Valerius Maximus, Memorable Doings and Sayings

LCL 493: 188-189

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Valerius Maximus

Liber Octavus

1. Infames Rei Quibus De Causis Absoluti aut Damnati Sint

praef.Nunc, quo aequiore animo ancipites iudiciorum motus tolerentur, recordemur invidia laborantes pro quibus causis aut absoluti sint aut damnati.

absol. 1M. Horatius, interfectae sororis crimine a Tullo rege damnatus, ad populum provocato iudicio absolutus est. quorum alterum atrocitas necis movit, alterum causa flexit, quia immaturum virginis amorem severe magis quam impie punitum existimabat. itaque forti<s facti>1 punitione liberata fratris dextera tantum consanguineo quantum hostili cruore gloriae haurire potuit.

absol.2Acrem se tunc pudicitiae custodem populus Romanus, postea plus iusto placidum iudicem praestitit. cum a Libone tribuno plebis Ser. Galba pro rostris vehementer increparetur, quod Lusitanorum magnam manum interposita fide praetor in Hispania interemisset, actionique tribuniciae M. Cato ultimae senectutis oratione sua, quam

  • 1add. SB3
188

Book VIII

Book VIII

1. For What Reasons Ill-Famed Defendants Were Acquitted or Condemned

Now, so that the uncertain operations of trials may be borne with equanimity, let us record for what reasons persons labouring under unpopularity were either acquitted or condemned.

acquitted

M. Horatius was convicted of his sister’s murder by king Tullus, but appealed to the people for trial and was acquitted. The king was moved by the atrocity of the killing; the people were swayed by the reason for it, reckoning that the girl’s precocious passion had been punished severely rather than impiously. So the brother’s right hand, freed of punishment for its brave deed, could draw as much glory from kindred as from enemy blood.1

The Roman people showed itself on that occasion a fierce guardian of chastity, but later on an unduly lenient judge. Ser. Galba was vehemently attacked from the rostra by Tribune of the Plebs Libo for killing as Praetor in Spain a large body of Lusitanians with whom he had made a treaty, and M. Cato supported the Tribune’s proceeding in

  • 1See VM 6.3.6.
189
DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.valerius_maximus-memorable_doings_sayings.2000