Cedo mihi ipsīus Verris testimōnium: videāmus quid īdem iste iūrātus dīxerit. Recitā. AB ACCUSATORE ROGATUS RESPONDIT IN HOC IUDICIO NON PERSEQUI: SIBI IN ANIMO ESSE ALIO TEMPORE PERSEQUI. Quid igitur tē iuvat Nerōnis iūdicium, quid Philodamī damnātiō? Lēgātus cum essēs circumsessus, cumque, quem ad modum tūte ad Nerōnem scrīpsistī, populō Rōmānō commūnīque causae lēgātōrum facta esset īnsignis iniūria, nōn es persecūtus: dīcis tibi in animō esse aliō tempore persequī. Quod fuit id tempus? Quandō es persecūtus? Cūr imminuistī iūs lēgātiōnis, cūr causam populī Rōmānī dēseruistī ac prōdidistī, cūr iniūriās tuās coniūnctās cum pūblicīs relīquistī? Nōn tē ad senātum causam dēferre, nōn dē tam atrōcibus iniūriīs conquerī, nōn eōs hominēs quī populum concitārant cōnsulum litterīs ēvocandōs cūrāre oportuit?

Cicero devotes the entire paragraph to incriminating Verres’ failure to press charges against the Lampsacene troublemakers named in his letter to Nero. His method. . . [full essay]

Grammar and Syntax:

  • Parse videamus.

Style and Theme:

  • Explore the stylistic design of the cum-clause Legatus cum … insignis iniuria.

cedo: an imperative, consisting of ce + do: see OLD s.v. cedo2 1c: ‘produce, show us (esp. as evidence or exhibits in a trial)’.

videamus: hortative subjunctive: ‘let us see!’

iuratus: under oath.

AB ACCUSATORE ROGATUS: the accusator in question is the one who pressed the charges against Philodamus and his son.

NON PERSEQUI … PERSEQUI: here and later in the paragraph, Cicero elides the accusative object (hos).

(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.

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

dicis 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.

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

(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.

iniurias tuas coniunctas cum publicis: sc. iniuriis.

causam 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.

eos 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.

concitarant: the syncopated pluperfect form of concitaverant.

consulum: genitive plural of consul, depending on litteris.


cedo, give (it) here! (implying great haste, familiarity, authority). The form is an archaic imperative, a compound of the particle -ce and the verb dō, dare. Not to be confused with the verb cēdō, cēdere, go away, retreat, yield.

Verris C. Verres, the governor of Sicily form 73 B.C. to 71 B.C., who was prosecuted by Cicero in 70 B.C. for corruption. After several failed attempts to delay the trial, Verres chose to abandon his defense and lived in exile in Massilia until 43 B.C.

testimōnium, ī, [testis], n., evidence, attestation, testimony, proof.

iūrātus, -a, -um, [iūrō], adj., sworn, oath-bound, under oath.

recitō, -āre, -āvī, -ātum, [re- + citō], 1, a., read aloud, declaim, rehearse.

accusatore accuser, prosecutor at trial; plaintiff; informer;

persequor, -sequī, -secūtus sum, [per + sequor], 3, dep., follow persistently, follow after, pursue; prosecute, avenge; perform, accomplish; set forth, relate.

Neronis Gaius Claudius Nero, propraetor of Asia (with Dolabella). He formed the tribunal which ultimately condemned Philodamnus and his son to death.

Philodami A prominent citizen of Lampsacus who was forced by Verres to billet Rubrius and was ultimately condemned to death after a brawl (instigated by Rubrius) broke out at his house, resulting in Rubrius being injured and causing the townspeople to turn on Verres.

damnātiō, -ōnis, [damnō], f., conviction, condemnation.

circumsedeō, -sedēre, -sēdī, -sessum, [circum + sedeō], 2, a., sit around; surround, besiege, beset.

Rōmānus, -a, -um, [Rōma], adj., of Rome, Roman, Latin. As subst., Rōmānus, -ī, m., Roman.

insignis conspicuous, manifest, eminent, notable, famous, distinguished, outstanding;

imminuō, -ere, -uī, -ūtum, [in + minuō], 3, a., lessen, diminish; encroach upon, infringe upon, reduce.

lēgātiō, -ōnis, [lēgō], f., embassy, legation.

coniūnctus, -a, -um, comp. coniūnctior, sup. coniūnctissimus, [part. of coniungō], adj., united, allied, connected; intimate, accordant.

atrōx, -ōcis, [āter], adj., fierce, cruel, savage; severe, harsh; horrible, terrible, violent.

conqueri bewail, lament, utter a complaint; complain of, deplore;

concitō, -āre, -āvī, -ātum, [freq. of conciō], 1, a., stir up, arouse, excite; urge, move, instigate.

euocandos call forth; lure/entice out; summon, evoke;

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Suggested Citation

Ingo Gildenhard, Cicero, Against Verres, 2.1.53–86. Cambridge: Open Book Publishers, 2011. ISBN: 978-1-90692-463-8. DCC edition, 2016. http://dcc.dickinson.edu/cicero-verres/84