Group 1: Cicero (2018/19)


Pro Milone

24-32, 34-5, 43-52


AS Latin set text 2017-18,
A Level Group 1 text 2018-19


Cicero, Catiline and exile

Cicero Denounces Catiline at the Senate. Painting by Cesare Maccari in 1889 (Palazzo Madama)

Marcus Tullius Cicero was a prominent Roman lawyer, statesman and philosopher. He became consul in 63 BC, at a relatively young age and without the advantage of belonging to an aristocratic family. During his consulship, there was a populist uprising, led by the disgraced nobleman Lucius Sergius Catilina (Catiline). Through a series of speeches, Cicero exposed the rebellion to the Senate and the people of Rome. Catiline fled and was eventually killed near Pistoria (modern Pistoia), along with his rebel army. Suspected conspirators in Rome were rounded up and executed without trial.

In 58 BC, the populist tribune Publius Clodius Pulcher passed a law by which it was forbidden “to supply fire and water” to anyone who had killed a Roman citizen without a trial. The law was clearly aimed at Cicero for his earlier treatment of the alleged conspirators. Finding himself without significant political support, and therefore without protection, Cicero went into exile for over a year, during which he suffered from acute depression. His return from exile in August 57 BC was arranged by the then tribune, Titus Annius Milo.

Background to the trial

Four years later, in 53 BC, Milo was a candidate for the following year’s consulship, and Clodius was canvassing for a praetorship. Amidst substantial violence and public disorder, the elections were cancelled. On 18 January 52 BC, each accompanied by a gang of armed slaves, Milo and Clodius clashed on the Via Appia, at Bovillae. Clodius was wounded, and then killed on the orders of Milo. There was a public outcry – Clodius’ body was cremated in the Senate house, which caught fire and burned down. An inquest was set up by Pompey, who handpicked the jurors for Milo’s trial.

The trial lasted for five days. On the fifth day, after four days of prosecution speeches and witness testimonies, which roused such emotion among the crowds that Pompey felt the need to station armed guards in court, Cicero, defending Milo out of loyalty for his help in 57 BC, stood to speak. Whatever he said, it was probably quite different from the Pro Milone speech which he later published – part of which has been set for the AS/A Level set text. The defence did nothing to change the expected outcome of the trial, and Milo went into exile in Massilia (modern Marseilles). According to the Roman historian Dio, Cicero sent a copy of his published Pro Milone to the exiled Milo, who quipped that it was lucky for him that those words had not been spoken in court, for he would not be eating such delicious mullets in Massilia if he had had such a defence.

The Set Text

The AS prescribed text covers the narratio (24-31) of the Pro Milone speech and a good part of Cicero’s principal argument, that Milo acted in self-defence (32 ff.).


Clodius seeks a whole year for his praetorship.

Publius Clodius cum statuisset omni scelere in praetura vexare rem publicam videretque ita tracta esse comitia anno superiore ut non multos menses praeturam gerere posset, qui non honoris gradum spectaret, ut ceteri, sed et Lucium Paulum conlegam effugere vellet, singulari virtute civem, et annum integrum ad dilacerandam rem publicam quaereret, subito reliquit annum suum seseque in proximum transtulit, non, ut fit, religione aliqua, sed ut haberet, quod ipse dicebat, ad praeturam gerendam, hoc est ad evertendam rem publicam, plenum annum atque integrum.

Clodius seeks a whole year for his praetorship.

When Publius Clodius had decided to harass the state with all sorts of wickedness during his praetorship and saw that the elections in the previous year had been protracted in such a way that he would not be able to hold the praetorship for many months, since he was not aiming at a degree of honour, like the rest, but both wanted to avoid Lucius Paulus as his colleague, a citizen of singular virtue, and sought a whole year to tear apart the state. Suddenly he abandoned his own year and transferred himself to the next not, as (usually) happens, by some religious scruple but so that he might have a full and entire year, which he himself said to carry out the praetorship, in other words to overturn the state.

When cum Publius Clodius Publius Clodius had decided statuisset to harass vexare the state rem publicam with all sorts omni of wickedness scelere during in his praetorship praetura and saw videretque that the elections comitia in the previous superiore year anno had been protracted tracta esse in such a way ita that ut he would not be able non posset to hold gerere the praetorship praeturam for many multos months menses,since he qui did not regard it non spectaret as a degree gradum of honour honoris, like ut the rest ceteri, but sed both et wanted vellet to avoid effugere Lucius Paulus Lucium Paulum as his colleague conlegam, a citizen civem of singular singulari virtue virtute, and et sought quaereret a whole integrum year annum to tear apart ad dilacerandam the state rem publicam.suddenly subito he abandoned reliquit his own suum year annum and -que transferred transtulit himself sese to in the next proximum not non, as ut (usually) happens fit, by some aliqua religious scruple religione but sed so that ut he might have haberet a full plenum and atque entire integrum year annum, which quod he himself ipse said dicebat to carry out ad gerendam the praetorship praeturam, in other words hoc est to overturn ad evertendam the state rem publicam.

Clodius seeks a whole year for his praetorship.

omni scelere – “all kinds of wickedness” rather than “every wickedness.”

praetura – the praetor was the second most powerful position in the Roman Republic, subordinate only to the consuls.

tracta Dio (xl. 45) says that the elections were held after Pompeius Rufus, the current tribune, had been cast into prison.

anno superiore – i.e. 54 BC, when the elections for 53 BC were supposed to be held. In the end, they were cancelled due to a notorious corruption scandal.

The triumvir Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, brother of Lucius Paulus.

non multos menses – political positions, such as praetorships, were held for one year. Since the elections of 54 BC had run into the following year, and the winners would now serve fewer than 12 months, Cicero claims that Clodius quit (reliquit) his campaign, as he would not have enough time to carry out his intended crimes.

qui…spectaret…vellet…quaereret – causal subjunctives: “because he regarded…”

ut ceteri – in other words, most men would have considered holding high office an honour in itself. Clodius, however, is more concerned with the power it brings.

Lucium PaulumLucius Aemilius Lepidus Paullus, brother of the triumvir Marcus Lepidus. Lucius Paullus did in fact become praetor in 53 BC, and consul in 50 BC. He was a supporter of Cicero, whose point here is that Clodius sought to avoid being elected alongside Lucius Paullus due to the former’s wickedness and the latter’s integrity.

subito reliquit annum suum – a dramatically short sentence after the long succession of subordinate clauses explaining Clodius’ motives. It also forms the first half of a chiasmus, as Clodius slickly transfers his campaign to the next year (seseque in proximum transtulit).

annum suum – i.e. the year of the earliest age (39) at which he could legally run for praetor.

religione aliqua – superstition could have a big impact on Roman affairs. If the high priests reported inauspicious omens, military campaigns or, as implied here, elections might be postponed or even cancelled.

quod ipse…hoc est… – “as he himself used to say… in other words…” (lit. “what thing he himself used to say, this thing really is…”

plenum annum atque integrum – a typically Ciceronian tautology to emphasise his point about Clodius’ motive.


He plans to eliminate Milo.


occurrebat ei mancam ac debilem praeturam futuram suam consule Milone; eum porro summo consensu populi Romani consulem fieri videbat. contulit se ad eius competitores, sed ita totam ut petitionem ipse solus etiam invitis illis gubernaret, tota ut comitia suis, ut dictitabat, umeris sustineret. convocabat tribus, se interponebat, Collinam novam dilectu perditissimorum civium conscribebat. quanto ille plura miscebat, tanto hic magis in dies convalescebat. ubi vidit homo ad omne facinus paratissimus fortissimum virum, inimicissimum suum, certissimum consulem, idque intellexit non solum sermonibus, sed etiam suffragiis populi Romani saepe esse declaratum, palam agere coepit et aperte dicere occidendum Milonem.

He plans to eliminate Milo.

It occurred to him that his praetorship would be crippled and feeble with Milo as consul; furthermore, he saw that he was being made consul with the greatest consensus of the Roman people. He attached himself to his rivals but in such a way that he himself alone directed the whole campaign, with them unwilling, that he might carry, as he repeatedly said, the whole elections on his shoulders. He called together the tribes, he positioned himself in between, he was enrolling a new Colline tribe from the recruitment of the most immoral of the citizens. As much as that man put in disarray more things, so much more did this man gain strength day by day. When a person very ready for every crime saw that a very brave man, his arch enemy, was very certain to be consul, and he understood this not only from conversations, but that often it was declared also by the votes of the Roman people, he began to act openly and to say plainly that Milo should be killed.

He plans to eliminate Milo.

It occurred occurrebat to him ei that his suam praetorship praeturam would be futuram crippled mancam and ac feeble debilem with Milo Milone as consul consule; furthermore porro, he saw videbat that he eum was being made fieri consul consulem with the greatest summo consensus consensu of the Roman Romani people populi.He attached contulit himself se to ad his eius rivals competitores but sed in such a way ita that ut he himself ipse alone solus directed gubernaret the whole totam campaign petitionem, even etiam with them illis unwilling invitis, that ut he might carry sustineret, as ut he repeatedly said dictitabat, the whole tota elections comitia on his suis shoulders umeris. He called together convocabat the tribes tribus, he positioned himself in between interponebat se, he was enrolling conscribebat a new novam Colline tribe Collinam from the recruitment dilectu of the most immoral perditissimorum of the citizens civium. As much as quanto that man ille put in disarray miscebat more things plura, so much tanto more magis did this man hic gain strength convalescebat day by day in dies.When ubi a person homo very ready paratissimus for ad every omne crime facinus saw vidit that a very brave fortissimum man virum, his suum arch enemy inimicissimum, was a most certain certissimum consul consulem, and -que realised intellexit that this id had been declared esse declaratum often saepe not only non solum by the conversations sermonibus of the Roman Romani people populi, but also sed etiam by their votes suffragiis, he began coepit to act agere openly palam and et to say dicere frankly aperte that Milo Milonem needed to be slaughtered occidendum.

He plans to eliminate Milo.

occurrebat ei – the continuous or frequentative aspect of the imperfect tense suggests that this was something that Clodius gave serious thought to. He is the plotter which Cicero says must be discovered, at the end of Ch. 31 (uter utri insidias fecerit).

mancam ac debilem – a tautology. mancus (“crippled”) is the origin of the English word “manky.”

consule Milone – ablative absolute, with the sense of a conditional clause: “if Milo should be consul.”

fieri – present tense because the momentum behind Milo’s appointment was occurring right then, as Clodius watched.

eius competitores – i.e. the other two candidates running for consul: Publius Plautius and Metellus Scipio. Both men were tried for ambitus (corruption) following Milo’s trial. Scipio was Pompey’s father-in-law, the latter intervened to save him, and the two became consuls for the remainder of 52 BC. Plautius, although a supporter of Pompey, was abandoned to suffer the full force of the law.

A denarius (46/7 BC) showing Metellus Scipio wearing elephant-skin headgear.

ipse .. solus .. invitis .. illis – the chiasmus helps to contrast Clodius’ enthusiasm with the reluctance of Plautius and Scipio.

ut dictabat – “as he repeatedly used to say.” dictito is the frequentative of dico. Along with the imperfect tense, this helps to stress Clodius’ overuse of the trite expression meis umeris, and thus his insincerity.

tribus – all Roman citizens belonged to a tribe, which had the power to vote for certain magisterial positions as well as some legislative proposals. According to legend, Romulus set up three tribes, but this number had grown to 35 by Cicero’s day.

se interponebat – ‘he made himself the go-between.’ (Colson)

Collinam novam – the Colline tribe was one of the four city tribes. These were perhaps less reputable than the other tribes due to the number of freedmen and poor citizens which they comprised. It is not easy to understand whether Cicero means that Clodius was literally attempting to register a new tribus Collina, or something else. conscribere is originally a military term, and its use here implies Clodius was amassing a sort of citizen army with which he intended to carry out his attack on the Republic.

ille…hicille = Clodius, hic = Milo (as is generally the case throughout the speech).

in dies – “day by day.”

homo…virum – note how Cicero refers to Clodius by the generic, even dismissive, term homo, whereas he calls Milo vir (cognate with virtus).

suffragiis – this refers to the several attempts to elect magistrates which had failed through veto and obstruction. Therefore, the preference of the citizens was already well known by their votes.

palam…aperte – not exactly tautological, since palam means “in public” whereas aperte means “frankly” or “plainly.” However, the terms compound the feeling that Clodius was being shockingly brazen.


He tells Marcus Favonius of his plans.

servos agrestes et barbaros, quibus silvas publicas depopulatus erat Etruriamque vexarat, ex Appennino deduxerat, quos videbatis. res erat minime obscura. etenim dictitabat palam consulatum Miloni eripi non posse, vitam posse. significavit hoc saepe in senatu, dixit in contione; quin etiam Marco Favonio, fortissimo viro, quaerenti ex eo qua spe fureret Milone vivo, respondit triduo illum aut summum quadriduo esse periturum; quam vocem eius ad hunc Marcum Catonem statim Favonius detulit.

He tells Marcus Favonius of his plans.

He had brought down from the Appenines rustic and barbarian slaves, with whom he had plundered public woodland and had harassed Etruria, (and) whom you saw. It was not at all a secret matter. For indeed he used to say openly that the consulship could not be snatched away from Milo, (but) that his life could. He indicated this often in the senate, he said (it) in the public assembly; why, he replied even to Marcus Favonius, a very brave man, when he asked him for what hope he was raging while Milo was alive, that he would be dead within three days, or four days at most; Favonius immediately reported this speech of his to Marcus Cato here.

He tells Marcus Favonius of his plans.

He had brought down deduxerat from ex the Appenines Appennino rustic agrestes and et barbarian barbaros slaves servos, with whom quibus he had plundered depopulatus erat public publicas woodland silvas and -que had harassed vexarat Etruria Etruriam, (and) whom quos you saw videbatis. It was erat not at all minime a secret obscura matter res. For indeed etenim he used to say dictitabat openly palam that the consulship consulatum could not non posse be snatched away eripi from Milo Miloni, (but) that his life vitam could posse.He indicated significavit this hoc often saepe in in the senate senatu, he said (it) dixit in in the public assembly contione; why quin, he replied respondit even etiam to Marcus Favonius Marco Favonio, a very brave fortissimo man viro, when he asked quaerenti him ex eo for what qua hope spe he was raging fureret while Milo Milone was alive vivo, that he illum would be dead periturum esse within three days triduo, or aut four days quadriduo at most summum; Favonius Favonius immediately statim reported detulit this quam speech vocem of his eius to ad Marcus Cato Marcum Catonem here hunc.

He tells Marcus Favonius of his plans.

silvas publicas – “public woodland,” i.e. land belonging to the state, rented out for grazing animals. The event is being presented as treasonous.

depopulatus erat – “he had plundered.” depopulor is often used of an invading army.

Etruriam Etruria was an ancient region in Central Italy, covering much of modern Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio.

Relief Map of the Apennines

ex Appenino – the Appenine mountain range runs through the centre of the Italian peninsula. There are records of Clodius having estates along the coast, by the Via Aurelia, but not in the mountains.

res erat minime obscurares refers to the attempt to murder Milo, as is clear from the following sentence.

etenim – “For indeed.”

Miloni – “from Milo” (technically, a dative of disadvantage).

vitam posse = sed vitam eius eripi posse.

Marco FavonioMarcus Favonius was a follower of Marcus Cato (see below), and thus a staunch conservative. Clodius’ audacity in telling such a person that he intended to eliminate Milo is conveyed by quin etiam “why, even…”

Statue of Cato the Younger in the Louvre Museum. He is about to kill himself while reading the Phaedo, a dialogue of Plato which details the death of Socrates. The statue was begun by Jean-Baptiste Roman (Paris, 1792–1835) using white Carrara marble. It was finished by François Rude (Dijon, 1784 – Paris, 1855).

fortissimo viro – as well as the (flattering) superlative, note the use of vir again to distinguish a gentleman from someone like Clodius.

quaerenti ex eo – “as he was asking him…” quaero ex aliquo = “I ask someone.”

qua spe – “for what hope,” i.e. what did Clodius hope to achieve with his ranting?

Milone vivo – “while Milo was alive” (ablative of attendant circumstances).

triduo…aut summum quadriduo – “within three days, or four days at most.” There is a cold-hearted casualness in Clodius’ alleged response to Favonius.

ad hunc Marcum CatonemMarcus Cato was a conservative pro-Republican who, according to most accounts, vehemently resisted the rise of populist politicians such as Julius Caesar and Clodius. hunc suggests he was present in the courtroom.


He sets out from Rome.

interim cum sciret Clodius – neque enim erat id difficile scire – iter sollemne, legitimum, necessarium ante diem tertiam et decimam Kalendas Februarias Miloni esse Lanuvium ad flaminem prodendum, quod erat dictator Lanuvi Milo, Roma subito ipse profectus pridie est ut ante suum fundum, quod re intellectum est, Miloni insidias conlocaret; atque ita profectus est ut contionem turbulentam in qua eius furor desideratus est, quae illo ipso die habita est, relinqueret, quam, nisi obire facinoris locum tempusque voluisset, numquam reliquisset.

He sets out from Rome.

Meanwhile, since Clodius knew – for nor was it difficult to know this – that there was for Milo a customary, lawful, necessary journey to Lanuvium on the 18th January to appoint a priest, because Milo was the dictator at Lanuvium; suddenly he himself set out from Rome the day before so that he might arrange an ambush for Milo in front of his farm, a fact which has been understood from the affair; and he set out in such a way that he abandoned the rowdy meeting in which his rage was missed, which was held on that very day, which never would he have left, unless he wanted to arrive at the place and time of the crime.

He sets out from Rome.

Meanwhile interim, since cum Clodius Clodius knew sciret – for enim nor neque was it erat difficult difficile to know scire this id – that there was esse for Milo Miloni a customary sollemne, lawful legitimum, necessary necessarium journey iter to Lanuvium Lanuvium on the 20th January ante diem tertiam et decimam Kalendas to ad appoint prodendum a priest flaminem, because quod Milo Milo was erat the dictator dictator at Lanuvium Lanuvi;suddenly subito he himself ipse set out profectus est from Rome Roma the day before pridie so that ut he might arrange conlocaret an ambush insidias for Milo Miloni in front of ante his suum farm fundum, a fact which quod has been understood intellectum est from the affair re; and atque he set out profectus est in such a way ita that ut he abandoned relinqueret the rowdy turbulentam meeting contionem in in which qua his eius rage furor was missed desideratus est,quae was held habita est on that illo very ipso day die, which quam never numquam would he have left reliquisset, unless nisi he had wanted voluisset to arrive obire at the place locum and -que time tempus of the crime facinoris.

He sets out from Rome.

neque…scire – i.e. anyone could easily have found out about the details of Milo’s journey. Note that this fact alone does not mean that Clodius definitely knew about it (cum sciret Clodius).

sollemne – “annual” or “customary.” Cicero makes two points with this word: Milo’s journey took place on an annual basis (which supports his claim it was easy to find out about it); the word also has religious connotations, and hence implies the virtuous nature of Milo’s trip.

necessarium – essentially a repetition (tautology) of legitimum; Cicero uses it to effect a tricolon. The lack of connectives (asyndeton) makes the phrase especially memorable, and Milo’s journey seem particularly essential.

ante diem tertiam et decimam Kalendas Februarias – i.e. 18th January 52 BC.

Map of ancient Latium, showing (highlighted) Rome, Bovillae and Lanuvium.

Lanuvium – an ancient city, and Milo’s home town. Lanuvium was situated roughly 20 miles southeast of Rome, on the edge of the Alban Hills. It was eventually conquered by the Romans in 338 BC.

ad flaminem prodendum – “to nominate a priest.” The priest would have been in charge of the famous temple of Iuno Sospita (“Juno the Saviour”) at Lavinium.

The portico of the sanctuary of Juno Sospita at Lanuvium (Lanuvio, Italy).

quod erat dictator Lanuvi Milo – The impressive-sounding dictator would have been the title for a local governor at Lavinium, a legacy from its days of independence. Lanuvi is locative. On a side note, this sentence could well be the accidental insertion (interpolation) of a margin note (scholium) of a later copyist. Or else it might have been a detail that Cicero discovered later, and included when he was rewriting the speech.

subito – the implication is that Clodius’ departure is impulsive and opportunistic, in contrast to Milo’s iter sollemne.

ante suum fundum – at Bovillae, where the skirmish took place, on the Via Appia.

The ancient Via Appiana, near Bovillae, and where the altercation between Milo's and Clodius' gangs took place. The building on the left is the Tor Leonardo.

quod re intellectum est – “(a fact) which has become known from the event.” In other words, we can assume Clodius’ motive for leaving from what happened afterwards. A very bold statement coming here, since Cicero has provided no evidence for this yet.

contionem turbulantem…reliquit – “he abandoned the rowdy meeting.” reliquit is deliberately misleading. It implies Clodius walked out of the meeting, when in fact he never attended it (see note below).

furor – “his rage.” Notice how Cicero detaches this emotion from Clodius, giving it greater prominence.

illo ipso die – “on that very day.” The meeting in question is probably the one alluded to in Section 45, and therefore took place on 18th January, not the 17th, when Clodius allegedly departed. Cicero is either deliberately falsifying his dates (unlikely, given how easily he would be found out in this case), or making an honest mistake (more probable). There is also the chance that this statement, like the one above (quod erat dictator Lanuvi Milo), might actually be a scholium which slipped into the main text at some point during transmission.

obire – “to be there at…”

voluisset…reliquisset – pluperfect subjunctives for a remote or impossible condition. In other words, he did want to be at the time and place of the crime and he did abandon going to the meeting.


Clodius unencumbered, Milo encumbered.

Milo autem cum in senatu fuisset eo die quoad senatus est dimissus, domum venit, calceos et vestimenta mutavit, paulisper, dum se uxor, ut fit, comparat, commoratus est, dein profectus id temporis cum iam Clodius, si quidem eo die Romam venturus erat, redire potuisset. obviam fit ei Clodius, expeditus, in equo, nulla raeda, nullis impedimentis, nullis Graecis comitibus, ut solebat, sine uxore, quod numquam fere: cum hic insidiator, qui iter illud ad caedem faciendam apparasset, cum uxore veheretur in raeda, paenulatus, magno et impedito et muliebri ac delicato ancillarum puerorumque comitatu.

Clodius unencumbered, Milo encumbered.

However Milo, since he had been in the senate that day until it was dismissed, came home, changed his shoes and his clothes, delayed for a little while, while his wife as usual prepared herself, then he set out at the time when Clodius, if indeed he had intended to come to Rome on that day, could have returned. Clodius went to meet him, unencumbered, on horseback, with no carriage, with no impediments, with no Greek companions, as was customary, without his wife, which was almost never the case: while this plotter, who had obviously taken that journey in order to commit slaughter, was travelling with his wife in a carriage, wearing a heavy cloak, with abundant baggage, and a womanly and delicate retinue of slave girls and slave boys.

Clodius unencumbered, Milo encumbered.

However autem, since cum Milo Milo had been fuisset in in the senate senatu on that eo day die until quoad the senate senatus had been dismissed dimissus est, he came venit home domum, he changed mutavit his shoes calceos and et clothes vestimenta, he delayed commoratus est a little paulisper, while dum his wife uxor prepared comparat herself se, as ut is usual fit, then dein set out profectus at the time id temporis when cum Clodius Clodius already iam could have potuisset returned redire, if si indeed quidem he had intended to come venturus erat to Rome Romam on that eo day die. Clodius Clodius went to meet obviam fit him ei, unencumbered expeditus, on in horse equo, with no nulla carriage raeda, with no nullis impediments impedimentis, with no nullis Greek Graecis companions comitibus, as ut was customary solebat, without sine his wife uxore, which quod (was) almost fere never (the case) numquam: while cum this hic plotter insidiator, who qui had evidently planned apparasset that illud journey iter in order to ad commit faciendam slaughter caedem, travelled veheretur with cum his wife uxore in in a carriage raeda, wearing a heavy cloak paenulatus, with a large magno and et cumbersome impedito and et womanly muliebri and ac delicate delicato retinue comitatu of slave-girls ancillarum and -que boy slaves puerorum.

Clodius unencumbered, Milo encumbered.

in senatu…senatus – the repetition is fairly subtle, but Cicero wants to emphasise the dutiful, patriotic nature of Milo. Compare Clodius in the preceding section, who rages at public meetings and happily skips them.

dum se uxor…comparat – “while his wife prepared herself.” This detail not only adds to the domestic innocence of the scene, but also serves as preparation for Cicero’s point that wives are a hindrance for any would-be assassins. Milo’s wife was Cornelia Fausta, daughter of the dictator Lucius Cornelius Sulla.

ut fit – “as is normal.” Most of the jurors would have had wives and families of their own, and Cicero is attempting to convince them to empathise with Milo.

id temporis cum – “at the time (of day) when…” i.e. in the evening.

si…Romam venturus erat – “if he had intended to come to Rome…”

nullis impedimentis – “with no impediments.” This renders all the other details as technically redundant (pleonasm).

Graecis comitibus – educated Greek slaves would often accompany travelling Roman nobility, primarily for their wit and culture. However, they were often associated with loose morals.

Fulvia With the Head of Cicero by Pavel Svedomsky

sine uxore – the wife was Fulvia, who later married Marcus Antonius. She is alleged to have been a powerful force behind Cicero’s execution in December 43 BC.

quod numquam fere – “a thing which almost never happened,” an abbreviated expression to suit the pace of the account. As with ut solebat, Cicero is keen to stress the suspiciously extraordinary nature of Clodius’ departure.

cum hic insidiator…apparesset – “when this plotter here (i.e. Milo) obviously prepared…” The pluperfect subjunctive apparasset (=apparavisset) is being used to convey sarcasm. In English, something like “of course…!” or “obviously…!” needs to be supplied to translate Cicero’s ironic tone.

veheretur – note the passive voice: Milo is carried by his duty, in contrast to Clodius, who moves with active intent (obviam ei fit Clodius).

Reconstruction of a Roman "raeda" as shown in the Römisch-Germanisches Museum, Cologne, Germany.

paenulatus – “wearing a heavy winter cloak.” As well as due to its abnormal weight, the paenula was restrictive because it had no armholes (similar to a modern Spanish poncho).

magno et impedito – “Cicero cannot deny the size of Milo’s retinue, so he ingeniously suggests that he was handicapped by it.” (Clark)

muliebri et delicato – “womanly and delicate.” muliebri is explained by ancillarum, delicato by pueroum. At the very least, Cicero is omitting some key details here. Milo was accompanied by at least two well-known gladiators. According to the hostile Metellus Scipio (Asconius 36), Milo had 300 armed slaves with him, whereas Clodius was accompanied by 26 slaves.


A scuffle, then Milo’s slaves kill Clodius.

fit obviam Clodio ante fundum eius hora fere undecima aut non multo secus. statim complures cum telis in hunc faciunt de loco superiore impetum; adversi raedarium occidunt. cum autem hic de raeda reiecta paenula desiluisset seque acri animo defenderet, illi qui erant cum Clodio gladiis eductis, partim recurrere ad raedam ut a tergo Milonem adorirentur, partim, quod hunc iam interfectum putarent, caedere incipiunt eius servos qui post erant; ex quibus qui animo fideli in dominum et praesenti fuerunt, partim occisi sunt, partim, cum ad raedam pugnari viderent, domino succurrere prohiberentur, Milonem occisum et ex ipso Clodio audirent et re vera putarent, fecerunt id servi Milonis – dicam enim aperte non derivandi criminis causa, sed ut factum est – nec imperante nec sciente nec praesente domino, quod suos quisque servos in tali re facere voluisset.

A scuffle, then Milo’s slaves kill Clodius.

He met Clodius in front of his farm, around the eleventh hour, or not far off. Immediately several men with weapons made an attack on him from a higher place; those facing the driver killed him. When however this man here having thrown back his cloak jumped down from the carriage and was defending himself with a keen spirit, of those who were with Clodius with swords drawn, some ran back to the carriage in order to attack Milo from the rear, some, because they thought he had already been killed, began to slaughter his slaves who were behind; out of those (Milo’s slaves) who were of a mind loyal to their master and resolute, some were killed, some, when they saw a fight at the carriage, were prevented from bringing help to their master, and they heard from Clodius himself that Milo had been killed and they thought it really true, they, the slaves of Milo, – I will describe openly not for the sake of diverting blame for the crime, but as it took place – did this, without their master giving orders nor knowing nor being present, a thing which any man would have wished his slaves to do in such a situation.

A scuffle, then Milo’s slaves kill Clodius.

He went to meet obviam fit Clodius Clodio in front of ante his eius farm fundum around fere the 11th undecima hour hora, or aut not non far multo off secus. Several men complures with cum weapons telis immediately statim charged faciunt impetum towards in him hunc from de a higher superiore spot loco; those facing adversi the driver raedarium killed (him) occidunt. However autem, when cum this man here hic had jumped down desiluisset from de the carriage raeda, having thrown back reiecta his heavy cloak paenula, and -que was defending defenderet himself se with a keen acri spirit animo, of those illi who qui were erant with cum Clodius Clodio, swords gladiis drawn eductis, some partim ran to the back of recurrere ad the carriage raedam in order to ut attack adorirentur Milo Milonem from a the rear tergo, some partim, because quod they thought putarent him hunc already iam killed interfectum, began incipiunt to slaughter caedere his eius slaves servos who qui were erant behind post; out of ex these quibus, the ones who qui were fuerunt of a mind animo loyal fideli towards in their master dominum and et resolute praesenti, some partim were killed occisi sunt, some partim, when cum they saw viderent the fighting pugnari at ad the carriage raedam, were prevented from prohiberentur bringing help succurrere to their master domino, and et heard audirent from ex Clodius Clodio himself ipso that Milo Milonem had been killed occisum and et thought putarent it really re true vera, Milo’s Milonis slaves servi did fecerunt this id – for enim I will describe (it) dicam openly aperte, not non for the sake of causa diverting derivandi blame for the crime criminis, but sed as ut it took place factum est – with their master domino not nec giving orders imperante nor nec knowing sciente, nor nec being present praesente, a thing which quod everyone quisque would have wished voluisset his suos slaves servos to do facere in in such tali a situation re.

A scuffle, then Milo’s slaves kill Clodius.

hora fere undecima – i.e. around 4pm. Wikipedia has an informative article on Roman methods of dividing and calculating the time of day.

Duration and distribution of horae and vigiliae on equinoxes and solstices of the year AD 8 for Forum Romanum.

non multo secus – “not much later.” Along with fere, a considerable degree of inaccuracy is being covered here. From other sources (Asconius 32 and Quintilian vi. 3. 49) it is reasonable to assume that the encounter actually happened around 2pm. Cicero’s later timing aims to rebut a charge of “loitering” which was also being held against Milo. It also helps his claim in Section 49 that Clodius left around nightfall.

faciunt…impetum – “they charged.” Note the change to historic present tense.

de loco superiore – vague, and gives the impression that Clodius’ men charged from a hilltop, but they probably enjoyed no such tactical advantage. More likely they were standing on the (slightly raised) side of the road.

adversi – “those at the front…” The sentence is very brief, to emphasise that Clodius’ men drew first blood.

acri animo – “with a keen spirit.” acer can imply sharp intelligence and high moral standards as well as eagerness.

reiecta paenula – “having thrown back his paenula.” The participle phrase helps to convey the speed of Milo’s actions. He tosses the garment back over his shoulders so he can attempt to fight.

illi qui erant cum Clodio – a second group of Clodians now enters the fray, separate from the complures at the front of the carriage.

recurrere ad raedam…incipiunt – “began to run behind the carriage” (not, as could be inferred, “back to the carriage”).

quod…putarent – idiomatic. The subjunctive, used after quod for an alleged reason, logically applies to interfectum.

caedere – “slaughter” or “butcher.” Cicero is using the language of a massacre.

ex quibus qui = ex quibus ei qui: “from these (i.e. the slaves at the rear) the ones who…”

animo fideli…et praesenti – “of a mind loyal…and resolute” (ablatives of description). The second attribute conjures the same sense as “presence of mind” in English.

partim occisi sunt – according to Metellus Scipio, the only casualties on Milo’s side were two wounded (Asconius 36).

pugnari – an impersonal passive: “there was fighting.”

viderent…prohiberentur…audirent…putarent – all these subjunctives are dependent on the initial cum.

fecerunt id quod… – deceptively euphemistic. Cicero gives the impression that Clodius was killed there and then, when he was merely wounded at that point.

servi Milonis – an unnecessary repetition, but Cicero wants to stress that Milo’s slaves were acting on their own initiative.

aperte – “the word imparts an air of candour to the story, at the point where the advocate ventures upon his boldest fiction.” (Clark)

criminis – “criminal responsibility” or “blame for the crime.”

ut factum est – “as it happened.”

imperante…sciente…praesente domino – ablative absolute.


Milo used the universal law of self-defence.

haec sicuti exposui ita gesta sunt, iudices: insidiator superatus est, vi victa vis vel potius oppressa virtute audacia est. nihil dico quid res publica consecuta sit, nihil quid vos, nihil quid omnes boni: nihil sane id prosit Miloni, qui hoc fato natus est ut ne se quidem servare potuerit quin una rem publicam vosque servaret. si id iure fieri non potuit, nihil habeo quod defendam. sin hoc et ratio doctis et necessitas barbaris et mos gentibus et feris etiam beluis natura ipsa praescripsit ut omnem semper vim quacumque ope possent a corpore, a capite, a vita sua propulsarent, non potestis hoc facinus improbum iudicare quin simul iudicetis omnibus qui in latrones inciderint aut illorum telis aut vestris sententiis esse pereundum.

Milo used the universal law of self-defence.

I have laid out these things just as they happened, jurors: the plotter was overcome, violence was overcome by violence, or rather boldness was overcome by courage. I say nothing about what the state gained, you gained, nothing about what all good men gained: indeed, let this benefit Milo not at all, who was born with this destiny, that he could not even save himself without simultaneously saving the republic and you. If this was unable to happen justifiably, I have nothing which I may offer in defence. But if both reason has prescribed this for educated people, and necessity for barbarians, and custom for mankind, and even nature herself for fierce beasts, that always they should repel all violence in whatever way they can from their bodies, from their beings, from their own lives, you are not able to judge this a wicked act, seeing that at the same time you will be judging that all those who fall among bandits should die, either by their weapons or by your sentences.

Milo used the universal law of self-defence.

I have laid out exposui these things haec just as sicuti ita they happened gesta sunt, jurors iudices: the plotter insidiator was overcome superatus est, violence vis was overcome victa by violence vi, or vel rather potius boldness audacia was overcome oppressa est by courage virtute. I say dico nothing nihil (about) what quid the state res publica gained consecuta sit, nothing nihil (about) what quid you (gained) vos, nothing nihil (about) what quid all omnes good men (gained) boni: indeed sane, let this benefit id prosit Milo Miloni not at all nihil, who qui was born natus est with this hoc destiny fato, that ut he could potuerit not even ne quidem save servare himself se without quin simultaneously una saving servaret the republic rem publicam and -que you vos. If si this id was unable non potuit to happen fieri justifiably iure, I have habeo nothing nihil which quod I may offer in defence defendam. But if sin both et reason ratio has prescribed praescripsit this hoc for educated people doctis, and et necessity necessitas for barbarians barbaris, and et custom mos for mankind gentibus, and et even etiam nature natura herself ipsa for fierce feris beasts beluis, that ut always semper they should repel propulsarent all omnem violence vim in whatever quacumque way ope they can possent from a their bodies corpore, from a their beings capite, from a their own sua lives vita, you are not able non potestis to judge iudicare this hoc a wicked improbum act facinus, seeing that quin at the same time simul you will be judging that iudicetis all those omnibus who qui fall inciderint among in bandits latrones should die pereundum esse, either aut by their weapons illorum telis or aut by your vestris sentences sententiis.

Milo used the universal law of self-defence.

sicuti…ita – a pleonasm, giving the statement an authoritative tone. Only one of these words needs to be translated.

superatus…victa…oppressa – words more suited to great military success than a chaotic brawl.

vi victa vis vel – “violence was defeated by violence, or…” Alliterations using v are particularly favoured by Roman authors (e.g. veni, vidi, vici).

nihil dico quid res publica consecuta sit – “I say nothing about what the state gained.” A good example of praeteritio (“mentioning by not mentioning”). The verbs dico and consequor apply to the following two clauses as well.

boni boni has a double meaning here, since as well as implying “morally good,” in Cicero’s time the word was synonymous with optimates, members of a conservative faction who opposed the innovative and revolutionary politics of populares such as Clodius. The word is emphasised both by omnes and its position at the end of a tricolon.

nihil sane id prosit Miloni – “let this (i.e. the benefits gained from Clodius dying) not reasonably be advantageous for Milo.” In other words, “Don’t acquit Milo because he saved you lot and Rome.”

qui hoc fato…servaret – Cicero’s point is that Milo was merely defending himself. The fact that he simultaneously (una) saved the jurors and Rome was down to destiny. Actually, Cicero does want the jurors to consider the consequences of Milo’s actions (which is why he is mentioning them), but to state explicitly that they should acquit Milo for killing a Roman citizen without trial would be overstepping a line, a line which Cicero himself had crossed earlier in his career when he crushed the Catiline conspiracy.

ut – “(with the result) that.”

quin…servaret – “without saving…” quin + subjunctive is often translated into English as “without” + participle.

nihil habeo quod defendam – “I have nothing to offer in his defence.” A short, dramatic sentence, in contrast to the substantial “but…” which follows.

sin – “but if.”

hoc – accusative object of praescripsit. Explained by the upcoming indirect command (ut omnem…).

etiam beluis – a possible interpolation (and discarded as such by many editions). It disrupts the balanced sequence of nouns without adjectives (doctis, barbaris, gentibus…) and weakens the argument that all animals resort to self-defence by saying only that savage (beluis) ones do. Still, Cicero’s basic argument is conveyed: the law of self-defence is a universal one. N.B. the Bloomsbury text has a misprint: “feris beluis etiam be” should be read as “feris etiam beluis.”

quin…iudecitis – the same use of quin as above.

illorum telis aut vestris sententiis esse pereundum – a zeugma.


Milo would have preferred to be killed by Clodius.

quod si ita putasset, certe optabilius Miloni fuit dare iugulum Publio Clodio, non semel ab illo neque tum primum petitum, quam iugulari a vobis, quia se non iugulandum illi tradidisset. sin hoc nemo vestrum ita sentit, illud iam in iudicium venit, non occisusne sit, quod fatemur, sed iure an iniuria, quod multis in causis saepe quaesitum est. insidias factas esse constat, et id est quod senatus contra rem publicam factum iudicavit; ab utro factae sint incertum est. de hoc igitur latum est ut quaereretur. ita et senatus rem, non hominem notavit et Pompeius de iure, non de facto quaestionem tulit. num quid igitur aliud in iudicium venit, nisi uter utri insidias fecerit? profecto nihil: si hic illi, ut ne sit impune; si ille huic, tum scelere solvamur.

Milo would have preferred to be killed by Clodius.

But if he had thought this, surely it would have been more desirable for Milo to offer his throat to Publius Clodius, attacked not once by him nor then for the first time, than to be slaughtered by you because he had not given up himself to be slaughtered by him. But if none of you feels this way, the question which now comes to the court is not was he killed, which we admit, but rightly or wrongly, something which is often asked in many cases. It is agreed that a trap was laid, and this is what the senate has declared a crime against the state; it is uncertain by which of the two men it was done. Therefore on this matter it was proposed that there should be an enquiry. Thus both the senate has condemned the event not the person, and Pompey has proposed an enquiry about the legality, not about the deed. Surely not anything else, therefore, comes to the court, except which man laid a trap for the other? Nothing, obviously if this man here for that man, let it be that he is not unpunished; if that man for this one, then may we be acquitted of the crime.

Milo would have preferred to be killed by Clodius.

But if quod si he had thought putasset this ita, surely certe it would have been fuit more desirable optabilius for Milo Miloni to offer dare to Publius Clodius Publio Clodio his throat iugulum, attacked petitum not non once semel by him ab illo nor neque then for the first time tum primum than quam to be slaughtered iugulari by you a vobis because quia he had not given up non tradidisset himself se to be slaughtered iugulandum by him illi.But if sin none nemo of you vestrum feels sentit this way ita, the question which illud now iam comes venit to the court in iudicium is not non was he killed occisusne sit, which quod we admit fatemur, but sed rightly iure or an wrongly iniuria, something which quod often saepe is asked quaesitum est in in many multis cases causis. It is agreed constat that a trap insidias was laid factas esse, and et this id is est what quod the senate senatus has declared iudicavit a crime factum against contra the state rem; it is est uncertain incertum by ab which of the two men utro it was done factae sint.Therefore igitur on this matter de hoc it was proposed latum est that ut there should be an inquiry quaereretur. Thus ita both et the senate senatus has condemned notavit the event rem, not the person non hominem, and Pompey et Pompeius has proposed tulit an enquiry quaestionem about de the legality iure, not non about de the deed facto. Surely not num anything quid else aliud, therefore igitur, comes venit to the court in iudicium, except nisi which man uter laid fecerit a trap insidias for the other utri? Nothing nihil, obviously profecto: if si this man here hic for that man illi, let it be that ut he is not ne sit unpunished impune; if si that man ille for this one huic, then ut may we be acquitted solvamur of the crime scelere.

Milo would have preferred to be killed by Clodius.

quod si – “But if…” (sometimes written quodsi).

putasset…fuit dare – an unfulfilled condition, which should use the pluperfect subjunctive in both clauses (the protasis and the apodosis). Colson explains: “fuit…is independent of the condition. If put exactly, the sentence would run si ita putasset, iugulum dedisset, nam hoc optabilius fuit.”

putasset = putavisset.

non semel … neque tum primum – “not the one time, nor then for the first time.” Practically a tautology. The repetition emphasises the menace Clodius posed to Milo.

quam iugulari a vobis – “than to be slaughtered by you.” Cicero does not explain why Milo would have preferred “death by Clodius” to “death by jury.” He probably means that death at the hands of Clodius would have spared his countrymen from making such an unjust condemnation.

sin – “But if.”

hoc…ita sentit – “feels this way.” Ignore either hoc or ita when translating (the repetition works in Latin, not in English).

nemo vestrum – “none of you.” vestrum is a partitive genitive.

illud – “the question/thing which…”

in iudicium venit – “appears before the court.”

id est quod senatus contra rem publicam factum iudicavit – “this is what the senate has declared a crime against the state.” Cicero is reminding the jury that Milo is not on trial for murder, but for violent disorder (“vis”), a charge he goes on to claim should be levelled at Clodius rather than Milo.

latum est – “a law has been passed.” Gnaeus Pompeius MagnusPompey, as sole consul, passed a law “de vi” which subsequently led to Milo being put on trial.

igitur…ita…igitur – Cicero uses these words as if he is following some logical argument, an argument with which he condenses the whole focus and meaning of the trial down to “who ambushed whom?” This oversimplification suits Cicero’s purposes perfectly.

et senatus…de facto – Note the balanced arrangement of these two clauses. Cicero lays out very clearly the actions of the senate and Pompey prior to Milo’s trial. His point is valid, although it is hard to believe that Pompey and the senate were passing such laws and launching such investigations without any intention of eliminating Milo.

quaestionem – “enquiry.” Forms polyptoton with quaereretur at the end of the previous sentence. Cicero wants to remind the jurors that this trial is part of an investigation rather than a formality to condemn Milo.

num quid…aliud – “Surely nothing else?”

profecto nihil – “Assuredly, nothing.” An emphatic answer to the (rhetorical) question Cicero just posed.

ut ne sit impune – “(let it be) that he is not unpunished.” Technically the ut ne (≈ ut non) starts a result clause.

ut scelere solvamur – “then may we be acquitted of the crime.” This second ut should be treated as tum.


Clodius had much to gain from Milo’s death.

quonam igitur pacto probari potest insidias Miloni fecisse Clodium? satis est in illa quidem tam audaci, tam nefaria belua docere, magnam ei causam, magnam spem in Milonis morte propositam, magnas utilitates fuisse. itaque illud Cassianum ‘cui bono fuerit’ in his personis valeat, etsi boni nullo emolumento impelluntur in fraudem, improbi saepe parvo. atqui Milone interfecto Clodius haec adsequebatur, non modo ut praetor esset non eo consule quo sceleris facere nihil posset sed etiam ut eis consulibus praetor esset quibus si non adiuvantibus, at coniventibus certe speraret se posse eludere in illis suis cogitatis furoribus: cuius illi conatus, ut ipse ratiocinabatur, nec cuperent reprimere, si possent, cum tantum beneficium ei se debere arbitrarentur, et, si vellent, fortasse vix possent frangere hominis sceleratissimi conroboratam iam vetustate audaciam.

Clodius had much to gain from Milo’s death.

Therefore how on earth can it be proven that Clodius laid a trap for Milo? It is enough in the case of such a bold, such a wicked monster as that to demonstrate that there was for him great reason, great hope offered in the death of Milo, great advantages. And so that saying of Cassius “who benefitted?” may be valid in the case of these characters although good men are driven to crime by no profit, dishonest men often are by a small one. But, if Milo had been killed, Clodius stood to gain this: not only as he would be praetor without that man as consul, under whom he would be able to commit no wickedness, but also as he would be praetor with those men as consuls with whom conniving, certainly, if not assisting, he might hope that he would be able to cheat in those planned, frenzied actions of his: those men, so he himself calculated, would not want to check his attempts, if they could, when they considered the great favour that they owed to him, and, if they were willing, perhaps scarcely would be able to shatter the audacity of a most wicked man which had been strengthened already through its long existence.

Clodius had much to gain from Milo’s death.

Therefore igitur how on earth quonam pacto can it potest be proven probari that Clodius Clodium laid fecisse a trap insidias for Milo Miloni? It is est enough satis in the case of in such a bold tam audaci, such a wicked tam nefaria monster belua as that illa to demonstrate docere that there was fuisse for him ei great magnam reason causam, great magnam hope spem offered propositam in the death in morte of Milo Milonis, great magnas advantages utilitates. And so itaque that saying illud of Cassius Cassianum, “who benefited?” ‘cui bono fuerit’, may be valid valeat in the case of these characters in his personis: although etsi good men boni are driven impelluntur to crime in fraudem by no nullo profit emolumento, dishonest men improbi often are saepe by a small one parvo.But atqui, if Milo Milone had been killed interfecto, Clodius Clodius stood to gain adsequebatur this haec: not only non modo as ut he would be esset praetor praetor without that man non eo as consul consule, under whom quo he would be able posset to commit facere no wickedness nihil sceleris, but also sed etiam as he would be ut esset praetor praetor with those men eis as consuls consulibus with whom quibus conniving coniventibus, certainly certe, if not si non assisting adiuvantibus, he might hope speraret that he se would be able posse to cheat eludere in in those illis planned cogitatis, frenzied actions furoribus of his suis: those men illi, so ut he himself ipse calculated ratiocinabatur, would not want nec cuperent to check reprimere his cuius attempts conatus, if si they could possent, when cum they considered arbitrarentur the great tantum favour beneficium that they se owed debere to him ei, and et, if si they were willing vellent, perhaps fortasse scarcely vix would be able possent to shatter frangere the audacity audaciam of a most wicked sceleratissimi man hominis which had been strengthened conroboratam already iam through its long existence vetustate.

Clodius had much to gain from Milo’s death.

quonam pacto – “howsoever.” The –nam suffix is emphatic in Latin.

pacto probari potest – the alliteration intensifies Cicero’s irony.

in illa…belua – “in the case of a wild beast such as that,” i.e. Clodius.

docere – “to show.”

illud Cassianum – “that saying of Cassius.” Lucius Cassius Longinus Ravilla was consul in 127 BC.

‘cui bono fuerit’ – “for whom was it a benefit?” Perhaps the most famous example of a predicative dative.

in his personis – “in the case of these characters.” A persona was originally the name for the mask worn by ancient stage actors.

etsi… – “although…” This addition attempts to silence any argument that Milo also had strong motives to attack Clodius, such as the fact they were arch-enemies.

boni – for the dual significance of this word, see note in Section 30.

fraudem – “crime.”

improbi saepe parvo – “wicked men often (are driven to crime) by a small (profit).” Note that Cicero resorts to a simplistic image of good versus evil.

atqui – “But…” Cicero has said that it only takes a small (parvo) incentive for a wicked man to commit a crime, and yet Clodius, he goes on to argue, had a huge motive – that of virtually unrestrained power. Cicero is fond of arguing a fortiori like this.

eo consule – “with that man (i.e. Milo) as consul.”

eis consulibus – “with those men as consuls,” i.e. Publius Plautus and Metellus Scipio, whose campaigns for consulship were being taken over by Clodius in Section 25.

si non adiuvantibus, at coniventibus certe – “if not assisting, conniving at any rate.” In other words, if Metellus and Plautus did not actively help Clodius with his plans, at the very least they would not have tried to block them.

illis suis cogitatis furoribus – “those planned, frenzied actions of his.” The danger of Clodius is brought out by the juxtaposition of cogitatis and furoribus – he is a shrewd madman. suis seems superfluous, possibly only included to produce extra sibilance.

nec cuperent… si possent…si vellent vix possent – the chiastic arrangement emphasises Cicero’s idea that Metellus and Plautus would have probably been unwilling and unable to restrain Clodius.

conroboratam vetustate – “strengthened due to long existence.”


Clodius, alive, was a vote-winner for Milo.

audistis, iudices, quantum Clodi interfuerit occidi Milonem: convertite animos nunc vicissim ad Milonem. quid Milonis intererat interfici Clodium? quid erat cur Milo non dicam admitteret, sed optaret? ‘obstabat in spe consulatus Miloni Clodius.’ at eo repugnante fiebat, immo vero eo fiebat magis, nec me suffragatore meliore utebatur quam Clodio. valebat apud vos, iudices, Milonis erga me remque publicam meritorum memoria, valebant preces et lacrimae nostrae, quibus ego tum vos mirifice moveri sentiebam, sed plus multo valebat periculorum impendentium timor. quis enim erat civium qui sibi solutam Publi Clodi praeturam sine maximo rerum novarum metu proponeret? solutam autem fore videbatis, nisi esset is consul qui eam auderet possetque constringere. eum Milonem unum esse cum sentiret universus populus Romanus, quis dubitaret suffragio suo se metu, periculo rem publicam liberare? at nunc, Clodio remoto, usitatis iam rebus enitendum est Miloni ut tueatur dignitatem suam; singularis illa et huic uni concessa gloria quae cotidie augebatur frangendis furoribus Clodianis iam Clodi morte cecidit. vos adepti estis ne quem civem metueretis; hic exercitationem virtutis, suffragationem consulatus, fontem perennem gloriae suae perdidit. itaque Milonis consulatus qui vivo Clodio labefactari non poterat mortuo denique temptari coeptus est. non modo igitur nihil prodest sed obest etiam Clodi mors Miloni.

Clodius, alive, was a vote-winner for Milo.

You have heard, jurors, how much it was in the interests of Clodius for Milo to be slain: now turn your minds again to Milo. What was in the interests of Milo for Clodius to be killed? What reason was there why Milo, I will not say should commit it, but wish for it? ‘Clodius stood in the way of Milo in his hope of the consulship.’ But he was becoming consul even though he was fighting against it, or rather in truth, he was becoming consul all the more because of this, nor was he profiting from me as a better supporter than Clodius. It held weight with you, jurors, the recollection of the services of Milo towards me and the republic, our entreaties and tears, by which I felt at the time that you were moved miraculously, held weight; but fear of imminent dangers held weight much more. For what citizen was there who could picture to himself the unrestrained praetorship of Publius Clodius without the greatest fear of revolution? Moreover, you saw that it would be unrestrained, unless that man was consul who dared, and was able, to constrain it. Since the entire Roman people felt that Milo alone was that man, who would hesitate in his vote to free himself from fear (and) the republic from danger? But now, with Clodius removed, Milo now has to distinguish himself by ordinary methods in order to protect his position; that glory, unique and granted to this man alone, which was being enhanced daily by Clodius’ frenzies being crushed, has fallen now with the death of Clodius. You have gained that you do not fear any citizen; this man has lost the scope to exercise his valour, a source of votes for his consulship, an eternal spring of glory for himself. And so Milo’s consulship, which could not be shaken while Clodius was alive, only after his death has begun to be tested. Therefore the death of Clodius not only benefits Milo not at all, but even it is a hindrance.

Clodius, alive, was a vote-winner for Milo.

You have heard audistis, jurors iudices, how much quantum it was in in the interests interfuerit of Clodius Clodi for Milo Milonem to be slain occidi: now nunc turn convertite your minds animos again vicissim to ad Milo Milonem. What quid was in the interests intererat of Milo Milonis for Clodius Clodium to be killed interfici? What reason quid was there erat why cur Milo Milo, I will not say non dicam should commit it admitteret, but sed wish for it optaret? ‘Clodius Clodius stood in the way obstabat of Milo Miloni in in his hope spe of the consulship consulatus.’ But at he was becoming consul fiebat even though he eo was fighting against it repugnante, or rather immo in truth vero, he was becoming consul fiebat all the more magis because of this eo, nor nec was he profiting utebatur from me me as a better meliore supporter suffragatore than quam Clodius Clodio. It held weight valebat with apud you vos, jurors iudices, the recollection memoria of the services meritorum of Milo Milonis towards erga me me and -que the republic rem publicam, our nostrae entreaties preces and et tears lacrimae, by which quibus I ego felt sentiebam at the time tum that you vos were moved moveri miraculously mirifice, held weight valebant; but sed fear timor of imminent impendentium dangers periculorum held weight valebat much multo more plus. For enim what quis citizen civium was there erat who qui could picture proponeret to himself sibi the unrestrained solutam praetorship praeturam of Publius Clodius Publi Clodi without sine the greatest maximo fear metu of revolution rerum novarum? Moreover autem, you saw videbatis that it would be fore unrestrained solutam, unless nisi that man is was esset consul consul who qui dared auderet, and -que was able posset, to constrain constringere it eam. Since cum the entire universus Roman Romanus people populus felt sentiret that Milo Milonem alone unum was esse that man eum, who quis would hesitate dubitaret in his suo vote suffragio to free liberare himself se from fear metu (and) the republic rem publicam from danger periculo? But at now nunc, with Clodius Clodio removed remoto, Milo Miloni now iam has to distinguish himself enitendum est by ordinary usitatis methods rebus in order to ut protect tueatur his suam position dignitatem; that illa glory gloria, unique singularis and et granted concessa to this man huic alone uni, which quae was being enhanced augebatur daily cotidie by Clodius’ Clodianis frenzies furoribus being crushed frangendis, has fallen cecidit now iam with the death morte of Clodius Clodi. You vos have gained adepti estis that you do not fear ne metueretis any quem citizen civem; this man hic has lost perdidit the scope to exercise exercitationem his valour virtutis, a source of votes suffragationem for his consulship consulatus, an eternal perennem spring fontem of glory gloriae for himself suae. And so itaque Milo’s Milonis consulship consulatus, which qui could poterat not non be shaken labefactari while Clodius Clodio was alive vivo, only denique after his death mortuo has begun coeptus est to be tested temptari. Therefore igitur the death mors of Clodius Clodi not non only modo benefits prodest Milo Miloni not at all nihil, but sed even etiam it is a hindrance obest.

Clodius, alive, was a vote-winner for Milo.

In Section 33, Cicero accused an associate of Clodius of holding a copy of the destructive laws which Clodius intended to introduce.

quantum Clodi interfuerit – “how much it was in Clodius’ interests,” referring to Cicero’s claim, in Section 32, that Clodius would have enjoyed vastly increased power during his praetorship if Milo had been killed.

vicissim – “in turn.”

quid erat – “what reason was there.”

non dicam admitteret – “I shall not say should commit (such an offence).” non dicam is more assertive than non dico.

‘obstabat … Clodius’ – Cicero uses a hypothetical counterargument so that he can make his next point in the form of a rebuttal. Not only does this add variety to his speech (especially in a spoken performance), it also gives the superficial impression that his case is watertight, as though he has considered all sides of the argument.

at eo repugnante fiebat – “But he (Milo) was becoming (consul) even though he (Clodius) was fighting against (it).”

immo vero – “Indeed, on the contrary.” immo (“on the contrary”) is strengthened by vero. These words introduce a surprising declaration: not only was Clodius not a hindrance to Milo’s consulship, he was a help.

eo fiebat magis – “he was becoming it more because of him,” i.e. Milo was more likely to become consul thanks to Clodius. The phrasing provides a neat parallel with the previous sentence (eo repugnante fiebat).

me suffragatore – “(from) me as a supporter.” The jury would have known that Cicero was a strong supporter of Milo; it was Milo who had arranged for Cicero to be called back from exile in 57 BC, and the two men remained close political allies. But, according to Cicero, Clodius was (unwittingly) a much better source of votes for Milo.

valebat … valebant … valebat – Cicero says there were three strong reasons why the jurors, and other voters, were casting their votes for Milo. Firstly, they remembered Milo’s former public service, including his help to recall Cicero from exile. Secondly, they were deeply moved by Cicero’s emotional pleading to support Milo during the canvassing. But what influenced them the most was their fear of Clodius’ praetorship being unchecked. The concluding part of the tricolon, when Cicero finally makes his point, is noticeably shorter than the first two parts.

nostrae – “my,” i.e. Cicero’s.

tum – “at that time,” i.e. during Milo’s election campaign.

quis erat civium – “What citizen was there…”

sibi proponeret – “envisage” (lit. “picture to himself”).

solutam Publi Clodi praeturam – note how this phrase is carefully balanced with maximo rerum novarum metu: adjective, double genitive, noun. The arrangement reinforces a relationship between Clodius’ unrestrained praetorship and the collapse of the state.

solutam – “unrestrained.” Cicero repeatedly uses this adjective, which is surely an exaggeration, to describe Clodius’ intended praetorship. Colson says that it chimes with his description of Clodius as a wild beast (belua).

is consul qui eam auderet possetque constringere – as consul, Milo would have had greater imperium than Clodius as praetor. auderet possetque recalls his doubts, at the end of Section 32, whether other consuls would have had both the will (cuperent, vellent) and ability (possent) to restrain Clodius.

unum … universus – “a favourite assonance of Cicero” – Clark.

quis dubitaret suffragio suo – “who could hesitate in his vote?”

se metu, periculo rem publicam – the dual benefit of voting for Milo is presented via a chiasmus: citizens would be serving their own interests at the same time as performing an essential public duty.

at nunc – “but as it is.”

Clodio remoto – euphemistic.

usitatis rebus – “by ordinary methods.”

suam dignitatem – “his position,” i.e. his succession to the consulship. If he fails to gain this, his status will suffer.

singularis illa et huic uni concessa gloria – “that glory, unique and granted to this man alone.” A tautological expression to emphasise how much Milo himself was benefiting from the ongoing feud with Clodius.

frangendis furoribus – “by crushing the frenzied actions,” powerful due to the choice of words and the alliteration.

cecidit – “has fallen,” but also, like Clodius, “has died.”

vos adepti estis ne quem metueretis – “You have gained that you are to fear no citizen.” A ludicrous claim, since Clodius was far from the most influential figure at the time. The real power rested with Caesar and Pompey. Note the contrast between adepti estis and perdidit; Cicero is essentially implying that everyone stood to benefit from Clodius’ death, except Milo.

exercitationem – “scope for exercising.”

labefactari – “to be shaken.” labefacto (“I cause to totter”) is usually employed in relation to buildings; the implication is that the certainty of Milo’s consulship (while Clodius was alive) was rock solid.

mortuo denique – “only after his death.”

non modo … nihil prodest sed obest etiam – “not only is of no benefit, but is even a hindrance.” Cicero has turned the hypothetical objection (‘obstabat in spe consulatus…’) on its head.


Clodius hated Milo, Milo didn’t hate Clodius.

‘at valuit odium, fecit iratus, fecit inimicus, fuit ultor iniuriae, punitor doloris sui.’ quid? si haec non dico maiora fuerunt in Clodio quam in Milone, sed in illo maxima, nulla in hoc, quid vultis amplius? quid enim odisset Clodium Milo, segetem ac materiam suae gloriae, praeter hoc civile odium quo omnes improbos odimus? illi erat ut odisset primum defensorem salutis meae, deinde vexatorem furoris, domitorem armorum suorum, postremo etiam accusatorem suum; reus enim Milonis lege Plotia fuit Clodius quoad vixit. quo tandem animo hoc tyrannum illum tulisse creditis? quantum odium illius et in homine iniusto quam etiam iustum fuisse?

Clodius hated Milo, Milo didn’t hate Clodius.

‘But hatred prevailed, he did it in anger, he did it as an enemy, he was an avenger for his injuries, a punisher for his grievances.’ What? If these things existed, I do not say to a greater extent in Clodius than in Milo, but to the greatest extent in that man, not at all in this man, what more do you want? For why would Milo have hated Clodius, the food and fuel of his personal glory, beyond that civic-minded hatred with which we all hate wicked men? There was a reason for Clodius to hate him, firstly as the defender of my safety, then as a harasser of his frenzy, as the conqueror of his weapons, finally also as his own accuser; for Clodius, as long as he lived, was a defendant of Milo due to the Plotian law. Lastly, with what attitude do you think that tyrant tolerated this? How great (do you think) that man’s hatred was, and, in an unjust person, even how justified?

Clodius hated Milo, Milo didn’t hate Clodius.

‘But at hatred odium prevailed valuit, he did it fecit in anger iratus, he did it fecit as an enemy inimicus, he was fuit an avenger ultor for his injuries iniuriae, a punisher punitor for his sui grievances doloris.’ What quid? If si these things haec existed fuerunt, I do not say non dico to a greater extent maiora in in Clodius Clodio than quam in in Milo Milone, but sed to the greatest extent maxima in in Clodius illo, not at all nulla in in this man hoc, what quid more amplius do you want vultis? For enim why quid would Milo have hated Milo odisset Clodius Clodium, the food segetem and ac fuel materiam of his personal suae glory gloriae, beyond praeter that hoc civic-minded civile hatred odium with which quo we all hate omnes odimus wicked men improbos? There was a reason erat for Clodius illi to ut hate him odisset, firstly primum as the defender defensorem of my meae safety salutis, then deinde as a harasser vexatorem of his frenzy furoris, as the conqueror domitorem of his suorum weapons armorum, finally postremo also etiam as his own suum accuser accusatorem; for enim Clodius Clodius, as long as quoad he lived vixit, was fuit a defendant reus of Milo Milonis due to the Plotian Plotia law lege. Lastly tandem, with what quo attitude animo do you think creditis that illum tyrant tyrannum tolerated tulisse this hoc? How great (do you think) quantum that man’s illius hatred odium was fuisse, and et, in in an unjust iniusto person homine, even etiam how quam justified iustum?

Clodius hated Milo, Milo didn’t hate Clodius.

‘at valuit odium …’ – “But hatred prevailed … ” another hypothetical counterargument. Note how, for added realism, Cicero’s imaginary opponent uses valuit, as if he had been listening to Cicero’s response (valebat … valebant … valebat).

fecit … fecit … fuit … – a tricolon, and a breakdown of odium. The third part is a tautology (ultor inuriae ~ punitor doloris sui). According to Clark, Cicero even coined the term punitor (as a synonym of ultor) for this very passage.

quid? – Cicero would have feigned utter incredulity as he said this. The sense is: “How could you even think such a thing?”

in illo maxima, nulla in hoc – a chiasmus, with juxtaposition, to help explain why Cicero is apparently so gobsmacked by the imaginary opponent’s proposition.

quid vultis amplius – “What more do you want?” In other words, if Cicero can prove that Clodius was very hateful, and Milo not at all, he can rest his case.

segetem ac materiem suae gloriae – lit. “the soil and substance of his glory.” In the metaphor, segetem is the origin of Milo’s glory, materiam is from what it is made. It is a variation of fontem (perennem) gloriae suae in the previous section.

civile odium – “civic-minded hatred.” Colson: ‘hatred felt on patriotic not on personal grounds.’

quo – “with which.” An etymological (or cognate) ablative.

omnes – could be nominative (“we all hate …”) or accusative (“we hate all …”), but probably nominative.

illi erat ut odisset – “There was a reason for him to hate.”

primum … deinde … postremo – “Firstly … secondly … last of all.” Cicero structures his argument especially clearly here.

defensorem salutis meae – “as a defender of my safety,” because Milo had successfully had Cicero recalled from exile in 57 BC.

domitorem armorum suorum – “the tamer of his weapons.” A domitor is an animal trainer, continuing the analogy of Clodius as a wild beast.

lege Plotia – “according to the Plotian Law.” The Lex Plotia was designed to protect citizens from violent attack. Milo twice raised such a case (“de vi”) against Clodius. As his cases were never concluded, Cicero is proposing that Clodius was a perennial defendant of Milo’s.

tyrannum – a particularly damning insult. The Roman Republic was founded in response to the tyranny of monarchic government.

in homine iniusto quam etiam iustum – “in an unjust person, even how justified.” Cicero uses the adjective iustus in two different senses here: “just” and “justified.” The idea is that a bad person can easily entertain excessive hatred.


Milo knew he couldn’t get away with murder.

hunc igitur diem campi speratum atque exoptatum sibi proponens Milo, cruentis manibus scelus et facinus prae se ferens et confitens ad illa augusta centuriarum auspicia veniebat? quam hoc non credibile est in hoc, quam idem in Clodio non dubitandum, qui se ipse interfecto Milone regnaturum putaret! quid? quod caput est audaciae, iudices, quis ignorat maximam inlecebram esse peccandi impunitatis spem? in utro igitur haec fuit? in Milone qui etiam nunc reus est facti aut praeclari aut certe necessarii, an in Clodio qui ita iudicia poenamque contempserat ut eum nihil delectaret quod aut per naturam fas esset aut per leges liceret?

Milo knew he couldn’t get away with murder.

So, Milo, while picturing to himself this hoped-for and wished-for day of election, with blood-stained hands and displaying and confessing his wicked crime, tried to come to the venerable auspices of the centuries. How unbelievable this is in the case of this man, how the same thing should not be doubted in the case of Clodius, who thought that he would rule once Milo had been killed! What? This is the source of recklessness, jurors – who does not know that the greatest incentive for sinning is the prospect of impunity? So, in which of the two did this exist? In Milo, who even now is on trial for a crime which was either glorious or, at least, unavoidable, or in Clodius, who had such contempt for the courts and penalties that nothing pleased him which was either naturally right or permitted through laws?

Milo knew he couldn’t get away with murder.

So igitur, Milo Milo, while picturing proponens to himself sibi this hunc hoped-for speratum and atque wished-for exoptatum day diem of election campi, with blood-stained cruentis hands manibus holding ferens in front of prae himself se and et confessing confitens his wickedness scelus and et the crime facinus, tried to come veniebat to ad those illa venerable augusta auspices auspicia of the centuries centuriarum. How quam this hoc is est not non believable credibile in the case of in this man hoc, how quam the same thing idem should not be doubted non dubitandum in the case of in Clodius Clodio, who qui thought putaret that he se himself ipse would rule regnaturum once Milo Milone had been killed interfecto!What quid? This quod is est the source caput of recklessness audaciae, jurors iudices –who quis does not know ignorat that the greatest maximam incentive inlecebram for sinning peccandi is esse the prospect spem of impunity impunitatis? So igitur, in in which of the two utro did this haec exist fuit? In in Milo Milone, who qui even etiam now nunc is est on trial reus for a crime facti (which was) either aut glorious praeclari or aut, at least certe, unavoidable necessarii, or an in in Clodius Clodio, who qui had such contempt ita contempserat for the courts iudicia and -que penalties poenam that ut nothing nihil pleased delectaret him eum which quod was esset either aut right fas by per nature naturam or aut permitted liceret through per laws leges.

Milo knew he couldn’t get away with murder.

In Sections 36-42 Cicero demonstrated, with examples, that Clodius was by nature a violent man. He said that Milo, in contrast, never resorted to violence, even though he would have been justified to do so on a number of occasions (particularly against Clodius and his mob).

igitur – “So…” indicates that Cicero’s rhetorical question here is sarcastic.

Model of the ancient Campus Martius around AD 300.

diem campi – “day of election,” because the Campus Martius was where the elections were held.

speratum atque exoptatum – “hoped for and wished-for.” The tautology expresses how much his candidacy meant to Milo.

cruentis manibus – “with blood-stained hands.” Metaphorically speaking, but still producing a powerful image, enhanced by its prominent position.

prae se ferens – “advertising” (lit. “holding in front of himself”). The idiom works especially well here, with the image of Milo holding up his blood-stained hands.

scelus et facinus – “wickedness and crime;” a hendiadys (for “wicked crime”).

illa augusta centuriarum auspicia – these auspices (religious rituals) preceded the meetings of the major voting blocks (the centuries). illa augusta emphasises their sanctity, showing how unlikely it would be for Milo to attempt to show his face there after committing murder.

veniebat – Colson says this imperfect is equivalent to venturus erat, i.e. “was he intending to come?”

non credibile … in hoc … in Clodio … non dubitandum – the chiastic arrangement, along with the anaphora of quam, helps to make the contrast.

in hoc – “in Milo’s case.”

regnaturum – “would rule” (supply esse). Note the inflammatory language – regno implies Clodius intended to become rex (still a pejorative term, 450 years after Tarquinius Superbus was overthrown).

The Roman constitution

quod caput est audaciae – “this is the main source of recklessness.”

quis ignorat? – i.e. anyone who has any sense knows.

reus est – “is on trial.” Cicero’s argument is flawed – Milo may have hoped for impunity, but failed to obtain it.

per naturam fas esset aut per leges liceret – “naturally right or permitted by laws.” fas refers to the immutable laws of the gods and the universe, leges to the laws of man. Clodius allegedly flouted both.


Clodius said Milo would be dead in three days.

sed quid ego argumentor, quid plura disputo? te, Quinte Petili, appello, optimum et fortissimum civem; te, Marce Cato, testor, quos mihi divina quaedam sors dedit iudices. vos ex Marco Favonio audistis Clodium sibi dixisse, et audistis vivo Clodio, periturum Milonem triduo. post diem tertium gesta res est quam dixerat. cum ille non dubitarit aperire quid cogitaret, vos potestis dubitare quid fecerit?

Clodius said Milo would be dead in three days.

But why am I arguing? Why am I disputing further? I appeal to you, Quintus Petilius, a most excellent and most courageous citizen; I call you as a witness, Marcus Cato – you whom some divine chance has given to me as jurors. You have heard it from Marcus Favonius, and you heard it while Clodius was still alive, that he said to him that Milo would die in three days. On the third day after, the deed happened of which he had spoken. Since Clodius did not hesitate to disclose what he was contemplating, can you doubt what he did?

Clodius said Milo would be dead in three days.

But sed why quid am I arguing ego argumentor? Why quid am I disputing disputo further plura? I appeal to appello you te, Quintus Quinte Petilius Petili, a most excellent optimum and et most courageous fortissimum citizen civem; I call as a witness testor you te, Marcus Cato Marce Cato –you whom quos some quaedam divine divina chance sors has given dedit to me mihi as jurors iudices. You vos have heard it audistis from ex Marcus Favonius Marco Favonio, and et you heard it audistis while Clodius Clodio was alive vivo, that Clodius Clodium said dixisse to him sibi that Milo Milonem would die periturum in three days triduo. On the third tertium day diem after post, the deed res happened gesta est of which quam he had spoken dixerat. Since cum Clodius ille did not hesitate non dubitarit to disclose aperire what quid he was contemplating cogitaret, can potestis you vos doubt dubitare what quid he did fecerit?

Clodius said Milo would be dead in three days.

quid plura disputo – “why am I disputing further?”

Quinte Petili – nothing more is known of Quintus Petilius, other than he was one of the 81 jurors at this trial (and Cicero deems him an ally).

divina quaedam sors – “some divine lot.” sors refers to the jury selection process at the start of the trial, but also has the wider meaning of “fate” or “chance.” divina suggests that the luck was both rare and sanctioned by the gods.

vos ex Marco Favonio audistis – the incident in Section 26. vos implies both Cato and Petilius were present when Favonius reported Clodius’ death threat (in Section 26 only Cato is mentioned).

et audistis vivo Clodio – “and you heard it while Clodius was still alive.” An important addition, because if Clodius was alive then Cato and others could have spoken to him if they doubted Favonius’ report.

post diem tertium – i.e. on the third day (Romans counted days inclusively).

cum ille non dubitarit … vos potestis dubitare … ? – “since Clodius did not hesitate … can you doubt what he did?” – the repetition of dubito seems to call upon the jurors to “fight fire with fire,” so to speak. But the meaning is slightly different in each case – Clodius did not hesitate (because he was reckless and impetuous), the jurors should not doubt (because his threatening words should be proof enough).


Clodius knew about Milo’s journey.

quem ad modum igitur eum dies non fefellit? dixi equidem modo. dictatoris Lanuvini stata sacrificia nosse negoti nihil erat. vidit necesse esse Miloni proficisci Lanuvium illo ipso quo est profectus die: itaque antevertit. at quo die? quo, ut ante dixi, fuit insanissima contio ab ipsius mercennario tribuno plebis concitata: quem diem ille, quam contionem, quos clamores, nisi ad cogitatum facinus approperaret, numquam reliquisset. ergo illi ne causa quidem itineris, etiam causa manendi; Miloni manendi nulla facultas, exeundi non causa solum sed etiam necessitas fuit. quid si, ut ille scivit Milonem fore eo die in via, sic Clodium Milo ne suspicari quidem potuit?

Clodius knew about Milo’s journey.

So, how did the day not fail him? Indeed, I have just said. It was no trouble to ascertain the fixed sacrifices of the dictator of Lanuvium. He saw that it was necessary for Milo to set out to Lanuvium on that very day on which he set out: and so he anticipated him. But on what day? On the one which, as I said before, there was the most frantic public meeting, stirred up by a tribune of the plebs, on the payroll of Clodius himself: that day, that meeting, that uproar he never would have abandoned, unless he was hastening to a premeditated crime. Therefore he had not even a reason for a journey, even a reason for staying; for Milo there was no opportunity for staying, and not only a reason for leaving but also an obligation. What if (this were the case)? As that man knew that Milo would be on the road that day, so Milo could not even suspect that Clodius (would be).

Clodius knew about Milo’s journey.

So igitur, how quem ad modum did the day dies not non fail fefellit him eum? Indeed equidem, I have just said modo dixi. It was erat no nihil trouble negoti to ascertain nosse the fixed stata sacrifices sacrificia of the dictator dictatoris of Lanuvium Lanuvini. He saw vidit that it was esse necessary necesse for Milo Miloni to set out proficisci to Lanuvium Lanuvium on that illo very ipso day die on which quo he set out profectus est: and so itaque he anticipated him antevertit. But at on what quo day die? On the one which quo, as ut I said dixi before ante, there was fuit the most frantic insanissima public meeting contio, stirred up concitata by ab a tribune tribuno of the plebs plebis, on the payroll mercennario of Clodius himself ipsius: that quem day diem, that quam meeting contionem, that quos uproar clamores he ille never numquam would have abandoned reliquisset, unless nisi he was hastening approperaret to ad a premeditated cogitatum crime facinus. Therefore ergo he had illi not even ne quidem a reason causa for a journey itineris, even etiam a reason causa for staying manendi; for Milo Miloni there was fuit no nulla opportunity facultas for staying manendi, and not only non solum a reason causa for leaving exeundi but also sed etiam an obligation necessitas. What if (this were the case) quid si? As ut Clodius ille knew scivit that Milo Milonem would be fore on in the road via that eo day die, so sic Milo Milo could potuit not even ne quidem suspect suspicari that Clodius (would be) Clodium.

Clodius knew about Milo’s journey.

quem ad modum … eum dies non fefellit? – “how did the day not deceive him?” i.e. “how did he get the day right?”

dixi equidem modo – “indeed I said just now” (in Section 27).

stata sacrificia – “fixed sacrificial duties.” Once again, Cicero is emphasising the inevitability of Milo’s journey.

nosse negoti nihil erat – “it was no trouble to find out.” The easiness is underscored by alliteration.

vidit – pure conjecture, as there is no evidence that Clodius actually looked up Milo’s schedule, even if there was the opportunity to do so.

illo ipso quo est profectus die – “on that very day on which he did set out.” The wording stresses the certainty of Milo’s departure date.

itaque antevertit – “and so he anticipated (him).” A brief sentence to convey the speed with which Clodius acted.

ut ante dixi – in Section 27.

contio – the public meeting (contio) which probably took place on 18th January.

ipsius mercennario tribuno plebis – the tribune of the plebs was an irregular and contentious office during the last 100 years of the Roman Republic. Clodius famously held it himself in the early 50s BC, through which he arranged Cicero’s exile. According to both Greenborough and Colson, the tribune in question is either Sallust or Quintus Pompeius Rufus.

sed etiam necessitas fuit – exceptionally emphatic, since in the rest of the sentence Cicero creates a careful (chiastic) balance between the motives for Clodius’ journey (ne causa quidem itineris / etiam causa manendi) and Milo’s journey (manendi nulla facultas / exeundi non causa). The necessitas (“obligation”) of Milo’s journey is a crucial part of Cicero’s defence in the set text.

quid si … – “What if ….?” Cicero is preparing us for the next stage of his argument – the testimonies of the prosecution’s witnesses, who say that Clodius changed his plans at the last minute.


Schola says Clodius suddenly set out for Rome.

primum quaero qui id scire potuerit? quod vos idem in Clodio quaerere non potestis. ut enim neminem alium nisi Titum Patinam, familiarissimum suum, rogasset, scire potuit illo ipso die Lanuvi a dictatore Milone prodi flaminem necesse esse. sed erant permulti alii ex quibus id facillime scire posset: omnes scilicet Lanuvini. Milo de Clodi reditu unde quaesivit? quaesierit sane — videte quid vobis largiar – servum etiam, ut Quintus Arrius, amicus meus, dixit, corruperit. legite testimonia testium vestrorum. dixit Gaius Causinius Schola, Interamnanus, familiarissimus et idem comes Clodi, Publium Clodium illo die in Albano mansurum fuisse, sed subito ei esse nuntiatum Cyrum architectum esse mortuum, itaque repente Romam constituisse proficisci. dixit hoc item comes Publi Clodi, Gaius Clodius.

Schola says Clodius suddenly set out for Rome.

First of all I ask who could have known this? You can not ask this same question in Clodius’ case. For even if he had asked no one else except Titus Patina, a very close friend of his, he could have ascertained that on that very day it was necessary that a priest be appointed at Lanuvium by Milo as dictator. But there were very many others from whom he was able to ascertain this very easily: for instance, everyone at Lanuvium. From whom did Milo ask about the return of Clodius? Well suppose he asked – see what I bestow on you – even suppose that he bribed a slave, as my friend Quintus Arrius said. Read the testimonies of your own witnesses. Gaius Causinius Schola, from Interamna, a very close friend and what is more a companion of Clodius, said that on that day Publius Clodius had intended to stay in his Alban residence, but suddenly it was reported to him that Cyrus his architect had died, and so he decided to set out for Rome immediately. Gaius Clodius, a companion of Publius Clodius, also said this.

Schola says Clodius suddenly set out for Rome.

First of all primum I ask quaero who qui could have potuerit known scire this id? You vos can potestis not non ask quaerere this quod same question idem in in Clodius’ case Clodio. For enim even if ut he had asked rogasset no one neminem else alium except nisi Titus Patina Titum Patinam, a very close friend familiarissimum of his suum, he could have potuit ascertained that scire on that illo very ipso day die it was esse necessary necesse that a priest flaminem be appointed prodi at Lanuvium Lanuvi by a Milo Milone as dictator dictatore. But sed there were erant very many permulti others alii from ex whom quibus he was able posset to ascertain scire this id very easily facillime: for instance scilicet, everyone omnes at Lanuvium Lanuvini. From whom unde did Milo Milo ask quaesivit about de the return reditu of Clodius Clodi? Well suppose sane he asked quaesierit – see videte what quid I bestow largiar on you vobis – even etiam suppose that ut he bribed corruperit a slave servum, as my meus good friend amicus Quintus Arrius Quintus Arrius said dixit. Read legite the testimonies testimonia of your own vestrorum witnesses testium. Gaius Causinius Schola Gaius Causinius Schola, from Interamna Interamnanus, a very close friend familiarissimus and et what is more idem a companion comes of Clodius Clodi, said that dixit on that illo day die Publius Clodius Publium Clodium had intended to stay mansurum fuisse in in his Alban residence Albano, but sed suddenly subito it was reported nuntiatum esse to him ei that Cyrus Cyrum his architect architectum had died mortuum esse, and so itaque he decided constituisse to set out proficisci for Rome Romam immediately repente. Gaius Clodius Gaius Clodius, a companion comes of Publius Clodius Publi Clodi, also item said dixit this hoc.

Schola says Clodius suddenly set out for Rome.


Clodius’ change of plan means Milo, and Cicero, are innocent.

videte, iudices, quantae res his testimoniis sint confectae. primum certe liberatur Milo non eo consilio profectus esse ut insidiaretur in via Clodio: quippe, si ille obvius ei futurus omnino non erat. deinde – non enim video cur non meum quoque agam negotium – scitis, iudices, fuisse qui in hac rogatione suadenda dicerent Milonis manu caedem esse factam, consilio vero maioris alicuius. me videlicet latronem ac sicarium abiecti homines et perditi describebant. iacent suis testibus qui Clodium negant eo die Romam, nisi de Cyro audisset, fuisse rediturum. respiravi, liberatus sum; non vereor ne, quod ne suspicari quidem potuerim, videar id cogitasse.

Clodius’ change of plan means Milo, and Cicero, are innocent.

See, jurors, what important consequences have been effected by these testimonies. Firstly, certainly Milo is acquitted of having set out with that intention to lay a trap for Clodius on the road: obviously, if Clodius was not going to meet him at all. Next – for I do not see why I should not look after my own interests as well – you know, jurors, that there have been those who said, in advocating this bill, that the murder was committed by the hand of Milo, but by the plan of someone more important. Evidently those abject and hopeless men were portraying me as a robber and an assassin. They are floored by their own witnesses, who deny that Clodius would have returned to Rome that day, unless he had heard about Cyrus. I breathed again, I was set free; I am no longer afraid that I might appear to have considered a thing which not even was I able to suspect.

Clodius’ change of plan means Milo, and Cicero, are innocent.

See videte, jurors iudices, what important quantae consequences res have been effected confectae sint by these his testimonies testimoniis. Firstly primum, certainly certe Milo Milo is acquitted of liberatur non having set out profectus esse with that eo intention consilio to ut lay a trap insidiaretur for Clodius Clodio on in the road via: obviously quippe, if si Clodius ille was erat not non going to meet futurus obvius him ei at all omnino. Next deinde –for enim I do not see non video why cur I should not look after non agam my own meum interests negotium as well quoque –you know scitis, jurors iudices, that there have been fuisse those who qui said dicerent, in in advocating suadenda this hac bill rogatione, that the murder caedem was committed factam esse by the hand manu of Milo Milonis, but vero by the plan consilio of someone alicuius more important maioris. Evidently videlicet those abject abiecti and et hopeless perditi men homines were portraying describebant me me as a robber latronem and ac an assassin sicarium. They are floored iacent by their own suis witnesses testibus, who qui deny negant that Clodius Clodium would have returned rediturum fuisse to Rome Romam that eo day die, unless nisi he had heard audisset about de Cyrus Cyro. I breathed again respiravi, I was set free liberatus sum; I am no longer afraid non vereor that ne I might appear videar to have considered cogitasse a thing which quod not even ne quidem was I able potuerim to suspect suspicari.

Clodius’ change of plan means Milo, and Cicero, are innocent.

primum … deinde – once again, Cicero uses a clear structure for his argument.

liberatur Milo non … profectus esse – “Milo is acquitted of having set out …” The non is redundant in translation (the sense is something like Milo “is proved not to have set out”).

quippe – “undoubtedly.” A strong affirmative, as if the point is irrefutable.

si ille obvius ei futurus omnino non erat – “if he was not going to meet him at all,” i.e since Clodius was staying at his Alban residence. omnino emphasises the fact there was no chance of the two men meeting (until Clodius changed his plans). ille could mean Clodius or Milo, the point remains the same: the men were not due to bump into each other.

meum quoque agam negotium – “I tend to my own business.”

qui dicerent – “those who said.” Asconius says that the tribunes Pompeius Rufus and Sallust are being alluded to here.

in hac rogatione suadenda – “in pushing for this bill,” i.e. the lex Pompeia – the law passed to conduct this enquiry.

manu … consilio – ablatives of instrument. Cicero is referring to the unsubstantiated claims that Milo might have been acting under (Cicero’s) orders, and embellishes the conspiracy theory with plenty of style: manu and consilio form a zeugma with factam esse, and a chiasmus with Milonis and alicuius. vero provides a contrast.

alicuius – Colson says: “At first sight we might expect cuiusdam, the word used for a person who is definitely known, but for some reason is not named. alicuius however is really more forcible; it represents the vagueness and mock caution which C.’s accusers would naturally adopt.”

maioris alicuius – Clark says: “it is doubtful whether Milo would have altogether relished this description of his relation to Cicero … The enemies of Cicero may well have urged, that as he was with Clodius on the morning of the 17th, he might have informed Milo of his enemy’s movements.”

videlicet – “evidently,” used unsarcastically in this instance.

abiecti homines et perditi – “abject and ruined men.” abiecti and perditi are practically synonymous. Note the position of et, which strengthens perditi: “abject people – and also ruined ones.”

describebant – i.e. they were giving vague details, without naming.

iacent iaceo (“I lie”) is the stative form of the dynamic verb iacio (“I throw”). “They are floored” (Colson’s suggestion) conveys this relationship nicely, and conveniently leads into the (instrumental) ablative suis testimonis.

suis testimonis – “by their own witnesses.” suis is emphasised by position. The absence of the preposition a before testimonis is because Cicero, as a genuine lawyer, regarded witnesses as instruments of the truth. The witnesses in question obviously include Gaius Causinius Schola and Gaius Clodius from the previous section.

eo die – the day he left his Alban villa and ran into Milo’s retinue; the day he died.

id … quod – “a thing/action which.” The id refers to what Cicero was accused of masterminding (i.e. the assassination of Clodius) and quod to what he could not have suspected (that Clodius would leave his Alban villa unexpectedly).


Clodius didn’t care about Cyrus.

nunc persequar cetera; nam occurrit illud: ‘igitur ne Clodius quidem de insidiis cogitavit, quoniam fuit in Albano mansurus’ – si quidem exiturus ad caedem e villa non fuisset. video enim illum qui dicatur de Cyri morte nuntiasse non id nuntiasse, sed Milonem appropinquare. nam quid de Cyro nuntiaret, quem Clodius Roma proficiscens reliquerat morientem? una fui, testamentum simul obsignavi; testamentum autem palam fecerat et illum heredem et me scripserat. quem pridie hora tertia animam efflantem reliquisset, eum mortuum postridie hora decima denique ei nuntiabatur?

Clodius didn’t care about Cyrus.

Now I will examine the other points; for this objection occurs (to me): ‘Therefore not even Clodius thought about a trap, since he was intending to stay in his Alban residence’ – yes indeed, if he had not been intending to go out from his villa with a view to murder. For I observe that the person who is said to have told the news about the death of Cyrus did not announce this, but that Milo was approaching. For why should he announce the news about Cyrus, whom Clodius had left dying when he set out from Rome? I was with him – I signed the will at the same time; moreover he had made his will openly and had appointed Clodius and me as his heir. The man whom he had left exhaling his soul the day before at the third hour, finally it was announced to him the next day at the tenth hour that he was dead?

Clodius didn’t care about Cyrus.

Now nunc I will examine persequar the other points cetera; for nam this objection illud occurs (to me) occurrit: ‘Therefore igitur not even ne quidem Clodius Clodius thought cogitavit about de a trap insidiis, since quoniam he was fuit intending to stay mansurus in in his Alban residence Albano’ –yes indeed quidem, if he si had not been non fuisset intending to go out exiturus from e his villa villa with a view to ad murder caedem. For enim I observe video that the person illum who qui is said dicatur to have told the news nuntiasse about de the death morte of Cyrus Cyri did not announce non nuntiasse this id, but sed that Milo Milonem was approaching appropinquare. For nam why quid should he announce the news nuntiaret about de Cyrus Cyro, whom quem Clodius Clodius had left reliquerat dying morientem when he set out proficiscens from Rome Roma? I was fui with him una –I signed obsignavi the will testamentum at the same time simul; moreover autem he had made fecerat his will testamentum openly palam and et had appointed scripserat Clodius illum as his heir heredem and et me me. The man whom quem he had left reliquisset exhaling efflantem his soul animam the day before pridie at the third tertia hour hora, finally denique it was announced nuntiabatur to him ei the next day postridie at the tenth decima hour hora that he eum was dead mortuum?

Clodius didn’t care about Cyrus.


Why would Clodius travel by night?

age, sit ita factum: quae causa fuit cur Romam properaret, cur in noctem se coniceret? quid adferebat festinationis quod heres erat? primum nihil erat cur properato opus esset; deinde si quid esset, quid tandem erat quod ea nocte consequi posset, amitteret autem, si postridie Romam mane venisset? atqui ut illi nocturnus ad urbem adventus vitandus potius quam expetendus fuit, sic Miloni, cum insidiator esset, si illum ad urbem noctu accessurum sciebat, subsidendum atque exspectandum fuit.

Why would Clodius travel by night?

Well, let it have happened so: what reason was there why he should hasten to Rome, why he should launch himself into the night? What urgency did the fact that he was an heir bring? Firstly, there was no reason why there was a need for haste; secondly, if there was a reason, what in the world was there which he could reach that night, but would lose if he had come to Rome the next day in the morning? And as an arrival at the city in the night was to be avoided by Clodius rather than aimed at, so Milo, since he was the plotter, had to lie in ambush and wait for him, if he knew, that he was going to come to the city by night.

Why would Clodius travel by night?

Well age, let it have happened factum sit so ita: what quae reason causa was there fuit why cur he should hasten properaret to Rome Romam, why cur he should launch coniceret himself se into in the night noctem? What quid urgency festinationis did the fact that quod he was erat an heir heres bring adferebat? Firstly primum, there was erat no reason nihil why cur there was esset a need opus for haste properato; secondly deinde, if si there was esset a reason quid, what quid in the world tandem was there erat which quod he could posset reach consequi that ea night nocte, but autem would lose amitteret if si he had come venisset to Rome Romam the next day postridie in the morning mane? And atqui as ut an arrival adventus at ad the city urbem in the night nocturnus was fuit rather potius to be avoided vitandus by him illi than quam to be aimed at expetendus, so sic Milo Miloni, since cum he was esset the plotter insidiator, should have lain in ambush subsidendum and atque waited for him exspectandum fuit, if si he knew sciebat, that he illum was going to come accessurum to ad the city urbem by night noctu.

Why would Clodius travel by night?


Night would’ve suited “Milo the assassin” perfectly.

noctu occidisset: insidioso et pleno latronum in loco occidisset. nemo ei neganti non credidisset quem esse omnes salvum etiam confitentem volunt. sustinuisset crimen primum ipse ille latronum occultator et receptor locus, tum neque muta solitudo indicasset neque caeca nox ostendisset Milonem; deinde multi ab illo violati, spoliati, bonis expulsi, multi haec etiam timentes in suspicionem caderent, tota denique rea citaretur Etruria.

Night would’ve suited “Milo the assassin” perfectly.

He would have killed him at night: he would have killed him in a place suitable for ambush and full of robbers. No one would have disbelieved him if he denied it, he whom everyone wishes to be acquitted even though he admits it. Firstly, the place itself would have bore the accusation, that concealer and receiver of robbers, at that time neither the silent loneliness would have pointed to Milo, nor the blind night revealed (him); secondly, the many men who had been violated, plundered, deprived of their goods by that man, even the many fearing this, would have fallen into suspicion, finally the whole of Etruria would have been called to trial.

Night would’ve suited “Milo the assassin” perfectly.

He would have killed him occidisset at night noctu: he would have killed him occidisset in in a place loco suitable for ambush insidioso and et full pleno of robbers latronum. No one nemo would have disbelieved non credidisset him ei if he denied it neganti, he whom quem everyone omnes wishes volunt to be esse acquitted salvum even etiam though he admits it confitentem. Firstly primum, the place locus itself ipse would have bore sustinuisset the accusation crimen, that ille concealer occultator and et receiver receptor of robbers latronum, at that time tum neither neque the silent muta loneliness solitudo would have pointed to indicasset Milo Milonem, nor neque the blind caeca night nox revealed (him) ostendisset; secondly deinde, the many men multi who had been violated violati, plundered spoliati, deprived expulsi of their goods bonis by ab Clodius illo, even etiam the many multi fearing timentes this haec, would have fallen caderent into in suspicion suspicionem, finally denique the whole of tota Etruria Etruria would have been called to trial citaretur rea.

Night would’ve suited “Milo the assassin” perfectly.


The place and time of murder make no sense.

atque illo die certe Aricia rediens devertit Clodius ad se in Albanum. quod ut sciret Milo, illum Ariciae fuisse, suspicari tamen debuit eum, etiam si Romam illo die reverti vellet, ad villam suam quae viam tangeret deversurum. cur nec ante occurrit ne ille in villa resideret, nec eo in loco subsedit quo ille noctu venturus esset?

The place and time of murder make no sense.

And certainly on that day, Clodius turned aside to his Alban residence while returning from Aricia. Although Milo knew this, that Clodius was at Aricia, nevertheless he ought to have suspected that he, even if he wanted to return to Rome on that day, would turn aside to his own villa which bordered the road. Why did he neither meet him before so that Clodius did not settle in his villa, nor lie in wait in that place to where Clodius was intending to come by night?

The place and time of murder make no sense.

And atque certainly certe on that illo day die, Clodius Clodius turned aside devertit ad se to in his Alban residence Albanum while returning rediens from Aricia Aricia. Although ut Milo Milo knew sciret this quod, that Clodius illum was fuisse at Aricia Ariciae, nevertheless tamen he ought debuit to have suspected suspicari that he eum, even etiam if si he wanted vellet to return reverti to Rome Romam on that illo day die, would turn aside deversurum to ad his own suam villa villam which quae bordered tangeret the road viam. Why cur did he neither meet him nec occurrit before ante so that Clodius did not settle ne ille resideret in in his villa villa, nor nec lie in wait subsedit in in that eo place loco to where quo Clodius ille was esset intending to come venturus by night noctu?

The place and time of murder make no sense.


A summary of the main points.

video adhuc constare, iudices, omnia: Miloni etiam utile fuisse Clodium vivere, illi ad ea quae concupierat optatissimum interitum Milonis; odium fuisse illius in hunc acerbissimum, nullum huius in illum; consuetudinem illius perpetuam in vi inferenda, huius tantum in repellenda; mortem ab illo Miloni denuntiatam et praedicatam palam, nihil umquam auditum ex Milone; profectionis huius diem illi notum, reditum illius huic ignotum fuisse; huius iter necessarium, illius etiam potius alienum; hunc prae se tulisse se illo die exiturum, illum eo die se dissimulasse rediturum; hunc nullius rei mutasse consilium, illum causam mutandi consili finxisse; huic, si insidiaretur, noctem prope urbem exspectandam, illi, etiam si hunc non timeret, tamen accessum ad urbem nocturnum fuisse metuendum.

A summary of the main points.

I see that everything corresponds so far, jurors: that it was even beneficial for Milo that Clodius lived, for that man (Clodius) the death of Milo was most preferable, with regards to the things which he coveted; Clodius’ hatred against Milo was very bitter, there was none of Milo’s against that man/Clodius/him; that man’s perpetual habit was in bringing in violence, but Milo’s was in repelling it; death for Milo was declared and openly predicted by Clodius, nothing ever was heard from Milo; the day of Milo’s departure was known to Clodius, Clodius’ return was unknown to Milo; Milo’s journey was necessary, Clodius’ even rather suspicious; this man advertised that he would leave on that day, that man had concealed that he would return on that day; this man in no respect changed his plan, that man fabricated a reason for changing his plan; if he were laying a trap, Milo (this man) should have waited for night near the city, however Clodius (that man) should have feared arrival at the city at night even if he did not fear Milo.

A summary of the main points.

I see video that everything omnia corresponds constare so far adhuc, jurors iudices: that it was fuisse even etiam beneficial utile for Milo Miloni that Clodius Clodium lived vivere, for Clodius illi the death interitum of Milo Milonis was most preferable optatissimum, with regards to ad the things ea which quae he coveted concupierat; Clodius’ illius hatred odium against in Milo hunc was fuisse very bitter acerbissimum, there was none nullum of Milo’s huius against in Clodius illum; Clodius’ illius perpetual perpetuam habit consuetudinem was in in bringing in inferenda violence vi, but tantum Milo’s huius was in in repelling it repellenda; death mortem for Milo Miloni was declared denuntiatam and et openly palam predicted praedicatam by ab Clodius illo ,nothing nihil ever umquam was heard auditum from ex Milo Milone; the day diem of Milo’s huius departure profectionis was known notum to Clodius illi, Clodius’ illius return reditum was fuisse unknown ignotum to Milo huic; Milo’s huius journey iter was necessary necessarium, Clodius’ illius even etiam rather potius suspicious alienum; Milo hunc advertised tulisse prae se that he se would leave exiturum on that illo day die, Clodius illum had concealed dissimulasse that he se would return rediturum on that eo day die; Milo hunc in no respect nullius rei changed mutasse his plan consilium, Clodius illum fabricated finxisse a reason causam for changing mutandi his plan consili; if si he were laying a trap insidiaretur, Milo should have waited for huic exspectandam night noctem near prope the city urbem, however tamen Clodius should have feared illi metuendum fuisse arrival accessum at ad the city urbem at night nocturnum even etiam if si he did not fear non timeret Milo hunc.

A summary of the main points.


In Our Time: The Roman Republic
BBC Radio discussion of the rise and eventual downfall of the Roman Republic which survived for 500 years and which Cicero tried to preserve.

Timewatch: Murder in Rome
A BBC dramatisation of one of Cicero’s early defence cases, Pro Roscio Amerino. It gives a sense of how and where trials were conducted in Rome.

Set Text Guide: Pro Milone
The official OCR handbook for the Pro Milone set text. Contains useful information and ideas for teachers and students.