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Cicero

putatis, iudices, quam pudicam, quae cum Verre loqueretur, quam religiosam, quae sacrarii spoliandi rationem ostenderet? Ac minime mirum, quae sacra per summam castimoniam virorum ac mulierum fiant, eadem per istius stuprum ac flagitium esse violata.

XLVI. Quid ergo? hoc solum auditione expetere coepit, cum id ipse non vidisset? Immo vero alia complura; ex quibus eligam spoliationem nobilissimi atque antiquissimi fani, de qua priore actione testes dicere audistis. Nunc eadem illa, quaeso, audite, et diligenter, sicut adhuc fecistis, attendite.

103Insula est Melita, iudices, satis lato a Sicilia mari periculosoque diiuncta; in qua est eodem nomine oppidum, quo iste numquam accessit, quod tamen isti textrinum per triennium ad muliebrem vestem conficiendam fuit. Ab eo oppido non longe in promunturio fanum est Iunonis antiquum, quod tanta religione semper fuit ut non modo illis Punicis bellis quae in his fere locis navali copia gesta atque versata sunt, sed etiam hac praedonum multitudine semper inviolatum sanctumque fuerit. Quin etiam hoc memoriae proditum est, classe quondam Masinissae regis ad eum locum appulsa praefectum regium dentes eburneos incredibili magnitudine e fano sustulisse et eos in Africam portasse Masinissaeque donasse. Regem primo delectatum esse munere; post, ubi

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Against Verres

do you take her to have been? a modest woman, if she engaged in conversation with Verres, and a godfearing woman, if she showed him how to rob the sanctuary! After all, it is not strange that the sacred things whose worship involved the utmost purity on the part of men and women should have been desecrated by means of the unclean lust of Verres.

XLVI. And was this statue the only thing for which his desire was kindled by hearing of it without having seen it himself? Far from it. There were many other such cases, out of which I will select for mention that robbery of a most famous and ancient sanctuary about which you heard evidence given in the first part of this trial. Let me, if you please, tell you the story again, and give me the careful attention that you have given me hitherto.

The island of Melita, gentlemen, is separated from 103 Sicily by a rather wide and dangerous stretch of sea. In it there is a town, also called Melita, which Verres never visited, but which none the less he turned for three years into a factory for the weaving of women’s dresses. On a headland not far from the town stands an ancient temple of Juno, which has ever been held in such reverence that its sanctity has not once been violated not only in the old days of the Punic Wars, the naval operations of which took place in and around this region, but even by the pirate hordes of our own days. Nay, there is also the story of how King Masinissa’s fleet once put in there, and the king’s admiral carried off from the shrine certain ivory tusks of astonishing size, conveyed them to Africa, and presented them to Masinissa. At first, the king was delighted with the gift; but presently,

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.marcus_tullius_cicero-second_speech_verres.1928