edited by Ingo Gildenhard
Against Verres 83 Essay
In the final three paragraphs that Cicero devotes to the Lampsacus episode, he explores another line of defence that, he claims, Verres adopted: that the guilty verdicts passed on Philodamus and his son proved that the inhabitants of Lampsacus were wrong in besieging his house. Cicero counters this claim with a piece of evidence provided by Verres himself: in the letter to Nero that provided details of the uproar, he singled out two ringleaders by name, Themistagoras and Thessalus, yet in the end he never pressed formal charges against them. For Cicero, this is not only an egregious dereliction of duty, insofar as Verres strikingly failed to uphold the dignity of his office as legate. It is also prime evidence that he tried to cover up his crimes by pursuing a private course of vengeance against the Philodamus family.