English: Versions 2 & 3

Hover over the underlined terms with your cursor to see the glossary entry.

In Defense of Marcus Caelius (Sections 33-34).

Now I shall first ask her whether she prefers that I deal with her in a stern, solemn and old-fashioned way or mildly, gently, and elegantly. If she prefers that grim style and manner, I shall have to rouse up from below one of those old bearded types, not the kind of trimmed young man that pleases her but the shaggy kind we see in old statues and portraits, to scold the woman and to speak on my behalf so she won’t somehow grow angry with me. Let someone from her own family come forward then, in particular that famous Caecus, for he will grieve the least since he cannot see her. If he stood here, surely this is how he would plead and this is what he would say: “Woman, what have you to do with Caelius, with a younger man, with a stranger? Why were you either so friendly that you gave him gold or so hostile that you feared poison? Did you not see that your father or hear that your uncle, your grandfather, your great-grandfather, your great-great-grandfather, your great-great-great-grandfather were consuls? Did you not consider that you recently married Quintus Metellus, a most distinguished and courageous man and most devoted to his country, who, as soon as he stepped out the door, surpassed every citizen in virtue, glory, and prestige? Since you had married from a noble race into a most distinguished family, why was Caelius so close to you? Was he a relative, an in-law, a friend of your husband? None of these. What reason was there then except indiscretion and lust? If the male examples of our family did not move you, did not even my descendant, the famous Claudia Quinta, urge you to rival her domestic glory in female virtue? Or what about that Vestal virgin Claudia, who embraced her father in the midst of his triumph and did not allow him to be thrown from his chariot by a hostile tribune? Why do a brother’s vices move you rather than the virtues of your father and your ancestors back to my own day as found without break among the men and even women of our family? Was it for this that I tore up the treaty with Pyrrhus, for you to strike daily bargains with disgraceful lovers? Was it for this that I built an aqueduct, for you to wash away your iniquity? Was it for this that I built a highway, for you to parade in the company of other women’s husbands?”