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for assassination had taken place ; and tlie judges, in
their desire to satisfy public opinion, might be expected to
show more severity than usuaL
But it was on his own influence with Sulla that Chry-
sogonus placed most confidence. So great was the dread
of oifending the Dictator that either the accused would not
l)e able to find an advocate or, in case one came forward,
lie would never dare to call in question the legahty of the
proscription of the elder Eoscius ; for in attaching Chry-
sogonus on this point lie would at the same time be making
an attack on SuUa.
The professional accuser Erucius, a man of some culture
and reputation as a lawyer, but of doubtful character, was
engaged for the prosecution.
The party of the nobility, devoted as they were to Sulla's
cause, must have felt aggrieved and insulted by the power
and ai-rogance of the low-born favo\u-ite Chrysogonus, aud
must have been inclined to support any proceeding which
raight have the effect of undermining his influence.
Although none of the more prominent advocates ventured
to come forward in person, it was owing to the instigation
of the noble friends of the elder Eoscius that the youug
Cicero, who had already been pitted in a civil case against
Hortensius, the greatest orator of the day, was induced to
undertake the defence.
Since the crime of parricide was included in Sulla's Lex
Gornelia de sicariis et veneficis, Eoscius was accused before
the quaestio inter sicarios, which was one of the standing
commissions established by that law. (See § 7.) The
President of the court was the praetor M. Fannius.
The only known witnesses of the murder were the two
slaves who had been with the murdered man and who now
belouged to Chrysogonus. Since it was the business of the
prosecutor to procure the evidence necessary to establish
his case, Erucius, if he really considered it of importance
to get at the actual circumstances, would have made an
application that the slaves should be produced for exami-
nation under torture. This he did not do ; and he betrayed
the frivolous character of the charge by producing as wit-
nesses only those who could assign possible motives for the

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