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Cicero

hi quidem et si qui eiusmodi ex proprio argumento communes loci nascentur, in contrarias partes diducuntur.

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Certus autem locus est accusatoris, per quem auget facti atrocitatem, et alter, per quem negat malorum misereri oportere: defensoris, per quem calumnia accusatorum cum indignatione ostenditur et per quem cum conquestione misericordia captatur. Hi et ceteri loci omnes communes ex eisdem praeceptis sumuntur quibus ceterae argumentationes; sed illae tenuius et subtilius et acutius tractantur, hi autem gravius et ornatius et cum verbis tum etiam sententiis excellentibus. In illis enim finis est ut id quod dicitur verum esse videatur, in his, tametsi hoc quoque videri oportet, tamen finis est amplitudo. Nunc ad aliam constitutionem transeamus.

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XVII. Cum est nominis controversia, quia vis vocabuli definienda verbis est, constitutio definitiva dicitur. Eius generis exemplo nobis posita sit haec causa: C. Flaminius, is qui consul rem male gessit bello Punico secundo, cum tribunus plebis esset, invito senatu et omnino contra voluntatem omnium optimatium per seditionem ad populum legem agrariam ferebat. Hunc pater suus concilium plebis habentem de templo deduxit; arcessitur maiestatis. Intentio est: “Maiestatem minuisti, quod tribunum plebis de templo deduxisti. “Depulsio est:” Non

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De Inventione, II

topics which may spring out of an argument peculiar to the case in hand, are applicable to both sides.

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There is, however, a common topic belonging to the prosecutor alone, in which he makes much of the atrocity of the crime, and another in which he asserts that malefactors should not be pitied, and one for the counsel for the defence in which the malice of the prosecution is indignantly denounced, and another in which he bemoans the lot of the defendant and pleads for mercy. These and other common topics are subject to the same rules as are other arguments. But the others are treated with greater restraint, simplicity and acumen, while the common topics are developed with greater emphasis and embellishment, and with lofty language and thought. For in arguments the end is to give what is said the appearance of truth; in common topics, although this should also be an object, still the chief end is amplification. Now let us pass to another issue.

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XVII. When there is a dispute about the name by which an act is described, the issue is known as the constitutio definitiva (or issue of definition) because the meaning of the word must be defined; we may take the following case as an example of this class: Gaius Flaminiusa—the one who as consul conducted an unsuccessful campaign in the Second Punic War—when tribune of the people seditiously proposed an agrarian law to the people against the wishes of the senate and in general contrary to the desires of all the upper classes. As he was haranguing the popular assembly his father dragged him from the rostrum, and was charged with lese-majesty. The charge is, “You committed lese-majesty in that you dragged a tribune of the people from the rostrum.” The

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.marcus_tullius_cicero-de_inventione.1949