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Annals by Tacitus
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book XIV Chapter 43: Murder of Pedanius Secundus. Speech of Gaius Cassius[AD 61]
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"Often have I [Note 1] been present, senators, in this assembly when new decrees were demanded from us contrary to the customs and laws of our ancestors, and I have refrained from opposition, not because I doubted but that in all matters the arrangements of the past were better and fairer and that all changes were for the worse, but that I might not seem to be exalting my own profession out of an excessive partiality for ancient precedent. At the same time I thought that any influence I possess ought not to be destroyed by incessant protests, wishing that it might remain unimpaired, should the State ever need my counsels. Today this has come to pass, since an ex-consul has been murdered in his house by the treachery of slaves, which not one hindered or divulged, though the Senate's decree, which threatens the entire slave-establishment with execution, has been till now unshaken. Vote impunity, in heaven's name, and then who will be protected by his rank, when the prefecture of the capital has been of no avail to its holder? Who will be kept safe by the number of his slaves when four hundred have not protected Pedanius Secundus? Which of us will be rescued by his domestics, who, even with the dread of punishment before them, regard not our dangers? Was the murderer, as some do not blush to pretend, avenging his wrongs because he had bargained about money from his father or because a family-slave was taken from him? Let us actually decide that the master was justly slain.

Note 1: I = Gaius Cassius

Event: Murder of Pedanius Secundus

"Saepe numero, patres conscripti, in hoc ordine interfui, cum contra instituta et leges maiorum nova senatus decreta postularentur; neque sum adversatus, non quia dubitarem, super omnibus negotiis melius atque rectius olim provisum et quae converterentur [in] deterius mutari, sed ne nimio amore antiqui moris studium meum extollere viderer. simul quicquid hoc in nobis auctoritatis est, crebris contradictionibus destruendum non existimabam, ut maneret integrum, si quando res publica consiliis eguisset. quod hodie venit, consulari viro domi suae interfecto per insidias serviles, quas nemo prohibuit aut prodidit quamvis nondum concusso senatus consulto, quod supplicium toti familiae minitabatur. decernite hercule impunitatem: at quem dignitas sua defendet, cum praefecto urbis non profu[er]it? quem numerus servorum tuebitur, cum Pedanium Secundum quadringenti non protexerint? cui familia opem feret, quae ne in metu quidem pericula nostra advertit? an, ut quidam fingere non erubescunt, iniurias suas ultus est interfector, quia de paterna pecunia transegerat aut avitum