up of the trial from those cum-clauses that detail the specific actions undertaken by the two main culprits, i.e. Dolabella and Verres, who are both subsumed under one cum.

379cumque Dolabella cum suis praefectis pugnaret in consilio: pugnare is frequently used in the sense of ‛to contend in word or action, e.g. in a law-court’: OLD s.v. 4b. Nevertheless, Cicero’s choice of idiom gives the impression that Dolabella overdoes his efforts considerably; there is an arch touch to the finishing flourish in consilio, which is designed to surprise: an advisory group is hardly the context to manoeuvre forcefully with one’s military officers.

380Verres fortunas agi suas diceret, idem testimonium diceret, idem esset in consilio, idem accusatorem parasset: four *asyndetic clauses that specify Verres’ role in all this; the rhetorical design helps to produce a most damning effect: the triple *anaphora of idem that follows upon Verres reinforces Cicero’s point that Verres dominated the trial as (self-styled) victim, witness, judge, and prosecutor all in one.

  • 45 See Powell, J. G. F. (2010), ‛Court Procedure and Rhetorical Strategy in Cicero’, in D. H. Berry a (...)

381amplius pronuntiatur: for amplius in the technical juridical sense of ‛judgement reserved’ see OLD s.v. 1c. A Roman trial (actio) consisted of speeches by the prosecution and the defence, followed by a hearing (and cross-examination) of witnesses. If the jury was unable to decide after the first hearing, it could vote amplius or non liquet (a procedure known as ampliatio), necessitating a further hearing or hearings.45 Despite the fact that everything was stacked against Philodamus, those sitting in judgement could not agree on a verdict in the first meeting and had to postpone the decision. That may indeed have been the case, but we are forced to take Cicero at his word as regards the reasons. Upon consideration, the notion that the group assembled by Nero and Dolabella was swayed to reconvene by its knowledge of Verres’ immorality sounds rather implausible.

§ 75

382Cicero now shifts the blame for the corrupt proceedings squarely onto Dolabella. Nero, in turn, emerges as a spineless coward who helplessly presides over a terrible miscarriage of justice that will result in two executions, which will move even him to tears (see § 76).

383Quid... quid... quid?: an *anaphoric *tricolon of rhetorical questions that also functions as *praeteritio – Cicero hints at the possibility of filling volumes on how the three protagonists behaved during the second hearing, without pursuing it. He thus generates a very effective tension between his own compressed account and the tremendous energy and effort expended by the ‘triumvirate of evil’ in charge of the proceedings to secure the desired outcome.

384spiritus: the first of three accusative objects, each one referring to the mindset or conduct of one of the three Roman protagonists: Dolabella, Verres, Nero. Cicero links Dolabella and Nero in various ways: they are named, Verres is designated by a demonstrative pronoun (huius); spiritus and animus are virtual synonyms and refer to their respective frame of mind, in contrast to the theatrics of Verres; and Cicero uses one noun each for these two, but two nouns for Verres, so there is a gradual increase in quantity in the course of the *tricolon: one noun, two nouns, one noun + two attributes.

385viri optimi atque innocentissimi, non nullis in rebus animum nimium timidum atque demissum: the two superlatives modifying vir, optimus and innocentissimus, are mockingly cancelled out by the two attributes of animus, kept laconically in the positive, though reinforced by an adverbial phrase and an adverb, indicating frequency (non nullis in rebus: Cicero uses a delicious *litotes) and excess (nimium). (The repetition of the connective atque reinforces the negative correlation.) Whatever his personal qualities, they are not worth much under pressure, and C. Nero, despite his high principles, stands revealed as a servile (demissum) coward (timidum) in practice.

386quid facere potuerit non habebat: Peterson, W. (1903), ‛Emendations of Cicero’s Verrines’, Classical Review 17, 198-202 (202) proposes to emend the potuerit of the manuscripts to oporteret, but the text may not need correction. We need to imagine Cicero saying, mockingly, ‛There was absolutely nothing he could have done – except, of course, the obvious!’

387nisi forte: see OLD s.v. forte 3b: ‛(with nisi) especially used to introduce an unlikely or absurd suggestion’ – Cicero is being highly ironic: after first intimating that there was nothing Nero could have done differently, he introduces the utterly obvious possibility (but presented as outlandish or even absurd by means of the sly use of forte) of considering the case without having Dolabella or Verres present. Cicero, though, saps his own irony by adding id quod omnes tum desiderabant. But he accepts the loss of rhetorical force in return for leaving no doubt that Nero meekly bowed to power against the wishes of any impartial observer (see omnes with the following note).

388Quicquid esset sine his actum, omnes probarent: a rather brilliant touch – Cicero suggests that ‛everyone’ (omnes) would have accepted any outcome of the hearing as long as it had taken place without Verres and Dolabella present. The implication of this counterfactual scenario is that without the machinations of Verres and the imperious interference of Dolabella on his behalf, Philodamus would have been judged innocent. Who are omnes? Cicero imagines a general audience of impartial observers.

389non per Neronem iudicatum, sed per Dolabellam ereptum: Cicero reinforces his basic point that Nero was a mere puppet of Dolabella in this matter. There was never a proper verdict (cf. iudicatum), only a pronouncement of what Dolabella coerced Nero to say (cf. ereptum).

390perpaucis sententiis: per- serves as intensifier of paucis – despite the fact that the hearing was skewed, when the final vote was taken, Philodamus, so Cicero claims, was only condemned by the narrowest of margins.

391Condemnatur... Adest, instat, urget: Cicero switches into the historical present for greater immediacy; the last three verbs form an *asyndetic *tricolon that enacts the hectic urgency of Dolabella to get on with the execution. The lack of connectives here contrasts with Cicero’s drawn-out description of what happened at the execution in the subsequent paragraph, which he calls a spectaculum acerbum et miserum et grave toti Asiae provinciae.

392securi feriantur: the subjects are Philodamus and his son, the mode of execution beheading.

393quam minime multi: the combination of minime and multi generates an *oxymoron, which is reinforced by the *alliteration. Cicero here ridicules the futile attempt by Dolabella to suppress the truth, which many, so Cicero implies, did get to know nevertheless.

394ex illis: Philodamus and his son.

§ 76

395After his portrayal of the corrupt and hasty trial, Cicero now lingers on the scene of execution, which reduced everyone with even a bit of human decency to tears. This is pathos on a grand scale: father and son, both innocent victims, emerge as heroic protagonists in a tragedy, each more concerned for the welfare and the life of the other than their own. Cicero first focuses on each individually (parens – filius; ille – hic); then portrays them jointly as weeping (flebat uterque), before specifying that each weeps for the death of the other (pater de fili morte, de patris filius); the design re-enacts their common destiny, their courage, and their mutual pietas. Such bravery and sympathy in the face of death brought the entire Roman province to its knees with weeping, including the presiding Roman magistrate, Nero. Quintilian (Institutio Oratoria 4.2.111-15) cites this paragraph in support of his point that appeal to the emotions ought not to be reserved until the final part of the speech (peroratio); rather, it should be mustered in aid of rational argumentation (probatio) whenever apposite.

396Laodiceae: a city on the river Lycus in Caria; ‛it was the judicial centre closest to Dolabella’s province of Cilicia, and was far removed from Lampsacum’: Mitchell (1986) 193.

397toti Asiae provinciae: Asiae is genitive depending on provinciae (which is in the dative).

398grandis natu parens: natu is an ablative of respect depending on grandis.

399ille quod pudicitiam liberorum, hic quod vitam patris famamque sororis defenderat: Cicero’s phrasing enacts the tight-knit loyalty within the family of Philodamus; the three accusative objects (each with a genitive attribute) pudicitiam liberorum, vitam patris, and famam sororis correspond to the three family members involved in the affair, though of course only father and son face execution – hence the bipartite arrangement ille – hic. And whereas the concern of the father embraces both of his children, which results in the slightly inaccurate formulation pudicitiam liberorum insofar as only the chastity of his daughter had been at stake, the son had jumped to the defence of both father and sister. In short, the family forms a triangle, with the father caring for both of his children and the son for his father and his sibling – an inverse mirror-image, as it were, of the triumvirate of evil Dolabella, Nero, Verres.

400pater de fili morte, de patris filius: Cicero uses *chiasmus (a) pater (b) de fili morte (b) de patris [sc. morte] (b) filius to underscore the distinct, yet interlinked perspectives of father and son; in addition, the *ellipsis of morte in the second half of the *chiasmus results in an emphasis on their joint destiny: death. The key term is placed right in the middle of the *chiasmus and points both backwards to pater and forward to filius. The pathos of the phrasing is profoundly tragic, and dimly recalls such scenes of the tragic theatre as the one in Euripides’ Iphigenia at Tauris, when Pylades and Orestes are both willing to sacrifice their life on behalf of their friend. In the Latin version of Ennius, the scene, in which the two friends vie with one another for the privilege to be sacrificed, became a hit at Rome: see Cicero, de Amicitia 24 and de Finibus 2.79 and 5.63.

401Quid lacrimarum ipsum Neronem putatis profudisse? quem fletum totius Asiae fuisse, quem luctum et gemitum Lampsacenorum?: the two indirect statements depend on putatis; quid has a double function as interrogative pronoun/ accusative object of the main clause and accusative object of the indirect statement.

  • 46 For Cicero’s ‛vivid descriptions’ see Innocenti, B. (1994), ‛Towards a Theory of Vivid Description (...)

402putatis: Cicero here challenges his audience to picture the scene of the execution in his mind – a technique to generate empathy and pity for the victims.46

403esse percussos: this indirect statement depends on the verbal force of luctum and gemitum in the previous sentence: it explicates the reason why there was such widespread weeping.

404homines innocentis nobilis... hominis flagitiosissimi: the repetition of homo to designate both the two innocent victims and the vicious perpetrator marks out a spectrum of what human beings are capable of, in good and in evil. As noted before, Cicero is fond of operating at an anthropological level, insofar as he assesses the worth of his characters as human beings, quite irrespective of whatever social role or status they may have. (Cf. above § 63.)

405propter hominis flagitiosissimi singularem nequitiam atque improbissimam cupiditatem!: a weighty, remorseless ending to the account of how Verres’ disgraceful conduct resulted in the death of two innocent human beings, friends and allies of the Roman people, no less. Cicero places the genitive (noun:attribute) in *chiastic position to the two phrases it modifies (attribute:noun, attribute:noun). If in the genitive phrase the number of syllables in noun (3) and attribute (7) are unequal, singularem (4) nequitiam (4) and improbissimam (5) cupiditatem (5) are perfectly and climactically balanced. Cicero again speaks in the superlative mode, with the ‛thematic superlative’ singularis providing some variation to the grammatical superlatives flagitiosissimi and improbissimam.

§ 77

406After his account of the execution, Cicero turns to the perpetrators, first Dolabella (§ 77), then Verres (§ 78). By direct address and a string of rhetorical questions he explores possible motivations for Dolabella’s conduct and offers a further evaluation of it. As a result, Dolabella emerges as both cruel and stupid, insofar as he employed excessive force to ensure the friendship and goodwill of an utterly worthless, indeed treacherous creature who already had a distinguished track-record of back-stabbing his benefactors when it suited him. Put differently, Dolabella could have known that supporting Verres would not yield dividends in terms of future loyalty, which he, according to Cicero, was after. Verres is so abominably wicked that he operates without regard to the principle of manus manum lavat (i.e. ‛corrupt reciprocity’).

407Cicero enhances his attack on Dolabella through systematic use of the second person singular personal pronoun and the possive adjective: tui, tuorum, tu, tibi (in the mocking *alliteration Verresne tibi tanti fuit...?), tua, tibi, tibi, in te, te.

408Iam iam: see OLD s.v. 6: ‘Now (after what has happened)’.

409Dolabella: For Dolabella see page 101 above. The direct address here is curious: it implies that Dolabella was physically present during the (imagined) proceedings, even though he was condemned to exile after his return from Cilicia. We are, then, dealing with a moment of creative licence on the part of Cicero who addresses Dolabella in absentia. While Dolabella’s fate of exile and the subsequent impoverishment of his children would in principle be pitiable, Cicero insists that any feelings of sympathy are misplaced: Dolabella’s crimes on behalf of Verres were such that all of his sufferings (and the sufferings of his children) are well and fully deserved.

410me tui neque tuorum liberorum... misereri potest: me miseret is an impersonal expression that has its objects in the genitive.

411tanti: genitive of worth, to be construed with fuit.

412lui: a striking choice of verb – luo means ‛to atone or make amends for, expiate’ (OLD s.v. 2) and has religious connotations. Cicero here evokes the repulsive and perverse scenario that Dolabella wanted to commit sacrificial slaughter (see sanguine) ‘to wash away’ the sins of Verres’ abominable lust with the blood of innocents.

413Idcircone: idcirco + ne (an enclitic used to introduce a question).

414exercitum atque hostem relinquebas: this harks back to § 73, where Cicero recounted that Dolabella left behind his official responsibilities as governor of Cilicia to come to Verres’ aid (fecit [sc. Dolabella] id quod multi reprehenderunt, ut exercitum, provinciam, bellum relinqueret). Here Cicero employs a rhetorical question to wonder about Dolabella’s motivation.

415tua vi et crudelitate: the phrase recalls earlier expressions involving vis (see § 54: vi cum exercitu imperioque and § 55: vi ac virtute). It could not be more damning. The charge of crudelitas or ‘bestial cruelty’ (one of the antonyms of humanitas or ‘humanity’) is one of the strongest possible accusations in Cicero’s register: it is the exact opposite of everything that makes up and stands for human civilization in general and, specifically, Rome’s civic values. Cicero used it throughout his career as orator to stigmatize his opponents: Gildenhard (2011) 208-13.

416tibi... constitueras: tibi is an ethical dative.

417quaestoris in loco: Verres was initially a legate in Dolabella’s entourage, but was promoted to the status of a pro-quaestor (or ‛acting quaestor’) after the quaestor C. (Publicius) Malleolus was murdered. Cicero provides the requisite information at 2.1.41: itaque idem iste [sc. Verres], quem Cn. Dolabella postea, C. Malleolo occiso, pro quaestore habuit. Verres also took on the legal guardianship of Malleolus’ under-age son and seems to have abused this position by embezzling the entire patrimony (some 2.5 million sesterces) for himself. Cicero provides lurid details of the affair at Verr. 2.1.90-94.

418putasti? nesciebas?: by both ending one clause and beginning the next with the verb, Cicero achieves an effective juxtaposition that reinforces his mocking incredulity at the degree of Dolabella’s naivete: ‛did you actually believe, Dolabella, that...? Can it really be that you did not know that...?’

419Cn. Carbonem consulem: Gnaeus Papirius Carbo (c. 132 – 82 BC; cos. 85, 84, 82) was one of the main supporters of Marius and executed in the wake of Sulla’s victory. Verres was his quaestor in 83, and as such in control of over two million sesterces meant for the consular army that stood in Gallia Cisalpina when Sulla returned to Italy after his victory of Mithradates. Verres violated the trust invested in him by Carbo, took the remaining money (c. 600,000 sesterces) and went over to Sulla – not because of any specific party loyalty, according to Cicero, but because he wanted to obfuscate his embezzlement of public funds. Cicero considers this affair, which he calls Verres’ entry into the cursus honorum, at length at 2.1.34-42. Cicero is our main source.

420Expertus... es: experior here means ‛to learn from personal experience’ and stands in contrast to nesciebas: since Dolabella apparently did not know of (or refused to learn from) Verres’ betrayal of Carbo, whose quaestor he had been just a few years earlier, he had to find out from personal experience that Verres, who was a prime witness in his trial for extortion, not least to cover up his own crimes, was not to be trusted.

  • 47 See Hölkeskamp, K.-J. (2000), ‛Fides – deditio in fidem – dextra data et accepta: Recht, Religion (...)

421perfidiam: perfidia – faithlessness, treachery – is the opposite of fides, the value, grounded in the principle of (asymmetric) reciprocity, that ideally underwrote all socio-political relations in ancient Rome.47

422tum cum... contulit, cum... dixit, cum... noluit: a *tricolon of cum-clauses that remorselessly recall how Verres betrayed Dolabella to save his own hide. Each cum-clause contains an attribute or pronoun referring to Dolabella (ad inimicos tuos – in te – nisi damnato te).

423cum ipse se ad inimicos tuos contulit: inimicus means ‛personal enemy’ (in contrast to hostis, which designates a ‛foreign enemy’); Cicero here refers to those (notably M. Aemilius Scaurus) who charged Dolabella with extortion upon his return to Rome and achieved his conviction and exile.

424nisi damnato te: Verres wanted to wait until Dolabella had been exiled since then Dolabella had no means of objecting to the accounts given; damnato te is an ablative absolute, substituting for a conditional clause.

§ 78

425Cicero here turns his attention again to Verres. As with Dolabella in the previous paragraph, he employs direct address. From here on until the end of the episode (the beginning of § 86), Cicero revisits the incident at Lampsacus, challenging Verres, mainly in the form of rhetorical questions, to explain this or that aspect in a way different from his own interpretation. In a sense, then, he puts his version of the events on trial to show that any alternative explanation that Verres may come up with does not stand up to scrutiny: the full scale of the disaster – a lictor dead, friends and allies of the Roman people in uproar, two innocent people executed – was ultimately caused by Verres’ criminal passion. To leave no doubt about where he locates the driving force behind the events at Lampsacus, Cicero begins the paragraph with two magnificent rhetorical questions, which, by means of *hyperbole, try to measure out the enormity of Verres’ lust, before settling down to a more fact-focused cross-examination in the second half of the paragraph.

426Tantaene tuae...? Tune...?: the *alliterative drum of the opening words links the two rhetorical questions on the level of style as well as theme (with the second question explicating the first).

427erunt: ‛the future indicative is not uncommon in indignant rhetorical questions of this sort where the deliberative subjunctive might be expected’: Mitchell (1986) 194. Cicero sticks to the future also in the following sentence (immittentur, expugnabuntur, confugient).

428ut eas capere ac sustinere non provinciae populi Romani, non nationes exterae possint: the word order in this consecutive ut-clause (accusative object, complementary infinitives, subject, verb) reinforces the theme: Verres’ passions (eas) stand prominently at the beginning, and try as they might (an idea hinted at by Cicero’s advanced placement of the two infinitives) the territories exposed to them are unable to contain them. (The notion that the affected regions actively attempted to impose boundaries upon Verres’ passion is of course slightly absurd.) The phrasing following on from eas is well-balanced: two infinitives linked by ac and the *asyndetic juxtaposition of the two subjects, further coordinated by reiteration of the negation (non).

429non provinciae populi Romani, non nationes exterae: put differently, the entire known world – a clear instance of dramatic *hyperbole. Cicero distinguishes between territories under direct control of the Roman people (provinciae) and nations outside Roman jurisdiction (nationes exterae). In the second rhetorical question Cicero uses slightly different phrasing (civitates pacatae; civitates sociorum atque amicorum) and narrows the focus on to civic communities within Roman provinces.

430Tune quod videris... propulsare possint: this extraordinary rhetorical question consists of a conditional sequence (nisi... fuerit, nisi... paruerit), the main clause (a tricolon: immittentur, expugnabuntur, confugient), and a concluding ut-clause. The antecedent of the four initial relative clauses introduced by quod is the id after the first nisi; in effect, then, Cicero places the relative clauses before the nisi-clause into which they belong and additionally extrapolates the subject of the relative clauses (Verres) in the form of the personal pronoun tu, which he places at the beginning of the sentence. This arrangement corresponds to, and reinforces, the main theme of the sentence: the egomania of the sociopath Verres.

431videris... audieris... concupieris... cogitaris: future perfects (as are fuerit and paruerit); concupieris is the syncopated form of concupiveris and cogitaris of cogitaveris. Note the *homoioteleuton.

432(a) immittentur (b) homines, (a) expugnabuntur (b) domus, (b) civitates... (a) confugient: Cicero constructs a *tricolon with a twist: the first two cola feature passive verbs and Cicero clearly implies that the people and the houses that come under threat are the victims of Verres’ libidinous aggression. In the third colon, however, we get a *chiastic inversion: Cicero starts with the subject (civitates) and the dynamic of the sentence suggests that they, too, are the passive victims of violence. In the course of the sentence, however, it becomes clear that they are in fact opting for violent resistance. This twist invites a re-evaluation of the first part of the sentence: those who issued threats and stormed a house in the Philodamus-incident were after all the inhabitants of Lampsacus, not Verres or his men. The studied ambiguity seems deliberate: it portrays Verres as someone who both uses and incites violence.

433civitates non modo pacatae, verum etiam sociorum atque amicorum ad vim atque ad arma confugient, ut ab se atque a liberis suis legati populi Romani scelus ac libidinem propulsare possint?: after Cicero uses *asyndeton in the first part of the sentence (the four quod-clauses, the two nisi-clauses, and the three pairs of subjects and main verbs are all unlinked by any connectives), he switches to a more deliberate exposition in the second half, with a sequence of noun phrases paired by atque or ac. Cicero thereby highlights, if in different ways, both Verres’ aggression and the comprehensive nature of the response.

434ab se atque a liberis suis – scelus ac libidinem: *alliteration links se with scelus and liberis with libidinem; scelus ac libidinem may be understood as a *hendiadys (’crime of passion’).

435propulsare possint: note the *alliteration. The two rhetorical questions end with the same word (possint).

436Nam quaero abs te... Lampsaceni?: Cicero here revisits elements of his narration (see § 69) as if he were cross-examining Verres; the posture presupposes the hypothetical scenario that the defendant somehow wishes or tries to deny that the recounted events actually took place. If Verres was out of control in the first half of the paragraph, Cicero is in control in the second half, and he foregrounds this by placing the verbs up front: quaero is followed by habeo (twice).

437deversabare: an alternative form of deversabaris, i.e. second person singular imperfect passive of the deponent deversari. Cicero also uses the verb at the end of § 64.

438testimonium tuum – quas... litteras: somehow Cicero managed to procure pieces of the correspondence between Verres and Nero, in which Verres informed the governor of the province of what had happened at Lampsacus.

439Recita: an order to the court official to read from the documents. See above § 57.

440Testimonium C. Verris in Artemidorum. non multo post in domum: apparently, Verres singled out one Artemidorus as being a ringleader in the attack on his house. The incomplete sentence non multo post in domum introduces the passage that Cicero wanted to have read out.

§ 79

441In this paragraph, Cicero rehearses and excludes alternative explanations for the conduct of the Lampsacenes. He dismisses the possibility that the uproar was an uprising and that the Lampsacenes wanted to revolt against Roman rule: in that case, surely, heavy sanctioned would have been imposed upon the entire community or war would have been declared.

442conabatur?... volebat?: two rhetorical questions, to which the obvious answer is ‛no’.

443ab imperio ac nomine nostro: in the phrase nomen nostrum (sc. Romanum) Cicero evokes both Roman rule and power grounded in military superiority (imperium) and an ethnic concept of Roman identity. The passage is listed by the OLD s.v. nomen 19, but this particular sense, though favoured by Cicero, is not all that common; in Roman political discourse, ethnic use of the nomen (gentile) was first and foremost a marker of what family-network (gens) an individual member of Rome’s ruling elite belonged to. See further Gildenhard (2011) 52.

444ex iis quae legi et audivi intellego: Cicero specifies two sources of information about past practice: written records and oral sources. But he remains vague as to the genre – is he thinking of official records or literary texts, mere hearsay or public proceedings? The entire posture is at any rate mildly ironic: there is hardly any need for ‛fact finding’ to realize that the actions detailed would, under normal circumstances, have resulted in a declaration of war.

445in qua civitate... ei civitati: civitati is the antecedent of qua; here it is attracted into the relative clause and repeated afterwards, both for emphasis and clarity.

446legatus populi Romani: the paragraph advances Cicero’s strategy of questioning Verres’ official status as a legate of the Roman people, by splitting the man from the norms and expectations of the office. The following syllogism underlies the argument:

  • Any attack on a Roman legate entails a demand for reparation or a declaration of war.
  • Verres has been violently attacked.
  • No reparation was demanded, no war was declared.
  • Ergo: Verres could not have been a proper Roman legate.

447non modo legatus populi Romani circumsessus, non modo igni, ferro, manu, copiis oppugnatus, sed aliqua ex parte violatus sit: the three verbs circumsessus, oppugnatus, and violatus are arranged climactically, whereas the degree of violence implied by igni, ferro, manu, copiis (note the *asyndetic enumeration) and aliqua ex parte violatus anticlimactically decreases. The careful balance reinforces Cicero’s point that what happened to Verres at Lampsacus ought to have resulted in a demand for reparation or even military retaliation, if not outright war. That nothing happened Cicero takes as clear evidence that everyone condoned the actions that the Lampsacenes took against Verres, in spite of the fact that Verres was a Roman legate.

448aliqua ex parte: ‛to any degree’ – however small the amount of physical harm suffered by an official representative of the Roman people, when any occurred – so Cicero claims – it was usually a sufficient cause for war unless satisfactory reparation was made.

449publice: ‛at public expense’, ‘as a community’ – the adverb stresses the fact that the entire community was liable for acts of transgression against a Roman official.

§ 80

450After Cicero has established once more what has happened, he proceeds to explore once again why the Lampsacenes acted as they did. The key term of the paragraph, then, is causa, which Cicero uses five times. Verres is unable to give any reason for the uproar; Cicero raises and dismisses the possibility that Rubrius alone is to blame; and his witnesses blame Verres: all this Cicero takes to confirm Verres’ guilt in the matter. The paragraph thus continues the theme that Cicero first introduced in § 70: that Verres has never been able to offer a satisfactory explanation for why the people of Lampsacus attacked his house during his visit (... neque adhuc causam ullam excogitare potuit quam ob rem commiserit, aut quid evenerit, ut in tantum periculum veniret).

451Quae fuit igitur causa...?... causam tanti tumultus ostendis ullam: the ullam (‛not any’) is placed emphatically and *climactically at the end of the sentence, an effect further reinforced by the *hyperbaton causam – ullam.

452causa cur cuneta civitas Lampsacenorum de contione: note the *alliteration.

453tute: an emphatic form of tu; in prose, tute is indistinguishable from tûtê, the adverb of tutus (‛safely’, ‛securely’).

454scribis – mittis – ostendis – dicis – dicis – negas – occultas: Cicero uses the present tense throughout to enhance the immediacy and vividness of his direct attack on Verres.

455Obsessum te dicis, ignem adlatum, sarmenta circumdata, lictorem tuum occisum esse dicis, prodeundi tibi in publicum potestatem factam negas: if in the previous sentence Cicero reports what he himself has gleaned from Verres’ documents and testimony, he now reports what Verres is saying: his syntax generates the impression of disorder and confusion. To begin with, we get the events out of any coherent narrative order: Verres, egomaniac that he is, begins by saying ‛I was beset’; then he gives two details (fire and brushwood) in inverted chronological order, before concluding, almost as an afterthought, with the most significant detail of all, the killing of his lictor, which preceded any of his own perils. The following sentence – Verres’ inability to appear in public – comes as a bathetic anti-*climax.

456Nam... venirent: Cicero now considers the possibility that Rubrius acted on his own accord, rather than following the instructions of Verres; he argues that in that case, the Lampsacenes would have congregated in front of Verres’ house to issue a complaint, rather than to resort to violence. But here Cicero may be splitting hairs and he is at any rate operating on the arguably unwarranted assumption that the Lampsacenes carefully differentiated between Verres and members of his entourage. Cicero never explains how the Lampsacenes would have been able to determine that Rubrius acted on Verres’ orders. Also, Cicero never acknowledges three other possibilities that are at least as plausible as the scenario he tries to establish as the true one (a) that Rubrius caused the uproar and the Lampsacenes wrongly assumed that Verres was to blame; (b) that the events at the dinner party or the Roman businessmen who intervened enraged the inhabitants to such a degree that they wanted to vent their anger against the principal representative of Roman rule rather than an insignificant underling; (c) that they were after Rubrius, who was hiding in Verres’ house.

457si quam... iniuriam: quam = (ali)quam, modifying iniuriam.

458(a) impulsu (b) tuo et (b) tua (a) cupiditate: a *chiasmus, designed to outweigh the alternative suo nomine.

459questum – oppugnatum: two supines expressing purpose.

460testes a nobis producti: in legal contexts, producere means ‛to bring (witnesses etc.) into court’: OLD s.v. 2b.

461cum illorum testimonia tum istius taciturnitas perpetua: cum ~ tum correlates two circumstances but puts special emphasis on the second one, an effect that Cicero reinforces by endowing taciturnitas with the attribute perpetua, which is highly emphatic not least because it breaks the otherwise perfectly parallel construction: cum ~ tum, illorum ~ istius (linked by *alliteration), testimonia ~ taciturnitas (also linked by *alliteration). Cicero thereby foregrounds Verres’ self-indictment: his persistent silence and inability to specify a plausible cause for the behaviour of the Lampsacenes is more important than the testimony of the witnesses that confirm his version of the events.

462celarit: syncopated form of celaverit.

§ 81

463Cicero begins this and the following paragraph with a direct appeal to the judges, to alleviate the monotony of his remorseless cross-examination of Verres. From here onwards, his principal focus remains Verres’ claim that he was the target of an attack by the Lampsacenes. Throughout, Cicero bases his argument on elements that were previously introduced in the narration as facts, revisiting his ethnographic appraisal of the Lampsacenes at the outset of the episode (§ 63) to argue that it took someone like Verres and his singular lust to stir such a peace-loving community into violent action, irrespective of their ingrained respect for the Romans or the consequences for themselves. Another technique Cicero employs is the reiteration in his own voice of things that were allegedly said during the public meeting of the Lampsacenes on the morning after the dinner party (compare, for instance, § 68:... quidvis esse perpeti satius quam in tanta vi atque acerbitate versari with § 81:... ut perspicuum sit omnibus, nisi tanta acerbitas iniuriae, tanta vis sceleris fuisset ut Lampsaceni moriendum sibi potius quam perpetiendum putarent or § 69:... ut gravius apud eos nomen legationis quam iniuria legati putaretur with § 81:... ut vehementius odio libidinis tuae quam legationis metu moverentur).

464Huic homini parcetis, igitur, iudices...: Cicero continues in his anthropological idiom, suggesting to the judges that they have to pass a verdict on a wicked human being, rather than a former magistrate or senatorial peer. The theme of ‘sparing’ has already occurred twice during the episode: the Roman citizens plead with the Lampsacenes to spare Verres in order to avoid punitive sanctions (§ 69) and Cicero suggests that Fortune has spared Verres for legal punishment in Rome (§ 70). Now, however, the time of leniency is over.

465neque legitimum tempus exspectare ad ulciscendum neque vim tantam doloris in posterum differre: two parallel infinitive phrases depending on potuerint, with two *chiastic variations: (a) legitimum (b) tempus – (b) vim (a) tantam; (a) exspectare (b) ad ulciscendum – (b) in posterum (a) differre.

466legitimum tempus: ‛the normal and only lawful process would have involved taking the case to Rome and initiating a prosecution under the lex de repetundis’: Mitchell (1986) 195. Roman magistrates enjoyed immunity from prosecution; the Lampsacenes would therefore have had to wait until the end of Verres’ stint in office and his return to the status of a privatus (someone not holding a public office). That they did not wait but took justice into their own hands was of course an unacceptable breach of the peace, but Cicero manages to turn the fault into a feature by arguing that they were provoked into an act of retaliation commensurate with Verres’ crimes.

467Circumsessus es: after his address to the judges, Cicero again turns to Verres, for some mocking cross-examination.

468A quibus [circumsessus es]? An ablative of agency; circumsessus es also has to be supplied after A Lampsacenis.

  • 48 For a monographic treatment of the topic, see Dauge, Y. A. (1981), Le barbare: recherches sur la c (...)

469Barbaris hominibus, credo, aut iis qui populi Romani nomen contemnerent: barbaris hominibus stands in apposition to A Lampsacenis. barbarus is a loanword from the Greek (barbaros), which, from the Greek point of view, signified non-Greeks, including, of course, the Romans. (The playwright Plautus, for instance, liked to joke that he translated comic scripts from Greek into ‛barbarian’, that is, Latin.) Romans then came to use the term to differentiate roughly between the ‛civilized cultures’ of Greece and Rome and all the others, which they stigmatized, in Greek vein, as ‛barbarians’.48 The sentence is of course highly ironic – the Lampsacenes are civilized Greeks, i.e. anything but a barbarian horde; they are also very respectful of the Roman people, as Cicero stressed at the outset (§ 63: homines autem ipsi Lampsaceni... summe in omnis civis Romanos officiosi). For the use of parenthetical credo to introduce irony see OLD s.v. 8c and Cicero’s earlier use of the device at § 63: At credo.

470Immo vero ab hominibus...: the implied verb of this sentence is still circumsessus es: ab hominibus is ablative of agency.

471et natura et consuetudine et disciplina: a *polysyndetic *tricolon, designed to underscore how gentle the Lampsacenes really are, from every point of view. natura, consuetudine, and disciplina are ablatives of respect, specifying natural endowment, habitual behaviour, and educational practices as the three main forces that shape character and identity. For Cicero’s fondness of the category ‘nature’, either on its own or, as here, in combination with other, cultural factors, see Gildenhard (2011) 50-68.

472populi Romani condicione sociis, fortuna servis, voluntate supplicibus: Cicero follows up his *polysyndetic *tricolon with an *asyndetic *tricolon; the genitive populi Romani modifies all items in the *alliterative sequence sociis – servis – supplicibus (all of which are still ablatives of agency, whereas condicione, fortuna, and voluntate are ablatives of respect). Condicio refers to the legal status of the Lampsacenes (OLD s.v. 7), which Cicero follows up with two quasi- or extra-legal conditions: whimsical fortune has turned them metaphorically into slaves, and they conceive of themselves (see voluntate) as suppliants, rather than allies, in that they plead for mercy with the all-powerful Roman people instead of insisting on the legal terms of the treaty. Overall, Cicero continues his policy of reducing the Lampsacenes to harmless and peace-loving nonentities, utterly beholden to Roman interest and at the whim and will of the Roman people and their representatives, to argue that only the most outrageous conduct on the part of Verres could have moved such people to violent action.

473ut perspicuum sit omnibus, nisi tanta acerbitas iniuriae, tanta vis sceleris fuisset ut Lampsaceni moriendum sibi potius quam perpetiendum putarent, numquam illos in eum locum progressuros fuisse ut vehementius odio libidinis tuae quam legationis metu moverentur: Cicero here continues his elliptical and associative train of thought (the last main verb he used remains circumsessus es). There is no main clause (supplied from what precedes, it would run something like ‛you were beset by the peace-loving and overall utterly innocuous people of Lampsacus’), as Cicero launches straight into a consecutive ut-c’ause (ut perspicuum sit omnibus), which introduces the conditional sentence in indirect statement: nisi... fuisset (followed by a consecutive ut-clause: ut... putarent) (protasis); numquam illos in eum locum progressuros fuisse (also followed by a consecutive ut-clause: ut... moverentur) (apodosis).

474nisi (a) tanta (b) acerbitas (c) iniuriae, (a) tanta (b) vis (c) sceleris fuisset: a powerful and measured parallel construction, reinforced by the reiteration of tanta, and contrasting with the *chiastic design in the second half of the sentence (see below).

475moriendum sibi potius quam perpetiendum: sibi is dative of agency with the gerundives. Cicero here spells out what he let the Lampsacenes leave vague in § 68, where they are said to prefer to suffer ‘anything’ rather than remain the victims of such bitter violence (quidvis esse perpeti satius quam in tanta vi atque acerbitate versari): the ultimate of quidvis is of course death.

476odio libidinis tuae quam legationis metu: *chiastic arrangement (a) odio (b) libidinis tuae – (b) legationis (a) metu; the *alliteration libidinis ~ legationis underscores the contrastive correlation of the two conflicting aspects of Verres’ identity: his lust and his lieutenancy.

§ 82

477In his narration (§ 69) Cicero made it appear that the intervention of the Roman businessmen, who warned the Lampsacenes of the dire consequences of attacking a Roman official, defused the situation. Now he suggests that the reason why the Lampsacenes desisted from the use of violence was not self-interest, but their belief that Verres’ would receive his comeuppance in a Roman court of law. The sudden trust on the part of the provincials in due process and the Roman legal system comes out of nowhere: it is a ploy designed to put pressure on the judges, a variant of Cicero’s equally far-fetched suggestion in § 71 that Verres’ escape owed itself to the intervention of Fortune so that he could stand trial in Rome (potestis dubitare quin istum fortuna non tam ex illo periculo eripere voluerit quam ad vestrum iudicium reservare?).

478Nolite: Cicero turns back to the judges with the challenge that it is up to them not to force non-Roman communities to resort to violent resistance out of desperation.

479Nolite... hoc uti perfugio, quo... utentur necessario!: uti is complementary infinitive to nolite and takes hoc perfugio as ablative object, which is also the antecedent of quo. quo, in turn, is ablative object of utentur with necessario as predicative complement (in place of an adverb).

480per deos immortalis: an emotive invocation of the gods; Cicero uses this device frequently in moments of special pathos or outrage. See further Gildenhard (2011) 246.

481hoc... perfugio: violent resistance to death.

482perfugio – ad vim, ad manus, ad arma confugere – perfugium: the notion frames the paragraph, but in each case it is cancelled out – the Lampsacenes’ refuge is violence and, perhaps, death; Verres’ the Roman law courts.

483nisi vos vindicatis: vindicare here has the meaning ‛to protect’: OLD s.v. 4 and thus continues the semantic field of perfugium. Note the emphatic use of vos.

484Lampsacenos in istum numquam ulla res mitigasset nisi eum poenas Romae daturum credidissent: a past counterfactual condition, which introduces a new aspect into Cicero’s portrayal of the inhabitants of Lampsacus, that is, their faith in the justice of the Roman legal system.

485Tu mihi,

  1. cum circumsessus a tam inlustri civitate sis propter tuum scelus atque flagitium,
  2. cum coegeris homines miseros et calamitosos quasi desperatis nostris legibus et iudiciis ad vim, ad manus, ad arma confugere,
  3. cum te in oppidis et civitatibus amicorum non legatum populi Romani, sed tyrannum libidinosum crudelemque praebueris,
  4. cum apud exteras nationes imperi nominisque nostri famam tuis probris flagitiisque violaris,
  5. cum te ex ferro amicorum populi Romani eripueris atque ex flamma sociorum evolaris,

486hic tibi perfugium speras futurum:

487A remarkable sentence, framed by the two datives mihi – tibi. The five cum-clauses are arranged symmetrically. (i) correlates with (v): circumsessus sis gets resolved by te eripueris atque evolaris. (ii) correlates with (iv): Verres’ coercive actions (coegeris) entail his violation (violaris) of Rome’s reputation abroad. And at the very centre (v), Cicero has placed the key idea: Verres has shown himself not an officer of the Roman people, but as a tyrant. A further pattern emerges if one looks at how Verres features in the cum-clauses: he starts out as the subject of a passive verb (i); in (ii) – (v) he is the subject of active verbs, with the accusative objects alternating between external targets (ii: homines; iv: famam) and himself (iii: te; v: te). The grammar also underscores the central position of (iii): apart from the prepositional phrase in oppidis et civitatibus amicorum the entire sentence is taken up by the direct object and its predicative extension te... non legatum populi Romani, sed tyrannum libidinosum crudelemque. In the other cum-clauses, other constructions dominate.

488In the cum-clauses, Cicero for the most part opts for weighty, pleonastic phrasing: tuum scelus atque flagitium; homines miseros et calamitosos; nostris legibus et iudiciis; in oppidis et civitatibus; tyrannum libidinosum crudelemque; imperi nominisque nostri famam; tuis probris flagitiisque; eripueris atque evolaris. (The pattern of connectives – atque, et, et, et, -que, -que, -que, atque – is hardly coincidental: it is a good example of the extreme care Cicero took over his writing, down to the last, loving detail.) The very deliberate style of exposition contrasts with the dramatic *asyndetic tricolon ad vim, ad manus, ad arma confugere and the simple punch line hic tibi perfugium speras futurum? Another rhetorical drama that plays itself out subliminally in the sentence is Cicero use of pronouns: tu – mihi – proper tuum scelus atque flagitium – desperatis nostris legibus et iudiciis – te non legatum, sed tryannum praebueris – imperi nominisque nostri famam – tuis probris flagitiisque – te eripueris – tibi. Put differently, Cicero uses the cum-clauses to invoke Rome’s civic community, which is grounded in law and respected for this abroad and which Verres’ criminal activity has irreparably damaged; this serves as apposite foil for the rhetorical question that Verres seeks safety in Rome, of all places.

489quasi desperatis nostris legibus et iudiciis: ablative absolute.

490tyrannum libidinosum crudelemque: tyrannus is a Greek loanword in Latin, which began to mesh with the indigenous anti-regnum discourse in the last few centuries of the Republic; it was used to describe the abuse of power. In Greece, the figure of the tyrant accrued certain attributes, among which an existence driven by passions and pleasure in cruelty. (Phalaris, for instance, the legenday tyrant of the Sicilian town of Acragas, is said to have roasted his enemies in an iron-bull, delighting in the roaring groans that issued from the contraption.) The Verrines are the earliest speeches in which Cicero systematically stigmatizes his adversary as a tyrant. See further Gildenhard (2011) 85-92, with a discussion of Verres on 90-1.

491Erras: short and to the point, the sentence offers a powerful complement and conclusion to the elaborate rhetorical question that precedes it. (Note that Cicero imagines Verres to have answered the question in the affirmative, and his erras responds to Verres imagined reply.)

492ut huc incideres, non ut hic conquiesceres, illi te vivum exire passi sunt: Cicero has it both ways: he motivates the initial violence by arguing that the inhabitants of Lampsacus despaired of attaining justice by means of legal procedure; and he explains the survival of Verres by suggesting that in the end they changed their mind and decided to put their hope into the Roman legal system, rather than taking justice into their own hands. This, of course, puts the judges trying Verres under pressure to prove worthy of the trust invested in them.

§ 83

493In the final three paragraphs that Cicero devotes to the Lampsacus episode, he explores another line of defence that, he claims, Verres adopted: that the guilty verdicts passed on Philodamus and his son proved that the inhabitants of Lampsacus were wrong in besieging his house. Cicero counters this claim with a piece of evidence provided by Verres himself: in the letter to Nero that provided details of the uproar, he singled out two ringleaders by name, Themistagoras and Thessalus, yet in the end he never pressed formal charges against them. For Cicero, this is not only an egregious dereliction of duty, insofar as Verres strikingly failed to uphold the dignity of his office as legate. It is also prime evidence that he tried to cover up his crimes by pursuing a private course of vengeance against the Philodamus family.

494Et ais iudicium esse factum te iniuria circumsessum esse Lampsaci: ais introduces the indirect statement iudicium esse factum, which in turn introduces the indirect statement te... circumsessum esse. Lampsaci is in the locative: ‘in Lampsacus’.

495Quid, si doceo... idoneo: an *anacoluthon, i.e. a sentence that breaks off in a state of incompletion. In this case, the si-clause does not have an apodosis, as Cicero changes tack by specifying who that depraved human being is whom he will use as witness, namely Verres himself.

496si doceo, si planum facio: Cicero uses synonymous expressions in *asyndetic sequence for emphasis.

497teste homine nequam... idoneo: teste homine is a nominal ablative absolute (i.e. an ablative absolute consisting of two nouns, with no verb): ‘through a human being as witness’; homine has two attributes (nequam, an indeclinable adjective, meaning ‘morally worthless, depraved’ and idoneo) which together form an *oxymoron (how can a worthless human being be an appropriate witness?), which Cicero resolves in what follows: the witness is Verres, who indicts himself.

498huius circumsessionis tuae: the two attributes huius and tuae that frame circumsessionis give the phrase a mocking undertone.

499in alios... in eos: in alios (to be construed with transtulisse) refers to Philodamus and his son (innocent people who were executed); in eos (to be construed with esse animadversum) refers to Themistagoras and Thessalus, whom Verres named in his letter to Nero (the allegedly guilty men whom Verres allowed to walk free).

500neque in eos... esse animadversum: for the idiom animadvertere + in see above § 68 on in eam civitatem animadvertendum.

501insimularas: syncopated pluperfect form of insimulaveras.

502Recita quas ad Neronem litteras misit: litteras, the antecedent of quas, has been attracted into the relative clause.

503Quem populum?: The verb is missing – ‛which people [do you mean]?’

504Qui te circumsedit, qui te vivum comburere conatus est: the antecedent of each qui is populus – ‛the people, who... ‘

505Ubi hos persequeris, ubi accusas, ubi defendis ius nomenque legati?: hos are Themistagoras and Thessalus. The demonstrative pronoun is the accusative object of both persequeris and accusas. Cicero uses an *asyndetic *tricolon reinforced by *anaphora (ubi). The *climactic third clause sums up the point of the first two clauses, which are by and large synonymous: Cicero argues that Verres should have taken legal action against the ringleaders he named in his letter to Nero in order to protect the institution and office of the Roman legate.

506in Philodami iudicio dices id actum?: Cicero imagines Verres as responding to this rhetorical question (dices – in the future) that the matter was dealt with in the trial of Philodamus.

§ 84

507Cicero devotes the entire paragraph to incriminating Verres’ failure to press charges against the Lampsacene troublemakers named in his letter to Nero. His method of choice is a ‛philological’ examination of Verres’ testimony at the trial of Philodamus, in particular his statement that he would pursue this other matter at some other time. By not having done so, Cicero submits, Verres has done significant harm to the Roman people and weakened the institution of legate.

508cedo: an imperative, consisting of ce + do: see OLD s.v. cede2 1c: ‛produce, show us (esp. as evidence or exhibits in a trial)’.

509videamus: hortative subjunctive: ‛let us see!’

510iuratus: under oath.

511Ab accusatore rogatus: the accusator in question is the one who pressed the charges against Philodamus and his son.

512non persequi... persequi: here and later in the paragraph, Cicero elides the accusative object (hos).

513(a) Legatus cum (b1) esses (b2) circumsessus, cumque... (b2) facta (b1) esset (a) insignis iniuria: adversative cum-clauses, with a *chiastic arrangement of subjects and verbs; the effect is a special emphasis on insignis iniuria – despite the fact that Verres himself labelled the events an egregious injury and a dangerous precedent, he took no action.

514tute: an emphatic form of tu: ‛as you yourself wrote to Nero.’

515dicis tibi in animo esse alio tempore persequi. Quod fuit id tempus? quando es persecutus?: Cicero here uses one of his favourite techniques, that is, quoting back at an opponent his own words, only to take them apart. (‛Now let us see, you say that...’) The delivery of tibi in animo esse is best imagined as highly mocking in tone, to prepare for Cicero’s quizzing of the key phrase alio tempore (‛some other time’), which never came.

516cur... cur... cur...? non... non... non...?: a string of rhetorical questions in *asyndetic sequence, split into two *anaphoric *tricola.

517(a) imminuisti (b) ius legationis – (b) causam populi Romani (a) deseruisti ac prodidisti – (b) iniurias tuas... (a) reliquisti?: the second and the third cola of the first *tricolon stand in *chiastic order to the first.

518iniurias tuas coniunctas cum publicis: sc. iniuriis.

519causam deferre: in the technical legal sense, ‛to bring a case into court’; here to bring the case to the attention of the senate, as the public body responsible for dealing with matters of foreign policy, such as diplomatic incidents.

520eos homines... evocandos curare: after deferre and conqueri, curare (‛to see to it’) is the third complementary infinitive to go with oportuit and in turn introduces an indirect statement (eos homines... evocandos). Cicero elides the esse that goes with evocandos. evocare in the technical legal sense means ‛to summon to appear in court’; here it refers to a writ issued by the consuls, the highest magistrates of the Roman people, to appear before them for a hearing and a verdict. Cicero blames Verres for failing to take up the matter at the level that would have been appropriate for the seriousness of the charges.

521concitarant: the syncopated pluperfect form of concitaverant.

522consulum: genitive plural of consul, depending on litteris.

523To support the claims advanced in the previous paragraph, Cicero now outlines an analogous incident in which the magistrate in charge acted as Verres ought to have done.

524Nuper: an adverb of time that refers to the recent past. But the notion of ‛recent’ is of considerable elasticity: it can refer to a period of a couple of days or (as here) half a century (see next note).

525M. Aurelio Scauro: Marcus Aurelius Scaurus was quaestor in 117 BC. Several aspects make this an opportune comparandum, both in terms of similarities and differences. The rank of the Roman officials involved was more or less similar (Scaurus was quaestor, Verres was a legate, but promoted to the rank of pro-quaestor) and the geographic region the same (Asia Minor). Conversely, the transgression that drew Scaurus’ ire (a local aristocrat protecting the religious institution of asylum) was incomparably lighter than the rioting in Lampsacus that Verres’ reported – and the Roman response was incomparably harsher. Likewise, Cicero emphasizes the high standing of the offending provincial in Scaurus’ case (see below on homo nobilissimus), whereas the two men whom Verres fingered as the main culprits (Themistagoras and Thessalus) remain entirely faceless.

526postulante: see OLD s.v. postulo 2, for the technical legal sense of ‛making an application to the praetor or other magistrate’.

527Ephesi: a locative (‛in Ephesus’).

528quo minus: literally, the phrase means ‛by which the less’ and is used after verbs of hindering and preventing. It ‛does not translate into idiomatic English’: Morwood (1999) 131.

529e fano Dianae: the temple of Artemis (Cicero uses the Roman name for the goddess) at Ephesus was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

  • 49 See further Rigsby, K. J. (1997), Asylia: Territorial Inviolability in the Hellenistic World, Berk (...)
  • 50 See further Dench, E. (2005), Romulus’ Asylum: Roman Identities from the Age of Alexander to the A (...)

530asylum: a Greek technical term (here used as a loanword in Latin), designating a place that affords sanctuary for criminals or fugitives.49 Augustan writers famously employ the term with reference to the ‛asylum of Romulus’: see Virgil, Aeneid 8. 342 and Livy The temple of Artemis at Ephesus was a distinguished place of refuge in the Greek world, though it is clear from Cicero’s account that Roman magistrates saw no need to respect Greek asylum conventions.

531homo nobilissimus: Cicero creates an implicit contrast between the renowned and high-ranking provincial who got summoned to Rome in this case, and the instigators whom Verres identified in his letter to Nero and who figure in Cicero’s narrative without any marks of distinction. The force of the adjective is thus adversative: even though he was a man of the highest distinction locally, he was nevertheless summoned to Rome.

532tu, si te legatum ita Lampsaci tractatum esse senatum docuisses ut tui comites vulnerarentur, lictor occideretur, ipse circumsessus paene incenderere, eius autem rei duces et auctores et principes fuisse, quos scribis, Themistagoram et Thessalum...: a complicated si-clause. The verb is docuisses (pluperfect subjunctive to indicate a remote and unfulfilled condition), which takes senatum as accusative object and introduces an indirect statement that falls into two parts, linked by autem: te... tractatum esse (followed by an *asyndetic *tricolon of consecutive ut-clauses: see next note) and eius autem rei duces... fuisse... Thessalum. The first part (te... ita... tractatum esse) introduces a consecutive ut-clause (ut... incenderere).

533ut tui comites vulnerarentur, lictor occideretur, ipse circumsessus paene incenderere: the *asyndetic *tricolon is arranged *climactically; the lack of connectives again underscores the drama of what happened and contrasts with the more expansive style Cicero uses of the perpetrators.

534te legatum: the construction picks up and parallels se quaestorem. legatum is a predicative complement to te: ‛you, as legate... ‘

535Lampsaci: another locative, in parallel to Ephesi.

536duces et auctores et principes: a *polysyndetic *tricolon, which emphasizes the leading role of Themistagoras and Thessalus in the civic unrest at Lampsacus.

537incenderere: second person singular imperfect subjunctive passive; an alternative form of incendereris.

538quis non commoveretur, quis non ex iniuria quae tibi esset facta sibi provideret, quis non in ea re causam tuam periculum commune agi arbitraretur?: The main clause (apodosis), too, is designed as a *climactic and *asyndetic *tricolon (reinforced by the anaphora of quis non) as well as a rhetorical question. Cicero gradually moves from an unspecific emotional response (commoveretur) to a self-reflective reaction (what happened to Verres could also happen to me – I’d better take precautions: sibi provideret) to the realization that, beyond issues of personal safety, Rome’s public interest more generally is at stake (periculum commune agi arbitraretur). He thus gradually builds up to the point that the senate would have considered the incident as Lampsacus a dangerous precedent for Roman interests in the provinces more generally.

539Magnum hoc Lampsacenum crimen est libidinis atque improbissimae cupiditatis: Cicero concludes his account of what happened at Lampsacus by reiterating the motivating impulse that set the dire sequence of events into motion: Verres’ lust, *pleonastically invoked by the virtual synonyms libido and cupiditas. This is a final exclamation mark before Cicero moves on to another vice: greed (avaritia).


1 Hofman, J. B., Szantyr, A. (1965), Lateinische Syntax und Stilistik, vol. 2, Munich, 707: ‛the frequent use of -um is cacophonous’.

2 See Scheer, T. (1993), Mythische Vorväter: Zur Bedeutung griechischer Heroenmythen im Selbstverständnis kleinasiatischer Städte, Munich, 203-11.

3 Stangl, T. (1964), Ciceronis Orationum Scholiastae, Hildesheim (photographic reprint of 1912 edition).

4 For a good discussion of the topic see Shatzman, I. (1972), ‛The Roman General’s Authority Over Booty’, Historia 21, 177-205. The most recent treatment is a French-German edited collection: M. Coudry, M. and Humm, M. (eds.) (2009), Praeda. Butin de guerre et société dans la Rome républicaine / Kriegsbeute und Gesellschaft im republikanischen Rom, Stuttgart.

5 For discussions of Artemis, see Burkert, W. (1985), Greek Religion, trans. by J. Raffan, Cambridge, Mass., 149-52; Vernant, J.-P. (1991), Mortals and Immortals: Collected Essays, ed. by F. I. Zeitlin, Princeton, 195-257; Ferguson, J. (1970), Religions of the Roman East, Ithaca, NY, 21-22; for the cult site at Perge in particular: Pace, B. (1923), ‘Diana Pergaea’, in W. H. Buckler and W. M. Calder (eds.), Anatolian Studies presented to Sir William Mitchell Ramsay, Manchester, 297-314 (in Italian).

6 See further Gildenhard (2011) 99-124, esp. 113-16 (‛Criminal Insanity’), which includes an analysis of Cicero’s portrayal of Verres as someone who is criminally insane and explores his insanity as one factor in a larger cosmic scheme that brings him to justice.

7 This note is based on material kindly made available to me by Myles Lavan. It forms part of his forthcoming book (provisionally titled Slaves to Rome) on Roman conceptions of empire.

8 See in detail Flower, H. (1996), Ancestor Masks and Aristocratic Power in Roman Culture, Oxford.

9 See further Meyer, E. A. (2004), Legitimacy and Law in the Roman World: Tabulae in Roman Belief and Practice, Cambridge.

10 See further Holliday, P. J. (2002), The Origins of Roman Historical Commemoration in the Visual Arts, Cambridge, with the review by Hölkeskamp, K.-J. (2005), ‛Images of Power: Memory, Myth and Monuments in the Roman Republic’, Scripta Classica Israelica 24, 249-71.

11 A German dissertation by Bücher, F. (2006), Verargumentierte Geschichte. Exempla Romana im politischen Diskurs der späten römischen Republik, Stuttgart, has shown that the overwhelming majority of historical precedents that Cicero brings into play belong to the fairly recent past (the book comes with a CD-Rom that includes tables of all exempla that Cicero uses in his speeches); and van der Blom, H. (2010), Cicero’s Role Models: The Political Strategy of a Newcomer, Oxford, offers a nuanced overview of the current state of research on Rome’s memorial culture and Cicero’s place within it.

12 See Flower, H. (2003), ‛Memories of Marcellus: History and Memory in Roman Republican Culture’, in U. Eigler, U. Gotter, N. Luraghi, U. Walter (eds.),Formen römischer Geschichtsschreibung von den Anfängen bis Livius: Gattungen – Autoren – Kontexte, Darmstadt, 1-17.

13 The notion of praise belonging to a period rather than to specific individuals who lived within it recurs elsewhere in Cicero’s oeuvre, notably in de Officiis 3.

14 References in Münzer, F. (1923), ‘93) P. Servilius Vatia Isauricus’, Real-Encyclopädie 2.4, 1812-17 (1815).

15 T. Habinek defines bandits thus: ‘bandits are criminals who operate in the spaces that are claimed by the political authorities but are not well integrated into the social, economic, and cultural life of mainstream society.’ (The Politics of Latin Literature: Writing, Identity, and Empire in Ancient Rome, Princeton, 1998, Chapter 3: ‛Cicero and the Bandits’, 69-87, here 69, with reference to Shaw, B. (1984), ‛Bandits in the Roman Empire’, Past and Present 105, 3-52.) For monographic treatment of latrones, see Grünewald, T. (1999), Räuber, Rebellen, Rivalen, Rächer, Stuttgart [translated by J. Drinkwater as Bandits in the Roman Empire: Myth and Reality, London and New York, 2004]; he notes that, in the (late) Roman jurists, latrocinium refers to ‛heavy gang criminality in the dimension of irregular warfare’, but can also be used for ‛crime’ more generally (25).

16 See e.g. Beard, M. (2007), The Roman Triumph, Cambridge/ MA, or Östenberg, I. (2009), Spoils, Captives and Representations in the Roman Triumphal Procession, Oxford.

17 Brunt, P. A. (1980), ‛Patronage and Politics in the Verrines’, Chiron 10, 273-89, 280: ‛But why was Hortensius so devoted to Verres? He had long been a leader of the bar; he had been elected to the consulship with the minimum interval after his praetorship. How could such a man have any need of Verres? I find it hard to resist acceptance of Cicero’s imputations: Hortensius was an accessory after the fact in Verres’ extortions’ (with reference to our passage, among others).

18 For a good, basic account of Roman assemblies see Beard, M. and Crawford, M. (1985), Rome in the Late Republic, Ithaca, NY.

19 Steiner, D. (2002), Images in Mind: Statues in Archaic and Classical Greek Literature and Thought, Princeton, offers a wide-ranging discussion of the varying significance of statues in ancient Greek culture.

20 Cf. Peterson, W. (1903), ‘Emendations of Cicero’s Verrines’, The Classical Review 17, 198-202 (201-02).

21 For more on ancient dating systems see Feeney, D. C. (2007), Caesar’s Calendar: Ancient Time and the Beginnings of History, Berkeley.

22 See Adams, J. (1982), The Latin Sexual Vocabulary, London, 200-1.

23 Steel, C. (2004), ‛Being Economical with the Truth: What Really Happened at Lampsacus?’, in J. Powell and J. Paterson (eds.), Cicero the Advocate, Oxford, 233-51.

24 See Gildenhard (2011) 266-67.

25 The topic of ethnic stereotypes in ancient thought has recently received a new monographic treatment: see Gruen E. (2010), Rethinking the Other in Antiquity, Princeton.

26 For a discussion of the events, see Gruen, E. (1966), ‛The Dolabellae and Sulla’, American Journal of Philology 87, 385-99.

27 For the life of leading citizens in the Greek cities of Asia Minor in Hellenistic and Roman times, see Quaß, F. (1993), Die Honoratiorenschicht in den Städten des griechischen Ostens. Untersuchungen zur politischen und sozialen Entwicklung in hellenistischer und römischer Zeit, Stuttgart.

28 Morwood (1999) 100, Nr. 5 and 8.

29 See for more details Lintott, A. (1993), Imperium Romanum: Politics and Administration, London and New York, 92-5; Richardson, J. S. (1994), ‛The Administration of the Empire’, Cambridge Ancient History 9 (2nd edn), Cambridge, 572-84; laconically and to the point Steel (2004) 239 n. 11: ‘Officials abroad regularly abused their rights to lodging and entertainment.’

30 See further the collection of papers edited by J. Donahue and B. K. Gold (2005), Roman Dining, Baltimore, especially that by M. Roller, ‘Horizontal Women: Posture and Sex in the Roman Convivium’, 49-94, which challenges the view that ‘respectable’ women dined seated until the Augustan era. On the Greek symposion, see e.g. Murray, O. (ed.) (1994), Sympotica: A Symposium on the symposion, Oxford; and Davidson, J. (1997), Courtesans and Fishcakes: The Consuming Passions of Classical Athens, HarperCollins.

31 With reference to Corbeill, A. (1996), Controlling Laughter: Political Humor in the Late Republic, Princeton, 128-43.

32 Bibliography on the Greek and Roman family and gender issues includes: Lacey, W. K. (1968), The Family in Classical Greece, Ithaca; Pomeroy, S. B. (1975), Goddesses, Whores, Wives and Slaves, New York; Treggiari, S. (1991), Roman Marriage. Iusti Coniuges from the Time of Cicero to the Time of Ulpian, Oxford.

33 Secondary literature on Greek houses includes Jameson, M. (1990), ‛Private Space in the Greek City’, in O. Murray and S. Price (eds.), The Greek City from Homer to Alexander, Oxford, 171-98; and Nevett, L. (1999), House and Society in the Ancient Greek World, Cambridge.

34 See further Marshall, A. J. (1984), ‛Symbols and Showmanship in Roman Public Life: the Fasces’, Phoenix 38, 120-41.

35 There is a textual issue here. Instead of the se ipso printed here, our codices have ipsa se, which does not make a lot of sense: haec eadem needs no further qualification. Peterson, in his Oxford Classical Text, therefore prints ipse (a conjecture by Benecke) se. But this is not unproblematic either: ‘he personally says’ introduces an undesirable contrast between homo (sc. Tettius) dixerit and vir (sc. Varro) ipse dicat. More promising is the correction, according to Peterson’s apparatus proposed by both Haase and Kays, of ipsa into ipso. The phrase ipso ex Philodamo would stress the fact that Varro got his version of events from Philodamus himself – in contrast to Tettius, who has to rely on what he found out from hearsay in the city. Cicero’s strictly parallel construction of Tettius and Varro perhaps offers some grounds for taking the further step of inverting ipso se to se ipso.

36 The information on accensi derives from Kunkel, W. (1995), Staatsordnung und Staatspraxis der römischen Republik, Zweiter Abschnitt: Die Magistratur, Munich, 126-28 (‛Das Hilfspersonal der Magistrate: f) Der Accensus’).

37 Gundel, H. (1961), ‘3) C. Visellius Varro’, Realencyclopädie 9 A 1, 355-58.

38 On the different semantics of Fortuna see Gildenhard (2011) 40-49.

39 For their complex relationship and its evolution over time, see Dyck, A. R. (2008), ‛Rivals into partners: Hortensius and Cicero’, Historia 52, 142-73.

40 Kunkel, W. (1995), Staatsordnung und Staatspraxis der römischen Republik, Zweiter Abschnitt: Die Magistratur, Munich, 135—11 (’Das magistratische Konsilium’).

41 Kunkel, 138-39.

42 Kunkel, W. (1995), Staatsordnung und Staatspraxis der römischen Republik, Zweiter Abschnitt: Die Magistratur, Munich, 145.

43 indicta causa = the hasty processing of cognitio so as to obviate the possibility of a considered defence and the proper consultation of witnesses: Kunkel (1995) 145; OLD s.v. indictus 1b.

44 The toga was the distinctive, and distinctively cumbersome, Roman dress that turned those who wore it into moving statues; before the advent of toga-parties, the garment was immortalized by Virgil, Aeneid 1.282 (Jupiter speaking): Romanos, rerum dominos gentemque togatam (‛The Romans, lords of the world, the people clad in the toga’). Augustus is said to have recited this line in disgust upon encountering a shoddily dressed crowd (Suetonius, Divus Augustus 40.5). See further Vout, C. (1996), ‛The Myth of the Toga: Understanding the History of Roman Dress’, Greece and Rome 43.2, 204-20.

45 See Powell, J. G. F. (2010), ‛Court Procedure and Rhetorical Strategy in Cicero’, in D. H. Berry and A. Erskine (eds.), Form and Function in Roman Oratory, Cambridge, 21-36 (26-7).

46 For Cicero’s ‛vivid descriptions’ see Innocenti, B. (1994), ‛Towards a Theory of Vivid Description as Practiced in Cicero’s Verrine Orations’, Rhetorica 12, 355-81. Our passage is discussed on p. 376.

47 See Hölkeskamp, K.-J. (2000), ‛Fides – deditio in fidem – dextra data et accepta: Recht, Religion und Ritual in Rom’, in C. Bruun (ed.), The Roman Middle Republic: Politics, Religion, and Historiography c. 400-133 B.C., Rome, 223-50.

48 For a monographic treatment of the topic, see Dauge, Y. A. (1981), Le barbare: recherches sur la conception romaine de la barbarie et la civilisation, Brussels.

49 See further Rigsby, K. J. (1997), Asylia: Territorial Inviolability in the Hellenistic World, Berkeley.

50 See further Dench, E. (2005), Romulus’ Asylum: Roman Identities from the Age of Alexander to the Age of Hadrian, Oxford.

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