More Problems of Partnership: The <i>Pro Quinto Roscio Comoedo</i>

Andrew Lintott

in Cicero as Evidence

Published in print February 2008 | ISBN: 9780199216444
Published online May 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780191712180 | DOI:
More Problems of Partnership: The Pro Quinto Roscio Comoedo

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This chapter examines another speech by Cicero. The year after pro Quinctio, Cicero undertook his first criminal defence — that of Sextus Roscius of America — and from then on seemed to have had a regular practice in both private and criminal cases. The speech for the actor Quintus Roscius relates to another private suit arising from a partnership (societas). It was delivered some time after Sulla's dictatorship and is rhetorically more sophisticated. The issue in the speech stemmed from events around the eighties BC and relates to people of similar status to those in pro Quinctio. Like pro Quinctio, the speech provides valuable evidence for private law procedure in the late Republic and for the law of partnership. It also reveals the types of argument an orator needed to deal with such legal issues. In the surviving text, Cicero seems to be deliberately making matters as confused as he can. Based on the structure created by the partition, Cicero moves from arguments drawn strictly from law to arguments from equity, derived from Roscius' character and the history of the partnership. In this later section, he called into question allegations made by the prosecution, which involved the legal interpretation of more than one point of fact from the past, largely damaging to Roscius. Cicero seems indeed to have tried to rewrite the legal history behind the case. The reconstruction of the narrative and the legal argument are discussed.

Keywords: Ciceronian speeches; Roscius; Fannius; Sextus Roscius; Sulla; partition

Chapter.  3703 words. 

Subjects: Classical History

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