This chapter offers commentary on Cicero's Verrines II, Book 1. It begins with the prefatory review of the importance of the case and the villainy of the accused, Caius Verres, joined to reassertions of Cicero's aims and resolve and of the consequences for the senatorial order of an unjust acquittal. Cicero constantly harps on the theme throughout the Verrines that the Roman people are awaiting definite proof of the integrity of senatorial juries, and he presents the case of Verres as a golden opportunity for the jury of senators to vindicate their order and stave off the impending threat to the senate's monopoly of the courts. The chapter then looks at the accusatio perpetua, the detailed, continuous exposition of Verres' crimes from the beginning of his public life through his governorship of Sicily. The present speech traces the catalogue of misdeeds to the end of Verres' praetorship in 74. It is a noteworthy aspect of Roman criminal procedure that a prosecutor was entitled to lay before the court all violations of the law in question that the defendant could be alleged to have committed at any period in his life, and that the jury could convict if they believed any one of the allegations.
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