Romæ antiquæ descriptio a view of the religion, laws, customs, manners, and dispositions of the ancient Romans, and others : comprehended in their most illustrious acts and sayings agreeable to history
Valerius Maximus., Speed, Samuel, 1631-1682.

CHAP. V. Of Testimonies void or confirmed.

  • 1. Of the Caepio's and Metelli's against Q. Pompey.
  • 2. Of Aemilius Scaurus against several.
  • 3. Of L. Crassus against M. Marcellus.
  • 4. Of Q. Metellus, the Luculli, Hortensii, and Lepeius, against Grac∣chus.
  • 5. Of M. Cicero against P. Clodius.
  • 6. Of P. Servilius Isauri∣cus, against a certain per∣son.

1. IT follows that I relate pertinent Examples con∣cerning Witnesses. Cneus and Servilius Caepio, born both of the same Parents, and having mounted through all the degrees of Honour to the height of Greatness: Also the two Brothers Q. and L. Metellus, of the Consular and Censors Dignity, and the other that had triumphed, giving in severe testimony a∣gainst Q. Pompey A. F. who stood accused of Bri∣bery: the credit of their testimony was not quite Page  360 abrogated, by the acquittal of Pompey; but it was done so, that an Enemy might not seem to be op∣pressed by power.

2. M. Aemilius Scaurus, Prince of the Senate, pro∣secuted C. Memmius for Bribery, with smart testimo∣ny. He followed Flavius, accused by the same Law, with the same fierceness; he profestly endeavoured to ruine C. Norbanus, for Treason put to the publick rack: yet neither by his Authority, which was very great, nor by his Piety, of which no man doubted, could he do any of them any harm.

3. L. Crassus also, as great among the Judges, as Scaurus among the Conscript Fathers: For he go∣verned their Opinions and Judgments by the potent and happy salaries of his Eloquence▪ Prince of the Court of Judicature, as the other of the Senate: Yet when he shot a Thunderbolt of Testimony against Marcellus, it fell heavy indeed, but vanished in smoak.

4. Again, there was Q. Metellus the holy, the Lu∣culli, the Hortensii, M. Lepidus, what weight did they not onely lay upon the lite of C. Cornelius accused of Treason, but also denied that the Commonwealth could stand, so long as he were safe? All which Or∣naments of the City, it shames me to relate it, were all kept off by the shield of Justice.

5. What! M. Cicero, who by the warfare of the Law attained to the highest Honours and the noblest place of Dignity, was he not as a witness thrown out of the very Camp of his Eloquence, while he swore that Clodius was at his house in Rome? for by that one argument of his absence, the Prisoner fended off the villany which he had committed. And so the Judges rather chose to acquit Clodius of the Incest, than Cicero of the Infamy of Perjury.

6. Among so many Witnesses of high degree, I Page  361 will relate one, whose authority is confirmed by a new manner of reasoning in Court. Publius Servi∣lius, a Consul, a Censor, a Triumpher, who added the name of Isauricus to that of his Ancestors, when walking by the Court he saw several Witnesses pro∣duced against a Criminal, he placed himself among the Witnesses, and to the great admiration of the Parties Friends and Accusers, thus began: This person, said he, most reverend Iudges, that pleads, what Countrey be is of, or what course of life he leads, or whether he be deservedly or wrongfully accused, I know not: But this I know, that meeting me once in the Laurentine Way, as I was travelling along, in a very narrow passage, he would not alight from his horse; which whether it belong to your cognizance, I know not, do you consider that; I thought it not sit to con∣ceal this matter. Presently the Judges condemned the Party, scarce hearing any other Witnesses. For the Grandeur of the Speaker prevailed with them, and his Indignation at the contempt of his neglected Dignity; believing that he, that scorn'd to reve∣rence Princes, would not stick to run into any wickedness.