Against Verres 81 Essay

Cicero begins this and the following paragraph with a direct appeal to the judges, to alleviate the monotony of his remorseless cross-examination of Verres. From here onwards, his principal focus remains Verres’ claim that he was the target of an attack by the Lampsacenes. Throughout, Cicero bases his argument on elements that were previously introduced in the narration as facts, revisiting his ethnographic appraisal of the Lampsacenes at the outset of the episode (§ 63) to argue that it took someone like Verres and his singular lust to stir such a peace-loving community into violent action, irrespective of their ingrained respect for the Romans or the consequences for themselves. Another technique Cicero employs is the reiteration in his own voice of things that were allegedly said during the public meeting of the Lampsacenes on the morning after the dinner party (compare, for instance, § 68: … quidvis esse perpeti satius quam in tanta vi atque acerbitate versari with § 81: … ut perspicuum sit omnibus, nisi tanta acerbitas iniuriae, tanta vis sceleris fuisset ut Lampsaceni moriendum sibi potius quam perpetiendum putarent or § 69: … ut gravius apud eos nomen legationis quam iniuria legati putaretur with § 81: … ut vehementius odio libidinis tuae quam legationis metu moverentur).

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