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Cicero

Pro T. Annio Milone Oratio

1I. Etsi vereor, iudices, ne turpe sit pro fortissimo viro dicere incipientem timere minimeque deceat, cum T. Annius ipse magis de rei publicae salute quam de sua perturbetur, me ad eius causam parem animi magnitudinem adferre non posse, tamen haec novi iudicii nova forma terret oculos, qui quocumque inciderunt, consuetudinem fori et pristinum morem iudiciorum requirunt. Non enim corona consessus vester cinctus est, ut solebat; non usitata frequentia 2stipati sumus; non illa praesidia, quae pro templis omnibus cernitis, etsi contra vim conlocata sunt, non adferunt tamen oratori aliquid, ut in foro et in iudicio, quamquam praesidiis salutaribus et necessariis saepti sumus, tamen ne non timere quidem sine aliquo timore possimus.

Quae si opposita Miloni putarem, cederem tempori,

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On Behalf of Milo

The Speech on Behalf of Titus Annius Miloa

(Intended for delivery before a Special Court of Inquiry: 52 b.c.)

I. Although I am afraid, gentlemen of the jury,1 that fear is an unseemly condition in which to begin a speech in defence of the bravest of men; and that it is in the last degree unbecoming, seeing that Titus Annius himself is more anxious for the safety of the state than for his own, that I should be unable to bring to his case a greatness of spirit to equal his; still, the unprecedented aspect of this unprecedented trial alarms my eyes, which, fall where they may, look in vain for the familiar environment of the courts and the traditional procedure of the law. For your assembly is not thronged, as of old, by a ring of listeners; we are not encompassed by our customary concourse; and the train-bands which2 you see before all the temples, albeit posted there to prevent violence, cannot but have their effect upon the pleader, so that here in a court of law and before a jury, though surrounded by troops who are at once a safeguard and a necessity, still even my immunity from fear cannot but have a touch of fear in it.

Did I think, gentlemen, that these precautions were pointed at Milo, I should bow to the situation;

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.marcus_tullius_cicero-pro_milone.1931