Pro Aulo Cluentio Habito
by Marcus Tullius Cicero


   The speech in defence of Cluentius was delivered in B.C. 66, the year in which Cicero filled the office of praetor ( 147). He was then in the prime of life (aet. 41), and at the very height of his reputation as a pleader: it will be remembered that this was the year in which he devliered his famous oration in support of the Manilian Law (Pro Lege Manilia).
   The accusation was brought under the Lex Cornelia de Sicariis et Veneficis, and the trial was held before the Quaestio, or standing commission, established by Sulla to deal with cases arising under that statute. The presiding judge (iudex quaestionis) was Q. Voconius Naso ( 147-8). The jury was composed, under the Lex Aurelia (B.C. 70), of senators, knights, and tribuni aerarii.
   The defendant, Aulus Cluentius Habitus of Larinum, was impeached by Oppianicus the younger, stepson and son-in-law of Sassia, the mother of Cluentius. The direct charge was that the accused had procured by poison the death of Oppianicus the elder, as well as of two other persons; but the prosecution relied also on the prevailing belief that, at the trial of Oppianicus the elder eight years before (B.C. 74), Cluentius had employed corrupt means to secure his step-father's conviction. The prosecution was conducted by T. Accius, a Roman knight of Pisaurum, in Umbria: Cicero alone appeared for the defence ( 199).
   Such are the elements which go to compose the drama that is enacted in the speech before us--a speech which, apart from the interest that attaches to it as a revelation of the conditions of social life in ancient Italy, will always hold a foremost place in oratorical literature as representing the high-water mark of Ciceronian eloquence.

-- Opening to the Introduction, M. Tulli Ciceronis: Pro A. Cluentio Oratio, ed. W. Peterson, Macmillan and Co., Ltd.: London, 1920.

The full introduction includes the background and examination of previous events, and the laws involved that led up to this trial.

Pro A. Cluentio Habito Oratio
Latin Text The Latin text source is M. Tulli Ciceronis: Pro A. Cluentio Oratio, ed. W. Peterson, Macmillan and Co., Ltd.: London, 1920.
English Text
Translation Notes
    The English text source is The Orations of Marcus Tullius Cicero, vol 2. trans. C.D. Yonge, George Bell & Sons: London, 1902.
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