In Verrem (actio secunda)

M. Tullius Cicero

Quaerimus etiam quid iste in ultima Phrygia, quid in extremis Pamphyliae partibus fecerit, qualis in bello praedonum praedo ipse fuerit, qui in foro populi Romani pirata nefarius reperiatur? Dubitamus quid iste in hostium praeda molitus sit, qui manubias sibi tantas ex L. Metelli manubiis fecerit, qui maiore pecunia quattuor columnas dealbandas quam ille omnes aedificandas locaverit? Exspectemus quid dicant ex Sicilia testes? Quis umquam templum illud aspexit quin avaritiae tuae, quin iniuriae, quin audaciae testis esset? Quis a signo Vertumni in circum maximum venit quin is uno quoque gradu de avaritia tua commoneretur? quam tu viam tensarum atque pompae eius modi exegisti ut tu ipse illa ire non audeas. Te putet quisquam, cum ab Italia freto disiunctus esses, sociis temperasse, qui aedem Castoris testem tuorum furtorum esse volueris? quam populus Romanus cotidie, iudices etiam tum cum de te sententiam ferent, videbunt.

Do we now ask how Verres has behaved in distant Phrygia, or in the remote regions of Pamphylia: or how in the war against the sea-robbers, he has played the robber himself: Verres, whose black deeds of piracy we find done here in the heart of Rome? Can we doubt his jobbery over the plunder taken from our enemies, seeing how he has enriched himself with spoil from the spoils that Lucius Metellus took for us, and paid his contractor more money for whitening four of those pillars than Metellus paid for the building of them all? Need we wait to hear what the witnesses from Sicily shall tell us? Has anyone looked at that temple without becoming a witness to your rapacity and injustice and reckless wickedness? Has anyone walked along the road from the statue of Vertumnus to the Circus Maximus without being reminded of your rapacious greed at every step he took? The repair of that road, the route for sacred coaches and processions, you have enforced so thoroughly that you would not risk going over it yourself. Is anyone expected to believe that, once salt water lay between you and Italy, you had any mercy on our allies, when you have not shrunk from letting Castor's temple be the witness of your thefts? Upon that temple the eyes of Rome rest daily; and upon it the eyes of your judges will rest, as they pronounce their verdict upon you.

Reprinted by permission of the publishers and the Trustees of the Loeb Classical Library from M. Tullius Cicero: Volume VII. The Verrine Orations I, Loeb Classical Library Vol. 221, translated by L.H.G. Greenwood, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, © 1928, by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. The Loeb Classical Library ® is a registered trademark of the President and Fellows of Harvard College.

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