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NONE of the existing MSS of the speech for Murena are of earlier date than the 15th century of our era.
In fact at the beginning of that century no copy of it was known to have survived. About the year 1414 the great scholar Poggio found somewhere in southern France a manuscript containing it, but in a tattered state, and with the writing much defaced by ill keeping and the effect of time. This he either took into Italy or copied on the spot : certain it is that, while the speech was at once circulated among the learned, the old MS found by Poggio has perished. The existing MSS are universally admitted to be of little value ; and a careful examination of the various readings which they present (in the full collation of A W Zumpt) has convinced me that the comparative method is alone safe in deciding textual questions. It is true that A W Zumpt is devoted to one MS (Lag 9) and relies almost wholly upon it for the formation of a text ; but he stands alone in this opinion and—I now thinkdeservedly. Since my first edition I have read Halm's paper ‘über die handschriften zu Cicero's rede pro Murena' (München 1861), kindly sent me by Professor Halm himself. I have managed also to wade through nearly all the furious controversy between that eminent scholar and A W Zumpt in the zeitschrift für das gymnasialwesen (15th and 16th years), and to read a valuable article by Dr G Sorof (ib 15th year) on Tischer's edition. The last paper together with a small Latin pamphlet by the same hor (1861), forms a valuable contribution to the criticism of the speech, which as Halm says has given birth to 'eine kleine literatur' of its own. Starting then as before from Halm's text of 1868 I have revised the whole speech : in a few cases strong reasons have led me to accept emendations which from want of the necessary information and time I had been previously compelled to ignore: but I have on the whole returned still more to the MSS readings than in the former edition. In one case (§ 62) I have ventured to restore the MSS reading on my own responsibility: on all much contested points I have given my full reasons for the view I have taken.
B. i. Murena and his family (adapted from Halm].
Our knowledge of L Licinius Murena rests almost entirely upon the notices of his life preserved to us by his defender Cicero. The plebeian family of which he was a member came from Lanuvium and belonged to the new Nobility (S$ 15, 90); as yet it counted no consulars in its ranks; the first member of it who gained the praetorship was our Murena's great-grandfather ($$ 15, 86). The town too had never as yet produced a consul ($ 86). The most celebrated of the family was the father, who after having held the praetorship served with distinction as Sulla's legatus in Greece and Asia. After the treaty with Mithridates in BC 84 that general entrusted him with the command of the two legions left behind in Asia. In this position Murena got into fresh complications with Mithridates ; his successes were not conspicuous, and were more than reversed by a marked defeat which he suffered in the passage of the Halys ($ 32, where the affair is grossly misrepresented, see Appian Mithr 64). Sulla put an end to the quarrel by the recall of Murena, granting him however the honour of a triumph as though he had won notable victories ($$ 11, 15, App Mithr 66). In this, usually called the Second Mithridatic war, the son served his military apprenticeship under the command of his father (§ 11). According to the assertions of his accusers, the young
up wholly to a life of Asiatic luxury and lowered the dignity of Rome so far as to dance like a harlequin in the company of his dissolute young companions,-charges which it is true his defender repels as utterly unfounded ($$ 11, 12, 13).
On his return from Asia, L Murena became, along with his subsequent accuser Servius Sulpicius, a candidate for the quaestorship; but in the tenure of this office found no chance of specially distinguishing himself ($ 18). The fresh outbreak of the war with
Mithridates took Murena again to Asia to join the army of L Lucullus. The official dispatches of his commander gave testimony to the great services rendered by him as legatus in those victorious campaigns ($ 20).
Without having held the aedileship ($ 37), Murena obtained in 65 BC the praetorship, again with Sulpicius for a colleague ; but had been more fortunate than the latter in the duties given him by the lot: for while he had got the iuris dictio urbana, the irksome task of conducting the enquiries de peculatu had fallen to Sulpicius ($$ 35—42). Already at that time animated by the wish to bring the consulship into his family, Murena celebrated the Apollinarian games, the conduct of which belonged to the praetor urbanus, with splendour all the greater that by reason of his having missed the aedileship he had found no opportunity of winning popularity by magnificent shows. After the Praetorship, he received in 64 BC as propraetor the government of Transalpine Gaul (S$ 42, 89). Before the expiration of his second year, leaving his brother and legatus C Murena behind as his deputy, he returned to Rome to accompany the triumph of Lucullus, and stand for the consulship ($ 89, Sallust Cat 42). It having become notorious that Catiline's band of conspirators had decided to carry through this election with violence, and to kill the presiding consul and the rivals of their leader, the election appointed for the 22nd of September was put off, and the consul employed the time thus gained in forming for himself a strong escort of young men, under whose guard the election was held without disturbance (about the middle of October) and resulted in favour of D Silanus and Murena. For the sequel of this, see below on the trial and the pleaders for the prosecution and defence. One thing more remains to be said of the accused; he was clearly a man of good temper
. and judgement, if we may trust the account in Plutarch Cato 28 of his rescuing and protecting Cato in a riot, or 21 åropvyov dè ο Μουρήνας ου πονηρού πάθος ουδε άφρονος έπαθεν ανθρώπου προς τον Κάτωνα και γάρ υπατεύων έχρητο συμβούλων των μεγίστων και τάλλα τιμών και πιστεύων διετέλεσεν.
For the Prosecution. (1) Servius Sulpicius & F Lemonia Rufus, a famous jurist, was born probably in 105 B C (Cic Brutus § 150). His early devotion to improving studies was remarkable : he went to study at Rhodes (ib § 151), and on his return to Rome seemed to have chosen rather to take the first place among jurists than the second among orators (ib § 151). He is compared with Cicero himself, and the pair are matched with Scaevola and Crassus ; for while Sulpicius, like Scaevola, cultivated his powers of oratory to back a knowledge of case-law, his eloquent contemporary and friend learnt enough of case-law to be a complement of his oratorical skill (ib $ 150). He studied law under two eminent jurists, Lucius Lucilius Balbus and C Aquillius Gallus, but soon surpassed the latter in painstaking accuracy and the former in despatch; combining, says Cicero (ib § 154), the merits of both in himself. Sulpicius and Cicero went up the ladder of office step for step (ib § 156): and as we know that Cicero held each office at the earliest age permitted by law (anno suo), we can find the dates of Sulpicius' quaestorship (viz 74 B C) and praetorship (65 B c) with tolerable certainty. In both these offices he had for colleague L Licinius Murena (pro Mur $$ 18, 35—42). In B C 63 both came forward as candidates for the consulship of the following year : neither had, so far as we know, held the aedileship, but Murena had become popular as praetor urbanus, while Sulpicius had had no chance of winning favour. Besides, during the canvass it became apparent that the latter had given himself up to the design of prosecuting Murena for corrupt practices under the new law of the consul Cicero (lex Tullia de ambitu, pro Mur &$ 5, 46, 47, 67, Dion XXXVII 29). The result of the election was that out of the four candidates (Decimus Junius Silanus and L Sergius Catilina being the other two) the choice fell upon Silanus and Murena. The subsequent rebellion and death of Catiline will be found treated in the introduction to Mr Wilkins' edition of the Catilinarian speeches. Sulpicius brought Murena to trial, with what result will be presently seen. He himself did not attain to the consulship until the year 51 B C.
In the civil war he took the side of Caesar, and was appointed by him to the government of the province of
Achaia in BC 46 (Cic ad fam IV 3, 4, 5): but he was greatly troubled at this time by the state of affairs and the manifest collapse of the Commonwealth (ad fam IV 1, 2, 3); in fact, though taking part with Caesar, he was, from his slowness of disposition (ad fam vili 10 § 3) and want of decided views (ad Att XI 7 $ 4), long unable to make up his mind as to the course he should follow. In B C 43 he was sent to the camp of Antonius on an embassy, which he undertook from patriotic motives, though at the time suffering from severe illness. He died on this service in the lines before Mutina, and Cicero with sincere grief delivered a splendid eulogy on the life and merits of his departed friend, the speech known to us as the ninth Philippic. His intimate friendship with Cicero is perhaps best shewn by two letters that passed between them in the year 45 BC. Early in February Cicero had lost his daughter Tullia, who died suddenly in childbirth. When Sulpicius heard of this, he wrote to Cicero a letter (ad fam IV 5), conveying with diffident and tender delicacy the consolations he could offer in so great a trouble. Cicero replied (ad fam IV 6) in a letter which, though mournful and querulous in tone, shews how highly he valued the kind-hearted platitudes of his friend, which, if not new, were still grateful to him. The two letters are well worth reading, and should be read by every one in connexion with the ninth Philippic and the speech for Murena.
(2) M Porcius Cato, great-grandson of the famous censor of the same name, was born B C 95. The main details in connexion with his life will be found in any biographical dictionary. He was celebrated chiefly for a rugged firmness of character, which shewed itself early in him, and was further developed by his acceptance of the stern doctrines of the Stoic school. A man whose name stood for uprightness itself, and for unflinching devotion to duty, for morality of life and frugal simplicity, in an age of time-serving and corruption, an age of extravagance and immorality, when to be patriotic was to be a marked man, exposed to the ridicule of the careless and the knife of the traitor, he stood out among his feeble contemporaries as one who though with them was not of them. For this reason he was unable to exert any great or lasting influence on his fellow citizens : most admired without following him. Cicero, who was intimate with him, seems to have