Cicero himself in this speech calls this trial the first public, that is criminal cause in which he was engaged; and many critics consider it an earlier speech than the one for Quinctius (Pro Quinctio). The case was this: The father of Sextus Roscius had been slain during the proscriptions of Sulla, and his estate, which was very large, had been sold for a very trifling sum to Lucius Cornelius Chrysogonus, a favorite slave to whom Sulla had given his freedom; and Chrysogonus, to secure possession of it, persuaded a man named Gaius Erucius to accuse Roscius of having killed his father himself. Many lawyers refused to defend him, being afraid of Sulla, whose influence was openly used for his freedman. Roscius was acquitted. Cicero often refers with great complacency to his conduct in this suit, as a proof of his intrepidity, and of his resolute honesty in discharging the duties of an advocate without being dismayed at the opposition of the greatest men in Rome.
-- from "Introduction: The Oration for Sextus Roscius of Ameria;" The Orations of M. Tullius Cicero, vol. I; trans. C.D. Yonge. George Bell & Sons; London: 1903.
|Pro Sex. Roscio Amerino M. Tulli Ciceronis Oratio||Latin Text||The Latin source text is M. Tulli Ciceronis Scripta Omnia pt. II vol. I; ed. Mueller. Teubner; Leipzig: 1901.|
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