"Gaius Quinctius and Sextus Naevius,
one of the public criers, had been partners, having their chief business in
Gallia Narbonensis. Gaius died, and left his brother Publius his heir, between
whom and Naevius there arose disputes concerning the division of property
of the partnership. Gaius had left some debts, and Publius proposed to sell
some lands which his brother had acquired as private property near Narbonne,
for the purpose of liquidating them. Naevius interposed difficulties in the
way of his doing so, and by various artifices tried to make it appear that
Publius had forfeited his recognizances; which would have given a different
complexion to the whole case, as to forfeit one's recognizances was a crime
liable to the punishment of infamia at Rome. Cicero undertook the defense
of Quinctius at the request of Roscius the actor--Naevius' cause was conducted
by Hortensius, at that time the greatest orator in Rome. It is doubtful whether
this really was the first cause in which Cicero was engaged, as many think
that he himself speaks in this oration of having been concerned in other trials
previously, and that the speech for Sextus Roscius was his first."
Note that trial is only a praeiudicatio, that is, evidence was to be presented to the judge and a board of assessors, so that the judge could rule whether or not the actions taken by Naevius [namely, asserting that Publius had forfeited his familial obligations, and persuading the praetor Burrienus to issue an edict seizing Publius' properties and starting arrangements for those properties to be sold at public auction] were legal and valid.
C.D. Yonge, in the introduction of his English translation, asserts that Quinctius won the verdict, however, J. H. Freese, in his introduction to his Loeb edition, says that the verdict is not known.
-- Excerpted from "The Argument", The Speech of M. T. Cicero as the Advocate of P. Quinctius, The Orations of Marcus Tullius Cicero, vol. I; trans. C.D. Yonge. George Bell & Sons; London: 1903.
|Pro P. Quinctio M. Tulli Ciceronis Oratio||Latin Text||The Latin text source is M. Tulli Ciceronis Scripta Quae Manserunt Omnia, pt. II vol I; ed. C.F.W. Mueller. Teubner; Leipzig: 1901.|
|The English text source is The Orations of Marcus Tullius Cicero, vol. I; trans. C.D. Yonge. Bell & Sons; London: 1903.|
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