nunc ad illud tuum: “non deieci; non enim sivi accedere.” puto te ipsum, Piso, perspicere quanto ista sit angustior iniquiorque defensio quam si illa uterere: “non fuerunt armati, cum fustibus et cum saxis fuerunt.” ... [65] atque illud in tota defensione tua mihi maxime mirum videbatur, te dicere iuris consultorum auctoritati obtemperari non oportere. ... [66] in ista vero causa cum tu sis is qui te verbo litteraque defendas, cum tuae sint hae partes: “unde <d>eiectus2 es? an inde quo prohibitus es accedere? reiectus es, non deiectus,” cum tua sit haec oratio: “fateor me homines coegisse, fateor armasse, fateor tibi mortem esse minitatum,3 fateor hoc interdicto4 praetoris vindicari,5 si voluntas et aequitas valeat; sed ego invenio in interdicto verbum unum ubi delitiscam: non deieci te ex eo loco quem in locum prohibui ne venires”—in ista defensione accusas eos qui consuluntur, quod aequitatis censeant rationem, non verbi haberi oportere?


L. Manlius Torquatus pater (cos. 65 BC; RE Manlius 79) became consul in 65 BC, after the consuls originally elected for that year had been convicted of ambitus (TLRR 201; cf. 146). After his consulship Torquatus administered the province of Macedonia and was awarded the title of imperator by the Senate in 63 BC (Cic. Pis. 44).



come now to that argument of yours: “I did not drive him out; for I did not let him draw near.” I believe you realize yourself, Piso, how much more quibbling and inequitable such a defense is than if you used that one: “they were not armed; they had sticks and stones.” ... [65] And that point seemed to me the most astounding in the whole of your defense, that you said that we ought not to defer to the authority of legal experts.... [66] But in this case of yours, when you are the one who uses a defense based upon the words and the letter [of the law], when this is your position: “Whence were you driven out? From a place which you were prevented from reaching? You were driven away, not driven out,” while this is your speech: “I admit that I collected men together; I admit that I armed them; I admit that I threatened you with death; I admit that I am liable under this praetorian interdict if its intention and fair interpretation prevail; but I find a single word in the interdict where I can find shelter: I have not driven you out of that place that I have prevented you from entering”—in that defense are you accusing those who are being consulted because they believe that account should be taken of equity, not of a word?


Torquatus was a friend of T. Pomponius Atticus (103) (Nep. Att. 1.4). Like his son L. Manlius Torquatus (146), he favored the Epicurean philosophical school (Cic. Fin. 1.39) and wrote playful poetry (Plin. Ep.5.3.5).

In Cicero, Torquatus is described as an orator with polished style and sound judgment (T 1).

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.fragmentary_republican_latin-oratory.2019