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Cicero

M. Tulli Ciceronis Pro C. Rabirio Perduellionis Reo ad Quirites oratio

1I. Etsi, Quirites, non est meae consuetudinis initio dicendi rationem reddere qua de causa quemque defendam, propterea quod cum omnibus civibus in eorum periculis semper satis iustam mihi causam necessitudinis esse duxi, tamen in hac defensione capitis, famae fortunarumque omnium C. Rabiri proponenda ratio videtur esse offici mei, propterea quod, quae iustissima mihi causa ad hunc defendendum esse visa est, eadem vobis ad absolvendum debet 2videri. Nam me cum amicitiae vetustas, cum dignitas hominis, cum ratio humanitatis, cum meae vitae perpetua consuetudo ad C. Rabirium defendendum est adhortata, tum vero, ut id studiosissime facerem, salus rei publicae, consulare officium, consulatus denique ipse mihi una a vobis cum salute rei publicae commendatus coegit. Non enim C. Rabirium culpa delicti, non invidia vitae, Quirites, non denique veteres iustae gravesque inimicitiae civium in dis­crimen

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In Defence of Rabirius

The Speech Addressed to His Fellow Citizensa By Marcus Tullius cicero in Defence of Gaius Rabirius Charged With High Treason

I. Although it is not my habit, fellow-citizens, to1 begin a speech by explaining the reason why I am defending a particular individual—for I have felt that, in the case of any citizen, the peril in which he stands is enough to constitute a true bond between us—none the less, in defending, as I now am, the life, the honour and the fortunes of Gaius Rabirius, I consider it my duty to lay before you an explanation of my services to him; because the reasons which make me feel it my duty to defend him ought also to make you feel it yours to acquit him. For my part, then, while the friendship which I have2 long enjoyed with my client, the high position which he occupiesb and the practice which I have followed all my life incline me to defend him, considerations of the public welfare, my duty as a consul,c nay, the very office of consul which, together with the public welfare, you have committed to my charge, compel me to exert in his defence the utmost zeal. For it is not guilt attaching to his misdemeanour nor odium incurred by his life nor even a deep and natural resentment long felt against him by private

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.marcus_tullius_cicero-pro_rabirio_perduellionis.1927